Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Along with all of my other recent obsessions, I've been enjoying all things Bob Fosse. Fosse was an entertainment renaissance man who acted, danced, directed, won eight Tony awards for choreography, and one Academy Award for directing Cabaret. I am not a lover of musicals, but, my goodness, Bob Fosse musicals are an entirely different animal.

Fosse could take the most simple, focused motion and just make it the most sensual twitch ever seen. The emotion and passion he had for movement is visible in every single number he ever directed or choreographed.

If you want a Fosse fix, I can recommend two movies for you. Cabaret is the Liza Minelli and Joel Grey masterpiece, taken from the Broadway show which was adapted from the Christopher Isherwood stories. It captures the pre-World War II decadence of Berlin, Germany, and is still so fresh that it looks like it could have been released this year. Liza is just amazing in the movie. I so wanted to go out and buy bushels of false eyelashes after rewatching it a couple of weeks ago. My favorite number in the show is "Mein Herr," and it is all Fosse.

The second movie I would recommend is the autobiographical All That Jazz, with Roy Schieder in the Fosse role, and a gigantic cast with all sorts of stars. It's an amazing, exhausting film. Honestly, I would have cut about half an hour out of it, because the ending seems to go on and on and on. It's worth it for the musical opening to George Benson's "On Broadway," the choreography for "Take Off with Us" and the joy of "Everything Old Is New Again." Plus, Schieder is genius.

And, if you're just in the mood for flat out silliness, check out this Youtube video. Do not have liquids in your mouth when doing this!

Jazz hands!

snap snap snap

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Treating the kittens badly

Gus needs the air conditioning turned on! He has lots of fur and his belly fluff is starting to curl in this hot humdity!

And Franklin is not as amused as I am with the addition of Donald Trump's hair to his photograph, thank you very much.

He's going to fire me soon, I can just feel it.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Casey Anthony Trial

As you may know, oh great people of the blogosphere, I am nothing if not obsessive. When I develop an interest in something, it often becomes a focal point, and I let other things go while pursuing my obsession.

A few weeks ago, I started watching the Casey Anthony trial online while working. A TV station in Orlando was streaming it live. It started out innocently enough, and then, before I knew it, I was completely obsessed. I'm still trying to figure out why I developed this kind of macabre interest, along with millions of people all over the world.

It's the worst possible charge--murder one with the death penalty for killing your own child, in a state that is apt to deliver the death penalty and carry it out. Also, the mystery behind what happened to Caylee Anthony, along with the question mark that is Casey Anthony and the entire Anthony family, were all part of the fascination. For me, I also have an interest in the legal system, how lawyers work, and the mechanics of the trial.

I was sure that the prosecution had put on a solid case, and that we would see a guilty verdict. When the jurors went the other way, I was as shocked and outraged as the majority of others who had followed this trial from the beginning. It still breaks my heart to think that no one will ever serve a day in prison for the death of this child, and the way she was treated after her death.

Now, we have the after shocks, with jurors bargaining for the best interview fees, and attorneys hiring publicists, and all of that brouhaha. Casey will be out of jail a week from today. What happens to the Anthony family now? And where in the world can Casey Anthony go where she honestly won't be in mortal danger?

A lot of people took this case deeply to heart. I am one of them. I'm glad I live in a country where the citizens can see how their justice system works from the inside. I'm sad that this particular case didn't seem to end with the conviction that seemed so obvious to many of us.

Most of all, I'm broken hearted that this beautiful child is gone. Children go missing nearly every day. Let's focus our energy on those we can still help.

Hugs from

Monday, June 27, 2011

Movies! Over the Edge

Over the Edge is my favorite "kids gone bad" movie of all time. Released in 1979, it was based on a newspaper story, and follows a group of teenagers growing up in a planned community where there is nothing for them to do. Being kids, they turn to all the kid-evils: Sex, drugs, rock'n'roll, vandalism, violence, and some fashion crimes that could be pardoned due to the era.

One of the teens is killed by a police officer. Then, things go from bad to worse, as the teen horde traps all of the parents and authorities in the school while they destroy and burn stuff.

Matt Dillon co-stars in his very first acting role, and he is so young that it's almost painful to look at him. Other than Matt, most of the other actors didn't go on to do much, and many of the extras are actually real local teens that the production crew found. There's an authenticity to the movie, and a deep and realistic nihilism and subversion, that I just love.

Also, this movie was the inspiration for Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" video. It doesn't get much cooler than that.

I need to go set a dumpster on fire.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The top five songs I sing to the cats

5. Freebird by Lynyrd Skynyrd
4. Let It Be by the Beatles
3. Don't Cry for Me, Argentina, from the musical Evita
2. Danny's Song by Loggins & Messina
1. Get Happy by Judy Garland, with altered lyrics:
"Forget your troubles, 'cause you're a kitty.
You can sleep the whole day away.
Shout, Hallelujah, hey, you're a kitty.
It's great to be a kitty today."

Franklin loves my singing voice. You can tell by the photo above.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Books! The Psychopath Test

I saw Jon Ronson interviewed on The Jon Stewart show, plugging this book, and immediately ordered it on my Kindle. It's a fantastic read, that begins with an international mystery, sails down the river of psychopathy, examines the murky waters of the profitability of mental illness for drug companies and the medical profession, and then brings us right back to the port where we started.

Enough of the sailing metaphors. If you are interested in psychology, crime or good nonfiction writing, this is a fab little book. I originally purchased it because Ronson was so personable on television while discussing it, and his writing style is just as conversational, charming and readable as he was during his interview, even when he discusses psychological diagnoses and the science behind them. The author as quirky, obsessive narrator carries the story.

He examines how psychopathic personalities affect our entire culture, not only in terms of crime, but in terms of politics and economics. Genius stuff. Psychopaths are often the ones in charge of closing manufacturing plants, forming public policy, and starting fatwas. There's more to the diagnosis than Ted Bundy. And can the diagnosis itself be trusted?

A good beach book, if you're a nerd girl like I am! And you live in Ohio, where there are no beaches.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Clarence Clemons

Clarence "The Big Man" Clemons passed away Saturday at the too young age of 69. Since 1972, he was the saxophone player for Bruce Springsteen's amazing E Street Band. I first fell in love with Springsteen's music when I was ten years old. If you fall in love with Springsteen's music, you fall in love with Clarence Clemons. Onstage, Bruce and Clarence had amazing chemistry. The Springsteen concert I went to when I was sixteen is still the best live music I have ever seen, and part of that greatness was thanks to Clarence's musical abilities and charisma.

You can see Bruce introduce Clarence here, a beautiful thing. And for my favorite Clarence sax solo, check out "Jungleland," from the historic Born to Run album.

Rest in peace, Big Man.