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February 26, 2003

Massive Update

I need to update. This I know. It's been too freaking long. I've just been so exhausted! (And part of me didn't want to knock my Meeting JC story off my main page. But away it must go.) I come home, eat dinner with my parents, check my email, and then fall asleep on the couch watching TV. My life is thrilling.

And if I'm not doing that, I'm out getting coffee, or I'm hunting down the "Blowin' Me Up" single in every CD store imaginable.

Let's see. The job is okay. Not that anyone from work would ever actually be reading this, but just in case, I think that's all I'll say. Other than the fact I really like a lot of the people I work with, and, ironically, that's causing me inner turmoil. I have turmoil! What to do, what to do?!

Has anything exciting happened in the Life of Me? Two weekends ago Jessica came home. We celebrated her 20th birthday with the four grandparents and my uncle. Good times.

Last weekend, Tammy came home. I spent Friday evening at Tammy's, along with her friend Lydia. It was really good to see them again. Lots of fun. Then Saturday I saw How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days with Aarti. It was cute. We tried out Bahama Breeze, which I never went to in Florida, and now we have one here. It was pretty cute. I anticipate it being a hoppin' place come summer. We'll have to wait and see on that, I suppose.

I bought John Mayer's "Any Given Thursday" (the CD version) yesterday. I love it. I also bought the "Blowin' Me Up" single. Mine only has two tracks, though, and the one at Amazon has six. So I think I might get that one, too. Must support "My homey, JC" as JoJo would have me calling him.

Speaking of JoJo, I called back yesterday to throw in a vote (since he's off the countdown), because his single was dropping. I talked to Natalie, and then she let me talk to JoJo. He's a funny dude. He answered my call almost immediately (apparently I was the first one he took), and I ended up being on the phone with him about 20 minutes. All in all, a good expenditure of my phone card minutes. Sucks to be on hold for an hour just to talk for two minutes.

He had me record a bunch of stuff, such as asking him what is up with his crazy hair, voting for JC, of course, talking about how COLD it is in Chicago... he tried to "guess" where I was from, asking all these cities. I kept saying "East of that... farther East... keep going.... WAY East..." It was funny. Then he had me record votes for TATU (they were coming into the studio, even though I had NO idea what song I was voting for) and Good Charlotte. At one point, he said something about getting good at being left-handed, and I said I wanted to be left-handed. He said it's easy. I just have to pretend to break my right arm and wear it in a sling for a few days. I'll get real good at the left-handed thing. I told him people might look at me funny, and he agreed and said that people look at him funny with his broken arm. In fact, the other day he caught a couple kids staring at him. I said "JoJo, they weren't staring at your arm, they were staring at your hair." (His hair is big and curly and brown and blond and reddish, all mixed together.) He laughed real loud. I'm usually pretty meek and polite on the phone and I don't think he expected me to be making fun of him. ;) It was fun, though. I think I'll call back randomly, maybe once a week or so, just to keep up with JoJo and Natalie. And then, of course, when a new single comes out, I'll get my votes in.

Which brings me to needing a new cell phone, preferably one with free nights and weekends. That'll help a lot. I've been looking. So far, it looks like Spring PCS is the best deal. I might go with them.

In other news, NICKY on Friday! I'm excited. First concert I've been to in a loooong time. Well, since Martina McBride this fall, I suppose. But it's the first concert I've been to as a fan since probably this summer with I-4. So, Nick Carter, here I come. Afterwards, we're trying to go to an afterparty at the White Star. Not sure how that all is working, but it should be fun, anyway.

For now, I need to go to bed. Long day ahead of me, and my feet are KILLING me. I was stupid and wore boots to work today. I've been in teller training, and I stand ALL DAY LONG. Which I did no problem at Disney, but I was wearing comfortable shoes. Today, not so much. I have to wear dress shoes every day, but I think tomorrow I'm going to go with something a bit flatter. Oh how I wish I could wear gym shoes to work.

February 16, 2003

In the Studio with JC

I know, I know, it has taken me FOREVER to do this. I didn't want to forget one little detail. Sorry, Carolyn, for making you wait so long. It's been a crazy couple of days since I got back, with working. I even had to work yesterday, Saturday, which was no fun at all.

So... drum roll please... I present you with:

In the Studio With JC Chasez Tuesday, February 11, 2003

I want to remember this. Therefore, kind of long.

Let's say it started with calling Natalie and JoJo at KIIS fm back to tell them they were much cooler than our DJ's here. Passes to the studio were offered and not taken seriously. On closer examination and second thought, however, I realized it might not be the craziest idea in the world. I called back the next day, was on hold for two and a half hours, and finally "won" them. Alicia knew I was getting them before I did.

This happened about 1 in the morning Friday night, the 9th of February. I found a plane ticket to Los Angeles that was well within the range of affordability (thanks, Grandma and Grandpa!! It's a Good Thing to hold on to monetary Christmas gifts until they're really needed).

I left work on Monday and went straight to the airport. After a mad dash through the excessively spread-out Minneapolis airport, I arrived in Los Angeles around 11:30 (aka 1:30 CST). Alicia picked me up, and told me that Karey had arrived 12 hours early, and was waiting to be picked up at her terminal.

Tuesday morning was spent having breakfast at Kings Road Cafe (no celebrity spottings that morning) and the Beverly Center for some window shopping. The afternoon was spent nearly choking on my gum over the prices at Fred Segal (Alicia had warned me to check out the people, not the prices, but the sight of a $248 t-shirt was still a shock), getting buzzed in to Betsy Johnson (where the clothes were slightly less shockingly expensive than Fred Segal, and pretty cute, and the salespeople weren't snooty, as I'd imagined they would be in a shop you have to be buzzed into), and eating at Johnny Rockets.

It rained and rained and rained. I had my free Regency Savings Bank umbrella. Believe me when I tell you I felt like a homeless person amongst the designer umbrellas. I had a hair emergency and had to redo it before heading to the studio.

Jenna picked Karey and me up at 3. I had never met Jenna, and word has it she was a bit nervous to be "stuck" with us for a few hours. We got along famously and had a wonderful time admiring her totally swank hotel room. She admits her fears were unfounded.

At 6, we met Alicia at KIIS. We were not allowed to wait outside or under the overhang. We had to stand in the rain. The fixed hair unfixed itself. So much for cuteness.

We were promised in at 8, but that didn't quite happen. We met some interesting people along the way. I had a bit of an incident, however, and was kept downstairs while the rest of the crew headed up. As I was getting into the elevator, I heard "JC will be in the building in 10 seconds" on the woman's radio. She dropped me off around the corner from the elevators and went back for him. No one came to get me, and I could hear his rumbly little voice as he got out of the elevator. Unfortunately for me, the woman came back and ushered me into the conference room before bringing him around the corner.

When we were brought into the studio, JC had already begun his interview. Shortly after our arrival, Susie called in! Susie is living in Germany for a year or two, so was calling from Munich. She gave a shout-out to “Alicia and her crew, Kate, Jenna and Karey.” We cheered quietly for Susie and got funny looks from the rest of the girls in the studio.

Alicia had a bunch of friends calling in, so I may as well get them all in here. Nikki from Michigan called with shout-outs to all of us, Emme from Boston, and Tara from Ontario, Canada. They all said hi to the four of us, so by the end, it was a little embarrassing, but fun for all of Alicia’s friends to have gotten through.

I’m going to try to remember the questions asked that I liked.

** One girl asked him what one thing he hadn’t gotten to do that he’d really like to. He said take a ride in a hot air balloon, because there’s no engine – “it’s just air, man.” Plus, the view. JoJo said JC’d have to wait until after the album came out, in case a bird flew into the balloon and punctured it.

** When asked who his favorite people in the world (other than the other guys of nsync) to sing with were, JC talked about his grandparents’ 50th anniversary party. He said his three uncles and his grandfather used to have a quartet and sang in church and whatnot. For the party, JC replaced his grandfather in the quartet and sang with his uncles for everyone. He said it was the most amazing thing to be doing that for his grandpa. (insert: awwwww).

** He talked at length about a ballad that he wrote for the album. He said it’s the best thing he’s ever written, and if he ever writes something as good or better, he’ll pat himself on the back. Carlos was in agreement, saying “and the Grammy goes too…” to which JC got all embarrassed and told him to stop. JoJo and JC recapped it on the air later, but it was really wonderful to hear him talk about it the first time. He was just so passionate.

** The rumor about JC only ever wearing a pair of underwear or socks once? True. Hey says they’re “NICE out of the box. (insert giant cheesy grin).“ He throws them away every night. He admits he’s weird, though, and says that he marches to the beat of his own drummer. And, since we’re on the topic of underwear, JoJo told a story about being at some awards afterparty or something, and getting thrown in the pool. He ended up borrowing underwear from BBMak’s Christian. JC looked horrified. He said, “NO WAY, man. I’d be freeballin’!”

** He hasn’t cut his hair. It was up in a ponytail, and then tucked into his baseball cap. It was a PacMan hat, which he said was in honor of his purchasing a Pac Man/Gattica (??) machine that day. He said it was a childhood dream to own a Pac Man machine, as he would play in the grocery store while his mom shopped. He was also wearing a brown hooded sweatshirt, which one fan asked if he had on inside out. He looked down, laughed, and said “No, I’m not THAT bad!” Alicia and Jenna report that he had on flip-flops and a toe ring, but I have to say that I never did look at his feet. I was stuck on his mile-long eyelashes. GUH.

** JC gave a shout-out to Joey, who he said was in town filming My Big Fat Greek Life. Actually, he said he was in town sitting on his ass, and then amended it to add the real reason. <.g> He also read an ad for some contest dealing with My Big Fat Greek Wedding. He started out all dorky and badly, pretending he couldn’t read/act at all, and then when he got “serious” he actually did mess up. It was really, really adorable.

** They kept rotating us through, so that everyone got a chance to be up front. During the breaks (song playing, commercial, whatever), sometimes JoJo would interview JC, and other times JC would talk to us. When I was in front, I thought I’d introduce myself to JoJo, since I’d talked to him so many times. I said “Hey, I’m Kate from Chicago,” and JoJo jumped up and said “Oh my gosh! You made it!” and then said to JC, “You have to hear this. This girl flew all the way from Chicago.” It embarrassed me a great deal, but oh well. So Carlos (who is, apparently, JC’s manager) said “I have family in Chicago!” We had a short chat, which basically ended in him telling me Chicago is too cold, and me agreeing. Then JC asked me where I was staying. I told him I was staying with Alicia. (Now, he could have been talking about the fact that a bunch of people had called in from all over the US with shout-outs to Alicia and the rest of us, and he could have been pointing out that Alicia’s a popular girl, but…) he said “There’s a party back at the house later tonight.” Of course, it was a good minute or so later that I blinked and thought Did JC half-invite me to a party at his house? I’d prefer to believe that he did, and that he was not talking about Alicia’s house. <.g>

** It was really cool to hear JC talk about his album. He said that writing for this was a lot different from writing for NSYNC. First of all, for nsync, he writes something, than brings it to the group and they all alter it and modify it and collaborate. Here, it’s just him, putting his soul out there. He also says that with nsync, he does a lot of writing on tour. Because of the environment, a lot of the stuff he writes is fast-paced and danceable. He’s taking a more intellectual approach to this album and is putting “little pieces of his soul” into each song. Many of the songs, he said, are eight minutes long.

** About “Blowin’ Me Up,” he said, “It’s snappy. And you can dance to it.” And he had the goofiest grin on. Totally adorable.

Afterwards, we went into the hall to get pictures taken. It was winner, guest and JC, so we were lined up that way. I ended up alone, though, so… just me and JC. Unfortunately, the woman who took my picture did not know how to work a digital camera and ended up completely blurring it. =( My new picture over there on the sidebar… that’s me with him, and that’s been worked on. It’s much better than it was. Sadness. I’ll just have to meet him again, and get a better picture with him!

Once the pictures were over, he went back into the studio because there was someone who had been on hold forever from Florida, and hadn’t gotten through during the show. So he went back to chat with her, and then read a dedication for the 10:00 Dedication Hour. Totally sweet that he would go back to make sure everyone who’d been on hold got to talk!

Alicia and I wanted to talk to Natalie, to thank her for everything. As we were leaving, we saw a woman (who looked a LOT like my old Pizza Planet manager, Christina… does she have any relatives working for radio stations in Los Angeles?). Natalie was really sweet. We finally had to leave the building, though.

To wrap this up (which yes, I need to do… ha ha!!), Karey left super-duper early Wednesday morning. I woke up to hug her good-bye, then resumed my position as Alicia’s cat’s new bed, as the cat was curled up on me. I made a new friend. Heeee. Then, I got up to say goodbye to Alicia. My cab came about 10:15. I had asked the cab company how long it would take to get to the airport, and they said 30-45 min, with traffic. Since it had taken about a half hour to get home from the airport Monday, night, I thought 10:15 (for a 12:20 flight) would be plenty of time, as I was already checked in and needed only to go to the gate. Since it had been raining NONSTOP in Los Angeles, though… I was very wrong.

My cab driver said it was only the second or third time in half a decade that it had rained more than a half-day at a time. Traffic was horrendous. They had closed one of the roads vital to getting to the airport, and we ended up inching along for over an hour. At 12:00, I sprinted in to the airport. My flight was supposed to start boarding at 11:50. Luckily, my cab driver was a sweet man, and was very entertaining to talk with in the loooong cab ride. I ran through security, and was told “They already called your flight!” Well, duh, lady. It just took me two hours to get to the airport! I RAN through the airport and barely made it, but they were still boarding when I got there. WHEW!

All in all, it was an amazing… 36 hours. Ha. I was not in the slightest disappointed with JC. He was sweet, he was generous, he wasn’t afraid to chat with us. And dude, he invited me to his house! I’ll just keep telling myself that, even if that wasn’t his intention. ;)

And for your viewing pleasure, some pictures:


February 12, 2003

Happy B-Day, C!!

First things first. I have to wish Carolyn a VERY HAPPY 23rd BiRTHDAY (yesterday)!!

I'm SO sorry I'm a day late. I HAVE to talk to you. I left a comment in your blog... I've been bursting to tell you this for days but I was soooo busy and whenever I thought to call, you were either at work, or it was the middle of the night. Will you be around tonight? AHHHHH!!!

Okay. And as for what I've been up to the last couple of days, I'll have more on that later. Right now, I have to catch a cab.

February 05, 2003

Me! On the radio!

Oh goodness gracious. I was on the radio tonight. Not here in Chicago, oh no. That's too easy. I was on the radio in Los Angeles. Because I am a dork.

I have the numbers for the nightly countdown for the KIIS in LA, and figured what the heck? I'll call. I'll just talk to some studio assistant, no biggie. Natalie, for the record, is super-cool. She cut me off as soon as I said Chicago, and said "Let me guess. You're voting for JC." People all over the country have been calling in to vote for Blowin' Me Up, thanks to the lovely Alicia.

So, Natalie and I chatted a bit. She thinks JC has the coolest fans, and if she was famous, she'd want his fans. She really is a sweetheart. Anyway, after we chatted, she said, "hang on, I'm putting you on the radio." (!!!!)

I sat on hold, long-distance, mind you, for 25 minutes. Then JoJo came on the line. We talked about how COLD it is in Chicago (that made it onto the radio), he had me record a bit about his "thing with toes" (no clue what that is, but he had me do it twice), talked about JC's album (due out this summer), OnlyArtist, and the fact that JC is currently in the studio (recording, not radio), which is pretty cool. Then he had me hold on again.

I heard myself over the phone, and then on the live streaming (they're on a couple-minute delay). I sounded like the biggest goober EVER. God. I am not cut out for radio. After the HUGE freak-out I had while waiting on hold, I'm impressed that I got out "JC Chasez's Blowin' Me Up" without stumbling over it completely.

So that was that. I was on the radio in LA. That makes me laugh.

February 03, 2003

Drive-by update

Tried out my DVD burner the other day. It works beautifully! Very exciting. Next on my list will be finding video-ish files online and putting them on DVD. I want to see how that works.

Today, I had training in the city. It wasn't too bad. After work, I went to visit Aarti. We got really, really tasty pizza at Buca di Beppo's. Yum. And we drove all around Boystown. There are some really nice apartments in that area. It's very Chicago, very cute. The kind of neighborhood I'd really like to live in. Too bad I'd have no chance of meeting a significant other there. Of course, I could have all the best platonic buds in the world. ;)

Now, I'm pooped. Time for bed.

February 01, 2003


Re: all these rumors floating around about OnlyArtist.com and how it is set to be tentatively opening on Monday.

This is exciting news. I hope it happens. There are other "rumors" along the same subject lines that I really, really want to squeak happily and bounce a little bit over, but I'm skeptical, and I think I'll hold off until they're substantiated a bit.

On the other hand, I'm quite disappointed that it seems the "feedback" function of the website will be in poll form. I'm hoping that's not true. It's fine to ask us questions, but I really would like to formulate my own answer. I'm probably getting way ahead of things here. I guess I understand that having an "open comment" type option would be invitation for marriage proposals and declarations of love, but I was really excited about being able to offer genuine feedback. <.sigh> I guess we'll find out when the website launches, won't we.

I'm still really excited for OnlyArtist.com to happen.

<--- Is a really big dork.


Along with said dorkiness, I'm going to see Nick in 27 (almost 26) days! And I'm pretty sure Greg got me a ticket to see Billy Joel and Elton John, which I'm practically giddy over, and that's not until April! Yay for concerts! Yay for having things to take one's mind off of work! Yay for exclamation points!