Friday, April 30, 2010
Here's a breakdown of my savings and how I did it:
I first went to Sprinkles Cupcakes at Stanford Shopping Centre. Each cupcake costs $3.25 but on Twitter they randomly release a word or phrase you have to whisper in order to get a free cupcake. Today's free cupcake was called "Choco Loco." It's a special cupcake dedicated to Cinco de Mayo coming soon. Then I bought a Vanilla Milk Chocolate cupcake with sprinkles.
$3.25 per cupcake x 2 = $6.50
$6.50 - $3.25 (free cupcake from Twitter) = $3.25 total
Savings = $3.25
After Sprinkles I went to Victoria's Secret and used a coupon for a free PINK panty or thong valued up to $9.50. My juicy booty isn't built for thongs so I picked a black lace waist hipster.
$9.50 panty - $9.50 free panty coupon = $0.00
Savings = $9.50
My next stop was Papa Johns Pizza. I had won a free medium 1 topping pizza and 2 bottles of 20 oz. Cokes valued at $11.50 from My Coke Rewards' "Coke Zero Taste The Madness Instant Win Game" (the game has already ended).
Medium 1 topping pizza & 2 bottles of Coke $11.50 - $11.50 My Coke Rewards Code = $0.00
Savings = $11.50
Then I went to CVS to redeem some coupons. I had 12 coupons for free Nestle Crunch chocolate bars that I won from their Nestle Crunch Challenge on their Facebook page (the challenge is now over). The full price of each bar is $0.89. I took advantage of their "buy 2 Nestle Crunch bars get 1 bar free" offer so I got 18 Nestle Crunch chocolate bars for free!
Without coupons and in-store discount: 18 Nestle Crunch bars x $0.89 = $16.02
$16.02 - $5.34 with "buy 2 get 1 free" offer = $10.68
I had 2 coupons for free Vitamin Water so I got my favorite flavor XXX because it's delicious and my thoughts tend to verge on XXX (especially when I look at Nick Carter :p).
2 Vitamin Waters x $2.00 + $0.10 bottle deposit fee = $2.10
I have been craving ice cream since Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell talked about it during his web chat on the Backstreet Boys fan club. I picked 2 Haagen-Dazs ice creams. One flavor is Dulce de Leche and the other is Caramel Cone.
2 Haagan-Dazs Ice Creams x $3.00 = $6.00
Then I got 4 cans of Campbell's Spaghetti.
4 cans of Campbell's Spaghetti x $1.00 = $4.00
I have a CVS Extra Care Card which helps me get store coupons and offers both online and in store.
Without coupons & without store discounts the total of everything is: $28.12
Without coupons but with the "buy 2 get 1 free" Nestle Crunch promo the total of everything is: $22.78
With coupons & store discounts all I paid was $3.12!
Here's how I only paid $3.12:
I had one $4 off a $20 off purchase coupon that I got online.
I had $2 Extra Care Bucks (ECB) that I got from a prior purchase.
I had 2 coupons for free Vitamin Water.
I had 12 coupons for free Nestle Crunch Bars.
Breakdown of coupon savings:
$22.78 (total) - $4 ($4 off a $20 off coupon) = $18.78
$18.78 - $2 ($2 ECB) = $16.78
$16.78 - $10.68 (12 free Nestle Crunch coupons) = $6.10
$6.10 - $2.98 (2 free Vitamin Water coupons/cashier was supposed to deduct $2.00 but she deducted the maximum value of the coupons which was $1.49 x 2 = $2.98) = $3.12 total!
$28.12 (no coupons/discounts) - $3.12 (with coupons/discounts) = $25.00
Savings = $25.00!
Then I went to Safeway to redeem a coupon for a free box Smuckers Uncrustables which costs $3.00.
Smuckers Uncrustables $3.00 - $3.00 coupon = $0.00
Savings = $3.00
I only spent $3.25 for the Cupcake and $3.12 at CVS. My total out of pocket expenses was $6.37.
Hold on, I'm not done yet!
I had 2 lottery tickets. Each lottery ticket won $2 for a total of $4. Since the Mega Millions jackpot is over $220 million today I used $2 to buy 2 lottery tickets and then I kept the other $2 winnings.
I consider the $2 lottery win as a little rebate to what I spent on my shopping trip.
$6.37 out of pocket expenses - $2.00 lottery winnings = $4.37!
The total of everything without any coupons/discounts is: $58.62
The total of everything with coupons/discounts/$2 lottery win: $4.37 Total
Savings of my entire Friday shopping trip: $54.25
Feel free to share your coupon stories and tips with me! In a previous post a reader had advised me to use the free item coupons along with the CVS store coupons and that really helped me out so much.
PS. Some of you may be thinking oh but you used up gas in your car and that costs money too. I actually used a $25 Arco Gas Gift Card I bought with $25 I won from a contest so my current tank of gas is free.
Monday, April 26, 2010
If you left me a comment on the "Mailbox Monday for 4/12 and 4/19" entry I replied to you. I'm comment number 14.
I'll kick off this post with a sparkling sweepstakes prize that arrived last week in my mailbox. This prize is one of my biggest wins of 2010 so far.
I don't need a man to buy me diamonds because...
I was one of ten winners who won a Helen Ficalora necklace from a sweepstakes featured in Lucky Magazine (@luckymagazine on Twitter). Helen Ficalora's jewelry has been worn on episodes of Gossip Girl and has been seen on celebrities like Blake Lively, Jennifer Garner, Michael J. Fox, and Tina Fey.
The Helen Ficalora necklace I received features a 14 karat yellow gold tea rose pendant with a diamond set in the center. The 20 inch chain is 14 karat gold and has 10 diamonds.
The retail value is $1,060.00!
I loved the whole presentation of everything. The necklace also came with a reusable Helen Ficalora shopping bag, informational booklets, a gift box with ribbon, and a jewelry box with a snap closure.
-All You Magazine
-Hot Tamales Candy
-Flavor Wheel I won from @Sunkist on Twitter (http://twitter.com/sunkist)
-Free Clairol Nature Instincts Coupon
-Kiehl's Styling Gel from Allure's August 2009 Giveaways - Retail price is $15.00 at Bloomingdales
-My last issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine with Heidi Klum on the cover because my subscription has run out :(
-Shape Magazine with Ellen on the cover
-Nescafe Taster's Choice Sample Coffee Packets
-Helen Ficalora 14k Tea Rose Necklace from Lucky Magazine -Retail price is $1,060
-Avon Ultra Color Rich Lipstick in Sheer Naturale from Allure's August 2009 Giveaways - Retail price is $6.50 but is currently 2.99 at avon.com
-Free Ghirardelli Chocolate Coupon from their "A Million Moments" Sweepstakes which ends on October 31st, 2010 - Maximum value $4.99
-Business Week Magazine
If you have any freebies you've received in the mail lately feel free to share them with me and the other Mailbox Monday participants at http://www.afrugalfriend.net.
This is off topic but I listed some items for auction on eBay. Feel free to bid if you're interested!
(1) one "This is Us" Backstreet Boys CD & (1) one 8x10 photo of Backstreet Boys
(1) one Armani Code Shower Gel for Men
(1) one Flo TV
Monday, April 19, 2010
If you read my previous post (The Ultimate Contest Win: An Unforgettable Weekend in Napa, California) you would already know that I wasn't able to write up a Mailbox Monday entry for April 12th because I was on vacation in Napa, Ca from April 9th to April 12th for an awesome contest I won. I decided to make this a double Mailbox Monday entry.
I'll start off with my most recent freebies. Here are the freebies I received from April 12th to April 17th. (I wasn't in the mood to divide up what I received into categories so I just took a group picture of everything.)
Monday April 12th:
-Talika Lipocils Eyelash Conditioner from the February 2010 Allure Magazine Giveaways. According to talika.com the retail value is $55.00!
Tuesday April 13th
-Ritz Munchables Pretzel Crisps sample
Wednesday April 14th
-Wells Fargo Financial Organization Kit from Real Simple Magazine Sweepstakes
Thursday April 15th
-Entertainment Weekly Magazine
-Guerlain Kiss Kiss Gloss from the August 2009 Allure Magazine Giveaways. According to neimanmarcus.com the retail value is $30.00!
-T3 Blowout Set from January 2010 Allure Magazine Giveaways. According to beauty.com the retail value is $30.00!
-Nivea A Kiss of Protection Lip Care from the August 2009 Allure Magazine Giveaways. According to beauty.com the retail value is $2.99.
Saturday April 17th
-Glee Gum from @gleeks (http://www.twitter.com/gleeks)
-Color Mark Gray Root Touch Up from the August 2009 Allure Magazine Giveaways
-Almay intense i-color for brown eyes from the August 2009 Allure Magazine Giveaways
Here are the freebies I received from April 3rd to April 10th:
Sunday April 3
-Leed Solar Speaker from @IntelGameOn (http://www.twitter.com/IntelGameOn)
-Downey Fabric Softener Sample from Sam's Club*
Monday April 5
-Free Dove Product Coupon
-Free Pace Coupon from the Pace Hand-Pick & Win Instant Win Game
-Marie Claire magazine with Jessica Simpson on the cover
- @ladyladuke (http://www.twitter.com/ladyladuke on Twitter) Artist Frock Cover Up from @CleverGirlsColl (http://www.twitter.com/CleverGirlsColl on Twitter) Project Runway Thursday Twitter Party
-Puffs Tissue Sample from Vocalpoint
-Full size Aveeno Stress Relief Lotion from http://www.aveeno.com
-Clinique Kohl Shaper Eyeliner from the August 2009 Allure Magazine Giveaways. According to bergdorfgoodman.com the retail value is $15.50.
Tuesday April 6
-Bar of Dove Soap from the August 2009 Allure Magazine Giveaways*
Wednesday April 7th
-Clarins Eyeshadow Vibrant Violet from the August 2009 Allure Magazine Giveaways. According to clarins.com the retail value is $20.00.
-Rickys Bobby Pins/Hair Clips from the August 2009 Allure Magazine Giveaways
Thursday April 8th
-Kotex U samples with 1 pad, 1 panty liner, and 2 tampons
-Victoria's Secret So Sexy Detangler from the August 2009 Allure Magazine Giveaways. According to victoriassecret.com the retail value is $14.00.
Saturday April 10th/Monday April 12th
-$25 Arco Pump Pass I bought from giftcardmall.com with a $25 Mastercard I won from Coke.
-Lierac Micro-abrasion Cream from the February 2010 Allure Magazine Giveaways. According to lierac-usa.com the retail value is $38.00
-Peanut Chews Candy
-Mystery Flavor Stride Gum Pack
(*Missing in the picture are the bar of Dove soap from Allure's August 2009 giveaways & Downy Fabric Softener Sample from Sam's Club. I forgot to put them in the picture and I'm too lazy to gather up everything again for another picture.)
If you have any freebies you've received in the mail lately feel free to share them with me and the other Mailbox Monday participants at http://www.afrugalfriend.net.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
My weekend in Napa exceeded every expectation I had for the trip. It was truly an experience I will never ever forget. I don’t even know how any other future encounter with Backstreet Boys will compare to this.
Thanks to Aloft Hotels on Facebook, I had won a 4 day, 3 night stay at the Silverado Resort in Napa and a chance to see Backstreet Boys perform an acoustic set at the exclusive Live In The Vineyard event on Saturday April 10th. In addition to Live In The Vineyard, I had the opportunity to attend the Backstreet Boys fan event at the Napa Opera House on Sunday April 11th. I wanted to remember my weekend in Napa as much I could so that's why I ended up writing so much.
Friday April 9th, 2010
I arrive at Napa around 6pm on Friday April 9th. I got a little lost because my GPS died when I was on highway 29 in Napa. I took the Lincoln Avenue exit and pull into the first parking lot I see. I plug the chord into the cigarette lighter when I realized I didn’t bring the adapter that would let the GPS charge. Thank goodness I had printed out directions as a backup. I almost didn’t but my dad told me to print it just in case.
The Silverado Resort was so breathtakingly gorgeous. It was such an honor and privilege to stay at such a luxurious resort. I am so forever thankful to Aloft Hotels for giving me the opportunity to stay there for free. The Silverado Resort is not a typical hotel.
When I first drove in, I saw a mansion down the road. The mansion is where the hotel lobby is located. There’s also a bar with tables overlooking the golf course and a ballroom. Once I checked in, I met up with Laurel who is also known as MzMclean2000 on LiveDaily. I’ve known her for a few years and she let me go with her to see Backstreet Boys at Wango Tango in 2005. I originally wanted to bring my friend Dana who I’ve known for years and who has been so supportive of my writing. Dana had prior plans so she had to decline.
(Photo courtesy of Laurel)
The Silverado is set up like fancy looking apartments. Laurel escorted me to room 306. Once I walked into the room I was mesmerized by the space. There was a full kitchen with a dishwasher, stove, and refrigerator, a living room with a couch, dining table, fireplace, and TV, a bedroom with two queen beds, TV, bathroom, a patio with chairs, and tiny backyard area. I’m used to staying in cheap hotels so this was a nice change for me.
(The living room.)
(Photo courtesy of Laurel. The bedroom.)
After I settle my luggage into the room, I go to dinner with Laurel, her sister, and their friend to the Boon Fly Café at the Carneros Inn. According to Laurel and her sister, it’s rated the “Best Hotel for Sex.” Maybe I’ll get to see if that’s true in the future ;)
(Photo courtesy of Laurel.Who's the token asian here? :p From left to right is me, Laurel, her sister, and their friend.)
Before I went to bed that night, I got down on my knees in the living room and prayed to God and Jesus. I prayed that I would have a good weekend, that everything would go smoothly, and asked God to bless me on this trip. After I prayed I was about to get into bed when I see a GIANT mosquito flying in the room. I thought, oh no I can’t sleep now! I hate mosquitoes and I can’t have a giant bite on my body right before seeing Backstreet Boys!
I walk back into the living room and pace for a few seconds before I walk back into the bedroom. I grab my shoe and try to see if I can kill it. When I see the mosquito flying up against a wall, I wait until it was low enough for me to reach and then I smack my shoe against it. I breathe a sigh of relief and go to sleep.
Saturday April 10th, 2010
There was a wine tasting scheduled at the Regusci Winery on Saturday April 10th. At first I wasn’t excited about going to the winery. I tried wine at my cousin’s wedding in 2008 and I didn’t really like it. When Laurel and I walk up to the first wine tasting area I hear one of the Regusci employees tell the people who were already inside to make room for the rest of the group coming up.
(Photo courtesy of Laurel)
As the people spread out I spot a familiar face. I see Brian! He was standing next to Nick who was standing next to Howie and AJ was a few feet away from them.
Seeing them there was a complete surprise to me. There was nothing about Backstreet Boys being at the wine tasting. I immediately thought, Ugh! I knew I should have put on makeup! Laurel and I get a glass of the white wine and then we say “hi” and shake hands with Howie then Nick and then Brian. When I shook Nick’s hand I had a brief 14 year old moment where I thought, I just touched Nick’s hand which felt smooth. When I shook hands with Brian that was the first of many times he would say my name. He said, “Nice to meet you Jocelyn.”
There was a group of Aloft employees who recognized me from winning the contest on Facebook and we chatted for a bit. One of the employees then asked Brian if he could take a picture with the contest winners. Brian remarked that he was a winner too. We take the picture and one of the Aloft employees asked where he was from. Brian mentioned he was from Kentucky but was living in Atlanta but he also had a place in LA mainly for business.
Next we walk to another area of the winery where barrels of wine are stored. Red wine was served there. The owner of the winery then introduces himself to everyone and talks about the history of the winery and the wine they have. I honestly wasn’t listening to what he was saying because my eyes were fixated on Nick. It was like being in high school again because it felt like a field trip. Plus I couldn’t help staring at Nick like I used to with my crushes in high school. We were all given folders with a list of wines they were selling and I saw Nick look at the list and thought he probably tuned out of listening to the owner like I already had done.
Then the whole group is escorted toward the back of the winery where there’s a nice patio with a bar. At this point it was raining and a bit cold so everyone was trying to keep dry and warm. There’s an outdoor heater so Laurel and I stand near it. Nick then comes running up and stands underneath it and relishes in the heat. Laurel asks Nick for a picture and then I ask Nick for one. He says sure and we take a picture.
(Nick & I near the outdoor heater)
After we take a picture he then calls out to the Backstreet Boys manager, Jen, and asks her about some Blackberry application for his phone. I don’t own a Blackberry so I didn’t understand what he was asking her about.
Laurel then asks Howie for a picture and takes one with him. I told Howie that I need to get a picture with him because my picture with him from Hollywood at Jimmy Kimmel in October 2009 didn’t come out. He was like oh in Hollywood? I said yes and said I was determined to get a picture with him since he’s the only one I don’t have a solo picture with. We take the picture and then he asks where are we from?
(Howie and me)
I tell him I’m from Milpitas which is near San Jose in the South Bay. Laurel says she’s from Pleasant Hill and Howie says that sounds really familiar to him. I then tell Howie I didn’t expect him and the other 3 Backstreet Boys to be here. Then he mentioned they would be doing the brunch on Sunday. I remember the brunch involved pizza so I said oh, you’ll be having the pizza too. Howie chats with us for a little while until he excused himself because he had to go talk to someone he knew who was there at the wine tasting too.
There was an adorable chubby dog getting lots of attention. It was on its back with its legs splayed open. Nick saw the dog and scratched its underside. It was such an adorable moment and the dog was enjoying every second of it. I wouldn’t have minded being that dog for 10 seconds just to feel Nick’s fingers on me.
A singer named Ryan Star was scheduled to do a live acoustic set so everyone gathered around the patio to watch. Ryan’s voice reminds me of the lead singer from Lifehouse. He then performs a cover of the Peter Gabriel song “In Your Eyes.”
He gets through part of the song and then suddenly stops. He said something along the lines of I need to do a good job because there’s fucking Backstreet Boys here. There’s light laughter from the crowd and I hear someone suggest loudly that the Backstreet Boys should sing with him. Howie and Brian go to where Ryan is standing and the sound guys for Ryan are scrambling to get a mic hooked up for them. Someone from the crowd said, this is a true Live in the Vineyard moment. Ryan tells Howie and Brian that they can sing the “in your eyes” line during the chorus. They mess up a couple of times and then Brian asks for Nick to join them and then AJ hops in. Ryan starts the song again with Backstreet as his backup singers.
(Brian, Howie wiping his nose, and Ryan Starr)
(They briefly became the Backup Boys.)
After Ryan’s finished performing, Laurel and I get appetizers from the kitchen. The crab cakes were so delicious! I heard Jen the manager wrangling up all of the Backstreet Boys so they could leave for sound check. AJ said he couldn’t leave without saying bye to Trixie. I thought who the hell is Trixie? It turns out Trixie was the chubby dog Nick was petting earlier. Trixie just melted when AJ started to pet her. He started baby talking to the dog which was hilarious to watch as Jen the manager kept yelling his name like a mom would to a child so that they could leave. Once he was done, he jogged away, and went to sound check.
(AJ and Trixie)
Laurel and I then head back to the hotel and get ready for the evening events. I still couldn’t believe there was more Backstreet Boys to come. The day wasn’t even halfway done and I had already gotten more than I thought I was getting.
While we're getting ready for the evening concert, a man drops off gift bags filled with lots of KitchenAid goodies for the both of us. Getting the gift bag was such celebrity status for me. It came with baking utensils, a cute cutting board, apron, artist downloads/promo cards, Bliss tried+blue travel kit (which will be great for the Backstreet cruise in December), and two cook books.
(I guess I should learn how to bake since I have all these baking utensils now :p)
After we change clothes and put on make up, we head to the mansion because that’s where the cocktail reception would be and the concert would take place in the ballroom.
Laurel was in contact with two young ladies named Jennifer and Alyssa who I had already met through attending numerous Backstreet events. They were in the mansion and told us they already saw Backstreet but they were on their way somewhere. Jennifer and Alyssa were hoping that by a slim chance they could get into the concert but they wouldn’t allow them since they weren’t winners of the contest.
Then I spot the twins Kristy and Kathy who I also had already met through attending numerous Backstreet events. We all hang out by the ballroom until it was time to check in and get our laminate passes. Once Laurel, the twins, and I get the passes, we go to the cocktail reception room for appetizers and more wine tasting from over 15 different wineries. The appetizers were so delicious. My favorite was the ahi tuna on a crispy fried wonton. That got the taste buds in my tongue working overtime.
(Photo courtesy of Laurel. Left to right: Laurel, Me, & the twins)
We then wait for the doors to the ballroom to open. Once they opened we power walked to the front row and get seats in the center! I was glad there were chairs because I was expecting to be standing up. A singer from Canada named Serena Ryder starts off the concert. Then a singer named VV Brown from England performed next. A last minute addition was Brooke White from American Idol. I don’t watch American Idol so I had no idea who she was. She performed one song.
Then it was time for Backstreet’s performance. The creators of the Live in the Vineyard mentioned Backstreet had sold over one hundred million albums and then introduced them on stage. Nick ended up sitting right smack dab in front of me! He was so freaking hot in his all black outfit. Starting from stage right, the order they sat in was Brian, Howie, Nick, and AJ.
They kicked off their set by singing what Brian described as an oldie by goodie: Shape of My Heart. They sang 5 songs total: Shape of My Heart, Bigger, All I Have To Give, This is Us, and I Want It That Way. It went by too fast!
While Howie was talking in between songs he mentioned something (I honestly forgot what he was saying) but he said these four ladies in the front know what I’m talking about. It was obvious he was talking about and me, Laurel, and the twins. We were so thrilled with the shout out and acknowledgement that he recognized us. The four of us were definitely the biggest Backstreet Boys fans there.
Once the set is over we leave the ballroom and hang around in the hallway hoping to see Backstreet perhaps leave. Nick, Howie, and Brian end up walking through the hallway to get to the cocktail reception area for a late night buffet. AJ directly went outside to smoke a cigarette and talk on his cell phone. The twins go into buffet while I hang out in the hallway with Laurel, Jennifer, and Alyssa as they wait for AJ.
A few minutes later the twins come back out to the hallway and tell us that Nick, Howie, and Brian are still in the middle of eating. The twins said they asked Nick for a picture but Jen the manager cut in and said after he eats. The twins and I then hang out inside the cocktail area as we wait for Nick, Howie, and Brian to be done eating.
That’s when we get a signal from someone (I forgot who) that AJ was done smoking and chatting on his phone. He was in the hallway talking to Laurel, Jennifer, and Alyssa. When the twins and I get there I hear they’re talking about the Sunday night performance and AJ had previously mentioned they were performing 11 songs instead of 8. We all take pictures with AJ and some random guy comes up and tries to get a picture with AJ and the twins. He kept saying he wanted to take a picture with the Minnesota twins.
(Me and AJ)
AJ is then whisked away by someone from the Backstreet staff. The twins, Laurel, and I decide to go back to the cocktail reception area to see if Nick, Howie, and Brian are done eating and they are. Brian is off to one side of the room socializing with other people. Nick and Howie are on the other side of the room socializing too.
Once Nick and Howie break away to leave the cocktail reception room we all manage to get their attention and take pictures with them. The twins went first, then Laurel, and I went last. In my picture with Nick, I am so glad he didn’t bend down to make himself shorter for me like he has down in other pictures I've taken with him. I’d rather he show off his height in my picture.
(Me and Howie)
(Me and the star of my fantasies. *sigh* He's so delicious. How did I ever restrain myself from doing bad things to him?)
After the twins take their pictures with Nick and Howie they went over to Brian while Laurel and I were still getting pictures with them. Then after our pictures we walk over to where the twins are and find Brian was still talking to the same woman he was talking to earlier. The man had already wandered off. It turns out that the woman and man are husband and wife and they were so drunk! The husband was already far gone and was slurring and stumbling all over the place.
The twins mentioned to Brian that they were teachers and had just gotten their Masters Degrees. They hinted to Brian that if Baylee needs a tutor they’re both available. Brian said that they both lived on the wrong side of the country since their house is in Georgia.
Brian started to talk about Baylee’s education. He said that Baylee would go to a school with other children for 3 days and do activities like sports. The rest of the time would be spent for home schooling. He mentioned that he could do the whole routine of taking his child to school, picking him up, and driving him to acting class, karate, soccer games, etc. but he couldn’t do it all the time. He wouldn’t like it and would get sick of it. He said there’s songs that need to be sung and that he’s a creative person. His point was that he wanted to share his creativity with people.
He also talked about the music industry and media. He talked about how in order to make the news or get media attention he’d have to go to do what Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson did get a reality show. Then he started to say the type of situations that would get him in the media. He said he’d have to get drunk, get in his car, and crash it into a tree.
He also said he doesn’t watch the news. His TV viewing is mainly children’s programming like the Disney Channel with Phineas and Ferb and Hannah Montana. He also doesn’t watch reality TV (which reminded me of how he had himself blurred out of a House of Carters episode).
Somehow the talk of reality TV brought up “Dancing With The Stars.” Brian said he’s been asked 3 times to be on the show and he doesn’t want to do it. I ask, is it not your style? Then he says, okay here’s the reason why I won’t do the show. There’s a dramatic pause as he gets in real close to us like he’s sharing a special secret with us and then he says, I don’t like to dance. It takes a moment for all of us to absorb his confession. He knows that being a Backstreet Boy involves dancing but there’s 3 other guys with him so he doesn’t mind that. He’s not keen on the idea of dancing by himself (even though he technically would have a partner) but the show would mainly focus on him as the star rather than the partner so it’d be like he was dancing by himself anyway.
I didn’t say much while he talked about news and reality TV because that’s most of what I watch on TV! Plus I used to work at a news station and despite most news being about crime there will always be at least one news story that makes me happy and reminds me that there are good people on earth.
The conversation about the music industry and media reception also got Brian talking about how when you become famous, the music industry and media likes to build you up until you’re at the top and then they knock you down. He knows the downfall is expected so he said once you’re at the top, look over the edge, find a fluffy pillow to land on so that when the downfall comes you can land safely and use your past experience to climb back up to the top again. He said his prior involvement in the music industry with the Backstreet Boys helped prepared him for his Christian album.
Brian also talked about a close friend of his who has 3 little girls and Baylee is already having a hard time picking which one of the 3 little girls he’s going to have a crush on so he’s just liking them all. (I sense a love-quadrangle in the future!)
Brian mentioned Kevin and that a few days ago Kevin had sent him a picture through his iPhone of Mason playing t-ball. He said Kevin sold his house in Hollywood and moved to Valencia which is outside of LA.
Somehow during the conversation I manage to say to Brian, I don’t know if you remember when your wife came to San Francisco to be on View from the Bay on ABC. I see his face light up and he says, yeah I remember! Then I tell him that I was the producer of that segment and then he says, wow what a small world. He then says that Leighanne can’t watch the segment she did because she hates hearing the sound of her own voice. Brian then put on a funny effeminate voice and said to us what he said to Leighanne, well if I didn’t like the sound of my voice then we wouldn’t have this house. He then asks, what’s your name? I tell him Jocelyn. Then he repeats my name and says, Jocelyn, I need to remember that. Jocelyn. Jocelyn. Jocelyn.
Since the twins are teachers they said kids have to say/hear something seven times before they can remember it so then Brian starts to chant my name really fast and says Jocelyn, Jocelyn, Jocelyn, Jocelyn, is that seven times yet? Jocelyn. Jocelyn. Jocelyn.
I tell him that it Leighanne was so nice when she was on the show and that she came with Miguel. I told him that the interns met her first and when they came upstairs to tell me she had arrived that she was so nice and funny. At this point I couldn’t believe I was talking to Brian and my train of thought starts to derail. I then tell him when he and the other Backstreet Boys come to San Francisco for their concert I can probably get them on the show as guests since I still have contact with one of the hosts. He said that it’s fine with me but it also depends on what the other 3 (Backstreet Boys) say. Then as he moves on to talk about other topics he would randomly say Jocelyn lol! He said that he would call his wife and tell her about me.
He then started to talk about the This is Us tour that was coming to the US. He said they would be performing 24 songs. I asked if they were going to be singing solo songs like they did during the Unbreakable tour and he said no, they weren’t going to be doing that. He said they’re bringing back some of the oldies like “We’ve Got It Goin’ On.” I said aw, you’re going way back to the red album (their first ever album released first overseas).
While Brian is talking, the drunk man husband would come stumbling in and out of the conversation by saying stupid crap like “Heeeey you neeeed to beee on staaaaage innnnn 10 minnnnnutes” or “Heeeeey! Heeeeey! Youuuuu haaaave a pho…toshoot in 15 minnnnnutes.”
The drunk wife would tell him to go away. Then the wife apologizes for her husband’s behavior and then I remember telling Brian, “You’ve probably had worse” and he looks right at me and nods his head and says “Yes, I’ve definitely had worse.”
Unfortunately, the drunken couple wasn’t the only drunk people Brian had to handle. There was one point where a big burly man from the Y101 radio station in Fresno, Ca walked in to our conversation. He wrapped his arm around Brian and reeked of horrid body odor. He was clearly drunk because he couldn’t even form a complete sentence. He kept stuttering and struggling for words. He pretty much said Brian was… a… nice man and that their song is… gonna be a hit, it’s gonna be be be be uh… and then his mind just goes blank. Thankfully he ends up going away after he couldn’t find any other words to say.
Brian also talked about how he believes in when you think or say something it will eventually come true. When he said that I immediately thought of how I won the Live in the Vineyard contest in the first place. Before I won the contest, I put the energy out there that I was going to win and I was even saying out loud I will win, I will win, I will win.
It amazed me that he was so candid and open with all of us. I was flattered he was comfortable enough with us to share his life, his thoughts, and opinions. I’m usually content with a quick “hi” and a picture with any of the Backstreet Boys. For Brian to spend over an hour actually talking with us without any fluff or fakeness was amazing.
I can’t even get Nick to say a full sentence to me and here I got a great dose of Brian Littrell wisdom that will be with me for my entire life. Nick will always be my favorite Backstreet Boy because he is my muse and he gets my creative juices flowing but Brian will now always hold a special place in my heart. I cannot appreciate enough how gracious he was to me, Laurel, Jennifer, Alyssa, and the twins.
Jennifer and Alyssa ask Brian for a picture and then I take a picture with him too. Brian got real close to me and we pose. I thank him and when I look at my picture in my camera I laugh out loud because he’s giving the biggest, cheesiest grin I have ever seen! It is officially my favorite picture with a Backstreet Boy ever. None of my pictures with Nick can compare with Brian’s priceless expression.
(Me and Brian's cheese)
Brian eventually excused himself from us because he wanted to talk with a man from HGTV. After he talked with the HGTV man, he and the other Backstreet Boys take some press photos which were posted on wireimage.com. I saw Nick GQ’ing it up for the photographer when he took solo pictures. I thought damn he really knows how to pose and work the camera.
AJ leaves first. Then Nick walks away and as he leaves, he flashes a peace sign which is his way of saying peace out without saying peace out. Howie then approaches us and says that one of the twins looks like Alyssa and that they look more like sisters. We’re all thinking huh? because they don’t really look that much alike.
Brian then walks by and some other people stop him for pictures and autographs. After he signs for these people, I ask him to sign my “Welcome Home” album cover. I make a remark and say so you can remember name, can you personalize it? I then spell my name for him and so he writes Jocelyn, God Bless and then he signs it. I then ask him to sign my This is Us album cover. He then leaves and after we let our evening sink in, the twins, Laurel, and I decide it’s time to go back to our rooms.
When we’re walking out of the room, we see there’s a table outside that has pictures of the artists who performed. We each get an 8x10 picture of Backstreet Boys.
As we’re walking towards the lobby, Nick comes out from the mens bathroom that’s in the hallway to the lobby. I say hey it’s Nick. The twins start to say Nickolas, Nickolas. As Nick is walking towards the same direction we’re headed, he hears us saying his name so he turns his head back, and I spot a slight smirk on his face. He then looks forward, brings his hands back and spanks his ass. Then he runs away from us. We were all thinking wait did he just spank his ass right in front of us? (For some reason I think that was his way of saying “kiss my ass” to us without saying it out loud like how he did with the peace out thing earlier.)
Once we make it to the lobby area, Laurel spots Howie at the bar having a drink. She tells us she wants to get a picture with Howie. The twins and I decide to hang back since we already got pictures with him. After a few minutes of waiting the twins tell me that they want to go back to their hotel room. We all say goodnight and while I’m waiting I decide to put the autographed album covers Brian signed into my bag.
When I set my This is Us album cover on a counter, this kind of cute guy walks by and then stops when he sees it. He asks me, what is this? I tell him it’s the album cover of the latest Backstreet Boys album. He sees that only 3 of them had previously signed it. I didn’t ask Nick to sign anything that night. Then the kind of cute guy tells me I think he’s around somewhere. I thought that was sweet that he wanted me to find Nick to get it signed. I told the kind of cute guy that it was okay and I didn’t really mind that Nick hadn’t signed it. Then he walks away and I continue putting the album covers into my bag. (As I looked through my pictures I found that I actually took a picture of the kind of cute guy with Backstreet Boys.)
(Here's kind of cute guy in the white polo shirt with Backstreet Boys. Laurel said he's from a family that owns a winery.)
I felt a little awkward standing by myself so I walk over to Laurel who is still waiting for Howie. I tell her the twins decided to call it a night and go back to their hotel room.
Once Howie is free, Laurel asks to take a picture with him. After he takes the picture, I then think I might as well get a picture too. I ask Howie for a picture and that’s when Nick comes storming into the bar from being outside the mansion. He looks super happy to see Howie for some reason and stands next to him. I think hey, since they’re both there why not get a picture with them both?
I then ask for a picture with the both of them. I think they didn’t hear me and that’s when Eddie from the fan club (who is way taller than I imagined) gets their attention and says for them to take a picture with me. Then for some reason Nick sticks his hand out for someone to shake at a weird angle (now that I think about it maybe he was a little drunk & didn’t know what he was doing with his hand) and for a long 5 seconds no one was shaking it. I felt sorry for his hand so I shook it anyway and thought, uh we already met and did the whole shaking hands thing earlier but whatever I’ll do it again :p
I get in between Nick and Howie and we take a picture. Since Laurel saw I got a Nick and Howie sandwich picture, she wanted one too. Once again I think Nick and Howie didn’t hear because Howie walked away with someone. Nick stayed behind and Eddie said to him to take a picture with Laurel. Laurel didn’t really want a picture with just Nick but she took one anyway since Eddie said something and Nick was already in position to take a picture. After Nick takes the picture with her, Nick spots a tall man and walks away with him. I hear him tell the tall man that he needs a fucking shot.
(In between Nick & Howie. I love their smiles.)
At this point I don’t know what to think about his drinking situation. From the People magazine article, he supposedly shouldn’t be drinking any alcohol at all but he had already drunk wine earlier in the day and he was on his way to downing a shot. I’m not his doctor so it’s not place to judge but I just hope the best for him.
AJ then walks into the bar with 2 girls and Laurel stops him and asks him for a picture. After she takes her picture I ask AJ for a picture. While I’m asking, Howie made it way back to the area where we were standing and he had his back to AJ. Without Howie knowing, AJ put his finger near Howie’s butt and it looked like AJ was simulating finger fucking Howie in the ass. He stopped air finger fucking Howie and then takes a picture with me. Then he walks to the bar and tells the bartender that he wants to order 6 shots.
(Me and AJ again. The picture came out blurry so I did my best to sharpen it.)
It was very sad to see in person that he has relapsed, especially how in the past he was so passionate about being sober. I had heard the rumors he was drinking again and seen multiple instances where AJ was drunk in TMZ videos but seeing it in person made it real.
Laurel and I then decide it’s time to go back to our hotel room. Since there’s a way out from the bar we take that route instead of walking around through the lobby. As we approach the door I swear I hear someone screaming JOCELYN! JOCELYN! JOCELYN! I slow down my walking and turn my head back. I don’t see anyone behind me or anyone signaling to me so I thought either I’m imagining things or there was someone else named Jocelyn in the bar since I know I’m not the only Jocelyn in the world. Laurel is already outside so I catch up to her.
We take about five steps when Jennifer and Alyssa come running out from the lobby and they’re calling for me. They tell me someone has something important to ask you. I’m thinking who needs to ask me a question? I follow Jennifer and Alyssa back into lobby and see it’s Brian and he’s carrying a guitar case. (Since when was he working as a crew member for Backstreet? lol!)
Brian told me that these ladies need a place to stay and asks for them if they could stay in my hotel room. I say you sound like a commercial. Then he laughs and says a commercial? I say well there is room so I don’t mind at all. It’s a big hotel room anyway. He then thanks me and leaves the lobby. We follow him out. Brian goes straight to a van waiting for him and we continue walking to the hotel room. Then Jennifer asks should we say bye? She eventually decides to go ahead and say bye, so she and Alyssa say Bye Brian and he says bye back.
That’s when Jennifer and Alyssa explain how that whole situation had happened. Laurel and I didn’t know that while we were getting pictures with Howie, Nick, and AJ that Jennifer and Alyssa were waiting for us so that they could ask me themselves if they could stay in my hotel room. While I was getting my picture taken with AJ earlier, that’s when Brian came up from behind Jennifer and Alyssa and asked them what they were doing? Jennifer and Alyssa told Brian they were waiting for Jocelyn because they wanted to ask me about staying in my hotel room. Then they asked Brian, can you ask Jocelyn for us cause she can’t say no to you? That’s when Brian saw me with AJ getting a picture taken and he told Jennifer and Alyssa, look she’s so mesmerized by AJ lmao! (So not true Brian :p Nick is the only one who mesmerizes me.)
I think once they saw I was done taking my picture with AJ that’s when Brian was going to approach me to ask about the hotel question. But the time Brian went to talk to me is the same time Laurel and I walked away. Brian asked Jennifer and Alyssa, hey where did she go? And that’s when he started screaming JOCELYN! JOCELYN! JOCELYN!
I said I knew I heard my name but I just didn’t see who was saying my name. Turns out it was Brian trying to look for me. We were all laughing at the whole situation. I never thought I’d ever hear a Backstreet Boy scream MY name. Sure I’ve had a few fantasies of Nick screaming my name but I didn’t think it would come from Holy Man Brian :p
We all get comfortable in the hotel room and settle in. While I’m on my laptop, I look up briefly and see a GIANT mosquito flying towards my face. My first reaction is to scream like a little girl. When I scream, the mosquito flies to the left and Alyssa, who is in the living room with me asks why did I scream? I tell her I saw a GIANT mosquito and then she sees it’s now flying near her. She grabs something and manages to kill it. Jennifer and Laurel come running to the living room wondering what had happened. I told them it I saw a GIANT mosquito and they both started to laugh because they thought Brian had done something like tweet about me on Twitter lol
Sunday April 11th, 2010
Going to two wineries was on the schedule from 10 AM to 3:30 PM. This time I put on makeup just in case we’d run into Backstreet Boys again. I hadn’t gotten much sleep so I was afraid of falling asleep during the wine tastings.
It was pouring raining when we went outside to get on the bus! The first winery we went to was called Miner. Unfortunately there were no Backstreet Boys present and I thought the time I actually put on my makeup they’re not there. Oh, well. Then I remembered Howie saying he would be a brunch so I thought he had lied to me.
There’s an impromptu cave at the Miner so we all gather in the cave for performances by former American Idol contestant Jason Castro and Canadian singer Serena Ryder. The cave was dimly lit and the mellow music Jason and Serena were singing was putting me to sleep. I couldn’t stop yawning and I struggled to keep my eyes open. After they’re done with their set, we walk down the cave and into an area where they store barrels of wine. I taste more red wine and eat some delicious strawberries.
Laurel then excuses herself to take a picture with Jason Castro because one of her friends is a huge fan of his. I’m there standing by myself when one of the Aloft employees approaches me and asks if I want a picture with Serena Ryder and Jason Castro. I couldn’t say no so I say yes and she escorts me up to where Jason and Serena are. I tell Laurel that the Aloft people want us to take pictures with Jason and Serena so we take our pictures and then head back to the bus to get ready to go to the next winery.
It’s still pouring rain when we arrive to Silver Oak which is the second and last winery visit of the day. Once we get out of the bus, we run towards the winery, and try not to slip and fall from the wet ground. When I entered the winery I immediately see that Backstreet Boys are there for the wine tasting! (I discovered Howie didn’t lie to me!) I thought yes, putting on my makeup was worth it :p
Laurel and I get our wine glasses for more wine tasting. I honestly didn’t want to drink more wine but at the same time I didn’t want to feel left out so I continued tasting wine. While we stood near the pouring area, Howie spotted us and immediately recognized us. After he got his glass of wine refilled he clinked wine glasses with us and said cheers.
I see Nick a few feet away talking with a couple of people and I wished I wasn’t so shy to talk to him. I wasn’t comfortable approaching him on my own and I couldn’t bring myself to insert myself into the group of people he was talking to already. In my fantasy I wished he would have talked to me instead but it never happened. I just thought about how easy it was to talk with Brian on Saturday night and how approachable Brian was and wished it could have been the same way with Nick.
Since Backstreet Boys were in the premises I tell Laurel why did the Aloft people make us take pictures with Jason Castro and Serena Ryder, two artists we weren’t really big fans of, but they didn’t let us take group pictures with Backstreet Boys? That’s when we made it our mission to get a group picture with them. We tracked down the Aloft employee who had contacted me through e-mail and Laurel asked if there was some way she could get the Backstreet Boys to take a group picture with us. I then add we want a group picture because through their fan club it costs $500 or $300 dollars for one group picture with them. When I told the Aloft employee that, she looked completely shocked. She then told us she’d make it happen but suggested we eat first.
Laurel and I go to the dining room area and try to find a table to sit at. Most of the seats are already taken but we find a spot at a long table which is near a round table where Backstreet and their crew are sitting and eating. Different types of pizzas are being served. The first slice I tried had delicious cheese. The second slice had chipotle sauce and I didn’t really like it. The third slice had mussels on it. I took one bite and thought it was too salty. I picked up one mussel from the pizza and ate it. It tasted disgusting so I ended up spitting it out into a napkin.
After a few minutes of sitting and waiting, the Aloft employee comes by and tells me and Laurel it’s time for the group picture. I momentarily freak out inside and think I’m not ready. Then I hoped I didn’t have any food stuck in between my teeth or have some food crumbs on my face and clothes. We’re taken into an empty room covered with multiple picture frames on the walls.
Nick and AJ are already inside and I shake hands with AJ first and he bends his down and he rubs his prickly bearded cheek against my cheek. I then shake hands with Nick and he says, Nice to meet you again (which I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing). Then Brian walks into the room and when he sees me he gives me a hug. He says Jocelyn, I talked to my wife about you this morning. I said oh really? And I wanted to ask more about it but I was interrupted when the photographer told everyone to get into place for the picture so Brian got into position.
Nick comes up and presses his right side against my left side. It was momentary heaven for me to have his arm around me. The photographer and 2 Aloft people with our cameras snapped pictures. Then the photographer motioned us to squish closer together so now Nick’s side is really all pushed up against mine. *sigh* I could have stayed latched to his side for days if it was possible.
(Photo courtesy of Laurel. See! No gap between me and Nick :p)
(Photo courtesy of Laurel. What's going on with Nick's mouth?)
When we all break apart from the picture pose, we linger for 2 seconds and I manage to get eye contact with both Nick and Howie. I said the first thing that entered my mind which was I’m so glad I didn’t have to spend $500 for VIP. Nick and Howie both laughed at my remark. I thought I finally had my opportunity for a quick chat with Nick and guess what he does? He walks away from me right after he’s done laughing without even saying anything like bye or thank you or even giving a nod to indicate he was going :\ It was just so abrupt and I have to admit it did sting that he obviously wasn’t interested in talking to me. Howie gives me a little nod and follows Nick.
But before all of Backstreet could leave the room, the Aloft employee who was the one who arranged a group picture with Backstreet got her own group picture with them and then they all leave the room. I give the Aloft employee and BIG hug and thank her so much for letting us get a group picture.
Laurel and I go back to the table and I notice they put out brownies out for dessert. I get one and sit down. I look around the room and I see Nick is standing in front of where a large flat screen TV is mounted onto the wall. The Masters Golf Tournament is being shown and Nick looked to be deeply interested in watching it. (I guess that’s why he didn’t want to small talk with me. He needed to watch the tournament.)
A Jive Records executive gets on the stage and introduces a singer named Marit Larsen who is formerly from the duo M2M. Apparently their only hit was on the Pokemon soundtrack. When Marit performs her set, Backstreet leaves and I assume it’s to get ready for their show at the Napa Opera House.
After her set, Laurel and I hang out and while waiting in a line to go to the bathroom I talk to a lady who works for the morning show in Bakersfield, Ca. At 3:00 PM we all get on the bus and head back to the hotel.
I decide to eat a snack so I have something in my stomach because I wasn’t sure if we’d have time for dinner later. Laurel had brought pretzels dipped in white chocolate so I eat that and drink some diet cherry coke. After Laurel’s brief nap, we get into my car and drive to the Napa Opera House. It’s pouring rain and it takes a while for me to find a parking spot but I finally find a great space right in front of the Opera House.
Laurel’s friend Kimber who is from Fresno is already in line. Laurel had won two front row tickets to the show from the Backstreet Boys fan club and she gave her other ticket to Kimber. We wait in line and then I finally meet someone I know from LiveDaily named Samantha from Sacramento who had messaged me a few weeks ago and told me she was going to the show too. Then Jennifer and Alyssa join us in line and then the twins arrive.
Behind us in line are two girls. They keep smoking cigarettes and blowing smoke in our direction. The smell of cigarette smoke starts to make me nauseous and my stomach begins to get upset. Then the smell of someone’s cheap flowerly body spray makes me even more nauseous. It’s gradually getting worse and I’m thinking why is this happening NOW? I wanted to vomit but I didn’t want to do it outside in front of people and in front of an opera house.
I leaned against the wall and tried to regain my strength and energy. I didn’t see any drugstores around so I couldn’t go and buy medicine to sooth my stomach. I was beginning to regret drinking all that wine earlier in the day. I rarely drink alcohol and the last time I drank wine was in 2008 at my cousins wedding reception. It also didn’t help that the whole weekend I didn’t have a proper meal since the wineries served appetizers instead of full meals.
When the doors open, we all get our wristbands and sit down at the tables in the lobby area. I buy a bottle of water and hope it’ll calm down my stomach. Unfortunately, my stomach is getting worse. I tell Laurel, Samantha, and Kimber that my stomach hurts. They suggested I ask if the Opera House had crackers or food so I went to the bar area and ask the old lady behind the counter if they have any crackers or medicine because my stomach hurt. She said all they had was tea and ice cream. I didn’t really want either or those so I go back to the table and sit down.
By this point, I’m really out of it. My heart is racing, my stomach feels like crap, and I’m nervously sweating. It’s 6:30 PM by now and people are already going to their seats. Laurel and Kimber decide to go inside while Samantha and I stay in the lobby area. I tell Samantha she can go inside if she wants to but she waits with me since the line to go inside was already long.
I decided I needed something in my stomach and give in to buying the ice cream. I was hoping it would calm down my stomach. When I get the ice cream, it’s literally frozen. I can’t even poke the flat plastic spoon into it. I thought wow, that was a complete waste of $2.00. I look at my watch and see it is 6:45 PM and the show is supposed to start at 7:00 PM!
I’m praying to God, please don’t let me miss this concert, please let me last for at least two more hours so I can see this concert. I don’t want to be the one fainting or passing out at a Backstreet Boys concert! I don’t want to die before a Backstreet Boys concert!
Samantha offered me her bag of peanut butter M&M’s and I usually LOVE peanut butter M&M’s (people who follow me on Twitter should know this) and I couldn’t even bring myself to eat them. I told her that I shouldn’t eat them because they have a lot of sugar.
I could feel that I need to vomit but I was scared because what if I vomit and I make my stomach hurt even more or give myself a headache. I also think what if I vomit on my clothes? I had no change of clothing with me. The time was ticking and it was almost show time. I had to decide really fast on what I had to do.
I wasn’t getting any better so I tell Samantha I’m going to the bathroom to see if I can vomit. I make it to the bathroom and stare at the toilet bowl for 30 seconds. I try to heave but nothing comes out. I thought okay, I can’t force myself to vomit so I might as well pee since I’m in the stall already. I grab two paper toilet seat covers and I’m about to put them on the toilet seat when I feel my stomach start to go crazy.
I heaved once and a huge gush of liquid expelled from my stomach. My heart is racing and I’m panting. I thought that was it but then I felt another wave of vomit itching to escape. I heaved one more time and another huge gush of liquid came rushing out. After vomiting a second time I IMMEDIATELY felt so much better. I felt like I was recharged! I was so happy my condition improved. I go back to the table where Samantha is sitting and tell her I feel so much better! We then go in and take our seats. My seat is in row A seat 5 which is where stage right is.
Jen the manager then comes on the stage and introduces Backstreet Boys. They sit in the same order they sat on Saturday Night for Live in the Vineyard except this time in front of me is Brian. The order from stage right is Brian, Howie, Nick and AJ.
For the first couple of songs we’re all sitting down but I can feel the whole room wants to stand up but we’re not sure if we all should. Then Laurel and her friends stand up and when AJ sees this, he tells everyone to stand up and the energy instantly goes up in the room. It honestly felt better to stand up. I was in awe because that was the second time that weekend I had a front row view of Backstreet. It was nice not having to stretch my neck or get on my tip toes to see.
(Brian singing with his eyes closed.)
(Um... by the big size of this picture you can tell who's my favorite Backstreet Boy :-\)
(Yes I took a picture of this half of Nick's body.)
(AJ singing with his eyes closed... I thought that was Brian's trademark?!)
I mentioned this on LiveDaily and some of you might know about what happened already but if you don’t here’s what happened. It seemed my camera was anti-This is Us in Napa.
On Saturday night I pressed record at the start of This is Us but when I looked at the screen the seconds and minutes recorded time wasn't moving. I assumed it wasn't recording so I pressed the stop button and just watched the performance. When I looked at my camera later I saw I recorded 34 seconds of TIU and I thought darn, if I didn't touch the camera I would have gotten the whole song.
Here's 34 seconds of TIU from Live in the Vineyard:
So I thought, since I didn't get the full video of TIU Saturday night that I would get it on Sunday night. I was recording right when they start to sing TIU and my camera just decides to stop! I was like grrr and did my best to press record again so I caught the middle of the first time they do the chorus till the end.
I guess if you play the two clips back to back it'll be the full song but of course it doesn't compare to having the full song *pout* Oh, well, better than nothing!
My camera did do its job when I recorded Undone at the fan event on Sunday Night. (Disclaimer: My camera loves to aim its lens at Nick.)
There was one song, I forgot which one but I felt Nick looking right at me as he sang his verse and I just melted into the floor. One fan asked what their favorite Backstreet Boys song was and Brian said he usually says As Long As You Love Me because he met his wife on the set of the music video but he wanted to change his answer to Siberia because he and his wife love that song too. Howie said his favorite is All I Have To Give.
Nick said his favorite song was Incomplete which I didn’t expect him to say. I thought that was interesting especially that’s one of the Backstreet Boys that gives me images and visions in my mind. I have a whole music video treatment in my head for that song.
Hearing them stripped down with just their voices and a guitar was truly a privilege to hear. I would rather pay to see them do an acoustic show than a full blown concert with the dancing, fancy lights, and band/DJ.
They end the show with singing I Want It That Way. Part of the ticket I bought included a meet and greet which happened after the show. Upon entering the room where the meet and greet was I see AJ first and we hug, next is Howie and we hug. Then he asks me if I enjoyed the wine. I paused and I almost told him I vomited before the show tonight but decided to spare him that ugly image. I lied and said Yes, it was very good :-\
Next is Nick who opens his arms and hugs me. I tell him Nice to meet you again but I was kind of over Nick and I wanted to get to Brian. When I see Brian I ask him What’s my name? and he answers Jocelyn. Then he gives me a big hug and says “I got you” which I thought was random since that’s Nick’s song. I didn’t know where to stand for the picture so I ask out loud to no one in particular Where do I stand? Brian answered, “You can stand wherever you want.”
(Meet & Greet picture from the Napa Opera House)
So… I stand next to Nick! :p Now that I look back on it, I guess that showed Brian who my favorite Backstreet Boy was (sorry Brian!). We take the picture and then we’re all given a pre-printed autographed poster. We all go to the lobby area of the Opera House and let the evening sink in. After the twins, Jennifer, Alyssa, and Sam are done taking their pictures we all hang out for a while and reflect on the weekend. I take pictures with Jennifer, Alyssa, Laurel, and Sam.
(Photo courtesy of Laurel. From left to right: Jennifer, A stranger's head lol, Alyssa, Laurel, and the token asian aka me :p)
(Me and Samantha)
Since Jennifer, Alyssa, and Kimber have to drive back home, we say bye to them. Then we say bye to the twins. The twins had said Backstreet would be going back to the hotel after they were done with the meet and greet. I ask Sam if she wants to come back to the hotel with me and Laurel since there might be a slight chance Backstreet might attend the last part of the Live in the Vineyard events. She says yes so we all drive back to the hotel.
Once we get to the hotel we go back to the cocktail reception area and hope to get some food but all the food was cleared out. We wait outside the ballroom and listen to the band Train’s performance through the walls.
We decide to walk around and see the same table that’s set up with the pictures of artists who performed over the weekend. The guy behind the table said to take as much as we want. I grabbed a whole bunch of Backstreet Boys 8x10’s. Then he brings out some boxes and opens them up for us. Inside the boxes are This is Us CDs so I grab as many as I could and stuff them into my Chanel bag because I figure I could give some away to people I know who don’t have the album yet.
We then find a table in the bar area overlooking the golf course and wait and see if any of Backstreet would come by. Next to our table are a group of Backstreet fans too. Laurel and Sam notice Justin from the Backstreet Boys fan club walk into the bar. Apparently he’s with a group of people who work for Ground Control which is the company that runs the fan club. A few minutes later we see AJ and he’s hanging out in the bar having some drinks and chatting with people. We decide to let him be for a while as he drank and smoked a cigarette and socialized.
When it looks like AJ is leaving, the girls in the table next to us call out his name. Then they take a group picture with him. As he’s about to walk away, the girls talk to him and so he stays to chat with them. Earlier I had placed my Chanel bag with the multiple copies of This is Us inside on the table. As AJ is talking to the fans next to us he leans his hand back and presses it down on my Chanel bag and uses it as a hand rest.
My first thought was ewww because he was just smoking outside and I didn’t want my Chanel to reek of cigarettes. Then I thought, do I let him keep touching my Chanel or tell him to stop touching it because I didn’t want him to dent it or just hope he’d let go of it eventually. I let him keep touching it and then once he took his hand away and I grabbed it and made sure he didn’t dent it. To my relief my Chanel was okay.
That’s when I tweeted AJ just touched my Chanel. Arianna, one of the fans who was sitting in the table next to us happened to be following me on Twitter and she laughed when she saw that tweet. Then I told Laurel and Samantha about the tweet. I said I had placed the copies of This is Us into my bag and thought it would have been hilarious if AJ had pressed too hard on my Chanel bag and made it fall with the copies of This is Us spilling out of my bag.
AJ goes back to the bar and then a really drunk Ground Control employee comes to the table we’re sitting at with a Domino’s pizza box. He opens it and reveals a half cheese/half pepperoni pizza. He drunkenly tells us, yoooou knoooow yoooou waaaant ittt, come onnnnnnn yoooou knooow yoooou waaaant it. I tell him I'm going for it and grab a slice because I hadn’t had any solid food in hours! Then when he’s about to go away, he’s so drunk that he almost drops the rest of the pizza on the ground but Laurel and I save the pizza from falling.
After Laurel eats her pizza, she goes to the bar because she wants to give AJ a goodnight hug. Sam and I then follow her. Justin from the fan club then says AJ has to go. Once AJ is gone, we all head back to my hotel room. Since Samantha is from Sacramento and it’s almost 1 AM in the morning I tell her she’s welcome to stay in the room with me and Laurel. I also thought it would be more fun to add another person to the room since I had done that the previous night with Jennifer and Alyssa.
It’s pouring rain when go outside. We do our best to make it back to the room as fast as we can. We’re soaking wet by the time we get inside the room. I couldn’t help feeling sad that the weekend was over. It was truly an unforgettable experience. I don’t even know how I can go other Backstreet events now since the bar has been raised too high for me. I wish I had a rewind button because I would gladly relive my weekend in Napa over and over again.