Almost there...

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Well we're back.

Zumanity was interesting. On our way into the theater, we noticed Guy Laliberte, founder and CEO of Cirque du Soleil, sitting at a table at one of the little cafes. Rick and I couldn't contain ourselves and had to go thank him. I wrote a quick postcard so as to interrupt as little as possible. We scurried out of the theater and waited for a break in their conversation. Guy paused to light a cigarette and we took the opportunity to introduce ourselves and thank him for so thoroughly transforming the circus from a collection of acts to an art form. He introduced us to the rest of the table, and asked if we'd seen Zumanity yet. We said we were just on our way in to see it now. He said, "It's a very fragile baby." Clearly they were busy discussing the direction of the show right there. I said that in fact the reason we were seeing it now was just so that we could see how it evolves over the next year or two. We let them get back to work, and headed into the theater. Guy was quite accurate. Zumanity is trying to find it's stride. All of the early website information suggested that it was to have a fashion show/catwalk sort of theme. That theming is almost completely disappeared. In it's place, a show about the range of sexuality is emerging. Starting from the playful exploratory sexuality of innocence into bondage, domination, and a range of other fetishes. It's also trying to work in other ranges of sexuality, from fat to thin, short to tall, male, female, transgendered, midgets, old to young, and generally trying to say that sex is beautiful and should be celebrated rather than hidden. It's a theme I could get behind, and it was a very erotic, if somewhat uneven show.

O is still the masterpiece of Cirque du Soleil. As the hordes in the gift shop after the show attest, you just want to capture a piece of it to take home. I stumble out thinking, "That was amazing. Can I give you more money?" I restrained myself in the gift shop this time, consoling myself only that I will get out and see that show again. Maybe after the third time I'll be able to retain enough of it in my mind's eye to satisfy me. O is just perfect. Kevin said, "It's the best show/performance of any kind I've ever seen." I would agree. Pay any price they ask, but go see O. Zumanity and O make a great two evening double feature, especially in that order, especially with someone you want to have a lot of sex with after the show. But if you can only afford one, go see O.

As for the rest of the trip, it went well. We caught up to Shawna and Sherman in Sedona, which was surprisingly lovely for all of us. I would happily go visit Sedona again, and the canyon between it and Flagstaff. That's my kind of terrain. Windy mountain roads lined with soaring pine trees. The earlier part of the day was spent in the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest, which, though beautiful, were a painfully sunny desert. Even with the liberal application of sunscreen, I was still slightly crispy after about 1 mile of walking outdoor time. No wonder the Indians gave up on it back in the 13-1400s. The next day was spent in the Grand Canyon, getting a tour with a geologist and hiking up to a lovely spot for the sunset. Pictures were taken. From there to Las Vegas was an easy trip, with a stop in Kingman for the last Cracker Barrel, and a stop at the Hoover Dam. The Hoover Dam doesn't allow big rigs after 9/11, but it does allow passenger vehicles to cross until they finish the bypass. About five miles before the dam, there was a checkpoint to inspect cars. It was a pretty weak excuse for a checkpoint, consisting mainly of one cop waving us through. In his head I imagined him saying to himself, "You're white. You're white. You're white." as he waved each of us by. Rick met us at the hotel in Vegas. I was very happy to see him. Luckily, we stopped in Vegas just in time to completely miss the flash floods and other thunderstorm related drama that was on the road ahead of Vegas. The bad weather chased us for the entire trip, and yet no place we went had particularly bad weather while we were there. On the entire trip, I think I logged less than 300 miles of our 3500 mile total. Kev was loathe to give up the driver's seat unless he was actually falling asleep at the wheel. In LA, we had dinner with his family, and then drove up the next afternoon, arriving back in Mountain View around 7:30. With a little bit of unloading, I was home. And my sofa never looked so good. Rick showed me the end of the Osbournes series that I'd missed, and I made gorgonzola/garlic raviolis with brown butter sage sauce for dinner with sage from my yard. Home again at last.

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