Monday, August 24, 2009

Tour of the Universe!!! aka the Depeche Mode Experience

This passed weekend I went to my 7th Depeche Mode concert. This is something that should be experienced at least once in a lifetime, and I'm lucky enough to make to 7. I've had the privilege to attend DM concerts with friends, some of the same friends more than once, and my husband for three of them, though the first time he attended with me, we weren't married yet. Chris came with me for this recent Tour of the Universe tour at the US Air Arena (formally America West Arena) in Phoenix.

As usual, DM did NOT disappoint (how could they? It's DM for heaven's sake!!!), even though with this tour, the band was showing their age with some health problems that prompted the cancellation of some American and European and South American shows.
Crying 2 of the 5 recent California shows were canceled just in the last couple weeks, so I was VERY nervous about lowly ol' boring Phoenix being canceled. But thankfully, it didn't happen. The DM boyz have been going strong since 1979-80. Now they're 48 and 49 years old. It makes sense that some of their age is showing in what has effected the concert. But other than that, they manage to be completely immortal - if that makes any sense. Their performances are as awesome as ever. And Dave was always adorable, but at 48 he's sexier than ever.

At this passed weekend's show, it was pretty clear in some spots that Dave's voice had issues (that is what prompted the cancellation of San Francisco and San Diego - voice rest), but the show was still amazing. Chris complained a little about Dave having the audience sing some of the main lines and parts, but I have NEVER had a problem with that (Chris is a DM fan by marriage though, so you can't expect him to completely understand. lol) because it's part of the "experience", not Dave being lazy. Yes, Thumbs Up!

The second to the last song was Personal Jesus. Now while that is a major hit for them and has stood the test of time since its 1989 release, I wouldn't have been upset if it wasn't sung (it has been overplayed since its release, so for me, it's kind of been worn out). BUT...the video graphics they used with it were....omigosh...I can't completely be frank with how I felt about it due to the "mixed company" of readers to my blog. But this should do the trick:

Get the point?

And the ANTHEMS of Depeche Mode - at least as far as I'm concerned - Enjoy the Silence and It's No Good
(I have added those to the top of my playlist for now), Never Let Me Down Again, and Question of Time. Holy-Climatic-Stellar-Sounds, Batman!! I remember in the Singles Tour in 98' how they OPENED with Question of Time. Rockin. Perfection. Completely STELLAR.

I also added the 2004 version of Enjoy the Silence and further down on my playlist is the standard 1990 version, along with other faves like Wrong, Precious, and so many others. I have so many DM faves, that I always leave something out.

My only complaints of this recent "experience" (it's not a concert. It's an experience): The one person in the whole arena who snuck in smokes and lit up cigarettes was next to me.
No, Thumbs Down!No, Thumbs Down!No, Thumbs Down! I thought about ratting him out, but he was such a devoted fan and otherwise very cool and polite, I decided to risk the few minutes off my life his three cigarettes caused, and let it go for the love and devotion of the band.n But if someone else ratted him out, I wouldn't have exactly cared.

And then there was the idiot behind us that would go, "Yeeah!..yeeah!..yeeah!" like an elephant seal with too much testosterone. I almost preferred smoker guy to elephant seal guy.

Other than that....Holy Shiitake Mushrooms!!!! It was awesome!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

One Way to Tell Your Son is Clearly in Kindergarten!

So Chris comes home from work about 45 minutes early (seriously, a treat!), but is grumpy but tells the kids to get in the car so they can go get Tacos for Taco Tuesday at the local dive. Chris was in a "let's go now! go! go! go!" state of mind.

Christian didn't have shoes on.
Chris says, "get your shoes on,"
Christian says, "okay. But I have to do three things first (this is complete with finger gestures, holding up number of fingers as he spoke)
  • "First, I have to peeee..."
  • "Second, I have to turn off the computer...."
  • Third, I -"
Chris cut him off before we got to the third one and said, "stop talking about it and go DO it." I had to go laugh somewhere. But my laughing was interrupted by the fact that there was a missing shoe and Christian was no help in finding it because he was in the middle of the first one from his list: peeeeing

I am hoping to update this blog soon with some fun little artsy examples from my students in these first weeks of the new school year. I took the photos of the artwork, but now I have to pursue actually uploading them and sorting. What didn't help was the first week of school for my students (second week for Christian and Mikelle), some throat/achy thing hit me. It was bad enough to have called in sick if it WASN'T THE FIRST WEEK OF SCHOOL! Then Chris got it the following week. But so far *knocking on wood* the kids seem to have escaped it.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Absence of logic, school "daze", my classroom up for underwire support, and my hair, of course!

I admit how incredibly sucky I have been with this blog. My baby started kindergarten this week, my other baby is a.....(I'm choking up here, trying to get it out...)....FOURTH grader, and the first day for my students is in two days. I am not ready yet, even though I spent 5 hours today in my classroom. That's right, on a Saturday. Thankfully, I brought my crew. I violated child labor laws with Christian helping me transfer some junk from the artroom to an empty classroom for storage of the "stuff".

Isn't this adorable? Chris helping his daddy put up a shelf for me today: Chris also helped with some computer issues that IT never responded to with a work order I filled out earlier this week. Therefore, I just dragged Chris down there to fix the problem. I love my husband!

I still don't get why the school years have started earlier and earlier in the summer. When I was a kid, we started in late August. It was the 3rd or 4th week in August, at the earliest, that I have memory of. Now? Teachers are due back in the classrooms in July and students start at the end of July (like Mikelle and Christian) or beginning of August (such as my students). There's never money for education, but they'll start school at a time that will add more weeks of horrendously high electrical bills due to the air-conditioning being cranked to the max. Go figure. That's the kind of "logic" (<--and I use that term lightly) that exists in this backwards state of Arizona.

This is the same state that our Republican Legislature is cutting more education from the budget (the same Republicans that spout of "family values" but are quick to screw over our children in the classroom). This is the same state that has a Wal-Mart every 3 miles along the 202 in the East Valley. This is the same state that will be building new businesses even though closed down vacant spaces are a stone's throw from the new builds. And why for the vacancy and so many businesses that have closed? Over building and planning on the economy to be rosy all this time. However, more building continues. I.just.don' Instead of "getting it" I just have to get out of this state. However, we've been through that. It's probably not going to happen. I have an entry in my January archives with that explanation. Our Wickenburg plan is still in the works, but still not in the near future.

There I go again. Once again, I get on my soapbox of my frustrations with the political and nature of the climate in this state. However, when it comes to the classroom, my students deserve the best Art Education I can give them. Supplies are scarce, and I am looking for additional grants and other resources to help get some funds and art supplies into my classroom. A grant I had good feelings about sent the rejection letter about a month ago, and as much as there are a lot of grants out there, it is difficult to find one that my classroom qualifies to even apply for. There are so many stipulations that often turn what looks to be a promising grant into another brick wall. See? There I go again. That is why I haven't updated my blog like I should. I get into the downers again. I promise it's not permanent.

For information about helping out with my classroom (no donation is too big or small!), please click on the "support my classroom" icon on the top right hand side of this page.

But hey, there is happiness! Last week I got my hair cut and colored again! Well, I couldn't start a new year with scary roots, could I? But I can't get my brows waxed again for another week. Oh well. That's where the tweezers come in. Ouch!