Friday, October 31, 2008

Wig in A Box



Happy Belated Halloween! I hope everyone had a fun time. I definitely did. It's great to walk around NYC and see tons of people dressed up like pirates and superheros and vampires and slutty snow whites (shout out, BFF!). I think it's great that it's socially acceptable to run around looking crazy for one night, and the crazier and more inventive you get, the more impressed with you other people become.

I always enjoy crafting a Halloween Costume. Previous years have brought us BatBoy, The W Train, Seymour from Little Shop, and Sam Witwicky from Transformers (to compliment Miggy's Optimus Prime.) This year it was Sweeney Todd. I've been planning on being Sweeney Todd for Halloween since last winter when Sweeney Todd came out in theaters. I am pretty in love with the movie and Tim Burton's designs and Johnny Depp's performance. Sweeney also might be my favorite Sondheim score. So this was an obvious choice for a Halloween costume and I did a lot of pre-planning.



I knew i could piece together a Burtonesque black and white sweeney-like ensemble, but I would need the hair with trademark white-stripe, and also some razors for accessories. What would Sweeney be without his friends?



I looked online and found that there is a mass-produced sweeney costume! It's basically a pirate costume and i didn't really like it. But they also sold a wig AND a razor kit. Excellent! Now before i ordered these things online, I went to check out Ricky's, the costume store that opened right outside my office on Broadway and 19th st.



Ricky's has every mass produced costume there is! Except Sweeney Todd. Boo-urns. I went looking for it in the beginning of October and I even asked one of the guys who worked there for help (which i never do!) and he totally shot down my dreams of getting my costume without the cost shipping and handling fees. They just didn't have it, they said. So I ordered it online.

Two weeks pass, and I realize I have not received my wig and razors. Halloween is fast approaching and I'm getting nervous. Didn't I get an email order confirmation? I check, and i did. I call the company's number and this guy answers. "Hello," I say, "I'd like to check my order number blah-blah-blah, it's a sweeney todd wig and razor set." He checks. "Oh yeah," he says, "We don't have any more of those. Your order won't be filled. Someone should have called you." Que QUE?? It said "in stock" when i ordered it, so what the hell happened? Costume Company could not provide me with a sufficient answer. So i look for another place online to buy it, that can get me the wig in less than a week. I find one and I order it, for roughly the same price as the one I had ordered before.

The next day I go looking in ricky's for weapons that will closely resemble the razors. There are no fake razors available online. I take a stroll through the horror costumes and what do i find but the sweeney todd costume! And WIGS! for much cheaper than I paid online. I was so upset! Why had the Ricky's salesman led me astray a few week's ago. Why didn't he say we didn't have those costumes YET. YET was the key word in the sentence! Well, whatever. I'd have my wig in the mail and that would be fine. I still had no razors.

Two days before Halloween, my wig has not yet arrived. I'm getting anxious. It should've arrived on Wednesday at the latest and here it was Wednesday night and there was no wig. I check the order status online and it says "Delivered"! Can you believe it? Two mail-order wigs that never got to me. I immediately see the upside to this though. I can cancel my lost order and then buy the wig at Ricky's for the cheaper price! Woohoo!



When I get to Ricky's, there are still wigs there and another delightful treat - Razor sets! For only 10 bucks. I buy two. When I go to the register, I mention that I had been looking for the razors for almost all of October. "Oh yeah," says the sales lady, "We had them in a box, but it didn't get opened until yesterday. People, how are you gonna sell the product if you don't put in on the SHELVES?






Anyway, I got my razors and my wigs after several failed purchases and I had a great time. The general consensus was that I looked really creepy and people on the street smiled at me with recognition and appreciation. I felt very good. Another successful Halloween! I can't wait to start to start thinking about next year!


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dead Mum?! How was i SUPPOSED to react?

Tuesday night I went to see Billy Elliot.



(Actual Billys in the production not pictured.)



Billy Elliot is... worth seeing! The dancing and the staging and the sets are are amazing. It's totally beautiful, with the potential of moving audience members to tears. That alone is worth the price of admission. The rest of the play is a bit uneven in its execution, but I don't think you'll walk away caring about it too much. It's Billy Elliot. You've come to see the kid dance "BAAA-lee" and dance BAA-lee he does with amazing energy and finesse.



The uneveness comes from the show's book, singing and acting. It's not that some of the cast are amazing and some are not so good. It's that the whole cast has moment's of brilliance and then other moments that really miss. It's still in previews mind you, and I'm sure some of that will be ironed out as they head toward their actual opening. The book is a little too long. It does not take 3 hours to tell this story, but maybe there is all that padding to give the kid a little time to catch his breath before he has to dance his butt off again.



If you don't know the story, it's basically about this kid named Billy Elliot who lives in a coal mining town in the early 80's in Britain that's about to crushed under the iron will of Maggie Thatcher. His mom is dead, his brother and father work in the mine and are involved in a messy miner's strike and Billy happens to fall in love with BAA-leee, instead of boxing. He's got amazing potential, but can his dad and the community in general spare the time and money to help one kid make good, while the rest of them lose everything they have? The answer is yes, but the path is not easy.



The cast is huge and the children almost outnumber the adults, but it's easy enough to keep the character's straight. I guess it would be even easier to follow if you're a big fan of the movie. I haven't seen the Billy Elliot movie in years, and wasn't always interested in learning about the miner's strike during the stage version. The townfolk were painted a little broadly and not given a lot of characterization during the group scenes.



But now allow me a minute on Dead Mum. This would be Billy's Mum, who is dead, and that is how she is referred to in the playbill. Dead Mum and Billy have two songs together and they are both lovely, however I leave you with this warning. If your mother ever wrote you letters as she was dying in real life, perhaps these songs will open difficult emotional recesses of your psyche. They did for me. I cried and cried. Crying is fine. There's nothing wrong with being moved emotionally. But Dead Mum, her message to Billy and his message back to her, really just drove a truck through the emotional defenses I've built up over the past 10 years and had me really in an emotional state. It's not a reason not to see the show, just considered yourselves forewarned.



ALSO: These kids are just kids and I feel you should respectfully leave them alone after the performance. The Billy from our performance (three young actors alternate the role) happened to walk out the stage door as we were leaving and he was visibly (and understandably) totally exhausted. And here come the autograph hounds trying to get him to sign autographs as he's barely got the sense to look for his mom in the crowd. Back the eff off, people. Your aggression is totally inappropriate. If it looks like the kid is about to fall over, just vocally congratulate him and move on.



There's a really interesting article in New York magazine about the production and the young cast. Here's a link: http://nymag.com/arts/theater/features/51543/

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Twenty Nine

I am now 29. 5 days to go. 360 to go. If I change my personality 1 degree for the rest of the year I will make completely circle around and meet myself again by the time I'm thirty. This would prove that as time goes by, the more things change, the more they say the same. Does that make sense? I swear I'm not high as I'm writing this. If you call me overtired, then guilty as charged.

I had a very fun party at my place this year. I have not hosted a party in forever and was not sure how it would go. When I woke up and saw it was windy and overcast, I immediately thought no one would show up. It's hard to expect people to travel between boroughs in inclement weather. I know I drop plans at the slightest drop of rain on a cold day. But my friends are better people than I am, and they came out and we had a fun time talking and eating and playing mafia until the wee hours of the morning. There was the watching of the world series on my Giant TV (i must name my TV, it deserves an Identity). Then when most people left I watched The Warriors on Blu Ray with friends who were waiting for a 5:15am (you read that right) train back to CT. The Warriors is a great 2am movie. The perfect movie to christen my new PS3. Happy birthday to ME!

I'm actually looking forward to the last year of my 20's and feeling good about what's to come in my 30s. I'm in a good place. I will be in an even better place if Barack wins 6 days from now. Right now I'm looking forward with a lot of hope. While I'm still not great at making plans, there are more goals and a greater sense of momentum and urgency in me to complete them. I'm excited and inspired. There's more than I need in my life and I'm gonna go after it. I have supportive family and friends. I have a lot to be thankful for.

Perhaps next year, I will be freaking out and singing 30/90 while in a cloud of my own filth like Pig Pen, but for now I feel good. To para-phase Obama, I am the change I've been waiting for. And to directly quote Kermit The Frog, "look at me. here i am. right where i belong."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

the town's as busy as bees!

I feel like I have not written anything here in a long time. I feel like I've posted quick things but not written. And I really want to write! Right now it is tricky, because almost all of my non-activity time has been taken up by running. Training for the marathon has been totally consuming. I don't feel physically or mentally run down by it, but I'm looking forward to having running going back to being part of my normal exercise routine, and not totally consuming my evenings.

So here are a few highlights of the past week and a half or so.

I participated in an Obama phonathon alter ting people in swing state Indiana that early voting had already begun, and that it was a very convenient way of voting. It eases congestion at polling places on Election Day and let's you get voting out of the way in case some emergency comes up on Election Day. Why put off voting tomorrow for the candidate you want today? What I learned from this experience was that it's very fulfilling to talk to nice people on the phone. Also? Dads in general, are suspicious of people trying to talk to their college-age students. We just want them to vote, good sirs! We don't want their money! Obama has plenty!

I saw Firefox in a fun show last week. It was good times. 5 short plays adding up to "The Goldberg Variations." Firefox is a talented actress! It was great to see her on-stage. And her mom wrote three of the pieces. She is a talented playwright!

I had a karaoke reunion with the '06 alums of my old theater company, Nitestar. We rocked out to many songs. Favorites I sang on Friday were Creep, What's Up?, Life On Mars, Don't Stop Me Now, Bohemian Rhapsody and Who Knew? There were more. It was a ton of fun. I'm so glad we all got back together.

I went home for my cousin's daughter's baptism. It was good to see the extended family. There was a tornado of young children running around. Lots of people asked me lots of questions about the marathon. Everyone seemed proud of me doing it. That made me feel good.

Dad got me an AMAZING new TV for my birthday. I think he had to one-up my present to him last spring of getting him really good seats to see In The Heights. So now I have a beautiful 42" flatscreen. It easily beats out any other birthday or Christmas present I've ever received. Now all the talking heads on TV are actual GIANT TALKING HEADS. I don't think I've ever loved a possession like I love this TV. If I could make love to this TV, I would. It's that awesome.

Those are some highlights of what's been going on. I turn 29 on Sunday, I am going to see Billy Elliot on Tuesday and then running the marathon on Nov. 2 and the election is on Nov. 4th. That's a lot of upcoming things to write about and there's much more non-event related stuff that's brewing in my brain. So I'll see you soon!

Legally Brown, Episode 6: The Grand Finale

All good things come to an end. Thanks to everyone who made Legally Brown possible! Congrats to the victor! :)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

So just how old is this episode of SNL on E!...?

Well:

Host Jennifer Aniston is still married to Brad Pitt.

Friends has yet to go off the air.

John Kerry thinks his prospects of being the Democratic nominee are poor in the face of the Howard Dean Machine.

Britney had just married that kid for a day in Vegas.

Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon are hosting Weekend Update.

So this is circa '04. I can't believe Brangelina has all those kids in less than 4 years! Jenn was wearing a "I Love Brad Pitt" T-shirt at the end of the episode. Sad!

I finally watched you, Into The Wild!

I finally watched you, Into The Wild! I believe I've had you sitting on the end table in my living room for about 6 months, but finally I opened you up spent 2 and a half hours watching you and then put you back in the envelope and dropped you in the mail. Netflix will be so happy to have you back.

You were a good movie, Into The Wild. I always thought you would be, I was just never in the mood to watch you. I know you would be sad and possibly disturbing and I couldn't invest in watching you. I actually thought you were quite a beautiful movie with all-around great performances. It was totally worthwhile spending part of my sick day this week watching you. It shouldn't have taken so long, but better late than never.

Now I must update my Netflix queue, Into The Wild. It has been neglected since before you arrived at my house. Some of the movies I have to take off because I've watched them on cable, or bought them for my DVD collection. And there are new movies that have come out on DVD since then that need to be moved to the top of the list (I'm looking at you, Sex and The City and Kite Runner! Don't worry Shoot 'Em Up - you're still up there too!)

Legally Brown: Episode 5, Cheyenne's Little Problem

The Penultimate Episode! It is awesome blossom fabulous fantastic! Great job, Cheyenne!

Where have you been all my life, Gatorade Endurance?



Maybe I've written about this before. I don't care. I have to write about it again.

Gatorade Lemon Lime Endurance Formula and I first met during the NYC Half Marathon sponsored by Nike. Every mile or so there are refreshment stations, that usually just have water, but then occasionally they had High Endurance Gatorade. I have traditionally not been a fan of Gatorade. Growing up it was like a poor man's Kool-Aid. It LOOKED like it should be a super-sugary delight but then you'd gulp it down and it would mostly taste like water. It was a huge disappointment. I carried this grudge for many many years and never really drank Gatorade all the often. And I definitely was no big fan of Lemon-Lime flavored anything. But 6 miles in to a 13 mile race, you tend to look for a little variety in your fluids.

Gatorade Endurance Lemon Lime thirst quencher has to be one of the most delicious things I've ever tasted. I love it unconditionally. I thought my connection to it was based purely on the intense circumstances under which we met, but since then, I've had it stocked in my refrigerator and it's the best thing to gulp down after a long run. Or when you're not feeling well and you need an electrolyte pick me up. Or when you wake up at 3am from bad dreams and you need a little something to calm you down. It's the panacea of sports drinks, I tell you.

Sometimes my local Key Food does not stock Endurance Formula Gatorade. It makes me very upset. Sometimes I take for granted that it will always be around and I only buy a few at a time. And then weeks will pass and only regular Gatorade will be on the shelves. I look to the stock guys with plaintive eyes and they do not understand what my problem is. The problem is that I want my High Endurance and will not settle for lesser Gatorades! (though fierce grape is also pretty tasty.)

Luckily today after i completed the first 1/2 of my 20-mile run I went to Key Food and Endurance Formula Lemon Lime was back in plentiful supply on the shelves. I snatched it up off the shelves, while practically drooling all over myself in anticipation. It tastes better than I remembered it to taste. I'm so glad to have it back in stock in my fridge, satisfying my deep down body thirst.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I tire of you John McCain

I tire of you, John McCain. It takes a lot of energy to actively watch you in these debates. You keep saying nonsense that anyone who has been paying attention, knows is not true. And for the record? Lots of people are paying attention because we are in the middle of a HUGE economic crisis. So this crap that you are saying is not gonna fly. You look like you are intentionally misleading people. And your campaign is slinging mud in a way that really demeans you. It demeans us as a country. I can't put any more energy toward your desperate reach for power. I instead will actively promote Obama to people in swing states on his merits and not bother with you anymore. You used to be someone i respected. That was a long time ago. I'm sad to see you turn out this way.

Regretfully,
O

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Nice Job, SNL!

There's a lot to take in during this week's episode SNL. There were really only two skits that didn't land well and one was the last sketch, and no one ever has high hopes for what comes after the second musical number anyway. Here's the amazing opening skewering of the VP Debate, followed by the 2 performances by the Killers who I think totally rocked it. You can catch other highlights at NBC.com.





Saturday, October 4, 2008

13 Years in the Making

So OJ Simpson was convicted of the current charges against him, and will probably spend the rest of his life in prison. There is some weird numbers mojo going on with this. For one it is 13 years to the day he was acquitted of murdering Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman (i was still in High School!). If that wasn't enough. He was arrested on these charges last year on September 13th. The trial lasted 13 days. And the Jury deliberated for 13 hours. Certainly 13 is not a good number for Simpson to have played in Vegas, where he was arrested and convicted, and now will probably be imprisoned! Peace out, brussel sprout! Karma finally caught up with your guilty ass.

Sick Day Viewing

I have been sitting around the house all day with a horrible cold. I did force myself to do the dishes in my sink and washed my clothes because sitting in the house with that not done all day would have only made me feel worse. The rest of the time i was pretty much flumped on my couch taking in a mix of DVR'ed programs from the week and various reality shows on multiple cable networks. Here's a review of the new stuff I watched, tissue box for my runny nose in hand.



Tabitha's Salon Takeover (BRAVO) - This show was recommened by a BFF, but I didn't get the premise. There's this lady named Tabitha who we're told is big in the Salon industry and she goes around to crappy aalons gives advice and insults to the owners and employees for a week, redesigns their work spaces and then comes back to check up on their progress a few weeks later. I didn't understand how there would be enough disastrous salons to sustain a series about this, but I scrolled through the episode descriptions and saw that Tabitha spends most of her time out on Long Island, and it started to make sense. Nassau or Suffolk. North Shore or South Shore. There are tons of crappy haircutting places to be found. The show's not bad, but the premise doesn't really allow for much variation, so i think you have to really like hairstyling or think that every psychotic hairdresser is a distinct flavor of crazy, to keep coming back for more. It wasn't a bad start to a sick day though. 3 out of 5 tissues.



Pushing Daisies on DVR(ABC) - I liked Pushing Daisies a lot last season, but this premiere was bit weird. It probably didn't know how to shake the rust and dust off of last year's strike-shortened season. You know what probably wasn't the best course of action? An 8-minute long narration of everything that happened last season. I've tried to watch this episode twice before during the week and fell asleep both times and that's not a good sign. But I got through it today, and it's still got the style I like and the funny, But those Aunts gotta find out that Chuck is alive. I can't stand that secret anymore. There are juicier mysteries and secrets that have been introduced now. Let's get this one out of the effing way. Bonus: Petey Cambor is in this episode. I love me some Cambor. 4 out of 5 tissues.



Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Island (MTV)- This show is stupid. It required no thought which is all I had the patience for at the point of the day it was on. For some reason, they decided to try to make this season look more like Survivor stranding them on some island, but they gave them a beautiful shelter to live in and air drop food and wine to them. I swear the kids on Endurance have a tougher go of it (speaking of which, when does THAT show return...) They have to perform in challenges to win keys to build a boat to go to another island to look for money... oh don't waste your time trying to figure it out. I didn't. They all hate each other. Even returning host TJ LAvin seems to hate being there and all involved. Many of them have done 5 seaons of Challenges without winning a damn thing. Get jobs, people! You are OLD. The best part of this episode was when there was a plague of bugs that swarmed on the beach and everyone ran around like they were in a b-horror movie. Only one contestant had the sense to sit quietly under mosquito netting, and that was the only time he got any screentime during the show. 1 out of 5 tissues.



Exiled (MTV) - The premise is former My SuperSweet 16 particpants get shipped off to third world locations for a week to learn about what selfish wastes of space they truly are. It's like an "Send My Daughter to Bootcamp!" episode of Maury, only on a global scale. It wasn't bad. I didn't really watch the whole thing. I think the girl went to Peru? There were mountains and a girl named Helen who was kind of awesome. And there was guinea pig that was killed as an honored delicacy that did not go well for the Exiled Girl. Also, Helen showed her toughness when Exile Girl was being a brat about carrying water. Exile girl got her bucket dumped out in the grass and then was sent back down to the river to carry water the right way. I wandered away to get food before Exile Girl really learned anything, but she was pretty broken by Day 3 so I'll assume she learned something. 3 out of 5 tissues.



L&O: SVU on DVR(NBC) - Right now, SVU is performing at its crazy best. It's a procedural, but I like the episodes where you can't tell what the actual case is for the first 25 minutes or so. Last week's was like that too. The guest actors were all very good this week, but no one was SO more famous than the others that you imediately knew who the bad guy would be. Teri Polo gave a great performance as an emotionally devestated mom. It was all very sad as they fought for the soul of a teenage pedophile-in-the-making. Elliot also got his badge taken away - AGAIN. This can't be the first time. Anyway, it was a really solid SVU episode, I like the new ADA, but missed BD Wong. This epi was in total need of a shrink and he was MIA. 5 out of 5 tissues.



The Simpsons on DVR (FOX)- Homer and Flanders become Bounty Hunters and Marge bakes erotic cakes. 20 Years in, it still makes me laugh. It's the little things, like when Lisa is horrified when Homer brings her home a meth lab to play with, or when Flanders and Homer go chasing around Springfield jumping around like video game characters. 4 out of 5 tissues.


Top Design (Bravo) - I don't like this show. I only saw the last 15 minutes of it. There was a Design Triatholon? I wasn't impressed. This brief glimpse at the show made me feel like I wasn't missing anything. Also, the judges look totally crazy. Moving on. 1 out of 5 tissues.



Tim Gunn's Guide To Style (Bravo) - I was looking forward to this, cuz Tim Gunn is great, but they replaced his co-host and I don't like change. This episode didn't quite have the same zip to it as last seasons's installments, but the lady they had on seeemed sweet and she got some nice new clothes. The people being made over always seem really appreciative though. I would not mind Timm Gunn taking me to get designer suits. 3 out of 5 tissues.

I've been watching Chicago on E! as I've been typing this. There are some weird line dubs in this thing. I can see taking out the word "shit" I'm dubious over taking out the word "ass" and I have to laugh about the reworking of "Take A Hike!" Kitty. "Take A Hike!" shrieks Lucy Liu and later "Go Away!" it's funny and ridiculous. This movie is still sexy as hell though.

I'm hoping tonight's SNL really slams Palin from the debate. She earned it, Tina Fey. I need you to bring it. I'm sick and that will make me feel a little better.

Episode IV: A New Hope

I'm glad we went for the Star Wars reference at the beginning and the Poochie homage at the end. Clinton campaign references abound in the narration.



My time with Allison was brief but she was a total delight and brought so much to the shoot. Enjoy!