You know how some days are just golden and everything seems to go right? That's how today was - everything (and I mean everything) was comin' up Millhouse!
I woke up feeling deliciously alive as the sun streamed through the windows of my temporary bedroom (mine is completely askew as it is in the middle of a heavy roomening phase wherein the contents of my closet look like they have been vomited onto my bed). It was, after a week of Toby sickness, a murder down the street (really!), a day I had been anticipating, because it just so happened that I had tickets to go see Chicago with my friend Anne.
So, I awoke with my mind filled with just the kinds of questions you might expect on such an auspicious day: Are Lisa Rinna's lips as ginormous in person? Can Luke Duke really sing? Will it feel strange to go to a musical about murderesses a few days after a neighbor was killed by his crazed girlfriend, who later lead police on a chase, then inflicted a gunshot wound on her own head? Surely the Universe would not make me wait all day to find the answers to these burning questions. And yet, it did.
There was long drive and seven and a half hours of toil between my awakening and the Press Conference Rag, so I set about getting myself ready for the day and then stopped for coffee at the Starbuck's on my way to work. As I was waiting at the drive-thru for my order to be complete, I was passing the time by scribbling in the little notebook that I carry with me everywhere. When the barrista came back to the window, he said to me, "You're always writing. Are you a writer?" Normally, I would hem and haw and mumble something lame like "Well, I like to write...", but instead I just told him, "Yes, yes I am."
Frankly, it is the first time that it has occurred to me to just say "yes". What changed is that I was at a party not long ago, where I started talking to a singer. Somehow our discussion turned to creativity and what we do for a living. She sings, I work in an office. The interesting thing for me was that after inquiring what I write, she didn't look at me and think "corporate employee who writes as a hobby", she said "Oh, you're a writer." I started my usual "Well, I like to write..." crap. And she just looked at me and said, "If you write and you have passion for it, you are a writer. What you do for a living is incidental. We all have done non-creative jobs to pay the bills." Looking at it this way felt strangely empowering. Hadn't Kafka worked as a law clerk? Johnny Depp was an ink pen telemarketer. Kiri te Kanawa was a phone operator. Vincent Van Gogh was not wildly successful in his lifetime. That doesn't make any of these individuals less of an artist. Technically, no one pays me to write, but I do write things, therefore, I am a writer. So, when the coffee guy asked, I said "Yes!" and I think we may have a had a moment. How's that for acting like you already are what you want to be? Take that, Tony Robbins!
Then, at lunch I found a pair of adorable shoes on the clearance rack for $10. If that weren't enough, I spent my day being told how awesome I am at work and my boss told me to go ahead and leave early if I liked, since I've been working so hard. It was like the best kind of dream (with the exception of not finding out that contrary to what had previously been thought, Swiss chocolate actually makes you lose weight and builds muscle...still, I will continue to eat it in the hope that my dream will one day come true). Because of leaving early, I made it downtown in time to find a brilliant parking spot (seriously, I couldn't have gotten closer to the Keller, if I'd parked in the lobby!) and have a bite to eat before meeting Anne.
Eating my sandwich at one of the stone picnic tables outside of Koin Center, I had the opportunity to people watch and enjoy the sun. It was interesting to see the crowds grow as the event neared - such a huge range of clothes and styles. It's always puzzled me how one person can find jeans and a t-shirt appropriate attire for the same event that someone else feels requires a sequined gown and heels.
Among the more interesting passersby: a woman who was almost a Doppelgänger for that coworker I used to have who liked to come to work wearing her underwear as a top; a girl with the coolest looking black hair with a splash of shocking red at the front, and (my favorites), two kids in their late teens who were at the table next to mine and deep in discussion about classic rock.
The guy was clearly dorkaliciously into it. The girl not so much, but trying to give the impression of grooving on it anyway, because she is still at an age where she doesn't get that it's pointless to pretend to be something you are not just so a boy will like you, especially a stupid boy. At one point, she made a comment about some song or other, falsely attributing it to Led Zeppelin. The boy paused, looked at her with disgust, then woundedly sighed and said in an annoyed, superior tone on par with that of The Simpsons Comic Book Guy: "After all I've tried to teach you, you got Lynard Skynard and Led Zeppelin confused. That hurts me." And yet she was the one who blushed and looked ashamed. As for me, it took everything I had to not walk over and grab the giant Chicken Carbonara sandwich he was eating and use it to pummel him over the head for making his cute little girlfriend feel stupid because she couldn't tell two bands who were already applying for AARP cards before she was even born apart.
My ire was quickly forgotten, however, when one of the guys who had been in line in front of me and checking me out in the sandwich shop came out to tell me that my dress was pretty. That was all, he didn't want anything - just to wish me a good day and compliment my dress. Sure, I may have more of it now than I once did, but I've still got it! Such a small gesture, but it boosted my already good mood just in time for me to go into the show.
And here is what I learned at tonight's performance of Chicago:
1. I love Bob Fosse. (Ok, technically I already knew that, but it was good to be reminded why.)
2. Lisa Rinna's lips do NOT look as ginormous in person, especially when she is on a stage and you are seated in the cheap seats in row Y. In a similar vein, from a distance, her boobs also do not look as much like two halved coconuts on a board as they do in the photo above, yet it is noticable that the woman has an incredible body. She is seriously gorgeous and toned (and she was really good in the musical). Oh, to be her age and in such good shape! Aw hell, to be my age and in her shape.
3. Luke Duke can sing. (Oh, I know he goes by Tom Wopat now, but I will always think of him as Luke Duke, co-proprietor of the General Lee. I kept expecting Uncle Jesse to wander on stage for a cameo.)
4. Giant feathered fans (and boas, though there were none of those in this performance) are egregiously underused in daily life today, and I think I may need some (fans, not feather boas...I already have one of those).
5. I should go to more musicals/live theater, because I love it. Added bonus: fit male dancers are not exactly hard on the eyes.
6. More days should be as good as today was - it even ended with fireworks as I was driving home over the Morrison Bridge. If this the new turn my life is taking for the summer, bring it on!