Graduate School: 14 Weeks

I am sitting in an art studio listening to the undergraduates in my elective painting class wait for our professor to go over grades, our body of work, and a quick chit chat about our feelings about the past semester. I was second in line because…I was second to arrive. This is my last class of the semester, one day later than my other classmates in my cohort. I realized as I finished up my three measly page paper about my final painting AND the final painting at 10:45am this morning(class began at 2:45EST) that I could have done the assignment yesterday. Or two weeks ago when it was assigned.

But, I didn’t. So there’s that.

Most of the students around me are talking about summer plans, future life plans(some are seniors), and you can feel the air of relief inside this room. Or is it anticipation? Panic? Probably a lot of feelings.

14 weeks ago, I had no idea where the semester would take me. I took three seminar type classes, one painting class, and was let go of a fellowship project, but then added to a new, pretty exciting in-the-works project. I learned to let go of the idea of having a social life(even if it meant a movie or just getting drinks). There is no time. I learned to work with classmates with opposite personalities and work ethics and turned out a pretty awesome concept for a client in Burlington. I’ve never had to do anything like that ever, and enjoyed the prototyping experience. I lost a good person in my Memphis life in March and he has left a void in a lot of people’s lives. I had to unexpectedly move out of my “apartment” (my little room) into an almost vacant house with one other guy(whose name is Olsen of all things…) with a shitty reason from my landlord. Luckily, it’s just until the end of May and then I move into my new, cute studio. I got to see the Avett Brothers(if you haven’t been bombarded by my Facebook postings, check out my YouTube channel of them performing).

I now have two weeks to recharge. I’m going home to Memphis for a week to stuff my face, go to Music Fest, and get my life that is in my grandmother’s garage together. The parental units have offered to ship boxes to me in June–I have forgotten what I own.

After that, four classes this summer, while thinking of my thesis. A THESIS. WHAT? When did that happen?

I’ve learned to take one week at a time, and slowly learning more about Andrea and who she wants to be.


Still got it.

      Last week at work was just a really long work week-lots to get ready for the end of the year, plus I wanted to knock out a few things for my move and I got really worried and anxious. Friday after lunch, I checked my email and I thought it was a joke-I won two tickets to the upcoming Bon Jovi concert. Seriously? Me? I forgot that I entered the Memphis Convention Bureau’s ticket giveaway contest and two tickets are mine. I’m a fan of Bon Jovi, but wouldn’t maul the person next to me to get a seat, ya know?
       Fast forward to last night-my friend Jenny and I headed to the FedEx Forum, but not with a few snafus. Like many people of this day and age, we don’t carry a lot of cash on us. So, we hatched a plan to tell the parking attendants that we are just going to dinner, and not pay the $20 event parking fee…that plan crashed and burned. Off we went searching for a First Tennessee ATM, and I remembered Peabody Place had a few of them. Little did I know that I would begin a wild goose chase involving way too many stairs and a lot of elevators in this vacant building–signs everywhere for ATMS, and none to be found. THANKS. A. LOT.  With a quick call to OnStar(my iPhone was conveniently left behind at her house…good job, AHO), our ATM problem was solved and we got to the Forum as soon as the opener ended his set. Big thanks to the Convention Bureau-pretty good seats! Bon Jovi played a good mix of old and new and we left after two songs into the encore–we figured Livin’ on a Prayer would be the last played, but we’ve heard that a billion times. Plus, it was 11:30pm and we had a long drive. And off we hobbled with our canes…

Here are some things Jenny and I observed:

1. We felt really young…really young. Bon Jovi clearly knows its demographic, as one point in the concert Jon yelled out to the crowd ” Stop texting the babysitter and get on your feet!” I think the general age was about 45, in jean shorts, and teased up hair. But,  there were some 20 and 30 year olds who were re-living college for just one night. Lots of bandanas…more than I needed to see.

2. Ever want to see a toothless woman in really tight black jeans and screaming I Love You Jon the whole night? Come ask us. We got a full viewing the whole night. She was to the point of orgasming with every hip shake by the man.

3. I can show anyone now how to appropriately play air guitar-the gentleman to my left pretended to be Richie Sambora(who was in rehab and not on stage) the entire evening. Even during the slow songs. He was gettin’ it.

4. “Memphis” the Broadway musical is coming to the 901 soon. David Bryan, the keyboardist for the band, sang Memphis in Me last night. If what he sang is any testament to the musical, run, don’t walk to get your tickets. Awesomeness. Plus, I had no idea he sang-his voice is amazing.

5. Jon Bon Jovi is still hot. Forever. AND he loves the jazz hands.

Road trippin’ and concert goin’

I try to see as many concerts and shows as I possibly can at all times. Time permitting. Actually, just health permitting, as I have learned lately that 9:45pm bedtimes work WONDERS for a dreary, rainy, Tuesday morning(like today). I need sleep.

I digress.

This summer, I was checking out Pollstar and saw that a band that I have been listening to for about a year or so is coming to Nashville Halloween weekend ( The Avett Brothers). I did fist pumps at my desk at work. I posted a status update on the FaceTwit and two partners in crime, Elizabeth and Amanda, both emphatically said they were interested and can Halloween get here any faster?

Oh, how it did.

After a week of back and forth planning emails, it was here! October 30th was circled on my calendar and shrills of glee were heard across the land(ok, maybe just my apartment. Definitely just  my apartment). Amanda and I met up and headed to pick up Elizabeth a little after 1:00pm, and we hit the road. Thankfully, Elizabeth’s sweet friend David let us crash at his place in the West End of Nashville, so that helped the pocketbook. The drive up went quickly(we all agreed the stretch of road between Jackson,TN and Nashville blows), and got to David’s by 4:45ish. We noshed at Jackson’s Bar and Bistro near Vanderbilt, and got to the historic Rynman with time to spare.

Anyone ever paid a parking lot attendant by check before? We had to since we zoned out on bringing cash. It happens…

Since it being a festive weekend, we saw a great crowd of Halloween revelers-the usual sexy cats, sexy angels(huh?), people dressed as Harry Potter, one dude who was the Blind Melon bee, a NASA astronaut, and the usual gory costumes. I had never been to Rynman before to see a show,  so this was fun for me to be in a place that has had so many famous bands and singers in music, especially country music.

Opening act was Grace Potter and the Nocturnals-I want to be Grace Potter every day. I loved her voice, the band’s stage prescence, and even her hair. I hope to see her if she returns to Memphis. If you want to see part of her show, here’s a little.

A highlight:

Between GPATHN and The Avett Brothers, music was played over the speakers. A classic came on-Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer.” Now, I heard people somewhat softly singing along, but at the chorus, it was a full on singalong chant in the crowd. Such a hilarious, yet moving moment.

Anddddddd…here it is on YouTube:

The Avett Brothers came on next:

They didn’t break character for a few minutes as mummies, and began with the apropos song “Die, Die, Die.”

Here is the setlist for the sold out show. For my first time seeing the band, they did not let me down. Amazing energy, the crowd was so into all of it, singing every freaking word, and I am looking forward to seeing them again.