Thursday, July 18, 2013

 "Jesus said, 'Mother, I couldn't stay another day longer.' He flies right by and leaves a kiss upon her face. While the angels are singin' his praises in a blaze of glory, Mary stays behind and starts cleaning up the place." ~patty griffin

I'm going to try and post more often now. My latest catch-up entry was a long one (scroll down), so I'll try to stay more up to date so I don't have to do those catch-ups.

My initial reaction to the Emmy nominations, announced this morning:

I'm disappointed that the Emmys still fail to recognize that Parks and Recreation is the best comedy on TV. At least Amy Poehler was nominated (she better win this time). Where's the nod for best comedy, though? And why didn't Adam Scott get a nomination this year? And Nick Offerman? I honestly believe this is the best comedy on TV, and I'm baffled as to why the Emmys continually fail to acknowledge it. 

I'm happy for Homeland. Of course Claire Danes and Damien Lewis were nominated for their leading roles, which is awesome but not surprising. I'm SO thrilled that Morena Baccarin and Mandy Patinkin were nominated in the supporting categories, and Rupert Friend in the guest actor category. Five acting nominations ain't bad! (Along with noms in the categories for writing, directing, and best drama.)

I'm super thrilled for Anna Chlumsky being nominated for best supporting actress in a comedy. She's my favorite thing about Veep, I've been a fan of hers since she was Vada Sultenfuss in My Girl (oh, My Girl, how I love you), and it's been lovely seeing her all grown up and showing her comedy chops on this show.
(Sidebar on Anna Chlumsky: I also love that she's a New Yorker and a theater junkie. She was super sweet when I met her at a show I was ushering for. And she just had a baby, so congrats to her! And I love the name Penelope.)

I'm also thrilled for Kerry Washington's nomination for best actress in a drama. She's fabulous in Scandal, so I'm glad she was noticed. I think the show should have been nominated for best drama, and it would have been nice to see Jeff Perry get a supporting nod, but at least Kerry Washington got nominated.

How did Hayden Panettiere not get nominated for supporting actress in a drama for her work in Nashville? Her performance in the season finale alone should have WON her the award. Seriously. I've watched it multiple times because I'm so in awe. I'm glad Connie Britton was nominated for best actress in a drama for Nashville, but her costar should have also been recognized.

I wish The Walking Dead, Parenthood, and Covert Affairs had been recognized.

On a related note, Covert Affairs is back! The fourth season premiered this week. This is one of those shows where each season is better than the last (I absolutely loved the third season), so I have high hopes. They're already dropping bombshells and bringing the action.

That's all for now. I'm heading to North Carolina for the weekend, and hopefully I'll return with some pictures to share.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Oh my goodness, it's summer and I'm busier than ever. I know I haven't posted in forever; I just haven't had time. I have many concerts and Broadway shows to write about and can't review in depth right now, so I'll give you some highlights. Here's some bullet points on the last couple of months:

Matilda was my favorite new show of the season. I absolutely loved it (and my students did, too; they also loved the backstage tour we were fortunate enough to take). It's a lovely, lovely show.

Big Star's Third was a highlight. Big Star is a tragically under-appreciated band, so it was wonderful to see this tribute to them. I was thrilled to see Pete Yorn, Sharon Van Etten, Kurt Vile, Mike Mills (those four are pictured in the first four photos on the left), and many other talented musicians sharing the stage to perform this brilliant album. I'd pay money to see each of those artists, so to see them all together was perfect. The concert was at Central Park Summerstage, one of my favorite venues, and I got a spot in the front row.

Another highlight was Dave Matthews Band at Woodstock. This is an ideal venue for the band; it's a beautiful outdoor setting. I went with my friends Bill and Amy and a bunch of hikers (more about that later). We tailgated before the show (let me tell you, DMB fans know how to tailgate) and then grabbed seats on the lawn to enjoy band, who definitely know how to put on a live show. They seriously are one of the best live acts around; they're all incredible musicians, and they've spent so much time touring over the last couple of decades that they're constantly exploring their music and continue to find new ways to make their songs fresh and meaningful. Highlights of this show for me were "Warehouse" (oh my goodness, I love that song), "Jimi Thing," "So Damn Lucky," and the closer, "Ants Marching." I remember memorizing "Ants Marching" in high school by listening to it over and over and over again, and by looking up the lyrics so I could perfect the "Candy man, tempting the thoughts of a sweet tooth..." part. I still have the song completely memorized more than ten years later, and hearing it close out the concert was a perfect ending to the show.

I've spent time with my friend Kim, and I also stayed with Bill and Amy. Bill and Amy live right next to the Appalachian Trail, so they give thru-hikers a place to stay. A bunch of hikers came to the DMB concert with us, and even more came to Bill and Amy's Fourth of July party. Every year they have a party on the 4th, and they invite hikers along the trail. This year there were 38 hikers (and 50 people total at the party). It wasn't just a day-long party; for the few days that I was there, the house was filled with people. I got to meet so many interesting characters; it was an incredible experience. I already can't wait for next year.

I went to the premiere of The Way, Way Back, which was a blast. I loved the film, and it was cool to rub elbows with Toni Collette (LOVE her, and she's even more gorgeous and sweet in person), Steve CarrellSam Rockwell, Allison Janney, AnnaSophia Robb, and more. The movie is funny and bittersweet and I highly recommend it.

Another movie I really enjoyed was Fruitvale Station. It broke my heart. Even though you go into it knowing the story and knowing how it will end, it still has a tremendous emotional impact, mostly because of Michael B. Jordan's performance. I've been a fan of his since Friday Night Lights (and I enjoyed him on Parenthood), and it's great to see him carrying a film.

I went to a taping of Live with Kelly and Michael (Nick Cannon and Sasha Alexander were the guests), I went to Random House's Annual Author's Event for NYC Educators, and I've seen some cool performances at Lincoln Center through the class I've been taking.

So basically I'm busier than ever, even though school's out. I have lots of mini-vacations coming up, which I'll share about. 

ETA: Today's a sad day for a few reasons. Here's one of them. I took this photo a few years ago, and I love his smile in it. RIP Cory Monteith. 

Today I'm cheering myself up by going to see Zachary Levi on Broadway in First Date and then going to ASSSCAT at UCB in the evening. 

I'll leave you with a recent cuddle session.