Monthly Archives: August 2012


Hi Folks,

I started writing a column for a site called Bocajump.  I hope you’ll head over and read my latest.



Why I May Owe Chris Martin an Apology.


For those of you still in the depths of despair concerning my experience at Lollapalooza, your long period of mourning is officially over.  During the first week of August 2012, I attended another Coldplay concert, but this time, attended in a way heretofore  (apparently that is a word,) unbeknownst, (also a word,) to me; I attended as if I were an adult.

It all began last year,  when an August 2012 Coldplay concert was announced. I was determined, for once in my life, to be able to pick out of a lineup,  a band that I had previously seen at an arena concert, independent of all images seen otherwise.  And, yes I realize that makes little sense, but so does a 53-year-old woman crushing on a 35-year-old rock star.  Anyway…

I’ve attended a number of live acts in my life as a concert goer and viewed said acts from a number of different seat assignments, most of which were in the area where they stop assigning rows and/or numbers.  For instance, I had to take the promoters word that I was seeing, say Wings.

Before I go forward, I feel it necessary to explain that no kid, presently or at the time when Wings was a band (mostly the 70s)  has ever been surprised to learn that Paul McCartney was in a band called The Beatles before Wings.  This idea was considered hilarious, in the seventies, by the same breed of adults who thought reading the words to rock songs as sonnets would illuminate how much better the music of the WW II era was written.  (Skiddery dinkie doo, anyone?)  This “joke” is occasionally regurgitated by current day newscasters when the subject of Sir Paul shows up in the news.  Please take this as your notice to knock it off.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled blog post.

In 1976, I saw Elton John from a distance best traveled by airplane, yet I felt completely assured that the man I saw in the distance was either him or a flock of fey birds and Elton seemed more likely.  When I saw John Denver, he could have easily have been replaced by a muppet, and, now that I think of it, that might have been the case in general, but I digress.

As time went by, I’ve (and by I’ve, I mean my darling husband) has been able to pay for the privilege of seeing a few bands from the back half of a basketball court.  Here is a list of said Bands/Performers I’ve technically seen: Paul McCartney, Paul McCartney, Tom Petty and, um, Paul McCartney.  They all (both) put on sensational shows which makes me think it was really them because who would pretend to be them and then go to all that effort.  Plus, I saw them on the giant TVs provided and the images seemed to be moving simultaneously with the on stage performerance.

At this point, I would ask your indulgence while I hold a woman up to public ridicule and I hope you will join me in heaping scorn on her head.  At the last Paul McCartney concert I attended, where I was seated about 3/4 of the way back on the main floor, I was admonished by the woman behind me to stop standing.  In her world view, if I sat down, the 40 or so rows of jumping, screaming fans ahead of me would cease to be an obstacle for her viewing pleasure.  I will wait as you sneer.

Anyway, last December, my son and I mobilized with a mission to get good seats to see Coldplay.  We waited until the allotted time and proceeded to type frantically and reload just as frantically as every other person in the Chicagoland area, including Skokie, tried to get tickets and was successful.

We ended up just North of the Cheddar Curtain and decided to mope rather than go and tell ourselves a tale of a band we loved that once played their instruments in the same giant hemisphere as we lived.

I handled this very maturely so when my husband came home from work, I was weeping incoherently about Chris Martin, once again, not sending passes.  There were a series of events that followed, but, in a nut shell, my husband came to my rescue with a American Express card and the promise of VIP seating if he threw money at said company.  He did so and added, “Merry Christmas,” which made me worry that I would get no other presents.  Not only was that not so, but he rocked last Christmas, for which he should be nominated for Knighthood.  Or at least a public, “What a guy!”

So, skipping forward, I arrived at the United Center on August 7, 2012 to a seat so well placed, that I not only was absolutely sure that all four members were who they claimed to be, (I tried to frisk them ahead of the show, but a large man said I should, “move along.”) but, I could hear the music!  I am not kidding.

It should be said that, Chris Martin throws himself into a performance like someone wound him up, just a bit too tightly, force-fed  several pots of coffee and then released, and I mean that in the best possible way.  He dances, he leaps over invisible barriers, he gallops from one end of a runway to another as if I were chasing him. (I was not.)  He rolls on the floor and gyrates like…like none of your business, all the while performing songs that uplifted me and everyone else (with the notable exception of the girl sitting next to me), to staggering heights of delirious joy and satisfaction.  Which leads to the question: why am I so often seated near less than enjoyable people at concerts.

Wait.  One more thing.  During the show, Martin and Company set up a small stage toward the back of the arena to assure those in attendance that they are indeed, Coldplay.  As they returned to the main stage, they passed by me and I, never one to neglect the opportunity to touch Chris Martin, reached out my hand and patted bass player Guy on the shoulder, as a warm up.  (Please do not report this to him, I’m sure he’s feeling very special about now.)   I exchanged the geekiest high five with Jonny, lead guitar, as a result of a last minute decision he made to high five an unsuspecting me.  And, finally, with much love and admiration, I  slapped Chris Martin so hard on the chest the paint came off his t-shirt.  I have included photographic evidence.

Chris seemed to have recovered enough as to put on another show the following night and since there was no mention of broken ribs or public reports of a mugging, I feel certain I have left him unscathed.

If any reader knows Mr. Martin personally, I would embrace the chance to apologize for any serious bruising I caused.ImageImage

Why I enjoy teenage fashion.


Return to the thrilling days of yesteryear, (if you got that reference, feel free to sigh) when fashions were goofy and geezers were outraged.

As far back as ancient Greece, kid’s fashions have annoyed their elders. Philosopher and grumpy old man, Socrates– who was also one of the first celebrities to go by one name- complained of “the mode of dressing the hair, deportment and manners in general,” when referencing “kids today.”

His student Plato, who was known to infuriate Socrates with his colorful togas, made note of his teacher’s words  in a high, shaky voice which made his friends laugh uproariously until Socrates showed up behind Plato unexpectedly.  I was at the forum, squealing at some visiting Anglo Saxon troubadours on that day so I can’t confirm or deny the above.

I can, however make a reasonable assumption that, as time rolled on, Plato grew older and crankier and was most likely outraged when his student, Aristotle showed up to class with his toga belt arrogantly tied in a double knot rather than the single, which all reasonable people wore.

Whether it’s short hair on women (flappers) long hair on men, (The Beatles), oversized drooping apparel, (thought I was talking about pants, dintcha?  Two words: Zoot Suits) or enormous shoulder pads, (me and everyone else who mixed up fashion and pro football in the eighties) fashion has long been the bane of parental and social outrage.  Why?  Short term memory is my best guess.

Flocks of former Boomers, (even those who danced naked in the mud at Woodstock), write letters to editors of newspapers, apparently unaware that no one will read said missives as they are printed in newspapers, bemoaning that kids today, despite taking the traditional drugs, rarely take off their clothes at music festivals and instead slide through the mud, fully clothed.  Damn kids.

Meanwhile, in Numbnuts, Ohio, former hippies are  gathering in the basements of town halls,  their voices trembling like Socrates’ as they rail  about the radical ne’er-do-wells who are destroying the American dream, if not all of civilization by venturing outside with a portion of their underpants readily visible to the naked (see what I did there?) eye. 

And then there are those who are elected to govern our great nation, those who are charged with distributing our tax dollars for the greater good or at least not purchasing hookers with it. These, one would assume, former teenagers pour their time down a drain of pointlessness by crafting laws that make it illegal for kids to look ridiculous.  And this is where I draw the line. I feel that it is my inalienable right as an American to surreptitiously observe  kids wearing their  pants belted below their buttocks and double over in mirth.

The style also aids law enforcement personnel.  Anyone who’s ever seen a few moments of COPS knows when a kid wearing more underwear than outer decides to run, he has two options: holding his jeans like a Victorian woman avoiding an unsightly stain on the hem of her gown while trotting along like Charlie Chaplin late for the talkies or removing the sagging excuse for pants to make a getaway which is nearly impossible due to their enormous (and hilarious) shoes.

On a more generous note, those of us that came before should feel a deep sense of pity for those who have arrived on the scene thousands of years since the art of pissing off one’s parents by means of apparel began.  With each passing generation the offspring of the previous offspring must rack their minds to come up with new and fabulous instruments of torture for the people who gave them life. Some lazy brats have even resorted to recycling the ideas of their elders.

In order to fuel the imagination of our grandchildren’s children in the art of parental disapproval, I have personally developed a program which will encourage the current little sweethearts and dudes to be imaginative in the art of provoking seizures in the greying set.   Rather than wither and die with embarrassment when a child unveils his fiendish wardrobe , what if parents waited expectantly to see what their once Osh-Kosh-B-Gosh clad prodigy defines as “out of the question” and then clapped happily, heaping praise on their son’s and daughter’s inventiveness.

Imagine the possibilities, the letters to the editor, the hours of laughter.  One can only dream.