Friday, September 11, 2009


When I was a kid, I was hyper-verbal (shocker). My Dad taught me to talk early, and swears he’s regretted it every since. I was a mile-a-minute jabber jaw in pigtails. My brother on the other hand, didn’t talk until late. I’ve always said it was because he didn’t really need to. There was a big sister who was perfectly delighted to have an excuse to talk even more as she had someone else to express every thought and need for. I refer to this as the “Justin wants a cookie” factor.

I’ve always looked at this as a big factor in the fact that my brother is one taciturn son-of-a-gun. And he is. Takes a stick of dynamite to get him talking.

But recently I realized it probably did something to me too. The only way you can say “Justin wants a cookie” is to know that Justin wants a cookie. To sense someone else’s needs, unvoiced, possibly even before they realize them themselves. To feel a ripple in the fabric of the universe, a disturbance in the Force – when somebody wants a cookie.

Had we been a little closer in age, I would have been still figuring out when I wanted a cookie when Justin came along. Had we been a little further apart, I’d have been off doing my own thing. But he came along at just the right time to warp my little brain just perfect. I occasionally have this strange compulsion to make sure everybody has their cookies. You covered? You alright? Everybody has theirs? You don’t want a cookie? How about a brownie?

Sibling sh## is a bone-deep thing. It will rise up from some psychic nook you didn’t even know you had and you’ll find yourself doing things you barely understand for reasons that are so ingrained that they don’t even seem like choices any more. That’s just the way it is.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A poem about rain and hubris

You know why it rained today?

Because the weatherman said it would.

And I said, that's what you've been saying for


suck it


And that's why it rained today.

Scene it, seen it

Okay, I’m probably not going to see 9 (animated dolls = creepy case of the willies; Elijah Wood as an animated doll = sleep with the lights on for the rest of my life). But I do respect that it is trying to do something at least a little different. There are so many concepts that I’m so over that I won’t even consider going to see them. Here’s the short list of movie elements I currently find unacceptable:

Rom-Coms: And here I’m talking the straight up rom-com. I’ll accept the rom-com hybrid (R-C/musical; R-C/mystery; R-C/sci-fi). If it’s just the standard meet cute between cute and cuter, I’ve seen it. Don’t need to see it again. And I don’t care if it stars Hugh Jackman and a clone of Hugh Jackman.

Movies involving the following professions: lawyers, politicians, doctors, real estate agents, fashion designers, architects, writers, mafia assasins and wedding planners. Professions that are weak, but still marginally acceptable: cops, code crackers, artists, chefs, dog walkers, journalists, comedians, socialites, fire fighters and the clergy.

Talking animals: Actually, this was never acceptable. Just stop doing it.

Apocalypse: Anything where a landmark is destroyed (i.e., the White House, the Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore, the Christ of the Andes, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, etc.). Frankly, it’s just not that shocking any more. Yawn. Though let me draw a distinction here – apocalypse, no; post-apocalypse, yes. It’s a fine distinction, but one I’m willing to draw.

Jason Statham: Unless he’s going to be playing an accountant from Tulsa who just wants to dance on Broadway. Then maybe. But if he's just going to be kicking someone's ass again . . . it's just lost it's charm.

Psycho-killers: They haven’t come up with a new way to kill people in years. So all they’re doing is making it more disgusting. And here’s a clue, more disgusting is not more interesting. It just makes me wish I hadn’t had all that popcorn.

And of course, I’m not saying that these will never be acceptable again. I’m just saying give it a rest already. And when you pull it out of the mothballs, it will all seem new and fresh. How can I miss you if you won’t go away?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Glee TV

Okay, so DYING for Glee tonight. Making me wait from the spring premiere until now for the show start is an appropriately high school tease tactic, but this ain't no purity pact. Time to either put up or shut up. And I've got my fingers crossed and my nerves in knots on whether Glee can live up to its promise.

Let's face it, this show was created for geeks like me. Even though my singing voice sounds like a cat caught in a cement mixer, I am the Queen of show tunes in my living room. I do choreography, people. And it's my living room, I do what I want. And what I want is jazz hands. And if I could figure out a way to rig a follow spot, I'd do that too. Honestly, if it weren't for that whole "please don't sing, Julie. EVER" thing, I would form my own glee club right now.

[Sidebar: has anyone else seen the previews of Were the World Mine? Must say, I'm intrigued. And I've been singing that "Oh, why refuse him who loves yooouuu so . . ." bit from the commercials over and over and over again in my head for weeks. Could be scrumptious.]

Anyway, I'm on pins and needles to see if Glee can keep up the funny - and give me a weekly showstopper. And you wouldn't believe how hard it is to type with fingers crossed.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


First off, I can’t recommend It Might Get Loud highly enough. And it’s not just a Guitar God movie, even though it is a really fascinating portrait of 3 rock-n-roll deities (Jimmy Page, the Edge and Jack White) of different ages. They also have a lot to say about creativity, coming of age, art, passion, fun and how you approach your life’s work. And, there’s something for the ladies in all that rock guitarist swagger – the Edge does yoga, try to picture it.

But in spite of all that lovely eau de testosterone, the part I found most intriguing was about creativity. Probably because I’m going through a slight creative cycle, I found these three artists approach fascinating. And a little scary. That three people who are so immersed in a creative life each find that they are frequently throwing themselves off the precipice when they start a project, not knowing when, how or if they’re going to land. It really doesn’t get any easier. You can be at the top of your game and still find yourself facing the creative abyss. Which makes it all the more bizarre that people put themselves through the creative wringer willingly. Again and again.

I find it also kind of heartening that the Edge has “I suck!” moments too. In the past, I’ve let the SUCK break me down. Maybe that feeling of I suck! is the ultimate creative monster. The thing that will beat the hope right out of you. And every time you pick up a paintbrush, or a Fender, or a pen, or a piece of fabric, or a balloon, intending to paint a landscape, strum a tune, write a poem, design a dress or make a balloon animal, you have to battle the monster. No matter who you are.

And I think, after watching this movie, one of the best weapons you can have at your disposal is a little rock-n-roll swagger. You can totally fake the suck monster out, and ballsy your way right past him. Cause, I think the suck monster might be a little stupid. ‘Course, I don’t know how much swagger I can muster. Then again, I don’t need enough to face an arena of screaming fans. Just enough to face a blank page, really. Gulp.

TIME: Quotes of the Day