We're having a white christmas!!!


they don't make movie posters like they used to


I'm hoping while I'm home my dad will help me make 11x17 posters of these for my apartment.

Academy Award-Winning Musicals


Best Picture

Only nine movie musicals have won the Best Picture Oscar, a small number when one considers the hundreds of entries over the decades. Below are the forty-five film musicals that were nominated, with the nine winners in bold. [and asterisks next to ones Maryann likes]

1929 The Broadway Melody
Hollywood Revue of 1929

1930 The Love Parade

1931 One Hour With You
The Smiling Lieutenant
1933 42nd Street
She Done Him Wrong

1934 Flirtation Walk
The Gay Divorcee
One Night of Love

1935 Broadway Melody of 1936
Naughty Marietta
Top Hat*

1936 The Great Ziegfeld*
San Francisco
Three Smart Girls

1937 In Old Chicago
One Hundred Men and A Girl

1938 Alexander's Ragtime Band

1939 The Wizard of Oz*

1942 Yankee Doodle Dandy

1944 Going My Way*

1945 Anchors Aweigh*

1948 The Red Shoes

1951 An American in Paris*

1954 Seven Brides for Seven Brothers*
The Country Girl

1956 The King and I

1958 Gigi*

1961 West Side Story*

1962 The Music Man*

1964 My Fair Lady*
Mary Poppins*

1965 The Sound of Music*

1967 Doctor Dolittle*

1968 Oliver!
Funny Girl*

1969 Hello Dolly!*

1971 Fiddler on the Roof*

1972 Cabaret*

1975 Nashville

1976 Bound for Glory

1979 All That Jazz*

1980 Coal Miner's Daughter

1991 Beauty and the Beast*

1997 Evita*

from Film it With Music: An Encyclopedic Guide to the American Movie Musical

It got pretty sparse there, didn't it? Well the times, they are a-changin'!

Ok, when I look at the list on wikipedia, it does not list Evita as a nominee, so I don't know what that business is about, but here is an updated list:

2001 Moulin Rouge!*

2002 Chicago

Yeah, OK, so the times maybe still have some room to change a bit more. Come on, Sweeney Todd!

Winter Reading


Well, I finished Jane Austen Book Club, and it was OK--it made me want to read actual Jane Austen books (which I am sure the author would be glad to hear, so no worries). I like to post the titles just because it will be fun for me to look back on what I was reading a year or so from now. What are you currently reading?

So I am trying to read the following books:

Mary Poppins Comes Back by P.L. Travers

Baby Remember My Name: An Anthology of New Queer Girl Writing Edited by Michelle Tea

Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (the latter of which is one my favorite authors) They are making this into a movie with the adorable Michael Cera

A Christmas Sampler: Classic Stories of the Season, from Twain to Cheever edited by E.A. Crawford and Teresa Kennedy

The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum

I Know this Much is True by Wally Lamb

Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas by C.S. Lewis, Thomas Merton, Philip Yancey, Madeleine L'Engle, Henri Nouwen, Kathleen Norris, Annie Dillard, Dorothy Day, and more.

The Beautiful: Collected Poems by Michelle Tea

The Whole Equation by David Thomson (I have been reading this since the summer of's very dense but fantastic!)

The Prestige by Christoper Priest (I was loving it, left it in Oregon, saw the movie, and now the cat's out of the bag, but I still want to finish it).

And then I am re-reading:

Appetites: Why Women Want by Caroline Knapp, while my mom is enjoying her other book, Drinking: A Love Story

What Would Barbra Do?: How Musicals Changed My Life
by Emma Brockes (I just can't get enough!)

In other news, I saw a great film tonight, an IFC pic called Camp (2003). Some of the characters are more lovable or understandable than others, but the musical performances are great. My favorite parts are the beginning with "How Shall I See You Through My Tears?" and part of the finale, "Here's Where I Stand." Watch them both here.

Think again you pagans!


My favorite television station is hands-down TCM, Turner Classic Movies. While some of you might think, "Um, doesn't anything having to do with Ted Turner remind you of your CNN headquarter experience?" The answer to that would be yes, but I love the station anyway! It shows all my favorite old musicals and movies, and has introduced me to many new favorites! There are no commercials, they do fascinating vignettes on famous actors, and best of all are the marathons. My dream job would certainly be to work for TCM, if only it weren't based in Atlanta.

They also work hard to release old movies to DVD, owning most of the copyrights anyway!

What caused me to write this post? I get a monthly e-mail newsletter from TCM, and on December 25th they are doing all movies about Jesus! Here is the blurb they sent with it:

"And you thought Christmas was about Santa Claus? Think again you pagans! We're here to remind you it's a religious holiday too with our triple feature that includes Jeffrey Hunter in King of Kings (1961)."

I love it: think again you pagans! Also exciting: they are doing a Fred and Ginger marathon for New Year's!

Ah, McSweeney's


Hours of entertainment...I've colored my favorites.

Things You Can Do
If You Love Jesus
Other Than Honk.


- - - -

Send him flowers for no reason

Pass him a note in geography

Make him a mix tape

Set him free

Make an altar to him with his trash

What God Does
in Her Spare Time.


- - - -


Slipper shopping



Practical jokes on James Dobson

Watching the news and crying

Possible Titles for Kanye West's
Next album


- - - -

Grad School

Distance Learning

Taking a Year Off to Work in Your Field

Tedious Application Process

Cramming for the LSATs

Backpacking Through Europe for a While on Your Father's Credit Card


Soul-Crushing Entry-Level Position That Wears on Your Spirit, Your Integrity, Your Ambition, Involves Taking an Inordinate Amount of Shit From People Who Don't Even Have a Degree, and Doesn't Pay Enough to Even Make a Dent in Your Student Loans

Peace Corps

Possible Titles for
My Autobiography


- - - -

Ice Station Hebrew

The Broad Less Traveled

Huckleberry Fanatic

Toujours the Bronx

for Vegans.


- - - -

Let's talk tofurkey.

We had a whale of a time, unless that particular whale happens to be getting illegally harpooned by a boatload of murderous Japanese fishermen. If that's the case, then we just had fun—as much fun as civilized people can have with all the killing going on.

It's a dog-eat-soy-based-food-substance-shaped-into-the-form-of-a-dog world.

Holy cow. Seriously, they're deities.

Running around like a chicken with its head full of hope and possibilities now that everyone has become a vegan.

So hungry I could eat a horse. What? Sometimes I just crave a burger. Is that so unforgivable?

Two Things
That Aren't Covered
by Your Friend
With Benefits.


- - - -

Care for the bitter heartbreak and depression that will inevitably occur when your friend moves on to a real relationship with a mature partner actually worthy of commitment.


Things I Desperately
Wish Women Would Say
to Me on First Dates.


- - - -

"Tell me again about the hidden minus world in Super Mario Bros."

"Is that an XXL Magic: The Gathering shirt? Plus five to Gryffindor!"

"I think Superman represents the federal government, while Batman represents the autonomous local governments."

"Captain Picard, of course!"

"I really enjoyed this date. I'd like it if you called me."

Sentences to
A Tale of Two Cities
Rejected by Dickens
Before He Settled on
"It was the best
of times, it was
the worst of
times ..."


- - - -

In anticipation of her lover's late-night call, Lucie slowly unbuttoned her bodice.

Good times. Bad times. You know I've had my share.

I'd just sat down to my morning pipe when there was a rap on my door, which, by sound alone, led me to believe it was a 5-foot-tall French chimney sweep with the gout.

It was one helluva time.

Marley was as dead as a doornail.

Song Ideas
for My Next Album.


- - - -

A song about a really cool chick and how she turns me on.

A song about how I live life to the utmost and how most folks don't know how to "fly," if you know what I mean.

A song about how strung out I was for a few weeks after you left me. Just let it rain, is what I thought, because that's the way I felt inside.

A song about how important it is to take a chance on love, to just go for it—it's really worth it.

A song about this freaky dude I know who's shunned by everyone else because he's different, but only I see what's loveable about the guy, and that we should all cherish individuality.

A song obliquely about the sex act: an invitation for my ideal woman to come on over and "do me," if you will.

Let's wrap up with a song about how love is really the most important thing and we all ought to live entirely for love, and give love in return.

"If I'm not thinking about my body or calories, I'm probably sleeping or dead"


- 14 year-old girl in Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters

The women linger at the water's edge, and they are stunning in the most unusual way: large women, voluptuous, abundant, delighted. They lounge along the river bank, they lift their arms toward the sun, their hair ripples down their backs, which are smooth and broad and strong. There is softness in the way they move, and also strength and sensuality, as though they revel in the feel of their own heft and substance. 
Step back from the canvas, and observe, think, feel. This is an image of bounty, a view of female physicality in which a woman's hungers are both celebrated and undifferentiated, as though all her appetites are of a piece, the physical and the emotional entwined and given equal weight. Food is love on this landscape, and love is sex, and sex is connection, and connection is food; appetites exist in a full circle, or in a sonata where eating and touching and making love and feeling close are all distinct chords that nonetheless meld with and complement one another. 
Renoir, who created this image, once said that were it not for the female body, he never could have become a painter. This is clear: there is love for women in each detail of the canvas, and love for self, and there is joy, and there is a degree of sensual integration that makes you want to weep, so beautiful it seems, and so elusive.

- Caroline Knapp,
Appetites: Why Women Want

Out with Old, and in with the New Old


Cool Christmas Gift #1:

Five words: Penguin Classics Deluxe Graphic Editions. From the Penguin Group Website:

"Penguin Classics presents the Graphic Classics—timeless works of literature featuring amazing, one-of-a-kind cover illustrations from some of today's best graphic artists."

Some of the covers:

This Wonderful Thing


By Madeleine L'Engle

I've had moments of truth breaking in on me. I don't think that artists have difficulty with the concept of the Holy Spirit because we know that often our best work is not ours. But it's often difficult for us as intellectuals to understand the second person of the Trinity, Jesus. It's hard to understand that the power that made the galaxies came to this earth as a tiny baby.

For many people, our faith swells and diminishes, swells and diminishes. It's not a straight line. But when it's most needed it's there.

I agree with H.A. Williams who says that faith is the acceptance of doubt rather than the repression of it; that what we believe is so incredible that there are moments when it's beyond our capacity to use our imagination to believe this wonderful thing.
(painting by Yueh Mei Cheng)

"I had hoped that they had evolved beyond this."


- Columbia University economics professor Ray Fishman, on the results of his speed-dating study, which found that men avoided women who they believed were smarter or more ambitious than themselves.

Viva La


"If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution."

- Emma Goldman (1869-1940)

Maryann of Arabia

I bought some camel wool mittens this last weekend at St. Mark's holiday bazaar. I loved the smell of them because they reminded me of riding a camel in Tibet. I asked my trivia friends to smell the mittens and guess what animal wool it was. The consensus: "sheep ass."

The ride was a dream come true for me, as I had always wanted to ride a camel, especially after seeing Lawrence of Arabia:

I also saw a very touching film called The Story of the Weeping Camel, which was a National Geographic production in Mongolia. After you watch it it's hard not to think that camels are some of the coolest animals ever to roam the planet.

So, come away with me to memory island...

Artist Betty LaDuke


the source of our life


"My soul pants, yea, thirsts after the living God." Not after a Creed regarding God, not after an idea of God, not after a remembrance of God, not after a Divine Majesty, that, far removed from the soul, stands over against God in words or in phrases, but after God Him[Her]self, after God in His[Her] holy outpouring of strength and grace, after God who is alive, holy exhibition of love reveals Him[Her]self to you and in your as the living God. You feel that all learning falls away, all dogma, all formulas, everything that exhausts itself in words...It is not your idea, not your understanding, not your thinking, not your reasoning, not even your profession of faith, that here can quench the thirst. The home-sickness goes out after God Him[Her]self...It is not the Name of God but God Him[Her]self whom your soul desires and can not do without.

- Abraham Kuyper, To Be Near unto God.

Songs for Swingin' Young Lovers


And old and in-between lovers! iTunes is either really nice or really stupid. Tonight I watched the first season SNL episode with host Madeline Kahn, and she sang this hauntingly beautiful song called "Lost in the Stars" (which, incidentally, is my new favorite song about God) so I looked it up on iTunes. Frank Sinatra sings it, so I clicked on the album it's from. This

is what came up. "Eh," I thought foolishly, "this seems like any early Frank album from Columbia, back when he was king of the bobby-soxers and still making musicals." As most albums on iTunes, this one was listed as $9.99. But then when I went to search for my desired song, I realized something.

This $9.99 album has 97 songs on it. 97 songs. And not crappy throw away songs, either. But "Over the Rainbow", "Stormy Weather", "White Christmas", "Someone to Watch Over Me", "One for My Baby (And One More for the Road)", "Night and Day", "That Old Black Magic" and more.

I know, I know, I sound like an infomercial. But this man is the voice. Some would say they prefer Frank's later years, and true, that musical styling is great. But if you are more into classics and less into lounge music Vegas style, that's all you'll get here. I personally love to have Frank on in the background when I am cleaning or spending time alone or better yet--cooking. He's also great to play at dinner parties.

Usually I would just order the set from the library (which maybe is what you will do), but when I can get good music at a great price--I like to buy it. And I couldn't pass this up! It's a part of American history, and certainly my history of loving classic American songbook ballads, as sung by one of the best male voices ever.

So I just wanted to make sure that any of you out there who might appreciate a collection like this wouldn't miss the opportunity iTunes has decided to give us. 'Ol Blue Eyes is back!

Embarassing Celebrity-osbsession story from Maryann's past #846:

The year Frank Sinatra died (1998) I bought a 365 Days of Frank Sinatra calendar. And still have it in our hall closet in Oregon.

Dark Side of Narnia


I've always enjoyed The Chronicles of Narnia (not the newer film, however), but Philip Pullman, author of the His Dark Materials series (The Golden Compass) raises an interesting point in an interview with Atlantic:

"Pullman gets annoyed whenever he recalls a passage in C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia: In the final book of the series, Lewis excludes Susan Pevensie, the oldest sister, from what is essentially paradise because she is "interested in nothing nowadays except nylons and lipstick and invitations." Pullman, in an essay called "The Dark Side of Narnia," cites this as evidence that Lewis disliked women and sexuality and was "frightened and appalled at the notion of wanting to grow up."

Clearly Lewis liked females--Lucy is his main character in the Narnia books. I wouldn't ever classify him as a misogynist. But I was always saddened by his denial of Susan to paradise based on her liking lipstick and stockings and a social life. Thoughts?


"We sing to feel a world we can only imagine."

- Mary Gordon, quoting a friend who is an expert on liturgical music, in Circling My Mother: A Memoir


If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.

- Cicero