I’ve lived the past two weeks out of my now-dingy pink suitcase purchased for me while I was in high school. I am constantly surprised by how much content I can shove into it’s carry-on sized frame; clothing, makeup, toiletries, curling wands, extra high heels, workout gear, souvenir shot glasses, and even a “professor owl” bookend I picked up for a steal in Reno. I outdid myself two weeks ago when packing for San Francisco and Ocean Shores by having to rest my entire weight on the suitcase, shifting my balance inch by inch, in order to close it. But close it I did!
It’s not that I pack extraordinarily heavily, but you’d be surprised just how much room a pair of shoes, or a proper underwear selection, or beauty products take in a small-ish bag. I am thinking about upgrading, but since no other suitcase is as garishly pink as mine, it is a cinch to pick out at the baggage claim. And now that the wheel is broken off of my previously nondescript SMU-issued black recruitment bag, that’s easy to spot too. Most other people buy new rolling bags when the wheels on their old ones break.
In case you haven’t been following my February travels, in the past two weeks I have been to San Francisco, Ocean Shores, Reno, and Las Vegas. The Nevada and California trips have been for work, and the beach visit was over the long President’s Day holiday with some friends. Suffice it to say that I am wiped.
There have definitely been some ups and downs, the ups including friends and off-hours landmarks, the lows involving hotel and car issues. The lows I’m not going to cover other than that, but here are some of the highs:
I got to watch the hilarious whale movie with Lauren (oh, wait, I don’t think that it was supposed to be funny):
Enjoying Valentine’s evening with another single lady, Hannah:
[We apparently thought it was important to take a photo of our coffee, but not of each other]
Driving over the Golden Gate bridge, mastering the art of paying a toll, and buying some new mascara were also great experiences.
Immediately after arriving at Seatac on my way home from San Francisco, I then continued on to Ocean Shores with some friends. We bowled, relaxed, ate at a lovely Irish Pub, and ate a lot of birthday cake oreos.
Browsing the Martha Stewart line exclusively at Staples. (Hey, in my defense, other than golfing and gambling I couldn’t find much else to do).
I saw the sights, bought a shot glass, and didn’t lose any money on the slots. This may be linked to the fact that I did not gamble at all.
And, oh yes, Kà.
Last night I was determined that if I was in Vegas I would see a show. I saw signs all over for the Cirque Du Soleil show, Zumanity, touted as the “sensual side of Cirque”. Thinking about topless women performing acrobatic feats just made my boobs hurt, but luckily a friend recommended another Cirque show, Kà. At first I thought that this was just a wacky Vegas acronym, but then he explained that it was a Cirque show and I set off to find it.
That evening, from the moment I entered the cavernous flame-spouting theatre complete with railings and Avatar-esque lighting platforms, I was in raptures. I arrived outside the doors before the theatre opened because I had nothing else to do and because I am a freak who arrives at things ridiculousy early.
A funny and gregarious performer/greeter interacted with me for a while, offering himself up as my date, trying to figure out what exactly an Admission Counselor was, and complementing my outfit. Later on he awarded me the title of “best high-fiver in the theatre”. The other greeters all had their own individual characters–to which they stuck quite well. The point I am trying to get across is that the atmosphere, from before even entering the theatre, is spot on and all-encompassing. While waiting I did get a drink (I should probably at least participate in one of Sin City’s traditions) and was delighted to take my gin and tonic with me into the theatre when the ringing of the giant gong signalled the opening of the doors. The next half hour wait until curtain was breezy and fun as fog and fire spurted up from what I can only describe as a giant pit/staging area where the proscenium would ordinarily be.
The show was spectacular. Mesmerizing. Exacting. Exhausting. Gripping. All-sensual. The story is of a pair of royal twins, separated, hunted, and eventually coming of age separately before coming back together, new love interests in tow, and defeating the evil usurper who has extraordinarily stylish yellow shoes. Interspersed between the dancing, the fighting, and the flying were moments of pure cutesy (a dancing bug, crab, and starfish), poignancy (the shadow-puppet sequence) and sheer audacity (everything involving the rotating platform, lighting effects, props such as a tent that transforms into a giant flying bird).
The story was also a bit of commentary on the evils of over-industrialization and modernity verses the values of organic-centered, tradition-valuing societies.
Also, explosive powder should be used for fireworks, not explosives, and love permeates even the most base characters.
I would give just about anything to see the diagrams of the mechanics of the stage.
It has been an exhausting, work-rewarding, and busy two weeks. I will be happy to be home.