Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Shuffle-Ball-Change

I've been hanging out at the community center lately, near lunchtime when the local meals-on-wheels organization serves a meal to seniors in the dining room. They do food delivery too, but those clients who are able-bodied and socially inclined show up to eat and chat and pick up a sack of day-old bagels or a newspaper.

Before lunch, the center hosts exercise classes of the kind you imagine at senior centers - they sit on chairs and stretch their arms; they stand behind the chairs and stretch their legs; they bend from the waist to one side and then another. I like to watch them because they remind me of my grandparents, most of whom are gone. I lived within a half hour of all four of them when I was growing up, but when I moved away twenty years ago this summer, I saw them only a couple of times a year. I find myself imagining Grandma doing the slow-motion version of the hokey pokey at the senior center.

This week I was there a little earlier in the day, and instead of the swayers I was surprised by a whole different group. The ladies' tap dance class was taking place on the stage at one end of the dining room and I swear I could have watched those women all day long. They were dancing to Rockin' Robin (A Michael Jackson homage? Perhaps.) and man, could they tap. I took my share of tap-dance lessons and I never really mastered it; it's all about ankle and knee control and I was better suited to stiff-legged ballet. The class of seven was led by a woman who must have learned tap dancing during World War II. She was serious, stopping the group when someone was clearly out of step and making them all start over again, and they were all way better than I had ever been, even at age ten with my young joints and brand new shoes.

I wonder what kind of class I'll take at the senior center when I am seventy-five. Hip-hop? Maybe Macarena?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What's Going On

I haven't posted about what's going on with me in a while. And that's mainly because, on a day-to-day basis, it seems like nothing much is going on. I eat Cheerios. I post boring things to Twitter. I take Theo to the park, where he spends most of his time begging to climb on the concrete skatepark and I spend most of my time pointing out that the kids with the low-rider pants and long hair would mow him down with their boards in 1.3 seconds if he toddled into their paths. I watch So You Think You Can Dance.

Aaaand I just killed a spider that was walking across the arm of my chair. Just then. I meant just to brush him off, onto the floor, but he was squashed in the melee. (This is real-time blogging, right here. Riveting, isn't it?)

Fortunately there are a few other places on the internet where things are a bit more exciting. How about these?

Let's Panic About Babies!
You might not want to click on that while you're drinking your coffee because you'll snort it out your nose. The 1-800-DINGOES ad did it for me.

Heavy Cross by The Gossip
Best band name I've heard in a while. They do a kickass Careless Whisper cover too. Also, from Portland!

John Cusack is on Twitter, another example of why it's sometimes more fun to worship celebrities from afar than to actually know what they're thinking. (Side note: It's unfortunate that the more boring and misspelled the twitter feed, the more convinced I become that the celebrity is actually writing it himself.)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

It Don't Get Better Than This

During the Tony awards, Bret Michaels wraps up a rollicking performance of "Nothing but a Good Time" with his Poison bandmates. Bret gets a little carried away taking his bow. The Tony show producers are hyper-aware of their schedule, considering this is the lowest-rated of the low-rated awards shows, and they need to get on with things to keep their advertisers happy. So they cue the scene change, assuming that Bret will notice there's a giant piece of scenery barreling down from the ceiling at him and get out of the way. Bret, suddenly realizing he's supposed to be exiting upstage along with his bandmates, turns around and makes a leap for the drum platform. C.C. DeVille tries to give him a hand. Bret almost makes it, but he's on a collision course, and the audience cringes as he is clotheslined by a huge mural of the Manhattan skyline. Stockard Channing, gripping a fur stole, belts out "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" stage left.

That whole scenario sounds like a SNL sketch from the 1980's, and I'm quite sure that until a couple of weeks ago neither Poison nor Stockard Channing could ever have imagined they'd be sharing a stage. But that's showbiz, right?

Following the mishap, Tonys host Neil Patrick Harris takes the stage, makes a joke, and says, "Oh, he's fine!" and gets on with the show. Because that's what you do in the theatre. If Bret had been knocked unconscious during a swordfight in Romeo and Juliet ("Starcrossed Lovers' Bus?"), they'd have dragged him offstage and his understudy would have appeared seconds later. He probably would have worn a little SuperGlue on his bruised nose during the next day's matinee. That's it.

Back in 1986, while promoting Look What the Cat Dragged In, Bret probably got beaned in the head by C.C.'s high kicks once or twice. Considering the way liquor hinders one's reaction time, it's inevitable. But I"m sure he just went right on singing "Talk Dirty to Me" while wiping the blood out of his eyes, no harm done.

But now that Bret's a reality TV star and a blogger, he posts pathetic photos of his injuries. He blogs about how it's not his fault, mentioning that Liza Minnelli rushed to his dressing room after the accident. He whines.

And though my fifteen-year-old self who thought hair bands were all badass would be sorely disappointed, I have to admit I'm not completely shocked by this turn of events. Just take a look at that album cover and tell me those guys weren't ultimately headed for musical theatre. Or, possibly, the circus.

Bret, it don't get better than this.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Things That Matter to Me, Apparently

-Good Manners
I never pictured myself as one of those parents who says, "WHAT DO YOU SAY?" to her child after the checker at the grocery store hands him a sticker, but I have become the please-and-thank-you police.

-A Clean In-Box
Allowing e-mail sit in my in-box for more than a few days gives me hives. This affliction can lead to premature archiving.

-A flattering Facebook profile photo
Why, I'm not sure, considering that so many of my FB friends saw me in junior high, high school, and college, wearing an unspeakably frizzy permed mullet, braces, and/or stirrup pants. But I tried to put up a goofy one and I just couldn't stand it.

-Comfortable shoes
I love my red patent leather heels but I can barely bring myself to wear them. I wish I could banish the worn-out Born oxfords from my closet, but they make my feet happy.

-Lipstick
I'll wear it even if I'm not wearing any other makeup.

-Knowing all the words
I go out of my way to research the words to songs that I enjoy so that I can sing along correctly. Seriously. I've googled the lyrics to "Little Red Corvette."

It's the little things, isn't it? What matters to you?

Ruminations on the Tabloids at the Grocery Check-Out

OBAMA'S GAY LOVER TELLS ALL: Apparently this is what happens when we get a president with some dress sense.

ASHLEY TISDALE GOES BRUNETTE: Who is Ashley Tisdale? And that looks like her natural color to me.

MELISSA JOAN HART SHOWS OFF HER BIKINI BODY: Isn't she a witch? Shouldn't she have magicked a bikini body long ago?

INSIDE JON AND KATE'S MILLION-DOLLAR DIVORCE: I'm waiting for their hairstylist to get her own reality show. Or to be sued for the bad publicity resulting from Kate's hairdo and Jon's plugs.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Current Playlist

Smooth Criminal by Alien Ant Farm
This is a rad remake of a rad Michael Jackson song and who doesn't love a band called Alien Ant Farm?

Viva La Vida by Coldplay
Makes me want to jump around the room, flailing my arms. In a good way.

Falling Slowly by Glen Hansard and Market Irglova
I'd sort of forgotten about this until I saw it again on American Idol. It's lovely. I'm still trying to forget that the singers met when she was like nine and he was thirty-five and they're now a couple.

My Maria by Brooks & Dunn
Apparently all that country music in my past is seeping to the surface. (This is a ridiculous video but the audio is the best I could find.)

Chasing Pavements by Adele
She performed at the Grammys in her stocking feet which bugged me a little but after I heard her voice I didn't care.

Renegade by Styx
Did you ever see the Styx episode of Behind the Music where Tommy Shaw made fun of Dennis DeYoung and Dennis DeYoung got all miffed and Tommy just continued to mock him? It's right up there with the Leif Garrett one.