Friday, June 7, 2013

O the horror!

Rocky HorrorTomorrow is going to be a good time, because we’re getting together with Shane and Matt. And that’s always a good time!

FIrst, we’re heading to their place to have our Christmas exchange.

YES, I know it’s June! We didn’t quite make it to the point where we could say it was Christmas in July, but it was pretty damn close! Based on everyone’s schedules and activities, we just haven’t managed to do this before now. We’ve seen them a couple of times since Christmas, but it was going out and to a show where we couldn’t exchange gifts. It will be fun! Merry effin’ Christmas!

Then we’ll head to fabulous downtown South Bend and grab a bite to eat at CJ’s Pub (great burgers!) and hang out there until it’s time for the midnight showing of “Rocky Horror Picture Show” at the equally fabulous State Theater.

It’s been about thirty years since I last saw Rocky Horror, guys. I saw it in college at a midnight movie with my friends Barb and Babes. It’s going to be fun to see it at the renovated beauty (work in progress) State Theater! Thanks to Drew for reserving four tickets for us!

You can count on pictures! I’m breaking out the fishnets!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

King, Mellencamp, and Letterman

King, Mellencamp, LettermanLast night, Stephen King and John Mellencamp were on Letterman to promote their musical “Ghost Brothers of Darkland County.”

It was EPIC.

Ken even stayed up late to watch it, and watching it again today, I was cracking up all over again. (I texted my sister about it today, and she was like, “Why didn’t you text me?!” Agh! I’m sorry, Di! haha)

Three of my favorite entertainers in their respective fields, all gathered together and talking. And two of them Hoosiers! It was a freakin’ Bethgasm. I’ve read every Stephen King book; I’ve been to see Mellencamp numerous times over the years; I’ve watched Letterman since his daytime show when I was in college...and we are both Ball State alum!

Seeing these three interact was priceless. I was thinking about why it delighted me so much, and why I love these three guys. I told Ken that I think it’s because they are all at the point where they have this “fuck you” attitude. Like, “We are who we are, and if you don’t like it, well, fuck you!”

I kind of like that. I like it a lot.

They all seem to have a rapport that goes beyond casual friendship. I love that feeling when you really connect with someone...someone who “gets” you and has the same weird sense of humor that you have. I am fortunate to have several people like that in my life, including my hubby!

The musical is coming to our fair town, and I’m super excited to be going to it and to have front row seats! I’m going to order the CD soon so I can get familiar with the songs. Seeing that interview last night made me even more excited to go. I think it’s going to be dark and creepy and brooding...right up my alley!

The interview takes place during about the first nine minutes of this video. Watch soon, before CBS yanks it from YouTube!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

More Stones stuff

Stones vodka4Last week, I saw on Twitter that the Rolling Stones were teaming up with Crystal Head vodka for a limited edition Stones 50th anniversary package.

Well, I was on that like milk on cereal, let me tell ya!

My friend Stephen knows how much I love the Stones and sent me a link to a UK shop that was selling it, but I figured the shipping costs would be crazy. So I did a little searching and found a place here that was selling it for a good price and ordered it immediately. I love their name, too: Liquorama! It was not cheap, but the package is just beautiful.

It’s a little box with a zipper on the front (sadly, it is not a working zipper...*pout*), harkening back to the famous Andy Warhol “Sticky Fingers” cover. The glass skull-shaped bottle is nestled inside, with a Stones tongue logo behind it. The little pull-out drawer beneath the skull contains a double disc of Stones songs. Also included is a glass stopper with the tongue logo embedded within.

This baby really is gorgeous. Even Ken had to admit that yeah, that was worth the price.

If anyone comes over, you’ll know you’re special if I crack open the Crystal Head. For now, I plan on just tucking it away as a collectible. It makes it extra-special that we actually went to one of the shows on the 50 and Counting tour!

Incidentally, Crystal Head vodka is Dan Aykroyd’s baby. I’d heard of it before, but had never bought a bottle. I couldn’t resist this one with the Stones tie-in!

Rolling Stone letter redactedAlso, about an hour before we headed up to the show on Friday, I saw that I had an email from Rolling Stone magazine. I had sent in a comment on their Rolling Stones cover article, and they said they planned on publishing it and wanted to confirm that I was who I said I was and that I am from where I said I was from. Sure enough, I just got the latest issue, and there I am! So I got an email from Rolling Stone just before I headed up for a Rolling Stones concert because they wanted to publish my letter about the Rolling Stones in Rolling Stone.

So meta!

Goin’ down, revisited

Norman tongue2 croppedI feel the need to clarify my previous post about the risks of oral sex and the lack of adequate information about sex in our schools. If my words implied that there is no sex education taking place in our schools, then I didn’t convey my thoughts well.

Of course, there is sex education happening. There was when I was in school, for Pete’s sake.

However, there are still many schools that push an abstinence-only approach; I’m betting that religious schools aren’t real big on teaching safe sex. They’re just saying “Don’t do it.” There is a constant fight to keep state legislatures from limiting the information available in public schools because of outcries from religious conservatives who think that having their kids hear anything about SEX is going to drive them straight into promiscuity. There is also a huge backlash against the HPV vaccine from religious conservatives who think that such a vaccine will also lead to promiscuity.

It seems that in the religious conservative world, all informational roads lead to promiscuity. Hmm.

The truth is that many teenagers think that oral sex is safe sex. (You can read the full CDC report on oral sex here.) In that respect, our sex education is failing kids because we are not teaching them all the risks or giving them all the information that is available. Hell, I bet most adults think that oral sex means safe sex. I stand by my original remarks that we are a nation of prudes that is afraid to talk about such things in a frank and honest way. When I have discussions with friends overseas, they are amused by us, feeling that we are uptight about nudity and sexuality. It’s true, and I chalk it all up to the religious right.

In the meantime, we’ve still got 11 and 12 year old girls getting pregnant. So tell me again how the sex education in our schools is so exceptional?


I would also like to address comment moderation here. I do not have moderation enabled, but as sole proprietor of this hyeah blog establishment, I reserve the right to kill any comment at any time. I do not object to alternative viewpoints, but I object to certain people with a vendetta leaving comments here. What part of “get out of our lives” don’t you understand? I may let some of your comments stand just for humorous purposes, but chances are better than average that anything you leave here is going to be deleted, because you are not welcome here. I don’t think I can make it any clearer than that. My advice to you is to make an honest attempt to move on, because it’s obvious that even after over a decade, you still have not.

My blog, my rules. It’s as simple as that.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Infection Connection: Goin’ Down

Stones tongue greyThe Interwebz is abuzz with Michael Douglas’s revelation that his throat cancer was caused not by smoking or drinking, but by oral sex.

That’s right. In a case of maybe a little too much information, he said that it happened because he caught HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) from performing cunnilingus.

The jokes just kind of write themselves on this one, but I am thinking that he has done public health a great service by speaking publicly about this.

This might lead to a greater dialogue about HPV vaccination for not just young girls, but young boys; it might also help to get the word out that contrary to what far too many young people believe, oral sex is not necessarily safe sex.

HPV is the main cause of cervical cancer, but it can indeed cause oral cancers. Various other sexually transmitted infections can be transferred through oral sex: Herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV, Chlamydia, and even Hepatitis B. From what I’ve read, a lot of kids think that oral sex is no big deal and they won’t catch anything from it. That couldn’t be further from the truth, and although other types of sex carry a greater risk, oral is still very much a way to catch an STI.

There has been some backlash against the HPV vaccine, with some people thinking it will lead to promiscuity and that great scientific mind, Michele Bachmann, saying that “someone told her” that their daughter became “mentally retarded” after getting the shot. Hey, Michele Bachmann, someone told me that you’re a freakin’ idiot! In fact, several people have told me that, so there you go. Must be true!

Anyway, all I can say to that is that we now have a vaccine that HELPS PREVENT CANCER. One of the tasks I did in the lab for many years was HPV testing. I remember how excited we were in the Microbiology world when they first realized the HPV-cervical cancer connection, developed the diagnostic test for early identification, and then came out with the HPV vaccine. This is a way to vaccinate against cancer. How amazing is that?? It still astounds me, and I hope that my working on that test for several years helped at least a few women get diagnosed early enough to get effective treatment and save their lives.

We had positive results for HPV, gonorrhea, and Chlamydia on girls as young as 12. Sometimes the diagnosis listed in their information was “pregnancy.” (Anyone who is pregnant gets STI tests.) Abstinence-only education just doesn’t work, folks. Anyone who thinks so has forgotten what it’s like to be a horny teenager. You can certainly stress that it is okay to NOT indulge, but safety and prevention also must be taught and stressed. Part of that education needs to include the risks of oral sex. It most certainly is not safe sex. SafeR, maybe, but definitely not completely safe.

So I applaud Michael Douglas for saying what he did in that interview. It might result in plenty of jokes, but I think it will also generate a discussion about sexuality that we are way too reluctant to have in this country. We are seriously a bunch of prudes, and sex and sexuality is treated as something not to be discussed, or if it is, only whispered about in private conversations. Certainly not discussed in school! When you create such an atmosphere of mystique about something, it becomes catnip for any adolescent or young adult. Education isn’t going to make them do it. They’re already doing it! But maybe it will keep them a little safer. Isn’t that the most important thing?

Thank you, Michael Douglas...and thank you, Michael Douglas’s tongue! You guys rock!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Post-concert Blues

Walk of shameI gots ‘em.

Yesterday, I was still basking in the afterglow, and stayed up really late. (Messaged with our friend Andy...he’ll be back from Afghanistan in a week. Yay!). Today I awoke to a cool, slightly overcast day and the realization that the concert was behind me. I wrote to a friend that I feel like I spent the night with the Stones and they worked me over good. Now I’m doing the Walk of Shame, high heels in hand and panties in purse.

But I wouldn’t take a minute of it back, and I’ve got a wicked little grin on my face as I think about what we did.

(For those of you offended by my crudity, come on. It’s me, Beth. You know how I get!)

Anyway, I got up and around and did a few things, and of course, turned on some music. Things are a little better. Music makes everything better, don’t you think? It sure does for me.

I was afraid this would happen. I wrote yesterday that sometimes when you anticipate something like this, it’s easy to be let down. In this case, just the opposite happened. It was even better than I’d anticipated. Often when I have an amazing time or experience something this wonderful, I feel the inevitable sense of loss and letdown. Like, “Aww, man. It’s over.” I’m sure I’m not the only one who experiences that.


But if I need a Stones fix, I’m covered. I’ve got books about them, I just got the “Crossfire Hurricane” documentary, I’ve got another DVD of one of their concerts (Thanks, Mark!), and of course, I’ve got the music. There will always be the music...for when I need some Stones inside me.

Beth’s Music Moment: Ladies and Gentlemen, the World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band

Beth and Ken at StonesThe Rolling Stooooooones!

Damn, Skippy, that was one helluva show. But I’m getting ahead of myself. [click on any picture to embiggenate] This is going to be a long one, so brace yourselves!

As we were getting ready to leave here on Friday, I had an email from Rolling Stone (the magazine). I had sent them an email about their cover story on the Stones, and they said they were planning on publishing it in their Letters section, and they wanted to confirm I was who I said I was, and that I am from where I said I was from. How perfect was that?? I’m heading out to see the Rolling Stones, and Rolling Stone is going to publish my letter about the Rolling Stones! So meta. I’ll post it here when it comes out.

Our drive up to Chicago was fun, with lots of Stones being blasted on the CD player and lots of seat dancing from me. Unfortunately, I was also singing, so poor Ken had to put up with that! But he’s a good sport, and he knew how fired up I was. The party ground to a halt about five miles away from the hotel as traffic slowed to a crawl. It took us almost an hour to go five miles! I love Chicago, but man, I’d hate to have to drive in that every day.

ChicagoWe finally got to the hotel and settled in. Whoa, nice digs! We had an executive suite, so there was plenty of room, and holy shit, look at that view! Overlooking the Chicago River, seeing the boats and surrounded by beautiful skyscrapers. I am in you, Chicago, and I love you!

We got a little more pumped up by playing some Stones on the ‘puter, then it was time to head out. Our first destination was the Billy Goat Tavern for a bite to eat. The Billy Goat is famous for being the place that inspired the “Saturday Night Live” skit “Cheeseboorger, cheeseboorger, Pepsi, no Coke!” They even have it listed on the overhead menu that way. The place was total chaos, full of Stones fans going to the show, and Stones songs blaring overhead. It was so packed that someone said to just look for a couple of empty seats at a table and ask people if you could join them, so we did exactly that.

Turns out that we sat with some really cool and fun people. Laura was from San Francisco, and this was her 61st time seeing the Stones! Wow, I thought I was a huge fan! I forget where her friend Steve was from, but he was super nice, too, and we had a really nice chat. He said there’s a group of them from all over the country who connected online and meet up for shows, and they’ve known each other for years. How cool is that?

There were a couple of Keith Richards look-alikes, and that was kind of fun and maybe a little bit weird. But hey, it’s cool. Everyone was having a great time, and the vibe was very friendly and you could tell that people were pumped up. I started having a feeling that it was going to be a great show. The cheeseboorgers were mediocre, at best, but the atmosphere was crazy and fun! I probably won’t go back, but I’m glad I can say that I’ve been there now!

pre-Stones BethIt was so packed and so hard to get a beer and get in and out of the chairs at the table that we decided to head closer to the United Center and see if we could find another place to have a beverage. We found a place called the Arrow, and although it was fairly busy, it wasn’t too bad and we had no problem getting a table. It was also full of Stones fans, and the place was playing Stones songs overhead. More good vibes from people, everyone looking happy and excited. Oh yeah, this was gonna be a great show!

There was a couple at the table to our left, and I noticed her lace t-shirt and thought it was really cute. A lady at the bar saw my Stones t-shirt and said, “Are you going?” I said, “Oh yeah!” and gave her two thumbs up. Later on, on my way back from the bathroom, I stopped to say hi, and we chatted a bit. Turns out she was from Memphis, and I told her we love that city and had a great weekend there. This was their first time away from their kids for over a year, or something like that, so she seemed super excited to be here for the weekend and to be seeing the Stones. She seemed really sweet, and I said it was nice talking to her and I hoped she had a great time at the show.

A little later, she hopped off of her barstool, stumbling a little bit, and came over to us to chat some more. More talk about how we were excited for the show, and I think I asked her if she was liking Chicago. She said, “Yeah, but there are so many FOREIGNERS here.” I looked blankly at her. She went on. “I mean, all the Mexicans. Back home, we’ve got lots of African-Americans—and I’m being nice here. Let’s just say it’s very DARK there.” I was so shocked that I really couldn’t say much for a moment. She said, “I’m scared at home. But I’m not scared in Chicago.” It was the most bizarre and offensive thing I’ve heard in a long time. I finally found my voice and said, “Well, we love everybody.” I think Ken reiterated that. That seemed to stop her from going on, and she moved away.

Beth and Ken at Stones2I turned to Ken and was like, “Holy shit!” She had seemed like such a sweet person, and to hear that just spewing out of her mouth was actually shocking to me. I know that racism is far from gone, but it’s still astonishing to hear. She’s lucky I was in a super good mood about seeing the Stones, because my response was a kind one (although I think I made it obvious how I felt). If she’d caught me on a bad day, she’d still be reeling from the encounter.

We made our way over to the United Center, got beverages, got some swag (I’ll post a pic of my t-shirt when I wear it for the first’s very cool!), and found our seats. The crowd seemed (baby won’t you keep me) happy and excited. Our seats seemed even better than we thought they would be. The stage was in the shape of the famous Stones lips and tongue logo, with the center of the tongue open and with seating (the “Tongue Pit”). We were in Row 12 outside the edge of the tongue, on the right side, but it seemed like we weren’t that far away—it looked like less than twelve rows from that part of the stage. Anyway, they were pretty good seats, and we knew we’d have a good view of the guys when they moved out to the outer edge of the tongue.

Stones - Georgina and IanWe asked the guy sitting next to us to take our picture in front of the stage, and his wife soon joined us. She looked familiar—or at least her shirt did—and I said, “Were you guys sitting next to us in the bar?” She said yes, that was them! How wild! We ended up having a really nice chat. Georgina and Ian are originally from the UK, and have lived in the Chicago suburbs for I think they said twelve years now. Very nice people, and it was fun to talk with them! We mentioned the crazy bigot lady at the bar, and Georgina laughed and said, “We saw that exchange, and then your face afterwards! I told Ian that that woman talking to you must be drunk, because your face was like ‘oh my god.’” We cracked up and I said, “Yeah, I’m not known for my poker face!” They were very pleasant companions as we all waited for the Stones to take the stage.

Good grief, this entry is already long, and I’m not even to the show part yet! I shall forge ahead. I’m getting to the music part, I promise!

They were probably 45 minutes late taking the stage, but no one really seemed to mind. No one got angry or ugly. There was honestly such a feeling of excitement and joy among the crowd. It was such a great vibe! I’d imagine that that is the kind of crowd a band loves to see. When they finally took the stage, I did indeed scream again, just like I did back in ‘89, but the years have made it less of a high-pitched screech and more of a raspy thing. Haha! I didn’t look at the time of the show, but Ken and I agreed that it had to be a couple of hours. They absolutely brought it.

SetlistThe setlist shows the incredible songs they did; some of their most famous, the two new ones, and a few of their more obscure ones. My friend Robert asked me what the highlights were for me. At first I couldn’t really pick, because I was still so excited from the show, but after a little reflection, I said probably “Midnight Rambler,” “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking,” and of course, “Sympathy for the Devil.” The first is a bluesy masterpiece, the second is a rocker (both done with one-time guitarist Mick Taylor...he was fantastic), and “Sympathy” is my all-time favorite song. On the way home, we were listening to more Stones, and “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” came on, and I’d have to add that as a highlight, because they sang it with a local choir as the first encore song, and it was a beautiful moment. “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” was the second encore song, and that also rocked.

The special guest was Sheryl Crow, and they did “All Down The Line” with her. She did a great job, but I was really hoping for Buddy Guy. I’m guessing they’ll save him for their last show in Chicago on Monday.

It was very exciting when the guys came out to the edge of the tongue, because we had such a great view of them!

Our plan was to go to Buddy Guy’s club afterwards, but when we got out it was raining steadily, and we started getting fairly well soaked by the time we walked long enough to get a cab. We were both ready to head back to the hotel and wind down there. Probably a good thing, because I was still just wild from the show and didn’t really need any more stimulus! I hope we can get to Buddy’s when we go up in August for a Cubs game!

On the way back, I was telling Ken that I decided that this was now my #1 favorite show I’ve ever seen, surpassing the previous #1, which was the ‘89 Stones show. This was for several reasons.
  1. The venue was smaller and more intimate, about 20,000 vs over 50,000. The acoustics were great, and we had good enough seats that we could really see the stage well, especially when the guys came out to the edge of the tongue.
  2. The band sounded fan-fucking-tastic. They played so well together, Keith and Ronnie meshing perfectly, Charlie laying down that backbeat, and Mick was a skinny little strip o’ bacon powerhouse. His voice sounded incredible and was as powerful as ever, and he’s still got the moves, baby. There is no better frontman in rock and roll. Period.
  3. I think I appreciate them even more now, as they have continued to cement their place in rock history. They had a lot of commercial success in the ‘80s, with “Emotional Rescue,” “Tattoo You,” and the tour Shane and I saw them on, Steel Wheels, was a monster. But as I continued to get more into them and listen to more of their older stuff, I realize just how important they are to music and how amazing it is that they’re still going and still making great music. (I love “Doom and Gloom”!)
  4. Finally, the people in the crowd weren’t the only ones having fun. You could tell that the Stones were having a BLAST up there. Keith was all smiles, and they genuinely looked to be having a great time. I don’t know if it’s because they’re happy to still be alive and still doing what they’re doing or what, but it shows and it is infectious. We love it that they’re still rockin’ us, and I think they love it that we love it! Like I’ve said before...gotta show the band some love! It doesn’t matter if it’s a local band or the freakin’ Rolling Stones...they’re working hard and they feed off of our OUR energy as much as we feed off of theirs.
So there you have it. Anytime someone anticipates something as much as I was anticipating this show, there is always a chance for disappointment. I am very happy to report that this was not the case here. It was even better than I’d hoped for, and they totally rocked me. Thank you, Rolling Stones. I love you guys. I really, truly do.

Oh, and when I saw online later that it was Ronnie Wood’s birthday today, I tweeted happy birthday to him and said that they totally rocked it last night. He favorited that tweet, so that made me happy! I should be getting some more swag in the mail this week, including programs and some collectible stuff from our ticket packages, and my Rolling Stones 50th Anniversary-Crystal Head Vodka package. Sweet! More pictures to come!

Now I’m going to keep my fingers crossed for a new album after this tour. If “Doom and Gloom” is any indication, it should be a good one!

Oh, and I stood the whole time. It’s the Stones, man. Show some respect, because they’re so respectable!