No Country for Old Men . . .

Okay, I'm officially an old fogey. I mean, sure, I've been borderline for some time now, but it is now official. I'm old. It is hard to come to grips with that, but there it is.
For K's birthday, I bought tickets to go see The Bangles in concert at The Varsity. We are not really the "go to a live band performance" sort, but I thought it would be a nice change and we both liked the band back in the 80's. Buying the tickets, I noticed that the doors opened at 7:00pm and the concert was to start at 8:30. Well, that isn't so bad, we could do that on a work night, right?

Flash forward to yesterday. At about 3:30pm, I started feeling rather queasy and nauseous. I knew that I was probably coming down with something as I never feel ill unless I get really sick, but I was hoping it would hold off for awhile. I drove home at 4:00 when I got off, met up with K at the house, took a short nap with A while she got ready to go out, and we set off at 5:45 to take A to his aunt's house for the evening.

Neither of us were feeling very hungry, me because of my newfound queasiness and and K because she's been sick for four months and is hardly ever really hungry any more. By the time we fought through the evening traffic and dropped A off, we didn't really have much time or options for dining so we decided to go and try getting a table at The Chimes. We were seated at about 7:30. I ordered a club sandwich and K ordered crab cakes off the appetizer menu. We also ordered french fries to split. I also unwisely ordered an Ameretto and Pineapple. I was able to finish about 1/4 of the sandwich and maybe ten french fries before I felt like I wanted to die and pushed the food away.

At a few minutes after 8:30, we wandered into The Varsity assuming The Bangles would be coming on at any minute. As I alluded to earlier, we aren't really live band people. I think we've only maybe been to one live concert before and it was an outdoor festival with numerous bands and performers. We knew what time Don McLean would be performing so we showed up in time to get a good seat near the front and were actually right in front of the stage singing along to American Pie. That was very cool. So, anyway, back to my story. I know conceptually that bands generally have an opening act, but I assumed that fact was always printed on the publicity. No, not so much. A solo singer and drummer entered the stage at 8:45 (15 minutes after the scheduled start time) and announced, "The Bangles will be out here in about 45 minutes but until then you are stuck with me". Sigh, lovely, so the band we're here to see won't even be out until 9:30? Well, that is late to start, but we can still handle that.

So, the opening act got started. She was actually pretty good. She had a mixture of a soul/folk/rock sound that was pretty nice. About 15 minutes into her performance, I started feeling much, much worse. We worked our way over to the side so that I could use the wall to hold me up. Okay, still not good, I told K to let the bouncer at the back door know I was about to throw up. He quickly ushered us out back whereupon I immediately lost everything I'd eaten right outside the back entrance. Well, not everything, because I took a few steps trying to get away from the entrance and lost the rest of it. Ick.

K suggested that we should call it a night, but I was feeling somewhat better at that point so I insisted that we stay and at least see the band we paid to see. I cleaned up, got some sprite, and we listened until the performer finished her set at about 9:30. Woohoo! Here come The Bangles! Right? Erm, no, the stage hands had to strike the stage and set up new equipment. Grrrr. That took half an hour. Seriously? Is there no way to expedite or automate this process?

I was concerned there would be a lot of people smoking at The Varsity, as K and I haven't really been around smokers in quite a while ever since La changed the law and banned smoking in restaurants and public places. I also get irrationally angry at smokers. I understand it is their right to do whatever they want, I just get really p!ssed off when they do it around me or my child. Like, I want to hit them angry. It wasn't actually that bad last night, there were smokers there early on, but there were very few. K and I actually commented to each other that we were surprised so few people were smoking and wondered if the population was dropping the habit.

Well, no, not so much. Being the magnets that we are, and just as we finished commenting on the lack of smokers, five or six women pushed their way in front of where we were standing and proceeded to be generally obnoxious. They were all chain smoking. Question to readers, why is it that when smokers get together and stand in a circle (everyone smoking), they each feel the need to hold their cigarette off to the side outside of the circle and to turn their head away from the group to blow their smoke out? Thus, even though the people around them are not smoking and ALL of them are, they funnel the smoke toward those people and away from themselves, who apparently like smoke.

One girl who was practicaly falling out of her shirt took it upon herself to constantly dance in circles through her group. She then stopped, bent over and stuck her butt into the middle of the circle, and proceeded to gyrate it around and around while shouting "whoo hoo!" over and over. Of course, I was standing directly in front of her while she did this so her face is basically in my crotch while she grinds her butt around and continues her efforts to make sure she falls out of her blouse. Uhm, yeah, uncomfortable. We decided to relocate about twenty feet away as the band was about to start.

So, at 10:05, the Bangles finally come out and get started. Only the stage hands didn't have the feedback monitor set up correctly so the band stopped singing and did a five minute guitar improvisation until the roadies got their act together. At this point, K and I were about to turn into pumpkins. Then the same obnoxious women from above pushed their way right in front of us again. Sigh. We only made it until 10:45 before we decided to call it a night. We did hear them perform Hero Takes a Fall, Manic Monday and Walking Down Your Street. I'm sure they performed some of their other hits, like Walk Like an Egyption, Hazy Shade of Winter and Eternal Flame after we left, but we just couldn't hang around any more.

Yes, we're sad and pathetic. We only lasted until 10:45 before we had to run home to our beds. And we were absolutely dying the last thirty minutes we were there and only hung around because we actually wanted to see the band.

And lest I sound too much like this was entirely a negative experience, it really wasn't. It was a nice experience and we got to do something we don't normally do. I enjoyed listening to the music with K held close to me. I just wish it would have started early enough for us to actually be able to stay awake, like, 5:00pm maybe?

Oh, and on a tertiary cool (gross) note, I'm pretty sure The Bangles had to walk through/around my vomit when they came in the back door. Blech!

And a second oh, Susanna Hoffs is still ridiculously hot for a 49 year old (and on a related trivia note has the same birthday as K, well, the date, not the year).


How to Marry a Millionaire

I stumbled across an article about Melinda Gates, wife of Bill, this morning. I found it very engaging and interesting to read about the philanthropy efforts in which they both engage and how they choose very specific causes to address. Now I finally know what I want to be when I grow up, a billionaire philanthropist.

Link to article: Melinda Gates Goes Public


Room at the Top

Heh! The Onion did an article about LSU's National Championship! I like where they started, but it kind of fell flat.

Link to article: We're Going Out on Top!

Remember Sammy Jankis!


Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

There is a nice piece by Vanity Fair up on the web that goes into the history of getting Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull made and onto the screen, a process 15 years plus in the making. There is a lot of very interesting information about Spielberg, Lucas and Harrison Ford as well as their collaborations over the years. There are also a few mild spoilers about the film's plot.

I have to say one thing about Lucas, he absolutely doesn't care that his script ideas and writing are beyond lame. He knows that the iconic characters he has created draw hundreds of millions into studio bank accounts and he could care less if the product he produces could have been better told by someone else. The one saving grace on this is that Spielberg was closely involved throughout and both he and Harrison Ford turned down script after script over the years until they found one they could agree on. I just hope they made Lucas hit pay dirt. I'm not convinced reading his plot device but I'll still be checking this one out eager for a home run.

Keys to the Kingdom

Remember Sammy Jankis!

The Score

Sorting through the mail yesterday afternoon I got quite nervous when I saw a piece from my mortgage company with a big red "Statement Enclosed" stamp on the outside. Mental check, "Did we pay the mortgage this month?", "Yes", "Did we pay the mortgage last month?", "Yes", "Is there some kind of fee associated with the account that I'm supposed to pay?", "Not that I'm aware of.". So, with some bit of trepidation, I opened the envelope and scanned its contents.

Woohoo! Escrow refund to the tune of $1,000! I mean, shame on them for holding so much extra of my money in escrow for the past year but woohoo unexpected cash! And, they are reducing my mortgage payment by about $78 a month to account for the lower amount needed in escrow. We will continue paying what we were before, which was greater than the amount due, but this means we'll be paying off an additional $934 a year of principal with no additional out of pocket! Score!

I'm out.

Remember Sammy Jankis!