In the weeks leading up to the Chelsea Piers trip, I excitedly prepped for it like I was Marlo Thomas heading off to conquer the big city. My husband Slurpico, however, worried terribly that I would meet some horrible fate in the train station like the little Amish boy in the movie "Witness." Nevertheless, he dropped me off with a kiss and two little airport sized bottles of Hennessy and off I went.
I rode the train from Lancaster to New York. Whenever I thought of the prospect of meeting Johnny, I had the insane urge to laugh my head off. I managed to stifle it, not wanting to alarm the other passengers hurling down the tracks with me at eighty five miles an hour in a tin can.
Several fans met up at 4:30 in a Chelsea Piers restaurant. Imagine our delight when Johnny's mother and his long suffering aunt showed up to greet us. Patti was so warm and real. I told her I am from Lancaster, and she was happy to share that he wishes to build a house here someday (that creaky, swishing noise you are hearing now is the sound of my fingers crossing). I also thanked her, because her son has given joy to alot of people.
Having left Patti to her swarm of admirers, I made my way into the Sky Rink and lined up early. I could see Johnny in the rink through the doors. He was in the stands, talking to a camera. When he came through the doors and passed us in the hallway, you could hear a collective OOORRHGHGPHHHH!!!!
The doors opened and we took our seats, which were front and center. They even had little green cushions for us. The show started and I was happy to see that the Ice Theater had choreographed wonderful, sophisticated performances for their skaters. New York was a terrific venue. The elderly lady in the red hat, sitting just below me, was dressed oh so adorably like a society maven.
I have always been a fan of figure skating, Olympic competition in particular. But I have to say, I have never seen anything like the programs he skated at Chelsea Piers. "Heartbroken" was so artistic it took my breath away and left the audience in tears. It was absolutely the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, live or otherwise.
"Bad Romance" appears to have evolved and has now surpassed "Pokerface" in my opinion. The drama of his EYES stopped my heart. His program bio stated that he is "one of the most avant garde performers of his generation." Exactly. I highly recommend purchasing a copy of the performance available through the Ice Theater of New York. He gave it his all here, head tosses and all.
Ironically (in lieu of Misfit Mimes cognac and cigarette blog) after the show, I joined several other fans outside, bummed a cigarette, and slugged down one of those aforementioned bottles of Hennessy.
After a frantic search for my reception ticket (my tote was full of cosmetics, toothpaste, ice skates, etc...) I made it in and waited for Johnny. He was mobbed. When I had my chance I said, "Johnny sweetie?" I called him sweetie. I told him I was from Lancaster and he smiled and said "Oh!!" I told him about the nightmare flowers (the gift card was safe in the hands of his mom). He did receive the diva bitch mirror in Bensenville. He was kind enough to sign my skate. I told him "There is only Gordeeva & Grinkov and you." I also said that his hometown does love him, to which he replied by giving me a hug. I kissed his cheek (yes his face is soft).
He was so patient and accomodating. I had the impression that this family is one who gives of their very bone marrow. At the end of the night, we made our way out at the same time they did. I stood near the garage exit, so as not to crowd them as they entered his car. They appeared to be exhausted. They saw me there as they drove out and were kind enough to wave goodbye.
I enjoyed meeting the other fans, and seeing him live, at this time, in that place, was an experience I will never forget. If you have not seen him skate live, you have to do it, and you need to do it NOW.
On the return trip on the Amtrak Keystone, a man in a business suit, awaiting his departure, asked, "Who signed your skate?" I said "Johnny Weir." He replied, "Now that's a signature with a flourish!" Totally.
I returned to Lancaster without incident. Slurpico was relieved he did not need to rescue me from any precarious situations.
Thank you to Johnny and Patti for everything. There is a parcel next to my house on which you can build. My neighbor has a house on it right now, but we can work on that.
Friday, April 23, 2010
My husband, whom I will affectionately refer to as "Slurpico" for the purposes of this blog, has a certain magic. Life is just way more interesting when he is present. Perhaps it's because he is crazy, and it is God's way of making it up to him. His ancestors are from central Italy. I am convinced he is a direct descendant of some insane gladiator; one who managed to not be eaten by tigers.
Despite his rugged exterior, in the first year of our marriage I noticed something odd. He reminds me of Mickey Mouse. I think it is the posture, body language, and his "can do" attitude. I am now enamored of all things Mickey. I have often wondered if childbirth was difficult for Slurpico's mother, given his large ears.
Slurpico is very athletic, so when I expressed a desire to resume my childhood passion for figure skating, he was very supportive. Lancaster has two terrific ice rinks, and I enjoy them both. The Lancaster Ice Rink has a figure skating club. They perform shows, which is wonderful for the kids there. In 2007, they put on their own "Disney on Ice." I happened to notice that they had NO MICKEY. I decided this just could not be! So I took the bull by the horns, or the mouse by the ears really, and rented a Mickey suit. I offered my services, and miracle of all miracles, I was scheduled to skate the part of Mickey.
The Mickey suit arrived from Philadelphia. I examined it, and satisfied everything was as it should be, I decided to enjoy a relaxing shower. While I was so indisposed, Slurpico came home and saw the suit. A few minutes later, I could hear him fire up his Harley Davidson outside. I probably don't need to tell you the outcome.
Our neighbor, who bears a strong resemblance to a "Far Side" character (think middle aged, bespectacled, pear shaped man), was standing in front of his house at the time. From what I understand, Slurpico chased him across his front lawn. He says it was difficult to shift with fuzzy, yellow feet, but he returned unscathed and a good time was had by all. Er...well...we had a good time. I cannot speak for our neighbor. And I DID skate the part of Mickey in the Lancaster Disney on Ice. It was a dream come true.
Johnny dreams of having his own spectacular ice show. When that happens, watch for my resume Johnny. I have animal suit experience.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Johnny has said on his website that ..."no matter now many times I leave and go back, I still feel at home amongst the buggies, cows and trees. There is no place like home." Home for him is Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Since he is roaming the earth, and I am here, I have decided to share my tales from this land that resembles a storybook. Perhaps he will not feel so homesick.
My husband, with his "Slurpico" Italian looks, lured me here from gritty downtown Detroit. Being the creative genius that he is, he surprised me by proposing marriage a mile above the earth in a hot air balloon, floating over Amish country halfway between the towns of Paradise and Intercourse. Yes these are real towns here. It was like riding on a feather. Even that high in the sky, we could hear the tinny little hoofbeats of the horses and buggies below. The Amish ran out toward the cornfields to wave hello. When we were close enough to the ground we yelled out, "What's for dinner?" To which they replied, "POPCORN!!!"
While the Amish people may have been happy to see us, the Amish animals were not. Something about a multi-colored behemoth in the sky left them a bit unsettled. I felt bad about this.
Now, all good things must come to an end. When the balloon guy (I have no idea what else to call him) began to descend, we happened to be traveling above a highway. An Amish man and his buggy were riding on that road. The horse saw us coming in this bizarre thing he has never seen, and became heartstoppingly, unabashedly, uncontrollably riveted. We probably would not have hit him, but he, having an IQ only slightly higher than some of the politicians of the last decade, did not realize this. He went berserk, turning this way and that. I thought for sure the buggy would tip over. Fortunately, the bearded man in the buggy had more experience in these matters than I do, and he was able to steer the horse safely away from us. But for a moment, I thought, what if we crashed? Only in Lancaster could a headline read: BALLOON HITS HORSE AND BUGGY.
I have to thank my husband for that ride. It was one of the most exhilirating experiences of my life, other than saying my actual vows of course (kisses and hugs). Only later that night did he roll over in bed and say, "Uh, do you realize we were a mile above the earth in a wicker basket, with a stranger?" Ah...that's life. No guts no glory. Never hesitate to come home Johnny. There is always room for another person in the basket.