Wednesday Wordplay – Buddha and the South Park chef

Motivational Quotes

Too many people think only of their own profit. But business opportunity seldom knocks on the door of self-centered people. No customer ever goes to a store merely to please the storekeeper.
            — Kazuo Inamori 

The most decisive actions of our life – I mean those that are most likely to decide the whole course of our future – are, more often than not, unconsidered.
        — Andre Gide 

I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.
        — Abraham Lincoln , speech in Washington D.C., 1865

A strong positive mental attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug.
            — Patricia Neal 

I am convinced that life in a physical body is meant to be an ecstatic experience.
            — Shakti Gawain 

You must not come lightly to the blank page.
            — Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, 2000

As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death.
            — Leonardo da Vinci 

Nobody sees a flower – really – it is so small it takes time – we haven’t time – and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.
            — Georgia O’Keeffe

Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.
            — Carrie Fisher 

The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.
 
           — Anna Quindlen 

Love isn’t a decision. It’s a feeling. If we could decide who we loved, it would be much simpler, but much less magical.
            — Trey Parker and Matt Stone , South Park, Chef Aid, 1998

We would worry less about what others think of us if we realized how seldom they do.
            — Ethel Barrett 

If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn’t ask me, I’d still have to say it.
            — George Burns

Trees were so rare in that country, and they had to make such a hard fight to grow, that we used to feel anxious about them, and visit them as if they were persons. It must have been the scarcity of detail in that tawny landscape that made detail so precious.
            — Willa Cather, My Antonia

Better to get up late and be wide awake than to get up early and be asleep all day.
            — Anonymous

There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.
            — Colin Powell

No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.
            — Charles Dickens

Before you do anything, think. If you do something to try and impress someone, to be loved, accepted or even to get someone’s attention, stop and think. So many people are busy trying to create an image, they die in the process.
            — Salma Hayek

Holding onto anger is like grasping onto a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else. You are the one who gets burned.
            — Gautama Buddha


 

Urban Dictionary

Professional Student

Person who receives multiple degrees and keeps taking courses instead of holding a profession related to the degrees earned. Can be a compliment or an insult depending on the speaker.

Ex. 1: a compliment
“Man, I think you’re so cool for writing a dissertation on Mesoamerican maize fertilization. You’re a real professional student!”
Ex.2 an insult:
“Hey Jack, won’t you get a real job and quit being a professional student?”

Jack-Off all trades

A person who does not use profession as criteria for choosing sexual partners

– How’d you swing that? I thought Jane only fucked above a certain income bracket.
Naa man, she’s a jack off all trades


Word of the week

Phantasmagoria (noun)
[fan-taz’-mah-GORE-ee-ah]

1. a dreamlike state where real and imagined elements are blurred together: “She has finally emerged from the drug-induced phantasmagoria of the last decade.”
2. a series of events involving rapid changes in light intensity and color
3. fantastic imagery, especially as represented in art
adjective form: phantasmagoric
adverb form: phantasmagorically


Origin:
Approximately 1802; name of a magic lantern exhibition brought to London in 1802 by Philipstal; alteration of French, ‘phantasmagorie’: art of creating supernatural illusions, from ‘fantasme’; from Greek, ‘phainein’: bring to light.

In action:
“…life is moral responsibility. Life is several other things, we do not deny. It is beauty, it is joy, it is tragedy, it is comedy, it is psychical and physical pleasure, it is the interplay of a thousand rude or delicate motions and emotions, it is the grimmest and the merriest motley of phantasmagoria that could appeal to the gravest or the maddest brush ever put to palette; but it is steadily and sturdily and always moral responsibility.”
Elizabeth Stuart Phelps (1844-1911). U.S. novelist and short story writer. Chapters from a Life (1897).

Review: "The Sparrow" at House Theatre

The_Sparrow1-small Only in the world of Chicago theatre can you find such an exciting artistic organization like The House Theatre. Now in its fourth season, The House has energized the city’s theatre audience, creating a huge following of 20-somethings that might not have otherwise gone to theatre. The company never fails to push the theatrical envelope through the combination of artistry, multi-media, and aggressive and ingenious fun – which explains their reward of consistently sold-out performances.

There are two definitive reasons for the success of The House. First of all, they only present new works that are written through a collaboration of members of the company and the actors of the play itself, and it is evident that this creative style empowers the actors and production team so that each member completely engrosses themselves into each production, sweeping the audience with them. Secondly, and most important, the fare that the company creates for their loyal audience is consistently an artistically exuberant experience. It combines engaging video and original music along with pure athleticism and inspiring energy, leaving one’s senses pleasantly exhausted by the end of each show.

In regards to these two points, House Theatre’s newest work, The Sparrow, does not disappoint. The play follows Emily Book (imagine a combination of Stephen King’s Carrie and Wicked’s Elpheba), who has the unexplained power of flight (among other things), earning her the nickname of “Sparrow”. Emily Bock (believably played by Carolyn Defrin), was the lone survivor of a school bus crash in the town of Spring Farms, IL, when she was four, after which she was quickly whisked away to a Catholic boarding school. Now, at age 17, she has come back to Spring Farms, where she has been taken in by Joyce (Evie Sullivan) and Albert (Jonathan Simpson) McGuckin, whose daughter had been killed in the same bus accident. At Emily’s new school, her school counselor, Dan Christopher (charmingly played by Cliff Chamberlain), takes Emily under his wing, introducing her to all of the students, including the school’s class president and cheerleading captain, Jenny McGrath (an enthusiastic Paige Hoffman). Emily’s powers are discovered at a basketball game, when Jenny, during a cheerleading stunt, ends up precariously hanging from a banner high above the gym. Emily flies up and saves her. Through some surprising turn of events surrounding a school dance, the overall arc of The Sparrow is completed, and the play comes to a jarring but satisfying end (fyi: the show will no doubt be the first in a series).

SpringFarm1-smallThe director (the highly-gifted Nathan Allen) and artistic team have come up with some brilliant scene changes and interludes, including a performance in the bio-chemistry lab by the teacher and a host of singing dissected pigs, (singing and big-band-dancing to a Frank Sinatra tune), and a basketball game that is infused with some fun, acrobatic cheerleading and MTV-influenced dancing.

Special kudos must be made to the music and sound design teams: Kevin O’Donnell, Mike Przygoda, Jeremiah Chiu, Michael Griggs and Phil Canzo. Kevin O’Donnell has composed a remarkable score for this play. The music in this work plays a huge role in the telling of the story, and Mr. O’Donnell will no doubt go far in the field.

The Sparrow - pulling the bullet out of teacher's chest There are a few weaknesses in the show, mostly surrounding some missing storyline and the development of the character of cheerleader Jenny McGrath. Although The Sparrow takes place in a make-believe world, there still needs to be some believability in what motivates the characters, and in Jenny’s there is no fore-shadowing to explain the events of the second act.

Nonetheless, if you have not been to a production at The House, you should make plans to sit among the audience as soon as you can. You will have to venture westward-ho of the main theatre districts, but the short jaunt to Belmont and Western is well worth it.

Rating: ★★★½