Monday, November 22, 2010

Mosh Pit Mayhem

 Spontaneity is not my middle name. I surprised myself last week, by agreeing to go to an Alkaline Trio concert in Stockton, the very morning of the show. My friend Casie texted me the morning of the concert. She enticed me by texting things like, “There is a secretive underground Alkaline Trio Concert tonight in Stockton. Tickets are only $10. Tyler has an extra ticket. You HAVE to come!!!!” She had woken me from my near REM cycle daytime sleep, but I was not angered, I was excited.

I enjoy Alkaline Trio. They are a punk rock band from Illinois. It had been a while since I had been to a concert where people do more than twirl their cowboy hats. I told Casie, yes, on the condition that my friend Melisa could come along. Melisa and I had plans to make t shirts for a basketball game we are going to this coming Friday (Go Warriors!!!). It turns out the tickets weren’t as exclusive as Casie had believed, so Melisa was able to come along. She too, is an Alkaline Trio fan. I then started to feel bad because I hadn’t seen Danny for a few nights in a row since I was working.  I forced him to go too.

I was getting pretty pumped. There was something so satisfying about saying I was going to a secretive Alkaline Trio concert for $10 with my best friends that I could hardly go back to sleep. I had to think of what to wear, what type of drink I was going to have, and how much fun was going to be had.

My bubble of excitement was slightly deflated when Casandra (that’s what I call her when, I’m serious) told me that in fact, the tickets were going to cost $18 rather than the super cheap $10. I then decided to look up the venue and figure out directions. My bubble deflated a little more when I found out the concert was taking place at Plea for Peace-a youth based club. Don’t get me wrong I’m all for peace, I would even plea for peace; it’s the youth part that concerned me.

Pleaing for Peace

Granted I’m not old, I may even be considered young by some, but I am no longer a youth. Visions of pimply faced teenagers, with Justin Bieber haircuts, wearing skinny jeans, danced in my head. Since it was an all age’s event, I wouldn’t be able to have an adult beverage, which sounded so nice after a slightly hectic night of work.

Even with these setbacks, I was determined to have a good time. We arrived at Plea for Peace ridiculously early. I was secretly happy about this because I got to people watch. My observations are mainly concerned with earlobes. A strange increase in the size of teenagers' earlobes is occurring. Stretching earlobes is the new eyebrow piercing… and I am not a fan. I just keep thinking about when these kids are 80 and have those long hanging grandpa ears with giant holes in them. To each their own, I just happen to have the soul of a 60 year old.


Plea for Peace is not what I had envisioned. It is basically an abandoned building with some random couches, two small stages, and a makeshift snack bar. I did appreciate the clean restrooms and lack of graffiti. Plea for Peace is a “graffiti free zone.” How peaceful of them.

Plea for Peace’s website boasts that it is a drug free zone. While us old folks were standing around waiting for the first act to start, I smelt “peace” in the air. Not puppy dogs and rainbows peace, but 1960’s marijuana peace. So much for drug free. Maybe they didn’t get the memo that Prop 19 didn’t pass.

A big hit to the, “I feel a little old to be here issue,” was that, Danny, who is a molder of young minds and bodies, saw some of his ex students there. Of course Danny is the young hip teacher on campus, so his students were more excited than anything.

My amazing view

During the first act, which was pretty good, I realized that I can no longer stand in one place for hours at a time, before my back starts to hurt. I eyed one lonely chair near the make shift t shirt store. It was occupied by an older lady, but I made sure to keep an eye on it. The second act, Heartsounds, was pretty good too, except that the music was so loud I couldn’t hear the lyrics. I really had no idea what they were saying. I’m guessing it had to do with butterflies and kittens.

Finally Alkaline Trio came on. The crowd cheered as I felt my personal space being invaded. I had the joy of standing right behind a 6 foot 8 behemoth. If I arched my head just so I had a nice view of the lead singer.


Soon the crazy ear lobe stretched kids starting getting even crazier. Pushing and shoving each other in a circle of death called a mosh pit. I yelled to Casie that if anyone bumped into me I was going to punch them in the face….I may or may not have been serious.

No thank you

Alkaline Trio was great…minus the comments from the band about how doing mushrooms is fun. The band did semi make up for it after realizing what venue they were at.  They warned the kids to wait to do mushrooms until they are in high school…. My inner nurse wanted to yell, “No! Kiddos no! Drugs are bad!”

At one point the band invited a member of the audience up on the stage to play guitar. An enthused Danny look alike fan was picked. This fan turned out to be more of an annoyance as he took over the microphone and hopped up on the stage for a second time uninvited. He had to be kicked off. I was impressed that the band was able to keep playing even with the freaky fan. The whole situation just made me laugh hysterically.

Normal eared boys

While us girls were giggling, I finally got to sit in the coveted old person seat. I told Danny that I punched a mosh pitter in the face and for a split second he believed me. Giggling to myself and nodding my head to the music, I looked around and felt like maybe I wasn’t too old to be there after all.

Happy to be sitting.
Love, Jessica "Spontaneity" Lehr

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Bird's the Word

I have a small obsession with birds. My obsession is not with owning birds, because bird poop does not excite me. However little birdie trinkets bring a warm fuzzy feeling to my heart. I love their colors, bright or muted. I love their songs, the Sleeping Beauty woodland creature songs, not the squawk of a seagull. I love that they can fly. Who wouldn't want to fly?

I do not have any tattoos, because I am cheap and slightly afraid of needles. If I were to get a tattoo, it would be a sweet little birdie on the back of my shoulder.

Whenever I buy cards for special occasions I try to buy Papyrus cards. They have a handmade quality about them and I enjoy the little humming bird seal that comes with each card. On the back of the cards the Papyrus company explains why they use the humming bird as their symbol:

Legends say that hummingbirds float free of time, carrying our hopes for love, joy and celebration. Hummingbirds open our eyes to the wonder of the world and inspire us to open our hearts to loved ones and friends. Like a hummingbird, we aspire to hover and to savor each moment as it passes, embrace all that life has to offer and to celebrate the joy of everyday. The hummingbird’s delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning and that laughter is life’s sweetest creation.

Every Christmas I try and purchase a small bird ornament for myself. Before everyone rushes off to purchase bird items for yours truly, I must warn you: Although my birdie obsession is growing, it has not expanded to the predatory and scavenger groups.

Here are some of my non pooping bird friends:

Paper bird made by my dear friend Cheri

A bird must have a house to live in

Paper Mache Duck from my thoughtful mom and dad 

One of many Christmas birds

A bird hook

Two bird plates, the one on top my mom painted

Bird spoon rack

It's a napkin holder, but I prefer it on my mantel

Guarding the window

Towel holder

Earring holder

Jewelry stand (it's all fake, don't rob my house)

Taiwanese coasters from our good friend Tom

I'm pretty sure my mom got this for me in Carmel

A bird sketch by whom other than my mother

It came with the house, but I love it

Last years Christmas present from Danny.

 I am hoping to add to my bird collection soon. Please stop me if I become one of those crazy bird people.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

On October

My blog has been lacking, I know. In an effort to come up with more blog ideas (because I can’t go on a vacation every week) I asked my friend Casie for some. She came up with  multiple good ones and this blog happens to be one of them. Every month I will review my favorite dress, activity, nap, food, and irk of that particular month. I know we are in November now, but bear with me, October was busy.

Favorite Dress: The Peppermint Dress.

A shy moment

I found this dress on in the sale section and immediately purchased it.  It was an internet impulse buy. The dress has a fifties look with a modern day print. The main reason I bought it was for the print. It is covered in peppermint candies. Everyone likes peppermint. Because I am a people pleaser, I couldn’t pass it up. I wore the dress to my friend Amanda’s wedding, paired with some opaque grey tights, some black heels that I should probably learn to walk in, and a sparkly grey leaf patterned headband. My favorite October dress has the perfect amount of retro sweetness that I enjoy.

Me and Casie

Favorite Activity: Costume Party

Lucy Impostor

My friend, Melisa, had a Halloween party at her cute little Ripon residence. I Love Lucy was my favorite show as a child, so what better person to be than Lucille Ball. I splurged on a wig, which can be used for a future Wilma Flintstone costume if I so choose, and found a costume titled “50’s Housewife.” I put on some red lipstick and made Lucy faces all night. Danny found some old PE Coach clothing at the high school where he works, put on a dirty blond mullet wig and called it a day. A creepy day. The party was great. You never know what is going to happen when a ninja turtle, a modern day witch (riding a Swiffer instead of a broom), and a day of the dead doll are your friends.

What a silly group

The dead don't smile

Favorite Nap: The Rainy Day Nap: October 17, 2010

May it be written in the history books that I, Jessica Lehr, slept  from 8 am to 3 pm on the 17th day of October, the year of 2010 and it was amazing. Before you call me lazy, I work nights. I had worked the night before and was particularly sleepy. The fall weather finally kicked in. It was a drizzly overcast day that when coupled with 12 hours of caring for tiny babies prior, makes for some wondrous sleep.

Favorite Food: Roasted Butternut Squash


I already wrote about this here: It was so good I made it three other times and saved very little for Danny.

Favorite Irk: Endless Political phone calls.


Elections. Yuck. Not only am I not too thrilled about voting this year (don’t worry I did) but the ads, junk mail, and phone calls are by far more frequent than previous years. This past Saturday I had 7 missed phone calls from Republicans and Democrats alike. The teachers and nurses unions love our household, but I do not love them when they wake me up. I suppose turning off my ringer would be a logical fix, but someone important like work might call and it’s my phone I shouldn’t have to turn it off to avoid hearing both Meg and Jerry’s annoying voices. Luckily it’s Election Day and this will all be over soon.