Archive for August, 2010

Striking a Chord; Renting Kamala, and a Good Start to the Day


2010
08.29

Yesterday’s blog post about time sure struck a chord for many of you.  Comments on the blog and facebook show a heightened sense of how fast time moves amongst many of us.  Of course, it was many of us of a certain age.  Young people think time goes ever so slowly.  Will summer ever come? How many days until we go to Disneyland? The month of December especially seemed to drag.  Young people are waiting for time to pass quickly; we are waiting for time to slow down.

One of my favorite comments lately is don’t wish time away.  And I always come back to the constant, so well stated by Annie Dillard, which I quoted yesterday.  But I like it so much I’m quoting it again today : “Everyone envied her the time she had, not noticing that they had equal time.”  Of course, that implies choices in using time.  And we all do have the same amount of time.  It just goes faster for some of us.  Perhaps Einstein has a theory for that.  I would not know.

This is what time feels like to me now.

Exploding Clock by Salvador Dali

Yesterday’s post struck a chord with me, too.  It got me back on track.  Yesterday I forced myself; today I feel like writing.  I did make a promise to myself that I would blog or keep a journal until the end of this year, which would make two years.  I haven’t been keeping the journal because it became redundant.  I’m going to keep my promise to myself and blog away at least until December.  It’s my own personal record for the world to see.  To me, that’s one of the most contradictory aspects of blogging – what you might not say face-to-face to a friend, you will gladly say to the entire world.

Just a couple of things I wanted to mention so this is a real mish-mash.

First, regular readers are so used to reading about me being at our cabin.  Slowly, after two years, it dawned on us that we’d be smart to rent the cabin out when we weren’t here.  It would be lovely to be able to pay the mortgage.  So I set out to put the plan into motion.  I had no idea of the mounds of detail that awaited me.

There is a co-op rental site in Alta Sierra which about eight cabins have joined.  The site is set up to be fully automated, but who knew that the endless detail just to get our information in would go on for days.  And weeks.  Getting a merchant account set up so we could accept credit cards.  Now this is interesting.

I applied for the merchant account in my name only, because Mark wants this to be my project.  The company called and said I had insufficient credit, whatever that means.  Having a credit score of 799 and credit cards with balances paid in full every month wasn’t sufficient credit?  They wanted more info.  We faxed some bank statements and tax returns.  Not good enough.  Why didn’t we change the application to Mark’s name?  We did, gave them no new information, and it was approved.

What I am supposed to infer from that?  Same info (except Mark’s name, driver’s license number and social), both names on taxes and accounts, and Mark’s credit score is 799 also.  I infer that gender discrimination was in play.  Anyway it sure made it difficult to complete the first rental, which I finally did on paypal.

I listed on VRBO as well as the co-op site.  Detail!  By the way, you can see the sites here:  The  Kern River Co-op site, and the VRBO listing.  You will notice something – we are spelling the word “cabin” with a “K”.  I cannot believe I am doing that.  When I see signs such as Koffee Kafe I shudder.  But Roy (the co-op developer and owner) is a computer programmer, and he said that will maximize exposure – that it has to be different or catchy, and it has to appear high on the web rankings when you do a search.  I can now write Kabin without coming apart.  Barely.  Alta Sierra Kamala Kabin it is.

I think the sites look good – but I need to do several more.  This is the photo we are using for the primary shot of the cabin.

Alta Sierra Kamala Kabin

Lastly, let’s strike a chord musically.  I’ve written about taking three of my grandkids, my daughter, and friend Michael Purcell to a Black-Eyed Peas concert. I’d been using “I’ve Got a Feeling” as my anthem, my wake-up song start-the-day-right song.  I just substituted the word “day” for “night.”  Today Michael forwarded something I hadn’t seen yet from when the Peas slightly modified the song for Oprah’s 24th anniversary.  It has two of my favorite things: the song and flash mobs.  I’m going to try to embed it in this post, but since I’ve not been successful with that yet, I may end up with a link. Just in case

Did you see that blur? It’s time flying by.


2010
08.28

I’m having a lazy day.  I’m slowing down time. I’m just sitting around and I don’t really care. I came up to the cabin without my art stuff on purpose.  I don’t want to do anything and I don’t want to think about anything.  I’m watching the trees bend in the wind – I’d forgotten how much the pines sway in the wind – and you know, it takes lots of time to watch trees, if you’ve got the time. The blue jays are eating peanuts, the squirrel is trying to figure out how to get on the porch and steal those same peanuts, the chickadees are at the feeder, and the hummingbird is sipping nectar.  In other words, everything is as it should be up at the cabin.

The cats like it up here – Tiger was even running around and playing!  A very un-Tiger- like activity.  When we’re at home, Lily is always trying to interest Tiger in a chase or a game, but Tiger gives a little growl and spat, turns up her nose and stalks off.  Up here they play and sleep; however, to sleep each one takes a recliner and I can never bring myself to push one off.  Cat’s do what they want.  What’s time to a cat?

August 28, and I have the heat on.  Even Bakersfield is cool today – 80.  Last week it was 110, 107, 99 and 80 or something like that.  Such extremes. (Hold on a minute – time for a glass of wine….ok, that’s better. A nice chianti classico.)  It’s not TIME for cold weather, but nothing follows a pattern anymore.

So here I am, slowing down, lazing away, but one thing I did want to do was put together my Shutterfly album – Highlights of 2009.  I’ve been doing these every year now for a while, although since I am never moderate, I have two volumes for each year, Part I and Part II.  You might want to think about doing something like this.  The way I see it, it’s a hedge against memory loss and old age. Something I can look at when I can’t do any of those things anymore. And I’ll have plenty of time to look.

So I put my 2009 photos on my flash drive, came up to the cabin, was loading them on, and they passed before my eyes, each one, fleetingly, as they downloaded.

It was literally time flying by.  It was last year in a compressed version and there was a lot of it!  Much more than there will be for 2010.  I haven’t taken that many photos this year, for one.  The move seems to have consumed everything, and then the amazingly good and horrible month of July finished me off, and now I don’t know where I am mentally.

It was also disconcerting to see how fast time could fly literally in front of my eyes, when of course my time is flying – all of our time is flying – and I don’t want to stop it necessarily, but I want it to last.  I really want to live a very long time, several hundred years will be fine, but how can I think like that? It’ll never work unless we start colonizing space.  Where will they put us all?  The ubiquitous “they.”  If only “they” were listening to me, the world would be on the right track.  For instance, I could have saved people lots of time – so many studies have been funded to confirm the effects of socioeconomic status on school performance.  Why didn’t “they” just ask me?  Or any teacher?

Should I keep blogging or not? is it important that I say what I am thinking to the world?  Not so much.   Except when I get a comment about how much a particular blog helped someone deal with something, and then I’m in teacher mode.  Helping just one person is enough.  Teachers develop a warped sense of accountability.  I mean, I can’t “help” students and strangers my whole life.  Or can I?  Is that what I should be doing with my time?

I don’t know.  I think I’ll continue on with my lazy day, which also includes eating what I want when want.  I’m on my own timetable, at least for a few more days.

Cyndi Lauper’s song says it well – the story of time:

Time After Time
Lying in my bed I hear the clock tick,
And think of you
Caught up in circles confusion
Is nothing new
Flashback warm nights
Almost left behind
Suitcases of memories,
Time after time

Sometimes you picture me
I’m walking too far ahead
You’re calling to me, I can’t hear
What you’ve said
Then you say go slow
I fall behind
The second hand unwinds

If you’re lost you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall I will catch you I’ll be waiting
Time after time

If you’re lost you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall I will catch you I’ll be waiting
Time after time

After my picture fades and darkness has
Turned to gray
Watching through windows you’re wondering
If I’m ok
Secrets stolen from deep inside
The drum beats out of time

If you’re lost you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall I will catch you I’ll be waiting
Time after time

You said go slow
I fall behind
The second hand unwinds

If you’re lost you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall I will catch you I’ll be waiting
Time after time

If you’re lost you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall I will catch you I’ll be waiting
Time after time

Time after time
Time after time
Time after time

Ultimately, the discussion of time is circular by nature.  Cyndi Lauper speaks of times remembered, but I always remember a line from Annie Dillard’s book The Maytrees:  “Everyone envied her the time she had, not noticing that they had equal time.”

In response to Annie Dillard, I say I want more time, not equal time. So maybe I should be lazy more often, so time will drag, not fly.

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You know? July was a hell of a month. Plus, Earth is a Mighty Vessel. Art!


2010
08.09

Gotta say it.  Ever have those months that when you look back, it seems completely surreal?  I just have to get it off my chest, and of course I know everyone wants to know about MY month – so here it is.  For a preview – this is what I felt like at the end of the month.

I felt like this chopped up pile of wood I found by our cabin. I was broken down, fragmented, and needed to be put together again.

It started with me going to L.A. for a couple of days to help my friend Michael. He’s in India now and was in the process of getting ready.  Sort of like closing out one life and starting another.  He now has no apartment and no job in the United States.  I’ve got his financial stuff to take care of, so he is free and clear to step through the looking glass.  Michael is a sign-language interpreter, and he’s interpreting for a recent grad school grad (grad school grad?) who’s Indian.  He’ll be there for at least six months.

Buying a computer with Michael

I remember back in 1971, Mark and I did the same thing.  We joined the Peace Corps. Put all our stuff in storage and set out for Morocco.  Took two-year-old Jennifer with us. Both sets of parents were horrified – how could we do such a thing? How unsafe it would be.  What about Jennifer? Could we get jobs after being out of the country two years? Looking back, it was pretty brave – walking into Oujda, Morocco, with only basic language skills and having to find a house to rent and furnish it with a PC volunteer salary, but it wasn’t foolhardy. We were young, when, of course, you do things you’d think two or three times about now.

So Michael is taking a big risk – stepping into his new life in India.  I’m happy for him to have this adventure because after living in a foreign country, life is never the same.  It’s fuller, richer, and everything around you takes on more relativity.  If we didn’t have nine grandkids with number ten on the way, we’d be right back in the Peace Corps.

Anyhow – I was in L.A. helping Michael and he woke up one day with strep throat. Not good. So I zoomed back to Bako and left for Florida on July 5.  I’ve written lots of posts about that – I’m sure no one wants to hear the words “heat” and “humidity” once more!  But it was all that and more.  Nothing has ever tired me out as much as that trip, but had I known in advance, I would have still gone. I was simply unable to pass up the chance to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  Would I go back in July? Given the choice, no.  Never.  But I wouldn’t have to – I’ve been.

Frazzled parents on the soccer field in Palm Beach

Breakfast at Three Broomsticks at Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Then came the pathetic 24-hour return trip to California. One day home. Off to the cabin with all nine grandkids and two daughters.

Grandkids at the cabin

Now, would you like a laugh? Because you are going to get one. I was so frazzled that I made the absolute most pathetic cake in the universe for Jen and Karen’s birthdays at the cabin.  It was all I had so I had to use it.  Get ready for a ROFL moment.

The most pathetic birthday cake in the history of mankind

Two days home.  More stuff with Michael including a mad-dash day right before his flight replacing everything in his lost wallet! This is not a good idea, losing your wallet the day before you embark on a new life.  Yet maybe it was symbolic – starting again.

Straight to Costa Mesa for the Adam Lambert concert, which I also wrote about.

Then up to Pismo for some days with my friend Pat.

Me with Patty Cake

Then the road home.

If I was home 5 days in July I’d be surprised.  But I can’t check my calender definitively because my computer, and therefore outlook, is kaput.

First week of August: the air conditioner broke in our house, my computer crashed and is still absent (working on the macbook), lots of running around to get the cabin ready for renting. New bank accounts, web site, ad infinitum.  Fasting lab work.  I’m happy to report that my lipid panel and my cholesterol levels are on the low side.  One victory for August!

Did I mention the dead bird and the frog in my closet? That the cats – I suspect Tiger, really – have/has been urinating in the closet and my room? That’s solved now, but I think it was too much for me to be gone such a long time.  I got pherenomes from the vet to spray on the spots, and I have happy cats now.  Calm cats.  I am giving them both plenty of attention.  Maybe Tiger will stop being so crabby.

Oh my, there is more. But I can hardly remember. My parents of course.  Yesterday I wrote the story about the keys.

Ah – I forgot the mammoth trip to IKEA (1 1/2 hours away) and putting together bookcases, beds, mounting televisions, etc.  And worse than almost anything was a horrible phone call to Direct TV to get it installed at the cabin.  My head was spinning – it was the highest pressure sell I’ve ever experienced, and when I was hanging up after probably  ONE HOUR, the sales guy still wouldn’t stop selling.  I had to say, “Thank you. I’m not ordering your product. I am hanging up now. Goodbye.”

But I did order it because it’s the only service available in Alta Sierra.  HOWEVER I ordered it in a bundle though Verizon and it was a very civilized procedure.  Have to zip up there Thursday for installation.  And on Friday my sister, her husband, and my two nephews from Juneau are coming for the annual summer visit.

OK, it’s off my chest. It’s a wonder I’m still sane. I do not want to go anywhere for a long time.

SO finally I had time to produce some art this weekend.  In fact, I had to because the deadline for the museum show this year was today! The theme is Vessels.  I worked on a collage for two days.   I decided to meet the theme head-on and wrote a poem about vessels which  I’ll put it in here because the words probably won’t show on the screen, and then I’ll put in the picture.  There is a lot of intentional symbolism in this collage.  I wonder what people will see, since they can’t see inside my mind.

Earth is a Mighty Vessel

Earth is a mighty vessel, bountiful,

Impersonal, arid.

We rise with this vessel, higher.

We leave this vessel when we can swim.

Except those who sink.

We laugh with riches from vessel Earth.

Our bodies become vessels,

Adorned as Earth adorns herself.

Earth is a bumpy vessel with which

We float, rise, paddle, dive.

Earth’s buoyancy brings us back.

Except those who sink.

Accept those who sink.

Earth is a Mighty Vessel

And now we move forward.

On the Other Side of Life: The Story of the Keys


2010
08.07

Six Keys by Don Whittemore

August. On the other side of the year, counting down. Life is Creative Every Day’s theme for August, and today I had a stark reminder of being on the other side of life.

My dad is 92.  His memory is going.  There are visible changes daily, and he’s in that delicate stage when he recognizes it.  On the other hand, my mom’s been beyond that stage for so long that she has no idea she doesn’t remember. She thinks she still does things like cook dinner.

Walking in yesterday morning at 9:30, I found Dad at the breakfast table with a handful of keys.  He was agitated because he had lost his keys the day before and was trying to scare up extras.  As he fiddled with the keys on the table, he got more and more disturbed.  I know some of it was caused by him knowing he’d lost something he couldn’t find, knowing his usually well-orgainzed keys were missing tags, knowing he was losing his grip on things.

Mom walked in and said, “Do you remember this?”  She was holding the key rack I made in Camp Fire Girls so very long ago.  It’s green with two big flowers and three hooks, and I thought those were the very most beautiful flowers ever painted.  (I probably can’t do much better right now.)  We talked about it and she wandered off with the key rack.

Dad caused a lot of this agitation himself because he is who he is.  Some of us have insight into ourselves and can make changes.  Some of us, like my dad, both do and don’t have insight.  I’m not sure I understand it: he can bemoan some of the habits his father had, yet have the same habits himself without recognizing them.  He knows he can be difficult (difficult is an understatement) but he’s never been able to modify his behavior.

So my sister had told him she wasn’t going to be there the day he lost the keys, but for him not to worry, there were duplicates and she’d get them made.  She thought she had finally gotten through and he’d just relax and wait.  But that’s not my dad.  Even though he is 92 and knows his stamina is limited, he spent the rest of that day looking all over the yard, even raking it, sure he had dropped the keys when he was fiddling with the fountain (a whole other story).  I’m sure he lost sleep over it, and he hadn’t even eaten breakfast when I walked in.

He just couldn’t stop being him.  He never would have lost keys in the first place; if he did he’d find them right away, and everything would be in order and in its place.  Basically, he would have been in control.  He never recognized that he always had to be in control, yet he understood that about others.  How can a person have awareness, even self-awareness, yet be blind at the same time?

One thing led to another: my sister had taken the extra mail box key so he didn’t know how he would get his mail! (No, she had one made for herself and checked the mail frequently for them.)  If only mother would have agreed to put a mailbox key on her key ring, he’d have that. But Mom can’t even find her purse usually.  Dad knows that.  He was worked into a fine froth.  I made a mistake, trying to divert attention.  I said, “Dad, speaking of purses, do you ever wonder what Queen Elizabeth carries in her purse? You know, she always has a handbag with her wherever she goes.  I think it’s empty.”  The mistake was, he didn’t laugh.  He said he knew why she carried a handbag! To carry her intimate items.  I’m thinking sanitary pads (except that she’s a bit old for those), but Dad was thinking lipstick.  Oh well.

So I said, “Dad, I’ll look and I’ll find the keys.”  And I set out, outside, since he was convinced that’s where he lost them.  But my sister called and asked me to check between the dryer and the wall.  I did.  I saw something that looked like it could be a key tag, but the space was tight and I couldn’t budge the dryer.  So I got a meat fork and tongs from the kitchen, used the fork to snag and pull out what did turn out to be keys, and the tongs to secure them and lift them out.  I noticed the key rack was right above the crack (somehow Mother put it back where it belonged), and Dad had probably returned the keys to the right place but missed the hook. He was so positive they were outside.

I stood up, Dad walked in, and I said, “Are these the keys?” He leaned on the dryer and began to cry.  He was exhausted from this incident. He was hungry, tired, and emotional.  I think mostly he was crying because he knew just how close he was to the other end of life; he knew how much he couldn’t do, and it was just too much.

Portrait of an Old Man by Egon Schiele

I moved the key rack to the other wall so if things dropped, they wouldn’t disappear into the gap.  Mind the gap.

When I left I called my sister and asked her not to tell Dad that it was her idea to look between the dryer and the wall.  Because I was a hero, and I just let myself be a hero.  I knew it was useless to try to explain that it was Cris, not me, who thought to look there.  In his emotional state he couldn’t have processed, so I let him laud me as the hero, the person who could solve anything.

Besides, I think it brought back some luster to my branch of the family after my husband tarnished it in the plumbing incident.

A victory for justice along with some miscellany


2010
08.04

Justice, for now

Today, in California, we celebrated a victory.  Federal Judge Vaughn Walker struck down Prop 8, the ban on gay and lesbian marriage.  For now though, there is a stay on gay marriage, but if I understand correctly that could change in a few days.  Regardless, it is rather fantastic that we even worry about this.   Opponents of gay marriage must feel desperately threatened, although that is baseless.  Just because it is legal for gays to marry doesn’t mean scores of straights will rush out to become gay or lesbian and marry a same-gender partner.  Nor does banning gay marriage insure that gays and lesbians will become straight.

We make many decisions in life – to go to college or not, to get married or not, to bear children or not, to go out to eat or not and so on.  But when do we make the decision on being gay?  When do we sit down, as we would if we were choosing a college, and say “It’s time to decide.  Will I be gay or straight?” Do you remember doing that?  Of course not.

It comes down to one thing really.  In the United States, where all men (and women) are created equal, at one time some were more equal than others.  We’ve overcome that, at least on paper, but now our California Prop 8 supporters are trying to say that really, truly, some people are more equal than others.  Sorry, folks, but that isn’t what America is about.

Miscellany

Cats: Decided Tiger and Lily are becoming inside cats.  Tiger won’t mind.  Lily will.  But I cannot deal with dead birds and frogs in my bedroom and closet more often than not.  Sorry cats.  I’ll get you new toys tomorrow so you will be intellectually stimulated. My niece-in-law, who is a vet, said I can buy a toy at WalMart that makes a noise like a bird, and I can hide it and the cats will find it.  She says it is about $15 and lasts forever.  So tomorrow I will make one of my rare excursions to WalMart.  I’ll get a couple, but I am not going to spend all day playing hide and seek with cats.

Renting the cabin: Getting ready to rent our cabin.  It’s a lot of work! But there is a great co-op web site in Alta Sierra that we can get onto fairly easily.  Time for some more income.  It’s really a wonderful place and the kitchen is better equipped than most kitchens at home!

Algae: string algae grows so quickly that you can actually see it grow.  Almost. I clean out the pond and literally 15 minutes later more algae is floating around.  I’m having my regular Thursday coffee with Chris McKee tomorrow.  Although she is an artist, her specialty in college was blue-green algae.  I’m going to see what she has to say about this. I know we could just use chlorine, but we don’t want to hurt the frogs.

Frogs:  At night I usually go out in the back yard after dark with a flashlight to check on the frogs.  There seem to be two hopping around the lawn every night.  I don’t believe I will ever know if they are the same two – but as long as I keep seeing them, it’s ok.  I like wildlife and frogs count.

Photos: here are a couple of random photos from the last few weeks.

What a crack up! This was at the San Luis Obispo Thursday Farmer’s Market.  I guess dogs are not allowed, so would you please remove your dog immediately? Right this second? Now?

Again, from the Farmer’s Market. Do you hear that? Leave that cart alone.  If you must do something with it, get the OK from Marty or Dennis, all right? Just so you understand.

Flowers will take the opportunity to grow anywhere.  These brave blooms valiantly guard the dumpster.

For fun, our local restaurant Valentiens celebrates Bastille Day for an entire week.  We went for dinner on a Saturday and the theme was Masquerade. I wish I had dressed up but I’ve never been good at costumes.  That’s Jeramy in the middle, one of the owners.

How about these amazing grape vines on the road home from Pismo? And the wonderful tree.

This is my dear, dear friend Michael.  He’s a sign language interpreter, and he’s gone to India to interpret for a young man who just finished graduate school in the U.S.  The young man’s family has an enormous company, OMmetals, and Vai is making his way into the business.  Michael will be there at least 6 months, maybe three years!  Already, by the end of week one, they have traveled to Hyderabad where Michael interpreted a solar conference.  I’ll miss him.  Thank goodness for Skype.

I’ll leave you with the morning sky from a day in July.  It’s not often I’m up early enough to see a sunrise, but if I had to be awake, this sky was worth it.

Glam Nation Tour – oh yeah


2010
08.02

I kind of like Adam Lambert.  Or, more honestly, I absolutely adore Adam Lambert, which is why I bought tickets to his Glam Nation tour stops in Costa Mesa, CA.  When tickets went on sale, I got two for July 28th. As usual, even though I went online at the very stoke of 10 am, all the best seats were gone.  How does this happen? I really don’t understand the Ticketmaster system.

Tickets sold out fast and another performance was added for the 27th.  Cool, I thought, I’ll try for a better ticket for that, and if I only buy one, I might have more luck.  So I did, and I did get a closer seat, but way on the side.  Later that day I decided to try again, just in case something had opened up, and I did get a better seat, center and fairly close.

Now I had four tickets, so I figured I’d go both nights and sell the others.  I got a hotel reservation where lots of the other Glamberts were staying and planned to meet the Glamily for dinner.  Fun times ahead.  And what could illustrate the Creative Every Day theme of Fire? Adam Lambert sets the audience on fire.

Somehow, I failed to take into account that I would be gone most of July.  Uh huh, I was.  So I didn’t quite get around to selling those other tickets.  They weren’t expensive and I figured I’d sell them at the venue.  Uh huh again.

On the 27th Mark and I drove to Burbank in separate cars so I could continue to Costa Mesa and he back to Bako after our mammoth buying trip to IKEA, the Goddess of Retail.  We got sheets and towels for the cabin (we’re going to rent), bookcases for our house, a trundle bed for the casita, and assorted other items. We went our separate ways and I had plenty of time to get to the hotel and check in before the Glamily dinner at Mimi’s Cafe.  So I thought.

It was a one-hour trip but I wasn’t having good trip luck.  Remember the 24-hour cross-country flight?  This one-hour drive took me 2 and 1/2 hours.  Traffic was creeping, really close to a standstill on the 5.  I turned to the radio station that reports traffic on the “ones.” The station says things like,”Big rig overturned, two right lanes blocked,” or “Two-car accident blocking the left lane,” or “Injury accident closing the northbound lanes.”  Our delay was termed “police activity.”

I had never heard that before in the countless times I’ve listened to traffic reports.  I still don’t know what it is, but I watched the minutes tick away until it was clear I would not be attending the dinner.  Now I began to hope I’d be attending the concert.

Finally – made it!  Checked in and headed to the Pacific Amphitheater by myself and instead of selling that other ticket, I just went in.  I had all the entrepreneurship squeezed out of me by the traffic.  My seat was pretty good, but still not good enough for good photos.  They only allowed cameras six inches or less in the venue.

I had to eat.  The amphitheater is in the OC Fairgrounds.  So I ate a hot dog, nachos, and kettle corn.  I had a margarita.  I knew this was a very lousy choice of food, but I didn’t have much choice.  The hot dog was actually delicious.

Concert opened with Allison Iraheta – the ferocious, young redhead who came in fourth on Idol last year.  I love her.

Her set was good, but when her band came out, I looked at the woman next to me and we both said, “Are they kids?” They looked like just barely teenagers.  Or else we are getting old.  Unaware that Adam’s demographic, while including all age levels, centers on women over 40, several of the people around me said they thought they’d be the oldest people there.  Uh – no.

Next up we had Orianthi.  Did you see the Michael Jackson movie This is It?  Orianthi is the Australian, blond guitarist who followed him around on stage everywhere.  She is insanely talented, but her set was loud.  Really loud.

At least one person in the audience didn’t want anything to do with anyone who wasn’t Adam.

I wanted to ask what she was reading.

How to show I was there? The self-portrait.

Finally, after a very long wait, several waves that went around the amphitheater, and thunderous foot-stomping, Adam appeared.  Like a voodoo shaman, singing Voodoo.  Oh, the glitter and the sparklies, the rhinestones, the glam. He is a gorgeous man.

There are fabulous photos all over the internet – this is so poor we barely see his glam. God, his voice.  It’s not possible.

I don’t even know how to describe him.  You have to see for yourself. Before I left, I had decided I couldn’t go to both concerts because I was done in from all the traveling.  I thought, who would really truly like these tickets, and I came up with Janna, the daughter of the woman I was visiting in Pismo.  I asked Pat if I could come a day early, gave the tickets to Janna, and that was that.

Oh, I regretted not going the second night, but I had enough sense to know it would be too much.

The next morning I headed up to Pismo and Janna headed down to the OC, and everyone was happy.

By the way, Adam is asking his fans not to bring gifts to the concerts.  He wants donations to the Glam a Classroom campaign on Donorschoose.org.  His career is just starting and he’s already responsible for over $300,000 of giving!