Dear Blogger

It's not you. It's me. Well, it's you AND it's me.

I wasn't seeking out something new, but WordPress was charming. And handsome. And he promised me ease with comments and a fun layout and an "about page" and...well...

I was signing up and writing my first post before the heady intoxication wore off. And there I was. Away from Blogger and all that I hold dear that comes with it.

The problem is that I really liked it. What started out as a possible blog fling turned into the promise of a long, nurturing relationship.

(Which can be chronicled quite snazzily through the post calendar I can use over there -- I mean...)

Blogger, I'm sorry. But it's time for you and I to part ways. And if we do it now, I hope that we can continue to be friends and share custody of our couple thousand posts.

You've been glorious, Blogger, and you'll always have a fond place in my heart.

Yours with love,
(now of vickievictoria.wordpress.com -- update your bookmarks, get over there and say hello!)


All alive and brand new

"You know when Matt goes up to that high note at the end of 'I Saw'? The 'I swea-AH-AAAR'? Whenever I'm in my car. listening to live versions of that song, I crank it loud so I can belt out that note at the top of my lungs. Every single time. So when I'm seeing him live, I'm right there in that moment, shout-singing that note. I forget that other people are there and I wait for it every single time." - In the car, 10.24
I kind of forget that Matt Nathanson can be a rockstar.

Don't get me wrong. He should be one. He certainly deserves to be one. As far as I'm concerned, he is one.

But my version of "rockstar" pertains more to devout underground followings than a fancy light show. My rockstars are dorks more often than badass.

We scampered from the car to the front door of the venue, hurried along by the only-slightly muffled sound of "Sad Songs" audible from out back. A quick run inside, presentation of ID and a stroll through the doors into bliss.

Brightly lit, pulsing neon, Matt before a packed house of fans kind of bliss.

It took me a moment to adjust.

Matt is a rocker.

He then proceeded to play the dork. He elicted lighter waves with a full-length cover of "Don't Stop Believing" that brought singalong shrieks of delight from the typically undercover Journey fans. A "new" song (new, perhaps, to those on hand for Carbon Leaf's panflute rock) was prefaced with the interpretive reading of a romance novel cover; Matt requested that the band bust out "something porny" to back up his saucy reading voice, and it lustily obliged. Three words: I have video.

But the songs were tight as ever. The crowd loved him. And I found myself staring at the stage with that expression reserved specifically for Matt*: eyes wide to take it all in, jaw slightly dropped for both laughter and the sense of awe that washes over me at each of his shows.

By the time he approached the end of "I Saw," I was ready for it.

And I saw pictures in my head
And I swea--AAH-AAAR
I would be heavenly if baby you'd just rescue me now...
I saw pictures in my head of you...

My voice, drowned out by the sound of the rockstar's.

*Adding, of course, to the list of V Facial Expressions That Only Appear For Certain People.

Little things

A kind word can warm three months of winter.
- Japanese proverb
A small gesture lit up my face with a beaming smile and blazing red cheeks.

I knew I was about to have a great night. Syd and Patrick Thomas were beginning a set that was sure to make me smile early and often. I was going to have to regretfully look over my shoulder once more when we left early -- but I would be heading to Higher Ground and a full-band Matt Nathanson set. I would get to enjoy Matt's special blend of sweetness and raunch. I would most likely spend part of the evening singing at least one rock song from the 1980s. I would try to zip from Matt's set back to Syd and Patrick to catch the very end of their set.

Unless laryngitis were to suddenly strike all three at the same time, my enjoyable evening was guaranteed.

But I wasn't thinking about that. I was instead trying to mask my utter dorktitude and joy about a small, unsolicited gesture.

When Patrick stepped up to the microphone, he said that he was going to kick the evening off with "Metaphor." A friend really liked the song, he said with a smile, and he knew she probably had to leave early, so he wanted to play it.

"So after this, you're good to go," he said, looking at my table with a grin.

Big deal. A song. A small gesture.

But a gesture no one else would ever think to make.

That meant a lot to me.


Solicitation (updated)

Photo buffs, lend me your eyes.

I'm going to be upgrading my digital camera within the next couple of weeks, and I'm looking for suggestions as to what to check out. Basically, here's what I'm thinking:

- Looking between the $300-$400 range
- A step up from compact point-and-shoot, but nowhere near SLR territory
- Relatively user-friendly for someone still learning the ropes
- Crisp, quality shots possible in a variety of settings (from still shots to concert photography)

Suggestions? At the moment, I'm researching the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H2, Kodak EasyShare 2710 and Canon PowerShot S3 1S -- and actively seeking input from those familiar with any/all of those cameras or others in that genre I should check out.

(***UPDATED, thus rendering the snippet immediately below said update absolutely moot, but hey: Research is fun. Am now lusting after the S3 1S. Lusting. A very dirty, hot-damn-I-can-play-with-color-replacement, ooh talk to me about optical image stabilization, get that into my hands NOW kind of lust.***)

A recap of yesterday's trip to the New Hampshire Parallelogram will come tomorrow (I hope - if not, Tuesday)...I'd give it a shot tonight, but considering the headachey drive back to my apartment and the sheepish admission to my visiting mother that the pumpkin ale was flowing quite liberally at Milly's last night (read: "Yeah, Mom, I'm a little hungover")...might be best to save it until I can tackle the roundup appropriately.

So over this intuitive thing

I'm standing on the dance floor, looking up and over at the stage when I start to feel my weight shift onto one foot.

My head starts to tilt shortly thereafter.

Next thing I know, I'm peering up at the stage with a thinly veiled expression of puzzlement on my face.


It is a fundamentally strong performance. The instrumentation is tight. I know that I dig the material. The vocals are on, the audio levels and mix sound just about right...

And yet my instincts are nagging at me. Attempts to ignore are proving futile -- and dulling them with another pint of pumpkin ale certainly didn't work.

Something is off, and now I'm busy dividing my time between second-guessing myself and enjoying the set.

It's been a fun night, the random kind of evening that only seems to unfold at Milly's. The assemblage for this particular gathering includes more circles than usual, but it's been cool -- the friends coming together to laugh and converse are actually in the same place for the first time in at least a few months. A couple of guys with whom friends had been chatting wound up leading my friends in a blush-enducing toast "to blogs!" The New Hampshire equivalent of Turtle on "Entourage" was on the prowl, an encounter that prompted me to flip over my cladagh ring and joke with N and M about which of the boys would be game in pretending to be my boyfriend for the evening. There were warm hugs, kisses on the cheeks, introductions, playful banter and high-fives galore -- as well as a text message or two to folks that we wished could have made it out for the night.

And, true to form, the Soundguy Complex has already made itself evident, peppering TC's set with feedback and frustration, both onstage and off.

It's Milly's. It's how that place rolls and I long ago grew accustomed to it.

There are new friends, old friends, those acquaintances who happen to fall somewhere in between...and tonight a person or two to whom I am thinking of walking over to introduce myself and say hello. I hold off, however, cognizant of the potential awkwardness that could follow a "Hi, we know a bunch of the same people, I'm pretty sure we each know who the other is and we've both attended a number of these shindigs. How about I just say hello already?"

So for the moment I'm focused on feeling relaxed and content, standing with dear friends, listening to much-loved music performed by the friends I will be sure to hug at least once more before evening's end...

...and I can't shift that weight off my foot, get that little voice out of my head that's inquiring as to what precisely is wrong.

I hate that voice.


You just gotta keep on livin', man. L-I-V-I-N.

Tonight brought the infectious smile and all-consuming performance style of one Todd Carey Music Dot Com to our own little Chittenden County hideaway. A bottle of Red Stripe, a shared plate of gravy fries, and Todd kicking off his set with a cover of Teitur's "Poetry & Aeroplanes"?

Exactly, friends. Exactly.

I remarked in a phone call today that every time I've sat down to the computer over the last week and a half, the only thought running through my mind is "Jesus, I'm tired." And some point as I slept last night, my body realized that it didn't necessarily have to do everything I've been demanding of it. So when I awoke, I realized that it had all but shut down.

Nope, don't even think about keeping this pace up, child. You are out of commission today. Mmmhmm.

Think of a zombie, minus the craving for brains. That will bring you close to me, circa the daytime.

But a relatively short night out with friends and good tunes helped, and I'm now ready to tackle the weekend and all that comes with it. Todd "Anywhere But Memphis" Carey once again raised the bar of my expectations, which means he's going to have to once again improve upon himself tomorrow night.

Tomorrow, you say? Why yes, dear reader, I do say.

Here's the deal: The Dial-Up and Mr. TC will be sharing the stage with the ne'er before mentioned here (ever - click on the links) Mr. Chad Perrone and his posse of musical peeps. Milly's Tavern in Manchester, the center of the New Hampshire Parallelogram.

A Milly's show always proves memorable, one way or another, and I'm looking forward to finally imbibing in this whole pumpkin ale business while seeing familiar faces from several musical circles, all mushed into a single space.

It'll be a good time, I'll be there and you should be too. Check out CP's myspace for the details and get yourself there.

In other, decidedly less enjoyable news: the first snowfall descended today. While most of it has already melted away, I realize now that I have to sit down and chat with Mother Nature, who blatantly broke the agreement I'd made several years ago.

There shall be no snow before Victoria's birthday. Simple. Straightforward. Easy to comprehend and, frankly, not a hell of a lot to ask for. Yet she decides, with exactly two weeks to go until I ring in 26, to pull this?

We are not amused.


There are certain television shows meant for watching with certain people. "The West Wing" was seemingly intended to provide commercial commentary with my parents. "The Bachelor" was nights in D.C., sharing the couches with the flatmates after we individually abandoned our desire to look cool and gave in to the addiction. "Gilmore Girls" involves any of my closest friends, often with text messages sent back and forth from our various states of residence. "Dawson's Creek" brings to mind Chris, the one guy with cojones enough to waltz into my freshman dormroom and plunk himself down in front of the television.

"Grey's Anatomy" is a Beth show, which creates a problem. It's Thursday night, 13 minutes from an all-new episode, and Beth is out of state.

I'm taping. I'm holding out until she gets home so we can giggle and swoon appropriately, resuming our debate over who is more worthy, McDreamy or McVet (all the while looking for McSteamy to appear before the camera). It wouldn't be the same, declaring my love to George O'Malley to an otherwise empty room.

But this is going to be a test of willpower, knowing that they are right there, waiting to be seen and heard...




We interrupt your normal Revelry reading for a special thank you to our sponsors. The last 10 days have been fueled equally -- and almost exclusively -- by the following: Coffee, Adrenaline, Sleep Deprivation, Understanding Flatmates and Friends and, last but certainly not least, Bizarre Turns of Event.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled reading.

(When I get a chance to actually write, that is...)


Awk and awe

I extended my hand with a firm grip and ready smile.

I said: "Hi there. It's great to meet you."
I thought: "Thank God you were here tonight and I was here for it."

The evening had been precisely what I'd needed - easy good time filled with laughter, dancing and clap-accented whoops. I couldn't stop smiling, from the time the vamp kicked in until that last wave from the stage.

It felt so foreign, the sensation of relaxing. It had been the first soothing span of time in a week, and I could sense the tension release from my shoulders as I raised my arms to applaud.

Rather amazing, the way a week of frustration and surreality makes you realize a need to almost retrain yourself into simply having fun again. Add to that the fact that I'm so often drawn to the heart-on-sleeve music that elicits thoughtful tears that I manage forget about the joy of laugh-until-you-cry style of performance.

Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers drove into town at just the right time. I relaxed. I felt better.

I rather felt like me again. Just dancing and singing along with friends.

I respect SK6 immensely for the way they are capable of seamlessly blending talent with a flair for the absurd. A musical play-off between kazoos and keytars. Kit's shirtless Sprinkler and "Material Girl." The water-chugging contest and "Bust a Move."

Each time the laughter peaks, a glorious three-part harmony fills the room.

And then Boots wins the movie quote contest by brilliantly delivering "You only think I guessed wrong! That's what's so funny! I switched glasses when your back was turned! Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly less well-known is this: never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha -- TWO THREE FOUR!"

It proved an...interesting juxtaposition to the previous night. Mid-sized room at Higher Ground versus the tiny Radio Bean space. SK6 zaniness versus CP contemplation. Stella versus Switchback. Musicians I don't know versus friends. Full set versus a half hour.

Definitely a change in gears, transitioning from one to the other. Both excellent, but clearly Granny Smiths and tangerines.

I have to wonder if my temprament for most of the rest of the weekend would have been different, had I taken in both performances in an opposite order of appearance.

It's all speculative at this point anyway, but I have to think I would have been better suited to stand on the sidewalk, in a skirt in the cold, waiting for who knows what, had I spent the previous two hours laughing myself silly.

Instead, I found myself up to my eyes in the Awk, realizing that what I'd gone there for -- precisely what I'd come to find one night later, to feel that stress slip away -- was simply a notion fading fast.

(YouTube captures the brilliant dichotomy of this band in...Atlanta? Yeah. View both for the full effect.)