Tuesday, February 26, 2008

They better keep that caprese sandwich on the menu

Victrola has been sold.

Potluck was fun tonight -- and, as luck would have it, here's Sheela, a potluck regular, in the news. Also, my friend Ginger turned 26 tonight and celebrated at Havana. And Sunday's meeting of the writing workshop -- our second -- went well. And the sunshine appears to be never-ending. And I'm shopping for new clothes this weekend. (Wish me luck.) And Hillary's looking predictably desperate.

And all is right with the world.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Good theater, sunshine, and brunch

Just came from Washington Ensemble Theatre's production of Mr. Marmalade. I was already smitten with Marya Sea Kaminski (see picture above), thanks to her performance in the Rep's production of My Name is Rachel Corrie, and in this show she finds another good outlet for her childlike energy, as she's playing a precocious 4-year-old with a volatile imaginary friend. I love the play's sense of humor, how it moves from comedy to tragedy without sacrificing the potency of either, and I admire the way it examines childhood concerns and adult problems side by side. I also love how it depicts married life; it's a portrayal that points out the ridiculous notions we get attached to, whether we like it or not -- white picket fence, kids running around, etc. -- while acknowledging that sometimes, for reasons both cultural and personal, we really, really want to believe in them. (See also: the song "I Wanna Get Married" by Nellie McKay.)

The cast as a whole is strong, but it's especially wonderful to watch Kaminski work. She has a tremendously expressive face, and her timing is really remarkable. There's a moment where she transitions from one facial expression to another -- I honestly can't remember if it's from excitement to disgust or what -- and she hits it so perfectly that I thought: Wow. Yet that moment didn't take me out of the reality of the play; I noticed her skill and fell right back into seeing her in character, and it all happened in an instant. She's fantastic. If you're up for something loopy and somewhat dark, go see this show. I laughed throughout, and it's just the right length. I left feeling inspired to write.

Speaking of which: This morning, while having brunch at Linda's, I took a second look at the two pieces of fiction we're discussing tomorrow at my writing workshop. (I finished the process later at Bauhaus.) I love that Linda's has a morning cocktail that involves one of those vitamin-rich cold-prevention powders, and that they'll serve their famed Bloody Mary with a piece of buffalo jerky if you want it that way. (Someone brought a piece of it to the party at our house last night, which seemed like an odd thing to do.) I had the migas, and while Portage Bay Cafe makes what has to be the best version in town, Linda's wasn't half bad. And the hash browns were some of the finest I've eaten in months.

It's hard to overstate how happy the sunshine made me today. I hope more is on its way.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

More odds and ends

Though described by Greg as "no Grey Album," Amplive's hip-hop Radiohead remixes still seem worth a listen.

Not into remixes? Perhaps you'll enjoy these mashups.

In Juno news: That sound you hear is a collective sigh of relief.

In anticipation of the new Michel Gondry movie, Be Kind Rewind (which looks extremely sweet and fun), here's a "sweded" cover of The Wedding Singer, featuring yours truly:

Expect the film to usher in an absolute deluge of "sweded" movies on YouTube. This, Cloverfield, and Diary of the Dead (which I wish I wasn't way too squeamish to see) are already shaping up as this year's YouTube-savvy cinematic trifecta.

Speaking of "sweding," this is what pinball looks like when it's "sweded."

In (belated) honor of Valentine's Day, here's a pretty good article about marriage from MSN.

Finally, here's more on the Milkshake Phenomenon. Drink up!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Birthday weekend, complete with caucusing

Had a wonderful birthday weekend, from Friday night's dinner at La Fontana in Belltown to today's brunch at El Greco, with an afternoon of caucusing and Mike Daisey's monologue/one-man show How Theater Failed America in the middle. The show wasn't nearly as polished as Daisey's Monopoly!, which I saw a couple weeks back with my friend Elana, but it was still plenty entertaining and thought-provoking, and Daisey's energy as a performer continues to astound me. (Why wasn't it as polished as Monopoly!, you ask? Perhaps because it was only the third performance of the show. By the time it comes back to Seattle, it'll likely be another masterpiece.)

Caucusing was a real education. We went to Mt. Zion Baptist Church at 1 p.m. on my birthday, and Emily and I both registered to vote. Then we went to the church's sanctuary, which is where our precinct was meeting. The Obama and Hillary supporters were tallied, and the delegate count stood at 7-2 in favor of Obama. Then a number of people, including Emily, gave one-minute speeches in support of their candidate of choice. I was impressed with how knowledgeable, impassioned, and articulate they were. Finally, the undecided people got a chance to choose a candidate, and anybody else got an opportunity to switch candidates. A few undecided people joined the Obama camp, but the delegate count didn't change. Then it was time to elect delegates, though that process really just involved volunteering -- there was no need to actually elect anybody. I'm a delegate, which means I'll be going to an April 5 district caucus; Emily's an alternate, which means she'll go if I can't for some reason. By going to Saturday's caucus, I became more involved in a presidential election than I've been since 1992, when I worked on the Clinton campaign with my high school friends. Hopefully I'll use this positive experience as a springboard to become more involved in the Obama campaign; in any case, I'm grateful to actually care this much about presidential politics, and I'm hoping to be able to get more active during the next few months.

My guitar stand arrived in the mail, so I'd better go set it up and either practice or watch Red Road, which is still begging to be seen (and sent back to Netflix HQ). Finally finished watching Lucas this weekend -- I watched the first 30 minutes or so about a year and a half ago -- and I can wholeheartedly recommend it. It's much better than a Corey Haim movie has any right to be, and Winona Ryder, who was all of 15 at the time, is also very good in it. (And so, by God, is Charlie Sheen.) What makes it much, much better than the dumb-looking, deceptively football-themed DVD cover would suggest is the screenplay, which is smart, funny, and very honest about adolescence and high school and love, particularly the unrequited kind. It's really a lovely film, the kind there should be more of.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Odds and ends

As drawn to my attention by Michael, here's Dana Stevens' nice Salon piece on the Juno backlash.

In other news, Bill Cosby can sing, sort of. Kinda makes you miss William Shatner. (Gotta love the Good News for People Who Love Bad News-style crumpled-horn intro, though.)

Here's a two-minute reminder, courtesy of Emily, of what makes New York awesomer than everywhere else.

Finally, tomorrow is both my 29th birthday and Caucus Day. Hope you all enjoy playing your part in our confusing electoral system as much as I will.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

"Ira & Abby"

It's really quite adorable. If you like romantic comedies set in New York, that is. And I do. Just watching Chris Messina walk past Zabar's made me drool. (About the food, not Chris Messina, though he's very appealing, too.) Maybe I can still fly out there some long weekend soon...

Friday, February 1, 2008


It would have been January's best neologism, if only it had appeared in January. Alas.

In exciting personal news, our new housemate, David, attached something called a router -- try to follow me here, people; I know it's getting confusing -- to our Wi-Fi hookup, allowing me to actually get an Internet connection in my weird little mother-in-law cabin. Which is where I'm writing from now. It's so exciting that rather than watch one of the two movies I just rented -- Red Road and Ira & Abby, FYI -- I've spent the last, oh, two hours happily Googling and Facebooking and whatnot. And now I have a difficult decision to make: finally watch a movie at home or head down to the Seattle Laser Dome for "Laser Radiohead."

I've had a somewhat rough couple of days, but this choice reminds me of how ridiculously privileged I am. (Similar reminder: discussing the recent AP story about Haitians eating dirt at, of all things, a potluck.) I know, I know -- it should be totally obvious to me at all times. It's amazing how I forget that burrowing further into my (unnecessary) frustrations won't usually help me out of them; on that note, I'm considering caucusing for Obama on my birthday. (It would sweeten the pot, of course, if Obama Girl were there, but I'm not counting on it.)

Better late than never: Checked out Michael's Idolator poll. Confirms what a good year it was for music, and hey, the illustrations are simply awesome. In more self-serving news, I wrote some new little things this week.

P.S. If you can see Mike Daisey's "Monopoly!" monologue, please do so. It's utterly awesome. He's right up there with Spalding Gray. Seriously.