I saw Paul Anka last weekend, at Harrah's. It was actually a fun show, what I imagine a Wayne Newton show would be like, except Paul Anka is talented. It was very tacky, and whenever he would introduce a song by saying, "I wrote this in the '70s," (as if he had to tell us), look out. But he was an enthusiastic performer, and especially the more upbeat numbers were a lot of fun. And I learned that Paul Anka wrote "For Once in my Life," a favorite song of mine. His "duets" with recordings of Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr. were a little unsettling, but I suppose he has more right to do it than Natalie Cole did, seeing as he did write the songs. And having to listen to "She's Having My Baby" in its entirety, I understand how it was once voted the worst song ever. But I enjoyed myself, and although we were the youngest people there by at least thirty years, I'm used to that kind of thing.
Of course, I was far more excited about seeing the Folksmen than Paul Anka. They were performing at a Dean fundraiser, along with the Bangles and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. The show was at 7, at the House of Blues in West Hollywood. I left around 3, figuring that should be enough time to eat before the show. And if I was running late, I could just skip the meal. Instead, I find myself outside Los Angeles city limits, my clock reading 7:45 and traffic barely moving. I know driving to L.A. is not fun, but its not supposed to take 5 hours. I didn't see an accident or construction or anything, but I was travelling about 10 MPH from Escondido on, with almost no relief. So I ended up turning around and going home (a return trip of one hour fifteen minutes). So that was a big disappointment. But at least Howard Dean got my money.
School is done; the quarter ended up going better than I anticipated, and I hope that next quarter will be the first unqualified success I've had in awhile. I've fallen out of my running habit a bit. I've been getting shorter runs in, but my long runs in preparation for January's half-marathon have been tough to schedule. I had hoped to get an eight-miler in on Saturday, but I was a bit hung over and I hurt a toe, so I decided to forego running. I'm planning on running the eight-miler tomorrow, and if that goes well, I'm confident I'll be able to complete the half-marathon (13.1 miles) reasonably strong. And if it doesn't go well, then maybe a very painful half-marathon in January will teach me to stick to my training regimine more vigilantly.
Friday was our company Christmas party. It was actually for the whole institution, not just the aquarium, but we aquarium folk sort of stuck to ourselves. It was fun, to an extent, but I wasn't in the spirit of either celebrating or getting drunk (though I got drunk anyway). Found the whole thing rather depressing. It didn't take a great deal of prescience to realize this would be a bleak Christmas for our family, and I can feel it beginning to take hold. Probably going to the cemetery on Wednesday (or was it Friday? I already forget) started it. I like going to the cemetery, but I don't like being there. I just like the idea that I am going there, as something to focus my thoughts on. But this time, Mom just walks in and asks if I'm doing anything, or if we can go to the cemetery right now, which sort of throws off my whole rhythm. But it was nice to go with Mom, because I can never find my Dad's parents' graves on my own.