Thursday, September 29, 2011

Parenthood 2 or 3, whatever it is

Math is not my forte.

 Anyroad, my daughter is getting married in a couple of days.  This is one of those Memorable Moments in a parent's life, along with first step, first word, successful potty training and the day when they're old enough you can say "fuck" in front of them and not apologize and tell them never to say that word.  It feels weird and wonderful at the same time, just like it did when the above things happened.  (Except the "fuck" thing, that was just a relief.) 

Like a lot of people (I'm guessing) I was not prepared for how life-changing having kids is.  I knew it would be a lot work, and a lot of happiness and a lot of worry and a lot of joy, but I felt like I became a different person when I became a mom.  I viewed life from a whole new angle all of a sudden.  Things I used to care about (world politics, economic sanctions, blowout sales at Macy's) didn't matter to me anymore and I found myself wondering who the guest would be on Sesame Street that day and if Huggies were really better than Pampers. (Before I got pregnant a Huggie was a foamish thing you put around your beer to keep it cold.)  It wasn't even a conscious decision--it just happened and I never gave it a second thought. 

Okay, I know none of this is funny or earth shattering,  And it sort of repeats my earlier blog on parenting, just not written as well. But it's still true.  And that adorable Shirley Temple look-a-like that used to sing "The Farmer in the Den" and make me catch fireflies for her and put them in a jar before she went to sleep and watched "Sleeping Beauty" for hours on end is getting married on Sunday.  That's a BFD.  I love being a mom.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What Bugs Me

In an attempt to back-pedal on the introspective-here-is-my bare-naked-soul blogs I have been writing, I will attempt to pen a series of "humorous"  (I hate people who put words in "quotes" for "no apparent reason") pieces on the more mundane aspects of life.  If they suck, I'll go back to the FML genre. 

First up:  bugs.  Not a fan.  (I wasn't kidding about the mundane part, was I?)  I know, I know-who is?  But I find people's reactions to different insect species fascinating.  (Really?  This may be one reason why my life sucks.  Note to self:  mention this in next therapy session.)  No, wait, hear me out.  Some people absolutely freak out at the mention of the word "spider".  Others can sort of tolerate them.  I'm okay with them, as long as I don't see them move.  If they start doing their creepy Spider Walk, then I'm out of there.  This is why I don't kill them, because if I go after them, they'll start to move and I'll have a stroke.  There is a spider who lives in the corner of a window in my kitchen.  He lived there before I moved in, over a year ago.  I sat down and had a talk with him the first week and said I had no problem with him living there, as long as he tidied up after himself and would only come out after dark.  We shook hands and he has abided lawfully to our contract.  I say good morning to him every day while I'm fixing coffee.  And this is in no way pathetic or introspective, so shutthefuckup. 

My son hates cicadas. Something to do about how we forced him to go to Boy Scout Camp every year.  I don't want to talk about it.   But I kind of like them.  I mean, I like the sound of them; the sight of them creeps me out, but I like the rhythmic cadence that gently lulls. . OMG!!! It's a cicada!!! Get that thing away from me!!!  Ahhhh. . . . .okay, I'm okay now.  And on to. . . .

Yup, the Grand Muthafucka of them all, Roaches.  Nobody likes roaches.  If you ever do meet someone who likes them, you should get very, very far away from that person as soon as possible.  They are the Reality TV of the Insect World (random thought:  I hate people who use quotation marks indiscriminately but, obviously, have no problem with irrational capitalization of words.  Gonna be a busy therapy session on Monday. . . .) and, much like RTV, they always come on when you don't want them to.  I once had an apartment that had a cockroach nest above my bed (unbeknownst to me) and I woke up one day with roaches falling on my face.  (See therapy note, above.)  I have a friend who told me his uncle got one in his ear.  These Abominations of Nature go places you wouldn't want your lover to go, let alone a cockroach.  Why are they still here?  Let's face it, our country has hit its peak, we're on the downhill slide, forget the economy and healthcare and new designs on quarters--if a politician ran on a I'm Going to Kill Every Motherfucking Cockroach in America platform, he'd win in a landslide.  As long as by "motherfucking cockroach" he meant "motherfucking cockroach" and not gay guys.  I wouldn't vote for him then.  (Two-part note:  A:  those quotations marks were justified; B:  Notice I use the pronoun "he", not "she".  That's because if either Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachman become president I'll kill myself and will no longer care about cockroaches.  Oh wait, C:  I'm not going to mention the quotation marks around "he" and "she" because it's now driving me crazy.)

Well, you get the point.  And I realize I'll get tens of thousands of letters (read: 0) from readers who feel slighted because I ignored their least favorite bug, but I can't do everything people.  And, technically, I am at "work".

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Advice Call 'Em

I am big on giving advice:

Don't feel bad if you don't get the part;
Don't try to control the universe (Thanks, Michael);
Listen more than you speak;
There are worse things than being alone;
Don't get so stressed out;

None of which I actually follow.  They often all happen at once. Because when I'm stressed out that I didn't get the part, which is not how I had planned it and I realize I said too much and then have to go home alone and think about it, *gasp* I stop breathing.  I'm working on this, (the breathing part, I mean) because I think I read somewhere that breathing is important (Highlights Magazine?  The Economist?  one of those).  So if any of you notice me getting blue in the face and I'm not currently attending an audition for Blue Man Group or the Smurfs Movie, please remind me of my respiratory duties. 

I'm working on the other things too, and some days do better than others at one or more of them.  I'm great at the first one when I'm not auditioning for anything, but I think that's cheating (that one definitely came from Highlights Magazine, Goofus and Gallant #249).

 I am a talker.  But I am making a more concentrated effort at actually thinking before I open my mouth (this idea must be from some avant garde, New Age rag like Mother Jones, or something), again, with varying rates of success.  Sometimes words that come out of my mouth are kind of funny, which saves my ass, but not all the time.  And we won't even talk about my Maudlin Moments--they're not pretty.

I'm actually okay with the being alone.  The only time it's at all dicey is on holidays and to assuage this, I have developed the Rocky Balboa Philosophy- "Hey, to you it's Tanksgivin, to me it's Tursday."

The stress?  I'm Irish Catholic--stress is The Very Life Essence to us.  That and beer.

No, the one I have the most trouble with is Controlling the Universe.  I am ALWAYS so SURE that I know EXACTLY what is going to happen because that's what I say is going to happen and then nothing even remotely like that happens at all. This is because I was trying tell the Universe what should unfold, but The Universe (Wise Woman that She is) just sighed, gazed at me over the top of her reading glasses and said, patiently, "You go read your Highlights Magazine, we have this covered."   This has only happened to me approximately 2,436,935 times.  In the last month.  So I'm hopeful I'll eventually get the point.  I'm also hopeful I'll win the Publishers Clearing House lottery and wake up tomorrow with straight hair.

Perhaps I should add, "Don't get your hopes up" to my list of advice. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I Don't Wanna

As an adult, you have to do a lot of stuff you don't want to do.  Actually, as a kid, you have to do even more stuff you don't want to do, but grown-ups come hard-wired with the ability  to brainwash kids into thinking crappy stuff is fun.  ("Ooooo. . . tetanus shot--that's so cool, I wish I could get one!")  This explains why there are so many adults in therapy.

Anyroad, I'm talking about grown-ups here (I almost typed "us grown-ups" and then realized 80% of the time I don't fall into that category) and we have to do a helluva lot of shit we don't want to.  This explains why there are so many adults in bars.  We drink to get through the stuff we don't want to do and then we drink as a reward for having actually done it. (DISCLAIMER:  Any resemblance here to my co-dependency on alcohol is strictly fictional and/or  for entertainment purposes only, like a horoscope or your STD test results.)

Well, as Empress of Debland (population: 1/2, the other part of me lives with the rest of you), I would like to abolish the idea of Doing Shit I Don't Want To Do.  And being a Red-Blooded American (as opposed to the other colored blood kind of American?) I realize the best way to do this is to create a Reality Show, where I convince idiots (i.e. 98% of the American population) to Do The Shit I Don't Want To Do by vaguely promising them some kind of monetary compensation.  This compensation, of course, will be taxed at the standard Debland rate of 120%, and said taxes will go to the Debbie Wants Better Beer Fund, something I think we can all agree is a worthy cause. 

The first challenge will be an easy one:  My Job.  I hadn't been in the office five minutes this morning when my boss informed me that I had fucked up three times.  Already.  Before 8:00 a.m.  So, Lucky Contestants, go for it!  You be the DoFI* at Dicks 'N Balls; you obviously couldn't be any worse at it than I am. 

Next challenge:  Get me a date.  Ha!!  Good luck, suckas!

*Director of First Impressions

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Late Night Ramblings

I had an audition earlier this week and I am waiting to hear if I got cast.  This is difficult.   And it occurred to me that it belongs in a long list of things that are difficult for me. (Note:  I originally used the word “hard” rather than “difficult” but, if you know me, you’ll understand why that became problematical so I changed it to “difficult”.)   I decided to make a list of things that are har-I mean difficult.  I’m guessing some of you out there (you are out there, right??) will identify with one or two.
  1. Waiting to see if you have been cast in a show.  I mean, right?? Does time ever move slower??  I remember when I auditioned for my first show in Birmingham, after not doing theatre for 26 (!) years and wanting the role more than anything. It took THREE WEEKS before they finally called me to say I got the part.  Heart Attack City.
  1. Not saying something funny if you know it won’t be nice.  Yeah.  I’m not so good at this one, but I keep trying.  I have this genetic condition that if there’s a joke out there I have to make it or I’ll implode or something, but I’m working on it.
  1. Not having that last beer when you know you shouldn’t.  This is hit or miss with me.  It usually depends on the people I’m with and how much I can trust they’ll still like me the next day.  I'm lucky to have some incredibly understanding friends.
  1. Not buying something I REALLY like, even though I know I can’t afford it.  Okay.  There is this pair of AWESOME blue suede shoes at SteinMart that I absolutely adore, but they’re $40 and I really don’t need them.  I try them on every week, but so far, I haven’t bought them.  We’ll see how that goes.
5,   Actually working while I’m at work.   I don’t think I have to explain that one.

6.   Not getting a dog.    I can’t afford it.  I’m not home enough.  I live in an apartment, with no yard. But I’m lonely.  And I could use some affection, canine or otherwise.   
  1. Saying no.  I cannot tell you how many times this has gotten me in trouble.  Most notably with ex-boyfriend Bad Steve, who took all my money. Talk about learning your lesson the hard way. L
  1. Cleaning my apartment.  I am not a hoarder.  But I do have an impressive Dust Bunny Collection.  I’ll clean the place this weekend, I promise.
  1. Sleeping.  Which is what I should be doing right now. 
  1. Letting go of someone you love. Whether it’s the loss of a pet, divorce, sending your kid off to college or having someone you love pass, I think this is the most difficult thing of all.  And here’s a tip from an Oldster—it never gets any easier, no matter what the circumstances. There is a reason for that--it’s The Most Important Thing.  Because this is the one Difficult Thing that makes you realize how precious the good times are, so you shouldn't fuck them up.
That's why I'm off to Steinmart on Saturday to try on those beautiful blue suede shoes. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Must Not-See TV

For as long as I can remember, I have been in love with TV.  I would get giddy at the start of the new fall season and tediously map out my viewing plan; editing as the season progressed (and I discovered that most of the shows I watched sucked.)   That never deterred me from going through the same ritual every year; essentially renewing my vows.

But then a weird thing happened.

In January, I started doing a whol' mess (as the young folk say) of shows and found myself rehearsing/performing/partying almost every night, up until the end of August.  And I just wasn't home/sober/conscious enough to watch TV.   I fell out of love. TV is crap.  Go know.

In scripted shows, plotlines and characters seem hackneyed and nine times out of ten I can predict the next line.  Which makes a great Drinking Game (what doesn't?), but kills the drama I want in a story.  And reality TV just makes me embarrassed to be a part of the Human Race.  I'm thinking of not renewing my membership. 

Part of this could be my Advancing Age and the fact that I now have the attention span of a flea.  When the rest of the audience of  "Up" was boo-hooing over Carl's dead wife, I was sobbing uncontrollably as the dog said, "Squirrel!", because that is my life.  I would sit down to watch what used to be one of my favorite shows and after about 10 minutes I discover there's a beautiful sunset view from my porch and I'm there.   I can't even remember what I was watching.  Squirrel, indeed.

About a month ago, I cut back on my cable, so my U-verse bill would no longer be bigger than my car payment.  They never sent me a list of what was on my New Limited Viewing package, so I flipped through all 20-something channels to see what potpourri I had received.  I get the major networks, 17 home shopping channels, a couple Jesus Stations of the Cross and The Barbie Channel.  The Barbie Channel.  A fucking 40 year-old plastic bitch with no nipples gets her own TV channel, while I sweat auditions for community theatre.  There is a serious misalignment in the universe.

TV and I are through.  I guess if it calls and wants to get together for a drink now and then, I'd go, (as long as there's some Rescue Me involved) but I have moved on and am optimistic that---SUNSET!!!