Sunday, October 09, 2005

She Is In A Place Of Light...

So, this has been a most crazy, very full week. Last Thursday (9/29) I got home from work and my mother tells me that my aunt died (my father's older sister) so we had to plan a trip up to Williamsport, PA (the home of Little League) to pay our respects to my family up there and say goodbye to my aunt. She was my sister’s godmother, and I assumed that at least one of my siblings would be coming on the trip but alas I was the only one accompanying my parents to PA. I'm sure that this sounds horribly snide, but I'm not at all. I love my family dearly, but having to spend 4 hours in a car (each way) with one's parent's is *very* *very* difficult.

Well, we got up there Sunday night and then went to my cousin's house. It was good and healing in a way. I hadn't seen my cousin's children in at least 2 years so it was good to connect with family. And we also spent the next few hours that evening going through my aunt's old photo albums and seeing my namesake uncle who died when he was very young and seeing myself visiting my aunt and uncle 19 years ago before I went to college (OY VEY), stuff like that. The next day was the viewing and elegy (eulogy?) with a lunch reception following (we Americans LOVE to eat) before my parents and I hit the road back. Unfortunately, the neighbors providing the food made a typical Cuban meal- black beans and rice, which I loathe- so I had myself a salad.

Arriving late Monday night was tough because the next morning was a typical workday *and* it was my birthday, to boot. I had a pretty melancholy birthday, actually. I have a feeling it was a combination of my aunt's passing and me hitting the "older" demographic (35-49), although I like to think I'm not that much of a drama queen. The upside to the day was having lunch with my best friend Bill (Vietnamese) and knowing that my co-worker Monkey (*NOT* her real name) was arriving for a few days from her homestead of Eugene, OR.

I like Monkey. She is as weird as I am and as geeky (only in the best way). We talk everyday so it was good to actually interact physically for 3 workdays. I had evening events planned for her- she loves theatre so I got her tickets to URINETOWN at Signature Theatre, where I House Manage, and taking her out on the town to sight-see since she's never been to the East Coast before (well, at least the DC area). I know that being away from her new husband was hard, but I'm so glad that she came out. I ended up coming out to her as well. Like I expected, she was fine with it- she also said that she knew, which made me think, "is it *that* obvious?"

Well, regardless, the week went by in a flurry of activity, with work being twice as busy since my other co-worker left for his long-delayed honeymoon and taking Monkey out, I was pretty happy to hit the weekend Friday night. I took my brother's kids out to see Wallace & Gromit Saturday afternoon, which they loved, even though there was a fire alarm/drill right in the middle of the movie. We only missed about 3 minutes, but I totally asked for my 3 passes for a future time anyways. You know, I'm totally fine with young children in a movie theatre, especially when it's a G-rated film, but who are those mentally challenged people bringing NOISY INFANTS?!? Honestly, instead of getting popcorn for your other rugrats, please use that money for a babysitter. Jeesh!

Anyways, the movie was just as good the second time. This time I actually got to see the advertised short featuring the Madagascar Penguins that wasn't attached to the sneak preview. It was cute, although still kinda early for Christmas themes, but I digress. Then I went out last night because my friend Jackal and her husband Euan, were in town celebrating a birthday. I found out that Boy George was arrested for Cocaine possession and they were using my friend Euan's photo- I guess it's a small price to pay when you play Boy George in his musical, eh? I also had some great quality time with my friend and co-worker from Signature, Munsen. She cracks me up and we get plain silly sometimes and I love it. I'm so excited that she's moving so much closer to me, so we can actually hang out and foster our relationship further.

Then today I finally went over to Arena Stage to see the new play "Passion Play, A Cycle" by Sarah Ruhl, a wonderful new voice among playwrights. My good friend Lisa, who works there, arranged a comp for myself and I got ready for a (almost) 4-hour play about Religion, Politics, and the role of the Passion through the ages. It was quite wonderful and challenging. Truly epic in scope, especially coming from someone in her mid-30s. I'm definitely going to keep an eye out for whatever she writes next.

And now, I'm finally enjoying the wi-fi age. After a long time of owning computers, I went out yesterday and got a wi-fi card to be able to take advantage of locales with free internet access. This is coming to you from our good friends at Panera Bread, lord love 'em. :o)

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Don't Be The Bunny

Wallace And Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit- *****

Sheer Perfection. I actually got a sneak preview pass from my buddy, Michael, a few weeks back because I got him some free swag from the Comic-Con I went to and I showed up super-early to make sure I got a seat. My friend Bill was going to meet me and since the show at at 10:30, I was at the theater at 9 this morning. The tiredness I feel right now was so worth it.

It's such a joy to see these people onscreen in a full-length feature. Nick Park has created these wonderful three dimensional characters over the past 10+ years and the plot didn't drag one bit (unlike "The Corpse Bride"). The rabbit's antics in the background were pure genious, although they weren't as cute as Shaun the sheep in "A Close Shave," they're still pretty adorable.

The addition of Helena Bonham Carter and Ralph Fiennes as Lady & Lord Todington were hilarious. There's a great bit involving a toupee and the puns are plentiful throughout. What amazes me is the sheer humanity and good-natured-ness of these characters and it's probably due to the hand-craftedness of the process of claymation. Every single action is manipulated by hand per frame and you can see the fingerprints of these craftsmen on the screen. It's a testament to these people and their work just pays off in spades.

Mr. Park has used as inspiration great films/filmmakers of the past (Hitchcock in particular) and there are plenty of nods to James Whale (Frankenstein), Merian Cooper (King Kong), and Ray Harryhausen in this one. Looks for some Benny Hill bits, too. And it's G-rated!

The little ones in the theater today were mesmerised as were the adults. Definitely check it out when it opens nexty week.

BTW, the movie's being advertised with a companion short featuring the penguins from "Madagascar." This was not shown at the preview I went to this morning.