Now that that's out of the way, what will I remember most this year? For starters, what a difference the first 5 months and the last 5 months of this year were for me! The first 5 were spent living the life at USC! I was a freshman at the great school--hanging out with friends, working as an usher, being heavily involved in Saved by Grace gospel choir (it single-handedly made my USC experience what it was and I love my SBG family for that) and Coptic Club (love my Egyptian siblings in Christ!) and maintaining good enough grades to make the Keck School of Medicine Dean's List. Summer came and went and the last 5 months were spent as a sophomore at a community college in the "pits of LA" aka The Valley (it's not that bad, I promise). I still hang out with friends, work as a volunteer at a medical hospital, involve myself in church (while many of my college peers don't! ha) and maintain straight A's. The difference is that I'm at a veeeery different school and living at home. Boooo. I was in an emotional slump at first, but now I'm thankful for my reverse transferring experience. I just pray everything works out come March (acceptance/deny letters time!).
When I think of "2009" though, a couple of things stick out to me as absolute highlights of the year.... here we go!:
1. Watching American Idol live!!!
My greatest wishes were granted when I went to a LIVE TAPING of American Idol on April 21st! Here's a blog post I did about the grand day:
oooookay, yesterday was the most surreal day I have ever experienced–seeing “American Idol” live! I am probably one of the only people you are aware of that still watches “American Idol” religiously. Here are some interesting moments and highlights from my awesome day:
•waiting in line for ‘American Idol’ with the line for ‘Dancing With The Stars’ across the way… two H U G E shows next to each other! Love it!
•seeing Gilles Marini handing out water to the ‘Dancing With The Stars’ line and naturally walking over to see him
•yelling bye to Gilles Marini and him blowing me a kiss (or a “flying kiss” as the Indians say)! omg.
•Simon Cowell driving in his Rolls-Royce Phantom with the windows down and pulling up into the CBS parking lot! SO random and hilarious… I was literally saying “Oh my God, that was Simon Cowell. Judge of juggernauts ‘American Idol’, ‘X-Factor’ and ‘Britain’s Got Talent’” over and over… he had a smug grin on his face while he nonchalantly waved his hand to us lowly, over-crazed fans.
•There were parking spaces for the professional dancers and celebrities in CBS’s parking lot… I walked beside Lil’ Kim’s and Mark Ballas’ cars! :)
•Seeing Tony Dovolani and Bruno Tonioli (professional dancer and judge, respectively) from ‘Dancing With The Stars’… why weren’t ‘American Idol’ people walking around?! :/
•Seeing the ‘American Idol’ stage and set for the first time! So overwhelming… BUT, it’s grander on TV.
•Being told to stand in the front when I expected to be sitting in the seats behind the judges… thank you God.
•The judges coming out… in order: Kara, Randy, Paula, then Simon… predictable
•Kara was super happy the whole time! She hugged Paula and mouthed “I love her!” to the audience before the show, lol
•Randy and Paula touching the hand of the girl who was to the right of me (and therefore, farther from them) and not touching my hand.
•Simon kept on winking to the girls in the audience! hilarious!
•Me: “Hi Ryan!” … Ryan: “Hi, how are you?” Me: “hehehehehehehehhehe!”
•Ryan seemed aloof the entire time… he didn’t really interact with the judges at all.
•The judges DISAPPEARED the moment it became a commercial break. I don’t know wtf they do backstage during every commercial break.
•During the recap of last week’s episode, Kara was imitating her emotions and body movements from the clip.
•When the Top 7 came out… oh. my. goodness. I so “acted a fool”. I was jumping up and down, holding on to my friend’s arm as I extended and pointed my arm at all of the contestants and I started screaming…… then I started tearing up and had to wipe my tears. Obsessions are a no-no.
•My friend said Anoop “so heard” me yell “Indian Pride” at him when he was walking off stage in the beginning.
•How in the world did I get so lucky as to have Adam and Allison standing right in front on me!?
•Lil’s face looked so down as she was walking off stage after her performance! I was like “oh snap”!
•Kris was so adorable in person… I called his name and he said hi to me! hahahaha
•Simon looked so lost when Paula was talking about the women’s clothing. He looked over at Randy and muttered “What?”
•Danny Gokey was right in front of me! I love that guy! Starting with his first note, I was like “OMG! yes!” He seems like such a nice guy.
•Allison most definitely probably thinks I’m a freak. We said hi to each other twice during the show… poor girl is obligated to respond to crazy ass fans, lol
•I seriously thought Allison was going to fall with her high heels… they were SO tall! She looked gorgeous in person!
•ADAM. LAMBERT. was amazing. He replied to me when I screamed hi!! omg… I love him so much! The loudness of the screams for him was almost unfair for the other contestants.
•I looked over at Paula during Adam’s performance and I saw that we were in the same exact position… hands intertwined resting on our cheek and looking adoringly at the “immaculate” singer.
•Randy was jamming to every performance… he was head-bopping the whole time.
•Simon was seriously looking into space or talking to people (mostly Paula) during almost every performance. He must have a keen ear for vocals because I don’t know how he can appear to not be paying attention but have something to say.
•When Ryan was giving the numbers for Adam, me and my 2 friends counted to 3 and yelled “We Love You, Adam!” and you could hear us on TV!
•During the commercial break before Matt’s performance, as Matt was standing on stage waiting for his turn to start, I yelled “Matt!” and waved… hahahahaha he waved back and I gave him a thumbs up. Then he gestured for me to wave my hands in the air and I did. Then he started doing the running man and I did to. We had a moment!
•After Matt’s last note, when he was facing away from the audience, he sighed a huge sigh of relief. I thought that was cute, lol
•Whenever Randy said that the top 7 was the most talented group (ever), I yelled “true” and my friend said she heard me on TV! Loves it!
•During the commercial break before Anoop’s performance, my Indian friend kept on yelling “Anoop!! Anoop!! I love you!!” and he’d look and we’d scream and wave our arms like maniacs. We yelled his name so much, he actually came over to us from the other side of the stage to say hi to us and TOUCH OUR HANDS. oh my gahhh
•When he hit his last note, I whispered “oooh no” because it was a bit off, but then I saw his facial expression adjust as well when he hit the note. Then Randy mentioned it, lol
•When Ryan said “roll the tapes” and showed the numbers one more time, all of the idols were on stage. I can’t even begin to tell you how jealous I am at how close they all are. Allison and Adam were adjusting each other’s clothes, Adam and Matt were laughing with one another, Kris, Anoop and Lil were engaged in conversation and Kris and Lil hugged. Then when each of their performances came on the screen, they’d look at the respective singer and tap their back or hug them or something. When Allison’s performance came on, Adam tickled her back. When Adam’s performance came on, Allison hugged him. Adam got the loudest yells during the recap part.
•And thennnn, it was all over. (One of) the greatest hours of my life. I got to say hi/I love you to ALL idols except Lil Rounds and get a response of a wave back, a hi, or the blowing of a kiss.
•When the show was over, while all the idols left the stage, Anoop went straight to the judges’ table and ask Simon if he was that bad! Awww… :( They ended by shaking hands!
•I got to hug Vonzell Solomon before she left (she was in the audience) and I told her I was MAD when she got voted off during Season 4. She came in third place–behind Bo Bice and Carrie Underwood! She was so sweet! :)
•I tried my best to “hang around” the parking lot seeing if there was any possible way I could somehow meet the idols… FAIL.
•Adam’s dad was behind me at one point and all these people were like “Congratulations, your son is amazing! Can you sing?” To which he answered “No, neither my wife nor I can sing!” Love it
•There was a dude that was with his family that I think may have been Adam’s bf (I’ve seen him in the audience on TV multiple times)… I disapprove. He’s too scrawny & way shorter than he is! :/
and that was my day! It sailed by so fast, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. No regrets, I did everything I wanted to. It made me love ‘American Idol’ even more that I already did, if that’s possible. :)
2. Michael Jackson. dead.
This was an unbelievable time. Sitting in Chemistry lecture on June 25th, I received a text asking “Is Michael Jackson dead?” I gasped and responded with an expected “wtf”, bewildered and confused that that question could even be asked. After conversing over text with a few people, I was officially told that Michael Jackson had died. I was shocked. I really didn’t know what to think, say or how to react. I was dumbfounded. How could Michael Jackson die? I know death is inevitable & is a time that God plans out, but why so soon? His tragic death really hit me as soon as I got into my car to wait for my next class to begin. The radio DJs on KiiS FM, Power 106 & Latino 96.3 all sounded somber and were playing Michael Jackson songs… in celebration of Michael Jackson’s life. That’s when it hit me… this guy is really dead. I started crying while listening to jams like “Beat It”, “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough”, etc. The funny thing is that I did not stop smiling the whole time either.
What was it about Michael Jackson that I loved so much? Why did the whole world mourn, as if their own family member died? Michael Jackson was my childhood. Although I’m only 18, he undeniably made most of childhood what it was. My earliest memories are of Michael Jackson songs & videos. I remember my cousin singing “We Are The World” when I was 5 on top of a table to me & my other cousins, all of us embraced in a hug singing along. I remember seeing Michael Jackson rip his shirt on TV and seeing my boy cousins try to copy him. I remember my classmate dancing to “Beat It” during my kindergarten talent show and falling in love with the song’s instrumentals. I remember being scared by, but loving, the video for “Leave Me Alone”. I remember being addicted to his film “Moonwalker” and being jealous of the kids that got to hang out with Michael Jackson. I remember seeing video footage on TV of Michael Jackson fans screaming, crying, hyperventilating, and fainting thinking “wow”, people around the world really love him. He was treated like a king everywhere he went and was, I think, the most well-known person of the modern era. His music was and is played in what seems like every country on this planet. I can’t imagine another artist who will have an impact on the world like Michael Jackson had. I will always love him & thank him for all the memories and music he left us.
The time after his death was one I will never forget. Seeing the love and devotion people all over the world had for him put me in awe. It's scary to say that the world united over one man's death and the music he brought to this world. I am very lucky enough to live a few minutes from Michael Jackson's family's home in Encino, where Hayvenhurst & Ventura were basically shut down for weeks to accommodate the media and fans (like me!). I went down to the home 3 times to pay my respects, get interviewed by international media (heeeeeeeeeey!!) and be a part of history, really.
3. Beyonce... LIVE!
Just a few weeks after MJ's untimely death, I saw an awesome and immensely talented singer by the name of Beyonce! It was the night of July 13th when I saw Mrs. Sasha Fierce unleash her fierceness on the Staples Center stage. And OH MY GOSH, was it a night to remember!! She is the greatest living performer (Michael Jackson had this title prior) right now, in the flesh. Vocals? On point. Dancing? On point. Stage presence and charisma? On point. The night had me screaming, crying, singing, and dancing. Although my $100 seats were extrememly nose-bleeder (BOOOOOOOO!), I know now that when I attend another Beyonce concert, I. MUST. SAVE. UP. MONEY. 'Cuz seeing the girl up, close, and personal could be worth it. And getting very embarassingly caught by security a couple of times for trying to sit in more expensive seats is NOT good look (although it worked out fine at Chris Brown's tour with Bow Wow!)
4. FINALLY 'meeting' Chris Brown!
If only this happened sooner so other people could care like I do, lol... After all of my years fawning over him, I (along with my sister and 'relative'/partner-in-crime) held Chris Brown's hand, and NOT in a concert setting. It was actually at Cleveland High School of all places. I was crying and laughing hysterically as expected, and it was a m a z i n g. It was like my love for him came full circle, because I was with the same people when I saw him live in 2006. Here's a video capturing a little bit of my encounter with CB (I swear it was longer than this!)! Watch starting at 1:00!!