How To Fill A Winter


I’m having one of those “so much has happened since my last update that I feel too overwhelmed to even try to cover any of it, let alone all of it, so I’d rather just not even try” moments.

D’oh.

So here’s my list-y attempt at sharing some of what’s been important in my life since my last post:

Sunset Playhouse - Murder on the Nile

Sunset Playhouse – Murder on the Nile

1. I closed a play. Murder on the Nile at Sunset Playhouse. Gosh what a swell group. I’ll be working with one of my MotN castmates in my next show, I Hate Hamlet

2. I auditioned for a play. I Hate Hamlet, also at Sunset Playhouse. I was cast as Deirdre. I’ll (hopefully) post something or other about it here. At some point. Maybe.

Oh God I’m such a failure at this blogging thing lately oh oh…

3. I auditioned for another play. Talley’s Folly at SummerStage, an outdoor theatre in Delafield. I was cast as Sally. I plan on Instagramming the crap out of the rehearsal and run process. The practice hall and performance space are just so cool.

If you don't watch the show, this will mean nothing to you. Feel free to ignore it; I promise I won't mind.

Meaningless if you don’t watch Hannibal. Feel free to ignore it; I promise I won’t mind…

4. I watched Hannibal an unhealthy number of times. I didn’t start watching Hannibal since my last update, but I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before so here I am. Mentioning it.

Basically: It’s lovely. I mean – it’s kind of horrifying, yes, in that it centers around a guy who eats people… – but don’t let that fool you. It is truly one of the most beautiful shows on television right now. The writing, the visual aesthetic of it all (from the cinematography to the set decoration to the costuming (!!!) to the way the food is displayed (no kidding)), the directing, the performances — it’s an incredible piece of work.

They’re three episodes into Season 2 right now, but for it to really mean anything you’d have to watch Season 1 first. It’s available through Amazon Prime, and then the three most recent eps are available to watch through NBC.com.

Oh man. Just thinking about that show makes me smile. And that’s saying a lot given that it’s, you know, about a people-eating serial killer, right? I’ve watched all of Season 1 six times now, and have no doubt Season 2 will fare much the same for me.

Plus: It stars Mads Mikkelsen. I’m sorry, but there’s just no topping that guy. Like — jumping between stuff like After the Wedding to Valhalla Rising to The Hunt to Hannibal? That’s just — naw dude. You’ve got to like this guy’s approach to the craft of acting. You can’t not.

5. VIKINGS! Speaking of shows I’ve recently started watching, I’m also really digging the History Channel’s show Vikings. It’s worth checking out as well before they get too much farther into their second season.

6. I attended WMSE‘s Rockabilly Chili Cook-Off Fundraiser. Wow, dudes. I ate so much amazing chili that day. No future chili-eating experience could ever compare. I went with some of the kids from Radio WHT, which of course made it extra fab.

My birthday gift from my friend Bob. My friends know me so well.

My birthday gift from my friend Bob. My friends know me so well.

7. It was my birthday on Wednesday! Oh gosh, you guys – this year was just– it was The Birthday That Kept On Giving.

The Saturday before my birthday, my friend Jenny hosted a Supernatural themed party at her house, complete with show-themed decor, and a dinner of burgers, fries, onion rings, and beer. There were games (SPN trivia, and “Pin the Demon In the Devil’s Trap“), episode viewings, and most of the gifts were SPN (or Hannibal! woohoo!) themed.

The Friday after, a bunch of other friends met up at my buddy Spence’s house for games and pizza and couch-sleeping and it was a blast I’mma just tell you.

Then today, my sibs came over with their families (minus my sister-in-law, boo :\) for mom’s homemade pulled pork sandwiches, par broiled ribs, and a homemade ice cream cake. It was *sniffle* magical

8. We got a nice list of roofs to bid on at work. This makes me happy. Not the way that homemade ice cream cake or Supernatural themed birthday parties make me happy, but certainly a kind that is still very much worth feeling. I’m spending the week helping put together bid packages (something that always takes longer than I estimate it will take; you’d think I’d’ve figured that out by now), and daydreaming about road-tripping to the farther job locations if the proposals come through. *dreamy sigh*

9. I went to the gym. I went an embarrassingly small number of times so far this winter, but I did go – and that’s crazy hard for me (because that is the breed of doofus that I am) – so I’m kinda happy about that.

So yeah, man – all told it’s been a pretty sweet coupl’a months.

Time to get in some reading and then hit the sack. Up bright and early tomorrow to spend the day with friends. Yeah – on a Monday. So stoked.

Happy Spring everybody! :D

Philip Seymour Hoffman


He will always be Philip Seymour Hoffman to me.

My various dashboards are currently filled with Tweets and excerpts from interviews with people who worked with the man, who knew him personally, who called him Phil.

Phil Hoffman.

And I don’t know what to do with that.

Phil Hoffman sounds like he should be a branch manager for an inter-state credit union. He should be the person in charge of scheduling equipment deliveries to construction sites. He should be the consulting accountant brought in by the local zoo as a temporary addition during tax season, his final paycheck mailed in an envelope thick with parking passes and free admittance lanyards for his kids.

A guy named Phil Hoffman would definitely have kids.

Philip Seymour Hoffman had kids. Three of them. Had a long time partner, a woman named Mimi O’Donnell. He was an actor, a director. He was loved, he was respected. He seemed happy, excited about his work. He was passionate about what he’d found to do with his life. He was an artist. He won awards. It was inspiring.

I hope eventually I will remember him only for those things. They are worth remembering. They are worth lauding. They hold up to the status and the weight of being an all-three-names celebrity.

But I’m not there yet. I acknowledge those things, I am in awe of them, but I cannot divorce them from the subject of today’s tweets and interviews: Today, February 2, 2014, Philip Seymour Hoffman died alone in the bathroom of his Manhattan apartment of a heroin overdose; a partner, a father, and an artist known to his fans by all three names.

I can’t believe he’s really gone.

And I don’t know what to do.

Thoughts From Backstage


Updating from the women’s dressing room at Sunset Playhouse, mid-Act II for Murder on the Nile.

The ladies of "Murder on the Nile," L to R: Carrie (Louise), Paula (ff), Me (Kay), Deanna (Christina), Julia (Jackie)

The ladies of “Murder on the Nile,” L to R: Carrie G. (Louise), Paula G. (ff), Me (Kay), Deanna S. (Christina), Julia S. (Jackie)

What a happy, fabulous, funny, friendly, delightful group of women. I’m so pleased! I’M SO PLEASED!

I can’t imagine a life that does not involve spending months at a time with friends and strangers-who-become-friends, all directing our focus on solving the murder of a fictional socialite. Would I cruise the Nile circa 1936 with these ladies? You bet your Baedeker I would.

Submitted for your viewing pleasure…


I’m sitting here cracking up all alone in a cold room while a crushing winter wind freezes the world outside my bedroom window in total contrast to the warmth of all this hilarity.

JOIN ME IT’S TOTALLY HEALTHY AND NOT AT ALL STRANGE!!

By which I mean to say: I’m in the middle of a rewatch of a web series I was introduced to this past summer – Research - and even now on my second go ’round I’m laughing at it like a crazy person.

Yes. That’s right. Barry Bostwick and Doug Jones. No lie.

Research is the brainchild of the folks at Mildly Fearsome Films, the same people who brought you Sudden Death! (“Finally, a musical where everyone dies.”)

Listen: I would not. steer. you wrong. Okay? Just press play. Trust me. Shh, shh… It’s okay, it’s okay…

Thoughts From The Bathtub


Okay.

So all I’m trying to say is:

Don’t let being in your 30s stop you from emptying the last of your shampoo bottle into the bathtub and spending the next ten minutes emptying and refilling the bottle with water until no more bubbles pour out.

Do let it stop you, though, from trying the water because it will be 1) hot, and 2) still taste faintly of almonds and shea butter.

If you taste it, I mean.

But you’re in your 30s so you wouldn’t do that.

Probably.

Wisconsin Weather Wednesday


Current Temperature: Approx -5°F

Current Windchill: Approx -20°F

Current Wardrobe Includes: Socks, leggings, leg warmers, jeans, long sleeved t-shirt, short sleeved t-shirt, fleece jacket, giant puffy coat, scarf, hat, gloves

Current Brain Bending Question: WHY DID PEOPLE EVER SETTLE HERE OMG WHAT WHAT WHY I KNOW IT IS SUPER BEAUTIFUL ALL THE TIME EVEN WHEN THE STARK STABBING FINGERS OF WINTER GRIP THE COUNTRYSIDE WITH SNOW AND DEATH AND TWINKLY REFLECTIVE MAJESTY BUT YOU GUYS THIS IS RIDICULOUS SERIOUSLY MORE OF US SHOULD BE SNOWBIRDS WHAT EVEN IS HAPPENING AND THIS IS NOT EVEN THE COLDEST IT WILL GET THIS WINTER WHAAAAAT???

Wish List


This List Will Not Include Racoons:

  • A bag of Very Berry Starbursts (Have you tried those things?? OMG. Ridiculous.)
  • A pair of black Chucks
  • Some big ol’ Rubbermaid storage bins
  • A new crown so I can get my teeth whitened
  • Concord grapes
  • Dinner with Susanne Bier
  • Gas money to drive to L.A. and back
  • Cheap-motels-and-diners-there-and-back money too, while we’re at it
  • An afternoon of reading scenes with Jim Beaver
  • Every dish on this page
  • A week in a cabin in the Black Hills next summer

I’ve always felt racoons were better as post-script content.

Here kitty kitty...

Here kitty kitty…

Thank you Caitlin. Or Becca. Or possibly Sarah.


I’ve never been much for baths.

Oh sure they’re fine when the tap is still running, filling the bathroom with a loud echo of rushing water to cover up the fact that I’m probably in there talking to myself. (“Well thanks, Conan. It’s great to be here!”) And when February’s got me shivering right down to my farandolae, nothing beats a long, hot soak.

But who needs all that finger pruning? And plugging the drain with one’s heel? (Assuming one, like myself, has no drain stopper.) And what the heck am I supposed to do when the tub’s full and I have to shut the water off? Talk in my head?

A few days back it was cold enough that I had a “Screw it: It’s bath time.” flare-up, so I hopped in, hand towel and Kindle at the ready, and tossed in some sort of mystery Lush bath ball I found in one of my bathroom drawers. Turns out it was a bubble bath bomb.

Bubble Bath

Accidental bubble bath

Who knew?

So thank you to whoever gifted me – Caitlin? Becca? Sarah? – with that lovely surprise. Your thoughtfulness (whoever you are) did not (in some fashion) go unappreciated.

*pop!*

 

Art Alley

Road Trip: Kimball and Rapid City


Gonna hit mom’s and my road trip artlessly and list-style because it’s easier that way and — and well it’s easier that way.

Monday, July 8, 2013

The walrus en route to Rapid City

The walrus en route to Rapid City

We left Waukesha, WI and hit the road for Rapid City, SD, with a planned overnight stop in Kimball. We arrived around 7 pm to a town overrun with construction crews and a vague aroma of sweetgrass and pee.

Mmm… Sweetgrass…

Dinner that night was at Doo-wah Ditty’s Diner. The food was decent and the service was friendly, but between the cranked up A/C and the crew of tactless, leering construction doodz at the center table, I was only too glad to get the bill and head on back to the hotel.

Unfortunately the Dakota Winds was all booked up so we stayed in the Super Adequate 8 across the street, where we were checked in against a scrap of paper with room numbers written on it showing which rooms were… or weren’t… or did that one get cleaned yet… available, and checked out by an enormous, but quite docile, German Shepard who trotted over to the desk when we rang the bell the next morning.

Tuesday, July 9, 2014

dfsdf

dsfsdjflskdjfsdfsd…

The next stop on our journey was Wall, SD, home of Wall Drug, a drug-store-turned-tourist-mecca about 50 miles east of Rapid City. I’d been looking forward to a slice of their pie and a cup of their nickel coffee for the better part of a year and a half, but one tuna salad sandwich later I only had room for a cookie. Sometimes life’s hard like that.

Mom and I didn’t spend as much time wandering through Wall Drug this time as we did last time, in part because we’d already seen it all, and in part because it’s tourist season so things were pretty busy. Somehow the prospect of getting one’s picture taken atop a giant jackalope is a lot less appealing when you have to wait 10 minutes for it in the summer sun. Who knew?

While in Wall we wandered into a shop that specializes in Harley shirts, dream catchers, and commemorating animal death.

Neat-o.

We got into Rapid City around lunch time and met up with my friend Angela who we’d be staying with that night. She took us on a walk through Art Alley

Art Alley

Art Alley

…on our way to the local Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory shop, where heckyes we bought things, and then on to Who’s Toy House where we got to see their Perplexus, which was particularly cool since apparently there are only three of these in existence.

Um…

Okay, so here’s the thing: Right now it’s four days after all that stuff happened and I’m in Colorado Springs and there’s thunder outside and cool dogs in the other room and I’m with friends and I have laundry to fold and a cider calling my name and just — yeah. Blogging about the rest of the trip so far can wait! Back tomorrow – or Sunday – with the rest of the scoop!

Heading West


Leaving in 30... 29...

Leaving in 30… 29…

Up at 6:30 am on an open Monday morning, bags in the trunk, walrus packed and ready to go. This can only mean one thing:

Road Trip!

The pinniped (pictured right) and I will be heading out the door within the hour, mom in tow, headed for parts unknown.

And of course by “parts unknown” I mean “at least as far as Rapid City, SD because I kind of love it there.”

October 2010 South Dakota Road Trip

October 2011 South Dakota/Montana Road Trip

To tag along on this summer’s road trip, tune in here for daily* updates, or follow me on Twitter (twitter.com/behnnie) and Instagram (instagram.com/behnnie) for the scoop in  real-time.

Anything you think we simply must see during our travels? Tweet me @behnnie or leave a comment here with the details. We’re going to try to hit all the Major Attractions That Responsible Grown-Ups Make Sure To See, but mom and I are more “local flavor” type travelers, so don’t go holding out on us if you have a favorite ice cream place in Kimball that we shouldn’t miss!

Time to throw the stuffed mammal into the car and hit the road. Next stop? Blue Earth, MN

*BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Just Kidding!


Ruth has NOT left the building. I repeat...

Ruth has NOT left the building. I repeat…

Surprise.

So I flew out to CA a couple weeks back to meet the gang at my new job before taking the next step of moving out there some time this summer. Got a chance to check out the digs, get to know the neighborhood a little, and meet the awesome peeps from the other end of all those Skype sessions. Woot!

The place was great, the people I’d be working with rocked, the job itself was fun and totally different from anything I’d done in the past, I’d been able to re-home the ferrets in prep for the move, I had a potential buyer for most of my furniture, and I’d have friends to stay with in Pasadena until I found a place out there of my own. Success!!

Cue: Changes to the position wherein a move is no longer required.

Cue: No longer moving to California.

Ha ha.

Ha.

This is, uh, pretty much all I have to say about this.

As you were.