#StonesVIP photo booth. Couldn't convince him to wear the prop scarf. by MPriceMitchell, on Flickr" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mpricemitchell/8973932620/">Sean and I in the <a href=#StonesVIP photo booth. Couldn't convince him to wear the prop scarf." src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3799/8973932620_a9a660d38d.jpg" width="500" height="500" />Sean called me at work a few months ago and asked me this question:

“Do you want to go see the Rolling Stones in June?”

It was not the question I was expecting on a quiet workday morning just before lunch.

When I asked him why, he told me that they were releasing a bunch of discounted tickets, but buyers wouldn’t know where they would be sitting till the day of the show.

Seeing that we’re both under 40, we’re too young for the Stones’ heyday. However, as someone who loves reading about the history of music and pop culture, I figured we better take the opportunity to see them before they finally decide to retire.

Besides, a night out is a night out, right?

This past Thursday night, I rushed home from work, picked up Flora and got ready for my night out. On a whim, I purchased a tube of bright red lipstick. I haven’t worn really red lipstick since I was a teenager, but it seemed like the right thing to do. A classic look for a classic rock band, right?

Flora really liked the red lipstick and was annoyed when I wouldn’t let her have any. I was trying hard not to screw up the application or get it all over my teeth. Once I dropped her off next door for a sleepover with her BFFs, I did a fast manicure and Sean and I were off to the train to go back into the city.

When we got in line to pick up our tickets, the person who checked Sean’s ID asked us to go into a different line. When we got there, the woman told us that we got tickets in the Tongue Pit. On the floor. In front of the stage.

Holy crap.

The woman put our wristbands on for us and we walked into the arena. We checked out the merchandise (lots of choices and all overpriced), got a couple of drinks and did the modern thing and posted our surprise to Facebook, Flickr, Foursquare, Twitter and Instagram. The picture at the top of this post was a staged setup where there were people taking pictures with your phone so you could upload the picture to Instagram. Any opportunity to get a picture of Sean and I together that we don’t have to do selfie-style is good so I handed my phone over for some pictures.

We’ve been to a lot of concerts over the years and we’ve never had seats that good for a show this big. I worried that the standing-room only would mean that I wouldn’t be able to see anything and it would be crowded – my usual issue with general admission tickets. I learned that the advantage of seeing a band who’s been around for 50 years is that their audience is way more laid back than other shows we’ve been to. People brought their tween/teenage kids. We stood at the left-hand side of the pit, right next to the ego-ramp. And the security guard who reminded us not to lean on it as it was ‘put together with duct tape’. I stood up straight because I wasn’t going to be responsible for breaking Mick Jagger’s hip.

Sean in the pit

 I will admit that I didn’t know every single song, but my classic rock band of choice has always been Queen. The show was what you would expect of a band who’s been together for 50 years: tightly choreographed, heavy on the big hits and to the point. We were close enough to count the wrinkles, but also close enough to see that those guys are in incredible shape. Which you would have to be to still be able to tour worldwide.

I’m glad I said yes to Sean buying the tickets. We had  a lot of fun. I’ve decided to keep that red lipstick in my purse for good luck. Interesting things may happen when I wear it next.

Dude! We got lucky on our Stones tickets!

#blissdomca hotel room" src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8473/8112671013_74460e2a94_n.jpg" alt="View from my #blissdomca hotel room" width="320" height="320" /> Hey look! Here’s the first picture I took post-lesson. Not great, but not completely terrible. It’s a start.

I came back from the third annual Blissdom Canada inspired to write more (thank you Haley and Ali). I also got ideas and tips for improving my iPhoneography skills (thank you Schmutzie). I had told Haley that I needed to ‘kick my own ass a bit’ and I think this conference has helped me do that. I’d like to thank all the organizers and speakers for all the work they did to make it a success.

(An aside, when I told Sean that the conference was at the Sheraton Centre downtown, he looked at me and asked “are you staying at the Sheraton Hotel in Canada? Have you been selected to represent the school at the National Grammar Rodeo? Sean makes me laugh. This line is from Season 7, episode 21 of the Simpsons. I couldn’t find a video clip of it so you’ll have to catch the episode in syndication sometime.)

I was thrilled to be able to tell Susan Cain how fascinating I found her book in person at her book signing. When I showed her my Kobo with her book on the screen, she told me that it was the first time she had seen the ereader version of her book. To think she had to come to another country to see it! That makes me smile.

I also stayed in a hotel room all by myself for the first time. This is a big deal for me.I wrote about wanting to do this back in January 2011 but haven’t been able to make it happen until now. When I bought my conference ticket, I booked the hotel room that day, knowing I could always cancel, but also knowing that I wouldn’t. I’m a person who needs her alone time and I don’t get nearly enough of it. (Funny, I’ve written about this before too.) As much as I was enjoying the conference and all the learning I was doing, I couldn’t wait for that window between sessions where I could check in to my room, dump my stuff and sit down in the quiet for a few minutes before I got back to the noise of hundreds of people at a conference.

I finally got that opportunity, but it was cut short because it was in the window of time before the aforementioned Susan Cain went up on stage to speak about introversion. There’s a joke in here, right? I was not missing that talk, so I put my stuff down and zipped back downstairs and took part in the rest of the conference. I did not regret my choice. I learned from all of the speakers, and the questions that were asked of them.

I had considered skipping the closing party to enjoy my purchased solitude. I didn’t have a costume and I had been stuffed up most of the day so I wasn’t sure I should be unleashing karaoke on anyone*. My need for a few drinks and a few laughs (and let’s face it, the karaoke) trumped my need for solitude at that point and I had a good time with everyone. Of course, I lived up to my introvert ideals by having the best moments when listening to conversations and occasionally contributing versus cutting it up on the dance floor. (Dancing can be fun, but it’s not my strong suit.) At the end of the night, I went back to my quiet room, had a great sleep in a king-sized bed and lounged around Sunday morning before I packed up, checked out and went home.

So Blissdom gave me a lot this year – more than what was on the website and in the conference brochure. I’m saying out loud that I plan to make the most of what I’ve been given. I hope you do too. How do you plan to improve your blog or other online work?

* I don’t get my love for karaoke either. I am totally on Team Introvert, but for some reason, I love doing karaoke. I think it’s because it’s a forgiving medium. You can be bad and people will still cheer you on. My experiences around karaoke really need a post of their own.

Something weird happened to me today. No, really.

I was having a perfectly ordinary day at work when I noticed this tweet:

Intrigued, I checked my email. I had a note asking me if I could do something online in about an hour. It was really short notice (especially considering I had never done it before), but I thought “why not?”. (Note to my work peeps: I made sure I was reasonably caught up with my work first.)

This is how I ended up being part of a panel on HuffPost Live earlier today. The subject was ‘changing your name after you get married’. I believe the producer found me via my post I wrote last year about why I hyphenated my name after I got married.

I’ve never done one of these segments before. It was done via a Google+ Hangout, which I had also never used before (they’re easy). Once I got the confirmation I was in, I hustled to a spare office with my laptop so I could set up and talk without interruption and my cubicle mates thinking I was crazier than normal, talking to myself about my choice of nomenclature.

Here is the link to the discussion.

 I chatted with the other panelists beforehand and they were lovely women. I hope the woman who couldn’t decide what to do about her name (she’s getting married in a month) comes to a decision that works for her and her husband.

I’m not so sure how I did as a first-time panelist with no experience or guidance. I am happy that my microphone worked. I didn’t say a lot – the joys of being an introvert.Too much listening.

I’m proud that I went for it though. If they had caught me on another day, I probably would have just said “No, I’m at work – can’t do it”, and spent the rest of the day wondering “what if I had done it?”

Saying yes can be just as powerful as saying no.

I need to say yes more often. Get out of my rut. Try something new. Have adventures. This feels like a good start.

Last Friday, Sean and I went to see Iron Maiden and Alice Cooper. I’m pretty sure it was our first date night since we went and saw Tool back in January.

Our dates seem to have a recurring theme.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mpricemitchell/7586476832/in/photostream

By the way, we may look like thugs, but we’re pretty nice folks. If you ever see us at a show (or anywhere out and about), come and say hi!

 

Yesterday started out as a typical summer Saturday — housework, laundry, errands and kid-wrangling. We capped the afternoon off with a delicious barbecued supper of pork souvlaki, peppers with goat cheese and rice*.

By the time dessert was eaten and the dishes were cleared, it was almost time for Flora to get ready for bed. I hate getting her ready for bed right after we eat. It makes me feel like we’ve ran out of time and I’m therefore a bad mother**. It happens more often than I care to admit.

Since I didn’t want to put her to bed just yet, I asked her if she wanted to take a walk around the block in her pajamas. This is not something we do every day.

“A silly walk Mummy? In our pajamas?” (I don’t think Flora has ever watched Monty Python, so not sure where that came from.)

“Yup. Go get your jammies on and we’ll go for a walk. You, me, and Daddy.”

Flora took off to find her silliest pajamas (not sure what the criteria for that was). She asked if I was going to get in my jammies too. I hadn’t planned on it, then I thought “why not?”. So I went and found pajamas that covered all my interesting bits and didn’t look too out-of-place without wimping out and going with yoga pants and a t-shirt, since I knew Flora would call me out and say “that’s not jammies Mummy!”.

When we got out the door, Sean was heading to the car.

Flora was confused. “Daddy! Aren’t you coming on our silly walk?”

Sean’s answer: “Do you want to go and see the lake?”

Our new house is close to the lake. We knew that we could park our car and go down a walkway to get to it, but hadn’t actually done it in the four months we’ve lived here. This was going to be the night we finally got there. Flora and I got our pajama-clad selves into the car.

Less than ten minutes later, we were going down that walkway. There were a lot of people with the same idea, but Flora and I were the only ones in our jammies. (I was doubly grateful that I had left my bra on.)

As Flora ran ahead of us, I whispered to Sean that I wanted to get a picture of the two of them walking together.

My heart could burst looking at them together.

When we got to the lake, we discovered that the park was actually a beach. A beach! I have a beach less than ten minutes from my house! I think I knew this, but didn’t really think about it when we planned our adventure. It was late and we had no sand toys but we walked in the sand, looked at the boats and ducks, and threw rocks in the water. We went home after an hour or so and Flora went to bed without any prompting from us. She was so happy that Sean suggested the trip and gave him lots of big hugs.

Big enough to run ahead.

Score one for Daddy. Unexpected adventure makes for the best family memories.

* Is it possible to cook rice on the barbecue? Has anyone ever had any real-life success with it? Sean has been a barbecuing machine lately and the more he BBQs, the fewer dishes I have to wash.

** We’re doing better on weeknights because I recently shifted my work hours to start at 7:30am and be done at 4pm. I pick up Flora and we’re home by 5:45 where I used to get home at 6:30. It’s easy to get lazy about dinner timing on weekends since duh, it’s the weekend.

 

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada
This work by melissa price-mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada.