26 January 2010

it's time for stimpy's birthday again!

should i feel guilty that his birthday felt more like it was my birthday? lemme explain this to you...

not only did i get my research proposal done, but i also made my yummy eggcakes for breakfast today. they're like pancakes, they're like crepes, they're like french toast, all rolled into one. mmm, mmm, good stuff. i'm certain i can make almost anything taste like a fabulous custard-like, french-toast-tasting piece of goodness if i just don't try too hard. it was an accidental recipe that turned out to be wonderful. more than that, derek eats them without me having to dare him to do it. now it's all up to me getting the proportions just right each time. if i can recreate them for mary someday, i think she'll be excited.

so i went off to school today, where i seemed to have some clue what i was talking about and even started conversation in class. and then to the meat market and to get some birthday chocolate for derek from the gourmet shop. pretty good day so far, right? wait, it gets better.

we got a coupon from a local italian place only a few blocks away. even though it might not be sexy to take your boyfriend out on a coupon, when it's for twenty bucks off dinner, he's definitely into it. when they throw in his birthday dessert for free (even after the twenty bucks!) life is super good. was it just because we got recognized by yet another local waiter who knows we like to tip before the discount? and it wasn't no stinking rubber cheesecake, neither. two steaks, lobster bisque, veggies, bruschetta, and a bananas foster cake - all for less than thirty bucks - is sexy enough for me, so coupon me up and take us out for dinner! num num num. bloody meat and steamed vegetables are good for the soul.

some time back, we bought season tickets to a dance series. it's contemporary dance groups from all over the world, some with musicians and vocalists in the mix. tonight was the ballet folklorico de mexico. wow wow wow is all i can say. i feel glee! who knew i would get the sudden, and possibly genetic, urge to start whooping and squealing along with so many others in the audience? i'm only partly brown, but when it comes to watching a show, these are really my people after all. they had a live mariachi band. eeeee!!! it was even exhausting to watch sometimes, as by the end of the first act the whole place was whipped into a frenzy of whistles and hollers. i couldn't be more happy that i got us tickets front and center. we could see every little thing, including the feathers blowing off costumes and dancing around the stage on their own. i'm pretty sure i got nailed with a bead of sweat, and when the ladies swung past with their fancy dresses, the breeze of the bright fabrics swept over us each time. the last number before intermission was a flurry, culminating in dancers wearing gigantic papier mache heads and swirling about through the aisles in the audience. even my strange fear of papier mache couldn't stop my gaping mouth from woohoos of delight... just after my terrified squawk at the sight of a twenty foot angel in a ginormously scary head.

by the time the show was over, i thought my face would fall off from smiling with joy. the last piece was a massive to do - streamers! flying! everywhere! boy, do i feel sorry for the staff there that has to clean up after because that stuff is all over the place. it was worth it to see the streamers being jettisoned not only at the front section, but over our heads and covering at least the front half of the audience. the aftermath is awesome in all senses of the word.

to make things even cooler than that, i met a writer tonight! on our way in, we stopped by to say hello to our friend cyndi, the house manager. she was worried that we'd come to see august: osage county and hadn't gotten in due to the late seating policy. (by the way, i'm totally into a no late seating thing until the scene change, as this show is being done. get a fucking watch, people.) i told her that no, we were going downstairs for a later show and i'm seeing august on sunday. this was a relief to her, as she pointed out the playwright hovering about on the steps. turns out several people, including tracy letts himself, had been shut out promptly at curtain time. oh, the hilarious irony of it all! i pointed my finger in his direction and said, "hey, you're the writer. i know your mom and your aunt. they're so cool!" we chatted for a minute and it turns out he'd even taken the night off from performing in another show to attend his premiere here with some family and friends. he was late in making it to the door and got told he couldn't go in yet. whoops. he had a sense of humor about it, and as derek pointed out, he's already seen the show.

it could be that i said something dumb after that, but i'm not sure. i get all hazy when it comes to meeting writers, never mind celebrated writers with a pulitzer prize, and i'm usually capable of saying irrefutably inane things. yes, i am speaking of the infamous eddie izzard incident in boston. don't know what i'm talking about? have someone else tell you. that legend makes me weary with twitching. what i do remember is checking up on his aunt and mom. he told me they were already in their seats, unlike him, so i told him to say hi to them from me. thank goodness i have a name that's easy to remember. suddenly i was grateful that derek was too cold to walk around the block to the other door of the theatre and we had to duck in the front to catch an elevator down the hall. if not for that, i wouldn't have met a writer. how on earth do i luck into things like this?

yeesh, i think i'm worn out for the day. once again, are we sure it's his birthday? so long as he's happy then i'm happy. he looks happy right now... blobbing on the sofa with no shoes and basking in a red meat sedation coma. yep, that one is mine all mine.

birthdays last all week:
a birthday card came from vee and travis yesterday! dinner with derek's parents tomorrow! salutations all around! and he's thinking about celebrating later on with his first mountain dew since thanksgiving. what else can we do for glee?

25 January 2010

i can't believe i didn't make anyone cry

well, the show in owasso is over and done with and it turned out to be a success! apparently, we broke their box office record. the audience was quite responsive overall. the board members said they saw a lot of new faces in the crowd, and we even scored a sizable red hat ladies group at our matinee. all i care about is if the people involved enjoyed themselves. as our producer put it, "we're at a level where if we can't make this a fun experience for people, then what's the point of doing it?" i heartily agree. hopefully the group can get their own space in the future, because it looks like the program is on the way to some decent growth.

normally, i'm known for making at least one person on any given production cry before it's all said and done. it's almost a joke at this point and i'm sure to warn everyone of it at auditions. i flash a wry grin and announce that i'm a really mean bitch, also telling them about how much of a potty mouth i am. it would seem that no one even pays attention to it anymore, just laughing off the possibility that there will be a night they go home thinking i hate them. maybe this kind of reverse psychology is starting to work. i used to hear cries of "george HATES me!" in the distance. now i explain to them that no, i'm not mad - this is my real voice. this is just how i sound when i talk. you'll know it when i get mad for real.

maaaaan, i kinda miss when people were scared of me.

oh sure, there is the occasional shit-talker who didn't take me seriously when i declared that i have certain expectations of my cast and crew. there is the initial surprise after the first time i snap at a cast to shut the hell up for a minute. but in general, they get my dry sarcasm and olympic-rated bitching, mostly finding my temper a source of entertainment.

then there are those times when i do make people cry. it's only issued as a warning in auditions because i do it unintentionally. they're having a bad day, i'm having a bad day, someone is on their period, the moon is full, or maybe we're all just frustrated for some reason. whatever it is, i have that special gift of sending a person scurrying off to the washroom for a tearful moment. that person is usually a kid. i've even been nominated as the teacher at camp most likely to make little kids cry. i took it as a sign of love, of course. during the last session, the kids adored challenging me, with one of my faves belting out, "you can't break me!" on a daily basis. another pair who swore they would never crack took to shielding themselves with photos of sofia copolla in an effort to break me down.

(side note: in case you didn't know, i absolutely detest sofia's movies. those of you who like her can suck it. as a lover of both lushly goofy films and historically inaccurate biopics, i felt personally mind raped after seeing marie antoinette. i want my two hours back! so, in order to not say fuckers or shithead in front of a broader audience, i've taken to screaming out "sofia copolla!" as an alternative way of swearing while in public. it confuses the hell out of most people, but it's got an intensely satisfying physical release to it. i would suggest that others find a similar method of expressing frustration in polite society. i would be infinitely fascinated to hear what term they use.)

inevitably, my special tear-jerking gift gets activated when i least expect it and we all watch someone make their mad dash out of my sight line. when this happens, it takes all my composure not to run away myself. okay, so maybe i do run away when given the chance - i've been known to bolt into a scene shop in my time. but do i still wear it as a badge of honor? yes i do. it's like a calling card that wards off the shock of my abrasive personality.

on saturday night when we were loading out the remaining set pieces from the performance space, i wondered how we'd gotten through the past two months with no tears. then, at the last minute, of of my little set crew monkeys started to get misty. she was the youngest one helping us out, only seven, and her mom told her it was all over and time to go. she clung to mommy's leg and started to heave out little breaths while her face changed to a bright pink. i'm hoping she was just exhausted and ready for bed, because she looked like she was gonna lose it before they even got to the car. on the other hand, i hope she doesn't freak out every night when she gets tired. i quickly said goodbye to my tiny monkey and thanked her for all of her help. she gave me a feeble wave and hobbled away.

see there!?! such an incident gives the me sudden urge to go recheck the dressing rooms for trash so that i have a reason to exit. i mean, i guess the making people cry thing isn't always from something horrible, which is a relief, but it's just one of those things i'm really good at in the end. please tell me there's some health benefit to it. like maybe it's a de-bloating thing from letting go of all that salt, right? sure! it's a cardio weight loss mechanism leading to a better america for all of us. and it's free! in these hard economic times, i must be improving the lives of everyone i meet by turning them into piles of blubbering blobs. but i myself never cry at the mere sight of sofia copolla, just so you know. she won't break me!

today's hell on earth:
writing a research proposal for school

20 January 2010

even though i always hate everything, there really are things i like today

if you haven't checked out the other blog by kris, known as in the kitchen with audrey, you should see the fun on it. i'm glad she's teaching the kids to be so self-sufficient, but always willing to ask for help as well, right from the start. and to boot, even someone like me could get a cooking lesson from a toddler. if audrey can make it, so can i. go take a look.

the style of my show is not what people expected, or at least i don't think it is. in any case, taking the ho-hum seriousness out of it and adding some goofy to the mix has been a great time. i've also gotten a few compliments on my directing style in the process, which always makes me feel as if i've done my job. see, no matter what else happens, we are supposed to have some fun doing a play. yes, art is fun! i hate it when people take these things too seriously and spoil the enthusiasm part of it. so we've been having a laugh with each other and i've left the nerd patrol (my first crew that is all boys. how weird is that?) in charge for the rest of the time. if we can achieve that and get the technical elements in place, i assume everything can fall into place pretty easily.

my new doodle book from bonnie makes me smile. it's a gracious distraction from my studies and the fear of truly fucking up my senior capstone project. hell, i haven't even figured out what the capstone thing is supposed to be yet. can i be graded on an assignment that involves nothing but my ignorance as to its content and requirements? maybe i should do a project on the merits of drawing funny faces and butterflies.

speaking of creating things, both merin and mary are gung ho back into the knitting. i like this for a couple of reasons. first, i would never have the patience to knit but squeezing fuzzy, fluffy yarn has long been a secret love of mine. i dream of how it can take shape, but only dare to touch it lovingly and then hand it off to a real knitter. second, it's easy to admire something that seems magical to you. when i see other people create, it makes me feel like there's something out there for me to create, too. doesn't matter that it isn't yarn or textiles, so long as i can see the possibility of a new thing.

yes, i can be happy for someone else's successes. truly and without jealousy excited for them. i've learned that's not something everyone can do. that's not to say that i don't get a twinge of envy when i'm in need of some small triumph myself, but it's reassuring to know that possibilities lurk in wait for the right owner. that must today's theme - possibility. and it does happen to be one of my favorite words. i might even like it more than sammiches or chickens or blah-bitty-blah. prolly not more than fucker or kerfuffle, but those are hard to beat. you gotta say fuckers... oh, and bitches. such a satisfying roll of the tongue for each of those. bitches and fuckers. and possibility. that's me.

the weather is absolutely perfect this week! hovering somewhere between the low 60's and the high 20's, it's a gorgeous january. not only can i layer clothing to my heart's content, looking like a snake shedding its skin as the day goes on, but i can parade around in my festival of jackets and scarves every evening. i would like to order this up for august, please. ever wonder why i actually lose weight more easily in the winter? it's because i actually want to go outside and do stuff! i'll let my skinny brother freeze his bony butt off happily so that i don't have to feel like a sweaty sausage. nyah nyah nyah... i've got the windows open!

derek and i get to model for a photo shoot this week. ryan is doing some project based on famous paintings and asked us to be in it! how cool is that? if i'm lucky she'll give us a copy to hang in our fledgling art collection. she did tell me she would make something for my birthday when she got the inspiration, and this seems like a good gift. ooooh, and derek's birthday is next week, so it's perfect timing.

i'm reflecting on my teaching assignment from last week at an alternative school. maybe a few of the kids totally hated me, but i'm willing to bet from the response i got that almost all of them were into it. the in-house teacher i was working with gave me terrific support and even asked if i was interested in teaching as a career, which was another huge compliment. she's the type that all the kids there seem to respect, so hearing that from her mouth let me know i was on the right track. i hope they liked the arts unit from last week enough to at least think about it and gain some confidence. a few of them even surprised me with what they could do, which is always a great thing. i love surprises.

podcasts this week:
studio tulsa
planet money
the moth
today in the past
totn opinion page

16 January 2010

saturday mornings in my house

somehow we've gotten in the habit of lazing around the place for a few hours while listening to some favorite shows on the local npr station. right now it's car talk. i'm in my pj's drinking coffee (of course) and giggling to "stump the chumps" while i review my resolutions. besides doing my once a week things, which are going okay so far, i was also thinking about some of my daily habits.

some years back, i was in a show where i performed a monologue called thirty hours. the gist of the thing was that we all only have about thirty hours of conversation within us over the course of a lifetime. it seemed a simpleton idea at first, but the more i thought about it, the more i realized how many recycled conversations i had had in my life. since then i've decided that it's a good idea to have a story to tell every day.

i try to do a few nice things every day. in my view, that leaves the rest of the day to be a bitch... and it should be obvious by now that i love to be a bitch. it used to only be one nice thing per day, but that didn't quite merit my style of complaining, so i had to up the ante in order to feel like i was justified in my behavior.

if the only things i get done in a day are washing my face and taking out the trash, that's okay. so long as i get something done very day i'm happy. being the sort of person who can wallow in her own depression, i've found that the only way to get out of it is to set really small to-do lists that actually involve crossing things off, even if i never bother to get dressed. believe me, some days it's a triumph just to make coffee or clean out the litterbox. i've at least gotten that far today, so maybe i should celebrate.

bonnie sent me a doodle book to help with my drawing ambitions. eee! she's like a crazy psychic these days, i swear. it's a book i've considered buying before just for fun. pffft, and they say it's difficult to find a good gift for me. i've been trying to keep up with the paltry bits of resolution i've set for myself. funny how when your idea is to be more creative and expressive it gets to be more intimidating at first. i have sent out more mail over the past few weeks, so don't think i'm not writing just because the blog comes and goes. now that school has started again i have a reason to study something besides handy household tips about deodorizing and rearranging our stuff. i'm not sure how proficient i'll be at learning about the basis of modern political ideas after that, but let's hope i can absorb just enough to graduate in a few months. or we can hope i get some more clients to organize and have money sticking out of my ears. either solution would work for me.

now they're talking about drunk hamsters on wait wait. how am i supposed to concentrate on anything but coffee when they're joking about hamster hangovers? does this count as my weekly studying?

my busy week:
teaching by day, directing by night, napping between