Friday, May 22, 2009

ANOTHER new favorite show

Glee... I'd been meaning to watch this one after seeing some previews online and totally forgot about it. Fortunately FOX has the sneak peak episode online in it's entirety - complete with a player that plays the entire show, not annoying seven minute segments. Only a few, FOX related quick commercial interruptions, too. Nice.

Glee doesn't come until the fall but I loved the preview episode. After watching SYTYCD, I was on a musical/dance high and Glee did a great job of keeping that going. The series doesn't air in full until sometime in the fall, but I'm thinking it will be a nice nicotine patch for the end of the dancing show.

This kind of entertainment totally improves my mood. I love shows like that - ones that totally distract you from reality, sucking you in to some other universe where everyone is an amazing dancer, the music is great and there are sequins and glittery costumes everywhere :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009


My show starts tonight! Best dance show on T.V... best reality show on T.V., in my opinion. It's been a crazy, stressful month(s) but with this show signals the start of summer and consistently entertaining Thursday night entertainment until fall. Woot!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

It's not just me!

Stumbled across this article - How Bea Arthur helped my body image - today on HuffPo and cracked up.

Author Leslie Goldman writes in her piece about how even though she's not particular masculine or muscle-y, she's always identified herself with Arthur's character Dorothy on Golden Girls.

As a tall girl growing up, I often felt much...bigger. Bigger than the other girls, bigger than the boys, too big for tapered Guess jeans or cheerleading uniforms. And for some bizarre, warped reason, I always identified with Bea. I thought I looked like her. She was tall and slightly manly looking and when I watched her sipping coffee in her Florida kitchen, chastising Rose (who I now realize I am so like, it's scary) for making some inane St. Olaf remark, I thought, "That's what I look like. I'm going to wear shoulder pads and floor length caftans and look like Bea Arthur when I grow up." I am not fabricating this -- ask my mom or my husband. Of course, I could have looked to any number of tall actresses or models. Cindy Crawford, maybe? But my sweet little lost mind chose Bea.

I find this whole bit hilarious, mainly because I feel exactly the same way. The only difference is that this chick is 6'1 sometimes. In heels. Blake Lively is probably approximately the same. I, however, am six feet even. No shoes. If I bust out the hot shoes (or more likely borrow a friend's, because I rarely buy heels taller than three inches) and go out, I am positively ginormous. Like, 6'5, a-head-at-least-above-everyone-else-in-the-bar tall. Goldman hits the nail on the head when she brings up a Blake Lively interview:

I'm not alone in my Tall=Big Girl Syndrome. Recently, I read an interview with my Girl Crush, Blake Lively, in Allure, and was shocked (but strangely relieved) when she admitted, "I feel like a tranny a lot of the time. I don't know, I'm...large? They put me in six-inch heels, and I tower over every man. I've got this long hair and lots of clothes and makeup on. I just feel really big a lot of the time, and I'm surrounded by a lot of tiny people. I feel like a man sometimes."
Please don't be mistaken. This is not a "poor me, the tall girl" post. My body image is just fine, and women like Lively (though I suspect she's not the brightest crayon) and Charlize Theron and Aisha Tyler do us six-footers proud. And I can inconspicuously gain quite a bit of weight and still look A-OK. It's none of those things.

But... when we go to the drag show, or the high heel drag race in Dupont Circle, I do end up cracking a lot of jokes about getting confused for a competitor. And can you blame me?

Which of these things is not like the other?

No reason for this particular tangent, other than that I find it hilarious and refreshing that there are those out there in the same predicament. Hooray for tall (mannish....?) girls! Kidding! Sort of.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Two musical projects putting a spin on the norm

I have been all over the place for the past few weeks - planning for DNA Day, then for our first annual fundraising gala. It has been a wild, but wholly professionally fulfilling, past month. I've seen all kinds of things that have inspired me to post something but I haven't had a chance till now. Perhaps this combined "why-music-is-awesome-and-can-change-the-world" post will be more powerful anyway.

As you've probably figured out by now, most of my blog fodder comes from my daily commute to and from work listening to NPR. I really should link them on here. Anyway, this comes from two different stories I heard on the station over the past couple of weeks.

One features Ben Folds (formerly of Ben Folds Five and the epically depressing song Brick that you may remember from the late '90s). Folds decided to compile an entire a capella album of his greatest hits after seeing a YouTube clip of an Ohio University a capella group covering Brick.

Not surprising, considering how the All Things Considered segment described Folds' stage shows:
His dynamic live shows often found Folds leaping on top of the piano, dividing the audience down the middle, and conducting them in two-part (and sometimes even three-part) harmony.

Folds broadcasted the news that he was compiling an a capella album, selecting performances from different university a capella groups across the country via YouTube submissions. The results are pretty impressive, and while I typically shy away from a capella (it reminds me of my younger days and that group from Where in the World is Carmen San Diego...) this could be something to buy on iTunes.

Ben Folds, while depressing at times, could really stand to be livened up and I bet a bunch of peppy and talented collegiate a capella groups could be just the ones to do the livening. Wonder if they covered Rocking the Suburbs on the album... (awww man! Sure don't. Ben?! What happened?)

One album I DEFINITELY downloaded, right away after hearing the piece was the Songs for Peace album - a compilation by a group who call themselves Playing for Change who edit street performers worldwide into one track of a popular song.

Anyway - video of Stand By Me goes viral, producers continue to record mashup-type songs performed by street performers around the world, and they eventually create a CD.

My favorite thing about being in Paris and London were the street performers. There were sidewalk artists and musicians on the street. One girl drew The Birth of Venus in colored sidewalk chalk only to have the effort be washed away by the next rain or street cleaning. One guy played the saxophone by the Thames while balancing on a rope he'd tied between two trees.

In Paris, I heard the Beach Boys and blues standards in the Métro and a bunch of Chilean guys played Hotel California on a pedestrian bridge crossing the Seine. I'm sure I'm idealistic and silly for thinking so, but the idea of bringing these performers from all over the world together shared songs really resonates with me. Singing along with an overplayed Eagles song in Paris may have been cheesy, but it was one of the best nights of my life.

...I'm pretty sure it was the best night because I felt connected to people in a completely different continent because the late July evening was beautiful, the stars were out, the breeze was blowing, the Eiffel Tour was glittering... and we - a mishmash of nationalities, ages and backgrounds - all knew the words to the same damn song.

I love social media at times like this. Watching a YouTube video and listening to some .mp3s won't exactly replicate the feeling of that night on the Seine or those Métro rides, but they will certainly do 'till I can get back out there again.