"The whole front third of my foot feels like it's being eaten by a bear."


If someone has ever made you walk slower because they're in high heels, you should watch this.

Part 5 in a 6,837 Part Series of Family Guy Musical References


Season: 3

Episode: 32

Episode Title: One if By Clam, Two if By Sea

Reference: Stewie teaches the daughter (named Eliza!) of the Griffin's new British neighbors how to speak correctly, making a plethora of My Fair Lady references for me to revel in.  Awesomely enough, Brian McFarlane based Stewie's voice on the original Henry Higgins, Rex Harrison.

Arthur Rackham

Is kick-ass.  It's possible when google-imaging that one gets art that isn't actually by the artist you searched for.  If you see any non-Arthur Rackham illustrations here, do let me know.  And to see one particularly lovely one, visit one of Bridget's posts on 8/22/08.  Bridget herself is practically as close to a faerie as one can get.


There Comes the Strangest Moment


by Kate Light

Read it here.



by Elizabeth W. Garber

Read it here

Sculpture by Tsang Cheung-shing

Somewhere I'll Find You


By Phebe Hanson

Read it here.

Show of hands: Who else hoped that the movie The Ballad of Jack and Rose was going to be a Titanic sequel?


As I learned back in January, Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio are hitting the silver screen as lovers once more. Entertainment Weekly was on set, and they captured the attempt to rekindle the chemistry that sent moviegoers back again and again:

It's 3 a.m. on a crow-clogged New York City street and Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet have spent the past few hours trying to fall in love. So far, they've come up just short of true romance. The point of diminishing returns is drawing dangerously close on the set of Revolutionary Road, where the Titanic stars are struggling with an important party scene in which they must meet, connect, and set themselves up for a life of misery together.

"In an effort to stoke passions, director Sam Mendes (Jarhead), Winslet's real-life husband, has been cranking up the volume on a Dean Martin ballad each time they launch into the scene. After 13 takes, with patience running on fumes, someone cues up the music again — only this time a practical joker has replaced Dino with Celine Dion's ''My Heart Will Go On,'' the syrupy but strangely stirring anthem from Titanic. Suddenly, it's as if someone pressed the pause button. Everyone freezes for a good five seconds. And then, without saying a word, DiCaprio wraps Winslet in his arms, she spreads hers, and they re-create the iconic hood-ornament image that was wallpapered all over the planet 11 years ago. The 300 or so extras and onlookers explode into applause, juicing the stars enough to nail the scene on the next take."

Um, how many ways can you say 'swoon'? Did I tell you all about the time when I took a frame with my parents' wedding picture in it and replaced it with a cut-out magazine picture of Leo? And that I put it on my dresser and would kiss his face every morning when I got up? No? Well there you go.

It gets better:

"Winslet, 32, has been hungry to explore different sides of her relationship with DiCaprio, with whom she has remained phone-call-in-the-middle-of-the-night close since Titanic...To nab DiCaprio, Winslet resorted to subterfuge. In March 2007, while they were both in L.A. to attend the Oscars, she arranged to have a drink with DiCaprio, who had finally plowed through the script Winslet had been badgering him to read. But instead of showing up herself, she sent Mendes alone to discuss his vision for the film...and seal the deal. "Leo and I have such a history together and I couldn't imagine not being able to apply that to this story and these characters," says Winslet. "So I played this very clever cat-and-mouse game to get my husband and then my best friend involved."

Her best friend? Collective 'aaawwww.'

There's more:

"DiCaprio was interested in venturing into uncharted terrain: playing a husband and a father. But mostly he saw this as a chance to reconnect with an old pal. "I looked at it almost like doing a play," says the actor, 33. "It was one of those situations where it just focused on these two characters, the degradation of their marriage, and who they think they are. I just thought, Wouldn't it be a wonderful experience to do it with Kate?"


And still:

"I hadn't realized how much my chemistry with him since Titanic would still stick," says Winslet.  "It's great to discover we can just slip right into it, like muscle memory."

I wasn't too excited to see this movie, but NOW...

Ok, one more.  Show of hands: who thought that Dawson's Creek was going to be about Jack Dawson?  

Day Bath


By Debra Spencer

Read it here

You're yearning, burning for somebody to tell you that life ain't passing you by


Today I learned about a project that consisted of an artist's re-imagining of the Footloose soundtrack. Here's the story:
When I was very young, my half-sister Jenny died tragically. She was a teenager, and it was the 80's. She left behind a wardrobe of brightly colored clothes, rainbow stickers, life-size paintings, doodles on lined paper, and hundreds of tapes. These constitute most of my memories of her. It's sad for me to look at these things, and usually I don't. But a couple of summers ago I found a tape of hers with a startling cover photograph - this was Footloose. I couldn't stop listening: it was a portrait of 80's love, desire, pain, freedom, and frenzy; of being a teenager in a time of change. By listening, I could step into Jenny's shoes, see things from her vantage point. I could be emancipated by rock and roll and walkmen, just as she had been. We could listen together.
I asked my friend Thomas to cover the album, which, sheltered as he is, he had never heard before. I was clear that I wanted to him to cover the whole album - the point wasn't to rework any one song, but to re-imagine the picture they made together. With a new Footloose we could reply to the past, tell our own story about being young. This is what he made.
-- Gabriel Greenberg
The artist:

26-year old Thomas Bartlett is one of New York's most in-demand keyboard players, collaborating & touring with artists such as Glen Hansard (Once, Swell Season), The National, Martha Wainwright, Antony, David Byrne, Bebel Gilberto & Yoko Ono. Doveman is Bartlett and his select group of collaborators. When listening to this music you should keep in mind artists such as Frederic Chopin, Cat Power, Keith Jarrett, Talk Talk, and Chris Whitley -- unless you don't know any them or are not a fan, in which case you should keep in mind Nick Drake, The National, Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky, and other, trendier bands whose music has recently appeared in car commercials. Doveman does not rehearse, but they sure can play.
I love it. So much. It's simply perfect and wonderful and depressing. I love all the songs, but I think I love 'Almost Paradise' most of all. Oh, and neither of them has seen the movie, but are waiting to make it a special event. Listen to it here:

Here's the website.

Breaking news.


I'm in Wisconsin.



When you buy a book at a store, start to read it or read it completely and don't like it, do you return it?

Lessons in Tag-lines: Don't go with "The Best Musical. Ever."


Last night my friend Jennifer and I saw A Chorus Line. Neither of us were very familiar with it, and haven't seen the apparently atrocious movie. Luckily our seats were close, but our views were practically ruined by people with enormous heads.

For information on the plot and characters, read the synopsis here. This particular show-within-a-show is very bare-bones: no gimmicks, frills, or huge, elaborate numbers. It's very choreography-driven, and there is a lot of time where the dancers are just standing in a line or by themselves. I found myself drawn to many if not all of the different characters, but neither Jennifer nor I felt really attached or invested in their stories. I had a hard time because even though there's a hint of a love story, it wasn't enough to pull me in the same way other musicals do.

The songs were hit and miss. "One" was my favorite song (not surprisingly), but I also really liked "At the Ballet" but only when they were actually talking about the ballet: "Raise your arms and someone's always there." Sheila's bit really interested me, but the other two girls' stories seemed more commonplace. I also really liked Greg, Paul, Diana and Val (I kept picturing Kristin Chenoweth singing "Tits and Ass" really well).

"What I Did For Love" is a good song...but I kept seeing it as a break-up song for a couple. Which I guess makes sense if you see 'dance' as the thing they were potentially breaking up with. But I didn't buy it. "The Music and the Mirror" scene where Cassie dances her panty-hose off to prove she's a dancer? Meh. When everyone erupted into applause after she finally stopped dancing, I clapped because I was impressed she could dance for that long every night. But as far as the actual dancing went, I was underwhelmed. Why? I have a feeling that watching So You Think You Can Dance has upped my standards.

All in all, I was highly entertained and really glad I saw the show. Jennifer thought that our like but not love of the show might have something to do with the fact that the show has in no way been updated since it debuted on Broadway. The costumes, dialog, attitudes, songs, choreography--all of it is still very late 1970s. Don't get me wrong, I like the 70s, but it felt dated and certainly not ground-breaking in its explorations of identity. But maybe that's because other shows I've seen were able to push those themes farther thanks to barriers broken by A Chorus Line.

So did it live up to its self-proclaimed title of 'the best musical ever'? No. But should you see it? Yes.

Reign of Madness


If you've seen Apocalypse Now (1979), which you definitely should, then you know that it is an epic film. Trailer here.

Before DVDs were invented and a 'making-of' documentary was a given, Eleanor Coppola, Francis' wife, decided to film the making of her husband's Vietnam masterpiece. It's a documentary called Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (opening scene), which also comes highly recommended. It's fascinating to see the obstacles that Coppola, the cast, and his crew had to overcome in order to make this movie, but you have to wonder if it would have been as dark and powerful without the madness.

Which is why it's ingenious and hilarious that the makers of Tropic Thunder have released a trailer for Rain of Madness, a mocumentary of Hearts of Darkness. Watch the trailer (mature content):