Thursday, November 27, 2008

Yes Madonna, I Was Annoyed Too, But Thanks for Making me Love You

I would like to state that the reason I purchased a ticket in June to see Madonna in New Jersey is because it seemed to be the best place for the people who were coming together to see her. Mostly though... I promised Nikki that the next time Madonna had a concert that I would see it with her, because she loves Madonna and has never went to a concert with friends.

I like Madonna, but after the concert I loved her.

I loved her with curlicue hearts and cheesy feelings and expressions you only read in tween romance novels that make you want to gouge out your eyes with a dull spoon, like Twilight.

The Sticky and Sweet tour was dropping by Atlantic City, New Jersey at Boardwalk Hall and the venue was lovely. We got to walk by the shore (granted it was freezing in my belief, probably for a normal mortal it was merely slightly cold) and sipped on some coffee while squinting at the merch hoping that there would be something we wanted to buy.

As we tromped into the concert hall and popped out in one of the concourses and it was an instant candy land. If I hadn't just eaten a melty Philly sandwich I would have most likely giggled, skipped, and purchased popcorn, hotdogs, and hard candy. Yes. They were selling hard candy there which Nik and I wondered aloud if it was because of the album being titled Hard Candy or if it was a normal occurrence at the Boardwalk.

I'm going to believe it was because of the album.

We stopped by a stand to see if we won a Blackberry, but we won a necklace! I loved how the attendant made it sound SO awesome. Although it was fun, the necklace lit up and made me feel like it was my glo-stick and I was going to be going into a rave.

Sadly, this was not true...

Nikki had hyped me up for the concert telling me that I would be standing and dancing and in a utopia of concert-goers. Atlantic City did not receive the message.

Being from the Midwest I'm used to nice and friendly concert goers who make friends with everyone around them and I might be guilty of this at most every baseball game I attend.

I was excited when we received neighbors, but was shut down.

It was okay I was still super excited and Nikki and I were bouncing up and down when a DJ came out to get the crowd pumped up. He started at about 8:02 for the 8:00 concert.

Madonna came out on stage at 8:55.

I already thought that was awesome. She made me wait, which just let me play with my rave necklace and overhear the words that would taint the concert.

Mom: I'm glad we're sitting up here we won't have to stand like those seats on the floor. They'll just stand the whole time.
Daughter: Yeah...

I panicked as I thought, But lady sitting behind me.... I plan on standing the entire time

As Nikki and Carolyn brought back watery refreshments I relayed the information to Nikki and she said, "Well she's going to be disappointed because there is going to be standing up here too."

At that point I felt like Nikki was my big sister and would take on all who picked on her little sister who wanted to stand and dance too.

So back to the opening, the video screens buzzed to life to show a piece of candy being painted and going down a gumball machine. (Think the Coca-Cola commercials without the scary creatures, but with Madonna sound bytes.)

I was getting extremely excited at this point and bouncing in my seat more just waiting for her to be on stage so I could stand up and yell. The wave of people standing up from the floor flowed back towards us and then... then... no one around us stood up. Nikki whined to herself like a wounded animal, "What's wrong with these people?"

The screen lifted and there she was sitting in a throne showing her dominance over the minions, her concert goers. Nikki and I shot out of our seats and yelled and clapped as she burst into Candy Shop. The first words in the chorus are, "get up out of your seat, get out onto the dance floor". Obviously she wanted us to be standing so we danced around and I marveled at the leotard... unitard... scrap of fabric that she had on as she danced around. She's fifty. She had more energy in the four minutes and fifteen seconds of this song than I've ever felt in my life, except when I was seven and perfect in every way.

She then moved into Beat Goes On and I my ADHD exploded as the video screens showed her backup singers in giant form. She also had a pretty dancer with her shaking and grooving across the massive front of the edge of the stage.

It was sometime during this song that I was tapped on the back and a lady two rows behind me said, "I can't see!" In my euphoria of dancing and singing I thought... oh she must want my binoculars. I quickly realized she wanted me to sit down and I just turned around and whispered to Nikki what Ms. Not Happy to Be at a Concert said. Nikki shook her head and I smiled, I had a co-conspirator in rebellion.

I mean I was at a concert and not a knitting conference, right?

The next song was Human Nature and there was a video in the background that had a petite blonde woman in it re-enacting the video of the guy who was stuck in the elevator for a ridiculous amount of time. It was a nice statement, I thought about the constant surveillance of celebrities, once I figured out it was Britney Spears, and how we put them in a little box and poke them. Or I'm just projecting my analytical self on everything... ever.

As the strains of Vogue came through I figured that people would be excited to sing along with a widely known and loved Madonna song. Not in our section. The dancing was not complex, but I didn't need it to be as I was overtaken by the video screen behind her showing this simple graphic of black and white lace imposed over a young flawless face.

Then came Die Another Day, which I was upset she didn't sing it. This was the first costume change song so I saw video of Madonna singing and there were boxers in a rink dance fighting! During the road trip I found out that apparently this song holds deep love in the deep recesses of my brain. (Which Belinda would tell you is massive with trivia "knowledge") So Nikki turned to me and mocked me, "I love this song!" Which must have been "I will talk to people and interrupt the concert" in tall man language. Yes, we were asked to sit down again and Nikki was my hero for me and said no. Reminded him it was a concert and to stand up and have fun. I think she hit him right in the kisser and he went down.

The next song was Get Into the Groove. I don't even remember this song as I started to feel guilty, feel stupid for feeling guilty, and wish that I would just move down into the aisle with the two gay boys who were dancing their heart out. I mean Madonna is their national anthem right?

I know it's close for me.

The next song was Heartbeat, from her new album. So I didn't know it as well, but it took through this song for me to get back into the song since I still felt guilty and still was angry for feeling guilty. I just stared at the graphics of the heart that moved from coal, beat, moved to a lighter rock heart, beat, and then to a diamond heart. I was transfixed.

Next was Borderline and I was back in it to win it. Madonna brought out her guitar. The song was lower and with a guitar Madonna struck some rocker poses and I WISH I remembered more how the song sounded, but I don't. I blame the remnants of guilt.

The next song, She's Not Me, was amazing. On the video screens there were old 'versions' of Madonna, flipping through the catalog of her images and life. Many of them were timed to specific lyrics in her song. I was giggling through some of that just because of the editing. I was so transfixed to the main stage and Madonna that when she walked out to the smaller platform I was aghast. There were backup dancers! They were dressed like some of the Madonnas we saw on the screen! Brillant! Material Girl, Open Your Heart, Like a Virgin, Blonde Ambition. She moved slowly around and took off a piece of their clothing, a veil, the cone bra, a wig (my favorite) and tassels and throws them. She kisses the Like a Virgin bride... which I kept thinking that she was tasting a piece of her past. Afterwards the dancers were taken down into the ground floor of the stage and Madonna gathered the pieces of her past and put them on and crawled down the runway to the main stage.

The next song was Music and it started with Madonna off stage as you hear "last night a DJ saved my life" and then the screech of a subway train. Her dancers emptied out of the train, aka the video screens, so they came out and distracted us and then Madonna joined in as pieces of the song were scrawled as graffiti on the subway. It was super fun and would have been better if I had more than one dancing maniac beside me.

The next bit was a costume change, the music was a mix of the Eurythmics, Here Comes the Rain Again and Madonna's Rain. (I directly stole that from Nikki, because I totally don't know the Eurythmics song). Most of my thoughts during this was... rain. pretty. ooo water effects... oh why is Nikki sitting? Why... damnit I can't be the lone rebel.

So I sat for what felt like an hour.

Madonna emerged from the middle of the further part of the stage on top of a baby grand piano. She sang The Devil Wouldn't Recognize You. As this was from the new album and slower I didn't know it as well, I most likely skipped it. The rain effect kept coming down from around her a video screen that went 360 around. Purty. I want one. Madonna was covered in a black cloak that made her kinda look like the sexier version of a Ring Wraith or Death Eater, wherever your fandom lies.

Spanish Lesson was next or... how not to ever learn Spanish from Madonna. It's a fun upbeat song and had pretty graphics behind her scrawling the words in as she danced with her dancers bits and pieces of Spanish traditional dances flipping partner to partner. The interesting thing is they all were covered in the same black cloaks that she had on previously.

How embarrassing they totally were in last song's fashion.


Madonna brought out her guitar again as she admonished everyone who wronged me that day by saying, "This is not a sitting concert! Get up out of your seats!"

Nikki and I popped up like our seats were on fire and clapped and screamed to chastise the concert poopers.

The next song was Miles Away, which has grown on me for its incredible sadness. Really listen to it and try not to feel the pain. She used a lot of GoogleEarth on this and instead of just depressing me with lyrics put pictures to it as she showed poor nations. But damn do I love the song. So yay.

La Isla Bonita and this was so super fun, because it was mixed in with some Greek song (I'm basing this on the end) too so it was a multicultural affair. Her dancers were in super bright costumes and kicking it. At the end of the song there was a couch on the little stage and she plopped down with a band member and took a shot of Ouzo. I yelled Opa! I don't think she heard me. Or Nikki for that matter.

Then there was an interlude where Madonna got to sit and watch one of her backup dancers twirl and remove four or five skirts.

The next song was You Must Love Me. It was her and a string... quarter? They showed video of Evita on the screens, mostly parts of little Eva and none of her, which interesting choice.

She intentionally missed her intro and chastised the audience "This is where I'm supposed to start. It's kinda smoky in here. Are you going to continue smoking your cigarettes? That's really annoying me." But it was beautifully sung... I really didn't think she was going to sing this one, so I was super happy.

Then she sang 4 Minutes. She wore football pads with this, which cracked me up to no end. You need them to save worlds! There were these locker sized Justin Timberlakes that moved about stage (4) and her dancers would pop out too from these. She climbed up on one of the JTs and it was interesting, but I think I would have liked the bigger JT like the earlier Beat Goes On.

But what do I know, I'm not Madonna.

Like a Prayer followed and was gorgeous. I was still amazed people didn't stand up for this one at least to raise their dayglo necklace and sway. The scripts floating on the video screens and I clapped ridiculously loud when I saw, "Treat your neighbors as you wish to be treated", I guess it was latent Prop 8 feelings emerging.

Then she played the opening bars to Ray of Light and I had forgot they were going to play it in my state of love and harmony with the world because Madonna sang to me about prayer. The lights came down and it felt a little bit 80s with the lights. Then again it also felt a little more rave club-like too. There were motorcycle helmet wearing dancers on stage with her that Carolyn later said are a lot like what Daft Punk wears. I shrugged and commented again on how New Jersey's no pumping your own gas law was ridiculous (but I did take in that information).

At the end of the song, it ended with the spotlight on her alone on stage, and she made shadow puppets on the wall who fought each other. Nikki told me for, I'm not exaggerating, the 25th time that night that she loved her. I nodded as my heart pitter-pattered for her too.

Next was request time, which... Amir, you picked poorly. Everybody. I don't know the song.

I was hoping for Express Yourself or Cherish. Something peppy and something most everyone knew.

Madonna doesn't even know Everybody.

So, she sang one line and had us sing the next, although no one, including Amir (pure guess), knew all the words to that song. She wrapped it up by saying, "You sucked, I sucked, we both sucked."

She continued to have a conversation with a different man in the audience, asking if she was keeping him awake, if it was past his bedtime, if she was boring him. I don't know if he understood a word she was saying. Which I thought was kinda funny. You could tell she was totally annoyed with people, possibly New Jersey as a whole. I hope she wrote to her children that evening, "Jersey is not a place to ever have a concert. Love, Mama."

Then she sang Hung Up. I love her for sampling Abba. There was a chess game in the background, it took all my attention and there was a show down between the Queen and King. She told us to root for the Queen. We cheered and then her dancers... previously so happy started attacking her and she fended them of with her guitar, which I'm pretending was a Fender. Just for jokey pun sake. In the end the Queen smashed through the King and I chortled inside thinking... wow. What a concert to get out anger.

The next song was the last (boo) Give It 2 Me. It was the party ending all ravers ask for... although my section still thought they were at the Westminster Dog Show. I hopped up and down an Carolyn was up and dancing.

It was energizing, there was a video game on the monitors behind her, which really listen to some of the noises in the song it is a friggin' video game!

When it said, "GAME OVER" I pouted and then sat.

The lights came up and the strains of Holiday poured out from the monitors. Nikki laughed, "She's never singing this again! ... But she'll end the concert with it."

I looked to my right and saw the lady who originally asked me to sit down flip us off.

Stay Classy New Jersey.

Ceasing Ramble.

Edited to Add: When we were walking to the casino to get an after drink and were talking about the people who were the downers two ladies behind us said they were sitting in our section and were so happy we refused to sit down and when asked replied, "It's a concert".

Sweet Vindication.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Grooming Matters

I've been hating my hair this week and decided to call and get it all chopped off.

This was the first time in a long while I haven't gone in with a picture as a backup. You might ask why I always do this... mostly because I seem to lose the complete ability to vocalize what I want when it comes to clothing, hair, or basically style.

I'm inept.

I actually have made a promise with my friend Annie that I will go shopping with her and she will pick things out for me.

The only requirement is that I be drunk.

Because I hate shopping.


But I decided I would post pictures here before Nikki and I embark on what I'm calling Our Economic Stimulus Plan.

Basically our road trip to the east coast to see Madonna. We'll be meeting up with Carolyn there and I will again be avoiding my family during Thanksgiving.

But now for you moment of zen (or looking at pictures of my hair cut and how not like me these pictures look: my face did a weird angle thing. Silly face.

Pay special attention to my nose... it could cut you!

My words behind the cut: short, layered, can be styled in five minutes in the morning. I almost fell asleep while she was cutting my hair. This probably means I'm tired and also that there is nothing better than someone else doing your daily grooming for you.

Maybe I'll buy a monkey.

Ceasing Ramble.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Pirates at the Ballpark

I found a picture on my phone when I was recently going through it and this one made me giggle.

A whole lot.

There are pirates at Kauffman Stadium!

Yes, I know what you're thinking that he merely is bringing in a high-powered... well monocular, is all I can think. I did think maybe it was a scope to some ridiculously large gun and I wouldn't be surprised if he has one of them, but it just made Daniel and I laugh so much.

All we could do is go Arrrrrr! Arrr! Arrr? Arrr! repeatedly.

The joke was a little bit on us because I think this was the day that Jose Guillen decided to talk back to a fan that was yelling at him.

The pirate saw it all.

If we were the Pirates I would dress up EVERY ballgame.

While this man would fit right in.

This ramble be ceasing me mateys!

Friday, November 7, 2008


I finally am going to join up with NaNoWriMo.

I'm not sure I can make it to the final outcome, but I'm sure going to try.

If you're not familiar with NaNoWriMo. Please visit the homepage, it's really a pretty neat little thing and flies against what is usually the issue for me in writing. Not perfecting, but just going through and spitting out the content and getting 50,000 words out in that time.

Since I was behind on remembering about NaNoWriMo, I am going to be a full week back and only have 23 days to write... add in all of the hoopla that I have this month and it might get interesting.

Follow my progress if you'd like.

And now, to think of an idea.


Ceasing Ramble.