Thursday, January 31, 2008

A night at the opera

"This is my Jerry Springer moment. / I don't want this moment to die. / So dip me in chocolate and throw me to the lesbians. / I don't want this moment to die. "- Baby Jane

This evening, I finally got to Carnegie Hall for the very first time. VR and I saw "Jerry Springer: The Opera." This is not a family show. But then, again neither is the Springer Show. The first act is Jerry Springer as an opera. The second half gets much more fanciful and tries to reach into the heart of a show like his. In the opera, Jerry Springer himself admits that he does not resolve conflict or solve problems for the people who come on his show. Mostly, he gives them a place in which to expose themselves to each other and the world.

The format is a live reality with no author to give the whole experience context or shape or meaning, no editor to cut meaning into the sequence of images and events. There is no clear unified moral to these stories, although Jerry Springer does close each show with comments.

"... it's been a hell of a day. I've learned that there are no absolutes of good and evil and we all live in a glorious state of flux [...] for better or for worse, history defines us by what we do, and what we choose not to do." - Jerry Springer of the opera

It's a pity that Broadway would not give it a home. They get an "L" for Lame.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Dreamgirl pre-view fixation

A Gentleman asked me at Splash which Dreamgirl I was. I said that I was Jennifer. The reply surprised him, after all, didn't we all want to be Beyonce? He's got a point there, who wouldn't want to be Beyonce? I went with this reply because, Jennifer sings "And I am telling you that I'm not going," the only song I know from the show.

As we bellowed and gestured along to the song, emoting, sweating, huffing, raising our arms and faking our own vocal vamps, he started to laugh and for the rest of the night he would periodically point at me and say, "Girl, you are Jennifer."

The problem with this moment is that I have not seen Dreamgirls so how could I possibly know?

Exhibit A: Jennifer Hudson

Exhibit B: Jennifer Holiday

Exhibit C: Von Smith
This kid is second coming of Sam Harris. I don't know how I feel about the gender pronoun swaps but strange as that is, you cannot deny that he is a Jennifer (an Effie White?)

On further consideration I might not be Jennifer. The part needs a power soprano.

But blessings be to youtube in the privacy of our own homes, with the door firmly closed, we can each have our own Jennifer Karaoke moment.

Feet on the ground

On leaving Splash this evening I hugged CK and started to weave home. CK and WC asked if I was okay to which I replied that I was and promptly tripped on the hem of my floor length skirt and fell.

For whatever reason as I picked myself up and continued on my way, I felt pretty good about it. After any fall you get back up and carry on. Mostly, falling is not so bad as you fear it will be. Mostly, falling is not so bad that you cannot recover.

I find this prospect very cheering.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Discoveries from the second morning after

The question yesterday afternoon was: Yow! Why does my right knee hurt so much?

This morning I realized that the answer to this question was: I tried to demonstrate the dance move known as "The Sprinkler" at CK's birthday party on Saturday and knocked my right knee against one of her dining room chairs.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

a late night in good company

Last weekend at the end of a night out, around 3am I had a serious craving for a waffle. I meandered to the diner down the street and around the corner and had a Belgian waffle with strawberries and whipped cream and a tall glass of milk. Sitting there munching away it occurred to me that in that moment, I was enjoying my own company and life was good.

Friday, January 25, 2008

paper gowns and politics

I had this dream last night that I went to the gynecologist's office and my gynecologist was Rudy Guiliani. I am sitting in my paper gown and instead of examining me he is giving his campaign speech about healthcare and the nation and homeland security. I interrupt him from time to time to ask his opinion about the pill vs. the patch vs. the ring. He looks at me, ignores the question and goes back to his speechifying.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

1. I have a zit on the top of my index finger. In the 37 years that I have been alive I will confess that I have had zits on parts of my body that are not the face. But the finger? Good Lord! *sigh*

2. My latest train game is more of a constant state of uncertainty I like to call: "Is that awful smell coming from me?" To date I am pleased to report that it's not me. But I am considering carrying a small bottle of perfume along with my travel size deodorant in my voluminous purse of Tardis-like dimensions, just in case. That and a clothespin for my nose in case it's the other guy.

CK recently warned me that smells (bad smells) can jump from one person to another. And now I am in terror of physical contact folks who are that kind of funky.

3. This past weekend I made a pan of cherry fudge brownies. Cherry brownies have been preying on my imagination for weeks now. I had one in the office which was a-mazing - a rich, tart, moist, chewy, chocolatey delight dusted in powdered sugar. I have wanted to try to replicate it on my own because I haven't been able to stop thinking about them.. So I thawed a bag of frozen cherries and folded them into a brownie mix from the box. It was not quite the experience that I had been hoping for. The whole thing was a delicious oozy chocolately cherry mess straight out of the oven, lacking only for a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. After cooling down, it was more a soggy mass of cherry and chocolate. which when heated up in the microwave is again, a delicious oozy chocolately cherry mess begging for a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. And if I manage to remember to get a pint before I eat my way through this pan, a mini state of melty chocolate cherry a la mode bliss will be achieved.

4. Yesterday, while sitting at dinner with WC we discussed Krispy Kreme donuts with the intensity that one might recount falling in love for the first time.

5. You can now buy a solar powered MP3/Video Player. Very exciting. Look out iPod, your days are numbered.

6. Okay folks, how are you planning to stimulate the economy when you get your tax rebate? There should be a website where some very smart microeconomist has a spending guide that lets us know which kinds of expenditures will create the most jobs, educate the most kids, reduce our debt the most, support innovation, help repair and improve our infractructure, retrain the most workers, stimulate the creation of more small businesses, reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, our carbon footprints and create world peace and global justice. That's where I want my up to $600 to go. There or into a new guitar and a haircut.

Friday, January 18, 2008

a scientist turned assistant walks into a bar ...

I was walking along on my way home when a man on the street entreated me to come in and see a "free" comedy show. And being in a wandering aimless no plans on a Friday night out-of-towner state of mind I agreed to check it out.

It was one of those two drink minimum shows where they only listed the expensive drinks.

I have always heard that comedy is hard. And I have never doubted that this is true. Mostly because while life puts me in many situations that I find hilarious and I find the antics, theories, and stories of many of my friends to be hilarious, the incidents in which a stranger or a professional comedian make me laugh are rare. Very rare.

There were six comedians and one MC. They got worse and worse as the show progressed and didn't really start out all that funny. There were some laughs, though. I laughed at all the science jokes. Because, if you think about it, science is pretty damn funny.

The first comedian told a story in which a crazy person was shouting at him and another person while brandishing a plastic dinosaur. He said that he and the other person were afraid of the harm that the plastic dinosaur might do them until he realized that it was a brachiosaurus, which is a herbivore - they really had nothing to fear.

The third comedian, a young man from Tennessee, had two science jokes. The first was about how they are now using dogs to detect cancer and this was the clearest of signs of how busy doctors are and how much worse it must be to find out from a dog that you have cancer.

His other joke was about how he didn't believe in evolution because if he did he'd have to believe that our DNA sequence is 98% the same as monkeys. He said the 2% of his DNA that was different was his favorite piece of DNA. (and up until now it had never occurred to him that he had a favorite piece of DNA!) If he ever has to go in for DNA surgery, he would beg the doctor not to touch that 2% of his DNA.

DNA surgery! OMG! DNA Surgery! He was my favorite comedian of the evening. He had the most jokes. They were smart and observant and funny. But he needs to work on his delivery and timing.

Many of the other comedians had the delivery of a person about to say something funny but no jokes. Or, no funny jokes.

The MC came up and gave me a hard time for not buying his DVD after the show. He had a routine about how we were all the lucky sperm that made it and then described the misfortunes of the sperm that did not. And so when he got up in my grill I laughed and said, "I am not sperm! I am the union of an egg and sperm and so are you!!!"

I was just reading about this kind of thinking in the Promiscuity book. Long ago scientists believed that each sperm was a little human being. And that they fused with the egg to get nutrition and protection. But really, the sperm was where the action was, the soul, the mind, the person. Ah, that men could be so self-centered.

If this was true, the next realization was that there were millions of little people who died with every ejaculation which was morally unsettling.

A man could not justify ejaculation without reproduction. How could you justify spanking off, if it meant that each orgasm led to the death of millions? If that was the case a man of good conscience would have to give it up and "other" activities to prevent mass murder. Who could live like that? So in the interest of pursuing higher truth (among other things) further research was done on this question. And eventually the sperm-is-human theory was refuted.

Is it too much for me to ask that a comic on Friday night in the Village be well informed enough to also refute this? Perhaps.

The MC observed at the outset that it's really hard to get up in front of a crowd of people and make strangers laugh.

I imagine that it can be downright terrifying and thrilling at the same time.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I liked the quote of the day yesterday

"Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well."
-Josh Billings

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The big shoes or the red noses?

I have never liked clowns. Every clown related gift that I have ever gotten has been put into a box and shoved as far back in the closet as possible.
They creep me out way more than bugs.

So I am relieved to find this yahoo news item about how kids feel about clowns.

It is a comfort to know that I am not alone in this. Even if I am not a kid anymore.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The distraction of the day

I rented the movie "Once" this weekend. It's the story of a broken hearted street musician in Ireland who meets a Czech woman. The two become friends and decide to record a demo together. That is a formula waiting to happen but in this case it's not what you think. It's a story about two people who meet and help each other move forward with their lives.

I was pretty ho-hum about it. It's a quiet, very low key kind of movie. But today I find that the soundtrack stuck to me. If you could plug earphones into my head you would hear the songs blasting super super loud with the cresendos filling my chest, pressing outwards.

It would appear that I was of two minds and the movie kinda got around me.

Yesterday, I went to a new place to get lunch and picked up a granola snack there called Granzoti. And today whilst I am stuffed to the gills from lunch, I can't stop eating it. I have a few bits and put the bag away. I start wanting more. I pull the bag back out and have a few more bits. Rinse lather, repeat. Which is fine except that I am starting to feel very full, uncomfortably so.

Come to think of it, maybe I don't like the soundtrack to "Once" as much as I think I do. Maybe it's compounded by my physical reaction to eating too much Granzoti!

As the band Asia would say: "Only time will tell."

This quote is a gift from Zemblan

"We're neither pure, nor wise, nor good
We'll do the best we know
We'll build our house and chop our wood
And make our garden grow
And make our garden grow"
-Richard Wilbur

This quote is a gift given on a sad occasion. A memorial for tenor Jerry Hadley.

It expresses the wisdom of living.
You can read the words.
You can hear them.
But you don't know it until you live it.

Monday, January 14, 2008

PBS rocks my socks

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former" -Einstein

"Universe is made up mostly of hydrogen and ignorance." -John Dobson

"...John Dobson, once described the Universe as 'mostly hydrogen and ignorance', but he was wrong. In fact it's mostly dark matter and dark energy — and ignorance. " -Fred Watson

a great line from yahoo astrology

"The fantastic and the horrible often look similar until you get close enough to unravel them."

Edit: That Friends, is why we date.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Synonym for happiness

I realized that my life is lacking in a certain bounce of late.
In an effort to remedy this I bought a Hall & Oates Greatest Hits collection.

"I see you, you see me
Watch you blowing the lines
when you're making a scene
Oh girl" - Hall & Oates "Private Eyes"

Paul Young had a single in the 80's called "Every Time You Go Away" which I always assumed was a cover of an old time Motown R&B hit. I knew that Hall & Oates also did a version of the song. I did not know that Darryl Hall had actually written the song! And I am very much impressed to discover this fact.

If only Marvin Gaye had recorded a version of it, it would have been the soundtrack to many many couples falling in love (and many more getting busy).

*edit: for those of you who seek actual synonyms, I did a second post.*

Thursday, January 10, 2008

walk this way

I was walking up the stairs out of the metro station behind a guy who had the cutest walk. He was not a hottie. He looked kind of regular. At first I thought he was dancing up the stairs. But he wasn't wearing headphones and he was walking and talking to a friend who was not walking cute. This is the first time I have ever noticed a fella for his walk. The wiggle in his walk made me smile.

movie madness (potential spoilers ahead)

1. VR and I met up and saw "The Orphanage" a scary movie en Español last weekend. 'twas good. I don't know if the next part is a spoiler or not. I'd advise you to stop reading if you haven't seen the thing.

What I liked the most about the movie is there are at least two explanations for what is going on. One in which you "believe." One in which you do not. And they are both scary. For me the explanation in which you don't believe, the one that you reason out in flashback along with the mother is so much more horrifying. As I type this I am getting distressed. I may never walk into a closet again.

2. On New Year's Day CK and I met up with WC and saw "Sweeney Todd." Which was a whole lot of dark and a whole lot of blood. And probably the best movie musical that I have ever seen. And I love musicals. It's not a warm movie. At any given moment I felt a little bit of sympathy for one or another character but for the most part they are so unsavory and corrupted that I was not on anyone's side, except for the boy. WC was disappointed that there was not breakout hit. For my part, the song "Joanna" was stuck in my head and I think in CK's as well. The song chased all the others out of my head. But last night EH pointed out the song "Not While I'm Around." A song which in the context of the story is touching, heartbreaking, frightening, and so unfortunate.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

On Breaking the Sock Barrier

Just about everyone says that communication is crucial in a relationship. Heck, it's important in any relating context.

Relating in small groups, in big groups, one on one, professional relations, adversarial relations, cooperative relations, er ... sexual relations.

It seems like a good idea in the bedroom. Although, the most I generally contribute as far as communication is: "Ow, you're on my hair." I am so bashful that I generally don't ask a fella what he likes in bed. The rare times in which I have, generally, the reply is something I find utterly baffling and find that I am unable to do.

Once the response was: "Vegetables. I like vegetables." Somehow, I don't think he meant that he likes to keep a healthy snack on the nightstand. After this revelation I could not bring myself to open his fridge.

Beyond the basics of communicating about the task at hand. *cough* Steamy talk can be a part of the experience as well.

More recently, I was in a situation in which the fella was fairly adept at it on his end. After a very long pause (It was my turn) I said something like, "Oh. Uh ... um ... well I guess I would **** you."

And with that I was done. Yup. That was the best I could come up with. That was as sexy as a dirty gym sock. I was not up to the challenge. (If you're into dirty socks, please, don't share.)

Another time, a different fella said that he likes girls who talk dirty in bed, my reply was, "Oh." And then complete silence.

Now, I am what I am. And what I am is uptight and uncomfortable when it comes to sexy sex talk. Which kind of goes with my suspicion that I am lousy lay.

But when I sit and think about it, I don't know what the big deal is. It's kind of silly really, I mean, I'm a 37 year old woman. There are so many things that I can do, so many things that I have done. What is my block on this in particular?

Perhaps I just don't know how it's done. Perhaps it's just not my thing. Perhaps I don't see the point of talking about the thing you are doing while you do it.

After all, I sit here typing a post. I am not sitting here typing a post about how I am typing a post and how it feels to type and what else I want to be typing about and how I can't wait to type the next thing that I am thinking of typing.

Still, I feel this bears further exploration, some investigation. And so I am considering going with CK to some events in which people talk about sex out loud in public, or read out loud about sex, or try to teach you how to talk or write about sex.

I am convinced that I will die of embarrassment at one of these things. And if I do please don't tell my mother how it happened.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

"don't know much about geography"

If one was to give you a blank map with the outline of a continent, would you be able to place the states, cities, or countries correctly therein?

More importantly, if you met a person who could, would you buy him/her drinks? Is knowledge of geography sexy?

Behold, I come bearing geography games (via Daily Candy).

50 States of the USA
Harder version of the same game
US State Capitals

Countries in Africa

Countries in Europe

Countries in the Middle East and South Asia

Educational games are so not fun. But these games in their ability to showcase my ignorance drive me to play again and again in the hopes that with practice and repetition, I will progress up that learning curve.

I sit and mutter to myself about how Ethiopia and Eritrea are in the Northeast while Mali is in the Northwest and how difficult it is to locate Lesotho before placing South Africa.

They don't seem to have a game for South America, Canada, or the rest of Asia. Yet.
But when they do, I will be muttering in front of them as well.

Like Sam Cooke, "I don't claim to be an "A" student" but I'd like to know some basic things about this crazy world.