Assuming you’ve already read this, you’re ready to hear about What I Did for Winter Solstice and New Year’s, 2013/2014 Version. Trust me, it’s DEFINITELY an improvement. 😉
Didn’t have any plans at first, and didn’t really feel the need of them. I’d rented a car around Thanksgiving and took a short overnighter to visit friends, and then decided to rent one over the Christmas holiday as well, to be picked up on December 21. No plans, as I said, but I figured if I came up with something on my own, even if it was cheap eats and a flick, I would not want to be stuck relying on public transit. And if I got a last-minute invitation to do anything, that sentiment goes double: there are very few areas here, relatively speaking, where the transit system is useful after 10:00 PM, if it’s running at all. Therefore, Car Rental as Sanity Saver and Fun Enabler! 🙂
That Friday night when I got home (that would be December 20), I did my usual change clothes/feed the cats/feed myself/hop on the FB thing. Yes, I spend a lot of time on FB. It makes me feel like I’m keeping up with my friends. In many cases, I REALLY AM keeping up with friends. Amazing, isn’t it? Anywho, I’m reading posts on Making Light, and on Archive of Our Own, and on a number of other sites, and on FB. And something by one of my friends, Jules (she-Jules, not he-Jules), pops up in my feed, and I read the words, “Watching a guy play a shovel and it’s awesome!!!”
“0.o,” I said to myself. “Playing a shovel. Where the &^%)( is she?” The post helpfully included the fact that she and Joel and one of their friends were seeing a troupe called the Lucent Dossier Experience in SF. So of course I trawl around a bit more on FB, find a few posts on the troupe’s page about how people could win tickets to that particular show, and there are comments from Jules and Joel about having seen their show at Burning Man and how much they enjoyed it (not going to quote them, take it as given that they were extremely impressed!), and then popped over to the troupe’s website, where I found photos leading me to think of Lucent Dossier as Cirque de Soleil only smaller, more intimate, with perhaps more dance and fewer acrobatics, and very much grittier. Most intriguing. And…and…
Then there was fact they were doing a show at the Fonda Theatre in Hollywood the next night. The same show, “Solstice of the Dreamers,” that my friends were seeing at that very minute.
And I would HAVE WHEELS. Well. 🙂
My ex once gave me flak about not being spontaneous. I don’t actually think that was true when he said it, but it certainly was true while I was living through the bankruptcy and the foreclosure and the job loss and the move and the unemployment running out and the general relief and the food stamps and the homeless shelter and the seemingly endless search for a job. However, he’d have had to eat those words that night, that 12/20/13, because ten minutes later, I had a ticket to go see a performance by a group I hadn’t even known existed twenty minutes before.
Go, me. 😉
Picked up my car the next morning and went to my storage to look for a few things. Haven’t been there since the day I moved out of the shelter and a friend gave me a ride to, again, grab a few things, although those were cat-related and my current quest was not. More along the lines of, “I’d like to wear that great red velvet top to the office holiday lunch, and I remember putting it in (one of three suitcases/boxes), or at least, I think I did, and I wonder if I can find (cool brushed aluminum evening bag with a small plaque of Klimt’s “The Kiss” on one side) to use when I see the show tonight? And my ‘starter kitchen’ box, can I find it?” The last because I’ve decided if I don’t start cooking for myself, I’m never going to make progress on my physical condition, and while of course I bought cookware before moving into the Rented RV Which is Mine, I wanted my dutch oven and my wok and a few other things as well.
Well, two out of three ain’t bad — I found the velvet top and the evening bag, as well as some workout-appropriate clothes, a box with music CDs and audiobooks, and a few other things. The starter kitchen box has been buried, it seems, and now I get to decide which is the better value in real terms, (a) pulling stuff out of the space (by myself) to try to unearth it, or (b) just biting the bullet and getting new stuff that I can then either keep or donate or give away when I reach the point of having a living space with more…um…space.
So to speak.
Then it was back home to clean up and head out for dinner before the show at what sounded like a cool brewpub right next door to the theater. Not a bad choice — food and beverage-wise, in fact, it was great (porter-braised boneless short ribs with steamed veggies and mashed potatoes and a nice “winter warmer” ale — yum) — but I had more trouble getting my check. Odd. As if my server decided to abandon me in favor of, oh, I don’t know, tables with more people and thus potentially more tips. Which, y’know, is not my usual dining-out experience. Also, for what it’s worth, not exactly a winning strategy for maximizing your tip from a solo diner or encourage said solo diner to to return with friends…
Whatever. Convenient, and good food, regardless. 🙂
Oh, before I forget, just after I sat down I was looking out the window…and saw a flatbed truck go by, carrying Santa Claus, his sleigh, at least one elf, and a bunch of fake reindeer outlined in Christmas lights.
I love Hollywood.
At any rate, the theater doors opened while I had dinner, so when I (finally) paid my check, I went on over. I’d never been to the Fonda before, and it’s quite beautiful, between the foyer walls covered in sconces and the Spanish Colonial Revival architecture and the wallpaper in the theater proper, which features some of the more…interesting…scenes from Hieronymus Bosch’s “Garden of Earthly Delights” (and possibly his “Last Judgment” as well). Some of the performers moved through the crowd, inside and out — a nattily garbed person on stilts with his (her?) face covered by a black fencing mask who “dusted” people with a wand made from a horse’s tail so they were pretty enough to enter, a young woman with a boa constrictor wrapped around her shoulders, a man with a small light on his chest illuminating what looked like a brass version of a disco ball… And as it got closer to showtime, more people came into the theater who were dressed in a way that made me wonder if they were part of the show, or there only to see it?
And then I stopped wondering. They were part of the show now, for me, and the costumes were amazing.
I won’t try to describe what followed. I admit I wasn’t expecting the two-hour DJ’d dance party that began the night, but it was fun as hell, and the performance was future dystopia wrapped in music and dance and interpenetrating pyramids and aerial silks and…no. Not sure I can do it justice. Just know that I will be going back. Next show in Hollywood on Valentine’s Day…
Didn’t see the guy playing the shovel, though. Maybe they gave him the night off. 😉
So that was my Solstice this year. I wore the red velvet top to the office holiday lunch on Christmas Eve (although I regretted it a little afterward, since I’d volunteered to help clean up), took myself out to a lovely dinner on Christmas (prime rib…drroooooooollll), and don’t actually regret turning in the car before New Year’s Eve, which was quiet and I was happy that it should be so. Ditto New Year’s Day.