Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A Nook of My Own

To those of you who gave me journals and books about writing this Christmas...thank you, and message received. There's been a lot of talk about my writing, and by that I mean, I've been talking to myself alot, about what it means to me. The truth is, it means as much to me as my family, my relationship, my friendships, my work. It's an extension of all those things. It's the one thing that's truly my own, the thing I can share and say, this is who I am. Why have I been suppressing it for so long? Fear, flat out fear. But, there's no point in being afraid. I can write all day and show it to people and try to get published or I can keep it to myself. The most important thing is to really start writing again and give it the attention I give everything else in my life. So, today I cleared off some space in the office/recording studio/rehearsal space/storage room for myself, pulled out my old books about writing for easy access, threw some pens and pencils in a mason jar and set up shop. I now have a little nook where I can write notes to friends, do writing exercises, "work" on the book, etc. The roll top desk is free of clutter and I have a good chair to sit in, so I guess I'm all set. Let's take her for a spin and see how she flows, shall we? You might see some of what I'm working on here, if I am feeling brave enough. I think it's a pretty big deal that I even cleared the desk off. To quote Elphaba: "It's time to trust my instincts, close my eyes...and leap." Stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Light my way

I know, I know. You're probably asking yourself, "Where the hell has she been?" Well, there's this project at work that we've all been knocking ourselves out on since, well, technically, since September. We like to call it "The Holidays in Downtown New Haven." That's right. Davis, the Boss, J-La (and KK! Welcome KK!) and I (and, to be fair, countless others) have been thinking and working on holiday stuff since way back when we were still experiencing 90 degree days with 85% humidity. Seriously? Seriously. There's been all kinds of meetings, brainstorming and planning, not to mention plenty of knocking on doors, an ongoing search for volunteers, the hiring of musical performers, and, of course, the setting up and breaking down of roughly 1200 paper bags filled with sand and candles (fear not, it's all flame retardant and fire marshal approved) on the Upper Green every week since November 30th. There are only so many 14 hour days a girl can handle before she starts to go bananas. My mantra has been "All I have to do is get to December 22 and then I will have some time off." But let me say this: there's something incredibly satisfying about having total strangers thank you for doing your job. And when the end result looks like what you see in that photo, well, it' s totally freaking worth it.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Blond Bondshell

(This is the second version of this post. The first one disappeared into thin air when I tried to publish it. Thanks, blogger!)

Let me open by saying that I love Sean Connery as James Bond. ML and I went through a Bond phase where we rented all the Connerys and they were wonderful. Nobody can match the Great Scot in his signature role. It's a perfect fit, he's perfection and no one who's followed (Lazenby, Moore, Dalton, Brosnan or the new guy, more on him in a moment) will ever live up to that performance. Even in Never Say Never Again, he was still The Man. That said, I think Daniel Craig did alright as Bond. Let's face it, this guy's up against a lot...filling Connery's shoes (impossible, but I think he knew that and just went his own way with the role), being a relative unknown (in the States, because if you check his list of credits on IMDB you will see it's as long as my arm) and, of course, being blond (this is a real bone of contention for some, along the same lines as Renee Zellweger, a Texan, playing the veddy British Bridget Jones). Did you know there's a Daniel Craig is not Bond web site. There are some hard core people out there.

Although I've seen a lot of Bond films, I don't consider myself an authority by any stretch of the imagination. Here's what I'm basing my opinion on: all the Connerys (Goldfinger rocks), the one Lazenby (On Her Majesty's Secret Service with Diana Rigg. Saucy!) and one Dalton (I caught The Living Daylights on cable once. I think he was better in Flash Gordon, with the green tights). I've tried to watch Moore, but it just doesn't work for me. I fell asleep during Moonraker and simply could not get through A View to a Kill (Tanya Roberts! Christopher Walken! Grace Jones! Oh my!). As for Brosnan, I can't get past the whole Remington Steele thing. I keep expecting Stephanie Zimbalist to walk in and yell at him for something.

So, about Craig. He's not as suave as Connery, not as cheeky as Moore and not as dark haired as any of the other ones. He is rugged as hell and quite possibly the fittest man I have ever seen. (I realize that his body might have been a bit of a distraction for me, but as ML said "it's about time you chicks got a bit of beefcake.") Granted, it was clear that he did not seem at ease in The Suit, but how many guys truly feel like themselves in a tux. I'll tell you how many. Four: Connery as Bond, Cary Grant, George Clooney and my Dad. I'm not counting Fred Astaire because he always wore tails. I'm talking about your basic, classic, timeless tuxedo. Craig seemed most comfortable in those swim trunks, which is ok by me. By the way, am I the only one who thought of Ursula Andress in Dr. No the first time Craig burst out of the waters? Intentional or not, that was a good wink.

Other notes on the film: this is supposed to be the prequel, the one where we find out how Bond became Bond, right? Right. That would explain the dearth of fancy gadgets. All we got in this one was a car (not even an Aston Martin) outfitted with a very large gun, a syringe full of God knows what and a defibrilator. Sad. But I love, love, love Judi Dench as M, so much so that I think she should be given a franchise all her own, complete with a young boy Moneypenny. Are you listening, Mr. Broccoli? You can't give this woman enough screen time. The villain? Yeah, ok, he was alright with his inhaler and his bloody eye (literally bloody, not English "oh bloody hell" bloody.) He totally monlogued when he should have simply gotten on with the business of dispatching Bond. They always do, don't they? (best Bond/Villain exchange ever? Bond: Do you expect me to talk? Goldfinger: No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to DIE!"). Vesper Lynd? She sure did wear a lot of dark eye makeup. Her name should have been Smokey Eyes. She's no Pussy Galore, I'll say that much.

Did I walk in to Casino Royale with expectations of how true it would be to old school Bond? Not really. Like I said, I love Connery, but I'm not a rabid fan. I didn't grow up watching Bond films, I actually came to them a bit late, but I do understand how some people might feel upset or betrayed. The only thing that comes close to that for me is the Superman franchise. ( I did go see Superman Returns, but no matter how many new movies they make, Christopher Reeve will always be Superman to me. Sorry, Brandon Routh.) I will say that this film had a lot of great action and exotic locales (London, the Bahamas, Miami, Montenegro, Venice) to keep me interested, even if it did run a bit long (no thanks to the series of commercials shown before the actual previews. Capitalist bastards.) My point is this; if you want Connery, gadgets, babes and Q, then watch one of the Connery Bond films. However, if you want to see a well-built guy stripped naked, tied to a chair and tortured in a most unusual fashion, then by all means, this Bond's for you.