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Lance Bass at Sacred Heart

Monday October 15th Lance came to Sacred Heart University as part of their lecture series. While the lecture was geared towards the students there it was open to the public and we very well may have been some of the oldest fans that showed up… but ain’t nothin’ wrong with that! Lance ended up talking about various topics for almost an hour – his failed Russian space mission, growing up and not knowing he could be a musician, getting the call asking him to be in *NSYNC, the Brady Bunch house, being an actor, causes that he supports and that are near and dear to his heart, coming out as Gay and how growing up without any out role models affected him and how he wants to help be a role model for LBGT kids today…. The last 15 minutes or so were reserved for questions and I have to say that I’ve been to a few events like this and they were probably the best questions as a whole that I had ever heard asked. Definitely touched on some great subjects like what projects he has in the works (an *NSYNC broadway show? A documentary about Lou Pearlman? New *NSYNC merch coming out…) Afterwards we hung around and were able to catch Lance leaving and get pics with him and I chatted with his husband Michael a bit as well.

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Hanson at The Big E

Friday September 14th was the first day of the Big E and Hanson was the entertainment for the evening at the Court of Honor Stage.  After finding “handicapped” parking in a pile of mud, we rode a golf cart to the main entrance, took a bit of a walk around and realized 2nd row was up for grabs for the show.  We hit up one of the fried food stations for lunch (funnel cake and deep fried oreos – lunch of champions) and then snagged a spot in the 2nd row for the day, knowing we would be seeing Street Beat at 1pm and 6pm and Blessid Union of Souls at 3pm.  We also had a good laugh that you couldn’t bring any weapons inside – but wonder knifes and the like were readily available for purchase once you made it inside of the fair.

Street Beats first performance left something to be desired, but the second they used a lot of kids as their volunteers from the audience and that seemed to make things a lot more fun and exciting.  Blessid Union of Souls was a pleasant surprise – I had remembered “Hey Leonardo” from the 90s but had completely forgotten they also had a hit with “I Believe”  The lead singer wore a shiny shirt that had to have not been able to breathe at ALL… and he was covered in sweat by the end of their awesome 1 hour set.

Hanson came out for a soundcheck which drew in quite a crowd – many not realizing that it was not their actual set until after they left. (Are there really people out there that think they only play their songs only halfway through during concerts?)  The crowd got larger and larger until the show started at 8pm and I never did manage to turn around to see just how big the crowd got but was told by friends who were in the back that the crowd went allllll the way back.  (Maybe if the have Hanson back they will get to play the bigger stage next time!)  They did a set mixed of hits and other fan favorites and although I probably would have pulled a couple of songs out of the set if I was in charge of making the list, it was a pretty solid setlist.  Very high energy for about an hour and a half!

My one regret was giving up waiting for the guys to come out after the show – when we left and just ended up in stand-still traffic on the highway anyway due to an accident.  Oh well, hindsight is 20/20

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Hanson String Theory Denver

When the Denver, CO date was initially announced I said I was *not* going even though I could have pulled off going for the weekend using NO vacation days at all.  Once I saw the layout of the venue, I ended up getting myself a ticket and started planning the trip.  Initially I decided to fly in on Saturday and out on Sunday, but realized with it being a Friday off from work and the Rockies were in town (For 90s night, no less) it was worth it to cross off hitting up Coors Field for a game from the Bucket List.

The Rockies played the Los Angeles Dodgers and oddly enough, two of the members of the team have a bit of a Hanson connection.  Yasiel Puig was in an ESPN Sports Center commercial that featured “MMMBop” as an “at-bat song” and Joc Pederson had his at-bat music high jacked a few years back to “MMMBop” which resulted in him hitting a grand slam.  The Hanson connection must have worked in the Dodgers favor as they ended up beating the Rockies 4-2. (And sadly, my Rockies fave, Charlie Blackmon, went 0-5 on the night.)

 

Saturday we ended up hitting up the 16th Street Mall for a bit as well as taking a trek out to Red Rocks to see the Amphitheater and the surrounding area.  I was the only one of the group that had been there before so I got to play a bit of “tour guide” and point out where Hanson’s name was on the wall under 1998 – and we were happy to see that it was added for the 2015 show I had attended there as well!

Saturday evening it was time for my 2nd String Theory show.  The venue was just as exciting as I had hoped and the sound was 100x better than I had imagined it would be.  In Pittsburgh, a lot of the songs seemed to be drowned out by Hanson and I wasn’t sure if they were just playing too loudly and the orchestra too softly or if the sound mix wasn’t quite on par or if that’s just how everything was going to end up sounding.  In Denver I had none of those questions and everything sounded completely amazing.  The conductor/maestro Christopher Dragon was also a pleasure to watch as he absolutely got into it the whole show.  Honestly, I think I was watching him more than Hanson for the majority of the show.  From my view he definitely stole the show!  I wish that he could just join the entire tour, he was that great.

The problem with writing this review a week removed from the show is now I can’t remember any of the highlights I had wanted to mention.  This show seemed to go by much, much quicker than the Pittsburgh show, I am not sure if it is because I knew what was coming or because it sounded so amazing and I just didn’t want it to ever end.  Much like Pittsburgh, there seemed to be a natural progression with people deciding to stand up near the end of the show during I Was Born.  Me Myself and I was the song that made me tear up (but not Broken Angel like last show) and there may have been one in the 2nd part as well but I can’t remember now.  It’s kind of funny how the same setlist can hit you in an entirely different way based on what lyrics you are intently paying attention to and what might be going on in your life at that moment.  I’m glad I have Hanson concerts and weekends with my Hanson friends to run away to.

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Book Review: Grump

Snow White is my favorite Disney Princess and has been since i was a kid and Grumpy has recently become my favorite dwarf, since a great interaction with him at Disney World!  So I was pretty pumped when I saw this book that seemed to be about Grumpy.

This book is told from the dwarves perspective – they are usually born way, way underground but this dwarf in particular was born close to the surface absolutely hated being down far in the ground.  So then he was NOT happy when he was added as the “seventh” dwarf – the one that everyone can boss around – working down almost as far as you can go.

But somehow, the crew ended up at the surface and interacting with the Queen and her step-daughter, Snow White.  He and the Queen are fast friends because they are both outcasts, but he also has a special spot for Snow White – and ends up saving her life.  This is all the story of Snow White and the 7 Dwarves from “Grump’s” perspective – but years later after Snow White passed away, humans continued to tell the story and forgot/decided that the dwarves all didn’t have real names – and more and more of the story got changed to be more about the humans, because humans always need to be the center of attention!

This is a really nice and different perspective on a story you’ve probably heard over and over again.  My favorite quote from the book was: “I just wish I’d known that getting your wish comes with its own load of rubble”

I received a free e-copy of  this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

From the New York Times bestselling author of Rump, comes the true story behind another unlikely hero: a grumpy dwarf who gets tangled up in Snow White’s feud with the wicked queen.

Ever since he was a dwarfling, Borlen (nicknamed “Grump”) has dreamed of visiting The Surface, so when opportunity knocks, he leaves his cavern home behind.
At first, life aboveground is a dream come true. Queen Elfrieda Veronika Ingrid Lenore (E.V.I.L.) is the best friend Grump always wanted, feeding him all the rubies he can eat and allowing him to rule at her side in exchange for magic and information. But as time goes on, Grump starts to suspect that Queen E.V.I.L. may not be as nice as she seems. . . .
When the queen commands him to carry out a horrible task against her stepdaughter Snow White, Grump is in over his head. He’s bound by magic to help the queen, but also to protect Snow White. As if that wasn’t stressful enough, the queen keeps bugging him for updates through her magic mirror! He’ll have to dig deep to find a way out of this pickle, and that’s enough to make any dwarf Grumpy indeed.

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Chrissy Metz This is Me book tour

Chrissy Metz, better known as Kate from This is Us, recently released a book aptly titled “This is Me” and one of her tour stops on the book tour was in Clinton, CT!  We bought tickets right away and they quickly sold out.  Due to the demand, the book store found a larger venue to hold the event at and released even more tickets, which again promptly sold out.  When I arrived at the school the event was being held at, I was not surprised to see very few men in line.  The event, set to start at 7pm started more like 7:30PM with Chrissy chatting a bit about the book and her life and getting the role of Kate with one of our local newscasters.  After the chat, around 8pm, they began lining us up row by row to go meet Chrissy.  We couldn’t get photos with her (posed) but we did get a chance to chat with her briefly which was really nice.  She signed the books and off we went.  There were about 700 people there so the poor girl was there hours singing – but seemed genuine and grateful to everyone for coming out to see her.  I haven’t had a chance to read the book yet, but expect a review once I do end up getting around to it! (As you can probably tell, I am working through the backlog of a lot of other books that I have to read!)

 

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Advantages of Having Your Child Study Music

Your child might be at a crossroads. Perhaps he or she might not have any special interests in school. If this is the case, you might want to consider encouraging your son or daughter to begin studying music if your child’s school offers a music program. There are many reasons why this is a good idea. Unfortunately, there are many schools that are looking for ways to cut their budget and the music program is usually one of the first things to go. Here are a few of the key reasons why your child can definitely benefit from starting to learn music at an early age.

1. Reading music is something that will be simpler to learn for children when they are at an early age.

There are many things which young minds can more easily absorb than adults. This is because the development of a child’s brain has not finished yet. Therefore, doing something like learning a foreign language is easier for children than adults. Learning to read music is a lot like learning a new language. There is a great deal of memorization involved. Getting an early start on learning all of the various aspects that are involved in reading music will help to make your child a better musician.

2. Your child will find it easier to make friends if he or she plays music.

Playing music is a social activity. It is certainly not something that a person can easily do alone. There are many children who are socially awkward and do not make friends easily. If this is the case, getting your child involved in his or her school’s music program will allow him or her so associate with other children. These interactions might lead to friendships that will last for many years.

3. Music will allow your child to be creative.

Your child might develop a passion for music that leads him or her to begin writing original songs. The process of writing a song is no different than painting a picture. The same level of creativity is involved. You start with nothing and end up with a unique creation. It is always good to encourage creativity in young children.

4. Playing in a school band is a good extracurricular activity to have on a college application.

There are many things that colleges look at when they are trying to decide if they should admit an applicant. All of these schools have different criteria that they use. One of the key things they look at involves which extracurricular activities that the applicants were involved in at their high school. Colleges tend to like applicants who have a musical background. Therefore, having played in the school band could help your child get accepted into various colleges.

5. Your son or daughter might decide to make a living playing music.

Your child might discover that he or she has a natural gift where music is concerned. This might lead your child to determine that music is something he or she wants to pursue as a career. Coran Capshaw has managed numerous professional musicians. Business leader Coran Capshaw has spent many years helping some of the biggest names in music achieve greatness. Your child might become the next superstar by studying music in school.

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Rhode Island Comic Con

I’ve done a couple days of Comic Cons before but never a full fledged weekend. But when Rhode Island Comic Con kept adding more and more of my favorites, a couple of my house elves and I decided we had to do it.  Friday afternoon the show kicked off and we started it off by meeting Elijah Wood and Sean Astin and then heading over to the LOTR panel.  The next morning I got up bright and early to make sure that we got there in time for me to get my photo with Sean Astin and Elijah Wood.  We also met Jason Isaacs of Harry Potter (and many other things) and then my friends opted to go to Jason Isaacs panel while I somehow got myself in the middle of all the Stranger Things insanity trying to get into that panel.  They had chosen the smaller of the two rooms for the panel, and last second decided to switch into the larger one because there was just so, so, so many people that wanted in – the whole upstairs area was just jam packed.  I ended up making it in and it was so hilarious and so much fun – aside from the grown ass woman that fell on my lap trying to rush into the seat next to me… really?  We closed out the night with our Jason Isaacs photo-ops and were ready to head back again for day 3. My friend and I fell in love with Sean Astin so we added a photo op with him for our last day and went through his autograph line again.  My NSYNC girls met me to meet Joey Fatone (although I will admit I walked past his booth and giggled many, many times before actually going over to talk to him Sunday)  I finally made it to the line for Gaten Matarazzo when it wasn’t completely shut off for way too many people wanting to meet him and not enough room… we had our photo ops with Joey (probably my fave op, ever) and closed out the weekend watching the cosplay costume contest.  The weekend was a ton of fun and we are looking forward to seeing what guests will be there next year!

 

 

 

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Hanson in Boston

Sunday night was time for my second double header as I headed to Boston to see Hanson at the House of Blues.  The line was around and around the block which was insane. Fortunately the Hanson.net Members Only Line was just finishing going in so we were able to hop in it and enter the venue.  My seat was on the balcony on Isaac’s side – although since I had bought the tickets I was convinced I had the stadium seats. It was a nice surprise since the stadium seats were much further back than I had expected. If I leaned at just the right angle I could see all guys, but for the most part my view was Taylor and Zac and Isaac looking like he was in jail due to the bars around the balcony!

I opted to crowd watch a bit more this show than usual, probably because I had such a great view of the GA Floor below me and the Boston crowd did not disappoint.  There were a couple of younger girls in the crowd singing along at what appeared to be the top of their lungs (with feeling) to every song.  There was a girl dancing with the merch guy to Weird-  complete with her twirling him. And that same girl’s reaction when This Time Around started was gold. Probably because it was the complete opposite to my usual reaction when they start that song.

Highlights included – me making it through With You In Your Dreams without crying (the trick is to try and ignore the fact that you are at a concert and check your social media accounts that you had neglected for the last hour or so) and I Don’t Want To Go Home as the encore.

We didn’t stay for the after party this night as it was a “school night” and I was disappointed to find out that Zac came out by the buses relatively quickly after the show – but I think the extra sleep before heading to work on Monday was more necessary than another photo with Zac. (At least, that is what I am going to keep telling myself)

Still one more double-header to go… and this time I’ll be adding 2 new states to my map!

 

Already Home
Waiting For This
Where’s The Love
Look At You
Tragic Symphony
Thinking ‘Bout Somethin’
Great Divide
This Time Around
Weird
Go
Madeline
Juliet
Strong Enough To Break
Penny and Me
Watch Over Me
With You In Your Dreams
On and On
I Was Born
A Minute Without You
Get The Girl Back
I’m A Man / Gimme Some Lovin’ / Long Train Runnin
MMMBop
If Only
Fired Up
In The City

Encore:
I Don’t Want To Go Home
Lost Without Each Other

 

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Scrapbook Saturday: Wizarding World 3

Harry Potter Wizarding World

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