Monday, June 30, 2008

My Blu Heaven

My nutty husband is so crazy and great. He brought home a Blu Ray-player. It's one of those PlayStation 3 contraptions that I know so little about. I'm not much of a gamer. My husband's not much of a gamer either but he wanted a Blu-Ray. After much research and a couple of store returns, he's settled on PlayStation 3.

In order to not upset the wife (I wouldn't have been upset, but nevertheless...) he brought home some Blu-Ray movies that I requested. I decided that I would only select visually lush films that I don't already own on DVD. He brought home the following Blu-Ray movies for our viewing pleasure:

Run Lola Run: We haven't watched but a few minutes. We used it for testing purposes and the menu sure looks nice. The main thing I noticed was how crisp the subtitles appear, so that's nice.

The Fifth Element: Hell yeah, Gary Oldman in high-definition. Yes. Jean-Paul Gaultier in high def, too. It's a crazy cute movie, and it sure does look super pretty on this Blu-Ray thingamajig.

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen: Matt had never even heard of this movie. Strangely enough, thanks to its 20th anniversary, it's the only Terry Gilliam movie that is currently available on Blu-Ray. I hadn't seen this film in years and years, and I had previously only seen it on tv broadcast and once on VHS. Watching this glorious movie on Blu-Ray was like seeing an entirely different movie altogether. It was simply stunning, absolutely gorgeous. I love this movie now more than ever thanks to my new beloved Blu-Ray toy.

The Host: Okay, okay. I already have this on DVD but my copy is a shiesty Region 3 Hong Kong version and the subtitles are crummy as hell. I need the monster rampaging in high definition. I haven't watched it yet, but my hopes are high.

So I'm pretty excited about Blu-Ray now. I didn't really care much before, but the movies look all fancy and pretty and shiny. This is not useful or practical for most movies, but it does seem to enhance the quality of the picture somewhat, especially on films that utilize digital effects. I have no plans to purchase a whole bunch of Blu-Ray films, but I'm open if anyone has any recommendations or suggestions. The Kill Bill movies come out on Blu-Ray in September and I think I'll have to get those (even though I have the DVDs). I'm also considering Bram Stoker's Dracula which is completely nuts cause I already have a VHS and two DVD editions. Perhaps I need one more copy...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Surreal Life

My class begins tonight. I think I'm sort of prepared. Sort of. I always end up winging it most of the time with some cheat sheets.

The class is "A Brief History of Surrealism in Film". Tonight I'll be featuring stuff from the '20s and '30s so it's a piece of cake this evening. Those films were so lovely cause they run an hour at the longest and 2 minutes at the shortest. Hell yeah, 2 minute movie!

Come if you are bored or if you take great pleasure in antagonizing me, cause it's pretty easy to do so in this environment. The cost is $30 and you get four classes (1.5 hrs each) of pure, unadulterated cinematic joy. And no, your $30 doesn't go to me, I barely get paid for this. I do it because I'm a huge nerd and I also have a masochistic streak, obviously.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Shaken baby

(Zoe Jakes, one of my extraordinary instructors, pictured above)

Wow, what a weekend!

The Bellydance Superstars Raqs America event in D.C. was quite an experience, especially for an out-of-shape novice like myself. I'm still exhausted, but I'm starting to feel like a human again.

I'll begin with Thursday night's Gogol Bordello show at Toad's Place in Richmond. Isobel was correct, it was an amazing live experience! We scored some excellent spots atop some risers so I had a great view and could dance a bit without having to deal with the crowd below. The crowd was nuts, I saw this girl after she got clocked hard in the face and she was wrecked. I was ridiculously lucky, I had a great sight line and no one punched me in the face. Gogol was terrific, full of insane energy and exuberance. It was definitely one of the best shows in recent memory.

Then onto D.C. where we arrived at the hotel at 3am. We got to meet up with lovely Emily for lunch and ice cream. Matt played chess in the park at Dupont Circle and then it was time to find the belly dance convention. Thought the venue was nice, it was located in the ghetto.

Workshop #1: Locks, Breaks & Waves with Kami Liddle
Ms. Liddle is a stunner in person. I hadn't met any of the dancers when they were at my theatre last fall. Her workshop was an intense one with lots of focus on muscle isolation. It was difficult for me to keep up. I was fine at slow and medium paced drills, but the faster we went, the more lost I became. Still, I learned quite a bit and have a lot to practice towards. The two hours blew by quickly and I was sore as hell when I awoke Saturday morning.

Workshop #2: Medium Paced Fluid Beledi with Petite Jamilla
This was my very first cabaret style class (I have been focusing almost solely on tribal fusion style). Petite Jamilla is a young little gal from Alabama with the lip liner to prove it. She is mostly known for her whirling dervish-style double veil dances. This class was, for a beginner like myself, not at all medium paced. For me, it was crazy paced. It was a lot of fun and it was the best aerobic workout I've had in a long time. As fun as it was, I was terrible and I didn't learn much other than I'm no cabaret dancer. Petite Jamilla was a good instructor and very sweet, she's supposed to e-mail everyone in the class a picture that she took of all of us.

Workshop #3: Unleashing the Inner Spaz with Zoe Jakes
Zoe Jakes is a delight. She's a tiny person with a big personality. Full of humor and energy, Zoe led us through a 3-hr long crazy workshop filled with all sorts of crazy drills and a short choreography (I'm just awful at learning choreography, especially in a very short time!). It was massive fun, but again it was difficult for me to really keep up as the pace quickened and as the choreography became more layered. Still, again I have lots of little drills to practice until my arms, legs and butt cheeks fall off. Without her makeup, Zoe looks totally different, fresh-faced and youthful and so very cute (not that she isn't supercute with makeup and costume!).

Workshop #4: Spiral Curve & Bend with Kami Liddle
By this time, every inch of my body ached and groaned and creaked like that of an 80-year-old woman. I didn't know how in the hell I was going to make it through another 2 hr workshop. Thank goodness this one was a nice, slow-paced workshop. The stretching actually helped my aching muscles and the drills and choreography were lovely and pretty and SLOW. It was a great way to wind up the weekend. Again, Kami Liddle was a great instructor.

The show on Saturday evening blew hard. It wasn't the caliber of the dancers, they were all amazing, of course! The room in which the show was held was atrocious. It was a giant, un-air conditioned concrete room filled with folding chairs. Stuffed to the gills with sweaty people packed in like sardines, the room was a nightmare. Plus, the floor didn't slope so the sight line was awful and I couldn't see anything. What misery! That was by far the only big disappointment of the weekend.

I saw some great dancers on the open stage on Saturday (including my own amazing instructor Dana Beaufait) and was really impressed by many, amused by others and bored by a handful. All in all, it was excellent. It was a smaller affair than I had imagined, but that intimacy added to the experience. I hope that they do it again some time, just so long as they don't hold the show in the same venue!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Vacation all I ever wanted

Things are on the up and up at the moment. Great changes are afoot at my job. As of today, our business hours are changing from 10am - 6pm to 9am - 5pm. That's right, I'm a 9 to 5 gal now. Sounds lame, but I'm happy. I already get up ridiculously early so I'm happy that I start earlier and thus get home earlier. I have a whole extra hour of playing and movie watching in the evenings now! I'm particularly excited about my extra movie-watching potential.

Tonight, it's Gogol Bordello in Richmond. Isoblog's mistress swears it's an incredible live experience. Then it's on to D.C. where I get to do several things. Raqs America with the Bellydance Superstars promises to be quite a belly dance event with vending, food and workshops. Although Sharon Kihara bailed after eating s#!t on her bicycle, I still get to take workshops with top tribal dancers Kami Liddle and Zoe Jakes. Plus there's a performance to watch Saturday evening.

I also get to hook up with ekroblog's mistress for a date, too!

It's 9:28am. That's only 28 minutes into my new workday and it's boring as can be. I bet this is going to be a very long day.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Yard Dogs Road Show - Black and Blue Burlesque

The cutest thang I ever did see. I can't wait for September!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Giant burrito

I am lazy. I need to post about last week's cool Rilo Kiley show. Fortunately for my lazy bum, lovely Toggle Switch has taken care of that for me. I still might do it, but maybe later.

Instead of an actual post, here's a picture of a giant burrito. The photo was taken with a camera phone about a year ago at a great Mexican restaurant in Roanoke, VA. It was a giant burrito.

Friday, June 13, 2008


R. Kelly was aquitted on all counts of child pornography today. Yup, he was acquitted. I can't believe it, either. O.J., Phil Spector, Baretta, now R. Kelly. Nobody goes to prison anymore (except for Hulk Hogan's kid, and thank goodness for that small favor). Here's the whole story:

Now, I don't know about you nice folks, but I myself am pretty sure that R. Kelly is a perv who likes young girls. He married a 15 year old! But, hey, if this acquittal means more episodes of Trapped in the Closet, then I simply consider both myself and R. to be blessed.

And if you haven't seen the first 24 chapters of Trapped in the Closet, then run to your video store (or just be lazy and click the above link) and do it now. It's hands down the most bizarre thing you will ever see in your entire life.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


I am filled with rage. No, sadness. No, disappointment. Or something. I'm filled with something.

Not one but two out of five workshops that I registered for at the Raqs America belly dance festival next weekend have been canceled. My favorite dancer, Sharon Kihara, was to instruct both. I received an e-mail that she has been in a bike accident. This is truly horrible, yes, and I feel awful for her. I wish her a speedy recovery. The admin folks did issue a refund for both workshops. Still, I'm truly disappointed. She was the reason that I was really psyched for this event. Bummer.

I have much to post about Tuesday's Rilo Kiley performance at the NorVa, but I'm pressed for time (I actually have work to do at my job today) and I'm distracted by this bad news about the workshops. I'll post tomorrow if I can get my head back on straight. Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh..................

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What does Satan eat for dessert?

I found out the answer to the question posed above on Sunday at Dairy Queen.

I am sweets obsessed. My hips and rear are, like the universe, constantly expanding. My expansion is due solely to my weakness for sweets, treats and sugary goodness. I gave up drinking, I gave up smoking, I am having the worst time giving up my desserts.

Matt and I went and had a lovely (and light) sushi dinner Sunday night. Then I needed a sugar fix and remembered a sign that read "YUM YUM COTTON CANDY". I adore cotton candy, especially stuff that's flavored cotton candy like lollipops and ice cream. I love the flavors like party cake and bubble gum that are so super sweet that you're sure to get diabetes simply by smelling the dessert in question. So we hit up the DQ for the latest Blizzard concoction. After all, I had to try it cause it's for a limited time only!

It's a cotton candy Blizzard. It looked beautiful. It was pink with little bits of blue and purple sprinkles. I took one bite and said aloud "OH MY GOD". I'm sure I made some crazy face so Matt asked me what the problem was. I made him eat a bite. He said "OH MY GOD".

It's unreal. It's a dessert from depths of hell. It's without a doubt the sweetest thing I've ever eaten in my life. The ice cream is sweeter than any cotton candy ice cream I've ever had. The little bits of color sprinkles turned out to be pure sugar. The sugar bits crunched in my mouth and I swear that I could feel the cavities forming in my teeth instantly.

It satiated my sugar craving. I got a medium size and I could only eat half. I've never once in my life not been able to finish a dessert, but this was too much for me. It was 8pm when I ate the treat. At 10pm I was still bouncing off the walls and by 11:30pm I had been lying awake for so long and still couldn't fall asleep. I've never really considered sugar to be a drug until Sunday night. I'm surprised that I didn't fall into a diabetic coma.

I ate the rest last night. Again, it was evil. I don't know what I was thinking or why I ate more. Satan works his evil. Never again, I promise that. I looked up the nutrition info on that crazy evil bastard cotton candy Blizzard and the medium size has 800 calories. Yes, you read that right. That's true evil right there, folks. Dairy Queen is the devil. I think I'll stick to Breyers.

Monday, June 9, 2008


(photo graciously taken from mySpace)

Oh yes, yes, yes. September is going to be a good month.

Mercury Rev releases their latest studio albums simultaneously on September 29th. One is available for download only. For more info, go to http://www.mercuryrev.net/ Looks like they are on a new label, too, so visit Yep Roc for info.
I love Mercury Rev so, so much. More than most things in this world. Of all the live shows I've seen in my life, they are one of the best. Oh, I love them so much! I hope they tour, I'll stalk them for as long as possible.

The albums are titled Snowflake Midnight and Strange Attractors. I think it's amusing that my husband used to be in a cheesy covers band called The Strange Attractors.

In other unrelated news, I have been having some very serious family issues. Because of these issues, I am thinking about making this a private blog and/or password protecting entries. If I change my blog address, I will contact my beloved favored bloggers with this information. Sorry to be so cryptic!

P.S. Visit Mercury Rev on mySpace where they have some lovely new promo photos. The second photo from the top (and the image I posted above, yes) shows Jonathan reading an old Playboy magazine. I have that cover framed at home! Good choice, sirs.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Shake it like a preacher waving a gun around, shake it shake it shake it baby!

Although the Raqs America folks are making me sweat cause they have cancelled a workshop I registered for and they cancelled a show that I bought three tickets for and I have received no correspondence, I'm still not having a horrible day.

The Indigo Belly Dance troupe is hitting the road again. I missed their performance in D.C. this past March due to my work schedule, but I will be able to catch them this September. They are opening for a group called Yard Dogs Road Show.
HEY ISOBOT! This Yard Dogs Show seems like it's right up your alley. Have you heard of them?

I bought my tickets and I'm very, very excited. Belly dance and a carnival rock sideshow. Oh, I wish it was this weekend and I wish that I didn't have to wait until September!