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Cirque du Soleil’s Kurios VIP Experience Disappoints

2016-kurios_001

A performance by the Cirque du Soleil is almost always a life-altering experience for someone in the audience, and it’s little wonder that fans tend to nominate their very first show as their favorite. My first cirque was Alegria, back in the mid-1990s when the Grand Chapiteau was set up across the street from the Cheetah 3 strip club, and to this day the soundtrack from Alegria is the first thing I think of when I hear the word ‘Cirque’.

For my second show (I think it might have been Dralion) I bought tickets for my parents, treating them to the Tapis Rouge experience – a magical tent overflowing with music, food, and drink. You couldn’t turn around without bumping into a server carrying a tray laden with some incredible work of edible art, and to this day my mom remains convinced that the Cirque du Soleil is the only place where you can order “that drink made with grapefruit and vodka” (she’s not much of a drinker).

The Tapis Rouge wasn’t just about the food though, it truly was an “experience” in its own right – an expression of everything that is unique about Cirque, from the fabric lining the tent to the stage lighting and the festive decor of the space, to the playlist of songs from current and previous traveling shows. There was a Cirque store where you could purchase clothing, knickknacks, umbrellas, celebrated Venetian masks, and of course Continue reading

Text Messaging Intervention

Gargoyles of Notre Dame on Texting
Okay, okay, okay everybody. I get it. Seriously. I get it. It’s time for me to step up to the plate and admit that I have a problem. My phone sucks and I don’t know the rules of text messaging. But I’m not going down alone… you’re all equally to blame in this and if I’m taking the fall, I’m bringing all of you down with me.

Here’s the deal.

In 2003 I owned one of the hottest toys on the planet…. a sweet black and silver Sony Ericsson T-616 cellphone (part of their 610 series).

The Hi-Tech T-616

It had a real (albeit tiny) joystick, a sophisticated operating system and a full-color screen WAY bigger than any of my friends’ phones. This thing was so far ahead of the curve that only the dorkiest dorks in town owned one. Needless to say that no one in my circle of friends and work colleagues had a phone that could begin to match the things my phone could do.

I’m serious. This was a nifty bit of cellular overkill and I LOVED it.

The T-616 was a miniature computer. It had a camera and it used Bluetooth™ (the usefulness of which nobody seemed to comprehend regardless of how many hand gestures I used to explain the concept of controlling the refrigerator with my cellphone*). That little marvel could do SMS (simple text messages), MMS (styled text messages with images and video)… it was even capable of sending and receiving honest to goodness emails!!

This was back in 2003, people!!!
Back when Saddam was still in power, the Concorde was still in service, and New Hampshire’s Old Man of the Mountain wasn’t just on the quarter.

After playing around with the T-616 I was certain that “texting” would be my favorite feature, a certainty which lasted less than a month as that’s exactly how long it took me to realize that the rest of my friends’ phones were as useful as a duck on wheels and that frequent texting was as expensive as a trip to the Gold Room with a stripper, please, sir, don’t touch the boobs.

There I’d be, at a restaurant, on a date, waiting for the girl to return from the powder room. With a couple of glasses of wine in me and a mind for mischief I’d whip out my T-616 and type up a message to a couple of my friends and hit the “SEND” key.

The next day I would get an angry phone call or three.

Blisteringly livid Continue reading