Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Next Stop On The Producer J. World Tour: San Antonio!

The first question everyone asks is... "Why San Antonio?"

The short answer is... "Because we can." For the long answer, keep reading.

So I have been sitting on a free Southwest Airlines ticket for almost a year now, which tells you how long it's been since I had a real vacation. It expires May 8th. So I realize that I have to go somewhere.

I had a couple of main thoughts. I've never been to the Sirius HQ in NYC, and y'all know I love the Big Apple. So I thought about flying into Long Island, trying to get in to see HQ, and seeing a show. Not really fun to do alone, and hotel rooms in NY are pretty pricey, and even now, 10 months after the merger, an XMer setting foot on Sirius territory requires some heavy duty battle armor.

Then I was leaning towards going to Virginia... seeing my friend Sandi, doing a little Statler stalking in Staunton, and spending a day at XM HQ in D.C. Although this plan carried the risk that I'd get depressed by all the empty desks at Eckington, I do want to make one more trip there sometime, so I was liking this idea.

Then Sandi posted one of those Facebook things where you mark off all the states you've been to, and I discovered... the girl is 30something years old, traveled the world, lived in foreign countries, is fluent in Spanish, and loves country music, but has NEVER been to Texas. Hello! Something needed to be done about that, I think.

So I post the FB query about where in Texas we should go to. I love Ft. Worth and would go there any time. Austin was intriguing. Plenty to do in Dallas. Overwhelmingly, the public opinion suggested San Antonio. We checked concert schedules. Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert, and Lady Antebellum were there May 1st. Miranda Lambert in Texas! How awesome is that gonna be?

Friday, we fly to San Antonio, for no other reason than... we can. God bless my amazing husband who lets me just run away for the weekend with a friend, even though we probably could put the money to better use a dozen other places.

My mission for the weekend: Tex Mex... brisket... Riverwalk... The Alamo... and Sandi buying a pair of cowboy boots.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Things We Do For Our Kids

I think I have sufficiently recovered enough from Taylor Swift Ticket Buying Adventures to bring you up to date on the final outcome. As with all things... it was the journey that was the best part of the story.

(Good heavens... I now have "It's the Climb...." running through my head. Make it stop!)

So... Friday morning I wake up, feeling miserable. And when I say Friday Morning, I'm talking early hours of the morning... not horribly long after I've gone to bed. I don't know what was wrong with me, but I felt like a truck ran over me and I was in horrible pain and couldn't sleep. So I get up and shower and get Delaynie ready for school and decide I'm going to have to call off work, which I completely did NOT have the time to do. But I was in too much pain to drive.

So I prop myself up in bed with the laptop. I'm all logged in to Ticketmaster, and I'm writing a Martina McBride episode of ShortCuts to keep myself awake. Poking around Ticketmaster, getting the lay of the land, googling "Taylor Swift Concert Sold Out" and getting nervous.

A few minutes before tickets go onsale at 10am, I get Sydney on the phone. She reports there's no line downstairs at the Sommet Center. She also logs into Ticketmaster as me... she's going to try for 2 tickets, I'm going to try for 3, whichever comes up better seats I'll buy. Starting about 2 minutes 'till 10, I'm constantly hitting "refresh," waiting for them to unleash the flood gates.

As SOON as they become available I put in for 3 and submit the request. I get 3, way way way at the top of the 300 level section in the back of the arena. According to my laptop clock, it's not even 10:01 yet. For those that don't know, my daughter has VERY bad eyesight, even with her glasses. To the point that unless they get a WHOLE lot more advanced with the surgery that could help her, she probably isn't going to get to drive. From up in the nosebleeds, Taylor would be just a sea of blurry lights. I pass on those and try again.

Meanwhile Sydney is just a few seconds behind in her request to get 2 seats. She comes up empty handed. By the time I back out and switch my 3 to a 2, I can't get anything either. We have failed.

So I'm completely dejected, having terrible flashbacks of trying to get Garth tickets in Kansas City, when I remember something. My brilliant friend Sandi, who is way more experienced in concert ticket buying than I am, often buys seats in singles. So I go back to Ticketmaster and put in for 1 ticket.

Voila! I'm in! 10:08am. Lower level, on the side of the stage. Surely Taylor will walk around the stage, right? I buy one ticket in section 103. $70. Which is a little pricey considering I don't care for either of the opening acts. $10 of that was add on fees.

Then I realize a slight problem that clouds my joy... even if Delaynie had perfect eyesight, she's not old enough to drive, and I'm sure not just dropping my 12 year old off at a show and picking her up later.

So at that point, I panic. Must. Get. Another ticket. Clock is ticking. What if I can't get another? Didn't she sell out MSG in a minute? Am I going to have just thrown $70 away? I put in for another single. Success! A seat is open in 117. A good seat actually, much better than the one I've already purchased.

Another $70 gone. I'm on a slight high because I beat the system and wound up with 2 seats. 10:13 am. We're in! Ok... so we're at opposite ends of the arena. But we're in the building. Maybe we could just walk around all night. Hmm... I wonder if there's another single open around 117....

Back into Ticketmaster AGAIN... one more try for a single. This one was behind the stage completely. No thanks. Give up and search again.

102. Hey... that's the section next to my first ticket. At least if someone tried to snatch her up I'd be close enough to hear her screaming. Over the 13,000 other screaming girls. Ok, maybe not. But if I spent the show watching her... I could see anyone trying to mess with her. What the heck. $140... $210... what's the difference? (I know, $70. Two tanks of gas or a month of cell phone service.)

I take it. 10:18, and I am DONE. Ok, I went back a few minutes later and peeked again and saw that they'd moved up to singles in the 200 level. But then I was really done. 3 tickets was my limit.

Clearly, I couldn't let her take a buddy to the show since our 3rd seat wasn't anywhere near the other 2, so maybe I could sell it on ebay. I figured as hot a ticket as these were, there were probably lots of Taylor tickets on ebay. So I wandered over to ebay and searched "Taylor Swift Nashville."

BIG mistake. TWO HUNDRED and FIFTY FIVE listings -- for NASHVILLE! Less than an hour after they'd gone on sale. Floor seats! What. The. HECK? It was a good thing I'd taken the day off, because now I was completely nautious. And I am now reminded why I don't attempt to buy concert tickets. Because it's a racket. And no one is going to be able to get it under control.

Anyway, the slight problem with an ebay listing is that you have to have a ticket in hand to be able to sell it and send it to someone, and trying to save a few bucks I opted to pick my tickets up at Will Call. So I have to be the one to pick it up.

So THAT is the beginning of my Taylor Swift ticket adventure. I haven't told Delaynie yet. (I did confess to Gary who is undoubtably grumbling that I wouldn't let him buy a new $59 DVD player to replace his broken one, but spent $210 in concert tickets.) I'm going to wait and use it as a reward for something - hopefully end of school year if she makes Honor Roll all year.

Although it was awfully hard to keep it to myself when she came downstairs Saturday morning in her Taylor Swift Walmart Sundress ($14 -- so cute.) with her curly hair bouncing. Shhhh! Don't tell!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Just in case I've never mentioned it....

... my daughter is a bit of a Taylor Swift fan.
I think there are 16 assorted Taylor pictures on her bedroom door that she's cut out of various magazines or pulled out of CD's. There are a couple of more posters hung up inside her room next to Hannah, Selena, and the JB's. But only Taylor is on the door.
So the question is NOT how big of a Taylor fan Delaynie is. But rather... how dedicated Delaynie's mom is. Tomorrow morning tickets go on sale for her Nashville show. Which is great, because I was thinking we were gonna have to drive to Louisville. But I'm hearing she's selling out pretty quickly.
Are there people camping out at the Sommet Center? Will my building pass do me any good to get in early? (Umm... no.) Should I put TicketMaster on speed dial? Do I assign an intern to Ticketmaster.com? Will Delaynie be happy just to be in the building, even though with her bad eyesight we are probably going to be so far away she'd have a better view of Taylor staring at her bedroom door? How far is a Mom willing to go for her daughter's 'tween obsession. (You'll note, I didn't bother trying for Jonas Brothers tickets. But they are small potatoes compared to Taylor.)
Stay tuned....

Sunday, April 05, 2009

The ACM Blog

First off... I've been trying to come up with a concise blog about the ACM's for a week now, and I've failed.

Second off... does anyone even care about the ACM's this year?

To be honest, it's become such a convoluted hodge podge of confusion, I'm not sure anyone does. First off there's this whole craziness in some of the awards being fan voted, and some of them not. I'm sorry, but you need to decide -- are you an industry award, or a fan award? Because taking the Entertainer of the Year award and the 37 years of history behind it and making it fan voted is a crock. Kenny said that last year, and he won it. If you want to make a category fan voted, create a Fan Favorite award.

This year they've made a New Artist award that is fan voted. Not quite as bad.

We won't go down the "Why do we have separate Group & Duo categories" road again... y'all know I believer there's not enough quality there to fill 10 slots and they should make it one.

Adding to all of the confusion is that half of the awards have already been given out. The show tonight is nothing more than a performance showcase, which in my humble opinion, is what they should do. Forget the awards, call it the ACM All Star Showcase and put it back in May Sweeps.

J.'s Prediction: Carrie Underwood Entertainer of the Year. I've seen her fans in action.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Hey Garth!

John Rich is looking for you!

Think Allen Reynolds is shaking in his boots?