5.31.2010

This is the part where The Mayor tries to explain CATS


Okay, so yesterday I was able to cross another item off my bucket list and saw the 1980s musical CATS. Guess what, people? CATS isn't a guilty pleasure for me; I feel no guilt over my love for singing, dancing, leotarded anthropomorphic animals. Let me give you a little back story about me wanting to see CATS, okay?

Note: Now would be a good time to get a drink or use the bathroom if you don't give a shit about flashbacks or stories about my childhood. Peace! See you in 10 minutes.

Okay, so CATS was released in 1981, before I was born, but it was one of the longest-running stage musicals of the 80s and I was bombarded with the commercials on TV telling me not to miss this once-in-a-lifetime experience. We didn't have a cat at my house (my mother was allergic) but my Aunt had a cat named Blackie that I LOVED. Also I was TURBO OBSESSED with Thundercats and I assumed that CATS would just be like Thundercats LIVE! aka A Good Time Had By All. Anyways, I begged my Mother to take me and she always refused; I think she saw CATS with my Dad and they both didn't like it (her other argument was that I would be bored to death since all I watched on TV was action cartoons like She-Ra and Spiderman and the lack of 'splosions would have me fidgeting all through the show). There was no way I could win; even if someone had volunteered to take me, my parents would have shut them down, told them to save their money, or, if they really wanted to give me a once-in-a-lifetime experience, to buy me a Thundercats VHS tape that I would no doubt watch till VCRs became extinct at the hands of DVD players. When I moved schools in Grade 4 I heard talk that in Grade 6 all the kids got to attend a play in the city. The rumor was that we might see CATS, but it turned out that we would see The Phantom of the Opera aka SUPER BORING LAME TIME. I really didn't give two craps about seeing Phantom because later that year my grandparents were going to take me to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat aka The Bible Just got a Whole Lot Sexier, Amirite? (Which, I must say, is a really fun show for both kids and adults alike, but you probably already knew that). Eventually CATS stopped playing in Toronto and I never got to see it.

Fast forward to the future! So I mentioned this to my Aunt, that I have never seen CATS, and she arranges a girls-day with my sister and my Nana. Seriously, you have no idea how excited I was - I refused to spoil the show by reading the Wiki article on it or YouTubing any songs. So what did I think of it? Um, here is something nobody tells you:

CATS is FUCKING CONFUSING.

Don't get me wrong, it's amazing and the songs are so good and 80s and synth-y, and the sets are really cool, and all the actors had phenomenal voices. But there is like, no plot, at all. I am going to try really hard to explain the plot of CATS to you:

PLOT SUMMARY
So the show opens and there are a shitload of cats on the stage in a junkyard (?) and it's nighttime. Apparently there is going to be some annual cat-party thing where a wizard cat (?) or like, an old cat is going to pick one cat to be the Prom King. They sing a lot about this party. I think it's like the cat Oscars or something. Anyways, they spend the next hour introducing all the cats. All the songs are like this:

"This is Skimbleshanks and he is orange and he rides the train and he is a super guy!"

or

"This is Bustopher Jones and he is fat and he likes food and he is a super guy!"

After about 9 or 10 introductions, the old lady scraggle cat sings Memory and then we get to intermission. This is the part where I wait in line 15 minutes to use the bathroom. After intermission, the cats sing more songs about introductions and at one point in time I am pretty sure I witness cats having sex. With 10 minutes left in the show, a cat dies/goes back to her home planet (?) and the play ends.

Are you confused? So am I. Here are the questions I have for Andrew Lloyd Webber:

1. Do the cats live on Earth or in Outer Space?
No seriously, I still have no idea whether or not they are on Earth or some weird cat-planet. In the beginning it looks like a spaceship comes down from the sky, but it could also be a lit cloud that represents heaven...or something...? I have no idea.

2. What time in history are we?
I wanted to believe the show was set in the 80s, but then they kept talking about Queen Victoria, so....yeah. Because I don't know much about the Victorian age, but I am almost positive they didn't have trippy synth at the turn of the century.

3. Are the cats strays or just house cats that come out at night?
I felt like they were all cats with homes and families, because one of the cats (Rum Tum Tugger) talks about how he is always being let in and let out and how he frustrates people cause he can't make up his mind. Then again, all these cats seem to know each other pretty well which makes me think they're all BFFs who don't have homes.

4. The cats in CATS are all super-high-energy and managed to gymnastics their asses around that stage for 2 hours. Cats in real life are not nearly this active. I suggest you rename the show BORDER COLLIES.

5. What was with all the made-up words?
I got really confused and would have loved a glossary at the beginning of the Playbill.

6. Seriously, did that cat die at the end or go back to her home planet?!?!?

CHARACTERS IN CATS:
Rum Tum Tugger
Okay, from what I gather, Rum Tum Tugger loves to have sex. He also has a wallet chain attached to his pants, which makes little sense to me because why would a cat need a wallet? Also Rum Tum Tugger's owner should strongly consider neutering their cat as he is like the Charlie Sheen of the cat world.

Skimbleshanks
This cat likes to ride on trains and is sort of the rail yard mascot. Just like Tama!! Adorable!!

Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer
They steal stuff? They're like shoplifting teenagers or something.

Macavity
He might be the Devil, but I would assume that in a play about cats the Devil would be a dog or a Vet or something.

Old Deuteronomy
He is like Mr. Burns.

Mr. Mistoffelees
This cat is magic or a magician or Criss Angel. I'm not sure which, although he does wear a jacket with tons of rhinestones on it, so I think he may be Ed Hardy.

Grizabella
Okay, so this is the cat that dies at the end. She is really old and grizzly (oooh, hence the name!) Throughout the play the other cats don't really like her (there isn't a backstory given, so maybe she was a bitch to them or something. Or maybe the cats are just assholes) and then at the end they love her...right before she dies. Just like in real life!

So yeah, that's CATS in a nutshell. Speaking of nuts, my seat was close enough to the stage that I could see all the cat nuts up close in person. Thanks, Spandex, for making me lose my lunch!

5.21.2010

This is some Harmony Korine shit!

As I've mentioned before, my house is right on the water and once summer rears its hot, sweaty face I'm usually out on the beach every day after work, all day on the weekends, etc. I'd like to say I'm doing hood-rat stuff like smoking Js under the pier or hooking up with hottiez in the sand (that last one just made me feel itchy), but usually I'm reading. Yep. I sit on the beach and read, and when the mood strikes me I'll settle into my Mexican poncho-blanket for a nappy-nap.

So last night I was walking along the beach with a rocket popsicle when I came upon two lovlies freaking the shit out of squares:

Are you seeing what I'm seeing? Let's zoom in a little (WARNING: Not safe for people who feel embarrassed for other people or people who get that weird pit in their stomachs after watching David Lynch stuff)

Okay, so here is what was going on: the photographer was mid-20s (maaaybe mid-30s?) although the picture makes him look a lot older, I promise he was way too young to be wearing a speedo. He had tons of camera equipment on the bench across from the beach, and he had light meters and shit tucked into the back of his speedo. The woman sitting on the concrete block was definitely in her 80s, and was posing for a portrait. Okay, so here are my questions...

1. Why was the photographer wearing nothing but a speedo? It wasn't that hot out yesterday (as you can see by Memaw's sweater/slacks combo).

2. Why didn't he find a more romantic or pretty spot to take a picture than on that ugly ass cinderblock?

3. Why did he stuff his light meter down his crack?

4. Why did the memaw not take off her hat?

5. Why was he shooting directly into the sun? (Note: the sun was setting and he was pointing his camera to the west).

So many unanswered questions. All in all, it looked pretty heartbreaking. Decrepit old woman posing for pictures while some Greek boner is thrust in her direction. I really wished I had known the back story here, but I guess I will be left to my own devises and guess what the hell was up with those two.

Guesstimate 1: He is currently enrolled in a photography class and needed to do a project on the elderly. He called up his Nonna (Oma? Granny?) and asked if she would sit for a photo shoot down by the beach. She doesn't really want to do it (which would explain why she wasn't dressed up) but gives him a hug and tells him she hopes he gets an A+
...however, this doesn't explain the speedo. I would assume his Grandmother would tell him to "put some clothes on" so I think this one isn't going to work.

Guesstimate 2: The old woman, with one foot in death's doorway, decides to cross "have sex with nubile young Greek artist-type" off her bucket list and enlists the help of Craigslist to make her dream come true. Part of her fantasy involves sitting for a portrait session, so he rounds up as much professional-looking equipment he can find in the trash and pretends to take pictures of her before they make sweet sweet love in her senior's condo on top of a plastic-covered couch.
...nope, Grandmas don't know how to use the internet, let alone know what Craigslist is, so this one is out too.

Guesstimate 3:
The man in the speedo works at a retirement home and has fallen inexplicably in love with one of the women on the 3rd floor, Mrs. Iris Finklestein. He has asked her to join him on the beach while he takes a few pictures of waves. In the throws of dementia, she obliges, but only because she thinks he's President Taft. They go to the beach and he strips down to his underwear in the hopes she finds him arousing. She doesn't.
...not much about this scenario makes any sense at all, so I'm going to say this is the most unlikely of the options.

Guesstimate 4:
He's kidnapped her.
...but why would he need to kidnap an old woman? And why isn't he in some kind of weird underground bunker or shitty apartment with tinfoil on the walls? Moving on.

Guesstimate 5: The guy is actually a photographer and has spent the whole day at the beach taking shitty pictures of sailboats and seagulls. He was aggressively convincing himself that it was much warmer during the day than it actually was by wearing nothing but a bathing suit. An old woman, out for an evening walk, approaches him to make conversation (because she is so lonely and hasn't talked to anyone in a week). He tells her about the seagulls he shot. She then asks him if she could pose for him, to which he agrees, because he is sick of shooting seagulls (and also because she reminds him of his Grandmother who is still back in Greece). He tells her to get comfortable and she tells him that she thinks sitting on the concrete block will make her look glamorous, like Veronica Lake or Lana Turner. She turns her head to the side and lets him snap a few shots. He then tells her he's out of film (he's using a digital camera, but she doesn't know this) and asks "would you like me to mail you a few pictures?" She assures him that that's not necessary and that she hopes that she meets him on the beach again soon, and maybe he'll have the pictures on him then? They part ways, she walks back to her apartment and lies down on her bed, where she breathes her last breath of air before dying. Her son finds her the next morning in bed, unresponsive, a smile on her face, with a bookmarked passage beside her:
"Is there any nicer thing to me, to make a friend down by the sea"
...holy crap, that's fucking BLEAK. I really can't believe I just wrote that. I need to see Macgruber immediately before I start cutting myself. PS - I just made myself cry (and all I did was just re-tell the story of the old woman from Titanic).

Guesstimate 6: They're both bat-shit insane.
...Bingo! This is probably the likeliest of scenarios.

Guesstimate 7:
Gerry Jablonski's mother is turning 90 and his wife has been on his case for a week now about getting some nice pictures taken of her so they can put a birthday announcement in the paper. Gerry is cheap as hell and hires his buddies brother-in-law who is desperate to break into the world of wedding photography but needs to build up his portfolio. After chatting with him on the phone (he seems like a decent enough guy) the photographer agrees to pick her up at her condo and drive her around to a few nice spots and take some shots. He chooses some really unnatural places, like a carnival, the beach, and in a bathtub (something he saw on MySpace that he thought might look cool). She's almost 90, so she totally forgot he was coming and didn't have time to "put on her face" or go to the cleaners to get her suit pressed, so she wears what she wore to the grocery and bank that afternoon. As it turns out, the photographer is a recently paroled sex offender (explains the bathing suit and partial boner), not to mention a terrible photographer. The elderly woman returns home and yells at her son over the phone that she specifically said she didn't want a "foreigner photographer". She made no mention of the repeated back massages he attempted to give her, because she secretly liked it (but turned him down every time because she likes playing hard-to-get).
...I give this one even-odds. It sounds like something from Modern Family, and I like that.

5.20.2010

Hey, remember me? It's The Mayor!

Hi everybody! (Hi Dr. Nick) It has definitely been a while since I rapped at you last (2 weeks! That's like 2 years in the blogosphere). Anyways, the reason for my absence was a lot of things. I was on vacation, I didn't have wifi, I came home with a burn, I didn't want to write about the burn, getting back into work was tough (try going from running an office one minute to doing jack shit the next then going right back in to running an office. It's not easy. Especially with a peeling sunburn). Anyways, I have time now so I'm going to cover a few things for you now!

1. While I was in Florida, I didn't do much; I swam a lot and tanned a lot and slept. It was just what I wanted my vacation to be. I went shopping a bit, but for the most part I just relaxed and ate cookies and looked for shells. With that being said, I have a lot less Skip-raid material to work with than last year, but don't get it twisted: I still have some good Skip-raid material to work with. Sometime this weekend I'll be doing a post (with pictures!) on the subject you all seem to like the best: AMERICAN FOOD. You know it! While I was in the US of Weight (TURBOPUN) I took a lot of pictures of American food, snacks, drinks, gums, candy, etc etc etc. All of it deliciously gross and over the top.

Panda-wich? More like Panda-monium! Could they not have panda-monium? So yeah, expect that soon-ish.

2. I have been in a glass case of emotions since I found out that NBC has put Parks and Recreation on hiatus when they return to new episodes in the fall. You all have no idea how this has affected me. I hate knowing that tonight will be the last new episode I see for a while. Goodnight Leslie Knope. Goodnight Ron Swanson/Duke Silver. Goodnight Tom and your buggy eyes. Please don't leave me with nothing more than this poster of the Pawnee Parks Department's Most Wanted Pests List:



3. ANTM. Where do I start....hmmm...

Look, we all knew from Week 3 that it was going to be Krista, right? I was at least hoping for a Krista/Angelea Street Fighter-style showdown, but Tyra and ALT robbed me of such a thing, so we were left with Krista and Raina. I know. In other news, how much does Krista look like a 1930s tramp in that picture above? I know, right?


"Just one more state, just one more. I know I can't be riding these rails much longer! There's gotta be work in Missurrah, I just know it! The old grey mare...she ain't what she used to be!"

Anyways, Krista won (yay!) and I predict she *might* get work.

Teyona's shanking Krista some serious cut-eye for life with that one. So yeah, those are my thoughts. I ended up missing a couple of ANTM episodes, then all of a sudden, they did one of those 4-models-down-to-1 episodes where they cut 3 girls and crown one the K-Mart Special in 60 minutes. There you have it! We have 14 top models now, which means the US unemployment rate just skyrocketed a little. Tear...GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!

5.05.2010

Florida!...so far

Hey everyone! Okay, so here is what is going on. I have no wifi at my hotel and wthe only way I can get wifi is at this weird convenience store with couches and FOX News playing on a giant flat-screen. So...all the Florida goodness will be coming to you next Monday May 10th. Right now I'm going to keep enjoying my vacation, drinking buttloads of margaritas, and getting lousy with skin cancer. So for now, please help yourself to the post I wrote while waiting at the airport. Enjoy!

Tennessee Mountain Home

Hey everyone, welcome to Florida Week! This is bigger than Christmas to me, f’rollz. Last year I spent a week in the states and blogged it all for you (see Florida Week, Original Recipe) and this year I am ultra-fortunate to spend another week in the classiest, most elegant state in the union (sorry Alabama. Get a few more gift shops featuring Jesus in a neon clamshell and we’ll talk).

Anyways, here is what has happened so far into my trip:
1) My flight was scheduled to leave at 6:40am. When preparing to board a plane outbound to another country you are advised to arrive at the airport at least 2 hours ahead of time. This means I was at the airport at 4:40am. This means I had to leave my house at 4:00am. This also means I had to wake my ass up at 3:00am (”I’m doing the drywall down at the new McDonalds”). UNCOOL FOR LIFE. There are several things I do-not-do, and waking up at 3am is very high on that list, along with “hold in farts when sharing a bed with a loved one” and “choosing dignity over value-for-money at KFC”.
2) If you don’t know anything about Toronto, here is the WikiTravel version: it’s very cultural, the largest city in Canada, one of the largest in North America (that’s right – we’re bigger than Chicago, assholes), decent government, good fashion, and only about 6 months behind New York City as far as coolness. I had to change planes in Memphis on my way to Florida, and let me give you the Geocities version: LOW RENT. Memphis TN is like fucking Hot Tub Time Machine: a good 10 years behind everyone else in North America. In 10 minutes I counted 5 pairs of Adidas tearaway pants. Do you remember those? I do, and I remembered they were stupid looking way back when I was 14 too. A guy wearing a Duke University visor just winked at me. Everyone is wearing Oakleys. Starbucks is a ghost town. It’s really weird.
3) There was a tornado warning in Memphis! Also it rained a foot! Crazy! Now, outside of a plane this is an enjoyable thunderstorm; cuddle up inside with some hot chocolate. But when you’re sitting in a tiny 50-seater plane and its chugging around the tarmac and you keep getting told that “we’ll lift off once the tornado warning falls from RED to ORANGE”, then you start thinking some Final Destination shit.
4) I barfed on the plane :( EMBARRASSING. The turbulence was so bad I felt like I was on a rollercoaster, and nothing I did could get my mind off it. Here’s something fun to think about: airplane bathrooms are barely large enough to pee in, not at all easy to barf in, so please tell me how one would have sex in it? Really, I’d like to know who the hell is having marital relations in that horrible, horrible tiny Tinkerbell toilet. When I got sick I got it everywhere: my shoes, my jeans, the bowl, the floor, the sink (I know, how the hell?!?) and I was aiming so furiously.