Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wednesday Wa Pic - Patience is its own reward

Sheesh. And after I had been holding it all day in anticipation, too...

 . . .

Guest Wa Pic courtesy of Kelso Greg.

Thank you!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Expose yourself to "Hamilton" at your peril

By now you will have heard the buzz about the Broadway show “Hamilton,” and asked yourself the obvious—why such a boring name? For a Broadway juggernaut, it sure sounds like a paint company. 

I suppose it was better than calling it the altogether too informal “Alex!” Given the inevitably grim ending (you do know your history, right?), I guess they could have called the show “Mort!” But that would assume that a lot more people understand French than probably do. 

It is true that Broadway has previously had one-word hits named after people. “Mame” comes to mind. Who knew a show about President Eisenhower’s wife could be so compelling?  “Gypsy” brought to audiences a newfound respect for an obscure type of moth. “Annie” showcased the darker side of Helen Keller’s famed mentor through the medium of tap dance. And “Fiorello!” and “Oliver!” taught us the difference punctuation can make between failure and success. 

“Hamilton” has broken all records, but just imagine if it had been “Hamilton?” Or even “#Hamilton$”. Not only might it have made even more money, it would have been a pretty solid password.

“Hamilton” the show, like the founding father himself, is known for its brilliance with words. A sample lyric: “A bunch of revolutionary manumission abolitionists? Give me a position, show me where the ammunition is!” 

It is sort of like Gilbert and Sullivan, if their three little maids from school were not “filled to the brim with girlish glee” but were in fact itching to bust a cap in some Redcoats.

A year or two ago, the lyrics of “Hamilton” spread like a wordy virus through my friends. Being a former theater major, I willingly contracted it from my actress friend Susannah, then passed it on to my wife and my coworkers. Soon we became insufferable. 

You know the kind of people who, if you happen to say something about truth, say "You can't handle the truth"? That is us, only in revolutionary-war-themed rhyme. 

I cannot in good conscience recommend you expose yourself to this addiction. Otherwise you will soon find yourself ejecting a CD and sobbing in your car in the employee parking lot. 

"Are you O.K.?" your coworker will ask, seeing your puffy eyes.

"Hamilton," you will rasp. 

It is too late for me. Consider this a warning from a friend. 

. . .

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wednesday Wa Pic - Overpopulation's upside

 You knew eventually once the market was glutted they'd just start giving them away.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Goat Yoga: Yuppie fad or sign of the apocalypse?

Sometimes civilizations at their peak show warning signs of their impending fall, and I can sum up America’s top warning sign in two words: goat yoga. No, that it is not the name of a death metal band, although I just trademarked the name and if you are a drummer we should talk. 

Goat yoga is just that—yoga with goats. Yoga in the midst of goats. So as to be climbed upon by goats, while striking yoga poses. Why? Because, let’s face it, yoga has always lacked that certain something which I like to call goat poop.

Best anyone can tell, this inviting of Nigerian dwarf goats to climb on you while doing yoga began last summer in…Oregon (you gasp!) It got such publicity that at one point there were more than a thousand people on the waiting list, which raises the obvious question—are these goats from the cast of “Hamilton”? 

They were charging $30 an hour or, (and I am not joking) if paired with a wine tasting, $75. Who needs to actually see the Four Horseman, people? It’s over. 

The news coverage spawned imitators in Arizona, Massachusetts, Texas, New Hampshire. All across the country, anyone with access to lovably cute dwarf goats put up a yoga shingle. 

There have been goat yoga pajama parties. In Houston they dress the goats in cute clothes and diapers, which eliminates the mess but ratchets up the adorable factor to a degree not seen since that “Mister Ed” drag episode.

Many goat yoga Web sites have a “frequently asked questions” page. Below I have mixed actual questions and answers found online with some of my own. See if you can tell the difference.

Q: Do I have to participate in the yoga portion of the class?
A: No. Some people like to just sit on their mat and snuggle goats.

Q: Can men participate in goat yoga?
A: Sure! But why?

Q: How long is the session?
A: The Goat Yoga class is 30 minutes, and that is followed by Goat Happy Hour.

Q: Have we finally answered the age-old question, “Could you, would you, with a goat?”
A: Yes.

I only made up two of those.

I expect the next news I will hear is that the goats have unionized and now insist on being called little goats instead of dwarf goats. And, of course, goat yoga should provide a nice bump in the nation’s employment statistics, if you count goats as service workers. So at least we will face the Apocalypse on top. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Wednesday Wa Pic - Dude, who stole my hygiene?

 Because for dudes too lazy to apply deodorant, biodegradability is a key selling point.

 . . .

Guest Wa pic courtesy of Elana & Emily. 

"When we see things like this, we think of you..." Yeah, a lot of people do. 

Thank you!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

All-female cast of ‘Lord of the Flies’ stirs controversy

There is a lot of controversy over the announcement of an all-female film of “Lord of the Flies,” but I could have sworn they already made that movie. Wasn’t it called “Sex And The City”? 

O.K., that was not fair, I did not see even see it, but the Rotten Tomatoes review site gives it a 5 out of 10 (in tomato terms, a green splat), and I have found you can generally trust fruit-based critiques. 

(The fact that a tomato is a fruit is yet another reason, along with aardvarks, to distrust nature.)

“Lord of the Flies” is the story of a group of boys who survive a plane crash on an island and, because of their immaturity and innate human failings, devolve into a violent dystopian society of their own making. Then they all grow up to be lobbyists. 

I am joking. Some of them go into timeshare sales. [Spoiler alert] The Lord of the Flies is a decapitated pig’s head, abuzz with tiny winged followers. Lord of the Flies is not a title most people seek, and even fewer pigs.

Nobody seems to know what the two male writer-directors intend with this project, other than it will be set in modern day. Will it be a straight-up remake, with murderous young girls being horrible to each other? Or a twist on the story which takes into account the ways in which girls would react differently to their dire situation? (A hilarious teen novel, “Beauty Queens,” was already written along these lines.) 

Critics say that men cannot possibly write pubescent girls right for the screen. Critics have apparently never seen “Heathers.”

Plays like “The Odd Couple” and movies like “Ghostbusters” have been remade with female casts, with relative success. If “Flies” makes a ton of money, can a female “Catcher in the Rye” be far behind? Perhaps with the main character, Holly Caulfield, turning heads in short prep school skirts? 

And don’t try to tell me you would not pay money to see the movie “Kate Gatsby.” Or “Of Mice and Mavens.” “The Three Musketettes”? “Daisy Copperfield”? 

Tweaking a beloved classic always riles people up. If it turns out to be horrible, it will quickly disappear or become a cult classic. If it’s good, producers will start looking for even more cinema classics to flip female. 

Let’s hope it’s good, because I have two words for you: “Captains Bodacious.”

. . .

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Wednesday Wa Pic - The fix is in. But it doesn't have to be...

 When you have had it up to HERE with repairs. Join the resistance.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Skipper-dog's vertical leap is not what it was

I bought a little set of stairs to help our aging dog get up on his favorite chair, but he just stared at it like it was a cat. He likes cats, actually, but he is not about to climb up one. 

So his favorite route, floor to chair to windowsill to bark at the mail man, now looms like Everest. The couch is suddenly too high for him to jump onto, so I laid one of its back cushions on the floor to use as a step up. He snuggled onto it as a bed. 

The dogs of my youth—Flirty, Brownie, Snoopy, Tiffy (do you sense a certain naming convention?)—have glowing places in my memory. Woofer not so much. Woofer was small, shaggy, black and white, low to the ground. You never wondered what Woofer was thinking about because you knew he wasn’t. Post-Woofer, I was dogless for 20 years. I am not proud of it. 

Skipper, best anyone can tell, is a terrier/Chihuahua mix, roughly 12 years old. He arrived from the shelter with the pretentious French name, Bon Garçon. Which either means “good boy” or “excellent waiter,” depending on the high school you went to. 

He got his new name because he skips when he walks, his back legs doing such a jig that more than one well-meaning passerby has warned us he must have stepped on a thorn. No. It comes from inside, we’d say. He is a Skipper. 

Last week he must have jumped off his chair funny because one loud yelp and one x-ray later, he seems to have a compressed pair of vertebrae. Instead of the confident three-foot leap he has  made onto the bed for a decade, he now paces below, posing, readying, then reconsidering. Like Kobe at the end, he just doesn’t have the legs. Ten minutes into his daily walk, he has slowed to the pace of a bipartisan bill.

His tail wags as always, though. He does not know he is mortal. He thinks he will wake up every morning in his plush bed, now set on the floor for easy access, forever. He thinks one day, if he just sniffs the crack under the front door powerfully enough, the mail man will be sucked indoors for gleeful devouring. And whoever they hire to replace him. Forever. 

It is not true. But for now, at least, to borrow from “Omar Khayyam,” Skipper skips, and having skipped, skips on. 

. . .

The excellent waiter in more sprightly days