Category Archives: personal stories

Tour dates soonish, or nowish?

Unless you’ve been underground hibernating today, or at the doctors office (read: me)…you know that tour date rumors for the US have been a-flying.  Obviously there are some Duranies out there with the coveted info…or at least they’re pretending to have what the rest of us want.

Here are the facts as I know them:  The band hasn’t announced dates since they canceled the European dates over the summer, while we all wait for Simon to recover his voice.  Originally the band’s camp had said they would be announcing dates around the beginning of July, but it is now the 18th and of course we’ve heard nothing of new dates – again, waiting for Simon to get back to 100%. The band has rehearsed a few times, and the last I’d read – Simon actually sung all of his notes, although that day he also said that his neck felt like a London bus had been parked on it.  Not sure what that was about…  Just a week ago or so, John had said they were going to rehearse again in a few (3?) weeks.  Then today, all sorts of dates are announced on DDM.

I don’t make any habit of going to DDM these days – so my information has come to me via “trusted sources”.  I hear that the US tour is going to start in NYC, and that there will be dates in most of the big cities, including a couple of dates in LA and of course a date in Vegas.  I’m actually surprised they’re coming back to my neck of the woods (assuming the rumors are true), simply because they’ve already been here and played a few shows, including Coachella.  I just wouldn’t have thought they’d come back, in favor of spending their time playing in places they hadn’t already been to where they had at least half a shot of getting airplay.  Then again, perhaps that’s not the goal at this point.  For the life of me, I have no idea – and I’m glad it’s not my job to know!

You would think I’d be neck-deep in the plotting and planning, even though all we’ve really got are some rumors, but the truth is that at least for today, I’ve been stuck in my own reality.  The blog is late today, and it’s only been at just this moment where I’ve had the focus or the time to be able to write.  You see, today I was able to close a door on a chapter of REAL LIFE.  For the past year, I’ve been having a nagging worry in the back of my mind that would come up to the surface every now and then.  Last year, during a normal doctor visit, my doctor found a lump in my breast, and while she felt it was benign, this set off a chain of events that has taken a full year to put to complete rest.  I went in for my first mammogram and ultrasound a year ago – where indeed the lump was found to be just a regular fibroid.  Then I had the joy of going back in 6 months, only to be told that I got to come back again in 6 months.  In between the mammograms, I managed to push the worry to the back of my mind and focus on being a mom, but each time I would make the next appointment, I’d set myself up for another week or so of worry before my fears would be relieved.

Truth be told, having a mammogram is NOT a big deal.  Mine didn’t even hurt, and they take just a few minutes.  It’s a lot less invasive than some other “regular” tests that we women endure, and yet for me, having the mammogram is SO much more stressful.  I never think twice about whether or not my pap smear will come back with anything less than good results, so why do I worry so much about the mammogram.  I don’t even have it in my family tree.  1 in 7 women have breast cancer, and I know a great percentage of those women recover and go on to lead long lives. I also understand that conversely, death is a part of life, but as I discussed with God this morning, I’m not ready for it yet.  I’ve still got plenty to do around here, and I insist that I see my kids all the way through their childhood.  That’s not negotiable.  It’s just knowing that any one of us could be the 1 in 7 that’s so darn frightening, and I myself know of two women who have died from breast cancer, and they weren’t that much older than I am right now.  That’s scary, and that’s the place I’ve been inhabiting since I made my appointment to go back in for my follow-up mammogram.

So today I spent my morning having yet another mammogram, and then having an ultrasound.    The mammogram was quick and painless, but the ultrasound took quite a while.  Then, the doctor came in to see me because the radiologist thought she’d found something new on my scans.  There’s not really much scarier than having the doctor tell you she found something suspicious and she wants to do a scan herself before doing a biopsy.  It was in that brief moment that I thought I might actually lose what breakfast I ate – and my first thought was that I couldn’t possibly stay any longer – I needed to pick my youngest up from preschool!  However, I laid back down on the table, and after several more agonizing moments – the doctor felt confident that what they thought they saw on my initial scans was basically, nothing.   Then she told me that I could come back again in a year – which is normal at my age.

Insert HUGE sigh of relief here.

What does all of that have to do with Duran Duran?  Well, nothing except that none of us are getting younger – and if you’re 40 and haven’t gone for a mammogram yet – GO.  If I can do it, anyone can.  It’s funny because when I was in college, I was in a sorority named Zeta Tau Alpha, and our main philanthropy was the Susan B. Komen organization, which is a charity for breast cancer awareness, fundraising and support.  We’d do the fundraisers or help out with things and I never made the connection between the philanthropy and myself.  Never once did I really understand the importance of such a thing while I was in school, and I probably didn’t even think twice about the possibility that one day, it could be me needing that help.  You don’t really think much about 40 when you’re 20, I guess.  Now here I am at 40 and I finally get the point.  I don’t want breast cancer to be the reason than any of you, or I miss the next Duran Duran shows.


The Layman’s guide to John Taylor

I don’t know how I came up with that title for this blog, but I suppose I wanted to convey just how very little I know about the man.  Perhaps it’s supposed to be that way, perhaps I’ve not paid enough attention over the years, and perhaps I know more than I realize. (doubt it!)  Regardless, this is the blog I should have written yesterday.  Thank you to Amanda for pointing out to me that I’d been remiss when I only said a hearty “Happy Birthday” to him in the blog rather than dissect him the way I have done the other band members. (those are her words, spoken to me yesterday on the phone – and as appropriate as they might be – I envision myself in a lab coat leaning over him on a table with a scalpel in hand – and biology was NOT my best subject in high school. Sorry John!!)

The fact is, I don’t know where to begin.  I don’t honestly know John Taylor.  (then again, that hasn’t really stopped me before….)  My closest encounter with him was at the Virgin Megastore signing for Astronaut on Sunset Blvd.  Nick handed him my Astronaut album, John didn’t even look up, signed it – and handed it on to Simon, who was already chatting up my daughter about the book she was reading and quizzing her on what songs she liked best off off of the album.  In desperation to have SOME sort of real interaction with him, I said “The album is beautiful, John”, to which he briefly glanced up at the girl directly in front of him and said “Thank you”.  That’s it, that is my John story!  (you can’t see me, but I’m taking a bow right here)

John is the one band member that I haven’t ever seen out in public after a show.  He doesn’t tend to mingle – although I know he has tried (I just haven’t been to a show where that’s happened).  I hear it’s nearly impossible for him, that fans still believe that they have the right to grab him, attempt to rip his clothes off and behave like wild animals.  Yep, because that is DEFINITELY going to make him see that fans are cool people and that we aren’t crazy.  I can’t say I blame him for not hanging out after a show, rather choosing to find refuge, quiet time and privacy.  The only people missing out are indeed the fans on this one, and it’s a shame.

Where is John Taylor in my personal line-up of Duran Duran favorites?  Here is the reality:  John Taylor is too handsome for me.  He’s completely and totally out of my league, and I know it.  I’ve never had a crush on John just like I never had a crush on the cutest football player in high school, or any of the Sigma Pi’s (arguably the most popular fraternity on my college campus at the time I went to college) at Cal State Fullerton.  They were out of my league.  Sure, I’d admire them from afar; but I never dared mention that they were the object of my admiration. Back in the 80’s, John was the most popular member of Duran Duran. (my apologies to Roger, Nick, Simon and Andy)  I knew it.  He probably knew it…and every other female fan out there knew it.  As a result, when I’d hang out with my friends from school and discuss Duran Duran (every single day at recess and lunch!), we’d talk about our favorites.  John was always the one that the girls would fight over.  I’d wait until they were finished, see how it all settled out, and then name my favorite: Roger.   I always wondered why everyone went for John and fought over him – sure, he was cute and all – but Roger had that dark hair, dark eyes and those brooding looks – (and oddly enough, my husband…as well as my boyfriends prior to my husband, have ALL had dark hair and dark eyes.) who needed blonde bangs and a baby face?   I suppose that while I knew John was the obviously handsome one, there was a certain amount of comfort knowing that most of the time, no one would fight me for Roger.  So I stuck with him.   John had a very secure place on my bedroom walls – right above my mirror, just to the left of Roger.  I knew where he stood with me, I know where he still stands, and I’m still way out of his league.

Once upon a time, I complained quite openly on this blog about the lack of connection between the band and the fans.  John was truly at the center of my complaint because not even a year prior (to the time I’d written the blog), he’d spoken at a conference for the 25th anniversary of the internet at UCLA.  His main assertion was that the internet, with the sheer amount of information, content, etc that is available – really ruins the romance and mystery that takes place when you’re a fan of a celebrity or band.  To his credit, I did and do understand his point.  The trouble was, this was no longer the 1970’s or the 1980’s.  The media is available.  Social networking is the norm – either celebrities and bands use it, or they are left behind.  The general public wants more than an album and a tour.  They want to feel that personal connection.  Even more to his credit, John apparently revisited his theory and actually tried Twitter.  The first day he posted, I nearly fell out of my chair.  Within what felt like days, he was obviously hooked, and so were the fans.  I can’t speak for John, but as a fan I have to say that I think it’s helped many of us feel that bonding on a completely different level than we ever have had before.  After 30 some years of following the band, it’s as though our “relationship” with the band is at a new level, and most of the time – it feels good.  I would venture to guess that it feels good for John as well.  When he says that it feels like good therapy – I believe him. He’s witty, not at all rude (even when I think he should be!), and extremely patient even in times where I think he should tell us all to take a long walk off of a short pier.   Some say he might wear his heart on his sleeve, and some may say he overshares – but I think he’s become much more to me than just a pinup on my wall or the bass player in the band.  He’s become a real person, and I treasure that even though he still has no idea who in the hell I am.  (probably for the best!)

John has commented that he’s a narcissist.  I say “show me a rock star that isn’t!”  I think that when you’re a celebrity, it’s very easy to fall into that trap.  Let’s face it – when you’re on stage every night, it IS all about you.  This isn’t a free pass for John, or anyone for that matter, but the reality is – John SEES it in himself.  How isn’t that admirable?  Let me tell you John, I worked with a “rock band” (the quotes are necessary here for a number of reasons…), and those kids were not only narcissistic without reason, but they didn’t even notice it in themselves.  That, my friend, is not admirable, it’s immaturity.  You sir, are just the opposite in about every single way imaginable.  Newsflash to John Taylor:  You are human.  You have faults.  We kind of like you anyway.   🙂


Happy Father’s Day and the Lesson on Fandom

Today, like many people, I’m helping my dad celebrate Father’s Day.  The celebration started this morning by taking him out for brunch at the best breakfast place in town.  Later, my parents and I will watch the White Sox game then probably play some games ourselves.  I have been working on a Duran cd for him that I hope to be finished with so that he can enjoy it during the game playing!  That’s the thing about my dad.  While I can’t say that he is a Duranie, I can say that he has always tried to appreciate them, even if he still can’t recognize my “favorite” member after all of these years.  Just the other day I went over there after a bad day and my dad put on the first Duran cd I had made him.  It was very sweet.  That cd was done in 2005 so it is definitely time for him to have a new one.  This shows me that he tries to understand my fandom, even if he doesn’t understand Duran.  In fact, he is a fan himself.  He is such a fan that I actually blame my fandom on him as he is the one who taught me how to be a fan.  Seriously.

I was born and raised in a White Sox household, which is common for those of us from the south side of Chicago.  The family activities often revolved around the White Sox games.  For example, we made sure to have dinner eaten and cleaned up if there was a game on TV.  When we got together with my cousins or grandparents, discussion on the Sox was routine.  The real treats were when we actually went to the Sox games at old Comiskey Park.  We didn’t have good seats but we still watched intently and often kept score.  My dad taught us to take the game seriously.  I will never forget the story that he frequently tells about how he was on this date that he had been really looking forward to on the day that the Sox won the pennant in 1959.  He decided that he had to take this woman to a bar to see the game, etc.  She wasn’t at all interested and my dad just knew that she wasn’t the one for him.  Lucky for all of us, he met my mom who is as much of a Sox fan as anyone! 

My parents and the rest of my family always rooted for the Sox and we sat through many, many, many horrible, losing seasons.  Those seasons were tough as they were filled with frustration and much discussion about what roster moves should be made and criticism over the past trades.  We always took and still take the losses to heart.  It is like we are part of the team and it bothers us to see them lose.  Yet, no matter how poorly they played, we never stopped caring.  We believed in the team.  We didn’t always believe in the moves that were made but we believed in the tradition, in the institution.  We still wore Sox t-shirts and sweatshirts and bought our Sox related household items.  My parents today, in fact, have a Sox mailbox!  It’s true!  Sox fans around the world have survived all of those losing seasons and were able to celebrate a World Series Championship in 2005.  I won’t ever forget that season.  First, they clenched the division on the day that I was leaving for Vegas to hang with friends and to see Duran play at the Agassi charity event there.  Then, they won the World Series on the night before I was co-hosting a Duranie weekend.  It was the best of times, in many ways!

As you can see, I learned many things about what it means to be a fan from my dad.  I learned that to be a fan means that you are loyal, through good times and bad.  While that love always remains, there can and should be criticism when it is due.  Despite this private criticism among other fans, the outside world should know that you are a fan and that you should show that proudly.  I also learned that there is an emotional connection between the object of your fandom and you.  For my dad and I, our Sox fandom connects us to our family, to each other.  It has been a part of our family for decades and will remain so.  The Sox have always brought us together.  For example, whenever there is an exciting event in Sox history, it is common for my siblings and I to all check in with my parents.  When Mark Buerhle pitched his perfect game a few years ago, my brother and sister both called to share their and our excitement!

My Sox fandom isn’t really that much different than my Duran fandom.  I will always be loyal to Duran and have certainly witnessed both good time and not-so-good-times.  I can’t imagine really ever leaving.  That said, I will always offer my sincere opinions about the band.  I will voice my thoughts about when they have done something awesome and when they missed the mark.  To me, that is what is means to be a fan.  Like in my Sox fandom, I’m pretty open about being a Duranie and will wear their t-shirts when I can!  Last, but not least, Duran like the Sox brings people together.  It is the connection I have with many other people, including my partner-in-crime.  Duran is something that we share and always will.

Therefore, as I continue to celebrate my dad today, I will also celebrate what he has taught me about what it means to be a fan.  Happy Father’s Day, to you, Dad, and to the rest of the dads out there, including those dads in Duran!  😉


Biographies, Memoirs and Life Lessons

Lately I’ve been reading a lot of biographies, autobiographies and memoirs. (I suppose those last two are really sort of the same…)  Normally, I’m a romance reader, but lately I’ve grown sick of them.  One can only live in fantasy for so long, I suppose.  So now I’m living vicariously through others!  So far, I’ve read things from George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Ron Paul, (you may think you see a theme, but it’s just that I haven’t finished reading all of my books yet…I have plenty from the left side of the aisle to get through!!!), Rick Springfield, Portia DeRossi, Molly Ringwald, Rob Lowe and Tina Fey.  As I said, I still have quite a few more to either start or finish – and yes, I read more than one at a time.  I can only read so much about politics before my head starts hurting.  It’s been eye-opening on more than one occasion, and yes, it’s even changed the way I feel about some people.  That seems to be a sort of recurring theme in my life as of late.  It’s as though the assumptions I’d made regarding people have had to go a sort of re-tune now that I’m older. (I say that because most of the books I’ve read lately have been about people that I’d grown up admiring, or arguing with while they were on various TV talk shows and or news programs!)  Duran Duran should really be included in that list.

It’s no secret that their current situation has probably made any fan really think.  I must admit that writing a book about the fan base has given me plenty to consider, and in some respects I think it’s opened my eyes to a lot of things that I’d never given any thought.  For instance, once upon a time, I never really thought much about what went on behind the scenes.  All I cared about is what I saw onstage, or heard on a CD.  I never really considered the various walks of life their fans came from, I never really thought about how each of our cultures helps to “train” us to be different types of fans.  I thought that fans were fans.  We all want the same thing, we all react the same way (basically).  I couldn’t have been more wrong.

The biggest example of how different we all react has to be the postponed UK and European shows.  I don’t have an interest in rehashing the reactions, I just want to acknowledge that they exist.  My writing partner wrote a blog over the weekend that created much buzz on Facebook.  Not all of it was positive.  Many reacted the way I would have expected, but some reacted with complete anger and frustration.  I don’t know that I would have anticipated that.  The motive behind the blog topic was simply to ask “What If”; while many had no trouble commenting on how they would feel – regardless of what those feelings were – still others were incensed that the question was even asked.  Initially, that upset me because, as I explained on Facebook – this is a BLOG.  It’s about opinions, it’s about presenting topics and allowing discussion.  Comment all you would like on whether you agree or disagree, but to comment on the topics chosen seemed to be counterproductive.  As the day wore on, however, I realized that the anger behind our topic has far more to do with not being willing to even discuss the possibility.  I need to respect that, and I do.  I may not necessarily agree, but the fact is – we’re all fans.  In as much as I know that Amanda meant no harm in expressing her feelings about the subject at hand; I also recognize that the comments weren’t meant to harm her, or her thoughts specifically.  Let’s be honest, none of us want to be talking about the demise of the band.  Real, imagined, or otherwise.  I think we all can agree on that.

For me personally, I’ve reached a point in my life where on one hand, I have to give people credit for putting themselves out there, doing the hard work, having an opinion, or just plain being good people – and for the most part – I do believe people are good.  On the other hand, I’ve gotten to a point where I refuse to put up with the, well, B.S. (for lack of a better way of describing!)  My friends take me as I am, and I take others as they are – and if I can’t, I won’t.  I think that I’ve stopped caring about trying to be what other people want.  I have the luxury of being a mostly private citizen – I don’t put myself up for public scrutiny in the same way that the band might.  I recognize that for Duran Duran and the plethora of other bands and celebrities out there, their livelyhoods depend very much on what we think, and what we want.  I don’t envy them for that.  There must be a very fine line on which they must balance, and while a good part of me says “Who the hell cares – they should put out the music they like!”, another part of me recognizes that business is business.  They employ a good many people who count on them, and they do have the right to make music that will sell, even if I don’t personally enjoy their work.

I don’t envy the band, celebrities or even my favorites from the 80’s Brat Pack years in much the same way I don’t envy any of our politicians, which is one thing I’ve learned from all of my reading.  I don’t have to like their choices, but I must give them credit – because I’m mighty comfortable being an armchair critic!



How Will the End Be?

Before I begin this post, I must be honest about something.  I have been pretty emotional lately, but today I have reached the peak of heightened emotionality.  Today was the last day of school for me.  As a teacher, this day is always an emotional one but this year feels all the more so.  On this day, we not only say goodbye to our students, most of whom we have grown fond of, but also to colleagues who are moving on to other jobs or adventures.  It is a double whammy on any given year but today is at least a triple whammy as I said goodbye to many close colleagues and more as I am facing career changes myself.  I’m not sure exactly what those changes will be but I know that there will be some.  This lead an overly emotional me to ponder the end.  In this case, today is the end of the school year.  For some, it is the end to their teaching careers.  For others, it is the end of an era as significant changes are taking place at my school.  I have always found teaching to be a very strange career in the sense that we have very clear beginnings, middles and ends to every year.  At the end, there are always people leaving.  In the beginning of the year, new people come.  The school year has these decisive bookends.  In many ways, Duran has had the same type of thing.

Duran Duran’s career is marked by various “eras” that go along with albums.  They have often made these eras more defined themselves.  For example, for the Red Carpet Massacre era, they played an electro set and had Jackson Pollack/military uniforms to perform in.  The websites always take on new looks with each passing era.  Many of the fans have noticed this happening and have taken to dividing up Duran’s history in the same fashion.  How many times have fans discussed their favorite time in Duran’s history and heard something along the line of, “I really liked Astronaut and the reunion days” or “My favorite time was during Rio and those videos filmed in Sri Lanka.”  We, as fans, really understand this cycle of separate eras and have learned that Duran’s typical fashion has been to write an album, make some videos of songs on that album, play a certain tour with a certain look and setlist until that new album and everything that goes along with it are played out.  Then, there might be a little action in between the next album, but, generally, Duran and the fans experience downtime.  Then, it starts all over again with a new album.

This process of having defined eras is similar to what I experience as a teacher.  It seems to me that other jobs aren’t like that.  Changes move through at various times and in various degrees.  People come and go whenever.  There is not the sense that the process stops and takes a break.  I was watching a close colleague of mine say goodbye to people today as she begins her retirement and I thought to myself that she must have always known how the end of her career would be.  She always knew that she would end on the last day of class on a day when everyone is leaving, to some extent.  She was able to leave at the natural end of one year before the beginning of the next.  There were no loose ends and no one needed to come in and finish some element of her job.  I envy that.  I, too, hope that I am able to leave in such a fashion, during a natural break.  I guess I always figured that is how Duran would end as well. 

When I was a kid and thought about how Duran might end (probably says a lot about me as a kid if I was thinking about something so…upsetting), I assumed that they would end in between one of their clearly defined eras.  They would finish the whole cycle with an album from writing and releasing the album and touring for it.  Then, they would just cease to continue this process.  No new album would be made and it was be a subtle goodbye.  There would be no dramatic exit and that the fans might not even notice it.  This idea became more and more reinforced as the years went by and as Duran took longer and longer in between releases.  I figured that they was preparing the fans for the bound-to-happen-sometime end.  We would get so used to long times in between eras that we wouldn’t even notice when they weren’t working at all.  Plus, as the years went on, it was more and more clear that Duran had staying power, which meant to me that they weren’t going to end in some dramatic argument like other bands.  It would be more subtle than that.  I also figured that members who tend to be a bit more controlling (*ahemNickahem*) would prefer to end when one project was completely done.  I even figured that they might be so happy with how well something went down that they didn’t feel the need to do more or that they thought everything went so badly that it was time to end it.  Thus, I always get a major sense of relief when a new album is actually coming out.  To me, it translated to the band continuing. 

Now, I’m not so sure that this is how the band will end.  Simon’s voice struggles have made me realize that it might not be so clean, so subtle.  It might not be a gradual fade from our collective consciousness.  The end might be in the middle of a project.  It might be dramatic and horribly painful.  Instead of being a slow quiet death, it could be so quick that it leaves us all shaken to the core.  Obviously, the end of anything human can end in a quiet, calm way or in a screaming, frantic way.  I guess I wished that Duran would go quietly (and much, much, MUCH later) and while we were all sleeping rather than quickly with a lot of screaming and crying about how it wasn’t time yet.  Both cause pain but one kind of pain is subtle and the other is sharp and deep. 

As I face the next couple of months filled with uncertainty about both my future and also the band’s, I think it is best to try to prepare myself for whatever may come next.  I will obviously wish for something bright, positive and wonderful on all fronts and will do whatever I can to reach that, but will also try to come to grips with the unknown, including how the end will be.


It’s gonna be a short one…

So today is one of those days where my real life is severely intruding into my online presence.  I have several places to be, things to do…and only one of me to be present and do them all with.  It’s the one thing I dislike about being a parent (ok, there may be several things, but this one is in the top 10 for sure!).  My husband travels quite a bit for work – this week it is Taiwan, and I feel for him because it’s hot, sticky and he’s working a trade show.  (I ruined your game again, Jessica!)  Anyway, tonight is Open House for my son (not sure if everyone knows what that means but basically I go and visit his classroom.  He’s in 6th grade, last year at his present school, so it’s a big deal.) At the same time that Open House starts, I must also be dropping off my oldest for her rehearsals – she’s in a musical called Anything Goes that opens here in a few weeks.  This morning, I have to drop that same child off at school which is a good 25 minute drive from the house, and be back here in time to take my son to school because he has to carry not only his backpack, but a major school project, along with 50 cookies for tonight’s festivities.  Did I mention that my oldest notoriously runs late,and I do mean LATE, for everything??


That’s just today.  Tomorrow I somehow have to get her to her voice lessons, a beach party and be back home in time to see my husband get home from his business trip.

I really need 4 more of me.  🙂

So, I’m writing this blog at 6:37 am California time, and hoping that I don’t run out of steam before I can get this house cleaned and back into shape so that it looks like I’ve actually done something while my husband has been gone. (because to be honest – the house has been the last thing I’ve thought about!)

I wish I had Duran news to share with you all, but I really do not.  It’s been very quiet on that front.  I don’t suppose there’s really much they can say until Simon is able to sing again, and unfortunately, none of us knows when that will be.  One thing that has struck me through all of this: each of us reads the situation entirely differently.  We all process it differently.  I think that has everything to do with why there are so many threads on so many message boards about it.  Each one of us posts something different, we read it differently, and are completely shocked when other people don’t see it the same way.  Then there are the people who are willing to sit back and wait it all out without saying a word.  Those people are probably more than annoyed at the rest of us who are trying to process it all by talking it over, guessing about what/when/where Simon will sing again.  The in-fighting that is going on right now on the boards is something akin to what it’s like just before an album is released.  I dare say it borders on frustration…and you all can decide for yourselves what type of frustration it is!   So, I’ve decided to steer clear of the boards, and really for the most part I’m trying to just move on with life in general.  It’s easier for me to focus my attention on something else rather than sit back and wait for the band to announce something.  I don’t want to think about it all, I guess.  That doesn’t really stop me from thinking, some might even say I overthink things, but I try.

Did you hear that Georgie Davies is likely to be really coming out???  😀

Hilarious, really.


All Things Duran Are Worth It?

Today is travel day for us at the Daily Duranie.  It feels like we have been talking and planning about this trip for years when it has only been months!  Yet, we are now down to less than a day before we arrive in the UK after a long day and night of traveling.  The travel plan makes me question the motto Rhonda and I have, which is the title of this blog.  I am working today–teaching the young people of my city.  Then, I drive a few hours down to Chicago where I will then take a lengthy overnight flight to London.  Once meeting up at Rhonda’s terminal, we hop into a car to take us to Birmingham.  It already sounds exhausting and I haven’t even begun to think about the jet lag!  This day will be the beginning of our 9 day tour/trip.  This trip is an extremely ambitious one and definitely the biggest one I have ever done in the name of Duran Duran.  In fact, I know that I have done many, many, many things for them and because of them but this trip takes the cake.  In many ways, I still can’t believe that I’m doing this!  Yet, I have fought long and hard to make this trip happen and nothing is going to stand in my way.

When the rumors of these UK dates came out, thanks to some radio interview with Mr. LeBon, Rhonda and I discussed it as we often do with any sort of tour rumor.  It was clear that we both wanted to go to these shows but I wasn’t sure whether or not I could leave work.  I, initially, thought I could make it into a long weekend and a few shows, depending on when they were as I am in a job that isn’t super flexible, to say the least, when it comes to time away.  At that point, I began my investigation of how I could do this trip with work.  It sounded super easy from the people I spoke with and I felt confident that we could do this tour.  Then, the dates were announced and immediately people discussed their desire to go for the Birmingham show and the London show.  This meant that I would be away from work for a week, which is unheard of!!!!  As most Duranies know, we had about 17 hours from that announcement to the presale.  It was hardly enough time to get work sorted out completely, but I was confident.  Thus, I purchased tickets 17 hours later.  I filled out the necessary paperwork at work and talked with my supervisor.  I believed myself good to go.  Then, on February 11th, bombs of sorts was dropped.

I was denied my request on February 11th.  Not only was I denied but I was denied without a reason.  Crushed, yet determined, I grieved a little and regrouped with a plan to appeal, which would have been challenging enough but…the rest of the world invaded.  I live in a state whose governor decided to go after me and others like me.  Like hundreds of thousands of others, I felt like I had to fight.  Yet, I felt like I was fighting on two fronts.  For a long time, I felt like I was winning with the state government and losing at work.  Then, it would switch and switch again.  I was an emotional roller coaster, experiencing almost every emotion possible within a 18 hour day.  Yet, I continued to fight.  I felt like I had no choice.  After almost two months, both situations calmed down, but with different results.  I, finally, got word from work that my 118th appeal (joke but not by much) for a week’s leave was finally approved.  I thought that I would be overjoyed.  Instead, I just felt relief and exhaustion.  I think Rhonda felt the same way as her trip was on the line in many ways, too.  On the other front, I lost and many others lost, too.  Voted were taken (perhaps illegally) and new contracts were signed.  Rights were taken away and a significant pay cut is in my future.  In many ways, these events broke me.  Politically, I tried to give a little more energy but feeling completely burned out on that front.  Hopeless, really, which upsets me more than almost anything else.  My governor and his allies took away more than my rights and my salary but sucked the life out of my fighting spirit, which means so much more than I can express.  It has everything to do with who I am and with what I do.

This trip is a strange one for me.  On many occasions, reality has threatened this trip from work to politics to finances.  All of those elements of reality have said to me that I shouldn’t be doing this trip.  It isn’t logical.  Yet, I desperately need some fun and escape and there is nothing better for me than Duran and a tour.  Of course, it is also about fulfilling a dream–to see them in Birmingham and to increase the motivation and more to finish our book.  Now, of course, we need to deal with the LeBon factor.  This is when I start to think about our motto about how everything Duran is worth it.  I wonder.  Are they worth the stress that comes with traveling and traveling to such a distance?  Are they worth the cost, especially when facing an uncertain financial future?  I’m forced to say that they are.  Why?  For me, I’m hoping that this trip reminds me that there still is something good in the world.  I’m hoping that I experience nothing but fun.  I’m hoping that I meet wonderful people who are filled with life.  I know that my friendships will be renewed and feel strongly that my motivation to finish the book will be high.  I’m also really hoping that it can renew my energy and my spirit.



Today is Mother’s Day in America. This is the day that we show our appreciation of our mothers by, typically, showering them with gifts, flowers and meals out at a restaurant. Later, I will be joining my mother for dessert, which is what she wanted to do. I have to admit that I think my mom is pretty fabulous. In fact, I would have to say that I’m pretty lucky when it comes to my family, my mother in particular.

I think I always knew that my mom was cooler than some mothers when I was a kid. I became a Duranie as a young kid. In fact, I always claim my anniversary as the day that the Reflex became number one because that was the song that had me hooked for life. I was 8, almost 9 at the time. Like many kids, I became addicted and wanted to show this addiction in many ways, including buying their albums and singles, wearing t-shirts and nightshirts, and wallpapering my bedroom with their posters. My mom accepted all of this without question. She never complained when literally all four walls of my bedroom were covered with Simon, John, Nick, Roger and Andy. There were no statements about turning down Seven and the Ragged Tiger. My house became the location of the Friday Night Videos sleepovers. My best friend at the time would call each other up whenever we saw a video being played on MTV and my mom never became annoyed with the frequent calls. My mom accepted all of this. As the years moved along, she began to do more than just accept it.

One thing I always appreciated about my mom was that she asked questions about what I was interested in. She wanted to know and appreciate what I was into. Thus, she not only listened to me go on and on about the guys, the songs, the videos but would ask questions. She acted like she was curious herself! This was so reinforcing to me and made my fandom seem acceptable, normal. As the years went on, my mom started to learn some of the songs and began to recognize who was who. In fact, my dad always asks about who is who when Duran is on their TV, for whatever reason, and my mom is typically the one to provide the information. Now, when I tell my mom about an appearance on TV, she tunes in and will actually tell me what she thinks! Likewise, I played AYNIN is for her. Last weekend, she asked me how the album was doing because she “really likes the new songs”. I got the biggest smile on my face! I answered her question calmly but inside I was beaming. Of course, my mom has gone above and beyond this as she had created various pieces of art to help me to express my fandom, including fabric art pieces to represent songs or the logo to our blog!

In less than 2 weeks, my parents will be driving me and my friend,Deb,to O’Hare for us to board a plane to London. As I tried to make my decision about whether or not to go to the UK, my mom encouraged me to go. She has joined me in my various shopping trips and listened to my excitement over all of the little details. I’m sure that she will be as thrilled to hear my stories and see my pictures when I get back.

I’m sure by now you all get the point. My mom is pretty fabulous, especially when it comes to my fandom. She has accepted and encouraged it. She has supported me all the way and I suspect that she will continue to do so as Rhonda and I continue to write this blog and finish our book. Happy Mother’s Day to my mom!!


It’s May 2nd!

I had a completely different blog planned for today, as it turns out.  I should really remember not to plan blogs in advance, because every single time I do – something happens and I end up not being able to use the idea.  In this case, I was planning to do a blog about social networking based on a short interview that John and Roger did just after their show at SXSW earlier this spring.  I’d read the interview yesterday, and was writing out a bit of an outline last night when we got the news that Osama Bin Laden had been killed.

Talk about changing the game.  Wow.  I guess I wasn’t really expecting that sort of news – and definitely not on a Sunday evening, the first of May in the year 2011.  That’s when things happen though, when you least expect them.  I guess it makes life interesting if nothing else.

It’s been a long nearly 10 years since 9/11 for me.  As regular readers know, I live on the west coast in California, not too entirely far from where John Taylor lives.  He’ll occasionally post pictures of the sunset in his backyard and I’ll chuckle because it’s the same sunset – just a different side of it (I live farther south near the coast).  The pictures are the same, yet just a little different.  It’s all in the point of view. So, I’m pretty far removed from the site of 9/11, yet there was a girl from my town who was killed on that day just because she was on one of the planes that flew into the twin towers.  Her name was Lisa Frost, and her father Tom and I spoke on more than one occasion after LIsa had died.  At that time, I was the president of my local MOMS Club chapter (it’s a club/support network for stay at home moms and their children), and he was a speaker for an event that we were supporting.   He was a very nice man whose life was, at the time, very much destroyed from losing his daughter on that fateful day.  We ran into each other a few times over those next few years, and with each time I saw him he seemed to be doing better and more resolved than the last meeting.  We have a small lake in our town that I occasionally will take walks around, and at the lake there is a tree and monument that was dedicated to Lisa.  Each year on 9/11 i’ll go to visit that tree, and since that first year after 9/11 the amount of cards, flowers and notes has gotten smaller and smaller on each anniversary.  I suppose that happens in time – people move on, lives change, and yes, I think to some degree people tend to forget.  I’ve since lost touch with Mr. Frost, as tends to happen, but I often think of him and his wife – and I have to wonder how he must have felt when he heard the news last night.

As soon as the reports came out about Bin Laden’s death – and believe it or not I first heard of it on Twitter, of course I was elated, and maybe felt even a little bit of validation and closure for Lisa – a girl I’d never known but whose life touched me all the same.  Almost immediately after that first sense of emotion though, I grew wary.  It was clear that once again, our lives were changing right before our eyes.  CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS and a handful of stations that I don’t even normally watch began their broadcasts of President Obama’s speech, and I appreciated that he was very matter of fact rather than exuberant.  This news wasn’t about gloating, it wasn’t about bragging, and it definitely wasn’t about celebrating.  This man, Osama Bin Laden, is the image of evil for many.  It’s the source of nightmares.  I would imagine that if you asked someone in line for security at any airport in America (or perhaps even the world) why they had to wait to be screened by security, and what image comes into their head first, Bin Laden’s face would be among the most mentioned.  The announcement last night was about justice, pure and simple.

My own thoughts on the subject are completely irrelevant here since this is a blog about living as a Duranie, but even this worldly event has everything to do with Duran Duran.  They are in the middle of a tour.  Some might even say it’s just the beginning.  They are planning to go to many places on this spectacular planet of ours, and many more fans than I could possibly count are looking forward to their chance to sway in the mood, reach up for the sunrise, be those notorious fans, and live like wild boys/girls.  It’s alarming to think that while all of that could be happening, there are still plenty of other people on this planet that would love for nothing better than to play out their own evil as a type of revenge and retaliation.

In just over two weeks, I’ll be boarding a plane bound for Heathrow.  Don’t think I haven’t considered what could happen.  The reality is – ANYTHING  could happen.  I could be hit by a car tomorrow – and if my time is up, it’s up.  That doesn’t stop the anxiety beast in me from thinking overtime though.  (I’m human!)  I have three children that desperately need their mother.  No, it’s true – their father, as wise as he is – can’t seem to remember that children do need dinner from time to time, much less make sure they get to all of their normal activities and to bed by before say – 3am. *sigh*  Those kids need me!  I myself have a future filled with first days of school, graduations, proms, homecomings, first days of college, graduations from college, an empty nest (and a clean house someday!), and maybe even weddings and grandchildren one day.  I hope to live to see all of that in a way my father wasn’t given the chance to finish.  Terrorists be damned.

So yes, I worry.  I’m a worrier by nature if you haven’t noticed.  It’s right up there with planning for me.  Living in the moment is something I do only occasionally….at Duran Duran concerts.  🙂   I will be on that plane headed to London on May 20th, and if some stupid hijacker decides that day is his day – it won’t be good for him.  I will not live my life in fear, nor should any of us.  Too many people died on that day, September 11, 2001, and many days subsequent, for any of us to live in fear.

Sure, this is just a blog about a band – and it might be trivial to worry about a terrorist attack that would ruin my trip (or anyones for that matter), but isn’t that really what it all comes down to?  Don’t we all just want to be able to live?  We just want to be able to go to the grocery store without worrying that some crazy person has a bomb attached to them.  We just want to go to the movies without some guy leaving his car, filled with manure, propane and shrapnel waiting to go off.   Talk about living in the moment – well, that’s the moment.


It’s Personal

First, I must apologize for the lateness of this blog entry.  Today’s my birthday and I had been out with friends and was at work before that.  Second, I had an entry all planned out in my head but have decided to scrap that one for today.  I might write about it tomorrow or Sunday, though.  I don’t know why days like this make me emotional, but they do.  Is it because people make a big deal out of birthdays?  Is it because it represents the stopping of one year and the starting of the next?  Is that I had a couple of drinks?  Is it because last weekend I was at Duran shows and in three weeks I’ll be on a plane to London?  Is it all of the above?  Probably.

I have to admit that I have been processing everything that was last weekend still.  I keep thinking about the shows, the drive, the interactions with others and more.  I have been accused once or twice in my life of over thinking and I’m sure I’m guilty of it now.  Yet, sometimes, thinking helps to make decisions, draw conclusions and move on.  Here is the conclusion I have drawn since last weekend.  I’m not inviting anyone else in.  You are probably thinking that you have no freaking idea of what the heck I’m talking about.  Let me explain and maybe, you, too, can relate.

When I first started touring and going to Duran functions, I wanted to meet as many people as I could!  For one thing, I wanted to share my excitement, my love for the band with other people who understood.  Heck, isn’t that why a lot of us sought out message boards in the modern era and penpals back in the day?  I was really lucky to have met Rhonda early on in my touring life.  Although, looking back on it, maybe I wasn’t as I think she spoiled me for life.  As I was saying, the other part of meeting fellow Duranies was to find people to go to shows with.  I figured that I could always go alone but it would not be the same or as fun.  Therefore, over the course of many years now, I have attended shows with a variety of people.  Some of these people are very much like me in my fandom and others, not at all.  Last weekend, I attended my two shows with 3 people I wasn’t sure of as I didn’t really know or understand their Duranie status. 

I believe that all 3 of those people had a good time.  Nothing super dramatic or problematic happened with any of them.  Yet, I have found myself with a burning desire to narrow the group of people I attend shows with.  (I still really want to meet other fans, though!!!!)  Why?  If there wasn’t a problem and people had a good time, why would I limit myself?  Why would I want that?  I want that because it’s personal.  The thing about Duran Duran for me is that they aren’t just another band.  I’m not just a fan of theirs.  There is something more, something deeper.  Obviously, I have made a commitment to this fandom in a much different way than someone who attends their hometown show when the band comes around.  I write this blog and I’m working on a book.  My vacations are tours or to visit other friends that I have met because of the band.  I’m not saying that I’m a bigger or better fan than the new people I went with or than the people who go to hometown shows, but I am different.  I can’t and shouldn’t expect people to be like me.  At the same token, I also need to feel safe in my fandom on tour. 

I feel like I have taken risks every time someone new enters my touring world.  I’ll be really honest here.  Some of the people that were, at one point, part of my Duranie world are no longer.  I have been hurt by many of these situations whether it is that the person used me or whether it was because the person wasn’t being truthful.  I am tired of trying to explain my fandom.  I’m tired of being worried about whether or not I will be treated well and whether or not I will be uncomfortable in any given situation on tour.  I don’t want to spend my time worrying about those issues when I could and should be enjoying a show or shows.  I don’t know how long this will last and I want to be able to really enjoy it while I can.  I want to go to shows with people who get it and get me or can at least appreciate where I’m coming from.  This is personal to me and I’m tired of feeling exposed and vulnerable.  Likewise, I can imagine that non-Duranies would have as much fun doing some of the things I do on tour. 

I know that this probably sounds incredibly vague and I apologize for this.  Let me try to put a twist on it with concrete terms that I think might make more sense.  I was willing to stand in line and in GA for hours last weekend to get a decent spot for the Chicago show.  Not everyone is.  I get that.  If I try to force someone to do that in order to go with me, it probably won’t go too well.  Maybe it will go okay once or twice but after awhile, true feelings with come out.  Maybe then the other person will go but start to feel bitter or resentful.  Maybe I will, too, because I don’t know why someone isn’t enjoying this as much as I am.  Maybe I will feel judged for loving it the way I do.  Maybe I’ll judge them.  It isn’t good for anyone. 

Therefore, I, now, think I will stick to those people I have attended shows with and have had a good time with.  I want to be with people who understand how much all of this means to me or can appreciate it.  I want to feel comfortable and not worried about when it will all fall apart.  I need some security and I need to be able to trust the people I attend shows with.