The Time I “Met” a Beatle

Sadly, I was not posting regularly to a blog when this particular story happened, so I’ll have to update you from the beginning of May. But from the title I’m sure you can tell this is a story that is relevant to tell at any time. Long story short, I made a personal connection with Sir Paul McCartney. We aren’t here for the short version though.

So before any of this, my brother and I saw a TV ad for Paul McCartney coming to a nearby town for a concert–which was shocking enough when you live in South Dakota. However, the day the tickets came on sale, they sold out within minutes, leaving us empty-handed. I was willing to accept this defeat as a stroke of fate, but my brother refused to settle, so lo and behold someone selling extra tickets, which happened to be quite far away from the stage and were about twice the price.Let’s just say hearing that he spent that kind of money for those tickets gave me a panic attack and made me feel uneasy for quite awhile.

Paul isn’t the first knighted musician we’ve seen in concert. In October we went to an Elton John concert. While there, my brother thought of a very clever pun that would’ve made a killer sign: “Sir-tainly the best.” Always down for a good pun.

The morning before the McCartney concert, I saw online somewhere that Paul loves to read the best signs from the audience, so I was adamant about us making a sign with that pun. We made this sign in my car a couple hours before the concert, and neither of us are artistically gifted, so it was a very simple sign compared to what some people do.

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We literally went to Target for a poster board and some markers prior to the concert and took maybe an hour to make this, but wow, was it well worth it.

While waiting in line at the concert, we noticed a local news station about to broadcast, so we positioned ourselves in line to casually be in the background holding our sign. Our sign made the background, but later the reporter came to us for a full interview! There’s our 15 seconds of fame.

This isn’t an infomercial, but WAIT! That’s not all!

We finally made it to our seats, very high up, but luckily there was a railing where we could tape our sign up, although I’m sure Paul could not have read it from our spot. We sat in our seats for no longer than 10 minutes when a lady came up to us. At first I thought she was a security worker at the venue, but she started asking us questions that made it seem like she wasn’t, so we were both very confused. Then she said that she works for Paul and that he saw our sign. She held up two tickets for seats in the SECOND ROW of the venue. We were in shock and disbelief. There’s no way this can be real. But she added that we had no reason to thank her–thank Paul. Paul McCartney basically personally gave us tickets. No biggie.

But it doesn’t stop there, no sir. (HA. See what I did there?)

So we made it to our seats. Since this was a much older crowd, I was scared I would give somebody a heart attack as I was literally running and jumping like a crazy person. Every single person that saw our sign immediately burst into a smile. During the concert (which was AMAZING, might I add), we were hoping he would make a comment on stage about our sign. At one point my brother and I both thought he made a gesture to have us come on stage with us, but nobody else said anything, so to this day it haunts us what would’ve happened if we tried getting up there. But toward the end of the concert, we all made eye contact, and he gave us a smile, nod, and a thumbs up. And I could not ask for anything more.

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Still crazy to think of how close we were. Many of the people around us were regular concert goers, but my brother and I were on cloud nine the entire time. 

OH YEAH! And a guy, an older gentleman with the most interesting eyeglasses, walked into the front row halfway through the concert. At first he seemed very rigid as he held his drink (a “pinky out” type of person it seemed), but once the music began, he started dancing and jamming out. It was the absolute best. Before the concert ended he was about to leave again when he gave me a business card, telling me he made eyeglasses for SIR ELTON JOHN. My brother looked it up later and the man did not lie. I wasn’t even wearing glasses at the time. If that isn’t crazy to add to an already surreal night.

So yeah, there’s today’s story time. See, I’m not someone with great memory to tell these types of drawn out stories like some people can, but this is one I will never forget.

Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie

 

Who Says You Can’t Go Home?

My initial question, I think a song lyric from a random Bon Jovi song (don’t quote me on that), is an interesting one. The thing is, I don’t exactly know where “home” is.

My gut reaction of course is to say that my home is wherever my family is. It just sucks that this location is in a town I really do not care to be in whatsoever.

For this long memorial weekend, I am leaving early today from work to drive a solid four hours to see my family, and for that aspect, I am beyond ecstatic. But the fact is, I haven’t even been back to town since the beginning of March for spring  break. Let me tell you, I have enjoyed pretending that town is even on the map.

To say my relationship with my hometown is complicated is an understatement. Besides moving to college and living in that college town over the summer for an internship, I had never lived anywhere besides my hometown. A couple of times over the course of those eighteen years, my family was tempted to move, but we always ended up staying put. I am a true believer that everything happens for a reason, but thinking there is some deep reason why I my wandering, independent soul was tethered to this suffocating place was and can still be hard to muster.

Those who have never lived in a small town may believe those television euphoric hazes of small town life, one where everyone smiles at each other as they drive down the road and are a closely knit community. Let me burst your bubble on that dream right away. Instead, everyone knows each others’ business, even the things you want kept hush-hush. Many have the tendency to be close-minded and judgmental. It probably doesn’t help living in a predominantly conservative state.

Whenever I drive back to town, besides immediately noticing a lower standard in driving etiquette, I feel this seeming aura as I pass into city limits. Maybe it’s all in my head, but all of the memories, most of time focused on the negative ones, come flooding back to me, and it feels like I have never left, even if it’s been a month or two since my last visit.

Despite all of these grudges I seem to hold against my hometown, I am learning to restrain myself from this habitual angst. No matter where I go, whenever I return, I have to realize that I am not the same person I was growing up, and without those good and bad memories, I would not be the person I am today. The past has happened. I have no point anymore dwelling on whatever awkward, painful, or embarrassing moments I experience, and all of those experiences cannot be blamed strictly on living in that town. What a great opportunity to practice “live and let live.” I’m ready to flip that page in my life. I already read that chapter. It’s time to start writing my present and future. And who knows, maybe these current chapters will help make those past ones more understandable, but it’s not worth my energy endlessly wondering or worrying about that.

Boy, am I excited for a break from work and some family time. And cuddles with my dog. Hopefully I can sit still in my car long enough to make the journey back “home.”

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My nine-year-old baby and love of my life, Truffles. I am obsessed with my dog, no shame.

Take care, and keep the faith. –Allie

Did I “Childhood” Right?

I guess you could say I am making up for lost time.

As I am writing this, I am listening to the soundtrack to The Prince of Egypt. Apparently this animated movie about Moses is a classic, but I had not seen it before last night when my housemate insisted I receive, as best described in Pitch Perfect, a “moviecation.” Movie education. However you might word it.

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I have now watched Mulan and The Prince of Egypt, so people can stop nagging me about it. But in all honesty, they were actually quite good. Maybe more Disney isn’t a bad thing after all.

People are always so awe-stricken when I talk about my childhood viewing habits. It seems like everyone I encounter really enjoys Disney, making references and talking about watching marathons of classic movies. They spout off Disney trivia as if every other thought in their head is Disney-related. For some people, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is actually the case.

I, on the other hand, have not watched  a single Disney princess movie. Mind you, I really enjoyed the more animal-focused movies, such as The Lion King and 101 Dalmations and The Fox and the Hound, but that’s about it. The occasional Aladdin thrown in sometimes. Otherwise, Disney never particularly interested me. I guess if Finding Nemo counts in there, I watched that on repeat, but with the Pixar situation, that’s a wild card option.

I was never into princess stories. I was never into dolls or Barbies, either. I remember growing up with our bulky TV set sitting on top of a cupboard chock full of VHS tapes (I know, crazy to think about these days of streaming Netflix). At the time we probably owned every single Veggie Tales episode in existence. I also watched a LOT of television, my favorites being Sesame Street and Blue’s Clues.

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The emotional investment I still have in this fictional character is ridiculous. I probably have to casually mention I’ve always wanted to name a son (if I ever have one) Steven. After this character. I am not joking.

But I turned out like a functional adult, even sheltered from this Disney universe. I didn’t feel like I missed anything. I loved watching PBS and Nick Jr. I even watched a few shows on what was then Playhouse Disney, but I grew up without needing the fantasies of becoming a princess needing to be saved by a handsome prince, or even that much of an influence from one Mickey Mouse. I’m not great when it comes to remembering the past, but I had a decent childhood.

So I guess some might say I didn’t “do my childhood right.” How can we even make that statement? How can we define that ideal growing-up situation? We’re all different. And to define ourselves by a certain brand of media seems even more absurd. I’m not saying I have anything against Disney, but it doesn’t have much influence on me, and that’s totally okay. We don’t all have access to or an interest in it, and we should not feel ashamed or awkward about that.

Media is powerful, especially at a young and vulnerable age, to really mold us. I would be interested to see if growing up with Disney shapes values and personalities, or if I’m thinking too far out there. Something worth studying.

Anyways, I will keep you updated on my educational, animated and Disney-filled summer. It should be one I will not forget.

Take care, and keep the faith. –Allie

Who am I?

As the one beloved Maria Von Trapp once said, “Let’s start at the very beginning…a very good place to start.”

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I’m not ashamed to admit that The Sound of Music is my favorite film of all time. How I always longed to frolic in the gorgeous Swiss Alps before forgetting about my meeting at the abbey.

And when I say “the very beginning,” I mean this blog post. But how did we get to this moment of me typing out my first blog post assignment for my Social Media Marketing class?

This requires me going back to why I am taking a class like this in first place, which is to expand my skills (and earn enough of the necessary credits for my undergraduate degree) to enter the ever-changing world of media.

Admittedly, a career in the media, particularly journalism, did not always appeal to me. I actually purposely avoided it. I grew up as a kid always changing her mind, seeing a world full of possibility and having difficulty choosing only one career path to follow. Like many little girls, being a veterinarian  appealed to me for a while, but eventually I began to realize a true passion of mine: writing.

As a reserved, socially awkward person, I am not the best when it comes to speaking clearly and truly feeling like I am expressing my thoughts accurately. Instead, I find my voice in its rawest, purest form when etched onto a piece of paper or typed onto a screen. In school, I was usually the one peers went to for help with any homework, but people had a particular respect for my mature use of words, even at a young age. My confidence and self esteem weren’t always very high, so hearing praise and encouragement for my work really supported me through moments of doubt in my abilities.

At times I was even overly ambitious. I always enjoyed creative writing, but when I sat down to start writing a longer project, I struggled to ever finish it beyond a single chapter. One story, however, I was able to complete to its fullest extent. The book, you might ask? With a title like Detective Squirrel, I obviously had an award winner in my hands. I was so excited about this story, I started looking up publishing companies with dreams of seeing a hardcover in a gleaming plastic cover with my name along its spine. In all honesty, though, I was very proud of what I had accomplished. While ideas of careers in design or music crossed my mind, in the back always resided a special love for the written word.

In high school when college started becoming a very real opportunity within grasp, I pictured myself majoring in English. While my grade in Honors English ebbed and flowed occasionally, I always found it the most interesting of my classes. I did very well in my math and science classes, leading to many people in my life urging me toward medical school, but I ultimately decided against that.

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My smile for finally finishing high school was very genuine. What a long four years. I am so lucky to have this group of people as my support system through every difficult moment and decision.

But once I finally decided upon a college, declaring my major was not an easy choice. After a two-year-long stint as the editor-in-chief of our school’s newspaper, however, I finally realized how much joy I found in that leadership position. I loved being able to both write editorials and help others hone in on their own writing skills.

Although writing in AP style instead of the MLA format I was used to was and still is a challenge, I am more than willing to take it on, and in just a year of my decision, I have seen myself grow and learn more than I could have ever imagined. I have taken enriching classes from wise (and, at times, not-so wise) professors, met some inspiring people, and stumbled upon amazing opportunities working for the Volante newspaper and South Dakota Public Broadcasting. I look forward to continue sharing my love for writing and storytelling and bettering my skills toward finding success in the media world. And if I get the chance, I would still love to publish a book or two in my lifetime, as well.

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I have loved my time on the Volante, working this year as an opinion columnist and copy editor, and next semester as the opinion editor. I especially enjoy the random moments of down time, even if that means hours of cleaning the newsroom.

Is this where I start singing “Do Re Mi”? I’ll save your ears and refrain from that potential torture. Instead, I’ll refer to a certain quote by Beatrix Potter: “There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they’ll take you.” I can’t wait to see where this class and this life take me, and I’m glad I’m able to share it.

Take care, everyone, and keep the faith. –Allie