Monday, January 27, 2014

Flying With The Eagles

I still have a buzz from Saturday night. I’m sluggish, headachy, nauseated, and have an overall feeling of unpleasantness. No, I didn’t drink. I went to see the Eagles in concert at The Forum.  The Madison Square Garden Entertainment Company claims they spent $100 million dollars and I was looking forward to seeing this concert mecca’s makeover.  I do so love the Eagles. There’s just something about thousands of screaming people under one roof that tends to make me want to run for the hills. I often remind myself that it isn’t because I am grumpy and don’t like people, it’s because I am an introvert. It turns out I am evil as well but more about that later.

I read an article put out by, The Domains Project, that if you put a drop of lemon juice on 100 people’s tongues, and measure how much saliva is produced, those producing the most will be introverts. Introverts are more stimulated by the environment than extroverts and may react more strongly to it in every way, even taste.

Armed with that knowledge, I purchased two tickets (they were selling out fast) that cost nearly $250. Without looking at a seating diagram (duh) but considering the price, I was confident that the seats would be close enough to the stage that we wouldn’t have to depend on the jumbotron screen to see what was going on.  LOL (I really am laughing out loud, but it hurts).

Okay, so it turns out that we were not informed that section 208, row 22, seat 2 & 3 should require, GPS, hiking shoes, trekking poles, tethered harnesses, helmets equipped with headlamps and perhaps a pee bottle.  Pest repellant is useless in this situation.

The air was thinner at that height but because the heat from 15,000 bodies tends to rise and the venue must not have paid the full electric bill because the air conditioning was non-existent. Somebody got ripped off. I sat there sweating and wondering why I would spend our hard-earned money to sit in hellishly uncomfortable seats spaced way too close together. You would think $100 million dollars, would pay for plush, leather, canopy chairs, cushy headrests and built in speakers but I guess money just doesn’t buy what it used to.

My negative musings were harshly interrupted by loud hoots from the couple behind us. They were howling every two seconds even though the only ones on stage were the roadies setting up. Obviously, this couple had smuggled in their own supply of alcohol instead of filling out the credit application required to finance a couple of beers. They were already lubricated and greasing up for the show.  I only had one frayed nerve left and they were getting on it. In fact, they intended to ride it with a cinch and latigo like a bareback bronc.

“Woo hoo!” is a sound I could go the rest of my life without hearing again. Why is it they never lose their voice during the concert? “Woo Hoo!” The Eagles came on stage. “Woo Hoo!, Woo Hoo!, Woo Hoo! Woo Hoo!”

Have you noticed that the universal sign language of turn-and-glare does nothing to dissuade people from annoying you? I remember a time when it carried some weight but those days are long gone. “Woo Hoo!” The Eagles are performing, Already Gone. “Woo Hoo!” My ears are starting to drip down my neck in an effort to escape.  “Woo Hoo!” I can almost hear the harmonies in, Take It Easy.  I gave my husband a look of apology and helplessness. He just smiled and nodded his head to the beat of the music.  Several more, Woo Hoo’s and the people around us begin use the universal sign of annoyance on the couple, again with no luck.

The Eagles finished their song and the narration of their history was camouflaged with a barrage of Woo Hoo’s. To add to the misery, the woman was constantly flailing her arms and jutting her hands in the air in the shape of hook ‘em horns and screaming how much she loved Henley. Sadly, I doubt he heard her. I was having visions of swinging around, grabbing the couple by their slightly protruding woo-hooing lips and throwing them down the several flights of cement stairs we had just climbed. 

The Eagles announced they would do one more song before taking a break. “Woo Hoo!!!!”  It was this particular woo hoo, placed in a pocket of silence that prompted my husband to stand up, lay his jacket across my lap and turn around. My first thought was, uh-oh, clean up on aisle 23, but what he did next will forever impress me. He took the lady’s hook ‘em hands in his in mid-hoo and said, “I appreciate your enthusiasm and I’m not asking you to stop but your yelling is killing our ears. Would you mind switching seats with us?”

She immediately apologized and they were happy to switch seats. That put them one row closer to the stage. My new neighbors thanked us and intermission began. The loud couple went to relieve themselves and a man further down in row 22 shuffled by and as he passed I noticed the sweat glistening across his upper lip.  His wife was fanning herself. He looked at me and said, “I only ever punched one woman in my life but I was ready to punch her.” I didn’t respond because he didn’t look receptive to having a conversation.

The concert began again and the woo hoo couple eventually returned huffing and puffing from their long climb. Once they caught their breath, they resumed their woo-hoo’s with just as much enthusiasm as before but thankfully it wasn’t as hard on our ears. Yet, her arms were flailing, spirit fingers pointing and she began standing up to block our view.

I leaned over to apologize to my husband. He smiled and whispered, “you know I recorded the history of the Eagles on our DVR from Showtime. We could be at home right now, sitting on our couch, hearing every word, every song, pause it if we need to go to the bathroom or make a sandwich and a bottle of water doesn’t cost seven dollars.”

I pointed to the stage. “But we wouldn’t be seeing them in person.”

My husband smiled and squinted.  “They look like miniature action figures.”

We left the Forum right after the Eagles played Hotel California. We checked out of the place AND we were able to leave. The cool night air rushed to meet us at the door and it felt as if we had been released from prison.

We have decided to curtail our concert viewing but I’m sure the woo hoo couple will more than make up for our absence.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Hear Ye, Hear Ye

I was watching a movie with my husband today when all of a sudden he paused it, looked to the left and to the right then nodded, “Motorcycle.” He resumed the movie.

I asked him to pause it again. “What do you mean, motorcycle?” 

He thumbed over his shoulder and in the next moment a motorcycle roared past our house. “See?” He said, with his ever so familiar I-told-you-so expression.

He resumed the movie and I sat there wondering why I hadn’t heard the engine coming. Is it because my hearing isn’t as good as his is or am I better at filtering out meaningless noise? Often, he tells me when my cell phone is ringing. It baffles me that he can hear it because I keep it on vibrate, it’s inside my purse and is in the next room. How could anyone possibly hear that well? Especially when music or the television is on?

You would think his hearing would be impaired from all the years he has been a musician but it certainly is not. We were recording music one evening and suddenly he stopped playing.

“What’s that noise?”
I shrugged. “I don’t hear anything.”
“It sounds like Rice Krispies in a suit case.”
After a lengthy investigation we discovered it was the sound of carbonation coming from my diet Pepsi can. It had to be removed before we could continue recording.

He tells me when the coyote’s are yelping on yonder hills at night, what type of helicopters are flying overhead and can hear the neighbor’s kid practicing his dance moves in his back bedroom. No, we don’t share any common walls.  He knows when someone pulls into our driveway and which friend it is by the idle of the engine.

He is aware of how many scoops of ice cream that plop in my bowl when I sneak to the kitchen for a snack. He can hear me take the plastic top from the peanut can no matter how quiet I try to be and why does the plastic chocolate syrup bottle have to make that rude noise when you squeeze it? It must sound like a faulty air horn to him. He hears it all. It just isn’t natural.  It feels like I’m under surveillance. 

I’ll bet the government has use for someone with his hearing abilities. I’m sure someone is conducting studies for the acoustic analysis of the sound of the flight patterns of chestnut tiger butterflies.  Just having the capacity to hear bacteria communicating and chatting it up with each other before they have the chance to infect could put us on the road to riches!

We’ve been talking about getting a dog. Great. Now I’ll have two individuals with superior audio skills who will be monitoring my activities.  I will never be outside of their awareness. Ever. I may have to invest some dollars in a white noise generator or a toy drone to act as a decoy if I want to escape their detection. But then why would I want to do that when it gives me such a wonderful feeling of being safe?