Monday, July 4, 2011

"The connection so crispy, so clean, so beefy"

My title today is how choreographer and wordsmith Lil' C described an adorable lyrical hip-hop number from last week's So You Think You Can Dance, choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon D'Umo, danced by Melanie Moore and Marko Germar, and linked to here, because you should really go watch it. It's like an entire romantic comedy plot smashed down into two minutes: the groom is stood up on his wedding day; the groom's best friend (and "best man?") tries to cheer him up; the groom gradually comes to a realization about something significant. Except that we've got two minutes, folks, so nothing is gradual, and certain points need to be demonstrated unsubtly in the most time-efficient manner possible. Truth is, I think I might have had a list of complaints if any other couple had danced this. (It's too soon! He's on the rebound! Is this the time to be making big decisions?!) But I've fallen hard for Melanie and Marko (I linked to their statue dance a few weeks ago) and find that they can do no wrong. Plus, cutest wedding-party outfit ever. Thank you, Fox, for making the videos bigger and easier to access. Now could you please make them less grainy?

[ETA: A French friend just informed me that the video "cannot be viewed" in France... which I would have realized, had I thought about it for a few minutes, having tried to stream American TV myself from time to time while abroad. Sorry to those not in the USA!]

So, moving on, I was obsessed with Nancy Drew when I was a kid. She was self-reliant, she went where she pleased, she was smart, she solved mysteries! Did you know that in 1959, the earlier books were condensed and rewritten (I understand to make them less offensive and to make Nancy way less plucky)? The original editions from the 1930s (All of them? Only some of them? I'm not sure) have been rereleased by Applewood Books, and I'm reading The Hidden Staircase (originally published in 1930). It's AWESOME. Allow me to share a few gems:
Graciously, Nancy acknowledged the introduction. Rosemary Turnball was an elderly maiden lady, tall and a trifle too thin, but not at all severe-looking in spite of her clothing. She wore an old-fashioned dress, long and wide of skirt and high in the neck, but she also had a kind face, and Nancy was instantly attracted to her. (34-35)
What's particularly funny about that passage is that I'm picturing a woman in, like, her 80s, right? But I just reached page 81, and here's a line about Rosemary and her sister Floretta: "Although nearly thirty years older than the girl, they seemed to look to her for protection."

...Nancy Drew is a teenager. These "elderly maiden ladies" are in their MID-FORTIES.

Also, the original Nancy was a gun-totin' girl.
"I think Dad was wise to suggest that I take his revolver," she told herself. "And I'll take plenty of ammunition, too! Enough to annihilate an army! Though truth to tell, I don't know whether I could hit the broad side of a barn or not." (65)
Oh, Nancy, always with the modesty. We know that if, while driving your blue roadster "with a skill born of long practice" (51), you happened to pass a roadside sharpshooting contest, you would try your best, and your best would lead you to win the damn thing.

The big mystery of this book so far seems to revolve around a baffling series of thefts, strange noises, strange shadows, et cetera in a mansion where all the windows and doors are locked -- so how, in heaven's name, is the perpetrator getting in?
Rosemary shuddered and turned appealing eyes upon Nancy. "Tell me, do you believe in the supernatural?"
"I am almost certain your house is not haunted," Nancy replied firmly. (67)
Wow, Nancy. That's... really reassuring.

Seriously, though, what could be the explanation for these strange disappearances of family heirlooms?
"Have you noticed any prowlers around the house?" Nancy questioned next.
"No, I've seen no one except an old organ grinder, and you couldn't class him as a prowler."
"Still, his monkey might have climbed in a window and taken the articles," Nancy suggested. (37)
Yes, that seems likely. It certainly is mysterious; I've been reading for nigh on 100 pages and I can't begin to imagine how anyone is getting into this sealed-tight house. It's a stumper. Did I mention that the book is called The Hidden Staircase?

Back to my reading, because I have to know how it ends :o)


ETA #2 (7/5/11): I've now gotten a bit further into the book and need to retract my claim that it's awesome. Turns out what it is is appallingly racist. Wow. No wonder they rewrote these books. My apologies for expressing ecstasies on my blog before I'd actually read the entire book.