Monthly Archives: July 2007

You Can't Make This Stuff Up: Mermaids are cool.

weeki-wachee2.jpgI have a confession to make. I’ve always kind of, sort of wanted to be a mermaid. I was not deterred by the whole Little Mermaid story. My favorite movie when I was younger, besides Labyrinth, was Splash. (By the way, when I heard about a year ago that ‘Madison’ was the new most popular baby name for girls, I knew that the Splash generation was behind it.) I’m sure this is why I was compelled to dye my hair blue when I was a freshman in high school, and why I’ve kept it for so long.

So it makes sense that I’ve always wanted to go to Weeki Wachee, a roadside theme park in Florida started in 1947, before Disney. The theme park boasts something no other can—real, live mermaids.

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Filed under General, Random

Punch-for-Punch: Making Stuff Go Far

Potato CannonA couple of weeks ago, I baby-sat twin fourteen-year-old boys at their house in the Hamptons. The only warning their mother gave me was to not let them shoot their potato cannon unless she or their father was around.

Trouble was, that was all they wanted to do.

Have you ever seen a potato cannon (or gun)? It’s made of PVC pipe with a long barrel and an ingniting chamber. The potato is shoved down to the base of the barrel, and then some kind of ignitable material like aerosol is put into the chamber, and the fuse and igniter are lit. It takes a couple hours to make, plus some time to figure out the correct fuel/air mix, plus enough potatoes to feed a small Russian village.

The upshot, of course, is that you get to shoot a potato far. Really, really far.

What is it about guys that they want to make inanimate objects travel great distances?

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Filed under Gender, Science & Technology, Sports

Composing a Life: Underground

undergroundOn my way to Joie’s wedding this weekend in Long Island, I listened to the joyous sounds of Kimmi’s laugh, Kate T.’s unparalleled navigations, Nikolai munching on a bacon, egg, and cheese, and read about a new trend in crazy New York characters: the urban explorer (also called urban spelunker, infiltrator, hacker and guerilla urbanist.)

Apparently these folks make a habit out of sneaking into the underground parts of our vast city and seeking out undiscovered terrain. Sounds more than frightening, yes, but also fascinating. As always, I’m totally intrigued by the psychological motivation behind this kind of behavior.

Why take this risk? Is it some kind of experiential manifestation of an inner yearning to go deeper, to understand the interworkings of life, to get the center of “things”? Are we that desperate to be frickin’ alone?

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Filed under Career/Life

Stakes Is High: Selective Memory

itunes2.jpgMemory is sort of like iTunes.

There are the ones you put on repeat for days.

The ones you never play at all.

The ones you forget existed until something or someone reminds you.

I spent the weekend at my parents’ house, cleaning out my old bedroom. Eight years ago, when I left home for my first apartment I was certain I had brought everything I needed. This weekend, I was struck by how much of myself I’d left behind.

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Filed under Movies, Pop Culture, Relationships

All the World: Air Traffic Control?

What do you call the person who guides your plane into its gate with orange sticks? And if you know that, do you perhaps know what those orange sticks are called?

Why? Because it’s a little after 2:30 a.m. and I’m printing off draft 1.5 of ORANGE ALERT, the new musical (I mentioned in a recent post) that I’m writing with singer/songwriter Sharon Kenny. This is -for sure- the first time I’ve ever finished a first draft of a play in two weeks, and was only made possible by the determination to have a reading of Act One by the incredibly talented actors who we happen to be surrounded with. Perhaps a bit overambitious, we got through act one in one week and decided, what the hell, let’s finish it! Now be the first draft what it may, the main character’s job title is one detail that I think we really should have dealt with by now.

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Filed under All The World, Career/Life, Theater, Writing

Triathlons Make Me Cry

I am not an athlete. I was the kid in third grade who got a hold of the soccer ball and scored a goal on my own team. Yup, and I was teased about it for years. I was also the girl who later in junior high and high school tried everything from basketball to field hockey and never knew what the hell way going on. I felt stupid and clumsy and out of my league, which is not to say that I don’t like moving my body. I love to swim. I love to dance. I love to have sex. But sports? Pain? Competition? Not my thing.

Last Sunday, I went to see my friend Molly May in the Nautica Olympic Distance Triathlon. I woke up at 6AM to get there by 6:30AM to see her dive into the Hudson River. Crazy girl. I did this for two reasons. One, I love Molly and wanted to support and witness her do something so badass. Two, I had never seen a marathon or triathlon and was curious. I was curious what made these people different from me.

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Filed under General, Health, Sports, Therapy Thursdays

Kidz Today: Developing Wellbeing

Back in my days as an undergrad philosophy major, I found myself consumed with the age-old tension between existentialism and determinism.

Does “free will” exist? Are we all free all the time? Are the “fortunate” among us somehow “more free” than the “less fortunate?”

Of course, I still don’t know the answers to these questions.

But there is one thing that I have learned empirically: if you believe that you will fail, you almost certainly will; only when you believe in the chance of success is success even possible.

This is why I found the results of last November’s MTV Networks International “Wellbeing” Study on kidz and youth so disturbing.

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Filed under Health