Saturday, August 08, 2009

Sometimes you just gotta take a break...

Tip to toe, originally uploaded by Kodamakitty.

I'm finishing up a week off from work and then the rest of August will be spent trying to get back on a schedule. Hopefully that will include more regular blogging too.

Classes begin in three weeks, yikes!


Sunday, June 21, 2009

CHESS in Concert live at Albert Hall

Initial verdict: for completists and fans of Idina Menzel, Adam Pascal or Josh Groban only.

I loooooove this musical. I don't necessarily love every recording of it. And there are quite a few recordings of it at this point. Still, I was thrilled as punch to see this disc (and the "Highlights from" single disc) at Target. Target! CHESS! Wow!

But, I am sad to say, this version of the musical does not thrill me. Josh Groban is great, Adam Pascal is great. But Idina seems to be channelling either Maureen from RENT (she played Mimi in the Original Broadway Cast) or Ani di Franco, who tends to use her nasal delivery as a tongue-in-cheek affect. Menzel's Florence is brash and brassy and not in a good way.

Also glaring to me are the lyrics, written by the brilliant Tim Rice, which seem to be diluted and diminished with each successive recording. Brilliant turns of phrase have been changed to be more obvious and incidental music and dialogue added to, well, I'm really not sure for what purpose other than to appeal to the some sort of musical adoring crowd who can't infer what's going on.

A few year's back the Actor's Fund of America staged a similar production with Groban and Pascal but with Julia Murney as Florence and Sutton Foster (seen more recently as Coco in Season 1 of Flight of the Conchords) as Svetlana. Maybe now that the book rights seem to have been straightened out, that version can be released. You can see footage of that production on YouTube - unfortunately, it's a fairly motley collection of rehearsal and concert footage:

As a completist (more or less), I am glad to have the 2008 version in my library (I still need the flawed and doomed Broadway version) and I will most likely seek out the DVD or at least try to record the concert on PBS.

Ultimately, the original concert album, followed by the amazing Danish version (sung in English) are my top picks for anyone who wants to really hear why so many people are oddly obsessed with this musical. I am sure there will be passionate debates about who is the best Florence or Anatoly or what the ultimate recording is/was/would be - but at least this means that CHESS has not faded into obscurity and will hopefully continue for many years ahead.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

A very belated thank you!

DSCF1228, originally uploaded by Kodamakitty.

Geoffrey had these gorgeous flowers sent to my office as an end-of-the semester surprise. The note says, "I just wanted to give you something to look at other than a student or a computer screen. Love, Geoffrey."

*sigh* I love that man.

That evening, Geoffrey also gave me MONO:

These plush microbes are so cute, you almost forget how icky they can be in real life!

Thank you, sweetie. I'm a very lucky girl!


Thursday, April 02, 2009


I was catching up on my Google Reader and there was a picture of a billboard for something called Gama-Go. I clicked on it and found a bunch of super cute, limited edition stuff, including this bag. The design is called "Ninja Kitty." Hopefully they don't sell out anytime soon - this might be my birthday splurge!


Thursday, March 26, 2009

New Blog - "Bastante Bien"

daffodils banner 2.jpg
Originally uploaded by Kodamakitty.

"I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish enough "Hello's" to get you through the final "Goodbye."

- Bob Perks

This was the thought behind titling my new blog, "Bastante Bien." I still want to keep this blog for the fun and funny things that interest me (and I hope interest you, too), but the new blog will be to track my progress in changing my eating habits and trying to start a family.

Just as a warning, this new blog will be a bit on the girly side, in terms of talking about my potential diagnosis with PCOS - Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome. I hope to write in a way that will be interesting to anyone who stumbles across it, but it will also be a way for me to journal the side effects (good and bad!) of beginning treatment.

See you either here or there!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Oh yeah, summer is on the way

And with it - amazing songs on the radio like this:
"Lucky" Official Video With Colbie Caillat

I know, this album isn't new - it came out nearly a year ago, but I was listening to the radio (96.7, oh how I love those crazy Canadians) and heard this and had to track it down. I'll bet every wedding from here to September will be playing this at least once. And deservedly so.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

A new start

A new start
Originally uploaded by Kodamakitty.

I will most likely be blogging about my trials and tribulations with trying to lose weight on a joint venture with my cousin Joann, but for now, I wanted to jot down a few thoughts before I forgot them all. At least I can blame the medication if I do!

On Monday, March 16, I had a second visit to my new ob/gyn. Pre-Med students, take note - bedside manner extends beyond the bedside and it can be the difference between a patient who listens to what you have to say, not to mention one who actually decides to return to your office and one who either disregards what you suggest or doesn't come back. Suffice it to say, I haven't seen my old ob/gyn for at least 4 years.

Old ob/gyn (which sounds like one of the background nicknames for the dancer on the left in CATS) clearly missed tons of clues about why after three years of not not trying, I still wasn't pregnant. Now, I fully disclose that I have been overweight since, like, the fourth grade, but still, this new doctor got it in one and I am now have a tentative diagnosis of PCOS - Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. I'll spare you the gory details (or at least save them for the new blog, lol), but at least now I feel like I have more of the bigger picture to work with.

It's funny, my parents both have/had type II diabetes, and I know how I'm supposed to be eating, sleeping, and moving, but until the reality of needing to lose weight becomes more concrete, it's easier to put things off until tomorrow and just have another slice of pizza. I still plan to be able to have that piece of pizza, only it will now be a bit smaller and accompanied by a large salad.

One thing I noticed about today - it's Saturday, and obviously, my weekends are less structured than my normal Monday - Friday routine. Today was a bit difficult because I was more in tune with my urges to munch on something - was I actually hungry? And what if I was, what was a good snack? Today's answer? A slice of whole wheat toast with exactly one serving of marmelade and some raspberry leaf tea. Not a lot, but just enough.

I'm not following any actual diets, and I'm looking at the Nutrition Panel primarily to work out proper portions and to avoid excessive fat/salt/nasty stuff. I don't want this to be a diet, I want it to be a lifestyle change. So this pic is of my new food sleep/food/water log. My plan is to become more aware of what I am eating and hopefully not become so aware as to be obsessed. Wish me luck!


Thursday, February 05, 2009

I've been tumbl'd!

"Detroit Edison" would be a good hobo name...

It's not what you think - unless you mean being included as a short featured quick post on someone's tumblr, then why yes, I guess it is: John Commoner's tumblr, Jan. 11

Oh, web 2.0, when will you stop teasing me with all your promises of social networking and connectedness? I must say, tumblr is very tempting in the "here's where I can post what I think is cool and not say why" category, like examining how someone decorated their high school locker as a way of seeing who they were. And not that I haven't enjoyed this blog, but I'm just not on it as much as I am on facebook (oh the shame!) and twitter. It's not that I don't think I have anything to say, I just don't seem to have the time or inclination to say it in a way that justifies having a blog. I don't journal that way, if it makes sense. The blogs I do follow all have (more or less) regular postings that constantly make it fresh and interesting, while I'm hard-pressed to post an entry more than once a month!

It's something to think about, especially since I need to start to pare down my distractions. I'll keep you posted.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

John Hodgman Sings! And plays the Ukulele!

Oh, I wish I was there! We were in Texas when John Hodgman came to Ann Arbor for his book tour for "More Information Than You Require," but he was sans Jonathan Coulton, whom I have blogged about numerous times before, I know.

Without further ado, here's the latest song I cannot get out of my head:

It just makes me smile - hope you do too!