Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sad Sprinkler Smiles

On a hot day of June, a lonely sprinkler sat baking in radiating sunshine, remembering its days of usefulness. How two little girls had hopped over it, giggling with delight, as it sprayed them with refreshing, cool water. Running and jumping over aquatic arches projected by its spinning summer dance, the young girls skipped merrily under reflected rainbows of light. How our poor, disheartened sprinkler now missed those days!  

play n scroll on...

Sulking in shadows, it now wondered where its companions could be- Surely something terrible must have happened to them, thought the sprinkler, for they loved him too much to ever leave him alone- and especially on such a sweltering day! Now and again, he pondered whether or not his little happy companions would ever return- his hope fading with each day of companionless existence that passed. Who was this woman now standing over him- and holding such a strange flashing device? Could it be that this girl is one of the two missing friends from my only happy memories? Our sprinkler pondered this possibility for some time as the mysterious lady now circled him, before concluding she could not be one of the little girls he’d known so well. She looked far too serious and neither of his long lost friends ever furrowed their brows- Nor did they point strange objects in his direction that frightened him. Alas!- thought the sprinkler, for he now knew something dreadful must have happened to his beloved children.

Our sprinkler's anxious thoughts were suddenly soothed by a familiar sound that he swore he must have merely imagined hearing…that…laughter…I’ve heard that before! Delighted at what he now affirmed to be reality rather than delusion, the sprinkler watched the serious circling lady and was mesmerized. Another woman had entered that backyard and whatever she said to the strange lady still hovering above, must have been something funny for now she laughed. Her laugh sounded just as little sprinkler had remembered it- and the other woman’s voice, though it had changed somewhat, still carried tones of joy that identified it in an instant. Lonely sprinkler beamed as brightly as did the sun on this day, for his best friends had finally returned home.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

McGraw: Bucket List Check Accomplished.


Club level seats? YES. Our seats were perfect at the concert, since June temperatures in Nashville were sweltering that day. The only shade afforded by LP Stadium was cast over our row by the sun’s perfect angle when our show began. I’ve wanted to see Tim McGraw perform live since I was little and our view from club level allowed me to check this goal off my life’s bucket list, in style.

We parked about two miles from LP Field to avoid traffic that would surely prevent me from witnessing the epic entrance of Mr. McGraw. Parking costs were 5 bucks lower in the lot we chose, but still totaled $20.00. Josh and I walked towards the show and I couldn’t resist snapping pictures of this bridge on our way.

A bridge history lesson was learned unexpectedly on our journey. Sometimes, walking a few extra feet (or miles, in our case) is worth it. I'd never noticed this sign before when driving by, but it caught my eye when traveling on-foot.

Over the river and through the bridge, to summer concerts we go!

I love taking shots like this one- through objects, with blue skies as my background.

We hurriedly crossed the bridge, but not without first getting a picture of Nashville’s skyline.

Lines and skies, pretty to my eyes.

Glistening waters shone brightly as the setting sun cast its last hours of splendor upon Nashville. Some boats had cleverly docked up on the water, no doubt in efforts to save money by getting within earshot of country superstars’ songs. Not a bad idea, but I would not be satisfied if a bird’s eye view of the show were unavailable from my boat...I'm a big fan, folks.

At last, our destination was within reach…just a few more steps. (few=1,000, or so.) Josh kept the ridiculous walking pace I’d set for us as I kept clicking my camera. (Mr. Stylus better not fail, I thought along the way.)

Josh is the subject of, in my opinion, my best black and white pictures. This particular day reinforced that belief.

Community awareness sign in LP Field parking lot, educating visitors about texting procedures and protocol for reporting unruly fans. I was unable to read the fine print that would surely provide detailed explanations for what actions are “unruly” enough to justify texted reports. I wonder if 9-1-1 accepts text messages. Maybe they handle unruly fan incidents- anything more serious, and I guess you have to make a call. I wonder if texted reports result in a response text from security. Something like, “Thank you for reporting unruly fans. Please respond to the next series of questions to assist security in accurately assessing your report. 1.) Is your unruly fan just yelling excessively? 2.) Is your unruly fan intoxicated? 3.) Estimate approx. stadium location of unruly fan., etc. I kind of want to test this whole text reporting thing out just to see how it works. I guess I’ll have to wait for a fan to get completely out of control to see what happens when I perform my civic text messaging duties.

Our shaded stadium area! This was a wonderful and welcomed surprise to two hot, tired travelers.

Slightly Slanted Snapshots are fun sometimes. 

Stadium Seating

I’ll honestly admit that I wasn’t incredibly familiar with Grace Potter, but she opened for McGraw and Chesney. Though her songs aren’t my favorite, she’s has a great voice and envious good looks.

Josh may not have enjoyed her songs, either, but I’m fairly sure he agreed that Ms. Potter is beautiful and talented.

Sorry Grace…he’s all mine. :) (I think he looks a little too serious here, though!)

There. That’s better.

Of course, I can’t resist trying out some black and white edit effects. It always makes things & people look classier to me.

View from outside our club level floor, where smokers and passersby bustle and provide exceptional entertainment value to any observer.

Josh and I are featured in this photo as gawking shadow figures. An excellent example of unacceptable concert ensembles is featured here at the most flattering angle possible. Why this girl subjected herself to our silent ridicule is hypothesized as a desperate need for attention- even if it’s the worst kind. What not to wear called…they want to help you. I get the part about wanting to look like a cowgirl for a country music concert. What I have trouble deciphering is her decision to select Daisy Dukes over longer, less-revealing chaps. Sort of like Mr. Speedo Man (see prev. blog), Ms. Jigglely Wiggely pranced by us with remarkable confidence unbefitting of her fashion disaster.

Criss-cross, zig-zag, smokers out here take a drag.

I love how this girl’s white top contrasts with the city-themed background. If only my camera could have zoomed further, I would have focused more on this stranger in my picture. Still, featured here are fellow observers of smokers and fashion crimes committed by traveling fans. 

LP Field

Enter Mr. McGraw…fans scream, I scream, we all scream for this dream! (or insert better childhood rhyme that would be appropriate, while also suggestive of…ahem, adult dreams.) Notice the definition in his arms, conveniently enlarged by a huge screen for fans near and far. I think I can probably count this day as one of the best I’ve had in my 24 years of existence. My wedding day to Mr. Hodge is rated first, though…yeah, that’s the very best day of them all.

White shirt, white pants…nobody else could pull it off like he did.

Josh and my cousin, Clay sat down as we girls droned on about how awesome Tim looks even though he’s aged since his initial popularity. Guess our guys got a little tired of our middle-school giggles and conversations about our lifelong crush.

And the crowd goes wild…

Some lucky fans shook his hand. I’d probably faint if I ever got that close. There are few celebrities who can provoke the level of crazy fan in me, but he’s definitely one of them.

Brothers of the Sun Tour, Nashville, TN
There was one particular "brother" who made me camera-trigger-happy.

One cowboy, among thousands of others, came out for this concert.

City through rails

Josh’s concert-watching stance

Home of Country Music’s Skyline

Vastness of LP Stadium, slanted sideways

Walking back to our car, I had to capture nightlights of Nashville as we crossed the bridge that had lead us to a night that would forever be remembered. Boats were still docked near river shores, and the true motivation of boat captains now became apparent. Even 2 miles away from LP, we could surprisingly hear lyrics and instruments with unaltered volume and clarity. Upon our downtown arrival, we’d noticed boats that had docked miles away from the concert and I had underestimated their clever and thrifty decision to avoid stadium crowds when auditory ability could be afforded by their location. On their securely tied boats, these pirate fans were able to hear everything that we had enjoyed…and their beers didn’t cost $9 each. However, our boat boarded buddies were deprived of the visual satisfaction I had enjoyed at our recently departed location.

This happened. 
Mr. Stylus was apparently jealous of Mr. Mcgraw (and of course, Mr. Hodge, as always) so he decided to randomly distort one of my attempts at a night time photo-capture of our hometown’s glowing lights. No edit required. Relationship with my ex camera to be re-assessed, as this photo was an effortless favorite that I have yet to explain. :)

My Aunts, Renee and Kim, are the BEST! Josh and I could not have had a better time and have them to thank for spoiling us by helping me meet my lifetime crush, Tim McGraw. Though he still looks sexy and sings like a nightingale (a country nightingale, mind you), my Josh makes him a nobody. That said, it was still incredible to share my bucket list #3 (approximately, under skydiving, etc.) on this night!