I feel like I've had two or more weeks packed into a few days, but they've been full o' fun so it's all good.
Last Friday I went to the Pasadena Playhouse to see "Matter of Honor," a premiering play about Johnson Whittaker. He was the third African American cadet at Westpoint and was court martialed after being found beaten and tied to his bed shortly before having to take his finals in philosphy. It has never been proven whether he was attacked by other cadets or if he did it to himself to get out of taking the test. His conviction was later overturned, then he was let go because he hadn't fulfilled the requirements to graduate (passing philosphy, which he couldn't attempt after being court martialed). He still went on to become a teacher, a lawyer and a principal and encouraged his son and grandson to serve in the military.
The play explores discrimination and prejudice and makes you wonder how far have we really come since the 1800s... sadly, not far enough. But the important thing is the play makes you want to discuss the issues. I recommend that you check it out.
Saturday night I went to a luau and then to see local rockers Bluebeard at Route 66 in Duarte. They drew a huge crowd and their show was bigger than the venue. Bluebeard's musicianship and talent is A+ and their songs are fun. Their energy is super too. Watch for them at a club near you.
On Sunday I headed out to the Family Values Tour in Irvine with my brother. It was 106 degrees when we arrived shortly after noon and it sure wasn't going to cool down soon. There was, however, a slight breeze and some decent shade over by the second stage. First up was Through You, which has now become one of my favorite bands. They have a strong lead singer, great musicians (who also offers up some nice harmonies too) and some pleasant tunes. I am hoping to do a story on them soon.
Another fave, Five Finger Death Punch, was also on the second stage, along with Droid and a bunch of other fun groups. On the main stage I caught Atreyu, Evanescence and Korn. It was a cool concert on a hot day! I'll post some pics as soon as I get them from my brother. You will be able to read my review on DaBelly.com after the 15th.
Monday was Labor Day, so I joined my friend Vernor for our semi-annual pizookie at BJs Restaurant and Brewery. For the uninformed, a pizookie is a cookie in a pie tie served warm and topped with vanilla bean ice cream~ a little slice of heaven! We had lunch too and then saw "Underdog." I sooo enjoyed the movie. Yeah, it was a tad childish, but definitely a guilty pleasure I don't mind talking about. Later I saw my friend John, who gave me a ride on his Harley to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. I'm sure glad I had skipped breakfast.
Tuesday I went to the hospital for my scans, then to my office and finally out on the road with with my dog, Atticus, to Leo Carillo State Beach and Park. We set up our tent - in the dark, no less! - got a nice fire going and roasted hot dogs. Later we took a night hike and then watched the shooting stars until we were sleepy.
In the morning we cooked more hot dogs, plus some potatoes and corn on the cob and then took a drive around the campgrounds. Atti loved leaning out of the window of my convertible to get a better look at the squirrels and bunnies. I drove to the hiking end of the site and we walked up into the hills a little ways, but it was sooo dry that we decided we would spend the bulk of our day on the beach.
Atticus and I played in the waves and walked down to some big rocks where we could sit and watch the surfers. We found a small plump crab running on the sand pinchers in the air. Atti bravely poked him with his nose until I told him to leave the little thing alone. The surfers came over and talked to Atticus, yes the dog first, then to me.... hmmmm... We had a late picnic, a little nap and some more waves before heading home.
We had taken the freeway and PCH to get there, so we took the Mulholland Highway back. The twisty turny road through the hills was nice. Atticus fought off the snoozies to enjoy the scenery- poor tuckered guy! Back home, we ordered pizza and fell asleep early.
Tonight I will be going to see Little Joe y La Familia at the Quiet Cannon. The rest of the weekend will be dancing, attending a friend's going-away party and doing exciting things like laundry, grocery shopping and -really scary- housework.
In rotation this week: Through You, Joan Baez, Tim Curry, Dio, Tenacious D, Joe Walla, "Headwig and the Angry Inch" soundtrack, Gwar, Slayer, Into Eternity, Dengue Fever and Tiger Army.
Don't be so busy that you ignore the important things in life. This has two meanings actually. You can overload your schedule so much that you don't have time for friends, family and just taking a pause to relax and recharge. You can also find yourself so mired in little details, such as laundry, housework and grocery shopping, that you don't make time for friends, family and yourself. Paring it down~ people are what is important. Making connections, caring and listening are what you will be remembered for most likely, not whether your house was spotless or you made every engagement thrown your way.
When my father died it was very sad. I had lost my dad when he was finally finding time for me. He was finally beginning to appreciate me for who I am instead of expressing disappointment that I am not who he wanted me to be. He had finally started to acknowledge my successes, even though they were not the things for which he wanted me to strive. I had become a good, decent, loving, responsible, happy person, which was OK (he really wanted me to be more competitive and interested in money and being the leader of some big company). But the saddest thing were the sympathy cards my mother received. They all had different pictures and different "Hallmark" sayings inside, yet on almost every one the sender wrote that my father was an intelligent man.
My dad was very smart. He went from nothing to leading a major company. But he never had time for his family. Everything was work. At home, my mom had to keep the house perfect and I had to get straight As or it was the end of the world. My dad doted on my brother (or so he told me and everyone else), yet he ignored him much of the time. Dad went out of town a lot and when he was home, he would hide in his office or in "his" TV room. I won't get into the rest of my childhood, but let's just say that it was not something I remember very fondly.
Yes, my father was intelligent and everyone admired that aspect of him. Sadly, that was, in many cases, the only nice thing most people could say about him.... I really would prefer being remembered for being nice; remembered for my deeds and compassion instead of my "achievements." Dad did a lot in this world perhaps, but he didn't leave much of a legacy behind. What kind of legacy will I leave? What kind of legacy will you leave?
Keep on rockin'