Dad's Journey, Uncategorized

Navigating a New Way of Life

IMG_4806Things have been a bit stressful these past few months. The day before my birthday we received confirmation that my dad has both frontal lobe dementia and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). While we all suspected the news was coming, I was in total denial about it and sorta still am in denial about it. The only blessing is that with dad’s dementia, he doesn’t realize that he has ALS.

We learned that dad’s ALS is likely tied to his time in the military. Apparently it’s a growing trend with military veterans being diagnosed with ALS. While dad never served overseas, he did work with many types of chemicals for warfare and whatnot. I don’t know all the specifics about what he did, but I do know that back then they never wore protective gear (masks, gloves, etc). Even with his actual job (post military) he dealt with a vast array of chemicals and of course they never wore protective gear for that as well. It was never a concern back then.

Now we are navigating a new way of life. We’re learning about ALS as well as dementia. Dad is no longer driving (he thinks the doctor told him that because he’s not wearing his hearing aids), but that’s not the case. We’re trying to keep dad happy with continuing with activities that he loves: going to the gym about 6 days a week, going to NC State football games, dinner with friends at his favorite restaurants (42nd Street Oyster Bar and Hayes Barton Cafe) and most recently a trip to the NC State Fair.

I’m going to try to keep this blog regularly updated about dad to eventually share with family and friends on how he’s doing and all the activities he’s still involved in.

My Bucket List of Bands, Uncategorized

That’s What I Like

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Two words. Bruno Mars.

Can I just talk about how amazing he is live in concert?  But really.

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Here’s my overall review of the show:

  • The opener, Jorja Smith, was kind of a snooze fest.  Her voice sounded just like Nelly Furtado, but her style (fashion) was more Rihanna.  Most of her performance consisted of her standing at the mic.
  • Bruno opened the show with Finesse from his 24K Magic album with some pyrotechnics from the stage.
    • I could have done without the pyrotechnics, every time it went off I screamed. My friends got entertainment out of me being startled every single time.
  • He played most of hits like, 24K Magic, Treasure, Chunky, That’s What I Like, Versace on the Floor, Marry You, Grenade, Just The Way Your Are, Locked Out of Heaven and Uptown Funk.
  • Bruno’s band was the bomb dot com, they provided so much energy to the show that paralleled perfectly with Bruno’s stage presence.
  • He didn’t talk a lot.  Sometimes performers like to talk between sets (which I’m not a fan of), he didn’t do that… so Mr. Mars, I thank you.
  • Shout out to the man in front of me who wore a Chance the Rapper shirt and had his ears plugged the entire night.  Maybe you should have bought ear plugs or purchased seats that was further from the stage. You blocked a lot of my views. #notblessed

It was a stellar night with friends. If you get the chance to see Bruno Mars in concert, DO IT! The man can sing, dance and play the guitar. And let’s not forget he’s easy on the eyes too.

Uncategorized

Meet Me at The Crossroads

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They say when one door closes, another opens.  In my case the door was slammed and the other door won’t seem to open.  So now I’m at a crossroads.  Do I continue with the profession I’ve been in for over 10 years or do I make a career change?  Do I pursue my passions or do I stick with something safe and less stressful?  Do I do things that scare me?  I figured now is the time to pull the trigger on a new chapter and a new adventure.  Whatever my next act entails, I hope it’s a good one.

Uncategorized

Go Home Barry Manilow

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Does anyone else get random texts like this from their parents? I mean not specifically about Barry Manilow, but random texts that you just weren’t expecting? My mom texted me yesterday + maybe it was just me, but I found it hilarious.  Come to find out she was tired of seeing Barry Manilow popping up on her Facebook, so with a simple fix we said, “Bye Felicia” and “un-liked” his page.   {Side note:  is “un-like” even a word? }  Even if it’s not a word, I’m going to start using it.

I’m also going to start keeping record of stellar text messages I receive from both my mom + dad.

Uncategorized

A Little Bit Squirrely

I decided to make some minor changes to my blog. When I first created Raleigh Social Butterfly several years ago the focus was going to be mainly about my life + adventures in Raleigh. After mulling it over for the past few months I made the decision to change my blog name to reflect more of my personality… and my strange obsession with squirrels. I present my new + improved blog… a little bit squirrely.

I’ll still continue to blog about my life + adventures like concerts, shenanigans,  travels, working on making my townhouse a home and more.  I even might throw in some commentary on my dating adventures as a 30-something gal with a twist of humor.

Let’s see how this goes…

Travels, Uncategorized

California Love

Y’all… big news! I’m going to California in February. Specifically, San Francisco (HELLO, FULL HOUSE) + Napa Valley.  It’s been on my bucket list to go to California + I’m beyond stoked. So when my friend Darnell sent out an email wanting to celebrate his 35th birthday in Napa Valley, I jumped all over it.  I mean, this is the year of me saying, “YES” to things… within reason.  And in case you didn’t pick up on it, I’m going to make it my mission to see the house from Full House while in San Fran.  It’s going to get me jazzed for when Fuller House comes on.  I loved me some Full House growing up. I mean John Stamos was super delicious (minus the mullet) + who wasn’t obsessed with that song, “Forever” that  Jesse + the Rippers sang?!  I might just play the theme song while we visit the house.

My biggest hurdle is the flight.  This girl is not a fan of flying.  I first flew by myself a few years ago when I went to Dallas to see my friend Darnell.  I’m pretty sure I was strung our + jazz hands the entire time.  Thank goodness my friend Whitney + her husband will be on the same flight as me when we head to California.  As for on the way back, I’m on my own.

I already know I’m going to have to apologize to the person who will be sitting next to me if I start to spazz out.  I’m also going to need to find myself a horse tranquilizer + a strong cocktail. There’s an 80% chance I might reenact this scene from Bridesmaids.

FullSizeRenderThe good news is that I have about a month to simmer myself down.  The bad news is the person next to me is going to tell me to shut the hell up.

Stay tuned to my traveling antics.

My Bucket List of Bands, Uncategorized

Planet Earth is Blue

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Y’all.  I’m still in disbelief that David Bowie passed away.  I typically don’t get bent out of shape when a celebrity passes. Yes, of course it’s sad when anyone passes away.  The last celebrity death that bummed me out was Whitney Houston.  I found out about that one on Twitter!  She was the first concert I ever went to (and the first concert I ever slept through).

*Side note: My mom took me to see Whitney when I was in first grade and it took her so long to get on stage I passed out. To this day my mom doesn’t know how I could sleep through a concert.

**Another side note: this post isn’t about Whitney… I just got off track.

Back to David Bowie.

I expected to wake up to the hoopla over the Golden Globes on Monday, not the sad news that David Bowie had passed away from cancer.  The man just had a birthday AND released his final album ON his birthday.  Talk about a major buzzkill.  BUT, I have to give him major props for keeping it under wraps from the public + continuing his love of music while he battled the terrible disease.  He was someone I would have loved to have seen live in concert.  Last year I saw Fleetwood Mac + The Rolling Stones and I know they’re no spring chickens… but I feel lucky to have been in the audience of their shows.

There was so much to admire about David Bowie– he had a beautiful marriage to Iman which was absolutely adorable, he called out MTV in the 80s for the lack of black artists being featured,  his insanely outrageous + amazing style that he frequently changed and so much more.  Don’t get me started on his hair… the man had a gorgeous head of hair and a set of gorgeous mismatched eyes.

Planet earth is indeed blue without him in it.  I just hope he + Queen are somewhere together performing Under Pressure.

I’m wrapping this post up with some of my favorite David Bowie songs (one of which is Under Pressure) so I won’t include that in my list:

I’m going to leave you with this quote from Simon Pegg:

“If you’re sad today, just remember the world is over 4 billion years old and you somehow managed to exist at the same time as David Bowie.” 

 

 

My Bucket List of Bands, Uncategorized

New Years With My Boos

Another New Years Eve, another Avett Brothers concert.  Now that’s the way to ring in 2016.  I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve seen them in concert + each show is more amazing than the last.

After all the food + alcohol that was consumed this holiday, we decided to tailgate in style at the Greensboro Coliseum… with a more healthy spread + some champs.  Because what’s New Years Eve without champs?!

Thoughts I had at the show…

  • Scott Avett can play just about any instrument, including a kazoo.  When they opened the show, he was playing the kazoo while jamming on the banjo. Be still my heart.  The person who caught the kazoo is one lucky SOB.
  • I ADORE their ever-changing looks.  Last year’s NYE show, Scott Avett was clean cut + Seth Avett was the one with long hair + beard.  This year it was Seth who was the clean cut one and Scott had the long beard.  Both can do no wrong.
  • The woman behind us had a constant resting bitch face throughout the entire show.  I couldn’t tell if she was constipated or if that was just her normal demeanor.
  • Joe Kwon had major hat game, bravo!
  • In other Joe Kwon news, I love watching him jam out while he plays on the cello… that’s passion y’all.
  • Of course I have to give some love to Bob Crawford… he’s the master of the upright base.  And I’m not going to lie, I love his casual slightly hipster style.
    • Speaking of style, Scott can totally pull off suspenders.
  • Father Time aka Valient was fantastic. Not only did he ring in 2016, but the man can sing. He sang Time is On My Side + Don’t Do Me Like That with the Avetts as they did the big balloon drop. Major props!
  • They performed Divorce Separation Blues, a new song for their upcoming album. And duh, it was amazing! I know some of my friends will appreciate it + can relate to the song.

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Their setlist for their show…

  1. The D Bag Rag
  2. Down with the Shine
  3. The Fall
  4. Live + Die
  5. Paranoia in B Major
  6. Will You Return
  7. February Seven
  8. Talk on Indolence
  9. I and Love and You
  10. Murder in the City
  11. Divorce Separation Blues
  12. In the Garden
  13. Die Then Grow
  14. Vanity
  15. Kick Drum Heart
  16. The Girl I Left Behind Me
  17. Laundry Room
  18. Satan Pulls the Strings
  19. Morning Song
  20. Slight Figure of Speech
  21. Time is on My Side (Stones Cover)
  22. Don’t Do Me Like That (Tom Petty Cover)
  23. Salvation Song
  24. Pretty Girl from Greensboro- ENCORE
  25. Another Is Waiting– ENCORE
  26. Head Full of Doubt– ENCORE
  27. Goodnite, Sweetheart, Goodnite– ENCORE

In conclusion, I’m a total Avett Brothers bandaid. I will continue to go to their NYE shows as long as they continue to have them.

Uncategorized

Oh Hey, 2016!

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I rang 2016 in style… another New Years Eve show with The Avett Brothers! That recap will come later.

I’m not one to make resolutions, because let’s get real… I don’t keep them.  That would be like me saying, “I’ve got a mad craving for chitlins”… not going to happen. Ever.  Instead I try to make a list of things I want to do or strive to do, that way I’m not committing to something for a whole year.  Here’s what I’ll strive to do in 2016…

  • Concerts. I saw some stellar shows in 2015… The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Mumford + Sons, The Avett Brothers and Alabama Shakes… just to name a few.
  • Read more. I started reading more towards the end of 2015 + I forgot how much I missed it.  The first book I’m going to crack open for 2016 is Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari.  And yes, I’m one of those people who likes holding a physical book.  Here’s hoping I also actually read my magazines too.  I was notorious for slacking on that in 2015.
  • Decorating. I’m for real this time.  I’m going to hang pictures on my wall… even if I have to find someone taller than me to hang them.  Actually, someone is going to have to do it for me. If I hang them it will be obvious a fun-sized person hung them on the wall.  I have a rep to maintain.
  • Saying, “YES.”  I want to say yes to more adventures in 2016.  For example, I’ve already said yes to going to Napa Valley in February with a group of friends.  I’ll just need to find someone to hold my hand on the flight or a horse tranquilizer to subdue my jazz hands.

And that’s it!

Here’s to more giggles, less falling in public + lots of fun in 2016!