Monday, April 2, 2018

"Did Judas Iscariot have God on his side?"

I posted this as the live broadcast started last night.  Now, let me be clear.  We didn't just go see the show.  Music class for the month before we set foot in the theater was spent listening to the concept album, with printed lyric sheets in our hands.  We them went as a class to University Hill and the converted Synagogue that was the Salt City Center for the Performing Arts where they had been performing this show every year since the early 80's.  And I was hooked.

I think I went up to that dilapidated building (I hear the place was shut down a few years ago) once a year for the next decade to see Jesus Christ Superstar.

At one time I owned four or five different cast recordings.

I committed the show to memory some time in the late 90's.

I'm a fan.

So when I saw that they were doing a live production, I was both elated and worried.

But as the camera panned over the set, my fears were put to rest.

Jesus Christ Superstar started out life as a concept album, which is why it's a sung through musical.  It's also an interesting take on the story.  (Seriously do I need a spoiler warning?  It's from the bible!)

In an interview with Andrew Lloyd Webber he said that the idea came from a line form a Bob Dylan song.  "Did Judas Iscariot have God on his side?"  The story is seen through the eyes of Judas.  So have an excellent is critical.  Thankfully, they did... as my tweets attest to:

The whole idea is that Judas was Jesus's right hand man.  To quote an article from Esquire:
Jesus Christ Superstar begins, in fact, with a wallop of a song in "Heaven on Their Minds." It's the song in which Judas lays it all out: his fears that Jesus' followers are blinded by his celebrity, the enemies who are zeroing in on him and his disciples, and the worry that his teachings and sermons are too easily manipulated for others' political gain. It sets up the central conflict of the story, but it shows the meaning behind Judas' betrayal—one rooted in his humanity rather than pure villainy. (It's heavy, but take it from me: It's also a banger at karaoke.)
It's at the end of his life that he realizes he's just a pawn in God's plan.  And that's a TOUGH role.

Now, on to my thoughts:

The good!

  • Brandon Victor Dixon is a Tony Award winner and AMAZING!!  He acted the sh*t out of the role.  (Thought the actual death wasn't awesome... but that has GOT to be hard to stage)

  • The set was incredible.  And I LOVED the updating to a more modern time.  (Anyone else catch that the crown of thorns was barbed wire?)
I mean, come on!  this was amazing!
  • I loved how the musicians were involved.  The show opened with a guitar and a string quartet!
The bad:

  • John Legend is good.. but his acting wasn't up to the challenge.
  • The priests outfits.... Were they in the temple of Krypton?
  • The sound mixing was off.  I hope they can release a video with better sound mixing.

My conclusion:

I was in tears for most of the show, overwhelmed by how well the show that I love was lovingly put on.  Seriously.  If they play it again, go watch it.

Monday, March 12, 2018

A Wrinkle in Time

Saturday I sat in a theater breathless with excitement to see one of my favorite books of all time on the screen.

I left, liking it.  but not loving it.

I didn't have an issue with the fact that they updated the story.  I didn't mind the multiracial cast.  I loved the visuals.  And for the most part, I loved the casting.  But for now, let me say that here, there be spoilers:
What I loved:

  • The casting was wonderful.  I LOVED the Mrs.'s characters!  (Though I had a bit of an issue with Mrs. Whatsit's introduction, but I'm willing to overlook it)
  • Updating it for now.  The book is form 1962.  A LOT has changed.  They changed the setting.  And I'm OK with it.
  • The visuals were even better than I had imagined!!

Where it went wrong for me:
  • Camazotz-  Seriously.  From the beginning to the end, I didn't like it.  
    • The kids are prepared for the battle before they go, it's not an accident.
    • Camazotz isn't an illusion.  It's insidiousness is the sameness.  Everything had a rhythm and a perfection.  Like the people didn't have to think for themselves. That's how the evil spreads- because it's easier not to think for yourselves than to critically think.
    • And what's with this wall nonsense????
  • Charles Wallace and Calvin O'Keefe
    • Their characters were changed in such a way that they were almost not even needed for this movie.  Seriously.  What the writer did to these two is almost criminal.
    • Charles Wallace willing submits to The It in order to find their father.  He goes in knowing that the other two can pull him out.  In the movie the kid folds like a card table.  
    • Calvin... Oh Calvin... He was there because he's intuitive and can read minds like Charles Wallace.  He is the diplomat and talks his way into and out of things.  Movie Calvin.  Like why was he there????
Should you see the movie?  Of course!  There IS a powerful message there.  And I think all young ladies should see it.

I just wish it had the complexities of the book!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Under Pressure

(Sorry, had to!)

Anxiety.  It's a thing that WAY too many people deal with every day.  Some people deal with a lot, others not so much.  Some people deal with it all the time... and others deal with it more infrequently. 

The thing with anxiety is, that not everyone experiences it, copes with it, or has it triggered the same way.  It's not the flu.

We've all seen panic attacks on TV.  Sadly, not all of them happen as advertised.
Most of the time when I am having anxiety issues, I fall under the "rage or irritability" category.  I get all "Oh HELL no!" and "This is so stupid!"  I can also get rather angry.  I have been known to obsessively clean my house when feeling rather anxious.
Actually I tend to get super indecisive when I'm feeling rather anxious. Like paralyzed with indecision!  Most of the time it leaves me stuck at home with a severe case of "fear of missing out."  Like many, I tend to hermit when I'm anxious.

Sometimes I run scenarios in my head, trying to pre-plan the way things will go.  This generally is super unhelpful and leads to the worst possible conclusions.

Now is it this way all the time?  Of course not.  It's not even most of the time.  I have my triggers, and times of year when things are worse.  Right now things aren't as awesome as other times, but I honestly think a few vacation days and a deep clean of my house will do wonders.

There are ways to combat anxiety.  Some people use medication.  I'm not at that point yet.  I try to use deep breathing, mini-brain breaks when I'm at work.  Sleep and exercise actually do wonders for me.  When my anxiety is due to new situations locations, having friends around helps.
Anxiety is rather prevalent these days.  Or at least it's being called for what it is. 

Many people that I know suffer in one way or another.  Some are medicated, some aren't.  Everyone's different.

The one thing that all anxiety sufferers share is the desire to never hear dismissive comments from others ever again.  The unhelpful comments about how being vegan will make all of your problems ago away.  The cries of "What do you have to be anxious about?" And a thousand other comments aren't helpful or appreciated.

What can you do to help someone with anxiety issues?

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Real Conversation I had on the Phone Today

(Background information:  7 months before your trip, DVC members can book at resorts that they don't own a share in.  There wasn't anything to speak of earlier in the week, so I wait listed some resorts that I really wanted, but I decided to look again.  Animal Kingdom Lodge was available today so I called Customer Service!)

Me:  Hi!  So we have a reservation in September at Saratoga Springs, but I see that Animal Kingdom Lodge is free!  And Savannah View!  We want to switch reservations so we can reenact the Lion King!

(Oh, I was deadly serious when I said that too.  There would have been film footage)

Customer Service Person:  Sorry.... I can't do that....


Customer Service Person:  ... because your Wait list came through!!!

So instead of staying at the perfectly lovely resort that we were at last time, this time we'll be at the Contemporary!
So excited!!
Sometimes, just the tiniest thing can totally make your day!

And this TOTALLY made my day!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Tahiti, it's a magical place

This week I had a Think Geek order show up at my office.  A set of bedside lamps, in Hogwarts House colors.  (Ravenclaw for me, Slytherin for the Spousal Equivalent.)

Those lamps raised a few eyebrows.  People know that I’m in my 40’s.  Most people at my age have adult looking houses.  Me?  I have Hogwarts house lamps and framed Firefly prints in my living room.  There’s a Harry Potter wand in my office.  I have a lightsaber on my desk.

I count down the days until the next Marvel movie.

We go to Disney once a year.  I’ve been a Sci-Fi/Fantasy fan since I was little.  My father introduced me to Star Wars and Star Trek when I was little.  I’ve never been an avid comic book reader, but I’ve loved comic book movies for years.  We watch almost every show on the SyFy network.
This show is SO good, y'all!

I know most of the lyrics of most of the songs of WAY too many Broadway shows.   The Spousal Equivalent and I are HUGE RuPaul Drag Race fans.

I cried when we went to Universal Studios and I walked through the wall into Diagon Alley.

If “growing up” means that I have to give those things up, I don’t want to.  Some people are part of the Football Fandom.  I happen to be part of a different fandom.

I’ve been to the conventions.  I’m not alone.

I can be an adult, and still wear Disney shirts.

And I’m proud of that!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Wakanda Forever!

Disclaimer:  I am a person of Caucasian ancestry.  No, that's not enough... I'm so white I get a sunburn in a dark room.  I thought I needed to put this out there...

Disclaimer 2:

I'm a lover of detailed world building in my science fiction and fantasy.  The same goes with my super hero movies.  (Why is the UN in Vienna???  Is it because NYC was flattened by aliens?)  Seriously... detailed world building get me going....

I was already at thrill level max when we went into the movie simply because we were finally going to see Wakanda!

I mean, just look at it!!!

Without reading a single issue of comic, I was already excited... just to see this country that is absolutely untouched by us white folks!  Now, I understand that being ... me... there is stuff that's lost on me.  I totally accept this.  But I can, and do appreciate all the amazing details that the production designers and costuming designers put into the movie.

Seriously, go read this twitter thread!  I'll wait.

Ok.  And now... the movie.

Black Panther is set up to be a simple story about T'challa's ascension to the throne and how he protects his people.

But it's SO much more than that!
~The setting~
It's both a story about this nation that grew and flourished outside of Europe's influence and a story about the people that were left behind.  A country that has AMAZING resources and technology vs the poverty and violence of the outside world.  In the end it's the story of two cousins:  one born in privileged in Wakanda, and one orphaned in Oakland.

~Erik Killmonger~
Marvel did a wonderful job at building a villian that had a purpose and motivations that made sense.  Honestly, I'm sure his motivations made sense to many, many people that were sitting in theaters all over the country.  Even if you're not African-American... by watching the news and reading what is going on in this country's present and its past you get a real sense of why he wanted to lead Wakanda and finally be the oppressor for once.

~The ladies~
The female supporting cast is totally top notch.  They all have wonderfully complex characters.  They are all strong and brilliant.  I SO want to see what would happen is Tony Stark, Peter Parker and Shuri would get together.  I want to see her run intellectual laps around Tony!   It's all of them.  Watching the differing views of Nakia and Okoye was amazing.  One so focused on doing good, the other focused on protecting her country.  And Okoye is such a badass!  I could watch her beat the crap out of people all day!

~The Outside World~
I loved that from minute one, we were in on the joke.  We knew the truth.  it made watching the UN and Everett Ross thinking that T'Challa was a country bumpkin even funnier.  I cringed at some of the comments that Ross made.  But they let Ross in, and then let the world in.  Those two acts were amazingly brave on the part of T'Challa.  In one lovely post-credit scene... everything about Wakanda changed.

I'm sure I have more to say about the movie... but I think I need another viewing to sort it out.

But I am thrilled that Marvel decided to have a movie that showed People of Color that they can have their own heroes.  I loved that Marvel showed that putting Black faces on screen brings in money (because we all know that money drives Hollywood).  I remembered sitting in Wonder Woman, watching a hero that looked like me.  I hope that others got that same joy when they saw Black Panther.

I just hope that Marvel doesn't destroy Wakanda in the next movie.  They have a history of flattening cities.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

I fell on my kiester at OrangeTheory Fitness!

At the end of January, I decided that my ass needed a bit more kicking, so I joined OrangeTheory Fitness. 

I got through the first class unscathed.  A panting, sweaty, needs-to-work-on-cardio mess,But the second...

After 30 minutes of intense work, I was exiting my threadmill, ready to get on the rowing machine.
look at the space between the two sets of machines.  I'm lucky I didn't hit my face!
I stepped between the two treadmills.... then turned.  I tried to lift my foot to step, but it got caught.

And down I fell.   Thankfully, I didn't smack my face on the rowers!  I now have a bruise the size of a saucer on my thigh.  I bruised myself, and hurt my ego, but I got up and got on my rower and continued on.  I did the entire 60 minute workout.  And you know what?  I'm going back on Saturday. 

Seriously, the first class is free.  It's a great workout!