Well, I’m back home in my humble Hooterville abode, and it’s my birthday eve already. I haven’t even told you about my trip to the City yet. So little time, so much slacking! But then, Slothfulness is one of my special skills.
After my meetings on Thursday, I made my way to Chinatown to pick up something for dinner on my way back to the modest motel. I decided to stop by Great Eastern on Jackson Street, figuring that if it was good enough for the President, it would be good enough for me. I was right, and it was delicious, worth the wait and the madding crowds. I had forgotten how crowded Chinatown is and how its denizens have a very different definition of personal space. It’s been a while since so many strangers have smushed my boobs and butt.
On my way to the bus stop with my to go order, I couldn’t help but notice a very reasonably priced handbag that was practically begging to be added to the Suzy Collection. How could I refuse?
Triumphantly clasping my Prez-approved food and Suzy-approved handbag, I hopped on the bus up Union Street, making sure to sit on the side where I could enjoy the view of the Bay, which was looking its best in the spring sunshine.
Friday saw me back at my old stomping grounds in the Financial District. Meetings were about a block from where I used to work on California Street. Crossing the street, I found it kind of incredible that I used to walk up and down that hill nearly every working day for more than a decade:
I left in what I thought was plenty of time to get to Berkeley and have dinner before seeing the Beach Boys at the Greek Theater. However, the traffic was indescribable:
Eight lanes, all waiting!
Eventually made it to Berkeley and had my hand henna painted:
There was still an hour and a half before the show started, so I thought I’d park the car and look for somewhere to eat dinner. Unfortunately, half of the 8,500 people attending the show had the same idea, so finding parking pretty difficult, and pretty expensive when I did find it.
By then, the gates were open, and the line of thousands was inching forward slower than the traffic on the approach to the Bay Bridge. In their infinite wisdom, the powers that be who run the Greek Theater did not see fit to have separate lines for those with tickets and those without, so it was a long wait to get in.
When I finally did, I was happy to see that my seat was much closer than I’d thought (about ten rows back) and on the same side of the stage as Brian Wilson and my two long-standing crushes from his band, Scotty Bennett and Darian Sahanaja.
The theater itself is beautiful and historic, and there’s nothing like seeing live music in an outdoor setting. And there is nothing like seeing the Beach Boys perform on their 50th anniversary tour just days before your 50th birthday. I felt like they were singing just for me:
During the show, images were projected on the screen behind the band, including footage of the Beach Boys in their youth. As Brian was singing the poignant “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times”, he got so absorbed in watching the pictures of his late brothers that he forgot to sing, and Mike Love stepped in to cover for him. I saw Brian realize what happened, give Mike the OK sign, and Mike wink back at him. There is a real bond when you are not only cousins, but band mates going back half a century.
Another moving moment was when the band “backed up”, as Mike put it, footage of the late Carl Wilson singing “God Only Knows”, playing along as Carl sang in that angelic voice of his, and then to Dennis Wilson singing “Forever” shortly before he drowned in the Pacific. Wild spirited and sexy, Dennis packed more into his brief 39 years than most of us do in 80.
The show was nearly three hours long, but it just sped by. It was a wonderful experience and a memory I will always treasure. I feel so lucky to have been there on that beautiful spring evening.