November 30, 2008

Danny Zuko Does Drag

There are things in life that turn out to be far less than they promise. Typically that first relationship falls far short of the glass slipper image we may have formed as children. That pedicure with the perfect shade of red you bought in the interest of saving money on pedicures. Our first cars were far less (for most of us) than the Porsche we may have dreamed of...prom...Need I say more...? Now that macho leather jacketed, slick haired crooning Danny Zuko of our childhood days is STILL in musicals-but is now sporting drag...? Really?

Seriously! I kid you not! For those of you who grew up under a pop culture isolated rock- or in a non penetrable bubble robbed of such cult classics as "Summer Lovin'" and "You're the One That I Want", " "Greased Lightening"...Danny Zuko is John Travolta's character in Grease. Long before Pulp Fiction and an eternity before the High School Musical phenomenon...(? )which he is not in-but is seemingly a Disney-Grease rip off.

Here's the scoop or shall I call it a fall from grace?...So I consumed spicy chicken wings after eight-bad plan number one. My stomach is boycotting. So after I finish off half a bottle of Tums , Grey's Anatomy and an episode of Desperate Housewives off the DVR-I decide to watch Hairspray on On Demand (which I saw years ago in the Ricki Lake-John Waters variety, but other than the basic premise-remembered very little of). I KNEW that John Travolta was in the film-playing a LARGE woman and other than thinking that was an odd casting choice did not fully realize the long term emotional scarring actually SEEING this might cause.

His performance wasn't BAD. Other than that he played the wife of Christopher Walkin-weird enough all on its own...let it sink in...You threw up a bit in your mouth-right? We are talking JOHN TRAVOLTA here...may not be Girard Butler...but other than Girard- HAS to be one of the most macho males to grace movies of the musical variety. Grease, Urban Cowboy, Staying Alive, Saturday Night Fever...and then non musicals like Michael, Pulp Fiction, Get Shorty...even Wild Hogs- but surely you can see the inconsistency!

He had a bouffant and a moo moo...instead of a biker jacket, cowboy hat (albeit rhinestone encrusted), trench coat(insert other masculine wardrobe item here)...sang a romantic-ish ballad while waltzing with creepy Christopher Walkin...This MAY be lost on all of you...but as a (YOUNG) child of the 80's-I am quite possibly marred for my remaining years.

If you are in my dreamy Pink Lady boat and have not yet made the image shattering error of watching John Travolta in Hairspray...PLEASE turn back! See the error of MY ways (and in my opinion-John Travolta''s as well) The T-Birds would not approve and neither do I.

I leave you now to try to erase the image of the fat suited, fake eye lashed, lip stick wearing John Travolta for the hip thrusting, greasy hair slicking heart stealing Danny Zuko of old. I pray it's not too late. Out with the bad-in with the good...out with the bad, in with the good...

" I got Chills- they're MULTIPLYIN" and I'm LOS-In" con-trol...cause' the power you're supplyin' it's electrifyin'!"

Damned chicken wings!

Revisited this one because I am so very sad for John Travolta and his family and the loss of their son. My thoughts and prayers go out to them. I have friends and family who have lost children and it is something no parent should have to endure. No greater loss in all the world.

November 25, 2008


This is a topic that I heard being discussed on my favorite radio show.

The DJs were debating the idea that: Everyone settles when it comes to relationships- especially women.

This is the way I see it...The debate truly was not about settling...but about relationship semantics. There is a difference between compromise and settling. In order to make a relationship work, there HAS to be compromise. If there is not-the personality of the one quashes, manipulates, squanders and suffocates that of the other. You have to give of and maybe even give up little bits of yourself to make room for the other person. Otherwise there is no relationship to speak of. That being said, if you sacrifice your dreams and desires completely in the name of love-neither of you will ever be satisfied and will end up resenting each other.

Beyond that...over time people change and passions often cool. Sometimes love fades away, sometimes it grows- Most just changes. Relationships that endure any real longevity cannot stay at that initial explosive, smoldering level because most of us do not have that kind of energy or time. Besides familiarity seems to dissolve some of the mystery that caused those fires to rage so uncontrollably. Some settle into a little daily dance that both people find comforting and pleasurable. Some lose all passion and cannot sustain the relationship. From what I have witnessed this is not the loss of the passion that fades the relationship, but the faded relationship that wanes the passion. The lucky ones-I believe find a good balance between the romance novel (minus Fabio of course) and the friendly housemate (Three's Company" style.

Some people do "settle" I guess- in the name of safety and comfort and stability. I do not however, believe that applies to most people. Growing up together can be a mutually beneficial experience-it is the times when one of you experiences a growth spurt and the other doesn't-that can be tricky.Refer to the Missing Piece and the Missing Piece Meets the Big O by Shel Silverstein for a simplified commentary with illustrations.

I don't really have any answers. My relationship certainly is imperfect. But we all are. Currently I am in the place where I believe love is as much a decision as it is an emotion.MAybe more. Sometimes there are fireworks, sometimes rainstorms, sometimes draught...but your love, marriage, relationship-is a marathon-not a sprint. I took that from somewhere...

Anyway-Sometimes I "settle"- sometimes he does...think that is as it should be. It is when that balance is skewed to one side or another that extreme dysfunctionality or unlivable sacrifice occurs...

To "settle" or to live alone-that is the question...

November 21, 2008

I Want My Mermaid Back

When I was a little girl I had this INCREDIBLE imagination. Now that creative way of viewing life comes in small doses. Sadly, I can never suspend disbelief long enough to create that same magic.

Anyway, I lived for (still do) baths and dresses- and climbing trees (but this one I have had to release from my list of talents. I don't heal like I used to and scars are no longer cool to me). I drove my mother crazy because I changed my clothes three times a day-partly due to dressing to suit my mood and partly because trees are not dress friendly. I was always contentedly pretending to be a princess, Annie, Dorothy... a slave girl, a movie star, fairy,cabaret performer, scientist, or whatever self created heroin I had invented...but at the end of the day, when the street lamps came on and I was summoned inside it was bath time. My favorite part of the day.

It was in that enchanted hour, when the moon shone bright and the stars waltzed through the infinite sky- that I would fill the bathtub with steamy, bubbly water, glide in and let my hair fan out around me. I would cross my ankles to make a mermaid tail and "swim" around changing directions and no doubt making a mess on the floor in front of the bath tub. Thank goodness for linoleum...heehee...never thought I would hear myself say that, but it was the 80's and that was mostly what was available.

I created this imaginary, underwater paradise with these intricate story lines. Stories about a glorious mermaid who was being sought after by a handsome fisherman. He caught glimpse of the mermaid and was impossibly charmed by her. He wanted to capture her heart so that she would sacrifice her paradise and he could make her his bride.. She loved the fisherman deeply, but she loved the ocean more and couldn't be torn away from her ocean home-not even in the name of love. There were plot variations, involving princes and other fantastical characters that little girls cherish.

I was five or six and the stories didn't stop at mermaids in bathtubs. I was forever playing out these little scenes-mostly to myself because I was the youngest, with a large gap between my sisters and me. Entertaining myself was my sole purpose in life at that juncture.

Eventually this self created fairyland was stolen away by slumber parties and the discovery of boys and whatever right of passage moments take with them the possibility and fearlessness of girlhood. Freedom to create and dance and sing and escape to hidden places and be secret people and experience everything your brush of imagination can paint. The limitless, mystical kingdoms and perfect princes are shattered by reality and leave behind only the twinkle of possibility. A secret stash of fairy dust reserved for stormy weather.

Now when I have an especially rough day. When my reality does not live up to my fantasies. I pine for the imagination that I once had. An imagination that allowed me to fully commit to being whatever and wherever I wanted to be at any given moment. When I feel as if I am a chameleon that blends unnoticed into my surroundings, I wish for the unaldulterated belief that allowed me to simply change my mind and become an Indian queen, a warrior, a unicorn, ESPECIALLY a mermaid. Unfortunately reality has paralyzed the mermaid with mediocrity. My ability to escape-replaced by the wisdom that living brings. At that time, when the shackles of responibility tighten and obligations of adulthood steal my air- Those are the instances when I want-when I NEED my mermaid to return to me.

By some miracle of fate, or gift from God- there are still those brief, stolen moments where the Mermaid in me breaks free and for a few moments she flits back and forth through the shimmery waters with the sun catching each glimmering joint in her majestically created, jewel toned tail...The most captivating and mystical creature in the sea...too true to her passion, too alive-to sacrifice an ounce of her magnificence. Even in the name of love.

November 19, 2008

A Little Bit Crazy

I often hear it said that there is no such thing as a little bit. In the sense that you can't be a little bit fat, or kinda' gay, a tad bit hideous or a little bit of a psychopath.
However I strongly believe that you CAN be a little bit crazy. In fact, as life progresses I gain daily evidence that supports that we are all a bit nutty. That those freakish normal people that show no cracks-underneath it all are the craziest of all and if you know one, I strongly recommend sleeping with one eye open and at least a stiletto under your pillow. One day they will feel the pain, smell the stench of loneliness or get knocked down by regret or loss and they will fall to pieces. So much better to let the crazy in in bits-so you can take it as it comes. Too much to take on all at once.

Alright, so I am speaking "crazy" from experience...while everyone is a little off their rocker...I am tottering on the edge- trying to maintain my balance. I say this whimsically of course...I take my insanity lightly. There are no voices in my head. Only a few skeletons in my closet (metaphorically of course).

However- I came into this world with a big scarlet , pounding heart on my sleeve. Not a whole lot I can do about it. Sometimes the beating of that heart fills my ears and takes over my brain. When it doesn't expand so that I can see nothing else in front of me, it makes me a slave to its desires, needs and appetites. My mouth is forever protecting and defending my heart-sort of a protective big sister if you will. My eyes clean it with its tears when it is injured flooding over it in torrents...that are difficult to dam in once the flooding starts. The three of them have developed a sort of dysfunctional union. Blood sisters in the truest sense. And when somebody bumps, bruises or cuts my heart (which is unfortunately easy to do) it- it gushes all over my new black boots and stains the Violator as well.

Passionate, impulsive-predictably unpredictable...It is what it is. And sometimes it makes a mess of things. Including relationships. That is my brand of crazy. Now you know. It chose me. I don't excuse it or use it to excuse is just one of those wisdoms you gain in life. Part self awareness and acceptance and part preventative measure and self preservation.

A long time ago, I read the novel "Girl Interrupted" and one of the themes in the novel is the idea that "Mental Health" is subjective. Because at various points in this messy, backward, dangerous, gloriously beautiful and poignantly memorable journey we complete in life we are all damaged-often irreparably. And if we were to be pulled over by the Crazy Police at these specific junctures of our voyage...we would all be deemed "unstable or crazy". So if we ALL have a fragile grasp on sanity- who is to Judge?

Think we have established that it is not me...

What brand of crazy are you?

November 17, 2008

Face Book-Highschool De Jas Vous

So my husband just got me turned on (wait for it, wait for it...) to Facebook. He kept telling me how all these people I knew from school were on it, yada, yada, yada...So I get on it last night and start setting up my profile and attempting to post photos etc...I say attempting because I am about the most computer illiterate person you could ever hope never to meet. I see lots of people I "know" considering the enrollment of the two high schools that I attended have the combined enrollment of a large high school's graduating class. One school so minuscule that it is not on the list of schools even though there are about fifty graduates represented on Facebook...haha...not at all sure how that works.

Anyway, I requested some friends (waiting on Harry Connick Junior to accept my friend/fantasy boy friend/love slave request) and deliberately not requested some as well. I find it (almost) comical how coming into contact with certain people from high school can give a girl that "does my hair look alright, check that my lip gloss is perfect and please, PLEASE don't trip" feeling all over again. I am now married with two beautiful children.-definitely NOT prowling in the least. So I find it funny how those adolescent butterflies flutter in my now allegedly matured tummy ...Almost like it did when that nameless boy (although I remember his name)smiled crookedly at me from across the English classroom. I don't think I was a dork-pretty sure I wasn't. Private schools are different though. Those often unfairly drawn social lines blurred a bit more...But somehow, I think even the most confident, popular girl in high school (Iwas not that either) had her moments of insecurity. Anyway for me Facebook is High school De Jas Vous.

Difficult to be especially profound on this topic. Just that seeing photos and sending shout outs and Friend Requests into cyber space to people that I haven't seen in ten to fifteen...has this odd, surreal effect on me. Call me crazy (please... I kind of like it;0))...but the whole PRETEND living that communicating through technology has introduced- mixed with my version of the past creates this surreal combination of the glory days (which in retrospect, not all that glorious) and an awareness of who I am now and who I thought that I would become. Not that I gave it a lot of thought at that stage in life. Still a bit gray on the subject of future plans...Memories are powerful though, aren't they? All those firsts...kisses, dances, best friends, loves and consequently heart breaks, disappointments and betrayals. I suppose that highschool did prepare me for real life after all. Although, I don't think Geometry and Home Economics had much to do with it...Thankfully. They held little relevance for me then, as they do now.

Said it before, say it again..."High school NEVER ends"...sad but true. Think there will be prom in heaven? I better start looking for a dress...Right after I fix my hair, touch up my lip gloss and update my status...

November 16, 2008

New Kids Out Rock Diva

I am about to completely date myself.

This week I attended two concerts. Let me add that up to that point, I had only seen two concerts in the past two years. in laws very generously and thoughtfully got me and my sisters in law tickets to see Madonna. She had never before been to our state (which is actually kind of weird in and of itself) seeing as she has been around for twenty five years. We are a BIT of a "one horse town", but most big artists make it here after they hit the BIG venues. So it was a HUGE ticket here. Everyone I talked to wanted to go, but couldn't justify the price of admission...a boat I too would have been in, had the ticket not been a gift. Anyway- the other concert I got a ticket to was the New Kids on the Block, whom I loved intensely in my pre/early teens. And being my obsessive-compulsive self...have never totally let them go... Also-high priced, but about half what Madonna was.

Okay so to make a long story longer...Madonna was on a Tuesday night and the concert was to start at eight. We were told as we walked in the door that she would be taking the stage late, so we figured eight thirty, eight forty five...There was no opening act btw...Well Madonna took the stage at nine thirty. Let me say that the choreography, lighting, etc. were AMAZING. Every single song looked like a music video. Do they still make those? If they do, they aren't on MTV anymore...haha...Of course she looks unbelievable and sounds better than I expected. She sang "You Must Love Me" from Evita and it was fab...but here is the thing, her limited interaction with the audience was a bit obnoxious...she told us to clap over our heads that "we needed the exercise"...Let me note that the state I live in is regularly rated the whatever...Anyway, when did she start dressing like Gwen Stefani? So the energy and the music is great...but she sings about five old songs and the rest is off the new cd. Let me say that she made me want the new cd, which certainly is the goal she hoped to achieve-but let's face it, most of us stopped buying Madonna cds after Ray of Light (even that is pushing it). Seems a bit self indulgent that she played mostly new music in a place she has never been. Beyond that, she sang literally a quarter of "Like a Virgin"...Seriously?! She asked an audience member for the request then sang back and forth with the audience and didn't finish it. After performing about an hour and forty five minutes, the screen says Game Over and the light come up. She wastes an hour and a half of our time and doesn't do an encore. REALLY! Oh and t-shirts were $45.00, sweat shirts were $100.00. A bit of a mixed bag...I mean Madonna is Madonna...what she DID perform surpassed expectation, it was what she didn't do that left a bad taste in my mouth. She clearly is not a diva in reputation only. Seemed to have no appreciation for those that spent hundreds of dollars to see her for probably the first and only time in twenty five years.

Okay, okay...So then there is the New Kids on the Block. As I mentioned, not a cheap ticket but about half the price of Madonna. They played to a much smaller venue that was not completely sold out. They have released less than half the cd's Madonna has. Loved them at thirteen and they still hold a pink fluffy cotton candy scented place in my heart. I am loyal to a fault and while the posters are all boxed up, I still follow their careers...from Jordan on Surreal Life, Joey McIntyre's season on Dancing with the Stars, to Donnie Wahlberg's movie career (Sixth Sense, Ransom, Band of Brothers..."So when I saw them on Today Show...I lost it...bought the Greatest Hits and the new cd (most of mine were on cassette...haha) and THEN I heard they were coming hear and rounded up my middle school girlfriends, even dragged my husband, sister in law and cousins! Okay-they have two opening acts, one of which is Natasha Bettingfield (sp?) who was gracious and good...because she knew it made no difference what she did as everyone was waiting for the NKOTB. The other was Lady Gaga who COMPLETELY won me over, how faboo IS she?

They were UNBELIEVABLE. They gave us exactly what we wanted and then some. Think it was better than when I saw their show seventeen years ago. They sang every single old song anyone would have wanted to hear AND their new stuff. They played two and a half hours and did two encores. They updated, but still played into the things we Jordan's open blowing white shirt (woohoo) and Donnie's gyrations...haha...Plus-Joe is solid through puberty now and much more machismo. My ONLY complaint is the stripper-looking dancers...probably for THEIR entertainment, but no girl wants to see her middle school heartthrob being rubbed down by a hooch. I am sure they are VERY nice girls...but I have to admit (mmrreeoorrr) that I wanted to drag them out by their hair a time or two...I screamed louder than a tweener at a Jonas Brother's Concert...haha! Hoarse and sore the next day-so NOT as young as I used to be. But I SO fell in love all over again! I would see them again when they are sixty...teehee. May be a bit more Tom Jones-ish then. "Hangin' Tough" at eighty means trying not to break a hip...but Whateva...LOYAL. As I said. Walking in and out of that venue was like entering and departing Neverland....I must admit I NEVER wanted to leave Block Land. No apologies. I just didn't...

Any way...two shows-one week, one conclusion. New Kids out Rock the Diva. Is it appreciation, camaraderie? Time out of the limelight, perspective perhaps? Hard to say...Of course music taste is completely subjective-but I think most people would expect Madonna to perform them under the table she is dancing on but they outdid her in every aspect. Most people would consider them fluff and her the real talent. They made their fans feel valued and important and she made us feel as if we were putting her out. Both good performances, but the heart of the matter was universally different...