Margaret Cho and St. Francis of Assisi.

Big weekend, folks. BIG. Lots of stuff. On Saturday night I went to see Margaret Cho live. She’s a standup comedian/author/performance artist/mainly standup comedian who was coming through Radio City Music Hall on her “Beautiful” tour. (She has a wonderfully designed logo for it, BTW.)

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I haven’t ever seen her live because by the time I got into her work, she had gone all performance-artsy and I wasn’t terribly into that. But “Beautiful” was lauded as her return to her standup ways, so I thought, “Jolly good, I will go to that.” And it was terrific. Margaret has been doing standup since she was sixteen, and at 39 she’s a professional. If you’re wondering why I’m not quoting any of my favorite parts, I took a vow not to use foul language on this website, and Margaret’s raw. I quote her regularly in my daily life, but not here, oh no. However, I will link to some YouTube clips of her previous shows and if you would like to see those, you are welcome.

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She has a great deal of body issues and weight fluctuation, which you can see in this selection of clips. Also, she does a phenomenal impression of her mother which has become a staple in her act. But “Beautiful” was excellent and her opening act was Liam Sullivan, a young man who has become famous amongst a portion of the population for making very funny internet videos where he plays multiple characters. The most famous is where he plays Kelly and sings the song “Shoes”.

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That song will get stuck in your head and remain there, dormant, until you pass a store that sells shoes. And then you will sing it and curse me and Liam Sullivan, and then I will laugh the laugh that evil characters laugh when they’re being evil. MWA HA HA.

Summary of “Beautiful” show: Excellent. Go see it if it comes to your town. Or watch it when it (hopefully) comes out on DVD.

On Sunday, I got up early and when to St. John the Divine for my annual church visit for St. Francis of Assisi Day. I love St. Francis of Assisi Day. You show up to church at 9:00 and they open the doors at 11:00 for services. People bring their pets to be blessed. You primarily see dogs, but you also see cats, birds, lizards, tortoises, hermit crabs, etc. It’s quite a menagerie. And even though St. John the Divine is an episcopalian church and strict about many things, they have the most crunchy granola service ever. There’s dancers in the aisles and songs for Brother Sun and Sister Moon. Snorth noticed this in the program:

Communion will given at the front of the church.
Gluten-free wafers are available for those who request them.

Gluten-free wafers? CRUNCHY. Will Birkenstocks and hemp grocery bags also be available? How about Dr. Bronner’s soap? ‘Cuz I’m running low on that.

Near the end of the service they have the Procession of the Animals. They bring a variety of creatures into the church and they are blessed and then are led out. It’s the piece de resistance of the service. I took pictures of the whole service, but they ask you not to use flash photography because it startles the dogs and other animals, so all my pictures are at best blurry and at worst modern art a la Rothko. I will attempt to show the better pictures and point out the finer details.

First, walking to the church, I was disturbed by this appalling use of quotes.

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Scramble “eggs”? Umm, what precisely are you scrambling back there in the kitchen? I’m not sure I want to eat your “eggs” for my breakfast, thank you very much. Gonna pass on that.

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This is what the whole church looked like. Owners and their beasties. Beasties getting into fracii (plural of fracas) with other beasties. The service was peppered with barking.

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In this picture there are people dancing while one woman holds a punchbowl with a goldfish in it and two men have long poles with streamers swirling around them and the 200-person chorus sings along to whale sounds. I am not making this up. When I say crunchy granola, I MEAN it, dammit.

Now, we begin with the procession. It is always led by a big spectacular bird of prey, usually a golden eagle. Here is a picture of the man carrying the golden eagle.

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Followed by a dromedary with a festive wreath on its hump. All the animals had a festive garland or wreath or buttoniere on them in some way. More about that later.

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Here is a reindeer. He was grumpy and didn’t want to be there and gave his volunteer handler a hard time, dragging her this way and that, tossing his head with that delightfully impaling-able set of antlers. Naughty naughty reindeer.

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The browny-black blur you see there is Marvin the Sheep pulling a wagon. The wagon had an extremely old tortoise on it. They put the tortoise on the wagon and then decorated around him with all manner of greenery and flowers, but it made him look like a Thanksgiving turkey surrounded by potatoes and carrots.

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The internet, bless its heart, has a picture from last year with two smootchy beasties that were here this year as well, Marvin the Sheep and Thumper the Bunny.

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Awww. I loves me some Marvin and Thumper.

Now, normally they don’t get too exotic. It’s basically farm animals with some honeybees in a glass case and maybe a boa snake and an iguana for good measure. This year there was no cow or horse, but they went way more edgy. See that thing in that woman’s arms? That’s a kangaroo joey.

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And the kicker for me? A fennec and a gibbon. And not just any gibbon. A BABY gibbon. OMG.

Because they’re royally hard to see in my pics, here are some references to why I grabbed Snorth’s arm and started muttering in tongues. Tongues of CUTENESS.

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Here’s my pic. Aargh.

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Note the sawdust on the floor to absorb weewee. Very conscientious. Maybe if I zoom in a bit…

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Better? No? Okay.

Afterwards there’s a fair outside with adoption areas and food and activities, it’s very nice. There’s a raptor booth and since I am such an owl fan, I always stand in front of it with my mouth open like I was just hit by a pan in the face. Mainly because of the Malaysian Eagle Owl with big orange eyes directly in front of me.

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My favorite owl of all time is the screech owl, a wee owl that screams when upset and looks like a rotting bit of tree. There was one in that flowery container up at the top. I asked to see him and they graciously took the box down and brought him close to me. And, unfortunately for him, he was directly in the sun.

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ISN’T HE ADORABLE? He has tufty fake ears and a tiny beak and tiny feet for killing even tinier things, oh, I love him so much.

I intend to go again next year, so if anyone has a better camera that takes good pictures in the gloomy dimness of a church with objects moving around, I would greatly appreciate borrowing it for that day so I can actually get some decent pictures of the procession of animals. Thanks ever so muchly.

2 Responses to “Margaret Cho and St. Francis of Assisi.”

  1. Karen says:

    Sad they had a baby gibbon, they are critically endangered. One of the threats is from the pet trade.

  2. […] next morning, it was off to St. Francis of Assisi Day at St. John the Divine! You should read my previous post on it before you continue because I make references to the post. This is what standing in line […]

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