Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Best Seats In The House

Well, this year's show was a little strange... The story was rather loosely strung together--a bit of a stretch, you might say--and having not read the synopsis beforehand, I found myself genuinely perplexed about who and what was going on, much of the time.  While there were some outstanding effects (including a life-size steam engine, complete with live sparks flying from the wheelset), thrilling spectacles (like synchronized corde lisse, two stories up and illumined in white), magnificent illusions (such as Earth-shaking giant feet up to knees the height of the ceiling), as well as some good old merriment (larger than life pies, cakes and ice cream, dancing wildly), fantastic puppetry (The Terminator, fighting...a swarm of bees? with fire) and beautiful imagery (white sharks and luminescent jellyfish swimming the ocean night), overall the symbolism lacked the gravitas and perhaps duende of prior years. The music, however, was phenomenally good. And so were our seats, possibly the best I've had there, not least because of sharing a bale with two good friends, wrapped in each others' blankets and arms, warm as can be... It's not entirely a miracle that we found each other--one could argue that it was inevitable, I suppose--but after spending a good twenty minutes or so trailing around and surveying the scene(s), it was no small delight that I chanced to turn and find them standing by, having freshly arrived, nowhere at all near to the spot where we had intended to meet (exactly.)... Lovely.

It was a busy and energizing weekend, after a long and draining week.  I rolled out of bed early on Saturday morning and drove a good couple hours on the road south and home again, in pursuit of a long sought-after item... It was beautiful weather for driving, with bright sun wringing the last drops of color from the grasses and oaks of the Mississippi river valley, flooding my heart with memories of the savanna, while eagles overhead called to me to come up for air... In the afternoon, a session of Shiatsu set me up straight for the first time in weeks, and I spent the remainder of the day channeling the flow of my Chi into a costume design (having serendipitously found exactly what I needed at Savers after work on Friday).  After losing myself in the mirror for a few hours, I emerged transformed: half dead, half living, split down the middle, the effect of which was somewhat fascinating as well as slightly creepy:

It turned out to be an impressive costume year, giving rise to any number of ooohs and aaaahs and cheers, the most raucous of these ensuing upon the entry of Lego man, accompanied by the King of the Wild Things and their daughter Flavor Flav, but my personal favorite was--by far--my sister's PiƱata, painstakingly constructed of what could only have been thousands of inch-wide strips of bright crepe paper, each hand-rolled into a precious curl and then meticulously glued, one by one, in life-saver stripes, onto a bodysuit constructed from a pair of sweatpants and a hoody sewn together in perfect alignment, topped with a pair of uncannily proportioned yellow ears and a cute yellow snout, then finished off by her cute little roomie, in the classic sweat socks and the polka-dotted birthday hat, with the stripey beating stick to match.  Seriously, she must have put more hours into that outfit than I burned looking for a new sofa on craigslist--all time well spent, because her getup kicked ass in a way that few people are willing to even consider trying (much less capable of actually doing), and my new sofa (for which I went all the way there and back again the next day) is so totally fabulously exactly right, in every aspect, that it completely changed the character of my entire place within minutes of its arrival.  What a stroke of luck, and what an enormous comfort, literally. Yay!!

On another amazingly fortunate note, I found out over the weekend that my father had a very close call with a fallen tree while driving home during last week's windstorm--a near miss which went over the car but still crumpled the hood, shattered the windshield and dented the roof, after which he, in true Dad fashion, drove his beloved and still mechanically sound but now totaled Volvo wagon the last few miles home.  Holy.  I seem to recall saying out loud to myself, on my way home that night, that "I am really not at all interested in death by falling trees".  I'll stand by that statement, and I thank the lucky stars above for those split seconds (and Happy Birthday, btw.  We love you.)

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