Tag Archives: fandom

Happy Thanksgiving 2018

I am lucky to be the Monday through Thursday blogger because each year, right around this time, I am able to take a few moments and share my gratitude.

Today is Thanksgiving here in America, and while the rest of the world goes on about their Thursday, I will be cooking for my family. This will be our last Thanksgiving in this house, and I think for that reason, it will be particularly special. My two oldest are coming home, and it will be a quiet holiday here at home. I’m writing this ahead of time – on Wednesday – and will begin the marathon cooking session as soon as I’m finished.

Admittedly, cooking is something I don’t particularly love to do. I’m told that I’m very good at it, but then again – the people who say that are also somewhat dependent upon my cooking skills in order to eat.  <big grin here> I do my best and get through it, but I won’t lie – I’m looking forward to the following day when I REFUSE to cook, and force the family to fend for themselves.  This year though, I’m genuinely enjoying the challenge of getting an entire turkey dinner with all the trimmings ready with one oven and a microwave.

I want to say thank you to everyone who takes time to read our posts. We’ve been writing now for over eight years, and while we’ve had our ups and downs, we’ve been so lucky to have people support us. There have been many times when I’ve felt like I’d lost my way, lo and behold someone – whether it was a friend or someone I’d never met – would take a second to tell me that something I’d written really  hit home. I’ve needed those boosts now and then, and I can’t thank you enough.

My small but steady and loyal group of friends continue to keep gratitude coursing through my veins. I am not one of those people who have thousands of friends, but the few friends I have are those I can count on, and I do. You know who you are, because you’re the people I text first when something goes right, or when life begins to implode. It has been a roller coaster year, and I’m grateful that even when I feel like I’m at wit’s end, you send reminders that vodka is the reason for the season, or that we are going to have the “breast” weekend ever in February. I belong to the best tribe.

Amanda, I’m so grateful for our friendship. This past year has sucked. Royally. There were times I felt completely paralyzed with fear, shock, and stress. I couldn’t even be a friend to myself, much less to other people, and you just waited patiently for me to return to normal. Most others might have walked away and you didn’t. I won’t forget that. I miss skyping, Vodka Fridays, and writing though, and once I get settled, maybe we can pick that back up again. We also have a mini-convention to plan, so there’s that too. Goodness!

I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank Duran Duran and the DDHQ team. They’ve been patient and forgiving when I was anything but positive – something that I’ve learned from, and won’t forget. We really do try, along with an entire army of Duran fans, to keep the conversation going and the fandom growing. However, when it comes down to it, you are the reason(s) I started writing, and the reason(s) I keep going.

I’m going to go get started on the cooking. Happy Thanksgiving to my US friends, and I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

-R

Twenty-Nine Years later – Decade!

Today is the 29th anniversary of Decade. TWENTY-NINE YEARS.  As my friend Durandy aptly wrote this morning, “I’m trying to let that sink in.  What a legacy.”

Indeed. You’d think by now, I’d be over this band. You might think I’d have heard “Rio”, “Girls on Film” or “Planet Earth” one too many times. Yet I’m not. I’m willing and ready to do it all again. I’m betting that many of you are just as ready.

It’s November, the month of being thankful. Well, I count Duran Duran among my many blessings. I am so thankful I can still go see their concerts, even if it means traveling by plane to get there. They are still performing. They’re still writing, even when many of their peers are not. We are lucky fans.

Just last night I had a crazy dream about them, which in and of itself is bizarre because I almost never dream these days, and definitely not about the band!  In this dream, I found myself quitting my job at a what I believe was an antique furniture store with coworkers I used to work with last year, and Amanda was waiting for me. We laughed about how I was now unemployed and had no money, but as is typical – we also talked about all the touring we were going to do, and found ourselves wandering about San Francisco (no idea why).

We were looking for John Taylor (as one does), and for some reason I knew someone – a past coworker – who knew where he was, but I couldn’t find the guy. So, we ended up at a bar. I know that’s a HUGE surprise. It shocked me too. The bar had an outdoor patio, and by the time we got there, I was tired and wanted to sit down. Amanda led us to a couple of stools along the perimeter of the bar area and I immediately sat, not really paying attention. Next thing I know Amanda is nudging me rather insistently and I look up. She nods her head to the side and I let my eyes follow only to see that it is Dom sitting in the table directly across from us.

Only something is different about him. His usually short, straight hair has been replaced by slightly wavy, not quite shoulder length locks. Almost as though he’d been growing it out. In my dream, I kept looking at him (not even trying to sneak them!) and thinking “Why?!?”

Equally, I am lucky that the band can still be my muse, and that I’m able to write about being a fan each day. Even so, it is a little difficult to believe we’re in the fourth decade here. Twenty-nine years after the release of Decade. Yet so much of it feels like it only happened a short time earlier.

This single band has had an indelible influence across so many mediums. Music, video, fashion, graphics, style and an entire generation of people like me…to name a few.  What a legacy, indeed.

-R

Basking in the glory of top fan

Ever heard of that “Top Fan” badge that is available on Facebook? I noticed the tiny little moniker that somehow made its way onto the top of the posts from people I recognized. It only shows up when one is posting on a page like Duran Duran, and not everyone has one, apparently. From the little I know, it is something that the math geniuses at Facebook derived an algorithm to apply for those people who post a lot on a particular page.

From the onset, it seemed like the whole “top fan” thing was a bad idea. I can’t speak for other fan communities, but the competitive nature of our own certainly makes it seem like picking fans and elevating them to top fan status would generally be a nightmare. Oddly though, not many have talked about it – at least not publicly. I don’t know if it is because the badge is so tiny that it’s unnoticeable, or if it is because people like me explained that it wasn’t the band choosing to crown people as top fans, but merely Facebook.

Can you imagine the bloodshed if it were John, Roger, Simon and Nick picking out the top fans?  Even if it were found to be DDHQ behind the act, I am convinced all hell would break loose. I mean, my goodness – even when the band used to participate on social media, fans would clamor for attention and regularly try to shut one another down, and/or shame one another in the process. The whole thing seemed sketchy at best, and if the band were involved – it was only a matter of time before the entire fandom erupted, nuclear-bomb fashion.

I really don’t know how long it has been that top fan status has been a thing on Facebook. For the most part, I didn’t notice it unless someone responded directly to me that had one. I found myself wondering how many times one would need to post or react to something before the algorithm would play out in favor. I didn’t know the answer or what might trigger it.

A few weeks back, there was a notification for me saying that I’d been “awarded” a top fan badge for Richard Blade’s page. Out of all the things….but hey, I was curious, so I claimed my badge. Not much happened. No heralding trumpets. Not even any confetti or congratulatory balloons, and to be perfectly blunt,  I don’t even know if I still have one on his page. Hey, it was something!

Then last night, I went to check out Facebook before I put my phone down for the night. Lo and behold, I have somehow been awarded top fan for the Duran Duran page.  I didn’t even realize I’d reacted much to their postings lately – but I guess I did!

Immediately, I began making retirement plans. After all, this must be the success Oprah warmly and kindly taught her viewers we’d find. (I just KNEW I’d learn and be able to apply something to my life  from watching her talk show for all those years!!) “Do what you love, and you will find success.”

I am living the dream, Oprah!!

I looked at my bank account this morning. It still needs some work…. along with several more zeroes attached onto the end of another real number, but you know – it’s coming. I feel it. I’m a top fan now. I’m at the height of my achievements! This is it!!

I explained to my husband that I could sleep in this morning because I’m a top fan now.  He looked at me a little quizzically as he walked out of our bedroom at 5am this morning to commute up to Santa Barbara.  Shame. Apparently he hasn’t figured out to do what he loves just yet. Poor guy. I’m sure my success will rub off on him though, and he’ll learn from me. Isn’t that how that works?

I’m going to get back to planning that retirement, though, so I have to wrap this up. I just need to set this blog to post, work on school with the youngest, do the laundry, wash dishes, take somebody to piano lessons, clean the litter boxes, vacuum, dust, make dinner, and wash the dog. Then it is back to basking in my glory.  I am a top fan now, baby!

I made it, Mom!!

-R

What is your most prized DD possession?

Sometimes, I have to borrow writing topics from “the experts”. Today is one of those days, as I try to untangle myself from the weekend and get moving. (Is anyone else struggling with the idea that Thanksgiving for the USA is next Thursday?!? How’d that happen???)

Over the weekend, and it might have even been yesterday – DDHQ asked fans for their most prized DD possession. I didn’t see many replies, but the few I caught were memorabilia like tour programs or signed CD’s.

When DDHQ sends out these questions, it takes me a few minutes of thinking before I settle on an answer worth tweeting. This time though, gut instinct took over and I tweeted right away. My answer wasn’t very exciting compared to those who tweeted signed photos or books or CD’s. My prized possession isn’t even my vinyl copy of Astronaut, signed by all five original members, although it’s a close second.

My most prized possession is the Encore CD set of the first time I saw all five original members onstage together in Costa Mesa, California in 2003.  I keep it hidden down deep in my sweater drawer and it is the one CD that isn’t already packed! I don’t really know why I’ve attached so much sentiment to one single thing. It isn’t signed, I rarely play it, and I didn’t even meet the band that night.  I suppose though, it has everything to do with why I’m a fan.

When I listen to the thunderous applause at the beginning of the concert, I know that I was one of those voices. We sat way back in the 16th row that night (“sat” is probably not the right word here. I jumped up and down. Shook like a tuning fork, even, but I didn’t really sit.), and I’ve never felt so much joy emanate through my body as I did that night. I couldn’t replicate the feeling if I tried, and I have. The memory of the concert that night still makes me smile and feel all tingly. I think it is that concert “high” that I still chase to this day.

Sure, the fact that all five were on that stage, playing together, is a wonderful memory. I am so grateful that I was able to be there and witness it. Andy was there, and I nearly came out of my skin when Roger stepped away from his set at the end of the show. I can remember seeing him walk to the front of the stage with his tongue hanging out of his mouth from exhaustion. I stared at John and Simon for most of the show, periodically pinching myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming the whole thing. It was amazing and I could hardly believe I was there. Finally, after so many years! My heart still swells, just thinking about it.

There was something else that night though. I watched the audience before the band took the stage. People knew one another in the front. There was a lot of hugging, laughing, talking, and even some happy tears. I was so curious about all of that, because I knew no one aside from my husband, who was sitting next to me. It was an odd feeling. While I was overjoyed to be there like any Duranie might, I also felt just the slightest bit left out. I knew that whatever was going on with the people in the seats closest to the stage – I wanted to be a part of it.

There’s no question in my mind that my Encore CD from that show is  still my most prized DD possession. It is a memory from the show that changed everything for me. The friends I’ve made, the times I’ve had, and even the few encounters I’ve had with the band themselves – are in direct result from that show. I’m so grateful I was there.

There are plenty of moments from my Duranie life that I hold dear. I have fond memories of seeing Duran Duran (Nick, Simon and Warren) at the Anaheim House of Blues a couple of years prior. I felt that I’d left Duran Duran back in my childhood, only to have that “fan feeling” roar right back to life once again. That show in 2001 made me realize that I was still a Duran Duran fan, but it was the Costa Mesa show in 2003 that convinced me to participate in fandom. I wanted to meet people, make friends, and get involved.

Obviously, I took it a little farther than I’d planned. I’m funny that way.

-R

 

So today my world it smiles….and inspires

Not gonna lie, I’m in a mood…and I’m sick of fan squabbling.

I have a friend named Alana. (Hiya Alana!!) She is battling cancer, and she’s having a rough time. I worry for her.  Her battle is far more important than anything I’m going to deal with today or tomorrow, that is for damn certain. I don’t talk to her every day (in fact, it’s been a while), but I make a point to say a prayer for her every night. It isn’t much, and goodness knows who is really listening to my nightly rambles – but I try. I met Alana because of Duran Duran, oddly enough. We are both fans, and she came to a meet-up we had in North Carolina. I loved her (and her awesome hair!) immediately. She’s warm and friendly and kind. She’s the type of person you WANT to be friends with because somehow, you hope she’ll rub off on you and make you a better person.

Well, maybe that’s just me. I can admit my obvious failings and the need for inspiration and guidance!

I bring up Alana not because I want the world to know her business, but because sometimes, I need to remind myself that our fandom is filled with people like Alana. She’s quiet, well-liked amongst her friends, but she’s not necessarily the most well-known Duranie out there. She isn’t loud, and doesn’t really ever complain. I know for sure she doesn’t sit back in jealousy when she sees a photo of her favorite online with another fan. It is doubtful that she makes a note of how many times so-and-so has had the good fortune to run into Simon. I’ve never so much as heard Alana even grumble about missing a concert, much less complain openly about how other people always seem to be able to go.

I’m definitely not like Alana. I’ve done more than my share of complaining. I’ve whined about how the same people always seem to be lucky. You know the ones, they always seem to get front row. They go to shows over and over again with what seems to be a limitless bank account.  These fans know people, and they’re invited places that most of us couldn’t even dream about. Some fans are lucky, and damn if they don’t seem far luckier than I’ve ever been. I am by no means a perfect person, much less a perfect fan. The thing is, lately, whenever I start feeling the negativity rise to the surface – I remind myself that friends like Alana are fighting real battles. They’re worrying about things that I can’t even wrap my head around. The last thing I should do is throw my own negativity into the world when friends of mine are fighting REAL battles and never once complaining. Try a little gratitude on for size, Rhonda.

I’m pretty fortunate. I’ve done a lot of things that I never thought possible. I’ve met people like Alana – and there are a lot of them out there. I have a family and friends who love and put up with me. Every time I start to feel that green haze of envy come over me – hey, it happens from time to time – I remind myself of all of those things. I think about the fact that writing this blog has genuinely saved my life. Yes, many fans out there have had far more face time with the band than I have. There are people out there that have been able to turn their fandom hobbies into real careers. I could be jealous about those things. It’s easy to slip into the “Why not me?” mindset. I’m a mom, and a damn good one at that. It’s the one thing I know I do incredibly well.

I’m not perfect. I will openly and loudly admit that I’ve rolled my eyes more than once when I’ve seen the same people win contests, go to shows, be in front row, etc, etc. I don’t know why the world works the way it does. Spending time trying to figure it out, or poking holes in fan theories seems petty – yet I know I’ve engaged in those practices more than once.  I know I still slip from time to time, too. I’m no hypocrite – I’m not even remotely close to perfect here. People can change, and I’m working on it. I only know that I spend my time in gratitude for the Alanas in my life far more often than worrying and complaining online about why someone else is going to shows all over the country or is getting front row tickets. I’m a lot happier that way, too.

I’m closing this blog in a much better mood than I started, hence the title of the blog.  Maybe there’s something to that whole “gratitude” thing…imagine that!

-R

The Fan Purity Myth

Over the course of the past several days, I’ve read a good many viewpoints. Not unlike any other time when Duran Duran has announced something new, or released a new product – Duranies from all corners of the world have announced their conclusions. Sometimes, these attitudes are consistent with one another; other times, they are as wildly different as the people and places they derive.

In my experience, Duranies have never been afraid to share their assessments. Some do it rather loudly, by tweeting about it, or posting replies on Facebook updates that the band has published. Others take to message boards or discuss it more privately amongst smaller groups. Some are not afraid to pointedly poke fun, others are far more diplomatic. Some people choose to be blunt or even rude.  A few allow their anger to shape their comments, while others feel the need to defend the honor of the band at all costs.

How many times have you read the statement, “If you were a real fan, you’d like or support the band’s decision?”  Fan purity tests such as this do very little to positively affect the community.

It should not come as a surprise that Daily Duranie fell into the middle of the mosh pit melee more than once.  It was uncomfortable, and not a situation we enjoyed. Over the eight years we’ve blogged, Amanda and I have learned that our “job”, so to speak, is to provide the topic. Any necessary judgment or conclusions fall on the side of our reader to employ.

It is very easy to sit in my chair here at home, and judge comments found on any of the social media accounts that DDHQ manages. Some people love the fragrances and are willing to fly to London to buy every last one of them. Other people don’t. Still others absolutely hate the idea and think everything from price to where it i being sold is ridiculous. That range of response is honestly and truly no different from the response to any other thing the band has ever done, or will ever do. Some people want the band to do things, but they want them done exactly as they see fit. There is no room for deviation. When that doesn’t happen, they wield their keyboards like swords, and enter the fight.

At one time, I would have questioned whether or not these people, so eager to take the band down with their words, were indeed real fans. That also got me into trouble, and I don’t mind admitting that here. Fandom cannot be put to a purity test, a lesson I’ve learned well. Tables turn very quickly and easily in this fandom. One day, you’re as pure as the driven snow; the next, you’re writing a fan blog that pissed somebody off.  Things happen!

There are always going to be people who don’t like something. There are always going to be people who take to the internet, hell-bent to make the rest of the Duranie-world see and agree with their point of view. Sometimes, they resort to humor in order to do it, and sometimes, it reads as disrespectful. Yet at the end of the day, chances are, they still love Duran Duran as much as anybody else.

It isn’t up to me to put any of that up to a ridiculous fan-purity test, that is for sure.

-R

Running like a fox to keep up

I apologize for my tardiness this morning. There are days when I feel like thing are going well, and I’ve “got this”, and then there are days when I feel like a small person pushing a huge boulder up a steep hill.

Today is the latter, and sadly – it is for no good reason other than I just feel stressed.

It has been nice to see the pictures and bits of news from yesterday’s  fragrance launch. (a shout-out to a friend because yes, I’m mentioning THAT again…) After what has felt like months without anything significant, it was lovely to see the band out and about again. I’m sure it has probably only been a few weeks (maybe even only couple) since the band was out, but it has felt like much longer. That is likely a commentary on the doldrums of my own daily existence than the workings of the band, though.

I knew of a few people that made their way to Liberty London in support of the band, despite not knowing about the launch party until nearly the last-minute. As I perused the comments online, I noticed a common, familiar sentiment amongst the posts. Nearly everyone mentioned their dismay at not knowing about the party sooner.

I know that DDHQ said the announcement of the fragrances didn’t go as planned. I’m sure that was frustrating for them. I don’t have any idea if the launch party itself was meant to be a public thing where fans could buy tickets to attend. The very fact that they were available online screams “please come!” On the other hand, I have to wonder if part of the lateness in mentioning the launch also served as a way to make certain that there were be very few fans in attendance.

While I can understand the concern with having a crowd of fans present at a function that was meant for mingling between the band and press, I also see the point of fans. They want to be able to support the band. This presents itself as a bit of tug-o-war that is almost always at work. On one hand, management really is not concerned with fans. They are a business entity. On the other, fans are what have kept this band afloat. Ignoring, if not outright discouraging fans, has been an ongoing problem.

This past tour – the Paper Gods tour – seemed to be a giant step backward, at least when it came down to accessibility of the band to fans. Members were ushered from place to place, with stern glances from handlers to the few fans that might have been present as they walked from cars into buildings. A few long-standing hotels where the band had stayed on previous tours were left empty. They weren’t just running from Amanda and I, either! More than one fan in nearly every country they visited complained that they couldn’t get anywhere near the band on this tour, and when they did – they were given angry looks and told to “back off”.

Granted, I know what happens on tour. Anyone who has ever been to a Duran show and spent any kind of time waiting to see them outside of a venue, or after a show, knows the potential exists for extreme chaos, at minimum. Some fans step out of line. Some people do not understand boundaries of any kind. Perhaps it all finally got to be a bit much, and maybe the band finally asked to have their privacy guarded. I wouldn’t be surprised by that, and I wouldn’t argue otherwise. Sometimes, they really DO need security to step in…and sometimes, fans need to back the hell off. I don’t know why people can’t see that when they’re in front of Roger, John, Simon or Nick, but some simply cannot.

As someone also said to me today, “It must be said that new staff doesn’t realize they [the band] know us well and that they have known us for ages.”  Also true.

Of course, the issue here is that we’d all love to count ourselves in that group, and how on earth would management/handlers/touring staff ever really know who was safe and who was not?

Once again, I’m left with more potential questions and problems than answers when it comes to accessibility. It is a good thing I’m not in charge.

-R

Were you at the Greek Theatre at UC Berkeley in 2015?

On this date in 2015, Duran Duran played the Greek Theatre on the campus of UC Berkeley. I drove to this show with Amanda and our friend Heather. We left right after the concert ended at the Hollywood Bowl the night before, and stopped at a hotel (I use that term rather loosely here) along the way.

I don’t remember much about the trip that night.  I remember a few  texts and emails that Amanda read to me, while I focused on driving safely. My eyes got so tired that they hurt, which I hadn’t expected. I figured I’d ride the adrenaline high from the show, but it didn’t last long. I vaguely remember something about a giant bug in the bathtub of the aforementioned “hotel” that night. I let Heather and Amanda fight that one as I let myself fall into a deep sleep!

The next day, we got ourselves up and out the door so that we could get to our next hotel, and then finish the drive to Berkeley. We got there super early, and walked down to have dinner with friends before the concert. Months earlier during the pre-sale, we’d pulled front row seats. Our joy lasted for about five minutes, until someone mentioned that they would absolutely hate having front row seats at this venue. The person explained that the stage is very tall, and it would be difficult to see.

At the time, Amanda and I were quickly coming down off the high from winning the pre-sale “jackpot”. In one breath we were yelling, “Front row!  Finally!!” and in the next, “Wait, what??” Both of us tried to ignore the possibility that perhaps even when we “won”, we’d lost. I mean, who complains about front row?!? We decided that we were not going to be those people!  Even so, the little niggling worry in my head would not subside. As I climbed the steps to the venue, I just hoped it would work out.

Yes, the stage was very tall. I’d also say that the sides of the venue were fairly steep. The height of the stage was probably necessary for the shape of the venue. Front row wasn’t terrible though. There was plenty of room between our seats and the stage, and I had no trouble seeing the band that night, nor did they have trouble seeing us! I definitely didn’t hate having front row in Berkeley!

The most puzzling part of the evening came after the band had taken their final bows and had left the stage. We were making our way out of the venue and had stopped to say hello to a friend. A small skirmish involving two fans and one of the set lists that had been taped to the stage floor caught our attention. Two women were about to come to blows over an unsigned, untouched-by-any-band-member setlist. I watched, completely incredulous that someone was likely to get a black-eye purely because they didn’t want to give up a piece of paper.

Since then, I’ve noticed that one of the techs usually walks around with a stack of set lists after the show.  They throw them out to whomever wants one. I’ve also experienced the joy of someone choosing to crawl right over the top of Amanda and I while we were up against the stage. They climbed right up as though we were a step-ladder, taking no care to not hurt us in the process. All for a piece of paper. Those memories are pretty indicative of the fandom, in many ways.

After the show, we met friends for a quick drink (I had water!) before getting back on the road to our hotel for the night. The following day we had a massive drive ahead of us as we headed from Berkeley to the final stop for that road trip: Agua Caliente.

-R

Fandom to Friendship

I have been looking forward to this weekend for a long time.  Instead of my usual grading and campaigning in between household chores weekend, I’ll be heading to Chicago after work to spend time with a group of women.  These women have been friends of mine for almost 20 years.  During this weekend, like most of our time together, I suspect that we will spend a lot of time just lounging in front a TV, watching something completely ridiculous while snacking and chatting.  Maybe we will go out to eat but we might not want to move from the living room.  Sure, I might bring some grading with me but it still will be relaxing as heck.  I’m hoping that it renews me a bit as I finish the first month of work and start moving into the last month of election season.

Where did I meet these people?  Funny enough, we met on a message board (fan forum) over a little TV show, Roswell.  When we first started getting together, we watched a lot of episodes or other Roswell related material.  We talked about all things Roswell fan community related.  Needless to say, we had such amazingly fun times that the show Roswell will always have a special place in my heart.  Yet, time has passed and we have moved on from the show since it was canceled in 2002.  (Although, the show is being rebooted in the spring of 2019!).

I remembered being worried in 2002 about how this little friendship group would be after the show ended.  How long could we continue to be focused on Roswell?  How many times could we rewatch the episodes?  I feared that once the show and everything connected with it got old and tiresome, we would stop getting together.  Maybe,  our friendship would slowly fade.  I worried about this because I have seen it and felt it from other friends both before and since.  When I was a kid, my best friend was just as into Duran as I was.  Then, she moved away and soon said goodbye to being a Duranie, too.  This marked the beginning of the end of our friendship.  We never had a falling out and never got angry with each other, but we lost this very important connection.  As an adult, I have experienced something similar with people who were once part of the Duran fan community and who are not now.  Our friendships hang by a thread.

For those friendships, I guess there was not much of a foundation outside of fandom.  On the other hand, the friendship between this group of women goes beyond fandom.  It may have brought us together, initially, but our love for each other has kept us friends long after our fan connection has died.  When I think about fandom, that is really what I hope is true for all the friendships I have made.  I wouldn’t want Duran to be the only thing that keeps me friends with people.  I hope our connections run deeper.

-A

So Easy to Disturb with a Thought, with a Whisper

Each year as we grow closer to October, there are a few events I can’t help but think back on.  I don’t know what it is about Autumn.  The days remind me of Duran Duran, touring, friends, and even conventions.

Take New Orleans and the Friends of Mine convention in 2004, for example. My life felt wild and free. I  grabbed on to the tiger’s tail, and was trying to hold on for dear life! I loved the new experiences and how I felt at the time. The memories make me smile.

Beignets and coffee in what felt like the middle of the night, learning to literally reach up for the sunrise, after spending hours in all sorts of late bars with friends of mine. I was getting a crash course in the regular activities of being a Duranie, and I loved every minute. The trip included a lot of self-discovery for me. When I think back, I recognize how much I’d missed out on prior. Going to that convention was about more than just making friends or Duran Duran. I was making up for lost time, and finding myself.  I’m thankful I took the risk and went.

I also think about a certain road trip with Amanda.  Our friend Heather had flown in from Canada, and  I’m pretty sure we nearly killed her along the way. Amanda and I were raring to go and spent most of our “free” time driving and discussing the band.  Poor Heather, on other hand, caught a cold straightaway.  She spent most of our driving time up and down the center of California bundled up in my backseat trying to sleep over our cackling. We went to see the band at the Hollywood Bowl, drove up to their show in Berkeley and then back down to Rancho Mirage in a matter of three days. It was a lot of driving in a very short period of time, which gave this writer a lot of time to obsess and over think.

It is a bit difficult not to wonder what will come next, and when. I have no business even thinking about Duran Duran shows or new albums right now.  Cleaning, packing or doing whatever it is that we housewives should be doing should probably be at the top of my to-do list, not yearning for concerts and tours.  I just can’t help but long for the times when we got together for the sake of celebrating the music.

Part of the allure of touring for me, so to speak, is its simplicity. Instead of my schedule being centered around what child need me to be where and when, it is about what city I need to be in, and how many hours it will take to get there. My time on tour is spent laughing and talking with friends, not worrying about dance classes, homework, or piano lessons. Even now that my son has moved out and his room stands mostly empty, the daily struggles get me down. I don’t like feeling chained to the calendar without having my own plans or things to look forward to. Sometimes I just need a break.

I said as much to my husband at some point over the weekend. He is out-of-town right now, and will be doing quite a bit more traveling for work over the next several weeks. I’m tied to the house, keeping it clean for showings (no it still hasn’t sold), taking our youngest to and from her classes, managing our zoo (the dog and cats of course), and of course homeschooling. Home is beginning to feel more and more like prison. Sure, that circumstance is temporary, but it feels like forever.  My husband gave no response to my comments this weekend, but I feel as though I’ve slipped right back into the role I occupied before I went to that first convention.

I don’t think it’s any coincidence that I’m feeling like this now. Today is the first day in about three years that I’ve genuinely been at home alone. Normally there is always somebody here, or I’d be at work too. Today I dropped the child off at school and came home to a very quiet house, just as I used to do before I started working again. Life has come full circle again, I guess.

I know that it is only a matter of time before my family moves north, and hopefully the touring/appearance/album schedule will pick back up for Duran Duran. They keep saying they’re going back into the studio….right?

-R