Archive | September, 2012

Conflicting Schedules & Farty-Chairs

30 Sep

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I have conflicting schedules today.  I think.  I’m not totally sure, because the latest updated rehearsal call email went MIA and I haven’t heard back from the SM as yet…which is perfectly understandable, as I just figured this out at around 1:30 A.M. when I sent her an email request for updates.  The woman was prob’ly sleeping, (and possibly still is) which, however logical, doesn’t help the fact that I may or may not have a call in 20 minutes, or according to the first schedule at 3:30…or according to “M,” (who was the only human conscious when I started freaking out), possibly 6 P.M.

…What I’m saying is: this is really important, cuz I also booked a movie premiere and theatre tickets for today.

…I kinda have to know, you guys.

Wait! A phone ping!

**later, after reading text, and sending others to the four corners of the globe**

…Alrighty then.  Collisions averted.

(It is at 6…in case you were wondering.)

…Geeze.  Now I need to go make another thing of coffee and defreak a bit.

…And maybe put my eyes in. 

Head’s already wrapped up and sealed in hot curlers so can’t do glasses, and I hate contacts first thing in the morning. Have elected to just go semi blind until now.  Hate how itchy my eyes get…even with the uber fancy Alka Selzer-like cleaning fluid that costs $15 per bottle and special drops to keep them extra hydrated.  It’s like my eyes don’t even WANT some foreign plastic disc hugging the breath out of them for 12 to 18 hours a day, non-stop.  As if they don’t even CARE when they cloud up, like your car windows on a cold morning, (which no amount of swiping, blinking or squeezing can undo), and I can’t see a goddamn thing.  My eyes are selfish assholes, really…when you get down to it.  Everything is all about them.  They’re tired, they’re itchy, they’re dry then strangely teary… 

…Meanwhile…have you ever tried putting all that under stage lights and baking it for two hours?  It doesn’t help the situation.  And neither does the occasional required crying. 

…Cuz when you’re in the middle of being strangled, with tears, sweat and snot running down your face (and 200 people watching), the last thing you wanna be thinking is: “Fuck.  My left contact just washed out.  HOLD EVERYTHING YOU GUYS! I gotta find it real quick…”

In Other News: I am writing this from my farty-chair, which is an amazing feat because I just now realized it…which means it finally “made it” as an official edition to my house. Until now, it’s been “that new foreign thing,” I had to work around and get used to.

…We all know how I hate change. That is by no means limited to major life events…it’s also inclusive with furnishings, habits, and routines in general. I first purchased the farty-chair about two weeks before Puff came up to visit, on the inclination that should we (for instance) both want to watch something on TV at the same time, there would be too many butts and not enough places to comfortably put them to achieve this. So, I bought this chair. I spent THREE HOURS re-arranging my living room, back and forth and back again, to find out where in the hell it would fit best…which was nowhere…because it was “new” and “different” and I never know what to DO with those kind of things…so finally just picked a place and PUT it there. Then I stared at it for a couple of days, like an alien had landed in my house and I didn’t know what to do with it. Well, I DID know, I just didn’t like the answer.

…I was gonna have to “bond” with it.

…So, I girded my loins and began the long and painful process of changing my daily routines and habits JUST to fit in the fucker. Every time my butt hit the mini-sofa, it would pop up again and have to go settle instead in the farty-chair. Every time I settled in with a book, or opened the laptop, I’d have to stop, get up, and relocate to the farty-chair. Everything became ABOUT the farty-chair. And the FACT it WAS a “farty-chair” didn’t help the situation. Every time you’d settle or move in the thing, it would omit a variety of groan-squees…which, because I was still trying to break it in and get comfortable in it, made every evening in front of the TV for two weeks sound like the after effects of a baked-beans eating contest. Just HIGHLY uncomfortable, and not right.

…But by the time Puff came, it had become a thing I could tolerate. I could be in the same room with it and not give it dirty looks and cuss at it’s every flatulence rip. I figured out how to replicate its sounds so that if a small movement happened to manufacture a mock-grossness, I could immediately echo it with movement, thus proving to the public at large that it was the chair that had gas problems, not me. And by the time Puff left that week, I actually had to remind myself a couple times that it was OK to default back to my sweet home base on the mini-couch once again. And did.

…And so, the farty-chair has remained now…mostly dormant. That is, until (for some reason) today. Today, I didn’t think about it. Today, I had multiple schedules in my head and a cup of coffee and laptop in hand. I settled in for a flush of manic emailing, and opened my blog, tucked in with a blanket and got to work.

…And then my coffee ran out. And I looked at the cup forlornly, there: on the side perch footstool-table, beside the…farty-chair? I’m in the farty-chair?!

…”Groan-squeeeeee, ” it replies with my sudden shift in seat of surprise.

“Huh.” I pat it on the armrest. It wags it’s tail.

“Welcome to the family, bub. Looks like you finally made it.”

It passes a gassy sigh of relief.

And I go back to my blog.

~D

Ode To My Bed

29 Sep

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Is there anything better than a good night’s sleep going into a Saturday morning?  S’pecially when the fan is blowing just enough, that you gotta snuggle deeper into your blankets…burrow for a bit, just your face poking out, like a papoose.

…Pillows hugging your head…the rested “you” smell, mixed with fabric-softened bed linens. You lay on your side and look at the sunlight struggling to get in through the drawn blinds.

What will you do today? 

…So few Saturday mornings now, when a rehearsal won’t immediately push you outta bed and into the shower.

…Morning nibbles? Maybe you’ll bake some scones.  With that strawberry/champagne jam, from World Market.  Melted butter.  Coffee.  Not the heavy Italian roast. Something more mellow, and easy…a breakfast roast or Oooo…some of the Kona, your friend brought back from the Big Island. Now, is to enjoy the taste of the roast…not chew it. It doesn’t need to smack you in the face today, just tickle you awake…softly.

…And a walk.  It’s prob’ly amazing out in the world right now…all sunny with that fall-snap breeze to it.

You roll over and look at the clock.

10:30.

…Such good sleeps…no one in the world had gooder sleeps that you last night.  The deep kind, where dreams don’t even register. Like you died, over night, and were resuscitated with the morning…which could prob’ly be seen as kinda creepy, but it isn’t…not in the way that you are thinking of it.  Souls resting peacefully, with plant friends, and a layer of fall leaves to keep them cozy and in good company.

And a streeeeeetch!

You yawn.

Yes.  Coffee.  Coffee, prob’ly while snuggled back here in bed.  Prop up the mountain of pillows, pop on the laptop, and sip and read…catching up on all the blog-friend posts you’ve missed this week.  Then, a little breakfast.  After that: a walk.

…The house is already cleaned.  The Fish are bathed.  You did well with lines yesterday and are on pace with where you wanted to be, and know what is needed of today.

But not yet.

…Just a minute or two more of this.

Of bed. And sheets. And quilted blankets. 

…Of pillows in great mounds and starfishing stretches.

Saturday mornings…

Mmmm…

~D

A Lunch Posting

28 Sep

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Writing this in m’car while eating my lunch.

…Its a sad turn of events when you have to cloister yourself in the car (in the parking lot) just to get away from the phones and nonstop influx of month-endiness. Sometimes I shut myself in the bathroom too…but it doesn’t always work. If Boss is there, he’ll just talk at me through the door…whether or not a tinkle can be heard throughout.

“I’m going pee!” I will often yell, enroute, “don’t bother me!”

…Sometimes he doesn’t, sometimes he does. Mostly he just can’t understand why I won’t continue to do business while “doing business”…because he does all the time.

…Apparently, that’s what a well-timed “mute” button is for.

I’m really tired today.

…My own fault.

Stayed up until two, on back-to-back nights.

…All the month-end prep hit today, checks were sent to wrong addresses again, and I have a headache.

But DAMN my lines are doin’ good!!

Boss keeps lookin’ out the window at me. Like a dog waiting for his people to come home.

…There’s prob’ly another paper travesty.

…Or he lost his car keys again.

…Or maybe the phone rang, and he answered it, but doesn’t know what happens next.

I’m exaggerating, of course.

Sorta.

…Temples beating in a pulse. I need to get some serious sleep tonight, or I’m gonna be sick. Sooo much alliteration right there, I sound like a snake.

Enough.

Must go back in, and face the desk and papers and whatever mess is brewing that has Boss pacing the lobby back and forth.

…So glad that it is Friday.

You don’t even know.

~D

Travel Writing & Lines

27 Sep

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So yesterday’s post was composed on the way to, (and in the parking lot just before), rehearsal. 

…Because that is when I had time.

We are only in blocking now. Clearly, I need to figure out how to get a few blogs in draft form holding ready for immediate posting as needed.  Because if I hadn’t had a particularly funny rehearsal to write about yesterday, I would have had to settle for the bird eating a french fry off the sidewalk, or nomad (of the homeless persuasion), cussing at his invisible friend while looking for something that had fallen to the bottom of his shopping cart.

…When you have all of fifteen minutes to write in, you can’t be picky, people.

Also, I’m already having “line guilt.”

…This is the guilt you feel when you are not yet off book, and yet try to enjoy things like your new “Thor” Bluray specials, but can’t because the whole time you are trying to tell yourself you’re “having a good time,” but are secretly freaking out about how you have like ten gillion lines that haven’t been learned yet. Because of Theatre religious connotations, its a lot like Jewish and Catholic guilt really. Only a little bit worse. Cuz you can’t just “absolve” it later when you still don’t know the lines, and really, really, really wanna watch the “Castle” season opener. But can’t.

…So I’m going with the “rewarding” plan of attack. This is based on the “buy one, get one free” schematic.

For every French Scene I memorize, I getta do one thing NOT having to do with lines. (Like write a blog for instance.) Then I go back and kick another one’s ass and get to play with another thing. Only, my memory has always been a little for-shit in that temporary storing part where lines live? Which means I spend twice as long learning them, then taking a break and re-learning them…over and over and over again, until they finally stick.

…It took me three hours just to get my first scene down yesterday, mid phone bookings at work. And then I had to relearn the entire fucking thing on the way home. And again while in the shower after my walk, but before rehearsal. When I woke up this morning and tried it, all of a sudden I actually remembered it. Which could totally change by noon today…who even knows. The fact I’m not even using the meter to help me learn ’em, (so I don’t get all stuck in it later), hasn’t been the greatest help either.

…Which means, I’ll prob’ly still be on scene three when next we speak, and I STILL won’t fucking know what happened “the morning after” for Kate n’ Castle.

Basically, this is just me bitching about the essential necessities of acting, because, “poor me,” I have a job and lines to learn…and how it is TOTALLY getting in the way of my fav TV show fixations. Which is not to say I am ungrateful…cuz I do love me the theatre…I just hate that I’m not one of those photographic memory people who can look at a law book once through, then pass the Bar, all in one afternoon.

It would be a super handy skill, no lie.

…Meanwhile, I have to go back to my Open Order report now. So I can finish it and spend the next five hours afterward, trying to slam three monologues into my brain, while I file.

It’s a glamourous life I lead.

You only WISH you were me.

~D

The Crying Game

26 Sep

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So…there’s gonna be an issue with keeping a straight face in this show. 

…I’m pretty hard to break when I’m “in” it, but holy hell am I being set up to fail in this one. 

…Scenes where I either walk in all reprimanding because of loud party-going of frat-like proportons…or try to play jokes on an idiot who just DOES NOT understand what in the hell I’m doing….or have to stand straight-faced, while the audience (I promise you) will be peeing their pants and braying like donkeys over the TOTAL loss of dignity of the most love-to-be-hated character…are killing me at the moment.

I am so screwed.

…Also, we are all of two scenes into my own personal blocking and I’ve already been poked, pinched, sniffed, picked up, ass-grabbed, and motor-boated.

Comedy. Its a good thing.

…Except when you can’t react to it.

Then its “evil.”

Like now, for instance.

…Well, actually, “now” is the time that it doesn’t count. I can laugh NOW as much as I like. In hopes to get it all out before its time for other people to laugh at it. Which it good. Cuz last night I was ripping it so hard, I was ugly-faced-crying in the corner, up stage left, waiting for an entrance I seriously could NOT FUCKING MAKE, because I was afraid if I stood up from the crouched laughing position, I would just pee all over myself.

…Which, I think, (though validating to the other actors on stage), would not really be appropriate. ‘Specially as it isn’t “technically” our stage yet…it’s still borrowed until the current show closes. Explaining those kinda stains on the Sherlock set, might add a whole other layer of “mystery” than they are really intending.

…But so goes “theatre.”

Sometimes…its just hilarity. And unexplainable pee stains.

~D

Our Casual Reader

25 Sep

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One of m’favorite bonus reports in WordPress stats, is the search engine results section where it tells you how people outside of the network or Facebook, have found your blog.  Sometimes they make me straight up laugh out loud.  And then, kinda feel bad.  Because I’m betting that what they THOUGHT they were getting as they clicked on my link, and what they ACTUALLY got were so grossly different that they were too pissed to even smile about it.

…Maybe.

…Or, maybe they are now subscribed readers, who only stay with me because I’m exactly as twisted as they were hoping for when they started their google search that one day.  There is no real way to be sure. But here are a few of my particular favorites used in finding SWAL.  (And my theories on the true purposes they were up to, when they pressed the “search” button.) They are in no particular order.  And their spelling et al, are as entered.

* “Snuggle Pinup”
(Pics of women in underwear hugging the Snuggle Soft bear from those one commercials.  Possibly has a stuffed animal fetish.)

* “Spandex”
(They just bought a “How To Make Your Own Superhero Suit” book, and need to order material in bulk.)

* “She coffee yes”
(A Dom’s “sub,” trying to find the closest coffee cart in the vicinity, while she is mid-whipping him, demanding he get her some caffeine immediately.)

* “I love not camping”
(They just heard a friend’s horror story of THEIR trip, and wanted to plant a meme on FB about how awesome it is to not be them.)

* “Girl pees for ass”
(A golden shower/butt man.  Boy was he disappointed when he clicked the link.)

* “Weight lifting wedding cake toppers”
(A tiny figurine wherein the Bride is bench-pressing the Groom. And I bet they eventually found one.)

* “Sexy lady flagellation”
(Pictures of naughty nuns, undergoing self discipline.)

* “Dame Wars”
(Possibly looking for spoof Mexican Fighting videos wherein Helen Mirren, Judi Dench and Maggie Smith take turns beating the shit out of one another.  Hold on. I’m gonna go google that too…it sounds awesome.)

* “End of an era young and restless”
(Fan sites with posting boards where people can wail in type about the loss of their whole noon-day purpose in life. They are now one of my most avid readers.)

* “She was too fucked up in her head”
(Clearly looking for a song lyric. That one about a psycho ex-girlfriend. They are STILL trying to narrow the search down right now, from 50 billion results.)

* “Gigolo want for wife”
(An Italian man is trying to get an American Visa the old fashioned way. I tried to reply once, but I don’t have enough funds to keep him in the living style to which he wants to be accustomed.)

* “Sneezing + feet fetish”
(Searching for a very specific fetish group wherein members sit around snurfing things up their noses to induce sneezing while taking turns painting each other’s toenails.)

* “Dorothy Parker love snarks”
(Whoever they are, I want them to woo me. But they are too busy making fun of wooing to do it.)

* “Cooking torture”
(S&M techniques involving hot frying pans, searing oils, how to convert onion layers into contact lenses, and various uses for wasabi and ghost chilies.)

* “Sally Field Audrey Hepburn lesbian”
(A severely specific fetish group – containing only the one member – looking for anyone…anyone…ANYONE who might like to share in their fan fiction delights.)

* “Consumer fury”
(Super stressed-out YouTubes of customers just letting it rip on weeping sales clerks, as caught on camera phone. Because they just lived that frustration and need to acknowledge it before they accidentally explode and do it for real.)

* “Agatha christie & then there were nun murder mystery”
(The well known cult fan fiction retelling of all Agatha Christie murder mysteries relocated in convent setting, featuring an array of postulents, novices and Mother Superiors from different orders. + Spoiler alert: the “Priest” always “did it.”)

* “50th kitchen pin ups”
(Remember that movie about all those older women in Yorkshire who got together, took off their clothes, and did a naked picture calendar to raise funds for a Hospital? It’s like that. Only themed around cooking and kitchen utensils.)

* “Sad flagger”
(That one website with pictures of depressed and zombiefied road workers, taken by motorists waiting in the line-up, via their cellphones.)

* “I’m crying out, loud loud to my father, cos he only knows”
(That beat rapper poem. You know. The one about crying. Out loud. Out loud. Cos my Father? HE knows!)

* “Happy Birthday fucked up”
(Some dude wants to throw his buddy a BD party, but wants that shit to come unglued…even more than those “Girls Gone Wild” bus parties. Otherwise he woulda typed, “Happy Birthday Co-ed Boobs”)

* “Pin up fruit seller”
(A foodie who likes to enact Adam & Eve scenarios in the bedroom. “Apples for sale, sir…penny a bite”)

…And all these sick-twisted people somehow managed to find this blog. Pretty wondrous, ain’t it?

Am so proud, my buttons are popping.

~D

Short, Sweet & Simple

24 Sep

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Nooooot a great day, you guys.  But it ended well.

…A walk to separate the “work” day, from the “life” part.

…Rehearsal, to side-track and refocus a little “purpose” and “joy.”

…And a two hour conversation with a new “old” friend.

It’s funny what happens when you try to condense and catch up ten years of time in one conversation. Almost impossible.  You end up laughing lots.  And getting suddenly very real about things.  More “real” than the more conservative you, is usually comfortable with.  But for some reason, in this case, it’s okay.

…Which is really nice, from where I sit right now.  If I’m telling the truth.

Sometimes it is exhausting to be so protective and conniving.  Today is one of those days. So, possibly, they planned the call really, really well…and it was fate.  Or I’ll never hear from them again. It might be a toss up. I dunno.  But for two hours, we managed to air some grievances, and voice some frustrations, and laugh at some jokes…and there are worse things that people who haven’t spoken in a decade could do.

I think.

…I’m still pretty new at this.

Anyway…a short post.  Lots of ellipses.  It’s been one of those days, But, most of my daily writing therapy went into an actual “person” today…no need to burden it all on you, now.

Suffice it to say…I think I’ll break the 3-day anti-sleeping record tonight, and dream of better things.  Or at least funnier ones. 

…And Mrs. Johnson will behave herself…because the two glasses of wine I just consumed, pretty much require it.

…And I might feel a little squirrely and happy in “possibility” ways…like a ridiculous teenager.  Which I’m gonna say is totally fine, and also, “good for me!”

Good for me!

…And it is.

…Because I am entirely too predictable as a human being.  Even The BFF says so.  So, here I am, mixing shit up and being TOTALLY random! God, she would be so proud of me right now!

Yep.

Yep.

…Yep.

That’s all I’ve got to offer tonight. 

Short.

Sweet.

Simple.

…Sweet.

Huh.  Now there’s a change.

🙂

~D

Advanced Retreat Into A Sunny Day

23 Sep

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Like zero sleep last night. 

…Started off with a ridiculous cat in heat who decided to yowl right outside my bedroom window.  I kept telling her to shut the hell up and have some dignity, but she refused to listen to me.  Around two or so she must have stopped, cuz the next time I opened my eyes to look at the clock, it was five.  This time, it was Mrs. Johnson’s fault.  She wanted her pill-cocktail, so I had to get up, shove some food down m’throat and toss back the meds, then go back to bed clutching my guts and moaning.

…I put on Netflix to keep me company.  Ancient Egypt.  Mostly stuff on King Tut.

…I’m a little obsessed with mummies and tombs.

…And also serial killers and the Holocaust.

…If my theory is correct, (that whatever you are obsessed with in life, is because you have some sort of formal connection to it in the past…not necessarily in a “past life” per se, but possibly, and at the very least you were somehow present in a spirit or energy form around a person who was having that experience  at the time…kinda like a cling-on to a host), then I’ve witnessed me some SERIOUSLY disturbing shit in my time.  And yet where I can watch endless documentaries on it without residual affect (besides weeping), I CANNOT watch any of those things in a Hollywood film with viscera and guts just flying all over the place.

I don’t know why.

The REAL things are so much more disturbing.  You’d think THOSE would be the ones to haunt me. But no.

…I got this idea for a book a couple years ago, based on the Jack the Ripper case and spent the better part of NINE MONTHS with my nose in German Victorian dissecting books, and pouring over the snapshots of every attributed victim’s remains.  It was completely disgusting (and necessary…and gory…and disturbing as hell), yet it needed to be done in order to get the thing done correctly.  I’m talking some TRULY gorrific stuff, here.  And yet, I can’t even watch Hospital dramas or detective junk on T.V. without nightmares.

…I went through most of my childhood COMPLETELY surrounded in Holocaust literature and history books, because the empathy (yes, “empathy,” not “sympathy”) for these people was totally unexplainable. 

…The Romanov family massacre, and possible survival of one of the children, completely fascinates me.

…The tombs of the ancient Pharaohs, are crazy interesting, and I will watch anything regarding Egyptology, at any time.

…The era of WWII in general, (from it’s music to social customs) feels like a natural default that I could easily slip right into, were I to magically teleport into it one day.

…England is clearly my main base “home”…it just calls to the roots of me.

…And I relate to Bronte & Austen era books, character feelings, and frustrations far too much to NOT have (in some way) participated in them, historically.

So, when I can’t sleep…these are strangely, the places I retreat to…either in book form or film…to ease me back to an even keel and drift me off to sleep again.

Weird, I know.  But what are yuh gonna do?

…So through five, six, seven o’clock this morning…I soaked up History Channel explorations and tried not to think about how badly my stomach hurt, and how The BFF was gonna be leaving today. 

It was a good sidetrack for a while. 

Until it wasn’t, anymore. 

She and The Fella buzzed the door at nine, with coffees in hand.  A last “hurrah,” before they started their week-long road trip enroute to L.A..  First stop: the ocean for the night, then onto Ashland for a couple of plays at the Oregon Shakes…then two days in Vegas with The Fella’s aunt, and next to visit her brother in S.F..  Then: L.A. 

…I’ll be pickin’ The Fella up from the airport next Saturday.

Our coffee was had.  Ridiculous teasing and riffing, took place.  I gave her a monster hug. And she was on her way.

…I’m really excited for her.  And really bummed for me.  And the thing I wanna do most right now is just hermit away this sunny day by watching incredibly depressing history lessons of my possible past lives on Netflix, until rehearsal rips me out of my moroseness at four P.M.

That’s all I wanna do right now.

…But in my head, I can hear her say something like, “Fuck that shit!  It’s sunny!  Get out in that and play!”

I’m negotiating with Mrs. Johnson right now to see if she’s either with me on this, or I need to beat her into submission. Cuz moping is NOT the answer.  And I know it.

…SEE how good The BFF has trained me?!

FUCK it’s really gonna suck to be without her.

~D

A Letter To The BFF, As She Moves To L.A.

22 Sep

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The BFF is leaving tomorrow.

…Not forever, just a few months…but I still don’t like it.  I know she’s coming back no matter what, because I’m holding The Fella and all my booze for ransom, but she’s kinda getting in the habit of ditching us…and that isn’t cool. 

…This one time, she did it for a whole semester in Dublin, and had WAY more fun than me, then decided to travel the whole fucking continent of Europe, before she ever came back home again. And where I’m way more jealous of her doing that, I still don’t totally agree with the whole “plan” she has mapped out right now. But, I guess she’s going anyway.

…Because she secretly hates us.

The flip side of this is that she’s moving to L.A., where NO ONE has more fun. Because they’re too busy being starving-hungry on purpose all the time.  And they have to get everything waxed so they look like hairless rats.  And always bleach their teeth and eye whites.  And get injections into their faces, of juice toxins they make bombs out of. And meat (outside of the porn biz) is totally outlawed there. 

…I heard this one time? A girl gained .002 of an ounce, just by accidentally breathing in beef spores from the lunch meat on the Kraft Service table, and she was totally kicked off the movie set. On breach of contract.  That’s when they first passed the law, I think.  It’s one of those lesser-known ones that people don’t really talk about, just inherently “know.” Like the one where your boobs have to be bigger than your butt cheeks…and brunettes can only play “evil”, or “the girl-next-door”…and everyone spends two hours applying makeup before they drive into the studio to get their makeup done for “real”, in case of paparazzi.*

(* That last one isn’t a real law, just a good idea in general.  Have you SEEN the covers of The Star and National Enquirer? Okay, then…)

…BTdubs…best get used to the rash of arrant-misinformation-factoid-news-stories NOW, cuz they sure as hell ain’t gonna get any better.

…But I digress. 

This was all supposed to be a letter. A letter of wise words to send my non-blood sister out into the wide-wide world with. Even though she’s already seen ten times more of it than I have.  However, she also almost died that one time…in that Romanian hostel pit from hell, (that she saw fit to spend a night in once and somehow live to tell about.)  And it’s because of things like this, that I feel obligated to list out a few “do’s” and “don’ts” for her.  You know…just in case she gets the feeling to check into a Bates Motel, or work at a strip joint, or shack up with some roomies that turn out to be Colombian Drug Lords.

I only say these things, because I love her.

…Which I wish she would keep in mind.

***

Dear The BFF,

I bought a tiny jar of dill pickles today, and it was tragic. I couldn’t do the big Costco one this time…know why? You won’t be here to help eat them. And after three months or whatever in L.A., you’ll prob’ly never eat dill pickles, ever again. “Too much salt and food content,” you’ll say.

…And you won’t fry things in butter anymore. Or bake cakes. And you’ll go back to eating tofu sandwiches – minus the bread – which is just tofu really, only you’ll still call it a sandwich…because clearly it is made of at least two foods: “to” and “fu”…so that’s a full meal right there…on the occasion that you still even eat food, that is.

(P.S. I hear they have a new surgery now, where they take out your taste buds so you can just totally give up and not even care about food at all, anymore.)

…When you come home again, I will ultimately just disgust you, with my buttersauce ways, and fat-pudge. And you’ll take out an ad to hold Open Casting for a new BFF…one with less evil chub, who doesn’t smell like meat products all the time. Possibly a blond. With a single syllable name…which doesn’t require spelling and pronunciation lessons every time it is given.

(P.S.S. I heard they have this service where you can just order friends off a menu, on Sunset. But if you get the wrong “package deal,” they’ll send you themed strippers instead. This one chick I know, ended up with a Latina in lederhosen holding a Heineken, on her doorstep…when all she wanted was someone to go shopping with.)

…You’ll also be buddies with all the famous people, after this, and have free designer clothes…and know all the new “in” words, so I won’t have any idea what in the hell you’re even talking about anymore…

“Those shoes are just ralsh of viv for the rycalm of it all. I bet Mila and Natalie have ’em. I was at this dinner once, hashing with Reese, Russell & Amy and they were all: ‘you are monster jade, you know that?’ And, O-M-G…did you SEE what Amanda was wearing at that one award show? What a drosh…it was sooooo last season.”

“…The hell?” I will sadly respond.

“Seriously. I cannot even believe I once thought you were Ivan in the sweet and we were all xadish. What a fucking Kevlar I was,” you will reply.

(P.S.S.S. Someone told me this one time that the real reason it’s so hard to break it into Hollywood, is because of the language barrier. Tons of people just never pick it up. Which is prob’ly why almost all the major stars are Foreign. Cuz they already speak nine or ten other languages, so it’s easier for them to pick it up somehow.)

…Of course, I am just panicking and jumping to conclusions here…(which, hello, is totally what I do)…but the innermost “me” knows this is all ridiculous, because you would NEVER betray food like that. Or me. (And I’m totally fine that that is the order we come in.) But I still worry ’bout things.

…Just…you know what? Do me a favor. Maybe find out where ever Winslet, Fey, Pitt, Clooney, Hathaway…the cast of “How I Met your Mother,” or the Whedonites are hanging out…and go be with them. Cuz they’re “real.” I’m told they still have all their original bone structure and skin, even. It would really make me feel better…just “in general.”

Also:

* Don’t ever “borrow” someone’s office couch to crash on…it’s prob’ly got enough generations of movie-starlette spunk on it, to disgust even a garbage man.

* Don’t walk Hollywood Blvd after dusk…especially after a party…people will stop their cars and offer you money to turn a trick.

* Don’t take money from people, while agreeing to “turn a trick.” It isn’t what you think it is. There are no magic doves, disappearing acts, or decks of cards involved in the kind they want. And if there are, you’re even MORE screwed. (Pun intended.)

* If you HAVE to shop lift, (in total emergency situations), wait until you see which store Winona Ryder is going into. When the alarm goes off, point at her. They will totally believe you. Then, when the security guards start to frisk her: run.

* “Organic” special nature California foods, are just a giant trick. ALL produce grows in or from dirt. The end. So don’t pay extra just because they tell you different. (I know I’ve already been having this same argument with you for two years, but it’s not gonna stop now. Isn’t constancy nice?)

* If you go shopping on Rodeo Drive, keep your sunglasses on the whole time, and sneer at the saleswomen like Patsy in “Ab-Fab.” In the words of Meg Ryan from “French Kiss”: “If you’re nice to them, they will treat you like shit, treat THEM like shit, and they’ll love you.”

* Don’t catch any wild ideas about future children’s names and weird charities you wanna sponsor. There are plenty of real ones in both cases, so use/support them. Just for the record: I absolutely refuse to call your kid “Cumquat” or “Pumernickle” or “Spring Rain” or “Ra-$h8-tra.” And I won’t run twenty miles to support the Pygmy Marmoset Dwarf Monkeys of Ecuador. So don’t ask.

* If you run into any of the list of men I gave you before you left, give them my number and tell them to call me.

…And…

* If you accidentally find yourself rich, bring me back something from Tiffany’s.

…For now, that should do it. I feel like I took care of all the really important stuff. Except to say: “I love you…and don’t forget me.”

…And also, I fucking miss you already.

Sincerely,

~ Your BFF

Miserable Joy

21 Sep

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By now, prob’ly EVERYONE has seen this sneak-peek trailer of Les Mis…but in case you’re the one guy who hasn’t: here it is.

Now lets talk for a second about the main reason this brings me so much joy. (And beware…cuz I’m gonna get super passionate about it.)

…It isn’t so much the cast (though I am so happy right now about the choices made, that I could throw a party and pop champagne corks all over the place.)

…It isn’t the fact they have a 70 piece orchestra that will totally go to town until my ears bleed (though you’d think it would be.)

…It isn’t even the intense attention to details in costume and general hardship-grime-ickiness (though, it is a major contender.)

Why it wins the Miserable Joy Award today, is because Cameron Mackintosh (unarguably, this generation’s King of West End Musical Theatre Production), has reconfirmed my total trust: that informed acting SHOULD be the key to musical presentation, REGARDLESS of how pretty (or not) it may sound. Acting FIRST, and the rest that follows will be an honest interpretation. As. It. Should. Be.

…If Cameron Mackintosh, is willing to back that and put it on celluloid for all of time, to the extent of allowing his actors to do their work LIVE and in the moment…if HE is willing to say, “pretty ain’t the purpose, people…what you FEEL is”…then I gotta greet that man with a whole slew of virtual high fives and “fuck yeahs!”

Ripping an audience out of an emotional moment in order to deliver note-for-note perfection, should not be how we do things in theatre performance, people. Lets leave “pre-recording” in the studio, where it belongs. Lets leave that to the Opera, where the entire PERFORMANCE is based around the music itself.

…”Musical Theatre” is another animal entirely…and it should be…that’s why it has a different name.

…The importance should be on the characters and their journeys. Sometimes, yes, it is just based on a strawberry-shortcake kind of plot with hearts and roses and not much else. So sure, that’s not gonna be the greatest acting challenge…and the musical intent will pretty much follow suit and take the lead.

…But when you have a guts and glory kind of musical…where people are in WARS, they are HOMELESS, they are STARVING, they’ve been BEATEN, and TERRORIZED…they live in a form of HELL and are AT THE END OF THEIR ROPE…PLEASE don’t stop everything and sing your soliloquy like your million dollar musical training coach has reamed into you, with note-by-note perfection. I wanna FEEL what you are FEELING right now…I don’t give a SHIT if your voice rasps with anger, or cracks from emotion…I don’t CARE if you run out of air and can’t hold the note for the full extended 26 measures. If your sobs make you drool, if you can’t even barely squeak out in SPOKEN WORD, what we already know are specific notes, painstakingly composed by one musical genius or another.

…That is okay by me.

In fact, I PREFER it.

BRING ME WITH YOU ON YOUR JOURNEY. The whole messy, painful, heartsick part of it. And leave those “musical perfections” for another day.

…What Annie Hathaway said in that interview is IT, entirely. As a performer, you should have a responsibility to service the role as it was written…and it is meant to be played. It is a disservice to throw that all out the window for vanity’s sake because it might not be the most beautiful thing to witness…and might not be the best version that you are musically capable of truly achieving. As an actor, you should be willing to make this sacrifice, equal to smearing dirt on your face, shearing your hair off, and losing 20 pounds, in order to achieve it. Or get the hell off the stage.

…If you can’t deal with these necessary details of live performance, get yourself a recording contract, and become the next concert-touring super star. Own it! I will prob’ly even buy your record and love the HELL out of it! Seriously. Because that is art TOO, and I envy and appreciate the HELL out of it. Within it’s own world of existence.

…But if you are in this thing called “theatre”…with all your GUTS, then BE IN IT. Please. Please. Please.

And, “Thank you.”

…Because, believe it or not…there are a LOT of performers out there who actually do this, and do it astonishingly well.

As for the rest, I can only hope they will become utterly infected by this film, and bring a renewed energy into the entire genre of performance, making it a new universal “norm.”

…God, I am just so exited about it all, I could just sob with relief. Really.

Thank you, Mr. Mackintosh.

Again.

…For like the forty-billionth time this decade.

~D

Lord Of The Rings, & Why I Hate It

20 Sep

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Okay, I know this is prob’ly a severely unfair judgement call to a certain extent, but I can’t help it, and here is why–

…But first, let me clarify some things:

I TOTALLY agree that the artistic and nerd-fulfillment beauty and marvel of the movies is not to be doubted.  They are aesthetically gorgeous…and I’m told, painstakingly researched down to the infinitesimal detail, from the original novels. I admit that it earned it’s collection of Oscars, and the books have obviously gained a cult following throughout the universe, that is not to be rivaled in it’s multiple of fiction genres, (few people seem to agree just where it belongs, specifically.)

…That said:

I don’t like them.

…The build up these movies were driven to, before I even had the chance to see the first film, was just a ridiculous level that no one could POSSIBLY deliver.  I was told of this EPIC story of fantasy and politics and good versus evil, and Hobbits and Dwarves and Dragons, and I was all, “Okay, I can get behind that prob’ly,” so I went along with it.

…And I totally fell asleep in the movie.  I lost track after time “three.”

…Granted, I was on a shitload of Benadryl at the time, with a hell of a head cold…but I swear to you, it was the first (and only recollected) time, I have EVER fallen asleep in a movie theatre.  IN MY LIFE.  And I’ve seen me some SLLLLOOOOOW English period dramas, my friends. (Which I happen to love, but that is beside the point.)

…As hour three (or whatever) FINALLY came to a close, and the lights came up…I remember sitting there and saying, “Are you kidding me?  Where is the action? Where’s all that fantasy stuff? They’ve been climbing the same fucking hill for THREE HOURS just now…and I know they’re Hobbit-tiny-people and all…but seriously?!”

“It’s spread out in three installments,” I was told.

“So I have to come back and do this all over again, before we get to the real stuff?!”

“You just don’t understand.  You should read the books,” my helpful friend suggested.

…Which I never did.  Because I’d already spent THREE HOURS being bored with the story so far, why elongate it?  And there was no alternate thing I could blame even, as the picture quality itself was stellar, and the actors buried behind all those elf ears and troll hair were ones I’d loved for ages and had great respect for.  CLEARLY the problem wasn’t the film.  It was the story.

…Which didn’t help the following Christmas, when my totally obsessed Mother, wanted the super-special-torture-me-DVD set, with 47 hours of extended specials on it (cuz the fucker wasn’t long enough already)…which I felt obligated to purchase her. (Though I informed her that I highly disapproved, on “principle.”)

…She paid me back by insisting on putting it in the player immediately. 

It played ALL DAY LONG. 

They were STILL climbing that fucking hill as we ate our dinner. And I had slept through MOST of Christmas, because of it.

…And because Peter Jackson is a sadistic, evil human…he managed to practically RUIN every year, since. (Same hill. Same little Hobbit-people. Same constant nodding off.) Because, thanks to the movies’ super stardom…they even play on cable every Thanksgiving…and for a while there, kept spitting out NEW ones, every Christmas, which I was again obligated to purchase for my mother…who insisted then on continuing the ongoing torture.

…And now there’s ANOTHER “trilogy” that is soon to come out…

…And all I wanna know is: “WHY ME?!? WHAT have I done in life to deserve this kind of consistent torture through the rest of my “forevers,” just cuz I’m a good daughter?!”

…And now “M” has entered my life and decided that SHE is gonna be the one to “break” me on this whole new Hobbit movie deal. THERE ARE PEOPLE PLACING BETS ON IT! What the eff, you guys?! I told ’em I might be dragged…kicking and screaming, to ONE of ’em…but only cuz one of my boyfriends, (Richard Armitage), is in it. Then she got all proud of herself and decided she’d get me to read the books, TOO.

…And so, naturally, I told her where to “get off.”

…To which SHE countered with the offer of doing it “readers theatre” style. Which totally wasn’t playing fair, like AT ALL.

…And I said, “You mean, with all the voices?”

…And she said, “Yep.”

…Which I sorta was okay with a little.

…But then she and Ma started fighting on FB about who gets to read who ,and all. And I finally had to call the kibosh on it:

“Look, people…I don’t give a #%$# who plays who! I don’t know what the hell any of these people’s names are. ‘Oh! I wanna play Harkle of the land of Isith, from the valley of the Smurfs!!!‘ IT MEANS NOTHING TO ME. But so help me God, if I end up having to play all the Tree and Rock people, I’m gonna be PISSED! BE NICE! Or I won’t play with you anymore. OR read your stupid books!”

…And I stand by this.

~D

Hello Idaho & The “I Quits”

19 Sep

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Boss: “We needed to do something to cut the bottom line…”

…This is maybe the second thing Boss said to me, when he arrived three hours late to work, my first day back from Vacation.

Me: “As in…?”

Boss: “You’re booking Spokane now.  And also, Idaho.”

Me: “So we aren’t doing the Spokane remote office.”

Boss: “Nope.  Oh, and also…the Vancouver Manager quit while you were gone.  So you’ll have to help the new guy figure some stuff out.”

Me: “Can you maybe be a little more specific?”

Boss: “Yeah.  Teach him how to do the job.”

Me: “Remotely.”

Boss: “Right.”

Me: “…While I catch up on the $47,000 in orders you didn’t process while I was gone, plus book all of Eastern Washington and Idaho.”

Boss: “…But I brought you whiskey.”

(He plops it on my desk.)

Me: “…Which is great if I didn’t have like fifty-thousand things to do right now…”

(He cracks it open.)

Me: “Also…it’s not even noon yet…”

(He tosses one back, clean.)

Boss: “I’ll be in my office.”

(He takes the bottle with him.)

…And this is how my Monday went. It just got better from there…the more buzzed he got.

[Around 1 PM]

Boss: (Singing from his office.) “…No I’ll NEVER, EVER, EVER…!”

Me: (From my office.) “Can you maybe not sing so loud? I’m on the phone and things…”

Boss: “…No I’ll NEVER, EVER, EVER…!”

Me: Seriously!

(He chuckles.)

…You guys, it’s taken me three days to stop hating him enough to find the “funny” in this shit, and actually write it down. Also…HE NEEDS to FUCKING LEARN MORE OF THAT SONG’S LYRICS. For three SOLID DAYS, it’s all he’s been hollering. Non-stop.

[Around 3 PM]

Me: “What is it with you and that song…why do you keep yelling that?”

Boss: “I just really identify with it, is all.”

Me: “Cuz you’re a 22 year-old pop-it Country superstar from Nashville?”

Boss: “Yes. And I’m gonna make you a CD of it to remember me by…”

Me: “No.”

Boss: “…Or a mash up, with that one Kelly Clarkson song…”

Me: “–I don’t want it.”

Boss: “Over a House beat.”

Me: “–Go away.”

Boss: “…And I’ll NEVER, EVER, EVER…!”

Me: (Yelling.) “YOU AREN’T EVEN SINGING IT RIGHT!!”

(He stands there in the doorway and grins.)

Me: “What.”

Boss: “…It’s good to have you back, you know?”

Me: “I’m sure it is.”

Boss: “You missed this. Come on. Admit it.”

Me: “I will quit and leave all this work, if you say one more word. I swear to you.”

(He disappears back into his office. At some point, I get up to go pee. When I come back, a shot of whiskey is sitting beside my computer. I think of all the work I’ve done today, and how little I get paid for it, and how he’s getting a bonus that I earn him every month, so he can sit there Facebooking and drinking whiskey all day, while singing pop songs. Badly. I shoot the drink.)

Me: (From my office.) “This doesn’t mean we’re friends, you know.”

Boss: (From his office.) “… … … AND I’LL NEVER, EVER, EVER…!”

…You guys…sometimes, it’s just too much.

~D

Pirate WiFi & Scriptopia

18 Sep

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I would first of all like to publicly thank the new neighbor in C1, who decided NOT to password protect their wireless signal.

…Those two days where I was kinda pissed from all the stomping around and nailing things at all hours, that they did?  I’m totally over it now.  And I’ll try my best not to watch weird circus porn (apparently it exists, you guys, and I just found out about it)…or steal too many torrent downloads while on their network. Because even through I am a Pirate, we still have “codes of honor” and  things. And the first one is that Pirates don’t “accidentally” crash other people’s systems while pirating from them. Because that’s just rude.  Although, it’s entirely possible that since my Android pad is really a “phone,” they don’t even know I’m ripping signal from them anyway…due to Ice Cream Sandwich being way more awesome and stealthy than a Windows platform.  Or whatever the hell Mac runs on. 

…Which basically makes me kind of a Pirate Ninja, really.

Tell me I didn’t just get cooler right now.  Go ahead. Tell me.

…So thanks, C1 for the free juice.  Maybe my hotspot will quit maxing out now, and I can watch Netflix streams until my eyes pop out.

Anything is possible, friends.

In Other News: It is time to start making out with m’script. The joy of highlighting (orange, thank you) has already commenced. I’ve done a couple skim-throughs, and tonight I start hashing it up with notes…till it roughly resembles a road map used by someone in a foreign country, who really really likes to make liner notes. Tomorrow: begins the memorizing.

…Fuck how I hate it so.

…It’s a Shakespeare, btw. “Twelfth Night.” I’ll be the saucy wench-cuz, Maria. (Of course.) And where that isn’t exactly a far stretch in character range for me, (no!) I haven’t done a Shakes in like eight or nine years now…so gettin’ back into the flow of things will give me something to push against and reach for.

Fun role and one of m’favorite shows in the cannon.

This, more than any of the others, really balances out into a true “ensemble” cast of complete, rounded characters. Everyone gets to play at all levels and have their day. And it’s one of the very few wherein the strong female central role doesn’t have to pay for her power, out the ass, sometime later.

(…Hello, Lady Mackers, and Kate and Gertrude et al…I’m talkin’ ’bout YOU.)

…Our leading lady is “M” (of “Agatha Christie In Spandex” fame), just in case you were wondering. So that’ll only be an effing hoot-and-a-half. Should get quite a few people’s butts in the seats, too.

I know mine would be, if it weren’t already busy on stage at the time.

…I can only imagine the kinda blogs I’ll get outta this one. A lot of the cast are old friends, but there is a large rush of new blood in the ranks as well. So we’ll have the freak-troops of olde, intermingling with first timers to infuse gobs of energy. Plus, it’ll be the first time I’ve set foot on that particular stage since last December…when I was doing that little singing, drinking, dancing, crying and dieing, ditty..throughout the Holiday season.

…So this’ll be a little different, then…pretty much all ’round.

I say thee, ye!

…And with that, I’m off to steal signals, search the webs, and scribble in study. Like the good little Pirate-Wench-Ninja, that I am.

Cheers!

~D

Word Fairies, On A Walk

17 Sep

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A walk.  To battle the  Monday-after-Vacation, gross obeseness of crud.

…There’s this walk I take, that we call “the loop.”  It’s the long circle that takes you down the full length of the north-end neighborhood, and round to the point, looking down on Old Town, rising up from the sea. I usually take it when my brain is too full to negotiate actual directions and choices. It’s easy because it never wanders too far from itself and always comes back home again…like a good dog. Which is really convenient when you’re clearly too busy talking to yourself like a schizo, about all the things you didn’t get around to today, but need to, and how the associated reporting materials will be filled out, and in which order.

…Also, the ocean is good to focus on after a rough day. (If you let yourself.)  It’s calming, somehow.  Maybe because it’s bigger than anything that could possibly be bothering you at the time.  Maybe because it’s so “in your face,”  that you can’t help but get sidetracked by it.

…Sorta like how you can trick a kid outta crying if you give ’em something new to focus on, instead of whatever it is they first wanted, or was taken away, that they can’t have now.

I totally know how that kid feels, today.

Those bastards stole my vacation goodness away…and I was pretty ticked about it. 

…So clearly, after work was done, (and my car payment was made), “the loop” was in order. 

…Anyway…the point I was getting at is: mid-between casa de mi, and the beginning of “the loop,” is this house:

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About once a week, they print out a poem, short story or anecdote in bulk, and plop it in that little plastic holder bolted on the post and driven into the ground, just on the corner, there. I dunno what the owner’s story is…I frankly don’t think anyone does.  And not too many people take the souvenirs, but I know I’m not the only one who stops to at least read ’em.

The rule is: it can only take up one page. 

…So far, that’s the only quantifying identifier in content or theme. And it has become an addictive reader board, like a fortune cookie’s guts, housing who even knows what words of wonder, day-to day. The top black flip-up cover says, “take one”…like those realtor get-ups you might use to sell a house.  Only this one is used to sell you “thoughts” instead.  Sometimes they’re goodish ones.  Sometimes not. Sometimes I wanna write a note back, and pop it in the box, for the Word Fairies.  Things like:

” I liked the one about the dog.”

…or…

” Sylvia Plath isn’t always totally depressing like I thought

…or…

” This one hurt my inside parts.  But that’s okay sometimes.  So, thanks.”

…Also, I wonder if they take requests?

” Maybe less Politics please…”

” Can you find something about sunshine for the next one?  It’s been raining for six solid weeks…”

” Have you ever considered limericks?  I’d suggest a good Dottie Parker…”

Regardless…its always nice to have some clean, warm air…to hear the sound of sprinklers and dog pantings and runner’s tread…and watch the sun set out over the water.  Its nice to have words like these in my head, other than the chanting of “to do” lists for tomorrow, and the balancing of my checkbook.  Those things can wait.  But a hard-earned piece of goodness and mental rest after a long day, cannot.

…So: “Thank you, Word Fairies.  Keep up the good work!”

(Here are a couple, most recent…)

***

Poem: “The Clearing,” by Gregory Djanikian
from “The Man in the Middle” (Carnegie-Mellon University Press)

**”Poetry is an act of generosity.” ~ Don Skiles**

And something will happen:
You will stand at the edge of a field

hearing the wind-skirted
leaves of the trees, and you

will try to remember
the woman you almost married,

though her life will spiral
like a hawk away from you,

and you will want her,
as deeply as you’ll want

the hawk to settle on your fist,
or the wind to empty

your eyes of grief for all
you’ve renounced to become

what you now are, but
nothing this day will claim you,

neither hawk, nor wind, nor lover,
and you’ll sense how your past

has seduced you through the years
to this field, this reckoning,

to, finally, this poem
which you will write by learning

what matters is not the words
but the unlabored

breath through which
they’re spoken and given up,

like hawks, or lovers
or this life you keep on revising.

***

Poem: “You should at times go out, ” by Elizabeth Daryush

You should at times go out
        from where the faithful kneel,
visit the slums of doubt
        and feel what the lost feel;

you should at times walk on,
        away from your friends’ ways,
go where the scorned have gone,
        pass beyond blame and praise;

and at times you should quit
        (ah yes) your sunny home,
sadly awhile should sit,
        even, in wrong’s dark room

or ever, suddenly
        by simple bliss betrayed,
you shall be forced to flee,
        unloved, alone, afraid.

***

~D

Literary Excuses

16 Sep

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Today I finally finished Jenny Lawson’s laughtrack to her life, and realized that aside from a spectacular session of reader’s theatre that The BFF and I entertained one another with, over Whiskey and cigars the other day…it was the first book I’ve finished reading in prob’ly upward of three months.

…That shit is ridiculous.

…And I totally know whose fault it is, too:

The summer.

J.J. Abrams.

And you.

…The reason I haven’t finished a damn book in so long is because there is sunshine out there…and that almost never happens in this state…and I NEED to freakin’ be out in it, every second that I possibly can

…And when I’m not outside, I am prob’ly glued to “Alias” for the first time…wondering how in the hell I have lived this long on earth without finding out that J.J. Abrams is prob’ly the magical movie “third” in writer-imagination-kickassness, right after Sorkin and Whedon. But no matter how excited I get about it and wanna tell someone, they’re all like, “Uh. Yeah. Everyone already knows that, dumbass.”

WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME THIS, YOU GUYS?!  I THOUGHT WE WERE FRIENDS!!

…My next reason in actively forsaking the written novel/history/biography/NY Times Best Seller, is that I’ve been glued to the fucking computer since first opening this blog. 

For some reason I thought it would be a great idea, and not at all stressful, to blog every single day…whether I happen to have something to comment on or not.  Which has already gotten me into a ton of sticky wickets due to the fact that (in case you aren’t a full-time reader)…my life ain’t all that spectacular. 

…If I had to compare apples to oranges, I’d say that’s exactly like doing a one hour stand-up improv routine, every. single. day. I have no idea where the material is supposed to materialize from, but I’m standing here on the damn stage…with the mic on…so I better just come up with something…and kinda quick…cuz I have to do this all over again, tomorrow.  And since you all are in the audience, (and keep insisting on reading it), I figure you’re basically enablers. So really, it’s all your fault.

Naturally.

…I keep waiting for the inevitable anxiety attack that this will bring on, as the days pass, and I start rehearsals on top of work. Which leaves only about enough time to take a shower, eat one meal a day, and schedule my pooping time (because I can’t “poop” just anywhere, you know…and that takes some serious navigating and preplanning.)

Meanwhile, rehearsals start this Saturday, and I have no idea how I’m gonna make all this fly.

…Which is not to say that I don’t enjoy the challenge it presents: the fact that I often have to just pull a theme outta my butt and run with it, or mix up the media presentation a bit, or figure out how to spin something that is still a bit too raw at the moment, into something we can all laugh about less than 24 hours later…when you’re reading it from your phone, while undertaking your morning after-coffee BM.  (A lot of you do, and you know it, and I’m totally okay with it. Really.)

…Anyway.  What I’m getting at is — this isn’t just a “chore” thing.  Only sometimes it is.  Like when I’m tired.  Or grumpy. Or traveling.  Mostly it is an enjoyable clean slate for the day, on which to scribble upon.  But I DO miss a paper book in my hands.  And I DO need to make more time (somehow) to continue to study from them.  And I DO have lines that need learning.  But I DO think I can fit it all in.  And this is my accountability clerk, jotting it all down in ink (is it still “ink” when in type on a screen?)…so that I will remember my pledge and uphold it.

It may be something as simple as streamlining. Less words per day from my brain, in order to have time to soak up others’.

…Which I can live with.

What I can’t do is another three months and only one novel checked off the “read” list from the three-zillion-and-one piled up beside my bed, waiting to be next. 

Don’t forsake my education…even while I practice what I’ve learned.

I need both.  All the time.  It keeps me centered. And focused.

~D

Austenian Thoughts, On A Holiday

15 Sep

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I feel like I should work extra hard on today’s blog, on account of just breezing through it yesterday.

…I’m gonna do the weekly blog challenge, write up.  The one where you have to write in the style of a favorite author.  Only I’m gonna take it one further and do it while still narrating in the essay form.  And I want it to be a ridiculous juxtaposition. So I’m gonna pick a wildly opposite writing influence and run with it. In short: What would SWAL sound like if Jane Austen was penning it?

It would sound like this:

***

I cannot help but wish I had not lost the funds once supporting the allowance of a servant.  This morning, it was I who was left to set the tea to steep and pick the eggs.  A bothersome business, when all which you desire is to rest, uncorseted between the bed linens…stretching upon occasion at your leisure.

After breakfast, a walk about the grounds, perhaps. The day is still crisp, yet the sun is out, winking through the clouds now and then.  A piece of blue sky is surly somewhere to be found.  It would do me well, I think, to chase it.  I have only this and tomorrow for the remainder of my Holiday.  A Holiday vastly having depleted of its time. 

…Were I a Gentleman, none of such limitations would stand before me.

Of no profession, I would occupy myself between travels abroad for great lengths of time.  Not merely for the sake of “travel,” mind you, rather for the purpose of experiencing the finer opportunities afforded to one who establishes themselves in pockets of friends, old acquaintance and new.  A fortnight here or there, in country seats outside our own…a sail across seas tossed lightly in a variety of climates.

To picnic beneath an ancient tree whose seed pods float every now and then to rest on the very same blanket which I too use.

…Or a Tuscan sun, shining brightly…it’s heat soaking up into the terracotta roofing tiles, and piazza stones in the square.  English Manor gardens, manicured neatly into designs brought forth perhaps one hundred years before this.  Seedlings which once grew, as that one fallen from the picnicing tree, rising now to this magnificence…offset by fusias and lavenders and great bouquets of rhododendrons, reaching outwards in every direction.

I should like to touch a Grecian stone, entertain a Spanish siesta…walk an Irish rock and peat path, once again.

…If I were of another sex, in another time, with means to accomplish these efforts as my sole earthbound duty, I should be most exquisitely content.

However, it does seem that I am not any one of such things.

I must face, as I have done…with the absence of servants and coming end of Holiday leisure…that soon I must needs return to daily occupation. Of serving others in the stead of their serving me.  I must face the dawn’s early hour, and chill of dew’d air, to travel outward, taking reins of my own small carriage which will draw me swiftly toward the lot I must bare in life. 

…Questions, ever questions, and tasks will be demanded of me, and I shall complete them as is my duty.  But I shall not draw even the slightest rise of contentment at their accomplishments.  For my life seems often anything but the showing of an artistic effort when once completed.  In that, at no time may one gesture with affection at a day’s work-end, as one would toward even the simplest of paintings upon a wall:

“This, I have accomplished,” I may, with satisfaction, proclaim.  “This I have made.”

…A substantial object which once was a mere blank canvas, and now breathes color and light and atmos throughout your day-to-day lives. 

Should I need to wake every morning, endure ice chills in winter, fingers stiff with cold, hours of wakeful unrest, worry over color mix, or stroke placement… and ration my evening’s candlelight due to price of wax thought far less precious than a stock in canvas…I should do so willingly.  If such were my occupation for life, even a Holiday would take less precedence.

…Such is not the way of things, however.

No brush or pen stroke supports the means of which I live at present, and for that, I must acquiesce to find my living elsewhere.

…So too must you yourself, I fear.

…It was for such purpose, in which a “Holiday” was thence first bourne, I think. To give us rest and peace…and to dream.  For dreams too, are of high importance.  To aspire, in our heart and minds, toward a time and place wherein this is all but a means to something finer

Some call it Heaven. 

Some, another word or world wholly separate from this.

For me, I call it: “What can be, should we but strive hard enough to attain it.”

…An ideal which aides to sooth the burn of your contemporary circumstances, whatever they may be.

“This too shall pass,” quoth words in a promise we are all too familiar with.

…If only such application could include all, but the passing of Holidays…

~D

A Study On Textures (When You’re Tired)

14 Sep

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Just a little ditty.

The BFF is here, fixing Old Fashions. 

…With a spoon in a glass, she crushes sugar cubes. Crunch, crunch…grind, crunch…stainless steel meeting sweet grained sand.

…A sigh of relieved pressure and soda water is splashed in…fizzing like pop rocks as it meets the sides of the glass.

Glug, glug, glug…bourbon…golden, yellow-brown…clean-edged with no bubble or froth…and a stir. 

Suddenly: A circular orange slice jumps in.

…Citrus, the perfect circumference of the tumbler glass, floats on the top, gauging each sip with a kiss on your lips.

Spaghetti, homemade…the kind of left-overs you dream about while you’re still eating it the first night, hit the plates. Steaming.  Garlicy. Italian sausage like butter, melting in your mouth.

On the player: Miles Davis: Quiet Nights.  A souvenir of Vacation, and travel, and tonight.

…Sliding some butter on a french bread…so fresh it ceeds to the knife with every swipe.

Yummy noises, and noodle slurps resound.

I’m tired…the good kind.  From so muchness and doings.  The BFF too…from working and life.

We sit in silence as I finish this blog.

“Too tired to try tonight,” I say.  “It won’t be a long one.”

“Take your time,” she hums, taking in the vinyl liner notes from the back of her new toy.

…The music fits this.  It’s random.  It’s kind of never ending.  It sort of goes nowhere in particular.  I say this aloud.

“You know nothing about Miles Davis at all,” The BFF defends, staunchly.

“I saw this documentary once,” I throw out on reserve.  Like that orange slice.

“Okay, so maybe you do know some stuff.  But that doesn’t mean you understand his greatness.”

“I do not,”  I admit.

…Another swirl of spaghetti on the spoon…the red sauce spatters me at the corner of my lip.  I’m too lazy to do anything but leave it there, while I pocket the pasta in my cheek and munch on.

…Sweet, garlic…silver onion…spices I can’t pick out…al dente pasta.

Yes.

…Another sip of Old Fashioned.

“This is yay,” I comment .

“Yes,” The BFF confirms with a drink. “And later: a cigar.”

…I sit back from the table and inhale my guts to rest.

…Vacations.

Everyone should have them.

~D

Foreign Travel & Foreign Ways

13 Sep

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Here is a secret: Traveling to a foreign country is exciting no matter where you go. Even if its Canada. Even if they talk more or less like we do. Even if they still deal in “dollars” that are somehow worth more than yours.

…It could be because they have things like Darth Vader playing a violin with a lightsaber. (Even Buddhist Monks think that shit is dope):
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…Maybe its cuz they pastry-pipe your potatoes:
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…And doodle all their art on sidewalks:
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…And light their government buildings up like the St. Louis Fair of 19-ought-four.
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Everybody seems to be much more polite…(even after they find out we’re Americans.) People go outta their way to give good service (like whoever ran my coat from the hotel to the ferry, and got it on board, just before launching.) Store owners don’t haunt and bother you while you shop (I was left unmolested in Munro’s books for two hours after the initial smile “hello.”) And, they are willing to help you break some small laws, as needed (“Uh, yes…would you suggest a rolled-up sock, or poster tube art, to get this Cuban cigar home?”)

…In the end, we went with a Hemingway and couple Macanudos instead…but they totally had our back, if we needed them.

No question.

…And I like that in a hosting country.

It solidifies trade and tourism.

…Also, did you know that calories consumed outside of your national country do not count against you? It has to do with the metric system and how its all secret and magical. I try my best not to understand it on purpose. It’s one of those things that if you break the code, it won’t work for you anymore…like that one time I decided there was no mathematical way Santa could do his gig. I haven’t gotten a damn thing outta that dude, ever since. (And I even pleaded math-stupidity, and tried to take it back ten or twenty thousand times.)

Other awesome things about foreign travel include:

* Funny Money
Not since Monopoly have you had this much fun with colored buckage. Also they name their coinage like cartoons.
Me: …And…you’re never gunna b’lieve it, but this is a loonie, and this is a toonie…
Puff: Nuh uh.
Me: I swear to you, on a Canadian Mountie…

* Everyone Has An Accent
You know how I go weak in the knees when people start throwing dialects around? Well, I haven’t walked upright in 48 hours, and have asked questions I don’t given a shit about, just to milk a little more Aussie, Scots and French out of a store clerk.
Me: Um, yes…can you please list out — in detail — all the reasons I should or should not buy this one item versus the other one. And can you tell me slower, please.

* Not My Room, Not My Problem
Traveling is the only time my OCD living-space order can go take a flying leap. Guess what? I didn’t make my bed today. I didn’t fold my towel or wipe down the sink. I never put the top back on the shampoo or cleaned out the coffee maker either. Cuz I am a disgusting mess of a human being, when on vacation…and you know what? That’s okay!

* You Can Justify Almost Anything
Me: I’m gonna get those truffles, and the caramel apple, cuz I may never come here again. I will have two beers, thank you…and I’ll prob’ly not eat anything green today…unless they find a way to cover it in this chocolate sauce. Know what? I deserve this journal I know I’ll never write in: because I want it and this isn’t just a regular “run to Barnes and Nobles” kinda thing. Yes, I have an entire shelf of tea, but I need three more because it’s foreign tea, therefore tests smarter and is prob’ly less toxic. I HAVE to buy that thing, because I have all this fake money left over, and it’s either that or give it to the street mime over there…but I’m a selfish asshole, so I’d rather spend it on me, instead.

…These are just a few reasons that you too should venture out into the big wide world of poshness and foreign travel.

…’Specially if you’ve got a kick ass bed and five pillows waiting when you come back home again, to swallow you up whole.

~D

Kitsch-tastic

12 Sep

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Today was more or less an R & R day, spent primarily in p.j.’s til 2 P.M. We only got dressed (in the end) so we could walk off the “breakfast” we ate, in order to have room for the fuck-ton of homemade spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove at Ma’s in the meantime.

So what did we do with all the other eighteen hours of our day?  

…’Member camp as a kid? 

I never went to the summer variety, or anything organized around a specific extracurricular task…like band, or choir, or Girl Scouts.  All I remember was 6th Grade Science Camp. 

…I remember climbing Heart Attack Hill, and standing over a puked-up owl pellet with tweezers, picking out all the little animal bones and rebuilding them again. (Mine, of course, were always headless.)  I remember getting up at the butt crack of dawn thanks to an obnoxious alarm bell going off like the kind they sound in prison movies, and taking freezing cold showers on cement floors, being shifted in waves of various classes studying all the really exciting science kind of stuff…like watching green grass turn brown, compare river rock to fossilized lava, and looking at dead bugs under a microscope.

…After dinner, (and singing ten or twelve camp songs around a bonfire), we’d break up and retire to our cabins, smelling like singed hair and burnt logs.  Then, we would get ready for “lights out,” wait for the den mother to kick it for the back room, then spend all the rest of the night gabbing our asses off about nothing at all, only cuz we weren’t “supposed” to…well into dawn.

…And that is the reason we slept until nearly noon and did absolutely nothing with our day.  Because when you add Puff and me in the same room, we will talk until 5 A.M. like prepubescent little girls, about anything and everything in the world.  And we’ll add in rainbow sprinkles to the mix, by things like, “Why Coach and Prada bags are essential, ” “what the hell keeps a Jimmy Choo on your foot,” “why we always like men who are not available, but don’t want the ones we’ve got,” and “our undying love of kitsch movies, especially in period, space and/or featuring drag queens.”

Today we’ve been mixing all of the above, in nonstop, unending natural evolution from one topic to the other…and most while movie-underscored by people wearing plastic tuxedos, going to “are you gay, we can fix that” camps, alien animals in space, communal swingers in 70’s San Francisco, serial Bear Queens, and French Divas in heightened fifty’s couture doing singing strip teases while murdering people.

…Honestly, we are one Joan Crawford/Bette Davis movie away from completing our collective Top Ten Greatest Hits list.

Oh, yes.  We’ve made a “list.”

…Besides being the natural accompaniment to our general discussion topics, it also provides an often fitting punctuation mark to a completed sentence, idea or thought. The plots are ridiculous. The costumes are worse (therefore automatically fabulous.) Everything is covered in plastic, animal fur, or laytex. Alien sex is totally acceptable in primetime, if you do it with Lucas Film anamatronics. Every female fight starts with hair pulling and ends in epic “accidental” lesbian make-out sessions. And its totally normal to get naked, snort coke, smoke a doobie and rent a commune-like apartment in 1970’s San Francisco from a transsexual Olympia Dukakis, when you work for a Republican Advert Exec.

TOTALLY normal, you guys. Laura Linney just did it, while I ate breakfast.

…THIS is why kitsch is important, people. If nothing else, then to service us ridiculous scenarios, with epically kinky titillations that you COULD NOT GET AWAY WITH, if you tried to put it across with a straight face. Which is the secret reason people use to excuse the fact that they read those craptastic “50 Shades” books.

…Professionals, like Puff and I, (and everyone who really knows anything), fully recognize what a piece of shit those books are in comparison, however. Though they try to gain the same audience appeal, it is not at all the same thing.

Kitsch is preplanned with love and care and dedication. Kitsch has “standards” and “art design” and the plot lines make you want to laugh and gorge on more, like a king-sized candy bar. They don’t hold you in horror, mid-chew, making “what-the-fuck” faces, continually turning to the front jacket where it insists it is a, “#1 New York Times Best Seller,” no matter what kind of Twilight Zone episode you think you are in.

“She can’t POSSIBLY think this is legit ANYTHING,” you insist. She has no idea about the lifestyle, or sentence structure or dialogue-play. Is it a joke? Is it tongue-in-cheek? I don’t understand.

Is it the same audience She is attempting to gain? Does she actually write that poorly, or is she doing it on purpose, “ironically?”

After a lengthy discussion on a book neither one of us could stomach getting past the second chapter of: Puff and I are actually stumped on this one. It actually IS bad enough to land in the kitsch category, but not good enough to be legitimate in it.

…A butt-raping, sadistic, wealthy millionaire owner of a major corporation, who nominates some virgin chick to be his dungeon Sub, and is secretly glorified for this instead of plastered all over the newspapers, is NOT the same thing as “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Farscape,” “Mommy Dearest,” or “8 Women.”

Its just not.

…First of all, they have way fucking more class. Second, they are more realistic. And third, they aren’t some 20-something’s fetishized S & M naive idea of never-experienced lifestyle, written in the language of teenager.

She MUST have meant it to be Kitsch-tastic though. She must. No grown person would put that kind of book out there, and NOT think to themselves (every time they cash a check), “Haha! Suckers! Just wait for the next trilogy! It’ll be bestiality with sex monkey Architects, in space! Written in crayon! From the perspective of a nine-year-old! And you’ll totally eat that shit up! I’ll win the Pulitzer, even! And use it as a bookend for my First Editions shelf. To be ‘ironic.'”

…Full circle, friends.

…And these are the kind of things we talk about.

For eighteen hours.

The end.

~D

Conversations In A Day

11 Sep

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The Cuz has arrived, and thus begins Vacation Part Two:

(First crack of morning.)

Puff: (On the phone.) Where you at?
Me: (In bed.) Huh?
Puff: I’m here!
Me: Wuh?
Puff: I’ve landed.
Me: (Bolting upright.) OH HOLY SHIT-FUCK!  It was 9:45 A.M.?!?!
Puff: Uh. Yeah.
Me: I AM THE WORST!  I thought it was 9:45 P.M..
Puff: Nope.
Me: I will TOTALLY be there in 20 minutes…I SWEAR!

***

Me: (With a toothbrush in mouth while making bed) Oh God! I screwed it all up!
Ma: (On phone, possibly still sleeping.) Hello?
Me: He’s HERE! He’s here already!
Ma: Who is this…?
Me: —I’m twelve hours behind, and I haven’t even gotten up yet hardly.
Ma: What’s happening?
Me: –I even asked him like yesterday to confirm. 9:45 he said. 9:45. Cuz like an idiot I kept thinking it was night and all.
Ma: Is this a wrong number?
Me: MOM! IT’S ME! PUFF IS HERE! I NEED YOU TO FOCUS FOR A SECOND!
(A gaging, choking sound.)
Me: I almost died just then. Fucking toothbrush…
Ma: Puff is HERE, did you say?
Me: YES! YES!
Ma: Well, GO GET HIM! What are you talking to me for?!
Me: I just freaked out, is all. I’m going! I have to–I’m going…!

***

(In car.)

Me: (via text.) OMG, I am the worst ever!! Let the ridiculous “me” stories begin. I am totally on the road right now, yelling at this old lady driving a boat, going negative ten miles an hour in front of me. My road rage is unparalleled with moroseness for not only making a 12 hour difference fuck up, but also being mean to a woman who already lived through eight wars and is prob’ly using a booster seat just to see over the steering wheel…
Puff: …No stress, I’m having some breakfast.
Me: …So you have stories to share already. Awesome. This will never be boring, Puff.
(Picture of breakfast arrives with a ding.)
Me: Hella. P.S. I need coffee like woa. And I look like I just rolled outta bed. Cuz I totally did. If you wanna pretend you don’t know me, I can hire a hot dude to meet you at the terminal and bring you to me. It won’t hurt my feelings.
Puff: … I’m at the Alaska arrivals area. Sitting on a bench.
Me: Grabbing parking now.
Puff: Where do I need to be?
Me: Wait. What airline?
Puff: A-las-ka. I’m right outside on the lower level…

***

(Still in car, calling on the phone.)

Me: So…I’m in the garage now.
Puff: Do I need to be in the garage?
Me: No, I’ll come to you. Only I’m…I’m looping here…
Puff: Huh?
Me: Looping. I’m looping to get out. Then I need to circle around.
Puff: What are you driving?
Me: A PT Cruiser.
(I take the totally wrong lane and end up in “departures.”)
Me: (Totally lying.) Um. I’m in a holding pattern. Almost there.
Puff: Heheh. “Pattern is full, Ghost Rider…”

***

(After another go-round on the terminal attack, and seeing him on the curb.)

Me: Dude. I’m an asshole, and I’m totally sorry.
Puff: It’s all good, cuz.
Me: Also, you know all those things that you wait to do until the day people come, when you are on vacation and just let shit go?
Puff: (silence.)
Me: …Like cleaning your car, doing dishes, dying your hair, sweeping the house, spraying toxic chemicals all over the bathroom and giving your fish a bath? Yeah. None of that was done. So I guess it’s good you’re family.
Puff: Yeah.
Me: I mean, I still need to get my nails “did” for shits sake.
Puff: I’ll go too! I need a pedi anyway.
Me: See. This is why I love you.

***

(On a short walk to coffee shop.)

Me:…And this is our park. And this is our gas station. And that is where The BFF lives. And this is our homeless man. And that is our Yuppie market…
Puff: –When do I get to meet her?
Me: Who?
Puff: The BFF.
Me: She gets off at five-ish, so maybe Tuesday? I dunno. But it’s happening for sure. You’ll love her. She’s like me. Only not at all. And way more fierce.
Puff: I know. I read your blogs.

***

(In Tacoma Boys.)

Puff: Psst…
Me: (In another world smelling a grape.)
Puff: Psssst. Pssst.
Me: (Wondering which onion is the “good” one.)
Puff: Hey!
Me: Huh?
Puff: (Whispering.) The “ginger.” Two o’clock.
(I look. I wrinkle my nose and shake my head.)
Puff: Not for YOU, for ME. (Idiot.)
Me: Ohhh. Really?
Puff: And he’s here with his gramma. Bonus points.
Me: “The good grandson.”
Puff: ‘Xactly.
Me: A “ginger.”
Puff: Definitely.
Me: Huh.

***

(Gigantic crash at base of stairs.)

Me: Sunofabiscutcruncher!!!!
Puff: (From the kitchen.) Are you dead?
Me: The damn paper bag broke. I just shattered an entire bottle of red.
Puff: (Now from landing.) Where?
(I move aside and show the kinda blood spill that only makes it on C.S.I.)
Puff: Oops. Want help?
Me: No. I’ll just lick it up. Its fine.
(Beat.)
Puff: You’re kidding. Right?
(Beat.)
Me: Sure. Okay. I’ll go get some paper towels. Be right back.

***

Puff: (From sink.) Um…
Me: Are you washing the bananas?
Puff: Wine spill. And you might wanna watch for glass splinters. I got one.
(He shows his finger, which is leaking the identical color of red as the wine bottle did.)
Me: That is exactly the same color as the wine.
Puff: Yeah.
Me: …Maybe we should toss the bananas.

***

The BFF: (On phone.) You called?
Me: Yeah. Come meet Puff and help cook Fajitas.
The BFF: I’m…(I accidentally blank out and have no idea what she says right here. I think I was putting junk away in the crisper.) …and then I will, at around 9:30. Okay?
Me: That’s P.M., right?
The BFF: Yes.
Me: …Just making sure.
The BFF: I’ll buzz you.

***

(While watching “Snow White and the Huntsman,” both basically ignoring it as we are on our computers separately…he to FB, me to blog.)

Puff: She. Never. Closes. Her. Mouth.
Me: My god. It’s all I’ve been thinking

~D

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