Thursday, February 4, 2010

Review: Jesus Christ Superstar 2010

We got to see this show last night for the second time. The first was appx 20 years ago. I’ll admit I wondered if, at age 66, Ted Neely could possibly still have it. The ‘it’ that he had in the movie. The ‘it’ that he had the first time we saw JCSS. The ‘it’ that made him the Jesus everyone’s wanted to see for so long he’s now been playing Jesus for longer than Jesus lived. Well … at first I wasn’t sure. His voice has changed a lot. It was deeper, somewhat richer, a bit husky. A very nice voice. But not the voice I remembered and loved. It grew on me though. But, after several songs, he hadn’t hit those high notes he was so famous for … and then he did. Wow. He’s still got it, baby. Other than Jesus, my favorite voices in the cast were Peter and Mary but they were all good.

The set was extraordinarily simple, but the lighting designer was a genius. He made sets out of lights.



If you get the chance, definitely go see this show. It won’t be the same as what you may remember. But it will be amazing.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Frozen fog?


On Friday, we had 6-7" of snow. That was nice. The kids got a day off school and we were all pretty lazy all day. Who doesn't love a day like that from time time? Yesterday dawned bright and sunny. Not warm enough to melt all the snow, but enough to get it off the well-traveled streets. Today ... snow-covered ground still and a heavy fog. That looked quite odd. But pretty in its way. The weather dudes were calling it 'frozen fog'. Looks like fuzzy frost to me.

Monday, December 28, 2009

A New Adventure

No, not blogging. That's an old, albeit drastically lapsed, adventure.

This is an entirely new adventure. About four weeks ago, I took up the viola. Now, I've never played any instrument, ever. Couldn't read a single note of music. I did remember the E-G-B-D-F and F-A-C-E thing from grade school music class. Odd the things you retain. But that turned out not to help substantially as viola is alto clef, so a bit different.

For about 20 years, I have internally bemoaned the fact that I never learned to play an instrument when I was young. This regret became sharper as my boys took up music in 6th grade, learning the bass and cello. Then, and I admit I was very slow on the uptake, it finally occurred to me that one doesn't HAVE to be 12 to learn music. One can start at any age. So, when hubby asked what I wanted for my birthday about a month ago, I told him a viola! He was surprised but willingly obliged. I immediately began lessons and fell in love. I can now read a whole eight notes. I can play basic, very basic, songs. I have miles and miles to go, but I'm having fun. And really that's the point.

Please, if you've ever said "I wish I had ...", stop wishing and start doing.

And, now, for your listening not-quite-enjoyment, my first concert. Disclaimer: a new string player can be quite painful to listen to. Also, Levi, the cellist, was a bit embarrassed to be in this video with me. Still, he did it. Thanks to Lane for the arrangements. video

Friday, April 10, 2009

Now that ain't right


I had to take our kitten into the vet recently. She had been spayed a few weeks ago and just needed her stitches out. (Yes, yay me! Responsible pet owner.) Anyway, as I sat there waiting for my turn, a man came in with his dog. He was a ZZ Top-looking dude if there ever was one. Seriously, he had the beard, dark glasses and stocking cap ... the works. He was built like a linebacker. And his dog? Was it a Rottweiler or a Doberman or even a Bulldog? No, oh no.

Trotting along behind him was a cute, little, blonde Cocker Spaniel with a pink collar and pink leash ... named Daisy.

That's. Just. Wrong.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spring Cleaning


I'll admit, I've never really participated in that annual household tradition known as Spring Cleaning. Not that my house is an utter pigsty. Nor is it always so sparkling that such a clean sweep is never required. It's just that I'm more of an as-needed cleaner. For example, I might be lying on the couch watching TV one night, glance up, see the ceiling fan and say "Ewwww"! And that's when I clean that.

However, this year something spurred me to do an actual spring clean. It's spring break here and we're at home for the duration so it seemed a good time. I started this morning. I will go through one room per day, top too bottom, and clean it like a demon. And so I began with my bedroom. I did all the dusting, even those little crevices I often miss on a regular dust-up. I did ceiling fans, baseboards, windows, carpets, etc. I was feeling pretty good about it. Until ...

I noticed that two of our cats were supervising me the entire time. They followed me from spot to spot, avidly watching with somewhat confused looks as if they'd never seen me commit such unusual and, frankly, perverse acts. Sheesh. Nothing like being judged by a cat. Honestly! I'm insulted.

Stupid cats.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Oh, I Wish I'd Looked After Me Tits

A new poem by Pam Ayres

Oh, I wish I'd looked after me dear old knockers,
Not flashed them to boys behind the school lockers,
Or let them get fondled by randy old dockers,
Oh, I wish I 'd looked after me tits.

'Cos now I'm much older and gravity's winning.
It's Nature's revenge for all that sinning,
And those dirty memories are rapidly dimming,
Oh, I wish I'd looked after me tits.

'Cos tits can be such troublesome things
When they no longer bounce, but dangle and swing.
And although they go well with my Bingo wings,
I wish I'd looked after me tits..

When they're both long enough to tie up in a bow,
When it's not the sweet chariot that swings low,
When they're less of a friend and more of a foe,
Then I wish I'd looked after me tits.

When I was young I got whistles and hoots,
From the men on the site to the men in the suits,
Now me nipples get stuck in the zips on me boots,
Oh, I wish I'd looked after me tits.

When I was younger I rode bikes and scooters,
Cruising around with my favourite suitors.
Now the wheels get entangled with my dangling hooters,
I wish I'd looked after me tits..

When they follow behind and get trapped in the door,
When they're less in the air and more near the floor,
When people see less of them rather than more,
Oh, I wish I'd looked after me tits.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Third Place ... not bad

Lane entered his photo in the Wichita Eagle Great Outdoors Photo contest. He received third place. Check out some of the other finalists. I think he did pretty well to place third. Congrats Lane!



Finalists: http://www.kansas.com/628/gallery/708417.html

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pseudo-Reviews

Just my thoughts on a few things ...

MOVIES

The Dark Knight - Yes, I know it's been out for a while. We originally saw it in the theater. I expected to be under-impressed with Heath Ledger's performance. You know how, when others build and build a book or movie, your expectations are often so high that you're somewhat disappointed when you finally see it? This was not the case in this instance. I thought Ledger was simply amazing in his role as the Joker. In fact, he was SO good, that I have refused to watch it again since it came out on DVD. I found him very disturbing and was frankly a bit upsetting. There are a number of great movies that I loved but which, due to various reasons, I refuse to ever watch a second time. This is one of those movies. Ledger blew me away in this movie but, for me, viewing it once is enough. See it. One time.

Grand Torino -Another one-time-only movie for me. Not that I didn't like it. Quite the opposite. I loved it. Again, I expected to be under-impressed with Clint Eastwood as a badass. Oh, I know he's the original badass but, let's face it, he's getting pretty old. I didn't think he'd be able to pull off the don't-F-with-me attitude of his younger years. I was wrong. At first, the extreme use of racial slurs was shocking to me. Thinking about it later, I realized that it was necessary to the whole stream of the movie for it all to make the emotional impact that it did. Definitely see it but be prepared for tons of bad language and racism.




Hamlet 2
- After all the seriousness of the above movies, rent this silly, little flick for some plain, old ridiculousness. Honestly, it's one of the dumbest movies I've seen in some time and well worth the rental price for that very reason. After watching the whole movie, we went back to the play scene over and over to rewatch.



Across the Universe - This one is going on my list as one of my favorite musicals of all time. The entire movie is based on The Beatles' music. I can't say that I was ever an especially big fan of their music. I mean, it was OK, but I wouldn't say I loved them. But I did love this movie. I loved how it took a variety of their songs and incorporated them all seamlessly into one story line. There are even two or three places (that I picked up anyway) where a brief bit of their music is played, but the song is never sung. In one scene, Jude is looking at a headline and the music in the background is playing and you can hear in your head "I read the news today, oh boy ..." Watch it, and then watch it a second time (and even a third) so that you pick up all the things that you missed the first time. And then download the soundtrack to your iPod. I know I did.


BOOKS

Confessor by Terry Goodkind - The final installment in the Sword of Truth series. If you haven't read this series, I recommend it. There are, I think, nine books. They are excellent. Well, except for this one. I had felt the entire series was very well-written and were excellent stories. Every single book drew me in and and got me very invested in the main characters. Until this one. I was frankly disappointed with what should have been an epic ending to an epic story. There were multiple places in this book where a character tries to explain a concept to another. For example, Nicci explaining why the Chainfire spell needed a sterile field. Apparently sometime between the last book and this one, everyone became idiots because in every single instance where something needed to be explained, it was explained over and over and over until I wanted to scream. Seriously. It seemed to me that at least 80% of this book consisted of people talking about what needed to be done, but not doing anything. Nothing was happening. For me, this book was a huge let-down. Now, I have to say, if you're interested in the series, don't let my comment stop you. My mom didn't feel that way about this book so maybe it was just me.

Just After Sunset by Stephen King - Stephen King. As far as I'm concerned, that's all that needs be said. This is a collection of short stories. Honestly, no one story stood out to me as amazing. Unlike some of his books, I don't think one of these stories will stay in my mind indefinitely as did some previous ones. However, King is plain and simply a great storyteller and any book of his, in my opinion, is worth a read.






Mistress of the Art of Death and The Serpent's Tale by Ariana Franklin - Excellent books, both. And not about what you might think. The first kind of sounds like she's a serial killer. No, Adelia is basically a forensic pathologist. Considering that they take place in medieval times, this is quite unusual for a female. Adelia, the main character, originally comes to Brittan to investigate a murder. Being a woman, she must pretend that her servant is the actual physician in order to avoid charges of witchcraft. Both books are beautifully written and great stories. Read them in order.


The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory - Excellent book. Of course, I knew the basic story about Anne Boleyn, but reading about it in novel form brings it to life as never before. This was one of those can't-put-it-down books for me. Not only is the story highly entertaining, but the author seems to have done a masterful job of including many historical facts so that it's not merely a novel, but a lesson in the history of British monarchs as well. I have to say that I can't remember when I've both loved and hated a book so much at the same time. Loved because, as I said, it's a great story. Hated because it's sickening what the children of the upper classes were expected to do in order to advance their families. Definitely read it, but feel free to skip the movie. The movie was okay, and well-cast, but it should have been a mini-series. It was far to choppy to be satisfying if you've read the novel.

Now, if you see/read any of these, let me know what you thought!


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Scarlet Fest

A must-see event!

The full name is actually Scarlet's Mid-Winter Renaissance Festival. Lane and I attended this event because Dotti’s two belly dance troupes were dancing. She had warned us it was kind of weird. Man, oh man! We all came to the conclusion that they hold this thing just so they can have a reason to dress up in their costumes during the off season. And I don’t mean just the participants. A great many people who had simply come to look around were in costumes. There were the typical things you’d expect to see … Lords, Ladies, wenches, etc. There were some really great costumes and some that people had just barely made a pass at making a costume. And then there were all the …. um ….. “others”.

* Pirates were the largest representation by far. I suppose pirates at least fit into the era in which this event is supposed to represent. Jack Sparrow himself was there. Honestly, this guy had the look, the costume and the movements down! All except for the jeans he was wearing. Seriously. If you're going to go to THAT much work to duplicate a character, why would you not find some breeches? Not to mention that faire rumor is that the guy really thinks he's Jack Sparrow.

* We observed at least two Ninjas. This seemed "off" but then again, no one said this was limited to Renaissance Brittan.

* Zorro? Ditto the above I suppose

* A few men in kilts, including a Braveheart wannabe who slapped on a kilt with his work boots and Fruit of the Loom tee shirt and painted half his face red. Still, you'll hear no complaints from me on this one as I love a man in a kilt.

* A couple of revolutionary war soldiers. These just missed the renaissance by nearly a century.

* A cave woman. This chick missed the time-line mark by several millenia.


* Mermaids. Well, mermaids are just timeless, aren't they?


* A bear-trainer with his bear which was both cool and appropriate. Except that the bear actually acted like a bear. He was never cute and friendly with the myriad kids who came up to see him. So, was this guy very good in sticking in "character" as a bear? Or like Jack Sparrow and thinks he's really a bear? Seriously, at most events you would assume the former. At this one .....?

* A guy in a fox costume that is generally believed to be a “furry”. This would have been kind of funny (in a creepy way) except that, at one point, Lane said "I think that Fox is staring at me." And we think maybe he was.

* Several people that we had no idea what they were trying to be. One girl was wearing red and white striped socks that came up over her knees, a short, black skirt that had points and made you think of someone trying to dress like a sexy witch, a kimono blouse with a bustier over the top and a pirate hat. It's anyone's guess what she was supposed to be.

* Last, but not least creepy, was Marilyn Manson. Seriously, it had to have been him.


Honestly people, if you leave anywhere near Oklahoma City, please go to this event next year. It's fairly (pun intended) small so not a lot of things to do. You won't need them. Park a chair in a corner and watch people walk by. I promise you no end of amusement.

EDIT: Some chick posted this very shaky video of some of Scarlet Fest on You Tube. Sadly, most of the nuttier characters are not featured. You do, however, get a brief glimpse of Marilyn Manson and, more importantly, my beautiful sister dancing. At about 4:21 notice the one on the left in the purple. That's her.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDZ4MYY7ahg