Friday was spent doing business as usual -- babysitting. I don't know if that's business as usual, but it sounded clever. And I walk away with a sizable amount of "foliage", so it was a successful Friday night.
I bonded with a four-year old over blueberries, told three fairy tales in less than five minutes, had one of the most successful attempts of putting a 10-month old to sleep that I've ever had, and played a really weird game of beauty shop. Y'all, I never really realized how none girly I am. Give me a little boy and a football all day, but ask me to play beauty shop for half an hour and you're probably going to get some resistance from this gal. I won't do just anything for $60, but I'll play beauty shop with a four-year old if you ask nicely.
I also watched Hotel Rwanda for the first time. It was the kids' parents' last Netflix pick and they offered it to me even though it was already sealed up and ready to go into the mail. I'm glad they offered because I've been dying to see it. I actually think I've seen it in the $5 bin at Walmart before and have been tempted to get it without previously viewing it but have resisted. (And I went back today to the Walmarts and it was nowhere to be found.)
Y'all, that movie broke my heart. Much like Blood Diamond, it struck the depths of my soul. I was just sitting there on their ever-so-comfortable couch, crying out to God in my heart, asking why this happened to people and what could I do. I felt so helpless.
Awkward segue way to Saturday's fun...
I joined my friend Nicole Saturday evening out into the blistering heat for some good tunes and fried food at City Stages. She had been given free tickets and VIP passes for the weekend so we decided to take advantage and head on over.
Our main goal was to see Matt Kearney. So we got there early enough to go to VIP and get some free food and a shot (seriously) of Coca-Cola. Good thing we were allowed two drinks because you bet I went back and got a jumbo-sized Vitamin Water after the three sips of Coca-Cola I was just afforded.
Dinner was hotdogs, beans and cole slaw. Nicole and I realized how perfect we were for each other when she realized that I didn't eat beans and cole slaw and I remembered she was a vegetarian. So I had two hot dogs and she had two helpings of beans and coleslaw. And there was no judging.
After downing our food and Vitamin Waters, we headed over to see Matt Kearney. Let me just say, he precious. Sounds amazing and can play the piano for real.
After Matt (obviously, we are on a first name basis) finished, we walked over to see a favorite of mine, Jonny Lang. I loved him the first time I ever saw him on the Disney Channel playing his guitar (he was the first Joe Jonas, if you will), and I fell in love with his raspy soulful voice. Seriously, look him up on iTunes. Or MySpace. Or YouTube. He's amazing. He may look like he's ugly crying when he sings, but like John Mayer, that's where all the goodness comes from.
That's Mr. Lang rockin' out. And see the dude in the dredlocks and the yellow shirt behind him? You don't? How can you miss him? He's like a defensive tackle. He sings some mean BGV's. Look up the song "Thankful". That non-raspy voice? That's him.
After a little of Jonny Lang, we went back over to check out Corey Smith. After asking everyone on the way there, who the heck Corey Smith was (the only Corey Smith I knew of was a Samford football player and knew that this Corey Smith couldn't possibly be the same person. Besides, the football player has no "e" in his name), Nicole finally figured out that he's from UGA and was actually a good friend of her brother and sister's. Or something like that. So we were game. Until we found out he was country. He sat for a while and tried to enjoy but we just weren't feeling it.
We decided to walk back over and check out the Neville Brothers. Yeah, Neville. As in, Aaron Neville. The guy with the crazy-interesting girly sounding voice.
Before he hit the stage though, there it was, like an oasis in a dry land. The Penn's stand. (Yes, they have a website). I think you can only be from Mississippi, and really, only Jackson, to appreciate what a sight for soar eyes this was. I leapt out of my skin and into line and grabbed me up some fried dill pickles and ranch sauce. Because you can't just walk by a Penn's stand. God might strike you dead. Because Penn's is THAT good. God knows.
After I had secured the precious loot and Nicole had her sweet tea, we went and staked out a spot on the steps just outside the area of the Neville Brothers' stage. We could hear them, but couldn't see them. When he had finished, we decided we weren't feelin' the vibe and decided that maybe if we got closer, it would be better. We made it closer to the stage just in time to hear them sing "A Change Is Gonna Come", which was great. However, we couldn't handle the stickiness of the humidity anymore and decided to call it a night.
After church and a lazy afternoon, we headed back out on Sunday to catch two more acts. Guster (whom I had never heard of but are amazing) and Needtobreathe (my new favorite band).
Nicole and I decided to bypass the VIP hot dogs (well the security guy made the decision for us since I didn't have my ID) and we opted for bloomin' onions instead. We grabbed our delicacies and found a spot in the grass to set up our chairs and we enjoyed a little Guster.
Self-potrait, note the bloomin' onion. Yum.
After Guster, we headed over to see Needtobreathe, and made a stop by the snow cone stand. I got blueberry and Nicole got blueberry and watermelon. You can only imagine the result.
But really, this is all you need to see. This is Needtobreathe. Again, iTunes them. Myspace them. Youtube them. Google them. You won't be sorry.
We decided to skip out on En Vogue, the Doobie Brothers (who we would have stayed for had they not been at the same time as Needtobreathe) and, wait for it...hold your applause...Lynard Skynard. I know, I know. Shame on me. But the sheer volume of redneck-ness was making me twitch.
And that was my weekend, everyone. I hope you had one of equal or greater fun value.