Critic’s Notebook: How ‘Chappelle’s Show’ and ‘The Boondocks’ Kept Us Laughing at R. Kelly

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Weird Washington: Your Travel Guide to Washington’s Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets

Weird Washington: Your Travel Guide to Washington’s Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets


Ah, Washington: evergreens, coffee, rock, and rain. That’s pretty much it, right? Well, no. There is a whole lot of weird going on in our state. Washington is home to some of the weirdest travel destinations, scariest legends, and most colorful folks in the United States.Because there are so many odd and unusual tales, cemeteries, beasts, and people here, it took two authors to traverse the state to document it all. With cameras and notepads, and apples (of course) in hand, Jefferson Davis and Al Eufrasio boldly ventured the highways and byways, back roads and forests, shorelines and mountaintops to investigate all the state has to offer. For starters, there are lots of unexplained events here–in fact, we’re ranked number two in the whole country for mysterious phenomena: America’s only unsolved hijacking happened here; look up, but watch out for raining rocks, mysterious flying men, and UFOs; look down, and you might uncover a body turned to soap in Crescent Lake or deadly monsters in Lake Washington.Where else can you find a tribute to a giant squirting razor clam? Discover Ozette, our own Pompeii of the Pacific Northwest, cruise by Gospodor’s monumental controversy on your way to Gravity Hill, but if that’s Bigfoot you see, no worries because here in Washington, Bigfoot saves lives Investigate the elusive Northwest tree octopus, feed a hungry ghost at Starvation Heights, and see what’s not going on in Aberdeen. Yes, Washington is a whole lot weirder than you ever imagined, and "Weird Washington" is here to show and tell you all about it.
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Weird U.S. The ODDyssey Continues: Your Travel Guide to America's Local Legends and Best Kept S

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Weird U.S.: Your Travel Guide to America's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets

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Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging Book

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These Women Kept Their Maiden Names And This Was The Reaction

Following the marriage proposal, brides-to-be are inevitably asked this polarizing question: Are you changing your name?

For some, the answer is an easy “yes.” For those who are on the fence however — or those who simply want to keep the name they were born with for personal or professional reasons — it’s a bit more complicated.

A Reddit thread emerged recently asking women who kept their maiden names to elaborate on their experiences. This is what they had to say:

1. You might be called a “feminist bitch.”
“My husband took my last name. His father was totally okay with it … His mom, however, pitched a fit and almost didn’t come to our wedding. She called me a ‘feminist bitch,’ even though it was her son’s idea and had nothing to do with gender issues and was really angry about it … after six years of marriage, she sends letters and cards only to his first name, and won’t write our last name for him.”

2. Some people might freak out…
“People are generally okay with me keeping my name, but when we would tell people we were considering him changing his they freaked out. I had several men tell me I was taking away his dignity and making him my woman. It’s ridiculous how tiny, stupid traditions can really pinpoint the sexist nature of our society.”

3. But others will surprise you.
“Strangely, even in my small town that is very traditional and not the most open-minded, people were generally understanding.”

5. Owning your decision is the best course of action.
“I’m Hispanic and have 5 names, so IDGAF about more names, but quite enjoy mine and want one name throughout academia, so people kind of let it be. Some thought it was weird, others didn’t care, but at the end of the day, it’s my name and it’s staying that way.”

6. Some things, like traveling, become more difficult.
“Not having the same name is a bit difficult when traveling sometimes. We have bought plane tickets together, selected our seats next to each other, and then arrive at the airport to see that one of us was moved … Crossing borders and coming back into the country gets double-takes … there’s almost always a question or a statement of ‘oh, you have different last names.’ I’ve pondered making a shrunk-down copy of our marriage license and laminating it for situations like that.”

7. And your parents may get confused.
My parents never quite figured out what to call me. They would address cards to us as his full name & my first name, like Mickey Mouse & Minnie. This is despite the fact that my name never changed, and they could just address the letter to the name they gave me at birth.”

7. Not everyone will agree with your choice…
“Online is the worst. I once got ranted against for hating traditional men (I don’t). People in real life actually told me I was a bad mom for not having one family name. That hurt a lot.”

8. But don’t feel pressured to change your mind.
“A lot of people told me something along the lines of, ‘But you have to!’ I asked why every time. Every time they said, ‘That’s just how it’s done.’ I told everyone that wasn’t a good enough reason for me.”

9. If your partner loves you, he’ll be happy with your decision.
“I told my boyfriend that if we ever got married I would not change my name. His response: ‘Ok, doesn’t matter to me, I don’t want to change my name either’. That was that.”

10. Some family members won’t know how to react.
“I’m not sure our families have quite figured out how to address cards to us, but other than that there’s been no response or comments on it.”

11. Politely correcting people will become second nature.
“Sometimes people make the mistake of assuming we have the same last name, but we either just let them assume what they want or politely correct them and so far nobody has freaked out or anything.”

12. Just ignore the ridiculous questions you may be asked.
“My husband didn’t really care one way or the other. I actually appreciated his indifference. He rightly saw that my name was mine and what I did with it was my decision. Our family, on the other hand, had some issues … Some of his relatives actually asked if it was legal for me to keep my maiden name.”

13. It may be awkward at times…
“General response… is ‘oh,’ a cough, and then a bit of awkward silence. So I go back to whatever I was doing and it passes.”

14. But some people will really respect you for it.
“I kept my last name and most females my age that I talked to about it were surprised. It was almost always immediately followed by, ‘That’s so awesome–I changed my name, and I like it, but I think it’s really cool that you kept yours.’ I never got a snooty response.”

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Weddings – The Huffington Post
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First Nighter: Will Eno’s The Realistic Joneses Can’t Be Kept Up With

On the subway home from The Realistic Joneses, Will Eno’s second play this season and now at the Lyceum after a 2012 Yale Repertory Theatre stay, I noticed that the woman seated across from me was also holding a Realistic Joneses playbill. I asked her opinion of what she’d just seen. She replied, “I liked the acting, but I had no idea what the play was about.”

Let me tell you that if anyone wanted a spot-on one-sentence review of Eno’s newest work, you couldn’t do any better than what she said. But we professional assessors are expected to say more. So I will, although I’d love to let it go at the friendly woman’s comment.

At the start of the work, Jennifer Jones (Toni Collette, not impersonating the famous Oscar-winning movie star of that name) and Bob Jones (Tracy Letts, not impersonating golfer Bobby Jones) are bickering in the backyard of their home in, as the program notes, “a smallish town not far from some mountains.”

After some time and some tense exchanges, new-to-the-area Pony Jones (Marisa Tomei) and John Jones (Michael C. Hall) arrive with a bottle of wine wrapped in shiny silver paper and impose themselves on the first pair of Joneses, an imposition Bob clearly likes less than Jennifer.

What follows in this scene and several subsequent scenes–taking place on a David Zinn set meant to represent both Jones residences and a supermarket, et cetera–are various combinations of the Joneses talking in unrelenting non sequiturs about themselves and their relationships to one another.

When Pony (her father came up with the nickname, she reports) and John are about to leave towards the end of the first meeting, she spots a dead squirrel, which Bob disposes of in a handy trashcan. At some point during the work’s intermission-less 90 minutes the information is revealed that both Bob and John are suffering from a rare malady, the medical term for which goes by so quickly I missed it.

Those events represent what could be called the action in a play that is actually brimming with non-action. At times, it appears that Bob may have some interest in Pony. At other times, it seems John has eyes, or at least hands, for Jennifer and that she may be contemplating reciprocation. But these are just vague hints cropping up during the proliferation of conversations that go nowhere, because as Jennifer, Bob, Pony and John keep jabbering, they’re mostly jabbering at cross-purposes.

Occasionally, the offbeat give-and-take can be amusing. There’s a moment when Bob is nagging at Jennifer, where she says, “Do not even start.” Then, following a brief silence, she adds, “I’m waiting.” John, who’s full of left-field remarks, gets to say, “Ice cream is a dish best served cold.”

Nevertheless, after, for instance, too many of John’s opinions uttered, then recanted, then revised, then recanted again, it’s difficult for a spectator–here I mean me–not to start wracking his brain for what in the name of illuminating entertainment playwright Eno aiming at.

There’s the title, which does conjure the old phrase “keeping up with the Joneses.” And here are two sets of Joneses. Is one pair trying to keep up with the other while vice versa is going on? Better yet, is Eno having his joke on the very idea of keeping up with people who by their very chatter can’t be kept up with and, more pointedly, aren’t worth keeping up with.

Or wait, here’s another possibility. The play starts with a middle-aged couple harping at each other late-ish one night. Suddenly, a younger couple pushes through their bushes to interrupt them. She’s flighty and he’s makes a point of being loosely charming. Does this sound familiar, all you theater lovers? Is Eno serving himself very personal laughs by deconstructing Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? And don’t forget Letts was in that drama’s last revival.

Maybe, just maybe Eno is intrigued by the failure of words. Maybe that’s his target. There’s definitely mention of the problem when communications between and among these verbose, if ultimately inarticulate, Joneses lob their words at each other and miss the mark. If so, the apercu isn’t new. Its much earlier manifestation came to be called “Theater of the Absurd.” Possibly Eno is indulging himself in something like Theater of the Post-Absurd and expecting the rest of us to appreciate it.

Perhaps it’s a bit of all the above. Nonetheless, there’s got to be more to it, or otherwise, he has only enough inspiration–if it can be called that–for a short sketch. Maybe that’s not a worry to him. Only a month and a few days back, his intermission-less 80-minuter The Open House bowed at Playwrights Horizons.

In that one a dysfunctional family to beat all dysfunctional families dysfunctions for much of the allotted time. At that one I was thinking, initially, “Okay, he’s sending up the all-too-common dysfunctional family play. Nice idea.” But I was also thinking it’s a nice idea that’s only worth a 10-minute skit. Wouldn’t you know, however, that Eno found a twist causing me to reconsider my conclusion? I eventually decided The Open House was worth a 20-minute skit.

Still, if I can’t bring enlightenment to a discussion of The Realistic Joneses, Eno can. Here he is talking about his intentions with Playbill’s Mervyn Rothstein, “I had questions about the absolute fact of death looming there that we are very happy to ignore–how does that quietly and constantly make its pressure felt in our dealings with each other, in relationships and love and things like that?”

So that’s what he means to convey through his incomprehensible, although sometimes tickling, colloquies. If so, it’s not working for my subway-car acquaintance, and it’s not working for me, either. His premise is far too obscure.

Under Sam Gold’s direction, the alphabetically billed Collette, Hall, Letts and Tomei are collectively giving it their best shot. Unfortunately their best is not good enough. The Realistic Joneses from the highly regarded (though not necessarily by me) Will Eno is an example of that wise old saying, “There’s less here than meets the eye.”
Arts – The Huffington Post
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