All posts for the month June, 2015

Signature Anxiety (Take on This!)

Published June 23, 2015 by authorbebedora

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Take On This!

—-Signature Anxiety—-

[[Dedicated to Debbie and Clara: We’ve had one hell of a ride so far…and it’s far from over.]]

Our petition is both our pride and joy and the bane of our existence.

We think about it day and night. When we’re cooking dinner, washing dishes, or supposed to be working. I’ve even dreamt about it.

From trying to figure out ways to get more exposure, to carefully crafting flyers to send to radio stations—the petition is at the forefront of our minds.

We’ve spent countless hours talking about how to get more signatures and where to post the links next. Sometimes we get distracted and end up talking about Morten’s arms and/or fashion choices, but we always get back to the task at hand.


We tell everyone—and I mean EVERYONE—about it. Wherever we go, whatever we’re doing, the petition is always on the tip of our tongues. I’ve talked the ears off of quite a few moms at school pick-up and drop-off, pretty much bribed most of my friends with the promise of freshly baked cookies to sign and have, on more than one occasion, talked to complete strangers about A-ha.

No shame.

But this past week—we went into overdrive.

Every day we would watch the signature count go up. Little by little, we inched closer to our halfway marker.


It seems like a lot, and it is.

Getting this far was a huge thing for us.

Waiting for it to happen, however—now that wasn’t for the faint of heart.

June 16th started out as any normal day. My son was on his second day of summer vacation. We had spent a wonderful day together playing outside and hanging out. Hubby came home and took him on a bike ride. (Mama can’t keep up with him on that thing…)

I sat down and got out the computer, intent on doing some A-ha related work. I tweeted a little, wrote a Take on This article and checked facebook.

And there it was.

A message from Debbie and Clara.

All it said was, “496!”

The countdown was on. Would we make it by days’ end? Who would it be?

Anxiety set in. Now, I’ll be very up-front with the fact that I have anxiety issues. From obsessing about whether or not I locked the front door to waking up in the middle of the night to check and make sure I turned the oven off. Social situations sometimes get the better of me and I sometimes have to remind myself not to panic if I’m a minute late or can’t find a parking spot at the store.

Needless to say, this situation sent my anxiety into hyperdrive.

The three of us sat and chatted about A-ha “housekeeping” issues while we passed the time waiting for the next signature. We delegated who would be doing what in the next day or two, and talked about strategy for getting the petition noticed. A thank-you photo and video were decided on for the big celebration. We talked about Morten. A lot.

All while feverishly refreshing the petition page.

My stomach was actually in knots.


Every minute that ticked by brought more hope. We decided that we WOULD make 500 by nightfall. We just had to. Getting to June 17th stuck at 498 wasn’t an option.


Debbie had to head off. I promised to text her the minute it happened.

I think I refreshed the page every 30 seconds. Clara scolded me with the old adage, “A watched pot doesn’t boil.”

I tried not to think about it. I busied myself with this-and-that, all while trying to calm the butterflies in my tummy. I told myself not to click on the petition tab.

I think I lasted about 2 minutes.

Going back to the page, I hesitated for a moment, reluctant to refresh the website. I didn’t want to be disappointed, but I couldn’t handle the stress anymore. I needed to know.
I took a deep breath and held it.


The little green bar reloaded itself and the number…

…changed to 500.

I actually screamed.

My hands were shaking, and the butterflies apparently got their second wind. Instantly my fingers flew into a frenzy. I messaged the gals with a repeating number.


Texts were sent, thank –you photos tweeted and tumbl’d. I’ll admit that I had tears in my eyes.

But the strange thing is…just like that—it was over.

Yes, we had reached our halfway point, and were absolutely over the moon. It was a huge accomplishment. Months of tireless work promoting had paid off, and had cumulated into that very moment.

After the initial celebratory excitement had worn down, we realized we were left with the same amount of work and anxiety as we had from the first 500 signatures. We knew our job was far from over. We wouldn’t rest until we had 1,000 names to deliver right to A-ha’s door.

So we keep on.

We stay up late, rise early. We let our children play video games for hours on end so we can work, make our husbands fend for themselves with dinner and laundry. Stay late at the office to get just *one more* post out before we go home, sit bolt upright in bed in the middle of the night when an idea comes to us.

We eat, sleep and breathe this campaign, sometimes much to the chagrin of our families. Even when we’re not supposed to be thinking about it—we do.

Signature anxiety has its claws in us.

But the reward should we succeed—the prospect of concert dates for all the fans in the US and Canada—makes those constant fluttery stomachs worth it.

cast in steel tourGive us a sign, please? Every signature counts, even if you don’t live in the US.  Thanks!


Only In My Dreams (Take on This!)

Published June 19, 2015 by authorbebedora

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—-Only In My Dreams—-

You know how you have some dreams that you remember for your entire life?

I have three. Two were from high school and I can still see them clear as crystal. One involved this giant wrought-iron structure with orangutan carcasses all over it (weird, I know) and the other involved my gym teacher flying around like a hovercraft over train tracks. Strange brain is strange.

I can recall them like it was yesterday.

And then there’s the third.

It happened very early this year and is totally burned into my brain. Normally, this would probably be a bad thing—memories that are singed into your mind tend not to be happy ones. But this one…

…this one takes the cake.

I’m at a concert. At first, I don’t know who’s playing. The venue is oddly reminiscent of my son’s school gymnasium—folding chairs and everything. It’s dark and crowded, but there’s room in-between the rows to move back and forth with ease.

Despite the massive amount of people and surrounding chaos, it’s completely silent. No music, no crowd noise—nothing.
People begin to clear away from me and I’m trying to figure out why. And then it happens.

Morten Harket himself approaches, giant smile on his face. He’s actually in the crowd, and I can’t believe that the fans aren’t mobbing him. He comes up beside me and asks me if I want to join him onstage. His voice is mellow and sounds like music. Stunned, I gingerly take his hand and he leads me down the now suddenly empty row of chairs.

I don’t know how we ended up backstage, but there we were—looking out at the sea of people. Behind the drummer, we stood there for a moment until he pulled me forward. Getting as close to him as I possibly could, I whispered, “Look at all those people…”

He turned to me and smiled broadly before leading me up to the front of the stage.

I couldn’t tell you what happened after that. The memory is gone, lost to the ages. But I will say that I woke up feeling so content and happy—and so incredibly excited that I actually attended an A-ha concert.

Now, this was before Cast in Steel was announced and before all the tour hoopla started, when we all just thought Rock in Rio was a one-off gig. So, the prospect of experiencing a concert—in a dream or otherwise—was enough to make me a happy girl.

I often find myself thinking back to those images, and how happy they made me feel. To be that close to him—even in a dream state—was unreal. I can actually still recall how warm his hand felt around my own.

Dreams are a wonderful thing. We can have our wishes granted—even if only for mere minutes—and experience moments that we never thought possible. Who knows, there may be a time where I get to see him and the boys in concert (crossing my fingers and toes), but I know that I will certainly not be pulled up on stage. Honestly, I’d be terrified.

But until the day when the Cast in Steel tour comes to our shores, I’m content with the memory of the most wonderful dream I have ever experienced.

It’s just too bad I couldn’t hear any of the music.

Doesn’t matter—Morten’s speaking voice is enough melody for me.

Go home, Wisconsin Weather…you’re drunk.

Published June 12, 2015 by authorbebedora

I’m pretty sure my state is insane.

We endure below zero temperatures for a good portion of the winter.  We’ve been pretty lucky in the snowstorm department, but it doesn’t mean we don’t still get our fare share of the white stuff.  Cars don’t start, the lake (yes, Lake Michigan) freezes almost completely over from time to time (read: the last two winters), and they don’t even bother to plow the roads because they know more snow is on the way.

Then “spring” comes.  Notice the quotation marks.  You see, in most of the state, spring is beautiful.  Warm and sunny, a few showers here and there to help the flowers grow.  You can go outside without a jacket and perhaps even wear sandals.

But you see, we live two miles from the lake.  The same lake that freezes in the winter.  The same lake that’s water doesn’t get above 40 degrees before June.  Because of said lake, we’re lucky if we get above 45 before May.  It creates fog so thick you can’t see and a lake breeze that makes you wonder why the hell you live so close to Lake Michigan in the first place.

Go inland, and it’s like another planet.  It can be 40 and foggy at our house, and 70 and sunny less than ten miles away.  Our garden has failed to grow almost every year because we can’t trust it not to freeze over and kill the plants.  The Sun is a rare sight.

(Let me take a moment to talk about Brewers’ opening day and how we all thank the Universe that Miller Park has a roof.  There has actually been the threat of snow on several occasions.  Think about that–Opening Day is usually April 6th.  Snow.  In April.  May 17th is the record.)

Fast forward to today, June 11th.  Yesterday it was 80 degrees and humid.  We figured summer had finally arrived.  Tank tops and shorts came out, the windows were open and I was actually hot sitting in the house.  It was wonderful.

And then the front came through.

And Lake Michigan decided to be an asshole again.

As I write this, I’m wearing fleece pajamas and am snuggled under a flannel blanket.  It’s pouring rain and it’s 52 degrees.  Only in Wisconsin can you go from 80 to 50 in less than 24 hours.

Wisconsin: Where Mother Nature goes to get hammered.

One-hit WHAT?? (Take on This!)

Published June 9, 2015 by authorbebedora

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Take on This!

—-One hit WHAT?—-

When it comes those three little words—One Hit Wonder—A-ha fans are very sensitive.

Yes, we understand that some of the world (read: United States) see them as such. It’s even easy to understand why. They didn’t tour here past October 24th, 1986. (This obviously doesn’t include the gigs they did in 2010…) The management and/or promotion company decided to focus their energy on Europe, Japan and South America.

The question I have is, why?

Maybe they thought the fanbase wasn’t there. (WRONG!)

Perhaps they figured Americans wouldn’t go for Norwegians? (INCORRECT!)

They were just dumb? (BINGO!)

Whatever their reasons, they ultimately doomed A-ha to permanent “One-Hit Wonder” status in the United States. It’s unfair and unwarranted. And it makes us (sometimes irrationally) angry.

I’ve wanted to throat punch people on more than one occasion for uttering the phrase.

Case in point:

About a month ago I went to get my emissions test at a local car dealer. I had Take on Me blaring in the car when the technician turned it on. (In my defense, I really truly did forget that I had the volume up so loud.) I apologized to the nice young man for the noise and he replied, “Don’t worry about it. Hey, I know this song! They were a one-hit wonder.”

I shouldn’t have apologized.

He’s lucky he was way bigger than me and I had realized I never stood a chance had I attacked.

Because I was ready to put the smack down.

Plus, there were a lot of potential witnesses around. I bit my tongue and forced a smile while quickly explaining that they weren’t with a simple, “A-ha has been popular all over the world since 1985.”

He nodded politely and was probably thinking about how fast he could get this crazy lady out of his garage. My only thought then was that I was bummed I was missing the song. (He turned the radio down…jerk.) I guess he didn’t want Norwegian Synth-Pop blaring in his ears.

What a weirdo, right?

So many times in my life—and I’m sure in all of ours—I’ve had to explain at one moment or another just why A-ha isn’t a one-hit wonder. The question always comes with a smile and I’m pretty sure is never meant to be insulting or malicious, but it still makes me want to get up close and personal with my fists.

I know karate, so watch out. Blue belt, yo.

So, what do we say when confronted with the dreaded statement? I usually blush bright red at the mere mention of A-ha, then find myself having to compose my thoughts and actually sound like a sane person when answering. Because I don’t think I’d help my case by blabbering incoherently, spewing Norwegian names and rambling about why Touchy! is an underappreciated song. (I’ve just outed myself, by the way. I don’t hate that song…too much.)

I’m happy that more often than not, when I actually can compose myself and reply like an educated person and not a crazy fangirl, people are genuinely happy to hear that the lads have done quite well for themselves over the past thirty years.

It still doesn’t mean I haven’t considered having a tee-shirt made that says, “A-ha isn’t a &%#@-ing One-Hit Wonder!”

A-ha When You Need It Most (Take on This!)

Published June 3, 2015 by authorbebedora

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Take on This!

—-A-ha When You Need It Most—-

There are some days where, for whatever reason, you need some sort of pick-me-up.

Sometimes we all require a little reassurance that the day hasn’t completely gone to crap.

Every once and a while…we need some emergency A-ha.

A couple weeks back, the day before Mother’s Day, our household had it rough.

Our son was being, well—seven. Sassy mouth, defiance at every turn and had spent his fair share of time in the corner before the clock even showed noon. Mommy needed a break before she broke, and my loving husband (the eye-rolling one) suggested I go to the mall and cool down.

Did I mention before how much I love this dude?

I had been on the verge of tears many times that day, so I kissed both my boys goodbye—even the naughty one—and set off.

We have a beautiful outdoor mall. May through September, it’s wonderful to be outside and shop. October through April—not so much. Stupid Wisconsin. It was a little cool that afternoon, but pleasant. I decided to park a little far away from the stores and enjoy the weather.

I went to Bath and Body Works because *someone* in our house likes to use 75,930 squirts of soap every time he washes his hands. Initially pissed because they discontinued my favorite soap in foaming-form, I figured this was just going to be a continuation of my already crummy day.

Finally settling on two new scents (ended up hating one, loved the other), I went to pay. As I swiped my credit card…I heard it.

It was one of those moments where you’re not sure you’re *really* hearing what you’re hearing.

I’ve never heard anything but Take on Me in public. Every once and a while it’ll come on in a store or at a restaurant, but it doesn’t happen often. So to my surprise there I was, standing in Bath and Body Works…

…hearing Nothing Is Keeping You Here.

Caught off guard, I fumbled my credit card and found myself unable to answer the sales associate when she asked me where I wanted my receipt.

Unexpected A-ha had rendered me completely unable to function.
I stammered out, “Sorry…I’ve just never heard this song in a store before. It’s one of my favorites.”

She couldn’t have been more than twenty-years-old, and probably could have cared less about this weird lady blabbering about a song and band she more than likely didn’t recognize. But it didn’t matter. In that moment, my day went from horrid to fantastic.

It didn’t, however, stop me from crying.

There are some times where emotions just get the better of you, be it happy or sad. The day’s events finally caught up with me and it took every bit of my energy not to sob right there at the checkout.

I put on my sunglasses in case the tears had other ideas and high-tailed it back to my car…where I immediately texted Debbie.

And she understood.

A-ha can heal every bad situation, every crappy day.

I sat for a good five minutes bawling my eyes out over something as simple as hearing Morten’s voice in a soap store. It was just the catalyst I needed to help me release all the tension from the day.

And you know what? I felt a million times better afterwards.

Thank you, Morten.

Thank you, A-ha.