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Happy Early Birthday Rhonda!

I like to believe that my timing is pretty good.  If I want to be on time, I can be.  This time, though, I’m even a little early.  What am I early for?  I’m early in wishing my partner-in-crime, my fellow blogger and Duranie a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!  Tomorrow is the actual day but Monday’s aren’t my day to blog, typically.  On top of that, I will also be at work for at least 12 hours as I put in a full day and hold four hours of parent-teacher conferences after.  Thus, I’m using my Sunday blogging opportunity to write a little blog, celebrating not only my best friend’s birthday but also to cheer the friendship that we have.

In looking back at a friendship that began in 2004, I recognize that we have shared quite a few emotions and a number of significant events together.  I believe that strong emotions and significant experiences help to solidify friendships so that they can endure the up and down nature of life and relationships.  This blog, then, will attempt to shed light on some of those feelings and events.
Excitement:
One thing is for sure—a lot of our friendship has been fueled by our shared excitement for Duran Duran happenings.  Looking back, this began in December of 2004 when a flurry of phone calls took place surrounding upcoming tour dates supporting the reunion album of Astronaut.  I still recall the feeling of pure joy in calling Rhonda mid-day later that week to report that I indeed was able to acquire VIP tickets for us for the Chicago show in March 2005.  Of course, this type of activity has been repeated countless times since.  The most recent being when the band released the video for Last Night in the City, inspiring repeated viewing and a little video review, which you can see here:

Joy:
In many cases, those feelings of excitement translate to pure joy when the anticipation becomes reality.  For us, over the years, generally, the joy has come from screaming, singing and dancing at a Duran Duran concert.  It might even come when we squee over DoJo.  The first one was in Chicago and the last one was in Chula Vista, California, with shows in between in various locations like  the Northeast, the Southeast and even the UK.
Chula Vista
Chula Vista
 Curiosity:
Of course, our fandom has been more than video releases and concerts.  A lot of our fandom has been about talking, thinking, discussing about all things Duran.  I think of countless examples of times that we have watched or listened to something together.  Last year, for example, we exchanged a series of text messages as the lyrics to different songs on Paper Gods sunk in.  When we really paid attention to the lyrics of Last Night in the City and realized that the words described how we feel on tour, then the album began to take hold.  Years earlier, we viewed the brand new video for All You Need Is Now together, squeed in delight and picked apart the images we loved the most.  Sometimes, our need to discuss take place at strange times like when the video for Girl Panic came out.  I couldn’t wait to talk to Rhonda about how smart the video is so I called her from my classroom during my brief lunch hour.

Worry:
While our friendship has often surrounded fun and good times, we have also experienced moments of extreme worry.  We grieved when Andy left for the second time, for example.  Another instance was when we felt for that we were facing the end of Duran Duran when Simon lost his voice in 2011 and the UK spring tour had to be canceled.  There we were in the UK, having flown for four shows and getting none.  Instead of staying away from all things Duran, we ventured out to the band’s studio where we witnessed Simon explain that he didn’t think he was going to be able to sing followed by John’s look of devastation.  Like others there, we put on a brave face.  Rhonda and I did what was logical.  We went for ice cream to drown our sorrows in dairy and sugar.
Ice Cream makes it all better
We did what any heartbroken American would do. We had ice cream.
 Hard Work:
Unlike almost all of my other friendships, Rhonda and I took a very brave, but risky step to do more than just be friends.  We decided that we would work together.  Sometimes, this decision brought us closer together when we faced challenges and bonded over a shared realized that only we could understand what we experienced.  Other times, we pushed and pulled against each other, wanting to dig in our heels about something or another while at the same time reaching for compromise.  I look back at some of those moments and realize that the push and pull always brought out the best in us even if it wasn’t always easy.  Yet, we weren’t afraid to have those little disagreements, knowing that our foundation as friends was strong.  Clearly, we have worked well together on this blog, with fan events, with a convention and even with writing, despite any and all setback.  Truly, I didn’t just gain a friend but someone that helps me bring out the best in me.
Very proud
Very proud
Fun:
The thing is that a lot of friendship surrounds fun.  Sometimes, our hard work has led us to celebrate.  At other times, it is simply being together that brings fun, whether in person, on the phone or via Skype.  Luckily, many of our in person good times have been at Duran shows.  I won’t lie.  We have held many “all night parties” and enjoyed many “cocktail bars”.  At the end of day, there isn’t much better than having a vodka tonic or two and laughing over some ridiculous quote that one of us had uttered.
Durham drunk
Appreciate:
Looking at all of these emotions that we have experienced together, I also have to appreciate the little moments.  I look back at all the times we were in a car driving to or from a show.  Those moments were filled with listening to Duran while creating what we thought would make a great setlist.  Other little moments that I have enjoyed include going to art museums together, dancing to 80s music at a club, or simply talking or exchanging emails.
Our Paso Robles Setlist
Our Paso Robles Setlist
On this day then I celebrate our friendship and the person, the friend who puts up with me and who has shared all of these emotions with me.  My world would be a lot smaller, a lot less fun and a lot less happy.  On that note, then,  I wish her the happiest of birthdays and many more to follow!  I also hope that all of you wish her a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
-A

Vodka Friday Episode 6: Seizing the Moment

Hey everyone,

It is that time again! After Prince’s death yesterday, we found ourselves pondering regret. Do we have any? Are we happy with where we are and what we’re doing?  We talked about the subject a lot and agreed it was fodder for Vodka Friday at the very least. We encourage everyone – All You Need is Now – and take the opportunity to get out there to see shows and experience the band however you can now, while they’re still around.

So, with that in mind, cheers!!!  (Please excuse Rhonda’s ridiculous attempt to place Davy Jones as a member of The Beatles…she is clearly insane.)

-A & R

Vodka Friday Episode 2 – The Guitarists!

Hey everyone,

Do you know what day it is???

IT’S FRIDAY!

That means it’s Vodka Time!!  Today’s Vodka Friday is all about guitarists. Not gonna lie, it gets a little loud, and we let the opinions spew forth.

Again the disclaimer – if you don’t like laughing and you have no sense of humor, you’re not gonna like what you see and hear. We tear it all apart: The good, The Bad, and the Warren.  No holds barred!

Enjoy and happy weekend!!

 

 

With You My Friend

So…I’m sitting in Amanda’s living room right now.  I arrived here yesterday afternoon after what felt like a long day of travel, probably because by the time I’d arrived here I had a migraine and was starving.  Gotta say, it’s nice to be Daily Duranie together in the same room for a change…and once again I put out a plea to my husband to please move us back to the Illinois/Wisconsin area.

Last night was spent reacquainting ourselves with our muse(s), in the form of bonding over a bottle of wine and laughing (I mean watching…just watching…) the band in some video footage we have from our last few “tours”.  Well, the band was touring. We were just following, I guess.  We also laughed at ourselves, because unbeknownst to all of you, Amanda and I take the time during each of our “field trips” to see the band in order to record our thoughts. We call these moments “Press Conferences”.  They aren’t open to the public (although we have definitely had them in public areas, and they are definitely not items we’ll be sharing on the blog any time soon. Or ever, really.  During these conferences, we talk about what we liked, didn’t like, or as was the case in May of 2011… they serve as therapy.  We laughed as we watched how far we’d really come since those days, and yet many things haven’t really changed. That saying, “The more things change, the more things stay the same”??  It applies.

I suppose that to a large extent, this blog is a natural, more public (and sometimes kinder) extension of those press conferences. This is where we share our thoughts, feelings and ideas.  Yes, we’re outspoken, but we also love this band beyond measure. That’s the one constant, and that’s the reason we keep going.

This week we plan to lock ourselves in here and work to finish book proposals that should have been done months ago.  We’re also likely to do quite a bit of laughing and cursing at this beloved band.  When it comes down to it, the friendship Amanda and I share is a direct result of being fans of this band. That friendship fuels the fire that keeps this blog going, even what the two of us openly refer to as “The Sahara Desert” of time between albums.  That friendship has taken a back seat many times to whatever work we’re doing at the time, and it’s nice to have a week together. While we’re absolutely working (I am not leaving until the proposals are done, and yet my husband is pretty insistent that I be on a plane back home to Orange County next Tuesday night), we’re also nurturing our friendship for a change. No shows, no driving at “stupid o’clock in the morning” to get to the next show, no staying out all night to catch a glimpse of a band member or two at a bar after the show.  It’s just us.

-R

PS – send vodka.  I believe there might be a shortage by Friday!!!