The Freaking Queen

 

 

I’ve started watching “The Crown” on Netflix and I’m smitten.

 

When I first saw “Brideshead Revisited” in the 1980s, I realized I was an Anglophile. Still am. I’ve tried to escape it, but we are what we are, friends. I fell hard for that series then and I’m now falling for “The Crown.”

 

None of it’s perfect. Flaws abound. There is truth and there is fiction. There is laughter and there are tears. There is hope and there is abandonment. As long as there is entertainment, I will watch.

 

On this date in 1940, the future Queen Elizabeth II gave her very first address to Britain on the BBC’s Children’s Hour radio program. She was 14 years old. As good a reason as any to think of that fabulous gal.

 

And for the interwebz police, I give you this. The painting shown above is indeed based on a photo. It is based on a photo I staged myself, of myself, and not on anything else. Put that in your fucking e-hat and smoke it. Clearly – the interwebz police and I have a history. Word.

“The Librarians”

 

 

Recently I saw an ad for a TNT show – “The Librarians.” The 2nd season just started and for some reason, I missed this show last year during its 1st season. I thought I’d give it a try, but didn’t really expect it to take. I mean, I thought there might be potential, but then again… You know what I’m saying?

 

Anyhoo – I’ve now watched the entire 1st season and I’m a smitten kitten for this one. It has elements of “Doctor Who,” Harry Potter and “Friday the 13th: The Series.” I don’t want to say it’s like any of those, it just reminds me of them all. And one more thing: It has heart. Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t cried or anything while watching the show. But I have smiled and I’ve shaken my head in wonder when they’ve gotten key moments so very right. I can’t vouch for any of the math or science referenced in the episodes, but that’s not the point. The point is to be entertained. And I have been.

 

So I’m glad I gave this one a shot. And now I plan to start the 2nd season, which I’ll no doubt catch up on soon. It makes me happy to have a new show to follow, especially one with a sci-fi/fantasy slant. I can hardly wait to see what happens next.

Mandatory Fun

 

 

 

Once upon a time, there lived a dude named Mister. And that dude got it in his head that seeing Weird Al Yankovic in concert would be a treat. Well – Mister was the kind of guy who, once he set his mind to something, he was a-gonna see it through. And that’s how we ended up at L.A.’s Greek Theatre over the weekend, at the last domestic date of Weird Al’s “Mandatory Fun Tour.” (The tour is now headed to Europe.)

 

 

We were there with our friend, Would-Be Sue, and y’all – I was not prepared for how awesome that show would be. Sure – Weird Al took us down memory lane, to revisit the parody songs of our childhood, like “Fat”…

 

 

But then there were new-to-me parodies, as well as amazing medleys.

 

 

And serious costume changes.

 

 

At one point Weird Al began singing “Wanna B Ur Lovr.” And it was hilarious.

 

 

And then he climbed down from the stage…

 

 

And he started making his way up the aisle…

 

 

And then he was across the aisle, singing to a chick and rubbing his butt in the face of the dude beside her…

 

 

And then Weird Al went all the way up the aisle, as far as he could go, thrilling the people in the back.

 

 

He then started making his way back down the aisle, and I thought he’d just be all business and get to the stage. But I was wrong. Because when he reached our row, Weird Al leaned in and – I swear to beans – looked me in the eye and sang, “You must have fallen from heaven. That would explain how you messed up your face!” Now before any hyper-sensitive person find offence in this, let me assure you I did not. I nearly fell off my seat from laughter, and I’m pretty sure I pulled a muscle from contorting my body in joyous hilarity, but offence was nowhere to be found. A short time later, Weird Al was back on the stage and launching into the next song.

 

 

By the time the encore rolled around, my face was about to crack. After he closed the show with “Yoda,” I was downright elated.

 

 

As we made our way out of the theatre and then home, Mister, Would-Be Sue and I talked about the experience. We were overcome with the astounding creativity involved in the night’s performance. And the band – which I understand has been with Weird Al since the 1980s – was incredibly tight. The professionalism displayed that night blew my mind. And honestly, I was ridiculously inspired by the whole experience. I think the show ran about 2 hours, and I can honestly say there was no lull. 18 songs and various video interstitials kept the energy levels high and revving.

 

 

Once upon a time, there lived a dude named Mister. And that dude got it in his head that seeing Weird Al Yankovic in concert would be a treat. And he was right. It truly was.

 

That’s Entertainment

 

 

Last week I was talking to my cuzzin and she told me about a giant tome her book club had tackled. Apparently it was several hundred pages, and all members of the club read the book. She said a lively discussion took place at their meeting. The verdict? Not one of them liked the book. My cuzzin said the ugly behavior of the book’s teen characters just didn’t resonate.

 

After hearing about the book, I told my cuzzin how I avoid certain books / movies / shows, as they’re simply not for me. I’m not their target audience. And I’m okay with that. Truth is I’ve grown out of a lot of the world’s media. No sense in denying it.

 

None of this bothers me, as there’s so much entertainment out there that I haven’t outgrown. There’s a ton of timeless literature I’ll never be able to get through, no matter how hard I try. And movies and TV are about story-telling. When done well, it’s ageless.

 

While talking with my cuzzin, I told her about a new show I’m watching – “Grace and Frankie.” Though I’m nowhere near the age of its main characters (70-ish), I’m super-enjoying it. It’s thought-provoking and Lily freakin’ Tomlin is in it! I’ve loved that chick all my life. Anyhoo – some of the show’s subjects are outside my little world, but they’re approached intelligently and with heart. That, friends, is a show doing it well.

 

Today I’m fresh off last night’s season finale of “Game of Thrones.” “The Knick” won’t be back until August. Summer’s popcorn movies are about to hit. My book shelves are overflowing with to-be-read pages. It may simply be that I’m a gal who’s easily entertained. I’m okay with that. As long as the entertainment is top-notch.

 

Cheers to creativity!

Crazy Bird

 

 

Mister and I have noticed a crazy bird hanging out by the cement pond. This little dude sits on the side for a while, then dive-bombs his own reflection. About a jillion times. Seriously – he can’t resist himself.

 

Anyhoo – he shows up from time to time and we get a kick out of his appearances. It’s good entertainment. Nature TV.

 

Ladies Arm Wrestling

 

 

Late notice, I know…

 

For those of you in Los Angeles with no plans this evening, I encourage you to get your butts to the Bootleg Theater for some Ladies Arm Wrestling.

 

That’s right! Ladies Arm Wrestling is returning to The Bootleg for a night of pageantry, entertainment and brute strength. Seriously – I attended the last go-round and it was one of my favorite outings ever! If entertainment isn’t quite enough to motivate you, how about this: all proceeds go to Cooking With Gabby – a nonprofit dedicated to ending hunger and creating better lives for children from birth on.

 

For me, the charity angle is icing. Ladies Arm Wrestling is a magnificent attraction on its own. Give it a shot! And if you go, be sure to tell “Sister Patricia Pistolwhip” I sent you. Then watch her smack down her rivals! Woo-hoo!

 

The Professor

 

 

Note: I wrote this a few days ago, but am only now posting.

 

Russell Johnson, “The Professor” on Gilligan’s Island, has died.

 

I know untold criticism has been leveled at the show. I know some of you may think it’s the dopiest waste of time on the planet. For all I know, you’re right. But there is something more to be said about it: Gilligan’s Island saved my life.

 

These are the opening words of a short story I recently shared at my women’s writing group: “I was first left alone to babysit my two young sisters when I was 6 years old. As I had no idea what I was doing and in fact needed my very own babysitter, I turned to the only source of comfort in our house: the television. Early on, my TV-sitter of choice was Gilligan’s Island. Those re-runs kept me company and helped me laugh.”  You may need to re-read those words in order to understand the gravity of what I’m trying to express. I was 6. Responsibilities larger than my small frame were placed upon my shoulders. I was in the first grade, y’all. It was terrifying and overwhelming to have to care for my 2 small sisters. I was incapable of the task, but no choice was given. I broke down more than once, sobbing because I didn’t know what to do or how to process my situation. To have an escape – in any form – was life-saving. TV was my only escape.

 

There were other shows, sure. But Gilligan’s Island was my favorite. Here were 7 people in the impossible situation of being stranded on a tropical island, with no means of rescue. They were all different, and yet they somehow managed to survive. No, I take that back. They somehow managed to thrive in the face of their isolation. And “The Professor” was a key player in their lives. He re-charged radio batteries with pennies for cry-eye. “The Professor” rose to every challenge and never showed defeat.

 

I looked to “The Professor” the way some might have looked to their uncles or big brothers. He was smart and funny. Trustworthy. And when I saw him handling challenges on the island, I was inspired to do my best to handle the nut-job challenges in my little kid world. And the laughter? All I can tell you is I didn’t completely lose my mind during that time. I think laughing had a lot to do with that.

 

When I watch Gilligan’s Island these days, it is purely for entertainment. I usually pop in a DVD while ironing. It helps to pass the time and yes, it keeps me company. As it happens, I have a fairly decent pile of laundry in need of my ironing attention. Some time in the next few days, maybe I’ll get out my ironing board and my Gilligan’s Island collection. It’s the least I can do for “Roy Hinkley” after all he did for me.