It's a creekmore world

Week #20: Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right, here I am….

Matinee at Cirque du Soleil - Ovo


The effect of the chemo treatments are still with us. Trish feels fatigued a lot, but it’s getting better every day, albeit slowly.

It’s no longer summer, and chemo is over, but we can’t begin the final stage of recovery until she has the mastectomy and LD-flap reconstruction.

This phase of the cancer process feels like some weird, purgatory.  We’re in between steps and waiting.

It fits the mood that we see some wacky stuff:  Lady Gaga’s extravaganza “the Monster Ball’ and Cirque Du Soleil’s latest tour, ‘Ovo’.   Clowns and Jokers.  Stuck in the middle with you.

Surgery scheduling rage

Waiting for news.
We’re anxious to get the surgery scheduled. There is so much to plan like kid care, food, Trish’s recovery and time off of work.  Medically there is an only a short 2-3 week window to do the surgery because she has to be recovered enough from the chemo to handle the long surgery, but as soon as possible before the tumor starts to grow again.

The target date is September 28th, and we eagerly await the call from the Doctor’s office confirming that date.  It’s complicated to confirm because they have to coordinate two busy surgeons.

Tuesday, Trish and I go downtown DC to our respective workplaces. My work is crazy-busy and the phones ring off the hook all day.  In a spare moment, I call the doctor’s office to double check on the surgery date. They tell me casually that they are looking at the 28th still, but it’s uncertain and could be any day.

‘What does “any day” mean?’ I ask. She says that there are no open spots for surgery, and they have to put us on a wait list.  We could be called into the hospital with as little as 24 hours notice anytime in the next month.’

‘WHHAAAAAT??!!??’ I resist the urge to scream, but just barely.  Did they really just tell me that we are on 24-hours notice for major surgery?  For the next MONTH?

On the one hand, I’m sure they are doing the best they can. But on the other, we can’t be waiting every day for the next month not knowing if her surgery is going to happen the next day.  They have to do better than that.  Unfortunately I get no where with anyone I can get on the phone.  I need to talk to the Doctor herself.

This is freaking me OUT.  The stress is intense.  It’s definitely time for some cancerpalooza.

One of many elaborate sets
Lady Gaga is so last March

A month ago, we were in New Jersey at Six Flags Great Adventure, and ‘Papparazzi’ came on the park loudspeakers.  Lily was holding my hand as we ran to the kiddie section for a few rides that were her size. “AWWW, I hate Lady Gaga”, she said. “I discovered her.  And I told my friends about her and now she’s too popular.”

YES.  FIST PUMP.  It’s nice to see her developing music snobbery at such an early age.  Just like her parents.

But I didn’t hear any complaints last week, when I announced that we had front row (balcony) tickets for Lady Gaga’s “Monster Ball” tour at the Verison Center in Washington D.C.  The car was filled with screams and excitement.

A slow start to the show

Wide awake at the start
It’s Tuesday September 7th, and the concert doors don’t open till 7pm.  We arrive early just to enjoy the fans. People are dressed in great costumes, including lots of masks.  Several have no pants.   We’re on the club level, where they add carpeting and charge double for mediocre seats.  But we have first row balcony, so at least the girls have an unobstructed view.

Semi precious weapons loudly opens with their heavy glam rock to a nearly empty theater, which is too bad. They are a lot of fun to watch and hear. We all eat some really bad food and yell to each other over the rock n roll.

Emma overacts this one.
The crowd rolls in gradually and Semi-precious weapons finishes up with a shout ‘Are you ready to see Lady Gaga!’ ‘YES’ shouts Emma and Lily. The lights come up and Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ comes on as the crews set up for Lady Gaga.  We sit on the edge of our seats eagerly awaiting.

And then they play ‘Billie Jean’ and ‘Beat it.’

And then ‘Human Nature’ and ‘PYT’.

And then ‘Wanna be startin’ Somethin’ and ‘Rock With You…’

W.T.F. is happening here? Emma and Lily are half asleep. It’s 9:30 and we’ve paid a lot of money to listen to Michael Jackson and burp cold hot dogs with 10,000 other people for the last 40 minutes. I briefly regret doing this.

Finally the lights dim, the opening music begins. Black and white images of Lady Gaga smoking are displayed on a large screen.

Is Lady Gaga Good?

A lot of people gave us shit about going to the Lady Gaga concert. We aren’t huge fans of her music, although the hits are catchy enough. What we like about her is that she is so entertaining, eccentric and theatrical.

The first set
Yes, we know everything she does is derivative of Warhol, Madonna, Versace, and Bowie.  But the Creekmores have to like someone that wears a meat dress (to be preserved as beef jerky) to the the MTV awards. That’s just awesomely gross.  I wonder what cuts of meat she used?

And her unequivocal support of the GLBT community is admirable for a young diva, who finds room for commitment to issues beyond herself within the self-hype of young stardom.

We wish there were more like Lady Gaga.

Lily closes her eyes to feel the moment of Paparazzi
The Monster ball

The girls perk up for the show after our long break and even though it’s already 90 minutes after bedtime, they dance eagerly. I don’t recognize many of the songs, but the sets are intricate and the costumes get larger and larger.  Lady gaga’s show weaves a thin story about travelling to a monster ball through seedy urban spaces, creepy forests, and sunken subways.

My only complaint is that a lot of the beautiful detail is lost in an arena.  And we had good seats, too. The sets are designed for Broadway theater sized audiences, not a 20,000 seat arena.  A lot is lost at that distance.

Awesome monter is the final set for p-p-p-p-pokerface
But damn, she can sing, and they don’t cut the microphone in between songs, so you hear her heavy breathing after every number. She’s the real thing.


Lady Gush Gush

Lady Gaga talks a lot, in a whiny New York city accent about self-love, confidence and the redeeming quality of being ‘different’. The first few comments seemed scripted.  But several more convinced me that she was serious, and ad libbing.  But as she talked on and on,  I thought she needed to shut up and sing.  It was over the top.

I later read an interview with her in Rolling Stone, and she was equally melodramatic. I guess that’s a privledge of being a 24-year-old pop star.  It’s certainly better than hearing shallow, spoiled crap from Brittney Spears or Megan Fox.

There were a few slow parts in the middle.
The grand finale

The girls fall asleep in the middle, as she does some low-key piano stuff. But as the crescendo builds toward the finale of hits, they stir from sleep and get back to high-energy dancing.

It wasn’t the best show of the summer for me, and I’m not sure it was worth the super-expensive tickets I bought. But Lady Gaga tried hard to deliver a huge performance and did a pretty good job of it. There were very few kids there (zero merchendise for kids). I expect Lady Gaga will be around for a while and they will be glad to have seen this tour in a decade, like one of Madonna’s earliest tours.

Continued, so read on!

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