My trip to Manchester (UK)

Much has happened in my life in the last few months. Ive moved back to my home town in Germany and had another baby (Dean Alexander was born august 26th 2010) but thats a story or several) for another post. today I wanna share with you the events of october 27th/28th, when I flew to Manchester to see Avenged Sevenfold and hang out with my awesome online friend Kate.

Soooo.... where do I begin?

I got up at 3.30 am, breastfed little Dean, put him in my bed because Ifigured he would sleep better if he could still smell me even though Im gone, quietly brought the baby monitor to my mom so she would hear when he woke up (I later found out he slept till well past 9 am after I left lol).
So I grabbed my stuff, downed 2 mugs of instant coffee and then my dad took me to the airport, which is only about 10 minutes from my house. I may live in a tiny town that has a bakery, a butcher and 3 small grocery stores and little else, but we do have an international airport :)
unfortunately said airport only has flights to london, not manchester, so I had to fly to munich first, then from there to manchester. the flights were short and uneventful. An hour to munich and then 2 hours to MAN.
No need to bore you with the details.
When I got to Manchester, the first thing I had to do was go to the bathroom and pump milk, which I had to do ever 2-4 hours during the whole trip, which was a giant pain in the ass, but well worth the effort to be able to see Avenged Sevenfold :D
I cant put into words the relief I felt when I saw Kate waiting for me at the airport. I had been a little worried that she would turn out to either not exist, or be some fat creep that lives in his moms basement and getting a huge laugh at the thought of me standing at manchester airport like a lost puppy. So once I saw Kate, I really wasnt worried about much else anymore :)
We took the train into manchester, went to have a coffee and some lunch at a place called afflecks or something like that, where I had a grilled cheese type samich with mushrooms. it was delicious. I also almost threw my passport into the trashcan there when I was getting rid of some newspapers I had in my bag from the flight. Thankfully I missed the trashcn with the last one and when it hit the floor, my passport slid out. whew! that could have been a disaster!
Our original plan was to meet up with 2 more people and leave all our stuff in their car, but they couldnt come, so we had to take a tram to kates dads house (and walk about 30 minutes) to drop off our stuff and get ready for the show.
first however, we scared the crap out of Kate's little sister georgia, by standing in the driveway talking, but she could only see me so she freaked out because there was some strange chick standing in her driveway... lol (She is 12)
Before we went to queue in front of the venue, we stopped at a little bar and had a few drinks and the most digustig burger ive ever had.
I had to pump milk one more time before we could get in line, but then the fun could finally start. and by fun I mean standing in line for over 3 hours in the freezing cold. without a jacket. but honestly, I was so excited, I couldnt sit still anyway (or stand) so my constant moving, fidgeting, jumping and dancing kept me pretty warm. In the whole crowd, I saw about 1000+ A7X shirts, hoodies, etc and..... about 4 stone sour ones lol. It was pretty clear what most of those kids had come for. And it sure as hell wasnt "Hellyeah".
Kate had called her friend Rachael who had been wanting to go to the show but unfortunatly didnt get a ticket in time, who was absolutely stoked to get the chance to go to the show at the last minute. Since we had 2 extra tickets, she also brought her twin brother Stevie with her.
I knew Rachael from the LPMB and facebook, so it was totally great to meet another online friend :)
We were pretty close to the doors, so when they finally opened we got in pretty quickly, unfortunately, once again, I had to go to the bathroom to pump milk first, otherwise we would have probably gotten much better spots. But we were pretty close to the stage, on the right side, only a few feet away from where Syn Gates would be standing. We only had to suffer through "hellyeah's" performance, which was worse than I expected and didnt go by as quickly as I would have liked.
When they finally vacated the stage, you could feel the excitement in the crowd. just watching the crew set up the stage for the band had people cheering, pushing and shoving and just generaly going nuts.
The backdrop was amazing, it was a giant version of the album cover, with cemetary gates and pillars with skulls on them

The drumset was still covered when the lights went out and the crowd first cheered and went nuts and then went very quiet when "sound of silence" by simon and garfunkel started playing. it was a serious goosebump moment.

A shiver just ran down my back while writing and reliving this moment. Thankfully my Son came and put a hat on me so I dont get cold :)

when the song ended, someone ran onto the stage and pulle the cover off the drumkit. Im not a hundred percent sure what happened next, because the crowd went so wild that I had to focus on not being thrown to the ground, or worse, pushed back ;)
The next time I managed to look at the stage, all the members of the band had already taken their positions (M. shadows in the middle, J.C. and Zacky on the left, Syn Gates on the right and Mike Portnoy behind the drums)
As I expected, they started off with "Nightmare" which I must say is a song you HAVE to hear live. its nice on the CD and all, but I think live is how this song is meant to be enjoyed. It was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!
The next song was "critical acclaim" which as you may know, has parts sung by the late Jimmy Sullivan (The Rev) so when his voice came blasting from the speakers, all the members of the band (that I could see anyway) pointed up towards the sky, as if to say Jimmy is singing this from heaven. it was one of those moments, you had to be there to understand the awesomeness and significance.

and now I have to make lunch for my kid. I will have to write the rest later tonight, but Im publishing this first half now so you guys can be jealous ;)

(my spellcheck is in german so not working, forgive me my typos and the lack of capitalization, Im lazy that way)


Welcome Home pt 1

SO! I made it back in one piece! I'm so proud of me lol. im sure you wanna hear all about my trip! (if you dont, then TOO BAD! I'm gonna write about it anyway! Ha!)
where do i start...? Oh i know! Let's be all crazy and actually start at the beginning!

Tuesday afternoon, after much stress and lots of digging through different laundry containers, kitchen cabinets and toy boxes, i finally managed to drop off little Lee at my moms place. of course there was no parking on what must be the smallest street in this particular ghetto, uh, i mean neighborhood, so my hubby had to leave and come back several times while i unloaded all of the kids stuff. our goodbye was rather short, since i had to hurry to get back to the car and my son had absolutely no interest in paying attention to the person he spends EVERY DAY with. so no hugs and only a nonconsensual kiss lol.
i spent the rest of the night packing.

next day (wednesday the 22nd) i got up at... way too early, like 5 am i think, had enough time to brush my hair and teeth and get my tired butt in the car to be taken to the airport by my hubby. due to difficulties with the car, he oucldnt go very fast, so the trip that should have taken 45 minutes, took almost twice as long.
at the airport everything went smoothly, i was one of the first on the plane and had the great pleasure of being in the very first row, with noone beside me and my own little tv screen where i could choose what i wanted to watch. at first i burried myself in my copy of "the official autobiography of Charles Darwin" wich is quite the interesting read, considering it was written by none other than Mr Darwin himself, but after an hour or 2, the tv screen became to tempting and i put down my book in favor of "thecurious case of benjamin button" which was awesome, and then an episode of: supernatural, the big bang theory, how i met your mother and house.
eventually (10 hours and 35 minutes later) i landed in atlanta. quick as i am, i was the first one of the plane (being seated by the door helped too) and instead of heading straight for the front of the passport/customs line, i headed straight to the bathroom lol. i still managed to get in line before it got too long and got through without and issue. the customs agent asked me if i was from austria because of my haircolor, wich really threw me off (really? really bad red dye jobs are a sign of being austrian? despite the GERMAN passport? thats good to know)
i managed not to get lost in atlanta, wich according to some is qiute a feat....lol
so then i got to wait around for 2 hours to get on my plane to lexington/frankfort (i went from frankfurt to frankfort...interesting) wich i spent looking for a little gift to give to my friends kids, i bought them each a little panda bear for 5 bucks a piece, wich they ended up loving nearly as much as the dogs did.
the flight to leington was pretty short, less than an hour if i remember correctly, so i read a little more while listeing to music (shinedown "sound of madness") but mostly i was just looking out the window enjoying the view, trying to guess where i was.
arriving in lexington, i got my bag fairly qickly and went outside to wait for my friend to pick me up...and waited and waited. My first impression? DAMN this Kentucky place is COLD!!!
about 30 minutes later (an hour after she SHOULD have been there) madam decides to make an appearance. so i get my first ever hug from my (almost 5 year old) goddaughter Lorena and her (3 year old) sister Ella and i also get to meet little (15 month old) Valerie. all cute as can be. we make our way to Maria's minivan, wich isnt far away, thanks to the miniscule size of the airport. its an hours drive from lexington to the beautiful little town of somerset and I'm starving (airplane food = yuck) so we stop by McDonalds for some nuggets and a caramel iced coffee or some such thing. FINALLY we get to maria's house, walk in the door and get jumped by her 3 dogs. leading the pack is he tiny white poodle Henry who resembles a rat more than dog since maria had to start shaving him, closely followed by black lab mix duke (who weighs about 100 lbs) and dalmation mix Charlie, who is only slightly smaller than Duke. we spent the rest of the evening watching her kids dance in front of the tv and just talking about anything and everything. i spent the night on a giant airmatress in the living room.

and here i must leave you for tonight as it is 1 am and im still a bit jet lagged so i need to get to bed soon. i shall continue this story tomorrow (i shall try to spare you some of the boring details then, but i cant promise anything) sorry if there's alot of typos, im to lazy to correct them and the spellcheck aint working.


Here it goes, here it goes again

i stopped blogging, because, aside from the fact that i had little to nothing to say, i also felt that the little bit i did say wasnt being read by anyone. But now, i have decided that maybe i do have a thing or two to say. and if noone reads it, then its still good writing exercise for me.
now for this initial post i have no real subject other than: I'm back beetches!
i shall try to be more motivated from now on.

so, a little update on my recent activities:
alot has changed since my last blog. my husband has returned from iraq and we are a real family again, Lee is now 22 months old, walking, running, talking, dancing, counting, and many other fun things people his age like to do. right now he is "reading" a book, sitting there and just naming everything he recognizes, his favorite new words of this evening are "boot" (boat) and "banas" (bananas) he also just pointed out to me that his bunnie's pants are blue and the gras is gween. i suppose i dont need to mention that im INCREDIBLY proud. oh yeah, not to mention the fact that he can now recognize every letter of the alphabet but D (he calls it B i think thats cuz it sounds the same to him). but enough bragging, lets get on with the update.

on wednesday I am flying to the US to visit my friend Maria and her 3 little girls. not only because i wanna visit her, but also because i am convinced that i will NOT get across the border. (if anyone here knows a bit about US visas and the likes, feel free to share your thoughts)
this whole trip is scaring the crap out of me, if i dont get through customs and get sent home, i will spend 16+ hours on a plane, wich is probably not very good for my knees ( i cant even sit for 10 minutes without them starting to hurt) and of course if ths happens it'll lead to a whole bunch of new issues like, where am i gonna live when hubby has to go back to the US, will i still be command sponsored, will they let hubby come back here after he's done with his class. *rubs forehead* gawd i really dont wanna think about it. oh yeah not to mention the fact that if i am deemed "inadmissable" there is a good chance i wont be allowed unto the US for 3-5 years, and i dont know if i can get a greencard (for wich i am eligible, it just takes too damn long! 6 months to a year, are you serious!?) easily after doing this. all in all, im starting to think it might have been a better idea for me to just stay here and go about it the right (however long and painstaking) way. but now the ticket is bought.
and if they do let me in (wich i dont think will happen) there's still the fact that i will feel terribly guilty for leaving my son with my mother for a week!
gawd i hope im wrong.
oki, now it is time for me to put Lee to bed, dye my hair (an exciting, slightly different shade of red lol) and do lots of laundry so everyone will have something to wear while im gone.
i bid you toodles.


Mike Shinoda's Glorious Excess (born) pictures!

hey everyone, as most of you know, im a huge fan of Linkin Park and Mike Shinoda. i hope that by now i have talked about him enough for everyone to know that he just had the first half of a two "piece" artshow, called "Glorious Excess (born)" at the Japanese American national museum in LA. the show closes tomorrow so if you live in or near LA, do yourself a favor and check it out, NOW! lol
kind person that he is, Mike Shinoda decided to post pictures of his artworks on his blog www.mikeshinoda.com for all of his fans all over the world that couldnt go and see the show (like me!).
and because i think his art is absolutely amazing, i have decided to advertise a bit for him.
so here are the pictures he posted, and if you are interested in purchasing some merchandise from the show (if theres any left) check out http://bandmerch.seenon.com/index.php?v=mikeshinoda
all proceeds from the sale of the merchandise (and also the DC remix shoes he designed, you will find lots of info on these on his blog) will go to the Michael K. Shinoda Endowed Scholarship.
i hope you guys enjoy the pics as much as i do!
this is the super talented Mike Shinoda in front of "Icon"


Icon detail

"Song" (one of my favs)

"Song" detail


"Women" detail


"Wine" detail

"STUDY FOR SxDxR&R" (also a fav of mine, despite the name....)

"STUDY FOR SxDxR&R" detail


"SMOKING" detail


"NEW MAN" detail


"MUGSHOT" detail

if you like the art and wanna know more about it, go check out Mike Shinoda's blog, he's got tons of links to articles about his artshow.
i would love to write more, like maybe actually give an update on my own life...but im really busy right now. i'll be visiting my dad for the next 2 weeks, so i'll be in my hometown for the first time in 6 years. dont worry, my best friend (the laptop) is coming with me, so i'll be in touch.
if i have the time i will write a detailed update on whats been going on with me in the next few days. dont hold your breath tho...:D


infoMania 07.31.08

something i came across a few weeks ago and im now completely hooked on. check out current.com for lots of news, politics, culture and other stuff. i heart connor and brett (and sarah, ben and sergio). IM A BEAR PUT YOUR HEAD IN MY MOUTH!


hurting a bit....

its funny, a few years ago, i heard this song and for the life of me, i couldn't relate to it, i didn't pay much attention but i thought it was just about the "singer"
today, i was looking for a song on youtube because i heard it was good and i stumbled upon the other song again. and because i now have ALOT more respect for said singer and i read somewhere that he dedicated this to his wife (im a sucker for that kind of thing) i listened to it again. i didnt even make it through the first verse without LITERALLY starting to cry (something i dont do much AT ALL) in this song, the singer (actually, i should say rapper, but i dont wanna...lol) talks about how it is to be missing someone and, i sure know how that feels, dont i? Lee has been gone for 1 year 1 week and 6 days, i dont have to mention all that he's missed, our son took his first steps a few days ago and his father had to ask for a PICTURE of it. its been hard for both of us.
i came to the realization that, every once in a while, it is ok for me to cry. what's sad is that, someone had to write a song about it for me to get it. but i guess it feels good to know that im not the only one dealing with this.
when i first heard this song, i remember i was in Spring Lake (NC, right near ft. bragg) at the "Rhino" (video game store, aka my second home during that time)
and my husband was deployed. that deployment was very hard on our relationship. i guess i was too young to deal with it. i don't wanna get into too much, lets just say that things went pretty bad and it almost ended our marriage. it took us almost a year to recover from it and we might not ever have recovered from it if i hadn't gotten pregnant, which really changed EVERYTHING (in a good way) anyway,i just wanna say that i love my husband and i miss him a lot.
i wish i was better at showing it. most people think i don't care, that i don't hurt inside. even that im cold. thats not true. i hurt. i just cant show it well and to be honest, i dont wanna feel it. so pretend that i dont.
hearing this song, tore down this wall with just these simple words:
it's hard to be away from each other. it's hard.

forgive the emotional outpour, i just needed to say this.
thanks for reading.


water in the basement......

took me a bit to find the time to write this.... lemme tell you about the probably wettest week of my life (excluding the time i flooded my kitchen almost every day because my washer broke, but thats a whole other story...)
sunday night, i put little stinker too bed. all was quiet and it started to rain outside so i thought to myself, better get the plug on that pipe that the water from the washer drains into... so i did that. i was getting ready for a nice evening of practicing my drawing, working on my basement and listening to (very) loud music. just burned a mixed CD with some old demos and B-saide tracks from LP, plus some of my favorite songs. got done carrying lots of stuff downstairs (like 4 trips up and down including my laptop) and on my final trip, the last step off the stairs, i step in (you guessed it) 1/2 inch of water. i can hear the water rushing out of the pipe in the other room over my music. FUCK. so i run and try to close the damn thing again, unfortunatly the plug got blown out of the pipe and was somewher behind the washer or dryer, which at this point were standing in almost a foot of water. FUCK. so what do i do...?i panic of course....lol
well, no actually i called my mom. she says, turn off the power in the basement. me: "i would love to, unfortunatly i dont know WHERE to turn it off. the only power switches i know of in this house are upstairs and those only work up there. she says, call 911 (german equivalent anyway, you get the point) me: why dont you do that while i try to find a way to close that fucking pipe. she says, whats the number 115, right? WHHHAAAATTT???? its 112 EVERYONE knows that. theres no such thing as 115. anyway, i go down and stuff a towel in the pipe (it helped, plus the rain was stopping so the water was slowing down anyway) 3 minutes later, she calls me back and says the firefighters are on their way. (this was around 7 or 8 pm btw) so a few minutes later they show up. at some point before this my brother came by to "help" but since he is absolutley no help whatsoever, his presence is hardly worth mentioning (he did fix my laptop, only took him 3 months) anyway, theres like 12 guys in my house, ranging from 15 to old. one was cute but i only saw him for a second. they pupmed the water out of the basement which took forever (i could have done it with a freaking bucket in the same amount of time, not to mention with 12 guys and a freaking fire engine....) so they are done, they leave and i have a huge mess to clean up. it sucked and i dont really feel like reliving it right now, i did make a video the next day, after i had already rescued alot of the stuff in there.

basement from bianca long on Vimeo.

i didnt speak on the video becuase i might need it for my insurance so i wasnt sure if i should speak english or german so i opted for neither. short explanation, the first room didnt get flooded too badly (1 1/2 inches maybe) and all the stuff on the bed is what i rescued from the other room. then in the next room, the stuff on the ironing board is stuff that got wet that im still hoping to be able to salvage when it dries. the stuff in the middle is all ruined. the stereo made a really funny bubbling noise before, cant hear it too well on the video tho. the stuff on the left i havent worked my way throu yet anmd at the end, that hose behind the washer, thats what caused the flooding. it rained so hard that the water dirty (nasty, stinky) water came back the other way. there was a lid on it, but the pressure was so high that it got blown off.

(the above description is what i posted when i posted the video on MM)
anyway,tuesday morning a frind of mine from my FRG (family readiness group) came by and helped me get the rest of the stuff out and put it in the garage for now (thank you Sean!). well, by helping i mean, he did it and i watched Lee and made coffee. there really wasnt that much left to get out anyway.
since then i cleaned it all up, repacked some of the stuff and its looking much better. unfortunatly i had to take the carpet out of "my" room, which means the music doesnt get "absorbed" as well but it was still wet and starting to smell, so i cut it in 2 halves and brought it upstairs. its currently drying in the driveway...lol (its 11 pm).i also have to keep the windows open to let the moisture escape, so no loud music for me. well until today that is. i NEEDED to "relax" (yes, i find singing alond to extremely loud music while playing POGO relaxing) so i shut the windows, so i shut the windows and doors, brought my laptop (aka my best friend) and a shit-ton of candles down here. im hoping that this will A) dry up the air so the walls can dry and B) warm up the place cuz im FREEZING...lol
tomorrow my landlord is coming by and we'll figure insurance issues and stuff.
and on a more positive note, i recieved some stuff in the mail today and yesterday. today i got stuff i ordered from EMP.de (its a metal thing) which included some LP and rolling stones buttons for my purse (reliveing teenage times lol) a cute shirt for my son that i will take a pic of later and post here.


a shirt for myself (i might even post a pic of that, dunno yet)

AND MY LINKIN PARK POSTER that i NEED for my basement. im thinking of getting a metallica one and maybe Disturbed too, and im DEFINETLY taking down that kitten poster i put up for my mom when she was supposed to use the room (but didnt, only to smoke in, which annoyed me so i claimed it back) anyway (i get sidetracked to easily...) i think that was all that was in this box... oh yeah and i re-added 2 single CDs to my collection. i had these back whe they first came out, but because i moved so much since then, i lost them. ("in the end" and "papercut") but whats MUCH more interesting is what i got in my box yesterday (MMers, see my post in FAD....) from my dear friend Maria, who for some reason thought my wedding anniversary was in june (its august 28) so she bought me something........


and with this, i shall leave you. its late, im tired and FYI, no, i havent tried it out yet...lol