1. Driving in the snow/ice is my new all-time favorite activity. Besides singing. And raising kittens.
2. It is irrational for bald people not to appreciate homemade hats.
3. When attending one's first therapy session it is interesting to have the first thing your therapist says to be: "Oh- you're that crazy little girl with the pigtails!" Yes. Yes I am. Enjoy.
Therapy is necessary I've decided.
Also buying kick-ass presents for very sweet roommates that you know they will get really REALLY excited about and then waiting jittering and shivering with excitement for them to come home and open said presents. Oh- I didn't finish that sentence. Is great.
My car was stuck this morning. Of course. After yesterday I was Jasmine Bond and amazingly revved my car out of it's pit to drive to Erin's Christmas party. Then got stuck on a hill going home and together with Matt and Brett shoved the car up the hill while Maggie drove (most fun I have had in YEARS).
But after this party, I made sure to find a nice parking spot that looked relatively easy to navigate.
No such luck. STUCK this morning.
Had to catch a ride to the North Pole with Hannah in her SUV complete with three dollish children named Petunias, Perfection, and Sausage Curls.
Arrived mere seconds after places.
Now will take a hopefully hot shower. And if it's not hot then sorry everyone I am going to see tonight cause I'm not taking it.
The birthday boy and I are attending "Billy-Christopher's Holiday Hoo-Ha" starring Margaret.
Then we are attending that fancy bar Balliceaux where Hannah worked for 17 minutes and is really down the rabbit hole.
I have to wash my hair. Because I bought a new yellow cap.
Already the person I want to make it good for will have read that first sentence and said to himself, "Who cares if you had a good day? Why should anyone else care? Why should I read this?"
Adam is in the kitchen storing the leftover tablespoon of chili in a tupperware and he just said, "I don't even like chili."
However, he sprang out of bed at 11:45 this morning and immediately set about making a detailed list of chili ingredients that we then were all assembled to trudge through the devastation to Ukrops to acquire. Because we had to make this chili. That he doesn't like.
I love how the snow looks at night especially. With the Christmas lights on and everything so still and quiet and everyone moving so slowly. I love it. I love that you can hear the snow falling. I sat in my car after I blindly and haphazardly parallel-parked with the engine turned off just to listen to the crackle and tiny sizzle of the snow.
Then this morning I received a phone call at pretty early o'clock from Tom telling me Drifty X for the day. To which my cantankerous crabby ill self replied something very cheerful.
Which was rude of me.
But I think I can't quite be held completely accountable for remarks I make while still in REM sleep mode with my throat swathed in drill bits and pink attic insulation.
Anyway, I go back to sleep for three and a half hours and then am awakened to the sounds of Frank Sinatra muttering about Christmas on the record player.
Margaret and Adam are doing the dishes. I sit on the couch.
We all ignore each other until Adam whips out the Good Crocker Keeping Cookbook from early feudal London. You know the one. It has red plaid on it.
We make a huge list of what we need to buy at the store. We have decided to devote our entire day off to cooking lots of food that none of us feel we need to eat.
I put on all of my clothes. All.
Maggie manages to look incredible for our snow jaunt. She has on sleek grey jeans, lovely stylish dark snow boots and a swinging, elegant cape-ish thingy. With a knit grey beret and her beautiful blond hair making her look very expensive.
Adam and I, on the other hand, are having quite the challenge just to fit through the doorways.
More so me.
I put on my father's old non-matching high school softball knee socks first. Followed by a pair of those white athletic socks that around the arch of your foot become a corset to promote good foot health or something. Then my blue jeans, then my pajama bottoms. Then my blue thermal shirt, my "life is good" shirt, my green hoodie, my giant red winter jacket, my pink scarf, and my festive blue and orange toboggan hat that my father hates for me to wear, but I love because it is funny and colorful and no one can tell if the creatures on it are supposed to be chess pawns or characters from Pac-Man.
Then I realize I have cleverly left the snow boots that my wonderful mother had the foresight to bring to me yesterday at the Mill in the trunk of my car. So I decide to stride out the door in my highly specialized rubber orthopedic shoes.
Which worked just fine.
Boring details. That particular person is not going to find this amusing.
We go to Ellwood Thompsons. I eat a nasty sample of banana bread.
We go to Blockbuster whereupon the heaven opened up and angels and love and small round porcupines in belly shirts rained down upon me. They had a display of those squeezy head pens that I love. And I have been in need of a fresh one. Bing Crabsby has yet to run out of ink, but due to the high altitude in the new Theatre IV rehearsal space, has lost all of his inflatability. So now he has a friend. A snowman named Curtis.
We all three got one. See title.
The man working the Blockbuster register was very puzzled by we three people who had obviously braved the WEATHER to come to Blockbuster and buy pop-eye pens.
Then we went home and made chili and cookies and cornbread and fielded extremely entertaining text messages, and laid in the floor and made hats.
Well just I made a hat.
I'm pretty sure that if we do Spelling Bee tomorrow, the entire audience will be onstage with us just to meet the quota of volunteers.
Well, I have twenty-five minutes to wait until I go pick up Jason Winebarger.
Today I did Drifty. Tom is pretty sure it is going to snow and all of Colonial Heights will be cancelled.
I kind of hope it snows. But I want to be somewhere I find most necessary if it does so that I can be stuckedly content.
Last year when it snowed for 45 seconds Maggie and I made a huge production out of traipsing through the slush and massive millimeters of snow to dig her car out of the trauma and drive to Krispy Kreme while Brett and Adam stayed safe and toasty in the house. By the time we got back from Krispy Kreme it was 75 degrees and daffodils were blooming on the porch.
I need to pick another job. One that will make me lots of money- well not lots. I don't need lots, but enough money.
So that my acting money can go towards things like razors and kitten clothes.
I don't think Lola has any thunder to steal, Adam.
It is funny to me that Ginny Weasley is now taller than Daniel Radcliffe. I bet the casting people said, "whoops."
Ok here goes Adam-
Sometimes snow is invisible after you pass through doorways.
Also, I might become a nurse for the shoes, and mom jeans are never ok for cowpokes.
Also- it was Professor Mullet in the water closet with the foam donut.
Well, I don't have anything else I want to say right now.
Today a small boy strode up to Tom dressed as Cowboy Jim in the parking lot and said, "hello there......Farmer Jeff."
I liked that a lot.
Then Tom made like he was going to go inside because it was so cold, so I began to go with him. And then he stopped going inside so that I would have to stay outside too.
Which I respect.
I think maybe I'll stop plucking my mustache and errant chin hairs. If I could manage to grow a beard I might be warmer.
I saw Russell today. Which was nice. I handed him his intricately decorated envelope with his script and score inside. I hope he appreciates all the work I put in on that bunny and flower and rendering of him in large plaid bell bottoms as Pete.
We're going to see "Bus Stop" tonight. I hope there will be egg casserole and mint tea served in the lobby.
Casserole. Another good name for a cat.
It's time for Betty's surgery!
Everything gets a little awkward when the family pet is horny. Especially at Christmas time.
I am not Carrie Bradshaw, nor do I write a column about sex and relationships, but that is a good title for one, no?
I want to write a column for some paper. Who wants me to write a column for their paper? How do I get that job.
However, I will steadfastly refuse to dye awful looking roots into my hair and run around looking tacky. Me? Never.
I ADORE the Christmas lights on Monument Ave. Always have. However, this year there seems to be an unsettling aquamarine theme going around.
I don't approve. I feel as though we should have had an avenue meeting and discussed/voted on a good color.
I like the white ones myself. Or the giant bursts for multi-colored lights that are artfully arranged to appear haplessly hurled over the balcony.
I just went out and bought a fleece for the cat.
Margaret is at play practice counting chairs with R. Cooper Timberline.
Adam is off listening to some actors read a play and seeping blood out of his thumb.
I have a frosty and am going to watch Dexter. Happy as a clam in a pig.
I cannot wait to watch the clip of Sam's tap performance at Lincoln Center last night on some computer that will actually load the clip and make it look like a movie instead of a lazy artist's flip book.
I CANNOT WAIT to humiliate Betty's soul into a pile of charred empty fragments of nothingness by making her wear this sweater.
Long fancy fingernails are just not me. Neither perhaps are stumpy chewed ones. Something nice and tidy and practical I think.
My throat doesn't hurt at the moment, which makes me hopeful that the "energy work" Dee did to my head yesterday has been a success. I've never had anything like that done to me before, but am game for any new activity, so I stood still while she put her hands on my throat and back and thought healing thoughts at me.
I was pretty sure I had ruined the whole thing though, because she started out by telling me to envision a coiling tube of three different colored lights beaming into the top of my head. She instructed me as to what two of the colors were, and then told me to make the third color whatever color I find to be the most soothing.
So I say confidently, "Ok!."
She begins. I have lied with my confident "Ok" because I know that whenever anyone asks me to pick a favorite anything or dream role or pretty much any question in general, my mind goes into a tizzy and cannot come up with one answer, or any answer, and I seem to know nothing whatever about what my opinions are.
So I spend the whole time trying to decide on a color. I think of soothing gray aluminum first, because whenever I am sick or nauseous for some reason thinking of hard metal tables that are cool and hard and flat and shiny makes me feel better.
But then I think, no, maybe green.
Then, no- some sort of baby blue
Then, well f$*## it, Audra, I'm sure you've ruined the whole thing by now and instead of your throat feeling better it is going to start sprouting potatoes or something.
But it seems to have worked a bit. So we'll see.
Then I went home and found Adam and Maggie watching "Elf." I watch for a bit and realize that this is just a movie starring Matt Shofner as Leaf Coneybear.
Maggie is sprinkling organic powdered sugar on a fresh batch of those cookies I mentioned.
I tuck Betty's face into the crook of my elbow and wander around the house supporting her only from that point. I am curious to see how long she will put up with such ill treatment.
Indefinitely is apparently the answer.
Oh- there really is nothing you can't do with duct tape. I tried.
I begin telling Adam a story and then look up to catch him standing framed in the kitchen archway holding my loaf of wheat bread with a look of incredulous hurt and disappointment on his face. I wonder what have I done. This look says, "Audra. AUDRA. How could you ever think you could or should bring a loaf of wheat bread into this house and not be caught?"
I ask him what in the world is wrong.
He beckons me over. I see now that my loaf has grown a Christmas sweater. A lime green, mohair Christmas sweater.
Which is really too bad as I had two pieces of toast two days ago for breakfast and probably ate the sleeves. Cause it's dark in here in the mornings and who knew.
Today the big trip to Burlington Coat Factory is happening. For the most delightful tacky Christmas sweaters we can find. I'll keep you posted.
Also Joseph is coming to town to be in the math show at the Barksdale. Very excited.
There should never be crunching noises when cats bathe themselves down there.
I need a rifle. And one bullet. It will not go to waste.
And then, after I do that, all the ornaments will stay on the Christmas tree.
So nevermind about the whole every day in December a new post thing. I realized swiftly that my December days are going to be pretty much groundhog days. (Even though I've never seen that movie, I'm pretty sure that I know what I'm talking about.)
I go to the Mill. I look in the refrigerator. Force of habit. There is never anything in there that I can eat, and only Tom's Sunkists to drink that I bought him for his birthday and therefore feel reticent to ask for. I do have some scruples.
Remember that tv movie "Scruples?" I feel like it was Danielle Steel.
I like that word.
I look also in the freezer.
I put on my Pepita regalia.
I bother Tom.
I think that Ray Schriener is very handsome.
I shiver and mope and gripe and ask Tom fruitlessly to turn the heat up.
I do the Drifty play.
I do the Drifty play.
I go home, turn on my space heater and bundle under my comforter. I sleep for two hours. I get up, take a shower, may or may not shave my legs as I wear slacks in Spelling Bee so ha.
I go rotate the laundry.
I press Aly's pink linen jumper. For 19 hours.
I do the Spelling Bee play.
I go home, eat a pretentious party cookie that Maggie whipped up a batch of the other night and make me feel like my name is Thelma.
I go to bed.
So really, I've caught you up.
Tonight I wore Disney Princess nail tips on my fingernails for the Spelling Bee. MADE MY NIGHT.
Liz Hopper has made it abundantly clear that she likes Logainne to have bizarre things on her fingernails, and this, I feel, took the cake. Not sure how I'm going to top it.
Also today Ford told me to stop my whining, gave me a bag of delicious holiday candy, and told me I should find another profession. In that order. What a gem.
Once upon a time in Ireland there was an alarming surplus of plaid fabric and everyone in the land was forced to wear a plaid cloak, dress, what have you, so the plaid would not go to waste.
It was cold. The weather alternated between snow and very heavy cloud cover.
A very good actor lived in a house with no walls and a 5 and a half foot ceiling. The actor kept his business in a similar building where he was frequently visited by distinguished alumni from Shenandoah Conservatory and the University of Richmond.
The actor wanted them to leave right away.
Working for the actor was a cheery young chap who looked very well in a vest and used to perform in a popular boy band but had been forced to quit due to a shoulder injury he received doing a regional production of "A Christmas Carol."
It was the holidays in the land, and the actor sent everyone home for the night, and then retired to his home.
Suddenly the clock struck 22 and Chase Kniffen walked into the actor's living room with a blue recliner.
Then the floor opened up and a very dusty man from Revolutionary France appeared in the living room.
He was sent from hell to teach the actor that if you misbehave during your lifetime you are forced to wear voluminous muslin hairbows for all of eternity.
He becomes irritated that his mic does not have reverb and leaves.
The actor retires to his bed. It is fortunate that the actor used to be a professional dresser so he never has any trouble donning his nightgown, which he keeps laid out in the floor in the perfect position for the quick change.
Then all the power goes out.
When the lights come back on the actor is surprised to find Baby June standing in his foyer.
She is dressed all in white as Marie Antoinette and orders the actor to leave his house and come with her to stand in the center of a large empty dark stage where she instinctively knows her costume will show to it's best advantage.
Baby June and the actor do several sweeping waltz steps during which the actor thinks, "Boy, my union will be really upset if I fall down doing these turns with this little girl in the fog."
Suddenly the actor has a memory of himself in his first show when he played Tom Sawyer. He clearly remembers every moment of his power ballad in the classroom scene.
(For the record- the actor was VERY GOOD at his power ballad when he was younger. The actor should probably win a Grammy for his performance.)
Baby June and the actor continue to reminisce about his past performances. One when he was a young man and performed in Les Miz. He remembers in astonishing detail the entire "Master of the House" sequence.
By this time Baby June has worn herself out weaving back and forth among the musical numbers from downstage left to downstage right and gets decidedly cranky.
She- having been taught well by her Mama Rose- unerringly finds the tight special at center and yells at the actor. Tells him to go home and not to worry- there will be at least two more famous pop culture characters appearing to him before the night is out.
The actor is left standing in the center special alone. He normally would like this, but this time is upset because he realizes in the montage of memories he just experienced his award-winning turn in "Eurydice" at the Firehouse Theatre was grossly overlooked.
He decides he needs fifteen minutes to pull himself together.
The actor awakes. He stretches languidly. He feels very refreshed after his power nap.
Then he realizes two things.
One- he has gone to bed in his dress slacks.
Two- Hagrid is sitting in his bedroom.
The actor is pretty excited about both of these things. He thinks, "well, it is better that I am wearing pants. If ever I was to wake up from a nap in front of a room of 300 people, it would be better for them not to see my junk under my nightgown." And the actor is a big fan of the Harry Potter series. He prefers it to Gypsy. So everything is looking up.
Hagrid talks the actor into visiting a few friends. First, they visit the house of a very devout family. They are poor, and humble, and consequently have spotless morals, are very self-sacrificial, and wear lots of taupe.
Indeed, the only questionable thing this family has ever done is condone the practice of mocking crippled children by placing them on very high surfaces and letting go of their hand.
Next they visit the home of a very enterprising up and coming young producer in the Richmond area. He is swilling wine, wearing burgundy pants, and entertaining his guests with tales of the staged reading he did last week.
Nothing of consequence really happens on either of these visits.
Both the actor and Hagrid get a little bored and unanimously decide to leave when both households decide to light trees on fire and sing Christmas carols.
At this point, Hagrid, who has always secretly wanted to play Baby June and has read the first part of this blog, drags the actor back to the same center special and proceeds to re-enact the yelling scene from earlier in the story.
Or more specifically, exits upstage right. Which serves well as a dramatic device and also provides nice visual continuity as the the next entrance is from upstage left.
By this time the actor is excited. He has gotten to go to two parties, see clips from his reel, and hang out with Hagrid. He can hardly contain his excitement as he waits for the next surprise guest.
He waits and waits. While he is waiting a homeless man still wearing his Halloween costume wanders by. The actor wonders fleetingly what he was supposed to be. A velociraptor? A parrot? It is unclear.
Then the homeless man approaches the actor and it suddenly becomes clear that he is a has-been from the male ensemble of the first national of "Fosse."
Against his better judgment, but desperate to pass the time while he waits for his next guest, as he is standing in a graveyard and the cloud cover has suddenly become suspiciously heavy, the actor attempts to engage the poor confused hobo in conversation.
Nothing. All he can get out of him are sweeping upstage crosses and the occasional 8-bar dance break from "Pippin."
The actor grows tired of trying to engage the homeless Fosse velociraptor in conversation and begins exploring the area. He stumbles across a light cue from "No Good Deed," and then a particularly suspicious electronic tombstone that from distances as far as, say, a third balcony, might seem to read "BEEZE ROOG."
This is all too much for the actor, and also for the beaked chorus boy, who leaves.
The actor returns longingly to the center special. He stands a moment and fleetingly wishes that his last guest had been someone really bangin,' like, Big Bird. Or David Bridgewater.
Then, with a sigh, he returns to his bed.
He settles in with a contented sigh. He can sleep well knowing that all he has to do tomorrow is one relatively low-stress group number.
I think I am going to try and write one blog post for every day in December. Yes I realize I am already behind on December 2nd, BUT, I am going to include in this post the goings-on of yesterday as well as today, so that can count as both. I've decided. And it's my blog so who cares what you think.
Also I will, in this post, explain the title.
So, Pepita the Elf has acquired a fetching little bright green costume that is pretty fitted and has chili peppers and stripes all over it. Also she has one of those spacious hats that flops over and has a tassel on the end. She usually wears her hair down under this hat.
However, this morning Pepita had to be filmed having a nervous breakdown on the local news, so her hair was already in braids when she arrived at the Mill to do her show.
So up went the braids into the cavernous hat. Thusly making the hat stick straight up and it look sort of like I was doing a bad job of smuggling several dildos around the north pole.
But the point is, my hat was forming a point straight into the air.
After the show, we go downstairs to clench our teeth at and avoid touching the children.
One of these children says to me from his seat, "Is you a crayon?"
I don't think I need to elaborate any further on this story. It was the best thing I'd ever heard.
And yes, I think Pepita should potentially be a crayon from here on out. We'll just have to stencil the words PISSY GREEN down my outer thigh with a sharpie.
So what else today.
Today started with Adam and I sitting staring sullenly at Betty (the kitten, not the FANTASTIC new tree angel wearing slutty lingerie and smoking a joint) and just commenting every few seconds about how much we don't like her.
This is all a crock though. I've seen Adam cuddle her and kiss her forehead on numerous occasions.
Then we went and were on tv. Which always entertains me because everyone from their childhood has a vision of the tv studio being somewhere fancy. Then you go in and really it is like shooting a movie in someone's toolshed where your only props are green construction paper and pancake makeup.
Greg McQuade should be awarded five or six Artsie awards just for his portrayal this morning of "Man Intently Watching and Invested in the Clip of Precious."
We have the entire news team a little wary of all of us I feel. Not every day their special musical guests lisp and twitch and do industrial belting about India and their feet.
Judi Crenshaw is there with us. As always looking on the very cusp of all things stylish. Her jacket is woven supermodel carcass.
I go down to the Mill and do two relaxing performances of Crab at Drifty.
I then drink a Monster energy drink and do a matinee of Spelling Bee.
Which is really a lot of fun, I think primarily because it is different every night. Each and every show from here on out should at each performance include four audience volunteers. That would be fascinating in "The Grapes of Wrath." Or "The Sound of Music." The Captain von Trapp could just be slightly more prolific and in addition to Liesl, Frederich, Louisa, Brigitta, Kurt, Marta and Gretel have also Wunderschoen, Bunterbitten, Struedel, and Hasenpfeffer.
Also fun because I get to wear roomy slacks covered in anchors and admire my shiny fingernails for the majority of Act I.
Anyway, I'm hitting up the Verry Berry in a few minutes with the edible members of the Spelling Bee cast and then we are going somewhere else. The end of that story.
Also I want to see Julie and Julia at the Byrd. Kind of.
Yesterday, December 1st- was lovely as well.
We did the heavenforsaken 10am student matinee of Spelling Bee for a bunch of Varina high schoolers who were actuallly a lot more composed than I had been expecting.
I was secretly looking forward to a little hell raising and potentially getting to slap one of them for getting rowdy on the bleachers next to me, but no. They were most excited about Matt Polson throwing them bags of chips. Their teacher was sitting next to me on the bleachers and was extremely suspicious of me. Can't say that I blame her. Logainne is one suspicious dude.
I think everyone in the cast would like to throw over their role and play Mitch Mahoney instead.
Logainne is in love with Mitch Mahoney.
Anyway, after some mild planning the day before and a quick recap of said planning during the last scene when we are all supposed to be talking about the trophy, we set our brunch and mimosas plan into effect.
Half of us go to Kroger to get the appropriate ingredients for French toast and mimosas while the other half of us stay in the dressing room and caterwaul for about fifteen minutes.
We then adjourn to Matt Polson's house which overlooks the park and has lovely Christmas decorations up and, as a unit, each become 65 years old for the next three hours.
We put on the Christmas music station on the television, and all cram ourselves into the sunlight kitchen where we all help and giggle and interact with each other. And we are all friendly. This blows my mind. I break eggs and squeeze the bacon. Matt Polson manlyly fries bread. Ford has given the boys the tip of including vanilla ice cream instead of milk in the French toast batter. I protest this as I am always mistrusting of anything Ford says and am pretty sure in this instance he is trying to get bread to curdle in my belly, but we all go ahead.
Yvonne makes movies of all the action with her phone. Yvonne loves to make movies. Yvonne has several reels of footage of the moment of her conception.
William and Eric and I go outside to clean off the table. We are bad at this.
Matt Shofner makes everyone mimosas.
They are excellent.
We make fruit compote and eggs.
We go out on the porch, eat, clean up, and at once become completely comatose and worthless.
So I go home and get as did as I can get when I am stuffed of Uncle Flannagan's Poisonous Toast.
I drive to Colonial Heights where I have the honor of being Tom's "date" to the Roslyn Farms Christmas party. Otherwise known as Tom's "person in his life who will hassle him and gripe and whine to high holy hell if he goes to another party at which he plays skee ball and bowling and dance dance revolution and eats london broil and holds in over my head for another year."
Tom and I are a stunning pair. We stride in, avoid the food entirely and head straight for the skee ball.
This is a wonderful time. We ride the simulated roller coaster and shoot at animated deer. I have unconsciously had the foresight to wear thick socks over my tights under Maggie's fancy boots, so I merrily take the boots off and bowl and play Dance Dance Revolution in my athletic socks and cocktail dress.
They also just freaking GIVE me a cherry slushie. I think my face must have lit up like the sunshine when they told me they would give me this for free because both the bartenders looked as though they wanted to cry.
Poor homeless young woman in the Cole Haan boots and red lipstick and diamond studded hair pins who has never been able to afford really nice things like a cherry slushie.
Then I go home and don't remember anything after that.
My forehead looks as though it might have a baby. Rather bulge-ish. Don't know where I got that from. Perhaps the result of a high wind in the birth canal?
Today is lovely outdoors. I walked Elliott and Petey and then went to B&N and Target. Where I discovered- when I am in good spirits, I love being surrounded by lots of people. Almost applied for a job at the B&N just so I could help others accomplish their Christmas shopping.
I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. I just looked through some Thanksgiving albums on facebook and noticed primarily that every single person related to Paul Deiss has the most magnificent bone structure of all time.
Also, I will be dressing up any future baby I might have as a turkey. A whole turkey. With little turkey feet boots and the floppy red thingy on the head and stuffing and feathers. It will not be able to move and can then safely be propped up in a corner for the holiday season and not dealt with.
My Thanksgiving was very nice, as always. My mother and aunts all have the whole process down pat. And it has altered not a stitch as long as I can remember.
Always, I arrive an hour or so early to find my father outdoors doing some sort of manly yard work while he waits for the turkeys to fry in the deep-fat fryer. This year this portion of the day was a little extreme, as my father retired three weeks ago and didn't make it four days without becoming so overwhelmingly antsy that he had to find a little something to fill the time. Like uproot and remove every single tree from our property with his bare hands.
So he did that. My yard now barren. My mother furious.
And as I climbed up the driveway yesterday, my father is bearing down on me with the leaf blower going full bore. I notice that when I walk down Monument Ave., and there are crews of men out using leaf blowers, they will turn the blowers off if they see a pedestrian approaching and wait until said pedestrian has passed by before resuming.
Not my dad.
I receive a one armed hug and some sort of greeting that I cannot make out due to the 900 Rev Horsepower Blow Your Flesh Off Glory Hallelujah that is gunning in my ear.
I casually toss a greeting to Molly, our beautiful round fluffy dear Sheltie whom no one really cares about right now because of the puppy.
I don't see Jazz, my cat. Not unusual. Jazz is a hard, seasoned bitter old cynic who decided years ago that though she is fed and pampered quite lovingly each day of her life, she saw no reason not to effectively kill every creature in the woods behind my house smaller than she is for the past 15 years.
She's moving up though, as I am certain she is going to kill this puppy.
I find the puppy. Helpless waves of giggles and smiles overtake me despite my best efforts.
Oh my God the puppy.
Rather than socialize with my family, I spend the next twenty minutes flat on my bottom on the cement floor of the garage peeling a scab away from the under elbow of the puppy's left front leg.
Calling it "the puppy" makes it cuter in my head that calling it "Mya."
Jazz strolls by somewhere in here, delivers a stinging backhand to the puppy's face, and continues on her way.
So let's see. I go in the house, where my mother is, as always, clad in a crisp fresh cotton apron printed with things like irons and calla lilies. The parade is on the tv. Which I love. I keep thinking I want to go to that parade one year, but then after having lived in New York for a while, I think it would be horrible miserable furious experience. Might need to be in it one day instead. Doesn't matter much doing what. Could be me on a giant float made of cake and shaped like the grouchy Carebear.
My mother instantly asks me to put ice in the glasses.
Now. My duty, as well as my brother and various cousins' duty, all our lives has been to go around with a pad and pencil and officiously find out what everyone would like to drink. Then the ice bit was added to the job. Without fail, my mother suggests me putting the ice in the glasses a good hour and a half before the guests are due to even start arriving. I talk her out of this this year. I talk her down to half an hour. Which still meant the ice was 2/3 melted, but it's progress. As a side note, I also snap the dainty ice tweezers or whatever they are in half 15 seconds into the job. Threw them out.
The parade goes off and the dog show goes on. I become worthless to everyone for the next hour.
I wander around the house on commercial breaks eating the random snacks my mom has set out in the good cut glass bowls. This year, these are large mixed nuts (X), goldfish crackers (check), and these white chocolate peppermint drops with sprinkles on top. I clean out this bowl before anyone shows up.
My father and brother, meanwhile, are outdoors setting up the ping pong table in the garage. For that is what they do when company comes over. My mother is keeping busy removing casseroles from the oven, transferring the contents of the casserole dish into another dish, which I then begin to take to the table and am told that no, this is just the intermediary dish between baking dish and presentation dish. All this is beyond me. I ask why the extraneous dish. She says she wants to use her mother's china. I can get behind that. But it sure makes for a comical amount of dirty dishes.
At this point my Aunt Ruth, Uncle AJ, and cousin Adam arrive. Aunt Ruth is on my side in the kitchen, which helps. Instead of asking why there are four separate spoons allotted for the chopped chives, we just meet eyes and smile. Everyone makes a brou-ha-ha about the puppy.
Oh my God the puppy.
Then my brother's girlfriend arrives. Looking like a young professional woman. I think, great. This is what my father wants me to look like. Nice fitted jeans, a "TOP." A tasteful necklace, some ankle boots. X. I am looking a lot like a blind dizzy bag lady.
My Aunt Debbie and Uncle Glenn are every year late. Every year. And every year, they bring raw oysters that we then have to take the time to fry. This year, fortunately the oysters had been parlayed into a questionable "seafood" casserole. You couldn't identify anything by looking at it. Except bread crumbs and some gelatinous off taupe-colored ooze. It was good.
They bring my grandmother Rassie. Who of course looks amazing and is wearing what appears to be a brightly colored top from Forever 21.
I feel a little bit as though it would be nice for there to be another extremely old person or two at my family gatherings so my grandmother could have a cohort. It could happen. She is being ardently pursued by this randy bachelor with plaid pants and a red face named Linky at the assisted living facility. He can get her to crack a smile. Which is doing something.
My brother, myself, my cousin, and my brother's young professional sit at a smaller table in the room adjacent to the dining room. We like this because we are without fail all overtaken with severe giggles just overhearing the conversations in the next room and feel safer at a distance.
We like listening to them all say things to each other like, "what a lovely spacious room!" and, "so after dinner, I thought maybe a walk and then supper around five thirty or six?"
We all vow that we will not talk about things like that, which seem to be obvious POLITE CONVERSATION when we are in charge of Thanksgivings. I'm sure we will though, at least some.
This year the conversation was heavy on persimmons.
My brother stands up abruptly and spills my glass of tea all over the place. We spot the neighbor girl coming out of her house across the street and all make snide remarks about how large she has gotten. Mean. But I was speaking from experience. You shouldn't have seen me when I went to college.
My uncle Bert then slices the pecan pie into slivers the width of a tooth, which are thus next to impossible to serve out of the pie pan. Is because when asked what dessert they would like, every woman in my family and my Uncle Bert all say, "just a TIIIIIIINY piece. And I mean TINY. No no Bert- that's HUGE. I said TINY."
Except Uncle Bert. He does not say this to himself. I think secretly Uncle Bert actually likes his piece of pie to be visible to the naked eye.
Uncle Bert is great. Tall, handsome, smart, funny. He uses the expression, "squared away," which has made my brother and I giggle since we were little.
Everything is delicious. My mother is a fabulous host.
Right after dinner MY COUSIN Adam and I snap into the kitchen and begin efficiently and silently cleaning as fast as we can so as to avoid as much as we can of the largely ineffectual crowded melee that cleaning will become when everyone gets there.
Then the young professional's daughter arrives. My father immediately becomes the world's best candidate EVER for being a grandfather.
The puppy bites my face.
I put a Diet Coke in my pocket and leave.
My family is great. Kindest, most wonderful loving mother in the world, most wonderful smart father in the world, funniest aunts of all time, cousins that get my jokes, uncles that are all so funny and different. And my brother. He's pretty great too.
1. Lasagna crotch is not as funny as you think it is going to be.
2. Sometimes I can get really peaceful and terrifyingly happy just walking slowly alone down Monument Ave. in the wet leaves at 10:45pm.
My fingernails are painted. I always like painting my thumb nails, because they are large and allow room to spread out. It is easy not to make an error there, and when I see them sparkling up at me in a shade like my new fancy red glitter, it makes me almost smile.
But the other nails are a pain in my ass. I am always splootching over onto the sides of my fingers and that irritates me to high heaven and makes me irrationally angry and inclined to give up on everything.
Working on those impulses.
But I decided Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre has her fingernails painted the colors of the American flag and damn it, so she shall. Unless I decide to go back to fluorescent orange, or to apply the Disney princess nail tips that Adam and Maggie purchased for me at Target.
The Droops have gone to California and Herndon for Thanksgiving and left me here and responsible for watching the cat throw up for four days. But don't worry, I have experience.
My brother got a beautiful precious perfect adorable goo and piddle puppy. Her name is Mya. Which X, because what isn't named Mya (or some variation thereof) anymore, and also I feel her name should obviously be not Mya, but something that hasn't occurred to me yet.
When asking someone the question, "Am I allowed to say crotch?" via text message, remember to provide the context of the question as well.
I need a replacement right pinkie finger.
Urgh. I'm tired.
Aaron seems to be an idiot.
3. when ironing linen, spritzing it with water first helps tremendously.
It would be beneficial I think, for people to apply the principle of Thanksgiving to every day of their lives. Difficult, but beneficial.
Well, Betty has popped another air mattress. X Betty.
Suprise is made of plush. And yes, his name is spelled "Suprise." Because that is how you say it when you talk to him.
Or how anybody ever says the word "surprise."
It is cold and rainy today. I embarked for brunch with one of my roommates and his friend Richard wearing my new soft pink beret and soft pink scarf and soft pink t-shirt in an effort to combat the weather conditions. No. After my shower will immediately change into all navy colors and dense fabrics. Maybe some snow boots.
Lola Lola Mashed Potola just walked by me. This is only worth noting because that means she was in my room and I didn't know about it.
What did I do yesterday.
Well, yesterday was Halloween actually, but I felt like we had Halloween the day before and yesterday was just brutal wasteland aftermath.
Hannah rang me up and proposed having a jaunt with various friends to Kings Dominion on Friday night. This sounded great. I like roller coasters a lot. Especially going on ones that are very intense and then acting calm about it. Makes me feel like I've really gone above and beyond. Above and beyond what I don't know. Maybe above my imagination and beyond all realm of sanity.
But lately, roller coasters have begun to turn my stomach. Just a hair. But enough for me to notice and think, "oh x. this is what adults say about roller coasters- they make them sick in ways they didn't when they were young."
Oh well. Stuff like that actually happens. Like seeing college students and wondering if they are on a field trip from middle school.
So anyway. I was excited. Then Hannah follows up with a text proposing Ashland Berry Farm instead. So I peruse the website. According to the website Hannah is throwing over plans for roller coasters and funnel cake in preference of sitting under a gazebo drinking Earl Gray and gazing at tea-lights.
I call her immediately.
She informs me about the famed haunted hayride that goes down Octobers at said Berry Farm.
I AGREE we should go.
So I issue invitations to pretty much everyone I see.
Everyone seems pretty excited. Yvonne says she will not go. She is the first person to arrive.
We begin the evening by The Droops and I having our ritual Mexican date (with the lovely addition of Anna) at El Toro Loco. We like this. It is always a game to see just how many jackets I have to bring to be able to endure dinner without coming down with gangrene.
Also a game to see how to get any single person on the waitstaff to actually bring Maggie a side of sour cream.
We are getting pretty good at both of these games.
Adam and I always find a good handful of babies in there that are nice to stare at. We both have that creepy proclivity toward chewing on fat baby cheeks.
I have decided that when Margaret and Adam have a kid, I should try to work out a kid at about the same time so that he and I can go to the baby costume store and buy 365 baby costumes. One for every day of the year. He likes it when babies are vegetables. I think this is good. A baby dressed as a zucchini. You cannot go wrong. And my baby will be things like, a scrapbook. A bag of granola. An ottoman. A dulcimer. And of course, the requisite tubby round things like a persimmon and the earth. So many costumes.
Really mad about my flat mattress.
So we eat. Then the three of them go off to "Souvenir," and I go home to try on necklaces and sing heart-wrenching love ballads from "Chess" while I wash the frying pan.
Then it is time to meet over at Hannah's.
We go. We drive all together in a tour van. Which was fun and I probably shouldn't go into.
I love riding in the backs of trucks. Lying down and looking at the sky as you drive.
But we get there. I have no idea where we are. It is a huge forest. There is mist hovering three feet above the ground as far as you can see. And a drizzle. Just enough of one so that it takes hours to actually become damp. Perfect Halloween.
Also the entire human race.
Line for 3.5 hours. No kidding.
I squat, I tap dance, I make conversation with people I don't know. Desperate times, you know.
We go on the hayride. The hay is damp and it is dark. It is midnight by the time we get in the wagon.
We are driven out a curving dirt path and dropped off to wait in another line. We decide this is the only way the people running this outfit can get the patrons to wait in lines this long. By shipping them out into the middle of the woods and having them resume line at that time.
The line curves through the fog and mist up to a giant bonfire. Everyone gets to the bonfire and then like lemmings, gullible lemmings, all crowd around and stare into the flames.
I, however, have read lots of books and therefore trust the motives of no one and no thing, and am fully aware that this bonfire is a device to cause your eyes to become adjusted to bright light. So then, when you enter the woods, you SEE X.
And are thusly super more freaked out.
I feel very much like a wise old special agent standing in the rain silently thinking about this.
We go into the woods. I am recruited to go first by all parties involved. Well, that's not true. Matt goes first right up until the entrance to the trees. He "goes first" by executing a very sprightly "Off to see the wizard" step.
Then I go first.
Determined (for some bizarre completely uncalled for reason) to prove I am not scared, I stride briskly along. I have enveloped my entire body in a "THINGS ARE GOING TO TRY AND SCARE YOU AND YOU WILL. NOT. FLINCH." attitude. I think, "this is silly. It is ok to be startled." But then it becomes a game. See if I can NOT flinch.
I don't. There are dark black mazes where there is only space enough to crawl. Everyone is shrieking and carrying on. Most of the people in my group are actors so I realize we are spoiling all the fun of the workers there by commenting to them when they try and scare us, "Oh wow- that was really convincing. Well played."
We are so smug.
Then we get back in the van and I fall almost asleep. Then we are stopped and I pop my head up over the window and see that we have arrived at a Waffle House in somewhere I have certainly never been before.
We sat at the bar in a row. And I didn't say anything. I was a. tired, and b. absolutely in awe of the expediency with which the staff of this Waffle House fried and waffled and added and wrote. Think that level of productivity must be very satisfying.
Then we go home.
The next morning feel like I have just come back from sky-diving without the parachute.
We all straggle up to rehearsal clutching with white knuckles our various coffee mugs and enormous bottles of caffiene.
Rehearsal was fun. We danced. I really like the Magic Foot choreography. And the pas de deux choreography. They look great. Whenever I see pas de deux's I want to do a dance where a man picks me up in a pretty fancy lift and I point my foot. And cast down my lashes and all that hooey.
Matt Shofner and I see Katrinah in the Rite Aid. This was very exciting for the two of them. Less so for me, as I see Katrinah all the time.
We all go home to GET READY.
Adam and Anna have painted themselves and look incredible.
Margaret is a zebra and looks incredible.
I am Rainbow Brite and certainly look very colorful. Was such a fun outfit.
I pass out some candy on an awesome porch (see- I did get to sit on a porch and enjoy it) on Rosewood Ave. Very sweet children. Who, as they were not born then, find Rainbow Brite to be a rather intimidating figure.
Ellie and Jon, as usual, have an excellent party.
Excellent cast at the party.
I peeled a bullet hole off of the forehead of Chris Stewart.
Then I drove Pocahontas home.
This morning we went to Galaxy. I ordered a chocolate milk, which I housed. In two swallows.
I think, perhaps when one enjoys something this much, one should slow down and savor it. And I think that's valid. But sometimes I think, just get as much as you can as fast as you can and LOVE it.
When the exhausted waitress with her dreadlocks (which I learned today were initially grown so God would have something to grab onto when he reached down out of the sky to snatch you up- which I feel is not saying very much for these people's opinions of God's athletic skills) arrived with my platter o' pancakes, I see how thick and porky they are and bounce in my booth like an excited 2-year old. This, I notice, makes the exhausted waitress smile.
The three of us finish the Brick crossword.
We are now sitting in the den.
And I have to dry my hair and go to "Youno's." This is how my mom pronounces "Uno's."
I have never done all out on Halloween like that. It was fun. I now have freckles.
I was not expecting anyone at home to be awake when I got here.
Adam and Anna are sitting in the den in the mood lighting having DISCUSSIONS.
Which they are kindly allowing me to be privy to as I am sitting on the couch beside Adam typing this.
When Betty touches my toes, it tickles.
Tonight was awesome.
Today- I was crabby because I can't see. But I ordered some new glasses online today for wicked cheap and I am very excited about that.
But tonight. I ate my Fiber 1 bar, ate the last birthday cupcake, because, it's mine, and someone has to.
I washed my hair, dried my hair, curled my hair, painted and dried my nails, got all dolly, and trotted off to rehearsal. It really is most lovely walking through the van in this day and time.
The leaves are SPLENDID.
I receive a pleasant surprise of a phone call on my way there, so I have a very nice chat, and arrive and sit on the sidewalk to wait til it is time for rehearsal.
We go in.
Tonight we danced. I really like everyone in this cast. And I am so excited about that. I think we are going to have a splendid time.
We did "Magic Foot." Eric really is bang-on. And so sweet.
Chase was a super ballerina all night.
Matt Shofner and I, after having discovered our proclivity for the "off to see the wizard step," volunteer ourselves to replace two other cast members who were not so gung ho about said step and do our cross downstage. We are very excited about this. Cannot keep the grin off my face when we meet at center.
We also very gungholey (ahaha) volunteer ourselves like shots out of a cannon to be the two people who stand and dance on the top riser of the "omelet bleachers." "Omelet Bleachers," for whoever's information that cares, is what I am going to be calling this show.
Once we get up there though, and Chase has us nimbly skipping up and down the stairs and doing high kicks while jumping in 180 degree circles, I realize in a very faint whisper to myself that perhaps this is not the best idea to be doing when I have in only one contact- ergo- no depth perception.
Oh well, life's an adventure.
Ford spends the entire evening subtly encouraging (read: violently threatening under his breath) me to only cross upstage of him at any time that our paths should cross. He said, "Audra, I am THIS CLOSE..." you know, when you hold your thumb and pointer finger very close together. I say, "to what, Ford?"
He has nothing to say to this.
Yvonne did her split tonight. Aly and I experienced dropped jaws.
I suggest to Eric that as a killer final pose for his big number that he end on the button with a bell kick. And freeze it in mid-air.
He gamely tries. As he is wont to do. He's such a good little wont gamer.
Sandy has the flu. Want badly to bundle her into a snuggie and submerge her in a carton of soup until she feels better.
Steve and Rick sit at the table with both matching plaid and furrowed brows.
Then they laugh, every now and then.
We all decide via mutters between dance instructions that we are starving and should adjourn to Joe's post-play-practice.
Aly, David, Chase, Yvonne, Matt and I go.
And it was really very nice. I enjoyed myself. Love that I enjoy myself conversing with people.
I used to think that I was the sort of person who would prefer to be all by myself most of the time. That I would thrive in that way.
But I think I am realizing like a tidal wave, that it is so very important for me to be around lots of different interesting people. For so many reasons. I think that makes me feel great. And I think, is very important.
Unless I am reading. Then you leave me alone.
We have a ceramic taupe colored duck who is for casseroles who we have named Knox. He has been full of candy corn pumpkins lately, but Adam and I have no shame re our gluttony in that regard, so he has been effectively gutted.
Adam is about the business of drugging the cat. YAY!
I have discovered that- well, first of all- I have heard of contact high, or is it contact buzz? When you are around people who are stoned or something and you sort of pick up on it? Well, I haven't experienced that, but if I am around people who have been/are drinking, I instantly begin to feel loopy and giggly. Without touching a drop. Which I think will prove to be a very amusing, enjoyable trait.
I love that this apartment has a record player. And a heap of records to play on it. Love that. Sitting around playing records.
The cat is getting high.
Rosalitas got high, and then she became cranky and bald on her fanny. But she was always cranky. Only loved Matt.
Matt Shofner moves so well.
Tomorrow night. :) I have rustled up QUITE a posse. And I'm very excited.
Many members of the posse are excited as well. Some in the- I think I will need to wear a diaper- excited kind of way.
This morning I slept in- which was rough, as I am no longer acclimated to that. But I forced myself through it. :)
I got up, ate my toast, showered, and puttered off to the airport. Where I go all the time now. I am a professional airport goertoer.
And it is a slammingly beautiful day. Blue, orange, red, yellow. Sigh love.
I pick up Anna. Who reminds me of a small expensive Thai doll. Very expensive. Has the sort of skin that could have been peeled right off a pricey mahogany dining room table.
She is wearing fuschia lipstick.
I deliver her to the apartment, fully intact, and buzz instantly down to the Mill, where I cover myself in sawdust and rainwater for three hours until I unearth a box of bridles Tom and I borrowed from Dr. Debby and needed to return.
I am asked out on a date.
I am turned down by my walking buddy.
Tom and I go to the clinic to drop off the bridles. We then take a lovely scenic turn through Blanford Cemetery. Which is much more expansive than it appears from the road. Cemeteries I feel to be rather peaceful places. I decide that if I ever have a child, sometime before it pops out I will take a lengthy stroll through some cemeteries and locate some amazing old-fashioned name on some tombstone with which to label my child.
Saw one headstone for- no kidding- Light Lewis Leavenworth.
Betty's ear is in my nose.
We then eat lots of things we are not supposed to tell Paul about because he is currently devoting himself to hunting the elusive mozzerella.
We push a red button at the Sonic that is labeled- CORNDOGS. I am secretly hoping that when we push this button a corndog will shoot out of some slot on the order board.
Then a pumpkin blizzard. I tell Tom as we stand at the counter that I am secretly wanting to try this one. We both agree that it doesn't look very good. He says I should go ahead and get something I know I will like. I decide to get the pumpkin thing so that then I won't still be wondering if I would have liked it and then have to go back and get another one.
And I am glad I did so. Very convoluted. Proud of myself.
Must now shower. Lengthily. And have my stroll to play practice.
Well, I have discovered EXACTLY what I want to be for Halloween. And I have found the EXACT costume. In an EXACTLY convenient store. And it costs EXACTLY too much money for me to justify spending on a Halloween costume with my brand new responsible financial outlook.
I wanted to cast myself into the floor and scream and kick and wail at the injustice of it all.
It is a pluperfect Rainbow Brite costume. And it comes in a plastic bag at the Halloween Mega-Store that is currently where the CVS is supposed to be by the Barksdale.
Oh well. I have decided something brilliant for me to be for Halloween will drop into my life just in time for the throwdown.
Also I have to find my black corset for Matt.
Today I was walking up some street practicing my new assignment of smiling at people I pass on the street. I have had good results with this so far. And this woman I smiled at stopped and said, "Audra?" And I recognized her as the small woman who lives where Jim used to live and has a horrible contorting speech impediment. And is so sweet. I should have said the sweet part first. I mention the speech impediment because I am always so pleasantly surprised that I can understand what she is saying to me enough to have a conversation. I don't like it when I cannot understand what people say, and I think that is largely my fault when it happens. But for some reason, I can get the gist of everything this lady says. She told me all about how she was coming to see Spelling Bee, and she had heard it was supposed to be really funny, and that she was going to go see Boleros but didn't because she thought it was going to be a musical and a good friend of hers was in the hospital dealing with leukemia at the time and thusly she didn't feel like going to see anything sprightly and upbeat.
I then told her I had to go sign a paper for Lucas and we parted ways.
Love Lucas. He's great.
I then drooled on my hat.
Had a lovely rehearsal this evening.
Going to the airport in the morning.
Do you know they make diet bread? Hmm.
Anybody want that concert ticket- time is ticking.
I like that Natalie girl on "Love, Actually." I like that she has a high pitched girl voice.
Might have a crack at that voice.
I want to go to Hooters.
I want to go to Buz and Ned's.
I want to be taken to the movies.
I want to go fishing (and have today been invited to do so, so that's lovely).
I want to take salsa/ballroom dancing classes.
I want to play "Devil Went Down to Georgia" on the fiddle.
I think it is an amazing thing to be able to play the organ.
My birthday was lovely.
I held Suprise in my lap.
I painted my fingernails traffic cone orange and wore a hot pink belt.
I want to drink a beer. Don't know where that came from. I like the smell, not as much the taste.
I should go get a beer from somewhere and open it and set it on the counter next to me and just sniff periodically. Like a Yankee candle.
It was a beautiful day yesterday. And today. As I am getting a little worn down these past couple of days with up at 5:30 in the morning and bed a little post-midnight, I was a touch snarly this morning at 6:30 when I got into the car, but then I rounded the corner by the Diamond, and the sky was a miracle to behold. It was lava. Just, dark, thick purple night sky, then, just above the horizon, thin flaming strip of lava color. Amazing.
And I continued to be happy and gaze at the sky all the way to the Chippenham Parkway, at which point I got to a song on my 2000 Grammy Winners CD that I didn't like and had to turn my attention to finding "Baby One More Time."
I love that CD. I have a large white cardboard box in the floor of a closet in my parents' house with all the CDs I listened to in high school. I have been taking a few each time I have been home lately.
This one is tops. Has Backstreet Boys, Santana, Christina Aguilera, TLC "No Scrubs." All in all, I feel pretty freaking hip as I motor down the freeway applying my chapstick.
Yesterday during set up, Tom announces to me that my cake is in the passenger seat of his car. I squeal and beam. Tom is the best cake baker EVER. It was round, chocolate, two-tier with buttercream icing and those tiny colorful sprinkles that are round. I gaze at it a lot.
He asks me what time I was born. I tell him I think around 9:30am. Then add that I don't remember.
Then realize, of course I don't remember.
We giggle about this.
Then Tom says he actually finds this surprising. He would have expected nothing less than me making my first appearance, giving my mother an arch look and muttering, "well Mother, I really think that took longer than was necessary."
Between shows Joy and I make plans to get giant boxes of salad from Ukrops and take in a couple of episodes of "Sex and the City."
I wait on her porch for her to get back from popping by Sean's school.
Whilst sitting on the porch, I receive lots of wonderful birthday messages. I think how grateful I am for all the lovely people in my life and for the beautiful day, and suck all the icing off the sides of the cake. So really there's not much better than that.
It is warm enough to walk to rehearsal, so I do that, and enjoy it.
I am presented with two more EXCELLENT--ICE CREAM cakes at rehearsal. Also balloons. And cards.
We watch "Spellbound." Which I very much enjoyed, until it got near the end and I found myself leaning forward in my chair feverishly trying to come up with the correct spellings of the words the competitors get before they start spelling. This was exhilarating. And I got the last word right. Which delighted me. All this going on inside my head.
We sing. Which I love.
Saturday I am off. So I have decided I will do all the things on Saturday that I would like to do for my birthday this year. Think I will pop in on Hannah while she's tending bar at her new job. Think I will gather up a motley posse at hit the Celtic Festival.
And who knows what else. But it will be wonderful.
I think I may have single-handedly removed all the finish and 1/8th of wood from the O'Willard's sitting room floor in the middle of the night. Not my fault. Also haven't heard a word about it. And Ginnie is never one to shy away from words about it.
So yesterday was the Awards.
Shivering, chattering and dripping from the nose, I bang into the apartment a little after noon.
I am stopped in my tracks (literally- second time in three weeks a man has done that to me- different man last time) by the sight of Adam sitting on the couch in his tux.
Adam is one of those men that are in stories. The dark, jaw, brood, smolder, all that squash. The man has it.
I gathered myself together within seconds and proceeded to sit on the floor and whine and wail about how whenever I have to get all dressed up (which I secretly love, let's be honest, but just need more practice doing so I don't get stressed about it) I seethe for hours just before and during.
I paint my fingernails. I am bad at this. Better yesterday than ever before though. And four layers of polish, one layer of setting goop and one layer of Gray Poupon later, I think I am pretty set. I nimbly bounce into the kitchen to retrieve my cup of tea and grip it firmly with great delight. I sip it, burn my tongue, decide I am a big fan of Maggie's Blue Whale Fin Natural Tooth Sweetner, and set my cup down. I have of course ruined the polish on all the fingers of my right hand.
Maggie and I have a serious discussion involving planners and ovulation charts regarding the times and windows of opportunity in which it would be most opportune to take our showers and straighten our hair, curl our hair, curl our lips, etc.
Adam leaves immediately to go to the Hair Cuttery.
We have showered and have just finished re-wiring the circuit breakers we have blown blow-drying our respective mops when we receive EMERGENCY HIGH ALERT RED ALARM FACEBOOK MESSAGE from Joy re Derek's contraction of the swine flu and the cancellation of that evening's performance of "Easy Street."
I regard Maggie with a dark look for a few moments as she snuggles down into the couch under a blanket in her slipper socks with her kitten and her cocktail while I embark out into the cold to attempt to keep my fingers off of everyone and everything I see so I will be intact for the evening.
The rehearsal was lovely and low key. I sat with Tom and bickered like crackers in the second row the entire time. One of my favorite activities.
Jen Meharg looked amazing at the rehearsal. And at the event.
I am escorted to the podium with a man's hand VERY FIRMLY on my back. Was really no need for such firm escortedness. I can walk. Is fine. He probably thought I was fourteen, much like the woman in the lingerie section of Macy's last week who asked me what size training bra I would like.
I then drive back to the apartment. TO GET READY.
After I remember that I can talk to Adam and he is not a poster, I recruit he and Margaret into the bathroom with me and every curling iron and bobby pin in the house.
We have done extensive internet research for at least four minutes on how to accomplish the hairstyle I want to wear.
We take the computer and our cocktails into the bathroom. We all stand. We may as well have scrubbed in. Deep breaths.
This is sort of like sending Wendy Vandergrift, Dawn Westbrook and Eric Pastore into a linen closet with a sheep and telling them not to come out until the sheep has been transformed into a vibrator.
Many pins and grunts and sharp sucked in breaths of trepidation later, we empty an entire can of hairspray onto my head and move on to the makeup. I can do most of this by myself now. With great thanks to Robyn O., Robin Harris-Jones, The Debra, and countless others who have massaged powder into my cheeks and eyelids over the years in the dressing room. Maggie instructs me on curling my eyelashes. We do this. Relatively pointless. My eyelashes are a lot like five o'clock shadow.
We doll ourselves up. Adam takes pictures of Margaret and I being lewd in front of the door. And of us being cheery and peppy in front of the door.
We are picked up.
We arrive, narrowly avoiding running over the parade of pink skirts across Adams on the way to the Empire.
So many lovely wonderful people looking lovely and wonderful in the lobby. It was FUN.
I had a blast. The singing was thrilling. The music, the lights, the mikes, the crowd. Ahhhhhh.
I swished my hips a lot on purpose. Felt very giddy and daring to do this.
Robyn O'Neill is a fabulous date.
I am asked for my number by a man who walks on his arms perhaps more than he walks on his feet.
When I was called to go onstage, I thought as I approached the stairs, "my goodness. what is going to happen now is that i am going to trip up these stairs, then say something bumbling and weird that is going to cause tom to take a big bite out of the seat back in front of him, and perhaps even slur a word. or two."
These thoughts are a result of the two cocktails I had had. Was in no way drunk. But have certainly never attempted public speaking in front of, you know, 700 people anything but completely rested, nervous, and sober.
Speaking in front of people as Audra used to TERRIFY me. But much much less so now. And I am very very glad about that. Want to do it some more.
I will have to see about creating some more opportunities to that end, perhaps.
We then, and by we I mean everyone in the southeastern portion of the USA, went to the White Dog.
We then left and went somewhere where we could sit down.
I then went to sleep and slept soundly until about 3:30 am when I was jolted awake by a horrendous (and my first) calf cramp. BIG X.
And felt it and felt it. Could find no where on my leg that felt hard or needed pressing. But it went away eventually.
Woke up this morning.
Went to get my phone charger.
Visited Essie. Essie sassing everyone in the hospital and knowing exactly what she wants. This is reportedly big progress from this morning.
The sky was so beautifully blue today, against the leaves. It doesn't matter if it is cold when it is beautiful.
I am off to rehearsal shortly. I am going to walk. And go by 7-11 to have another crack at the coffee thing. I've decided to try the darker roast to see if that counters the watery-ness.
I am, in a very consistent fashion, acquiring a runny nose. Just this time last year I had a crippling runny nose. I brought it with me to the illustrious awards ceremony. There was I, my glitter studded formal gown, my fierce red pumps, my hairspray, mascara and my roll of Charmin. Was hoping to avoid that final accessory this year. Ah well. We'll see how quickly this progresses. Might just be running because IT IS COLD. IT IS GOING TO SNOW. Before noon. I think it is probably not actually that cold. It is more the fact that, last Friday, I was frolicking merrily through the fan (which today smells like old fish) and strolling around the lake wearing not much more than deoderant and elastic feeling warm and breezy. And today I am wearing all of my clothes. This is because I have realized I do not have any of my cold weather clothes at Adam and Maggie's. (Adam? Apostrophe? You may rap my knuckes if I've erred.) As a result I am wearing my jeans, my orthopedic shoes (for massive rubber content=insulation), socks, my threadbare Honaker Redbud Festival T-shirt, my enormous UVA sweatshirt, a red fleece winter vest, my dinosaur and lizard mittens, a sky blue scarf which was lovely and is now stained with what appears to be antique urine, and a giant thick bright blue and orange toboggan cap with a puff on top that Sam gave me. Because one day in September all we did was give each other hats. After I type this I am going to look up the phone number for the 7-11 in the fan across from Cafe Diem. For I was rude to the counter lady and am going to apologize. I wasn't just rude for fun, there was a misunderstanding. Nonetheless. Am a little excited about phoning up a 7-11. Feel like only grown-ups get to do that. And CIA agents. Robyn and Ginnie are at the beach. Because that seems like a good idea. I wondered aloud to Robin Arthur this morning why in the world anyone would go to the beach in this weather. She made several good points I hadn't thought of. But those are her points, and alas, not mine to relay. As a result of this beach trip, I have been hired on to keep a watch on Scott Melton for two days. Cagey bugger. Highly suspicious activity at all hours. So, I am growing what could be anything from a zit to a zucchini on the inside of my right eyelid. I know this because for the past week, no matter how rigorously and thoroughly I scrub my contact, after it has been in my eye for thirty seconds, it slides off center. And I try and try to put it back. Will not stay. Can, as a result, see only 70% of everything. Which makes me feel like it is imperative that I go to bed. Always when I can't see, my mind decides it must be sleepy. Anyway, with shrewd deductive reasoning I have determined that there is surely a foreign body inside my eye that is shoving my contact off course. I bring this up to Tom yesterday between shows in the hope that he can rectify the problem and I will be able to see everything for show number two, thus decreasing my odds of falling off the stage or lighting a child on fire. He peers into my lower brainular area, says he cannot see anything, but that what "they" do in these situations is to put a pencil on the eyelid and roll the eyelid backwards over this pencil to see underneath. Then they will cut or rip off the offending object. This sounds good to me. He makes no move to do so. I tell him to go ahead. He will not. Squeamish. I love Tom. Tom and my brother both able to make me laugh very hard and spontaneously by saying things that, ordinarily, I would not find that funny. Went to the Cracker Barrel in Fiddlesquat, Virginia last week for lunch with, ahem... Joy Williams aka Drifty the Snowman, Paul Deiss, and THE DEBRA. Shouldn't really talk about that. Just kept thinking how interesting and wonderful life is. Apparently some man in the Colonial Heights Walmart took Tom aside late one night last week and told him that he had the hots for Pepita. This is just the sort of thing I like to hear. Really. I am in the mood for going to the movies. Alright. I must look up phone number and how to make my hair lovely for the event. When I arrive in a calico bonnet everyone will know why.
Borderline by the Peas and by the Virgins and Billy Joel got me home awake. I really love Billy Joel music. Need to get a CD of his burned onto my computer. Ripped? Rent asunder? Also I would like to go to a Dave Matthews Band concert. Do those still happen? Or have the bandmates been bronzed? I'm in the mood for some hot ice cream.
Chicago- because of the Cell Block Tango. Have no real preference of role, just want a few steel bars and some heels and some hot drums.
Cabaret- would happily play any female in the cast. Would like to have a solid crack at Sally as everytime I have seen the show I find her to be mostly comprised of Bubblicious and rust. I believe it is possible for there to be some evidence of DNA and neurons in her portrayal. Just some. Or any of the Kit Kat girls. Want to loll around on banisters in fishnets and silk with track marks and black eyes painted onto myself. (there is a story here about bruises that I will probably not tell) Also I would deign to go on as the giant chimp if the need arose. Would be kind of like playing the large albino celery in Bunnicula.
In the Heights- nothing really needs to be said. I'd be any of the five leads. Six. Male or female.
I fancy myself a bit of a rapess. Rap. Not rape. Good grief.
Footloose- love the drums and the beats and the rhythms of this. Gets me steamy.
Hairspray- just should. Want to play Penny and sing about black twinkies. Or the girl, what is her name, Tracy. Could just put on a muumuu and run around flailing and gyrating in what I'm sure would be a very emotionally satisfying manner.
There was another one I meant to add to this list. Do not remember. Will remember later.
Also Chess. But just for the song.
Today slept what felt like in- til 9:30. Am glad that feels like "in" now.
Got up, ate toast, cursed Betty (my fault, bad parent, you should see my other two children), went for my jog.
Stopped by to observe football and frustrate Ford for a bit. Saw Elliott's extra-terrestrial shoes. Secretly- no- straight up want some.
David had on a hat I liked very much.
I hollered out (knowing full well what the reaction would be cause it always is) "I'M NOT PLAYING!" David said, "ok." Immediately sails windless. Nice work.
Eric Williams is one of the dearest men currently breathing.
BETTY I HATE YOU.
Not entirely sure why I am such a spoilsport about football. Should probably play. Will at least be something to face. And might get to shove Ford inside a tree.
Ford doesn't read this does he?
For some reason Lola takes on with the vapors whenever the Droops leave me here alone with her. I may be coming over, Ginnie, to borrow the Murphy's.
Moseyed down to the Empire to meet my mother and brother and take in the folk festival.
I was very excited about the festival. As I have discovered I like a lot of the music at the festivals I have recently taken myself to. This was not quite what I was expecting. Some of it was fun, but some I could appreciate for its' uniqueness and skill required but didn't really enjoy listening to per se. Like the Rhododendrion Uvula Twiddling etc.
My mother said she would buy us something to eat. Scott selected a large Italian sausage at once. Bout the size of nevermind. He removes every onion from the fair and puts them on top.
I sidle up to the Alligator Chunk Surprise Booth and point. Say very confidently, "I want THAT."
She says, "fifteen dollars."
I feel horrible. But it is done. And I did want that. I have cancelled all birthday present orders.
Was a round styrofoam plate of food (no, not a blue plate, very cute little man from Artichoke- I need to remember that) that had I think some of everything they offered. Was gumbo, lots of rice, what appeared to be barbecued wolf tonsils, a huge crabcake and alligator nuggets. Ate most of it. Wasn't supremely good or anything, but I've always wanted to eat alligator.
Alligators and sharks I just think tend to be unreasonably nasty.
Then we heard some good music. My mother and I sat in the grass and ate our grease. My brother stood up. Because that's what he does. I guess. I at one point found myself swaying in the breeze and singing just as loud and pitchlessly as I wanted. It was lovely. Was that song, "it's alright, have a good time, cause it's alright..."
GET HER LOLA GET HER BETTY GET HER LOLA GET HER BETTY. Oh I can't decide.
So I am going away tonight. Away to wash my jeans. Tomorrow I am going to fly and be a drummer and go to North Carolina. The rest all depends on Durron. As always.
Sometimes the most delicious thing you've ever tasted is the most difficult thing you've ever had to swallow.
I'm trying. I'm REALLY trying to do my best on that.
Anyway, I'm exhausted.
I just worked harder than I think I may ever have worked in my life.
The family for which Hannah Izold nannies had a wedding yesterday and this evening threw a soiree to celebrate.
They wanted Hannah and one other girl to come and just help out, serve the hors douvres, clear wine glasses, etc.
Except Hannah is out of the state tonight and so it was going to be me and Ali T.
Then this morning the lady of the manor decided that she only needed one girl.
Great. Now I will have no one to talk to. That I know.
But I go. I have asked the woman what to wear, and she says whatever you would wear out on a Saturday night. So I pretend to be a normal dresser and put on a cute red dress I haven't worn in years and 3 bobbie pins and Margaret's black Cole Haan boots.
Margaret is always conveniently out of town whenever the occasion arises for me to need those boots.
I get lost. Repeatedly. Which is a trifle off-putting to myself because normally I am pretty good at finding out where I am going when I have no idea where I am.
I call Hannah. I find it.
Enormous house. Enormouser gravel driveway.
I park at the far perimeter of this driveway to allow for easy getaway when the time is right.
I wiggle out of the car and prince (prance/priss- I've decided we need this word) toward the house. From the panoramic picture windows I can see inside and quickly determine that my dress is a bit much. (I'm sharp.) So I don the little black sweater that I lifted from the Barksdale after finding out how long it had been in lost and found. Done.
I go in.
Large family. Millions of blond sisters in their thirties. Meek stooped husbands- some with black glasses, some with orthopedic leg wraps. A murder of children all draped upon the furniture and doing that thing that I remember doing well when you are a child and really super excited about the fact that there is a large family gathering in your house and you are pretty damn important and feeling fine because of it.
My first order is to put ice into all the ice buckets. At this point everyone is observing me like a hawk because I am a. not Hannah, and b. probably appear to be not terribly fluent in English.
I drop ice all over the floor. I am given a wide berth.
I stand behind the island beginning to feel panicky at all the people I don't know. Then I decide to f@*$ing stop that. I am so sick of being nervous.
I do things like refill the mustard dish, and reload the glass tray with Ritz Crackers when I see the need arise. Once the lady of the house sees me transport a grape or two successfully to the bowl, she whooshes out of the kitchen in her capris and I am left to my own BE VERY HELPFUL AND TAKE ALL THE INITIATIVE IN THE WORLD devices.
I am getting pretty good at keeping a sharp eye on the chedder slices and the party is really heating up, I'd say about 35 people. Then our lady swoops back into the kitchen, nips a large box of pasta and an enormous satchel of chicken nuggets out of the cupboard and garbles off some instructions that meant: Make the children dinner.
Well, I of course nodded and smiled breezily. Sure, this is something I do every day.
Now- it should be noted- I do know how to cook pasta. And to use an oven. It is just not generally something I do in front of people. Let alone a wedding party and eight starving delirious humans below 10.
But I do it. I pop the nuggets in the oven, I don't burn myself, I boil the water, stir the pasta.
I get sassy about this time. I have in me a previously untapped reserve of natural ability to flirt rapaciously with middle-aged men.
I have noticed that I look pretty good, as on one of my cracker crosses I caught view of myself in the window and thought, "I look pretty good."
So this gives me the confidence, whilst I stir my Barilla, to cock a hip and say things to the paunchy uncomfortable uncles who are trying to steal the chicken nuggets, "Ah ah ah-- those are for the kids. But I suppose you could have just one. I won't tell." And smiiiiiillllllle.
And then go back to stirring my pasta and wonder when I was planning on being introduced to myself.
Worked well though. The uncles spending considerably larger amounts of time in the kitchen after that. Great. Just what I wanted?
All the blond women strut around with their very heavy diamond rings and plastic cups full of wine that they keep setting by the sink as if to indicate- done with this. So I dump out, recycle or wash. They then wander back by wondering where their cups went. I remind myself of what I think is some character in a movie that maniacally cleans and you cannot stop it. Is perhaps a machine or invention. Anyone?
The blond women also cast what they think are sly downward glances at my boots as they do sweeping crosses upstage of the giant marble island in the kitchen. Thanks Mag.
Another thing to be said about this family. They have long spoons.
Never let it be said that I do not enjoy the smell of beer/alcohol. For I do very much. But after about three hours of party it became like taking shots through my pores every time someone crossed into my wing of the house.
Worked, cleaned, scrubbed. This party was catered by Maggiano's. Which love. And paid for by one elderly aunt of the bride whom, when the newly married couple entered the house, stationed herself beside the pantry, whipped out a harmonica and proceeded to give a rendition of "Here Comes The Bride" that could grow teeth on moss.
One of the husbands is snapping along to this ditty. On the one and three.
Makes one really appreciate good music.
My feet were by this time killing me. I had cleaned and washed everything I could get my hands on. So I decided I should probably be dismissed and that they would agree if they would just remember I was there. This did not seem imminent. So I sat "wearily" in a chair in the kitchen- in view of some of the guests- and proceeded to fiddle laboriously with my contact for just long enough so it looks like "Oh- her contact is really giving her trouble. I bet she's tired." Point taken.
Paid, dismissed. Thanked heartily. Invited to spend a week with the extended family in Myrtle Beach as long as I will clean up after their parties.
Also learned today that VCU teaches that the best performances can only be given in bare feet.
First of all, well, most recently of all as I just came in from there, my hallway smells divinely of key lime pie. Someone send a team over to keep me from scraping the linoleum with my molars.
I am not surprisingly all about this getting up at a very early hour and exercising with Team Droop. Or by myself.
The interesting thing about waking up in Adam and Maggie's house is that, up until four pm every day, there is no natural light in the house at all. No matter what the weather conditions.
So you wake up, have a healthy cleansing session of throw the cat against the wall, squint and tiptoe gingerly through the kitchen to make your toast, wash your face, wash your teeth, and by this time you have automatically adopted the mindset that you are in the bleak midwinter.
You step outside. There are birds and animated heroines dripping from the trees everywhere. SUN.
This morning I got up after my five hours of sleep (because last night I went out with some friends, and some new friends, and then made some fresh friends. Went. Enjoyed myself. Am SO EXCITED that I enjoy things like that now ; ) and sat in the chair in the living room waiting for Adam to get up so we could walk to the Empire. We had planned on leaving at 8:15 sharp.
Promptly at 8:16 Adam exits his bedroom. He stands a moment in the hallway looking very rumpled and Vietnamese.
By 8:30 he is ready to go. So I get ready to go. I had not gotten ready to go previously because when he hadn't appeared whistling and making dandy little sandwiches at 7:30 I grew very b suspicious that he had thrown over our plans.
But we go. We walk to Lowes, where my car thankfully still sits.
We drive to the Empire. We moan and whine our way up the sidewalk about how we do not have time to go to Lift. We run into Matt. Matt hands us a box of bagels. Isn't life lovely.
We go upstairs, receive a passive-aggressive talking to, and then Wendy trots off the elevator, surveys our bereft cream cheesed faces and announces we are going downtown to storage to "check out the situation."
The situation complete x as everyone knew it would be, but I suggested that we carry some crap up the alley anyway because it wasn't that far to walk. I suspected that this would earn us a gold star sticker from Mr. Bruce Rennie.
My dad buys me a milkshake, which I drink languidly while surveying the sunlight and the water spurting out of the fountain and feel the breeze and look at large color pictures of The Debra and Jonathan Spivey playing the piano (which SO impresses me). I then immediately feel as though I am going to vomit. Hard. My body has vetoed its' open arms policy to vats of sugar every hour on the hour. Which I think is a good thing. Will be good for me to keep it that way.
Also- the flowers around here smell wonderful. Flowers, pie and jerky. The scents of the fan.
We do some work, blah blah blah.
I go home and shower, then meet Hannah on Colonial and we have a very necessary drive to the Tavern to take in the show.
The show was lovely. Jonathan played the piano during blackouts. Definitely did. Few things impress me more than the ability to play the piano without music and just improvise. While being completely relaxed. He came out on the back patio after the show and took a seat at the wrought-iron table over which I was artfully draped. I sat up after he sat down and continued conversing with Hannah- but all the while I was secretly thinking. I know that man. That man plays the piano and doesn't even try. HOW important am I?
So I'm going to bring a friend day in the morning with Hannah. It is her birthday.
I told her I already went and you are not allowed to go again. She made the very good point that last time I went it was the middle of winter and I was wearing my green huarf and a pea coat. So no one will recognize me.
But I'm excited. A bunch of us are having breakfast afterwards.
It's time for the Droop Posse Routine.
Then I am catching up on my favorite. And eating something that I'm sure will be extraordinary. Am excited to find out what.
I am, much to my delight, realizing that people I used to get sort of crusty over I now find to be absolutely amazing.
By crusty I mean I was intimidated so I nitpicked.
Which X. Moving right along.
NOTHING REALLY EVER HAPPENS ON MAD MEN.
This does not preclude me in any way from sitting here in the den staring with fascination at an episode from Season Two with commentary wherein the director speechifies on the appropriate length of paddle ball elastic.
Also- important someone remind me- I tasted something called Woodchuck Beaver Beer or something last night, and liked it very much. I would like to try this again.
I want my hair to look like women's hair looked in the forties. Or sixties.
So this reading. I think is extremely well cast. I know almost no one in the reading, which makes me feel as though I am doing a production in another country.
Maggie and I noted tonight that we have never before been in a show with so many solidly good-looking boys who are straight. (Some of which have very nice upper arms.)
They sit around and have handstand competitions and mumble and console each other about their various sports franchises.
We sit in our chairs and scan the room taking in all the attributes surrounding us and feel as though we are in the exotic animal display at the National Zoo.
Tomorrow, in preparation for looking teenaged and woeful, I will be straightening my hair. I will be rising at 5 am to begin.
Pig Pen: this is a boy who I know because he has a habit of overindulging with his "w's," and once upon a time while participating in a reading with me got so absorbed in his performance that he knocked a music stand off the stage using his forehead. Blood. This boy is white, but when he begins the scene is immediately black and Eminem all at once. This I find impressive. Also his tan boots.
Beethoven: is a tall, slender boy who wears those long jean cut off shorts that are all the rage now among the hip theater young folk. He is quiet and friends with Maggie and has one of those faces that you are pretty sure all girls think is VERY ATTRACTIVE. His legs appear to be very white and very functional.
Jacob: I do not know this boy outside of this reading, but I think he is my friend on facebook. He is very slight. Is kind of how I imagine a very sweet gentle woodland creature would look were this woodland creature a human. He IS that character. He is soft-spoken and has a nice nose and reminds me of Paul and has lots of shiny floppy hair. I am pretty sure BC had this boy made to order for this role. The name of which I can't remember at the moment.
The Charlie Brown Boy: Is VERY cute. All are in agreement. Looks like George Clooney when he smiles. And can sure throw a chair at a wall in such a way as to make me excited about popsicles and old pie crust. He gave me a granola bar. Which I graciously accepted.
Um. Do not really remember who else.
Is Margaret, who, whatever.
Is a girl named Gabby? Presley? Monka? She has hair like me which inspires me have whispered conversations in the second row with Maggie as to how I can acquire golden sheep princess eyelash hair like Maggie and Aly and less hair like this other girl. This girl is going to wear red glasses and a red headband and a red mouth as her costume.
Marcia? Trixie? Some character: is played by Aly. Aly is most lovely. I think she looks like the Miss Sunbeam doll I had when I was little. (This is the girl on the bag of bread, for those who are not well versed in small town breadstore propaganda.) Is blond shiny hair, blue doll eyes, all those bits about the face that the pretty girls have.
Monka, Aly, Bleeding Forehead and Small Ferret Man all have a scene in which they discuss a lot of food.
This has led me to put it out there that we make a cast trip to Denny's tomorrow night post show.
I ate a SALAD today. Am currently obsessed with salad. Also peppers. I know. I think I might be getting a little carried away.
Then went and watched The Debra get stabbed in the throat. This was not something that should ever happen.
The Debra, Drifty and I adjourned post lunch to Peebles where I got smacked a lot for saying things like, "we should look for dresses to wear to the Ratcocks!" SMACK. Each time I mentioned the Ratcocks, a smart swat on the shoulder from the Debra, who rightly felt that I was probably offending all of the elderly church-going Colonial Heights women who were shopping for festive scarecrow sweaters.
Anyway, I've been up for a very long time. Tomorrow I am going to WORK. I want to better my golf game. And to go to some of these sharp looking new restaurants/pubs that I see tucked into various nooks in the fan.
The fan, as it happens, smells like beef jerky tonight.
On the corner of Cary and Belmont this morning, under the awning of an abandoned building that once was a store selling gowns and shawls made of witches skin and frog bladders, a wee wizened man stood getting DOWN on his harmonica. And the sun had just come up, there were no cars, the sky was just so blue, and he was just a-wailin'. I had made it about another block and a half by the time he finished his song, but applauded from there. I thought he was fantastic. Might get up in the morning and pop by that corner to see what act has been booked for Monday.
The tent full of pigs featuring a ring of fascinated/terrified humans surrounding a particular pen o' pigs that were ANGRY and making the most unholy noises I've ever heard from something that was alive. Just furious. For no apparent reason. Kept it up for a solid twenty minutes.
Pigs sleep on their sides with their legs sticking straight out to the side in the air. Look dead.
The tents of bunnies. My brother and I (surprise to me) share a penchant for giggling when we come upon a particularly round bunny with particularly round eyes and miniscule stunted ears.
The enormous bunnies that more resembled station wagon sized fur bathmats. DO NOT TOUCH said the sign on these important bunnies.
The demolition derby. I didn't know that I would like that, but I was squalling and hollering right along with the pack. One of the contending vehicles was an old, old car that looked as though it wouldn't go at all and had a plastic mold of a Canada goose affixed to the roof. Margaret and I immediately decide to be staunch supporters of this car.
And it won.
And after it won, and there were flames shooting out of the bottom of the car and smoke permeating the sky all the way to Charleston, the driver of the car squirmed free of the vehicle, climbed atop the hood, plucked the goose from the roof, put it on his head and started dancing.
I developed a hot scratchy crush at once.
Ate funnel cake. Wanted a turkey leg, an elephant ear, a hot dog, a corn dog, an ice cream, a chocolate covered banana, an iced tea, a root bear, I could go on.
I have thusly decided that the fair would be quite a stellar date. And will need to find a date who is loaded to take me there and feed me appropriately.
Perhaps most importantly, the pig races.
Scott and I were a little late to this event, having been stuck chortling and cooing over the ducklings and the newly hatched chick with it's left leg stuck in the radiator grid.
But this event featured a sawdust/straw track, throngs of squealing people, a pretty great old man serving as pig-wrangler, and a perky admirably energetic and devoted girl serving as emcee. Talked FAST. And with great energy and clarity.
The first couple of rounds of pigs came out, got loaded up into their gates, and then booked it around the track at a pretty respectable trot en route to receive their cookies at the finish line.
(Note: it was not lost on me that hogs and Audras both will race for cookies.)
Then the much hyped final group of pigs was to be brought out. They were heralded as the fastest, the most exciting pigs of the entire fair.
The tent flap opens, heavy, funky club techno is pumped loudly into the tent.
We see nothing. All of the other pigs have come tearing in and begun rooting around in the straw with great gusto.
Then-- slowly, inch by inch, the head, and then shoulders.... of the pigs appear.
These pigs are enormous hooved goiters.
Racing pot-bellied pigs.
Do not miss this in your life.
The computer is about to lose battery.
So perhaps more details to follow.
But the giant swings- that was heaven. Music so loud I could yell and not hear myself, the wind so cold and fast, arching my back over the back of my seat and looking up at the spinning tilting flashing roof of the ride. And all the lights spread out over the whole carnival.