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Today a bunch of Klainers decided they would try to make “3 Years Of The Klaine Proposal” trend on Twitter. It was a ridiculous stunt, particularly given that tonight is the Presidential debate, which is important not just to real people like me and Chris Colfer and Darren Criss, but I suspect also to Kurt and Blaine, if they existed. After all, both Kurt and Blaine talk about politics quite a lot. They each mention the importance of Marriage Equality more than once, and Blaine says of the proposal itself that he wants it to be a symbol of the changing political times.

So these guys, of all people, would be watching the current election very closely. Trump has said he’ll make gay marriage illegal again. I doubt that he could do it, but that’s what he said. So Klaine, like Colfer and Criss, would be adamantly anti-Trump. And given the importance of the Supreme Court and the influence the next President will have over its composition, I expect that Klaine, like Colfer and Criss, would be out there advocating for Clinton, who has said she’ll fight for the rights of all people. (Sadly, in the Glee universe, Jeb Bush wins this election, with Sue Sylvester as his running mate. Not good for the Supreme Court, but maybe Sue is able to change some Republican minds about marriage equality given her pro-gay stance.)

But watching my Twitter feed fill up with glorious, colorful pictures of happy Klaine was lots of fun, and a wonderful distraction from all the articles predicting what may or may not happen at the debate. I was very impressed by the amount of work people were willing to put into a silly, fun project like that, and it’s always cool to see people from around the world united to make something happen.

And despite the fact that, as the Kid pointed out while I was watching the proposal in honor of the occasion, Klaine broke up before they got married, it’s a happy occasion to celebrate. Celebration is always a good thing, so I endorse it.

Just, American friends: Make sure you vote, too.

Allegiance

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It was recently announced that Allegiance will be shown in cinemas. I got very excited and looked at my archives to find the post I had written when we saw Allegiance in December, so I could tweet it out. And I found no such post. So I’m trying to write about it now.

Allegiance is the only Broadway show I ever dragged the Kid to. She’s seen others, of course, but this one was different. She had no desire of her own to see it, but I felt it was important and necessary.

It’s a beautiful piece based on the real experiences of George Takei, who was imprisoned with his family in a Japanese Internment Camp as a child. The story is not about him, but about young adults facing romance, military service, and the realities of being second-class citizens during war time. George Takei kept a seat open at every show in the hopes that Donald Trump would come to see it to understand the impact of racist rhetoric. Trump never showed up.

But we did, and I was moved. The show is uneven–the choreography isn’t great and the songs are inconsistent. But Takei and Lea Salonga are tremendous, and there are some really great numbers that are worth your time.

On the way out of the theater, I overheard a young woman saying that she had never learned about Japanese internment when she was in high school. For many people, Allegiance is the first and only exposure people get to this dark time in American history. For others, it’s a way in to the emotional side of a historical event. Art makes you see events through someone else’s eyes, and seeing this one through Takei’s eyes brought me a perspective I’d never had before.

I don’t know what impact, if any, it had on the Kid. She was in her anti-Broadway phase at the time and didn’t want to talk about it. But at least she’ll never say she had no idea that Japanese people were interned in the US during WWII.

I’m really excited that more and more Broadway shows are being shown on movie screens. It’s not the same as live theater, but it’s a chance to see something at an affordable price and in a lot more places. It’s also preserving these performances for the future, which is a great thing for our culture as a whole.

If you get a chance, check it out.

A musical, a musical!

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I started watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend tonight. I only got through the first episode, but it’s worth it just for the last minute and a half. I’ll definitely give it a few more chances.

With the family, we started Galavant Season 2. It’s so much better than Season 1, I can’t even. No more repetitive music, no more pining for the evil queen, and Roberta is terrific. I heard they’re trying to make more of this somehow, and I hope they do.

And since the election isn’t here yet (make sure you’re registered to vote, American friends over the age of 18) I decided to watch Glee again, this time only the Burt Hummel episodes. I don’t know if I’ll be able to stick to that once I get into Season 2, but that’s my plan. I do love Burt Hummel. And of course, any episode with Burt prominently features Kurt, which is never a bad thing.

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This episode is all about the head tilt. And Burt. And Beyonce. But mostly the head tilt.

I’m so glad that musicals are back in fashion.

Galavant

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Recently we discovered that Timothy Omundsun is in a musical show about knights called Galavant. We just finished watching the first season on Netflix, and it is so much fun.

Singing knights being ridiculous? Right up our alley. And the cast is amazing. More guest stars than you can possibly guess, each one better than the one before.

Highly recommend. Will be watching Season 2.

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Renaissance-y

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Yesterday we made our annual pilgrimage to the New York Renaissance Faire. This has been a family favorite since we first went, back when the Kid was about 5 and I had a former student (a former acting student, thankyouverymuch) who was playing one of Robin Hood’s band. (He went on to play Robin Hood in future years.)

Well, this year, KPD has a former student who is playing a musician/Eros.

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See all the gold? That means he’s Eros.

We had a great day. It’s become a tradition for us to go, which means we know where all the privies are and all our favorite foods, and we’ve seen most of the shows, so we can go see our favorites and we know which ones to skip and go shopping instead. We got some Christmas gifts taken care of, and found a really cool fairy house down by Robin Hood’s Bridge.

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And as the different nerd worlds love to crisscross, they now sell butterbeer, which is one of the Kid’s favorite treats, partly because she’s a Potterhead and partly because it’s delicious.

We love so many things at the Faire, but one of them is horses. I always try to get horse glamor shots. This was the most glamorous one I got this year.

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What have I got to do with it?

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Every time I think about the one episode of Glee written by Chris Colfer, it gets me wondering. The episode is called “Old Dog, New Tricks,” and it was the second to last episode in Season 5. I like it a lot, though I like most of the New York-focused episodes that nearly killed (or probably actually killed) the series, so it’s not saying much. And unsurprisingly it has a strong focus on Kurt, which is something most of my favorite episodes also have in common.

But the thing I wonder is: Why did Chris Colfer, who was born in 1990, write an episode that could have been a dream I had in 4th grade (in 1984?)

Just picture 4th grade me telling you about her dream:

I was Peter Pan but I was singing Madonna but first I had to audition so I sang “Memories” from Cats and Lando Calrissian was there and also Tim Conway. Oh, and there were puppies.

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Seriously, people: Peter Pan (particularly the musical, which was the first Broadway show I saw) was a constant childhood obsession of mine, I loved Star Wars and The Carole Burnett Show (and Madonna, that goes without saying: I was a girl in the 80’s) and anyone who sang was singing “Memories.” We sang it in chorus in fourth grade. And if you don’t know about me and dogs, you haven’t been reading this blog.

It’s like Chris Colfer channeled 4th grade me for some reason.

Weird, right?

Gleewrites, IV

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I thought I had written this already, but it’s not on my blog, so clearly I didn’t. More faux fan-fiction for you!!!


The scene is from “Love, Love, Love” (Season 5, episode 1). Kurt and Blaine are having a wildly overdone picnic in the courtyard. I mean, sure, they’re gay, but how much free time does Blaine HAVE for preparing picnics?

It’s totally frustrating as written because they don’t actually deal with anything. So here’s my version:

Blaine: Are you excited to go back to school?

Kurt: Yeah, and Fashion Week is coming up soon.

Blaine: Okay, what’s the story with this New York guy?

Kurt: There’s no story. I mean, everything was fine until I started crying in the middle of Moulin Rouge.

Blaine: “Come What May?”

Kurt: “Come What May.”

Blaine: I haven’t even been able to watch that movie since we broke up.

Kurt: Well, it turns out guys don’t like it when you go home for a wedding, hook up with your ex, and then cry about him in the middle of a movie.

Blaine: Really?

Kurt: Don’t even start. The last time we were together and I was in New York and you were here, you cheated on me. Unacceptable!

Blaine: No, I didn’t.

Kurt: Excuse me?

Blaine: I mean, I did. Of course I did. But I wasn’t trying to get away with anything. I thought you were done with me. I thought I was out of your life. And I was trying to move on. “Cheating” isn’t the right word, somehow.

Kurt: Is that supposed to make it better?

Blaine: I’m not trying to make excuses. I’m trying to talk about what happened, Kurt. Because touching other guys isn’t the problem. I haven’t touched another guy all year, Kurt, and I haven’t wanted to, really. Well, except I had a crush on Sam for a while.

Kurt: You had a crush on Sam? I had such a crush on him when he came here. Half-convinced myself he was gay, too. Those lips!

Blaine: I know, right? But we need to talk about this, Kurt. The problem isn’t being with other guys: I want to be with you. But I gave up on us, and there are a lot of ways we can do that, and I don’t ever, ever want that to happen to us again.

Kurt: Okay.

Blaine: Didn’t you ever wonder why I showed up in New York that weekend?

Kurt: No, I just figured you were feeling guilty about what you did.

Blaine: Think about it. I thought you were ghosting me. I thought you were moving on and I should move on, too, so I hooked up with another guy. And the next day, I showed up at your apartment with flowers.

Kurt: So…why?

Blaine: Because I had this crazy idea that I wasn’t really in love with you. That the odds of me falling in real, forever love with the first guy I dated were ridiculous. That I’d been fooling myself the whole time, and if I hooked up with someone else I’d see that it was just the sex, or something. But then I did. And it was awful.

Kurt: So you want to get back together because Eli C. is bad in bed?

Blaine: No, I don’t mean that kind of awful. It was awful because it wasn’t you. Because I didn’t want to move on. Because being with you and missing you all the time was so much better than hooking up with some guy who wasn’t you. Having you furious with me because I broke your trust was better than being with some guy who wasn’t you. And I had to do whatever it took to make sure I’d be with you forever.

And for, like, a minute, I thought I could just forget it ever happened and fix things with you and you’d never have to know. Nobody would ever know. But then I saw your face, and I saw how you were setting everything up in New York for the two of us, and you weren’t moving on, not from me, and I knew I couldn’t lie to you. And that broke my heart, because I was afraid I had ruined everything, forever, and I didn’t know if I could fix it. But I knew the only way through it was to tell you the truth.

So I can promise you I’ll never cheat on you again, and I am promising that. But more importantly, I promise you I won’t give up on us. If I’m unhappy, I’ll talk to you. Even if that means making an appointment to talk to you on the phone at midnight when you get home from Vogue.com. Even if it means getting on a plane. Whatever it takes. I won’t let you down again. Just please, say we can be boyfriends again.

Kurt: Well how’m I supposed to stay mad at you after that?

Blaine: Does that mean…?

Kurt: I can’t believe we’re going to do this again.

Blaine: I was hoping you’d say that. In fact, I was sort of counting on it, so I put something together to try and convince you to stay a little while longer.

Kurt: Oh, no. I’m not going to sit here and listen to you sing anymore.

Blaine: Okay.

Kurt: Which is why I prepared something.

[Got to Get You Into My Life]


And if they’d had THAT conversation, maybe they wouldn’t have broken up in Season 6. Over towels. Towels! We’re supposed to believe they broke up over friggin’ towels.

Past, Present, Future

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Yesterday was a very strange day.

First, of course, was the date. It was September 11th, and the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. I didn’t lose anyone in the attacks. I didn’t know anyone close to me who worked in the World Trade Center. But I was in New York City that day, and I was affected.

So as I thought about the date and what I wanted to do (suck down all the news? Avoid reality altogether? Attend a commemoration?) I sighed. “What?” Asked the Kid. “It’s 9/11,” I replied. “So?”

Now we were at a crossroads. Up until now, we haven’t talked with the Kid much about 9/11. She knew there had been buildings that fell down. She has been watching the Freedom Tower go up over the years. We drive past the WTC whenever we visit my brother, and other times too, so she’s been aware of that for a long time. She’s seen various memorials around where we live. In the NYC suburbs, there’s at least one in every town. But we never went into details.

Seeing as the Kid is now almost 13, and considering that she was judging me for feeling an emotion, I thought it was time to fill her in a bit. So I answered, “So I was there when it happened and I have feelings about it.”

“What do you mean you were there?”

“I was in New York City.”

“So were a lot of people, mom!”

“That’s true, but it doesn’t make my experience any less scary.”

This actually caught her attention, and throughout the day, she came out with questions.

  • Why did the buildings fall down? Was something wrong with them?
  • There were people on the airplanes?
  • How did they take over the airplanes from the people who were supposed to be flying them?
  • Why couldn’t you and daddy call each other that day?

I think we did a good job answering–we told her the facts, but tempered them with reassurances (i.e. They took over the planes using razor blades as weapons, and that’s why they check us so thoroughly at the airport now, so that can’t happen again.) and we gave her our personal stories of what it was like to be teachers in New York City on that day.

It was also the first Sunday after Labor Day, so we went to Ethical Culture for the start of Sunday School. It was nice reconnecting with friends, but the Platform presentation was about what has happened to US politics since 9/11, which was not very pleasant to listen to. It all made me really, really tired, so I went home, watched some Glee, and took a nap.

Then we went to my cousin’s daughter’s bat mitzvah, way out in Brooklyn. I haven’t seen my cousin in 11 years, though we keep in touch on Facebook. I was a little bit shocked at how happy I was to see her. The Kid was shocked that there’s someone in the family who’s louder and more ridiculous than I am. And when my cousin wanted to get the dancing started, I jumped up and we danced. We jumped around like idiots and posed for pictures and it was so much fun. I thought, “Why didn’t I invite her to Elsie Fest? She knows more show tunes than I do!”

After a while, I got tired and sat down with my family, but then “American Boy” came on, and I couldn’t believe it. The Kid and I were singing along, and I got up and danced by myself. KPD had been outside and he came back in and was confused by my excitement until he realized what song it was. He had never heard Estelle’s version of the song, only the Glee version. (And me singing it around the house.) Then my cousin came up and was pleased that I enjoyed the song so much, and that’s when I found out that she’s a Gleek AND a Klaine-er! I’ve already sent her a link to the Elsie Fest website.

On the way home, more questions.

  • Why did our cousin have a bat mitzvah at 12 years old, instead of 13?
  • Why did I have to wear a dress?
  • Why don’t most girls in my cousin’s neighborhood have bat mitzvas?

And then she saw Tribute in Light. She was fascinated. As an artist, she loved the idea. And as an artist, she wanted to know how it was done.

  • How big are the lights?
  • Are they hot? Could someone get seriously hurt if they touched them?
  • How high do they go?
  • How far can they be seen?
  • Why are they there?

We drove directly underneath the lights, and she was excited to see that they are, in fact, two arrays of lights. Then they went out of view as we first went under the overpass they are on, then further uptown so that our view was blocked by buildings. She watched for them to reappear, and was stunned that we could see them from Brooklyn, Manhattan, and New Jersey.

The whole day was such a mix of emotions, of past and present, of hope for the future and fear, too. It was nice to share my experiences with the Kid, and to have her really listen and reflect in a way that she couldn’t do when she was younger. It was comforting to be with our friends from Ethical Culture, even while discussing some of the more fearful aspects of our country at the moment. It was great to dance and be crazy with my cousin like we weren’t middle-aged moms. It is always exciting to see familiar works of art through the Kid’s eyes, and I feel like in some ways, the whole day prepared her for her first real viewing of Tribute in Light. It is always an uncomfortable struggle for me to discuss fundamentalist religions with the Kid, but I was reassured by her feminist assumptions.

So here we are: on the anniversary of the worst terrorist attack on American soil, on the brink of an election that will either be historic or disastrous, and with our daughters on the brink of (in the throes of?) adolescence.

Freaks and Geeks

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I’ve never been much of a Judd Apatow. His sense of humor just doesn’t really do it for me. And a bunch of his stuff is pretty sexist.

Whenever I say that, I get one reply, “But…Freaks and Geeks!” And up until now, I’ve had to say that I couldn’t speak to that because I hadn’t seen it. But last week we decided to give it a try.

I have to say, it’s pretty good. The Kid is amused that it, like Glee, takes place at McKinley High School (do all the losers go to McKinley because he was a terrible president?) I’m amused watching Jason Segel and James Franco just starting out, and I think KPD is reliving his childhood. Okay, he didn’t get to high school until 1985, but it’s close enough.

Actually, I’m also having fun seeing the 8-tracks and the 80’s style cameras and discussions of Three’s Company. And Millie and I have a lot in common, sadly.

After Freaks and Geeks, we’re going to watch Galavant. A musical about knights featuring Timothy Omundson? It’s like it was made to order for the Kid. All hail Netflix.