COVID-19 and Concerts


I thought that I wouldn’t be in school in March-May, so I jam packed my schedule with concerts.  I had made a New Year Resolutions of sorts to only try to do concerts during the weekends (Thursdays of Off Friday weeks count as weekend) as leaving work early to get up to shows was getting harder and harder to do as my responsibilities at he job increased.  The only exception was that shows in Fairfield could be done any day of the week because it is so nearby.  Despite these restrictions, it seemed like every show I wanted to go to was on a weekend! So I filled up my plate – and then realized that the final course I needed to graduate would NOT be offered in the Fall – and SURPRISE! March 16 – May 4th I’d now need to spend on research for a 15 page Capstone final paper.  :-O  (I think the Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone “AHH” gif was most appropriate)  But I had managed to finish course assignments at airports and on the beach in Hawaii and Jamaica so I wasn’t going to let a few concerts stop me.

Well, I guess the Universe had another idea.  I had 13 concerts scheduled from March – May.  Here’s a breakdown of where we are at now:

  1. March 11 – John K radio show – canceled due to health concerns the afternoon of the show
  2. March 28 – Mandy Moore – venue closed to end of March, Mandy postponed tour
  3. April 2 – BBMak – rescheduled to October 2020
  4. April 4 – Dashboard Confessional – DC says tour is postponed.  Venue/ticketmaster say nothing
  5. April 18 – Stephen Kellogg – going virtual, I can watch from my living room
  6. April 19 – Stephen Kellogg – going virtual, I can watch from my living room
  7. April 28 – David Archuleta – tour postponed, venue closed until end of April
  8. April 30 – Eric Hutchinson – venue closed through May
  9. May 1 – Niall Horan – no news yet, but this will probably be the next cancellation
  10. May 10 – Ben Folds – venue closed through May, postponed
  11. May 15 – Hanson – postponed to 2021
  12. May 16 – Hanson – postponed to 2021
  13. May 17 – Hop Jam – postponed to 2021

My one concert a month streak – which I started in January 2009 came to an end in February 2020.  I guess it will have a * now, as you can see, I should have had shows in March, April and May.  It also seems like my fall is going to end up pretty jam packed, but that’s ok because I will be graduating in August! (Although the graduation ceremony was supposed to be in May and is now TBD)

Carrie Underwood – Find Your Path

Carrie Underwood announced that she’d be doing a book tour to go along with her new book, “Find Your Path” and one of the stops on the tour was in Connecticut!  Since I was a fanclub member after her playing Foxwoods this fall, that meant I got to get the first crack at tickets when they went on sale at 10am.  Unfortunately a coworker called a meeting and by the time we were through, the fan club allotment had sold out and I’d have to wait for the general sale at noon.  Well, I was ready and within seconds they were once again marked as sold out.  I added my name to the waiting list and figured there’d be no way I’d ever make my way off of it, but just a couple of days before the event was supposed to happen I got the email that my name came up and I could purchase a ticket.  Tickets were cheap – only about $33 – and included a signed copy of the book, a Q&A with Carrie and a photo with her!

It was pouring rain when I arrived, but I got in line and shortly after they let us inside to sit and wait as the line was quickly taking over the hallway they had us in.  Carrie came out along with her trainer and her friend and there was a nice conversation about her working out, diet, etc.  I have recently started making some changes and trying to count calories to lose some weight and I have started putting some of the things she mentioned to work in my diet.  You can’t stop eating what you love, but make substitutions to make them healthier.  I am not much of a veggie eater (Carrie went on about how she loves them and you can eat whole heaping plates of them!) so when it was photo time I asked her what she suggested as a “starter veggie”  she wasn’t sure, she loves them all, but suggested I try carrots and corn on the cob to ease myself into them.

Little did I know, this was going to be one of my last events for the foreseeable future, as COVID-19 has taken over and social distancing becomes the norm.

Book Review: Words from the White House

Words from the White House is all about words and phrases that are made popular by or were created by Presidents!  There is a section on firsts- Jefferson the first to wear long trousers and George HW Bush the first to publicly refuse Broccoli.  Madison came up with the term “squatter”, Wilson dropped the “The” before “Congress”.  There’s also an A-Z list of all the words and it is interesting to see where they began to gain popularity (or existence) and how many are still used today!

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

About the Book

“A compendious, entertaining look at our nation’s leaders through words and turns of phrase.” — Kirkus Reviews

From George Washington’s “New Yorker” and Thomas Jefferson’s “pedicure” to Theodore Roosevelt’s “lunatic fringe,” Richard Nixon’s “silent majority,” and Donald Trump’s “covfefe,” this entertaining and eminently readable volume compiles words and phrases that were coined or popularized by American presidents. Discover the origins of “bloviate” (Warren G. Harding), “military-industrial complex” (Dwight D. Eisenhower), “misunderestimate” (George W. Bush), “squatter” (James Madison), and other terms that have helped define American culture. The entries are listed alphabetically, featuring a definition and — in most cases — a brief discussion that places them in historical context.

“Thoroughly enjoyable.” — The Washington Post

“The author is an essayist and lexicographer who presents this entertaining look at how presidents have used and shaped our language.” — The Dispatch (Columbus)

Book Review: Music Is My Life

Music Is My Life has a lot of ways to help you cope with life through music – cry it out, get creative with it, shout about it.  Of the artists mentioned in the book, I had seen about 10 of them live, which was pretty cool.  There are song examples and facts about them and they are all split by your moods so you can choose your playlist based on how you are feeling.  There are some really cool illustrations in this book and all  genres and eras of music seem to be included so at least someone you’re interested in should be in here!

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

About the Book

Do you remember the first time you discovered an artist you really loved? Have you listened to them over and over again at different points throughout your life?

This book harnesses that feeling, by collecting together 80 of music’s finest artists to guide young people through the good, bad and sad times. Whatever the feeling, these artists have been there and sung about it. Organised by mood, young ones can dip into the library to discover new artists from decades past to present day.

Fall in love with Mariah Carey, shout about it with Nirvana, love yourself with Lizzo, or cry it out with Adele. With 80 artists, bands, and composers from all genres (including classical) there’s something for every family member to love and recommend to the next generation.

Each entry contains biographical information on each artist, lists must-hear songs, and has accessible musical analysis from author and journalist Myles Tanzer. Every artist is captured in full-colour, rocking art by Ali Mac. With information at the front on how to soundtrack your mood, and information at the back on how to listen to and make your own music.

A pitch-perfect first introduction to music for tweens. 

Book Review: Stars Before Bedtime

Stars before bedtime is all about the different constellations in the sky.  There are icons for exercises you can do for relaxation before bedtime throughout the book.  I found the stars and constellations in this book to be so cool, that while I was in Jamaica and out on the beach watching the Hanson concerts each night, I would try to see what constellations I could find.  I was able to spot Orion’s belt on my own, but I also used the app “SkyView” to look for even more and was able to find my Zodiac constellation and many more.  If you have a child who is interested in the stars this may be a great book to use before bedtime and combined with the app may be a really cool “hands on” so to speak project for them!

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


About the Book

Create a calm bedtime ritual with this debut book in the Before Bedtime series, Stars Before Bedtime – a soothing journey through the glittering constellations of the night sky woven with tried-and-true sleep exercises from the best-selling author and clinical psychologist Dr. Jessamy Hibberd.

In this fast-paced world, relaxing and preparing for sleep can be difficult for children. This beautiful, fact-filled book helps ease bedtime struggles with mindfulnessmuscle relaxationgentle yoga posesvisualization, and other exercises proven to help kids release stress and anxietyclear their mindsget ready for bed, and fall asleep faster while also boosting happiness and improving overall health.

With gentle, calming artwork from the wonderfully talented Hannah Tolson and simple, melodic text, children explore the sky’s constellations and the mythical stories behind them as they get their minds and bodies ready for bed. Each exercise, called out by a moon symbol, is simple and easy to do. Usher in calm with these and more soothing techniques:

Stretch out on your bed like the snake-like constellation Draco the Dragon—take a deep breath in through your nose and then breathe out all the air through your mouth, making a hissing sound, just like a slithering snake!Close your eyes and picture the ship from the constellation Argo Navis in your head. Now climb on board and let’s go on an adventure. You are the captain of the ship. Maybe you’ll dream of floating through a moonlit sky on broad wings, like Aquila the Eagle. Or perhaps you’ll drift down a glittering stream with Cygnus the Swan.Hold your hands together just like Castor and Pollux, the twins of the constellation Gemini. Rest them on your chest—can you feel your breath moving in and out as your chest rises and falls?

The pages are self-contained so you can start anywhere and complete as many, or as few, exercises as you like. Join your child as they complete the exercises—you might just find something that works for you, too. Tips on mindfulness and extra resources for parents are included at the back of the book. Stargazers of all ages will love this journey through constellations.

Good sleep is essential for growing brains. Each beautifully illustrated book in the Before Bedtime series helps curious children prepare for sleep by uniting a different intriguing non-fiction topic with sleep-inducing mindfulness exercises; an effective alternative to the traditional bedtime story. Fascinating facts are paired with guided relaxation techniques inspired by the topic for a peaceful routine that not only leaves bedtime battles far behind but equips children for success in a hectic world.

Book Review: Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency is a digital currency, like bitcoin.  Crypto means hidden.   Bitcoin uses block chain technology to be created and if you lose it, it is gone forever.  There is a story in this book about someone who buried a hard drive with bitcoin on it – now worth $127 million and it is totally missing.  There are definitely pluses and minuses on using cryptocurrency so it will be interesting to see how things evolve.

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

About the Book

Cryptocurrency is a new digital form of money. It can be transferred, it doesn’t involve banks, and it can be used to purchase items on the internet and in some stores. As cryptocurrency gets more popular and widespread, it will impact people’s lives in new and important ways. Includes glossary, websites, and bibliography for further reading.

Book Review: Online Search

Online Search teaches about the ways you can find things on the internet.  It starts by explaining how early computers were HUGE! and that computer programming is basically a more complex way of saying to give a computer instructions.  Searches aren’t always accurate, but it depends on what you tell it to look for as it can take things very literally.  It also talks a little bit about data privacy concerns – which is a big deal for everyone – and comes up a LOT in my cyber security grad classes!

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

About the Book

Online searches help people find information on the internet. Search engines can help find anything from the weather forecast to an episode of a favorite TV show. With more and more devices performing searches, people can find the information they need anywhere. Includes glossary, websites, and bibliography for further reading.

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