Neil Diamond’s anniversary of Hot August Nights at The Greek  was everything I’d predicted and more. After singing medleys as we trekked up the hill to The Greek Theater, my fellow reveller and I hit the merch booth and copped some wicked Neil Diamond swag before heading to our seats, at the tip-top of The Greek.

When I’d been given the choice between a $340 ticket and a $50 ticket, I went low. It must be part of the “new me” because I am not usually a beacon of common sense and practicality. Climbing past the seats, the mezzanine and the rows, we finally made it to the benches. Center, thank Christ, but the second to last row from the top.

Here’s my collaboration with Neil, we call it “Homage to Lynch”:

I laughed, I cried. My friend named Neil a “smuncle” which is a sexy uncle. I came up with this ear cupping hand action, which made it about 10% louder. I even got an entire family in the last row to cup their ears. Sure we all looked like monkeys, but we could hear Neil.

I was stoked to be at a show where I was “young”. We were some of the only “kids” under 40 and while I was enamored of my older neighbors for making me feel like the irreverent youngster who is a surprising Neil fan, there was also some discomfort at being surrounded by folks of accelerated years.

We got caught in a  “brown breeze” as we were seated behind two older couples, and one of those poor women had to get in a car and ride home with a man who I prayed for, as his odors indicated he was not long for this earth, just sayin’. My pal and I would shout, “Code Brown” at each other in efforts to cover our faces, or at the very least close our mouths to the gut rotting stench.

Finally we moved a few rows down, as there were two empty seats. I was so grateful to be free of the odors that I mentally sent thanks to the unfortunate souls who’d forgotten they had Neil Diamond tickets.

We sang “Happy Birthday” to Neil’s mom, whose name is Rosie Diamond, and wouldn’t you know it, he launched right into “Cracklin’ Rosie” after we had finished serenading her. Neil had some amazing one liners: “You made me what I am; obnoxious and good-looking”, “I love you too, but I need to sing.”. Man I know how you feel…

Clearly I will need to buy a ticket to something, hopefully a ticket home to see my family in England, however my fridge looks a bit sad now that I’ve cashed in my Neil Diamond ticket.

Speaking of the fridge, it’s been a year since I moved in here and I’m ready to go. I’ve been steadily looking for a new apartment for about a month now. I like to anniversary my one year in an apartment by moving. However, as a freelance writer, with only a few publications under my belt, moving is probably a pipe dream.

The reasons I want to leave are valid. First off there’s the noise of living on a bus route, a police station and fire station route, and a hipster neighborhood full of bikers with loud pipes, glitter helmets and red Authentics. It’s enough to make me wear earplugs on the regs.

Secondly, all of these noisemakers are also soot makers. After five months without cigarettes I went to the doctor, figuring breathing is a right not a luxury, only to be told I am allergic to dirt. “No, really?!” I could’ve told the doctor that on my way in, “Hi my name’s Robin and I am allergic to dirt.” Obviously this dude was new. Apparently the soot from the street has irritated my lungs as much as the noise has irritated my sense of calm.

Finally, and honestly, the biggest reason I want to get out of this building is the fish tank in the lobby. Fish tank, must be nice. No, no it’s not. It’s a hotbed for disease and suffering. The landlord doesn’t believe in cleaning the tank, ever. There have been massive die offs, but each time he replaces the fish, not the water, just the fish. This past go ’round, he got five goldfish and one bubble eyed goldfish. One small orange goldfish was the first to go. I mentioned the golden floater to the maintenance guy, who removed it. Later I found it had been thrown in the back “yard” and looked like Garfield had gotten a whiff of it, leaving a fish skeleton in the dirt. Classy. Then my favorite, the bubble eye, lost a bubble eye due to infection, so I took it upon myself to clean the tank. Armed with paper towels, 6 gallon jugs of Crystal Geyser and rubber gloves, I got to work. It helped for a week or so, but eventually bubble eye died. This time no one removed him, instead his brother goldfish ate him. I was frickin’ distraught. Instant karma meant that one fishes face began to fall off, so they ate him too. Now when I walk through the lobby, I can’t even look at the tank full of carnivorous, filthy, goldfish.

Putting all that to the side, other than my dirt allergy and the fishocide, life has been pretty magical. All this writing about dirt and death means guess what? Time to swiffer.