Susan Weber's blog

Vaudeville 101

painting by Krzysztof Żyngiel

 

Feelings. I’ve known you a long time, though we’re off again, on again friends. I’ve tamped you down, even when I was a girl on the swing set, bawling for no good reason, so I thought.

We do care, right?

We do care

 

Old world gate-kept publishing involved a certain classy restraint by the literati, who offered us good books now and then, followed by long intervals of mysterious unavailability. We readers dared assume their writing time did not include extended spates of air hockey or coupon clipping binges. Unless, of course, the protagonist of a story fancied that kind of thing, in which case it counted as research!

Joy and the art of make-believe

make believe

 

“So it wasn’t magic?” says the girl, pink feathers sprouting from her jewel encrusted crown, her face a mixture of satisfaction at perceiving the truth and chagrin at having found it.

Make-believe is proprietary artist fare. It’s powerful stuff. Politics and advertising ravish it routinely for the purpose of persuasion. But at its heart, making your audience believe you is the artist’s prime directive.

Open air shower

Osprey

 

I was just thirteen at a Girl Scout jamboree on the edge of Camp Drum my first time at this. The older girls told us the soldiers on base would fly their copters over the shower house to see what they could see. So when we heard propellers chopping the air, as we grabbed towels and grinned up at the undulating branches, we pictured the guys in green fatigues taking a good long look through their Army strength binoculars.

Entertaining neighbors

Gracie Allen and George Burns

 

And though they give no standing O, their mouths are round in stunned appreciation. Admiration. Oh. 

Followed by a thunderous applause. A new work well received.

After which the humor, no, the comedy steps in. A one act play with Cleveland's own first couple, call them George and Gracie, troupers from the burbs, entering stage left.

Swimmer's dream

Young girl with goggles in learn to swim class

 

Why does the slender woman stand so close to the tall man, her arms across his chest? Why so long, their tender conversation?

Lately, since I can't swim, I notice more. It's enough to make me glad for sore shoulders. I'm told by the experts to lay off using my arms. Who knew I'd become a tourist in my own pool, taking movies google goggle style. Never heard of the G-goggle? Just wait - it's the next new souped-up toy.

This is a dream about Mom

Jane Hewes WeberI’m with her in the grocery store, shopping for a nice lunch. I’ve bought a soft cheese with a chalky rind. Not my favorite, but I know she likes it. 

Fact and imagination

U.S. Atlantic Seaboard at Night

 

This week’s Science Friday guest is John Gurche, a Smithsonian sculptor of prehistoric life. He says the more facts he knows about his subject matter, the more constrained he is in his creativity. But at the same time, if his sculptures only depicted the known facts, they would be flat. This is where his artistry comes in.

The Play's the Thing

Laurie R. King, Pirate King

Long ago, it was the newspaper or the daily mail. What bit of novelty therein would make my day happier, more interesting, unique?

Bird of Paradise

U.S. Atlantic Seaboard at Night

 

I’m in a jet, setting sail for parts familiar after a long stretch out at sea. The flight attendants have drugged us with food and wine, calmed us with dim lights, answered our questions with soothing sounds. As we drool on miniature pillows, we are late night comedians making light of the sleep we crave in the cramped quarters of economical travel.

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