The disco before the breakdown

The day I leave is almost here, and the lead up to that plane ride is getting crazier every day.

Monday night I saw the Bon Iver show at the Sound Academy in Toronto, and it was fantastic. Violins, a trombone, drums, guitars and other musical thingys filled the stage and the entire venue, filling out some songs (ex. Creature Fear) and making them even more incredible. Justin also played some songs on his own, keeping them fragile and soft (ex. Flume). The beginning of the show was marked by several of the songs from his new album played in consecutive order, and his versatile voice was on display throughout with the help of three different microphones. I had chills from the beginning to the end of the show, and couldn’t hold back the tears once or twice. I definitely had one of those moments when you think about how you’ll explain your favorite artists to your grandkids, and I have a feeling they’ll be jealous. Justin Vernon is a star and I don’t see him burning out anytime soon. It isn’t hard to tell when an artist is over their own music, and he definitely didn’t give that vibe. He clearly enjoyed being up there and there were a few solid minutes when I don’t think he opened his eyes once, and it made him even more captivating. The Foo Fighters stage crew was outside the venue, making me think of the possibility of a Dave Grohl/Justin Vernon duet. No such luck, but the show was so beautiful I guess I won’t write an angry letter.

Tuesday night was a mad dash to get last minute things accomplished. I returned my Ipad 2, as it would not connect to the old operating system on my laptop and I was not prepared to pay the fee for an upgrade. Instead, I ordered a refurbished Macbook Air for the same price, and I’m happy with it. I’ll be able to blog as much as I want, and I won’t have to spend too much training to use it (Ipads are kind of confusing). I also researched hotels in Nairobi, which is apparently not an easy task. I wanted something inexpensive, safe, and clean, and finally found one that seems to fit the bill. It’s called the Heron Hotel, and it’ll be a decent place to lay my head for the five days I’m in Nairobi after my safari. Originally, I was going to go on an additional safari, but I decided against it due to costs. Instead, I’ll be taking some day trips and relaxing in the hotel for a few nights.

Tonight I got a call from my Dad while I was at work, and he said my Mom had been in a car accident. Obviously, that is not a nice thing to hear, and I was naturally terrified. Of course, both my Dad’s and my Mom’s cell phones died, so I had no way of contacting them, adding to my panic. It turns out she’s okay though, and it sounds like she just hurt her knee. I still haven’t seen her or talked to her, so I’m still a little stressed out, but it could have been much worse and I’m very thankful.

Tomorrow night, a friend from Ottawa visits, and we will enjoy some dinner and much needed beers. I love my friends and seeing them in the days before I leave feels even more special than usual.

Friday night, my dream comes true. Years ago, someone asked me what group or musician I would choose to see live if I could choose anyone, living or dead. I chose Neutral Milk Hotel with a heavy heart, thinking there was no way that would happen, after almost ten years of no tours, no albums, nothing. While Friday’s show at Trinity St. Paul’s Centre isn’t billed as a Neutral Milk Hotel show, I will finally have the chance to see their elusive front man, Jeff Mangum. I saw two other members of the band at the Elephant 6 show in March, so I’m okay with that. I am so excited it’s all I can think about. I don’t know if he’ll play his old songs, and I don’t even care. The chance to see someone that I’ve dreamed about seeing for so long is enough. My heart is breaking in the best way possible already, and I can only imagine how I’ll react that night. I’m a total fangirl and will react as one. Think the screaming females at the original Beatles shows. The hipsters won’t approve, so maybe I’ll bring some Urban Outfitters gold knuckles or something. Those exist right? I’ll start a trend of overexcited violence. Oh wait, the rioters in London have that covered I guess. Darn.

Anyway, things are starting to happen so fast. It’s almost exactly like the time I went tandem paragliding. The Austrian instructor strapped to my back was screaming “RUN FASTAH FASTAH FAAAAASSTAAHHH,” and my feet could hardly touch the ground so I was doing more of kicking dance move while clenching my fists and grimacing. Right now, my trip is kind of like the edge of that cliff-like hill, and my itinerary is like that paragliding instructor, though less Austrian and way more expensive. My feet are starting to come off the ground, and at this point I’m trying my best to run/dance and look like I’m doing things right.

Almost there!


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