Saturday, March 18, 2006

Birthday Blow-out Recap

Despite Blogger's WEIRDNESS the past few days, I seem to have access to publishing functions at the moment, so I'm going to try to tell you a little about my trip to Cincinnati in the hopes that eventually my blog will be working properly again and those who are interested can see it. Pppfffttt. To sort of start at the end and work my way backward (since Laume is having fits to hear what I thought of the show), I LOVED "Wicked". I loved it soSO much. I can say without reservation that it was my favorite live show I've ever seen and if I could have gone back and seen it again the very next night, I'd have done it in a heartbeat. Someone, at some point, NEEDS to put this on DVD, whether it's a matter of turning the play into a movie (ala "Rent") or of filming a live performance and releasing it on DVD (ala Hugh Jackman's turn in the London stage production of "Oklahoma"). I'd really prefer the latter. If I had a DVD copy of that play, I'd wear it out! I already knew I loved the songs, as I've been wearing out the Broadway cast CD for over a year now. But wow....the stage sets, the costumes, the humor of the spoken dialogue, they all not only met my expectations (which were pretty damn high!), but exceeded them. Also, did I mention I loved it? Well I did. LOVED. IT. If you like Broadway-style musicals at all, "Wicked" is a must see, IMO. Now, what about the rest of the weekend? Well, let's see. The short version: I was spoiled rotten and ate like a pig. If that's enough information, you can probably stop right there, but if you want more details, here's a longer version, with photos. When I got to Cincinnati Wednesday, I met my friend Bev at Macaroni Grill. She had a sandwich and soup. I thought the soup looked so pretty that I had to take a pic before she was allowed to start eating it: I loved the colors and the pattern. I had Veal Marsala, (aka delicious dead baby cow). I am a bit embarrassed to admit to the veal, and I apologize to those who are offended at the thought, but it's something I do now and then and DAMN, it was GOOD. But now I'll go back to being nice to baby animals for a while, I swear. Here's a photo of Bev and me: Notice the gift bag on the table? Besides taking me to lunch, Bev gave me this doorstop: How perfect is that for this birthday?? I didn't even need any sort of souvenir from "Wicked". Ha! After lunch we went by Half Price Books and she helped me carry in my carload of rejects. And BTW, thank you again to all of you who suggested possible ways to get rid of my passalongs. I have more books I'm getting rid of and will do some of the other suggestions with those, but decided to sell this first batch. I was proud of myself that I did NOT buy any more books while I was in there, although honesty compels me to admit I WOULD have if they'd had a couple of specific ones I was looking for, but they didn't, so I didn't. Afterward, I went to a couple of different shoe stores, fully intending to blow some or all of the book sale money on new shoes as a birthday gift from me to me, but I'm sad to report that I didn't see a single thing in either store that wanted to come home with me. Pathetic. Oh well, there will be other days and other stores, and no doubt other shoes that will come home with me whether I need them or not. Later that night, J took me to Red Lobster, where we ran into Tim and Andrae (NOT! Inside joke for Project Runway fans, which will make absolutely no sense to anyone else...sorry!). He had blackened rainbow trout, while I had crab and lobster and a big honkin' margarita. (See, I told you I made a pig of myself!) When we got back to the hotel, I just had to have J take this pic to show something that has made me laugh ever since he's been staying there the past few weeks: That sign is trying hard to convince me the pool is closed, but somehow it lacks conviction when the door is hanging open, yes? The next day, I didn't really have any plans. I'd thought I might go to a movie before time to go to my sister's house, but really there wasn't anything showing in the cinemas that I wanted to see. The one that briefly tempted me was "The Libertine", but most of the reviews I've read seem to indicate a brilliant performance by Johnny Depp stuck into a murky and depressing movie, so I decided to pass. Maybe I'll go see it when it gets to the cheap-o second-run cinemas. I spent most of the morning just fiddlefarting around the hotel room, reading, watching a Woody Guthrie biopic on Showtime, when along about late morning, J came back because he needed to use the hotel's wifi connection to download something for work. Cool! That meant I got to bug him for a little while, AND I got to borrow his laptop for a few minutes to publish my pre-written Thursday blog post! See me bugging J: Doesn't he look thrilled? Heh. (Really, he doesn't mind ME, he just doesn't love that camera at the end of my arm.) Since I was still there, he took me to lunch at Applebee's while his program was downloading. (People were feeding me for two days. It was great!) I ended up spending the rest of the afternoon until it was time to go to my sister's house by watching "Crash" on my portable DVD player. It was SO good! All of you who said I had to see it were right. I'm going to watch it again really soon. I see now why some critics were calling it "contrived" but I don't agree with that at ALL. I think it's saying something very true and real about the connections between people and the ripple effect that can result from even the smallest acts of kindness or cruelty, generosity or fear. It's an amazing movie. After that I went to Sandy's and Andy's house and a total of 8 of us got together and went downtown. We had dinner at (let's see if I can remember the name correctly) Union Station Video Cafe (is that right, Andy??), where I finally, for the first time in two days of pigginess (oink!) had cake! I decided it was time to save room for it, so I had a side salad and split an order of toasted ravioli with Sandy and then had a big ol' piece of Chocolate Decadence Layer Cake. And it was gooooood. Then it was on to the show, which pretty much brings this show back to the point where it started. Here's a photo of Sandy and me at the end of the evening, right after we got back to her house: So...See "Wicked" if you get the chance! See "Crash" if you get the chance! Get people to feed you if you get the chance! Those are all Fun Things. Now I'm going to go catch up on laundry and do some Not Eating. Heh. Oh yeah, and here's today's Art Thang. As you can tell, I'm on a kick where I'm having Too Much Fun playing with the concept of selective color in my photos: "Yield to Time" Here's hoping this thing publishes correctly (fingers crossed).