I know that sounds deep and oh-so-very poignant, but what I’m actually referring to is when you’re sick, you forget how good it feels just to feel NORMAL!
I just got over a HORRIBLE week and a half of being stupid-sick…first a massive headache that lasted for three days and then a nasty cold for the rest of it.
On Saturday, I woke up and LO AND BEHOLD! I felt better. I felt about 98%, anyway. But much closer to completely better than I had felt since New Year’s Eve.
I was gripped with this whole sudden “New Lease on Life” thing that sometimes happens to me in the first couple of days of feeling well after having felt really ill. I took Hercules out to Zuma Beach and walked him up and down the parking lot (very popular Malibu thing to do, and something I’ve been wanting to do ever since I came into possession of The Very Best Dog in the Entire World), and then I went and saw Youth in Revolt.
Both were experiences that I would highly recommend, even under normal circumstances, but they took on an almost celebratory quality for me because of my newly acquired health.
I’ve decided to make it one of my new goals to tap into that place within me all the time. Not just when I’m coming back from a killer attack of the sniffles. 🙂
I can’t believe Brittany Murphy is dead. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like she was great or anything – but she was cute, and she seemed nice, if a little ditzy.
A lot of people didn’t know she had a pretty good singing voice, in addition to her acting. Take a look at this video from the 2002 MTV Movie Awards. She sings at 2:30.
OK, I admit it. I’m not a huge Twilight fan, I’m not caught up in the huge “New Moon” craze. I could care less. My vampire affinities lie with True Blood. My only interest in the series is that I think it’s great that Anna Kendrick is finally getting her due – or, at least, some recognizability.
She’s fantastic. I first became aware of her in the AWESOME “Camp” – I know it’s esoteric, but I’m in it’s target audience – and that movie just thrills my little theater geek heart to no end! And, in a movie filled with awesome renditions of musical theater classics, Anna absolutely steals the show with her mid-song replacement in Ladies Who Lunch from Company.
But it’s no wonder – Anna, at 12, become the third youngest person ever nominated for a Tony Award for her work in High Society, playing Dinah. The role actually won her the Theatre World Award and the Drama Desk Award.
Take a look at these two videos of Anna stealing the show – the first is of her seminal scene in Camp, the one I referred to above, and the second is of her performing Life Upon the Wicked Stage from Showboat, backed up by the Kit Katt Girls from Cabaret from 1999’s Broadway: The Leading Ladies show.
This video was posted on YouTube by a member of the production company that Warner Brothers hired to film the fake “Rex Manning” music video for the song “Say No More, Mon Amour” – cuts of which appear in the movie. The full version has never been seen before.
I only have one thing to say about it. And that’s – “Oh Rexy…You’re So Sexy!”
One of the greatest scenes from one of the most underrated movies of all times, Outside Providence. Just like this scene, the movie itself works on so many levels. It’s also one of Alec Baldwin’s most memorable performances, as Old Man Dunphy. It’s just a fantastic, fantasic movie. If you haven’t seen it, seek it out!
The scene is transcribed below the video!
Dean Mort: Do you have a friend called Drugs?
Dunphy: Drugs Delaney?
Mr. Funderburk: How many individuals named drugs could you possibly associate with?
Dunphy: Just one.
Dean Mort: Yesterday we received a letter addressed simply to Cornwall Academy, Cornwall, Connecticut. So naturally, we opened it and read it, and – you might want to sit down. It begins –
What’s happening? I got your letter today. Cornhole Academy sounds like it really sucks the big one. I can’t believe they make everyone work a lot and not smoke. You should tell that piece of shit Funderturd to shove it. You didn’t want to go there in the first place. Eat shit, man. Today you should have seen me and Mousy today at school today.
Drugs Delaney: We got cocked on a pint of Blackberry brandy and ate some T.H.C. on the bus. We were fucked. This teacher, Mr. Rivera, goes — “What’s wrong with you Delaney?” I go, “I’m totally FUCKED man!”
Dean Mort: Everybody laughed like a bastard.
Drugs Delaney: Oh man, you should – You should see this song I’m listenin’ to, man.
Dean Mort: It’s called, “Don’t Bogart That Joint, My Friend.” I think it’s by a group called —
This is a couple of hours later. Must have nodded out, man.
Drugs Delaney: I gotta go, cause I’m probably definately gonna nod out again.
Dean Mort: You want me to send you some Squeef, or you got enough? Good luck not getting caught.
Cocked in Rhode Island,
Drugs Delaney: Drugs. P.S….
Dean Mort: Oh yes, there’s a post script you might be interested in. Mousy says he stink-fingered Bunny Cody. As you might imagine Mr. Dunphy, this is fairly incriminating. Technically, you have not breached any of Cornwall Academy’s rules. But you can bet your bottom dollar, Mister. We’re going to be keeping an eye on you.
Sure, when you think Christmas Movies, you think…Miracle on 34th Street or It’s a Wonderful Life. Well, I’ll tell you right now. Those didn’t make my list. LOL. My tastes are a bit more unconventional than that.
My Christmas movies are not necessarily heartwarming, in fact, the only requirement is that they take place at Christmas and either the storyline or the atmosphere of the movie heavily feature Christmas.
So, without further ado, here they are – in no particular order:
A Christmas Story – come on, you knew this was coming. Fra-gee-lay. You’ll shoot your eye out. Fa ra ra ra ra. It’s a classic. 🙂
The Family Stone – I loved this movie. The writing, the casting, the dialogue, the unexpected poignancy. SO great.
Die Hard – Yes, this movie takes place at Christmas, and, in fact, even has a line which makes the assertion that Run DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis” is a Christmas Carol. 🙂
Lethal Weapon – After four of these, they seem a little tired, but at the time, it was a pretty great movie. I watched it all the time on VHS as a teenager, and it takes place over the holidays – in fact, the scene which introduces Mel Gibson’s character is a drug deal in a Christmas Tree lot. 🙂
Prancer – This is about as schmaltzy as I go. A little girl who won’t stop believing in the spirit of Christmas despite the fact that her Grinch of a Dad is totally curmudgeon-y finds and hides a reindeer she believes is Prancer. How great is Sam Elliott?
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever – This has got to be in the Top 5. Everyone thinks the impoverished and crass Herdmans will ruin a small town, conservative church’s Christmas pageant, but instead they end up casting a new and touching perspective on the Christmas story.
Christmas Vacation – Another that would definitely be in the Top 5, were I numbering. The Griswold family’s Christmas adventure, including Randy Quaid as Cousin Eddie. Oh my GOD, hilarious!!!
The Preacher’s Wife – The acting in this movie is nothing compared to the music. SO great!!!!
Scrooged – My favorite of all the Christmas Carol remakes that have been done, this one features Bill Murray, Alfre Woodard, Carol Kane, Karen Allen, and full cast rendition of “Put a Little Love in Your Heart.” What’s not to love? 🙂
The Ref – As much as I love Kevin Spacey, this is a Dennis Leary vehicle all the way – and it’s great. 🙂
The Nightmare Before Christmas – Is it a Christmas movie or a Halloween movie? I don’t know. It’s both, I guess. Either way, it’s brilliant!
Go – This is a great little under-known movie that covers three inter-twining perspectives of a night not long before Christmas.
Love, Actually – Not really your standard Rom Com, because it covers so many storylines, it is still more mainstream than my tastes tend to run. Still, I like it. It has some very cute and clever moments.
This Christmas – Although I was distracted by the LA-area innacuracies (oh, hi, hello, the El Rey IS NOT A CLUB!), I have to say I was won over by this cute, character-driven comedy. Sure, it’s cliche (big family full of quirky characters start out with issues and grow to understand each other better by the end :D), but the performances (particularly by Loretta Devine and Regina King) are so much fun, you don’t really mind. You realize you’re being taken on a ride, but you’ll happily go along!
While You Were Sleeping – Often credited with launching Sandra Bullock’s career, although I will always maintain that was Speed :D, this cute little Chicago-centric story focuses on a series of misunderstandings that lead the family of a man in a coma to believe that the lonely train station token-taker who saved his life is actually his fiance. Hilarity ensues. Or, at least amusement and sweetness. And John Cusack’s dad is in it.
Did I leave out your favorite? Berate me in the comments! 😀 I can take it!
MUSIC I’VE BEEN LISTENING TO: I have a cool story. It’s been so long since I updated my blog, that I can’t believe I haven’t posted it here yet, but I haven’t, so HERE GOES!!!!!
In 1998, I bought a brilliant CD by a girl named Rebekah called “Remember to Breathe.” It never left my player for more than a day for over a year, to this day I still listen to it at least once a month.
The problem is, she never put out anything new and I could never find out anything about her aside from the fact that she did some acting (she played Sylvia in Barry Levinson’s Liberty Heights). Years of googling and asking around on message boards, etc. yielded nothing.
Then, in December I went to see David Ryan Harris at the Temple Bar in Santa Monica. I picked up all the postcards of the upcoming artists like I always do. One was for a girl named Rebekah Jordan. When I went to her website and listened to her songs, I realized her voice was very familiar. It was Rebekah, who I’d spent so long trying to look up!
I’ve seen her twice now, at Room 5 and at Little Temple. I talked to her briefly at Room 5, but got a chance to talk to her more extensively at Little Temple. Brandy snapped a picture of us, but it came out very dark because I was too nervous to remember which button is the flash on my own damn camera! LOL
Anyway, CHECK HER OUT, she’s amazing:
BEST SHOW ON TELEVISION, WHICH IS ABOUT TO GET CANCELLED BECAUSE IT’S TOO SMART FOR NETWORK TV: Arrested Development. If you don’t watch Arrested Development, please start immediately. Particularly if you are a Nielson family. This show is so clever, so smart, so subtle yet simultaneously broad (yeah, I know, I wouldn’t have said it was possible either) that I honestly believe that if you don’t love it it’s only because you don’t get it. LOL. If you miss the boat now, and the show gets cancelled before you have a chance to become a rabid fan (as I know anyone who is smart enough to be reading my blog certainly would *smile*), then you will definitely be saying to yourself later, in true Gob style, “I think I’ve made a huge mistake.”
In fact, it’s gotten to the point where it scares me to bring up Arrested Development to new people. I know that if they don’t like it, I will lose all respect for them, not to mention any interest in pursuing the relationship further. Case in point, the following exerpt from an IM conversation between myself and a guy from myspace.com that was trying to chat me up:
BTW, the screenames have been changed to protect the innocent (me) and the idiot (him).
GUY: what are you up to?
ME: i’m watching the second season of arrested development on my computer again. god, i love that show
GUY: never seen it
ME: are you serious? you need to. it’s the smartest show on TV.
GUY: i watch joey
ME: yeah….they’re not really comparable
GUY: i like it
LATER IN THE EXCHANGE:
GUY: so what do you look for in a guy? tall?
ME: i’m not a very externally-focused person. looks are not very interesting to me. i’m more excited by ideas and passion than looks. i suppose i’m somewhat of a neo-hippie in that way.
GUY: oh, cool. yeah. me too.
(FIVE MINUTE PAUSE)
GUY: so what do you look like?
ME: was that subtle irony?
GUY: was that what?
ME: subtle irony.
GUY: i guess i don’t know what that is.
ME: which explains why you prefer Joey to AD.
Needless to say, he’s getting nowhere with me. 🙂
WORST DAMN MOVIE IN RECENT HISTORY: Abandon. Katie Holmes elects to play the exact same character as she played in Dawson’s Creek, except this time she’s a killer. I mean, come on…she’s “smart” (whatever), studious, comes from a disadvantaged background, guys are drawn to her, she has Daddy issues…damn, people. That is Joey Potter. Joey Potter with a big damn rock. Not to mention the fact that the male lead looks exactly like Cabrera and it distracted me.
FUNNIEST BLOOPER IN A CHRISTIAN PSUEDO-NEWS PROFILE: My mom and I were watching the 700 Club the other night (shut up!) and they did an expose…er…I mean, a profile on this youth ministry in Connecticut called “Frontline Ministries.” So when the founder is camera-talking about the origin of the name, he says (with a completely straight face), “When David wanted to get rid of Uriah, he sent him out to the frontline of the battle, where the most intense fighting was.”
Um…???? WTF? Yes, that’s the way that David ASSASSINATED Uriah, you moron! What does that have to do with your youth ministry? So unless your motto is: “Frontline Ministries – Killing Kids for Christ since 1987,” you may wanna rethink that, turbo.
But the most intensely frightening aspect of this whole anecdote, for me at least, is how many people must have seen that segment and approved it before it made air. YIKES!
BEST FREEWARE AVAILABLE TO LOAD ONTO A TREO 600: Verichat, a Trillian-like program for handhelds. The upshot? I can now IM from anywhere, my friends. Look out. Particularly ATBers, as I believe it has chat room capabilities. What what!
WHAT’S BEEN GOING ON: Oh, hell, I’m sick of typing. LOL I’ll check in again with real news about my life, as opposed to random pop culture observations. Like anyone cares. 🙂
WHAT I’VE BEEN READING: Portofino by Frank Schaeffer. This book is so great. It’s a coming-of-age story about this kid, Calvin, who is vacationing with his fundamentalist christian missionary parents in Portofino, Italy. The seminal quote is “Most kids told lies to be special. I told lies to be normal.” It’s funny and poignant…I love it.
MOVIE I’VE RECENTLY SEEN: Shaun of the Dead. Oh my God, hilarious! I love British humor and this had the added benefit of some truly jump-worthy scares as well.
CD I HAVE BEEN SPINNING: Marc Broussard. http://www.marcbroussard.com Marc Broussard is pure sex. Pure. Sex. I think that straight guys should not even be allowed to listen to Carencro because the pure sex in their ears when those sounds start pouring out of their battery-deficient ipods just might turn them. And that would mean less boys for me. And that’s not OK. Because it’s all about me. (I know, I know…they solved the battery issue in the 5th generation. Whatever.)
GUILTY PLEASURE: Ashlee Simpson. Damn. I hate to even admit that.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, her songs are catchy. Whatever. But she did not, in point of fact, write them. Sure she has a writing credit on every song, but hell, the songwriting team Geffen hired to spruce her shit up could probably turn my blog into a hit song. It doesn’t mean I wrote said song!
She doesn’t play any instruments. That’s a problem for me in her genre of music, even if maybe it shouldn’t be. But while I don’t EXPECT pop airheads to be musicians, I DO expect rockers to be actual musicians, dammit! Is that so wrong????
She never had to pay any dues…she never had to convince a club to book her. She never had to do load in/load out. She never had to stand in front of a hostile audience that’s just waiting for the next guy and try to win them over. She never had to do any of a hundred things that people who have fought through and become seasoned have had to do, and therefore I will never admire her the way I admire the musicians I *DO* respect.
But, hell…was I playing my sister’s copy of “Autobiography” on the way to work this morning and guiltily enjoying it? Fuck me, yes I was! I hate myself a little right now. LOL
WHAT’S BEEN GOING ON LATELY: Well, one major event was the David Ryan Harris show at Little Temple here in LA. Oh, man, what a night. http://www.davidryanharris.com or http://www.ifihadadime.com (lots of good downloads at that last one)
First off, I got to meet a bunch of MSMers that I’ve never met in person before. Brandy, Trudy, Cy, Pearl, Michelle, Chandler, and Richard Young (the founder of MSM, also http://www.ifihadadime.com and http://www.firstlisten.org). It was such a small, intimate show. Maybe 50 or 60 people there. The club is incredible! I thought of Cat, because I felt as if I were in the movie Love Jones. It felt, also, like being inside a Genie’s bottle. A very cool Genie who has a Vern-influenced decorating sensibility. 🙂
Also, on the celebrity front, Scotty Crowe (Mayer’s merch manager…er…tour journal writer…er…ok, let’s just call it like it is. Mayer’s bitch. 🙂 was there. God, I used to have such the crush on him. He was standing about 5 feet from where I was sitting. It made it someowhat difficult to concentrate on the show. Haha. Apparently DRH is his next big project. He’s propelled Mayer to stardom and next DRH. Awesome. Randy Jackson was there. Or should I say, Randy Jackson was there, dawg. 🙂 Last, but SO not least…Adrian Zmed was there. Oh, yeah, baby. TJ Hooker 4 lyfe!!!!!
I concert-called Shawna for Pretty Girl. I figured since that song is about her (in our minds, anyway! haha) she should get to hear it. The show was just great. My favorite number was “Good Thing” at the end, because it was audience participation…we got to sing and clap and sway and I felt like I was back in Tongues of Fire! 🙂
“We had a gggooooodddd thing, don’t get me wrong…” FUN!!!!!!
Last Thursday, I drove down to San Diego (well, Solana Beach, technically) to see Tristan Prettyman http://www.tristanprettyman.com and OH MY GOD she is even more beautiful in person than in her photos, which I would not have thought humanly possible. Opening for her were Pete Thurston http://www.petethurston.com and Saba http://www.sabamusic.com. They were great as well. But Mizz Trizzy blew me the fuck away. She was incredible. Between everyone’s sets, it was about 3 1/2 hours in by the time she finished and I did NOT want it to be over, even though I was tired. I wanted it to keep going on and on and on and on. WOW!
Last thing to talk about, roomie Evelyn http://www.angelfire.com/va/downeasteralexa and I had a housewarming ‘do. Well…mainly Evelyn, let’s be real. haha. Evie cooked Chicken Cacciatore with Polenta and made a fabulous Mocha Almond Torte for desert. MMMMM….. I got to see some people I hadn’t seen in a while. Amy Crego was there, she is about to leave for bootcamp in a month, she joined the MARINES if you can believe it! WOW! My summer 2002 roomie Tessa was there, and I haven’t seen her for two years. I love, love, LOVE that girl. She is an incredible human. Evie’s friend Carrie came, as well as Cliff and Cerene. Chris bailed, and you can BELIEVE there is going to be hell to pay the next time EVT sees him. She denies it, but…come on. Stacie and Pat (friends of Evelyn) dropped by after the party and we did not end up getting to bed until 4. 🙂
All in all….it’s been a GREAT week, y’all!!!!!
WHAT I’VE BEEN READING: Nothing. Isn’t that HORRIBLE? I’m gonna pick up a book tomorrow.
WHAT I’VE BEEN LISTENING TO: Matt Hoffer. http://www.matthoffer.com Emily (etscore) from Matt Nathanson’s board recommended him. His music is great. He’s pretty easy on the eyes, too, and I can’t lie and say that’s not a plus. 🙂
WHAT’S BEEN GOING ON: OK, this is a random collection of things…I make no promises of cohesiveness. But, like the subject line says, revel in the randomness.
1) I took the okcupid.com slut test and it determined that I am 75% slut. My roomate took it and only scored 49%. WHOOPS!
2) I saw Ernie Halter http://www.erniehalter.com at Highland Grounds the other night, and it was so good! It was a little odd, i must admit, after having listened to mp3s of his songs for about a year, to see that familiar voice coming out of a live human. Strange. 🙂
3) Evie and I saw a screening of Wimbledon at the Arclight the other night. I thought it was Meh. The tennis scenes were somewhat engaging, but the love story was completely chemistry-less, IMO.
4) I made a blurty for my concert schedule. It’s http://www.blurty.com/users/melanieconcerts
5) I’m flying out to Chicago at the beginning of October to see Matty Nay Nay in concert and hang with Michelle (ShellyJanuary) and XXXtine. Woo Hoo!
6) My crappy old phone died, and I got the coolest phone/camera/pda/internet EVER!!! The Treo 600
7) All this music talk and seeing live music lately has inspired me to tell one of my classic music stories. 🙂 Probably my best concert story ever. Here goes:
The one concert that I went to at Pepperdine that was HILARIOUS
(albeit unintentionally) was Tait, a solo project of one of the guys
from DC Talk.
Picture this: audience full of uptight, repressed Pepperdine Church
of Christ kids who express enthusiasm by politely tapping their
fingertips against their palms. These kids think drums are
controversial. Michael Tait runs out on stage, grabs the mic in the
mic stand, bends it all the way to the floor, Aerosmith-style, and
screams into it, “MALIBU!!!!!!! ARE YOU READY TO
To which he was answered with silence. Utter. Stunned. Silence.
My friend Ryan leaned over to me and whispered, “Umm…I think
possibly they’re *not* ready to rock.” 🙂
The lesson there? Anytime you begin the question, “Are you ready to rock?” with the word “Malibu”…the answer is going to be “No.”
WHAT I’VE BEEN READING: The DaVinci Code. I know I hopped on that train kinda late, but there you have it.
AMAZING MOVIE I’VE RECENTLY SEEN: Garden State. SEE IT! I will not speak to you again until you see it. Kickass soundtrack, too.
WHAT I’VE BEEN LISTENING TO: Justin Hopkins. Great singer/songwriter. http://www.justinhopkinsmusic.com I discovered him on soundclick. Soundclick is great, a lot like the old mp3.com. You have to sort through a lot of crap on there to discover someone truly quality, but when you do, it’s worth it. Justin proves that.
WHAT’S BEEN GOING ON: Well, there’s the whole moving drama, which I will update later on. But, in the meantime, I’ll just do a concert review to tide everyone over.
I went and saw Matty Nay (WOO!, of course!) , Howie Day (whatever), Guster (WOO!), and O.A.R. last Thursday at the Greek in LA. Beautiful outdoor venue, right in Griffith Park.
I was really there to see Matt, but LOVED seeing Guster as well.
Here’s the review I posted on Matt’s official board:
the set was rockin’ and funny…the security guard that was stationed near me was bobbing his head and laughed a few times. and when matt’s set was over, he asked me, ‘what’s his name again?’ so, new convert for sure.
lemme think…i know i had things i wanted to say, let me organize my thoughts here.
* I really dug the intro to “I Saw”
* Matt’s facial expression during the bit before “Curve of the Earth” was funny…as well as the fact that he had his middle finger up during the whole pseudo phone conversation. That was a funny visual.
* I liked the lyric, “I wasn’t lyin’ when I told you all that you could be, but it was no use ’cause you were fucking everyone else but me.” during Lost Myself.
* Matt was awesome, but the (relatively small) crowd was just NOT into it. FUCKERS.
Here’s a sort of funny realization I had at the concert, although not during matt’s set.
I had front row tickets, and the hippyish kids sitting on either side of me were each pretty rabid OAR fans. They were very unruly dancers, as well. The guy on the one side kept stepping on my foot, and about the sixth time, he turns and concert-yells in my ear, “Did that hurt?” No, moron. The laws of physics are suspended for you and it actually *doesn’t* hurt when my sandle-clad foot gets stepped on by your doc martins. several times. and then the girl on the other side of me kept trying to convince me to “get more into it.” Her campaign eventually resulted in it apparently being necessary for her to grab my wrists and try to make me dance. and, yeah…i’m not so much into the stranger-touching.
As I was walking to my car i found myself thinking “damn hippies!” Then I realized that since I am not, in fact, an old man circa 1967…that’s probably not the correct phrase for me. LOL I think the problem is that I may need to admit to myself that I’m getting too old for the front row. Or maybe just stay away from OAR concerts, I don’t know. Their fans might be a bit much for me.
New shows are on the horizon, as well:
9/11 – Ernie Halter, Highland Grounds, LA
9/18 – David Ryan Harris, Little Temple, LA
9/29 – Joss Stone, Tower Records on Sunset
10/20 – Gavin deGraw, Coach House, San Juan Capistrano (maybe)
10/22 – Gavin deGraw, HOB, Hollywood
10/26 – Ari Hest, Roxy on Sunset