Christopher Reeve – the Best Superman

You may wonder why I’m posting a photo of Christopher Reeve as Superman.

Superman-Christopher-Reeve

But he’s so handsome, do you really need a reason to post a photo of him? I could look at him all day. He was so handsome.

And besides, my birthday is coming up soon and I’ll post what I want!

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April 20, 2018 at 3:22 am Leave a comment

The worst concert seats I ever had

So we walk into the BB&T Center last night (New Year’s Eve 2017) after paying $30 for parking (an outrageous price they charge just because they can), and we head up the escalator to the third level. I get a weird feeling riding up but dismiss it.

We enter the hallway and tunnel, pass the curtain into the arena, and I notice we’re really high up. The cavern of the arena opens before us, lined with strips of light flashing ads around each level, include one of a tipped beer bottle that streamed yellow liquid all the way around the arena and back to the bottom of the bottle. Beer or pee?

Then we turn and have to climb up even higher. The steps are so steep that we have to climb up them like that final stretch up the side of Stone Mountain (Georgia) when you have to lunge and lean forward. I wonder if the engineering is sound, if they didn’t make some error. Can this be feasible and support all these people, concrete and rebar?

We find our row and, as we shuffle along the extremely narrow strip of space that is meant for you to rest your feet on after you sit down, I glance out at the cavern again and feel that awful sensation that you’re going to fall.

It was extremely steep. The row of seats below us was at our ankles. Reeling, I sat down and pressed my back as far into the seat as I could. I didn’t want to look down. Now I know why these type of seats are called “nosebleeds.”

The other seats were so close; it felt like being crammed into a bargain flight on a cheap plane. The people around me seemed oblivious to the sardine effect that was plain as day to me. Are we really going to sit here for 3 or 4 hours and “be entertained”?

An elderly man and his wife sat next to me. He wore a red gingham checked shirt and a red sweater tied over his shoulders like a preppy college kid. He tapped his feet and clapped his hands to the God-awful opening act and to Billy Joel. He flicked his finger through his social media feed, took selfies and posted them with an alacrity that was in jarring juxtaposition to his age.

The only reason I noticed all these details about him is because I was scrunched down in my seat, hovering as closely as I could to the floor and trying not to look out into that empty space beckoning with that odd pull that can overcome you sometimes.

At one point my knee bumped a guy in the head (the guy who sat in front of me). I garnered all my fortitude and forced myself to sit up and not bonk him in the back of the head again. My hand was gripping the arm rest, and my entire back and body were so tense that I was in pain after about 45 minutes.

I had to relax! This was untenable.

I couldn’t get out of the arena. It would require standing and then squeezing past people to exit. There wasn’t enough room on that ledge they called a row.  An imbecile of a woman behind me on the left laughed with an empty-headed laugh, simply delighted with anything Billy Joel said. Another elderly man struggled into his seat behind me on my right with his cane. His knee was at my ear. It was swollen and bulging from beneath the fabric of his pants like an abnormal mutation. I felt like I was in the lunatic section.

Billy Joel played well. It was hard to enjoy the show. It took about 2 hours for me to disregard the steep slope, convince myself the engineering was stable, and just listen. I couldn’t clap because that would have meant letting go of the arm rest. Billy Joel played his usual hits, gave the audience the opportunity to select songs; he made fun of Elton John, interspersed a few portion of songs by Hendrix, Zeppelin and The Beatles, “just for fun”. While you might say he’s only a pop songwriter and musician, he is very accomplished at that. It’s not easy to write a hit. And he has plenty of them. And the moment he laid his fingers to the keyboard, you could hear the finesse and skill, in contrast to the thonking of the guy in the opening act; his cat could have limped across the keys and played a better tune. The utter mediocrity of it was grating on my frazzled nerves.

Although it’s getting a little old to go to these concerts of these aging artists as they waltz through their catalog and ruminate on the expanse of their life and accomplishments. I wonder if it makes me into a person ruminating on the past instead of still trying to achieve something? How come I can’t attend a concert, book reading, or other event without comparing their accomplishment to my lack of? I’m so all caught up in “me me me”. Pathetic. And now I get to add anxiety of heights to my middle age? Holy crap. Having a beer didn’t help. I couldn’t drink much of it because gripping the plastic cup without crushing it was too much to ask.

So, how was your New Year’s Eve? Mine was swell!

April 6, 2018 at 3:04 am Leave a comment

Fentanyl Killed Tom Petty: When is this Drug going to be stopped?

Tom Petty’s cause of death was announced by the medical examiner. Another opioid related death.

Continue Reading January 21, 2018 at 2:18 pm Leave a comment

I wish it wasn’t true: Tom Petty not with us any more

I wish it wasn’t true: Tom Petty not with us any more.

I made this sign for my car on Tuesday October 3, 2017:

I spent Monday afternoon in anguish after hearing that he went into the hospital. Reports were flying around online saying this and that. I refused to believe any of it until official confirmation came out. I wasn’t going to believe anyone, only family, his manager or a band mate. I couldn’t. I refused. It can’t be true. I kept searching online for a story to refute it all, to say he was fine, that maybe he had a heart attack but was awake now. Nothing.

Today I’m vacillating between disbelief and depression. Some anger is creeping in. It’s too soon for him to go. Too soon.

 

tom-petty-logo

October 4, 2017 at 2:39 am Leave a comment

Tom Petty Concert 40th Anniversary Tour

I’ve been to many Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers concerts: back in the 80’s for the “Long After Dark” tour; “Wildflowers” in the 90’s; and the most recently, the 40th anniversary tour.

TP_May_5_2017-small

We’re all a little older, and there was less jumping around on stage and for me in the audience, but the band delivered a great performance as always. I wouldn’t criticize anything about the show because I’m a fan, not a critic. I loved every song they chose to play, and like everyone, lamented a personal favorite song they didn’t play. But that’s okay. I’ll take what they give me. If they only play smaller venues from now on, that great too. I’d love to see them in a smaller setting.

I remember the specific, life-changing moment I first heard a Tom Petty song: It was “Refugee”. I was walking through the living room while my mother had some talk show on TV. I think it was the Mike Douglas show (not Michael Douglas the actor), and they played a video of “Refugee.” This was before MTV, and we didn’t have cable TV anyway. The only music videos I ever got to see were on a show called “Friday Night Videos” or if I was at someone else’s house.

I literally stopped in my tracks. That music and the lyrics hit me and resonated on deep levels I didn’t even fully know about at that moment. But I became an instant devotee. He’s my number one rock and roller. I love his attitude, the sound of that Rickenbacker guitar, and his constant striving for freedom and great rock ‘n’ roll.

Their music sustained me, guided me and confirmed my feelings and view of the world. Back when there was real radio, I used to get into my old Chevy and turn on the radio. In the 80’s, radio played Tom Petty a lot, and I would turn the dial from one local rock station to another, searching for a Tom Petty song. Whatever lyric I heard served as a horoscope for the day. If he was singing, “Even the losers get lucky some time”, I would vehemently agree, “Yes!” and drive out of my raggedy ass part of town to the beach or school, determined to make my life what I wanted it to be. And I am.

Thank God for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers!

 

October 1, 2017 at 5:45 am Leave a comment

Blooming Poinciana Tree

Typically the Poinciana tree (Delonix regia) blooms in May and June, but it was later this year. I took this photo July 11, 2017

poinciana-tree

It was beautiful in the morning sun. I just had to stop and take its picture.

August 27, 2017 at 10:23 am Leave a comment

Story “The Arboretum”

“The Arboretum”

By Marie Etzler

“Mom, turn on the radio,” Patrick yelled from the back. “It’s so boring in here.”

“Don’t yell, Patrick,” his mother, Charlotte yelled. Veronica turned around and squinted at her older cousin, Patrick, studying him and hoping that his family wouldn’t move to Florida with hers, too. She turned back around to watch as her aunt Charlotte reached out her slender wrist with the thin black watch band and turned on the radio and rotate the dial from a news report about where President Ford was going that week to some music.  . . .

old-car-radio

(continued on “Stories” tab)

July 19, 2017 at 5:33 am Leave a comment

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