- The Vans Warped Tour 97 – August 2, 1997 – Pompano Ampitheatre - saw Blink 182
- Zetafest 98 - July 5th 1998 – Markham Park
- Less than Jake - January 18 1998 – The Chili Pepper
- Ska Against Racism – April 14, 1998 – Sunrise Musical Theatre
- Zetafest 98 – July 5, 1998 – Markham Park – Cracker, Faith No More, Black Crowes played
- Dave Matthews Band – August 26, 1998 – Coral Sky Ampitheatre
- Pearl Jam – September 22, 1998 – Coral Sky Amphitheatre
- Korn and Rob Zombie – March 9, 1999 – National Car Rental Center
- Candlebox – March 20, 1999 – The Button South
- Dave Matthews Band – May 2, 1999 – Coral Sky Ampitheatre
- Godsmack – November 24, 1999 – 1235 Washington Avenue (Club Level)
- Blink-182 – May 19, 2000 – Miami Arena
- Roger Waters – June 3, 2000 – Mars Music Ampitheatre
- Zetafest 2000 – July 23, 2000 - Bicentennial Park
- Pearl Jam Aug. 9, 2000 – Mars Music Ampitheatre
- Pearl Jam Aug. 10, 2000 – Mars Music Ampitheatre
- Cyberfest 2000 – September 2, 2000 – Florida Convention Center
- Limp Bizkit – December 18, 2000 – National Car Rental Center
- Vans Warped Tour 01 – July 28, 2001 – Pompano Ampitheatre
- Blink 182 – Aug. 2, 2001 – Mars Music Ampitheatre
- Vans Warped Tour 02 – August 3, 2002 –Pompano Beach Ampitheatre
- Tool – November 7, 2002 – Tallahassee Leon County Civic Center
- Louisiana Heritage Blues Festival – April 24, 25, 26 or 27, 2003 – New Orleans Fairgrounds/Racetrack
- The Cure – July 24, 2004 – Sound Advice Ampitheatre
- Pennywise – September 22, 2005 – Club Cinema
- Matisyahu – November 5, 2005 – Revolution
- Interpol – March 18, 2005 - Revolution
- Keb Mo – April 12, 2005 – Carefree Theatre
- Tooth n’ Nail Tour – Emery, Amberlin – A;ril 26, 2006 – Culture Room
- Slightly Stoopid and Pepper – May 31, 2006 – Hard Rock Live
- STS9 – October 5, 2006 – Revolution
- STS9 – October 6, 2006 – Jannus Landing – St. Petersburg, FL
- STS9 – October 7, 2006 – House of Blues – Orlando
- Bang Music Festival – November 11, 2006 – Bicentennial Park – DAFT PUNK!
- STS9 – March, 08, 2007 – Revolution
- Roger Waters – May 18, 2007 – Sound Advice Ampitheatre
- The Black Keys – June 22, 2007 – City Hall Nashville, TN
- The Smashing Pumpkins – June 7, 2007 – The Orange Peel Asheville, NC
- Vans Warped Tour – July 21, 2007 – July 21, 2007
- Disco Biscuits – October 9, 2007 - Revolution
- Circa Survive – October 25, 2007 – Culture Room
- Kings of Leon – November 2, 2007 - Revolution
- Pepper – November 7, 2007 – Club Cinema
- Yonder Mountain String Band – February 9, 2008 – Revolution
- Avett Brothers – July 19, 2009 – Parker Playhouse
- Atmosphere – July 31, 2009 – Revolution
- Counting Crows – August 18, 2009 – Bayfront Park Ampitheatre
- Benevento Russo Duo – Culture Room
- Oz Fest – Sound Advice Ampitheater, West Palm Beach, Florida
- Huda Hudia – Late Night Library, Tallahassee, FL
- Reel Big Fish – grad nite 1999 – Magic Kingdom
- DJ Monk
- DJ Dara
- DJ Icey – The Firehouse – Gainesville, FL
- Jackal and Hyde
- Mountain Goats – Tallahassee, FL
- Weezer – February 25, 2001 - Sunrise Musical Theatre
- Awesome New Republic
- Zeta’s Bonzai or Halloweenie Roast – one or the other
- Benny Benassi – Club Mansion, Miami, FL
- Matchbox 20 – Leon County Civic Center, Tallahassee, FL
- Incubus – Leon County Civic Center, Tallahassee, FL
- Fatboy Slim/Bassment Jaxx – Nikki Beach Club, South Beach, FL
- Radiohead – Sound Advice Ampitheatre
- Saves the Day – Tallahassee, FL
- Prefuse 73 – Club Downunder – Tallhassee, FL
- Prefuse 73 – I/O Miami, FL
- M.I.A. – I.O. Miami, FL
- Ratatat – Club Downunder – Tallhassee, FL
- The Walkmen – Club Downunder – Tallahassee, FL
- Grandaddy – Club Downunder – Tallahassee, FL
- What Made Milwaukee Famous – Emo’s Austin, TX
- People Under the Stairs – The Beta Bar – Tallahassee, FL
- G. Love and Special Sauce – The Moon – Tallhassee, FL
- G. Love – Tallahassee, FL
- Del the Funky Homosapien – The Beta Bar – Tallahassee, FL
- AK1200, J-Majik – Tallahassee, FL
- Horde Fest – 1997 or 1998?
- Blink 182 - October 10, 1998 Button South, Hallandale, FL
- Sun Fest – May 2009
- Ultra 2000 – South Beach, Florida
- Ultra 2001 – Bayfront Park, Miami, Florida
- Ultra 2002 – Bayfront Park, Miami, Florida
- Ultra 2003 – Bayfront Park, Miami, Florida
- Ultra 2004 – Bayfront Park, Miami, Florida
- Ultra 2005 – Bayfront Park, Miami, Florida
- Ultra 2006 – Bicentennial Park, Miami, Florida
- Ultra 2007 – Bicentennial Park, Miami, Florida
- Ultra 2009 – Bicentennial Park, Miami, Florida
- Langerado 2005 - Markham Park, Sunrise, Florida
- Langerado 2006 - Markham Park, Sunrise, Florida
- Langerado 2007 - Markham Park, Sunrise, Florida
- Langerado 2008 – Seminole Indian Reservation, Florida
- Bonnaroo 2006 – Manchester, Tennessee
- Bonnaroo 2007 – Manchester, Tennessee
- Bonnaroo 2008 - Manchester, Tennessee
- Bonnaroo 2009 - Manchester, Tennessee
Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Over the years I’ve learned how to live cheaply. Throughout my years as a college student I learned to live cheaply by cooking for myself at home and finding cheap entertainment – free keg parties, free kayak rentals at the FSU Reservation, as well as free concerts and movies on campus. I became good at living on limited means and still having a good time. Eventually I got a part time job and I had a little extra spending money. I was able to afford some extras like some clothes and an occasional concert. Still too much of my extra money went to six packs of beer, a splurge that’s still a hazard to my budget to this day. After a shift of delivering pizzas I would stop at the gas station and spend a chunk of my earnings on beer, and I would put ten bucks in my gas tank – enough for half a tank back then when gas was still a $1.50 a gallon, just five years ago.
Still I made some mistakes that many college students do. I got a credit card so I could live beyond my means and go on a vacation. Soon I was using it for basic things like groceries, a big credit no-no, and before I knew it, it was maxed out. A $2,000 dollar limit reached in just a few months. I consoled myself with the idea that soon I would graduate and I’d be making more money to pay off my bills. Paying off my credit cards would be one of the first things that I’d do, I told myself. It's been four years and the balance is still almost $1,800. Where has my money gone?
When I started working as a teacher I knew I still had to maintain a tight budget. I wasn’t going to be making tons of money but I’d have a lot more freedom with what I could buy and what I couldn’t. I’d also need to pay my own rent and car insurance among other things. I moved in with my girlfriend, Jackie, and by splitting rent and utilities we were able to share our expenses. We had lots of items that had been donated to us by our families like plates, bowls, and utensils for the kitchen, my girlfriend’s bed and sheets, a donated desk for my office. We still felt like we needed new things for our place so we spent money on kitchen wares (salad spinner, pots and pans) and we went to Pier One and bought nice placemats and pillows, candles and glass bowls for fruit. Little extras that I’d be pressed to find now. Still don’t know exactly where the salad spinner went. Our big expense was that we wanted a sectional sofa. We shopped for one at several furniture stores and finally bought one for $1,200 on credit. It took us several months to pay for it, but we finally did and we never had to pay interest on it. One indispensable expense was an iMac computer which has brought me great joy and helped me do my school work, pay bills and stay in touch with friends, but even on that purchase I found a way to save money by buying it refurbished for only $800 at the Apple store.
I look back at all the little things I bought back then and realize how useless some of those things were. Now our sectional still sits in my girlfriend’s house, used more in the last few years as a shelf for the people who continually come in and out of the house. Purses, paintings, forgotten things sit there only slightly more than Jackie’s Maltese did as he stared daily out the window at the front street. Everyone would sit on the worn couches in the family room where the television is located and the living room with the sectional has always remained mostly decorative. The Pier One Imports candles have stood unlit for years – too pretty to burn. The fruit bowl is still empty – my own fear being that it’s beautiful decorative mosaic glass could contain lead and so I await the day when I can buy some fake wooden fruit to fill it. Why haven’t I bought the fake fruit yet? I’m waiting for the right garage sale to find them. My philosophy on spending money has changed. Instead of buying things impulsively as I did when I first got a job, I wait.
As a teacher I know to wait for the beginning of the school year. Parents who may yelp at being asked to buy school supplies must not be checking the weekly flyers in the mailbox. There are tremendous deals for teachers and parents. Just yesterday I got 10 free duotang folders (to be given to my most needy students) 30 pencils and 6 one subject notebooks for just $3.30 at Office Depot. Right there is what any student would need to have the most basic of school supplies for most of his classes in school.
I wait because situations come up where other people offer what I need. At the beginning of the week I was worried about going to Home Depot to get hooks for a projection screen in my classroom. I wanted to reposition it next to my board instead of right in front, thus doubling my teaching space with the use of a projector. I fretted that time hadn’t allowed me to get to Home Depot, but then I realized that the men working to fix the portable right next to mine at the school could help me. Scott, who had joined us for happy hour the previous Friday, was one of those guys working in that portable and he was married to Traci, one of our Science teachers, so I wrote him a note to call me and I asked him to hang the projection screen up for me. Before I arrived in school that day my problem had been solved. The projection screen was hung in the exact spot and I didn’t have to stress about bringing a drill or buying hooks and screws at Home Depot. Problem solved, no money spent.
I also wait because I know now that most of what I need seems to land in my lap. People discard the bounty of things they have, they put their “junk” out on the curb, they sell it for a fraction of what it’s worth at garage sales, and family is always passing down the old to make space for the new. In the past few years I’ve been given almost everything I have needed. Recently I found a baby car seat on the side of the road in Naples – still in good condition. Driving around I also spotted a 5 gallon water cooler, and just last year I found a foozball table in excellent condition. I took it home in a van I had – (which had been purchased for just $800 and sold for $900 just months later) and I sold the foozball table for $50. From the garbage heap it turned to cash in my pocket. Not to mention the few months where we had fun playing with it in my living room.
Some of the things given to me by family and friends include a comfortable queen size bed from my grandfather, a 32 inch Sony television from my uncle (sure it’s not a flatscreen, but big deal), a beautiful wormwood coffee table, two office desks – each bigger than the last, the latest and biggest was acquired from a friend who was headed to the army and needed to discard of it. After helping him move he offered it to me, which through some work and some creative positioning I was able to fit into my Pontiac Sunfire and later reassemble.
Speaking of my car, that too was given to me by my grandfather. He offered to buy me a car after college and so I took it upon myself to find the best deal that I could on a quality car that could last me a few years. For $4,000 I got a 2002 model car with only 32,000 miles on it and it has yet to give me any major mechanical problems. It has driven me to Colorado and back and been a reliable car for getting to work. It has truly been one of the great money saving gifts in my life as I save quite a bit that could otherwise be going to car payments. I use it for only what I need and in that way I also save quite a bit on gas. I prided myself that it sat still in my driveway on weekends while I used pedal power to get groceries from Publix on my bike and also spent most of my free time cruising on my bike down the Hollywood Beach Boardwalk.
What has changed for me is that I realize how saying no to some impulse to buy the latest thing, or unnecessary luxury can allow me the freedom to do other things with my life. The money I saved could then be used on extended vacations and roadtrips – experiences which I have enjoyed a great deal.
Even now after years of traveling the roads of America I feel content knowing that the next few years may require me to bunker down at home and focus on the most essential in order to take the next great step in my life – starting a family. I recently read that a child can cost about $220,000 to raise to college age – that doesn’t even include the cost of college. I know that I can cut those expenses down to the most essential because I’ve been great at saving money and finding the cheaper way to provide the most important things I really need. My child will have to grow up realizing as I did that you are “Lozano del pueblo” as my parents told me. That translates to “son of the village” – not of the palace or the aristocracy, so my child will have to learn that we are people of limited means, middle class folk rich in culture and hardworking, but not monetarily rich. At least not right now.
Sure I will do everything I can so that my income can grow – getting my masters, working side jobs, and continuing my climb up the economic ladder. Perhaps I will become an assistant principal – they are continually searching for men from ethnic minorities and so being Hispanic I have an inroad into a 40% salary raise. All APs start at $71,000 which would certainly help me and my family live more comfortably and provide better for my children. My vacation time might be cut, but my lifestyle could improve overall.
It’s definitely a tougher economy and we each have to do what we can to hold on to our standard of living, but it’s not as hard as one might think. There are many little ways to save money that I’ve figured out over the years. Stay tuned for my next blog when I’ll get more specific about ways in which everyone can save more money!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Some of the things I often think about writing include funny anecdotes and ideas including those which might be appropriate for a stand up comedy skit. Things often pop into my mind that I think are quirky enough and original enough to make people laugh. Usually these things have to do with everyday events at work, at home, out shopping, cursing people out while driving. Similar to how I read to be a better writer, I watch and observe what good comedians do, and being a stand up comedian is not far from my realm of artistic outlets or career tangents. I have a good dramatic presence, voice intonation and impressions, and an affinity for comedic timing. Defuse my self-aggrandizing ego from that mix and I might just be a decent comedian.