Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Some People

I am so angry by the selfishness of this man. He put hundreds (if not thousands) of other people at risk and constantly evaded authorities, and then "decided to sneak home, flying from Prague to Montreal and then driving to New York, because he feared he would die without treatment in the U.S." So a Paris wedding and European honeymoon is more important than getting treatment and his desires trump the health of every person he encountered along the way, but only when he was found by authorities did he suddenly realize that he had a life threatening illness, so he ran away from authorities because he needed treatment. Right. And the worst part is he has technically broken no laws so the only recourse any of us have is to shame him publicly. Let's tattoo the letters TB to his forehead. Not that it should phase him. I mean, it wasn't like he cared enough about the public to do the right thing in the first place.

You know, when I was younger, I always assumed that diseases were spread by people who didn't know they were sick and that many bacteria/viruses had evolved to be at their most contagious before one's body began to exhibit symptoms of infection. Because no one would be so rude as to spread chicken pox, scarlet fever, chlamydia, et al. Clearly, I was naive.

“We danced so much and so intensely that she danced a hole through her stockings.”

Imagine waiting forty years to marry your true love.

Monday, May 28, 2007

The Kinks - Come Dancing

For Memorial Day, a song remembering childhood and a time long gone.

I know I am a big sap, but the song brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it. Especially the line "She knows they get away with things she never could, but if I asked her I wonder if she would come dancing."

Thursday, May 24, 2007

"We Are Looking For Cadas and Pumas"

Julian was very excited to try out these shoes I found at the Salvation Army the other day for $2 (we told him he could wear shoes like the ones his daddy and his uncle, Jeff, wear). So we went for a long walk last night, on a hunt to find the cicadas and pumas and lions and doggies and butterflies and cats--Julian is very goal and animal oriented on our evening walks--and I asked him what he thought of the new shoes.

"They are good for jumping over dog poop," he replied.

Already a city kid.

P.S. He cried when we got home, having found no cicadas or pumas. He could not be consoled by the memory of all the dogs we saw on walks or the decorative lions embedded in someone's gate. Even the pumas on the shoes could not make him happy.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

1:45 A.M.

Dear Random Pack of Young'uns,

I don't care if you are drunk or just met some hot guy at the bar or are enamored by the sound of your own voice, it is really rude to be shouting with your friends as you walk down a residential street in the wee hours of a Wednesday morning. You wake people up. People who really need their sleep and don't have the luxury of sleeping in the next morning. People who get very angry when their sleep is stolen by immature loudmouths. Oh, I know, you think I am just some bitter old person trying to keep you down, someone who just hates your youth. No, I have no problems with your youth, it's your incredibly loud voices and total lack of concern for others with which I have a problem.

So, here's the deal, I am investing in some spoiled eggs and fruit. If I am awoken in the middle of the night by loud noises, I will toss produce out my bedroom window at the offending parties. I have good aim. If your moves of this morning are any indication, I am pretty sure you will not be able to outrun me.

Consider this a friendly warning.



Alright, so perhaps that is an overreaction on my part, but I feel so much better now that I have gotten that out there.

In other news: My reading went well. You can read the story I performed here (and, if you so desire, the blog post that inspired it can be found here).

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

It's A Simple Message

During the first season of Ally McBeal (that would be nine years ago?) there was the theme song episode, where Ally went to her therapist (played by Tracey Ullman) who told her she needed to come up with a theme song. I remember this, in part, because when it aired, I was doing a show and one woman kept mentioning how everyone told her she was "just like" Ally (while I never noticed any similarities, I didn't disagree with her-- I mean, sure, all her friends may have been telling her she was just like Ally McBeal, how could I argue? I mean, yes, Ally was profoundly underweight, a lawyer with a degree from Harvard, and unlucky in love, while my costar was overweight, had a theatre degree from someplace that wouldn't necessarily impress anyone reading this blog, and had a serious boyfriend, but maybe I was just caught up in the superficials). One day, at rehearsal, she asked me if I had picked a theme song.

I had, but she had never heard of it.

The song I had chosen, the song I thought for many years was my theme song, was Robyn Hitchcock's She Was Sinister But She Was Happy.
She was sinister but she was happy
Basically she was the Jeanne Moreau type
Sinister but she was happy
Sinister but she was always pleased to see you
And her living words
Were her dying words
She said "Yeah."

She was sinister but she was happy
With a cheery smile and poison blowpipe
Sinister but she was happy
Like a kind of spider half-inclined to free you
Her lopsided grin made it so hard to win
She said: "Alright you are -- and your promises
Are just promises -- but a sinister little
Wave of a hand goes a long, long way
In these troubled times."

She was sinister but she was happy
And you can't say that of everybody can you?
Sinister but she was happy
Like a chandelier festooned with leeches
And she rolled along
Till she came on strong and she said:
"Alright you are and your promises
just are promises -- but a sinister little
Wave of a hand goes a long, long way
In these troubled times."
I know what you're thinking.

After you clean up that coffee you involuntarily spit all over your computer, you will sit there thinking, "Alison? Sinister? Happy?" And then you will snort again (this time, hopefully, without any liquids in your mouth) and shake your head at the degree to which I am capable of deluding myself.

For it is true, I am neither sinister nor happy. But I desperately want to be both. In fact, I often thought if I could just be more sinister, I could be happier as well. Because Jeanne Moreau (in all those films) seemed so carefree as she destroyed the lives of others. And I so wanted to believe that my lopsided grin made it hard for others to win. But the truth is that I knew that I wasn't merely a kind of spider half inclined to free you who, I was the kind of spider who would spend her days crying no one would join her for tea (just like Miss Spider). So really, as theme songs go, this is more aspirational than descriptive of the present state of affairs.

While my choice wasn't entirely perfect, if you had asked me, I would have said I wasn't in the market for a new theme song. The thing about theme songs, however, is that you don't find them, they find you. When you aren't looking for them.

Lately, I find myself singing the theme song for Arthur. A lot. I am considering buying some Ziggy Marley albums and, as as goofy as it sounds, I am starting to wonder if, perhaps, this song describes my world view.
Every day when you're
Walking down the street,
Everybody that you meet
Has an original point of view.
And I say - Hey! (Hey!)
What a wonderful kind of day
If we could learn to work and play
And get along with each other.

You gotta listen to your heart,
Listen to the beat,
Listen to the rhythm,
The rhythm of the street.
Open up your eyes.
Open up your ears.
Get together
And make things better
By working together.

It's a simple message,
And it comes from the heart.
Believe in yourself,
For that's the place to start.

And I say - Hey! (Hey!)
What a wonderful kind of day
If we could learn to work and play
And get along with each other.

Hey! What a wonderful kind of day. Hey!
What a wonderful kind of day. Hey!
And like any good theme song, it doesn't merely just describe the world and myself as we are, it describes a world and a person who I aspire to be. Just imagine what the world would be like if we all took these words to heart.

So I say, "Yeah", I say, "Hey!" and who says you can't learn anything about yourself by watching television?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

For Those of You Who Left "Must See Thursday" Behind Years Ago...

I am performing a piece which started life on this blog this Thursday night (May 10). For more information, click here.

It is at Webster's Wine Bar and doors open at 6:45, which means there will be plenty of time to get your drink on.

Monday, May 07, 2007

It Was Bound To Happen, Eventually

Grace and Julie were visiting with us today. We were having a somewhat more stressful than usual playdate as Julian is starting to grok ownership and doesn't really like the word share so much anymore (or rather, he has no problem with the word, it's the actual action the word describes with which he has a problem). We went to the park, but Julian asked to come home because he wanted water and I forgot to take a bottle (and the water fountains have not yet been turned on). We tried to have a picnic on the back deck, but Julian decided it was too sunny and windy and insisted we come inside. That worked for awhile, but eventually both kids wanted blueberries and so I said we had to sit at a table for blueberries. So there the kids were, at the dinner table, eating blueberries, when Julian looked up and asked, "Where's my fish?"

Remember the fish?

I said, "Oh, it is right over there," but as I looked over at the fishbowl, I saw that it was empty.

Fish just don't disappear, do they?

Of course, I really couldn't remember the last time I had seen he fish. I assumed that Fred had encountered the fish floating belly up and had disposed of it before he went to work. (I say fish, singular, because the smaller of the two fishes we originally acquired had already died. We think the bigger one ate all the food and let him starve). I told Julian that Fred may know where the fish was. We called Fred up.

"Fred, you are on speaker phone, Julian has a question for you."

"Where's my fish, Daddy?"

"What do you mean? He is in his bowl."

Now, admittedly, it was totally cruel of me to spring this on Fred like that, but I figured if he knew the fish was dead, he already had a plan for talking about the lack of a fish to our toddler boy. However, as Fred obviously had no idea what I was talking about, I turned off the speaker phone and said, "The fish isn't in his bowl."

Now, my next suspicion was Simon. Fred had the same thought. We both thought that, perhaps, the fish was now inside Simon's stomach. This would explain why the fish was nowhere to be----

And I screamed. Yes, with two toddlers eating blueberries and another mom as my witness, I screamed when I looked over at the floor and saw the fish carcass on the floor. Which of course, caused Julian to cry because even though he couldn't see the fish, he knew something was going very wrong. He wanted to know where his goldfish was and why he couldn't see it.

So I lied.

I told him the fish ran away, but we could get another fish. He screamed that he wanted that fish. I told him the fish went to visit his Shamai and Shapai, just as Julian sometimes visits his Shamai and Shapai. I told him the fish would come home, just as Julian comes home (and, yes, like many a parent before me, I was planning to head over to Petco to get Goldie 2.0 and a bigger bowl, if that is what it would take to keep the lie going). Julian calmed down and asked if he drove a car to get there. I said yes. I am not sure he believes me entirely, but he seemed willing to play along because he is two and he can't think of an alternative. Julie was cleaning up the evidence while I spun my tales of goldfish family reunions, so it wasn't as if there is proof that what I was telling Julian wasn't true.

After Julie and Grace left and Julian went down for his nap, I called Fred back. While we both had initially suspected Simon, I think this is unlikely as he spent the four hours previous to our Case of the Missing Fish locked in our bedroom (Grace is allergic to cats, especially when she rubs her face against them, as she is wont to do. When she is older and can control her love, we may be able to let them hang out in the same room) and Julie told me the fish seemed intact. I am going to rule this death as an accidental suicide.

What do you think?