29 April 2008

in response to liz getting her license renewed

thank goodness i read liz's blog. not only is she an astute and hilarious lady, she also reminded me that my tags were due this week. in all of our moving around the nation, i've never gotten my car tags changed. the biggest reason for this is that i'm a cheap bastard who'd much rather just mail it in and save the expense of converting and/or having to add on a tag to the front end of the car. it also gives me a good excuse to visit. flying here is obviously is more costly than mailing it in, but alleviates the guilt of spending money on travel, since i've got "business to take care of" in that instance.

the other thing i've been meaning to do for some time is change my drivers' license again. honestly, i never would've changed it in the first place if it hadn't been expiring at the time i was deciding whether or not to get one in los crapeles. silly me - i coulda mailed in a renewal and just paid a smaller fee, even with that address. going to the motor vehicles place is just too much bother.

why is it that i have to wait 45 minutes to talk to someone for 5 minutes? why is it that i have to drive to the middle of nowhere to spend my day staring at weirdos? does anyone that looks normal go to get their license besides me and liz and derek? i'm just glad he was there to entertain me. when we read the sign of "valid secondary identfication" and saw options such as fishing license, property deed, and digital likeness from previous picture on file (or something like that) on the list, we knew we were trapped in the twilight zone. and yes, liz, we did bring our NOT expired passports to prove that we were citizens de republico of los redneckies.

i am into giving credit where credit is due. in spite of the boring wait, the counter people were quite nice to me. my little dude even complimented my hair; he then asked if i ever go to the theatre. HA! i got to tell him that i'm a director and i do go to see live theatre often. turns out he knew some random art geeks and had even seen some of the shows i did last time we lived here. insert twilight zone music here, huh? we did our fingerprints, took a photo and got the right paperwork to head off to the tag agency and wait some more.

but wait! i suppose we paid our dues at the first place. the tag agency downtown is a hidden gem of a place to go take another photo, do your fingerprints over again and get back out into the world in fifteen minutes or less. they can do math and everything! the ladies there even let me take a photo where i look like a complete jackass. no, i MEANT to do it this time. it's a super-cool sort of jackass photo, not the "whaaaa....huh?" look going on that gives me that gang member ambience. in this one i have the smile like a 5 year old who just got a pair of cutesy new shoelaces for my favorite sneakers. you know, all teeth and looking overly surprised in the dumbest possible way... digital perfection! me soooooo happy now. yay me.

what i'm doing tonight:
besides wasting time with sleep-deprived babble that probably includes typos i couldn't even dream of correcting, i'm recovering from a crappy rehearsal and packing for our trip to vegas in the morning.

20 April 2008

are we in the tardis or what?

while my brother chris was here a few weeks ago we started talking about death. then we talked about what we'd like to have to remember someone by when they're gone. the next thing i know we're going on and on about stripey scarves. this is my family. this is what we do. one minute we're talking about world politics or other serious stuff, the next minute we're talking about my hair matches my clothes and why chris is a big dork. there is only so long that i can stand to converse like a grownup before my head explodes. if we don't lighten things up with an inappropriate argument over nothing and some personal slams, how do we all really feel the love?

anyway, somewhere in all this fashion and existentialism, i mentioned how much i missed seeing richard's great big dr. who scarf. see, richard was a bit of an anglophile. when i say "a bit" it of course means that i am understating the case, much like world war two was a bit of a scuffle. his favorite place to go out was the white lion pub. he had a keen eye for english antiques and doodads. he kept stockpiles of old bbc television shows in his media collection. he fancied himself to have a cunning english accent and a command of random cultural trivia.

finally, he owned a totally fabulous, extra long and stripey dr. who scarf! the thing was legendary, man. i admit it made me completely envious ever time he wore the damn thing. after he died, i used to picture him running around in the winter, popping into the theatre with that gigantic scarf and laughing his gigantic laugh. it suited him quite well and is a very concrete memory i like to associate with him often.

having my own penchant for long and colorful scarves, as well as being subjected to countless hours of dr. who while growing up, i spoke highly of richard's fashion sense with accessories. it was at this point that chris must have made a mental note. now, i remember him saying that he knew where to find such a scarf, but i never believed he would actually make an effort to run off and get one.

and then send it to me! excuse my squealing, but i am so totally a TIME LORD! a package full of dr. who goodness arrived this weekend and the thing is fifteen fucking feet long. that's about three times as long as me! talk about feeling like you're wrapped up in a hamster... well, this is like... like, the coolest thing ever. i spent a while just prancing around the house in my underpants and my new scarf singing the theme from the show. who cares if it's spring and i won't really get to wear it for several months? i wanted to run up and down the hall whooping while the fringe flapped against my arms, but my dignity (for once) thought better of such a display. some things are best left for later.

wow. i have to say that this is probably the most thoughtful gift my brother has ever sent to me. no no, i'm not crying. shut UP, i am not even getting choked up. and i didn't when it got here, either. i'm just happy is all. not only do i get to indulge in "hey look at me" side with a crazy fashion statement, but i smile just looking at it. i've already been wandering past the immense pile of scarf in my bedroom and petting it in anticipation of a chilly day. hey there, chris. hi there, richard. ho there, dr. who.

an odd thing i like:
my building has a thirteenth floor - numbered 13.

11 April 2008

if you were to hav a phone conversation with me right now...

blink. blink. blink.

that's the cursor mocking me while stuart lays on my arm. i'm trying to type while he drools in the crook of my elbow. it just keeps blinking away as if it's saying, "go ahead and write... if you can. nahhhh, you suck. see all that blank white space? you'll never fill it up. you are officially BLOCKED." well piss on me. the cursor sure is a bastard today.

blink. blink. blink. stuart, can you please control yourself? ouch, you're poking me. enough with the rearranging already. i'm feeling vulnerable here and you're just treating me like a human chaise. are you SNORING now?!?! oh that is it. way to show support for the one who scoops your poop, buddy. here i was defending you to derek, convincing him that you're full of fluffy love, and all you can do in return is blow a snot on me in your sleep while hogging the desk. thank you. thank you so very much.

pfffft, i am not exciting today. i am a hunchback who has to lean over a cat to reach the keyboard. whilst searching for my creative voice, i've managed to make coffee and put on a pair of purple clogs to walk around in my pajamas. the shoes are so i don't have hairballs all over my feet. most productive, eh? i'm getting that "i should be working" feeling, so i stumbled over here to get something done.

ooops, i think i just squeezed stuart wrong. that was an odd squeaking noise. bubba has decided to join the fray and is now trying to take over my chair. who can get anything done with twenty pounds of fur having a laziness revolution on your desk?

blink. blink. blink.

there it goes again! "go ahead and force it. i dare you!" maybe the cursor is right. today is not the day clatter on the keyboard. i'll have to just settle for working on my scripts and taking a shower. i kind of smell anyway. and i have auditions coming up this weekend. what if no one comes? eek.

what else i should be doing right now:
mailing packages
taking care of sickie derek
cleaning the kitchen
putting on actual clothes

09 April 2008

random side notes - chapter sixteen

by the end of this week, i will be turning into a real director. who else is as crazy as me, attempting to direct THREE shows at once? my brain is surely going to turn to mush by the end of the summer. i don't care. this should be a grand time for all involved.

did you know that seth godin has his own action figure? i don't know why, but this cracks me up to no end.

last week derek went to albany for work. while there, he stopped by kate's lazy meadow motel, a catskills retreat owned by kate from the B-52's. eee! how cute! of course it's everything you might expect from someone like her, including "mid-century modern decor" and airstream trailers. he got me some goofy propoganda and promised to take me there next time he has to go through the area.

mary and i are trying to plan GirlParty '08 in june. veronica got in a show down in dallas, so we'd love to all get together and see her perform. i'm even willing to deal with the texas heat for this one. the next party i want to plan after that should be called northwest girlfest. by august i'll be in need of some serious vacationing and an escape from 100 degrees fahrenheit. how about it, my friends in that (very general) area? you up for random eating and dorking out?

holy shit! tanya just called me for lunch! she's in town from baltimore! how's that for a real time update?!? time to cut this installment short, for i simply must get out of my pajamas and look presentable.

the thing i'm wondering this week that might seem stupid at the outset, but when you toss it over in your head it starts to become a more intriguing sort of question:
do loggers like to recycle?

04 April 2008

miniature protests

need some slightly disturbing entertainment for a moment? step into most any bookstore and head for the political section. perusing the displays and shelves should tip you off that it's a polite war zone of passive aggressive activity. depending on where you reside in the country, you'll see a different genesis of this phenomenon, but it's amusing in any form.

you stroll up to a shelf to browse and notice that some of the books have been turned around. more often than not, books that have anything to do with the clintons are the first to be hit. (i guess they must be polarizing than i thought, but that's rant i'll save for another day.) not only will overly sensitive customers turn these books so that you see the back cover instead of the front, they have a multitude of other ways to try and banish the offensive from your sight. hiding only the cover must not be enough for some. their anger makes them do things like making sure that none of the books are faced out (turned so that you see the cover facing towards you instead of just the spine of the book) except for the ones they want you to read. before you know it, the only faced out books become the reagan diaries and anything by newt gingrich. taking the practice a step further leads people to putting the spines towards the back of the shelf so that you can't even find the books they hate. if you're looking for a book by madeleine albright you might want to check that chunk of white pages facing outwards. try the ones with the ron paul postcards sticking out of the sides first.

still another tactic is to cover the faced out books with those by a different author. do you honestly think ann coulter's books are in every part of the alphabet? take a few of those away and you'll reveal, well, everyone else the ann coulter people don't want you to know about. which seems to extend all the way to everyone who is not ann coulter. they can even hate on other conservative types. hey ann! what did condi rice ever do to you?

in other places it's just as likely to be the books by conservative authors. in this instance i have even seen books turned upside down. come on, you dweebs. that doesn't make a statement, it only makes a mess! oh, and please stop taking biographies of people you don't like and hiding them in the sex section. not only is it frustrating because the books aren't in the right place, but you've defeated the purpose of hiding them. the sex section gets shopped by more people than you think. it's in psychology, after all. who doesn't occasionally wander past it "by accident" when they say they're looking for self help? still, the irony of finding a book by bill clinton next to the kama sutra is enough to elicit hilarious laughter from me.

the newest twist on this twist is blue-on-blue hating. last week i walked into politics to shop and discovered all the clinton books had been removed from displays. there weren't any holes in the display; just a slew of obama obama obama. oddly enough, the mccain books on the very same display were all still in place. when i glanced over at the shelves, bill had magically turned into barack and both of the clintons seemed to be glowing with the audacity of hope. i don't know if this was funny or maybe too reminiscent of ann coulter, but it really just looked kind of stupid. i mean, i don't think is what candidates mean when they talk about grassroots campaigning.

mostly i can't believe how often these things are done. are the people they support so very fragile that they can't handle a different point of view? is it really that important whether or not i see that a book by ronald reagan exists? am i not smart enough to make choices based on what a personally believe? do they think that if they cover madeleine with newt i'll change my mind with a sudden "i coulda had a V8" fervor? what the fuck, man?!? i'm a big girl. i can take it. if i can restrain myself from vomiting on the dr. laura books (which thus far has amazingly been a successful task) then i would think they can trust me to differentiate between what i want to investigate and what i'll skip.

or they could just go on activating my juvenile side. ultimately, if you try to take it away from me i only seek it out more. jeez, just take it a step further and try to ban all of the books that have to do with history or politics so that sales go through the roof. either way, they lose. hear me snickering now, losers? get a life.

what i'm reading this week:
KV - armageddon in retrospect
raymond chandler - farewell, my lovely
donald margulies - collected stories

the ikea song

while i'm not normally a youtube kind of person, i couldn't resist this one. thanks to ed and rhiannon for giving me some happy sunshine. this guy maketh me smile.

02 April 2008

a cultural evening in three acts... or, why it's hard to be out in public and meet people

act one: the dinner
nick and megan invited me to eat with them at the chalkboard before we went to the ballet last week. some friends of ours from kansas city had organized an entire group to come with them for an overnight stay. it mostly consisted of fancy people from the KC ballet, including the artistic director of the company and several other board members besides mark and dave. also on hand were some fancy people from the ballet here. did i know this at the time? well duh, of course not! quite by accident, i managed to get seated at the VIP table. this became clear to me as dave and mark insisted i sit with them, then began to introduce people who got up to make little "hey let's get cultural and appreciate each other" speeches. every single person at my table except me had a little speech. uh, can we say jittery? i was introduced as a theatre director and future sister-in-law of megan. of course she was showed off as one of the dancers, though she is still out of shows from her injuries, and nick was getting asked all about their impending wedding. let the hobnobbing begin!

holy crap, i thought, i'm surely going to embarrass SOMEONE here sooner or later simply by opening my mouth to speak. inadvertently humiliating people is one of my specialties. i don't need tricks to do it; this sort of thing just comes naturally to me. did the boys sit me with themselves so that i would feel more comfortable amongst these strangers? i can only hope my face didn't look like "oh shit, what does make face look like?" as i was being introduced to my table mates. dave is just as goofy as me, however, and we managed to navigate dinner without any major faux pas. the funniest thing that happened was when the KC guy asked me about my theatre company - seems that director translated differently to someone professionally employed in the arts - and i had to explain that i direct shows, not that i have my own company. KC guy was intrigued by some of the pieces i've done, asked a lot about thom pain (yay! one of my favorites!) and said that he really wanted to see it done there, and we compared a few notes on his hometown of seattle. thankfully, i could properly joke about rain and actually knew about some of the arts organizations and their current offerings.

whew. crisis averted. i think. time to get on the tour bus and see the ballet.

act two: the show
personally, i find the idea of giving my opinion on a ballet somewhat intimidating. in theatre it's easy for me to say to myself that the audience has every right to critique a show based on what they've seen, but it's been much slower getting over that hump in other arts stuff. what if i say how great a dancer was only to find out that everyone in the company hates them? do i have any clue as to what constitutes a fabulous ballet? do i sound like a fucking idiot every time i take notice of things? it's a total feeling of quoi for me - i mean, like, QUOI?!?! it shouldn't have even been an issue for this show. the spring and fall triple bills are the time for the shorter, more experimental pieces. last fall they did "in white" and this past weekend the theme was "in black" as a contrast. in my opinion, these two shows are the best part of the season and should be considered far less stuffy overall. the audience looks different than at the full length ballets, usually being more diverse and several years younger. my logical brain tells me that i paid for my (free) ticket just like anyone else, that i have the good sense and taste to make an observation if i like. my twitchy not-good-with-people side tells me that i'm a freak who's going to insult the piece which is the most revered.

yep. leave it to me to actually like the first part of the show; the one that the dancers hate with a passion. trust me to rag on the piece that they love to dance. count on me to say something like, "i couldn't help be distracted by the buttcracks i was seeing because that lighting in the last piece made the men's costumes look like hooker night at dancing with the stars". okay fine. so my way with words is less than stellar at times. or maybe it's too stellar and i should learn to temper it in front of the people most directly involved in a project. whichever it is, i wasn't insulting the dancers themselves. they were fine and good. even better than good when it came to the second part of the show. i admit it - the middle part of the show was so frikkin' great that i cried for the first time ever at the ballet. it was absolutely stunning! afterwards, when megan was chatting with some of the other dancers backstage, i even told rupert that he should be very proud of himself for his performance. (no, i did not tell him i cried. pffft.) other than that, i mostly tried to remain silent... mostly because that whole hooker comment managed to sneak out of my mouth before i knew it. whoops. thank goodness he wasn't in that piece.

me and nick and megan went out for sushi with some of her friends. now, here's the thing about me meeting new people. on the outside i seem quite easygoing about it. i laugh and cavort and chatter away. but really? it's sheer torture. making new friends is not fun for me, so imagine the idea of socializing with people only randomly. furthermore, they weren't just random people that evening. these were all somehow connected to nick or megan or dave or mark or someone else i could alienate and cause distress. by the end of the night i began to wonder if i shouldn't just get drunk, thereby giving myself (and those whom i love) an excuse for my behavior. ack.

act three: aftermath
i woke up the next morning happy and refreshed. what a fun evening, right? let's cook eggs! let's get motivated and clean the house! let's get out and see people and do stuff and be fabulous! woohooooooooo!!!

sitting at my desk, i sprinkled some turmeric on my breakfast and started getting flashbacks of the previous night. see, whenever i meet new people, especially when it's lots of people in a short time, even more especially when i exchange more than "nice to meet you" with them, i go back over it the next day. i listen to the evening in recap form, pondering what we discussed and so forth. i review some of the conversations and think about what they said so that i can more readily remember them when we bump into each other again.

this is a very bad idea.

inevitably, the next thing that happens is "new people hangover" strikes. this is a condition in which you mentally go over the previous night/day/hour realizing all the reasons why the new person or people that you met hate you. it all happens inside your own head in the most irrational way. you're sitting there doing something completely ordinary when your entire body freezes up for a second. you make an grunting noise of some kind and shudder. you wonder who should get the first apology call from you for whatever it is you're sure you did and said. for those of you who have ever had a blackout drinking night come back to you in unfortunate flashes, i can tell you it's very similar to that.

so i'm sitting there just trying to eat my eggs when my brain give off a little snap. ugh. grunt. for fuck's sake, i'm a total pisser, aren't i? oh jeez. JEEZ! do megan and daiva think i have terrible taste in ballet? was nick ashamed to admit i'm his sister? should i have pretended to have a speech impediment to garner sympathy? my shoulders go up by my ears, my head goes down towards the floor. my posture goes limp and my socks become an instant dust mop as i shuffle around in my pajamas. i decide not to answer the phone or leave the house. ever. again. no, this isn't a case of moodiness. it is, finally and officially, some hysterical case of me saving the world from myself! serious brooding is in order, yes?

epilogue: final analysis
on sunday, i went to help scott and margot with some lighting for theatre tulsa. when i relayed to margot my "here's why they all hated me" status, she laughed. seems as if you ALL get that same overwhelming feeling after the new people experience. so i take much comfort in knowing that maybe those fancy people went home and thought about what jackasses they were, too. perhaps we all shuffled about in our socks muttering and shaking our heads in disgust. sure! it could happen! there could be legions of people out there who need buttons that say "will you PLEASE be my friend?" you never know.

culture does funny things to a person.

what i have NOT done since the end of lent:
buy new shoes! can you believe it?