Sunday, August 30, 2009

Girl Power

Went to a concert last week. Now that I'm broke and unemployed I don't do many shows...I save up for the really important ones like Pearl Jam and Matt Good. But Linds was in a big funk (again) not long ago so when I saw that Jenny Lewis AND Cat Power (two of her favorites) were playing together, I sprung into action. Literally - I abandoned my computer mid post and dashed to Ticketmaster. I bought two tickets and was proud as a pig in poop as I sped home to break the news. Only, in double checking the tickets, I quickly realized that it wasn't, in fact, Jenny Lewis playing - it was Juliette Lewis. Oh dear. But the bonus was that the Pretenders were headlining the show so she'd get to see another kick ass lady who rocks. Not quite what I'd planned, but pretty decent nonetheless.

I'd never been to the Malkin Bowl at Stanley Park (I've only lived here 47 years - gimme a break) but I can say that I'll definitely return. What a lovely venue - like a hidden treasure in the middle of the park. Quaint, back yardsy like.

We filed in and spread out a blanket, but Linds quickly bolted to the front of the stage so I followed. I'm too old for that - should've kept my blanket spot.

Juliette Lewis came out first and I was pleasantly surprised. I'd YouTube'd her beforehand and knew Linds would like her...wasn't sure about me. But she was refreshingly down to earth, cute and personable. Really interacted well with the crowd and was comedic and charming. As she slunk and strutted around in her black laytex outfit with feathered shoulders she reminded me of a female Mick Jagger with a Catwoman on crack undertone. She also seemed to be channeling Janis at certain points in the show. It worked and we liked her (a lot).

Next was Cat Power. Linds quickly commented that she was wearing exactly the same thing as last show she'd seen. Practical. She was awesome, but somewhat disconnected. I interpreted it as a bit of a shyness - she had her back turned to us a good deal of the time. But she was sweet and even posed for Linds to take a pic at one point. I cried during She's Got You (an old favorite of Mom's). And Metal Heart - the "you're not worth a thing" part - always cuts right through to the core.

It was night by the time the Pretenders came out. Chrissie strutted on stage, commanding the audience's attention from the get go. Such a strong rocker chick. I wasn't a huge Pretenders fan back in the day but I did have a few "favorites" (Ohio, Middle Of The Road) and they were done to perfection. So a pretty kickass show - better than I'd expected. A lot of "shredding" by the guitarist to fill the gaps which was kind of overkill towards the end. (We're too old for that)

I had to agree with Lindsay when she pointed out that Chrissie bore a close resemblance to Alice Cooper by the end of the show.

All in all it was a good night. Except for the fact that, come concert end, they tossed us out onto a pitch black path that veered off in several different directions - all leading to what seemed like nowhere. No lighting at all, which was ridiculous. (People sue now, they should fix that.) So I'm here to say that Stanley Park at night is not fun - we had to blindly navigate down some stairs and I'm also too old for that crap. Completely disoriented in the dark, the "find the car" game was a little stressful and created some anxiety....but I did what I usually do when I'm lost. I bug other people to take care of us. And they did, leading us back to the parking lot and, eventually, onto the road back home.

Up next: Pearl Jam

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Saturday, August 29, 2009


I'm back (I think). This is what Deb does - she disappears for awhile. Hides? Rejuvenates.

So today when I was out riding I realized that I do something - it's a bit of an experiment. When I'm out and about I try and see who I can get to smile back at me. It's such an easy thing - a smile, but it lingers. The warmth stays with you long after the person's passed. A smile can really have an impact - that split second can turn around a person's entire day (if it's been a bad one). I've learned that many (most) don't just dole out a smile - you have to initiate it. There aren't too many smilers left...people who just wander around looking happy. Maybe just the crazies (like me?).

Behind my smile I also can have a bit of a mean streak though. Well, maybe not mean - just intolerant? For instance (and this usually just happens with bitchy looking women), if I ride by, smile and say hello to someone and they don't respond, it ain't pretty. When I'm beyond that person (but not out of earshot) I usually follow up with a growling, under my breath but loud enough to be heard "biiiiiiitch". Just to make the point. It goes like this:

Deb: smile/"hello"
Person: nothing, nadda
Deb: "biiiiiitch", followed by another smile that person can't see.

I'm a little twisted.

Anyhow, today I analyzed my data and I came to this conclusion:

Smiles often come from the most unlikely candidates. Those who look like they should have a reason to smile - the well to do's who are sitting on sunny patios in nice clothes, sipping cool (overpriced) lattes, often don't. I ride by and smile and they sit there, like well placed mannequins. They don't even blink.

But today as I rode towards an elderly, rather disheveled looking Asian man with a walker who was struggling to get up the incline with what looked like a care aide, I smiled. And I got the warmest, toothiest, happiest grin I've seen in weeks.

It's just that simple.

(FTR: homeless people are the best smilers yet. Next to us crazies, of course)