Monday, January 19, 2015

Typing Out Loud: Je Suis Everybody

Religious extremists bombard the offices of a satrical newspaper and kill many.

Religious extremists bombard a Nigerian village and kill many.

Religious extremists bombard facebook, outraged over the audacity that people may want equal rights.

See a pattern here?

It's this kind of behavior that make me question free will, the Bible, and morality overall. I want to respect all faiths and all spirituality but I cannot stand behind anger, violence, or discrimination.

Maybe I'm too much of a hippie liberal that truly believes in a to each their own utopia, but my wish for the future is truly for everyone to find their peace on earth. And restricting others' free will ain't the way to do it.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Stories for the Boy: Bath Time

These came as cats, dogs, and swans.

While getting Will ready for his Sunday night bath, he pulled his usual pranks, bubbles in his hair, scaling the walls of the tub while proclaiming himself Spiderman, blowing bubbles from either end and giggling over the outcome.

You come by this behavior naturally, sport. I was the queen of bathtub shenanigans.

Before grandma and grandpa made renovations to their house, they used to have an old-fashioned tub, a heavy porcelain number, with a curved edge that was perfect for resting your neck for a soothing bath. Or, as me and your Aunt Candy used it, slicking it up with bubble bath and turning it into a slide. And you had to do it just right, or else you would pin your arm between the tub and the sink, a special level of torture that would ruin the night.

Speaking of bubble bath... your great-grandma used to buy us girls huge bottles of dime store bubble bath. Yes, we got the plastic pink cats and black poodle bottles. But we also got generous vats of pearl yellow, iridescent white bath soap in scents not found in nature.

With grandma's house built in the early part of the 1900s, our shower was in the basement, a shower head stuck over a drain, sharing an open space with the washer, dryer, drain tub, walk-out entrance, etc. You ran the risk on any given day of tending to your personal care needs and suddenly being interrupted by the Servi-Soft delivery guy or told to hurry the hell up because there was laundry to be done and we were running out of hot water.

There was a gentle slope to the concrete floor, one that was perfectly suited for slicking up with the liquid Woolworth soap, to create a soap slide for your mother and your aunt to push each other to slide thrillingly into the shower spray and hope to Jesus you didn't slam into the concrete wall behind.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Why Art Matters: Wesley Snipes

One weekend in December I was assaulted seemingly from all channels over the course of 48 hours by movies that featured actor Wesley Snipes. And much to my surprise, he was the best thing in them.

The first movie in question was the so-bad-it's-still-bad Demolition Man with Sandra Bullock (who was awful) and Sylvester Stallone (who was worse). Snipes plays Simon Phoenix (last name intended to hit you over the head with a plot bat), a criminal whose prison sentence was to be cryogenically frozen. While in deep freeze, he is subconsciously trained in secret to become a super-criminal. Snipes is a completely believable baddie, delighting in the advances in society and putting his real-life martial arts into play. Even though Stallone's character wins in the end, Snipes one-ups him for the entire movie.

Second was Too Wong Foo Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar, the ensemble movie where he stars as Noxeema Jackson, a drag queen intent on teaching Chi Chi how to be more than "a boy in a dress." With a cast featuring Stockard Channing, Patrick Swayze and John Leguzamo, there was a lot of star power, and a lot of comedy spiced with drama and heart. While Swayze and Leguzamo were more believable as drag queens, Snipes brought a level of New York attitude along with a ton of maribou.

Last one in the Snipes Film Festival was Major League, where he shined as the Willie Mays Hays, a brash non-roster guy who just shows up to play and makes the team based on his penchant for base stealing and swagger. A favorite among baseball fans, this movie is on heavy rotation no matter the time of year.

A fight with the government has created a gap in Snipes' resume as he served time for tax evasion, but now that he is out, he is expected to appear in The Expendables later this year.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

January Playlist: Beatles and Skating, of Course

A fiendish thingy!

Oh, my two favorite subjects together in one playlist.

The Beatles have been a favorite symphonic choice for figure skaters, and off the top of my head, memorable performances have included Michelle Kwan and Jeremy Abbott (Day in the Life), Debi Thomas (Oh Darling!), Davis and White (Eleanor Rigby) and Navarro and Bommentre (Abbey Road, side 2).

Outside of skating to My Sweet Lord for a Christmas show a few years back, my repertoire has been woefully neglectful of the Fabs. Only reason I can really come up with is nothing has spoken to me as a free skate, with normal jumps and spins. However, since passing my preliminary dance tests, this opens me up to the world of solo free dance in the juvenile division and as dance music, I'm hearing the music with new ears. I think it's the classic verse, verse, chorus, bridge, verse, chorus that lends itself to dance steps, highlights, footwork and long edges.

Hey, we fortysomethings have to start somewhere! So why not make a sweet list of potential free dance candidates? Meryl and Kim would surely approve.

Day Tripper - this is one of those songs that came alive wearing earphones. The idea of bringing it to ice is very appealing.

Girl - there's some deep sighs that are perfect for long, deep edges and then the pace picks up for the bridge for some footwork. I've wanted to steer away from songs previously performed, so something is nagging me about this one. Yuka? Petrenko?

Good Day Sunshine - once you think of musical passages and melodies, you start choreographing. This gives me some serious step cross kick, twizzle, deep edge rocker action.

Helter Skelter - only if I pass senior free dance and am completely nuts.

Here There and Everywhere - this may have to happen for real.

I Feel Fine - this was once on my ISI freeskate shortlist. Hm.

Love You To - since skating to Song of India, I have been haunting online sari shops for a dance dress and racking my brain for an excuse to skate in it. This adds to my George Harrison love...

Something - love.

Taxman - dark. gloomy. menacing. cool.

While My Guitar Gently Weeps - this is turning into the all-Harrison list. And I think I really want to see this happen too.