Red lipstick brings me good luck

Sean and I in the StonesVIP photo booth.
Sean and I in the #StonesVIP photo booth. Couldn’t convince him to wear the prop scarf.

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!

My pictures from yesterday’s #12photos photo challenge

I took these photos for the #12photos challenge hosted by Andrea at A Peek Inside the Fishbowl.

Twelve photos in twelve hours on 12/12/12. I took longer than twelve hours, but I got all twelve before I went to bed. Most pictures were taken with Instagram, but some were done with Hipstamatic. You can hover over each picture to view the caption if you don’t want to click over to Flickr.


7am - on the train going to work #hourlyphoto  #12photos


8am #photos12 artwork on my desk at work (cc sideshowami)


9am #12photos - more desk inspiration


10am #12photos - northwestern view from my office building


11am #12photos - workspace #Hipstamatic #Chunky #BigUp


1pm #12photos - mini Christmas tree


2pm #12photos - cubicle decoration from Flora #Hipstamatic #Hornbecker #DreamCanvas


3pm #12photos - fun stuff in my cubicle (Don't worry. This will be the last pic taken from the office.) #Hipstamatic #Chunky #Sugar


4pm - #12photos - I've wanted a picture of this sign ever since I started commuting.


5pm #12photos - parking lot. Workday done.


6pm #12photos - art on the table next to me.


7pm #12photos - a little late. Almost time for bed.

#12photos, a set on Flickr.

Living out rockstar dreams in my car

Sometimes I think the only time I get to use my whole voice is when I sing.

I don’t sing professionally and I hate all the singing shows on TV. My singing is limited to my car, games of Rock Band and rare karaoke nights.

I’m not a good singer – I wreck my throat after one karaoke song and I’m completely untrained. I like music but I’m not as up-to-date on current trends as I used to be.

When I was a teenager, I learned to play my favourite songs thanks to OLGA. That site is long gone – a casualty of the ongoing battle of the music industry versus the internet. I even wrote a few songs. I never played them publicly, but if I’d had better self-esteem at seventeen, I may have.

Those songs are long gone now. I can hear snippets in my head, but not much else. We’re all probably better off – the songs of a seventeen year old girl with an acoustic guitar pining for boys who wouldn’t understand aren’t songs for the ages.

These days, I sing along with the radio in my car. Now that I’m a commuter, I have more time in the car alone. Most nights the radio goes up loud and I feel free. I feel subversive when I roll into Flora’s school blasting something inappropriate. Then I turn it off and go get my kid. We ride home in silence most days because my girl doesn’t get loud rock music yet.

She may not ever, in the ultimate act of rebellion against her parents.

Fun fact: When I was pregnant, we tried to get Flora to kick by putting headphones on my belly. Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman’ was on my mp3 player and that’s what we tried with. She completely ignored us. Whatever – babies are fickle and kick when they want to. The day we brought her home, Sean had the radio on and Enter Sandman comes on again. The radio wasn’t loud but as I sat in the back with my newborn in a shell-shocked, WTF-do-I-do-now haze, I smiled because life was still happening even though I was now someone’s mother. I still liked the same loud music I did before I became Her Mother. That comforted me. That it was the same song that we tried to get her to kick for was an added bonus.

It took me a long time to learn to like to sing. On my first day of kindergarten, I decided I didn’t want to sing Head and Shoulders with the class. I did the motions but didn’t sing. My teacher noticed and asked me why I wasn’t singing. I didn’t answer. She then put her hands on her hips and asked me to say sorry for not singing with the class. I didn’t because I wasn’t sorry. I didn’t want to sing and I wasn’t doing it. The teacher didn’t like my silent defiance and I was told to go put my head down at one of the classroom tables.

In third grade, I was one of maybe seven kids in my class that was not invited to join the choir made up of primary-level kids (grades 1-3). Maybe it was because there wasn’t enough room for everyone on the stands. Maybe it was because they thought I was too shy (a reasonable assumption). I took it to mean they thought I was a bad singer. I did my extra reading and was happy but my relationship with singing took a huge hit for years afterward.

I think these stories lead up to why I like karaoke so much. It’s a forgiving medium. You can completely suck and still be cheered at the end. It’s hard to get up in front of people and make yourself vulnerable by singing. I think most people recognize that.

I subscribe to the theory “if you can’t sing it good, sing it loud”. This applies to life as well. Better to get up, own your issues and go for it anyway, than sit in the back and be mad that you wimped out yet again. I’ve done both, and I have  lot more fun (or get a lot more said) when I actually get brave enough to potentially make a jackass of myself in public.

I know I’m not as good as I think I am in my head. I’m not as bad as I think I am either. At least I’m trying.

You should too. You don’t have to get on stage to try.

Date night for Team Mitchell

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.

Sean and I waiting for Iron Maiden

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!


We’re back!

Home again jiggety-jog.

I’m happy to report that my worries about long-distance traveling were blown out of proportion. Flora traveled like a champ. She got good use out of the portable DVD player we bought (more than I would have liked, but it kept her happy) and was generally in good spirits the entire week despite not napping much. (Oh please let this not be the end of naptime though.)

The rest of us traveled pretty well too. No major meltdowns from any of us. Considering that we drove for nearly 18 hours (with stops) before we stopped in Bangor, Maine for the night, that’s pretty remarkable.

New Brunswick is a lovely place. A lot of Sean’s extended family lives there and it was great to see so many of them and in mine and Flora’s cases, meet them for the first time. Flora was a bit shy with most of them, but would usually open up and chat eventually.

Other highlights include:

  • The cottage we stayed at: ocean view, just big enough for us, lots of books to read and modern appliances (including a dishwasher and washer/dryer. Very different from the cottages I stayed in as a kid)
  • Whale watching on the Bay of Fundy. It was early in the season, but we saw a couple of finback whales. They were coy though, just flashing a bit of their backs out of the water.
  • Lobster! Even though Sean chased me around the cottage with one before he put it in the pot.
  • Watching Flora pet jellyfish, starfish and sea urchins (she’s much braver than her mama, who recoiled in horror at these creatures).

Here are our pictures from the trip.

We drove back on Canada Day and after our longer trip south of the border, I insisted we go through Canada coming home. We were lucky that traffic was pretty smooth most of the way (although it was busy going the other way). I wanted to get some Quebec cheese on our way through and I was thrilled to find a cheese shop on the Trans Canada Highway. It was early in the drive so I felt like I had to rush to pick what I wanted since Sean and Flora stayed in the car. The cheese made it home (even the curd!) and I’ve tried not to gobble it up too fast.

Sean and I returned to work today, but it still feels like a vacation. Flora is visiting family this week – my mum and sister are tag-teaming on taking care of her this week. Sean’s mum is getting some grandkid time too. Judging from the phone call I had with my mum last night, they are all having a ball. Boating, swimming and general fun with grandma and auntie is a good way to top a long-distance trip with your parents. Sean’s mum is babysitting the dog and cat so it’s just Sean and I at home now.

I keep saying “2003 called. It wants its life back”. (We got the dog in 2005, but the cat’s been around since 1998 so it’s not an entirely true statement.)

The break has been nice so far. I went and had my nails done and Sean went to see Soundgarden on Saturday night. We do plan to do stuff together: dinner’s on the agenda and possibly a movie (if we can decide on one we both want to see that’s worth parting with our hard-earned money for – too bad HP7 Part 2 isn’t out till later in the month). Outside of that, our plans are loose. Tips are welcome.

The weather’s been great and it’s shaping up to be a fun summer. Here’s hoping it stays that way.

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.
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