Answering Your Questions…

So, in my last post, I asked all of you lovely readers for questions about me that you would like answered. Here’s what I got:

Pazzy asks:

If your life actually WAS a movie, what would be the song in the opening credits?

“Better When I’m Dancin'” -Meghan Trainor. Reasons being:

1: I love her, love the song, love to dance, all adds up to wonderfulness.

2: It’s peppy, and would make great opening credits, especially since my life as a movie would be full of the weird, wild, and zany.

3: Just listen to it:

 

Toni H asks:

What is your favorite memory from the past year?

Can I have two? I’m going to have two, and…Can I answer with a picture? I’m going to answer with a picture:

1:

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This girl…(yes I am sitting on her, and yes, we are laughing so hard that we’re crying…deal with it, we’re cool) reconnecting with her has brought back so many wonderful memories, and brought on so many new adventures. The very best memory so far though has to be our recent vandalism and brush with the law…. and when I say brush with the law, i really mean no one saw us….and when I say vandalism what I really mean is that we didn’t even vandalize anything…just threw a sign in a ditch and felt like a bad a**…

2:

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Anything that has to do with this total nut. We have adventures, we have deep conversations, we dance together… We compliment each other in personality and interests, and differ from each other enough that we’re constantly learning about the world through the other person. I’m thankful for the memories we’re making together.

Daryl E asks:

How did you become such a big musical fan?

Ah yes…how did the obsession begin? Haha, well, I started young… My Aunt Betsy, theater person extraordinaire, and my mother brought a copy of the OBC (Original Broadway Cast) recording of Into the Woods into the house.

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Thus began my obsession with al things broadway, and Stephen Sondheim… (genius, I like him better than Lloyd Webber, don’t judge…) In all seriousness though, the movie does not quite measure up to the original, and you have not seen Into the Woods until you have seen the incomparable Bernadette Peters play the witch.

 

NO offense meant to Meryl Streep…but Bernadette just plays off the sarcastic, narcissistic, and slightly (okay often more than slightly) inappropriate witch perfectly!!

Then Betsy brought Wicked into the house and it was ALL over….

 

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Notice how it stars Idina Menzel…10 years before her “Adele Dazeem” stardom.

There’s so much creativity out there, and musicals embrace it. They take me away, and wrap me up in a story full of vibrant characters, conflict, and beautiful music. Honestly, I think musicals were going to find me, whether Betsy brought them in the house or not.

Grace S asks:

Childhood Pets?

I had a lot of goldfish…all of which died under mysterious circumstances…

Then there was Angus…devil cat…spawn of all evil…290181_278016252241450_976412914_o

Just look at those soulless eyes…waiting to kill you at the slightest sign of weakness…*shudder*

And you all know Cooper (or dingus extraordinary, whatever works)

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‘nough said…

CuriouslyCuriousInMichigan asks:

 What’s your favorite flower, and your idea of a perfect date?

Well… until I learned that they could kill my cat, I really loved Sweet Peas, or the idea of Sweet Peas…I’m honestly not sure. They’re weird a** flowers. Anyway I recently discovered and adore the Hybrid Tea Rose…

I love how they have the classic tight rose in the center, but are also large and…blossoming…I guess…hahaha, I don’t need to justify a why, I just love them.

And as for my idea of a perfect date…that’s a little bit harder to answer, I really haven’t considered what my “single perfect date” looks like. To be perfectly honest, I just love a good adventure. Things like museums, antique stores, giant airplane hangars…a really great movie…as long as someone else has made the plan, and I get to spend time with a certain someone 😉 I’m happy…

And finally…

Mark C asks:

What is your favorite place in the world? ( He also asked me about Woodchucks chucking wood, but I refused to answer that one)

Favorite place I’ve been?

‘Cause, my favorite place that I’ve been is New York City, which you’re all aware of. However, specifically, my favorite place is this little book shop in on W 40th.

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It’s called The Drama Book Shop, and it’s a teeny little shop full of scripts and books about the production of Broadway Musicals…It’s my happy place 🙂


 

That’s all I’ve got for you this time around! Hope I answered all the questions to your satisfaction. If not, or if you have more questions for me, you can comment below, or email me at QuestionsForMae@gmail.com, and I’ll do another questions post soon!

Love to all, as always,

Mae

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Little Reminders

There’s this guy I know, and every once in a while, when you catch him tired, and introspective…he’ll say something heartfelt and beautiful. Tonight, he brought up his passion for science and life, and it reminded me of something that I forget way too often.

Life is full of beauty. Little teeny tiny things that we don’t see going on, that are making the planet turn.

But see, this guy reminded me of something else, something he said the other day, but didn’t sink in entirely until now.

See, the thing is, that science unintentionally proves the existence of a higher power. Life is too intricate and too complex to have just happened. There had to be someone directing it, and tonight, I experienced the joy of seeing someone I care about find joy in this fact. For me, it’s music, my last post, RENT, little acts of kindness that make up what I see as God’s love on earth.

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For this guy…it’s looking at the woods, the sunlight, a worm on the ground, and seeing God’s amazing creation, and then turning around and getting to see it again in what he’s studying on a daily basis.

For each of us it’s different, and I was reminded of that tonight, all thanks to one person and their ineffable ability to make the everyday extraordinary, just by being them….

Whatever that thing is for you, I hope you find it, and I hope you get to see someone else get one of these reminders, because it’s beautiful and humbling.

Love to all, as always,

Mae

20 Years of Jonathan Larson

20 years ago today, a masterpiece premiered on Broadway.

Jonathan Larson’s musical RENT was a revelation, it shook up the world in the same ways that Hamilton is taking the world by storm now. It spoke to the trials of the age in a way that the generation of the 90s’ could relate to. Set in the end of the AIDS epidemic of the 80s’ as the decade concludes, RENT follows a group of starving artists and performers as they attempt to make their way, love each other, and somehow, find a way to love themselves.  Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 2.53.57 PM

The main characters are hugely important, as are all main characters, but they are offset by a huge ensemble of talented individuals as well.

chorus

The story of RENT is just as much about the ensemble, who play a variety of roles including the homeless, and the parents of various main characters, as it is about the city itself.  The set is sparse, depicting anything from Mark and Roger’s apartment, to the streets of NYC, to the performance space where Maureen hosts her protest. Any set changes are made by the cast carrying something onstage, and the band is onstage as well, hidden in the corner, rocking out through most of the show.

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RENT focuses mostly on these guys:

mark & roger

Mark and Roger. Roger is a former band frontman and Guitarist. He’s been in withdrawal for a year preceding the events of the musical, “His girlfriend April left a note, saying ‘We’ve got AIDS’ before slitting her wrists in the bathroom..” He’s a recovered drug addict, and afraid of finding love again, in his mind, he’s just going to die anyway, so why connect?  Mark is a filmmaker, having decided to just film his friends and see what comes of it, most of the story is narrated by him, an outsider, who is inside the group.  The first lines of the musical are spoken by Mark (The quirky redhead on the left 🙂 )

“We begin on Christmas Eve with me, Mark, and my roommate, Roger. We
live in an industrial loft on the corner of 11th street and Avenue B, the top
floor of what was once a music publishing factory. Old rock ‘n’ roll posters
hang on the walls. They have Roger’s picture advertising gigs at CBGB’s and
the Pyramid Club. We have an illegal wood burning stove; its exhaust pipe
crawls up to a skylight. All of our electrical appliances are plugged into one
thick extension cord which snakes its way out a window. Outside, a small tent
city has sprung up in the lot next to our building. Inside, we are freezing
because we have no heat.”

This exposition is probably the largest block of spoken word in the musical. The rest of the story is told through song and a few scattered pieces of dialect. RENT is what is called a Rock Opera, and is a modern (in 1996) take on the classical opera “La Boheme”, which is a depiction of the bohemians living in Paris.

Mark and Roger are fighting with this guy:

Benny

Benny, (played in the original cast by the devilishly handsome and charming Taye Diggs) who used to be their roommate. However, he abandoned the Bohemian life to, as Maureen so eloquently puts it during her protest later in the musical, “Live as a lapdog to a wealthy daughter of the revolution.” In reality, he married Allison Grey of the “Westport Greys,” but the picture of him as a lapdog is much funnier, and certainly accurate, as he ends up agreeing to his father-in-law’s every whim. He’s trying to realize the dream of a film/music production company in the lot next door to Mark and Roger’s building, but he has to suck up to Mr. Grey to make it happen. He threatens to evict the entire building if they don’t pay their rent, after promising Mark and Roger they could stay free of charge.

Also in the building is Mimi:

Mimi

Attractive, charismatic, sexy, a dancer at the Cat Scratch Club, and an addict. She lives just below Mark and Roger, she dated Benny for a while there after he and Allison got married…her moral compass isn’t always pointing in the right direction, but part of that is due to her constant searching for belonging, she’s a roamer, she longs for love, but has AIDS and is afraid like Roger to get too close to someone, at the same time, she gets far too close too quickly, resulting in disastrous remission when he has to break away. She’s a classic dual character, afraid and confidant all at the same time. She falls for Roger and spends most the musical trying hard to make him open up to her, when he finally does, she blows it, and everything spirals downhill.

Maureen and Joanne are characters with big personalities:

Maureen and Joanne

Maureen is Mark’s Ex-girlfriend, who broke up with him to be with Joanne, who is a lawyer and polar opposite to Maureen’s flamboyant performer personality. The two are constantly fighting, mostly about Maureen’s crazy living style and outrageous behavior. Joanne begins feeling like an outsider in the group, but eventually comes into her own and joins in their wild activities and little family.

Then there’s Collins and Angel:

Collins and Angel

Collins is a former professor at NYU,  I think that Mark’s introduction does him justice better than I ever could: “Enter Tom Collins, computer genius, teacher, vagabond anarchist, who ran naked through the Parthenon…” He shows up towards the beginning of the musical, he gets mugged on his way to Mark and Roger’s flat, and is picked up by Angel.

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Angel gets two pictures because of how important she is. Angel is a drag queen, one of the many flamboyant and out of this world characters floating around Alphabet City. She’s more than that though; Angel is the glue that holds the RENT family together. She is kind, and witty, and protective; she does everything in her power to keep them going, even though she has AIDS and is slowly dying. Angel is this depiction of God’s goodness on earth. Sure, she’s living a life full of sin by Biblical standards and teachings, but Jesus didn’t hang out with the “Holier Than Thou” crowd, Jesus was out there hanging with the Tax Collectors, Fishermen, and the sinners of the world. Angel does the same, this good person, kind, loving, and very real doesn’t choose to shun this small family, instead she comes in with the motto “Today for you, tomorrow for me.” Angel spends the musical putting everyone before herself…so much so, that without her, the family falls apart completely…

So, I’ve told you about the characters, and explained at least a little bit of the plot (probably too much actually) but I haven’t told you about the genius behind it. This guy:

Jonathan and rent

This is Jonathan Larson, he doesn’t look like much, but the guy was a genius. He saw these people on the streets, and he looked at “La Boheme” and he saw love, and grace, and kindness, and anger, and pain, and he infused it into a story that people of all generations can relate to. I love the phrase on the poster in the picture “A  work-in-progress of a rock opera by Jonathan Larson.” Larson never got to see RENT become a hit. The night before the show’s Broadway premiere, Larson died of an Aortic Aneurysm, so if you think about it, RENT which was still in it’s previews, was never a fully completed process. What you see when you watch the taped performance of the show, or see a live production, or if you were very lucky and saw it while it was still on Broadway, you are seeing Larson’s original vision; the unfinished and raw material that took a generation by storm.

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On the outside RENT looks like a gritty, bitter, drug and sex filled Broadway musical about people whining about money and how they’re dying. On the inside though, it’s so much more. It’s a depiction of love, and honor, and care for each other. It shows us how to live with freedom, to “Forget Regret” and live every day as if it is the last day that we’ll ever live. There really is “no day but today” for many people out there, but as exhausting as living in this mentality is, it’s also freeing.

Forget Regret has special meaning to me.

I regret a lot, be it little things, or bigger things, I’m the kind of person who will say something and regret it late at night as it plays out in my head. I lived for a long time, in shame, anger, and guilt, whether I had reason to or not. RENT helped draw me out of that. It pulled me up by the bootstraps and immersed me in a world where I was watching people deal with the exact same problem, in different aspects of their life. Then, they were handed a Christ figure ( in the literary sense of the term, I’m in no means implying that Jesus was a cross-dresser) and through relationship with Angel (by the way, name is an obvious plot point, her name is Angel, she’s basically the groups guardian angel…but I digress) they learn to love themselves and each other.

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I got this the day after I turned 18. The minute I could, I went to the tattoo parlor and got Jonathan Larson’s words permanently etched into my skin. This seems a bit drastic to some people, when I tell them it’s in reference to a musical I get some funny glances, but at the end of the day, it means something to me, and that’s all the matters. The numbers at the bottom spell “Angel” by the way, in case you were wondering. This for me is a constant reminder that your past, is your past, what you said or did yesterday, it doesn’t matter. It may effect, or shape who you are, but every encounter does. If you regret what you do, you’re regretting this wonderful, beautiful life that God gave you. So, when i look at my tattoo, on a daily basis, it reminds me, not only of a musical that I love, but of God’s unfailing forgiveness, his peace, and the joy that I have in knowing that he doesn’t regret me, so I shouldn’t regret myself.

So thank you Jonathan Larson, for 20 years of joy, tears, and music. Thank you for teaching me what it means to live fully. Thank you for writing something that inspires me to be better. Thank you, so much, you will not be forgotten, and your masterpiece will be a part of my heart forever.

Love to all, as always,

Mae

Patriotic Nicknames…

Hi everyone, My name is America. Before you ask, no, my parents are not super patriotic, no I don’t like to be called ‘Merica and no, I’m definitely not named after the little girl from Where the Heart Is. You know, that Natalie Portman movie where she has a kid in Walmart? I especially hate having any of our countries patriotic theme songs sang at me or anywhere near me. Why is this? Well, to talk about that, we have to talk about how bullying isn’t always bullying, and how people don’t realize they’re hurting someone’s feelings.

I was home schooled from fourth grade through high school, but before that I went through three different public schools in my district. None of them were exempt from teasing and poking at me and my name. Some of it was from the adults, and it wasn’t meant to be teasing. I got a lot of Miss America, America the Beautiful, stuff like that. From the kids it was a different story.

We forget how mean kids can be. Now, the kids who teased me weren’t half as mean to me as they could have been, and they teased me about other things besides my name, but my name is the most memorable thing. When something is such a big part of you, you’re not going to forget it. I indured taunting voices singing patriotic songs at me, and jokes like “you must LOVE 4th of July right? It’s celebration ALL about you” all through elementary school. Which doesn’t sound to bad right? Try getting it every day. It of course didn’t help that I was a great target. I was easily riled up and one of those kids who would get upset when kids said something to me.

I still am pretty easily offended by these jokes, less so by people who know me really well, Hope and I go back and forth with jokes, I joke about her, she jokes about me. Mark makes jokes, I tend to kick him, but, we both know that’s its less violent than friendly poking at each other. Cat also makes jokes, the main problem there is that she’s impossible to get angry with, and just acts so cute that you can’t possibly tell her off, or push her over…I tend to just steal her hat, or whatever she’s wearing on her head at the time. When it comes to people in public, I’ve gotten really good at the smile and ignore it route. Especially as a retail worker. I get a lot of jokes about my name from customers, and all I can do is smile, fake laugh and move on. Pretending not to notice is good too, but more often I pretend I don’t mind. It’s not easy.

One of these days maybe it’ll stop bothering me….maybe…

Love to all, as always,

Mae

Really???

Ok. Here’s the thing. I see a HUGE amount of stupid stuff on the internet during the day, be it on Facebook, Instagram, News websites, or things that I click on accidentally. A lot of these things piss me off, or make me want to share an opinion, but I don’t. Who want’s to get involved in a political debate? Or get your ass kicked because you have an opinion thats slightly different from someone else’s? I don’t, but I’ve been getting sick of not standing up for some things. So today I am.

I opened Facebook an hour or so ago to check up on some friends feeds, you know, see what people are up to, the normal day to day. Instead I found a normal torrent of political crap, lots of controversial oppinions, and people arguing with each other about those two things. Hidden in this sea of stuff, was an article about November 24th’s Google Doodle, and the “uproar” it was causing in the Christian and Scientific Communities on that day. All I have to say is….REALLY???

First of all: Why is this still being shared around? It happened two months ago.

Second: Google is allowed to put whatever the Hell they want on their homepage. If it offends you, don’t look at it, or better yet, use a different search engine, you definitely won’t have to look at it then!!

So those of you who don’t know about this are probably wondering what I’m talking about right now, and for the sake of being able to rant about it in a minute, here’s some background…(even though part of my complaint is that it’s still being brought up…but this is a good example!!)

google-doodle-lucy

This is the Google Doodle in question. It was posted on November 24th, 2015 to celebrate the discovery of the Ape-like hominid “Lucy” on that day in 1974. She is considered to be one of the biggest contributing discoveries to Evolution Theory so far. Of course one of the biggest controversy surrounding the doodle came from the Christian viewpoint of automatically objecting to something that in their (speaking objectively here, as I am a Christian) oppinion, blately celebrates the Evolution theories. The other, from scientists, who felt that this particular doodle left out important bits of their theory of evolution from ape to man (generalized, don’t get too excited), and therefore, was not scientifically acurate or complete.

Um…guys…it’s just a doodle, but seeing as you’re all going to find fault in Google’s attempt to celebrate a cool discovery…I’m going to join the debate for a minute here, even if it has for the most part fizzled out.

(Quick Note:

I’m not an expert  in any of these fields, in fact, I wouldn’t even call myself a “good Christian” most of the time. I swear (on a regular basis), I forget to forgive, I covet, I’m mean to my little sister. So, no, I’m not a “good Christian” but honestly, I don’t really believe there’s such a thing. We’re sinful, get over it, and stop being high and mighty, we all sin…yes, even you Mr/Mrs Soapbox Christian. We aren’t perfect. But I would say that I’ve had enough to youth group and bible class in my lifetime to know the basics…and to know Genesis REALLY well. All bible classes for kids go over the creation story at least once. As for the other theories that come into this discussion (And yes, I would actually like to hear what you guys have to say) PBS, National Geographic and other reputable sources are easy ways to grab some cold hard fact.)

(One more note:

Big Bang Vs Creationism will not be making an appearance here)

Let’s start with what I saw from Christians, or Creationists:

I saw a lot of comments that went along the lines of condemning Google for posting a picture that didn’t conform to our belief system. Not only that, but ignorance about the ideas of the Evolution theory. People, before you Tweet about how wrong something is, and how right you are. Look it up. That’s the real reason we have the internet, not so you can tell the world what you ate for lunch. What I always heard from Christians is that Evolution is the theory that Man evolved from bacteria, that eventually evolved to ape-like creatures, and finally evolved after some steps and time (never full explained by Creationists when asked) into Humans like us today. This in Christian’s minds is automatically incorrect, as the Bible clearly tells us that we were created in God’s image, on the 6th day of Creation.

What I saw from the Scientist or Evolutionist Community was also comdemning, but for a different reason:

What I saw, was mostly geared towards Google having missed a crutial relationship between ape-like hominid and man. I looked up the theory of evolution to refresh my memory on a subject I knew little about, and discovered first of all, that Hominid is part of the scientific family that contains humans, chimps, neanderthals, bonobos and so on. Lucy is one of the members of this family as well, being as she was an ape-like hominid.  Also, the theory isn’t that we evolved from Apes. It’s that we evolved from a common ancestor, eventually brancing off into two different families, one becoming todays apes, chimpanzees etc…and the others becoming us, the Homo-Sapiens. Also, Evolution by definition is just moving forward and as such has also spanned into social and technological evolution. It doesn’t just apply to Apes and Homo-sapiens anymore.

So, now that I’ve wowed you all with my limited knowledge of theory details, let’s talk about what annoyed me most:

This doodle, wasn’t there to shove Evolution down Christian’s throats, IN FACT the doodle was about the discovery of Lucy AND her conributions (post-mortem) to the theory of evolution, NOT about celebration evolution theory itself. To the best of my knowledge, Google doesn’t state to believe one belief system or another, it doesn’t cater to religous affiliation. This isn’t a bad thing. It doesn’t leave people out. Since Google started doing their Doodles, I’ve seen Christmas doodles, but I’ve also seen doodles that celebrate other cultures and ideas. Christmas is celebrated all across the world. I am truly sorry if this offends you, I can’t do anything about it, but I don’t believe that shoving my beliefs down anyone’s throat is going to bring them to God. Loving each other is, and we’re not doing that by yelling at Google, or evolutionists, or anyone else who doesn’t conform to our way of thinking.  Along with this, the scientists complaining about the accuracy of the doodle? What they aren’t seeing, is again the simple fact that Google was celebrating Lucy, and the fact that she helped draw the connections between us and ape-like hominids. It wasn’t meant to be perfect, it was meant to be cool. Also, people have been drawing evolution close to the same way Google did for this doodle for years (google evolution and look at images if you don’t believe me) and you haven’t taken to Twitter to condemn them yet. It’s just that Google is so huge in the public eye, that’s why you noticed.

What realy gets to me though, is the ignorance. I learned more about Evolution Theory and about different ideas of Creationism in the past 2 hours of writing this blog post, than I did in 18 years. Also, I didn’t need to look for as long as I did, one search took me to National Geographic and PBS, two ridiculously useful and factual sources. I don’t need to know much to know that the arguments that went on, and seem to continue to go on about this topic and many topics like it are stupid and often futile. You’re not going to change someone’s mind or belief system by yelling at them on Facebook or Twitter. In fact, of all the places to have a conversation or arguement, these are probable two of the dumbest. Ignorance only breeds more ignorance. Personally, I think, whether I believe a theory or not, that learning about the different beliefs of the world is fascinating. We should all do a little research before condemning anyone or anything.

Ok?

Love to all, as always,

Mae