Indignant Whiskers

I’m opening up a new business, Indignant Whiskers. I will be pet sitting and will soon add interactive small mammal education. I have rats and am planning on getting a number of other species. I love my animals and can’t wait to share them with the world. Please follow my Indignant Whiskers blog and like my on Facebook. Thanks everyone!

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Sex and The Wooster Group

“The synonymy of desire and terror has become the mark of a guilt and self-loathing that is never purged.”

The Wooster Group is a theatre company in New York that goes out of its way to toe the line and cross boundaries. They read original plays such as Our Town andThe Crucible and transform them into productions which test everything a society believes about itself. They use unconventional methods, such as blackface and pornography, simply because it makes the point that they are trying to make, never mind that it is despised or looked down upon my much of the population. To be clear, this is not the type of performing I would like to do as I prefer my acting to be a little more straightforward, but I love The Wooster Group because they don’t care what the rest of society thinks. They take theatre to a completely different level which is experimental and often does not make sense at first glance, but when you look beneath the surface you see a social commentary which isn’t afraid to stand up and tell the world that it is wrong. They are also theatrically fascinating because they are experimental and, hence, different. They don’t just use the stage; they use the entire theatre and often the performing space in the upstairs section of their performing garage as well as TV monitors and other forms of media. While their work may not be to everyone’s taste, they must be given credit for the incredible amount of creativity and thought that they put into every performance.

In Route 1 & 9, a performance centered on Our Town, The Wooster Group challenged, among other things, the middle class American, suburban beliefs about sex. They showed that, because sex is repressed by parents and schools, desire becomes synonymous with fear and young people, especially young women, are not sure what they want because everything they feel that is good also terrifies them. While I agree with this and believe that sex should be discussed openly as the beautiful shared experience that it is, I have to say that desire and fear, when it comes to sex, are often synonymous even if sex is not taboo. While hiding sex behind some mysterious and forbidden curtain causes people to fear what they feel, being completely open about sex can cause someone to fear their own abilities. They’re not sure they’ll be good enough or they don’t know what they want because there seem to be too many possibilities; however, this does not necessarily mean that fear is a bad thing. People should be open about sex so that their children and partners know what to expect and know that it is okay to feel the way they feel. Being scared is part of the magic. When you’re terrified of what will happen next and it turns out the experience is as wonderful as you hoped it would be, it feels even better because you get the dual pleasure of the disappearance of your fear and the pleasure that comes with good sex. People, as a rule, will always be scared of a new experience. It doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with that experience or with talking about it.

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Random Musings (with a little A Series of Unfortunate Events)

I’m getting to that point where I get restless and just NEED to do something. I feel like I could read but then I feel that that will bore me. Then I try to watch tv but that doesn’t distract me. So I’m trying typing.

I realized the other day that I definitely want to be an actress. I’ve been debating between acting and editing books for a living. I thoroughly enjoy academic classes and I love reading and editing, but ever since I found the theatre I have been in love with it. The idea of being on the stage is beautiful to me. I want nothing more than to be a part of that family that you can only find on the stage. The classes may bring a different joy than the joy that I have learned to find in books but I can still take literature courses and read and edit my friends work. I have always hidden in books. I don’t see this as a bad thing but I need to learn that I can be happy elsewhere. I have been leaning towards editing because it would be easy. I could take classes that I didn’t have to put any effort into, read all the time instead of doing homework, and then graduate with complete confidence that I would get a job. Plus, I could continue living the life I’ve lived since I was five and live completely in the books I read. While I did have an active childhood, books always came first. Now I need to put something else first. I want to act. It will be hard and the job market is a lot less open, but I’m excited about that. It’s something new and different. I can change who I am and run through the streets of almost any city, laughing because of how much I love my job and how wonderful my life is. I don’t want to work in an office, even if it’s doing something I love. I want to work where everyday is completely different. I want to live a different life every night when I walk onto the stage. The lines and the staging may be the same but I will be a different person because that’s what theatre does. It creates happiness.

On a different note. I just finished the 8th book of A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Hostile Hospital, and I was intrigued by the Volunteers Fighting Disease. They say that a positive attitude is the best cure for disease and for pretty much everything else. This is actually true but they take it way too far. My mother would be appalled. Lemony Snicket and the Baudelaires keep trashing them because medicine will obviously cure someone before a smile will. Obviously, this is true. The point is that you will heal faster if you’re happy and positive, not that medicine is unnecessary. It actually bothered me every time they brought it up. My mom is officially brainwashing me. Yet… I think I’m ok with it. It will be interesting to see me being a positive thinker. I would like to make it clear though that I will not stop being dark and loving dark stuff. Wickedhas always been my favorite book. My moms and sister hate it because it’s too negative but I will not become like that!

I want to run in the rain again with my man and watch the crows roost in the morning.

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Tony, Tony, Tony, Tony!

The 66th Annual Tony Awards were tonight and, while it was not their best year, it was definitely not the worst. Neil Patrick Harris was hilarious as usual; there were many Spiderman jokes made; and there were actually some good shows!!! Once, the winner of Best Musical, looks so fantastically awesome. I was actually really surprised that it won though since it’s based on an obscure British film from several years back. I honestly expected Newsies to win but, then, it won Best Score and that often means no Best Musical… I was not thrilled with any of the revivals this year and the plays didn’t catch my attention though I would be happy to see many of them.

Patty LuPone needs help! I love the woman. In fact, I am a huge fan, but she has not aged well and her singing has never been her strongest skill. She needs to move from musicals to plays and stop trying so damn hard!

On a sadder note, I had to watch the Tony Awards with my sister. It was actually very fun, but not the same as watching it with a good friend. I love the Tonys and my goal for next year is to have someone here or to go to someone who can watch them with me.

Happy 66th Tony Awards everyone!

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A Series of Unfortunate Thoughts

I know that Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events is intended for an age group much younger than  mine, but I don’t care! I love reading it anyway. That being said, I’m having trouble reading them this time around. I have been having a lot of problems with depression so my mom, a professional life coach, has been teaching me various therapeutic/positive thinking techniques to get me back on track. Part of what she teaches is that you have to be positive as much as possible because the vibration you put out will attract more of the same. I am trying to follow this as closely as possible so that I can truly move forward in my life, so I have a dilemma. I very much want to keep reading these books, but they keep making me seriously frustrated at how badly everything keeps going. In theory, if I keep getting frustrated I will attract more to make me frustrated which is not something I want. Perhaps I should just read happier short stories between books so I can stay cheerful.

I can’t help but notice that there are so many things that the children and the adults in their lives could do to get away from Count Olaf. It would be really easy for them to have very happy lives if they just took charge a bit. I realize that they are minors and have no control over their fortune but they could take charge of smaller aspects of their lives and live very happily. Of course, if they did, the series wouldn’t really be as awesome… It makes it even worse that the adults who are supposed to be the “good guys” are actually kind of assholes. Someone should have noticed that Sunny was hanging from a cage out of a window and Uncle Monty should have noticed that his assistant was seriously creepy and stopped being so condescending when the children were obviously scared. I mean, people are supposed to interview the people who are working for them first. It would have been seriously obvious. Plus, why is his assistant living with him? It’s a little random and suspicious. I don’t actually want to poke holes in this series because I like it a lot. It can just get frustrating at times.

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Life is strange so your books should be too

I hate it when people give up on books because they are different or strange. If you don’t understand a book, have the person you love read it aloud to you before you go to sleep. Sit in a bookstore and get lost with that person or with your best friend or even just with a cup of coffee. Don’t let the world distract you from what could be the most amazing experience of your life. Read and love. To have a full life, that’s all that’s required. “To read, even in the half-dark, is also to call the lost forward.” You always find something of yourself, something you thought you lost, if you truly learn to lose yourself in the pages of a book.

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Out of Oz by Gregory Maguire

The Wicked series is the most brilliant quartet I have ever read. Out of Oz is the final installment, and it contained everything that one would expect from Maguire and more.

Most people don’t like Maguire’s books because they are too real. People want magic to make life perfect. They want it to come from elves and result in a happy ending. Magic in Oz is too imperfect. People aren’t necessarily good or bad. Elphaba is actually a terrible person yet she is the hero of the series and beloved by many. On the other hand, the villains aren’t scary wizards living in towers or giant monsters who eat children. They’re you’re everyday politician, just with an extra magical trick or two up at their disposal, and that’s something people don’t want to read about. They don’t want to be reminded of their daily lives with the added fear of magic.

I suggest that people look beyond this though. Maguire’s books are full of philosophy and commentary on every aspect of daily life. They are real, but that’s what makes them beautiful. Maguire brings so much beauty to the lives of his somewhat downtrodden characters that I can’t help but get that glint in my eye that makes me wish to know what they feel. Elphaba was able to sing in such a way that she introduces an entirely different world to her school friends. Rain has the most beautiful romance that I have ever read in a book, including the Snape and Lilly chapter of the final Harry Potter book. What is terribly real in the book is what makes the beautiful moments even more important. I finished each book feeling true love. I feel almost as beautiful and wonderful reading these books as I do when I am with the person I love.

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Important Locations

All of the key locations visited by Shadow and Wednesday and the other gods are real places in the United States. The following is a short road map of these locations:

American Gods Road Map

The song played at the House on the Rock:

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Demons, Spirits, and Gods

There are a lot of Gods and other products of faith mentioned in American Gods. Some of them are not mentioned by name and have minimalistic descriptions and others, such as Horus and Ibis, are so well-known that they only need a minimalistic description; however, most of the Gods mentioned are recognizable but not well-know.  I tried to include information on most of these to give more background to any potential reader of the book.

Demons, Spirits, and Gods

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“Pointed, occasionally comic, often scary, consistently moving and provocative…American Gods is strewn with secrets and magical visions. They cast a spell over anyone who has wondered why the world never seems quite the way one thinks it should be.”  ~USA Today

“A fascinating tale…by tuns thoughtful, hilarious, disturbing, uplifting, horrifying, and enjoyable–and sometimes all at once, in a curious sort of way. Those who are familiar with Gaiman’s earlier work will find a satisfying yarn by a familiar master storyteller. Those who are meeting im for the first time may be surprised at just how good he is.”  ~St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Gaiman has a deft hand with the mythologies he tinkers with here; even better, he’s a fine, droll storyteller.”  ~New York Times Book Review

“Marvelous and indescribable…A story in which the totally unexpected consistently meets the completely inevitable, as Gaiman slithers his snakily poetic way through the labyrinth of the human soul.”  ~Diana Gabaldon

I have one problem with most reviews. While they are rarely completely inaccurate, they never really explain the book or why it is good. Critics choose a hodgepodge of adjectives in the hopes of writing something that will seem insightful. While American Gods is all the things said above it is also a lot more.  It is both a satyr on the state of America today and an a funny and horrific novel written for the simple delight of the reader. Instead of looking into the “labyrinth of the human soul,” it incites the reader to explore their own beliefs and think about the world around them. Critics tend to think in terms of adjectives instead of the feelings they describe. When I read a book, I don’t try to describe it, I just try to immerse myself in the story and experience what’s happening.

This being said, American Gods is one of the best books I have read in a long time. Shadow’s perspective of the world around him gave me a new look into my own world. I was able to experience feelings and thoughts that I would not normally think to consider. The show of a good book is that the reader can live in the world described without any connection to their own. While I am ADD enough that I did notice my own world, it was not in connection with the world in the book. Gaiman’s America was a completely different place. It’s like living in two completely different worlds simultaneously. You’re aware of both of them but neither has anything to do with the other. I loved rethinking faith based on what I read as if I was considering another’s arguments in a debate.  I was able to hate characters as if they were a people living in your world and love others in the same way, creating a connection with the book. That connection is how a book should be critiqued and how a person should determine whether or not they enjoy a book.

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