Wednesday, December 23, 2009

2 Stories About 4 Women

I had a fantastic day.

There was quality time with family and friends, travel into San Francisco on an amazingly beautiful December day, and two great stories that, well, were great.

At the risk of sounding incredibly un-masculine, the first story was the musical "Wicked" and the movie "Julie and Julia." Both of these stories focused on two women and I am increasingly becoming an advocate of trying to immerse yourself is stories about people who are different than you in some way. Gender seems like an obvious place to start.
"Wicked" was rad. That's kind of all there is to it. I am listening to "Defying Gravity" right now and will probably have it stuck in my head for a good long while.
I already knew the song, but I had never seen it in context. It is totally intense and I cried.

This will not be the first time I tell you of how I cried today.

Imagine that what you think is the real story of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz is the propaganda told by the winning side. Oz was becoming an increasingly oppressive Kingdom for the animals and munchkins. Elphaba, who would become the wicked witch of the west, caught on and began to take a stand against it. I'll try not to say any more of the plot, which has some great new twists on the origins of the beloved characters from the story, because it was fun to discover it and try to guess what was going to happen. I was right some of the time and totally wrong on others.

But what was really compelling to me was the arcs of the two main characters, Elphaba and GAH-linda. They both have to respond to the larger forces of the world crushing their idealism and innocence. One has it done to them and the other watches and must realize and atone for her part in it.

After watching it, I immediately wanted to see it again to catch all I missed. Wow that was a great show. I do not go to enough things like that. I forget how much I love them and how inspired they make me feel. Somewhere someone thought that show up and years later, it was made and now people all over the world get to experience it and have their lives enriched by it.

That is called Culture Making people! And speaking of that . . .

I also sat down and watched "Julie and Julia" with my mom. She is feeling pretty sick so this was kind of a no brainer. Sick mom at Christmas + movie I haven't seen = you gotta watch it.

It was a nice change from the intensity of the story in Wicked, but I think I was still worked up from it so I got teary eyed a couple of times. What got me was watching Julie and Julia find joy in the creative act of cooking and sharing that joy with others. And Meryl Streep is amazing. I also just saw "Doubt."

At every turn, someone was telling her that her vision of the french cookbook for americans was not good enough. But she knew that it had to be the way it was and eventually someone was able to understand it and understand her. The scenes where she found out they wanted to publish it and then when she received the copy of the book were so full of joy that I just gave in.

I also really enjoyed Amy Adams' character just going for it and trying something crazy. Over 500 recipes in a year. Not bad. Kind of makes me want to try something like that. I love how her big goal was just a series of short term goals because she knew that she had a tendency to start things and not finish. Hmm, sounds like someone I know.

Anyone have any ideas of crazy things I could do like that?

Oh, and let's hear it for the husbands in that movie! Talk about supportive, encouraging, lay your life down type guys (with some minor hiccups. Nobody's perfect.). They were their wives biggest fans and advocates. Loved it.

A good story is a good story. I just typed that sentence and accidentally typed "A good story is a God story." Maybe I had a point there. hmmmmmmm . . .

Merry Christmas you old savings and loan!