Monthly Archives: April 2010

Wicked – An Honest Review

(From April 2009 – I’m off to teach 7th graders about Henry VIII today)

So last night I went to see Wicked.  I have never seen it before, never saw the preview or listened to the soundtrack.  I was intrigued when the musical first came out as I had read the book first.   The Gregory Macguire book is a complex study in the back story of the witches of Oz. It gives a great deal of detail that can never be translated into a 3 hour show. So I ignore the more glaring issues such as the changed occupation of Elphaba’s father, how his mistreatment of her was fabricated, the omission of the murder of Dr. Dillamont and Madame Morrible and the most glaring, the complete changing of Fiyero’s character making him a spoiled Prince of means rather than another odd ball outsider like Elphaba.

So taking this into account I decided to judge it based on the new format, like a new story. This is The Tudors, basically the same story with modifications to fit the medium and fit the story line.

The first act fell a bit flat and was disappointing. The majority of the issues I had were with the writing rather than the acting. I realize not everyone can be Andrew Lloyd Webber. What makes Webber a genius is his ability to move the story forward through the songs. The songs in this show not only do not move the story forward, they mostly lack emotional impact and the ability to implant themselves in our psyche. No song in this show has the impact of “The Music of the Night” from The Phantom of the Opera, “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” from Jesus Christ Superstar, “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina” from Evita or even “Memory” from Cats.

This lack of emotional follow through is detrimental to the structure of the show. In removing the traces of lesbianism that is prevalent in the book, the actors have little material to show any kind of emotional bridge that connects these women and transforms their relationship from dislike into friendship. The transitions are disconnected. The only truly impressive staging point in the first act was Elphaba discovering her power and flying above the stage.

Act Two improved greatly and really moved the story along. This is what redeemed the show for me. It was almost like the writers struggled so much with the flaws of the first act that they put all their energy into the second. While the ending of the story is different and more uplifting than the book, it is satisfying, humorous and bright.

The actor playing Elphaba, while an alternate, was amazingly good. She was also the switch in for the Chicago and Los Angeles tours. Her role carries the show and she is more than up to the task. Her voice is amazing and she works the emotional angles better than anyone in the show. Watching her is worth the cost of the ticket.

Their Glinda was average. Her character was too manic, too disjointed and too disconnected. I didn’t care about Glinda at all, in fact I found her annoying. While her character is suppose to be spoiled and self-centered – she grows into a more serious version of herself because of her friendship with Elphaba, her feelings about her “abandonment” by Elphaba and the death of Dr. Dillamond. She should display an almost Texas cheerleader type spunk and shallow social climber persona that grows into a more complete woman. This actor relied too heavily on the physical hyperactive movements and choppy transitions. There were times I just wanted to nail her feet to the floor.

The changes they made to Nessa Rose were less jarring, making her wheelchair bound instead of armless. I still think they could have done it but it worked. In the small stage time she has, they had her “wickedness” manifest through her obsession and virtual enslavement of Bock. It would have been nice to expand on this and explore this but the story is about the Wicked Witch of the West and not of the East.

On the whole, it was a nice show, great production values and costumes and an incredible leading lady. It isn’t Phantom or Evita but then, what is these days? I really feel that the kids that worship this show so much should watch Patty Lupone in Evita to understand what a real musical is.  I give it a solid B+ based on its rousing second act.

I Know Why Tigers Eat Their Young – The Shrieking Baby Dilemma

You know the ones I’m talking about.  Not the regular crying or fussing but those high-pitched, ear drilling shrieks that make finger nails on a chalk board sound like Chopin.  They could be shrieks of joy or discomfort or angst but they are piercing and annoying and just makes me want to pitch your darling bundle into the bay to see how many sharks it can scare off.

Personally I think nature engineered this high decibel sound as a survival mechanism.  Perhaps in the wild, if human young could emit this sound it would drive carnivores back in droves, sending the message “I am too unpleasant to eat, move along”.  Well , since we have moved beyond the Savannah now, it is the parents responsibility to make sure when you are around others, to keep your childs glass shattering voice from driving a whole boat of commuters for example, to fits of infanticide.  This is why animals eat their young.  To shut it up and keep it from giving away their position to apex predators.  Think about this for a minute distracted parents who can’t be bothered to attend to your child.  You are letting your child shriek on a boat FULL of apex predators.

OK, we will give the vegan hippies a pass so that eliminates about 5% of the boat but the other 95% of us… Chum City, I’m telling ya.  Bring toys, food, a bottle, a boob, I really don’t care as long as your kid is doing something with his mouth besides acting like an air raid siren.

Young Geeks in Love Return.. Plus One

So I was called back to my last temp job to do a few days training and sluggishly got back into the groove of ferry commuting into The City.  As I was waiting for the 8:20 ferry, I saw with great glee that the Young Geeks in Love were back!  I had been gone for 2 weeks and was totally going through geek withdrawal.  This past week had been spent in Los Angeles,  where geeks and clean water were in short supply.

It seems that during my absence they have acquired a new member of their little family.  A baby?  Hardly.  A puppy?  Closer.  It’s an iPad!!!!  They were cooing over the new applications, taking turns holding it carefully and laughing at its high tech antics.  I sidled over and was overjoyed that “Geekette” remembered me.  I oooohed and ahhhed over the fledgling technological wonder.

They even let me hold it and try out a few things.  The keyboard is so much larger which is better on my eyes and leads to fewer posting errors.  The apps have more room to show their splendor, it is also a book reader and if you want to play games, you feel like a grown up and are not squinting away at an inferior DS.

I was so happy to see them back in their natural habitat.  It makes me feel that all is right with the world.

P!nk Concert & Why Asshats Need to Be Smarter

Here is a Classic Column from September because I am trying to catch up on new material with an LA trip and book edits happening.  Hopefully I will have more Young Geeks in Love material tomorrow!  In the meantime – enjoy!


So as you know Molly, Mayhap, Krystal & myself went to see P!nk at the HP Pavilion in San Jose on Thursday. This was for her Funhouse tour and let me say she is just amazing! A great, high energy show. Ting Tings opened for her and they were really good as well.

So what was the rumble about? Well first I should explain a few things. P!nk has a large female fan base and a great percentage of those gals are lesbians. I would estimate that the audience make-up of the near sell out crowd at the HP was 70% female (30% of that number lesbian), 15% the fab gay boys and 15% straight men most in the company of a female.

So while the majority of the audience is seated in the stands, we are down in the pit and are pretty close to the stage. We go to the real bar where we can get cocktails (not the crappy beer at the stands on the concourse) and Molly buys us double Kamakazis. So back to the pit, trying not to spill our drinks and get a place to stand.

Did I mention I was wearing 4″ heels? Remember when I was trying to figure out what to wear? Note to self: next time wear comfortable shoes. So we are drinking, waiting for the show and guess who shows up to harsh our mellow? Drunk, patronizing, straight guy.

Gentlemen – here is another moment to learn something. Pay attention especially if this sounds like you. Do you…
* Think you are Gods gift to women
* Get all smarmy when you are drunk and hit on women
* Try to impose your will on women
* Are condesending and think there is nothing wrong with that?

Guess what? You are a boorish asshat and we hate you. Yes, it is true. Now you can get away with this in lots of bars or a No Doubt concert but a P!nk concert where the vast majority of the audience is women, a great many in no mood for you and a vast amount quite willing to nail your penis to the floor with a spike heeled shoe, you should pay attention and learn from this guy’s mistake.

What was it? Messing with Molly & me.

So women have a sense of personal space and are generally more civilized in large crowds of this sort than an equal amount of straight men. I blame hormones and bad breeding. Men at concerts tend to try to smash their way to the edge of the stage, through the people standing in the pit, with zero care that the rest of us have been standing there for hours. They don’t give a shit. They are drunk, they feel entitled and aren’t use to being told No. Perhaps their parents were the original culprits. I don’t care. KNOCK IT OFF!

So we are standing in a line: Mayhap, Molly, myself and Krystal. This jerk off tries to push his way between Molly & Mayhap and then Molly & me. Molly told him in no uncertain terms to back off. Instead of apologizing and backing off (the CORRECT answer), he kept trying where I told him to back the frack off. Then he got all asshatty by saying he likes “fiesty” women. Really? At that point I had spike heeled shoes in my hand I could put through his head and started remarking on the miniscule size of his John Thomas. This is when the lesbians in front of us started taking notice. Dudes – know your crowd. If you think Molly & I are bitches, these sisters will rip your personality right off and grill it like a vienna sausage. Honestly 100,000 females that are sick & tired of being threatened and condescended to can be a dangerous thing.

Finally he did back off with his junk intact. What was sad was that he had a woman with him that was shaking her head and mouthing “Sorry” while this was going on. What I want to know is why is this woman such a door mat? If any man did this when he was out with me, not only would I punch him in the junk myself, but I would no longer by going out with/married to him when the sun came up. This type of passive behaviour just lets asshats like this think their antics are “Cute” and OK. They’re not.

Once this guy was gone, P!nk came on and all was right with the world. It was an amazing concert. She is such a fantastic performer and I just love her songs. I kept thinking – “Don’t sing so loud, you can’t lose your voice this weekend.”

Thanks to Krystal for introducing me to P!nks music and to Molly for showing me such a great time that no asshat in the world could spoil. It was a wonderful evening.

Botox: The Zombie Culture in Practice

BOTOX® (Botulinum Toxin Type A) Purified Neurotoxin Complex is a sterile, vacuum-dried purified botulinum toxin type A, produced from fermentation of Hall strain Clostridium botulinum type A grown in a medium containing casein hydrolysate, glucose and yeast extract. It is purified from the culture solution by dialysis and a series of acid precipitations to a complex consisting of the neurotoxin, and several accessory proteins. The complex is dissolved in sterile sodium chloride solution containing Albumin Human and is sterile filtered (0.2 microns) prior to filling and vacuum-drying.

Wow.  Think about what you just read and ask yourself “Does this sound like something I want to shoot into my face?”  Honestly, really think about it for a minute.  You would take a freeze-dried derivative of botulism, the poison you can get from spoiled food, and inject it into your face?!  Why?  Because you are vain?  Because society told you that you must look like you are 20 when you are 60 or else we will stick you on an ice floe?

It is just shocking that the media portrays mainly female beauty as perpetually 20, thin, white and blond with huge boobs.  This is so not the case in life but the media keeps beating this idea like a baby harp seal and we keep buying the coats.  Yes!  If you fall into this vain media trap you are wearing the mental equivalent of a baby harp seal coat.

I hate to break this to you but young does not equal better.  You only understand this when you are older with the advantage of hindsight.  You look back at your 20 something self and cringe.  All the idiot choices, all the stupid behaviour, the lack of knowledge with the hubris of believing you knew everything important already.

Sure youth is wasted on the young.  Perhaps aging backwards is the way to go so we can take advantage of our wisdom and be able to appreciate and rock the young, hot bod.  That is an idea though I personally think Sean Connery looks tons better older than he did in Bond.  Men do tend to “age gracefully” and women tend to be hags.  I don’t think we need to look worse as we get older though Botox is not the answer.

Running the risk of freezing your face, deforming your face or getting so addicted to surgery you end up looking like a freak of nature:

The best thing you can do to stay young looking is to exercise, hydrate , use sunscreen, don’t do excessive drugs and STOP shooting poison into your face.  Your older self will thank you and so will the rest of us.

Rabbits: Prey or Pandimonium?

Now that Easter is over and the Easter Bunny has returned to Valhalla for another year, I was wondering a few things.

1) Are bunnies really as harmless as they look?

2) What does a rabbit have to do with Easter?

3) What happens when rabbits attack?

4) Has any child ever been attacked by the Easter Bunny?

#1 – Rabbits can be sweet little balls of fluff but push them too hard and they sink their fangs into your finger, forcing you to go to a Barber Surgeon to have it drained and cleaned lest they have to amputate your thumb.  True, I was trying to stuff the bunny into a cat harness at the time and he was displaying his displeasure but they can still be dangerous.

#2 – Nothing.  Unless you listen to the words of Matt & Trey from South Park where the underground group “The Hare Club for Men” venerate of St. Peter (Cottontail) as the first Pope.  They even have their own version of the Here Comes Peter CottonTail Song in latin:

Sanctum Piter oteum, Deus ore uneum.
Hippitus hoppitus reus homine.
In suspiratoreum, lepus in re sanctum.
Hippitus hoppitus Deus Domine.

I decided to ask my fiance Jesus about it and he confirmed the South Park story “I figured there was no way any one guy (Mary M pokes him in the shoulder) or gal, could speak for all of Christianity.  Human beings are fallible while rabbits are pure, tolerant and not able to be corrupted. So I decided to give the Church to a rabbit.  Actually I gave it at first to my brother James but everyone starting following that whack job Paul and things went down hill from there – hence – The Rabbit.  The Pope’s mitre is shaped the way it is so a rabbits ears will fit.  I mean, honestly, do you think a man would wear a funny hat like that for the sake of fashion?”  There, you’ve heard it from the big JC himself.

#3 – Attack rabbits are very prevalent.  More so than it may seem.  There are times things really get ugly as evidenced by the following.  (WARNING: this picture contains graphic rabbit violence and is not intended to be viewed by children.  Parental discretion is advised.)

#4 – I have searched high and low for the answer to this question and I think I have found it!  This exclusive video shows the threat we all live under.  Men, women and children alike.

You have been warned!  Rabbits are not the furry little lunch nuggets we thought they were.  They are ornery, vicious, in positions of power and are now coming from Outer Space bent on world domination.  Protect yourself, before it is too late!

Spandex is a privilege, not a right

It never ceases to amaze me how not only San Franciscans but Americans on the whole are on the butt end of the fashion curve.  According to logic, you would think a country which has a great amount of personal wealth and is obsessed with acquiring the biggest, best and latest material goods would be on the cutting edge of fashion.

Through the centuries, people looked to France and Italy as being fashion forward examples of “what we want to wear”.  They could lose wars, they could slaughter heretics but we still forgive them because they look good doing it.  Of course, we don’t forgive the Nazis but they DID win the “Best Dressed in a World War” prize.  You hate to admit it but those uniforms were sharp.  Ahh yes, Hugo Boss still rocks it.  Granted, we had the Ike jackets which were pretty cool but they were the runner-up in the WWII fashion extravaganza.

Nowadays, I want to hope that the good U S of A would step forward on the global stage with something stylish, tasteful and perhaps “green”.  We could be fashion forward in our own way.  We could start by re-establishing hemp production for cloth.  We could be a leader but instead we look to the world like lazy bums that just rolled out of bed, put on clothes we have worn for 4 days in a row and went to work.  We use to wear hats, smart suits and shined shoes.  Now we wear pants around our knees, dirty knickers and underwear as outerwear.

We’ve talked about pajama jeans and leg warmers attached to flip-flops but I think the most nightmarish thing of all is incorrectly used Spandex.  Now Spandex is great for athletes and for exercise (to a point) and for costume capers.  Here is a good example of Spandex used responsibly:

OK, it is a little freaky but I can see this in a stage show or a night at one of our many fun SoMa clubs.  But things go horribly awry more than they go right.  First is the Cotton Spandex issue.  Cotton Spandex is more casual, less “gym”.  It isn’t shiny BUT it can get pretty thin when pushed past its legal limit.

The transparent butt look is never good even when you don’t have a huge ass.  It is tacky and just plain cheap.  I really don’t want to see your ass and why are you showing it for free anyway? Now if you want to talk Spandex nightmares there are always the banana hammocks favored by hairy European men on vacation in Brazil but since we’re not in Brazil, there are still manly examples of what not to do:

I know, it’s early, you haven’t had the 10 cups of coffee you need to process this but I could have put the female superhero picture up and trust me, this isn’t Halle Berry as Catwoman so be thankful.

Can we please just make a pact to eschew Spandex in public unless you are swimming in the Olympics, are a Romanian gymnast or are in the privacy of your own home?  We would all appreciate it.  If you want to rock your own style, how about developing some first?

Kittens: Natures Secret Weapon

I have decided that kittens are mother nature’s way of killing us with cute.  They are a manic weapon of mass destruction rolled into a wee fur suit.  Sure puppies are cute.  I love puppies.  I love the smell of puppies.  Baby smell has NOTHING on puppies however puppies do not have the plotting force of mayhem that kittens have.

Dogs are followers.  They hang with a pack and know their place in the world.  Cats are solitary preditors and plot to rule the world.  A world where the giant monkeys serve them and dogs are their playthings.  I have determined that kittens have this excess of energy that allows them to run up your walls, jump onto your door frames and plot the over throw of society at the same time.

Kittens seem to have 2 personalities.  The cute, sweet faced, mellow kitten and then the insane hyper bomb of destruction.  It is the cute persona that keeps us from killing them, thus ensuring their plan for World Domination. I know all about this.  My cat Alia, nick named The Abomination,  is a perfect example.  She was sweet and mild and good natured until a switch turned on and she started bouncing off the walls like Donald O’Connor in Singing in the Rain.

You may say that behaviour is learned and not all kittens are plotting your demise but you would be wrong.  Take Galahad.  I met him this weekend.  He is a sweet grey kitten with white paws and chest.  He is small and thin and lulls you into a false sense of security.  You think he is just so sweet & tiny there is no way he could be a threat until one night you wake up and find yourself staring into the eyes of “Gary”.  Gary is my name for his alter ego who wants to cook you and eat you for supper.  Gary is the one who bounces off the wall, attacks the other animals, manically pursues things that aren’t there and stares at you while you sleep, wondering what cuts would be tastiest.  Gary attacks your feet, chews on wires and carries your pens off to some mysterious hiding place – never to be seen again.

You may think he is playing.  Oh no, don’t let Gary fool you.  He is part of the great cat plan to take over the world.  As cats get older, they hide their plotting behind facades of boredom.  They lull us into a false sense of security.  It is the kittens you need to watch out for.  They are enthusiastic, they are determined and they can kill with “The Cute”.

Armageddon is Coming in the Form of TubeFlops

Thanks to the wonderful Diana for alerting me to this new fashion horror that crash landed on the planet last September.  Some mental defective who was sniffing too much glue came up with the idea of attaching tube socks to flip flops.  Yes, stripey tube socks ATTACHED TO THE SIDES of flip flops!!!!

The pajama jeans are bad BUT at a distance with your eyes all squinty, they can pass for normal clothes however this fashion monstrosity will never pass as anything but a really bad craft project.  Honestly, if you walk outside wearing these people will say “Look who was dropping acid, eating shrooms, and then decided to get all creative with a glue gun last night after taking the last hit on the crack pipe.”  They will laugh and then they will mock you to your face.

Don’t believe me?  Watch the promotional video:

BTW, hot chicks (like the ones shown in the video) do NOT wear these shoes and rarely get in silly string fights like this.  That is just for bad porn, Penthouse forum and bad promo videos like this one.  They are wearing these horrid things because someone PAID THEM.  Hell, I’d wear them at a photo shoot if someone paid me.  I’m a whore, I admit it but I’m NOT stepping foot outside the house in something like this without serious bank and neither should you!

Mythbusters of History: More Reasons Why People Are Stupid

As you may or may not know, the show Mythbusters films primarily in San Francisco.  Two guys (Adam & Jamie),  along with their crew, try to find if certain myths have merit.  I particularly like the episode when they proved you could raise a boat using ping pong balls like in a cartoon.  There are lots of explosions and it makes some pretty entertaining television.  However the myths they bust usually are along the lines of “Can I explode my stomach if I eat a ton of Pop Rocks and drink Coke?” or “Can you really make a gun out of a potato, a paper clip and a rubber band?”  What I need is a team to bust the common myths of the stupid that have to do with objects from history.

The infamous “B” necklace with the 3 drop pearls that Anne Boleyn was painted wearing. It was famous in her time, it is infamous now and has enjoyed a resurgence of popularity thanks to television show “Ugly Betty”. This necklace has engendered the same mystique and popularity as the Hope Diamond. The only difference is we know where the Hope Diamond is. I myself have seen it several times. It lives in the Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian. The fate of the Boleyn necklace is lost in time.

What do we know for sure? We know it belonged to Anne and she wore it on many occasions. She was painted in it and it was remarked on. After her “fall from grace” what do we know? Zero. The property of condemned traitors was usually forfeited to the Crown (Henry) and her personal effects in the Tower were restricted. It dropped from sight and history just like her badges were eradicated from buildings, furniture and household goods.

None of the jewel inventories of Elizabeth’s that I have read note this necklace. Considering its history, it would have been recorded and recognized if she owned it. Elizabeth never wore it. As before, it was so known and had such a strong tie to her Mother it would have been remarked on. For that very reason, it would have been foolhardy for the Queen to wear it IF she had it at all. In all likelihood, it was taken apart, melted down and reworked into another piece. It is the only thing that makes sense.

Why do I mention it? Because of the gullible and the stupid. Why say something as uncharitable as that? Because it is true. It is amazing what people will believe if you just encase it in an interesting story and put it on the internet. A few religions I can name have started with less. While doing some research on my upcoming Anne Boleyn workshop, I came across a post on some tiny board. Not a board devoted to history or main stream news or even intelligent discussion. It is the kind of board where you would find douchy poser vampire kids angsting over Edward from Twilight. Again, gotta say that I really feel sorry for the Cedric Diggory kid – have no idea what his name is.

Anyway, one gal posted about the necklace, wanting to know if anyone knew if it was still around. Some mental midget with the handle of Anonymous (clever) SWORE that she knew where the necklace was. Here is the post:

“It is owned by a far off descendant of Anne’s, Canadian born woman in her 50’s and married to one of the waspy patriarch’s of NYC society (clue, in his 80’s and lives in the snobbiest penthouse in the poshest co-op in NYC)….Before that dated for a decade one of the richest men in France….Know this due to knowing the woman for ages (best friend of my mother’s) and there was a funny case in which she wanted portrait painted of her by a well known society portraitist wearing the B necklace yet he refused to paint her with it on since “it would distract from the portrait…..”, Lord! Anyways don’t know or never asked her why she would never wear it in public, its in a safety deposit box in London…..Can’t mention her name or my mother will kill me literally. Enough jewelry gossipy chatter for today!


Really? REALLY? Do people really have such a sad life that they have to make stuff like this up in order to feel important? I think I’m going to make up some story about The Amber Room or the jeweled Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam that went down on the Titanic. Yeah, I have that in my attic. Here is my story that I should put out there.

“The greatest treasure on the Titanic was “The Great Omar”, a gold and jeweled large copy version of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. It had 1,000 faceted jewels set into the cover. It was listed as being lost with the ship. What people don’t know is that the Rubaiyat was the inspiration for the Heart of the Ocean necklace in the movie Titanic. My aunt’s, brother-in-laws family was from old money in Chicago. They had purchased it and were going to give it as a wedding present to their daughter Rose. It was secretly smuggled off the ship in the diaper of a steerage orphan baby that her maid saved and then given to Rose’s fiancé John (Jack) since she died in the sinking. The book was given to him, not the orphan baby. The family collected the insurance money and he kept the Rubaiyat to remind him of his lost love. One day his son met James Cameron at a pricey gym in Beverly Hills (they shared personal trainers) and he told him the story when he heard the director was interested in making a story of the Titanic.”

Like my story? It’s true! I swear and if I put it on the internet it’s DOUBLY true! In all honestly, if you are not familiar with the story, check out this REAL website and learn about this amazing artifact that is lost forever: Just like that damn necklace.