Spells and Statutes

I wish law school books did this

I wish law school books did this

So the reason I’ve not been posting is because I’ve been reading. However, I have mainly been reading law school books, outlines, treatises, etc., and I hate to admit how painfully boring it all can be.

I’ve also been watching and thinking a lot about magic. Not parlor trick magic, but magic of fantasy. I am a total sucker for the fantasy genre, and I have a special place in my heart for any type of magic school. I loved hearing about the magic school in “His Dark Materials” series, as well as the adorable wizarding school of Hogwarts. I love the idea of “magic” being my homework. Spells are probably as hard to learn as deciphering all of the secrets behind the “Marbury v. Madison” decision and how it affected the judiciary’s role in government. The difference of course being, I would much rather be able to make it rain than I would use my constitutional law knowledge.

I was wondering if law school reading could be like magic? A rather old decision of “McCulloch v. Maryland” is a good example. It is old, written by wise sages, and imparts knowledge to the reader about this thing (Doctrine of Implied Powers) which connects to so many things. It would be like being told some secret which allowed you to use some previously unseen force in the air to make flowers grow. In a way, law school books are like magic books in that way. Learning it is hard work, but, if you work at it, you will see the world differently. Before going to law school I would never walk by a spill in a store and think “Wow, that is really dangerous. Not only dangerous to the person, but to the store. If someone slipped and fell in that, there could be a lawsuit, and they would probably have to pay.” I don’t like that I see that kind of stuff, and I thankfully can choose not to see it.

In some ways I feel like I’m becoming a wizard, and despite my poor attempt to convey it, I think I am now more aware of the power of words than I have ever been. Before school words were used to create fantasy be it on page or stage, but now I can use them to help people. I can use words to fight epic battles, and I think that it is really fun. Of course, witches, wizards, and lawyers all get tired if they use to much of their power without resting. So I am about to recharge my batteries before I head out for the last battle of the semester.

Spring Awakening Revisited

spring

Last night I attended Spring Awakening for the 5th time.  It was an incredible evening so I feel the need to supplement my earlier review.

I was very excited upon entering the theatre because both of the adults were being played by the understudies. I had seen Tony Carlin (understudy for the Adult Men) once before, but I had never seen Frances Mercanti-Anthony play the adult women.

I am not sure if it was the absence of Christine Estabrook and Glenn Fleshler, who normally play the adults, that had the cast so energized last night, or if it was perhaps the knowledge that the show is soon to end, but whatever it was, it really made the show feel completely new, exciting, and different.

Alexandra Socha (Wendla) has certainly grown over the past 4 times I have seen her play Wendla. She still lacks the confidence needed in the shows opening, but she quickly salvages a few  sour notes into a solid performance. It was nice to see her play off of Ms. Mercanti-Anthony as her mother, who brought a lot of maternal warmth to the role. The first scene was still funny, but in a different way than it is with Christine Estabrook. Ms. Socha has truly seemed to delve into her character at every moment, and she has abandoned what I described as “quizzical inflections” on many of her lines.

Hunter Parrish as Melchior was in rare form last night as well. Perhaps the best acting of Melchior I have seen to date came out of Mr. Parrish last night. Of course, it seemed to come with a price, as Mr. Parrish strained on notes I had seen him his consistently the past 4 times I saw the show. However, to an audience member with less knowledge of the show and vocal fundamentals it probably went by unnoticed.

The most notable difference for both Hunter Parrish and Alexndra Socha was the final scene of act 1 and the beginning of act 2, where the two have simulated sex on stage. Most of the time this scene is well acted, but last night the two seemed absolutely on fire with passion for the other. The sex seemed to last longer, with additional moaning. It was exciting to watch. However, it certainly made Melchior look more like a rapist than normal.Whenever I take someone to the show, I often ask them what they think of that moment in the show. Do they view it as rape or not? Most people say that it meets the definition of rape, but is more complicated. Although it certainly maintained the complication, Melchior’s darker tone of voice, seemingly lack of patience or tenderness, and sheer physicality certainly made it harder to view Melchior in any way innocent.

Gerard Canonico has made large steps in making his own Moritz. Every time I feel he is better and better. The scene where he questions his father about what would happen if he failed was incredibly moving, which speaks not only to Mr. Canonico but to Tony Carlin as well. I was also incredibly impressed by Mr. Canonico’s vocal performance of “I don’t do sadness” and “And Then There Were None” which were not only pitch perfect but beautifully acted. The fact that he could be crying one minute and angrily singing the next, was truly impressive.

I would of course feel bad if I did not mention Matt Doyle and Blake Daniel. Matt Doyle still wins my praise as best male vocalist in the cast, and his “Desdemona” monologue never ceases to be both entertaining and awkward. Mr. Doyle and Mr. Daniel were blessed with a rather fun audience and therefore their love scene went off with additional hilarity. It was nice that they knew how to handle holding for the additional laughs, and proved they certainly can work the crowd.

My favorite female singer, Emma Hunton, appeared slightly under the weather last evening. This made me sad, as I feel she is the best Ilse the show has ever had. She managed to sing on pitch, but her ability to entirely suck in a room was not at full strength. Her rendition of “Blue Wind” was still wonderful though.

The women in the cast on a whole actually were in the best vocal shape I had ever heard them last night. Their harmonies which have normally been shakey or simply not there, were absolute perfection last night. I felt I was listening to embelishments on the score which really enriched the female presence.

The men were alright. They seemed to speak latin during “All That’s Known” in a higher pitch last night which was a little strange, but not bad. Andrew Durand was a wonderful Georg, and his sexual dream sequence with his piano teacher was absolutely hilarious. I am not sure he needs to add to much to the end of  “Touch Me” as it starts looking more like “American Idol” audition, and less like all of the kids singing about their problems with physical isolation.

The last bit of my review is about the only “new” actor I saw last night. Ms. Frances Maercanti-Anthony. I thought she brought a lot of new things to the show. She felt more maternal, more loving. However, she does not do as good a job at differentiating her characters as Christine Estabrook. In addition, her reading of the letter to Moritz was rather hard to listen to. She seemed to thing Mrs. Gabore (Melchior’s mother) was less than sincere in her letter, which I whole heartedly disagreed with. Her first scene as Wendla’s mother, and her portrayal of Martha’s mother were her best moments. I particularly loved both her posture and inflection as Martha’s mother, capturing the pain of knowing what her daughter was going through but not feeling strong enough or able enough to stop it.

Moment

trusts-cartoon

This little comic makes me laugh. I’ve been pondering death, wishing I could die rather than take my exams on Trusts and Estates. So for me, it was funny on many levels.

I’m typing this to give myself a moment of reflection prior to taking my exam.

I am ready, and I am ready for it to be over!

Shapes

I've thought each of these statements more than once.

So, recently I’ve gone back to the gym. I’m mainly doing it for healthy normal reasons.

  • It helps me work off stress from exams,
  • it is physically satisfying,
  • I feel less guilty about eating bad “study food.”

However, I also have those little voices in my head telling me:

  • “Work out, your fat!”
  • “You’re going back to Arkansas for Christmas. Do you want everyone to wonder why your still fat?”
  • “Maybe if you work out, you won’t be as tempted to eat.”
  • “Maybe you should stop eating lunch again.”
  • “If you go to the gym more, you won’t avoid mirrors as much.”
  • “People hire attractive people. Don’t you want a good job?”

Of course, through years of personal growth I’ve got plenty of wonderful coping mechanisms to battle these evil thoughts, but that doesn’t mean they are gone. It just means I don’t think of them as the gospel like I did when I was younger.

My friend TangleThis turned me onto another blog “Shapely Prose” She described it as:

The women who write it are active to varying degrees:  one is working on yoga certification, I think one is a runner, another has a dance class, etc.  And they are all overweight or obese by BMI standards.  And they write this very smart blog, which I read because I also have to be reminded to do things because they feel good and not because of the fantasy of being thin (“if I were thinner, I could get ____”… or, in your case, “when I was thinner, I was ____”).

So I reviewed the blog. I like what I read, and I like what these women are doing. Therefore I thought I’d give a shout out to their blog. I am always happy to see how people are really starting to recognize how manipulative the media is about “ideal beauty.” It is nice to see that whereas I will never look like:

male-body

I could easily return to looking like:

Actual old photo of me

Actual old photo of me

If I worked at it. I chose that picture, because it is me, and it is not me when I was at my skinniest.

Well…off to burn off some stress/test anxiety at the gym.

Absent

I cannot stop thinking!

I cannot stop thinking!

So, I probably won’t be posting until December 10th

The reason:  Law School Exams.

Why can’t they have a cute acronym? “O.W.L.S.” seemed less threatening, even though you could potentially rip your body apart during apparition.