Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Today's Adventures

We went up to Champaign today.  We had to go early, expecting the parking to run out for our show.  So we started with supper at Merry Ann's Diner.  I wasn't expecting more than decent food from a diner, but it turned into a pleasant surprise.  First, the menu has some out-of-the-ordinary items, like the Diner Stack that my partner Doug got or and the sandwich I got consisting of a burger, Swiss cheese, bacon, and gyro meat.  Then there was the pie.  For love of all things good, if you go there, get the apple pie.  It's the best I've had in years, homemade with a crumble topping.  I slobber in memory of the pie.

Since we had time to kill, we rambled around the nearby shops.  One of them is a very well-conceived French fashion shop, not the ridiculous stuff, but the dressy basics.  Black-white-red section. Sailor stripes.  Little and long black dresses.  Gray section, which actually had a warm and a cool gray heather.  Navy section.  Rustic section.  A few pastels.  The tie-together pieces like patterned scarves and jackets that are so hard to find.  Not the kind of clothes I wear, but so much fun to look at.  Almost any piece would match most of the others, or all of the others in its own section.  You could make a capsule wardrobe without half trying and wear it for months without anyone noticing the repeats.  It's like a tiny little version of T-America's Classique. 

The other shop we hit was also not my usual style; Dear 72 is mostly cosmetics and a few fashion garments.  But they had something very interesting: Demeter, a line of featherlight perfumes with nature-oriented themes.  These are good for two things: layering several together, or people who can't stand heavy perfumes.  Most are so subtle that even I could barely smell them, which means normal people probably won't at all unless you're wearing five of them.  However, if you want to wear perfume and standard ones make you gasp for air, definitely consider these.  The accuracy does vary; Thunderstorm actually does smell like ozone (sadly that one's not on the website), although Paperback lacked the leather-spice-vanilla aroma I was looking for.  Pixie Dust just had a floral-candy smell, good if you like girlie fragrances.  They're the lightest scents I have found for sale.

We went to see Ballet Folklorico de Mexico.  It was like being back in Mexico City -- about half the program was the same as what I saw there, lo these many years agone.  :D  Tonight's performance was quite good, although I've got a lot to compare it to.  Most of the costumes were great; the skirts must have been at least double-circle, because the dancers could pull both sides all the way up at the same time.  (For comparison, a circle-skirt is considered very full.  Mexican dance outfits use stupendous amounts of fabric.)  "The Great Tenochitlan" was a splendid bowing dance.  "Revolution" was new to me and utterly delightful for its celebration of women soldiers.  \o/  "Tlacotalpan Festivity" featured puppetlike costumes from Candelaria.  "The Quetzals of Puebla" was competently danced, but disappointing in costume: they used the cheaper ribbon crowns instead of the authentic feather crowns I saw in Mexico, and it's just nowhere near as good.  :/  "Life Like a Game" was hilarious beyond words, much inspired by Tarot figures, with a dragon-devil who excelled at comic pantomime.  Various numbers included tap dancing, which was delightful; the Mexican style is slower and stompier than Irish or African-American ones, so they made quite a lot of noise.  My hands-down favorite was the Yaqui "Deer Dance," which is indigenous and much like the equivalent ones from our part of Turtle Island.  That was easily the best Deer Dance I have seen outside actual ritual context, and I'm not sure I've seen a better one even at a powwow, given minor stylistic differences.  Dude not only nailed the body language, he had his totem prancing around stage with him, for those of us able to appreciate such subtleties.  Well played.

It's been a good day.
Tags: illinois, personal
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