Category Archives: jonas watch

NickJ and the Admin: A New York State of Mind-January 7, 2010

Hannah and I took the Megabus to NYC this morning. If you are going to Manhattan for the day or a few days, you can’t beat it. Reserving the bus in advance on-line and traveling during some of the off hours gives you the best price. Total cost for the two of us $56.50. Add in $8.00 for the metro (subway). (

My daughter, Mary lives in NYC and we come here several times a year. When we arrived today, we hopped on the subways and easily found our stop.

When we emerged from the subway, I had a feeling of familiarity. I stopped and looked around to let it sink in. This is the area I came to several months earlier to buy food for Mary’s wedding. It was a beautiful October day. I had traveled by subway with Mary’s soon-to-be brother-in-law, Santi. He and I had chatted on the subway and the few blocks to the Fairfield Market. It was a great time of getting to know one another.

With grocery list in hand, we had been sent on a mission to find the rest of the food for the 30 gourmet picnic baskets we were all creating back in Mary and Jesse’s New York apartment. One of the bonuses of coming to New York early had been the opportunity to get to know Jesse’s family. I had waves of joy, as I thought back to that day.

Now, I was on another mission with Hannah. I was in search of the hotel and a place to drop off our bags. Hannah in search of the Beacon Theater and to do some Nick Jonas stalking.

I checked in at the hotel into room 705 which happens to be the name of a Jonas Brothers song.

Hannah stayed outside the Beacon Theater until she was rewarded with a photo op with NickJ after six hours of waiting. I spent the afternoon walking and exploring the area. I reflected on the memories and feelings I had from my daughter’s wedding. Then, I discovered new things I hadn’t seen that day. The Italian patriate statues, the architecture of the churches that lined the street to our hotel, Alice’s Tea Shop, and the falafel and hummus sandwich at Cafe 71. This experience deepened the memories of the first visit here and now it had a new richness, a deeper connection and intimacy.

And that is what it was like watching Nick Jonas tonight. I have watched Nick over 70 times in person. Seeing him on the stage of the Beacon Theater had a familiarity, the feeling of having been here before. And it was time to add in a new experience. Kevin Jonas was standing at the side with Mama and Papa Jonas surrounded by friends. Everyone was watching Nick in this intimate venue. Nick has surrounded himself with wise, seasoned musicians to bring his talent and songs to a new level, bassist/producer John Fields, drummer Michael Bland and keyboardist Tommy Barbarella — who both logged time with Prince in the New Power Generation — and guitarist Sonny Thompson.

Before the show began, I had conversations with several young women who had seen the show in Washington, DC, the night before. They were telling me that I wouldn’t recognize him, that he owned the stage and took it to another level. They couldn’t believe he could do this!

As I watched him tonight, I thought that anyone who was surprised that he could do this has not been watching him onstage. As part of the Jonas Brothers, he is the one they look to when there is a glitch onstage. He is the one who starts and ends the songs. He is the one who sits alone on the middle of the stage singing, “A little bit longer,” and “Black keys”, and who delivers a message of inspiration that is so powerful you can feel the audience and the stillness.

Maybe it is because when I watch Nick Jonas, I see one of the great leaders of this generation who inspires people of all ages with his wisdom and words at the age of 17. I see him. I know he brings music and heart to the world right now. He is sharing more of his inner world with us on this tour through his music.

Yes, coming to New York today, I posted the words from the Jay-Z and Alicia Keys song, “An Empire State of Mind: These streets will make you feel brand new, Big lights will inspire you, let’s hear it for New York, New York, New York.”

He left us with his inspiration for this year: 2010- The Year of No Fear. And encouraged us to all join together to heal the world. Once again, NickJ, you inspired us!

USTREAM Show called Open to Inspiration

Last night, I created my first USTREAM show. It is an idea that has been bubbling inside of me since August. I watched Jordin Sparks, the Jonas Brothers, Honor Society, Jason Mraz and Ashton Kutcher’s Football Fantasy on USTREAM over the last few months. The shows were broadcast in living rooms, kitchens, hotel rooms and basements. I was intrigued by the ability to present an idea and interact with people all over the world through Twitter.

I began to feel a “nudge” to have a USTREAM show, but what and why? Other things were happening in my life. The last two months of finishing the sale of my house, my daughter Mary’s wedding in NYC, looking for a home for my cats, moving into my friend Kate’s house for the holidays and preparing for moving out to California.

Over the holidays, Kate, Molly (her daughter), Hannah and I have been creating vision/dream journals. Looking through magazines and daydreaming about the next steps in our lives.

A clear idea came to me this week. Create a USTREAM show called Open to Inspiration and share the 8-step process that came to me during the summer of 2008 while I traveled and blogged.

Let me back up a minute in case you are new to this blog. In the last two years, I have traveled to 70 Jonas Brothers concerts with my teenage daughter, Hannah. It was something we started doing together, two years after her father died. During the summer of 2008, we drove to 15 concerts and had our first summer of blogging. (2009 was 45 concerts)

Last spring, I turned my blogs into a book roughdraft. As I wrote and reflected on that summer, I saw that there was a natural process that emerged. A process I call Open to Inspiration.

Several times a month, I am going to share one of the steps with some tools and ideas of how to practice that step. I have one show posted. The technology and sound will improve as I go along. Here is the link:

Within a few days of each show, I will post a blog with the ideas listed and links. Eight months. Eight steps.

Step 1: Listen to your heart

A Heroes Journey Part I

Here is Part I:

Follow Your Bliss

Joseph Campbell (March 26, 1904 – October 31, 1987) wrote a book called The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949).

His work is summarized with the words, “Follow Your Bliss,” or “The Hero’s Journey.

When I began to share the idea of going to Jonas Brothers concerts with Hannah this summer and the ups and downs of selling my house, several of my friends told me that I was on a Hero’s Journey; the kind of journey Joseph Campbell talked about in his books. I resisted this idea and pushed it away. How could this be a Hero’s journey? I wouldn’t even consider what they were saying. This was Jonas Brothers concerts! This is frivolous, fun, carefree.

Hadn’t I already been on the hero’s journey when my son was born with a congenital heart defect and died 19 months later? Hadn’t I been on this journey when I had an autoimmune condition and fought my way back to health? Hadn’t I been on the hero’s journey with my husband’s illness and death. Come on! How could this be a hero’s journey!

All I can say right now is they were right. When my house didn’t sell and then there were delays, it was a blessing. Finding resources, placing myself in this situation, continuing to follow the guidance of my heart instead of the logic of my head opened me to new ideas, new places, and new experiences. If I had had all of the tickets and hotels and a planned itinerary, I would have missed the true journey of discovery.

If you haven’t heard of Joseph Campbell or the Hero’s Journey, here is a very, very brief description. If you want to know more, here is a link to one summary:

1. Adventure: You are called to an adventure that you resist.

In my situation, I wanted this adventure with my daughter, but when the sale of my house fell through, I resisted. It didn’t make logical sense. It would have been easier for me to deal with illness or death than to allow myself to go an adventure labeled fun.

For someone else, the adventure might call them to get a full-time job, but for me who had a life of responsibility, it was a call to freedom, to release myself from this life and to find a bigger world.

By entering this stage, the person shows their willingness to undergo a metamorphosis, to die to him or herself.”

Going on the summer trip meant I was risking everything. My house, my life, my reputation and opening myself to receive support in a way I had never allowed before. I spent the whole summer “asking and receiving.”

2. Initiation: This is a series of tests or trials that the Hero must go through.

If you have been reading the blogs all summer you have watched us with our money struggles and with the discovery of resources to make it to the end.

There was a point when I arrived in Florida for two concerts in August. As much as I truly love my family, I knew that if I were to stay in Florida with my sister or my parents, it was all over. The learning, the opportunity for a breakthrough had not arrived. I was out of money. I had to find a way to continue. I thought about giving up and staying there with them. It was safe and comfortable. I could have waited for the settlement of my house on Aug 28 and quit this crazy concert thing I was doing.

Under different circumstances I would have loved to hang out in Florida for a few weeks. But, on the hero’s journey, sleeping at a rest stop for several weeks was more desirable. That is where the breakthrough to freedom would happen, not in the womb of childhood. I felt at that time that all I needed was enough money to fill up the gas tank and drive as far as I could, then wait for the house to sell.

At that point, a good friend loaned us $300 and Hannah and I decided to commit to the next three concerts. We had over 1,000 miles to cover for those three concerts. It was a quest at this point that stretched us to find free or really cheap tickets, sleep in the car, and look for free food.

In Atlanta and Nashville, we received free tickets that would have been discarded, and we slept in the car on our way from Atlanta to Lexington, Kentucky. We ate free ice cream for lunch in Nashville at an Honor Society event. A free hotel room in Kentucky. Ask and receive. Ask and receive.

It was after sleeping in the car, as a conscious choice, that I found the deepest level of freedom I have ever felt. I can’t tell you why it happened that way. I only know that I felt it the next morning. As I watched the sunrise that morning, I thought to myself, I can do anything, go anywhere, or be anything I want to be! And it was the feeling of that truth that helped me expand into a fuller person.

3. Return: the return to your life.

We are back in Baltimore. I am writing again from my favorite Panera restaurant in the world. I am sleeping in the one bed that is left in the house. I am asking myself questions.

Is that why the house has not sold? I had to return to the place I have lived and grown for the last 28 years? The challenge at this level is to retain the wisdom and to use it in life without falling into the old patterns.

There are 17 in-depth steps in the Heros journey and I have reduced it to 3 brief sections. There is more exploration for me. It may come to me in a flash or it may come to me 10, 20 years from now.

More thoughts in a few days… The journey continues.

Concert 45: Ottawa, Canada

Concert 45: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
August 31, 2009
We made it!

The last day of the concert tour. We woke up in Toronto at the Hazelden. It is an exclusive, expensive, well-secured hotel in Toronto. A friend gave us the room. This happened three times in the last week. One night we slept in the car and then three amazing hotel rooms from someone who follows the blog. Now, I really felt like a groupie and a roadie. I have not figured out how to tell that part of the story. You may have to wait for the book for these details.

The important part for right now is that we had a hotel room at the Hazelden and it was a gift. Hannah, Rosie and I shared the room.

When we entered the hotel, bedraggled in appearance and with clothes in cloth grocery bags, I guess we looked a little out of place. We didn’t know the location of the elevator, the room and the Do Not Disturb sign was on. The staff walked up with us and led us to the hotel room, questioning us at every turn.

I opened the door with the key, walked in and closed the door behind us. No worries. If they posted someone outside of our door for the night, we never saw them because we did not leave the room until the next morning.

We found out later that the suspicion may have been because JB were still at the hotel. With rows of JB fans outside waiting for a glimpse and our appearance at the hotel, we may have looked like the stalking groupies that we are!

We wanted to get an early start on Aug 31. Our final concert on this summer adventure.

The streets were empty, not quite ready for the busyness of a Monday morning.

On the road to Ottawa, I stopped at Tim Horton’s. I had a Canadian morning routine after four days here. It was a large cup of coffee from Tim Horton’s, a B.E.L.T. (Bacon, Egg, Lettuce, Tomato on a Bagel) and a raisin biscuit for a mid-morning snack. This would keep me going in case we did not have lunch or dinner until late. Hannah and Rosie slept almost the whole way there (5 hours)

I headed to the downtown area of Ottawa. It was the first day we did not have the name of the hotel for the JB band. We missed connecting with our “informant” and Rosie was the only one of us using phone service in Canada. Our connection did not have service either.

As I said, we were headed toward the downtown area of Ottawa when Rob Hoffman, the JB photographer, sent a tweet about looking out his bedroom window and seeing a castle. A clue! This was so much fun! Rosie started tweeting and making phone calls to people she knew.

We looked around and saw three castles. I saw the Westin Hotel next to a castle and started to head that way. A fan tweeted confirmation to Rosie. A group of fans had been outside since yesterday and , “yes,” they had seen the band at the Westin.

JB was still in Toronto and flying in later. More information for why we were escorted to our hotel room the night before.

I dropped Hannah and Rosie off at the Westin Hotel and went in search of parking. Driving around I heard the song, “Tonight’s Going Be a Good Night.” I opened the sunroof, turned up the music and sang it at the top of my lungs. YES! It was time to celebrate. We made it to 45 concerts. I was giddy with joy and amazement!

It took me 30 minutes to find parking. Walked through a flower mart. Eyes wide opened, enjoying this day. With toiletry kit in hand, I walked to the Westin Hotel, found Hannah who directed me to the Mall bathroom. 15 minutes later, I felt refreshed and ready for the concert.
By the time, I put everything in the car, the first JB band bus was pulling away from the curb. Miguel, and Garrett and Ray, three of the Horn players were standing with the girls and I got several pictures.

Time to find the venue again. It was really a night of good-byes. Although the World Tour continues in Europe beginning Oct 31 in Germany, this was the end of the North America tour. We are not sure which bands are going to Europe. I think the band is the same but you never know. Things change so much.

At ScotiaBank Place, the arena in Ottawa, Hannah had the band signing her US/Canada map. I was walking around and around the venue. Not sure what to do with myself on this bright, sunny day. No Verizon Wireless bus with The Wonder Girls and the Honor Roll. No Burger King Apple Fries, No Mike and Ike’s trucks.

I had been saying goodbye since Atlanta. Six concerts ago. First the Verizon Wireless recording studio, then the Mike and Ike staff (James and Sean), then Burger King and the rest of the Verizon staff. Said goodbye to Jordin in Ft. Lauderdale.

The Wonder Girls gave us comp tickets in Ottawa, Hannah and Rosie and me. It was a thank you for all of the times we handed out flyers, showed up to do the dance, wrote about the love we have for them.

After seeing the tickets, we decided to splurge on a front row ticket for Hannah and Rosie bought one for herself. They were good tickets, but they were too far away to interact with the band. They decided to give the comp tickets to someone who had the top seats in the arena. And that was fun to share with a mom and daughter.

In the concert, I sat alone and there was really no one to talk with on that night. I could feel the expectation rising inside of me wanting this to be the best concert ever and the afternoon and the evening felt flat to me.

I was not a part of this inner circle. Hannah had created with the band. I kept my distance to give my daughter the space to have her own experience without her mother tagging along. I am a 52 year old woman who is traveling with the youth. I reflected on how I was feeling out of place this evening. I was thinking that I was in the same place that I started in Dallas.

Then two girls called out to me during the break between Jordin Sparks and the Jonas Brothers . Kelly and Julia. I looked around and realized that yes they were talking to me. I took a picture of them and thanked them for saying hello. They broke my pity party and the melancholy that had been creeping into the evening.

I made a conscious choice in that moment to enjoy the concert. And in that moment, I remembered that it truly is the journey and not the destination. I had flashes of all the amazing things that had shown up this summer. I remembered the moments when I felt connected. I met so many amazing people along the way. I feel like I have a new group of soul sisters: Lauren, Shelly, Susan, Abbie, Jen, Sandy and more. My younger soul sisters are Nicole, Kelley, Hannah, Stephanie and so many, I can’t even think of everyone’s name in this moment. You made the summer such an amazing journey.

And the people who kept me going on this journey, Laura, Karen D., Marty, Shelly, my parents, my aunt and uncle, Christina, Christine, Patty, Rob and more…

You all touched me along the way with your hearts and your support and encouragement.

With that transition, I appreciated every Jonas Brothers song, prank and dance move. I sang and danced until my feet hurt and my voice was hoarse. (Thanks Kelly and Julia!)

(Hannah will blog about this but here were some of the pranks:

-Jordin’s whole band coming on stage and doing the Honor Roll during the last Honor Society song
-Rachel and Leah, back-up singers for Jordin had a pretend fight scene during SOS and chased each other all over the stage (this was the funniest moment for me)
-Tape with some words on the back of Jordin’s dress
-Kevin’s piano on the stage was a miniature and he sat down and played it
-Nick reading signs to himself and not out loud.
-The whole crew coming on stage at the end with shirts about Big Rob Being For Real)

At the end of the evening, I danced in the aisle by the Wonder Girls during their meet and greet lines. They know me as Mama, the affectionate name they call me. I was embraced by all of them and by Woo and Moon and David and Hanna. It had been a wild ride for all of us.

I am not the same as when I started. Anytime you climb a mountain to reach a goal, something inside of you shifts. I will write about the Heroes Journey this weekend and give you a few more details.

(More blogs about specific concerts next week)

More to come…

Lake Michigan at Sleeping Bear Dunes. Last stop before we headed back to Baltimore.

Hannah and I arrived back in Baltimore, Maryland late last night!

The car is so dirty, I was asking a few people if you can powerwash the inside of the car! I have cleaned it four times since June 16, but this is the worst. Who knows what is hidden under some seat, creating that smell!! I am determined to find it later today.

Even with bill paying on-line, the mail is piled high. I have a contract on the house and we are in the process of working out the settlement date. I am cleaning out the last of the closets and the storage unit. Still need to find a home for my two cats, Cooper, age 15 and Playful, age 8. Life and all of the details.

In the next two months, Hannah and I are going to post blogs about the concerts and the summer journey. We are also going to post questions we have about Europe, like the best way to get from one city to another. Or things we should know before coming. Or what would YOU like to know when we are in Europe?

All I know about the possibility of going to Europe is that we would like to do this. You have been a part of leading us down this path. We want you involved with the details. It is a journey we want to take with you by blogging, answering your questions, and creating vlogs and videos of the concerts. We will share the journey of selling our house, finding sponsors and advertisers, and going to the 16 concerts in Europe.

Two months ago, I had enough money in my pocket to go to three concerts-Dallas, Tulsa and Denver. And somehow, one step at a time we made it to 45!

The inspiration of a dream happens one step at a time and right now the dream is to continue this journey in Europe. We want to share this from a fan’s perspective and want you all to be a part of it. (I have Jordin Sparks song playing in my head right now. One step at a time, there’s no need to rush, it’s like learning to fly and falling in love… Now switching to the Jonas Brothers song, Fly With Me…)

During Sept and Oct, I will be posting 3-4 things per week. A blog, pics, videos. The best way to get all of the information is to SUBSCRIBE to the different accounts: (Andrea) (Hannah)

If you have questions about any of these, write them in the comments and I will answer your questions.

Looking forward to our continued journey

Concert 42 – Cleveland, Ohio The Alchemist

Concert 42
Cleveland Ohio
August 27, 2009

Interested in sponsoring our trip to Europe? Contact Andrea:


I am in “rock star” love with Mike Bedard, the drummer and music director in Jordin Sparks Band. Mike is 34 and has been touring with bands since he was 14 years old.

More on Mike and our spontaneous conversation in a minute.

We drove from Columbus to Cleveland last night. I wanted to sleep in a bed, take a shower, and be close to the venue. I was so tired that I pulled over to sleep for 15 minutes. Somehow after 5 minutes I was wide awake and ready to drive. The coffee I bought at McDonald’s was still too hot to drink. Eventually, drank the coffee, drove to Cleveland, and found the hotel easily. Arrived at the hotel around 3am.

The day was a cloudy, rainy day. The weather had changed and it felt like fall was coming. It was the kind of weather that lets you know the summer is over. Gather your acorns. Get out the winter clothes. Chop the wood for the fire. Simmer a hearty soup on the stove.

It felt like things were coming to a close today. This was the last concert in the United States. Jordin Sparks has started to tour with Britney Spears and tonight was her last concert. (Found out later that she will be in Toronto and Ottawa)

I was sitting in the mall next to the Ritz Carlton. Groups of teens were trying to find ways to spot the Jonas Brothers. I had already passed Kevin Jonas on the street with his bodyguard and the little dog that he and Danielle have together. I was driving around the corner to enter the parking garage. Very little traffic on the road. I stopped and rolled down my window to tell him that tonight was the 42nd concert for us this summer. He said, “Thank you.” Another one of my ungraceful stalking, star struck moments.

Now at the mall, I sat at a table finishing a blog about California. Looking for the words to describe other concerts, too. Looking around me at the words that pop out from signs in the store windows. One of my favorite things to do. Look at the words, songs, and people who cross my path.

I checked some Facebook messages and this one popped out at me: It was from Raphael Araujo, from Toronto: Life is not about what you can do. It’s really about what you can BECOME. Spread your wings and FLY!

In the mall, the words that pop out at me are: Love All, Serve All. Celebrate. The quote from Raphael and the words from the wall bring me into a deeper place of reflection.

I sit here asking myself questions. Some days I ask myself questions like: why am I sitting at the mall? Or why am I going to 45 concerts? Or the biggest why, Why am I alive and what have I come to do, to be, to experience?

Today that is the question: Why am I alive and what have I come to do, to be, to experience? I roll around the words: Love All, Serve All.

Walking by my table, as I write are Garbo, Caroline, Ryan, Christa, all members of the JB band. I say something to Caroline and then see that she is on the phone. She smiles and waves. I say, “Hi” to Garbo and Ryan. They smile and nod. They pause, as if I look familiar but the quizzical looks on their faces tell me they are not quite sure who I am.

Christa Black is the amazing string player who is writing a blog this summer about her life and her thoughts She walks by my table on the level below. Sunglasses, hair pulled back, earphones connected to an IPod.

10 minutes later she passed my table and I decided that it was now or never. This may be the last time I am close enough to thank her for the summer. I want to thank her for her music that stirs my soul, for the impact she is having on my daughter, Hannah. She listens, nods, lets me know she understands, thanks me and then continues to walk around the mall to wake up. Just enough time for me to really feel a moment in time connection with her.

After talking with Christa, I thought for a minute about why I need to say anything to her or anyone in the band. Why should they care? I don’t want to bother them. I don’t want to interrupt a moment of silence or privacy. And then I think of you, the readers, the travelers along our road and all of the Jonas Brothers fans. It warms my heart when we talk. I am so disappointed when I read that you didn’t want to bother me. The interactions with each of you has been special and precious. Yes, take the time to share the journey with the members of the band and with Hannah and me and with anyone else who moves you.

At the arena in Cleveland, I walked quietly along the path. I took pictures of the last venue that will have all of the sponsors I have traveled with for over two months. Summer camp is really over here for the sponsors and all of the people who have traveled and worked since June. Some will take a break and then continue with a different band, some will go back to college and others will look for another job. The memories of dancing, playing, connecting and evolving this summer linger in my mind.

About 25 feet from me, I saw Mike Bedard, the drummer for Jordin Sparks. I thought that this was his last concert on the tour. I did not want to waste the opportunity to tell him how much I enjoyed his performance this summer. I was expecting this to be quick. I didn’t want to take up his time. I was sure that he had some reason to go inside and get ready for the show. It was 4pm.

I told him that the journey began as a way of connecting to my daughter after my husband died. He stopped, said he was sorry and then hugged me. I big ole bear hug. Wow. I haven’t had anyone react that way ever. He wants to hear more of my story. At one point, he asked if I had read the book, The Alchemist. I said, Yes. Actually I read it last summer and really connected with the book after going to 15 Jonas Brothers concerts. I felt I had been on a healing journey.

Here I was talking to Mike Bedard and we were relating to the moments we all have of coming to the edge of the cliff and taking a step. Not sure why we are called to the journey and yet, knowing that there is something for us here. We talked for about an hour. The production manager, Mike Schaeffer (?), not sure if that is his last name, was also there, nodding and understanding.

It was so unexpected to have this moment of deeper reflection about the journey of concerts this summer. He was amazing and interested and supportive and a deep thinker. It was so cool!

It was time for them to go and Mike S said something about, did I have tickets? I said no, not yet. He looked shocked, said, hold on, made a phone call and turned to me. Got my phone number and said he would call in 30 minutes. An hour later, Mike, the drummer came outside with two comp tickets. (Just as aside, comp tickets are usually gone by this time of day. I know for a fact that in LA, one of the band members could not even get tickets for his MOM! This was a miracle!

The show was phenomenal. It was one of the highlights of the trip. I am in “rock star” love with Mike Bedard. The tickets were a bonus after an incredible conversation.

Here is a brief description of a part of, “The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo,” as summarized in Wikipedia.

“Central to the novel is the concept of a Personal Legend. Santiago first learns of one’s Personal Legend from The King of Salem, who tells him “It’s what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their Personal Legend is.”[10] He expounds on this, saying “…there is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It’s your mission on earth.”[10] The King also tells Santiago of the importance of following the omens on the journey to realizing one’s personal legend. Coelho follows this advice himself; he will only start writing a book after finding a white feather.[11]

(Now a day later, as I entered the hotel room outside of Montreal, there was a feather on the door threshold! Yes, even going to 45 Jonas Brothers has feel of a personal, alchemical journey.)

Concert 39-Lexington, Kentucky

Thanks to MaryAnn McNeely for sponsoring the blog this week.
She makes beautiful jewelry and is a life coach.

Check out her website:


As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Concert 39: Lexington, Kentucky
August 23, 2009

The day really began with the night before. In order to save money and make it to the next concert, we decided to sleep in the car. Hannah and I looked at this as part of the adventure, another story to tell, nothing to be upset about. It was the thing that was required to continue the journey.

On Facebook I posted the message: What are willing to do for your dream? Last night we slept in the car.

Since San Antonio, ten days ago, we knew that continuing to move forward and to follow our dream was a quest. Our love of the Jonas Brothers and the music and the family of bands, vendors and the community that were a part of this summer were pulling us forward. Hannah and I were looking at our resources differently. The daily question had changed. It had become: What would it take to make it to the end? We are looking at the money, the distance, and the details of what it will take to do this.

Driving from Atlanta, Georgia to Lexington, Kentucky last night, I passed a great rest area in Georgia and felt that I could drive for at least an hour. I assumed there would be rest areas in Tennessee.

The first rest area in Tennessee was the Welcome Center and there were signs posting a limit of two hours for parking. By the time, I checked directions, went to the bathroom and checked a few things on the computer, I had 90 minutes to sleep. After that, I pushed on and drove and drove and drove. The next rest area was closed and then there was nothing.

Imagine my surprise at 3am when Clifford, the red bus that carries the Honor Society and their staff sped by me. I was driving slower than the speed limit. It was such a dark, remote area with no lighting and I did not want to hit an animal that might cross the road. I was still going 60 mph, but not the 70 mph speed limit.

Hannah was asleep next to me, but I talked to the bus. “Hey Clifford! Great to see you, is the Honor Society on the bus tonight? Sleep tight Mike, Andy, Alex, Jason, Janice, Kat and Gio and whoever is on the bus tonight, maybe Ned. See you in Lexington!”

It is moments like this that bring a feeling of community into my heart. I pass cars and buses and trucks every day. I don’t know their story. I do not know where they are going or where they have been. But, when it is someone you know, there is a moment of recognition and connection. As the bus continued on the road, a slow smile parted my lips and I felt that connection. I knew the people on that bus, in the middle of the night, outside of Chattanooga, Tennessee and I knew where they were going.

Tonight, I knew where I was going.

Two hours later, I found a rest stop in Kentucky. It was full of cars and trucks and buses. There were lots of people snoozing here. A few hours later with the rising of the sun, I felt my heart singing with joy. We slept in the car last night! We were willing to do whatever it took to fulfill our dream. We are going to make it to the end.

I felt this rush of adrenalin and I felt more freedom than I have ever felt in my life. I had a feeling of, “I can do anything, be anything, and go anywhere I want to go.”

Deciding to sleep in the car was about empowerment and choice. The choices we make are the freedom. It is not what is happening to you. It is what you choose to do with it. We cannot control the behavior of other people, or even all of the circumstances in our lives. We can only choose our thoughts, our actions, and change our perspective.

This was a choice. We were headed to six more concerts. One concert at a time.

With Hannah still sleeping in the car, I drove to a McDonald’s for breakfast and coffee and electricity for the computer. I watched sleepy people dragging in to McDonald’s as I worked there for the next hour taking notes for the blog, posting on Facebook, checking on my house. Funny, everyone entering looks like they slept at the rest area and came here to go to the bathroom, wash up and eat breakfast.

We arrived at the venue around 11am. There is a different energy at this hour. It was a Sunday morning and not a lot of traffic. The trucks had arrived with Apple Fries, and Mike and Ike’s. The merchandise table was beginning to set up. People were moving slowly. They were drinking coffee and standing around viewing the location, talking about set-up, and laughing about life and stories they were sharing.

Hannah and I parked and headed to the Hyatt. The whole block was connected, Rupp Arena, Lexington Center with a food court and stores and the Hyatt Hotel. We heard that the Jonas Brothers were staying at the Hyatt. There were already small groups of girls gathering in the lobby and outside the building.

I changed my clothes and washed my face in the Hyatt bathroom and then found a spot to sit with my computer. I wanted to write the Atlanta concert blog while it was still fresh in my mind. I have been really lucky to find “office space” all over the country.

I talked with a family who homeschool their 5 children. The mom and the girls were going to the Jonas brother’s concert and the dad and the boys had their own adventure planned.
As I sat there typing, Garbo entered the building. I did not have a picture with him yet and I was running out of time, only six concerts to go. I have had so many girls request pictures of Garbo that it became a part of the list in my brain to get a picture with him! He was so sweet. He had been sleeping in the bus and came inside to take a shower and go to his room. He very patiently talked, listened and looked at a scrapbook. He has really grown in his interactions with the fans this summer. He slowly turned the pages and looked at the pictures in the scrapbook. He posed for pictures even though he hadn’t even brushed his teeth yet.

Here is a link to a video. Samantha is a fan and this is on her Youtube account. I am the first one with Garbo in the beginning and then Hannah and then a number of other fans.

Later in the day we were in the food court and someone on the tour had seen Hannah’s tweet about sleeping in the car. This person had been following Hannah on twitter, inspired by our journey and gave us a hotel room at the Hyatt. There is a really juicy back story, but to keep the confidence and anonymity of the person, I will just say that it was a gift. It was great to know that we had a nice room to head towards at the end of the night. (If anyone knows the story, please keep the confidence for now.)

It is funny how different every place is on the tour. In Lexington, there were hardly any people who came to the venue early. I was hoping to film some crowds for a future video montage, but the lines were so short. There was a small crowd waiting to see the band members or get a glimpse of the Jonas Brothers.

Around 6:30 pm, we bought two $90 tickets from either a Dad or a scalper for $25 each. He said that he was a Dad and he bought extra tickets for his daughter’s friends and they let him down. It is a possible story, but someone around us said that he was a scalper.

In the arena and settling down, I looked around to see who was sitting with us, took pictures of the stage, and observed people. I saw a woman standing up facing a group of kids and signing. She was an ASL (American Sign Language) interpreter. I have watched ASL at meetings and events, and have taken some classes. But, I have never seen someone signing a pop-rock concert. When Jordin started to sing, the interpreter was signing and acting out all the movements on the stage. Jordin Sparks sang SOS and the interpreter put “attitude” into it. Here are some of the words from the song:

“What’s up girlfriend, something’s going on.
You got a look about you, tell me what’s wrong.
Is that your boyfriend, dancing with the girl on the floor?”

And there is finger pointing, body shaking, facial expressions, an attitude all the way. I had so much fun watching the interpreter, move her body, scrunch her face, shake her finger. She kept signing and then looking at Jordin and the back-up singers, Rachel and Leah as they moved to the music. Then, she would turn back to the group in front of her and sign, sing and dance.
I watched the interpreter all night and kept glancing at the stage and doing my own movements of dancing and Attitude, that’s right, attitude with a capital A.

Jordin and her band are on moving on to perform with Britney Spears as part of the Circus Tour. It is a great opportunity for Jordin and reaching a new audience. We will miss her and the whole band in Nashville and Columbus. She will be back for Cleveland.

At the end of the concert, Hannah and I grabbed a few things from the car and headed up to our free room at the Hyatt. Our friend left some snacks for us. It was a luxurious room and a great contrast from the night before.

My Facebook status tonight: Freedom. Last night we slept in the car. Tonight a free room at the Hyatt.

Ah, the mystery of life.

Concert 38- Atlanta, Georgia: Be An Angel Day 8-22-09

Concert 38
Atlanta, Georgia
Be An Angel Day, August 22, 2009,
an official holiday founded by Jayne Howard Feldman

To sponsor a blog, email Andrea:


August 22, 2009

Tonight was our 38th concert of the summer. In the morning, when we left my parents house in Florida, I knew that I had $300 in my pocket and a plan to go to the next three concerts. We needed gas, food, shelter, tickets. The question was, “How was I going to stretch this money until a check arrives in a few days?”

The Jonas Brothers tour will not stop for us and wait until more money comes. When we arrived in Atlanta, we had 8 more concerts to go to make it to 45. Were we to continue or to stop? I have asked myself this question over and over all summer long. And here it was again and we decided to move forward one day, one step at a time.

As I said, we left my parents home in Lecanto, Florida around 7:30am and drove to Atlanta. I drove on a tree-lined country road, Route 41, for the first hour before hopping onto Interstate 75 North.

Finding the venue was a little confusing. The highway sign said to exit here for Phillips Arena and then the signs stopped once we were in the city. Lost and needing to go to the bathroom, I found a luxurious hotel with a luxurious bathroom with beautiful, marble counters and floors. The kind of bathroom that has wooden, levered doors, floor to ceiling, on each stall and thick, paper hand towels and hand lotion to rub on your hands after you wash them.

I asked the concierge of the hotel for directions to the arena. As I approached the car, a male version of a meter maid approached my car that was illegally parked. All was well. No ticket, I moved the car in time. Welcome to Atlanta.

After driving in circles for ten minutes, we found the arena next to CNN, paid for parking and made the short walk to the sponsored activity area. I had a bag full of Bop-its, in case I wanted to play with anyone or do any filming.

James, the college rugby captain guy who had been working the Mike and Ike’s booth area all summer was getting ready to leave the tour and fly home to New York. His plan was a quick stop at home to say Hi to his parents, do his laundry, and pack to go back to college in Vermont.
That was the focus of everything for me yesterday. I had taken pictures a few days earlier with James and Sean, the other Mike and Ike guy, because I knew that Atlanta was the last day and James was leaving early to go to the airport.

First I hugged him when I arrived. Next, I checked out the electricity situation at his tent and was able to charge my phone on the power strip. I hugged him again and we talked about the details of his leaving. Once he had the stand set up our routine was to fill each other in on the last 12 hrs since we had seen each other. Things like his tour of the Superdome or playing basketball with the Jonas Brothers that afternoon. I would share things like waking up to find four sheriff vehicles surrounding my car at a rest stop (a story for another day) or getting my cell phone reconnected at the Verizon Store.

Yesterday, James was wrapping up details and I began to walk around the area and do the usual things. I was looking for stories for the blog and ideas that would make this day special.
A group of girls found Hannah, talked with her, and took pictures with her. It is really fun meeting so many wonderful girls every day. Our adventure is richer with meeting and sharing stories with all of you. I really mean that and will continue to say that forever because it is true!

4pm- The Wonder Girls appear to teach the crowd their dance to the song “Nobody,” and I take pictures of them in their outfits for the day. Yesterday a beautiful purple outfit, one of fifty different outfits they wear.

Next, the Honor Roll dance contest for meet and greet passes for the Honor Society. This is my afternoon aerobics and opportunity to demonstrate how a 52 woman who loved to dance from birth, can still dance!

At each moment, I had one eye on James to make sure he didn’t leave without saying goodbye. No worries. James found me to say goodbye, and get a picture of Hannah and me on his camera.
And then, he was gone. It felt like he was the first kid to leave summer camp. Here we had our own lives going on all summer but our paths crossed every day from about 3-6pm. It was a happy-sad moment. I was happy that we could actually develop a relationship of friendship and mutual respect this summer and sad that the summer is coming to a close. He is the first of a handful of people I will be sad to say goodbye to in the next week.

I think back on when I first met James in East Rutherford, New Jersey. I didn’t really remember seeing the Mike and Ike’s booth before then. The sponsors were in a big open parking lot there and I saw him when I arrived at that concert. We began to talk and I asked him how people got Jordin Sparks meet and greet passes. Hannah and I hadn’t seen a contest or a way to enter. Jordin Sparks was on the Mike and Ike’s truck and he was taking pictures of people by a green screen with an inserted Jordin Sparks. He said there was a contest on the website and that sometimes he had passes.

It seemed in the beginning that James was pretty guarded with me. First of all, every day, he had sooooo many people coming up to ask him for meet and greets and tickets. People always wanted things from him. And at the first few times I saw him, he would automatically say that he didn’t have any meet and greets for Jordin. Finally, I let him know that I enjoyed the conversations we had and that if I never got a meet and greet, it was okay. I still wanted to talk with him. (And by the way, he never had tickets for the show to hand out to anyone.)

Maybe I was drawn to him in the beginning because he was born June 13, 1988 and my son who died 17 years ago was born June 12, 1991. Maybe this was an opportunity for me to hang out with a son for the summer. Maybe it was a chance for us both to close a generation gap and just get to know each other as the people we are. And let’s be clear, this is not a “cougar” moment. I truly love who he is as a person and I know that there is a great life ahead of him. He is just getting started and I am on to the next chapter of my life. Whatever the reason, I enjoyed our conversations and already miss him.

After James left, the focus switched to tickets for the evening.. Hannah and I both got tickets. A Jonas fan sent her a tweet that she had an extra ticket and Hannah could have it. The young woman is 20 years old and her twitter name is Emmyjo13 on. A friend of hers had a competition and couldn’t go. Emmyjo13’s Mom thought she would have more fun with another Jonas lover and so they gave the ticket to Hannah. Hannah had a great time with her and this is how it goes!

Burger King connected with the Top 40 radio station and donated a few tickets for upgrades. I received one of the tickets from a JB fan that she no longer needed. It is amazing because there are tickets everyday that are not used because someone is sick or gets another ticket and I wish that there was an easy way to give them to people. The problem is that it is usually something last minute and it is not always easy to get the ticket to someone. Hmmm…still pondering this.

The concert was great, as usual! I loved my seat. It ended up being a front row in the 200 section and I had plenty of room to dance.

I sat next to a woman and her daughter and three girlfriends. We were talking about getting tickets in Cleveland. The challenge with tickets is the time it takes when you hang out for the free ticket, discounted tickets, a better ticket or tickets for a sold out show. Although the woman has a brother and his family in Cleveland, the question was would she want to drive all that way without the guarantee of a ticket.

And that is where I am right now. Beginning to ponder some information from Joseph Campbell, the Hero’s Journey, looking for the guarantee in life and opening to the inspiration of truly being in the moment.

This requires a blog of it’s own. Stay tuned…

Music Memories Part III

In the past ten days, I have driven over 3300 miles in 55+ hrs. I had heat exhaustion in Ft. Lauderdale and decided to skip the Charlotte concert to get a few things done. I have so many things to share with you and they will be coming in Sept and Oct.

For today, I will share some of the music from my first year of college in 1975. My roommate Mary Beth Iezzoni had the most varied taste in music. Living with her was like a music course in itself. I had a turntable/stereo and she had the records.

We walked to classes, studied, played Frisbee on the quad and listened to music…and listened to music and listened to music. I loved it. My world was opening up in so many ways.

I didn’t go to many concerts during that time. No money or transportation. But, I was so in love with the band Renaissance and Annie Haslam, the lead singer that somehow we managed to get to a local college that we hosting the band. And somehow we managed to pay for tickets.

Annie Haslam’s voice was so beautiful. I was in awe of her talent and loved the whole band. Our seats were so far away, but it didn’t matter. It was a live concert. The music vibrated the building and our souls. Thinking back to that concert, I am transported back to 1975. It makes me so happy I could cry with joy.

So, here are a few links to music I played over and over during that first year of college.

The first song is by Renaissance. It is a 10 minute song and the first 3 1/2 minutes are instrumental. Then, Annie Haslam begins to sing.


Pink Floyd

Todd Rundgren

Linda Ronstadt

Emerson, Lake and Palmer

In gratitude,

Honor Society and The Wonder Girls: A Bonus from Jonas

Thanks to ABBIE SLAMAN for her support and sponsorship of the blog today.

For more information about sponsoring the blog go to

The daily quest, of course, is to meet the Jonas Brothers. On the blog comments, on twitter, on Facebook it is one of the most important and frequently asked questions from the fans. How do we meet the Jonas Brothers?

I am approaching the “60 Jonas Brothers concerts in two years” mark. I have never met the Jonas Brothers and at this point, I am not sure what I would say to them. What do you say to three young men who have brought healing, connection and expansion to your life and the life of your daughter and so many others? How do you express that in 30 seconds? Although I would like to think I would be composed and focused, I probably would just stand there and cry in gratitude. So, the point is that I am living in the now of what I am experiencing and I know that I may never be able to truly share this with them.

And for now, something very special has been happening where I can express my gratitude and joy every day. It is with another group of the extended Jonas family.

The surprise gift of the tour this summer has been the opening bands for the Jonas Brothers. They have been a bonus from Jonas and a way for us to connect and expand our experience.

As we travel across the country this summer, Honor Society and The Wonder Girls remind us of what it was like two years ago when we first started to follow the Jonas Brothers. It was easy to get meet and greets during the first three concerts we attended during the summer of 2007. Pre-order a Jonas Brothers CD and get in line for a meet and greet. Pictures or poster signings and you would also get to touch their hands! Hannah pre-ordered two CDs and one time, at Six Flags in Largo, Maryland she was able to go backstage with friends of ours, the Pruchas. The Pruchas were JB fans about six months before Hannah.

Becca Prucha, was one of the lucky girls to be called on-stage during the song Hello Beautiful. They could do that when the venues were small. Here is the link to remember the early days. (The first two minutes are a bit rough and I know that Kim, the Mom, who is was recording this, had tears of joy running down her face.) Look at the early logo on the drum, too.

The band Honor Society and international singing stars the Wonder Girls have been so much fun. The accessibility has been amazing. We have had the opportunity to meet them at Verizon in-store events and enter contests to easily win meet and greet passes. We see The Wonder Girls outside almost every day before the show around 4 or 4:30pm and after the show. In Asia, they are mobbed. Here they are starting over and we are lucky to see them up close.

If the concerts are still coming to your town, look on www.myspace/, for the latest on the Honor Society free events. I know that they have Verizon poster signing events in Houston and Tampa. They have about six more Full Moon Crazy Shows. We have paid $10-$25 per ticket for these great shows. At the Verizon events there are contests for JB tickets, Full Moon Crazy show tickets, Sound checks, shirts, and CDs. Each place is a little different.

Follow the band on twitter and you can see other events. Like yesterday, Honor Society was at a movie theater, played an acoustic version of “Where are you now?” and signed posters or a shirt or one of anything you wanted signed. The movie Bandslam is released around the country today. The Honor Society sings the song, “Where are you now” for the movie.

In LA, there was a Verizon in-store event at 3785 Wilshire Blvd in L.A. and then a PPP- Pinkberry Yogurt event to come and hang out with the band. Twitter is the best way to get the up-to-date location of events.

I also want to draw your attention to all of the free stuff that happens at the concerts. For example, yesterday, you could have paid $8 to park next to the AT&T center in San Antonio, Texas or parked farther away for free or taken a bus and come to the parking lot center.

Mike and Ike’s has a green screen where you can get a free picture to download off of the computer. They put Jordin Sparks in the picture with you.. And lots of free Mike and Ike’s sample packets of Lemonade and regular flavor.

Burger King has crowns to color and free apple fries (apples cut into the shape of fries.)

Verizon Wireless had a recording studio tour on the bus. (they may return at the end of the tour in Ohio but right now they are with Soldier Boy and then Taylor Swift. Possibly there for a few shows in the end. Will update when I know.) and dance contests. You have to have a ticket for most meet and greet and soundcheck passes. But, I just found out that the Jordin Sparks meet and greets are sometimes available even if you don’t have a ticket. Go to the Mike and Ike’s stand and ask.

The Wonder Girls come out to the parking lot and dance at most of the venues. Verizon has a meet and greet contest for Honor Society. Learn the Honor Roll to See U in the Dark and win the meet and greets.

Look for Road dog softball games with the Jonas Brothers in some towns. I know I keep saying Twitter, Twitter, Twitter, but it really is the best and fastest way to get the information. The bands all tweet on the go.

Or follow Hannah and me on Twitter. ( or /AHylen ) We do our best to update the latest news and changes.

Honor Society has The Full Moon Crazy concert as a pre-party or after-party It is always like a nightclub setting. It may not be a place for 10 year olds. New York was a very dark, nightclub scened but in LA there were a lot of families that came and it was a lighter, brighter atmosphere. For older teens and up, it is a great, great show. The guys have incredible energy. They really own the shows at this venue. Jonas Brothers have popped in to sing one song and support them along the way. Check out the local venues and decide if it is a place you want to go. Hannah and I will be at all of them. Come dance with us!

You may like bands other than the Jonas Brothers. Follow the fan sites. Follow the band on twitter. Ask information about the free activites. And maybe you will find other bands to fall in love with the way we have fallen for Honor Society and The Wonder Girls.

As I watch the meteoric rise this summer, I know that next year, I will be waving to Honor Society from the 3rd tier of a venue. I will remember the close connection of shaking their hands, the hugs, and the up close conversations. My life is richer for cheering them on and supporting them as they reach for their dream. They are living it this summer and it is adding to our memories of the summer tour of 2009.

On our way to Houston today. Big, fun day. Verizon store to see Honor Society. Jonas Brothers show this evening. Full Moon Crazy at 11pm.

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