Can I just say how great it was to see Barry Manilow on American Idol last night? I will admit this freely: I love Barry Manilow. Also: I have seen him in concert.

Yes, you read that right.

Several years back—-maybe ten?—my friend Karen, who I worked with at the restaurant, organized a whole bunch of us to go to Raleigh, to the outdoor concert venue there, to see Barry. It was so great. We were pretty much the only people under 25 there, not that we cared, and we had lawn seats, so we got all settled with our blankets and everything, and then I saw these people walking through the crowd, who looked sort of official, just checking everything out. I’d seen Barry on ET pretty recently, and they’d talked about how his staff would often comb the crowd and pick out enthusiastic people to move them up to better seats. So I tell Karen this, and she starts waving her arms around and yelling, and I do too, and the next thing we know they’ve given us tickets close to the stage: two in the front row, and several about six or seven rows back. We were so hyped. So we gathered up our blankets and stuff and headed down, and Karen and another girl who was with us went up to the front row.

It was really hot, I remember that, very sticky, and when Barry came out to great fanfare, the first thing he said to the crowd was, “Nice weather we’re having, isn’t? Maybe if you’re a sponge.” Ba-dum-bum!

The concert itself was great, and even better when got to trade out and move up to the front row. Oh.MyGod. I could not believe how close I was to Barry Manilow. And he put on a great show, singing all the songs you would want to hear—many of which weren’t sung last night on the show, which kind of sucks—and me and Karen were just going nuts. One thing I remember so clearly was how bored his guitarist looked, though: he was about our age, and seemed totally disinterested except when he was looking at me and Karen cheering and whistling, when he just looked like he pitied us. But no matter! It was a great night.

But maybe you had to be there. At any rate, I love to see Barry get ANY kind of props. And he looked like he was having fun last night, although I was kind of glad to see him ditch the red leather jacket. Too much! But then, in the concert, he wore flamenco ruffles. So it’s really a matter of context, I guess.

Finally, in non-Barry news, to the person who asked about whether I’d be getting a first chapter of The Truth About Forever up on the website: I’m working on it. Requests are in. And I’ll keep you posted.

have a good day everyone!