Sunday, March 31, 2013

March Madness ends tonight -- Thoughts as we move onto April

March Madness will end today, and we'll move onto the Final Four...  As I think about this year's brackets I have some thoughts I want to share...

  • Dear Kansas:  I picked you to win it all.  Why?  I picked you this year, because I never pick you.  I always pick with my heart and lose, so this year I mixed it up.  Well, by now, we all know how that turned out.  Your name now appears in Red and the entire right side of my bracket looks like blood shed.  If you're going to lead most of the game, then by all means get a few defensive stops and be smart about your offense.  There's no way that Michigan should have been able to come back.  When you're winning in the tourney and I pick you to win it all,  you need to CLOSE OUT THE GAME.  Annnnnnnnnnnnnd, if you have a chance to tie it (i.e. since you're RIGHT THERE AT THE BASKET), do NOT kick the ball out for a crazy 3-point attempt.  Sometimes you need to play the additional 5 minutes to prevent your season from ending.
  • Dear Ohio State:  I didn't watch your game, and from the score, it looks like you may not have even showed up for it until the 2nd half.  I'm sure there's a story regarding officiating and what not, but hearing from my fellow Ohioans about the terrible first half, made me scared about the final score.  At least the final score was respectable...  Oh well, another quartile of my bracket went to hell, but since Kansas broke it first, I can't be too upset.  Now I have Wichita State to watch.  Thanks for a great season Buckeyes, but losing to Wichita State?!?!  Oh well.  That's the tourney...
  • Dear Florida Gulf Coast University:  I was hoping you'd beat Florida.  Even though you didn't pull off the upset, I'm still impressed and your school is now on my radar.  Seemingly, out of no where, you graced my TV with 3 pointers, and tremendous inside shots/dunks because you actually did something I rarely see nowadays.  You all were smart enough to follow your shots and rebound.  Brilliant.  Every year, I try to go to Vegas for part of the tournament and my friends from Portland, OR were all over your squad this year.  Why?  Coach Andy Enfield's wife, Amanda (i.e. a former model).  My friends are obsessed with her!  I'm not one to go against the guys in my group, so "For Love of Amanda" we rooted for you until you finally lost. 
  • Dear Indiana (Tom Crean): Please pool together some money and drive Tom Crean to get his hair cut.  Alternatively, you guys should just shave his head.  Crean's hair is terrible.  How are you supposed to win a championship, when Tom Crean's hair is such a "distraction"?  Crean looks like Dwight from the TV show "The Office".
  • Dear Louisville (Rick Pitino):  I always joke that you're a tough team to bet on because you never know whether Pitino wants to coach or commentate on TV.  Well, this year, I guess Pitino wants to coach.  In previous years, I would've taken you all to the Finals and named you as Champions.  As mentioned above, this year I took a different strategy.  Yeah...  Thanks...
  • Dear Syracuse:  First of all I'm convinced the NCAA needs to investigate then for the crazy play and scoring associated with the game against California.  Something wasn't right.  You're the most schizophrenic team in the tournament.  I have no idea what you're going to do when you hit the court.  When you guys were blown out against Georgetown at home in the regular season, all of my friends who are Syracuse alumni, were disgusted.  Now, all of a sudden Jim Boeheim has you playing.  Well, if there's a time to peak, the time is now so I guess you win that battle.  I still don't think you can win the war though...
  • Dear Duke: Keep on doing whatever you're doing.  I love it when you win.  I've been to many a game at Cameron Indoor Stadium and Duke winning it all, wasn't in my bracket...  Duke basketball winning a NCAA championship is a Tarheel nightmare, but a Duke fan's dream.


Tevin Campbell in Concert ~ COME BACK TO THE WORLD

Tevin Campbell.  I know...  It's been ages since you've even thought about him, but (i.e. if you're like me) hearing a few bars of the intros to "Can We Talk" and "I'm Ready" on a radio station that plays the (a'hem) "older" hits, can take you back to your youth!

I'm a 90s R&B aficionado.  My addiction is serious.  Something about the romance, melody, and soul of that time appeals more to me than the complete lack of subtlety dripping in today's lyrics.  "Dripping", you ask?  Yes.  "Dripping" can be gross, and I think some of today's music is gross --- but that's not the point of this post.

Tevin Campbell hit the scene when about 25 years ago.  ****  Did I just type "25 years ago"?!!?  I'm getting old...  People of the R&B era, familiar with New Jack Swing artists (e.g. Tony, Toni, Tone and of course every artist who Teddy Riley ever produced) probably remember Tevin hitting the scene with "Round and Round".  Round and Round was produced, in 1990, by Prince and on Prince's Graffiti Bridge CD.  Remember the music video?  I do.

Tevin Campbell followed that track up with other memorable hits.  "Can We Talk", "I'm Ready", and "Tell Me What You Want Me To Do" are on a playlist with other tracks that I'll listen to over and over, when trying to wind down after a long day (i.e. on a plane and/or when I just have time to myself).  Those songs remind me of high school, when relationships were soooooooo dramatic --- and in hindsight overly romantic, completely stupid, and overly encompassing.  HA!  Yeah, that about sums it up...

Anyway, for those of you wondering, Tevin can still sing.  He performed last night at The Howard Theatre.  The Howard Theatre is quickly becoming one of my favorite places to see a show.  It's an intimate venue where you can enjoy top talent and a "comforting" menu.  Music to your ears and food for your soul ---  that's The Howard Theatre.

Dressed in dark suit pants and a black shirt (i.e. with a white T-shirt peaking through), Tevin performed for over an hour and belted out his hits.  He also covered Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson.

Towards the end of the show, he asked the crowd whether there was anyone out there who thought he wouldn't be able to sing anymore.  A few members of the audience were honest enough to raise their hands.  He just laughed, smiled, and said he loves to prove them wrong.

I was one person away from the stage.  I could actually touch the stage, if I wanted to.  I can tell you that Tevin Campbell's smile is big.  He genuinely seemed happy and surprised to see a packed house.  People showed up to see him sing.  People sang their hearts out along with him.  Yes, we all have Google and may/not have heard about his issues in the past, but last night no one cared.  It was a friendly crowd.

Tevin said he's working on new material, and the crowd cheered at the news.  I look forward to new hits from a very talented man.

Come Back to the World, Tevin!  Your fans miss you.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Truth About Love and P!nk in Concert

On Thursday night I went to the P!nk concert. I'd been trying to hunt down a ticket for weeks, and sure enough my perseverance paid off. At the 30th hour StubHub bailed me out of my predicament by having a ticket in section 100 for a little over face value. I don't mind paying over face value. I respect the ticket game and the principles surrounding Supply and Demand. I hustle tickets when I can. I believe in pricing at what the market will bear, but 3X face value wasn't coming out of pocket...

I'd been wanting to see P!nk perform for a "couple of albums" now. I missed the Funhouse tour completely, because I used to travel A LOT internationally and for long periods of time. Buying tickets and planning to see shows were nearly impossible. However, this time around, the stars aligned and I went to the concert.

P!nk puts on an amazing show for her fans. It's a concert, but it's also "P!nk du Soleil". What apparatus hasn't she mastered yet? Maybe the silks, actually... But back to her concert.

By now we've all probably read or heard about P!nk's story in the tabloids and/or on entertainment TV shows. No?!?! Well, maybe it's just me. Google it, people. If I had to describe her, I think I'd use the word "real". She comes off very strong, and yet sensitive with her ability to deliver sincere emotion through her lyrics. I'm probably going to catch plenty of flack about this, but I liken her to a modern day Tuna Turner, with regard to soul. Both P!nk and Tina speak to me.

P!nk's relationship ups and downs with Carey Hart and her family seem to play out like a reality TV musical. Anyone who knows me, knows how much I like to unwind with reality TV. EVERY relationship has its highs and lows. I love my husband, but at times, no one infuriates me more. Cooler heads and the ability to communicate emotions sustain and strengthen relationships. When it comes to the "struggle" it's obvious that P!nk's fans feel and understand her message.

Being P!nk's fan doesn't mean having to be the prettiest girl on the dance floor with all the hottest moves and the flashiest clothes. You don't have to be young, old, gay, straight, male, female, etc. You can be comfortable being and loving your "dorky" self. You can scream in frustration, ask for understanding, and be heard --- if not by those you love, but with 20,000 other people sitting all around you, singing just as loud.

Don't be like the "Stepford Wives in Training" that stood next to me (i.e. rigid and lifeless at the show). Dance and Sing!!! Leave it all out there when you go to P!nk's Truth About Love show. Why? Why not? She does.

Spoiler alert: P!nkerbell flies!!!!

Enjoy the pictures I took below. ****I'll rearrange them in this post later.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Rihanna concert tonight at 1st Mariner Arena POSTPONED

If you were like me (i.e. looking out your window), you were thinking that you'd need an umbrella-ella-ella-ay-ay-ay for tonight's Rihanna concert in Baltimore. Well, as it turns out, you can stay dry at home.

Tonight's concert at the 1st Mariner Arena has been postponed, since Rihanna is sick. Hold onto your tickets and wait for news as to the reschedule date.