Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Good Lord, it's December!

I've been a bit out of sorts the past coulple of months. Haven't talked to my friends, haven't written in my blog (which is very much like talking to my friends), haven't even started to shop for Christmas. Is it December? What happened to November?

Everything is just a little off.

I've tried to put my finger on it. I've sort of tried to anyway -- but like everything lately, I tried half-heartedly. I've not done things I wanted to do, I've let friends get out of touch, I've missed out on auditions I had looked forward to and prepared for for months.

I never want to do anything. I have to make myself do everything, even fun things with my boys. Sometimes I can make myself get started and hope the desire will catch up to me.

To make a long and not-so-interesting story short (you can thank me later), things are still off kilter but I'm working on getting things back on track.

So here I am, trying to tell you all -- my blog friends -- that I'm back and ready to try again. It's funny, there are friends here in the blog-world whom I only know through blogging, but in some ways, I communicate more with them than my real-world ones. And since we tend to bare our souls a bit more --and way more indulgently-- here in the blog world, those ties are unbelieveably precious.

Some friends -- people like Gail and Cyndi and Mikey -- I've known for years and only wish that the business of life would allow us to spend more time together. But I know they're there and sometimes our blogs are our only constant connection. I love knowing that I can visit with them everyday or so through their blogs.

Others -- people like Jeremy and KC -- I don't really "know" in the traditional sense, but I feel I know intimately because of what they've shared in their blogs. I remember when I met Jeremy at an audition -- I just had to hug him because I felt I had known him forever; our blogs had established our "friendship".

I don't know what I mean to say tonight, other than that I've been "gone" from my blog, and "away" from my own life for awhile, too.

I'm coming back.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Friday Foto: 8th Grade Humor

My 8th grade son changed the wallpaper on our computer to this:

I thought for sure it was an edited image until I checked the West Virginia Mountaineers roster. #92 is indeed Johnny Dingle and #93 truly is Scooter Berry .

It's immature and so 8th grade boy silly -- but you just go ahead and try not to laugh!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The big lie

My husband is a little bit pissed at me. He tries to hide his irritation, but that's impossible for him, because you see, he's a big fat baby. And have I mentioned how needy he is? Geesh.

Now, I'm not one to go on about things (I'm really not), but he needs to take a tough pill and shut up already.

As wives go, I'd say I'm okay. I mean, I'm not the best looking gal out there, and I'm not always willing to drop everything to wash his socks or perform other wifely duties (if you know what I mean -- and I think you do), but I did BEAR HIS THREE CHILDREN, the last of which was WITHOUT AN EPIDURAL OR ANY MEDICATION OF ANY SORT because he just had to find a closer parking spot and stop in the gift shop for a pack of gum.

Why is he pissed at me? Why? You wanna know why?

Because I'm nice. People think I'm nice. Honest to God, that's what the man is cranky about.

He says our neighbors, the teachers, the principal, my theatre friends and the lady at Kroger all think I'm a nice person.

Oh, and his mother thinks I'm nice, too; and she thinks I'm the best thing that ever happened to him. And he's sick and tired of hearing about it.

See, I'm not always the nicest person in the world, and it's usually my husband who sees that not-so-nice side. But isn't that part of that whole "for better and for worse" thing?

It all came to a head last night.

His mother stopped over with a big casserole dish of macaroni and cheese -- at the precise moment husband was pouring himself a bowl of Life cereal. For dinner.

He used the opportunity to set his mother straight about me: "Do you see what a wonderful wife she is? Look, I'm eating cereal for dinner."

His mother replied with a lengthy dissertation about how hard I work and how difficult it is to keep a house, work full time, be a mother of three boys and still be expected to cook dinner every night. She finished her lecture with, "And you need to do more around here; she's a great mother and you are lucky to have somone so nice."

Right then, I think I saw a vein in his forehead I've never noticed in sixteen years of marriage.

Later, as I sat in bed attempting to read the newspaper in peace, he tried to extend an olive branch by starting a neutral conversation.
    Husband: Did you see so-and-so at the soccer game?
    Me: No, but I heard him.

    Cheering for the kids?
    Me: No, he was standing right behind me going on and on about all the events and activities they have to go to this week. Who the hell cares that their daughter is in ballet and it's at the same time as little Johnny's piano lesson, which ends just in time for karate? He just droned on and on throughout the entire game in that annoying voice of his about his exceptionally talented kids and their precious activities.
There was a lengthy pause.

    Husband: I wish all the people who are constantly telling me how sweet and nice my wife is could hear these things. I really do. You are not a nice person.
    Me: Nope.

After I finished the paper and turned off the light, he tried again.

    Husband: Hey. You tired?
    Me: A little.
    Husband (scooting closer) : Wanna talk?
    Me: Okay.
    Husband (scooting even closer) : Mmmm.
    Me: Hey! I thought we were going to talk!
    Husband: Yeah, but I thought it would be nice to...
    (rolling over) : Yeah, well I'm not a nice person.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Friday Foto: Just sayin'.

Just sayin'.

Happy long weekend, everyone!

For my friends heading to the OCTA (Ohio Community Theatre Alliance) conference: break a leg, and have fun.

I'll be thinking of you; can't wait to hear how it all turns out!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

On being an inspiration

My next door neighbor and I are good friends.

Anne and I are surrogate sisters, I guess. She lost her youngest sister to suicide nearly a year ago, and I lost my only sister eight years ago to a car accident. So, even though we are very different (my sister and I were opposites in just about every way, too) and we don't spend a lot of time together, there's an underlying understanding that we care about each other and we'll always be there for each other.

The months of the past year have been awful for Anne. She's struggling with her sister's death, trying to cope with the complicated combination of grief, pain and anger. She's swimming in a sea of thick, suffocating mud. Some days seem utterly impossible.

I know how she feels. I know what it's like to wake up and just want to go back to sleep forever. I know what it's like to want to scream at anyone who will listen. I know what it's like to walk through Kroger with unexpected tears streaming down your face just because you caught a glimpse of your sister's favorite cereal.

I know that living with heartache really does mean that sometimes your heart aches.

Anne is very public about her grief and how she's struggling, and I think that's very good. She talks to me. She talks to her husband. She talks to her counselor, other neighbors, her children. And I have to think that every tear that is shed, every memory uttered, brings her closer to
learning to live healthily and happily in a redefined world. A world without her sister.

I'm not/wasn't so open about my grief. Somewhere along the line -- before my sister died, and even before my brother died, I learned to cope with life's sorrows by swallowing them deep down and burying them. It was all I could do, really. It was the only way I knew to get myself up out of the corner where I huddled and be a wife and mother and daughter and friend.

And people just seemed to like the fact that I was doing so well accepting the tragedies I'd faced -- and with such courage and grace.

It was just easier for me that way.

Which makes me feel just a little bit uncomfortable when Anne tells me and others that on her darkest days, I am her inspiration. When she says that, I want to confess that I shouldn't be her inspiration because I haven't ever really dealt with the losses I've faced. My sister and brother died just two years apart and then my mom died right after that too; there just was
no way to deal with it all, so I stuffed it away.

But I don't tell Anne that because I want to be strong for her. She needs me to be strong. I'll do anything for her and I'll be anything she needs me to be. My friend - my surrogate sister - needs to get through these dark days and I'm going to be there for her.

And if she needs me to be her inspiration, then by God, I will.

I realize that the ball of hurt and anger I've swallowed can't stay inside forever. My friend Gordon wrote about swallowing grief in one of my favorite essays, ever.

I'll paraphrase, but it goes something like this:

There, in the pit of your stomach, grief becomes an emotional bezoar, knotted and tortured and matted with undigested sorrow. But grief will not be denied. Sorrow will not go away but will remain in your belly, a tumor that no doctor can feel.

And someday you will have to cough that fucker up.

And when that happens for me, Anne will know it. Maybe by then she will be in a place where she can help me wade through that sea of suffocating mud, and help me learn to live healthily and happily in a redefined world.

Maybe, just maybe, Anne will be my inspiration.

After all, that's what sisters are for.


Friday, August 10, 2007

Friday Foto: This isn't very, um, professional.

Made me laugh!

I was going to title this post "Only in America" but it turns out this is a London-based company. Cracked me right up. I'm just so tempted to call them just to hear someone cheerily answer, "Good Morning. Stiff Nipples , how can I help you" or, "Hello, Stiff Nipples! Ready when you are!"

Stay cool, dear friends! Keep that AC crankin'!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Sand Dollar Memories

Every time we walk along a beach
some ancient urge disturbs us
so that we find ourselves shedding shoes and garments
or scavenging among seaweed and whitened timbers
like the homesick refugees of a long war.
Loren Eiseley

As we walked the in the sand our first night at the beach, I noticed broken sand dollars dotting the sand everywhere I looked. Beautiful, large sand dollars had washed onto the beach, but must have broken as the tide tried to sweep them back out to the sea.

As we enjoyed the evening air and the mixture of melancholy and inspiration that only the seashore brings, I was taken back to a time when I was a girl, visiting the same coast.

I had forgotten how enthralled I had been with collecting sea shells, and how I considered finding a sand dollar the best treasure of all.

Every day that summer years ago, I'd scan the printed tides tables for the precise hour and minute of low tide, and then force my grandparents to adjust our plans so that I could be on the beach, searching for treasures.

But I don't remember seeing so many broken sand dollars when I was there as a child. I only remember searching the beach at low tide and coming away with beautiful treasures.

Like those days long ago, on each day of this recent vacation I woke my two youngest boys at dawn's low tide. We'd find our flip flops, don our hats, and tiptoe out of our hotel room to scour the beach like paupers searching for food.

Our morning ritual made me wistful about my children and the memories they'll someday have - not only about this vacation - but their childhood memories in general. It occurred to me that while there are many childhood experiences we adults vow we'll never allow our own children to experience, there are other things that we feel our children must experience or somehow their childhood days just won't be complete.

I found that ironic as I walked along the foggy beach each morning with my boys zig-zagging beside me in the sand.

The funny thing is, I wasn't a very happy child. As a kid I encountered some fairly earth-shattering experiences (I mention this only to illustrate a point) and yet I have a lot of trouble remembering details about any one of those bad things that happened to me. Just as I don't remember so many broken sand dollars along the shore.

But if asked about my childhood days at the beach, a trip to visit my favorite aunt in Madrid, or treasured trips to the movies with my older cousins, I remember it all with great detail and with sincere passion.

I hope my children remember our vacation and our mornings together searching for sand dollars.

I hope they remember the closeness we shared those mornings - and not the complaining they did when I woke them too early.

I hope they remember the excitement of looking to see if anyone else was out there as early - and not my grousing about putting on hats.

I hope they remember the aroma of the morning sea air and the feel of the cold, wet sand under their feet.

I hope they remember a mother who scooped them up and embraced them out there next to the sea, holding them a little too tight and a little too long.

I hope they remember searching the beach at low tide and coming away with beautiful sand dollars, and I hope they too forget seeing the broken ones along the way.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


(W)Holes is over. I was going to say, "(W)Holes closed on Saturday" but that just sounded weird.

(W)Holes was a grand experience and I won't even try to tell you all how good it felt to laugh and play with those people. I gotta say -- we were a funny bunch, we were. My God, I haven't laughed that hard in a really long time.

From Cyndy's "Oscar" to the infamous "DI, YOU WERE MARRIED? HOW LONG WERE YOU MARRIED?" and rubbernecking at the "Botox Bar" was really, really fun. And of course, since "there is no room for cattiness in theatre" I'll (ahem) quit right now.

And the show closed just in time, because we five are headed to the sea. Several months ago, my enterprising husband acquired some very, very, cheap air tickets (Skybus rocks, by the way) to Seattle.

We're leaving Monday and will be gone for eight days. Eight glorious days in a place not my house and not Ohio. I say "glorious" NOW, because I'm oh-so-selectively not thinking about the reality of traveling with a needy husband and three almost as needy children.

Four and a half hours on a plane, then eight days in cramped hotel rooms and driving around in a (gasp! forgive me!) minivan. God help me. Please God, I beg you to help me. And God, while I have your attention, I'm really sorry about the minivan.

But it's all going to be worth it because after a night in Seattle, we're going to the sea.

First, we're going here and staying here. So, despite the air travel and the rental transportation, the trip definitely has possibilities.

We'll spend several nights at Cannon Beach, and then move on to Ocean Shores, Washington, where we're staying here.

I'm looking forward to (and will need, no doubt) the therapy-by-default that comes with being at the ocean. Both of our hotel destinations (excepting Seattle) are at oceanfront hotels. That was my only wish when we made the plans.

I need it. I'm tired. I'm emotionally walking on thin ice these days. I need to be at the sea with my family. All annoying five of us -- together. The little ones whining, the teenager griping, my husband harping at them for whining and griping.

And me - just sitting back, reading a grocery-store novel.

We'll go to see Mt. Rainier and Mount St. Helens, and Olympic National Park. We may go on a whale watching excursion and we're also going to maybe see a show here.

But the highlight of the trip for me will be going Roslyn, Washington to see this and have a beer here. (Roslyn is where the best TV show OF ALL TIME was filmed and from what I hear, the town is pretty much exactly the same as when the show was in production.)

So, I'm off to the Pacific Northwest to stand at the edge of the sea, explore, climb, hike, and be free with nature.

In a minivan.

God help me.

Monday, July 09, 2007

    Eleven Super Important Things You Should Know

1. I can't fill in the "Title" box for this post. It's supposed to be titled "Ten Super Important Things You Should Know". Hence, the title change.

2. The first weekend of (W)Holes is over.

3. I'm tired.

4. I mopped my kitchen floor last night. At midnight.

5. Kevin said, "Goddammit, I forgot my share toy," in the car on the way to daycare this morning.

6. Kevin is four.

7. I almost wrecked the car.

8. I don't talk that way at home. (Okay, so maybe I talk that way at theatre parties, but I don't talk that in front of my children, I promise.) Don't hate on me.

9. I have several tomatoes growing in my washtub garden. I also have two kinds of peppers and a couple of eggplants.

10. I didn't plant the eggplants.

11. This is the type of post you write when you don't have much to say but want to annoy your friends just the same.

Hee hee.

Friday, June 29, 2007

It's a feel good place...

The best part of being involved in theatre is the rehearsal process, I think. I dunno -- there's just something about the energy and excitement around trying new things, seeing what works, laughing with friends.

We're finally into the "real" rehearsals for (W)Holes (the show I'm in). Since it's a show made up of a series of monologues, up to now we've just had one-on-one rehearsals with the director.

My character is fun. At first, I just didn't think I liked her much -- and I thought she was a bit cartoonish. But I'm inside her now, and I'm growing to love her. That all sounds sorta bullcrappy-ish and schlock-"method", I know. I can see you rolling your eyes right about now, too. That's okay.

I forgot how much I miss Rene, how much I love Cyndy, and how utterly wonderful Mikey is. This just feels good. And Thea is a delight.

(W)Holes is an odd little show. It's a beautiful, quirky, heart-wrenching, funny, strange little show.

It's one of those shows where you wonder if you weren't IN the show if you would like to WATCH the show. I really don't know. But as my character says, "it's a feel good place, just like the kitchen table...with a pot of coffee and good friends to keep you company."

Good night.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


I had a birthday this week so my sister-in-law brought me this bouquet of lillies.

I just wish you could smell them; they're intoxicating!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Coffee talk

Had my first rehearsal last night.

I met Mike at a coffee shop near campus, and aside from a dude who refused to move his bare feet off the coffee table so I could get through to give Mike a hug and an Indian chick next to us having what I can only guess was cell phone sex - in the most babyish, Minnie Mouse voice EVER - it went very well.

As an ice breaker, I spilled water on Mikey's shorts.

Then, we spent some time going through the script and just as much time getting reacquainted and talking about motherhood, the very first Starbucks, healthcare, Venice, sex education, Hawaii, you name it.

Happy weekend, friends.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

I didn't make it to the play.

Parker, living up to his reputation for tending to take things just a tad too far:

I mean, why break one arm when you can break TWO?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

A Blast From the Past

Got an email from a theatre friend of long ago, whom I haven't seen in many years.

In 1990-ish we did a very cool show together at LTOB. Moonlight Daring Us To Go Insane was written by E. Eugene Baldwin (a friend of Rene's), and premiered at Chicago's Body Politic Theater in 1987. Rene talked LTOB into adding it to their 1989-90 season and the playwright even came from Chicago to see our production. (Geez, that sounded so "Waiting for Guffman"-ish.)

We had a great ensemble in that show. Rene directed, and the cast included (back row): Michael Schacherbauer, Di Felice, Don Roberts, Lisa Sharf, (middle row): Doug Shafer, Ed Meade, me, Mikey Day, John Falkenbach, (front row): Cyndi Meade, Linda May (oh, I miss Linda).

Moonlight was one of those great theatre experiences that you find difficult to explain to people later. All I know is that there were moments in that show. Rare moments when the actors and the audience disappeared together -- when the play was lost and there was just one single soul in all the world. At the risk of sounding a bit "emo" (stay with me on the hip lingo people), it was - magical.

Geez, I have a tendency to uh, get off track.


My old friend from the show emailed me about a play he's directing and he asked me to be a part of it. Of course I'm thrilled. AND... at least two or three others from Moonlight are part of it, too - including Rene. It can't get better than this, I tell you! It just can't!

And I didn't have to audition, which is good. I used to go into an audition - any audition - and pull off a brilliant performance (even if I didn't really care about getting a role or even if every role in the show was completely wrong for me). And I never got nervous; not even just a wee bit nervous.

But after all these years away, I can't quite do that anymore. For Cuckoo's Nest my audition totally sucked; I know there had to be people wondering what the hell Rene was thinking when he cast me (shit, I was thinking that, too). And I've been to auditions here and there since then and I just cannot seem to keep my nerves intact and get my brain in sync with my body, heart, and soul. I sort of watch myself on stage as if I'm an audience member. I don't feel, I don't think, I don't experience a thing. I just stand there auditioning - detached - just watching myself and reciting lines. Ugh.

I'm off track again. Geez.

So, here's to old friends, new projects, and a respite from auditions!

I have a date with Gail tomorrow night; we're going out to Curtain to see our dear friend Tim B. in Lanford Wilson's Book of Days.

Life is good.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A nice way of saying...

When I started my blog I vowed I'd never ever post photos of my children, under the full realization that people usually don't find pictures of other people's no-neck monsters quite as adorable as the mothers of those no-neck monsters do.

Well, so much for personal integrity. What the hell.

I'm positng a couple photos of my middle son, Parker. He's seven. And he's killing me.

But, just look at him.

Parker is so much like me when I was his age: full of energy (that's a nice way of saying he's completely hyper), sensitive (that's a nice way of saying he's a bit dramatic), and always pushing, pushing, pushing everything to the limit (I suppose that's a nice way of saying he's a little shithead).

But geez, just look at that face...

Last week Parker had his first experience with what the principal called an "alternative learning environment" (which is a nice way of saying he was in "In School Suspension").

Yessirreee, my kid was sent to lockup in the principal's office for an entire day. First grade.

Apparently they don't take kindly to his fondness for throwing rocks on the playground. The kid's got a hell of an arm, what can I say?

What concerns me is not the fact that he threw a few rocks on the playground (he assures me it was all a big misunderstanding), but the fact that the kid is in the freakin' first grade and he's already done hard time. I mean, the kid's got got another eleven years until he graduates! What's next? Water balloons? Cutting class? Passing notes? Kissing behind the dumpster? Oy! Eleven years! He doesn't graduate until 2019!

(Which is a nice way of saying: I'm totally and completely screwed.)

Friday, April 06, 2007

A conversation that I overheard today (at Starbucks):

24-ish boy with awful, greasy hair and filthy, ill-fitting jeans: "I went to see a play at a community theatre last weekend. I find adult community theater, by nature, totally and completely depressing."
Girl of approximately same age wearing too much black eyeshadow and whose "shirt" was, I'm pretty sure, a bra: "Oh, God, I know. Everything about those community theatres makes me want to throw myself headfirst down a fire escape."
The boy: "Those people are always pathetic. Imagine their horrible lives."
The girl: "I know. It reminds me of this guy I work with who I can't stand. He's thirty, balding, hopelessly socially awkward, and also does adult community theater. The other day he was telling me about how he really needs to get serious about his acting career, despite the fact that he is constantly yelled at for being a really crappy worker in the produce department at a grocery store. He recently married a woman who could be his twin."
The boy: "People like that make me want to punch myself in the mouth, especially hard."

I laughed so hard I almost wet my pants.

I stuck around, nursing my coffee so I could hear some more. To my dismay, the pair started talking about organic vegetables, and I didn't find that topic nearly as humorous.

I watched them as they drove away in the boy's ramshackle Honda Civic. I looked for bumper stickers (it's something I do). I've found that any guy that young and opinionated has at least one bumper sticker to let the world know exactly how he feels about what is important to him.

I was delighted to see that the greasy-haired urchin had TWO bumper stickers. I had to knock a toddler out of the way and crook my neck a bit to get a clear view (my neck still hurts; I think the toddler is okay), but alas, I was able to read them perfectly. And, Oh. My. God.

I started laughing again, and this time I laughed so hard a little bit of overpriced coffee came right out of my nose.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

And I'd like to thank...

I'm not one to go on about things (you know I'm not) but my blog-friend Jeremy over at Thwarting Complacency listed me as one of the "five blogs that make him think". He even presented me with a "Thinking Blogger" award! I'm speechless. In fact, I'm verklempt.

Here it is. You can hold it but be very careful (it's heavy):

Finally, I can steal my favorite Oscar acceptance line: "I can't deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!"

This isn't some made up thing like one of those highway billboards that reads something like,"Voted the best beef jerky in the greater Boise area". (Voted by whom I want to know? And how many kinds of beef jerky does Boise have for God's sake?)

Now that I've been "tagged" -- (I refuse to admit that this is a "meme" of sorts -- I despise those darn things. I mean, who gives two shits what my favorite pizza toppings are or when was the last time I told a lie?) -- I am charged with coming up with my own list of "five blogs that make me think".

So, as Jeremy said, "without further ado or anymore guilding the lily"...

(and by the way Jeremy -- according to, to gild the lily is"to adorn or embellish something that is already beautiful or perfect; to attempt to improve something that cannot be improved, and thereby to risk spoiling it through excess." Uh, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.) are the FIVE BLOGS THAT MAKE ME THINK (in no particular order):

Real Live Preacher - This blog is sometimes a sort of haven for me - a place I go for comfort, for understanding, for healing, for a good laugh. I always get those things; often I get much more. Though I don't consider myself "religious", I am spiritual. And who can resist a preacher who sometimes uses the terms "fuck" and "shit" and writes stuff like this in his blog:

"If you want to write you must have faith in yourself. Faith enough to believe that if a thing is true about you, it is likely true about many people. And if you can have faith in your integrity and your motives, then you can write about yourself without fear."

Chick Truths - The tag line says it all: "The world view of a woman with unrealistic expectations."

Post Secret - Just try to look at this blog and tell me if you don't find yourself thinking deeply about stuff you never even knew you cared about.

Maybe a Letter - My friend Gail's blog entries are beautiful and quietly thought-provoking. I wish she would write more often.

Thwarting Complacency -- Although Lizza already "tagged" Jeremy, I can't imagine making this list and not including his blog. Exceptional, on several levels.

So there they are! If, and only if, you've been tagged, write a post with links to five blogs that make YOU think, thenink to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote (here is an alternative silver version if gold doesn't fit your blog).

Good night, dear friends. I do hope I make you think. I hope I make you smile. I hope I make you feel.

All I know is that I write because I'm afraid to say some things out loud.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

It's a jungle out there

My friend Nancy's husband just lost his job. He's been scouring classified ads, job listings, Monster, and anywhere else he can think to look.

Here' s an actual listing he found:

Position: Eligibility/Referral Specialist 2
Agency: Licking County Department of Job & Family Services
Qualifications include regular and punctual attendance in order to perform required duties/tasks in a timely manner; may be exposed to hostile clients/individuals; and, may be exposed to infectious clients/diseases and environment.

Yikes! The hostile clients and the infectious diseases ain't so bad, but good God! Requiring regular and punctual attendance is absolutely unreasonable.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Needlepoint Truths

Tonight there was a benefit for Mike, a former student of Gail's who is battling cancer. Just a few blocks away, we attended a surprise birthday party for my husband's step-brother.

In many ways, I'm sure the two parties were similar -- rooms filled with family and friends putting their arms around a loved one and celebrating his life.

Today was also my own brother's birthday. Had cancer not taken Allen's life eleven years ago, it would have been his 51st birthday. Though he's been gone all these years, I still celebrate his life. Allen was funny. He was a great artist, and he was loyal and loving to a fault. I miss him.

For Allen, for Mike, for my mom, and for anyone whose life cancer has touched, this simple little needlepoint says it all.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Blogging Can Be Embarrassing

Today a friend asked me how my day was and I found myself telling her all about a funny post from a blog I regularly read. I’m not used to having friendships with people I’ve never met.

Whenever I tell a flesh-friend (especially a non-blogging flesh-friend) something about a blog-friend, in the course of the conversation I inevitably have to admit that I don’t actually know the person I'm talking about [clear throat].

Me: You should read Dooce [or insert any silly-sounding blog name].
Friend: Who?
Me: Oh, Dooce.
Friend: Is that her real name?
Me: No, that's her blog name. I have a lot in common with her. And she's got such a poetic soul.
Friend: Hmm.
Me: You totally have to go read Dooce ! You’ll love her!
Friend: Awkward pause. Do you know her?
Me: Um…no. But you’ll love her...blushing now...she’s really great.

Oh well.

I joined a book club organized by my flesh-friend Gail, with a bunch of her school-teacher friends. Gail and Connie are the only gals I know in the group, so it'll be fun. This month's book is "Good Girls Gone Bad" by Jillian Medoff. My husband is worried.

I read the script of a play I'm thinking of auditioning for. I dunno. I'm too old to play the young women's roles and I'm WAY TOO YOUNG for the older women's roles, so I'm waffling. Gail and I both want to audition, and that would be a really great thing. We'll see. It might be difficult for both of us to "break in" to this particular production company together. But if we could...geez.

Well, gotta run. I need to check on my good friend All the World's A Stage . You'll love All the World's A Stage ... she's... really... great.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Schadenfreude Rules

It's February. And it's cold. Really, really cold. My two oldest boys went back to school today after three colder than cold "snow days" off. As hard as it was being pent up in my teeny-tiny house for three straight days with three young boys (I kept the little one home from daycare even though it was open; I'm a martyr), man do I pity those poor teachers today.

Well, part of me pities those poor teachers; part of me is filled with an odd sense of schadenfreude. That's just how I roll.

On Super Bowl Sunday I headed out in the cold to pick my middle son up from a birthday party. I stopped at Speedway to get a cup of coffee, and someone asked the clerk if he was going to miss the game or if he could listen to it on the radio. He quickly replied, "No, I'm taping the game at home and nobody better tell me anything about it before I watch that tape."

The clerk's response reminded me of a show I was in years ago at LTOB in Grove City. We were doing "The House of Blue Leaves", and tech week started on Super Bowl Sunday during the game. A couple of cast members brought transistor radios so they could keep track of the score.

But one member of the crew, "Bob" (not his real name), was adamant about not knowing anything about the game. He was taping it at home and made it clear that he did not want to know anything that was happening. He was sort of irrational and belligerent about it, and I remember being surprised at that, because I thought I knew Bob pretty well and this behavior was something I hadn't seen before.

Back then, I was not at all into football, and on that night I'm sure I didn't even know which two teams were playing. I remember thinking how silly Bob was being, and I remember how surprised I was that Bob was being so unreasonable. Several times during the night, when someone would start to report the score, Bob would curse and storm away from the immediate area so he wouldn't hear.

I was playing Bunny in the show, and at the time it was sort of a typecast role for me so I was really having fun with it. I mean, I got to wear a leopard miniskirt and dance on top of a piano. And the best part is that I looked GOOD in that miniskirt. Damn.

Anyway, I hadn't a care in the world...I was recently engaged, had a lead role in a great show with my favorite director, and it was finally tech week. All was right with the world.

But as the night wore on (as tech rehearsals tend to do) the tension mounted over Bob's impatience with missing the Super Bowl and the rest of us trying to keep any details about the game a secret. The entire cast and crew was walking on eggshells.

At last, rehearsal was over. It was late. After the director gave notes, it was finally time to head home.

This is where the story gets fuzzy, but someone (and for the life of me I can't remember who -- I'd kill to remember who it was) stopped by the theatre to see if we were still there and if anyone was going out.

Whoever the guy was wasn't hip to the fact that we had spent the evening tiptoeing around Bob, desperately trying to keep from mentioning anything about the Super Bowl lest our normally mild-mannered friend pull out a homemade machine gun and let us all have it.

It sort of happened in slow motion. The mystery dude (damn, I wish I could remember) just walked into the theatre, stood in the doorway at the back of the house, and announced the outcome of the game. Just like that. Most of us were still sitting in the front rows after notes, and I can still remember turning around to look up into the booth, where Bob stood peering down.

There was a moment of stunned silence. Then, like some sort of caged animal, Bob let out a string of obscenities that I swear would embarrass Andrew Dice Clay. Then, he oh-so-quietly grabbed his coat, put on his hat and silently walked out of the theatre.

And one perfect theatre-beat later, I burst out laughing. Schadenfreude rules, man. That's just how I roll.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Well, crap.

This whole thing maybe could have gone a little better.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Geez, 2006 went fast.

A lot of things happened this year that were sort of a "coming out" for me. Not THAT kind of coming out; I'm still in love with Matt Damon, thank you (but I still have that not-so-secret girl crush on Queen Latifah).

Get your mind out of the gutter, guys.

By "coming out" I meant that I sort of turned off the road I'd been traveling on in a sort of hypnotized state for years. Years of being wife, mother, employee, student. All of that still remains (except for the student part -- woohoo), but in 2006 I started looking at things differently. Four things this year made that happen:

  • I finished my master's degree...something I started as a "just for me" project that became more important to me than even I would I have thought.
  • A close friend became an even closer friend. From that I learned, I lost, and I am left sincerely blessed.
  • I went back to the theatre, and it was wonderful and horrifying at the same time. I look back on the experience with happiness, with regret, with love for new friends, with longing for another chance, and often with embarrassment for not getting it just right. Thank you Rene, for giving me a chance.

    And thank you too, Cuckoo's Nest friends. I went in to the experience knowing almost noone and came away with more than a dozen new friends! Thank you for your patience, your understanding, and your support in what was the most difficult role I've ever attempted. Thank you. And I especially thank you, Tim Patrick, for making RP McMurphy so damned easy to hate. And so damned easy to love.
  • I started this blog, which I thought would be a fun way to chronicle the Cuckoo's Nest experience. And I did chronicle it. I chronicled it so well that immediately after the show closed I deleted every last word. Leaving those posts open for all to see felt sort of like being forced to show the world my private mirror -- the one that shows only imperfections and flaws (all the things I've learned to hide by wearing black pants and a cute top).

I have many goals for 2007 -- I hate "resolutions" so I call them goals, instead.

Anyway, one of them is to do another show...IF the stars line up and it all seems right. Right director. Right timing. Right cast. Oh yeah, and right role. My fingers are crossed.

But for now dear friends, take care and happy new year! See you soon.