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Valerie
21 August 2016 @ 05:57 pm

we don’t say
we need the words
we don’t confess
we feel something more
how every whisper
races the pulse
how every kiss
promises forever
we can’t say
we want the words
we can’t confess
we know this is more
with every smile
curved unbidden
with every touch
sparking desire
we won’t say
we need the words
we don’t confess
until this is more

Writing

WRITING
“The Arrangement” – I’ve been steadily writing this one. I think I’m at about the halfway point? Almost 40K words which is pretty good for me considering it’s not National Novel Writing Month. I really do love the characters. They don’t know it yet but they love each other. Well, maybe they’re starting to realize this truth. I don’t think it’s ever taken me about 100 pages to get my characters to the bedroom. Go me? LOL But now they’re way into it. I need to dial it back on those scenes. Just a little bit.

THE BABBLE
Sometimes I wish I wrote more privately so that I can just unleash the venom that lurks inside of me. No, this is not about my recent drama. This is about that person I call the SAB. She’s a whack job. I wish people who defend her and laud her for being a good person would look at all the actual good people who have turned away from her. And then wonder why. Why have these good people finally washed their hands of her? She’s a fake, disrespectful and deceitful and ungrateful. Everything is someone else’s fault. She can’t fathom taking responsibility for her own actions. I do so pity the people who believe her. They are deceived by her. They choose to ignore the ugliness in her…

LAST YEAR AT THIS TIME
So a year ago yesterday we saw Tyler for the first time at the G Bar. Has it already been a year?! I still remember a little bit of that night. I LOVED being so close and having a chance to just chat with Tyler. So lovely.

The next day, we went to the Dierks Bentley concert! Did we really do that? Such a fantastic concert and I still remember it well. 🙂

at the Dierks concert

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

 
 
Valerie

Tyler Rich at Ironstone Amphitheatre
Tyler on stage!

Sunday, August 14th – Ironstone Amphitheatre

Sunday afternoon we headed out to Murphys, California for the Chris Young concert at Ironstone Amphitheatre. The drive on SR 4 was pretty lovely as I watched the countryside from my window. Sometimes it astonishes me how vast and open California can be and as we moved along SR 4, I understood why people drive that way to go to their cabins to get away from the Bay Area.

Thanks to my niece, I was made aware of a Groupon sale for the tickets to Chris Young’s concert. Since I was also a new user (yes, I’d never used Groupon before), I was able to get lawn tickets for not only the discounted price but also more discounted as a first-time user. Score!

In deep contrast to the concert at Levi’s Stadium, Ironstone Amphitheatre had portables as restrooms and the data coverage was spotty at best. We had lawn tickets so it meant taking a blanket and thankfully having my nieces find a sweet spot with enough room for all of us. (Thank you, nieces!) It was probably one of the hottest days of the last seven days but there was a breeze and by the time the sun had moved, it didn’t seem as hot as when we arrived. The amphitheatre was rather lovely (portables and lacking data coverage notwithstanding), set amongst trees in Calavares County.

I was in my Rich’s Bi$ches shirt and my friends were thankfully in theirs as well. I didn’t walk around a lot but after Tyler performed, my friends were stopped a few times and asked about him, which is pretty awesome. I almost forgot I was wearing it until someone later commented on it.

Tyler Rich
Tyler opened up the show and he was so good. It was weird being so far from him as he performed. I think this was the first time I was too far to see his face. It didn’t matter, it gave me a different perspective and from my place on the lawn, he was energetic and having fun. I hope at the very least he could hear us when he’d end a song because I think we were probably one of the only ones in our section who were super enthusiastic for him. Hearing him with a band behind him is also definitely something I’d love to happen more often!

I loved being able to sing really loud with him and the audience without anyone really hearing me. The band was very awesome and I should probably get to know them because when I went to the merchandise table between sets, I talked with the bassist and didn’t even realize it. Ooops! (Hi Ben Jindra, you were pretty cool!) Of course, I wish Tyler had gone on for longer but he left the stage after “California Grown” (which was probably appropriate since Jon Pardi is the referenced in the song and was the next act).

Jon Pardi
I confess, I was merely ambivalent about Jon Pardi before this show. Although I can’t stop singing along to “Head Over Boots,” I didn’t really think I cared either way about him. His set perhaps persuaded me towards his music a bit more. He kept saying he was hungover and though he sounded a bit tired, his voice was strong and he sounded great. And apparently I know more of his songs than I realized. He had a good set and I was dutifully entertained.

Chris Young
I’ve known about Chris Young since his days on Nashville Star. Who remembers that show? Well, he’s always been an artist I’ve enjoyed and this was the first time seeing him live for us. He was great! Such a strong voice and a great on stage personality. He talked a bit much but he was witty and entertaining. I loved being able to sing along and there were some songs I had forgotten were his until he started singing them. In the end I was so glad to have seen him.

After Chris was finished, we headed to the merchandise table where Tyler was set up to greet fans and sign and take pictures. My nieces were already in line and I joined them (probably to the annoyance of the people behind me but hey, the cars in the parking lot were hardly moving so might as well have been waiting in line for Tyler than waiting in line to get out of the venue). I didn’t mind waiting as it allowed me some time to do some people watching. A mutual follow from snapchat and a friend of Tyler’s came over to say hi to me and we chatted for a little bit. So sweet! And as the line moved, one of my fellow fans and online friend came over to say hello as well. It was nice running into people I knew! When it was finally our turn, I introduced Tyler to my nieces. They took their pictures with him and Tyler signed one of their Giants bags (I’m sure he got a kick out of that). When it was my turn, we had a quick chat then our picture taken. As always, I was happy to have a moment with him and a picture to prove it.

artsy version of me and Tyler

All in all, it was a most lovely evening spent under the stars listening to good music amongst family and friends. I don’t know when I’ve had that happen. I loved being able to catch up with my nieces, who are just the loveliest young ladies. I’m so glad I’m not the only one in our big family to like country music. It was also super great getting to know my fellow Rich’s Bi$ches. I’m so glad they’ve welcomed me into the group because they are some rockin’ ladies. I had a fantastic time with them! It was also great to finally meet Tyler’s friend after watching his snapchat all these months. I’m so glad we had a chance to chat a little. I also got to touch base with fellow Tyler fans, which is always awesome.

Don’t forget to follow Tyler:
facebook.com/tylerrichmusic
instagram.com/tylerrich
twitter.com/tylerrichmusic
snapchat: tylerrichmusic

And join the fan page at Facebook:
facebook.com/tylerrichfans

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

 
 
Valerie
14 August 2016 @ 12:50 pm

the swell of music
filling the stadium
the lift of your voice
seeping through the soul
the harmony of voices
matching your words
the unmistakable energy
creating sweet memories
all of it worth
the heartbreak and wait
all of it worth
the unknown and joyful
I’d never take back
finally seeing you
I’d do it all again
to bask in such perfectionn

As the venue emptied, we enjoyed the view once more
we had such a great time last week!

So things were weird for me this week. I had to recover from my concert high (not sure if I’ve recovered yet). I reached out to my friends because I sensed they were giving me the silent treatment and found out that they think badly of me. My boss has taken a new job with a different district which means I’ll have a new boss to train in a month. Goodness me!

I loved telling people about the concert. It was just too awesome not to share. Most people listened with a smile and didn’t mind me telling them about what a great time we had. It’s a good story and good stories should be shared in this world of so many bad stories. I was so happy and so grateful for having such an amazing experience…

My friends think I’m a bad friend. I’ve done what I can to defend myself. It’s a definite bummer that it wasn’t kept between just the two of us and others had to choose sides. Because sides were chosen without giving me the benefit of the doubt. And I tell you what, it sucks…

I am so happy for my boss! He’s going to another district for a higher position and he so deserves it. He’s a fantastic boss and is great with the parents and students. I’m going to miss him because we get along so well and had a great working relationship. I know that he will be so awesome at his new gig. They are so lucky to get him!…

Tonight we see Tyler! I am so excited and glad that I will get to see some awesome people (besides Tyler). It should be a great time. Well, it’s always a great time when I see Tyler. 😀

such a great time!
last weekend was so awesome…

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

 
 
Valerie

Sam Hunt on stage!
Sam Hunt on stage on Saturday at Levi’s Stadium

Where do I even start? The whole concert experience this time around was just crazy AWESOME. My cousin surprised me with two tickets to the show and I was so happy that I would get to experience the lineup of Old Dominion, SAM HUNT, Miranda Lambert, and headliner Kenny Chesney. SAM HUNT, y’all! What could be more awesome than free tickets and SAM?

Last year for the Luke Bryan concert, we sat in the club level. I thought maybe perhaps we would have the same kind of tickets again, which were pretty cool. But this time around, we had suite tickets. Very awesome but we didn’t discover the magnitude of awesome until we arrived.

Stella in my Jacob Davis Squad koozie

We got to the Red Lot with plenty of time to eat and drink and watch our fellow tailgaters play cornhole. The sun was warm and bright but the breeze was cool. I was representing my other musical loves by wearing my Tyler Rich wallet buckle and using my Jacob Davis Squad koozie. I wore my cowboy boots with shorts and my Take Your Time t-shirt, which I had to stretch to make fit but fit it did. It was really a beautiful day. When it was almost time for the gates to open, we packed up and headed for the lines.

waiting in line to get in

Levi’s Stadium has extremely strict rules on what you can bring inside so I somehow managed to go without a purse. Thank goodness for pockets! And really, I didn’t end up needing anything from my purse. Why don’t I do this more often? We found the entrance to the SAP Tower, stopped by the United Club for a couple of drinks, then headed up to suite 517 to check it out. When we said which suite we were in, we got a couple of, “Ohh, very nice” kind of comments. On the suite floor, the lady who opened the door for us said, “It doesn’t get much better than this one.”

And lo, she was so right.

the back of suite 517
Suite 517

Suite 517 is the Levi’s Suite. Yes, the Levi’s Suite of Levi’s Stadium. It sits at the 50 yard line and has a fantastic view of well, everything– the concert floor, the stadium seats, the stage. We were on a bit of an angle for the stage but we could see mostly everything. The sun shone on the other side of the stadium. The breeze was cool from our vantage point. The Levi’s Suite is a double suite with plush seats down front and a food area in the back. There was a refrigerator stocked with water, soda, and beer. Different kinds of foods were available– hot dogs, macaroni and cheese with bacon and chicken, chicken strips, tamales, pizza, sushi, and probably more I’m forgetting. This meant no lines for food or beer. We just had to get up from our seats and make our selections. How spoiled did I feel? Very.

the stage my background

The suite experience so added to the concert experience. The music was fantastic. All the artists sounded great! The group in our suite wasn’t too wild and it was comfortable considering we didn’t know anyone. I was perhaps a little enthusiastic during Old Dominion and SAM HUNT but I didn’t care and mostly got amused smiles from my fellow suite mates.

So how did the artists fare? Here we go:

Old Dominion – I knew every single song they played, which surprised me for some reason. But I guess listening to their album many many times over, as well as their EP just worked my mind enough. I loved that I could sing along to every song. They sounded fantastic, had great hearts, and just worked that stage with such enthusiasm and energy. I LOVED THEM. I wanted to wave at them and touch them and just watch them play their instruments. LOL

Sam Hunt!!!
SAM!!!

SAM HUNT – Oh Sam. HE WAS AMAZING!!! He was everything and so much more than I imagined. He sounded great, he looked good, he went into the audience not once but twice, and he was just everything. My heart was so full while watching him. Just being in the same space as him was enough. But hearing him sing live the songs I’ve had on my playlist since February of last year was such a blessing upon my soul. Being able to watch him, to sing with him, to feel the energy from the crowd because of him was worth the wait. Maybe just maybe I’m a little bit healed from not seeing him last year. One day I’d still love to meet him and thank him for opening up country music to me again. He is the reason I’ve had such great experiences and met new people and made new friends. He is the reason I love Tyler so much. Sam Hunt is just everything to me and I want to thank him so much. I’m so happy I got to finally see him live. He will always be one of my favorites. ALWAYS. And he did not disappoint in any way at all. He was simply perfect.

Miranda Lambert – It’s wonderful to watch the progression of an artist and I remember the one time we saw her open for George Strait and here she was performing second only to Kenny Chesney. Miranda sounded great, looked great, and worked the stage liked she owned it. But of all the acts, she seemed a bit disconnected, as if she wasn’t all there. But she’s a professional and maybe I was reading more into her facial expressions. She sounded great and that’s all that really matters, right?

Kenny Chesney!
ready for Kenny!

Kenny Chesney – Just wow! He put on a fantastic show. He sounded great, performed with the same energy at the end as he did in the beginning. He brought up the Old Dominion guys for a song, which I just loved! Later Sammy Hagar came out to rock the stadium with “I Can’t Drive 55”. All of it was great! Kenny was damn awesome and a wonderful way to cap off the evening of music.

We stayed until the very end. Part of it was that we didn’t want to leave the suite, which was so comfortable and easy and meant to be enjoyed to the fullest. The other part was Kenny was just too full of energy for us to consider stepping away and not watching his whole set. He was so good!

Merchandise wise, I loaded up on Sam Hunt stuff. We headed down between Miranda and Kenny sets and had enough time for me to buy a hat, a koozie, and a tote. Passed on the t-shirt but would have bought one if they had still been selling it when we were leaving.

I’m sorry I didn’t get to see the friends who were at the concert too. I hope everyone had a spectacular time! It was such a good show, how could you not?

I don’t think there is any way to thank my wonderful cousin for giving us tickets to this concert. My heart is just so full with such love and gratitude for him. Because of him, I got to experience the stadium in a way that cannot be equaled AND I got to FINALLY watch one of my favorite artists perform live. My cousin has no idea what a gift he’s given me and I know I cannot thank him enough for his generosity. I am so eternally grateful to him. THANK YOU, LOVE YOU!!!

So excited for Sam Hunt!!!
My happy Sam is coming up next face…

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

 
 
Valerie
31 July 2016 @ 10:15 pm
from Instagram: http://ift.tt/2akHZYy

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

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Valerie
31 July 2016 @ 09:50 pm

whatever your confession
still the impulse
to reveal
let it wallow
in the depths of your soul
your penance of pride
swallow the tears
choking your throat
the price of your fall
relief will not be given
forgiveness will elude
ever out of reach
whatever your confession
hold it fast to your heart
while it colors your dreams
whispering through time

with Tyler Rich
with Tyler on Wednesday night

It was the last week of summer break for the kiddies out this way. Sad, right? The longest month ever is nearly upon us. Ye gods!

My latest shirt

We headed out to Rohnert Park on Wednesday so that I could get my new shirt! It’s pretty damn spiffy. I love being part of the Rich’s Bit$ches group. They’re fun and I just especially love Joanne and Tracy. Awesome ladies!

me in my new shirt
looking a little tired in my new shirt

Tyler was lovely, of course. He did a lot of new stuff. I hope some of it makes it on to another EP or even more YouTube videos. I want MORE! Always more.

TV
Stranger Things – Please, if you have Netflix, GO WATCH THIS SERIES. It’s short (8 episodes) but filled with suspense and drama and thrills. I LOVED IT. I might watch it again. LOL At the risk of spoiling, I won’t say much more except GO WATCH THIS SERIES!!!

MOVIES
STAR TREK BEYOND – We ended last weekend watching STAR TREK BEYOND again and it was still as good as the first time. I would have watched it again this weekend if I could have convinced the hubby to go.

We went out to the East Bay today and visited Fry’s after having lunch at Elephant Bar. We walked out of Fry’s not even spending $20. MIRACLES. Fry’s has lost some mystique but it was interesting seeing the differences in the way the store is arranged and such.

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

 
 
Valerie

the unbidden thrill
the slow realization
this means something more

At the Brantley Gilbert concert in my Tyler Rich shirt...
in my Tyler Rich shirt at the Brantley Gilbert concert

MOVIES
STAR TREK BEYOND – First, we all know I’m a Star Trek fan, right? Good. And second, I am very inclined to LOVE anything Karl Urban does. Glad to have that out of the way.

Suffice to say, I LOVED STAR TREK BEYOND. I loved the first movie with the current crew. I enjoyed the second movie. This third movie gave us more character moments along with great sci-fi action and I LOVED it. I thought it had a good plot, great action, and fantastic character moments… It was awesome seeing more of Karl as Bones. He had great lines and seriously has just gotten better with age… There were some tearful moments for me, some intentional (plotwise) and others not (Anton Yelchin… this says better what I can not, though with some spoilers, so…). It was hard to watch Anton as Chekov knowing that he was gone and shaking that spiritual fist at the Fates for taking away such a talented light. ::sigh:: But I loved how his bits of the movie made me laugh a little even beyond the grief. So I’m glad that this movie had more character moments because we got to see a little bit more of Chekov beyond him working on the Enterprise… All in all, LOVED this movie. I definitely recommend it!

MUSIC
Earlier this week, the hubby asked if I would like to go to the Brantley Gilbert concert. I said, ummm, SURE! If we can swing it, I’m always up for a country music concert. This would be the first time we’d be seeing any of the acts of this particular show (Colt Ford and Justin Moore were the openers), so adventure!

Before the show we met up with my friend Joanne and her daughter Kiersten (aka thegirlwiththepurpleguitar on Instagram) at Sports Page, a bar and grill just down the street from the Shoreline Ampitheatre. Great pre-concert stop! We hung out, had drinks (well, us),played Tyler Rich on the TouchTunes jukebox. It was my first time meeting Kiersten after following her online for about a year. She’s a cool ten year old!

Brantley GIlbert at the Shoreline!

Our seats were in the VIP box area, our first time in such seats and at a really great price (budget considerations were definitely part of the decision). Our tickets came with our own entrance to the venue, food in the VIP area, and concierge service at our seats. How awesome is that?! It was pretty awesome. Oh, and the view of the stage was pretty cool too.

view from our seats

Joanne and Kiersten had meet and greet passes for Colt Ford and Brantley Gilbert, as well as the pre-show acoustic with Brantley, so we parted ways after we got our tickets at Will Call. Joanne ended up with getting an extra M&G pass for Colt Ford that she gave to me just minutes before he came out then a very nice lady gave her extra pass to the hubby. So we both ended up taking a picture with Colt Ford! Thank you Joanne & lady in the line! (Also, we cut in front of everyone because J & K were front of the line. Ooops!)

with Colt Ford
the Nobles with Colt Ford

And now to the actual concert!

Colt Ford – Very enthusiastic and rockin’. We had watched his videos on Vevo, so at least his music wasn’t totally unknown to me. Still, I didn’t know the words to any of his songs but I did enjoy his performance.

Justin Moore – Totally entertaining and energetic. He looks a bit old school but his music definitely has that rockin’ edge. Great vocalist and so genuine. Some of his songs were familiar but again, I didn’t know any words to the songs. Loved his set!

Brantley Gilbert – You know how you just sometimes you like the bad boys? Yeah, that’s the vibe I have for BG. He does a great job of balancing that bad boy tough and gentleman sweet. He feels like the kind who knows how to kick it cool, be a good guy, but mess with him and he’ll show you what a mistake that is. I’ve liked his music over the years without really delving into fangirl mode. He’s definitely more rock in his country and all the bass and guitars just thumps all the way to your heart. Everything about his set just ROCKED. I knew the words to a lot of his songs and I was on my feet for most of his stage time. His encore of “Bottoms Up” featured Kiersten on stage for the last bit and bidding us good night at the end. SO COOL!!!

All in all it was a great time! VIP boxes are the way to go at the Shoreline Amphitheatre. The concert was great. Loved being able to hang out with Joanne and Kiersten for a bit… I realized after the concert that my music listening these days involve pretty tame music compared to what we heard Friday night. I must remember to listen to more diverse music, eh? 😉

Oh, and yes, I wore my Tyler Rich shirt to a concert in which he did not perform. I wonder if I was the only one there sporting Tyler Rich gear…

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

 
 
Valerie
17 July 2016 @ 02:40 pm

maybe we will break
bending too far from all this
heartbreak and despair

Philip Winchester as "Fotch" in Undrafted
Philip Winchester on Undrafted

So I made plans with my friends to see Undrafted at the Deer Valley AMC this weekend. The movie was set to play there, its only northern California showing, but as misfortune would have it, a defective breaker has the theatre shut down until at least next Friday. WTH. The movie was also released digitally so I did the fangirl thing and bought the movie on iTunes. We watched it on Friday night. Philip was great in it! I didn’t mind the movie, I enjoyed it…

When you"re just all about Tyler Rich

When the world is bleak, I tend to look at the beauty of the world. There is beauty out there, if you look hard enough. Just open your eyes, feel the life around you. Sometimes it’s hard to do when the ills of the world insist on breaking your peace…

me, so filtered

Downloaded a new photo filter app on my phone and that’s one of the results. I like it!

I had things to say about the stupid hate on the people playing Pokemon GO (stop telling people who are walking around OUTSIDE and seeing the world to “get a life”; how about you stop hating on people who are enjoying themselves and learning how technology isn’t scary and can be fun); the hatefulness of the world (the killings, the racism, the anger and fear mongering perpetuated by the media); the stupidity and hypocrisy of certain people. I think I’ll just pass on lingering on negativity.

WRITING

“The Arrangement” – This story has been going pretty steady in the writing. I’m mostly keeping it linear and haven’t even really hit the parts that I’ve previously written. The characters are sort of straying from my intentions but we shall see what happens…

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

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Valerie
10 July 2016 @ 07:31 pm

I oftentimes envy the ones I know who live in Nashville and get to listen to live country music on any given night. So when I got the chance to watch some country music in action here in my part of the world, I think it’s awesome! 🙂

THURSDAY – As mentioned in my last post, we saw Tyler perform at the G-Bar. I overheard him tell someone that he had just played the whole set for his performance the next night (and in order!). So it was a nice prelude to Friday night for sure. I know I’ve said this before but I do love the intimacy of the G-Bar gigs. It’s relaxed and easy. Tyler might not enjoy it as much as we do but I’m still glad we can see him like this. I love just sitting there listening to him even though I have gotten to know some of the other regulars and it’s great visiting with them too. But really, I’m there for Tyler and I love being able to chat a little with him and the hugs. Oh the hugs!

with Tyler in Sacramento
with Tyler in Sacramento

FRIDAY – Concerts in the Park, Sacramento! Tyler was the headliner with a band playing behind him. A new experience for me! Although I’ve seen him perform on stage, this was the first time I’d be seeing him with a band. So exciting! And SO AWESOME!

sporting my new Tyler Rich hat
sporting my new Tyler Rich hat and looking serious?

I wasn’t sure if I’d get to see Tyler and say hello to him (which is one of the reasons I wanted to see him at the G-Bar) but we got lucky because he was outside the backstage area before the show so I went over to say hello to him. Of course! Got my hug and my picture with him and told him to have fun. I was so glad I was able to see him before the show. I knew I wasn’t going to go to the after-party at the Goldfield so I was hoping I’d see him before the concert in the park.

I didn’t want to look at the merchandise table but I did and saw the Tyler customized Wallet Buckle. I just had to buy it! It’s so cool. It’ll be fun to wear.

Before the show, I also took the opportunity to say hello and introduce myself to Tyler’s friend, James Cavern. (Go get his EP Lost & Found!) I told him how I loved his EP and that I had seen him perform with Tyler last year. He was lovely and I probably should have taken a picture with him. I’m sure I’ll regret it later. But seriously, check out his music, he’s pretty awesome.

James Cavern & Tyler Rich on stage
James & Tyler on stage

Tyler performing with a band is just an amazing thing! He sounded great. The band sounded great. It was an exhilarating time. I LOVED being able to sing along with the crowd to his songs. I was lucky and found a couple of friends I’d made online and this was the first time we’d seen each other in person. It was great to share the moment with people who love Tyler just as much as I do.

(Aside: The only annoying thing about the experience were the young women who just shoved their way up front without regard to the people who were already there. Yes, I was a bit guilty of the same thing but at least we did it before Tyler started. It was most annoying to have a girl in front of me who was taller and liked shaking her hair out. When she leaned back to far, I pushed her forward and she had the nerve to look back at me. I didn’t say a word to her. But seriously, you stand in front of me and then want to lean back? Just NO.)

At the end of it, I was so glad to have been there. Tyler was amazing on stage, full of energy and sass, soaking up the love and giving it back to us tenfold. He makes me so glad to be part of his journey. I just love him and his music.

Bonus: On the way home, stopped off at the Lodi Buffalo Wild Wings on the off chance that our favorite bartender, Hunter, would be working. And lo, he was! Sat at the bar and got to chat with him in his new place. Like the set-up of the bar though the whole place is smaller than our BWW. It was great to see Hunter again…

SATURDAY – The Harvest Time Festival here in Brentwood was at City Park, which meant we could walk, which we did. We spent most of the day out in the sunshine and nicely cool breeze (especially in the shade). Toree McGee played in the late morning/early afternoon. It’s always a treat seeing her. She’s got a great voice and a good band behind her. I finally bought her EP and after one spin wondered what took me so long to buy it!

Loved the festival. It wasn’t too crowded, the vendors had a lot of space. There was corn! SO GOOD! And there was Filipino food and of course, I just had to get some. Lumpia and adobo, yum! We did hit the bars for a bit before going back to walk more, eat more, and listen to the Long Duck Dongs. 80s music!

Corn at the Harvest Time Festival
corn is good

Being outside and listening to good music was a great way to round out my week off from work. For all the tragic things that have happened recently, it makes the good times great…

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

 
 
Valerie

when the world is dark
so very dark
sometimes it’s hard
so very hard
to hold tight to the light
when despair intrudes
insidiously
tearing at peace
so relentlessly
hope cannot break down
even as we struggle
to hold tight to the light
when love turns bleak
we guard our hearts
against it all
standing against it all
defiant and true while trying
almost desperately
to hold tight to the light

Oh this world, this country. I do not and will not engage in world event discussions on social media. At most, I might repost an interesting view in which I likely agree. But in my own words? I’d rather not post, especially if it is political or racial.

Here, however, I will take a moment to say a thing or two.

I consider myself pretty moderate about many things and conservative in others. I strive on the side of intellectual pursuits. I believe that life is precious. I see and despair the inequalities we still seem to suffer in this wondrous and modern age. I never feared for myself but recent days have ignited the realization that there are people out there giving voice to their racism in dangerous fashion. Having worked the civilian side of law enforcement, I feel always connected to the good and just officers but I know people are still people whether they wear the badge or not and some of them shouldn’t be allowed to wear that badge if they don’t understand its purpose at the essence– PROTECT and SERVE. As a non-white person, I know some people look at me differently. Or maybe I’m given license because I’m married to someone white? I’ve been accused of being racist. I think one of the most dangerous mentalities prevailing in this world is “us vs them.” I have an idealist and positive attitude that is constantly tested yet I try to hold on to the optimism and joy. I refuse to cower because of the fear mongering and hate. I will laugh, I will love, I will cry, I will mourn but I will not let petty, hateful minds try to break my peace. I will do better. I will fail. I will succeed. I will live.

And that’s all I’ll say about that…

Onward to happier things!

with Tyler
with Tyler on Thursday night

This week was vacation time! No work for a whole week. GLORIOUS! And I got to see Tyler, so even better.

MONDAY – 4th of July we spent with my cousins. Always such good times with them. My cousins’ kids are growing up fast and it’s always great to spend time with them whenever we can. We watched the fireworks from the hill behind my cousin’s house. Great spot!

TUESDAY – A sort of lazy day which included me unboxing my new Kindle Paperwhite! No excuses now for not reading more when I can read with a device that has a backlight. LOL
unboxing of my Kindle paperwhite

WEDNESDAY – We headed out to Modesto to put the car through the Prime Shine. Yes, we drove all the way out to the Central Valley for a car wash. But seriously, Prime Shine rocks. Why do we not have those here?! We had lunch at the Twisted Pig and it was awesome! First off, I got to play Tyler’s “California Grown” on the TouchTunes jukebox. FINALLY! Second, the food was really good. After lunch, we went to the mall. I miss malls. It was nice just walking around in someone else’s air conditioning. LOL Our last stop was Bass Pro Shop. LOVE that store. Also love that they actually have shirts in my size. Nice.
Lunch at the Twisted Pig
DLTE = Duck bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, Egg = DELICIOUS

THURSDAY – This time we headed out to Rohnert Park. We first stopped off at Lagunitas (FINALLY!) and had a drink or two. I had the stout and it was so good!!! Also, it was quite strong. We hit the gift shop and didn’t walk away empty handed. Did I mention that my stout was really good?
me and my Lagunitas stout

We almost went to In-N-Out for dinner but instead had El Torito because neither of us have had El Torito in ages. It was so good. And I was so full from my stouts that I couldn’t eat all my food. Dear me!
dinner at El Torito

The G-Bar was our destination. It was GREAT seeing Tyler again. He sounded great, of course. I don’t think I can ever say enough how much I adore him. He’s a talented singer and songwriter and cute to boot. (But please, don’t boot him.) It was also great seeing the regulars I know. I snapchatted most of his first two sets. We left before his last one because we were tired and had a long drive ahead. Alas. But of course I got my hugs and pictures with him. I also got a new hat that I’m probably going to sport a lot.
New Tyler Rich hat

WRITING
“The Arrangement” – This story has been coming out of me in steady fashion. I’m glad for the bit of focus. The characters have taken a slightly different direction than I intended but I’m trying to stay the course even though they just want to jump in to the intimacy sooner than I’d like…

“Rebound” – I’m considering doing this story for November Novel Writing Month, which means not actually writing scenes for it. So perhaps I’ll just do a lot of outlining and character sketching. We’ll see. It’s not like I don’t have a few other stories that need finishing (including last year’s NaNoWriMo).

TV
The Walking Dead – Hubby was binge watching this show and I watched a few episodes here and there. I watched the last episode of the latest season because I knew Jeffrey Dean Morgan was in it. What way to introduce the character! He had so much dialogue it was pretty amazing. His character is quite evil at this point. And lo, that cliffhanger!

LAST BABBLE
I might write more this weekend. We shall see.

Go with love, my lovelies.

I leave you with the following video of my favorite with his friend performing in Old Sacramento. Beautiful rendition…

James Cavern & Tyler Rich – “Let It Go”

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

 
 
Valerie
03 July 2016 @ 07:59 pm

you say it isn’t love
no, how can it be
even as your heart beats
faster every time
I smile and say your name
you say it isn’t love
no, how can it be
even as you lose yourself
in hopeful dreams
where I laugh and say yes
you say it isn’t love
no, how can it be
even as you take my hand
move closer to me
hold me closer to you
you say it isn’t love
but what else can it be
when you smile and say my name
holding me close
after I say yes

Office companions
the office companions

Happy July! I’m officially on vacation now for a whole week. GLORIOUS! And as such, my office companions (seen above) have been put away so as not to tempt anyone into either playing with them or absconding with them. I’m sure no one would touch them but why take the chance, right?


Tyler Rich – Rebound

Tyler posted the above video this week. SUCH A GOOD SONG. Take a listen. I hope this means he’ll post more original stuff in the coming days. I want MORE! Always more. LOL

WRITING

“The Arrangement” – For some reason, I am full-on with this story. Most of my waking hours since I’ve been off from work has been writing this story about Jackson and Tala. What happens? Maybe someday I’ll share it. I’m enjoying the writing of it so far…

“Rebound” – Inspired by Tyler’s song, this story just plotted itself the other day and as soon as I finish the other story, I’ll work on this one. Or maybe I’ll save it for November? We shall see.

LAST BABBLE

Hope everyone has a great 4th of July! Be safe, have fun, be merry!

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

 
 
Valerie
27 June 2016 @ 04:26 pm

shining ever bright
perhaps this is how love feels
deep within the heart

Untitled
with the one and only at the A’s game last Tuesday

TUESDAY
We went to the A’s game! Our friends had a suite and invited us so yes, we got to live the suite life once more. As always, good times! Even better was the fact that the A’s won! WOOHOO! The hubby tweeted a picture of the back of my jersey and Mark Mulder replied! Awwwww!

Untitled

It’s the little things, truly.

Thank you to J & T for inviting us to the game. We had fun!

TV
Game of Thrones – OH. MY. GOODNESS. What a season finale! It was so good. It was crazy and amazing and filled with holy crap moments. And of course I loved it! My favorite moments (SPOILERS, so beware!):

  • R + L = J – I have personally believed this oft cited fan theory since the beginning. It makes sense even though it’s crazy in itself because what does it mean for Jon Snow? Will he ever learn the truth? And really, is there any question who his father is now? (Well, maybe since we didn’t hear what Lyanna told Ned. Grrr!) We know that yes, Jon is very much a Stark. But enough to be crowned King of the North? It doesn’t matter, that little Lady Mormont took care of that. (Love that little girl!!! When she grows up, can she and Jon make a go of it?)
  • Arya – Speaking of a badass young lady, WOW! She is just full on assassin now, isn’t she? Who’s even left on her list now?!
  • Cersei – What has she done?! I get it, REVENGE and all of that. She was humiliated and she wanted to have her day. But all those people! Still, watching the High Sparrow turn into green fire then explode was a weird and morbid treat. But I was SO SAD about Margaery. I was hoping to see more of Natalie Dormer. She’s magnificent!… But Cersei, what now? You have power but at the cost of everything. And what will Jaime do now
  • Dany – She’s on her way “home”! How is Westeros going to react to her? Who will she fight first? Who could she even marry to bring stability to the Seven Kingdoms? And will she realize the true fight will be against the Night King and the White Walkers?

I can’t believe we have to wait a year for the next season. Will the latest book come out before then? Maybe I should re-read them. Or re-watch the show. LOL

Penny Dreadful – This show was so dark and creepy and beautiful. Eva Green was absolutely AMAZING as Vanessa Ives. Go watch it if you can…

WRITING

“The Arrangement” – This story is starting to form into something more than just bits and pieces of stuff I’ve previously written. Not sure if I’m going short story or novella with it quite yet. Henry Cavill plays the fella in the story and it makes me think I need to watch something Cavill soon. Hmmm… I’ve started a scene borrowing characters from my Sam Hunt inspired story which I think is my way of trying to finish THAT story as well. LOL We’ll see how it goes…

LAST BABBLE

  • Brexit – What the hell, UK?! No seriously, WHAT THE BLOODY HELL?! I don’t think I’ve read so much news in the past few days but I’ve been morbidly fascinated by the results of the UK referendum. Fascinated and a bit alarmed!…
  • Family stuff – A new baby was born yesterday. Welcome to the world, little one! Hope it treats you well.
  • Work – I had two days off this past week so it’s going to be tough working the full four and half days this week. BUT I do have the week of the 4th of July off from work, so I’m not really complaining or anything. PROMISE.
  •  We didn’t see Tyler this past week (alas!) and the next time he’s around will be July 8th in Sacramento. Fingers crossed we get to go! I would LOVE to see him perform with a band behind him. How exciting will that be?! When was the last time I didn’t see him within a month’s time? Yikes!
  • Summer is here and YE GODS with the current temperatures. This is probably the only time I miss living closer to the Bay because triple digits temperatures just don’t do it for me. Nope, not at all! At least it’s a dry heat is my only real comfort. Oh, and kickass air conditioning.
  • The tattoo is healing quite nicely. And I still love it. A lot.

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

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Valerie

A year ago, I met Tyler for the third time. And for whatever reason, I didn’t post about it. So here’s what I wrote last year. 🙂

with Tyler Rich
with Tyler at the Whiskey Tip

19 June 2015

After the Cole Swindell show and before the Sacramento Music Festival, Tyler Rich was on 106.3 The Bull, a Santa Rosa country music station. During his appearance on the station, the DJ announced that Tyler would be performing on June 19th at the Whiskey Tip. I was excited but thought it would be ridiculous to want to see him again since I was seeing him at the Sacramento Music Festival.

Of course, after seeing him at the music festival, I just wanted to see him again. The Bull Party at the Whiskey Tip was a free event so no tickets to commit us to it. It was going to be a play it by ear whether or not we would go. The Warriors had to win it in 6 games otherwise Game 7 would be the same Friday night and there would be no way we’d go if there was a game seven at stake.

As it turned out, the Warriors won so one obstacle was out of the way. Now it was just convincing the other half it would be a fun time.

So I didn’t know until the day of the show that we would definitely be going. I was so excited. The drive to Santa Rosa was SLOW. You know, traffic on a Friday after work. It took us quite a long time to get to the Whiskey Tip but we arrived in due time and found a good spot to hang.

Tyler was supposed to start at seven o’clock or seven thirty but ended up starting later, I think. He arrived at nearly seven o’clock. He zeroed in on a couple of people he knew and greeted them. When he saw us, he came over to say hello, giving me a hug. He told us that traffic was terrible then made his way to the stage to set up. Speakers, microphones, etc then somewhere around eight o’clock he started his show.

Tyler split his set into two with a ten minute or so break between. I stood at the front for the first half, enjoying the music and taking quick snapchats for my friends. He broke a guitar string at the beginning of “California Grown” so there was a quick break there. I hadn’t planned on standing the whole time but I figured I was there and had a good spot so I stayed until the break. When he started again, I had to find a different spot but I stood through all of that as well. He ended the show with a rousing version of “Friends in Low Places” and we all sang along, which was great fun.

At the end of his set, the radio station had their last giveaways then Tyler did a kind of casual meet and greet that pretty much consisted of us just hopping up on stage and getting a little time with him. I was standing next to a nice couple and the fella encouraged us to step onto the stage and finally we just did it. As soon as we did, the folks in front of the stage (we had hopped on from the side) started coming up so we stood a bit towards the back until the crowd thinned out a little.

When it was my turn, Tyler said something like, “Get over here, Valerie” (or Val? I’m not sure). He gave me another hug and said it was great to see me again (yes, inside I was thinking, AWWWWWW). I asked him if he was creeped out by me at all (with all my online stuff) and he was so sweet and he looked at me like I was crazy and said NO. LOL He was all sweetness and affection. We took some pictures (some by a generous bystander and then selfies just in case). Then out of my back pocket I took out a note I had written to him. He took it and told me that he loved my letter (the one I gave him in Sacramento) and that it had taken him a day to read. He read it on the flight back to Nashville. I was so beyond touched. One more hug and I hopped off the stage.

It was a good night. We left soon after and I got to watch a little of his Periscope and kinda wished I had stuck around to show up in that. But I was great with the moments I had with him. He’s seriously a sweetheart on top of being crazy talented.

with Tyler Rich

I just want to add that the third time meeting Tyler pretty much solidified my regard for him. He continues to hold a most cherished part of my fangirl heart and I am ever so glad to be a small part of his journey. I look forward to his future endeavors and cannot wait to see the next new thing with him… <3

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

 
 
Valerie
19 June 2016 @ 11:43 am

when I’m gone
please don’t forget
the laughter we shared
the times without regret
the sweet summer days
the warm winter nights
the shine of adventure
always within our sights
when I’m gone
hold this feeling fast
let it fill your dreams
this way it’ll last
someday this will end
pass into something new
but please don’t forget
what your heart knows is true

Sullivan Stapleton on Blindspot
Sullivan Stapleton on Blindspot

I need to do more screencaps of Sully on Blindspot. No such thing as too much Sullivan Stapleton, right? Of course!

I love that it’s summer break for the kids out this way. Even though I have to work during the breaks, I do love it because it’s just a bit calmer. But really only just a bit. I confess that I do sometimes wish that people would think we’re closed along with the schools. It would make things even more laid back. Wishful thinking, I know!

WRITING
“The Arrangement” – Not sure why I’m working the most on this particular story but I am. I’ve written different bits and pieces here and there and have decided to put everything together in what I hope will be a coherent story. Romance, of course, but oddly restrained on the parts of the characters even though they obviously have more than just an intellectual connection. They’re both lonely but loathe to admit it, instead relying on logical compatibility to come together. I did decide on names for them. Exciting, right? Ha!

“Life with Grace” – This is the third part in a story I call Forever with Grace. The “prequel” is pretty much written, the first part of the story needs some (lots?) of editing, and this thrid part is a work in progress. I think they could probably be read as a series of short stories or novellas or maybe one big novel. Not sure how I want to play it at this point. The story has been on my mind lately because I’ve been listening to a lot of Sam Hunt again (though not as exclusively as I did last year) and as he is the inspiration for the main character, inspiration hits me in spurts on this one.

LAST BABBLE
Just found out about Anton Yelchin. I am sitting here crying a little because it’s so sad and unfair!

Journey well into the next, Anton. You have gone much too soon…

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

 
 
Valerie

On the side of utter joy, I must mark this time to say how happy I am that Jacob Davis signed a record deal with Black River Entertainment. With his band behind him and the Jacob Davis Squad before him, Jacob signed the deal. SO AMAZING!

I had Periscope on so I was able to watch the moment as it unfolded. I seriously teared up as I watched it. And then when I watched it again, I cried a little again.

I am absolutely so happy for Jacob and so glad to be a small part of the Jacob Davis Squad. I am so proud to be part of a fan group that exists out of love for the man and his music. The squad is without ego or posturing. We are more than the sum of our parts but together we are a force. And it is gratifying that so many of the squad could be there to witness a life changing moment in Jacob’s career.

This is just the beginning and it’s amazing! 🙂

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

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