Dream it, girl!

I am bursting at the seams with joy and delight tonight!

Remember just the other week, how I kept running into 渡辺 謙 (Ken Watanabe) things all over the place?

Remember how one of them was that quick-change from the Tony Awards, and how it made me really wish I could see that performance of his, in “The King and I”, even though it ended, like, over a year ago?

Believe it or not, due to a reason I know not, that production is, for two nights only, being shown in select movie theaters here in the USA.

Obviously, I (re)arranged everything, and I attended tonight’s showing of the performance.

It was spectacular, and almost even better than an actual live theater performance, because everyone and everything was so much bigger and easier to see, up there on the big screen. 😛

And, let’s be real here, I hadn’t seen the show since I was itty bitty, so I totally balled my eyes out at the end…

Also, the curtain call always makes a show feel complete – this one was no excuse – and I think that’s what’s missing from regular films, is a curtain call… a tiny nudge back to real life after the show, and a chance to show one’s extreme appreciation for the performance just given.

Plus, clapping and cheering and hollering, with a glint of tears in the eyes, is a totally fun way to end the event.

Anyway, thanks, whoever you are, who decided to show this performance for me tonight – miniature dream just came true! Woohoo!

Post-a-day 2018

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Japan all around

Japan is on my mind and in my life right now.  Recall that I watched the film “The Last Samurai” a few weeks ago.  I then watched it with the director’s, Edward Zwick’s, commentary the other day.  I had a cry-fest the first time, and was utterly touched and in love with samurai even more so than I already had been – I’d respected their skills and revered them as a whole function of class – and then I had a mind-whooshing wonderful exploration and discovery with the second, specifically leading me to appreciate even more the talents and passions of 渡辺 謙 Ken Watanabe*, the man who plays the lead samurai in the film and who plays ‘the Japanese English-speaking character’ in almost every Hollywood film these days – a man I’d already appreciated for his acting skills in “Inception” and other Hollywood films**.  And so, here I am, weeks after first watching the film, and I’m still thinking about the samurai, and I’ve added 渡辺 謙 (Ken Watanabe).

Therefore, when selecting what to wear for today that was unique and warm – the weather is suddenly chilly here, though it was genuinely hot and humid two days ago – I settled on one of my haori (use 羽織 to search online and get the right pictures on Google), the sort of winter jacket piece for kimono***.  The half turtle neck I usually wear with it was unfindable, and so I selected something else that was the same color, but textured really neatly (and then found the other shirt, but preferred the textured one, anyway).

That’s all my own conscious doing.

Today at work/school, the classroom we were using for the yearbook class for which I was subbing was an English classroom.  I happen to sit in a student desk, instead of the teacher’s, and what is directly in front of me?
This:

image1

I asked the students what book possibly was being read that had this on the board, and they concluded that it was a history book.  That is, students had merely used the board in the classroom during a free period, and had put up notes in preparation for a test or quiz in history class that was on that time period.  I was totally ready to read whatever novel it had been for English class, though… Oh, well…

And then, this evening, I found myself sitting in a coffee shop with my mom – her having the intention to read and I to work on my paper for school, but both of us kind of just chatting and catching up on things for the first almost-hour – explaining my outfit to her, one that she has declared to be genuinely great in terms of style and in terms of how it looked on me (and which multiple people had done throughout the day, including people who never comment on my outfits, which was really funny and cool all at the same time), and it turns out that the textured shirt I’d selected, though I hadn’t realized it when I’d selected it, was also from Japan.  I’d just remembered that I hadn’t worn it yet, but had been wanting to for a long time, and just hadn’t found the right situation and clothing combination, and had genuinely forgotten that it, too, was from Japan.  My mother, as we chuckled about the specific funky shop where I’d bought said shirt, then says that, ‘See, there are things you really liked about Japan.’

I agreed with her entirely, and mentioned how I know I want to go back and visit plenty; I’m just not so sure about ever even considering living and working there again.  However, I’ve just had a lot of Japan on my mind lately.  Learning about 渡辺 謙 (Ken Watanabe) and his language situation for the filming of “The Last Samurai”, made me consider whether I could be that kind of person in Japan, in Japanese film.  I have a natural tendency to pick up on accent quite well, and Japanese was no exception to this for me.  Could I go back and model and act successfully?  It’s definitely possible, but is it very likely?  Could I get the visa to give it a go, even?  Hmm… These are the thoughts that have been on my mind the past few days (though not for the first time).  I want to go back to Japan, but I also want to have something to do while there, even though I’ll only be visiting, technically.

And so, I suspect that I’ll just keep this all in mind, and, eventually, I’ll find a way back to Japan (and have a spectacular time while there).  Perhaps, either here or there, I’ll find a way to meet 渡辺 謙 (Ken Watanabe).  Maybe he’ll let me do an interview with him.  That would be stellar.  And possibly a really good idea.  Hmm…  Well, we’ll see.  For now, I’m just surrounded by Japan, intentionally, unintentionally, and even from outside sources… and I kind of like it…

🙂

*Yes, the Japanese version is with the last name first, read Watanabe Ken.  And I tend to say it that way now, though I didn’t do it intentionally and I didn’t used to do it.  I guess it is just automatic for me now, after having lived in Japan, to say a Japanese name ‘Japanese style’, so to speak.  In my head, every time, I say “Watanabe Ken-san”, but I already tend to leave out the -san with people who don’t understand it, and so the same happens with 渡辺 謙.

**When hearing what Edward Zwick had to say in the commentary of “The Last Samurai”, it had me question if that film had been 渡辺 謙’s (Ken Watanabe’s) first real role in a Hollywood film, thinking that it quite likely must have been.  I found it amazing, because I feel like I’ve known him as an actor for so long, that it must have been before 2003 that I first saw him.  After some consideration, though, I realized that, seeing as how 2003 was 15 years ago, it did actually make sense.  Sure enough, after dong a bit of checking, it seems that “The Last Samurai”, in 2003, indeed, was his first Hollywood film.

***Fun Fact: Kimono literally means “wearing thing” or “thing one wears”.

Post-a-day 2018

The Last Samurai… again

I’m not sure that I have ever watched a film with the director’s commentary, but tonight I did.

I discovered the other week, when I’d watched “The Last Samurai”, that the commentary was likely to prove exciting and valuable, and so I kept it on the list of to-dos until I had the time finally tonight to watch it… and I was right: It is spectacular.

I grew up in a world of theatre, often sitting next to a spectacular director, having him ask me questions and tell me little important tidbits about everything he was doing throughout rehearsal and preparation (and everything else, actually), and then, at other times, sitting with my mom as she worked on costuming or props for a show, and sometimes working on sets, myself…, and so I have not only an eye for many things in theatre and film, but also an extreme appreciation for what it takes to accomplish different aspects of a production.

Combining that with my experiences and understanding in Japanese culture, I found Edward Zwick’s commentary beautiful and deepening for the film’s overall power and impact… he and his crew were no surface-level group, but intentional, informed, respectful, committed, and honest workers in the task of making this beautiful, respectful, multicultural film.

Thank you, all of you, for all that you did in making that film. 🙂

Post-a-day 2018

The Last Samurai

I just watched the film “The Last Samurai”, and it was the first time I’d seen it all the way through, as well as the first time I’d seen any of it post-Japan (remember that I lived in Japan for a while).

I balled my eyes out over and over and over again, and mostly for things I never would have considered before having lived in Japan.

As Katsumoto-San says, ‘There are many of our customs/traditions that seem strange to you… Yours are the same for us.’

And now I see both sides of it all, and I wonder at how anyone could consider that only one side to anything in life is good enough, satisfactory enough, adequate… for anything beneficial to anyone or anything.

It can be terrifying, but seeing through the eyes of ones we don’t understand creates a solution to any problem, because, as Ender Wiggin said, once we understand our enemies, we can’t help but to love them.

Post-a-day 2018

Be better for myself

Those late nights when I’m desperate for a movie before bed, and I have an early morning the next day… when I don’t watch a movie, but do something else beautiful, like play uke or guitar before my bedtime reading, and then just go to sleep…, those nights are each a success.

Depression has this sneaky way of, well, sneaking up from normally-no-big-deal things, like watching a good film, and taking hold before I’m even fully conscious of it…

And so those nights when desperation longs for a film, and I do not give in, and I do do something good for myself, are key to my being the happy, healthy, holy person I want to be (and know that I truly am on the inside).

Post-a-day 2018

Not because it was hot

Why did I read the book Love in the Time of Cholera?

Because Sara, in the movie “Serendipity”, pulled it from her bag, and wrote her number in it, so that, after she sold it to a used book store the next day, Jonathan would have a chance of finding it and contacting her, if fate – serendipity – allowed it.

And her character in the film has always reminded me of the girl I want to be.

So, since she had it for some reason, likely to read it, I thought I’d have it and give it a read.

And I did.

And that isn’t the oddest of reasons I’ve read books, either.

(… just in case you were wondering…)

Post-a-day 2018

Dirty Dancing Magic

Have you ever seen the film “Crazy, Stupid, Love”, with Ryan Gosling and Steve Carell (among other familiar faces)?  (If you haven’t, you can watch it on Netflix!)  ***If you don’t want anything ruined from the movie, do not read this next part.***  Remember the scene where Emma Stone’s character asks Ryan Gosling’s what his line is for getting girls to sleep with him?  So, he finally comes out with the fact that he does the “Dirty Dancing” lift.  She doesn’t believe him, but they do the lift anyway, and, of course, she totally falls for him at the end of the lift.

So, why is this relevant?

You see, I do acro-yoga – at least, I have re-started doing acro-yoga again, after a three-ish-year break.  The other night, at a sort of practice/hangout session (called a “jam”), one of the guys offered to test out a certain standing lift with me.  It was not the most basic option, so we agreed to do the simpler option first.  And what was that option?  The “Dirty Dancing” lift.

It definitely takes effort from both parties to make it work properly, so the “Crazy, Stupid, Love” version makes it look too simple.  “Dirty Dancing” is definitely closer to the kind of effort it actually would take a newbie flyer/follow to pull off the lift.  I’ve done lifts in dance routines before, and even a throw/toss, so I’m practiced in the concept of lifts, but I’ve never done that particular lift in a routine.  Anyway, so it took a few almosts, and then we had the lift down perfectly.

And it felt like flying… or something.  I’ve never actually flown (I think), so I can’t actually compare anything to flying, but it definitely felt magical and like I was more than just physically ‘above’ everything around me – I felt like I was on a higher plane of life.  And, of course, that I was utterly beautiful in this specific position, muscles flexed beautifully, like a fairy zooming overhead.

And this guy helped me to be in this position – it was because of him that I was in such a place of wonder and beauty…. I suddenly totally could get why girls would want to ravish the guy who did that lift with them.  Fortunately, I knew the guy and the general activity well enough to keep him and the actual task separate from one another in my head.  Otherwise, I would have been a total mess full of goo-goo eyes for him for weeks.  But I fully understood what could be so attractive, so sexy, so desirable about doing that lift.  I mean, how often do people normally put me into a place of magical wonder, and make me feel more beautiful than the whole world?  (Perhaps your life is different from mine, but I’ll let you know: It is extremely rare for me.)  😛

That being said, I have two things: 1) Totally try out acro-yoga, because it’s a blast and is totally easy, even if you aren’t super fit or anything.  2) I recommend giving the “Dirty Dancing” lift a try at some point in your life, guy or girl, because it is magical and awesome (as I have already mentioned multiple times).  🙂

Post-a-day 2018