Monday, May 31, 2010

Oh, Cruel Fate

Finally, a long weekend, and boy did I need it! Alas, I woke up with a cold on Sat. morning and didn't shake it all weekend. That was super-sad and cut into my puttering-around-in-the-garden time, replacing it with laying-around-watching-crappy-tv, which I do all the time anyway. I rallied, because I had a lovely visitor from DC - my good friend, N, and we had a Memorial Day party today. It rained (ARG!) but we all had a nice time indoors.

I guess the question is, why do I think the universe is going to make things go my way? It hardly ever does, and yet I get upset when I get sick on a long weekend. Got to work on that. What do you think, Barbara?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

*rubs hands together*

Oh, Sarah Palin! She never disappoints me. She's always got a little something to distract us from, oh, 210,000 gallons of oil that are gushing PER DAY into the Gulf of Mexico for the past MONTH. My idea? Soak it up with all the jerks that chanted Drill Baby Drill along with who? Oh yes, Palin.

She's oddly silent on the oil spill, but lately Palin did declare herself a feminist and set the (actual) feminist blog-o-sphere a-fire with mighty chuckles and reminders that, no, you can't just CALL yourself a feminist and make it so, just like I can't call myself a vegetarian and eat meat for dinner.

If you've been following along, you'll know that Meghan Daum in the LA Times wrote, "... I feel a duty (a feminist duty, in fact) to say this about Palin's declaration: If she has the guts to call herself a feminist, then she's entitled to be accepted as one." Well, sure, I might have the guts to call myself a size 2, but I will never be accepted as one.

So, Palin calls herself a feminist, for who knows what reason. Maybe she's confused about the meaning of the word, or maybe she's co-opting it for political reasons or whatever, but, by most people's definition, she's clearly not a feminist. She doesn't fight for women's rights, she actively fights against them. Done. Not a feminist. Meanwhile, in response to this, true feminists are calling her out on it. And then the types of asshats who troll feminist blogs pop up and say, Hey, lady, who are you to say who is and who ain't a feminist? And that's the part that makes me rub my hands together. It's a simple lesson but it gets forgotten: Words Mean Things.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

More theatre! Food! and a New Movie!

Another fine Friday night at the theatre - this week to see Stage Door at Theatre Building Chicago. It was written in 1936 by Edna Ferber and George S. Kaufman and is surprisingly current! A real theatre-lover's kind of play about art and integrity and truth, etc.

Sat. night, Husband and I had a fine and much-anticipated date at Frontera Grill where all gastronomical desires were met. No Rick Bayless sightings.

I made another mini-movie culled from an Actual Conversation! Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Anyone watching American Idol? By the time it gets to the end, who cares? Am I right? I like that Siobhan person, and Crystal. But otherwise it's totally snoresville. This week's Glee was terrific - I've been waiting for Neil P. Harris to guest star ever since that show came on the air. I Dreamed a Dream was awesome, in a way I never thought it could be awesome post-Susan-Boyle. I found myself mildly outraged as Kevin McHale's character Artie (spoilers!) got up out his wheelchair and sang "You Can Dance" but, the dancing was friggin' incredible and it turns out it was just a (spoiler!) dream anyway. I watched that sequence twice. I like how they shot it flash-mob style. Oh, snap! I just found out Joss Whedon directed that episode. Well, that explains everything.

I'm also watching Modern Family and Parenthood, although I think I'm going to drop Parenthood, despite it's stellar cast, because of it's ridiculously hackneyed story lines. That show plays like a G.D. 1980's family dramedy. It's like watching freakin' Family Ties or some shit. But Modern Family's good television.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


We had a really awesome, busy weekend just past - I saw Cabaret with a friend at the Hypocrites theatre. I work with the actress who plays Sally Bowles and she's just incredible. She sang the most desperate version of Life is a Cabaret I've ever heard. It's a bold, brave performance and it's absolutely impossible for the audience not to be effected by the story. Some of themes in the play really reminded me of The Plot Against America, which I read recently.

Sat. we went to the posh Violet Hour and even had to stand outside in a line to get in, which made me feel super hip (for once). M ordered a drink called the "Tattooed Seaman", and so, you know, the jokes told themselves. And, Sunday we mucked around in the garden and then had a lovely dinner with friends.

Next week there is more theatre and more fancy dinners - I happened to make a reservation for Frontera Grill approximately three months ago (you read that right) and it's finally come around. More on that to come!

Monday, May 10, 2010

poetry time

Befriending Our Feelings

How could we forget those ancient myths that stand at
the beginning of all races - the myths about dragons that
at the last moment are transformed into princesses.
Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are only princesses
waiting for us to act, just once, with beauty and courage.
Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest
essence, something helpless that wants our love.

So you must not be frightened if a sadness rises before
you larger than any you've ever seen, if an anxiety like
light and cloud shadows moves over your hands and
everything that you do. You must realize that something
has happened to you; that life has not forgotten you; it
holds you in its hands and will not let you fall. Why do
you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any
miseries, or any depressions? For after all, you do not know
what work these conditions are doing inside you.

RAINER MARIA RILKE, Letters to a Young Poet

Sunday, May 09, 2010


Lately we've been in this horrible routine where something in our house drastically breaks/floods/smokes/causes heartache on Sunday afternoon. Last week it was the washer, this week the GD refrigerator. Then, instead of merrily passing the day desperately trying to pretend we don't have to go to work tomorrow, we have to stress out and call appliance people/plumbers and beg them to come to our house in exchange for large amounts of money - cash - even, if they'll only come and allow us to carry on our ridiculous charade that the weekend goes on forever. And it ruins any good feeling we'd desperately built since leaving the office Friday evening.

It remains to be seen whether an elusive part will heal the machine or we'll have to get a new one. The only bright spot is that we could get an in-door ice crusher, which we've dreamed about lo' these many years.

Anyway, it's Mother's Day, and, per usual, I was unable to get moi's mother on the phone and only hope that she checked her email for my slightly unorthodox gift, which was a donation of 15 yards of fabric through Global Giving to a project for women in Uganda. I've been sort of dreaming about what the fabric might look like and hope that it's akin to the fabrics seen on the excellent HBO series No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Have you seen it? I've read most of the books too and it's really very, very good. Happy M Day, Momma. Love you...

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Kick Ass

After Kick Ass came out, I heard that it had really graphic violence along the lines of Kill Bill and decided I was out. Then I heard it had a young girl (age 11 or 12?) who swore alot, and in fact, I heard that the graphic violence was disturbing but the little girl swearing was even MORE disturbing, and then I was like, I'm in.

Any way, we just saw it, and I'll tell you that the violence was pretty graphic, but not much more than like, any other violent movie out there, and that the little girl swearing was not disturbing. She says the "c" word (which I do not like nor use myself) once, and she says some other stuff. Of course, I am not disturbed or intimidated or frightened by women or girls expressing themselves, as many people are, which is where I'm quite sure all this nonsense about ohmygodit'ssodisturbingI'mgoingtocallmylocalrepresentativeanddosomethingaboutthis is coming from.

Which is not to say that it's a kids' movie or that even 10% of my vast reading audience would enjoy it.

I mostly thought it was merely representative of The Professional although not nearly as good. Because the movie is clearly about the actress (who's pretty cool - check out this NYT profile on her) and when it comes down to it, the character is really one dimensional (fault of script, not actress.)

Her IMDB is hilarious - it's like:
Tigger & Pooh and a Musical Too
My Friends Tigger & Pooh's Friendly Tail
Pooh's Super Sleuth Christmas Movie
Jack and the Beanstalk
Kick Ass

Next she's in an American remake of Let the Right One In. Ah, kids. They grow up so fast, don't they?

Saturday, May 01, 2010


So, while we were in South Beach, we were having breakfast at a cafe, and this gigantic dbag sits down next to us and absolutely SCREAMING into his cell phone has the most inane conversation I ever heard. Naturally, I rushed home to write it all down and present to you one of probably first in a long, long series of total dbags being themselves.