Saturday, August 6, 2016


Yesterday was not what I would call a good day.
I had to say "See you again soon" to women I love dearly and see far too rarely, and then I had the joy of spending 10 hours in bumper to bumper traffic on four hours of sleep with only the voices in my head to keep me company. On the plus side, all those hours alone in the car provided me with plenty of time to reflect on the events of the last few days. Heck- the last few years even!
A friend of mine just posted an article on FB today about why you should always travel to see your favorite bands. This is something that I have struggled with for years. I have a very difficult time justifying spending so much money on something that only I benefit from when I know that there are so many other things our family could use that money for. I always feel guilty. This trip helped change that for me, and the article reinforced the conclusions that I had come to during that long drive home yesterday.
On Wednesday afternoon I got into my car and drove to Brooklyn, NY to visit with my friends and attend a one night only New Kids On The Block concert at the new Coney Island Amphitheater. The tickets were a birthday present from my family. My friend Amy worked with my husband to make sure that I would have a great ticket and that I would be with my friends. Shortly after our plans were made, Amy lost her mother somewhat unexpectedly. I was fortunate enough to have spent a weekend with Amy and her mother a few years ago. I adored Ginger. She was an amazing woman, and a terrific mother, and my heart broke when Amy shared the news of her passing. I was immensely grateful to know that Amy and I were going to have this time together. We don't get to be together often, but I consider her to be one of my closest friends. I needed to hug her & love on her.
As the trip grew closer I became a bundle of nerves about the drive. Heavy traffic makes me anxious and I have an intense dislike for big city driving...but I hadn't seen my friends in over 3 years and I wasn't going to let a little bit of anxiety stop me from doing it now! I kept close tabs on the GPS directions so that I would have plenty of time to prepare for any turns and tried to stay as relaxed as I could.
As luck would have it, I ended up arriving in NYC just as the sun was setting behind the skyline. I was filled with a sense of tranquility as the hot pink sun peeked out from behind buildings and bathed the city in the most gorgeous pink light. It was stunning. The photographer in me was crying over the fact that I couldn't just pull over and capture the magnificence (and that I didn't even have my camera with me in any case). I allowed myself .02 seconds to wallow in regret before realizing that this was a gift that needed to be appreciated in the moment. I took in as much as I could while still driving and made a promise to myself to never forget the beauty.
A little while later I was reunited with Amy, and introduced to her friend Susan who was also going to be staying with us. We hit it off immediately and spent most of our time together laughing. The three of us dealt with missing hotel reservations and a giant lack of parking, and then settled in for a night of catching up. We talked, reminisced, laughed, and really just enjoyed each others company (at least I hope they felt that way too!)...we made wonderful memories.
Thursday morning we resolved the parking issue for the remainder of our stay, prepared for the show, and waited for the rest of our friends to arrive. Once everyone was accounted for, we spent more time making great memories, and then headed to Coney Island to take in the sights before checking in for our VIP pre-party. We ran into more old friends at the party & had plenty of time to chat with everyone while we waited for the meet & greet session to begin. It was a beautiful afternoon.
My friends all knew that it had been over 3 years since the last time I had been able to speak to Joe in person, so even though we had 5 "Joe girls" in our group, they made sure that I would have the opportunity to stand with him during our photos since they have all seen him more recently, and would be going on to another concert this weekend as well where they would have a chance to see him some more. We found out from the groups ahead of us that Joe was standing farthest from the entrance, so I made sure that I was one of the first people in so that I could say hello to the rest of the guys and then get out of the way for everyone else before ending up next to Joe for the photos. It worked out perfectly, except that I really had no idea what was going on behind me with everyone else. Joe and I had a nice conversation and hopefully didn't exclude my friend Tina TOO much! (Thank you for letting me monopolize Tina! I really didn't mean to)
There wasn't anything extraordinary about the conversation. It just felt like 2 friends who hadn't seen each other in a long time bumping into one another on the street on their way to somewhere else. Our time was limited, but we were happy to see each other (again- totally making assumptions here, but he seemed happy to see me too). I won't go into details because it is Amy's story to share or not- but the guys were all very good to her. They knew her Mom and were saddened to learn of her passing. It was an emotional moment for all to say the least.
I was separated from the rest of my friends for the show (stupid Ticketmaster), but ended up with a terrific seat! I traded my original seat with someone else so that she could sit with her friends and wound up a few rows back in the center section. When it was finally time for the main event, it became immediately apparent that this show was going to be special. The guys started off the show by coming out into the audience to get up close and personal with the fans. We were showered in a torrent of confetti, streamers, and beach balls in the first few minutes. This was going to be a party that none of us would soon forget if NKOTB had anything to say about it. They completely switched up their set list from the past tours, and brought in special guests galore. The most notable special guest by far was Tiffany. I didn't expect to feel so many emotions about seeing them share a stage together again- but I definitely got choked up. The moment that really pushed me over the edge though, was when Donnie unexpectedly announced that he was dedicating the song I Need You to the memory of "Momma Little". Instant sobfest. I hate that I couldn't be with Amy for that moment, but at least I got to share it with her in some way. Joe found me in the audience a couple of times and rewarded me with smiles that lit up his face and my heart. Then the show was over and reality started to creep back in on us all like fog at dawn in the spring.
I reconnected with my friends and we started our trek back to our hotel. Our journey was full of stories, laughter, friendship, and joy...and just a touch of sadness that it was over for now. We made it back to the hotel and stayed up far too late for a group of middle aged women who would need to get up early in the morning.
And now I guess we're back to the beginning of this tale. I said my farewells to my friends and they headed off- some for home, some for the next leg of their adventures. I tried in vain to catch a few more winks, and then I set off for home- excited to get back to my family again. My trip was a long one full of bright red taillights and frustration. Then I finally made it back into Maine and smelled the clean, crisp air and began to relax again. Once again, the sun was setting just as I was finishing my journey and my home was bathed in soft pink light. It was a vastly different scene from the one I witnessed 48 hours before, but equally tranquil and beautiful. I was instantly filled with a sense of immense gratitude for this beautiful life I have the pleasure of living. Gratitude for my wonderful friends and the amazing memories we share, gratitude for a generous and loving family who allow me to have these adventures and support my dreams, and gratitude for the ability to take in and appreciate these gifts that I have been given.
People frequently ask why I go to so many shows and spend so much money on these concerts. As I witnessed the sun setting on this latest adventure I realized that the reason is LOVE. Pure love...and I am so grateful for all of it.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Taking back the joy

This blog might be the hardest I've ever tried to write. The subject is so emotionally charged that I'm finding it extremely difficult to find words that do it justice. I've typed and deleted several paragraphs already and now I find myself staring at a blank page once more.
So I've decided I'm just going to let myself ramble and get it out the best that I can. I think that it deserves to be shared, and sometimes it's better to just let the words flow without censorship.

If you've ever read this blog before, you'll know that over the last few years I have been fortunate enough to establish a relationship with Joe McIntyre that extends a bit beyond your typical pop idol/fan relationship. I may not be able to just call him up whenever I feel like having a chat, but we have a personal history and shared memories, and while it is far from a typical relationship I absolutely without question consider him to be a friend.

On April 15th, 2013 my friend finished the Boston Marathon in 3 hours 57 minutes and 6 seconds and raised over $40,000 for the Alzheimer's Association. Such an amazing accomplishment! I have never been more proud of him. Unfortunately, roughly 12 minutes later two unspeakably heinous cowards detonated 2 homemade bombs, killed 3 people, injured 264 more, and stole the joy of that accomplishment.

Since that day I have watched Joe struggle his way through several interviews. I've watched his eyes fill with tears every time he tries to speak about that day. I've heard him choke on the raw emotions. I've seen all this and felt so helpless. Wondered what I could ever possibly do to help him reclaim the joy that is rightfully his.

This weekend fate presented me with an opportunity to do just that.

When tickets to The Package Tour went on sale I debated and debated about what to do. Should I go to CT or Boston? Or CT AND Boston? Should I try to do a VIP package? Originally I decided to only do one show and use the money I would save on travel expenses to buy a 5* ticket. I was going to do the Boston date with my friend Amy, but then she told me that she wasn't going to be able to come after all and mentioned that some other friends were going to be doing 5* in CT and needed Joe girls in their group. I spoke to the other girls and decided that was going to be my plan. 1 5* ticket in CT and no Boston shows...but then the night before the tickets went on sale Amy found out she could come after all. I decided to stick with only buying a ticket for CT at the time, but promised myself that if I had the money for it and tickets were still available the week of the shows I would buy tickets and do Boston as well. Up until a few weeks ago, I still only had the ticket for the CT show and CJ wasn't planning to come to Boston at all.

After the bombing happened Amy and our friend CJ decided that they wanted to do something to make the Boston show special for the guys. Amy thought it would be cool to have signs during IBLYF like people have done in the past, and CJ had an idea to use glow bracelets in the marathon colors. They also wanted to do something to help raise money for the One Fund in the name of all Blockheads. The two of them got in touch with NKOTB management and discussed their ideas for bracelets. They talked about trademarks and legalities and worked really hard to make sure that everything was going through the proper channels. Once they had permission to go forward with their plan, Amy contacted me and our friend Imelda and asked us if we wanted to be a part of it. We both agreed without hesitation.

On May 31st I drove down to CT and met up with Amy and our friends for the show. We had our 5* together that night. We decided to present the guys with their BH For Boston bracelets that night since the Boston Strong concert had just been the night before and the emotions were still so high. I had the pleasure of handing Joe's to him. Amy ended up giving him the explanation about what they were and what we were doing. Joe teared up immediately and it was obvious that he was blown away by the gesture. Unfortunately there wasn't enough time to say anything more to him at the time because the next group was already in the room and security was kicking us out.

Amy was very concerned that we would not be allowed to bring the signs and glow bracelets into the venue on Sunday night because there was so much of it, so she spoke with the people at VIP Nation, and she spoke with NKOTB security, and everyone said that it was a great idea and that they were behind us and told us to contact the venue directly to get permission. We called and spoke with the security people at the venue and they told us to call back on Sunday morning to get permission from the person in charge. On Sunday we called them again and asked if there was any way that we could drop off the materials in the morning, and then pick them up when the girls checked in for VIP. They agreed to allow us to do that and so we dropped everything off and returned to our apartment to get ready for the evening.
We decided to take a chance and have me go along with them when they went to check in, even though I didn't have a VIP ticket and the doors wouldn't open for me until a few hours later.  When we arrived at the venue we spoke to security again and asked if there was any way that I could be allowed inside to start distributing the signs, bracelets, and instructions while the girls were at the VIP party.  I'm pretty sure my jaw dropped to the floor when they said yes and then came to escort me backstage to pick up our boxes.

I spent the next 2 hours placing the materials at each seat on the floor...and I only made it through 2 sections! I was a hot, sweaty mess and I wanted to cry because I knew there was no way I was ever going to finish the entire floor before the doors opened...and then they went and got Amy, CJ, and Imelda from the party, and the girls brought a crew of friends to help. I have never been so happy to see a group of women walk into a room as I was in that moment!  The girls all grabbed stacks of supplies and hustled like mad women to get it all done. Just as we were about to finish the last section a member of NKOTB's team came and told us that we had to stop. They said that we did not have permission from the right people, and they were concerned about the glow bracelets because they didn't want people throwing them at the guys.  There were a few minutes of utter panic and despair, but in the end we got permission from the right source and we put the last glow sticks on the floor as the first people started filing into the arena.

Amy, CJ, Imelda and I were all separated for the show, with our seats scattered around the arena. We were all anxious and worried that our plan would somehow fail, but hopeful that it would workout in the end and that the moment we had worked so hard for would come to fruition.

In the end, the boys completely messed up our plan when they threw a surprise song into the show on us. Our instructions had been to wait until IBLYF to break the bracelets open and hold up the signs, but when the guys started talking about Boston and everything that has happened and asked the audience to sing Sweet Caroline with them...well, I guess you can't plan everything, right?

I believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe that we all needed that moment to happen. I am unbelievably, ridiculously grateful to have been a part of something so pure and beautiful. As a wise and wonderful man said recently- Love crushes hate EVERY SINGLE TIME. That night we took back the joy and we celebrated together the way that we should have 6 weeks earlier.

I saw Joe very briefly a couple of times after that show and I saw the effects of that moment when I looked into his eyes. I felt the gratitude in his embrace when we said goodbye. We won.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cutting Back

Yesterday I made a very bold move.
I unfollowed everyone that I had been following on twitter.
That's right...EVERYONE.
Even Joe McIntyre?
But WHY Shannon?! That's crazy.
Well, because I suddenly realized that there is something very wrong when the very first thing I do every morning when I wake up is look at my phone.
Actually, the realization wasn't very sudden. I've known I have an issue for quite some time. I was just too scared to do anything about it.
The thing is...I love the people I follow! Why would I want to unfollow? I know how seriously people take twitter follows- why would I risk upsetting people? I HATE upsetting people, especially people I honestly care about.
When I started to break out in a cold sweat just considering the idea I knew for sure that it was EXACTLY what I needed to do.
I need to get my priorities back in order. My life & the lives of my family & friends need to come first. They always have, but it's really hard to make people believe that you give a hoot if you're too busy looking at your touchscreen to look into their eyes. I need to focus more on what my daughter is doing 3 feet in front of me & less on what some person I've never actually met is doing half way across the world.
I'm still here. I still care about all of the people I've "met" on twitter. If you tweet me I will still answer just like I always have...just maybe not quite as quickly.
If I was following you before and I'm not now, please know that it is not personal. You didn't do anything to offend me. I like you just fine. Before I unfollowed everyone I made a careful list of all of the people I was following so that I can continue to stay in touch. It's going to take me a little bit of time to get things set up, but I will be using lists to keep up with people so that I can keep my timeline a bit more subdued than it's been in the past.
I tried to explain what was going on as it was happening to lessen the chances of people getting the wrong idea, but I do realize that I am not the center of the universe and not everyone will have seen the tweets. Hopefully this blog will help anyone who cares to understand where I'm coming from.
Thanks for reading & thanks for being the best virtual family a girl could ask for.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

On the "Block"

Social media is an odd beast.
I'm a pretty open person, and generally speaking I don't often contemplate the implications of my openness. I say what I feel when I feel it. Every once in a while though I DO stop and think about it and usually when I do I have one of those "WHOA!" moments. Last night was one of those times.
I was winding down from a long, highly emotional day and I had hopped on twitter to say my usual goodnight. As I was getting ready to set my phone down I started to think about who might actually be reading that tweet and I realized that I had no idea who MANY of those people were and it struck me funny. I started to think about how open I am and it seemed strange to me that so many of the people potentially reading about my life have never sought to make any real connection with me. The more I thought about it, the more uncomfortable it made me.
The majority of the people following me probably started following because of the NKOTB connection. I do tweet a lot about them and I'm often able to pass on info that other fans want to see. I get that. I'm cool with that. I enjoy helping other people in that way. If that was all that I use twitter for I would never question who follows me or why because it would be pretty obvious. A lot of fans use twitter that way. I'm not one of those fans.
Twitter for me is a place where I share my thoughts and connect with people who may share similar interests and ideas. Sometimes my thoughts are related to NKOTB, but often I'm sharing things that are far more personal. I do so openly and sincerely with the hope that someone reading those thoughts might actually be able to relate in some way. So far this blind trust has served me well and I've made a lot of very dear friends.
However, people aren't always so kind. Sometimes people are even downright mean. 
So I was thinking about my style of tweeting and about how many people are potentially reading about my life and I got a little creeped out about it. Then I started wondering what I could possibly do about it.
Going private would make absolutely no difference as it would only prevent NEW followers from seeing my tweets without first asking permission. It would have no effect on the hundreds of strangers already following me. I've tweeted several times before asking people to reach out and say hello to me. It isn't practical for me to attempt to follow everyone who follows me. I'd never be able to sort through all of the tweets to find the ones that mean something to me. However I DO answer people who tweet me. If you say hello, or reply to something I tweet I can almost guarantee that I will respond. Sometimes I miss stuff, but I don't think it happens very often. I could continue to beg people to reach out...but that didn't seem practical either.
The next logical option to me was to cull through my list of followers and block anyone I'm completely unfamiliar with. That seemed a little harsh to me though and I wasn't 100% comfortable with doing that either. I did it once in the past and ended up feeling like a jerk as soon as I was done. 
At that point I was out of ideas but I was still feeling like something needed to change. I decided that warning my followers of my plan ahead of time was the only way I could feel ok about it. I tweeted that I was considering blocking people and asked people to just send a tweet & make themselves known to me if they wanted to be able to continue following. I had no intention of discriminating against anyone willing to take the 2 seconds to say "Hey! I'm paying attention, don't block me please"
As soon as I tweeted I noticed that I had lost a follower. I was curious about why someone would choose to unfollow in that moment instead of just saying hello, so I checked to find out WHO unfollowed and then paid a quick visit to her page to see if I could find any clues. I discovered the following tweets...

"If you don't want people to follow you, then make your account private. Don't block people for no reason. Especially if you've never interacted with those people before."
and then in response to someone asking her what she was upset about...
"Not really pissed off. Just irritated. "favorites" who want to be recognized get pissed when people they don't know follow them. it's one thing to not follow back but to automatically block someone? C'mon now, just make your shit private."
and to another person...
"if they're spammers, totally! But if I follow someone because they seem to always have good pics, why should I be blocked?"

My initial response was anger. Who was this person to judge me so harshly? I also felt hurt because this was exactly the type of reaction that I had been trying so hard to avoid. So I decided the best course of action was to respond directly to her regarding her accusations. She replied and we were able to resolve our differences quite civilly.

I also received several tweets from people doing exactly what I asked- reaching out and saying hello. People letting me know that even though they may not respond to my tweets they are paying attention and want to continue to do so. I responded to each and every one of those people. I visited their twitter pages as well in an effort to get to know at least a little bit about them in return for their interest in me. I encouraged them to continue to say hello on occasion because to me that is what twitter is all about. That's what makes it fun!

I decided that the best thing for me to do was sleep on it. The last thing I wanted to do was act without thinking things through. This morning when I woke up I felt a little bit more clear headed and made the decision that blindly blocking people just because I don't know them is not what I'm about. It's actually the polar opposite of what I'm about.

In spite of what the anonymous twit (and probably many others) believe...I do not "want to be recognized" for being a "favorite". What I want is to engage with as many people in this crazy world of ours as I can. I want to find common ground, hear other opinions, argue, learn, laugh, cry, love, share....

So I guess if it makes people more comfortable to anonymously "stalk" me that's their prerogative. As long as no one is actively trying to hurt me I have no cause to hit the block button. However, I do HOPE that more people choose to interact in the future.


Friday, December 9, 2011


I've been struggling to write this blog.
When I first found out that I was going to be able to attend Joe's "Most private Christmas affair" in Boston with a very dear friend of mine, I wasn't going to write about it at all. I wanted to keep the memories close & hold them tight. I thought that sharing them might tarnish them somehow. However, I realized very quickly that it just doesn't work that way for me. When I feel joy I want to share it. Keeping it all bottled up inside just feels wrong.
I've had so many thoughts swirling around in my head since last week. I keep trying to figure out a way to express how I'm feeling, but words fail me. I've written and erased so many lines today that I've completely lost count. I just couldn't get a good handle on what it was I was trying to express. So I took a break to go get some lunch, and it hit me. GRATITUDE. There's also a lot of pure, unadulterated joy going on.
Ok great. I've narrowed down the emotions. Now what?
Let's start with the music.
I LOVE that Joe made this CD. I really didn't expect to love it this much. It's just Christmas music. Nice, but whatever. It's only good for a few weeks out of the year, right? Yeah.
I think it's pretty clear that I love all of Joe's music. His voice cuts straight to my heart. But this? THIS is special. It's so full of personality it's as if Joe himself turned into a collection of songs and interludes. This was a project born out of passion, not a desire to fill his wallet with more money. (Not saying that wasn't there too...but I'm pretty sure the passion got top billing)
Not everyone will get it, and that's ok...but for those of us who have grown up with Joe, it is a true gift. He just gave us a little bit of his heart. If there is one thing I know for certain about the man, it's that he LIVES for his family. They are his joy. This CD was all about sharing those emotions with anyone willing to listen. Special.
I have lived away from my family for the last 15 years. Because of that, I think Christmas lost a lot of its meaning for me. I forgot what it's like to be with all of the people you love, celebrating life and just enjoying each other.
This last year has been pretty crazy for me. I realized that I had lost my way and I made some enormous changes. I know it sounds a bit mental, but I credit Joe (at least partially) for helping me to find my way again. I won't go into too much detail, but his presence in my life has definitely made a difference.
This summer, my husband, daughter, and I moved back to my home town. I've spent the last several months becoming reacquainted with what it is like to be a family. I found MY joy again.
I guess it's all of these circumstances coming together that made Come Home For Christmas really hit home for me. It moved me in a way I did not expect. It helped me to see my life a little bit more clearly and to gain a better understanding of what is truly important to me. All that in a CD? Yup. Pretty special, huh?

Now, back to Boston.
I knew this show was going to be special. We all did. Everyone wanted to be invited to attend and emotions were running high. Which is one of the reasons I decided to stay quiet about going. I didn't want anything to get in the way of enjoying the evening the way that it was meant to be enjoyed. The idea for these few shows is so beautiful to me. Once again, I am reminded exactly why I am now, and will always be a true blue "Joe girl"...the man just has a beautiful, kind heart. There is no question of ulterior motives here. Love of the music, the fans, the attitude of gratitude, and a desire to spread joy. As far as I am concerned, the world is a better place because Joe McIntyre is in it. Period.

There are a lot of things about that evening in Boston that I will remember & cherish for the rest of my life. It was a truly special night spent with really good friends. I don't need to go into detail here. I really do think some things deserve to be kept close. I am tremendously grateful to Joe for giving me an opportunity to spend time with people I love but rarely get to see. I would be a fool if I didn't make sure to include Joe himself in that category.

So I guess really, what I've been trying to say all this time is just a very simple "Thank you"
To everyone reading this- Thank you for your role in my journey. You may not realize on a daily basis that you affect my life, but you do. In a very real way. Your friendship and support are important to me and I hope you know that I never take them lightly.
To Joe- Thank you for never, ever making me feel like I'm just a fan. I could say a lot more, but for once in my life, I'm going to just leave it at that...except to add XOXO

Wishing you all the most joyous holiday season.

Live, Laugh, Love

Monday, November 28, 2011

Another check mark on my bucket list

A couple of weeks ago I saw someone post a link on twitter stating that Joe Mac was going to be taking part in the Macy's Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Boston this year. The link also indicated that he would be signing autographs after the ceremony. I got excited because it sounded like something my daughter would really enjoy. Every time I go see Joe she begs me to let her go with me & I always have to tell her no. Finally he was doing something that was perfect for a 6 year old!
The next day my husband found out that he was going to be taking a train out of Boston the morning after the tree lighting. I suggested that we make a weekend out of it & he agreed. He was somewhat reluctant about attending the tree lighting with us, but in the end he decided to join us.
Once Ciara learned about the trip it was all she could talk about. She was so excited to go see Boston, and to see Joe sing a song. She was adorable.
Finally, the day came. We woke up early and loaded up the car for our drive to the city. We made it to Boston around 10:30am. We went straight to Macy's to get our "ticket" for the autograph signing. Afterwards we wandered around the area for a little while & grabbed some lunch. We didn't want to go too far because we knew we would need to get back early in order for Ciara to be able to see anything at the ceremony, so we decided to walk over to Boston Common.
We had been walking through the Common for only a few minutes when I got a text alert. It was Joe tweeting that HE was walking through the Common! He kept tweeting pictures of different landmarks. We decided that since we were there we would treat it like a scavenger hunt & see if we could track Joe down. We had a lot of fun checking out all the sights in the park, but we never did locate the "prize".
We did locate the playground though and Ciara was happy to kill some time there. After a while we headed back to Macy's to claim our spot by the stage. We had a 2 1/2 hour wait, but we were right next to the sound booth and Kevin had fun chatting with the tech crew. We also had sound checks & people watching to keep us entertained while we waited. Ciara was so great! She barely complained at all.
Finally at 5:00 the show started. The mayor welcomed the crowd, The Boston Children's Chorus & Jasmine Villegas performed, & then it was Joe's turn. He sounded amazing. Last but not least, Santa arrived and all of  the special guests returned to the stage to help light the tree. We all counted down & then the tree burst into over a thousand points of light, and confetti canons made it snow. It was beautiful.
We made our way through the crowd into the store and found the line for autographs. Ciara was pretty tired at that point & was impatient for the line to start moving, but she wasn't even considering leaving until we got what we came for.
The store was playing Joe's new Christmas CD and when Do You Hear What I Hear? (a duet with his sister Carol) came on, his family happened to be walking right by us. I pointed them out to Ciara and told her who they were. Kevin said "WOW! Whoever is singing this song is really good!" and I joined in "Oh yeah, she's AMAZING!" Joe's brother Tommy was getting a big kick out of it and Carol blushed & told us we were too sweet. It was a fun moment.
Not long after that, the line finally started to move. As we were waiting our turn we started chatting to the people nearby. I mentioned that I was upset because I forgot my cameras & all I had was my cellphone. The girl behind me in line had her Canon DSLR and she volunteered to take pictures for me. She said she'd step out of line when the time came and then asked if I would take pictures for her when it was her turn. I agreed without question & wrote down my email address for her so she could send the photos later.
Finally, it was our turn! We stepped around the corner and Joe spotted Ciara first and said hello to her
Then he saw me & said hello and gave me a hug
I introduced Kevin
and we chatted for a second. Joe asked Ciara if he should sign the CD for her or for me

Ciara was shy, so I told him to sign it for her. He asked what her name is and I explained to him that she and his daughter have variations of the same name.
He thought that was really cool and started to tell Ciara about his daughter Kira
He finished signing the CD and gave me another hug and we said goodbye
But as I was walking away, I spotted a stack of photos on the table next to him & told him I was going to take one.
 He said "Wait! Let me sign it for you first!" I laughed & said "Of course, because I don't have enough yet, right?" He chuckled and then told me that he was going to make this one out to "aaaaaaat SimplyShannon...because that's who you REALLY are, right?" I laughed and told him that he was right, and that I did NOT have one like that yet. I said thank you & told him I'd see him again soon and then went to go take pictures for Sherri, who was amazing enough to capture the whole thing for me!

Ciara clutched the CD like it was covered in diamonds as we made our way back to the car. Even Kevin was impressed by how nice Joe is, as much as he hated to admit it. We spent the rest of the weekend exploring Boston. Ciara loved it and learned a lot about the history of our country in the process.
I was thrilled to have had the opportunity to spend some real quality time with my family & share a little bit of "my happy place" with them.
I'd just like to say a big thank you to Joe for always making me feel like he's as excited and happy to see me as I am to see him, and for being so kind and sweet to my family. XOXO

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I haven't written a blog in forever & one of my friends recently asked her twitter followers "What does it mean to you to be a Blockhead?"...sounds like a blog to me!

For me, being a Blockhead means...

In the midst of all the adult BS we all have to deal with, I can turn on my iPod & instantly feel like I'm 15 again.

No matter what time it is, day or night, there is always someone I can turn to when I need a friend.

When I feel like I want to give up I can count on the fact that 5 brothers(& counting) & a million sisters will be there to lift me back up and inspire me to keep going.

There is no such thing as going to a NKOTB concert by myself

I could travel all over the world & possibly never see the inside of a hotel.

It means...
laughing late into the night
inside jokes
sharing stories, pictures & memories
slumber parties
signs & posters
giggling & squeeing over friends "moments" shared on YouTube
road trips
phone calls, texts, DMs, tweets...

It about...

Never accepting the status quo

Standing up for what's right even if it's not what's popular

Finding a way to help someone in need no matter what it takes

Spreading love, joy & positivity

Being a Blockhead means that I share a bond with some of the most beautiful & amazing people in the world.

Being a Blockhead means #LOVEETERNAL

What does it mean to you?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

My $.02

22 years ago I was an overweight, insecure young teenage girl. I wasn't popular & I was pretty sure that I was either invisible to boys or a source of material for their cruel jokes.
One day I turned on the TV, saw a pop group performing on a kids show and fell instantly in love. These guys were everything that I thought a boy should be.  Many of the girls in my class agreed with me and I suddenly had a way to relate to people and make new friends. We spent hours and hours clipping pictures out of magazines, reading interviews, watching videos & analyzing every single move those 5 boys made and every word they spoke. Several months after that fateful performance on TV I had the opportunity to attend one of their concerts. I had lawn seats & I was completely ecstatic just to be in the same stadium with them.
As their popularity grew, so did my desire to get as close to them as possible. Unfortunately, just about every other teenage girl on the planet felt the same way. Getting close to them was about as likely to happen as me taking a rocket ship to the moon. That didn't stop us from trying though. The next time I went to a concert, I spent HOURS standing outside in the snow just hoping for a glimpse, and maybe, just MAYBE if I was really lucky...a wave. This time I was in the nosebleeds. At the end of the show I was jumping up & down acting like a complete maniac and Joe looked up in my direction, laughed, and waved. I may have cried. I know I talked about it for days.
Those boys and my friends helped me feel good about myself. They gave me something to do besides sitting in front of the TV feeling sorry for myself. The concerts were the best things ever. Going to New Kids concerts made me feel alive in a way I had never experienced before. They were just pure fun.
Unfortunately as time went on, girls got more & more competitive about things. People started asking their parents to call in favors just to have the opportunity to look one of the guys in the eye and say hello. Friendships ended simply because two girls weren't allowed to like the same guy. People wanted MORE. The venues got larger, the merchandise got more plentiful (and more expensive), and things became a lot LESS fun.
Eventually it became too much and the group broke up. I grew up & moved onto other things. So did my friends.

3 years ago I was an overweight, insecure & lonely wife and mother. I spent my days going to work, looking after my family and watching TV and blogging. I rarely went out and I had no close friends to speak of. One day I opened an email and discovered that the pop group that I had seen on that TV show 20 years before was getting back together. I wasn't sure what to think. I decided to give it a chance and I began following their progress. When their tour was announced I knew that it was something that I had to experience. I got tickets to their show and when I got to the venue, I was ecstatic just to be in the same arena with them.  My seats were directly opposite the stage at the other end of the floor. The guys looked tiny- but I was having the time of my life. When the group popped up on the B-Stage right in front of me I thought that I might pee my pants. I felt like I was 14 again.
This time I didn't have any classmates to giggle and gossip with. What I DID have was the internet. I logged onto the New Kids fan forum & discovered that nothing had really changed in 20 years. We still loved to look at pictures, read interviews, watch videos, and analyze every move and every word out of their mouths.
Except that some things HAD changed. This time we were older. We had our own bank accounts and access to things that were out of our reach 20 years ago.  We also had the internet...a way to interact that was beyond our wildest teenage dreams. We had TWITTER.

Again, I came out of my shell and made friends. I started to feel good about myself again. I became more & more confident and stopped feeling so lonely and depressed. Once again the guys, and my new friends helped me to find myself and grow as a person.

And now, as time goes on things are starting to change again. People want MORE. Simply going to a concert is not enough any more. Now it's all about how many shows you can get to, how close to the stage you can get, how many 5* experiences you can afford. It's about getting a follow, or getting "eye sex" during a show. People are more concerned with competing for recognition than they are with enjoying the show.

I get it. I understand where it comes from. Getting those few seconds of recognition- it's an amazing feeling. It's like a drug and one hit is never enough. But it's also like a drug in that it's poison. That all consuming need takes over and ruins everything. It makes everything LESS fun.

I'm sure that there are people who will call me a hypocrite for what I am saying. People that will think "Oh yes Shannon, that's all fine and dandy because you have HAD the recognition"...and I get that too. Yes. I have been unbelievably fortunate. I do not take that for granted. I know exactly how much people want to experience some of the things that I have experienced. I know, because I have been there.

What too many people don't understand is that getting those things- the smile, the look, the hug, the doesn't change anything. I'm not saying it doesn't feel good. It does. It feels wonderful. But at the end of the day, I am still JUST a fan like anyone else. I still wait with butterflies in my stomach wondering what is going to come next. I still get nervous before tickets go on sale hoping to get the best seats possible. I still wonder if any of my tweets are even seen. I don't get special treatment. I'm not jetting around the country hanging out backstage chatting with the guys in the dressing room. Hell, I've never even seen backstage and I doubt I ever will. I don't even think I want to. Not if it means that I have to give up the friendships.

Yes, I adore those 5 goofy guys from Boston. They help me escape from the stresses of my every day life and they remind me not to take things too seriously...that life should be FUN.  They also remind me that family and friends are more important than anything else in this world. THAT is what I want to hang onto.
The rest?'s just supposed to be entertaining. So please, can we stop taking things so seriously? Stop turning it all into some manic competition? Start appreciating it for what it is and showing respect for the gift that we have been given?

Remember that first intro- the lasers tracing out NKOTB, the smoke, the screams, the anticipation...and then FINALLY that platform coming up out of the floor. Hang onto that feeling because THAT my friends is what it's all about.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

You drove to Iowa for WHAT?

I'm going to share a little something about myself with you.

I suck at sports.

And I when I say I suck at sports, I mean that I REALLY, REALLY suck at sports.

And not just one or two of them...ALL of them.  If it requires coordination or any sort of athletic ability of any kind, I can virtually guarantee you that I will find a way to screw it up so badly that it will boggle your mind.

Honestly, it really shouldn't even be humanly possible to suck this much.

When I was a growing up going to gym class was like having my worst nightmares come to life. I absolutely dreaded walking into that gigantic empty room with it's stale sweat smell and slippery floors.  It was my own private hell.  I viewed athletic equipment as torture devices, and my classmates were just sadistic bastards who couldn't wait to get their hands on these instruments of evil and have their way with me.

My parents tried really hard to help me out.  They were very encouraging, and had me try all sorts of different activities. Gymnastics, soccer, cheer-leading, dancing, basketball...all with equally horrendous results.  The only thing I was ever marginally decent at was swimming.  I was on the swim team for several years.  I even got a first place ribbon in my first ever race! (sadly, that was the only one I ever got...and it was a relay)

I tried for a while. I really did. I wanted to be's just that my body would never cooperate with me.  I'd listen to the instructions and watch the other kids and think "Well that looks easy enough!  You just run down the mat, jump on the trampoline and land on the pommel horse on your knees?...I'm SURE that I can do that!"...and then my turn would come. I ran down the mat, jumped on the trampoline...and did a somersault over the pommel horse kicking my poor gym teacher in the head in the process.  True story.  I think that we had to call the janitor to come clean the floors after because all of my classmates had peed their pants from laughing so hard.

Now, I may not have any athletic prowess of any kind at all...but I am a reasonably intelligent person.  If someone says to you "Hey, I want you to try this really cool new thing that I discovered! It's all the rage. Everyone is doing it!" and you go join them, and it turns out that this really cool new thing is sticking bamboo shoots under your're probably not going to do it a second time, right? neither.

So...having lived with this issue my entire life, I have recently been faced with asking myself "Self, what exactly would possess you to drive 3 hours to Iowa and 3 hours home in one day for the sole purpose of going bowling?!"

Imagine my surprise when myself answered "Well, because it's FUN ya dummy!"

See, the thing that I never figured out when I was a kid was that it really isn't about the results.  It's about spending time with people and being carefree and silly.  (Ok, not for everyone...some people take that stuff way too seriously, but in general people are just out to have a good time)

When my friend Manda first mentioned her bowling party to me, my initial reaction was "No friggin' way!I haven't picked up a bowling ball since I was 8 years old and there is very little chance that I've suddenly become coordinated."  But I really love Manda, and I miss her and I wanted to see her.  So when another friend told me that she was considering going I decided to throw caution to the wind and be a rebel for a change.

So I did it. I got in the car and drove all the way to Iowa to spend a couple of hours bowling.  I was excited to see some old friends and to make some new ones and if it meant I had to throw a big heavy ball down a lane and try to knock over some pins...well, so be it.

As expected...I sucked.  I sucked BAD!  I swear, you wouldn't even believe that it's truly possible to suck as bad as I do.  You know how in slapstick comedies some idiot accidentally throws the ball in the wrong direction?  Yeah...that would be me. (twice)

BUT the difference between now and when I was a kid is that now I really don't care.  It was funny and I just laughed and tried again.  The difference between now and then is that I know that it doesn't really matter.  I know that people are still going to like me and think that I'm fun even if I can't knock down a bunch of pins, or make a ball go through a net, or manage to stay upright while rolling around a slippery floor with wheels attached to my feet.

This knowledge is a beautiful thing...and I have you to thank for it.  You all have shown me love and friendship and helped me to see that I'm actually pretty cool just the way that I am.  Thank you!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sweet dreams ARE made of this!

What happens when 5 men & a large group of women take over a casino for 3 days?


I was in Maine visiting with my family for the week leading up to the Hammond concerts. Thursday morning my daughter and I hit Logan airport for our flight home.  I suspected that there was a decent chance that I might run into one or both of the Knight brothers at the airport since I was flying an airline I know they frequently use, and since I knew that they would also be traveling to Chicago.  I didn't actually bump into them because they were on the flight after mine, but I did come very close to colliding with Kevin (@krunchtastic) walking through the terminal.  I was too shy to say hello to him & opted to send him a tweet instead.

As soon as I got home I had to rush off again to go pick up my friend from California at her hotel in the city and take her to a BH BBQ at another friend's house. I'd come down with a sinus infection on my last day of vacation, and the flight had really messed with me but the girls took great care of me. We had a blast chatting, trying to spot Donnie & Joe at the Lakers/Celtics game, and singing Karaoke (badly).

(finally giving my gal Brandie hugs in person!)
(The Joe girls! Brandie, Trisha, Steph & Me)

On Friday I was full of nervous energy. I knew that my friends from all over the country were arriving in Hammond & I couldn't wait to get there and start hugging the heck out of people.  Unfortunately, I had to wait for my husband and my friend Jess to get off work.  I finally arrived at the casino around 6:30 pm. Jess & I wandered around the casino for a few minutes figuring out where everything was, and then I went to find 2 of my favorite videomates at the bar. I hadn't seen Elizabeth since we left Burbank in October, and I was dying to catch up with Heather! I had to chuckle when I walked into the bar and saw Kevin sitting there chatting with my friends.  I told him I'd seen him at the airport but had been too shy to say hello. He laughed & said he'd been in a bad mood so it was probably better that way.  Elizabeth, Heather & I really wanted to get a pic of us together, but we had to do it quickly because there were gambling machines in the bar, so cameras are prohibited. Sadly, this was the best we could get without getting ourselves in trouble.

(videomates reunited! Elizabeth, Me & Heather)

We ran into our friend Julie as we were heading upstairs to the Venue. Julie had just come from her 5* and we were dying to hear how it went.  Julie filled us in on her awesome experience and we giggled and squeee'd and hugged like a bunch of crazy teenagers.  We were all just so happy and excited to be together. It was perfect.

Take 1 
(Heather, Renee, Karie, Me, Julie)

Take 2
Take 3
(sorry, we're just really happy)
Joe's Happy Girls

Finally, it was time to head in and find our seats. I knew that mine wouldn't be terrific, but I was a little sad to see that I was in the 2nd to last row of the 1st tier.  They were still great seats, but after leaning my elbows on the stage in January, being so far back was hard to get used to. I knew that I still had 2 more days of shows and my 5* floor seat ahead of me, so I decided that I was going to enjoy the hell out of the show no matter where my seat was.  Once the lights went down I was in heaven.  The guys hit the stage with a vengeance as they always do & the energy was amazing. I tried to take a few pictures, but they were all coming out blurry so I gave up and decided it was better to take it all in anyway.

I was dancing & singing along and having a great time when the guys started singing Tonight.  I knew that they would be coming out into the audience, but I wasn't sure exactly where they would be going.  It felt like chaos and I couldn't see where any of the guys were really, when all of the people around me started freaking out and I realized that Jon & Joe were headed up the aisle right next to me. I was only 4 seats away from the aisle, so I tried to get over to them, but I'm not a pushy person and neither one of them saw me.  Then Joe got up to the aisle that runs behind the 1st tier and he wasn't sure where to go.  He started wandering back & forth trying to figure out what to do, and I saw my golden opportunity.  There was no one sitting in the seats behind me, so I had the perfect situation. I'd been holding onto my "I heart EG" towel since the show started, just hoping for the right moment to hold it up...THIS was my chance!  I quickly whipped that sucker up, and the motion caught Joe's eye.  He looked down to see what it was, read it and started to walk away and then immediately did a double take.  His face lit up, his eyes got huge & he screamed "HIIIII!!!" at me.  I waved like and idiot & screamed "HIIIII!!!!" back at him.  Then, he turned to the security guy with him, and said "I HAVE to hug her!" and my heart skipped about 30 beats. I'm sorry, WHAT?! Did you just say you HAVE to hug me Joe? Well alright then!  And then I was standing there trying to figure out how the heck I was going to get close enough to hug the man.  Silly Shannon! I should have known I needn't worry.  Joe grabbed onto the security guy and quickly climbed over the railing and the row of seats to get to me.  He stood on the seat behind me and leaned over and gave me a hug as all of the people around me shrieked and freaked out.  I think my friend Jess might have had a minor stroke.  After we hugged, Joe stood back up and looked around to see where the rest of the guys were.  They were all in the audience too, so he stayed right where he was while they continued to sing.  I was so shocked by this turn of events that my brain turned to complete mush.  Joe was the last to get back to the stage, and at the time it seemed as though he'd held things up just to get our hug in.  After watching video of the show, I realize that wasn't exactly the case...but he was definitely thrilled to see me, and certainly made a specific point to come and hug me once he knew I was there.  Either way, I will NEVER forget the look on his face when he realized it was me.

(Joe standing on the chair behind me & singing Tonight after our hug)

The rest of the concert after that is pretty much a blur. I missed half of it because all the oxygen had left my brain at that point. I did make a special point of trying to focus my attention when Joe came out for his solo. It was the first time I would see it live...but I was still in such a haze and the thought that I had helped inspire such a masterpiece was just a little too much for me to take.  I watched & thoroughly enjoyed, but I didn't truly take it in.

As always, the show was over far too soon.  I didn't stick around for very long after the show because I had to drive Jess home and I knew that I had 2 more nights of little to no sleep ahead of me.

Saturday afternoon was sort of a bust for me.  I drove back to Hammond early in the afternoon hoping to have some time to hang out with friends before the show, but ended up sitting by myself in someone else's hotel room waiting for people to return from the BH luncheon due to a mix up with the front desk over room assignments.  I didn't want to mess up another person's hotel room, so I really couldn't even use the time to get ready.  Lucky for me, I had my phone and twitter to keep me company.

Eventually everyone returned and my friend Michele arrived at the hotel as well.  I hadn't seen Michele since January, so I was excited to have a chance to catch up with her. There is usually a lot of chaos whenever Michele and I are in the same place and we never get a chance to chat so it was nice to have the opportunity to gossip for a change!

Eventually we made our way to the casino. I bumped into a bunch of my friends while waiting around for show time.  I absolutely love that going to a NKOTB concert has become more like going to a family reunion. It was so nice catching up with old friends and putting faces to names of people I've been chatting with on twitter for months.

(Michele, Mel, Brandon, Tara & Me)

 Finally, show time arrived! I headed into the venue to find my seat.  I had bought a single ticket for this show and was supposed to be sitting next to a girl who I had met once before in the same section that I'd been in on Friday night...but through fortunate circumstances I ended up on the floor about 3 rows away from the stage.  I was all the way at the very end of the stage so some of my view was obstructed, but I couldn't have cared less.  I was with good friends and having an amazing time.

 (Trisha & Me hanging at the show)

The guys hit the stage and the rest of the world disappeared.  I thought that I might be able to get some decent pictures since my seats were so much closer, but I was foiled by the lighting yet again. I decided I was ok with it.  I knew tons of people would take pictures and I was quite content to just relax and enjoy the show.  I pulled my "I heart EG towel" out of my purse so that I would have it handy in case the right opportunity presented itself.  It wasn't long before I found my moment.  Joe headed over to the corner of the stage and I got the towel up just as he looked in my direction.  He pointed at me and made the most adorable smoochy face at me for about 20 seconds.  I pointed right back and grinned like a fool.

I enjoyed every second of the show.  I finally focused on Joe during his solo and was completely blown away.  That man just belongs on a stage...period (& if he wants to be half naked up there, well...that's ok by me!)

After the show I spent some time chatting with friends and we were wandering around when we discovered that a DJ was playing in the hallway outside the Venue.  There was a decent sized crowd and people seemed to be paying a lot of attention to an escalator just behind the DJ booth. Every so often people would look up to the top of the escalator and scream.  We weren't sure exactly what was going on, but we decided we'd stick around and see.  After a few minutes Donnie came down the escalator and joined the DJ for an impromptu "After party".  It was crowded & crazy and I couldn't even see Donnie...but it was still fun.  Even more fun was discovering that my friend Maria had made the last minute decision to drive all the way from NYC for the show!  Hooray for surprise hugs!

Finally Sunday arrived! 5* DAY!!!! I was remarkably calm all day long.  We had to check out of the hotel by 1pm, so I had to get myself ready early.  Not ideal, but no biggie.  After getting ready Annie and I met up with Michele to go and get some lunch. We found out some friends were already at the Cracker Barrel right by our hotel so we went to join them.

As we were finishing lunch, I got text messages that my friends Manda and Rebecca had both arrived in Hammond.  We were getting ready to walk back over to the hotel to meet up with them and give them their tickets to the show when the sky decided to open up with a torrential downpour.  PERFECT! No way in hell I was going to go to my 5* looking like a drowned rat!  Fortunately Manda rocks and she came and picked us up and drove us back to the hotel.  Rebecca was sharing a room with Michele for the night, so we gathered there for a few minutes to catch up before heading over to the casino.

Once again, I was happy to run into friends and spend some time chatting with them while we waited in line to check in.
(Me, Sabrina & Heather waiting in line)

(Two giddy Joe girls ready to hug our guy!)

Finally, the time arrived and we checked in and went upstairs to the party.  There were only 6 of us in our group, so we were all anxious to find out who the final 4 people would be.  Heather and I were definitely nervous that we would end up with a Joe girl or two.  We were thrilled when we lined up and discovered that the girls wanted to stand with Jordan and Jon.  That was PERFECT! Our group had the rest of the guys covered already.  Heather and I were the last 2 to go into the room.  I was surprised to see how tiny the room was when I walked in and I was a little disoriented.  I looked for Heather's pink shirt because I knew that if I found her I would find Joe.  I quickly located them and walked over as Joe was reading Heather's shirt.  Her shirt said "Joe, I've put in my time" on the front and then on the back it said "Now you put out" and had a picture of lips on it.  Joe was loving it and had no clue that I was even in the room at first.  He finished reading it and he was commenting to Heather when it dawned on him that someone else had walked over.  He turned to look at me and I watched the sweetest smile appear on his face as he realized it was me.
Then he said "Oh! I get BOTH my girls tonight?" and reached out to give me a hug.  Heather knew that I'd never had a full on hug with Joe and she stepped back to allow me to have my moment.  As soon as I finished hugging Joe they called for pictures.  I went to step back and almost stepped on the girl standing next to me which totally threw me off.  Luckily I think the pictures turned out pretty well.

As soon as they finished taking the pictures they started telling us to leave the room, but Joe held onto us and I sure as hell wasn't leaving as long as he had his arm around me! Then he said "Now girls, you know I can't kiss you but here's the deal..." and he reached over and grabbed Donnie's shoulder to get his attention.  Heather and I both freaked out and said "NO!" and tried to convince him that neither of us had any desire to kiss Donnie.  I wanted to say "Joe you jackass! We can't kiss anyone for the same reason that you can't"...but I resisted.  We were talking when one of the other girls (not one of the friends we arrived with) came over and interrupted us. I just stood there & rubbed his back and arm as Joe gave her a quick hug and then dismissed her to get back to us.  He said "I'm sorry, but I just can't kiss anyone" and I said "No, of course not, but we just want to give you a kiss on the cheek" and he sort of smirked and said "The cheek?" and then stuck his neck out a little.  Heather and I weren't about to wait for an engraved invitation so we both quickly planted one on his scruffy cheeks.  At that point I knew that security was about to drag us out by our hair, so I gave his hand a squeeze and said thank you and started to leave.  As we were walking away Joe called out "Bye girls! I love you guys!" and my heart just melted.  I said "Love you too!" and blew him a kiss as I walked out the door.

Once we were out of the room I discovered that the "other" girls who had been with us had lied and two of them went directly to Donnie as soon as they walked in, freezing out the 2 girls in our group who had been planning on standing with Donnie for the pictures.  I was sad to hear that the rest of our group had not had a good experience.  I was also a little upset because my assigned seat was 10th row.  It was a terrific seat, but it irritated me to know that people had purchased better tickets for 1/4 of what I had paid for mine.  I knew going in that I was only guaranteed the 1st 10 rows...but it is a seriously flawed system.  If  I pay $425 for my ticket, I should not have people in front of me who only paid $115.

At any rate, it was a wonderful night and I don't regret it at all.  I am thrilled to have had the experience.  I feel confident in saying that I will not be buying another 5* ticket.  I can't see spending that much money when I didn't even have the opportunity to say hello to any of the other guys (yes, if all I wanted to do was hug all 5 it could have happened, but that hardly seems worth it to me), and I can get a better seat by just waiting until the last minute to buy one. (rant over)

The show was AMAZING!  I felt like the guys brought it even harder than they had either of the other 2 nights.  Joe was DEFINITELY more evil than I'd ever seen him for his solo.  It was pure bliss watching him in his element.  I watched with an odd mixture of pride & lust.  I swear the man is going to be the death of me one day.  He knows it too. Brat.

The show ended and we spent some time chatting in the bar before heading home.  Donnie performed in the hallway again, but we were tired and we knew that the crowd was going to be insane so we skipped it.

I was sad that the weekend was coming to an end, but I was also exhausted and couldn't wait to get home to my bed to begin the recovery process.

I just want to say thank you to all of the amazing women who were a part of a my magical weekend.  I love you guys!  Also, in case you happen to play stalker & come read this... THANK YOU JOE! xoxooxo