Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Weekend Drama

Foreground:  Larry Savoy as Darren Lemming.  You can
click the picture for a piece on the college website.
Good drama, that is--of the stage and screen variety.

Friday night, I went to a local college for their production of Richard Greenberg's Take Me Out, a play about the events surrounding Darren Lemming, a super-star baseball player who makes waves when he announces publicly that he is gay.  This theater department has never disappointed me, but this was one of the handful of times that the set and performances were so stellar that I felt that I must've traveled far and paid to see it, but did neither.  The acting was electric and consistantly good across the board, which is impressive given that some of the actors were first-timers, and star athletes no less (I know, star jocks trying out for theater--sounds a little Glee-tastic).  It was a good thing that the acting was beyond par, because it would be easy to disconnect from the play and just marvel at the set that was created for Take Me Out.  It was all at once, and with little adjustment between scenes, a locker room with working showers, a bar, and a baseball stadium.  That last one especially is probably hard to swallow, but it worked indescribably well.  Overall, the production was very compelling, and the star player magnetic.

I was really glad that I went, and kicked myself internally for not going to more plays and community artist programs over there.  I'm pretty good about going to every art gallery change, but I need to get back in the habit of catching the theater and music events.  It's local and free, so why not?

The cast of Les Miz blows the roof off the joint.
Sunday night brought the Oscars, of course, and for the third year in a row, I went to a party hosted by my friends Joe and Brian from my film group.  They get a kick out of feeding and entertaining us, and we get a kick out of eating and being entertained, so it's a perfect match.  They are both fantastic in the kitchen, and have a bakery business apart from their day jobs.  The rest of us are all too glad to be guinea pigs to test out their recent creations.  For Oscar night, and other events, they project all of the action onto a big screen, and the result is big fun. 

As for the show, I loved the focus on music this year, with performances from cast members of Chicago, Dreamgirls, and Les Miserables, and even an appearance by Barbra Streisand.  At seventy, she looks and sounds amazing.

I took Monday off of work to recuperate.  Taking the day after the Oscars off seems a little indulgent, but it's becoming an annual tradition for me. I just can't get up and roll with the punches after a late night the way I used to. Am I getting old? Becoming a wuss? Too self indulgent? I'll leave it for your consideration.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Dear Readers,

Yesterday, Tuesday the 12th of February, marked the second anniversary of Vain Minutia (and, coincidentally, Darwin's birthday). My first post was a photo and a drawn self-portrait. My second was two-year-old vacation photos. I clearly had no idea what to post or why I was posting anything at all. It didn't really matter, because I had approximately one reader. Fast-forward to today when literally, like, TEN or so readers visit on a regular basis! *sniff, sniff* It's been a long journey. *a single tear falls*

Sincerely, I want to thank everyone who drops by, and especially to those who say "hello" by chiming in frequently or just once in awhile. It's so nice to hear from you. I forget how I found some of you, but I'm so very glad that I did. Of course, some of you I've known this many a year, and the chatter we have here is supplemental to phone chats and whatnot. I'm glad you come around, as well.

To those who I know in life apart from the internets and don't chime in, that's perfectly fine. I see you in my stats when you visit, and sometimes wonder...

To those few I know in life who saw a post or posts, and contacted me outside of the blog either out of support or concern, thank you, also. You surprised me. You are the brave ones.

So, it's appropriate that this love fest occurs now. In honor of all of you and the attention you pay to this haphazard space on the webs, here's an art icon from my very own state...a state so loved by the artist that he renamed himself Robert Indiana.

Happy Valentine's Day, everybody! I'll keep stopping by.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

(Took a Ring Off It) Part II: Cinematic and Dramatic

So, we come to June of last year.  It continued to bother me that I still had this symbol that no longer meant anything to me, and that it was an everyday part of my life...putting it on, taking it off.  I'd worn this ring for some months after disposing of other religious stuff I didn't want (we doesn't wants it, Precious) anymore, and it bothered me enough to be finally rid of the thing.

Part of the reason that I'd tarried in tossing it was that I didn't want it to be some big moment, some planned ceremony-ish thing that would make me feel silly later.  My life of faith was so, so full of times like that--either corporate occasions of manufactured drama or ones that I'd fabricated myself in devotional life.  I can't state enough how seriously I took my belief.  It wasn't something that I put on the shelf as many seem to be able to do.  If I could've done that--not taken it seriously--I would be able to wear rings with Hebrew writing on them and not know or care what it means, and talk about how amazing the Bible is and never read it, but read all 4,100 pages of Harry Potter, or indeed all 1,200-ish pages of The Lord of the Rings.  I could've had a cross on the wall and felt only warm, fuzzy feelings about it.  I could've blissfully waded through the foggy illusion that the current U.S. blend of Christianity, Republican politics and American patriotism is the real version of the faith, and not bothered much with history and culture.  I could've ignored how vastly different I am from the first Christians, simply due to the fact that I have seen pictures of the planet upon which I live, and if they could be shown such a thing they wouldn't be able to comprehend it.

So, enough already.  I had to get rid of this ring, but I didn't really want to plan anything about it and have it become some big thing. 

I was driving along an interstate at that hour or so between day and night--I think in the movie industry they call it "magic time," because it's a really difficult time to film.  You have to work fast or the light changes too quickly, but when you can capture it, a scene can look particularly beautiful.  The scene in Titanic wherein Kate and Leo kiss (and "fly" in cruciform, actually) on the prow of the ship is a good example.  So, the nice glow in the sky had me feeling all mushy and Titanic-y, I was driving fast in the beginning of summer--it was already a good moment, but I wasn't thinking of having a ring toss.  I started to slow down and curve into an exit, and I didn't know it yet, but the tune on the radio tightened up the catapult.  I hadn't been paying much attention to what was playing, Katy Perry's Not Like the Movies, but my ears perked up at the phrase...Cinematic and Dramatic...

Boom!  That was it!  I checked the rearview mirror (I didn't want some poor shmuck to have an unknown object PING! off of his windshield and pee his pants over my dumb antics), pulled it off and chucked it, and I mean it happened fast--look, pull, chuck.  Lookpullchuck.  Cinematic and Dramatic.

I laughed so hard and so loud, cackling, as I said before, with my head back and eyes closed for as long as you can do that whilst negotiating a curve.  I laughed, because it looked so funny.  My ring flung out, shrinking as it flew, and I only saw it for a bit because of it spinning toward the tall grass at the side of the exit, and me curving around.  It was on me, and then it was gone.  Yes.

My efforts to make a moment meaningless were slightly wrecked.  Not Like the Movies is a break-up song.  There are lyrics in it about a ring...

He put it on me, I put it on,
Like there was nothing wrong.
It didn't fit, it wasn't right.
Wasn't just the size.

It's sung by Katy Perry, who used to be Katy Hudson, who used to sing Christian music, who had posters and CDs that I put up on a shelf display when I worked at a Christian book store. 

The ring is somewhere off of that exit, I guess.  Close to the Girlie bar and the McDonald's.

They say breaking up is hard to do.  It wasn't for me.  I've never cried about this.  It's just reality for me.  If this is all disturbing for anyone, that's ok.  I get it.  If he (she, it, they) means something big for you, I understand, because he meant something to me, too. 

It's not him.  It's me.