Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Really? REALLY?!

This is usually the annual night where I write about the American Idol finale, and I will do that, but I've gotta say, I'm left a little wanting.
Wanting something relevant. For real? The only relevant artist on the finale was Christina Aguilera and they didn't even bother to tell her to sing into the microphone if she wants us to hear her over-use her runs? (they also forgot to tell her to wear pants) Don't get me wrong. I love Alanis Morissette more than you'd believe and Janet Jackson is perfection (though she's protesting the use of human hair in weaves or something), but really? Hall and Oates? Joe Cocker? Michael McDonald? Alice Cooper? Brett Michaels? (I get that he is on some sort of look-at-me-I'm-alive victory lap but still)
The best part of the whole thing was when they had all the previous idols come out and sing to Simon (sans one David Cook...) and having Paula come out there and prove that she's still the judge that people want to see. You know that made Ellen all kinds of uncomfortable. You know it did. And I love it.
Well...the best part of the whole thing actually was when Dane Cook was "singing" that ridiculous song that he thought was funny and all the rejects came out and RUINED the joke. Way to go man who doesn't matter. Way to go.
But after a lackluster season and an even more lackluster winner, the finale is always worth watching, for exactly the reasons listed above. It never fully makes sense (remember Meatloaf and Katharine McPhee singing together?) and always has something surprising. (remember when our asian friend sang "I am Your Brother" with the USC marching band? That was television brilliance) But the real reason to watch it is the fact that it's a culturally relevant event. While that star seems to be fading, it's still a program that's churning out artists that are selling records.
I had an argument with a friend a little while ago about what constitutes a "television event" and my definition of an event is something that brings multiple platforms and people together to one epicenter. That's what an Idol finale does. It brings fans of the show, amateur singers, the top of the pop world, (and apparently a lot of passe singers and older rockers lamenting the loss of their youthful fan bases.) It's bigger than just the show. It's bigger than just the winner. It's something that spans the zietgiest because the ripple effects of the people on this show have the potential to go on for years. After all, we can all agree that Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood aren't going anywhere anytime soon.
So Simon's leaving and there will no doubt be countless changes made to the show to cope with the loss of it's true star, but that's alright. Really, it could be exciting to see how things change because this is a show that needs some changing.
Saying that brings to mind the commercials for SYTYCD that aired during almost every commercial break. I've ragged on this show for a long time now. Recap: I loved it, it was perfect, they made changes that didn't need to be made, they lost half their audience, and it's fallen from grace. Now they're changing it even more by bringing past contestants back onto the show and the main reason to watch, Mary Murphy, won't be on the panel each week. They might as well call it "Dancing with the So You Think You Can Dance Stars" and have silly Brooke Burke take the exquisite Cat Deeley's place.
Alas, it's changing and I'm gonna give it a shot. After all, Mark Kanemura is gonna be on there and he's the best contestant they've ever had on that show (if I do say so myself).
So here's to the completion of Idol and the start of SYTYCD. May Cat Deeley make up for all things Seacrest.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I feel love

I will start by saying that I know I sound an awful lot like Frank Navasky who was obsessed with his typewriter, but I can't help but write about it.
It's no shocker that I love television, but today was the day that I realized that television loves me too. Isn't that the best thing you've ever heard?! Television loves me! It really loves me!
Now I know that my readers are far too intellectual and savvy to just take that at word value so I've got the proof.
My birthday is coming up in about three weeks. I love my birthdays. Not because I crave the gifts. Nah. That doesn't really matter. What I love is that it's an excuse for people to drop what they are doing and hang out with me. So I love that I'm able to spend time with the people that I care about. Well, it stands to reason that I care more about television than I care about most people. We all know that. So how better to spend my birthday than with the thing that I love?
Television has finally understood just how much of my life I've given to it and so it's rewarding me and giving me the greatest gift for my birthday.
The day before my birthday? True Blood starts.
The day after my birthday? Kathy Griffin starts.
The day after the day after my birthday? Top Chef starts.
AND - the night before my birthday, in conjunction with True Blood, the Tonys will be on. I don't know that it gets much better than that. Really. It doesn't. Granted, the shows nominated for the Tonys this year aren't really that spectacular, but it's still going to be a night celebrating the convergence of the two things I love most in this life. Broadway on television.
So - as I have for most of my life, I've started celebrating early. I may even start watching a new show. If you remember, last summer I got caught up on 5 or 6 shows. Well, I don't plan on aiming at something like that this summer. I've got too many other things to do. But perhaps I will watch one? I don't plan on Psyching myself out or anything, but I may add another show to my repertoire. A small gift to myself.

Monday, May 24, 2010

"I gave up everything to be here..."

If you will remember back a bit, I wrote about how I was watching the first episode of the Bachelor so I could see what all the fuss was about. Well, I watched the show. And I can tell you, without a doubt, that this is the stupidest show on television.
Having said that, here I am, watching The Bachelorette and I will confess, this show is absolutely the dumbest show on television. I mean, these guys are on here trying to "win" this girl's heart by making her ugly flowers out of red napkins, making scrapbooks and showing her on the first date, or playing the uke...yes...that's the abreve for a ukulele. It's just the silliest thing there is on television. I mean, this makes the Real Housewives seem normal.
But really, on a show that had a guy backflipping off of the top of a limo, a cripple, a geeky weatherman, a gimp wrestler, more D-bags than in the cast of Jersey Shore and a tale of collegiate premature ejaculation, this is really great escapist television. I have been sitting here with my mom and sister and we've been shouting at the TV, booing people, and laughing at the idiots that are throwing themselves at this girl. It's been a good night as far as the shouting is concerned. And we're on Team Frank (if he will only blink please)
So yes - this is still the dumbest show on television. Will I keep watching this season? Probably not. But it made for a really terrific two hours of laughing.

Sidenote:
"I once quit dating a guy because of the way he got into the car." - my mother

When I think of home...

What does it mean to pack up a life, to pick up everything from its natural place and displace it to somewhere else, and to take the existence you've created and alter it?
As I was moving my things out of my apartment today, I found it interesting how frustrated I became. Not because it was taking so long, but because I was frustrated that I am up-heaving my life again. I feel like I've moved a lot in the past. One year, I moved four times. So the four years I've spent here have been the longest I've lived someplace that wasn't my parents' house. It's safe to say that it was my first "place."
But as I move my things out and enter the next 6 months of the unknown, I guess that's it then. I have to go back to the apartment tomorrow to clean it up and get a few straggler items, but it won't be going home. It will probably be really depressing actually. Like a Baby Gap.

After 6 years, I'm right.

As I read the idiocy that's being written on facebook about this, I felt like I needed to speak on it. I was going to keep quiet and just let it be, but in the face of the ridiculousness that's being written, I have a need to stand up.
As someone who A) thinks that Lost will go down as one of the best television shows of all time and B) has spent the past 2 years of my life studying interpersonal relationships, I can tell you, without a doubt or question, that the finale of Lost was exactly what it needed to be. I can also tell you that if you disagree with me on that point, you are, in fact, wrong. Here's how:
This was never a show about mystery or about the suspense of what the island was about. If you thought that's what this show was about, then you are a surface television viewer (STV). While there is nothing wrong with being an STV, this wasn't the show for you then. STVs need to watch Everybody Loves Raymond or CSI. The island was a mere framework for this larger concept of what it meant to be Lost.
The reason the finale was brilliant is because it wasn't focused on what the island was. No. It was focused on the relationships between the people that were there. Did you not see that every single person that loved on the island, also lost on the island? The way that the finale was able to bring completion to the character's lives was something that was simple and brilliant.
I feel like I could major in watching television. I watch A LOT of TV. And I've seen my fair share of series finales. But there are very few that are able to wrap up an entire series like this show did. Sure, Friends made us cry and Will and Grace reminded us of the true depth of a life-altering friendship. But this was different. This finale actually DID wrap up the entire series, in a way that wasn't corny or cheesy, rather, in a way that both reminded the audience of all these characters have been through and at the same time, bringing a finality and closure to the stories. It even brought back characters that haven't been seen since the first season, proving that everything that happened throughout this entire journey has been for a purpose.
Here's the thing. If you wanted to know about the polar bear, or what exactly the light is, or why the smoke monster exists, you weren't really watching this show. This show was about people who were lost. Lost in their troubles. Lost in their inabilities. Lost in their pain. Lost in their fears. This was a show about redemption of the lost. In each instance, these people were able to find redemption and be the ending metaphorical or existential, it doesn't matter. Aren't we all seeking redemption in some form or another anyways? Call it forgiveness of sins, call it atonement, call is repentance. Call it whatever you want, but mankind is seeking to redeem itself from it's past mistakes.
THAT is why this finale was so profound and brilliant. THAT is why it was the perfect way for this series to end. And THAT is why if you disagree with me, you're wrong.

I usually feel that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but this...nope. Sorry. I'm right. So to the STVs: I understand that there's nothing I can say to you to help you cope with all of what you believe to be "unanswered questions," but I can tell you that while we may have been watching the same program at the same time slot, we were not, in fact, watching the same show.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Back in the nook again

There are days for starting.
There are days for stopping.
There are days for newness.
There are days for staying on course.
There are days that change us.
There are days that define us.

Having said all of those things, I'd like to instead talk about my nook.
See, there's this nook in my bedroom that I love but didn't realize that I loved it until today. It's at the foot of my bed, right next to my DVD tower. I didn't realize that I loved the nook until tonight, when I sat there, staring at the hundreds of DVDs on the shelves. Sure, I was just trying to figure out what movie to watch as I was falling asleep, but I realized that it's in that nook that I zone out and rest. Suddenly, I'm reliving dozens of moments where I'm sitting there, staring at rows and rows of movies, completely zoned out and completely comfortable. The only reason I snapped out of it to write this was that my phone buzzed across the room.
I'm going to miss my nook and I didn't know it until today, just mere days before I move out of my fantastic Apartment 3. But the important part is that I know now, possibly elevating the meaning of my apartment even more.

Back to the profound.
Today was defining for me, and not just because of the nook. No. Because of the book.
I finished the book that I've been working on for a solid year. Turned in, completed, and finished. So when I left my office (after I did the cliche turn over my shoulder, look at the empty office, smile and turn out the lights), I didn't quite know what to do with myself. A chapter just ended. So as I sit here and watch them pack up Carrie's apartment for the last time, (the next movie comes out in a week. You mean to tell me you aren't marathoning Sex too?) and I look around at the boxes all around mine, I'm not sad. Mildly depressed, but not sad. I'm hopeful. Today defined the end of a chapter in my life. A year long chapter with a book. And in a few days, another chapter of my life will end. A four year long chapter with a nook.
But you can bet that I'll sit in that nook for a little while longer tonight, and think about what's the next chapter.
Here's to the next chapter.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My now 'Popular' 'Philosophy'

I'm sitting in my apartment listening to music and I stumbled upon Kristin Chenoweth's version of "Home" from Glee a few weeks ago. Now, I think she should be a regular on this show so she can sing every week but seeing as she is someone who's in demand, I don't foresee that happening any time soon. (But if it does happen, you heard it hear first.)
She's spectacular and that's something that a great many people have known for a long time, but I was just thinking about the first time I figured out who the little thing was.
That was when she performed on the Tony awards with "You're A Good Man Charlie Brown." I hadn't really figured Broadway out yet. I mean, I knew what it was, I knew songs from it and I'd seen plenty of movie musicals that started as Broadway shows, but I'd never seen one in person before. Kristin sang "My Philosophy" and I was obsessed. I watched it so many times, I knew all the words and even the choreography they did.
So it started there but didn't really go anywhere because, again, I'd never seen a Broadway show before. Wicked happened and I knew the music was stellar, but again, I hadn't really been bitten by the Broadway bug yet. Since then, it goes without saying that I've been bitten...pretty badly. So when I found out that I'd be in NYC at the same time as she was starring in "The Apple Tree," I knew that we had to go. I hadn't read a single thing about it but we went. I remember sitting there, listening to her sing and having to call my sister in the middle of the show to secretly hold the phone out so she could hear her. I just remember being amazed. It's the kind of thing where I think, she's so comfortable with what she's good at, and while I'm sure she's always striving to be better at it, it's something I can admire. There are things in my life that I'm good at, and maybe I've taken a bit of her lead and worked at becoming completely comfortable working and functioning in what I'm good at. I mean, that's a really loaded statement to make, but it's something worth considering. It just looks so effortless and real, two things that I want for my own life in the things I do.
But I digress...
Now she's got a huge fan base, she's on Glee and everyone loves her, she makes news for writing responses to things she's passionate about, and she's winning Emmys.
Wait. Pushing Daisies. One of the best shows I've ever seen. So creative, so interesting, so well written and so under-rated. Every time Entertainment Weekly would say it's the best show no one was watching, I would exclaim out loud "Well DUH!" It's one of those shows that just doesn't come along twice. For me, it's up there with Sports Night, Gilmore Girls and 30 Rock: Shows that are so well written that I am blown away by the sheer words, much less all of the aesthetic qualities that make them great.
So why all the Kristin love? Why not? I think everyone deserves some digital love every now and then.

That sounded so raunchy.

Monday, May 17, 2010

V-O-I-D

I'm a bit out of sorts tonight. I yelled at someone today. I threw all self-censorship (the small bit I have) and said all the things I wanted to say. Just like in You've Got Mail. Kathleen tells Joe Fox (F-O-X) everything that she's been meaning to say for a long time and when it's all over, she sits down at her computer to write about it.
Which is where this story's at now too.
When most people get older, they embrace new concepts that reshape the way they feel about things. Things that may have been a big deal before might not be a big deal any longer. Things that we thought were real bad may not actually be, things we felt guilty about might not be that big of a deal and our personal convictions about different issues may teeter-totter as we experience life outside the walls of our parents' houses.
Is it a big deal that you're not the person you were four years ago? I guess that depends doesn't it? But the world keeps changing around us and if we don't change with it, we will just get left behind. I'm not the person I was four years ago, but I feel like the changes have been for the better. I know myself more now then I knew myself then. I know what I believe more now than I did when I started college. I know what I believe more now than when I started this year.
There are some things that people have to get to in their own time and in their own way. Those are the things that are most fulfilling. Those are also the things that are most truthful. Living a lie sucks, and dragging other people down with you sucks on an exponential level. So while it takes some people longer to get to the truth, it's important to get there.
I mean, at the end of the movie, she hoped it would be him...and it was. That's after the truth came out. The happy ending couldn't exist under the pretense of a lie.
I stand by the yelling and unlike Kathleen Kelly, I don't have any remorse. Jennifer Hudson changed in Dreamgirls. Good grief, she sang a whole song about it, but she and Beyonce patched it up in the end...on basis of the truth.
So while I'm a bit out of sorts, I'm okay. Things are fine. I'm in a good mood. Life could be so much worse. I have a reason to smile and that reason makes me smile whenever I think about them. So we're good. Me and Kathleen. We're good. And as she'd say, "Good night dear void."

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Promises, promises

Usually around this time of the year, I start blogging about television season finales and how they are important on some sort of meta-cultural level and have a deeper meaning than the cliffhanger meant to hook us until the fall but I'm going to save my finale post for Lost and dispense with making other finales seem important.
Perhaps I'm a little bitter. Yeah. I think I am. You see, finales promise us so much. They promise us that we will tie up loose ends, promise something spectacular or something dramatic happens that could alter the course of a show. Really, season finales are like gifts from the show to the viewer, thanking them for their investment in a show and giving them the drama that they seek.
But so far, I'm kinda disappointed. The SNL finale wasn't funny (except for Stefan...sorry Alec), the Housewives finale promised something we'd be talking about all summer and there wasn't a single thing in it that would warrant that, and my favorite show on television, Brothers and Sisters, stuffed a really really predictable storyline in there and it just wasn't necessary.
I hate when the endings of things don't live up to the hype. Isn't that the big fear with the Lost finale? That they won't stick the landing? It's kinda like when an album gets really good buzz before it comes out, the artist is on every talk show talking about how this is their finest work, and then the single is "Rude Boy." Disaster.
Sidenote: How terrible is that song? I'm sorry Rihanna, I know that you were lovin life under your umbrella until Chris Brown tried to choke the life out of you, but come on. Really? Rude Boy? It's the dumbest song that's liner notes aren't followed by the words "by Ke$ha" that's on the radio today. Yes. It's even dumber than "Eenie Meenie Minie Moe Lover." I said it. I'd rather listen to the Beibster than listen to Rihanna whine about a rude boy that can't get it up or something.
I'll tell you one album I am looking forward to hearing: Christina's new one. It's got like 18 songs on it or something ridiculous like that and I'm interested in hearing what she tries to do this time, all the while trying to blot out of my mind that she's married with a kid and she's making out with a girl in her new video.
OH! That girl she's making out with? That's Jenna Dewan...Channing Tatum's wife...they were the leads in Step Up. Right. Two married women, in latex, making out. Ridiculousness at it's finest.
But there's always that chance that the album won't be good, leaving me with the same feeling I have about these finales...nice try, good shot, but sorry. Maybe next year.
But I'm gonna hold out hope for the rest of the finales and maybe, just maybe, something on television will be so profound as to warrant a finale post. Maybe...

Apt 3


Tonight was a sad night. It was the last time that my best friend and I would be in our apartment together. Please understand, he graduated a year ago and moved out, but he's been down here so much for one reason or another that it hasn't felt like much has changed.
But since this was graduation weekend and all of our best friends were graduating, he was here for the weekend. Well when he was leaving, we realized this would be the last time that we were both in our apartment where we have lived for four years.
So what's the big deal? We're best friends, we will see each other again and talk all the time. But it doesn't matter. It's the end of an era.
You see, our apartment has been the center of activity. It's been the place where our group has congregated, gone after events, held parties, etc.
That apartment was the site of the first family Thanksgiving where a plate caught on fire, we had a cornucopia and we decorated Christmas tree ornaments. We celebrated Christmas in July, birthdays of friends and side-dish parties for no reason at all. It was the site of Superbowl parties, American Idol watching parties, game nights and chicken-parties. It saw fights, tears, and more laughter than I thought possible. We kept the obnoxious girls downstairs awake with singing too loudly, we had Christmas parties in our pajamas (one of which ended with a barefoot screaming match outside), we spray painted indoors, and had all our families over for cookouts.
We stayed up all night confessing all the sorted details of our lives, we've spent entire days there watching marathons of Top Model, just so we could see her scream at that girl and we've done some screaming ourselves. We've screamed and fought and thrown things, we've screamed in excitement about new jobs, grad schools and winning acts, but more importantly, we've fought for our friendships.
It's been a place for crying best friends to come in the middle of the night, it's been the place where we've sat on the couches and worked through things, and it's held the silence of people not knowing what to say to each other. We put a person-sized hole in the wall, we've broken chairs, couches and tvs, and it's featured in the background in hundreds of pictures on facebook.
Apartment 3 was a really great place to be.
So, just like when Monica and the gang leave their apartment, remembering all of the things that took place there, we had that moment tonight. I'm sure I will have it again in a week when I fully move out, but if a home is the people in it, this home got moved out of tonight. Last week, the gang had our final night in the apartment. We played the game we created there, we cried about our time together and had a really perfect evening. And that's what I will remember about Apartment 3, that it was the perfect place to be. It wasn't the nicest apartment in the world and it stood near a Krispy Kreme donut knock-off sign, but it was home. A really great home.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Oh-wee-ay

You know, I don't tend to get hyper-spiritual on people because that doesn't do anyone any good, but I can't let this one go unsaid.
It's no shocker that I'm in college and as most college students, I don't have a flush bank account to do whatever I want with, but I feel like I've done pretty well with budgeting and mapping out my finances these past two years. Having said that, the tail end of this semester fell apart in a big bad way. Money I was planning on coming in didn't and it threw a great many things into a tailspin.
Tailspins can be exhilarating except when they have to do with car trouble or financial issues. So since this fell into the category of the later, I was a mess.
It's not that I don't have a good head on my shoulders or anything, and I can usually roll with the punches, but there are so many more variables in my life than there are constants and so to say I'm on edge is an understatement. (A very wisdomous man said "Life keeps giving me lemons and I keep lemonade, but the problem is my lemonade tastes like shit." I won't tell you who said that)
But yesterday, I got a check in the mail that I wasn't expecting and it happened again today, meaning that I not only have the cash to pay for the things I need to be able to pay, but I also have the ability to go get coffee...and with it, an absolutely defining sense of self.
So my tailspin leveled out a bit and I feel like I'm flying again. The wings are wobbley, but I'm flying none the less. I said I don't do the hyper-spiritual and that's true, but I also know that it wasn't a coincidence that this money came in for me. I don't believe in coincidentals. I don't really believe in fate either, but maybe I do. Maybe I believe in fate a little bit. But I know that J.C was lookin out for me on this one. See? That wasn't like a spiritual-rager. Nah. That's just factual. And I couldn't be more thankful that my tailspin finally caught a breeze.

You remember Tailspin? The animated show that would air in the afternoons? It had a fantastic theme song? It aired before Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers? Good times.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Life's a stage

There's that saying that all of life is a stage, which I kinda agree with, and that got me thinking about my time on an actual stage. I mean, I know that's not what that saying is supposed to make you think about, but that's where my mind went this evening.
See, I've always love the stage more than anything else, but I've always done other things instead. I'm not really sure why, but in all honesty, I found that I excelled in other areas before I figured out that I excelled at the stage. But that's neither here nor there.
So I started thinking about all the stage time I've had over the past few years and I realized, I've had some really great moments. When I was performing in All-University Sing, I had some really great times singing and dancing in front of more people than I ever thought I would. Really, before that, I didn't have any confidence in my vocal prowess at all. I mean, I knew I could sing, I did know that, but it wasn't until the fall of 2006 when I stepped out on that staged dressed as Mario from Super Mario Brothers and belted out "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" by Jet, that I figured out that I had something in me that I'd needed to get out for a long time. I can still remember the looks on my parents' faces when I saw them afterward and how ecstatic they were. That's what made it all worth it. I wanted to prove to them that their daughter wasn't the only one in the family that could sing. I wanted to prove that I could too and I felt like I did that. For them and for me.
I had the incredible opportunity to go backstage at the Broadway production of Hairspray because my friends up there knew the doorman. That was pretty cool, but mostly because my Ruth and I sat dead center on the front row and had about the most fun I can ever remember having in any situation. Ever. I've had very few perfect nights, but that was one of them.
Most recently, the stage time I've had was with ensembles, performing during the After Dark show at Baylor. We auditioned, thought we might have had a chance, and ended up making it two years in a row. I think that's when I realized that I loved it up there.
So much of this sounds like tooting my own horn, I know that. But I can't phrase it any differently. I wouldn't be who I am today had it not been for these situations. The confidence that I've gained from knowing that I am good at something (and better than others) is something that money can't buy. I've earned one degree and will have another by year's end, but the most important thing I've learned so far is that I have reason to be confident in myself. Don't be fooled, I have rancid self-esteem issues, anxiety-based depression that seeps into the crevices of my psyche, and at times, a complete lack of self-censorship in the things I say. But as much of a mess as I am, (and don't lie, you are too) I have so many reasons to smile that I can't let it weigh me down. I just keep pushing to become the better version of me, trying to love my friends as hard as I can, and staying true to who I know I really am. Life's a stage after all, and in the musical that is my life, it's still more comedy than tragedy.

The 300th Post...Cali style

This is my 300th post and I've decided to dedicate it to someone.
I've never done this before. While I've written plenty about people without every actually dropping their names, this post will be different.
I've said some pretty bad things so I choose my own safety over name dropping. Besides that, I don't really care for name-dropping. It's obnoxious isn't it? "Ooh, I met Blah." "Hey, I shook Bleep Blarp's hand." "Monica dahling, I had sex with Evil Knievel." (Friends...clearly)
But this is different. This is dedicated to my friend Travis, without whom I may not be here.
Okay that's pretty sappy. I get that. But everyone has that person or those people in their lives that came along at just the right moment and they fit into an empty space that you didn't know was there. Backstory? Glad you asked.
I was going through a really rough time when I met him. Get this: He was the online friend of one of my friends. He lived in Cali, I in Texas. We met in Cali because we were going with a church group to Mexico, we ate a 3 foot wide cheese pizza, we rode a silly roller coaster on the beach, we became friends. That was 9 years ago and we're still friends today, even with only seeing each other a handful of times and 1250 miles between us.
Now we've both grown up considerably since then, but we've remained friends. There's not a thing in the world that I couldn't tell him and know that he wouldn't judge me for it and there's nothing he could tell me that would make me judge him.
Okay that's pretty sappy too. But our friendship isn't. Mostly we complain about how the other one is a bad friend and never visits. Come to think of it...that's a lot of what we talk about...I'm going to have to re-think some things.
Anyway, there it is. My first real post dedicated to someone who I am calling out by name. He's been sporadically constant in my life for nine years, I think we've seen each other five or six times in that time period, and he is one outstanding individual. And while I'm at it, I'll tell you that you should check out his blog. His photography is the best wedding photography I've ever seen.
http://www.travishoehne.com/

And this post was in NO WAY my upping my game to even a score and prove I'm the better friend. Not in the slightest...

Re-dos that make me smile

I've been working pretty hard in the past couple weeks, trying to finish up the book and I'll admit to having some fun along the way. These are 4 Playbill recreation covers that I did for the book. I re-did "The Producers" "Thoroughly Modern Millie," "Gypsy," and "Chicago" with some of the theater majors at Baylor.
I've had so much fun with all of these and more photos will be coming in the near future, but for now, here's a taste of what I've been working on.
The reason that I think I've loved this so much is because it combined everything that I love into one experience. It's no secret to anyone that's ever read this blog that I love the theatre. Combine that with taking pictures, being creative, and meeting interesting new people and this has been really extraordinary. I've been counting my blessings as things are going to be changing and of all the things that I have been privy to doing this year, shoots like these have been something that I will never forget.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I wish, I wish

There is an older song where the singer sings about having friends in low places. I've never really felt that way because I've always felt that my friends were the opposite of low. But tonight, I was talking to one of my friends that doesn't live around here and it dawned on me that my friends, as spread out as they may be, don't ever really go anywhere. Here's why.
I've never had a problem making friends. Some people have that problem and it's something that they have to work hard at, but for me, it somehow comes naturally. That doesn't make me better than people who need to work at it, we are just different. I've had to work to maintain certain friendships...I've had to work hard in some cases.
But I think the thing that I realized a few years ago was that I have an ability to hang on to friends and do the long-distance friendship thing rather well. I have friends all over the country and we are just as close today as we were when we were in the same place. In some cases, we are closer now than we were when we were actually in the same place.
As I am approaching the end of a chapter of my life, I'm hoping that this stays true to my life. There are a handful of people here that I hope to be closer to a year from now than I am today and if my history says anything, then we will be.
The scary part of all of this is that it's a two-way street and I've been incredibly lucky so far to have people who are willing to work at it too. When we're kids, we dream about what we would wish for if a genie popped out of a lamp. I think I know what I would wish for now. I'd wish that these people that mean more to me than anything in my life would work at it as hard as I'm going to. Because we've needed each other. Because we are going to need each other. Because there isn't anything more important in mylife than the people in it.
My second wish would be to cure AIDS and my third wish would be 3 billion dollars. But the first would be the friend thing.

(Sidenote: The above pictures are of my friends. Jonathan in New Mexico, Travis in California, Chase in Illinois and Ruth in New York. I've known them for years and they are irreplaceable in my life, each for different reasons, but since this blog is about me, I will say this: They each understand me and accept me for me. No pretense, nothing hidden, nothing secretive...just me and all the flaws I can manage to continue to have. While they are in no means my only close friends that aren't within driving distance, I love these guys and I needed them to know, because if Friends has taught us nothing, it's that people like to be told they're loved.)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I've got 10

There are numerous reasons why tonight's Saturday Night Live is one of the best episodes of SNL from the past few seasons. I have 10. (in order of appearance)
1. Betty White. While her resurgence as somewhat of a cultural maven has been strange and quick, she didn't disappoint. She did exactly what we wanted her to do, and every now and then she thew in something so off-colored, so ridiculous, and so offensive that you couldn't help but to laugh harder.
2. The opening sketch is often a throw-away. It's an Obama sketch or something political that isn't really that funny but they need a place to make fun of whoever has been obnoxious this week. But every now and then, they do something awesome and tonight was just that. By bringing out Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Ana Gasteyer and Molly Shannon, they kicked the show into overdrive before it even got started. And they knew that by putting Betty and Kristen Wiig in there that it was the perfect batch of funny, but more than that, it was the perfect SNL moment, celebrating the fact that the women are the funniest part of the show and that's who we want to see.
3. NPR. I will admit to freaking out when I saw the outside of our beloved public radio station, knowing that only funny can happen there. And it did. Betty may not have been as funny as our favorite girls Ana and Molly, but that muffin bit...so funny.
4. Having Jay-Z on the show is a big deal in that he is a big deal. Really, he almost wasn't going to make the list because he didn't bring Beyonce out. Let's face it, it was a night about women and she should have been there. But then he started singing 99 Problems. Wait. This is a mini-concert. Perfection.
5. I should have known. I should have known that she would do it, but when Maya Rudolph came onto Weekend Update as Whitney Houston, I about lost it. She's perfection and was the best part of Weekend Update...
6. Until Sally O' Mally. Are you kidding me?! I mean, at this point, I'm flippin out like someone just gave me exactly what I wanted for Christmas without first asking me, which is what Molly Shannon was to me tonight...a gift. The most perfect gift...
7. Until I saw the word "Really?! With Seth and Amy." It was like this moment of complete television rapture and I, having just watched Tina Fey's episode recently knew that it was only a matter of time until "Really?! With Seth, Amy and Tina." That made me just feel great about the state of television. It was the perfect Weekend Update reunion moment.
8. Betty White acting black. Enough said.
9. Then Kenan made that incredible shrieking sound during that same sketch with Betty acting black and I just thought it was perfection...
10. Until "Thank you for being a friend." Now I have a long and sorted history with this song and I don't know why I didn't think about them doing something with it, but when the cast was singing it, it made complete sense. Now I won't act like I didn't see the change of musical direction coming, I knew something would happen, but the aftermath of Betty White was about as genius as it comes and the fact that she said "Happy Mothers Day Motha F*****," well that was just about the funniest thing of the entire night.
So there it is. My rundown of the 10 best moments of the night. I was nervous initially that it wouldn't be good because I'm sure you've seen how SNL has been very hit or miss this season, but luckily this was a home run.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Smile and maybe tomorrow...

There comes a time when you stop asking questions and you just start making answers. Things can only be one way for a certain amount of time before you can't stand it anymore and you have to change it up.
With so many things about the future being so unclear, it's more than a little irritating when other people's futures are falling into place. I know I'm not supposed to say that, but I don't think I'm alone in thinking that. And maybe no one has had the balls to say it before. But as happy as I am that other people's lives just seem to fall into place without much effort at all, I'm allowed to be irritated that I don't have that for myself. I've waited a long time for my place and I'm still waiting. Patience may be a virtue but right now, I couldn't care less.
It's not like my life is all gloom and doom. Not in the slightest. But for the time, I would just like something solid. We don't think about this when we're younger. We never think about the end of college, we just think about what we will do when we get there and the dream job we would want when we get out. We skip over that catastrophe that sits in the middle of those two when everything starts to change.
But I will tell you, every now and then, something happens that makes me so happy that I forget about the fact that I feel like I'm floating everywhere else. To be honest, there's a someone that when I just think about them, I smile from ear to ear. It's like this involuntary reaction that I can't keep from happening. But I do. I smile. A lot. And you know what? I love it.
So I'm gonna keep smiling. I gonna keep smiling and hope that the rest of it works itself out. Otherwise I won't make it. So I'm gonna smile.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Who is she now?

It is with great sadness that I write about Christina Aguilera. This poor girl. I feel bad for her really.
This week, her new video premiered and it celebrates everything that is popular right now in culture: latex, married women kissing girls in bondage, dancing in the rain in your underwear...you know, all that America stands for. But you know, the fact that I find this to be the dirtiest video ever made isn't even that big of a deal. It's that it doesn't make any sense.
Why? Why Christina? Why should a girl who can sing like she can have to parade about in such a silly video concept? It's as if she doesn't know who she is.
Remember when her first video came out? Who was she being then? Britney.
What about her second album? Who was she being then? Pink.
Now who is she being? Gaga.
Of course there was the one album that was the throwback album. She wasn't really being anyone then. But of course, that was a momentary lapse in her bad judgment and she's back again to being someone else.
Sure, I like the song, but that's because it sounds like what's popular right now. It's just like everything else. There's nothing new about it. So while she will continue on her press tour talking about how this is her new direction and how she's reinventing music, we all know that's not true. Perhaps she should go back to school and figure out who she is. Rather, maybe she should go back home to her husband and child instead of open-mouth kissing other girls in her video.