Sunday, August 26, 2007

Hairspray! and my New Best Friend

So in the last week I've seen three different movies in the theater. They were all good, I guess, but the only one I would definitely recommend to anyone would be the last one I saw.

Last weekend I went to see Becoming Jane with my brother and his fiancee. It was good, I should say, but the least favorite of the three. It's about Jane Austen, and if you don't know who that is... well, you probably wouldn't like the film. But if you're like me, and my brother's fiancee, who can quote extensively from Pride and Prejudice, and the modern version of Persuasion, you might enjoy it. Basically, romance, obligation to family, and sisterhood are prominent themes, as well as the injustice of the society, particularly towards women. Movies are for happy endings in my opinion, though, so shouldn't the lady get her man? Well, in Austen's novels they do, or in her movie character words they all get what they deserve. Recalling Vanity Fair that seems more appropriate. Anyway, it's like Jane Austen is a fashionable thing these days... Keira Knightly really destroyed P&P for me... I just can't explain it. Okay, so it wasn't just her, but partly how so many of the actors were much to old for their characters and... stopping now. Anyway, my bro's fiancee loved the film, I doubt I could sit through it again. It does little justice to the real Jane, I think.

The next movie I saw was Stardust. I had no idea what it was about, it sounded strangely sci-fi or fantasy-ish. Fantasy it was. Actually, one night out on the beach with my bro's fiancee (under an amazingly beautiful sky, so clear I could see the arm of the Milky Way, subhanallah... not a sight for the suburbs!) she was telling me about how the movie is about a falling star, a star who is a person, and some bloke who is looking for a star for his true love. She didn't tell me about Robert de Niro. The movie was good, but deNiro was great.

And just tonight I saw a movie to beat them all... Hairspray!! Movie of the year, I really really enjoyed it (ok, so I love musicals in general). I'm all out of things to say about. Just, if you haven't seen it, you probably should. It's great, the songs are great and the singing. Assuming you can get past John Travolta in drag... and... you probably can... except when the camera focuses on the butt... that's a bit weird. Nonetheless... great movie! Loved it.

Today was a busy day though. I'd wanted to go see Hairspray since I went to see Stardust, because I got to that one so early so I stopped in the Hairspray theater for a little while to pass time and fell in love, so I wanted to see the whole thing. (I came in near the end, when they were singing Without Love). Unfortunately, I had kind of a rough start this morning, with an icky email indicating to me that someone thinks I'm arguing with him while I'm trying to be happy and patient. I haven't got a reason to argue with him right now, so what the heck? But really, there's no worse way to start your day than that sort of an email... except the kind which says you'll only find out later what the problem is. What's that about? You're mad but what, you can't tell me why, you're just gonna wait a few days leaving me to brood about it? UGH!

So instead of moping about all day, which I really wanted to do--okay, so this really upset me--I decided to rearrange my room like I've been meaning to, and throw out the desk, and get the.. special thing..............

So I did. I bought a desk at a yardsale a few years ago, when I was dabbling with the idea of moving out of my parents' house. I painted it myself (did a terrible job really) and when I did actually end up moving out involuntarily I took it with me, and it was nice, especially the first three months I used it when I was in that other apartment. But now that I have a laptop I really don't need such a big desk with a hutch, but I was using the shelves. So I bought a bookcase... all the shelves (and more) and no dead empty space.

I put it together by myself (and did a really shoddy job of it actually, because it was hot in here, I was exhausted, and the black finish was smearing all over my hands--yeah, ew.) But it's up, only a few nails went crooked (I wasn't trying that hard) and even relatively stable. But once I got everything off the desk and onto the bookshelf or in little drawers I also bought today at Wal-mark (except for my printer, which needs a new home) and cleaned up the space... well then I had to get rid of the desk. Desk plus hutch, now, which I managed to get down the stairs of my apartment building all by myself! I of course did the pieces separately, the hutch I also took up the stairs to the parking lot and to the dumpster to throw it out.. wanna armwrestle?... but for the desk part which was a bit heavier, alhamdulillah one of my neighbors came out as I was trying to work it up the stairs and helped me carry it to the dumpster and shove it in.

And then... I went to get my friend. My new best friend, I'm calling it. My old best friend I had to sell for $800, that was my clarinet. But my new best friend is a YAMAHA "Portable" Grand Piano. Portable because it's electric--a keybord, but only the very finest, with weighted keys. Portable in my car, little red focus. I disassembled the stand (it was at my parents' house still) and put it all in my car, and now it's where my desk used to be. Takes up less space leaving more room to... pray? The whole room seems a little more open now, too. Oh yeah... I took the papasan chair out into the living room... that cleared lots of space! I put the bookshelf where it was, and my hamper, and then the piano where the desk was. Very nice!

So why do I call my musical instruments by best friends, someone might be wondering. I was trained privately in clarinet for eight years almost--a personal instructor, not to mention all the playing I did. My clarinet was with me more than any person was. And at other times the piano, when I wasn't playing in a formal group. You see, when I was mad, when I was sad, I could go to the piano, or the clarinet, and just let everything out. It's a tremendous way to relieve stress actually. It takes concentration, and passion at the same time, and is very relaxing. So it just comes out your fingers and onto the board. Wind instruments are better I think, because they force you to regulate your breathing, and take in lots and lots of air. Piano could cause a similar effect if you sing along with it. Not one of my strong suits. But anyway, whenever I've been really upset about something, I would go and play. If you need to cry, the music lets you cry. If you want to shout for joy it gives wings to your voice. If you need to beat out all your anger, the piano will take it. It will take the beating, and turn it into something else. It will take the tears, and turn them too. The piano doesn't get angry at you for your emotions, it just absorbs them, and uses them to make the music, deriving from them the passion. You can't have a fight with a piano, you just pour into it all your anger, all your pain, and the ivory keys just soak it up, letting you free of it. It doesn't build up, and start spitting back in your face. If you want to be happy, it's happy with you. If you want to be sad, it's sad with you. It doesn't make threats, hurl insults. It's just there when you need a friend. When you need someone to listen to the pain, to feel it.

Maybe that's my anti-social musically oriented self only, but I've always found music to be therapeutic. And on a day like today, I really needed to release some of that. Not sure how much stress you can keep after hauling a piano up a flight of stairs (electric or not!) but whatever was left, the piano took. It's a nice hobby anyway, so long as another friend is too angry to tell me what's wrong, but not to blame it on me. Gives me something to do other than cry, mope, or just generally be upset about the state of my life at present.

So when I need to be upset, if I get angry, or if I'm hurt (like right now), I can go to my best friend who listens, and who helps, and who doesn't get angry at me for having emotions. Thought that's what friends did anyway.


Anonymous said...

Salaam Amy
I peg to Allah to give more and stronge Iman, Sis I hope you will consider learning Islam very well and fullfilling the best you could, Sis you can not publish that you went to the movie and recommand to watch it...this is haram and I hope next time you will think before you act
your brother in Islam

Amy said...

Walaikum as-salaam, Mohamed

Thank you for the advice. Do you suggest I remove the post entirely, edit out the bits about the movie, or just the part where I said I'd recommend it?

Which part of it exactly was haraam, I'm kind of confused. Actually going to the movie, recommending it, or publishing that I went? Just curious.