As anyone who reads this knows, I haven't been doing too well lately. I've been depressed a lot, and when I'm not I'm just "okay". I'm not happy or anything. I've been having trouble creating art, which doesn't make me feel too great, since that's one of the things I've always done to cope. If I can't do that, I'm not myself. It takes quite a lot to cheer me up or make me anything other than just "in the middle". But the last couple of weeks have been great.
My sister came to visit. She brought my nephew, who, for some reason, isn't scared of me, even though I'm grumpy quite a bit. I always feel like I'm nothing to want to visit, but it was good to see them and go out and do tourist things. We went out to eat a lot and did some shopping
(low-cost shopping, since none of us really has a lot of money--I'm talking Goodwill and Ross and whatnot). We went to the zoo and fed the lorries. For one week, we went up to Fort Worth to visit my sis' in-laws. There, we did more shopping, since there's not a whole lot else to do, except go out to eat. One day, the in-laws watched little E, so sis and I could go to a concert. We drove to Dallas (about an hour away) to the House of Blues to see Crowded House. I'm pretty petite (I'm only 4'9"), so I wanted to get there really early since the floor, where our tickets were, was general admission. If I'm not in front, I can't see a thing. Even if that person were only 5' tall, that's too much for me. However, it was 107F and we really didn't want to wait outside. One woman told us, when we walked in, that if we spent $15 in the restaurant or shop, we could wait inside and skip the line. That was fine with us as we would have probably spent that in the shop anyway. So, we bought a couple of things in the shop. I bought a travel mug with the House of Blues logo and a keychain. It was only around 3:30 pm, so we had a long wait since the doors didn't open until 7. The good part about that was that we could hear the sound check through the open doors of the room where the show would be.
A little while later, a couple of other women joined us, and we had fun talking about music and TV shows and such. When the doors opened, we all ran down to the front of the stage and had perfect viewing, except for the speakers that were in front. The stage was exceptionally high, so these blocked my view of the back of the stage. However, I wouldn't complain, since it was a great place regardless. The band were awesome, as usual. They were funny and had us laughing and smiling the whole way through. Also, they let us bring cameras in (no video or flash photography), and my camera has a low-light setting that doesn't use the flash. So I got some great shots, and we all traded the camera around every now and then to get some different perspectives. At the end of the show, as the staff were clearing the stage, they handed out guitar picks, etc., and I got one of Mark Hart's guitar picks, which even had his name on it.
Afterwards, we went out to the back door, and we were able to meet the band and get autographs. They were exceptionally sweet and really funny. Nick Seymour even let us take a photo with him (I'm sure the other guys would have, too, but we didn't get to ask, however, they did sign autographs and chat with us). When we walked back to our cars, we were all screaming and jumping up and down like teenagers. I haven't felt that happy in a long time.
Sis and I also saw a-ha in LA in May, which was my birthday present to myself, to go on a trip out there. I hardly ever get to go to concerts, and this one meant a lot to me, since a-ha were the first concert I'd ever been to, and this was the first time they'd toured the US since 1986. It's also their last tour EVER, since they are breaking up after this. I have been a fan of theirs since the beginning and it was great to hear all their newer songs live, since I'd never heard them live before. It was hard not to cry, knowing it would all end, but it was amazing. So, for me, that's two great concerts in one year, which is rare for me. I just wish I could feel that way all the time.