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.