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.