Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Gotta cut loose, footloose

In my first life (or, well, until I turned ten), I was a dancer. Not a particularly good one, mind you, but I did my best.  I no longer harbor dreams of dancing with Baryshnikov on the Metropolitan Opera House stage, but I do still like to shake my tailfeathers now and again, usually within the confines of my living room, and occasionally while watching the "Shake and Shimmy Edition" DVD of Hairspray. (They teach you the choreography! It's awesome!  I'll do "Ladies' Choice" right now, if you want to see it.)

Anyway, if you like dancing and/or dance-related movies, as I do, then I bet you'll like this.

After two viewings I've identified clips from:

Dirty Dancing
White Nights
Saturday Night Fever
Singin' in the Rain (and several other Gene Kelly-related clips)
Step Up
Step Up 2: The Streets
Mary Poppins
Kill Bill
West Side Story
Moulin Rouge
Jay and Silent Bob
A movie featuring Jamie Lee Curtis, John Travolta, and terrible 80s leotards, which I've identified as a film called Perfect
American Pie
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Billy Elliot
What I think is Titanic
Strictly Ballroom
Phantom of the Opera
Something with Michael Jackson
High School Musical
Happy Feet
Save the Last Dance
Mamma Mia!
What I think is The Mask of Zorro
Coyote Ugly
Austin Powers
A Knight's Tale

Most surprising? The recent Steve Carell-starring remake of Get Smart.
Most surprising omission: Where the heck is Center Stage?!

There are a number of clips I couldn't identify, but take a look, folks. What did I miss?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

He's baaa-aaack!


It's back.

The mouse, that is. 

It want scampering across the living room floor, straight into the closet, as I watched The Closer last night.  The closet WHERE A TRAP IS ALREADY SET, WITH PEANUT BUTTER AND EVERYTHING.  JUST IN CASE.  The trap did not catch it. (Me, aloud: "What kind of cheap-ass trap IS this?!")

This time, however, I stayed calm.  I was only paralyzed for maybe two minutes, rather than twenty.  I did not summon reinforcements.  I did not hightail it to get traps.  (I did, however, put on my boots.  The calmness would've promptly disappeared if the interloper had gone dashing across my foot.)

This time, it wasn't so gross.  Having more of a profile view of the mouse, rather than birds-eye, it looked more like Stuart Little than a yicky gray rodent.  It was more of a gleeful scamper than a surreptitious scurry.

Then I started wondering whether this was the same mouse who made the brief appearance last fall or a different one.  Which would be better, less creepy/gross?  Is my apartment just a waystation on a rarely-used rodent Underground Railroad?  Or is one mouse (ONE MOUSE.  Not a family of mice.) residing in a cozy mouse-house under the floor somewhere?  I can't decide which I'd prefer.

Anyway, at some point I shall go retrieve more traps and set them all over the damn apartment.  But for now, I may be residing with a mouse.  God help us all.  

Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday roundup

I'm on deadline and consequently just a tad busy today, but I thought you might enjoy these two excellent posts popped up in my Google Reader:

Over at Finejulery, Jules reflects on what we were up to four years ago yesterday--marrying off our bestie Ash out in yonder Missouri.

At Camels and Chocolate, intrepid travel writer Kristin's weekly Photo Friday post explores one of my favorite parts of East Tennessee: historic Jonesborough, where our family first lived when we moved to Tennessee 25 or so years ago.  

Happy Friday, everyone!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Old friends, bookends...

June was a busy month, beginning with my cousin Carissa's high school graduation and ending with a week in the North Carolina mountains and my cousin Elliott's wedding near Atlanta, plus a whole lot of work-related stuff thrown in there in the middle.  And aside from all the festivities with both sides of my extended family, I managed to shoehorn in some quick visits with some old friends.


In North Carolina, I reconnected, pretty much by accident, with my old pal Sarah Ellen.  We were camp friends who saw each other for exactly six days each year during a church music week we attended with our families from the time we were tiny until we graduated from high school.  We kept in touch for a while, but as life progressed, we lost touch.  In recent years I scoured Facebook--no luck--and Googled her periodically, but got nowhere.  But I ran into her sister at music week this year, and lo and behold, Sarah Ellen was coming up later in the week!  And wow, was it good to see her--reunited after a full ten years.

Reunited, and it feels so good
Mo was my best friend in high school.  She was a year older, and when she graduated and headed off to the University of Tennessee--along with a sizable majority of my other good friends--I was a bit lost.  Her family moved to New York City partway through college, making visiting opportunities limited, but we were a regular presence in each other's email and voicemail boxes, I was her maid of honor when she married her awesome husband Justin, and we remained close.  A few years ago, Mo and Justin had a baby, and somehow our friendship sort of....fizzled.  I don't remember exactly how or why. Suddenly, it had been nearly four years since we'd had any contact, though I'd thought about her many times in the interim, and it just seemed stupid.  

I have this theory that there comes a point in your life where you sort of stop making new friends. Not stop entirely, as though you suddenly become a hermit and don't meet new people, but there comes a point where you're done making those BEST friend kinds of people--the ones who remember when you cracked a raw egg on your head in front of 60 of your sixth grade peers, or with whom you spent an evening rinsing orange juice out of an entire suitcase of clothing in your hotel room at senior band clinic, or who suffered through countless nights of fire alarms with you in college.  The ones for whose weddings you'll travel to random midwestern towns, requiring a layover, a rental car, and multi-night hotel stays. Those are the people with whom you develop a friendship shorthand, and there comes a point where starting those kinds of relationships becomes rare. (Or maybe it's only me.  If so and I'm just antisocial, please, let me live with this delusion. It'll be better for everyone.)

Anyway, based on this theory, it seemed like letting one of those people go without a fight was a pretty dumb idea.  Mo lives a mere four hours away from me.  In a city where part of my family lives.  There was no excuse. This could not, nay, WOULD not, go on.

So, a few days before I went to Pittsburgh for Carissa's graduation, I sent an exploratory Facebook message.  How about, say, lunch?  She was game.  And so, on my way back to DC after graduation events, I made a detour.  And voila!

Old friends, plus one
Mo and Justin met me for brunch, I met their hilarious son, and we caught up on as much of the last few years as we could cover over a two-hour meal.  A month later, I got a two-word response to some comment on my Facebook page and burst into laughter.  It wasn't anything outwardly funny, but there was that friendship shorthand again, sending me straight back to high school and our hijinks in the French horn section of the wind ensemble.