“Things can always be worse.” ~ Mrs. Froth
I suppose that I could have titled this post “It Was All A Dream” but the truth of the matter is that it was not a dream. It just really feels like it. Things just happened so quickly!!
It was time again to go to Houston to see SIX MINUTE CENTURY do their thing on stage. Since January is my birthday month, I wanted to be there.
But this trip was a little different than most that I have taken in the past. In fact, I wasn’t even in the city limits of Houston for a full 24 hours.
I was there for only one night, rather than two.
Thanks to Dr. Froth’s keen eyes, he noticed a La Quinta Inn that was so close to the place where I would be dropped off by the bus when I was there last November. There was a restaurant, a gas station/convenience store, and lodgings. Everything I could ever need right there in the same place.
So this trip was also an experiment in keeping costs down.
Also, I was given help by my sister back in late November when she noticed a promo code to punch in to megabus.com that would make my bus trip FREE.
However, it didn’t work out as well. The entire round trip fare was $14. But so much lower than what I have actually paid in the past. You just have to read the small print when it tells you that there are terms and conditions to these kinds of promotions.
My $14 shortfall came because I waited before I made my reservation. Lessons learned.
Another lesson that I’ve learned is that when I am on the bus, I’ve got to find something to keep me occupied. Otherwise I’ll just lose it and go crazy. Two and a half hours or so is better than the three hours I was travelling, but still I need to do something to occupy my space and time.
There was some “eye candy” that boarded. I suppose one could say that I was fortunate she didn’t go to the upper deck to sit. But I struggled for about an hour to decide two things:
#1- Is she married?
#2- Is she really that cute?
When we reached Brenham, Texas which is usually the “halfway point” of the journey, our beloved bus driver got completely nervous at the highway signs and ended up going into the small town, rather than staying on the highway and moving along the outskirts of the town.
So we got turned around and drove around in Brenham for about 15-20 minutes before “Little Miss Eye Candy” got up and conferred with the bus driver.
The driver got scared and ran off of course because of the signs that said that she was on US-290 Business. Ridiculous! And that caused her to throw the trip out of whack.
This was the first time I’ve had a female bus driver. I figured we’d make the trip in under an hour. Not so much… we were behind by about 20 minutes when we finally arrived in northwest Houston.
Then we passed through Chappell Hill where I’ve recently learned a dear friend of mine lives. She’s been ill and so has her husband and when I saw the signs in which she instructed me to find when I passed through, I said a little prayer for her and her husband, hoping that they would feel better soon and no longer be ill.
At long last we reached northwest Houston and I got off of the bus. I noticed a HUGE crowd of people looking to get on board. I had never seen so many people to ride megabus.com but there they were. I had forgotten about the promotion that they had going on and I suppose that people are taking advantage of it. Something I didn’t figure until after I had already came home.
I’d like to try it again and take full of advantage of a FREE trip, but the promotion goes until the end of February and I don’t see any trips in the future. Oh well.
The cold front had followed us into Houston and even several hours earlier, Mrs. Froth told me that it was warm and very humid. But that was all taken care of by the time I arrived.
It started to rain at some point, and the smells of the restaurant adjacent to the hotel was killing me! It was a BBQ place. And I was just drooling uncontrollably. But I never made it there. Instead of checking into the hotel and then going to the restaurant, I waited and waited for some notice that someone was going to pick me up. “Face time” is what I call it.
I ended up watching some documentary on VH1 about the Los Angeles riots and the Hip-hop culture. Some of it, I never knew. Other parts, I was just completely disgusted with…. even some twenty years later.
Then it just turned later and later and there was still no word from anyone. It was probably the first time that I thought I had been forgotten about while in Houston. But around 7:00 PM, my cell phone proved me wrong. Oh ye of little faith should’ve been my theme of the evening.
I guess I was just probably way too excited to go. Too excited to see everyone. But deep in the back of my mind, I knew that it wouldn’t be like times before. And I just couldn’t shake that feeling away.
By then, the rain had come to stay. So it was a soggy and chilly mess to wait outside. A secret that I will share with my dear readers: The woman who was working the front desk was outside having a smoke when Dr. & Mrs. Froth arrived to pick me up. Both of them ready to go to the show, and dressed appropriately for it. I couldn’t help but laugh to myself, wondering what the hotel clerk was thinking when I jumped into a vehicle with them. Leather and lace, baby!!!!
The best thing about this location of the La Quinta Inn, was that the BFE Rock Club was really not that far away. It didn’t take much time to arrive at all. I began to wonder just how close Acadia was as well. It seems to be the two venues in which SIX MINUTE CENTURY plays the most.
I mean after all, this location where I was at seemed to be near perfection.
I was given the opportunity to hear the finished production of “City Of Hope” which is a song going on the new album for SIX MINUTE CENTURY. It was the first time I had ever heard a recorded version of the song. Any other time that I’ve heard it, it was a live version. So it was a little different for me but I loved it.
Dr. Froth mentioned that lead singer Chuck Williams did a fabulous job with the background vocals. And there were parts that were just totally bad ass. He was right. When those background vocals popped up for the first time, I jumped. It literally scared me because I was not expecting to hear what I did. I was floored. Such a great thing to be pumped up listening to the music of SIX MINUTE CENTURY that hardly anyone else has heard as we prepared to go to a live show.
It was great to see so many people there. People that I’ve come to know in the past year and a half. Members from WELL OF SOULS, ECHO TEMPLE, and other bands were there. I got into a very serious conversation with the drummer for ECHO TEMPLE. Something that I fully intend to continue at a later time.
All these people came out in the rain. And that’s just awesome!
The show was great. There was a band that came from Austin that I was really impressed with. I wanted to get photos of them, but someone else was walking around, shooting video with a digital camera and getting around the girl was a little challenging. Plus, she was easy on the eyes. I’m tellin’ ya!
Mystic Cross was on stage next. The lead guitarist for SIX MINUTE CENTURY, Don LaFon, is also a member of this band. And since we were all there to celebrate his birthday, well he had two bands he was playing with in one night.
Don LaFon came up to me and said hello. I wished him a happy birthday since it was ON his birthday that he was playing. And he mentioned that my most favorite song, “Zero Hour” was on the set list for the night. A piece of information that had been unconfirmed before, but I just nodded and smiled. I told Chuck Williams that since I was there to celebrate MY OWN birthday, I’d hoped that the so-called rumor was true that they would play the song. But I honestly didn’t have any doubt as to whether or not they would. I was told once by someone reliable, then Don LaFon brought it up to me before the show started. So I knew that I was in for a treat. Considering the fact that the band has been wanting to drop it from the set list to make room for new material. They had decided that they would only play the song when I was there. But for the band, I’ve made most of the shows throughout 2012. So I’ve got to hear it played live.
Chuck Williams made a special birthday dedication to me before they played the song. It was kinda funny. He looked right at me and said, “You. For you. Birthday!” and I just clapped and smiled knowing what was going to happen. After they played the song, Chuck then mentioned the men and women of our Armed Forces, to which the song truly goes out to.
Someone screamed out their unit and Chuck Williams was all proud and honored and thanked the guy for his service.
The rest of the show was so awesome. And loud. Holy crap, it was so loud. I don’t know what the hell the sound guy was thinking, but after Mystic Cross got on stage, everything was just turned up and left that way. But the stage lights, there was nothing going on with that. Weird.
I found myself being accosted, again. Another blonde, another DRUNK woman. She asked me why I was in a wheelchair and I gave her the short answer. But it was like it went flying right over her head.
I’m going to say this right now….. I DO NOT MIND explaining the reasons why I am in a wheelchair. I believe that talking about it actually can educate those who do not know. Plus, it helps you understand me on a more personal level. So I am not the kind of person that is going to get upset if someone asks why I am in a wheelchair. However, her reaction and response made me feel like I had just wasted my breath and that wasn’t cool.
She asked me where I was from and I told her. Her reply was that I was too far away.
Too far away from what????
She asked me if I was “with anyone” there at the venue, and I said that I was not. She asked then if the people that I was sitting with and hanging out with was my family, and I told her that they were. Because to me, they are. Yet when I told her that I wasn’t with anyone and I didn’t have a girlfriend, she responded that she was glad because she didn’t want to have to take anyone out in the parking lot.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over?
It was at that point that I began to wonder if it was a mistake that I told her that I was on my own. That I was not with someone. I could have very easily pointed out that I was with Mrs. Froth just so I could cover my ass and possibly get her to go away. But that kind of response… ugh. I’m glad I didn’t. It probably would’ve started something that didn’t need to happen.
She again asked me WHY I was in a wheelchair. So I gave her the technical explanation. That didn’t help. It just caused her to cry. And hug on me and kiss on my face and head and shove my face into her breasts.
Do not get me wrong. I do like breasts. I am a straight man. And I realize that my current altitude that I get a lot of them in my face. That’s just the way things are. But these were SHOVED into the side of my face and ear. I was not consenting to this kind of attention at all! I prefer that women have full use of their faculties when engaging in that sort of behavior.
After the last band was on stage, it was time to get as many photographs with people as I possibly could. But Mikey Lewis I noticed was back behind his drum kit. A brand new photograph with SIX MINUTE CENTURY was not going to happen. I’ll have to work on that later. I didn’t get one with Dr. Froth either. Something else I’ll have to work on.
Eventually though, the bro hugs were plentiful. Even one came from Dr. Froth, although we were both acting out and being stupid. I am given to understand that bro hugs aren’t something that comes a lot from him.
And I got picked on by Mrs. Froth but that was only because I was being a complete and total dork and pretty much deserved every single “love tap” the woman gave me.
By the end of taking as many photographs that I could, I took one with Don LaFon. He was talking with a woman that I have seen at shows before in the past. Apparently, Don LaFon had told this woman that I was the #1 fan of the band, and he also included the fact that I come from great and long distances and spend lots of money just to make it to the shows. The woman was flabbergasted and shocked and basically bowed at my feet.
I find it unusual that I am still to this day being introduced as such. I think that I’ve come to terms with it by now.
After the show, it was time to roll on out and allow those who had been drinking to sober up and have something to eat. But getting people together to decide on where we were going was like pulling teeth and hair at the same time. Finally, Dr. Froth trumped everything and everyone and had made the decision to go to IHOP.
It was most convenient for Dr. and Mrs. Froth and myself as my hotel was directly across the street from the restaurant. Chuck Williams and his wonderful wife joined us, along with O.J. Morris from WELL OF SOULS.
I was glad to get that extra face time. SO glad… that I didn’t even bother to look at my watch or a clock throughout most of the night.
When we finished at IHOP it was after 4:00 AM. So it was about eight hours of face time with the Froth family. Considering how short my trip was going to be, I didn’t complain. Yes, I would’ve loved more face time but there was no reason to complain.
As I was being dropped off at the hotel, it was time to say my farewells. And it wasn’t something I was willing to do, but had to do. Everyone was tired, but happy. But mostly tired. I was running on excitement and adrenaline, I probably could have kept going for a few more hours. But all good things must come to an end.
I crashed and burned and fell right to sleep. I didn’t even think to take my nighttime medication!
I woke up in a panic. Check-out was noon, and I woke up at 11:10 AM. I grabbed all that I could and threw everything into my bag and I was out of there in fifteen minutes. I checked out of the hotel and I had more than an hour before my bus was to depart from Houston.
I took off for the restaurant, still in that “rushed” feeling. It really does suck when you wake up in a panic like that because then everything else in your day seems rushed and you often get that feeling that you are running behind and you cannot catch up.
But I had been dreaming of eating at this restaurant ever since I knew it was adjacent to the hotel. The sign said to wait to be seated. But because of the rushed feeling that I had, I felt that I’d never have time to wait to be seated, eat, and then get over to the gas station to wait for the bus. So I walked out of there disappointed and defeated and hungry.
The weather was worse. The wind was bitterly cold but there was no precipitation. The temperatures had to have been cold as well. And I had more than an hour to kill. I bought a cappuccino to help warm me up as well as wake me up. But it only warmed me up for a little while. $1.29 not so well spent.
Then the bus arrived a few minutes late. Not bad, but late. A rush of people came out. Probably somewhere between 40-50 people waiting to get on the bus in the cold and wind.
There was MORE eye candy that I had seen while waiting and I had been hoping that they were getting on the bus. Only one woman got on the bus. But she did not see the one remaining seat open, so she went to the upper level and I didn’t see her much after that. Even when she got off of the bus where I was getting off, she vanished. I never had a chance to say hello or talk with her.
But the crowds waiting in northwest Houston to get on the bus, it was the most unusual experience that I had never thought possible.
A man had a piece of luggage that had a strong odor coming from it that he was trying to store under the bus, but the bus driver was asking questions about why it smelled so bad. Come to find out that (and I know that this is hard to believe) inside of his luggage, was a cat that had died.
NOBODY can figure out how that happened. The guy screamed up and down swearing that he had no idea that the animal was inside of his luggage. But with a strong odor like that coming from the bag, it had to have been in there for a while.
Needless to say, he was not permitted to get on board and the fine boys of the local police department took him and his dead cat away.
I hated leaving. I always do. Because I do not know when I will be able to return again. But I left with a better and more secure sense of belonging.
I came home, and my neighbor who picked me up took me to get something to eat. I came home and realized that the entire trip in the city of Houston was 21 hours. The same amount of time that I had been awake the day of the concert before crashing like crazy.
Even when I got home, I threw myself on the couch and passed out for about three hours. But that was in the evening time and its probably going to mess with my sleep schedule for a few nights.
I can’t wait for SIX MINUTE CENTURY to finally get shit done and get this new album released.