Thursday, February 25, 2010

bigger than my body

As soon as John Mayer took the stage, my internal body temperature rose by about 15 degrees and didn't go back down. I think I'm still a little warm right now. We were sitting in the top balcony, to the right of the stage, just a little too far to see his legendary lips with our own eyes, but luckily the jumbo screen periodically magnified him for our viewing pleasure. I had to duck and weave my head to see around one of the huge hanging speakers between his giant face and my seat, as well as the two teenage girls in front of me who felt compelled to stand up and dance whenever he played a song I knew. Even these challenges did not diminish the complete amazingness of the show. Whatever person he might be off-stage, he really is an amazing performer and musician! His fingers are so quick on the guitar, and he can sing any note he wants, usually requiring some strange contortions of his face. But I think every female (average age: 17?) in this sold-out arena was completely in love for two hours. I've been in love with him probably since I was 20, when Room for Squares came to my attention. Last night he would suddenly start playing snippets of other people's songs, in the middle of his song, before you even noticed a transition. Some Bill Withers, The Police, mmm, fantastic.

I was amused that when he played "Who Says" in his encore, I immediately smelled weed. I almost wondered if it was orchestrated. But I think it was just some well-prepared fans. After the show the entire garden seemed to empty out into North Station and tried to cram into the Green Line. Standing-room only, and I had to duck past a couple of dudes making out while holding the ceiling railing in order to get off at BU. I was the only person that got off there, and I walked through the fog across the quiet construction-laden bridge. I could see the water in the Charles below was unfrozen, and I immediately imagined a rowing shell with four oars snapping in and out of the water, in unison, in the dark. Wait a couple more months for that.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

on going for the gold

I'm super obsessed with the Olympics. I think I always have been. When I was a kid, my dream job was to be an Olympic soccer player. At some point I realized that wasn't going to happen. I always wanted to go watch them, and I remember when they were hosted in Atlanta, I was so disappointed that my parents wouldn't take me to go see them. As it turned out, we moved to Taiwan during the summer of 1996, so I ended up watching those games from the suite of our room in the Grand Hotel, an huge rectangular hotel in Taipei with Chinese architecture and decor, where we stayed while our furniture made the trip from New York to Taipei. We had to walk through the main hotel lobby and down a long corridor to get to our suite. It wasn't very Western-styled but it became our home for the first couple weeks of school. I remember watching all the men's gymnastics events and falling in schoolgirl-crush-love with some Russian gymnast who was not only good-looking, but also won a bunch of medals. I think his name was Alexei. Anyway, to this day there's something about the Olympics that really makes my heart pump. Every time I see some athlete's parents cheering wildly in the the crowd, or a gold-medal athlete singing his national anthem on the podium, I always tear up! I can't help it! There's something inspiring about their determination and drive to be the best. Awesome.

Anyway I wish that NBC would show some more variety of sports. Particularly women's ice hockey! At least show us some highlights of the games! They have all these adorable, heartwarming commercials of moms sending their daughters onto the ice, and then they can't even show us those girls all grown up and playing for the USA Olympic team! Come on... come on. I'd even take some men's hockey at this point. Figure skating is beautiful and all, but every competitor has to perform the same jumps and spins - it just gets boring after a while! The races though, they are awesome. Snowboard cross and speed skating - so exciting to watch! Yay! People are falling right and left, and it's all part of the race. Excellent.