Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The One That Got Away

One of my closest friends just found her wedding dress at Kleinfeld. As soon as she slipped on her gown, she knew it was The One. It was a real live Say Yes to the Dress moment. When she emerged from her designated area to peer at herself in the store's big, central mirror, shoppers around her made comments. Tears were shed. It was a fairytale wedding dress shopping experience, and I was so thrilled for my friend when she recounted her story to me.

I, on the other hand, did not have a traditional fairytale wedding dress shopping experience; it was more of a dysfunctional fairytale situation. Don't get me wrong--I was accompanied by loving women and even a couple of uncomfortable men. These patient people, especially my mom, joined me on many visits to many stores. I recounted my experience here and here. What I didn't discuss was how I finally settled on My Dress, and how I have lingering feelings for The One That Got Away...

Monday, April 27, 2015

That Theatergoer Life

Tis the season to take in theater performances. Since seeing Constellations back in March I've been lucky enough to secure seats for On the 20th Century and Fish in the Dark.

My dad had recommended "On the 20th Century" and I was sold once I learned that Kristin Chenoweth, of my favorite TV show ever, was a lead. Chenoweth and her cast members, including Peter Gallagher, were phenomenal. They had so much energy onstage and their performances were so impressive. Thespians are the ultimate brave souls. The actors in "20th Century" sang their hearts out, danced in well-done choreographies and generally hammed it up. Taking in their talent was a real treat. I didn't love the storyline, but the play was still suburb.

Louis C.K. spoke about his appreciation for stage actors in a recent Hollywood Reporter article:

Every time I go to a Broadway play of any kind — good or bad — as soon as the lights go out and people come onstage and start to speak, I start to cry. I can't help it. The first minute of any play feels really stupid — they're pretending the audience isn't there, and they're having this loud dialogue, and you're like, "What the f— are these people doing?" — but it's so vulnerable. It's such an effort, and it's such a generous thing to do, and so I always get all choked up.

I agree with Louis C.K. completely. I have so much empathy and love for live actors, even Larry David :)

Larry David didn't get me choked up during his performance in "Fish in the Dark," although I did verge on being teary-eyed from laughter. "Fish in the Dark" was hysterically funny. The acting was good (no singing or choreography required) and the storyline was witty. The dialogue was so smart and, in true Larry David fashion, at times uncomfortable. Of course, Larry David has made a lucrative career out of creating characters who say socially unacceptable things. A New York Magazine article by Benjamin Wallace explains:

The Larry David of Curb Your Enthusiasm is a curmudgeon and misanthrope unconcerned with niceties. David himself conceives of the character as the person he’d like to be, if he weren’t impeded by social constraints. 

Wallace goes on to explain that these misanthrope characters David creates are dissimilar to Larry David himself:

[H]is friends are used to having to explain that he’s not really the guy on the TV screen. They’ll describe him using shockingly off-brand words like “tremendously sweet” (Jason Alexander) and “kind” (Jeff Garlin) and “so generous in every way” (Steve Adams). [Anna] Shapiro (director of Fish in the Dark) says she was initially wary. “I thought he would be neurotic in a not-amusing way. I thought I would encounter the darkness behind his humor. And I just haven’t had that. I find him to be incredibly warm, very friendly, really nice, and in the relationship really respectful, really generous. I can’t say enough about him as a person.”

David may be a sweetheart himself, but his characters are outrageous in ways we all wish we could be. And that's what makes his work so enjoyable.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Provence: Part 4

Day 4 was wacky. We were returning to our Provence home base: Avignon. En route we took in some totally unique sights. We rode through a town having some sort of fair. Locals were setting up a stage and testing microphones, clearly preparing for a special musical performance. They were also hosting one special guest: a bull. There was a huge, snorting bull running around an enclosed part of village. Little boys kept taunting the bull with noises and movements. The townspeople thought it was hysterical. I thought it was animal cruelty. So we hit the road.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Provence: Part 3

Day 3 was intense. The road wasn't mountainous,  but it was tricky. At some point we took a wrong turn and we became completely lost. We ended up off-roading in a vineyard. For real. After many minutes (felt like forever) of slowly biking over branches and debris, we figured we had to be going the wrong way. Also, we had to escape our scary whereabouts. There were "beware of animal" signs and I was sure we were about to encounter a snake and/or bear. So we turned around. We ended up making many wrong turns before finally finding other humans who kindly pointed us towards our destination: Graveson. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Provence: Part 2

On day two we got our wish for mountainous terrain. We rode from St. Remy to Arles on hills so steep I had to dismount my bike and walk, panting, legs burning, eyes squinting in the sun and sweat, along the road. Again, we didn't see many other people for the most part. But at one point a car came by and its driver yelled at us to get out of the way. We were confused. On one hand we didn't actually know what the driver had yelled. We don't speak French. On the other hand, get out of the way for what? Then the freaking Tour de France whizzed by. OK, it wasn't actually the Tour de France, but it was a real deal professional bike race. Hoards of skinny men on skinny bikes came racing down the mountain at such a speed I was flabbergasted. (See below for photos.) This at least made us feel like we were the real deal, biking along a real bike route. And wishing we were back on the beginner trail...

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Provence: Part 1

I've been getting one very annoying distress signal on my iPhone lately: My storage is full. I cannot download new apps or even take photos. Womp womp. So I've been painstakingly deleting photos, one by one. Many of these pictures have already been uploaded to Instagram or Facebook, so it's no big deal. Yet, it still pains me each time I have to confirm deletion of a beloved photo. My husband accuses me of being a picture hoarder, and he's right. (I also balk at the idea of deleting the photos off a digital camera memory card, even after said photos have been uploaded to a computer and hard drive.) 

The upside of having to go through old photos is that I get to take a trip down memory lane and reminisce about past travels. I just deleted, for instance, hundreds of images from a bicycle adventure in Provence. I look back on that trip with such fondness and I'm happy to share some South of France memories here.


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