Monday, April 21, 2008

Jason Mraz Concert

Saturday night, my friend Kim and I went to see Jason Mraz live at the NorVa. While I knew who he was and enjoyed what I knew of him, I wasn't prepared for the concert.

First of all, I LOVE live music. All kinds. Artists are usually much more open and flexible when you see them live, and there's just something about being in the presence of someone while they are doing what they love to do.

The NorVa is a unique venue. Different than most settings, it was originally an upscale downtown vaudeville and movie theater, built in 1923. In the '60s, part of the Norva was transformed into a retail storefront for Lerner Shops. I don't remember when that closed, but in the late 90's, early 2000, the transformation began to restore the NorVa. Now, it's a small venue that holds about 1500 people. It's general admission and two levels. The second story is not a full floor, but has a balcony around the perimeter, that overlooks the open floor below. Both floors have bars, and limited bar stools/tables. Digital cameras are allowed in *provided* they do not look like professional cameras, and look like your typical point and shoot digital. Unfortunately, Kim found this out the hard way!

As for Jason Mraz.... He was amazing. What's different about him, is his sound. He doesn't have your cookie-cutter sound, and isn't likely to be labeled as anything in particular. He is pop mixed with soulful, jazzy, eclectic, and folky. Throw in a touch of reggae, a splash of hip-hop, and a touch of the blues and you end up with an all together different sound. He is sarcastic (which I personally adore), witty, and generally a funny guy. He interacts wonderfully with his audience, and commands audience participation around every corner. While up on stage, it is apparent he TRULY loves what he does. His supporting band members do a great job, and the end result is a magnificent show. His audience is a range of young teenie-boppers, to folks well into their 40's and older. I can certainly see his appeal to all backgrounds.

I might have overlooked this concert if Kim hadn't asked me to go, and now I am certainly glad that I didn't miss it.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Virginia International Tattoo

If you have never been to a Tattoo before, it's quite an experience. And it's extremely difficult to explain to someone what it is. From one site:

One International sensation, 850 artists. Marching bands, massed pipes & drums, military drill teams, display acts, choral groups, Celtic dancers, color guards, and more. Visit Norfolk and see the largest Tattoo in the United States, presented with all the grandeur and splendor of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Pageantry and patriotism, spirit and spectacle, talent and teamwork, precision personified, you have to see it to believe it- 850 performers join forces, filling Scope Arena with music, majesty and might. Each year we feature an innovative theme, new performers from around the world, and fresh staging and special effects.

From another site:

The beat of the drums, the call of the trumpets, the roar of the crowds—the mighty sounds of the Virginia International Tattoo return to Norfolk in April! The 2008 Tattoo is sure to set hearts racing with more than 850 performers from eight countries joining forces, including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, the Netherlands, South Africa, and Turkey. This year it was awarded the American Bus Association's Prestigious “Internationally Known Event” Designation as one of the “Top 100 Events in North America”. The Tattoo thrills with music, majesty, and might. You have to see it to believe it!

I've gone every year for about the last 6 or 7 years, and it never disappoints. There are 3 shows each year, and all 3 shows sell out. If you get the opportunity to go, DO! You won't be disappointed...


Friday, April 18, 2008


So, back in September, before this blog was a twinkle in my eye, a friend of mine talked me into joining a bowling league. It was a "fun" league, with very little competition. I only knew one person on the league (the one who roped me into it), and I wouldn't even be on her team. I'd be on a team with people I'd never met. It was good to be out of the house one night a week, and meeting new folks.

I, however, am not a bowler. This has been apparent over the last 8 months. I've been consistantly inconsistant. I will say that the highest game I had was a 154. For me, that was pretty impressive, considering my aferage is a 103. I have no idea what I did differently that game, but have not done it again.

I've been a good sport about my many gutter balls, and missed balls, and yes, even a dropped ball. My teammates have been reserved, as they didn't know me to this point, and didn't want to hurt my feelings. They have SLOWLY learned that I am a smartass through and through and that sarcasm is just a natural part of my being. So after many, many, many quotes of "Good Try, Ann" finally in the last few weeks that were able to laugh with me.

It was also in the last few weeks, that someone finally told me the basics (or findamentals) of bowling. A few "A-HA" moments here and there helped. I thought that buying my own bowling ball would help. It did minimally. But one man actually taught me how to bowl. I guess it was pity, as the next to the last week, my first game was a 70. My lowest game of the league so far. So after showing me a few basics, my second game of that night was a 95. Now that's more in line with my average. My third game that night (after retraining my brain, and applying my new-found knowledge) was a 123. Yes, a 53 pin difference from my first game of the night.

This week was the last week of bowling for this league. Still applying my newly attained knowledge, my first game was a 100. My second game was a 103. And my third game was a 134.

I may need to work in bowling once a week, to try to stay motivated and on track in case I'm invited back next year.

And I think I will be. Along with (kind of) learning a new sport(?), I also met some awesome people, and turned them into friends. I started out knowing one person, and left knowing several more.

Who knows... Maybe I'll break 200 next year!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Bizarre Random Quiz

I have no idea how I compare to others. One person I saw scored a 5. Wonder what that says about me........


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Rental Property

3 Words.....

Don't Do It!

At this time in my life, I have a house that I own, but don't live in. I rent it out. Could make me a slumlord, I suppose, but silly me, I take care of the place. The tenants don't. I've spent the last week or so just trying to get the house rentable again. Cleaning, painting, tearing out carpet. Spending money. Spending money. Spending money. Ugh. It seems like a never-ending process. New carpet, new storm door, etc.... Last time, I handled it all on my own. I don't think that's going to happen again. I've interviewed a Property Management Company, and will most likely go that route. It will cost yet more money, but the headache will be somewhat less. Hopefully. Cross your fingers.....

Monday, April 14, 2008

Physical Labor

Ok - Some people are cut out for physical labor, and some aren't. While I'm not opposed to it every now and then, I really don't enjoy a full weekend of it. Especially when it's for something that I didn't cause to begin with....

I have washed walls, painted, and ripped up and removed carpet/padding/and tack strips. I'm in no big hurry to do it again any time soon. I'm pretty sore, and still have to bowl this week. Hopefully, it won't impact my game too much. LOL! That's another post.....

Friday, April 11, 2008

Reality Shows - Love 'em or Hate 'em?

I personally LOVE reality shows. I'm constantly getting sucked into a new one. And I'm unabashed about the ones that I like. Currently, I am watching The Biggest Loser, American Idol, Survivor, and Big Brother. I really, really wanted to watch Dancing with the Stars, but there were too many conflicts, and not enough space on the DVR. I also try to catch "The Ultimate Coyote Ugly" on the CMT network. And just finished watching the Celebrity Apprentice.

They are usually predictable, to a point, and you can sometimes see what's coming. I don't mind this too much as there are usually some interesting challenges on these shows. Occasionally, there are BIG surprises. This week, there were a couple....

On Biggest Loser - the two remaining women stayed above the yellow line, and the two remaining men dropped below. Kind of a shocker, as that's backwards from usually happens in this game. It's also odd that one of the women is one that I didn't expect to get very far, and certainly not to the finale. Good for her. It's exciting that there is a possibility that a woman could actually win this year, and be the FIRST female Biggest Loser.

On American Idol - One of the top guys went home this week. I certainly didn't expect to see him in the bottom three, and was even more blown away by his departure. Wow. And I thought he did excellent...

Most of these shows are nearing their end. Finales are coming up within the next few weeks. Should be interesting to see if there are any other big surprises!


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Google People

Do you ever "google" people that you know? Maybe someone from high school, or old friends, or even family members? It's amazing what you can find. Sometimes, there are no hits on who I'm looking for, but other times, it's a jackpot.

Try it sometime. When you have a few minutes, google people that you know. Be prepared, though! You never know what you'll find.....


Why not?

It seems like everyone and their brother has blogs nowadays. So, I thought, Why Not me? Here it is. This will likely be random thoughts on different subjects. You never know what you might find here.....