2011 Year In Review Part 2

In January, there was a bit of panic because I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to find a show and I thought that I might lose my streak of one concert every month that had started I believe at some point in 2008.  However, I decided to go see Kicking Daisies in Hamden, even though there was talk of it snowing. (I made it home before anything happened, I don’t recall if anything even did end up happening!)

February kicked off with winning free tickets to check out The Alternate Routes at Daniel Street in Milford.  I met Big Time Rush at the Dunkin Donuts Music Lounge, met Danny Gokey at the Mohegan Sun Wolf’s Den and went to see Clay Aiken but waited at the bus until it began to snow without even so much of a sighting.

March had 2 Hanson radio events in MA and NJ.  They had said they wouldn’t be going on tour so I had to make sure that if I had the chance to see them, I would!  Drake Bell canceled his tour, this ruining my life once again, and I got a refund for the VIP tickets I had bought to meet Emily Osment at the show.  Instead that night I went to see Ocean Grove in New York City.  I met Lee DeWyze at his acoustic cafe (winning tickets just a couple of hours before it was scheduled to start) and then saw him from the front row later that night.

April kicked off with a 2 for 1 special at the Dunkin Donuts Music Lounge with Stealing Angels and DJ Miller.  On a whim, I went to see Ricky Martin at the Mohegan Sun Casino and finished up the month with back to back shows of Ocean Grove in MA and Jon McLaughlin in Fairfield.

In May I took a trip to Tulsa to see Hanson’s Members Only Event and was front row.  I came home and checked out Mat Kearney’s acoustic cafe and the next day, Siobhan Magnus at the casino.  I saw a Gavin DeGraw acoustic cafe, followed by The Ready Set at the Dunkin Donuts Music Lounge and then I headed straight over to Ridgefield to see Javier Colon at the playhouse.  May ended with NKOTBSB at the casino.

In June, I started my new job and then headed BACK to the casino to see NKOTBSB again. I also saw SK6ers at my favorite venue, David Cook at an acoustic Cafe, Hanson in National Harbor, and Honor Society twice on their Wherever You Are tour.

July kicked of with Warped Tour and seeing Simple Plan and ended with Jonny Lang at the Ridgefield Playhouse – which was an amazing show!

In August I saw The Voice contestants live from the 3rd row, Siobhan Magnus from the 3rd row, Britney Spears from the not 3rd row (didn’t feel like paying $1k for that!), Joe Jonas and others at Ticket to ride and finished out the month with 2 American Idol shows.  One I won tickets to and the other I had VIP tickets for.  Turns out, I also had a front row ticket right at the center of the catwalk!

September started with winning tickets to see Steven Page (formerly of Bare Naked Laides) at the Wolf Den.  Then I took a trip to DC to see friends and they took me to see Stevie Nicks at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, VA. When I got home, I went to see Ingram Hill for the first time in YEARS, finally got to meet Elliott Yamin and finished out the month with checking out Kicking Daisies at the Ridgefield Playhouse and then Josh Gracin at the Mohegan Sun Wolf Den.

In October, Hanson came around on their tour (yeah, the one they said wasn’t happening) and I saw them in New Haven, Boston and New York.  I would have seen them in Albany too, but that show got canceled due to Taylor being really sick. (They canceled 4 shows for the first time ever due to being sick).  I also checked out Action Item VIP style (and thought I’d miss all the VIP fun when I got in a car accident just up the street from the venue!) and saw Katie Stevens perform at Mohegan Sun, meeting her afterwards.

November brought a Mat Kearney show, a trip to PA solo to see and meet David Cook (and see his show with Gavin DeGraw from the front row!), a last minute decision to check out Katy Perry live, Action Item’s New Jersey homecoming and 2 Honor Society shows on the Rock The Red Kettle tour. (Which now brings me to a total of 30 Honor Society shows!)

December kicked off with the TIC Christmas show with Christina Perri, Gavin DeGraw, The Fray and KELLY CLARKSON! Who I have always wanted to see but didn’t ever have the opportunity to before! It ended with checking out Action Item opening for Ariana Grande’s first concert ever in NYC!

It was quite an exciting year and I hope that 2012 is just as much fun 🙂

Year in Review – 2011

Most expensive show:  American Idols Live VIP – $254.75
Least (not free) expensive show:  Kicking Daisies at The Space – $9.72
Free shows:  Alternate Routes, Big Time Rush, Danny Gokey, Hanson (x3), Lee DeWyze (x2), Stealing Angels, DJ Miller, Mat Kearney, Siobhan Magnus (x2), Gavin DeGraw, The Ready Set, David Cook, Steven Page, Stevie Nicks, Josh Gracin, Katie Stevens, Katy Perry
# artists seen:  164
# unique artists seen: 89
# shows seen in CT:   37
# of shows out of state:  17
Show farthest away:  Hanson in Tulsa, OK
Closest show:  Alternate Routes at Daniel Street in Milford, CT
$$ spent on tickets:  $1,780.38
Miles traveled: 10,826

Top 6 shows​ of the year?​​​
Jon McLaughlin Fairfield, CT
NKOTBSB Uncasville CT
Hanson National Harbor, MD
American Idol Bridgeport, CT
Jonny Lang Ridgefield, CT
David Cook York, PA

Total​ numbe​r of shows​ in 2011?

First​ show of the year?​​​
Kicking Daisies Hamden, CT

First​ show with actua​l ticke​ts:​​​
Kicking Daisies Hamden, CT

Last show of the year?​​​
Ariana Grande in NYC

Most surpri​sing show?​​​
Katy Perry Hartford, CT

Most disap​point​ing?​​​
Drake Bell tour being canceled.

Farth​est trave​led?​​​
Tulsa, OK to see Hanson

State​s atten​ded shows​ in?

Venue​ most visit​ed?​​​
Dunkin Donuts Music Lounge (aka Clear Channel Studios)

Worst​ injur​y?​​​
Not to me – but my car got hit on the way to see Action Item at The Space.

Most expen​sive ticke​t?​​​
American Idol VIP ticket $254. (Most expensive non VIP was Britney Spears at $198)

Band seen the most?​​​
Hanson – 7

Best new disco​very?​​​
Action Item, Javier Colon

Bands​ seen this year that also broke​ up this year?​​​
None that I know of

Frien​ds made at shows​?​​​
None that I can think of

Band membe​rs met?
Big Time Rush, Danny Gokey, Hanson, Ocean Grove, Lee DeWyze, Stealing Angels, DJ Miller, Jon McLaughlin, Mat Kearney, Siobhan Magnus, Gavin DeGraw, The Ready Set, Javier Colon, David Cook, Honor Society, Action Item, Katelyn Tarver, Naima Adeapo, Thia Megia, Paul McDonald, Pia Tuscano, Stefano Langone, Casey Abrams, Jacob Lusk, Haley Reinhart, James Durbin, Lauren Alaina, Scotty McCreery, Elliott Yamin, Charlie Mars, Katie Stevens, Duran and Ben from Kicking Daisies

Best souvenir​ from a show?​​​
Ocean Grove signed poster designed by Garbo, Hanson limited edition silk screen posters from 3 shows

Longe​st time in line?​​​
Action Item’s hometown show in New Jersey… but even that was only a couple of hours

Shows​ seen from the barri​cade [​​​front​ row]​​​-​​​-​​​
Big Time Rush Dunkin Donuts Music Lounge
Lee DeWyze Acoustic Cafe
Lee DeWyze Sacred Heart
Hanson Cain’s Ballroom Tulsa
Hanson National Harbor
American Idol Webster Bank Arena
Action Item at The Space
David Cook Pullo Center

Most shows​ in one month​?​​​
May wins with 7, Followed by August, September and November with 6.

Most shows​ in one week?​​​
3 – November 29, 30 & December 1
3 – August 21, 23, 25

Bigge​st crowd​?​​​
NKOTBSB at the Mohegan Sun Arena

Any drunk​ encou​nters​?​​​
Fortunately, no

Top 5 best 2011 conce​rt momen​ts:​​​
Front row dead center on the catwalk for American Idols Live
The NKOTBSB Tour – was so awesome we went again even though we weren’t originally planning on it
Being “caged” in the front row to see Hanson at Gaylord National
Finally seeing Jonny Lang!

Top 5 worst​ 2011 conce​rt momen​ts:​​​
Accident on the way to Action Item in Hamden
Bag check at Oakdale for the christmas show
Bag check at webster hall for the honor society show
Not getting Andy Grammer’s attention after the Ticket To Ride show
Hanson’s show in Albany being canceled the day after I bought a ticket and decided to go


Book Review: Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi

Recently I read Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain by Portia de Rossi.  Ellen had really been pimping this book out on her show when I was watching it last season, so I figured I’d pick myself up a copy and give it a read.

It is the story of Portia de Rossi and her struggles with eating disorders and dealing with being homosexual.  She started her career as a young girl, in modeling.  Her battle with anorexia began when she believed she was too fat and was trying to keep herself thin for modeling jobs.  Once the job was done, she would go on a binge eating McDonalds and then crash diet again a few days before her next shoot.  This worked fine for a while, but once she started booking gig after gig she didn’t have the time to binge and crash diet.

She speaks of her diet and how she went to see someone to help her eat healthy.  She would then take the amount of calories she was told to eat, and eat even less than that to lose weight.  Her family started to notice that she was way to skinny, but Portia still believed she had more weight to lose.

Throughout the book she talks about how she had to hide that she was a lesbian and was always paranoid someone would figure it out based on where she was hanging out or where she bought her morning coffee.  There are mentions of Ellen throughout the book and Portia having read a book by Ellen’s mother.  So it was kind of interesting that in the end she ended up married to Ellen 🙂  I also liked the story that she told about how they met and Ellen wanted her to come over and hang out, so she invited a bunch of other people too so it would be like a party… but she only put it together to spend time with Portia – who decided she didn’t want to go!

The story is good proof that no matter how perfect of beautiful someone on TV may be – they are still human and still have their own struggles to deal with. I am glad that Portia has overcome hers and found happiness.


I was not asked to write a review of this book, nor did I receive a free copy in order to write the review.

Get Glue Part 3

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Desperate Housewives: School of Hard Knocks
Dexter: Tooth Fairy
Dirty Soap: Nadia & Brandon
Fringe Experiment Subject
Fringe Subject 9
Gossip Girl: Memoirs Of an Invisible Dan
Greys Anatomy: Poker Face
Hart of Dixie: In Havoc In Heat
Last Man Standing: Grandparents Day
Modern Family: Go Bullfrogs!
EW.com Must List
Pretty Little Liars Halloween Special
Pretty Little Liars Halloween Special : Aria
Pretty Little Liars Halloween Special : Emily
Pretty Little Liars Halloween Special : Hanna
Pretty Little Liars Halloween Special : Spencer
Stick Stickly
The XFactor Judges Houses

Book Review: How To Catch Happy





How To Catch Happy is a short book by Jim F. Kukral.  The book explains how after he started having anxiety attacks, he began to re-evaluate his life.  It was then he realized that what made him happy was fishing – but he hadn’t found time to fish since before he started college.  First he was busy with college parties and then he started his career and was too busy trying to make his clients happy to realize that he was missing out on what made him happy.

There were things I could relate to with this book.  My job doesn’t always make me happy – but it pays the bills and so I can’t really do much about leaving it.  However, I do need to take the time to do things that make me happy, which in a way, is why I started this blog.  I always wanted to run an online magazine when I was a kid, and this is the closest I think I am going to get to that (for now).  So I write about what makes me happy and then that gives me an excuse to continue to do more and more things that make me happy.  So what if my weekends are constantly booked up months in advance with concerts – sometimes I am with friends I have not seen in years and other times I am just checking out a band that I love alone and making new friends.  I may not get in as much sleep as I should be – but so what? I’m happy!

Want to find out how to catch happy yourself? Look for How To Catch Happy on Amazon!

About the Book

Are you happy? Do you want to be? How To Catch Happy, from Jim F. Kukral, is a reminder of how to reconnect with the the inner happiness inside you.

This short read will inspire you to take another look at your life and career and reexamine your priorities.

Got 15-minutes to rediscover what matters most to you?

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Win It! SEO Basics for Bloggers

Sponsored by Tomoson.comEarlier today I posted my review of SEO Basics for Bloggers. Now you have the chance to win your own copy!  Contest ends at 12:01 AM on January 7th.

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Book Review: SEO Basics for Bloggers

SEO Basics for Bloggers is a book written from the transcript of a roundtable discussion between Tricia Meyer and Eric Nagel with hosts Deborah Carney and Vinny O’Hare.  Learn more about it on Web Chimpy. Since it is based off a transcript, it reads like a chat room more so than a book, which I thought made things a bit quicker and easier to read.

Is SEO worth it?

Well, yes it is! No one can dispute the value of rankings in Google. However, SEO is a pretty big technique that you have to implement. It takes planning and research to bring out its effectiveness.

SEO is “Search Engine Optimization” which is where your blog shows up in search engine pages based on the keywords that people use.  You want to use these keywords in your blog – even if they are misspelled! (The group suggests spelling the work properly but also including a note like “Often spelled as: __” so your will have both the correct and incorrect keywords listed in your post)

The discussion revolves a lot around WordPress, but the ideas that they are giving you can be used for any blogging platform.  Just keep in mind that different platforms name things differently so you may have to poke around a bit in order to figure out what the equivalent to a permalink may be.

SEO was something that confused me before reading this book.  While I wouldn’t say I am now an expert, I certanly do have a better grasp on the concept and what I should be doing to help increase my SEO not only on my blogs, but on my HTML websites as well.

You can find out more about this book, and others at:


The book is available for purchase at Amazon through the following link:


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@BookGoodies and @NightFirePubs

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I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Book Review: How To WordPress

How to WordPress is 10 easy steps to creating a killer website using wordpress by Ciprian Chergheschu.  While I do have several blogs through wordpress, I am by no means an expert but was hoping that this e-book would teach me a new tip or trick to help with my blogging, even though this book is more geared for those who want to start a blog and know absolutely nothing about WordPress.

If you are looking to start a blog, this is definitely the guide for you.  I jumped in to WordPress not having a clue how it worked and I basically taught myself everything (by way of googling random things I wanted to try to do and problems I was having).  This book explains a lot of the problems I had in the beginning, and then some.  I certainly recommend being prepared when starting your blog and not just jumping in the deep end and trying to swim like I did.  Wordpress can be a bit overwhelming, but I assure you once you get the basics figured out it isn’t difficult to use at all! This guide will certainly get you off on the right foot.

As I had hoped – I did learn from the book on Step 10 – Optimize and promote your website with SEO & SEM.  This is something I have been struggling to understand and there was a lot of information that I had not found before in my searches.  SEO helps get your site placed on search engines to help more traffic come to it.  You want traffic, so you want to make sure your site is out there enough and has the right keywords to get the visitors you want to your site.  This chapter has a lot of websites to help you out in this aspect and I will be looking in to it more in the upcoming weeks!

Even though this book is only 28 pages, I have to say that it is a MUST HAVE guidebook for anyone looking to go in to blogging on the WordPress platform. (Which I certainly recommend over the competitors.)
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

5 Tech Products that will be dead in 5 years

I was recently reading this article from Techlicious about 5 Tech Products that will be dead in 5 years.  I was surprised that I actually use 4 of the 5 currently and I am not sure how glad I am that they will potentially soon be obsolete!

1 – GPS – I love my Garmin and I am not sure where I would be without it (literally. I would probably be driving around New Jersey somewhere with no idea what the heck I need to do to get home)  I am not sure that I would ever 100% switch over to using my smart phone.  The screen is much smaller, it doesn’t talk to me (at least not the app I have on there now) and I feel like I’d be a lot more nervous to check it than I am with checking the GPS on the dash.

2. Computer CD-Rom/DVD Drives – this is how I install software and how I import my music CDs to the computer.   I can see software now being able to be downloaded – but are CDs really going to disappear to and make EVERYTHING digital? I hope not!  Then what would I have artists sign when I meet them?

3. Wireless Routers – I am kind of ok with this one becoming obsolete.  Ours has so much drama and has to be reset so often that it is kind of a pain in the butt.  I’d welcome a different option for this!

4. Netbooks – I don’t have a netbook nor do I see the purpose for one when I have a laptop so if these go bye bye I won’t really care.

5. eReaders – The thought is that tablets are going to take over for the ereaders. I guess I can see this happening because the tablets will be able to do more than just read a book – but do I really want and need all those distractions? Probably not.  Although considering my Nook is just over a year old and is already missing a line of the screen – this thing is not going to last me forever and I am going to need to replace it in the not so distant future.

Which of these 5 items do you use regularly? Which will you be most sad to see go?

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