Janet Jackson Returns


-- चार हजार एक सौ और साठ आठ --

I spent a lot of time -- too much time -- this morning writing up a list of all the concerts I could remember going to, along with creating a new photo set on Flickr, where I also put that list, with associated photo sets.

I had completely forgotten about this: Danielle was actually with me at the last Janet Jackson concert I went to, in 2001, when she toured for her All for You album. I wasn't sure that Danielle was remembering correctly when she said she had been to a Janet Jackson concert with me before, but then, without prompting, she mentioned the young person Janet had pulled out of a crowd and tied to a chair, to perform one of her songs to seductively. Danielle and I were pretty far back in the seats at that concert too, and it sure looked like a young guy to us. I worked for the Seattle Gay Standard at the time, and Mike insisted it had actually been a butchy lesbian -- a young woman -- Janet had pulled onto the stage. I suppose I'll never know for sure.

Another tidbit I find interesting: Danielle and I went to both Janet Jackson and Madonna together that year, all of two months apart -- our trip to San Francisco, which included the Madonna concert in Oakland, was in September; Janet Jackson had been in July. That trip to San Francisco, in fact, had us flying home only three days before the 9/11 terrorist attacks. If we had been trying to fly home on September 11 rather than September 8, when all flights in the country were grounded for a few days, we would have gotten stuck there. We kind of dodged a bullet with that one.

As it happens, last night was the third time Danielle had seen Janet Jackson in concert. She and her sister, Alisha, actually took a Greyhound from Spokane to Tacoma to see her at the Tacoma Dome in the spring of 1990 when Janet Jackson was touring to support the Rhythm Nation album -- probably the height of Janet's fame in the U.S., in fact. (Her next album, 1993's janet. -- which I have always felt was her best -- sold more worldwide but sold slightly less than Rhythm Nation in the U.S.) Danielle talked last night about how amazed she was her mother would let her 14- and 13-year-old daughters take a trip like that on their own; she would never let Morgan do that. "I might go with them," she said.

Danielle wanted to meet early enough to get dinner before the concert, and hoped she'd be able to leave work early, which apparently on most days she'd be able to do. But yesterday there was a particular person that she needed to process (or whatever she calls it; the opposite of admitting, which she also does) someone leaving surgery, and she didn't get out of there until nearly 6:00. She made shockingly good time though and it was barely after 6:00 when she finally met me at McMenamin's on Roy Street, just across the street from the parking garage where she parked.

I had left home before Danielle confirmed she would not make it by 6:00, which had originally been the aim. I biked home with some frozen work samples, did some exercises and fed the cats. Then I went in search of a Lime Bike, one of the new bike shares which has a free ride for my first ride on their app. The problem is, every fucking time I go to a spot where the app's map says there is a bike, there is no bike to be found. I did pass a Spin Cycle bike, and really should have just taken that one -- the ride would have cost me a whopping dollar -- but decided to try a second time for a Lime Bike because I wanted the free ride. But again, no bike.

So I walked over to Pine, and happened to catch up to a #49 bus headed downtown and hopped on that. And naturally, traffic made it slower for several blocks than if I'd just been walking. No matter: that was when Danielle texted that she would not make it by 6:00. It was about a quarter till by that point. So, I just rode downtown, and walked the rest of the way. That killed most of the time needed to kill, and Danielle called me while I was walking. There was another restaurant on Mercer -- called Ten Mercer -- that I wanted to try but they were too busy to sit at the bar and take advantage of their Happy Hour that lasts until 6:30. So when Danielle called again to tell me she was making good time, she suggested McMenamin's and I walked over there.

The "Fruit Cocktail" cocktail I had, and the grilled veggie and cheese with pesto sandwich I had, were both excellent. I'd go back just for that. Also, Danielle insisted on covering my dinner. "You owe me twenty bucks for something," she said. I do? I honestly don't think I do. "Cover me next time," she said. Hmm. We'll see if I remember! Shobhit will like learning that I saved that dinner in my currently pretty right budget, anyway. I mean, he's way too fucking obsessed with what I'm spending money on but whatever. To be fair, I should mention he's even more obsessed with how his own money is being spent, and he tracks it far more intricately than I do my own transactions -- and I track them far more conscientiously than most other people do.

-- चार हजार एक सौ और साठ आठ --


-- चार हजार एक सौ और साठ आठ --

Anyway! We had a great time at the concert. I was a little baffled by how little promotional stuff specific to Janet Jackson there was inside -- by comparison, when Other Danielle and Andrea and I had just walked into BC Place for the Madonna concert in Vancouver in 2015, there was immediately visible a Madonna marquee that we could use as a backdrop for a group selfie. None of that for Janet Jackson in Key Arena -- the closest was the one merch table we found. "Well, she's not as big," Danielle noted. True. I mean, I got these tickets for $35 apiece, and they were still at least fifteen rows from the very back -- and although they were almost to the side of the stage, making it very difficult to see any of the screens, it brought us far closer to the stage than any seat just as far back in any of the other sections further away from the stage. Madonna's tickets are never that cheap, not even at the lowest tier. I think those might be closer to fifty.

And Madonna puts on a far more involved show, which blows Janet Jackson out of the water. For what I paid for this concert, though, it was totally worth it. Janet Jackson did not lip sync, either, which I kind of expected her to do. I did feel like the sound system could have been better, and any of her lesser known songs no one would have ever been able to decipher the actual words. But, she did sing herself and she sang well.

She didn't do a lot of dancing for the first couple of songs, mostly just stood there on stage in front of backdrops, and I wondered if she was going to be that dull for the whole show. She's 51 years old, after all. But, nope: she steadily became more and more active, and actually engaged in a lot of choreography with her group of dancers. It was on the whole a very good show. Not great, but very good. And it was a lot of fun to go with Danielle. I hadn't gone to a concert with her since the Madonna show in 2012 -- five years ago! Half a decade. She was supposed to come to the Vancouver show in 2015 but her dad passed away.

I was afraid I'd get to bed too late last night but not even that was too bad. Danielle gave me a ride home and I got home right around 11:00. I saw Ivan for the first time since Sunday -- he usually has Tuesday and Wednesday off but for some reason he picked up shifts both days this week. He wasn't home when I got home from the movie on Tuesday, but last night I got home so late he was already home from work. He was listening to headphones and not particularly talkative, though. I made Shobhit aware of his mail, and then I went to get ready for bed. I was asleep within maybe 25 minutes. I'm not even all that tired today -- so far. Knock wood.

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I just got back from lunch with Karen at the Six-Seven Restaurant at the Edgewater Hotel, which is why I'm posting today's DLU about an hour later than usual. I rode my bike there and back to save time on that part, but then our conversation was so engaging it was difficult to stop talking. Those are my favorite kinds of conversations.

We did split the truffle macaroni and cheese again, which means I spent $14 just on my half when the tip was included, but oh well. I didn't pay for dinner last night, all right! Actually I think I had budgeted like fifteen bucks for this lunch anyway. Not that you care!

It was quite a pleasant ride there and back, by the way. It wasn't too hot -- yet; the forecast high today was 82°. I'm guessing this will be the year's final summer-like day, as we have a truly swift and dramatic shift heading our way -- 50% chance of rain (yes please!) tomorrow with a forecast high of merely 62°. That's a 20° difference in only one day! But, I welcome it. I am more than ready for sustained, genuinely fall-like weather. Bring it on!

I think I'll try to spend the rest of the afternoon actually getting some work done.

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