I'm also a big fan of Emergent Leadership Institute. I've been donating my NUVO writing earnings to them. ELI matches high school and college students with volunteer opportunities and they do an excellent job.
One of the projects they've been doing this summer is gathering the recycling after big concerts. I decided the Wilco show was a great time for me to volunteer with them.
The added bonus is that you're in the venue early enough for sound check and sometimes the bands come out and meet the volunteers.
The dress code for the volunteers is khaki pants or shorts and a yellow ELI shirt.
I only have three fashion rules:
No accessories bigger than my breasts (that cuts out a lot more than you'd think).
I mentioned that I didn't have khaki pants and was told that you could buy them at Wal-Mart. Ummm, not helping the cause any. I was not going to potentially meet Jeff Tweedy while wearing khaki pants - I just couldn't!
I realized the goofiness of the situation. I didn't mind the band and a ton of my friends seeing me pick cans out the trash, but I wouldn't be caught dead in khaki pants.
I remembered that I had a pair of light brown Capri pants and decided they were close enough.
I still had to wear the yellow shirt. I listened to sound check with my Tonic Ball tee shirt on. Before the gates opened there were only a few people milling around. I walked down a little hill and ducked behind a tree and pulled the Tonic shirt over my head. I turned as I was putting the yellow shirt on and realized that I was standing right in front of the little building where the band was eating dinner.
I panicked and scrambled back up the hill. Had I stopped and thought for a few seconds I think I would have had enough nerve to poke my head in the building and say hello. I had a copy of the review I'd written about their last show in my non-khaki pants pocket that I would have loved to get signed.
And, in retrospect if I'd ever thought about what I might do if I stumbled in to Wilco's green room taking my top off might have been on the list.
The Lawn is a great venue and it was a beautiful night. The show was great. Read the Indianapolis Star's David Lindquist's review here.
I actually enjoyed the volunteer job. Most of the work was after the show, so I was able to walk around - dozens of my friends were there and watch the show.
Our task was to grab the cans and bottles from the trash - there were recycling bins right next to the trash cans, but apparently it is hard for folks to figure out.
It took me a while to get the technique. I kept using the grabber thingie to lean on when I reached in to the trash to grab the recycling out. I finally got the hang of the grabber. Stick your fingers in enough goo and you figure it out pretty quickly.
Our real task was after the show. We attacked the lawn with bags and grabbers. It went surprisingly fast. In a hour the place was picked up and dozens of bags of recycling were carted off.
Who knew that I would have so much fun picking through trash?