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Sunday, October 26, 2008

like a virgin

madonna popped my cherry. um, i mean, i popped my madonna cherry. er, um, yeah, i mean, i saw madonna for my first time!

what was meant to be an outing for the ladies of leisure became a sisters plus brother-in-law/husband plus children/niece/nephew boston extravaganza (by no means any less or more pleasurable than an outing with eva and tracy).

because tracy was broke and eva has strict requirements for her viewing pleasure (see exhibit A),

exhibit A: we were seated in section 327, yellow, nosebleeds #9-12. eva ended up buying $$ tickets in montreal where she was seated around oh section j, blue, #17.
because derek has a list of artists he would pay inordinate sums of money to see (see exhibit B),

exhibit B: and because one day jennie was rocking out to borderline, and decided that she must see madonna too, jennie, derek, suzanne (me), julie, baxter, paige, and cocoa left for boston on thursday, October 16 right around noon time. (we were supposed to leave at 11, but the lowell/poirier clan wasn’t quite ready (surprise, surprise) and we had to rock out to a few songs from the immaculate collection before we headed out).

after a therapeutic stop at target (incredibly i only spent $50), we arrived at our posh suite in burlington, MA. i donned my madonna ensemble, made julie put on some girlie earrings, and made jennie put on an about-to-be-baby-mama cleavage-revealing top (sorry jen, the grey t-shirt was just not going to cut it for gussying up to go out to see the original material girl herself). derek even tried on the blue feather boa i’d brought for him, but opted not to wear it on the T. marta, super-babysitter (by no means any less or more superb than ashley, the super-babysitter), arrived, and the adult siblings were off!
what could have been a disastrous wrong turn and what was a deathly slow T-ride (hampered by a misplaced garbage can?), turned out to be fine, and we weren’t late! i was a bit grumpy (like the grumpy that a person might get when she is climbing up the steep steep, what seems to be perpetual, and actually is never-ending staircase, that is camel’s hump), until we were finally seated in our nosebleed seats (eva, you might be on to something – read her blog about her night & see her close-up pics here). we were to the side of the stage, and although screens were there for our viewing pleasure, the images that were being projected were backwards for us, since we were actually behind the screen. fortunately, i’m an excellent sdrawkcab reader. i was still feeling grumpy and like i’d been duped by citicard's promise that they had “special," pre-sale madonna sticky & sweet tour tickets. again, it all turned out in the end – we had a neat behind-the-scenes vantage point, got to see madge get her mic fixed, going down to the depths of the pit on her descending platform, and got to see her get in place and practice some moves before her rotating screen was turned toward the audience.

the show was one big ADHD-riddled person’s dream -- lights, music, videos, dancers, props, jump ropes, cars, pianos, ascending & descending platforms, costume changes, and of course madonna herself, who actually went from having no bangs to bangs. I don’t know how she did it (though magical bobbie pins could be the answer). madonna danced with an illusion of justin timberlake (i’d like to reiterate how grateful i am to him for bringing sexy back), sang with the piped-in vocals of kanye west, tricked us by switching her image with britney’s, and made a shameless plug for voting for obama, and I think kabbalah, though i couldn’t be sure because the 85 degree temperature (which she insists her venues keep the temp set to) was slightly frying my brain.
i could go on and on about how madonna jump-roped and double-dutched in high heel wedged sneakers, how she shook her fanny in old 80s style exercise shorts (see exhibit C), how her voice kind of trembled in a not-so-good way during borderline (i never said she was a good singer), how she is totally hot and buff and i’m not sure, but am almost positive that she’s had some plastic surgery, how we danced and danced and screamed (but didn’t cry), but i think you’re getting the picture (unfortunately, i can’t show you because they wouldn’t let me bring my camera in, though there were plenty of people who were filming with their cell-phones. you can be sure to catch those quality vids on youtube.)

exhibit C:
this was the set list with a few details from yours truly:

~intro/candy shop
: this is where the stage rotated and madonna was revealed sitting in a queen’s throne holding a scepter and wearing white laced black f*ck me boots.~beat goes on
~human nature
~vogue: this is where we put our hands up to our face to make kind of like a picture frame around our heads.
~video interlude die another day
~into the groove: this is where we screamed the loudest.
~borderline: this is where i felt slightly embarrassed for madonna.
~she’s not me: this is where 4 different women rose from the platforms dressed as different madonna-era madonnas – there was the lacy white bride, the cone boobed voguer, the marilyn monroe hot-pink dressed, white-gloved material girl madonna, and the pin-striped suit, short-haired express yourself madonna.
~video interlude
rain/here comes the rain again
~devil wouldn’t recognize you
~spanish lesson
~miles away
~la isla bonita/lela pala tutedoli doli (live interlude - romanian folk song)
~you must love me: this is when a piano rose from the floor and madonna was laying on it in a huge black cape that revealed itself to be lined in hot pink when she finally flung it off of herself. this is also when I asked julie if this was the song from that argentina movie she was in.
~video interlude get stupid (about saving the planet): this is when she asked boston if they’d registered to vote and told them to vote for obama.
~4 minutes
~like a prayer: this is when she let us sing.
~ray of light
~hung up: this is when the building started bouncing.
~give it to me (finale): this is when she left and the lights came on. i can’t believe she didn’t do an encore.

so, i’m no longer a madonna virgin. the highlight of my night could quite possibly be when i was recognized as the material girl. one, of many, gay guys cat-called out to me, “it’s madonna!” I guess my outfit was convincing enough for him. i struck a pose.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

crème brûlée revisited

long ago, i wrote a post about derek’s new blow-torch and the about-to-be-newly-released ben & jerry’s flavors. i raved about how much i loved crème brûlée to my friends and family, because, let’s be honest, you handful are the only ones who read this blog, or so i thought. to my delight, someone else, a stranger, actually commented on that particular post – a one bungalow benchly commented:

"When B&J releases this new ice cream, which I must say I'm probably more excited about than I should ever let on in public, they should have Audrey Tautou from Amelie do a demonstration on how to eat it properly. "

not only was i thrilled to have a comment from, and a reader in, a stranger, i was also quite excited to have a comment from this particular stranger. i had had a blog crush on mr. benchly since way back when, when he was blogging on live journal and I was networking on friendster. i came upon his profile accidentally (more or less, if you don’t count me typing in a search for eligible bachelors aged 25-30 within 20 miles of the 05401 zip code). immediately i was struck by his funny and cute pictures with captions that made me laugh out loud. i read about his activities, his thoughts, and his life, including his daily commutes to the evil empire (his former place of work), his family – mama benchly, papa benchly, sisters 1 & 2, and nieces #1-5, his budding relationship with a woman with freckles, and his world of friends and family with their own unique nicknames. i wanted to be part of this person’s world who seemed so much like me – liberal-minded, family-oriented, intelligent, sensitive, an incredible writer (not that i would say that’s like me), funny & fun, and a bit self-deprecating at times, but i didn’t think that he would be interested in little old me. i was hooked and mourned that missed opportunity for at least two days before i got back on the horse and joined lo and behold, whose dating profile should I come across, but a one bungalow benchly, who had not been active in 2 weeks, the same amount of time that he’d been seeing the woman with freckles. now i was convinced i'd missed my soulmate by a hair.

i moved on and i met paul (we all know I don’t hide anything – names, pictures, dates, places…), but still checked up on mr. benchly’s blog every once in awhile. when paul and i broke up for those 4 months, i checked in on benchly to see if he had any brothers (he doesn’t), and that’s when i shamelessly plugged my somethingsomething blog to him. i confessed that i had been reading for the past couple of years and that i even had a link to his blog on my page. he was flattered and that was that, or so i thought.

back in june, mr. benchly walked by me in front of old navy, and although he was too bashful to say hello, thankfully he wasn’t too shy to email me that we were no longer strangers, rather we were “Burlington Residents Who Walked By Each Other The Other Day.” i asked him why the heck he hadn’t said hello and that began our friendship. our daily emails back and forth became small books and i started to miss hearing his thoughts on the weekends. we talked about the books and movies we love and hate, our families, funny stories from our pasts, our relationships, our frustrations with our relationships, politics – anything and everything because it was safe to be internet friends.

i feel bad about this part. i knew he was in a relationship. i knew i was in a relationship. but i couldn’t help but think about how well he matched me. and i had a sneaking suspicion that he felt the same way. the guilty part goes like this: we decided to meet to see if there would be a spark – there was, he made me a mixed CD, i made him a mixed CD, we decided we wouldn’t communicate for a month and see our respective relationships through. we ended our respective relationships. we went on our first date. and then we went on our second date. and by now i’ve lost track of how many dates we’ve been on.
the timing isn’t exactly the greatest. but the person is. little did i know that when benchly made that comment way back when about audrey tautou being the spokesperson for crème brûlée, that I should have responded, “no, i think you would make a better representative…” he’s got a fragile shell that hides something oh so sweet underneath and i really can’t get enough of him.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

it smells as sweet

suzanne spataro, suzanne potter, suzanne grant (as in hugh), suzanne perry, suzanne ripski, suzanne mcgregor (as in ewan), suzanne marco, suzanne benchly. all girls do it -- if they like the guy a lot, if they like the guy a little -- it's as reflexive as the literal rubber mallet on the knee cap.

i once told a friend (the future mrs. ripski's husband, in fact), that i wasn't sure if i would take my future husband's last name or if i would keep my own. women's lib aside or not, suzanne lowell does have a certain 30-year old familiar ring to it. mr. ripski scoffed at me and reminded me of my hopeless romantic self, and that if i ever finally did fall skull over achilles, i would most definitely, surely take my husband's last name. he was willing to bet on it.

the jury is still out on that one, as it is on the lowell/poirier child #3's name (ETA: 11/22).
never traditional, my older sister jennie (lowell) and her husband derek ("i'm not a manny" poirier), decided that should their first child be a boy, he would take my father's last name (because my father was one of two boys, and uncle mark has never married). i suppose they figured that baxter elliot could carry on the lowell name. i always meant to ask them why they thought their son, who would most likely be raised as liberally and non-traditionally as his liberal and non-traditional parents raised him, would pass his name on to his future wife (or husband...) -- wouldn't he follow their lead and match with a woman (or man) who was liberal enough to want to keep her (his) name?

(M.S. (mid script): my grandfather created the last name lowell for himself and his wife. slight anti-semitism in his neighborhood, paired with the inability of the town to correctly pronounce lowenthall, convinced one milton lowenthall to christen his young family, lowell.)

in jennie & derek's heads, if the first boy was to be named lowell, then the first girl would be named poirier. and thus, a poirier, paige elizabeth became.we are all waiting with bated breath to find out if the newest member of our family will be girl lowell or boy poirier. we're all just hoping it's a baby.

with all of these name possibilities flying around, i'm just glad that i get to be aunt suzie who is still searching for uncle suzie.

"always remember, there is nothing worth sharing
like the love that let us share our name"

"murder in the city," the avett brothers