23 August 2007

An Unwelcomed Silence

It's hard to say which I noticed first, his piercing blue eyes, his ever present smile, or the never ending way he talked.. "Piercing blue eyes" sounds like such a literary cliche, but I've never known anyone with eyes that sharp or that blue.. He was one of the kindest people I've ever known.. He talked more than anyone I've ever met.. He was someone I am proud to have called a friend.. And he will be missed...

Volunteering at the Day Center it was inevitable, given the status of the people that are being served, but after two years without incident I had almost come to take the presence of those I'd met for granted.. That was, until today..

I've just returned from the memorial service of my friend John Casas. He was one of the guys I met through the day center and last week he lost his fight with liver cancer. Cancer that he was fortunate to have only battled with for two weeks..

I'd always enjoyed talking to John, something that was very fortunate because he loved to talk.. Actually, he couldn't' help it. He had some kind of mental issue (a result of a prior battle with brain cancer) that caused him to talk ALL the time. He was friendly to everyone, never in a bad mood, ever helpful, always smiling..

He'd had more than his share of trials in life.. John lost his husband, Dan, to AIDS back in 1989 and I know from talking to him that he never got over losing the love of his life.. And while we, his friends, take comfort in knowing that John is now back with Dan, it was a sad realization to know that none of his family was at the memorial service.. It was a service donated by the United Church of Christ (where the Day Center rents space) and organized by his friends..

I wish his family could have known the man that John was.. I wish that there were more people in the world like him.. I wish I could talk to him once again......

20 August 2007

It's Alive!!

I made the trek to Seattle. I sat on the 4th row. And I was sooo very happy that I hadn't already seen the movie.

As I look over the web and read other people's reviews, I notice that (in the few I could find. the show hasn't officially opened so it hasn't officially been reviewed) every one of them had already seen the movie, and while they enjoyed it, they weren't nearly as impressed with it as I was..

Understandably, for many it was as if the actors in the show weren't playing the characters, they were playing the actors of the movie; I.E Christopher Fitzgerald was playing Marty Feldman playing Igor.... This movie is so well loved, and these are characters that people have gotten so attached to that, unfortunately, a lot of people can't see the show for what it was... Sutton Foster didn't have big enough boobs to play Terri Garr.. Though Roger Bart can sing, he was no Gene Wilder.. Megan Mullally could never fill Madeline Kahn's shoes... To them, the jokes were something they'd laughed at before and punch lines were delivered as expected...

Still, we clapped and cheered and when the show was over we all stood up and yelled, "Bravo!"..

My opinion from the 4th row is this.. I thought it was easily one of the best shows I've seen.. Second only to Wicked and that is mainly because I much prefer the story in Wicked... Even though it wasn't perfected (the candlestick in the holder routine got all confused and when Frankenstein yells from behind the wall to remove it, she already had it in her hand), the costumes were wonderful, the songs were hilarious, and the sets were absolutely amazing!! There were more sets in this show than in all the shows I've seen this year combined.. Among which was a classroom, a boat dock, a town square, a train station, a pub, a "moving" forest (for the hayride scene which was incredible), the outside of the castle, the castle library, a mountain with a cave, and of course the lab which was a site to see (the below pic doesn't do it justice as it cuts out all the special effect sections. you can see a better shot of the lab if you watch the interview link)..

I'm very thankful I was able to see this show.. I'll be cheering for them come Tony night.. I'll buy the soundtrack as soon as it's available and listen to it until I know every note.. I'll surely see it again when it comes through on tour, even if the touring cast isn't as good as the original one... And, for the same reason I never watch movies made of books that I love, I'll never watch the movie.. For me, Roger Bart is Frankenstein, Christopher Fitzgerald is Igor, Andrea Martin is Frau Blucher, and this IS Young Frankenstein...

I took the following picture of the stage curtain with my phone.. And the above picture is of the poster I bought, which I'll have framed with my ticket stub.. The rest of them (taking photos in the show is strictly forbidden) came from the Website Broadway World, but I wanted to share some of the view with you... For a backstage view and song snippets, you can watch a news interview at this LINK.

18 August 2007

Uptown Afternoon

Every third weekend in August, Main St in Vancouver closes for the Uptown Village Street Festival. Being as this is only a couple blocks from my house, it makes for a grand bit of entertainment.

I spent a lovely afternoon wandering among the vendors, talking to people in various info booths, listening to the African All-Stars, eating BBQ, and admiring that street festival staple known as chalk art.

Tomorrow they will have a Classic Harley and Scooter ride.. It's so "Northwest" to have Harley-Davidsons and Vespas riding side by side in the same parade.. Gotta love this place..

(Special thanks to LVH for supplying the means to bring you these photos!!)

14 August 2007

Longest Two Weeks EVER!

The itch has become the focus of my life.. It never completely stops unless I'm asleep....

Must not scratch it!! Must NOT!! .... AAAUUUUUGGGGHHHHHH!!!

(Note: This is just what I have on one arm.. There are patches on my other arm and on both legs! And, believe it or not, it's actually looking better... And as soon as it stops itching, I'll be able to sit here long enough to tell you about the big show...)

06 August 2007

Verge of Madness..

I'm blaming my current state on Abenanna and hairball's mom and whoever else started me geocaching..

A couple weeks ago I picked up a Travel Bug that was part of a race.. Curious at to what kind of race it was, I looked online and found that he could get more points depending on where he went and what he did.. Of course, I wanted to get him the most points possible. He got 9 points for being in a "historical cache" (one that had been place pre-2002), so I found the closest cache that would qualify as historical, and on Wednesday my friends Krys and Mary and I went to drop off this bug in the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge about 15 miles north of here.. After an almost two mile trek through the wilderness, we had successfully scored "Patrick" 9 points..

Saturday I thought I had a couple mosquito bites on my forearm.. And then I saw later that I had a couple more "bites" on my shins.. The itching and scratching gradually increased.. By Sunday morning, there were many more spots on my arms and shins. It was apparent that these weren't mosquito bites.. No.. I had been attacked by poison oak while caching!!

Last night and today, the itching is making me almost insane!! I take the Benadryl, I apply the cream, and still I itch and Itch and ITCH!! From what I can find online, there's really nothing to be done.. But if I suffer through the next two weeks, all should be fine.... TWO WEEKS OF THIS?? I will surely go mad by then.. Surely......