Thursday, October 02, 2008

Cracklin' Rosie

Last night I got to check one more thing off of my "things to do before I die list" as Woob took me to see Neil Diamond at the Hollywood Bowl. Actually, I guess it was technically two things since I had yet to see a show at the Bowl. It was a beautiful night and beyond nice to have some time away with adult conversation (you know, all about the boys of course but not with them listening in).

After being "that mom" and briefing the babysitter with 101 things they don't really need to know, we headed to Dakota at the Roosevelt Hotel for dinner. We got there early (I know, you're shocked that I would be early anywhere) and had drinks by the pool which had some fantastic people watching. Our drinks were a little too good and we decided before even getting to dinner that we'd definitely be leaving the car at the hotel. When our table wasn't yet ready, we decided on one more drink at the bar. Let me warn you, the bar at Dakota may be the most comfortable bar ever - which made us decide to just dine right there. In an interesting twist, our extremely nice bartender grew up down the road from my parents and after much nostalgic Rockville chit-chat, revealed that he had just found out hours before that his father had inoperable cancer and he was resolved to move back East at weeks end. I'm sure you can guess what turn our conversations took...

After one of the best steaks I've ever had, we shared a cab with two boisterous women on the way to their ump-teenth Diamond show. Their praise of the Diamond and his performance got us all revved up and ready. And we were far from disappointed. The show was fantastic, the man hilarious and the music every bit as wonderful as ever.

My only regret was that my mom wasn't with us as I owe all my love of the Diamond to her. I have very vivid memories of riding in the car with her and belting out Cherry Cherry or Cracklin' Rosie (which is by far my favorite). Truthfully, he always reminded me a little of my dad. Maybe it was the full eyebrows, or the thought that my dad would look just like that with a little more hair, or the fact that my mother adored them both. Last night the reminder held as I saw in him the same grown-up-man-but-still-a-boy I see in my dad. It seems like Neil Diamond was a fixture in our travels until gradually he was replaced by Andrew Lloyd Webber (and admittedly, it was more fun to have your mom drop you off to elementary school while belting out Jesus Christ Superstar). It's memories like that which make me feel bad for indulging Fin's love of kids music when I should be "educating" him. Then again, his favorite song is still Cheeseburger in Paradise, so maybe he'll be blogging like this someday about going to see a Buffet show. If he's got the same legs as Neil, he should still be touring then, right?

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