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Archive for the ‘entertainment’ Category

Three of my favorite things right now:

look at you.  just sitting in a pile being all delicious.
  • Amazon Prime’s original new show Transparent. It’s been ages since a series made me ponder it between episodes as much as this one. I appreciate that it doesn’t always offer the comfort of tidiness or logic or even knowing if something is happening in physical reality or just a metaphor. It is beautiful and brilliant. O Jeffrey Tambor, I thought you were grand before, but now you are a god(dess) to me.  Gaby Hoffman is my other favorite on this show.
  • Unitasking. I barely ever seem to accomplish this, at least for a sustained period. I have a wicked case of what many in the meditation/Buddhist/yoga etc. world call “monkey mind” – the mind that flits about like a naughty little monkey wreaking havoc. But I’m trying harder to do less things at once.  When it happens, if it happens, it is luxurious and rewarding.

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I’ve been enjoying Kathy A. Johnson’s blog “Catching Happiness” at www.catchinghappiness.com. She recently participated in a meme started by Simon at Stuck in a Book.  His instructions were:

I’m going to kick off a meme where we say our favourite book author, song, film, and object beginning with a particular letter. And that letter will be randomly assigned to you by me, via random.org. If you’d like to join in, comment in the comment section and I’ll tell you your letter! (And then, of course, the chain can keep going on your blog.)

I requested my letter at her post at http://www.catchinghappiness.com/2014/06/brought-to-you-by-letter-g.html.  My answers are below. What fun!  Please play along.  A bloggy, asynchronous playdate if you will.   If you want me to assign you a letter, let me know in the comments.  Even if you don’t have a blog, you can leave your favorites in the comments.  (I promise not to give you Q or X!)

My randomly generated letter from Kathy was “C”. Here goes!

Favorite “C” book author – this was instantaneous, as my favorite author of all time is Truman Capote. I haven’t read everything he has written, but close to it.  For any “Lost” fans out there, it feels a bit like when Desmond has a Dickens book on the island but is hesitant to read it, because he has read all other Dickens works and that would be it.  I own, but haven’t yet read, “In Cold Blood”, the book he’s best known for besides “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” I think my favorites are his short story and essay collections, especially “Music for Chameleons.”  I love the way he twists language.  He bends language like so much taffy, in a way I’ve only otherwise encountered with my second favorite author, Nabokov.

Favorite “C” song Crucify by Tori Amos, on the album of the same name.  (1992).  That entire album was so eye-opening and inspiring.  I love this song, although I wish a pal of mine never asked me, “What does she mean, that her heart is in cheese?”  “Chains,” I said.  “Her heart is in chains.”  But now all I hear is “cheese.”

Favorite “C” filmThe Commitments. (1991). “Heroine kills.”  “I never pictured God with a fat gut and corset singing “My Way” at Caesar’s Palace.”

Favorite “C” object – Card, Library !  Still feels pretty miraculous that you can find wonderful books and media and take them home to enjoy.  I would live at the library if I could.

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I’m no scholar.

I have a B.S., yes, and an M. Ed.  I have taken courses in literature and read books about poetry as well as many books of poetry.   I do not allege I am any expert of poetry, therefore the following statement may merely be a show of my ignorance.

However –

I can’t help but notice that over the last couple of years, the poems I have read in The New Yorker sound more and more like those nonsense spam emails – the ones that must exist for something like luring people to “unsubscribe” from a list and unwittingly confirm an active email account.  To me the poems lately seem distant and cold, robocalls of poetic expression, and hella disjointed.  I feel like I could grab phrases from fortune cookies, Bazooka Joe wrappers and Monopoly game Chance cards and string them together to create something similar.

Here’s one I made up that I think could fit right in:

“Do we not strive for a ladder, the blue

cat will not say:

Is there a Chanel store in this hogs’ earth?

Breaking the sixth board is

difficult for everyone, anyone.

If the glass shatters on His Cake

He may not nearly hear the cock crow in the morning.”

It almost seems like there is a contest happening for who can be the most obscure.  Except no one has informed the “dear readers.”

But then, I wonder.

Because, other people at the local mall could see the hidden image in those Magic Eye pictures and I never could.  I blinked and winked and squinted, moved in and out, and finally would state that it was a hoax, like the Emperor’s clothes – none of you really see that sailboat; you just say you do so you don’t feel left out.

And because other people slowly move from one side of a Pollock dribble to another – they step closer, move back, hand on chin.  I watch them watching the splotches and cannot father what it is that I cannot fathom.

There are too many people who have explained to me a deep meaning in a seemingly random post-modern story, or nonsensical-sounding punk song, for me to disregard all seeming obscurity.  So I think there is more to many creations I’ve initially dismissed.  In fact, I am related to someone I consider an amazing “close-seer.”  When I have scoffed at seemingly superficial creations (“sure it’s fun, but what does it mean?”), my brother often explains it to me in very persuasive detail.  The guys knows how to support his assertions.  He’s a master analogist and the English teacher’s dream.

When I was in college I was in the Sondheim musical “Assassins.”  I liked to sing and dance but looking back I think I was a rather shallow sort of performer.  I had never trained well enough to find deep and personal connections to content and characters (or if someone had tried to train me to do so, it didn’t take).  I don’t think I really wanted to connect, anyway – I wanted to escape and pretend – that was the whole point, for me.  I didn’t want to find the Me within the part.  I wanted to stop being me while I was in a show.  So, that is how I came to play a major role in this musical without having done much soul-searching or plumbing the hows and whys of these various assassins, would-be assassins and political figures.

I saw a hummable pageant.  My brother, a highschooler at the time, came to the show, and saw something else.  I made an offhand remark about liking the tunes bit not really feeling like the show had much to say.  After having seen it the one time, he gave a compelling analysis of what he believed Sondheim had put forth in this work, that floored me.  Of course these many years later I cannot remember now what his thesis was, likely dystopias and anti-heroes were a part of it.  But I do remember I looked at the show very differently after that, for the remaining few performances.  And wished I had cared enough to not assume that a master creator like Sondheim would phone it in and put on a hummable pageant just because I hadn’t spent the time to figure out what he was saying.  Or wanting people to think over.

I do remember that I shared my brother’s thoughts with the play’s director that night.  She was similarly amazed by his sophisticated and thoughtful views of the show’s meaning.  She was not one to be speechless yet this had left her mute for a bit, that it had come from a highschooler.

It’d obvious he’s a master analyst, and yet I’m the one whose job title actually has the word “analyst” in it.  He’s a code breaker, a decipherer.  He’s an actor now.  A real actor, not a pageant giver or jazz hand waver.  And perhaps that’s what true soulful acting is, after all – not my world of pretend but rather the product of a master sign-reader interpreting a text for the rest of us, who are blinking and winking and hoping for the hidden sailboat to appear in the Magic Eye picture before it’s time for Mom to pick us up at the food court.

If I indulged my paranoid side – which I generally don’t – I could start to wonder if there may be some subculture of such hyper sign-readers – maybe ads and New Yorker poems are merely coded messages being traded back and forth.  But, probably not.

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To Each Her Own

My 7 year old daughter finally saw “Star Wars” a few weeks ago (meaning, the one that was episode 1 when you & I saw it back in the day that’s now episode 4 –  b/c who the H would show their kid the new episode 1 first??)

So, now she’s in on that movie the big people refer to a lot.  It was interesting to introduce her to a movie we’ve seen so many times, see what she keys in on.

I happen to love the Cantina scene, and sat up tall and eager when it came on.

“That’s Han Solo,” I whispered, almost reverently.  “A lot of ladies like him and think he’s really handsome.”

She scoffed.  “I like the one next to him,” she said.  “He’s a good listener.”

Chewbacca.

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In my moments of boredom lately, I have been compiling a list of offerings for the Star Wars-themed restaurant that exists only in my head.  It lets me come up with awful puns, and then I laugh and laugh like a loon.  Below I have my list this far; have ye any others to add?

Entrees:

  • Boba Fettucine
  • C3POats
  • eWok Stir Fry
  • Ham, solo
  • R2DTuna Melt
  • Uncle Owenchiladas

Desserts:

  • Admiral Ackbars
  • Bananakin Foster
  • Bananthas
  • Charleston Chewbacca
  • Fro Yo-da
  • Greedoughnuts
  • Princess LayerCake, Organic
  • Salacious Crumb Cake

Beverages:

  • Rancordials

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Still Sewing?

I’m a writer’s dream.  My suspension of disbelief is usually freakishly intense, to where I’m often disoriented upon emerging from a darkened movie.  Where the hell is Gotham?  Has anyone seen Harry?  or Sally?  And so forth.

But beyond that, sometimes my subconscious has trouble distinguishing my experiences from fiction I’ve viewed, or read, or heard.

Example: the other day I found myself wondering how the harried seamstress/mom from the “She Works Hard for the Money” video is faring these days.  Um, what??

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And I Feel Fine

Last night I dreamt Nick Nolte released a cover of REM’s “It’s the End of the World (and I Feel Fine)”, in a country-western style.  I was listening to it on a 45 LP.  It was pretty good.

The album cover showed a close of Nick staring soulfully into the camera, wearing a ribbed blue scarf.

Yup.

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