Gratuitous Amazon Links

I’m thrilled that I’m writing again. Help from competent mental health professionals, well, helps. How about that?

I’m even working on getting to the place where I’m writing before bedtime rather than in the middle of the night. It’s 12:40 in the morning. That may sound like the middle of the night to you, but it’s only three and a half hours after I got off of work. So, if I worked an 8 to 5 job, it’d be, like 8:40 in the evening. And that’s not late at all.

I may still write during the time that pretty much everyone would agree is the middle of the night (like, 3:00 am or 4:00 am) but for now, let’s be happy that it’s still pretty early.

Today’s problem is that I keep forgetting the Gratuitous Amazon Links in my posts. How am I going to remember to put them in? I could put a note by my computer, but I’d probably learn how to ignore that pretty quickly. It’s probably just a matter of making it a habit. But how do I accomplish that?

Maybe I could write them up ahead of time in a separate Word document from the one that I’m drafting my more important blog posts in and then it’d just be a matter of remembering to paste them in? That just might be an idea.

But first, a Gratuitous Amazon Link to get me back in the swing of things. I’ll have to go digging through old posts to figure out where in the works of Rick Riordan I was. I found it! I was only on the second Percy Jackson book. Should I keep doing that series or do the first book of each series? I think I’m going to do the first book of each series. Maybe I’ll follow that up with subsequent books in the series if I feel particularly motivated. Or desperate.

So, the next Rick Riordan series I’m going to start plugging is the Kane Chronicles. The first book in the series? The Red Pyramid. I really loved that series. I should reread it sometime.

I’m probably off later today (I may pick up a few hours at work in the early to mid afternoon), so I hope to get downtown and get a new cover illustration for the blog. Maybe I’ll end up going to the Pearl and taking a picture there. Or, ooh! a bridge! There are a bunch of really pretty bridges over the San Antonio River. And a bridge would, by definition, be a lot wider than it would be tall, which would mean that it might be possible to make it fit the header image size that I need for the theme I’m considering. This has got potential. I’ll probably write more about it as I photograph various bridges in the city.

Blog Update

I honestly intended to use the time immediately after my dad and son went to bed to get my quiet writing time in so that I wouldn’t be up at 4:00 writing. But I had a headache and so I went to lie down for a bit so that I could concentrate better after the headache passed.

And, well, I guess the headache has passed. And so has four more hours.

I got a notification the other day that the tool that has made this blog mobile-compatible for the last four-and-a-half years is being discontinued. After doing some research, I’ve found that this theme still isn’t set up to adapt to mobile on its own.

This means that I’m going to have to either choose a new theme by the end of March, or suddenly develop a miraculous skill in web development and cook up a “child theme” that does adapt.

Guess which is more likely to happen?

The style I’m considering has two white-on-gray color styles to choose from, one of which is pretty close to the current colors of this site. The orange-red parts will be gone and the accent color looks like a kind of grayish blue to my eyes. My header image is way too small, though, so I’m either going to have to see if I can cook up a new header image out of the original photo or go out and take a new picture to use.

I wonder if there’s a tool that will crop a photo to a specific size centered on a specific spot. Because if there is, I could dig up the original, find the center of the current image, then use that tool to make a new photo that’s basically the same image but has more of the original image in it.

Never mind. The original photo is too short to use at all. The image I need should be 280 pixels high and the original of my header image is 245 pixels high.

Wait. That doesn’t make sense. I wonder if I downloaded it wrong or something. The original photo should be *huge*. I probably still can’t use it because there’s a big expanse of concrete on the left side of the photo, but still, it should be larger than 280 pixels high. Shouldn’t it?

So I’m going to go to Google Photos and see how large that one is.

Argh. Google Photos is taking *forever*, but their version is 388 pixels high. Still smaller than I would expect, but large enough to at least get an image 280 pixels high out of it.

Using an automatic cropping tool I gave it a shot, but that guy that wandered into my shot is pretty much the focal point of the new photo when I used an auto cropping tool. So I guess I’m going to be using a different photo.

And now I’m thinking that 280 pixels high and 1200 pixels wide seems awfully short? narrow? wide? But the page that has those specs won’t reload. I think my computer’s tired, too.

Ah! I got into that page finally and, yep, 280 by 1200. So tomorrow it looks like I’m going to be playing with my current crop of photos to see if I can cook up something usable that looks good.

I suspect I’m going to end up going downtown, or to the River Walk, or both, to take more photos to play around with later.

Foreign Language Update

Despite my depression, I’ve still kept up with my foreign language studies. After all, they’re my retirement plan. As I get better at my foreign languages, I hope to gradually transition to a work-from-home business as a translator.

Well, once I pick a language, that is. Right now, I have three tiers of languages, with two languages in each tier. The first tier is Spanish and Mandarin, the second tier is German and Italian, and the third is Czech and Vietnamese. I’m most likely to pick one of the first tier, but the ones in the second aren’t out of the running yet. It’s doubtful that I’ll ever be good enough at the languages in the third tier for them to ever be possibilities, but who know what will happen in the future.

I also still intend to add more languages as time goes by. Next up, I think, may be Arabic, since it’s spoken in so many countries, which makes it pretty useful, and right now I have a coworker who speaks it and could help me. Well, he speaks Egyptian Arabic, but it’d give me something to work with.

I’d like to learn Hawaiian, since I’ve offered to take Alex on a trip to celebrate his college graduation in a couple of years and he wants to go back to Hawaii. Even if I take to Hawaiian like the proverbial duck to water, it’s likely that anyone who speaks Hawaiian would be able to do their own translations into English, so that’s not likely to be my choice.

Whenever I try to learn French, I end up having some kind of traumatic experience that leads to an awakening to something broken in my life (I found the lump that was my cancer the first time and I got a divorce the second). I already know that a bunch of things in my life are broken — that’s why I’m seeing a mental health professional and also trying to start a business that will give me the money I need to make those changes. I don’t want to have an awakening to other things that are broken just now. Maybe later.

There are other languages that are appealing as well (too many to go into at 5:00 am). So, in short, Spanish or Mandarin is likely to be my choice, German and Italian aren’t out of the running yet, and any other language will be fun to learn, but probably will not be anything I can base a business on.

It may boil down to what schools I can get a master’s degree in modern languages at. Wow, that sentence sucks, but I’m going to leave it there and then explain. Not all schools teach all languages. I mean, that’d be impossible. To cover all of them, your modern languages faculty would probably have to be hundreds, if not thousands, of people. I figured that hundreds might be a possibility because some could double- triple- or more up. Each professor from Papua New Guinea might be able to knock out quite a few of their 851 languages all by themselves.

And since my plan is to have public university money and not private university money, that limits the number of schools I can go to. Like most universities have the languages that are popular in high school — Spanish, German, French, etc. Once you leave those languages, the number of public schools that have graduate degree programs drops by quite a bit.

Right now, the best school I’ve been able to find for Mandarin is Berkeley. Don’t get me wrong. I’d love to go to Berkeley. But would I ever have the money to live in Northern California? Not unless I win the lottery, I won’t. And in that case, I’d have private university money.

Another limiting factor is that I want to travel for foreign study as well. I won’t have the money to pay for my foreign language degree for a long time (if ever) but when I do it, I want to do it right and spend a semester abroad. Medellin looks like it’d be fun, but the rural areas of Colombia are pretty dicey right now (who knows what the status will be in 12-ish years, though). I’ve never been to Spain, but that’s not the dialect I’ve learned. Maybe it’d be helpful to get out of my comfort zone and go to Spain.

I’d love to go to China, but with the way our relationship is right now, maybe I’d be better off not planning on that. Also, with my asthma, I should probably not plan to study in Beijing if I do go. I’d love to spend time in Liaoning, though, since that’s where they’re finding all of the dinosaurs.

I loved Italy and would love to go back. Doing foreign study in, like, Naples or Rome? That’d be wonderful. Maybe doing my study in Florence, since everyone I know who’s been to Italy raves about Florence. I’ve never been to Germany (or Austria, or Switzerland), so traveling there to study would really stretch my wings.

Well, I don’t have to decide anything regarding school, at least, for more than 12 years. I already have a bachelor’s degree, so I’m hoping to go to grad school for my modern languages degree. Unfortunately, already speaking the language isn’t good enough, you need actual undergrad class credits. So, since adults over 65 who aren’t pursuing a degree get free undergraduate tuition in most states, and since I don’t *want* to pursue an undergraduate degree, I figure I have until I’m 65 to start taking classes. I’ll use that program (in whichever state I end up in) to get the undergraduate hours and then get a master’s degree.

Unless, of course, I can start making enough money actually using my target language before then to defray the cost of both the undergraduate classes and the master’s degree. In that case, I’ll start taking classes as soon as I have the money. I have a spreadsheet that I need to transition to a database someday. I have three shares of stock, ten CDs, and the savings account that I’m keeping the money in until I have the money to buy the next share of stock or CD as appropriate and it’s getting cumbersome to keep track of it all. I’ve also just added a column that will either count up to or down to the amount of money I need. I tried counting up for a while and kept thinking it was supposed to be going down, so I’m going to try counting down for a while and see how that works out.

I actually had something to say about my blog tonight, but I have to be up in two and a half hours, so that’ll have to wait until tomorrow night’s 5 am writing spree. Good night.

A Possible Solution to My Doubts About My Writing

Apparently I’ve been depressed. The problem about being depressed is that when you’re depressed you don’t necessarily realize it at first. At least I don’t. But eventually I do, and then I generally do something about it.

I think I’m coming out of it, with the help of some friends and a competent mental health professional. My executive functioning is getting better and I’m able to write again. I’ve gotten up and written at 4 or 5 in the morning every day this week. Will I ever be able to write again at a humane hour of the day? Well, that remains to be seen. But progress is progress.

Once I’m pretty confident that this depression is behind me, I’m thinking about taking an online creative writing course. I’m looking at my options right now, but I’m not ready to actually commit to spending money on this. Yet.

Well, that’s pretty much it, I guess. Hopefully I’ll have more news over the coming weeks and, since I need content, I’ll probably share that progress here. Now I need to get back to sleep.

Downtown San Antonio and Alamo Research, December 2019

Comic Sans Project Post 4

So, like I said in my previous post, I wanted to go downtown to do some research on the Alamo next. Since they had the Impeachment Eve march the day I was planning to go on my research trip, I decided to do both and make a day of it.

In mid-December 2019, they found three new bodies at the Alamo. Let me explain my use of the word “new.” I don’t mean “new” like “they were just killed,” I mean “new” like “additional to all of the other bodies that we know are there.” You see, between the Alamo’s years as a mission and the aftermath of the battle, there are a lot of bodies in/near/around the Alamo. A group of commenters on a blog I follow were discussing the discovery, and I started down the Alamo research rabbit hole.

The founding site of Mission San Antonio de Valero is generally described as being “near the springs of San Pedro Creek.” One thing led to another and I found that they believe that the location was near where San Franceso di Paola church is today.

On the blog, we also talked about the fact that the church at the Alamo today is the second location of the church on that site. We completely ignored the second location of the mission, which I have yet to find. Ooh! Maybe another research trip this week? So, on Impeachment Eve, I took the bus downtown and checked out those sites.

When I first arrived downtown, my first stop was unrelated to the Alamo at all (well, it was kind of obliquely related, in that it has a connection to James Bowie). One of the bigger figures in the area a generation or so before the Texan Revolution was Fernando Veramendi. He was a businessman and a shopkeeper and built a large house which came to be known as the Veramendi Palace. Fernando’s son, Juan Martín, was mayor of Bexar (the name San Antonio had before it became San Antonio) and then vice governor of Coahuila and Texas, the name of the Mexican state that San Antonio used to be part of. Juan Martín was also James Bowie’s father-in-law. James was married to Juan Martín’s daughter Ursula.

The Veramendi Palace stood on Soledad Street and gradually fell into disrepair. When they widened the street in 1909, they razed the building. The historical marker for the Veramendi Palace was placed inside a building which was later built on the site and housed the department store Solo Serve. The marker is still on the list of official historical markers, but they are in the process of razing the Solo Serve building, so I am now on a quest to find that historical marker.

As a result, my first stop on that trip was to visit the location of the Veramendi Palace and see if I could find the marker. I visited the hotel that is now on the site, hoping that maybe the marker is now in there, but had no luck. I asked the ladies at the front desk about it, and neither had ever seen a historical marker anywhere near there. There’s a passage down to the River Walk from Soledad Street next door, though, and they suggested I check there. It wasn’t there, either. So I pressed on and continued my search for the original location of The Alamo.

The Alamo at night with Texas flag, August 2019
I know this would be more appropriate in a post about the Impeachment Eve events, since the march is when I passed by the Alamo at night, but since I may never make that post, and I like this photo, I’m using it today. This picture was actually taken in August of 2019 when Evelyn and I took the bus downtown to see if it would be feasible for Frank and me to take the nighttime bus lineup to the B-52s concert. It was, by the way, and we did, but more on that in that post, since this caption is going to be longer than my blog post if I keep this up.

I hiked northwest to San Francesco and nosed around in their parking lot. The discovery of the site came because there was a spot in the parking lot that didn’t seem to stay paved. When they pulled up the asphalt, they found a spring. Then, while looking in that area, they found wrought iron that looks to be from the 18th century (when the Alamo was founded) and later pottery, rosary beads, and other items. They’re looking for one specific type of pottery called “puebla polychrome” which would need to be found there to confirm San Francesco as the location.

I looked around in the parking lot for the site of the spring with no luck. It hadn’t rained in a long time, though, and since the city is pulling so much water from the Edwards Aquifer these days, it’s hard to find the smaller springs unless it has rained recently. Maybe I’ll hike out there after a rain sometime.

I also walked along the street that separates the property from San Pedro Creek, but didn’t see any markers or anything. There were cars in the parking lot, so I walked up to the church, so see if anyone was in there who had answers, but the door was locked. I’m not sure if the cars were people working on the construction of the new linear park there by San Pedro Creek or if they were having some kind of private meeting in the church or the hall next door, or if people use the parking lot as a kind of park-and-ride and were taking the bus somewhere else from there. I suspect that some day when I have nothing better to do, I’ll head out there and figure that out.

I walked from there to the Alamo and walked around the inside of the building to see if maybe I could buttonhole an archaeologist. I found one man standing on a ladder working on something, but didn’t want to interrupt whatever he was doing. So I just walked around inside the church for a while and then toured the grounds.

I visited the new museum at the Alamo and found that maybe there were no actual cottonwoods on the property (“alamo” is Spanish for “cottonwood”). The name Alamo may have come from a branch of the Mexican military that was stationed there, the Second Flying Company of San Carlos de Parras, known commonly as the Alamos de Parras, because the soldiers originated from the town of San Jose y Santiago del Alamo.

I realized at this point that it was nearly 5 and I was near where a friend works. She takes the bus to and from work and her dad picks her up at her bus stop and drives her home, so I knew she wouldn’t have time to socialize, so I just texted her to say “hey” and went on my way to the Impeachment Eve events.

I’m thinking about blogging about the Impeachment Eve events, even if their time has sort of passed. Maybe I’ll do the B-52s concert instead. I don’t know. All I know is that I’ve done my five minutes of work on my blog for today and so I can go to bed now.

The Try Guys Show, Austin, Texas, July 20, 2019

Comic Sans project, post 3

Frank and I went to the Try Guys show in July. I’m not real sure where this started, actually. I think it was when one of my friends posted some “study” showing that people who go to live concerts live longer*. So since I’m in a concert-going phase right now, I figured “let’s see who’s coming to town.” And I saw that the Try Guys were touring. Something else was happening that kept me from going to the San Antonio show, but they were doing a show in Austin the next night. And I was free that night.

I’m not really ashamed, as such, that I’m not a longstanding Try Guys fan. When I saw that they were touring, I was, like, “Those are those guys who did the drunk driving thing, aren’t they? They’re pretty funny.” And then I binge-watched their entire oeuvre (well, all of the videos since they left Buzzfeed. I think I did a bunch of the ones from their Buzzfeed era, as well). And, yeah. I loved them.

So I asked Frank if he liked them, because I’d get another ticket for him if he wanted me to. He did. So, since his house is on my way from my house to Austin, I drove and picked him up on the way.

I was kind of stressed out, since there are basically two drives between San Antonio and Austin – relaxing and time-consuming or fast and congested. And since the fast and congested route is congested, if there’s a wreck on the way, the choice can end up being relaxing and time-consuming or congested and time-consuming.

As an aside, a friend in Austin and I are expecting a visit from one of our friends from Maryland this coming summer and I suggested the relaxing and time-consuming route – US 290 West to US 281 South – when she drives from visiting our friend in Austin to San Antonio. Right now, that route takes 40 more minutes than going straight down I-35, but it takes you through Dripping Springs and Blanco. It does get congested as you get into San Antonio, but once you’re in the city proper, it speeds up a bit. Plus, if she’ll be staying downtown, US 281 goes just past the eastern edge of downtown San Antonio. I-35 goes past the western edge of downtown, but there’s all these interchanges and stuff and it’s kind of a mess. But I digress. Back to the Try Guys.

Frank and my first experience with the show kind of throws the difference in our attitudes into sharper relief. I bought tickets for the balcony, because neither one of us is made of money. We went up to the balcony and it was empty except for the guy running the sound board. While we stumbled around in the dark, the sound board guy must have called for an usher to come get us. Turns out that everyone who was in the balcony had been moved down to the back of the main floor at the concert hall and no one had told us.

I was horribly embarrassed. Frank was more than a little put out. We got our new tickets, though, and got our seats. We got there quite a bit ahead of time so I had lots of time to look around and notice that Eugene’s dad, Jae, was at the show. Frank wasn’t as big a fan as I am, so he didn’t recognize Jae at first. I had to dig up a picture of him on my phone and we had to wait for him to stand up again before he could see what I meant. We will be seeing Jae again later in the show.

While I think that Zach may be my favorite (though it’s a close contest) , I liked the Tryceratops in Ned’s pink color best.

I purposefully stayed unspoiled about the show, which caused a bit of anxiety on my part. The name of the show was “Legends of the Internet” and the guys came out and started singing about memes and things and I was kind of tense, wondering if that’s all it was going to be. Fortunately, it wasn’t.

Each of the guys were legends of a particular Internet-related topic. Keith was the Legend of Food, Ned was the Legend of Love, Zach was the Legend of Fun, and Eugene was the Legend of Gay (the show in Austin was less than a month after Eugene’s coming out video).

The whole thing started out with a Try Guys Game Time where a young woman from the audience came up on stage for a game of Fuck Marry Kill. Since their voices are distinctive, the sound board guy disguised their voices.

As the Legend of Food, Keith threw pieces of chicken into the audience for us to share. I say “us,” although not everyone got any chicken. The idea was for the chicken to be broken into small enough pieces that everyone would get some, but a few people declined to share (or so Keith said). Frank and I were some of the ones who didn’t get chicken. Oh, and in Boston, one of the pieces of chicken hit a chandelier and damaged it.

As the Legend of Love, Ned had a dance contest for dads. This is where Jae comes in. Since Eugene’s dad was there, they had the usual number of dads from the audience and they added Jae in to make it, if I recall correctly, five dads. Jae did not win the dance contest.

As the Legend of Fun, Zach did a Try Guys slash fiction story where the sexy bits were replaced by references to cars. So there were stick shifts instead of penises and things like that. He also showed us the tattoo of a smiley face he has on his buttock.

And as the Legend of Gay, Eugene did a dance and lipsync number in an outfit that kind of defies description. As he went through the history of homosexuality in the media (both through gay icons and through non-gay personalities that are associated with the gay community, like Judy Garland), his outfit changed, like a Transformer you can wear. It was fascinating.

The show was amazing and I had a wonderful time. I’m also procrastinating over a cover letter for them. They said in one of their videos that they don’t have a research department. Well, I’m a librarian, so I’d make a great research department. Will I ever actually send them my resume? Tune in, possibly never, and we’ll find out.

This Gratuitous Amazon Link is actually less gratuitous than usual. It is, in fact, the Try Guys’s book, The Hidden Power of F*cking Up. I bought my copy almost as soon as I knew it existed and didn’t realize until I got to the show that they were selling autographed copies. I didn’t have that much money to spare (see why we almost ended up in the balcony), so I’ll just have the one, unautographed, copy.

It’s 1:30 in the morning as I write this, so I’m going to be heading off to bed now. I’m off tomorrow and I think I might go downtown. Maybe I can check out the archaeological dig at the Alamo. I also need to see if I can find a good picture from the Try Guys show to post here.

And Alex and I went to the LBJ National Monument a couple of weeks ago. I still have the Maluma concert and a B-52s concert to write up. And Facebook keeps offering me an opportunity to promote one post for free. I have to come up with something amazing for that. God only knows what, though.

So, if I can come up with something good on the archaeological dig, that’s four or five more blog posts. I think I still have an hour or two of 24 Hours of Happy to post.

Wow, maybe the Comic Sans thing is working.

*The “study” was done by a company that owns venues where they have concerts. No ulterior motive there.

Thinking About Not Giving Up

I was going to write about the Try Guys concert that Frank and I went to, but now I’m thinking about writing about writing.

While trying to figure out if I should give up, I was reading an article about writing and it said that a “good writer” is distinguished by their ability to edit and re-edit their work. And I don’t really do multiple drafts of things, so maybe I’m not a good writer by that standard.

I do edit as I write, though (n.b. — I moved that sentence from the end of the previous paragraph to the beginning of this one as I was posting this into the WordPress interface, so I guess I do do some editing). I wonder if there is a freeware dictation app that’s any good. Because I would certainly be interested in my thought process as I write. I don’t generally sit down and make it up as I sit there (wow, that was a bad sentence, but I’m going to leave it just so you can see what I mean). I tend to write as I do other things and by the time I sit down, I’ve mostly decided on what I think is the best way to phrase what I want to say. This is the tactic I used on all of my papers in grad school, btw, and I graduated with a 3.16 or so GPA, so I guess it works.

If I had a decent dictation app, I could do this process out loud and have the app translate it for me on the fly and then I could publish exactly what my thought process is and how many different versions of a particular sentence I go through before I “(fix it) in a tangible form.”

I’m not sure where all I was going with this, but I’ve started looking at speech to text apps to see if I can actually do what I’m contemplating. We’ll see how that works out.

And I forgot my Gratuitous Amazon Link last time. Wasn’t I just going through the works of Rick Riordan? I think I’d only done The Lightning Thief, so here’s the second in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, The Sea of Monsters. This is one of my favorite books in the whole series (though that’s a hard decision to make, since I love all of the books that Riordan has written). I haven’t reread this series in a long time. Maybe I’ll make time for it again soon.

Thinking about Giving Up

This is probably going to be a huge mistake but what the hell. I’ve actually had friends tell me that writing in Comic Sans helped them overcome their writer’s block so I figured I’d give it a shot.

I’ve had a lot of doubts about this blog lately. I sent the link to it to one of my best friends and he never mentioned it again. Every time I think about it, I think that I must really suck if it’s so bad that he didn’t even say, “Don’t give up your day job.” And I’m really scared to ask him what he thought about it. I mean, maybe he forgot. And that would be okay, because you know, he has a life. But if he forgot, then he’d be embarrassed and I’m the type who feels it really strongly when someone I care about is hurt or embarrassed. It might even be more painful for me than it would be for him.

And what if he didn’t forget? What if he read it and it really is horrible? I mean, I love my blog and I love writing and I had a bunch of friends from my fanfic writing days who liked my writing. One of my friends had an occasional writing contest (voted on by the readers) and I never got the top prize, but I usually got *a* prize. So I can craft a sentence that makes sense. I think.

I have to admit that I’m crying a little right now. I’m so scared that I’m wasting my time and that I should just pack it in.

I’m going to give it one more try. Really try to stick with it through 2020 and see where it gets me. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll make a success out of this.

Oh, and the Comic Sans thing? Seems to be working so far. For whatever that’s worth.

What Next? Weird Al?

Yeah. that sounds good. Particularly since I think it’s his birthday? Or was that yesterday?

Yes. It’s today. Happy Birthday, Weird Al! :throws confetti:

This concert was the third time I’ve seen Al in concert. The first was when he opened for The Monkees in 1987 (or, as my friend Ray used to say, when The Monkees closed for Weird Al). Then there was last year’s “unplugged” tour. Then there was this year’s Strings Attached tour in which Weird Al (and his bandmates) played with a symphony orchestra.

I was trying to imagine Al on a bus with timpani and string basses and such, only it turns out that isn’t how it worked at all. The conductor traveled with him. The performers were from local orchestras.

Weird Al Yankovic, Strings Attached Tour, June 16, 2019.
Boy, I wish I could remember which song this was. At any rate, this is the only picture I got where Al wasn’t overexposed. If I can remember which song this was, I’ll update the post. Probably.

There was a little interpersonal drama surrounding the concert. I didn’t realize when I bought the tickets (in February) that the day of the concert, June 16, was Father’s Day. In fact, I didn’t realize it until about a week before the concert. Thomas was understandably upset about this, and I offered to let Thomas have Alex for the night because it was my error. I also offered to let Thomas and Alex have my tickets for the show and to buy my own ticket and sit elsewhere. In the end, though, Thomas allowed Alex and me to go to the concert together and they’d plan for a “designated” Father’s Day at some other time.

The show was held at the Majestic Theatre in downtown San Antonio, an old movie palace. I’ve never failed to be impressed by the work that went into putting the building together (and the work it must take to keep all of that ornamentation dusted!). The Majestic was the first fully air-conditioned theater in Texas and, near as I can tell, the first theater in San Antonio to be integrated. This is the South and so, of course, the theater was initially segregated. African-American patrons had a separate entrance that led to a separate balcony (from what I can tell, that balcony is used to store lighting and other equipment now and is not open to the public). They tried a test integration in 1961 and when doom didn’t follow the test, they formally integrated. The other theaters in the city followed suit soon afterwards. I have a pretty good picture of the inside of the Majestic from the B-52s concert. I’ll try to remember to post it then.

The concert was, as always, awesome. Apparently the 9-minute “Jackson Park Express” went over well enough on 2018’s tour that he performed it again on this tour. He did most of his greatest hits. He skipped the Michael Jackson songs given that some of the (now adult) kids that Jackson had at his home are now saying that he did abuse them. Al has said that maybe someday he’d perform them again, but that wasn’t going to happen on this tour.

There were costume changes and a big screen and a surprise performance of a song that couldn’t be done justice without a symphony orchestra. I seem to recall that Lisa Popeil got a bit louder applause than the other singers (though maybe that was just me).

The only problem is that occasionally the orchestra was drowned out by Al’s band, at least I couldn’t hear the orchestra from my seat on those songs.

I know I need a concluding paragraph and maybe someday I’ll write one. But it’s 11:00 pm right now and only going to be Al’s birthday for another one or three hours (depending on if you’re talking about me here in Texas or Al in California (unless Al’s at his home on Maui right now, which will give us a few more hours). So I’m going to post this and maybe start working on another post.