INXS at Valley Center

As soon as I committed to going to Canada to see INXS in early July, they announced a handful of dates in California in late August. The very last show, for that leg of the tour was in Sault Saint Marie in July, and I was there. And the very first show, after a five week break, was August 24th at Harrah’s Casino in Valley Center, and I was there too.

The two shows were very different. Sault Saint Marie was a lot of fun – it was my favorite of the Canada shows – but it wasn’t that memorable. Valley Center on the other hand, was very memorable! I think time off is good for anyone, and it seemed to be be very good for INXS. Where the Sault Saint Marie show was a tiny bit slick and predictable, the Valley Center show seemed fresh. And JD was his saucy best that night. It was a serious turn on!

One of my East Coast friends came out for the concert and to spend a few days in San Diego, and we met up with some other friends at the venue. After the concert we wanted a drink, and as we headed to the bar we ran straight into Kirk and JD on their way to the elevator. Kirk made a quick exit, but JD was willing to be delayed, so I shot a few images with my iPhone as he interacted with one of my friends, but the casino was so dark, it was hard to get anything good. Other people started to notice him at this point, and a crowd was starting to form, so I wanted out – somehow being in a big crowd pushing toward a rock star is not my idea of fun! But before I went, I wanted to thank him, and he was listening intently to a guy drone on about the show. So I reached out and touched his stomach to get his attention and said “You were great tonight” and I intended then to move on, but he turned to me with this blindingly beautiful smile and said “Thank you” and then he pushed against my hand with his stomach muscles, making his abs ripple beneath my fingers. I just laughed, and said thanks, and slipped away. It was just such an aggressively flirtatious move, and it was fun! Somehow, every time I interact with JD I leave feeling really good. It’s a true rock star that can make that happen!

We then made our way to the restaurant, and soon after we saw Jon wander by alone. And when a fan stopped him, he was more than willing to stop and talk. More people approached and he ended up staying about twenty minutes, talking to people in the restaurant, until the band’s tour manager came and got him. I didn’t talk to him, I was happy at our table, but it was fun to see him be so relaxed and willing to just chat.

It was a fun night. The concert was one of the best I’ve seen, and after the concert wasn’t too bad either!

Studio Update

The studio is so close to being done! Floor, desk, shelves, cabinets, lights, more lights, fireplace, lots of appliances – I’m technically not renovating, I’m just “redecorating” – but it’s still pretty intense!

The new bamboo floor is installed – I did the first half myself, then hired a couple of guys to help me finish it the last day. It sounds so easy to just slide a wood floor together, but it’s harder than it looks and includes measuring, cutting, gluing – so lots of steps. I did a better job on the section I did alone, but it all looks great – even the parts that aren’t perfect!

My brother Michael installed the chandelier. I’m totally in love with this light fixture! It’s wrought iron and has drop crystals – but instead of cut glass crystals like a traditional chandelier, they’re rounded and very modern looking. Once the chandelier was up I had to get the wrought iron curtain rod and window scarf up on the window next to it, so I could see now how that corner finished. It’s one little corner – but it’s done – and it’s beautiful!

I just finished building a wall – a real wall with 2×4’s and dry wall and joint compound. It feels great to see something so permanent and know that I did it myself. I’m also building my kitchen counter – and that is truly an adventure because of the limited space I allotted for that area. It wasn’t a big priority for me, so it got a tiny corner, and it’s been tough making it all fit. But I think I’ve got it figured out. As long as I have room to get food and drinks ready for a party, I’ll be happy. Because I plan to throw a lot of parties – very soon!

I’ve also put together my little fireplace, and a little cabinet for the kitchen. And I have boxes with shelves and a chair – waiting to be put together.

My biggest project still mostly undone is building my desk. You can see the wood desktop I put together in the middle photo, leaning against the boxes. I wanted a very simple desk – almost a table actually. I don’t like clutter on my desk – and I didn’t want drawers. And I wanted real wood. Well all the desks I saw that I liked were over $2000 – and since what I want seems so simple, I figured it couldn’t hurt to try and build it myself? So I ordered some big farmhouse table legs online, and I had the perfect shade of pale blue paint custom mixed at Joe’s Hardware, and I glued together a bunch narrow boards to form the top of the desk. All that’s left is to put it all together!

And I had to include a portrait of my current best friend! I hate saws, I really do. I’ve been having dreams about cutting off fingers, etc., but.. this guy is so fast, so helpful, and because of him I’ve been able to do sooo much! So I’m grateful, but I’ll still be happy to say goodbye in a week or so…

A Day in Toronto With an iPhone

I spent a day in Toronto at the end of my trip with absolutely nothing planned – my favorite kind of day! I slept in, ordered room service, then hopped on a tour bus and let someone else drive me around the city, while I shot with my iPhone. I had fun playing with movement – the camera doesn’t have any settings to manipulate, but you can still get some fun stuff with moving subject matter.

If you look carefully at the images below, you’ll see when the bus went over a bump – because there’s a funky dip in the sidewalk. Or when other vehicles were moving fast, because the body of the vehicle gets stretched waaaaay out.

It was fun, and I saw a lot that day. I liked Toronto – it reminded me of New York City, and as the tour guide pointed out, that was partially because so much film production happens there, and the city often subs for NYC in the movies.

Toronto photos

Toronto images

Toronto with an iPhone

Toronto, Canada

Bus Tour of Toronto

Transportation in Toronto

Toronto church

People walking in Toronto

Levi Store in Toronto