Greetings from the great gray (with snow, at the moment) Midwest, where I'm still ensconced after a happy Thanksgiving weekend with my family. I came down with a stomach bug yesterday that left me with a temperature over 100 and no energy whatsoever, so I decided to stay home an extra day and let my mom take care of me. Thus today I read two manuscripts, overdosed on morning television, finished knitting my first-ever scarf, crossed the 47,500-word mark on the Bad Novel (putting me in good shape to complete 50,000 words by Wednesday), and . . . didn't do much else, having a nice, restful day around the house. I'll fly into New York tomorrow and real life will resume. Until then, other news:
- My funny, smart, and beautiful sister -- still six months away from graduating from Missouri State University -- already has a job with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City as their newest management trainee. Yay kid!
- Speaking of my sister, I tried on bridesmaid dresses over the weekend, and it looks like I'll be wearing a V-neck halter with a long A-line skirt, all in a pretty rose color. Melissa said, "You can't wear that, you'll look hotter than I am!" when I put it on, so I knew immediately it was the right one. The wedding is next July.
- I caught up with my elementary-school friend Cydney Rabourn, who is now running for state representative in Kansas.
- I saw "Rent" and "Walk the Line." I love the Broadway version of "Rent," but I felt the movie suffered from being a little too faithful to the original material: Relationships and transitions that were perfectly believable onstage felt forced and clumsy in the naturalistic setting of film, and Stephen Chbosky's screenwriting skills and/or Chris Columbus's directorial imagination weren't quite able to open them up and make them real. Still, it's valuable merely for preserving the terrific Broadway performances from Anthony Rapp, Idina Menzel, Taye Diggs, Jesse Martin and Wilson Jermaine Heredia . . .
- . . . and my sister said after we saw it, "So is that really what happens to people with AIDS?" And I said, "Yes, really," and she said, "Oh. I didn't know that." So it accomplishes one of the best things art can do: creating imaginative sympathy.
- And "Walk the Line" was quality as well, though what's remained in my mind three days later were the intense performances from Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix (hello, Joaquin Phoenix) and the wonderful, wonderful music.
- Still haven't seen the new "Pride and Prejudice."
- I caught a video on FUSE for the excellent Hasidic reggae singer Matisyahu.
- And I taught my technologically challenged father to use my iPod, which he found really easy and cool. The number-one song he wants for himself? "Hey Ya."