Friday, April 27, 2012

Memory

Alex bought me two tickets to Cats for my birthday with the intent I take Lucien as my date.  Sure, Lucien loves music and spectacle and hyperactive fake cats, but I still wasn't convinced it was a good idea to take him to the show. 

As a test, I showed Lucien some Cats clips on YouTube.  After five seconds of watching Mr. Mistoffeles prance around like an asshole,  Lucien said, "No thanks, get me a babysitter."  It was a clear message I would have been an idiot to ignore.

I asked Alex to come with me.  His reply was, "Would that make you happy?"   I said "Yes."  Then he said, "This gift is backfiring on me."

Alex agreed to be my date, then immediately asked how long Cats was.  I googled the question and found this --

"forever, those cats never stop singing, you just want it to end."
Good omen!

Our tickets were for the Saturday matinee.  This wouldn't have been a problem except Friday night was Girls Night Out, organized by a friend to celebrate another friend who just ran the Boston Marathon. We salute you, Seattle Mom.

Posse, you know I love beer.  Beer is my friend.  I also enjoy wine.  Hard alcohol, however, I do not do.  We do not get along.  It never, ever ends well for me, such as the time we threw a festive "tequila party" in college.  Whenever I think about that party, I want to track down my old college roommate and throw up in her clothes hamper again.

But memories are funny things.  As in, I always forget them when they matter.  The ladies and I started our Friday evening with a few shots at a local craft distillery's tasting room. Then we walked up to Poquitos on Capitol Hill and had a couple margaritas.  Then we went across the street to Moe Bar where there was dancing paired with several vodka cranberries. 

 I know some of those people

In the moment, the night was damn fun and I didn't think I was making bad choices.  I was called "sexy" by a hot man who had muscles for days, which only bolstered my belief that everything was going well. 

Opening my eyes the next morning, however, was not fun nor sexy.  To give you an idea of how bad it was, I was still wearing my shoes and Alex was staring at me with a horrified yet awestruck expression.  I didn't even know his eyes could get that wide. 

Al got the kids out of the house all morning so I could suffer in peace.  He came back to check on me and timidly asked if we were still going to see Cats.  I said "Hmrphsgh"  so he picked up the phone and tried to give our Cats tickets away to half of Seattle.  Everyone said, "No, we don't want to see Cats, not even for free."

I promised Alex I would rally so his dollars wouldn't go to waste.  The plan was for Al to take the kids out for lunch, drop them at the babysitter's, come home, shower, and we'd get downtown to make the 2:00 showtime.

2:00 came and went and Al wasn't back.  Calls to Al's cell weren't answered, calls to the babysitter confirmed my kids were not there.  I entered an excruciating hangover/panic mode, which is when you're freaked out about the whereabouts of your loved ones but your head hurts so badly you can only sit limply on the couch like a person with no bones and cry.

Al finally answered his cell phone.  I didn't know if I felt immense relief or immense anger.  He said he'd taken the kids to the mall, where he'd lost track of time and left his cell phone in the car.  Then I knew the answer was "anger."

Anyway, we missed most of the first half of Cats, ran into the theater about ten minutes before intermission.  We took our seats right in the middle of the Jellicle Ball.  Those damn cats were dancing all over the damn place and the audience members were clapping in unison and cheering.  It was deafeningly loud and there were strobe lights involved. 

Someone should notify Dante -- there's a tenth circle of hell.  It's called "Cats with a hangover" and it's the most unbearable of them all.


Regardless how agonizing most of the performance was (Is Gus the Theater Cat's pirate bit really necessary?  Sweet Jesus...)  as soon as Grizabella opened her mouth to sing "Memory," I was a quivering mess.  Oh, I cried.  It was partially because of my emotionally turbulent day but it was also because she really hit those high notes.

Alex told me later Cats was worth it for those few minutes of "Memory."  That's high praise coming from the guy who slept through the entire disappearance of  Old Deuteronomy.

I will share some of the glory/misery that is Cats by embedding "Memory" below.  As an added bonus, I've used the version that includes Grizabella, the former beautiful glamour cat, ascending into "the Heavyside Layer" on a giant tire.  Good Lord, this musical is ridiculous. 

If you can get over the fact it's a grown woman with a painted-on cat nose and whiskers, I think you'll realize "Memory" is still one of the best songs ever to come out of musical theater.




Hard alcohol -- it will NEVER HAPPEN again, until I forget all my memories and it happens again,
MJ

19 comments:

  1. "Those Cats never stop singing!" Hilarious!So many things to enjoy in that awkward "been there, done that" way, about this post. Glad you got to experience at least half of Cats...well, maybe. Hope it was worth it.

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    1. Hi Lisa. It's true, those cats really never stop singing. It was kind of worth it, if only to have some nice material for a blog post.

      Have a good one, thanks for stopping by as always.

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  2. I do not envy you that hangover. They just seem to get worse as we "mature" (to put it nicely).

    Of course I write all this as I am nursing most of a bottle of wine, trying to simultaneously erase the crappy work week and finish up the work week. Did I mention that it is my morning to get up with the kids?

    Yeah, I might not be in the best place tomorrow...

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    1. Adrianne. So true. Don't recover the way I used to. Can't handle the alcohol the way I used to, either. Aging sucks on so many levels.

      How was that wine? Cheers!

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  3. Poor Alex. He thought he was doing good, buying those Cats tickets.
    And he ends up causing untold (in this case 'told') frustration
    and hardship.

    It could have been worse. Like attending a Lord Of The Dance performance. You know, those pathetic Irish dweebs who put their hands on their hips and stomp around in heavy oversized shoes for hours on end.
    Think I'll just stick with my TV and the remote. Its all about control.

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    1. Bill. My Al always tries, gotta give him credit for that. The intentions were good, the outcome was bad. So it goes sometimes.

      I'm not hungover anymore but your mention of Lord of the Dance made my head hurt again and I felt nauseous. You're right, could've been worse.

      Bye, Bill.

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  4. I have never understood the principle of Cats. Having never seen it the premise seems so scarily ridiculous that I am sure everyone who has seen it is in on some massive joke where the only people who questioningly wonder if it really is a musical about people dressed up as cats and singing and dancing for an hour believe that it is so. While all the well heeled ones titter into their handkerchiefs and smirk. Like the drop bears of theatre...

    Hope the hangover has settled. I never had one before I hit 30. Since then any spirit is determined to suck my liver out via my sinuses come morning.

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    1. Jenn, your assessment is correct, Cats is ridiculous. I think everyone in the audience knows that, and bought their tickets ironically. Maybe it was an audience full of hipsters.

      Hangover settled. Took forever. Still have no desire to drink even a glass of wine. May have ruined me forever, that one!

      Bye, Jenn!

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  5. Taejon, South Korea, 1997.
    Lemon-flavoured soju (Korean vodka - 35 % proof).
    The morning after.

    Urghhhhhh...

    Can't stand "Memory" or "Wind Beneath my Wings". Heard them too much. Like Beethoven's Für Elisa. Yuck.

    Back from two weeks of intensive language training and incessant rain in San Sebastian, Spain. Only 17 days left in The Hague. Can't quite believe it. But I feel I have one foot in the Netherlands and the in Canada. And loads to do before I leave, including prepare for an exam. Never a dull moment:)

    But I'm back in the comment section, so hello again:)

    Two and a half weeks, Debs:)

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    1. let the countdown begin....I'll alert the RCMP.

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    2. Duchesse, whatever that alcohol is you named, it sounds terrifying. It apparently made an impression on you.

      I wouldn't have considered myself a "Memory" fan, either, until I saw it performed again live. Takes it to a different place, a much more enjoyable one. Won't be rocking out to it at our next party or anything, but it is a beautiful song.

      I know well that one-foot-here-one-foot-there feeling. The ending is a pretty brutal limbo, feels much better once it's all said and done. Hang in there Duchesse and Mr. Duchesse!

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  6. I do love "Memory", even though I've never seen the musical. Only thing better is Les Mis with "Bring Him Home" and that other song the girl sings about life being a living hell... what's it called? My memory is going too. Sorry, but Guiness gives the worst hangovers, unless you count straight gin in high school. Have never touched gin since, even in a screwdriver!

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    1. "I Dreamed a Dream." Nice choice. I loooove songs about life being hell.

      I don't want to talk about gin. Or screwdrivers. Or Guinness. What are you people trying to do to me here? Man.

      Bye, Lou!

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  7. Wow... the typos in my comments... Ouch.

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    1. Am I crazy? Ain't seeing 'em. Maybe I'm still drunk.

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  8. is it me? I can't see an typos in Duchesse's comments...must be hung-over...but not as hungover as the day after the listening party back in the day to AC/DC's Back in Black (in my record company days)...free booze all night and loud!! music....you know when you can smell alchohol on your skin?...anyway..brutal

    Cats...well the 80's called ..they want their musical back...really MJ..time to hang that one up...Memories is a great song (sorry Duchesse) but it's not great enough to make me sit thru that insanity ever again

    Imagine if you had taken the Loosh AND had the hangover...that would have been a whole nother blog story....

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    1. Hi Debbie in T. AC/DC in your record company days? Stories, please. And pictures.

      It is time to hang up Cats. Agreed. Their nine lives are up -- HA! HILARIOUS!

      Lucien plus a hangover plus Cats = complete physical and emotional breakdown. Good thing we didn't go that route, although we most likely would have been on time.

      Thanks for stopping by, and prepare yourself for the arrival of Duchesse into your country.

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  9. Christine (in Italy)April 30, 2012 at 8:02 AM

    I....CAN'T..... STOP...... LAUGHING!!!! (not at your pain, of course.) :)

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    1. Hi Christine. There was only pain. If you're laughing, you're laughing at it, and that's OK.

      Italy sounds great about now. Hmm. Roadtrip.

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