Thanks to TJ for pointing out it's not "four hundred children"...
TJ, Dave (no blog), and I went to see Kenny Rogers last night at the Emerald Queen Casino, which is in Tacoma. It didn't take too long to drive there - maybe 45 minutes without any traffic. Parking is free, which was a bonus. The venue itself isn't that great - it looks like a big warehouse and the seats are just chairs lined up in rows (no stadium style seating) so if you're short and sitting behind someone with a big head, that's too bad. They did have two huge screens on either side of the stage and a camera so you could see what was going on.
Kenny Rogers is awesome. He's *so* old but still rockin'. He sang many of his classics and kept his new stuff to a minimum (which actually isn't bad, but not that exciting). He's also pretty good at working the crowd, though I thought he talked too much and didn't sing enough. It was a fun show (or maybe that was the double rum & diet Pepsi I had). I was impressed at the huge age range of the crowd - we were nowhere near the youngest. I guess everyone loves "The Gambler". He left out a verse of "Coward of the County", which was a little weird (vital plot twist methinks) but he might have done it to make it more family-friendly. The set was short - less than 90 minutes, but he sang everything I wanted to hear so I was happy.
Earlier in the day, I hosted a baby shower for Dre. It turned out to be a nice sunny day, despite the predictions of rain, so we stayed outside most of the time. Peanut and Spike behaved beautifully amidst Norm (Dre and Dave's dog), the people, food and toddler running around.
And speaking of toddlers - here's my pet peeve for the week. A woman brought her son to my CSE 143 lecture on Friday. He couldn't have been more than 5 years old. It was so distracting - he was talking, dropping things, wandering around in the back of his class, and loudly playing with his toy cars and a handful of quarters (who gives their kid change to play with when they want him to be quiet?!). Obviously it's too much to ask such a young kid to be quiet and still for an hour in a boring lecture. Why does this woman feel it's ok to inflict her child on the rest of us?? I understand that sometimes child care plans fall through, but she should have skipped class today and stayed home with her kid given that our instructor posts lecture notes, and let the rest of us concentrate on learning something. I hate being confrontational with strangers, but I really feel that's unacceptable. If she does it again, I'm going to say something to her (nicely, of course).
There just seems to be an abundance of parents who are oblivious to their kids' behavior when they are out in public (restaurants are another example - if your kid can't sit still and mostly quiet, and it's not a "family" restaurant, don't bring him!). I'm all for raising kids using positive reinforcement and letting them be kids, but I just wish that parents would realize that some situations are not appropriate for their child, and that other people in the restaurant/theater/etc don't want to be made aware of your "charming" child who is making loud noises/throwing things/poking the person in the next booth.
And before you label me as anti-child, I'll leave you with a quick story about my lunch with Jasmine and Baby Catie last week. We went to Zao, a very yummy Asian noodle place for lunch. Catie was eating some noodles, and about half the time, the noodles didn't make it to her mouth, but ended up on the floor. Before we left the restaurant, Jasmine picked up all the noodles that fell on the floor and wiped off the stray noodles from the table. I was really impressed with this, as I've seen other parents leave a restaurant table looking like a war zone, assuming the staff would clean it up. So I do think there are responsible parents out there, and I'd like to give a special shout out to Jasmine, and Catie, who was really fun to hang out with. Anytime Catie wants a shrimp from my plate, she can have it!