Sunday, June 29, 2008

WANTED: "What the f*ck have you done lately?"

Suffice to say Angelina Jolie has been a bit of a secret idol of mine. Typically, when people knock her, (for brad-stealing) or her crazy blood-vile stages, I just look the other way. I have loved her since "Playing by Heart" in 1998. I always drew personal parallels with the "not so girly-attention monger-lost soul-yet-openly-emotional" side of her. Even MORE, now that she has a brood of kids and a UN badge. I will support any movie (and have) that she makes. A far cry (pun-intended) from her last project "A mighty heart" she sizzles with a sawed-off shotgun and a red dodge viper. Ironically, the first car I ever asked for..ha.

Universal's "Wanted" is a melding of a few comic books into one. Maker of "Night Watch", Timur Bekmambetov tells a story of an accountant, Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy) who is tragically aware of his apathy, and dismal life... A cheating girlfriend banging his best friend, dead end job, broke... (cue over-identification from almost any man who has ever been 20 something).

Fox (Angelina Jolie) appears on screen like a smokin' hot apparition. The crowed theatre let out their first and audible gasp of palpable awe and excitement to see her. She saves Wesley from a rouge member of the 1,000 year-old assassin fraternity lead by Sloan (Morgan Freeman). The clan was set on earth with their heightened adrenaline-amped fits of killing prowess and ability to curve bullets with the purpose to restore order to the chaos.Within minutes I was wide-eyed and captivated by the sight of Chicago's Carbide & Carbon building as well as the Citadel building, then launching into the car-chase on lower Wacker drive. (later stunts followed on Halsted, the "L" train in the Loop, and scenes in Wrigleyville.)

The movie flew by, dazzled with fight scenes and strange and intriguing "healing wax-baths". One of which is responsible for the the tatoo-covered Angelina Jolie booty shot walking away, sweaty and wrapping a towel around herself. The movie go-ers audibly gasped...again. I realize now, I am not a normal girl. I'm just not. Knife-training in a meat-hanging dungeon, bullets moving in slow-motion while perforating people's foreheads, f-bombs in every frame. I really have X chromosomes, and I am not a fan of many comic-book-made into movie films, nor do I love just any action film, but this one punctured my inner-dirtbag, fight-loving, sailor-mouth, agro-beast.

Somehow, "Wanted" managed to be brutally harsh, foul-mouthed, and good-trashy. Yet, it kept a wiley smile throughout. Perhaps it was narrative from James McAvoy that keeps it relatable. Maybe it was the look that Fox gave Welsley when he nervously screamed that he was "LEAVING!". She raised eye-brows and smirked a smile as if to say: "How cute?...try...its ok..."

Otherwise there are several gaping holes. In order to buy into the looms that control fate (yea, I said looms) and the physics-defying action, you have to bend into the realm of fantasy and let go of the minds need for explanation. By doing so, it is an incredibly steamy, hard-core action ride that left me a little sad, a little proud, and wanting to get a membership at a shooting range.

It has to be said that James McAvoy shed the soft and broken skin of his character in "Atonement" and nailed this role. His acting is one of the very reasons I think this movie could be pulled off. He took the "reluctant bad-ass" character to a whole new level. Mediocrity in a man , yet given a drink of the seductive power of his inner-assassin realized, he was drunk in it, leaving me happy to comply and offer him more sips just to see him grow.

He went from saying: "No, No, I just have a healthy respect for the human condition!" while being repeatedly punched by a fellow "fraternity member" to saying: "I am taking control of my life....What the F*ck have you done lately?"

Good question. Hmmmm.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Cardboard Regatta and a geeeetar.

On a day like is good to be a suburbanite. "The Lake" a short 4-minute walk from home... Families came out on a crystal-blue-sky Saturday to watch 300 + hours of labor and paper marchie launch into our lake. Multi-family or local small businesses slave with cardboard, glue and paint to prepare for the Regatta.

The mini (an emotional apple from the mommy-tree) was worried and stressed about the future of these poor "boats". Upon arrival we watched and listened as the crowd made a unanimous "Ooooooooooooooooooo!" with perfectly timed inflection as a 20ft Troy-like trojan horse capsized.

No sooner than we negotiated NOT playing on the see-saw, and NOT getting in the sand box we saw it....The bright red guitar. I think my eyes twinkled as much as hers. The sheer size of it was impressive (tee-hee) but it was well-crafted and had a loud and rowdy bunch to boot.

We posed with the giant guitar neck and then watched them carry it in. Throngs of people crowded around to watch the high schoolers and middle-aged men struggle for balance, steering and paddling. They got stuck trying to make a left turn around a buoy, and tipped over leaving one youngster clinging to headstock, until he was pulled in by the rest of the floundering team.

"Awwwwwwwwwwwwe poor geeeeee-tarrrrrr! It fell in the water! It can not play anymore! It cannot play guitar-hero anymore. It's wet." said the little brown munchkin atop her father's shoulders. Dare I cringe at the fact that "Guitar hero" made it into her assessment? No. Some other time I can berate myself for her pop-relevance exposure.

I did have a few ideas for our own entry one day...maybe a HUGE lotus flower, or an obscure 10 foot long hot dog bun with strategically folded deli-meat that bares a strange similarity to Bun for hot dogs. Maybe a gymnast on a beam upside down doing a spread-eagle handstand...that would be funny photo-ops while it sank..I'm nasty. Oh well...

Happy Saturday. I'm off to see Wanted. (shiver...Angelina.)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Savasana of good hope and good things.

The world is in great need of a big, long, drawn-out SAVASANA. TheWiki definition is : "Savasana (Sanskrit: शवआसन, śavāsana, "Corpse Pose", alternately spelled Shavasana or Sarvasana, and also known as mrta-asana) is a yoga asana often used to begin and conclude a yoga session.

It is a relaxing posture intended to rejuvenate one's body, mind and spirit."

The Dow fell face first into a pile of oil speculation, inflation and financial institution grime, landing 358 points lower than its start. Fires at Big Sur.The Chicago Tribune building is FOR SALE!? Zimbabwea is a mess. Madonna is getting divorced but she can go "On and on and on..."

We all need to just take a minute, or ten, breathe slowly, let the mind go, and get in touch with the inner calm. Find peace in the process and not obsess about the outcome. Fear not the things we cannot change, but instead embrace who we are, and what we can do NOW. Taking each moment as a chance to breathe light and hope into the present situation.

With quiet calm, send some love and peaceful stillness into the great void of space between each other. Energy cuts air. Love brings love. Good intentions find good things.

....and breathe.

Sex mistakes from men and women: I blew my heart out. Now blow my head off.

It's funny to contemplate the differences between men and women when it comes to SEX. It's even more interesting to look at the similarities that are debunking the mystique or misconception.

iVillage and the Today show had a great segment on The Biggest Sex Mistakes Women and Men Make. First of all. I love numerical lists. Secondly, I love that someone wrote: "...but sex is multidimensional and it’s all about having a dimmer switch that goes from romance to raunch." NICE. Thirdly, I am the anti-woman in this article. Let me explain:

Article reads: "1. Women don’t understand why men don’t like to cuddle."

Me: I know this is terrible...but unless we are in the "first time" or courting stages, I'd rather sit in a vat of acid while watching "The Moment of Truth" listening to Britney Spears music. Maybe I just haven't found the ergonomic fit for my body, maybe I don't enjoy limbs falling asleep, or a full-body twitch (all men do it post-coital) that leads to a knee in back or an awkward elbow blow to the head. I would love to be enticed otherwise some day. Just thanks. I am happy to comply with morning sex (my favorite) but my pillow barrier until then.

Article reads: "2. Women don’t understand the extent to which performance anxieties, self-esteem issues and body-image issues all affect male sex drive."

Me: Um...wrong again. Men are incredible, mystical creatures..but they have egos. Say something like: "Awe? Did you wear bike shorts all morning?" and he will be less, um inflated. The male ego may not be as fragile as mine, but it takes hits. A bad day at work, an anatomical joke about your ex...lights out.

Article reads: "3. Women think that men are always ready and willing to have sex any time, any place."

Me: Hm. All the men I have been attracted to ARE. So....

Article reads: "4. Women don’t understand how men can differentiate so easily between love and sex."

Me: Okay. I am the first to admit, I can cry after some mind-blowing. Rubbing dirties can turn into a bit of Pandora's box for me. (depending on several factors). But I get it. Maybe I am revealing too much (no?) but my historical research and some One night stand mistakes have proven that the man you are dealing with right before sex, and during, is a totally different person than the one you end up with post-sex. A lightening bolt of primal man-ness clicks on, and then off after climax.

Love is a different beast. One that appears to heighten their sex, sometimes, but doesn't always factor into it. It takes time and trust, and openness. Getting sticky doesn't have so many requirements. Usually, just some challenge, or some drinks and your anatomy are enough. Most women I have known need at least the possibility of emotional connection to lay before a man. Let's just say..I wasn't so caught up in the future of it all. Moment to moment brought me some sweet tangles.

I am deplorably less sensitive than I should be, yet I am mush and positive energy at the sound of a good song, a well spoken emotional confession of affection, or even a good smelling candle. Who knows. Who cares.

Love and sex and men and women and the whole hapless, mistake-ridden, sometimes electrically charged, synergy of beautiful bodies and hearts burning up and burning bright fascinates me.

Be good, be bad. Blow some one's head off. (or heart out).

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Prank me Charlie Todd, and other random Thursday tidbits.

So, Here we are. One day away from Friday, 8 days away from July 4th weekend. Does that feel insane? Life moves too fast. I cannot wait to see Wanted with my she-lover Angelina Jolie coming out tomorrow. Illinois is jumping in on the Countrywide lawsuit. Anne Hathaway learned that the Devil wears "Fleece". N.Korea is claiming they DO have nuclear weaponry.Heather Locklear is in a mental hospital. (Did I just put those two together? Wow. I have stooped to the "ticker" on CNN low.)

photo credit: Chad Nicholson
..and I have a mini-crush on Charlie Todd, creator of Improve Everywhere, who was written up in this weeks NEW YORK Magzine feature: "Prank You Kindly". Read it. He has coordinated everything from light shows on the Manhattan Bridge to random choreographed jumping jacks at Union Square's DSW building, to pant-less subway rides and bubble showers at Times Square. One of my favorites was his idea to dress 80 people in blue golf shirts and khaki pants then send them into Best Buy to befuddle customers looking for help. Genius. THIS GUY is living out the youthful(and highly organized) prankster in all of us. Love it.

Make today silly and fun and creative. Tap into the inner kid in you and see what happens. You just might have some fun.

(shaking head) I had to put that perfect shot in there...KU-DOS to that girl. High-boots, white lacy boy shorts, and Booty. Uhhh...she wins.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I love Charlie Bartlett...Movie quotes and more.

Anton Yelchin is a teenage super hero. His acting borders genius, unless, he in fact is precisely like this character.

Move over Rushmore and Igby goes down....Meet Charlie Bartlett! This movie is absolute teenage redemption wih wry wit, genuine angst and misdiagnosis of the teenage human condition.

This movie soared into my heart and managed to identify with all the inner awkward any of us could possibly be in touch with. The bully, the precocious prep, the faking cool kid, the artsy theatre ingenue, the self-esteem lacking slut, and everything in between.

Somehow the delicate, yet candidly intimate navigation of single parenthood between Robert Downey Jr (the Principal) and his daughter and the charmingly frivolous, widowed millionairess filling her voids with wine, tennis and an unnatural (albeit extremely commonplace) boundary-bucking intimacy with her son, played true.

The writers hide nothing with the pill-popping abuse of prescription drugs. Ritalin, Prozac, Adderol, Zoloft, Klonopin, Xanax are just the "majors". Charlie Bartlett runs a pseudo-psychiatric clinic in the boys room, using the stall as a make-shift "confessional" type space.

This movie laughs at the haste to prescribe drugs instead of listen to the normalcy that these adolescents experience while coming of age in the most traumatizing circumstances possible....high school. It makes a poignant and alarming statement. I hope you get it. I did.

Quite perfectly, Curtis Mayfield's "Pusherman" plays during a scene where kids line up for the bathroom to be given their doses. Another sweetly pulled-off moment was when Marlyn, Charlie's mom chimes in a duet of (my favorite) Cat Steven's "If you want to sing out, sing out."

Even the b-story of falling in love on common grounds of childhood wounds and sad-stories is innocently mature and well acted.

Some great quotes:

"I am so excited for us to spend the weekend together...I was thinking we could go wine-tasting. We haven't done that since you were a kid." - Mother to Charlie

"I'm not saying I'm gay. But....what if I'm not attracted to girls at all?" - random boy in stall.

"Oh trust me Doc, bringing psychiatric drugs and teenagers together is like opening a lemonade stand in the dessert."-Charlie Bartlett

"It kinda sucks to have one parent ditch, and have the other one lose their mind...I mean, how can I have a chance to turn out even remotely normal?" -Susan

"There are more important things than being popular." - Principal -Robert Downey Jr.
"Like what?!" - Charlie Bartlett"
"Like what you do with it." - Principal-Robert Downey Jr.

Is it a little over-indulgent in the wise-crackery and seeming self-awareness in teens? Sure. BUT SEE IT. It will make you actually think for a moment...High School was cool.

Being uncool, is cool. Go pass a note. Go be honest and vulnerable. Just be.

When HOT poems get real.

If you know me, you know I am fantastical and day-dreamy. I love all things seductive and playful and I have always been a fan (and writer) of poetry. It is important, however to "keep it real". Here is my little love-punch at it all. Take it with a huge grinning smirk.

* I will never graze lips with a man whose yearning for me travels by way of electricity through to me in the negative space between our mouths...because he always smells like coffee or Chipotle.

* My heart will never flutter to the tip of my neck with the helium of reciprocated love-lust excitement in a mere suggestion.....instead you will just point to the bedroom and then your watch, and then back to the bedroom, lifting your eyebrows since the baby is sleeping.

* His eyes will never glow in the light of wondrous discovery, when cotton and skin separate into perfect revelations, instead they glow in the blue light of hotel porn on a business trip.

* These hands and fingers, they pulsate for the closeness of you...they extend in anticipation for the gift you give...wanting, undeniably to feel the pleasure with every change up and down, ...must i say the words: give me the remote, you scan channels horribly slow

Love and get lost in it....then get real.

PS: I love Billie Piper. (and YES, that is Angelina Jolie in the pic..Woa)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Pride for Iowa!

I'm sure you have heard about the floods of Iowa. Check out my post at Chicago Moms Blog on it. One of the commenters said:

"These people display "anti-entitlement", a rugged and proud perseverence that our grandparents display(ed)."

We need more of that!

Monday Monday Good Things. Good Things.

It is a beautiful day here in Chicago. Blue skies, cool breeze. Surprisingly, I am a little excited that the weekend is over. I am convinced it was not only inserted with the longest (slowest moving) day of the year, but those damn MIT students were dumping entire hours into it. I swear, I will wrangle some proof of it soon.

George Carlin is dead at 71. Oil prices are still rising despite the SA vow to produce more. Corn is going to make a run today. Amy Winehouse has now replaced Britney Spears in the "big-hot-self-destructive-mess" business and allegedly has Emphysema? Teen pregnancy is the new cult of irrationality! WTF.

With the ironic momentum of the weekend being over and my self-sourced skin-buzzing energy, I am starting a "grateful roll"of good things to quietly nod in appreciation for. Try it. Make your own. Even if only three things show up on your list....Every time you savor a nugget of happiness, you beget happiness.

Good Things:
1. Laugh lines. It shows the world you have laughed. Let the "parenthesis" punctuate your smile!

2. Realizing that Gisele Bundchen is a specimen, NOT the expectation. (ha!)

3. That chest-opening, heart flutter lift that permeates love and anticipation from possible new beginnings of all kinds.

4. SUMMER IS HERE! Don't look down. Don't speed through. Slow. Take notice. and Embrace it.

5. The grainy crunch of real sugar in the sip of fresh homemade Lemonade.

6. Letting go of ANYTHING that doesn't serve your inner purpose and intent!

7. The smell of honeysuckle buds riding a breeze to your nose.

BONUS! (3 things to do to make other people smile or laugh)

8. Pick someone to say these words to ALL DAY... No matter what. "It's not your fault. You are incredible." NO matter what they say. Keep a straight face. Don't laugh, under any circumstance. Hold their gaze. Try it. I did. (ie. a friend: "Lulu, I love your hair, did you do something different?" My response: "Its not your fault...You are incredible.")

9. At the gym, or the park or anywhere you see someone working out (running, doing tai-chi alone by a tree) GO CHEER THEM ON like a 1980's Texan cheerleader! Get crazy, get creative... say whatever you want. "T-A-I! Tai-Chi! Go you! Go Me!" Cup your hands for optimal clapping sounds. Then throw a closed fist to one hip and a fist pump to the air. Walk away swiftly after completion. It would be doubly funny to throw #7 in after the cheer depending on how they react.

10. Kiss a friend on the cheek or forehead today. Do it at the most unsuspecting time. If questioned just say: "You asked for it...remember?"

Be infectiously full of good things today. Be bold in your gifts of love and light moods. Just like a projected bad mood can soak into your skin, the brightness of positivity pushed out to everyone around you will serve as a reflective mirror of smiles. A silly genius woman once said: "The world owes us nothing..we owe each other the world."


Catch it.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Bret Ernst:Roller Rink days of the '80's.

Who doesn't love the skinny chub of Chicagoan Vince Vaughan? I rented his latest DVD release: Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show. I was expecting to laugh out loud constantly, and I laughed, but it was much more documentary than comedy. The poignant stories of the four comedians traveling together for 30 days to 30 cites from Hollywood to Chicago. These men all have something to offer up to the masses to induce laughter and snorts, but this movie showed their softer, more human side.

I was most entertained by Bret Ernst. Ahmed Ahmed was pretty funny. I loved Sebastian Maniscalco for his borderline OCD stories. John O'Brien pissed me off at first, but then you unravel his white-trashy snark, and see that he is a feeling, and self-aware man just trying to get the world to see him as he does-Honestly. Back to Bret. He did a shtick on Roller skating, and I almost peed myself.

He described what it was like to be poor at the roller rink. He explained that the "rich kids" would walk in with their own skates. Speed Skates ( I had white ones with pink wheels). He explained how humiliating it was to stand on line for the "shitty-brown rental skates" that sometimes didn't have shoe strings, and were frayed and gave no ankle support. I WAS DYING.

In the below, he animates how it was to be a boy that couldn't skate, and what it was like to have THAT guy who basically lived there ( and was 30) cross-skate and get all the girls. Take a look:

I COMPLETELY RELATE TO THIS. For the record Bret: If you would have been at the Dairy-Ashford roller rink in Houston between 87-90, I would have come over to the video games to coax you out to the floor. I was no snob, but I did like looking good. I was the girl who went to "Lock-ins" and rotated her speed skate wheels. I couple skated to "Open Arms" by Journey with the boys that stunk of Drakkar and Obession and sweaty moldy shirts.

I would speed skate and race to songs like M/A/R/R/S's "Pump up the Volume" and "Personal Jesus" by Depeche Mode. Who didn't?! My friends and I would flop our over-curled bang-explosions during "Doubles" races where one of us would squat down, and the other would push. If you were REALLY good, you would push her with one hand, and cross-skate next to her. The best was dance-skating to Soul II Soul's "Back to Life" and AHa's "Take on Me". I was a total show-off. (Are you surprised?)

I learned a lot in those to french kiss, how to be killer at skeet ball, you know..paramount adolescent lessons. I can still smell the cheese pizza, rubber floors and popcorn.

I can still hear Europa...."Da na na -da-na naan-aaa-naaaa....THE FINAL COUNT-DOWN....Da na na da-na-naan-na-naaa..."

"Poor Tom Brady"...Gisele in GQ.

Okay. Okay. Okay. I am the FIRST to admit when I am wrong. Gisele Bundchen is not a gangley goof ball (in this shoot). I have seen her running in central park and she didn't look like THIS!?

Let it be stated: I am COMPLETELY on "Team Bridget" but this is stunning. In July's issue of GQ Tom's woman gives hugging pillows and wearing football tube socks a new meaning. Men were drooling. Seriously. I witnessed it.

I would dive into my modeling experience and try to attempt to make us all feel better by dissecting the magic of lighting, and angles and photo shop and hip twisting, and shimmer shadows...but I won't knock her. She looks hot. She can have it...along with Tom Brady, millions, a supermodeling career, perfect skin...etc.

I love women I do. I think they are beautiful. As a species, I think it is breath-taking to see humans with such shockingly perfect features (Heidi Klum) and child-like skin. These beings that create and give life, make little people in their bodies and run for president.

Women astound me, in general in good and bad ways...but that doesn't matter right now...I had to share this. Just like I did at the sprinkler park with two of my mommy-friends. Yes, that was an awkward contraband passing moment when Gisele's shiny thigh and perky hidden boob caught eyes of by-standers.

But this is the kind of "WOW" that is worth elliciting the judging guffaw of middle-aged suburban parents. Who cares. Her face looks immaculate. Even a self-deprecating, mildy over-confident woman as myself had to shake her head and slow clap.

My husband's words: "Poor Tom Brady...he has it so bad...we should send him some canned goods and an uplifting card." (ha) Um...Let's just say. My delusions of Tom Brady being on the Lulu Top 3 are obliterated. Yeah,he comes home to this every night...

I still love Bridget. Mom card trumps.

Enjoy. I know you will.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Top 3 Update. Lulu's summer solstice lovers.

It has been a wacky 48 hours. Not sure why. I blame the moon. There is no way that we (people made of water and energy) are NOT affected by the solstice. I spent the longest day of the year- hungover. Nice.

The weekend is here. Summer is officially in full bloom and my minxy-tides of female prowess are fruiting with hot summer nights and flirty sundresses. So..... its time for me to state my latest TOP 3 "Get 'em Bed 'em". If you forgot the premise, here is the REFRESHER. What was I thinking with Bill Murray? Lost in Translation skewed everything.

1. HANK MOODY (aka David Duchovny)- "I just get so lonely sometimes. I need a hug for a moment and the moment passes. I'm good. Smell you later."
I can't articulate how insatiable my lust for Californication's sweetest dirt bag is. The reason this works- THIS MAN doesn't exist. So perfectly written to cause pantie-tsunamis with his reckless tongue (physically and prophetically). Still love that he mocked a married woman's husband for thinking the buzz button was on the bottom...near the "Vagnus". On top of it (tee hee) he is tragically romantic and funny. Good thing its a character...

2. ERIC BANA - I watched "The Other Boyleyn Girl". He played King Henry VIII lusting after women. Power. Power. Brown scruff....He was so gentle with Booby Johnasson's character. Loved him in Troy. I had a strange inclination to lick his arms when I watched that (what?). Hot. Steamy naughty powerful lost man....let me hold you to my bosom, or my thigh and make it all better... Come hither darling.

3. GEORGE CLOONEY- Seriously needs no explanation. Salt and Pepper hair, soft brown eyes. Scratchy voice, and a HUGE sense of humor. Single again. If in the same room with this man I would either freeze in absolute lust-coma deeming me in-operational, or I would morph and slither into my best projection of sexuality personified. I bet it would be the former, but here's hoping!

Get out there and dream a bit....the moon says you can. Oh, get over it. The only person I have to answer to -made the deal. It takes a strong man to put up with this fire. Ha Cha Cha.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Review: The Swell Season - Chicago Theatre, June 17, 2008

.....This is a GUEST BLOG From "Marcus " at Hand on Mouth . For the full review from Marcus CLICK HERE !

To paraphrase Lin Brehmer from WXRT, you know when you discover a band or a piece of music, maybe a film, and you feel like you're the only person who could possibly, truly get it? And you so want to share it with anyone and everyone who might show a passable interest, while at the same time letting them know at every instance that it's "yours" , and "you" knew before anyone else? Like a pride of ownership. And once the popularity builds, you feel like you just want to say it louder and more often that you dicovered it "first"...but you feel like you've lost a little piece of the art to the masses? Well, here you go, general public...I give you The Swell Season. Enjoy.

Last evening, the duo of Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova played the second performance of a sold-out Chicago Theatre three-night stand. And 3,500 of "us" collectively held our breath in wondrous amazement as willing accomplices, witnessing their run through an awe-inspiring two hour set of not only music from their film, "Once," but also cover songs and impeccably performed stripped down versions of songs from Glen's main gig (and the night's backing band), The Frames.

From the moment Glen walked out onto the stark, blue and yellow light-bathed stage with his well-worn guitar, kicking off the night with a "Hey, how's it going?" before the band launched into "Trying," you just knew: this was a night for people who loved the pure art of listening to music performed by real musicians. With real instruments. Artists who genuinely felt lucky - nay, privileged - to be able to share their craft with people who loved their art as much as they did. There's a time and place for shiny, manufactured glitter pop and contrived sing-alongs (I love those songs as much as anyone), but this night wasn't it.

"Lies" was typically chest-swelling in it's majestic sweep of loud/soft dynamics, and the audience hung on every note of the warmth in Colm Mac Con Iomairem's violin. Marketa's voice rose about and weaved in and out from Glen's, sometimes sitting on top of his, sometimes providing the cushion to ease off the rough edges of his lyrical disappointments and regret.

Stretching the chorus out slightly more so than the recorded version, the words hung in the air almost precariously, then reigned back in, giving added emotional weight to a song that already sends this writer to an uncharacteristically mushy-hearted place inside. Throughout much of the night's performance, the theater got deathly quiet, and you could almost hear the audience smiling through the silence between notes. It continued with "The Moon,", and a spacey violin weaving in and out of locomotive charging acoustic power, just before the bottom dropped out in and Left the audience almost gasping in it's loud/soft dynamics.

Both he and Mar took center spotlight for “When Your Mind’s Made Up” and completely nailed the emotional ballast of this song. Just epic in it’s grandeur and primal feel. I honestly thought at this point, we would all have witnessed the last performance of his road-weary guitar, he nearly wore another hole through it. Perfect.

Wow. Amazing. A brilliant night, and one of the most memorable shows one could hope to witness. If you'd like to download the show (legally and artist sanctioned, I might add), go here

The Swell Season, June 17th, 2008
Chicago Theatre

“The Moon”
“When Your Mind’s Made Up”
“Seven Day Mile”
“Drown Out”
“I Have Loved You Wrong”
“Falling Slowly”
“Say It to Me Now”
"Broken-Hearted Hoover-Fixer Sucker Guy"
"What Happens When The Heart Just Stops?"
“Buzzin' Fly” (Tim Buckley cover)
“Go With Happiness”
“Into the Mystic” (Van Morrison cover)
“The Hill
“If You Want Me”
“Star Star”

Free-form love and compassion day of sparkling calm.

Let's see.. Sadly, Tim Russert was put to rest yesterday. "This bud's for Buffet!" Warren is going to back the InBev purchase of Anheuser-Busch. America is tipping over. I'm holding my breath for Oil prices to NOT rise today. Tiger is done for the year with knee surgery and fractures. Cubs are still Numero Uno. Bruce Willis is getting heat for his Bowery Wine Bar in NYC (that I blogged about 2 weeks ago in Shower pooper-smoosher in wine bar .) Anderson Cooper and Erica Hill had some funny moments when discussing Joan Rivers.

AC said: "...She spent a life time mocking people, she can take it." after cracking a joke about her. Erica gave him a perfect faux-support face and said: "That's right Anderson Cooper. Give it to her." I love them. He had his typical did-you-just-say-that?- pause and double take, and moved on like a pro. If Anderson Cooper were straight... even if he can't change a tire.

I have no idea why I am feeling conflicted over nothing in particular, so I deem today:

Free-form love and compassion day of sparkling calm .
Yes, I know...go with it. Let it mean whatever you want it to. Be calm. Be present. Let the day unravel and reshape however it may. Let love reign over you and those you hold close. Have NO expectations. Address each task today ( large and small) with equal attention and clarity. No thoughts on tomorrow, or yesterday. Just now...just today. Just minute by minute. A single dad friend of mine read and described Eckhart Tolle's: A new earth on his blog and it certainly is a way of considering life.

If a friend calls: Talk as if you haven't in years, and listen with your whole self. Shower your mate or love-interest with kindness and availability.Tell your children or family how much you value them. Give compliments, and kisses, and smile from the inside. Forgive with wild abandon! Forgive old wounds, new ones, burdens, people and yourself.... all day.

Do you really need a reason to consider YOUR happiness today? To seek calm? The most valuable thing you have is you. Be good to you by being free of the mind today. Here is a great song to get you in the mood...

...Shine a glistening playful light over all at a time. Sparkling calm is the nurturing air to inflate a heart. Get big today.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Benoodles! So You Think You Can Dance! 6.18.08

Tonight feels like full moon fever. Nigel is wearing the throw-back tie/shirt combo of pink and red. Mia Michaels said that it was going to be "Benoodles!" and my she-lover Cat Deely looked fantastic in black and feathers. Mary was in leopord skin and lace, and her boobs looked like a place I could hide...warm and smooshy. Even Nigel noticed.

Chelse and Thayne did a strange off-color regal thing. It looked terrible, and not very difficult. I do think Chelsie's outfit could be used creatively in a different situation. Mia said: "I think you fell off the train." Waahhhh wah.

Chelsie and Mark danced the Tango. She was panties. Crazy ostrich knee-jerk spastic kicks. Cat fixed her pinky toe, which had popped out in protest to the steaminess. Mia called them the "perfect and odd couple."

Jessica and Will danced hip-hop. It was really just Will. His movement was raw and NYC-hard. Whatever that means. Cat Deely said: "Word, Nigel, Word."
Kourtni and Matt danced the Fox Trot. There was a practice move that stuck her whoo-whoo in his mug. They did such a great and graceful job. The both mastered the "who me? surprised happy-go-lucky" face. She is Uma Thurman's younger cousin!

Courtney and Gev danced a contemporary routine. That was the first Chill-inducing dance this season. I want to go undulate with someone. It was sensual and vulnerable. Gev showed a new side of his capacity. Awe...a soft little underbelly side. The intimacy was moving. I felt invasive of their chemistry. Loved it.

Katee and Joshua danced a Broadway number. Oh did they?! It looked absolutely exhausting. They looked like smiling vaudeville chickens on amphetamines! Nigel got up and danced like a drunken bafoon! "What a beautiful spirit!" was how he described it.

Susie and Marquis danced the Salsa. It hurts my eyes....Marquis did a great job, but I cannot watch her (again). Sorry. I'm sure she is sweet and nice. It felt dirty. Mary said: "I saw more chemistry in high school chem 101." Asta Susie.

Kherington and Twitch danced the Viennese Waltz and they infused it with a sweet nectar of love and purity. They moved well and with an essence of grace that was sweeping the floor. I can't believe Twitch was able to make this happen. I LOVE HIM!

Comfort and Chris danced some Crump. I have to admit, I did this last year at the W-downtown in NYC. No one was amused. (tee-hee). Two-too many pommetini's. I thought this would leave Chris on the side of the road like a tramp after a bad bj...but he stood up pretty well. She killed it. I still loathe two-tone tube socks. No matter what.

I have a problem. I am attracted to Nigel. I think its the pink and red and him saying "little c".

Good night moon.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

ADELE - "Best for Last"

Oh Happy Tuesday! Coldplay album is released today, and so far so good! The sun is shining where I am, and I am filled with beaming hot-white light to share with all of you silly bastards. I couldn't help myself in putting another ADELE song out there for all of you (Listen to it Marcus, and don't bitch).

It has a "sway your hips" under-beat. I picture the Flight of the Conchords, and then push that out and think more along the lines of a beach campfire night. Dancing in a mini sundress to the sparkle of moon over water... sand stuck to my legs and elbows, hands holding hair....the kind of dancing women doing when no one is watching...

It's one of those Tuesday's people. The sky is blue (here at least) the air is warm and crisp with freshness. Choose your mood today. It IS INDEED a choice! Take whatever little something that opens your eyes, relaxes your face and lifts your spirit. Love big today. Kiss your children, smile at the boy on the subway, be a good friend and live today as if it might be the best day of your life. Who could be!

What is the worst that could happen? Hm...well, if it does, YOU just spent your last living day in a good, perky, love-filled mood. Better that than wrapped in mudane self-pity loathing your job, life and looking for "something else". Instead - Be free, be happy.

You have been hip-sway zinged and beamed with this white-hot light. It's contagious. I know it will get to you. Take it. Run with it like goofy Cindy-clumsy sprinting home from school hoarding her first love note. Run with it.


See you out there!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

GOLF: Whispered Double Entendres in the US OPEN 2008.

I enjoy golf. Playing, watching, dressing for it. The only thing I cannot stand is the sound of the announcers whispering. (I hate whispers in any circumstance...truly).

Is it me? Or does this shot of Rocco look a little contemplatively effeminate? Especially compared to Tiger's fierce double-fist pump, chest out pelvis thrust...just saying...

The best way to enjoy the US OPEN was to giggle like a school girl at the double entendres. It also helped that Tiger Woods nailed his last three shots Saturday night, and then in the clutch sank the 18th putt Sunday, to push to a play off with Rocco Mediate. Here are a few:

NOTE: ALL of the below must be whispered by a deep-voiced man and with strange muted-excitement.

1. "Well...It's Tiger's balls....they aren't going to wiggle back out" (no joke. Rewind that TiVo...he said it.)

2. "He might just circle the lip there....he did. He got the lip."

3. "Wow, Bill...I think he has the wood in is hand, he is going for it."

4. "He wants to go in straight, but that hook gets him caught up in the bush every time..."

(keep whispering)

5. "It looks, It he is going to just tap it....just a lit-tle...TAP and IT"S IN Bob!"

6. "You know Steve, I personally prefer, a fast short-cut green, to the deep ruff....I think most guys do."

7. "Uppppppe.... Yeah, I was afraid of that.....THAT ball is gettin' wet."

8. "You know Mike...It is NOT easy to drive your ball down a fairway that tight."

9. "This is a scary hole Tom, I don't know anybody that hasn't buried it in that trap."

10. From the crowd (not whispered) "GET IN THE HOLE!"

Oh dirty dirty. Go Tiger. Happy Father's day. I love Eric a dirty way. What?

A recoginition and revelry in all fathers.

This day is a sullen and celebratory day for many. It is a day we remember the fathers we once had, the ones that are here and well (or not) and the one's we share the voyage of parenthood with. Maybe I am going to get lamb-basted for admitting this little secret.....

Dad's today (at least the one's I know) and the man I married, DO SO MUCH! They do laundry, and make dinners, they change diapers and take little girls and boys to public potties. They wake up at night, and give breaks during the day. They sing goofy songs, and read stories. The men I see, and the man that raises my daughter does more than I could have dreamed of. His patience and adoration need recognition.

Let it be said that I am fully aware of constant silent battle of who does more, and who has it harder...But on a day like this, it is important for me to say. I COULD NOT DO THIS WITHOUT HIM. Judge away. I wouldn't want to, and the value he brings to our lives, and most importantly my daughter's life is something so profoundly beautiful, my words can't articulate it.
He thinks ahead, he worries about her self-esteem, and possible struggles as a woman in society. He tries to maintain his composure when the urge to kiss her and smother her overwhelm him.

He is proud when she shows compassion and mathematical logic. I have no doubt, come what may in life, that this man, my husband, her father... will be an outstanding, unforgettable, irreplaceable and permanent force of stability, security, strength and unwavering love. She, nor I, could ever hope for more.

Look around today. Love and cherish the fathers you have witnessed. Remember the one's we have lost and mourn. Take time to truly give thanks to the men in your life, or your children's life for being there, standing up to the responsibility and holding close the importance of shaping our world's future.

To the Fathers that read this: You too, have given up so much. You too, have compromised freedoms, and hobbies, and simple pleasures, but it is noticed. Your striving daily to be the best you can be is a role worth emulating. Roles and molds have shifted and your flexibility through all of it makes you that much more sacred in a world that is redefining words like "father", "man" and "partner". You are still standing, holding your son's t-ball equipment, a teenager's first driving ticket, or a 2 yr old AND your MAN CARD. I love you for existing, and staying the course in a strange and exciting time of new family unit ideals. THANK YOU. You are amazing.

Most of are loved, appreciated and one day...these little people will turn to you with heavy heart and full eyes to say that they are who they are BECAUSE of you. Be proud now...Be proud then...Be proud.

RIP and Happy Father's day to Tim Russert. One of the greatest father examples we have ever seen. My heart floats out to his family, specifically his son, Luke. What a beautiful life his father had to celebrate. What a legacy of fatherhood he laid before the world. Be proud.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Flippin' Freaky Friday needs love lightening.

Where is a good R.E.M or Phil Collins song to lay out the apocalyptic state of our world right now? I'm not even sure where to start....32 feet of water flooding Iowa. I know you may think it doesn't effect you, just wait until you want to buy something with natural resources like corn, soy or hits your wallet. Trust me.

Budweiser being bought by a Euro company (InBev). Really? Will they still hire Will Ferril for Superbowl adds to say: "Bud light. Suck one."? Tomato's are causing salmonella. Tornado records shattered. Bush fires in California. No power in DC? What the FECK?

I propose that we all spend a little time sending positive energy into the spinning, coiling mess of atmospheric chaos. Take a minute or twenty to be grateful for the greenery and the air, and the crops, and the health and the beauty around you. Springboard that positivity back out. It may not change anything other than the perspective with which you approach your day.Smarter choices, more awareness, kindness and love. If it flees, reign it back.

In the event that you are tired, or just had a war with your nanny( like I did) or are in desperate need of sleep and a good long hug...try anyway. I plan to shimmy some love-lightening out to you, for no reason at all and for every reason possible.

Take it like champ..."Give a little bit" like Supertramp.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

So you think you can dance - Top 20 - 6/11/08

(shiver...) I LOVE CAT DEELY. She has such an authentically awkward "awe shucks" lack of ego about her. She looks incredible in a metallic dress and equally embarrassed about it. Even Nigel had to say: "The only front-runner I can speak have dancer's legs!"

Ahhh....the sexy-tension between these two makes my tummy feel yummy.

Rayven and Jamie danced to "American Boy" by Estelle (feat. Kanye West). I have been tilt-head bobbing to this song with the windows down this summer. We saw his junk being tugged by some blue briefs. Hm? Necessary? Nope. For a ballroom dancer, he had more THUMP in his movement than I expected. I like it. Mary is scary when she screams. I literally feel my own vocal chords coil in embarrassment for her. She called it "Cotton-candy hip hop." Agreed.

Susie and Marquis danced a waltz. (yawn). Marquis is stand out, I didnt even notice Susie until the light caught the red in her hair. The lift looked like a good-in-the-moment sex idea, gone wrong in ergonomics and feasibility. They got good marks from the judges. Eh.

Kourtni and Matt danced to "Tainted love" by soft cell. It was strange and interesting. It felt a bit like a Jim Carey role for both of them. British robbers in the night, but I didn't feel moved.

Chelsea and Thayne danced the Cha-Cha. He is AWESOME. I loved him from the first reel. The dance couldn't have been any more soppy-with aseptic cheese, but they pulled it off. Chelsea was steaming. Can I wear a shirt like his? Nothin' a little double-stick tape couldn't hold in.

Chelsie H and Mark danced a Mia Micheal's routine. Tim-Burton weddingesque to "Beautiful" by Me'Shell Ndegeocello. It was like a national geographic vision of ostriches and tool. I am biased, but I loved it. Animalistic and strange. Mary said it was like "watching you throw around a powder-ball". I loved powdered balls!

Kherington and Twitch danced a Tice Deorio routine. The dance itself was amazing in tempo changes from fast-feet to slow motion, showcasing the energy and body movement of both. By far my favorite. Definitely going to be a crowd pleaser. Let me just answer the show's question....uh...YES!

Comfort and Chris danced the Jive. Nigel said she was "smoldering". but I think it looked lacking on the foot-work. Not really much more to say about it. Everyone talked about personality.

Katee and Joshua danced a hip hop routine from Napoleon and Tabitha. This choreography is unbelievable. Transcending, really. They danced like they had magnets in their feet on a metal floor. She pops about as good as Britney mothers, but I was more interested in him. Wow. Nigel said: "They emoting together". I want someone to emote with me! Waaaaaaaaaa.

Jessica and Will danced the Tango. I wanted it to be good, just was. It is a tough dance. What do I know? It just looked OK to me. Everyone else was impressed. I suggest we just "Tango-on" like Al Pacino says in Scent of a Woman.

Courtney G and Gev danced Disco. EEK. She is a cutey in canary yellow. It must be hard to make this dance look technical. Open leg spins? fist pumps? body-waves? They did well with what they got. Nigel said it looked like "Disco duck". 'Nuff said.

For future parents...please name your children responsibly. Dance on players. That was a doozy. I am going to chasse over to a drink now. Go cubs.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Adele sings "Chasing Pavements"

Trust me...just press "play'. Listen as you read...

Her name is "Adele". She is yet another of the British soulful-folk girls that are thumping up the charts. Her surprisingly beautiful TODAY SHOW appearance made me stop and notice. I love that she is a bigger girl and doesn't necessarily fit the "bombshell" mold of the other leading ladies making head way in the music industry.

After all, music is about the sound right? Don't even get me started on the amount of BUTT-ASS ugly men that don't get judged for their noses, chins, fat, saggy asses and such. Wow...I'm really not bitter. I just like to see a lassie break some body images of expectation.

Pay attention. The album is "19". The song is "Chasing Pavements". Hearing it makes me want to lay back on a city rooftop chair at night, and watch the lights below glisten and flicker while the wind of pensive and emotional thought permeates...

Or decide. Happy Tuesday. I will be out chasing pavements. I love pavements...especially the ones with those fun glittery sprinkle pieces that bounce and fly around my feet in the sunlight. Like gold-pixie dust blessing my journey.

Yea! for sexy, sultry covers and hot hot summer music!

10 creative excuses why you've been unavailable:

We all find ourselves on one of the two sides of waiting to hear from someone, or not responding to a call or email. There are several rational reasons this could happen. Life is busy, people lose contact, emails get lost.....blah blah blah.

Here are 10 golden good excuses to pull out of you pocket when asked: "Where the hell have you been?" or "Why didn't you call me back?" Feel free to use them as you may:

1. "I was busy trying to keep up with the Kardashians."

2. "I was navigating through a hairy work project that was all "asses and elbows" ( this one is so strange, most people wont ask any more in school when teenagers tell the male teacher they have their period, and leave class for long amounts of time)

3. "My scarf was confused for a kaffiyeh and I ended up on water board torture for a better part of the week."

4. "I was visiting a small rural country and someone said: 'Don't move. I will be right back' but they never did come."

5. "I was snack mom for the polygamist sect children in Texas."

6. "Eliot Spitzer had asked me to "Vanna White" the presentation to financiers for his new attempt to start A "Spitzer Vulture fund" in the Real Estate crisis. Once he realized it had already been done, we got stuck brainstorming other after-the-fact ideas like coming up with nuclear energy, starting a solar panel business, and unstable shoes made of flimsy rubber."

7. "I lost my blackberry, face book went down and all wi-fi in a 30-mile vicinity blacked out due to crude oil prices."

8. "I was thinking of having sex with you so much that I realized I didn't actually need you day-dreams surpassed your capabilities and I didn't want to spoil the reality of our love affair in my head with your inadequacies."

9. "Oh? When I said I'm hitting the slammer, I thought you knew what I meant."

10. "With the wisdom of Carrie Bradshaw I will cite SATC... If you don't know what to say....don't write an email saying "I don't know what to say." So....I'm waiting until I know.

Go ahead, dodge bimbos and balls, but at least sound good doing it.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Why not be bright?

It is that time again. Time to take inventory of the little things that help the days feel less soggy and heavy, and more bright and bouncy. Life is short, and I am feeling both grateful and pensive with a sprouting blossom of positivity. Let the record show, my intention this coming week is to burn bright, come what may. Why not?

10 Things that make me lean back, close my eyes and smile:

1. The sound of a baseball hitting a glove...the sizzle sound of it flying through the air.

2. Laying on your back, arms above head, legs extended...feeling the space of a streeeeetttch.

3. Surprise visits from people you love (at work) (at home) (at midnight).

4. Hearing "Viva la Vida" from Coldplay while you are running, or driving in the sunshine.

5. A good fruit, I miss Australia some times.

6. Taking a minute to watch the pulsating, breathing greenery that surrounds you. Deep breaths of it.

7. A "RESTROOM" sign at the precise moment you realize you need one.

8. Women in bold-colored sun dresses that show their shape when the wind blows against them.

9. Finding out someone has been thinking of you with selfless kindness.

10. Holding some one's hug just long enough to show it was a deliberate extention the affection, but not long enough to let it be awkward. (heart drops, woman or child...that feeling stays)

Breathe deep. Hold Hugs. Be Aware.

Bad things will inevitably happen. Good things come when we are open to receiving even the smallest of gifts. Open up.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Melting and movies on a swampy Saturday.

So it is 90 degrees in Chicago. Warm enough to make you get "neked" and start seeing things. If I had the right company, I'd probably test the inclination, but for now, I will keep from shocking the neighbors. There is little we have done today to avoid melting and hair product failures....

We did watch some movies. Or rather, parts of movies, which made me think a few things.

1.) I want to start naming movies with really terrible, disgusting innuendos. We just saw a legitimate trailer for Midnight Meat Train (yuck). I just picture a huge meaty you-know-what flying through tunnels with a horn that inflates and deflates the girth of it. Sorry. No more windows into my brain today. I am tired, and hot.

2.) Steal Magnolias was on TNT. I forgot how much I love that movie. I want to adopt Dolly Parton's character as my long-lost auntie. She is so motherly, but coyishly womanly that I could relate. Not to mention she has great one-liners: "I never trust a woman who does her own hair. It's just not normal" ( love that)

3.) I want to be Angelina Jolie in Wanted. Not kidding. Anyone who has known me over the past decade is well aware that I have loved her since her early years, through her crazy-blood-vile stage and even more now that she has landed her soul mate, helped the world, and growing a brood. Um...and she is the sexiest woman alive in my eyes. I assume she is smart, if she is NOT...I don't want to know. Lean, mean and laying on a Viper. I aspire to put that fear and dizziness of the unexpected in a man.

4.) Pretty Woman was on and I still remember every single line of that movie. I just have to say, that is the downfall of women's hopes right there. We all believe some Richard Gere(ish) type guy will swoop in, temporarily be impressed by us, shower us with gifts and unexpected love and then accept us for who we really are...No wonder we all seem so mildy unsatisfied!? No really. I would rather have a good degree, a compelling story and a good safe home, but my goodness is it a sexy idea. I still want to be de-robed on a piano. Here's hoping!

So...the lesson here is:

Porn producers and horror film creators share titles, female relationships and small-town southerners can always charm a smile on your face. If you are crazy now, and wearing either your boyfriends foreskin or blood-vile around your neck, there is still hope for you yet, and men like "Edward Lewis" don't exist, but hooking does. Stay real, get an education and book your own penthouse...