Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Twilight : seeing for myself what the fuss is about

So I finally gave into the phenomenon. I borrowed Twilight from a (kid you not) 12 year old girl who attends my church. Both the book and the movie. I read the book when I was in MI helping out with my in-laws, and watched the movie this weekend.

Going into the craze this late in the game certainly means that I'm coming in with already formed opinions. Some people I like and respect really LOVE both the books and movies... although nearly all of them warned me that the writing isn't great, but that it manages to suck you in, anyhow. I've read the disparaging comments about adult women all hot and bothered over teenage vampires. So I was not coming to Twilight with a clean slate. (Were this a trial, I could not be on the jury)

For the record, I came into the Harry Potter craze 4 books in, very reluctantly, and greedily read all 4 books in about a week, fast becoming one of the masses of Harry Potter fans.

So... what do I think about Twilight?


Really, that pretty much sums it up.


The book was... eh. The writing was, indeed, not very good. Several times I nearly yelled at the book "stop telling me how "alluring" or "attractive" he is and describe him so that I will find him alluring or attractive." I was not sucked into the story, although I was curious enough about the characters to keep reading and see what would happen to them. The movie was similar. They changed some of the things that I liked about the book... like how Bella would cook for her father. That tiny detail lost sucked so much out of her relationship with her dad. The relationship between Bella and Edward in the movie made little sense... how on earth did they get so emotionally attached to each other so quickly? It was strained in the book, but completely whacked in the movie.

So, ultimately, I have to say I don't get it. It wasn't terrible... I've certainly read worse things. But not only did I not think it wasn't great, I didn't think it was very good.

How about you? What do you think?

(and hey, to each their own... if you love these books and movies, great. Have it)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Getting into character

(I'm busy learning lines today.)

(although I do think this warning would come in pretty handy for many drivers)

This has been a Monday Mission. Your mission is to write a post in the style of a license plate or bumper sticker. You can make your own license plate at this handy license maker site. If you play along post a link in the widget below:

And a new year is upon us! Can you believe it? Here are your missions (should you choose to accept them) for January, 2010: write posts in the style of..

Jan 4 - A performance review (inspired by Heather at In Te Domine's clever Year End Self Evaluation (hint: feel free to steal her format. She's given us permission!)

Jan 11 - A postcard

Jan 18 - Today's headlines

Jan 25 - An instruction manual

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Joyful Noise

She sat listening to the small choir singing, trying not to visibly wince. Instead she gently, gently closed her eyes and prayed.

Dear God, let me hear them as you hear them.

Almost immediately she heard it.

She did not hear glorious music. She did not hear angelic harmonies.

She heard laughter.

It was not cruel laughter. The laughter was not AT the choir.

The laughter was joyous. It seemed to say "I KNOW! They really aren't very good. But aren't they brave? Aren't they happy? And listen. They're singing about me! Isn't it wonderful?"

She opened her eyes and smiled. And tried not to laugh.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Santa Baby: Redux

Buh-bum.. buh-bum...
Santa baby, just slip a new couch under the tree, for me
Been an awful good girl
Santa baby so hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa baby, a new convertible too, light blue,
Make sure the A/C works, please
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Think of when I'd clean not nap
Think of all the@ssholes that I didn't slap
If my list you can complete
I'll sit on your ample lap

Santa baby, I want some smokin' hot abs, no flab
Erase my many stretch marks
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa honey, one little thing I really need, the lead
In that new musical
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa cutie, and fill my stocking with a million, or three,
A big girl needs security
Santa cutie, so hurry down the chimney tonight

Send me off to sea on a luxury ship
Put me on a plane for a European trip
Treat me good and I'll treat you bad
Santa, bad boy, I'll get out my whip

Santa baby, fulfill a small dream of mine, more time
8 hours a day would be fine
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight

Hurry down the chimney tonight
Hurry, tonight.

This post has been a Monday Mission. This week's mission is to write a post in the style of of a Holiday Tune. Write your own ditty and put a link in the widget below. Late entries are accepted, but beware, the Monday Mission Mistress DOES brandish a whip.

Join us next week when your mission is to write a post in the style of a Bumper Sticker and/or Vanity Plate.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I'll be home for Christmas (aka I know what it means to miss New Orleans)

I'll be home for Christmas
You can count on me
Where there's no snow
and satsumas grow
I'll get a kiss from the May Queen
Chistmas Eve will find me
'Neath our Live Oak Tree
I'll be home for Christmas
Down in New Orleans...
I'm flying home today, and have a Monday Mission in the works that I can't quite get done via my iphone.  But I promise a late in the day Mission, and if the song that's brewing comes through it will be complete with photographs.  So check back later.
If you've already done your mission (today's mission:  write a post in the style of a holiday tune) post a link in the comments, and when I get my post up I'll immediately link up to you.
In the meantime...
I'll be home for Christmas
I wanted you to know
Let's have beignets
and cafe au lait
and cheer on "geaux Saints, geaux"
Christmas Eve will find me
with the Big Guy and the May Queen
I'll be home for Christmas
Down in New Orleans...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Unusual gifts

I'm currently in Michigan, helping to take care of my in-laws.  My mother in law is home from the hospital, and moving slowly but doing well.
Before I left home it seemed the list of things to do was endless.  I barely slept for 3 nights straight trying to get everything done.  I will return to a messy house and lots more to do.
But in the meantime, I'm getting a lot of reading done.  I got all my Christmas cards done this evening, something I didn't have time to sit down and do while I was at home.  I have to take things my slowly, at my in-laws' pace.  And while there are things to do here, certainly, they all get done more slowly. And with lots of breaks in between.
I miss being home with The May Queen as Christmas draws near.  I miss baking cookies and making crafts.  I'm missing Christmas parties and going to the live nativity.
But I was here for a 54th wedding anniversary. I got to set up another Christmas tree.  And I'm catching up on sleep.
This has not been the December I envisioned for many reasons, this unexpected trip being one of them.  Yet there are still gifts to be found.
Don't forget to join us for Monday's Mission:  write post in the style of a Holiday Tune (inspired by Jeri's 12 Days of Christmas spin-off)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Festival of Lights

Nine years ago I performed in a holiday show that performed at elementary schools.  The show was about all the December holidays.  I sang a Hannakuh song.  In Hebrew.
The show was terrible.  It was poorly written.  Under rehearsed.  It was bad. 
The very first show we performed was out in the desert east of Los Angeles.  It was a long drive.  I remember carpooling with other cast members, and that the driver referred to driving with a tire going along the reflective bumps on the dotted line as "driving by Braille."
We had two shows that first day: one in the morning, followed by a lunch break, then a show in the afternoon.  After the first show the cast went to a local restaurant to eat.  We still had time to kill before the next show so another cast member and I decided to take a nap in the car in the school parking lot.  We leaned the front seats back, rolled down the windows for the fresh breeze, and set the alarms on our cell phones.
Some teachers came out to the parking lot on their break.  We heard them complaining about the show.  About how bad it was.  And of course, they were right.  The other actor and I just looked at each other.  We never spoke of it.  Then we went inside to do the show again.
I have done shows before that I haven't been proud of.  Shows that I have told my friends "eh, don't make a big effort to get to this one."  But that show was the only one that made me truly embarrassed.  I tried to put on a good face and do the show the best I could. 
When the show was over I never put it on my resume. And when the company called me the next December to see if I was interested in doing it again?  I was unavailable.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Gift Shopping List


New Friends in a New Place

For MQ

For Hubby
Peace of Mind

For Friend E
A New Job (With a big pay raise! and great benefits! and a good working environment!)
Time to enjoy her new baby

For Friend R
Her house to sell
A New Start

For Friend S
A healthy pregnancy

For Chrissy
A miraculous and clean bill of health

For Niobe and Creative Type Dad and Chantal and Furrow
Healthy babies

For ME
Time to relax and enjoy family
A clean house (and garage. and attic. and yard)
Hard drive data recovery (at least the pictures!!)

Do you think I can buy these things at the mall?

This post has been a Monday Mission. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write a post in the style of a shopping list. Join the Mission Impossible team by adding a link to your post in the widget below.

Join us next week, when our mission will be to write a post in the style of A Holiday Tune (inspired by Jeri's 12 Days of Christmas spin-off).

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Could I have a change of luck, please?

So I wrote that book (OK, I wrote that table of contents) on how to have a stress-filled life, but really, I don't need to do any of that. Because stress just happens to me.

The cat is sick and has peed on the couch and the chair. I was told this is impossible to clean, but I'm trying to do it anyways, because that's a lot of money to just throw away (we did throw away the mattress, it's a sleeper sofa...)

My Mother in Law is currently in the hospital after her second stroke. Today she is having a pacemaker put in. My husband may need to go and stay with her and my father in law for a good chunk of January. While I'm in tech week.

Our desktop's hard drive died, and we have to get a new one. We have likely lost all of our documents. And photos. LOTS AND LOTS of photos.

Our furnace wasn't working. I tried to light the pilot light myself, but that wasn't the problem. So I paid someone to come out and fix it.

We've bought/will be buying all new tires for 2 cars.

Other life changing stressful things I can't write about online.

And did you know that Christmas is in 16 days?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

How to have a Stress-Filled life

by world renowned stress expert Painted Maypole

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Procrastination as an Art Form

Chapter 2 Overextending your Commitments

Chapter 4 Eradicating "No" from your Vocabulary

Chapter 5 Perfecting Perfectionism

Chapter 6 The Wonder of Worry

Chapter 7 Misplacing Important Belongings

Chapter 8 Neurotic Tendencies

Chapter 9 Refusing Help

This post has been a Monday Mission. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write a post in the style of a table of contents. Join the Mission Impossible team by adding a link to your post in the widget below.

Next week your mission will be to write a post in the style of a shopping list.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Telling the Truth about Santa

As Christmas approaches, I'm getting lots of hits on an old post I wrote 2 years ago about Santa Claus, and how we tackle his realness (or lack thereof) in our home. Here's the original post:

Hold on to your hat.

Our not quite 5 year old daughter knows there is no Santa Claus. Why? Because we told her.

Let me start at the beginning. When The May Queen was born, we wondered how to deal with the whole Santa Claus/Easter Bunny thing. We wanted the focus of these holidays to be the Christian celebration, not the imaginary characters that go with them. Also, we were really uncomfortable with the idea of telling our child that something was true, when we knew full well that it wasn't. In any other area of our lives we would call that lying. Nearly everybody I know has a story behind how they found out the truth about Santa Claus. It is often traumatic. Why would we do this to our child?

So we asked my parents how they handled it. I don't have a traumatic story, because I always knew that Santa Claus wasn't real. But I couldn't remember how I knew this. My mother explained that she had told my brother and I that Santa Claus wasn't real from the very beginning. She talked with us about how Santa is a character, like in a book, and we could enjoy his stories and talk about him and have fun with the idea of Santa without him being real. So this is the approach we have taken with The May Queen. And so far so good. MQ is still young enough that the line between fantasy and real is pretty blurry anyways. She knows that Santa is a character. She also knows that Cinderella is a character, and Dora and Curious George and... This does not keep her from talking about them, and being both excited and nervous when she sees a costumed character. She gets it, and yet she doesn't. And that's OK. That's a blurry line I'm comfortable. Believing is fun. I'm an actress, so I am all about the suspension of disbelief. But it's just that: the SUSPENSION of disbelief. I can enjoy the fun that comes with Santa without ever having to wrestle with the logistics of how he gets down chimneys, and why some kids get Wiis and other kids get hand me down clothes, while still others get nothing at all. We talk about how Santa represents generosity, and when she gets older we'll talk more about St. Nicholas and the various traditions that have led to our version of Santa.

At Easter, the whole Easter Bunny thing is fairly easy to avoid, frankly. But again, we have fun with it, even while she knows full well who hides her basket. It does not diminish her excitement about it a single bit.

When we first started down this road I worried that MQ would be the spoiler for other kids, and I still worry about that a bit. My husband is quite firm on the idea that that's not our problem. But I'm still careful about it. And very proud of how The May Queen handles herself in such situations. When someone asks her what Santa brought her for Christmas, she simply says "I don't get presents from Santa, but my parents got me...." and dives into her list of favorite gifts. So far her friends haven't asked for an explanation. And if they do... well, hopefully she'll handle that gracefully as well.

It's a hard road to take in a world that is so focused on these imaginary characters. That insists that the magic of Christmas is in a child's belief in something that is not real. Even at our church the first words out of nearly every adults mouth are "What did Santa bring you for Christmas?"

Our holidays are still magical. We lie under the Christmas tree and look up at the twinkling lights, and talk about how the lights represent Jesus, the light of the world. We play with our nativity scenes. Last year the May Queen regularly took the baby Jesus and gave him rides around the house on the back of a sheep. Instead of buying presents for The May Queen's grandparents we adopt a family in need, or give to a charity, and write a letter to them telling them what we've done in their name. We open the doors in our advent book and tell the story of Christmas. And yes, we have Santa Claus books and figures around our house. Because Santa isn't a bad thing. But he's a poor replacement for what the real magic of Christmas is, and the gifts that come with it.

(and yes, I am well aware that the Christians co-opted pagan holidays that celebrated the returning of the light, taking these festivals and adding their own Christian bent to them. I know. But I choose to celebrate this aspect of it)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I am an ass: Theatre Thursday

Well, after a wee bit of ado, I will indeed be speaking Shakespeare's words on stage again shortly.

I did not get Beatrice, as I had hoped, but did get the only other role I was interested in: Dogberry.

do not forget to specify, when time
and place shall serve, that I am an ass

Dogberry is the clown. The bumbling buffoon of a constable who tries to use big words, but never gets it right.

O villain! thou wilt be condemned into everlasting
redemption for this.

Done well, Dogberry can steal the show.

Which I completely intend to do.