OK, this one has a happy ending, but it starts out ugly.
When the tour schedule got updated sometime in September, there was a date for Syracuse NY added. I have lots of friends in the general area and decided that I could probably weasel 2 days off work to go, so I weasled and bought my ticket. 4th row, I was told. How cool!
And everything was REAL COOL until October 22nd when my purse got stolen. A nightmare. I had to cancel everything, I had to get my driver's licence redone (a process which took a week by itself thanks to the oh-so-helpful folks at the CT DMV.) Did you know, that despite the fact the DMV keeps a digital photo of you on file as well as a copy of your signature, you can't just show up and sign something as proof of who you are? You need your birth certificate and "another form of ID." In my case, since I've never been married, divorced, in the armed forces, or immigrated to this country, that other form of ID needed to be a Social Security card. Well, the SS card was gone with the purse. So I had to troop down to the SS office to get a piece of paper stating that I was, in fact, a US citizen and entitled to have my licence back. Well, the SS office needs proof of who you are too, but they WILL NOT accept a birth certificate. They will, however, use your paycheck (which has your name, address and SS # on it, not like I could have stolen this paycheck or anything...). And they give you a sheet of paper that I could have mocked up with my printer in about 30 seconds. Its not even on letter head. But the DMV is happy with it. And, oh, by the way, not all DMV locations will accept cash for the $10 fee to re-instate your licence. Credit cards and checks are OK, but I forgot, ha-ha, those were STOLEN.
WAIT, it gets crazier...4 days before my concert I get a copy of my final credit card statement in the mail, so I check it. There's the charge from Ticketmaster. And, amusingly, a credit from Ticketmaster. I call my credit card company. They can't offer any help. I call Ticketmaster. I spend 45 minutes wasting time trying to talk to an actual human being. Oh, they canceled the order because they didn't have a billing address. Liars. So sorry, they say.
I flip at this point. Did I mention that at work I've been Dr. Death for about 2 weeks...every old infirm critter in the practice has come to me for That Last Office Visit. Plus, that day, I had a dog die 4 hours post-op due to complications while trying to remove a particularly Evil Mast Cell Tumor. I was not in a rational frame of mind. Oh yeah, I didn't have my new credit cards yet to replace this sparkling 4th row ticket. Yeah, I freaked out.
Finally, my mom came through and let me use her card. And check out the ticket:
Second row, baby!
Oh, I also got stopped for speeding (my first time ever) on the NY State Thruway on the way to Syracuse, and, when I got to the Landmark, my tickets were under my mom's name, not mine, causing a minor palpitation.
Now it starts to get REALLY cool!
I met up with Tera at the show...I had kinda met her online a few weeks earlier, and it was neat to meet her in person.
Again, I chickened out on actually bringing the camera in, and I had a security guard about 10 feet from me the whole show, so I wouldn't have taken pictures if I had the camera with me anyway. The show ROCKED. During OMM, Al came down off the stage on my side of the theater, but I was 4 seats in from the aisle, so the scarves went to other people. We were treated to a charming reading of "The Story of Little Suck A Thumb" by Berm. My favorite part was when he bumped his head on the mike before reciting the story.
Afterwards, I found the correct tour bus to loiter around. I brought my camera and was grateful that the evening was unseasonably warm for central NY in early November (I know of Halloween parties in Ithaca that were snowed out in previous years...). Al came out to sign stuff, and I was kinda at the end of the line when I saw Tera again, so I called to her and we chatted for a while as I waited in the line. Tera had a backstage pass.
When I got to Al, time seemed to stop for a second. I put my hand out and said hi (and almost went into "Hi, I'm Dr. Arns, how's Fluffy?" mode, but I stopped myself.) Al shook my hand, said hi back. I held out my cassette copy of "In 3-D" and said "This is the first record I ever bought!" He took it and smiled and said "Wow, that's cool!" I don't really recall much else, but I know I said thanks and that the show was cool. Tera was standing nearby, and she yelled "AL! JACKIE! PICTURE!"
Tera and I chatted some more while Al went through the rest of the line. Finally, everyone had their autographs and it was time for the bus to head out for the next gig. Before he got on the bus though, Al scooped both Tera and I into a big hug and said bye!
Now, I could have lived without the purse-snatching, the DMV hassels, the speeding ticket, the Ticketmaster screwup, and 10 days of being Dr. KevorkiArns, but I must say, this was one really GREAT way to blow off a really bad week!