Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Gay Pride and Boys....

Last weekend was gay pride or "pride" weekend in Long Beach. A number of events took place celebrating alternative lifestyles. One of the events was a comedy show featuring Wanda Sykes. Our friend, Barry, purchased tickets to the show without realizing it was pride weekend, he just likes her comedy and thought his wife would enjoy the night out.

Best laid plans and all that jazz, foiled by 103 degree temperature, Marci needed to stay home with their daughter. We talked about getting another ticket for me to go but I was wishy-washy as I had lots of work to get done, why don't the boys just go solo? Right. I have never seen two guys who have gay friends and are fine with gay people be so scared they were going to be mistaken for a gay couple. It was HILARIOUS. Seriously? So what if people you don't even know think you are gay? What does it matter? Apparently to straight men this is still a big deal. So much so the discussion actually diverted to whether or not they could wear their wedding rings as people might think they were married to each other. I quickly pointed out a gay married couple would have matching rings so they would be fine. I would have thought they were attempting to be "swinging single" again, but at a gay pride comedy show I don't think either of them wanted to be considered single either....

After we ate the guys still had me walk with them to the theater in case we could find a ticket. I am pretty certain they never had any plans of letting me leave without finding me a ticket while in my head I didn't think I was getting in. I had no purse, no cell phone, nothing with me except 30 bucks on the off chance we found a cheap ticket. Well, we did and I got to go to the show. It was a great show, Wanda was very funny and no one thought Barry and Chris were a married couple. Silly boys. I decided to put up a very "straight" photo of the two of them before a concert...maybe they did have a reason to be concerned?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Bride at Every Wedding and the Corpse at Every Funeral

I never knew my grandmother could be so profound yet succinct at the same time, but when she threw out the statement that I made the title of this blog it just made me laugh. We all know people who can be like this. They suffer from a constant need to be the center of attention. Now I know we are all guilty of such behavior some of the time. Those conversations where you can't help but drive it back to your exciting news or tale of horror, but the people I am speaking of are exceptional. Some might even call them psychotic or narcissistic personalities. I tend to deal just fine with those who are "me, me, me" as long as they are positive "me, me, me's." Heck, I work in the film business, I best be used to it or find another gig. But when the constant spotlight is a focus on everything negative and every little moment can be turned into a trauma drama I tune out, I have no patience for it. An even greater irritant than negativity, pretending to do something for others when really it is all about you and what you want.

Problem is, as a grown-up, you do not always get to control who is in your world. No magic wand appears on your eighteenth birthday allowing you to banish anyone you find unacceptable. You don't get to shout from the rooftops or just duck down the hall in the hopes the person didn't see you. It becomes your responsibility to adapt, to cope, to find a way to co-exist without becoming a story on the evening news; you know the one where all the neighbors said how nice you were and they could never imagine you had a pile of bodies in your basement. I think it might behoove us to look a bit deeper into some of these serial killer's pasts and discover what person drove them to it. Some might have been born that way but others were pushed to the edge, I am certain of it.

Some would argue this is just evolution, adaptation is key to survival. But I believe it is contrary to evolution. These limelight thieves should be pushed directly out of any light, starved for attention until they learn to live with other three dimensional people. Moreover they should learn to play nice. Unfortunately these squeaky wheels seem to get EXACTLY what they want. The proverbial 15-minutes of fame now applies to anyone with a flip camera and a willingness to look like an ass.

Instead of starving these people, we feed the machine creating a greater and greater monster. It's like the Hydra Hercules had to fight or a cracked out version of "Heathers." As we as a country continue to grow more and more out of control with rewarding bad behavior, I wonder the fate of young people. I find it bad enough for me to have to deal with these so called "adults" who act like infants and that was before we grew up in a culture where this kind of jealous-ridden behavior was status quo. Can you imagine what the terrors of the future will be like? Faye Dunaway, Joan Crawford, David O'Russell, and Donald Trump will look like kittens. Must we send children to live in a convent, probably not. Another country might work, one where people go do things instead of sitting in and watching others do things. I guess I should be grateful that my adaptation merely requires checking caller ID and biting my tongue. Maybe this is why no one has invented teleportation, what excuse would you have then?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Comfort TV 3: Gleeification of Fleetwood Mac

Gretchen Krull is singlehandedly responsible for getting me into Glee at all. I was not a Gleek, I did not watch the show, I did not know the characters. But an extra ticket to their live performance at the Gibson Amphitheater changed all that. Others had tried and failed to get me into the new show, but seeing them live made me appreciate the music and it was fun to know all the songs. I am a Broadway nut thereby making it a pretty small leap to a Glee watcher.

I understand many people have a problem with what the cast does as it is rarely an original song. Instead the group remixes songs everyone knows and loves. It has made an iTunes juggernaut and introduced many kids to songs they never knew. Some artists, like Dave Grohl, are anti-giving their music to the show. Others, like Gaga and Pink, say what the hell, a fan is a fan.

I felt shock when I saw an entire episode was built around the Fleetwood Mac album "Rumours." I have always loved Fleetwood Mac and saw them live for the first time last year. My husband is a concert whore and has turned me into one as well. That being said, I am always the one who wants to know the backstory to the songs and the problems. I loved the story Billy Joel told about the Beatles and the B side of Abbey Road. The idea that the band was not getting along and the producer put the song together as a compilation because the band couldn't talk. Rumours has a similar backstory as the band was breaking apart. They poured the drama into the songs and made arguably the best album ever. I can't imagine being Lindsay Buckingham writing music with his wife who had slept with the drummer and wanting to do something that would keep this band together, but that is what they did.

I was slightly worried about the gleeification of such an iconic band but the show did a great job. And in proving the full evolution of the electronic generation, they have access we never before did. Our boy bands might have ruined classic songs, we might have believed Cheap Trick was the first band to do "Don't be Cruel,"but we didn't have the access. Now, not only does the Glee version sell like hot cakes, you have a 30+ year old album selling a gazillion copies all over again introducing Stevie Nicks to an entirely new generation. I don't think any of us were chasing our parent's old 8 tracks of Elvis around, that would be uncool. Downloading on iTunes, totally cool.

That is what comfort TV is. It's a catharses of all the drama you don't want to have to live in your life but still bubbles below the surface. No matter how much you personally avoid drama, people will find a way to bring it into your life. You can rise above, not participate but you still need an outlet for all the frustration. Comfort TV provides those moments of, "I wish I could say that," in a safe fantasy land of imagined situations. I think dramatic outlets are the key to a happy, drama limited life. I say long live comfort TV!

PS...Happy Birthday, Lisa!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Royal Wedding, I Didn't Want to Care

I think I am one of the few people who managed to dodge all the Royal Wedding hoopla during the crazy lead time to the wedding. I did not watch the specials or the background or any of the other coverage plaguing my TV, internet, and radio connections. Then the last week hit and I found myself drawn like a magnet to the idea of this wedding. Still in denial I avoided all information and kept plugging away. I was not going to get caught up in celebrity insanity.

Suddenly, the day before the wedding I found myself endlessly fascinated. I chalked it up to having just been married so recently and being curious about a wedding on such a grand scale. I slowly started seeking out all the information others had found weeks before. What is Prince William's last name? Mountbatten-Windsor. Where will the couple live? Anglesey. What will she wear? Who is invited to the more intimate celebrations? Did they get to invite who they wanted? What will they eat? What does Harry think? How is Fergie holding up? Suddenly the flood of questions and curiosity was unstoppable. The levees had broken and I had wedding fever. Of course I blamed some memories of when I was six and Princess Di's wedding and then the funeral and how awful it must be for those boys.

I found myself crawling out of bed at 2:30 in the morning, cup of coffee in hand and my computer (because one source of information just isn't enough) to watch the parade of ridiculous hats in real time. And truthfully it was worth every second. It was worth it because they looked happy. Not stiff and horrid, not puffy and ridiculous but happy. I heard a few announcers call them "smug," particularly William, but what I saw was a beautiful couple who were doing their best to enjoy their moment despite the bazillions of people watching. Those reporters can suck it. If they hadn't been "smug" they would have found some other ridiculous thing to say such as "William looked like he was miserable, or Kate was dreadfully thin." If the worst you got is smug, then you should probably just stick with the positive. Or you could be like Katie Couric and never know when to show up. Does she not know she's on TV? The moving, magical picture box? She was narrating as if she was speaking on the radio. WTF? We have a ludicrous local news station called KTLA where they have too much fun and are very rarely professional. Even they knew to shut up during the wedding.

What else did I see? True respect and awe that so many people cared about their big commitment and day. That while in some ways it is a massive intrusion you cannot help but love the outpouring of adoration about your happiest day. I loved the cute little moments where they spoke to each other in whispers. Kate's shock that there were so many people, William telling her she looked beautiful, Kate asking if he was happy and William cutely suggesting a second kiss. I think it is the perfect day everyone wanted for them and I am glad I watched it. Instead of finding myself jealous of the crazy carriage and dual dresses it only brought back warm memories of my own day.

I do still feel sorry for Fergie's girls. They kind of did it to themselves but the comparisons to Cinderella's ugly step sisters kind of fit with those hats. couldn't they ask their grandmother for advice? Easter egg or not her hat was at least normal.

***For those keeping track of my procrastination...I was actually really early last week and I swear I just forgot to hit "publish" before I went to bed...I swear!!!!