Archive | March, 2013

Continual Search Of…

31 Mar

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Trying to find comfort from cramping all day.

…Heating pads, countless cups of tea, a walk…sitting, standing, laying…pills, fizzy waters…nothing has helped. 

Perpetual discomfort all day, and it’s ramping.

…So am off to bed, in desperate need of sleep.

Tomorrow: month-end completion, and weekend sells hit.

I already just wanna cry.

…But I could take it, if I could just get some sleep.

~D

Censored

30 Mar

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In lieu of the blog I want to write right now, I’m going out into the sunshine.

…I’ll take in all the different colors…count them, name them…whatever occurs to me at the time…so I can collect them up and bring them with me across the day and keep them with me tonight when I have trouble sleeping.

…Deep breathes of clean sea air.

…Crunch of footsteps on rock and sand.

…Maybe I’ll sit at a picnic table and watch a single solitary ant, weaving back and forth across the wood grains…with whatever busy ant-like thoughts and projects it seems to be compelled to do today.

…I’ll pick some wildflowers and bring them home with me.

…Watch some kids play…

…Take my shoes and socks off to feel green grass between my toes.

…Consume the day with all my senses like a poet…with every taste, texture, touch, and sound, expressed in specific, heightened detail.

I’m taking a day to be grateful for all the things that I have…none of which can be bought or sold in a store, achieved with hard work and determination, or negotiated with a contract.

Today is about all the things that have just been gifted to me.

(and you too, by the way.)

…For free.

It’s free.

…And I can’t, with good conscience, ignore that today.

~D

Never-Ending

29 Mar

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This work day has been for-shit since it first began. 

…The sun has been screaming at me from outside, all day…and knowing that I’ll eventually be joining it, has been all that has kept me going. 

That they can slow down, but not “add” hours to the day…is the only way everyone is making it out alive, in the end.  I swear, a couple of times, the clock was even trying to move backwards, but I’m totally onto that asshole’s games.  I slapped it around a little, and it finally stopped dragging it’s feet by about 2pm, and continued in a forward-reaching trajectory at last.

…Not quickly, mind you, but at least with steady, constant, motion.

With days like this, who needs enemies?

All I know is that now, we are at T-minus 11 minutes to shutting this whole place down and getting the hell out of here.  This is all that matters to me.  Not even that my entire paycheck I got today, has been spent on rent and gas-cards. All of it.  I’m not joking.  Not even a little bit.

…But who cares?

Screw paychecks!

I’m going to not be here in — now — 9 minutes!

This is all that matters, my friends!!

…This is all!!!

~D 

Traffic Hell

28 Mar

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Am bumper-to-bumper, in southbound 5pm traffic. Enroute to the family farm, where some of the California us’s are staying the night…a surprise visit from outta nowhere.

…It is without a doubt the worst possible time to be on the freeway. Wiith the possible exception of this time tomorrow. But it is a total freak coincidence that I don’t have rehearsal tonight. I can’t pass up on free fam BBQs the one time of ever that I’m actually open to go to one.

…So here I sit.

…Killing time.

…Sandwiched tween a guy in an Audi who keeps picking his nose, a Subaru sedan with 11 people packed into it like a clown car, and a semi.

Along we crawl.

At this rate, I’ll get there in about 8 hours.

…At which point, there better be potato salad left. Or there will be words!

There will be words.

~D

Fooding

27 Mar

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Am fooding badly tonight.

…Post-rehearsal starvation is unbelievable.  Our Miep was eating a beautiful Qdoba burrito, Peter was tossing back brownies…I sat while running lines, crocheting like a fucking maniac just to try keeping myself as side-tracked as possible.  During break, I drank more tea, went pee, and started right back up where I had left off. 

…Rehearsal is turning into the mega-challenge of fooding, possibly of all time.

Mr. Krahler is a frequent customer of the Southern Fried Chicken place next door.  The Franks come straight from work, so are always unveiling new tupperware full of this’s and that’s…Mr. Director is a fan of sushi, someone keeps bringing in community muffins and breads, leaving them on the concessions counter, free for the taking. They have bins of chocolates, and redvines. Miep bought the brownies. Mr. Frank takes hot cocoa ‘tween breaks…and I sit there…with my fucking tumbler of plain Lipton’s bag tea, hating my life more, with each new smell, and food offer.

WHY?!

…I passed no less than 8 fast food light signs on the freeway on the way home tonight.  Each one, a seperate stab in an already salted wound.  Right now, I want grease and sauced meats and salt so bad, I can almost taste the smell of it, left over from that damn burrito.  I want chocolate-dipped pastry and pie crusts baked with five pounds of butter.  And pickles.  And some peppered salami, with Tillamook sharp on a club cracker.  I want the WORLD of every craving that has prob’ly ever been invented…and ten or twelve others besides,

…It’s actually, gnawing at me.  Like a conscience-driven hunger.

…Compounded (no doubt) with double intensity as my hormones shift into PMS overdrive, so ramped…I feel like I could easily put my fist through a brick wall to get at a cream puff on the other side. 

…And I don’t even LIKE cream puffs in real life! 

It is only “desire.”

Passionatedevastatinggnawingpainful…”desire.” 

It is horrible.

…And the only way around it…

…Is to go to bed.

Now.

…And pull up something from Netflix onto my computer…

…Something TOTALLY distracting, and nothing AT ALL about “food” in any way.

…Like a National Geographic on Mummies or some shit.

…So that AT SOME POINT, I will mercilessly just fall asleep.

And forget I even have a stomach.

…Or human feelings.

…And taste buds.

I WANT! 

Ohhhh I WANT!!!

…Ohhhh….

I cocking HATE you: BMI chart. 

I really, really hate you.

For reals.

~D

Crash

26 Mar

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Someday, a very important computer server is going to crash.  It is inevitable.  There is no way around it.  And it will be totally devastating. 

…It might be a world bank, or all of the America-hosted internet, or the system that keeps track of all the air traffic routes and locations, or the tracker that keeps everyone’s SS# and personal info stats. It could be anything. Because odds are odds, and math is math, and nothing is constant.

Nothing.

…Which is kind of terrifying if you let yourself really think on it.

…So I try not to.

…But then a super-small-scale crash (in comparison) like today’s at work, will happen…and you can’t help but be reminded that someday we are all truly going to be good and fucked. 

By computers.

Our entire system crashed today. Crashed hard.

Corporate send out red flags via every backdoor communication source they had, freaking everyone out and leaving us that way for the better part of the day.

…This is bad timing to be freaking people out, what with multiple National road shows and stats and contracts flying thought the cloud network in batch numbers almost not to be believed. My own valuations were just above $52k and 35 contracts strong from the last 24 hours alone, before they lost the final connection with our server, and all died in front of our eyes.

Death.

…With so many numbers.

…And no way to know if that would be just today’s batches, or the weeks, or our entire Open Order Reports.

“Sit tight. We don’t know how bad it is yet,” was all we got for 4 and a half hours.

…And then a few updates managing to confirm our individual reports were safe, “for the most part.” And then an update on what, “for the most part” actually meant.

…So that by 5 hours in, we were told the worst of it, being that there was no salvage of anything going back to the latest full Corporate backup.

…Which by freak coincidence (being a Monday) was yesterday.

…So everything I’d done, or the Sales Reps, or the Customer Service Department, Accounting, Order Entry…since 5pm EST yesterday…was toast.

…Which means worse than “none of the things we did today ever existed.”

…Because server crash or not, we have contract deadlines to make.

…And from the Corporate level, we have 32 branches.

…All of whose orders need to be re-entered, reprinted, reprocessed.

From the beginning.

…Meanwhile today’s orders will be backlogged while they play “catch up.” Which screws with those contract dates as well. In a large-scale trickle effect that already slammed, will mean manic overtime hours to achieve.

…Which no one seems willing to pay for.

…Because these bastards are fucking cheap.

Case in point: we are still using an old server that can’t run up to speed, thus crashes, thus causes all of this shit-panic to begin with.

As for me: I am going to be packing up at 4 pm, as I do every day. Because that is what I signed up for. There is very little I can do until the contracts are reinserted into our network, and resent to me, to begin with. That will have to wait until I come in and start this circus all over again tomorrow, at 8am.

…And I’m taking a lunch like a normal person too. Today’s black coffee and gummy bear brunch, while hand-drawing up contracts from scratch, forgetting even to take a pee when I needed it, will not be the norm for the week.

I just refuse.

I said it.

~D

The Star

25 Mar

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Having done a touring show of a Holocaust piece before, I’d already been through the creepy-real feel of being surrounded by Nazi uniforms, in a barbed-wire concentration camp.  But I had played a Christian “protector” (therefore, a political enemy), not a person of Jewish descent.

…Those uniforms. Very, very pristine copies, rented from a company who let them out to film costume departments, so that the authenticity of the weight of the material, and all the patches and insignia were exact…was a hell of a thing to be on stage with.  I can’t even imagine having to be one of the actors having to put them on.

…Put it this way: there was very little “acting” involved while being screamed at in German, surrounded by these uniforms and barking dogs and people weeping to the right and left of me.  The awesome realization that this was 6 million people’s reality, 70 years ago, hits an entirely new level when your senses are slammed into it, knowing that this terror you actually, ACTUALLY feel is NOTHING compared to what they lived with every single day.

…And the HATE for those pieces of cloth.  That one patch I would stare at through that one scene, on the arm just resting on a desk…a pen in the hand, writing out my fate in ink for all of time.  The actual metal skull pin of the S.S.  The meaning behind it, and the audacity and total disgust of seeing a human wearing it with pride and purpose as an achievement in rank and standing. 

…And the Swastika.  Black spider on white, backed in blood red. 

…Close up.

…Close enough to see the stitches, hand-sewn to the arm bands and tacked to place.  Hand-sewn like they would have been hand-sewn.  Only then it was by a prideful wife, or mother, or sweetheart.  Now it was by a team of seamstresses in a costume department. 

And what must it have felt like to them, to do it? 

It is impossible to be even in the presence of the thing and not feel the distinct darkness of evil come off it.

…And what if one of those seamstresses was Jewish?

…Or one of the actors who had to wear it?

These are things you don’t really think about with intense detail, until you’re playing a scene with a person you’ve rehearsed with for a month, whom you trust and respect as a friend, and who you now can very easily look at with such loathing hatred…draped in this disgust…for all that what they are wearing means, and how well they do their jobs in being totally sick bastards toward you.

Props and costumes have POWER. Especially when they’ve history behind them.

…And this is the truth.

Tonight, for photos, I stood as the costumer affixed a beat up, well-used, yellow Star of David onto my sweater…just here…over my heart.

Not to assume that in any way I am sharing equal pains with the spirits who came before me, who have worn it, but tonight…I think it was the first time that the power of it hit me. The power of that star. The word “Jude” inked upon it.

Because I was wearing it now.

Above my left breast.

As she would have.

As millions of them did.

…A marking of a people. A religion. A death sentence. Something people looked at and knew as a branding, every day, on the streets, in the shops. Something that was so much a part of day-to-day life, that people became accustomed to it. As if it was nothing. As if it was no more than the patch of a favorite sports team, walking down the street. Which is outrageous to me. But what other possible explanation could there be? And then the mixed emotion of pride as well as shame of being of the blood and religion to be told to wear it. It is your faith…so how can one shun it and be true to oneself? Yet it is a mark of distrust and segregation and politics and abuse. How does one live with the balance of both loving and hating it?

…On every piece of clothing.

…Staring at you from every mirror.

…Every reflection of yourself in a window.

…Marked to indicate where you can and cannot go…

…Whom you may and may not marry…

…Be friends with…

…Do business with…

…Speak with…

…Every single day.

After getting the Director’s approval, I slipped off stage, and beat it to the front lobby, to get a breather for a bit. Because putting on that yellow piece of cloth had such an immediate tie with me.

A bond.

I could feel it.

A costume piece, is all it is meant for. But it isn’t. And it won’t ever be.

…Sometimes you undertake a thing that means more than you can quite grasp or put into words. It’s haunting. It’s vital. It’s physical. It is tangible. Even if it is only an ” emotional feeling.”

I took a breather in the ladies suite, and just stared at the mirror. For quite a while. I don’t know how long.

…And all I could really come up with, that sorted out into anything at all, was what a horrible honor it was to wear it. This star. And tell this story.

…For Anne and all the others.

…Surrounding an audience with a feeling they will never get from just reading about it in a book.

They may think they know these people already. Their names, their reputations…they even know how the story ends. But what they won’t be prepared for is that now, they will have heard their voices…know what their laugh sounds like. They’ll watch the jealousies build, and the fights erupt in full force, and witness total seized terror as boots march by, a bomber drops it’s payload overhead…a machine gun sounds…or children can be heard in the distance, playing in the street, while a little girl, wearing no shoes, speaking no words, sits in total silence. Listening. Because her life and everyone elses depends on it.

…The audience will live through all of this. In the same room as us. Live. Now. With no escaping it.

…And without even realizing it, that same audience will become our friends and allies, and will get angered and hurt for us, and pick sides, and find favorites,and will soon find themselves rooting for an ending alteration that can’t be fixed or changed, any more than the history that it came from.

…And when that realization actually hits…it will destroy their emotions, from seemingly out of nowhere.

Not because of “slight of hand,” or any kind of “manipulation.”

Because of Truth.

History.

Horror.

Theatre is an awesome thing.

A constant teacher. And a humanitarian.

…I just (for the 1,000th time) was reminded of it.

Thought I’d pass it on.

~D

Camera Hateness

24 Mar

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Press photo day. 

Hair and makeup done, an hour and a half before call.

…This gives it just long enough to run and sag before they break out that damn camera.

God, how I hate photoshoots.

…On the list of humans in the acting industry, my photos are always just the worst.  There is never any saving grace. 

I’m not built to be on camera.  I found that out rather early in my career.  Once I passed what everyone calls the “awkward High School years” when NO ONE takes a decent picture.  But everything even after that period in my life, is a disaster area in print. 

…This is why I’m still using my headshot from 13 years ago.

Yes.

13.

This is ridiculous.

It’s black and white, for shit’s sake.

…From back when ALL theatre photos were black and white.

…Mercifully making us all look somehow better than our color-self versions.

…And the only ones who used color stock were the print models and film actors.

Who really cares what color my eyes are from the 8th row of a theatre?  No one.  Any actor you meet would WILLINGLY dye their hair fucking fusia if it would get them a role with you, so the original version we were born with is also immeterial. 

Case in point: Mama Frank and both Anne and Margot are BLOND blonds.

…But NO ONE CARES.

That’s what wigs and a box of Loreal are for.

…This is all to say: I do theatre on PURPOSE.  It is my “medium.”  It agrees with me, from the 8th row.  And I agree with it. Because I don’t have to sit down afterwards ever, and be forced to watch myself.

And yet…

And yet, there will ALWAYS still be press photos to deal with. 

They must be had.

I know it.

You know it.

We all know it.

…But it doesn’t mean I have to LIKE it.

…And I don’t.

Taking them makes me nervous and itchy and in an odd way sorta “shamed.”

There is something in the camera eye translation that just hates me.  No matter if the mirror tells me, (with the 5 pounds of makeup, and my hair all curled and up), that I look pretty decent, by and large.  And I should look better with a filter and good lighting (one might tell oneself.)  But it just never works out this way. 

Never.

In the history of ever.

…So here I sit, all “done up” and twitching in my seat, waiting for it to hit 5:00 so I can get on the road and get this shit OVER with.

…Over (that is) until it pops up in all the newspapers and the theatre website and Facebook and Twitter and the programs.

#stuffihate

~D

Free Day

23 Mar

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Slept in.

9:30.

Hurrah.

Double-fisting coffee and hot cocoa.

Country potatoes and a breakfast scramble.

More BBC.

Yarn balling.

Dyed hair.

…And part of my forehead.

Accidentally.

Long drive to peninsula.

Swedish pastry cookies.

Lunch by the water. 

Salad with almond slivers.

Fanta orange.

Why do I love it so much?

Still.

More BBC.

Next series.

(Killed the last one.)

Want salt.

Other than in a shaker, I have none.

Crochet some more to  keep my mind off it.

Two fingers of gin.

Bombay Sapphire.

Queens-own.

Straight.

…Poured out in a Casablanca glass.

Remember I forgot to blog.

Hope bullet updates fill up enough space to make it look like I actually wrote something today.

Know that this is lame, and admit it.

Sip on my gin.

…Always reminds me of Christmas. 

It’s like drinking a pine tree.

But in a good way.

…In a good way?

Consider washing face so can move this all into my bed.

No, you can’t come.

Get your mind outta the gutter.

It’s ALWAYS in the gutter.

…And lets be real: this is why we are friends.

Kisses,

~D

And Not A #$@% Was Given That Day

22 Mar

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I knew ahead of time that this was gonna be “a day.”  Only cuz at 6:00 last night, WHS Pimp (who had been working since 4 am) texted me the following:

“FYI: tomorrow, absolutely no fucks will be given. At all.”

…It’s another show-opening day on the road, plus payday, plus Boss (as usual) is MIA.

…And by 1:52 our pay packets still have not arrived. They are due by 10 am.  No one at Corporate is answering the phone, and Boss won’t respond to text, vm or email.

…That’s a looooot of pissed off contractors that’ll be screaming his way come 4:00, when I book it the hell outta here and no one responds to their phone calls.

It’s been a hardcore paperwork-hell of a week.  98 contracts in the first three days.  We are booked out through the second week of April, with 31 jobs on hold.  Which will just make it more fun in April and May as we quadruple up on these poor bastards who are already pulling double-duty.

…At least it’s decent weather today…

…And speaking of: I’m gonna be taking a long walk in that sexy atmos, directly after work.  Maybe to the water.  Grab it while it’s hot!

…Which it technically isn’t.  But “sunny” is good enough for me.  Even with a wind chill factor of “holy shitfuck!”

Two. More. Hours. To. Go.

Why are Friday afternoons always so endless?

Back to m’last two reports of the week, with “Time Gentlemen Please” streaming in the background.  It’s perfect for today. Totally inappropriate language, and content, as a prime example of when we reach the limit of just no longer giving a ripping fuck.

Which, I don’t.

~D

Twits & Set Pieces

21 Mar

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I’ve done it now.  Have joined Twitter. 

…But never under any circumstances in order to post or update it. 

I just want to stalk famous people. 

So in answer to your question: no, I won’t be giving out my handle.  It doesn’t matter anyway. Because, as of right now, I can’t understand a cocking word that is written on the damn thing.

…I’d be totally useless to you at this point.

It’s like html coding for fucks sake.

…At first I just thought it was Stephen Fry being Stephen Fry with this 3000% more intelligence than me, posting witticisms that were just too far over my head.

…But then, I can’t understand but about half of Jennifer Saunders’ tweets either.  And not that she is exactly of the average brainage herself, but I figured at least her humor stylings were of the norm-masses and I’d be in on it.

…Which I am.  But only the parts not involving 30 numbers and random punctuation marks.

…And then there are re-tweets.  And random links.  And this whole abbreviation language I don’t understand.

Clearly, I’ll be googling a lot this afternoon, just to figure all this shit out.

…See!  This is why I didn’t want to join up in the first place!  I have enough jobs to do as it is!!

…Meanwhile:  There have been crazy wind and hail storms slamming the shit out of my office by day, and Harriet on the freeway by night.  It’s frickin’ freezing everywhere I go…so all heaters in the all the environments that I have control over have been blaring non-stop for a little over 48 hours.  I don’t even want to think about my electric bill next month. 

…So I won’t.

Done with work-and-runs at the theatre until Sunday, as the theatre has a music gig taking over.  Which should be interesting on our current stage set.  What do you suppose the theme for that concert would be? I dunno.

…But speaking of the set: It’s coming along quickly.  New pieces in every day, first two layers of paint up, primed and ready for final coat and distressing.  They keep adding more and more furniture pieces, filling in absolutely every crack and cranny. By next rehearsal, they will be finished with the paint and start adding in the dressings for details…loading up the cupboards, bringing in the bed linens, all the little tchotchkes, framed photos, sewing stuffs, cooking utensils, books, bathroom items,work papers and files, and our personal props. We’ll be shoved in like sardines by the end…exactly as it should be.

Last night was a focus on stage combat for all falls, fights, and quick moves…taking up a surprising amount of time, as you don’t exactly think of this show as running heavy in those details, but it actually is. Especially when you consider how every square inch is filled with people or furniture, to knock into, stairs and platforms to fall off of, doors to slam your hands in, and a perpetual graveyard of screws and nails hiding just out of sight to knick your fingers, or barefoot feet, no matter how careful they are in sweeping before call.

…For now, we wait until Sunday. Press photos, costume fittings…meaning I’ve gotta figure out m’hair and face soonish. Need to dye it tonight prob’ly…bust out the hot curlers and some German period photos and have at it. Really liked Corinna Harfouch’s very German “doo” as Magda Goebbels in “Downfall,” (which I was streaming the other day.) Very elegant, and European versus the more youthful Americanized victory-curled look we had over here.
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…Also, because it requires a “rat,” it will help to hold the style in place through sleeping scenes and quick costumes changes without falling all limp to hell. Then, by act two, it’ll be let more loose and less “kept.” Mrs. VD is very specific about her style, until the support products for achieving it are no longer made available to her. This will also visually soften her up a bit, as she emotionally begins to legitimately break down.

…It’s like: I have a cunning plan or something.

😉

~D

Ding, Dong…The Witch Is Dead!

20 Mar

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Can’t even begin to tell you how satisfying it was to dump my LAST email from the Accounts Corporate Manager back east, into the trash bin this morning. 

…So satisfying that I dumped it without even reading beyond the title header: “Thank you and farewell.”

…A blanket letter to all branches…looooong in the making.

She is at last leaving! 

Fucking PARTY AT MY HOUSE!!!!!

This woman has been the bane of my numbers-existence for the past three years, having graduated from just being a general pain-in-the-ass “specialist” before that.   She’s one of those people who would rather bicker and fight  over incidentals across a stream of 15 emails, than just look up information herself and get the shit DONE.

I can’t HANDLE people like that. 

It completely nuts me up.  

…She would rather SIT on 5 emails on separate accounts, across a full week, never really answering or resolving any of them, only coming up with 45 reasons as to why she hasn’t gotten around to finalizing them yet. I (being the exact opposite) HATE having shit in my inbox, and work my ass off to get that fucker cleared by 10 am each day.  Except I never really can.  Because all her outstanding follow-up account crap is always still there. Staring at me.  So I send her reminders AGAIN.  And get more excuses back. Our email conversations go something like:

She:  We don’t DO account calls here.  Or collections. 

Me: I’m sorry, but aren’t you the “accounts DEPARTMENT?”

She: We are merely the “facilitator.”

Me: Okay. I don’t understand what you need.

She: Collection letters.

Me: Okay. Go for it.  Do you need my authorization?  All the account names and contact info are lower in this stream.

She: We need the collection letters.

Me: Yes.  Okay.  Go for it.  Is there a form??? I don’t understand.

She: You need to send out collection letters.

Me: But you’re the “Account Department.”  Isn’t that what you do?

She:  No.  We “facilitate.”

Me: Again, I’m sorry, I don’t understand what that means. 

She: We watch the accounts and tell you when they are outstanding.

Me: I was the one who told you, six emails ago, that this needed collection.

She: We need collection letters…

OR

Me: “X” contractor has still not been paid for job “Y.” It was closed out correctly on “date” in batch number “Z”, and is not on the current Pay Report.

(two days later.)

Me: (resend of:) “X” contractor has still not been paid for job “Y.” It was closed out correctly on “date” in batch number “Z”, and is not on the current Pay Report.

She: What job is this for?

Me: “Y.”

She: Was it a contractor swap?

Me: No. Regular pay out. No changes.

She: When was it closed?

Me: On “date” in batch number “Z.”

She: Who needs to be paid?

Me: Again: Contractor “X.”

She: It’s not on the Pay Report.

Me: I know. That’s why I sent this to you.

She: Well, something got mixed up in batching then. Do you know the batch number you used?

Me: (OMFG!!) Yes. Batch “Z.”

She: Here it is. On “date.”

Me: I know. I just need to make sure it hits the paychecks this Friday.

(a day later.)

Me: Hi. I’m just making sure this job pay hits for tomorrow’s check run.

She: What job pay?

…Etc…

THIS has been my entire relationship with the woman since she first took over management. Thankfully her under-employees have their heads at least halfway out of their asses…enough to understand and read streams of information, and (most of the time) actually get some shit done.

…And now…the woman voted Most Likely To Be Punched In The Boob By Me is OUTTA HERE!

Gone!

Gone!

Gone!

…Off to make a living hell outta someone ELSES lives! That aren’t me!!

And I’m so happy, I could just pee.

Oop. I think I did.

I peed.

~D

Dear: The People

19 Mar

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It’s been 80 contracts in two days at work.

…Which (because I’m apparently a sadist), I’ve been doing, while streaming hours of Nazi documentaries in the background.

…Then making booking calls in 4 hour blocks.

…Then grabbing a quick bite and driving through traffic to the theatre.

…Working and running scenes in act breakdowns.

…And by 11 or so: jumping back into the heavy needlework.

…Until about 2 a.m.

…While watching BBC.

Two yarn balls have given their lives thus far, for this blanket.

…And four Band Aids.

We be busy in my world.

We also be “cheaty.”

I had an affair with a pizza at 1:30 today. Pepperoni. Because I couldn’t take it any more.  “It” being too many tiny numbers, and Nazis, and constant phone calls, and no alcohol, and the urgent bodily need for grease and sanity.

…It’s been over a month since I last tasted the amazement that comes from a pizza box.  My god, absence makes the taste buds orgasmic.

In keeping, my butt is now back on the couch, surrounded by grey yarn. I sit here, post-rehearsal going on night two: glued to the telly, getting sucked into my little BBC world while further bruising myself with my crochet hook.

Here is the progress so far:

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…And much as I love you: I wanna go back to it.

…And Miss Lane and Laura and the Timmins’, and the Misses Pratt, and Queenie…

…In fact — all of Lark Rise and Candleford put together.

So: Until tomorrow.

…I leave you with a friend’s suggested gift:

Cats That Look Like Pin-ups.

You’re welcome.

~D

Can’t…Stop…

18 Mar

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Hand cramp galore.

…Band Aid fingers…from crochet needle wear and tear.

Eyes wigging out with forced focus change: TV to my fingers.

Must finish this row and go to sleep.

~D

A Quickie

17 Mar

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Game night: success.

…More crocheting.

Visiting old friends in Lark Rise.

I’ve taken the entire blanket piece from yesterday apart, to get the edges right, and am learning more about the stitch options by playing. Think I’ll try adding three knot and shells into the next one. 

Fighting going to bed.  Don’t want to. Makes tomorrow come.

Mondays.

blugh.

~D

Yarn Juggling

16 Mar

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I’m one ball down.

…The edges aren’t great, but the simple pattern is coming along. 

…It’s a learning curve.

Bug-eyed and cramped-handed…I’m sorta glad I finally ran out of yarn.  Being obsessive about this could have ruined sleep for the entire weekend if let.

So it goes.  M’first crocheting effort:

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…Soon to be a lap blanket. 

War-style.

Courtesy of Crochet-Goddess Marty 🙂

~D

Night Off

15 Mar

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Climbing Mt. Laundry tonight, after trying to walk off the half-a-burger I tried to shove down my throat. 

…Lost the battle. 

The smell made me want to cry…all forlorn and partially eaten, after all that lust I’ve been batting away for the past six days.  There it sat…next to it’s little bed of left-over fries…quite possibly the saddest thing I’d seen all week. 

So I threw it away, and bundled up for some air. 

…45 minutes later, managed to get home just as it started to dump on me.  That was like half an hour ago. 

…Now am listening to the Julie London Pandora station, up to my armpits in sorted laundry, making dirty little islands of color all through my hallway into the living room.  Ten pounds of quarters are set in pre-piles on the stove, with the detergent…and the timer is set for my first two loads to get transferred into the industrial dryers.

God, I hate not having a washer and dryer in my own house.

…Granted, the facility in only in the basement on the other end of the building…but still…it’s “over there,” and I’m “here,” and “public” means having to put pants on and everything.

…So much work, you guys.

Meanwhile: Marty is nearly ready to get curled and wigged for her performance…having just Opened last night.  And I am recouping from a wicked bout of huge contract influx at work, followed by last night’s first run of the show.

…Not bad.

…The show, that is.

…The “office” is just the fucking “office.” And always will be.

Tomorrow: I’ll be traveling down to Marty, who will be teaching me to knit, for purposes of the show.  Which means when this is all said and done, I’ll have a most ugly, misshapen, worn-torn-Europe, black-market-yarn blanket as a souvenir.

Only I would be excited about this.

…And I am.  

(Sips at first can of Coke in a week, and burps loudly.)

Man.  That’s beautiful.  Do you have ANY idea how totally satisfying it is to get that deep, baritone, Coke burp again?  Lots.  It’s lots, satisfying. 

…Especially after 47 million cups of tea, black coffee and Talking Rain.

(Buzzer starts shrieking.)

…Whelp, that’s m’cue.

Off to wrestle the reds and whites.

Happy Friday, all.

~D

Kids. Theatre. Art.

14 Mar

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Stumbled on a Tumblr last night, linking to others that, all-collected, formed most of a young cast and their experiences of putting on this show.

…Totally fascinating…reading their processes in raw-thought form, thrown out there with zero editing of  their emotions and frustrations as they fought to balance out school schedules, homework, dating, rehearsals, finals and wrapping their heads around the history of the piece.

Written in 2006, these back-and-forth tagged Tumblrs and blogs are free-formed by High School students, who by now have most likely graduated College and gotten married, and started having children of their own.  Which is kinda mind-blowing, even not having known the kids personally…only because of the knowledge that they have this forever-record of that point in their lives, written down (much like Anne), which others can read and experience, further mirroring the book and show itself.

Really intriguing thoughts, actually. 

…Some in simple questioned innocents, some with down-and-dirty sleeves-rolled-up research, some likening their own personal experiences to Anne and their own characters…and some just excited by the whole process.

The thing that really got to me though, was the point…totally individual to each…when they “got it.”  The point where the full weight of what the show and this girl’s experiences were all about, actually sunk into them…and how each of them dealt with it.

Personal. Raw. Specific.

…These kids, through ART, were given a new way to access and view something from history that they already knew about since middle-school.  That restriction of: “this is a book about a teenage girl, in Amsterdam, in WWII,” was suddenly (and in some cases emotionally violently) altered for them once the process of physical “empathy” was put into place.

To read about a girl from the far-past, in a place they could not recognize, and had no tangible relateable association with at first glance…had limited a lot of them at the book’s first reading. Some were embarrassed by it’s pubescent topics, some shut off by the distant time frame in which it was written, some by the country they didn’t recognize…or the Politics they couldn’t understand…while some did actually take it personally and to heart. But the range there was wide.

…Through the process of ownership in their roles, though…you can actually SEE that begin to change…and the kids changing with it.

What they start out writing about in an off-hand remarks, early in the rehearsal process, begins to change to a kind of hungry obsession over time. They begin pulling out quotes from the script, and matching it to the diary…they write mini-bios, and suck up European political history like sponges. They become in awe of the magnitude in the numbers…which are no longer just “numbers,” but for the first time begin to represent actual “people” to them, now that they are actually portraying one of them…each with lives and families and homes and dreams of their own. They begin to question, and get angry, and become activists for a cause which now has become as real to them as anything they may have to deal with in their current day-to-day lives. They build genuine affection for their “characters”…defending their deeds in posts, and against Anne’s words…and explaining WHY they think and act and say the things they do.

…They become totally engrossed, as the posts move along…building not only on their own, but commenting on one another’s in debate, and agreement, and camaraderie.

And it is fucking FANTASTIC.

You see: THIS is what “Art” does.

THIS is why it is so essential, and why it’s disappearance from our Schools is so completely devastating.

“Art” is not just a “hobby.” “Art” isn’t an “extracurricular activity.” “Art” is “Humanity.” Straight-up. It is our one point of access to all that it is (and ever was) to be human. And without it, we are sorely damaging our future potential…and in severe danger of repeating our greatest mistakes.

And HERE is a prime example.

…Written by school children, grown now into adults, who BECAUSE of “art” experienced something so palpable that “History” became alive to them, “Politics” became important, “Numbers” meant more than mere addition and subtraction, the “Written Word” jumped off the pages at them, and “Science” in the research, reason and attempt to understand why and what it all meant, became totally essential to them.

…And yet, with all of that put together, it STILL could not hold the realization of the emotional strength and repercussions that actual “embodiment” had on each of them. The power of empathy…of PUTTING YOURSELF into another’s place…of FEELING the fear, and hunger, and pain, and sadness…of MAKING IT PERSONAL…it changed them, not just as “children” or “students,” but as HUMAN BEINGS.

…Once taught empathy, education, the difference between right and wrong…passion for history and learning…you can’t un-teach it. You can try, attempt to mind-wash and assault the brain all you like. But if given a good, strong, root to grow…early on…I don’t believe there is anything that can break that. Or the spirit it infuses, like Anne’s, to fight for your right to it.

“There are no walls, there are no bolts, no locks that anyone can put on your mind.”

…It was something Mr. Frank once told Anne, and something she often went back to as a form of solace, a comfort, an outlet…a form of expression.

…Because any form of educated obsession, release, curiosity, excitement, empathy…is a kind of art.

Because SHE was encouraged to release herself in it, we have her diary today. Because those kids were encouraged to release themselves in it, their lives were changed. The same way that mine constantly is. And Meryl Streep. And Picasso’s was. And Steven Spielberg. And Maria Callas. And Leonard da Vinci, and Stephen King, and Gertrude Stein, and Albert Einstein, Billie Jean King, and Stephen Hawking.

…So really, what I’m saying is: people learn and become inspired in so many different ways…going on to inspire and educate others, likewise. I’d like to assume you’d want every opportunity you can grasp onto, to make sure your kids get every option to become the best that they can be…as people and parents of their own children someday.

If you already practice an art of your own, there’s no need to tell you this, but if not: Listen up. I promise…it isn’t just a flippant accessory to life. It is a necessity. It’s brought us our greatest humanitarians, and thinkers, and doers we have ever produced as a human race. It breeds intelligence. It fosters hope. It counters depression, and fear, and anger.

It belongs in our schools.

…If only, to dust off the tired words in old textbook pages, and make all the other academics and political concepts and histories and numbers and sciences more real to the people who will be running this planet some day.

Think about it.

~D

Less Chunk

13 Mar

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Am strangely content, shoving plain cream of wheat with a dab of clover honey down my throat, while paper-working this morning.

…This is totally only cuz I finally broke my weight holding-pattern this morning, and dropped past the 10 pound marker.

11.5 pounds down.

…Which brings me back to the weight I was, exactly this time last year…

…With 8.5 more pounds to go.

It’s been a grueling enterprise.  But with it comes a lot of benefits.  Such as: I’m less fat. My underwear feel less like strangulation torture devises. And I’m a lot less clumsy now, reaching back to working with the body I knew for all those years…before ballooning out. 

…Where this is a “bother” in day-to-day life, (accumulating extra bruises and getting wedged into tight quarters that didn’t used to be so tight), it is a MAJOR set-back on stage, where even your walk and total use of body instrument are seriously restricted and awkward.  I had to reinvent physical ways of doing things…and not in the “good” way…which particularly in comedy, makes a huge difference in speed and precision.  Also, corsets SUUUUUUCK with extra heft…I’m well versed in ’em and would know. Trust me.

Having  reached this halfway marker in pound-loss, is like getting to re-open my old tool kit again…and go back to using the toys I’ve collected along the years.  My old familiar friends.

…It’s also like beating a Boss in a video game, unlocking new wardrobe levels!

At last, new jeans! Well not “new” new, but new “ain’t been worn in like a year” new.

…This is why you NEVER throw clothes out when you gain poundage. And why you ALWAYS throw clothes out when you shrink.

To say, “I’m never going back to that weight again,” is all well and good, but if your willpower can’t manage it, your belt buckle will certainly help when it starts cutting off your circulation and you have no “next size ups” to graduate into.

…Least that’s my theory.

I’ve never ever been as fat as I was before. So this is a new concept I just made up…still in its beta phase. By all means: feel free to test it with me.

Meanwhile: I’ve 29 new contracts to work out today, the newest “Once” to catch up on (before Marty hyperventilates with hysteria waiting to talk about it with me), some Hanukkah and Ashkenazi Jewish research to do, and a work and run of Act 2, Scene 2 ahead.

…Better get back to it.

~D

Dear Customers Of The World

12 Mar

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We are in the middle of the beginning of a ridiculous sales year on the road. 

The builder bunnies are out in full force, the mass of product trucks are hitting nearly every day, our reps still haven’t figured out how to work a fax machine without shredding nearly every P.O.,  and The Boss is typically MIA.

…This time from an Ulna fracture.

…Because he fell over while playing basket ball with his kids.

Everyone knows that this totally incapacitates you from answering phones or logging into the internet…so it looks like we have 6-8 weeks of totally on our owness, here at the office.  This changes nothing really. It’s just a different excuse from the other ones.

Meanwhile, all those early purchasers who bought around the Holidays to take advantage of sales, are starting to pop up for install dates.  Put on hold of their OWN doing, it now exasperates them without end that they cannot cater-pick the EXACT date that they want to be built.  Because, “Didn’t you know we get first priority?  We bought this 5 months ago!”

…Explaining to these people that “first come first serve” means that people have meanwhile been booking up the calendar as they purchased THEIR buildings, (without putting them on “hold.”) This is a totally foreign concept to the leg-draggers.  Apparently we should have no customers other than themselves, leaving a wide-open range for any date of their choosing from now until June, whenever they get their shit together and finally prep their land.

…Also, we are apparently idiots for building in the rain.

…Though the climate lasts for nine months of the year and always has.  You’d think people would know this, owning land here, but it seems that they don’t.  Or rather, they just don’t care, as long as we don’t build in it, but still on the day they want, so we should not inconvenience them, by making sure that this happens.

…And don’t even get me started with the Bouncers.

(A “Bouncer” is a customer who calls repeatedly, swapping dates back and forth, inevitably getting pissed off when sometime ‘tween change 5 and 6, someone else takes the earlier slot they’d already given up, but now want back again. Mostly only because now, they can’t HAVE it.)

All of this just further proves that people (most especially “customers”) are by and large, hissyfit-throwing-assholes.

(Those of us who work in any kind of sales industry already know this.  But for those who don’t: here’s your little FYI.)

Everyone wants what they want, when they want it, and because we are a Capitalistic society…having all been taught that “the customer is always right,” will be thrown in your face no less than 700 times in any given week.

…But I am here to tell you, that this is a load of shit.  And let me tell you why:

Because no one person is the center of the universe.  Which is bad enough to negotiate on it’s own.  But in our societal frame of mind, we EACH think that we are that “one” person.

…So, apply that concept to the entire U.S. population, and you would have 315,480, 016 centers of the universe, just right now. (according to the U.S. and World Population clock.)

…Which is 315,480,016 people, too many.

In this mode of thinking: money and a hissyfit will buy you anything. And it won’t. It can’t. Guess what, even Bill fucking Gates has to wait for an Amazon box to arrive. Just…like…you.

…And when that Amazon box happens to be an entire building, (for instance)…sometimes that takes even more time to wait for.

BECAUSE IT’S A BUILDING.

We’re not constructing cardboard boxes here. We aren’t filling bottles with Coke products on an assembly line that we can FedEx out to you tomorrow. These are two-ton and more dwellings. They are made by hand. From wood. Cut from a tree. In a forest. And shipped here. To our warehouse. Where we then re-load it. And drive it out to you. And a contractor stands outside all day long. In the rain, and/or snow. To build it. With their hands. For you.

THIS TAKES TIME.

And when you have 549 orders on the books…and 7 contractors…that takes MORE time.

…If you can see what I’m saying.

…Which I’m frankly starting to think would be a bloody miracle, as seemingly not one of our customers seem to be able to.

We have 549 suns who all want individual orbits according to their own laws of physics, time, place and schedule.

Which is not possible. Ask anyone.

…So this is what I’d like to call an open letter to the customers of the world. (Most especially mine, but even your average restaurant-patron will do.)

Dear (Enter Your Name Here),

We know you bought this thing. We know you want it now. But your hotdog/dvd/motorcycle/carpet/computer/garage/Hummer/imported-cigar doesn’t grow on trees. (And even if it does, it still needs to be cut down or picked by someone first.) Someone has to cook/package/build/make/deliver this item to you. This takes “time.” “Time” is this thing which requires scheduling. A schedule, means booking product-per-customer. A customer is one of many people…who also have schedules and times…and…(not to blow your mind here)… but prob’ly customers of their OWN who have times and schedules, as well.

…Taking this into consideration: you all are just going to have to man-up like a 5-year-old, and wait in line, like everyone else. Stop pissing your pants with rage-fits. Be responsible enough to pre-plan your potty visits NOW. And when I tell you our lead times are 4 weeks out, when you tell me you want to “hold it for a couple of weeks”…consider that the equivalent of: “Do you have to go to the bathroom now? Cuz the next rest stop isn’t until: ___.”

If your child can do this, I have full confidence that you can to.

Signed,

A Contract-Processing Representative, in the Building Industry

~D

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