Thursday, June 21, 2007

RENT

A brief, by no means exhaustive film review:


Finally caught the 2005 filmization of the long-running Broadway show. Director Chris Columbus frames it fairly well, while never betraying the theatrical origins. This is also one of the film's shortcomings; it's not as cinematic as I would've hoped. Chicago managed to succeed in this regard, and it seems to be the yardstick agaisnt which to measure the contemporary musical.

Rent intends to be a blistering, yet tuneful examination of NYC life, and the option of living the bohemian life. AIDS clouds the lives of many of the principal players. At times, the film works in its conveyance of the frustration and heartbreak of the lives of these characters. A little trimming would have helped this film. Exhaustion and tedium duke it out in the last passages. Still worth a look for fans of the show.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Oh, Class of '87

All I'm saying is that if I ever start referring to these as the best years of my life - remind me to kill myself. - Randall "Pink" Floyd from DAZED & CONFUSED


I thought of that signature line as I walked away from the ashes of my 20th high school reunion a few weekends back. Not that I ever had any misconception that those teen years were anything so grand. They weren't. In fact, they were pretty ho-hum. I went to classes, walked home (didn't have a car until college), did homework, went to church activities, and occasionally went out with select people. I was never that social butterfly who had to attend all the keggers out in the woods. Not that I necessarily could have, anyway....

I was somewhat of a ghost in my high school. I knew of everything, but the reverse certainly wasn't true. I had several friends, but few really deep relationships. I made the rounds, perhaps seen on occasion, but forgotten just as quickly by most. This was strikingly evident when I arrived at my reunion. No one knew who I was, at first. It was only after some clue giving and a cracking of the annual that brought back the vague memory: "Oh yes, you, yes..." Of course, I had my share of trouble recognizing anyone myself, as it seemed that time had not been kind to many of my classmmates. Not necessarily overweight, but cursed with unsightly skin pallor, perhaps from too many years of libations. Yep, it seemed that the party never ended for many of them. Despite having mortgages and kids. At the reunion, getting trashed was still a major topic. I can't (and couldn't) relate to that. My party years came post-undergrad, but I moved on. Many of the attendees at the 20th apparently hadn't.

It wasn't a complete wash: I did get to see people I had actually hoped would be there. One was a cheerleader who had always been nice to me (she was rare, many more were like those evil girls in the film HEATHERS). She was now a speech-language pathologist. As this is somewhat of a sister profession to audiology, we had something to discuss. The girl who served as yearbook editor was there, and we reminisced on long-ago days of writing copy and sweating over layouts. But even those with whom I had some meaningful discourse were distant now. We chatted, but the words trailed off....they had their spouses with them, but it was more than that. You can't go back. This I've learned. Over the years I have run into other high school mates. Initially, it was a gas--nostalgia. But it never lasts. They all faded away. Those with whom I did keep are corresponded with once a year or less.

So what? My life has been far more interesting since 1987. I've met many fine folks who would impact me in ways that would have been completely alien to my high school self. I guess we all were clueless back then. Since I had skipped my 10 year, I felt it was necessary to check in, see what had transpired with these people after so long. It was educational, but my predictions confirmed: the relationship dynamic was static, frozen in time, still banished to live within the walls of a school that had since been demolished (literally) and rebuilt. When Forest Hill High was knocked down in 2003, the tangible evidence of long-ago exchanges were lost to the dust. R.I.P.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Some More

OK, a little more about me:



--born in Englewood, NJ. I was a bit early, and so I came along while my parents were visiting friends. We actually lived in Brooklyn, NY...



--...until I was 4. Then we made the fateful trip to West Palm Beach, FL, where I have spent most of my life.



--I'm a only child (specific blog MOST CERTAINLY to follow)



--grew up in a Baptist church. For better or worse, much of who I am today is because of this. I mean that in terms of sociology, not theology. I became a Christian at the age of 17 at a youth camp, and through my faith, I continue to grow and serve.



--I was a Business major/communications minor at Palm Beach Atlantic College (now University). Graduated in 1991.



--engaged my senior year of college. Split less than a year later.



--worked in a variety of pharmacies as a tech, marketer, PR yesperson, etc.



--met the love of my life, Sonia, at said Baptist church in 2000.



--accepted into the doctoral program of audiology at Nova Southeastern U. in '03. Took a little time off, as things got stressful.



--will be graduating within the next year.



So there's the chronology. You can observe from my profile that I also like to write. I have a nice leather bound notebook containing a litany of short stories I wrote between 2001-2003. Now that I have more time, I'm eager to get back into that world. Characters have been clamoring for my attention, audibly, and demand that their stories be told. Threats of neural hijacking by these characters. Not kidding here. Can a psych eval be far behind?



I have many ideas for blog topics. My life has been comparatively sweet, but I have dealt with tragedies, near fatal experiences, divorce (parents), heartbreak, financial mismanagement, recklessness with alcohol, spiritual draught, and other maladies. All fodder for examination. Hopefully, if I don't have something new to proclaim re: these topics, it will be interesting to some extent.



I'm also quite the film buff. However, the combination of grad. school and a real, loving relationship has affected my jones. I don't see a fraction of the number of films I once did while I was a self-centered bachelor. But, I still see some and will comment. I may decide to post reviews of films I've already written on elsewhere. I will also discuss music, science, religion, politics (shudder), and who knows what else.

Oh, and audiology. That's my field. Expect some tomes on tinnitus, hearing aids, and the field itself. If I had blogged while I was coming up through my early clinicals, whew, that would have been something. I plan to revisit those days, but not just yet.



One of my goals is to get more consistent sleep. Having a blog seems counter to this, but I think such a co-existence is possible. So with that, bon soir......



--

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Point A

Hmmmmm...



Very late to the blogger game. It ocurred to me this year that there is much to tell, that I could just fill page after page with the goings-on of my life. So, it was time.



A little about me--



I'm 38, male, of Italian and Norwegian descent. Intrigued?



But enough about me for now. This is just a test. I consider myself a hobbyist writer so it only seemed natural that I would start one of these. Should be an experience.....