A Few Moments

Some funny or odd incidents in the last week:

1) On Friday me and my brother took my dad to the circus. It was a complete surprise, a belated Father’s Day gift. It seems like a stupid thing to do, especially if you think you know my dad, but the Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus is a tradition. Whenever the circus came to New York, Dad always took me and my brother. We would buy the hollow plastic swords that lit up. We’d each get a balloon animals, my brother a shark, me a unicorn. We’d get those obnoxious spinny things that light up and make zinging noises. Popcorn, hot dogs, cinnamon pretzels. This was in the old days where you actually did sit inside a huge red and orange striped tent, the Big Top, and you could smell the hay and the elephant manure and hear the roaring of the lions behind the curtain. And you were crammed on bleacher seats with hundreds of other New Yorkers and their children as they talked loudly and over each other. Dads from the Bronx saying sternly, “If you run awff again, I’ll kill ya, then what will I tell your mutha?” Moms saddled with diaper bags wiping chins and noses, promising treats if her offspring behaved. This was the circus of my childhood. And it was the only child-like entertainment that my dad thoroughly enjoyed. He never liked amusement parks or Disney movies or cartoons. But the circus? Man. He friggen loved the circus to the point where we still, as a family, remember the theme song of the head clown from when I was 6. Seriously. Everyone can sing it because my dad never forgot it.

So obviously when I found out that the Ringling Bros were coming to Los Angeles, I had to get tickets. And I did. One of the many great things about my dad is that it’s really easy to keep a secret from him. He lives in a world of his own thoughts and musings; such an Aquarius. He’s constantly absorbed in his current philosophy of life, or a new history book he’s reading, or the score of the Yankee game, or figuring out another way to get an acting job. He doesn’t remember specific names or dates (unless it’s about history or baseball). If I had left the Ringling Bros tickets out on the table, he probably wouldn’t think twice about them, if he even noticed them. His eyesight being bad doesn’t help his detective skills either. So that being said, he had no idea what we were going to see until we were inside the Staple Center. Seriously. After I gave him his ticket to get in, he had to hold it up to his nose so he could see it and then he burst out laughing. He was so happy, I felt my heart twinge a little bit. I almost cried, what can I say? Childhood sentimentality + Daddy issues = Jasmine Blubbering Idiot. I didn’t cry though. I was too amazed by the fact that there still booths of those hollow plastic light-up swords. I can’t believe they were selling the same crap. No balloon animals, though, damn it. Additionally, everyone was very very well-behaved in a California, air-conditioning sort of way. No yelling, no light-up toys whizzing around in the dark, no offending animal odors wafting from back stage. It was very civilized. What a marked difference between the coasts. Regardless, our seats were great, the show was great (there were a LOT of animal acts!! Eee!!) and, although the music wasn’t the same, it was great to be surrounded by so many happy little kids. It must have been Go To The Circus Day at all the surrounding summer camps because there were hundreds and hundreds of little kids in groups of matching t-shirts. They were great, it was really a marvelous, magical afternoon.

So the show is over, we leave the Staple Center and make our way back to the car. We all sit down, my dad beaming and happy, my brother and I full on hot dogs and too much soda. My dad starts the car. So after this amazing afternoon of being with Dad and remembering the Good Ole Days and all that, my brother, slouched in the back seat, finally says after some thought, “The Ring Master was kind of a dick.” My dad and I solemnly agree.

Classic Joshua Family.

2) So after I went to see the Dark Knight, I had to drive all the way back to Ventura (in order to drive yet again back into LA for the circus, oy). The problem was that it was 3am and I was tired and worried that I was going to drive off the 101 into a cliff. I dug through my CDs to find the most gaudy mix I could find. I couldn’t find my Disney mix, so I put in my musical mix and blasted it all the way home, which worked out fine. But now I realized how much I love musicals (God help everyone else) and so I play the CD all the time. Though, honestly, I’ve gotten an extremely good reaction! Twice at stop lights I happened to be listening to “We’ve Got Trouble” from The Music Man and once I was singing along at the very end of the song (a screechingly high, classic musical ending) and I turned to look over and see an entire family applauding me and grinning in the car next to me. I was asked if I was an opera singer (ha) and then the light turned. The second time, I happened to be listening to the same song and these two middle aged women in the car next to me started babbling about how much they loved that musical, but what was the name?? The Music Man, I say over the din. They are giggling and squawking in glee as we drive away from each other. I dunno. I love that shit.

3) I found out on Saturday we’re going to be playing before Kevin Costner’s band in Ventura. Except that it’s not going to be on the same stage. It’s going to be three blocks down the street from where Kevin is going to play. But I’m definitely going to tell people that I’ve played before Kevin Costner. I have a phone number from my dad where I might be able to reach him. . . I’m thinking about calling it, but I keep chickening out. Garsh.

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