We had an adventure this weekend!
First, the backstory:
A few years ago:
Two sisters come to Hollywood where, via the powerful Disney machine, they are transformed into pop stars worshipped by legions of little girls. Mothers everywhere are subjected to shrieks everytime the duo are sighted on the Disney Channel (approx. every 2.25 minutes) and fathers feign indifference while at the same time getting closer to the TV for a better look.
August 15, 2005:
Kira is anxious and unable to sleep because she's worried we won't be able to get wristbands for the Aly & AJ concert/cd signing taking place at Tower Records. To get a wristband you have to buy their new CD, which is being released the next day. Rigel has agreed to take part in this bit of manipulative marketing and to take her and Kiyomi to The Event. I suspect he's looking at it as prime record-shopping time, while his children are busy being hypnotized by their musical idols.
I sulk the rest of the night, whining about my lack of 'me' time since I'm the one who'll have to take them to acquire said CDs and wristbands. I anticipate massive crowds and the real possibility that I may have to do some kung-fu on a few of the other moms in order to get my hands on these 'golden tickets.' I decide to bring my mace along.
August 16, 2005
The girls wake up at 7am to prepare for the Sacred Wristband Crusade 2005. As a mother, I put the needs of my children before my own. I agree to get out of bed before noon.
On the way to the record store the girls convince me to come to the concert, too. I think they're secretly afraid that Rigel will leave them alone to fend for themselves if a Led Zeppelin 2-for-1 sale should suddenly break out.
We arrive at Tower Records at 11am and the girls are ecstatic when the clerk tells us they still have wristbands left. I'm just relieved I won't have to take anyone down and I tell her so. She laughs nervously and motions security over just in case. As the girls squeal and dance around, I shell out the bucks for four cds. (Disney Fleecing Tip: Small children cannot take themselves to a concert.) The clerk reads my mind as I concoct my plan to return two of the cds to another store, and informs me that only opened cds are being sold for the The Event and they are non-returnable. For a moment I consider her a deserving candidate for my mace but resist, and we leave happy, four cds and four wristbands tucked safely inside my purse.
Girls Who Scream, Part 2
August 20, 2005:
The girls awaken at dawn to prepare for the big day. Here they are, waiting outside, ready to leave. I think this was taken at around 10am:
The concert starts at 5pm and we arrive at 3:45. When we walk through the doors of the record store, we are met with the voices of Aly & AJ, and panic ensues. Kira is certain we're missing the concert and takes off running (she CAN move quickly! WHO KNEW?) towards the stage. We discover that they're doing their sound check, and the girls get to watch for a few minutes, clutching cds to their chests and doing a little pogo dance while they mouth the words. It was too cute.
Here's a picture Kira took:
After this, the beefy security guards hustle us outside to stand in line and we discover there's quite a few people in front of us. I bemoan the fact that we didn't get there earlier, while Rigel's eyes dart around nervously, afraid someone he knows will see him standing in line for a Disney band's autograph. We're in front of a window where Kira and Kiyomi can see the them practicing, and soon they're joined by a few others.
Here they are. We overheard them plotting to kill their parents and go on tour with the band.
My camera is acting strange, and then I get the 'Battery Exhausted' signal. Panicking, since life doesn't exist unless it's on film, I hustle Rigel off to buy a disposable camera and he returns a few minutes later, triumphant. I bow down and lick his feet.
Finally, at exactly 5pm we're ushered inside to stand around the small stage. Kira and Kiyomi have made friends with a little seven-year-old girl who seems to have the concert savvy of an eighteen year old. She takes a drag off her joint and urges my girls to follow her to the area in front of the stage, where some of the small children are sitting on the floor. I hear her tell them (I'm not making this up) "I've done this before. My dad's in the business." They follow their new messiah, defiantly walking right up into the front row. I keep a close eye on them, making sure Kiyomi doesn't try and offer the 12-year old roadies a six-pack of Molson to get her backstage.
And the show was -gulp- good. They played four songs, and I was impressed that they actually played their own guitars and didn't lip synch. Aside from the unfortunate incident where an insane dad got into an argument with another dad and said, 'Yeah, I'm talking to you motherfucker" within earshot of a room full of impressionable children, the crowd was pretty orderly.
After the announcement was made that in order to get your cd signed you had to exit the store and get back in line, we hurried out but ended up towards the very end. A few minutes into the wait a woman with a headset, appearing to 'case' the crowd, plucked the very last person out of line and took them inside the store. Wow! This brought back memories of my early concert-going days, when my friends and I would attempt to charm the weasley ushers at The Forum so we could move on down to the good seats, all the better to hear Earth Wind & Fire sing 'Reasons' just to us.
Rigel and I were fading and in need of salvation, so he offered to run to Starbucks for heavily caffeinated fluids. As soon as he left, I couldn't find our new disposable camera and called him on his cell phone. He had it and offered to run back with it, but I figured we would be in line for at least another half hour. Ha ha!
The Caser returned shortly thereafter, and I discreetly told Kira and Kiyomi to stand in plain view and look as pathetic and bored as possible, which they did brilliantly. She scanned the crowd briefly, and then marched right up to us and asked us if we'd like to come to the front of the line! We eagerly said yes, and began following her, all to the envious stares of the hundred or so people still in line. It felt not unlike being picked first for softball in seventh grade. NOT THAT I WOULD KNOW WHAT THAT FEELS LIKE.
This prompted a frantic call to Rigel. "We're going in! Get back here NOW!" I begged. I got my cell phone camera ready as we neared the front of the line.
Their big moment arrived! The girls got their cds signed and got to chat for a millisecond with their Hot Pop Goddess crushes, who seemed very sweet. The moment was ruined by the neanderthal guards who were getting their panties in a knot about picture taking, so I took a quick one with my camera phone. Rigel appeared at that moment with the other camera, but it was too late.
But we had made it out alive! We sat down to drink our coffees, glad that the whole ordeal was over, and I began the self-flagellating over the fact that we had gone through the trouble of buying another camera but weren't able to use it for THE MOMENT. Well, at least I got one with my trusty camera phone! Right! Right?
This is when, if you were there, you would have seen me banging my head on the concrete since I neglected to hit the 'SAVE' button on my phone. This is also when you would have heard the collective moan of two little girls whose shining moment was not recorded for future generations, followed by the incredulous voice of Rigel above us all saying, "We went through all of this, and all you can talk about is THE PICTURES WE DON'T HAVE?"
Let me pause here and reiterate: THREE CAMERAS. ZERO PICTURES OF BIG MOMENT.
Just then Rigel pointed out that we all still had our wristbands on, where everyone else's had been cut off entering the autograph line. On a mission now, we ran back to the line, which had shrunk considerably, and got back in it. A security guard pointed to me and said, "I recognize you" but he kept quiet after I shoved his ass into a rack of 80's compilations. Finally their (second) big moment arrived, and the girls met their idols once again. With the telling of the long story of my camera woes the entire store was lulled into a deep sleep and I was able to get a shot of all them; Kira & Kiyomi, Aly & AJ, together at last.
Sadly, I can't post this picture yet because it's on 35mm film, locked inside my camera until I take it to get developed. That is, UNLESS I LOSE IT FIRST.
Archive File: Offspring | Family | This Life
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
We had an adventure this weekend!