Drrr-unk!

July 23, 2014 § Leave a comment

Have you been watching Drunk History on Comedy Central?

My husband was skeptical. We’d watched some of the episodes from the original web and the portrayal of people’s drunkenness made him uncomfortable both as a person and an attorney. But it’s summer and none of our usual shows are on, so we gave it a try . . .

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We are enjoying it very much!

The drunk people are totally drunk but they don’t seem as dangerously/uncomfortably drunk as I remember them being on the web. Moreover, the show has gotten a TON of amazing actors to reenact the stories being told – Laura Dern, Jack McBrayer and Retta leap immediately to mind as some of the most well-known from the episodes I’ve seen – and whether you know their names or not, the entire cast is doing a stellar job.

The show really capitalizes on what I love about history: the stories. As a history student, I never cared about dates or battles, but I loved reading and hearing stories about people from a long time ago and trying to imagine what it would have been like to be there. I’m not sure how rigorously accurate the stories on Drunk History are, but they seem to be close enough and the story-telling of them is really fun.

The other thing that’s surprising (and not un-fun) about watching the show is that, at least for me, watching it makes me feel like I’m drunk even though I’m not. I’ve probably had a glass of wine by the time we’re on the sofa watching TV at night, but watching all the drunk people has the bizarre effect of magnifying the feeling.

Drunk History airs on Comedy Central on Tuesdays at 10PM but we’ve been catching up on the episodes we missed by watching them on demand.

Will you watch? Would you want to be one of the drunken storytellers? (I kind of think I would . . .)

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Writing is Magic!

July 15, 2014 § Leave a comment

Recently, I’ve had some difficult writing to do.  It’s stuff that’s hard to say because a) some things are just harder to say than others; b) some communications require more precision and/or nuance.  The recent assignments have been all of the above and I’ve been trudging ahead but I’ve also been moving slowly and feeling really blocked.

Then, I stumbled onto the secret.  Turns out I had the answer all along.  It had been given to me by an English teacher in High School.  It is the humble free-write.  Seriously! Who knew!?  Okay.  I’m sure plenty of people but, now me too!  And YOU!  If you want to write something you have to write SOMEthing and if that won’t come, a free-write is a great way to get your something written. Dorky but true.

I remembered a cool website I stumbled across years ago and wanted to share it with you.  It’s called oneword.com and it’s a one-minute online free-write on a random prompt.  Cool, right?  This isn’t the kind of free writing I did – that was specific to my subject and longer than a minute – but why not try this kind too?  It’s a minute.

Let me know in the comments if you like the website.  And tell us all what YOUR secrets for cracking a tough nut are when it comes to creative projects!

Marvelous Medicine

July 8, 2014 § 1 Comment

George’s Marvelous Medicine

Not too long ago, I got the most fantastic message on Facebook from a woman I met when we were both in the fourth grade:

Eevin-I am reading an old copy of George’s Marvelous Medicine to my daughter and your name is written on the inside front cover. Must have left it at my house 25 years ago!

I was so tickled.  I’ve always LOVED Roald Dahl – I read and took complete pleasure in all of his books as a kid – and it felt exactly right that somehow from faaar away I was part of someone else reading (and hopefully enjoying) him.  (When we were dating, because he had read absolutely NONE of Roald Dahl’s books, I encouraged my husband to read James and the Giant Peach.  He would pick it up to read at bed time, get through about two and a half sentences and fall asleep.  I married him anyway).  Even more, I have such a strong memory of reading George’s Marvelous Medicine because I read it (probably around third or fourth grade) all in one evening, out-loud, to my mom who laughed so loudly and enjoyed it so much that the book has been a life-long favorite, and the memory of reading it together like that was one we shared and savored together periodically over the course of the intervening years.

As it happens, my mom died not too long ago and this message from my old classmate – with this wonderful memory that it brought along with it – was such a gift.  Over the past few weeks I’ve received a number of deeply lovely notes and letters of condolence but this totally unrelated message was more magical because it brought her back just a tiny bit.  Just for a second.

Medicinal indeed.

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