Monday, April 30, 2007

Weekend in Beantown

I got back yesterday from a short road trip up to Boston. It was a girls' weekend all around, with Mom and me driving up to Shannon's on Friday and catching up with Veronica on Saturday. Ok, since Veronica's husband Mike was there, too, I guess it wasn't totally a girls' weekend, but we did have lots of femme time to catch up on our own. The weekend also included so much eating that I should probably eat only lettuce for the next few days. Veronica and Mike live just around the corner from an adorable little ice cream shop that we visited on Saturday night after dinner. There is some idiotic part of my brain that says very persuasive things like, "Since you've already decided to eat fattening ice cream, you might as well go ahead and get the sundae with hot fudge and peanut butter sauce, too," which is exactly what I did. Mmm...

And since Mom has yet to find a picture of herself that she likes, all I'm including here is one of me with my sisters.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The CW and Tyra Banks have ruined my plans for this post

There’s nothing I like less than a clip show, and yet it seems to be all the rage these days.

Want to understand the mysteries of the island? You can, if only you watch this Lost clip show! Never mind that the creative forces behind the show are, themselves, lost these days and don’t know what the hell is happening either. If you don’t know the meaning of the numbers, it’s only because you haven’t seen the proper scenes out of context to bring it all home. Clip show to the rescue!

Confused about the shenanigans at Seattle Grace? You don’t need a flow chart to track who is sleeping with who, where the syphilis outbreak began, or how George became the unlikely stud to bag more hot docs (Meredith, Callie, Izzie, and that cute nurse whose name I’m forgetting—and who isn’t actually a doc, but that’s a technicality) than McDreamy (Addison and Meredith) or McSteamy (Addison and Callie).* No, no, the flowchart is nothing compared to the all powerful, Amy Winehouse-backed, overly narrated clip show.

Puzzled about whether Betty is actually ugly? Need clarification on the eye-of-the-beholder, beauty-on-the-inside-trumps-beauty-on- the-outside themes? Ok, you see where I’m going with this.

What’s the point? The point is this: yesterday I told Rena that my new life as a blogger has made me realize that there are many days when I do absolutely nothing noteworthy and that I’d soon be reduced to reporting my thoughts on who gets the boot each week on America’s Next Top Model (a very guilty pleasure). Unfortunately, last night’s ANTM was…you guessed it, a clip show. So now I don’t even have that to report on.

*Please note that if I’ve gotten any of my Grey’s Anatomy partner counts wrong, it’s because I, in fact, did not watch the clip show.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Keeping up with your reading lists

So, my friend Josh just turned me on to this site called Good Reads. Basically it's a way to list/rate all the books you've ever read, are reading, or someday want to read. The fun, of course, is getting all your friends to do it, too, so you can see what they recommend. If nothing else, it's definitely a good way to waste some time at work as you mentally imagine all your bookshelves at home. :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Four Words I Never Want to Hear Again

Whatever you may think of George W. Bush and the people comprising his inner circle (and I think most of you agree with me in thinking that he and his cronies are a bunch of ignoramuses at best and evil-doers at worst), can we agree that all talk about the PLEASURE OF THE PRESIDENT should stop? Maybe I have to blame Bill Clinton and the infamous cigar episode, but there is something all too suggestive about that phrasing. Yuck.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Channeling my inner Al Gore

In honor of Earth Day, I spent today at a friend's apartment at my first clothing swap. Everyone showed up with all the dresses, pants, tops, etc. that no longer fit, never did fit, are just no longer in rotation, etc. We were all motivated to clean out our closets, went home with some new stuff (four skirts and a really pretty new dress for me), and can feel good about how much we donated to Good Will.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

We've all got our junk

I went to see Spring Awakening again last night. I saw the first act a few months ago with Rena, and when my friend Anne wanted to see it we decided to get rush tickets. I was glad to see it again, all the way through this time. It's not a perfect show, but the music is high energy and the performances great, and, unlike the sluggish Coram Boy, I was entertained all the way through.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

My thoughts on Coram Boy

Last night I went to see Coram Boy, Broadway's latest British import. The play is, in its broadest terms, about families--those we're born into and those we make--and the costs of following your passions/obsessions. The script was moralistic and the direction was broad, though. I wouldn't have been surprised had one of the actors pulled out an actual soapbox and stood on it to give his lines. They play is oddly both frenetic and sluggish; there is much running around on the stage without a lot of plot progression. It has a three-hour running time, and, unfortunately, it felt it.

That said, it has amazing choral singing and some of the most beautiful staging I've ever seen. I'm glad I saw it, but I won't rush back to see it again.

Titles, Novels, and Plays

Thanks for the props on the new title, Laura and Tina! I'm afraid 400,000 other bloggers already thought of it, too, but I'm not going to google it and find out. I'll pretend, instead, that I'm alone in my homage to Virginia Woolf.

My fellow book groupers were a little more critical of The Night Watch than I was and raised some interesting points about which characters needed more development and how the memento-like structure creates an expectation of some great pay-off and makes it easier for readers to forgive inconsistencies. I still loved it, though, and stick with my recommendation. :)

Tonight I see Coram Boy, a play about two orphans growing up in 18th-century England.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Talking about The Night Watch

Tonight is the fourth meeting of my book club. For the first time we're reading a book that I suggested, which adds a slight element of stress to the evening. My book group "co-captain," if you will (meaning that we always deal with the logistics, send out the emails, choose the locations, etc.), keeps saying that whoever suggests a book is in charge of leading the discussion about it. Though our conversations are usually pretty organic and don't need leading, per se, I feel like I should prepare something (which I won't). My other worry, of course, is that I suggested a book everyone ended up hating.

Luckily, I picked a good book if I do say so myself. The Night Watch, by Sarah Waters, is about the ignition, development, and, sometimes, demise of relationships in London during and in the aftermath of World War II. Broken into three distinct sections, Waters tells the story in reverse chronology, letting the reader know immediately how things turn out but only slowly revealing how they all came to be in the first place.

One of the most successful elements is Waters' ability to capture both the beauty and heartbreak of loving another person. Her unspoken insistence that one person is always more invested than his or her partner, her portrayal of someone knowing she's sabotaging a relationship she values but not being able to stop, and the lasting effect of even the briefest of encounters all rang true. I'd recommend The Night Watch to all my reader friends out there.

And, for what it's worth, I'd also recommend Waters' Fingersmith and Tipping The Velvet.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

My first post (and a desperate cry for title help)

Look at me! I'm blogging! Laura's blog has inspired me to start my own, and I'm only about ten years behind the rest of the world in discovering the joys of publishing my most random thoughts for all the world to read (except that I'm still apparently a little afraid of the world at large and am only allowing the people I invite to read this).

In my attempt to come up with a witty title for this blog (at which I've so far failed), I googled my first name hoping to find something inspiring. After many Spelling- and Amos-dedicated pages, I learned that "Tori" is also a breed of horse ( I don't love that.