Thursday, August 14, 2008

There's Always Someone Cooler Than You

... and today, it's ME!

Okay, maybe not. But I am feeling very proud of myself at the moment. I should backtrack a bit:

Things have been a bit gloomy around the old homestead lately, due to some unwelcome health news. (I plan to post in more detail about this after tomorrow's doctor appointment, when we will hopefully have a bit more concrete information to share.) Nothing earth-shattering, mind you - although it will quite certainly be life-altering. But mostly, it's just a Bummer with a capital B (we hope).

Accordingly, the past 2 weeks have seemed to go by in slow-motion, forcing us to hover in a seemingly-endless holding pattern until we finally get some anwers and a sense of the new direction in which we will inevitably be heading. To paraphrase the philosopher Petty: the waiting is indeed the hardest part.

But this afternoon, fate brought along a little nugget of sunshine to drag me out of my thoroughly unfunky funk. As most of you know, the hubby & I went to see Ben Folds perform live at Purdue University last February. It was a predictably awesome show, and a swell time was had by all - although it took poor Mark a few weeks to recover from the pretzelling caused by the severe lack of leg space in our seats at Elliott Hall. So, when I first noticed that Mr. Folds would be returning to Indiana in October for another show, I dismissed the idea out of hand, reasoning that it would essentially be the same show we saw in February.

Then today, as chance would have it, I happened to run across another mention of the coming concert, which is scheduled for October 3rd in Fort Wayne. "Hmmm...," thought I, "that would have made a fun anniversary present for us." (Our 14th wedding anniversary is on Oct. 1st.) Then I noticed that the venue is the Embassy Theatre, a 1920's era movie house & vaudeville theater which has been renovated & restored. I've always wanted to see it, and this would be an excellent excuse to go. So I started to poke about the web to find out whether there were even any Ben Folds tickets still available, since I had no idea when they had actually gone on sale.

My first stop was the ubiquitous Ticketmaster, but they had no record of this show. Next I tried the Embassy Theatre webpage, which in turn referred me to the Fort Wayne Philharmonic site. Wait a minute - the Philharmonic? No Way! A bit more research told me that, Yes Way, Ben Folds would be appearing with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra. Naturally, now I REALLY wanted to go! This would not only be a much different show than the one we saw in February, but it would also be one of his excellent live orchestral collaborations. So on to the Philharmonic website I went, but the link they had for tickets gave no joy. It kept timing out, which I feared was a sign that perhaps they had no more tickets available. Finally, just on a lark, I checked some online ticket resellers... Holy schmoley! A minimum of $220 for a balcony seat?! Uh, no. Dejected, I decided to give up my pipe dream & instead soothe my soul with some Ben Folds tunage.

Feeling a bit better after the judicious application of some irreverent piano rock, I mused that it had been awhile since I had checked out Ben's website, and decided I'd click on over to get the skinny on his new album. As I perused the main page, the "Tour" button at the top of the page caught my eye, temporarily bumming me out again. But then I thought, what the hell - let's see what they have to say about his upcoming dates. Imagine my surprise when the listing for the Embassy Theatre gig indicated that pre-sale seats were now available for readers only. Really?!

Of course, no prices were given - you have to actually start to purchase seats to find out how much they cost. This suited me fine, since I had every intention of buying some as long as we could afford them without being forced to sell our organs on the black market. Turns out the cheap seats were only $46, and the better seats were $60 - a chunk of change, to be sure, but peanuts by modern concert standards. In my heart, though, I was still looking at this as an academic pursuit - I was sure that, having come to the party late, all the good seats would undoubtedly be taken. I felt we'd be lucky to be allowed to squeeze our ample frames into some balcony seats.

With my fingers crossed, I chose 2 $60 seats & clicked the "Find" button, hoping that my laptop Keith wouldn't just start laughing at me without even submitting my request. Seconds later, I was offered 2 seats on the main floor, second row center, on the freakin' aisle. Are you shitting me?! I had 6 minutes to frantically call Mark & tell him what he was getting me for our anniversary before the computer released our seats. As I had expected, it didn't take much coaxing to get him onboard, especially after I gave him all the details. He has very little interest in visiting Fort Wayne or the Embassy Theatre, but quite a bit of interest in seeing Ben play with the Philharmonic. Plus, now he doesn't have to shop for our anniversary. Hey - whatever works.

So now my gloominess has turned to giddiness, and I'm floating on a soft, fluffy cloud of smugness and self-congratulation. I'm sure I'll eventually drift back down to earth. To paraphrase the philosopher Folds: yeah, I'm the shit but I won't be it for long. But until then, I'm just gonna bask.

Now playing: Ben Folds - There's Always Someone Cooler
via FoxyTunes

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