Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Bosom friends!

Just a very quick note before I skedaddle to pick up the hubby to start our New Years Eve celebration.

I just wanted to thank you all for taking an interest in my silly writing and for being such dolls!

Found in Translation has now reached 2,150+ views since I started it last November the 25th.

I have the sneaky feeling that we can do even better than that, so I would like your new year resolution to be sharing Found in Translation with at least 15 people you know. Let's see how far we can go bosom friends...
I will invite you all to the launch of the book I will be asked to publish once my blog has gone viral.

Have an amazing and safe New Years Eve celebration and I will see you all next year with some freshly baked goods to start off 2015 in grand style.

From my bosom to yours


Ciao for now

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Into the disappointing woods with congenial teens and thrifty lesbians.

Bosom friends as promised here is my personal take on the cinematic version of Into the Woods.

Into the woods,
It's time to review,
It may be all
In vain, I know.
Into the woods-
But even so,
I have to take the journey.

This was my second time ever attending a movie on its first week of release. My first time was when I got dragged by my hubby to see one of the Hunger Games episodes against my will. I was force fed two hours of Peeeetaaaa! and there isn't enough Pepto-Bismol in the world to help me digest that experience.
So I will consider going to Into the Woods as my first ever willing, opening week movie affair.
As I mentioned before I was slightly excited over this release. I think I peed myself a couple of times while watching one of the trailers during commercial breaks on TV. The idea of Meryl Streep as the iconic witch alone, made me go into system overdrive more times than I care to admit. Not to mention the presence in the movie of basically all of the young Hollywood royalty. I thought I was going to have to wear an adult diaper to the movies in case I wasn't able to contain my enthusiasm properly.

Into the Woods was the very first musical that I had the pleasure of learning bits from when I moved to London after winning a scholarship for one of their many Performing Art colleges. To be said that ITW has particularly word-heavy lyrics, so it was not the best of times for me to tackle such a monster. When I moved to the UK my English was not remotely as fluent as it is now 12 years later (funny it has been so many years but I haven't aged a day). How reckless of me moving to a country not really knowing its language. Or brave. Whatever. Now that my linguistic skills are better I can alienate a bigger audience. Go me!
Every time I hear a song from that production I get catapulted back in time to that college. I was broke and I couldn't really utter a word, but being exposed to that wonderfully written music for the first time made me fell like a million bucks. West End (UK's Broadway) here I come!

Original Musical artwork.

So when I found out that Walt Disney was going to produce the movie version of the stage production I was over the frigging moon.
Hubby secretly was not as over the moon as I was, actually by the time we made it to the cinema he was just over it period. In any case he held my sweaty hand and took me to the Regal Cinemas on Lincoln Rd. The day after Christmas. Suicidal. I am sure he felt like a kamikaze right before jumping off a plane (and he was not going to find 6 virgins waiting for him in heaven either...).
I did purchase the tickets prior on my phone's app so there was no turning back. Banzaiii!!!

Once we got to the theater we whizzed right up to the N.8 cinema since we already had our tickets, but the lines in front of the tickets booths were not very encouraging. Yet again I was on a mission so I pretended not to be bothered by the swarming masses.
We found a good spot to park our butts on and high-fived each other for being so street wise.
Well, we did celebrate a bit too soon.
Here is why.
The three teenage girls behind me thought it was appropriate to lay their UGG boots on top of the back of my seat and proceeded to give a nice and unwanted push and release massage (UGG boots in bloody Miami? They must have Porcini mushrooms growing between their toes). I quickly turned back and told them they needed to stop that syncopated Can-can they were performing back there. Those damsels looked at me like I just asked them to shave their bikini area right then and there. Also upon turning I discovered that they must have run out of shampoo and conditioner since they looked like they just got out of the woods. Bless them, social media leaves you time for nothing else.
Let met take a selfieeeee (but wash your hair first).
I also found out when teenagers actually talk to each others instead of fidgeting on their mobiles 24/7. During a effing movie ladies and gentlemen, that's when.
As soon as  the movie initiated those three delightful gals started whispering to one another like they were sharing high-level security information from the FBI. What was so urgent that it had to be shared while Her Grace Meryl was about to appear I do not care to know. What I would like to know is who raised such congenial youngsters. Probably wolfs from the woods.
One more time I turned and shushed them while serving them one of my finest look of shame. They probably got their period then and there.
Finally the teens were fixed.
My next mission was to take care of the row of lesbians sitting in front of us. They were as excited as me (bless us all) but they had a slightly different way to show it. First of all those ladies did not care for whispering. No. The louder the better for the people of my community. But they limited that for the promotional reels before the movie. The unusual event happened while the Disney logo was glistening on the silver screen (you know when the fairy dust draws a dome on top of the castle).
The queen bee of that group took out from her insulated bag a glass container the size of a small casserole. She then opened it and proceeded to eat her Christmas dinner left overs instead of the already noisy popcorn her friends were happily snacking on. She even had a reusable glass water bottle with what looked like tea in it. There is no sin in being thrifty and using reusable containers is commendable but we were at the movies, not sitting on grass having a picnic. She was very proper in using her cutlery but the smell of her food was just too much for an afternoon show on Boxing Day. If it would have been cold perhaps it wouldn't have been so powerfully intoxicating, but lesbians don't play around! When they do something they do it right: her food was piping hot (I saw the steam illuminated by the projector's light). I honestly do love gay girls for their commitment to whatever they do. If I had that drive I could rule the world. Unfortunately eating roast dinner while Meryl belts out some tunes is something I do not find appropriate. Luckily she ate her unfitting snack in a short and efficient manner. Just like her hair cut, short and efficient. Gotta love those girls!

Now that the audience was quiet (almost as quiet as I would have liked it to be anyway) we all sat and watched what was supposed to be the movie of the year. Oh well.

I am not going to tell you how much Disney changed from the original stage version.
They had too though. It's still Disney for Christ sakes. They are not going to kill Rapunzel after making her give birth to bastard twins in the desert on her own (that's what happens to her in the original Broadway show).
Please, all the musical purists are advised to back off. If you want the stage version go to the theater when the touring company comes to your town. We got it, the original is deeper and the emotional charge is way more compelling. Blah, blah, blah.
Walt Disney paid to make the movie so they did what they thought was going to make them the most money back. Changing the story line included. End of story (pun intended).

What made me very sad (I was not mad, I could never be mad at something that had Meryl in it) was the fact that the first hour of the movie really worked. The remaining hour though felt like it was the remaining three hours. It dragged like Princess Diana's wedding dress train. Long and long.
Once Meryl Streeps character transformed from an ugly and old witch to the young and gorgeous version of herself I completely lost interest. After that all I could see was the fake teeth they made Meryl wear after the transformation. Her speech was a bit impaired and she looked like she had a shiny and way too white toilet bowl in her mouth. Porcelain denture gone wild.

Sensational Meryl.


...and after.

Meryl was magnificent anyway, we can never fault any of her performances.
She is it. Let's just bow to her greatness.
The rest of the cast was amazing too. Emily Blunt is just a delight and her character actually manages to keep together such a shaky story line.
Anna Kendrick is perfect as the annoyingly indecisive Cinderella.
The rendition of the song Agony by Chris Pine and Billy Magnussen was just perfection. It really describes perfectly how men deal with their small emotions. They are just dramatically over the top about feelings when they shouldn't...Pine looked so gorgeous though he could have sang the Itsy Bitsy Spider song and I would have bought it, no question asked.
They are indeed all great actors and singers and they looked like they belonged to their characters.
All of them with the exception of Johnny Depp. He was the Big Bad Wolf. But he could have been any of the same characters he has been portraying for the last decade. He could have been Jack Sparrow in a wolf get up for all I know.  Luckily he is in the movie for a grand total of 5 minutes. Then the wolf gets killed by the baker. And Johnny pulls yet another previously seen facial expression.
Same old, same old. Done and dusted Depp. I will stick with Edward Scissorhands, that was a much more poetic rendition.



Don't get me wrong, the visual aspect of the whole production was stunning. Unfortunately you can only look for so long at something beautiful if there isn't anything else offered to keep you entertained. For the second hour of the movie I felt like I was staring at one of the less successful Baldwin brothers, pretty but dull.

In any case I still left the movies singing the title song form the musical and wishing I could meet Meryl in person one day (or be her).
Hubby was not so thrilled by the fact that those show tunes remained with me long after the movie was over, but what can I say. I blame it on the fact that that production has sentimental value since it is the first one I have ever learned in English.
Nice try, the reality is that I am just as queer as they come.
Gives us plenty of show tunes, we need them like the desert needs the rain.

One more time for the cheap seats in the back:

Into the woods,
It's time to go,
I hate to leave,
I have to, though.
Into the woods-
It's time, and so
I must begin the laundry.

Ciao for now.

Monday, December 29, 2014

I am dreaming of a White Wine Christmas.

Bosom friends,

Have you all survived Christmas day?

Did you to stuff your faces with as much festive food as you could?
Did you manage to drain your holiday wine supply?

I for sure did.
This morning I woke up feeling just like the stuffed goose we had on Christmas day: deliciously fat.

I am well aware that one day of gorging on glorious food won't really have an effect on my waist line but I believe I consumed the same amount of calories allowed to a human being for a whole week.

In any case let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.

On Christmas Eve hubby and I went to the afternoon performance of The Nutcracker. We were both desperately seeking some festive attitude.
I was very pleased with the effect the ballet had on us. We left the theater feeling cheery and jolly. For a moment I didn't want to set fire to some decorated palm trees. My need for snow and a working fire place got placated by the ones I saw on stage. On top of that, seeing all the families gathered together going to the ballet reminded me what a big Italian Christmas entails, so I got over myself even quicker.
As per usual I cried and sweat a great deal throughout the whole thing (you should know by now how I deal with my excitement...).
What was new for me was the theater itself and the people who attended the event.
First of all the Adrienne Arsht Center is a wonderful facility. Everything about it is grand and pretty.
It does not look like your average theater from the outside, you would actually think you are about to enter a futuristic church or something. The main structure is all made of glass, steel and concrete while the lines of the whole building are modern and striking. The whole of the Asrht Center looks like a huge soprano diva cleverly draped over and across Biscayne Blvd. How fitting!
The inside does not disappoint either. The whole thing makes you feel like you are about to board a space ship for your annual Christmas in outer space extravaganza.
What brought me back to reality was the fact that every single piece of that theater had been sponsored by private donations. On each and every piece of the structure (from the bricks paving the floor by the main entrance, to the staircases, to the toilet stools...) you could find the name of the patrons who donated money to the Arsht Center. The whole Jewish phone book of Miami.
It is actually amazing that such a major construction was funded by private individuals all together.
In Italy usually banks do that. Philanthropists hide their money in Switzerland.
The philanthropist and business leader Adrienne Arsht alone donated $30 million to the facility to  make it financially stable. In recognition for her gift the structure was renamed "The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County", or the Arsht Center for short. WOWZERS!
The Center was partly built on the grounds of a former Sears department store; it was an Art Deco building constructed in 1929. However, by 2001, the only surviving part of the original structure was a seven-story tower built by Sears, the space's successor. The department store space itself had been demolished. It was decided to preserve the tower and incorporate it into the new performing arts center.
I believe that was the first time in history that a shopping center left its space to a theater, and not the other way around. Even Gloria Estefan performed during its opening in 2006! Turn the Mall around, thank you for your donation.

Aerial view of the Arsht Center.


Sponsored porthole.

View from the 3rd tier level.
Glass facade from inside.

Ziff Ballet Opera House


The audience members were as alluring as the actual building, but for other reasons.
I saw a vast assortment of any kind of attire. Dress code: free for all.
We had the family of four with the girls dressed in holidays themed outfits (resembling young versions of Santa's wife) with their parents wearing what looked like their home sick ensembles.
We spotted an elderly couple who thought they were going to the annual Met Gala or elderly couple who had no idea where they were and why. We saw your usual lady who lunches in her new painful Prada heels and the evergreen the bigger the better lady who had one too many collagen injections done to her face (AKA the frog face effect).
Spotting the guests who came to that performance only because they had free tickets thrown their way was also very easy. They were drinking booze like they were storing it for winter and had very little theater etiquette.
By the way if you are planning to have a glass of bubbly or some gummy bears at the bar inside the Arsht Center make sure you have with you your Black Gold credit card. You can actually feed Angola for three months with the money you need to purchase a snack in there.
I found rather irritating that most of the patrons took their bloody good old time to sit down even after the third announcement (the show is about to start!) was made. They were very busy gallivanting with their acquaintances kissing away from cheek to cheek.
Also some found it appropriate to bring a cranky infant to the theater. Not cool. But what to do, it's the holidays and family outings are very important (still a 3 months old child at the opera house?!?).

Once the show started though, all of our worries washed away like stains treated with Oxiclean.
The magic of live theater took over and I found myself (yet again) with throbbing hands from the copious clapping.
The ensemble numbers were so precise they looked like they had been rehearsed by an engineer.
The soloists were just divine and the Sugar Plum Fairy made me wanna go home and wear a tutu pronto. It takes a Fairy to move a fairy.
My eyes filled up  with tears at the end of the first act during the Snow Flakes scene. It was actually snowing on stage (fake snow but who cares) and the whole thing was so engaging that I could have leaped out of my seat for the utter joy the performance was bringing me.

The amazing Snow Flakes scene.
After such an exhausting performance I was in need of some proper Christmas-y food. STAT.
Luckily we were invited to spend Christmas Eve at our friend Holy Trinity's home.
It all started rather innocently with the idea of a lovely home made Christmas eve dinner. 
HT's sister and brother in law were visiting from Germany so they opted to have a very German traditional dinner, red cabbage included. It was the first supper of that kind for me and it was also the first piece of goose ever getting into my mouth. I didn't know what to expect from a very Dutch Christmas, all I knew was that we were not going to have sausages at all and I was told that my knowledge over Teutonic traditions was rather stereotyped. Well, there are many stereotypes about Germany, at least the ones I was stuck on had nothing to do with nerve gas or big ovens. 
I had no idea Germans and Italians had so much in common regarding the quantity of food regarded as appropriate over a holiday dinner. The goose was stuffed to the rim, the red cabbages were plenty and all the yummy bits and bobs included in the menu were just delicious. How narrow minded of me thinking that Germans only lived on a strict diet of sausages and sauerkraut. 
After all that goodness my "primordial" hunger was satisfied. Pure digestive bliss.

The usual festive amount of Prosecco helped to fuel my mouth and a laugh was had by everyone.

Even though it was not a white Christmas and we were far away from our families and friends, 
hubby and I managed to bring to our celebratory day the very same components that make a festivity intimate and heartfelt. The music of a traditional Christmas show, the company of people who care about us, plentiful and delicious food and that warm feeling inside that makes you aware more than anything that home is a state of mind and not a place.

Ciao for now.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Nutcracker has gone nuts.

Bosom friends,

Today is Christmas eve and I am sure not so many of you will have the time to read my fine piece of literature.
So I will keep it light and breezy, that way you can quickly give it a look and then get back to your holiday errands.

This year hubby and I wont' have a white Christmas at all. Here in Miami we will have a sunny one and we will put our presents underneath a decorated palm tree.
Actually this is what our Christmas tree looks like:

Veuve Clicquot Champagne Christmas bottle.

So as you can see we have a Christmas Champagne bottle. Very decadent.

This year hubby and I won't exchange presents either, instead we got each other tickets for a couple of shows.
This afternoon we will watch George Balanchine's Nutcracker at the Adrienne Arsht Center.
How festive!
I have never been inside the Ziff Ballet Opera House so I am as excited as a pig in shit.
We have seen that ballet many (MANY) times but this will be our first American rendition ever.
While we were living in Chile we actually saw the same show done in perfect South American style. It was quite a sight.
The Cascanueces (Spanish for nutcracker) plot was faithful to the original one but the attitude that permeated the whole performance was quite out there, rather gaudy with a touch of tacky (a heavy touch).
The character of Clara Silberhaus (the most important character in the ballet) in the original story is only seven years old but in the South American production the dancer playing her looked like she had long forgotten what pre-puberty was. Her boobs were spread across her chest like peanut butter on toast to make her look like she was still pre-blossom. She was gorgeous but she looked like she belonged to the Jubelee! show in Vegas more than anything else.
In the first and last sequences Clara is awake, but the middle sequences are best understood as dream episodes. Unfortunately, thanks to the flamboyant production choices those dreams looked like they had been generated by a bad indigestion or by some suspicious chemical substances.
The mice battle scene pictured those rodents as very fat comical animals. They were white and covered in glitter and looked like they were ready to disco instead of fighting for their king.
An important character in the ballet is Drosselmeyer the toymaker. As the story moves on, it seems he is actually a sorcerer who creates Clara's dream and the actions of the ballet.
In this very Latin version he looked like a very tired drag queen in search of her lost glory. The toymaker is supposed to be quite ornate and theatrical, but this one was way OTT. He looked like he belonged to the production of Priscilla Queen of the Desert.
The nutcracker maker indeed went nuts.
The male lead, the Nutcracker himself, looked rather demure compared to the rest of the shebang. He was just wearing his little soldier outfit and even when he transformed into a prince he still looked like a bellboy at best. I suppose they already spent all their money on the glittery huge disco mice so there was very little left for the poor Nutcracker.
Also this production was done in Vina del Mar near Santiago de Chile in an open air arena. It got so windy at some point that the snow flakes costumes kept on blowing right up onto the dancers faces. It looked more like a snow storm than a graceful snow flakes routine.
In the end hubby and I loved it though.
I believe if you stretch bad far enough it can actually transform into divine. Guilty pleasure profusion.

I do hope that this American version will be closer to a Broadway show than to a
Chilean Mardi Gras. Fingers crossed.

As promised I won't keep you any longer.

For the next couple of days I won't be able to write because I do have a life too...Holy Trinity has invited us to have a German Christmas at her place (she is German) so I will be busy stuffing my face with goose and washing it down with the Grey one. For sure I will need a couple of days to recover from that.
Please keep sharing and suggesting my blog to all of your friends and family members. It is the PERFECT Christmas present! Include even the people you don't really like, someone's trash could be my treasure.

In any case I just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
From my bosom to yours!

See you back next Monday!

Ciao for now.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Man-up-pills, Chinese goose feathers and a dumb nurse.

Bosom friends I have an announcement to make:

Yes it has happened.

The other day I was just thinking How wonderful I haven't caught the flu in a very long time.
The very same moment my brain was done thinking that, I swear I started feeling my nose getting itchy. My eyes began to dry and my throat got that funny feeling inside.

True story.

I woke up the following day with the right side of my mouth completely out of moisture and I felt like my gums shrank overnight.
After that it was a free for all.
My nose started dripping and my head swelled to twice its size. My sinuses are still under a very uncomfortable, persistent pressure.
Not to mention my nose skin. It looks like the Death Valley, the driest place in the USA. Also it's red.
Red is a very festive color (fair enough) but I would much prefer if that nose shade remained Rudolph's prerogative.

I am not going to write about the usual man flu jokes because it is still a case of man flu, but the man in question is a gay one. In this case the dynamics of the illness are quite different.

Chicken soup.
It's all well and good that you are trying to make us feel better but the soup must be low fat, low carb, low sodium and high in proteins. Skip the dippy bread as well. We are already sick and we don't need to be bloated as well. You'll never know what kind of social engagement might be thrown our way, we need to be show ready at all times.
What may be good for the soul is for sure not good for our hips, abs and love handles...basically not good for our self esteem in general.

Hot Toddy.
The gays appreciate the charm of old remedies but only when it comes to fashion sense. For instance a freshly pressed white shirt, a nice pair of pants and clean shoes and you are good to go. When it comes to healing any kind of illness we do prefer our chemicals. We only approve the Native American shamanic concoctions when we need to provide ourselves with a buzz or a high. To placate the flue symptoms and suppress our running noses we feel free to pop considerable amounts of Mucinex pills. To fight the flu we will gobble down gallons of NyQuill because we need our beauty sleep first and foremost. We will think about our liver later on.

Emergency alarm.
Although we do enjoy the craftsmanship of a well made bell (You can ring my be-e-ell, ring my bell, ding-dong) we do not need dust collectors around us when we are already having troubles breathing properly.
We were born equipped with voices that carry like the flu does. Our tones travel wide and long just like any virus and they are as annoying. Even if the flu takes our voices away we still manage to spit out help requests (ORDERS) with the sound projection of Maria Callas and with as much dramatic flair.

It must be filled with hypoallergenic feathers of White Chinese goose breed.
The duvet cover has to be 1500 Thread Count Egyptian quality and be of a calming and soothing shade. Nothing tacky, that will only aggravate our condition.

Attire - onesie exclusion zone.
Our community fully support the onesie ban. As I mentioned before we are already feeling like shit, we don't need to look like it too. It's bad enough we can't control our eyes puffiness while fighting a cold, but we can for sure control the fit of our indoor attire.

Mental stimulation.
We don't do box sets. Your average gay guy (but we don't do average either) will enjoy way more watching reality TV programs ranging from Bravo TV, to the TLC channel passing by E! Entertainment. Nothing makes us feel better than bitching about the ass-y Kardashians while they take over the Hamptons (seriously when are they gonna be done with taking over shit???) or bitterly judging one of those Real Housewives of whatever neighbourhood. Guilty pleasure as charged.

Hot water bottle.
We will indeed need one, but no care-taker is allowed to know about it. They are all aware that we are hiding it under our precious duvet, but they are all obliged to play dumb. A hot water bottle makes us feel better but the presence of it reminds us that we are not getting any younger and that, is a concept we cannot deal with while suffering from the flu. Actually we can't deal with it full stop.

Nurse's uniform.
We do take pleasure from dressing up anytime we can. Halloween we go a little slutty, theme parties we go a little funny and family and high school reunions we go a little butch-y.
In the flu case whomever is wearing the nurse uniform must be gorgeous but as thick as marzipan so we won't feel bad about ourselves. Our nurse has to look and act like the blond muscle hunk Rocky Horror (a creation) from the cult movie. To be perfectly honest the fashion of the uniform is not important as long as it remains quite revealing. We need to do what we need to do in order to alleviate the course of our illness.

Pretty Dumb.
I know that being dramatic will not improve our state anyway, but I found some exaggerated man-flu related pictures that made me a bit bitter (perhaps because they are pretty true...)

I wouldn't even be that bothered by the flu if it happened to me during another part of the year, but to strike me right before Christmas? Just like finding out that your secret weapon perfume is out of production. For good.
Not cool.
I was already not into the Christmas spirit here in Miami (with 80 something degrees outside), imagine how festive I must feel right now with a stuffy nose and puffy eyes.
To think that according to my Elf Name Generator I should be called Perky-Pickle-Pants.
I feel more like Grumpy-Snotty-Nose or Petulant-Puffy-Eyes.

May the Mucolytic force be with me. 

Ciao for now.

Monday, December 22, 2014

My life is a circus.

Bosom friends!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.

Are you ready for the last few days before Christmas day? I know you can do it, hold on to your sanity for dear life and hope the eggnog will work its wonders to calm your nerves and soothe your souls.

Last Saturday I went to Amaluna the Cirque du Soleil show. The company is touring with this spectacle and they will be here in Miami until the 25th of January, so you still have plenty of time to get some tickets for this show.

I had a special reason to skedaddle to see Amaluna since one of the performers in it is a girl I once shared the stage with. Her name is Haley. We were part of the same cast once upon a time but we were working for a different company at that point. That was my last contract as a performer and even if I got injured only three months into the run this wonderful girl made a lasting impression on me.
Hubby and I were driving in Miami when I saw this huge billboard advertising Amaluna. When I realized I knew the girl photographed in the ad, I had one of my mini strokes. Despite the large amount of make up she was sporting I recognized those piercing eyes.
At that point I was on a mission: I had to get my paws on some of those tickets!

First of all I had to make contact with Haley.
Thank the Lord for FaceBook! Well I had to kind of stalk her for a minute but eventually she made contact too. I should have realized on my own that since they were premiering the show in Miami she was not going to have much free time, but I was on a mission and I felt like the first 30 minutes of Saving Private Ryan, GO, GO, GO!
Holy Trinity's family (our other friend) was visiting from Germany and she thought we could all go together so I had a restricted time frame to get the job done. Luckily Haley's roommate works at the box office for Cirque du Soleil so she managed to get us amazing tickets with very short notice.
It's all well that ends well.

After I sent a few minatory messages to Haley she came through and got us 5 tickets for last Saturday's show.
We were sorted.
Amazing Grace,
how sweet the sound,
when Haley called me,
to tell me we had seeeeats.

On Saturday evening we got in our rental sardine can and made our way to the Sun Life Stadium where the The Grand Chapiteau (french lingo for Circus Tent) was located.
Getting there was very easy and hubby and I felt like two seasoned Miamians. We drove there not using any street-politeness and we kept honking for the lamest reasons. The Miami way of driving eventually rubbed off on us.
It wouldn't be us without a little parking anecdote though.
Once we got to the entrance of the parking lot we saw a sign that said Parking 25$. For sure we had at least 25 bucks on us. I didn't even think about it twice.
Well I should have give it better consideration.
When the guy selling the tickets for the parking asked me for the money, upon counting it I realized I only had 22 dollars and 75 cents in my purse. Wonderful. I felt like I wanted to peal my own skin off just to show how enraged I was with myself. Also I thought that the USA was pretty much run in a cashless way and Cirque du Soleil should have said something about the cash-only deal for the parking. I did not find any information over that on their web site! My bad, their bad, who knows...
All I know is that our only option at that point was to turn around and go to the nearest ATM to get the 2 dollars and 25 cents we needed to park our tiny ride. I could have easily smuggled it inside the Grand Chapiteau and pretend it was an over sized handbag. But hubby wanted to do things right.
By the time I got over my mini nervous break down and managed to get out of the parking space we only had 15 minutes to:
- get the money,
- return to the parking lot,
- find a spot for our rental,
- get the tickets at the box office,
- meet and greet Holy Trinity and her family,
- buy me a program of the show,
- pee,
- find our seats,
- check in on our FaceBook so that we could share our excitement with our friends (lingo for make everybody jealous).
I drove out of that place (and back to it ) like a banshee. Like a bat outta of hell, bosom friends.
I think I gave hubby some extra gray hairs.
Once we arrived at our destination we completed all our tasks and eventually parked our derrieres on our seats.
Mission: Possible.

Outside the tent.

Reasonable sized.

Classic circus.

This was our first Cirque du Soleil show (I know, we are a shame to our people) and I didn't know what my reaction was going to be.
All I knew right before the show started was that I was thrilled beyond comprehension. I was hot and bothered over the wonderfulness that I was about to witness. Hubby wanted to give me a Xanax to calm me down. Or perhaps hit me over the head with his chair. I've already admitted that I get inordinately animated over something I enjoy, just like a dog would. I own up it, thank you very much.

Inside before the show.

The only pictures allowed...


Once the show started I felt transported to a familiarly foreign world. A place I am sure I have dreamed about (in one if my many flaming brain nightly productions), but never witnessed first hand.
Everything about it was over the top but elegant. Whimsical but emotional.
The performers were imported from outer space for sure. They resembled humans but they were able to do things only people from planet Kripton could do. Men and women made of steal equipped with tendons as strong as titanium. On top of that they were all good looking with bodies that made us all think My next year resolution is to join a cross fit club, or at least cut carbs out of my diet. For good.

This production took us on a magical journey that we could only indulge. Sure, some of the images were a bit out there and all the laws of gravity were highly disregarded, but none of the people in the audience cared for real or rational once the show started.

Amaluna invites the audience to a mysterious island governed by Goddesses and guided by the cycles of the moon.
Their queen, Prospera, directs her daughter’s coming-of-age ceremony in a rite that honours femininity, renewal, rebirth and balance which marks the passing of these insights and values from one generation to the next.
In the wake of a storm caused by Prospera, a group of young men lands on the island, triggering an epic, emotional story of love between Prospera’s daughter and a brave young suitor. But theirs is a love that will be put to the test. The couple must face numerous demanding trials and overcome daunting setbacks before they can achieve mutual trust, faith and harmony.

I know it kind of sounds like one of those soft core porn romantic novels but trust me it's way classier than that. At least they don't have one of those hunky male models from the 80's (long hair and busting pectorals) pictured on their billboards.

Every single act was a spellbinding, defying gravity, exquisite piece of art but here below are my three favorite acts. Three because three's a charm, just like Amaluna was.

She is the main character in this production. Her number requires so much strength I am pretty sure the girl must train even when she is sleeping. It's mainly a hand-balancing act and it's done on the edge of a tiny pool of water resembling a wine glass. This Lilliputian performer dives into this pool many times during her performance and you wonder how she manages not to plow to her death considering the skimpy dimension of that Barbie sized pool. The control she has while balancing her whole body on one hand is uncanny. By the way she does all that while completely wet from the previous dips she took during her act. I can manage to slip on my bathroom's floor and crack my head open with way less water involved in the equation. I was sweating for the whole length of her performance but it was so worth it!

Balance goddess.
She is one of the many goddesses in this show but she is by far the most intriguing.
During her act she builds a huge structure out of what looks like a bunch of long, thin whale bones. The trick is that this structure is built on the sole principle of balancing each piece with the other. She puts bone by bone together until she reaches a considerable size. This ethereal structure looks like it's floating on air, it moves like a great mammal sailing through the ocean. It seems almost as if this construction is breathing and moving ever so fluidly under the control of its maker. Throughout her solo the music is very calming and her breathing is amplified by a microphone creating a rhythmic effect between the two of them. No singing needed for such an extra-human performance, only the breathing of the artist. I believe that is perfect symbolism to represent the modern women's every day life; always balancing 100 pieces and still obliged to make it look harmonious and effortless (modern women you are welcome).

These three gorgeous ladies are the last act before the finale ensemble.
They are the benevolent masters of flight and appear when the Queen needs them most.
The Valkyries performance literally fills up the whole space inside the huge tent. They truly are masters of flight. They are the kind of women we do tend to hate. They are beautiful, they wear killer outfits, their makeup is striking as much as their sharp cheekbones and they are fit and blond.
There are three of them and they use straps to fly across the whole stage. The heights and speed they reach are unbelievable. On top of that once they are done with their incredible performance not even a hair is out of its original position. As I said they could be the women we hate. But they are Valkyries so we better watch out. Next thing we know we could find ourselves fighting a loosing battle.
My friend Haley is one of those flying superwomen and I almost burst at the seams with pride when I saw her stepping on a Cirque du Soleil stage. Just like a proper Italian mother, what can I say I learned from the best (my own mother).

Haley and I.

We left The Grand Chapiteau with our hands still throbbing form all the clapping. If I could I would have done even more to express how much I loved the show. I don't suppose throwing my underwear at them would have been standard so I opted for more queen-ish who-hooos  that I shouted out at the top of my lungs.

The Amaluna poster.

Cali half human, half lizard.

One of the Valkyries.

It was a wonderful evening and even an opinionated bitch like me was won over by the astonishing, breathtaking, overwhelming and stunning Cirque du Soleil's Amaluna.

Ciao for now.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Perfume in the breeze and a climbing Charlize.

Bosom friends I am rather baffled today.

I was enjoying my morning coffee with a side of hubby when I saw the umpteenth perfume commercial. I understand that we are close to the gift giving mother of days, but enough is enough!
I now feel the urge to express my sentiment over those glossy and quite irritating miniature movies that advertise smelly waters.

I do love to wear perfume. I am not one of those hippies that consider laundry soap fancy.
I delight myself in spritzing expensive cologne all over my erogenous zones. I sometimes spray a whole cloud of my favorite fragrance and just walk in it. Very decadent and slightly demented.
I have a whole collection of essences from Italian to French brands and dusting and rearranging all of those pretty bottles can very often be a full day project. Again slightly demented.

Amen sister Coco.

I any case, I have never bought a fragrance just because I was mesmerized by its TV commercial.
I did buy Aveeno face cream once because I saw Jennifer Aniston on TV telling me I wear it with everything (if it is good enough for Jen then it must be good enough for me too),  but I only ever purchased something that is supposed to smell good because I actually liked the way that it tickled my sense of smell. I have never chosen a fragrance only because some overly paid actor or model enticed me to do so.

To be said, some of those adverts are small cinematic masterpieces but they are so good not because they smell good but because the creative team that put them together are amazing at their job. I am sure we are all aware that we cannot get a whiff of Eau de Whatever from our TV sets. What those rather long commercials are trying to sell us is a mood, a state of mind even. On top of that they often feature somebody we all know well or at least we would want to sleep with.
If you think about it there isn't a modern scent ad that bothers to describe what the actual bouquet is made of. Our interests have to be stimulated in other ways.
They have to link their product with a desirable abstract idea. The abstract idea being SEX. Masculine or feminine it's not relevant as long as it makes you tingle in your privates. Many of those advertisements are erotic in nature as much as Hugh Hefner's magazine. Doesn't matter that there is perhaps more to those cologne ads (Playboy does have some written articles in it too), what sells is the libido factor, the promise of imminent copulation brought to you by the powerful serum contained in that fancy little bottle.
There are other messages exploited by perfume campaigns such as excellence in sports, freedom and independence, youthfulness, beauty, rebellion and happiness. In any case what they are basically telling you is that you are not going to achieve your best in any of those categories because you are not yet wearing their potent fragrant potion.
Even the bottles have to be appealing. A perfume is a perfume is a perfume. We are not doing brain surgery here. What also sets a cologne apart from the others is the shape of the bottles they are sold in. It has to be a designer's creation made of Murano glass that weighs at least 10 lbs. The fact that it may be very difficult to handle is not important. The fragrance itself is very much secondary. Of course it cannot smell like Eau de Poo, but what is going to boost its sales has very little to do with the floral notes and the essential oils contained in it.

What I really find silly though are the plots of those perfume ads we see on TV.

The ones filmed in black and white are usually eager to depict a very cool attitude towards life. They are painting the picture of a young, restless and well styled type of generation.We usually see a couple (male and female God forbid!) either dressed up in their finest or half naked. In either cases they are not at a gala or in a bedroom where those attires belong. No. They are instead rolling on a beach at dawn, or running and jumping from roof to roof (still at dawn). Also they are mildly grinding on each other and even when they are trying their best to french kiss, they never quite successfully aim at their lover's lips in spite of their close proximity. They end up looking like they are having sexual harassing Turrets.
Let's not forget they must be doing all of that at dawn because they are so unconventional. They are rules breakers. They don't care what the uncool people think of them. All they need is to spray gallons of Eau de I don't care what you think, but I actually do and pull those idiotic facial expression that range from the I have very bad gas face to the I am staring at something very cool but only I can see it, to the ever green I pout because only fat people smile.

Then we have the girls-only advertisements. In this case they have to be at their best. Happy, thin and showing smiles full of teeth. 99% of the time they have a wind machine blowing their hair extensions in all kind of directions and they are very often getting rid of something (taking their dress off, shattering jewellery...)
Charlize Theron is telling us that the past can be beautiful but the future is gold. Thank you Charlize, perhaps the people of your own country (South Africa) would not really agree on that point. Plus she is enlightening us with that consideration while climbing a piece of silk and destroying a string of pearls. Once she has made it to the top of the classical dome she looks at the view of a city that resembles Dubai or any other super rich megalopolis. Amazing and very relatable.

A new found skill.

On the other hand we have Julia Roberts making us aware that life is beautiful. She used to be chained in cuffs of diamonds, but screw those shiny stones! She is now liberated from social bounds and can freely climb a flight of stairs to nowhere (with the fortuitous help of a wind machine on her face).

Chained in diamonds.

Free and ready to climb to nowhere.

Of course the evergreen Kate Moss is just wearing a British raincoat and she is sitting on top of a gigantic bottle of perfume sharing the spotlight with a girl half her age. She is looking as starving and as in need of a cigarette as usual. Only now her face has to be digitally enhanced for days before the ad can be ready for the market. They were quite the sadists putting her right next to a pre-puberty model.

You can tell Kate ain't very happy.

The one ad that I hold dear to my heart as the silliest one is the Chanel N.5 that had Brad Pitt in it.
A very raggedy version of Mr Pitt to be precise. He looked like he needed to take a shower to begin with, the perfume seemed highly superfluous right then and there. Then he goes on and on telling us the following:
It’s not a journey, 
every journey ends but we go on, 
the world turns and we turn with it. 
Plans disappear and dreams take over. 
But where ever I go – there you are. 
My luck, my fate, my fortune. 
CHANEL N°5 inevitable.
He recites this modern age Shakespeare mambo-jumbo while looking into the camera with the biggest pair of puppy-eyes we have seen since the ones on Puss in Boots from Shrek. Of course filmed in black and white and with particular attention paid to airbrushing off his under eye bags for a better puppy-eyes result. He looks like a greasy puppy-headed dullard. A beautiful one though.

Brad's puppy eyes.

Puss in Boots.

Brad's commercial though is still better than the one on TV now for Invictus (Paco Rabanne).
This oil drenched male model (with a body that only a gay self obsessed guy could achieve), is parading around in the bottom half of his team uniform on a field of glory. With one move of both his arms he is achieving wonders, even though he looks more like an air traffic controller. An assembly of gods and goddesses are saluting him while he carries a victory cup on his shoulder. The expression on his face makes me cringe. He ends up looking like he is trying very hard to make us believe that
1- he has a large dick,
2- he is a large dick.
Mission accomplished on the second front.
This madness ends with the invincible bro retiring to the locker room only to find 5 Victoria Secret's virgin models waiting for him.
At his sight those damsels let the silk drapes they were dressed with fall off and their ovaries sing the Ode to Joy.
A masterpiece.

Just below I added a quick summary in pictures of the Invictus ad.

If you don't believe me go check those videos on YouTube.

Reality is scarier than written words.

Ciao for now.

First arm flip with face smirk.
Another smirk
Second arm flick and another smirk.
Goddesses admiring the smirking Invictus.
The 5 virgin damsels.
Cloth is dropped because of ovary overload.
Final smirk before the pillage of the virgins.