Month: October 2013

Break time is over.

I apologize for the lapse in posts. Tim and I have had an extraordinarily busy summer. Work got crazy…my department took on several huge new projects and lost two people, so the workload increased dramatically. Add in a few trips, and…little time for blogging, lots to catch up on.

My Anne Taintor luggage tag, as customized by Butters.

My Anne Taintor luggage tag, as customized by Butters.

My current challenge: packing for two weeks on the road including three cities, two trade shows, and a family vacation. You may recall that I refuse to check a bag when I travel, so I’m trying to plan all my outfits combining a few pieces in different ways so I can pack efficiently. Naturally, I still want to be comfortable and look like myself–I learned a lot from our trip to Japan. Last time I was in Las Vegas, I bought a ton of wrap skirts…you’re supposed to be able to turn them into dresses and wear them 85 different ways, but even with the tutorials, I’m inept and can’t do it. They’re comfortable and versatile, however, so I’m bringing a few of those.

I’m also bringing both my Heartbreaker Milan dresses- I loved it in Lake so I ordered the Slate a few weeks ago. These dresses travel beautifully and make me feel pretty. I wore the Slate version at a tradeshow on Thursday when I had to get up at 4 a.m. to drive into Boston and set up a booth…and I got compliments all day long, despite my lack of sleep.

It makes me feel like a pin-up.

It makes me feel like a pin-up.

In addition, I’ll have at least two–maybe even three–chances to wear the awesome Rocksteady dress Bernadette gave me a while ago, pictured here.

The thing I’m having the toughest time with: narrowing down my shoes. I love shoes. Preparing to traipse all over Disney and San Francisco, do six days as booth-bait, and look good without sacrificing comfort in situations running the gamut from super-casual to cocktail party? Challenging. To make matters worse, my old ankle injury has been rearing its ugly little head for the last few days. Gah. Seems to be better now, but not really what I want to deal with on vacation!

Delectable Dita

Last Sunday night, my friend Lisa and I headed to Boston to take in Dita Von Teese’s burlesque show. Neither one of us had ever seen Dita before and didn’t know quite what to expect. We did not expect a line all the way down the street and around the corner. Thankfully, it moved quickly and we were surrounded by pleasant people.

One side of the street: Fenway Park. The other: burlesque fans.

One side of the street: Fenway Park. The other: burlesque fans.

I was pleased to see that in many ways, her show mirrored the old vaudeville tradition. Murray Hill served as MC, keeping the audience lively between performances. (Although I would have loved to hear an interlude that didn’t begin with, “Holy SHIT!”) The show included male and female performers with a variety of body types — all daring, confident, and wonderful. Selene Luna, Monsieur Romeo, Natasha Estrada,  America’s Got Talent finalist Prince Poppycock, Lada Nikolska and Perle Noire… a great mix.

Louise Brooks in "The Canary Murder Case"

Louise Brooks in “The Canary Murder Case”

Dita herself did four numbers: the famous martini glass bath, the pink-glitter rhinestone cowgirl act, a Josephine Baker-inspired number complete with birdcage, feathers, and fans, and finally, a striking performance as a Geisha in a red pagoda. The feather act also reminded me of Louise Brooks in “The Canary Murder Case.” (Lisa pointed out the Josephine Baker influence to me, as I’m woefully uninformed about her…which makes it easy to pick out reading material for my next plane trip…any recommendations for a good Josephine Baker biography?)

While I enjoyed all of Dita’s acts, I think I liked the rhinestone cowgirl one best, as she was out on the stage more for that and we really got to see her strut around and flirt with the audience, whereas in the birdcage and pagoda numbers, she was somewhat obscured from view by the set (at least from where we were sitting). I loved the music, too–an instrumental medley of country classics. I also loved the music to the birdcage set–Les Baxter, Martin Denny and Esquivel all rolled together.

Incidents that may have been unique to the Boston show: Selene Luna lost a pasty. She handled it beautifully, just put a hand over her nipple and kept on with her act. Also, Prince Poppycock lost his towering wig…which he also handled well once Murray Hill handed him a microphone and he could resume singing. Both performers got huge applause for handling their flubs so well, just shrugging them off and going back to giving a great show.

I really enjoyed Selene Luna. But I think my favorite performer aside from Dita was Perle Noire. More Josephine Baker influence coupled with a beautiful athleticism, grace and charisma. She just seemed FUN. And like she absolutely loved what she was doing in the moment. She had a striking presence, energy and joy to her that I’d love to see again.

The crowd was a crazy mix that made for good people-watching. Lots of great hair and dresses! I decided not to get all decked out because of the rain, then I kicked myself for that decision once we got there. Lisa looked great, and we ran into my friend Tracey MF Vaughn, who was all dolled up in a blue swing dress with matching shoes. I’ve been feeling kind of blah lately, and in need of a haircut, so hopefully once I get that taken care of I’ll be more inspired.

After the show, as Lisa and I were walking back to the car, we ran into Dastardly Dave, a kick-ass photographer I was lucky enough to work with once during my roller derby days. Don’t let the name fool you – he’s delightful to work with. 😉 He and his friend had been right in front of the stage, so they were able to tell us what went on inside the pagoda during Dita’s finale. Hearing that the other women on stage had their arms through the back of the pagoda, reaching out to Dita, who portrayed some sort of opium trance, made me wish we had seen that part even more! Damn you, House of Blues for not advertising things as obstructed viewing seats!

Overall, it was a great evening. If you have the chance to see this show, I’d definitely recommend it.