Thursday, June 5, 2014

Hedwig--It All Comes Around Like Karma

What's going on here? I'm actually posting for a third time this week! Not sure why I've been so motivated recently, but it works. 
Neil Patrick Harris as Hedwig

I'm really looking forward to this weekend. We're going to NYC. That is exciting to be sure, but we have a reason to go. We are going to see Neil Patrick Harris star in Hedwig & the Angry Inch! Yes! On Broadway! Can you believe that this little snip of a musical has actually gone mainstream? Any of you out there who actually read what I say know how much I love Hedwig & also that I hoped that when I showed it to Xing Fu, he'd get it too.  And so, four years later, we're off to see it live. Every year around February, Xing Fu & I watch Hedwig--it is a reminder of the things that bring us together. I'm very happy that we have these special reminders. And so, I am re-printing my original post about The Hedwig Test & I urge everyone to see the movie with John Cameron Mitchell--the original Hedwig--so awesome. And maybe you'll pass the Hedwig test too! "I put on some make-up, turn on the tape deck, I pull the wig down from the shelf..."

  Would You Pass the Hedwig Test

I love the musical/movie Hedwig & the Angry Inch--I know I've written about it a bunch.  I've seen both the musical (directed by my late friend Terry Long (I miss him!!)) and the movie quite a lot.  It is a bit twisted but it is certainly a love story.  But I think I've developed a test (at least, that's what Xing Fu called it way back when).  The test consists of whether or not a person can appreciate the movie & all of its quirks, & complexities; the humor & the pathos.  


Born a boy named Hansel whose life's dream is to find his other half, Hedwig reluctantly submits to a sex change operation in order to marry an American G. I. and get over the Berlin Wall to freedom. The operation is botched, leaving her with the aforementioned 'angry inch'. Finding herself high, dry and divorced in a Kansas trailer park, she pushes on to form a rock band and encounters a lover/protégé in young Tommy Gnosis, who eventually leaves her, steals her songs and becomes a huge rock star.

A bitter yet witty Hedwig with her pan-Slavic band, The Angry Inch, shadows Tommy's stadium tour, performing in near-empty restaurants for bewildered diners and a few die-hard fans. Through a collage of songs, flashbacks and animation, Hedwig tells her life story while on a tour of chain strip-mall seafood restaurants, trying to capitalize on her tabloid celebrity as the supposed ex-lover of famed rock star, Tommy Gnosis. Somewhere between the crab cakes and the cramped motel rooms, between the anguish and the acid-wash, she pursues her dreams and discovers the origin of love.

There are a lot of references to Aristophanes' speech in Plato's Symposium.  Most specifically in the song the Origin of Love.  My last post was an excerpt from that song.  The movie/musical is full of references to mythology, Christianity, etc., and how aspects of Hedwig's story mirror these ideas.  Additionally, many of the songs also reflect the concept of opposites & contradiction--like I said, there's a lot there.  Also a wonderful homage to glam rock, a la David Bowie androgyny.  I recommend it highly--if you can pass the test that is.

So, early on, I suggested to Xing Fu that we watch this film--in my mind, if a guy can appreciate all the levels, the humor & a little bit of discomfort (transgenders anyone?), then he & I will probably have a lot to talk about in the future.  Not that this is a prime indicator of the success of a possible relationship with a guy, but if he's open-minded, & gets it...well, he gets beyond my 50 first date screening pretty quickly.  Mebbe even closer to prince versus frog status....

I think I've created a monster.  Xing Fu absolutely got it--I knew he would, of course!   And he references the movie often as well.  Passed with flying colors!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Never Date a Non-Sailor & Other Truisms

It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

I agree with this statement wholeheartedly. Passionate love only lasts so long--it is the slogging through after the head-over-heals, feet never touching the ground ground feelings wear off that matters. Yes, "the slings & arrows of outrageous fortune" don't go away & how a couple deals with them together makes all the difference. Having the core of a deep friendship can make even the most difficult circumstances bearable. And true love is built on real friendship over time.

Having been through one failed marriage, I've come to the conclusion that my ex & I were at our best as friends. And at one time we were friends but I think we fooled ourselves into thinking that there was enough commonality in values, hobbies, interests to sustain us. There just wasn't. Xing Fu & I joke about the one dating rule that we adhere to: "Never date a non-sailor." We both did not follow that rule the first go 'round & look where it got us...We joke but I think there is a truth there. We met doing what we love--there isn't a day that goes by that sailing isn't mentioned. In fact, our house could be described as a shrine to sailing.  Sad, but true. All of our sailing friends love it...  But, that is our passion. I feel my happiest & most alive when I'm out there & what better than to share that with someone I love & who understands my need to be trimming the kite.  But this isn't a blog about sailing, really...ha! Who'm I kidding??  My point in all of this is that common interests, ahem, obsessions, (joking) are extremely important. I look at other sailing couples in our social circle & being out on the bay together seems to be very satisfying for them as well.  I know that when I was out in the dating scene, I decided to dive back into the sailing community for a big reason--I loved sailing & I really wanted to be with someone else who loved it as well (and my other passion of horseback riding has, like, zero men).  As I've talked about in much earlier posts, even if I didn't meet anyone, I was loving my hobby, er, obsession.  I also want to point out that even though sailing was what drew us together, that wasn't the only thing about our original friendship.  Actually, it was The Who. At least, that's what got us talking in the first place.  And our common interests are very important--we enjoy doing things together & building on the basis of our friendship. I think good marriages & LTRs are bound together by just enjoying being with your best friend.

Below is a little quiz thingy I found about knowing your spouse/significant other. Have you lost touch with these things? Yeah, some of them seem trivial but when I thought about it, I realized that these are the dailys--and adapt as needed--if your partner doesn't like movies that much, how about favorite books.  If you have lost touch--use this as a way to jump off & reach back out to reconnect.

  • I can name my partner's best friends.
  • I know what stresses my partner currently faces.
  • I know the names of those who have been irritating my partner lately.
  • I know some of my partner's life dreams.
  • I am very familiar with my partner's religious beliefs.
  • I can outline my partner's basic philosophy of life.
  • I can list the relatives my partner likes least.
  • I know my partner's favorite music.
  • I can list my partner's favorite three movies.
  • I know the most stressful thing that happened to my partner in childhood.
  • I can list my partner's major aspirations.
  • I know what my partner would do if he/she won a million dollars.
  • I can relate in detail my first impressions of my partner.
  • I ask my partner about his/her world periodically.
  • I feel my partner knows me fairly well. 
Adapted from:  Gottman, J. M., & Silver, N. (1999). The seven principles for making marriage work. New York: Crown. And from "Forever Families"

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Will You Cheat?

I came across this infographic about cheating. Very interesting. Especially the large testicles. Question: How many women are now going to inspect their man's testes??? Answer: All of the women who live in DC! *SNORT*