Saturday, January 24, 2009

"I think this place is full of spies, I think they're onto me. Didn't anybody, didn't anybody tell you, didn't anybody tell you how to gracefully disappear in a room? I know you put in the hours to keep me in sunglasses, I know. And so and now I'm sorry I missed you, I had a secret meeting in the basement of my brain. It went the dull and wicked ordinary way. It went the dull and wicked ordinary way. And now I'm sorry I missed you." ~the national

I'm seeing The National in less than two weeks at the Tibet House Benefit at Carnegie Hall and could not be more excited. It will be my sixth time seeing them in concert (the only group I've seen more times is Counting Crows). Obviously I'm a huge fan. I'm going to the concert mainly to see The National, but there are some other good acts as well, including Vampire Weekend, Philip Glass, Patti Smith, and Steve Earle. Lately I've been listening to Steve Earle's album Washington Square Serenade and I really like it. It's devoted to celebrating New York (that's obvious just by looking at the title, and New York threads its way through all the songs) and yet the album still preserves his Nashville sound that I love.

I've been reading a lot lately. Today I read The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing. I've had it for years but never got around to reading it, so I finally read it today. That's basically all I did. I love days when I can just stay in bed and read. I enjoyed the book; it was an entertaining, easy read. I liked its description of New York as "where people who don't belong anywhere belong." I agree with that. It's a city made up of outcasts, and because there is such a wide variety of people, no one seems out of place. I love that about New York.

So I think I'm going to put on a play at my school this year. Which is quite a daunting thought. It if actually does happen, I hope I survive the process. It's what I'm training to do in my grad school coursework, but learning how to do something and actually doing it are two completely different things. I'll keep you updated.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

"Have you ever seen a one trick pony in the field so happy and free? If you've ever seen a one trick pony then you've seen me. Have you ever seen a one-legged dog making his way down the street? If you've ever seen a one-legged dog then you've seen me.

Then you've seen me, I come and stand at every door. Then you've seen me, I always leave with less than I had before. Then you've seen me, bet I can make you smile when the blood, it hits the floor. Tell me, friend, can you ask for anything more? Tell me, can you ask for anything more?

Have you ever seen a scarecrow filled with nothing but dust and wheat? If you've ever seen that scarecrow then you've seen me. Have you ever seen a one-armed man punching at nothing but the breeze? If you've ever seen a one-armed man then you've seen me.

Then you've seen me, I come and stand at every door. Then you've seen me, I always leave with less than I had before. Then you've seen me, bet I can make you smile when the blood, it hits the floor. Tell me, friend, can you ask for anything more? Tell me can you ask for anything more?

These things that have comforted me, I drive away. This place that is my home I cannot stay. My only faith's in the broken bones and bruises I display.

Have you ever seen a one-legged man trying to dance his way free? If you've ever seen a one-legged man then you've seen me." ~bruce springsteen

Get ready for a rant, because that's what most of this post will be. I'll try and add something positive at the end.

The Oscars suck. Seriously. I am not at all happy with the nominations. Here are some complaints of mine.

~First of all, let's start with what most people agree is the biggest snub: Bruce Springsteen. He won the Golden Globe for best song and was considered to be a lock for the Oscar. And guess what? His song "The Wrestler" (for the film The Wrestler) wasn't even nominated. It's absolutely absurd that it was overlooked. It's one of the best (if not the best) songs of the year, not just including songs from movies; how on earth could it not get nominated?? And that category wasn't even full! They only nominated 3 songs, so there was room for 2 more! What were they thinking?!? I'm sorry for the excess punctuation marks, but I just can't get over it.

~Best Actress. There were two best actress winners at the Golden Globes, one for drama and one for musical/comedy. Neither was nominated for an Oscar for her Golden Globe-winning performance. Sally Hawkins was snubbed, and Kate Winslet wasn't nominated for Revolutionary Road (she was instead nominated for The Reader, for which she won a Golden Globe in the supporting category). Come on! Throw out Angelina Jolie and put in a deserving woman.

~What is with the Benjamin Button love?? Check out this absolutely hilarious video about the movie. Seriously, it's brilliant. Brad Pitt should not have been nominated. Benjamin Button should not have received 13 noms. Arg!

~Where's the love for Revolutionary Road? I say give it some of Benjamin Button's noms. Leo should have gotten Brad Pitt's slot; I really think this is Leo DiCaprio's best performance yet. And Kate Winslet, who WON the Golden Globe for this film, definitely deserved to be nominated (throw out Pitt's other half in the best actress category). Arg again!

I'm mad. Basically I completely agree with Peter Travers; there's a good video of his opinions here. But unfortunately there's nothing either one of us can do about it.

I don't feel like being positive right now. Maybe tomorrow.

Monday, January 19, 2009

"Early evening, April four, shot rings out in the Memphis sky. Free at last, they took your life, they could not take your pride." ~u2

Today is Martin Luther King day, and it is especially meaningful because of what is happening tomorrow. Obama's inauguration feels like a monumental step in the fulfillment of MLK's dream. It's exciting to feel like a part of that. U2 performed at the inaugural concert last night. Of course they did "Pride" (with "City of Blinding Lights"). In an interview Bono and Edge joked about launching into their new single instead, which debuted today ("Get on Your Boots," which is fanfreakintastic by the way), but of course "Pride" was the obvious and appropriate choice. Here's the video:

To any new readers who don't know me that well, I am completely obsessed with U2. I was happy to see a new performance from them (even though I wish they would have done a new song). Bono also participated in the performance on Oprah today, taking part in singing a new song called "America's Song" or something cheesy like that. It was pretty darn awful. I'll spare you and won't post the video of that. Bono didn't write it and he wasn't actually there; he participated through video. He probably realized what utter crap it was.

Kim stayed with me this weekend and it was good to have her, even though it was the worst weekend to be walking around the city because it was so freakin' cold. We bundled up (we felt like we were in Antarctica) and still managed to have a good time. I have some funny stories that I might share later. I needed to get out this weekend and to have a friend around; it was good for me.

Have I posted about Hetta Gabler yet? I don't think so. It's currently on Broadway starring Mary Louise Parker, and I saw it on Wednesday (Nic had comps). I absolutely love MLP, but the show was awful. I saw it with Cate Blanchett at BAM a couple of years ago, and that production was so superb that probably nothing could live up to it, but Roundabout really has turned this one into a disaster. MLP wasn't bad, although she doesn't quite match Cate Blanchett. She used her usual sarcasm and I liked that (she was very funny), but her performance needed more depth. There needed to be more despair hiding behind the sarcasm and boredom, and I didn't really see that. The supporting cast was terrible (it's not necessarily their fault, I'm sure the direction is a large part of the problem). I'm sorry, but the audience should not want to laugh after the last line of the play. Maybe some improvements will be made before it officially opens, but there's no way it can fix everything by then. It's too bad; I was looking forward to this.

This post started out on a positive, uplifting note and look where it ended. I'm sorry. Focus on the first half; that's the more important stuff to think about. Listen to "Pride" and think about MLK's dream.

Oh, and thank you to everyone who sent kind words my way after my last post. I really, really appreciated the support from friends; it meant a lot to me. I'm trying to be happy and positive now and you guys helped a lot, so thanks. :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

"And I will miss you, I will miss you." ~anika moa

My Grandpa died yesterday. It was unexpected, even though he was in a nursing home and wasn't doing very well. My parents and my brother were there visiting, and they were 10 minutes into their drive to the airport to fly home when my Granny called and told them that he had just passed away. They turned around and are staying there (in Iowa) for a few more days with her. I wish I were there. I feel awful that I'm not. We almost went to visit them over Christmas, but I think the main reason we didn't was because I wanted to stay home instead (because it would be our last Christmas in that house where I grew up). I wish we had gone. I wish I could have seen him one more time. It's my fault that I didn't go visit him and it's not something I'm going to get over easily. My Granny doesn't want to have a service until the spring because a lot of their friends are away for the winter. It's not easy being alone right now. Although, on second thought, it probably wouldn't be easier with my family around. It's just hard. And sad. This is the first grandparent that I've lost, and I feel like I didn't know him well at all. I wish I had tried harder to know him. This, on top of the tremendous stress caused by work right now, is making me cry a lot. I just lost my dog last month and I didn't think I would cry that much again for a long, long time. Unfortunately I'm coming close to being wrong. So far this year is not turning out to be better than the last.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

"New York is pretty heavy. Girl, I hope it doesn't crush you." ~the hold steady

I hate the craziness and stress associated with school right now. It's just ridiculous. I never thought I would be so wound up about one stupid test that my students have to take, but our school revolves around this test and my butt is on the line depending on how well they do. Arg. We're all stressed about it (teachers administrators, students).

I've done some fun things recently. Last weekend Nic and I went to see The Cherry Orchard at BAM. It's part of the Bridge Project, uniting cast members from the U.S. and the U.K. It was a fabulous production of a play that I enjoy very much. The cast was phenomenal (Ethan Hawke, Rebecca Hall, Simon Russell Beale, and Sinead Cusack were stand-outs), and so was the direction (Sam Mendes, famed director of American Beauty and currently getting buzz for Revolutionary Road). We did student rush and got great orchestra seats for $10, so it was a great deal.

Last night my friend Christin and I went to the opening of a German bar in Long Island City called WunderBar. I had fun. There was free food, free beer, and a German polka band; how can you go wrong with all that?! It was an interesting crowd.

Tonight I'm seeing Dust (an off-Broadway play) for free. I'm excited. I heart Hunter Foster.

It's been snowing all day today, which does not make me happy. I wish we could fast forward to spring.