Good Stuff: The dangers of getting what one wants.

My posts are few and far between these days because I started a job.

It’s been a few months, but this job requires that I sit for 8 hours in front of a computer, writing (which is what I love, to be fair) and doing online research. This means that by the end of the day I am pretty well-nigh sick of PC-ing and if it’s nice out I will head to the pool and enjoy the outdoors rather than plunk myself down in front of yet another LCD screen and try and focus on writing another love letter to good stuff. I also have less time to cook or eat out.

So, while I now have a job I kinda like, I can no longer indulge in the things I enjoy as much as I used to, which is both ironic and sad.

However, recently I was really excited because I got to hit my favorite sushi joint for lunch and then enjoy some fantastic music and some great junk food- ice cream from Cold Stone, the band Sugar Ray and funnel cake, all with my friend SP who I hadn’t had a chance to hang out with in forever.

First off, Cold Stone. I’d been looking forward to checking this place out for so long that when I realized it was right across the street from the spot where we were eating lunch I dragged my over-sushi-stuffed-self to Cold Stone to partake in the deliciousness. A bit about me: I love ice cream regardless of the weather, I love cake but I only eat it at birthday celebrations, and I love pineapple- in fact, when I was in Thailand a few years ago I gorged on pineapple for 3 straight days on the beach because it was so cheap. It was 25 cents compared to $25 in Japan where I was living at the time. I’ve eaten so much at one sitting that my tongue feels and looks like it’s been hacked by razor blades.

However, I did not love the flavor I created- pineapple upside down cake. Why you ask? Well, I used cake batter ice cream as the base, so the pieces of yellow cake were not only gummy, and not unlike chewing on soggy cereal, but their taste was pretty much cancelled out by the ice cream. And the pineapple froze and tasted remarkably like tinfoil. Bleah. I ate it, because it wasn’t until halfway through that I realized I was grossed out. My first inclination had been chocolate, but after 3 plates of sushi I was not really in the mood. I suggested to the counter girl that she should try it again some time but with cake batter ice cream, pineapple and brown sugar or cherries instead. And cut up the huge-mamma chunks of pineapple. Just thinking about them hurts my teeth!

Secondly, Sugar Ray and funnel cake. Ah, Mark. Though you are a host on E! I adore you still. Sugar Ray has been a favorite of mine since I was in college. After school when I was teaching in Japan, I discovered their third album in a Tower location in Kobe and snapped up the second as well. Love love love these guys.

They are funny, they seem to have a blast on stage, they don’t totally objectify women in their videos- heck, I’d rather watch Mark anyway- and their music rawks! They do the BEST covers- Steve Miller’s Abracadabra, some Joe Jackson, Adam Ant, etc. Yeow.

I bought “No Cerveza, No Trabajo”, their DVD of videos a few years ago. “RPM” (Floored) is set in a honky-tonk with the band playing behind chickenwire and the patrons boot-scootin’ and throwing beer bottles. Big fun. When I heard they were headlining at the Fairfax County Fair in June I got very psyched- I keep missing them in concert and as this was the year to get things done, it seemed like the music gods were smiling on me- $10 to get in and see my favorite band of all time. Not only that, my friend AB’s boyfriend’s band, The Echoes, was opening for Sugar Ray.

SP and I headed to the fair, rode some rides, ate some ridiculous food and headed to the main stage to stake out seats. Only we found out just before Sugar Ray went on that The Echoes had been moved to their own staging area on the other side of the fairgrounds. Liking AB, and curious to hear new music that another friend had raved about, we dutifully trooped over to the other stage, clutching a piping hot funnel cake liberally dusted with powdered sugar (they were out of deep-fried Twinkies) and fell in love.

The Echoes have the same ‘tude as Jet, the lyrical skillz of The Killers, and they don’t do ballads- their metalcore drummer apparently laughed at the lead singer when he tried to do ballads, so they don’t do them anymore. With a bass, a lead guitar and said drummer, The Echoes rawked in a family-friendly, devil-horns, kick-arse sort of way. AB’s sweetie, on bass, had the most amazing lines to work with. The assembled crowd included grandmothers, kids, teens, parents, etc. They did a great Stones cover and the crowd grew steadily as the night wore on. And after over 30 minutes of saying, “One more song. One more and then we go.”, we finally dragged our butts to where Mark & Co. were rockin’ the house. It was tough, man, believe me.

Sugar Ray was phenomenal- they partied their way through their performance and SP helped me get to the front of the crowd so I could get some awesome shots. She also took some great shots herself and is now officially my favorite person to go to shows with.

Unfortunately The Echoes don’t have a CD out, so we missed the rest of their show and had nothing to take away with us to remember them by. Which sucks.

Be careful what you wish for.

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