31 March 2006

I'd like to teach myself to sing

This is an official "I should be doing other things, so I think I'll type up a blog post" post.

What should I be doing? Let's see.....

1. Washing my hair so that it looks nice tomorrow. I won't have time tomorrow because I'll be getting up extra early.

2. Pulling scores from what I laughably consider my music library. I have one and half shelves of assorted G&S and other choral music, a couple broadway scores, and a fair bit of random sheet music. (F'rinstance, I have a lovely copy of "Nobody Loves a Fairy When She's Forty" that Larry gave me. As a birthday present.) Tonight I need to pull my scores for Pinafore, Princess Ida, and Patience. I've already pulled the Sorcerer score and printed out the Rose of Persia excerpts that I'll need.

3. Taking stuff out of the car that I don't need and putting into the car the things do I need. I've already found - and removed - an apple that clearly got lost under the seat quite some time ago.

4. (This is the big one.) Learning the damn music. I actually have been working on it this week, but only one song of the five in which I have solos sounds ready to sing in front of people that I like. Two more are about halfway there and the final two are ready to sing in front of.....no one. The best way for me to learn music to work on it with my music teacher, but she's been unavailable, so I've been working on my own, listening to the recordings and going over the printed music. I generally prefer not to work from recordings for the same reason that I don't model my theater performances on videos of other people's work, but I'm positive that the folks tomorrow would far rather hear my second-rate Marcia Bellamy or Claire Henry than experience what I would have done without them to lean on. (And while we're at it, a big thanks to Ann Hood, too!). As you go about your business tomorrow, spare a thought for the folks who will be hearing me sing. Send them your support, think kindly of them, and use your psychokenetic powers to prevent them from killing me. If they do kill me, you might as well alibi them, for they pushed to it, they truly were.

And now to work...

I've been served

As I suspected, Brett rose to defend Mark Trail. His eloquent, even lyrical, defense can be found here. Of course, this means that now it’s on.

I’m going up against a much better – and better prepared - opponent, but perhaps my defeat will provide the lyric poets of tomorrow with inspiration. Maybe, even, a really great blues song will be written about it. Best of all, of course, would be a ballet with a whole flashback sequence where “Mark Trail” throws his Amazing Stick while “Leta” and “Brett” watch and then “Leta” dances the dance of despair, acknowledging the superiority of Mark Trail.

Hmm. Come to think of it, that sounds like more fun than several actual ballets I’ve seen.

29 March 2006


When I got the Washington Post every day, I read all the comics, including stuff I would skip today like "Mark Trail" and "The Phantom" and "Rex Morgan, MD."

(The odd, howling sound you hear is Brett's anguish that anyone would skip "Mark Trail." Well, I would. I like the Partridge Family and I don't like Mark Trail, but it takes all kinds, doesn't it? I'll still probably be re-educated under the Brett Regime, but that was going to happen anyway, so we can add my lack of the proper understanding of Mark Trail to the list.)

But the one thing that made those comics worth the ink it took to print them were the odd little captions. My absolute, bar none, favorite is one from "Rex Morgan, MD," a strip more firmly rooted in a 1962-aesthetic than the Ford Fairlane. But in random attempts to be cutting edge and current - or just to provide me with a laugh - Rex and June would tackle some medical issues in the news, like, oh, say, drug abuse. So we have the black and while line drawing of a woman in a Chanel-style suit with pillbox hat sprawled on a tile floor with the caption "While snorting cocaine in the ladies' room, Claudia Bishop passes out!" (Soap Opera comics spend most of their production money on exclamation marks, which they purchase by the truckload.) Somehow the sight of the Jackie Kennedy stand-in and the 1980's PSA text hit me just right. I vowed never to snort cocaine in the ladies' room *and* and I laughed hugely, pointed to the strip, and repeated "While snorting cocaine in the ladies' room, Claudia Bishop passes out!" until I pulled myself together.

"The Phantom," however, is really just a fever-dream. I mean, really, I ask you, does that strip make sense to anyone? Not to mention that during the period when I spent the most time trying to figure out what the heck was going on, "The Phantom" made Tarzan look too PC by half.

So one day, Mr. Walker* had trounced some white devil bad guys and their non-caucasian, stereotype-laden henchmen, including a pretty scary dude named Mogg. And in the coming attractions box at the end of the strip - which, by the way, due to the completely non-linear storytelling of "The Phantom," never actually clued us in to the real coming attractions, but rather seemed to be just random enouragements to keep reading the strip, sort of a "d-r-i-n-k y-o-u-r O-v-a-l-t-i-n-e" for the print media set ....where was I? Oh, yeah -- in the coming attractings box it said "Coming Next - More Mogg!!" Which also made me laugh hugely, although this time I really couldn't explain why. I still have no idea. But I still find it funny.

Coming Next: The Countess of WATCH!!

* For the Ghost Who Walks

18 March 2006

I miss my blog!

Just testing the blog via e-mail feature. Gee, I hope this works out.

I've been working my leetle behind off at work lately (which I suppose is only fair) and coming home and crashing, so - as the loyal and devoted can see for themselves - there has been very little blogging. Which is such a shame because, as a rule, I have so very much to say and when I'm this busy David is my primary audience and I think his brain is going to start running out through his ears from all the prattle.

Therefore, I'm trying Blogger's handy not-so-new Blog Via E-mail. The sentence up top was sent from my e-mail account to Blogger. I typed up the deathless prose and mailed it to my Blogger account at --- oh, wait! That's supersecret! I'm not telling you! Because then just anyone who figured out the supersecret ID could post as me. And then the content of this blog might drastically improve, which would make the old stuff look bad. So none of that. It's my secret and I ain't telling.

So anyway, I sent the test message and then I went to Blogger and checked my posts list and it was there! Just waiting to be posted. Success!

This should work out just fine because while I've been too busy to blog, who is too busy to e-mail? I live for e-mail.

And now I'm off to do some of the other thing that I've been too busy to do lately -- clean my house.

Coming soon: More posts from Leta! And more Mogg!

10 March 2006

So that makes Gaithersburg Scarsdale

We were discussing euphemisms, like the ever-popular Utahan "Oh my heck," and I was telling him about growing up in a Catholic neighborhood where the common exclamation was "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!" because *that* wasn't swearing. And he said, 'Well sure. Silver Spring is the Brooklyn of Montgomery County."

And before I could even smack him or upbraid him or anything, I realized that he's right. Completely right.