Thursday, June 25, 2009
I'll post answers this weekend.
1: Oh, your daddy's rich and your momma's good lookin'
2: Well, she got friendly, down in the sand.
3: Stranger voices are sayin'
What did they say?
Things I can't understand
4: I got my first real six string. Bought it at the five and dime.
5: Son you gotta make some money if you wanna use the car to go a ridin' next Sunday
6: Blowing through the jasmine in my mind
7: Cool town. Evening in the city. Dressing so fine and looking so pretty.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Yeah, it sounds mean, but he's just talking trash because the last race we did together, I beat him. Yeah, Brian, I went there. And, tomorrow, he's welcome to beat me because not only am I back in running form but even if I come in dead last, I still get a margarita.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Anyway, he's a great house manager but he also started this project in May where he decided to dance at a public spot in Philly, every day for the month of May. He's not a trained dancer so he just made up his own moves. He had a CD player that randomly selected one of ten songs that he would dance to. He filmed each dance and put it on YouTube. I haven't quite figured out how to upload YouTube videos so here's a link to a video of him dancing by (and in) the fountain by the Natural Academy of Sciences:
Now, admittedly, it's a bit weird what he's doing but yet there is also a sense of playfulness about it. How often do we just stop and dance? When was the last time you splashed in a fountain? And really, he's not hurting anyone, he's just dancing.
I also love the fact that he picked something creatively wacky and just did it every day. He kept doing it through June until he had to leave for Washington, DC but he'll be back. He started a group with two other Arden apprentices called the Anthology Project. I look forward to see what other projects they come up with. Until then, I may just have to dance more, perhaps not in public but we'll see.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Gone With the Wind (Margaret Mitchell): I love the movie and read the book in high school and always marvel at the transition from page to film. I also love that first image in the book of Scarlett not being the prettiest girl in the county.
Candide (Volataire): And not because I just did the musical but because as a French major I must have read that book 5 or 6 times. Every time I go to the garden I think of that last line: Il faut cultiver notre jardin.
Rene (Chateaubriand): Again, another book from French history that I had to read quite a lot. It's a short book that ushered in the Romantic age of French literature. I never liked the story but it did introduce me to the idea of "paysage d'ame" or the description of the landscape is really a description of the character's soul.
Little Women (Alcott): "Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents!" Enough said.
Little House on the Prairie series (Wilder): Loved the books, loved the series, wanted to be Laura Ingalls in the worst way. I just can't believe my daughter doesn't care for these books!
Anne of Green Gables (Montgomery): Just like the Little House books, I read and re-read them and read them again.
The Phantom Tollbooth (Juster): One of my all-time favorites and this one I am happy to report is one my daughter loves. I can't wait to introduce it to my son.
The Red and the Black (Stendhal): Yet another French classic. I'm not sure if the book stays with me because of the story or because when we read it in high school my teacher liked to make sure we understood everything, and I do mean everything that was going on.
A Woman Broken (Beauvoir): I love Simone de Beauvoir and this story about an older woman whose husband is having an affair is so raw and powerful. I've often thought it would make a great short play.
The Watchmen (Moore): I read this graphic novel at my husband's insistence and I'm glad I did. But now, when I watch comic book hero movies, I judge them against the book. I'm not sure if that's bad or good but the novel certainly left an impression.
The Six Wives of Henry VIII (Fraiser): I love every biography that Lady Fraiser writes (the widow of Harold Pinter by the way). This was the first and from it I learned the saying: Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived.
My Life in France (Child): Who doesn't love Julia Child? But this book really taught me that you are never too old to find and follow a passion (Ms. Child was 37 when she took her first cooking class). Also, her way of dealing with life, throwing herself into it and never apologizing: wow, more powerful than any self-help book. Or at least in my opinion.
Where the Wild Things Are (Sendak): Because Max looked at his monsters in the eye and tamed them; talk about your self-help books.
Huis Clos (Sartre): Do plays count? I have to add in No Exit by Sartre because I really got into his claustrophobic description of hell as others. Also, it's probably the only piece of his writing that I actually understood.
Dress Your Family in Denim and Corduroy (Sedaris): For me, this has to be his funniest book ever and yet you can recognize yourself or some family members in the stories.
Whew! That was more difficult that I had imagine. But now, I'm curious about other lists. So what have you read that has stuck with you?
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I even ate PB and J in the summer...
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
And there's my obsession with Spider Solitaire as well.
Oh, well. The good news is I am back to running semi-regularly. My goal is 5 days a week. It's hard to run on the weekends because I have shows. Weekdays, the kids are in school so that makes it easier. I'm not sure what I'll do next week when school lets out but my show will be over so that will free up some weekend time.
Anyway, I've been meaning to write about Sydney Lumet's Fail-Safe, a movie that came out in 1964. I've been trying to watch more Sydney Lumet films. It's fascinating to watch a movie for the direction. It's odd for me to say, especially since I'm in theater, but I've never really followed a director or his or her direction before. What I mean to say is, I can't look at a piece (a film or a play) and say, "Ah, yes, this is definitely a Sydney Lumet film or a Des McAnuff play."
But as I watched Fail-Safe, I noticed some similarities with 12 Angry Men which came out in 1957 and is also directed by Mr. Lumet. The obvious similarities are that both films take place in one day, both have largely male casts, and both take place mostly in confined spaces. 12 Angry Men is filmed in the jury room while Fail-Safe has a few locations: an underground bunker in DC, a nuclear operations command post in Nebraska, the cockpit of a plane flying over Russia and a few others.
Fail-Safe concerns a malfunction in the computer system that sends a stray aircraft squadron into Russia to drop nuclear missiles. It's a tense day as military commanders and the President (played by Henry Fonda) try to stop the squadron from completing it's mission. Once the squadron has left their fail-safe point, they have been instructed to disregard all voice commands (lest the Russians mimic the President's voice). The President has the added burden of trying to convince the Soviets that this is indeed a mistake. The compromise he comes up with, to gain the Soviets trust is shocking and desperate. I'm glad I didn't know it going to into the film; it gave the ending a greater impact.
It's a well-done movie and many of the camera angles are reminiscent of 12 Angry Men. He juxtaposes long shots with very tight close-ups which can be jarring and yet work well for the suspense of this film. Some of the acting is dated but that didn't bother me or take away from the film itself. Walter Matthau plays a political scientist insisting on bombing Russia in order to preserve the American way of life as at costs. I forget that neoconservatism started long before President Regan. Larry Hagman does a credible turn as a translator.
If you want to watch old Sydney Lumet films, I'd definitely recommend 12 Angry Men over Fail-Safe. But I wouldn't discount this film either. I really enjoyed it. It wall depends on what you like in a film. Fail-Safe came out the same year as Dr. Strangelove and both have very similar plots so much so in fact that when I was watching Fail-Safe I kept thinking, oh Dr. Strangelove must be spoofing this film. But no. So, if you like Sydney Lumet or enjoy black and white suspense films then check it out.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Bored one day I tried Spider Solitaire. Using only one deck, it's pretty easy to win the game but now I use 2 decks and I've only won a handful of times. It hasn't stopped me from trying over and over again to beat the game.
I play it in the booth during the show as a way to keep my mind from wandering off and missing my lighting cues. I can listen to the show while clicking on cards and know where we are in the play. Otherwise I'd get so into the show that I'd forget to do my lighting cues and wonder why the lights weren't changing when someone hit the light switch: oh, that's my job! Whoops!
But I am worried about Spider Solitaire taking over my life. I have to cut back or my house will never get cleaned. I'll start today...well, maybe after a quick game.
Monday, June 1, 2009
"What's the difference between an optimist and a pessimist? A
pessimist believes things can't get any worse while an optimist knows they