Wednesday, September 23, 2009

U2 Review and Various Other Things

Sorry for the hiatus. I started a new job and all, so I've been trying to get things up and running there. Anyway, I'd love to say I'll blog more often (I always think that when I come back from a little time away) but I will just skip that for now.

Monday night R and I went to see U2 in concert at Gillette Stadium.

The good: It was an awesome show-I had goosebumps at times, and not from the rather chilly wind. The set list was fantastic: a great mix of old and new stuff. Sunday Bloody Sunday, Mysterious Ways, One, Where the Streets Have No Name, City of Blinding Lights, and Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For were probably my faves of the show. Vertigo also came off quite nicely. They opened with Magnificent (from the new album) which I love but I will explain more about why that wasn't a favorite below. The staging was pretty monumental too. We were way up in the nosebleed seats (about 15 rows from the very top of the stadium) so we weren't in the thick of things (unfortunately) but you could see the screens and stuff pretty well. At one point R did say, though, that if it weren't for the screens he wouldn't have known there was anyone on stage. Sorry, yo. I am too poor to afford better tickets. The tribute to Aung San Suu Kii (the nonviolent political leader from Myanmar who's been under house arrest for the past two decades) was really gutwrenching--they sang Walk On for that one. I'm guessing that particular date might have some significance but I don't know what it is. Anyway all in all I'm so glad I was able to go. I've wanted to see U2 live for a long time...hopefully I can get better seats next time!

The less good: Traffic. I know this is always an issue with concerts. I've been to my fair share of big events, and I know it's something you have to deal with. HOWEVER-there IS a train station in Foxborough that the MBTA only runs on Patriot game days even though it would severely lessen the strain on traffic if they ran it for weekday concerts like U2. R and I spent more time getting to and from the venue than we did actually at the concert. We missed the opening act (Snow Patrol; would have liked to have seen it but I knew we would miss it because R gets off work late and we even left an hour before he normally gets off!) and didn't get home until 2 AM, only to have to get up at 6 the next morning to drive back to work. Boo. But we did manage to park somewhere 10 dollars cheaper, so that was nice. Also, the echo effect from the upper deck was horrendous. I wish I'd taken ear plugs (I always say this at concerts) as that would have cleared up the sounds and made the music more enjoyable. I could barely tell what Bono was saying when he spoke to the crowd. It was rather ridiculous, but I guess you get what you pay for. Speaking of which, the upper deck was also kinda crappy energy-wise. We were sitting for all of the show (I wasn't going to be the one person to stand up who made everyone behind me stand up because they couldn't see) and so the energy you could see from the field was obviously not radiating upwards. I think Magnificent kind of flopped for me because no one really seemed into it. Yet another reason to pay extra for better seats! My last gripe: the Euro-Latino weird techno rock-y version of I Know I'll Go Crazy (If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight). It's a great song but the version they did was just weird. But I did get a cool hat (for 30 dollars).

So YAY for U2!

In other news, I'm doing PhD apps. I've been reading stuff by the professors with whom I want to work, and tomorrow I'm going to work on outlining my personal statements as well as reading a few things to beef up my writing sample. I'm applying to 9 programs in all (as of no, 1 or 2 may drop out because I just can't figure out a way to make them fit) and I've been in contact this year with folks from 2 school...and I was in contact with several people from different schools last year but I'm assuming alot of the same info is the same. Interestingly enough, BC is looking better and better. There are 3 early modernists in the history department and all 3 have been in touch with me. Hopefully I'll be going for a visit sometime in the next month. The level of...cordiality? Collegiality? Seems really great. One even said she'd be more than happy to serve on my dissertation committee and that I'm welcome to say that in my application. And I have a meeting on Oct. 1 with another potential professor at HDS. I was at Yale last week to speak with someone so yeah. That's good. I just need to finalize recommenders (I've got two of three...debating on the 3rd right now) and that nitty gritty work will be done. Then it's on to the applications! I'm applying to more history programs than any thing else (again) this year. I think it's something like 6 or 7 history depts. and 2 or 3 theology places (can't think of them off the top of my head at the moment).

The job has been going pretty well. I've gotten a really great reception at the church and everyone seems on board with what I'm doing (so far). I preached this past Sunday...the sermon is on the parish website (which you can figure out what it is on my facebook profile...I'm trying to be relatively anonymous on the blog about where I work so random people can't figure it out) and it got a good response. Yay! And this Saturday is the first youth group meeting...AND it looks like I'm going to be putting together a U2charist (a service with entirely U2 music that's dedicated to fighting global poverty...I did one in Louisville in 2006) at this parish. Yeehaw! Hopefully I'll know more about my priestly ordination date sometime soon. I emailed the diocese today but haven't heard anything. Who knows how long that will take!

Beyond that I'm trying to get over the cold I had last weekend. I have been feeling better but today the pressure in my head has been weird. I think it's because the weather has been kinda weird around these parts, so my left ear and right sinus have been off. Ew. And R is sick (he blames U2) so no fun.

Leaves are changing and fall is on the way. It sucks because winter will be here too soon but it makes the drive into work really pretty. I'll try to take pictures and post them for you non-New England folks to see what the fuss is apparently about (I don't think it's any better than back home but whatever).

Alright our kittens are begging for attention so I should go. Hopefully I'll be back on board this blog this time!

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