Thursday, November 29, 2007

And Now, A Word From Japan

And so, my great love affair with Japan and their crazy tv shows continues. Here are two great examples of WHY:

1. Binocular Soccer. Magic.


2. Stuffed-Animal Suit Rugby. Ridiculous.

Hope these help kick your weekend off in STYLE! And a HUGE thanks to JoshC for bringing binocular soccer to my attention. I don't know HOW I have survived this long without it in my life. If ANYONE is interested in playing on the Mall, I'm looking into getting some of the headpieces ordered. Stay tuned for more details.....

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Keeping Up With The Garcia's

So get THIS! The US Census Bureau recently released a list of the most common surnames in the country. Basically, the top 5,000. In order. No surprise that SMITH comes in at the top. The last time they did this study, in 1990, it was #1, too. That's some staying power. No change in the top 3, actually. So all you Smith's, Johnson's and Williams's, CONGRATS!

The real interesting finding in this list is that Garcia and Rodriguez have both moved into the top 10. And Martinez comes in at #11! Infact, it comes in right before Anderson. Sneaky 'Martinez' actually took over #11 from 'Anderson', where we were in the 1990 study. I'm not happy with a drop...but atleast we didn't plummet. ('Farmer'? Down 74 spots. From #357 then to #431 now. EMBARASSING!!!!)

And don't even get me STARTED on 'Nguyen'...which moved UP an incredible 172 spots from the 1990 study. Then? #229. Today? They sit comfortably at #57. Talk about a climb. Watch OUT, 'Rodriguez' peeps!

Anyway - take a look at the list yourself and see where your surname falls. Let me know, if you feel so inclined. It's a fun list. Just click HERE, and you'll be taken to the article that was in the New York Times. And don't scroll through them all to FIND your name....just use the SEARCH bar. Much easier. Not like I started to scroll through names before I realized the search bar was there.........nope. Not me......

Hope this keeps you busy at work on a slow Thursday afternoon......

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Quick Rehearsal Update

So. I survived the first couple of days. The nerves went away, for the most part. And I'm having a ball! Seriously....this music and script and story are so crazy and zany that you can't help but have fun. And when you hear the music, you'll understand what I mean. A klezmer musical? Yes, please.

On Monday, our director, Nick, summed up the whole situation when he said, "You know you're in for a great night of theater when your first 2 items on the prop list are: over-sized dreydl and over-sized pickle, and in parenthesis behind that it says, 'stuffed for hitting people'." That's what we're dealing with, folks. And that's what you have to look forward to.

I wish I could write more tonight, but my eyes are heavy and I still need to look over my script some more. Tomorrow we finish up going through all the music and getting familiar with it, and then, we start staging things. Mind boggling how fast it all moves. But man, it's such a rush! And to sit back and watch this cast of seasoned professionals work is humbling and awesome. Anyway....for now....just know we're off and running. And me? I'm doing JUST fine!

Shlemiel and Yenta Pesha, doing their thing.

Monday, November 26, 2007

First Day!

So today, after almost 6 months of waiting, I start rehearsals for my next show! The show is with Theater J here in DC, and it is called 'Shlemiel The First'. From what I can gather from the script and the CD's of the music, it's complete and utter zaniness. A town of fools. Mistaken identity. A musical number about blintzes. What more could you want?

I'm ready....I'm sure I'll get excited once I'm there...but more than anything, I have a case of the jitters. Not bad nerves....just like 'New Job' nerves. Or 'First Day of College' nerves. Just the uncertainty that lies in the unknown. But it's an exciting nervous. And I'm sure I'll have stories to share as the process goes along. It's a fairly QUICK process, too. Today is November 26th and we open December 18th! Well, that's our first preview. We officially open on the 20th! but still...you do the math. That's 3 weeks. Oy vey!

I hope some of you get a chance to see the show. And if any of you are downtown and want to grab dinner, let me know. Tuesday through Friday, my rehearsals are 9am to 5pm in DuPont at the JCC. So I could meet you anytime afterwards. Gimme a holler!

Here goes NOTHIN'!
MAnderson

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Courtyard

So...I went to check out the new Courtyard they opened at the National Portrait Gallery building here in Washington DC. It's been open about a week and it is really cool. I snapped some pictures...and now you can all see just how cool it is. I can feel how happy this makes you all.

You can thank me later.
Enjoy.

AND....additions to the MAB&W Art Collection:

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

I mean, I don't know about you....but I'm pretty sure this is the best thing I have seen. Ever. I mean, 80's sitcom stars (including Punky Brewster mugging for the camera!?), a song from Dreamgirls, a complete house set with no walls AND a lavish Thanksgiving feast? Yes, please.

It looks like such a nice day where they are - beautiful blue skies, light, wispy clouds. And they are all so happy. But just a couple of questions. 1. They sure got rid of Barbara Eden (in the green suit) quick. She doesn't get to sing and doesn't resurface at the feast. Are they REALLY a family? 2. Nell Carter sure elbowed her way to the center of the pack at the end. Trying to get the center of the shot? Or just an attempt to be closer to the turkey? No worries. Marla and Bea counter nicely. 3. Are the producers worried that Marla Gibbs is going to bite herself or others? If not, why else would she have one of those dog-collar-lampshade-protection things on? 4. Did I miss the episode where Punky Brewster went to Yale? and 5. Can you watch and notice how many times the vase on the table changes - from the white round vase to the clear tall crystal vase...back to the round...back to the tall...back to the round...to the tall...finally to the round? Trick photography. I love it.

Regardless, this is 3 minutes and 30 seconds of pure 80's bliss! So Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. I'm thrilled you're all a part of MY family.

Mucho love - MAnderson

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Wordless Wednesday


One Week/One Month

So.....in ONE WEEK, after all this summer and fall of waiting, I start rehearsals for 'Shlemiel The First' with Theater J here in Washington DC! I am ready, willing and able to get going....and probably a little excited, to boot.

That leads me to the fact that ONE MONTH from right now, 'Shlemiel' will be opening at the DCJCC here in Washington DC! December 18th is our first preview. Opening night is December 20th. So let the madness ensue!

So THAT leads me to the fact that NOW is the time to start thinking about your tickets! They are even running a Chanukah special right now - 4 tickets PLUS concessions for $100! What the! It's a Chanukah MIRACLE!
Click HERE to check out all the information you need to buy your tickets TODAY!

Shlemiel runs December 18th through January 20th.
Hope to see you there!

MAnderson

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A 'Must See'

So I saw a movie this weekend that I can't stop thining about. It's a documentary, actually. And all I can say at this point is that everyone needs to go see it. Easier said than done, I realize. Currently, it is only open in NYC, LA and here in DC. BUT - if you're in those areas, find this movie and see it. (Here in DC it's only at the Dupont Circle Theater.) It's called 'War/Dance'. And instead of trying to describe it, I'm just going to add the trailer here for you to watch.

It was such a moving film...and I know I say this about food and pop songs and reality television in jest a lot of the time, but it really did change my life, a little bit. I can't describe how...but it did. I love it.

It's a very limited release, like I said before. But for my friends and aquaintances and friends of friends or strangers who stumbled onto my blog in any of the cities listed below, mark the release date on your calendar and then find the movie and check it out. But I warn you...these kids and their smiles and their hearts and their spirits will hook you. And you'll be touched or inspired or renewed....and you'll want to dance.

NOVEMBER 30th: Seattle (Landmark Varsity Theater), Philadelphia (Landmark Ritz Theater) and Boston (Landmark Kendall Square Cinema)

DECEMBER 14th: San Francisco (Landmark Lumiere 3), Berkley, CA (Landmark Shattuck 10) and Minneapolis (Landmark Lagoon Theater)

JANUARY 25th (celebrate my birthday on this day by seeing this film): San Diego (Landmark Ken Theater), Denver (Landmark Mayan Theater), Atlanta (Landmark Midtown Theater) and St. Louis (Landmark Tivoli Theater)

FEBRUARY 1st: Salt Lake City (Balcony Broadway Center Cinema)

Hopefully more cities will be added. Check out more on the movie by checking out the website: http://www.wardancethemovie.com/

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Fun Friday Video

This video was shared with me by my friend, Dave Kopp. And I, in turn, loved it so much, that I decided to share it with all of you on this fine Friday. Happy Weekend!

A Walk

I took a walk yesterday...the weather was warm (60's in mid-November and a bit humid....weird), I had some free time, and I just wanted to check out a few things that I show people on Segway tours or people have asked me about but I wasn't sure about. I found the original 'memorial' that FDR had said he wanted if ever a memorial was erected in his honor. I found out that the statue in front of the Federal Court House is for General Meade of Pennsylvania. I finally took a look at that crazy-cool statue of all the people and animals in the boat at the Canadian Embassy and read the signs about it. (AND I love it....but I couldn't get any good pictures of it.....sorry.) And I finally went up the clock tower at the Old Post Office Pavilion. There was me and 2 other people up there.....and it was late in the afternoon on a day that had been pretty much overcast the entire day.

I was deep in thought as I headed up the elevator. I was thinking about life and my plans and all that STUFF that bogs down our minds when we have free time to think. And quite honestly, I had been thinking a lot the past couple of weeks and it was really bogging me down...just trying to sort it all out. But then the elevator doors opened, I walked out, turned to my right, and in an instant, my cares and worries and concerns literally vanished. I had a moment of perspective...as I stood there and watched the sun trying to fight through the clouds....slowly, ray by ray, until small patches of Earth were scattered with bits of sunlight. The perspective? It's cheesy, so brace yourself. But in my mind I thought that we....or I or whatever useage you want to use....are like that sun in the sense that we are asked to shine in whatever setting we're in. Our "shine" is just who we are. I can't control the clouds....you can't control the weather....we have no control over anything outside our area of SHINE. But if we do what we are asked, if we accept our capacity to shine no matter what, then we are going to get through. We may have days when we flood our world with sunlight. And we will definitely have days when just a ray or two break through. But ultimately, we have no other choice. I mean, (in THIS analogy, least) we're balls of burning gas...what ELSE are we going to do?

It was quite a walk......


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Wordless Wednesday



Saturday Adventure

So on Saturday, my friends Anais, Rachel, Becky, Bryan and I headed out on an adventure to explore something in DC we had never gotten around to exploring before. (We did this with the National Arboretum in October and an Ansel Adams Exhibit at the Corcoran in September.) Our adventure took us up to the campus of Catholic University here in DC to check out the Bascilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Sounds pretty serious, right? Well, it is. It's huge....ornate....and quite an interesting walk. They do allow cameras throughout the Bascilica, so I have added some of my favorite shots from the day below. There is lots of gold, lots of mosaics, lots of candles and lots of statues throughout the building. And on Saturday, the joint was JUMPIN!

Exterior.

Exterior. Different Angle.

Exterior Dome. Close up.

Bryan and Anais checking things out.

A couple of different shots of the interior.

On the far end of the building when you walk in. Bryan was walking by a tour group and heard a man call this "Touchdown Jesus." And that is funny.

ART, people! From the MAB&WC. This piece is called: "And Bryan Pondered"

Most of my focus was on the different mosaic ceilings. There were lots of them - and many of them were cool.

This is looking into the Lithuanian chapel. I LOVED the mosaic and the color combination used here.

Another couple of shots from the Lithuanian chapel.

The window on the ceiling.

Looking into another one of my favorites. The colors in here are AWESOME.

A couple more shots of the mosaics in this chapel.

Amen, ladies.

Rachel and Anais descending the stairs. Most impressive is how Rachel snuck in a pose here.

SIDENOTE: We actually started the day at the World Famous Florida Ave Grill, on 11th and Florida. It's the definition of greasy spoon diner. And it was DELICIOUS. Omlette. Grits. Pancakes. For the most part, we were all thrilled with our adventure to the Grill.

Monday, November 12, 2007

In Case You Forgot...

Hope you've made your plans and your shopping is done. This is one of those holidays that ALWAYS sneaks up on me! I tend to forget it comes right after Veteran's Day. Thank GOODNESS Metro had signs to remind me.
And I want to take this time to confess that all of your NEESAW Cards are going to be late - I just dropped them in the mail today! Sorry. Hope your NEESAW is safe and happy, regardless!

MAnderson

Friends Let Friends....

RIDE SEGWAYS! So far, I've had 4 friends visit me on a '2 Wheel People Transporter' Tours! One, Tyler Call, wouldn't allow pictures to be taken. He thought he looked dorky. So he and Whitney are not documented here today. BUT - 2 other friends have come and taken the tour and had a ball! Here is my 'SEGWAY FRIENDS HALL OF FAME'!

Rachel Brennan, from 'Wonka Tour' fame, gets a gold star for being the first friend to come ride! She was a natural and didn't want to give the Segway up at the end of the night.

Anais Haas was all giggles on her tour - and had fun getting to know the other folks on the tour, too! Anais went ABOVE and BEYOND her call as a friend when, after one rider fell and busted up her machine, Anais gave up her machine and dragged the broken one back to the office while I finished up the tour. Anais gets 2 gold stars a day for the rest of her life for her help!

So see? It's fun to do.....even if you live in the DC area! So come on down and ride with one of my tours today!

Tomorrow.....come back to see the pictures of my Saturday excursion up to the Bascillica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on the campus of Catholic University. Try saying THAT 5 times fast!

Have a great Monday.
MAnderson

Friday, November 9, 2007

Happy Friday

So I'm pretty much obsessed with the British comedy duo, French and Saunders. (That's Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders.) They are hysterical. And when you put 'French Saunders' into a YouTube search, there are, like, 3 TRILLION video clips of their comedy from over the years. If you're bored and looking to laugh, try it. There are a lot of them, but a couple well worth checking out are the Prima Ballerina Parts 1 & 2....and I LOVE their one called Cold Turkey (making fun of the movie Cold Mountain.) OH...and ANY of the clips with them acting like teenagers OR elementary school kids are pretty entertaining, too.

Anyway - this French and Saunders clip is probably my favorite. Now not everyone is going to get it - and that is ok. If you're a music theater fan, and you know a certain 'singular sensation' show, then you'll get it. But I think even if you don't really get the reference, the performance/song/dance is so dang FUNNY...it can help anyone get through their Friday. PLUS, you might start calling yourself Cassie Broadway. I know I did. (French plays the dancer that comes in to audition, Saunders is the blonde director in the audience. Just FYI...)

You watch this and I'm going to find a pair of my woolly jazz pants to wear for the rest of the day. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Warning!

So, I'm reading an 'Information Guide' for an iPod Touch...which, on a side-note, is one of the coolest things I've ever seen...and on the first page, at the bottom, it says the following:

HANDLING iPod

Do not drop, disassemble, open, crush, bend, deform, puncture, shred, microwave, incinerate, paint or insert foreign objects into iPod.

They all sound like pretty reasonable things to be placed ON a Don't List. Some of them, even a bit silly. But then I started thinking that sadly, they somehow made it ON to the list....which meant that someone, sadly, at one time or another DID one of these things.

I mean seriously....Paint? Microwave?

Stupid someone.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Ladybug Lady

I attract weirdos. I do. For example: This past weekend, on the train home from Southern Virginia, I ended up having a woman sit beside me who brought her own wine, drank lots of it, and told me she was a fire dancer....and had previously taught herself to be a ballet dancer on pointe. (That means she danced ballet on her toes....in toe shoes.) She probably weighed close to 200 lbs and was a chain smoker. So....take what she says for what it's worth.

Yesterday, I had another encounter with a member of the CRAZY LEAGUE. I was sitting at the bus stop, waiting for the Metro Bus to show up and take me home and this odd woman that I see about once a week came across the street with a big smile, 2 bags of groceries and a big empty Smart Water box. She sat down beside me, started right in talking about the sun and how she has read reports that getting into the sun early in the morning is good for MS patients - I could only assume she was talking about people with Multiple Sclerosis - and mid-thought, she looked behind her through the glass of the bus stop, turned back around, dug in her purse and then RAN behind the bus stop. She scooped down with the card she had pulled out of her purse, rolled what looked like a bug onto the card and came around and put it in the box she had brought with her. All of this action happened as the bus was pulling up. So I stood to get on the bus and as she moved to put the bug in the box, she said, smiling, "I just caught another ladybug!" I glanced at her, probably with my inability to hide how crazy I thought she was glowing on my face, and she smiled and said, "I'm collecting as many as I can and putting them in my garden. It's good to have a garden with ladybugs."

Hmmmm. OK then.

We boarded the bus....I sat near the back and immediately acted like I was engrossed in my book, and Ladybug Lady sat near the front. As she sat there, a poor, unsuspecting passenger got on, sat across from her, and she started RIGHT in to the 'ladybug in the box' situation. And as she told her story of ladybugs and gardening to the new passenger, she kept interrupting the story to peek INTO the box and check on the ladybug she had caught at the bus stop....only moments before. I guess she was just making sure the ladybug wasn't planning some elaborate escape plan or something.

And because I KNEW people would never believe me....I snuck my camera out and snapped a couple of pictures. Lucky YOU! And lucky ME....for my stealth camera skills. Notice the edge of the seat in the first shot. I was under pressure...don't judge.

Here is Ladybug Lady telling the woman across the aisle her Master Ladybug Gardening Plan.

And here she is interrupting that Plan to check on the ladybug in the box.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Guess What I Saw This Weekend...

You're sitting there, reading this, thinking that there is a strange, outside chance that I took a trip to the UK this weekend and saw Stonehenge. And although I am spontaneous and would probably do something crazy like that, I did NOT do that at all. Instead, I went to Southern Virginia - to a place called Buena Vista, VA. I went to visit my friends, the Rolfe Brothers, Kevin and Darin. And while I was there, Kevin and his awesome girlfriend, Ashley, took me to see the rarest of gems in the area. No - not Natural Bridge. 1 mile NORTH of Natural Bridge. It's name? FOAMHENGE. Correct. Foamhenge.

With your eagle eye, you can actually spot Foamhenge under this sign, to the right, through the trees. See?

A full-scale model of Stonehenge, made completely out of foam. Styrofoam, to be more exact. In the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Free and open to the public. Ridiculously hysterical...and I'd dare say WELL worth the drive or Amtrak trip down to visit the area. I mean, you are just one mile away from Natural Bridge, as well. So you could probably catch that, too. But you may just want to spend the ENTIRE day at Foamhenge. I know I sure didn't want to leave!

This is what you see when you park. The sign on that thanks you for visiting....read down that and see how Foamhenge was built. Wow.

Then...when you get to the top...there is THIS interesting and somewhat creepy warning.

Then you're free to wander.....

take group photos.....

be silly.....(that's Ashley 'testing' the foam on the left, and Kevin, Ashley and Katie, Ashley's cool roommate, on the right)...

or just enjoy the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains around you.

There is ALSO always time for ART SHOTS, folks! This one is titled: Girls Ponder Foam.

This one is titled: Kevin. Alone.

You GOTTA see it to believe it....

you won't be sorry you did.

So...you spend some time walking around Foamhenge, and you find there are 2 signs proposing different ways Stonehenge came about. The first says basically that SOMEONE built it...and then it expains how they probably built it. But the second one says that maybe Merlin, the wizard, cast spells on the stone and made them stand up that way. SO....FOAMHENGE comes complete with a MERLIN WIZARD!

Merlin casts his spell and 'makes' Stone- and Foamhenge.

Kevin tries his hand at wizardry.

Katie and Ashley take a load off, while Merlin continues to keep watch in the background.

AND...just when you think it can't get any weirder OR creepier....VOILA! You go UP to Merlin and read the sign just near him.

I MEAN........eww. So of course, I got a close up.

Kevin celebrates an afternoon WELL spent at Foamhenge. Don't miss it!