Tuesday, September 15

Can you be TOO BIG of a Fan?

This is Taylor Hicks at Regions Charity Golf Event
a.k.a. American Idol 2005
I knew nothing of Taylor Hicks until he auditioned on American Idol in 2005 at the age of 29. He is from our hometown of Hoover, AL..... well, at least that is where he was settled enough to go to Middle & High School (played on the basketball team).  Our city's event planner, Erin, set up viewings of the American Idol show at our local Wings eatery and Fox news & some of Taylor's family came each week to see us cheer him on. Every week he put his soul into his performances..... hence.... the Soul Patrol became the name attached to his many followers accross the country.  And I do mean accross the country!! That was Taylor's favorite style of music at a young age too, soul music. He sang (and danced) his way to being the American Idol that year.
It was a joke amoung our circle of friends that I was his biggest fan in Hoover.... that could not be true.... but I was a follower ~ hooked on the music and those interesting moves on stage. I was a fan of his story and his success as well. With Gene part of Hoover's city goverment I had some opportunities to briefly meet Taylor a few times..... usually with a group of other's ushered along to get a quick picture, etc. Gene & I even flew to Kansas City to see a concert of his after his American Idol commitments.  Well, AND to visit with a cousin that lives there (we did take them to the concert).
You think.... what crazy's.... but I am telling you..... flying to Kansas City was nothing compared to the other fans he has. City to city. And I met one this past weekend. It was her 49th show. She had a TH tatto displayed on her arm. And she had to be as old as me. Gene had taken me and our dear friends, Chuck & Sandra, to see him perform at the Beau Rivage Casino, in Biloxi, MS. We got in a quick hello to Brian, his longtime keyboard player, and then a minute with Taylor to have him sign a cd for someone special back in Hoover.  It never occured to me to bring my camera..... Usually you hear "no camera's or video"!! So, I have my one good shot on my iphone, even though we were center stage, second row (thank's Casino Host!!!).
Next week Taylor comes to Hoover/Birmingham to perform in the Broadway hit GREASE. He told Gene he was also going to the High School with the Mayor one day during that week. Hmmm.... maybe another opportunity to be that obsessive fan? Nope. We already have a trip to Miami planned. Luckily we will be back before the GREASE show ends and will make it to his last performance in town. 
Do I know the words to a LOT of his songs & own more than one copy of ALL his cd's? Yes.
Do I have his book (and read it). Yes.
Do I get messages from his website and myspace? Yes. 
But, am I a groupie? NO.
Never hung around his dad's house to get a glimpse of him.
Never cried when watching him sing or just seeing him.
Never reached out to just "touch him". 
But, there is something that draws me to want to watch him perform ~ to see the many "faces of Taylor" when he sings. Sandra & I discussed those faces.... we saw him be fun, silly, shy, emotionally into the music, and even attempted some sexiness ~ which some of the younger fans enjoyed.  But I enjoyed watching him be in control of the music ~ how a performer can control the other band members with a swish of his hand to play softer or louder or s.t.o.p. And thinking how exciting that must feel for him to be living what he loves.

Thursday, September 10

Night of the Police

Last night, while I'm in line to purchase some baby Halloween items for Aaron at our local T.J. Maxx store, I suddenly see two policemen bust through the doors. One stands by the front door and the other starts searching the store, dressing room, etc. I call Gene because he has a scanner and might have heard something. Plus I recognize one of the policeman. Gene tells me why they are there.... shoplifter's. I wave hello to my familiar po-po and he gives me a "hello, Mrs. Smith & a smile" and keeps on searching. Meanwhile, I'm the last customer in line as they are closing and the person in front of me is definately moving slow. Ah, guess why?
How about SHE was the person they were looking for!! Turns out she had spoken to the person (a.k.a. was with the person) that had been pushing a cart in the parking lot with clothes in it.... without a receipt.  I finally finish checking out and there is Gene in the parking lot. He said the police thought maybe MY car was involved at first, since it was one of the last in front of the store, and had blocked it in until he got there and explained it was ours. Not all that scarey, but definately some drama for my night.

Gene had some drama of his own. When I called him on his cell to see why the police were at T.J.Maxx he was outside the new gun store talking with ~ get this ~ the father to the police officer I had waved at. Okay. The two are standing there talking before my call and notice a car in their parking lot with about 3 men in it. Seem to be just watching them. And maybe the store?  The car slowly comes near them..... Daddy po-po (he is a retired police officer) is ready to show some "heat" and Gene is ready to go for his!! The men used "looking for a club" as their excuse to approach. As the car left to head towards Birmingham as instructed, daddy po-po calls his son (who is on duty as we know) to try and follow them and stop them for questioning or something.  When they can't locate the car again, they get the T.J. Maxx call and speed up the street to where I am. ??????? How weird it that? Gene knew I was there so he and daddy po-po followed.

I was just a bit surprised to walk out of the store and see Gene & daddy po-po standing by their cars smiling at me.  So, somehow our lives intertwined even in crime!!

But, I had a receipt.

Sunday, September 6

You can never have TOO many pictures......

So ~ It took 80 something shots to get just a few of Aaron (8 weeks) smiling. And they were all worth it. Hey, with digital camera's they are technically free. Well, as long as you don't have to divide the number of good shots by the cost of the camera. And the lens. And the super zoom lens. And the lens covers. And the super 2.0mg scan disk card. And the bag I have yet to buy. Okay, at least you don't have to pay for printing of the "bad" ones. You can keep them to view on the computer or cd and just print the bestest ones. I won't get into how printing your own at home are free too, 'cause we all know how much those ink cartridges cost!! (I am currently out of yellow and cannot print)

I've always loved taking pictures. When our children were born I was like a photo journalist - before I knew what one was. The albums were storybooks of daily activities, "firsts" and special occasion's. If there were 4 pictures to a page they all had to be from the same activity. And the cute sayings... oh my. I had to add those too.

Sadly, the photo albums got scarce when everyone started school. Time was one reason. Coming and going with carpooling elementary age kids and a mother's day out child kept me from the long days at home "with the kids" looking for an outlet. When you finally had them all home with you and the camera ready, you would have at least one child saying "DON"T take my picture" every time you started to shoot. sigh. Oh, we have the big events in mass.... Christmas, Easter egg hunts at grandma's, family photo's with great grandparents and such.... but the playful ones were always (and still are) my favorite.

I guess the other interruption for picture taking was the video camera. One cannot do both at the same time. We had one or the other. With mom doing most of the shooting ~ meaning.... was mom even there??? With no pictures of her how do we know? I smile. I'm sure I didn't want my picture taken either!!

Now I have a new subject to shoot.... a grandson. I am going to take my new camera to "camera school" starting in October (that is when they start the new beginner class). Being a visual person has made it hard for me to learn from a manual. We have friends that are in the photography business and I am jealous of what I see. It is like I too can "see" it that way, but I don't know how to make the camera do it. So, I am officially calling it ~ I'm going back to school!! LOL