Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Fire, Fury & Flame

And then there are days when I love The Jungle. (Actually, I always do. It's the people that are sometimes stupid.) This particular time I love that we live in a town with great theaters and I get to see the just-on, just-off Broadway shows.
ATL and I went to see the out-of-town opening for Jekyll & Hyde last night. And it was spectacular.
Not really good, but definitely a spectacle.
It's a difficult musical to be sure. Who wants to go and see the main character die? (We were very early this time - which has never happened before - so we talked to the ushers about the show and one said it was depressing to have to watch Dr. Jekyll die every night and twice on Saturdays.)
I was hoping that this new iteration would have some redeeming quality to the story.
It almost did.
I really liked the journal entries being written across the screen to help us see it from Dr. Jekyll's point of view. I wanted there to be one last entry - just a line or something - to finish the show and bring it full circle but there wasn't and it left a depressing feeling as the curtain fell.
The songs are amazing though. I've listened to the CD from the original show's cast and I suppose I am a little bit spoiled by Robert Cuccioli's performance. That man was amazing. He even changed his voice when he sang as Mr. Hyde. Phenomenal skills.
I may or may not have gushed all over the screen about him here.
(If you want to see the whole show, it's still on YouTube, with David Hasselhoff as the main lead.)
But about the real performance and the real actors this time.
You may have heard of Constantine Maroulis - he was on American Idol:4 - and there's no question he has the voice. He's of slighter build than I expected him to be after all the promotions. But he has a really great voice and he sang well. I just felt he was too anxious to get to the angry, mean guy and didn't spend enough time on the calm, rational man. There were a lot of pyrotechnics, and video tricks which sometimes worked and were a little over the top. 'Confrontation,' which is possibly the hardest song in the show, just had too much fire and was MUCH too loud. The amplifiers could have gone down a few decibels (try 50) and been just fine.
True for most of the show actually. The whole good vs. bad thing plays better when the good guy is calm and in control and the bad guy is wild and crazy. Doesn't work as well when both of them are belting it to the ceiling and lights going off everywhere with smoke and strobes. Constantine needs to finesse the role a little but he could be great.
Deborah Cox, as Lucy, was outstanding. I liked the character better this time than any other before. She played it well, she sang it fantastic and she finessed it all over. Really marvelous performance.
I still think Emma is my favorite part in the show. She was a little more snobby than I wanted but Teal Wicks played her well enough. Obviously she can sing. (She was Elphaba on one of the Wicked tours through The Jungle. I saw her UNDERSTUDY. Oy.) Together, she and Deborah did a really phenomenal job on 'In His Eyes.' Brought down the house.
Laird MacKintosh played John Utterson, Jekyll's best friend, and he was good. He wasn't a bass, which I think works better sound wise but whatever.
And that is pretty much the cast. It's a small group and most actors play two or more parts because they are so limited. It's almost a one-man show.
ATL and I had an excellent time. We do love live performances and it's always a thrill to go to the theater. It might need some tweaking before Broadway but I got to see it before New York did!

This is me and it was a big show.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Life Beyond #11

And that's why my "job" bugs me.
Most times it's fine.
I love the houses, I love pretending that I know things. I like my complete lack of responsibility for the things I do. But there are days...
I went to show a house for Stingy the other day. It was a new house to me, she was in a hurry and didn't tell me anything about it. She doesn't usually but sometimes I can grab the MLS sheet and read the year the place was built and how many bedrooms it has before I go introduce a person to it. This time I did not get that chance and it was a big house. I did count the bedrooms as I ran through turning the lights on - but I missed the maid's room and when that was the first question the broker asked, I knew it was going to be a tough day.
It was.
Including "if you don't know, don't guess" which is a valid point, but I wasn't guessing, I was being snarky about the obvious answer to the question, and ending with "you don't know anything, so why are you here?" I almost answered "so you don't steal anything."
But I didn't.
I was good.
Until they left, and then I called Tarzan and cried.

This is me and I have some weird days on the job.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Because 13 Years Isn't Enough

Is anyone else in their car so much that they hear the same segment on NPR more than once in a day? There are days when I hear every edition of Marketplace and they're identical...
In my desire to hear the funny, quirky things, I hear other things repeatedly. And I have noticed that NPR certainly likes to beat the inflammatory topic drum.
Here's my (next) question for you: how do you feel about Pre-Kindergarten being required and why?
All I know is that my parents worked hard when I was growing up, one or both of them, multiple jobs, etc., and yet all nine of us learned to read and count before we went to school. What's the push for pre-K? When do children get to be children?

This is me, looking for another perspective.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cat, In Repose

I forgot I hadn't posted this picture from the holidays:
That's Spike, the youngest of my cats, and one of the two I raised from birth. She really likes to snuggle. Probably some throw back to her kitten hood. She has taken to sleeping under the blankets with us at night, (which freaks Tarzan out completely when he reaches for me and grabs fur instead), and her favorite resting places are inside or under things.
Like the present above or the laundry:

When I come home from work, the store, or anywhere, she follow me meowing until I sit down so she can lay in my lap. She often stretches directly across my arms when I'm typing and seems offended if I move her off.
I always wanted a cat that preferred me and would snuggle but this is ridiculous.

This is me and she's a weirdo.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Pho Close

With the temperature dropping - well, sometimes up, sometimes down, sometimes rainy, sometimes windy - I have been experimenting with making soup.
I don't profess to be better than Cambell's or Progresso but I was hoping it might be more convenient to make Pho than have to go out to a restaurant every time I wanted some.
It is certainly not as simple as opening a can and heating it up but it was a fair approximation of Pho, I thought. I used this guy's recipe and it was easy to understand and follow. We began with roasting the ginger and onions on the stove:
(Did not expect the skin to peel off and fly everywhere, or the juices to spit out quite so quickly.) After the roasting, the skins came off:
Chicken bits go in the water:
Add all the flavor ingredients:
And boil for a very long time:
Drain the liquid out and discard the solids:
Yes, this exercise was just for the broth.
For the actual eating, we use the broth and a lot of other items. There is a lot of preparation of ingredients for this thing:
Then we assembled the individual bowls by layering the cooked noodles:
Then add the steaming hot broth over it all:
Tasted totally awesome:
But it sure took a while. Can't say I'll be whipping that up on a regular basis.

This is me makin' soup.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Life Beyond #10

I have a lot of clothes.
At least I believe I do, and when it comes to laundry it sure looks like I do.
But in a space like this:
My wardrobe would look pitiful. Just pitiful.
Tarzan and I combined wouldn't fill it up.
And this is just one of two for the master bedroom.

This is me not even pretending.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Fancy Pizza

When I made the pizza it looked exactly like the picture in the recipe:
But I'm pretty sure it wasn't supposed to taste that nasty. Something in the crust area was just not good. I remembered the salt so that wasn't it.

This is me and it didn't taste like it looked.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Bang Bang

The thing about compromise is this; neither side gets EVERYthing that they want and both have to give up things that are vitally important but less so than the things they get to keep.
It's not a great system but it's better than a completely dictatorial, might-makes-right plan.
And that's where the country is with gun control these days. (Or pretty much any hot topic that is flying in the media.)
The far end of one side wants any person to have any number of any type of gun, no questions asked.
The far end of the other side thinks we should have a big pot, melt all the guns down and then we all smoke a peace pipe because all the world's problems will be solved.
Obviously, neither point of view is correct.
Especially when it comes to legislation on the topic. Yes, yes, all people should be self regulating and responsible but they aren't and there have to be rules.
Just not stupid ones.
So enters the compromise part.
Some guns should be allowed - the one side just needs to deal with that - but there does need to be regulation - and the other side needs to deal with that.
What is wrong with a background check?
They make people wait to get Harley Davidson motorcycles.
It takes nine months for a kid.
I see not the problem with waiting a bit to get a gun.

This is me and I wish people were more logical.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

I'm Amazed It Hasn't Happened Before

I saw the wisdom in BHB's question about soldering my wedding and engagement rings together.
They look kind of like this:
Her comment made a lot of sense this morning when in reaching for my glasses, I brushed against my rings and they went bouncing down behind the headboard of the bed.
I've managed to find and retrieve the solitaire but I can't find the band anywhere.
Tarzan and I are going to have to unmake and undo the bed this evening.

This is me searching.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Post ApocaDecathlon

And this is what the end of a zillion pages of material, 15 kids, nine months of chiding, scolding, driving, drilling, begging, crying, laughing, cajoling, praising, and commiserating and two days of competition looks like:

This is me and it's all over but the awards.

From Whence You Cometh