Janie Hickok Siess would not describe herself as Michael Jackson's No. 1 fan. But she does feel nostalgic when she remembers watching him on "The Ed Sullivan Show," dancing to "Off The Wall" in clubs, playing "Thriller" continuously on vinyl and being amazed when he debuted the white glove at the Grammy Awards and the Moonwalk on "Motown 25."
"We grew up with Michael Jackson … but then he turned into this weird person. The music sort of stopped, and the only time we paid attention to him when he was on the news for all the wrong reasons," Siess said.
When the lottery came up for free tickets to Michael Jackson's 10 a.m. memorial set for today, Siess and her family were among the more than 1.6 million people who registered. But she was not one of the 8,750 people chosen to receive two tickets.
Siess, who hates crowds, had no intention of actually attending the memorial service. Her main goal was to make money by selling the tickets on eBay.
Her husband and her two sons also entered the lottery, and if any of them won, Siess planned to book a Southwest Airlines flight to Los Angeles to pick up the tickets at the 20,000-seat Staples Center, because the winners had to arrive in person.
Then, she planned to pass them off to the lucky eBay winner and enjoy a few days with friends who live in L.A. and Orange County.
"There are worse things to do then fly down and hang out with your friends," Siess said.
On eBay, bids for the memorial tickets were reaching as high as $3,000, though it was impossible to establish how serious those offers were. On Craigslist, asking prices also were in the thousands. Siess said she did not think she would ask $3,000, but she had not thought of a price in advance.
Live DJ Frank Taormina does not think that Jackson's hits will have a resurgence at weddings and parties, even after his death.
As a disc jockey and owner of Good Vibrations for the past 25 years, Taormina said he has gotten more requests for the music of Michael's sister, Janet Jackson, in recent years. The main exception is Halloween parties, when he usually plays "Thriller."
"He's really dropped off in the last 10, 15 and 20 years," he said. "He got really weird for people."
Personally, Taormina believes Jackson's legacy is in the full-length music videos he created throughout his career and in his live performances.
"People don't realize that if you look at all the music videos he's made, it's beyond his music and dancing. Those are like mini-movies," he said.
Even though she will not get the opportunity to hang with her friends in L.A., Siess imagines she will watch the services today.
She will mainly be watching the performers to see what they sing and what they are wearing. Jackson's family announced that participants will include Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Usher, Lionel Richie, Kobe Bryant, Jennifer Hudson, John Mayer and Martin Luther King III.
About 50 theaters across the country, from Los Angeles to Topeka, Kan., to Washington, D.C., were planning to broadcast the memorial live, said Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp. spokeswoman Suzanne Moore. Admission will be free - first-come, first-served. Managers at Lodi Stadium 12 Cinemas said the movie theater has no plans to show the services.
"I'll be home, and it's a spectacle," Siess said. "It's like a train wreck, and I can't take my eyes off of it."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.