Category Archives: Fandom

Amanda’s Five Joyful Moments of Fandom

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about an idea I had. This idea was a simple one–that I was going to take time to think about moments when I experienced real joy, related to my fandom. These moments might happen when the band is around and they might occur when they are not around. The idea was to acknowledge those times when I stopped for a second or two, looked around and realized that, in that moment, I was truly happy. Those moments might not be big or small and they might not have been perfect but something was happening that made my heart feel full. I have taken some time in the last two weeks to think of these moments. Some of them I knew right away and others took longer to pop into my head. Here are five of those moments, in no particular order. I’m certain that there were more but I’m going with these. Then, next week, I’ll share five more.

1. Singing Hungry Like the Wolf at Howl at the Moon on Bourbon Street in New Orleans in September 2004.
This moment happened on the second night of the Friends of Mine Convention.  At the time of the convention, I had just returned to the Duran fandom and felt like I had taken a huge risk in going to this convention. After all, I had never traveled for fandom before and didn’t really know anyone except for the person who went with me. I knew that this would be a moment that would either cause my fandom to grow or to fade. Luckily for me, I had an absolute blast and met so many amazing people, including Rhonda. It was a turning point, indeed. While I didn’t know that at the time, I knew that I was having an absolutely amazing time when we were at the piano bar, Howl at the Moon. We had finally convinced them to play some Duran and there we were, late at night, singing loudly and proudly to Hungry Like the Wolf. I felt like I had found my people.

2. Secret Oktober in Brighton in November 2011.
As many of you know, Rhonda and I flew to the UK in the spring of 2011 to see Duran play in their home country, only to have the shows canceled on us due to Simon’s lost vocal range. At the time of that trip, both of us felt fairly certain that the band was done and Simon would never sing again. Of course, we didn’t dare utter that thought from fear that it would be true. Thus, when the band was able to perform again, we didn’t hesitate to go back, to try it again. Brighton was our first show of that tour, which will always make it magical but when we heard the first notes to Secret Oktober, it transcended even that. Rhonda and I looked at each other in shock and awe before hugging like goofs and turning our attention back to the stage. Magical, indeed.

3. Agua Caliente show in March 2017.
This has been a tough year for me and it was especially tough in those first couple of months. One reason was that Rhonda and I weren’t communicating as we normally do. We felt distant from each other and I desperately fretted that our friendship was slowly dying. When the shows at Agua Caliente were announced, I knew that I had to go. I figured it might either be my last tour or it would turn things around. Both shows were amazing but the second night, up front, felt like everything was right again. At the end of the show, I posted the following on my personal Facebook, “The truth is that I love this band more than I can say. I can’t imagine never seeing them again. They bring me joy…” Indeed.

4. Laughing hysterically at Tempo Cafe in Chicago in March 2005.
While the convention in 2004 brought me my people, the spring Astronaut tour made Rhonda and I touring partners for life. We saw two shows that weekend in Chicago and Milwaukee. After the second show, we ended up needing food and caffeine at like five in the morning. Tempo Cafe was the only place in downtown Chicago that we knew was open twenty-four hours a day. After waiting for forever to get a seat, once we got our food, Rhonda and I could not stop laughing. I have no idea what the heck was so funny but we laughed and laughed and laughed until tears were flowing. I knew then that when we get together, laughter will always follow.

5. Hail storm in Brompton Cemetery in London in May 2011.
When Rhonda and I went to the UK for shows that did not happen, we promised ourselves that we would not just sit around and feel sorry for ourselves. We were going to make lemonade out of lemons. Thankfully, friends took sympathy on us and gave us some info on where some Duran landmarks are located, including Brompton Cemetery, the one featured in the All You Need Is Now video. We spent one day following this mini-tour, including stopping by the very cool cemetery. The funny part is that every time we got near a Duran specific place, it would thunder and rain like you would not believe. We wondered if the gods were trying to tell us something. By the time we hit the cemetery, we were ready for whatever. Whatever is what we got. No sooner had we entered through the gate when it started to storm. This storm included some significant hail. We ran until we found shelter, laughing all the way, as we were certain that we looked like drowned rats.

Now that I have five of my fandom moments that have brought me joy, I ask that all of you do the same.  I want to read everyone’s very cool moments related to their fandom.  I guarantee that my week will be better off because of them.  Then, next week, I will share five more to round out my ten joyful fandom moments.

-A

 

Big News!

I normally post a blog on Friday morning and move along.  After all, by Friday afternoon, I’m usually spent.  Exhausted.  Tired.  Fatigued.  Use whatever synonym you like best.  This week is not really an exception but we have news.  Big news.  In fact, this news is such that we don’t want to sit on it for another minute, hour or day.  What is it, you might ask?  Well, in order to find out, you gotta the watch the video.

Assuming that you all suffered through that 13 minutes plus of that glorious video, what do you think?  As you can tell, we are pretty dang excited.  Of course, we also want to acknowledge some people who have helped with this process so far.  First, as much as it pains me, I have to get a little shout-out to that old brother of mine who gave us the idea to go for this and some writing assistance as well.  Second, we would like to thank a couple of friends of ours, Lori and Patty, who were our sounding board and provided some necessary guidance when we really needed it.  Of course, I suppose we should thank that band who inspired us (or as Rhonda says–tricked us) into starting this journey to begin with.  In all seriousness, without them, we wouldn’t have done any of this.

On that note, we are off to do a little work and listen to a Katy Kafe with…that’s right…Simon, our favorite singer in the entire world.  (Ha!)  Perhaps, there will be a video blog about that…

-A

I Light My Torch and Wave It

It is lyric Friday!  As usual, I shuffled my iPod until I came across my first Duran related song.  Today, the first song was New Moon on Monday, which made me smile.  I knew immediately which lyric I would use for the blog post.  My favorite lyric in this song is definitely, “I light my torch and wave it…”  I have said it before and I’ll say it again.  It absolutely reminds me of fandom.  Once you become a fan, a significant fan of someone or something, you light that torch, so to speak.

Call me sappy, but that is how I view fandom.  When you fall in love or become a fan, it does feel like something has been awoken or lit inside.  It makes you feel warm inside.  It makes you feel good to watch or hear or read something you are a fan of.  In those situations, you cannot help but to smile.  Of course, that leads people  to read, watch, listen, etc. again and again.  It is like the light from good feeling continues.  It burns on.  At least, that is how I feel about my fandom.  Yes, there have been times that I have been disappointed or frustrated with something related or connected to my fandom, but overall, it still begins me joy and happiness that I rarely get otherwise.  Therefore, I cannot imagine my torch ever being extinguished.  The flame will always burn.

As for the second half of the lyrics, to “wave” that torch seems to me to be about being out and proud of one’s fan status.  There are many in fan studies who talk about fan coming out stories and how it is common for fans to share one’s fan story when first meeting other fans.  I feel lucky in that I often get to share my fan story here on this blog, in person at various meet ups and other events and more.  I love to hear other people’s fan stories, including when, why, how they became fans.  I also like to hear about how fans “wave” their fandom.  How do they show it?  How do they share it with other fans and non-fans?

I think about how I “wave” my fandom.  Clearly, one of the biggest, most obvious way is through this blog.  The fact that I am one half of the Daily Duranie, a blog that posts daily about being Duran fans I think shows how much and how often I’m cool with waving my Duran fandom.  Other fans certainly see my fandom beyond this blog.  For example, any fellow fan that comes to my house would see my office, which is nothing but Duran.  That fan might also see or hear my collection of CDs or of DVDs.  Heck, they might even get a chance to play Into the Arena or the trivia game I wrote.  But, is that really waving my torch, so to speak?  Maybe with other fans but I don’t think that qualifies with non-fans.  How I am doing with them?

I don’t think I hide my Duranieness but I acknowledge that it isn’t something I discuss when first meeting people.  I recognize that fandom is very much misunderstood and that there is a lot of stigma connected to being a fan, especially as a forty-something year-old woman.  Thus, I tend to wait a little while before sharing.  Once I do, though, I tend to be pretty open.  It isn’t uncommon for me to be seen with Duran a related mug or one of  my 850 (kidding!) Paper Gods canvass bags or a t-shirt.  I think once I get out the fact that I’m a big Duranie, then I am constantly waving that torch.  What about the rest of you?  Do you wave your fandom torch?  If so, how?  When?

-A

The Music is Still Between Us: Durandemonium 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On this date in 2013, Duranies descended upon the fine city of Chicago for Durandemonium.

Held at a small, efficient-yet-boutiquey hotel (that no longer exists under the same name or brand) in downtown Chicago, fans from as far as Canada and the UK came together to celebrate Duran Duran over the course of a weekend. Activities ranged from a first night out at Howl at the Moon, where Duranies were invited onstage for their own rendition of none other than “Hungry Like the Wolf” (If the whole “writing about fandom” thing doesn’t work out – there’s absolutely no future in singing onstage for me), to an author panel and a private screening of Diamond in the Mind in a local Chicago theatre. The celebration culminated with a themed-banquet and after party at what has to be one of the best named alternative-music neighborhood clubs in the country – Late Bar.

It wasn’t just the activities that made the weekend special. It is the friendships that were created. Amanda and I love getting notes from people who went to the convention and still talk about how much fun it was. That’s how Amanda and I feel about the convention we attended in New Orleans in 2003. The activities were great, but the times we remember most were the talking and laughing in small groups. If I could bottle that part of what it takes to make a convention successful, I’d carry it with me forever.

Amanda and I have been approached countless times since that weekend about doing another. In the past we’ve even started the planning, only to be railroaded by one thing or another and forced to put the idea aside. Money is always an issue. Conventions are not cheap. Even our convention in Chicago required several thousands of dollars up front, and as one might imagine – blogging does not pay those kinds of bills. Time is another sticky problem. Planning a convention can take hundreds of man-hours, which are not always readily available. We’ve considered doing an event at a club one evening, and then suggesting a hotel to stay at to make a weekend out of it, so it’s more of a get together than actual convention, but because the two of us live a few states apart, the logistics are a problem. We’re in Duran downtime now though, so perhaps it is time to give it all more consideration.  Personally I think it would be a blast to pick a city, meet up at a hotel, and do a Duranie slumber party!  There’s still our dream of paying the band to come and perform a private gig, too (Who does not dream of that? Right after I win the lottery – I’m on it!)

I’ve had the chance to not only attend, but plan two enjoyable, cathartic events as a fan. Three if you count that one time I flew to Chicago on a whim for a weekend so that I could go to March MaDDness (a one night fan get together) with Amanda in the Foundation Room at the House of Blues. I’ve marveled over this fan community before, but going to a fan event like a convention changed my entire life. I want nothing more than to recreate the same safe space for other fans. So many of us are judged by the t-shirts we wear, music we play and concerts we attend. For me, it was a relief to finally be in a place where I could just be myself with others who understood. That’s what I mean by “safe space”. We’re never all going to agree on the minutia, and we’re not all going to be best friends, or even friendly in some cases. We’re all different. Our fan community is complex. We each have our own favorite memories, band members, songs, albums, or tours. When it all boils down, the music is still between us. The music is the common thread that connects us as fans. I feel like we should celebrate that as often as possible.

-R

 

 

 

Cause Maybe We Have More Play Time Than Money

Last week, I introduced the idea of lyric day created by using shuffle to find a Duran related song then lyric to use as a blog starter.  Basically, the idea is that I would press shuffle on what music device is closest to pick out a Duran related song.  From there, I would search the lyrics to find a line that grabs me.  Then, I would write a blog based on what thoughts popped into my mind from that lyric.

This week, when I pressed shuffle the first Duran related song that came up was an Arcadia song, Election Day, to be specific.  My first thought was to blog about the line, “She’s moody and grey.  She’s mean and she’s restless.”  After all, I might resemble that remark but it also seemed too predictable.  Boring.  I don’t want that.  Thus, I chose the lyric, “Cause maybe we have more play time than money.”  This line is one that always catches my attention when I listen to it.  It reminds me of the differences between fandom as a kid and fandom as an adult.

When I first became a Duranie, I was very young (8!).  My fandom was simple then, in many ways.  It involves listening to the records over and over again.  Similarly, it included watching MTV as much as possible for any possible video viewing.  Many Friday nights were spent in my family’s “toy room” on the fold out couch watching Friday Night Videos with my best friend.  Fandom then meant simple consumption.  It was about listening, watching and buying.  What I was buying included the usual 1980s memorabilia.  I bought a lot of magazines.  I saved up money for thicker books like “The Book of Words” and “Sing Blue Silver”.  Christmas and birthday lists featured random Duran related items like the Into the Arena board game or Duran Duran pajamas.  My fan community was very super small.  Basically, it was me and my best friend.  We encouraged each other’s fandom by listening and watching together.  Likewise, we shared purchases with each other and tried to find the cooler items.  As kids, we had a lot more playtime than money and money is what we really wanted for our fandom.

Now, as an adult, my fandom is expressed way differently than my kid fandom.  I still like Duran merchandise, of course.  It is a good time and a good night if I’m able to spend it listening or watching Duran but that is rare.  No, my fandom now has to do with writing, like this blog, for example.  Traveling and going to shows is another significant part of how I express my fandom.  Like my childhood fandom, money is still involved.  Now, I have more money to buy those little Duran related items but there is not much of that around.  I often have some money saved up for shows but…there is a lot of time in which there are no shows to go to.  In many cases, that is just as well since I always have a long to do list.  So, now, that lyric feels like the opposite.  I have more money than playtime especially during the school year.

When shows happen, I try my best to squeeze in a show or two depending on when and where they are.  They are simply squeezed in to a super busy existence.  As a kid I focused on money and the cost of what I wanted in terms of my Duranieness.  Now, of course, money is important to get what I want but I also need the playtime and that does not always exist for me.

What about the rest of you?  Which is a bigger deal in terms of your fandom:  money or playtime?

-A

There’s nothing gonna ace this

My desk calendar tells me that on this date in 2004, Duran Duran played on Good Morning America. It feels like a million years ago. Andy was still with the band and all seemed well on the outside, even if it may not have been on the inside. I had no inkling of the struggles it took to get the album recorded. I didn’t realize that drama from the past had somehow crept its way back into the studio and beyond, and I sure as heck didn’t know that over the course of the next year or so, Andy would stop performing with the band altogether. I was so naive, I had the audacity to believe that the original five would keep going. It never occurred to me that the relationships were so fragile.  Then again, I didn’t really know much of what had gone on behind the scenes in the 80s, either. I basked in the glory of having the band back together again, and in some small way that is typically unlike me, I appreciate that I had no idea of what was to come.

Wide-eyed innocence was sort of my theme for the entire Astronaut period. I was new to traveling to see the band, I was new to the fan community (although I’d been a fan for many years), new to message boards, and the group of friends I’d stumbled upon as a result were all brand new to me. At the point of this GMA appearance, I had just recently gotten home from the Friends of Mine convention in New Orleans. I can remember sitting in front of my TV with Gavin on my lap, marveling over some of the women in the front because I’d met them at the convention. Prior to Astronaut, I had never known anyone who had even gone to something like that, much less gotten up so close! When I think back to those Astronaut days, I’m amazed at how naive I was to the entire fandom phenomena. Everything seemed bright, colorful, new, and lovely. I didn’t see much of the insipid bickering, or the jealousy between fans. I hadn’t gone to enough shows or mingled with enough hard-core fans to know that while all is fine and good when the band isn’t around, once they enter the room, the struggle to be seen and acknowledge is so great that we often push one another out-of-the-way just for that tiny bit of validation. In my head, fandom was a utopian paradise, and I wanted to take up residence, permanently.

There are shorter clips of this, but I chose the long one – nearly a full hour – because there are so many short snippets of the crowd.  On this day, it is a breath of fresh air to look back at the memory of what it was like to simply be in love: reinvented, reimagined, reinvigorated, naive LOVE. I particular enjoy the vision of an audience sharing those same feelings.  There is nothing that can ace this.

Yeah, I know the band isn’t nostalgic. Sometimes though, it feels good to look back. It reminds me how I got here, and why I stay.

Take a look. Breathe deeply. Squee if you must…I did 🙂

-R

The Art of Being Impatient

I am a fairly impatient person, by just about any standards. My children, sibling, and parents, in particular, are well-aware of this character flaw. I can remember my dad looking at me and calmly saying “patience, Rhonda” when I was young. Those memories make me smile because I would never use the word “patient” to describe him, but I suppose he was just trying to stop me from making the same mistakes he did.

Sorry, Dad. I try.

I didn’t realize just how impatient I was until I became a blogger. All is fine when you’re writing about something that is constantly making news, but when you’re trying to write a daily blog about a band that has been stuck in the studio for two years and doesn’t really give a lot of updates, it can be a challenge. That wasn’t something I thought about when I came up with the concept for Daily Duranie, mind you! In any case, both Amanda and I grew tired of waiting, and said so on the blog. It felt monotonous, even as the first month away from the road drew to a close, and I knew I was in trouble. It isn’t as though DD comes out with new albums on a yearly basis – and we didn’t really expect otherwise at the time. We just missed them, I suppose, and were fairly vocal (or wordy) about it here. Fellow fans chided us in response, saying that we were being ridiculous, overly negative or yes – extremely impatient.

Maybe so.

When Paper Gods finally neared its release, I was overjoyed. I had things to write about! Once again, blogging became a bit easier, there seemed to be an overabundance of blog-worthy topics to choose from. Life was good, if not easy.

Amanda commented over the weekend about some of the challenges she’s had with blogging during Durantime. I would concur. There are hours when it is still pretty easy and the words flow (like now), and yet I have no doubt that moments will come down the road a bit where I’m struggling to think of something to write. It happens, and it is symbolic of the blessing and curse of a daily blog. I’d like to think that now, seven years in, I am better about how I handle those moments. Time will soon tell.

Today I was looking over Tweetdeck in search of something that might spur my creativity. It is how I begin most days, actually. I saw that more than one person tweeted at Duran Duran, telling them they want them to get back at it in the studio.

I laughed as I saw the tweets. I know this feeling of impatience when it comes to Duran Duran. I’m sure we all do, to some extent. Many of us are likely still feeling the burn in our back pockets from the last tour, but still others are anxious. I dare say we might have awhile. They haven’t been home for even a month yet, and it might be asking a little much for them to be headed back into the studio already. Roger did say that they plan to go in towards the end of the year….for fun…whatever that might mean.

This time, I’m a little less impatient. I’m thankful that I’m working outside of the home now because I have less time to think, fixate, or what-have-you. I’m also not really writing on a regular basis outside of the blog, although I should be committing more time each week to bonding with a project I’m working on.  Basically, it all just means I’m not obsessing 24/7 about all that is Duran Duran. Overall, I’m glad I’m doing other things. Time goes by fast, and before you know it, we’ll be talking about #DD40 in earnest!

-R

Homework Assignment: 10 Fandom Moments of Joy

I don’t know about the rest of you but I’m desperate for good news and good times.  The world feels very heavy and the hits just keep coming.  Many of my colleagues are feeling overwhelmed and stressed out.  Friends of mine are going through tough issues and situations with family and/or friends.  Seriously, I think the only person I know who is really having a good time and is super happy is my eldest niece who is at college for her first semester.  The rest of us are struggling with too much work, too many negatives, too many stressful situations or a combination of those.

In thinking about all of that, my mind drifts to my mother.  Whenever I call my mom looking to vent or complain or whatever I need to do, she attempts to listen before offering about 13 different suggestions to solve, to fix, to make better whatever is not going well.  She always wants to help.  In many cases, she succeeds.  She’s a wonder woman like that.  In looking at my own life, I think I do the same thing with those who come to me for help or advice.  How can we solve it?  What can be fixed?  How can I help?  I know that I function in this way when it comes to the kids who seek me out at school.  Of course, I’m describing this personality characteristic of mine as a negative.  Maybe it is.  Maybe it isn’t.  Nonetheless, I always feel better when I act, when I do something.  I feel like now is that time.

So, in order to help all of us deal with whatever struggle or crap life is throwing at us, I propose the following homework assignment.  I ask that each one of us think about our Duran Duran fandom, whether it is a year long or almost forty years long.  After thinking about one’s fandom and one’s history in it, each person should pick out ten moments that were pure joy.  Maybe it was a time when you met a band member or two.  Perhaps joy was found at a special moment at a concert.  Sometimes, it can be connecting to a song in a way that reaches deep into your soul.  I know that joy could also be found at times related to the band instead of when they are directly involved.  It could be at a Duran related event like a meet-up or a convention.  Maybe joy was found when traveling to or from a show or just being with other friends.  Whatever brought you joy connected to this fandom is acceptable.  They could be huge moments or small, subtle ones.  That is up to you to decide.

Once you have created your random list of 10 joyful moments, you have some options.  You could put them in order from the least joyful of the joyous moments to the most happiness inducing or not.  Maybe it is more fun to order these moments chronologically, from the longest ago to the most recent.  Perhaps, you don’t want to order this list of yours at all.  That part is up to you.  Once the list is ready, you can do a couple of things with it.  First, you could just leave it somewhere so that you can reference it when you need an emotional lift.  Second, you could decide to share it with the rest of Duranland.  You can share it on the Daily Duranie various social media platforms.  Maybe you just want to send it to us via email, just so it is shared with someone.  Yet, some of  you might love your list of joyful fandom moments so much that you want to do more with it.  You could turn it into a guest blog.  Seriously, wouldn’t it be cool if we had a ton of blogs with people sharing some of the best moments of their fandom!?!  I think it would be great.

I know that I plan to do this myself.  I need the reason, the excuse to dive deep into my fandom and just remember the good times.  I will blog about my list, of course, as well.   I will also encourage my partner-in-crime to complete a list herself.  I just think we could all use a little injection of something good, something happy.  I hope you all agree.  Homework assignments are due next Sunday, which means that you have a week to think about your 10 moments of joy and make a list.  On Sunday, I’ll report on mine.

-A

On This Date: The Evolution of my Fandom

For the last few years, I have created a Duran Duran related calendar for myself and Rhonda.  In our calendar, I have listed album release dates as well when singles came out.  I also have included dates that we have seen them in concert together.  On this date, October 1st, there are multiple entries on our calendar.  First, we saw Duran perform 4 songs at the Andre Agassi Grand Slam for Children event in Vegas in 2005.  Then, we saw the band perform at the Hollywood Bowl in 2015.  When I look back at those two events, I realize that there is much about my fandom that has changed and, yet, some things have remained consistent.

2005 featured the reunion album of Astronaut as well as the tour.  For me, personally, fandom really felt like a utopia.  Everyone seemed excited about the band and their future.  Message boards were busy with activity and everyone was either planning or sharing concert plans.  Any negatives between fans were easily pushed aside in my head.  By October, I had seen the band a bunch of times in concert both in spring and in the summer.  Yet, I didn’t hesitate when my friends suggested that we get together in Vegas.  Interestingly enough, that trip represented only the second time I had traveled by plane for something fandom related.  I have never flown in a plane to see Duran (or any band, for that matter) play before that.

That night in 2005, my friends and I attended a pre-show meet-up at a bar there at the MGM Grand where the concert was held.  I was one of many fans there who had traveled to see the band play.  The funny part is that Duran only performed 4 songs that night and we had seats way in the back.  Despite that, I still felt like I was on top of the world that night.  I screamed and sang those 4 songs with all the passion I could muster.  After that, I went and drink and danced my ass off until the clubs closed and breakfast was served.  I look back at that night as an eye-opening experience.  While it was beyond fun, I also saw some of the darker elements of our fan community night.  Some of those less-than-kind features I was a part of and others I just witnessed.  In many ways, that night marked the end of the utopia.

Then, of course, a lot has happened since that night, leading up to that Hollywood Bowl show.  Instead of attending a pre-show meet-up, I planned one.  In both nights, I met a bunch of people and the love for Duran was strong.  When I went to the Hollywood Bowl show, I knew that this could be one of the best nights ever like the Vegas one was, but I no longer denied the reality that fandom isn’t a utopia.  It still gives me the greatest amount of fun that I could ever hope for and it has provided me the opportunity to meet my best friend and other amazing people.  Most importantly, I have learned that my true happy place is being at a Duran Duran concert.  However, it isn’t perfect.  People are not always nice and nights do not always go as planned or cannot always be the most fun ever.

The Hollywood Bowl was a great show and I’m glad to have attended it.  Yet, it didn’t equal the fun of that Vegas show.  It couldn’t.  For the Vegas show, we had the time to go out and party without any care in the world.  For the Hollywood Bowl show, we had to start our drive up to Berkeley for the next show.  By 2015, a priority for us was going to as many shows as we could.  Maybe this is another sign of how my fandom has changed.  In 2005, I was more than content to see just 4 songs, way in the back of the arena.  By 2015, I wanted to get to as many shows as I could and I really wanted good seats.  Does that mean that 2005 was better?  In some ways, maybe, it was.  That said, 2015 was pretty sweet, too, but in different ways.  In 2005, it was all new and fun.  In 2015, I was involved in the fandom in a different way and was ready to do as many shows as I could.  I also had the opportunity to see amazing shows from really great seats.  That makes me pretty lucky!

I cannot regret the decisions that I have made in regards to either time period.  Both have led me to where I am today.  I have learned a lot and have had amazing experiences and a tremendous amount of fun.  What would be cool would be to go to another show on October 1st in 2025.  Then, I might be able to see how my fandom has evolved in 10 years and in 20 years.  I could get a real historical perspective.

-A

I’m Busy Working

I spend a lot of time at work, especially this school year due to an additional class.  While I’m at work, it is not uncommon to have a bunch of students in my room.  In many cases, these kiddos are doing work related to my class.  In others, they are just hanging out or asking my advice about this, that or the next thing.  Some of these kids have been hanging out in my room for years.  It should come as no surprise that these kids have gotten to know me pretty well.  They even know that I’m a “big” Duran Duran fan.  The shock!  The other day, one of them asked to use my computer for some assignment.  When the computer was returned to me, my screen saver had been changed from the standard ocean picture to a Duran Duran group photo.  Well then!

I have to admit that I don’t really hid my Duran Duran fandom from any kiddo, no matter if they hang out with me or not.  After all, when the Rio album celebrated its 35th anniversary/birthday, I played a different track each hour to expose my students (and student teacher!).  I even watched the video for Pressure Off for the first time at work on the large projector screen.  Likewise, I do have a bulletin board by my desk filled with photos that make me happy.  These photos include family, cat, friend photos as well as photos of me with famous politicians.  There are also many Duran Duran photos, of course,

When I realized this, I started to think about a clip on the documentary, Trekkies, about a dentist who’s office is totally Trek themed:

To me, going to a dentist like this would be fun.  I hate the dentist so having something fun about it would definitely help.  Maybe I appreciate this because I like Star Trek.  Would I be as excited about a Lord of the Rings themed office?  I probably wouldn’t be as excited but it wouldn’t turn me off or make me not go there.  Maybe, it would even make me rethink Lord of the Rings.  What about the rest of you?  Would this make you want to go to this dentist?  Would it turn you away?

This brings me back to my job.  My classroom has many posters up on the wall.  Obviously, since I teach U.S. History and Women’s Studies, my posters focus on those except for my corner of the room that has my personal photos.  Some might question me having those personal photos up.  While I doubt anyone would criticize my family photos or the pictures of my cat, they might question all the Duran photos.  They might also question my playing of the Rio album or the Pressure Off video.  Yet, for me, as I have gotten older, I have become less concerned about that.  I’m not forcing my students to be Duranies in order to do well in class.  I’m also not suppressing what makes me happy.  I won’t hid who I am.  I might even argue that knowing that I’m a complex human being with people and things that matter to me makes me human.  It allows for my students to see me as a person.  This helps to develop those essential relationships needed for kids to really learn and grow.

Now, that I’m thinking about this, I’m starting to wonder if it isn’t time to start wearing those Duran Duran t-shirts to work.  That could be fun!

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