Last of The Great Pretenders Tour, or still the best week ever part 3.

5 Jan

After the awesomeness that was Maroon5 and Adam giving me a guitar, I thought the week wouldn’t get any better. Yeah, I was wrong. Guess it was Joslyn appreciation week?

The following morning it was back down south for another Matt show in Los Angeles. Yeah, all of California was seeing a lot of me. (If you don’t remember I had driven to Sacramento, Reno, San Diego, back to Sacramento, Mountain View & now LA and Oakland…)

I had a free hotel voucher that was expiring in a few weeks, so I decided to use it that evening. I LOVE staying at hotels alone. It’s like a mini getaway. Is that weird, or does anyone else enjoy solo hotel stays?

After checking in and dropping off my stuff, Heather and I headed to the venue. I waited in line and she napped in my car until after doors opened, haha.

While in line, I met up with my friends Lois and Astin. We watched a crazy homeless man with no legs ride around on a bike for awhile. Only in LA…

We were let in and it was back to being bored by Joshua Radin. Sorry, but I’m not sorry.

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Then Matt came to play, and he got super excited that Astin and I were standing next to each other. He’s got a love for both of us, and he nerded out. It was cute.

After the show we hung out for a bit, but then I decided I needed a good night sleep because it was back to NorCal the following morning. Ugh. Driving. So much.

I made sure to stay north of LA so I wouldn’t get stuck in any lingering morning traffic. The drive to Oakland was pretty smooth, and I got there with plenty of time to spare.

I had joked to Matt on Twitter that it was my last show (for awhile) and that Adam gave me a guitar, so the LEAST he could do was play my song. I’m annoying. He replied that “I may have to play it for you in some post show-you rule hang. I keep putting it on the set list but it doesn’t fit.”

Um…why does it not fit? I laughed at the tweet and then went, “Yeah right” and headed to get in line. I ran into Jane and Carrie, and we were making small talk about the last few shows. I mentioned my song not being played, and Matt’s tweet, and we all laughed it off. Jane was in San Diego and was stoked that All Been Said Before was on the set list too, before it was skipped over.

Then, I sent another joke tweet that there were only 3 of us out front and that Matt should play the song for me right then. I have no shame. I pretty much tweet that man whatever I’m thinking. And I probably tweet him TOO much, hence him knowing my Twitter handle off the top of his head…

Um…so then 10 minutes later a guy that I know through Matt that works for Vanguard (Matt’s record label), Ayappa, came out and was all, “Oh hey Joslyn. How have your shows been? Want to join us for sound check?” and I was like UM GREAT, UH YEAH. And then I turned to the girls because they were coming along with me and said, “You’re welcome.” This was totally Nathanson’s doing.

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We walked in, and Matt gave me this grin like, “Oh HI. La de da.” Sound check was awesome. They played a few songs including Last Days of Summer in San Francisco for the first time (“We’ve never played this for humans. Tell us if we should play this tonight.”) and afterwards Matt came offstage to chat for awhile.

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Back in July he had fought me who I was going to see on tour after I realized m5 and him had CA dates on the same day, and I kinda rubbed it in his face. “I’m not at Maroon5 right now.” “Wait, where are they?” “Irvine. So I could have totally stayed down there since we were in LA last night.” “But you’re here…YES.” Told you, bitch. ;)

Matt went to say hi to his family really quick, but told us to stay where we were. Josh started his sound check at this point, so Matt took us into this stairwell type thing and told us to sit. “I’m just gonna grab a guitar” he said. Then he came back…and played my song.

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Uhhhh…wait, what was happening? I sat there and listened, trying not to smile like an idiot (which failed). I can’t believe that he would do that for me. I felt spoiled, and lucky, and forever grateful. I sat back and took it all in…this was a huge week.  My heart was so full from the love I gave towards my bands, that I received right back.

After Matt put back the guitar, (“This is Aaron’s guitar, don’t tell!”) we talked for a bit more before we headed back to get in line.
“What other shows are you going to?” he asked. I like how he just assumes I was going to other shows when this was the last one in California…he knows me well because…I was. Ha.
“I’m going to Baltimore and Philly.”
“Oh, good! Anywhere else?” (HAHA. He knows me super well.)
“Well, I want to go to Minneapolis, but it’s sold out…”
“Dude, if there’s anything I can do for you let me know.” Love.

So we went back out to join the line and I’m pretty sure I just looked at the girls and went, “WHAT. WAS. THAT. I could cry right now.” (I didn’t.)

I contemplated keeping that moment to myself. My little secret. But then I wanted to share with everyone just how fucking amazing Matt is…that he’d take time out to play a song when his family was waiting for him. He didn’t have to do it. But he did. Again, forever grateful. He is the best. BEST!

We were let inside and while the show was awesome (hometown shows always are) I’m pretty sure I could have just went home happy after sound check. I just LOVE him. The best.

The following morning I had to work, and seeing as I drove 3,000 miles in a week and a half I was exhausted. But the memories of the best week ever kept me going. Still awesome to think back on to this day.

Adam Levine gave me a f’n guitar. No, really.

1 Jan

Best Week Ever, Part 2!

My 99th and 100th Maroon 5 shows will probably always be my favorite Maroon 5 shows of life. Might I add that I wish that Kelly Clarkson opened for them forever, because I would like to see that about 500 times more.

The morning of my 99th show, I worked a few hours then headed to Sacramento to pick up Heather from the airport. We drove to the venue to hop into line, since it was general admission and a 24,000 venue. Craaazy.

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We had bought “Pass the line” tickets for $5 which conveniently scored us front row. Best five bucks ever spent.

Rozzi Crane opened. She’s on Adam Levine’s record label. She’s good, but her music isn’t quite my taste.

Next came out my girl, Kelly. Within a few songs she pointed and sang at me, and I’m telling myself it’s because she still remembers me and we’re BFFs. Yeah, sure. Haha. She’s SOOO good. This was my 20-something time seeing her and you think I’d have learned by now that I need to not sing so loud during her sets though because I’m prone to ALWAYS loosing my voice! I practically did halfway through her set.

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Next, the loves of my life, M5. (I should do a huge throw back series of blogs of m5 shows from the bands early years. I found my old LiveJournal, and it is HILARIOUS, because 10 years ago I was a DWEEB. The posts would make you see why what happened next, did. And we can all laugh at how lame I was. It’ll be fun.)

Anyway, M5. Adam spots Heather and I a few songs in. Points, give us smiles. Love you. Then a few songs later, THIS happens. (Fast forward about 55 seconds.)

Um…I cried. I hate him. Thanks for the love. And yes, he did say, “Every time I see them I feel the need to kiss their asses.” <3

I didn’t think it’d get any better than that, until several songs later where HE GAVE ME A FUCKING GUITAR. Here’s the video in all its glory. Thanks Heather for recording this.

Oh man. How I didn’t cry at THAT is surprising. I don’t know if you can hear, but at the end of the video I say, “I’m going to hug it.” HAHA. So I’m still a dweeb…

Getting out of the venue was RIDICULOUS. I had a shit ton of people stop me wanting to see the guitar, touch the guitar, take photos with me, ask a million questions. My favorite: Have you met Adam before?! No…he just knows me from the front row…DUH 12 year olds.

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Finally we make our way to my car, to where I seat belted that baby in. Took us another good half hour to drive out of the parking lots, and by the time we stopped for a late night snack and caffeine to survive the drive home, it was 4:30am. And I had to work the next morning. Oh my, shoot me in the face.

I don’t know how I got through the few hours at work. Then we headed back out to Mountain View to go to the big 100.

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I had a 3rd row ticket that I was completely content with, but m5′s tour manager told us he would give us two seats together so we wouldn’t sit separately. So when we went to the box office guess what was waiting for us? FRONT ROW, DEAD CENTER. Um, I love you Fred. Thanks for being awesome to us over the past decade.

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So, I basically sang in Kelly’s face.

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And then m5′s. And it was awesome. And the 100th. And then we went home and passed out because the following day it was back onto the Matty Nay tour. I didn’t think the week could possible get any better, but somehow, it did.

…to be continued.

this year was ours. farewell, december.

31 Dec

i like the way the streetlights fingerpaint your body.
fireworks off the roof glow in your eyes.
wearing my jacket, voice like an angel… hey, hey, hey.

i felt alive for the first time in my life.
i held you tight and the crowd sang ‘auld lang syne’
where geary meets the sea, you turned and said to me,
“this year was ours. farewell, december.”

ship lights look like stars out in the distance.
we’re as young now as we’re ever gonna be.
your hand in my pocket, heart like a rocket… hey, hey, hey.

i felt alive for the first time in my life.
i held you tight and the crowd sang ‘auld lang syne’
the sky was turning blue, like movie endings do.
this year was ours. farewell, december.

faster, faster, slip this disaster.
we go faster, faster, and slip this disaster.
we go faster, faster, slip this disaster.
faster, faster, lost in your laughter.

here’s to 2014.

The Top 5 Albums of 2013 you really should have been listening to.

30 Dec

Welcome to my third annual Top 5 albums of the year post! Third. Hot damn this blog is getting old.

I’m gonna get right to it. Here we go!

5.  Paramore – Paramore

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I should listen to my own advice and have had listened to this album more throughout the year. When this album was first released, I didn’t attach myself to it. It was so different from the last Paramore albums, which threw me off a bit. I was used to pop rock, this was so much more POP.

Then I saw Paramore perform on The Voice a few weeks ago, and it made me take another listen. And now I can’t stop listening to it. So, boo, I missed out on months of great tracks. Don’t make my mistake. Go listen now.

Personal favorite tracks: Hate To See Your Heart Break, Still Into You, Interlude: Moving On, Anklebiters

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4. Kelly Clarkson – Wrapped In Red

I don’t care that I added a Christmas album to the list. Nope. Plus, it came out at the end of October, so you had plenty of time to fa la la along to it.

I love this album because not only does Kelly sing some of the holiday classics, but she covers other songs that aren’t necessarily considered “Christmas”. Add in a few original tracks, and you have an album I want to listen to year round. I just might.

Personal favorite tracks:  Just for Now, 4 Karats, Underneath the Tree

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3. Hanson – Anthem

Hanson has the ability to always make me feel 12 years old. They were my first favorite band, and my walls were PLASTERED with Taylor’s face back in middle school. I had major love for the band then, and I still have major love for them now.The night this album came out, I was laying in bed with my ipod, earbuds in, and just bed danced. Wait, that sounds dirty. I danced while laying down. Better? Uh, moving along…

I. Love. This. Album. All of it. Completely.

Hanson apparently wondered if they should continue as a band and release this album. No pulling a Jo Bros and breaking up on me, dudes. I am glad they recorded this album, because it has some songs on it that definitely raised to the top my favorite Hanson songs list. I’m super upset that they decided to skip over Northern California this year on their tour, because if I dance around my room to these jams, I’m sure I’d dance around a venue even more.

Personal favorite tracks: Save Me From Myself, Fired Up, Lost Without Youparachute overnight2. Parachute – Overnight

Oh, Parachute. I just want to hug you.

Considering these are my boys, I counted down the days until this album was released. And then I was a bit…surprised. It takes a different approach from their first albums, and it took me a moment to adjust.

It’s interesting. It’s a much more pop/radio friendly album, vs. a softer rock the past two were headed in. I felt like the first two albums complimented each other in telling a story, and this album was told in a different perspective.

I get it. Record labels want hits. They want fun. I like fun. There were definitely songs I fell in instant love with and put on reapeat for days, and some I just went “eh” about. After I saw these songs performed live, I continually played the entire album for weeks because I couldn’t get any of them out of my head. So maybe it is different, but Parachute made it a point to make an album that stays with you.

Personal favorite tracks: Drive You Home, Hurricane, Disappear, Overnight

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1. Matt Nathanson – Last of the Great Pretenders

Well, duh.If you’re surprised at all then you don’t know me. You knew this was coming. I remember the first listen; freaking out over the greatness of certain lines of lyrics. By the second and third listen, I was hooked. It’s rarely left my car stereo since it came out in July, and if it does, I default back to it within a few days. (Kelly’s Christmas album just left me stereo, and guess what went back in? Ding, ding, ding…)

Matt has the ability to just…be brilliant. And then he executes that brilliance even more by performing the songs live. I can talk about it longer, but my boyfriend once told me I talk about Matt too much (he also said he has to “share me” with Matt, ha! But then I kinda proved him correct, as I ditched my boyfriend at a Matt show for a half hour a few weeks ago when someone gave me their extra Matt m&g so…) so I’ll stop now while I’m ahead.
Love, love, love, love, LOVE.

Personal favorite tracks: Heart Starts, Earthquake Weather, Annie’s Always Waiting, Kill the Lights, Farewell December

Last Of The Great Pretenders Tour, or The Best Week Ever, part 1.

26 Dec
The formatting on this post keeps messing itself up, and won’t allow spaces between paragraphs. I apologize. It bugs me too. Now onto a belated blog. 
Oh man. Where do I even begin? I had a string of Matt Nathanson and Maroon 5 shows falling all within a week period of one another. I dubbed it to become “the best week ever”. It lived up to it’s name.

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? Show numero uno.

First up on the list was Matt playing at Ace of Spades in Sacramento.

A radio station put together a show benefiting Breast Cancer, and the show was only announced about three weeks before the date. Let’s say I was excited to start the party off sooner, and went ahead and treated myself to a “VIP” ticket. The VIP tickets were sold in limited quantities, and it allowed you to have early entry and get to attend sound check and a m&g before the show. It was only $20 more, but I contemplated it for awhile (awhile, as in, probably 15 minutes) before I said, “Ah, screw it!” and caved.

Early entry is awesome. I got there about 15 minutes or so before they told us to arrive via email. There was a 30 minute delay due to someone getting stuck in traffic *coughNathansoncough* but I won’t name names. ;)
It was hot while waiting. I got sunburned. But eventually we were let in and Matt played 3 songs and it all became worth it, because I realized “This is it. Tour is STARTING!” After the sound check we were all cattle called into a single file line to take pictures with Matt.
Of course, since there were many of us, the conversations were rushed. But since I was the only one who caved to the VIP ticket, I got to talk to Matt solo, while my other friends were still outside in the general admission line. (Or as one of the radio station guys said, “You’re so lucky! You get to take a solo picture! You can wrap your leg around him!” Yeah no, he’d freak if I attempted that…) I’m always greeted with open arms. “Are you ready to see my face A LOT the next few days?” I asked him.
“UM, YEAH. Shit. We’re going to have to change up the set list for you, aren’t we?”
“Ohhh…I want to hear All Been Said Before!”
“Ohhhh! That’s a good one.”
“Do it!”
“Oh, I will. Just tweet me, because I won’t remember.”
Remember this conversation. It has importance over the next week.
After we took photos, we were then made to go back outside to wait in line only to be let back in an less than an hour later. Dumb.20130926_165538
I saved a spot for Tara, so once the GA line was let in, she squeezed in up front with me.20130926_173131
There was no opener, so Matt came right out and got down to the rocking. I loved the shit out of this tour. So good.
After the show Tara and I met up with DawnL and Tracy for a bit to say hi, and then the two of us headed back to Tara’s place a few miles away to crash since the next day we were headed to Reno.
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Tara went to work the next morning for a few hours, and I hung out at her place with her man friend until she was off. We made lunch, then we headed out on our way to Reno.
Every time I go to Reno it’s…interesting. This visit, there was some sort of motorcycle convention or something going on, and there were just people EVERYWHERE.
I had tweeted Matt a long the drive to not forget to play my song, and he replied back with, “Wait, tonight?!” so I don’t think he knew I was coming to Reno. As Tara and I waited in line, Matt and Shiben passed us, and he cutely went, “OH oh, hiiii.” and Shiben waved like an excited kid. I’m pretty sure that made me love them more.
We were let in, and Tara and I immediately got alcohol. I got some rough news while waiting in line, and I definitely needed a little buzz. Except they are HEAVY HANDED in Reno, and I might have been slightly, okay definitely, intoxicated before the show started. Which was awesome, because no offense but, Joshua Radin should not be Matt’s opener. Snooze-a-palooza.
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Matt came out, and it was an even longer and awesome set than the night before. I can’t get enough of that man. So good.
After the show we ran into Shiben and chatted for a bit (“You’ve seen Matt Nathanson 94 times?!”) before heading back on the road to Sacramento to sleep.  I hung out with Tara the next morning for a bit, before driving back home…for only 16 hours. Oh, my life.
The following morning I woke up at 5am to head to the airport to catch a flight to San Diego. Except, that all went down the drain when the plane was SMOKING, and we all had to get off. I got impatient playing the “wait for multiple hours” game. I called my boyfriend who had dropped me off and had my car and the keys, took a taxi his way since he was at work, and picked up my car and drove the 7 hours. The fuck. Hasty decision.
The whole drive I went about 85mph. I think I shaved an hour off of the ETA. I was tired and delirious and had no food or coffee in my system by the time I arrived to San Diego around 5pm.
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I met up with my best friend Nicole at House of Blues and immediately sat down to ate. Note for future reference: don’t eat cheese loaded entrees when you have a completely empty stomach. No bueno.
The waitress was taking FOREVER (and it wasn’t even busy) so I left Nicole inside to pay and I hopped into the forever long line. Matt walked by a few minutes later and said, “Hey! All Been Said Before or something tonight, right?” and I was so delirious that I think I just smiled. Haha. I mean, YES please.
Once let inside we actually weren’t far back. Second row center. But we are old and sat on the floor while we waited for the show to start. Then we suffered through Josh. Nicole actually played a game or two of Candy Crush during his set. Ha.
Before Matt came out, the setlist was taped onstage and All Been Said Before was on the list! And I was totally stoked the entire set leading up to it. And then the jerk skipped right over it. He gave me a “Omg, please don’t kill me I’m so sorry” look, but I’m pretty sure I still gave him the stink eye through the next two songs. Then I got over it. At least he attempted by putting it on the setlist.
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Fabulous show, as always. As soon as it was over we booked it, because Nicole had to work at 6am the next morning and I had to leave at 4:30am. I know, what? Since I drove instead of flew, I had to leave when it was still pitch black out because I was working that evening. Great things about planes, they get you to places quickly. Sob.
So, I drove home, stopped off at my boyfriend’s place since I had an extra hour, zombie’d around while he took me to lunch, and then headed to work for 6 hours. Cry.
The things I do for you Nathanson…to be continued.

That time I got pulled onstage and danced with Parachute.

9 Dec
So we all know I have a crush on Parachute. I adore those kids, and have loved watching them grow as a band over the years.It had been almost a year and a half since the last time I had seen them (!!!), and I was in a desperate need to get a fix. I made sure to buy a ticket to their San Francisco show the day it went on sale. And then I (im)patiently waited until show day.

My friend Kelly was going to the show as well, and she is halfway along the drive to SF, so we decided to carpool it into the city together. We also both decided to also purchased the “VIP” upgrade, which allowed early entry, a performance of an acoustic song by the band, and a meet and greet.

When the band walked out, Nate saw me almost instantly and came over and grabbed my hand as they walked by. Which was basically like grabbing an icicle, because it was freezing outside that day. Sorry, Nate.

They performed “Overnight” acoustic, and then we were allowed to say hi and take pictures with the band.

When I walked up to them, I jokingly said, “You don’t know me…” as I was greeted with “JOSLYN!!!” all around. Will said, “I dunno. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen you…” and I apologized. “I do like your shirt though. Is that a pug?” “No. It’s a french bulldog.” “Please tell me you have one.” “No…my friend does though. I have a cat though?” “Well, I guess a pet counts…” (What?)Nate and I always blab about books every tour so at this point he totally interrupts and practically yells, “Have you read Gone Girl?!” to which I reply. “YES.” “I knew if anyone had read it, you would. I’m halfway through” “Shit’s about to get crazy!” We are nerds.154476_10151842698428518_369272444_n
The meet and greet was upstairs, and afterward every one had talked to the band, they let us free downstairs to grab a spot up front before the doors opened to the general public. Kelly and I stood stage left, and we were really, super close to Nate once the boys came out. Oh hi, guitar in face.
Before Parachute, there were first two openers. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you the name of the first opening band because I couldn’t hear a word that they were singing, and they looked to be about 12 years old, and I don’t think I payed much attention…
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Matt Hires played next, and I have seen him many times in the past opening for miscellaneous bands. I forgot how much I love him.
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Next came Parachute, and probably one of the best performances I’ve seen them play. I can’t express how much I have enjoyed watching them over the years. They just get better and better. About halfway through the set, Matt Hires came out to cover Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” with the boys. AND THEN I GOT PULLED ONSTAGE. One moment, I was dancing along, minding my own business, and the next thing I know Will came right over and pointed directly at me, and then did the “come here” finger gesture.
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I gave him a, “uh, what?” look, and he did the gesture again. I had no clue what was happening, and some girls behind me started pushing me onstage, so I grabbed Will’s extended hand and then…we 80′s danced.
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I was cracking up the entire time I was onstage. There was one point I looked behind me because I felt Nate close by, and he was laughing as well.
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Will never let go of my hand the entire time. I actually let go of his first. Then I jumped off the stage and for the next three songs, kept saying to myself, what the heck just happened?!The guys rocked the rest of the set, and then Kelly and I headed out since I was working a dreaded 12 hour double the following day. Which I felt like death. Which was all worth it. Cause, you know, I got to be Courtney Cox for the night.

Ruling the most.

5 Dec

Woah, throw back Thursday! Here’s a blog that’s been waiting to be posted since July. Sorry. Hopefully Santa brings me a laptop for Christmas so I can get back into the swing of things!

A week and a half after Matt Nathanson had his CD release show, he played not one, but TWO sets at the fair in Paso Robles. Yes, this is the fair where I danced  and sang onstage with Train for the first time a few summers ago.

My lovely wife Beth came out from STL to celebrate her birthday and to visit. We had originally planned on her staying with me for a few days, but then I was lame and got myself a second job who only gave me one day off. Boo, second job, you whore.

So we made the best of it. The evening Beth arrived I worked a double. A big fat 12.5 hour double.  Then I drove 2 hours to Walnut Creek to DawnL and Tracy’s place, because they were nice enough to pick Beth up at the airport so she wasn’t left in San Francisco all alone. (Closing at a restaurant you never know when you’ll get out. For example, that night I left 45 minutes after I was scheduled to be off. Lame.)

By that time it was 2am-ish? We stayed awake chatting for another hour or so, and then I had a nap…aka I hardly slept that night and then woke extremely early. Ugh.

DawnL had gone to work early that morning, and the remaining 3 of us went to meet her during her lunch hour before Beth and I headed back to Monterey.

After highly caffeinating and feeding, we trekked it down home. Literally walked into my house, changed clothes, then headed back out the door to show Beth around and go to the Aquarium for a short time before it closed. *There would be photos of fish, jellyfish & penguins here if I wasn’t too lazy to upload. Google “Monterey Bay Aquarium” :p

After acting like a tourist in my own town, I made my boyfriend meet up with us, because come on. My “wife” has to meet the dude I’d been cheating on her with! ;)

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We drove around some more to show Beth some other cool things (who “OOOHHHH the OCEAN!” every 5 minutes…) before going to dinner. I caffeinated myself again. If I looked exhausted to you here, it’s because I WAS.

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After dinner I dropped the boy off at home, and Beth and I headed back to try to get a somewhat long sleep.

The next morning I tweeted about it being my 90th show, and got the cutest reply back.

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I fucking adore you, Nathanson.  Stop.

Cheryl and Kim picked us up from my place, and we caffeinated once again before headed down the 101 to Paso Robles. I should rename my blog to “Coffee and Concerts”.

It. Was. HOT. 103 degrees of torture.

We walked around a bit. Ate gross fair food. Hid in shade. Watched Matt sound check. Then we toughed it out in the sun to watch Matt’s set.

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I loved hearing the new songs for the first time. I loved sharing the moment with one of my favorite people.

After the show, we were on our way out to head home when I heard a bit of a commotion. I turned around and there was Matt, signing some stuff. Beth was talking to him and said something about me, to where he turned and got all excited when he saw my face and gave me a high five. (Sorry, wifey.)

“Happy 90th time you’ve seen me!” I joked.
“I KNOW. I got so excited when I saw that. At 95 let’s get cake.”
“95? Why not 100?”
“I don’t know…”

He’s weird.

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We chatted for another short moment, and then it was time for us to leave. I contemplated a cinnamon roll I had been eying all day, then decided against it. I had CHEESECAKE for breakfast that morning. True story. Fat kid-ness at it’s finest, folks.

Then, I sadly had to give Beth up to her other friends who were taking her to the airport the following day, Cheryl, Kim & I drove back home, and I was thrown into a weekend of long, busy, waitressing. Sigh.

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