Sunday, June 29, 2008

Week One

It is so quiet here, I can hear people talking when they take twilight walks and are a block away.

Not even a week here, and I forgot what it was like not to live here. I'm on the Neebes' sofa, Mr. Neebes and the Sisterwife upstairs sleeping, Em and H are at their grandmother's house, and for a few brief moments, Tim and A are downstairs, playing with the controlled chaos of a 5 and 3 year old. I've fixed their breakfast, listened to them tell me about the morning, and watched tumbling, all accompanied by, "Miss Quin! Watch!". Kids don't get it that I am not good with kids, or perhaps it's because I laugh or scold, I'm not sure... but, they have dogged my steps since I came back.

Not such a bad thing, except when you are in the bathroom, and you hear breathing, and then, "Can you see my fingers under the door?"

My house will, with luck, be ready to move in by Tuesday. I have to say, the work the Zenmaster put into it in December is amazing. Since he's my business partner now, he gets part of the proceeds when the thing sells, to allow him to become a Flipping Zenmaster. The back garden has to be pulled out, dead grass and all, and I am looking forward to planning a nice cottage garden out there, to enjoy when it's the cool of the evening.

The Investment has become Sisterwife and my rent boy. You see, we laugh so loudly, no one ever wants to sit by us in a play or a film. We also make comments if the film sucks (trust me, there are films I've seen here where there is no one else in the place). No one laughs at the other person's really bad comments as much as she and I do, so, we needed a rent boy. We pay his way in, give him popcorn, a drink and some gummy bears, and he will go with us and sit without complaining.

He's also attached his ass to the front seat of Norma. Gee, I wonder what it is like to own a car? To drive one?

Along with my work as Prop Goddess, I've also been assigned set dressing. Still, I'm doing so much less than I used to, and, I'm getting paid so, woot!

Still waiting for my multitude of boxes to arrive... I keep my clothes in the back of the family van, and my personal items sit next to me on the floor. Thankfully, I remembered to look in all of the cupboards before I left... Up in one was a small ziplock bag, with some odd material inside. I sniffed, I looked at it in the bag, wondering, "What is this? A spice? Something from the last tenant that I missed when I moved in?" I wet my finger to touch it and taste it when it came to me what it was...

The last little tablespoonful of my Dad's ashes from when I buried him in September.

Yeah, very glad I realised it before I tasted, although he'd have found it very, very amusing. Far more than I would have, trust me, when I discovered it, and sat there spitting yelling, "EW! EW!".

I made sure I marked the bag this time... 'DAD'. I'm not taking chances again.

Life is slow, steady, a bit sad--and it waits for me to discover what is there to see.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


You could tell the plane was full of New Yorkers.

As soon as it landed, everyone surged forward, quickly out the door, up the hall, into the airport. We all did that brisk New York City walk over to the airport tram, and when the doors opened, we all moved in, filling the car, moving into small spaces, flowing around those who didn't move like sand around rocks in a jar. The tram moved, subdued speech, doors opened, and again, we did the New York City Trot down to the luggage carousel.

Standing, standing....looking at watches, then at the conveyor belt that was not delivering our luggage. As one, 10-15 people leaned out over the revolving carousel that still did not have the luggage we needed... we looked the same way you do peering down the tunnel for a train you tell yourself is late, even though you know it isn't.

Announcement--our luggage is at a different location, the airline is sorry for the bad information. A chorus of voices mutters, "FUCK!" as we spin and move looking like a flock of birds flying in those patterns you do they know when to turn all at the same time? I'm not sure of their reasons, ours was the deep desire to get our luggage and leave.

Luggage grabbed, on a trolley, Sisterwife picks me up amid squeals and joyous noises. A meal at In-n-Out Burgers, including two chocolate malts to go, and we hit the road. The two hours back here fly by, I am hit with my first time paying for gas, putting me in shock and we are at her home, where I find my sofa made up, as if I'd never left from my last visit a year ago. Three in the morning, to me it's five, and I'm exhausted.

It's 9AM the next morning, and I can hear breathing. "Is she awake?". Two sets of eyes are staring at me, breathing out little children's morning breath. We are off and running for the day, kids fed, to the theatre and I'm going over rehearsal reports, looking at props, hugging old friends. One rehearsal to watch, marking where and when props not noted in the script appear, sorting out what I have to buy, find, build in my head.

Home. Off to the Church of the Cinema 8 with The Investment and Sisterwife to see The Happening (or, as we called it, a remake of An Inconvenient Truth by M. Night), laughter and screams inside... the film wasn't that good, but, there were excellent screaming parts. Popcorn and diet Pepsi. Have I been gone?

Another rehearsal today, more lists to do, arrangements to get my house livable by the weekend, hot summer sun, the never ending Utah wind, trees and grass and flowers that don't touch the lush green of where I've been.

400 posts in a journal I started to keep my family in touch, that has allowed me to make lovely friends. I feel a pang over what was just two days ago; although home, I'm homesick. This, too, will pass.

Fast, furious, productive 48 hours, where I slide back into what I used to be, with a touch of something else added to the mix. A sense of calmness, of knowledge of my job, knowing I had much happen while I was away....

Thank you to everyone who does stop by to read these blatherings, you flatter me with your kindness.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Day By Day

I am down to a suitcase, a coffee machine, one cup, paper plates and a leaky bed.

Yesterday, CB and I hauled all of my packed boxes down to FedEx where my life in New York was shipped off to my life in Utah. When I consider the fact I moved to Utah with a dog, two cats, some hamsters, two children, two vehicles, my father who was starting to slip into Alzheimer's (you could find where he was on the road by driving to the top of a hill and looking for the eight mile long stretch of backed up traffic... he was at the front, driving 45MPH) and a fully loaded full sized moving van... I'm moving back with less than 400 lbs of stuff in a bunch of heavy duty cardboard boxes, shipped by an express company.

Henry David would be proud.

The Prop Goddess work has already begun, letters flying between myself and stage managers... we need this and we need that. I send letters back--no, there are no mustard bottles, it will be in a dish, people made mustard at home in that era. Lucky Strikes were a brand, however, I will have to build the package, as it's colour went from a coppery green to white in 1941 because of the war effort. Yes, I have found a baseball glove, it's vintage 1935. The directors like me because I am so focused on details.... that also makes me a pain in the ass, because I don't like to back down. I'm not exactly, um, flexible, you see.

If it calls for a certain thing, well, that's what it should be.. I don't like fudging. Like the cigarette package... sure, no one may know the package colour changed.. but, I know. And I figure someone else may know, so.... coppery green it will be, come hell or high water.

Norma is running, The Investment is driving her around, and won't be pleased I'm taking her back over. I will be getting the utilities turned back on when I arrive, and the furniture, what little I have, moved in next weekend.

It's day by day... Monday, I make a last trip into the city, to pick up a few things. Tuesday, I will stab The Titanic to death, do one last clean of the apartment, then we all head to the airport.

A door closes, a door opens.... you take a breath, and walk through to see where they lead you. I am not done with New York, I've friends here, and can't imagine never coming back. The new season will be up and running on Broadway in January.. I'll be back for that. I've CF to visit, the WeatherGuy will be back, C and his family, KB (the director) and a few others. You see, now, I have the best thing you can have in New York....

Friends with a bedroom where I can stay when I come visit. Ha!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Stay, Just A Little Bit Longer

Last Day with my little C.

There was a hint of rain in the air, he had no homework, and he didn't want to go outside, he said. We had cold pizza for snack, while he told me about the new attraction at the Bronx Zoo, and would I be able to go with the family when they go up to see it later in the summer. I explained again I was leaving, remember? We are going to the airport on Tuesday and bringing me to go to catch a plane, and I am flying far to the other end of the country, near California....he knows where that is...and the man who came over the night before is going to live in my apartment. Noel is a nice guy, remember? There will be someone new to watch him and R, and she is very nice, and has a car and will take him swimming.

He chews his pizza, humming to himself.

Can I go to the Zoo next weekend, then? I sigh, and we look at the calendar, so I can show him the dates, but, he runs off, not interested, saying he doesn't want to look, he wants to watch Lost World on Bob, please.

I stretch out on the long sofa, the soft leather is cool through my jeans and teeshirt. Lying on my side, I curl up my legs... sometimes, he will lie on his stomach along my body, his head on my shoulder, mahogany red hair tickles my neck, his feet near my knees, his fingers twined in my shirt, touching my hand....stimming, always stimming. He murmurs about the film, asking What do they call the male dinosaurs? What do they call the female ones? What kind is that dinosaur or that one? I respond, You know the answers, C... what are the answers? He sits up on my hip, I am his favourite place to sit or lean against when he reads or watches a film. He quickly rattles off the answers, giving me the names and when they lived. He reaches down and takes my hand, twisting his fingers in mine... or he'll rub the cotton of my shirt between his fingers, or twist my hair while he talks, his eyes darting. A finger will go to my dimple, How did this get there? I explain, and he wants to know if he will get one, too.

He squeals Save me! Save me! at the scary parts, even though he knows the film by heart. I know it's pretense, this flattening himself behind me, or trying to fit along my curves, his bony little boy body shivery in make believe fright. A huge grin is on his face while he says, Let's be scared, okay? We both say, OH NO! RAPTORS!! and pull a blanket over our heads while the dog climbs up on us, barking. I can smell his little boy smell, as he curls into me, giggling.

When he comes home every afternoon, I meet him at the door, and he jumps into my arms, all elbows and knees and he buries his face in the crook of my neck, as I put my face in his... we both breath for a moment, taking in each other... he strokes my shoulder, talking talking talking. We do homework, snacks, go outside and watch clouds and I answer the same 4762 questions every day, from dinosaurs and What did they feel like? his disappointment palatable every time that I cannot tell him that answer, to the various functions different dogs served to what do I think that cloud looks like. In mid question, he is done, and goes to create his sandbox world, while I retreat to my book. We continue to get along, never mis-communicating. When he overloads, and starts to yell, I laugh....causing him to stop, and laugh with me... diffusing the situation. Sometimes, he annoys me, sometimes, I annoy him. I remind him his shoes are on the wrong feet, he tells me my glasses are on my head when I think I've lost them. The rest of the family comes home, he is absorbed into their group, he smiles back at me, runs for a last hug... my last afternoon with him... and I go downstairs from the job that stopped being a job some time ago.

I will miss him immeasurably.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Give A Little Bit Of Yourself

WriteProcrastinator tagged me, yet again.

He's good about that, and usually, it's something to do with, I'm good with the tagging. This time, it's in connection with this blog, Memoirs of a Mommy

I don't read that particular online journal, however, I had a look, to see what was on, why she was passing out this award, what the whole deal was... and, it became an hour long adventure.

It seems her son, Noah, was born with a severe heart problem back in 2007. Only one thing, and one thing alone would save him; a heart transplant.

Organ donation is something so many people twitch about when it comes to discussing the issue, much less actually checking that little box on their license or on a form at the hospital. How do you decide you want to give your eyes or your skin or your lungs, kidneys, liver... your heart to someone when you die? Even more difficult is making the decision to donate a loved one's organs. To make that decision when it's your child's organs, your infant's organs... I cannot imagine the deep pain, the intense bravery that went into the decision the parents who offered up this ultimate gift so that other children could live... including Noah.

On 7 July 2007, Noah received another child's heart... and he was allowed to live. His family can still hold him, and love him, and laugh with him as he grows older... while another family grieves the loss of their child.

I often discussed this with the Ex. That should anything happen to one of our children, I'd want them to be organ donors, it's a cause I believed strongly in. I, myself, was marked as a donor on my license, and advocate more people should be, it's so easy, and, lets be honest, you aren't going to be using them, are you? He fought me on this, saying you should be buried with the same things you were born with. I asked him if he'd be getting the boys foreskins back... and did he realise the organs would be in a bag in their stomachs after the autopsy? Great lot of good they do there, reminding me of a turkey at Thanksgiving.

He was not too happy with me sometimes.

We never could agree on this matter, and thank God, it was something we never had to deal with. He refused to be one himself, so, I know it would have been a huge issue should something have happened. My feeling was, and remains, I would be happier knowing somewhere, my child lived on... seeing through another child's eyes, their heart beating on, their organs prolonging another life. It would soothe me, I believe, knowing this.

I cannot understand how people can go though life and not do something as simple as become a donor... knowing the long list, knowing how important it is, knowing you can save so many.

Register. Mark that box. Think of the good you can do.

It is the one great sadness I have now, that I can no longer be a donor candidate. Cancer kinda stops that, doesn't it?

It doesn't stop you, though.

Give a little bit of yourself, share the love.

Accordingly, happily, I am to nominate people with whom I am sharing the love.

Bill from Gainsville~ he's a good guy, and he makes me laugh.

~ who works hard at finding gratitude in his daily life, making me search in my own.

Amber ~ who has a heart of gold

R~ who was there when I needed her

Take your Sharing the Love badge, with my love, please.... and pass on the word.

I mean, do we really want to go out like a turkey at Thanksgiving, when we can save lives?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Shameless Self Promotion, II

Yes, I am directing those who take the time to come here, elsewhere.

I should be ashamed, but, I'm not, because there are some very good pieces of work on this site and if you've not considered contributing, I think you should.

If you feel like it, have a read, leave a word or two, and I am, as always, thankful you consider dropping by here part of your day.

Thanks in advance for reading.

This one is for you, HRH.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Things that make a day better come in many shapes and sizes.

1. My package from Solomon arrived, with wonderful candy, a great cereal bar, a nifty bamboo wash cloth, a book on wealth of all sorts...and, you could feel the good will from a very nice person on the other side of the pond. I had a swell time unwrapping it, and enjoying the scent of my coffee, the taste of the candy, the feel of the washcloth, and the beauty of my new soap... all in all, a treasure trove for my senses. How much more can someone who loves things to tickle her senses ask for?? woot!

2. Prince was in Brooklyn last night... Jukebox Stories hit town, and he and Brandon Patton put a greatly amusing (I never thought I'd laugh so hard at someone's experience with mushrooms), music packed (Brandon rocks) performance, that is intertwined with a murder mystery...ohhhh!!! The thrill for me was-- I guessed the murderer. It was simple, really...with Prince picking the killer, I only had to wait to see which of my two top names it would be. When Zack Efron was out of the running, I called out, "J'accuse!" and sure enough, it was Irina Slutskaya. He picked her for the reason I picked her; best name of the bunch. My gift for the correct guess?? Either a hat from the latest Keanu Reeves, no? Or, the mystery gift in his backpack... hmmmm.... I went with that, and am now the proud owner of Moondance Alexander.(IMDb it) If you've wondered about Don Johnson, and if he's made any films lately, well, I have a copy to show he has! Not that this film shows anyone cares either way. Saying it sucks is being kind. Which was the entire idea, of course. There was a six degrees on this prize and the killer mystery... Irina skates, and Sasha Cohen, who is in the film, skates. Wow! Thanks, Prince! This gift was on top of the gift of time and some swell conversation with a friend, a nice locale.. and, again, a very entertaining evening. For a brief shining moment, we thought someone he knows knew my brother, and we both got very excited and did the OMG thing, but, we were wrong. Still, it was fun for that brief shining moment, and we still had a good long chat... I wish him and Brandon safe journeys.

3. The Investment has a good friend whose parents went to Colorado, and picked both him and his much loved car up, to take them back to Utah. So, when I get back there, I have two of my FMDkids in place. A dear gift to me, indeed.

As The Investment himself would say..... word.

Friday, June 13, 2008

I'm Blogging This

I like when you talk to someone on the phone, and you both enjoy the conversation.

Since I'm wearing a shirt saying "I'm Blogging This", I thought I would... it was a good day, I managed to get things packed, I'm booked to fly out on the 24th to Vegas, where the Sisterwife will pick me up. In n' Out burgers at midnight.. so wrong, yet so right. I go into rehearsals a week late, yet, I have my very own serf. My house will have almost no furniture, yet, the neighbors I've never met are doing landscaping, and asked if I minded if they cut back the jungle of bigass bushes I've never been able to tackle.

No, I don't mind at all... y'all have fun.

The weather was finally nice enough to go outside without feeling Hell had moved up to the sidewalks of New York, I made a pitcher of sweet tea, and the social networking chaos did two good things:

1. It went out to some people who had sent me some not so nice emails last Spring. I sure hope they opened it, to see what I wanted.

2. It set off some lovely long email conversations with some folk I've been remiss in keeping in touch with.

Can't ask for more than that.

Well, I can, but, Vincent d'Onofrio isn't going to show up begging me to go out, no matter how much I dream.

Networking Sites

I clicked on to join one last night.

I was being nice, I know the person, and I thought, "Oh, what can it hurt?". Somewhere, in the depths of the internet world, Bob in New Delhi, Chuck in Los Angeles, Larry in Bogue Chitto (that's in Mississippi) and Maurice in Cannes went to work, digging into my address book, ignoring the very defined DO NOT ACCESS MY ADDRESS BOOK, and they did just that, sending out an email to every single person I've ever emailed... including some craigslist apartment listings I'd contacted at some point.

Not once. Not twice, but, 47 times. How do I know this? They even sent me an invite, 47 times. Yes, Bob, Chuck, Larry and Maurice (whom I feel run the world via their comfortable armchairs in their various caves and internet connections) took over my little gmail account, and went bonkers.

So, the few friends I had went, "WTF? Do I want to know some woman who is so pathetic she is sending out invites 47 times, begging me to join her on an networking site out of Fargo? I don't think so."

Even I turned myself down.

What is it, that when we get one of these invitations, we feel we have to say "YES! YES, I will be your friend on a site I will never use, in order for you to have a gazillion friends, even though we never speak, nor email nor have we met." Why is it that there is a guilt attached to saying no. I have a Facebook account, that I rarely attend to, because, well, for one, I'm not sure what it's all about, and I never get around to sending the things other people send me.. not because I don't want to.. I just don't do it. I am also bad about sending birthday cards, and the FMDkids Easter baskets are still sitting here (the Easter Bunny didn't leave Dove chocolate bunnies this year, kids... go figure). I'm signed up for a plethora of other sites, that I used a junk email account for... and when I pull up that account, I find pages of emails notifying me people I don't know want to be my friend.


I'm not that exciting, to be honest. And, well, I'm not social enough to investigate you.... I'm not good at social.

One good thing, I'm having some lovely emails with those in my address book, since I sent one out apologising for the invite to this networking site.

Now, if Bob and Chuck and Larry and Maurice would just leave me alone, I'd be happy.

Very happy indeed.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Telling the truth is erotic.

It is akin to open mouth kisses shared with a lover.. hot, intense, long kisses... of the kind given not on the first or second time you start that process of shared intimacy that I find more intense than sex, but, the ones you find yourself part of when you've started looking forward to seeing this person, when you want to tell them...things.

It's that point when you lie next to each other, digging deep to the depths.. past the mundane parts, offering up bits and pieces of yourself. "Here I am." you say, waiting... holding your breath... will the truth you give up, large or small... be rejected or accepted, and made part of them?

Anyone who takes some deep part of you, some hard told truth... who takes it, listens, puts it away inside of them... makes you part of their existence, and them part of yours... just as that deep hot long intense kiss binds you to your lover.

Erotic, indeed.

Monday, June 9, 2008


Settler calls... the calvary arrives... because that is what the calvary does.

The calvary puts out the flames. Helps rebuild the house, assesses the damage, packs the settler up... and the settler won't budge.

Not with hostile environment, snakes, restless natives... nothing that is found in those silly old films... the settler refuses to leave a known, unsafe environment for a unknown, safe one.

The calvary packs her weary ass up, and travels for 15 hours home.

'Nuff said.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Hello In There, Hello

She paced back and forth on the ferry Thursday morning.

I first noticed her while I sat and made mental notes and worried about CL, planning my two stop-overs, figuring time between planes, continuing my calls to my friend... who was waiting for me to show up, this great, strong woman brought to a bad place by people she'd trusted, in a place she'd loved working, doing the thing that gives her joy. Betrayals and lies and the burden of too many things causing a maelstrom of anguish she was drowning in, unable to swim any longer.

She paced, lips moving as she worked something out in her head. She was lean, her legs were thin, very thin... feet encased in ivory shoes, a plain black dress, light coat... pocketbook to match the shoes, clean and tidy... perhaps late 60's.

The train had been late, I'd missed the 8.30 Ferry by a minute, forced to wait for the 9 AM, thwarting my plan to arrive at the airport, to try and snag an earlier flight... still, well trained in the ways of New York, I dashed to the 'R' train, just in case I could make up time somewhere.

Right, on the 'R' train route.

Lost in thoughts of what was to be done when I arrived, I didn't notice when someone sat next to me, until her Natasha Baddenov (a far better version than Cate's in the unnamed Raider's film) voice said, "So, vat do you dink I should do?"

Internal monologue started..."Great, crazy person. I do not need a crazy person today, I don't have the energy to be kind or interested or anything. Please, let them go away."

Turning to find something semi-decent to respond, to not take off her head lost in my own stress, there was the Ferry Lady. A face, sculpted at one point in life with clean, clear lines...cheekbones still strong and firm, the skin like some fine piece of silk that had been crumpled and smoothed.. Tinted blonde hair in braids wrapped around her head, deep set light jade green eyes. The look in them, the air around her, those lines showing she had not had an easy life, this woman. A small wrinkle was between her brows, head tipped, while she studied me carefully, seriously, waiting for an answer.

"I'm sorry, what?"

"Vat do you tink I should do?" Leaning in, she closed the personal space, and we went from two strangers to two acquaintances discussing something important.

"I guess it depends.... about what?"

"I have house, in Queens... is my house, not my husband house. My house, I vork hard and save and save and I buy house, and I rent house. Two women call, vant to rent upstairs. Vone is teacher, has two cheedren, husband drive limo. Limo drivers, dey make much money, you know?"

I thought for a moment... thinking of the plethora of gypsy cabs I've taken, the limo driver I know who does it legally.

"Yes, yes they do. And, teachers have a steady income. What is the other woman like?"

She adjusted her handbag... glanced down the tunnel to look for the train.

"Deese one, she is not teacher. No husband. Two daughters. Young, you know? Vone is working in beauty supply shop. Da modder, she is helper at nursing home. I don't dink they make so much money as teacher and husband. I vorry about dis, because she say to me, "I pay you deese much every week, not on once a mondth." I dink to myself, dis not goot. Last time deese happen, I have to put woman out of house. Deese people, dey call first. I go from Staten Island to Queens to show house. Is nice house, two bedrooms, living room, bath, kitchen. Has oil heat, I pay deese. I have new carpet and paint put in. Not cheap, to have deese done, you know?"

"It sounds very nice. How much are you asking?" even though I'm leaving, it's automatic to check on an open apartment.

The train pulled in, we kept talking, she had my arm by then.

"You tell me your stop, I make sure you not miss it." she said, as I glanced out the window to see where we were. "Don't worry, look, I tell you. Oh, $1200 month. I can get more, but, I vant to be nice. House is paid for, my house. So, vat you dink I should do?"

We talked a bit more, weighing pros and cons, and she decided on the teacher and the limo driving husband. She went on, telling me of her life, how she had been married for 24 years to the same man, and how his mother didn't like her still. That the mother causes problems in the marriage.

"She not like me. Is because I am Roossian. She is German, come here after var, married American soldier, bring my husband vid her, he liddle boy. She still very mean. He talk to mother, vant me to go with him to visit her, and use my money to go, I no agree. Such problems she cause me. She say I am stupid Roossian." She looks down her nose at me, haughty. "Me! Stupid! Come here, vid nudding. I work hard, I have two houses." her voice was proud. "One in Queens, I rent. House in Staten Island, my name, too. I buy him two cars, he not pay anything."

She makes a dismissive gesture, her thin hand floating on the air for a moment, the skin translucent in the light.... then drops it back to twist the ring on her left hand, reaches up and pats her hair. She leans forward suddenly, taps my arm with a delighted grin.

"I show you, I show you man I love, long ago." she pulls out a wallet, inside a photo, from the mid-60's. A handsome man, a woman...her in her youth, Slavic face firm in the semi profile, looking up at the man, slender and pale with the blonde hair back in some twisted style. "He vas writer, for CBS, I go all the shows. Ve love each odder... but, " paused, she sighed. "...he is Jew. His modder, she vant him marry a Jewish girl from Brooklyn. He love me, but..." again, the sigh, accompanied by a long look at the photo from so long ago, still in her wallet. "... he listen to modder. My heart, it... fall into many pieces. Later, year later, he call me, he divorced, because he love me... please, he say, come see me. I need you. I love you. I-- I not go see him, so scared vill make so much I hurt before. You know, dis kind of scared?" The light jade eyes look at me, remembered pain there, a sheen of tears.

"Yes. I do." I'm thinking of a place locked and put away.

"Now, he live in California, producer wid big movies." reflected pride in his accomplishments, achieved without her in his life, yet, her voice carries a note of warmth, her smile is wide, and I realised he'd never left her thoughts, her heart... . "So, I marry this man." A different photo. A different tone. "He is handsome, funny... not so nice. I don't talk dis marriage to you. Here my husband, 24 year. His mommy's boy." She laughed.

"Do you have children?"

"No. Only man I want de children wid, he not marry me, I scared to say I still love him. So, I have dogs. Dey love me." She shows two large white dogs. "My babies. Dey are reason I not alone, not husband. Oh! Your station. I tell you, I let you know when station come!"

I stood up, swaying in the subway train surfing stance.... held out my hand...thought better, and quickly hugged her as she sat, looking up at me. "Be safe, take care, alright?"

"I go wid teacher. You are right." she smiled, showing discoloured caps on her teeth... that fact overridden by the sudden beauty in her face, the way her eyes glowed. She held on to my hand in both of hers as we slowed and stopped. "You, you not be sad, have scared feeling. Tell man you love him."

I protested there was no man... avoiding that door... and laughed.

"No, dere is man, I know. Be happy, not like me. Not alone. No scared." she smiled again, and I was gone out the door, laptop and overnight bags weighing down my shoulders, her story weighing down my heart.

Some days, you meet the most interesting people on the train. Some times, they amuse you, befuddle you, irritate you.....even frighten you.

Some days, they give you a piece of their life... leaving you on a train platform, with tears on your face.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Frequent Flier Miles

Life is good in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Why was I in Charlotte? Because the flight to Raleigh from New York blew out an engine on take off, thus, causing an entire plane full of people to have to be shifted to other flights... and, to be honest, I thought I was in Raleigh until I went into the hotel lobby this morning.

The airport in Charlotte has great white rocking chairs where you can sit and watch the planes take off and land (with luck, no blown engines).... they also have free WiFi. Imagine. You can sit, rock, look and talk about what you are seeing, all while you wait for your plane after a night on a real bed, a real, honest to goodness bed after which you had a Southern breakfast with sausage and gravy and biscuits and grits.

I just checked my veins... there is sludge moving. I'm safe for a bit longer.

I was supposed to simply touch down in Raleigh, race to another plane, go to Houston, and grab a little commuter to another small town to answer a distress call from a friend. We were racing down the runway, doing around 120 MPH, when the pilot thankfully noticed one of the engines was just a teeny bit hot, as in overheated, as in getting ready to flame out. He stood on the brakes, causing some people to say it, then do it... thus removing the need to have on fresh underwear when they travel.

"Attention all passengers, please do not leave your seats. We have a slight maintaince problem... Bob and Chuck, our crack team, will look at the engine, and see what is wrong. Please do not worry."

This was the cue for a number of people to get off the plane.

Long lines formed to re-book, compounded by the cancelation of another flight... things didn't look good for my making it to Corpus Christi.

By the time I made it to the front of the line (the nice people on the phone couldn't do squat), the plane that was on the next gate was filled... I chatted to the gate agent, who is always your best friend. We talked about where she was from in Australia... always be able to pick up dialects.... and suddenly, she grabbed my hand, and hauled me to the next gate, shoving me in as the last passenger. I could hear someone being told his assigned seat was no longer in the system.


Thus, I ended up in Charlotte, that I thought was Raleigh, spending the night... back out to the airport, flying next to the only empty seat (again, be nice to the gate agent) to Houston, then on to Corpus in the front row (see above). My dear friend, CL, picked me up.... she's going through some stuff right now, and asked me to fly down. I'm here to help her get basics together, then, she'll fly back on Sunday with me, we'll drive back here in a couple of weeks, gather her furniture... and drive with a trailer to the Land O'Utes.

Amazing how plans change.

I continue to stand by my firm belief, if you can't figure out how to put on or take off your seat belt, and really have to be told.. do not fly. If you believe that little bitty seat cushion is going to save you, well, I've beach front property in Utah I can sell you, cheap. Damn the airlines for no snacks, pffffttt on extra charges for the second bag, and what is with no more pillows?

Still, I made it, Charlotte was great.... and, I'd like to go back sometime.

As a planned stop, this next visit.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Shhhhhhhhhhhh.....listen... the sound you hear is Tennesse Williams spinning in his grave.

I love theater... it makes me happy to be part of it... on the craft side, helping to create a vision, feeling the energy and power from not only the actors, but, from the audience... the space itself. When I attend a play, there is joy in the attending--to see it, to sink into a seat and be carried away by a director's vision of a playwright's world.

I've been looking forward to a few plays... I've got my ticket to 'reasons to be pretty', saw Passing Strange, a great group of one act plays over at the Ensemble Theater Company... and tonight, I saw one of the plays on My List.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

Tennessee Williams is one of my favourite playwrights... he creates a world that intersects with my world of Southernness... I grew up with some of his characters. His plays are rich with text and sub text and deep dark wit... laced with astringent lines, morality at times, his dialogue is crisp, harsh, emotional. This is not the soy milk version you may have seen with Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman... this is the heavy cream version Williams wrote, complete with the cursing, the homosexuality that is hinted at between Brick and his best friend, Skipper who has recently died.. and with this play, the raw movements of Maggie, who is out to survive and win.

Okay. That's the best part....aside from the fact I bought a ticket from a scalper, and talked him down from $65 to $50 for a 10th row, center of the row, orchestra seat. Added to this was the delight of no one on either side, and the discovery of two women sitting behind me, who chatted away, were funny, joined in my dismay at this production, dissected the play with me on intermissions...and loved to eat at Virgils Bar-B-Que on W. 44th... and who waved good bye when I left early. Yes, I walked away from a romance... not a love story, a romance.

I know, bad form... you have no idea, however, what this was like.

It started well enough... Terrence Howard is seen through a scrim (which is used as the walls of the set)...'showering'. A large sigh went though the audience... we were happy! Yes, indeed.

Maggie enters, with her classic rant about the " monsters hit me with a buttered biscuit.... Their fat little heads sit on their fat little bodies without a bit of can't wring their necks if they got no necks to wring." The lines received laughs, and, well, they are good... She is sleek, she is focused on self preservation, she exudes frantic love for her husband who rejects her.... in slapstick fashion. To sit and watch the sinous lines of Maggie, all sex and drive and ambition... and love... to watch her move across the stage in counterpoint to Brick's jumping around and such... She was wasted there.

Then.... they started. The Bad Things.

1. Even after the house was closed, ushers continued to seat people. In my world of SM work, the house is mine once those doors shut, and I call my first cue. NO ONE is seated after that, much less what appeared to be two tour buses of folk sitting in various places. This went on for most of the first act. Why bother to show up, if you are that late? You've already missed Terrence Howard semi-naked.

2. Terrence Howard's entrance... which brought on cheers and applause. No. No. NO. This is a play, not a variety show... we do NOT applaud as each actor enters... it tends to do things like, oh, I don't know... stop the rhythm of the performance?
Applause with all the name actors... when James Earl Jones came on, it was so out of control, so long and involved... I thought about going out for coffee and a bagel... I wouldn't have missed a bit of the play.

3. Cell phones. Multiple cell phones. One with a ring showing it was from the same person, who obviously heard it, had their friend think, "Oh, she's in the shower with Terrance Howard, let me call her again."... and the friend called again... we know this because we heard both calls come through.

4. Terrance Howard. Period. He swallowed a number of his words, had no idea how to take a beat (well, none of them did this) when laughter carried on... so, you lost dialogue there, too. He portrays Brick in the second act, not as a man who is struggling to come to terms with his friend's death, his wife, his father's questions... he come across as a whinny baby... crying all the time. I wanted to say, "Brick, SUCK IT UP!!" Yes, he looked great in that shower... annnnnnnnnnd that was it, pretty much.

5. The fact this was directed as a comedy... compete with Brick doing comic leers at his wife, as she stretches out on the bed... this is where his hidden his need shows, as her head is turned, as she lies lean and there for him, when his dorment desire peeks out... instead, when her head is turned, he looks--nasty. He has prat falls, lines delivered with winks and nods... It wasn't just Brick...there was the issue of an actor who was given prosthetic teeth, creating a speech impediment that gargled the lines she spoke, but, did bring on laughs.

6. Big Daddy made the most vile sexual gesture I've ever seen regarding a woman... Brick was having a hard time controlling his laugh, riding over subtext, over unspoken content... the audience roared, more, I think with the fact the deep voiced, aristocratic looking James Earl Jones was making this, and a following gesture... which also brought about hoots of laughter from the audience, and Brick. It is a part of the play when Big Daddy and Brick are starting to touch on the inner issues of both... and, well... I was open mouthed in shock.

7. Shoddy set work... with a scrim.ish material creating the walls, the huge beam that held up the downstage left wall was viewed though the material, giving it an unfinished look.. I was surprised it was not stained to match the material used. Set decoration was done with those damn Reader's Digest Condensed Books... can ANY set designer in New York City possibly go out and buy real books? I mean, it's not as if you are without multiple cheap sources for said items. They also set the bar improperly, setting shot glasses around a martini shaker, among other things.

8. A few changes were made to the script, with the permission of the Williams family, I understand.. still, it did remain a sometimes dated dialogue. This was offset by semi current costumes and set dressing, where you go "Huh?" as Big Daddy talks of his time in the fields, and walking across the country... yet, it doesn't click with all surrounding the words...the bulk not matching the updates. Lines given, "Give me my crutch, so I can stand up", Brick sounding petulant and lost... sitting on the floor, leaning against a very substantial chair... which he uses a few moments later to get up off said floor. Continuity did not reign supreme barely made the second unit listing.

9. Although the name of the famed Oschner Clinic in New Orleans is used a number of times, no one ever quite pronounced it properly... and no one pronounced it the same way.. this is the job of the stage manager, to advise the actors of the proper pronouncing and even of the history of the place, if they are not aware of what it is, or what it's about. Another minor irritation was when Big Daddy asks for a 'highball'. A highball is usually made with whiskey or bourbon and a mixer. Brick whips one up with whiskey and vodka, and adds cocktail onions instead of cherries. I was too stunned by the continual use of plastic (see 10) to worry about the horrific taste of that when he chugged it back.

10. Cheap ass and bad props. Plastic glasses were used, along with a plastic ice bucket. Plastic glasses. Plastic. You do not get the right sound from plastic, no matter how much you pay for it, or how much it looks like glass. When Brick throws his drink at Maggie, full of anger at her... there is no substance behind the action. Instead of the dark fury of a solid thwack of hard crystal hitting a floor... there was the ineffectual 'meh' of plastic as it bounced around the stage. The same happened when he later clears the bar of all of the items on top, with a sweep of his arm.. angry, defensive.... no cry of rage is heard-- only a murmur of mild irritation, a pathetic whimper...a plink. . To hear celebration done with the 'tic' of plastic champagne glasses instead of the ring of crystal flutes... GARGH!!! To top it off, the 'bourbon' was coke. You never use coke for anything... it's a great colouring agent, but, not as any kind of liquor. A dark tea makes perfect bourbon, green tea is lovely for whiskey, and even when you make 'gin' or 'vodka' or a white wine, you add a drop of coke to give substance to the clearness of the liquid, so it will show in the glass.

I know, I know....I focus on trees instead of the forest. They all come together to make the play, to take me away to that place, to put me somewhere aside from a seat... even if it is a great seat... let me enter that world the playwright birthed... do not put things in my way that will pull me out of the moment.

It's why I am growing to enjoy bare simplicity stage, to allow me to sink into the words, the music, the beauty of the actors who appreciate the language given them to speak... you can interpert the vision of the playwright... always remember, though.. the word is 'wrighter' not writer. They create as much as anyone else... carving out a world on paper that has lived in their head... show it respect, give the lines the balance needed between beauty and depth and that dark wit.. Williams is not a comedian. He was a portrayer of a dark, deep side of nature... which may carry humour... he was not written to be done as a Ealing Studios version of work.

This remount of a classic work was mendacious to the true soul of the play.

reasons to be pretty is next...

Still, if you listen carefully...... you'll hear that spinning sound.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Addiction of Woot

Woot originally was an acronym for, "Win Over Other Team" in gamer's language.

Now, it's in the dictionary, showing glee in life, that things are great... you know, woot!! You never know what is going to show up there, in the dictionary... I remember opening up the huge dictionary in school, and looking for 'fuck'. The definition was nothing close to the actual, um, *cough* definition.

Woot dot com is also a little website that offers a number of nifty items... some of which you didn't know you needed. For example, today's item is a Compu-Pool Salt Water Chlorinator Kit. Even at $699.99, it's not something I see myself buying any time soon. I have purchased only a few things there, I'm fairly aware of what I want and need... it's not found on woot dot com.

One day, though... it happened. I clicked on the link for "Today on ShirtWoot" and I was lost when I saw a gray shirt, with early cartoon characters... Discovering Technicolour.

Each day, for only $10, you can find a shirt that may speak to you.... printed on wonderful 100% pure cotton goodness.

My closet is starting to fill up with woot shirts... I'm pretty sure they know me by name at the shipping center, and often my packages are shipped overnight--even when I don't pay extra. Yes, I, Quin, am a ShirtWootaholic.

How can I not fall into the clutches of ShirtWoot? I've found teeshirts for each of my children... oh, sure, there are times that the titles should be printed on the shirt...but, I like to think ShirtWoot knows those of us who are ShirtWootaholics understand the message... and damn the rest of the world!

Let's be honest, do you need these explained?

or this group??

Of COURSE not!!! (note the little tears on the marshmallow on this one...I love it.)

This makes you ShirtWoot it were.

Puns can be found... along with important messages....

It's not just a sport,
it's survival!

I know, I know, it's not cutting edge news.... not something intense to think about... not a rant over the government or religion or the idiots who are in the world all over. It's about silly shirts that serve one purpose... to make you laugh.

Sometimes, that's a good thing.

Mister Bobo, Masonic Dyna-Monkey