Remember when I said on my myspace that I hoped to meet Jason Mraz one day so I could awkwardly proclaim my love to him? And remember when I wanted a re-enactment of this video as my birthday present?
Well 1 ½ was accomplished; the latter being fully accomplished which let's be honest, it was the most important. *high kick* I'm getting ahead of myself though. Let us start at the beginning.
Since I've turned 19, I've had a string of bad birthdays:
Age 19: I spent it in the dorms watching Empire Records with Sarah and Mel as we munched on peanut butter m&m's. All in all not too horrible until I throw in the fact that Megan came back home drunk, tried to sing me happy birthday and before passing out on the futon, she managed to puke all over and who was left to clean it? Me. The movie marathon was canceled and I spent a majority of my time trying to make my room not smell like puke.
Age 20: Hell, I don't even REMEMBER turning 20. What does that mean?
Age 21: Holy horrible. I had the weekend planned out perfectly: Madison to see the wholesome fun boys of Epic Hero and then roadtripping to TWO Hanson shows. Excellent, right? I woke up that Friday with a funky feeling in my face and by the time we reached Madison, my right eye wouldn't stop watering. Cue Justin going, "Come on Annalee, sing! "Hello, hello, it's good to be back again." at the very moment I realized that my right eye wasn't shutting. $250 emergency room visit, a $300 doctor visit, a $2,500 MRI scan later...
I was diagnosed with Bell's Palsy. Awesome. Google it if you like, it's pretty horrific. My doctor predicted that I wouldn't fully recover and there was nothing he could do to help me. Worst. Birthday. Ever. I sank into a deep depression until late January when my face fully cleared up. I'm still scared to this day it will come back.
Age 22: Don't really remember that either. Interesting. I take that back, I don't think anything exciting happened but I do recall George playing "21 and Invincible" on my way home from work and I cried because I was done being 21.
Age 23: I don't even want to discuss it because it just leaves me sad.
Nevertheless, I was not jazzed about my birthday this year. The big part of the problem is that when I was younger (AKA ages 1-18) all my birthdays were magical. Clearly I was spoiled and when my birthdays stopped living up to years past, I grew salty and didn't understand why. I especially didn't understand why I was getting such bad karma since I tried to make other people's birthdays special.
Determained as ever and after having an AMAZING birthday herself, Angst decided to put my day into her capable hands to make sure I had a good birthday. Between her and Stroik - it was a success.
I've been a Jason Mraz fanatic since I was 18. I bought his fist album when I was a senior in high school with a Barnes and Nobles gift card I had received as some senior/confirmation gift. Since there weren't any books I wanted at the time, I wandered into the music section and found the little gem that was "Waiting For My Rocket To Come." Of course, it was ridiculously overpriced but it didn't matter thanks to my snazzy gift card.
Over the years I've collected over 200 or so Mraz songs and every time I discover a new bootleg recording, I fall in love all over again. Needless to say, I'm a pretty serious Mraz fan and tried countless of times to see him the past years - every time being less success than the prior attemps. A few months ago, I saw in my weekly Rave newsletter that he was coming to town..on my birthday.
After calling Angst and Stroik in a panic, tickets were bought, plans were made, and the waiting game began. About a week ago, Jessie found out that KISS FM was giving away meet and greet passes and like the stellar friend she is, she cashed in her precious KISS Klub points to pick up a pair of passes. Normally I'm 100% against meet and greets because they are SO informal and quick. I like meeting people on my own time in an un-typical fan situation. However, since Mraz is nearly impossible to meet on anyone's own terms, I agreed to the meet and greet even though I wasn't feeling the situation.
Amanda and I left on Friday to the Rave around 10:30AM to sit in line for Mraz. All I really wanted was to be front row and by the grace of angels, the Rave passed out numbered tickets of which we scored numbers 5 and 6 (Krista and Adam) and 19,20,21 (Me, Amanda, and Jessie). We checked into the hotel, did some video blogs for the merch 'space and then Jessie and I headed out to the meet and greet where I was dreading the ultimate word vomit that was going to happen in front of Jason. I'm already a rambler and if nervous, I ramble more and usually end up saying things that I probably would not have said otherwise. Case in point:
Me: So any plans on your time off?
Michael: I'm getting my wisdom teeth taken out in January. I've never had dental surgery but everyone tells me it'll be a breeze. I'll be eating a lot of pudding I guess.
Me: *word vomit* Well be careful, I got a horrible gum infection after my wisdom teeth were removed. They took a big long needle and shot my gums four times with some random medication. It was brutal. I think it happened because I was so sick off of the anesthesia and I threw up as soon as I got home. All that stuff must have gotten into my gums...
Michael: Ha. Well.I'll try my best to avoid...all of that.
Oooo and let's not forget the time I confused Tom's chest hair for a tie. I blame my lack of glasses and the fact that Jessie was so high on life that she wasn't listening to anything I was saying so she didn't correct me until it came out of my mouth. I blame her for the bad luck I've had with Tom since then. Totally kidding Jess..
Anyway I was nervous about what kind of word vomit would come out of my mouth with Jason. He's in fact my #1 love and I'm so in lust with him that if I EVER get married in the future, my future husband will have to live with the fact that my heart completely belongs to another guy and that I'd leave him in a second to be with Mraz. Sound psychotic? I thought so.
Somehow I snapped out of nervous mode and walked up the Jason without a care in the world, introduced myself, and declared it my birthday. Cue Mraz wrapping his arms around me while he wished me a happy birthday and as the hug was ending, Jessie began talking to him asking him if he'd play my favorite song for me. I let go of his embrace like a non-psychotic person would do but instead of dropping his arms as well, Jason shook his head while talking to Jessie and pulled me for a snuggle with both arms. We stayed spooned up until the photo was taken and I'm not going to lie, I snuggled my head against his neck and decided to smell him.
Cleary I went back into psychotic fan girl mode. Ooops. My bad. But for the record, he smelled super clean like soap and fabric softener.
Mraz either didn't notice or appreciated the nuzzle or was too busy running his hands all around me to think twice about my nuzzle against him. The photo was then taken, he kept repeating my name and called out happy birthday a few times as I walked away floating on a cloud.
Jessie and I stayed inside as long as possible to avoid the cold and eventually wandered out to find Krista, Adam, and Amanda who were all shaking in the cold. We all thankfully ended up together in the front row in the ballroom towards Toca's side and settled in for a perfect night. Jason plowed through his set list and had yet to play "After An Afternoon" - the song that was requested for my birthday - when he left the stage. I wasn't going to hold my breath hoping that he'd play it. I was perfectly content being in the front ... dancing away.
So out Jason came for his encore, Toca in toe, and he took a breath, looked directly at me, and said, "This one is for Annalee on her birthday" as he began to play for first opening chords to "After An Afternoon".
I melted into a puddle.
Amanda scrambled for her camera to record it.
Adam was ready to throw knives at my head.
For a solid 3 minutes and 29 seconds, Jason sang a beautiful version of my most favorite to me with his eyes shut oh so tight and sweet. It was perfect and left everyone wondering, "Who is Annalee and why is she getting her own song?"
Afterward, while Angst and I were looking at merch, Jessie came running frantically at us with his set list and *tada* there it was immortalized forever, "After An Afternoon for Analeigh." Let's ignore the fact that he murdered the spelling of my name and focus on the fact that he had every intention of playing it that night. *high kick* I joked with my family that I was going to legally change the spelling of my name and surprisingly, my mother was very supportive and said, "Well, if that's what you want, I'm not against it."
After leaving the Rave on a high of all highs, we drove back to the hotel to get dressed to go out. I blew out my candle, our poofy party dresses were put on, flowers were glued onto our hair, and we set off for a fun night. Errr, more like we set off to go dancing for an hour and half. Kuber, Chris, and Alyssa came out with us and together we celebrated my birthday. I'm pretty sure Amanda and I were the only dancing but 'tis just how it is. The three drinks I had put me completely under which left me sick for our roadtrip of the weekend. *le sigh*
Bottom line: Mraz is my one true love forever and I indeed hate alcohol. Best. Birthday. Ever.