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guilty pleasure monday: don’t let the man get you down (fatboy slim)
Feb 21st, 2011 by wrekehavoc

…and don’t be a bully.

a few weeks ago, i crushed on the housemartins. this week, i am crushing on a former member of that band, norman cook, aka fatboy slim.  while an old friend of housemartins’ leader paul heaton, cook eventually left to go do the type of music he truly loved — a mish-mosh of danceable sampling. i was never a huge fan of sampling — i always thought it was the lazy person’s way to music. but then, when i heard what fatboy slim did, i was hooked. (in fact, one of my fondest memories is of my then-two-year-old daughter dancing around the family room to praise you.)

in don’t let the man get you down, cook samples an old hippie anthem, signs by the five man electrical band.

anyone a little older than i am (or my age with older siblings) can remember that song and how it talks of society’s push to make us all conform. just that first line in don’t let the man get you down is enough to make a person feel a little hippy-righteous. and now, it’s danceable. what could be better? sure, the video is a bit creepy; but it could have been creepier… it could have featured christopher walken.

oh wait — he did that a different time, didn’t he…

anyway, at this juncture, the man is getting me down. the house just passed a bill that is so riddled with insanity, i just don’t know what to think. instead of tackling the real 800 pound gorillas of defense or entitlement programs, the cowardly republicans picked on basically everything and everyone else. one congressman was unhappy that planned parenthood provides abortions as part of their services  (not with federal funds, mind you — they do all sorts of counseling and other stuff with federal funds, but they are not allowed by law to provide abortions using federal money), so he put in a provision to eliminate ALL federal funding from that specific organization, legislating his own personal vendetta.  (and for you folks out there who think that funds can end up providing abortions anyway, they don’t. they can’t. and established and above-the-board organizations like PP know better than to even try something like that for fear of losing their needed funding.)

oh, and instead of discussing  and debating the clean air act, the republicans have taken passive-aggressive behavior to new levels, slashing the EPA and it’s ability to regulate dangerous air pollution in this same legislation. no, it’s too difficult to talk about clean air — which by the way has provided a great return on investment — $4 to $8 in economic benefits for every $1 spent on compliance, according to the non-partisan U.S. Office of Management and Budget. not sure what these folks have against clean air, but this is not the legislative vehicle from which to essentially create such a huge policy decision without any conversation.

let’s see… defunding PBS? WTF did Big Bird ever do to you, GOP folks? do you have any idea how valuable a resource PBS is and has been to our nation? one of the rare safe places for my kids to watch TV without getting bombarded by half-hour-long cartoons which serve only as infomercials for some toy. i adore american masters, i adore american experience, i adore my eastenders, i adore so very much about my local PBS station! nature, science, news, art, history — it’s all here at PBS. i cannot begin to tell you how much i have learned all my life thanks to PBS. and you’re taking this away?

other highlights, according to the washington post:

If enacted as is, the GOP plan would eliminate numerous programs, including the Corporation for National and Community Service, which runs the AmeriCorps program, and it would terminate federal funding of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. It would cut $600 million from border security and immigration programs. It would eliminate nearly $80 million for the District and slash funding for the cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay.

so let me get this straight: we’re against fostering community service. we’re against border security and immigration programs that work with the people who are trying to get in here legally. oh, we know you hate the District and its denizens (oh, and btw: fuck you back for doing this when we truly have taxation without representation.) and what do you have against the crabs you love to eat from the chesapeake? i’m so very, very confused about the messages you people are sending.

but you’re terrified of the giant and true drivers of the federal deficit — medicaid, medicare, defense, social security. oh, and why would that be? oh, well, those are thornier problems that require actual intellect and serious thought, something you apparently are incapable of accomplishing. and something which can’t easily be explained to your constituency in a solid, 30-second sound bite. so instead, you pick on all these other items, showing your constituents that you have the courage of your convictions and the balls to carry it out. only what you’re doing sounds to me a lot like what we moms call bullying. you’re feeling afraid of something or someone bigger than you, so instead, you’re taking it out on weaker things. someone ought to give you people a time-out.

what you’re doing isn’t going to mean diddly-squat in the big budgetary picture, but it sure is going to screw your constituents down the road. (look up pyrrhic victory.) and you will eventually get that long-deserved time-out.

so yes, the man has gotten me down a bit this past week. but i’ll be damned if i stay down.

electricity
Jan 28th, 2011 by wrekehavoc

oh, electricity. i am your bitch.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8iahHwEfNg

our part of the world is not known for dealing well with any sort of precipitation. people line the supermarkets, clamoring for bread, milk, and toilet paper whenever the weather reports hint of any impending white stuff. couple that with a hard, wet snow, very old trees in serious need of help, inadequate snow plowing on side-streets, and lots of above-ground lines, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

there we were, sitting around, basking in the joy of a potential snow day on wednesday night. the kids had all gotten out of school early due to the impending storm. the boy was extra-happy because he got out of a gymnastics class. the girl was in ecstasy because her religious school was cancelled.  i was thrilled because i had cooked not one, but TWO different dinners, which would allow me to spend less time cooking and more time lazing around or playing. we had just finished a game of monopoly cards (during which i had one two out of three games), when suddenly, the fireworks.

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!

we looked out the window to see a transformer blowing up on the main road and spewing all sorts of little fireworks in the sky. then, a minute later, another one blew similarly. then, another.  whoomp, there it went: our power was done for.

fortunately. BS is the sort of guy who likes to be prepared. we had all sorts of flashlights, a crank radio, and a good attitude… for a time, anyway. we brought the kids’ sleeping bags into our room, and we all prepared to camp down together in the chilly evening. unfortunately, the ancient trees on my street were sagging scarily underneath the weight of the snow. huge branches were snapping. the kids were terrified that a tree would fall and take us down with it. the boy calmed down relatively easily, as i started to sing songs in the dark much like the songs i sang to the kids when they were infants.  he fell asleep, his head in my lap. the girl, however, was not as easily swayed; she, like me, was up for a large part of the night.

oh nervous night.

the next day, we hoped for the best. BS put food into iced coolers and dug out the sidewalk.  i dug out the mom-mobile with some help from my neighbor across the street, who simply stopped work on his driveway and just started in. (i am blessed to have some truly wonderful neighbors. i am baking something as a little thank you.) BS dug out the prius. the kids sleighed for a time before my other neighbor found a dangerous spot and stopped all the cul-de-sac kids from sledding. the entire street lost power, and the entire street lost phone service. my cell was dying away, and no recharging in my car was really cutting it for some reason. and dominion power was continually telling us that nearly 200,000 people were without power and that they could not yet give us a time estimate for repair.

and the house got colder and colder.

so BS realized he needed to think about plan B. unfortunately, foraging for potential hotel rooms required his computer. i suggested he hit up our beloved local library branch, where i suspected he could plug in for awhile and use some of their free wifi. so off he went to the library. upon his return, he shared two things: 1) most of the hotels were looking for upwards of $200 for one night, and 2) people around here are seriously obnoxious. apparently, some of our fair residents decided that the library was their home away from home to charge all their items. one enterprising person and her friend/family member brought a surge protector and proceeded to plug everything from phones to ipods into it, while taking over the other plug for one additional item. ultimately, BS found a spot in a hallway to plug in his little pc.

upon his return, the lights went on in the homes behind us. we felt hopeful and decided that we’d go out to dinner and then, upon our return, decide whether to hit up a hotel or stay home.  after a yummy, caloric dinner, we returned home to discover that the power remained out.  BC had been invited to a friend’s for a sleepover, so we brought her there and then the three of us set off to find a hotel. our path was blocked by a police blockade, so we meandered our way over to said hotel. only, too bad for us — no room at the inn. by this time, the boy was falling asleep in the car, so we figured we would hunker down again at home. we put the boy into his sleeping bag, covered him up, and then we, too, tried to fall asleep in a r e a l l y cold house under about a million blankets.

i was afraid to fall asleep because i knew that the minute i finally fell asleep, the power would go on, the lights would pop on, and all sorts of things would scare the bejeebers out of me. i fought sleep for awhile, but eventually, i succumbed to a fitful rest (which included a bizarre dream about my marrying owen wilson, who seems like a nice, sensitive guy but who isn’t really my type) until at 5am, the giant light over our bed went on, along with every other electrical thingy in the house. yeah, it scared me. but it also delighted me.

and now today, we take all the items the husband saved out of the cooler. ( he really loves me; he, who loathes coffee,  saved my vanilla creamer along with the milk.) we buy some more stuff. and we start over.

and i start to think about how, in some small way, it was awfully nice to have the family unplugged. if only for 34 hours, anyway.

pet peeve: telemarketers!
Nov 30th, 2010 by wrekehavoc

ah, the last day of  pet peeve postings for NaBloPoMo! and it’s all about… wait a second. the phone is ringing and i have to check caller ID…

OMG! they call. day and night. night and day. those unknown caller folks on my caller ID. those people with 1-800 or 1-866, or somesuch number i don’t recognize. it’s the folks who want to sell me something. or it’s the folks who want me to donate something. or maybe they want to sell me something i can donate — who knows? but it makes me crazy!

ah, the delightful world of telemarketing. generally speaking, these omniscient phoners usually butcher my name. i love when the company’s caller refers to me by my husband’s name. better yet, i love when they call my husband by MY last name. it’s so very, very personal, these telemarketers. they really want to act like they’re my neighbors, my friends, my family. and yet none of these groups ever calls me up and asks for MONEY. i don’t know about anyone else’s family, but this doesn’t really happen a lot around here. mercifully.

and it’s always at the worst possible time. when my kids were small, it always happened just as a cranky baby fell asleep for a fought-off nap. or maybe it happens just as we sit down to dinner. or when i’m in the bathroom and expecting a call from someone important and so i hear the ring and feel like i need to magically get to the phone. and then, so sad, it’s not that person but rather a person i don’t know who doesn’t know me who may be calling me from the other side of the world for all i know. and they want my money.

caller ID has made my life SO MUCH better. i mean, we put our number on the DO NOT CALL list and yet we get calls.  so at least now, i can screen my calls. i giggle when their robocaller starts talking to my answering machine. i wonder if they’ll make a date for lunch. exchange circuitry. who knows!

but that’s in my happier moments. there was a time when my very young kids wanted to talk on the phone. oh, they so wanted phones, especially jools. we even bought him toy phones, he loved them so much.  so when a telemarketer called, i was sorely tempted to put the baby on the phone. go ahead — call me if you dare — but i’ve got a toddler, and i’m not afraid to deploy him!

i feel badly for people who work as telemarketers. they must know what a nuisance they are, and yet that’s the job they must do. you really must have a backbone of iron to take on a job like that.

but i’m tough right back, though i never get nasty. i simply don’t even answer the phone.

——————————————————————————————-

thanks for joining me for a month of pet peeves. if you’ve got more peeves you want to share, feel free to let me know your thoughts. and next month, i will try to think happier, peppier thoughts. but here’s hoping you were more amused and less annoyed by my monthly rant. be well, don’t cut me in line, don’t let your dog crap on my lawn, and we’ll get along just fine.

pet peeve: people who aren’t thankful on thanksgiving
Nov 25th, 2010 by wrekehavoc

no, really. thank you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NL1Nu3qZLdg

sure, i picked the leitmotif of pet peeves this month. but that doesn’t conceal the fact that i am very, very grateful for a lot of things. i could list them for days and years. i’ll just list a few off the top of my pointed head.

1) thank you, BC: for being an awesome daughter who somehow gets me in a way that no one else does. you forgive me when i probably deserve a tween shriek thrown at me. you are one of the two greatest gifts i have ever been given, and i never forget that.

2) thank you, jools: for being an incredible son who picks and chooses the strangest moments to change from a delightful little boy into a wizened old man and provide me with a perspective that i sorely need to hear and grasp. you are one of the two greatest gifts i have ever been given, and i don’t ever forget that.

3) thank you, BS: my eternal partner in crime, the statler to my waldorf. you put up with me no matter what. you like me in spite of me being me. you make me laugh. you are always my personal bulldog. and you’ve got the most beautiful eyes i have ever seen. i am so lucky that mark wintle dumped a beer on you and therefore brought you into my life for keeps.

4) thank you mom and dad and aunt barbara: you have always been in my corner, and you have taught me the power of unconditional love. i’ll never be able to tell you fully how much you mean to me, but somehow you always know what i mean when words fail me.

5) thank you to my brothers, who never treated me like a girl but who always treated me as someone who needed to learn to be as tough as nails. i learned so much from both of you; and while i know i continue to get on your nerves in a huge way, i do it because i love you. (you’re welcome.)

6) thanks to my mother-in-law, my dearly-missed father-in-law, and all my husband’s family for treating me like one of your own. i know i’m a little bit odd in comparison to you all, but you’ve always welcomed me with open arms from the word go.

7) thank you to my friends, who seem to like me still. i treasure you.

8 )  thank you to america for taking my great grandparents in. my family has always been fiercely proud of our nation.

9) thank you to the Beatles for making the best music ever.

and last for today, but not least:

10) thank you, gutenberg, for inventing the printing press. for i do so love to read.

happy thanksgiving, everyone!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUhRY5ah8YE

pet peeve: people who text while hanging out with other people
Nov 8th, 2010 by wrekehavoc

OH RLY?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RUjnqH3kMw

one day, BC came in from our cul de sac. she had been hanging out with our two neighbors, two lovely girls who are only a year or so older than she. and, in short, she looked rather annoyed. i asked her what was bothering her.

well, mom, what is up with people who are standing right next to you and hanging out with you but they are busy texting other people?

what indeed?

just as netiquette was created for people who use the internet and email, some sort of celliquette needs to be created, for i fear civility is on its way out.  i’m delighted that movie theaters now, as a matter of course, remind patrons to turn off their cell phones once the film has started, but more has to be done.

and i’m afraid it needs to be directed especially at the young, who text more than they talk.

it’s bad enough that people use cell phones while driving. how they can text and drive is beyond me — and it’s wildly unsafe, as this extremely disturbing and GRAPHIC public service announcement shows. that sort of thing looms much larger than just a pet peeve — that’s a matter of public safety. and there are many, many dangers in the land where sex and texting intersect, especially for our young people. not a pet peeve but a serious, scar-worthy scare.

so i will return to the lighter, fluffier world of interpersonal relations and texting. just as we parents work hard to teach our kids social skills when they are small, we need to continue to help our kids navigate this brave new world where technology and personality intersect. you taught little janey to share; now you need to teach her to pay attention to actual human beings when she’s with them. you need to teach her not to text and walk without looking where she’s going (to which i would add: dumbass girl. lucky you didn’t just walk into traffic, like i have seen so many, many pedestrians do. too bad the city can’t sue you for stupidity.)

you would think it would be common sense to not let something like texting take over, but it is. and i can’t tell you how many times i see people, usually young twenty-somethings and below, with other friends — and texting with other people who aren’t even there. here’s a thought, you social slackers: if you aren’t going to interact with the friends you’re with, STAY THE HELL HOME.

i’m grateful that at least BC has gotten the idea that ignoring people you’re with is a rather rude endeavor. maybe she can turn into some sort of evangelist on this issue?

until then,  i will quietly seethe whenever i see this sort of activity.  maybe i’ll actually call a friend to vent about it.

pet peeve: stupid intentional misspellings
Nov 4th, 2010 by wrekehavoc

yesssss. you know what i meannnnnnnnn!!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJDBERdHzUA

i realize that this mostly is generational. but jeez! what is going on with spelling these days? i see posts from people, generally under the age of about 25, where they take poetic license with spelling, and not just because they are abbreviating, either.  i completely understand that in the age of texting, people are shortening words as much as possible in order to expedite the communication of the message.

but reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeallllly now?

there’s a whole school of thought behind satirical misspellings;  but there’s something different about these misspellings — they seem to happen just because.  it started for me with prince. i think he started a ball rolling with his creative titling ability, like LOtUSFLOW3RRave Un2 The Joy Fantastic, and so on. (maybe having your own symbol has something to do with it?)

and now? as a result of creative urban misspellings (dawg, anyone?), the world is littered with messages like:

lucy is myyyyy besssssssssst frendddd, my BFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF! i looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee her!

lord. if i see BC typing away like that, i may lose my mind. spelling is something she could work on, and i don’t think a trend that simply adds and subtracts letters wherever one pleases is going to help her later in life.

do youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu?

(and yes. i realize this is all being stated by a woman who refuses to capitalize much.)

pet peeve: people who cut in line
Nov 2nd, 2010 by wrekehavoc

there’s only one line you can cut me on: the line to hell.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71IFbyQ7D-o

we have become a nation of people who believe that rules are there for other people to observe. somehow, other poor schmucks should be reading and following the words on a sign or face severe penalties. lines are there to control crowds, make order out of chaos, and keep people from going where they oughtn’t. the rules of lines are clearly outlined in kindergarten: someone is in front, then everyone else is behind him or her. and we wait until we get our chance to be wherever it is we wish to be.

but not you, my friend. for you are special.

you do not need no stinkin’ line. lines are for suckers. so you trample my kids at the Costco checkout like an elephant on speed and push in front of us because you’re bigger.  (mommy needs a moment to get herself together and not bark at the other grownup, i found myself saying to jools when he started marveling at what happened. what i really needed was a mojito and perhaps a water pistol. but i digress.) you ignore the mile-long line of ladies waiting desperately to pee at the concert. you let your kids push in front of all the other kids at the moonbounce.

i think what grinds my gears the most about this: what you are teaching your children… and mine. i get that there are emergencies at times, and i am most willing to give up my place in line to someone who needs it more for very serious reasons.  but you are teaching your kids that other people do not matter as much as they do in all arenas of life. and for those of us who are trying to teach our children that lines are part of life, you are showing them that following the rules does not pay.

in short: you suck, and you are making your kids suck, too.

i have a special memory. we are in disneyworld, a land that makes me break out in hives inherently for so many, many reasons (some of which i have shared here. and here. and here. (among other places.) you may ask yourself why i continue to go to disney. i wish i had a good answer for you, but in short, i am often outvoted. and there are bright spots to it, of course, starting with the fact that i actually get to go ON A VACATION. a huge plus, and not something everyone gets to do these days. i wrote about it once, but i thought i’d end with this little bit.

we were waiting on line for the animal safari in animal kingdom — a neat place and a neat ride, incidentally. i like to use lines as a teachable lesson for my kids. you know, an exercise in patience and fairness? a woman and her two kids continually tried to push ahead of us, the family ahead of us, and the older couple on the motorized scooter in front of them. eventually, they succeeded, hitting their trifecta of triumph. what we didn’t know: the woman’s friend and the friend’s young son did not push ahead and remained behind us. why are you so far behind? miss pushypushy asked her friend. why don’t you come up here and join us?

in one of the rarest moments ever, BS and i said in unison, NO! we had had it. for 20 minutes, this woman kept on pushing, nearly trampling over people. i added, if you’d like to join your friends, you can move back and join them.

i noticed that the friend behind us suddenly had a few words with BS. i didn’t hear them at first, so i asked BS what the woman left behind had said.

he replied: she told me “have a nice day! hope you get sent to iraq!”

yes. it’s a small world, after all.

only a memory
Oct 13th, 2010 by wrekehavoc

middle school, the second time around.

do you remember middle school? or junior high? or, as the town fathers called it in my hometown, intermediate school? that period of time that probably ought to be called the bataan death march through puberty? those years when you were sure that everyone noticed the pimple on your face, and you could tell by the whispers that it was the best topic ever amongst the other kids since john snapped jane’s bra in the cafeteria? those years when you were thrown together with kids from all over town, some of whom displayed manners which indicated that their parents apparently were attila the hun and mata hari?

well, now that BC is embroiled in the magical world of middle school, it is, as leo durocher once said, deja vu all over again.

it’s hard to look on to the scene without wanting to scream. or intervene. or just completely become dissembled. each day, i hear the stories: the locker partner who has taken over the locker and who won’t listen to reason. the mean girls at lunch. the teacher who doesn’t seem to care that you cannot see the board and who has no time to discuss the matter with you. and it goes on.

i have been trying to let the girl fight her own battles. i cannot step in forever, deus ex mama that i am.  but i’m beginning to think that 6th grade isn’t the time for the girl to be on her own. i’ve told her that she needs to give it a try first, but if she gets no satisfaction or response, then she needs to tell me what’s going on so that i can join her chorus. but how can she talk to her teachers when there’s no time at class’s start or end and the teacher will not entertain questions during class time? how will she handle some of these girls, who mistakenly believe they are richer and prettier and better than she is?

so here’s my problem. i am now, ehhem, a 21  year old mom who doesn’t possess the same fears that i did when i was a girl of a certain age. my advice now probably is lacking a certain, oh, how do you say, subtlety. a seat was empty at the lunch table, and BC sat down at it. the Queen Bee of All Queen Bees made it a point to walk over from where she was and tell BC to get her ass up off the table and move — that was HER seat. BC, being a sensible little thang, told her that she wasn’t sitting there, so what was the problem? the problem, according to the bigger Miss Thang, was that it was where she would normally sit.

(i know. the logic of 12 year old girls has always eluded me. even when i was 12, just 9 short years ago…)

so BC looked around, saw that two of her friends were sitting elsewhere, and got up and moved.

now, WWWD? (translation: what would wreke do?) if i had been a 12 year old with the mind of a more experienced me, i, of course, would have politely told the queen bee that she’d better leave me alone. pissing me off is not an option. if she wanted to pursue it further, well, i would gladly do so in a way that she would probably always remember. see,  even in my imagined younger state, i am no longer intimidated by 12 year old girls, the likes of whom think they’re fierce just because they shop at Justice.

honey: fierce is a perimenopausal woman who hasn’t slept since 1998, who has not yet had her morning coffee, and who has just about lost her patience for the petty bullshit that passes for social intercourse among tweens.

fortunately, BC followed her own advice and not mine. i suspect by doing so, she will not be ostracized in the cafeteria, at least not this week.

in other news, you think i’m projecting my own delightful middle school experiences on the situation much? mmm, mebbe.

so my new goal: try to erase from my psyche those memories of social-climbing, back-stabbing, and nasty people who won’t listen to you and who treat you as if you are invisible. all the things that made intermediate school so very, very memorable. for no matter how you slice it, middle school is an awful holding pen for the angsty pubescent kids and the teachers who loathe them. ’tis a timeless situation. and it’s time for the girl to make her own memories out of her own fresh hell.

i just need to shut up and cheer her on.

guilty pleasure monday: don’t cry (seal)
Sep 13th, 2010 by wrekehavoc

as a matter of fact, heidi klum has nothing to do with this selection.

september has started off really poorly. two friends of mine have lost parents, and i ache for them. my parents have lost a dear friend who has battled parkinsons for a long, long time.  september 11 continues to remind us that there is still great division in our nation and in our world. and on the really micro level, BC had a fairly miserable first week as a middle schooler, drawing the lucky straw that put her in the one team that has no other girls from her elementary school. (there are three teams in her grade. every other girl from her school is in one of those two teams.) the principal, realizing the error, was willing to move the girl into one of the other teams; but by this time, different supplies are already bought, project assignments are made, lockers are already figured out. the girl has decided to stay put and make the best of things.

on the bright side,  jools has been placed with a teacher about whom i have heard wonderful things, with two of his best girlfriends as classmates. i haven’t heard anything bad from school yet, so i am hopeful that this year will be a good one.  also, our home renovation is complete, and so while i grumble steadily about the amount of work it is to put my home back in order, i am very grateful that we could accomplish this on time and on budget (and that BS and i remain married in spite of the stressful time.)  and, most importantly, everyone in my family seems to be relatively healthy.

in short, i am trying to focus on the bright side of things. but it’s really, really difficult sometimes. yom kippur, the day of atonement, is coming soon, and so i am thinking about all the negative things i might have done during the past year. i am genuinely sorry about plenty of things.

it makes me want to cry.

but i also know that i oughtn’t. and hence, the selection of seal’s don’t cry.

i’m armed with my tissues. but i’m hoping i won’t need to use them.

guilty pleasure monday: rainbow high (from the musical “evita”)
Aug 9th, 2010 by wrekehavoc

i want to be Rainbow High!

the other week, i settled in with BC (who was under the weather) and started to tuck into the film version of evita starring madonna and antonio banderas. i attempted to explain the state of politics in argentina in the 1940s; the nature of eva duarte’s poverty-stricken and sad childhood and then subsequent attempts at sleeping her way to the top; and the actual reality of che guevera, who, while an important character in this play, isn’t actually historically present. girlfriend enjoys musicals, as i do, and so i impressed upon her how musicals can also be about serious subjects and not just singing for singing’s sake. and oh, by the way: evita is my absolute favorite musical of all time.

just as eva was meeting juan peron in the movie, girlfriend asked me to turn it off.

ah well. i was a little disappointed, but maybe evita is not a musical for the younger set. (at least, not until disney decides to take a crack at it and make it palatable for kiddies. what a laff riot that would be.) i saw it on broadway in 1981 when i was a few years older than BC. on the occasion of my grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary, my parents, my brothers, my grandparents, and i drove to new york to see andrew lloyd webber’s masterpiece. i’m pretty sure i saw it when patti lupone starred in it, though i was more accustomed to elaine paige’s voice in the role thanks to the record Middlebro shared with me of the original cast production.

in any event, my grandparents’ 50th wedding celebration was marked by two things: the first, the fact that i fell in love with this musical productions. the second: my brother’s car breaking down high in the parking deck…on that date, which happened to be easter sunday. try to find a tow truck willing to pull you down several stories on easter sunday in manhattan… anyway, let’s just say i have memories of my brothers and father pushing the car down and around the deck until it was low enough for them to work with. i’m pretty sure i ended up taking the Route 9 bus home with my grandparents and my mom while the boys figured things out with the car.

yep, nothing says happy 50th anniversary like an unexpected trip on NJ Transit.

the vocal acrobatics that the role of eva peron requires is astonishing. it is not for the timid. and i was mighty surprised when i heard that madonna was taking the role in the film production. in fact, surprised is not really the word for it; i was disappointed. while i’m not exactly the biggest madonna fan around, i will give her props in several departments; however, her vocal skills would not be among those. and while she wasn’t bad in the role, i felt her take on rainbow high was passionless.

this is a song to be BELTED out; and madonna is carefully working so hard to actually hit the notes that she doesn’t have a chance to infuse them with much emotion. the end of the song is even lowered a few notes, which is a bit jarring to anyone who loves this song.

i guess i should be thankful that a popular performer like madonna took an interest in this musical and shared it with the masses, who might not otherwise have encountered it.

and who knows: maybe one day, BC will watch it all the way through.


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