Sunday, July 25, 2010

Once I Rose Above the Noise and Confusion

As part of our city's Picnic With the Pops series, we went to see Kansas last night backed by the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. When I heard about the show, I thought it would be an interesting experience for Lea, who plays in an orchestra but loves rock - yes even classic rock. EsPECially classic rock. So we purchased lawn seats and marked the calendar.

The weather yesterday was oppressive. It was really hard to even move. But we carried on, like the wayward sons that we are. (I stretched for that one. Sorry.)

Gates opened at 6 and the show was scheduled to begin at 8:15. Since we just had lawn seats, we wanted to be there as early as possible. We packed up our chairs and our coolers, consulted the interwebs as to how to best avoid orange barrels, and off we went. Just as we were about to hit sit still traffic anyway, I turned to my handsome husband and I said, "Did you bring the tickets?" I usually don't even ask things like that because I am SO fearful of being perceived as a nag, but the look on his face when I queried proved that it was a valid question. And that he had not. So we took the next exit, went home for the tickets, and headed out with a new plan of action that would have us hopefully avoiding further delays. We would not be standing there, waiting for the gates to open, at 6:00, though, as is our usual way.

We actually don't even refer to being early (or PROMPT, for that matter) as being early, we refer to it as being Howardly. And since we are all Howards, when we are not Howardly, we get a little uneasy.

When we finally arrived on the scene, the lawn was quite full already. Groups of people were set up with picnics that put our coolers of beer and water to shame. I passed a group who had a beautiful rose and hydrangea centerpiece on a white tablecloth that was otherwise covered with rather gorgeous looking canapes. They were drinking white wine. Lots of people were drinking white wine. Damn. White wine would've been a WAY better choice. We were newbies. What can I say?

We found a spot behind a party that said things like, "Would anyone care for more shrimp roll?"

We said things like, "How 'bout a beer?"


"Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk."

(It's because Tom has a Three Stooges bottle opener. We're elegant that way. *belch*)

I mentioned the oppressive heat, right? I don't want to be one of those people who constantly bitches about the weather (some of you may remember my SAD winter), but it would be difficult to talk about the evening without at least giving it a mention. It was definitely a factor. I raided the cooler and tucked an ice cube into my ponytail (which had started out low and age appropriate, but when even that much hair on my neck became unbearable, it went high). That helped, a little. So I took another and rubbed my arms and then my girls' arms. And then I tucked one discretely into my brassiere. Decorum is highly overrated - I achieved a little comfort on an otherwise relentlessly uncomfortable day.

When I slipped my shoes off to try to cool my feet a little bit, my daughter commented on how swollen they were. I had that momentary panic wherein I envisioned myself not being able to put them back on again. "Your feet are so swollen - they're HUGE!" One daughter said, poking them.

"And you have hair on your toes."

Shoot. I'd been meaning to take care of that...

"You're like a Hobbit." This from my loving husband.

Some women's lovers compare them to a summer's day... Mine? A fictional creature with large, furry feet. I am livin' the dream, I tells ya. Livin' the dream.

The orchestra took the stage promptly at 8:15. Why have I not heard the Columbus Symphony Orchestra before? Oh. Probably because I am not a huge fan of orchestra music and I usually respond to the prospect of it by wrapping an air noose around my neck and pulling it taut until my tongue protrudes and my eyes cross. Mime is money. But this (because of the 'pops' element, I'm sure) was very accessible, even to an oaf like me. The conductor, Albert-George Schram, was supremely entertaining - I'm tempted to even call him - oh, what the heck - he was adorable.

When they broke for intermission, the sun had almost set. The evening became downright pleasant, with a gentle breeze. More talking about the weather. I'm sorry. When did I turn into the sort of person who talks about the weather? Ugh.

When they took the stage again, it was with Kansas. I really enjoyed the show - the full orchestra was really suited to their prog-rock sound. During one of the first songs they played, Liv compared them to Nightwish (as per Wiki: an award winning Finnish symphonic metal band). That's a high compliment from her, as she digs them a lot. It is a testament to my age, no doubt, that I really enjoyed sitting in my chair the whole time and clapping politely at the end of each song. That was - new - for this squealy fangirl, and I didn't hate it at all. Now I told you about the weather, right? It's not so much the heat, it's the humidity. Now get off m'lawn, y'damn hoodlums.

Kansas. Their music was an integral part of my high school years. It was wonderful to get those memories flowing - just in time for my high school reunion next week...

Kansas: I close my eyes - only for a moment, and the moment's gone...

Liv: It's called blinking, dude. People do it all the time. Drama much?

Kids today. No sense of romance. No thirst for enlightenment.



Unknown said...

glad you enjoyed the concert in spite of the heat!

Cheryl said...

It's always the humidity, it's never the heat if you live anywhere other than the far west. That concert sounds awesome dude. I have to tell you that the hubs and I have a running joke where I always ask if he has his wallet and the tickets (to anywhere) about a mile from home. The nightmare of arriving at the airport without your ID because it's at home in your wallet will never be relived in our lifetimes. It's all you imagine and worse. We almost qualify for Howardliness.

Lovin' the FB photo. Is that so folks will recognize you at the reunion?

Tracie said...

Sounds like you had fun even in the heat.

We saw Government Mule on Friday night and I bitched and moaned for three days prior to the concert because of the heat. Husband bribed me with Italian food and wine and it turned out ok.

Mandy said...

I love how many concerts (of all types) that you and your family go to. I haven't been to a concert in YEARS and my parents weren't the musicgoers much although we listened to it plenty at home. I hope to do this kind of thing with my kid(s) in the future. I love hearing your experiences.

And hobbit feet -- I know I shouldn't laugh but really? That's funny stuff! ;-) And hey, we've all been there too! Sometimes you just don't feel like reaching down to get those toes with the razor....

Pam said...

Another great concert experience for the Howard family! Glad you enjoyed it - despite the heat and humidity. And I'm wondering the say thing you are - when did I become someone who commented on the weather? Maybe it's a late forties thing. Who knows. Hope your hobbit feet fit into your shoes at the end of the show. LOL!

dkWells said...

Great post! We're gearing up for Lollapalooza in a couple of weeks! Hot Rock Rules...Dudes!

Joanna Jenkins said...

A floral centerpiece for an outdoor concert sounds like a lot of work to me!

Glad you made it in time to find a nice spot on the lawn. I love all the stuff you do as a family together.

Have a great week,

Liz Mays said...

I'm afraid I must be a hobbit as well as I regularly need to shave my big toes. :(

Kansas was a huge part of my HS years too. I love them! Sorry it was so dang hot, but I know it was worth it!

Rosa said...

DUDE! I was thinking about Bill & Ted as you were quoting Kansas. You must be psychic. :) Glad the Howards enjoyed the concert. And don't feel bad about the white table cloth and the centerpiece. Mostly that just sounds pretentious to me. You definitely did it right.

Vixen of said...

Even with the heat and the hobbit comment, that is a concert I am jealous of...and now I have a litany of different songs running through my head. Better just go find my albums and the record player.

FranticMommy said...

"You're like a Hobbit." This from my loving husband"
My hubs says the same thing to me. He even offers to braid them ;)

Mammatalk said...

Sounds like you had fun despite the mugginess. I thought I was the only modern day hobbit. I have often made that same hobbit comment about myself. :+)