Mar 31 2015

Reality is overrated

On this day in 1889, the Eiffel Tower is officially opened in Paris, France.  My French ancestors had already been in America for almost 200 years.

On this day in 1889, the Eiffel Tower is officially opened in Paris, France. My French ancestors had already been in America for almost 200 years.


“The musicals had a good, happy feeling, saying that the world is a better place.  They say it’s not reality, but who cares?  There’s too much reality these days.”

- Actress Shirley Jones was born on this day in 1934.

Shirley Jones was a motion picture and television star, including being an Academy Award winning actress before she ever became Mrs. Partridge on the television show.  But she says that’s how people found out who she was.

No one believes that Broadway musicals are real life.  After all, in “reality”, no one really bursts into song in the middle of a conversation…well, unless you’re a Broadway musical actor.

Shirley Jones did quite a few musicals, many of them happy, ones such as The Music Man, a personal favorite.

But not all musicals are happy.  Take, for example, Parade, the musical I was recently in with Jewish Family Theatre.

A young girl gets raped and murdered.  The wrong man is convicted and later lynched.  The real killer goes free.

Let’s all sing.  Well, we did.  And, it was beautiful.  Just not happy.

Musicals are a way of telling stories. In the case of Parade, we told a sad story, but did it in a beautiful way through the music.  Music and art can be beautiful and happy.  They can also be said and painful.

But not of that means they aren’t reality.

Is the story of Professor Harold Hill and Marian Paroo reality? Not really, but it tells us a lot about human behavior.

Last year I saw a production of Cabaret.  I understood it in a way that I simply didn’t when, as a freshman in high school, I first saw the show and fell in love with both Sally Bowles and the stage.  I began to understand what perhaps I already knew, that not just the Jews were persecuted by the Nazis.

Not all musicals are happy.  But they all tell a story.  And that’s the important part.

As for Shirley Jones?  Some of her musical characters got closer to reality than Shirley Partridge.

But I agree with her point.  Last week on Facebook I posted my status as “Stop the Internet. I want to get off.”  I was being saturated with problems and political bickering and silliness and more.  I’d had enough.

This post is sort of all over the stage, so to speak.  I need to do a better job of articulating what I’m trying to say.

Maybe there’s a song…or maybe I could just let The Partridge Family sing.



Follow The Write Side of My Brain on Google+Facebook and Pinterest.

Send me to India (seriously).

Mar 30 2015

10K Very Much: Part Tres



I did it. For the third year in a row I walked in the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K.

For the second year in a row, I raised money for the Massey Cancer Center.

Thank you to those who helped put me over the top in my fundraising goal. This December will be twenty-five years since my cancer diagnosis and treatment. This means a lot to me.

It was bitterly cold.

It was bitterly cold.

I did okay on time. I still want to hit that 90 minute mark. Some year I will.

But the reality is, with the health issues I’ve had in the past year (since the last race), I was pretty happy just to finish.

Truth is, I’ve not really trained since I injured my foot last year. That took months to heal.

Then as that healed the shoulder or the neck, or let’s just say the upper left side of my body went south and I’m still recovering from that. So I’ve not been consistent in either swimming or walking.

But, the truth also is, that I’m some fifty or fifty-five pounds lighter than last time I walked this. I think that helped me keep up the pace.

I beat last year’s time by 54 seconds.

The first year I did the 10K, I promised to go back and run it the next year. I’ve not done that yet.

Click the picture to order yours.

Click the picture to order yours.

And more of the truth also is, I really don’t run. I might consider it if I drop another fifty or so pounds.

Here’s the thing. I did it.

Trust me, there were times this week when the only motivation to still plan to do this was the fact that people had sponsored me.

I thought about that a lot when I saw the weather reports that said in the 30s with a chance of snow.

But I knew I had to go through with it. And I’m glad I did.

I woke up Saturday morning to clear skies. If it snowed, I didn’t see it. I layered on the clothes. For the most part, I was really only cold walking to the start of the race and then afterwards when I slowed down, okay stopped. I really wasn’t cold throughout the course.

In other news, Richmond-born actor, Warren Beatty is 78 today. He was born on this day in 1937.

Beatty said,

You’ve achieved success in your field when you don’t know whether what you’re doing is work or play.

Let’s be real. I go to work every day. I don’t talk much about that here other than to say that it supports my other work, which could be considered play.

I’ve had some fairly significant success in my fields of acting and writing. Not significant enough to pay the mortgage and tuition bills, which is why I keep the day job.

Well, that and the view. Have you seen the view from my office?

I digress.

As long as I’m able, I’ll keep signing up for the 10K. And I’ll keep raising money for the Massey Cancer Center.

Because Cancer Sux.



Follow The Write Side of My Brain on Google+Facebook and Pinterest.

Send me to India (seriously).

Older posts «