Friday, February 29, 2008

How Is This A Good Idea

Something important for this "extra day."

I watched The Exonerated last night. This was the movie version of a play written entirely from court transcripts and interviews with death row denizens who were eventually proved innocent and set free.

Let's just say that again: These people went through our court system, were found guilty, put on death row and through tenacity, luck and hard evidence, were proved innocent.

You know how exterminators tell you that if you see a mouse in your house then you've already got 10 times that many in your walls? Let's apply that to the criminal justice system. We're only hearing about the "lucky" ones.

How is it possible that we, as intelligent, logical, sane people, can continue to practice such an imperfect form of "justice"? How can a state like Texas where you do not have the option to have an abortion be killing adults at such an alarming rate? How did I just write that last phrase when killing any people at all, even one, should really qualify as "an alarming rate"?

If you don't know much about the issue let me suggest a gentle introduction. Rent the movie. Maybe read the play (I spent a little time with the play in a bookstore today and I really think it's better than the movie version, more moving). You can read the book about the process of writing the play (the play includes 6 of the exonerated, they interviewed many times that number). Possibly the most personal way to do it would be to read Kerry Max Cook's book, which Rob has written about (and which, incidentally, wasn't to be found in the large chain bookstore I was browsing this afternoon).

I can't keep it in! I didn't want to spoil those sources for you but I have to! Trust me there's plenty more to learn even after I spill a few beans. Cook was exonerated due to DNA evidence that had been available for years. Sunny Jacobs, another of the 6 characters, was exonerated with a confession from the gentleman who committed the crime. He made his confession in the mid 1970s. She was released in 1992. This is the sort of thing you're going to be reading about and yes, it's uncomfortable at best, but it's so necessary and I think that it's worth your time. When Jacobs was released and met her granddaughter the girl said, "I know where you were Grandma. You were lost." If your neighbor were lost wouldn't you join the search party?

I, myself, am incensed and I'm off to the library at the earliest opportunity to get Cook's book and see what I can do. If it ain't broke don't fix it but this is broke, so very broke.

You So Want Me On Your Next Plane Trip


I'm only 6% more likely to eat your delicious flesh than Gert is and she's a vegetarian!

Perhaps I should be starting this Leap Day (a whole extra day!) with something more significant?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

More High Class Problems

The problem with buying something precious and useful is that to use it you always need something more. Here more also means, of course, more expensive.

I bought a used Nikon D40 10 megapixel camera with a standard lens (the name of which I really ought to look up). It's probably a quarter of the weight of my old camera with a trillion more functions, maybe a trillion and a half. I'm really going to have to read the manual and I really wish I had a partner in crime to walk me through some of this stuff but I'll learn by trial and error, too (first up, how to work without the flash!). Trial and error is cheap here in the land of the digital. Don't like it? Don't keep it! Don't know how this works? Try it. Doesn't work? Try something else! No waiting, no processing, no extra cash outlay.

Had to buy a new memory card, though. The D40 takes an SD card and I got a cute little 2GB card (should hold up to about 400 pics) that is its own card reader. You just swing back part of the card on a hinge and it becomes a USB doohickey that you plug right into the computer. It's so fascinating to me and it only cost $30. The camera with taxes and all cost me just over $600.

Yes, that's a little more than I'd thought I'd spend on a Digital Rebel but it's less than I at first expected and this one fits my old lens. Abe in the used department at B&H showed me how truly gorgeous my old lens is in conjunction with the digital camera. So much better than the standard lens. It does better things with the light and the depth of field (what's in focus and what's not). He told me that you really can't get them much any more and that mine would sell for around $400, if I was selling it which I am absolutely not doing. I am not sure but I suspect that's more than my parents spent on the whole dang (beautiful) camera when they gifted me with it almost 30 years ago.

You know what I don't have? Something to carry my camera in. I was just chucking the old one in my backpack with all my other crap. It's made out of metal. Really sturdy metal. Journalists in Vietnam used to pound in tent stakes with their cameras like mine. This new one is light and fragile. It has a screen on the back for the love of Mike (Hi Mike!). It needs to be protected so I can bring it places. I really want to (and probably will) bring it to Boston for my 10 second trip this weekend (I'm going to take the Chinatown bus up and back really quick on Sat to have lunch with Queen Bee, check in on Joe and see the other 2 Bee sisters, this whole ordeal is lengthening and I feel like we need to lay eyes on each other just to be safe) but how will I carry it? It may be raining, there will be other stuff in my backpack to amuse me for 10 hours on the bus and I do not own a camera bag. The short term solution is a nice soft pillowcase (which is what I used when I brought it to a bar to ask Peter Weekly to put the strap on) inside a waterproof sports backpack, I think. The long term solution? I don't know. I'd like a Shootsac since they're so purdy and hip but am I really spending over $200 for a camera bag? Probably not. (Which cover should I get in my dream land where a $200 camera bag is feasible?)

Then, of course, there are lenses. I have the 2 which should hold me while I learn and will even be passable for the June photoshoot but I've dreamed of having a telephoto lens since I was a kid. Being able to sit on one side of the street and shoot portraits of people in the diner across it is a dream. Perhaps I just wish I was Veronica Mars but that's not too bad a fantasy to have. Everybody and their dog has a macro lens, too. Chili keeps saying how much she likes the way I pick up the small things inside of our big world and the sense of place it gives her. Think what a sense of place I could get if I could get all up close and personal with a macro lens.

Larger memory card? Tripod? Photo printer? The evil possibilities are endless. I think I'll be able to keep myself in check but, wow, this could easily spiral out of control.

For now I'm just trying to find a time I can get out and shoot some photos. Daylight time that's not too cold or too slippery or too rainy or too something has been at a premium around here. But I'm sure that'll change soon.

In Context

So I watched a short version of the Colin Farrell sex tape.*

I know, what was I thinking, right? And how creepy is it to say, watch an actor announce an award or do an interview, and be able to think, "Huh, you can't even tell his penis is all wacky upcurved when he's wearing pants."

Anyway, it got me to thinking that there are some things that happen when 2 (or more) people are naked that just don't translate to, er, the performance arena. OK, SPOILER ALERT, there's a part where he's getting his licks in, so to speak (btw, he even looks like he gives good head), and he's looking her in the eye (major points for that) and he says, "Oh yeah, here it is, breakfast, lunch and dinner all right here."

I'm going to give you a minute to finish giggling.

Take your time.

Ridiculous, right? I know!

Take a moment, though, to close your eyes and put yourself in this girl's place. (Guys, just try it, I'm sure Colin could do right by you, too, he's nothing if not versatile.) Now look right into those beautiful eyes and hear him sing those praises to you. Don't forget to use the Irish accent.

Kind of strangely hot, no?

I know. It's all about the context. This, my friends, is why homemade sex tapes should be largely silent. Unless you're, well, cooking the meal let's say, that stuff just sounds ridiculous. Keep that in mind next time a celebrity asks you to get naked in front of the handicam.

*I'm not going to link to it here. There seem to be a lot of versions out there and I'm not video savvy enough (or freaking patient enough) to find the definitive one. Googling the basic terms will get you the goods.

Photography Lesson

First big lesson with the new camera. If you play with the camera inside and keep setting the flash off the dog will not understand or realize what it is. It will set off her thunderstorm fears (sublesson: it's the light not the noise that sets her off apparently) and make her shudder convulsively so hard that her teeth chatter. As usual with this ailment she will be inconsolable and the guilt will make you cry.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Seeking Approval

Saintseester stole a meme and I loved it so much I thought I'd try it myself. What are 7 things of which you approve?

1. I approve of Democracy even though I think we've totally bastardized it.

2. I approve of the internet and all it can give like photos and blogs and weather reports and friends and information and fun.

3. I approve of public displays of affection in moderation. I like to see people in love. I find it long as I don't have to see anything pink like tongues or ... you know ... whatever.

4. I approve of dogs having off leash time and space.

5. I approve of erotica and porn. They have a place. They have many things to recommend them. Check out this company that makes what look like really great movies that seem more like erotic documentaries than straight up porn. I think I got the link through Gypsy but it might have been Susie Bright. (It goes without saying that none of these are safe for work, right?)

6. I approve of drinking and going to bars. It's fun. Maybe because I don't do it every night but I still feel like it's good, clean fun.

7. I approve of everyone being allowed to speak their own mind and voice their own opinions even when I disagree with them and it makes that allowance difficult. The minute we clamp a hand over someone's mouth chances are I'm next and it's a slippery slope from there.

As Long As I'm Not Blue Velvet

That ear thing always wigged me out.

(FYI, my brain is made entirely of mashed potatoes today. I am full up with A1eve and it's taken me 5 tries to type these short sentences.)

You Are a Blue Crayon

Your world is colored in calm, understated, deep colors.

You are a loyal person, and the truest friend anyone could hope to find.

On the inside, you tend to be emotional and even a bit moody.

However, you know that people depend on you. So you put on a strong front.

Your color wheel opposite is orange. Orange people may be opinionated, but you feel they lack the depth to truly understand what they're saying.

I got this from a Purple.

J. Geils Bank Would Love This

I recently started reading Aaryn's site. I don't remember how I got there but, as with all things internet, the points of commonality are so numerous that I couldn't begin to re-trace my steps.

Go check out this video she posted last week. It's of this unbelievable performance art thing that apparently happened in Grand Central Station. I found it fascinating and inspiring and utterly bizarre.

What could we do to top that?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Well That Was Quick

Check out this photo of that guy who almost died in the middle of a hockey game. He looks unbelievable good for someone who almost bled out from the neck recently, does he not?


First pictures from new camera (Nikon D40).

Straight out of the camera, no gussying up.

Apparently no apartment cleaning, either.

By the way, the schmancy new media card goes the other way up in the USB port.

Yes, I'm wearing leggings, I was just home from dance class. Sorry.

Thursday, Tuesday, 13, 10, Whatever

Gypsy did an interesting Thursday 13 last week and I thought I'd give it a whirl. I don't know how I'll do, this is one where I really might not make it to 10, though I do get 2 shots at it. Anyway, for those of you who didn't click through (shame on you, click through and spread the love!) she listed and linked to 13 books that "bring to mind books I’ve read that have an inherent sense of place, specifically my place, my region, the corner of America where I live. The following books aren’t necessarily placed in my town, but they’re where I’m from."

For this one I'm doing the place where I came from - a small town in NH.

1. A Separate Peace (I'm actually from the town where this is set.)

2. A Prayer for Owen Meany (Ditto.)

3. The World According to Garp (This is probably a prudent time to say that I dislike the work of John Irving pretty strongly. People who think that Owen Meaney is the best book they've ever read and it moved them and changed them? I do not get them. Can we get matching CAT scans to compare and find out how 2 such different people can exist in the same species?)

4. Here on Earth (Probably the book that best embraces the feel of where I grew up.)

5. The Last Summer (Of You And Me)

6. The Stephanie Plum Novels (Totally not set in the same place as where I'm from but the feel, again, very similar.)

7. Practical Magic (Very, very different from the movie.)

8. The Bostonians

9. Prep (Again, both literally and literarily set in my town of origin.)

10. The Weight of Water (Whew. As expected, this was tough. I had to go to the bookshelves to finish it. It's sort of like going to the mattresses but with fewer automatic weapons.)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Viva L'Etats Unis!

Probably my favorite shot from my Staten Island ferry trip a couple of weeks ago.

A good way to cap my day of civic duty. By the way, I've been cleared and don't have to serve again for a minimum of 8 years.

Jury Rigged, or is it Jerry Rigged?

Ally Waits
Originally uploaded by kizzzbeth.

The wireless system at the courthouse won't let me get onto my blogger dashboard to post. I'm trying this end run to see if I can get a luncheon post up. I've been in Voir Dire for 2 hours and still haven't really been asked a question. Been doing really well with my video poker, though. Looks like I'm going to be here all day, like until 5. Which is sad but whatever. I'm finding the Voir Dire process sort of fascinating from an acting and writing standpoint. Not loving that I had to take off my belt to get through security and that my lunch is still frozen and therefore inedible. Sigh. At least it hasn't spoiled.

Life, Preserved

From my Staten Island Ferry trip a couple of weeks ago. I am petrified of drowning, it's one of those past life sort of things, so I'm usually aware of the location of all the flotation devices, even when I can see shore in all directions.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

I Love Tilda Swinton

I'm watching the Oscars just slightly behind real time so I don't have to watch the commercials. I haven't gotten to the part where John Stewart is basically just drinking in his dressing room while they roll out the performers and presenters one after the other because they figure only the die hards are still watching. So far its a pretty good show. It feels like all of LA is breathing out which lends a bit of giddy relief to the night. It works!

My day has been pretty far from living the Oscar dream. Mostly it's been sort of keeping busy so I don't have to think about it.

I got a 2 hour floor barre class for the price of 90 minutes. It almost killed me but I thought it was awfully generous of her. I may never go to class on a Sunday again. Way too dangerous.

I got out of the grocery store alive which, well, a freaking miracle considering the zoo that place was.

I went to the Post Office. Have I mentioned how much I love NY? Yeah. I do. You can go to the Post Office on a Sunday if you need to.

I went to the big fancy camera store for the very first time. It was like Wonkaville, only for cameras. One old dude was an ass. Abe in Used Digital Photography was awesome and beautiful and might be getting a Hanukkah card from me next year. The nice man with no name tag in the accessories department also won my affection. I'll tell you all about what I got in a post later.

I came home and made some important phone calls and walked the dog and spent over 2 freaking hours cooking all the food I had to get cooked. Have I mentioned lately how much I hate cooking as a regular thing? Probably. Sorry. During my cooking fest the dog fell off the couch and hurt her back legs which is worrisome. On the up side I discovered my new favorite good-for-you food. I'd read somewhere that you could fake mashed potatoes with cauliflower for a more healthful side. So I boiled a whole head of cauliflower, drained it, put in some coarse salt, pepper and just a teaspoon of butter and it's so delicious it was all I could do not to eat the whole thing tonight. It tastes absolutely nothing like mashed potatoes but it is really good.

Exciting, no? But all very necessary. Not a bad day but, you know, no closer to winning any awards.

I also love Kristin Chenoweth.

I Am Not Demi Moore

I got dinged for Jury Duty for the second time in my tenure here in the Big Apple. The last time there was no question, I was just supposed to show up and to clear my week. This time, possibly since I only postponed once, I got the kind where you call in the night before to find out if they want you to come in. I think you're also supposed to clear your week. Last time I spent one day waiting around in a less than comfy room, was sent away for a 90 minute lunch and was dismissed about 3:30. I called in and they want me to report in person tomorrow. They want everyone who's called for Monday to come in. Paradoxically the message makes a point to invite you to bring your laptop since the court house has wireless internet then immediately tells you to limit the personal belongings you bring to make the security check easier.

I'm a middle ground person about this whole Jury duty thing (as I am with almost everything else). I'm sort of looking forward to having one day to break my routine. I can leave the house about the usual time, walk to the court house and get there on time. Whether they keep me for more than one day or not I'll probably get out earlier and I'll definitely be closer to home than if I were at the office. I've even begun to see the advantages of having 2 days of waiting around, getting laptop stuff done and getting home early. I don't want to be picked for a jury, though. I'm not willing to completely disregard the whole civic duty portion of the question and wear my America Is Scary t-shirt, not shower and bring The Communist Manifesto for my reading material. I might wish I was, though. I will certainly not be covering up the waning hole in my head.

I'll be bringing my laptop and a couple of good books and something to write with and on and my iPod and my phone and maybe my new camera, too. (New camera, yes, new camera yippee!!!!) I'll make good use of the time and enjoy the break from routine and hope for an early release of one sort or another.

Any Jury Duty experience out there?

You've Got Possibilities

I've been alluding to this whole new camera thing lately. I've been outright bellyaching about it for a long while, too. Things are coming to a head, though, or should I say coming into focus? (Heh. I'll be here all week. Do not try the veal.)

So, a friend (not sure if they want to be identified in this context so I'll wait) has asked me to take some photos of her kiddo, her parents, her hubs and her in prep for a full family holiday card at the end of the year. She likes the pics I've been taking of Alita and Music Baby so she asked me and even offered to pay me something. I declined payment. It's exciting and fun for me and an important learning experience so I'm getting paid already.

Anyway, I need to learn a bit more, shoot a bit faster and be able to take more photos at a time before our date with destiny in June. I need more freedom to make mistakes and I need the immediacy to try different techniques on the same subject to learn which ones work best. I need the digital equivalent of my beloved but ailing Nikkormat.

I just spent about $2,000 on the show so the idea of spending over $1000 on a camera seemed crazy indulgent. As a precursor I was going to go to a famous camera store and get some advice then hit Ebay or Craigslist or whatever to see if I could find a reasonable pre-owned option. Anyway, after the snow day changed my plan on Friday I hit the web site for store hours on the weekend and discovered a USED SECTION!

The camera I think I'll be directed to is the Canon Digital Rebel 8 Megapixel (pictured). When I first put it on my Amazon list as something to moon and drool over it was clocking in at around $700 with the standard lens. After that I just started blurring out the price in my mind when I looked at it. Well, my internet window shopping today has revealed that at the famous camera store has the used Rebels starting at $399 with the standard lens and even my Amazon version is only $469 also with the lens. This is doable! (Still indulgent, yes, I do understand that.)

Last month I wrote a check for almost $600 for the theatre balance, still paid my bills and didn't have to transfer out of savings. So...I could really buy this camera and not feel so terribly guilty about it. I'll be saving all that money on film! I'll be able to take more pictures (oh you lucky folk of the internet, are you holding your breath yet). I want this. I've wanted this for years and it's OK to have it. (I know it is, but I have to keep telling myself.)

I am at this point so excited I can barely contain myself. Today, y'all, by today I might have a big kids digital camera. I can't wait!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Dewey Doobie Doo

Pamie's Dewey Donation Drive is back. Do you know about this?

A few years ago Pamie was asked to help a couple of libraries who were having trouble getting new books. She utilized her big blog muscles and was met with great success. Since then the book drive has grown larger and prettier and more full of keen prizes.

After a hiatus last year the book drive is back and bigger than ever. You can win a Scalzi or a Rummel-Hudson and that's just the tip of the iceberg. You can also help libraries while indulging your own addiction to book buying. What could possibly be wrong with that?

Am I not being specific enough? OK, here's the rundown, there are 2 libraries being helped this year and they provide 2 different ways to donate. Want to help build up a new library for a school in Jamaica? Click and donate some cashola. Want to buy books to surprise the sensible socks of some librarians in California? Check out the wish lists and make a donation of books. Don't know what to do? Go hit the Dewey Donation web site and lurk a bit, learn more and make an informed decision about literature, libraries and love.

Thank you Pamie for fun books to read, thank you for fun TV to watch and thank you very much for this chance to participate in something so good.

Is Your Flickr Flicked Out?

Mum at Hurd Reunion 2005
Originally uploaded by kizzzbeth.

Every day (sometimes more than once) I go through the new photos from my contacts on Flickr. I love to look at photos and Flickr is like being handed just the new bits of people's personal photo albums. I love it! Is everyone this methodical in keeping up with their Flickr contacts? I don't know. Probably not. Maybe. Really, I don't know.

If any of you are that sort of person I apologize deeply. I upgraded to a Pro account this evening (Thanks Pop! And I still have half the present left!) and I've spent hours uploading photos. Honestly, HOURS. I might not be done yet, either.

Having so. much. fun.

Good Thoughts and Crossed Fingers

Joe the Barber took a spill on the ice last night leaving him with some upsettingly serious injuries. He's been moved to the local big city for extended expert care but I feel like, no matter how many experts he's got, some good old fashioned internet vibes can't hurt. So, please think a good thought every now and then for the man. Less pain and quick recovery are what we're looking for here if you can manage it.


The site also let me know:

This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:

  • ass (4x)
  • fuck (3x)
  • crap (2x)
  • pussy (1x)
I should hold a contest for you to guess what my first thought was upon reading that determination.

Ah, fuck it, I thought, "I only used pussy once?"

(You know, I wanted to craft a sentence that used all 4 of the "offending" words but I've found that references to crappy assfucking by goddamned pussies tend to move a post a little too swiftly out of the lighthearted range I'm striving for.)

Friday, February 22, 2008

I Was Wrong

I did get a good pic of Little Seal. Maybe my best shot of the day. No idea what he was pointing at, he was interested in everything our restaurant had to offer. Which is just as it should be.

The Snowy Day (2008)

Since I took today "off" I was more free to enjoy our morning walk so I put on every piece of water and cold proof clothing I owned, put my camera in my pocket and walked until I got a blister from my stupid knock-off second hand boots. Then I walked the 3 blocks home.

There were far too few people shoveling but also people having a lot of fun. There's plenty of snow for sledding and for making snow folk. The pooch was ecstatic. Her whole being amps up a few notches when it starts to snow. Of course she's older now so she may not get up from the couch for the rest of the weekend.
It's turned to rain now and we've had a second walk to visit Alex and a third walk to help get Bobby's YaYas out and were both exhausted. In a good way, though.

All these photos with my little point and shoot. Well, point, press, delay and eventually shoot.


Perhaps I will take a snow day today.

It's New York City so 5 inches of snow isn't shutting us down or anything. The subways are running on time and only one community college has called off classes. Gosh it'd be nice to just say, "Screw it" and stay in.

I was planning to go to dance class and then to the camera store to research a new camera and then come home, nothing I can't do another day.

Yet...I already planned to do this stuff! Are you perfectly happy to roll with the punches and change your plans as your feelings change or is it hard for you to change course once you've planned it?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bla bla bla di bla

Above: Anyone know how I can recycle, repurpose or...uh...ronate (what's a word that means donate but starts with r?) these? The little one is a Motorola V60 so old that a. it's made out of metal and b. the AT&T system no longer supports it. The big one is a Blackberry 7200 ish something or other.

Below: If someone is in the room with me, this is how close they are to me. Say hello to Audio Girl! But say it quietly because she doesn't know I took the picture...yet. Doesn't she have pretty hair?


I got back a promising but ultimately disappointing roll of film yesterday. Some of it was camera error (so much more than usual) and some of it was operator error. I've cleaned this up enough to make it "artsy" instead of "hopeless" but it's not my best work. Love her face, though.

This is from brunch a couple of weeks ago. I was trying to take some pictures of Little Seal (none of those turned out well, I may be able to salvage one but I'm not holding out hope) and Alita was not on board with that plan. No hardship there, I was happy to take pictures of both of them.

I Suppose It's Just a Lucky Guess They Made

What Kizz Means

You are a seeker of knowledge, and you have learned many things in your life.

You are also a keeper of knowledge - meaning you don't spill secrets or spread gossip.

People sometimes think you're snobby or aloof, but you're just too deep in thought to pay attention to them.

You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.

You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.

You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.

You are incredibly wise and perceptive. You have a lot of life experience.

You are a natural peacemaker, and you are especially good at helping others get along.

But keeping the peace in your own life is not easy. You see things very differently, and it's hard to get you to budge.

I wanted to see how it turned out for me after Gert did it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I Saw An Old Man

Pony Express called and reminded me about the eclipse, bless her heart.

So beautiful. I hope you went out and looked at it. As our shadow crosses the moon you can almost fool yourself into feeling the rotation of the earth. (Name that movie.) I can never see the man in the moon when I'm looking at the real moon but I could see it tonight, highlighted by the light and shadows. I had a book when I was a kid, I think it was Winken, Blinken & Nod*, and there was a sort of luminescent illustration of a man in the crescent moon. I could see that in the eclipse too.

It makes me feel peaceful.

*It was and I found that linked and read it. Very different to read it as an adult. Check out the last stanza and I dare you not to cry.


A million years ago when I was a freshman in college (1 million = 20.5) I read a blurb about how acting students should be careful to allow themselves time going in and out of the real world while acting. If you're doing the acting part right you're bringing your emotional self right up to the surface and it can be too tender for the real world, even the part that's in the hallway outside the classroom or theatre. There was never any time for that sort of decompression and, frankly, I wasn't doing the acting part terribly well so I let the advice roll off my back, imagining a time when I'd all of a sudden know that I was good and that I needed that time and blah blah blah fishcakes (tm.TWoP)
I did find myself doing better acting work while I was in London. So much better in fact that I exited the building after a difficult meeting with the head of school (she was a bonehead, don't just take my word for it, I can send you affadavits) and sobbing hugely on the sidewalk around the corner from the school out of anger and frustration.

One of my class' plays was directed by a creepy Polish dude and we were all vehemently done with him by the time we were in final prep for the performance (Three Sisters, I played Irina). Our voice teacher was doing some physical work with us lying on the floor and she asked us to laugh to get our breathing working and we could not stop. Truly, for almost half an hour we just laughed and laughed and laughed. Every time we wound down enough that she could almost call the exercise ended someone would get a breath and not be able to do anything but laugh it out along that knife edge of hysteria. I have a visceral memory of being done, myself, then hearing my Nigerian classmate Effie's beloved full body laugh which sent us all right back tumbling over the edge again. It felt wonderful and it validated what we'd been saying about how difficult our experience of this weirdo director was. Word got around to our other teachers and they all worked to keep us somehow sanely in that bubble so close to the surface.

The last three or four days I am easy to cry, easier to anger and almost fully without discipline in the art of real life. I want to thump people soundly on the head when their tiniest disagreements deeply wound me and it feels like a Herculean struggle to approach even minor challenges with kindness and objectivity. Sadly not all the challenges I've walked into have been minor, either. 'Cause, I'm not sure if you know this or not but just because you have a show the rest of the world does not stop spinning and wait for you. (Just a helpful tip for you and me.)

I guess this means I was doing some decent acting, huh?

About halfway through yesterday I recognized this as a re-entry problem. I just haven't figured out how to handle it. I'm giving myself extra self-care and trying to let my emotional brain do whatever it needs to do while only responding to others after reflection and not feeling guilty for requiring some distance (honestly, it's for the greater good). One approach would be to take time off from performing until I can re-enter real life completely and then start all over but I don't think that's what I want to do. I want to perform again and soon, I want to build something new and re-work some of the old. I think that making this trip to and from the very surface of emotion more often will make the border crossing more natural.

In the meantime, though, I just wish everyone around me would stop being such an asshole*. (Except you, not you.)
As part of the self-care regimen I took time out of my work day to make a crane out of recycling paper and photograph it. Then I gave it to Audio Girl.

*You know this is a joke, right?

Am I Listing Enough?

Just in case you didn't get enough of my listing capabilities yesterday, here's my monthly 108 in 2008 check in post.

Updated info in italics. Anything that's fully complete just has DONE by it. There are 7 DONE things and a number of others that are in process so I feel pretty good about it all so far.

1. Get regular vocal coaching (see also #14)
2. Record 2 more tracks for CD (Sometime in 2020 you'll all be getting the finished product for Christmas.)
3. Night Before Christmas for fam (make a book? buy them? convince this guy to illustrate a version and help him publish it?)
4. Continue Floor Barre classes - Going well thus far. I think I hit a new level last week when she started working on something new that I don't do very well but still used me as a good example.
5. Add another hour per week of exercise (3 sessions of 20 minutes each per week) - I need to start recording this. I think it's happening but I can't tell.
6. Submit Chekhov or Speed Dating play to 20 places - I think the Speed Dating play will go far. It got good response this weekend. Now I just need to figure out where to submit it to. Any ideas?
7. Book Shakespeare 10 places
8. Go on a date - If I go speed dating will that count for this?
9. New Year at the steam pipes
10. 2 field trips with Alita
11. Post-Thanksgiving Open House
12. Find director for Chekhov - I collected some more information toward this.
13. Reading of Chekhov
14. Find new vocal coach
15. Sing live
16. Hang pictures
17. Bathe dog once/buy removable shower head
18. Perform at Boerum Hill nursing home sing along
19. Lobsterbake (June)
20. Complete play for Women's Night (Feb) - DONE (Looks like I may get to do it again, too.)
21. Complete non verbal piece for Women's Night (Feb) - DONE (Kind of can't wait to do this one again.)
22. Complete admin work for Women's Night (Feb) - DONE, whew!
23. Perform Women's Night (Feb 15 & 16) - DONE Might even do it again.
24. Polish up 3 short stories
25. 20 short story submissions
26. Go to Met Museum
27. See Rock & Roll
28. See Farnsworth Invention
29. 3 activist actions that do not include the use of form e-mail (suggestions welcome)
30. See an opera
31. Go to MoMA
32. Go to Frick - DONE in Jan when ChemE came to visit.
33. Fix back-up hard drive
34. Install Final Draft (script writing software) - Peter Weekly said he'd help with this.
35. Learn how to use Final Draft
36. Continue Weight Watchers eating plan (Woof, getting back on this wagon has been a pain in the ass. I'm hungry again! - I've wobbled a little this weekend with the show being on but it turned out OK. 3 more lbs to go. I feel cautiously optimistic.
37. Meet goal weight of 125 (shooting for March completion, first weigh in on Monday) - Was at 128 on 2/18.
38. Check in on this list once per month - So far so good, wrote it in Jan and checking in now in Feb.
39. Re-do work files
40. Keep work files current (part of me hates that I have j.o.b. goals on this list but another part of me thinks it's something that'll smooth my brain out so it's a good thing)
41. Clean out closets
42. Set up home filing system
43. Gyn appointment
44. Dentist appointment
45. Buy scanner - I think I'm getting gifted one of these, Pony Express seems to have, er, acquired one for me.
46. Scan family photos
47. Auntie Blanche's birthday (98 on August 23)
48. Trip to beach
49. Post photos to Flickr (upgrade to pro account?) - I've decided to use the gift card Dad gave me for Christmas to upgrade this (and I'll still have money left over) but I haven't pulled the trigger yet.
50. Invest 1/2 savings
51. See accountant in person
52. Re-work investments to maximize return
53. Sort out IRA contribution
54. NaBloPoMo (Nov)
55. Go to Brooklyn Museum
56. Update address book - Sending out the publicity for the show was good for this. I was able to get rid of some bad addresses which is a start and I spent a little time on it this weekend since it was something I could do while lounging on the couch. Lounging on the couch was required this weekend.
57. Make Christmas cards
58. Take more photos (practice makes perfect after all) - I've been taking some, a few I'm excited about.
59. Learn more about how I'm taking those photos (suggestions welcome)
60. Read 4 classic/good-for-me books (perhaps from this list Chrome mentioned)
61. Plan 40th birthday celebration for Jan 2009 (trip? party? both?) - Right now I'm thinking party but with a trip at some other time during the 2009 calendar year.
62. Research health insurance providers
63. Change health insurance providers if appropriate
64. Bring lunch 3 days/week - Still doing that at least 3 days a week and usually 4.
65. Get photos framed
66. Get contact lenses
67. Make out will
68. Inquire about grave plot
69. Renew passport
70. Submit for print audition (actors access?)
71. Submit for commercial audition (both of these will happen once my head scab has closed over) - Head scab is susceptible to cover up at this point so...
72. Write Aunt Rena once/month
73. Write Auntie Blanche once/month
74. Cook once/week (doing this is integral to being able to do #64) - Totally been doing this. Totally been hating this.
75. Go to Cyclones game (Kath has said that I can tag along on one of their trips this summer)
76. Take all vacation days
77. Make new cookbook pages (this may morph into making another homemade Christmas gift)
78. God's Love for Thanksgiving
79. Solve electric meter problem
80. Write on something significant (short story, play, etc.) 15 minutes/day, 5 days per week - Was going well when I was writing for the show but now that I've been rehearsing not so much. Must get back on bandwagon.
81. Send Christmas thank you notes
82. Vocal warm-up 5 days/week
83. Physical warm-up 5 days/week
84. Pay extra mortgage payment
85. Get facial
86. Record financial outgoings faithfully (see #96 re: Quicken) - Stumbling along with this a little.
87. Get Elvis's ultrasound (May)
88. Complete at least half of the items on this list (I'm so meta)
89. Actually hang up my Christmas wreath properly
90. Change over to those swirly energy saver light bulbs - I bought some, haven't installed yet, though.
91. Host Supper Club
92. Host Brunch
93. Get lip biopsied - I have an appointment to do this on March 6, along with a full-body mole check which will take forever since I'm genetically moley. ("My sister is covered with moles.")
94. Wear sunscreen every day (this just throws off my whole schedule, I had no idea it would be such a pain in the ass) - Doing it. Hating it. Also wearing a lot of hats.
95. 30 minutes per week home improvement (above and beyond my definition of maintenance cleaning)
96. Learn how to set up a new "me" in Quicken (Any Quicken experts out there? I took a look at it last night and I don't know if I know how to do it right. And I want to know how to record cash purchases, too.)
97. Go to one participatory music event for the holidays
98. Finish sending out 2007 Holiday cards (I'm 2/3 done!)
99. Re-organize kitchen cabinets
100. Apply creams/lotions/oils/ungents to scar daily - Doing it. There must be a better way to get Vitamin E oil than squeezing those fucking pills. Anyone know what that is?
101. Get new digital camera (if you can't leap into a big, proper one then a point & shoot that does low light and night shots) - More on this a little later.
102. Send birthday cards (preferably before the birthday)
103. Travel once outside of "event" trips (birthdays, Christmas, lobsterbake etc.)
104. Floss thrice weekly - My novelty floss dispenser sits in my bathroom mocking me.
105. Move Music and Photos to desktop Mac (Any insight on a simple way to do this is also highly appreciated.)
106. Leap more often (as opposed to plan, plot, think, prepare ex. I just decided to produce an evening of work by my female friends and the next day I sent out an e-mail.)
107. Make at least 1 of the books in #60 a non-fiction (maybe the Omnivore's Dilemma, definitely not Fast Food Nation. Probably better if it's not a food book at all. I have enough trouble with food already right now.) - I read Sin & Syntax so this is DONE. I happen to have a couple others lined up, too.
108. Finish this list. DONE!

I Did Not Like This One At All

Your Old Fashioned Name Is...

Wilmot Gomershall

Maud Dagworth did it first.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Quo Vadimus Part III

One more for the road, so to speak.

List #3: Places

So maybe I chuck it all and travel for the rest of the year. Where might I go if I were going to buy the ticket right this second.

1. London (plays, plays, plays, museums and plays)
2. DC (I've been saying I'll spend a day there for years and so far haven't)
3. Paris
4. Greek Isles
5. Toronto
6. Florida (beach)
7. Italy (food)
8. Iona (possibly the only place on earth I'd go to church every day)
9. Swetville Zoo
10. New Orleans

Quo Vadimus Part II

List #2: Personal

1. Appointment with Shelley the brilliant physical therapist
2. Appointment with dermatologist for mole check and biopsy (made this appointment this morning for March 6 at 10am)
3. Make the house beautiful
4. Go speed dating
5. Visit friends both in the city and out (if I had a nickel for every time in the last month that I said, "as soon as the show is over...")
6. Nothing
7. Buy new DVD player (mine crapped out about a month ago and I've been using the desktop computer instead, anyone want to go with me?)
8. Buy new camera (so much more to say on this)
9. Go to a play
10. Spend a day at the movies

Quo Vadimus?

Now that the show is over, what next?

List #1: Performing

1. Nothing
2. Another round of the Original Women Festival this year
3. A full night of just my own work
4. Build a new movement piece
5. Write a new play
6. Full length production of the Chekhov
7. Cabaret show
8. Find a place, perhaps a festival for Alice Sits
9. Start auditioning
10. Help someone else produce their work

Monday, February 18, 2008

I'm Usually Average

Your EQ is 100

You're average. It's easy to predict how you'll react to things. But anyone could have guessed that.

You're a bit moody, and sometimes you have trouble coping with every day life.

But you're by no means depressed, and your good days definitely out number your bad days.

There's nothing really wrong with your life, but you may not be living up to your actual potential.

Negative emotions can be a real drain of your energy, so make sure you have them under control.

Lovingly boosted from Chrome.

Another Milestone in Weightlessness

I'm down another pound this week for a total of 25. That's the weight of this cutie who is available for and in desperate need of adoption here.

3 more to go and I get to switch to the Maintenance Plan, whatever that is.

Birthday Portraits

She's 13 now.
Approximately. She might be older but we'll never know. When Pony Express found her 12.5 years ago the vet said she was about 6 months old.
In some ways she's a totally different dog. In others she's exactly the same.


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Like Someone Stole My Life

I've been reading Chookooloonks for a while now, over a year for sure. I love Karen's photographs and really enjoy her words. Recently she became a founding member of a new site called Shutter Sisters. The group is made up of female photographers of differing skill levels but all with a wonderful eye.

One of the other founding members is Kate Inglis. You may have read about Kate as her transparent blogging about the very early birth of her twins and subsequent loss of one of them, Liam, has been must-read blogging in many circles.

Recently Kate posted a photograph of herself as a kid and boy if she didn't look just like me at that age. That's not unusual. I was a tow headed kid with a chin length bob. Me and a half the kids in America. However, as I read her post about the picture it got creepy. The picture is on a canal boat (Been there, many times with my parents and my grandparents.) in the UK (Yup, me too.) while her family was living in Newcastle Upon Tyne (Uh crap, me too and Newcastle isn't exactly a top tourist destination, go look it up and you'll see what I mean. Have you seen Billy Elliot?).

For my whole life I've thought my family did this weird and sort of desperate thing that no one else on the planet would ever do but then Al Gore went and invented the internet and completely by accident I discover that I'm not alone. How coolly bizarre, right?

I Really Need to Replenish the Stockpile

Chili stole this from Chatty and I'm going to keep it going like a chain letter.

1. If you were to attend a costume party tonight, as what or whom would you go?
The Swamp Thing. I just got out of a 90 minute bath and I'm all pruny. I have some fake leaves around here somewhere and I could put all sorts of weird makeup on so the scar wouldn't matter.

2. What are your choice of toppings on a hamburger? And do you prefer gas or charcoal grilling?

Can I get a hot dog instead? OK, so if not and if I'm really feeling decadent what I like is cheese, ketchup and sometimes some mayo, too. I would not know the difference between 2 burgers cooked those ways. I just like what I like, I rarely know why.

3. You are chosen to have lunch with the President. The condition is you only get to ask one question. What do you ask?

What will it take to get you to step down right now? No, wait, not that. How do you live with yourself?

4. It’s your first day of vacation, what are you doing?

Still. Sleeping. Then maybe eating something deliciously decadent.

5. What is your concession stand must-have at the movies?

Sno caps. Even in this year of living weightlessly I get them. I go to the movies seldom enough that it works out all right.

6. Which do you dislike most: pop-up ads or spam email?

Pop ups hands down. Fuckers.

7. What do you think Captain Hook’s name was before he had a hook for a hand?

Eugene. Lefty. Sir.

8. Rock, paper, or scissors?


9. How long was it from ‘the first date’ until the proposal of marriage? How long until the wedding?

Uh.....I don't know, who are we talking about? None of these questions apply to me.

10. Which is worse, being in a place that is too loud, or too quiet?

Too loud.

11. What is one quality that you really appreciate in a person?


12. At the good old general store, what particular kind of candy would you expect to be in the big jar at the counter?

Rock candy on a stick.

13. What is the most distinguishing landmark in your city?

Now? Or then? Now the Empire State Building.

14. Everyone hears discussions that they consider boring. What topic can put you to sleep quicker than any other?


15. How many times did it take you to pass your drivers test?

Twice. I failed the written. The time I passed the mean guy giving the test claimed I made a rolling stop but I still passed. The test was a doozy. You went up the hill, onto the highway, around the block, into the parking lot and backed into a parking space.

16. If you had to have the same topping on your vanilla ice cream for the rest of your life, what topping would you choose?

Hot fudge! Though I never eat vanilla ice cream if I can help it so it's sort of a useless question for me.

17. What food item would need to be removed from the market altogether in order for you to live a healthier, longer life?

Jell-o pudding cups.

18. You are offered an envelope that you know contains $50. You are then told that you may either keep it or exchange it for another envelope that may contain $500 or may be empty. Do you keep the first envelope, or do you take your chances with the second?

Probably I'll feel the pressure to be more of a courageous leaper than I am so I'll take my chances.

19. If you had to choose, which would you give up: cable TV, or DSL/cable internet?

Cable TV as long as I get to keep my Netflix.

20. What is your highest level of education?

I have a BFA in Drama and I did a year of post graduate work in acting in the UK.

21. How much is a gallon of gas in your city? What was the highest it’s been?

I have no idea. I mostly stick to public transportation.

22. What kind of lunch box did you have as a kid?

I had a Peanuts lunch box and my mom probably still has it. I usually had hot lunch, though.

23. What would you rather have, a nanny, a housekeeper, a cook, or a chauffeur?

Housekeeper. I'll stick to public transport, I can go out to eat and I'd rather hang with my own (fictional) kids.

24. Would you rather be trapped in an elevator, or stuck in traffic?

Stuck in traffic. If all else fails at least I can just walk away.

25. Lets say a brick fell on your foot, and your kid is standing right next to you, what is your ‘cleaned up’ swear word?

I enjoy a nice "FFFFFFFFFFor CRYING out loud!"

Either? Both!

Some Sundays I'm not even up at this hour. Today, though, I've gotten up, walked the dog, walked over to the theatre (I missed the twice/hour bus by 3 minutes so, faster to walk it but cold), returned the table, picked up the chair and taken a car service back home.

Since we're still in the Year of Living Weightlessly I tried to think of a reward for myself that wasn't a whole sleeve of the Chips Ahoy left over from the weekend. So I think I'll be taking a bath while watching the episodes of Eli Stone online that I missed when they aired. (Yay! The strike is over!)

Some people out there are now trying to peel their own skin off thinking of me marinating in my own filth...for pleasure! There are, surely, bath advocates out there, too. I like both. Actually, I kind of require both. Think of it like filling the dishwasher. Sometimes you just rinse the dishes, maybe scrape off something particularly stubborn with your fingernail and call it a a day. Other times you need to soak a dish for a while then give it a rinse and put it in the machine. I like to soak myself, maybe shave, be all bubble bathy but afterwards I have to shower to rinse off all the crap that floated to the top when I soaked.

That sounded a lot more gross than it really is. Now you know way too much about what I'm going to do today. Tell me if you're an either or a both.

What Can I Do for YOU?

It's done, finito, ended.

This is good and it ended on good notes. I do need to go to the theatre tomorrow to return the table and pick up the chair but those are little things. Once I do them I can actually sit on my ass and do nothing.

So many people were so helpful and so giving over the course of this process. I can't begin to express the level of my gratitude. Part of me does want to think about when and how to do this again. Another part of me, though, can't bear the thought of asking people for help again so soon. I feel the need to pay back into the network first. My watch phrase for the next little while will certainly be, "What can I do for you?"

But I don't think I'll be able to start until Tuesday.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Welcome to Kizz Country

Thanks to Liv, Chili said this sloganator was a good way to waste five minutes. Turns out it's also a good way to waste ten!

You just plug a word into the generator, we used our blog names, and then hit the button to get a slogan. And another, and another, and another....

Why Can't Everything Orange Be Kizz?

Make It A Kizz Night (Hee, this is a favorite.)

Just Like Kizz Used To Make (I'm not dead yet, I might still make it!)

Easy, Breezy Beautiful Kizz (Why, thank you.)

Good To The Last Kizz

It's Kizz Time (Technically that's tonight at 8.)

Ding-Dong! Kizz Calling!

Avez-Vous Un Kizz? (Mais oui!)

Aaaaah, Kizz! (It's funny to wonder if this is Aaaaaaah like you're running away from a monster or Aaaaah like the soothing thing it was in the commercial.)

Cleans a Big, Big Kizz For Less Than Half a Crown (I'm not that big. Well, not anymore.)

Shake the Bottle, Wake the Kizz (Don't do that. Kizz needs her rest.)

It's Just For Me and My Kizz (Sounds like I'm talking to myself again.)

Marvin the Mountie Always Gets His Kizz (I certainly hope so! Bring on the Mountie!)

No Kizz, No Comment

Wait Till We Get Our Kizz On You (Dirty. And true.)

Big Chocolate Kizz (Might be true, might not. You'll have to taste me to find out.)

Making Kizz Taste Better (According to the previous one this is entirely unnecessary.)

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For Kizz (No need to scream, there's plenty of me to go around.)

Oh Hungry? Oh Kizz.

You Like Kizz. Kizz Likes You. (I do.)

Do You Have the Kizz Inside? (*giggle*)

It's Different in a Kizz (You betcha!)

You Can Really Taste the Kizz! (But only if you buy me dinner first.)

Go On, Get Your Kizz Out.

Don't Be Vague. Ask For Kizz.

Your Kizz, Right Away. (Or as soon as she finishes posting to her blog.)

Do Not Watch This Video

I'm actually not using reverse psychology. I have not watched this video and I'm pretty sure that I won't ever hit the play button. I've read the descriptions and gruesome doesn't begin to cover it.

Anyway, since you shouldn't watch it I'll give you the sum up. A gentleman named Richard Zednik, a right winger for the Florida Panthers, took a skate to the neck in a game against the Buffalo Sabres in Buffalo on Sunday night and nearly severed his common carotid artery. I don't watch a ton of hockey. I watch a fair amount and I do love it but I'm no expert. This isn't something I'd ever considered. Whenever I think about how dangerous it is to give a bunch of men each a weapon, strap some knives on their feet and shove them out onto a slippery surface I imagine severed fingers or cut faces but it never occurred to me to think about neck injuries. I know that goalies wear neck protection but I thought that was about taking a puck to the throat and crushing your larynx. Wow I was wrong.

This is going to make it very hard for me to convince people that hockey isn't terribly violent and that I'm not a blood thirsty freak for loving it. I mean, the guy got his carotid slashed and they still finished the game. Many of the players said they were both surprised and unhappy that officials did not call off the game but the fact remains that nobody walked off the ice in a huff.

Also not helping my cause is that I watch the bull riding. I was actually watching some this weekend (you know the strike has been going on a long while when TNT is showing bull riding in prime time, even on a Saturday). I watch these guys and I'm amazed when they get thrown and they bounce across the dirt and eventually end up under the hooves of these 1000 pound behemoths for a few seconds then get up and walk away. I don't know if that means they have big balls or no brains but it's mesmerizing to watch. Well, one of these guys didn't walk away on Saturday. He snapped his femur. The femur is, I'm pretty sure, the thickest bone in the body. Snapped it as he was thrown, fell, got trampled a little, and still had the presence of mind to cover his head with his arms (I always wonder, does that really save you much injury?).

I came to the conclusion long ago that, while I'd really like to see bull riding live, I don't think I could manage the stress. I wouldn't want to see crushed pelvises (pelvi?) and bloody noses and whatnot live. I wouldn't want to be witness to the pain and suffering. My mother always told me to just walk past house fires and car accidents and other emergencies so that the rescue workers could do their work without interference. It feels weird to go somewhere where you're likely to be all up in the midst of that, for lack of a better word, ooginess.

Does this mean I'm going to have to stop watching hockey live now?


I cannot accurately describe the amount of breath I have let out at this point.

The night went well. We aren't going to set any records for attendance or donations but we did have good attendance and some donations and that's, frankly, more than good enough for me. The audience was wonderfully receptive and perfectly giggly and we got through without noticeable glitches.

It should be noted that without the extraordinary commitment of the volunteers we wouldn't have done nearly as well. Kath was brilliant as the concessions and raffle point person and a lovely young lady who is a freshman at the studio that Pony Express and I both attended over 20 years ago ran the box office. Jennica's twin, who also wrote the play that Jennica is performing, did yoeman duty as stage hand/talent wrangler.

After the show I wanted to go for a drink. I needed it. Mark and Pony Express were happy to oblige so we hit a dive bar and had a couple of drinks and talked some about the work but mostly about other things. For instance, I've never seen Fast Times at Ridgemont High and apparently that's some sort of crime against my own nature. I'll get right on that. You know, as soon as I'm done with this show I'm working on.

Right now, though, I'm sitting on the couch at home watching the season finale of Monk. It's just like every other Friday night.

Friday, February 15, 2008

I'm Not Pissing Into the Wind!!!!!!!!

One of the bigger web sites I submitted to, one of the commercial ones, picked up our listing!

Go take a peek.

I just got a voice mail with another reservation for 4 for tonight, too, so things are progressing nicely. Now, if only I was showered and the programs were printed already.

What are you doing this fine Friday?

Fire Up the Downloading Software of Your Choice!

The strike is over according to Miss Pamie.


I'm probably going to celebrate by watching the first 2 eps of Eli Stone online since I missed them when they aired. Apparently my head was well aired, too, because I couldn't remember to hit record no matter how many times I was reminded.

I don't know much but I know that shows that are heavy on special effects won't be back until the Fall so Heroes fans, keep reading your fanfic, they'll be back next season. Dirty, Sexy Money is also not coming back until the fall, not sure why, maybe actor scheduling. Journeyman, Cavemen, Cane, and Big Shots are among the shows that were given the axe after not gaining a large enough audience before the strike (sorry, not linking since they're canceled, feel free to google, that's all I've been doing). We probably won't see things like Grey's Anatomy again until May. ABC has been stockpiling new episodes of some shows, like Brothers & Sisters, so the tube won't be entirely devoid of fresh content, though.

That doesn't begin to answer all of my questions about different shows so please, if you know anything more, enlighten me in the comments section.

Huzzah! Happy Boob Tube Watching folks!

Thursday, February 14, 2008


The sort of theatre that I have done most of is classified as "Downtown Theatre." Most of the participants are unpaid, the budgets are somewhere between minimal and nonexistent and the required commitment level is high. People do this kind of theatre because they love it, because it's something they have to do, not because they want to be famous or rich or sometimes even happy.

In situations like this tensions run high. Things are done according to the communist model, "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs." Except that the from part is usually more like "From each according to his abilities plus between 10 and 50% according to the needs of the show." You learn a lot but it's rough. Watch phrases are "Hot Quick and Dirty" "Cheap, Fast and Good (you can have any two in combination but never all three)" and "Just do your job." (tm. Zelda). The people who succeed at this level, who produce work consistently, are comfortable asking everyone to give, and then asking them to give more, whatever it takes to get the show done. Often there is an assumption that everyone is as committed to the project as the initiator and therefore is happy, nay raring, to sacrifice all for the cause.

If you're some combination of shrewd and lucky you work with people who are talented on a number of levels. I have been very lucky.

Back in the day when I was first learning about all of this (and still able to live on 4-5 hours of sleep per night) I was occasionally treated pretty poorly. Early on, though, I met Kristie while she was in the process of forming her own theatre company with a group of friends. Part of her personal mission for the company was to be certain to appreciate the worth of the people with whom they worked. She dreamt of humane Downtown Theatre. She was careful to reimburse people for money they spent for shows and as soon as they were able they paid people, even nominally, for their work. Before they were able to pay anyone, though, she paid us in gratitude. She made it her habit to be sure that the last thing one heard as one left the theatre (at 1am on a school night with classes starting at 8 and a 6pm call to the theatre the next day) was "thank you."

I make that my habit now. I, too, dream of humane downtown theatre. Man, people were good tonight. Pony Express was in fine form gently nudging people into being their best selves. The theatre's Technical Director, who is only contracted to sit around and make sure we don't fuck up her space, moved sets and spiked (marked where it should go) furniture and made a progress chart for Jessica who will be our stagehand for the weekend but won't be there until tomorrow. It was glorious to finally hear Mimi really sing and Jennica is doing some really important work I'm so enjoying being in on the ground floor of.

I'm excited. Thank you doesn't really even begin to cover it.

Hot Date

I've got a hot date with my one true love, the theatre. We'll do some of the hard work tonight and tomorrow will be fun. I'm as prepared as I'm going to be and I've got tomorrow to work on things if I need to.

I'm excited.

Don't tell fate, fate will just bite me in the ass if you do.

Hope you're doing something steamy on your VD night.

Thank You OEN for the Label

Today is National Singles Awareness Day. I believe that the Overeducated Nympho coined that phrase and damned if she isn't spot on. She's got greeting cards and everything.

I have firmly planted my head in the sand by scheduling a tech rehearsal on this 14th Day of February. I think distraction is the key.

ProfDoc is helping some of her students with a carnation delivery fundraiser today. Boy if that doesn't ever bring back memories. In my school we had those for Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Christmas, Easter, Arbor Day. Really it was the hip fundraiser for many years. And apparently, like skinny jeans, it has come around on the wheel of life. In all the years of sitting through carnation delivery days I got a couple from friends and I'm pretty sure that I never got one from a boy. Didn't stop me from hoping every single class period of every day that some boy would send me a carnation, maybe even deliver it personally and in so doing deliver me from my pedestrian life. (Can you see my hand slung dramatically across my forehead?)

I have since found that flowers don't fix everything.

Well, fuck. Live and learn, eh?

Doesn't mean they aren't an awfully nice perk up on a winter day, though, does it?

Happy Valentines Day

Some timely graffiti on Willoughby Avenue.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Chelsea Market

Greezlblt copadriuon tue?

I feel like I'm speaking a foreign language today. Or like that episode where Monk gets traumatized by the earthquake and he understands himself perfectly but it's all coming out gibberish when he talks. Did you see that one?

Do they not have the phrase "check mark" where you come from?

What about the phrase "shut the fuck up"?

When I Was Six

I've been thinking about this poem lately. It's been one of my favorites since I was a kid and I've tried to always have a copy of it in my house.

It's rainy and slippery and bizarre outside today and yet the air in my apartment is so dry that all my skin is peeling off in itchy, maddening patches and I have been pathalogically unable to get to bed on time this week so I thought it would inject a little pep into the morning. I could use some pep.

by A. A. Milne

James James
Morrison Morrison
Weatherby George Dupree
Took great
Care of his Mother,
Though he was only three.
James James Said to his Mother,
"Mother," he said, said he;
"You must never go down
to the end of the town,
if you don't go down with me."

James James
Morrison's Mother
Put on a golden gown.
James James Morrison's Mother
Drove to the end of the town.
James James Morrison's Mother
Said to herself, said she:
"I can get right down
to the end of the town
and be back in time for tea."

King John
Put up a notice,

James James
Morrison Morrison
(Commonly known as Jim)
Told his
Other relations
Not to go blaming him.
James James
Said to his Mother,
"Mother," he said, said he:
"You must never go down to the end of the town
without consulting me."

James James
Morrison's mother
Hasn't been heard of since.
King John said he was sorry,
So did the Queen and Prince.
King John
(Somebody told me)
Said to a man he knew:
If people go down to the end of the town, well,
what can anyone do?"

(Now then, very softly)
W.G.Du P.
Took great
C/0 his M*****
Though he was only 3.
J.J. said to his M*****
"M*****," he said, said he:

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

10 Things That Are Already Great About the Original Women Festival

Even if Brooklyn melted into the sea before Friday there are already great things about this project and I want to commemorate them.

1. Working with Mark again, it's been too long. I've been working with him on and off in one way or another for over 15 years and the value of working with someone that long cannot be underestimated.

2. Mimi and Jennica just leapt on board with passion and commitment which made me feel wonderful.

3. Being able to perform again, finally.

4. Learning that my producing muscles are just weak, not gone.

5. I walked up to a local cafe and just knocked on the door and asked for the loan of a table, the sort of thing I never do and sort of hate doing but I didn't mind this so much and then I followed up with a phone call today and the owner said yes. I'm proud of myself for doing it and am so relieved by the whole interaction.

6. Working with Pony Express again. 20+ year collaboration. 'Nuff said.

7. Doing a piece where I use my words and one where I don't use any words all in one evening, I don't think I've ever done that before.

8. Feeling part of the BAX family again.

9. The way that my friends have not only offered to help but offered and offered again as time has gone by, knowing that things come up in a process like that and that it's hard to ask for help multiple times. I'm intensely lucky in the people I hang out with.

10. Using the work I love to raise money for a cause I believe in is reaching a new level for me. I might be growing and changing after all.