Monday, October 26, 2009

Old People Can Be Very Disturbing

Jeff and I went to see Loggins and Messina in concert this weekend. I have a few songs from them, and Jeff decided that it would be fun, so we bought the tickets about two months ago. I haven't been to a concert in over ten years, and, needless to say, I was wholly unprepared for the experience. Sorry to my parents if you are offended by the old people comments. ;)

It was snowing really hard when we left, so we ventured out early. Planning to eat dinner out before the concert, we left the house at around 6pm. The concert was supposed to start at 8pm. Upon traveling to the Paramount Theatre, we discovered that the concert actually started at 7:30. I'm still not back to eating much, though, so dinner went quickly and we were back on the road by 6:45.

We arrived at the parking lot (the parking price was included in the price of the ticket - very nice), and found our way to an empty spot three stories underground. Luckily there were elevators to take us to ground level so we didn't have to walk all the way back up! We made it to the Paramount with 15 minutes or so to spare and found our seats.

Blurry because it was taken by cell phone camera, but it's the view we had of the stage.

Although I was prepared for an older audience, I was amazed to find that there were probably less than ten people under the age of 35 there. Most of the audience was 65 or older, I think, and I have certain expectations of that demographic. Mostly that they get tired easily. Jeff commented that the concert couldn't go too long, as all the old people would fall asleep halfway through.

The Gabe Dixon Band opened the show, which confused us to no end. Our last concert didn't have someone else open - just the group we had paid to watch. So, when they spent 35 minutes playing songs, we questioned whether we were even in the right place. They finally finished their "opening" playing and left the stage. We expected Loggins and Messina to come out right away, but the house lights came on and people started filing out. We wondered if that was the entire concert. Then I realized that people had finished their drinks and were going in search of more alcohol. Joy. Finally, the lights dimmed again and the stars of the night came onto the stage.

The songs started out quite familiar, but after the first three, I didn't recognize any until the second-to-last song. I enjoyed the singing (they even had the audience singing some of the songs), but they also had a ton of instrumental interludes. I didn't enjoy them, as they bordered on jazz-style music. I've never really enjoyed the saxophone, and they had a song with dueling saxophonists that rather grated on my ears. I probably should have gotten up and left for a few minutes, but the thought didn't occur to me until it was over.

The first song was good, as the audience enjoyed it without getting too involved. After that, though, all bets were off. There was one lady who was so drunk that she kept standing up and dancing (to the annoyance of those sitting behind her), and the usher had to tell her to sit down. She tried to get into the aisle to dance but he forced her to sit down. She conceded to the usher and merely sat down and waved her hands in the air. She was far too drunk, though, to have any ability to keep the beat (or maybe she's just not normally good at that), and so her sit-dancing was totally off. I discovered that if I watched her too long, I got motion sick.

I was totally surprised at the audience's reaction to the music. While Jeff and I thought that the older crowd would be boring and tired, they were all dancing. Some got into the aisles, some went up to the front, near the stage, and others just stood at their seats and swayed. Just like the drunk lady, though, it seemed as if everyone fell out of the music tree and hit every "no-beat" branch on the way down, because they were all off. Even those people sitting together couldn't keep in sync with each other. I tried to focus on the stage as much as possible.

Another blurry image to give you an idea of how the show was.

There was a lady sitting next to Jeff who was probably close to 70. She kept using binoculars to see the stage and looked like a nice lady who would be comfortable in a knitting club. It was only after she stood up and started dancing like a maniac and drumming on the seats in front of her that I decided she was Jerry Garcia reincarnated. Poor Jeff almost got elbowed several times and kept inching closer to me to prevent his face from getting hit. I found the whole thing quite amusing until she took off her shirt and danced in a tank top with her hands over her head. That was something I really didn't need to see.

Old people dancing, obscuring our view of the stage. This picture only shows a few people toward the beginning of the show. At the end, the rest of the people were up and dancing, and we had zero visibility.

Overall, it was a good concert. Jeff and I seemed to be the only people who weren't standing, though. I just didn't have the heart to get up and dance (do I ever?), and Jeff didn't want to do it without me. After it was over, we sat and waited for the aisles to clear. People were so reluctant to leave, though, that 25 minutes later, the ushers had to clear everyone out. It was so warm in there that I didn't even put my coat on to leave. It felt great to get outside.

So, despite the average age of the audience members, the only person who got tired and almost fell asleep was me. From my time in the hospital during the past two weeks, I have gotten used to getting to bed around 9:30 and having lights out by 10:30 (hospital rule which I just continued because it's comfortable, though I usually have my lights out by 9:45 or so). Although it was way past my bedtime by the time we left, I stayed awake for the drive home and managed to play a card game with Jeff when we got home.

I had a good weekend.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

See? I Told You So.

Just what I predicted. No subtle hints at anything political to warp young minds. Nothing condescending about republicans. It was a great speech and very well done.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Patriotism is Dead

I'm not very political in my daily life. I don't read political editorials, or watch every political speech that is offered. Does that make me a bad citizen? I don't think so. I think it simply implies that I think our government is doing the best they can and that I have more important things to spend my time on. That's why they get paid the big bucks. They can decide things for me and I am okay with that. It's why I live here. I can play in the backyard, go to a movie, or go out to dinner while the leaders of our country make big decisions on how the country is run.

Given that, I am appalled at the repsonse to the proposed speech by President Obama on Tuesday. This man is our country's leader. The main man. The big honcho. He's not some deranged lunatic trying to abduct and rape our kids. He's not pushing drugs on them in some shady alley. He's not going to bombard them with bad language. He simply wants to stand up before the school children of the U.S. and tell them to stay in school. He won't talk in adult terminology. He's a dad of school-aged kids himself. He know how to communicate his ideas to the younger generation. In fact, he's young enough to almost be considered the younger generation himself!

I am not expecting him to make a major political stand here. He's just going to show kids of today that if you stay in school and study, you can become whatever you want (just look at him - he did quite well in that regard). While children are easily taught, I highly doubt that he's going to explain the recession or bailout reasonings to them. At most, I might expect ot hear him say that since families don't have as much money now, it would very patriotic of the kids to not ask their parents for every last item in the store!

The ability for the president to address the citizens of the nation (and yes, our children are citizens, although not old enough to vote) should fall under the First Amendment. If the leader of our country doesn't have the right to speak his mind, no one should. Yes, his comments should be censored - he shouldn't be able to say anything. Bad language or immoral concepts should not be allowed in his presentation. But what he says shouldn't be censored any more than any TV show that we allow our kids to watch. If our kids watch the Super Bowl with us and see unintended flesh on the musical performers, or watch several of the shows that, as of late, have failed at beeping out the F-word, we shouldn't have any issues with them watching a speech by the president.

Jeff mentioned that our schools show all sorts of things to our kids. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s speech. The Gettysburg address. While these are historic events and often contain elements that mean nothing in today's society, we still obviously get something out of them, otherwise they wouldn't be discussed in school. Our new president is trying to leave his mark on the school kids - by the time he goes up for reelection, some of them will be old enough to vote.

Supposedly several presidents addressed students when I was in school. I don't remember any of their speeches. I think that most kids don't pay that much attention. I feel that this tizzy that the country is in over the impending speech is wasted effort.

That's my say. I'll likely post again when the speech has been given with an "I told you so" response. :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I've Been a Bad Blogger

Okay? I admit it. I'm not holding up my end of the blogging deal. I write the blog, you read the blog. That's the deal. Since I haven't written in a while, you haven't been able to read. I'm sorry.

We went to Nauvoo, IL for a vacation in June. I've been trying to blog about it but I have so many pictures and so little inclination to work on it that I've just put it off. I will try to get to it (soon, or possibly at all). If I don't, just know that we went, had a blast, and saw lots of really cool things that you won't. Sorry. But hopefully I'll get to it.