A place for anything and everything that comes to mind.

Monday, September 26, 2011

One Month...

I get to see Michael J. Fox in one month. I know you might've tuned into this blog before, so you might know that has some significance. But, I don't think you can TRULY KNOW what that means for me unless you're my husband or the wonderful lass who procured me my tickets.

I try not to idolize people, for it goes against everything I believe in, but if there was one person who got dangerously close to being put upon a pedestal in my life, it would be Michael J. Fox. His roles in Family Ties and Back to the Future were cornerstones in my entertainment youth. But the thing is, the work in those seminal 80s productions STILL hold up today. His turn in Spin City in the mid/late 90s solidified him as an adult sitcom powerhouse, and his battle with Parkinson's is less of a daily battle but more of a daily reminder to everyone else that even when life throws you curve balls, you need to LIVE it. His autobiography is also a satisfying read: he takes a stern look at the way he's lived his life, admits mistakes, and commits to moving ever onward and upward, striving to inspire those who feel pity for themselves.

At the beginning of the school year I had my students write a poem called "What If..." Each student added a line, including myself, and it hangs outside my classroom door. My line? "What if I get to meet and mingle with Michael J. Fox..." Now, I could dream to be that lucky, but I still get to be in the same room as him, listening to his words, and hoping some of his wisdom and optimism rubs off on me. I'll try not to be an eager beaver goon in the front, weeping through his presentation...but I can't make any promises. I do know I'll be one Lucky Me to be able to say I saw my hero in person. I know he'll never see this, or know how much I'm looking forward to this evening that's a month away, but I can hope he feels my good vibes coming at him from the audience.

Monday, September 19, 2011

PJ 20

The much-anticipated Cameron Crowe feature-length documentary, PJ 20, is being screened worldwide tomorrow. I feel it is high time to try to vocalize, or writalize, some Pearl Jam sentiments...though I know they'll just come out sounding unworthy of this band that I have followed for the past 20 years.

Writing that last sentence makes me feel old, yet proud. I am so proud to have been able to say I've followed Pearl Jam since their inception. (And, there's another small word: "followed." So many of the words I will put down will be small, inconsequential, and seemingly daft when talking about such a monumental group of musicians.) While so many of those around me were putting stock in that other "grunge" group, Nirvana, I stood behind the ones that always came second on the list of "exciting new alternative acts." Eddie Vedder's compositions and raw, unchained voice--wavering between low whispers, confident proclamations, and guttural growls--found a space in my head and heart, which were usually reserved for shiny, happy pop . Pearl Jam tapped into something I had never explored before: music with a purpose.

It has been an absolute honor and privilege to be able to say I've set the last 20 years of my life to a soundtrack by Pearl Jam. Sure, others have helped along the way--Robbie Williams, White Stripes, Avett Brothers, the Shins, Justin Timberlake, Amy Winehouse--but Pearl Jam never goes away. Just like the Beatles and Elvis have been constants in my life, so shall Pearl Jam be.
There has been so many PJ 20 things going on: a three-day Labor Day weekend celebration, the screening of the documentary tomorrow, the constant influx of too much swag to wag a finger at (let alone buy). I don't feel like I need those things, though. I need my headphones and my iPod, Vedder singing in my ears, with McCready's guitar behind him, Cameron's drums bringing him up, Ament's bass holding the line, and Gossard doing, uh, whatever it is he feels like doing during that line. And, if I really feel like sharing the love that I feel, I need my windows wide open, Pearl Jam pulsating out of them into the cooling autumn air, and my breath bonded and intertwined with EdVed's, both of them being released into space. And, for a moment driving around the streets of my town, where I first opened up Ten on cassette 20 years ago, for one moment, I'll be a part of this band that has shaped my life.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Remember When...

I was excited for the Twilight movies?
I was super-stoked to see the films?
I spent multiple entries lauding the greatness that was about to be committed to celluloid?

Then Kristen Stewart showed up and crushed every bit of excitement I had for the Twiligh film franchise with her acting skills.
Then Taylor Lautner showed up with his abs, made my middle school girls crazy, and all I heard was TeamJacobTeamJacobTeamJacob!!!

There can be too much of a good thing. I miss enjoying the books: I once enjoyed them so much. Here's the thing, though: the trailer kiiiinda got me excited to see the first installment of the fourth book. (Maybe cause R.Patz is still kiiiinda hot.) I don't know. It comes out the day before my birthday. I'll probably still go, even though I FELL ASLEEP during Eclipse and can't remember anything from my one and only cinema viewing. If the series continues to suck (no pun intended) via film, I still have the very faithful Harry Potter films.

P.S. The movie poster is lame. I'm too t
ired to go searching for better images, though.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Who Says That Smallville is Dead?

I know I've only watched the last three seasons of Smallville "live," but I still feel an emptiness in my fall TV line-up. Sure the way CW spaced out the episodes was inexcusable, sure it ran too long, but I can already feel a super-sized hole in my entertainment heart during this week of brand spankin' new programming.

So, faithful reader, you may be wondering what steps I've taken to feed my need for Supers. I love how curious you are, so let me entertain you with what I've been up to:

1. It's a challenging job, but I've been re-watching every season of Smallville. I tell you what, once I saw that shadow of a cape flutter in the series finale of television's greatest incarnation of the Man of Steel, I felt an instant loss. It's actually been quite amazing re-watching every episode. I'm finding gems hidden in seasons I remembering having sucked. Season five was an absolute delight! I remember complaining non-stop, but it was quite enjoyable the second time around. I found the season-long arcs refreshing after the constant "freak of the week" episodes. True, nothing holds a candle to season 2, but I feel guilty and jaded for having complained so much. Currently I'm on season 7, the last one I own. I am still actively thinking about buying the entire series on DVD come November.

2. It's the little things that count...or the little books. Gotta love that Target Dollar Bin, especially when it makes available to me a Superman coloring and activity book. Staff meetings have never been so much fun!

3. Who hasn't heard of the New 52!?! And if you haven't, then you're not geek enough for me. Husband and Daughter came home last week with a nifty surprise: the new Action Comics #1. It's splendid! I feel a leak in my bank account about to start. I'll never keep up with all of them, but to know there's new Supes out there is reassuring and exciting!

So, that's it, folks: how this lil Super Fan is filling the Smallville void. I'll always have DVD, and now if I could just find the perfect poster to put up in my classroom...

Sunday, September 11, 2011


A beautiful day...a GORGEOUS day. Blue skies. White, fluffy clouds dotting the endless sky. Wet hair, robe wrapped around my still-damp body. Remote in hand, CBS on, planes crashing through towers??? Real time? It can't be. A new movie? Probably. The LIVE in the upper right hand corner tells me the probabilty is false, and a new reality sets in.

Tears streaming down confused, forlorn faces meet me everywhere I go. The Quad never seemed such a long walk before. A professor tells us to plod along, get on with "it," and tuck our emotions away. As future teachers, that's what we'll have to do someday soon anyway. A startled T.A. doesn't want to get on with "it," and smuggles a small TV into our discussion. She doesn't want us to push away our raw feelings but encourages us to share our grief.

Poor brother. Dad leaves the house on fix-it duty, while broham has to stay with his overemotional mother and sister, who can't stop the torrent of tears from sliding down their faces. This trait passed on to me by my mother is a quality I don't want to hide, but for brother's sake, I try that night.

10 years later the feelings are still raw. My heart still aches, my head still swells, I still can't take the site of the plane crashing-taking-changing lives. I don't want to see the smoke billowing up, the running people covered in ash, or remember my brother's somber face as he tried to get through that first night with us beside ourselves.

I told Alba a story today about some men who wanted to change the world by trying to hurt others. I also told her, through a spoken-aloud prayer, that I want to see these men one day, someday, when I get to go "home." I want to tell them, without one hint of irony but with boundless warmth and truth emanating from my heart, "I'M SO HAPPY TO SEE YOU!!! And, I'm so glad you're home with us to revel in goodness and light." That's the happy ending I want...