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Dallas, Texas, United States

Monday, January 26, 2009

Heading North for the Holidaze, Part Two

Oh all-righty, I know it's been weeks instead of days since I last posted. So sorry, as usual. I wish I could tell you that I've been on a whirlwind world tour or that I've been training for a marathon somewhere...alas, those would be lies. I have, however, been laying a little lower than normal with an upper respiratory thing that has kicked my butt six ways to Sunday. I haven't really felt all that bad, but my energy level has stayed pretty much at 30% for what's been over 3 weeks. I'm still popping horse pills and am upright a good portion of the time, but when given the chance, I've taken enough naps to last a year.

Meanwhile, I've had this here blog on my brain and so finally tonight, I decided to just knock it out - good or bad.

We left off with CruiserMel and others in Annapolis, MD. Well, we got up and said "tootles" to Merv who had to work on New Year's Eve. WTF? Yeah, she rolls like that....a night of drunken fun and giggles til the wee hours and she's up and at 'em by 8:00 am. The rest of us were a little slower, but we hit the road back to Philly with stars in our eyes and very high hopes for the fantastic party we had planned.

We were slowed a little by the driving snow we headed into and the mutha-effin' awful traffic in Philadelphia. Geez, what is up with that, Philadelphians? Crazy!

We got checked in to the hotel and Doug & I hit the street for last-minute items. We headed over to the venue and the fairies were hard at work.

Perhaps I had not mentioned, but a couple of Toddfans wanted to get married amongst their Toddfriends...so several girls hopped on the romance train and threw together a really "Toddcentric" wedding. There is an old Quaker law on the books in Pennsylvania that once licensed, a couple can "marry" themselves - so this particular couple decided to go that route. And what a trip!! The wedding "fairies" had decorated the place and not missed a single detail. The bride wore a bridal train that included a facsimile of every Todd Rundgren album cover trailing behind her and carried a bouquet of flowers fixed into an over-sized martini glass. The bride entered the venue to an electric guitar version of "Here Comes the Bride" and the officiators were Prairie Prince (TR's drummer) dressed as the Pope and Rachel Haden (TR's bassist) dressed as a Catholic school girl. Yes, this was wacky. As planned. Kasim Sulton (TR's keyboardist and guitarist) even sang a love song to the couple whilst dressed as a Catholic priest. The bride & groom spoke vows to each other in the form of Todd lyrics and song titles. I had written the vows one Sunday afternoon and was thrilled when the crowd "got it" and laughed. If I ever get married - this might be the way to go. But alas, I didn't catch the bouquet.

After a quick reception - it was SHOWTIME! Doug & I took deep breaths as we looked out over the crowd and just let whatever happens happen. There was so much excitement and buzz - it was palpable. Before we knew it - Todd was shouting: "Is this a show? NOOOOOOO, this is a PARTY!" And we were off.

Todd & Company put on a very cool show and even did a couple of songs he hasn't performed in ages, including "Hello, It's Me". Todd didn't disappoint at midnight either...we got Auld Lang Syne and a rawkin' countdown. Doug & I contributed several cases of champagne which were shared amongst the peeps. It was truly my favorite NYE in my lifetime! Wanna see some pics? Well - have at it.

Prairie & Rachel officiating...
Father Kasim sings "Love Alone"...
The Pope as mic stand...
Striking the early chords of the show...
Look, Ma! A real Todd show!...
Hiya, Kas...
Todd takes us into the new year...
And Mel gets her kissy on...
...and again...
I'm pretty sure we had a great time from the look on our faces...
Happy New Year, y'all!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Heading North for the Holidaze, Part One

Oh my Todd, I have been remiss in my blogging responsibilities during the holiday season. So let me start off with a big ole BELATED HIPPY HAPPY HOLIDAYS to all my chitlins! I hope yours was awash of happiness and joy and blah blah blah. And where would I be if I didn't say HAPPY NEW YEAR, my dears.

My holidays? Well, we had our "family" Christmas early because CruiserMel had travel docs in hand for Christmas Day and I believe my brother had tix to a bowl game or two that week. Yeah, the holidays had a different feel to them this year and that was cool with me. I'm afraid that we just didn't have it in us this year, what with Mom & Dad both gone for the first time. We'll get back on track for 2009 though.

Meanwhile - here's what went down with the Cruiser, in case you wanna know. And if you don't wanna know, then just fast forward through the pics and make up your own stories.

I got to Philadelphia on Xmas Day - to join my bff E and her family for left-over turkey and piles of spinach artichoke dip. And vodka. Hey, it was better than the bag of chips I'd purchased at the DFW airport that morning. E had a similar Christmas spirit as I did this year (she lost her mother, too) - but she beat me by having 11 ornaments on her tree, whereas I had 2 (a Kasim ball - private joke - and a Hawaiian dude with a ukulele that I'd bought in Kauai in June.).

Anyway - after many vodkas and a gallon of spinach dip, we all passed out for a long (well, it was actually kinda short) winter's nap. Before I knew it, my alarm clock went off, I brushed my teef, grabbed a diet coke and stumbled my way down to E's basement office where Doug & I had shipped boxes and boxes of New Year's Eve / Todd Rundgren swag (I believe I counted over 30 boxes - sorry, E) to make some kind of organization of it all. While E tried to conduct her business as usual, I got a workout of mass proportions by bending over approximately 2347 times to pack NYE "gift bags" with event tshirts, champagne glasses, Toddtini shakers and such for the lucky couple of hundred who would be attending our gig in Philly for NYE. After 14 1/2 hours, I was still in my jammies, but had completed the task at hand. When I could barely move - I was lured upstairs by the pull of more cocktails (hey, it's a painkiller, right?) and we stared at the tree and had a little togetherness by the fire. But we had big plans for the next day....

We drug ourselves outta bed and into the car for a short ride on the Pa and NJ Turnpikes to Secaucus, NJ (thus begins the loss of the Texas twang) where we had decided to stay to save some dinero for our visit to New Yawk. Let me say right here and now: you get what you pay for and though the hotel bill and even the busfare / trainfare into Manhattan was reasonable, I will certainly not do that again for a couple of reasons. 1. The time it took to traverse back and forth. 2. We got a nasty surprise in our room's ice bucket. Get a load of this...

Can you see that shit? Yes - those are dirty toenail clippings. We still aren't sure what's worse - the lack of thorough housekeeping or the fucked-up A-hole who did this in the first place. Nevertheless, we didn't let it hamper our fun, but we passed on ice for the rest of the stay.

As soon as we got whored-up, we caught a bus and then a couple of subway trains into Manhattan and met up with a gal I'll call "L" who I'd met previously through various Kasim and Todd channels over the years. We had a nice Irish dinner and got to The Blender Theater with enough time to get a good place up front for E's first Todd show in a long time and her daughter's first Todd show ever. It was amazing - but I must say, I've never been so uncomfortable physically at a concert in my life. I was wearing heels (gotta, ya know...I mean, there were cute boys there!) and the floor area was graded downward towards the stage, so you try standing on your tippy-toes for 2 hours and get back to me on that. AND when one needed to leave one's spot to get a drink or hit the ladies' room or whatnot, those people were not going to budge to let you back in. I figured it out pretty quickly and put my own brand of New Yawk on and bullied my way back to the front, but not before pissin' off a bunch of folks. (We in the south are a kinder, gentler bunch....but I digress...) Get a load of the one decent photo I snatched that night... oh my. Excuse me for a second...

After the show, we visited with the band and some friends I had not seen since Kauai or some earlier shows this year and it was vunderbar. [edit: when spellchecking this paragraph, blogger wanted me to write wonderbra. ha- ha] Eventually, we needed libations and decided to go back to the Irish pub and enjoy some fun and fellowship with L. L lives in Longuhh Island and we had fun poking good-natured fun at her accent - though I'm sure she had to bite her tongue not to call us hillbillies.

Get this line of questioning that we barraged L with: What do you call cat's feet? Paws. What do you do when you hesitate? Paws. What are the tiny holes in your skin? Paws. LMAO It's not nearly as funny in written form, but it was worth the trip to NYC all by itself. And L was such a good sport, too. She delayed her trip home so we could close up the bar and caught a train at 3:19 in the A, which meant we had to train and bus back to Secaucus - arriving somewhere around 5:00 in the A. Fageddabout any body clocks at this point.

We emerged around noon for 9 hours of what I would call a NIGHTMARE and E and her daughter would call power-shopping. I am no fan of shopping, but in the name of being a good sport, I hobbled along and ended up being the one who bought the most. It figures. And I had zero space in my luggage. Typical. We finally FINALLY got to sit down at a restaurant, stuffed our faces and drove back to Philly, arriving around 1:00 in the A. I'd logged more miles in 3 days than in the entire year - it felt that way, at least. Oh and just by coincidence, I saw Grace's office building from Will & Grace!

On Monday morning, E drove me into Old City Philadelphia where I met up with Doug from RundgrenRadio to check out the venue we'd booked for our NYE celebration and were very very pleased with what we found. Not bad, for booking sight-unseen from Texas and Alabama. We went and bought thousands of dollars of wine, vodka for Toddtinis, mixers, beer, etc etc etc and arranged for delivery for Wednesday. The beer store said it would cost us an additional $6 - after we finished laughing, we said "sign us up" and were off. (What? We're going to give you mucho dinero and balk at a $6 delivery charge? Get outta here!)

Anyhooooo - we took a little time off Tuesday for some fun and made our way to Annapolis for another Todd gig, by way of Baltimore, where we met my friends Merv (another bff) and S (who had flown in from Cali and is quickly becoming another bff) for crabcakes at G & M at lunchtime. Excuse me while I gasp. The Maryland crabcake is one awesome mutha-fucka, baby! I swear, it bears no resemblance to what we have in Texas. I think an entire family of crabs gave their lives for my lunch that day. It was so delicious that I almost licked my plate. I heart you, Maryland.

We made our way to Annapolis before too long and can I say ADORABLE!?!? First we saw the naval academy on the right and then made our way to "town" where they have streets paved with red bricks and some presh storefronts. Awww. S, Merv and I dropped our bags, whored-up (the girls helped me compile a rockin' ensemble for the night with some of the togs I'd purchased in NYC and a leather spike bracelet that Merv had confiscated from her pre-teen daughter days earlier - I looked a little Beatlesque, but with a punk flair) and walked to a little pub for some fellowship with about 20 other Toddheads before the show at the Rams Head. It was truly like a Toddstock reunion...all hugs and kisses and sharing of photos. I know you non-Toddheads don't get it and it's not your fault - but these things are way better than any family or high school reunion you could conjure up in your imagination - even if on hallucinogenics.

After dinner - it was Todd time again - and we had primo seats smack dab in front of the postage-stamp-sized stage. It was so small, I honestly thought we'd be wearing some Todd by the end of the evening, but he kept his footing (for once) and put on his typical A-1 show for us.

After hanging out a little after the show, our crew re-grouped at the pub next door and closed it down, as usual. Somehow we made our way back to the hotel and giggled til the wee hours like teens at a sleepover. I have a feeling S & Merv & I will end up in jail together some day. S called the front desk at whatever time it was, because she'd seen on a travel show that our hotel was pet-friendly and even had a "house dog" who greets guests upon check-in and somehow we hadn't seen said "house dog" so she felt slighted. Merv & I could only roll in laughter on the floor like 14 yr olds and that's saying something if you read my earlier paragraph about the Secaucus hotel and it's cleanliness. Ah-ha! - just checkin'.

Whew. I'm tired. Or hungover by proxy. I had planned to give you the run-down on NYE, but I'm afraid I'm wearing out my welcome here, so I think I'll punt for a day or two so you can catch your breath. You'll need it because the NYE story deserves a good night's sleep beforehand. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Catch ya on the flipside, okay?