End of a Decade

Friday, 2 April 2010 02:21 pm
mutantenemy: (craft::firelady)
The first birthday card of the year arrived in the mail four days early. My first guess as I reached into the cavernous mail box, fingers searching for the small envelope was, "Ah, must be Mom."

I was mistaken. Ripping it open right there in the driveway, I was pleasantly surprised to be gifted with a lovely homemade card with beaded accents. Within was "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" stamped in a calming teal ink. Hand-written was, "Best Wishes From The Audubon Society."

How very, very cool. I've only been an official member for less than a month and the kind birding fanatics remembered my birthday. Even before my own mother. *chuckles*

It occurred to me this morning, as I poured my very dark, very rich, and very caffeinated coffee into my Cedars mug, that today is the last day of my 30's. Not simply the last day of a year, but the final day of a decade.

Whoa.

My pre-java-jolted brain wheeled from the significance of just how much time has past. Ten years of learning, stumbling, growing, hurting, loving, and coming into one's own. I started my 30th year in pure Wonder Woman fashion -- literally. Red, blue, white, and yellow streamers decorated my old apartment as Seasons 1 and 2 of the TV show played in the background. One friend brought a specially made WW cake, while another brought his muchly coveted Bennie Berry Juice. The party was filled with friends from all aspects of my life: childhood, dance club, wiccan, and other. I loved introducing them to each other and sitting back to watch the freaky geek sparks fly. The evening eventually ended up at the EMBERS where my dancing friends partied with me until I was the last one standing.

Thirty feels like so long ago. My third decade was when I became an ordained Priestess, loved three men, and watched my father die of prostate cancer. I nourished fledgling friendships and had two of them crash and burn before the decade was out. I made tons of mistakes, but was also gifted with just as many revelations. I wrote first drafts of four novels. I ballroom danced. I got corporately laid off three times and fired once. Now I am curious where my new career will take hold. I learned it was okay to be honest and to say "No". I learned who my real friends are. I learned that all the rebirths I've done from the ashes is not a punishment but what I am meant to do to be who I am. I gained weight and lost it and gained a little of it back. I grew hips on this once stick-straight body and grew my hair long. I reveled in being a redhead and embraced my inner geek. My sass has grown sharper and my heart stronger. I've learned I can be tough when the need calls for it, and be compassionate when others won't. I've learned what I am and what I'm not and have accepted both. All of this in just my third decade of life.


Forty will be awesome. There will be burning, there will be flames, there will be a Firebird spreading her wings; soaring over her old shell as she shines vibrantly in all that she is. And there may even be a margarita or three. Whatever this decade brings, I will not shy from it, I will not cower. I will look it proudly in the eyes and say, "Let's rock."
mutantenemy: (humour::take it to 11)
There are ebbs and flows, mountains and valleys, dry spells and monsoons in one's life, but it definitely correlates to my social life as of recently.

I am not one who needs company 24/7. I don't need to be in constant contact with anyone. I can be perfectly happy entertaining myself by going to the zoo on my own, knitting in a coffee shop, or checking out the latest Tim Burton flick-a-roo. Ever since I was a kid, playing in my room brought me the greatest satisfaction because I only had me and my imagination to keep me from getting bored.

However....this does not mean I am a lone wolf or despise human contact. Quite the contrary. The only thing human I despise is undiluted stupidity / ignorance / over-inflated sense of self-entitlement. In other words, to use one of Dean Winchester's favorite words, I stay the hell away from the douchebags.

I may be an independent person, but I am not 100% myself without my friends. My friends keep me sane, they remind me of how loved I am, and they help me get my groove on when needed. This past weekend was just that. After a long dry spell of social activities (seriously, tumbleweeds were rolling through my apartment), I was inundated with activities galore and reminded, yet again, that I love going out with my fellow freaks. )

A WICKED Good Time!

Sunday, 5 April 2009 02:52 pm
mutantenemy: (elphaba::smirk)
Yesterday was spectacular.

Beyond awesome.

Dare I say it was a megolithical day, even though such a word doesn't exist, it darn well should! )
mutantenemy: (fangirl)
Attend the tale of Sweeney Todd.
His skin was pale and his eye was odd.
He shaved the faces of gentlemen
who never thereafter were heard of again.
He trod a path that few have trod
did Sweeney Todd
the demon barber of fleet street.




Before I fell in love with the Phantom. Before I was doing the Charleston with Roxie Hart. Before I truly embraced the genius of Sondheim, I relished in the darkness and the stark grittiness of Sweeney Todd. No other musical has been able to capture and hold its disdain for society's hypocrites, crimes of injustice and ironic humor like the tortured barber of Fleet Street.

For my birthday, Himself treated me with two tickets to the traveling production which happened to be in town for only a week. As he had never been witness to a live musical stage performance, I took him. Nothing in the world compares to a live performance, even one where half the characters are slaughtered by the curtain call.

There have been quite a few revivals of "Sweeney Todd", but the one I am most familiar with was the first, a 1979 production staring Len Cariou and Angela Lansbury. One evening I caught it on OPB while I was zoned out and flipping through the channels every half a second like any teenager would do. All of a sudden I was watching this tale of murder, mayhem and meat pies. I fell in love with it immediately. But because I loved the original so much, how would I take to it's reinterpretation for 2008? Just almost thirty years later?

One towering wood planked wall with an equally towering bookcase against it. Each shelf housed knick-knacks, dolls in bird cages, a Christian cross and framed photos. At the base of this tower was a piano. The stage was set. And there was a man. A few men actually and a few women. They stood there with lifeless faces, lights streaming up through the wood-planked floor and it reflected off the instruments they were holding. Instruments? All of these actors were going to play their own instruments? Dear lord. What a distraction that will be! It will sound tinny and bare and horrible!



Tinny and bare? Absolutely. All the grandeur of a massive orchestra was stripped away so all you would be forced to witness was the bare blood and bones of the story. No glamour here. Horrible? Yes, but in the most delicious of ways. To watch the mischievous Mrs. Lovitt work her wiles on Mr. Todd as she helps dispose the bodies of those less fortunate to NOT be on Sweeney's good side. To witness the slow, mental disintegration of poor Toby. And to behold the blunt, erotic desires of Judge Turpin as he flogs himself for wishing to see beyond his ward's muslin gown -- a ward who he has raised since childhood, who is like a daughter.

I had overheard during the intermission how some folks did not like the actors playing their own instruments. Not because they were bad, truth be told, they were all very well gifted musicians. But because they felt it took away from the story. I do not agree. All while they played, they were positioned off to the side of the single set stage. The only comparison I can make is....remember the first time you watched a movie in widescreen? Those black bars along the top and bottom were rather annoying, weren't they? Yet after 20 or 30 minutes you didn't notice them anymore because you were so engrossed in the film. This stage production was the same way. After a while, I barely noticed, only heard.



The minimalistic approach worked. So did changing the era. Originally "Sweeney Todd" takes place around the turn of the century, but in this interpretation it takes place during the Depression. Still dirty and gritty and desperate, but with a hint of modern flair (love the black leather jackets some of the men wore). And the two leading actors playing Todd and Lovitt had the best chemistry and the most impeccable comic timing. "Have a Little Priest" was the best version I had ever seen, even better than the one in Burton's movie.



All I have left to say is.....best birthday present ever.