friends

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!*

 

Philosoraptor


I suspect there are things my mother would rather I didn’t do.

I suspect I shall continue to do them.

************

I would’ve come home hours ago, except that my boyfriend’s mother served coffee at 9:30 tonight and I couldn’t resist grabbing a cup. 11:00 found Boyfriend and I highly caffeinated and parked on his couch watching episodes of Game of Thrones, him on his laptop filing his taxes, me switching back and forth between poor choices in Words With Friends, and fat fingered trombones in Draw Free on my cell phone. Two episodes and one game of double-deck Solitaire later it was 2:30 am. Where does the time go?

2:40 am. I pull into the garage at my apartment, tired, but not exhausted. Might have a few games of Solitaire Blitz left in me before I hit the sack. I swap hands between my keys and phone so I can check Facebook when I reach the elevator, and open the door to the lobby. And you know? I never thought the man on the floor in front of me could be hurt. A guy got shot in the head a couple years back in the lobby of the building next door (he survived), but somehow the prospect of violence didn’t occur to me tonight. Probably just as well. I might’ve responded by doing something stupid. Like calling the cops.

But I did no such fool thing. Instead I called the body “Sweetie,” and settled down on my haunches to engage it in what would turn out to be a decidedly one-way conversation.

“Hey Sweetie,” I said, perhaps too quietly.

“Hey,” I repeated without adding much volume.

“Hey. You’ve got to get up now, okay? Hey…”

I placed my hand on his shoulder and shook him a little. I wondered briefly if attempting to rouse a drunken stranger was unwise, but decided that concern was irrelevant in the greater scheme of things and moved on.

“Hey… Do you know where you are? Honey?” I pulled back his collar so I could talk directly to his face. “Do you know where you are? Come on now Sweetie.” Another shake. “Come on now. It’s time to wake up. You can’t sleep here. You can’t–“

When the bough breaks the cradle...

He sighed and pulled his outstretched arm in tight to rest his face on his hand. Just out of his fallen reach was a nearly full bottle of Heineken, tipped over on its side. *tsk tsk* Such a waste.

I shifted my purse to my other arm so I could reach him better. I slipped my fingers into his curled up hand.

“Hey honey. Do you know where you are?” I paused for a response I knew wouldn’t come. “You’re in the lobby. You’re in the lobby of my apartment building. Do you live here? Do you have friends who live here? Wake up, honey. Time to wake up. You can’t sleep here all night, now.”

It went on like this for several minutes, my efforts earning me another sigh, and then finally a smiling sort of sound.

“Hey now! There you go! I knew you could hear me!” I chuckled at him. “I bet you did this to your mama when you were a little boy, huh? I bet you did this when she tried to wake you up? Pretended you were still asleep?” I took his hand, patted his shoulder, shook him a little.

Another sigh, another smile. He tucked his face down farther into his jacket.

“It’s okay. I did the same thing to my mom,” I smiled, hoping he heard it on me. He must have, because he smiled again. Such small, sleepy smiles. It took me back to nap time in the days when I used to babysit. None of the kids ever wanted to nap. Funny thing was none of them ever wanted to get up, either.

We passed a few more minutes together of me talking quietly, shaking him by the shoulder, holding his hand, and my eventually deciding if my mom were here she’d probably be doing the same thing.

“You can’t sleep here, okay?” I tried again. “I don’t want somebody to find you and be mad and call the police or something. I want you to wake up when I’m here. I want you to wake up for me now, okay? Wake up and we’ll find your apartment and you can sleep in your own bed, okay? I don’t want somebody mean or mad to find you. They might not be nice to you. I’ll be nice to you, okay? And I want you to wake up for me.”

When he’d originally lay down or fallen, his iPhone had landed near him on the ground. I picked it up. The screen displayed four missed calls from A—, a text message from her asking where he disappeared to, and then another asking if he was okay. But I couldn’t call A— to see who this guy was, or if he even lived in this building, without the phone’s pass code. Lacking that I tapped his cheek with my fingers. He shifted.

“What… are you talking about?” he finally slurred with a smile. I laughed.

You, honey! Do you know where you are? You’re asleep on the  floor in the lobby!”

“What are you talking about?” Another slur. Another smile.

Rinse. Repeat. Two more runs of this now stale call-and-response, then he propped himself up on his elbows, revealing a set of keys on the floor beneath him.

“Aw, look at that now. It’s your keys! See? You don’t want to sleep here on the floor! You’ll get a key imprint on your face! Now let’s get you up and get you home, huh?”

He smiled, and let out a shy laugh. I laughed too. I had to. It was funny. To both of us.

He pushed himself back onto his heels while I picked up his keys and phone, leaving the bottle to its doom on the lobby floor. He started to stand, and then kept going, and going, and going. He was 6’4″ if he was a foot. It was like watching a baby dinosaur testing its legs for the first time. He took a wavering step toward the staircase, then began to drop. He must not weigh as much as he looks like ’cause I caught him as he was falling.

That or I am awesomely strong.

Or really good at estimating appropriate leverage.

“How about the elevator, huh? I’m gonna help you into the elevator, okay? What floor do you need?”

He silently mashed the button for my floor. The door closed behind us. He turned to face me, his eyes bloodshot but such a spectacularly bright green against the brown of his face that it surprised me a little. He closed them and leaned back against the wall for support.

“You’re gonna be alright, yeah? Gonna crawl into your bed and sleep a lot better than on the lobby floor, right?”

I smiled. He smiled. The door opened and he swooped out with grand but slow steps. I followed closely, hoping he wouldn’t crash into a wall and wake any neighbors. He’d come so far and done so well. I’d hate to see  him come to any trouble when we were so close to making it to safety.

“I’m gonna walk you to your door and make sure you get in alright, okay?”

“Okay,” he whispered, smiling an eight year old’s smile. Oh Sweetie. Oh baby dinosaur.

We began our trek down the corridor, him weaving in and out between the comfort of the wall and the goading of some invisible pace car in the middle of the hallway, putt-putt-putting away just ahead of us.

He put an arm around my shoulders for balance. I lifted it, found a better spot under his shoulder to wedge my 160 lb. fulcrum, grabbed hold of his hand, and hoisted. We were not going to fall down so close to our goal. He stopped, looked at me with a grin, and resumed his quiet, gentle weaving.

Thirty feet and two minutes later we reached his door. The end finally in sight it seemed like minutes swept by while he searched his pockets for his key. Into the lock… turn… wrong way… turn… click. He opened the door enough for me to see he has a dog. Strictly speaking, dogs are not allowed in this building. I smiled, because strictly speaking: Neither are ferrets.

He had stopped moving and was leaning against the wall beside his door. I gave him a little pat over his heart. He nodded and smiled that little boy smile again, embarrassment in it this time.

“You’re gonna sleep so much better now, right? You go in there and have some water, okay? You’re gonna be glad in the morning that you did, right?” I gave him a grin I save for the Uncertain.

He pivoted into his apartment, then turned back to look me square in the eye. “Thank you,” he said, the slur now gone.

“Of course,” I whispered, grinning.

Of course.

Wind may blow, and many miles…


Why, we're for Marty o'course!

Every major metropolitan city in the U.S. has a West Allis. Fortunately for those of us living in the Milwaukee area ours is actually called West Allis. You’ll know you’ve reached your own West Allis when you find yourself surrounded by blue collar Mexican restaurants that serve polish sausage and french fries, no-cover bars with $1.50 tappers, brick paired with warped vinyl siding, and the wrong amount of street parking whatever the occasion.

I visited ours this evening to bid farewell to a friend who’s chosen to shuffle off this West Allisian coil for the damper climes of Seattle. A group of us met him for drinks at Benno’s Genuine Bar & Grill, a 30-tap townie bar with friendly staff, ample seating, reasonable prices, and after a few hours a girl suddenly resting her head on the bar, weeping her eyes out, sitting all alone.

Sweet merciful Jesus what cloying diva hell has descended upon us?” I wondered. But not in quite so many words on account of the volume of the jukebox had me a little frazzled. It probably went something more like “#*@&%. Now what?” The causes of all the tears I’ve seen at bars have rarely elevated their validity above such a response. But then I figured folks don’t cry that hard when things don’t hurt. And even if a cause is unreasonable it doesn’t mean the pain’s not real, right? Right.

So I walked over to her. Sat down on the stool to her left. Leaned in to talk through the hair covering her face. God was she crying. Even over the thumping twang of the jukebox her sobs burbled up loud enough to name themselves.

“Hey honey. What’s’a matter? You doing okay?”

Unintelligible mumbling escaped the curtain of her hair, followed by a “…no…” and more sobbing, this time with a key change.

I put my left hand on her forearm, my right on her shoulder. Rub, rub, rub. “C’mere honey. It’s gonna be all right. What’s going on, huh? You want to talk about it? We don’t have to, but I’m here, you know, if you want to.”

A pause in the tears, a mumble of something akin to “I’unno,” then a return to weeping.

Causes may be unreasonable, but pain is still painful, and sadness has a keen way with conjuring friends from strangers.

“Can I at least get you a water or…” I hesitated. I don’t like to see people drinking when they’re upset. But I forged ahead anyway. “Or a drink? Can I get you a drink?”

If you wink and nod, and then make pinch-y fingers toward the glass, the bartender’ll make the drink weak. I can wink, nod, and make pinch-y fingers. One Sprite, please; on the rocks.

“Yeah. Yeah a drink,” she coughed out. Finally– she speaks! “But just shots,” she yelled to the floor. “I’m only doing shots tonight. I just want to black out. Tonight I just want to forget everything.”

What have I walked into what have I walked into what have I walked…

“Aw no, honey. Not tonight! You don’t want to forget tonight!” I cheered. “We’re gonna have a nice time you and me, and you’re gonna want to remember it! Let me get us some waters, huh?” No reply. I tried again. “So what is it then,” I asked. “Is it a guy?”

It was like my question cut all her strings.

Pain is painful.

And it all poured out.

“I just got a call,” she whispered. “Fifteen minutes ago. I just got a call.” A pause. “It’s my best friend J—-. He killed himself today.”

Her face was still down, her forehead resting in her hands on the bar. I closed my eyes and prayed something like “Oh… God.” I mean, what else do you say? I may’ve also asked for help in not saying something stupid, but I’m sure that part was also fairly short and elliptical.

“Honey,” I whispered at the curls shaking on the side of her head, “I’m so sorry. I’m so, so sorry.” I put my arm around her shoulders and squeezed. “Honey…”

“It was over a girl. His girlfriend. She broke up with him a few days ago and he couldn’t handle it.” Shuddering, sniffling, and then a hand drawn sloppily across smeared, wet eyes. There was not a line left on her person that remained defined.

She turned, giving me her face, tears, and story without a hint of her former reluctance. It started with a McDonald’s bill of $21.17. That was how much he spent on food the last time she saw him. She’s from out of town. Mumble-apolis. She last saw him seven months ago. He was in jail, then prison, for DUIs. He was finally out. They went out to a bar, then stopped at McDonald’s on the way back to her house. He got an Angus burger, a large Coke, a large Diet Coke (she has a large Diet Coke, no ice, every day), four McChickens with Mac sauce, a few other random items, and fries.

“$21.17!” she laughed. “Can you believe it?! He was so beautiful. So fucking beautiful. And he just ate and ate and ate. I finally went to bed and when I got up around 4 to go to the bathroom he was laying there asleep on the couch with half a McChicken hanging out of his mouth!” She roared like this was the funniest damned thing in the world, so I laughed too.

“$21.17?!” I sputtered. “That’s crazy!”

I know, right?!”

“He sounds pretty great.” I smiled. Rub, rub, rub.

“Yeah, he was.”

“So tell me about him, girl! What was he like?”

“He was my Best. Friend!” she gushed. “Like, okay: We went to a bar once and these haters were there and when I came out of the bathroom after we’d only been there like 15 minutes, they were like to him ‘Wait, you’re here with her?’ and he was all like ‘We’re leaving. Now.’ And I was like, whatever, you know, because I know I have a big ass so I don’t even listen to that noise so let ’em talk!” She laughed. “But he was all like ‘No. We’re leaving. Now.’ He was always so good to me like that. He called me beautiful. He was so beautiful. He was just 25.” Still laughing. Cackling, almost. “His girlfriend was beautiful too. Like, super beautiful and everything. But he was gorgeous. And then she left him. Dumped him on Facebook. Can you believe it? Facebook?”

I nodded. Facebook.

“And he told her a few days ago he was going to kill himself, you know?” Still laughing, somehow, but wildly now, and with tears. “And he told her, and she didn’t go over there. She didn’t even go! He told her and that [impressive but forgettable series of expletives] didn’t even go to see him and now he’s dead!” The wildness turned desperate.

“Oh honey…” Rub, rub, rub.

“It’s her fault. It’s all her fault. He was a good guy. He had a good family. Like, his parents are still together, you know? They had three daughters after him. They’re 9, 7, and 3. They’re so pretty. And now he’s gone, and it’s that [similarly impressive string]’s fault! I would give anything if they could have resuscitated him! Anything! But that would only be the best thing for me. Not for her. Not for her.”

A loop of curses, flashing blue. A cry of pain. Her face returned to its hideaway in her hands.

I don’t remember what I said then. It couldn’t have been very good. It couldn’t have been very much. I’ve never experienced something like that myself. And even if I had, so what? What is my pain to you? It’s a mist to your rain, a suggestion to your thundering reality. What would it matter that I had ever suffered then when here you are suffering now?

I curled my arm through hers and we sat there in silence for several minutes, her tears eventually flattening out to match the beer taps, the paper napkins, the wood paneled decor. I asked if she needed a ride, if I could take her anywhere, if she needed to just get out. No, she told me. She has a ride. Her boyfriend is here.

I’m sorry–did I hear that right? Your what is here and you’re crying alone? He hasn’t walked you out to the car? Held your hand? Taken you home to cry and talk this out?

But I didn’t ask these things. I held my tongue. Angels must’ve been runnin’ them some mad interference.

“I think I’m ready to tell him I want to go home,” she mumbled, and rose from her stool. She found her boyfriend in the corner, was roundly ignored by him, shook off her tears, and donned armor of solid Brash. The last thing she said to me that night was a lyric from a hip-hop song on her way out the door. Something about being a bitch and having a big ass. Her group stumbled out into the cold and she was gone.

Oh honey… your mascara.

I wish I could fix it.

*******

“Ho! Ho! Ho! To the bottle I go
To heal my heart and drown my woe.
Rain may fall, and wind may blow,
And many miles be still to go,
But under a tall tree will I lie
And let the clouds go sailing by.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien

“It’s always summer in the songs.”


(Linked site is spoiler heavy. Proceed at your own peril.)

Date. The Right. People.

I cannot stress the importance of this enough, folks.

Not only will you gain much higher caliber mutual friends if you date someone you honest-to-God believe is cool, but everything afterward will also be way better when years later you’re still friends with them and with their super cool wife and the two of them mail you a “pop culture care package” out of the blue for absolutely no reason whatsoever thereby causing a beautifully sunny day to suddenly feel that much brighter and amazinger.

You: What comes in a “pop culture care package,” Ruth?

Me: That’s… a little nosy, don’t you think?

You: I don’t– You said you got this package thing and I’m just wondering what’s in it. You’re going to, what, just not say? *pause* Is this a control thing?

Me: A control thi…? No! No. I just don’t feel like I should have to tell you things just because you ask. Or– Did you ever think maybe I wanted to tell you what was in it but that I wanted to be able to volunteer the information instead of having you drag it out of

You: Drag? Whoa, how was that “dragging”–

Me: Yes, drag it out of me. Maybe I wanted to give you the information, huh? You know? Maybe I wanted to give it. To gift it.

You: Okay, you know what I think? I think this is a control thing and that for someone who keeps a public blog you are taking your privacy way too seriou-

Me: DO YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT’S IN THE BOX OR NOT?

You: *close tab*

Right then. Now that we’re alone…

Or "P4k" if you prefer your sweaters threadbare.

CDs
Nick Jaina‘s The Beanstalks That Have Brought Us Here Are Gone
Yeasayer‘s Odd Blood
Portugal. The Man‘s In the Mountain In the Cloud
Vampire Weekend‘s Contra
Fleet FoxesHelplessness Blues
Elbow‘s Build A Rocket Boys
The Black KeysBrother

I’m hoping to take a road trip to Montana later this fall (*crosses fingers* *hopes really hard*) and was psyched about all the new music I’d have to listen to during the drive out there after my trip to HPB yesterday. And now with this new stack of CDs? Yeah. This is officially the best road trip soundtrack ever.

Let me know if you want to schedule a speakerphone call with me during the drive. (Rates double during peak hours. Now accepting cash and Paypal. Requests to skip ahead will not be honored.)

(Linked site is spoiler heavy. Proceed at your own peril.)

DVDs
MST3K, Volume 18 (featuring one of my all time faves, Jack Frost)
Game of Thrones, Season 1

Game of Thrones is HBO’s attempt at creating something which could in some way measure up to the incredible work of fiction that is A Game of Thrones, the first book in the seven book series of George R. R. Martin’s gift to the world, the A Song of Ice and Fire series. The HBO series may very well be awesome, but I wonder if it could ever truly match the heights or the depths to which my imagination traveled when reading the book itself.

By which I mean, of course: OMG I AM SO EXCITED OMG OMG I CAN’T WAIT TO PUT THIS IN AND WATCH ALL OF IT ALL IN ONE SITTING GAHHHHHHHH OMG OMG!!!

Note I Want To Frame Because Friendship Makes Me Happy
“This pop culture care package is courtesy of Laura & James. Enjoy!”

I have to admit I am in a bit of a pickle over getting started on the DVDs, however. I’m just over half way through watching Moonlighting, which will be due back at the library soon. While I know the DVDs I received today are wildly awesomer than anything that could possibly befall Maddie Hayes and David Addison in the remaining episodes of the 80s favorite fourth-wall-buster, I’m hesitant to start something new that I know I won’t be able to turn off until it’s finished, thus guaranteeing me overdue fines for hanging on to the tales of the Blue Moon Detective Agency longer than is allowed.

On the other hand, I received these DVDs for free. I could consider any potential late fees to be the “cost” of ownership. Yeah? Yeah?? Yeah.

All right, then. Lay it on me, HBO…

*************

The rest of this post is for James and Laura…

*************

OH MY GOSH YOU GUYS ARE ABSOLUTELY THE COOLEST! This box seriously made my day! I went to leave my apartment and saw the package leaning against my door and I was so confused because I couldn’t remember ordering anything. And then I opened it and  my jaw dropped and I got all Kristen Stewart breathe-y before jumping up and down all over the living room trying not to drop everything as I zipped through the stack of discs! So exciting!! :D Let me know if you want to come over and watch any of this with me. I just picked up a bunch of frozen pizzas and Diet Mt. Dew this afternoon. You can park in the lot or anywhere out on the street. OMG OMG OMG I AM SO EXCITED! YOU GUYS ROCK SO HARD!!!

*The title of this post is taken from Martin’s A Clash of Kings. “Winter will never come for the likes of us. Should we die in battle, they will surely sing of us, and it’s always summer in the songs. In the songs all knights are gallant, all maids are beautiful, and the sun is always shining.” – Brienne

Twerpshire Hathaway


I love me some community theatre. I’ve been acting in it, and loving it, for seven years this July. Sometimes it’s (amazingly, movingly) great, and sometimes it’s (agonizingly, painfully) terrible.

But so are kids and that doesn’t stop people from having ’em.

From time to time I run into folks who aren’t as fond of community theatre as I am. Folks who aren’t as fond of it, and who like to share that lack of fondness verbally. Dissing the interests of others is, I mean– that’s kind of weird, right?

Sometimes these- and other- people ask me why I do community theatre instead of “real theatre,” as they so charmingly put it. And they don’t know it, but more often than not this question makes me want to shake them by the face.

See, it’s kind of like this:

An image you may find amusing if you like your numbers aggravating.

Let’s say you’re somebody who digs numbers. You dig numbers, so you go to college and major in Seven or Avogadro or Counting or something. You graduate, maybe even with a 4.0. (See? I know some numbers too.) Then you go out and apply for a job at companies that like people who like numbers- insurance companies, accounting firms, grocery stores (cash registers, duh)- and then you sit back and wait for the interview requests to start pouring in.

In the meantime, people you know- well meaning idiots who love you- say things like:

“Berkshire Hathaway employees make tons of money using numbers. You should go work there.”

Oh? I should, huh? Okay, well I’ll do that then. Throw on the ol’ Willy Fioravanti, walk in through the front door, and sit down at the first desk that strikes my fancy.

Ah, but you know it doesn’t really work that way. You don’t work places that are great simply because they’re great and you want to work there.

So you snap back to reality. You snap back to the interview calls tying up your phone. Except that they’re not tying up your phone. The real calls are few and far between, and often non-existent from the Big Guys. Maybe it’s because you’re good at pi but bad at 11. Maybe it’s because your plus signs lack professional polish. Or maybe it’s because they’re just not looking for someone right now who does what you do.

So you gratefully accept the position at Mom and Pop’s Bean Counters, even after a friend (read: “friend”) let’s fly some doozie like:

“Mom and Pop’s Bean Counters? I hear they’ll take anybody. You should at least be working at Aunt and Uncle’s Legume Talliers. Their receptionist’s phone has way more buttons.”

Numbers made relatable.
© We Sign

But you don’t let it get to you because you’ve met Mom and Pop. You’ve interviewed with them over burgers on the grill. They are awesome and chill and professional and dependable and the commute is practically walkable.

So you don your Kohl’s shirt-and-tie-combo-pack, head on in to work, and enjoy the fact that the day ends at 5 pm no matter what, that you are awesome at using numbers in order, and that Pop brings the basset hound in on Fridays.

It’s not that you no longer want the Berkshire Hathaway paycheck or prestige. It’s just that those things don’t appear to be in the cards for you, no matter how many times you apply.

But!- and here’s the important part: You can still be a totally rockin’ counter of things someplace else.

Aw yeah. Look at you all countin’ up in there. Right on, right on.

So, back to theatre where those kinds of assumptions and statements are just as absurd as they are in the “working” world. Back to:

“The Rep is a great theatre. You should act there.”

(Responses to which are almost always followed by “It can’t be that hard to get in,” and “You must not be trying hard enough,” all, incidentally, based on the totally erroneous premises that 1) this is the only theatre in town where one could possibly want to act, and 2) once again all you need to get into a place is the desire to get into it.)

And back to:

“XYZ Community Theatre? I hear they’ll take anybody. You should at least be acting at ABC Community Theatre. Their ushers have nicer name tags.”

But you don’t let it get to you, because screw them anyway. You’re fine. It’s fine. It’s all fine. And a lot of fun. And the source of some of your greatest memories and friendships and experiences. And you make people laugh there. And you make them cry. And you get to play parts you’d never be considered for at places that offer direct deposit. And you get recognized at places like the Vitamin Shoppe and it weirds you out. And you get reviewed in the paper and that weirds you out too.

And even though it doesn’t pay, and even though the hours are long, and even though you still get asked condescending questions in an unintentionally insulting fashion– you still love it. You wonder why you feel like you’re always being asked to justify your participation in it, but that’s fine too because by now you’ve gotten pretty good at that. You’re still fine. It’s all still fine.

And then?

And then you blow a community theatre audition.

That.

And then you fear that friends who don’t respect community theatre will make some well-intentioned but totally humiliating comment about the situation and mid-blush you’ll have to come up with some kind of response because they’re your friend after all and you can’t just ignore them even though it’s so awkward blowing it for something they look down on, while not really being totally awkward because you were there and you know the other auditioners were solid, and yeah you mind that you weren’t cast but you also kind of don’t because sometimes that’s just how it goes so it’s fine and all but still upsetting and at least now your weekends will be free, though really that just gives you more time to worry that you’re getting too fat for the parts you want to play which doesn’t really matter too much yet because at least you’re still in your 20s even if only for a few more months but even that is all good because “30 is the new 20” and you love how that sounds because… it’s got numbers in it and… you know I always… wanted to pretend… I was a mathematician…

I forgot where I was going with this.

In conclusion: If you’re going to ask a question, try not to be an jerk about it because you never know how many run-on-sentences you’re up against.

Here, There, and Everywhere


I know, I know– I’m terrible about updating regularly. Whoops. I’ll not buck that trend, however, by updating two days in a row. At least– not with anything real. I just wanted to pop up the links to three other blog projects I’m involved with.

(Here, There, and Everywhere)

For God

The first is a blog I got connected to while spending the month of August in Honduras with my grandma.

Original courtesy of Gary Larson. Edit courtesy of the Jesuits. ;)

It’s the blog of a couple who work with Arrow Child and Family Ministries (read more about Arrow here) in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa. They had a blog they’d been trying to keep updated, but for anyone else out there who has ever tried to balance blog updates with the rigors of, you know, A FAST-PACED LIFE, keeping everything up to date can get a bit difficult sometimes.

Especially when you never know if you’ll have power that day, if the internet will still be accessible, if a military coup or union riot will flood your street and house with tear gas fumes…

After meeting this couple, Terry and Carol Mallasch, in person and learning more about their work in Honduras, I wanted to see if there was some way I could help them out. Since blogging is something I know, blogging is what I put on the table. And wouldn’t ya’ know they were actually interested in my offer? What is this world coming to…

You can check out their new blog (which includes all their older posts from their previous blog) at Mallasch Meditations. They’re up to some pretty neat stuff!

From “Real Simple” (click to view source page)

For Gluten

The other blog I’m doing stuff with right now is the brain child of one Laura Jane Roland, who is going gluten and sugar free for the month of September, all while blogging about said adventure. Figuring other folks might be interested in getting in on the fun, she sent out an invitation to a bunch of us asking if we wanted to participate.

Erm… no. No I do not want to go gluten or sugar free. (Though Lord knows I could probably stand to…) But I’ll sure write about it!

Enter: Coarse and Unrefined.

From “Real Simple” (click to view source page)

So far I’ve only written one post for it (Brass Tacks And How To Get On Down To ‘Em), but I’ve got a visit to a gluten-free store in my notes and camera memory, so there’s another one a’comin’.

Eventually.

When this gol’ durned laziness leaves me be.

So possibly never.

There are some pretty great writers involved in this project, so if you’re looking for info on what it’s like living without one, or both, of these major components of the standard North American diet, this blog’s worth looking into. Some of the writers are gluten intolerant, some have other dietary concerns, and some are just gluttons for punishment who think the idea of a gluten and sugar free September sounds like a great way to jump into Fall. Crazy, I know, but it seems to work- both in real life and in the blog.

Enjoy!

For Gabrielle

A couple friends of mine from… back east.

I wanted to collect all my dream related blogs and cross post them into a totally separate blog.

So I did: ‘Til Sunbeams Find You.

Aside from the most recent post (it’s somewhat of a spoiler for the series finale of a Xena, so proceed with caution if you think you might ever watch it) they are all entries that were originally posted here, so for regular readers of this blog it’ll all be nothing new.
And please ignore the “categories” when you get there. I think something funky may’ve happened to them during the export/import process. I hid ’em on the main page to cut down on the very weird resulting clutter, but I didn’t do anything yet to actually *fix* the problem…

*twitch… twitch…*


Two things which are currently ticking me off:

Oh oh oh wait! The ferrets just did cute, wriggly, ferret stuff! :D Slightly less ticked off now, but I’m sure I’ll work my way back up there as I write; no worries!

1) My (fading, happily) memory of the Danny Gokey look-alike in the silver sedan by the Goodwill in Waukesha this afternoon.

So I’m at a stop light, right? And it’s just me and this other car in front of me and we’re in the left turn lane, right? So the left turn arrow comes on and I can see the guy in front of me is just kinda lookin’ around, taking in the sights, whatever. It’s a gorgeous fall day so I totally understand. Lost in his Autumnal reverie he doesn’t realize the light has now been green for three seconds. (I counted.)

So I give ‘im a little “Beep!” on my horn. A “Beep!” so short and high pitched it sounds like I’ve traded in my Toyota for a Tonka. The kind of “Beep!” people give when the light has turned green, several seconds have passed, and the person at the front of the line hasn’t moved. I didn’t invent this particular beep, folks. It’s been around since before my time.

So I beep, dude looks up at the light, and makes the turn. I follow suit.

We’re driving along and he gets into the right lane while I stay in the left, and he starts to slow down. We’re both still a few miles over the speed limit though, so I figure he’s just a speed-limit-conscious driver.

We’re nearing my turn to get to my apartment so I put on my turn signal and slow way down as I enter the left turn lane. At this point punk ass Danny Gokey wannabe LAYS ON HIS HORN AND PULLS IN BEHIND ME, TAILING ME- HORN STILL BLARING- UNTIL I MAKE MY TURN, AT WHICH TIME HE SWERVES OUT TO MY RIGHT, COMES ALMOST TO A STOP TO MATCH MY SPEED, AND GIVES ME A GRIN AND A TWINKLE-FINGERS WAVE BEFORE SPEEDING AWAY.

What. An. Aaaaaass.

I don’t know why that got to me as much as it did. I kind of hope he’s like that all the time so he has more opportunities for it to come back to bite him.

Ass.

2) Directors.

The following didn’t happen to me. It’s just my delayed reaction to a conversation I had with a friend a long time ago about something that happened to them with a director I’ve never worked with. It only ticks me off when I think about it. And right now I’m thinking about it. Except I’m thinking about it with a lot of run-on-sentences and excessive back and forth between the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person, so um– sorry for any confusion. :S

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"Pompous Bastard" by Tanner Morrow (Click to see his other stuff; very cool)

If you act… well… and a lot… and a director pats your head with platitudes suggesting you ‘keep auditioning’ and not let it ‘get you down’ when they don’t cast you in a part you didn’t want but which they continually insisted upon you, it is both annoying and insulting.

Didn’t they listen when you said (repeatedly) you weren’t interested in the part? Didn’t they figure maybe you know better than they do about what you like enough to make it worth the commute, the rehearsal time, and giving up a month of weekends? (Particularly if it’s a part you’re not getting paid for: you’d sure better at least enjoy it.)

And– they have your resume! They can see you’ve been acting for years. So maybe by now you’re used to the “sometimes you’re cast, sometimes you’re not” dynamic. Right? Maybe by now you’re adult enough to not throw in the towel after their rejection, even if they don’t encourage you to ‘buck up little soldier’ as though you were some pouting middle schooler. I mean– just guessing here.

*pffft* Based on how many people are like this I sure do!

Don’t directors  realize how pompous it sounds when (in the absence of the right kind of relationship) they try to coach actors in things like the golden morality of ‘branching out’ in the roles we’re willing to play? Surely the fact we’ve been doing this for years gives us some insight into what parts we are and are not interested in, no? Or into what kind of parts are worth branching out for?

And I’m not talking about actors who just don’t know what they’re capable of, or what they enjoy. I’m talking about experienced actors who can say with total certainty “I am in no way, shape, or form interested in playing this particular part,” and about the kind of directors who can’t accept a “No.”

You will not woo me with “top billing.” You will not entice me with reassurances about how it’s “The Lead.” Do you think I don’t know these things already? And do you honestly believe all that matters to every actor is having the most lines?? It doesn’t matter if I’d totally rock at a role if playing it would make me regret getting involved in the first place. Are souls really so cheap?

And maybe the director is right; maybe the nay-saying actor would be ideal for the role in question. But once an actor has to beg or insist about it, then casting becomes more about the director’s ego than about getting the right person into the role.

Actors! Stop playing parts you hate out of some misguided sense that it is a sign of artistic maturity! (Enormous, totally respectable exception: Paying gigs for working actors. Y’all dudes are kinda stuck taking whatever comes up in that regard, but it’s an admirable kind of stuck. I applaud your commitment and your flexibility.)

“The price one pays for pursuing any profession or calling is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side.” James Baldwin

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Wesley in his favorite sleeping position

Hm. Guess I’m more philosophically peeved about that second one than I’d realized…

Okay, that was it. Those were my two lousy, stinkin’ things. And I’m already feeling much better.

Isn’t writing therapy great?? We should all have blogs.

Blogs, broccoli and granola in our bellies, and ferrets fast asleep upside down in giant, homey cages in our living rooms while the final episode of Xena plays on our TVs.

Wesley just woke up to scratch. Okay: Full un-ticked. ;)

Adaptation: A Dream


The girls in my senior year speech class, June 2000

Wednesday night I dreamt I was back at my old high school for a class reunion. All 80-something of my fellow graduates were crammed into the basement classroom of the school’s drama teacher and play director, D, who smiled into and out of my awareness throughout the following scene. The room was warm, maybe too warm, bathed in yellow light, faces blurring in and out of focus all around me, our eyes fixed on a stage built into the room years ago.

Someone on the stage announced, through a totally unnecessary microphone, that we were each to receive an award to honor our progress since graduation. The awards would be commemorated with plaques, which excited me as I’d never received a plaque before.

The first award of the night was “For Being a Really Good Boy,” which we all assumed would go to N, who happened to be a really good boy. Instead the announcer called out the female winner of the award, E, who just laughed. Not because of the name of the award, but because of the name on it- her maiden name.  Through her laughter she explained she has a new last name now and that she didn’t need or want the plaque. N didn’t seem to mind, but then, I suppose a “really good” anyone wouldn’t get too ruffled about something like that.

Fast-forward to the “Philotheology” award. I was able to dream-see the list of names of the 10 or so people who were to receive plaques confirming growth in the recipients’ love of the study of God. To my great delight I saw my name was on the list! But for some reason every name was read off except mine. Plaque after plaque was handed over to one eager recipient after another, but never to me.

One of my greatest fears is people will see me, my life, my actions, my choices, and be turned off from God because they’ll see what a hypocrite I am. That they’ll think my faith is false, my beliefs a sham. That they’ll turn down God and look to my life as the turning point in making such a decision.

I wish my dreams were harder to decipher sometimes. Welcome to my transparency.

“On Fortune’s cap we are not the very button.” Hamlet, II ii

One plaque remained to be handed out, and as there was one other girl left who also hadn’t yet received anything I assumed it was hers.

It wasn’t. It was mine.

The announcer spoke:

“For Ruth, the “Adaptability” Award!”

“Adaptability Award?” I asked. “What does that even mean?”

“It’s an award recognizing your history of being able to change directions quickly and meet new needs.

I half believed this description might really fit.

I took the plaque from their hands. It was a 5″ x 8″ x 1″ , rough edged piece of pine, its face shining beneath a kitsch-thick layer of high gloss shellac. There was no writing on the plaque, nothing to indicate what it was or who it was for. The only defining feature was a ridged, wooden button glued near the top of the face, just left of center. It looked like a doorknob, or a pull handle for opening something small.

I turned the plaque over and over in my hands, hoping to find some detail I’d missed, some sign that whatever it is I have means something, has some value. I know it does. I just wish I could prove it. And that I knew what to open.

And then I woke up.

Fog: A dream


There’s a place I come to quite frequently in my dreams. An open field, bare save for scattered, short trees. It’s always just at the edge of whatever place I’m in with the other participants in my dream. We’re  all of us together, doing whatever the dream is about, when suddenly we emerge into this wide, grassy place. I find I never look at anything in it more than a few feet above the ground. Maybe I can’t? The sky always turns gray, moves lower, the air grows very still. But why don’t I ever look up? Maybe I know I don’t need to; that whatever I need to see is at the level of the grass, at the level of the trunks of the surrounding, stunted trees, at the level of my own two feet.

Inevitably I lose my companions shortly after overtaking the field. I search for them everywhere, yelling their names, calling out for help, calling for them– Wait for me! I’m lost! Stop and let me find you! But they never stop. I never find them.

Inevitably I meet someone in the field- usually someone quite old, quite small- who doesn’t tell me where to go, just wanders the field with me during my fruitless search. It’s nice knowing I’m not alone, but wouldn’t it be nicer to have my companions by my side once again? But once lost they’re never found. Sometimes I hear them talking, laughing, running from me. And then even my new companion is gone.

Inevitably I reach the far edge of the field and begin the next stage of the dream. Alone. And it’s scarier. And it’s darker. And things happen faster and in bigger ways.

Inevitably.

Last night’s dream- after wandering the hills, ruts, and grasses of the field yet another night- brought me to a place I’d never been before. I’ve forgotten much of it so I won’t attempt to recreate parts I can’t commit to the page with full honesty. But of what I do remember… Where was I? I was running from someone. Or something. Or someone. Or many people. Something frightening, but I wasn’t scared. Shot through with adrenaline, but not scared. I kept on running along the edge of a valley thick with trees to my right, and a plain of nothing to my left. Just running.

I found myself driving a truck. A beast of a machine. Tall like a house, wide like two elephants running abreast. I found myself driving this truck west along the top of a wall designed for just such travel. I drove faster, faster. I wondered if this was the Great Wall of China, wondered if I could be seen from space, worried if I met people I would run them over, worried how I would ever get down.

I stopped at a guard shack built atop the wall and found myself on the ground to the wall’s north side, hiding my belongings in a bookshelf buried in a cluster of bushes. I did this when I saw one of the shelves was filled with black clothing, all my size. I knew I’d be better off dressed in those things than in my own clothes, muted though my own colors were. Better off hidden, I thought. Better off out of sight. I laughed when I saw wrapped in my new black sweatshirt were three pair of underwear, also black. Wherever I was going I was going to be there a long time!

I left behind everything I had with me, save my purse which held my glasses, my wallet, and a pen. I dumped wrappers, lipstick, unnecessaries. I stuffed spare underwear and socks down inside it and took off running again through the trees, now joined by two male companions, one younger, one much older.

Where are we, I asked them.

Korea, the older one replied. Do you know you have brought word the edge is safe? Do you know she knows it’s a united nation once again?

The “edge” was something never explained to me. “She” was the new leader of Korea. Someone I didn’t know. Some name I never heard. She was no one to me, but she was someone to someone. And by running, by driving, by racing from a place where everything fell apart to this, I had proved it was possible to connect these two points. I had inadvertently proven whatever danger lurked in the plains to the south or the valleys to the north on the left and right of that unknown wall, it was passable territory now. It could be done. Done by anyone. Even me.

And I was glad I hadn’t known where I was, or what I had been doing, or I would have been too afraid to run, to drive, to go. I would’ve known myself incapable. But as things stood I knew something good had happened and that I had really done absolutely nothing to bring it about. I’d done nothing, and everyone knew it, and yet they were content with me. I could suffer no blame, enjoy no praise. My journey was separate but parallel.

And the three of us set off running.

What’s good for the goose…


A killdeer chick

A killdeer chick

Birds of a feather

According to Wikipedia, the killdeerfrequently uses a “broken wing act” to distract predators from the nest.” According to every summer since my family moved into our home in Waukesha, WI this is 100% true and incredible to witness firsthand.

I don’t know how many killdeer nests my parents have in their yard as I’ve only ever seen one of them and I don’t know how territorial they are, but I do know there are usually between 4 and 8 adults living on their property every year, and every early summer they’re accompanied by baby killdeer that are just about the cutest winged things you have ever seen in your life. Love those long stick legs!

Killdeer nest on the ground (we mow around them) so they’re regularly low enough for the casual observer to take a good long look at them, plus their long legs keep them high enough off the ground that they’re easy to spot running around, and they pull that “broken wing act” any time you’re within 20′ of their nests so they’re perfect for seeing Nature’s brilliance in action. They’re great birds. Move near some.

I was at my folks’ house this past Wednesday afternoon when my brother came home and said he’d just run over a baby killdeer on the driveway. He hadn’t seen it in time to avoid hitting it and clearly felt pretty badly about the whole thing. I surely do love that young man. I didn’t want the dog to go bothering the body, so my brother and I walked down the driveway with the intention of moving it into the bushes to either decompose in peace, or to become the meal of something a bit more used to hunting than my family’s spoiled shitsu bichon.

When we reached the chick we discovered it was still alive but had a badly broken leg. I scooped the bird into my hands. He was warm and soft, and so young he didn’t have feathers yet, just down that looked and felt like fur. He opened his beak the tiniest bit, a piece of brown grass still in his mouth, to let out a few quiet chirps as I checked his body with careful fingers. His right leg was fully dislocated, and bleeding.

I kissed the air above his head and wondered if I could kill him myself to put him out of his misery, but I knew I couldn’t do it. What if I made a pig’s ear of the attempt and just ended up injuring him more? And even if I was able to do it quickly and efficiently… I just don’t have it in me. So I said “Thank you Jesus for birds” and laid him in the bushes near his nest so the mother would at least have all her brood accounted for even if one was going to die.

I went inside the house with my brother to wash the blood off my hands and to find my dad to “take care of” the bird, but he wasn’t home so we did nothing with it. I felt equally sick at the thought of killing it or just leaving it be when it must’ve been in so much pain. Accidental deaths of innocent animals just breaks my heart.

All these terrible things going on in the world- war, famine, disease- and this is what makes me cry? But those other things– they’re just so big. So enormous and distant that I can’t wrap my head around them. And if I could, what then? Stop weeping over wounded animals because it’s not the worst that can happen? I am so glad there are people in this world like my Mimi or like my friend Stephen who have a heart for those who are suffering, who have the strength to do more than just weep, and who have the guts to actually do something about that suffering. And me? I guess I’m just the type to love the people I’m near, and get all teary-eyed over broken birds.

When God closes a door he opens a window to let the geese in

I was at the park today with friends when we overheard a woman who works at the park telling a coworker about a Canada goose nearby that sometimes follows her around and whom she had named Geraldine. My friends and I saw the goose to which the woman was referring, but we assumed it just liked to be nearby to catch fallen picnic fare and continued on our way.

We stopped at the end of a sidewalk near the park’s primary boat landing to get a better look at the water’s edge, when I noticed “Geraldine” peeking out as us from behind a lamp post. We stood watching her pecking away at the grass beneath her feet for a moment before picking some leaves ourselves and holding them out to her. She seemed a little unsure of us at first, but that didn’t last long and soon we were sitting on the ground testing different types of greenery on a very friendly, hungry Geraldine.

Feeding Geraldine

Feeding Geraldine

We offered her wide stalks of water grass, but she didn’t seem to care for it. We tried flower pods and thistle blossoms, but those were also a no. She seemed to enjoy the round leaves (read: weeds) that grew throughout the lawn, and the long blades that grew up between the sidewalk cracks and in the gravel along the river’s edge. She was also a big fan of our shoelaces. And pant legs. And bracelets. And leaning against our legs while looking us straight in the eye. And having her sides and belly rubbed. She even let me slip my hand between her wings to give her a nice long scratch after she’d done so first with her beak.

We must’ve sat there with her like that for at least an hour, feeding her grass, rubbing her belly, and studying all her weird little details. Her feet? Feel like leather. Her tongue? Edged in sharp grooves like a serrated kitchen knife. Strangest thing. And she never once hissed or tried to bite, though if we offered too short a piece of grass our fingers were likely to be included in her delicate little chomps. And she was personably vocal, offering sweet barking sounds when she wanted more grass, quiet honks as she wandered between us, and kind silence while we stroked her beautiful back. Another surprise to me was how wet her mouth was. I don’t know why I expected her to have a dryer tongue, but whenever she’d catch an errant finger it would end up dripping with goose spit. Who knew?

A little girl of about 5 or 6 and her brother of about 4 were out walking in the park with their grandparents when they spotted us. We invited them to come pet Geraldine, which they loved for a solid 2 minutes before running onto the pier to chase ducks. About 20 minutes later, while laying in the grass with Geraldine’s warm body nestled in the crook of my armpit where she sat munching on leaves, a girl and her boyfriend rode by on bikes and stopped to ask if this was our pet. The guy stayed on his bike, but the girlfriend was only too happy to come down and pet and feed our new pal, an enormous grin on her beautiful face. There is just nothing like something feathered and friendly to bring a smile to people’s faces. Just nothing like.

Thank you, for Geraldine.

“My sister birds, you owe much to God, and you must always and in everyplace give praise to Him; for He has given you freedom to wing through the sky and He has clothed you… you neither sow nor reap, and God feeds you and gives you rivers and fountains for your thirst, and mountains and valleys for shelter, and tall trees for your nests. And although you neither know how to spin or weave, God dresses you and your children, for the Creator loves you greatly and He blesses you abundantly. Therefore always seek to praise God.”

– from Fioretti di San Francesco d’Assisi

“I got a river of life flowin’ outta me…”


We had our first dress rehearsal for Noises Off tonight, right? And everything’s going pretty great so far, right?

So we’re about 4 minutes into Act III, and I’m supposed to go through a door and catch a prop as it’s thrown in after me. The space I enter after going through this door is only large enough to allow the door into it to open to a 90 degree angle, and then immediately to your left there are two large set braces, directly in front of you there are the bottom four steps of a curving stair case, and to the right is a cubby hole with a four foot high ceiling.

Not exactly the most accommodating spot on set, but at least it’s not 20′ off the ground like other parts of the set so generally I don’t much mind it.

Or at least– I didn’t mind it.

So there I am. I’ve run through this door, bent over in the small space so I could tuck my rear end into the cubby hole, and brought my arms up tightly to my body so I can thrust my hands forward at just the right moment to catch the prop about to be thrown my way. I see the prop, I see it’s about to be thrown, I lift my right hand up and out AND CATCH MY FINGERTIP ON MY RIGHT NOSTRIL WITH SO MUCH SPEED AND FORCE THAT I TEAR OPEN THE INSIDE CAUSING AN IMMEDIATE GUSHING OF BLOOD.

Re-enactment. May not have actually occurred to this degree.

**Artist's rendering. Actual injuries sustained during rehearsal may or may not have been this severe...**

There is a lengthy pause.

“Is everyone all right back there?” questioned the director.

“Oh… f*@#…,” I explained, as I begin catching the blood in my hand.

I leaned forward to keep from getting blood on my costume and squeezed my way past the wooden stage brace, only to find that in the past 7 seconds my hand had literally filled with blood and my nose was still streaming merrily away.

Enter: Sarah Laak Hughes, to the rescue.

Now the funny thing about it being Sarah who came to help out- before anyone else even realized anything was wrong- is that this is exactly the same thing her character does, and for the exact same reason, in this show.

The equally funny thing, though perhaps painfully so in this case, is that my character in the show is probably the most likely to accidentally give herself a bloody nose while “acting.”

It’s about the most unfortunate case of type casting I’ve ever been a part of. May I live it down in peace. *cross cross cross*

So there I am heading for the scene shop sink to let myself bleed out, only to get there and find it filled with painting supplies waiting to be washed. I like Sunset’s Technical Director and have no desire to bleed on his paint trays, so it was fortunate that Sarah arrived at just that moment to hand me an enormous wad of paper towels, which I promptly bled straight through, while she cleaned off my bloody hand like the champ she is.

My God it was disgusting.

Then came wad number two of paper towels, followed by our director, Mark Salentine, to whom I proceeded to explain that I had not actually been hit in the face with the thrown prop, as was the current suspicion on stage, but that I had in fact bloodied my nose my own damned self. I couldn’t tell you which of us was laughing more loudly at this, except that his was probably the clearer laugh as mine was still muffled by a face full of bright red towels.

After being given a kitchen towel filled with ice cubes, onto which I promptly bled a perfect rectangle as I sought to ease the burning sensation, I thought: Yes! At last! I’m ready to go on! But wait– I’m now standing up straight and– what’s this in my throat? Why am I suddenly unable to speak?

Oh of course. My uvula is playing tether ball with a blood clot the size of a jelly bean and I’ve no sink into which to… to… you know…

That poor under-sink trash can. Never saw me coming.

So there you go. An evening of creation, of art, of design, literature, friendship, and self discovery, in which I learned for good and for always that I was not built for street fights, my friends. I wasn’t even built to meet the dominant kickball team by the playground after school. And now here I sit, none too worse for the wear, but infinitely the wiser as I realize the only thing I have to fear is finger itself, and that I truly am my own worst enemy.

Thank you, 2009. . .


…for starting off on a better foot than the one on which 2008 ended.

Monday: Auditions!
Auditioned for “Don’t Dress for Dinner” at Waukesha Civic Theatre. Director I’ve never worked with before, actors I’ve never worked with before, good times all around. Lots of wet snow to navigate, but lovely to look at.

Tuesday: Job Interview!
Got a call from Aquent to attend an interview for a position that sounds pretty fun. The interview is tomorrow morning at 10. So woohoo for that, too.

Wednesday: Callbacks and Casting!
Callbacks for “Don’t Dress for Dinner” were last night, followed by an email saying I got the part I wanted. So woohoo for that. I’ll include more details in a later post, or perhaps just lower here; this is enough awesomeness for now.

Thursday: Moola!
Checked my bank account online and discovered I received an additional unemployment extension after all and that it had already been deposited since, as directed, I’d been claiming weeks even after my initial amount ran out. In honor of this I have the heat on and did some much needed grocery shopping this afternoon. Woohoo yet again.

Friday: Art and Friends!
Tomorrow’s the interview, then lunch with a friend, (then renewing my driver’s license :S) then an art showing at a theatre downtown, then karaoke night at the Ugly Mug for… someone’s birthday. I forget whose. Anyway: more woohoos.

Saturday: Ben!
Ben! I saw Ben! Ben Ben Ben! And I had a sandwich that was really good! And I saw Ben!!

Sunday: Food and Friends!
Brian. Birthday party. Beer. Buffalo wings. FREE! Running out of woohoos over here at this rate. ;)

In other news…
Watched a ton of DVDs this week. Nice to get back into that habit. Caught about 7 or 8 old, crappy flicks via episodes of MST3K, and watched The Dark Knight, 9 1/2 weeks, Memoirs of a Geisha, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and then all of Season 1 of The Sarah Connor Chronicles. It’s a wonder I got anything else done this week. :P

I did, though. Somehow. Lots of cleaning, time spent with the fam, auditions and callbacks, laundry, organizing paperwork for tax season… It was good. Good good.

And now? Time to wrap up the day and prepare for the travel and wackiness of tomorrow. Phew!

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Don’t Dress for Dinner
by Marc Camoletti

Presented by the Waukesha Civic Theatre
Directed by: Mark E. Schuster
Stage Manager: Kristen Radeunz
Costume Design: Sharon Sohner

“Be prepared for an evening of riotous confusion as this breathtaking farce races through a romantic week end gone awry. The setting is a French farm house. The plot is a carefully planned weekend with a chic Parisian mistress. Bernard has remembered to arrange every detail; a cordon bleu chef; wife sent to visit her mother; and best friend invited as a cover. Foolproof plan? Don’t count on it.”

Cast
Mark Neufang as Bernard
Matthew J. Patten as Robert
Donna Daniels as Jacqueline
Chelsey Peterson as Suzette
Ruth Arnell as Suzanne
Scott Fudali as George

Performance Dates and Times
March 13 – 15: Friday at 8 pm, Saturday at 8 pm, Sunday at 2 pm (8, 8, 2)
March 20 – 22: Friday at 8 pm, Saturday at 4 pm and 8 pm, Sunday at 7 pm (8, 4/8, 7)
March 27 – 29: Friday at 8 pm, Saturday at 2 pm and 8 pm, Sunday at 2 pm (8, 2/8, 2)