I often feel like a fangirl when I write about bands that I have photographed, but when it comes to U2, there is no doubt. FAN. GIRL. ALL. CAPS. I know it's the in-vogue thing to dog them right now. But to the haters, I say: YOU CRAZY. My sister and I split the cost to buy Thriller and Unforgettable Fire (on cassette) and then proceeded to wear them both out. I wasn't allowed to see that tour back in Maryland, too young. And the world soon saw how cool Red Rocks was after U2's visit in 1983. I haven't missed a tour since then, many times seeing the shows with my college roommate MB who now lives in Wyoming - which is nicely convenient for us when U2 plays here in Denver. One time in Florida (where we went to college), we even met 3/4 of the band by accidentally waiting for MB's cousin at the wrong stadium entrance. This time, meeting Bono was no accident, but lots of luck. I am on the advisory board for ONE Girls & Women, and also enlisted lots of friends to volunteer for ONE over the two nights of Denver concerts. ONE and RED were kind enough to seize a window of opportunity, to slip me and MB in with Bono for a few minutes. My husband was kind enough to let MB come with me while he stayed back with her teen daughter, knowing how important the band is to both of us. Bonus hubby points FOREVER.
We had some bad years. Primarily they started with my mom getting sick and ending with me getting sick. 2013 started to turn things around, but last year was good. Really, really good. Sure, we are still struggling out of a financial hole from those dark years, but whatever. Money is money. If I have learned anything this decade, the most important thing is the ones you love, then the experiences you have on the journey. No collection of 365 days can be perfect, nor would I even want them to be. But 2014 was pretty damn awesome. I am so incredibly thankful. Here are my highlights.
Another fun year for music! If you would like to see *all* the songs I have collected during 2014, here is my Best of 2014 Playlist. Below are 24 *albums* (listed alphabetically) that I listened to so much this year, had there been a record…
Trigger Warning: This content deals with accounts of sexual assault and physical violence....Is that it pops back up when you least expect it. This weekend, after the horrific shooting in Santa Barbara, a video was released by the murderer where he bemoans his bad luck with women. I watched about 15 seconds of it before I felt the nausea creep up my throat, but what was more surprising than this man's issues was the reaction to it by other men. Posts showed up all over social media pondering why women didn't just give it up for him. "It" presumably being whatever this disturbed young man wanted. I, along with many many many others, started sharing my stories of abuse on the Twitter hashtag #YesAllWomen. The tweets were meant to say no, not all men are bad or commit acts of abuse, but yes, ALL women have to deal with it on almost a daily basis. That fear is indoctrinated from the beginning. That women are taught how not to be raped, but rarely do we teach men not to rape.
We met at a concert and it's almost an age test to see who remembers the bands who played: The Mighty Lemondrops and Material Issue. I get very reminiscent with I hear "Inside Out" and "Valerie Loves Me." When we tell the story, each of us leave out details we don't like, but the main point is this: it was a condemned bar and Bryan was moving back to Baltimore the very next day. The company I worked for was hiring and I gave him my number under that pretense. But we both knew there was something there, even then.