19 November 2010

This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection by Carol Burnett

"We sent penny postcards to every producer and agent in town inviting them to our show, the postcard being their ticket.
They came.
After our two evenings, three of us got agents.  It was right out of a Mickey and Judy scene in Babes in Arms, and I thanked my lucky stars that I had seen all those joyous movies growing up, telling me no pipe dream was impossible."
~Carol Burnett in  This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection

I dont' know where to begin...both when talking about this book...and this marvelous woman.  Ready for a stretch?  I'm going to try to make this all connect.  Okay here we go.

So, like I said...I don't know where to start. one of the most iconic characters in musical theatre (that just so happens to have been played by Carol's best friend in the timeless film adaptation of The Sound of Music) once said..."Let's start at the very beginning.  A very good place to start."

(For those of you who did not follow that, the character is that of Maria von Trapp [technically Maria Rainer, because at the time that she sings this particular quote, she has not yet married Georg Von Trapp], and Carol's best friend...Julie Andrews.)

Anyway...the beginning to my story with Carol Burnett begins thusly:

My dad, who loved Annie, had bought the VHS of this movie for my brother and I when we were on some road trip as kids.  We were hesitant to watch was probably some weird old movie...but we watched it in the backseat of the van on the little TV from the kitchen...and our parents may have experienced the first bout of peace and quiet on the whole trip.  Ever since then, I have never been the same.

My pre-acting childhood was, as you can probably guess, filled with impressions of people who WERE actors.  Most notably from this time period were Miss Hannigan from Annie and Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof.  I remember vividly numerous times when Kyle would ask me to do my Miss Hannigan impression for our friends (this was before me doing impressions became old hat...though I've made a comeback with him with Dr. Zoidberg from Futurama).

I absolutely loved the movie.  But in all honesty, I cared much more for the villain (Burnett) than the spunky little orphan girl with the dog.  I could start rattling off Miss Hannigan lines right now.  No...not could...will.

"If this floor doesn't shine like the top of the Chrysler Building your backsides will!"

"But it's in the middle of the night!" (Mocking Annie complaining about cleaning in the middle of the night.)

"Not even a nickel for the subway."

"She hadda go bafroom."  (Mocking Molly who is lying about Annie's whereabouts.)  I kid you not.  Kyle and I would rewind this part and watch it over and over and over again.

Okay, probably didn't sign up to read transcriptions of a few of the millions of amazing lines that Carol delivered to perfection as Miss Hannigan....

Anyway...that was the beginning of Carol Burnett for me.  Then I watched her variety show whenever I could.  I watched her in anything that I could get my hands on.  This woman is just plain funny.  But then if you read this learn (if you didn't know already) that not only is she funny...she's just plain solid.

This Time Together takes the reader (at least a reader starved for any stories from Carol) through a wonderland of tales from Carol's experiences, not only as a world class comedienne, but as a woman in the world that we all live in together.  From the beginning of her where she is today in 2010.

The audiobook is read by Carol herself and the format is similar to the last audiobook adventure that I went on.  But while Carol's life did and still does have its ups and downs, I came away from this book much more uplifted than I did from Carrie Fisher's autobiography.

When I heard the passage that I began this post just floored me.  It's so awesome to me to be reminded that the people who are living the dream now...were once dreaming a dream just like I am.  In the same's awesome to be reminded that the people that I look up to have people that they look up to too.  The first chapter of this book is about Jimmy Stewart and the whole time I was thinking "Oh Carol, if you only knew.  You are my Jimmy Stewart!"  Where a lot of people might brush that off or be like "whoa, back off, I don't know you," I'm pretty sure Carol would be thrilled about that...and maybe a little taken aback at first.

Anyway.  The book.  This book shines a light on one of my most favorite spotlight dwellers of all time.  From The Carol Burnett Show, to Annie, to Mama's Family, to Stephen Sondheim's Putting it Together and many more...Carol has been lighting up my life and the lives of countless others for years.  And now, she can just sit and chill, and enjoy her life.  Knowing that she's done a billion jobs well done and deserves to make other people do the work for a while she'll probably just slow down...oh wait...what?  My sources are telling me something...what was that?

Oh I totally forgot!  (That's a lie.  I could not forget this.)

Carol is on Glee next week (as Sue Sylvester's Nazi hunting mother, no less)!!!!

If I haven't convinced you to read or listen to the book it.  If's worth it just to hear about how she got away from a mugger in New York!  Yeah...that's right...I'm not telling you have to read it!

Stay Classy Guys,

10 November 2010

Identity Crisis By Proxy

Fear not, gentle readers.  There is absolutely no crisis at hand.  But when a catchy title smacks you in the face like this one did to just mustn't pass that opportunity up.  Plus it's a four word title.  Bumper day for me!

Actually, side note...bumper day for both Genevieve and myself.

I digress...and I don't care...on with the digression.

Long day for me.  Not bad altogether, just long.  Got home from babysitting just in time to walk Genevieve before it got dark outside.  (Is it just me...or should we have fallen back two hours for DST?  I never really cared until I had a dog to walk!)  It must be said, that babysitting was not a long part to my long day.  It was too short of a time to hang out with too wonderful of a kid.

Karl is so awesome.  He is the three-year-old son of my former boss (in an arena other than babysitting) and his wife.  I don't know how to explain it other than by saying that they are simply one of the most pleasant families that I know.  Gus and Mary are both so very unique and beautiful individuals and they have passed that along to Karl.  Karl and I get along famously.  He thinks pretty much everything that I say is hilarious.  And I say a lot of things.  Our only moment of "disagreement" today came from me trying to explain to him that no matter how many times he asked me, the tan pencil was still the tan pencil and the turquoise pencil was still the turquoise pencil.  Our little back and forth bit about these colors brought laughs to at least half of the other people in the lab (my other work).

Anyway, now I've digressed from my digression.  Got home.  Walked Genevieve and got back just as the sun was setting.  I'll tell you what...walking your favorite dog under a pink sky has got to be one of the best things in the world.  We went to Petsmart to get Genevieve a very specific toy that I have been researching and just knew she would love.  Incidentally, she couldn't care less about it.  However, I got her two toys today, and the spur of the moment purchase...I don't think she's ever loved anything more in her entire life!

I swear to God I did not pose this.  Genevieve does not pose...she does things her way.
So anyway...that was the bumper part of the day for Genevieve.  Mine was a cookies and cream milk shake from Chick-Fil-A.

So when we were on our walk, I met a man who asked me what kind of a dog she was.  I replied that she was a cross between a German Shepherd and a Chinese Shar-Pei.  The man said "Oh, she kinda looks like a Belgian Shepherd with that black snout."

I forgot about this until I sat down just now to do some Bible study.  And of being me...I had to look up Belgian Shepherds.  I had never heard of them.

What do they look like, you may ask?  Well friends, they look like Genevieve.

Belgian Shepherd
German Shepherd

Oh no!  What do I do?  I don't know every single fact! doesn't matter.  (Yes...I'm going to get all cheesy if you want to stop so...just know that I'm judging you.)

I love my dog.  Genevieve is awesome.  I don't care what kind of a dog she is.  She's my dog.  She's got my back.  She's waiting for me when I get home from classes.  She's waiting foor me when I get home from work.  She's at my feet while I'm cooking dinner (no, I do not throw her scraps, she just loves me, so there).  She's laying in my two in the morning when I'm trying to pull an all-nighter, finishing a scale model of my set or a costume rendering...reminding me that maybe...just maybe...sleep might be a better idea.

Speaking of that...I was getting to my Bible study go to bed get sleep.  Then I just thought "Oh, that's right, I should look up what Belgian Shepherds look like!"  Those digressions will really get to you...especially when you digress from them.

But I digress.

Leviticus will not read itself.

Stay classy everyone!