Friday, April 30, 2010

So the Cubs aren't doing very well. They followed up a four game winning streak with a four game losing streak. Or maybe it's just three games. In any case, they have just about undone all of the good they did last weekend. And it's frustrating. Kind of like me undoing all of the hard dieting work I did not so long ago. I need to get back into that. I've started with the workouts again (somewhat), I just find that I'm always hungry and I don't stop eating until I feel stuffed. I need to adjust that.

I find I'm thinking about a lot of things lately and I'm also having a lot of dreams. I remember two of them from last night. One involved a lovely conversation (which of course, I don't remember now, I just remember really enjoying it) with a man who was a hybrid of the man I have a crush on and a friend from college and then meeting my mom in this tiny quilt shop which, I think, was in Ireland. I wish I remembered some of the projects they were working on in the quilt shop because I remember them as being beautiful. I wish I could recreate them. I think at least one of them had something to do with stained glass, too. Anyway, it was cool. And my other dream from last night involved me selling my car to my brother, but then my brother died and I couldn't get to his wake because I didn't have a car anymore. That dream just left me with an overwhelming sense of irony, or I would have woken up and called my brother to make sure he is okay. I had another dream the night before last that I was sitting in the backyard of the house I grew up in (which doesn't exist anymore), chatting with my sister in law and it was such a nice conversation! Again, I don't remember what we talked about, except I think there was talk of manicures and lilacs. Anyway.

Tomorrow is May. I can't believe it is May already, even though I know that this past February and March were quite possibly the longest months of my life. But the weather is turning nicer and the farmer's markets will start up again and I'll be able to leave my windows open all day. Maybe I'll try to get in the habit of walking to the theater when I have classes, in large part just to remind myself to get outside and enjoy the summer. I have a class starting tomorrow morning that includes two-person scenes and I'm keeping my fingers crossed really tightly that I get to work with one person in particular who I haven't gotten to work with in a very long time. He's going off to grad school in the fall and I'd like to work with him again before he leaves. And he's the sort of actor that will call me out on my crap and not let me get away with half-assing anything, and I like that in a scene partner. I'll enjoy whoever I end up working with, but I really hope it's him. Or another woman who would bring the same sort of energy and passion. She's the only woman I would let smack me upside the head for being dumb and she has. Thrice.

Anyway. Sorry I'm sort of rambly and random. That's kind of where my brain is these days. It'll get more linear soon, I think. Maybe? Or maybe it's a good thing if it doesn't.

Be well.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Oh! And I almost forgot! The new Doctor Who!

Most of you know by now (though some of you may not) that I am in love with Doctor Who. I was flipping through the channels one night and I saw this rather cute man standing in a doorway in outer space next to a woman in a wedding dress and she finds out that he's an alien and I found out that the show was "Doctor Who" (the episode being "The Runaway Bride") and he mentioned a friend he had (Rose) who he lost and I, of course, then had to go back and start watching the show from the beginning (the Russell T. Davies beginning, anyway, starting with Christopher Eccleston as The Doctor) to find out who this Rose person was and what happened to her and well, I found my new favorite TV show. I have seen every episode since the show's resurrection, up to and including the first episode with the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith), and I have gone back (I love Netflix) and watched some of the old episodes with Tom Baker, John Pertwee, and William Hartnell as The Doctor. And I have to say, I love this show. I love the character of the Doctor, no matter what actor is playing him. He has this age and wisdom and love for all forms of life that is really...lovely. And just the whole concept is great - a guy traveling through time and space having wacky adventures in a blue police box, usually with a companion or two in tow. But particularly since the show's rebirth in 2005, it's been great. The special effects are top notch and the writing has shown marked improvement. And, Donna was named one of the greatest sci-fi characters of the decade because she didn't fall in love with the Doctor. Brilliant. And her story was so tragic! Anyway.

So David Tennant left the show and regenerated into Matt Smith around Christmas time, and my best friend and I have been chomping at the bit, waiting to see the first episode with the new Doctor (also with a new production staff), and finally, last Saturday night, it happened. We even bought British beer to enjoy while watching the show, such dorks are we.

There will be spoilers here, so if you don't want to know what happened, stop reading now.

I don't like the new sonic screwdriver. Of all the things to redesign, why redesign the screwdriver?

I'm not sure I like the new TARDIS. In the special features for the Ninth Doctor season, they said they redesigned the TARDIS to make it feel more organic that it had been with, say, Tom Baker's Doctor. And I loved the "more organic" TARDIS. This new one for the Eleventh Doctor feels modern and cold. Granted, I didn't get to see it very long, but it feels like all of the organic elements were removed in favor of a sleek, modern-looking machine (with a staircase leading up? What's up with that?). I liked the idea that the TARDIS was a living thing, and I liked being able to see that in the design. The six seconds I saw of the new one didn't feel alive.

Even more than that, though, I really didn't like that the episode started out with him hanging out of the TARDIS, holding on for dear life. The previous episode didn't end that way, and the TARDIS has a protective bubble kind of thing so if you open the door in space, you don't get sucked out into the vacuum. How did he fall out the door? You could argue that the TARDIS was damaged so that's what happened, but still. That bothered me.

I thought they spent WAY too much time trying to figure out the new Doctor's eating habits. Comedy happens in threes, not in fives or sevens or eights. "Three is the number of the counting and the number of the counting shall be three. Five is right out." Thus spake Monty Python, thus is law. So yeah, the food bit was too long. And who didn't know that he was sitting there talking to Amy? We all know his new companion is played buy a cute redhead and he's awful with punctuality. I don't know. It was like "The Girl in the Fireplace," but I like Madame du Pompodour better.

Prisoner Zero was...meh. It was creepy as the woman with two kids, but as a monster it was...meh. I kind of wanted to know what it was hanging onto from above whenever it showed up as the eel-looking thing - how long is the rest of it's body? It felt a bit like an afterthought. "We can get away with only showing it's head. Nobody will care."

The jury is still out for me on the new title sequence/revamped title music. It could just be that I am so used to the old stuff that I just need to give this stuff time.

I'm pretty sure David Tennant's tie didn't have swirlies on it at the end of The End of Time, or at any point in his tenure as the Doctor, so it was unnerving that Matt Smith's tie had swirlies on it for the first forty-five minutes of the episode. The new costume...meh. I'm glad they had an explanation, though, for what kind of cop wears mini-skirts and seamed stockings. Though her shoe choice was a bit of a head scratcher. Practical for running about with the Doctor, not so much for Kiss-O-Gram parties.

I spent Saturday afternoon watching the last three episodes of Season 4 and then the five specials (season 4.5?) and I will admit, it amounted to an afternoon of me crying. I cried a lot. The characters are rich and their situations heartbreaking. Granted, this new episode with the new Doctor is the first of a new season so they're not going to have the Universe collapsing in on itself just yet, but still. I didn't find Amy compelling. I didn't find the new Doctor as charming or charismatic or ancient as he used to be. I didn't cry. I barely laughed. I walked away from it neither loving the episode, nor hating it. There are a couple of episodes that I have seen that I didn't like very much ("Fear Her" and the one with the Wire), and this kind of felt like one of those. Not so horrible that I'm going to stop watching, but it's going to be a little while before I fall in love with the New Doctor.

That being said, I am open to falling in love with the New Doctor. I remember thinking, when David Tennant first appeared at the end of Season 1, "Who is this skinny rat-looking guy and why didn't Christoper stick around a little longer?" But I grew to love David Tennant as the Doctor, just as I had loved Christopher Eccleston. Maybe it will just take some time to love Matt Smith, too. I've heard murmurs about the "new Daleks," though, and that kind of scares me.

I know that every time a new actor comes in to play the Doctor who is younger than the last guy, people get all up in arms about how he's too young to play the part. One thing I liked about David Tennant is that while he looks young, he can also look very old. He was good at carrying the weight of the Universe on his shoulders, and carrying the weight of the Time War and all of the pain he caused his companions and all of the people he lost. Which made it that much lovelier when he would see a new species or a different planet with child-like enthusiasm (i.e. "You are beautiful!" when he sees the werewolf, right before running out of the room to get away from it). I haven't seen that age or weight of the Universe in Matt Smith yet. Granted, it's the first episode so the Universe isn't imploding yet, but even when he was telling off the giant eyeball, he wasn't as threatening as David Tennant used to be. Anyway. I'm picking nits here. I liked the episode. I love the show. I will continue to love the show and I will continue to wish that there really was a Doctor who would show up someday and rescue me from some evil only to invite me to travel with him through the Universe (I'd go in a HEARTBEAT!) and/or I will continue to hope that I get to be on the show someday (I'd make a great first female Doctor - and I'm ginger to boot!). I can see that they need some time to develop and to bring their own whatever to their characters and to the Universe of Doctor Who. And I'm looking forward to watching them do it.

I just really hope they don't make the Doctor/Amy relationship a romantic one. We did that already, just a couple of years ago. Her name was Rose and it was tragic (in the beautiful kind of way). Let's do something else with Amy.
It's been a really long time since I posted. Sorry about that. Thing is, when you're really upset about something and waiting for things to change, you can only write, "I'm really upset and waiting for things to change" so many times before you start to even bore yourself, and I think I was trying to spare both of us, so that's why I was silent for a while there.

Things have changed.

I can't go into too much detail, though some of you already know what I'm talking about. I have a plan again, and a focus and a goal. It's weird, though, because it doesn't quite feel real yet. I'm making progress and taking steps, but I'm still kind of in the blahs, for lack of a better word. And I'm feeling the need to make lists, so here we go with some lists.

I need to cut my fingernails because they are WAY too long for my liking. I remember in high school, I used to try to grow them really long 'cuz I liked the way long nails looked. I still do. They look pretty. But they make playing the guitar really difficult, and even get in the way when doing things like typing. Now my preferred fingernail length is no-white-showing. But every now and again, when my nails have an eighth of an inch of white showing, I look at my hands and think they are really pretty and feminine and I like to just sit in that for a little while before I cut them off again to be practical. Sometimes I'll just file them down a bit so I still feel a bit girlie but I can play. I think it's time to cut them off, though. I have a show in a couple of weeks that I need to get ready for.

Speaking of things to get ready for, classes are going to be starting up again soon. I'm trying to figure out if my long-term plans will allow me to take two classes this session (from a financial standpoint). I think I can. I just need to give myself permission to do so. My mom's partner has this theory about money that it just kind of comes and goes so you shouldn't get too hung up on it. I'm a smart person with many talents; if I need more money in the future, I'm sure I can find a way to get it (legally). In the short term, I'd like to take these two classes. I think they could present some fun challenges.

I have a lot of things I want to do this summer. I want to order pizza from my favorite pizza place. I want to eat at my favorite vegan restaurants again. I want to see the Swell Season at Ravinia. I want to enjoy my favorite beer gardens. I want to go to street fairs. I have tickets for four more Cubs games. I want to get my hair cut. I want to buy another pair of jeans from the store that knows how to make clothing for real-shaped women. I want to play at my favorite music venue again. And I want to lose the weight that I had lost but have recently put back on while I've been hanging out in the blahs. I started running in my living room again last night, and I'm going to do some strength training tonight while I watch the Cubs game. Maybe throw in some time on my exercise bike, too. I'm torn about doing strength training that focuses on my lower body - my lower body is really strong. I have strong thighs and calves and as much as I'd like to shrink my rear end, I don't want to end up building it up more by doing 8,000 squats. Maybe I'll stick with leg lifts and things like that.

I also need to clean some things out this summer, get rid of excess. Figure out what of the stuff I currently have I need to hold on to, and what is ready to move on to its next owner. I'd have a garage sale if I had a garage. Maybe I should talk to someone I know who has a garage and see if I could bring a bunch of my stuff out to them to sell it there. Just a thought.

I have research and planning to do this summer, too. It's going to be a busy one, but I think it will also be good. My niece turns one this summer - I can't believe she's almost a year old already! She is such a sweetheart; she melts me every time I see her.

My plan scares me a little. I think that is what makes it a good plan, but I'm still scared. I hope at some point this summer, the scared goes away for a little while and I can be excited. Because it really is a good thing that could lead to other good things. I think it will help when all of the logistics are sorted out.

So yeah, lots going on. Sorry I'm kind of cryptic - I'll tell you more when I can. In the meantime, lots to do. I hope you are doing well!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Rabbit rabbit! Happy April and all that rot.

See, the thing is this. One of the most important things I've heard in the last couple of months is that if you want to do something, if you want to accomplish something, or if you want to be involved in something, you have to make it happen (or you have to do it yourself). This is something I have found to be true again and again and again and again. And while it makes a lot of sense and can feel very empowering and all of that, it is also IMMENSELY frustrating because if you dream big (like I do), you always get to the point in these grandiose projects where you do need help and input from someone else. For example, if I wanted to start my own theater company right now, I could. But it's not much of a company with just me in it - I'd need other actors and directors and designers and whatnot and I'm sure I could find people interested in joining me for a project, but one show does not a theater company make and I'd have to start probably all over again for the next show, with maybe a carry-over of one or two people and so on and so forth. Or, if I want to launch my acting career, I can go out there and get more headshots and pound on agency doors until I get representation and I can go audition for everything under the sun, but until someone casts me in something, I'm not going to get very far.

I am just about at the point where I think I could make something happen on my own. Just about. I have ideas. I have a couple of scripts percolating. I have a big, silly project idea. And I can get started on them at any time. I think what I need to do, though, is figure out how far I need them to go. If I write a script and it never gets produced, am I okay with that? If I start my silly little project and only a dozen people ever see it, am I okay with that? At what point do I stop looking for help from people who just can't give it and move on to the next thing, or do I keep holding onto one dream forever and ever and ever even if it kills me?

I don't know.

In the meantime, I have a lot of work to do that I don't want to do but that I probably should get on. Because if I am going to launch any of these new plans of attack, I'm going to need some sort of funding for them at some point and being out of a job would really suck. Really.