Tag Archives: music

McConnelling Favorites

Jon Stewart is basically this generation’s older, more Jewish Shirley Temple — he keeps America’s spirits high at times of confusion, frustration, and stupid news anchors.  He just recently gifted the internet, and thus the world, with something very special.  McConnelling.  Some old senator made a wordless campaign video with some crappy music over it and Stewart invited everyone to play the game of redubbing the video with various tunes.

It will time suck your morning, but it will be glorious.

Here are a few of my favorites – I can only embed YouTube videos, apparently, so you’ll have to go to the links for most of these.  Feel free to add your own!




And *kisses fingertips*


Hedwig O’Hara

Still Beautiful

I saw a live production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch a few weekends ago.  If you’ve never seen the movie, you really should because it’s amazing.  Since I posted my review of the stage show on teh internetz in a somewhat official capacity, I couldn’t really delve into how much Hedwig’s story really means to me on a personal level because it would have devolved into emotional dribble.  But here I can do whatever the hell I want, so HA.  The review I wrote is pasted at the bottom.

When I first saw Hedwig in college at a midnight movie theater (said everyone who’s ever seen the movie), I pretty much became instantly obsessed.  I love Hedwig.  I feel her.  I know her in my core.  I’ve really had to overcome my shyness at admitting to be the soul sister of a transsexual woman who was coerced into having a sex change operation that was completely botched, especially considering I am a heterosexual ciswoman.  But my GOD, I gaze into John Cameron Mitchell’s wet, aching blue eyes on screen and, as the poetic lyric goes, I could tell by her expression that the pain down in her soul was the same as the one down in mine.

To be honest, in my projected imaginary mirrorland, I like to think of myself as a mixture of:


The glorious Hedwig



The equally glorious Scarlett

There is something about Scarlett’s spoiled and impetuous (and, dare I say, feminist) nature that just charms the hell out of me.  And I completely empathize with what it’s like to chase after the dream of Ashley only to find that he’s a total wiener. (Side note: Yes, I am aware that the novel Gone with the Wind is sentimentally racist.  The film, which thankfully cut a lot of that out, did give Hattie McDaniels a chance to win her well-deserved Oscar, so I’d like to think it helped pay back at least a little karma.)

Anyway, back to Hedwig. I realize that I have not undergone anything tremendously horrific as, say, having my sexual organs permanently disfigured, but I recognize the fear of loneliness and pain of being rejected.  I thought I found my soulmate in every poor sap I ever dated.  If there was a book on my dating life before M Fox, the title would either be You Probably Should Have Joined a Nunnery, subtitled At Least Jesus Would Love You  or Sex Doesn’t Equal Love, You Freaking Idiot. (Spoiler: I am the freaking idiot.)

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Audition Advice

So far I am succeeding in filling my life with theatre, which is awesome.   I have been cast in a play — a one act that is slated to go to a local community theatre festival.  And my character has a name!  With lines!  AND (spoiler) a death scene!  I start rehearsals for that next week.  Tonight I am going to go see Book of Mormon (stay tuned for a review!) and tomorrow night I’m going to see Hedwig and the Angry Inch live, which should be pretty fricken amazing.  I had an audition last Sunday, I have another one tomorrow, and a third next week.

I know that I’ve had a good audition when I black out.  Let me explain.  When I have a bad audition, I remember every painstakingly awful detail.  How all of a sudden I notice that I smell like cat food.  That my right heel clicks louder than my left.  That I choked on that note that I could hit FINE in the stupid bathroom, yet, maddeningly, managed to hit the high note (why is this?!).  That I laughed too loud at the music director’s REALLY stupid joke.  That I wasn’t friendly enough to the person checking me in who turned out to be the director’s boyfriend/girlfriend/sexual partner.

When I have a good audition,  I don’t remember a thing.  Maybe because I feel so good about it that my brain decides to move on and not let me dwell?  It’s a weird selective memory.  I don’t remember any of the awesome parts in detail, just the general feeling of not being a screw-up.  Last Sunday, I had a good audition.  I felt confident, I felt prepared.   The first song I sang was “Heartbreaker,” and I killed it.  I even got a “wow” out of them.  I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a pity wow, but I honestly don’t remember it well enough to replay it in my head.  Which signals to me that it was a good “wow” (I swear, it was real, they were impressed, they loved it, don’ttakethatfrommedagnabbit).

But the second song I chose was a cut from “Climbing Uphill” from The Last 5 Years by Jason Robert Brown.

Let me say this.  I remember two things about the audition vividly.  The first is that I couldn’t find the damn door on the way out (it was a black door with no door jamb flush against the black theater wall, okay??)  And the other is that the pianist said that I would have to bribe her with a bottle of wine next time I brought in a song by JRB.

Which brings me to the titular phrase of this post, my advice for all you auditionees:

Never do a Jason Robert Brown piece at an audition.

Just don’t.

For those that don’t know, Jason Robert Brown is a musical composer renown for writing really awesome music, but also music that is impossible to play.  I used to put the caveat of “unless he’s there to play it,” but I’m going to backtrack on that.  I’m convinced that not even he could play his own music under pressure.

I know you sound awesome singing it.  I know it was secretly written for you.  I know that you’ve planned to sing it for three weeks and the audition is tomorrow and so it would be imprudent to change the song.  I just don’t care.  Change it to “My White Knight.”

Actually don’t, that’s a really stupid song.

But just don’t do a Jason Robert Brown song.

Despite all that, I still say it was a good audition, even though I didn’t get a callback.  I feel like I gave them something to think about, which is important.  Even if the next time I audition, they think, “Oh yeah, that’s the girl who stumped our piano player and couldn’t find the door.  But I’m pretty sure we wowed at her ‘Heartbreaker,’ though.”

And that is my PSA for the week, folks.  Audition tomorrow!  Singing “Gorgeous” from The Apple Tree and “If He Really Knew Me” from They’re Playing Our Song.  Neither are by Jason Robert Brown.

Proof my life is a musical

So for the last week I have been in The South.  My good friends T&A (tee hee) were whisked away to magical Durham, North Carolina where A researches how to make time travel possible and T uses math to cure cancer.  This is my rudimentary understanding of what my friends do for a living.

Now, I have been to NOLA, but New Orleans is its own world.  This was my first real South Eastern experience (as indicated by the map of Where I’ve Been below).

I honestly don’t remember if I’ve been through Iowa. I’m taking the classy road and assuming that I haven’t, rather than assuming that Iowa is a vast wasteland that apparently isn’t worth remembering.

Although I guess you could argue that North Carolina, by the very virtue of having “North” in its name, isn’t Southy enough, but I dunno.  For this Yankee girl, it was pretty real.  While much of the trip was spent cowering inside their air-conditioned home to escape the oppressive humidity, we did manage to visit the Museum of Natural Sciences complete with butterfly sanctuary, attend a minor league baseball game (where I had soaked up enough Southern hospitality to stifle my instinct to boo a guy wearing a Red Sux hat), film a 15 second segment for Empire Strikes Back Uncut, and paddle a canoe down a moonlit river (which was awesome).  But we also ate.

Folksy signs — a North Carolina tradition

And ate.

And ate.

And drank.

And then ate to wash down the alcohol.

We had fried chicken, biscuits, gravies (multiple), hushpuppies, fried green tomatoes, ribs, slow-cooked pork, various mac’n’cheeses.  We drank beer, averaged a bottle of wine a day, sipped Southern sangria (very different, spicy, like chilled mulled wine), imbibed French martinis and lychee martinis, and guzzled Cheerwine and sweet tea.  These people aren’t kidding when they say sweet tea.  It’s a “Would you like some water in your glass of sugar so that it will make it easier to drink?” sort of deal.

Basically the trip was awesome.  There’s not terribly much to do, but it’s quaint and polite.  Lots of green, swaying forest.  And while I can see how saying “hold the bacon” for everything you order from salads, soups, sandwiches, and milkshakes could get old before you eventually just give up and eat a pound of bacon daily, it wasn’t the backwoods cultural nightmare feared by West Coast elite.  I mean, they do have a Broadway house.

When I got home, I couldn’t ingest a full meal for two days.  M Fox bought a beautiful vanilla cupcake with pink frosting and a juicy strawberry slice on top to welcome me home.  And when I saw it, I gagged.

Don’t worry folks, his hurt feelings took a backseat to his glee over not having to share.  Also, it was later revealed that another purpose of this cupcake was to soothe my inevitable break-down when I found out that the car we purchased six months ago needed a $2,800 repair job.  Yikes.

M Fox’s pH chemistry set.  Because when you grow plants in a bucket of water in a box, you need to add nutrients.

Now here’s the thing about M Fox and I.  We are awesome together.  We complete each other.  It’s sickening, really.  But when we’re apart?  We’re both crazy.  I go into delusional panic attacks and usually end up eating everything in the house and pacing in circles.  M Fox, on the other hand, gets Ideas.  With a capital “I.”  This time it involved a 5′ wide by 5′ tall by 2′ deep hydroponic plant incubator.

Because I once lamented that our deck didn’t get enough sun for me to grow tomatoes, he decided to add a sun-swept wonderland box to our basement.  Oh, he also purchased some sort of cloning serum so that “we can grow whatever we want!!!!!!” (exclamation marks his)

If I wasn’t terrified of our basement, I would go down there and take a photo for you.  Maybe later.

Honestly, it’s a very sweet sentiment and the idea of being able to pick homegrown tomatoes in February does have some appeal, however Monsanto-y.  Certainly his Ideas are more constructive than my self-pitying No Husband routine (unless it’s right before Pesach. . . because then I could suck the hametz out of every corner of that kitchen, trust me).  But the most bizarre thing about this last round of Wife’s-Not-Here-To-Talk-Me-Out-Of-It impulse buying, and the reason for the title of this blog, is this.

While I was gone, the favored husband replaced me with a carnivorous plant.

Suddenly Seymour

I’m not entirely sure what this says about me or our marriage, but there is one thing that I for SURE did not utter when I returned: “Feed me.”