Thursday, October 29, 2009

I can't see.

I was not expecting anyone at home to be awake when I got here.
They are.
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.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


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.
Delicious burgers.
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.
Walking around here is so lovely right now.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Previous two Mad Mens. At once.

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.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


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.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I need apostrophe rehearsal.

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'm excited about rehearsal. Good people.
And I'm excited about Magicthedebra tomorrow.
And I'm excited about a lot of things.
And that's exciting.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Ain't life grand. Also, my coffee is really not tasting like I want it to. Further analysis and experimentation of creamer/sugar ratio required.

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.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Magic. Delicious enticing cafeteria lunches. Honestly.

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.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

It's hers. Let her suck it.

I want to be in productions of:
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.
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..."
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.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Folks to their festival.

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.
Love adventures.
Also learned today that VCU teaches that the best performances can only be given in bare feet.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I tell you what.

This has been a fabulous day.
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."
Bless her.
We go.
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.
It did.
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.

Monday, October 5, 2009

oh i want to learn to tie a tie.

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.
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.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


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 fair.
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.
Kill Betty.