Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It's Time for My Second Career

I want to be a mascot. Any mascot will do. Some weird ambiguous mascot for a Japanese electronics company? Sure.

I'm the right size 5'2 1/2", so according to my BFF I can claim 5'3". Even though I claimed 5'4" for years on my license and at the behest of BFF, after we took out a tape measure and stood back to back, I had to change my license to 5'3". Most mascot costumes will fit me, so there will be no need to invest in the creation of a new one. All I would ask is that some concoction consisting of Febreze, Spermicidal lube, and Purell be slathered on the inside of the costume and that it be aired out afterwards for at least one week.

I have some cheerleading background, albeit, it was for the Pee Wee football team the Homer Stallions when I was five and six years old, but damnit I was chosen to do the demonstration cheer for the conference championship! I've been raring to go ever since we did a homecoming routine to "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" by Whitney Houston.

I am a fan and frequent participant of the dance off, which seems to be very popular in the mascotting industry. I have rhythm and when I dance I use all of my appendages. No leg only or just booty/tail shaking dancing from this mascot.

I can make friends with other mascots and we can choreograph phenomenal routines for the Mascot National Championship. My squad would incorporate more Roger Rabbit, Cabbage Patch, and Stripper Slap moves. The final move only being accomplished by the most skilled among us. Maybe we'll even throw in some wicked pyramid formations and show them all what's up.

Don't feel the need to watch mores than 15 seconds of this:

Wait a second, do I still have to be in college to compete? Don't they have a Championship for just your average Mascot? I'm starting to see my dream fade much like Ribbie and Rhubarb, the beloved although sometimes hated Chicago White Sox mascots from 1981-1988.

There's a Mascot Hall of Fame that is just high falutin' as the National Championship. Thank your lucky stars MHOF that you're only virtual right now because you'd have a bunch of pissed off mascots at your doors waving their out of proportion fists and non-screaming at you for being so elitist.

Even with all of these setbacks and the voices in my head telling me not to move forward, the other voices in my head and chanting for me to be A-W-E-S-O-M-E, awesome, awesome, totally (yes, this was a cheer that I did for Pee Wee football) and do it. I'm shooting for the Chicago 2016 Olympics. Cross your fingers that I'm chosen to be Giardiniera, the Italian Beef Shaped mascot.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Cosby Sweaters & Gettin Down

Last Friday on my way home from work I was invited to see the legendary Ms. Patti LaBelle perform at the Arie Crown Theater. I’d never seen Patti before and had never been to the Arie Crown, so I figured it was about time I do both.

In order to get there in time, I skipped dinner and decided to eat a box of cookies out of my trunk. They were cold and delicious and would provide me with enough sustenance to shake it while standing up in front of my chair.

After walking through the underground maze of a parking garage we finally made it to the Arie Crown marquis, which to my pleasant surprise also read Jeffrey Osborne. Seeing that he was performing made me feel as Cherry Ride would say, “Like a school boy, girl ohh.”

The Arie Crown Theater is in the massive and ever expanding McCormick Place. While they’ve continuously renovated the expo center, the theater itself seems to just be thrown in there. I wish the show would’ve been at the club that Jeffrey is performing at during the “Stay With Me Tonight” video, but the Arie Crown is close to being just 80s enough, just without that awesome neon.

So, Jeffrey, Jeffrey, Jeffrey. I felt like a middle-aged African American woman swooning over him, but that is indeed what I did. We missed half his set, but he packed in the hits while we were there including his hits Holding On (When Love is Gone) and (Every Time I Turn Around) Back in Love Again from his former 70-80s band L.T.D. (Love, Togetherness, Devotion). They must have really like parentheses back then, or just thought people were morons and would confuse the names of the songs all the time.

Here are some other observations of note:

· At one point during the intermission a little old lady dressed in baggy jeans and a County Seat sweatshirt starting dancing in the aisle putting everyone there to shame. Then she whipped out her seeing eye cane and headed to the restroom. The crowd cheered for her even more.

· I was amazed by the sheer number of Cosby sweaters that the male attendees sported. I had no idea that that were made with such quality craftsmanship and able to uphold their luster and brilliance a good 20 years plus after their inception. Oh yes, and some of these sweaters were partnered with Jheri curl dos. I don’t know how I didn’t get pregnant that night.

· Jeffrey Osborne was wearing a muscle tee and we could see his nips.

· Patti LaBelle has hot legs equivalent to those of Tina Turner.

· She started her set out with “New Attitude”.

· Patti told us that Celine Dion’s “If You Asked Me To” was actually her song, but that’s okay because Celine can sing her face off, but for us to not get it twisted.

· Patti kept about ten pairs of shoes on the grand piano eight of which just stayed on display.

· Crowd participation. Jeffrey went out into the audience to have people sing a song and Patti invited three people to come up on stage. People were cheering even the worst singer and giving standing ovations to those that could really blow. This is a key difference I noticed between this show and most of the rock shows I’ve been to, at rock shows there’s really not much of a focus on whether or not the crowd wants to be a part of the action. Then again, many of the bands I like have indecipherable lyrics, which proves difficult for a sing-a-along.

So, overall a great show, one of the best I’ve seen in awhile. I laughed, I yelled, I gyrated, and Patti cried. Who could ask for anything more?