Friday, January 30, 2009

I Simply Remember My 25 Things and then I Don't Feel So Bad

I don't know who started this random 25 things thing on Facebook, but I'm sure many would try to take credit. It seems to have entered the zeitgeist. Here's my list. I like how it came out.

1. I feel like my therapist really "gets" me.

2. I absolutely love riding rollercoasters, but if you saw me on line for one you might think i was walking down The Green Mile.

3. I've never had a beer, and there are roughly two cases of 'em in my fridge right now left over from my birthday party. In October. Does beer go bad?

4. I would like to have my picture taken with Rafael Nadal. I can't see how to make this happen. He was so close to me on the practice courts at the US Open, and yet still so far. Plus if he was standing next to me, i might just freak the fuck out.

5. I'm gassy, but it's almost impossible for me to say the words "i farted." I'm not trying to deny I supplied it, as the saying goes, the words just won't come out of my mouth. I've tried! So many times I've tried!

6. I believe I'm supposed to marry Kelly Clarkson. I can't see how to make this happen. Plus if she was standing next to me, I might just freak the fuck out.

7. I feel weird that I'm at the most financially stable place in my life in the midst of a global economic nightmare. It's not like I'm sitting on a mountain of cash, but I'm okay. I'm really concerned for people losing their jobs. I think about it a lot.

8. I recently had a 7 year old ask me what I wanted to be when i grew up, and i honestly couldn't remember. What did I REALLY want to be? A writer. I will get there. OR a superehero. More of a challenge.

9. I think pets are too much work, but i look forward to having one again.

10. I understand Spanish a lot better than I can speak it. And now I know a lot of bad words thanks to Oscar Wao!

11. I am bad with homophones. especially when i'm typing, but sometimes too when I'm writing longhand.

12. Often in life I find that i'm asking myself, "What would Jerri Blank do?" And then I quote her.

13. I spent most of my life under the impression that I was a very bad person in a previous life and that I had to make up for it in this life. And then I was walking around one day a couple months ago and realized, "wait that's just something I totally made up when i was, like, 8." So I've let it go.

14. I am the King Of Freeze Tag. I will run you all down and freeze all your asses. I am not kidding. Having a "base" won't save you. You're all frozen. End of line.

15. Asparagus is my mortal foe.

16. I've only cursed at my father once (and that time he TOTALLY deserved it) and out of respect I don't see myself doing it again. Unless it was something like he had a heart attack and I was adminstering CPR until the paramedics got there and i said something like "don't you fucking die on me!" then i would curse at him.

17. I don't know how to administer CPR.

18. I always thought I should run the NYC Marathon, and having now done so, I know I was right to do it.

19. I think romantic relationships are too much work, but I look forward to having one again.

20. I drink a lot of milk. Around 4 or 5 glasses a day. Milk is the best!

21. I'm a total disciplinarian with kids, but they still love me because I BRING IT when it's time to play Cops & Ninjas or Barbies.

22. Over the past 11 years, I've had this dream where my mom (who's really dead) comes back to life, and then dies again, SO MANY TIMES that when I'm awake, i almost forget that it's not an actual memory of something that happened. It's odd that a dream can almost become a memory.

23. I really like hugging people. If it were socially acceptable, I'd always have my arms around someone.

24. I'm great at multi-tasking if one of the tasks is being online. Don't hate. I like being close to y'all even if you're far away.

25. Chances are, even if we are not the type of friends to talk all the time, you and i have shared "A Moment" between us. And I like to think that Moment exists in perpetuity, outside the linear time stream, acting like a beacon, sending out a signal that forever tells you "i love you."

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

You are a misogynistic turd, Dick Armey.

I just saw this on Hardball and I couldn't believe it. Dick Armey's condescension and gender-derisive comments toward Joan Walsh are completely uncalled for and make him look like a total ass. It's disgusting and I'm really angry about it. Watch for yourself and see what I mean.

So on top of the Republicans having nothing to offer besides more Bush-style tax cuts that did nothing to help the economy for the past 8 years, bowing down to Rush and the ridiculous things he says for stupid reasons, and continuing not to notice how the winds of change knocked them out of power because THE MAJORITY OF AMERICANS DID NOT LIKE WHAT THEY HAD TO OFFER, they also have spokespeople come on TV to belittle the progressive viewpoint by discrediting it as a wife's "prattle." Why don't YOU give it a rest? Dick.

Monday, January 26, 2009

O-Merica's Next Top Headshot

I have recently taken new headshots with wonderful photographer and friend Jeff Zorabedian. There were many good shots to choose from which just goes to show Jeff's skill at hiding my natural unphotogenic tendencies. I narrowed it down to 10, put it the judges on Facebook and three finalists have emerged.

Finalist 1

This one I like a lot and I think it looks the most like I think I look. It's a little more character driven, but that's usually what i play! but I can play more than just that! So perhaps I can use this one when I want to and use a more neutral one at other times.

Finalist 2

I enjoy this one too. I would use this one if i felt like more of a body shot fit what i was auditioning for, but usually I prefer a headshot to mostly be my head. I look cute though! And if I'm not gonna take off my Children's Tumor Foundation wristband, at least it matches my shirt. :)

Finalist 3

This will probably wind up being the ultimate winner. I like how I look, I think it's versatile and I like the color combinations. But comments and opinions are welcome and still helpful until i go to Reproductions. So let me know!

Wonderful Wizard of Ozzzzzz.....

When I was looking for xmas gifts for my nieces I went looking for an age-appropriate storybook of The Wizard of Oz. I didn't find one, but i DID find a treasury collection of all the "canon" books of Oz. Basically it's the 14 fantasy books that Baum himself wrote. Having just finished the 3rd Book in the Wicked series, I guess I was jonesing for more Oz, because I bought the treasury for myself. I'd never read the Wizard of Oz and was interested to see what the original tale was actually like. As I began to read it, I became aware of two things. (1) There are many interesting differences between the original story and (2) this book put me to sleep faster than any other book in the history of books.

Let's address the second point first. Because of the bulky size of the one volume Oz Treasury, the book has remained a before-bed read. No matter what time I actually go to bed, it as hard for me to get through more than a few paragraphs before totally conking out. It's not that it was boring, I just couldn't not stay awake for it. It was the literally equivalent of Tylenol PM. I took a small dose, and before I'd know what was happening, I'd be asleep for the night.

As for the first point, here are some interesting things you might not know:
1) There's no Kansas counterparts to the scarecrow, tin man, lion or wicked witch. Oz is not a dream!
2) Dorothy is a brat! Perhaps not intentionally, but she is kinda annoying and a little rude to people.
3)While there are elements in the story and realm of Oz that are represented in the Wizard of Oz, The Wiz and Wicked, they all basically end once Dorothy gets back to the Emerald City and the Wizard is exposed as a fraud. But the book doesn't end there. NO! Effing Glinda won't just show up in her bubble and tell her how to use the shoes! They have to go visit HER! And she lives far away! Jeezum Crow, end the story Baum!
4) On their way to Glinda, they encounter a kingdom made out of china and the Lion kills a giant spider. It's as random as it sounds.
5) Regarding the slippers, you probably know they are Silver and not Ruby in the original story. But did you know that the witch manages to steal one away from her? She just trips Dorothy and steals a shoe! And then Dorothy gets annoyed at her for it and throws water on the witch in a tantrum! And the witch dies! It's so weird.

I have these 13 other Oz Stories to read in this book. I don't know if I can get through all of them! I'm unconvinced that I want to. But I bought the book, so I will try to get through them, because I am stubborn. Maybe the writing gets better as they go along? I hope to finish the series by 2010, which might lead to some frantic cram sessions around the holidays this coming December. Bring the crazy, Baum. I can take it.

Winter Of Run

Sunday was my first race of the year. I decided to start things off with a Half-Marathon in Central Park when the temperature was below 20 degrees. Why did I do this? Apparently I'm insane. It was time to do a big race, though. When I realized just how cold it was going to be, I tried to back out, but everyone I talked to about it was very encouraging of me doing it. Special shout out to Suki for acting as if she would lose all respect for me if I did not run in the extreme conditions, and to Johnnyphat for not trying to "Bad Idea Bear" me into staying out too late at his Birthday party (which was super fun!). Honorable mention goes out to my Dad who was the only person to speak against racing on Sunday. Unfortunately, he called me 4 minutes after the race actually started, so his concerns were not noted until 2 hours later when I finished the race.

In order to keep warm in the freezing cold I wore many layers of clothing. In order to not overheat while running 13.1 miles, i piled on clothes designed for running. Please note the layering as I got ready to leave at 6:45am on Sunday.



(shorts required because I needed waist-level pockets!)



I also wore gloves which were totally essential. The race outfit held up well and did the trick. The sweats had a hard time staying on my hips because of all the other layers of clothing underneath them, but they didn't slide down and trip me up so it was all good. The race overall went very well. I wanted to finish in under 2 hours and be at a 9 minute pace and I managed to finish in a 8:50/mile pace. I actually ran the second half of the race faster than the first half, which never happens. Perhaps my legs were too numb from the cold to feel the strain as I ran faster. I also must give some credit to Kelly Clarkson, because her new single came on my playlist at a very fortuitous leg of the race that was not hilly and I charged ahead to her infectious beat right around the notoriously difficult mile 8, and gave myself some time to spare when tackling the very hilly Mile 10. Overall it was a very positive run and I'm glad I'm back in running mode. The one thing I forgot though, was just how effing hungry I get after running one of those long races. I need for every 2-3 hours for days afterward otherwise i get severe hunger pains. It gave me a perfect reason to treat myself to a Milkshake from Goodburger today. Oh Milkshakes... how I've missed you!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

President O. - At last!

Oh, the inauguration ruled. So exciting. Even if I was just watching it on TV at work and not freezing my butt off in the DC cold with those 2 million other Obamaniacs. I have lots of comments on lots of pictures from the day, that will take some time to go through. But until then, savor the moment of change and enjoy the First Couple's first dance!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Lego Obama!

Change has come to Lego Land a little bit earlier than for the rest of us. While we wait until noon to collectively freak out with joy, you can look over these picture from the Inauguration over in the parallel block universe.

Change Blocks Can Believe In!

Rafa Down Under

Breakfast at the Aussie Open! Welcome back to the court, Rafa! I woke up and turned on the TV to check the weather, but I remembered that ESPN2 would still be showing the end of Day 2 Live from Melbourne. It's already nighttime there, so maybe the Aussies live in a world where Obama is now officially President? I don't fully understand the space-time zoning craziness that exists for the Land Down Under. Anyway I tune in just to catch the final game in the match where Rafa is CRUSHING his opponent, Christophe Rochus, 6-0, 6-2, 6-2. So GOOD! He's back in top form! It's awesome! Four unbelievable forehands in a row to end the match. Keep it up, Rafa!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Funn Wth Typos

I am not a good typist. I usually have to edit a post 3 or 4 times after the initial writing of it to find all the words that are not, in fact, words. You'd be surprised what can make it passed my Standards and Practices Department - also known as Spell Check. Some typos will always sneak through, the most embarrassing of which make their way into the subject headings of posts. It usually comes in the form of They're/Their/There or Your/You're or Right/Write, which I can spot easily enough when writing them long-hand, but if I'm typing them out, it's a totally random assignment as to what comes out. Homophones are are a writer's mortal foe.

Take for instance, Reagraham Lincoln. That was the title of the post that had the clip from Daily Show earlier this week. However, the name is Reagraham LINCOOL. D'oh! Of course, I knew this. The irony of me writing "Lincoln" is that I neurotically checked the spelling of Reagraham 15 times before hitting "publish post." And yet it still looks like I was not paying attention to the thing I thought was funny. Silly, Owen. Thank you, Anonymous Comment Poster, for bringing it to my attention.

Another great example of this came while writing to Miggy at his brand new e-mail address this weekend. The subject heading was "You're Own Email Address??!" It's a special achievement to use the wrong words when writing to an 8-year-old whose homework you correct. Gets things off on just the right footing. We're only human, I suppose! Everyone makes mistakes, so why can't I? Big Bird sand a song about that once. It's a good song. You are so wise, Big Bird, so wise. I have not yet received an email back from Miggy pointing out my HUGE error. I'm sure that one is on its way. mmmbee.

Welcome Back, BSG!

Battlestar Galactrica came back on Friday to air its final 10 episodes. I am thrilled. I love my awesomely brutal show. It's so hard on its characters, without ever having a nasty attitude. I think that's why I love it so much - I mean, that and the superb writing, acting and production values. I can't believe only ten (or at this point only NINE) still remain to be seen. Is nine hours enough to wrap up the whole story? Normally, I would say yes, but BSG is like Lost in its notorious reputation for answering questions in ways that only raise many more questions. Here is a list of things I would like to know by the end of the season. I will try to be as spoiler-free as possible.

1. Now that all of the cylons have been revealed, are they going to be reunited with the one who was lost? Where is that cylon? Why could the 7 models know that twelve existed but not know who the other 5 were. How do the two groups relate?

2. If a certain someone is not human and not cylon, what the hell is that certain someone?

3. What the frak was up with Pythia?

4. Is a frakked up space-time continuum to blame for all the confusion?

5. How many more will have to die before the end credits roll? In this first episode back another much beloved character bit the dust by shockingly commiting suicide! It was terrible. I was very sad that this person did not make it to the end and their presence at the end will be missed.

The journey for the Fleet has been rough and the casualities have always been high. I have high hopes that the conclusion will make sense and have a satisfying resolution. Nothing to do but sit back and enjoy the ride. By your command.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


You know, on a cold winter day, when you've been driving around and listening to the Spring Awakening soundtrack like an angsty 11th-grader and feeling down about things in genereal, sometimes something remarkable can happen. For instance a plane can emergency land on the Hudson River - with no fatalities. And then tons of people can rush to help out. And you get pictures like this:

On Tuesday we get Barack Obama being sworn in as President. I'm thinking that will be an amazing moment as well. But in difficult times, it's miraculous moments like the plane in the Hudson that help put you back in a positive place. It's great when something unexpected can capture your heart and your imagination as you think of what is really possible in the world.

Mad props to pilot Chesley Sullenberger III, the crew of the plane and all the responders on the river that helped rescue the survivors. It's really remarkable.

Hey You Guys!

For those of you out there with kids who are aging out of sesame street and are looking for a new fun educational show, may I direct your attention to The Electric Company. It's premiering at the end of next week, and it features several talented friend of mine. Perhaps you yourself grew up with Electric Compnay and know of the awesomeness a show like that can offer. Here are two clips with anothony, lin and Shockwave doing there thing. I think these are great. I believe the show will be on PBS Kids, but check your local listings for exact dates and times.

Reagraham Lincoln

I love this clip from Thursday's Daily Show. The name is amazing (pay no attention to the blog title -it's really Lincool!) Rebranding the Republican Party is as mock-worthy as it sounds. And it stars Samantha Bee with a fantastic performance by Shockwave spittin' out the beats! And has a random cameo from someone who works on the same as floor as our office! What's not to enjoy?

We needa new tagline! tagline! tagline! tagline! Anything? Anything?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Spring Awakening/Winter Closing

Mama, who bored me.

I kid. I KID. Tonight I saw S.A. for the first time. I am glad I saw it before it left Broadway, much in the same way I was glad to see Hairspray before it went dark, even though the two shows are very different. I wasn't really sure what to make of the play throughout the first act, but mid-way through the second act I was sold. I think the music is really beautiful. I was caught off-guard however, by how subdued the songs sounded and felt. I happened to score a great seat at a nice discount (3rd row orchestra on the aisle!) I was ready to be kicked in the face by some powerfully sung teenage rock angst. This never happened. The songs tonight lacked blunt power. Some of it you could blame on the sound system. It was simply not dialed up to 11 the way i thought it would be. So the music sounded far away and the lyrics muddy. And what i also got, especially from the girls was some very delicate singing. The tone was beautiful, but a lot of the lyrics came out muffled. The show certainly wasn't BAD. But it was missing some messy guts and power singing that I saw in clips of the original Broadway cast and heard in the cast recording. The cast was across the board engaging and watchable and they threw themselves into everything. I just hate when it feels like I'm up close but the music feels far away. It's a pet peeve. Also, I cannot believe this show won a Tony for choreography. It's not a dance show at ALL. They move and jump around do arm dislocating type manuevers, but there's not a lot of traditional DANCE. I'm still scratching my head about that one.

But the music is beautiful and fun. There were so many songs I thoroughly enjoyed. I really would've kicked myself if I didn't see the show while it was here. I'm gonna enjoy really looking at the lyrics over the next couple weeks. I was struck by so many of them and how they were filled with such poetry and emotion. Even the simple ones ones had an abundance of beauty.

O, you’re gonna be wounded
O, I’m gonna be your wound
O, you’re gonna bruise too
O, I’m gonna be your bruise

My Life Would Suck Without Kelly Clarkson

Kelly Clarkson's latest single has been released. I can't listen to it right now because I'm at work. But I'm sure it's good. It's Kelly Clarkson. I imagine that it rock-pops its way into your head and your heart and you love it immediately. I'm a big fan of her moodier My December, and her mega-smash Breakaway. Marry me, Kelly. 'Cause I can make you happy. We will have so much fun together and I won't care if you gain a little weight and have chunky legs. Just more to love. Think about it. I'll be here waiting!

Coincidence this is released on the same day Idol premieres it's 8th Season? Me wonders. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Golden Globe Wrap Up

There was no opening song with made up lyrics. But they did use Pussycat Dolls so maybe they thought they were already halfway there. I got 15 of 25 categories correct. I totally miffed the lead actor and actress categories. I should've also got song and score right, but i wasn't thinking clearly with my cold.

Stand out moments included: funny ricky gervais, funny tina fey, funny tracy morgan, freaked out kate winslet (twice!), slumdog joyfulness, and mickey rourke and colin farrell wackiness. Also Renee Zellweger looked insane, Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange promoted their Grey Gardens project by acting totally out of their minds, Heath won posthumously, and Rumer Willis slouched her way through her stint as Miss Golden Globes. Honestly? i've seen more boring shows. Like the Emmys this past September. But not too bad. Now I gotta get to see Slumdog!

Golden Globe Predictions

I am feeling sick, and don't have the energy to live blog the insanity-fest that is the golden globes. so i will just predict the winners here and then come back and see how i did afterward and comment on the craziest moments. I should note I've not seen any of the movies up for musical/comedy. I'm totally guessing. It's not a Golden Globes without a crazy theme song. Don't disappoint me, Globes! Without further ado:

BEST DIRECTOR – MOTION PICTURE Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – MOTION PICTUREThe Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

In love with a McDonald's girl?

The other day i was going into the McDonald's near my apartment on Ditmars to get myself a grilled BLT Ranch sandwich (NOTE: They made it the WRONG WAY! It's basically the only thing i eat at McDonald's and I am sure that a RANCH sandwhich has RANCH dressing. It's not, instead, covered in BBQ sauce. It was still tasty, I love me some BBQ. It was just not what i ordered. Anyway, it's not the point of this post, I'm just saying.) As I tried to walk in, there was this guy standing on the sidewalk directly in front of the double doors. He did not seem crazy, but he seemed oblivious to the fact that he was completely blocking foot traffic in and out of the restaurant. Was he waiting for someone? Was he planning to rob someone of their money or their fast food as they tried to squeeze past him? I don't know. As I approached him, I tried to make eye contact, but he was off in space. I reached for the door handle and finally he snapped out of it. He took a step to the side, and i entered thinking that would be the end of it.

However, after I had purchased my (improperly made) ranch sandwich and headed for the exit, the dude was back standing in the exact same place blocking the door! Not only that but an old lady was trying to get in the door and couldn't seem to get his attention. I was also having no luck since his back was to me from the other side of the double doors. So finally, i hit the door hard but not in a way that it would swing far out enough to hit him, and that broke him from his trance. He stepped away from the door and I held the door open so the lady could enter. As she did so, I shot the dude a "WTF?" look. He seemed regretful but as soon as we were out of the way he stepped right back into position. Is he guarding the place? is he stalking one of the girls behind the counter and his restraining order prohibits him from entering the premises? i don't know. I couldn't figure out what he was doing. It was so odd, placing himself conspicuously where he'd have to keep moving, when all he seemed to want to do was stand still.

As I walked home, i thought i would write about it because he seemed so peculiar. So i started thinking about what to title it and from the darker recesses of my brain came the line "i am in love with a Mcdonald's Girl" and I couldn't figure out what it was connected to. Was it a song? Yes! It was a song. But who sang it? I had no idea. It reminded me of college. Was it an a capella group song? I think so. But now the line shifted again. Now i remembered it as "I am in love with a McDonald's Boy." So maybe a girl group sang it? I still can't place it. It's driving me a little crazy. It's actually a barenakedladies song, which strengthens my thinking it was adapted for liberal college a capella - possibly for both a boys' group and a girls' group. The fact that I knew this song at all may never have been recovered in my brain had it not been for the weird dude blockading the entrance to Mickey D's. It's not an important thing, but it's sometimes funny to be reminded of how something random that you'd never expect to be kicking around in your head actually is still there.

... she is an angel in a polyester uniform.

In The Cartoons

Here are two clips inspired by Heights that are on You Tube. The first one especially i can't get out of my head. I just love how happy Abuela is and how sad Usnavi looks.

the second is of piragua guy, and again it's also very cute. Plus it gives a shout out to the music from Legally Brown. Very nice, CNitya! Choose wisely!

The Fattest Fatties That Were Ever Fat.

Last night was the premiere of Biggest Loser: Couples, but that should not be the title for two reasons.

#1) Almost no one on the show is a couple in the sense that they are dating, or married or even marginally attracted to each other. Most of them are friends or distant cousins or have a parent-child relationship. Those are really not "couple" relationships. There are more relationshipy couples on any given season of The Amazing Race than on this season of BL. I am, however, okay with there being few romantic couples on the show this season because last season's couples were (for the most part) annoying horrible people who were looking for the 250K prize and not a healthier lifestyle. This new batch seems focused more on not dying from their fat than on the cash, which is always where this show hits pay dirt.

And #2) a more accurate title for this season would be Biggest Loser: Supersized!!

These motherfrakkers are HUUUUUUGE this season! I mean, WOW. I had two main criticisms for last season. The first as i mentioned before was the nasty-attitude married couples, and the second was that the contestants, while definitely overweight, were not as big as i thought they should be to warrant being on the show. Well the show obviously heard my non-voiced complaints and responded by casting some of the nicest largest people I've ever seen on the show. There are 11 "couples" weighing a starting total of 3.5 tons. They cast the oldest couple to ever be on the show, the two biggest women ever to be on the show, the youngest man ever to make the show (although both Brown Team and Orange team feature teenage males), and also the heaviest contestant ever on the show. We are talking several 300 and 400 pounders. It's crazy!

I enjoy Biggest Loser and wish them all well. These seem like nice people and I will enjoy rooting for them all season. But their initial size last night was so startling. I was not prepared, even after catching glimpses of them in the commercials airing last week. There is one guy with literally a six pack made out of rolls of fat. But they are gonna shed giant numbers. And that's gonna be super-sized fun!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Farewell, Hairspray!

Last night I saw Hairspray on Broadway. It's been in New York for almost as long as I've lived here, but I never quite got around to seeing it. I have the soundtrack, i've seen the movie(s), but it was always on the "i'll see that eventually" list. But "eventually" turned into "before it closes" when it was announced late in the fall that Hairspray would be closing at the top of 2009. I almost missed it again, as I knew I'd have to see it this week, but the whole week passed without me looking to see what seats were available. Cut to yesterday at 6pm and me realizing it was either see it that night or see it never. I checked online and there were still some discounted seats left, so i went against my cardinal rule of never purchasing NYC tickets via ticketmaster and bought one online. I avoid ticket processing charges at all costs because they are ridiculous when the box office is accessible, but with the show only 2 hours away, i had no choice. I think it's so annoying to pay an extra 11 bucks because of those charges, that I almost didn't take the ticket. But since i really DID want to go, i decided to flip a coin Harvey Dent-style, it came up heads and I bought it.

I'm glad I did. Hairspray was a lot of fun. The cast seemed really jazzed for its final evening performance (the show closes for good following today's matinee). An added bonus of waiting to see it at the end was that Original cast members and tont winners Marissa Jaret Winokur and Harvey Firestein had returned to finish out the run. They were both delightful. Harvey is very very funny on stage as Edna. Marissa was very lovable as Tracy (although she's looking not quiet high school aged at this point). Motormouth Maybelle had an amazing voice, Link was lovably innocent and dim, and Wilbur rocked in his heartfelt devotion to both his family and his belief in individuality. It was a fun light highly enjoyable time. No wonder it had a successful Broadway run. Congrats to cast and crew for keeping it fresh and energized in the end of it's run. I remember seeing Ragtime in its final days many years ago, and that production was totally dead in the water. So I always applaud a cast for not phoning it in during a show's final days

Farewell, Hairspray! They can close your production. but they still can't stop the beat!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2008 Review: You're The Inspiration

As we enter into 2009, and I write my first blog post of the new year, I wanted to take a moment and reflect on a few inspiring figures from '08. These people challenged me to be a better, more productive person last year. They pushed
themselves to create great things and and their work and attitude affected me greatly. I plan to keep looking to them for inspiration as I stake my claim on '09. So here we go. They are my Top 5 People, plus two honorable mentions:


Lauren is totally inspiring to me. Throughout her young life she has faced so many medical challenges and has been able to meet them with resounding understanding and strength. Her courage and joy and positive attitude are felt by everyone she meets. When I determined to run the marathon this year, it was never a question in my mind that i wanted to run for her and raise money for The Children's Tumor Fund. She has the ability to make the people around her feel good and want to do good. And that's pretty damn special in my book.


Oh Batman. My hero of heroes. Sure, you (sorta? maybe?) died in the comics this year, but who actually reads your comic anymore? No, your real sphere of influence for the past 40 years has really been in movies and TV. Your hot-n-cold latest animated series came to a conclusion this year. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't what it COULD be. But them came Dark Knight to the big screen. Holy effing cow. I love this movie. Heath's Joker is great, that's certainly true, and Aaron Eckhart's Two-Face is just as compelling. But I love me some Christian Bale as Bats. It's not a flashy performance, but it's still the anchor for the movie so that everything else can spin out into brilliance. I love Chris Nolan's take on Batman. I recently tried to watch Batman & Robin on TV. It is UNWATCHABLE. Just terrible. I don't know how i sat through it in the theater when I was in high school. True, i had lower standards then, but they weren't that low. I feel like i still should have walked out of it. At least these new movies exist to further bury crap like Batman & Robin in the public consciousness. Batman had a great year. More power to him.

And Now to the TOP 5 Inspiring People of 2008!


Rachel Maddow got me through the '04 election loss on Air America Radio. I listened to her every morning. She then shifted around the Air America dial a few times over the years before showing up in '08 on my station of stations MSNBC. They quickly saw what a goldmine they had in Maddow and gave her her own show. Her TV show is a lot like her radio show in all the best ways. I always leave it feeling like I learned something AND feeling entertained. Her critique is thoughtful, her mind set is progressive and I think she is amazing. I look forward to hearing from her nightly. Keep up the good work, Rachel!


"I can see Russia from my house!" Of course she can! Thank you, thank you, Tina Fey for shining an undeniable light on the idiocy of the candidacy of Sarah Palin. If not for SNL acknowledging the complete ridiculousness of her inclusion on the national stage, we might be stuck with her as our Vice-President. The very thought continues to turn my stomach. I'm sure we'll have to fight her off in future elections. But thanks in part to Tina Fey, we don't have to deal with her right now. Tina Fey brought the smarts, the funny and the sexy this year. She won 3 Emmys for 30 Rock, which continues to kick all sorts of ass on NBC. She is the Associated Press's Entertainer of The Year. She is Exhibit A against the sexist argument that women are not good with comedy. She is amazing. Happy New Year, Tina Fey. Goodnight and have a pleasant tomorrow.


Enough cannot be said about Lin's '08 accomplishments. First performance on a Broadway stage. First Musical he's written on Broadway. First Soundtrack CD produced. Tonys for Score and Best Musical. Grammy nomination for the soundtrack. This is just the tip of the iceberg of the accolades, but it's not the awards that are important. It's the follow-through on creating the art that's inside you that I find particularly inspiring. 2008 with all of its fun events has been a thrill-ride, I feel lucky to have been there to witness it. Lin's success is remarkable. He's been living the dream. And through it all, he's held on to who he is as a person and remained an amazing friend. I wish him the same health, wealth and happiness in '09. Wepa!


I love Rafa. Maybe I have mentioned this before? I would move to Massachusetts and marry Rafa Nadal if he was interested in doing that. I would learn to cook for him. I would clean. I would do whatever was necessary. He is my hero. He and Roger Federer gave us one of the greatest sports matches ever in this year's Wimbledon Final. He remained undefeated at the French Open and also won gold at the Olympics. I got to see him in person at the US Open. His knees gave him trouble at the end of the year, but what else can you expect when you play so damn hard on every point like he does? Rafa still managed to finish #1 in the world on the ATP charts this year and he's #1 in my heart as well. But not technically #1 on this list because that goes to...


OMG. With a war we are fighting in Iraq, a war we are fighting in Afghanistan, a totally collapsing economy at home, gay rights being threatened at home, an escalating conflict between Pakistan and India, an escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas, nuclear weapons issues with Iran and North Korea, and a resurgent aggressive Russia there are no shortage of ginormous world issues swirling around us as we go into '09. So why is it that every time i think of Election Night '08 i start giggling with joyous delirium? It's because I believe in Barack Obama and he makes me believe in us. Sure there are a TON of things going wrong right now, but there was one truly amazing thing that went right. We are finally saying goodbye to George Bush and his terribly run administration and saying hello to our first black president who also happens to be intelligent, eloquent, compassionate and consistent. I don't think he will magically fix everything, but i believe he is someone who can LEAD us to ways to help ourselves and make the future better. I want to tell myself not to get my hopes up. I don't want to believe it as much as i do. But I can't help myself. I cannot deny the hope i feel. We as a country did something we have never done before, and we did it because it was the best choice and we did not let fear stand in the way. Thank goodness. Barack, i will be looking to you for motivation and guidance in '09. We had Change We Can Believe In and Change We Need. Now we need Change We Can Achieve. I'm ready. I am resolute.