Got the chance to see an interesting movie yesterday, Joel Schumacher's Phantom of the Opera. Now, Phantom is probably my favorite musical of all time, and don't try to tell me about Les Miserables, or Rent or some other show you've seen. I'll readily admit that Phantom has its cheesy moments, but it just strikes a profound chord with me...

...one that recently changed.

See, whenever I'd go to see it in person, I always identified with the Phantom. The scarred, ostracized and tortured genius part of his character always resonated with what I was feeling. Wbat can I say, I was in high school, and I hadn't yet developed much in the way of quality self-esteem. There's a line that Christine Daae says before she kisses the Phantom: "God give me the courage to help you know you are not alone." I wanted that feeling. Not that some girl had to psych her self up and ask the Lord himself for the courage to lock lips with me, but the redemptive love of someone that just wants to be with you so you're not alone. I didn't necessarily want sex or status or control out of a relationship - I just didn't want to be alone. (Insert wailing violins, dime-store psychoanalysis of my origins as an only child here)

Last night was the first time I'd seen Phantom since beeing married. And funny thing - I didn't identify with the Phantom near as much as I used to. I think this ideological avatar of "The Phantom" is just a part of us that wants to be accepted, even appreciated. The ultimate destination of this character's journey is to believe he's too scarred to even acept Christine's love when he's forced her to, and that's the trap of indulging your inner "Phantom." Call it a self-pity party, call it a bout of depression, whatever, but ultimately you tell yourself you're too scarred so many times that you have to believe it and you won't let yourself be healed.

But then, I got past it.
But then, I let myself leave the Phantom behind.

And then I got married, and now, maybe I'm the long-haired hero. Nice.



See Inspiration Here

Have you ever actually looked at some of the product/service names some of our favorite companies come up with? I like Starbucks, but why in the world are they summoning up the name of an Aztec goddess to sell me hot chocolate with enough butter in it for me to feel my arteries clogging?
In the same vein, as I was parking today, I noticed some of the carpool spots we have in our garage. But can they call them "Carpool Spots"? No! The sign has to say "Reserved For RideShare." Why is it that companies believe that if you put two words together without spacing it makes them hip or cool? Another example was a company I used to work for - their customer database software was called InsideTrak.

(And here's another mini-rant. "Trak" is not a word. "Track" is. Why does misspelling something make it cooler? How would you like if your next word processing program was called "Kewl Werdz 4 U?")

Until corporate America corrects this, I'd like to refer to this blog from now on as SwanSpeak.





  1. 1. Don't wear a mock-turtleneck on the day you plan on going to get a haircut. Itchy agony.

  2. 2. CLOMB, JEEZ, and FEIJOA are all acceptable words in Scrabble. However, there is NO word that uses four "N"s.

  3. 3. Kittens do not understand that it is gross to pull something out of the bathroom trash and play with it.

  4. 4. Don't wash stuffed animals in your clothes washer. If My Little Pony(R)'s cranial seam splits open and her fuzz-innards get all in the drain pump, it screws the thing up GOOD.

  5. 5. If it's not one thing, it really is another. And another.

  6. 6. Based on recent useage statistics, your content is most popular in Texas, South Carolina, and Ohio. Need to increase following in Portugal, Netherlands.

  7. "A pointless nostalgic, that's me..."