Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Music Morsels Volume XII--Linus and Lucy: The Music of Vince Guaraldi

Everyone knows the Linus and Lucy theme, even if they tend to think of it as the Charlie Brown theme (people wouldn't most likely recognize the actual Charlie Brown theme), and it was probably that as much as anything else that spurred me to pick up this album of New Age pianist George Winston covering classic Vince Guaraldi tracks. But when I put the CD into my player, from the very first notes I was transfixed by a tune I had previously been unaware of, the Guaraldi classic "Cast Your Fate to the Wind."

The track starts off with a simple pulsing quarter-note figure in the left hand, a low note striking and then the octave-and-a-third higher repeating. I've since heard the original and Winston's is, as might be imagined, more serene and wistful, and less groovy, than Guaraldi's. But here especially this lighter touch works. The reading Winston gives of the song is just beautiful to my ears; this is Guraldi's best bit of songwriting and Winston runs with the structure to give us a very gentle and spare bit of melody.

"Cast Your Fate to the Wind" hooked me, but the rest of the album ain't shabby either. Here and there you can hear Winston pushing against the limits of his New Age style and, perhaps, abilities--for example, there's a moment in the famous Linus and Lucy theme, right after that famous "doo-doo-doo-doo-do-doo, doo-doo-doo-doo-do-doo opening" bit where the piano hits a staccato burst of chords and then fills in a syncopated triplet figure in the right hand before hitting the staccato part again. You probably can't place it from my poor description, but you know the part. Well, comparing Guraldi's classic original to Winston's cover you see that Winston can't quite get the jazzy rhythm of that figure; it's a bit stilted and square and not quite right.

But still, he handles a lot of these songs very, very well--especially the slower, more melody-based ones, as opposed to the swingers. The other real find for me here is the "Great Pumpkin Waltz" which may just be most accurately autumnal, melancholy piece of music I've ever heard--just rapturous.

Grade: B+

Monday, November 28, 2005

Covering a Cover

From John Scalzi, I get this fun musical meme. The rules they are simple--take an oft-covered song and write a lil' bit about different covers. My choice is Leonard Cohen's esteemed "Hallelujah."

1. Bono (Tower of Song: Songs of Leonard Cohen)
I've expounded at length about my love for Bono as a vocalist, and place him as (no joke) the greatest rock vocalist, ever. But this is horrid. He's being experimental, kind of speaking the lyrics over some inane electronic beat, and the result is just as pretentious as can be and does nothing for the song. Sad.
Grade: F

2. Rufus Wainwright (Shrek)
This is the first version I really heard of the song, and it's a spare but effective melancholy reading, with Wainwright singing in a plain, reedy voice over a simple piano arrangement. The version in the film is truncated, which is not good of course, but the album version may restore the expurgated verses.
Grade: B

3. k.d. lang (Hymns of the 49th Parallel)
A gorgeous rendition, sung at a nicely leisurely, understated pace, and with a great piano-dominated arrangement that really gives the song (simple in its musical structure) some appreciated heft. This could have gotten too big and maudlin easily, but lang holds it all together superbly. Hers is easily the best-sung of any version of this song I've heard, full-bodied and rich in tone without getting Celine-ish.
Grade: A

4. Jeff Buckley (Grace)
One of the all-time great covers, Buckley's version uses only guitar and his own naked voice to give the song a new and stark reading. Similar in spirit to Wainwright's, but more elegantly phrased and passionately felt. The repeated "Hallelujah!"s at the end are spine tingling.
Grade: A

A little Googling tells me that a bootleg of Bob Dylan doing the song in concert also exists (alongside many, many other versions). THAT I would pay to hear.

Until Whenever

What to Show?

A comment on last week's episode of Lost from my local paper's weekly summary of the show got me to thinking.

(Lost spoilers follow.)

In the episode, characters who had left the island a week or so previous on a raft were reunited with some of their fellow castaways unexpectedly. The question was why one of the characters - Mike - didn't just explain what had happened to him and the others from the raft. For those familiar with the show, why Mike didn't explain to Sayid what had happened to him, Jin, and Sawyer during the week since they left on the raft. Here's my question. Are we to assume he didn't? What the writer was asking for was basically for Mike to provide Sayid with exposition--by telling Sayid what had happened to him and Jin an Sawyer since the beginning of the season. Boring stuff, in other words. Now, the episode - 42 minutes or so of actual show - took place over presumably the better part of a day. That's a lot of time unaccounted for. Couldn't the wished-for conversation have taken place during those unaccounted-for hours? In other words, in any filmed entertainment, TV show or movie, how much is the filmmaker allowed to leave unsaid? Given that a show or film showing every second of what happens is vanishingly rare, shouldn't the filmmakers have some leeway as to what is going on during the time in the character's lives we are not seeing--including shuttling off boring exposition to those times? Or is that cheating--is it cheating to not show us Mike explaining what had happened to the tied-up Sayid? Thoughts?

Until Whenever

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Buried Beauties, Vol. V

Not really that buried, as an episode of Seinfeld can attest to, but I've always found that Marisa Tomei's beauty has gone largely underappreciated by the public at large.

Until Whenever
Film Language
Jaquandor posts here about his ten least favorite films, and ends with a brief pan of Saving Private Ryan, probably one of my all-time ten favorite films. The pan is brief, and basically alludes to a criticism screenwriter William Goldman made in Premiere magazine the year Ryan was up for several Oscars.

(Saving Private Ryan spoilers follow)

I have the essay Jaquandor refers to in Goldman's The Big Picture, and the thrust of his argument is that the movie is basically one big cheat. See, the film opens with an old man in contemporary times visiting a grave in Normandy with his family. The man breaks down at the grave and as his family moves to comfort him we zoom in for a close up of his face and the film goes back to the D-Day invasion. Part (and not a big part, really--the film hardly nags on this mystery) of the engine of the film is the question of who that old man was--which one of our main characters. We are maybe led to believe that the old man is the film's chief protagonist, Capt. John Miller, played by Tom Hanks. And as the film winds on, and members of our core cast are killed, we have a kind of Ten Little Indians thing going, as old man candidates are eliminated. By the end of the film only a few of our main characters are alive--if memory serves, Miller; Pvt. Richard Reiben, as played by Ed Burns; and the titular Private Ryan, as played by Matt Damon. Ryan has not been introduced until basically the last act, the narrative thrust of the film being Miller leading a band of soldiers to find Ryan, who has earned a free ticket home by virtue of his three brothers all having been killed.

The old man turns out to be Ryan, and Goldman's argument is that this is bullshit, since that opening grave scene flashed back to the Normandy beach, which Ryan wasn't part of. Goldman goes on to say that the whole movie is bullshit since of course the whole film being his flashback makes zero sense--since he isn't around until the end of the film. This would be a valid criticism if you accept Goldman's positing of the whole movie as a flashback. My point is that there is no reason to do so. Just because we close in on the old man's eyes before flashing back does not therefore imply that we are seeing his memories. To my mind, to start a movie in the present and establish that the main story is in the past is not to imply that the main story comprises any one man's memory. One could structure a film like this of course, but there is no real reason to assume Spielberg has done so here. Goldman is taking that zoom shot into the old man's eyes as an established communication in film vocabulary that "we re now going to see this character's memories." But why? Just because many a film has used such a shot to do just that doesn't mean that's what it means here. I think Goldman is falling prey to assuming things he wants to assume--to being, in essence, a lazy viewer who is taking other films he's seen and applying their vocabulary here. The error he ends up watching the film with isn't, therefore, the film's fault.
Spielberg hasn't cheated at all.

Now Goldman has other issues with the film which are more a matter of taste than anything else, but his essay makes clear that this is his chief problem with the film, and I think it's an entirely unfair one. Ryan remains for me a brilliant film, and easily a top ten choice.

Until Whenever

Friday, November 18, 2005

Never? He'll Make Money This Summer!

Take a gander at the teaser for Superman Returns. This briefest of glimpses has me very encouraged about this film. The use of the music, the choice of images, and most especially the attention to detail--look for the mini-explosion that appears when Superman enters the Earth's atmosphere from space--are all spot on. Excellent.

Until Whenever

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Things that Make Me Inordinately Happy

Starbucks is selling the almighty Egg Nog latte again. My poor, poor waistline.

Until Whenever
Sweet, Sweet Oxygen

Coming up for air, albeit very, very briefly. Doesn't working for a living just suck?

Taking a page from James Tata, I have provided below a list of my very modest collection of Christmas music. While I with rare exception almost never listen to this music outside of the mid-November through late-December timeframe, I always very much appreciate having it in that timeframe. Driving to get the tree, or decorating the house, just isn't right without some Christmas music jingling away in the background.

Time-Life Treasury of Christmas
A fine sampler, even if a few artists are over-represented (I'm imagining because of rights issues). This set is nice in that includes many rock-solid classic renditions, the ones no season would be complete without hearing at least once, including Perry Como's "Home for the Holidays," Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" (I love reminding the mildly anti-Semitic that "White Christmas" was written by a Jew), Gene Autry's "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," and Brenda Lee's "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree." My favorite track though is a positively scorching swing through a pure-jazz "Jingle Bells." The scatting at the end is, as the kid's used to say, the bees' knees (or is it "bee's knees"?).

A Charlie Brown Christmas
One of my favorite all-time CDs, and the exception to the rule stated above--I listen to this all the time. Guaraldi's "Christmas Time Is Here" is to my mind the most gorgeous carol to be written in decades and I love the sly transition between the stately jazz chord intro to "O Tannenbaum" and the swinging main piece.

Britten: A Ceremony of Carols
I got this primarily because "This Little Babe" is so kick-ass, but the rest has never grown on me.

The Christmas Song--Nat King Cole
Smooth and easy, one of the great voices, and this collection provides for some wonderful lazy Christmas and cocoa background music.

I would like to get a new Christmas CD or two for this season--any suggestions?

Until Whenever

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Doin' the Friday Shuffle (on a Sunday)

A quick shuffle before another intense, most likely regrettably light blogging week commences.

1. "Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love)" - Ella Fitzgerald - Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Songbook
Understated, relaxed, and oh-so-smooth. A great rendition of a great song.

2. "The Delivery Man" - Elvis Costello - The Delivery Man
A slow, shuffling song with a great bit of quiet swagger about it from Elvis' latest.

3. "Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major VI" - Bach - Bach: The Cello Suites
From the same suite that gave us the classic piece of music highlighted in a The West Wing episode. The whole thing is well worth hearing.

4. "Bicycle" - Luis Bacalov - Il Postino (Original Score)
The main theme, a beautiful and tender piece of music. The whole score is more or less variations on this, but it is one hell of a theme.

5. "Be slowly lifted up, thou long black arm" - Benjamin Britten - War Requiem
Lots o' kettle drums pounding, trumpets spitting out angry fanfares, and a big bari voice declaiming with passion. Britten gives good oratorio.

6. "You're Not Foolin' Me" - Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones - 110 in the Shade (1999 Studio Cast)
From the underrated score, a great scene between the two leads as they do a bit of the classic fighting between a man and a woman feeling obvious attraction.

7. "Peace in Our Time" - Elvis Costello - Goodbye Cruel World
A bittersweet ballad that might have been a classic if not for the wretched 80s synth-heavy and turgid arrangement, features that torpedoed most of the album.

8. "Hoch Uber Der Welt" - Alan Menken and Tim Rice - Der Glockner Von Notre Dame
From the German-language stage version of Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame that played Berlin for a few years a while back. Never made it to Broadway, which is a shame, since this is Menken's most accomplished score.

9. "Black and White World" - Elvis Costello - Get Happy!!
Little bit of soul from Elvis.

10. "New Moon" - Ricky Ian Gordon - Bright Eyed Joy
Kind of a round, a bouncy, infectious, and joyful ode to new beginnings. Nicely appropriate to end the post, actually.

Until Whenever

Friday, November 11, 2005

Their Best

For the first time in my albeit brief blogging career I am attempting to jump-start a meme all my own. Well, not really all my own since all I've done is take the music meme I stole from Jaquandor a while back and transplanted the rules to authors instead of artists. Consider this an open invite for other bloggers to take this and run with it--and most definitely add their own authors to the mix, since the number of authors I've read multiple works of is woefully small.
Anyway, here are my initial scribes:

Stephen King - It - Probably still my favorite novel of all time. I'’ve read it, all 1,100+ pages of it, six or seven times. The structure is perhaps what impresses me the most, the way King deftly keeps jumping back and forth between the 50s, with kids, and the 80s, with the kids now as adults, all bracketed by the recurring flashbacks to other killings in Derry. The Stand gets noted more often, but to me this is really the ur-King; the epic, overstuffed length; the very knowing treatment of children; the smorgasbord of horror archetypes; and the wonderful characterization that are his trademarks are all here, and in splendid form. Truly a masterpiece.

John Irving - A Prayer for Owen Meany - A haunting novel. The Meany character should just be laughable, what with the all-caps yelling and the exaggerated characterization and the rest of it but it just works.

Barbara Kingsolver - The Poisonwood Bible - Another novel with a different and extremely effective structure. A missionary reverend and his wife take their four daughters to Africa for missionary work. Each chapter is narrated in the first person, present tense by one of the girls. All four get plenty of chapters to narrate, with the whole thing interrupted periodically with third-person, future remembrances from the mother. A powerful novel about religion.

Isaac Asimov - The Robots of Dawn - I've always loved this at-one-point final chapter in the robot books best of all; the robot books in general I always enjoyed much more than the Foundation series, which is of course, wonderful in its own right.

Robert R. McCammon - Swan Song - Sure it's very Stephen King-influenced, but its epic scale and end-of-the-world story stands as a fine complement to King's similarly themed The Stand.

Arthur Miller - Hard to beat Death of a Salesman really.

Terrence McNally - Love! Valour! Compassion! - A heartbreaker of a play that offers, at the same time, real gut-busting laughs. Just some beautiful, very natural writing.

August Wilson - The Piano Lesson - The central stage-prop metaphor of the piano really holds this one together.

Shakespeare - Gotta be Hamlet, really. Mel GibsonÂ’s performance is well worth a look-see if you haven't.

Anyone care to add to the list?

Until Whenever
Tom's Indy Meme


Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

That was easy.

What? Not what he wanted us to do? OK, let me look again.


OK. From Empire magazine's list of the 50 greatest independent films, I'm going to bold the ones I've seen, italicize the ones I haven't seen, and underline the ones I haven't seen and don't want to.

1. Reservoir Dogs
Love it, but I don't think I've ever made it through the ear scene without looking away.

2. Donnie Darko
3. The Terminator
This actually could be pretty good.

4. Clerks
Not a bad film, but the pass the critics and public have given it on the really, really, atrocious acting has always puzzled me.

5. Monty Python's Life of Brian
Never seen any of the Python stuff. Shame on me.

6. Night of the Living Dead
Not a gore/horror fan.

7. Sex, Lies, and Videotape
8. The Usual Suspects
That devil line has always struck me as actually pretty lame.

9. Sideways
As good as advertised, a tough feat.

10. Mean Streets
11. Bad Taste
12. Eraserhead
13. Memento
14. Stranger Than Paradise
15. Blood Simple
I SO have to see this.

16. She's Gotta Have It
I LOVE Do the Right Thing and yet haven't seen any other Lee joints. Must rectify.

17. City of God
18. Withnail and I
19. Lone Star
20. Slacker
21. Roger and Me
22. Nosferatu
23. The Evil Dead
24. Happiness
25. Drugstore Cowboy
26. Lost in Translation
Also as good as advertised, to my surprise.

27. Dark Star
28. In the Company of Men
29. Bad Lieutenant
30. Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song
31. Pink Flamingos

32. Two Lane Blacktop
33. Shallow Grave
34. The Blair Witch Project
My friend doesn't follow news much, and hadn't heard a thing about the film before we went to see it. It scared the crap out of him; he thought it was real.

35. THX-1138
36. Buffalo '66
37. Being John Malkovich
Is it just me or did this movie kind of inadvertently kill Malkovich's career?

38. Grosse Point Blank
Underrated. As is, come to think of it, Minnie Driver's beauty.

39. The Passion of the Christ
I'm on the pro side. Brilliant filmmaking.

40. The Descent
41. Dead Man's Shoes
42. Swingers
43. Shadows
44. Amores Perros
45. Mad Max
46. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
47. Blood Feast
48. Cube
49. Run Lola Run
50. El Mariachi

Until Whenever
I Did Not Know That.

Finished No Direction Home, the Martin Scorcese documentary on Bob Dylan, recently and may have more expansive thoughts at some later date. But the most striking thing that I came out of the multi-hour documentary?

Joan Baez was hot. Really hot.

Until Whenever

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Laugh It Up

Picking up the Scalzi-begun film comedy meme, here's my look at the 100 canonical film comedies according to Bob McCabe, author of The Rough Guide to Comedy Movies. I've bolded the ones I've seen.

Entertainment Weekly named this (probably 5-10 years ago now) the greatest comedy ever. Hard to disagree. (Note--the list is alphabetical, not ranked, so McCabe isn't naming it as the greatest.)

All About Eve
Annie Hall
The Apartment
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
Blazing Saddles
Bringing Up Baby
Broadcast News
Le diner de con
Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
Duck Soup
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Four Weddings and a Funeral
I actually was very underwhelmed by this--which is odd, since writer Richard Curtis' other romantic comedies, Notting Hill and Love, Actually are very high on my list of great romantic comedies. Love, Actually, in particular, is a lost gem of a movie, a new holiday classic that pretty much landed with a big flump two or so years ago.

The General
What do you say when someone asks you if you are a God?

The Gold Rush
Good Morning Vietnam
The Graduate
Groundhog Day
I've never been able to figure out just how many times Phil repeats the day. It must be in the thousands, no?

A Hard Day's Night
His Girl Friday
Kind Hearts and Coronets
The Lady Killers
Local Hero
Monty Python's Life of Brian
National Lampoon's Animal House
The Odd Couple
The Producers
Raising Arizona
Nice to see this. An oft-forgotten, sweet little movie.

Shaun of the Dead
A Shot in the Dark
Some Like it Hot
Strictly Ballroom
Sullivan's Travels
There's Something About Mary
Just saw this again, after not seeing it since it first came out. Holding up very well.

This is Spinal Tap
That rare comedy I really need to own on DVD. It's on the list.

To Be or Not to Be
Toy Story
Good call. Many would have forgotten it given its animated status.

Les vacances de M. Hulot
When Harry Met Sally...
Did you know those interstitials, of the elderly couples reminiscing, are all scripted and acted? I always thought they were real.

Withnail and I

I am a bad blogger and all-around human being, never having seen any Marx Brothers film, among many other deficiencies revealed above. I have a lot of great comedy to catch up on.

Until Whenever

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Wit of Elmo
First a public service announcement. Tosy and Cosh haven't been the tragic victims of any untimely deaths, but more simply, and mundanely, the victims of a sudden and unexpected, and unwelcome, intense busyness in the real world of jobs and such. In any case, they apologize for their absence, while at the same time admitting that said absence is likely to continue for a bit--this brief post notwithstanding.

With that out of the way, let me say that, as the father of twin 20-month old girls, I have, in the past two weeks or so, seen the film The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, or, as the girls call it, Elmo, many, many times (though not nearly as many times as my poor suffering wife). It's not a bad pre-school-aimed flick at that, and for this devout Mandy Patinkin fan, Patinkin's presence as the stock bad guy Huxley (he's greedy, and insists that everything he touches his his) just sweetens the pot that much more. Two lines, in particular, have been sticking with me these past few weeks, and I felt compelled to share them with you kind folks:

Elmo: (Zoey has Elmo's blanket, to which he has, even at this early stage of the film, displayed a perhaps unhealthy attachment to, and won't give it back) Elmo needs his blanket, Zoey! Elmo has a nice washcloth you can have.

Bert: (Bert and Ernie appear in meta-fashion throughout the film to interact with us, the audience, and to discuss the film. Bert continuously shows much anxiousness at the darker turns the story takes--Huxley's taking of Elmo's blanket, Elmo's getting lost, etc.) Ernie, what if Elmo never gets his blanket back!
Ernie: Don't worry Bert, movies always have happy endings.
Bert: (muttering underneath his breath). What about Gone with the Wind? Dr. Zhivago?

Great stuff.

Until Whenever

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

C3PO Meets Po-Mo

Want to read an entertaining, if odd and very acrobatically reaching, post-modern-type reading of the Star Wars films as Pirandello-esque meta-meataphorical "texts?" Go here.

Until Whenever
Batman Begins

Finally saw the new Batman film on DVD and was, if not mightily, plenty impressed. My take on the series so far has been, like so many others', one of rapidly diminishing returns. And not just in the quality of the films as the series wore on, but in how they individually, especially the decent first two, held up over time as well.

I remember being very excited for the release of Burton's Batman in 1989 (I was 14 at the time), and absolutely loving the movie that summer. But as the years wore on, and I'd revisit it every now and then, it seemed less and less impressive. Nicholson's Joker was a great hammy piece of acting, but he wasn't really playing the Joker, now was he? And the plot was pretty boilerplate and uninteresting. And the Batplane is taken down with a gun?

Burton's second entry, Batman Returns has similarly devolved in my estimation as the years have worn on. DeVito and Pfeiffer are great, but the plot gets a bit silly and Batman is never quite as threatening or intimidating as a character as he should be. And the less said about the Schumaker films the better.

So I was very happy to hear that Warner Bros. was restarting things with an honest-to-goodness origin film. And now that I've finally seen it I can say that it easily outpaces its predecessors. Why?
  • Bale as Batman. I liked Keaton quite a bit, actually, but Bale was at least his equal. I don't know whether it was his idea or director Christopher Nolan's, but having his Batman speak in a whispered, gravelly growl--for Wayne to disguise his voice, essentially--was an inspired choice.
  • The plot. I had read the leaked script, so wasn't surprised by the third-act twist, but I thought it worked very well. And as an origin story they were nicely comprehensive, and surprisingly effective in handling the flashback-heavy opening. Wonderful writing. I even liked the added twist of having Bruce's fear of bats tie directly into his parents being murdered--it was a nice touch.
  • The action. I was suspicious of the Batmobile when I first saw pictures, but in context it was perfect, and the chase scene was well-handled. Sure, some of the Batman fighting stuff overplayed the "get into the criminals' mind by never knowing where Batman is" stuff, with a panolopy of very quick cuts defining each fight scene, but the truth is that in a Batman film I don't need to see the unparalleled fighting skills--in a Captain America movie, say, sure, that'd be key, but the key to Batman isn't his karate skills.
  • Gary Oldman as Gordon. A wonderfully understated and underplayed performance.
  • The comic homages. That the swarm of bats rescuing Batman and Gordon's look were taken directly from Year One and that Falcone is a Loeb/Sale Long Halloween invention I know, and I don't doubt that there were many others.
I did have some minor misgivings, especially around the opening "Bruce Wayne in Nepal" stuff, and how the training montage and the black-garbed ninjas and several other elements from that section of the movie felt like they could have been lifted directly from a bad Van Damme movie, but the movie quickly gained its feet once it centered in Gotham.

I hope they are able to maintain the quality and tone in further installments, especially if Nolan and writer David S. Goyer bail at some point (which presumably they will), but this is a wonderful re-start to the franchise.

Until Whenever
Did You Miss Me?

As is my wont (you know, I don't actually know what "wont" means? I like using it though), I hereby return from a brief, unexpected blogging hiatus by stealing one of them squirmy meme things, from here in this case.

Feeling ________.
Still a little sleepy, after a particularly unrelaxing weekend of painting and housecleaning. Coffee isn't doing its job. Bad coffee.

Listening to ________.
Nixon in China. I likes me the John Adams.

Spent last night ________.
Showing off the monkeys in their Halloween costumes, finishing up the aforementioned cleaning, and scanning through the Sunday paper that had been waiting unread all weekend.

Missing ________.
The girls. After a near-week off, it's always a shock to go back to work and see them for an hour a day.

Had breakfast of ________.

Thinking of ________.
Going back to the gym after a two-week hiatus.

Would love to ________.
Get away with the wife for a weekend.

Planning to ________.
Relish the Tuesday cafeteria regular buffalo chicken wrap.

Working to ________.
Get the house cleaned and ready to decorate for X-Mas. Having just put in a new kitchen, this will take more time than may seem necessary.

Favorite time of day is ________.
Those four or five hours between getting home and going to sleep.

Always wanted to play ________.
Sweeney Todd, in the Sondheim musical.

Dreaming of ________.
Someone, somewhere, publishing something I've written (you know, on paper.

A dream comes true when ________.
Depends on the dream, well doesn't it?

Really hate ________.
Raw tomatoes. Blech.

Until Whenever