I had an interesting weekend. A pal who works for Verizon scored six tickets for the Roger Waters show at the Verizon amphitheater in Irvine. It was a horrendous 200-minute drive through Friday rush hour traffic to get there but it was fun to get out and do something different. It was a strange mix of young and old at the concert. There were some guys pushing sixty who were wearing ties and cell phones as if they drove straight from work.
We were still walking to our section (the lawn) when the show was about to begin. I ducked into the mens room where the line was seven deep at every urinal. Waters took the stage and plucked out the first few chords of "In the Flesh" from THE WALL. A moment I will never forget is dozens of men, young and old, singing along while they stood ass-to-belly in the bathroom - "So ya thought ya might like to go to the show..."
I sat on the lawn with my pals for the first set which was comprised of early Pink Floyd favorites and some latter day solo stuff. People were up and down and coming and going and more than once I got my hand stepped on, so I decided to stand during the rest of the show. After a break, Waters came back and played the second set which was DARK SIDE OF THE MOON in its entirety. This was what I came for and I wasn't disappointed. The music and effects sounded just like the CD - only with a faux David Gilmour lending vocals. The wailing on "The Great Gig in the Sky" was note for note. The encore consisted of a handful of songs from THE WALL. The whole affair was kind of surreal - with men peeing through chain link fences and women puking on themselves; the venue was outdoors so people were smoking liberally and mostly it was not tobacco that I smelled. The drive home - same distance - took about 70 minutes.
Saturday night, Marci and I were invited to a charity auction to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Burbank. Marci's coworker serves on the board and organized the event. It was "black tie optional" so I wore the suit that I bought for my sister-in-law's wedding last year and Marci wore a swanky dress. We already had $50 invested in a babysitter and weren't planning to spend very much, if anything, at the event.
Before dinner, there was a silent auction in which you bid on paper and can see what the highest bid is at any given time. We got into the spirit and bid on three items. The one we didn't win was a two-night stay at some cool looking cabin near Yosemite. There were three different photographers who had donated family portraits and for reasons unknown to me, they were priced at three disparate price points: $500, $350, and $150. First we bid on the $350 because we came upon it first and the top bid was only $130. Then we reneged on that bid when we discovered that the $500 studio was in Woodland Hills as opposed to Pasadena. We bid $165 and took it. I don't know why the prices were so different but even though we paid more, it seemed like we got the better value. The other one for $150 we discovered just as the silent auction was about to close. It didn't even have a first bid for $30 for whatever reason so we decided to stick with the other studio. Not only do we help the boys and girls of Burbank but we've been overdue for a family portrait and have paid it lip service for years, and now we've actually got a session on the books. The other item we bid on was for $150 worth of food and fun at the ESPN Zone in Anaheim. That's just the kind of thing I'm looking to do with the kids this summer so I paid $75 for top honors.
At dinner, I was seated next to the single lesbian and her brand new adopted baby. She was in her late forties and gave me the whole story about how she began the adoption process with her partner years ago after seven years of being unable to get pregnant. She was willing to take any baby that came her way and she wound up just a couple months ago with a white baby born of a college girl who had hidden the pregnancy from her folks. The baby is beautiful and healthy and it's really a triumph of the adoption process that people are able to score some good ones without resorting to the black market. There was one other baby at the event which I had assumed was accompanying grandma and grandpa until I saw baby suckling on grandma's booby. A little tidbit I noticed about the lesbian mom is that when she held the baby and gave it a bottle, she then initiated a conversation with Marci who was on the other side of me, and she completely ignored the baby during the feeding process. One thing about having a baby sucking on you boob is that you never feel closer to another human than when you are nourishing your little guy. Even the grandmotherly mommy was staring deeply into her baby's eyes during the process which is the natural instinct. It made me wonder if I was witnessing one of those nurture versus nature moments on how adopted kids get screwed.
After dinner, there was a paddle auction in which you bid by holding up the paddle at your table with your unique number on it. Before this event, my only experience with auctions were baseball card auctions from Pensacola with Tom. My all-time favorite auction moment isn't even my own, but is when Roger Thornhill shouts out "How do I know it's not a fake?" in NORTH BY NORTHWEST. There was a volunteer auctioneer to kick off the bidding for the first item, which was a little yorkshre terrier puppy. The excitement in the room was incredible with the auctioneer doing his thing and the bidding coming from all four corners of the room. The dog wound up going for $1200 to the emcee's wife who outbid the lady who sang during dinner.
Most of the other items for auction were travel packages. The final item was a three-night stay at some rich family's Lake Arrowhead home. Kim, the lady who organized the event was seated at our table by this point and when the bidding stalled at $1200, she looked at Marci and me and said "are you in?" I hadn't even considered on bidding on this package but I gave it the quick once-over and saw that it was a four-bedroom house with all kinds of amenities. I gave Kim the "we're in" response and her paddle went up. She wound up taking it with a $1400 bid. So, that last one cost us nothing out of pocket up front but come August we will pay Kim $350 for three nights of luxurious communal living with a family of our choice and another of her choice - Kim comes solo. Fellow Junto Boys are invited to become that family if you get yourself out here in about six weeks.