Sunday, January 1, 2012

Dragons and Addams

THE YEAR OF THE DRAGON, 2012
01/23/2012 - 02/09/2013 (Water)

"According to the Chinese Zodiac, the Year of 2012 is the Year of the Dragon, which begins on January 23, 2012 and ends on February 9, 2013.  The Dragon is the fifth sign of the Chinese Zodiac, which consists of 12 Animal signs.  The Dragon is a creature of myth and legend.  In ancient China, the celestial Dragon represents an emperor and  power. Today, it  is the ultimate auspicious symbol signifying success and happiness.  May the celestial Dragon bring great good luck to everyone."

While I won't go on about the details of the Chinese zodiac, I will mention that I was born under the sign of the Dragon, and plan on doing a lot of roaring this year! After all, it's my year! Dragons unite! (OK, that sounded like some type of role playing game - eek).

So how did this Dragon start off her new year? By continuing my "1 event per month" challenge and participating in the NYD - 5K! My first 3.1 miles of the year were painful due to the whipping wind that Chicago is notorious for. I thought I'd experienced it all over the past 12 months, rain, snow, heat, cold, but this - this was new. The wind made today a challenge and a half! At times, I felt like my eyes and sinuses were on fire, and that's definitely not a good feeling. A new feeling, but not a good feeling. Towards the end of the race, I started talking to a fellow "eventer" and we pushed each other along the horrible terrain, and onto the finish line. As I tapped her on the shoulder and declared "Let's go girl! We got this!" we picked up the pace and jogged over the finish line to a cheering crowd. It was awesome.

Post race, I rushed home to fix lunch, shower and head out to see the musical, "The Addams Family". On a whim, I bought a heavily discounted ticket for one for the kooky play. Upon arrival I found my seat and was surrounded by strangers but oddly enough, as I looked up from my Playbill I spotted someone familiar in the crowd. I sent a text to see if my friend/co-worker was indeed at the theater, or if there was just a twin of her walking around seeing a New Year's Day oddity. The lights went down, and I surprisingly, enjoyed the first half of the musical. The orchestra was phenomenal, and the players were well suited for their roles. The set design, costumes and make-up were amazing, like I figured they would be in order to bring such an iconic show to life.

During intermission, I decided to walk around and get a closer look at my friend's potential doppelganger, only to realize it was her indeed! She introduced me to her eclectic and hugely extended family and invited me to come sit next to her. "Sure! Let me go get my things!", I said. Not only did I get to move a few rows closer, but it was nice to be "adopted" for the night instead of surrounded by strangers. As the show came to an end, she asked me if I wanted to go backstage and meet the cast. Umm, do you know how much of a theater freak I am? "Sure!", I said as I learned her brother is a director, and knew some of the cast. And off we went!

As we rounded the back of the theater we entered with ease into the backstage area. There I saw Morticia sans cleavage gaping dress, and Uncle Fester's stand in as we were lead to the actual stage by Gomez himself (Douglas Sills). He was more then enthusiastic while describing the props, the way the stage worked, the computers, the lighting, the costumes - everything. He made me feel at home. My adoptive family and I were shuffled around the stage, and then eventually out to the dressing rooms. Soon after we headed out, and I  thanked my family for their hospitality. I drove home shaking my head in amazement at my good fortune. What an exciting way to spend the first day of my new year! On the drive home, I noticed a small statue that simply said, "HOPE" and I couldn't help but think that's exactly what this year is all about for me. Hope of good things to come that is!

I hope you all had as good of a day as I did to ring in the new year! Happy 2012 my readers and friends! Below are a few photos that I snapped backstage. I didn't go overboard in my photo taking (like usual) as I didn't want to out-wear my welcome!

The Addams' crypt...

Gomez - sans make-up and costume.

Grandma-ma's cart of concoctions...

Gomez's chair of torture...

Pugsley's bed (left) and another part of the set floating above...

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