Saturday, April 17, 2010

Kid Dreams
There are two things that I always wanted to learn how to do when I was a kid and never did. These are two very important life skills that I never mastered.

1. That two fingers in the mouth piercing whistle.
2. Throwing food in the air and catching it my mouth.

The whistle is epic. You can hear it down the block. While you cringe when standing next to the guy at a Giants game, you secretly admire his ability to show his approval to the entire section. All you can do is clap and give a lame "woo hoo." You tried as a kid. You really did. All you ended up with was wet fingers and dry mouth. You asked friends. They did their best to give you lessons. And you never learned. Now you really have no need for the skill. You don't often hail taxis. You don't go to sporting events often enough. And your friends are rarely drunken enough to wander off so you need to call them home. But still...

Now, the food through thing. I've tried popcorn. I've tried peanuts. I've tried M & Ms. I popcorn seemed like the smart first choice as I'm not likely to break a tooth, or my glasses, when I miss. But I just don't have the coordination necessary to throw and catch. I've never managed that sleek, seal-like move when you casually toss a morsel up in the air and catch it your mouth with a satisfying crunch. I have never successfully every done this, and I still try occasionally. I'm sure if I ever did if it would go right down my throat and someone would have to call the EMTs. But, from time to time, I'll toss up a peanut and then, 10 seconds later, pick it up off the floor at it bounced off my nose.

Oh well, it's good to have dreams.
Photo of the day: Inside the Green Box

Is a mystery...

Friday, April 16, 2010

Photo of the day: Remnants of a Catholic Education

Rosary beads. Interesting objects, if I can separate their appearance from their function -- which isn't easy.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Once Upon a Time
I just watched a (to me at least) wonderful documentary called Every Little Step, about casting the revival of A Chorus Line.

The original came out in 1976. I was in high school and didn’t care about anything but being on Broadway. When this show came out I memorized the original cast album before it ever toured to San Francisco and dreamed of winning a Tony Award one day.

A Chorus Line was powerfully influential on my life. It was the first glimpse I had into what was really required to make it on Broadway. Although I was an actor, not a dancer, I bought the script and poured over it. It took away (in a good way) my illusions about moving to New York and having the town welcome me with a golden key and a contract.

Up until then I hadn’t really thought about what I might be facing. I knew I was a good actor. (Trust me, I was.) But A Chorus Line made me realize that wasn’t enough. I had to be tough. I had to be prepared for rejection. I had to accept the fact that for every “yes” there would be a hundred “no’s.”

I went on to study acting in college but eventually gave up because my ego just wasn’t strong enough for the constant rejection. For me the hard part was that I typically wasn’t turned down for my acting skills, but because I’m not beautiful. The reason I know this is because I heard it – over and over.

Acting is a hard profession. And a blunt one. Casting directors will come out and say things like “have you ever considered getting a nose job?” Or “You’re not physically right for the lead, how about the plain looking best friend?” In the past I overheard conversations about me that admitted I gave the best reading of the night, but I just wasn’t pretty. Um...ouch.

After years of this I gave up. Never having had much confidence about my looks, I found that my insecurities were stronger than my desire and stopped acting. Plus I got tired of being the dorky best friend. I wanted leads. But it began to sink in that nobody was ever going to cast me as Beatrice or Hedda Gabler.

Honestly, I have no regrets. I had a great time. Did some crazy things in my youth. And am very happy I never moved to New York to wait tables and get bitter. I love my life here with Husband and my wonderful friends. None of this would have happened if I did what I planned to do when I was 16. And I wouldn't trade what I have now for a mantel full of Tony's.

But watching this documentary brought back a lot of memories of my time in the theatre. The friends I made and, sadly, lost (being an actor in the 80s in San Francisco meant you had a lot of gay friends and, therefore, got hit hard by the AIDS epidemic). The roles that I learned, loved and still, oddly enough, remember dialog from.

In watching Every Little Step I saw who we all used to be. Young and idealistic. Still believing in anything. Living on ramen and hope. Working for no pay on crappy shows for the sheer joy of being on stage. Doing workshops. Going on auditions. Writing plays with your friends when there were no good roles. Working two jobs then putting in a full night at the theatre, getting off work at midnight and having pancakes at an all night diner before getting three hours of sleep to do it all over again. Putting on scenes in cramped studio apartments and falling in love, at least for the moment, with whomever you were co-starring with.

It was wonderful to see these young, hopeful, confident faces in the film. Kids with the kind of courage I couldn’t find. And to remember, for a short time in my life, I was an actor.
Photo of the day: Red

Sometimes I take photos of things just because I like the color. This, obviously, is one of those things.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Busy Day in the Backyard

The sunshine has brought the neighborhood cats out in force. Well, the sun and the food I leave out for them.
Photo of the day: Grief

I may have posted her before, but she's too beautiful not to revisit and she was on my mind today.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Who's on First?
I've noticed something with the couples that Husband and I are friends with and I'm wondering if it's universal.

When refer to them by name I always list first the one that I knew first. For example, I worked with Mary and then met her husband Jack. We've become friends but it's always "Mary and Jack" never "Jack and Mary.' For Tom and Joyce, it's the other way around. I knew Tom from way back then met Joyce when they started dating and will always be, in my mind, Tom and Joyce.

Is it me or do other people to the same thing? I've noticed my family will often say "Husband and Decca" are here when we show up to things -- and they definitely met me first so they go the other way around. But most of our friends will introduce us based on who they met first. Do you that that experience?

Also, do you have a set side of the bed. Husband and truly have our own sides (although sometimes we're pushed into the middle due to CIpher, the world's most amazing cat, screw you if you don't agree tm). But when we go to bed he heads for the left and I for the right. But I know of at least one couple that doesn't have set sides. Whoever goes to sleep first picks a side and sleep there. How can they do that? I feel positively disoriented when I sleep on Husband's slide. Nothing's in the right place. The clock it too far away and the pillow is too firm. I can't imagine us ever being a "pick any side"couple. I have to have my side.

Or am I jut a freak?
Easier than Hard
Occasionally while on cat duty someone will stop to chat and will ask about volunteering. I am often asked if it's hard to do. They'll say something like "I'm an animal lover and couldn't be around all these cats in cages."

Which sometimes makes sense, but mostly doesn't.

Yes, on the one hand being an animal lover it's hard to be around the kitties and know that they don't yet have forever homes. It can be difficult to see those sweet faces, peering out hopefully, desperate for a little attention.

But on the other hand, if I don't do it, who will? I don't mean that in a "it's up to me" kind of way but you know what I mean.

These animals need the love and attention. And if everyone said "it's too hard" then they'd never get what they need. I feel like you can't let the occasionally difficulty of wanting to give them all homes get in the way of doing what needs to be done.

I do get attached and have favorites. And I fall in love every day. I still think of some of my special cats who have found homes and that'll I'll never see again. And when I'm there, looking at all those sweet, hopeful faces, it can sometimes make me sad. It's hard to leave at the end of the day because there's always one more cat who needs a tummy rub, a catnip toy, some quiet talk. But the positive so outweighs the negative that every sad tug at the heart is worth it.

If you are at all considering volunteering but are afraid it would be too hard, I urge you to put the animals first. It can be hard. But if you don't do it, who will?
You must excuse my spelling errors at 4:20 am. Insomnia, like bad religion, had a known debilitating effect upon one's grammar.

So here I am, sleepless once more. Cat had a nice wind round and it now napping it off with Husband. I, however, am watching old movies until the sun rises and wondering if this how people took up drinking brandy.

It's also the time of night when the impossible miseries creep in:

Because I'm not working and we're living just on Husband's salary we'll end up broke, living in a fallen-down Airstream trailer at the edge of the Mojoave Desert when we're older because we have no place else to go; We'll be that old couple pulling soda cans out of dumpsters so we can afford ramen at the Qwikk-E-Mart at Twentynine Palms.

Forrest will leave me for a blond for a trust fund and who somehow belongs to the Marsalas family and I shall be alone with a cat and a resume I haven't used in years.

The quality of cat food will gradually die off and Cipher will start cheating on me with a family that can afford tuna every night.

People I used to manage will point me put to their children as an example of never quitting a job unless you've got something else lined up.

I shall start stealing kibble from the shelter cats as my afternoon snack.

Man, I'm a mess at 4:30, aren't I?
Photo of the day: Riding the Rails

I don't now, but I always wanted to buy up the the railroads. Perhaps it something to do with my parents meting while both working at Southern Pacific Railroad when they met. So I guess I have a reason to be greateful.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Photo of the day: Flowers in the Sun

We have sun today! Not much, with clouds scudding across all day, but enough so tha the flowers have perked up.

I have been trying to pictures of these daisies every since I moved her, and have never been able to get the color right. I give up. It's too saturated but that's always the color they turn out to be. They are this rich, vivid purple that just doesn't seem real. But they are real.I mean I can photoshop bad, but the color is real on this one.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Photo of the day: The World in Sepia

We've had more than our fair share of rain lately. Someone the other day said, optimistically "it could be worse, you could live somewhere where there's five feet of snow." True. But most people who live where there's five feet of snow expect there to be five feet of snow. They don't wake up saying "it's April, it should be warm" and then get all disappointed when it's not. They know better. But me? I'm spoiled. It's April, dammit, I want my sunshine!