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Friday, May 22, 2009

Jimmy...then Conan!

At the last minute on Tuesday afternoon, Wes told me that I shouldn't make plans for Thursday because we (as in he, his girlfriend, Charlie, and I) were going to the Jimmy Buffett concert. He'd arranged for Caris and his son Justin to run the store on Thursday so that we could have the afternoon off to "let the fin begin." Now, being the Parrothead that I am, I have known for MONTHS that Jimmy was coming to our area, but being as broke as we are, I didn't really have a hope of going. So, it was with great excitement that when Wes started talking about all the stuff we were going to do to have a great set-up at the parking lot party, I happily jumped on. In no time at all, a tailgate menu was planned, a bar and barstools, thatch, tikis, tiki lights, tiki signs, parrots, coolers, Margaritas, and of course limes and salt were loaded into my van and we were following Wes in his dune buggy, "Bugzuka", to the Verizon Amphitheater.

Wes and Janet in "Bugzuka"

The AWARD WINNING House of Tiki Set-Up (We won a bottle of Margaritaville from the JB Promo Team for "best bar")

Wildman Wes on his prized Bamboo Ben Skateboard. Everyone should have a boss that knows how to party!

We got there at 3:00, set up, partied like it was five o'clock somewhere, and went and enjoyed the concert at 8:00. Jimmy showed us a great time. When we got home, Charlie and I laughed at how "OLD" we felt. Backs and feet were killing us, and even though we felt much older, we fell asleep humming a "A Pirate Looks at 40". It was an awesome time.

Luckily, I knew not to drink too much, because I had another important event to attend today. Who am I kidding? The truth is, I can't fit more than one drink into my stomach these days, so it wasn't too hard not to overindulge. I hear tell that some Parrotheads were wishing they could buy NEW heads today! But me? I was all good. Good thing, because today, Caris and I were heading to Los Angeles, at Averie's invite, to attend a Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien test taping.

My awesome daughter worked out with a friend of hers at Universal Pictures casting to get Caris and I a "drive-on", so we could drive right onto the lot. The idea of such a nice "perk" was that we would get there early, get our lot passes, and meet Averie for lunch at the NBC/Uni commissary and after lunch, she would show us around the lot before we went to the show. Unfortunately, even though we left home at noon, we didn't get to LA until 2:30. Normally, the drive from our house to NBC would take around 45 to 55 minutes. But today, the traffic Gods were not with us and we sat in bumper to bumper traffic, missing our opportunity to have lunch with Aves. Still, when we finally got there, we felt very important to have our names on the gate list and have the guard issue us VIP Guest passes. This, in turn, got us a very short walk ON THE LOT to Conan's brand new studio while other audience members had to park about a mile away and be shuttled by a Universal Studios tour bus or walk the long walk and wait outside the gate to be escorted in. I have to admit, I enjoyed having people look at us and wonder why we were special. When we did finally see Averie, she had to "play it cool" and not acknowledge us too much, though we did get an opportunity to meet her boss who couldn't gush enough about how much she loves Ave and what a great job she's doing. Again, I have to admit, I enjoyed the feeling of pride that I had for my terrific daughter.

The show was AWESOME! I loved Carson, but I'm not a big Leno fan. So usually, Charlie and I fall asleep with Letterman. I CANNOT wait for Conan to take over! He was so funny. So quick, so likeable, and really seems like an "everyman". Averie says its been a lot of fun to be around his studio. Though audience members can be maddening because some people are just plain stupid and can't follow rules, she's had a great time absorbing the comedic atmosphere. Caris and I laughed so much our faces hurt and Max Weinberg and the Tonight Show Band ROCKS! We had such a great time. It was really a perfect day; watching Averie in her element and living her dream, and spending time with Caris. My cup runneth over.