Building A Life ...
L.A. Dave commented, "You're doing a lot of culture these days."
Maybe, if you count driving up and back to Columbus, Ohio, in one day to see Springsteen sing a handful of songs "culture."
I'm a season ticket holder with The Goodman, because for years and years, I thought, "I should go to more theater," but I never did. So when Doreen asked if I wanted to go to a play at The Goodman a few years ago and we went and I loved it and someone from the theater called to see if I'd be interested in a subscription for the following season, I bit, because subscriptions are kinda ridiculously cheap, considering.
The new season is underway and "Turn of the Century," a musical from the masterminds behind "Jersey Boys," is a really fun time. I highly recommend that you score some tickets before the show ends on November 2. Jeff Daniels (was he "Dumb" or "Dumber"?) stars, and – who knew? – he has a good singing voice. Mind you, Placido Domingo doesn't need to be looking over his shoulder, but I'd never heard Jeff Daniels sing before last night, and I was pleasantly surprised.
But his co-star, Rachel York, was the true treat. She's exceptional. I know some will think me blasphemous, but this woman can give Streisand a run for her money.
Culture, though – concerts and plays and movies and museums and the like – is actually something I lack in my life, if you ask me, which you didn't, but I'm the one writing, so I get to have both sides of the conversation at the moment.
I'm sure I take in more culture than many, maybe even most, but for my own tastes, I want to take in even more. Culture is fuel for creatives. And lately, I'm feeling a bit depleted.
Last year, as an American Express cardholder, I received a pre-sale offer for Genesis tickets. I called L.A. Dave and offered to get tickets for him as part of the pre-sale. He's not the concert-going type, but Genesis is his all-time favorite band. And the prices were very reasonable.
Until TicketBastard added its insane fees. Suddenly, $50 tickets were closer to $75. And suddenly, Dave was reconsidering.
But I said to him, "At the end of your life, you're not going to be lying on your deathbed saying, 'Whew! I'm really glad I didn't go to that Genesis concert!' "
So I bought (and he paid me back, in case everyone is thinking, "Hey, Beth, buy some concert tickets for me, too!"; I wish I could) and he went and he had a great time.
Life is made up of moments that become memories. And surely a memorable moment can happen at any place at any time, but culture ups the odds that a memory will be worth remembering.
Last Sunday was memorable because it was an atypical day. I don't often spend my a Sunday driving to another city in another state to help out on a presidential campaign before going to a rally headlined by a musical icon. Usually, I spend my Sundays running errands or doing chores.
And who really cares to remember a trip to Target to buy shampoo? Or a rousing afternoon of cleaning grout? (Note: I have never once expressly cleaned grout, mine or anyone else's, but "grout" is too fun a word to pass up.)
But culture, I remember culture. Like seeing James Taylor in Grant Park years ago on a perfect summer evening ("the temperature where there is no temperature," my friend Gemma noted), his voice wafting across the crowd, lulling me, the sun setting behind the Chicago skyline. A postcard moment, Gemma called it.
Completely. Exactly the kind that makes you want to write, "Wish you were here."