VelissaKatriceVaughn

CAN’T BELIEVE WE MADE IT !

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THIS IS WHAT WE THANKFUL FOR ! I’m not going to go HAM (no pun intended) on deets because I know a lot of you will be checking out the US Leg of the Tour! But simply wanted to share some of my favorite moments from the show ! I loved the visuals they shot for this round of their “Bonnie & Clyde” Love Story…


Read my OTR Love Story here -> BON ANNIVERSAIRE 🎂

Spoiler alert: No music from Everything Is Love was performed ☹️ but still epic to see my favs in Paris ! Checkout the goodies below!

-VKV-

 

 

Bon Anniversaire

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Summer “B”Day trip to Paris, yes please! I recently returned from Paris to celebrate my bestie/love of my life’s birthday @BrittanyTarajha. We had been saying that we wanted to travel to Paris for a while, but simply never got around to it. Once Jay and Bey released the tour dates for OTR2 it kind of became a no brainer because the show was the day after her BDAY so we were like let’s do it! We bought the tickets with the help of my Darling friend (former intern extraordinaire) @Tina_Krz because she is French and French Ticketmaster was sort of a pain :-/ We didn’t even cop plane tickets or anything we just bought the concert tickets and figured everything else would fall into place later and it obviously did. One of those just “live in the moment” moments and anyone who knows me knows how I hate to buy and book anything too far in advance – I need to grow up and embrace commitment. 😇

So, the trip was great all pros… well the one con would be French people are a little on the rude side, but with the help of Christina I learned a few phrases that assisted me along the way *rolls eyes*. The concert was amazing! I’ve saw Jay and Bey a ton of times but obviously seeing them in Paris with my best pal ever was magical and something that we will share for a lifetime. We did the same random Cincinnati pull up to OTR1 also, so seeing this tour again together had a lot of sentimental value. See the show recap here:

CAN’T BELIEVE WE MADE IT!

We toured around the city seeing Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, etc. We dined at various cafes and even took on a cute little boat tour. Don’t ask me did I see the museums because I’ll get upset. The answer is no and that’s simply because JetLag got the best of us a couple nights… okay almost every night, it’s tough! BeleeME!

Finally to top it off, France wins the World Cup… Like, what else do I need to say. Christina had us meet her at a spot to watch the game and I mean the French people were on 10! I’ve never seen anything like it! I mean I’ve seen Steeler fans get nuts but this was next level (obviously).

All in all, it was very magical to take in Paris and spend time with someone I consider to be family. I lost a loved one right before we left for the trip so the first day or so was actually a little tough. Losing someone puts life into perspective and makes you treasure the moments like celebrating life! It teaches you to be grateful and thankful and to live in the moment and to not take a single moment spent with someone for granted. Britt and I got a good chance to vibe out… to stay up all night talking about life, our goals, and obviously the silly stuff. Those are always some of the best nights. As you get older you realize that every night won’t be spent “turning up”- mostly because your feet hurt and staying in simply trumps going out. You merely take the time to value you the interaction you share and believe me it just makes sense. To capture a bit of our Parisian excursion see the pics and videos below !

-VKV-

 

🎶Completely Concert Crazy😩

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Take my coins, take all of them. I’m broke! Anyone who knows me, knows I love a good concert. No matter the genre, if it’s live I want to go, and I don’t mind going alone. I happily paraded my butt to MSG to see Tyler the Creator “dolo” and it was magical and I’d do it again! The thing about going to concerts alone is, typically you are going to make friends with the people you are sitting next to while you’re vibing out so it’s really not that serious… I for the most part don’t expect my friends to shell out all the dough to see artists that they may not particularly care for, so I only ask once and when I get a formal decline I bust a move on my own.

This year I’ve seen – Tyler, Ty Dolla $ign (randomly Ne-Yo), Migos, Wiz…? I think that’s it which is pretty sad. I said that I would try to see a live show once a month, but hey sh** ain’t cheap! ANDDDDD everyone is going on tour NOW! Like how am I supposed to make all these darn shows….?! Well, where there’s a will there’s a way!

💪🏾💥

So to start down my Summer/Early Fall Concert Wish List…

Sheck Wes at SOB’s June 30th 

So I was planning on hitting Sheck Wes this weekend but, I accidentally saw him last week at Up & Down so I might sit this one out…. Unless, someone like tryna go…. 👀

Raphael Saadiq Lincoln Center July 25

I mean what do you want me to say, it’s Raphael Saadiq. Apparently Lincoln Center does a little outdoor Summer Series of concerts…. Perfect!

Wiz Khalifa  Burgh July 26

Okays so this show is highly unlikely because I have a damn job, but it’s the summer time… Who knows… It’s Wiz in the 412 and friend peer pressure is a tough thing to combat…🖤💛

Panorama July 27 & 28

So on the 27th its, Jhene Aiko, Daniel Ceaser, Migos, The Weeknd and on the 28th  you have Gucci Mane La Flare and uhm Janet Jackson… So the thing about this festival is it falls on the same weekend as @nettie1015 baby shower and a family party so although sad, I am pretty sure I won’t be attending. (My bank account sings 🙃)

 Wiz Khalifa Coney Island August 2

So as I was saying the odds are a tad slim that I will pull up for the Burgh show although I’d rather go there… Lil Skies and Rae Sremmurd aren’t even at the Coney show …😒 But I’ve never been to Coney Island in the three years that I’ve lived here so I’m sure it will be cute and I can catch Swae and Jxmmi on their leg of another tour that they hopped on… 😎

Playboi Carti Terminal 5 August 12

Lately I’ve had a small obsession with Carti…. Die Lit was such a good album and really made me a real fan. I want to see him live, nuff said.

Drake – Migos Aug 24-28 MSG Aug30-Sept1 Barclays

I mean if you’ve ever gone to see Drake you know he puts on a hell of a show… And Scorpion just dropped today…. Drake is the summer and the Migo’s are the world’s best rap group…fight me…IDK what show I’ll attend but since there is legit 90 shows between MSG and Barclay’s I’ll get myself  out to one…

 Afropunk August 25th

I’ve haven’t been to Afropunk but every summer I’m like damn I should of went. I want to see Miguel perform live again and wouldn’t mind seeing Tyler again too!

Endless Summer Tour Jones Beach August 28

Not at all pressed to go to this, but I do want to see Uzi live. I had tickets to see him last Christmas but I was recovering from the flu and figured a mosh pit probably wasn’t the best place to solidify getting back to 100%. Thank you StubHub.

Ziggy Marley –  Steel Pulse September 7 Pier 17

This is a super special one. My Dad is going to come up and we are going to go. My Pops had me listening to Steel Pulse since I was a baby. We are big Reggae fans and it will be a special treat  for us to share Steel Pulse and Ziggy together! ❤️💛🖤💚

Childish Gambino September 14 & 15 or Philly September 18

Seeing Childish will actually mean the most to me. It’s a long story but it’s symbolic of doing wtf you want!!! AND I can see Rae Sremmurd here because they are on tour with Childish YAY!

Nicki and Future October 7&8 Barclay’s

I mean…. not pressed but hey you never know. Let’s see what these albums hitting fo … I love Nicki and I love Future….Why not…

Anita Baker

Dear Aunty please announce some NYC dates so I can quit stalking you on Twitter !😘

Pusha T Sheck Wes

Push what did NYC do to you that we did not get a date… OG fans would like to know… Then you are bringing Sheck along… a NYC kid… what’s goody? I’ve traveled to see Pusha in the past so I mean… I guess maybe I’d do it again… add Philly or Jersey somethin…? *insert Nick Young Meme*

OTR2 TBA 😉……

What concerts are coming to your city that you are geeked to see?  Again living here in NYC, for me, the possibilities are endless. Everyone comes here and shoot some even twice (or if you’re Drake 10 times)! Too keep track of all the music madness I use the app Bands In Town! I think I mentioned it in a previous concert post. It sends alerts to your phones of your favorite artists. It uses the music in your Apple library to generate the artists you would like to see or similar acts.(Android users don’t ask me IDK!) It has the hyperlinks to purchase the tickets and even lets you sync concerts to your iCal… It’s dope! Great app for concerts lovers… It includes all GENRES! Click on the image below to download the app and thank me later!

-VKV-

 

🖤 I Can Still Feel The Love🖤

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I’m Back! For good this time….😏 Ever make a mid-year resolution? (Sort of like a New Year’s Resolution but in June)… I totally didn’t make one in January because honestly I wasn’t on that vibe. The last 6 months have been  a whirlwind for me! I am single now, new place, overall new outlook on life. The only true goal I have for myself right now, at 31, is simply happiness. I can’t say that shit has been sweet, but in this moment I feel great. I have no regrets or complaints. I am only focused on preserving my happiness, remaining focused, and living life. At times I ask God what should I be doing that I am not and for some reason the answer always tends to be this blog. So although I took a much needed break (due to dark times) I see the light and I am ready to move forward in many aspects of my life. Thank you for all the people who’ve been asking for a post, the drought is over.  I want this blog to be more than just cute  stuff,  but I actually want to help people because that’s truly where I get the most meaning out of life; helping others – that’s what Pisces do ! Of course there will still be cute stuff – beauty, fashion, travel, music, and all the other “lifestyle” stuff, but  I also want to make an effort to include topics near and dear to us — and simply see what you guys think? So my mid-year resolution(s) : Get back in to shape (in more ways than one), fix my finances that I blew up due to stress 🙃, and simply just be happy! Ready to live in the moment again! Stop fear, reduce doubt, and WIN! Even though I’ve been absent from the blog world, thanks to all my loyal readers and followers, I’m back ! Check out the pics from Central Park Below!

I CAN STILL FEEL THE LOVE!

-VKV-

 

All Rise for the Honorable Judge Aliyah Sabree ! 👩🏽‍⚖️

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So where do I begin… My teammate, my girl, my friend. God places people in your life that no matter the time or distance apart… they are where they were when you last left them regardless of… whatever. That’s Aliyah for me. So not in the sense of… dang, she’s still doing the same ol’ stuff she was doing before or — she hasn’t progressed, no not like that because, boy has she…  she’s killing it. What I mean is, we don’t have to chat every day, but our bond and our place in each others life is eternal and that’s way its supposed to be!

Teammates are the sisters you always wanted, an allegiance, a lifelong bond. So Aliyah, I looked up to from day one. She was a senior, I was a freshman. She was cool, popular, beautiful, and smart. She hated running suicides just like me… winning. Sometimes I’d be first, but the next one I’d be last because I flat out hated running. Being quick didn’t mean crap to me. Anywho… we bonded during her time on the team and after. She pledged Delta which made me and some of my other teammates interested, but our coach forbid us and even said she would kick us off of the team. So there was that… but Aliyah had made it through and, TBH, our coach resented her for that. Like flat out held it against her. Would say the worse things to Aliyah like you aint got be 💩 etc. We dealt with so many stupid mind games! SMH That was my life for 4 years so if you wanna ask me why I hated hoops by  my fourth year… Uh there’s your reason why… But whatever Aliyah was more than a teammate she was my friend.
She came on spring break with me to my family’s house where I almost killed her because she’s allergic to seafood; so on and so forth… ha we go back.

She visited me in NYC after I first moved here, and it had been a while since we had seen each other. We caught up and I said so what’s next for you, and she said I’m going to be a judge. I never knew this was what she wanted, but I was like, shoot girl, that’s awesome! My friend, a judge! I knew she was working for the Mayor, but I didn’t know this would be her next step. A few weeks ago I accidentally texted her (Only God) and she told me she was being sworn in and that she would love if I could be there! I’m like WHATTTT??? Say no more. We worked out the dates, and I booked my flight to the 313.

I landed and we started to catch up. She told me she had hit up some of those other naysayers who didn’t believe in her back during our YSU days, and I was like YASSSS! Please show a hater whats up! Send a letter, call them, text them, whatever, but let them know! I had been telling my colleagues at work, my family and friends over the last few weeks about Aliyah – like sooo proud, like you have no idea. So I was so overwhelmed with pride and gratitude to be able to be there to see a young, black woman make such an astonishing accomplishment. Simply because it’s what she sought out to do, and she flat out did it! I learned so much about my friend that I never knew! I teared up with emotion as many people shared stories about my dear Aliayh. Her speech, which you can check out below, was more than inspiring.

Aliyah you are a light and an inspiration to me. I know its all cliche in the sense of people always say well, “If you say you can do it then you can do it“. Sure. But they never mention the obstacles, hard work, sacrifices, and even the mini-failures that emerge along the way. Everyone doesn’t always have the strength and courage that it takes to succeed, and I admire you for never listening or giving a damn about what a hater had to say! I am still on cloud 9 in regard to your Investiture Ceremony because it has touched sooo many people! Over 3,000 Views and 56 Shares and growing on Facebook. I read the kind things people say and I’m like YUP THAT’S MY GIRLLL (BAPS STYLE- Do you remember BAPS?!  🙃😂😍 !

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Brains, beauty, yes you can have it all ! Then, of course the dudes who are like, “Hey who’s your friend….” I’m like nah fall back LOL!

I started mentoring young black girls over the last year, so I can’t wait to tell them about YOU!!!! Like yes, this is what you can do… Keep on, keeping on Sis! But enough I won’t get all soft, just know I love you, thank you, and I’m tuned in to all the great that you will do! Check out Aliya’s speech and some pictures of her from the night of the ceremony. Also slid a little throwback in there and thank God for the GlOWUP !😂👩🏽‍⚖️

-VKV-





Jhene Aiko, Fab, Jay Z: November Concert Series

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So if you read my Solange post… you know how I live for live music! It’s like my thing… Number one thing to do besides eat… and shop…. I think. In the month of November, I got to see some of my all time faves: Jhene Aiko, Fab, and Uncle Shawn! I’ve been wanting to see Jhene for a minute. I saw her perform on Drake’s tour many moons ago, and I knew I was due. I didn’t get a chance to catch her when she was on tour with Wiz, and that was a major regret. I love her music, love, love, her music, love her sound, her messages, and I feel she and I have so many similarities. I feel myself connecting to her music in a pretty deep way. She’s a Pisces, so am I. She’s lost a brother, so have I. She can be a little Emo, SO CAN I (Ty Dolla Voice). I didn’t experiment with as many drugs as she has, and I don’t get high, but that doesn’t change the love 😍 because I love this woman! The show was at Irving Plaza and was an insanely good vibe. Everyone was so chill (for more reasons that one), and the crowd interaction was amazing. At certain points, the crowd was so loud, you couldn’t even hear Jhene! However, no one minded. I would see her again in a heartbeat. So if the Trip Tour comes to a city near you, I would totally recommend.

Next up, was Fab in Pittsburgh at Xtaza. So I don’t really have any great pics because it was last minute, and I was in the balcony(of a club not a concert venue) taking it all in (aka far way). Fab had just dropped Friday on Elm Street with Jada. I think he did a track or two off of there, but I really can’t remember. I’ve seen Fab perform a number of times. I wish the setlist could of been a little different, but I don’t make the rules. My best Fab show was at the House of Blues in Cleveland when I got to watch from backstage… or at Questions, like 100 years ago, in the Strip (BurghLife). But either way, it was still nice to get out and see him at home with family and friends… Salute!

Last but obviously not least, Hov in BK! So this was sort of a tough one. I literally went to Fab, laid down at around 3/330 AM and then hit the road to drive to NYC to see Jay around 830/9AM. So I was tired… like real tired. Shoutout to Tom for holding it down on the drive. We had a great 5.5-6 hour talk and it made the trip fly by. However, by the time Vic Mensa got off the stage, I hit a major wall and a migraine ensued. BUT whatever, Jay Z was coming out soon, so I would get it over it.. at least until the show was over. Bae scooped me up some 4:44 merch, and we waited. He came out pretty fast, so I was happy about that. He came out to Kill Jay Z, which I think is my favorite track on the album, and Barclays went mad. I’ve seen Jay soooo many times, I’ve lost count, but it’s obviously always special to see him in Brooklyn. He killed it. I went home, slept a few hours, and hit the road back to PGH to prepare for my Granny’s fune. I was tired, but the less than 24 hour trip was well worth it, and it closed out my November music fest the right way. I’ve made a vow to see a least one live show a month at thee very minimum. It doesn’t even have to be a big headliner. I love jazz, opera, classical, etc., etc. I live in NYC, so the music opportunities are truly endless. Next up for December is thee Lil Uzi Vert and Playboy Carti… I’m looking forward this because …. well you know why! Peep the footage and images from the November shows below!!!

-VKV-

 

 

Honoring the Beautiful Mary Hazel Robinson

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This year has been full of ups and downs… and I guess you could say that it’s simply apart of life, but that doesn’t make it any easier! This year, I lost my Aunt Norma Jean, My Aunt Patty (Cousin), and now my precious little Granny. Me and my Granny had such a special and unique friendship. I kept her young and in the know.  Although she was 92, she was as sharp as an ax. She enjoyed talking about makeup, hair, and beauty. She always wanted to see pictures of me dressed up and always wanted to know, “How can you walk in those shoes?!” 😆  She loved the Kardashians, and watched faithfully every Sunday night. She always hoped Khloe and Lamar would get back together, and she also hoped Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey would get back together too!🙃  She would watch the Steelers and loved touchdowns. She was my Granny, she was my friend. She loved iPhones and iPads and even though my Mommy wouldn’t let her get one (which made her terribly upset) that didn’t stop her from Facetiming as much as she could.

Our Granny or Tweetles, as many of our family and friends liked to call her, was the glue of our family. I know when I visit home, I am going to Granny’s. It’s the meet up for the entire family. Cousins, Aunts, Uncles, Grandkids (great, and great great times 1000), Family, and Friends, that I will truly miss. I will miss her dancing to Beyonce, and slipping her some wine or champagne during the holiday. I will miss her laugh and the light she was to our entire family. I will miss Snapchatting, and watching reality TV with my girl, but most of all I will just miss your presence and your strength. I somehow thought you would live to be 150, but God called you home to be with your husband and your children, and that’s okay.

My Granny and her posse have been friends for so many years. It was gut wrenching to see them at the viewing with somber tears in their eyes. Seeing their beloved little Mary had gone to Heaven was certainly hard as all of them are in their 90’s! It’s hard for all of us, but we will be strong like you! We will live on for you and your memory will reign on forever through your many many manyyyy descendants. I love you Mary Hazel and you will forever be in my heart! Peep some great memories below!

-VKV-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Radio City Music: Solange SOLD OUT!

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TBT to Tuesday…. After missing this woman allll summer and playing around, ultimately playing myself, I finally saw Solange at Radio City Music Hall. Lord knows I do much of nothing during the week, because I am an old goat and I like to be in bed by ten at the latest 👵🏾 (granny alert). After missing Solange with Dave Chappelle, at Afropunk, Made In America, and a couple other various performances, I saw she was coming back and it was time to make my good ol’ way to see her. I did a Music of The Week, post, what a billion weeks ago…(more like music of the year, darn infrequent a** posts, and lack of consistency 🙃) but I featured Solange’s A Seat at The Table. This album literally changed my life and was so on time! Perfect is the only word to describe this piece of work. So, what better way to celebrate the one year anniversary of the album, with none other than Solange herself, LIVE! Live music is the one thing in this world that I probably love more than food. It just gives me such a feeling that I can’t really even describe. It’s like your given a chance to get lost in the emotion of the music, the live instruments (former band geek), and the aura of the performer. Obviously you can connect with certain performers more than others… AKA Corinne Bailey Rae gives you a feeling that Future will not, but its still one hell of a time (No shade to Future, I love Future). So Solange, not only connects with you, talks to you, if you’re as soft as me, you even fight back tears, she even comes into the crowd and performs with you!  (See video below!) So yes, it just was a beautiful moment! People dancing their butts off, singing to the top of their lungs, and just living in the moment of it all. Solange spoke about this album stating that for her it was about healing, and touching on subjects that affect all of us in one way or the other. She thanked us for appreciating her artistic vision and being dope and grown as f*** (her words not mine — speaking on the demographics of her listeners if you will), for loving her when she is twerking across the stage, and loving her for her authentic style and unique charisma that is truly the essence of the woman we so very love. She snuck in a few oldies, and even brought out the great great Verdine White from Earth Wind and Fire, my mommy was JEALOUS! Who doesn’t love them some EWF! 🔥🔥🔥 It was an enjoyable night with my girl Dani. I even saw my old roomie and pal Neissa, which was beyond nice! You don’t get to see people in NYC due to boro distance and your realize how much you miss them !♥️ I’m glad I scraped my butt out the bed and got crazy on a Tuesday night. Thanking Solange so much for an amazing project and an epic performance. If she comes to a city near you… seeing her is a must! I cannot WAIT for new music! Check out some of the videos and pics from last night below as well as me, Dani, and Neissa being silly !

-VKV-

 


 

 

Video Courtesy of @jaee0728

 

 

 

 

♥️Dear Tamia♥️

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When Brian mentioned the PublicSource project to me I was excited simply because I wanted to continue to give back to my community. The creation of YNGBLKPGH is so much more than just being recognized in a book. For me, it has always been about connecting with and mentoring the youth. Brian briefly mentioned that I would be responding to a young girl from Clairton. He said that the subject of her letter was Living in Clairton: ‘Nobody really cares unless it is football’. He remembered that I mentioned in the “About Me” portion of my YNGBLKPGH book entry, about being from Clairton. A little forgotten steel town that is known as the high school football capital on the word. This being true in terms of consecutive wins and the town’s affinity with the players and coaches. I was geeked to be responding to a young Clairton girl because I too was once in her shoes! I had recently completed some mock interviews for graduating Clairton High School 2017 Seniors, none of who I had never met or heard of.  I didn’t know and of their older family members, fake cousins (you know how everyone is “cousins” in the hood), or last names. So boy, was I super surprised once I opened the link and realized just who I would be responding to! Tamia Joy! Her mother my “big Sis” for a long as I can remember. I remember when Tamia was born! Little Tamia! Well not so little anymore! Miss Tamia wrote such an intelligent, opinionated, and though out piece, that I was wowed over the content and how she truly felt. I wasn’t at all surprised to learn that the Pittsburgh Post Gazette and members of the Clairton School District picked up Tamia’s Story and had some responses of their own. I called Brian and said, “I got Tamia, she’s like my niece!” No co-winky-dinks here, only God.  I read the letter, responded, and practically typed a whole book! I was so amped to respond the lovely ladies of PublicSource were like,” Girl please, this is too long”!🙃Ha! I just had so much to say. After reading Tamia’s entry several times, I even felt a little sad. Like Dang… being smart and accomplished “still” isn’t cool? Only being able to jump, shoot, leap, or dunk is accepted in our town! No, this can’t be, but moreover this can’t be how you feel and it can’t get you down!  Many greats have come out of “the C” and I wanted her to know she is going to be one of them! Believe that! I was able to edit my response down to a respectable length. I let her know that the focusing on her and not the talk of the town is the way to go. I am sooo proud of the young lady she has become. Today my response to Tamia’s letter was published on PublicSource.com!  You can read Tamia’s Story and my response letter to Tamia here !! Also check out her video below! Would love to hear what you guys think! Lastly, we welcome you to stop by Repair The World: Pittsburgh on September 23rd from 5-7 for the YNGBLKPGH X PublicSource Mentorship Event! You can get your tickets here! This is a free event so bring your mentors, mentees, and  your family and friends!

-VKV-

 

STAR WARS NIGHT AT YANKEE STADIUM ⚾️💙

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I would say the trip to Yankee Stadium was an extension of the Bae’s Birthday’s festivities but he’s  a Pirates fan. I wanted to hit this Friday night game because it was Star Wars Night and the first 16,000 fans were gifted with a Darth Vader Yankees Beanie. So the plan was  to get there super early to ensure we got our hat! However, it didn’t quite work out that way because my cousin Keith was in town and we made some last minute plans to hang out before the game. As we walked into the stadium my boyf said that people were already selling the hats on eBay for $50 a pop in typical NYC reseller fashion. I get so annoyed with New Yorkers when it comes reselling/taxin’. Concert tickets, shoes, FREE DARTH VADER X YANKEE BEANIES… like why?! Anywho, we had some hearty steak sandwiches, fries, Bae had a beer and I had a tallll strawberry daiquiri. It wasn’t bad just way too much to drink and probably played a small role in me feeling so schleepy. The game kind of stunk because I was tired, sitting next to a Mariners fan, I had blisters from walking with Keith earlier in the day, and had even been a little sick the day before. I was kind of over it. Did I mention we also lost… Bummer in the Bronx. I went home and went straight to bed. Check out some of the pics from Stars War Night below and may the force be with you and stuff…….

-VKV-