Thursday, May 5, 2011

Blast from the Past

On Friday, April 29th we took in a Spanish-language presentation of Disney's La Bella y La Bestia: El Musical at Teatro Diana. Despite being performed by students at the Guadalajara campus of Tecnologico de Monterrey, the acting and singing were near-Broadway calibre.

It reminded me of November 2002. I had gone to visit my college friend, Lauri, who was in the final months of an internship in Boston. We saw the sights. Went to Cheers. Had a delicious Thanksgiving lunch at the Prudential Center. Walked the Freedom Trail. Then we hoped on a bus to New York City, where we saw Beauty and the Beast on Broadway. Although I didn't know it at the time, this trip was our last hurrah as friends. When she returned to Texas that spring, Lauri had decided not to be friends with me anymore. Was it because of her unrequited crush? Was it because I won the battle of whether we should see Rent or Mamma Mia? I'll never know. She didn't do me the courtesy of providing a reason. I still think about her, sometimes. I hope she's happy and healthy.

On Wednesday, May 3, we headed to Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara to catch Lady Gaga in The Monster Ball at Estadio Tres de Marzo. The show was in English, minus one awkward song performed in Spanish and one even more awkward recitation of a hand-written note about U.S. immigration law. Apparently, GaGa is not a fan...Right before Gaga took the stage, lightning ripped the sky asunder and the heavens let loose a torrential downpour that signaled the early arrival of the rainy season. Gaga told us that she loves us so much, she made it rain. And maybe she did; it hasn't rained since.

This reminded me of the time, which feels so very long ago but was in reality "only" eight months ago, when TJ and I saw this very same production in Washington DC. You might remember it, too. I doubt Gaga remembers it. Poor woman has been spending the money from this tour since it started in November 2009 (it finally ended in Mexico City on Friday evening). Although we flew solo for the DC show, the general admission policy at Autónoma allowed us to join forces with several of our Guadalajaran friends and co-workers who had purchased tickets long before our arrival at post. Perhaps this is symbolic of how constrained we felt in Washington, and how liberated we (generally) feel in Guadalajara?

Somewhere between Belle's curtain call and GaGa's opening act (Semi-Precious acquired taste, to be sure), I went digging through the boxes that never get unpacked, and always multiply. You know the ones. These are the boxes that contain momentos from days gone by: Playbills, postcards that were never mailed, concert tickets, patches that were never sewed to anything, museum guides, coasters from favorite bars, theme park maps, etc, etc.

I had always hoped to create a scrap book and, as is often the case with such things, never did. But I never stopped collecting. Never stopped saving. And never will.

It was in these boxes that I hoped to find ticket stubs from my previous viewings of Beauty and the Beast and The Monster Ball. As of this writing, I have not found them. But I know they are in there...somewhere. Still plenty of crap--I mean, sort through.

Instead, I have found things far more precious.
  • An autographed promotional photo of Parthenon, a contestant from Season 2 of Scy-fy's Who Wants to be a Superhero? In his civilian identity, Parthenon is a good friend of mine back home in Orlando. We were introduced by mutual friends shortly before the show started in the summer of 2007. His name is Dan. He throws killer Halloween parties, makes his own costumes (regular clothes, too), and has 1,000 different creative ideas per day. People have asked me where my blog's logo came from. It was Dan. He loved that I was starting a blog and offered to help spruce it up. He encourages me to write. Maybe one day I will. Well, really write, I mean.
  • The flyer and small sample bottle of Jean-Paul Gaultier's Fleur du Male that we picked up during a March 2007 trip to Madrid to visit our friend Bruno. It smelled so flower-y that we dubbed it "Eau du Douche" and subsequently tortured each other with attack-sprays of it for the duration of our trip. I had thought the bottle empty, and yet...yes! Just enough left for one more spray! Happy to confirm that it was still douchey. Having lost all photographical evidence of this trip during a horrific battle with our old iMac just prior to the move to Mexico, finding this memento (along with museum guides and club flyers) was worth more than gold.
  • A ticket to the March 23, 2003 production of Cirque du Soleil Presents: Alegria in Houston. This was a birthday gift from my friend, Evan. We are still friends today, though prior to his visit to DC last year, we had not seen each other in seven years. I'll be seeing him again in July when I head to San Diego for Comic Con (what, don't you know by now that I'm a nerd?).
  • Letters my previously mentioned then-friend Lauri wrote to me during my study abroad trip to Europe in the summer of 2001. Only two letters reached me during that month-long, five country tour. Both were penned by Lauri and were accompanied by humorous drawings and random European coinage (this was pre-Euro) that didn't exactly belong to the country I was visiting during the letters' time of arrival. She was and oddball, but it suited her.
I don't want to bore you with a full inventory of my excavation. Suffice it to say, I found a box of history. That box contains many memories, several of which had been thought lost.

The reason that I blog is so that I don't forget. The reason that I have held onto these mementos is that I don't want to forget my pre-blogging days. What I've learned is that items stored in boxes do get forgotten if they aren't pulled out and appreciated from time to time.

It's time to finally get that scrapbook going.

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