Chaos Attraction

Cirque Dreams Holidaze

2014-12-01, 7:50 p.m.

Hi, welcome to Holidailies. I'd normally be polite and do an intro post or a catchup post, but maybe later. I am brain dead and exhausted from work--I had to be on the front lines while one guy argued with my boss for an hour, followed by five minutes later another guy arguing with my boss for a half hour... it was just a steady stream of arguments and problems for hours and now I am even more drained than I was from the weekend and am cuddling up with booze. I also am having people bug me about "oh, can you schedule in this and pay this much money?" right now and I really just wanted to say NOT THIS WEEK except of course, I can't do that because it all HAS to be this week. I was hoping that last thing would be postponed, but nope, it was not. I'm not super thrilled at the idea of "hey, let's start a really intense class in DECEMBER," but...again, not my call and she's already postponing it by a week because of me forgetting I was already booked on the day next week, so...I'm gonna shut up about this now because who cares and I still need to get an entry done before my brain cells short out entirely.

Anyway. It's time to recap the weekend.

Thursday: My relatives were their usual charming, scintillating, adoring selves. Which is to say that folks barely talked to us like usual and then Mom was grumbly (though not crying, so that's a plus) for the next three days, especially complaining about how she sent one cousin $100 and then the cousin never acknowledged it or thanked her. I don't really know what to say about this shit any more, but I tried asking if nitpicking every single person's behavior was actually making her feel better and then she got mad at me for saying that. Whee.

We ended up watching more Hallmark movies during the rest of the weekend--I think I'll post some reviews later-- and I can't help but think, "Hey, maybe we should get put up for adoption to find a forever home. It looks so easy in Hallmark to randomly get adopted by various people!" I'm reminded of watching "A Very Merry Mix-Up" in which Alice hits it off with the "wrong" family and then when she ends up at her fiance's actual parents' house, they are cold as ice, and macrobiotic, and generally boring. This is suspiciously reminiscent of hanging out at my aunt's except for less people. Same sort of boring diet talk though, and really, who wants to hear about diets on Thanksgiving? Also, one of my cousins has moved to Hawaii and all she can say about it is to grumble that they don't compost there. O RLY? Sigh. I can't figure out if they're the weirdos or we are, but they outnumber us so I guess it's us. And another cousin is graduating this quarter so we get to do this all over again this month. Whee.

Friday: Went to Grass Valley for the craft fair at their fairgrounds. It was fun as usual, though I did manage to restrain myself from spending money at this one. (Shocking, I know.) We even left early to get back to Mom's before the promised rainstorms. We got back and watched more Hallmark again.

Saturday: Angelica (Mom's coworker/a new friend) and Mom and I went down to San Jose. We took her to the Harvest Festival for the first time, which she really enjoyed. I didn't buy much there either, which would be good except that's because I spent a lot last weekend. Gah. Then we went to the Broadway San Jose theater and saw Cirque Dreams Holidaze. For the record, this is NOT CIRQUE DU SOLEIL, because everyone including the folks I went with seem to think it's all the same thing. Oh no. Sure, "Cirque" shows features awesome acrobatics and no animals and sweet costumery, but depending on who's putting them on, they can be different. And hoo boy, this one was different. I'm pretty sure the actual Cirque show in Vegas (I believe Angelica's seen that one and can verify this) isn't this glitzy. It's a random show based on the creator's ornament collection--yeah, I want to see that ornament collection. It has heavily costumed people singing, mostly holiday hits with the occasional original, I think. And the acrobatics are spectacular. There's an act taking place on a tiny roller rink while a guy skates in circles and spins a girl around. There's an awesome twin acrobats act. There's a guy posing higher and higher on stacking chairs, and a double act taking place on a tiny teeter-totter while they stack benches under themselves. One guy basically stacks a chandelier on his face. There's a chick who was juggling like four different things with her feet and another guy who was juggling using the ground, and jump ropers who can manage to jump rope while sitting on the ground. The acts were awesome.

On the other was a bit much. Because while you're trying to watch the acrobats, they'd have random people in huge elaborate costumes slowly and at random walking through the background for no reason. HUGE COSTUMES that made no sense and had no context and never did anything except stroll through. I can't help but think that someone was spending gajillions of dollars on these costumes and it was kind of all for nothing because who's going to notice the giant circles walking around in the back when you're watching people twirling in the air? That's all those performers do. They'd also have random people just standing around or halfassedly dancing--I felt very sorry for the poor schmuck dressed as a snowman because he literally just stood around and did a tiny bit of dancing during other people's performances. (Luckily for him, he got a hula hoop act solo in act 2.) Who's going to notice the random spinning plates on stage when you're watching the skaters spin? What is the point? It was just kind of blinding and annoying--or as Angelica put it, what are you supposed to be watching? At one point they busted out puppets a la Avenue Q and I was so startled by that, I nearly missed a girl standing on Santa Claus's head. I don't think it's good show design that busting out random puppets nearly made me miss someone STANDING ON A DUDE'S HEAD. Gah. I think they need to prune the hell down a bit, or stop having random performers wandering through without doing anything related to the act. Though their closing act, involving a ballerina and a guy working ropes, doing "O Holy Night" as a love duet, was a real showstopper. I wish I could get a recording of that version of the song, it was amazing. At any rate: the acrobats were good, but it was kind of a blinding show, and I say that as the Queen of Bling, so that's saying something.

On Sunday after watching more Hallmark, I ended up doing some Christmas shopping for Mom and the holiday office party and the grocery store on the way home, then I eventually went home, cleaned the house and keeled over. Oh yeah, we did have another interminable conversation about What To Do For Christmas Now That We're Alone Again (Naturally). I am tired of having this conversation. I don't miss spending the holidays with Dad's jerky relatives at all, but the one nice thing was knowing what we'd be doing on the day. Every year since Dad died, we've been doing something different every year. Spending it with random people we barely know? Tried it, it's weird and uncomfortable for me. Spending it alone? Leads to fights and general emotional wankery because she's an extrovert and Needs People and I can't provider her with any. The best one we've managed to have was having Jewish Christmas, but that was a one-time option as well. I tried suggesting spending SF in Chinatown again because it gave us something to do, but Mom nixed that because parking in Chinatown scared the shit out of her last time. I finally ended up making a reservation at McCormick and Kuletos for Christmas Day, so there's...that, I guess. Wandering the pier or something.

I am tired of trying to figure out a solution to this problem every year. I can't make the relatives love her (or me), I can't find anyone else willing to take us in on a regular basis where it's not super weird/invasive on our parts/uncomfortable, and I don't think it would work well if I put up an ad on Craiglist looking for a forever family :P I'm out of ideas for trying to figure out how to entertain her. Except for more Hallmark movies, of course.

Hopefully I'll get around to writing up more Hallmark reviews, some "since last year, I haven't done much except work a lot" update, and get around to posting my entries that I wrote while in Hawaii... three months ago because I'm still finding time to type them. I won't be going on any fun trips this season since we already did one in September, so we'll just have to deal with that one.

Tomorrow, I'll give you a rundown on the office party and point you at half of what I've been up to lately....'cause it's crazy.

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