Post from March, 2004

Where’s Water?

Wednesday, 17. March 2004 11:42

I just got out of the shower this morning.. it took me almost a full hour since our water pressure has been reduced to a trickle. Apparantly a 36-inch main water line broke way out at Park Heights Avenue. Had it not been so cold this morning, I think I would have had better luck standing on my front porch in the rain for a shower.

Anyway, I was Google-ing some random stuff yesterday with their “image search.” I tried “Murdoch Uni” (the place I studied abroad at last semester) and the last picture that showed up out of 45 was that of my old flatmate, Haruka! I was able to grab her e-mail address from the site it linked to (which I forgot to get from her when we were exchaning them at the end of the semester). So, basically, I ended up stalking someone without even trying to! Very cool.

Oh, and of course, Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Category:LiveJournal | Comment (0) | Author: Ryan

Watchin’ Them Movin’ Pictures

Saturday, 13. March 2004 1:03

It’s only been a whole four days since I “left” my job, but I feel like a huge load has been lifted. For once I actually had some free time on my hands! But, instead of using it to actually get work done, I’ve spent it watching movies. Kind of a waste, but, ehhh..
I finally saw Kill Bill at UMBC’s $2 movie night, whereat I caught up with an old buddy of mine from the Writing Center. I missed most of the references sprinkled thoughout the film, but still enjoyed it.
Tonight I splurged a bit and saw a newer release, Secret Window with Chris and Steve. It was definitely something that held my interest, but I figured out the ending far too early. I’m usually really slow at stuff like that, too, so it was a bit of a let down. I think I keep my expectations too high for movies that I really want to see.

Oh, and as an additional note, I really hate certain things about Windows Media Player. I tried using it as my MP3 player the other day to figure how that worked, and it automatically set my ID3 tags to blank spaces if nothing existed in them. That basically means that half my songs turned into “Unknown Artist – Untitled” in WinAmp. Today I found a really awesome and free program called “Mp3 Tag Tools” that totally fixed that problem with my MP3s and has almost given me the motivation to actually organize the thousands of files on this computer!

And, I don’t think I have anything else to talk about, so I’m going to bed.. and sleeping in!!

Category:LiveJournal | Comment (0) | Author: Ryan

Hanson concert!

Thursday, 11. March 2004 20:36

Colleen (my sister) and I got to the Webster Theater (Hartford, CT) at 5pm. Doors were 7:30pm and already the line was pretty long. I expected that, though. Hanson’s tour bus was already there and soon after we were in line, we heard screaming towards the front. The line was curved around the building, so we couldn’t see anything. I sent Colleen to the front to see what was going on, while I saved our place. She saw the boys leaving the bus and got some pictures [that didn’t come out, because she’s too short!]. When she came back to tell me about it, she was all excited and crazy. Since I hadn’t seen them, I was calm. It was weird – I thought that she was being immature, for a lack of a better word. I didn’t think that *I* would get that way..

We waited in the COLD until a little after 7:30pm, when we got herded inside. We joined the crowd in the front of the stage and there were probably 10 heads (because it was standing only) in front of us. We had a good center spot. The opening band came onstage around 8:15pm and played until 8:45pm. They were okay, but not great. I’m not sure who they were, because I couldn’t understand their name. I don’t really care though.

About halfway through their set, two girls behind us started to pretend that their friend Danielle was up in the front and they had to reach her to figure out rides home. They bullied their way through the crowd, which was very packed. Pretty soon, screaming and hitting broke out. The people that they were cutting in front of were getting angry, blah, blah. I couldn’t tell exactly what was going on, but I could feel the effects of the pushing. The girls had friends who were still behind us, and one of them was going crazy. She wanted to get up there to help her friends out. There was no way that I was letting her through. She was like, “Becca! Becca! I’ll come up there and start hitting them. I can take them all down.” Yeah, right. I stood my ground and she eventually calmed down. Some people are so stupid.

After the opening band finished, the lights went back on and we were all just standing there. It took Hanson a half hour to come out! It seemed like so much longer. There was this old man about two people behind me, who was definitely drunk. He was telling us that as soon as the lights went off and Hanson came on, we were going to lift him up. He wanted to crowd surf to the front. Then he’s like, “I’m so high!!” and I could definitely smell the alcohol on his breath. How pathetic is that? At first I thought he was some loser 40-year-old who hangs out at the Webster, but I think he might actually like Hanson. When the lights went out, fortunately no one lifted him up, but he did push and shove his way forward. There was a girl with him, who I thought just befriended him to get to the front. However, later I realized that she must have been his daughter. And this man knew the words to the songs. Very bizarre.

So anyways, Hanson came on stage around 9:20pm and started with Rock n Roll Razorblade. Zac looked really good, with a dark purple tshirt and jeans. Ike was wearing an old white Adidas tshirt with a sports jacket over it (which he took off halfway through) and jeans. Tay was wearing a three-quarter sleeve green shirt, a scarf (orange stripes), and jeans. I don’t remember the set list exactly, but they sang: Rock n Roll Razorblade, Underneath, Penny and Me, When You’re Gone, Crazy Beautiful (just Tay on stage, who said he really likes it and that the studio version sounds really different), Lulla Belle (just Zac on stage), MMMBop, Madeline, If Only, Hand in Hand (just Ike on stage), You Never Know, Hey, Ain’t No Sunshine (a cover), Where’s the Love, Song to Sing, Lost Without Eachother, Strong Enough to Break, and Dirrty (a cover).

The show was really great. It was such an odd experience, because this was the first time where I could actually *see* them in person. I went to a concert in 1998, but my seats were terrible and I didn’t get to meet them or anything. I’m used to seeing them on TV, so it took me a while to fully comprehend that they were truly right there in front of me. It was hard to believe, but definitely awesome.

Ike makes the funniest faces while singing. He seriously looks constipated! Especially during Hand in Hand, when it was just him. He was really getting into the song! Zac was the only one who looked around at the crowd the whole time. It felt like I kept making eye contact with him, but I doubt that he was actually looking at me. Tay was being quite dramatic with the way that he played the piano and sang. At one point, he climbed on top of the piano to try to get the crowd to clap. Then he rolled over onto his back and laid there for a little bit. :-P

Around 10:45pm, they told us that they were going to play their last song. But then they came back out to do Christina Aguilera’s ‘Dirrty’. It was so great. I loved their harmony during it, and it was pretty funny! I heard that they only do that cover sometimes, and I was glad that they chose to do it. Overall, I was really happy with the songs that they did. It was a nice mix of old and new. I loved how when they did Middle of Nowhere songs, the crowd really got into it. Those songs bring back such memories, probably for all of us.

After it was over, Coll and I went outside to wait for them. Somehow, we managed to get in the very front. We were pushed up against a bike rack barrier. There was a good-sized group out there waiting. Remember, it was freeeeezing cold. They made us wait out there for an HOUR! Talk about rude! haha. :-P

Actually, when we first got out there, Tay and Zac were already on the bus. When they came outside, they were heading back into the venue and Tay said to us, “We’ll be back.” At least that gave us some hope. But, as we were freezing our butts off, all of their gear got loaded into the trailer, so we figured that they wouldn’t spend very much time outside with us.

Finally, Zac walked out with some guys and he came over to us. Actually, he came right over to me and Colleen. The whole thing happened in slow motion, and I’m really not quite sure how it was. I think that I reached for his hand and he reached for the Sharpie marker that I was holding. We shook hands, and then as he took my marker and paper, I continued to hold his wrist. My hands were SO cold and his arm was SO incredibly warm – I just couldn’t take my hand off of him! hehe. Eventually I did though, and he signed the piece of paper that I had. It was the envelope, because I didn’t think to bring anything else with me. I gave it to him with the white side up, and he turned it over and signed the side that had writing! I was like, “No, the other side.” He was so cute. He said, “Oh, okay, well, here – now it’s double-sided” because he signed both sides! lol. Eeee.. so great. Then, he asked me if he could borrow my Sharpie to sign everyone else’s things. He was very polite. :-) Of course I let him, and then he gave it back when he was finished. He really only went to the people right around me, not along the whole bike rack. We got very lucky.

Then Tay and Ike came out, and Tay came right over to the fans. He started with a few people down from me and went in the opposite direction. This was kind of good, because it gave me a chance to comprehend what was going on. Instead of the slow motion effect that I had with Zac, I could actually look at Tay – and take some pictures of him. Tay was totally cool with the fans. He really gave his attention to everyone. It took him forever to sign and take pictures with everyone, and then he finally came down to the end that I was at. He told us that he didn’t have time and had to go, but some people asked him for his autograph, so he spent a few more minutes. I was trying to get his attention, but I wasn’t able to get his autograph. However, –and this happened in slow motion too– he grabbed my outstretched hand with both of his hands and said, “I’m really, really sorry. I have to go now.” He looked SO sincere. I’m actually not sure what *I* looked like though. lol. I think at first I was staring at his hands holding mine, and then I was able to look at his face. It was soooo weird. He was quite nice about the whole thing though.

Ike, on the other hand, wasn’t very nice at all. He didn’t even *acknowledge* that the fans existed. He didn’t come over and he didn’t even wave. He stood outside the bus for a few minutes, talking with people that ended up getting on the bus with him (friends, I guess). Actually, a good number of people got on that bus.

As Colleen and I walked back to our car, we both were totally flipping out. I didn’t think that I would behave that way. It was just such a rush. (At least I didn’t act stupid in front of them!)

So, yeah, that was it. It was one of the best concerts that I have ever been to! I recorded some of the songs on my cell phone voicemail, I got Zac’s autograph, and I was able to touch Zac and Tay. Wow. I cannot believe it. It was just great. :-)

Category:Diaryland | Comment (0) | Author: Megan

garbage picker

Sunday, 7. March 2004 21:36

Lately, the end of my road and the road perpendicular to it have been very littered. People throw garbage out their car windows, and it’s just disgusting. For the past few days, there’s been a full gallon of orange juice sitting on the corner. We were getting really sick of looking at all the crap, so my sister, brother and I decided to pick it up today.

We walked down to the end of my street and a good portion of the other one, and filled up three garbage bags. It’s unbelievable the stuff that you find. I have no clue what is up with orange juice. Not only was there the gallon bottle, but there was also an unopened half gallon carton! Isn’t that so weird?

It really scares me the amount of liquor bottles and beer cans that are all over. I live in a very residential, forested neighborhood. It freaks me out that so many people are drinking while driving.

Another odd thing was this vcr box. It was pretty far from the street, but I decided to walk into the woods to get it. It was fairly big, so I didn’t want to just leave it there. As I got closer to it, I noticed that the corner was kind of ripped and there was a black garbage bag sticking out. It was kinda wet and gross, so instead of just picking the whole thing up, I peaked into the corner first. Oh my gosh, I am so glad that I didn’t just lift up the box. When I peered in, there was some kind of rotting animal. I couldn’t really tell what it was, because all I saw was an open jaw… but ew. Did someone kill an animal or did their pet just die? I definitely decided to leave it alone. I didn’t want to know what was in there. Yuck, yuck, yuck.

Other than that, the experience was pretty good.

Category:Diaryland | Comment (0) | Author: Megan

Much ado

Thursday, 4. March 2004 18:17

I am always amazed at how much stuff happens on campus to which I am completely oblivious. I mean, I’ve been here almost four whole years, and only this week while talking to Heather did I find out that the library gives out lockers for free! How nifty is that? Then, today, one of my English classes was “cancelled” so that we could be forced into hearing Frederick Reuss discuss his latest novel in the library. Although I’ve never heard of the guy before, I’m sure that some people love his books, yet I haven’t seen one advertisement for his speech (not even on the UMBC calendar). Nonetheless, I got free food for going. And there’s a ton of other stuff that happens that just blows right by me (like a trip to NYC this weekend). Maybe I should actually read those weekly “events” e-mails. Not that I would have time to do anything, but hey.. Good stuff.

Category:LiveJournal | Comment (0) | Author: Ryan

Catching up, then back to work

Tuesday, 2. March 2004 19:37

The past few days have been a total whirlwind!

On Friday, Megan came down to Maryland, and we went to see the musical “Sweeney Todd” with my family. I first saw it on videotape back in my high school music class and loved it! It’s a really odd story about a murderous barber whose victims are turned into meat pies by his downstairs neighbor. As soon as I heard it was going to be preformed at Centerstage, I bought tickets to the first Friday showing. It was really awesome! My dad, however, fell asleep in the middle of the thing, but trust me, it’s not boring at all. Megan seemed to like it…

Anyway, on Saturday, she and I hooked up with my sister and her boyfriend to see “The Passion of the Christ.” That’s one emotionally draining film. Sometimes movies like that have points where you can take a deep breath and “reset” yourself, if you know what I mean. You don’t get any of that here – it’s basically just non-stop whipping and hitting and torture. I saw it once. I don’t think I need to see it again.

On Sunday, Megan and I had breakfast with Chris and tried to spend the rest of the day working on a bunch of homework we had. Then she went home.

Monday was pretty cool, though. On my way to UMBC, I was listening to 98 Rock, and they had one of those call-in contests. I am really obsessed with them, and tried my luck at being caller 13. Ta-da! I was! (Betcha didn’t see that one coming). I won a few free lunches at Subway, so being a college commuting student, I was very happy. It’s the second time I ever won anything, with the first being in December when I won a PlayStation2 from them. I love free stuff! If you care to hear parts of the call, you can click below:
Winning a PS2 (December 18)
Winning Subway Lunch (March 1)

In other news, my mom lost the key to our van. So, now its stranded in some random school parking lot in Baltimore. Don’t ask me how that happened.

Category:LiveJournal | Comments (1) | Author: Ryan