Monday, July 23, 2007

An Open Letter to Donny Osmond


Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is one of my favorite musical plays. I have seen many productions of this play. Ever since you did your stint as Joseph in the 1999 production, I have wanted to see it. My MIL had the opportunity to see it live when your show traveled to SLC. She enjoyed the show. Recently, as a birthday present, my MIL gave me a DVD copy of this particular production. I was really excited to see it and share it with my children because it would allow them to finally see the visual story line [we have had a CD of another version for many years and they enjoy the songs, but they had never been able to fully appreciate the entire story on the stage].

How sorely disappointed I was to see that You, a man who should have some sense of moral compass, allowed yourself to be portrayed as a Joseph who does not flee from the grasps of Potipher’s wife. That is a main part of the story. Joseph flees from her! My kids know the Bible version. He flees! That is one central part that makes Joseph’s character so great. To be a part of a production that illustrates otherwise diminishes the value of the story and wrecks the moral high road that you have trodden for most of your life. Was it worth the money?


Sorely Disappointed in Lubbock

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Random Storyish

The Bed Warden

Each night the old man sat at the foot of the bed like some warden. Was he there to protect or keep us confined? Were there silhouettes of minions or just the need to see us off to sleep? Some questions are never answered in life, especially in our childhood. Like many other summer nights, this one was hot. The ceiling fan twirled in a blur: little comfort could it bring. Was he still watching, or had he dozed off himself?

I don’t recall what brought the warden the first time. I just know that he’s been around for some time now, like clock work. Strange part is, when I awake, he’s the shadows of the night. The warden, he don’t say much. Just sits there and listens to the music of the night. He’s kind enough to change the CD periodically, so we don’t get so tired of the same old songs. My eyelids always get so heavy. Does he make it through the entire CD? The oiled hinges of the door always muffle his escape. Why does he get to escape? The Phantom Warden. That’s what he is. What are the benefits of being a warden? Is there a health and dental plan? Is it volunteer work? Is he more like the tooth fairy that has some strange complex and obsession? The rumpled bedding near my feet offer no answers. Let me ponder, perhaps inspiration will follow, silently.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Paradox Of Lubbock

Following stereotypes, Texas is supposed to be rough and tough-cowboy central. Last night my wife and I had a chance to see the flip side. Lubbock has an event called First Friday Art Trail. It’s free. It involves art. It involves trolleys. Yes trolleys. And it takes place on the first Friday of the month. It get’s even crazier than that. Let me unfold last night’s events. We showed up at the Buddy Holly Museum [one of the two main starting points] and there we had the chance to listen to some music from the emerald isle out in the open air of the veranda. Roan-inish was the name of the rag-tag band and they even had a lil lass dancing an occasional a mini River Dance.

The event uses four different trolleys. San Fran style is the only way to go! So we hopped onto a trolley and off we went to the next “display” of local talent. Of all possible places to set up an artistic display, the place we ended up was at the bottom of the list. A Subaru dealership. That’s right folks. A used car lot. Inside the store, they had some very nice pottery, some pretty oil paintings, some nice hand made wood furniture, some acrylic paintings that my five year old could have done [yes, I said a 5 year old... at the risk of offending readers who may view art to be anything produced by a proclaimed artist], and some handmade [possible factory made from China] jewelry. Our voyeuristic journey was over in less than five minutes. This meant that we still had some time to kill before the next trolley came to whisk us away to our next stop. So we looked at used cars. I ought to add that in addition to selling Subaru’s, they also dabbled in Cadillac, Lexus, BMW, and there were some nice cars to look at and some hefty price tags to go with them.

At last came the trolley and off we went to a much larger facility and there we saw paintings, artistic quilts, photographs, sculptures, pottery and other canvassed art. I also ought to mention that each place served refreshments...and did I mention that it was all free? Our last leg of the journey, before heading back to the Buddy Holly Shrine, was at the Tornado, were we saw more paintings, sculptures, and a Spanish dancer. Upon our return we sat and listened to more of Roan-inish. They even brought out a bag pipe. By then it was time for us to retrieve our brood from the neighbors and send them off to bed.

All in all it was a smashing night. And we made a mental note to scratch off car dealerships from any future outings that involve art. So you see us Texans have a soft spot for culture, we just have to scrape the cow pies off the boots, cinch up the bolo tie, polish our belt bucket and six shooters, and dust off our Stetson and we’z ready for the opera.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Responsible Parenting

Uhhhhh.....let’s see now, we have been doing this 4th of July with kids thing for 11 years now and would you believe it, this was the first year that our kids sat and enjoyed one of them there big city folk firework shows.

You see, you have to understand the dichotomy of the situation. I was raised as one of them kids who regularly enjoyed the big shows until my 16th year and the Stadium of Fire was more of a Stadium of Ice (but that’s another story). My wife on the other hand was raised with a different set of traditions. Her family had block fire work shows...those who lived on the block all added to the pot-luck or stash of fireworks and then they would light them off after it got dark. Once we was married we just stuck with the tradition from her side of the family and that was that. Our kids never felt like they were missing out.

Last year was the first year that we found ourselves alone for the 4th. Being in the great state of Texas, we decided to purchase [legally] the cool fireworks...the kind that leave the ground. We then decided to get together with another friend of the family and we had our own private show...and watched some of the neighbor’s fireworks.

I’m sure that most of you are aware that these “legal” fireworks are just the toddler version of the “excuse me, but do you have a permit for these” fireworks that the bigger cities usually light off.

This year we decided to brave the crowds and attend the fireworks in the park [free admission] celebration. I think whenever you attach the word free, it tends to bring folks out of the wood works...hey it brought us out. Nevertheless, we found a spot in which we could park and lay out a blanket. Now our kids were not used to having to wait [being pretty much idle for an 1 1/2 hrs.] for it to get dark enough for the city to do its thing. As such they was a plenty tired and ornery. We almost packed up and went home when 10:05 rolled around and they still hadn’t started...after all, we had already watched as plenty of other folks nearby just set off their own fireworks as fast as they could touch the punk to the fuse.

Lo and Behold, the real firework show began and the kids were all a oooohhhhss and aaahhhhhhs and “Mom did you see that one?!” or “Dad, can you believe that one looked like Saturn?” The bottom line is, the show was a success. Our kids exclaimed several times that they wanted to come watch them again next year.