My mother called and told me to turn on the news.

I saw the film of the first tower and then the second and we all realized this was no accident.

My daughter had already left for middle school and my two older boys who i home-schooled and my new baby were asleep.

Then they hit the Pentagon.

By now there are helicopters flying over my house so loud and so close they were rattling the windows. Planes were falling out of the sky all around us within minutes of each other and the phones wouldn’t work anymore. Every number i tried to call got an out of service buzz.

I thought to myself the Pentagon is the heart of our defense system. if they take that out we are open to be bombed off the face of the map and to sit there like an idiot doing nothing while living a half an hour from the White House (one of the intended targets we discovered later) while all hell was breaking loose was not my style. i don’t mess about, i’m a person of action.  I didn’t waste a min because i expected to hear the news say at any moment ” evacuate” and if it did i was going to be ready for it.

There was no way i was going to let them evacuate one of my kids on a school bus for god knows where so i had no clue if they were safe or dead or alive so within mins i was in my car and demanded Roberta be brought out of class and sent home with me before the school even knew what was really going on.Then hit the gas station and filled the tank and a can with gas, there was no way i was going to sit in line if the word came to get the hell out of the area. I stopped at the bank, took out all the cash, in case we had to go somewhere that cash was the only option for currency and got a printout of all our financial records for the last six months. I had a vague recollection of reading a book called fail safe in junior high school that said if a bomb was dropped all our magnetic records would be destroyed, and the banking and credit cards records would all be destroyed. i came home , and fully packed the car with everything the four of us would need to either go to a refuge center or all our camping gear to get somewhere far from danger and within the hour , we and the car were were ready to be the first people on the highway if the word “evacuate” came on the screen.

In all the chaos and confusion and our proximity to ground zero was a nightmare, it sounded like a war zone outside. i still couldn’t reach my husband at the downtown at the embassy but i woke everyone up and dressed them and by noon we were  fully prepared for survival and ready to hit the road at a moments notice. When  we weren’t ordered to evacuate and things started to calm down and it seemed like the worst was over and my husband was came home from work at the regular time he thought i was the worlds biggest nut who completely overreacted.

I said he wouldn’t say that if we had been evacuated and we had food clothes money, Ids, cash and weren’t sitting in a gas station line ten miles long or sitting in a huge traffic jam on the beltway certain to come if we were all told it was time to get the hell out of Dodge. I think to do anything else BUT what i did would have been crazy. TO leave would have been overreacting, but being ready to leave was exactly what should have and must be done.

I don’t think i was an idiot at all. And i would do the exact same thing again  I don’t care if he thought i was a complete moron,  or if anyone else does but let  me ask you..

” if there was ever a zombie apocalypse, which one of us would you want on your team?”

If there is one thing i cannot bear its feeling helpless, like things are happening outside of my control that are going to do damage . Its the one thing that absolutely terrifies me. When i believe that something  awful is is going to   happen and there is absolutely  nothing i can do about it, to stop it or fix it. that was my way of feeling that i had some control over the situation and could take some sort of step, right or wrong, rather than sit by  passively waiting for whatever disaster may be headed our way.  i didn’t panic, i didn’t cry, i didn’t lose it, i just did something about it.  it turned out not to be necessary, but to sit in front of the television all day watching and doing nothing to protect my family would have driven me mad. I think so many people felt helpless and that the world was falling apart around them and there was nothing they could do, i did what i had to do in order to cope. And when i felt i had done all i could do, only then could i set by the television and see what was going to happen next. whatever it was, i was ready.

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One. NEVER GO TO A HEART CONCERT. What a disappointment! They are the biggest rip off in rock and roll (excusing Pete Dougherty but one would have to consider that mess music to add him.)

They sounded pretty good the whopping huge entire 68 minutes they actually spent on stage (which apparently made up their entire show) but it was the equivalent of sticking twenty quarters in the All Heart All Hits jukebox at some terrible 8os themed party you couldn’t find any way to get out of attending short of faking your own death with none of the thrills. Faking your own death would have been more fun and considerably less expensive .

For a rock and roll band to charge top dollar only to spend minutes over an hour onstage performing nothing but regurgitated radio hits most of which even the band themselves has said publicly” they hate and even they can’t stand to hear again” is an absolute outrage and an insult to their fans, a slap in the face to the people who have paid their paychecks all these years and loved and admired them, the public and their fans.

Or at least the ones old enough, sober enough, and who have been around long enough to see a band who actually cared about their audience, enjoyed performing and actually did it with great enthusiasm, if not brilliance and for a length of time in which the audience actually got their money’s worth.

They Rocked, don’t get me wrong Nancy looked and sounded great, but Ann was wearing such a huge wig I couldn’t even see her face the entire show and such monster six inch boots it could have been Gene Simmons under there for all I know lol  The worst part is that their act hasn’t changed a bit since I first saw them in 1978 and they are women in their 60s now. If that’s your excuse for robbing you fans of a show worth seeing why don’t you stop pretending to be 25, it’s kind of pathetic, take off the high heels, and gigantic heavy wigs, put some pancake on those wrinkles instead and sit down in a rocking chair something and give us at least a full one and a half to two hours BEFORE encores, of your stunning voices, beautiful music and gorgeous guitars. Then, if you like, indulge yourself and cash in on the popularity of someone else with a bunch of songs by Led Zep, a band we all love. I  hate to break to you, no matter how much you love them too you will never BE them and the only person I enjoy hearing play Led Zep songs is THEM. You know, the REAL Led Zep.

if all you really  want to do is show up, do the bare minimum you can possibly get away with take the money and run, after all, I hear it’s the latest thing with all the old washed up bands of the 70s and 80s these days, the least you could do is hire a special effects company that wasn’t my 7th grade prom committee and hire a decent warm up band,  so no one would waste their time and money thinking they were going to have a great evening out just to get on an hour of reheated you and a couple of led zep covers, which actually seemed like the only time you were having a good time all night. Did it ever occur to you that if your own show and playing your own music bores YOU, some changes might be in order? lol

If you are too tired or too lazy to stay on stage more than an hour  maybe the time has come for you to become a warm-up band as a nostalgia act for a young hot hungry band with some potential just getting started in the business who actually cares . Or someone worth paying top dollar for like the gig  that you played the next with a kick ass, vital, alive,  exciting in your face band that always gives you a big bang for your buck and truly leaves you dazed and confused when they rock and roll, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.

I believe you might even have something in common, and could learn thing or two touring with them as a warm up act since they are almost your age. So don’t you dare give us the excuse it’s okay because if you can manage to totter out on to the stage and do a half -assed job onto we should throw money at you and give you a standing ovation. There is no heart left in this band.

You made several disparaging remarks about the record company execs trying to control you and screwing up your band ( go ahead, blame ‘the suits’ for ruining rock and roll and your profits just like every other band going broke) but I’m warning you, before it too late, the main people ruining your career is you. And it wasn’t just this show evidently, from what I’ve learned, it’s always like that. What a shame. The were heroes to many women of my generation. They were Unique. N0w they are just the same tired old greedy rock and roll has- been act. What a disappointment.

TWO. Don’t go to Wolf Trap in VA by public transport unless you really live close to Wolf Trap.

The shuttle from the Metro is great. That is, if you don’t make the mistake of going the weekend the Silver line opened like I did.  Because the Silver line on the Metro goes closer to Wolf Trap all the unpleasant, burly, rude , typical for the  Metro employees have decided that shuttles actually GOES from the Silver line and not the Orange line as it always have.

I found this out the hard way, by going to the place on the Orange line where they were barricading the doors to where you get on the shuttle and snarling as they sent me back several stops to switch to the Silver line. When I got to the end of the Silver line I was told the Orange line guys had no idea what they talking about and that the bus would today and in perpetuity leave from the Orange line through the now locked doors I had been at a half hour earlier and I would have to take the matter with the lovely surly snarling gentleman who possessed the key. Thus doubling he cost of my trip.

The Wolf Trap Shuttle is really a good deal for five bucks it takes you straight from the ORANGE LINE pick-up to the show and back  but even with the Heart show ending at nine twenty we dint get to the subway until after 10: 15 so almost anywhere you have to go which isn’t within minutes once you get on the subway odds are good you will get stuck halfway home because all the public transport will have stopped after a show of any reasonable length and you have to take expensive cab ride home.That is if there happens to be one where you are at when the last bus or train  has come and gone.

I was lucky. There is a cab stand at the Shady Grove metro but it is still a thirty dollar ride home. I expected as much and had budgeted for it and had it been a better show I would not have gotten home infuriated at an even further waste of my money thanks to Hearts greed and indifference and the crappy public transport in the Dc area.

THIRD AND MOST IMPORTANT

Do not go on facebook when you plan on going somewhere new to get to a gig by public transport for numerous and excellent reasons.

Your idiot friends will not shut up so you can get offline until you are almost late for the bus you really need to take to be sure you actually get some place new you have never been before on time lol. This could result in the following ripple effect.

Instead of having time to get gorgeous and do your hair and make- up and find a fabulous outfit you will say What the hell, I’m just going to a gig by myself, I’m not even trying to go backstage who cares what I look like? And you will throw on the closest pair of sweatpants and a huge very dated band tee shirt from 1992 and race out of your house, forgetting your camera. WHEN you go back to get your camera you will get back to the bus stop right after your bus just left.  When you go back to get your camera, your may be stupid enough not to take extra batteries, but since you have plenty of time now having missed the important bus you really needed to be on, now you can enjoy the momentary joy of smug satisfaction for remembering in enough time to go back to your house and get six extra fully charged batteries and get back to the bus stop. Where you can chew your newly manicured fingers down to bloody stubs because now, even though it only 3:30 you are afraid you are going to be horribly late. Which will have been for nothing because though the Neanderthals that manage the subway screwed you over you still go there just in time to wolf down a nine dollar hot dog and a 15 dollar frozen strawberry daiquiri before the show starts.

HOWEVER because of this when you DO get recognized on the WT shuttle as the writer of the raucous  rock and roll memoir Even Rock and Roll has Fairy Tales and are they discover you are there to review the gig and the entire bus starts talking about it you will learn a very valuable lesson the very hard way. YOU ARE ALWAYS DOING PUBLICITY. Do not EVER leave the house even if it is on fire LOOKING LIKE THAT AGAIN! LOL

Four.  Don’t blow this part

When you pay sixty plus bucks to sit in the third row of a gig by yourself that you really didn’t care about enough about to spend thirty five bucks each to pay for a bunch of people to sit on  the lawn where you might actually have had a good time DESPITE the inferior quality of the entertainment  in order to concentrate on learning to use your camera better and improve your gig pic skills  by taking thousands of pictures WHEN you almost forget your camera and go back for it, or   MAYBE when you go back  second time to get fresh batteries you might want to CHECK AND SEE if the photo card is still in the camera or is in the computer, sitting at home. Guess where mine was? lol

Five. My phone, though actually charged AND working through some sort of miracle of divine intervention, takes really shitty pictures

Six. I am  officially TOO OLD to sit on the third row on a stadium gig without earplugs or going deaf.  excuse me, what was that you said?

Seven . Wolf  Trap gives away free ear plugs. Just ask the Ushers