I’m tired and not in a mental space to be deep, so here are the shallow things that I’m thankful for at this particular moment. (We should be thankful for the shallow things too, right?)
that Tabitha and Napoleon’s group number at the beginning of So You Think You Can Dance tonight more resembled a Shane Sparks, or even – gasp! – Wade number (I swear they borrowed heavily from his recent vocabulary) than their own. I thought it was quirky and quite nice. Not quite as nice as it would have been had it been actually choreographed by Wade, but what can you do?
that Ellenore did not get sent home. She is BRILLIANT. Seriously. Her Broadway routine last night was masterful. And don’t ask me about Ryan in it, I’ve watched it 3 times now, and I haven’t even thought to watch him once. She’s in a completely different league than almost everyone else there. If it doesn’t come down to her, Jakob, and Russell, there is much wrong with the world. Or perhaps just Nigel’s.
that Victor and Karen both DID get sent home. I’m tired of both their faces. I’ve been tired of their faces for a while now. Mind you, it’s not to the point that I HATE their faces, they don’t really merit that much attention, I’m just tired of them. So I’m glad they’re gone. And yes, I know I’m mean.
that not all of Adam Lambert’s new album sounds like the first couple songs I heard. I’m really liking Pick U Up and Fever, they have a touch of Queen, a touch of Prince, a touch of Aerosmith. Not enough of any of those, but I guess it is HIS album. The one complaint I do have is that for the most part the level on all the songs (at least those I like, I’m not so much a ballad girl) is high bombastic (yes, that’s a technical term. Don’t look at me for coherent music reviews, that’s not my gig) and so there’s nowhere to build to. When all of the sudden he busts out with an amazing moment, like the stunning note he hits at the end of the phrase “I need someone to be my lover” in Pick U Up, you almost miss it because it’s at the same level as everything else. I wish he’d taken a different page from Queen and not been so heavily orchestrated at every turn; his voice, which is awesome, gets lost in all of it. (And just for the record, I’m fairly sure the first couple of measures of If I Had You are just a slight riff on the beginning of Britney’s If U Seek Amy. (Ok, I just checked, and I’m totally right. It’s like Vanilla Ice going “dun dun dun DUN dun”, except it’s also a different key. And if you get that reference I totally love you.) (And yes, I’m embedding parenthesis. You have a problem with that?) And it’s a little too Cher for me. Not that I don’t adore Cher. Because I adore Cher.)
that I finished The White Garden by Stephanie Barron. I hit the point where I had to zoom through and finish it to find out what happened, totally sacrificing the boring (but I suppose important, I just didn’t care about the characters in question; ok, that’s not fair, I did, I just cared about a different element more) subplot to get through it. It’s working on the premise that Virginia Woolf didn’t commit suicide when everyone thought she did- that she ran to Vita Sackville-West instead. (This works because her body wasn’t found until weeks after she left her “suicide” notes.) I adore Virginia Woolf, and this was an interesting look at her, although I tend to see Virginia and her husband’s relationship in a different light, but I’m hardly a Woolf scholar, and prefer to imagine her having gotten some kind of solace from him. But anyway, it was really good. I recommend it.
that I’m almost done with Christmas shopping. My goal was to be done by Thanksgiving, and I’m not quite there, but close. Woo hoo!
that, (in contrast to Adam Lambert’s album), every single song on Brett Anderson’s new album is stunningly gorgeous and perfectly balanced. I LOVE this album, I could listen to it over and over and over. It’s probably one of my desert island albums. Don’t ask me what the others are, I’m in no mind to go into that now. But Purple Rain would be one of them. Or Sign O’ the Times. I don’t know.
that I have medicine to make my eyes stop hurting. Because they hurt.
for my bed. I’m going to be friends with it right now.
that you people read all my crazy rambling day after day and comment on it, as though I’m actually making sense. Your comments make me happy.
Goodnight, I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Today I’m thankful that we have insurance, and that we can get our health issues taken care of with really very little trouble at all. I found out today that my corneas are scratched – enough that they’re causing me pain and impacting my vision – and after I was diagnosed at the optometrist (and given a prescription for medicine that would cost $75) I went over to Kaiser and right to their ophthalmology department, and walked out with an appointment for tomorrow where I will most likely get a prescription for the same medicine, and it will cost my copay. I am extremely blessed to have that ability, to be seen by doctors who know what they’re doing, and to not have to go into debt to do that. It brings such a peace of mind, and I am so so grateful for that.
I am also grateful that Z’s flu shot experience wasn’t completely traumatizing for any of us – she really did a spectacular job.
Today I’m thankful for church. It was good today. Good lessons, good participation, good songs, good spirit.
And I suppose I’m thankful that the notes to the song I’ve been practicing for the last couple days are cycling through my brain non-stop because that should mean they might be getting imprinted there so that I can actually make them come out of my mouth? At this point I think I might have to listen to a Beyonce song to get them to stop. I’m definitely going to have to listen to something so that I can go to sleep. Which is where I’m going right now, which is why this is short.
Today I’m grateful for my Daddy, and that he lives close enough that I could go over to his house this morning and work on a song for church. It was seriously hurting my brain and I was considering backing out (don’t tell Becky! Um, hi Becky!), but now I’m feeling much better about it. We’ll see if I’m still feeling good about it tomorrow when we all practice together. But it was really nice to be able to go work on it, and Daddy was really patient as we went over it again and again. He’s a wonderful Daddy, and I love him. And I got to see my Momma too, and that was wonderful too, and I love her too.
And now I’m grateful for my bed, and that tomorrow is another day, hopefully full of 100% less defiant screaming than today.
Right now I’m thankful for:
Peppermint Peeps. Yum!
That Tiny went back to sleep after waking up an hour into her nap.
Valerie, who gave me the idea to leave Tiny in her room when she woke up after an hour, to see if she’d go back to sleep.
That Z is taking a relatively quiet quiet time.
Brett Anderson’s new album, Slow Attack which is gorgeous and perfectly fits the moody weather today.
The lovely moody weather today.
And speaking of Brett Anderson, this song, which is one of the most heartbreaking and gorgeous songs in existence.
That story time went well today, despite the freezing weather, and for Becky, for providing her home.
For the internets, which make coming up with a list of potential Christmas presents so much easier.
That the girls didn’t notice me purging a bunch of unplayed with toys in preparation for said potential Christmas presents. (Anybody need baby toys in really good condition? Seriously, they’re great toys.)
The internets (again), for existing so I could find and watch this today. It’s a dance off! (It speeds up around a minute in, give it time.) Fosse is the one in the black suit. Man, could he dance. The man was a genius. It just makes me grin to watch him. And then catch my breath. And then grin again.
And that I could discover this, which completely made my entire day. Heck, my entire week. And made me realize that Hugh Laurie kind of looks like Fred Astaire. And taught me that Julie Newmar was in a Fred Astaire movie. Who knew? (The Band Wagon, if you’re wondering.)
Ooh, and this. One of my favorite songs of all time. I heart Raul Esparza.
I’m also thankful for mall Santas.
We stumbled upon Santa yesterday and as there was no line, we decided to go talk to him. (Note Z’s festive Halloween shirt. ) Z was excited to talk to him and get her Christmas request nailed down. Tiny was excited to SEE him, but not be anywhere near him, hence my presence in the picture. This is a great Santa, we’ve seen him the last couple of years.
And if you live near me- at the Valley Fair mall, Shutterfly is working with the Santa kiosk so you get a Shutterfly card with your purchase – so for two 3×5 pictures it’s $17 but you get a $10 Shutterfly gift card. The bigger packages come with a bigger card, but my plan all along was to scan the pictures once I got home, so I just got the cheapest pictures I could get.
Today I am grateful for museums, and the opportunities we have to experience different forms of art and culture. We’ve been visiting different museums with our adventure day group, and yesterday we returned to the museum at Stanford, this time for the Africa and Oceania sections. I love that museum (tons of stuff, and it’s FREE!) and luckily the kids seem to like it too. From yesterday:
Zoe’s interpretation of this Rodin: “It’s a little kid riding on his daddy’s back.” I can kind of see it.
I love the teeny tiny hands on the carving above.
This (above) is from the Ivory Coast, and is a female figure. This was the description, which I found really interesting: “The Baule believe that before we were born into this world we existed in a spirit world where we each had a mate. Sometimes that mate, or “spirit spouse”, becomes jealous of the new partner and disrupts that person’s earthly life, especially his or her marital life. A diviner may prescribe the carving of a figure to depict the spirit spouse; the carved figure should not resemble the harassed person’s actual spouse. It should receive earthly signs of attention: food and clothing, and visits at regular intervals. ”
“the carved figure should not resemble the harassed person’s actual spouse” – that part cracked me up.
Doesn’t this little guy look just like:
I love it.
This one was also FASCINATING: ” Within Bamana culture [from Mali], secrecy and power go hand in hand. This zoomorphic sculpture is said to contain messages about life and death that can be explained only by men in the highest levels of the prestigious Komo association. It is made of layers of earth, bones, blood, beer, millet, and expectorated kola nut juice, over a metal or wooden core. These mysterious objects sometimes resemble an animal but are sometimes totally abstract. They are treasured by the Bamana people for their nyama, a force so potent that they can be handled only by the wisest members of the Komo association.”
This was my favorite of the day – it’s a gibbon!
While we were there, we also watched Berni Searle’s video installement called Spirit of ’76, which was incredible – thought provoking, visually beautiful; metaphorical, but rock solid in concept so that the themes came through in a really compelling way. It let the viewer meditate over the meaning, in a way that was ultimately quite haunting.
It began with a red acetate (I’m assuming) cutout resembing the three musicians in Archibald Willard’s painting, The Spirit of ’76 floating in water. (You don’t know there’s water until things start happening and you realize there must be.) Red dye underneath the acetate flowed out and through the water, and then a wreath of black roses (not actual roses) was put around the image, and black dye bled out and around, mixing with the red, sinking in on it and overtaking it at points.
From the information provided, Searle was invoking not only events that occurred in the US in 1776, but also a protest that occurred in South Africa in 1976 against apartheid. More than 500 children were killed when police shot into the unarmed crowd.
I really was so moved by this piece, and by the opportunity to meditate on passion, life’s blood, battle, death, and the cost of freedoms. Based on the information provided, I don’t know that I came to the exact conclusions she had in mind, (hers included “calling into question the viability of democracy and its ideals in today’s globalized and politically complex world”, which I didn’t see, but I guess I can see how you could get there); but I love that about art (or at least about my UCSC informed deconstructionalist attitude toward it) – you take from it what you take.
And the kids loved it, they called it “the flower movie” and wanted to watch it over and over.
I’m thankful for the opportunity and ability I have to introduce all of these amazing images to my kids at such a young age, and to be able to experience and think about them myself. Despite my reservations about some museum collections, I AM very thankful to be able to become acquainted with the beautiful creations of people from all over the world.
Today I am thankful that sane heads prevailed in the world, and that I awoke to this:
rather than the cover proclaiming that Robert Pattinson won. (It turned out that cover was faked. Do no news agencies fact check any more?)
I’m not going into any anti-Twilight rant or anything, I just have this observation to make. Somehow we went from
mmmmm, Kiefer., (Lost Boys was my first vampire movie and turned me into a fan for life)
David Bowie, truly one of the sexiest men alive, (seen here in The Hunger, one of the oddest vampire movies ever made)
Brad Pitt, who is just SO pretty, and fantasticly cast as Louis in Interview with the Vampire- much better casting than Tom Cruise as Lestat, who should only ever be played by:
Stuart Townsend, who was PERFECT. And also, so so gorgeous,
Antonio Banderas, who while he looked completely wrong as Armand, who was supposed to be a cherubic blond, is insanely good looking,
David Boreanaz and James Marsters from Buffy, who are also, “rilly, rilly good looking”, ala Zoolander
a guy who on a good day resembles Frankenstein, and on an off day shows up at actual events looking like this:
Seriously, what are we teaching the young women of America? Vampires are supposed to epitomize all that is gorgeous and sexy and dangerously attractive in the world. Robert Pattinson does … not.
So today, I am apparently thankful for good looking men playing vampires in movies; for Johnny Depp, who has not played a vampire, but should; for Bruce who reminded me about David Bowie (seriously, how did I forget that?); and for the internets for providing me with pictoral evidence for my thesis today.
AND for the universe at large, which is apparently listening to me, because it seems that Tim Burton is going to make a film version of Dark Shadows, with … Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins. I might die.