Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Super Friends Stefani and Coco

I think this is the new album cover?
When I was 11, I went to Disneyworld. I haven't been that excited since. Until April 9, when Lady Gaga came to The Big Easy, just three hours west of P-town 2.0. Two days prior, I was driving and listening to the radio, hoping Gaga's latest hit would be played. The DJ came on and briefly mentioned tickets were being given away to see our lady in New Orleans. I had to find out when, and how I could make my attendance happen.

StubHub showed me that I had 48 hours to make it happen. (How had I not heard?) Then the best kind of excitement kicked in. A wish. Was coming true. NOW. Grateful for fellow Gaga fan and co-conspirator, Marine wife Leslie, we bought corner seat tickets and prepared ourselves for a night of driving and dancing. Serious dancing. The kind that involves jumping up and down, fist-pumping, screaming and singling along at the top of your ooey-gooey lungs. Because who hasn't felt like they were born to feel that way.

My favorite concert to that date was Britney Spears. Yes, even over Coldplay's yellow beach balls popping through the audience, Lilith Fair's free-spirited weed smell, and Jars of Clay crowd-surfing (and yes, the only mosh pit I've dared enter is a religious one - but this will hopefully change the day I can afford a floor ticket). So Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta took the cake and ice cream, too.

Courtesy of Anirudh Koul's Flickr stream (since my shot sucked)
While the former reining princess of pop Ms. Spears had an indoor waterfall, laser lights and eye-sticking, all-American good looks, our lady had a flaming piano, a flaming bikini, a piano inside the hood of a pickup truck, and a wiggly fame monster from the bottom of the sea. But above all, she committed wholly to putting on a riveting, passionate show centered on what was, in my opinion, pure pop musicality and branding genius. She can write, sing, dance, entertain and NEVER lip-syncs.

"I never have, and I never will," she growled prettily.

She also intermittently yells at us little dressed little monsters to put your fucking phones away, stand the fuck up, get your fucking hands in the air, and just dance. So I did.

Queen's Radio Gaga incarnate also took fall-defying (and sometimes submitting) stances, posed precariously between piano bench and bandmate guitar stem. The girl is crunk - striking poses, strutting moves, and singing notes that would make the greatest artists gape in awe. The cherry on top is that this chick's not publicly political, just out for equality.

If you can get past your normal self (aka a civilian versus a star) - perhaps one who doesn't sleep with both men and women, drink from a teacup with a fake diamond at the bottom every morning, try to give a Vogue interview buzzed, or wear masks, meat, wigs and decals that make you look like you've got protruding bones - you'll see how you can't argue with that. Equality, in case you forgot. WINK

The kicker ... She knows what everyone says. Her body's okay; her face is blech. She shrugs it off. Because she puts on her cape (her fans' fandom) and holds her head high. Can't we all learn from that? Feel it? Can't we all ignore the peanut gallery a little more successfully because of our own personal fans and her anthem-esque music, a cornucopia of hits with hooks and climaxes like Just Dance, Bad Romance, Telephone and Alejandro. They can make us hold our heads a little higher, try a little harder, think outside the box. Run further, dance bigger, make love crazier.

Twenty-five years old. As the hus would say, lock her up and throw away the key, so she can do no harm to herself and continue to create musical bliss.

One concert tour T-shirt later, I fold it in next to my "It's Britney, Bitch" T. It's no plastic dress, disco stick, go-go boots, or even feather earrings, the other little monsters were sporting as we watched Gaga live - but I'm a bigger little monster for having been there, seen it.

Courtesy of This is Not the Blog You Are Looking For
Some 20,000 people poured out of the arena, adrenaline happy, experience appreciative, maybe even ready to tackle another chapter in the next great American novel all us writers claim to be working on. Paws up. Show your teeth.

The only thing that would compare to being Stefani's bud might be being Coco's. Sure, the gaunt, brilliant designer would have been a nice friend, but Conan O'Brien's team Coco takes the cake here.

Every night, he joins our DVR, waiting with self-deprication, corny but down-to-earth jokes, quirky impressions, awkward movements and self-centered interviews.

Can't the stars just interview him?

I would settle for working for him over a lifelong friendship, just writing out the queue cards or being assistant to the assistant to the talent booker, even polishing Andy's shoes. But if there was a chance I could be in a sketch, write a sketch, or merely shake his hand - as I walk on stage to be interviewed as the youngest Pulitzer Prize winner ever...

Er, maybe I should start by just seeing his show live, too.

Latest funny Conan bit. Fricking watch it all.

And a bit of a song from our lady's new album, (releasing May 23). (Yup, sorry, I shot it.) Don't worry about the ballad feeling, she said - and I so-called quote - the new record will still be something you can dance to and shake glitter at.

What other super friends are in our future?

A new combination of Madonna and Michael...

A new Oprah...

An iPad 1 Million Robot...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Bottom Rung of the Upper Echelon

Courtesy of Hollywood Dame
Local April fools were victims of pregnancy and drop-on-request (DOR) request scares. Even better, Ryan Air jokingly announced it would offer child-free flights. Don't tease me. Google issued a spoof above my head. Angry Nerds was "released," along with the Groupon Clone, Deals for Hipsters. And apparently we can now control Gmail with our bodies. Anything to get us to move, huh?

Speaking of moving, I mowed. Lawn-mowing is said to fall to the military wife. And since this responsibility in our household usually falls to the hus, brother-in-law, paid gardener (ugh) or no one, I felt it was time to step up. Well, I stepped up, and then I stood back (with shot muscles, sweaty bangs and mosquito bites) to survey my land of missed strips, wavy mow paths and long patches around trees and the corner stop sign with a mixture of pride and dismay.

It was really hard. I will now never go for a run or hit the gym on a mowing day, because my entire body fell victim to this cruel joke from nature ... I started wrapping up the cursed lime green extension chord, (which I had to flip this way and that to avoid shredding - even though I wanted to) because I had had to wait for the sun to ease, and dusk had made it impossible to finish the back, or even begin to edge.

Today, I finished, with Cary showing me how to navigate and toss the chord effortlessly - and he advised me not to mow over logs and dog poop. Oh. Then I went inside and tried making Adventist meatballs (you know, Loma Lindites and Wally World residents, the ones with that tasty ketchup-y apricot sauce?). But then I threw up because I felt so domestic. Just kidding. I blogged about it instead to purge myself.

The only other contextually exciting thing I've done with my time - while Cary sailed through Aerobatics and started plowing through Instruments (the poor guys is getting zero sleep and somehow still managing to learn a plethora of precision and non-precision approaches [or, in my words, a gazillion different ways to find out where you are in the sky and in relation to what] - is enjoy a delicious Irish meal at McGuire's in the downtown area of the other P-town.

Courtesy of Delish
The couple who just keeps introducing us to darn cool things took us there a week ago (for once for food instead of a run and an encore of beer and popcorn), and it was scrumptious. Which is hard to believe, since just over the channel, England can't figure out how to make anything taste good without frying it or skipping it for tea. McGuire's offers a dozen different burgers, from the classic cheese and a reuben burger to a burger doused in wasabi or the $100 filet mignon burger (which comes with caviare and champagne).

Our server said she sells about one of those a year, usually for a winging; one guy tried every burger on the menu (including the PB burger and hot fudge burger), then ended his routine with the Benjamin sandwich. The place also has yummy sausages and sauces (that's almost what she said), and bathrooms with signs that make almost every first-timer go in the wrong door.

We chased our Irish meal that weekend with a celebration of the Irish Carroll's 28th birthday. (Yes, I'm a cougar by five months, or is he a Lolitary? Wait, no, that makes me sound worse.) The attempted Vegas-themed house party (I heart you house parties), was celebashed (my new word that takes a celebration bash to the next level - meaning parents get sitters, couples flirt and strangers may come and go) with one of Cary's squadron mates? colleagues? water soldiers?.

The celebash included chocolate birthday cake, Gray Goose shots (the word in the kitchen was that Belvedere is even better, but it's preference [and price] seems to depend on which coast you reside) and intoxicating games of distracted Texas Hold 'Em, (Will a game ever be played when every player knows how and stays focused? But will it then loose its charm?), and Taboo (which led to the realization that boys will always cheat to avoid feeling like girls are more articulate). Whew, 'nuf parenthesis, yeah? I should learn how to write.

On the way home from playtime, the hus and I discussed how hard we work at our careers but still doubt ourselves often, have roller coaster inspiration, and enjoy the path of least resistance in the woods of achievers. "It's like we're ambitious but not that ambitious," said Aly. "We're on the bottom rung of upper echelon," said Cary.

We laughed evil-y for a few moments.

Okay, the one other exciting thing of late is that I found out Bill's house from True Blood is within driving distance. Spring oh spring. Thank you for shortly bringing us True Blood season four, Lady Gaga's junior album and the new Sookie Stackhouse installment. All we need now is Harry Potter #8 and Breaking Dawn to bump up its release date as well as be four hours long instead of two separate. Can I get an amen?