The nation is gripped by the terrors of sub-sub-zero freezingness (and it's not even winter yet!). Here in Miami, we are down to the mid-30's, which is a balmy summer day compared to other places. But mid-30's is really cold if you live in an Art Deco building that doesn't have a heater, with windows with flimsy aluminum frames. I patch together my beach towels as a blanket and go to bed wearing a sweater.
My classes are supposed to be taking their finals today and tomorrow, but I made my students finish them early. In case someone didn't take his/her test or write his/her paper, I provided a time-cushion to turn in their work late. Sometimes when people are under stress, they sabotage themselves, which is unfortunate. And I don't feel like grading papers on my Christmas vacation, which will be spent on a cruise ship galavanting 'round the Gulf of Mexico. Seriously, am I really going to go to the ship's business center and log into the faculty web site, so I can change someone's grade? I'll be far too busy rushing from ballroom dancing lessons to the Luau Party on the Lido Deck. So this is it! Once I am on the gangway, class is officially over.
Hopefully Planet Earth will warm up a bit before I hit the ocean. I don't care about going to the beach or whatever--I live six blocks from the Atlantic Ocean, but I have touched the sand on exactly two occasions in the past year--but warm weather would make things easier. There are only a certain amount of days a person can spend inside a cruise ship competing in trivia games, before a person gets restless. Oh! This ship has a skating rink, so if it gets too cold we can just steal the ice skates and go skating around the outdoor exercise track. I don't think the captain would mind.
It is so cold in here.
I can't procrastinate anymore. I must go to work. And that process starts with getting out of bed.
I have been a good boy this year. Can I please have the following:
1) Bruno Magli suede loafers, dark smoky grey. Size 11 1/2. Please. 2) I need those new air pump things that hold up my car's hatchback. Mine are, like, totally dead and the hatchback is so heavy. 3) Can you please bring me the woman who does VeryMaryKate? She and I should be besties. 4) Cupcakes! Lots of them. Preferably chocolate with chocolate-pretzel icing. 5) People who want to take tours of Miami and Miami Beach with me. I recently finished my tour guide certification, and my tours are really cool. You can come too! Come back after Christmas, when you're not busy. You can park your sleigh on the beach, it should be easier to land in the sand. 6) A new pony. And a cowboy with his own ranch who can help me take care of it. Who also loves to cook and give back rubs.
I would like to let you know I will be on a cruise during The Big Day, so hopefully you will be able to (a) find me in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico and (b) find your way into my room, which will probably not have a fireplace. If you bring my presents to my apartment, my friend who will be staying there shall steal them. Although I do like my friend, I don't want to share either that cowboy, or the lady from VeryMaryKate.
I saw many things this weekend--many, many shows and such.
- I attended a run-through of a Royal Caribbean Cruise show, in which my friend will soon be a dancer. Theme: Broadway medley. Should I go on a cruise during Christmas? Mexico and Cayman Islands. Hmm.
- I spent several hours looking at art, at Art Basel, the largest contemporary art fair in the U.S. Seriously, there was so much art, it made me dizzy. We had to use a map to find our way to the exit. Miami is a weird city: we are among the least intelligent and most shallow populations in America, yet this city hosts the largest contemporary art fair (Art Basel) and the largest book fair (Miami International Book Fair) in the country. Why am I writing this tangent?
- I saw Leslie Jordan (a.k.a. Beverly Leslie from "Will & Grace") in his new one-man show, "Deck Them Halls, Y'all." Mr. Jordan performs three Southern-folk characters who explain why they like or don't like Christmas. The show was a mess, he lost his place a few times, but he's so damn funny that the mistakes didn't matter.
- The reason I'm writing is because of the event that made my weekend: I saw "Tangled."
Whoever is in charge of marketing this movie is doing a TERRIBLE job, because the previews do it no justice. The ads have been edited to appeal to boys, after "The Princess and the Frog" fizzled at the box office. Disney execs blamed that film on being too princess-oriented, which they thought alienated boys from wanting to see it. (Read the L.A. Times story here.) But the problem with "The Princess and the Frog" was that it just wasn't very good, and the music was lousy. And wasn't Disney built by movies about princesses??
Regardless of the reason for Disney's errors, with "Tangled" I expected to see a cheesy, slap-sticky comedy filled with one-liners. But this movie was beautiful and had a surprisingly heavy story, similar to "Beauty and the Beast" in terms of the drama factor.
Zachary Levi and Mandy Moore do fabulous jobs as the voices; the evil mother is voiced by a Broadway actor, Donna Murphy, who works the character into a manipulative, nasty tyrant. The animation of everything is equally superb. I'll stop before I gush.
Although it's not my job to give Disney free advertising, I do feel compelled to recommend you go see Tangled--just because I worry most people will skip it, due to the silly previews. And it's worth seeing at a theater. I didn't see the 3-D version, and I still loved it.
Today I found a Facebook profile of someone I knew, who died about a month ago. He is still being tagged in party invites, group photos that do not include his image, and other posts of no meaning. How depressing.
I believe that sums up the Facebook experience perfectly.