Monday, May 7, 2012

What color is this?

Lucien found a tiny spider, barely larger than a speck, on our front porch and asked if he could keep him for a pet.  I said sure, for a couple days, but then we'd have to set him free again.  Lucien put him in a small jar.  He gave him a drop of water and some tortilla chips and named him Cha-Cha. 

Cha-Cha did not show any interest in the tortilla chips so Lucien grew worried about what to feed him.  He asked me if spiders ate ants.  I said "sure" because I hate ants and was hopeful it was true.  Lucien gathered a bunch of ants from outside (there are finally more ants outside than inside our Tiny Cottage, huzzah) and put them in the jar with Cha-Cha. 

A few moments later, Lucien screamed.

By the time I reached him, the ants, who apparently liked tortilla chips very much, were swarming and Lucien was screaming, "They ate Cha-Cha! They ate Cha-Cha!"  I couldn't quite believe it but he appeared to be right -- Cha-Cha was nowhere to be seen after an apparent ant attack witnessed by Lucien. 

I've never heard of ants banding together to eat a small spider, even a spider barely larger than a speck. We dumped out the jar trying to locate him but he wasn't there.  Maybe he was clinging to the underside of an ant in a brazen escape attempt?  If so, well played ninja spider.

Lucien cried himself to sleep that night over Cha-Cha.  He blamed himself for the spider's untimely end because he put the ants in the jar.  I didn't know how to comfort him because he kind of had a point.

Since Cats didn't kill my marriage, I decided to try again.  I got a babysitter and told Alex we had plans Saturday night -- I'd bought tickets to a one-woman performance art show.  Alex looked at me squarely but agreed to be my date after I promised the woman would be topless.  I didn't know this for a fact, but come on, it's performance art so chances were good.

Al and I started our evening with some Thai food on Queen Anne.  I took pictures of plates only after the food was eaten.  It's less appetizing that way but more artistic, a commentary on the futility of life.  I was in an artsy mood.

 This was delicious.  And futile. 

After dinner we walked to On the Boards, a great little theater on lower Queen Anne.  There are quite a few hipsters walking around there plus you can buy beer and lollipops in the lobby, both of which you can then take into the theater with you.  It was worth the money for that alone.

The show was by a performance artist named Julie Andree T.   It's entitled Rouge and involves Andree T. exploring the color red in all its multi-faceted glory onstage for an hour.  Sounds fascinating, non?   Hey, where are you going?

Julie Andree T. is from Quebec, as is Alex.  I had a hunch Alex was going to hate the performance so I already had my response ready.  When he complained, I was going to say, "Hey, don't look at me, she's your people, man." 

This is what the stage looked like before the performance --

This is what it looked like after --

In between those two photos, some crazy sh*t happened.  It started off innocently enough, with her walking onstage and eating a red pepper.  Actually, when I say "eat," I mean "chow."  She devoured that pepper much like how the ants allegedly devoured Cha-Cha.

There were only six words spoken throughout the performance: "What color is this?" and "It's red."  As the show went on, Julie Andree T. seemed to suffer a mental breakdown.  She continued to ask her question, but more in a psychotic break continuous loop kind of way.  "What color is this, it's red, what color is this, it's red, what color is this...." meh, you get the idea.

There was anger and violence.  The music got loud and throbby and she threw things.  There was passionate red stuff, too -- in fact, we're pretty sure she had relations with something onstage, something that starts with a "d" and ends with an "ildo," while wearing high heeled stripper boots.  Is that even legal?

As bizarre as it sounds, both Alex and I "got" most of it.  We enjoyed our psychotic red journey much more than we enjoyed Cats.  That probably says more about Cats than it does Rouge.  I would have enjoyed Julie's performance even more if I hadn't needed to pee so badly throughout most of it.  That's the downside to being allowed to bring a beer into a theater.

Unfortunately, Julie lost us at the end.  She spray-painted her foot and the side of her head blue, stood on one leg and glared.  She was indeed topless by that time.  It's great I was able to keep my promise to Al, but we had no goddamn idea what was going on by then and were holding hands -- not out of love, more out of solidarity and fear.

Whatever the hell that was, it left a lasting impression.  Never have I been so keenly aware of the color red.  I went to the bathroom after the show wearing my red houndstooth coat and no fewer than a dozen women pointed at me and demanded to know, "WHAT COLOR IS THIS?"  I'm reluctant to wear red in public now, for fear of being pounced upon by someone else who's seen the show.

At breakfast today, Coco smeared some yogurt on the wall.  She stared at it for awhile then licked it off.  Instead of our usual, "ugh, Coco, don't do that," reaction, Alex and I looked at each other and said at the same time, "Oh no, she's going to be a performance artist."

It's red,


  1. Oh, you were on a roll today.

    The itsy-bity spider must have been too itsy-bitsy. Ants are a brutish bunch and once they realized they were bigger, they decided to take him down the drug cartel way. Remember the only reason a cat doesn't kill you is because you're bigger than him.

    I've always done my best to avoid mimes and civil war reenactors.
    Imagine a grown man, after a loud bang and puff of smoke, clutching his chest, falling to the ground and pretending to die.
    Christ on a cracker! It's stupid and revolting.
    But now I'm adding performance artists to that list. But if she really did get her ya-ya's out - excuse me, I meant 'go topless' - the show did have some redeeming social value.

  2. Heh heh, this is pure awesome :D

  3. I LOVE On the Boards and am SO glad you found the place. I too am a skeptic when it comes to "performance art"...somehow this theatre gets it right. Thought provoking, interesting, and oftentimes really out there. The nudity doesn't hurt either ;-)

    Poor Cha-Cha. Is this Lucien's first pet death?

  4. Rouge sounds frightening, and surely requires more than one beer to bear. I'll be sure to steer clear of performance art in QA when the grandparents visit next.

  5. That was a good before and after look on the stage. At least they didn't have the copyright enforcer who scolds if you take a picture in the theatre. (I'm watched closely. He knows I have the camera.)

    I didn't mourn Cha Cha's demise. (Sorry Lucien.) I do know about forgetting to take the picture of the food before unarranging it in some unappetizing manner.

  6. You know, the Loosh shouldn't blame himself for the demise of poor Cha-Cha... you're the one who told him spiders ate ants;)

    Beer in the theatres, eh? Much like in movie theatres in this neck of the woods:) There was this super posh movie theatre in Bangkok I went to a couple of times where you could order anything you wanted at the bar and a waiter would bring it to you in the screening room which, incidentally, had nothing but LA-Z-BOYS!!!:) It was A.MA.ZING!:) I actually drank a G & T while watching Lord of the Rings with my feet up... so I had to get up at some point to go to the ladies' (which was super far from the viewing room) and lost about 15 minutes of the movie... but it was all worth it: that washroom was posh and cleaner than my own!;)

    Ahhhh memories:)

    You know that there's a town called Dildo in Newfoundland?;)

  7. Bill is fast becoming my new fav commentor..just saying.

    funny...the symbol for the quebec student protestors is a rouge square...those crazy quebecois...

    that thai food looks amazing..what's left of it.

    as for the ants and the's the circle of life baby.

  8. Oh gosh, how I've missed reading your blog!! I'm gonna have to catch up again... ;(
    How's everybody?

  9. Awesome post.

    Nudity is the way to get guys to performance art. My early twenties sons and husband (not early twenties) couldn't wait to go to Maria Abromovich when they heard the living art was naked. Even better, they had the choice of passing between 2 artists to get to the next room. It was a guy and a girl, so it was a challenge. I swear they lean in on you as you pass!

    Even my dad enjoyed it, although the room with a film of women running around lifting their skirts in the rain was a little numbing after a while.

  10. Okay, one more thought. Tell the Loosh others have made the same mistake, but the opposite happened for the spider. I had a praying mantis on my window once, and was admiring it all day. A good sized spider crawled up too, and I thought, good, the mantis will have a meal. They're rare, and I thought they ate spiders. An hour later it was clear there was only half a mantis left.

    Nature is nasty!

    The circle of life made a hell of an impression on me as the mantis disappeared. Tell the Loosh I feel for him, and don't give him nightmares with this story!