Friday, May 27, 2011

Mr. Cellophane - Chicago

I never woulda guessed this one would have made it here. Then again, it's not always 2 in the morning, and I'm not always under the affluence of incohol. But for those of you who are dying for those "fly on the wall" moments, Chicago at 2 in the morning provides 'em. (Note, if you will, the time of this blog post.)

Chicago (the town) is my least favorite city of all time, but Chicago (the musical) may just be my favorite musical. Ah, irony. Get me nice and happy (vodka or rum only, please...I like to be at least semi-functional the next morning), pop Chicago in the DVD player, and watch me go to town. Seriously. I will vamp and lip-synch to most of the songs there. In the dark. With no one watching me. I will praise, then kvetch about that funny honey of mine. I will proclaim that when you're good to Mama, Mama's good to you. I will tango with the best and sassiest and angriest of the murderesses in the cellblock. And I will become Roxie Hart, just to say that the name on everybody's lips is gonna be - sing it! - Roxie.

Perhaps more than all other songs, "Mr. Cellophane" catches me at my most vulnerable, and I relate to it more than anything on Chicago. Irony, I know, for someone who has been more visible than about 95% of most Americans. But I have a terrible tendency to fall into self-pity and melancholia. Even more ironic is the fact that I often crave solitude; I don't bemoan it. I'm not quite Greta Garbo, mind you, but I do have my moments, and if given the choice, most times, I'd rather spend a quiet night either alone or with just a select friend or two or three. (Don't get me wrong...I do enjoy a wild night out on the town every once in a while.)

But when you look at Amos, pitiful character that he is, you can't help but feel for him. His wife double-crosses him, becomes pregnant with another man while behind bars, lies to him on the stand, and then abandons him after she's declared innocent. And that's his fate, end of story. Roxie goes on to stardom with her arch-nemesis, and ignores the only guy who offered her unconditional love? Ouch.

I dunno. Something about that abandonment and sorrow just strikes a really deep chord in me, and I'm not sure why. People do like me, for the most part. But I often come off as aloof, which is a shame. I've been blown off in social situations many times, probably no more than most anyone else, but I think I've let this hit me more than most. Still, I'm alternately exhilarated and frightened to death to perform this song on karaoke. It ain't no "Just a Gigolo," that's for sure. Very sobering and soul-baring, which ain't exactly the domain of karaoke. But again, I've emoted enough for a stage in the den of my home, singing and acting along with John C. Reilly. I ain't nowhere near good enough to be Amos on stage, but in my head, I can fully empathize and inhabit his character. Who knows? Maybe some night, I'll screw up the courage, down enough liquid courage, and see what happens on stage. Maybe in DC, where if I screw up, no one of consequence will care, and I can bring it back home all polished up.

(Fun Uncle Spike fact: in 2007, whilst celebrating my birthday, in the safety and comfort of my living room, I downed four appletinis. Maybe five. The last three were spiked with cinnamon schnapps. I totally bonded with Chicago. And spent the next two days recovering. PAAAAIN. To this day, I cannot tolerate appletinis.)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Seel-yeh Beer-ghee-teh?

(Prompted by a college classmate's recent posting about the birth of her first daughter.)

If you're announcing the girl's name, and then you immediately have to post a pronunciation guide for both the first and the middle name, you FAIL. When your daughter grows up, she will harbor resentment toward you in a special place in her heart. Go back to baby-naming 101.

(Incidentally, what does it mean that I, who most likely will not have kids, have such strong opinions about baby names?)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Also? "Don't tell your parents that Obama is dead when you meant Osama. Because it causes tears. Whoops."

In re: Osama bin Laden: A few FB thoughts from friends of all stripes (well, maybe not Republicans).

  • "Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, And let not thy heart be glad when he is overthrown"
    - Proverbs 24:17

  • "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction... The chain reaction of evil-hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars-must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation." - MLK, Jr.

  • I refuse to celebrate the killing of another human being, regardless of their past acts. It is good that he is gone, but the hive of evil has millions of insects.

  • Wow, finally. It's hard to be glad that someone is dead, but what a relief!

  • deep ambivalence on the death of Osama bin Laden...killing begets killing begets killing. where will it end?

  • Osama is dead! I, along with everyone else directly affected by 9/11 can finally begin to heal. The event changed my life and having the killer killed puts me at peace. Justice was FINALLY served. Go Obama, Go Military!

  • Death happens. So does life. Osama bin Laden's death will only bring to life another homicidal maniac lurking in the midst. Because unfortunately, someone is bound to fill his shoes. Rejoice if you must, but please remember life's brutal cycle. And NEVER forget those who perished as a result.

  • May 1st Prayer...Now I lay me down to less terrorist this world does keep...with all my heart I give my those in uniform regardless of serve our country and serve it well...with humble hearts your stories as I rest my weary eyes...while freedom rings our flag still give your all, do what you must...with God we live and God we trust....

  • Obama did in two years what "that other guy" couldn't do in seven. #justsaying

Where were you? I was at choir rehearsal with about 80 fellow men, and the guy standing next to me suddenly showed me a text from his, uh, current love/sex interest (I'm not sure how to term him). Then he got another text from his partner of 20 years saying the same. From that point, it was on. He and I were on our phones, hunting down news coverage that might have said something. Huff Post? Nope. CNN? Nah. The local TV station? Not that either. Their servers must have been overloaded. We did this for about 10 minutes, until I realized...duh! Facebook! And it was there that I saw ten consecutive posts from friends saying that bin Laden had finally been killed. Sign of the times, right? I'll give HP and the local networks a bye on this one, but CNN? Really? Get new servers or upgrade your old ones. That should NEVER have happened.

And my thoughts? I was pretty thrilled last night. I'll admit, the posts up above sobered me up a bit. My thoughts were more like this. Not all the way to yelling "U-S-A! U-S-A!" jingoistically while waving the flag and pounding some brewskis, but certainly less measured than my friends, for the most part. For the time being, this is a good thing, right? Just good to keep in mind that yes, someone is bound to take his place, and he's now a martyr for the cause. Always a gray lining.