Barfing Out Paragraphs (BTS)

It’s probably been a couple years ago now, but sometime back in the recent past Cassi introduced me to BTS. At first it was almost like a hostage situation πŸ˜… where when I would visit she would play different videos of theirs and “make” me watch. Then after I warmed up to them she’d just send playlists, knowing that I’d now watch them without her having to watch over me to make sure. 😏 It’s a difficult thing… getting someone to give “your music” a fair chance… and even more so when most of the lyrics are in Hangul. πŸ€”πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

But I quickly started to see what she saw in them. The lyrics of so many of their songs are filled with meaning… not typical pop music schlock, for the most part. And with seven members in the group, their choreography in their live performances and videos is definitely on point. πŸ˜―πŸ˜ƒ And then there’s that general feeling of being impressed at how hard they work to record their songs, produce their videos, learn the insane amount of choreography, going on tour, etc… meanwhile, most of them are also trying to learn English. 😧 The amount of dedication to what they do is ridiculous.

If you ever find yourself interested enough to watch some of their videos, make sure that you have the English captions turned on… or find someone who has made a Hangul / Romanization / English lyric video. After a while, it’s surprising how many words you’ll find yourself picking up and being able to repeat. πŸ€“ And as for listening in the car or elsewhere… once you’ve gotten the vibe of what the song means from the videos, you can kinda take that with you without having to understand the language.

But since the time that I was “forced” to watch their stuff, to today… when I’m probably as big of a fan as Cassi is, if not more… I’ve definitely taken to them, and I’ve got a BTS / K-Pop playlist on Spotify that’s probably 60 songs deep. 😁 I’ve been absorbing the language, watching travel videos from SK, giving other K-Pop artists a chance as well… it’s surprising how much interest I have in all this stuff that I hadn’t even thought of just a few years ago.

But BTS is huge now… and their fans, who go by “ARMY” … those of us old enough to understand, you’d call ARMY folks “Beatles Level” fans. 😏 Most of them are young girls, but there’s a growing percentage of ARMY that cover all ages, all nationalities, boys, girls, men, women. πŸ§’πŸ»πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ¦°πŸ‘±πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ‘©πŸ»πŸ‘±πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ§”πŸ»πŸ§“πŸ»πŸ§‘πŸ»πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ¦³ We’re definitely outnumbered by the screaming and crying young girls, heh… but we still count.

But that’s the concert that I got the tickets for. 😳 They’re doing a world tour, but unfortunately no stops in Ohio. πŸ˜’ It was funny, on the Ticketmaster site, after waiting in the presale queue – once I was able to see the seat map to try and pick two seats, all of the blue dots (seats) were turning to gray (taken) so quickly it was like someone was playing a sped up version of whack-a-mole. πŸ˜„

Being a bucket list concert, I went for two seats (on an aisle… heh) in the first level of the bowl seating. No nosebleed seats, where you’re so high that you feel like if you stumble you’ll fall and disappear into the depths of the stadium, never to be seen again. πŸ˜―πŸ˜… I actually tried to get tickets last year, but they sold out before I could even pull the trigger. And this year, Cassi actually has a boyfriend now… but that’s hopefully only a slight complication. πŸ€”

I actually like the d00d, and I think he’s generally okay with me, and half of the time when I see Cassi now I also see him, so that makes it easier to try to plan something out where everyone is happy. πŸ™‚ He knows what a big fan Cassi is, and how much this concert means to her, plus he knew coming into it that there was a chance I’d be getting me and her tickets this year if possible. And he’d go to the concert, but he’s not really a fan fan, and the tickets were expensive… so he’ll likely just come along on our road trip and be a part of everything except the show. πŸ™‚ I think it’ll be fine…

And like I told Cassi… he has every right to put the kibosh on it if he wanted to. Not many guys would be okay with their girlfriend going to a concert with an ex, let alone on an overnight road trip – so I bought the tickets with the idea that he’d be going too. But that’s if his schedule will allow it. 😯😬 So if he can’t go, I’m not sure what will happen… but I told Cassi to let him know there’d be no hard feelings if he was like, “Umm… no, I don’t think I want my girlfriend going away with her ex for two nights alone, without me. Yeah, uhh… no.” πŸ˜‚ No hard feelings from me, anyway… but woo would Cassi be upset if she didn’t get to go to this concert.

Wow… I rambled quite a bit here. πŸ˜³πŸ€“ It helps though… helps me start mentally putting the pieces in place, keeps me excited and looking forward to it, and also keeps me on top of the situation so everything will go down with as few hitches as possible. πŸ™‚πŸ€žπŸ» But my life is so sedate, and I do very few “big things” anymore… and this is a big-ass thing, so of course I’m gonna be a little anxious about it. 😏 But right now my anticipation and excitement is far outweighing those thoughts.

Terminate Background Process?

I feel almost silly for realizing this only just now, but I’ve figured out why my sleep got screwed up… why I have been feeling a little off. With as “aware” as I am regarding my struggles with anxiety, you’d think that any new potential issues would be immediately apparent. πŸ€”πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Nope. 🀨 For whatever reason, I typically don’t recognize an inciting moment until it’s already had enough time to have an effect. Like walking out of your house into a rain storm and then wondering an hour later why you’re soaked.

Not wanting to bury the lede any further, I’m pretty sure that ordering concert tickets the other day was what put me a bit out of whack. So you can maybe see why I wouldn’t have suspected that as the cause. Since, on its face, that concert is something that I obviously think will be fun, something that I want to do, something that I’m choosing to do. πŸ™‚ So the anticipation of waiting to see if I’d even be able to get tickets, and then managing to get really decent seats – all of the “Yay! πŸ˜ƒ of that masked the subconscious concerns that I always have when it comes to attending a concert these days.

I’ll make a separate post about the show, but yeah… when just this past year I skipped a Skillet concert that was less than 30 miles away because it was a general admission show, and I didn’t want to risk how beat up I’d feel afterwards – committing to a much, much bigger concert, and one that will require hours of travel time just to get there, it’s kind of a big deal for me. 😳πŸ₯΄

So, without me even realizing it, I think my brain was running a background process that was contemplating all of the various issues that could pop up. πŸ§ β€ΌοΈ The main concern, obviously, is how I’m going to physically feel… before, during, and after. The long drive, the masses of people, trying not to “bop around” too much during the show… 😏 and then the long drive back home, which will likely feel even longer than the drive there. When I can’t predict how broken I’m going to feel on a day to day basis here at home… it’s just giving quite a bit up to faith that it’ll all work out okay. 😟

Now, despite all that I’ve typed here… I’m not sweating it as much as it probably sounds. 😏 I’m still excited about it, still glad that I have something to look forward to, and planning it all out will even be fun. Figuring out the best travel routes, of course staying over the night before and the night after, checking everything out on Google Earth, and then the concert itself… I really am looking forward to it. I’d say I’m like 90% “Yay! πŸ˜ƒ and only 10% “Ugh… this could be a nightmare 😳

More details soon… πŸ’πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸŽŸοΈπŸ’πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸŽŸοΈ Β  πŸŽ΅Β πŸŽ€πŸ§πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ§‘πŸ»β€πŸ€β€πŸ§‘πŸ»πŸ‘¬πŸ»πŸ§‘πŸ»β€πŸ€β€πŸ§‘πŸ»πŸ‡°πŸ‡· 🎡

Vivid Nightmare Tale

Didn’t fall asleep until the wee hours of the morning last night, and I’m not sure if it was something that I saw the day before or something that I had subconsciously heard on the TV while I was sleeping, but I ended up having some awful (but amazing) vivid nightmares. 😯 At least they were situation based, rather than having anything to do with a specific friend or family member.

I’ve always had a knack for returning to the same fictional locations in my dreams, even over decades of time, as well as being able to “pick up where I left off” if I happen to wake up in the middle of a particularly interesting or intense dream. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ§™πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ There are even a couple of fictional “characters” that have persisted over the years, albeit only on rare occasions. πŸ˜•πŸ™‚ It’s no “lucid dreaming” but I’ll definitely take it, compared to nothing but random, fleeting dreams which can never be returned to.

Last night’s dream, split by about ten minutes of waking up and settling back in, featured two different plane crashes. 😳 (And like I’ve acknowledged before, I know that hearing about other folks’ dreams isn’t always the most entertaining thing, but alas…) The first plane crash was one that I witnessed in the evening from our old house on Shepherd Hill. 😌 I actually had my phone set up in my bedroom window, to record a time-lapse video of the setting sun, but accidentally captured a small aircraft making some abrupt movements a couple of miles away – before crashing into the hills and trees. 😧 … πŸ›©οΈπŸŒ²πŸŒ³πŸŒ³πŸŒ²πŸŒ³πŸ”₯

There was distinct black smoke coming from the crash site, but the sun had set by this point, and a layer of fog had moved in, so rescue / recovery vehicles and aircraft seemed to be having a hard time locating the wreckage. πŸ€¨πŸ”­ I not only knew where it went down, but also had a recording of the event, so after a while of watching them struggle from a distance I decided that I needed to get into my car and go help out.

That’s when I woke up, but with the first part of that dream being so vivid (I’m leaving out many of the detailed details) I was hoping that I’d get back to sleep quickly and be able to pick up where I left off. πŸ₯±πŸ€žπŸ»

Back in the dream, I was already in my car (which was my 1979 Olds Delta 88) and driving up an increasingly narrow road on an increasingly steep mountain. 😬😣 But before I had even driven that far, I heard the sound of spooling jet engines above me – and I looked up to see a rescue oriented 747-200 about 2000 feet above, struggling to climb and avoid a similarly marked rescue blimp that was directly in its path. 😯✈️

The jet didn’t have the power to execute the climb and turn, so while it was able to avoid the blimp – it went into a stall and began to fall from the sky. 😬 I immediately stopped in my tracks, since it looked like the plane might graze the face of the mountain but wouldn’t necessarily hit me. Of course that didn’t end up being the case, and as the 747 fell parallel to the vertical face of the mountain, the belly of the plane banged into my car – knocking it off of the road and sending it falling thousands of feet towards a big lake below.

My car, along with many others from the road above, somehow fell relatively softly into the lake… while the plane crashed hard into the mountain on its way down, which meant there was a constant “rain” of debris endangering all of the surviving people in their cars. πŸ˜³β˜‚οΈ Most of the cars ended up floating, and many people were getting out and trying to swim to shore, but they were inevitably hit by falling wings, engines, landing gear, etc. πŸ˜£πŸ€• The lake was also partially on fire due to the jet fuel, so saying that it was a chaotic scene would be a huge understatement.

But in the chaos, my car and several others floated together, so we used a bunch of bungee cables to connect them all and “fling” them with enough momentum to reach land. 🏝️ The dream fizzled out there, once we were all safe, but it was such a vivid dream that I can still remember the detail of everyone’s faces, the vertigo from the heights, the smell of burning kerosene and plastic plane seats, the shortness of breath while trying to not drown, the pinch of my hand under the tightening bungees, the way it went from unbearably noisy to silent except for the sound of the water… just all of it. πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜Œ

Not what most people would consider a fun dream by any stretch of the imagination, but it was one that I was still glad to have had. Almost like the way that you can’t wait to see the weekend’s popular blockbuster action movie. πŸ˜ŽπŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜ Because that’s what it felt like… like an extended scene from some awesome movie. Unfortunately, as it often happens (especially once things really go off the rails), it never really went back to the original “small plane crash” plot, nor did it provide any resolution to any of the rest… but hey, teamwork helped me and quite a few others survive quite the adventure. πŸ€“πŸ€œπŸ»πŸ€›πŸ»πŸ˜„

(I know… I should save this shit for the dream blog. I mean that’s the whole point of it being there…Β πŸ™„πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜ )

The “Subjectively Positive” One

This is gonna be another really long one… it’s more fun for me this way. 😏 Settle in and enjoy.

Now, this is something that’s almost impossible to explain to someone who doesn’t or hasn’t experienced severe social anxiety. πŸ€” But last Saturday, after spending about a week and a half without even leaving my house, while trying (and failing) to adjust to a new medication, and still tending to my gimpy knee… I had to go to a concert in Columbus. 😐 At the Schottenstein Center, which holds about 18,000 people. 18,000 loud, screaming, drinking, super enthusiastic, having an awesome time, concert-goin’ people. 😏 (God bless ’em… heh) Oh, and we had “Meet and Greet” VIP passes for Debbie Gibson and Tiffany after the show.

The story begins last year, when my friend Jim got us tickets to see Phil Collins at Nationwide Arena. I had seen Genesis before, but never Phil on his own… so it was a bucket list thing. We had a great time, so in the fall of last year when “The Mixtape Tour” tickets came available – I went ahead and got our tickets, sort of as a birthday gift / way to pay back his generosity re: the Phil Collins tickets.

Flash forward to last Saturday… and it took every ounce of oomph that I had to make myself get up, get ready, and go to the venue to meet Jim. πŸ₯Ί My anxiety was so bad that up until the minute I was finally able to make myself get in the car, I wasn’t even sure I was gonna be able to do it. 😬 But I had already cancelled on Jim on a few other things, and I would feel like a giant shit if I bailed on him again, and he ended up just going by himself. So I honestly went more because of Jim, rather than a desire to actually go. Well, no… that isn’t entirely accurate… because I absolutely wanted to go… heh… like I said, it’s hard to explain how anxiety can overrule anything that you think you might want or be able to do. πŸ™„πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Heh… I’m realizing that this isn’t gonna sound like a positive experience, so let me go ahead and interject here to say that I did have a good time while I was there, and was glad that I went. πŸ™‚ It was the getting there and getting home that were the biggest hurdles for my uncooperative brain. And of course there had to be construction all along the freeway on the way there, which is always fun – anxiety or not. And then when I got there, because I left so late, I ended up having to walk… *consulting google maps* … I had to walk “Total distance:Β 2,885.24 ftΒ (879.42 m)from the parking lot to the venue. 😧 But I had my cane, I took my time, and didn’t die too much. 😏 In fact, not only did it help me to unwind from the traffic, but it continued my DIY physical therapy that I’m trying – to avoid the costly, painful, inconvenient, time consuming, real thing.

The thing that probably saved the night for me, once we found our way to our seats, was that we were at the absolute top of the seats. Literally everyone in front of us, with the backs of our chairs being against the wall. 😊 Plus the seat next to me was empty. 😁 I can’t stress enough how much of a difference it makes to be “outside” of the humans rather than surrounded by a sea of them in every direction. So for the duration of the actual show, I was golden. πŸ™‚ Me and Jim, catching up on shit, no assholes around to be a nuisance, a decent view of everything due to the big LED screens, despite being in the very definition of “the nosebleed seats” for the concert… and it was awesome. I was glad that I “made” myself go.

Then the show ended. 😳 At which point we had to navigate through the herd of exiting humans, trying to figure out where we had to be to do the Meet and Greet part of our experience. 😬 Buttloads of people, slight confusion of where to go, the prospect of meeting a couple of celebrity singers… so, again, I found myself *this close* to just walking out one of the nearby doors and just waiting for Jim to go and do that part on his own. But he said the right things I needed to hear, I took a few woosah moments, and once a lot of the people were gone we found our way to what was essentially the basement under all of the seating. 😯

Sorry, I’ll try to tighten this up a bit. 😏 There were different M&G packages, some with just Debbie, some with just Tiffany, some with both – so thankfully, even though they had us all crammed into a relatively small waiting space, we got to do our thing pretty quickly since we had the dual package. Got a hug from Tiffany, they both autographed my lanyard, and while there was a little confusion with the official person taking the photos – it gave me some time to actually talk with Debbie while we had a short wait.

She asked if I had a good time and I told her “Oh, absolutely…” with a smile, but since other people were distracted I was able to lean over to her and kinda quietly say “… but man is my social anxiety kickin’ right about now.” Heh… probably a little weird, but it would have been awkward just standing there silently as we waited for the photographer to get ready. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ But she just smiled back at me and said she actually knows what I mean, and that before each show she usually stays in her dressing room with her piano and just plays some random jazz or classical to help her get rid of herΒ pre-show anxiety. πŸ™‚ And that was a comforting thing to hear… since rather than her thinking I was a weirdo, she could actually relate. Then we got the pic, I got a hug from her as well, and that was that.

Well, that was it for me I mean. 😏 Jim still had to get his picture with them… but keep in mind, Jim wasn’t Jim for the night… he went as Squirtman. πŸ˜³πŸ˜„ The orange body suit, the cape, the Squirtman puppet, flashing LED glasses, the cowboy hat… heh… the whole deal. That was actually another good thing throughout the night – because when you’re next to Squirtman, you’re essentially invisible – which was perfect. πŸ‘πŸ»

He got there an hour before the doors even opened, so he was parked right in the first lot and was able to give me a ride out to my car – since all of the walking and stairs and such did finally take its toll on me. πŸ˜•Β I did have the typical “I need to be home”Β voice repeating in my head as I was driving, but the goody feeling from the concert buzz made the long drive home much more bearable than some drives I’ve made in the past. πŸ™‚

So yeah… yay me. 😊 I did a thing. 😏

If you remember any of these bands or singers and wanna check out some clips, here ya go:

Alrighty, that’s about it. Congrats if you made it through all of my (hopefully) descriptive weirdo rambling. πŸ˜‰