Taking the long way home


Last night Angel and I got back home from the Lana Del Rey concert. We ended up taking the long way home…

We headed out to Minneapolis early Friday afternoon and got to our downtown Minneapolis hotel by late afternoon. It was still cold outside with wind chills below zero. Even though we were only a couple blocks away, I was concerned about walking outside on a cold frigid night.

The hotel had an indoor walkway that we could walk to the concert in, but it closed at 8 PM. Although we had a map, we got turned around several times in the walkway. There weren’t as many signs as we thought there would be. Someone stopped us and gave us the wrong directions. We met up with another couple that was just as lost as we were. The girl was wearing a mini skirt and a jean jacket. I told her that she would have to walk back outside on the way back.

Surprisingly, despite getting lost, we made it to the concert a little early which gave us time to go through security, find the bathroom, and get a drink before the show. I spent $15 on a 4 oz old-fashioned that tasted like utter crap. I watered it down with Angel’s soda but it was still undrinkable. Gross!

Angel’s friend was going to meet us there and sit by us, but she came down with the stomach flu. The show itself was phenomenal. It was the biggest concert I ever went to. Before that the biggest concert I was at was back in the early 90’s seeing Reo Speedwagon at the county fair. This was Lana’s first concert of her new tour, so being the first show and being an inexperienced concert goer, I really didn’t know what to expect.

I was thinking about bringing ear plugs, but Angel said that would make me look way too old. I was already instructed not to look like a mother. Some of the young girls barely wore any clothes which concerned the mother within me a whole lot on such a cold night. There were a few other middle aged concert goers. Most were in their early twenties. The whole row behind us seemed to be in their early 20’s and were all smoking pot. The young couple next to me was making out the whole time. Seriously, I could have used a better drink.

Afterwards, I was satisfied that my ears did not ring. The acoustics were great. Lana played a lot of songs that we knew and she had a great performance. We walked back to the hotel in the cold. I had a hard time pulling up the hotel on my phone’s map. I was a little afraid that we would walk around the city in circles until we froze to death. Although my daughter is an adult, I felt responsible for her safety. We were very cold, but we were able to find our way back before we froze to death.

The next day we had lunch plans with an old college friend that lives near the city. She hadn’t seen my daughter since she was a toddler. It has been over 8 years since we last saw each other. We had a really nice visit, but had a long drive home.

I fell asleep on the way home which hardly ever happens. In my defense, I can’t remember the last time I slept through the night and felt rested. I was the only one that knew how to get home and since I was sleeping, we missed the exit. I woke up to different scenery. We drove a few more miles before I had the nagging suspicion that something wasn’t right. Sure enough, my little siesta cost us an extra hour of driving.

What good is knowing the way if I couldn’t show the way to go?? Seems like another whole philosophical blog topic, but I am much too tired to form a thought. I would like to think that we circumvented a crash on the interstate. But the truth is that I am getting old and tired..I fell asleep and wasn’t paying attention.

However,the long way home was a more scenic route with its rolling hills, cranberry bogs, marshes, reeds, and woods. I wanted to stop several times to take pictures, but I also wanted to get home and felt bad for making our trip a lot longer than necessary. So I snapped a few pictures when we stopped for a stop sign.

Angel and I did a lot of talking on our long trip home. It was nice having some uninterrupted time to visit. Next weekend she will be leaving to go back to college. It will probably be a couple more months until we see each other again. Despite taking the long way home, we had a lot of fun together..


Proper middle school concert etiquette

This has been my 8th consecutive year of being a parent of at least one middle school child. Over the years I have learned a thing or two. This is my last year and I am ready to graduate!

If you are a new parent of a middle schooler, pity!! These years are the hardest with so many major changes for the first time. Hormones, growth spurts, dating, fitting in…just to name a few.

Hey, it’s a scary time for parents too.

I want to give helpful, yet humorous, advice on proper etiquette for the middle school concert goer.

Let’s face it, middle school concerts suck!

The kids are just not cute anymore like they were in preschool or grade school. Some of the students have been playing their instruments for 2 months before their first winter concert. They don’t come close to high school or college performances.

I have seen an appalling new trend over the past couple of years of parents yelling out their child’s name as they are approaching the stage. Parents, this is trashy and not at all classy. Or even worse, when the students shout back from the stage. This is not melodious at all.

I like to pretend I paid a lot of money to see this performance. If I consider how much I pay in taxes, I did.

I like to wear something nice. No jeans with holes. No work out clothes. No pajamas…I don’t think pajamas are proper attire for concert goers. I just don’t, even though they were seasonal and really cute.

Let’s talk for a moment about proper concert attire…

It would be wise to have your child set aside his or her concert attire a week or two before the show. If at all possible, hide it in a secret corridor that only you have access to. But never more than two weeks before. If you have things ready a month in advance that is admirable, but your child is sure to grow a foot or two. Did you see the boy whose pants were shorts?

Then there was my child. He said he was prepared, but always lost or outgrew his dress shoes the night of the concert and had to borrow his dad’s dress shoes that were ill fitting.

But my personal favorite is when the girls show up to the concert in a dress they wore from grade 2. Please don’t bend over if you drop something. Or better yet, the comments about the scantily clad girls from the teen boys behind you while you are trying to record your child’s performance.

Don’t get me wrong, I love it when the whole family gets into the concert. It is nice to see people tap their toes to the beat. But I don’t enjoy it when they tap their feet into the back of my seat.

It seems like our middle school has a high turnover of choir and band teachers. I love the experienced teachers because they are sure to have a medley at the end of the show where all of the grades perform together. This prevents a stampede to the exit after the concert goer’s child performs. If you are going to leave before the concert ends, at least take a few crying kids with you.

The last show that I went to, there was a man who was in such a hurry to leave after his kid performed that he tripped on an extension cord and almost fell. It was very entertaining. I almost clapped.

If only people had proper middle school concert etiquette like I do. To think, it only took me 8 years to figure it all out.


“Run” way model feet

This week my husband and I went to a concert for a date night. I decided to dress up for the occasion. Being a hard core runner, this tends to be more of a problem than you might think. You see, I can’t really get away with wearing my running shoes with a dress. Maybe I could get away with it if I was running late for the show. Haha.

When I became a serious runner, I decided to give up the stiletto heels. I no longer wanted to wear shoes that could in any way harm my precious running feet. Without healthy feet, I have nothing to run on. Yes, high heels are extremely sexy. No, I haven’t given them away yet. I can’t stand to be barefoot. So, that pretty much leaves athletic shoes or slippers. Slippers can be dangerous too. This week I tripped over a rug while wearing them and fell into my sliding glass door. I also stubbed my toe. Good thing I am not a dancer.

So, when we went to the concert I was forced to wear dress shoes that pinch my feet, my left more so than my right foot. The seats were staggered back at the concert and I sat at an end seat with no one directly in front of me. During the concert, I thought I was being discrete when I took off my left shoe. The guy in front of us kept looking over at my feet. Then he started taking pictures. 

At intermission, the guy turned around and started talking to me. He said that he didn’t mean to stare at my feet the whole show, but did I ever think about being a foot model. He talked about how he noticed I took off my left shoe and not the right. He liked the shape of my feet. Nothing like sitting near a drunk guy with a foot fetish!


Here is a picture of my feet. Now imagine them in a darkly lit room with strobe lights. Not bad, definately model material. Well except that my summer nail polish is half worn off. Oh, and I might lose a couple of nails next time I run a marathon. Will that be a problem? I guess I won’t quit my day job anytime soon. Oh well.

After talking more about my perfect feet and tripping over his beer cans, he seemed to notice that I was not alone. Now my husband is this big, burly, muscular man. The guy looked over at Paul and got a little nervous. “Oh man, is that your wife?” “Sorry man, I didn’t mean anything by it.” “Are we good, man?” This is always followed by high fives. I think that it would be funny, just once, for Paul to act really jealous and pissed off when guys hit on me or compliment me. He sure can put the fear of God into people.

When my son and his friend got into trouble a couple of months back, his friend’s mom threatened him with my husband. “No please, don’t make me talk to Paul,” he cried. Then he confessed to every bad thing he ever did with my son since 2008. It works great. 

Nothing like modeling feats and run way model feet.