I’m going to confess something. Right here, right now.

I love Barry Manilow.

I mean, I do. Really. This is nothing new: people will back me up on it, it goes back ages. I grew up in the (ahem) seventies, when he was all over the radio. Before “Copacabana” was a golden oldie, it was in the top ten. Barry was hot!

Then, years passed, and he became kind of a joke. (To others: never to me!) When I was working at the Burrito, god, about eight years ago maybe, a bunch of us went to see Barry live in concert at the amphitheatre in Raleigh.

First of all, we were the only people there under the age of forty. We had lawn seats and we got all settled in on the grass, just having the best time ever, when some people that worked for the promoter came through the crowd and offered us seats that were closer. Way closer: like the front row.

I was so excited. That front row was insanity: the women (no men there, sorry) were going crazy. Screaming. Holding up lighters. Yelling up at Barry, who kept smiling down at us, while behind him the bass player and pretty much the rest of the band looked really, really bored. I mean, until you’ve seen Barry Manilow put on a ruffled flamenco shirt and play the maracas, you haven’t lived. And I will stand by that.

It was one of the best concerts ever. We had a blast. And so this morning, when I went to get my coffee and turned on Good Morning America and there was Barry, singing away, it made me really happy. What a good way to start the weekend.

(Okay, so maybe now you all think I’m a total loser. But then, if you’ve been reading this journal for long, you probably already had your suspicions about that anyway.)

In other feel-good news, I got an email from a long lost student the other day, someone from the very first class I taught at Carolina, back in the fall of 1997. She’d just read This Lullaby and called Dexter “the Lloyd Dobler of our time.” Which just made me so happy that I had to pop in my Say Anything DVD and watch some of it last night. So great. Now if only I could convince Cameron Crowe to do another teen movie, you know, now that he got all existential with Vanilla Sky. He’d like This Lullaby, right? There’s even music in it!

Okay, it’s a pipe dream. But you never know…..