Anybody who knows me at all knows that I am a rebel. I buck the system. That's my nature and I'm unapologetic about it. I own that about myself. I am also a conformist. You have to conform to be a successful Sacramento short sale agent because you need to have systems in place, to do the same things in the same order over and over until it becomes second nature.
Like every morning I write a blog.
Thought I would begin this morning by writing about Patti Smith because we went to Mondavi Center for Arts last night to see her talk. Lecture is such a strong word. She talked. Read from her award-winning book Just Kids. Sang. Laughed. But as I logged on to write my blog, I immediately noticed I now have a restriction on the number of characters I can use in my blog title. It's half the number of characters for Twitter. Half a Twitter post. I don't like restrictions or being told what to do, unless we're all gonna drown and somebody is pulling me on to a lifeboat, I resist. See, I find this limitation irritating. It was forced on me. Without notice. I don't like it. 70 characters.
I do like Patti Smith. I went to see Patti Smith because we share a history, a time. I guess you would say she is one of my heroes. I wonder, though, if people want to know that they are your hero. I suppose if they never hear it, it's welcome news. But after a while, I bet it gets on your nerves. When I spot famous people in a restaurant, for example, I sometimes think about introducing myself, telling them how much I admire them, but then I think why. Who does it serve? They don't know me so why would they care what I think? The truth is I want to shake their hand so I can say I shook their hand. It's pretty self serving.
I am not going to change their life or make a profound impact on them because some person they don't know from Adam admires them. You see gushy fans fawning over a celebrity and you think what the hell is wrong with you?
Which brings me back to the performance last night at Mondavi. Patti spent the end of the evening answering questions. Or, at least it was supposed to be answering questions. But this is Davis. Self-importance, self-absorption as though the world revolves around those who live in Davis is pretty much the norm. People in the audience felt that they had to first establish who they were, why Patti Smith was important to them and rattle on about all kinds of crap before getting to the point of their stupid question.
The moderator hit it on the nose when he gave the rules for asking questions. He sounded like Alex Trebek. First: it has to be in the form of a question. And he ended with: there must be a question mark at the end. But even simple instructions like that were too darned difficult for the Davis audience to process or wrap their heads around.
Somebody asked whether we are losing readers to visual stimuli. Patti Smith said she was more concerned about the health of our planet, the plight of the bumble bee and our butterflies and birds. There is a lot to admire about that woman. I admired the fact she stumbled on stage dressed like a guy with gray roots in her hair. We all have our heroes. I admire the fact she colors her hair. It probably goes against her grain but you know she does it for herself and not for anybody else. I admire the fact she's willing to share parts of her personal life, to continue to take chances, risks, and yet retain a sense of humor. She's a good role model for your kids. For some of you guys in Davis, it's probably too late. But not for your kids.
The good news is, though, I managed to use every single one of my 70 characters to create a blog title. My job here is done.