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Dallas, Texas, United States

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

CruiserMel Takes On The Heartland

Whew, I made it home in one piece! That's really saying something, too. If you only knew the scope of my travel ghoulies for a good part of 2006. It looks like I dodged a bullet or two on my trip to see Kasim in Chicago and Valparaiso (Indiana. Yeah, I hadn't heard of it either. Nice little place, though.) The picture above is what I got to drive through. Hey, I'm a Texan, dammit. Don't do this to me! Luckily, the license plate on my rental said Illinois, so no one knew my secret. And I kept it between the ditches. Yay CruiserMel!

I got to Chicago early enough to have lunch with two friends I'd met when I bought concert tickets for The New Cars back in the summer from their ad on craigslist. G & N are wonderful, funny people who are very much in love. Warms the ole cockles, ya know?

Then a quick trip to the hotel to freshen up for the night. I left for the Abbey Pub, with plenty of time to make the 30-minute drive, but Mapquest led me on a wild goose chase. Having caught not one single goose, I turned around and made it there to meet with S for a very rushed dinner of Irish BLT. I'm not sure what made it Irish and it was dark in there and when I got back to the hotel after the show and took a good look at my "doggie bag", I'm pretty sure it's a good thing I didn't eat much of it earlier. Just sayin.

After dinner S & I got inside the actual music venue early and grabbed a table up front. I got a nice little surprise when Kasim acknowledged me from the stage. Gets me every time. *butterfly alert* The show was fantastic, but he could probably sit there and burp and I'd be happy just to watch. Surprised, are we?

The real fun began after the show. There was a Ramones tribute band set to come on in a couple of hours after Kasim, so those guys were trying to get set up while Kasim and his sidekick, Doug were tearing down, and at the same time visit with us peasants. It was chaotic, but management wasn't trying to run us off. Yay. I hung back so they could finish breaking down and hopefully the riff-raff would get weeded-out. A little while later, I was chatting with Doug a bit about a common "friend" of our's. (Johnny Virgil - see the 15 Minute Lunch link to your right.) Oh and I was also tattle-telling that my friend Merv has a crush on him. (Sorry Merv. Did I mention there might have been alcohol involved?) After awhile, Kasim came over, grabbed me from behind and scared the bejeebers out of me. The world stopped that second for me. The Ramones guys were sound-checking and it was so loud - so I did what any red-blooded American teenager would do (because I turn into a teenager around him, so you know)....I grabbed his hand and dragged him over into the corner right there before God and everyone. I swear, it wasn't me. When I realized what I'd done, I hopped out of my body and said "WTF are you doing?" It must've been okay, because he stuck around. Heh.

Um....what next? Let's move on to the next day in Valparaiso, shall we? (Hey, it's my blog and I can fast-forward. Deal.) I got the honor of lunching with Kasim (well, is 2:00 lunch? oh yeah, rockstar hours). I was an old pro by this time and didn't rattle the dish when I handed him the salad dressing and I'm pretty sure I didn't say anything too foolish. And I was sober, folks! The highlight was when someone was talking and talking about something that clearly wasn't holding Kas' attention and he suddenly leaned forward and asked me if I could hear ONE song from him, what would it be. What? Me? I glanced side to side and yup, he was talking to me. *gulp* Honestly, not only could I not think of any songs he's sung before, but I couldn't think of ANY songs EVER sung by ANYONE. It wasn't my finest hour, kids, but I survived and made it through the lunch without puking in Kasim's lunch or my own.

Fast forward to the show: Brilliant. Wanna see a picture? I know I do.

Talking afterwards was a challenge because the crowd hovering around was huge and though it was something like 27 degrees below effin hell outside, it felt like it was 100 degrees inside and it was time to get out of there. It may have been the nickname that M called me in front of Kas that sent my body temp to 105. It sounds something like CruiserMelicious. The horror! Anyway, we said buh-bye, I got a little snuggle and got outta there with a little of my pride in tact. (I waited until I was in my car to scream like a 14 yr-old at Shea Stadium seeing The Beatles.) My new friends S & M (hee, that's cute) and I tried to find a bar to go to, but apparently Sunday nights in Valparaiso aren't very happening. Dang.

Monday morning it was 8 degrees and there was snow everywhere. Not Texas snow. Unh unh. This was real snow! Pretty, fluffy, clean snow. But did I take a picture? No. What a duffus.

And that, kiddies, was my weekend. Oh and let me share a little nugget about March. We're talkin' Philly. Kasim. Meat Loaf show. (don't even think of teasing me on this, you won't win). Yeah baby, yeah. You can't see me right now, but I'm looking pretty smug about now. Heh.

Enough of this for now. How can a girl write when she's feeling all googly? (my new word)

Scram. Go read someone else's blog, will ya?


Williebee said...

You have cockles????

All these years, ya' think you know someone...

Wish we could have been there. Glad you had a blast!

Next time go with Driving Me Mad? Works on several levels.

Swishy said...

Ughhh ... I hate winter! Glad you had fun, though!

CruiserMel said...

Williebee - You were talked about. Well, your DW was talked about - with me and G & N. They said "hi" and asked how she's doing. Tell her, will ya?

What's "Driving Me Mad"? Is that Neil Finn's version or what?

Swishy - yeah, I agree - but this snow was lovely. I didn't mind, once I found out I could drive in it. It's the stuff in Texas that's hard to maneuver. But you'd know that. Nevermind.

Mr. Fabulous said...

You are having way too much fun LOL

KP said...

You must have taken MY half of our brain with you... sorry about the stupid teenage stuff. I hate when that happens. Actually, it might be kinda charming. Yes, we'll go with charming. And I didn't know you had cockles either. Should they be warm?

CruiserMel said...

Fab - I'm having fun, not TOO MUCH fun. I can never have enough. I'm insatiable. Don't you know that yet?

kp - Cockles should always be warm. The warmer the better. No, make that hot. Hotter than hot - scorchin, if ya know what I mean... and I think you do. And thanks for letting me borrow your half of the brain for the weekend. You can have it back whenever the need arises.

Shelle said...

I'm so glad your trip went smoothly.
Thanks for sharing the great pictures.

CruiserMel said...

Shelle - Sure thang, honey.

Johnny Virgil said...

That was actually the first time I met Kasim. I basically just shook his hand and told him that the first video I ever bought was Utopia Live at the Royal Oak.

So what kind of trash did doug tell you about me? C'mon, spill.

CruiserMel said...

JV, my sweet, JV. Don't fret, little one. My brain was clearly elsewhere. But I did learn a secret or two about you, that I won't reveal to your readers (or mine). In fact, it was sorta like sneaking a peak at the Xmas gifts on the closet shelf two weeks before Christmas. The mystery is the fun part. Luckily, alcohol was involved, so my memory is fuzzy.

Oh and I like your choice of video. Do you have "Liars?" Oh geez, there I go again, talking music. Sorry folks.

Bev said...

Whoa, that snow looks scary to drive in.

And I'm sorry, but who's this Kasim character I hear so much about?

CruiserMel said...

Bev - Kasim Sulton is a musician who I first saw when I was a teen way back. He's played with the likes of Todd Rundgren/Utopia, Joan Jett, Hall & Oates, Ritchie Sambora, Celine Dion, among many more. He's been Meat Loaf's music director & bass player since 1993. Most recently, he is in The New Cars and in between he's a singer/songwriter on his own. He's been doing some solo accoustic shows in '06 and '07. Beautiful music - check him out on Amazon or somewhere. And if you couldn't tell, I've had a crush on him for more years than I want to admit. That's about it, in a nutshell.

Golightly said...

ooh that pic looks so freaking cold, brrr!
glad you had a blast and got back safely!!

Johnny Virgil said...

Lies. All of it.