Archive for March, 2006

This Recess is indoors- but it lacks all the nerds playing the Oregon Trail

I will be in this show tonight at 7pm at the PIT! Yay!
pit
Come out! Enjoy the weather! Come get margaritas after!

Urine luck when you take Punk Rope!

Glennis and I are workout buddies despite never having worked out together. We have planned yoga trips and Pilates classes and free, week-long gym membership exchanges for months, years even, and they have never resulted in us actually doing anything physical. But that changed this week when we finally, finally went to Punk Rope.

punk

I have been reading about Punk Rope (a.k.a. “recess on steroids”, complete with relay races and crab-walks but sadly, no log rolls) forever and had been wanting to try it because, lets face it, there are too few exercise classes that emphasize the importance of Joe Strummer to your physical well-being. And there are too few exercise instructors that tell you how Shane McGowan can sing an entire song with a glass of beer balanced on his head. We had so much fun and also ran into Punk Rope devotee Dan, designer of our Celebutantes postcard. My calves still feel the burn even after three days and toward the end of the class the jumping got so intense that Glennis and I looked at each other and said simultaneously “I think I just peed a little” – what other exercise class delivers THOSE results?

A new favorite thing

Vontrapped the Blog was launched earlier this month, it’s a new endeavor by my good friend Freulien Maria. Check out all her Favorite Things updates in Salzburg and beyond!

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Haiku Review: Thank You For Smoking

Thursday night I went to dinner with friends, one who I hadn’t seen in a very long time and I mentioned that I hated Crash. My old friend told me she actually loved it and asked what kind of movies I actually did like, if Crash wasn’t my bag. At that point all my other friends, helpful lot that they are, chimed in with “Well, didn’t you also not like Match Point?” and “But I thought you did like The Exorcism of Emily Rose?” (It wasn’t bad! It wasn’t good either but…) and “You don’t even like Peter Sellers!” (Not entirely true, I just don’t like Being There). My taste is ecelctic but awesome, I think, that’s really the only way to describe it.

My Cinema Companion and I caught a Friday night showing of Thank You For Smoking which boils all my cinematic preferences down nicely. Funny and satirical and political and great. Accordingly, the first haiku review in a while:

Thank You For Smoking

smoking

D.C. spin doctors
turn vices into virtues.
Thanks, First Amendment!

Too much light makes me need to adjust my attitude

I have been trying to get out of an all-or-nothing rut in my life. The way I think, there are only two options for all things, basically boiled down and reduced to a nice consomm√ɬ© of “good” or “bad”. For example, considering myself “successful” or “unsuccessful” based on crazy high standards I have for my career goals. Or loving or hating something – a movie, a TV show, a book. My life leaves little room for gray area. And randomly, my office was cleaning out stacks of old magazines and I found a year-old Real Simple magazine that had an article about how not to see life in black and white terms, so even the magazine gods are trying to tell me to stop being rigid. I even struggle with this blog, lord help me. But it’s true: I emotionally struggle with a blog. What do I want it to say about me? Should it ONLY display my hilariosity or should I show people that I also have a poetic soul that cries in the night and wants to change the course of humanity? Will people accept my puns as an art form or will they be judged horribly? Eh. To that I can only say, if you don’t like the way I blog, stay off the sidewalk! See? It’s that kind of statement I worry about making because it only further proves my dorkiness. But also, I’m making that into a bumper sticker for subscribers of WordPress to put on their computers. “My Other Blog is a Broom” sticker comes free with purchase!

Having a narrow view of life is limiting, but I bet you people with a healthy outlook on life knew that. I have just always thought it necessary to give things labels instead of just letting them roll and happen and organically just be. Healthy, no? I am a label whore. Michael of Kors I Hated Crash. Marc Jacobviously I am a Failure. This is especially difficult for me when it comes to comedy because I have super high standards, for both what I create and for what I watch. Of course no one person can be a fair judge for everything but as I write that sentence I realize that that assessment of life is one that I have yet to actually accept. If someone were to say that aloud to me I’d brush it off with a pat to their arm and a dismissive “Ohhhh-ho-KAY”. Creativity is subjective and exists because it is judge-able, though. Isn’t that the point?

Last Friday I saw Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, whose goal was to showcase 30 plays in 60 minutes. At the top of the show, one of the cast members described what we were going to see and explained that not every play was funny, not every play was dramatic, not every play was even good, but he encouraged us to take away from the show what we wanted. While in a way that felt like a disclaimer, it was what I, as an audience member needed to hear. I went in thinking I was seeing a comedy show (how black and white of me to think a show can only be comedy or drama), had I continued to think that way I would have been disappointed.
baby
I always think of when dramatic actors say “It’s so much harder to do comedy than drama”. Maybe. But what they don’t know is that it’s harder for an audience member to watch comedy than to watch drama. The expectations are higher. You, the performer, expect an audible reaction and sometimes we can’t live up to that expectation. I appreciated the dramatic and visual scenes from this show for that reason – they were obviously not trying to be funny and they worked. Some of the scenes were monologues about personal lives or politics, some wordless physical movements (whose value should never be underestimated), and some were just musical freakouts that took place beyond the theatrical fourth wall (a wall that was down for the entire show).

I think many writers and directors work a clear angle of humor or tragedy, black or white, whatever, and Too Much Light snuggles into all those angles, whichever ones they happen to be feeling when they write their material. There was a huge gray scale of variety which doesn’t often happen often in most shows. While sometimes the gray seems muddy as a result of some jokes trying to force their way in , it never stays that way for long, there’s no time for that in this show. The next scene has already started and it’s an entirely different shade.

Everyone wants the last piece…

V for
Viennetta

Curry in a Hurry

Today, CNN.com reported on Katie Couric’s possible successor on the Today Show, should Katie take a new job as CBS Evening News anchor. Of course Ann Curry’s name was thrown around but what stopped me in my morning-show-watching tracks was what followed Ann’s name.

“, 49”.

God bless! The entire “cast” of the Today show drives me bonkers in a way that can only be described as “Friends and Hootie” (there are better examples to use but I think those references ably describe not only what genre of person they are, but also how I am stuck in the mid-1990’s as a result of an emotional-growth-stunting high school experience) and Ann is no exception. But you can’t deny that for a 49-year-old she looks phenomenal. When I thought she was in her 30’s I could not have cared less, but now that I know she is 49 I want to know all the secrets she stores behind the newsdesk.

ann

I googled “Ann Curry age” because as we all know, CNN.com is only loosely Associated to real Press, and doesn’t have the reputation for fact-checking that you’d hope it would. So her Wikipedia entry does verify that she is 49 but Wikipedia is not the only resource for information about our Ann. There are blogs and message boards dedicated to her and because we live in a shallow, wonderful world, few of them actually reference her work, opting instead to discuss her looks. Can you imagine?!

By far my favorite board was the one with a thread devoted entirely to her hair. I have excerpted the best posts below (truth is far more hilarious than fiction so none of these have been doctored):

I do like Ann’s hair a lot with that length, and i agree it’s shiny and healthy. I do wish that instead of just letting it hang straight and somewhat flat, she’d cut it into an actual style, especially given that there are so many good sexy styles for long hair right now with flips, curls, and waves. Having it long just to sit there seems a bit of a waste. I like it brushed back in those pix though!

I think Ann would be misguided to even *think* about ever getting her hair cut shorter. I watch little morning TV, but I saw her while at the shore this week. The woman looks ten times as beautiful as she did five years ago.

-Don’t wish to burst the bubble here but I found this:
New York, November 8, 2004 – Media Leadership
Ann Curry, award-winning news anchor from the “Today Show” and NBC news correspondent, was honored with the Media Leadership Award in recognition of her impact on breast cancer awareness and education. Ann was personally touched by breast cancer when her sister was diagnosed with the disease in 1998, and since then she has dedicated personal and professional time to spreading awareness and education. Curry has addressed the issue of breast cancer at numerous public events, served on the board of national breast cancer organization, and has supported programs and organizations such as Women at Risk, the online breast cancer “Talking Dictionary,” breastcancer.org, and cancerandcareers.org. At present, she and her young daughter are making a personal contribution to the cause: both are growing their hair so it can be donated to an organization that provides wigs for cancer patients.

Ann Curry looks WONDERFUL with her long hair. It is a shame that organizations like “Locks of Love” even exist. I hope she changes her mind. It will be a sad day for NBC and it will make me not want to watch her. Anyways, last week she wore a terrific bun which was captured and posted in the “buns” Yahoo group.

So to sum up what we learned today, we still don’t know who will succeed America’s Journalist Sweetheart on the Today Show, Ann Curry has some serious beauty tricks up her old-ass sleeves, there’s a crazy wig-hata out there, and there is a Yahoo Group devoted entirely to buns. I can’t wait to find out what I learn tomorrow (morning, on Today)!

Scenes from an Untalented Restaurant

As a kid, I remember the first time I watched Billy Joel’s uptown girl climb on his bike and take off her hat, opening a floodgate of cascading Prell-covered hair to reveal that she was not just any gal who happened to live north of 42nd Street, she was Christie Brinkley. And he was in love with her despite being a downtown guy in coveralls. And yes, it took me until the final moment where she shook out her hair (which was probably the act that most defined feminine charms to me in the 1980’s – piling all the hair under a hat just to shake it loose as I so often did even though my hair happened to be a bowl-cut cleverly marketed under the name “Dorothy Hamill”) to realize it was Christie Brinkley. I was not yet the slave to pop culture that I am now and even if Variety for Kids had existed I probably would have used it to line the workspace where my Rock Polisher held court in the basement. Turns any ordinary stone into a wearable, shiny gem! Comes with complete array of metal jewelry settings to create pins, rings and earrings out of things you find near the driveway!

I was fascinated with the Joel-Brinkley alliance and really thought it was solid as a wearable rock. But as anyone knows, nothing in Hollywood is forever and just like the shitty glue that came with my rock-jewelry making kit, that bond broke and left me with nothing, but in the latter instance, it was a matter of rust.

Though it has taken years to realize, the most unfortunate outcome of that dissolution is Katie Lee Joel, new wife to Billy and host of the worst new show on television, Bravo’s Top Chef. Twelve aspiring chefs battle it out to win the title of “Top Chef” which means very little because that’s as much information as the Bravo website divulges. “But,” you say “it’s from the producers of Project Runway!” “But” nuthin’. It stunk like a meat-lover’s poo. Katie Lee Joel ironically lacks the spice or flavor needed to host a dinner party, let alone a cable television show. About food. Her bio says that she learned from her Grandma how to love cooking (who didn’t?) and in a separate interview admits that before studying in Italy, she thought the Olive Garden was considered real Italian food. Now. I’m no food snob. (I don’t even like sushi, adoring urbane readers! I know! How do I survive?) But you don’t admit in print to a food magazine that you thought that tradition in Italian cooking meant unlimited salad and breadsticks.

klj

I’d even be willing to forgive her lack of real food expertise if she had showmanship. If she was funny. If she did…anything. But in my second ironic food metaphor of the day, for the host of a show all about food, this girl knows nothing about delivery. When she says the show’s signature line that dismisses the loser by saying “Please pack up your knives and go” the words burn as hot as a gas oven whose pilot light went out.

All of this made me wonder, what makes this girl qualified to host this show? And then My Viewing Companion ever so gently replied, “The real question is which Bravo exec killed a hooker, took pictures, and gave Billy Joel the negatives?” Well put, My Viewing Companion. With smarts like that, you’ll be trading in your Chevy for a Cadillac-ac-ac-ac-ac any day now. In my cookbook, Top Chef gets two thumbs down.

mittmitt

Freulein Maria reviews: We Used to Go Out

Last night Von Trapp gave me the night off – said he still felt bad about the pine cone incident at dinner and wanted me to take some “Maria Time” which was cool. I know, I KNOW I should still hate him for not changing my whistle call to “Since U Been Gone”, I mean I don’t even care if he downloads a ringtone and uses it to call me when he needs something, but I think he’s h-o-t HOT! Do-Re-Me so horny for the Captain, raaor!

Anyway, I toyed with the idea of making new outfits for the kids out of my duvet but I feel like lately all my sewing seems a little too much like a Project Runway challenge. Sister Margaretta made fun of me last year for jazzing up my habit with silk charmeuse like, “Oh look someone thinks she’s Austin Scarlett!” and I was like “Shut it, Wendy Pepper! I know you sings songs about me!”. Literally, she is toxic and totally contaminates our love for God and nature and stuff with her negativo attitudo. She and that bitch Baroness Schrader can both take a flying leap off a beautiful Austrian mountain top and make a hard landing in a crisp, stony brook that is very deep and very fatal, I dont care. Speaking of Project Runway, Santino has toootally grown on me! Who knew, right? Marta still hates him because he has yet to produce any outfits with a pink parasol, but that’s just a matter of personal style, I say. We are all entitled to our opinion as long as you respect others, that’s what I’ve been trying to instill in the children while we “watch what happens” on Bravo. That and don’t be a Nazi.

Am I getting off track or what? I actually have a point here. So, last night. I had the night off, right? And I saw We Used to Go Out at the UCB and I (emoticon hearted) it. I know, Chelsea is a long way from Salzburg, but somehow I managed. I sang a song and by the end I was in New York City. Have you not learned that when music is in your life, anything is possible? Don’t make me take a second role as a singing nanny to prove this point.
weusedtogoout

I laughed so hard during this show, I worried that I might pee in my homemade pants. Luckily I didn’t, and there were actually other audience members that were more distracting than old Maria and her snort of a laugh! Like the guy in the front row who looked like he was eating a stick of pepperoni.

Cured meat-eaters aside, the show was hilarious and at times the relationship stuff was a little too real for my “I deny my feelings for men who aren’t God” lifestyle. On my scale of reviews I give it 5 out of 6 Favorite Things, but only because I couldn’t find a picture of schnitzel with noodle. Stupid Google Image search!
rosewhiskerscopperkettlemittensbrownpaper

In Spanish we call it el Spell Checko

My chief news source, iMDB, reports today:
Actress Jessica Alba has reportedly threatened Playboy lothario Hugh Hefner with legal action, insisting the March issue of his magazine suggests she poses “nude or semi-nude.” The Fantastic Four beauty shot off a legal warning to the magazine mogul after realizing her image had been placed on the cover of the soft-porn publication, without her knowledge or consent. The letter demands Playboy immediately stops distributing the offending issue, and Alba insists a “monetary settlement” is appropriate. Alba’s lawyer Brian Wolf claims the actress had previously turned down a substantial payment to be a Playboy cover girl and accuses the publication of tricking Colombia Pictures into allowing them a promotional shot from forthcoming film Into The Blue. Colombia Pictures have also written to Hefner, slamming the “outrageous, unethical behavior utilized by Playboy personnel to obtain” the racy shot.

I think it’s laudable that Colombia Pictures are standing behind Jess and her fight against illegal use of her Fantastic Two. But I wonder which Colombia picture actually wrote to Hef? Maybe this one?

colombia

But then I think, well, that one doesn’t have hands, so I bet it can’t write! Maybe this Colombia picture tossed in its two pesos for Alba’s sake:

colombia2

These three gals could have definitely written una carta in support of their favorita wrongly pornified actress. Yes, it’s definitely these gals.

But I’m just guessing. If I didn’t know any better though, I might suggest one final option, my personal favorite Colombia picture, the one I memorized all the lines to in 1985, took place in the seedy treasure map underworld of Cartagena, and is responsible for the not-used-often-enough phrase “mondo dismo”:

romancing

But I bet it definitely isn’t this Colombia Pictures. They totally spelled their own name wrong on their logo! Silly movie-makers!

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