This is Me Before I Come Undone

As many of you know, I traveled to Australia for the first time a little over a year ago, and met Kirsty, my wonderful girlfriend.  Ever since last winter we’ve been trying to figure out how to get her into the country so we could finally spend more than a few weeks at a time together.  We thought it would be difficult; after all, the U.S. immigration system is notoriously difficult.  What we didn’t realize is that it would be nearly impossible.  We didn’t know that you could have a decent, valid, legit job offer here, with an employer who was willing to do all of the proper paperwork, and have literally NO VISA you could apply for that would allow you to come here and take it.  But that is the case.

On Tuesday night, the attorney we’ve retained notified us that there is no way Kirsty can be eligible for the visa we were trying to get for her.  That leaves very few options, and none of them are all that great.  By way of background, Kirsty is a bicycle mechanic.  Out of high school, she did a four-year apprenticeship in bicycle mechanics, and has spent nearly ten years in the industry.  She can build wheels from scratch, while I can’t even manage to inflate my bike tire without something going horribly wrong (exploding the tube, ripping out the valve, I’m serious…it’s not possible).  Her bike, which she built for herself, is worth more than my car several times over.  In short, she knows what the fuck she’s doing.

Guess what though?  In order to get a work visa in the United States that lasts more than a few months, you have to have a college degree.  That’s right, if you couldn’t afford to go to college or thought some other career path was more interesting or a better move for you, we don’t want you.  If you’ve somehow managed to work 12 years or more in a “specialized profession,” that can substitute for a college degree, with every three years of work “equaling” one year of college.  What counts as a “specialized profession?”  One that usually *requires* a college degree.  Knowing how to assemble hydraulic brakes?  Apparently THAT’S not “specialized” enough.  And so we were told the other night that Kirsty’s four years of apprenticeship work, certification in two countries, and ten years of experience was not worth enough to equal what is often, in the United States, a totally worthless piece of paper.

There are a ton of work visas, it seems.  However, all are so specialized.  The H-1B is the aforementioned “specialized profession” visa, that many people (with college degrees) use to work in the United States.  The process to get one is long (around 4-6 months) and expensive (up to $2,000), but with our limited lack of options is looking pretty ideal right about now.  The E-3 visa is like the H-1B visa, but JUST for Australians.  In fact it’s one of the ONLY work visas that is country-specific, and it proves how much we like Australians around here: It’s faster (1-2 months), cheaper (around $400), renewable INDEFINITELY (even the H-1B doesn’t do that), and the cap is almost never met (the cap for E-3 visas is 10,500.  Only about 3,000 have been granted per year.  To give you a comparison, the cap for the H-1B is only 65,000 granted per year, for ALL OTHER NATIONALITIES IN THE WORLD.  You can bet that is usually met).  We were trying to get that one for Kirsty, it would have been awesome.  However, you already know the problem.

We’re left looking at all the things we can’t have.  “L” visas are for people transferring to an American branch of their company.  “J” visas are for au pairs, students working over the summer, or recent graduates working right out of school (since Kirsty graduated over three years ago, she’s not eligible for these).  “O” visas are for “aliens of extraordinary ability” (I’m not joking) and you can get one if you’ve won an Oscar, a Grammy, an Olympic medal, or a Pulitzer Prize.  “P” visas are for “Internationally Recognized Athletes or Entertainment Groups” (if you ever wondered what T&S or An Horse or any other band has to do to be allowed to tour in the U.S., there you go).

We have only three options for Kirsty: an H-2B visa, a K visa and the visa waiver program.  An H-2B visa is for “Temporary Unskilled Nonagricultural Workers.”  To get one, you have to PROVE that the employer couldn’t find an American to hire instead, which requires you to jump through all kinds of fucking hoops.  You also have to prove that there is some extenuating circumstance creating this need for foreign workers within the company.  You also have to prove that the need is only *temporary* (e.g. you’re not going to get here longer than a few months).  We are probably going to try again for this one… we started the process back in April, when she was first offered a job at a shop here, but we made mistakes and have to start over.  Now that the summer bike shop “peak season” is wrapping up in a few months, we might have to wait until next spring to even try it again.  I was hoping she would be here in July of this year.  March of 2012 doesn’t really cut it.  😦

“K” visas are student visas.  You know what you can’t do on a student visa?  Work or support yourself at all.  You know what else you can’t do?  Get any federal loans or grants, because you aren’t a U.S. citizen.  So what does this mean?  You have to prove up front that you have all of the money to support yourself for the entire length of your visa, or that you have people who will sign an affidavit pledging how much they will give you to support each year.  Plus Kirsty doesn’t even know what she’d want to go to school for, and she’d never really planned on going back at all.  She doesn’t see it as an awesome option to have me completely supporting her (provided I could even do that on my salary, though I think I could) or to take out tons of private loans to not even know what course she wants to study.

Then there’s the visa waiver program.  It allows people from certain countries to stay in the U.S. for up to three months at a time, until U.S. Immigration catches on to what you’re doing and won’t let you back into the country.  You know what you can’t do on the visa waiver program?  Work or go to school or do pretty much anything at all that would let you lead a productive life.

“So why don’t you just get married?!” everyone asks me, “It’s legal in D.C.!”  Ah, right you are my friend.  However, you forget that immigration is a federal issue, and the federal government doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages at all, let alone for the hotly-contested purposes of immigration.  I wish it were so easy.  If we were a straight couple, we could get married now and she could start the process to gain U.S. citizenship.  Or, we could apply for a fiance visa, which would allow her to be in the country immediately, provided we got married within 90 days.  Go ahead and argue if you want that that process isn’t necessarily “easy”… but let me tell you that it is easier than NOT having that option.

You know, I was never overly concerned with the same-sex marriage debate.  Yes, it is a hugely important issue and one that I support with all my heart.  However, as I saw it, we are on the right side of history.  The wheels are turning slowly, but they are turning.  In the end, we are going to prevail, no matter what the other side says or does.  There WILL be a time where people look back at this time and can’t believe the debate was as fierce as it was, or even that it existed at all.  THAT TIME WILL COME.  I have no doubts.  But for me, marriage wasn’t in my foreseeable future, and I was (reasonably) content with thinking that if it DID end up in my near future, I could have a commitment ceremony, or get married where it was legal, and be perfectly happy with that, at least until the laws changed.  Well… as is always proven, some things (everything) changes faster than laws do.  Did I expect that I’d end up meeting someone from the other side of the world, and suddenly have the marriage debate, and even more pointedly, the immigration debate, apply directly to me?  Not so much.  But here we are.  For the first time in a long time, things feel truly unfair.  In the next month I will go to two weddings, and instead of being bitter about being single — as I have usually been at weddings — I’m going to feel bitter that I have no power to get my partner here like they could if they needed to.  I’m looking at straight unmarried couples with one non-American partner and thinking that at least they have an out.  I didn’t plan on marrying someone so soon after meeting them, as Kirsty and I have only been together a little over a year… but I’ve thought about it and without a doubt I would, if it meant that she could be here with me every day.  I was explaining the situation to our receptionist the other day, when up on CNN flashed the headline “Green Cards Denied for Same-Sex Couples” and it just felt so ironic.  We are so new to this issue and this problem, where there have been people dealing with it for years, fighting in court, being deported.  The more I think about it, the more I think that it is one of the cruelest effects of the ban on federal recognition of same-sex couples in this country.

So, back to the drawing board.  “What about doing it the illegal way?” people whisper to me, “People do it all the time!”  I know they do.  But do you know what happens to them if they’re caught?  Stay in this country for six months before being caught, and you are BANNED from the United States for FIVE YEARS.  Stay for a year before being caught and you’re banned for TEN.  Can I imagine what it would be like if for TEN YEARS Kirsty couldn’t see my family, stay at my house, live where I live?   “Okay, maybe not,” people whisper back to me.  “Can she marry a man?”  Well, she could… we have several male friends who I bet would do it, who have even offered.  But do you know, in this post-9/11 world (oh how I hate that phrase) just how much you have to prove to establish a relationship worthy of granting the foreign partner a green card?  Do you know what the punishment would be for attempted “marriage fraud” for the purposes of getting someone into the country?  I’m not entirely sure what it is, but I’m thinking a ten year ban from the country would probably be lenient.  The federal government does not like being tricked.  Especially while it’s supposed to be all busy protecting us from “terrorists” and “illegals.”  Not to mention that trying something like that would mean that the guy who tried to help us — and probably myself as well — would go down too for conspiracy to commit marriage fraud and all that jazz.  Not a great move for the career of a lawyer.

A law firm I know put a program a few weeks ago called “Immigration Options for Same-Sex Couples.”  I wanted to go because at this point, it seems like our best “immigration option” is for me to move to Australia.  And I want to move to Australia, just not right this moment… the plan was for her to live here for a few years and then for me to go live there for a few years.  It made sense — she’s lived in Brisbane, and with her parents, for a long time and is ready to try something new.  I’ve just started my first real, permanent job out of law school, which actually pays well and would let me put her on my health insurance.  Her parents typically visit the U.S. every year and could come see her, while my parents couldn’t do the same.  Not to mention that with an American law degree, moving to Australia for me would mean at least another year of school in order to practice there, which would come with a price tag of at least $23,000 just for tuition.

People ask me all the time whether it would be easier for me to go there.  Hell yes.  Unlike the U.S., Australia isn’t completely retarded, and even though same-sex marriage isn’t legal there, all you need to do is to be in a relationship with an Australian citizen for over a year in order for them to sponsor you as their de-facto partner.  You don’t even have to have been living together.  How is that for a step in the direction of equality, and not just for same-sex couples??  Quite apart from that, as an attorney, I could probably quite easily get a work visa, even if I couldn’t practice, and of course a student visa wouldn’t be difficult either… except for the aforementioned $23,000 (and I’m not even going to tell you how much debt I already have in the way of student loans).

So here we are, our options next to none, and our hopes of getting her here anytime soon pretty much smashed.  Again, I can’t say enough times how ridiculous it is that you could have a perfectly fine job offer here, and have no visa that would allow you to come and take it.  That your only options would be ones that wouldn’t allow you to financially support yourself.  What kind of system is that?  I agree with Obama on that one: A broken one.  People wonder why there are so many “illegal immigrants” and “undocumented workers” in this country, but I’ll tell you why: Because it’s fucking impossible to do it the right way, and after spending months of trying to do it the right way, you’re ready to opt out of a system that pretty much encourages you to do so (and to say “fuck you” on your way out the door).

And I think of the marriage debates and I think of the immigration debates and I look at the picture of me and Kirsty that I have on my desk, and wonder why something as simple as us could be so impossible.

“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt


So, several weeks ago, I stumbled across this website while trying to build a map for a project at work.  I had (way too much) fun making what I needed to make (which is here, if you’re interested… I’m actually quite proud of it!) and when I was done with it, my mind instantly went to what else I could make maps of!  I made a few of places I’ve lived, places I  liked in DC and Atlanta, and then I couldn’t avoid the thought:  one of all of the Tegan and Sara concerts I’ve been to.

My co-workers called me a total nerd for my complete enjoyment of making the maps, although I more attribute it to my obsessive love of detail (if only my life could be as organized as my YouTube channel…), my preference for having everything where I can see it all at once (hello law school finals flow charts…), my affinity for rainbow colors (my bedroom WAS done in rainbows when I was born), and about 30 free hours with nothing to do while my girlfriend was on a plane back to Australia via Korea.

So.  I’ve never summed up everything quite like this, and I wasn’t even entirely sure exactly how many shows I’d really been to.  Luckily my YouTube channel *IS* the most organized thing in my life (apart from my Flickr page), so that helped tremendously.  I also dug back into the Flickr pics for the first few shows I didn’t take video of, and, as for the very first show, where I don’t even have pictures, well, I had to dig into the online archives for that one.

And so here we have it.  I never meant to publicly admit to exactly how many shows I’ve been to, but after holding on to this for a few weeks I decided that I had too much fun making it not to share.  (Plus, everyone is forever asking me how many shows I have been to, so here, all of you, there you go!)

When you open the map it will at first show just tour routes and the markers for the first shows I went to in 2004.  If you click on the boxes next to the little colored markers on the top right hand side, you can add the markers for 2005, 2007 (nope, no 2006 shows, that would have been the “making of The Con” hibernation…), 2008, etc.  I already had the one show I was hoping to hit so far for 2011 up there, however, my cousin just put her wedding on that weekend, so we shall see.  I may soon be posting hoping someone needs an extra ticket to that one.  😦

Second, go to the “Tour Routes” tab on the bottom left, and you can click on the boxes next to them to make the lines on the map disappear… or you can check out the details of which shows I went to on that tour, the order of the tour, how far apart the shows were, all that good stuff.  🙂

Third, go back to the “Concert Locations” tab, and if you click on the name of each venue, it will bring up a bubble with the details of the venue, links to my YouTube videos and Flickr pictures from that show, and a picture from that show (would have added more pictures, but damn I could have gone on forever).  Also in that venue bubble, you can comment on that particular show (there’s an “Add Comment” link!) or you can comment on the map in general at the bottom of the map.  (I like comments.)

Finally, you can zoom way in on the map to see all of the different venues in each city (think I’ve been to six or seven different ones in NYC, for example).  FUN THING: bring up just the green 2009 markers, click on “Hollywood Bowl” on the left, zoom in until you’re like three bars from all the way in, and click on “Satellite” in the upper right hand corner.  Wicked.




So anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge proponent of the “Better Late Than Never” camp… and even though I’ve got a million things to do before going to Australia (and even though it is possible everyone has already forgotten about the last few months with the speed that things seem to happen around here), it didn’t seem right for me to move on to Australia without some comments on this past tour.

For starters, I would like to put this past tour into the category of BEST. TOUR. EVER.  Every tour is fun and different and so is every show, but I have never before so looked forward to each and every single show… which is quite a feat, considering that I think I saw more shows on this tour than I have any other single tour they’ve done (yayyy unemployment… if nothing else, you have a LOT of free time.  Especially to wonder about what you’re doing with your life and how you’re going to pay for it.)  I think there were… 16 shows?  Jesus, I don’t even think I’d counted them before then.  Holy cow.  To recap, they were: Northampton-Boston-Brooklyn-UpperDarby/Philadelphia-D.C.-Richmond-Atlanta-New Orleans-Austin-Houston-Minneapolis-Milwaukee-Chicago-Royal Oak/Detroit-Lakewood/Cleveland-Portland.  Umm, yes.  Wow.

Right.  So.  Back to my point.  I’ve always loved Tegan and Sara’s live shows, and for the most part, I’ve usually loved their openers too.  But there was just something about the stage presence and chemistry of and between these three bands that just made every show insanely good.  It was like every night I wasn’t just going to see Tegan and Sara, I was going to see three bands I really really enjoyed, and who clearly really enjoyed each other.  As @JanayS_Kinney said at the Royal Oak show, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen three bands so obsessed with each other.  I love it.”  I loved it too.  After the brief break in the tour in March, Jack from Steel Train commented on how weird it had been to go off on their own for a few weeks.  They got to do some really cool shows in the interim, he said, like SXSW, but that it was almost like “when your mom drops you off at a sleepover, and even though you wanted to go, you’re really totally miserable and just want to go home the whole time and don’t feel better until your mom picks you up and you’re home again.  Well, we’re home and one big happy family again.”  Such an awesome analogy.  Watching the arc of them all meeting for the first time in Northampton evolve into saying emotional goodbyes to each other at the last show in Portland, was just so cool, and really sweet to witness.

What was so great about them all, you might ask?  Holly Miranda’s absolutely beautiful voice.  The poignant lyrics and haunting, ethereal sound of her music.  Steel Train’s energy and enthusiasm.  Their careful balance of upbeat-depressing that is just completely fun to rock out to then and ponder later.  The way that each band gradually incorporated the other into their acts (see Holly Miranda’s “Pelican Rapids” and “Sleep on Fire” and Steel Train’s “SOG Burning in Hell”), making things more interesting and more powerful.  If there were anything I could have wished for, it would have been that Tegan and Sara could still join their openers onstage to make everything even more integrated and amazing (see Tegan accompanying Rachel Cantu and Vivek Shraya during their sets in 2005, or Communique coming back onstage during T&S’s set to do backing vocals for “Time Running,” also in 2005).  I wish, at least, that they could have found a way to incorporate Steel Train and Holly Miranda into just one song of their set.  It could have been amazing.  (Any suggestions on how/which song?)

As for Tegan and Sara, well, they just get better and better all the time.  The more they sink into this album, the more they nail everything (with the usual exception of Tegan and some lyrics) like a well-oiled machine.  Since I couldn’t quite narrow it down to 10 (underinclusive is not my style), I’m picking my Top 20 moments from all of the shows this past tour.

#20 Performance of Alligator – Portland

My favorite of all the shows, as far as music went, had to have been Portland… though every show before that was tight and together, there was something about the *conviction* they played with in Portland that just made it a more intense, high-powered show than any of the others.  It’s hard to describe exactly what was different, but everyone I talked to afterward seemed to feel it too.  I felt like Tegan and Sara performed all of the songs, but this one in particular, more emphatically than I thought was even possible.  Sara on the bridge here – especially convincing.

#19 “Unsolicited Boobies” – Washington, D.C.

This was a fun show for me because it was my home, my town, and even my former office building right across the street.  Even though it’s always slightly anticlimactic not to GO anywhere for a show (I know, it’s got to be difficult to be exciting, right?) it was really fun (and kind of surreal) to introduce my best friends and roommates in D.C. to a little bit of my world.  Though I think this resulted in them thinking I’m even crazier than they already thought I was, they all seemed to have a really good time, and still laugh about Tegan’s “unsolicited boobies” tangent (and especially about her covering her eyes later when a group of girls started yelling her name).  Good job, guys.  😉

#18 The Ceiling at the Aragon – Chicago

Once I got over my anxiety attacks about being up in the balcony for a change, it was actually kind of cool.  The venue was surreal, and watching the swirling mob of a crowd below was a hell of a lot better than being IN it.  Plus, a lot of you seemed to like the different view.  Still not sure whether I could do it again, though.  😉

#17 Sara Jumped Rope – Milwaukee

Before we had a visual of Sara jumping rope, we had to try to picture it.  Which was actually pretty hard.

#16 Steel Train & Holly Miranda Cover “Under Pressure” – Chicago

They must not have thought it went well because they didn’t try it again, but it was so cool that they tried!  We all got so excited when they started playing the intro… it was either going to be “Under Pressure” or “Ice Ice Baby,” and pretty much either one would have been awesome… for distinctly different reasons.  Heh.

#15 Sara Raps Bone Thugs – Minneapolis

Sara, you never cease to surprise us.  Bone Thugs n Harmony was one of your favorite bands?  Wow… but then again, they were also the favorite band of my ex-girlfriend who dragged me to the first Tegan and Sara show I ever saw.  Go figure.

#14 Tegan Slow Dancing – Royal Oak

Did everyone else notice Tegan taking the lead role?  I thought so.

#13 Steel Train Covering “Dancing in the Dark” – Portland

Dude, this song was MADE for these guys to cover it!  Not that I don’t love Tegan and Sara’s cover of it, I do… but man, Steel Train KILLED it.  The video doesn’t even do justice to the energy and awesomeness this performance had.

#12 Revisiting the Variety Playhouse – Atlanta

Even though I didn’t originally plan on going to this show, I couldn’t resist.  I haven’t missed a Tegan and Sara show in Atlanta since my first show in 2004 (when I was still living in Atlanta)… and seeing as how the first show of theirs I ever saw was at the Variety Playhouse (opening for Melissa Ferrick at the time), it had just a little bit of sentimental value for me.  I don’t remember much about my first T&S show at all, and I have never been able to find video of it.  The only thing I specifically remember is being captivated by “Where Does the Good Go.”  The world comes full circle yet again.

#11 Tegan’s Manicure Trauma – Brooklyn

If picturing Tegan getting a manicure isn’t funny, I don’t know what is.  Except maybe watching her hyperventilate while retelling the story.

#10 Meeting Really Awesome People – Everywhere

This would be no fun at all if it weren’t for the people.  Live twittercasting with @winkedinkie and @JulieIsntMyName as we drove from Austin to Houston.  Trying to figure out how to start a Prius with @runnerup in New Orleans.  Freezing outside in the snow with @njmisfit, @JoeYTeacups, @LBoogie_, @alovesickbruise, @sansei3, @inaccuratemap, @hoosierforlife and even @bethofalltrades in Brooklyn.  Sleeping on @bastiannarten’s couch in Atlanta and @MrRory’s parents’ living room floor in Detroit with @MrTubes, @WeaselWarrior, and @HammyCamey.  It is the friends I’ve made doing this over the years that make this fun and worth it.  Not to mention that this time around I finally got to meet my awesome and ridiculously committed YouTube bitch assistant @JanayS_Kinney, and accompany her to her first ever Tegan and Sara show!  (After watching and labeling about a billion of my concert videos, I thought she’d pass out finally seeing them in 3D.  But she did fine. 😉  Much thanks to Janay’s friends who allowed me to drag her all of the way to the front railing… it just wouldn’t have been the same without her.  🙂

In addition, there were just so many others… sharing a show with @austinaustin13 in Austin… meeting @Heather_D_ when she and I BOTH had awesomely special nights in Richmond (and she forgot to give me my birthday present ;)… chatting with @britt49 outside in Royal Oak… EVERYONE who was so awesome to us in Houston… all of the people who were so caring when I was in the hospital before Portland, and not to mention this time getting COOKIES (!!!!!!!) including homemade ones from @turtleturd6736 in Minneapolis and Oreos and fudge cookies from @rachelrjones in Cleveland!  AMAZING.  (Actually, if I met you on this last tour and you’re reading this, give me a shout out in the comments to say hi.  You all are so much fun.)

#9 Inviting the Audience to the Encore – Houston

After dealing with some loud and difficult audiences (east coast, wtf?  New Orleans… WTF??) it was bittersweet to see Sara especially getting so emotional about having an enthusiastic, respectful crowd.  Sometimes I see people posting things like, “oh they didn’t talk that much, they must not have liked us, it must not have been a very good show…” and I think, no… when they audience is on the same page as them, they enjoy being onstage, and you can tell… and to me, *that’s* what makes a good show.

#8 Tegan Smiling During Alligator – Houston

One of my favorite pictures from the tour.  Tegan was jamming in her own little world and playing the tiny keyboard solo in Alligator when the audience actually cheered for her.  I took this right as she looked up when she heard them.  I think it says it all.

#7 “Should Sara Sex It Up?” – Boston

Because I’ve retold this story too many times… oh Sara… LOL.

#6 Reinterpretation of Monday – Lakewood/Cleveland

SO excited to see hear this song make a comeback in the setlist!  I hadn’t heard it live since 2007, I think, and I definitely didn’t have any good recordings of it (though I appear to have a number of bad sound quality clips from my old camera… woo hoo!  If you’re interested, this is the longest: – New Orleans HOB, 2007).  In any case… this remake of the song is simpler, darker and more dramatic.  Who would have thought you could take a song with a music video involving a cartoon monkey and turn it into something so haunting?  And how about Ted’s guitar part, huh??  Love it.

#5 Steel Train w/Holly Miranda & Gorilla –  Portland

This song was one of the ones I most looked forward to every night because the drum breakdown at the end was what one review called “an absolute stunner.”  Four people drumming at once, amazing.  When more of Holly Miranda’s band joined in later shows, even more amazing.  This last night, Holly Miranda herself joined in, accompanied by… a gorilla.  Now this I can say for sure has never happened at a Tegan and Sara show before.  The audience was so stunned that I don’t think anyone even noticed Tegan practically standing on the stage filming and laughing her ass off.  Hilarious.

#4 Taking Requests – Brooklyn

I never thought I would see the day where Tegan and Sara would take requests from the audience again.  Both of them are such perfectionists and control freaks that seeing them try to play something they honestly weren’t sure they could play was fascinating.  They rarely vary their set list very much night to night, let alone make it up on the fly.  I feel like this is especially true for Sara (since Tegan often *does* have to make up words on the fly, actually…) and so I was so proud of her stubborn attempts to try to play “Dancing in the Dark,” merely to refute Tegan’s assumption that she wouldn’t be able to do it.  She didn’t get too far, but man, was I proud of her for trying.  🙂  (Also, can’t lie, “Light Up” live was a very close second.)

#3 “Mark My Words,” Holly Miranda – Cleveland

LOVE. THIS. SONG.  Love love love love love.  Everything about it.  If you don’t fall in love with her voice when she sings “for you” for the fourth time in the bridge, there is no hope for you.  Now if only we could figure out that one word in the refrain.

#2 “This Is Everything” – Brooklyn

I actually got giddy when I heard them start to soundcheck this song.  GIDDY.  What was one song I would have killed to have my own live recording of?  THIS ONE.  (My only clip of it, with my old camera with lousy sound, was this one:  I remember the same giddy feeling the first time I heard them play it live in 2005, when I was thrilled they were pulling out such an old song, such a good one, and one of my favorites, then and now.  It’s so emotional, so powerful, and for me, so true.  Having that moment where you tell the person you love more than anything in the world that they have to leave your life forever… I struggled to put that experience into words.  Until I heard this song.

And Finally, #1… (Richmond)

Um, I mean, yeah.  Just… yeah.  Was there anything else I could have put??

And with that I will finish, because I tend to get carried away by these kinds of things and just need to accept the fact that there is always a ton of stuff I’ve missed or forgotten, and that it’s okay.  If nothing else, this has for sure been a crazy reflection exercise/challenge for ME, and it was actually kind of cool to think of all I got to see and do (although my brain hurts just a little).  BUT, please, tell me, what were YOUR favorite moments from the tour?  Remind me of what I’ve forgotten and bitch at me for what I didn’t include.  I’d really like to hear what was most special to you.  Go for it.  😉  See you in Australia!

et cetera