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Reversal of Fortune


   Apr 07

Reversal of Fortune

The last few days have been too busy being fabulous for me to write. The polar opposite of my most recent post, in fact, so maybe these things balance out. In this case, in this week(end), dare I say it…I may have actually come out ahead.

I’ll present the evidence and you can decide.

Friday

Went to Sacramento to see Bruce Springsteen.

Apparently, music is my only reason to hit the state capital, since the last time I was there was with my fabulous sister to see the fabulous Blackalicious. That evening is one I will never forget, and so was this past Friday. At nearly three score years, Springsteen still has charm and charisma to burn, and burn it he does, giving 110% when he’s on stage. I can almost forgive him for being an hour late and not apologizing.

The crowd crowded into the Arco Arena was all ages. Right below me were two mothers with their teenage kids. One of the kids tapped my knee partway through and told me to tell him if his dancing got in the way. I’d be amazed if he were as old as 16. Two seats down was another teen talking on her cell, saying “When Mom and I went to see Eminem…” Given the fact that this day would have been my mother’s 76th birthday and that she gave me my love of music and was always, I now realize, listening to the cutting edge at the time, it was entirely appropriate.

Also a blast.

I’ve loved Springsteen since I was in high school, so finally seeing him live was really special for me.

Sunday

Saturday was a recovery from the long, late show and the long, traffic-challenged drive home. Friends from out of town had arrived on Thursday evening and were staying at an extremely posh hotel in the city, but after the horror of getting home, there was no way I was getting back in the car and facing yet more bumpers, even for them.

On Sunday, I had tickets to see yet another legend: Joe Sample. He was playing at the beautiful and intimate Herbst Theater. It was intimate in a good way: small-ish, beautiful room, but my knees didn’t touch the seats in front of me and I wasn’t in peril of having someone’s head in my lap the way I was at Arco Arena. It was just Mr. Sample and his piano and it was heavenly. He introduced each song with its history, putting it in context, and told amazing anecdotes of his long career (he must be nearly 70 and has been playng professionally since he was in his teens).

He took questions and answers from the crowd, many of which were children, since it was a matinee. It was wonderful to see these kids lining up to ask very, very good questions, and getting heart-felt and considered answers from a legend. I’m sure they’ll remember it and talk about it when they’re grown-up.

You’d think that would be enough for one day, but I collected my friends from Fancytown, explaining that the luxury part of their visit was now over, as we crossed the bridge to the Siberia side of the Bay.

They were delighted with my tiny house and my not so tiny kittens. They were tired of restaurant food, so we got dinner fixings at Farmer Joe’s and had a barbecue. It was a splendid evening of catching up and swapping stories and relaxing. They’re the kind of company that helps you make dinner and clean it up and are pretty much just like family.

What a day!

Monday

Woke up belatedly to find that friends had folded up the couch and all the bedding and were happily sipping tea and reading and playing with the cats. Left me alone while I made actually good coffee, woke up, talked to my boss, and generally accepted the horrible fact of being awake and waiting to fully caffeinate.

Once I was (relatively) awake and (relatively) dressed, we headed out to what was effectively brunch at Bette’s Oceanview Diner. I hadn’t been there for years, but it was as great as I remembered. Note to those who may visit sometime, anytime: there is no ocean view and never has been. Though the neighborhood has gotten on the fancy side. Fun shopping, too.

After that the fun was over, as I drove my friends to SFO to pick up their rental Prius and make their long way up the coast to Seattle. I was sad to say goodbye, but so happy and energized by their loving and positive presence.

It looks like a busy week: all day in the office tomorrow, a conference at the Four Seasons on Wednesday and Thursday, more meetings on Friday, followed by Wayne Shorter that evening.

It’s good to be busy, but it’s even better to be loved.

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