Posts Tagged ‘fun times’

 

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“I’m so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark.”~ Muhammad Ali

More Dirty Dog Bar.

I’ve become the rolling version of “Norm at Cheers” at that place as staff and patrons alike both know who I am or who I come for.

Even the guy at the door said to me that he had a feeling that he would see me there last night when I came through.

Man on a Mission.

After taking advantage of the opportunity for a ticket to the show to be brought TO me, and very well discounted I might add, I was getting ready to attend the my third ever show with RESISTING VEGAS. And the second time where I was paying close attention.

In a span of less than two months time, I made friends with the band, they know who I am and they know what I do and they know that I love what they do and I spread the word like your nasty uncle’s STD.

I bumped into the one they call “HOLLYWOOD” and I settled in. It would turn out to be a night of free drinks at the Dirty Dog Bar (too bad I couldn’t get that same deal at Shiner Saloon a couple of hours before!)

At any rate, members of RESISTING VEGAS were already there and waiting and to be honest they saw me first before I saw them.

I finally got my hands on a physical copy of their newest EP that just was released. That made for Dambreaker to be one helluva happy and cheeky monkey.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been growing and learning more and more about lead singer, Maranda Vegas. She’s been quite social with me via Facebook. And I think that is cool. She understands that my favorite song of theirs is “Limbo” although the band outvoted her to change the name of the tune to “Should’ve Prayed.”

Ugh. Leave it alone, guys.

But I would learn more about her and her likes and dislikes. I never thought that I would find a woman who didn’t care for flowers. But I did. So I asked what else she liked. She had no clue that I was actually paying close attention. Or she probably just didn’t suspect that I was.

The social convention for stage performers are flowers. But since she doesn’t care for them, I had to go with the next best thing. And that would be donuts.

She’s got a sweet tooth apparently. But honestly who doesn’t? OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

However I got both. Roses AND donuts. I decided white roses so that there was no misunderstanding involved.

Then very quickly it was time for them to set up their stage to perform. It was just so fast. I was trying to take a photograph with Maranda but batteries were dead and now they had to set up. I ran across the street, bought more batteries at more ridiculous downtown prices and ran back across the street to and back in.

So I set up camp. And nobody else came forth. It was strange. I was the only person within miles of the stage no matter from which angle that you measured.

It had to be upsetting for the members of the band. Maranda even just came close to me and simply said “hey thank you for coming!” because it honestly looked like I was the only one there. Anyone else was just there doing their own thing and ignoring the stage.

Of course I sat there, I figured that something had to give and soon both Maranda and Fernando was able to convince about eleven more people to approach the stage and that included lead singer to Black Heart Saints who played first before them.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After that everything was set on cruise control and the night just rocked itself until the end of the set.

Although I was kind of proud of Maranda. The only thing that matters for her is that I think she’s got a terrific singing voice. I could listen to her sing all day long. And I wouldn’t even mind if she wanted to try a lullaby to put me to sleep. I do think she would end up being successful at it.

During “Limbo” I totally forgot about the shout during the middle of the song by Fernando. He crept up to the microphone and belted it out and I about shit my pants in terror. This is what I get for not paying attention to everything going on around me.

Later, I took the EP that I had and tossed it to guitarist Cameron Stewart. He pointed out that everyone in the band now had stage names and he was intending on autographing the EP with his stage name. The CD was then passed along to other band members with him insisting the stage names be signed. And so there you have it. My first RESISTING VEGAS CD and its signed with stage names.

The night was capped off with band shenanigans. And I got to witness every last one of them. I believe that the members of the band forgot that I have a blog. Or did they????? OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I could list their activities, but then again maybe I won’t. All I have to say about it is that if you are in the area and you don’t show up to one of their shows ….. you miss out. Period.

I laughed so hard that I totally forgot about that one time last week about that one thing that made me sad for a few hours.

I laughed so hard that I totally forgot about the disappointing results prior in the evening at Shiner Saloon.

That’s how hard I was laughing. Nevermind the lack of oxygen, the drool on the corners of the lips, the tears welling up in the eyes, and the skin turning red. I laughed so hard I started forgetting stuff.

The next band that was playing on stage while I was in the midst of ruckus laughter was called Downfall 2012. They finally got my attention when they did a heavy metal cover of the R&B classic “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-A-Lot.

Think about that one for a moment: heavy metal version of “Baby Got Back.”

Yeah, you’re welcome…

It was fun to listen to. Not a single person in the place was NOT singing along to it, even HOLLYWOOD was “Quick to retrieve it.”

I did not stay for FILTER as I made the stupid mistake of deciding to go back to the Shiner Saloon. So I said my farewells and left. Shocked all of the members of the band in the process of departing.

In a few weeks RESISTING VEGAS will return to the Dirty Dog Bar and I am hopeful that I will come back as well. The Dirty Dog knows me and I, it. Is it possible that I am turning into a regular??

Wherever RESISTING VEGAS shall go in town, I shall make quite the effort to be there. Hell or high water.

“My advice is: if you’ve got to be miserable to write great music, then drive a truck.”~ Chris Isaak

One of the most vivid memories I’ve carried with me is one of sharing moments with several women who were my childhood crushes. Even before I reached the age of ten years old, I had my favorites. Three of them in fact! They were girls named Lisa, Martha, Kayla and Ana.

More specifically related to this blog post, was the time that I went to a high school parade. Kayla and Ana who were cheerleaders and classmates of my elder brother would soon find me yet again in their presence with my heart all beating wildly. In fact, the entire cheerleader squad knew that my eyes would always twinkle when I would see any of them.

The parade, I remember was cold and a little damp. Being so close to Christmas time. Until one of the floats in the parade came crawling by. I didn’t notice at first, but it was the float of the high school cheerleaders. They were throwing out pieces of candy to the crowds on both sides of the street.

But once it had passed where I was standing on the side of the street and Ana had seen that I was standing there, she yelled and waved at me. Suddenly I was being showered by tons of pieces of candy as fast as she could throw with both hands. Eventually everyone on the back of the parade float would launch ALL of the candy that they had. Barrels of candy being poured into the streets.

Needless to say that children from both sides of the street came streaming to grab as much of it as possible. All the while trying to avoid getting ran over by others who were marching in the parade and the upcoming floats that were behind them. Tons of hard candy were crushed by the tires of the parade float and much of the “good candy” would vanish by the will of young children fueled by sugar-filled avarice.

After employing my younger brother to grab me a piece of candy from the streets, after hundreds of pounds of candy had been poured everywhere, I only ended up with a broken piece of butterscotch.

The reason why the cheerleaders went that wild was because I had been in the hospital because of a major surgery. And this was the first time that they had seen me since that surgery and they all wanted me to feel better. What better way to do that than to shower me with candy!

Fast forward to this evening.

A neighbor and I decided that we wanted to go out to eat. But since neither one of us have a driver’s license, we had to ask another couple who lives here to take us and invite them along. We were calling it a double date.

Their vehicle though is a small truck. There would not be enough room for all four of us to ride inside. So I was the one that sat in the bed of the pick up.

As we went blazing up the highway at speeds of at least 75 MPH (120 KM/H), vehicles that were in traffic behind us would find quite the surprise to see me just chilling out in the back of the truck. The wind blowing through my hair as I sat still.

Most of the drivers behind us stared at me with their jaws dropping. Others were curious and smiling, taking photographs of me with their cell phones.

And it was the same way when we returned home. Although the wind was more vicious and I was not able to move my head around and look about as I was on the way to the restaurant.

For several miles, I noticed one vehicle that was packed with teenage girls. Every last one of them kept smiling and laughing and pointing at me. When I noticed this, I pointed back. I smiled back at them. The next thing I knew, everyone with the exception of the driver (thankfully) had their iPhones and cell phones as close to the windshield as possible.

Then when it had seemed like everyone had taken photographs of me in the wind in the back of this truck, I watched them as they kept sharing with one another what they had. And then they sped off and disappeared.

But then later on they would fall behind again and I would see them, but from the other side of the vehicle.

Again, they took more and more photographs and the second time around I was blowing kisses, winking, and throwing up the Horns at them. To which a couple of them in the backseat threw Horns back.

But sadly, these moments of fun would come to an end as the truck turned east and the girls in the other vehicle kept on heading south.

My image is most likely going to end up on their personal profiles on several social networking websites. But too bad they will never know just who I am. But it was sure fun. 

It was like I was riding a float in my OWN parade. And every person who was ever directly behind the truck that I was in… if they dared to look straight ahead would find quite the surprise.

But even so… having my own parade, I know how others have felt when they have been riding on a float or in the back of a convertible or in any way behind in front of people from the sides.

I just don’t think that in the history of any parade, that the floats were going just as fast!!!!

 

 

 

“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.”~ Unknown

As I left for Houston over the past several days, I was able to stay with friends in a place called Friendswood.

My gracious hosts, Keith & Sharon, I had known since I was a small child. The last time I had seen them, I was only nine years of age.

But last November when I went to play sledge hockey in the Houston area, they did come up to see me play. It was so long ago that it was truly something of a wonder in my mind that I would actually ever see them again.

And so when they found out that I was wanting to come back in January for the next SIX MINUTE CENTURY show, they had agreed to play host.

So much time had gone by that the last time that I saw them, I only recall them having one child. Now they have five. The youngest being a teenager. Now that’s a long time and I just aged myself.

It was a great time, needless to say. I think that I met all of their children at least once. I actually had an opportunity to arrive on the bus a few hours earlier than previously scheduled but poor Sharon, she was not ready for that kind of thing. I believed that she was kind of in a panic to make sure that the house was cleaned and ready and all of that.

I told her that she was making a mountain out of a mole hill. I even bet her $10 that things would ultimately be okay and that I would have them all laughing their butts off. It didn’t take but midnight that very first day that they were all cracking up. She lost the bet.

It kinda got a little ugly as there were two buses going in the same direction and they just couldn’t figure out which bus I was going to get on, even though my ticket said which one I needed to board.

Once that was decided, then they couldn’t get the doors open to operate the wheelchair lift on the bus. They tried and tried and tried, and even called a few people to figure out what in the world was going on. I figured that it was going to make us late. Yet I found it funny. Grown adults trying to beat up a bus in frustration because they could not get a door open.

Once I got to Friendswood, we all were just fine. Quite busy doing things and different activities to be honest. That following day I spent with Keith taking in the sights. Luckily for me, he works with NASA at the Johnson Space Center. I got to see things that people normally wouldn’t get to see. But I will talk about that more in a future post.

$10 mints left on my pillow

And I did make Sharon pay that bet though. What was so funny was that she was preparing the bed that I was going to sleep on while I was there, and she left the $10 on the pillow, like a hotel chain would leave a mint. HILARIOUS!

I KNEW that I should’ve made it $100. But I think that Keith would have had some objection to that.

So the whole thing about the “mints on the pillow” was a joke throughout my entire visit.

I would find that the bedroom that I was sleeping in, had a television which was hooked up to the cable in the house. Television in HD, baby!! I don’t have that in my home. Neither do I have cable, so I did what I could to take advantage of it all, without trying to seem like I was being anti-social. I watched as much cable as I could and enjoyed cable channels that I didn’t even know existed. I did worry about whether or not they felt that I was being anti-social though.

Keith, Sharon, and myself traded a lot of stories about our past when it was connected. We filled in a few gaps in all of those years with highlights of our lives. And even some of the lower points that we all went through.

Memories galore.

I cannot complain though. They took me into their home willingly and were very welcoming. How can anyone go wrong with that?!? It was awesome to be with them and play sort of “catch up”, as it were.

I am very grateful for their hospitality, even if they were concerned about my comfort. But hell, I was just fine.

I was so busy doing things with the family, or even if it was just Keith and I. It was a GREAT time.

But as always, it had to come to an end. They brought me back to the bus station and I didn’t want to drag out any scene of uncomfortable farewells. I knew that I had cried my eyes out last August while riding on the bus because I just didn’t want to leave. I didn’t want to leave this time either. But I wanted to fight the impending tears, avoid the scene.

So as I checked in to the bus terminal, some random man was apprehended and brought into a side office for questioning. I have no idea what the problem was, and evidently from his screaming pleas- he didn’t know either.

I moved on, trying to mind my own business.

Then I got to the security checkpoint. There was this big burly, muscled man with tattoos on both arms.

He asked if I was checking any baggage and I told him that I was not. Then he asked to see my luggage.

Now what I am going to mention here is that I had a bag on the back of my wheelchair. He FAILED to notice it and never checked it.

Anyways, as he was going through my luggage he asked the standard questions:

Do you have anything in there that is going to stick or poke me?

Clearly, no.

And then he asked something that nobody could’ve predicted:

You don’t have any weapons, guns, knives, explosives, inflatable bitches, grenades, or bombs?

What the …???

I told him, “No sir!”. And then he gave me back my luggage and wished me a bon voyage.

When I got away from him far enough– I lost it. I just couldn’t hold it in any longer than I did. I will never forget that for as long as I live.

And when I finally was through the checkpoint, I stepped outside and I noticed that the very same man that was apprehended earlier was back out on the streets. Within seconds, he was screaming and cussing at someone else and just making a total dork of himself. Hmm, and he wonders why they pulled him in??

I was boarded fairly early. And we also arrived about 15-20 minutes ahead of schedule.

But one thing always seems to happen to me whenever I take these trips to Houston. Its that my CD player always seem to have dead batteries before I even leave the official city limits of Houston. It is ridiculous. I think that I am going to have to buy a bunch of batteries and just use them specifically for trips to Houston.

I can’t wait to go back again. And depending on where I am, I might connect with Keith & Sharon again. If I can do it, then I will. They have always been awesome people. They still are. And I thank them profusely for having me stay with them.