Searching for Normalcy

"And finally, above all else, it is about leaving a mark that I existed: I was here. I was hungry. I was defeated. I was happy. I was sad. I was in love. I was afraid. I was hopeful. I had an idea and I had a good purpose and that’s why I made works of art…" – Felix Gonzalez-Torres

Scrappiness March 27, 2009

Filed under: Scrapbooking — Lulu @ 3:55 pm

So I haven’t had a lot of creative mojo lately, but I did manage to make this quick layout a couple of days ago.

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It was inspired by this Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat song:

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art class March 25, 2009

Filed under: Music,Video — Lulu @ 3:55 pm

Love this video. The song is “Art” by Tanya Davis.

 

everything is wonderful now* March 19, 2009

Filed under: Music — Lulu @ 3:58 pm

Last night was easily the best date night Fanless and I have ever had. Not only did we get to enjoy a truly delicious dinner, but we were also treated to a fantastic performance by one of his favorite rock stars.

As part of the Hard Rock Café’s March on Stage 2009, Everclear founder and frontman, Art Alexakis, performed an acoustic set at the Hard Rock Café in Miami. All of the proceeds from the show benefit Musicians on Call, a “nonprofit organization that brings live and recorded music to the bedsides of patients in healthcare facilities.  Musicians On Call uses music to promote and complement the healing process for patients, families and caregivers.” Although I wasn’t a huge Everclear fan previously, and Fanless had to do a little bit of convincing to get me to go, I loved the goal of this charity and the fact that they would receive 100% of the profits from the ticket sales.

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Originally, we thought of going just to the show, but then Fanless suggested we make an evening of it and have dinner at the Hard Rock prior to the show. I was a little skeptical as I hadn’t been to the Hard Rock in over ten years, and had no idea what the menu or quality of the food would be like. Turns out I had no reason to worry. Our dinner was absolutely delicious, albeit a little on the pricey side (but that’s not unexpected in a touristy location like Bayside).

I had the Twisted Mac, Chicken and Cheese, and Fanless had the Grilled Hawaiian Chicken with White Cheddar Smashed Potatoes and steamed broccoli. Oh my God… sooo good.

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After dinner, we went downstairs to pick up our tickets for the show, and were escorted to our table. Fanless had purchased VIP tickets, so not only did we get wristbands, we also got these souvenir laminated VIP passes. I felt like a finalist on “Rock of Love”!!

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We were literally just a few feet from the stage.

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(I had a really cute encounter with Art just before he went on stage. I was walking out of the ladies’ room and he was standing outside the mens’ room looking at some memorabilia on the wall. He looked over at me and smiled, so I waved and said "hello.”)

The setting was really intimate and gave you a chance to experience an “up-close and personal” feeling with a major rock star. The show reminded me of an episode of “VH1’s Storytellers”, with Art sharing personal stories and anecdotes – some of which were really hilarious – mixed in with acoustic performances of some of Everclear’s most popular songs, including “I Will Buy You a New Life,” “Father of Mine,” and “Wonderful.”

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My favorite thing about the evening was learning just how autobiographical his songs are! He told the audience the stories behind the songs, all based on his life experiences, and all of a sudden, it wasn’t just a cool, catchy song; it became a glimpse into this man’s personal life, like reading a page out of his private journal.

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Following the performance, which lasted just over an hour, Art sat down at the edge of the stage and did a Q&A session with the audience. I thought that was really cool of him, as he could have very easily been like “Peace out!” and gone on his merry way after the last song.

He answered questions about his personal life and career, and was greeted with a huge round of applause when he mentioned that Everclear is back in the studio working on a new album.

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Afterwards he made it a point to personally meet everyone there, and sign autographs and pose for pictures. He was so very down-to-earth and humble. I guess the perfect word would be charming. I definitely came away from the evening as an Everclear fan.

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Here are a couple of videos I recorded (the quality is not fantastic as they were shot with my digital camera) last night. Enjoy!

“I Will Buy You a New Life”

“Santa Monica”

* From the lyrics to Everclear’s “Wonderful”

 

daytona supercross 2009 March 12, 2009

Filed under: Photography,Travel — Lulu @ 4:03 pm

This past Saturday, Fanless and I drove up to Daytona for the annual Supercross event at the Daytona International Speedway. This is our second time attending this race as part of Daytona Bike Week. Last year we were faced with a monsoon. This year we both had the Black Plague (aka the worst f—king cold ever), and we blew a fuse in my car 15 minutes into the drive and had to stop at Lipton Toyota to have it replaced (btw, they rock!!) I’m thinking next year we might want to prepare for bioterrorism or an alien invasion.

Anyway, here are some pics from the trip. The nighttime ones are pretty terrible because I had to set my ISO really high, so consider that a “heads up.” (Just an FYI: There are two classes of bikes in Supercross. When I refer to the “Lites” races it means they are riding 250cc bikes. The “Main Event” bikes are 450cc.)

Fanless checks his Twitter page (post-fuse replacement) on the ride up.IMG_1750edit
Him: “Drive your car!” 
Me: “I’m bored!”
Him: “Drive your car!” 
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Not really sure where this was but it was such a pretty day out, I wanted to capture it.IMG_1753edit
We made it! And not a cloud in the sky!
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Trying to look not sick! The riders behind us were waiting for their turn at the qualifying race. Jason Lawrence is in this group. He turned out to have the fastest qualifying time of all the riders.
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Still waiting.
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Sighting lap.
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This is the coolest thing to me: the jumps!
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Daytona is the only racetrack that allows the fans to stand trackside.
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Fanless checks the image on his camera. Yes, that’s my hair in the corner.
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Bobby Garrison
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Jacob Marsack
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Ryan Sipes
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Daniel McCoy (I think; I can’t really see his number.)
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We got to see some of the riders in the pits. This is Andrew Short.
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Ivan Tedesco
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Kevin Windham, winner of last year’s Daytona Supercross.
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The track after practice/qualifiers.
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After we walked around the pits for a while, we grabbed some lunch, then walked around the display tents outside the stadium. This bike reminded me of a Transformer.
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This display from Honda was my favorite. Very eye-catching.
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Horrendous pic. We were so sick (and fairly exhausted) by this point, but I really wanted a “we were here” picture. 
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Nico Izzi in the Lites Main Event. I like him just because his last name is so fun! The whole time he’s racing we’re like “Izzi winning?” “What place Izzi in?”
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Picked up this hot photographer at the track. 😉
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I think this was the Main Event.
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This might be James Stewart. I can’t tell because it’s hard to see the number on the bike. (I told you these pictures were terrible.)
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Yeah, I’m pretty sure this was the Main Event.
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Ivan Tedesco (#9), Tim Ferry (I think; is that #15 in the back?), and Ryan Villapoto (#2).
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Chad Reed (in front) fights for first place.IMG_1882edit
Chad Reed passed Jason Lawrence in the 16th lap and managed to win.
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Crossing the track to get to the prize podium. IMG_1897edit

Jason Lawrence (this was his first ever 450 race, and he took 2nd; not too shabby!), Chad Reed (1st), and Davi Millsaps (3rd) accepting their prize trophies.
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Davi Millsaps (hottie!)
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And then my batteries died. Luckily they held out until the end!

By the time we got out of the stadium, we were both feeling like complete crap. So we picked up food at the Checkers drive-thru, checked into the hotel, popped some Zicam, and hit the sack. Good times.

If you want to see more pics from the races, check out Fanless’ flickr page.

Peace out, yo!