Friday, January 19, 2018

Cirque du Soleil - LUZIA (Review Post)

LUZIA takes you to an imaginary Mexico, like in a waking dream, where light ("luz" in Spanish) quenches the spirit and rain ("lluvia") soothes the soul. With a surrealistic series of grand visual surprises and breathtaking acrobatic performances, LUZIA cleverly brings to the stage multiple places, faces and sounds of Mexico taken from both tradition and modernity.
Last night I had the fortunate experience of witnessing, participating, enjoying & being completely mesmerized by the Cirque du Soleil performance of Luzia at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California!

What can I tell you about this experience?  It was awe-inspiring!  It was entertaining. It was stunningly beautiful.  Breathtaking.  Hilarious.  Fun.  Intimate.  And I'd go again tonight if I could!

My fellow Mommy Friend and I braved the freeway north through the end of rush-hour traffic to arrive at the Cirque du Soleil big-top erected outside Dodger Stadium just after the venue gates opened.  Parking was quick and easy (although my wallet was $25 lighter) and we had a very short walk to the security check point from the car.  Once inside, popcorn, hotdogs, soda, pretzels, cotton candy and a nice array of adult beverages were available for theme-park-equivalent prices (no real surprise, but I'd love to be pleasantly surprised with reasonable prices for a teensy plastic cup of wine once in a while).

We had a few minutes inside the outer concession and souvenir area of the big top to enjoy our beverages and popcorn before the arena doors were opened.  Immediately upon entering the area, I was struck with how intimate and sort of small the whole area felt.  Our seats seemed so near the stage I was giddy and immediately began #bragging on social media!  We were seated about midway back from the stage in the seating, but I'm convinced there isn't a bad seat in the entire arena!

Once the show begins, you're immediately transported to the world that Cirque du Soleil builds around you through music, lighting, sounds and spectacle - setting up shop in your heart and imagination!  The momentum and pace builds gradually but logically and before you know it, you've arrived at the mid-show intermission.  I was so moved by the beauty of the first half of the show that I had tears in my eyes when the lights came on for the short break.

The entire performance is narrated in Spanish by a beautiful opera-style singer and the many performers.  But, English-speakers don't friend who attended with me speaks fluent Spanish and I never felt like she understood the show or enjoyed it more than I did.  The beauty of the performance bridged the language divide completely and left me yearning to explore the Mexican landscape and see the beauty of the country.

The second half of the performance was equally as thrilling as the first.  I'm convinced you could watch the show many times and never see exactly the same show twice.  Now, this is contrary to Cirque du Soleil's overall goal of creating the same performance every night, so please bare with me as I explain.  There is almost never just one performer or character performing at a time and they all perform all the time they are on stage, so it's easy to get distracted watching something happen on the "sidelines" and miss some of the main performance.  But I really think this is part of the magic of the performance - there's just SO MUCH to see and take in!

Before you want it to end, performers are lining up to take their bows and you applaud until you think your hands might fall off!  The show was so wonderful nearly all the crowd stood to applaud the performers at the end!  I loved it!  I wish I could go again tonight!  I wish my 6 year old could see the magic and feel as awestruck as I did last night!

I don't have a negative thing to say about the production.  I encourage you to see the show and take your entire family!  I might be a bit too loud for the very youngest members of your family, but otherwise I think the show would entertain people of all ages.

A special offer from the promoters for CHill Thoughts readers:  Family Pack to Cirque du Soleil - LUZIA
Enjoy this production with the whole family and save 20% on tickets!

I received two tickets to LUZIA by Cirque du Soleil featured in this post for free for the purposes of review, however, I only recommend products I use and enjoy and all opinions are my own. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Hate Spewing Christians are No Better than Anyone Else Spreading Hatred and Intolerance!

I'm so sick of hearing about the ""evil" in the Qur'an. And how ALL Muslims are evil!

I haven't read the Qur'an, but I HAVE read the Bible.

Wanna talk about stoning people to death and killing non-believers? Well it's in the Bible, too. Why is it no one ever mentions THAT when they're trying to scare people away from being kind or tolerant of/to Muslims (or followers of any other religion)??

Deuteronomy 13:10

"So you shall stone him to death because he has sought to seduce you from the LORD your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.


Deuteronomy 17:2 - 17:7

If a man or woman living among you in one of the towns the Lord gives you is found doing evil in the eyes of the Lord your God in violation of his covenant, and contrary to my command has worshiped other gods, bowing down to them or to the sun or the moon or the stars in the sky, and this has been brought to your attention, then you must investigate it thoroughly. If it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done in Israel, take the man or woman who has done this evil deed to your city gate and stone that person to death.

On the testimony of two or three witnesses a person is to be put to death, but no one is to be put to death on the testimony of only one witness. The hands of the witnesses must be the first in putting that person to death, and then the hands of all the people. You must purge the evil from among you.


Deuteronomy 21:18 - 21:21

If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and [that], when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son [is] stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; [he is] a glutton, and a drunkard.

And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.


Deuteronomy 22:23-24

"If there is a girl who is a virgin engaged to a man, and another man finds her in the city and lies with her, then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city and you shall stone them to death; the girl, because she did not cry out in the city, and the man, because he has violated his neighbor's wife. Thus you shall purge the evil from among you.


Leviticus 20:1-2

Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "You shall also say to the sons of Israel: 'Any man from the sons of Israel or from the aliens sojourning in Israel who gives any of his offspring to Molech, shall surely be put to death; the people of the land shall stone him with stones.


Leviticus 24:13-14

Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Bring the one who has cursed outside the camp, and let all who heard him lay their hands on his head; then let all the congregation stone him.


Leviticus 24:16 - And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, [and] all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name [of the LORD], shall be put to death.


Hebrews 11:37

They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Hello. Is it Me You're Looking For?

Presently, I'm lacking in motivation to get much done...I'm have a serious case of procrastination.  So where have I found myself?  Here...tapping away again!

Let's see if I can summarize all that's happened in my life since I last updated you.

First, I got all caught up in product reviews and the freebies that come along with it.  Free stuuuufffff!  And packages!  It's so fun to receive packages!

But, then I got lost in the darkness of business and stress and depression and lost track of a lot of myself and time.  I got that under control just in time to run off to Colorado last September when Baby Girl had an emergency appendectomy while pregnant with her first child.

Then, at the end of our stay in Colorado, Baby Girl found out that she and her hubby were expecting a little girl!!  They had a fun gender reveal party that I'll have to tell you all about one of these days.

The moment Baby Girl cut into her gender reveal cake to discover PINK!!

Then, we came back to California and life was same ol same ol.

Buddy turned 3!  And later this month he will turn 4!!

Then DH fixed up my car that had messed up by putting a whole new engine in it and I headed back to Colorado to await the arrival of my first Grandbaby!!

Baby Girl was on bedrest ordered by her doctor when she and her hubby suddenly needed to move, thanks to a total A-hole landlord.  Thankfully, they found a new house to rent just a few blocks away and had plenty of friends and myself to help move them in the week before Baby Girl was due to have the baby.

Baby Girl supervising setting up her new kitchen!

Then Baby Girl got really sick just a few days before her due date and the doctors really couldn't come up with any better plan than to put her on a helicopter and send her to a hospital in Colorado Springs.  Then, while they were waiting for the helicopter, Baby Girl went into labor as well!  A couple hours driving and we were in Colorado Springs and Grand baby was definitely coming!  Before I could blink, Baby Girl was ready to push and Buddy and I headed to the waiting room.  A couple hours later, the news we had hoped for was delivered via my Son-in-Law -- Momma and Baby were healthy and happy!!

Uncle Buddy!!

They were in the hospital a couple more days and then headed back home.  We stayed with the GrandDogs while their parents were away.  Their arrival home with our precious grand baby, "Button",  was so fun to capture!  DH had arrived not long before they arrived home, so we all got some family time and DH got some Grandpa time.

Then, a few days later, and waaaay too soon for me, DH, Buddy and I raced out of Colorado ahead of a snowstorm, literally, so we wouldn't be stuck a few days longer than we could afford.

Buddy and I flew to Colorado in April to spend 10 days with Baby Girl and her family.  I got some much needed snuggle time with Button and then we were back to California.

Buddy started attending preschool 3 mornings a week.  He hated us leaving him, but after a few weeks he would run to the classroom door laughing with excitement to get inside and learn!  He loves his school!

In July, the man who was like a Father to me my whole life died suddenly.  I flew back to West Virginia the next day and spent 5 days there.  I hadn't been home to West Virginia since 2008, so the visit was long overdue.  So was the time I got to spend with my BFF and her family.  It was the only time I've been away from Buddy with the exception of a few days spent in the hospital the week before Christmas of 2013 when my appendix decided ti no longer wanted to cooperate with the rest of me and exploded.  So, it was weird to be away from DH and Buddy.  It was weird to be in West Virginia.  It was awful seeing the pain of loss and to try to function in the fog of loss and regret at not making it home before he was gone.  But that's another story for another day; I returned to California.

Almost home.
We've travelled around with DH for work and seen a few new places out here.  It's been a hot, long summer.  And finally the weather is cooling and it feels like fall!  In late July I joined a group of almost 200 other people with a goal of reading the entire bible in 90 days...I did it!

In early August, I decided to start exercising and quit being lazy.  Reading the Bible changed me at my core and made all sorts of things seem possible!  So I signed for a 5K.  Then, I signed up for another one.  And I ran them both!  And I finished!  And I've got another one coming up later this month.

I finished the Bible a few weeks was an amazing experience for me to complete that goal.  I hardly ever stick to anything.  I'm convinced God held me to it and didn't let me procrastinate too much!

Which brings me right back around to now...and procrastinating.  I'm avoiding doing stuff I KNOW I need to be doing.  I need to get busy!  But it's been nice to just spill this all out here today.  Hopefully I'll be back soon.  And I can tell you about a new project I'm working on!  Things are looking up!  I'm working hard to keep a positive attitude and make positive changes in my life.  If you're the praying type, say a little prayer for me.  If you need me to pray for you, drop me a line down in the comment section and I'll be glad to put in a good word with the Big Guy for you!

Friday, June 12, 2015

My Forehead Tattoo

IF I had a tattoo on my forehead, it would surely say:

Seriously!  There must be something about me that just says "Tell me your life story!"  Everywhere I go people talk my ear off and tell me more details about their life than I thought was possible.

Perfect example: we were in Las Vegas earlier this week and I needed to mail a package to my daughter.  The nearest post office was sought out only to discover the lines were long!  Ten people in front of me to mail parcels and such plus an equally long line for people picking up parcels.

Buddy was with me, which almost always a guarantee that I'll be interpreting 3-year-old-ese for whoever chooses to engage him.  The lady in line behind us began conversation with him asking his age after he sheepishly waved at her from the safety of hiding clinging to my legs. "Me Free (3)," he said."This my Mommy."  And then her life story began...

In the ten or so minutes it took to work my way to the front of the line and with only polite responses and no questions to further engage her, I learned the following:
  • She only needed to mail two cards for graduation; one for her niece and one for her niece's "baby daddy".
  • She put a $30 gift card in her niece's card but just a card for the boyfriend. Because, "I've never even met him."
  • She doesn't carry her debit card with her to work because she spends too much money on her clients' children.
  • She works for the VA.
  • She spent $500 on treats and sodas and such for her clients' children in one year and that's why she doesn't carry her debit card with her anymore.
  • She is 46 and doesn't have any children of her own; but she's thought about adopting.
  • Her boyfriend is 53 and thinks he's too old to have energy enough to raise a child.
  • She has a Godson that she spoils.
  • She used to bring little treats with her every time she went to see her Godson, but had to stop doing that because he came to expect it.
  • Her Godson is 5 and has two God Mothers.
  • Her Godson's father isn't in the picture and his Mother doesn't make much money, so my line mate likes to take him and spend extra time spoiling him.
  • Her dog DIED two days ago; he was just old.
  • She had two dogs, so now she still has one.
  • At 2 o'clock yesterday her Godson and his Grandmother showed up to bring her flowers "to help cheer her up".
  • Her Godson wants an Alaskan Husky, probably because his other God Mother likes them.
  • She took yesterday off work because she was just too sad about the loss of her dog to go to work.
  • She's pretty sure stamps cost 49¢ now, but she remembers when stamps were only 22¢.
  • She's going to insure her niece's card before she mails it.
  • She's headed to work right after this.
Seriously!  Besides, saying that Buddy was three and nodding politely and offering condolences for the loss of her dog, all the rest of that was unprompted.

And I don't mean to sound like and ass or imply that the conversation irritated me or anything.  I really don't mind talking to people; or listening, as the case may be.  I just find it curious that this happens ALL the time...people tell me their life story!

Does that happen to you?  What should the tattoo on your forehead say?

Hey!  Have you entered to win a FREE Doggie ID yet?  You should click here to enter!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Choose Kindness. Please!

I'm seeing a LOT of posts filled with anger today. Posts that seem to imply if one person is brave or a hero, then it makes another brave or heroic person somehow "less" important.

Or that if someone is doing something we disagree with or don't understand, then that makes them unworthy of acceptance or praise. That kind of thinking hasn't gotten us anywhere productive!

The TRUTH is, none of us are gonna get out of this thing called life alive!

We all matter. We all deserve kindness and compassion.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Top 5 CHill Thoughts posts of 2014

2014 was a big year for our family.  There's still a LOT I need to share about what happened in the past twelve months!  But, for today, allow me to share the top five most-visited CHill Thoughts posts from the past year:

And the most visited blog post of 2014, with 2,151 page visits,
Army -- (an #AtoZChallenge Post).

Happy, happy New Year!  I wish you a safe and prosperous 2015!

Friday, December 19, 2014

America the Weak - Don't Take Away My $

"Understand what is going on right now,
because the world just changed on your watch,
and you weren’t even paying attention." 
- George Clooney


The US does not pay ransom.  We don't bend to terrorists.

That's what we say, right?

Except when it comes down to the wire, when lawyers and their clients get together and say, "There's a threat, it's credible, if you move forward with your plans and something bad happens you'll be held liable financially."  And we all KNOW you don't want to walk into that trap!  You can't risk your wealth like that!

And suddenly America DOES pay ransom!

Every movie theater chain that refused to carry The Interview because they would be held financially liable if TERRORISTS followed through on their threats, forced Sony to pull their film.  But it's not even the theaters''s OURS!

We've created this society where we believe every bad thing that happens to us is someone else's fault!  And if it's their fault, we should get paid for it!  WE created this litigious society.  And THAT is what has ultimately brought a major US company like Sony to it's knees and forced them to bend to the will of TERRORISTS!  Fear of financial liability.  Our own court system turned against us!

If you think that this is a one time deal, that this is the only time a DICTATOR who makes TERRORIST threats will dictate to America what can and can be done in our supposedly free society, you're dead wrong.  This is just the first time.  This is just the beginning.

I don't give a damn about one movie, but I am incredibly saddened to see this play out this way.  I'm disgusted that America is acting so weak.  I'm frightened because of the precedent this sets.  I'm disappointed that we're ultimately so self-serving that we, as a nation, bend so quickly and so easily.

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