Tag Archives: Women

How The “Actress” Ages

5 Feb

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Listen up, it’d be easy to call it a “formula”…like there is science and reason behind it, but the truth is: a female actor ages roughly three times the speed of a male one, and that is the truth.

…This is not in “actual” body, this is measured in a thing called, “playable age,” which means the gap you can fill, based on what you look like and your “type.”

The older you get, the wider the gap ‘tween the sexes age in comparison, gets. This is how Sally Field played Tom Hanks’ love interest in 1988, and his mother by 1994, only six years later.

…That’s a sizable swing, people.

The fellas get to age as it comes to them, regardless of number, primarily filling three titles across a career: Child, Love Interest, Old Man. Women get four: Child, Love Interest, Mother, Crone. Yes, women get an extra label in there, but the major difference shows when you plug in the actual playable ages of what these times of life are considered by Casting Directors.

Women
Child – Infant to preteen
Love Interest – Preteen to 25
Mother – 25 -35
Crone- 35 1/2 – onward

Men
Child – Infant to preteen
Love Interest – Preteen to 170
Old Man – 171 onward.

…This is the actual truth. (Sort of.)

…The only break we really get, (as women performers), is if we happen to be Character Actors. In which case, even BEFORE 35, we have already (at some point) played one or two Crones, and our fair share of “Mothers” anyway…so the smack in the face for “playable age” isn’t such a big deal.

…In my case, looking at the cast list yesterday…I just thought it was funny.

…Sort of a little bit depressing…but I can still smirk about it.

…About what, you ask? Oh yeah…I forgot to mention:

One of the next two roles, in this show I’m working on, has me playing opposite an adorable, hilarious fella, I last worked with in “Anne Frank.”

…At the time, he was playing Otto, Anne’s father.

…And now: he’s my son.

With this kinda “comedy,” who needs drama?

😉

~D

The WHS Pimp Tampon Revolution

13 Nov

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This is a real story:

WHS Pimp was taking a poop. It was at home, on Monday…(which isn’t really important, but I’m all about the “details”)…and anyway, he looked around for some reading material (like you do), finding only a box of Tampons.

…So, he read it.

…And he kept reading it.

…And he read it again.

…And then, he came in today, after fuming over it for two days, walked into my office from outta nowhere, and said:

WHS Pimp: “…First of all: I’ve been buying and looking at Tampon boxes all my life. Right…?”

Me: “Sure.”

WHS Pimp: “…I mean: I’ve grown up with two sisters, a mom, there’s The Ex…it’s not like I don’t get the idea of them.”

Me: “Okay.”

WHS Pimp: “…But what I’m saying is: These Tampon people are fucked up.”

Me: “Sure.”

WHS Pimp: “You wanna know why?”

Me: “I wish you would tell me.”

WHS Pimp: “First of all: it says on the box that all brands use a universal measurement of absorbency…”

Me: “Okay.”

WHS Pimp: “…And they color code it accordingly. Like: ‘Supers’ all equal ‘green’…”

Me: “Right.”

WHS Pimp: “…Now, they figure on the absorbency in measurements of grams. Which, I dunno ’bout you, but I find just weird.”

Me: “Sure.”

WHS Pimp: “First of all: who measures in grams? That’s like metric system kind of bullshit. And what kind of panel or research people has the job of figuring out the amount of grams that people bleed anyway? And also: how does that information help you at all? I mean: how’s a lady supposed to know how many grams she expels? What…they want you to like squat over a cup or something for several hours at a stretch to gauge the general weight? And also: that changes almost daily, and according to your activity…am right? I mean: you have heavy flow times and NOT so heavy flow times…”

Me: “Correct.”

WHS Pimp: “…But then they say a ‘super’ absorbs such-and-such grams or ‘heavy’…and ladies are different, so YOUR heavy time might not be HER heavy time amount and so on. So how’s a poor pre-teen, in like a family of all men with no mother, supposed to figure that shit out?!”

Me: “I never really thought about that…”

WHS Pimp: “Yeah! Right?! So here’s what I think…”

Me: “Bring it.”

WHS Pimp: “First of all: You ladies take a whole lotta shit.”

Me: “We do.”

WHS Pimp: “…They shouldn’t be adding, ‘how many grams am I bleeding right now’ onto it.”

Me: “Right? Those fucking bastards.”

WHS Pimp: “…And also: you’re super badass. I mean you BLEED out of your VAGINA. EVERY. MONTH.”

Me: “It’s true.”

WHS Pimp: “…So I decided, I should open up my OWN Tampon factory and just totally revolutionize the whole system. We’d ax that whole grams/’super’ size crap and just go with ‘simple.’ And market it better. Like with awesome animal names or something.”

Me: ”I’d be down with that.”

WHS Pimp: “See?!”

Me: “And none of the ‘Have a happy period’/ ‘fortune cookie’ bullshit that Tampax pulls. That just enrages me. I’m hurled over a toilet bowl, ralphing from cramps, while bleeding, and when it’s time to change-out, some snarky-bullshit-condescending-marketing-asshat has printed that crap all over the wrapper I’m trying to get the fuck open, and it just PISSES ME OFF. Really? ‘Practice makes perfect?’ Really?! I’ve been a fucking EXPERT at this shit FOR 21 YEARS NOW, thank you…!”

WHS Pimp: “…Oh, I hear yuh! Yeah. There’ll be NONE of THAT, in MY Tampon company!”

Me: “Good…”

WHS Pimp: “…And ALSO: Lets just take the math and measures out of the whole mixture. We have one product, one box, one size: done. Why even waste your time with different sizes to begin with? It’s just confusing. Why not just a one-size-fits all? I mean, wouldn’t you rather just use the ‘super’ …or in MY product line’s case: ‘Panther’…all the time, and be done with it? Less changing. Less mess. Less hassle. PLUS: it’d be like, ‘Hey, you gotta Panther? Yeah I got one. You need one? Yeah, thanks.’ It’s that awesome.

Me: “Ah. And here, we hit the snag.”

WHS Pimp: “…The final animal names are totally negotiable…”

Me: “No, it’s not the ‘Panther.’ You’re right, that is badass. It’s that the amount of flow DOES in fact matter.”

(He blinks)

Me: “Okay…cuz like, you have your ‘Panther’ days…and sometimes your ‘Polar Bear’ days…but you eventually wheedle down to like your ‘small-rodent-Chipmunk’ days.”

WHS Pimp: “Right.”

Me: “Well like…where you can get away with a ‘Polar Bear’ on a ‘Panther’ day…you can’t wear a ‘Panther’ on a ‘Chipmunk’ day. Or a “Deer.” On a ‘Chipmunk’ day, even a ‘Rabbit’ is pushing it. Cuz getting that thing IN is a whole lot different then getting it OUT again.”

(He blinks)

Me: “…There’s…it’s…you have to…there’s dry yanking involved. Maybe like an un-lubed prostate exam. In reverse.”

(He winces.)

Me: “Yeah.”

(He winces again.)

Me: “…BUT, I applaud your efforts ….in concerned study and thought…on making our monthly Mrs. Johnson visits more badass and streamlined and less condescendingly douchey.”

WHS Pimp: “It’s just cuz I care.”

Me: “I know you do, buddy.”

(Long silence as he goes back to his desk.)

Me: “That was a very detailed pooping.”

WHS Pimp: “Yeah. Tell me about it…”

The end.

~D

Caught, With Nothin’ But The Towel

22 May

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So this has never ever happened before in the history of me:

Am minding my own business at work today, when from out of absolutely nowhere (and I do mean “nowhere”), Mrs. Johnson shows up with her usual bag of luggage, for her usual extended stay.

…Problem is, she was like six days early.

SIX.

…And she is NEVER early. 

She’s never BEEN early. 

In fact, she has a widely known reputation for being late more often than even on time.

At all.

…But what is even MORE curious is that “stealth” has never been her major talent.  In fact, she blows at it.  She sorta travels with a full fucking brass band, (if you get my drift)…so pretty much everyone around has more than a general idea that she is about to show up in town.

One can frankly hear her coming from Duluth.

…And yet: there I was.  For the first time EVER: caught totally by surprise.

Of course, being a woman, I’m never TOTALLY without the necessities of life.  Not the essential ones, anyway…

…That it, until I realized that this early visit of was NOT going to be ushered in without the usual pain and agony, as well. Only, “delayed.”

…And I didn’t have any of the drugs that I needed…

…Although, a Migraine Advil was this close to being shot back anyway…

…Cuz even undercover, Mrs. Johnson is a gigantic pain.

Literally.

…But emergency pills were obtained in time.

…And I took them.

…And now I’m trying to coax some appetite out with the old Jewish custom of mac-n-cheese and cheeto-puffs. 

(That is not really a Jewish custom, only it seems to work most of the time when nothing, but nothing, sounds good, and I just wanna roll into a ball and complain a lot.)

I don’t really have time for that right now.

…We have the final scene of the show to block tonight.

…Well, maybe just a “little” ball-rolling.

The annotated version.

(Which I am usually adamantly against.  In book form.  But in dealings with “pain,” I’m all for it.)

So I’ll go do a little of that now, then.

And afterwards: try and eat something so I don’t pass out.

Right!

Where’s my pillow?!

(stomp! stomp! stomp!)

~D

The Teakettle Effect

29 Jan

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Sometimes you just need to blow off steam.

…Funny how something with no “physical” presence can take up so much space in your mind and irk you to such astronomical levels, that all you wanna do is find an outlet…just a blip…just a fart of relief even…from all that build-up.

…And today’s ripping belch is about being a woman.

Today, after being “pacified” by Boss (with blatant eyerolling), and doubted my own intelligence in my own selling field, by a customer requesting to, “speak to a man”…then getting in reports of Ma being talked down to by the Car Shop, regarding her still unworking car ($5,000 later), and the asshole taking the phone away from her while she was trying to stick her point…so the two dudes could belittle the cause amongst one another, as if she wasn’t just fucking standing right there…which in turn meant I was therefore gonna have to step in again…I had fucking HAD IT.

Had it with the assumptions.

Had it with the belittling.

Had it with the blatant head-patting.

Had it with the entire fucking thing.

Look, I dunno why days like this seem to bulk up the way they do, but it happens all the time to me.  Like some kind of “uuber test”…I seem to get “themed shit days.”  You prob’ly get them too.  It’s not just bad enough to have a crappy scenario.  It needs to be several…and needs to be of the same family of aggravations so that it continues to wear on that same little already compromised nerve and just ride that fucker like a bucking bronco.

I dunno what exactly the point of it is. 

…If it is a “test” of some sort…what is the “good score” versus the “bad”?  Is it the ability NOT to lose your shit with impatience? Or is it the point where you finally arrive at “enough is enough” and start standing up for yourself?

I choose to think it is the second thing. 

…Cuz I am not built to be slapped around. 

Nor belittled for ANY reason. 

Nor to turn the other cheek. 

Fuck that noise. 

…You smack me, I smack you back! Any sonofabitch who feels obliged to give it a “go,” should just know that right now.  And I feel like I conduct myself in such a way on a personal basis day-to-day, that this is certainly no secret.

…Which means: ya’ll have been warned!  All you bastard people who feel like making misery of my life and other people’s around me who are m’friends and family. 

…Also, I’m very unforgiving.

So add one to twelve, and that is the kind of frustration and retribution that was just lived through about fifty second before I started this blog for the day.  The point being: I already blew off the steam…at the appropriate humans who had earned it…and now with the final haze of excess smoke still in the air…I’m trying to talk myself into putting the top back on, and going on with m’day. 

…Cuz I’m only about half way through it, and still have shit to do.

And you do too.

…But I just thought: if you were having a day of frustration like I am…and if it might also be themed along the same lines as mine: find solace.  I won some shit back for the lady-sex today.  Not that it’s always about that.  But today it sure as hell seems to be. 

I got this, friends.

(And dude readers: thanks for not being assholes, like lots of the other guys.  We super appreciate it.)

~D
 

The History Of Being A Woman

17 Nov

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…So as uncomfortable as this time of month likes to make me, there are certain moments…(like taking off a corset that’s been squeezing the shit out of me for four hours), wherein I am reminded that there were times when we ladies had it much worse. 

…Pre-drugs. Pre-sanitizing products. Pre-Women’s Lib.

…This morning, as I rolled around in usual pain-induced grumpiness, I decided to go on a little investigation course, and immerse myself in the Historical significance of this monthly curse… on our grandmothers: great-great-great and ancient, and how they dealt with it, and how society dealt (in turn) with them. 

Brave men who seek to understand us better: read on. 

Fellow women: read on with thanks, and infused superhuman wonder at the animals we are and what our bodies do.

***

First of all, it was a curse. 

…And thus, unclean for thousands of years, women at their time of month were (and still are, in some cultures) shunned and restricted from society and sight.  Like with the King in “Love Labours Lost,” women were banished from courts and communities routinely. The Romans attributed the deformity of the god Vulcan to the menstrual intercourse between his parents Juno and Jupiter. In the Biblical times, women on their cycle were forced to camp out, away from the community…making everything they even came in contact with, unclean.  In early European times, they were made to bare no restrictions to the process, or smell, or sight, or change ones garments for fear of increasing bleeding and disease.  The Mae Enga people of Papua New Guinea believed that contact with menstrual blood or a menstruating woman would “sicken a man and cause persistent vomiting.” In the eighteenth century in Saigon, no woman was employed in the opium industry because it was believed that if a menstruating woman were near, the opium would become ruined and bitter. To some it signified a laziness on the woman’s part for not having done her “job” at being consistently knocked up. Women who complained of menstrual cramps were sent to psychiatrists because menstrual cramps were seen as a rejection of one’s femininity…which, until the Victorian era, was seen (together with it’s yet unnamed PMS sister) as a mental deficiency, called simply “Women’s Hysteria.” Freud called it the “bloody sign of a woman’s loss of penis,” as a reminder of woman’s “uncleanliness and inferiority.” And to this day, it keeps women of several religions from practicing in all rights of belief, and in their own temples of worship, before an allotted amount of time and certain purification rituals have taken place.

…Our Lady-History isn’t all bleak, however.  Some cultures revered our body’s cycle, as a sign of strength and fertility. The Cherokee Indian’s believed it was a strength and source of power to destroy enemies. Ancient Roman, Pliny the Elder, wrote that a menstruating woman, uncovering her body, could scare away hailstorms, whirlwinds and lightening. In Ancient Greece, menstrual blood was thought as a wonder cure of disease and used in love charms and to ward off demons. In Africa, it is used in the most powerful magic charms to purify and to destroy, while in France, in the 1700’s, its scent was thought seductive and fertile.

However you have come to loath and/or embrace this monthly happening…whatever name you have given her, she has a history that should be noted…has become a defining form of cultures and words, and bottom line is: we would none of us be here without her. So have a little respect. Let it be noted:

…“Menstruation” is from Old English “mondablot” or “month blood;” in Latin, “menses” means “month;” an Amazon culture’s word for “woman” translates to “the person with a red streak down the leg”; and the term “period” dates back to 1822 meaning “an interval of time.” Furthermore, some menstruation words have much more tainted meanings: “The term ‘ritual’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘R’tu,’ which means ‘menstrual.’ This etymology suggests that ritual in a general sense and menstrual acts have a common origin;” Also, the “word taboo comes from the Polyneisain tapua, meaning both ‘sacred’ and ‘menstruation’… [where] sacred means both ‘set apart’ and ‘cursed’.” ~ Southern Bell Feminist

…Scholars also suggest that pre-modern men and women learned to think numerically by recognizing relationships between groups of numbers that were also units of time measured through menstrual rites…and may have led to humanity’s sense of time, as most early lunar calendars were based on the length of a women’s menstrual cycle. The family of words related to the English word “menstruation” include mental, memory, meditation, mensurate, commensurate, meter, mother, mana, magnetic, mead, mania, man, and moon…while the term “ovary” is from the Latin ovum or “egg.” In classical Latin, ovaries meant “egg keeper.”

…According to randomhistory.com, a woman will spend about 3500 days, in an average of 450 periods in her life. When a girl is born, her complete potential egg supply is born with her. In the womb, she creates about seven million egg cells. At birth, she has two million. By puberty, there are only about 400,00 left, of which fewer than 500 are actually released.

…And as for our history of “treatments” to her woes?

Ancient Egyptians used softened papyrus as rudimentary tampons. Hippocrates notes that the Greeks used lint wrapped around wood. By the mid 1800’s some had begun the use of homemade pads, made of wool, cheesecloth, cottons and rags. The 1870s -1890’s saw a slew of such invented for sale in forms from suspenders to belts, making an alternate disposable option for the wealthy. By 1921, post WWI, Kotex pads were on sale to the masses, a product devised by nurses in the field, using the more absorbable wartime bandages. The modern tampon was invented by Dr. Earle Haas in 1929, trademarked by the brand name Tampax, and was in wide circulation by 1931. And the 1970’s brought in the self adhesive, non-belted, pad.

…Together with drugs and natural remedies to help ease our physical pains, and hormonal roller coasters…we continue this longest of Living History reenactments, today, by the millions, all over the world. It’s kind of a big deal. According to quora.com, out of the 2 billion women of menstrual age in the world right now, 334 million are my blood sisters, this very moment.

334 million.

…At the same time.

…In all races, cultures, incomes, and beliefs.

Dear Mrs. Johnson,

You are a giant pain in my ass (and other places)…but when I look at the history and numbers and facts and fables of your insistence on “Being”…I kinda gotta give you some props. You’ve got some game. Okay…I said it. Now stop fucking with me. I have shit to do today.

Signed,

~D

The PMS Monster

16 Oct

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Being the only girl around a lotta guys at work, hurts and helps in many ways…but the one time it totally wins out, is when I’m on a major PMS binge.

…When they see me getting completely illogical with my stress temperature gauge of cuss poetry, they don’t worry really…that only means it’s “Monday.”  But when I’m totally silent for hours at a time, and twitch with every phone ring, they know the next person to piss me off, is really gonna be in for it. 

This is the first incarnation of the The PMS Monster, which rapidly grows and will verily take over the entire office if not soothed immediately or sooner.  Not that I have a very high tolerance just now for the idiocy that runs rampant in my work place anyway, but I have like ZERO, once my hormones start pulsing and my outer shell starts to crack and split, and the skin falls away in a gooey mess of pulp, birthing something very closely resembling the lead villain in “Alien.”

…You do NOT want to be in the room at that point.  I promise you.  There have been stories amongst the manly stud-bunnies, who have seen it.  Stories hearkening  back to the kind of sick, twisted, sci-fi gore they won’t even play on cable until after 10 pm. 

Once The PMS Monster has been brought to life, there IS no going back. 

…There is only carnage and mayhem and screaming women in streets that run red with the blood of mankind.

In short: it’s pretty gruesome.

…But the stud-bunnies have figured out over time, (and trial and error), that BRIBING the great beast, can often usurp the change from fully taking place.  “Peace offerings,” if you will.  Things like drip coffee from an actual coffee place (not a generic container.)  Or a donut.  Or McDonald’s french fries.  Or a post-it with a stick figure killing himself in nine different ways. Or a funny dance with a screw gun that ends badly.  Or a competition on who can string more cuss words together most efficiently.  Or news that the whole place has burned down, and I’m only dreaming right now.

…In essence, if you FEED The PMS Monster something, she has been known to tame.  Not for “always,” mind you…but for “a while,” at least.

…And today, without any training in this field at all, a buddy somehow caught the silent shaking reserve via text, and informed that he was bringing Tai for dinner, after work, and pending rehearsal call.  When I said I hadn’t any rehearsal, he threw in two pints of Tillamook ice cream to sweeten the deal further, and busted through the door with more food than seven people could eat…popping open every tray, introducing it’s contents and star-value, then stepping away from the alter of almighty PMS Monster, to ravage at her will.

A smart man. 

…Then, as The PMS Monster, heaped her plate with plenty, and fed ravenously from the noodle and peanut sauce-covered carcases of dude-friend’s offering, she slowly came to calm a bit from the day’s shit-fest of rage and utter frustration.  And a couple laughs between chews, helped a little too.

…Hours later…with the last taste of mint chip ice cream licked from her lip, The PMS Monster was finally able to sit down and write a blog.  Not the kind full of screaming bitchings and oath-sworn hatreds, as she had originally intended.  Instead: now the hormonal animal of already well-induced-stress, is ready to make way for bed, with a full tummy, and a good book, and a day won in the 11th hour (literally), from the jaws of total irredeemable “shit.”

And this is why friends are important. (P.S.)

~D

And The Swedes Take Over The World

9 Sep

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Yesterday, I stood in 375 square feet of space, masquerading as a real full apartment, in which everything from a bathroom to kitchen, to bedroom, to closet space was compacted on a grid-system of proficiency.

…The sign outside said, “walk into my living space,” and claims that a human actually exists in an exact replica of this area.

…I have 800 square feet, which I share with my two fish, and upon occasion…feel crowded. 

I am “proficient” as hell.

…Which just shows that there is always room for improvement.  Exhausting as that may sound.

IKEA is one of those places that I have to gird my loins to go and visit. There is so much stimulation to the creative sectors of my brain when I frequent all it’s million tiny room mock-ups, that I get hyper enthusiastic.  Somehow, even though the Mod 60’s thing really isn’t my deal, I end up wanting them all anyway.  Every room, every collection of goods, every little bookcase prop.  Why? I dunno.  Possibly because the color coordination and multi-use of every product, screams a challenge of maximum capabilities.  Maybe because I’m addicted to shelving and cabinetry.  Maybe because twelve bucks for a French Press, that costs fifty even at Target, is just too much goodness for my brain to take in.

This place spawns a cousin disease to my general, “I never knew I always wanted that” one…only this time I truly believe my entire life would change for the better if I had it…because all my OCD’s would completely disappear if I could live in something as slip-streamed and categorize-perfected.

…In my mind, as I walk the aisles, all I can see are the dozens of tiny alterations to my little apartment that would bump me into a high-tech, sheer-surface, spot-lit, rug-wielding, stainless steel, goddess.  I’m already practically there, but this would just seal the deal.  And who doesn’t want to run at that level?

Can you imagine what it would be like, to have zero wasted space?  Not a single undevoted centimeter…where everything has a home and convenient location, which tucks away inside of itself about fifty times, until its basically just negative entity? Where every shoes has it’s place on a tree in the closet, where every individual halogen light is focused precisely where you want it, off a steel lined track running the entirety of your room? Where the walls become secret hidden cabinets, which you can still hang shit on, with beds that grow out of other beds and sofas, so your one-bedroom apartment or dorm room can suddenly sleep ten people. You know…for all those times that you REALLY NEED to sleep ten people!

…This place gets me so undone with wonder and excitement, that I accidentally start mirroring the children, calling their parents to, “look at this thing! Oh, but look at that one too!” I simply cannot trust the visuals of whoever I am with to pick up the kind of subtleties that are the entire main focus on the display, and feel the need to walk them through it. I must describing in detail how “this thing” transformers into “that one,” like I’m an expert showcase salesman…because clearly they wouldn’t get the full sliding-swing action, if I didn’t really sell it for them. And I also have to explain why it works aesthetically, on a level far more pleasing than just to the eye:

“Cant you just FEEL how all the books are happy right now, with that certain kind of open wall-mount display on equal parallel planes, without all the box bulk of an actual case?”

“Lookit that lamp. I dunno when in the hell you’d have the reason to mount a giant glowing dandelion above your head…but if you just stand here for a second and think about the kind of room it would go in…it’s totally awesome. Right?”

“Here is why this kitchen layout is better than any other kind: floor to ceiling Lazy Suzans in that corner cabinet. No, just stop right now, you will never beat that.”

…And I also feel compelled to let them know that any time they wanna get rich and buy me shit, this is the place to do it, and here are some reasons why:

“‘Kay, look…this roll out drawer would save my life maybe…because my god, how long have I lived having to reach under my bed to get at things, then scrape the hell out of my arms, or slam my head on that fucking Hollywood frame?”

“…No wait, now picture my living room…but then add this to every wall. Instant James Bond high tech, am I right? Just, push this spot in the wall and, BAM cabinet materializes! Push that over there: a door! That there: a sunken wet bar! Tap here: my whole entertainment center folds out…!”

…And sometimes, I’m not so subtle about it:

“…If you wanted to get me this rug, that would be okay.”

“Maybe you could pick up that chair as an early Birthday present to me now…I mean, since we’re already here.”

“I bet if I had this pot and pan set, I’d be able to cook you a delicious dinner. The ones I have now are just holding me back, mostly cuz you deserve the very best.”

Yes. It is that ridiculous. Ask anyone whose ever gone with me.

…All I know is that in the end: the Swedes with their happy-go-luckiness and uber efficiency, are someday going to take over the world…and there will be nothing we can do about it.

…They will hook up with their handy-dandy equally efficient Swiss friends (with their compacted tools and weaponry), and dig themselves a little mountain fortress somewhere (prob’ly throughout the entire Swiss Alps in a collected switchback of mathematically precise grids.) And they will outfit every square inch of tunnel with IKEA themed, space-aged, 60’s-kick-back wonder…where every man, woman, and child, will live in their own customized pod of up to 375 square feet of perfected living space. (Built entirely by their Swiss Army-issued, fold out tool and weaponry knife.)

You guys, the secret is already out there…

…Like the masterminds that they are, they have hidden it in full fucking sight, inside every single one of their monster stores. They will do this all with a maximum of silent speed and efficiency, (if they haven’t already), and thus, out-last every apocalypse (be it zombie or otherwise) by doing so.

…And when it’s all over, the new world power of quiet, happy blond people with killer skiing skills, will emerge.

…And civilization will be saved.

…And that is the truth.

~D

Dame Wars

7 Aug

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First of all, I work with dudes.  On purpose.

…I have had many a previous position wherein I have been planted in a cubical farm-from-hell with what feels like 150 clucking hens undertaking more day-to-day dramas than Telemundo. Basic fact is (whether you like it or not) the fellas are all upstairs in private offices, leaving a barrage of women and interns manning the open floors, swarming the place like flies. I don’t like office politics.  I don’t give a shit who is having an affair with whom, where you went on vacation or your particular marital difficulties.  I am not interested in swapping recipes at the water cooler, or flirting with the copy guy.  I do not want to socialize and B.S. the day away…I just want to show up, do my job and get the hell outta here.

That is all.

I have a life to live and it ain’t “here.”

…Now, I realize that for many, their day-to-day job is actually their “career” and main social hub of existence…that they prize it, invest in it and want to make it grow via networking, schmoozing, back stabbing, ladder climbing, et al.  I understand.  And I do not blame them for it…it is what they have and need and want, so: yay for them.  However, I also understand that being in that kind of environment, makes me want to punch people in the face.  It reminds me of High School, with its vicious little clicks and popularity contests…with it’s constant political scheming, power-plays and melodrama. (Far more in fact, than I’ve been privy to in most of the theatre’s I’ve been in.) So I quite simply do not work in those kind of places. Because I prefer my drama ON stage…not OFF.

…Which is why my current day-job is full of “gigalos”  who work “away.”  Because, by and large, I find that contractors of this type are only interested in doing what I do: their jobs.  And when it’s done, they go home.  End of story.  What with the type of Boss I work under (of course) there are some obvious  “hitches” in my ultimate scheme of “leave me to my work and all is well” perfection…but one cannot have everything.  This too: I accept.

…What really chaps my hide, makes me wanna reach for a Midol gun and start shooting it like pepper spray, though…is the occasional run of “Wife” interference.  This almost always occurs after paychecks arrive, and the Gigalos scoot back to the corners while their Pimps show up to play.

Strong women.(I get it.)  Who take no bullshit. (I’m right there.)  Showing up on my turf, wanting to get into a scratching-fight. (I will win.)

I just don’t play well with other dames…is (I think) what it ultimately comes down to.

“Where is this thing?!” 

“Why is that less?!”

“Why not this bonus?!”

“Where is that pay?!”

…With the Gigalos, I have them trained to write down their questions, and pop ’em in my in box where I can get to them and research when able. Once I have prepared the info and go over it with them, they nod, take the proof and walk away.  There’s no “hysterics”…no “wild threats” against all of humanity.  Even if they’re pissed, they “deal” with it, and we move on. With the Wife-Pimps it never works out this way. They will burst through my office door, whether I’m on the phone or not, automatically barraging with demands and updates.

…Which, (have me met?) just doesn’t fly with me.

First of all, they are not my contractors.  Second, “get the hell out of my office, and wait your ass in the lobby, thank you.”  Thirdly, there is 99.9% of the time,  a perfectly good reason for every “error” they think they find, and 96% of it is because the Gigalos missed the deadline, or didn’t document their shit.  The rest of the percentage has to do with Corporate.  Because I only pass on payroll records, I don’t do final edits and cut the actual checks. And I can prove these things, because I keep more records, than the average Attorney’s office.

…You’d think, (after the first few hysterical run-ins), the Wife-Pimps would understand this.  But they don’t.  It is always someone else’s fault that they don’t have their Gigalo’s full paycheck in hand.  The Gigalos certainly aren’t gonna take the hit, so they pass it onto me.

…And Mama don’t play that.

By 9:20 this morning I had a particular favorite Wife-Pimp, standing in my doorway (she’s finally been trained to stay “outside”), flipping out about a job sheet for yesterday.  Regardless of how I explained the specifics of the month-end process and it’s direct influence on said order, she was having none of it.  The paper looked different.  What did it mean?  She wanted the other page…the one I couldn’t get.  She didn’t care “why!” And she wasn’t leaving till she got it!

Needless to say, there were “words.” 

…She is no longer in my office and was given no paper, so I will leave you to determine just how this particular run-in ended.

…What I do know is that the hyper-ridiculousness of said situation (before I’d even had my first cup of coffee) slammed me right back to six years ago…where magnified by twenty other “such persons,” I was in a misery most foul…emotionally wretching at the thought of having to go into work every day and face that specific atmosphere. 

It sorta made me glad to be here right now, truth be told. Which is kind of a horrible realization.

It could, in fact, be “worse.”

Terrifying.

…So when the next Gigalo entered my office with an, “I don’t understand.” And I said, “Because, that’s just how it is.” And he said, “Okay,” and walked out…? I sorta just wanted to kiss him.

…And he’s a three-hundred pound, walrus look-alike, who smells perpetually of fish and stale sweat.

That’s how glad I was to be here right now.

Man.  I need a vacation.

~D

Oh The Misery, Oh The Hysteria

8 Jul

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Classic complete waste of a Saturday, as The Misery arrived four days early and on a sunny day. 

…Because that’s always the kind of trick she pulls, Mrs. Johnson, every month popping up like she owns the place; pitching camp for a week in my guts (and general baby-cooking area), laying waste to the entire region.  Then, after about five days of munching, punching, kicking, hot flashing and general nausea, she departs to visit another sister of Womanity. Because for some reason the bitch just can’t get around to finding her own damn place to live, and leave us all the fuck alone.

The older I get, the worse her visits. 

…The last couple years have seen fit to add extreme lower back pain, extra-intense bloating, and hot flashes to the list.  And the last thing you wanna hear while cramped, folded in the fetal position, bloated out of anything not containing elastic, zitting out, and generally self-disgusted, is that you should just “get used to it.” 

…This morning’s phone conversation with Ma, (though attempting to add solace) only seemed to exacerbate the situation…going something like this:

(I grog-dial the phone, while shooting a dose of Pamprin.)

Ma: Well, good morning!

Me: I feel awful. I feel terrible.  I just wanna puke.

Ma: Oh. Hangover?

Me: Worse. Mrs. Johnson.

Ma: Again? Already?

Me: It’s like, “she knows.”

Ma: How’d you sleep?

Me: Didn’t.

Ma: Pills?

Me: Yes.

Ma: Eat something?

Me: Crackers.

Ma: Heating pad?

Me: The usual.* (* Note: ” the usual” is a cocktail consisting of two Pamprin, a shot of Pepto, two crackers, a heating pad while pinch-hitting a hot tea/fuzzy water chaser.)

Ma: Need anything?

Me: I sweat through all my clothes again.

Ma: Well, that happens.

Me: When you’re fifty.

Ma: For some women, it starts earlier.

Me: It’s crap.

Ma: You’re just starting pre-stuff, is all…

Me: I’m only thirty!

Ma: Well…thirty-two.

Me: Some people might consider that their prime!

Ma:  …That’s your forties.

Me: How the hell is “thirty” supposed to be the new “twenty,” when your junk is already starting to rust up and fall apart?!

Ma: There’s nothing wrong with your…”junk.” It’s not a plumbing issue. Just hormones. 

Me: Well, someone should tell my “just hormones” this ain’t Madrid in August.

Ma: You should see the Doctor. They’ll give you a little patch…it’ll be fine.

Me: I’m not even on the wrong side of my early thirties and I’m already launching peri menopause?!

Ma: Oh it’s fine! It doesn’t really mean anything.  You can have it for something like a decade before you even launch into the real deal. Lookit your Aunt M…and Aunt L…and Aunt G…

Me: That’s supposed to make me feel better?!

…Etc.

I was completely belligerent about the entire ordeal, and by the end of the conversation had given up my “girl card,” cursed and disowned my entire lineage of early menopausal-launching female ancestors, refused flatly to give a flying shit that the sun HAD come out today, and defied all reason by announcing loudly, that the cramps could, “go fuck themselves!” Cuz I was gonna go get, “the biggest fuckall coffee invented!” And, “heap it with twelve kinds of sugar and chocolate sauces!” And, “drink that shit till my gut explodes!” Cuz, “then they’d be sorry!” (The world in general.) Cuz, “it’s what they fucking deserve!” And, “I just HOPED THEY WERE HAPPY ABOUT IT!” Because they were all, “ass-hat-wearing period-Nazi’s, forcing me to commit craze-induced menstrual-suicide just to get even with them!”

…To which Ma said: “Oh, will you pick me up one too?”

It really was the least she could do. Wallow with me in my hated solitude.  I mean, if she’d never birthed me and passed on all those night-sweating, cocktail-needing, pain-hurling genes, I’d never BE in this position, now would I?!  WOULD I?!

…So I hung up the phone, plucked another dry shirt from my drawer, and moaned my way to the bathroom lookin’ like Quasimodo on a bad hair day.  Then moaned my way to the closest Starbucks.  Then moaned myself to her house, where we sat watching Joss Whedon shows all day, tween “cocktail” tosses, and general alternate “other complaining.”

…And now I’m home, bitching it all to you…while sweating through another shirt, trying not to pick at this gigantic should-have-its-own-zipcode zit on my chin.

In short, here is a tip, straight from me to the fellas out there in our television audience: Don’t ever ask why women are assholes during their monthly Misery. It should be blatantly obvious at this point that we’ve earned the goddamn right! We hurt! We’re pukey! We look like shit!

…And some idiot in the Tampax marketing department is slobbering, “Have a happy period” on all their crap, which we’re FORCED to buy, EVEN though we know the politics of it is TOTAL SHIT.

…Being an asshole at this moment, is the only thing we get.

So deal with it.

~D

Wine, Women & Other Delights

7 Jul

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Thursday night, over a spread of summer berries, breads, salad, cheese, wine, chocolate, coffee and Perrier, seven women sat down to feast on a script, and one another’s company.

…Literally at-table, with scripts in-hand, tween fork fulls, we ate and drank and laughed. Restroom breaks at intervals or when reader not in-play, wine corkings and pour-outs at natural segues in topic…we were exhausted with food and our efforts, as coffee was poured out casually during the final scene.  In the end, a tour-de-force and three-course meal was had, and we were each so supremely impressed with the success of it all, that a production of the piece by right of blood-determination and pinky swears, was insisted.

This script must be shared, but the formula was a delicate beast.

…We agreed (all) that the delectable intimacy we had shared over the evening was the same way it should be presented for the audience .  Very limited seating…sometime late summer…wherin everyone partake in food and wine in casual corners, as the audience plays at voyeurism, outside of normal theatrical patronism.  No stage to separate the one from the other, no blocking to suggest “presentation.”  Just a collection of women, living their lives in History, in their houses, in their offices, in their time…which some will secretly have view-access to.

The script: “Top Girls.” Caryl Churchill’s 1982 tribute to feminist power struggles, and their rise and fall of ideals across History and into the future.

The cast: Seven savvy dames who’ve lived the lives of many of the characters…which, if you knew us, would be all but painfully obvious.

The process:  We change nothing from that evening’s presentation of share, sauce, laugh, pick, pour, wink, wine, taste, wit, crunch, smack, tease and play.  Only this time, people will be standing and sitting around the space like patrons at an art gallery, free to view the work from any angle they please.

The rules: Delight in the extraordinary work of truth. Celebrate what it is to be a woman in these (and in any) times, rough though it may often be. Enjoy an unusual evening of theatre that will make you howl, hiss, laugh, sob and say to yourself end-of-the-night: “we really are remarkable creatures, ain’t we?”

Simple.  True.  Real.  Just like the piece.

…I had never read or done any Churchill previous to this, though had heard much talk of her “Cloud Nine” (a sex-politics play of the first degree.)  Mdm. Director of the evening’s festivities, brilliantly likened Churchill’s style of work to that of a female Mamet…in content, topic, politics and most especially beat-work.  Her dialogues follow the true form of conversation, outside of polite society, “we all wait our turn to have our say” dogma.  No one “waits” here.  No one “minds their tongue,” or “keeps it close”…no one holds back their thoughts for a moment’s pause.  Sentences wrap, envelope, cut-off, cut-out, usurp, entangle and define one another continually.  Yet the joke (and truth) lies in the fact that with a room full of women, this is merely the kind of multi-tasking we relish in: we are able to do it all while also listening and responding to one another, throughout.  As opposed to Mamet’s work’s denying completion of thought, information and (often) actual conversation.  The beats are insanity and completely superb when achieved correctly.  The comedy is crisp, tart, acidic and jolly by turn.  The drama is jaw-dropping, in its insistence of righteous self-expression, earnest regret, and truthful grudging.

It’s frustrating.

It’s enlightening.

It’s humiliating.

It’s enticing.

It’s truthful.

It’s a mind-trip.

…After two months away from scripts and stages, lines, and study…the whole evening and it’s process was like that first taste of water following a drought.  You walk around knowing you’re thirsty all the time, but the minute your lips finally touch a water glass, it’s like the most wondrous element of delicious existence you can even fathom.

It’s been a long time.

…And I thought: if you wanna swig of refreshment, you should keep your eyes peeled for our “Save-the-Date.”  I guarantee, it’ll be wondrous.

~D

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