love

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.

Freckles?


I  just flung (flang?) ferret poop into my own face.

Go ahead: Ask…

*****

Now that a day has passed and the dust, er… poop… has finally settled, let’s have ourselves a little conversation involving good ideas and bad ideas.

The boys sleeping in their hammock.

To begin: Ferrets are notorious corner-poopers. Whenever any two objects come into contact with each other at any time in any fashion a corner is created.

A corner that must be pooped in.

Preferably right after said corner has just been scooped, scrubbed, and vacuumed.

Because I am an awesome ferret mom of two awesome ferret dudes (who are cute and playful and friendly and curious and healthy and quiet and wiggly and awesome) I have never been surprised or upset to find poop in any of my apartment’s corners.

Because let’s face it: What would be accomplished with my being upset about it, and is there really any cause for surprise when this is among the most common (and goofy) ferret-wide shared traits?

My actual placemats are in English and Spanish. Weasels should be well-rounded.

Instead I plan ahead. Or try to, at least. In some corners I keep litter boxes (which Wesley prefers to use onlyuntil they’ve been pooped in), and in others I use packing tape to hold down laminated placemats to protect the carpet and to make clean-up easier.

In the “placemat corners” I always add an extra line of packing tape that extends above the floor level and onto the vinyl at the base of  the wall. I do this to keep the wall poop-free in the event I need something to push my li’l poop scooping thingy against to actually scoop up the poop.

Poop.

Poop poop poop. As a word it loses so much impact in ferret stories because it’s just such a prevalent theme.

But I digress.

Placemat Placement: Tools of the Trade

Every couple of days I go on a ferret-chore-rampage in which I clean all the things, which involves, among other activities, giving the placemats a good scrubbing.

Every couple of weeks this chore rampage involves replacing the poop speckled packing tape.

Yesterday was one of those chore days.

Except that because I initially planned on just scrubbing the tape it was dripping with Antibacterial 409 when I began tugging at a loose end after deciding a replacement was in order as the amount of poop present had reached near record levels of grossness. (A level it doesn’t take the boys long to achieve…)

Wesley playing in his octopus

*tug… tug*

Hm. The tape appears to be stuck. No problem. I’ll just pull harder.

*tug… tug…  TUG!*

And so the tape, in a final, dramatic release, boings 12 inches worth of 409-drenched poop crumbles in all their goopy glory SMACK across my face.

Boys? Weasels? Monsters? Beasts of the field? Little dudes? You are lucky you are so STINKING WONDERFUL that your poop freckled mommy cannot help but love you.

Ferrets: Nature’s reminder that into every life a little poop must fall.

ETA: It is worth noting that just because you *think* a discarded cereal bowl is too high for a ferret to reach, this is not necessarily the case.

And should said ferret freak out upon discovering himself suddenly drenched in milk, corn flakes, and oat clusters, laughter is a perfectly acceptable response.

Tomato: A dream


“True love is the greatest thing in the world. Except for a nice MLT– mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich– where the mutton is lean and the tomato is ripe.” Miracle Max (William Goldman)

Always a bridesmaid…

I dreamed last night it had been arranged that three other women and I should marry four boorish young brothers from a wealthy family that was having trouble marrying off its sons. I found myself in a church I didn’t know, using a poorly lit room that had been converted into a dressing room for the four of us and our bridesmaids. All the girls were talking and laughing except me. I didn’t know what was happening and had no one to ask as I stood there alone with no bridesmaids.

I slipped my dress on over my head. Where the other girls were putting on traditional, white gowns with lace and delicate embroidery, mine was an ill-fitting smokey blue taffeta. As soon as the other girls were engrossed enough in their chatter to not notice my absence, I ducked out through a side door and into a dimly lit hallway. I was sneaking out because I had to find someone to whom I could tell the truth and seek help. The truth was: I didn’t know which of the four brothers I was engaged to and I didn’t want to go through with the wedding. I had to find someone to ask for the name and appearance of the brother I was to marry so I could at least walk up to the right one when my turn came.

I don’t know why I didn’t choose to just leave. Maybe I couldn’t?

As I walked the hallway in search of someone to talk to I remembered a home movie I had been shown of the oldest of the brothers. In it he was sitting in an easy chair in the living room of one of the family’s summer cabins. He wore a shabby, pale blue sweatshirt from the 80s bearing an old Pepsi logo on the middle of the chest. His blonde hair was greasy, thin, and spiked. His doughy face was mostly expressionless in its perch above his myriad chins and his stomach slipping out past the hem of his sweatshirt. The video ended when he got up to check on some activity happening behind the person with the camera. I hoped this wasn’t the brother for me.

Squirrely boys will be squirrely boys

I found a young man helping out back stage for the service. He seemed laid back and fairly unconcerned about the whole event. Thinking he was probably uninvolved enough not to rat me out, I confessed I didn’t know which brother to go to  when my turn came and asked if he could advise me. He was able to tell me I was engaged to the youngest of the four who it turned out was little more than a child. I asked what he looked like so I would know him when I saw him. He said he was “short, kinda squirrely,” and that he was being brought over with his small, black poodle on the family’s helicopter at that very moment.

My heart sank. My stomach dropped. My head maintained altitude. I thanked the young man and kept walking.

I never did find the boy.

I came upon a set of wide double doors that led into a room that was a cross between a concert stadium and a sanctuary. I wandered in the semi-darkness looking for the youngest brother while listening to the ceremonies of the first two girls. I expected the ceremonies to continue as I hadn’t reached my own unfortunate turn yet, but then, abruptly, it all ended. Two of the brothers had never shown up, so two of us didn’t get married. I was instantly relieved because I hadn’t wanted to marry this person, this boy, when I didn’t even know him, but humiliated I’d been left at the alter with thousands of people present to witness my abandonment by a child.

I went back into the dressing room to change and found that all of the girls were gone and the furniture had been changed back to suit the room’s original purpose. It was a choir classroom and a young woman with dark hair was directing a choir of school age boys in dark ties and white dress shirts. I didn’t make eye contact with anyone in the room. I said I just needed to find someone and promised to keep out of their way if they’d just let me through. All eyes were on me. I heard the students whispering, talking about what had just happened in the ceremony, snickering. I felt the teacher’s glare on the back of my head as I hurried by.

I passed through a door on the other side of the classroom and found myself in the back hallway of a small coffee shop. I made my way through it into the light of the coffee shop proper. To my right there was a girl reading at one of the tables, and straight ahead of me there was a man about my age working behind the counter. I walked up to the counter and explained my frustrating situation to the man; that it had been arranged that I should marry a young boy I didn’t know, that he’d never shown up, and that now I couldn’t even find the other girls I’d been with before the ceremony since they all left while I was away. He told me the same thing had happened to his boss,  a woman named Bonnie whom he spoke of with great affection. He said she owned the coffee shop and had been engaged to be married to one of these four brothers as well even though she had a good thirty years on even the eldest of them. He said she hadn’t even shown up herself.

Knowing that, it suddenly all seemed so silly now. So forgettable. Knowing I wasn’t alone, and that the situation could’ve been even more bizarre, did so much to soothe my worry as I gratefully accepted the fact that I hadn’t gotten stuck in something horrible and so could go back to normal life at my own pace.

I thanked the man and turned to leave when somehow I found myself talking to him on my cell phone. He was so pleasant, so friendly, such a change from these strangers I kept running into who didn’t know me, who made plans about my life on my behalf, and who then disappeared before I could get any satisfactory resolutions to my concerns. He felt like a friend.

We hadn’t been talking long when the man asked if I’d come over the next morning before work for some gum.

“Gum?” I laughed.

“Yeah, you know. Just– come on over before work and hang out. It’ll be fun. I’m afraid all I’ve got on me is gum so it’s all I can offer.” I could hear him smiling.

“…the lamb was sure to go.”

While still talking to him on my cell phone I wandered back down the hall I’d first entered at the shop and saw a door that was open just a crack. Through that gap I saw I had reached the shop’s office, and there inside was the guy I was talking to seated at the desk, talking to me and grinning. I opened the door and said it was just too hard to meet before work but would he like to hang out now? He said he would and suggested he could show me around the building. On our little tour we came upon a mysteriously cavernous storage room, like a warehouse designed by Mark Danielewski. My new friend called me over to see a red toy piano he’d found and excitedly began dinging out songs like “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Several keys were missing, however, so none of the songs sounded quite right and we ended up not staying very long.

Before I knew it we were back at the outside door of the shop and I was saying I needed to head home. I realized I held in my hands a white piece of paper and a yellow CD I’d picked up in the warehouse. I handed them back to the man saying I didn’t even realize I’d taken them when he offered to walk me to my car. Thrilled to have finally found a friend in a dream I said yes. We walked outside into a bright summer day where I discovered we were near a harbor full of sailboats. The surrounding park was dotted with children on bicycles, sun bathers, and ice cream stands. It was idyllic. I never wanted to leave.

When life gives you tomatoes…

As we walked my new friend offered me a few pre-cut bites of tomato so sweet and ripe his fingers were dripping with juice and seeds. It wasn’t something I’d normally eat as a snack, but I was so happy for the company and the beautiful day I accepted a few pieces and popped the first one into my mouth. It was sweet, and melted on my tongue like soft chocolate. We kept walking, laughing, trying to talk between bites.

As we neared a line of trees separating the park from the rows of cars that were our ultimate destination, I found I couldn’t talk around the tomato at all now. As I’d chewed it had begun to swell, mutton-like, in my mouth with each bit, and had lost its pleasant flavor to the point where it tasted like nothing at all. I turned my back to my friend so I could spit my current piece out into the grass. He didn’t mind; he just laughed.

He asked if we could meet again and I was suddenly overcome with sadness because I knew we couldn’t. I wracked my brain for ways to make it work, half aware I was dreaming and so this was impossible, half confident this was reality and there was no good reason I couldn’t return. I smiled, said I’d try. “But you shouldn’t wait for me,” I explained, feeling like a heel for not being honest with him by admitting I’d never be here again.

He thanked me for our nice afternoon and asked if he could give me a kiss goodbye; I nearly cried. “Of course,” I said. He gave me a a quick kiss, smiled, and turned to walk back through the park to the coffee shop. I kissed the back of his shoulder as he took his first step away, turned towards my car, and forced myself awake.

Peach


peach pit

"The best way to know God is to love many things." Van Gogh

Cut it into halves along this seam, he tells me, insisting the freestone peach into my hand, and the flesh will break clean from the pit.

I did.

It does.

I brushed the skin with my thumb and it was soft the way leaves are soft when they begin to yellow.

I was alone, so I brushed the skin with my cheek and smiled that it felt rougher there, like a worked palm.

I bit into the first quarter and in my mouth the skin had a new feel, like a delicate piece of canvas meant to be worn close to the body.

Each bite was soft, perfect, unusual. Sugared gold, honey yellow, autumn red near the core. Sweet with no addition, no rot, no wood clinging from the pit. Part of the pleasure was the novelty of eating a thing that had a texture on the outside like it shouldn’t be eaten, so I didn’t remove the skin.

The final three quarters are wrapped in the kitchen so I may live the moment again tomorrow at breakfast, but I know I won’t. I can’t. The sky then won’t be dark and clear outside my window, the air won’t be cool and filled with the sound of crickets, and the peace that comes from being only a few hours removed from the end of the work week will have passed.

But I enjoyed that standalone quarter tonight more than almost any other part of my week, of my month, and so I’m glad for it. And smiling.

Questions to Make You Rethink Your Blah Blah Blah


These questions have no right or wrong answers. Because sometimes asking the right questions is the answer.”

*dun dun duhhhh*

Okay, so hokiness aside? Some of the questions from the above linked page really are worth thinking about. Or blabbing on about in one’s blog. And some are so cliche one would be doing one’s readers a favor to remove them from said list o’ blabbing. There were 50 to begin with. Now there are 11.You’re welcome. They’re all a bit Facebook meme-y, but I don’t generally get this personal here on WordPress so I figured I’d go for it. Change of pace. Keeps you on your toes. Spices things up.

Etc.

My siblings and me in... '96?

My siblings and me, '96(?)

1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?

I falter for a split second whenever I’m asked my age. My instinct is to say 29. I’m actually 27. When I was 26 my instinct was to say 28. Eventually I say 27. But I feel 23. I think I’d go with 23. 23 was a good year. A fun year. An easy, beautiful, freeing year full of love and friends and living. I’d do it again. Not many years I’d say that about, but 23? 23 I’d do again.

6. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?

Something where I could help people. Something where I could set things up, get things running, bring people and information and resources together to improve living conditions, go new places, write about my experiences, hold people when they’re lonely, share joy with people when they’re happy. What’s that job called? Are they hiring? Would they want me? I could get better. I could be better.

7. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?

*pffffft* No. I believe in helping people, so in a very roundabout way I’m glad I’m getting their insurance claims processed, but wow is it a stretch to say I “believe in” processing medical claims. I believe in learning new skills, trying new things, meeting new people, acclimating myself to new environments, so in those respects I suppose I’d find fulfillment in just about anything I was doing provided I was actively doing it. But I think that’s what’s got me so unsettled these days- the fact that I don’t feel like I’m actively doing anything.

10. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?

I’m more concerned with doing things right, and because I can never do everything right I end up taking failure very personally because it means I’m not achieving what I’m after; namely: doing things right. Every shortcoming is magnified by 1000 as I watch my best attempts crumble in my foundation of inevitable mediocrity. I know I should concern myself with “doing the right things,” but I feel like I’m more likely to be judged by peers and strangers alike for the former than the latter that I let the “right things” slide far too often.

Mom and her babies, '90

Mom and her babies, '90

17. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do?  What’s holding you back?

Travel. I’m waiting until I don’t have to do it alone.

19. If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?

If I had to move to another state, I’d probably pick Washington, maybe South Carolina. Both are geographically quite beautiful, and the feel is a lot different from that of the Milwaukee area. If I had to move to another country… That’s a little harder. What’s Argentina like? I think I could do that. As for “why”: I don’t rightly know why. Just to try something new I suppose.

23. Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend?

Ha! No. I’m petty, judgmental, self-centered, forgetful, passive aggressive, whiny, insecure, lazy, bossy, jealous, undependable, cloying, predictable, immature, stubborn. I could go on, but that list kinda stung. :S I have some good traits working for me too, but if I’m totally honest: I don’t think I’d have the patience to look past those particular negative traits in order to enjoy the positive ones if I was contemplating a friendship with someone just like me.

I’m grateful for my friends but am not at all surprised the number of people I’d call “close” is such an awfully low one, and getting lower every year. I’m kind of a jerk in a lot of ways and I think the fact I have so few close friends is a testament to that fact. Doesn’t that usually seem to be the way? The things we suffer from the most socially, emotionally, and in relationships are a result of things we’ve brought on ourselves? The truly frustrating part is I think I’m actually less abrasive than I used to be, but the damage appears to have already been done. I’m trying to do better from here on out, but I’m aggravatingly human so it’s an uphill battle most days. Sorry guys.

30. What is your happiest childhood memory?  What makes it so special?

Stepping off the plane at ASU. I was so excited to land that in my haste I tripped on the gangway in front of two armed guards. They chuckled. I didn’t care, I just kept running. Couldn’t wait to get outside, touch the ground. I was on an adventure with my family whom I loved and it couldn’t get rolling soon enough.

Becca and Me, '06

Becca and Me, '06

37. If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job?

I’d give my two weeks’ notice at 8:35 tomorrow morning after I got CRM running, checked my Outlook, and refilled my Nalgene bottle. Gotta do it the right way, y’know. Gotta keep your hiring promises if you can, million dollars or no.

39. Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before?

Yes. 160 times before, to be exact.

50. Decisions are being made right now.  The question is:  Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you?

Is it possible to come up with an honest answer to this that isn’t painful and perhaps a bit too humbling for public consumption? I’m just going to mull this one over. You do the same. Promise you will? Promise?

For Ms. Rea: A Dream


Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bumblebee around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening

Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bumblebee around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening

I dreamt last night that all of my ex-boyfriends’ girlfriends, fiances, and wives were named Amy. I understood this was so I would be so confused about who was who that I would ultimately have to  ignore them rather than continue to fret over the fact so many have so perfectly filled the gaps created by my absence.

And I do think about that. Not all the time, but more than I should. On a scale of 1 to eternity it’s really pretty inconsequential, no? But just the same: Once upon a time I thought I’d’ve found or been found by now. Or at least had someone to help pay for the groceries.

Thank you mom, dad, Mimi, Becca, James, Matthew, Debi and Ben for helping pay for the groceries last summer. I’ll never forget that. And I’ll never slip and call you Amy.

I dreamt last night that I was going to write in my blog about this odd dream I was having. I went into the dining room of a house I don’t know and sat down at a computer that wasn’t mine in an attempt to dump as many details as possible before I forgot them all. No sooner had I begun typing than Teller (of Penn & Teller) ran up behind me and began laughing in my  ear while running his left hand over the keys, adding extraneous letters to jumble my words. Lots of “m”s, “j”s and “h”s. I tried pushing him away so I could finish writing before I forgot everything, but he very kindly told me to let it go, that I shouldn’t be so worried about not being wanted right now.

I knew he was right, but I was so frustrated at not being able to capture the dream’s details on paper that I walked away, leaving behind a dining room now filled with people I didn’t know and to whom I bore no ties.

Miss Susie had a tugboat, the tugboat had a bell. Miss Susie went to heaven...

Miss Susie had a tugboat, the tugboat had a bell...

I then dreamt I was on an old tug boat anchored in a small harbor in Door County, WI. The boat was made entirely of rotting, unpainted wood that had gone black with age. The chains holding it to the bottom of the lake were so strong, and so tightly fixed, that the vessel barely moved as the clear, gray lake lapped at its decaying hull. The dock surrounding it came up so close on all sides that I asked of no one in particular how it was even possible to turn the ship back out onto open water.

This boat doesn’t go out into open water anymore.

So what am I doing here?

This is your new office, Ruth. A false floor will be laid over the deck to keep out the chill when winter comes, though it will still be icy cold through your shoes, but that’s part of the adventure, isn’t it? There will be a desk for you to work at, and a tall, brown, leather chair for you to sit in, and it will be comfortable just for you since you can never disembark.

But I don’t think I want this dying boat to be my office, especially not this far north when winter comes, especially not forever.

You’ll come to enjoy it.

Not everyone gets a boat, you know.

Death by Kohl’s


Kohl’s

Who got a 30% off coupon in the mail for Kohl’s Department Store’s President’s Day Sale? ME!

Who instantly regretted entering the Kohl’s Department Store off of X in Waukesha on Wednesday? Me. :(

From the moment I walked in the store until several minutes after I left, my ears were ringing from the LOUD high frequency buzzing/ whirring/ chirping sounds from their various security and tracking systems. Oh my God. Ridiculous. Every time I came near an entrance to the store itself, a fitting room, or a check-out register, the mosquito-in-my-ear-canal noise became so loud I literally had to walk around the store with my fingers pressing my ears closed.

It’s not the first time the buzz of Big Brother has pained my hearing near department store doors, but this time was downright intolerable! The weird thing is my hearing isn’t particularly spectacular. In fact it’s downright *meh.* I’ve got annoyed friends tired of repeating themselves for me who’d vouch for the overall mediocrity of my hearing, in fact, which makes the whole thing even stranger to me.  I also really have to wonder how it was that I was the only person who seemed to be affected by the CONSTANT ringing if aurally bionic I ain’t.

No, guys. It really was That. Bad.

And then I got two pairs of pants and a skirt for under $20. Woo.

The end.

Don’t Dress for Dinner

We’re only a week into the rehearsal process so far- just blocking and stuff up ’til now- but it’s already looking to be pretty darn funny and I’m very happy and thankful to be a part of it. And courtesy of the generosity of a few fellow cast members I now find myself in possession of an unusually large number of comp tickets for the show’s preview night in mid-March. I’m hanging on to a few for the fam. As for the rest of the comps: Any takers?

The following is a quick run down of what’s going on with the show, including a chance to listen in -but not watch because that kills the magic ;)- on a rehearsal, and a brief overview on how the auditions from my last video all panned out. The best part? I kept it under 5 minutes! Woo hoo! I prefer to keep it under 3, but 5? 5’ll do…

Sorry about that vertical blue line in the video, by the way. I don’t really have any way to see that things like that are present until I’ve got the footage uploaded to my computer and I’m ready to edit. *shrugs* I can live with it.

ETA: The show has undergone major changes. Please disregard the comments above and the contents of the video. Related tags have been removed from the video. Thanks!

Torch Song Trilogy

I feel kind of bad that all I’m writing about this amazing production (“Torch Song Trilogy” by Harvey Fierstein at Spiral Theatre in Milwaukee) is this teeny little snippet. I took notes during the nearly sold-out opening night performance and intended to write a full review of it but kept not getting to it, and now the show closes this Sunday so I feel even less inclined to really dive in. Bah. I’m a jerk- I know.

I will take at least a moment to say, though, that Mark Hagen in the lead role of Arnold is worth seeing the show for all by himself. Beautiful performance, real, funny, sweet, honest. The role could’ve been written for him. He’s got this great knack for easing into the levity of Fierstein’s one-liners in such a way that you don’t feel jolted from the emotion of the moment. And some of the moments? Phew! Very emotional.

Another actor bringing in a fantastic performance is Brian Richards. I’ve seen Brian in a few other shows and have had the pleasure of working with him once myself (also with Spiral) and have always enjoyed his performances, but he found something new and different in this part that I’ve never seen come out of him before and I have to say: I loved it. Particularly his first scene with Hagen. There was a confidence there that just– it worked.

The two of them are so enjoyable to watch- charming, romantic, heart breaking, human. Their relationship speaks to so many relationships and so many truths about dealing with people in and out of the bounds of *significant other-ness* I found myself giving my “I totally know what you mean” nod to every other line the two spoke to each other.

All in all: I can honestly say I believe this is director Mark Hooker’s strongest show to date. He packed it with powerhouse performances from an eclectic cast that gels the way a cast should, and because he’s got a soul he cut it down from its original four hour run time to a much more manageable two and a half(ish) hours. It’s at Plymouth Church in Milwaukee by UWM. Tickets are only $10. Go. You’ll dig it.

And whatever you do? Dig it fast! As of right now there are only two performances left… (Saturday 2/14 at 7:30 and Sunday 2/15 at 2:30)

*yaaaaawn*

It’s 1:25 am on a Friday night and I’m sorry if this revokes my youth cred but I have *got* to call it a night. Alfred’s in his kerchief, I’m in my cap. It’s time to settle these brains down, y’all. Nighty night…