Annapalooza

Hot Times in Palm Springs June 21, 2013

It’s the first day of summer! That means vacation time! In honor of this special day, I would like to share one of my most memorable summer vacation stories.

 

The time: Summer, circa 2003

 

The place: Palm Springs

 

The vibe: Hotter than shit

 

The participants: Me and my kick-ass mom

 

The (approximate) conversation, as we are checking into the “bungalow” at our hotel:

 

Mom: Oh, how quaint. We’re in the “Lana Turner” suite!

 

Me: Yeah, this place supposedly has a lot of Old Hollywood history.

 

Mom: Hmmm. That’s kind of odd. There’s a framed photo of Edward Scissorhands  on the wall.

 

Me: Great. That should lull me into some sweet nightmares tonight.

 

Mom: There’s also a picture of Sarah Jessica Parker.

 

Me: And Princess Diana.

 

Mom: (now in the bathroom) And here’s a male ballet dancer.

 

Me: Interesting choice of photography for a hotel room.

 

Mom and Me: Hmmm.

 

We then go about our business of sunbathing, eating, shopping and generally sweating for the next few days until we check out.

 

Mom: Oh. My. God.

 

Me: What?

 

Mom: Look at that sign. Didn’t we see that when we checked in? (Sign: Home of Palm Springs’ first gay and lesbian condo community.)

 

Me: Apparently not. So that explains the pictures in our room.

 

Mom: How?

 

Me: Those are all gay icons. The gays love their SJP.

 

Mom: So this entire week the staff here probably thought that I was your older lesbian lover?

 

Me: I’m afraid so, Mom.

 

Mom: Now THAT is funny.

 

The Footloose Dilemma October 14, 2011

  

I knew this day was coming.  I read the initial announcement and then subsequent casting changes in Us Weekly.  I endured the previews at the movie theater.  I saw (but did not view) the clips posted on my Facebook page. 

That’s right.  I’m talking about the re-make of Footloose which hits theaters nationwide today.

The thing is, I’m terribly torn.  On one hand, it is almost blasphemous to remake such a classic from my childhood.  After all, it produced my first preteen crush in Kevin Bacon (who incidentally was 27 at the time, much like my other crush, Ralph Macchio.  What was with these guys playing teenagers?)  I went to see it at the theater three whole times.  I bought the VHS version as soon as it was available in stores.  My soundtrack tape was played until I knew every song by heart.  I still request the title song at every wedding dance, and I perform the prom dance to the final refrain.

So when I first learned that someone was actually going to touch my baby, I was a bit disturbed.  Who could possibly replace Kevin Bacon, not to mention the brilliant John Lithgow and Dianne Wiest?  What about Ren’s goofy sidekick Willard? (May Chris Penn rest in peace).  And then there is Sarah Jessica Parker as she was breaking out of her nerdy Square Pegs persona.  It’s refreshing proof that she didn’t always weigh 90 pounds. 

It’s not like a Footloose remake has not been attempted before.  I was one of the few who actually saw the Broadway version, and let me tell you folks, it wasn’t pretty.  There was a whole big line dancing number in it.  Line dancing!  I was also pretty miffed when the Footloose icon on my Facebook page automatically changed to the new 2011 version without my permission.  Now when someone sees the list of my favorite movies, they will see the poster for the non-Bacon version.  That’s just not right.

On the other hand, I am a sucker for cheesy dance movies, especially if they contain various musical montages, an art clearly perfected in the mid 1980’s.  To this day I still tease my mom that she would not let me see Dirty Dancing in the theater, even though I was fourteen years old.  I guess she was afraid that I too would be seduced by a thirty-something resort dance instructor.  Anyway, if the dance movie involves preparation for some sort of dance-off or competition, then it’s even better.  Case in point:  Flashdance. Girls Just Want to Have Fun.  Step Up.  Honey.  Breakin’ 2:  Electric Boogaloo.  You get the idea.  In the case of Footloose, it’s Ren teaching Willard how to dance.      

To be fair, some classics have been beautifully remade; True Grit and Pride and Prejudice come to mind.  (I never thought that anyone could replace John Wayne nor Colin Firth, but they turned out just fine).  However, my mind lingers with bothersome questions.  If I see the new movie, will I be betraying my loyalty to the original?  Will I be surrounded by a bunch of teenagers who don’t even realize this is a remake?  Will I then go into a tirade about all the sampling in the music industry and start lecturing a random sixteen year-old about Kid Rock’s horrible mash-up of Werewolves of London and Sweet Home Alabama?  Who knows what will happen.

Sigh…I know what will happen.  Stay tuned for a review.

 

Sweet Dreams are Made of This April 8, 2011

I’ve always had very vivid and detailed dreams.  Sometimes it’s a recurring dream about forgetting my locker combination and not knowing my class schedule on the first day of school.  Most of the time, however, my dreams seem to fit into two other categories I will call “Subconscious” and “Crazytown”.

At first, a dream in the Subconscious category may disguise itself as a Crazytown.  For example, the other night I had a dream that I was watching a commercial of Sarah Jessica Parker hawking my brand of deodorant.  Now at first this seems just plain wacko, but then I realized that a) I was almost out of deodorant, and b) I had just seen a picture of Sarah Jessica in a magazine, taking a walk with her twin daughters.  So naturally these two subconscious thoughts just meshed nicely into a random dream that I could easily explain. 

On the other hand, Crazytown dreams are just too strange to possibly explain.   I tell myself that they are signs of my creative genius lurking within, and I need to harvest this kookiness so I can be rich and famous, a la Tim Burton.

Sample recent dream:  I am sharing a large hotel room with several strangers, and while they are out I am looking at all of their things.  It is Kentucky Derby week, and they all have notes about what horses to bet on.  One of my roommates actually has a horse in the race, and she has special legwarmers for the horse laid out on the bed since the track is full of snow and ice (even though it’s May in Kentucky).  Some of the legwarmers are Victoria’s Secret brand.  (Who knew they made horse apparel?)  Then a friend of mine comes in the room and sleeps in all the beds. I get mad because I have to tidy up the place.  And then I wake up.

Up until now my wacky dreams were simply just that:  wacky.  However, recently I had a truly visionary dream.  The day my stepson left on his big band/choir trip to New York City, I had a dream that he got very ill and was throwing up on the bus.  The next day I told my husband a couple friends about it, commenting how awful it was.  Sure enough, my stepson comes back from the trip and informs us that on the way out to New York he got very sick and threw up several times (thankfully not on the bus).  I couldn’t believe it; my vision was true!  Surely I must be some sort of clairvoyant.  My crazy dreams could be useful!

And then…nothing.  No more foretelling dreams, only wackiness and horrible work-related visions.  Where was my new talent?  All I know is I should have bought a lottery ticket that day.  Sigh…