"ehhh.." or "what i really thought of the Rent movie"

November 26, 2006 § Leave a comment

I’m having a hard time with this one. I’m not exactly disappointed… it was absolutely as good as I thought it would be. At the same time, it could have been better.

If I were Chris Colombus, I would have spent a hell of a lot more time in the teeny tiny relationship building scenes and less time in the plot progressing musical production numbers. I would have honored Jonathan Larson’s extraordinary gift for subtlety instead of trying so darn hard to make the movie easier to follow (e.g. the constant use of the word AIDS – how many times can we replace a moderately genius phrasing like “this body provides a comfortable home for the acquired immune deficiency syndrome” or “close on Roger his girlfriend April left a note” etc. with an obvious and borderline cheesy “I have AIDS” declaration? I would have started the movie with Mark’s documentary, I would have spent much more time in Mark’s documentary vision, which is raw and beautiful and accurate to the mood of the play, dang it, and I would have saved the “Seasons of Love” number for the end of the movie when we had established some sort of emotional connection to the characters instead of putting it in the beginning to confuse the heck out of anyone who hadn’t seen the play. I would have seriously considered not replacing filler songs with dialogue that makes the transition into singing seem abrupt and unnecessary. I would have remembered that the friendship between Roger and Mark is the driving force behind the plot, and that the audience needs to be grounded in that force so as not to feel like their heads are going to exploded as they try to understand everything else that’s going on. I would have, I dunno, I would have done a lot of things differently. Of course, if I were Chris Colombus, I’d also have a much nicer car and more of a right to be such an obnoxious know it all.

That said, I thought it was pretty good. Tango was awesome, Santa Fe was super fun, and I dug the funeral scene… but I dunno. I am, sadly, a bit “ehhh…” about the whole thing.

Go see it and argue with me already.

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On productivity, and being tragically un-cool…

November 18, 2006 § Leave a comment

So, many things were accomplished today:

Sold a bunch of old clothes to the Buffalo Exchange, which brought fear into my heart. It’s an interesting sensation, having the Urban Outfitteresque trendster buyer girls rifle through things you have chosen, things you have paid for, things you have worn of your own free will, and tell you what they’re worth – if they deem them worth anything at all. In the end, they took about 1/3 of what I offered, to the tune of $25 (35% of what they’ll charge) – significantly more than I would have gotten at a garage sale, anyhow. At least a third of me is cool enough for hipster resale ;).

Found one of the greatest yarn stores I’ve ever been in. Happy face. Broke face.

We went to the Saturday Market, a regular occurrence here in Eugene. If you haven’t figured it out, Eugene is kind of a hub for all things crafty – there is some sort of street fair or art show or whatnot almost daily. This one was a huge indy art maze adventure into the center of the peace-love commune subculture… the kind of place that makes you feel like even if you swear to never, ever shop at the Gap again, you’ll never be quite cool enough to hang out with the in-crowd. This sort of place appeals to the quiet little rebel in me – the one who wants to dye her hair funny colors and pierce her face and make found-object art for a living. But, tragically and chronically un-cool, I don’t have the guts or the devil-may-care attitude that are required for that sort of lifestyle. So I’m content to wander through the homemade candles and clothing, breathing other people’s incense and revelling in the life I might have had.

If only I’d managed to buy better clothes.

C’est la vie. 🙂

having a song stuck in your head actually means you’re smart

November 12, 2006 § Leave a comment

I’m being stalked by a song.

Is this the sort of thing that happens to other people, or is it just me? I’m being haunted, followed, sought out by this song… which I haven’t heard in years, mind, and all of a sudden BAM! It’s playing in Target, on my friend’s car stereos, in the grocery store, on the television, on the radio… even my iTunes is obsessed with it and insists on including it in every random play list. Not that I mind. I like the song.

But when you’re “signs and wonders” me, and you don’t necessarily believe in coincidence, and the song in question holds some emotional significance in your past, a song-stalking episode can make you crazy. “What does it mean,” you wonder, “is someone trying to tell me something?” WHY SONG, WHY? See? Crazy.

Good news is, at least I have a job 🙂

eulogy.

November 4, 2006 § 2 Comments

My grandfather held us on his lap and taught us to drive before our feet could reach the pedals. He taught me to speak by carrying me around the house for hours, pointing at objects, repeating their sounds. He taught me to stop and look before I was old enough to pay attention. His office always smelled like rubber bands.

Most of you never met my Grandpa Peters, or if you did, it was after his mind had already begun to fold in on itself, camouflaging so much of what I loved in him. He was the smartest man I’ve ever met — a teacher, by profession and by nature. I’ve felt compelled in the past few days to try and explain him, to write it down and make sure someone is reading… he always wanted me to write everything down. I’m trying to listen.

He would insist that my white shoes were purple with so much conviction my small self actually believed I knew something he didn’t. He’d sit on the floor and let us knock him over again and again and again… we were exhausting, I’m sure. We’d pull his hair, tickle him, untie his shoe laces… he’d try to explain static electricity.

My grandfather loved to walk. I had the privilege of walking with him, often, and these journeys are the substance of my earliest and most vivid memories. He was a storyteller… he spoke to animals, conjured fairies, chatted with gangsters, and understood the whys of everything I questioned. He would explain life and God to me with relentless patience. He loved exceptionally well, and he loved this world without exception.

At night, his hands were possessed by the spirits of two friendly, tickling creatures… they would creep- boompee doompee doompadee doompdee -down the hall, across the floor, and up over the edge of my bed to tuck squealing, protesting me in. I must have been at least 7 or 8 when I realized that Nipper and Napper were not independent personalities, but simply another incarnation of his extraordinary imagination.

I’ve had many conversations in my life about belief – the pros and cons and power of the simple act of believing in something. Often, I’ve heard people say that when they discovered the things they believed in childhood weren’t necessarily true – the existence of Santa, Cinderella, etc. – they felt disheartened, disillusioned, betrayed. I don’t share this experience. For me, that same discovery was simple, undeniable proof of how truly and abundantly I was loved. Entire kingdoms were imagined in my honor, and for my betterment- that I might know what it felt like to grow up in a world that radiated magic.

My grandfather passed away last week. He was not well here, nor very happy… there are a thousand reasons to be glad for him… he’s whole again, somewhere, with the God he loved so much.

I am selfishly devastated, because I wanted to keep him.

The last time I sat and talked with my Grandpa, he told me about his uncle the trapeze artist, his dinner with Roy Disney, his first serious girlfriend. He wanted to know what I was planning to do with myself: was I planning to teach? Any new boys? He asked me what it would be like when I was sitting with my grandchild the way we were sitting then and I gave him some silly answer about space stations and holograms. The simple truth is, I’ll be telling her, or him, about Sammy the Squirrel and Freddy the Fox, who live in the trees at West Valley College, or explaining the stock market, or Nipping and Napping her till she laughs herself to sleep, or helping her see the fairies in the bushes on the walks we take.

Or, most likely, I’ll be telling her about her great-grandfather: how he held me on his lap and taught me to drive before my feet could reach the pedals, taught me to speak by carrying me around the house for hours, pointing at objects, repeating the sounds.

I’ll tell her how very much I loved him, and how very wonderfully I was loved.

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