Monday, December 31, 2012

Ring out this year with insane celebrities!

My dear readers, before the end of 2012 I really must bring to your attention this set of photos from early in December. To quote Reader Katya (who was kind enough to show me these), "what on God's green earth is wrong with Demi Moore?"

I present to you: Demi Moore Has Lost Her Damn Mind.

Figure 1: our subject is surprised by the photographer. Luckily she is wearing a romper so short the world is her gynecologist.

Figure 2: In a room full of laughing people our subject dances while Lenny Kravitz looks on stoically.

Figure 3: Our subject continues to dance while Lenny Kravitz wishes he was anywhere but on this couch.

Figure 4: Our subject is STILL wearing that red string and Lenny Kravitz is STILL trying to figure out how he ended up in this mess.

Figure 5: Our subject makes faces for the camera while Lenny Kravitz wears the international expression for "Dear God, please make it stop."

To Lenny Kravitz, I have only this to say: you cannot get all holier-than-thou when you wear a blanket as a scarf.

Happy New Year, WTS Nation!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Here's to witty girls who went to our beds

My dear readers, it is just one week away from Theatre Nerdgasm Holy Day. Or, in colloquial parlance: opening of Les Miserables in movie theaters everywhere. And! They have released "One Day More" for our salivating pleasures!

Go ahead and watch that. I'll be right here when you're done. In the meantime, though, I am going to look at this awesome photo of Hill for a while.

Are you done? Wasn't it awesome!? Didn't you make kind of the same face as seen above when Russell Crowe couldn't finish any of his phrases? Aren't you the most excited about Hugh Jackman!?

Let's talk for real for a moment, though. Something occurred to me while I was watching this latest clip. It's only slightly complicated but I'm super tired so it's going to be tough for me to put into a coherent thought. I think Les Miserables made me want to go into theatre. This is only vaguely embarrassing, and I will therefore just accept that fact. What the hell was I going to see on stage when I was a tween? The Iceman Cometh? That has no singing, no dancing, no spectacle. No, it was big lavish 80s musicals for me.

I was as deeply effected by Les Miz as a preteen/teenage can be. The tragedy of the story, the sweeping beauty of the music, the dark comedy... but most of all the way it made me feel. I didn't know what it was I was feeling when I first saw it. I knew it was so sad that it made me cry buckets, I knew there were funny parts that made me laugh and laugh even if I didn't get the sex jokes exactly, I knew that there were very beautiful things to see and hear. But it was something beyond that, just beyond the scope of my comprehension. I didn't know what it was but I was feeling something intensely satisfying and all I could think of was how much I wanted to make other people feel that way.

When I got to that part of a privileged life where it's time to decide what to study in college, I went back and forth between writing and theatre. I eventually decided on theatre because I could not imagine getting tired of it, I couldn't imagine it being hard in a bad way.

ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. you are ADORABLE. Just wait until you decide to co-found a theatre company.

The point is, I chose to study that (and was lucky enough and supported enough to follow through) because it was fun and it was easy. Now it's later. I let a teenager decide what degree I would obtain to prepare myself for the world, I am kind of okay with that, but I will honestly say that sometimes I have doubts. Lately, I've been really wrestling with these doubts and wondering if what "we" do matters at all.

But you know what? Then I watched this clip. And I thought about the way I felt the first time I saw Les Miz. And I thought about the way I feel now when I watch it. And I think that maybe I just need to invest a little more energy into searching for that great, sweeping, overwhelming, intoxicating feeling and channeling it to other people.

In singing a bit of the score a capella with my dear best friend last night, I was suddenly struck that HOLY SHIT I THINK LES MISERABLES FORMED MY NOTION OF HOW ONE GETS LAID. Not being a particularly suave teenager, I was pretty sure I would never be able to kiss anyone (let alone get beyond kissing) unless I learned some sort of magical spell. And then I saw Les Miz and in the song "Drink With Me" there are these lines:

Here's to pretty girls who went to our heads
Here's to witty girls who went to our beds

And I thought to myself, "Cool. I don't have to be beautiful I just have to be funny. I can do that." You guys! I was like 11! Maybe not even that old!

Eventually, I did date some boys in high school. One of the boys was a truly kind boy and we really didn't have a lot in common (he loved Led Zeppelin, let's just put that out there) and in the end he was going to college and I was afraid to break up with him because everyone liked him and I didn't want to be the bad guy. Finally, he lost the game of chicken and came over to my house to break up with me. Being a super sweet dude, he helped me wash my car and asked me to tell him the story of Les Miserables.  At the conclusion of some epic storytelling, he broke up with me. I faked some tears, sighed relief, and didn't see him again for almost a decade. To summarize: not only did Les Miz help me figure out how to get laid, it also got me out of a relationship that had run out of time.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Mama Jack

Hey guys, let's talk about my mom for a minute, okay? My mom's birthday was last week and in the craziness of the past few days, I haven't had even a minute to post here about just how awesome she is. So let's fix that, shall we? Here are a few reasons my mom is awesome:

1. She is straight up adorable.
seen here as a sexy cat among sexy cats

2. When I'm stressed out about something (usually work-related), it keeps her up at night. Last week, I accidentally rolled down the window of my sister's car and sent her car reindeer antler flying out into the night. Mom actually dreamt where it had landed and I was able to pick up the pieces the next morning.

3. She likes to read romance novels but only likes romance novels with a good story and believable characters. Case in point, she took the spelling of my first name from The Thorn Birds.

4. She loves my friends and my friends love her. Everyone calls her Mama Jack. More sexy cats as proof...

5. My mom has the greatest cackle laugh in the world. But even better than that is when she laughs so hard that no sound comes out.

6. She's way stronger than anyone would think or even than perhaps she knows. This lady has been through a lot but keeps chugging along with a smile on her face. It's kind of remarkable.

7. Mom is certainly not afraid to speak her mind - which can either great or terrifying. While doing an on-camera interview for my sex-ed burlesque show (because she's so awesome that she'll let me bully her into being part of even that), Mom said that she feels that sex is private and shouldn't be talked about. To which I was like 

and she was like

8. Because she always listens, she always has my back, she always takes my side (even when she doesn't agree), and she always loves me even though I sometimes disappoint her. And you know? She does the same for my sister. And my dad. And our best friends. 

9. Mama Jack taught me how to be generous through her own unbridled generosity. She also taught me how to laugh at myself. 
Note that Mom is wearing three necklaces and a funnel on her head.

10. Most of all, though, my mom is awesome because she has no idea how awesome she is. Someday maybe we'll convince her.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmastime Fears

First of all, Happy Hanukkah! If you are celebrating the Festival of Lights, I hope it has been great so far and that the last few days will also be full of family, laughter, and happiness!

And now I'm going to talk about Christmas traditions revolving around Santa. Sorry about that.

When I was a kid, I believed in Santa for a long time. I really wanted to - it seemed like if I stopped believing I would stop getting awesome gifts and everything would be boring. That didn't turn out to be true, of course, because Christmas is pretty awesome and the definition of "awesome gifts" shifts over the years. (For example, I'm looking forward to getting a new pair of slippers this year. Also, I am 80.) Lots of families have lots of different Santa-adjacent traditions, but one thing is constant: the threat of Santa is enough to bring about fairly good behavior for most of a month. You know...

He sees you when you're sleeping
He knows when you're awake
He knows if you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake!

When I was a kid, the thought of Santa seeing me sleep freaked me the fuck out. In fact, the fact that Santa was presumably ALWAYS WATCHING WHAT I DID really made me nervous. Christmas Eve was a majorly stressful night for young Meg for a couple of reasons: a) anticipation of awesome presents, and b) holy crap, is Santa going to come into my room while I'm asleep? I used to wake up in the middle of the night convinced I could see Santa looking into my window.

go away, creeper

Even the IDEA of hearing reindeer on the roof was enough to send me into a child-sized panic attack. I spent many of my childhood nights standing at my bedroom window, terrified, absolutely sure I could hear someone breaking into our house. So the idea of Santa coming into the house, eating our cookies, and walking around was not exactly exciting. Nice of him to leave a Nintendo, though.

A couple of years ago I started noticing a new trend - the Elf on the Shelf. Apparently this is Santa's minion, sent to spy on kids and report back to the Big Guy on said kids' behavior. Some of my parent friends have embraced the Elf - giving it a name, putting it in a new position each morning as a game for the kids to find it, talking about it. Personally, I think this would freak me out even more than Santa looking in my window. Have you seen this thing?


Its limbs are flat, it is missing the left half of its eyelashes on both eyes and the blush is over the top. It's small, it hides in your house, and it spies on you. I don't think I could have handled this as a kid. Honestly, I'm not sure I can handle it now. You should see my face when I spot an Elf on the Shelf in a friend's house. 

or something like that

So, to recap: I don't like it when fictional characters watch me sleeping and keep a record of my daily activities. Maybe this is why I don't enjoy Twilight?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Tile Project: Introduction and First Tiles

My place of employment is next door to WHYY which has lovely slate tiles in front of their building engraved with the names of their donors. I have been walking past those tiles multiple times a day for eight years now, making up stories about the people who bought them. I've been at a bit of a loss for what to share with you recently, so I thought I'd give you some of these stories. With a small catch!

There is one person that I actually know in real life whose name graces a tile. At the end of our tile series we'll have a contest to see who can pick out the real person! It's like Two Truths and a Lie except it's One Truth and a Whole Bunch of Lies. There will be a prize for the tile series truth guesser!


Jack and Ellen Sue Barr met in high school when they were both in the school marching band. They were high school sweethearts and dated all through their college years. On the day after college graduation, Jack proposed to Ellen Sue against her parents' wishes and they were married in a traditional ceremony the following year. One of the things that always sort of delighted Jack was the double L in Ellen Sue's name. At the age of 16 he decided that if he and Ellen Sue ever had kids, he wanted them to have double letters in their names. Dianna is not pleased about this because she was never able to find pencils or bicycle license plates with her name on them. Kelly just wishes her name wasn't "soooo 80s" as she always complains. On the day the wording for the tiles was due to WHYY Ellen Sue got into a fight with Kelly and Dianna, culminating in her daughters saying they had a hard time taking dating advice from someone who had only ever dated one person. Ellen Sue was so stung by this she decided to put the dog's name first. Jack still doesn't understand how Max got top billing.


Jeannie and Cassin Craig are identical twins, both with dark brown hair and hazel eyes. Jeannie Craig hates her name because people always called her Jennie Craig and made jokes about her weight even though she is as slight as a bird. Cassin Craig hates her name because people always assume she's saying Cassie and, as she has said in exasperated tones to her friends a million times, "Who the hell names their kid Cassin!?" Her friends think it's weird too, but always just assumed it was a family name. Jeannie loves being a twin. Cassin recently buzzed off her long brown hair just so that people would stop calling her Jeannie by accident. Jeannie cried for 20 minutes when she found out about Cassin's hair. Cassin didn't even donate it.