October 2, 2013

Bucket Listing in L.A.

 I don't really have a bucket list. I have some hazy, intangible ideas of things I'd like to do and see, things that might be really cool or wonderful or just personally meaningful.

I'd love to get to Europe someday, something that nobody in my immediate family has ever done.  (Wait, whoops --  my aunt went to Spain in the early '70s.)  Someday I'd like to get up in front of a crowd and sing some great karaoke. (I belted out some epic Dio a few years ago, but only to a tiny group of sympathetic ears.) 

Late last year, I realized that someday, I'd really love to participate in a sing-a-long showing of The Sound of Music which is tied with The Wizard of Oz as my favorite childhood movie. ("Sound of Music" clearly has a better soundtrack, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" notwithstanding.)

So when my sister texted me back in August if I'd like to go to the Hollywood Bowl with her and a friend to the Bowl's annual Sound of Music sing-a-long, I immediately texted back my reply: "Oh holy fuck, yes!!" 

And so it was that on a Saturday evening last month, I joined dozens of other fools participants in donning a costume and walking across the stage at the Hollywood Bowl as part of the pre-show costume parade.  (By the way, Hollywood Bowl organizers: that  parade  would've been a lot shorter and more interesting if you enforced the rule that people should actually be in costumes, not just wanting to walk up onstage and wave to their friends.)

Behold me in my Maria-esque finery, and looking pretty thrilled to be there:
Note the faux-Edelweiss tucked behind my ear, provided in the fun prop bag:

It was a great, fun evening. I loved singing along with the crowd, and especially everyone hissing whenever the catty, nasty Baroness was onscreen. (And catcalling to hunky Captain Von Trapp was funny, too.)  My only regret is that I didn't belt the hell out of "I Have Confidence," which may be my favorite song in the film, but it was early on in the evening. And I wasn't feeling quite that confident yet.
Another thing I'd love to do is hear the mighty voice of Linda Ronstadt singing one of her great love songs in person. Sadly, as you may have heard, Ronstadt can no longer sing, as she recently revealed that she suffers from Parkinson's and the disease has stripped her of the power to even sing in the shower.  But last Tuesday evening, she appeared in public at an event sponsored by Writers Bloc to talk about her new memoir and be interviewed by famed L.A. journalist Patt Morrison.

I bought my ticket practically the moment they went on sale, and it's a good thing I did: evidently the event sold out in record time, and it took place in a fairly small venue. But after I bought the ticket, I realized the venue was in Santa Monica, not downtown L.A., as I'd assumed. 

Because it's such a far drive for me (just about exactly 100 miles, one-way), I almost talked myself out of going. The Westside in rush-hour traffic is just hard to get to, and I did sit in my car forever as I crawled through the last 10 miles of the trip.  But I'm glad I went, and not just because I spotted legendary rock photographer Henry Diltz in the row in front of mine...and then later recognized an attractive woman in the aisle as Rita Wilson...followed closely behind by her husband, Tom Hanks. (He's tall. And he looks just like Tom Hanks!)

Linda talked a lot about her childhood in Arizona, of being influenced by her very musical family. She talked a bit about dating Jerry Brown back in the day, and told a funny anecdote about his famed cheapness.  She talked a lot about music, and how she came to sing the songs she chose. She had lots of opinions about politics and music education and the current sorry state of audio technology (she really hates MP3s and digital sound quality).

The crowd was allowed to use their phones & cameras to quickly snap some shots at the very beginning of the program. My sucky phone-camera just didn't manage much, so here's what I got:
Here's a photo from the L.A. Times of Linda at the event:
And here's my copy of her memoir, Simple Dreams.  It has her signature inside, pre-signed before the event. Due to her Parkinson's, she didn't have the physical stamina to sign books in person afterwards:
I spent the night at my mom's house after the event was over. Even living in L.A. county, it still took me nearly an hour just to get to her place with the traffic. I'm very glad that I soldiered through and saw one of my idols in person -- but I'm not signing myself up to drive out to Santa Monica alone again anytime soon.

So that's where I've been and been up to lately. Another bucket list item? Publishing a book. I've been forcing myself to sit down and write in the morning, but it's been slooooow going. But that's better than not sitting down to write at all.

Tomorrow, I plan to be back with an actual nesting post about the house, and a one-room challenge link-up that I'm going to participate in this month. See you then.

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