Sunday, August 31, 2008

true confessions of a mastermind criminal(s)

     Since Jason hinted at some sort of scandal involving me, Jonathan, and a few hundred starbursts, I figured I would just come clean.  You know, confess and feel better and all that.  Not that I've ever needed to confess anything before; I mean, I've only heard once you do you feel better...from uh, other people who have had to...;-)

    So, when Jonathan and I were little, my parents would give us each one starburst once we completed our chores.  Well, it wasn't long before we realized that we could siphoned some more starbursts from the bag (we weren't dumb; we knew exactly where mom kept them) and just pretend that we were still chewing the one that we had initially been given (Wow, mom, these starbursts sure are chewy! And then we would share a knowing glance; there's nothing like crime to bond you together, you know).

  Our plan worked perfectly, for a time.  But, I guess nothing lasts  forever.  Anyway, our Achilles heel turned out to be something as simple as where we chose to dispose of the evidence.  If we had only thrown the wrappers away like a normal person, we would probably still be stealing starbursts from the utility closet today, but no--we had to be all cloak and dagger about it.  

   We decided that the best place to put all the evidence was in Jason's bedroom--specifically, the baby cradle that was in his closet (why Jase had a baby cradle in his closet, I have no idea). We figured this was a win-win plan: either the wrappers would never be found because let's face it, nobody ever looks in the baby cradle in Jason's closet, or if it was found, Jase would get pinned with the crime and we would be far away, having already wired the starbursts to a swiss bank account, living out our days scott free while drinking shirley temples with little umbrellas in them.  That was the plan, anyway.  

   The day came when pop, I believe it was, discovered the wrappers in Jason's baby cradle.  This had been going on for quite some time now, so the baby cradle was literally stuffed with starburst wrappers.  Jason was summoned up to my parents' office, which only meant one thing: he was in big trouble.  He had no idea why he was in trouble, but Jonathan and I knew right away.  I remember feeling horribly guilty, but at the same time, we were bonded in our terrible secret and just couldn't give it up.  

 Well, Jase was up there for quite some time, and all the while we thought that we were free, that there was no way they could trace those wrappers to us.  But, uh-oh, Jason skips out of the office and my parents' then call us in.  Gulp.  What happened in there?  Did Jason know?  How could he have known?  We were so careful; we made sure to only put the wrappers in the cradle when Jase was safely away at school and we were home schooling; we covered all our tracks, didn't breathe a word of the operation to anybody, and even wore gloves so as to not leave our fingerprints (okay, so maybe the gloves are an exaggeration, but you get the point).

   Turns out when my parents showed Jase the baby cradle stuffed with starburst wrappers, he claimed complete innocence, told them that he hadn't even seen those wrappers before.  And then he said it: He had been framed.  It was as simple as that; somebody was trying to stick him with the crime.  And he must have had some conviction when he said this; he must have had all the indignation of the wrongly accused to give him that passion in his voice and that fire in his eyes as he claimed his innocence, because my parents believed him.  As he trotted out of that room, free as the proverbial bird, we knew that the hook he had just escaped wouldn't be empty for long; soon, we would be on it...

  As we faced my parents, wracked with the guilt of our indiscretion, we broke down and confessed to everything.  And we had to apologize to Jason, too, for framing him.  I do believe there were some spankings involved, but it sure did feel good to be forgiven--as well as to finally not have to work so hard to cover up our...habit, if you will (but you shouldn't).     

   So, there you go.  That was the only venture into organized crime that Jonathan and I ever attempted, thank goodness.  And thinking back, it is pretty funny that we thought our idea of framing Jason was a good one.  Sorry about that, Jase!

On another note, this is my last night in Costa Mesa and then on to AZ tomorrow!  Six days under the hot desert sun (it was 112 degrees there today! yikes!), and then I go home for a brief and necessary visit!  Woo-hoo!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

live theater

    Well, I am upset about The All Powerful Blogger making the comments on my blog very very small.  I don't get it; does it make them feel powerful or something?  Since I did nothing to warrant this terrible change, I cannot think of anything to make it stop.  Except my ever-optimistic hope that it will just go back to normal soon.  

   I mean, that is what I generally do for injuries and most of the time it works.  Take my knee, for example.  Two weeks ago it was hurting, right at the patella (the knee cap, for those of you who don't remember junior high anatomy so well).  What did I do?  Just hope that it went away, and it did.  Which is what I did for my hamstring pain, my elbow pain (yeah, who hurts their elbow unless they're a tennis player?--and I am not!!!), my gluteous medious pain, and my foot pain. And again, it has worked, more or less.  But being the optimist that I am, I am gonna focus on the more part.

  Tonight, the show was kind of weird.  Let me rephrase this: the sound was really weird.  At one point, somebody's mic was popping and making horrible noises, so the sound person decided to do something to all of our mics that resulted in an unnerving alien-like noise that descended upon the poor, unsuspecting audience.  I could see them shudder and cover their ears at the noise, and I was struck with two feelings: the first was sadness that such a terrible noise was occurring during what is slated as THE BEST MUSICAL. EVER; the second was a desire to laugh because it is ironic that these people had bought tickets and were expecting to hear something beautiful, poignant, evocative, or funny--and instead were covering their ears in horror.  

  It reminded me of that scene from Serendipity where the mid-eastern flute player had made a music video and in it all of the local sheep people (or whatever they were) were covering their ears and running away from his music.  He said something like, I don't know if that gives the right impression of my music; shouldn't they be like clapping in joy and inviting me to their homes for a meal or something?

  Anyway, that was obscure, but I know Jenna will know what I am talking about, at least.  My point was, I don't think the alien-mother-ship-landing-on-earth sound was giving the right impression of our show, because certainly the audience holding their ears and shuddering was not what we were going for.  

It was unfortunate.  
But, kind of funny too.

And when I start seeing other people laughing in the show, well--it's really hard to hold it together.  I might have laughed a little on stage.  Maybe.  

But, it's live theater, folks.  Things happen in this flawed world that we live in and sometimes it means that you fall, forget a line, or miss a step, or sometimes it means that it sounds like aliens are landing on stage.  Either way, it makes for an interesting life, I think.  

Friday, August 29, 2008

the things that, apparently, really burned me up!!!

    Today I got to spend time with Jason, Darby, Ollie, and Lyric.  Last time I saw Ollie he had his usual brown hair and light skin; however, I was greeted by a little boy with skin as brown as a berry and longish, blondish hair (but if he asks, you didn't hear that from me; for some reason, he doesn't like being told that his hair is blond).  And Lyric--well, she is quite the fashionista!  She had on these trendy leggings with lace on the cuffs, a long tunic, braided brown belt (which is so in right now), and converse; she was just adorable.  It was so fun to see them!

    And Darb and Jase look about the same, in case you were wondering; still quite the handsome couple.  

   We had a lovely little time at Newport Beach, which, in Darby's words, had some of the interesting and beautiful qualities of Venice Beach without the smell of urine.  I appreciate that. 

   Darby brought me some interesting literature from home.  Somehow she got a hold of one of my essays from elementary school--I am guessing I was somewhere around 8 years old when I penned it.  The title is Things That Burn Me Up, and it even has a picture of a blazing campfire to go with it (in case you didn't quite get the idea from the title alone).  I have chosen some excerpts for your reading enjoyment...In the interest of keeping it authentic, I will be typing it as is, with no editing--with the exception, of course, of making it legible.   

   This got first heading, I guess it really made me mad...
  • On (my brother--I called Jonathan "On" while growing up), does bone squeeze on me. And it also hurts when he does belly button buster on me. Because after home schooling On and I have lots of energy and we go wacko and that's when he does belly button buster and bone squeeze.  
  Hmm, well you can't blame me for being upset.  I mean, bone squeeze?!?!?! Ouch.  And I am pretty sure that belly button buster was when Jonathan would catch me at the top of the stairs and drag me down them by my feet, with me on my stomach, effectively "busting" my well, belly button.  
  • One time we had a fold out bed that turned into a couch. On said to me that he will give me a quarter if I went down under the couch and he would fold the couch back in and for me to stay in their for five minutes so I went in their for like two minutes and then I said let me out but Jase and On kept on scwishing it in and I'm like screaming let me out to him. And then he left me in the couch and made me think he was going upstairs and that really burned me up.  
Well, yeah, I guess so!  And what I want to know is--did I ever get that quarter?! I am pretty sure I deserved it...If not, Jonathan owes me a quarter. I take checks.  
  • One thing that gets me mad is when it's realey late and every body is asleep except for you and your scared and your all swetey and hot but you don't want to get your blanket off because your afraid someone might get you. But your hot and your can't get to sleep. That really burns me up.
Quite literally, I guess.  And the really sad thing is that this still happens...Just last week--when I dreamed of those aliens...
  • Well I hate it when I'm sleeping in my brothers room and he acts like he's the boss and when I'm in the middle of a sentence he says be quiet I want to go to sleep.
This one really cracked me up when I read it.  I mean, in the middle of a sentence?! And believe me, though I didn't mention a name here, I had no problem figuring out who it was that I was talking about.;-)
  • I hate it when On or somebody tattle tails on me that burns me up.
Yep, nobody likes a tattle tail.  But, to be honest, I do remember doing my own fair share of tattling on my brothers.  In fact, one time I remember being pretty shocked because I overheard Jonathan use the word "wus." Well, I was positive this was a curse word and went straight to my pop with the bad news.  I was very disappointed when pop explained to me that it actually isn't a cuss word, meaning that Jonathan was off the hook.  
  • I don't like it when my brothers are mad at me because I feel guilty.
Some things just never change. Lucky for me, my brothers don't get mad at me that often.
  • I hate it when I'm bored and I have nothing to do and all my brothers are playing the Nintendo.
Yep, sounds about right--but now you can swap "brothers" for "husband" and "Nintendo" for "X-box."
  • What really burns me up is when I have no money and I want some bad and I can't borrow from anybody.
Sorry, but I don't remember this happening much at all.  When did I badly need money as a child?  When did I try to borrow from everybody I knew and was repeatedly turned down? Did I have bad credit, or something?
  • What I hate is when I brake something and I'm scared to tell any body about it but when I finally tell them their not mad.
Why did I hate that?  That sounds like a huge relief!
  • What really burns me up is when some body makes me enbarast in front of a crowd.
And that last one shows once again why I am a proud, card-carrying member of OSA*. And to be honest--I still hate when somebody embarrasses me in front of a crowd, or anyone, for that matter!  

  So, there you go--that's me as a young writer, passionately conveying to my mom (who, as my teacher, was probably the only one who read it!) how I feel about certain injustices or difficult situations.  Thank God I've learned a thing or two about punctuation and spelling--oh, and have finally come to understand the enormous difference between there, they're and their!

*Overly Sensitive Anonymous  

spiders and water, luckily not together

      I am sick of spiders.  I know that they help the environment and that the earth would implode or something without their little creepy presence, but really--I have had enough of them.  Two nights ago, I was walking behind the house I am subletting and almost walked head-first into the very middle of a large spider's web.  Yeah, right into where the spider was sitting, hoping to make me a late night dinner.  It is moments like that when I know I am saved by grace. Then, yesterday I was walking by some innocuous looking trees after the show and walked right into a huge spider web.  Of course it was dark and so I couldn't see where the spider went; but you better believe I made Gabby do a thorough inspection of my hair.  I was not gonna be any spider baby's mama, uh-uh, not me.  

  And tonight Gabby I and walked into our room and what do you think is sprawled out in the middle of our bed--where we lay our head down to sleep and trust that we will live to see the morning?!?!?  A SPIDER!!! I killed it, with no qualms at all.  No way I am going to let a spider live who knows where my bed is--what if he returned?  And he was angry this time--with friends who were angry too?  I had to kill him; it wasn't personal, it was business.  

   But on to more pleasant news: today I had a glorious day at the water park, Wild Rivers.  I love water parks.  Roller coasters make my stomach sick and my head hurt (unless it happens to be space mountain, which for some reason, doesn't), but water rides are just pure bliss for me.  I went for Colt's birthday with a group from the cast--a fun group of guys and me and my friend, Hollie.  

   I was a little water-logged and perhaps more than a little sun-tired (I don't think that is a word, but you know what I mean) during the show tonight, but it was worth it.  I love water slides and inter tubes and toboggans and wave pools and warming pools and log flumes and...well anything else that belongs at a water park.  

  Oh, actually I did have a moment of fear when I felt like I could drown in the wave pool--but friends helped me reach safety.  Those waves are no joke--at least I did not need to worry about keeping a shark bait in front of me; I just had to worry about keeping my head above water.  At one point, I ran out and grabbed a life-jacket (the desire of staying alive having replaced the desire to appear cool).  But when I ran back into where my friends were, I got whistled at (not in a you-look-sexy kind of way; more a you-are-in-trouble kind of way. actually) by the lifeguards and told that I could not go in the deep water with the life jacket on.  But wasn't that the whole point?  Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the life-jacket supposed to keep you from drowning in uh, deep water?  It didn't do me much good just standing in waist-deep water, wearing it like a little idiot, I can tell you that.  So I took the stupid thing off.  

  I am exhausted and gonna sleep really well tonight.  

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

the better story

       I don't want to miss the better story.

       Let me explain, actually, even better--let me show you an excerpt from the book I am currently reading, Life of Pi:

       I can well imagine an atheist's last words: "White, white! L-L-Love! My God!"--and the deathbed leap of faith.  Whereas the agnostic, if he stays true to his reasonable self, if he stays beholden to dry, yeastless factuality, might try to explain the warm light bathing him by saying, "Possibly a f-f-failing of oxygenation of the b-b-brain," and, to the very end, lack imagination and miss the better story.

      Every once in a while, a song, or an excerpt from a book, or even a dance will leap out at me and cause something in my world to all of the sudden make sense.  It's like I was finally given the right key to a lock that I have long since given up on turning.  And then, like a delighted kid, I take that key and turn it back and forth, over and over again, taking a deep satisfaction from the click and the ease of a right fit--because, finally, it works!

    Right, so I have reread that passage a few times and I keep thinking about the sadness of missing the better story.  We have this thing called perspective and it's forceful in the way it colors your life.  Jesus talked about it; I think that is exactly what he meant when he told people that when they look at the light, their whole body will be just bursting with it, radiant, even.  I want to be like that, I want to be looking at the light...Gosh, but what does that mean? What does that look like?  

   Well, I am not always sure, but I know I want to be aware of the better story, a part of it, whenever I can.  I know there are things very unromantic and un-exciting like bills that need to be paid and teeth that need to be brushed, but somewhere in the middle of all that there are magical, beautiful moments--there is humor that leads to laughter that doesn't necessarily serve a scientific function like the way a liver cleans the blood or a heart pumps that blood around; but still, it makes us feel better to the point that we feel good and that's something; there are sunsets that bathe half the earth in golden light while the other half is feeling for its shadows in such a way that arrests me in whatever ordinary task I am doing; and there are people--normal people like you and me--who hurt each other viciously and then learn the secret of the universe as they forgive and slowly, gently find their way back to friendship, to communion; they give a gift that is undeserved and this is a sign of God, if you ask me.  There are miracles every day, heart-lifting miracles of wonderment that remind me of the better story.  Because always, always--there is a better story, for those who have the eyes to see...

   And I want to be one of them.  

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

goals, in black and white

   Well.  My heart is beating just a little faster, my mind is racing just a little; I am trying to make something work.  Something that is difficult, but not impossible.  See, I just read an audition posting for a brand new Broadway musical, Spiderman.  And sure, I like spiderman and all, but that's not the kicker, uh-uh, not even close.  The reason that I am so excited is...drum roll please...

   The music is written by Bono and the Edge. From U2. That's right--Bono and the Edge!!!!

   And now? Well now I have gotten it into my head that I just have to do this show. How amazing would that be?  And the audition is in the city, on 9/16, which is a Tuesday; specifically, a Tuesday that I have a show in Boston.  But, not until the evening...I could do it.  It would involve paying some airfare, for sure, but it's doable.  I am going to make it doable. 

   Actually, I am a firm believer in faith; in believing for things in your heart that you don't see. Yet.  So, I am going to put some dreams out there, into the universe--from my mouth to God's ears, as the saying goes.  These are the things that I want to accomplish in the not too far-off future.  Oh, and these are career goals, mind you:

  •         Originate a Broadway show (preferably Spiderman, Um, hi, Bono--I am a big fan or your work...!!!!)
  •         Be in the musical, Chicago, on Broadway
  •         Make an album, followed by many albums--and play my music for lots of people  
   That's it, guys.  Is that too much to ask? Really, I know God is plenty able to open any of those doors.  My job is simple; keep honing my craft and showing up to auditions. Keep writing music and playing wherever I can.  Oh--and here's a biggie: Keep. Trusting. God. 

me and darby at the gypsy den

         Darby, who happens to be one of my favorite people and also happens to be in my family, drove down from L.A. for a visit today.   Our tearful good-bye in June was even more poignant due to the fact that we both thought we wouldn't be seeing each other until Christmas (this is because I am not great at knowing my schedule beyond a week or two, as well as not realizing that Costa Mesa is not that far from L.A. (there's that geography thing again, or lack thereof!)); but low and behold, we realized that we could hang out again.  So hang out, we did; it was downright serendipitous. 

       There is a place here called the Gypsy Den, a crunchy granola, eclectic sort of joint that is known for delicious vegetarian dishes as well as rocking open-mic nights on Mondays and Thursdays.  Well, I thought it might be nice if Darb and I checked it out and played--I love Darby's music and love to hear her perform, so it was somewhat selfish on my part.  Not really, though, cause it's a gift for others too...

      And it was actually the best open-mic that I have attended so far on the West Coast.  Almost everyone who played was talented, only one song each--so if it wasn't great, you didn't have long to wait till the next act--and the kicker: NO COMICS!  Yep, just music, music, and more music.  I have no problem with good comedians--but I have a big problem with bad, awkward comics who make everybody uncomfortable and resort to making fun of whoever happens to catch their eye at the moment.  It makes you want to disappear--or at least not make any sudden movements so as not to attract attention.  And then I get antsy.  Yeah, I don't like that at all.  

   Also, the place was full with a nice, attentive crowd and had a cool ambience.  The generous slice of coconut cake didn't hurt, either.  Darby played this beautiful lullaby that she wrote for Lyric; the place hushed when she started singing, her voice is that rich and beautiful.  Then, I played Bono for President, with Darby adding some background vocals.  It was fun, really fun.  We stayed a while--long enough to recycle the set again, so I played one more song (Darby opted out because she hadn't prepared another).  I played a new song I wrote, a love song.  

   I have to share this with you: one guy came up and sang one of the most depressing songs I have ever heard.  Seriously. It was all about homeless people and everything about it was just sad, for lack of a more interesting word.  The chords were sad, the lyrics were sad, his voice was sad--you get the picture.  I am surprised nobody killed themselves before the song ended.  Actually, the MC was really a funny guy and after the song he thanked the singer for sharing, saying to him, The only thing that would have made that sad song even more powerful is if you had been electrocuted right as you strummed the last chord.  That would have been a fitting ending.  There was something about the way he said it that was so unexpected and humorous--I just laughed out loud.  And the singer was a good sport; he laughed too. Oh, and nobody really wanted him to die or anything. I mean, he seemed nice and all that.  

  Well, I am out of Sabrina's room, back in the little guest studio with Gabby.  No alien dreams as of late, so that's a good thing.  I am going to try to keep it that way. 

Monday, August 25, 2008

another sunday come and gone

       Wow, today was full.  It was good, don't get me wrong, but certainly did not involve very much down time.  And by that, I mean did not involve any downtime. Unless you count right now, which, technically, is tomorrow.  

        It started with a determination to get to church.  This led to the necessity of setting the alarm clock in the dreaded nines, as we night owls like to call it.  Yep, it was a 9:15 riser.  Whew.  But it was mind over matter for me as I got out of bed, quickly ate some cereal, and jumped in the car, en route to the Anaheim Vineyard.  

    It was church, people!  It was a true-blue Sunday morning, just me in my jeans and dress (which was a little short without the jeans because, well, it was church, people!), strolling into the modern-day chapel five minutes late (but I was in good company--remember this is a Vineyard we're talking about here).  I could hear the worship music and I recognized the song, which was so very welcome.  A girl was leading worship, too--a girl on a piano, which is, I gotta admit, one of my favorite duos (yeah, I am biased, but this is my blog; if you want to start your own blog and voice how you think that a monkey on a banjo is actually the best musical duo, be my guest. Knowing me, I would probably both read it and comment on it).  

   Anyway, I sang my heart out.  I harmonized above the melody, then below, switching whenever I felt like it and feeling all around content to be there.  It was really nice.  Also, I was greeted as I walked through the door, which is more than I can say about the church I visited in Denver...Sad, but true.  After the worship time, the lady in front of me turned around and told me that I have a voice like an angel.  This was very nice to hear since, playing dear old tone-deaf Kristine, I generally get told by those who hear me sing that I am funny--or even adorable--but angelic has never been used to describe me.  At least not in A Chorus Line.  

  The teaching was good--though I get pretty antsy while listening to teachings, I will admit.  The guy, Linus, I think it was, spoke about renewing our vision; it was pretty general in that basically he told us to put our focus back on Jesus, but really, who doesn't need to be reminded of that?  I am not about to say: Yeah, I got it, but thanks anyway.  Nope, you can tell me everyday to put my focus right back where it belongs; really, I'm fine with it. Just be kind about it, is all I ask.

  Then, I got back to the theater for a 1 o'clock matinee.  It was fine--just the same old killer heels to wrestle with through the show.  I think they won, though, considering how very much they hurt my poor, never-were-created-for-heels-I-am-now-convinced-of-this feet.  After the matinee, company management threw us a barbecue.  It was lovely of them, suspiciously so. The whole time we were wondering why they did it and if there was some kind of bad news they were going to break to us while we all had our mouths stuffed with potato salad and hot dogs and therefore couldn't complain.  Like maybe they were gonna tell us that we would no longer get per diem, but the company would be happy to provide a barbecue for us every Sunday afternoon.  Or that they were adding a midnight showing to the roster, but the good news was that the hot dogs were re-heatable.  However, we ate all the food and didn't hear one bad thing.  I guess they were just being nice.  

   After we ate our fill, four of us got together to do a read-through of a play, Dinner With Friends.  It's actually this amazing piece of work (pulitzer prize winning and everything) that centers around conversations involving two different married couples.  The ending is beautiful, but the whole play is very thought-provoking and emotionally evocative. I enjoyed it immensely. 

  By the time we finished, it was time to get ready for our last show of the week...Which, again, went well--would have been perfect, actually, if not for those flippin heels!  And to celebrate the end of another 8-show week, we went to a restaurant and ate.  And ate some more.  Yeah, no waking up to find food in the middle of this night--I'm good till morning.  

   And tomorrow is Monday. Beautiful, free-to-do-whatever-the-heck-I-want Monday.  

Saturday, August 23, 2008

my solution

      Well, thanks to you guys divulging your habits, I don't feel quite so abnormal anymore.  And I must say, my pop definitely takes the cake when it comes to amounts of weird behavior.  However, in the category of just plain weird/creepiness, Jason's comment comes out on top.  Too bad I don't have prizes for you guys; maybe at some point I will.

      Oh, and one more thing before I leave this topic behind: I did my ear trick a couple of times on stage tonight.  It worked, I think.  At least, I haven't gotten a note yet...And, honestly?  It felt so good; maybe even worth a note, if it comes to that.  

      Last night I slept in a new room.  The factors leading to this is a longish, uninteresting story, and I will not bore you with the details.  But, let me back up just a little...Gabby and I are subletting a little guest house from a family in Santa Ana right now.  The place is small, but very pretty.  And it is attached to this gorgeous house that looks like it should be in one of those magazines you see while waiting at the checkout line at Home Depot; you know, you're hoping that your card isn't declined as you hold the-soon-to-be-yours brand new toilet seat that is going to really spruce up your bathroom while you look at other people's homes that tout not only a fantastically amazing inside kitchen, but has an outdoor one too--for the ever important memorial day picnics and summer barbecues, you're guessing.
    Oh, this hasn't happened to you? 
    Well, anyway, the house is beautiful.  They have a lovely pool, too--with salt water (this is good for the skin and the hair, I am told).  And a large crocodile guards the place--thankfully, the large crocodile is not alive, otherwise I wouldn't go near the place.  But as I was saying, last night I slept in the 10 year old daughter's room--another work of art, very "shabby chic," the 10 year old tells me quite seriously.  Oh, and the 10 year old wasn't sleeping in the room, by the way; it was just me. 

     I go to bed and have this strange dream involving two bright white aliens.  And these aren't E.T. aliens who simply want to match a finger to yours; these are the mean, nasty kind.  I don't remember the details, but I do remember waking up in the middle of the night with my heart racing and feeling altogether scared. And that wasn't all I felt; I was also very hungry...But, too scared to go eat something!  So, I was stuck in this strange, shabby chic room, afraid of stupid aliens that, if pressed, I would have told you I knew there weren't really any in my nearby vicinity, all the while trying to convince my gurgling stomach that it wasn't actually hungry.  

   And I knew I was a long way from morning.  

    I do remember praying a little, and since I woke up at some point, I guess I ended up going back to sleep (my logic being that you can't very well wake up without first going to sleep, which I think is sound).  

    Okay, I don't want a repeat of last night.  Really.  And though I am not altogether sure how not to dream about bright white aliens, I am sure about this: I won't wake up hungry tonight.  How did I accomplish this, you may wonder?  Easy: a stop at the drive through at In N Out Burger on the way home from the theater tonight.  Mmm-hmm, just a sensible cheeseburger and fries to keep me full through the night.  I think it's a foolproof plan, actually.  It was definitely a tasty one. 


      Maybe it is scandalous for me to even write this down.  Maybe, just maybe this isn't the place for me to bare my soul. But I am without a priest on this Friday evening, so I will just plow ahead (oh, and also...I am not Catholic, so...right).  Is it safe? Is it secret?  Well no, this isn't secret, considering that anybody can read this blog.  And then form opinions.  About (gasp) me.  But here's the thing: first we bring something into the light, and then we get better, right?  Perhaps even get rid of it?  Okay, so....deep breath...Um, uh, well...

       I pick my lip.  

        I can't remember when it started, or even why.  But, I am pretty sure that I do it when I am tense, nervous, or just deeply pondering something.  How does one even pick a lip, you might ask--well, maybe I shouldn't tell you, considering that you could then form the habit, too...But, since I don't know anybody else who does this, I am going to trust that you are not itching to jump on the bandwagon.  Huh, the word bandwagon makes it sound really fun--like the wagon that you ride at Millburn Orchards in autumn; the sky is just growing dark and the leaves are winking brightly in their newly-turned colors while you sit in the hay and try not to think about how hard it will be to eventually pick every piece of hay from your dry-clean-only wool sweater and the braid that your hair is wound into. Only, a bandwagon should be better--with musicians in funny tights (not just tights, though, ew) and old fashioned instruments playing tunes to add festivity to your ride.  

     Yeah, that would be nice, but, this bandwagon--my bandwagon--is very lonely.  It's just me and my picked over lip.  Believe me, you don't wanna join me here.  

      Right, so I just pick at the skin on my lip--sometimes even until it bleeds.  Usually, that makes me stop, which is a good sign, I guess.  And if Drew is around me when I do this, he will just take my hand and hold it, effectively causing me to stop picking my lip.  However, Drew isn't around me much these days...But that's another blog.  Oh, and wearing lipstick helps, too, because I don't like getting lipstick on my fingernails.  But, I can't wear lipstick all the time!

      Just thought I would confess a vice.   

      And since I am confessing, maybe I should confess this, too: I kind of really like picking my lip.  In a strange way, it feels good.  Or maybe it's soothing.  But, I do draw a line (which is when it starts bleeding), so I am not a freak.  

     And you want to know what else is in my bandwagon--besides my picked-over lip, that is?  Well, two very soft, might-not-be-any-cartilage-left ears.  See, I like to take my ear--any part of it, really--twist it up till it gets really small, and stick it into my ear canal (you know, the hole that you hear out of).  Now, I have done this since I was tiny; I would stick my ear into my ear with one hand, and use the finger of the other hand to suck on.  I don't suck on my finger anymore, but I do still stick my ear in my ear.  It still feels great--especially when the ear is a little cooler, if you must know.  

    And horror of horrors--lately, I have been getting the urge to do my ear trick on stage! Yeah, I have had to suppress that and try to focus a little harder on what is going on in the scene...As they say so eloquently in High Musical, I gotta get my head in the game... 

    So, those are two of my vices, or bad habits, if you will.  I am not sure that I am quite ready to give them up--because I still enjoy both of them.  I actually don't see a problem with my ear-trick, as my family calls it; but the lip-picking is bad considering it makes my lip bleed.  

   Do you guys have any weird habits like this?  Or am I the only one?  

    And now, leaving my weird habits alone for the moment, I will leave you with two pictures I like from my time with Drew:

    This one reminds me of Wesley, from The Princess Bride, when he climbed that very tall cliff, only to be met by the Spaniard who was waiting to fence him.  Luckily for Drew, I was the only one waiting to meet him, and I do not know how to fence and am not Spanish.
  And this one I like because it's our secret cave that we found on Sunset Cliffs.  There is so much intrigue and mystery involved with a cave to begin with, but then to add me and Drew to the equation makes it just about perfect.  I also feel like my haircut makes my ears look a little pointy, a little elven--and I LOVE elves (the Lord of the Rings kind, who are tall and nimble and well, Legolas. I have always had a crush on Legolas, and Drew is okay with that.  Actually, people are usually like, Oh--you like Orlando Bloom, the actor who played Legolas?  And I am like, No-I like Legolas, the fictitious elf. But in reality, I like Drew better...).  

   But anyway, this, in a nutshell, is why I like this picture: cave+Drew+me+elf ears=totally awesome.  

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Really, why couldn't it have been a Tritops?

      I have always been grateful to have been raised in a big family.  I mean really, how awesome to have a house full of friends? And to go on vacation with a ready-made group of interesting people who kind of look like you (even me and Jenna have similar noses; at least that's what the head of wardrobe for ACL said and hey, I'll take it, her nose is cute!)--it was always fun and lively.   

     Well, let's just say there was never a dull moment.  Not when my pop ran our van into a pothole as big as Delaware (which is small for a state, but large for a pothole, you gotta admit), made all of us kids get out but told my mom to stay in (we found out later this was to give the van "balance" and I don't think my mom found this flattering or amusing), and proceeded to procure a man who just happened to own a tow-truck coming out of a nearby bar who smelled suspiciously of alcohol, but really, we weren't in the position to be picky at that point.   This very, uh...relaxed man, so to speak, got us out (and by us I mean my mom, since she was the only one still in the van, per my pop's orders, just balancing it away) in no time and my parents' were quick to call him an angel.  By the way, do they have AA meetings in heaven?  Just wondering.  

    Anyway, growing up was always interesting.  

    But here's the thing: when you are on the bottom of the totem pole--namely, the mere fourth child in a grand total of five--you don't always have a lot of say.  In anything.  And for a while, it was just me and my brothers--Jenna not having arrived on the scene yet--so I had nobody to boss around; conversely, everybody was my boss.  When Josh was around, he was the authority and we were subject.  If it was just me, Jase, and Jonathan, well Jase ruled the day.  And when Jase was gone--well, you get the picture: Jonathan exercised his right as Supreme Older Brother; he said jump and I asked how high.  When he deemed it the right time to ride our bikes to Landhope Farms (the very mecca of candy, hot dogs, and ice cream treats--I don't know if we even realized that adults did anything so boring and blase as get gas there, and if we did, we didn't care), well then I excitedly grabbed my little red bike with the banana seat and peddled furiously after him.  

   My brothers were kind-hearted, but couldn't resist a little teasing when it came to me.  I was an especially easy target, since I was so sensitive (I say was like I'm not anymore. Ha.) and would give them a nice big reaction every time.  Anyway, my given name is Jessica Sarah Elisabeth--and before you go thinking that I lost my train of thought, let me explain.   Until kindergarten (it was there that I was in a class with two other Sarahs, making me the 3rd Sarah--so I decided to go by my first name, Jessica, successfully making me the only Jessica in my class.  You can imagine my disappointment when another Jessica was added in 2nd grade...), I was called Sarah by everyone.  This was due to the fact that my mom thought I looked like a Sarah as a baby, I think.  

   Anyway, what's important is that somehow dinosaurs became a topic of interest in our house.  Particularly, the triceratops.  Yeah, say that again, out loud.  Notice that it has the name Sarah right smack in the middle of the word?  Well, I would get so mad when my brothers would say that, because I was sure that the dinosaur was really just a tritops--that my brothers had inserted MY NAME into the middle of it just to tease me.  Once they realized that, they would mention the triceratops all of the time.  Suddenly it was, hey Sarah, whaddaya think of the triCERAtops? And, Hmmm, is the triCERAtops a carnivore or a herbivore?, always with an emphasis placed on the CERA.  I could barely believe it when my parents had to explain to me that the dinosaur was, in fact, a triceratops--that my brothers hadn't made it up.  I mean, what are the odds that a bazillion year old dinosaur with a latin name has my Christian name right in the mix of it's own?  Go figure.  

   And here's something else: when we would be out and about playing as spies or some other sort of cloak and dagger fun, we had code names.  I don't exactly remember my brothers' names, but I can assure you they were titles that brought to mind heroic deeds of guts and glory.  

   What was my code name?  Balloon.  Just an inanimate, round, easily-popped object that has no autonomy of its own.  Interesting.  I am sure when our enemies heard that the dreaded Balloon was nearing, it shot fear into their hearts.  I can just hear them whimpering, begging for mercy as they say, Please! Send Snake Eyes, or Dagger, or even Lone Wolf--but whatever you do, keep Balloon away!!!

   And lastly, whenever we played Transformers, which is something we did a lot, I was always, without fail, the yellow buggy, Bumblebee.  I guess there really wasn't a girl transformer, but if you had to pick the weakest, sissiest one, it would be Bumblebee (but not in the latest version of the movie; Bumblebee is pretty awesome now).  Here's the catch though, if another girl--a friend from church, perhaps--ever joined us in Transformers, then I was automatically demoted to Baby Bumblebee--a character that didn't even exist.  Let's just say it was a really good day when I got to be Bumblebee. The real thing.  You know--the one that is actually on the tv show

   So yeah, it wasn't always easy being so low in the pecking order; but at the same time, I wouldn't trade my place with anybody for anything--even with triceratops, Balloon, and Baby Bumblebee taken into consideration.  

let's make art

       Today, Colt, Hollie, and I taught a master class at a huge sports club here in Costa Mesa--or maybe it was Anahiem, or maybe even Santa Ana...Actually, now that I think about it, L.A. was in the title of the gym, but I am pretty sure we weren't in L.A.--shabby geographical skills and all.  Well, wherever it was, the club was gorgeous and huge--really, it was the size of a whole corporate building.  Actually, maybe it was its own city--which could explain why I am not sure where it was.  But truly, it was the nicest, most beautiful gym that I have ever seen.

    And it had advertised, Come workout with the cast of Broadway's A Chorus Line!

     So not knowing at all what to expect, we got there ready to teach a class.  It was called "dance-fitness," which we took to mean that we could basically do what we wanted--as long as it involved ACL, of course.  

     And actually there were quite a few women who took the class--the studio was large, and it was packed (I am terrible with numbers, so I am not even going to try to tell you how many were there).  They were from all walks of life--some dancers, some not; some younger, some not.  But, they were all very excited to learn.

    We jumped right into it.  I led a 20 minute warm-up that was more dance than fitness, per se--but really, for our purposes, those are interchangeable.  We got down on the floor for Hollie to lead some ab work, leg-lifts, and push-ups (an old throw-back to our hour-long warm-ups with Baayork Lee in the 42nd Street studios ).  And then, we jumped into teaching them the opening jazz combo from the show.  And let me just say that this combination is by no means easy.  Or feel-good.  Or relaxing.  Or a breeze.  It's hard work--even now for me, three months later.  It still feels like this big hill I have to gear up to climb over, and I still feel sweet relief once it has been successfully climbed.  And here's the thing, that hill reappears the next day, and the next.  But, back to the class.

   These women just threw themselves into the movement; I mean, they were nothing if not enthusiastic.  At one point, we were encouraging them just to dance and go for it and yada yada yada when one distinguished looking woman raised her hand, cleared her throat, and said, Some of us are not dancers; some of us are real estate agents. Well, we all just cracked up at this--and again, we told her to do her very best and have fun (which we could tell she was already doing).  

    We taught them about 3 measures of the choreography, and they did great.  Honestly, we had just as much fun as they did.  At the end, we did the entire combination to the music for them, which they appreciated.  And during the whole class there were news crews filming it and taking stills.  Also, after the class, we were interviewed, one at time, in front of the camera.  This made me a little nervous at first cause you have no idea what they are gonna throw at you and you can only hope you don't sound like an idiot or worse, but once it actually happened, I was fine.  In fact, I think I like being interviewed.  Who'd have thought?  They also took a bunch of pics with us, which I may or may not ever see.  

    The whole thing was really rewarding.  Also, the marketing guy for our production company has asked me to write some blogs for the Orange County Register--as well as something in Boston.  So, I think that you can find me on the OC Register on-line, which is cool.  Oh, but don't expect to find anything new there--last night's blog entry was basically homework for that assignment (can you fault me for killing two birds with one stone?  Not that I approve the killing of birds, in general. Wait, I eat chicken--so maybe I do...).  They had asked me to blog about touring, so that is what I came up with.  

   And here's the thing: I LOVE making dance accessible.  I love seeing people--yes, even real estate agents!--do something that they haven't done before, maybe even had thought was impossible, and find that they can do it.  Sure, not perfectly at first.  Maybe it feels a little awkward in the beginning--but what on this earth is truly valuable that does not involve hard work?  And the more work you invest in it, the more precious it becomes.  I loved seeing the way confidence and joy reshapes a countenance; I love being a part of it.  It's a noble thing to pass on something--anything--beautiful to another person.  And here is this iconic, American masterpiece--a piece of theater's history--that now belongs to some women here in California, as well as to me.  

   Art is not just for the few, it is for the masses.  Which reminds me of this quote from a book, Art & Fear, that I love (it's heavily paraphrased, since I am pulling it from memory):

   A college professor of art was leaving the house one day, being trailed by his four year old daughter.  Trying to prolong his departure, she asked him why he had to leave.  He simply said, Because I have to teach adults how to draw.  She looked at him for a while, pondering what he said, and finally, incredulously asked, You mean, they forgot?!?!

   To children, the making of art in many different forms is just natural. It's what they do.  As we get older, that inclination gets pushed away until we are numb to it--or barely recognize it if we are lucky enough to feel it.  And we stop making art.  I guess my point is that it was just really nice to encourage these adult women to make art--to dance; to forget about inhibition or what we tell ourselves we "do" and "don't do" and simply move.  It's part of our inheritance as humans, as creations of the Creator--we need to make stuff.  All kinds of stuff.  And today I--along with some pretty gutsy ladies--made some art.  

   I loved it.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

on touring

        I gotta say, my job is fantastic; my job is difficult.  It demands all of my attention, dictates what I eat and what I do, draws on my emotions, and takes me far from home.  It is not for the faint-hearted, not for those who look back quickly or often.  It is a train that is moving, the whistle was blown months ago; and I can either be in the moment, caught up in it's great motion and how I am a part of that, or I can dig my heels in and wonder what I am doing in Denver, in Los Angeles, in San Diego, in whatever-city-I'm-in-today.  

      I am an actress on a first national tour.  I love it, love it, love it.  But somewhere along the line, it went from I have a show tonight to I am going to work tonight. Because make no mistake about it: it's work.  Work that is consuming, challenging, rewarding, and amazing--but utterly, work.  

      I have done tours where there are a fair share of one-nighters.  And yes, I have had a conversation that consisted of me speaking to someone important and business-like from home--someone of the medical, insurance, or accountant nature--and, upon being asked what city I was in at the moment (this was pertinent to whatever transaction needed to be, well, transacted), there was an awkward pause as I scrambled to remember just what the trip sheet had said...My generic hotel room at the time gave no hint as to where I might be and every second that ticked by was making me out to be a liar...Finally, I just admitted, Look, I don't honestly know where I am right now...The business lady who most certainly knew where she was and had probably never spent a day of her life not knowing, simply said, a manner that told me it wasn't okay at all.  Sheesh.  She'd probably never been on tour.  

    Anyway, my point is that on this production contract I get to stay in a city anywhere from one week to two months.  This is nice.  This means much less awkward conversations concerning where I am presently, because I know where I am.  So far, this has meant seeing the fish soar through the air in Seattle's famous farmer's market; going to Red Rocks in Denver and singing a few notes in the space where Sting, Bono, and Stevie Nicks have sung (the only difference was a few thousand or so audience members, but whose counting?); seeing the notorious Alcatraz and biking across San Francisco's famous Golden Gate Bridge; wearing a pair of oversized sunglasses and pretending to be famous in L.A. because just about everybody else is; walking along the cliffs in La Jolla; seeing The Faint in Portland...Yes, this tour has let me see many places and people that, otherwise, I would never have seen.  

    Oh, and here's another thing about touring this show: I--along with a very talented cast and crew--have the responsibility of bringing BROADWAY to these theaters across America.  Some of these audiences may have never seen a show in New York, never seen the real deal, so to speak.  And this is what we are doing.  It's an honor.  And since we are doing A Chorus Line, which is really a show within a show (a broadway show about being in a broadway show--have I confused you yet?), we have the charge of bringing to the stage all of the energy of New York, the performer's dream, that all-or-nothing raw and desperate mentality of a person trying to make it in this business.  And we have to do this for every audience we come across, sometimes twice a day.  And 100 shows later, we have to do it with all the wonder and excitement that comes naturally when you perform it for the first time, because these audiences are seeing it for the first time.  

    So, touring is, I guess, a lot.  A lot of great things, a lot of challenges.  And I am grateful to be experiencing all of it; grateful to be bringing this show to people who might be too far to get to New York.  It's an amazing job, even when the heels are hurting my feet with a fury reserved for judgement day and I might not feel like singing One, singular sensation for the 5th time that night--well, it's still amazing.  Even then.  



Monday, August 18, 2008

dance shots

    Drew and I went to La Jolla (pronounced, la hoy-a) today.  It's so beautiful there; all blue waves crashing into rocks and cliffs with little white caps reminding you that the ocean isn't exactly tame.  Anyway, we took a few dance shots on the rocks.  Here I am in arabesque:
   And then it was Drew's turn:
    Please bear in mind he doesn't have the exact same amount of training that I do; he's just naturally good.  Actually, we started cracking up while I was taking his picture because people were walking by and probably thinking that we were seriously trying to take some full body dance shots for him.  And that is hysterical.  We have a few more, but we both agreed this one captured his form and technique best.

     Then I noticed a word that I really love carved in the stone, so I captured it:
    And again, here is a beautiful, timeless phrase:
  Catching on to what I was doing, Drew asked for the camera.  He mentioned that he had found something really meaningful and would like to document it as well.  Well, sure I thought, how sweet, I reasoned.  And then, when I was flipping through the images, I saw this:
      Well, isn't that just so romantic?  

      Don't worry guys, we're married.  And since Merry already let the cat out of the bag a few posts back, I figured this would be okay to post...

    But on a serious note, we've had a really wonderful time here for the last week.  Tomorrow I have to say good-bye to him, which doesn't get any easier, no matter how many times I say it.  But I know that the same grace that has carried me through every day in the past will be with me in abundance tomorrow.  It has to; I rely on it.  It's that simple. 

    And in exactly three weeks from today, I will be home--for the first time since April!!!! Has a whole summer really passed since I've been home?  Wow.  I can hardly wait to be there again--breathing in good, East-coast air (don't even try to tell me about those dupont chemicals; to me, that air is sweet!), seeing the deep green of our forests, and hugging the people I love (for a not-so-touchy-Latshaw, a homecoming is one of the few things that warrants a hug--just kidding. kinda).   

    Another good thing: I am really lightening my load because I am sending Drew home with a ton of my stuff!!! When you live out of a suitcase, it is so nice to pare down.  You also realize that if you haven't worn a pair of pants since you left home late spring, then it is probably safe to send them home.  Which is what I am doing.  Oh, and at least some of our little family will be reunited because Drew will be picking up our two kitties from Michele's house (where she has graciously kept them for us all summer--thanks a TON!) on Wednesday evening--so at least three of us will be together.  Drew has admitted to me recently that he is very excited to see them again.  This makes my heart glad.  

    Okay, that's about it for now.  Good night.  

Sunday, August 17, 2008

highs and lows

I thought I would share some highlights with you guys...
  • Drew is still here.  We're tooling around this beautiful town in a convertible--need I say more?  
  • Today was bagel Sunday.  I LOVE bagel Sunday.  See, what happens is our magnanimous stage manager, Ray, buys the cast and crew bagels and cream cheese every Sunday.  This means I don't have to get up any earlier than need be to hunt down some food before a 1 o'clock matinee.  Or it means that I can save a bagel for lunch/dinner between shows.  Sometimes it can even mean both.  Also, Ray gets the good stuff--none of that grocery store crap (no offense to any grocery stores that read this blog).  He gets us bagels from places like Bruegger's and Einstein's; places that only do bagels and so have gotten it down to a science. I love bagel Sunday.
  • Between shows today, me, Drew, Clyde, and Derek had some delicious barbecue at what is, I guess, a famous restaurant here.  I had corn on the cob which I could eat everyday, all day, if it's made right. And it was made right at this place.  Clyde and Derek are both very cool guys; combined with the coolness of me and Drew, you can imagine how cool the lunch was. 
  • I completed another five-show weekend which means that a day-off is in order.  This also means that I do not have to wear heels tomorrow.  My feet are very angry at me, so maybe they will not be so mad tomorrow.   Here's hoping. 
And now for the lowlights...
  • Drew is still here.  HA! Just kidding--this is not a lowlight; I wish he was here all the time!!!!
  •  I just might be growing a mullet.  Since I have gotten this short haircut, I have learned that I need it cut every 4 weeks, but last time I went to a stylist, he decided to just leave the back a little longer.  He said it looked very bad***.  Well, since he was the one with the asymmetrical hair (a la Christian from Project Runway), plus the styling know-how, I figured I would leave it up to him.  However, a few weeks later...well, it is looking suspiciously similar to a mullet.  Oh, well--I am due for another haircut the beginning of next month.  
  • Drew and I went to a birthday gathering for my friend Clifton at a bar after the show.  We ordered some much-anticipated lobster, crab, and artichoke dip that came with pita bread and chips.  There was a man in a wheelchair who parked himself right in front of where we were eating--and proceeded to try to manipulate us into giving him our food.  It worked (he was in a wheel chair!). He told me he had never had pita before--while looking longingly at mine.  I gave him some. When I was downstairs, he asked Drew for a chip; when Drew gave him one, he scooped as much of the dip that can possibly fit on a chip and shoved it into his mouth.  Drew and I concluded that he ate about 50% of our chips and dip.  
  • And lastly, this occured:

Miss me much this summer, Drew?!?!?!

Friday, August 15, 2008

why the blue book bag?

      I think I am learning something about myself, something important.  See, it is easy for me to be judgemental.  Not about people, so much (I hope, I pray...)--more about any new situation in my life.

      Looking back, I realize that my first visceral reaction to almost anything new is to instantly dislike it--even hate it.  When I went to Chautauqua's summer dance program, I hated it.  Even though it was an honor to be accepted, I didn't want to stay at all.  I just wanted to go home.  And when I first went to YWAM for the summer, same thing--hated it.  Ballet Magnificat--hated it.  The Rock School, hated it.  New York City, rehearsing ACL--hated it. Even recently--going from L.A. to San Fran was difficult.  And the University of the Arts...(you guessed it)I hated it.  

   Jenna still makes fun of me for my first day at UArts.  See, I have always been drawn to bright colors, though I think I now understand that they have their place.  However, when this home-schooler attended college for the first time, I chose the brightest, biggest, most electric blue backpack I could find--that was probably in existence, in fact.  I distinctly remember thinking that looking at that azure wonder every day would make me happy.  It was as simple as that.  I didn't, however, factor in other people looking at the 8th wonder of the world securely strapped to my back.

   Anyway, my first day of school I actually cried driving into Philly because I was so darn scared.  Then, I strapped on that backpack--that stupidly, glaringly bright backpack--and walked on campus (if you could call that a campus; it was more like some buildings dedicated to the discipline of art that shared center city with some other buildings, but I digress...).  I felt terribly...normal.  I was surrounded by teenagers who were awesomely different, showing it in the way they died their hair colors that aren't exactly found in nature, the way their piercings reflected the sunlight as they sat on the steps and smoked their cigarettes.  In a horrible contrast, the only thing I was reflecting was my stupid decision to buy the brightest and largest book bag known to man.  

   But, my point is that, given a little bit of time, I grew to really love these changes.  They were places in which I grew and learned and became the person I am now.  They were challenges that cause me to become a stronger, surer person.  I understand this now, I think.  I am learning that I cannot be so quick to judge a situation "good" or "bad." It usually isn't that simple anyway.  I am learning to shove away that first cold feeling of fear and dislike when I find myself in a new place, because maybe, just maybe--it will end up being good for me.  Actually, I am beginning to realize that I can count on that.  I can rely on the fact that something new really does bring something good--if only I have the eyes to see.  

   Oh, but you better believe that I bought a new, sleek, black book bag the day I got home from school.  I never used that bright blue bag again. Yes, I am learning to embrace these new places in my life, but I don't have to look like a total nerd doing it!       

things that make you go hmmmmm

  Okay, I am touring a broadway show.  Really.  But for those of you who may be under the impression that it is glamorous all the time, you need to read this marquee that is outside our current theatre in San Diego:

Yep, that's right, folks--we thanked Corky's Pest Control in bold black and white, for all the world to see.  Does anybody else think this is funny?

Okay, and then Drew and I were driving home and passed this billboard--and I just had to capture the image:

    I don't know if it is serious, but well, it's funny.  I mean, I guess they aren't saying that it is the best way to tell someone you have an STD--just an easy way.  Can't really argue with it, then, huh?

   Oh, and this might be the most disturbing thing of all.  I found it in this adorable studio apartment Drew and I are staying in here in Ocean Beach.  Really, the whole place is cute as a button, but then you get into the bathroom and notice this:
   I know, looks fine at first--that's what I thought, too.  But upon closer inspection, I realized that the toilet paper dispenser was not so status quo:
Which is when I finally had to just remove the toilet paper and see what was really holding it up.  Ugh.  It's disgusting, just a long finger coming out of a door holding up some toilet paper.  It really made my stomach turn when I saw it.  Thank God the owner limited using isolated appendages in her decorating scheme to just the toilet paper dispenser...
  Anyway, I thought these things were funny/weird/ disturbing--so I had to share:-)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

welcome to the family, I guess

                  My dressing room is quite full this week.  There are four of us, all with very different personalities.  Oh--and did I mention that I am the only human inhabitant?  Yeah, let me back up a bit. 

                See, all of the other cast members--at least, the female cast members--have their stations surrounded by sweet mementoes from home.  This includes pictures of significant others, friends and family, a lucky something-or-other, maybe some flowers sent from an admirer, etc., etc.  What is at my station, you may wonder?  Well, not one picture, I am sad to say.  Not a pretty bauble, a hallmark-anything, or any kind of sentimental reminder.  Well, actually, there is something--or I should say, somethings.  What I do have is a motley crew of...animals.  They travel with me to every theater, and today our little group got an addition in the form of him:

        His name is Bruce.  It's gotta be, I think.  Yes, after the movie and yes, after my pop.  Oh and yes, he could definitely use some extensive dental work.  When I got to the theater today, Ian threw him at me like a football and I caught him before he could bite my face off.  Luckily, as Ian was quick to point out, I was fine because I was in my element (air) and he was most definitely not in his element (water).  I don't think I will be accompanying him in the water anytime soon.  

      Anyway, Bruce joined Pinkberry (the uh, pink bear--named after a delicious yogurt place here in CA--and given to me with a bouquet of flowers on my opening night from Drew; she just plays with my make-up the whole time I'm on stage) and Buell (the brown bear, given to me by Emily on opening night; he's pretty lazy (notice how he just lounges on his side and refuses to get up), but I still love him. I think Pinkberry has a crush on him (thus, all the make-up), but Buell sleeps most of the time and doesn't seem to even notice her if you do happen to catch him in a rare moment of awakeness--it's a sad case of unrequited love, I think).  

            So, here's the group of them.  They look pretty happy here--I think it's because I told them that if the pic turned out well, they just might get a spot on my blog.  The already vain Pinkberry is gonna get even more vain when she finds out about this---and she'll probably belabor the fact that she hadn't put on my lipstick yet when this was taken.  Oh well, it's good for her.  

     So there you have it--the whole family, so to speak.

   After the show, Drew and I went on a date to this swanky restaurant in downtown San Diego. It was the kind of place where the bathroom has a lady who, as soon as you leave the stall and walk up to the sink, squirts soap into your hands (as if you can't do that yourself).  And then when you finish rinsing, she quickly hands you a towel to dry (again--I am well able to dry my hands, have been for some time now, thank you).  It's awkward.  Also, the sink was lined with make-up, which in my mind, means that it was lined with other people's eye, skin, and lip germs and diseases.  Yuck.  But, here was the nice thing: there was candy and gum in huge amounts, just yours for the taking.  So I quickly took some gum (all the while grateful that the lady didn't unwrap it and pop it into my mouth for me) and walked out.  I had no money to tip her, which made me feel bad cause I wanted to.  What a weird job--to just wait in a bathroom for women to do God knows what and then squirt soap on their hands and give them towels, just over and over again.  She deserved a tip, for sure.    

            I was a little under dressed for the club in my black beater, jeans, and high tops, but that's okay.  Oh, and we were firmly made fun of for being from DE by the bouncer.  Ha ha ha ha, we are from a small state.  Hilarious, I know.  Hee hee hee, we laugh politely as we confirm the fact that it is, indeed, a state.  I'm terrible at geography and even I know that. Geez.

          Well, Drew is watching a National Geographic special on Noah's Ark on his computer (yawn).  And he is captivated (amazing).  We are very different, Drew and I.  But alike where it matters, and respectful where it doesn't as much.  Bottom line, I like it when he's next to me, National Geographic special and all.  

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


     Woo-hoo!  Together again, and all is well with my little corner of the world.  Except, well--I am a little hungry, but we are about to remedy this.

    And Drew was excited about the car--he was quick to inform me that it is the exact same car that Michael Scott from The Office drives.  Well, perfect.  Too bad it doesn't come with Dwight Shrute, too.  

    We are staying in a tiny little studio apartment within walking distance of Ocean Beach (who was the genius who came up with that title, is what I wanna know).  It is beautiful here--so quaint and picturesque.  We are chilling and happy and feeling so normal being an honest-to-goodness couple again.  We even got groceries and everything...Okay, we're off for some pizza.  Drew wants to take a nighttime swim this week but I told him I'd like to keep life and limb, thank you very much.   Everybody knows a shark's feeding time is at night!!!!  What is that boy thinking?!  And then he told me that he took not one, but three nighttime swims last week in Maine!!!  Crazy, just crazy.  

    And with that, I bid you good night. 

to thank an angel. or not.

Yesterday, I looked at my friend John quite seriously and said,

            John, do you want to see an angel?

Now, the only problem was that I said this in a way that made it sound like if he just followed me I would show him one, like I knew where one was hiding; when really, I just thought it was an interesting topic of conversation.  But if he thought that, given the word, I was maybe just gonna open the closet door and show him one huddled in the dark corner, wings wrapped tightly around its incandescence, then I can't properly blame him for looking up from his macbook and simply saying, Uh. No.

         But, why not? I asked.
         Well, for one thing--I am not sure I believe in angels.  And another thing, what if it's a ghost? John replied.

          So I was like, Oh, John--of course there are angels!  They are messengers from God, they protect us and tell us good things, it says so in the Bible.  And they are very different from ghosts, I am pretty sure.  I think they are discernibly different from each other, in fact.  

         Always quick to respond, John said, Well, I am not sure I believe everything in the Bible, and anyway, why do I need to see an angel?  I mean, if something good happens in my life, I thank God; I don't thank an angel.

         Agreeing with him, at least about the last part, I said, Oh of course not, you shouldn't thank an angel...

         And pouncing on that one sentiment, he took it and ran with it as he said, Oh really? Is that the rule?  You never thank an angel?!?! And what would happen if I did thank an angel?

         And I just laughed.  Because a). I really don't know all the rules of proper etiquette when it comes to dealing with angels and b). as heavenly beings, I imagine they are kind, or at least good, and so would maybe just politely say you're welcome when they really have helped me, or would simply say you should thank God, because he is the one who told it to help me/spread the word/whatever in the first place, which is really what I meant when I said you shouldn't thank an angel.  


hot wheels

Sometimes it pays to be a lone woman at the car rental dealership.  Because sometimes, though you have requested just a regular old economy car in order to pay just the base price, the dealer tells you that they have a new convertible silver sebring that just came in.  And oh--he would make you a deal, and you could just drive out with that for an extra $50 for the whole week.  Um, okay.  

And here's the best part: Drew kind of wanted to rent a nicer car.  But me, being well, me, told him that we should probably just get the minimum.  We should probably save our money, that as long as it got us to where we needed to go, that was enough.  And he agreed.  But I could tell that he thought it would have been nice if I thought it would have been nice for us to drive in a convertible down the Pacific Coast Highway, hair blowing in the wind, cares gone with the wind, and all the while singing California, here we come by the Phantom Planets.  

Anyway, this convertible was made readily available and so I took it.  And when Drew asked me what kind of car it was that I rented, I simply said, Nothing fancy, Drew.  Just a Ford Escort,  at which point he gave a very unenthusiastic grunt of approval and summarily dropped the subject.  

So now I can't wait to pick him up from the airport first thing tomorrow morning in this car. He's gonna be so surprised, I just know it!  And believe me, Drew is a wily one to surprise; he usually tells me he kind of knew what was going on after the fact (which, may I just point out is quite easy to say and requires no proof whatsoever).  But not this time.  So, this is a nice little surprise that God worked out for us...

Thank you for all your kind, if not direct (Merry!), words.  I appreciate your prayers and your sympathy--the airline did change Drew's return flight so that we have one more full day together next Monday, which is another day off for me.  

And I bet you thought I would never have an image of a convertible headlining a post on this blog.  Well, at least that's what you might have concluded if you had thought about it at all:-)   

Monday, August 11, 2008

can't sleep

      I haven't seen Drew in 10 weeks and we have been planning this trip for a while.  But now I feel heartsick.  See, this is the only week that I have 2 days off in a row for a while, which is why I booked Drew on a plane that is supposed to arrive at 11:30 am, Monday morning.  But, the airline canceled his flight and now he can't get another flight until Tuesday.  

      To say that I am upset is an understatement.  I knew I was looking forward to this, but I didn't realize how much I was absolutely depending upon this until I found out it wasn't gonna happen.  I know I have to wait just a little longer, but still.  I was supposed to see him Monday.  We were supposed to have Monday and Tuesday together, uninterrupted.  

   I am really, really sad.  

this whole union thing

   I'm really okay with leaving Seattle.  I'm really okay with going to San Diego and staying in a studio on the beach and living with Drew for a whole week.  And I am really okay with having off from work tomorrow and the next day.  

    Usually, we get Mondays off, but this week we get Tuesday off, too This is because union rules state that we have to have two full days a month in which we neither travel, rehearse, or perform. The company was trying to sneak by without giving us our two golden days this month--which would have been the case, if we did have a show this Tuesday--but our smart equity deputy knows her stuff.  She went right to the company manager and reminded him of this rule...Next thing we know, boom! we have a golden day on Tuesday.  I love being a union girl.  

   Actually, speaking of the union, actors equity just recently finished negotiating new contracts for us.  I guess the producers put up quite a fight.  The thing that really surprised me is that our equity reps told us that, basically, having to give the touring companies per diem makes producers downright angry.  Do you want to know why?  Because they have heard through the grapevine that some actors try to just save their per diem (gasp!) by doubling up and sharing a room (scandalous!), staying with friends (incriminating!), or just living cheaply in general (unbelievable!). They get mad when they hear about us banking some of our per diem--and what they really want to do is control our housing, making us stay in a hotel of our choice, and simply give us an allowance for food.  

    Well, this would be horrible because, not only would it take away our freedom to choose where we want to live, but it would take away the option to bank some of our per diem if we do choose to live cheaply.  Producers don't like the idea of actors making too much money off them--especially from per diem.  The famous quote that gets tossed around that was literally spoken by a producer, in total incredulity, is:

   "Why, I hear that actors are even buying houses now! Absurd!"

     What? Do they want us to live in a cardboard box?  And, though we sing a song called What I did for Love eight times a week, we also do this for a paycheck.  It's that simple.  Many of us would not have left our lives and loved ones to go on the road if the money was not what it is.  That's just the plain truth.  Also, it really isn't anybody's business how we spend the money alloted to us--their responsibility is to just give us what would be needed to, ideally, live in a single hotel room by ourselves and eat out three meals a day.  If we choose to have a roommate and eat pb&j a lot (which I do), that is none of their business. 

    Sorry to write so much about what may be boring and is definitely not related to you.  However, the good news is that we do get a bump in our paychecks which is retroactive from June.  So this is nice.  Again, gotta love the union.   

     On another note, my parents drove to New York to see Drew in Godspell today.  They called me totally excited because, apparently, he was just amazing.  Now, I don't find this hard to believe at all.  I am so proud of him--it's not easy to play Jesus for a whole summer.  Those are some shoes to fill, I would say.  I wish wish wish I could have seen him, but he has a DVD that you better believe I will be watching.  

    Okay, here's to hoping I can sleep on the plane tomorrow...