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Today's Smite List

- Laundry
- Finish hat
- Get books and gift bag
- Buy gift card
- Write play


Don't buy that. That's not real.

I had lunch with my family on Saturday at a vegetarian restaurant in the San Gabriel Valley. "Everything here is vegetables. And fake meat," said my uncle.

After many courses for 5 people and a $60 check, we went grocery shopping. I wanted to make black vinegar pickled eggs w/ ginger. Usually this dish involves pig feet, but this time, all I wanted was the pickled eggs.

My uncle led me to the aisle of soy sauce and vinegar. "Black vinegar is expensive. This one," He pointed to the lowest shelf with his toe. "Is the best."

The best black vinegar is $22 and in a size meant for a cauldron full of pig feet and boiled eggs.

"I don't need that much. How about this one?" I gestured to a bottle that clearly read "Black Vinegar" on the label.

"Don't buy that. That's not real," said my uncle.

"Anna, buy this one." My aunt pulled another bottle off the shelf. It also read "Black Vinegar" but in a less catchy typeface. "This one is good."

The eggs are pickling. We'll see how this goes. I have a feeling that I'm going to miss the pig feet.

My path is revealed

At lunch today, my colleagues mentioned that old people and children/babies are no longer required to remove their shoes by TSA.

Old people and children/babies are not considered to be a threat.

Some curmudgeon wrote in the NY Times or the New Yorker or some similar publication that he took umbrage. Just because you're old doesn't mean you couldn't still be a terrorist.

I said it would be easy to turn old people into security threats.

1. Find an old person with a terminal illness.
2. Offer old person with a terminal illness a whopping amount of cash to care for her family. Fifty percent up front, fifty percent upon self-detonation.

Said colleague whom I respect greatly, "You would be a great mastermind...if you want to move to Yemen."


Here were my 2011 resolutions.

Still want to learn how to knit socks.

Strike quilting. The desire has passed.

Must read the unread books that have been taking up shelf space.

ETA Finish knitting the projects that are already on needles before beginning any new projects.

The Egg and Leek Dipping Sauce

A year or so ago, I went to an ancient Roman style feast. The food was delicious. One of my favorite things was the sweet & sour egg & leek dip for crudites. So I asked for the recipe.

The Egg and Leek Dipping Sauce is as follows...

1 tsp. Ground Cumin
1/2 tsp. Ground Myrtle Berries (more authenticity than flavor, omit if needed)
Generous Black Pepper (to taste)
3 Heaping tsp. Chopped Parsley
1 Small Leek with the dark green removed
2 Boiled Eggs
2 Tbs. Honey
3 Tbs. White Wine Vinegar
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
2 Tbs. Fish Sauce (fish sauce thinned with white grape juice)



Clapotis - scarf knit on the bias

Mar. 6th, 2012

I got a Pinterest account, but then realized it's just not as useful as I need it to be.


Ye Olde LJ is given a new life.

Potato chip cookies



Happy New Year!

A deep sense of belonging and calm abiding. Cultivate a state of equanimity. Rest in tranquillity free from attachment and aversion.

Rob Brezsny's Free Will Astrology Gemini Horoscope for week of December 29, 2011

The coming year will be a good time for you to consider investigating the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Devotees of this religion call themselves Pastafarians. Their main dogma is the wisdom of rejecting all dogma. Having such a light-hearted approach to spiritual matters would be quite healthy for you to experiment with. For extra credit, you could draw inspiration from a church member named Niko Alm. He convinced authorities to allow him to wear a pasta strainer on his head for his driver's license photo. Having a jaunty approach to official requirements and formal necessities will also serve you well.

What I got

<img src="http://www.innerlinks.com/images/67.gif" Take what comes in your stride and let your energy rebound. Build positive momentum, elasticity, and endurance. Show up with equanimity regardless of what is going on. ~*~ I'd been having dizzy spells off and on for the past five years, usually during times of stress. Solution: visit the pin doctor and then I'm fine. Then this November I had an episode two days after the last event of the year. So the dizzy isn't stress related. I've got the green light to see an ear/nose/throat doctor. Need to make that appointment. My pin doctor has put me on a no dairy/wheat/sugar food plan to see if that helps w/ the dizziness. That seems to be working well. I'm lactose intolerant anyway, but cutting out cheese is less of a problem than I thought it would be. Knocking out wheat is not an issue because I can still have rice, potatoes, & corn. I'm not being vigilant about completely cutting out wheat because I like soy sauce and there are traces of wheat everywhere. Getting rid of sugar has been the best. When I was in Chicago a couple of weeks ago, I got flattened by a dizzy spell. I blame the caramel corn. Sugar is poison. Right now, I'm also off of high sugar fruits (apples, bananas, oranges) and large heavy metal fish (tuna, salmon) at least until Spring. For the most part, staying on my food plan hadn't been too difficult. Given the time of year with all of the holiday sweets, I hadn't had to struggle too much which is amazing. But today a couple dozen doughnuts showed up at work. So far, I have managed to stay away. Today was the first day that I understood why 12 Step Programs encourage sponsorship.

Nov. 22nd, 2011

Your thoughts create. Your actions matter. Your presence changes everything. Align with your essence. Know your place, stand up fully in yourself, and greet each moment afresh.

Spot on

Take time to unwind and nurture yourself . . . Pause . . . Enjoy a vacation from stressful thoughts . . . Rest . . . Let go of tension and melt into serenity . . .

Sep. 27th, 2011

Gemini Horoscope (May 21-June 20) for week of September 29, 2011

You have cosmic clearance to fall deeply, madly, and frequently in love, Gemini. In fact, it's OK with the gods of fate and the angels of karma if you swell up with a flood of infatuation and longing big enough to engorge an entire city block. The only stipulation those gods and angels insist on is that you do not make any rash decisions or huge life changes while in the throes of this stupendous vortex. Don't quit your job, for instance, or sell all your belongings, or dump your temporarily out-of-favor friends and loved ones. For the foreseeable future, simply enjoy being enthralled by the lush sexy glory of the liquid blue fire.

Glad I read this because I had been thinking about doing all of the above. Really, I was.

Ovation Nominations are out

And this show has NINE nominations and a special award for the video design.

NINE nominations. It definitely deserved some of them, but NINE of them?

There were better, more powerful, more entertaining shows in LA last year.

My faith in democracy is shaken again.

Aug. 30th, 2011

The ability to be with what is going on rather than remaining preoccupied with what might, should or could happen. Let go of the need to manage life and deepen into the peace of acceptance.

Aug. 26th, 2011

Savor what is in your life now. The creative process is never finished. Let go of striving and rest in satisfaction and joyous fulfillment.

Bang on.

Wise use of energy, resources and time. It may not be the shortest route from point to point, but the most inclusive and effective.

The Internet is for Free Random Word Porn

The Russian spambots are after my LJ and I've been deleting as the nonsensicalness comes in.

But today I got one worth keeping from this post

Subject: free amateur porn video sites
Fish in thick tomato sauce Swims in happy comatose Only me, pathetic wimp Have no fucking place to swim

Lenten Post Mortem

Keep your sight on your goal. Direct your energy and attention to who you want to be and where you want to go. Stay aligned and focused.


- Decrease facebook time

I didn't do as well as I had hoped, but managed to not endlessly refresh and stare blankly at facebook for hours on end. There was a significant increase of face time with people without straining the cash reserves.
Conclusion: Good, continue working in this area.

- Bejeweled Blitz

No Bejeweled Blitz at all and did not substitute another game in its stead.
Conclusion: Success

- Re: dishes, stuff, junk & crap that I keep putting off - Get it done and out of the way as soon as I think about it.

Once again, as with facebook, there was growth in this department with room for improvement. Conclusion: Good, continue working in this area.

- Use what I already have (notebooks, lip balm, yarn, etc.) before going to get more.

This was the least successful of my goals due to the Borders closeout sale which weakened my resolve. I have squirreled away a set of large Moleskine cahiers (thanks Borders). My self control took another beating when I bought a Pantone Yellow journal after having lunch at Royal/T one day. I managed to resist other journal-type notebooks; Rawk! I also bought project specific yarn, so I don't count that as a compulsive purchase.
Conclusion: not bad, but need to be constantly vigilant.


Substitute, not Sacrifice

Last year's bitch about Lent here.

This year the Lenten season is going to support my 2011 Smite List as well as fortify my life with Vitamin Thank God That Shit's Done.

- I've decreased the amount of facebook time, but rather than just stalk people's pages, I will send a "Hi, I was thinking of you, how's it going" message. Active connectivity!

- Instead of Bejeweled Blitz, which devours too much of my awake time, I am going to read a real book with paper pages. Less screen time for my poor old eyeballs.

- Re: dishes, stuff, junk & crap that I keep putting off - Get it done and out of the way as soon as I think about it and then I don't have the specter of yucky taking up cerebral/emotional energy.

- Eat the candy that is squirreled away in my kitchen before buying new candy. This goes along with use what I already have (notebooks, lip balm, yarn, etc.) before going to get more. Less small amounts of money going out will add up to more money squirreled away.


Time Travel

My hanai grandma passed away 12 years ago. Being the socially inept child that I am, I almost immediately lost touch with her only child and his family who had also taken me along for the ride and served as surrogate uncle/aunt/cousins (in birth order: 1 girl, 2 boys).

I'm a bad kid.

facebook put me back in the loop with 2 of 3, then his older sister 1 of 3. There isn't much wall posting, just their occasional appearance in my list of fb friends, stalking, and, once sometime last year, a brief email exchange between me and 1 of 3.

1 of 3 got married when she was young and her eldest daughter is about to have a baby.

I got an invitation to the baby shower.

I immediately began to freak the fuck out.

I hadn't seen any of the family in 12 years and now the little kids are all grown up and making babies of their own and I never really knew these people well and how do I not say the wrong thing and I suck at small talk and I don't want to be antisocial but how do I handle this. My hamster wheel of angst just kept squeaking along.

Then I got over myself.

I admitted to myself that I wanted to see the family. Even if we don't stay in close contact, I wanted to get some face time in after so many years. Grandma loved them all, even the great grandchildren she didn't get to see very often if at all except in pictures. I owed it to her to show up to celebrate her soon to be born great great grandson.

And the mom to be is 20 and I was dying for any kind of sordid details.

I went and had a very nice time and got to be on the adult end of "Do you remember ::so and so::?" with the obligatory "...no..." and accompanying blank look from the child participant. It was surprisingly not awkward to be in the house that is the same, but different, and to see so many familiar forgotten things: Grandma's Zenith console tv, her son's high school graduation picture, portraits of the family as I remembered them from another life when I was little and they were big.

No sordid details. I did get thrown when mom to be said she had hoped to have her 2nd child about a year after the 1st because she wanted them to be close in age, but was having 2nd thoughts because this pregnancy was tough. Enough about me and my apprehension about child bearing & rearing. I got to meet the father to be and he's a friendly guy, so best of luck to the new family.

Feb. 28th, 2011

The ability to include a deeper comprehension of life in your interactions rather than simply transferring your knowledge from one experience to another. Act with sincerity and empathy.

Me & Betty Buckley

I won tickets to last night's Reprise! fundraiser Betty Buckley Broadway By Request (accompanied at the piano by Seth Rudetsky).

Betty Buckley can still sing.

Betty Buckley should not sing the songs she originated. Let those songs live on into posterity on lovely cast albums where we will all swoon about how sweet is the voice that sings.

I love Seth Rudetsky and want him to be my gay boyfriend. He wasn't enough to keep me in my seat at intermission. Translation: I left way before "Memory" cuz you know she wasn't gonna sing that until the encore.

Dear Broadway Veterans,

When doing a cabaret act/revue/career highlights show, please tell me an engaging story, not just I did this show and sang this song, here it goes! We need to be BFF and confess like sisters. We just want to be close to you.

And for heaven's sake DON'T DO ANY INTERPRETIVE DANCE.

> Wed Feb 16 <

- Free bagels, cream cheese, and juice at a work meet & greet

- Lunch w/ Director of This Year's Outdoor Show. Talked about parallel universes, using Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf to teach quantum physics, and how Georgian (country, not state) theater is run with terrorist tactics. Also got to hear her say, "Whatever." Which was shocking and amazingly cool.

- Henry Rollins at Largo celebrates making it to a half century of life by being on tour. I love him. I want to be him. His Hollywood 1981 stories of going on poster pasting missions on Santa Monica and La Cienega and scavenging fries from girls at the Oki Dog on Santa Monica and Gardner made me nostalgic for that world even though I was too young to participate.

> Thu Feb 17 <

Wrinkles at East West Player (Disclaimer here.)

There aren't enough shows about active seniors. So this fills a void. The Not Spoiler: Grandpa does porn. Family is wtf?

The play takes too long to get going and stays stuck in 1st gear familial wtf for about 45-50 minutes. It's not until the last third that we get to the show's Wheel of Morality: senior citizens are old, not dead. They still got a whole lotta living to do.

> Fri Feb 18 <

Attempted Alton Brown's spaghetti & meat sauce

Substituted ground beef for the ground chuck/pork butt mixture and forgot the mushrooms and marjoram. Don't do that.

Dish was edible, but I could have gotten the same flavor in 30 minutes instead of the THREE HOURS OF TOIL.

This is going to be a do over. This is going to be my bitch.

> Sat Feb 19 <

Dirt - Rogue Machine at Theater/Theatre

"When an estranged son returns home and finds his father fighting to hold onto his mind, they are thrust into a struggle to control their land and the memories it holds. Dirt explores how we forge our identities through our connections to our home, to our past, and to each other."

::snore, drool:: Zeus what an awfully dull blurb for one of the best realistic shows I've seen this year. Family dramas are usually overwrought and overdone and excessively sentimental. Dirt is none of these. Go see!

> Sun Feb 20 <

- Got up early. Twenty minute walk. Baby steps for the Disney Half.

- My Other Friend from Yale had a Groupon for a beginning knife skills class that was about to expire. Did I want to go?

What? YES!

Chef Ricardo went to Le Cordon Bleu Pasadena, graduated at the top of his class, spoke at graduation, worked at ::list of upscale eateries:: and (Reason #1 Why I Think He's Awesome) never lost his cholo accent.

Reason #2 - Put your cutting board down on a non-slip pad. (holds up non-slip pad) You can buy these at AutoZone and cut them up [to desired size].

Chef Ricardo keeps it real.

I now have recipes for minestrone soup, balsamic vinaigrette that will be bottled & gifted this Winter Holiday, roasted root vegetables, rosemary potatoes, pesto, grilled chicken, and mini puff pastry apple tarts w/ caramel sauce.

Went home and ate pickled eggs and pretzels for dinner.

> Other Stuff I Did <

- Learned how to double knit from YouTube

- Watched Dangerous Beauty on streaming Netflix in preparation for the show of the same name @ Pasadena Playhouse. I dig the movie, want to read the book and despair that the show is going to suck like the LA Times says it does.

- Scavenged the Borders in Century City for discounted Moleskines & Bust magazine.

The Week[end] in Review

> Thu. Feb 10 <

My friend RG won tickets to see Loving Repeating at International City Theater and invited me to be his wife's understudy.

Loving Repeating - a Gertrude Stein musical brought to you by Gertrude Stein, the guy who wrote Seussical/Ragtime/Once on this Island and many other favorites, and some guy from Steppenwolf. Lesbians don't get a lot, but most of what they get involves Gertrude Stein. For the most part, it was a lovely show with lovely singing. I think using Gertrude Stein as lyricist is the work of a sadist.

> Fri. Feb 11 <

The Diviners at Theatre Palisades = community theater w/ its heart in the right place and its brain in a jug. Once again, I blame the director for allowing twitchy kid to keep twitching endlessly. Irritation is a bad emotional response when you're going for the empathy/sympathy one-two punch. Yeah, the kid is mentally challenged and terrified of water because his mother died trying to save him, but this not bathing thing is not acceptable. Strap his twitching ass into a chair and sponge bathe the ringworm infested child.

> Sat. Feb 12 <

Alceste at Theatre of NOTE is a loose adaptation/inspired by work of Alcestis (or Alkestis depending on which classicist is translating). This isn't a life changing, must see show, but it tapped into creativity in a good way and is worth the drive to Sunset and Cahuenga.

> Sun. Feb 13 <

I got tapped to do the Firecracker 5k to raise money for Great Leap, Inc., a performing arts organization. (I helped plant the seed for their BYO Chopsticks video or so I'd like to think.) So I got up before Jesus and the Day Laborers to get to Chinatown and walk up two hills to Dodger Stadium and back without any preparation.

It actually didn't suck and I got a super cute Year of the Bunny finisher's medal. This race has cute t-shirts (which is rare) and a cute AND useful goodie bag (also rare). All races should give participants Tiger Balm and rice.

Walking 5k before Chinatown even opened for business made me feel unreasonably smug.

I am now thinking of doing the Coaster 5k at Knott's Berry Farm because I know I'll get a slice of boysenberry pie at the finish line and I'm pretty sure the finisher's medal will have Snoopy on it.

Also on the 2011 Unreasonable Self Righteous, Virtuous, & Accomplished Schedule:

- Pasadena 10k
- Disneyland Half - my Team in Training mentees from last year got really cute Mickey Mouse medals and I want one.

Deep breaths

Dear Creative Types,

I LOVE your creativity.

Please keep your creativity out of my calendar and on stage where it belongs.


~ * ~

Shows I've Seen:

Caught at the Zephyr Theater
Fantastic! My favorite show since Equivocation. Gay couple plan their wedding. Christian sister shows up unexpectedly with beauty queen teenage daughter in tow. Hilarity ensues. The description makes the show sound campy, but it is very heartfelt and real with a great sense of humor. SEE IT.

Daddy at the Hudson Mainstage
Older gay man falls in love with younger gay man. No hilarity in this one. For the first hour of the show, I was antsy and angry because I could see exactly where the show was going and how it was going to end. Turns out I was completely wrong. So glad I didn't leave during the non-existent intermission. I would have liked Daddy more if I hadn't seen Caught first.

Farndale Murder Mystery at the Westchester Playhouse
A show about a murder mystery as played by an English ladies community theater group with falling set pieces, triple casting, women playing men = we know our limitations and we're going to work with them.

The acting wasn't great, but we don't expect it to be great.

The set falls apart on cue and that's not easy to build something that is supposed to break again and again and again.

The plot wasn't strong. Man dies. The will is going to be read. The heirs gather and are picked off almost as soon as they're introduced. We know the butler does it in the first 10 minutes of the show (though none of the characters know this), now we're looking for motive.

Here's what went pear shaped:
When you're doing a bad play on purpose, you have to play it with the conviction of doing a good play, otherwise we're left with a pile of gags and no substance. They didn't study their Carol Burnett.


In anticipation of Holiday Sanctioned Sloth, we had a production meeting in early December for the new workshop that loads in next Friday. The company is young and energetic. We're looking forward to having them.

Lights - We have a rep plot. Here it is. Work with it and we'll adjust it within reason.

Projections - They are bringing their own projectors (note: plural), computer, and programmer. I told them it needs to be plug and play.

Set - They have one and it fits in our playing space. It's a minimalist structure: open box of schedule 40 pipe and two projection screens. They'll bring guys to supplement our guys for the load-in. Awesome.

Costumes - They're still working on that part.

Sound - Here's our inventory. Sound is running off the same computer as the projections.

We've got our load-in & rehearsal schedules done. Rock.

Then yesterday happened:

What are the rules/regulations about having an installation in the lobby?...We're want [sic] to have an animatronic dinasour [sic]and possibly a baby pool and two lawn chairs...

I can't wait to see this show.

Who You Gonna Call? MYTHBUSTERS!

I got a phone call from the Front Line today.

Front Line: There's an angry woman who was born in Greece and says that satyrs are half-goat, not half-horse like it says on the website [description of new theater workshop]. Centaurs are half-horse. Satyrs are half-goat. What do I tell her?

Anna: We had a whole lunchtime discussion during the Ancient Greek Theater show about this with theater scholars. The scholars say satyrs are half-horse. The half-goat thing came around with everyone mistaking Pan for a satyr. (internal monologue fucking Romans fucking it up for the rest of us as per usual) Let me call you back. I'm going to find out for sure.

Clock: tick, tick, tick

Anna: (leaves voice msg) Oxford Classical Dictionary says satyr = half-horse. Uh, blah, blah, on the Attic Francois vase (c. 570 BC) the horse-human hybrids...uh, (scans v. long entry) "at first somewhat equine, the satyrs become progressively more human in appearance (though from the Hellenistic period more caprine than equine, perhaps through association with Pan" So yeah, horse, not goat.


Email from the Front Line:
Thank you so much for your explanation. I gave the caller this information and of course, she was extremely disturbed to hear this. She is still insistent that we are wrong (scholars included) and that this reflects so poorly on our institution.
She says that she will research herself from the Oxford Classical Dictionary.

My thanks to you for putting up with this.

Debunking beliefs: what I get to do occasionally with my days.
Bi-Annamas loot:
- downloaded Jonathan Coulton's "Best. Concert. Ever."
- Loungefly Hello Kitty maneki neko totebag


Fairies with Children
- Married with Children meets Forbidden Broadway
- Gay men pose as a straight couple Al & Peg Bundy and move to the suburbs to educate breeders.
- Good time even though it was preaching to the east of Fairfax choir

- Japanese & Japanese-American women work through generation gap and aging
- You keep saying, "filial piety," I do not think it means what you think it means.
- Acting = great, text has sections of truth, but gets bogged down with suffering Asian women. Suffering is a big part about being an Asian woman, but we do other things too.

Putting It Together
- I love this show.
- This production was a fucking disaster on a really nice set.
- Dear Person(s) Responsible: 1. Don't mess with the tempos. 2. Cast singers the next time you decide to do a musical.

Hyperbole-Origin Show
- Best Damn Show I've seen this year
- A touch too long at 1'50", but beautiful storytelling with puppets & music and no dialogue

Bi-Annamas Days 2-4

- got beanbag poi heads w/ which to thump myself soundly and with more vigor

- Day off. Went to see a reading of Julius Caesar. Concept: Asian-American street gangs. Got to eat free fried chicken.

- Evening at home by myself.

Bi-Annamas Eve & Day 1

- Did not get out of the house.
- Barely got out of bed.
- Did not get dressed.
- WIN!

Day 1:
- Watched satyrs and got paid to do it.
- Bought yarn for holiday knit gulag
- WIN!

Crimes of the Heart - East West Players

Disclaimer: I <3 East West Players. I work with them whenever I can and I owe this company a lot.

Crimes of the Heart - a show about doing big arms and bad accents. Southerners don't all speak slowly. The cast needed to watch more episodes of Designing Women.

The set is GORGEOUS.

The show is LONG and it felt like it. Ok, the first two acts were combined into one before we break for commercial and return for the last chunk.

Asian-Americans exist in the South, so the text wasn't a huge suspension of disbelief.

What I don't get:
This play won a Pulitzer. Someone explain because I don't understand. I blame the director.

What I got today

Add your unique ingredients to the mix. Be real. Express yourself. Uncloak your originality and manifest your pure potential.


Gemini Horoscope for week of December 2, 2010

Are there any actors who have impersonated as many different types of characters as Gemini chameleon Johnny Depp? From rogue agent to chocolatier, from psychotic barber to astronaut, he is a model of inconsistency -- a master of not imitating himself. (To glimpse 24 of his various personas, go here: http://bit.ly/GeminiActor.) According to my reading of the omens, you now have a poetic license to follow his lead. There have been few times in the last two years when you've had this much freedom and permission to be so multiple, mercurial, and mutant.

I invite you to keep a running list of all the ways life delights you and helps you and energizes you. Describe everyday miracles you take for granted . . . the uncanny powers you possess . . . the small joys that occur so routinely you forget how much they mean to you . . . the steady flow of benefits bestowed on you by people you know and don't know. What works for you? What makes you feel at home in the world?

What it all comes down to: I don't want to buy holiday presents for anyone but me. I also don't need anyone to buy me anything. The past few years I have just been going through the motions, but this year Bi-Annamas is getting to the motherfucking monkey.

ETA: Bi-Annamas carol by antoniusrex
Oh, Bi-Annamas, Oh, Bi-Annamas,
How spledid are your braceletts!
you bought them for yourself you see
just like I bought this DVD
Bi-Annams, Bi-Annamas,
How splendid is your hedonism!
We go out dance and drink and screw
all to humbly honor you
Bi-Annamas, Bi-Annamas,
You're a holiday worth having!

Uptown, Downtown - Pasadena Playhouse

Leslie Uggams has amassed an impressive cv and can say that she has worked with legends. And she does. Again and again and again. Of course, if I worked with the likes of Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and Dinah Washington, I might throw their names around a lot too.

Given that Ms. Uggams has been toiling in the business since she was a wee child and racking up these notches from the get go, I would expect that she has got some amazing war stories to tell.

If she does, she ain't sayin' nothin'.

Opening with "There's a Boat That's Leaving Soon/Take the A Train," Ms Uggams goes on to tell us about starting uptown in Washington Heights and how the years brought her downtown to Columbus Circle with multiple stops along the way and some commuting back and forth.

Two Act Show synopsis:
I worked with ::legendary performer:: when I was ::ridiculously young age:: at ::famous Uptown/Downtown venue::, we sang this song. ::Sings song::

The singing was lovely and the arrangements were great. The eight piece band was made up of guys who knew what they were doing.

What was missing:
This relationship lacked intimacy and it had nothing to do with the size of Pasadena Playhouse. I have seen performers, in venues of thousands of seats, reach out to the back rows and fill the space with their presence.

Leslie Uggams kept her boundaries firmly in place. This is a show about my career. This is not a show about my life. All y'all plebes stay on your side of the stage, but shower me with applause.

She's an old war horse diva who can sing her face off still and do as she pleases. "I'm Still Here" was missing from her program, but she has every right to sing it given the decades spanning career.

It was an enjoyable, emotionally sterile, evening of songs. I respect this artistic choice, but I was expecting more from a venerable performer. Time to break out the Elaine Stritch "At Liberty" cds.

Nov. 30th, 2010

2011 Smite List (continued)

- Learn how to knit socks. I haven't been able to figure out sock knitting. If I have to pay somebody to teach me, then I'm gonna.

- Quilt/Sew
There's a sewing arts center not too far from the Trader Joe's that is not too far from the laundromat. The sewing people have a quilting class...the more I read about sewing & quilting, the less I want to do this.

- Less facebook, more face time

- More reading of actual books
I realized that while I still read a lot, most of what I read is on the computer and a hefty chunk of that has no nutritional value (facebook, you know I mean you). I read a real book with pages the other night (Sizzling Sixteen because I love Stephanie Plum and her big hair and her hamster and her two hot guys and her former hooker sidekick and I don't want to hear about how it's not good for me). Turning pages is meditative. I especially like the no back light feature.

- Poi
I took up fire spinning. I love it a lot even though I keep hitting myself in the head. Poi hurt less than banging my noggin into a desk or wall and is much more satisfying. Side note: In my class I'm learning that crazy girls are crazy and I hate them for no other reason than that their stench of crazy is making me crazy. I realize that this is uncharitable and unreasonable, but I don't care because they don't like me anymore than I like them. So there.

- $
Shake the credit card monkey off and blast it into orbit.


Arcade Fire

My tin ears and I don't get them.
2011 Smite List

- Learn how to knit socks. I haven't been able to figure out sock knitting. If I have to pay somebody to teach me, then I'm gonna.

- Quilt/Sew
There's a sewing arts center not too far from the Trader Joe's that is not too far from the laundromat. The sewing people have a quilting class...the more I read about sewing & quilting, the less I want to do this.

~ * ~

The Wild Party - Malibu Stage Company

Back in '99-'00, Andrew Lippa and Michael John LaChiusa were each lucky enough to open a Broadway show. Two shows both called The Wild Party based on the same 1928 Joseph Moncure March poem that is also called The Wild Party. Said poem was blah, blah, blah, racy, blah, blah, blah, banned, blah, blah, blah, whatever. Gay sex, drunks, violence, and loose women have been around since before the Old Testament came around, but now we've got it happening in some ghetto NY apartment during the 20s, so that makes it edgy. Oh, and they're musicals.

Note: I actually like both versions and have seen each performed to varying degrees of success.

On deck in Malibu, the LaChiusa version. The theater is nice, the beaded dresses look great, and the actors all try very hard and some of them are actually talented, but those folks are a fraction of the ensemble.

This show didn't sing. There were people hitting notes, but I have no idea what they were trying to communicate. Words? Emotion? Plot? It was all a mystery. Even more mysterious: the knock off Cabaret-era Joel Grey.

Heavy handed choreography it had. If a song mentions drinking, everyone mimes holding a glass and taking a swig.

It was two hours w/out an intermission that felt like three hours w/out an intermission.


Break the Whip - Actors Gang

This show was Ovation recommended. Translation: enough Ovation voters got their collective artistic minds blown away by this show.

I'm realizing it doesn't take much to make this phenomenon occur.

How You Know You're In Teh PHUXX0R35:
- the artistic director of your theater company writes and directs a play.
- the artistic director of your theater company writes and directs a play and happens to be a name star.
- no dramaturg listed in the program

Production values are high and the acting doesn't suck in Break the Whip, a tale of the Jamestown colony in 1607 from the perspective of the Native Americans, the English immigrants, and the African slaves all done in Commedia dell'arte.

Yeah, you read that right. I thought the same thing too.

The shadow puppets are beautiful.

The band is RAWK!

The story is l--------------o-------------n--------------g. Three hours, including a 10 minute intermission.

Break the Whip in 2 Minutes

Act I

Native American Shadow Puppet Creation Story: World Created by Big Bunny

Native Americans: White People are stupid savages. Man, it's awesome having food.

English Immigrants: Savages are stupid savages. Son of a bitch, I'm hungry.

Native Americans: They're dicks.

English Immigrants: They're dicks. Let's get some slaves.

(Enter Africans.)

End Act I

Act II

Indentured English Immigrant and African Slave are in lurve.

High Born English Immigrants: EW! EW! EW! GROSS! Stick him in the stockade and whip her.

Indentured English Immigrant + African Slave and Friends run away.

IEI+AS&F: Hey, look! Indians!

Native Americans: These people got the shit kicked out of them by the white savages. Let's bring them to our village.

High Born English Immigrants: Our servants and slaves are gone! After them!

(Small House of Uncle Thomas style chase scene. The runaways make it safely to the Native American village.)

Natives, Servants, & Slaves: And we all live happily ever after for now.

Notes for Next Time:
- Less script, shouting & singing of songs that don't advance plot
- In the classic lyric of Tripod's King Kong song, get to the fucking monkey!

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