VENTRILOQUISM FOR DUMMIES*
My little radio essay aired yesterday -- 'twas wince-inducing for me of course, but not as bad as it could have been (apparently "Meigs" now has two syllables) -- and one of my friends, Lisa B, unwittingly caught it on the way to the hospital (she's nine months pregnant but it's TV pregnant -- like she strapped on a medicine ball. In any case she's *still* very pregnant). The website of the writer who helped ease my way, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, is here: mommymommy.com She has a regular ashtanga yoga practice, so go out and buy her book. At an independent bookstore, of course.
Jack tried to teach me some "elementary html" yesterday so I could put pix and lynx here using my very old, tired and cranky Mac. So now I allegedly know their version of Surya Namaskar A. We'll see if it works...
We had a screening of Bride and Prejudice at the Holmes Home last night (the always hooked-up Henry already has it on DVD) and even though it was pretty much shite we rather enjoyed it. The Bollywood sendup aimed at western audiences stars former Miss Universe (1994) and smart chick Aishwarya Rai, and is Gurinder Chandha's followup to Bend it Like Beckham; Chandra's an African-born Indian married to a Japanese American man, in case you're wondering. B&P is to Bollywood fillums what Crouching Tiger: Hidden Dragon is to Hong Kong films, if you ask me. At least the outfits were good.... although I can't stand it when they sing in English. But now we're planning to don Indian dress (why not?) and watch the real, six hour P&P featuring Mr. Colin Firth -- who isn't *all that* if you ask me. Ash is -- although she was *way* underused in B&P -- Colin ain't. (the 'Merican pop star Ashanti -- whoever that is -- also makes a scantily-clad appearance in the fillum). Apparently Chandra also hired top Bollywood behind-the-scenes talent -- including cinematographer Santosh Sivan, choreographer Saroj Khan and composer Anu Malik.... many of whom are visible during the credits. UK B&P Review
But her weirdest hire was Naveen Andrews. You may remember him as the scary Iraqi and former Republican Guard interrogator on "Lost" -- you know, the Jheri-curled guy with the non-Arabic accent who knows many methods of torture. In B&P he appears as a hot, bhangra-dancing suitor for one of Ash's sisters. WHO KNEW HE COULD DANCE? His real name's Naveen William Sidney Andrews, he was born to Indian parents in London in '69, is 5'9" and apparently moved in with his teacher, Geraldine Feakins (now *that's* a freakin' name), when he was 16! They have a son. Turns out he's now dating Barbara Hershey (does anyone else see a theme here? Not that there's anything wrong with that) and, fittingly, starred in Mira (Monsoon Wedding) Nair's 1996 film Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love. Who knew.....More on him here: Naveen's imdb Bio . Which reminds me. Is anyone else happy that that Seattle teacher Mary Kay Letourneau can finally marry her former sixth grade student? They have two kids together; she's now 43, he's 22. The story is here (I wonder where they're registered): teacherteacher.com
Which brings me to my next point. Incensed about paying thru the nose for cable and still not getting the Sundance Channel, the Independent Film Channel, BBC America and CLTV News (mediocre 24 hour Chicago news station run by the Chicago Tribune, and the only place to find out how much it's actually snowed), I made the call and ordered "real" digital cable. Which means I can now watch The Kumars at #42, the British show about the pampered Indian son who does a TV talk show from his home. It sounds not unlike that preternaturally old kid in Indiana, Michael Essany, who's been doing such a show for years on local cable and spun it off into an E! reality series last year. Only this is Wembley (outside London), it ain't reality, and comedian Sanjeev Bhaskar is the mastermind behind the whole thing. Of course it's now in its fourth season while we're just getting it here in the US, but at least it's something. It airs Wednesday nights at 9 Central on BBC America. Details here:
Kumars BBC America
*yesterday's photo has been moved to 1/23 -- "Musical Chairs"