Wednesday, February 28, 2007

td's favorite things, part II

what is better than this guy?

Saturday, February 24, 2007

my lenten promise, by boring mcclosedmouth

so, yeah. i grew up catholic. more honestly, i grew up italian, so i was constantly inundated in catholicism. how's that? my dad was anti-church, but was also DAGO #1 in any sopranos episode. so, even though italian-cath stuff was all around us, my family didn't go to church for a long while. then i noticed everyone at my public school had started ccd, and i wanted a piece of that action, so i asked to go check it out for myself. how precocious, you crazy 4th grader! my mom and i went back. i liked it. it was neat and reflective and ritualistic and god was fun. long story short, when i turned 17ish, as i went to catholic hs, i started doubting everything. then, church didn't make much sense anymore. and even though i love the ritual of church, and i believe in something, i sure don't know what it is. i'm more of a believer in reverse; i definitely know what i don't believe, so the cancelled out leaves me the known.

still with me?

anyway, that all being said, i still occasionally get hungry for the old pipe organs, the long winded homilies, and sometimes, even the uniforms. and one thing left over that i still really like is lent. i like to be reminded occasionally of mortality to keep it in check. i like the reflection. i like the sacrifice of giving up something really important or hard for you. though the reasons have changed of why i solely would do it (christ died for our sins), i think doing it is a good challenge for each of us (if my god exists, god would want us to do our best everyday). so, i still try to do this. almost for sport, some for baby jesus.

sadly, three days in, i haven't decided what that thing is, and i need to start thinking NOW. mostly, i think it's this, and always should be: i won't say anything bad about anyone, even when it's just laying there in front of me for the taking. i like to think of myself as a pretty positive person. moreover, i like ALMOST EVERYONE on the planet. like, truly. i probably like at least one thing about ev. sometimes i feel like i like more people than almost anyone. but you'd be surprised, dear reader, if you catalogged your day, how much this junk just happens, just non-chalantly. like, how easy it could be to say some throw-away comment like "Oh, yeah, ________? that guy's a d!" or "_________? she chugs cock".

(points) thiisssss guy knows what i mean.

so, maybe that's the challenge. no, that is the challenge. i'm doing it. don't bait me. i'll punch you in the face. i guess i'm doing this. here we go.

(tara goes and sits on rocker, stitching quietly. her knit pillow with embroidery reads, "if you don't have anything nice to say, come sit next to me for the next 37 days".)

Friday, February 23, 2007

speaking of netflix and mental breakdowns

mother of sweet jesu bambino, i recently finished the entire series of Six Feet Under. simply said,
fuck this series for what you've done to me.

pierogies and theraflu: together at last

aah, a friday night. a typical one would consist of Baby Wants Candy at 8pm, and then Athens at iO at 10:30. not today, friends. thisssss girrrrl took a night off for some recoup. it was necessary, believe me.

athens, you are probably on right now. i bet your show is fun. you're fun.

what do real people do on nights like these? obvs, i'm sick so i'm sitting at home. a few people i'd usually hang out with are in shows and out of town. i have a pile of netflix (thumbsucker and kiss kiss bang bang - please advise; also just finished grizzly man this week - HOLY BEST). i also want to make about 18 piles of things to give to goodwill. too ambitious? mm.

fridays. i guess if i wasn't me, maybe i'd be watching us.
let the circle be unbroken.
i think the theraflu is working.

rainbow dresses and all

last night i reffed a CSz4kids show in buffalo grove. it was really fun and the kids were out of their minds, doped on sugar and rounds of tag. as the ref, you sort of have to facilitate a balance of "it's okay to be rowdy" and "hey, fucks, i'm still in control". i think this happened. at one point, deanna thought i might have been lord-of-the-flies-ed, just pieces of ref jersey and whistles surfacing out of the mob.

during a couple rounds of Kid Rap, the players made me laugh so hard that i knew the show would be fun despite the insanity and "off the rails"ness. (Martin, Deanna, and Dave Ries - um... created a new "beat" for this game that I really liked.) since i was sort of trying to maintain order and still appeal to parents, i was distracted and didn't notice a little girl, sophie, who had followed me each time i came down to the floor off the elevated stage to be closer to the kids. apparently she ran after me each time i walked about, all wide eyes and precious moments. she was three.

as i was running out the door on cast bows, one of the moms stopped me. "hey, you see that little girl in the rainbow dress? she's been running after you the whole show. could you go high-five her too?" i was all for it, so i fished through the swarm of kids to get to little Susie Who. i got there, got down on my knees and asked what her name was. "Sophie", she said. I told her my niece's name was Sophia and that she seemed fun and pretty just like her. She was quiet and wide-eyed. I held out my hand to high-five. She pawed it gently, but with gusto. Her mom, the woman who had approached me, told me that she was going to be an actress someday, that she was always performing. "You wanna be up there someday? Is that true?", i asked. Sophie looked at me with big eyes and said nothing, but bit her lip and kept focusing on my eyes, so I slapped on the best Santa-esque response i could muster. "Okay, you keep practicing. You always practice and be real brave, okay? I bet you're really great and you deserve to be up there." Sophie nodded, still silent. I asked if I could give her a hug and she nodded again. While I was hugging her, she finally spoke. "I wanna be like you," she whispered.

I nodded and smiled, said goodbye, and got out of the room as my uterus burst into flames.

td's favorite things

this is why youtube is the coolest thing in the world. you can find anything.

it's oscar seas. i can't wait! i wish a had crammed in more of the noms - missed a few, didn't even go near babel. sucks. i like to try and see all before. i did, however, see a few, including dreamgirls. i was really excited to see it even though it's a cheeseride, because i love musicals. i also knew the soudtrack to some degree from broadway, aaaand after watching a number of showtime-at-the-apollos, was extremely familiar with the famous song "and i am telling you".

listen to me here. this clip is grainy. and you can see how much acting has evolved even in a short period (a lot of face outs that look like ironic choices, a la baby wants candy). but there is nothing, nothing more impressive to me right now than this clip from the real deal with jennifer holiday. she was a tony award winner for this musical. this song was performed with this intensity 8 times a week. that's insane. i could maybe do it once. people erupt into applause during this song three times, which was unheard of. there are points during this clip where she looks downright insane. whenever girls get afraid onstage (more on this later), i think about how great this clip is. she wasn't afraid to have real emotions or be vulnerable or look ugly to convey those emotions, and because of it, she's the most beauts.

do yourself a fave and watch this junk. tony randall will give you some background and that part is fun, but if you wanna skip some of the exposition and a lead-in song (worth it, too), start at 3:30.

Monday, February 19, 2007

txt: gr8?

i have an unlimited text package.
for any of you that don't, tell me why. i have theories.
my friend karen graci (the best) hates text with a passion. "text me ever, anyone, and i will hate you," she said. "just call me." and the other day after years of her sticking by her policy, i got a text from her. she had given in. one of the final, i think, to fall.

here's what i'm saying: i don't afford myself an insane amount of luxuries, but my god. text is a blast. i can text when i'm backstage. i can text when it's late. i can text during boring meetings. or workshops. or conferences. and best yet, text feels like 7th grade - it's like passing a friend in the hallway after algebra and getting handed a perfectly shaped paper football (or one of those rectangular kind with the pull-tabs... remember those?) just crammed full of bits. filled with info and fun and a providing a break from your regular day.

the bad part? yep, it's like 7th grade. i was introduced to text in 2003 by a friend who insisted on texting almost everything. seemed fun, so i buckled and got into it, and then realized he used text for... well, almost everything. where he was, that he liked me, that he loved me, that he was cheating on me. really? uh-oh. txt is hrd! u r a dck!

so, the verdict for me, even despite the worst? texting is about as fun as it gets. do not tell me anything of importance over it, or i won't trust you. unless it's really late. or you're bored. i miss you. forget what i said. text me now.

csz and nbc

right before the superbowl, art norman from nbc5 came to comedysportz.

it was about the best day ever. he came by to do a shoot on us for the (at the time, pending) LaughterBowl. sidebar, who names these things? you heard me, comedysportz. first off, who put a z on your name? i have learned to embrace the z, but it took a while. but LaughterBowl? i'll punch that shit right in the face.
i'm looking at you, david montgomery.

anyway, art norman and his camera man, Paul (pictured left), stopped by and filmed us doing improv games for about 40 minutes (to be edited down to 3). it was super fun. my favorite parts were the following:

*playing a game called "Dance Party". in this game, zach thompson, sara wolfson, sam super, dave gaudet, matt elwell and i had to dance around while music plays and then freeze when the ref blows the whistle/music stops. from there, it's essentially just freeze tag, having to justify your position...but since our filming was specifically for the superbowl, we had to stay suggestion specific for every scene. no jumps, no changes. our suggestion was - guess what? - football. we played this game for about 16 minutes. we went from hilarious scenes at the beginning to literally just uttering, "football, huh?", by the end. yep.

*art kept being like, 'paul, shoot this, you know, how i like it. all cinema veritae.' this was said over 8 times. paul described a shot back to art that he got that was "real swoopy and woosh-woosh".

*art norman interviewed me for three minutes and told me i had perfect comic timing. i could've kissed him on the mouth (having nothing to do with the compliment; i have a major fan-crush on norman). this interview with the players, which was not really used in the clips, i would give anything to own. art said something like, "you are amazing up there. it's improv. wow! i mean, wow! tara, do you ever know what you're going to say?", to which i said, "do YOU ever know what YOU'RE going to say, art?!", then blushed because i'm in love with him. he laughed so hard and admitted he didn't. i want this for our hope chest. we hugged it out and called it a day, but we'll probably get married.

stupes about cupes

i really blew it!

to some degree since things have been busy, blogging has become an agenda item... that's about the dumbest thing to say, but it is what it is. that being said, i missed valentine's day with you all! happy valentine's to everyone. you are loved. it's true. HAPPY VALS EVERYDAY!

heat wave

the good part about living in chicago in the winter is when it finally hits like, 21 degrees outside, you feel like spring is here. today is one of those days. last week, on several occasions, the temp was 0 or -4 without wind chill. it's a balmy 39 degrees today, and people don't know what to do. everyone is out in hypercolors and jams. also, it's 1987.

cat's pajams

you know what's weirdly liberating? i just went to the doc in my pajamas.

there's really nothing more i like seeing than our tired, huddled masses stumbling around in pj pants. i just couldn't do it this morning. fighting a little cold, all that. there was no shame in it. it was early so i put a coat on and got on a train and blam-o. it was on. and i still felt adorable, like a little kid who couldn't pick out their schoolclothes or something.

the only time it ever feels bad is when you're doing a walk of shame... and that still isn't that bad. pajams, america! get on the train. literally. in pj pants.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

you've changed. it bad that when i heard about anna nicole smith i thought, wow, someone really swept a death pool?

yeah, i think so too.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

crows mince hucks tick

the party (joey, sam, robyn, tim, hanson, forsythe, prouters, rance & deanna) and i all played a game called MAD GAB to up our spirits a bit during the game on sunday. the game is a box of cards with (often, but not always) recognizable phrases that are chopped up into different words that when put together, then resemble the real phrase. (the title of this post would be "Grossman sucks dick".) you repeat the words over and over again, and eventually, the words begin to sound like the recognizable phrase. or sometimes, to the person saying them they don't - but to everyone else in the room, they do.

this results in a lot of good-spirited but sort of mean laughing.

ryder was stuck on one for a long time that was "the curse of the vampire". from the moment he read it, he had no idea what it was, but all 9 of the rest of us did. this led to a lot of leading clues, like, say it with a scary voice!, to which he responded with the most transyvanian accent you've ever heard in your life, but still didn't get it.

the moment where all of us truly lost if was on forsythe's run with this:
pa pie these ail herman

Forsythe: Pa pie these ail herman
Sam: Okay, sounds good.
Forsythe: Pop pie the sail herman
Sam: Super close. Do you hear it?
Forsythe: No. Pop eye the sail herman.
Joey: Nothing?
Forsythe: Pop eye the sail erman.
Deanna: (cackling)
Forsythe: what the fuck, you guys? Pop eye the sail orman.
Joey: Say it like Popeye the sailorman would.
Forsythe: Ugh-ugh-ugh! Pa pie these sail herman!

three people thought they might pee their pants, so shortly thereafter, we had to stop.

bear down?

well, the superbowl was this last sunday as we all remember - and though the hopes and dreams of superfans everywhere were squelched, we all still had a good time. roommates and i threw a little bears-bash at our apartment, all happy to be inside our safe confines instead of out and about in wrigleyville in the -2 temps.

i went a little crazy on decos, including a football field tablecloth, mylar balloons, blue and orange flowers, and last but not least, the door (pictured left).

you guys remember that kickoff return? (cue soft cries)

if spirit counted for more, we woulda won.

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