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.