August was busy for me, so developing obsessions took a back seat. But it was still a full month of exciting things!
1) Live Music: Love it. As a teen I went to as many concerts as I could get my parents to drive me to. It was difficult for us, because any worth-while venue was at least an hour away. In college I was lucky enough to live in a college town that had great local music and bars that loved to showcase it. We also have an abnormal amount of festivals in Ithaca which of course features an enormous amount of live music. And let’s not forget Grassroots. When I moved to Scranton I was shocked at the size of the local music scene. It was vibrant and exciting! Everywhere we went there was a band playing, and 90% of my friends and my boyfriend were musicians. It was amazing! And then I moved to Binghamton, and a sharp silence suddenly cut into our lives. There is no music scene here. It’s appalling and especially frustrating for my boyfriend whose passion is playing music. We’ve gone a year without seeing proper live music, but this August we had a great burst of shows.
First, we made the trek with our good friends to Hershey, PA to see two people I’ve wanted to see live since I was a small child: Jay-Z and JT. It was a dream come true when the Legends of Summer tour was announced, and we wasted no time in securing pretty decent seats. We stopped at the Troeg’s Brewing Company for dinner and some beers, pounded more beers, and then enjoyed an incredible concert.
JT and Jay-Z are amazing performers. The co-headliners traded on and off, passing the baton and frequently backing up one another on their popular tracks. They were perfect compliments, like caramel and salt. Of course their duet “Holy Grail” was featured, but the amount of old work they performed was surprising. As busy old people, we found that it’s harder for us to devour new music as soon as it comes out. We were slightly ashamed to admit we hadn’t learned both artists’ latest albums front to back yet, so obviously there was concern that we’d be swaying uncertainly and mumbling along to lyrics we had no knowledge of. Thank god that wasn’t the case. It was like the sweetest dose of greatest hits they could’ve handed us. I also made some odd friends of our seat-mates. They looked like unsuccessful investment bankers circa 2004 with bad teeth and hair, but they were friendly and overly excited to be there. Apparently, this was their first real concert at the age of 27.
A couple days after the exhausting thrill of seeing two juggernauts perform in a massive stadium, Mark and I traveled up to Syracuse for a small show at The Wescott Theater. I’d never been before, but I can tell you I loved it. It’s in an adorable, posh suburban neighborhood and has an inoffensive hipster vibe. We were there to see the brilliant Explosions in the Sky. When I saw they were coming near us, I freaked and instantly snatched up tickets. I presented them to Mark as a birthday gift, but they were just as much for me. The amount of love I have for the trifecta of Explosions in the Sky, Friday Night Lights, and Austin, TX is unprecedented. The show was incredible. We sipped on local beers and just relaxed into the music.
Unfortunately, there were some inconsiderate concert goers right in front of us. They stood in a way that took up more space than necessary, and one of them (a particularly trollish gentleman) had a nasty habit of slowly backing up until he bumped right into one of us. He would then say oops and take a half an inch step forward, staying incredibly close to our faces. Never mind he had roughly two feet of space in front of him. They were also loud talkers and continued to chat through the entire show. It took a lot of effort to block them out and focus on the greatness that was happening on stage. Overall it was a lovely night and a nice way for us to see quality shows on a weekday. We still had to drive and hour and a half, but it was a decent drive and we got home before midnight!
Speaking of Ithaca, we also met up with my family and some friends at one of our favorite restaurants in College Town, The Nines. I know people have heated debates about the best pizza in the world, but it’s the fucking pizza from the fucking Nines. I can’t even begin to describe it. Their deep-dish is a dang sin! While we were there a band just happened to start playing. They were very Ithacan…
2) Podcasts: I’ve always loved podcasts, but lately I’ve been going on a spree of massive proportions. Here are some of my favorites:
- Welcome to Night Vale
- Nerdist Podcast
- Nerdist Writers Panel
- How Was Your Week
- WTF with Marc Maron
- Doug Loves Movies
- Comedy Bang Bang
I’m sure a lot of you listen to most of those already, but I just wanted to mention them as especially fun.
3) Whitewater Rafting!:
First, let me state for the record that I demolished the largest animal I have ever hit with my car on the drive down to Lewisburg for this event. It might have been a raccoon or possum, I don’t remember at this point, but it was lumbering across the road at the same moment another car was headed in the other direction. I couldn’t swerve. My only option was to collide with it head on. I’m actually surprised it didn’t rip a hole through my car. Afterward, I let out a long groan and uttered something that, taken out of context, might have made me sound like a psychopath.
Moving on, I’d never been WWRing before, but my Dad took us (along with his girlfriend and her sons) to a place called Whitewater Rafting Adventures near Jim Thorpe, PA. They also offer a plethora of other activities that we were far too exhausted to try, such as paintball, zip-line, mountain biking, hiking, and kayaking. The rafting was enough, thanks. We had so much fun. It was exhausting, but exhilarating for someone like me who hasn’t exerted myself physically in over 2 years. We made one very stupid mistake, however: matching t-shirts.
It started as a joke. Something ironic to remember the day by. It would have worked if we came up with a more shocking or ridiculous design, but we were under such a time crunch that it ended up looking pretty normal — pretty normal for a creepy home-schooled family who lives life in a compound of sorts. We didn’t realize our mistake until we arrive and put the shirts on. Then we noticed that we looked like those groups of people who wear matching shirts at the water park incase one of them is abducted. We didn’t go far enough with the shirts, and we became everything we were trying to mock. They were still fun though.
Below are some super fun pics (thumbs up), including one of my Dad’s raft stranded on a huge rock. Haaaaaa.