Monday, February 1, 2016

Fox just won the musical game, NBC take notice!

I spent three wonderful hours watching Grease: Live last night.

Why was it wonderful?  Because unlike the three musicals that NBC did, this one worked.  And worked well!!

Why?  Let me tell you!!!

1.) They picked great material!

Why NBC ever picked Peter Pan Live, is beyond me.  The musical isn't all that exciting.  They did better with the Wiz: Live.  At least the show was interesting.  The Sound of Music Live should have been a hit, because the movie is loved.  But no, they did a straight adaptation of the stage show.

Fox was smart, they took the best of the movie, and the best of the stage show and put them together!

2.) They found a live audience!

Anyone who has ever performed in front of actual people know that there's an energy that comes with it.  That is one thing that I have found lacking from ALL of NBC's live musicals.  There was no energy.  Everything seemed lifeless.  But having the actual people on set gave Grease life!  it was incredible!  Even John Barowman agrees with me!

3.) They picked actual Broadway actors!!

Aaron Tveit starred in 2 musicals on Broadway.  Vanessa Hudgens starred as Gigi on Broadway.  heck, even Carly Rae Jepson and Keke Palmer starred in the Broadway revival of Cinderella.  Most of the other actors had loads of both singing and acting experience.  And it showed.  There weren't the Carrie Underwoods or the Uzo Adubas in the cast.

Heck, Ana Gasteyer was spot on.

NBC SERIOUSLY needs to step up it's game with Hairspray.

Friday, January 29, 2016

I just quit my church.... and I don't know how I feel about it...

It's been nearly a year since I've been to my church for service.

Part of it is the fact that I run most weekend mornings...

But the majority of the problem is completely in my own head.

The issue started years ago.  I didn't feel up to the standard.  I wasn't a vegan civil justice and eco-warrior.  I wasn't installing solar panels on my house or marching on Washington or feeding the homeless.

It also doesn't help that the congregation has had a surge in membership.  The coffee hour between the services was an exercise in social anxiety.  Then singing in the choir would lead to full grown panic.  Then I got a call from a very well meaning old lady.  She was asked to call me because I hadn't been to church in a while, but she honestly had no idea who I was.

And that was the beginning of the end.  I don't know what it was about that, but I started thinking that everyone was talking about me behind my back, speculating as to why I was no longer there.

(Remember, this is in my own head.  No one has done anything wrong!)

I remember sitting in my living room after the call, laughing hysterically.  Laughing in that "as you ok....?" kind of way.

"People are talking about me.  I can't ever go back there.  They'll know....." Know what?  That I've been absent?  Well, people that care often realize that you aren't there...  Know that I'm crazy?

Then I got an email from the most kind, caring, well-intentioned guy at the entire church, wondering where I was.

I got another one before Christmas.  That's when I decided that the pressure to return was too great to actually return.  Once I knew that people were actively looking out for me, I started feeling all sorts of expectations and pressure.  I was done.

See?  Completely in my head.

I was going to actually wait until I could get the Chorus Music Library straightened out, but the December email was it.

So I'm out.  I officially have no church.

And I don't know how I feel about that....

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Snowmageddon 2016

Virginia had a winter storm this past weekend.

I see all the northerners rolling their eyes, but it was a serious mess here!

Friday afternoon the snow started to fall.  By noon, when I left work, the roads were already slick.  I met the Spousal Equivalent at the mall, where we got some take out.  The main roads were already well salted, so getting home wasn't as bad.

Then things got interesting...

Friday night into Saturday the temperature began to rise, and rain fell.  I looked out of my window on Saturday morning and the snow was mostly melted.


Not so fast!

Misty tracks!
At 9am the light rain turned into freezing rain.  The pavement turned into ice immediately.  And of course, the snow started to fall again!

When everything was over, we only had around 2 inches of snow...

On top of at least an inch of ICE!

Needless to say that we haven't really left the house in two days.

And honestly, I haven't wanted to do much of anything.  I don't know what it is about a snow storm that just zaps my will to live?!?!

Because we are in Virginia, the roads don't get plowed.  This means that we have to wait for the temperature to rise before the roads aren't dangerous again.

In the mean time, I'm WAY behind in my Disney Half running training.

And I'm becoming one with my couch.

I hope that everyone has some warm fleece to snuggle in!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Resolutions: First things first.

Last night I figured out how to help with some of my resolutions.

I did really well with the whole eating things all day.  Then I got home.

Seriously, my biggest problem is me!

Snacking!  It's so awful!!

So what am I going to do about it???

I'm going to clean out my kitchen!

There are snacks that I shouldn't have.  And any snacks I want to keep I'm going to hide in the pantry.

I'm then going to unearth the healthy stuff I have buried in the fridge and in the pantry.

I need to make a shopping list so I can replace some of the junk with better things to snack on.

I just feel so silly.

I KNOW this.

I know how to fix this.


This evening, the great kitchen purge of 2016 begins!

Now... only if healthy food wasn't so expensive!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Getting back on the wagon

Oh, I fell off the wagon over Christmas.

Like fell off the wagon, the wagon burst into flames and rolled off a cliff.

I drank the majority of a bottle of wine on Christmas night!!

It was so bad!!

But it's a new year, and I have things to do!  The Princess Half Marathon is next month!!

I have everything that I need for the race, with the exception of the running.  Bad weather and travelling have put the but a crimp in that.

But since it's the New Year, I have some resolutions!

  1. Pick a work out program and stick to it.  Actually, I have 2.  I decided to do a combination of TurboFire and ChaLean Extreme.  Well, mostly....  For the next month and a half the TurboFire (which is an amazing cardio program!) will be replaced by running!  My goal is to do this ENTIRE calendar!  This calendar will take me up until the Marching Band reunion in May!
  2. Stick to an eating plan.  I have been using the 21 Day Fix containers.  With Weight Watchers new program, I might also count the points as well.  I think the 2 systems mesh well together.  (The containers help me to eat a more balanced diet).  I can lose this weight if I just stick to a plan, dammit!
  3. Everything in it's place.  I do better mentally when everything is tidy.  I need to work to make sure that the clutter at my place is taken care of.  I can also take things to donate.  Honestly, when did I get so much stuff?
  4. Make sure that I keep up with cleaning!  I used to do the Fly Lady system.  I need to get back to it!
It's a reasonable list.....

I'll check back in February to see how things are going!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Force Awakens: A spoiler-ful review

Here there be spoilers.

We all know that Star Wars has been a huge part of my life.  I watched A New Hope multiple times on HBO as a child.  I saw Return of the Jedi in the theater.   Like the original run of the movie.

I also loved JJ Abrams's reboot of the Star Trek.  

Needless to say, I was stoked!!

We got to the theater incredibly early and got great seats.

And eventually the Star Wars theme started playing.  The title flashed on the screen.  The title crawl started.  And I started to cry.  I'll fully admit it.  I need to see the movie again, just so I can read the crawl.

Now, onto my thoughts:

  • This movie gets right into the thick of things.  It wastes no time in introducing the characters.
     Poe Dameron was captured.  We got to see Kylo Ren and Captain Phasma right away.  The plot was introduced (as was the McGuffin).  JJ is really good at that.  He gets you into the actipn quick.  Sometimes at the expense of plot and characterization...
  • Speaking of Kylo Ren, Adam Driver was AMAZING.  He brought this humanity to a Vader-esque role. (Also, perfectly quaffed hair, when he should have helmet head!). Where Vader was the ultimate bogey-man, Kylo Ren was a human with anger and flaws. Vader would have never murdered a harmless bank of computer if he was angry.  And smacking his wound mid-battle to pump himself up... Awesome.
  • Captain Phasma didn't have a big enough to role, in my opinion.  Please tell me that she a.) survived the destruction of the station and b.) has a big role in the next movie.
  • Rey.  We women have been waiting for a female Jedi movie protagonist.  I don't feel that I know enough about her.  But maybe that's by design... maybe she doesn't know enough about herself.  She's amazingly powerful too!  I think she's a Skywalker.
  • Finn.  I wonder if he's Force sensitive.  That's why he broke his conditioning.  he's also our "in" with the new bad guys.  I love that bravado that he's so obviously faking.
  • the New Order.  Nazis much?
  • Maz Kanata!!  I LOVED this character!  I hope she survived!
  • Han!!  Raise your hand if you knew that Han was done for as soon as he yelled his son's name?  I totally did.  But it was amazing seeing him.  Also, I wasn't surprised that he split from Leia after their son went to the Dark Side.  
  • Luke's new Jedi temple is Skellig Michel!!  Folks, that location is real.  It's a UNESCO World Heritage site.  He was only there for the end (which is why he wasn't in the marketing). I have a feeling that he'll be a big force in the next movie.
  • And now I want a BB-8 of my very own!!

It didn't play as flat as the prequels.  Some of the characterization was a bit sparse, but they seemed like real characters.  not actors badly reciting lines.  Also the real sets helped SO much!  It's the movie that we've all been waiting 30 years for.  What did y'all think?

All in all?  I want to see it again.  Tomorrow. 

And I TOTALLY still want to be a Jedi.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Reason for the Season

Christmas is fast approaching.

It's all over the TV.  It's all over television.  Retail has had Christmas decorations up since before Halloween.

Thankfully, I haven't seen much of the "War on Christmas" lately.

Why am I thankful?  Because there's no frickin' war!

Why?  Well, let's get this out of the way.  The reason that Christmas is at this is has nothing to do with the birth of Jesus.  It has all to do with the axial tilt of the earth, and the fact that multiple religions had celebrations around this time.  Yule.  Saturnalia.  My favorite is the Persian God Mithra.  His birthday is celebrated on December 25th.  His birth was witnessed by shepherds.. he cured ills and cast out devils.  he had 12 disciples...  the bible tells us that Jesus was born in the spring.

And don't get me started on Christmas Trees, holly and mistletoe, and how they are pagan in origin.

But let's not mind that now.  Let's go back to Jesus is the reason for the season.

This image is what I want to hand out to every Christian who pays lip service to Jesus, but actully don't follow what he actually said.

In this season of giving the United States wants to close it's doors to refugees.  People want to persecute Muslims.  Heath care is threatened.  Gay couple are denied foster and adoptive parenting opportunities.

The "Christians" that speak the loudest are the ones that hate gays and love guns.  How is that Christ like?

Me?  I love everything to do with Christmas.  I love the traditions.  I love the lights.  I love the cheesy Hallmark movies.

I love Christmas Town at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg.  Christmas Town is the Christmas that you remember from your childhood.  It's the Christmas that's gotten all the bad buffed away by memory.  (Sadly, there are crowds...)

My favorite place in the entire park is the Peace Bridge.  You walk the bridge between Octoberfest and San Marco.  This lovely song plays:

And you see this off in the distance.
To be, this sentiment is where it comes back to Jesus.  I want the things listed in the pictures above.

To me, those are the reason for the season.  Family.  Peace.  Helping other.

With a side of gingerbread and hot chocolate.