Man Your Battle Stations: One Crazy Night With The Best Fans On The Fence

Hello Apollo…where shall I begin?

At around 2:45 PM, Saturday, Mary, Joe and I hopped in to my mom’s GMC Acadia, with Mary at wheel. We drove for somehwere between two and a half and three hours, and arrived at The Showboat Atlantic City Hotel and Casino. We checked in to our hotel room, I changed clothes (a gesture later deemed almost completely futile), had a glass of wine and we walked across the casino floor to the House of Blues music hall and stood in line.

We were in line for Coheed and Cambria, who, as I’ve said several times, are my favorite band. My sister and Joe give Coheed an enormous amount of credit for their relationship. Their love of the band was one of the things that they bonded over when they first met when they were 18. It’s immensely adorable to watch them get geared up for a show.

Actually, it’s just immensely adorable to watch them…

This show was extra special for all of us, because the opener for the show was The Dear Hunter, another one of Mary’s favorite bands.

Well, they were the second opener. The doors opened at 8 and we made out way to the pit. The first opener, a band called 3 quickly won over the crowd when they went on at 8:45. By 10:30, when Dear Hunter finished, we were all psyched for everything to start, Mike had joined us, and I had had two Miller Lites and peed three times. Then the show started.

There’s an old Irish saying, sometimes attributed to William Butler Yeats, “There are no strangers here, only friends we haven’t met yet.” I feel that way at most concerts but it comes through even more with cultish bands like Coheed. Coheed fans are so deeply passionate about this music. We pushed and pulled in the pit and after three songs I was soaked through with sweat and completely out of breath. However, 3 songs in the pit is a personal best for me, and moshing has never been something that I loved anyway. (Moshing is made much more pleasant by the presence of my six foot five ex defensive lineman brother making sure that no one roughs me up too bad.) I was determined to break out of my comfort zone on this one though and I did just that.

Mike made it a few more songs, but in the end he and I wound up hanging out by the bar, dancing, singing along and me drinking more Miller Lite. (He’d been in the casino, so already had a decent buzz going.) We made friends, danced with them, sang along with them, and we all walked out at 12:30 AM this morning, saying it was the best Coheed show we’d ever been to.

This isn’t a small claim to make. I’ve been to 4 Coheed shows, this was Mary’s eighth, Joe’s seventh, and Mike’s fifth or sixth. Mike also saw them open for Brand New when they were just starting out.

Mike has a lot of emo kid street cred for a preppy jock.

Mary was even at the legendary 10th Anniversary Neverender show. We’ve seen line up changes, (the departure of epic drummer Chris Pennie, now replaced with the lower key but extremely talented Josh Eppard. And last time Joe, Mary and I saw them bassist Mic Todd had just been arrested for armed robbery. He’s not in the band anymore.) We’ve loved all of those shows, but this one was simply impossible to explain. The energy of the room was unstoppable, Claudio was in rare form. I love seeing people enjoy what they’re doing, particularly when what they’re doing is something immensely cool, like playing in a rock band or being a professional athlete. And  last night, Claudio was having fun. He was wailing on both his guitar and vocally, telling goofy stories and laughing.

We spent the rest of the night, drinking gambling and laughing. We didn’t get to bed until 5:30 AM.

I love my family. I love this band. I love that when we found out this was happening it was a complete no brainer for us. This was going to happen. We were going to go. We were going to have an amazing time. And we did.

The Afterman Part 1: Ascension comes out on October 9. You’ll be hearing more about Coheed and Cambria from me in the mean time as bits and pieces leak out.

10 Days!

How Does Reading Stand a Chance?

Last night, while sitting around a table drinking home brewed beer, my brother, my friend Mark and my friend Joe started talking about this week’s Sons of Anarchy. 


Opie Winston, Jax’s best friend gets beaten to death by  prison guards while Jax and two of the other Sons (Chibs and Tig) watch. It was a heart breaking scene, given that Jax had come clean to Opie about a number of secrets he had been keeping. Opie was blown away, but still hugely angry with Jax.

All three of us had different reactions to what happened, I was heartbroken. I had watched the episode on Wednesday morning, and sat by myself crying. Opie was a great character and I loved the relationship between him and Jax. Mike felt about the same, and Mark was annoyed that there was no discussion of Opie’s now orphaned children. (His wife was killed by the Sons in Season 1)

Joe, who is an English teacher, started laughing. We looked at him and he just said, “Do you think people sat around talking like this about Dickens? You know, how they only printed like one chapter a month?”

Then we all laughed and I said, “Probably, you know like, ‘Did you read Great Expectations this week?'”

Joe: Oh man, yeah! That Miss Haversham is such a bitch! And Joe was my favorite character.

Me: Yeah, totally, that was messed up!

Joe: I give up, man, I just give up. I’m not reading next month. Screw Dickens, he’s gotten completely out of control! I miss the early stuff, you know like Oliver Twist? Dickens was good back then, this new stuff is crap!

Joe and I agreed that this is probably the kind of conversations that fanboys and girls of yore had. But then Joe sighed kind of wistfully and said, “But seriously, what kind of a chance does reading have, when TV is so full of crazy twisted, awesome stories, that are so easy to access?”

He has a good point. I love good TV, I love long form TV, and I’ve even argued that the good stuff is going to become the canon in the next 100 years. (I have a concentration in Shakespeare, I like to think my descendants will get one in Whedon or Abrams.) But there is something sad about how literature seems to have stopped being a major part of the collective consciousness. There are some exceptions, like Harry Potter, but generally books don’t spark those kinds of conversations anymore.

There’s definitely something sad about that, but I’ve always thought it was an interesting evolution in entertainment. Shows like Sons of Anarchy are smart, and engaging and deeply captivating. It psychs me up that it’s so omnipresent in popular entertainment. But there is something to be said for how sad it is that it isn’t reading that does that anymore.

Have a Little Faith

Buffy The Vampire Slayer The Rewatch: Week 3 Part 2

I’ve been lax in my Buffy watching the week. Which is strange, because season 3 has always been my favorite. But TV season is starting, so I’ve been catching up, watching things on DVR and on demand.

But that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten, no, not at all.

So let’s talk about Faith.

Super Cool

I love Eliza Dushku, and always have. I’ve talked about my cheerleading daysBring It On was like, my guidebook to life. (In that way a teen comedy about competitive cheerleading can be to a 13 year old girl) She also puts in a sick performance as “Chrissy” in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. (When one takes part in the Askewniverse, one earns my undying affection) and of course Dollhouse.

But there’s nothing quite like Faith. Buffy’s foil, friend, compatriot, enemy,and  rival. If the first 3 seasons deal with the idea of metaphor and “high school is hell” and all of that, Faith and Buffy have the kind of contentious “frienemy” relationship that marks the high school experience of most girls. (It’s unfortunate, I’m not saying it’s a good thing, I’m just saying that it’s relate-able.)

Of course most frienemy relationships end in tears and maybe some mild boyfriend stealing, but Faith and Buffy, being slayers have to take it to the next level, since their relationship ends in literally trying to kill each other, and well…eventually body switching boyfriend stealing.

Hey, got to keep it real right? That’s what Faith would say.

Secret Identities And Why They’re Kind of Stupid

I’ve been thinking about superheroes and secret identities. I mean, I think about supeheroes a lot. Clearly. But lately, secret identities have been hitting me kind of hard, and how they don’t really matter that much.  The Avengers came out on DVD yesterday, and none of those guys really use ’em, and things seem to be just swell for them. Captain Steven Rogers is a war hero, and basically took down the Nazis single handed, Thor is a thunder god and doesn’t live here, and Tony Stark is Tony Stark. Bruce Banner is really the only one who needs to hide and that’s because The Hulk is a completely different kind of thing.

The only logical secret identity ever!

A few months back, Chrissy and I had a conversation, where she wondered why women who date superheroes don’t also have secret identities. I think we were talking about Batman and Catwoman, but then we got in to Mary Jane. Basically, Chrissy was wondering why, upon realizing that she was in love with Spider-Man, though not yet realizing that Spider-Man was Peter Parker, did Mary Jane Watson not don her own secret identity and then pursue him that way. This way the two could have a relationship, without all of the “I need to hide who I am to protect the people I love,” nonsense. We decided that it’s because Mary Jane sucks and moved on with our lives.

This is the face of someone terrible

Though Chrissy still maintains that this is a viable option for ladies that love superheroes. I agree with her.

Which leads me to John Blake, Christopher Nolan’s big broken promise. Nolan stated that we would never see Robin in his films. I’m glad he broke that promise, because Blake is awesome, but still, promise was broken. Anyway, John Blake is important because he’s one of the first characters in mainstream superhero-dom, to break the functionally retarded haze and just flat out figure out that Bruce Wayne is Batman.

“So, you know how you’re Batman? I could be Batman…”

This is not a difficult jump to make. Bruce Wayne disappeared for years in Batman Begins. Then, he came back, and shortly after, a guy of roughly his height and build begins beating up thugs. He does this with the aid of technology that only the city’s billionaire industrialist could possibly have access too. At least Jim Gordon is willfully forcing himself to ignore these things, so that he doesn’t have to arrest Bruce Wayne. But really, I mean, it’s so obvious that he’s Bruce Wayne!

At least Gotham City’s citizenry is slightly less mentally deficient that the good people of Metropolis, who are fooled by a pair of glasses. I mean, Batman wears a mask, and only operates at night, he isn’t a public figure so much as a name whispered in the shadows, etc so they can be excused. But Superman is the opposite of all of those things, and he and Clark Kent, who is a fairly high profile journalist, have the same face.


Lois Lane claims to be in love with Superman, and has the investigative journalism chops to expose Lex Luthor’s many shady operations, but can’t for whatever reason figure out that the guy she shares a desk a with is that same guy. And Luthor himself is supposed to be a genius and can’t seem to put together the fact that the nosy and annoying reporter (who is oddly jacked) is also the guy who foils his every plan, just wearing glasses. There’s an old SNL sketch from when Terry Hatcher hosted, back in her Lois And Clark days, where the entire cast parades past her wearing glasses and she can’t recognize them.

That’s why I understand secret identities in theory, but in practice secret identities are pretty stupid.

Let Bartlett Be Bartlett

When I wrote about The Princess Bride I talked about how there are certain benchmarks of geekiness. There are certain things that I mark as sort tangible things that I chose, or was exposed to, that made me realize that I wasn’t going to ever be like the girls who I thought I was supposed to be like. (I later learned no one is exactly like those girls.)

A big one of those was watching The West Wing. I watched it because of my parents, mostly my mother. I was a middle school student. It didn’t take long for me to choose this show. Other girls my age were watching Dawson’s Creek (I wasn’t allowed to, I discovered it later and was obsessed) and crushing on impossible teen idols, and I was wondering if Leo’s alcoholism being exposed was going to lead to political fall out and crushing on Sam Seaborn.

What sixth grade girl doesn’t want a dorky socially inept speech writer who looks Rob Lowe?

Now that we’re in the last push of presidential elections, I spend a lot of time wishing that we lived in the world of The West Wing in real life. I wish we lived in a world where intelligent men of integrity were running our country and making epic speeches about the dignity of human beings and our limitless potential.

Even me, a die hard conservative, was kind of hoping for a Bartlett-esque four years from Obama. These were passionate, younger people, who wanted change. Instead, everything slowed down. Oh, we got change, in that the idealistic charismatic leader that had been elected changed in to a wishy washy shadow of every other politician.

But if this was the world of The West Wing, President Santos maybe would have been reelected, and he’d be winding down his second term. Secretary of State Arnold Vinnick would have clearly negotiated peace in the middle east. Josh Lyman and my husband Sam Seaborn would have created a legislative agenda that defended freedom and helped every one, and Sam would be gearing up his own campaign for the white house. I would be preparing for my duties as first lady by resigning from my position of running my own television network. (This is my West Wing fantasy and I can be married to Sam if I want.)

There are a lot of reasons why I hate the way politics are handled in our country. But a lot of it, I blame on Aaron Sorkin. As a teenager he led me to believe that the world of professional politics was like The West Wing.

The Descendant

 Buffy The Vampire Slayer The Rewatch: Week 3 Part 1

This post isn’t strictly about Buffy. But it is totally related.

I was thinking as the new TV season gets geared up, how much of TV has been shaped by Buffy. I’ve traced the Lost trail before which of course goes by way of Alias.

I watched the first two seasons of Alias. I loved it. Then I missed a few episodes, and since this was before DVRs, or TV on demand or me really understanding what long form TV was about, I got lost and basically stopped watching. I’ve never finished it. I’ve always meant to.

Then there were The WB “cousin” shows, as I’ll call them, Roswell, Charmed, Smallville and the somehow still going Supernatural. 

But I’m using the next couple of days to catch up on Once Upon A Time. I watched it sporadically last season, (both my uncle and my sister were obsessed), and really liked it, but didn’t get in to it, mostly because of time. Now I have plenty of time, and I’m totally in to it. (Stayed up until 3 AM to watch.)

Storybrooke and Sunnydale have a lot in common. There’s magic everywhere, but no one knows it, there are two planes of existance to navigate (Storybrooke and Fairytale Land) and of course, they have a plucky blonde savior just itching to get her work done and move the heck on.

Remember when she cheated on her husband with Ted Mosby?

While some of the other shows I’ve mentioned are definitely descendants of Buffy, Emma Swann is a descendant of Buffy.

Emma is Snow White’s daughter and was sent to our world to avert a curse put down by the Evil Queen. Emma grew up being bounced from foster home to foster home and had a baby when she was 18, who she gave up for adoption. Henry, the boy, shows up at her apartment and drags her to Storybrooke, a small town in Maine, which he believes isn’t a real town at all, but a kind of holding cell for all of the fairytale characters, who have been cursed by the Evil Queen, who happens to be the woman who adopted Henry. The Queen took their “happily ever afters,” and their memories and now it’s up to Henry and Emma to beat the curse.

This show is amazing. The characters are well drawn and the concept is rock solid. And because the show is produced by the Disney owned ABC, we get to see many of the characters, who themselves are public domain, in “grown up” versions that feel deeply familiar, because they can use the House of Mouse’s details.

What does it have to do with Buffy? Everything. It has everything to do with Buffy. I have a deep respect for the way that Joss Whedon changed the game for TV with Buffy and Angel. So many of the shows I love wouldn’t exist.

Emmy Live Blog

Hello All! I’m actually doing this “liveblogging” thing for the Emmy’s! (I swear I’m not giving up half way through it this time!)

Here We Go!

7:50 PM: Emmy time! Just spent the day watching Katie be awesome in The Music Man, and catching up with Kate. Cherry on top of an awesome weekend.

7:56 PM: Jesse Tyler Ferguson is amazing. I love him so much! I love his Burberry bowtie.

7:57 PM: Zooey is pretty.

7:58 PM: Yes, this is the kind of insightful commentary you can look forward to all night.

8:00 PM: All of the best TV women in this sketch! Also Naked Lena Dunham is a nice touch!

8:03 PM: Julia just makes everything that much better! So does Ellen.

8:04 PM: I’m a little disappointed Jimmy didn’t wear the too small pants.

8:06 PM: Chik Fil A joke, perfect! “Being a Republican in Hollywood is like being a Chik Fil A sandwich on the snack table at Glee.”

8:10 PM: I forgot how much I loved so many of these shows in comedy montage. So psyched for the new season.

8:11 PM: Louis and Amy are going to be hilarious. Actually I’m already laughing.

8:12 PM: I love Eric Stonestreet, but it should have been Schmidt!

8:16 PM: Why is Kristen Wiig getting a special Emmy? What a stupid thing. The point of SNL is to leave your mark. If Chevy Chase didn’t need one, then Kristen Wiig doesn’t!

8:18 PM: Sorry, I just don’t get why everyone loves her so much.

8:20 PM: I’m really glad Louis won. Like, really glad. I mean, I would like Community and Parks and Recreation to get theirs. But he’s so freaking amazing.

8:23 PM: Yay Julie Bowen! I’ve loved her since Ed and love that she’s getting hers.

8:25 PM: Did someone dare her to say the word “nipple” over and over again?

8:29 PM: Nothing to do with the Emmys, but who else is excited for Once Upon A Time taking on Peter Pan?

8:31 PM: Oh Matthew Perry, you scamp!

8:34 PM: Oh Lena Dunham and your playful anti semitism.

8:37 PM: I would love to see Ken Jeong as Lily.

8:38 PM: All Mindy, all the time!

8:39 PM: Why Jon Cryer? Please end that show!

8:41 PM: OK, if Amy doesn’t win now, I’m going to throw something!

8:44 PM: YAY Steven Colbert. I love you so much!

8:46 PM: See, this bit that they’re doing is why I can’t believe that she still hasn’t won.

8:49 PM: Since I don’t watch much Reality TV I will have less to say in this section.

8:50 PM: They’ve made me interested by having Damon and James introduce the category.

8:52 PM: I have always tried to avoid watching The Amazing Race because I can’t afford to be addicted to another show.

8:57 PM: Haha, Sheldon likes the accountants!

8:58 PM: Ughhhh, Seth McFarland.

9:00 PM: Aww, I ❤ Tom Bergeron. I’m glad he won, since Padma wasn’t nominated.

9:03 PM: Really, Emmys? Everything amazing that happened on Mad Men this year and you pick Megan and Don’s weird sex game?

9:05 PM: But, but…Tyrion…naw, I hear Breaking Bad is awesome (I have never watched it.)

9:06 PM: Also, Aaron Paul is adorable. I think I love him a little bit.

9:11 PM: “Newsies” should win all the Emmys.” – Mary


9:18 PM: Mad Men continues it’s perfect record of never having won an acting award. (Losing to Maggie Smith is acceptable)

9:24 PM: These little packages are just precious!

9:25 PM: I’m on pause because this is my mom’s favorite part (even if it’s a joke!)

9:30 PM: This package about himself is hysterical. And I love with Josh Groban does stuff like this.

9:32 PM: I am 100% on the Jon Hamm train. I love how he’s just kind of given up by this point!

9:35 PM: Alright, I’m caught up.

9:37 PM: I hope Jon gives Elisabeth her Emmy.

9:38 PM: Oh, but the 90s kid in me is so happy to see Claire Danes do anything. Thank you for introducing me to unconventional Shakespeare.

9:39 PM: Also, she “holla’d” at Mandy Patinkin. Which, yeah, I would probably do that too…even if I wasn’t nominated for acting with him.

9:42 PM: AZIZZZZ!!!!

9:43 PM: Aziz making fun of the Brits. BEST BIT EVER!

9:45 PM: I love Louis, I really do. But I want the Tony’s to win things.

9:50 PM: Ricky Gervais is going to say something not even vaguely controversial that everyone is going to say was really offensive.

9:53 PM: Aww, yay! Go Tonys!

9:56 PM: Nope, this is the best part of the Emmys, this is the best part of television in the history of the world.

10:04 PM: I’m kind of really bored right now. Was Missing a miniseries? I thought it just got cancelled?

10:06 PM: Yeah, that had to happen. American Horror Story is freaking amazing. But I love Sarah Paulson.

10:12 PM: This is the suuuuppper boring part.

10:13 PM: Ellen helps though.

10:15 PM: I didn’t watch Hatfields & McCoys maybe I should have? When there isn’t baseball I find Kevin Costner tedious.

10:17 PM: Well, now I’m going to cry. Thanks Ron Howard…

10:21 PM: That was nice. Really, it was.

10:26 PM: I hate Lucy Liu’s dress, but she and Kiefer are probably my two favorite TV actors.

10:27 PM: Um, I did not know that Jonathan from Buffy wrote Game Change…that’s nice.

10:35 PM: I did not know that Lindsey Lohan was playing Elizabeth Taylor, but she too is a trainwreck, so this makes sense.

10:37 PM: Also, I guess I have to watch Game Change.

10:38 PM: The Republican in me just couldn’t so it.

10:39 PM: “If you build it, he will come.”

10:41 PM: I really want to see Argo. I really want the world to appreciate Ben Affleck again. (I know, this is a strange wish. But I love him.)

10:42 PM: TOM HANKS!

10:48 PM: Someone in the AMC publicity department is getting fired tomorrow. Also Matthew Weiner is probably drinking a lot of scotch.

10:52 PM: This is 40 is going to be the best movie ever.

10:55 PM: Me: Heh, Johnny Galecki is so little Mary: Not as little as Peter Dinklage

10:56 PM: Modern Family wins, surprising no one.

Well, that was the Emmys! Thanks for watching with me!

93 Days More

The film version of Les Miserables is opening on December 25. This week a behind the scenes video came where director Tom Hooper, and several members of the cast discussed the film, and the process of making it.

Here’s a little fact that I didn’t know was happening, the actors were singing their parts live. This is bizarrely unheard of for a musical film and completely amazing.

I had a lot of faith in Hooper, when I heard he was going to be directing the film. The King’s Speech is one of the mostly intensely good movies I’ve ever seen. He’s assembled a dream-like cast, (If I had my druthers, NPH would be involved), and is employing a technique that if it works out, could completely change the game for musical films.

A pre recorded track wouldn’t work for Les Mis, Hooper explains in the video, and he’s completely right. This music is beautiful and orchestral, yes, but it’s also completely raw with emotion. One of the major problems I had with the Rent film (there were a few), was that a lot of the power of the music got lost in the lip synching. There’s a danger in that with Les Mis too. A pre recorded track would sound manufactured, and the emotion has to be immediate for this music.

When I say Les Mis could be a game change, I’m not kidding. First of all, this is the first musical film that Hugh Jackman is starring in. This is not a small thing. Jackman is a big deal in the musical theatre world. The Boy From Oz (or The Boy Next Door depending on what continent you’re on) was a full fledged theatrical phenomenon. His take on Curly in Oklahoma! made me actually like Oklahoma! (I really hate that show.) He’s also a full fledged action hero movie star.

These two things do not belong together, and yet this man does them both perfectly.

Russell Crowe is also in the movie, playing the antagonistic, and obsessed Inspector Javert. Sacha Baron Cohen is bringing the comic relief as Thenardier. If ever a musical was set up for the “bros” to embrace, it’s Les Mis. 

From an artistic standpoint, if Hopper’s gamble of having the actors sing live works out, it could bring about a far more “realistic” take on musicals. Every theatre geek in the world has been waiting with bated breath for the film version of Wicked, but were also apprehensive. Wicked’s music was written for two of the most dynamic women in musical theatre.

I’m not telling you their names. You should know this. Everyone should know this.

It’s not made to be recorded. Live singing  would fix that. Steven Sondheim’s music’s odd rhythms and strange phrasing make lip synching awkward, which is probably why his shows are rarely adapted, and the results of the few adaptations that do exist are often a mixed bag.

Removing the title song also doesn’t help the process, Mr. Burton!

I’m very protective of Les Mis, as are a lot of people. It’s one of the most beloved musicals of all time. I don’t want to see what happened to The Phantom of The Opera and Rent happen to it. The films of those shows are hardly unwatchable, they’re fine, really, and even have glowing moments. (Emmy Rossum and Patrick Wilson’s version of “All I Ask Of You” is gorgeous, and Jesse L. Martin’s cleaned up performance of “I’ll Cover You,” is heartbreaking.)  I’ve been itching to hear Hugh Jackman’s version of “Valjean’s Soliloquy ” (“What have I done, sweet Jesus, what have I done?”) and now knowing that it was performed in the moment, rather than pre recorded is going to make it that much more magical.

When I’m Out In The Street

I’m kind of in full on concert mode these days and it’s pretty great. Last night I went to see Bruce Springsteen at Met-Life Stadium.

I’ve seen Springsteen many times. This is in fact the third time this year I’ve seen The Boss live. (We go at least once every time he’s in the area.) If you haven’t seen a Springsteen concert, or you’re “not a fan,” I suggest going. You will be a fan by the time the show is over. You may even be a fan by the time the first song is over. I’ve seen this happen. (April, Madison Square Garden, my sister Mary’s boyfriend, Joe.)

This show I was down in the general admission floor with Michael, Mary, Joe, Katherine and Mike’s friend Jeff. We also ran in to a guy I hadn’t seen since middle school and we all hung out dancing, drinking, laughing and having an amazing time.

Bruce Springsteen is kind of like the Giants, in that it was just always tied up in my family history. My parents met and fell in love while he was starting to break out in the mid seventies, their early marriage, (before the 3 of us kids came in and made their lives so much brighter and more wonderful) was in the early to mid 80’s, when The River and Born in The USA ruled the world. This is music that is deep inside of me.

It was one of the stranger Springsteen concerts that I’ve ever attended. The set list was a bizarre amalgam of new songs (“Wrecking Ball” the title track of his most recent album is like the greatest explanation of how Jersey people think of themselves.) covers, and obscure album tracks.(Anytime he plays “Lost in The Flood” and “Bobby Jean,” you know you’re probably not going to hear “Thunder Road” is what I’m saying.) “Rosalita,” which is usually played last, was played around 10 PM.

I had an amazing time, I really did. It was a strange mix though.