The Concert!

After I watched the three hour amazing life changing jaw dropping best experience of my life rehearsal, I finally DID get kicked out because they had to tune the piano and then open the doors officially.

My friend and coworker Jen, and her fiance Aaron, were also going to the concert.  I met them outside the fence and spazzed out.  I had not had anything to eat or drink since my Starbucks 5 hours previously, but we could not get out of line because we had “priority seating”, but it was still a free for all once you got in.  We chatted, I spazzed, we saw some dogs which was awesome.  Then they opened the gate and we bum rushed the front row.  We did not get in the front row, but we got the second row.  We caught Pokemon while waiting.

Jen and Aaron both play the violin and I have been demanding a private concert ever since I found out.  This is my public outing of them – they owe me a concert!

Joshua Bell started the concert and as always, it was beyond words amazing.  He played something I never thought I would see in real life – the recording of it is fantastic, and I just never though it would be played live, but he played it.

Seriously.  Listen to that.  Imagine seeing that in real life. LISTEN TO IT NOW.

He also did this intro where he talked about movie soundtracks, and I convinced myself in that 20 seconds that he was about to play 503 from Angels and Demons.  He did not.  He played Ladies in Lavender, which I like very much.  I am determined that before I die he will play 503 in person for me, even though he does not remember ever playing it.

The dude behind us was very chatty and he said he had the same violin teacher, Josef Gingold, as JB.  Then the guy started criticizing the orchestra people on stage for tapping their feet.  Every new person that tapped, he would say “oh my gosh, there’s another one” and eventually he said “The whole damn outfit has run amuck” and I immediately wrote that down because it is hilarious.  I let Aaron do most of the interacting with this man because I do not like interacting with people when JB is around.

The second part of the concert was Trumpet Guy.  I told Jen and Aaron about the lady who sings trumpet noises, and lo and behold, she came out and they looked at me and mouthed “Trumpet noise lady?”  It turns out, I am not a fan of jazz, trumpeting or really kind of anything that Chris Botti did.  I did like the parts where Joshua Bell came out and performed with him, but even then, I liked the JB parts and not the Chris Botti parts.

Here is the thing about Chris Botti – HE STARES INTENTLY AT PEOPLE WHILE HE PLAYS.  It is unbelievably unnerving.  Then he said that everyone should come to the front and dance, and thus ensued my own personal hell.  Crowds.  Dancing. Clapping.  I do not do that.

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I also have observations about JB and Chris Botti and their instruments.  JB is reserved, demure, kind, intelligent, poised, kind of shy….and to me, that also describes a violin.  Chris Botti was boisterous, arrogant, loud, brash, and I’m sure very talented and intelligent as well, but that doesn’t come across with his onstage personality….much like a trumpet.

And Joshua Bell’s girlfriend?  It’s not THAT exciting, but I was kind of exciting.  I knew her face and I just could NOT remember why – but she sings.  Very well!  She’s a soprano, which I do not prefer, but she’s not as soprano-y as most sopranos.  And here is why I recognized her face, because it’s not like I’m on top of opera people…

And now I have a ticket to see JB in Buffalo on September 17th, so yay!

I Did Not Get Kicked Out Of A Rehearsal.

Friday was exciting but you know what was better?  Saturday.  Totally Saturday.  Because you know why?  JOSHUA BELL.

The concert was at the Chautauqua Institution.  I got my Starbucks and got there at about 4pm (the concert was at 8:15pm).  It was hot and humid and gross and also looked like it was going to tornado at any minute.

I walked towards the amphitheater with the intent of looking at the water, because there is water there.  Like, a lake.  Not just random puddles or something. I pet 8 dogs on my way.

I heard a lady singing and an opera guy singing, but that was not Joshua Bell, so I did not pay much attention.

I got to the amphitheater and saw the people onstage rehearsing.  A guy with a trumpet came out, and that was when I realized they were rehearsing for that night – the concert was half Joshua Bell and half Chris Botti – aka Trumpet guy.  There was a lady singing trumpet noises and Trumpet Guy made trumpet noises back at her. People were standing around the fence watching, but I thought maybe I could sneak my way backstage and see JB.  I walked behind everything and I did not see anything.  On the other side, the fence was open.  Joshua Bell came onstage and played with Trumpet Guy.  I walked into the place, down to the third row, sat my ass down and did not move for three hours.  I watched the ENTIRE REHEARSAL.  Trumpet Guy left and it was just JB.  It was like watching a master class.  He played, they adjusted things, he suggested things, he talked while playing which I thought was super neat, and I watched every single minute of it AND NO ONE ASKED ME TO LEAVE.

At one point it rained SO hard that rain came onto the stage and it was super cool because the onslaught of people going to cover Joshua Bell’s violin (you know, THIS violin) was really extreme and I thought it was neat.

After about an hour they took a break and JB came down and sat a few rows behind me with three miniature versions of him (his kids) and a lady.  The lady looked familiar, but I do not actually keep up with his social life and all that, so I did not really think much of it and assumed she is  his girlfriend.  And she is, so my assumption is correct.  ANYWAY….he is sitting a few rows behind me, just casually holding his violin, and I am dying.  I froze like a deer, and just sat there.  Then 10 minutes later he walked down the aisle to go backstage, and he WALKED RIGHT NEXT TO ME.  Because I am calm, cool and collected, and completely socially normal, I blurted out JOSHUA BELL once he past me.  This was my 12th concert and probably 10th time meeting him over the course of 20 years, and every time, unintentionally, I have blurted JOSHUA BELL instead of a normal “Hello”.  He turned around and did the “Oh I’m supposed to know you” face and I said “I met you in Detroit and other places too and look” and I shoved my hand at him.

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That is his signature.  You see, when I was 14, I wanted to play the violin because of him.  Some years later, my wrists went bonkers and I couldn’t even hold a violin, let alone play one, and that was the end of that.  But I really, really enjoyed it, so it made me sad that I could not play.  So his signature is on my wrist, the cause of my issues, because, you know, full circle.  Started with him, stopped because of my wrists, ended with him on my wrist.  Anyway…

He said “Oh yeah!  Oh that’s my signature!  Wow, look at that”.  I do not think he believed I was going to do it when I asked him to sign something in Detroit so I could get it tattooed on me.

He introduced me to his girlfriend, but I did not catch her name because of my level of spazz.  She said “Wow, I feel like I’m slacking, I should get that tattooed on my butt!” and JB said “No…you shouldn’t…” and she said “I know, I have no butt”.  She was insanely tiny and intimidatingly pretty and even more important, SUPER nice.

I yammered at him a little bit more and he was super nice and then his girlfriend said “Do you want me to take some pictures of you?” and I said “This is my 12th concert and I have never had a picture with you” so she took my phone (she was really, really nice) and took pictures, and then we tried to get my tattoo in the picture, too.  The result was a picture that looks like I am groping Joshua Bell.  I was not groping Joshua Bell.  Then she took pictures with her camera!

I am just going to put all the pictures in here now, and then post about the ACTUAL concert, and my realization of who his girlfriend is, later!

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I Am A Diabetic Superhero.

This is the beginning of an influx of Joshua Bell posts.  In my three days in Jamestown, NY, I had enough weirdness for multiple posts.

This one focuses on the day I got there.  Friday.

I checked into my hotel and did my standard check for bed bugs.  I found none, so that made me happy.  I was looking at things in the area and I found the Lucy and Desi Museum, but that was kind of it.  I asked at the front desk where I should eat, and they directed me “downtown” and said there was a car festival of some sort going on.

This is what it looked like outside of my hotel, and it smelled nice like trees.  But also there was a giant cemetery to the right of this view.

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I got down there and got very confused as to where to park, but ultimately I ended up with Bastard Parking (Bastard Parking is such good parking that people say “That bastard” because they are jealous) by accident.  I walked down the street and sure enough, there were cars.  The entire street was blocked off and cars were all over the place.  And Car People.

I walked up and down the hill/street and tried to figure out where to eat.  I walked into a bar that was recommended by the Hotel People, and it was….a rectangle.  Like, you walked in and it just went straight back, like a train car, but it was not cool like a train car.  Then I saw the sign that said Cash Only, and I scooted my way back to the front door and left.

I had been walking for about 45 minutes at this point.  Here is a quick lesson in Diabetes.
Insulin lowers blood sugar levels.  Exercise = insulin, so exercise lowers blood sugar levels.  Food raises blood sugar levels.  That is all you need to know for this.

My blood sugar was low.  I had to decide on a place to eat, so I went to another recommended place called Forte, which turned out to be very fancy.  They sat me in the front window, which was super cool for two reasons.  I could watch people:

And I was between two Pokestops that had lures going:

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I ordered Pepsi (mmmm, real Pepsi) and then attempted to read the menu.  It was all spicy things that I do not like, and seafood.  I recognized steak and I recognized chicken. I asked which I should order and the lady said “Do you like anchovies?”  Obviously I do not.  So she told me to order the steak.

While I waited I caught Pokemon nonstop.  It was amazing.  And every five minutes the Pokestops would let me get the free stuff.  Then I was presented with a giant round ball of bread, which turned out to be the most amazing bread on the face of the earth.

Then came the steak, which was on top of mashed potatoes.  There are two issues with this – one is that I hate it when things are put on top of each other, and the other is that the mashed potatoes had onions in them.  Then…I didn’t know what fork to use.  I knew I was already being judged because I was sweaty, underdressed (jeans and tee shirt), alone, and I was playing Pokemon in a fancy restaurant.  I texted everyone I knew with this picture:

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I sat there for about 5 minutes waiting for someone to tell me which fork to use, and in that time, the waitress came back and asked if everything was alright.  I did not want to say “Yes, I am just waiting for someone to tell me what fork to use” so instead I said “Yes, I am sure it is but I have not tried it yet because I do not know what fork to use.”  At that exact moment, Jocelyn texted me with the answer, and before the waitress could say anything, I said “Oh, never mind, I’ve got it.”

I am not normally an eater of steak, so I cut off a hunk and shoved it in my mouth and bit, and it was a hunk of fat.  You know that feeling when you bite into fat?  That is exactly why I do not eat steak.  I panicked and immediately spit it out into my napkin.  I tried to keep my napkin secured on my lap with said chewed up hunk of fat in it, but at some point, it fell out on to the floor.  Then I had to text people and ask what to do when I drop a chewed hunk of fat on the floor.  The only responses to that were my nieces, ages 13 and 10, and the 13 year old’s friend.  “Kick it further under the table and pretend you don’t see it”, “Drop your napkin and bend down and pick it up” and “Stand up and say “someone put steak under my table”” were my options.  I opted to ignore it.

Two Pepsi’s, steak, and bread pudding later, and I did not take any insulin.  Here is the thing – when you walk, and you generally do not walk, that can affect your blood sugar for up to 10 hours later.  I was terrified of dying again so I was bound and determined to keep my blood sugar high and not let it drop suddenly.  I did not take any insulin at all to account for the food I ate.  Around midnight, my blood sugar was 430 – super high.  Around 1:30am it was around 350 – super high.  At 1pm the next day it was 111 – perfect.  All without me taking insulin.  All because of the walking affecting it over the course of the night.

Normally for a meal of that caliber, I would have taken at least 18 units of insulin.

When I drove back to my hotel, I took side streets and I drove really slow so I could catch Pokemon.  Instead, I caught a real live cat.  He was just sitting there, so I stopped and hugged him and pet him and talked to him and put him in my car.  He was happy to come with me, but then I thought that he looked very healthy and he seemed to enjoy where he was, so I thought maybe that was his yard.  I put him back on his sidewalk, and he appreciated not being catnapped.

That was my Friday night, stay tuned for Saturday!

Darcy J, Catnapper Extraordinaire.

Have you ever looked a word for a really long time and just thought, that is not really a word?  You KNOW it is a word, but the more you stare at it, or say it, the less you believe it is a real word.  I just did that with the word bank.

So anyway, a few nights ago I heard a cat meowing in a backyard a few houses away from mine.  It wasn’t just like “meow”, it was a howl meow like Mr. Meow Meow makes when it is the middle of the night and he wants me to play.  He yowls, and then he brings his toy up to my room and puts it on me.  I wake up to a toy on me every day.  I love my cat.

But this other cat, I opened the porch window and I said “Kitty!” and the meow got closer.  I kept saying “Kitty” and I saw a shadow (it was dark out) on the other side of the fence in my neighbor’s yard.  Then the shadow/kitty came to the fence door (it’s not called a door, what is it? I mean, it’s a door, and it’s a fence, but I swear there’s another word for it), and he climbed the fence and came right up to the porch window.  The wall part of the porch comes up to my waist, and then from there it is screen windows with a glass part that slides open.  So I slid open the screen, bent over the wall part, and picked up the kitty and brought him in the porch.  He was perfectly happy to come in, and he was very cute.

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My neighborhood has a Facebook group, so I posted his picture, and soon enough his owners were found, but it was 1am and they were not answering their phone.  I couldn’t keep the kitty (his name is Frosty) on my porch because he did not care for my cat (who was not on the porch, but was visible through the sliding porch door).  I asked if anyone could take Frosty until his owners could get him, and a lovely fellow night owl down the street said she could. Her name is Bobbi.  That is important for later. Frosty’s owners got him in the morning and all is well.

Then last night I was driving home around midnight and saw a tiny kitty.  I stopped and the kitty came right up to me and got in my car, so I drove her home with me and walked out to say hi to my mom on the porch and said “I found another cat”.  This kitty REALLY did not like Mr. Meow Meow, so we had to make all kinds of barricades so that we could go in and out of the porch without them sneaking.  I posted this kitty in my neighborhood group, too, and at 6am someone said “That’s my kitty” and texted me.  I was not awake at 6am but the text woke me up and he asked where I live so he can come get her.  I told him, and I told my dad “Dude is coming for kitty” and then I went back to sleep.  My dad said the guy was very nice, and said the kitty does not go outside, she stays inside, but sometimes he takes her for walks and she follows right along with him.  So the guy took the kitty and walked her home and my dad watched them the whole way down the street, and the kitty followed right at his feet.  It turns out this kitty that looks like a baby is 14 years old.

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While I was posting about that kitty, someone else posted a picture of a kitty and said “Hey, this guy has been hanging around our house, anyone know him?” and, full circle, Bobbi, the fellow night owl who took Frosty for the night, said “That is my cat!  He ran away in March!”.  The people whose house Kismet is hanging out at (that’s his name, Kismet) said they have a dog who will eat Kismet, and can’t hang on to him.  I said if they can catch him, I will house him until Bobbi gets back from vacation on Friday.  Our first attempt to catch him failed, but now Kismet House People are prepared with cat nip, wet cat food and a carrier, so they are going to keep trying.  My method of “scruff him and put him in a box” did not succeed.

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They finally caught Kismet, and I brought him to work and everyone LOVED him.  He loved everyone.  He loved Hoenir, the dog.

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Kismet had a happy reunion with his family, and his very own dog, Jack.

There you go.  My cat adventures.  It makes me nervous and causes me stress, but I am glad that so far each kitty has been returned home.  It also makes Mr. Meow Meow nervous and causes him stress.

See?

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You Knew It Was Coming.

Of course I have to write a blog post about almost dying.  I pretty much said everything about it on Facebook, but I am going to write about it here, too.

I almost died, you guys!  At first I thought it was kind of funny, like, haha, I totally could have died but I did not die.

Then I thought about it, and I COULD HAVE LITERALLY DIED.

You see, what happened was my blood sugar went really low while I was asleep.  In 25 years of being Diabetic, I have woken up when this happens.  Every time I woke up.  Never have I not woken up.  Usually I start having a nightmare about blood sugar levels, and then I wake up sweaty and I know my blood sugar is low.  I kind of considered it my super power – in 25 years I have never passed out or needed medical assistance because of my blood sugar.

This time, I did not wake up.  There was also zero reason my blood sugar should have dropped that low in the first place (it was about 20).  ALSO – my blood sugar has been lower than that and I have been conscious.  My mom randomly decided to look in my room at 6am and tell me to turn over because I was snoring weirdly.  My mom is never up at 6am.  She also does not usually come into my room.  She tried to wake me up, and then my dad tried, and I did not wake up.

As far as I knew, I was asleep and not dreaming.  Then I started having really weird dreams about people standing over my bed looking at me.  In the dream, it wasn’t anyone I knew, it was strange men.  Then I actually woke up, and the men were really there, they weren’t a dream at all.  And I had an IV in my arm.  And my parents were there looking paler than anyone I have ever seen.  And my first thought was that my blood sugar was low and this wasn’t really happening.

Here is the thing about low blood sugar – and I have written about this before – when it is low, it seems like your body and face are not connected to the rest of you.  Like you are watching someone else sweat and eat three bowls of cereal, but it is not actually you.  You can stare at someone right in front of you, and you hear them like they are under water and you aren’t really sure if they are there or not.

So I wake up, and I was 99% sure they were not really there, but they were.  So I said “Oh my gosh, I thought you were in my dream but you’re really here”.  Surreal does not even begin to describe waking up to people in your room.  I didn’t have my glasses on, so that made it even more weird.  One of the EMT guys said something like “It’s not every day you wake up to guys as cute as us in your room” and I said “Where are my glasses so I can see how cute you are?” and someone handed me my glasses.  They were cute.  And I was wearing my CLASSIEST pajamas – a wife beater tank top and shorts.  The last time I shaved my legs was 2012.  I was also probably drooling, but I don’t know that for sure.

30 minutes later, the EMTs are gone, I’m eating peanut butter toast, and I realized my cat has not made an appearance.  I was positive he was in the house because he is not inclined to run outside, but we didn’t know if he got so scared, he just ran out with the EMTs, or what.  So my parents scoured the neighborhood…and found a random black cat. I stayed in the house eating my toast and shaking a bag of treats and searching every corner.  TWO HOURS later, Mr. Meow Meow came downstairs.  I have no idea where he could have been.

But anyway – I could be dead right now and that is a weird thing to think.  If I were, I am happy to report it would have been painless and I would not have known anything happened.  The shock was waking up, not NOT waking up.  So here’s to dying in your sleep, but also, I do not want to die!  That is not something that should happen yet.  If my mom didn’t randomly stop by my room, I would never have woken up.  If I lived alone, boom, dead.  This is why I will never live alone – I must marry a gay man.

So that is my story.  You’ve all heard it at this point, but now I have written it in my blog, so that means it officially really happened.

Here is a picture of Jenna holding a pile of kittens.

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Here is a picture of Mr. Meow Meow.

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