Monday, December 17, 2012

Stressmastime is Here

Although I try very hard to live in the moment, I find it particularly hard at this time of the year.  Especially because this year,  thanks be to the Theatre Gods, I am insanely busy. 

I did not get all the presents for my kids I wanted to; I have not yet  begun to wrap what I do have; I did not get to decorate the apartment; the apartment itself is a disaster area, due to my Kitties' refusal to clean house.  (And maybe a bit from my never being home/intense laziness.) 

But, at the end of the day, none of that shit matters.  Because, here in Debbieland, there is something about Christmas Day that has a different feel from the rest of the year.  It's like time moves differently; sort of like when you're stoned, but everything isn't as funny and you don't have the munchies.  It's me and my kids, which makes it wonderful, no matter what day of the year it is, and we always have the best time.  There is something about that incredible bond you have with your kids that seems a bit stronger on Christmas.  And all the shit you didn't get done doesn't matter.

I'm really looking forward to that.  But, it doesn't stop me from stressing about it beforehand.  (Along with the added Theatre Stress of:  please let me remember my lines; please let more people come to the show; please let me learn my lines for the next show; please let me get that part I auditioned for, etc. etc.)  Not to mention work.  (Because I have learned the hard way to *never* mention work via social media. Meh.)

So, here's to what really matters during the holiday season:  Being with the people you love.  And hoping they won't mind running lines with you.

Friday, December 14, 2012

How I Learned There Is No Santa Claus

I guess I should have put a spoiler alert in front of that title, but you have to find out sometime.

The Christmas I was nine the present I wanted most was a Slinky.  I know, I know, but I've always been Low Maintenance.  Anyroad, I was extremely vocal about this.  I talked about it ad nauseum, I freaked out when the commercial came on ("Everyone wants a Slinky, You want to get a Slliinnkky!")  It was the 50's, brainwashing was in.  And of course it was the top of my list in my Letter to Santa.

On Christmas Eve, I was telling my mother how excited I was about Christmas, and, in particular, about finally getting a Slinky.  She stopped dead in her tracks and gave me a Joan Crawford "no more wire hangers-ever" look, and said, "What's a Slinky?"  I regaled her with the many wonders of the Slinky and then plaintively reminded her, "I told Santa I wanted it!!!"  She angrily threw on her coat and yelled to my father, "Charlie, I have to go to Thrift Drugs, I'll be right back!"  She came back twenty minutes later with a small, square box in a brown paper bag.

Now, in addition to being LM, I am also Extremely Naive, but I ain't the dullest crayon in the box, so I put 2 and 6 together and figured out that Mommy + Daddy = Santa Claus.  I wasn't so much disappointed in finding out He didn't exist as I was deflated that Mommy hadn't listened to me.  Again.

Moral of the Story:  Keep bitching till you get what you want.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Insert Random Pun About Sleep as Title

I have no business posting anything today, as I am so tired my Exhaustion Meter is down in the Meltdown range; proved by the fact that this morning when I woke up, I had to ask The Kitties my name.  (I'm Meow, by the way.)  Anyroad, I thought since I was drifting along in La La Land today, I might as well write about sleep. DISCLAIMER:  The quality of this post is not guranteed and your money will not be cheerfully refunded if it sucks. 

I love sleep, but I'm not very good about going to bed.  Even if I am as exhausted as I was last night (it's tech week), I will always stay up way past my bedtime, just because I can.  Part of it is because the act of getting ready for bed, (the teeth, the face, the jammies, the constant re-evaluation of my life and worrying about everything) takes so long, it's easier to sit on the sofa, absentedly petting The Kitties and staring into space, a decision I regret the next morning.

But I always repeat the same pattern.  Sa plus change. . . . .  (The elipses are for dramatic effect, not because I forgot the rest of that phrase.)

When I was a kid, my mother went into Full Battle Mode to try to get me to sleep. (And eat, but that's another story.) I had to drink warm milk with molasses in it every night, and yes, it was as disgusting as it sounds.  Along with this concoction, I was told every night that my sister always went to sleep when she was told to, why couldn't I be more like her?   I don't know how this Delightful Duo was supposed to make me want to sleep.  It usually ended up with me laying in bed crying, because I was nauseous and felt inadequate.  The same thing happens today, only it's due to beer and learning lines.  . . .sa plus meme chose.  (See! I told you I knew it!)

Since this has been a life-long pattern, I've gotten used to it.  I know that, eventually, I will get more than five-six hours sleep one night and the next morning I will be my usual, bubbly, delusional self.  And I will promise myself that I will go to bed earlier every night from now on.  And promptly break that promise.  At least I'm predictable. 

And exhausted.  Meow out.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Quasi-Seasonal Post

I love to shop.  I was veritably raised in a department store when I was a kid (the late, great Kaufman's, in Pittsburgh), so I guess it's in my blood, it certainly isn't in my wallet.

 I am also a bargain hunter.  I'm one of those tacky people who if you tell me you like what I'm wearing and I got a particularly good deal on it, I will bore you with the details.  (Like, no lie, I once got a dress at Rich's when it was Rich's, not Macy's, that was originally $112, marked down to $17!!!! NO LIE!!!)  See??  I can't help it.  It's a Primitive Instinct.  (Caveman:  "Honey, I just killed a mastodon!"  Cavewoman:  "I just picked a bunch of blueberries, discovered there was a raspberry bush right behind it, found a new source of fresh spring water and got an abandoned saber tooth skin that fits me like a glove!"  CaveCouple: "Woot!"  We prehistorically rock!")

But there are some things I can't understand wanting to buy.  One is horses, you all know how I feel about horses, and I cannot for the life of me understand the attraction of Pandora bracelets.  They're not particularly pretty and they're really expensive.  They're like the Rolex of bracelets, another uber-expensive item I don't get.  I suppose if I were in another income bracket (I'm more in an income parentheses, rather than a bracket), I might grasp this concept, but I doubt it. 

Because while I love the Thrill of the Shopping, I'm not that concerned with accumulating cash.  I don't have a gift for it, for one thing, in fact; I am the Anti-Scrooge McDuck.  And despite the Bad Steve Debacle (Slogan:  I put the Deb in Debacle), which still rankles, I'm okay with having just enough money to get by (or buy, if it's a bargain.) The best things in life may not be free, but they aren't Pandora bracelets, either. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

In Which a Dude on TV Pushes my Buttons

Ain't technology grand?  It has changed/improved(?) our life in so many ways, and improves(?) itself quicker than you can say (?). 

For example, It seems in no time at all we had the I-pad, the Better Resolution I-pad, the Smaller I-pad, Reduced Fat I-pad and who knows what the next three hours may bring?  It is mind-boggling to watch us whirling uncontrollably into the future. 

On a completely unrelated note, which I will eventually cleverly tie in to my original premise, this morning I had the TV on, as usual, for background noise, and a commercial (I don't know what it was for) came on which began by a guy saying (paraphrased), "Parents, your daughter is a blessing from God and a precious gift, who will grow up to be a wife and mother...", at which time I pressed the Mute button.  Now, don't get me wrong.  I think there is no nobler calling in the world than being a wife and mother.  I did it, am proud to have done it and feel it was the best experience of my life (the mother part, didn't do so well in the wife arena).  But, you know what?  I would still have been an amazing woman if I had not been a wife and mother.  And while I will humbly admit to being an Incredible Mom, I also have a helluva lot of other incredible accomplishments under my belt, that have nothing to do with parenting/wiving.  I realize those last two sentences essentially said the same thing, but that is because I want to emphasize this point:  Being a parent/partner is not necessarily the end-goal in life--especially for a woman.  Why, here in the 21st Century (right?, I haven't missed a number, have I?), are we not admitting that women are People as well as Baby Factories.

Which brings me back to my original thought.  Technologically, we are leaping forward at a warp-drive rate, yet, large sections of humanity still cling to antiquated ideas of prejudice, homophobia, un-equal rights/pay for women and underwire bras.  If technology can move forward, why can't we as human beings accept the fact that life is too fucking short to waste it on hatred and violence when love and peace would be so much more pleasant? 

I know this is not an original idea; the list is endless of people who espoused this same theory (many of which, sadly, were killed for their ideas).  But, as I get older and crankier, I find I have less patience with people who try to complicate life by wanting everyone to be clones of themselves.  My daughter happens to be married and she and her husband may or may not have children, that's up to them.  If she had never married and decided to have children, that decision would be up to her. If she were gay, that would have been the way she was born.   I did not, after giving birth to her, think, "God has given me a heterosexual daughter to grow up and be a  wife and mother."  Actually, what I thought was, "Cool, I made a person!"  But, I digress. . .

So, Anonymous Dude on my TV, don't tell me my daughter is a gift from God because she will grow up to be a wife and mother.  We are all gifts of the Universe/God/Allah/Yahweh/Whatever (even you, asshole) and we should all love each other and embrace each other's uniqueness and encourage each other to create a peaceful, loving universe. 

If we spent more time on that than inventing new I-pads, I bet we'd all be a little happier.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Reading is Fun and Mental

But in a good way.

I love to read, always have.  I taught myself to read when I was four, because I was bored and lonely. I read all the Little Kids' Books that were popular at the time, Pokey Little Puppy, Engine that Could, Good-Night Moon, etc.  But the coolest books I had were the ones my grandfather gave me. 

For my fifth birthday, he gave me a wonderful book of poems,  "Now We Are Six", by A.A. Milne.  "I'm only five," I told him.  "But by the time you are six, you will have read the book," he answered, which made perfect sense to  me.  It's still one of my favorite books and I read it several times a year.

He gave me a book called Anno and Tanno, about two kids growing up in Norway.  It was beautifully written and had gorgeous illustrations, and had the ability to make me feel I was right there with naughty Anno and Tanno, slipping out of my boots  (as I was being punished by standing behind the blackboard), and running out into the snow.

The year I was in fifth grade, Pappap was in the hospital with a mild heart attack, but he had my dad give me the book he had bought for me--a huge, gorgeous book of Japanese Fairy Tales. 

I read  these books a million times when I was a kid.  I love the fact that the books he gave me opened up  a completely different world that I would never know in person.  And that every time I think of them, I can feel their magic all over again.  That is pretty fucking cool.

There are a gazillion things I adored about parenting my kids when they were young, but one of my Top Faves has to be reading to them.  It didn't matter that they invariably picked a book that we had already read 1,000 times; or that they were old enough to read the book themselves; the joy of them cuddling up next to me, totally lost in the world of the book, gave me a special closeness with them like nothing else.  And it always seemed to me that I could feel my grandfather's love surrounding us.

Thanks, Pap.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Smell Ya Later

I spent most of my morning looking at perfume on-line.  This is fun because:

1.  I am a Girly Girl
2.  The names and descriptions of a lot of the perfumes are delightful.

Here are some examples of my favorite perfume names:

Cheap & Chic Hippy Fizz
Glow After Dark (main ingredient:  nuclear waste)
Ed Hardy Love & Luck (wasn't he a character on Married With Children?)
Moschino Funny (which I keep reading as Maraschino Cherry)
Halloween Freesia (one of these things is not like the other. . . .)
Poupee (really???  "What are you wearing?"  "Poupee."  "Yuck.")
fcuk (supposedly stands for French Connection UK, but, come on. . . . This may also be the Official Perfume of Dyslexics of America.)
Sex on the Beach (tag line:  "Make yourself happy, then look around."  Presumably to make sure no one saw you making yourself happy.)

Some of my favorite ingredients with unimaginable smells:

Ofbarrigtonia Flower
Bourbon Geranium
Tonka Bean (no relation to the trucks, I hope)
Fig Leaves
Juicy (????)
Pink Pepper
Bamboo Chord
Sand Accord (is that a beige Honda?  Who wants to smell like a beige Honda?)

I have certain rules about what perfume I wear.  First, I will not wear any perfume made by Jessica Simpson, Celine Dion or Paris Hilton, because I have some pride.  Second, the musk/patchouli thing doesn't work.  If I wear something with those ingredients, after a while I start to smell like old socks, not a good aroma for me.  Third, I prefer a new perfume, rather than a classic.  If I wear something that's been around since the 40's or 50's, I feel like I've been stuck in a drawer filled with mothballs, and I constantly hum Tommy Dorsey songs.   Last, I'm a pretty poor/cheap fucker, and I don't want to spend more than $25. 

I haven't decided what to buy yet, I'm enjoying the cyber-hunt too much.  But don't be surprised if the next time you see me I'm reeking of Tonka Beans and Ofbarrigtonia Flowers.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Yet Another Geeky Theatre Post, Part XXXIXXVIE

I caught the end of an NPR story on Saturday about a 12-year-old boy who was having trouble socializing. (Only in the 21st century is this considered news.  In my day it was known as "life".)  Anyroad, the NPR crew followed this kid around, recording his trials and tribulations, trips to the shrink, parent-teacher conferences, etc., etc.  They revisited him after a year and he was much better, doing theatre and making friends.

I know, right???

Now, I know a lot of people in theatre who felt perfectly--well, moderately well-adjusted in middle/high school.  But I also know a shitload of us theatre folk who never felt socially accepted/comfortable during those years and were grateful/amazed to find The World of Theatre, where  people were accepting, encouraging and loving.  I, personally, never have been able to find that anywhere else, with the exception of with my children.   I tried civilian life for a while, but it didn't take.  I would make a valiant attempt to join a conversation, then invariably I would make a comment that caused all other members of the conversation to turn and stare at me like I had three heads.  My virulent prayers for lightning to strike me, or the earth to swallow me or Instant Armageddon were never answered.  So I retired from Real Life and came back home to Theatre.  It's kinda like living in a Leper Colony, only more fun.  (Disclaimer:  I don't really know this for a fact, never having actually lived in a Leper Colony.  Lepers might have more fun than Six Flags, for all I know, but hanging out with a bunch of people who look like Burgess Meredith in "Braveheart" doesn't sound like a good time to me.) 

This feeling of  family is probably not exclusive to theatre.  But I bet you a dollar to a donut that you'd be hard pressed to find a story like the one above ending with, "JoJo was doing much better after a year, calculating compound interest rates and making friends."

Theatre is a helluva lot more than just standing on stage, spouting dialogue.  It's home, and where my  heart is.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Raindrops on Roses

Like everyone else, I have a long list of things that I'd like to have that will never happen.  Here's a brief sampling of mine:

Straight hair
Love of housekeeping
A clean house
Unlimited funds
Unlimited fun
World peace
Piece of ass

The list is endless, but you get the idea. 

When I was younger, I actually tried to achieve most of these things.  (Except the height thing, that lengthening process sounded too painful.)  I used to spend 30-45 minutes every morning painstakingly straightening my hair using a three-way process, only to step outside the door in Humidbama and instantly look like Don King.  There was a time (albeit brief) when I cleaned my domicile Every Saturday.  We all know Bad Steve blew the unlimited funds part.  When Unlimited Fun turned into Unlimited Hangover, I pulled back a bit.  I was a Fledgling Hippie in the day, wearing a black armband, protesting the War (no, not the Civil, the Viet Nam, smartass) and not wearing a bra; I only regret one of those three.    I won't even go near the last one.  (That's what he said.) (sigh.)

As we get older and wiser (pause for sardonic laughter), we begin to realize that life really is a bitch, and then we die, so it makes sense to enjoy what we have, instead of pining over what we have not.  So, it being the time of year when we will soon be celebrating the anniversary of giving Native Americans smallpox, here is a sampling of things I have that truly kickass:

My kids
My theatre family
My kitties
My acting ability

I'm not sure what I exactly mean by that last one, except that I think it's really important; even though it often hurts like hell and I'll never understand how it works (or doesn't).   Loving my life and the people in my life is what keeps me chugging along, curly hair, saggy tits and all.  Happy Friday, Y'all, Love you.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Aftermath (and other classes)

I'm waiting to hear back from the insurance adjuster, but I figure this Car Fiasco will cost me a minimum of $1,400.  So, Anonymous Driver Who Hit my Car in the Middle of the Night, you owe me $1,400.  And a six-pack of Stella (for Emotional Distress).

Yes, I know it could have been worse.  But it could also have not happened, which would  have been way better.  I often get the feeling that the Universe uses me as comic relief.  The Great Creator, or Giant Talking Head, or Whatever is in charge out there says to Itself, "I'm bored.  Let's fuck up Debbie's life in some way, that's always good for a laugh.  Hey, it's been a good six months since her car was wrecked, let's do that!  I love an oldie but goodie."  Done and done.

Oh, well, shit happens.  Especially to me, it seems, but I'm guessing, Dear Reader, that there are several of you out there that feel the same way.  That's just Human Nature in some of us.  And I am not looking for sympathy, just kvetching.

I know you are all out there waiting with baited (or bated, in the case of Dr. Redwine) breath to hear the outcome of the Saga, so I will keep you informed.  And if you happen to be talking to the GTH, please ask It to let up on me a little, a girl needs a break (a good one, not a bone-related one) every now and then. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Waxing Lyrical

In honor of Rojo Wednesday (rumor has it today is some sort of "holiday", but, whatever), I have decided to post some of my favorite song lyrics.  You have been forewarned.  Now is your time to close out this post and continue to search for YouTubes of dogs in costumes.  Otherwise, enjoy.

"Do you remember our last dance?
 I never wanted to change pants
 With you.....but I did....
 And now you have my keys."

"You see about 5 seconds after I took that picture a giant robotic crab came out of the ocean and took you away (far away).
 I hear you're married now with little crabs of your own and if I saw you on the street I'd look away (look away)."

changing the tone a bit. . . .

"The Magician he sparkles in satin and velvet
 You gaze at his splendor with eyes you've not used yet
 I tell you his name is love, love love."

"He knows the verb to love but never will know how."

"I sail my memories of Pa on boats along the Seine."

"And I find myself just wishing that my mind would simply cease."

Also, the entire songs of Billly Joel's "And So It Goes" and "Goodnight my Angel". And that lullaby by Peter, Paul, and Mary (I used to sing it to my kids) "I'll Walk in the Rain by Your Side".

These are fairly obscure, I know, and I'm ashamed to admit I haven't listened to any current music since 1990 (I'm working on my certification as an Old Fogey), but I still think they're all pretty cool. 

Happy Rojo Wednesday, everybody, Trick or Beer!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wednesday Rant

I work with a lot of very grumpy people.  They barely (if at all) ever say hello to me and I guess they would get disbarred if they actually smiled.

Now,  Universe knows that I'm not always a bubbling fountain of joy and enthusiasm and I spent most of  my life with Extreme Moodists, so I'm used to temper quirks, but to go around constantly grumpy and unsmiling seems to me a waste of a life. 

Maybe it's because my daughter had emergency surgery yesterday and I was on an emotional roller coaster, but today I am uber-grateful for the wonderful gifts (like my amazing children) that I have been given. 

I try (sometimes successfully) to not judge people.  And maybe these attorneys have untold trials (other than their normal kind) and tribulations I don't know about.  But I have been beat up mentally, emotionally and physically, lost people I love, had all my money taken from me, fired, evicted, rejected and had to ride in a fucking tow truck over 10 times in my life, but I still manage to pull a smile out of my ass every once in a while.

My story is not unique.  I have many dear friends who have histories that make my life seem like Paris Hilton's (only with underwear).  I am not seeking pity here.  What I am saying is, Grow A Pair, attorneys who make a shitload of money!  Life Sucks.  But it's short, so spread a little sunshine around every once in a while and it just might bounce back on you. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The times they are a-changing

But in the following regard, I don't get why.

I am short.  I was born short.  I will probably die even shorter than I am now.  (Thanks Osteoporosis!)  I know a lot of other short people, many of them women.  Who, for one reason or another, wear clothes.  Which we buy in stores.  That used to have Petite Sections.  Not so much anymore.

"Shorties" are proportioned differently than "Tallies".  If you buy pants in the "regular" (or as I call it "Giant") section, you can hem them for length,  but chances are the crotch will still hang halfway down your thighs.  I am categorically against labia lengthening to solve this problem, but you have your own opinion, I'm sure.  Shorties have shorter arms, smaller shoulders and, well, we're just shorter than then "regular", or "normal"  people.

(I hope you are all playing a drinking game that as you read this every time I put something in quotes you take a drink, because then you're probably hammered by now.  Slainte!)

Many stores used to have Petite Sections.  Ross completely got rid of theirs.  Macy's, Belk's and my beloved SteinMart still have them, but every I time I visit one of these establishments the Petite Section is smaller and Woman's World (For Big Beautiful Women) is larger.  It's kind of like a fashion industry Twilight Zone episode.  Where's Tim Gunn when you need him?  Or Rod Serling, for that matter.

I guess I'll just have to get taller.  Or fatter.  Or change gender.  Or embrace nudism, which probably wouldn't go over so well here in Conservativeville. 

Well, we all know none of that will happen (except the getting fatter).  Short women are still around, retailers, and we still need clothes.  Either start carrying them in stores again, or pay for our trips to Oompa-Loompaville so we can get clothes that fit.

Dippity do and out.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Freedom of Speech, Debala Style

For me, there is often a fine line between speaking my feelings or keeping them to myself.  Lawd, I know y'all are tired of reading this, but for the first 50 years of my life, what I said was pretty much dictated by whom I was living with.  If I said something the aforementioned livees disagreed with, I was reprimanded.  I don't take reprimands well.  And if I tried to fight back, the emotional repercussions were too much for me to handle.  Good times, good times.

As a result of this, I tend to apologize for a lot of things I say, whether it's warranted or not.  My dear friends have accepted this in me, realizing that it's an autonomic response at this point, much like answering the phone or going to Rojo; I just can't help it.

Writing this blog has helped me be less self-conscious about speaking (or writing) my mind.  I guess it's the anonymity of the thing.  For all I know, nobody is reading this (but you are, right???).  If you are reading this and you don't like it,  unless you *really* don't like it, you won't say anything, so I won't feel reprimanded.  And then some of  you are very kind and say nice things about my blogs, and that makes me feel Awesome.  I like that part.  Thanks.

I think another reason I don't really give a shit anymore and can say what I feel is that I have finally accepted that I will be Flying Solo the rest of my life.  I like sex and I like being a partner and this has been a hard concept to let go, even though history teaches us I wasn't very good at it.  (The Partner part, that is; I'm egotistical enough to think I had some skills in the boudoir.)  In the past, I would verbally tiptoe around potential suitors, afraid that if I said the wrong thing, they would run away in the opposite direction, screaming uncontrollably.  But, they ended up doing that anyway, so what does it matter?  At some point in my life, I have to let a little reality seep in and I guess I've reached that milestone.  Good for me.

That being written, this has been a difficult post for me to write.  I metaphorically (and sometimes literally) duck when I bare my soul, waiting for that lightning strike to hit me. 

Luckily, today I'm wearing rubber-soled shoes.  

Friday, October 5, 2012

Greetings from Planet Wacko

I sometimes feel I have no control over what I decide to write about.  This is actually comforting to me.  I have/continue to make so many poor decisions in my life, that I prefer to think that Bidnar and Poglip from Planet Wacko send me secret messages and guide my typing, rather than Little Debbie just making them up.  I preface today's blog with this poorly worded statement because my topic today is. . . . .love.

This is probably the most unoriginal subject I could write about, other than the Presidential Election (Please, God, let it be over soon!).  So, if this edition of Debala's Diatribes seems boring, trite and repetitive, don't blame me, I voted for Bidnar and Poglip.

First of all, the word "love" is grossly overused.  Second of all, actual love is grossly underused.  Perhaps this is because the concept of love is so simple it's complicated, or vice versa, depending on where you're standing.  There are all kinds of love, of course.  I love My Kids in a different way than I love The Kitties, in a different way than I love My Friends in a different way than I love Bacon. 

 All of the above loves have hurt me at some time in my life (bacon indigestion is a bitch),  but I never stopped loving any of them.  Because love trumps pain, like paper trumps rock.  Love is not rocket surgery, it's just commitment and the strength to be hurt and forgive.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

See?  I told you none of these revelations were going to be original.  And I have no idea why Bidnar and Poglip felt that I needed to spew out this information today, the birthday of Chester A. Arthur (we went out a couple times, but there just wasn't any chemistry).  But who am I to doubt the thoughtwaves of two Wackoians?  And, while I would like to think that these Alien Musings will bring lasting peace to the Middle East, I think it's more likely they won't, because I believe in Love, but not Miracles.   (Ironically, I don't care for the song I Believe in Love, but I do like I Believe in Miracles.  Go know.)

I really intended to write about the Father of Modern Accounting being gay, but I guess B & P felt otherwise.  And, as we all know, To Thine Own Aliens Be True.

Peace Out, Loved Ones.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Door Reprise

A court reporting firm just came by with fliers (flyers? Help me, Grammar Nazis, you're my only hope) for a free lunch this Friday in Linn Park.  At the bottom of the fl--thingy, is a stub to enter for door prizes. 

I will eat your free lunch, but I will not enter your contest for door prizes.

This is because I can almost guarantee (or your money back) that the door prizes will consist of one or more of the following:

* free weekend for two at the lovely, romantic blahblahblahblah
* free dinner for two at the lovely, romantic blahblahblahblah
* free bunch of stuff for people who own their own home
* free something to do with Alabama or Auburn football

So why bother? 

Here are some examples of door prizes I could really get into:

* free cat pan cleaning for a week
* free month's worth of Draft PBR at Rojo
* free hot (straight) guy telling me I'm sexy for a week
* free role of my choice in any Birmingham theatre production this year, without me having to audition for it

But, alas, these things only exist in Debland, which does not; so I will shut up and eat my free barbecue.  There are worse things.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Crazy Is as Crazy Does

I am a talker, and I  talk outloud to myself.  I'd like to say it's because I've lived alone so long, but the truth is I've always done it.  I probably got in the habit of it when I was kid and had no one else to talk to.  I need to get a fake bluetooth so that people walking down the street won't think I'm crazy.

But I probably am.

All the women in my mother's family eventually go crazy; some earlier in life, some later.  It's not Alzheimer's, the doctors don't know what it is.  I call it Crazy Irish Women's Disease.  Although, my mother's maiden name was Downs, so I thought of calling it Downs Sydrome, but I understand that name has been taken (Equity rules). 

Unlike some of the women in my family, if I am crazy, I'm Good Crazy, not Bad Crazy.  Except for a touch of the Paranoia, I'm generally overly optimistic about life, love my friends to distraction, and see a joke in almost everything.  The CIWD victims who are Bad Crazy, are Uber Paranoid, Mean, Greedy, Self-centered and Judgmental. (aka Republican)  If I *ever* start to exhibit these traits stick a DNR  note on my chest and shoot me.  Thank you.

I have come to embrace my craziness, because I don't see any option; other than letting it drive me crazy, which I'm afraid would cancel out the first crazy and leave me sane.  I don't think I could live that way.

So, if you see a short, aging, curly-haired lady walking past Linn Park  talking and laughing away to herself, please know that she does not actually live in Linn Park.  She's just A Functioning Lunatic, probably headed to Rojo.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

*Insert Clever Title Here*

I have often described myself as a "loner".  I don't mean that in a derogatory way, though.  And it certainly doesn't mean I am Alone, although there was a time when I was. 

Pretty much the whole six years I was with Bad Steve I was Alone.  I never knew when he would breeze into town or how long he would stay.  I wouldn't hear from him on a regular basis (usually just when he needed money).  And when he was with me he wasn't really "with" me, if you know what I mean.  I just had an overactive imagination that convinced me that I was in a relationship and somebody really loved me.  I was wrong.

Ironically, now that I am not in a relationship, I have lots of people who truly *do* love me and I am not Alone.  Happy Ending.  Also,  nothing to do what I started to write about, so back to your regularly scheduled programming.

ANYROAD, I don't think being a loner is a bad thing, although people tend to equate loner and serial killer.  I can assure you, unless you count roaches and spiders, I have never serially killed anything.  To me, being a loner just means you are comfortable enough with your uniqueness that you don't want to compromise it by being bored/awkward/uncomfortable with a bunch of people who label themselves, just so you will fit in.  *That* was a helluva sentence, I'm pretty sure any English teacher would tell me to change it, but I think it gets my point across, and I'm not in school anymore.  So there. 

I never did the sorority thing, I didn't join any extra-curricular clubs in high school, Girl Scouts made me feel like I had no right to call myself a Girl and I was pretty sure I was (I checked regularly). 

This is also one of the 4,298,637 reasons why religion never appealed to me.  Too many of their concepts (in any of the 439 religions I have tried, I'm an Equal Oppportunity PooPooer) didn't make any sense to me and I didn't feel like wasting precious time on a Sunday morning with a group of people who believed things I didn't, when I could waste precious time on a Sunday morning sleeping (which I Wholeheartedly Believe In).

So label me a loner if you like, that's okey dokey with me.  And I bet if I started a group who believed in sleeping in on Sunday mornings, it would be bigger than Catholicism.  Who's with me??

Friday, September 21, 2012

I Have No Idea What to Call This One

This is probably not the most original observation I've ever made, but I am fascinated by the changes in one's psyche over time. I am using the word "psyche" here because I don't really think there's a word for what I'm talking about.  It's that Fascinating Thingy that makes you want to do certain things (not "that" certain thing--everyone wants to do "that"!), or like certain things or feel led in a certain direction at any given time.  I guess I could call it "Fascinating Thingy", but that sounds awfully undignified and we all know all dignified I am.  (HA!)

Anyroad, I am not talking about when you're young how you like to play with kids' toys and when you're older you prefer "that" kind of toys; nor am I talking about how when you have kids their likes become your likes, whether you like it or not.  That's called Parenting.  I am as Anti-Sports as you can get, but I spent a helluva lot of time yelling my lungs out at soccer/softball/baseball/rugby games when my kids were younger.  I only follow the Steelers today because my son's a rabid fan.  That's called love, which, coincidentally, is the Major Ingredient in Parenting.

No, I'm talking about. . . well, it's hard to describe, so I'll just give you an example.  For the first eight years I was divorced, I was a television addict.  I paid through the nose (ouch!) for expanded cable so I could watch everything I "needed" to see.  I curtailed 70% of any social outings in favor of watching "Monk" or "Eureka", etc., etc.  I became obsessed with certain shows and wouldn't answer the phone during them.  During the beginning of the new fall season I don't think I even bathed.  (And got even fewer invitations to socialize at that time, strangely enough.)   For a good portion of those eight years, I was dating Bad Steve, and watching TV was one of the only three activities we did together.  And we now how well that turned out.

When I moved to the apartment where I am now, I still watched a lot of TV at first, but then I noticed how incredibly awesome sunsets looked from my porch and how deliciously dramatic thunderstorms were from the same location.  Then I did back-to-back-to-back-to-back shows, and I barely looked at my apartment, let alone television.  Last year, after Angels in America Part Two closed, I had three months off for the first time in a year.  I tried watching TV again and it was like I had been sprayed with television repellent; let's call it Off, because that's what I did to the TV.  So I cut back on my cable channels, just getting the local stuff.   I wanted to keep those because I have watched the Today show in the morning every day of my 60 years and I don't think I could function if it weren't droning in the background.  At first I was worried that I would miss the endless array of crap on TV but I didn't.  I found myself hanging out with friends a lot more and they were way more entertaining than Tony Shaloub, although I am a big Tony Shaloub fan.  Ever see "Primary Colors"  He's great in that movie.  But I digress. . . .

You must realize that this TV addiction did not just start with my divorce.  I was raised by daytime television when I was a kid.  My mom spent 65% of her day on the phone and the rest (Please don't ask me to figure out the other percentage.  I was a Theatre Major.)  doing housework/cooking.  She'd come into the living room a couple times a day to give me food and change the channel.  But the whole idea of "spending time with your kid" never occurred to her.  I do not call that Parenting.  

That's why this turning away from the boob tube is such a big deal to me.  It's not  just switching from Miracle Whip to Hellman's, this is really Life Changing.  A Fascinating Thingy, if you will.  Or, even if you won't.  It's my Fascinating Thingy.  Go get your own.  You'll be glad you did.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Electrifying Personality

There is something about me that tends to kill appliances and electronic devices.  I have killed three computers in ten years.  Just after I killed my last computer (in March), my microwave died. I can't count the number of vacuum cleaners I've owned that expired on the second or third use.  And for the last two months, my phone has been acting wonky.  I am thinking of contracting myself out to the State Department for espionage work.  They could send me to the Middle East or Mordor or Republican Headquarters, wherever is our current greatest terrorist threat, and just have me live there for six months.  I could bring down a third-world power grid  in less time than it takes a Kardashian to get married and divorced.  You're welcome, America.

Along these lines, sort of, I discovered on Wednesday that my former employer (CPA Firm Which Must Not Be Named) has been paying me for the last month, maybe two, even though I don't work there anymore.  I admit, shamefully, that my first thought on seeing all this extra money in my checking account was, "Yippee!  Now I can buy a new computer, microwave and phone!" (I can live without a vacuum cleaner); but this was quickly followed by, "Yippee!  The FBI will come walk me out of my office in handcuffs for fraud!"  So I dutifully called my old HR rep and reported it.  She said she'll get back with me on how much the actual overpayment is and did I want them to debit the amount out of my account or did I want to write them a check?  I will write them a check, thank you; because, based on recent performance, I'm afraid they'd debit my entire checking account away, and steal my precious kittens, as well.   I am still waiting to hear back from her. 

Perhaps the Federal Government should hire CFWMNBN to do their books.  I'm betting they could get rid of that pesky deficit in a hurry.  And convince China that they owe us money. 

They say what comes around, goes around.  In my case, it just keeps going around and around and around and around. . . . .

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Time to Remember

When I tell civilians that I am an actor, the first thing they invariably do (after looking at me like I have three heads), is say, "I don't know how you memorize all those lines."   (Conversely, when I tell civilians that I am an improvist, the first thing they invariably do {after looking at me like I don't have a head at all} is say, "I don't know how you make all that stuff up."  Go know.)

I don't actually know how I memorize all those lines, either.  I do it because I have to and a lot of it involves hopinglikehell that I remember what I'm supposed to say on stage when I'm supposed to say it.  I have learned that I have to say the lines out loud in order for it to stick in my addled brain.  And I have to go over the lines every day during the run of the show, even if we're dark that night.  And that's still no guarantee that I'll say the right things at the right time.

There were a couple of times during Hamlet that what came out of my mouth was not English, although it was during a time when I was supposed to talk.  So there's that.  And during last Saturday's Earnest performance, I started to say a line I had already said.  But, thanks to my improv ability, I made something up around the line that made quasi-sense.  I hope. 

When I was in high school, our school was chosen as one of two high schools in the country to do an evening performance at the National Thespian Society Conference.  (As oppossed to the National Lesbian Society Conference, where all attendees are expected to perform every evening.)  It was quite an honor.  The play we did was All My Sons, by Arthur Miller.  It's kind of like a practice Death of a Salesman.  I had a smaller role, Sue Bayliss, but I did have a scene where I had a juicy monologue.  When we were doing the show at the conference (in front of 3,000 people), I had just finished my monologue.  At this time, the screen door was supposed to fly open and the male lead was supposed to come out and interrupt me.  By the use of my double "suppposed to's", I guess you can figure out that it didn't happen.  I looked at my scene partner, who turned green, letting me know that she wasn't going to help me out of this; so I just launched into another monlogue, one that Mr. Miller never wrote.  It went on for what seemed like two hours, but finally the lead burst through the screen door, looking, I am glad to say, uber-flustered.  I said the exit line I was supposed to say two hours before and left the stage.  And tried to stop shaking.  The cool thing about this is that in the audience was the woman who had originally played Sue Bayliss on Broadway, and she told my director that she thought that unless you knew that role,  you would never know I was just making shit up on the fly.  That made me feel good.

Okay, that enthralling tale had more to do with not talking to people when you should be listening for your cue rather than memorization, but it does speak to . . . . well, it doesn't really speak to anything, I just happened to think about it.  Hey, I'm a stream-of-consciousness writer, get over it.

I tell myself that memorizing lines is actually good for me, in that it helps stave off the dreaded Alzheimer's.  I figure if I can memorize a 10-minute Polonius speech, I have a good chance of remembering my name and where I live.  (Providing, of course, I don't have too much Cast Party.)  

So, if you see a woman wandering the streets of Highland Park, muttering, "I have a daughter, have while she is mine, who, in obedience, hath given me this!  Gather and surmise!", just point me in the direction of 34th Street.  Merci. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Home "Sweet?" Home

In my fantasy world of Debland, filled with unicorns and rainbows and really good beer, every day I come home to a tidy apartment. 

In Realityville, however, I come home to Kitties, Miller High Life and a Federally Declared Disaster Area.  Granted, I wouldn't trade my Kitties for all the unicorns in Narnia, but I also suspect they are largely to blame for the FDDA.  I'll take full responsibility for the MHL. 

I realize I have had rehearsal for the last few weeks, as well as improv shows two weekends ago and I was out of town for Labor Day Weekend, all of which are high up on the list of Excellent Excuses for Not Cleaning House (Vol. 360); but still, it's always a little disheartening to have to wade through piles of clothes/junk mail/cat toys/????  to get to the sink, where you try to figure out which glass you can extricate from the pile of dirty dishes that will be least likely to give you botulism.  (And for any smartasses out there that will snarkly comment, "You could actually wash a glass.", please accept this bird.)

How awesome would it be to be greeted at the door by some hot, young-ish guy in a shirt, unbuttoned to *here* and wearing nothing else, who has the apartment sparkling, the Stella poured into a fancy glass, the sheets turned down and Bruce Springsteen singing softly how he's on fire. (Excerpt from: Fifty Shades of Deb or Debland After Dark). 

*I'll give you a moment to collect yourself*

Yeah, well, fuck that shit.  After leaving the house at 7:30 a.m. and getting home at 10:00 p.m., I'm lucky to make it up the 49 steps to my apartment, not step on a kitten or two and find my way to my bed, which is filled with cat toys, not boy toys. 

But it could be a lot worse.  At least I don't have to clean out a unicorn pan. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

To Blave

One of my favorite quotes is from Mozart:

"Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius.  Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius."

Although I'm sure he was talking about this in relationship to music and I usually think about it in terms of theatre, I also think it applies to love of people/animals.  Now, I am in no way saying I'm a genius.  Mozart was probably saying that he was, but he was, so that's okay.  So rather than "genius" what I guess I should say is "that incredibly warm fuzzy feeling deep down in your psyche that you can't put into words but  makes you feel whole."  That doesn't flow as nicely as what Wolfy said, though. 

I think I first experienced that feeling with my dad.  Sunday morning when my mom and sister went to mass and I got to stay home with daddy was the highlight of my week.  In winter we'd watch Jon Gnagy Art Lessons on PBS and play house and in summer we'd take long walks and get popsicles.  It was the only time during the week anyone played with me at all, and it was heaven.

When I started to school and made friends, I felt that same connection.  Here were people who really liked me and wanted to be around me, how cool was that?  I am still friends with three girls I met in grade school, and I love them as dearly today as I did 145 years ago. 

Then, of course, when I had my kids my love meter went through the roof.  That is an undescribable feeling, so I won't even try.  But if you have kids, you know what I mean.

I have an incredible group of friends here in The Ham.  Some I don't get to talk to/see on a regular basis, but I love them all dearly and I think of them a lot.  Whenever we see each other, we invariably say goodbye and "I love you."  To some people, this might seem like a theatre affectation, but to me it's a lifeline.  My parents/sister never said that to me.  And from the way my mother and sister often treated me, I don't know that I would have believed them if they had.  So, needy as I may be, hearing that from my dear, wonderful friends on a regular basis is important to me.

And now I have The Kitties.  Dianne, Holly and Kathleen all told me that the cats would change my life and I pooh-poohed them.  Well, lovies, I rescind my pooh-poohs.  I adore my kitties.  I can't wait to get home after rehearsal to see them.  They are both little lovebugs and truly feed my soul. 

You may notice that this treatise has no mention of "romantic" (or as I call it "non-existent") love.  I have  never been very good at that.  Huzzah for you if you have it, but it just ain't for me, so I don't feel qualified to blog about it.

But anyway you get it, love is pretty fucking awesome.  Love you guys.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tales of Yesteryear, Part II

So, there was this one night in college around 11:00 my boyfriend and I decided to go down to the Point and smoke dope.  Two explanations:

1.  The Point is the place in Pittsburgh where the three rivers converge.  Today it is all built up (I presume, I haven't been to Pittsburgh in many a year), but back when I was in college (1835), it was just a bunch of big, black rocks where no one ever went and, therefore, perfect for illicit activities.

B.  "Dope" is what we old-timers used to call weed.

For some reason, which I am sure made sense at the time, rather than just walk through the city streets to get there, we decided to walk along the river.  It was nearing flood stage, so I guess we thought there wouldn't be anyone else around.  And there wasn't.  Except for the police.  Who stopped us and wanted to know what we were doing.  Like they do. 

Now, my boyfriend, (for lack of a better name, I'll refer to him as "Martin") had spent his last two years of high school in a reformatory, for burning down a movie theater.  On purpose.  It seems he lied about his age on his job application, saying he was 16 when he was only 15.  He began to get paranoid about being caught in this atrocious lie, therefore, he snuck into the theater after it was closed, stripped down to his whitey tighties and smeared himself with Vaseline so when he set the records room on fire, the flames would slide off his body and he wouldn't get burned. 

Yeah, I know.

Anyroad, this history made Martin (understandably) a little skittish around law enforcement officers and when the cop asked us what we were doing, he started to stammer and shake and just generally look as suspicious as fuck.  Thanks, Martin.  So, I started a monologue on how we were curious about the flooding and wondered what the river looked like and we went to Point Park, which was just up the street, and my father ran a stationery store on Wood Street and my grandfather had been caught in the Great Flood of '37 and escaped the store from a second story window by boat, blah, blah, blah.

At this point the cop, sick to death of a ditsy college kid rambling on, stopped me and told us to go back to school.  Which we did.  Scared shitless.

I think this was the first time I ever did improv.  Of course, I didn't realize I was doing it at the time, because I didn't know what improv was.  And actually, all that shit I spouted was true.  I just conveniently forgot to mention the on-our-way-to-the-Point-to-smoke-dope part. 

Moral of the Story:  improv is an important skill to have.  It can keep your ass out of jail, even if you're dating a Certified Dumbfuck.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Conspiracy Theory

I am not prone to political posts.  (But I always allow alliteration.)  However, every once in a while, I feel led to share my Weirder Ideas.  (Yes, very funny, "You mean everything you post," you say, ha. ha.  It is to laugh.)  But check this out.

The Republican Party, in an effort to draw fire away from Paul Ryan and/or Romney's tax returns, paid off a lesser-known politician (Todd Akin) to say something so ridiculously absurd and inflammatory that everyone would start talking about him and forget all about Paul Whatshisname and Romney's legal tax evasion.  Even if it isn't true, it worked.  (Like clapping for Tinkerbell.  Everyone knows that clapping can't bring back the dead, but that damned fairy came alive anyway when we clapped, didn't she?)

This is basically why I don't trust any politicians, even the ones I vote for.  And, yes, I do vote, even though I feel I'm being unrealistically optimistic about our country every time I do so.  But I also believe that Bad Steve will someday pay me back the money he owes me:  Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present  the Grande Dame of Delusions 'R Us. 

But, much like resigning myself to the fact that I'm An Undatable, once I accepted that all politicians suck, it made watching the political fight more enjoyable, in a detached sort of way.  Like watching a toddler pitch a fit in the grocery store; it's entertaining because it's not your kid. 

So, I feel free to come up with these ridiculous political theories which, for all you know, may be true.  Then again, maybe Tink wasn't really dead, but in a medically-induced coma that she just  happened to come out of when we starting clapping.  And I'm sure that check from Bad Steve will be in the mail today.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Gimme That Ol' Time Religion

When my ex and I had kids, I insisted that we all attend church together.  I had been raised Catholic and Fred had been raised Methodist, so we compromised and went Presbyterian.  I did not insist this out of any strong religious fervor; I just felt that organized religion (as much as I loathed it) would be the best way to instill a moral compass in our kids. 

Well, my kids are now full-blown Adults and officially The Two Most Awesome People on the Planet, and their moral compass is steady on, thankyouverymuch, but I don't think going to church had shit to do with that.  Charlie, in fact, hated going to church,  like I did when I was a kid.  Makes a momma proud.  No, I just think Fred and I were good parents.  And our kids are good kids. 

I have actually always envied people who were religious.  I feel like they have a gene I  didn't get, like being able to roll your tongue (which I cannot do).  If I could believe that strongly in a set of arbitrary rules made up by a group of people who think they know God better than I do,  my life might be easier.  But I have issues with so many religious teachings that to give lip service to any church would be, for me, Uber Hypocrisy.  And I just ain't down with that.

I have strong beliefs, which I will not bore you with here (this blog is boring you enough, I imagine), and they developed not out of the teachings of any one church, but out of life experiences, and self-reflections and soul-searching.  What I believe feels right to me and I would never try to foist it on anyone else.  You are entitled to believe what you want to believe, too, of course; but unless I ask you about your beliefs, keep that shit to yourself, s'il vous plait. 

I feel the same way about prejudices.  Everybody has them, but you don't need to broadcast them or try to try to ram them down other people's throats.  I'm as paranoid as the next guy (hey!  Why is that next guy looking at me??), but I can't imagine believing that the world will fall apart if two people of the same sex want to get married.  Can't people find a better hobby than to bitch about other people's personal lives?  Talk about a fucked-up moral compass. 

Okay, enough ranting for today.  As the Immortal CSN once sang, "Everybody I love you", even if you're stupid and don't believe what I believe.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Bring in the Funk

I'm in a Funk today.  Guess it's the weather, but I feel all jumbly inside; at sixes and sevens, as the Brits say.  (A phrase that makes no sense, but what do you expect from a country that gave us "Tally Ho" and crumpets.)  But the sun will come out tomorrow, as the Prophet Annie tells us, so I'll just work through this Funk.

You know how things never happen the way you think they will?  Yeah, that's getting on my nerves.  I try to embrace the concept of accepting what the universe throws me, but I feel like I've gotten way too many curve balls in the last 60 years, and I'd kinda like to be able to hit one out of the park for a change.   I try to fall back on the Count Your Blessings thing, but today my Funk is blocking that site.  Meh.  Let's change the subject.

The Bar Kitties and I have been watching some of the Olympics, but I find it pretty hard to relate to all the amazing athletes when I can't go three days without falling or walking into something.  (Last night it was a chair leg.  Today I'm limping.  Case closed.)  The Kitties can't relate because they're cats.  And their wrestling skills are far better than any Olympian I've seen.  Meh.  Let's change the subject.  Again.

Usually when I get into one of these Funks I buy myself a Treat and I feel better.  I'm getting my car's oil changed before rehearsal tomorrow, but I don't think that counts as a Treat.  (At least not for me.  Car will probably be happy.)  Maybe if I could get my oil changed. . . wait, that sounded dirty and that's not what I meant (Although...).  I guess I just mean I'd like a Do-Over for today.  Drain my Funkiness and replace it with, oh, I don't know.  . .beer? 

Anyroad, thanks for reading, if you have.  Actually, the sun *is* supposed to come out tomorrow, according to Weathergod Spann, so I guess I can hang in there for the rest of Funky Friday.  Tally Ho!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

While Away the Hours

It's surprisingly hard to kill time 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.  It's mostly made up of  reading, with two cups of Yahtze, a tablespoon of WWF and a dash of Angry Birds.  (This game is extremely frustrating to me, mostly because I'm sure there's a bevy of 10-year-olds out there who can kick my ass at it.)  But around 2:00-ish, that recipe loses its flavor and I spend a lot of time staring blankly at the Harbert Center with random song lyrics and snatches of play/movie dialogue running through my head.  "Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down.  ."; " Any fool can play this game, Mr. Kirby."'; "Coffey, John Coffey.  Like the drink, only not spelled the same"; etc., etc.)  So I'm pretty much a Blathering Idiot by 5:00.  (As opposed to the Composed Idiot I am at 8:00 a.m.) 

Towards the end of the day, I start to make up song lyrics.  My current one (to the tune of the BeeGees "You Should Be Dancing"):  Whatcha doing at your desk?  Whatcha doing at your desk?  You should be writing, yeah!  Writing, Yeah!

Yes, I know.  And I have every intention of doing so.  One day.  My dear friend Jen and I have talked about this a lot and she said I should just write *something* every day, it doesn't matter what it is.  Lately everything's coming up bloggish ("for me and for you!" or is it "for you and for me"?  Please advise.), which is fun, though not that productive.  But, it is a start and in the words of Daniel Martin's Hungry Hungry Hippo who eats rice cakes, "Good for me!"

I keep thinking that one day, out of the blue, the Our Lady of Literature will descend into our lobby and say, "Hey, Gump, why don't you write "___________________"? 
Me:  "Awesome idea!  Thanks, OLOL!"
OLOL:  "No problem.  Peace Out.  Cute kittens, BTW."

What that really is, of course, is a half-assed excuse for not writing.  I gotta  million of  'em.

Maybe I should write a book of half-assed excuses?  (Insert political joke here.)  Yeah, that's a good idea.  I'll start doing that.  In a minute.  But first, "Brandy, you're a fine girl, what a good wife you would be..."

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Totally Made-Up Story, That Never, Never Happened

The following entry is completely hypothetical and is in no way related to anything that happened at anyone's workplace this morning. 

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Beddie, who worked at an Extremely Conservative office.  There were many bosses at this office, some nice, some notso, but everyone agreed that there was one head honcho who was a Super Offal Boss (SOB).  Nobody liked this guy, including Beddie, and everyone tried to avoid him when at all possible. 

At a random time in history, having nothing to do with today's current events,  the SOB sent out an email saying that posting anything on the bulletin board about Chick-Fil-A was inappropriate and forbidden.  Now, Beddie hadn't seen this partcular posting; indeed, she made a point of never looking at the bulletin board, because she was new to this job and extremely paranoid about outing herself as a Real Person.  She answered the phone and signed for packages and validated parking and peed the three times a day when she was allowed to, all with a  face that she kept in a jar by the door.  Because at her last job, she had let a bit of her humanity show and was told to leave.  So, Beddie just assumed the Forbidden Notice had been posted by some Closet Liberal (or *gasp* someone who is not of the heterosexual persuasion) and the SOB took offense. 

But in a bizarre twist of irony that life often throws at us, like Strom Thurmond having a bi-racial child or Charlie Sheen getting another sitcom, it  turns out the SOB's son is gay.  Someone put up something pro-CFA and anti-gay and he was offended, thereby bizarrely exhibiting Human Behavior.

I guess the moral of the story is that there are Super Asshole Pro-Gay people and Super Asshole Anti-Gay people and who fucks who is really nobody's goddamn business, and we should all be able to afford to go to a doctor if we need to, whether you're married to anyone or not, or eat fried chicken or carry a gun or actually like Charlie Sheen.  (In fact, if you actually do like Charlie Sheen, I strongly suggest you make an appointment with a psychiatrist as soon as possible.)

Beddie was then asked to consider joining the Office Bible Study which starts in the fall.  She will be declining the offer.  Unless, of course, they're serving Chick-Fil-A.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Know Thyself, Just Not Very Well

I was overwhelmed by the positive response I got on my last blog.  Thank you so much, everybody--you rock my blogworld!

I was going to say "I love being creative," but that seems a silly thing to say.  (Although, you will notice I went ahead and said it anyway.)  It's who I am.  The logic portion of my brain is about the size of a microbe. Then there's a sad, cobwebbed-laced chunk for my libido, and a hefty chunk for my love of beer and the rest is all dedicated to creativity.  So saying "I love being creative" is kind of like saying, "I love the largest portion of my brain.", which seems weird.  You know what, I'm going to make this whole paragraph optional, you don't have to read it if you don't wanna.  Oh, wait. . . .sorry.

Anyroad, the frustrating thing to me about my creativity is I never know when I'm being any good or not.  I mean, I don't think I ever really suck (except in certain improv games, but everyone does that from time to time), but sometimes I'll do a scene, or an improv thingy or write something and I'll get all giddy because I think I really nailed it and nobody else thinks it's that special.  On a scale of 1-10 they judge it a "meh".    And then I'll act or improv or write something I think is okay-but-not-special and people say they love it.   I don't expect to be consistently Really Good, that's unrealistic.  But I wish I had better Spidey Sense about when something I do is better than usual.  Maybe there's some kind of chip I could get implanted in my brain (perhaps in the unused libido section) that would send an alarm when I do something RG like, "Hey fuckface, this is Really Good!"  You science types out there, work on that for me, will you?

Now, on a scale of 1-10 of things that are A Major Problem, this is definitely a "yeah, whatever".  It does not rank up there with my Weird Personal Magnetic Signal that Kills Computers, Appliances and Vacuum Cleaners or  my Inability to Go More Than Two Months Without Falling Down, so I'm okay living with this conundrum.  And, I have faith in science.  Silly Me.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Tale of Bridey O'Toole

In 1976, I lived in a residence for women run by Hungarian Nuns.  I had few friends, but I did become close with a 40-something Irish practical nurse named (I swear to God) Bridey O'Toole.  Bridey took care of a wealthy, mentally disturbed woman in Michigan, but kept a room at St. Mary's, so she could come back to visit.  On the plane to NYC in 1976, the stewardess (because that's what they called them then) was pouring her a cup of tea when they hit some turbulence and she poured boiling water on Bridey's leg, melting her polyester pants and giving her 2nd degree burns.  She ended up staying in NYC longer than she planned to have physical therapy on her leg.  Part of her therapy was taking long walks.  And, since I had no other friends or any other activity on Saturdays, Bridey and I would take long walks every Saturday; from 72nd Street where we lived to 34th Street and back. 

Bridey was a hoot.  She had red hair, and a brogue as thick as Guiness.  She had 100 or so brothers and sisters back in Ireland that she supported.    Before she went to work for the Crazy Michigan Woman, she was the nurse to a retired Jewish Jeweler, she called Papa.  She worked for him for 10 years and in his will he left her $10,000 for every year she worked for him.  That was a lot of money in 1975.  (Not that I would sneeze at it today, either.) For some reason, Papa knew all these famous people (or so Bridey claimed). The two people I partcularly remember her going on about were Don Ameche and Jaye P. Morgan, star (?) of The Gong Show.  The stories were entertaining, but I didn't believe them for a second.  I was raised by  Crazy Irish Women and I'm used to them telling totally fictional stories that they swear are true.  

Well, one day we were walking down Fifth Avenue and all of a sudden Bridey gets all flustered and starts running down the street, waving her arms, yelling, "Jaye P!  Jaye P"  I stand on a subway grate, hoping it will open  up and swallow me, while quietly trying to get Bridey to shut up.  But, damn, if a woman doesn't turn around who IS Jaye P. Morgan and she says, "Bridey!  Bridey O'Toole!  How great to see you!", and gives Bridey a big hug.  I was floored.  It turns out I was the one full of blarney, not Bridey.

On my birthday, she took me to lunch at the Waldorf Astoria.  The meal was delicious, but Bridey spent the whole lunch telling me that now that I was 24 I better get married in the next year or I'd be a spinster for life.  It was just like having lunch with my sister.  We went to the movies afterwards, she let me pick, and I chose "Dog Day Afternoon".  We sat close to the front and in the row directly back of us was the Local Chapter of the Black Panthers, fully uniformed.  At one point in the movie, Bridey turned to me and said in an Irish Whisper, which could be heard from Pennsylvania to New Jersey, "Debbie, doesn't that man look like he has nigger lips??"  I figured it didn't matter if I was a spinster then, because I wouldn't live to see 25.  Irish Women are not known for their subtlety.

Bridey stole away in the middle of the night a couple of months later, leaving me a lovely book on Dylan Thomas, because she knew I was a fan.  But no good-byes, because that wasn't how she rolled.  I never saw or heard from her again.

But I did get to meet Jaye P. Morgan.  Wow.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Just Stuff

A few years ago, the Army had a marketing campaign whose motto was, "Be All You Can Be".  I don't know if that's possible.  At least not for me. 

I certainly can't Be All I Want To Be.  I want to be tall, I want to have straight hair, I want to be able to dance and sing really well, I want an acting career, I want a bra that really get the idea.  None of those things are possible in Debbie Reality.  Meh.  I've reconciled myself to most of them, though  I will never stop searching for a bra that really fits and makes the girls look good and is comfortable, and doesn't cost a small fortune.  It has to exist, it just *has* to. Some may say that I'm a dreamer. . . . .

This does not mean I don't like who I am--I do.  I am a Strange Bird, but thanks to a year in therapy and some awesome drugs, I have come to embrace my Strangeness and think it's kinda cool.  I no longer feel guilty or feel that I'm a bad person because when I care, I care too much; that I take my acting and improv work so seriously;  or that I gave Bad Steve all my money.  It just means I think with my heart more than with my brain; I have an undying passion for my art and I am Unbelievably Naive and truly thought Steve  loved me and would pay me back.  I was wrong.  I backed the wrong horse, which is why you won't find me hanging out at the track.  But none of those qualities make me the Subpar Individual I used to believe I was.  They just make me...Me.   So while I don't know if I can ever Be All I Can Be, I am content with Being All I Am Right Now.  Which is a Short, Curlyheaded, Klutzy Receptionist with Saggy Tits.  Who is happy with her life. 


Friday, July 20, 2012

What Do You Expect?

While I'm waiting for my Prozac to kick in, I'd like to write to you about Expectations.

Not the Great ones that Chuck wrote about, but Normal Everyday Expectations. 

I don't have any.

And since I seem to be creating too many single sentence paragraphs here, I will elaborate.  There has never been a single, solitary instance in my 131 years on this planet where what I expected to happen exactly happened.  There have been rare occasions where part of my expectations were realized  (I knew no good would come out of that whole Archduke Ferdinand assassination thing), but usually my expectations are fulfilled in one of two ways:

A.   The exact opposite of what I expected; or
2.    Absolutely nothing.

Not that I am always disappointed in my Failed Expectations.  Some A's and 2's have been quite pleasant. 

A Example:  I forgot to take my raincoat to work yesterday and I expected to get soaked.  It didn't rain.
2 Example:  Several  years ago I was exposed to one of those stomach virus thingys and I thought I would get it.  I didn't. 

Wow.  Those are two incredibly lame examples.  I bet you expected more.  See??  That's what I'm writing about!  If you don't have any expectations, then you're not disappointed and, sometimes, (although certainly not in the case of this blog) you are Pleasantly Surprised.  Like  I am now, as my Prozac starts to take effect.  Ahhhh. . . . . .

BTW, on a completely unrelated note, I would someday like to write a novel about a 19th Century Street Hawker called Great Expectorations.  But don't expect anything from it.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Games People Play

Normally, I enjoy things I do well; like parenting, acting, improv, reading, se.  . .well, you get the drift.

But the exception to this Debbie Rule is games.  I *love* playing games, but I really suck at it.  In the little over a year that I have been playing Words With Friends, I can count on one hand the number of times I actually won a game.  I am slightly (*clears throat nervously*) obsessed with Yahtzee, which I play about a million times a day, complete with my own OCD rules.  I get absolutely giddy if someone asks me to play Monopoly, but I don't think I've ever won a game in my life. 

I don't know why I love something I can't do well.  I guess I believe that one time I might actually win a game.  This is the same Naive Optimism that makes me believe that Unicorns will one day rule the world and Bad Steve will one day pay me back the money he owes me.  Okay, naive might be too light a word. . . delusional is probably more realistic.  Oo, wait, I like that--delusional is probably more realistic.  Every once in a while, I come up with a good one.

Anyroad, the point here is that I really love to play games and I almost always lose, so if anyone out there in Readerland wants a Major Ego Boost, WWF awaits.  You may already be a winner.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Decisions, Decisions

I've made a couple of good decisions lately. 

Taking this job was a good decision; not that I really had a choice.  It was my only offer in three months and the cut in pay seemed a small price to pay for (hopefully) restoring my sanity.  It ain't perfect, but what is?  And I could have done worse.  Or not done at all.

Getting the Kitties was a good decision. We are getting along famously and waking up to those two sweet faces in the morning is a joy.  Rojo is a little bigger and very outgoing, while J Clyde is teeny tiny and shy.  Nothing like their namesakes, but Uber Adorable and they make me even more happy than going to those two establishments do.  Which is saying something.

Naturally,  making these two good decisions feels weird. That's not like me.  (Reference:  the chorus of Paul Simon's "Something So Right".  That's how I feel right now.  The rest of the song is a love song, and therefore irrevelent to me, but enjoy.)  I would like to believe that this is a *sign* that my life is finally taking an upswing, but my Pessimistic Irish Nature can't grasp that concept.  Instead, the PIN tends to believe that this is just the rainbow before the apocolypse.  I'm stocking up on duct tape, cat food and beer, just in case.

Regretting past decisions is a waste of time, but I do it anyway.  If I hadn't decided to quit theatre in college, I might actually be making a sort-of living in it now.  Or not.  And, I wouldn't have had my kids, which is the best thing I've ever done.  And, I sincerely doubt I would have ended up in Birmingham, which is about 1000% better than me staying in Pittsburgh.  I made the decisions I made and that's how my life was meant to go. So shut the fuck up, Deb.

I mostly regret not being more ballsy when I was younger.  People scare the shit out of me (I know I've told y'all that before) and my tendency was to not say anything even when I wanted to.  I guess I was afraid that people would hate me forever if I said something they didn't like and I would end up alone.  Now that I have ended up alone, it's not as apocolyptic as I thought it would be.  My kids are awesome and so are my friends and now I have Rojo and J Clyde, as well.  So, these days I shoot straight from the hip and so far none of the above-listed Awesomeites have abandoned me.  Of course, the kittens are pretty young. . . .(Mental Picture:  My two Kitties with little bitty bindles over their shoulders, sadly walking away from my apartment.)

 I'm thinking of taking the high road on this issue and choosing to believe my life is going to get better and better.  As long as I pay attention and don't take the curves too fast, I think I could end up in a nice place.  With Kitties in tow.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Real Phoney

So, this is how my Friday morning started.

I get a phone call at work from a cell phone in Cambridge, MA.  It is some guy asking me if I will give him a spanking, as he really needs one.  I politely decline.  (Although it does occur to me that, along with refilling the candy dish, this may be one of my new duties.  I'll check with the Office Manager later.)

He calls twice more.  I politely hang up on him.

THEN, I get another call from Cambridge, MA from this kid's father, asking me if I just got a prank call.  I said I had.  Dad asked me what the kid said and I told him.  Dad freaked out, said his kid was only 15 and he wanted to scare him out of this annoying habit by telling the kid he was going to send the kid to my office and really have me give him a spanking; the worst of his life.   This did not make me feel any better about the situation; in fact, it just creeped me out more than I already was, which was plenty.  I politely hung up on Dad.

The point of this charming tale, other than to make you feel better about your Friday morning, is to illustrate just  why I hate talking on the phone.  I am truly phonephobic.  It sometimes takes me days to screw up my courage enough to call someone.  I approach making a phone call the same way I approach killing a cockroach; I close my eyes, and hope it will all be over soon.  I would rather spank a 15-year-old kid in Cambridge, MA, than make a phone call.  I think you get my point.

I'm not really sure exactly why I hate phone conversations so much.  I am Extremely Awkward in any social situation, but especially in one-on-one confrontations.  If there is more than a five-second lull in the conversation, I get panicky and start spouting NASDAC indices or speaking in tongues or telling inappropriate jokes just to fill the Deathly Silence.  Now you know why I'm alone.

I am sure, Clever Reader, that you have, by now, sensed the delightful irony in a Phonephobic answering  phones for a living.  Well, if Awkward is my middle name, then my Confirmation name is Irony.  Cause that's how I roll.  Awkward and Ironic.  A match made in Purgatory.

Thank God for texting/messaging, enabling me to actually stay in touch with people without having a stroke every time I pick up the phone.  Otherwise, --wait, my phone's ringing. . . Gotta go, it's Spanky and Our Gang from Cambridge again.   Where's my paddle?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Smile, Darn You, Smile

When I was a little kid, I asked my parents why grownups didn't smile very much.  They couldn't come up with a valid answer.  From my vantage point, being a grownup seemed way more cool than being a kid and I thought if I ever became an adult I'd smile all the time.

Well, ostensibly, I am a grownup now and, no, I do not smile all the time.  But I sure as hell smile more than the people I work with.  Man, what a bunch of Crankypants!   And the higher their rank, the more cranky they are.  I don't know why they're so pissed off all the time.   I know they make about 10,824,537 times more money than I do.  Ditto for the amount they get laid compared to me,  so what do they have to be grumpy about??? If I could make decent cash and get some dick every once  in a while, I'd be floating on air.  But here I am,  living hand to mouth and hand to---well, you know,---and I still manage to smile and say "Good morning", where these sourpusses just slither on by without a word.  They act like they graduated from the Snape School of Social Skills.  (Except Alan Rickman is hot and they aren't.)

Hey, wait a minute.  I just had an idea.  (That's a bad sign.)

What if the reason they are grumpy is because they're NOT getting laid?   Perhaps I could start a "side business" and kill a whole mess o' stones in one throw, as it were.  It worked for that Mom in Manhattan, right?  Oh, wait, she's in prison now.  Okay, maybe not.  I told you it was a bad sign.

The grass is always greener, I suppose.  I think they should be happy because they have money and sex.  They probably walk by me and say, "Gee whiz, that middle-aged, slightly stoop-shouldered woman with the curly hair has no responsbility at work  and a big bed all to herself at home--talk about lucky!" 

And, after all, I am the one with a smile on my face.   :)