hankrules2011

A polymath rambling about virtually anything

Posts Tagged ‘true love’

Pet Shop Boys Tickets!

Posted by Scott Holstad on May 13, 2016

Wednesday, my favorite DJ, Richard Blade, on my favorite radio station, SeriusXM’s First Wave, announced one of my very favorite groups would be going on a world tour and it had just been announced the day before. He read off some of the cities for where the Pet Shop Boys will be playing: four cities in the UK, followed by 11 cities in America, a few in Canada, a few in Europe, and Moscow. And he mentioned Nashville! God, my ears perked up when I heard that. The Pet Shop Boys just released a new album on April 1st and it went to the #1 album on Billboard’s Dance Charts, where it stayed for at least a month, and it was their 11th #1 album. I know it’s hard for a lot of people to believe, because many people think of them as an ’80s band, but seriously, they’re a hard working, successful band with a lot of hits to their credit.

I went to my computer and went to the band’s website. I found the tour page. There was Nashville. Friday, November 4th. I decided I had to go. Had to. Must. Once in a lifetime opportunity. They’re only going to four southern cities — two in Florida, Atlanta, and Nashville. It’s a must see show. Could I get tickets? That’s the question.

As I said, the Pet Shop Boys announced their new world tour, which went on sale Wednesday with VIP tickets, yesterday with pre-sale tickets, and today with tickets to the general public. With their new #1 album, the 11th of their career, they’re big time and I have virtually all of their albums and am excited as hell to see them. And even though they’re only coming to 11 American cities, Nashville is one of them, in November, as I said. So, yesterday, I camped out at my computer, determined to get pre-sale tickets. I wanted VIP tickets, but found out too late. Now ticket prices have really gone up over the years. Duran Duran, who I’m seeing by myself in July (because Gretchen hates them — LOL!) had their top tickets priced for resale on sites like StubHub at $900. That’s a lot. So, since Pet Shop Boys are technically more successful, I expected tickets to possibly be even more expensive than that, and was willing to pay a small fortune for good seats. For the record, Gretchen’s not a big fan of this band either, but since I went to see Barry Manilow with her, I guess she’d be returning the favor with this concert with me, or perhaps that’s how she sees it. So, I logged on yesterday morning and found my section, Orchestra Front, and looked at the prices and I was stunned! They were shockingly low. Like 20 years too low. No one sells concert tickets for that low anymore and certainly not big time artists with #1 albums. Stunned, I ordered two tickets and walked away with two good tickets in the fourth row, center, for under $200!!! OK, I literally thought I’d be asked to pay about $2600 for those kinds of tickets. Not that I would necessarily pay that, mind you. Just, that’s what I expected to see. So, now we’re going to see a great band with dozens of fantastic dance hits from tons of great albums for next to nothing and I’m so excited, I can barely stand it! I just want to go dancing in the streets, or at least jumping around. Gretchen will probably sulk, and I can’t blame her cause God knows I make her listen to a lot of that band, but she’s a gamer and I appreciate the sacrifice she’ll be making. I really do. True love.

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Our Wedding and Honeymoon

Posted by Scott Holstad on April 14, 2013

Gretchen and I got married last Saturday, April 6th. It was beautiful out — a perfect day for a wedding. Our wedding was at 5 PM at our tiny Episcopalian church we attend. My father was my best man. Gretchen’s best friend, Cindy, was her matron of honor. We had invited about 22 people to attend. It was a small, intimate gathering.

With the organist playing from Handel’s Water Music, we processed down the aisle and then it was Gretchen’s turn to be walked down the aisle by her father. She looked lovely. It was great to see the faces of friends we hadn’t seen in years out there. We had a ceremony that lasted about 25 minutes, and it was wonderful. Nearly perfect. We each said, “I will” instead of “I do,” per the rector. Afterwards, we stayed for some photographs and then proceeded on to the Mayor’s Mansion for the reception. It was lovely. We had a bar with Merlot, Pinot Grigio, and Reisling. We also had coffee and tea. We all mingled for a bit, while they played the wedding mix I had prepared — Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Mozart, before later kicking it into gear with the Bee Gees and KC & the Sunshine Band and Queen and the Moody Blues, etc., et al. The food was Italian, and it was arrayed beautifully in buffet format. It sure didn’t look like your typical buffet. Somewhere along the way, we ran out of wine and had to order more. Lushes — hah! Dinner was fantastic and we had a good time talking with people. Then it was time for the champagne toast, and my father gave a really excellent toast. It was very moving. Then cake cutting time. We had a simple two layer cake which looked lovely and we fed each other a piece. We’re not into smashing each other with cake. Gradually people started leaving, and we said our goodbyes sadly, knowing we wouldn’t see some of these people for a long time. Still, some long distance friends said they’d be coming back, so that’s cool. It was a wonderful reception, and I want to give a shout out to the people who were there: our parents — both of us — and Gretchen’s two sons, Sean and Jeremy (and Sean’s girlfriend, Katie). Gretchen’s friends Linda and Bob came down from Maryland. My friends Arnold and Little Amy came separately from Knoxville. Chris D and his wife Steph came from Virginia. Ami I came from Asheville NC. My friend Rachel came all the way from Seattle, which was a pretty long distance to come. Kudos and thanks to her. (She took lots of good pics too. Thanks Rachel!) We also had local church friends Dee and Kelly there. It was nice.

We spent the night there, as it is a posh B&B. Gretchen’s dad put us up there, which was nice of him, especially since he took care of the reception. We had a lovely night and ate a nice, lite breakfast with her parents the next morning before going home to prepare for our honeymoon.

On Monday, we left Chattanooga for the beach at Gulf Shores, AL. We had a fantastic honeymoon and with the exception of one day, the weather was perfect. The ocean and beach were beautiful. We stayed in a large condo at the Beach Club in Gulf Shores. Aside from the fact that one of their restaurants and their little store were closed for renovation, it was quite nice. Since it was a private beach, it wasn’t crowded and the pools were great, as were the hot tubs.

After spending time at the beach Monday and Tuesday, we drove over to Pensacola FL on Wednesday. We immediately went to McGuire’s Irish Pub, which we had heard about. The food was delicious — the second best fish and chips I’ve ever had, after Santa Monica’s Kings Head Pub. We then went to the beach at Pensacola, mostly to say that we went to the beach in Florida. We then went to tour the Naval Aviation Museum, home of the Blue Angels. It was interesting and we saw lots of planes from WW I on to the present. We could have spent much more time there, but we wanted to get back, first stopping at the lighthouse on the way. On Thursday, we went to a place where we raced go karts and that was a lot of fun. I whipped poor Gretchen’s hind end there, never letting my foot off the accelerator. Sorry honey! We then found a really cool putt putt place with a pirate theme. The game was tied after 17 holes, but I made a great putt on the final hole to win by one. Gretchen handled it well, considering she’s a self described poor loser. LOL! We went souvenir shopping in Pensacola and Gulf Shores and picked up some t-shirts and post cards. Thursday night, we went to King Neptune’s Seafood Restaurant on the recommendation of Little Amy. I had flounder and shrimp while Gretchen had crab and oyster stew. We were both pleased with the place and the food was delicious. Since Friday was our last full day there, we were determined to grab some more beach time, so we did — and got a little burned. Heh. It was fun though. That night, we went to Lulu’s to grab a bite. I was less impressed with Lulu’s. It was a tourist trap and although it was supposed to be a seafood restaurant, aside from shrimp, all they had was mahi mahi and snapper. I had a burger. Their souvenir shop was virtually as big as the restaurant and somewhat gaudy. Oh well. We went back to the condo and had a cold bottle of pinot grigio. Yesterday morning, we packed up and hit the road to return to Chattanooga, happy with our wedding and honeymoon, but a little sad that it was all over after all these months of planning. We were sad, too, that we probably won’t see this gathering of friends again like we did at the wedding. However, Little Amy, Ami I, and Rachel all said they were hoping to make it back some time this year, so that’s something to look forward to. I also have to look forward to spending the rest of my life with my one true love, Gretchen, my twin soul cubed. We’re a good match and we’re happy together. I guess that’s about it. Tomorrow we start back to work. Tomorrow is also Gretchen’s birthday. I wish we didn’t have to work on her birthday, but I’ve gotten her a cool gift, so I think she’ll be pleasantly surprised. Cheers!

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I’m Getting Married!

Posted by Scott Holstad on April 2, 2013

I’m getting married this coming Saturday to the love of my life, Gretchen. We’ve been together for awhile now and have been living together since August 2011. We met online on a blogging site in 2004. We’re a really good fit and we’re both very excited about this.

We’re having a very small ceremony and reception. We’re inviting 22 people, almost all of whom are having to travel from out of town and out of state. The person coming the furthest is coming from Seattle. We feel very honored to be sharing this time with our close friends and family. Some people from our church have inquired about coming. We feel badly, but we didn’t invite the church members. We want a small ceremony and the reception is expensive and we can’t afford to have too many people at the reception.

We’re getting married at the Episcopal church we’ve been attending since last May. We’ve really come to love that church and the people there. It’s very warm and inclusive. The ceremony will be simple. Gretchen’s best friend will be her matron of honor. My father will be my best man.

After the ceremony, we’ll all travel to the Mayor’s Mansion Inn for the reception. We’ve got the place for three hours. It’s a lovely old three story B&B built during the 1800s and it’s really exquisite. We’re having an Italian buffet and our cake will be in one of the parlors. I’ve put together a wedding mix on my iPod, which they’re going to pipe through their allegedly great sound system. I’ve got it starting with stuff from Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, a little Mozart, and ending up with some KC & the Sunshine Band, Bee Gees, Queen, Journey, Tears For Fears, before finishing up with Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.” We’re having enough champagne for a toast and bottles of Pinot Grigio, Merlot, and some Reisling, my personal favorite. We’re hoping our friends and family members mix well since no one will really know each other. We’re also staying there that night, so that’s convenient.

Sunday, we’re returning home. We thought it would be nice to have a Scott & Gretchen visitation day for our out of state guests, just so they could see and talk to us for longer than they would at the wedding. They’re coming a long way. This will give them a chance to see our house and we can all chat for awhile.

On Monday, we leave for the beach at Gulf Shores, AL. I’ve been there before, and truthfully it’s not my favorite beach. Gretchen’s really looking forward to it though, because she loves beaches, and I’m looking forward to getting away, so this will be a good honeymoon. We’re staying at a friend of the family’s condo in a really nice series of high rises called The Beach Club right on the beach, so that’s helpful and convenient.

This is not the first marriage for either of us. We’re each anticipating this will be our last. We feel like we truly fit together as two people are meant to and we have a marvelous relationship. I’m looking forward to spending the rest of my life with Gretchen, and I’m looking forward to this weekend and the following week.

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I’m Engaged!

Posted by Scott Holstad on July 4, 2012

I proposed to my girlfriend, Gretchen, around 10 AM today on Chattanooga’s Walnut Street walking bridge over the Tennessee River. I did it on “our” bench, on a one year anniversary from her first visit to the bridge with me, and on her favorite holiday — Independence Day. We sat down on the bench and I talked for a minute or two before asking her to close her eyes. I then pulled out the ring and popped the question and she said YES!!! She was surprised and excited. My nerves were just about shot. But it was all good. We hugged, gave each other a kiss — and then got interrupted by a bum asking for money. I gave him $5, but he didn’t leave. Instead, he asked us if he could pray with us, grabbed our hands and did. And then he still wouldn’t leave! I had to tell him I had just proposed and we were having a moment, would he please leave, before he finally did. Brother! Still, I’ve never asked anyone to marry me before (I’ve been proposed to in the past) and I was nervous and it really couldn’t have gone any better and I’m so pleased. I couldn’t afford to give the monster diamond ring I wanted to give her, but she seems very happy with the one I did give her, so that’s good.

Gretchen’s engagement ring

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now comes the question of when. We would like to do it in December, but a lot of things have to fall into place first, so we’ll tentatively work towards that date while coming up with an alternative in case that doesn’t work out. So anyway, I just had to share. Cheers all!

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20 Questions

Posted by Scott Holstad on June 26, 2011

20 Questions

Delete my answers and substitute your own. Enjoy!

  1. I’ve come to realize that… I have taken far too many things for granted in my life, even when I thought I was not doing that. It’s a tragedy & I’m trying to remedy that.
  2. Reconciliation is… ideal, but not always realistic. This is exactly the opposite of how I have felt my entire life, but I have wasted way too much time over the years trying to reconcile (or even simply remain on the same friendly terms…) with various people for various reasons and I can count on one hand quite easily the number of times it was worth the effort. Move on.
  3. I talk… more than ever, if you can believe that. I have a lot to say. I spent the last 7+ years living with someone who really didn’t like to hear me talk much, but who preferred watching TV. Like 24/7. For years. Yeah, good times. I’ve got a lot to say and a lot stored up, so sorry….
  4. I love… one special individual more than anyone I ever have at any time in my life, to a shockingly higher degree than I ever knew was even possible. Yeah, I admit it. I also dearly love my parents, my kitties, and several of my good friends who have stood by me over the years. My list of friends I “love” has diminished greatly over the past two years. Pity.
  5. My best friend/s… are fewer than I thought in number, but are critically important to me and people I feel confident I’ll remain loyal to forever and who will be there for me forever. I’m blessed in this regard.
  6. Love… is a newly important word to me, as most of my life it was largely an abstract concept, outside of my loving family. In my middle years, I have been blessed to discover what I now believe “love” is and is meant to be, and I had no freakin’ idea this was a possibility.
  7. Marriage is… hit and miss. Usually a mistake. Usually entered into too soon and without sufficient forethought. A business partnership. Yeah, I’m jaded.
  8. Somewhere, someone is thinking… “I wonder what that whining, bitchy drama queen Scott is going on about now.” Seriously. You think I’m joking….
  9. I’ll always… remember times, places and the special people who have gone out of their way to save my ass in the biggest and worst of situations. Foremost among these are my parents and my best friend, Marcy. Emily, Jim & Eunice, Arnold & Sarah, and Ami have been there for me too. Many thanks.
  10. I truly relax… nowhere. I stopped being able to relax years ago and now I no longer know how to, which is pathetic, and I even feel tremendous guilt if I even make an attempt to relax! Therapy is clearly in order.
  11. My cell phone… is my life. I store everything in my iPhone. I’m not kidding. If that ever disappears, I’m more screwed than if my wallet disappears.
  12. When I wake up in the morning… I now thank God for allowing me to see the sun rise once more, to be able to draw a breath, to have friends and family (and kitties) who love me. I no longer take these things for granted.
  13. Before I go to bed… I talk to my special loved one for as long as possible in order to end each day on a positive, loving and blessed note.
  14. Right now I am thinking… that I have a lot more to be grateful for than I – or most other people – would typically realize, looking at circumstances.
  15. Babies… make me break out in hives. I’m horribly allergic them. Always have been, always will be. I find them quite distressing.
  16. I am committed to… doing everything possible to survive. And to love and live more strongly and sincerely than I ever have in my life before now.
  17. I miss… my cat Rocky, who died in August 2007. I also miss seeing and hanging with my best friends back out west, including Marcy, Celeste, Marc, Emily and Rachel.
  18. Tomorrow… is a hope and a goal, but not a guarantee.
  19. I really want to be… healthy enough to live long enough to have a quasi-“normal” life and a happy one, to whatever degree that is possible.
  20. I hate… people who don’t understand and who don’t even try to make a serious damn effort to understand.

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