To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
-Steve Prefontaine
Make it simple, but significant.
- Don Draper

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Cabaret: My Review

I had the opportunity to go see "Cabaret" at the Hult Center in Eugene this week. After hearing the rest of my party go on and on to everyone about how bad it was, I feel I must write my review and defend it.  Unlike the rest of the group, I went to the show already understanding it was a story set in Berlin during the Nazi era of Germany. I own and listen to the CD, so I knew this was not going to be a light-hearted show about flapper girls with no plot.  So with that said, here is my review!

My initial experience upon entering the theater -- the usher refused to give me a program. I was told to share with my mom. Then we learned the cranky woman wanted five others in our group to also share our program. What?? I have been to many, MANY shows and always get my own program. My mom and I are the people that actually do read through the programs and check out the cast bios. Sharing was weird. The usher was more weird.  Okay - on with the show.....

Our seats were great! Row eleven, dead center! I thought the set looked like a "Hidden Mickey"... this would distract me throughout the show. The set was simple - no curtain, so we were able to watch the subtle changes with the minimal props. The music began, and on to the stage came Zac Mordechai, the Emcee. He was the show! The best part. Without him there would be no joy or life in this production.

I was the only one in our group to like the show. I suspect this is because the rest may have gone into it with the opposite expectations of how the story really is.  Why did I like it?  I think because it is a show that does catch you off guard. You think it is all sin and lust at the Kit Kat Club until right at the end of the first act when we see our first Nazi swastika.  There were hints to the Nazis at the start, but if you don't know the setting you could have easily missed it I suppose.

I felt the first act was all build up, looking at the lives of the characters.  Relationships were formed and things seemed to look good for them.  We have naughty songs, celebratory songs, silly songs about pineapples??? -- not much substance, but a whole lot of nonsense!

Act two started great! If you enjoy cabaret dancers and androgynous men in drag, you'd like it, too!  But then the fun stops. We see the characters dealing with real life issues in that time period. Love is tested when the Nazis gain more power. Safety is questioned. Equality doesn't exist anymore. People are struggling to make enough money to survive. Prostitution. Abortion. Real life issues. Some want to flee, others are in denial of what is really happening around them.

The Emcee acts as our way of knowing what is going on politically. He shows us how we are all the same - but also the harsh reality that if you are Jewish (or gay) you are not equal in the eyes of the Nazis. If you really watch and understand and have any compassion, it is a story with a really powerful message that can still be applied today. And that is why I liked it. I like a show that makes me think and feel emotions - good or bad. Cabaret struck a chord with me and overall I enjoyed it!

Now with the bad.... there is overacting and then there is OVER ACTING!!  One character is supposed to be dramatic, but the female lead just did it too freaking much.  It became almost unbearable at times. Some scenes felt long or unnecessary for the story line progression. These are the times I stared at the Hidden Mickey.  The music itself isn't as catchy throughout the show as I'd like. They don't all have to be showstoppers, but some just lacked any wow factor for me. Whoa - did I just turn this into one of my bitchy American Idol reviews??

Would I go see Cabaret again? Probably not - unless Alan Cumming was reprising his role as Emcee, but that's just 'cause I'd love to see Alan Cumming do anything! Our Emcee was great, however. He alone earned my standing ovation. I will, continue to listen to the CD and watch Youtube videos of it. Really it was the dialogue of the show that slowed things down, not the music.

Overall rating - taking into consideration the acting, production, pace, music, yada yada yada .... I'd say C+. (Coming from me, I'd say C+ is pretty darn good. Not every show is Starlight Express. They can't all get an A+!)  A few minor things would have bumped the rating way up. The singing and dancing was great. I loved the cabaret girls and the musicians!! Costumes - great. General acting from some key players - not so great. 

Thank you, Zac Mordechai - you really made the night!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

*Giggles*

I love it when something breaks up my routine and makes me giggle.

Today there was no way around typing what I typed on this particular check.

Today's best "description" goes to:  

NIPPLE, NUT 


**I fully admit I couldn't do it with a straight face!

Friday, March 26, 2010

15 Minute Babble: What's up?

  • The rain can go at any time. That sounds like Arnie in Gilbert Grape ... "I can go at any time" - which reminds me of my co-worker that I wish would just go at any time.  "Go" in this instance meaning "retire". I'm not that mean that I wish for someone to "go" in the same way Leonardo DiCaprio means it.
  • Enchanted Forest season is here!! Jessica and I are going so super soon and I can't wait!
    • Speaking of Jessica and I going places - our plane tickets are purhcased- we ARE going to Florida again! This year we'll be there for my birthday. Woohoo!!!
  • Vegas is coming up fast, too! Just a month and a half and I will be there with my darling Mike and his darling Clark. And I will get to see my darling Alex and his darling Daniel. Yahoo!!! It'll be fruitfly heaven in Sin City!
  • Speaking of Mikes... Michael is en route to Minneapolis. It is like the end of our era. I'm not sure what kind of era. I guess one of Mario Kart, pizza, coast trips, caves and my poor cat feeling terrified all the time. Bon Voyage, Michael! I hope you enjoy your next chapter - and come back to visit!!
  • Still running, running, running. My next race is slated for May 1st - the 5K race during the Eugene Marathon weekend. Mostly I'm just busy getting ready for that half-marathon in Disney World next year. Small steps, smaller races, bigger steps, bigger races. I have a feeling the half will be here before I know it!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lucky Clover 5K

This past weekend I spontaneously ran in a 5K race up in Springfield. It was the Lucky Clover 5K at the Dorris Ranch. I thought it would be fun to do a Saint Patrick's Day themed race, and who wouldn't want to run through orchards and along the river?

So my mom and I loaded all of my stuff into the car and we were on our way to the ranch. The weather was absolutely beautiful - we really lucked out!  It was easy to find, which helped my mind a bit considering I was going crazy with pre-race jitters.  I checked in, got my souvenir tech shirt, number and chip to attach to my shoe. Oh yeah, I felt like such a pro after that!

We then just hung out watching all of the other runners doing their warm up rituals. I had to keep my ritual tame --- I normally spaz out in my computer room to Tina Turner singing Proud Mary!  It was totally a different race scene than the other two I was in. This seemed to have more of the "real" runners, versus women in tutus or little girls bundled up with scarves. There were some gals all in green head to toe, and even one in a kilt, however!

It was time to line up and get final directions. There were actually 2 races starting at the same time from the same spot - the trail race or road for the 5k people, and then the 10k race for people that would be doing both the trail AND road, in whichever order they chose! It seemed like it had potential to be confusing, but ended up pretty simple!  At the start I quickly got myself out of the pack and in my own little bubble. I decided to quickly make my move, without going overboard on my pace, and passed all the slowpokes and the walkers.

The trail was really lovely. It led through filbert orchards and along the Willamette River. I am happy to report that nobody passed me! I stayed in my zone and would just stare down the person ahead of me until I passed them. Then the next person and the next. Yeah, I was pretty happy to pass and beat the 78 year old man. Heh heh.  I was passed at the initial start by a black lab. I never saw it again....... until the last kilometer! Once I was on the final stretch I just kicked it into high gear. I had one moment where I was pretty sure I'd puke, but I didn't!  Seeing the bagpipe player wandering through the trees kind of relaxed me and sent me pushing hard up the final hill. I was delighted when I caught up to that pretty dog and crossed the finish line at the same time she did!

We lingered until the end to watch the awards ceremony. Naturally I didn't get anything -but I was only 6 away from getting a medal for my age division, so that's pretty good! I even finished in the top half, which given the nature of these runners, I am pretty darn impressed with myself!  It was a really fun time and a race I will definitely consider doing again next year. The only thing I'd change - no wait, I have 2 things..... first - more bagpipes. The other .... port-a-potties on SOLID ground. Have you ever used one of them and had it tipping over the entire time??? Yeah - I don't recommend it. It is terrifying!!!



Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Things They Say - Round 5

OMG, this was priceless!!!


@12:05pm.....

L:  Oh K, just so you know, I have lunch plans at 1.
K: Well, L, just so YOU know, it is 5 after, so I'll be back at 5 after.

L stands with mouth hanging open (which is actually the norm anyway).

K goes into the bathroom. I internally giggle. L goes back about her business.

K:  (to no one in particular - and I loved it!)  Its Twelve-TEN.
(and leaves)



Perhaps L should have mentioned her lunch plans PRIOR to 12:05?

Everything Smells Like....

Band-Aids.


Seriously. My left hand smells like a band-aid. I haven't touched any since yesterday during an emergency "foot /ankle/please don't let this hurt when running" repair job. I have washed MANY times since that occurrence. Every week when I am entering invoices I smell the band-aid smell. 

I can't figure out why.

I'm mildly freaked out by this.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Where Does It Come From?

I've been asking myself this question since September when I decided to start running. I'm not running for my life because someone is chasing me (although we all know that I have that image in my head during my runs). I'm not running to lose weight. I have no real reason other than to just see if I can do it. From the very beginning this was a quest to conquer something that I've always believed was impossible for me to be successful at.

September came and I bought some shoes. I started running, and at times even 90 seconds seemed like minutes. Five minutes seemed like 30. Well now I'm above 30 ... and it doesn't seem so bad! My first goal was just to be able to run around the block. Then I felt I should register for a race, so I signed up for two 5K races. The goal for the first .... just to finish. Either walking or running, I just wanted to finish. The goal for the second race was to run the entire thing without stopping. I guess I completed those goals too easily, although I have put in a ton of hard work, so now I am setting more.

As mentioned in my previous post, my next huge goal is the Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon in March of 2011. To get to that point, I have started filling my calendar up with various mini-goals and races. This Saturday will be my first trail race - going through filbert orchards and along the river. July is the first of 2 mini-goals on my way to the Half. I'm running now with the plan to do the Butte to Butte 10K in Eugene. I've read it starts with a pretty major hill, but to me that hill can only help me get better prepared for the next big race. That next big race is the Prefontaine Memorial 10K in Coos Bay (in September). I've heard this one is fun, but challenging with almost an entire mile being a gradual uphill climb. Bring it on I say! Scattered throughout the year are little 5K races I'm finding here and there, mostly in Corvallis. But I keep asking myself "Where does this idea that you CAN do this come from?
 
I think I kind of figured it out. I used to be so shy, then I worked in a theme park talking to 1,000s of people every day, and suddenly it was easier to not be as shy. Then along the way I've done other things that I wouldn't have originally thought I would or even could do. I got a tattoo. I got some piercings. I started traveling to far away places alone. (Heck I even traveled to another state to be picked up at an airport by someone I had never actually met. HI MIKE!!) And then I went ghost hunting. Four hours in the middle of the night in a huge building with no power, and endless stories of hauntings and ghost encounters. Those shows you see on tv of people staying in creepy buildings - yeah, at first I thought No Way! But then I started looking into it more, and suddenly I though, Yes Way! And so I did it - and it was awesome!

I didn't realize it until today that I keep challenging myself, but without my own knowledge. I guess once you put your body through intense pain with piercings, stay up late at night hoping to have something creepy happen, or move across the country all alone to fend for yourself .... well, running is just one more thing to conquer, and now I know I CAN do it!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Disney's Princess 1/2 Marathon Weekend

What an experience! How do I even try to describe it??

My Princess event began Friday morning with the "Fit for a Princess" expo. Words to describe the expo: hot, crazy, organized, busy, pink, glitter, adrenaline, nerves, anticipation, overwhelming, different, crowded, fun!  Upon entering the expo at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, I had the opportunity to get my photo taken with some royal looking dudes in tights and powdered wigs. I opted out of that one and was just sprinkled with some pixie dust instead!  Immediately I checked in, receiving my bib, t-shirt and other items in a "goody bag". Let's talk about this so-called "goody bag". It was a clear plastic bag with a drawstring handle - much like you'd get when buying a pair of shoes at a sports store - and then toss in the garbage when you got home.  I was expecting some sort of mesh backpack with the event name written on it. I was wrong and really disappointed.  I felt embarrassed all day. The 1/2 marathon runners had the backpacks I was expecting, while the 5K runners basically had a grocery bag. It was then I set a new goal. Next year I will be back, and I WILL run the 1/2 marathon and get the REAL goody bag! Disney has shamed me into aiming for more!

There was a ton of Princess Weekend merchandise to chose from. I chose only a shirt that says "I can run in heels" with a glass slipper on it, and, of course, my tiara. I will buy more next year when I feel I've really earned it. Turning embarrassment into motivation - that's what I do!

We browsed through the different booths, but didn't stop at any for long. I don't feel experienced enough to understand all of the things I was presented with. Perhaps next year I will.

My mom got her ChEAR squad bag, t-shirt, seat cushion and clappers-- oh yeah! She got the sort of bag I expected to get.  (I ended up just buying myself an ESPN backpack so I could feel a little satisfied!)

Overall the expo was a good time. I think I was just initially overwhelmed by the intensity of it all. After some retail therapy I realized it was just a bunch of insane women (myself included!) walking around in tiaras having a great time with their sisters, mothers, daughters and friends!

Later that evening I had my early dinner and had a vision of getting some sleep. 3:30am would come way too soon! I did a little fashion show for my mom while deciding how to adjust my summer temperature running clothes so they'd work in Florida's freezing temperatures.  Crazy, right?!?

* * * * * * * 

Just as predicted, 3:30am DID arrive rather soon.  My adrenaline was pumping and I woke up feeling in "the zone". Around 5am we joined other certifiably insane women for a very nice, plush bus ride to Epcot. It was fun to see the costumes some people created, and awesome to feel the overall camaraderie among all of the princesses and their supporters!

By 5:30am I was at Epcot and the party was already in motion! The sun had yet to rise, but a DJ started a dance party and kept the crowd entertained.  Princess Tiana, from the "Princess and the Frog," was taking photos with bundled up Princess. I spent my pre-race time hanging out with my dear friend, Sarah, instead!

At 6:45, 5,351 princesses (with a few princes mixed in) lined up in various corrals. I stood alone in the 9-11 minute mile crowd - but I didn't feel "alone"at all. According to my mom (watching from the ChEAR squad bleachers), it was a sea of bouncing people!

7am - fireworks go up - racing begins! It would be a couple of minutes before I even got to the start line and could actually run. Once I was moving, it was amazing. I smiled for all 3.1 miles - and could have kept going for more!  The course begin in the parking lot, then through backstage. We entered World Showcase in between Mexico and Norway - Oh boy did I smile when I saw the margarita stand!! We ran through World Showcase, with a minor backstage detour, back into the park heading straight toward Spaceship Earth and back to the finish line in the parking lot. Along the route were cast members cheering, music playing and characters ready for fast photo ops.

My goal for this race was to never stop running. That means only in-motion pictures for me! If I could meet my goal, my reward to myself was a bottle of the most delicious Norwegian perfume. Seeing my mom again, and vision of perfume, kept me running. I think I even had a personal best! It was a full blown sprint for the last tenth of a mile - and crossing the finish line was Incredible!!  Mom says I even seemed to be at the back of the first 1/3 of racers to finish (out of 5,351!).... Go me!!

Upon finishing I was given my medal and sent to get my official post race photo, drinks and snack pack. I also wandered over to get my picture with Tiana and cheer on the remaining runners.  I even ran into an old friend from my Kali River Rapids days!

It was such an unforgettable experience!  A 6 month old crossed the finish line, as did a man in his 90s, people in wheelchairs, little girls in princess dresses, a MAN in a Cinderella dress, families, friends, fat people, skinny people, young and old. All weekend there seemed to be an unspoken, and often spoken, bond amongst all of the runners. We all wore our medals and tiaras with pride all day long, and shared stories of our experience. Such a nice group of people!

I went into Disney's Princess 1/2 Marathon Weekend not knowing what to expect. Now that I have experienced this weekend once, I am even more excited about next year!


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I'm Not Happy With You, Mr. Hefner

I feel like Hef is cheating on his girls. Holly, Bridget and Kendra - those are his girls (in my mind). He is 83, according to Wikipedia, and now dating three 20 year old girls ... two of which are twins and look VERY orange.

I don't know why, but this just bothers me. I refuse to watch the "new" Girls Next Door show because those girls are NOT the Girls Next Door to me. I want to see Holly and her "deer in the headlights" eyes, hear Kendra's bizarre stoner laugh, and take in all the fabulousness of adorable Bridget.  

I do not like the imposter girlfriends.  

I just saw a photo of Kendra with her husband and new baby ... with Hugh Hefner and a 20 year old tart. Why is that tart in KENDRA's photo????

I just don't like it one bit, Old Man!  I feel like you are cheating on my girls!