Sunday, November 19, 2006

"Walking in Memphis"--Rhodes College show

Last weekend, we performed in Memphis at Rhodes College. The whole damn time we was there, this song "Walking in Memphis" was on repeat in my head--I don't even remember the last time I actually heard the song, but I kept hearing "Walking in Memphis/walking with my ten-feet off of Beale/walking in Memphis/Do I really feel the way I feel?" That song has since been replaced in my head by Beyonce's lyrics "To the left, to the left/Everything you own in a box to the left"--but that's a whole 'nother story. Anyway, we've been booked to perform at Rhodes since about mid-summer. Monica from Rhodes worked really hard to bring us out--I think some folks may have been a bit nervous about having us there because, you know, we're such angry, foul-mouthed, potentially violent Asian American women and terrible role-models for the Asian American students on campus. I mean, who knows what could pop off with us around?

Well, despite some folks' apprehensions, our flights were booked already, and we arrived to some great Rhodes hospitality. Monica and Susan picked us up at the airport and offered to show us some sights since we had a few hours before we had to prepare for the show. On the list: Graceland! I was like, Let's go there! I don't think Catzie really cared about going to see Graceland, but I kept thinking: when am I ever going to have another chance to see where Elvis lived? Not that I'm an Elvis fan or anything like that, but I guess I wanted to see the Jungle Room for myself. So after getting lost for a while and seeing parts of Memphis that maybe we wouldn't have if Monica hadn't needed to turn around so much, we finally made it to Graceland.

There's too much to tell, so I'm only going to share a little of our trip to Graceland now and try to do more later. We have a group photo of all of us in front of a mural of Graceland's gates, but I have to scan that one still. Anyway, here's Catzie just as we were about to enter the King's front doors.

Doesn't that look say: What the hell am I doing here? Here's Monica and Susan.

Yeah, not a great picture, but the only one I had of them while at the mansion--although I have to say, Graceland wasn't as big as I thought it would be. But I guess back in the 60's and 70's Elvis was livin' large for the times (the tour said he bought Graceland and its surrounding land for $100,000. Wow.) When we first walked through the doors, the living room/music room was on the right.

My favorite part of the room was the stained-glass peacocks separating the living room from the music room. From the living room, we saw Elvis' parents' bedroom and the dining room but I didn't post pictures of those because it wasn't that exciting. My favorite room was the TV room.

What in the hell is a big, white monkey doing on the coffee table? The best part to me was that Elvis had three TVs in the room so he could watch three different channels at the same time--oh, and the records and 70's stereo system. Memories of my childhood and 8-track tapes, but you younguns don't know nothin' 'bout that. I also liked the pool room (so named b/c of the pool table smack-dab in the middle of it) which was upholstered from walls to ceiling in this dark fabric.

Oh, outside Graceland in front of the souvenir stores, there was this box (it was really a display case with merchandise in it) with the words "Fragile" and "Handle With Care" stamped on it, so Catzie decided to mimic our Vol. 2 CD cover. Here she is bursting out the box.

She tried. Anyway, I'll tell more about Graceland with more pictures later. After we left there, I believe we got lost some more but finally made it to our hotel. When Catzie and I had changed our clothes and freshened up a bit, Monica and Susan took us to get some real Memphis BBQ. But on the way to the place, Central BBQ, we passed this drug store called Ike's and lo and behold, Monica tells us Ike Turner owns this chain of drug stores. Well, this was just too funny to me and Catzie--that Ike Turner was reduced to owning a chain of discount drug stores--so we had to get a picture of ourselves in front of it. We made poor Monica drive us around all over the city late at night just so we could get Erin to take this photo of us at about 1am:

We're just some partying fools. But back to the Memphis BBQ: we got to the restaurant and Catzie and I were just overwhelmed with the choices. What is the pork plate? The beef? Should we get a 1/2 rack of ribs? What sides to get? Did I want to risk getting the BBQ beans? Will we look like gluttons? I don't know about Catzie, but I was starving by that time, and after some blundering with the order (sorry, but that guy was talking way too fast. I'm lucky I even was able to say "1/2 dry, 1/2 wet" and still know what the hell I was getting) I decided on the ribs (oh, yeah, and said "what-the-hell" and got the beans. No audience members were subjected to any flatulation or foul stenches during or after the show). Actually, we both got the 1/2 rack of ribs, and I'm sorry I didn't get any pics of it, but we were too busy stuffing our faces to think about it--but Catzie did manage to take plenty of food pics later that night of cheesecake.

OK, after stuffing ourselves, we had to rehearse for our show. While in the middle of rehearsing, I noticed this Orientalist lamp sitting all out-of-place on a nearby table. Ai-ya, we just can't escape the stereotypes.

Very strange because the rest of the room was kinda medieval-looking. See for yourself:

Yep, that's Catzie rehearsing because all our fun done for the time being, and we had to perform. Well, only once Catzie ran all around campus looking for a computer and a printer so she could make copies of poems she wanted to do. Most of pics taken of us during the show were too blurry. Here's one of the better ones.

Yeah, I don't think that, technically, we're performing a poem here, but it was one of only ones that wasn't too blurry. We started late but had a really great show . . . even when Eddie practically fell out his seat laughing at my singing in "Ancestor Worship" and made me forget my lines, I still had a great time :P I hope he knows I was just playing when I kept busting on him--it was cool. Plus he said that I reminded him of his mom singing him lullabies when he was little, so that was nice. We got to meet other students along with Eddie after the show: Vicky, Erin, Sina, Hai-Ching, Ziggy, Sonya, Mandy--that's everyone we remember. They were a great bunch of people and we got to hang out with some of them for a bit. We ended up at a place called The Cheesecake Corner. Catzie took some photos to commemorate the dessert's artistry.

Ooooo, mood-lighting. That's Hai-Ching, Sina, and Eddie in the background. This is like the 15th photo Catzie took of the cheesecakes--see the whipped cream melting. And mine's in the background which I couldn't eat until Catzie was done itching her photographer-bug. Look, here's another one.

See how nice the whipped cream looks? Too bad mine was like soup when I finally ate it. But seriously though, these cheesecakes were pretty scrumptious--very very rich. Have lots of milk or tea or coffee on hand.

OK, I have to do Mommy things now, so I'll continue this story in another post. But before I do, I will try to put a post up with pics from our William Paterson University show this past Friday. In the meantime, thanks to everyone in Memphis for your Southern hospitality, especially Monica and Susan. It was also great to meet Erin, Vicky, Hai-Ching, Eddie, Sina, Ziggy, Mandy, and Sonya. Hold it down in Memphis, and we hope our paths cross again soon.