Friday, July 31, 2009

I went to a new exercise class yesterday......today I hurt so much, and in places I never knew could hurt!!!

Here's my observation, though:
Let's demolish, once and for all, the idea that thin=healthy/strong and bigger=unhealthy/not strong.

I was one of the thinner people in this class, and got my ass handed to me, in a big way, by people heavier and older than I. Seriously.

Also, if you tend to think that thin people are healthier, think about a friend of mine from high school. She looked "good" and did sports, so there you go, right? Oops. Not. She was diagnosed with malnutrition because she only ate Diet Coke and cheese pizza.

So there.

In other news, I'm working really hard on not hating my physical self. I like me just fine, but I'm not so good at applying that to how I look......ugh......it's frustrating.

Desperate Housewives of Shakespeare's London

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Okay, if you're anywhere in the vicinity of New London, Connecticut on Friday night, you should TOTALLY come to my show.

It is, as you can tell from this title, called "Desperate Housewives of Shakespeare's London, a Lute Song Cabaret" and is a mash-up of English lute-songs and scenes/dialogues/monologues from Shakespeare and other 16th Century playwrights.

The goal, I think, is to convince people once and for all that Renaissance and Baroque music are not, in fact, boring. It can be pensive, rhetorical, flowery, suggestive and downright filthy.

There are lots and lots of downright filthy songs in this show. Lots.

There's also a couch on stage, so you can fill in the blanks.

Here, for example, is the text to a lovely little gem called "It fell on a sommer's day:"

It fell on sommers day,
While sweete Bessie sleeping laie
In her bower, on her bed,
Light with curtains shadowed;

Jamy came,
Shee him spies,
Op'ning halfe her sleeping eyes.

Jamy stole in through the dore,
She lay slumbring as before;
Softly to her he drewe neare,
She heard him, yet would not heare;
Bessie vowed not to speak;

(insert some innuendo, then follow:)

Jamy then began to play,
Bessie as one buried lay,
Gladly through this sleight
Deceiv'd in her own deceit;
And since this trounce begoon (began)
She sleeps ev'rie afternoone.
And, since this trance begoon,
She sleeps ev'rie afternoone.

(In this version, a woman is singing the lines about Bessie, and a man sings those about Jamy. I think that originally it was written for one voice)


So yeah, Friday night at 8pm at Connecticut College. It's part of the Amherst Early Music Festival, so if you look up their website, there will be info.


Henry Louis (Skip) Gates Jr. was arrested on his own front porch a couple of days ago. Apparently someone saw him (and a cab driver?) fiddling with his front door, which was jammed, and called the police reporting "2 black men on a porch with backpacks."
Because, you know, no black people live in Cambridge, MA, or something......

Gates was arrested for "disorderly conduct" when he got angry that, oh, HE WAS BEING ARRESTED IN HIS OWN HOUSE!!!!!

If you don't know who Gates is, go find out, because you should. He's very well known as a scholar, professor, literary critic and documentary film producer and host.
If you haven't watched "African American Lives" and African American Lives 2 (that aired on PBS a few years ago), go do that too. They're fascinating.

My favorite Gates moment (which will have to be from PBS because I'll never take any of his classes at Harvard) was when he said, upon learning that approximately 50% of his ancestors were European, "What?? ME? Captain Black Man???"

Moment of levity aside, this situation is all too common, and completely despicable!


Thursday, July 16, 2009

I have a problem.

I'm leaving for a workshop on Sunday, and am expected to have my music (2 solos, 2 ensemble pieces and some dialogue) memorized by then. Not only that, but even though the texts are in English, they're all Elizabethan and use some very arcane words and strange syntax. AND I need to be able to recite all the texts and tell what every word means alone and in context.

Sounds normal right? Sounds like someone with inordinate amounts of free time could have it all completely under control and feel great, right???


I cannot find motivation for the life of me.

Don't know why.

I'm so frustrated with myself. I've been beating myself up (mentally) every day, all summer, but I haven't managed to get off my ass and do my work.

Today, for example, I rolled out of bed around 9:45. It's now 2pm and what have I done? Lolled about on the couch watching TV and browsing through Harry Potter to check on what they changed for the most recent movie.


I haven't learned my dialogue at all.
Neither have I spent any time on the ensembles.


I really hate myself right now.

Role of Women in the Court

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Has everyone been listening to the Sotomayor hearing? It's really interesting, but it seems like every time a conservative senator gets the chance to question her, he comes off like a dolt.....Graham, I think, used the word "in" about 38 times in one sentence this afternoon (and no, it wasn't a stutter).

The other day, I read an interview with the Supreme Court's only (at the moment) female justice, Ruth Bader Ginsberg. I think this interview has made its way to the cable news chumps, who have undoubtedly butchered the interpretation.

I wanted to pass it on, and strongly urge you all to read the whole thing, though, because wow. It's fascinating.

On the topic of whether one's life experiences affect how they view the world and decide cases ("well, duh!" is my response, but that's just me), and the whole to-do over Sonia Sotomayor's now infamous quote:

I thought it was ridiculous for them to make a big deal out of that. Think of how many times you’ve said something that you didn’t get out quite right, and you would edit your statement if you could. I’m sure she meant no more than what I mean when I say: Yes, women bring a different life experience to the table. All of our differences make the conference better. That I’m a woman, that’s part of it, that I’m Jewish, that’s part of it, that I grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., and I went to summer camp in the Adirondacks, all these things are part of me.

On feminism and advancing its ideals:

I always thought that there was nothing an antifeminist would want more than to have women only in women’s organizations, in their own little corner empathizing with each other and not touching a man’s world. If you’re going to change things, you have to be with the people who hold the levers.

On the recently decided case of the middle-schooler who was strip-searched:

Q: What about the case this term involving the strip search, in school, of 13-year-old Savana Redding? Justice Souter’s majority opinion, finding that the strip search was unconstitutional, is very different from what I expected after oral argument, when some of the men on the court didn’t seem to see the seriousness here. Is that an example of a case when having a woman as part of the conversation was important?

JUSTICE GINSBURG: I think it makes people stop and think, Maybe a 13-year-old girl is different from a 13-year-old boy in terms of how humiliating it is to be seen undressed. I think many of [the male justices] first thought of their own reaction. It came out in various questions. You change your clothes in the gym, what’s the big deal?

Again, "well duh!" Why is it hard for people to grasp that privileged white guys will not be the best at fairly evaluating the experiences of those not like themselves??

And on the biggie: Choice. Ginsberg does seem very firmly optimistic about reproductive rights remaining in place, which is a refreshing voice to hear.

The morning-after pill will become more accessible and easier to take. So I think the side that wants to take the choice away from women and give it to the state, they’re fighting a losing battle. Time is on the side of change.

And on the problems with anti-choice thinking:

The poor little woman, to regret the choice that she made. Unfortunately there is something of that in Roe. It’s not about the women alone. It’s the women in consultation with her doctor. So the view you get is the tall doctor and the little woman who needs him.

Go read the whole thing!

Bwah hah hah ha (the I'm evil edition)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Maybe Michael Jackson's children shouldn't be looked after by the same people who looked after Michael Jackson


Friday, July 3, 2009

So, um, it turns out that Sandra Tsing Loh had an affair, which helped contribute to the end of her marriage.......somehow I missed that when I read the article.


My reaction and Bitch, Phd's analysis still stand, though.

Cue the William Tell Overture*

Thursday, July 2, 2009

It's Boyfriend's and my fourth anniversary today. Yay!

We count the day we met as our anniversary, because we started dating pretty much immediately. Maybe sometime I'll tell the crazy story of how we met, but not right now....

Anyway, I suppose that it could be much more intense, but at 4 years, and our ages (30 and 27), the questions have started.

You know the questions I mean:
"Well, is your relationship going well? It is? Well, have you two thought about...."
"Do you ever think about....."
"If you decide you want children, will you, ya know...."

Yes, kids, the topic of the day is, once again, marriage. That honorary four-letter word.

It would likely be far worse if I lived somewhere more "traditional" where everyone gets married a couple years out of college and has 9-5 jobs, or something. Being in the Bay Area liberal/progressive haven, and being a performer, certainly help. No one can "settle down" because that requires money. Which no one has.....

But yes. Certain family members or friends have definitely started pestering us. My aunt even asked if we were getting married "within the next year." She's most perturbed by the pre-marital sex you see. I'm not sure what the "within the next year" thing is all about, though. Is there some little known passage of scripture that says that sex is less bad if it occurs within the same fiscal year as marriage??

And don't even get me started on having children.....

I love the perplexed looks, though, when I say that, no, marriage is SO not a priority. "Why not?"

Why not? Um, well.....

Sandra Tsing Loh's article in the Atlantic is a good reason. Because everything can be perfectly fine, and still perfectly wrong.

Because the patriarchal bullshit still abounds, no matter how much couples try to ignore or supress it.

Because of what Bitch, PhD said about Tsing Loh's article:

The Good Marriage is Supposed to be:

sexually monogamous
between one man and one woman (even though, or rather because, men and women Are Different)
for their entire lives
begun early enough that they can have children, plural, (if they want to), without having to go through infertility treatment
passionate, again, for their entire lives
respectful at all times
mutually supportive, at all times
economically successful
able to accommodate two careers, if so desired
a friendship
something you "work" at, but it's not supposed to feel like work
flirty--but only with each other
not jealous
a Pillar of Society

Marriage should be like the early days of dating + the settled feeling of being "a couple" + a true partnership + a friendship + exciting + comfortable + productive (of kids, of material goods). People shouldn't get married "too young," but they certainly shouldn't wait "too long." They should both want to have passionate sex with each other whenever the other person wants to, but not when the other person doesn't, and god knows we don't want to see married people acting like teenagers in public places: holding hands is cute, and so are sweet chaste kisses, but come on! Especially if you already have children!

You mustn't fight--not in public, not in front of the children, and not so the neighbors can hear you. Certainly not in front of guests or friends. In fact, not only mustn't you fight, but you mustn't even act tense lest it make others uncomfortable. If one of you is abusive, then why does the other one put up with it???--but divorce, of course, is a Terrible Thing. Unless we've known all along that that person was bad for you, or that you were a terrible couple, or that the relationship was doomed, in which case for god's sake why didn't you divorce years ago? In fact, why did you get married in the first place?? We tried to tell you.

We also tried to tell you that that two careers thing wasn't going to work--you hardly spent any time together. It also doesn't work when one of you subsumes your life in the other person's career, though--I mean, don't you feel your masculinity is threatened? Isn't it your own fault that you don't have any savings or retirement or interests of your own now that he's left you/died/the children have moved out? Anyway, marriage is a total tool of patriarchy. And while we're at it, are you going to change your name or not?

If you're gay and you (want to) get married, you're just being assimilationist. And if your marriage ends, then not only are you a personal failure, but you've Undermined the Cause. Anyway, given how fucked up marriage is, why do you want to have anything to do with it? Except that oh right, we want you to save it for us, because god knows we've fucked it up. Unless of course your getting married is going to fuck it up even worse, in which case, forget it.

Marriage is a sacrament. It was ordained by god. It's a secular institution, which should include tax benefits and health insurance because it promotes stability and because financial benefits not only incentivize marriage but make it easier for spouses to support each other in hard times. But that's not fair to single people! So really, marriage shouldn't convey any benefits whatsoever--but you don't get to complain about the emotional or financial burdens of marriage, because after all, you chose to do it.

NOT that that means you can choose *how* you do it. Because your weird, unconventional marriage makes other people uncomfortable, and plus it sets a bad example for the children, who might think that it's okay to live that way. Which it isn't.

Why does any of that sound like fun?
Where in all of that is there time for tickle wars or laughing your ass off over horribly snarky jokes?

Why should I skip perkily into a life of frustration and trying to live up to expectations?

Everything is fine, and I like it just the way it is. Right now, on our fourth anniversary, I want nothing to do with marriage.

Even if all couples in the country could suddenly have all the rights of straight couples, even if there were children involved, even if someone could guarantee that the patriarchy would get the fuck out of the way.

Now I'm going to go make dinner reservations. And maybe get out of my pyjamas (yes, I'm still in pj's at almost-2-o'clock in the afternoon. Suck it.)

*Who can guess the reference?? Also, if the overture is all you know of Rossini's Guillaume Tell, you should seek it out. It's lovely.

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