Monday, November 23, 2009

date night at the WTF festival

have you ever had a kid? and then that thing happens when all of the sudden you realize you haven't had time alone with your spouse (where, say, you're both in nice clothes and maybe not still inside your house) in, like, forever? it's so nuts! thankfully, we're starting to get better about date night and, um, actually having them. sometimes we just go out to dinner, or maybe we go to a show together, and if we're feeling REALLY crazy, we do what we did this past saturday night: dinner AND a show. living on the edge, i know! it was exhilarating.

it all started with an impulse buy. i came across a little blurb about the WTF festival that was happening at the actor's gang theater in culver city and could not believe it when there were still tickets available for the ben gibbard solo show. no matter that, hey! it's the weekend before thanksgiving, and we're driving to l.a. for thanksgiving weekend! and, the tickets are not cheap and, right! we have a child to bring with us to the city (i kept my fingers crossed that my mom would be able to babysit) and and and there were a million reasons why it didn't make sense to do it, but ben gibbard! and friends! solo, in a theater that seats 100 people! do you hear that noise? it's the sound of me whipping out my credit card. impulse buy, shmimpulse shmy - we were going, damnit, and it was going to be awesome.

and thankfully, it was. f was so happy to get time with her "dranny" (it's what she calls my mom, long story). we scored a free parking spot a block away. we had a really good dinner and great margaritas at kay 'n' daves and saw ben and his new wife zooey deschanel walking by while we ate. we walked into the back patio of the theater right as the DJ was spinning kula shaker, who i adore. tim robbins was chilling with other hollywood-types while everyone else acted like it was no biggie. and i almost smacked rebecca de mornay right in the face with the bathroom door as i was walking out and she was right about to walk in. oops! and when we took our seats, david crosby sat down three rows in front of us! j actually talked to him on our way out, something which thrilled him to no end. i love l.a., i really do.

(that's j, chilling on the back patio at the theater)

(the back of david crosby's head is in there somewhere, i swear)

(tim robbins, promise)

our seats were great - there wasn't a bad one in the place. tim robbins came out and welcomed everybody and explained what the WTF festival was trying to do and talked about some of their upcoming events. it was funny because he seemed nervous! kept waving his hands around and giggling as he talked. ben hit the stage and played a couple songs on the piano, one of which was a hauntingly beautiful version of nirvana's "all apologies". he then stood up and played his acoustic guitar for the next few songs. he sang "grapevine fires," "cath," and "soul meets body," among others. he invited his wife onstage with him and they harmonized on a few songs, joking around between each one. really sweet, those two. and then he invited david crosby up and they sang an old C,S,N, & Y song & some everly brothers songs, the three of them. it was just beautiful and we could not believe our luck. when zooey and david crosby left the stage he finished with "i will follow you into the dark" and then opened it up to requests, which was really cool; he played "lack of color" and joked about how he now lives in l.a. when he played "why you'd want to live here".

yes, that's an awful picture of ben gibbard (rocking a pageboy haircut and mad chops) and yes, clearly it's time to invest in a new phone, because my 2006 special just isn't cutting it anymore. regardless, the night was breathtaking and fun and just felt like a win, all the way around. ben gibbard solo + date night = good for the soul.

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