Sunday, September 30, 2007

Poor Meg White has claimed exhaustion, and then denied that she's really the one in the sex tape making the rounds. I hope she is getting a bit of a rest and not letting all this stuff bother her....and that all the hipsters who are enjoying the indie rock "research" needed to offer up an opinion will soon agree that it's just not her. All this better said at Quarterlifeparty.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

My Netflix queue has 129 entries.

(heavy sigh)

Upcoming cultural excitement includes seeing my friend on "Desperate Housewives", seeing my young adolescent friend in "Les Miserables" (directed by Terry Mann!), maybe getting to the "Marriage of Figaro" featuring my boss's baritone, and developing a treatment for a children's book to be produced at church.

And trying to make a dent in that queue. Starting tonight with some last season "Heroes". I'm prepared to not love it....anyone wanna challenge me on that?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The family camp-out got transferred to the backyard last night. And it was actually fun. The s'mores cleanup was vastly easier with the sink a foot away, and just knowing that I could reach a lovely toilet within striking distance (not that there is anything wrong with outside peeing) kept me from getting up and going all night. Plus, we watched part of a movie prior to bedding down for the night -- a really, really funny part.

The site transfer, however, is another example of September getting in the way of all things fun. Between my job, soccer, school needs, and my husband's intense work schedule this week we couldn't even drive to a campsite 20 miles away. Two friends are homeschooling, and boy, the temptation is strong. Just as strong as my desire to quit my job(s) and flee to Hawaii.

Also? It is 92 degrees today. Welcome Autumn.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

It's not a secret that I love quite a bit of musical theatre. It's no secret that I like sex or sexy things. I could even say I like 19th century German literature. As for Duncan Sheik, hmmm...not sure I've ever had an opinion. But I do now. We saw "Spring Awakening" in New York, and I cried a lot during the show, wouldn't let my husband touch me afterwards, and have been singing the soundtrack non-stop ever since.

The show is flawed, sure...but any experience that can bring a sharp, clear picture of my own history right to my eyes gets my approval. The terror, the loneliness, the yearning, the energy, and the confusion of my adolescence was reenacted by the hyperactive teens on the stage that night. The show is all gorgeous lighting and a pretty, old-school set, Bill T. Jones choreography (we are fans from ADF), and luscious music - I really can't say enough about what the music brought to the show - even the microphone exchanges and reveals delighted (they were hidden onstage, in costumes, and tossed around). "Spring Awakening" got me, and I got it. That's saying something, especially when one considers it is a MUSICAL.

The play is ancient, and though it still speaks to teenagers, the producers' decision to add modern choreography, lighting and sound makes perfect sense and gives the play not relevance, necessarily (because it is relevant, miraculously), but energy. Lots and lots of energy. And because the young have energy to spare, everything works together to make the stage pulse with a sense of possibility and dread. As a woman watching SA I think I was more unnerved than anything, remembering the decisions I had to make almost daily about how to live and act and the fear and uncertainty and pure excitement associated with becoming a sexual being.

Jonathan Franzen hates this version and has written his own translation of Wedekind's novel. My friend had seen the workshopped version and had even played Wendla in college (in a production that, not unlike others and even the original text, sees the sex act as less than consensual), but she loves it - this the girl who avoids musicals like the plague. Obviously, the production is bringing out strong emotions in people besides me -- just Google it. It is a MySpace sensation!

Between "Once" and "Spring Awakening", the musical has found new avenues. For that, I am incredibly grateful...even Franzen says he is not thrilled to have to diss anything that is causing such new-found interest in live theatre. I'm glad to be living in a time when this particular art form has received a major kick in the ass.

Monday, September 17, 2007

From the "I could have told you it would be like this" files....‘Tell Me You Love Me’ Goes From Sextastic to Totally Depressing . (I still want HBO - and not just because my friend has a recurring on a new series -- there are many other reasons, as well)

From the same files mentioned above, when offered some Turkish dried apricots, my son declined. "I'll fart too much when I eat them". How do you know? "Because I ate some and then I farted a lot".

Sunday, September 16, 2007

At the dreaded football game yesterday (and I say dreaded because I dreaded it), there was much not to like. Crowds, a bunch of white girls in the same strapless dresses with the same long shiny hair, drunk frat boys in mandals, and overpriced concessions. At the end of the game we headed out to get our football where it had been stowed away at the advice of the gate security, only to not find it. And our seats were on the sunny side which wasn't too bad on an 80 degree day, but I missed out on the loveliness of that temperature and only felt its fury.

But I had a good time. I liked doing something nice for my hubby, though as many of you know I am VERY nice to him, ahem, all the time in a VARIETY of ways, you feel me? We saw our dear friend Kevin - it had been so many years! And he was still handsome, still interesting (several Peace Corps tours, now an artistic type and living in a great American city), and still so enjoyable. My son got into the football so very, very much....and my daughter saw some friends and learned more about the game she finds mildly interesting (though it is not soccer, you understand). The chicken was good and greasy, the sweet tea was glycemic-shock inducing, and the football was some good times.

I just don't know how people spend that much of their time doing that sort of thing EVERY WEEKEND. In this area you can attend something like we did without the drive, of course - many of our schools are just down the road a piece. But what we did yesterday takes commitment. I don't have it, but I do think I'll go back. If only for the pure, sweet pain involved with reliving my drunken college days, or for the mindless, innocent entertainment. Or maybe for the F-15s.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I grew up hearing a lot of harping about tithing - giving 10% of your income to the church. I also grew up hearing that sex was evil and rock and roll wasn't worthwhile and that my hometown was the be all/end all of locations in which to exist.

But hearing about it and seeing it happen are two different things. My parents, though very middle-class and both working, gave to their church and their community. They gave heavily of their time and as much as they could of their money. And now I see my brother giving generously and I try really hard. I often wish for more money, as lofty as this sounds, so I could give it away.
There are just too many good causes and too many ways to help.

Some charity is under attack - see this article (reg. req'd). Some of the causes we end up donating to are really not about what we believe or support, but who we know. Sometimes, I feel like the children attend a private school for all the cash I'm doling out, but I do that with an open mind and heart.

Not everyone I know gives money. Sometimes I think people weren't taught it, as I was. I also believe there are those whose focus is intensely on their own family and so the money must stay in the inner circle. I'm trying to understand it and not be holier-than-thou about it. And yet I really, firmly believe that what you give out comes back to you. I know! The girl who thinks we lie dead in the ground with a big batch of nothingness actually thinks "pay it forward" is for real!

Whilst on this topic so near and dear to my heart, check out this cause that indirectly supports a child and his wonderful family, also near and dear to my heart. If you feel inclined to give, please do so...but truly no pressure. I'm hopeful that your budget is already tapped by a myriad of good causes.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Quality awards, people! Unlike the MTV VMAs. Am I getting old? It was so LOUD! And so tedious. I ended up watching VH-1 classic, which was showing Truth or Dare.

Also? I'm sorry we missed out on our local Hooter's "Kid's Night", where all children dine free on Sundays.

We're back from New York and I'm in a Manhattan frame of mind. I'm still humming the inexplicably beautiful songs from "Spring Awakening" and I feel like my legs are still walking city blocks. I don't need to live there but I need a little bit of there to live here. You feel me?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The trailer for Elizabeth: The Golden Age has arrived and is attached herewith:

I just watched it...and I just climaxed.

And thank goodness, too, because my latest Philippa Gregory was a might disappointing.

Perhaps you yourself are not turned on by the Virgin Queen? Or by La Blanchett? Or by CLIVE OWEN? And if you are not, you are not worth my time, so away with you.

Monday, September 03, 2007

For those of us who live here, we know it is NOT "Raleigh-Durham". In fact, if we have to have the dashes, it should really be "Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill - Morrisville -Garner" or something like that. But in reality, we have Raleigh. Durham. Period. The two are vastly different and no one enjoys those differences more than I.

At a wedding last night, we sat in the synagogue whose location had eluded us despite Mapquest and a general knowledge of midtownish Durham after living here for almost 20 years. Once seated, we enjoyed the cushy seats, the beautiful chuppah, the joy on the faces of the 50ish couple, the cellist and violinist (friends of mine - who reportedly were kicked out of the Symphony due to an intriguing personal situation that I'll not gossip about here....but the intrigue only makes me love them more), and the increasingly frantic efforts of my husband to keep his yarmulke on his Brillo-pad of a head.

As I looked around, though, I was reminded of recent trips to Durham. For me, Durham is a land of dance performances, sometimes in the nude, sometimes with leaf-blowers. Durham is the apex of the Triangle when it comes to restaurants. And that includes the CC. Durham has the Bulls, sure, and Duke, of course. But it also has the NC Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, and the world's largest selection of intellectual-looking eyeglasses and apparently lots of boutiques that sell hemp jumpers. That is the dress code in Durham, and the wedding last night was a veritable runway for the Bull City look.

So as a fellow guest encouraged me to try the appetizers, as the dinner food was sure to be "quite different", and as I watched bemusedly as the mother of the bride was whisked onto the dance floor by a trim, close-shaven lady in a three-piece suit, and as we fretted about trying to find NC 147 from our location deep within the Duke campus, I settled into the Durhamness. I chatted freely about last weekend's film festival (having seen my friend's short there), I laughed at fellow wedding guests' frustrations with Raleigh, and I noshed on various gluten-free dips and really, really lovely Malbec.

There is much to love about the Triangle, but you have to look a little harder for it than in other regions of the country. I pride myself on having looked pretty hard, and as a result have maybe even found more than the average citizen. After 17 years, it is getting easier to find things to love.