Friday, March 23, 2007

Simply Irresistible

Flipping through channels tonight I came across one of my all-time favorite movies, Simply Irresistible. One of my favorite quotes comes from this movie -

I just love dessert. It's the whole point of the meal.

The movie stars Sarah Michelle Gellar and Sean Patrick Flannery. Patricia Clarkson, Dylan Baker, Betty Buckley and Amanda Peet costar. The music is absolutely wonderful.

Sweet and magical, this movie never fails to make me smile.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Sunday, Take Two

I was supposed to go to see Mamma Mia! in Charlotte today. Since I never heard whether I was supposed to meet or whether I was to be picked up, I missed the matinee.

Instead, Jake came up from UNC-C and Don, Gina and Shelby came over. We hadn't seen Jake since Christmas, so it was nice being with him. We caught each other up on the latest news (Barbara, Rose, new office move, The Vagina Monologues, etc.) and started "Game Night" with a crokinole tournament. I decided not to participate. Flicking round wooden chips across a "table" that resembles a dart board is not my thing. (I flick too hard.) I cheered Cade who scored some big points for a 4-year old.

We broke for come homemade chili and beer. Some of us went downstairs to check out Guitar Hero, the hot new PS2 game. Mallorie, who originally scoffed at the game, is quite the rocker. Don recovered very well after getting booed by the "audience". Shelby also did well. Allan was kicked off the "stage".

Next up was poker. Now, I've no idea on how to really play poker. I understand the basic concept, but I have to be told when to put in money and how much (little and big blinds). But I love to play especially when it's not real money involved. Just before we broke for dessert, I was winning.

After everyone left, I went back downstairs to watch Mallorie rock out. She let me have a turn, and while I wasn't booed off the stage, it was slow going. Mallorie changed the game to a practice session and after getting the hang of that I moved on to the easy mode. I can't remember the song, but I did fairly well hitting and maintaing the notes. I was even relaxed enough to tap my foot to the musical beat. Mallorie kept asking for a turn and I kept telling her to wait. The game certainly is addictive.

We are all planning on getting together on Saturday. More crokinole, poker and my new favorite, Guitar Hero. Rock on!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Judging Books by the Cover

Okay, I'll admit it. I do judge books based on the attractiveness of their covers. This doesn't make me a bad person, does it? I mean, I recognize that I could be missing some really good books simply due to a lack of pretty packaging. So, when I was at The Strand in New York, after perusing 3 of the 18 miles they claim to have in books, I decided to buy a plain book. Since the book was only $1.00, I knew I'd potentially gain much more than I would loose. The book I selected is a hardback book, blue with green binding. The title, come together, was small; the lettering in plain gold.

I just finished the book, and I must say, it was pretty good.

Jack and Amy are two twentysomething singles living in London. Jack is an artist working part-time in a gallery and prowls the bars by night looking to score. Amy is a temp with dreams of becoming a fashion designer. When the two meet at a party, they spend the whole night talking. Jack starts out trying to seduce Amy into a casual fling, he ends up falling for her hard.

The book alternates he said-she said chapters. Although it's pretty predictable, there are some laugh out loud moments. Apparently the authors, Josie Lloyd and Emlyn Rees became a couple while writing the book.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

V-Day. Until the Violence Stops

Well, I am done "Reclaiming Cunt". At least for another year. The 2007 production of The Vagina Monologues was earlier tonight.

Peg, Annemarie, Andrea and I were a bit nervous about our "Wear/Say" montage. All of us were dropping lines during a quick run-thru earlier today. We ran it about 10 times before the show started and, I'm happy to report, we performed perfectly.

My first monologue was "The Crooked Braid" which I had never seen performed. In the monologue, an American-Indian woman recounts a tale of abuse from her husband and finally decides to cut off his braid, his mark of pride, while he slept. It's a very difficult piece, inspired by the women of Pine Ridge Reservation. It's a beautifully written, haunting monologue and I especially wanted to honor the voices of these women. Finding the rhythm of the piece was challenging. During our final dress rehearsal I made several of the women cry. That was my goal for tonight.

The stage was dark except for the spotlight on me as I sat in a rocking chair. I looked out at the audience and saw their outline. As I delivered the monologue, I could sense that I was connecting with each person in the audience. As I delivered the last lines of the piece and as the spotlight went out, I could tell the audience was speechless. There was no applause, none was needed. As I started to exit I could hear the sniffles. And I saw the tears in the eyes of a few of my castmates who were waiting backstage. I achieved my goal.

"Reclaiming Cunt" was my last monologue, and the same one I did last year. I originally planned on a costume that was similar to the one I wore last year. (This was last year's costume.) Instead I decided to reclaim cunt in an elegant manner. I wore a burgundy gown with black opera gloves. Everyone loved the visual. I mean, there I was, in formal dress, expressing how much I like the word cunt.

I nailed this piece as well. My only gripe is that I got cut off. After getting the audience to yell "Cunt!" along with me, I usually end by "singing" the c-word in a very loud voice, complete with outstretched arms. Unfortunately they called the lights after the audience shouted the c-word for the second time. Oh, well. There's always next year.

We won't have attendance or money statistics for several weeks, but I believe the fundraiser was a success. I felt it was a success, for me personally, as well as for all the women (and a few men) involved with the production. As Eve says, "Pussies Unite!"

Monday, March 05, 2007

Ah Yes, I Remember It Well

I flew home from LaGuardia last night. I didn't have a problem using the kiosk to check in. However, there was one flight that had been cancelled and two others were delayed. There was one passenger who was irate and quite a few more who were grumbling to the ticket counter agents. What these passengers should have been doing was counting themselves very lucky that it wasn't Christmas and it didn't snow.

I worked for The Office of Consumer Affairs at US Airways during the Sabre computer cutover in December 1997. At that time US Airways employees were in the midst of a computer system learning curve, further impacted by increased holiday travel and a huge snowstorm in the North.

US Airways Sees More Check-In Problems
Charlotte, Philadelphia, Boston, Las Vegas Expect Delays
PHOENIX (March 5) - US Airways passengers were encouraged to check-in using the company's Web site while the airline continued to work Monday to repair malfunctioning check-in kiosks that created long lines and delayed travelers in some cities over the weekend.
The Tempe-based airline hoped to have the kiosks repaired by the end of the day, said US Airways spokesman Morgan Durrant. "We're hoping," he said. "There probably won't be one silver bullet that we can find to fix everything."

Problems with kiosks in Charlotte, Philadelphia, Boston and Las Vegas began Sunday after the airline put a computerized reservation system in place, delaying some passengers for at least an hour and a half in Las Vegas and Charlotte, the airline's largest hub.

The system is a consolidation of the reservation systems of US Airways Group Inc. and America West Airlines, which combined in 2005.

Elise Eberwein, an airline spokeswoman, said passengers should check in for their flights online so they can avoid possible lines. The online check-in option was shut down for part of the weekend because of the system consolidation.

"One of the problems contributing to the problems yesterday was the Web check-in was unavailable," added Durrant. "Folks who are accustomed to doing that can do that again."

Durrant said there were flight delays Sunday but that US Airways flights were "running fairly on time" Monday. There were no cancellations, he said.

At Boston's Logan International Airport, lines were unusually long at US Airways' check-in counter on Sunday, but no flights departing Logan were canceled because of the malfunction, airport spokesman Phil Orlandella said.

Lines were somewhat shorter Monday as all US Airways passengers checked in with staff at the counter, rather than using the kiosks, Orlandella said.

"There have been no major problems - it's just an inconvenience," he said.

Michelle Mohr, another US Airways spokeswoman, said the airline's Pittsburgh kiosks have not been working since Sunday morning, but that additional local staff had been assigned to help passengers and disruptions were minimal.

"We're putting some fixes into place," she said. "We're working night and day and have a team dedicated to bringing those kiosks back online."

US Airways is advising travelers to arrive at the airport two hours early for domestic flights, Mohr said.
Even though many passengers were affected by this past weekend's Sabre to Shares cutover, it was nothing compared to 1997.

Friday, March 02, 2007

NYC, Friday Afternoon

Well of course I didn't get much sleep. I was too keyed up to stay asleep. I think I saw some part of every hour.

Neither one of us had any problems checking in and we both breezed through TSA security. Our flight was delayed in departing, but I didn't mind. I just sat back, grabbed the US Airways In-Flight magazine and enjoyed the ride.

Ken had arranged a limo to take us from LaGuardia into the city. I felt a bit like a celebrity! It took a good 45 minutes so I was able to close my eyes for a bit. We arrived at the hotel and dropped off our luggage since our rooms weren't ready.

The weather was cold and a bit drizzly. We hung around in the MoMA (that's the Museum of Modern Art for you non-New Yorkers) gift shop and stopped at one of the millions of Starbuck's. We walked down Broadway to locate some of the theatres and then we walked to 5th Avenue. (I bought some mascara in Saks.)

We headed back to the hotel around 2p and were able to check-in. Each of us took quick naps and after freshening up we headed out for dinner. We ate at this really neat Italian restaurant. (I can't remember the name of the was something Italian.) The food was wonderful and the service excellent.

It was a bit more windy as we walked to the theatre. I didn't mind. I was too excited about seeing my very first Broadway show.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Dreams Really Do Come True

Can you believe that I have never seen a Broadway show? Wait, let me clarify that. I mean, I have seen several touring productions of Broadway shows. Cats, Rent (3 times), and The Producers are among those I've seen in Greensboro and Charlotte. Mallorie, a mere 14 year old, has seen two(!) Broadway shows. And while I've been to New York several times, mostly for shopping, I have never attended a Broadway show.

That will change tomorrow.

Ken and I are flying to NYC and, over the course of the weekend, we will see 4(!) shows. I am incredibly excited.

There's no better person than Ken to make my dream a reality. He lived in New York for 10 years, so he knows his way around the city. He's also very up on the latest Broadway news. Ken and I go to all the local theatre shows together, and since he's my best friend, I simply can't imagine a trip like this without him!

Alright, it's getting late. I really need to head to bed as we have to get up at o'dark thirty to drive to Greensboro for our flight. I hope I can sleep....I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve!