Last night, I celebrated a 25th birthday. No, not mine…Lady Gaga’s!

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Los Angeles is the land of perks. You’d be amazed by all the free stuff floating around here — from clothes and beauty products to movie passes and yes, concert tickets. I’m not the most connected girl but every so often I get a hookup from the Swag Fairy. Thanks to an especially generous work-related connection, Rachel and I got beyond amazing seats at Lady Gaga’s Monster Ball Tour show at the Staples Center. If we could have grinned any bigger, we would have!

*Side note, I just realized we were both wearing black lace. Too cute.

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Yup, we were that close!

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From a piano built into the hood of a car…

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…to incredible dancers…

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…at least six different costume changes…

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…and even a bit of fake blood, Gaga was great. Her voice is a total powerhouse.

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Not going to lie, the concert was even better than I expected. I’ve always thought Lady Gaga was a bit whacky but last night, she was also downright sweet! She told a story about one of her favorite birthday presents, a pair of ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz. Apparently, she had tried out for the role of Dorothy in high school, but the part went to one of her biggest bullies instead. These ruby slippers reminded her of Dorothy’s journey, and how each one of us have our own special path to take. I’m paraphrasing here, but her spiel went something like this…

Maybe you don’t feel like Dorothy; maybe you feel like the Scarecrow or Tin Man or Wicked Witch. But you have a chance to change that, and maybe someday, somebody will give you your own pair of ruby slippers.

Even though she is a ragingly huge pop superstar, her stories and comments — mostly tied into her new single “Born This Way” — about being yourself made her seem a bit like a pint-sized best friend. She ended the show with the first live performance of this song since the Grammys.

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Then we danced.

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And danced some more! The huge blister that I now have on my baby toe was totally worth it.

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