3 weeks ago: Mom – I want to see Jay Leno live.
Me – Let me look online and see what I can do. Ok, I filled out a form and it’s a lottery system. We should know before the show.
2 weeks ago: Me – You won’t believe what I got in my inbox. That’s right, approval for 4 people to go see Leno on Tuesday the 21st at 4:00pm.
Mom – Ok, I will be there by Monday.
1 week ago: Me – You won’t believe what happened. I was looking in my inbox so that I could print the confirmation email and it somehow got deleted. Luckily, I was able to recover it and went to the library twice (forgot my card the first time) to print it out.
Mom – Oh, I would’ve been upset. (Do I hear passive-aggressive tones?)
Yesterday: Mom – I want to try cronuts.
Me on the phone – Hello, You’re the third place I’ve called. Only on weekends, gotcha. Mom – Well, we will just have to get donuts then. I want to go by that local place (owned by the brothers that’s rarely open).
Me to Barry – Turn right, your other right. Now we have to U-turn. They’re closed.
Mom – I love bagels!
Me – Good, then Barry can drive us straight to Bruegger’s Bagels in Coronado.
At the bagel shop at 8:30 am: Me to Barry – You can park here next to the curb… or there next to the hotel… or in the hotel parking lot. (just please pick a spot!)
Me to employee – Ahh, you don’t have the breakfast bagel (dried fruits and nuts). I will get the cranberry toasted with maple cream cheese.
Mom – Ooh, I want one with the maple and a plain chocolate chip bagel. He’ll (as she points to her husband) have the wheat and cream cheese.
Me to employee – We’ll take two medium French toast coffees and a water. Thanks.
Mom – Sit down so he can eat and then focus on driving.
On the road: Me – Do you need the address?
Mom – I have us going to NBC studios.
Me – Well this says we need to go to Burbank Studios (less than 2 miles away).
Parked at the studios: Me – We don’t have to be in line for another three hours.
Mom – Cool. We can go look at the food trucks and then walk around.
Barry – What are we doing?
Me – We are walking and eating. Just walking and eating.
We walk around the Warner Bros. Studios and a security guard gives us a map to a gift shop down the street. I take pictures of walls and signs, we go through security, and I take photos of shirts and shot glasses.
Mom – When we are done here we can have lunch at that Mexican place or I won’t hear the end of it. (Barry wants to sit down and eat queso and chips.)
At El Torito at 1:15: I go to the bathroom and come back to a tea/lemonade mix, chips and salsa, and a quick delivery of greasy cheese with jalapenos and an avocado slice on top.
Barry – It’s not my favorite (in reference to the queso, he was expecting the creamy stuff).
Me – This drink is good, but I think I will try the cucumber spritzer too. We can share.
Mom – I want some of their flourless chocolate cake. To the waitress – Make that two!
Barry and I get a plate and Mom gets half of both.
We get in line at 2:00 pm, go through security at 3:00 pm, I take their picture with Leno’s cardboard cutout, and we talk to some people in line. We wonder who all the people are, with the purple passes, that get in front of us. At 4:00 pm we are told we can’t get in, along with 30 other people. The seating capacity is 385. We can get a VIP pass for tomorrow.
Leaving the studio area: Mom – We can stay the night here and look around.
Me – Woo Hoo! I will text Caleb and let him know and call the neighbor to watch the dogs!
While I’m on the phone they change their mind. Barry wants to drive back to San Diego.
Mom – Well we’re not leaving just yet. I want to see Hollywood!
We park at the corner of Hollywood and Highland. We walk to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, watch a free video in the Wax Museum, make music on the Piano Steps, and walk through a large candy store – Sweet! We walk past the buskers, the lingerie, and the bars.
In the car at 6:00 pm: Barry – It’s going to take us all night to get home in traffic like this.
Mom – Well, You’re the one that wanted to… (edited for brevity)
I talk to my dad, play Fruit Ninja, play a piano game, and read from The Critique of Pure Reason and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man to distract myself between conversations with Mom.
Home at 8:30 pm: Barry – Oh look, Caleb is home.
Me – Nope, that’s just our neighbor letting the dogs out. (Caleb won’t get home until 9:30)
Me to Dan in the backyard – Hey, so, uh, ya, you know, but, they, and then, so…
Dan – I got it. I fed them, gave them plenty of treats, and played with them outside. I can do the same tomorrow.
Me – Thanks Dan. The dogs and I appreciate it.
How lucky to see one of his last shows.