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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

que sera sera

Dear Hollywood,

I have a bone to pick with you. Well, several, actually. A whole skeleton, more like.

Why don't you make 'em like you used to?

This hiatus from my beloved James Madison University has allowed me to spend some time with some of your classic film stars of the 1930s, etc.

Upon watching the Harvey Girls (great job, by the way), and literally hundreds of other classic films through the years, being indeed raised on them, I feel like I have the right to tell you that you suck, currently.

Now, don't get me wrong. Loved Julie & Julia, You've Got Mail, Mean Girls, and a hand full of others. And, truly, this criticism is not in any way coming from any bitterness from a childhood filled with torment. My mother hugged me a lot. And my local Regal has made a nice chunk of change off of my generous donations (in return for tickets, coke zero and popcorn of course) over the timeline of my life.

I read somewhere that Angela Landsberry was booed and hissed at in public due to her role in Harvey Girls. Judy Garland was so beloved by the public that Landsberry's antagonism was loathed by the movie goers.

And you think about Audrey Hepburn and Doris Day. All of them adored. All of them brought America together.

Hollywood, I ask you: What celebrity have you brought us all together by, lately?

Surely not Megan Fox. Did you know that in order to date her, you have to be tattooed. It's true. Parade in my Richmond Times Dispatch said so Sunday morning. If you're not, she requires you to get a tattoo of her face or her name.

Would Audrey or Judy ever do that? Think about it.

Now, we can all agree, some people like Megan Fox. She may be beloved by people of the male persuasion.

And sure, I mean, we girls have all at one point or another fallen prey to the likes of Johnny Depp and Jude Law. Yeehaw.

But, that doesn't unite us at all. Either way you look at it, you're leaving 50% of the population out of the picture.

Some could even argue that Oprah serves as America's current sweetheart. Guess what? My dad hates her. We named our black cat after her. So, still, no cigar.

Here's my theory about you. You're too concerned with making money, and not concerned enough with making movies that are good and uplifting. The tagline for movies used to be "the happiest musical ever made." True for the Wizard of Oz, true for the Easter Parade.

Now
, the taglines read "sex, sex, sex," and "money, money, money." Well, maybe not in those exact words, but pretty darn close.

Until you get your act together and start producing movies that give us all something to laugh and cry about, someone to look up to through and through. Someone wholesome, someone who everyone adores, I will keep to your better days.

Thanks, you've been very understanding. Please do not let this letter deter you from considering my future screenplays for production.

Love,

Brett

P.S. Something like this is what I had in mind...





Oh, COME ON. The political incorrectness. The green screen special effects. Technicolor. Stereophonic sound. You know you miss this.

Also, Ms. Fox? You're kind of a gilded butterfly, yourself. Are we going to laugh at you someday soon?

Yes, yes, you're very pretty. What else can you do?
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que sera sera

Dear Hollywood,

I have a bone to pick with you. Well, several, actually. A whole skeleton, more like.

Why don't you make 'em like you used to?

This hiatus from my beloved James Madison University has allowed me to spend some time with some of your classic film stars of the 1930s, etc.

Upon watching the Harvey Girls (great job, by the way), and literally hundreds of other classic films through the years, being indeed raised on them, I feel like I have the right to tell you that you suck, currently.

Now, don't get me wrong. Loved Julie & Julia, You've Got Mail, Mean Girls, and a hand full of others. And, truly, this criticism is not in any way coming from any bitterness from a childhood filled with torment. My mother hugged me a lot. And my local Regal has made a nice chunk of change off of my generous donations (in return for tickets, coke zero and popcorn of course) over the timeline of my life.

I read somewhere that Angela Landsberry was booed and hissed at in public due to her role in Harvey Girls. Judy Garland was so beloved by the public that Landsberry's antagonism was loathed by the movie goers.

And you think about Audrey Hepburn and Doris Day. All of them adored. All of them brought America together.

Hollywood, I ask you: What celebrity have you brought us all together by, lately?

Surely not Megan Fox. Did you know that in order to date her, you have to be tattooed. It's true. Parade in my Richmond Times Dispatch said so Sunday morning. If you're not, she requires you to get a tattoo of her face or her name.

Would Audrey or Judy ever do that? Think about it.

Now, we can all agree, some people like Megan Fox. She may be beloved by people of the male persuasion.

And sure, I mean, we girls have all at one point or another fallen prey to the likes of Johnny Depp and Jude Law. Yeehaw.

But, that doesn't unite us at all. Either way you look at it, you're leaving 50% of the population out of the picture.

Some could even argue that Oprah serves as America's current sweetheart. Guess what? My dad hates her. We named our black cat after her. So, still, no cigar.

Here's my theory about you. You're too concerned with making money, and not concerned enough with making movies that are good and uplifting. The tagline for movies used to be "the happiest musical ever made." True for the Wizard of Oz, true for the Easter Parade.

Now
, the taglines read "sex, sex, sex," and "money, money, money." Well, maybe not in those exact words, but pretty darn close.

Until you get your act together and start producing movies that give us all something to laugh and cry about, someone to look up to through and through. Someone wholesome, someone who everyone adores, I will keep to your better days.

Thanks, you've been very understanding. Please do not let this letter deter you from considering my future screenplays for production.

Love,

Brett

P.S. Something like this is what I had in mind...





Oh, COME ON. The political incorrectness. The green screen special effects. Technicolor. Stereophonic sound. You know you miss this.

Also, Ms. Fox? You're kind of a gilded butterfly, yourself. Are we going to laugh at you someday soon?

Yes, yes, you're very pretty. What else can you do?
SHARE:

Monday, December 28, 2009

does anybody hear her?

"What's worse than a smug married couple? Lots of smug married couples."
-Bridget Jones' Diary


"Once, when Aaron and I were bantering back and forth, he made some unanswerable point, and I said, 'Honey, I'm so tired of debating. Either accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior, make me laugh, or get the F*** out!'"
-Kristin Chenoweth, A Little Bit Wicked

On days like these, the days that are low and discouraging, there was only one human being who could get me out of my funk. He's not here now. I mean, he's here, but in all the wrong ways. And he has a new her. And I haven't found the him for me, yet. He's still out there, if he's out there.

It's hard to give the Lord all of your struggles. Especially when you can't quite put into words how you feel. Discouraged, defeated, depressed, disgusted, and faithless all in one. Once more I'm discouraged, defeated, depressed and disgusted by my faithlessness.

Thank the Lord my mercies are renewed every morning. There's always a fresh perspective, reminding me that the Lord loves me and cares for me, and that he draws me near to him, even in the midst of the most minor, minor, minor difficulties.

But right now, just for this moment, after spending an evening with lovey-dovey college couples, reminding me of nothing but just how utterly single a girl can be, I just long for someone to hold me close and to press his chin on the top of my head and tell me that everything is fine.



There's just too much in this world to be joyful about!
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does anybody hear her?

"What's worse than a smug married couple? Lots of smug married couples."
-Bridget Jones' Diary


"Once, when Aaron and I were bantering back and forth, he made some unanswerable point, and I said, 'Honey, I'm so tired of debating. Either accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior, make me laugh, or get the F*** out!'"
-Kristin Chenoweth, A Little Bit Wicked

On days like these, the days that are low and discouraging, there was only one human being who could get me out of my funk. He's not here now. I mean, he's here, but in all the wrong ways. And he has a new her. And I haven't found the him for me, yet. He's still out there, if he's out there.

It's hard to give the Lord all of your struggles. Especially when you can't quite put into words how you feel. Discouraged, defeated, depressed, disgusted, and faithless all in one. Once more I'm discouraged, defeated, depressed and disgusted by my faithlessness.

Thank the Lord my mercies are renewed every morning. There's always a fresh perspective, reminding me that the Lord loves me and cares for me, and that he draws me near to him, even in the midst of the most minor, minor, minor difficulties.

But right now, just for this moment, after spending an evening with lovey-dovey college couples, reminding me of nothing but just how utterly single a girl can be, I just long for someone to hold me close and to press his chin on the top of my head and tell me that everything is fine.



There's just too much in this world to be joyful about!
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Sunday, December 27, 2009

the unsung, singing heroes

"I'm brave, I'm determined, I'm fearless...I'm a liar."
-Tex, the Harvey Girls

Today I fell into the rabbit hole of Barnes and Noble. I can't help it. I got sucked in. They feed all of my addictions: literature, movies, music and coffee.

I found the Harvey Girls, buried deep in the musical section. Naturally, I zoomed home and popped it in my DVD player faster than you can say "thar's gold in them thar hills." After I purchased it, of course.

And, just a little note here, I'm currently watching this movie for the second time today. Yes, it's that good.

This film has many similar qualities that the Wizard of Oz has. Obviously, it stars the fabulous Judy Garland. You really can't go wrong with this woman. Roy Bolger (the actor who also played Scarecrow) is also featured in the film. His character, "Tex," and "Susan," Judy's character, even have a dance number with each other. It's so nice to see them floating around on the screen together again.

Also, similarly to the Wizard of Oz, you simply can't take your eyes off of Garland for a second. She's extraordinary, and beautiful. She's searching for a home in this film too. And it's not too different from the sparse and unexplored land Kansas. Though, I always get a little sad when I watch movies where she's the star, because I know how deep her struggles were. But, the show must go on, and according to the proprietor of the Harvey House, "the train must be fed!"

The skeleton of the story follows the lives of waitresses of the infamous Harvey House - a restaurant chain that spread throughout the west around railroad stations (cue Garland's epic song, "the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe"). It was true that wherever the Harvey Houses, and its Harvey Girls (the lovable nickname given to the waitresses of the H.H.) lead, civilization was soon to follow.
This is where the conflict arises and the stakes are raised. The waitresses are known for their wholesome nature, in fact their uniforms are even something akin to a nun's outfit. Seriously, black dress, white apron, big white bow. However, the saloon where all of the "bad girls" sing and dance to their bad songs are threatened by the innocent Harvey Girls. And...

EPIC CHICK FIGHT ENSUES! Yikes, those girls were brutal. And through the whole movie, it's like the real west side story, but instead of the sharks and jets, you have the virgin waitresses and the floozy saloon "dancers."

And of course, the two worlds of good and morally corrupt are brought together by song, dance and a sub-plot of a several love stories.

It's so cool to see Judy and all of her Harvey sisters in action here. They were bringing about change in a world that was just beginning. They abandoned all they were familiar with to begin fresh in the wild world of the west.

They are the unsung, singing, heroes of the era.

A few faves:

"I was born in Paris,
I was raised in Paris
Went to school in Paris, where I met a boy.
I was married in Paris,
Almost buried in Paris
But I left Paris...Paris, Illinois."
-The Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe

"I sent my picture to one of those Lonely Hearts Clubs, and it came back marked, 'We're not THAT lonely!'"
-Alma

"Now you listen to me, if anybody leaves here it's going to be you you and your kind. Men who run gambling palaces and writing lying letters to women and sell a lot of liquor to drunkards. Before we're finished with this town, you're going to have to swallow every one of those pretty letters you wrote. And yes, I hope you choke on them, too!"
-Susan

And, of course, there is a HILARIOUS scene when some of the waitresses discover that their meet has been stolen by friends of the competing saloon across the street (and what's a trip to the HH without one of their famous steaks?). Judy Garland tries to hold up the saloon with two stolen guns. It's the cutest thing ever.

But, you don't have to take my word for it (da-dun-dun!).

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the unsung, singing heroes

"I'm brave, I'm determined, I'm fearless...I'm a liar."
-Tex, the Harvey Girls

Today I fell into the rabbit hole of Barnes and Noble. I can't help it. I got sucked in. They feed all of my addictions: literature, movies, music and coffee.

I found the Harvey Girls, buried deep in the musical section. Naturally, I zoomed home and popped it in my DVD player faster than you can say "thar's gold in them thar hills." After I purchased it, of course.

And, just a little note here, I'm currently watching this movie for the second time today. Yes, it's that good.

This film has many similar qualities that the Wizard of Oz has. Obviously, it stars the fabulous Judy Garland. You really can't go wrong with this woman. Roy Bolger (the actor who also played Scarecrow) is also featured in the film. His character, "Tex," and "Susan," Judy's character, even have a dance number with each other. It's so nice to see them floating around on the screen together again.

Also, similarly to the Wizard of Oz, you simply can't take your eyes off of Garland for a second. She's extraordinary, and beautiful. She's searching for a home in this film too. And it's not too different from the sparse and unexplored land Kansas. Though, I always get a little sad when I watch movies where she's the star, because I know how deep her struggles were. But, the show must go on, and according to the proprietor of the Harvey House, "the train must be fed!"

The skeleton of the story follows the lives of waitresses of the infamous Harvey House - a restaurant chain that spread throughout the west around railroad stations (cue Garland's epic song, "the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe"). It was true that wherever the Harvey Houses, and its Harvey Girls (the lovable nickname given to the waitresses of the H.H.) lead, civilization was soon to follow.
This is where the conflict arises and the stakes are raised. The waitresses are known for their wholesome nature, in fact their uniforms are even something akin to a nun's outfit. Seriously, black dress, white apron, big white bow. However, the saloon where all of the "bad girls" sing and dance to their bad songs are threatened by the innocent Harvey Girls. And...

EPIC CHICK FIGHT ENSUES! Yikes, those girls were brutal. And through the whole movie, it's like the real west side story, but instead of the sharks and jets, you have the virgin waitresses and the floozy saloon "dancers."

And of course, the two worlds of good and morally corrupt are brought together by song, dance and a sub-plot of a several love stories.

It's so cool to see Judy and all of her Harvey sisters in action here. They were bringing about change in a world that was just beginning. They abandoned all they were familiar with to begin fresh in the wild world of the west.

They are the unsung, singing, heroes of the era.

A few faves:

"I was born in Paris,
I was raised in Paris
Went to school in Paris, where I met a boy.
I was married in Paris,
Almost buried in Paris
But I left Paris...Paris, Illinois."
-The Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe

"I sent my picture to one of those Lonely Hearts Clubs, and it came back marked, 'We're not THAT lonely!'"
-Alma

"Now you listen to me, if anybody leaves here it's going to be you you and your kind. Men who run gambling palaces and writing lying letters to women and sell a lot of liquor to drunkards. Before we're finished with this town, you're going to have to swallow every one of those pretty letters you wrote. And yes, I hope you choke on them, too!"
-Susan

And, of course, there is a HILARIOUS scene when some of the waitresses discover that their meet has been stolen by friends of the competing saloon across the street (and what's a trip to the HH without one of their famous steaks?). Judy Garland tries to hold up the saloon with two stolen guns. It's the cutest thing ever.

But, you don't have to take my word for it (da-dun-dun!).

SHARE:

Friday, December 25, 2009

santa defied gravity

"You think I'm perfect? Bang on my chest if you think I'm perfect. Go ahead. Bang on it!"
-Tin Man, the Wizard of Oz

Okay, so before you get all "Brett, Christmas is the time to reflect on the birth of our Savior," let me just say, you should read the post below. I gave Jesus His props. I repeat: Christmas is so totally not all about the gifts you get.

But after seven years (yes, seven, a.k.a. how long Jacob worked to win the marriage of his beloved Rachel in the Old Testament) of being obsessed with all things Wicked (the musical, not the adjective)... I FINALLY GET TO SEE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Since 2003 when the Broadway show opened, I have run a collection of Wicked paraphernalia. Posters, baseball cap, soundtrack, piano music, daily planner, calendar, journal, t-shirt, you name it. So you can imagine what my heart did when I found that the touring Broadway cast was coming to the Landmark Theater in Richmond. It flip-flopped. It dropped. It filled up with gladness and excitement. It did all of the things a heart could possibly do. Even stop.

Well, my parents were crafty indeed. Pretending that the show was "too expensive" and that it was "during the school year" so I couldn't "come home an see the show anyway."

Crap!

If you're a new reader, or a dedicated, faithful reader who doesn't read carefully, or if you don't know me at all, I like Broadway musicals. A lot. I also like the Wizard of Oz. A lot. I also like Judy Garland and red shoes and the song "Over the Rainbow." I like those even more.

This morning, by our perfectly decorated, sparkling Christmas tree I unwrapped a Wizard of Oz calendar. Perfect. My mother looked at me and said, "Brett, open the calendar so we can see the pictures."

"Mom, I don't need to open it. I can see the pictures on the back."

Then I noticed, a piece of scotch tape was holding the bottom of the cellophane closed.

Hmmmm...Could it be? It couldn't be...could it? It's too expensive...they said "no," so it couldn't be possible. But, wouldn't it be...just...wonderful?

And then, like a dream, I flipped the calendar page to the month of March. A very good month indeed. Taped to the 10th was my very own, wizardly, Wicked ticket.

I burst into tears.

At 7:30 p.m. on March 10th, 2010, my life will no longer be Wicked-less. Let the countdown begin!


Merry Christmas, everyone!

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santa defied gravity

"You think I'm perfect? Bang on my chest if you think I'm perfect. Go ahead. Bang on it!"
-Tin Man, the Wizard of Oz

Okay, so before you get all "Brett, Christmas is the time to reflect on the birth of our Savior," let me just say, you should read the post below. I gave Jesus His props. I repeat: Christmas is so totally not all about the gifts you get.

But after seven years (yes, seven, a.k.a. how long Jacob worked to win the marriage of his beloved Rachel in the Old Testament) of being obsessed with all things Wicked (the musical, not the adjective)... I FINALLY GET TO SEE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Since 2003 when the Broadway show opened, I have run a collection of Wicked paraphernalia. Posters, baseball cap, soundtrack, piano music, daily planner, calendar, journal, t-shirt, you name it. So you can imagine what my heart did when I found that the touring Broadway cast was coming to the Landmark Theater in Richmond. It flip-flopped. It dropped. It filled up with gladness and excitement. It did all of the things a heart could possibly do. Even stop.

Well, my parents were crafty indeed. Pretending that the show was "too expensive" and that it was "during the school year" so I couldn't "come home an see the show anyway."

Crap!

If you're a new reader, or a dedicated, faithful reader who doesn't read carefully, or if you don't know me at all, I like Broadway musicals. A lot. I also like the Wizard of Oz. A lot. I also like Judy Garland and red shoes and the song "Over the Rainbow." I like those even more.

This morning, by our perfectly decorated, sparkling Christmas tree I unwrapped a Wizard of Oz calendar. Perfect. My mother looked at me and said, "Brett, open the calendar so we can see the pictures."

"Mom, I don't need to open it. I can see the pictures on the back."

Then I noticed, a piece of scotch tape was holding the bottom of the cellophane closed.

Hmmmm...Could it be? It couldn't be...could it? It's too expensive...they said "no," so it couldn't be possible. But, wouldn't it be...just...wonderful?

And then, like a dream, I flipped the calendar page to the month of March. A very good month indeed. Taped to the 10th was my very own, wizardly, Wicked ticket.

I burst into tears.

At 7:30 p.m. on March 10th, 2010, my life will no longer be Wicked-less. Let the countdown begin!


Merry Christmas, everyone!

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

for unto us a child is given

"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.

"But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.

"This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.'

"Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.'

"When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, 'Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.'

"So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.

"But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

"The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told."

Luke 2:8-20


Merry Christmas from Mechanicsville, Virginia! Have a blessed day, and a happy new year!
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for unto us a child is given

"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.

"But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.

"This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.'

"Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.'

"When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, 'Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.'

"So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.

"But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

"The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told."

Luke 2:8-20


Merry Christmas from Mechanicsville, Virginia! Have a blessed day, and a happy new year!
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

a little bit obsessed

"No red light to stop me, hold on to who you are."
-Kristin


Lately, I've been reading Kristin Chenoweth's autobiography, A Little Bit Wicked. Lately, meaning I've been reading it since September 23rd when I bought it for a birthday present for myself at Barnes and Noble for $25.00.

She's phenomenal. I mean, really. Reading her book has been like fueling and encouraging the dreamer inside of me. And she's been needing some encouragement lately. The dreamer, that is.

After her Tony acceptance for her role as Sally in "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown," Chenoweth was the new hot commodity in the Broadway realm. She was made several offers for potential performances, including Thoroughly Modern Millie. Chenoweth wound up accepting an offer from NBC for her own TV show, Kristin. She played the role of Kristin Yancey, a Christian struggling to fit in the very secular world of performing. Sound familiar?

This show barely held its head above water for one season. It was replaced by Fear Factor. Ew. Fear Factor, why bother being "Associate-Pressly-correct" for such a foul show. Why did I even capitalize the words? fear factor. That's better. She's got a great attitude about it. She describes it as a "huge hit. L.A. breast-implant huge. Ask either of the people who watched it."

Anyway, it just goes to show that you can win a TONY for giving a consistently extraordinary performance as Charlie Brown's little sister, and still flop like a salmon. The ones going downstream. With the current. Not against it, like the celebrated ones.

You see?! Ethically, it might be wrong to be encouraged by other people's failures. But, it just helps to know that Kristin Chenoweth wasn't always Kristin Chenoweth. In fact, many people don't even know who she is.

The spell check on this blogging site doesn't even recognize her last name as a word. Seriously, this entire post in edit is completely highlighted in yellow. Twisted world we live in!

My co-worker, Paul, certainly did not know who she was. I was sitting in the break room at Ukrop's, a grocery store chain in Virginia (native to Richmond), reading her frilly book that I love. I just wanted to read my book in peace for thirty quiet minutes. I mean, it's Kristin Chenoweth people! She deserves a little peace and quiet.

So Paul's all coming up behind me, reading over my shoulder, saying "WHATCHA READIN' THERE, SMILEY?!" Oh yeah, he calls me Smiley. He started calling me that before Miley Cyrus took over the world. Just to clarify.

"Oh, it's just a -" I reluctantly placed my pointer finger on the word "Clinique" to hold my place.
"A Little Bit Wicked," he said. "Well, well, well, I didn't know you were one of those girls."
"I'm not. It's the autobiography of Kristin Chenoweth."
"Is she wicked?"
"No, no. She's perfect. It's just called that because she starred as Glinda in the original Broadway cast of Wicked."

No lie. This is the conversation that continued:

"Don't you know the Bible says that's wrong?" he said, being all condescending-meat-department-worker.
"The Bible...says there's something wrong with a Broadway musical spin off of The Wizard of Oz...?" Now, I'm completely perplexed at this point. I mean, what Judy Garland movie is in the Bible?

He continued. "That...wiccum stuff. It's witchcraft."

And I'm thinking to myself, "This man thinks I'm reading a book about the wiccan religion. This bright pink and green, sparkling book with a beautiful, blonde Kristin Chenoweth on the front cover. "

"Oh, I think you're thinking of wiccan, but I'm walking about Wicked."

But he wouldn't let up.

"Yeah, that wiccum stuff is just about that witchraft stuff."
"It's WICCAN," I said, politely under my breath. I never enjoy correcting people, but this is Kristin Chenoweth. Don't mess with my girl. She loves the Lord. Wiccum is the antogonist in Pride and Prejudice. Wicked is not a witchcraft religion condemned by the Bible.

I think he gave up and just walked away. I suppose cutting spiraled honey ham was less exhausting than conversing with the starstruck cashier/carry-out catering employee.

For Kristin's eyes,
I tried to redeem your name. I'm sorry. Why can't people understand? Thank goodness for you. And thank you for sticking up for the gays. You GO girl! Don't let satan or the judgemenal non-Christ following, non-loving, Christ-hindering Christians hold you back. No red light can stop you!

I'll leave the rest of y'all with a little clip from the piolot of her show. Further, extra points to the reader who can correctly identify the name of the song in the clip!


I think my new life motto will be, "Mistake, or intentional...you'll never know!" [insert eyebrow raise here]
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a little bit obsessed

"No red light to stop me, hold on to who you are."
-Kristin


Lately, I've been reading Kristin Chenoweth's autobiography, A Little Bit Wicked. Lately, meaning I've been reading it since September 23rd when I bought it for a birthday present for myself at Barnes and Noble for $25.00.

She's phenomenal. I mean, really. Reading her book has been like fueling and encouraging the dreamer inside of me. And she's been needing some encouragement lately. The dreamer, that is.

After her Tony acceptance for her role as Sally in "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown," Chenoweth was the new hot commodity in the Broadway realm. She was made several offers for potential performances, including Thoroughly Modern Millie. Chenoweth wound up accepting an offer from NBC for her own TV show, Kristin. She played the role of Kristin Yancey, a Christian struggling to fit in the very secular world of performing. Sound familiar?

This show barely held its head above water for one season. It was replaced by Fear Factor. Ew. Fear Factor, why bother being "Associate-Pressly-correct" for such a foul show. Why did I even capitalize the words? fear factor. That's better. She's got a great attitude about it. She describes it as a "huge hit. L.A. breast-implant huge. Ask either of the people who watched it."

Anyway, it just goes to show that you can win a TONY for giving a consistently extraordinary performance as Charlie Brown's little sister, and still flop like a salmon. The ones going downstream. With the current. Not against it, like the celebrated ones.

You see?! Ethically, it might be wrong to be encouraged by other people's failures. But, it just helps to know that Kristin Chenoweth wasn't always Kristin Chenoweth. In fact, many people don't even know who she is.

The spell check on this blogging site doesn't even recognize her last name as a word. Seriously, this entire post in edit is completely highlighted in yellow. Twisted world we live in!

My co-worker, Paul, certainly did not know who she was. I was sitting in the break room at Ukrop's, a grocery store chain in Virginia (native to Richmond), reading her frilly book that I love. I just wanted to read my book in peace for thirty quiet minutes. I mean, it's Kristin Chenoweth people! She deserves a little peace and quiet.

So Paul's all coming up behind me, reading over my shoulder, saying "WHATCHA READIN' THERE, SMILEY?!" Oh yeah, he calls me Smiley. He started calling me that before Miley Cyrus took over the world. Just to clarify.

"Oh, it's just a -" I reluctantly placed my pointer finger on the word "Clinique" to hold my place.
"A Little Bit Wicked," he said. "Well, well, well, I didn't know you were one of those girls."
"I'm not. It's the autobiography of Kristin Chenoweth."
"Is she wicked?"
"No, no. She's perfect. It's just called that because she starred as Glinda in the original Broadway cast of Wicked."

No lie. This is the conversation that continued:

"Don't you know the Bible says that's wrong?" he said, being all condescending-meat-department-worker.
"The Bible...says there's something wrong with a Broadway musical spin off of The Wizard of Oz...?" Now, I'm completely perplexed at this point. I mean, what Judy Garland movie is in the Bible?

He continued. "That...wiccum stuff. It's witchcraft."

And I'm thinking to myself, "This man thinks I'm reading a book about the wiccan religion. This bright pink and green, sparkling book with a beautiful, blonde Kristin Chenoweth on the front cover. "

"Oh, I think you're thinking of wiccan, but I'm walking about Wicked."

But he wouldn't let up.

"Yeah, that wiccum stuff is just about that witchraft stuff."
"It's WICCAN," I said, politely under my breath. I never enjoy correcting people, but this is Kristin Chenoweth. Don't mess with my girl. She loves the Lord. Wiccum is the antogonist in Pride and Prejudice. Wicked is not a witchcraft religion condemned by the Bible.

I think he gave up and just walked away. I suppose cutting spiraled honey ham was less exhausting than conversing with the starstruck cashier/carry-out catering employee.

For Kristin's eyes,
I tried to redeem your name. I'm sorry. Why can't people understand? Thank goodness for you. And thank you for sticking up for the gays. You GO girl! Don't let satan or the judgemenal non-Christ following, non-loving, Christ-hindering Christians hold you back. No red light can stop you!

I'll leave the rest of y'all with a little clip from the piolot of her show. Further, extra points to the reader who can correctly identify the name of the song in the clip!


I think my new life motto will be, "Mistake, or intentional...you'll never know!" [insert eyebrow raise here]
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Monday, December 21, 2009

white christmas (I'm dreaming)

Snow is a magnificent, wonderful thing. Even though now it's thoroughly frustrating me, because it's keeping me trapped in the house, I simply cannot deny its beauty.

I find snow inexplicable. Sure, any bozo can explain the science of snow, but nothing I've ever seen or read quite captures the irrevocable blessing of the beauty of snow.

"Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow."
-Jesus Paid it All


It's the same with our relationship with Christ. I'm enjoying my daily (most days) quiet time with the Lord, at my kitchen table with a cup of coffee. Simultaneously, I'm basking in the aftermath of the 2009 Richmond blizzard. We received about thirteen inches of snow in less than 24 hours.

Once I started living my life for Christ, he overwhelmed my life like a blizzard. He covered me. All of my sin, all of my shortcomings, all of my ugliness, he covered with this beautiful, peaceful, glittery snow. Not only did he cover them, he made them beautiful.

He makes the warm pink sunrise reflect on the ground of my soul.

"He covered me and raised this dead man's life."
-It's all Because of Jesus

I know that all of these analogies have been made before, and that's why snow will forever remain a deep and challenging mystery to me.

Last night, appropriately enough, I was watching Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" with my family. To those of you who have not seen this classic starring Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney: shame on you. Go bury your head in the snow, you non-American you! Go rent it now...better yet, go buy it. It'll be well worth it. I'll wait...

I wasn't having a very good night, personality-wise. I was just kind of wrapped up in my own bitterness and upset about being snowed in and not seeing my friends (not a good attitude to have while you're watching "White Christmas," just sayin'). I was just wrapped up in myself, and really, there is no worse feeling than being completely selfish. It's the worst, though many of us fall into it every day. No wonder the world is so wicked!

Wow. Segway I did not plan. Hop-scotching back to "White Christmas."

I found myself beginning to be completely wrapped up in the splendor of the (ORIGINAL) sister act, and General Waverly, and Danny Kaye, and choreography when the phone rang.

It was for me.

This was especially weird, considering I hadn't received one land-line phone call since I've gotten a cell phone.

A girl's voice asked me, "Brett, do you know who this is?!"
I answered, "I'm sure I would have no idea."

It was Peri.

How do I explain Peri? She's like snow, too. Last night she fluttered down into the crevices that my bitterness and selfishness had created in my heart and filled them with love and joy like only a true sister in Christ could.

Peri and I met by phone my senior year of high school. The summer before, I had gone on a mission's trip to Tennessee. One of the things on the agenda of that trip was to take a tour of Covenant College, a beautiful Christian university in Lookout Mountain, GA.

I fell in love, but there was no way that my parents were going to let me go out of state (and they were fitting the bill, so...you know). Somehow my name was placed on a calling list though, and Peri began calling.

And, it didn't really matter that I clearly wasn't going to go there, she was happy to talk to me about life, books, writing, Audrey Hepburn, anything. We kept in touch, and she's been sort of an e-mail, blogging, facebook pen pal of sorts for the last few years.

Last night we talked for about forty-five minutes. And that's another thing, time just melts when we're on the phone together. She told me about St. Louis, and I told her about Mechanicsville. I told her about "White Christmas" and the snow, she told me about life after college graduation.

We hung up, and suddenly I was ready for anything that came my way. I'm so thankful for snow!
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white christmas (I'm dreaming)

Snow is a magnificent, wonderful thing. Even though now it's thoroughly frustrating me, because it's keeping me trapped in the house, I simply cannot deny its beauty.

I find snow inexplicable. Sure, any bozo can explain the science of snow, but nothing I've ever seen or read quite captures the irrevocable blessing of the beauty of snow.

"Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow."
-Jesus Paid it All


It's the same with our relationship with Christ. I'm enjoying my daily (most days) quiet time with the Lord, at my kitchen table with a cup of coffee. Simultaneously, I'm basking in the aftermath of the 2009 Richmond blizzard. We received about thirteen inches of snow in less than 24 hours.

Once I started living my life for Christ, he overwhelmed my life like a blizzard. He covered me. All of my sin, all of my shortcomings, all of my ugliness, he covered with this beautiful, peaceful, glittery snow. Not only did he cover them, he made them beautiful.

He makes the warm pink sunrise reflect on the ground of my soul.

"He covered me and raised this dead man's life."
-It's all Because of Jesus

I know that all of these analogies have been made before, and that's why snow will forever remain a deep and challenging mystery to me.

Last night, appropriately enough, I was watching Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" with my family. To those of you who have not seen this classic starring Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney: shame on you. Go bury your head in the snow, you non-American you! Go rent it now...better yet, go buy it. It'll be well worth it. I'll wait...

I wasn't having a very good night, personality-wise. I was just kind of wrapped up in my own bitterness and upset about being snowed in and not seeing my friends (not a good attitude to have while you're watching "White Christmas," just sayin'). I was just wrapped up in myself, and really, there is no worse feeling than being completely selfish. It's the worst, though many of us fall into it every day. No wonder the world is so wicked!

Wow. Segway I did not plan. Hop-scotching back to "White Christmas."

I found myself beginning to be completely wrapped up in the splendor of the (ORIGINAL) sister act, and General Waverly, and Danny Kaye, and choreography when the phone rang.

It was for me.

This was especially weird, considering I hadn't received one land-line phone call since I've gotten a cell phone.

A girl's voice asked me, "Brett, do you know who this is?!"
I answered, "I'm sure I would have no idea."

It was Peri.

How do I explain Peri? She's like snow, too. Last night she fluttered down into the crevices that my bitterness and selfishness had created in my heart and filled them with love and joy like only a true sister in Christ could.

Peri and I met by phone my senior year of high school. The summer before, I had gone on a mission's trip to Tennessee. One of the things on the agenda of that trip was to take a tour of Covenant College, a beautiful Christian university in Lookout Mountain, GA.

I fell in love, but there was no way that my parents were going to let me go out of state (and they were fitting the bill, so...you know). Somehow my name was placed on a calling list though, and Peri began calling.

And, it didn't really matter that I clearly wasn't going to go there, she was happy to talk to me about life, books, writing, Audrey Hepburn, anything. We kept in touch, and she's been sort of an e-mail, blogging, facebook pen pal of sorts for the last few years.

Last night we talked for about forty-five minutes. And that's another thing, time just melts when we're on the phone together. She told me about St. Louis, and I told her about Mechanicsville. I told her about "White Christmas" and the snow, she told me about life after college graduation.

We hung up, and suddenly I was ready for anything that came my way. I'm so thankful for snow!
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Friday, December 18, 2009

department 56 and e.a.k.

My grandma has at least 70 of these in her house. Some of them just come out at Christmas time. Others she displays in huge glass cases in her den and living room all year long.

I've been staying with her the last 24 hours, because she had an epidural for her back pain. Thursday, I sat in the hospital waiting room for two hours reading Redeeming Love, and making notes for my screenplay. And watching CNN.

There was a lady featured who had over 2,000 statues of Santa in her home.

And I thought those department 56 houses were overkill...

So, in staying with my grandma I hoped to gain inspiration for my 3-5 minute film about redemption for the Regent University Reel Dreams competition. The winner receives a full ride to the university in the communication and arts program.

In studying these little houses, these collectibles, I think I've got it! I think I've got it!

So, I've got an idea.

But the experience, the knowledge of lighting and white-balancing and camera angles and sound recording and splicing...I have not.

But, I've got three months. One idea. One page of dialogue. One adorable actress (Miss Evangeline Angelica Korovesis) and one big, crazy, dream.

It's like I said, my endeavors lately are stacked on top of each other like ice cream. One wrong move and I'll melt quicker than the Wicked Witch of the West.
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department 56 and e.a.k.

My grandma has at least 70 of these in her house. Some of them just come out at Christmas time. Others she displays in huge glass cases in her den and living room all year long.

I've been staying with her the last 24 hours, because she had an epidural for her back pain. Thursday, I sat in the hospital waiting room for two hours reading Redeeming Love, and making notes for my screenplay. And watching CNN.

There was a lady featured who had over 2,000 statues of Santa in her home.

And I thought those department 56 houses were overkill...

So, in staying with my grandma I hoped to gain inspiration for my 3-5 minute film about redemption for the Regent University Reel Dreams competition. The winner receives a full ride to the university in the communication and arts program.

In studying these little houses, these collectibles, I think I've got it! I think I've got it!

So, I've got an idea.

But the experience, the knowledge of lighting and white-balancing and camera angles and sound recording and splicing...I have not.

But, I've got three months. One idea. One page of dialogue. One adorable actress (Miss Evangeline Angelica Korovesis) and one big, crazy, dream.

It's like I said, my endeavors lately are stacked on top of each other like ice cream. One wrong move and I'll melt quicker than the Wicked Witch of the West.
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Thursday, December 17, 2009

mrs. greene, dwight's guitar, charlotte and ms. popp

Two posts in one day? Sure. We'll give it a go, the coffee's brewing (and I already have about six cups of it running through my bloodstream) the fire's growing, the Christmas tree is lit, and I don't have to be at my grandmother's until 1 p.m.

Last night, I spent the evening caroling and catching up with an old friend. A very delicious way to spend a night of break, if you ask me.

At 6 p.m. we were off to a nursing home to spread some Christmas cheer. Mrs. Greene (the mother of three very dear friends I grew up in the church with), Alex and I spent the better part of the twenty minute drive discussing how our society has forgotten the elderly. Other cultures hold their elders in high esteem, the love them, they cherish them. America, we have forgotten them.

The St. Giles resurgence troops came marching in the Woodland Heights nursing home with nothing but our voices and our youth pastor, Dwight's, guitar. Many of the best days of my life within the past three years include Dwight's guitar. We spent half an hour singing to our sweet friends. Some of them sang along, loudly, and one precious couple even got up and danced.

They requested "Just a Closer Walk With Thee." Dwight willingly obliged, and we all sang the first verse together.

After we sang, we spent a little time visiting with our elderly friends.

"Is this seat taken?" I asked a woman sitting alone at a round table by the window. It was decorated with paper snow flakes.
"No, please join me," she said. Her name was Charlotte. Though I was supposed to be flutter from table to table, I spent the entirety of the evening with her.

Charlotte told me that she was a "candidate for salvation." That she had a task to do, that she was working on a project. An angel had visited her and told her that she was meant to "save the Lord's people like Moses had." I was heartbroken. I couldn't understand a word she had said. She was talking about dead celebrities, and court dates, and where she grew up. I was in a maze, contorted, twisting, and my pen just could not follow where she was leading me. But, I listened, I heard her, I loved her.

I asked her if she had any plans for Christmas.
"No," she said. "I don't expect anyone will visit me. We're supposed to have a party."
A sad silence fell upon us, then she confided in me that she was taking a "crash course" in literature.

She loves books. This was something I was infinitely better at understanding. We discussed Melville, James, Shakespeare, the greats. I told her about my obsession with Arthur Miller. She approved, winningly. I felt a tap on my shoulder, it was time to go. I clasped her hand, and wished her a Merry Christmas.

On a lighter note, the actual singing part of the evening was wonderful. I had no idea there were so many verses of Jingle Bells - this one in particular had me in stitches while singing:
A day or two ago,
The story I must tell
I went out on the snow,
And on my back I fell;
A gent was riding by
In a one-horse open sleigh,
He laughed as there I sprawling lie,
But quickly drove away.
***

After that, I met up with an old friend at Cafe Catura (for my Harrisonburg peeps, a Dave's and Greenberry's hybrid, if you will).

She came in with her hair curled and pinned, bright red lipstick, and a silver cigarette case as a wallet. It was from my favorite boutique in Carytown called Bygones (those in search of a little more "deco" in their lives should check that place out).

I realized, sitting there, that she is the reason that I love Audrey Hepburn the way I do. Though I had grown up on Roger's and Hammerstein musicals, etc., she introduced me to Breakfast at Tiffany's and for that I will be forever grateful. Thank you, Ms. Popp.

We had about seven years of catching up to do. Right off the bat, it was if time had stood still, and we were freshman in high school again. We sat at our table for forty-five minutes discussing love, boys, high school, majors, abortion, feminism, friends, work, college, siblings, parents, Christianity and Gandhi before we realized we had forgotten to order.

At one point, during our marathon chat session, she began searching through her bag for her red lip gloss. Mary Poppins sat before me as she pulled out clutch after clutch, pouch after pouch, tube after tube of red lip(sticksglosses, balms...). Sixteen (yes, I counted) varieties of red lipstuffs were sprinkled over the tabletop. She called them her "war paint." I told her I had written a short story about a barista who called her lipstick her shield as the man she loved marched toward her. She asked me if she could write a play about it.*

We sat in the cafe for the rest of the evening. The place emptied, and it was 10:30 before questioned the time (the cafe closes at 10...whoopsies). Nothing had changed. It was encouraging. It was a blessing.


*Beth, if you're reading this, you most certainly may!


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mrs. greene, dwight's guitar, charlotte and ms. popp

Two posts in one day? Sure. We'll give it a go, the coffee's brewing (and I already have about six cups of it running through my bloodstream) the fire's growing, the Christmas tree is lit, and I don't have to be at my grandmother's until 1 p.m.

Last night, I spent the evening caroling and catching up with an old friend. A very delicious way to spend a night of break, if you ask me.

At 6 p.m. we were off to a nursing home to spread some Christmas cheer. Mrs. Greene (the mother of three very dear friends I grew up in the church with), Alex and I spent the better part of the twenty minute drive discussing how our society has forgotten the elderly. Other cultures hold their elders in high esteem, the love them, they cherish them. America, we have forgotten them.

The St. Giles resurgence troops came marching in the Woodland Heights nursing home with nothing but our voices and our youth pastor, Dwight's, guitar. Many of the best days of my life within the past three years include Dwight's guitar. We spent half an hour singing to our sweet friends. Some of them sang along, loudly, and one precious couple even got up and danced.

They requested "Just a Closer Walk With Thee." Dwight willingly obliged, and we all sang the first verse together.

After we sang, we spent a little time visiting with our elderly friends.

"Is this seat taken?" I asked a woman sitting alone at a round table by the window. It was decorated with paper snow flakes.
"No, please join me," she said. Her name was Charlotte. Though I was supposed to be flutter from table to table, I spent the entirety of the evening with her.

Charlotte told me that she was a "candidate for salvation." That she had a task to do, that she was working on a project. An angel had visited her and told her that she was meant to "save the Lord's people like Moses had." I was heartbroken. I couldn't understand a word she had said. She was talking about dead celebrities, and court dates, and where she grew up. I was in a maze, contorted, twisting, and my pen just could not follow where she was leading me. But, I listened, I heard her, I loved her.

I asked her if she had any plans for Christmas.
"No," she said. "I don't expect anyone will visit me. We're supposed to have a party."
A sad silence fell upon us, then she confided in me that she was taking a "crash course" in literature.

She loves books. This was something I was infinitely better at understanding. We discussed Melville, James, Shakespeare, the greats. I told her about my obsession with Arthur Miller. She approved, winningly. I felt a tap on my shoulder, it was time to go. I clasped her hand, and wished her a Merry Christmas.

On a lighter note, the actual singing part of the evening was wonderful. I had no idea there were so many verses of Jingle Bells - this one in particular had me in stitches while singing:
A day or two ago,
The story I must tell
I went out on the snow,
And on my back I fell;
A gent was riding by
In a one-horse open sleigh,
He laughed as there I sprawling lie,
But quickly drove away.
***

After that, I met up with an old friend at Cafe Catura (for my Harrisonburg peeps, a Dave's and Greenberry's hybrid, if you will).

She came in with her hair curled and pinned, bright red lipstick, and a silver cigarette case as a wallet. It was from my favorite boutique in Carytown called Bygones (those in search of a little more "deco" in their lives should check that place out).

I realized, sitting there, that she is the reason that I love Audrey Hepburn the way I do. Though I had grown up on Roger's and Hammerstein musicals, etc., she introduced me to Breakfast at Tiffany's and for that I will be forever grateful. Thank you, Ms. Popp.

We had about seven years of catching up to do. Right off the bat, it was if time had stood still, and we were freshman in high school again. We sat at our table for forty-five minutes discussing love, boys, high school, majors, abortion, feminism, friends, work, college, siblings, parents, Christianity and Gandhi before we realized we had forgotten to order.

At one point, during our marathon chat session, she began searching through her bag for her red lip gloss. Mary Poppins sat before me as she pulled out clutch after clutch, pouch after pouch, tube after tube of red lip(sticksglosses, balms...). Sixteen (yes, I counted) varieties of red lipstuffs were sprinkled over the tabletop. She called them her "war paint." I told her I had written a short story about a barista who called her lipstick her shield as the man she loved marched toward her. She asked me if she could write a play about it.*

We sat in the cafe for the rest of the evening. The place emptied, and it was 10:30 before questioned the time (the cafe closes at 10...whoopsies). Nothing had changed. It was encouraging. It was a blessing.


*Beth, if you're reading this, you most certainly may!


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have it oeuf

"We have blue soup to start, orange pudding to end, and, well, for a main course you have, uh, congealed green gunge."
-Mark Darcy, Bridget Jones' Diary

There truly is no better feeling for a film nerd than the feeling she gets the moment she sees a hopeful, little red envelope in her mailbox.

Julie and Julia was next on the Netflix queue (and let me just say, if you haven't started Netflixing, wake up! Start! You can have any movie under the sun mailed to your doorstep, eliminating the usually hour-long argument you would normally and inevitably get into in a movie rental store).

I know I'm about four months too late, but I'm obsessed. Nora Ephron, you've done it again, you sly dog. I had a vague notion that this movie (starring one of my faves, Amy Adams) would be about cooking and writing. I had no idea this movie was about cooking and blogging! Fascinating. People actually read this woman's blog and were moved by her quest to cook and conquer 524 recipes by the great Juila Child in 365 days.

I have a stirring feeling that if I were to try to do something like that, my writing/cooking career would look more like Bridget Jones than Julie Powell.
In addition to falling in love with this savory film, I'm also $9.99 poorer, because the soundtrack was delightful and cheery. And who, I ask, can resist a delightful and cheery soundtrack? Even if most of it is elevator-esque music by Alexandre Desplat?

C'est la vie, mes amis.

My favorite part of the movie:

[insert quasi-spoiler alert here?]

Amy Adams' character, Julie, is informed that Julia Child is aware of her blog and believes it to be disrespectful. Julie is discussing this very disappointing matter with her husband (she has worked up Julia Child to be a superhero-superchef at this point).

"Do you think it's because I use the 'f' word every so often?" says Julie to her husband. I laughed out loud, imagining Amy Adams' sweet, precious voice saying the "f" word. Julie Powell, undoubtedly has used the term ubiquitously in her writing career (you can find her original blog here). But Amy Adams? Impossible.

Oh! Doris Day's I Love You a Bushel and a Peck just played on iTunes thanks to my obviously fantastic soundtrack purchase.

Enjoy the day, friends! And as Julia Child would say, bon appetite!



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have it oeuf

"We have blue soup to start, orange pudding to end, and, well, for a main course you have, uh, congealed green gunge."
-Mark Darcy, Bridget Jones' Diary

There truly is no better feeling for a film nerd than the feeling she gets the moment she sees a hopeful, little red envelope in her mailbox.

Julie and Julia was next on the Netflix queue (and let me just say, if you haven't started Netflixing, wake up! Start! You can have any movie under the sun mailed to your doorstep, eliminating the usually hour-long argument you would normally and inevitably get into in a movie rental store).

I know I'm about four months too late, but I'm obsessed. Nora Ephron, you've done it again, you sly dog. I had a vague notion that this movie (starring one of my faves, Amy Adams) would be about cooking and writing. I had no idea this movie was about cooking and blogging! Fascinating. People actually read this woman's blog and were moved by her quest to cook and conquer 524 recipes by the great Juila Child in 365 days.

I have a stirring feeling that if I were to try to do something like that, my writing/cooking career would look more like Bridget Jones than Julie Powell.
In addition to falling in love with this savory film, I'm also $9.99 poorer, because the soundtrack was delightful and cheery. And who, I ask, can resist a delightful and cheery soundtrack? Even if most of it is elevator-esque music by Alexandre Desplat?

C'est la vie, mes amis.

My favorite part of the movie:

[insert quasi-spoiler alert here?]

Amy Adams' character, Julie, is informed that Julia Child is aware of her blog and believes it to be disrespectful. Julie is discussing this very disappointing matter with her husband (she has worked up Julia Child to be a superhero-superchef at this point).

"Do you think it's because I use the 'f' word every so often?" says Julie to her husband. I laughed out loud, imagining Amy Adams' sweet, precious voice saying the "f" word. Julie Powell, undoubtedly has used the term ubiquitously in her writing career (you can find her original blog here). But Amy Adams? Impossible.

Oh! Doris Day's I Love You a Bushel and a Peck just played on iTunes thanks to my obviously fantastic soundtrack purchase.

Enjoy the day, friends! And as Julia Child would say, bon appetite!



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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

will the defendant please rise?

"You should put your seat belt on."
-Bella, Twilight

First of all, I need to say, I am not that girl. I didn't spend the night in a Regal waiting to be first to buy a ticket to New Moon. I don't play for "Team Edward" or "Team Jacob" (they're both smokin' as far as I'm concerned). I do not have any posters, I did not make a mobile made of coat hangers and pictures of my favorite vampires.*

But, I confess, I like it. All of it. I confess to seeing the first movie three times in theaters. I own up to owning all of the books and reading them all cover to cover...with the exception of Breaking Dawn (I have 25 pages left to read, but that doesn't count. I always do that with series I never want to end. I procrastinate, surprise, surprise. Always. Might be psychological).

The movies are horrible. I have absolutely no explanation for my triple Twilight trauma of 2009. The acting is absurd. Further, Meyer is no Austen. Stephen King said it best when he said that she "cannot write worth a darn" and that "she is not very good."

I will say this: those who criticize Meyer, her writing, the saga in general and/or the movies are undeniably not her intended audience. Whether or not it entertains you, she had made more money that most of her critics (King being the exception), and has has become a household name quicker than J.K. Rowling (the Harry Potter books were out for several years before they took of in America).

So. What's with the obsession? I don't know. It's captured me, somehow. It sucked me in (oh yes, pun SO intended). I will say this: tonight I was very thankful for Twilight.

This past summer, I returned to the Dominican Republic for a mission's trip with my home church, St. Giles. Though I speak very limited Spanish (this clever girl took French in high school), I was able to communicate with my Dominican friends through our mutual appreciation for High School Musical, and all things Zac Efron.

It sounds silly, of course, but we were all able to establish friendships that I value greatly.

Tonight I had a 30 minute Facebook chat with my dear Dominican friend, Arianna. "I like your style," is really the only English phrase she knows (she must not really know what it means, because she said it to me repeatedly through the duration of our time in the D.R.).

You know what we talked about tonight? New Moon.

Never in my life (the past year, more like) have I appreciated Edward, Bella, Jacob, Forks, Jessica, or vampires more. If it weren't for them, and other various American pop-culture icons, I wouldn't have a way to reconnect with my Dominican sisters in Christ.

See? This is what the Twilight saga has to offer: friendships brought together by Christ and Cullens.

Adjourned. Clank!


*Fact: I did this with the pictures of the N*SYNC "No Strings Attached" cd-insert. Hannah Harrison, that was for you!
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Monday, December 14, 2009

bringing Christmas home, 'till Christmas is what Christmas was

I first wrote the post below Saturday, after my Christmas cantata rehearsal with my grandparent's church that morning (12/12). However, due to a technical-difficulty/me being busy combo, I couldn't post it until today.

I say this because we had our first performance at Laurel Park Methodist Church yesterday (12/13). And the cantata plot thickens.

Three people were sitting in the pews, greeted by "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," as we, the choir, scurried up the aisle to our places.

We sang the first song of the cantata with vigor and pride. "Yes," I thought to myself. "Nothing else matters. This is what Christmas is all about. Celebrating the birth of Christ, no matter which way. As long as we're making a joyful noise, it is a blessing to Him."

Just as I was swelling up with the Christmas spirit, the loud-speaker cracked and the music went dead.

We stood in the front of that church for about ten minutes before we figured out that the boom box was not working.

Jackie, our choir director looked like she was about to cry. Then a younger girl from the choir stomped off stage and sat in the first pew.

Emotional director, choir dropping like flies. Great.

Then, a Christmas miracle appeared. A woman from the congregation, Patty, came and sight read the music on the piano so we could actually do what we came to do, instead of just standing at the altar, looking worried. Congregation is now down to two.

Then we sang the rest of the cantata and feasted on fried chicken, ham biscuits and potato salad. Hey, when in Rome, do what the Methodists do! Luckily our audience of two was very forgiving.

Especially the one that was the pastor.
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bringing Christmas home, 'till Christmas is what Christmas was

I first wrote the post below Saturday, after my Christmas cantata rehearsal with my grandparent's church that morning (12/12). However, due to a technical-difficulty/me being busy combo, I couldn't post it until today.

I say this because we had our first performance at Laurel Park Methodist Church yesterday (12/13). And the cantata plot thickens.

Three people were sitting in the pews, greeted by "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," as we, the choir, scurried up the aisle to our places.

We sang the first song of the cantata with vigor and pride. "Yes," I thought to myself. "Nothing else matters. This is what Christmas is all about. Celebrating the birth of Christ, no matter which way. As long as we're making a joyful noise, it is a blessing to Him."

Just as I was swelling up with the Christmas spirit, the loud-speaker cracked and the music went dead.

We stood in the front of that church for about ten minutes before we figured out that the boom box was not working.

Jackie, our choir director looked like she was about to cry. Then a younger girl from the choir stomped off stage and sat in the first pew.

Emotional director, choir dropping like flies. Great.

Then, a Christmas miracle appeared. A woman from the congregation, Patty, came and sight read the music on the piano so we could actually do what we came to do, instead of just standing at the altar, looking worried. Congregation is now down to two.

Then we sang the rest of the cantata and feasted on fried chicken, ham biscuits and potato salad. Hey, when in Rome, do what the Methodists do! Luckily our audience of two was very forgiving.

Especially the one that was the pastor.
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Saturday, December 12, 2009

bringing Christmas home

Come rest ye merry gentlemen (and ladies) in the pews of Greenwood United Methodist for its 2009 Christmas cantata.

This morning I had a seven fifteen wake-up call, so that I might attend my first (and only) rehearsal with my grandparent's church choir. Basically, my sight-singing skills at nine a.m. are not up to snuff.

I am the youngest person in the choir. I am singing soprano, and I can hardly reach some of those notes on a good day, let alone at 9 a.m. without being warmed-up.

So, my family has made it a tradition to visit my Nana and Pop during their annual Christmas cantata as long as I can remember. Last year they thought it would be fun if I joined in. Now it's a tradition for me to participate, despite the facts that I can't make it to any of the rehearsals (today's being the exception) and that I don't actually go to the church.

We sing to a boom box.

Here are some of my favorite lines from our score I have pulled out specifically for their poetically understated tones...

"Come gather 'round where the fire is warm. We'll laugh at the stories we've all heard before. Sing the old carols till everyone knows we're bringing Christmas home." (What does that mean?!)

"Hope is in sight, it's the season, the season of light...Standing in the front yard, looking at the stars. They're calling out to us. It's the season of light."
This song then evolves into "Angels We Have Heard on High." (Duh)

"So much I remember, so much I forget. It's more about the longing than a feeling of regret. So I'll hold on to those memories like everybody does till Christmas is what Christmas was." (Somber, Dickinson would be proud)

The biggest problem with this cantata is not the boom box, or the ghastly lyrics. It does not lie in the fact that it's an English major's worst nightmare. No, it's the fact that all of the songs are taken horribly out of context. See, the very definition of a "cantata" is a lyric drama set to music. Hmm...

There is a play that goes along with all of the music. However, we're not performing the play. Therefore, all of the songs (especially the chipper, crowd-pleaser, "'Till Christmas is What Christmas Was") are taken completely out of context.

But, it's still fun to perform with my grandparents! Gosh, I love them.
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bringing Christmas home

Come rest ye merry gentlemen (and ladies) in the pews of Greenwood United Methodist for its 2009 Christmas cantata.

This morning I had a seven fifteen wake-up call, so that I might attend my first (and only) rehearsal with my grandparent's church choir. Basically, my sight-singing skills at nine a.m. are not up to snuff.

I am the youngest person in the choir. I am singing soprano, and I can hardly reach some of those notes on a good day, let alone at 9 a.m. without being warmed-up.

So, my family has made it a tradition to visit my Nana and Pop during their annual Christmas cantata as long as I can remember. Last year they thought it would be fun if I joined in. Now it's a tradition for me to participate, despite the facts that I can't make it to any of the rehearsals (today's being the exception) and that I don't actually go to the church.

We sing to a boom box.

Here are some of my favorite lines from our score I have pulled out specifically for their poetically understated tones...

"Come gather 'round where the fire is warm. We'll laugh at the stories we've all heard before. Sing the old carols till everyone knows we're bringing Christmas home." (What does that mean?!)

"Hope is in sight, it's the season, the season of light...Standing in the front yard, looking at the stars. They're calling out to us. It's the season of light."
This song then evolves into "Angels We Have Heard on High." (Duh)

"So much I remember, so much I forget. It's more about the longing than a feeling of regret. So I'll hold on to those memories like everybody does till Christmas is what Christmas was." (Somber, Dickinson would be proud)

The biggest problem with this cantata is not the boom box, or the ghastly lyrics. It does not lie in the fact that it's an English major's worst nightmare. No, it's the fact that all of the songs are taken horribly out of context. See, the very definition of a "cantata" is a lyric drama set to music. Hmm...

There is a play that goes along with all of the music. However, we're not performing the play. Therefore, all of the songs (especially the chipper, crowd-pleaser, "'Till Christmas is What Christmas Was") are taken completely out of context.

But, it's still fun to perform with my grandparents! Gosh, I love them.
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Friday, December 11, 2009

dear into hymn,

What am I going to blog about when you are out of my life?

Into Hymner Erica Engdahl and I had one last hooh-rah at D-hall today. Grilled cheese Thursdays are always a splendid treat after our Newspaper Production class. Tonight's menu consisted of delicious mac & cheese and twelve, that's right, twelve oatmeal raisin cookies. They were packaged to-go in napkins and a hair tie from my wrist. She claimed to be taking them home to her housemates.*

Also, tonight I found out just how conceited I am. I went over to the "vegan" section of D-hall to check out their pitas. The man behind the counter looked at me and said, "Hello, beautiful!" I was taken aback. "Hi," was all I could think to say.

Great, Brett, I said to myself. Now homeboy thinks you're totally into yourself because you answered to "Hello, beautiful."

Embarassed, I thought I would try to clarify:

"I assume you were talking to me...," I replied with the best intentions. Wow, that's even worse. You assumed he was talking to you. Great. Now he's looking at you like you're the biggest tool on the planet. I quickly walked away sans pita and extremely disappointed with my personality.

Elisa Fernandez, Into Hymner, and study buddy spent the better part of Monday in Carrier library together studying a latte with me (look at that smiley, isn't that cute!). We made that little face-man ourselves. We're notorious for doodling and talking while serious school-work looms over our heads. **

You girls just make life way more fun.

Thanks! Love always,
Bdub

*Girl code for "going to eat every one of them herself." Not judging, just setting the record straight.

**I got a "C" on the test I was studying for. Worth it.
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dear into hymn,

What am I going to blog about when you are out of my life?

Into Hymner Erica Engdahl and I had one last hooh-rah at D-hall today. Grilled cheese Thursdays are always a splendid treat after our Newspaper Production class. Tonight's menu consisted of delicious mac & cheese and twelve, that's right, twelve oatmeal raisin cookies. They were packaged to-go in napkins and a hair tie from my wrist. She claimed to be taking them home to her housemates.*

Also, tonight I found out just how conceited I am. I went over to the "vegan" section of D-hall to check out their pitas. The man behind the counter looked at me and said, "Hello, beautiful!" I was taken aback. "Hi," was all I could think to say.

Great, Brett, I said to myself. Now homeboy thinks you're totally into yourself because you answered to "Hello, beautiful."

Embarassed, I thought I would try to clarify:

"I assume you were talking to me...," I replied with the best intentions. Wow, that's even worse. You assumed he was talking to you. Great. Now he's looking at you like you're the biggest tool on the planet. I quickly walked away sans pita and extremely disappointed with my personality.

Elisa Fernandez, Into Hymner, and study buddy spent the better part of Monday in Carrier library together studying a latte with me (look at that smiley, isn't that cute!). We made that little face-man ourselves. We're notorious for doodling and talking while serious school-work looms over our heads. **

You girls just make life way more fun.

Thanks! Love always,
Bdub

*Girl code for "going to eat every one of them herself." Not judging, just setting the record straight.

**I got a "C" on the test I was studying for. Worth it.
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