Starting today, over the next seven days, I will be reviewing five concerts in four different halls in L.A. and Orange Counties.
It’s not a schedule I would ask for, but all of the concerts are unmissable in my estimation as a critic asked to cover significant happenings on my beat. It is also doable, with a bit of advanced planning.
I have logged all of the reviews on my newspaper’s budget, so my editor knows they are coming and will presumably carve out space for them in the print edition. I have made photo assignments for them as well, and procured photos for the others that a photographer will not attend. I have arranged for tickets. I have done a certain amount of homework — listening and reading — as necessary, and will probably do a little more as the week progresses, perhaps by listening to some pieces in the car. I have invited guests to the concerts (I get two tickets), but haven’t had a whole lot of success. Folks have other plans, even if they’d like to go.
As I get on in years, I find driving to concerts more and more onerous. I don’t quite know why, but I stress (a bit) over it. Probably, it’s the unpredictable nature of traffic in Southern California. I leave hours ahead of time to get to concerts in L.A., and sometimes even in Orange County (where I live). I plan to leave at least two hours before the concert tonight in Fullerton because there’s a miles-long jam of cars during rush hour every night on the road between my house and there. In fact, I plan to go around it, the long way, on a toll road. I procured the cash this morning to do so.
The slight stress I feel might also be because of the age of my car, which hails from the last century and is well past 150,000 miles on the odometer. It runs well, though, and my crack mechanics have given it the all clear. I also have AAA if I get stranded, and it would not be the end of the world, of course, if I missed a concert due to a breakdown. My editors could always find a way to fill the space left deserted by my sparkling prose.
I gave my car a good wash this morning (my chauffeur has the day off). All is set. I hope the concerts will be worth the trouble and that the muse arrives at the appointed times the following mornings when I write.