The Eagles

I saw the Eagles perform last night. I bought the tickets six months ago, and put them by the side of my bed, and waited patiently for the night to arrive.  Honestly, I have to say that I thought that something awful was going to happen and that I wouldn’t get to see the band that I had wanted  to see so badly for ten years or longer.

Glen Frey said in the movie, “The History of the Eagles” that “people did stuff to our songs.  They took trips, fell in love, had their hearts broken, got married….” (paraphrasing here).  I remember the first time I ever heard the Eagles; I was in the back of my parents’ car, driving back from Michigan (somewhere in Nevada, I think) , and “Take It Easy” came on the radio.  After days of nothing but country music, hearing Glen Frey singing “C’mon, baby, don’t say maybe” set my little pre-teen heart aflutter.

Forty years later, I sat in the dark last night and heard the band that lives in my heart as the Who does, even if they occupy a different area.  The show last night was perfect, musically and emotionally, and I would see them again in a second. They re-did the arrangements for “Witchy Woman” and “Heartache Tonight” and gave both songs new feeling. Last night, I listened to the Eagles, and the thought came to me again, the same thought that came to me as I watched the Who the last two times, and it was not a comfortable thought.

The Eagles are definitely a well-oiled machine, and there are no bumps allowed in the road at this date.  The show is big, and produced, and smooth, and well-rehearsed  – it was definitely what I wanted to see from them, and I left wanting more, which I think is always the sign of a good show. But… it seems as if we’ve gotten to a place in musical history where our angry young men are now nostalgic elders who love music and are finished and polished, instead of raw and exposed.  Maybe it’s natural progression, and it just happens as we get older.  Except it isn’t, and it doesn’t.  I loved the show; I felt as if there was little or no spontaneity, and that’s the way Glen and Don want it.

The Eagles have been through various band members, fought onstage, lifted Joe Walsh out of the deadly arms of addiction, and stayed incredibly popular, even during the ten-plus years that they weren’t a band.  Last night original member Bernie Leadon joined them onstage, and it felt like a missing piece of the band was back in place.  They ended the night with “Desperado,” and Don Henley’s voice took the song to a new place – it was the voice of a man who’s been there and back, and isn’t finished yet. It was an exquisite ending to the evening.

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Hot enough for ya? Knit something!

We are experiencing a heat wave in southern California, and I sort of think that a lot of us can’t handle it; actually, we tend to go right off the rails when it comes to any type of weather that is outside of the range of 68-74 degrees.  I include myself in this focus group – I was born and grew up in California, and if the weather goes above 80 degrees, I whine; same if the weather goes below 60, although I prefer warmer weather to cold.

It’s not just the crabbiness, though; Californians have never been patient drivers, and when the heat gets to us, we get even worse.  I watched cars speed around other cars in the parking structure at Bella Terra this afternoon (the temperature was 91 at around 3:30) to rush to get a place to park.  We do the same thing when it’s raining – we behave with entitled arrogance here, as if no one else exists, much less matters.  Even though the sheen is officially off the Golden State, we still behave as if we live in the land of eternal sunshine and riches, in which we are all the stars of our own reality shows, rather than in a broke and broken state in which manners and courtesy don’t seem to be evident, having been replaced by the celebration of street level stupidity.

Maybe the heat is getting to me, too.

*****

I had a nice afternoon, in spite of the wicked weather. I went to Happy Nails at Bella Terra for a lovely pedicure done by Kayla, and my toes are remarkably cheered up, and so pretty! I also started working on a hat for Knots of Love, a charity that creates and donates knitted and crocheted hats to chemotherapy patients.  I’m grateful to do something with my knitting for a good cause, and also remember my father and sister-in-law, both of whom were lost to cancer. If you are interested in finding out more about Knots of Love, visit http://www.knotsoflove.org for information.

People, people, people!

(I miss George Carlin – he always said what needed to be said.)

As this year moves forward, I find that I’m having a recurring thought about the state of the people in my state (California).  I would really like to get this out in one breath, so here goes:

We have lost our courtesy, our compassion, and our intelligence. We all walk around in the same sloppy clothes, watch the same movies and television programs, read the same books, and think the same thoughts. Rudeness is the new standard of behavior; rewards go to the rudest on television,so we mimic what we see so that we can be rewarded. There is no individuality, no critical thinking, and no creativity. Everything is programmed, curated, and manipulated for our maximum enjoyment by a corporation with a computer program.  Everything is slick, and cold, and neat – no holes, no mistakes, no passion.  Everything is boring, and from the looks of it, Americans have given up on taste, manners, and style.

Ok, back to the post. I am aware that there are intelligent, clever, interesting, fun, down to earth people out there. I am fortunate to know many of them- however, it is a little discouraging to go out into the general population and observe the behavior that is now appears to be acceptable.  It’s not so much what people are wearing, although that is part of it – what you wear is important in determining how you feel, and how you feel can have a huge impact on how you behave.  It’s really more about how people act towards one another; a few weeks ago, I was at Target, pushing my cart up and down the aisle, shopping for…everything, and a woman turned down the aisle that I was in, pushing her cart.  Rather than backing her cart out so I could get through, she just stood there and stared at me, waiting for me to move out of the way for her.  People don’t move out of the way for you; you are always expected to go around them, no matter how many boxes or bags you’re carrying.  And if children are out with these adults, they are usually screaming, crying, or being generally obnoxious (to be fair, the well-behaved children usually don’t capture my attention, so my observation is a bit skewed.)

I was out at breakfast with my girlfriends last week, and we were catching up on our lives, when it occurred to us that there was some background noise that didn’t seem to subside. We realized that there was a screaming child at the next table, and the adults at the table weren’t making any attempts to make the child stop; not only did they not do anything, they were laughing.  This went on for a good ten or fifteen minutes, until one of them finally took the child outside.  I won’t get started on what I observe in the way of , or substantial lack of, parenting skills; I will say this: just because a couple is biologically capable of having children, that doesn’t mean they should.

I have no solutions for what I’m seeing; it’s like the ATTACK OF THE STUPIDS in 3-D, and it’s playing everywhere, in malls, movie theaters, and restaurants.  I love where I live, and I know I sound a little discouraged about it all; maybe it’s different where you live. I hope so, because there are days when the Golden State seems a little tarnished.  Maybe we can all put down our smartphones (at least something is smart in life these days; eventually all of our intelligence will be sucked into our smartphones, and we won’t be able to make a move without them), and start talking to one another to find ways to be…better, damn it, just better than we are now.

Being wise in time

I was driving back from the movies today (saw “The Hunger Games, and stopped for the book, because I need to fill in the gaps), and thinking about nothing and everything, when this hit me like a runaway truck: what I would like, and what I need, is more wisdom and less judgment in my life, both for myself and from the people that I love.

I’ll repeat – more wisdom, less judgment.

I think my parents were wise in lots of ways; they both went through hell when they were young, got away from it, and came to California to start new lives.  They didn’t have a lot of parental wisdom to draw from, as they each lost one of  their own parents fairly early in their lives (in my mom’s situation, both of them; Grandma Sperou was alive, but permanently hospitalized and really not present in my mother’s life), but they did their best, I think.  I always felt like they never gave up, no matter how difficult life got for them. I miss that, and I miss them.  They were comforting to me, and sometimes saying nothing was the wisest thing they ever did.

I was thinking that we have all gotten pretty judgmental in our lives, and I know that if you read my last post, you’re saying, “Wait? What? You just wrote a whole thing on judging what people wear!”

Exactly – clothing; I’m digging a little bit deeper than that today.  (And if you didn’t read my last post, go read it now. I’ll wait.)

I know how to be judgmental, but lately, I feel like I have no idea what wisdom means.  I looked up both “wisdom” and “judgment” in the dictionary, and apparently, they are listed as synonyms for each other.  Not sure that I agree;  I would add one more idea, and make it an equation:

Judgment + compassion = wisdom.

Our lives have gotten too fast – we only have seconds to spare for most everything, including other people.  Theodore Roosevelt said, “Nine tenths of wisdom is being wise in time.”  If we slow down enough to really listen to what people say, or to think about what they might have been through in their lives, or what they might need right now, maybe we can stop judging and start understanding them. I’ll keep working on it….

Dreaming of matzo ball soup (and other Saturday thoughts)

I have a little cold, so I’m debating whether to go out or not – it’s a warm southern California day in December, and I’m behind on my Christmas shopping (of course, I am always behind on shopping, so technically, I’m right on schedule), so I’m waiting for the DayQuil to take effect.  While I wait, here are a few items for you that have nothing to do with each other, except that they happened to me:

I think the good people of the U.S. Postal Service have all but given up hope; being an employee in an industry for which taps has been played several times in the past few years, I can understand their frustration and discouragement.  However, this is no reason for the incompetence and inconsistent customer service that I experienced yesterday.  The short version is that my mother’s mail was halted without any notice; I found out yesterday that if a mail carrier sees that a house is empty, it is perfectly appropriate for them to put a block on the mail without putting any kind of notice in the mailbox, even though the mail has been picked up for months. I understand this policy; what made me mental yesterday was the utter lack of consideration and inconsistent information given to me – I was told that I needed to bring back a copy of the trust to show that I was the successor trustee before the mail would be forwarded to my house, and that there was no mail for me, even though the mail had been stopped for two weeks.

When I came back after making a copy of the trust, the employee (a different one from the woman who I had been talking to that morning) looked through it, then gave it back to me.  “You don’t need to keep a copy?” “No, we don’t.”  I asked again about the mail, and she came back with the electric bill (under my dad’s name) ; apparently the first two times I asked, they didn’t check the address or the last name, only the first name (!?!!?).  And there were no apologies, even though I was clearly angry – I took down the name of the person who runs the branch, and I will be writing a letter to him, and to his boss (and maybe his boss as well). “Mess with the bull, and you get the horns…” (Yes, I have a movie quote for everything in my life; comes with growing up inside of a movie theater.)

“Raiders of the Lost Ark” is on; I think Alfred Molina is the guy with Harrison Ford in the first few scenes – he takes the gold statue from him and says “Adios, senor,” and then gets impaled. “Raiders” is one of those movies that I loved in the first five minutes –

So I’m on my second bowl of soup – the first one was Trader Joe’s Organic Tomato Bisque, and now I’m into Trader Joe’s Low-Fat Chicken Noodle.  What I would love is matzo ball soup from my old restaurant, Katella Deli  – I waited tables there for 12 years, the last two years part-time on the weekends while also working at CSULB.  Working two jobs wasn’t my idea of a good time, but I have some terrific memories of the deli and of the people there.

I think the DayQuil is finally working its pharmaceutical properties on my system, so I will take my leave and head out for adventures in retail – and just remember, there may be no pattern to this post, but random is a pattern in math (at least, that’s what I’ve been told) —