Sunday, March 29, 2009

This morning I feel like I'm on another planet.

With all the stuff I did last week, and jury duty, and being totally off my usual schedule, I'm not sleeping very well. I go to bed, but then I wake up a few hours later. Usually I have a kitty on my pillow, which is fine, and comforting, but then I find I have a couple more kitties on my legs, and then I find I'm totally immobilized. I'm a human burrito, held down by 20 pounds of fur. It's not nice.

Last night I woke up at 5:30 a.m. When I got home from the theater, we stayed up until about 12:30, watching TV (Cat Cora got beat again on Iron Chef), and talking about the show. Patrick noticed that I seem tired. His comment was about how lack of sleep can fuck up your emotions. I'm not sure what it is about how my emotions have been the last couple of days that made him make this comment, and I'm not sure if I should be worried about it.

If this were a regular work day instead of Sunday, it would have been fine: I could have gotten up and showered and dressed and gone to work. Instead, I don't have to do anything today until it's time to pick up Bo for the theater at 2:30. I stayed in bed for awhile, breathing on Franny (the kitty on the pillow), but after doing that for awhile (I think we both got bored), I got up, put on my robe, grabbed a blanket and my book, and stretched out on the couch in the living room to read.

I'm reading T.C. Boyle's "The Women." It's about Frank Lloyd Wright's wives and lovers. He had a few of each! Mostly overlapping, too. It's an okay book... it's narrated by a Japanese guy who was an apprentice to Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin (and I have no idea if this historically accurate... TCB is taking a lot of liberties, I suspect). It's interesting, but the story appears to be running backward, and I haven't figured out yet what the purpose of that is, except to confuse me. And the story is pretty salacious. Frank's relationships were complicated, to say the least.

So I read for awhile. Patrick snored in the other room. The cats all came out to see what I was up to, but none of them were tempted by my blanket. Dora curled up on top of the TV and I read. At some point I put the book down and went to sleep, but I'm not sure when that was. I had a dream about working in a bookstore, which is one I always have at some point or another. At 9 o'clock, Patrick got up and came into the living room to see if I was okay. I was. I am. I'm just not sleeping very well. Now he's gone to the swap meet for a little exercise (he likes to walk fast), I'm sitting here listening to Melvins, and contemplating all that stupid laundry I never seem to finish.

And, while I've been pretty faithful to Nina's admonition that I should wash my hair every other day only, I think today I'm going to rebel and wash it in spite of it having just been washed yesterday. I think a nice shampoo and some heavy duty conditioning action is just the thing I need. In fact, a shower will probably solve everything.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lazy Saturday morning (I'm all out of Beatles titles for the time being)

This was a busy week! I was out every night since Wednesday, usually until 11:30 or 12. Last night I didn't have to be at the theater, so instead, Patrick and I went down to the Jazz Bakery in Culver City to see Ron Carter and his trio (Mulgrew Miller, piano; Russell Malone, guitar). Boy am I glad we went.

Patrick loves jazz; I'm still learning. I like seeing live jazz, but we don't go very often. The last show we saw was McCoy Tyner, also at the Jazz Bakery, and I think that was about 3 or 4 years ago (and amazing). Patrick and I are kind of total opposites when it comes to going to live shows (any live shows): I love to watch the musicians while they play, but Patrick usually tips his head back and closes his eyes: he's all aural. I want everything: I want to see how they interact with each other, with their instruments, with the audience; their facial expressions: everything.

The most important thing I learned from watching (and I've never seen Ron Carter play before, so I have no idea if what I'm about to write is well-documented or commented on by real music writers before) is how, even though he's a bassist, Mr. Carter breathes with the music. Phrasing and breath control is so important as a woodwind player (and man, can I tell when I'm less practiced than I'd like: it's one of the first things - for me - to go; how I played as a smoker for all those years is a total mystery. Younger lungs, I guess), and I loved seeing him visibly take breaths as he played. He didn't do it that much or all the time, but it really made me breathe with him and feel, maybe, a little bit of what he felt, and understand that part of the music better.

The other thing about live shows, and it's kind of a downer, and that's the audience. While it can really be a great group activity, listening to and watching musicians, I totally get bummed out when people talk. Now, sure, it's a jazz concert, not the LA Phil at Walt Disney Hall. People are into it, and I get that. It's not a private show for my benefit, but then again, it's not a private show for their benefit, either. I want to see and hear only the three amazingly talented gentleman on the stage. I don't want to hear some lady behind me raving about how she saw Pharaoh Sanders four years ago on that same stage while Ron, Mulgrew and Russell are playing right now (that Russell Malone's playing was hot. He was a lot of fun to watch and listen to). I don't want to hear some jackass calling out, "Play it for me good, play it for me good!" It's not your show, buddy. Shut up. I'm not good at blocking that stuff out, and I wish I didn't have to. Patrick overheard the man talking to his seatmate before the show started, and he mis-identified one of the portraits painted on the wall (I forget who he said the guy was, but Patrick told me in the car on the way home, "That guy didn't know shit!").

Anyway, we really had a good time. He's there again tonight, I think another two shows (8 p.m. and 10 p.m.), and if you're not going to see "The School For Wives" at City Garage Theater (and why not?), you might want to check it out.

Right now? Right now I am listening to the exciting sounds of Patrick setting up his drums in the garage, and actually - yes, that's what I thought I heard - playing them. He's got something lined up that I'm not going to talk about too much, but I'm really, really glad he's playing.

Today? Well, today I am going to lay around the house, which I'm very good at; read, which I'm also very good at; and listen to music. Maybe get a pedicure. Maybe drop off some dry cleaning. Later Bo is picking me up and we'll go to the theater. And now it's lunch time.

Friday, March 27, 2009

For You Blue

This is my third day of jury duty. I can't really say anything about it, but I will say that it's interesting, and a nice diversion from my regular work week. The only bad part is, I never expected to be chosen, so I didn't rearrange my schedule this week - instead of my usual day off today, I have to be in court by 10 a.m.

Anyway, that's all I can say on that.

Last night we did a special performance of "The School For Wives" at City Garage for a class from LMU. It was definitely a strange night for me.

During the day, during jury duty, I went to lunch with one of the other jurors to Subway and tried out a salad for the first time. Don't worry about me: I had a tuna salad: I had plenty of calories, I'm sure. It was really good, and definitely a good switch up from my usual, boring turkey sandwich. After lunch we walked back to the courthouse, and did what we had to do as jurors. When I got home, earlier than my usual workday would've ended, I took a little nap (I was out late Wednesday night with the cast of The Bourgeois Gentilhomme, preparing to re-open tonight), played on the computer a little, and ate some dinner. I had time for half of some prepared pasta salad thing, with shrimp, from Fresh & Easy. My friend Bo arrived to pick me up at around 5:45, and we went to Santa Monica.

Nothing unusual happened on the drive. I did and said all the same types of silly, stupid, and crazy things I usually do. When we got to the theater, I sat around and chatted with Charles a little, figured out what I had to do to get ready for the show (because we're running two different shows at the same time, there's a change I have to make to the giant plugs that connect the lights to the light board; Charles told me what those things are called but I can never remember. To me, it is, "doing the thing with the things"), and relaxed. I've been doing the lights for The Bourgeois Gentilhomme for awhile now; it's pretty simple. Having Charles there did make me a bit more nervous than usual but having that kind of small pressure is okay sometimes.

One funny thing that happened before the show started, while I was up in the booth re-reading my notes for the opening, I happened to say something out loud, softly, related to what Bo and I had talked about in the car that I'm not gonna share with you here - it was the wittier response I should've made, doesn't everybody do that? - and this beautiful blond girl who was standing in the area in front of the booth happened to see me. She smiled and waved, and I smiled and waved, and blushed, which hopefully she couldn't detect through the wavy glass or my face full of BareMinerals makeup, which I've been wearing for about a week now and really like.

The show started up just fine, and the audience, a mixture of ages and majors, was great. They laughed and seemed to be enjoying the first half. I felt a bit tired, but fine.

Then, at intermission, I went out and helped Charles a little in the lobby with making change and talked to a couple of the students, and I got myself a Diet Coke and went back into the booth for the second act.

During the first ten minutes I was fine. Then, while Bo was on stage (Bo is always on stage!), I think with Jessica, explaining again why she's to marry him, I suddenly felt like I had been raising my eyebrows for a really long time. You know? My forehead was really tense. So I decided to relax my forehead - my first thought was of wrinkles, and that's it. I felt fine: tense, but fine. So I did. I relaxed my forehead, I relaxed my shoulders, I took a big breath... and a few moments later, I started to cry.

I was sitting there, waiting for the next oral cue for the lights and/or sound that was to come, and I was crying. Not really hard, sniffling mostly, but tears too. It only lasted about 20 minutes. The bad thing is, the second half of the show is a little more complex than the first half, so I had a lot more to do. I stopped at one moment, and thought, good, that's over... and then I started again.

I finally stopped. I did think for just a second that I wouldn't make it to the end, like I needed a break, but I didn't know where Charles was and I didn't want to make a big deal out of it. I did stop, I felt okay, and nobody noticed, which was great.

Now, the end of the first act is powerful. My friend Cindy, when I mentioned this on Facebook, referred to Bo's "beautiful performance," and it is exactly that. His character is complicated: he gets to show a whole range of emotions, including being surprised by his own gentle feelings, and yes, that is affecting to me. The theme of this show, as I've stated before, is something I totally understand. It could be that there was a tone in his voice (because though I do watch the shows, my habit in the booth is to read my script and listen very carefully) that touched me. It could be that I suddenly had a bit of low blood sugar. It could be that I was just really tired. It could be all of this. It's never happened before like that, and I was glad when it was over and we could go home.

On the drive (and thank God Bo drove) I rested my forehead on his shoulder, and for some reason that was really comfortable (though the guy has very hard shoulders), and I felt better.

Patrick said that's happened to him before, so I'm not really worried about it. I'll just make sure I eat better today.

And, Charles told me last night that I don't need to be there for tonight's show, so Patrick and I got tickets to go the Jazz Bakery to see Ron Carter. Awesome.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Back in the booth!

Tonight I made my way to City Garage for a rehearsal of The Bourgeois Gentilhomme. We reopen this week (Fridays only). The School For Wives continues Saturdays and Sundays.

My nose is really good at finding the light, isn't it.

I'm pretty tired. Can you tell?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Man On Wire

Franny and I just finished watching "Man On Wire," about the French guy who, in 1974 (1973?) managed to get himself and about four other guys up to the top of the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center in New York, without being detected by security, along with all his equipment, and successfully walked (I think he made 8 crossing) across a wire he stretched between the buildings.

Both our expressions accurately display our amazement at this. It really was beautiful and amazing, and the story, as told by those who were actually there, was gripping.

Plus the guy, Philippe Petit? That dude had an amazing body in 1974.

This is the second film in my newly re-formed alliance with Netflix. The next movie is... Oh, dear. The next movie is Dreamgirls. How'd that get on there?

Now I'd better get to bed. I just found out I have to report to jury duty tomorrow, and a little while ago, I had a, well, let's just say "interesting" experience after eating two oranges. I'm feeling a little delicate right now. But I'm definitely looking forward to what is, I hope, a full day of sitting around, waiting, and reading.


Taken in the car, during a lunchtime nap at work awhile ago.

Man, I need new sunglasses. And maybe some lipgloss.

Monday, March 23, 2009

From something I am writing that you'll probably never get to read:

We went to McDonald's, and in the drive-through, were cracking each other up and acting like assholes. When we got to the window to pay, he insisted on finding the correct change and held up the whole process of paying while he looked in his wallet. I apologized to the kid at the window. I said, "I'm sorry. My dad is very... slow." The kid said "That's okay," and for the rest of the drive, I referred to him as "Daddy."

Subject: RE: Perplexed

From: Irene
Sent: Monday, March 23 7:30 AM
To: Andrea
Subject: RE: Perplexed

Hola. This message seems so long ago now. I wonder what pants I was wearing? Am I the same girl I was... Thursday?

"The School For Wives" opened this weekend finally! Bo and company did excellently ( for photos!), and teh LA Weekly and LA Times reviewers were there Saturday night; hopefully they liked what they saw.

From: Andrea
Sent: Friday, March 20, 2009 9:27 AM
To: Irene
Subject: RE: Perplexed

First thing I thought of was the bra stuffing. Weird.
Bad bathroom etiquette to ask someone if they are OK while locked IN the bathroom stall unless you hear moans/vomiting/actually SEE their body sprawled on the floor-feet poking out.
Was it one ply?

From: Irene
Sent: Thursday, March 19, 2009 10:02 AM
To: Andrea
Subject: Perplexed

Good morning! I overslept an hour, didn't take a shower, have dirty hair, pants on that I haven't been able to wear in months (yay!), and a stupid clip in my hair that would make my mother proud but makes me feel like an 8 year old. How are you?

OK, so. I'm in the bathroom, right? (Don't worry: the subject has nothing to do with anything I did in the bathroom.) And I'm pleased, because nobody's in there and it's nice to have a little privacy.

Then, somebody comes in, and washes their hands. After washing their hands, they ("she," most likely), go(es) into the handicapped stall and sits down. I'm like, okay, I'm just gonna keep sitting here, chillin'. I spaced out (I am very. tired. today) for a minute. Then I'm all, "What the heck is that noise?" (because I say "heck" in my mind now). I listened for awhile, and I realized it was the sound of the toilet paper dispenser, being... dispensed. Endlessly. Like: that's a lotta toilet paper, yo. (Why am I talking like this?) As far as I know, "she" hadn't yet even used the toilet, though, to be honest, I wasn't paying that much attention.

For what purpose would one need that much toilet paper? I went out and washed my hands, and still : the sound of the toilet paper dispenser. I dried my hands: toilet paper dispenser. I opened the door: toilet paper dispenser. I considered asking the person ("she") if she was okay, but I thought, do I want to know?

Do you think she was hurt? Bleeding? Stuffing her bra to Dolly Parton proportions? Am I cruel for walking away? What should I have done?

Please, Mr. Postman

Undo send is now an option in Gmail. This might be too late for some messages I've sent already, but I intend to exercise my right to undo send in the future.

Instead, I had the opportunity this weekend to apologize in person to my friend Pauly for an email I sent him a couple of weeks ago. It wasn't a bad email necessarily ("not bad necessarily" in that it didn't involve him at all - I just did a little venting about stuff I was confused about. Writing it made me feel better, but probably made him feel rather icky); I had just done that thing that I've gotten so good at over the years: oversharing. It's not fatal, oversharing, but I think it can get irritating.

The funny thing is, this very morning I have sent Paul yet another email rescinding almost all of the emotions I felt in the original message, so he should be thoroughly annoyed and/or confused by now. My work here is done.


Also? The word is out, and that word is go: "The School For Wives" is a "Go" in the LA Weekly!


In other news... I wonder what it is about the chemical composition of my left pinkie finger that's making the "A" on my keyboard slowly disappear? Right now it looks like this: / Looking more closely at the rest of the keys, the S doesn't look too good, either. Nor N and M. This can't be good.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I Wanna Be Your Man

(Continuing with the Beatles song as post titles seems silly, but this one, if you go see "The School For Wives," is kind of appropriate.)

This has been a busy week! Thursday was my flute choir concert. It went well, though, we had a rough quarter this time around, I think. There were definitely some touch and go moments.

After the concert (oh! a woman came to the concert; she read about it in the Culver City News. She was very sweet and talked to all of us, including my parents. She told me after my mom and dad left that she asked them how old I was, as in, "And when does your daughter graduate?" And this, on no sleep, with my gray hair intact, or makeup! - more on the makeup part of that soon. Sure, she might've been blind... but I'll take it anyway), I got a call from my old friend from high school, Damon, who was on a short trip home and visiting his parents. I haven't seen him in maybe 18 years.

Man, he grew up well!

We met at the Tattle Tale Room in Culver City, which, I guess as kids growing up, we had an inordinate amount of curiosity about. It turned out to be not much more exciting than the Scarlet Lady. Still, fun to be in there for the first time, and getting to see Damon was awesome. I didn't get home until around 1 a.m., though, and on top of already being pretty tired, I'm glad I stuck to just the one gin and tonic.

Friday, I didn't sleep as late as I expected (I didn't sleep late today either, and I wonder what's up with that. I hoped to sleep today until at least 11, but I woke up at 8 and was just lying there, thinking the same thought, over and over again, until I realized I needed to get up), and I went to get my hair done. My stylist, Nina, worked her magic yet again (no hair cut this time, just color). Afterwards I went to Souplantation for a yummy, filling lunch, and then I set out to buy bread and cheese for the party after the show.

"The School For Wives" opened last night, and Patrick and I got to go as audience members. Charles did the lights and sound as he usually does on opening night. It was a lot of fun. I worried a little, but after hearing all the laughter and seeing the fun they seemed to be having on stage: it was a very good night.


So, after thinking about it for ages, I have finally decided to start wearing makeup. You know, when I was little, and maybe a little bit interested in girly things, my mom told me (and I think she told my sister this too) that I couldn't wear makeup until I was 16. Then when I hit 16, I didn't really care. Then when I got a little older, I never liked the way makeup felt on my skin, and I was afraid to mess it up or look slutty or something. Silly, that, but I felt that way for a long time (also, I have pretty sensitive skin). I wore a tiny amount for my senior portrait in high school and on my wedding day, and for the most part, that's about it.

Now that I'm older though, I think I'm finally ready. Last week I bought some Estee Lauder foundation after trying it at the store, but when I got home, I was having a really bad allergic reaction. I realized that it was probably the sunscreen they use (I am very sensitive to sunscreen), so I decided to take it back. On Tuesday before rehearsals, I went to Sephora in Santa Monica and bought my BareMinerals starter kit. I didn't have time to look at it until yesterday, so when I finally opened it up and attempted to watch the DVD it comes with only to find that the damn DVD didn't work for some reason, I was disappointed.

I'm a smart girl, however, so I figured it out on my own. I was a bit derisive of that stupid DVD, anyway: they included instructions in the box, and really, how hard could it be? I wore it to my hair appointment, and Nina told me that my skin looked "flawless" (I think these people who have been seeing my "good" skin might need glasses), and that it didn't look like I had makeup on at all. That was good to hear. Turns out she's a total makeup junkie, and we talked about that for the whole time she was applying my color. I learned some stuff from her.

I know this isn't exciting information today, but really, me wearing makeup is kind of news.

After my hair appointment, I had to reapply (Nina's recommendation, since she does such a good job scrubbing my scalp, she was worried she might've washed it off, especially at my hairline) a bit, but I couldn't tell. I only did it because she told me to! Patrick didn't think it looked heavy or obvious either, and he always tells the truth (sometimes, unfortunately).

After we got home from the theater, he took a look at the DVD and he couldn't get it to work either. He had the bright idea of burning a copy of it and trying to play it that way, and I don't know why he thought that would work, but it did. It's only a 30 minute DVD, and I found out that while I had done it pretty much right the first time without the benefit of the instructions, I missed one or two little tricks (mostly regarding the little detail brush they give you). I also missed the sales pitch for all the additional items ("beyond the basics") (this one looks particularly intriguing) you can purchase. Some of them look cool, but I think I'll start slowly. It seems to be great stuff , and I liked it. I felt comfortable and I didn't have any allergic reaction, and best of all, people told me I looked good. I did read some conflicting reviews online but I guess you get that with every product. I'll have to let you know how it goes.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The clip

My mom would be so proud.

Woke up, fell out of bed...


Yesterday was a bear. Long day! During the work day, I made the mistake of taking a 15 minute nap in the car instead of my usual 15 minute walk, and when I woke up, I could feel how tired I was in my face. I have retained that feeling through today. The rehearsal went okay, though I was pretty tired (probably we all were). I made a couple of mistakes I've never made before: I let the first audio cue go after the music ended and the CD player jumped to the next (loud) track automatically. I got it shut off quickly but that was weird, and a little embarrassing. Then, we stopped during the run-through so the director could talk to the actors, and I was getting ready to reset the light cue when I hit a button on the board that I've never even noticed before. It says "on." It really should say, "off." All the lights went out and I panicked. Luckily Charles came up to check it out and while I think I would've had the presence of mind to do the same things he did if he hadn't been there, I'm glad he was there to deal with it. It made me think that I'm glad I've never done that during a show. It made me nervous that now that I've done it once, I might accidentally do it again. Anyway, except for those two things, I think I did an okay job. As usual, I wish I had one more chance to do the show before opening night, but it'll be okay.

I got home late again, thanks to the geniuses at CalTrans, who seemed intent on preventing me from taking any of the freeways I wanted to (the 405 on ramp from the 10 has been closed all week, and really, it's my own fault for not remembering this and going another way; but for them to close the Culver City on ramp to the 405 after my coulda-been-brilliant detour? Totally unfair). I was really tired driving home last night, and I'm grateful for the presence of Bo, who made me talk and laugh and once, even sing. He kept me awake and, more or less alert. I'm not grateful for the detours, which made me curse, but at least I didn't have to do it alone. Once I made it home, Patrick took me on a drive so we could go look at Air Force One, which is parked over at the LB airport.

It's just a big blue and white plane, but man. Exciting!

This morning I overslept by an hour. I don't even remember turning off the alarm, which I must've done, obviously. I just remember waking up from a weird dream in which I'd dyed my hair green (guilt over not wearing any green on St. Patrick's day, I guess), and looking at the clock, which said "6:21," except my brain saw "5:21." So for five minutes I stayed in bed, thinking about my dream (really? Green?) and thinking that I could safely stay in bed another five or ten minutes before I had to get up.

Then reality hit, I jumped out of bed, ran to the bathroom, where I brushed my teeth and washed my face and combed my hair (this is almost a Beatles song, with the addition of tooth care. Those lazy Beatles!), found some random clothes to wear (newsflash: the only un-wrinkled pants in my closet are pants I haven't been able to wear for months! Yay for me!), kissed my snoozing husband goodbye and jumped in the car. I was only 16 minutes late for work.

Of course, I haven't showered today, so I feel filthy, but that might just be psychological.

Now I'm sitting here, wondering if I have enough change in my purse to go get a Diet Coke, listening to my co-workers talk about their recent colonoscopies and bouts of diverticulitis. Lovely. Today I'm leaving work early so I can get home, hopefully take a nap, definitely take a shower, and maybe even warm up before I have to be in Culver City for a flute choir concert. Right now I'm just focusing on that nap. I hope it works out where I can take one.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Come together

Well, it's that moment in the two weeks of tech rehearsals where I really start to get excited. The School for Wives opens on Friday, and things are really close now. Last night's rehearsal started a little late so the cast could take photos, so with some unexpected free time, I wandered off to the Third Street Promenade for a little shopping and some dinner.

I stopped in at Sephora, where I bought the BareMinerals starter kit (I am "Tan," or possibly "Medium Tan;" the level of my tan-ocity will be determined soon) as advised by my friend Sarah (Sarah has gorgeous skin, which I doubt I will have even after starting to use this stuff; the girl at Sephora was very helpful but probably being pretty honest when she said she didn't think it would cover "everything" [after this exchange, another girl at the theater told me I have "beautiful skin," which was sweet, but, I suspect, untrue]. I won't have time to play with it or watch the instructional DVD [!] until Friday).

Then I walked down to the newspaper stand where I bought a magazine, headed to the little sushi place in the food court, had a plate of some kind of crunchy yummy shrimp roll and killed a little time. With 15 minutes to go before I was supposed to be back at the theater, I went into the Esprit store where I tried on and drooled all over a couple of absolutely gorgeous jackets (I also tried a pair of pants, which were too big but I didn't care enough about them to retry in a smaller size. It did make me happy, though, to be too small for pants, just not those particular pants). My salesboy, Jason, was totally cool, and he had the perfect attitude to work in a store like that with a customer like me. I really liked his 80s haircut. I only wish I'd had more money in my pocket.

After that, it was time for me to get into the booth, so I headed back to the theater, where we ran the first act two times in a row, successfuly. My job is really easy this time out, and as usual, I am awed by the talent both on and off stage. I can't wait to see the show on opening night, when I will hopefully be in the audience instead of the booth.

Unfortunately, due to that late start, we didn't finish up until 10:30... after navigating various freeway closures (stinking CalTrans!) and dropping off Bo, I didn't get home until 11:30. I can never go right to bed, so I'm pretty wiped out today. I was surprised I was able to get up on time today. Right now I am pretty sleepy. In fact, talking about how tired I am is making me tired, so I will stop and go think about something else, instead. Feel free to do the same.

Irene addresses the 5 people who visited her blog in the last 30 days who have a dial-up connection:

Dear Friends,

Wow! Thank you so much for finding my silly little blog on the Internet. I am so glad you're here. I'm grateful to all my readers, but you guys really warm my heart.

I hope you keep reading. And, I'll try to keep the picture size down.

Thanks again,

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

From a NY Times Article about libraries:

“There’s a saying among librarians that libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries.”

Librarians are so pithy.

I think it's cool that more families are using the library. I'm sorry that it's because of a lousy economy, but at least there's one good thing. My favorite moments with my mom as a kid were spent at the library (she even taught me about sex at the library [not, sex at the library; I found out about that on my own], when she selected about 4 or 5 large books, sat me down at a table in the children's section, and went off to hide), which we'd visit weekly. We loaded up our paper grocery bags with anything and everything, signed out our books (I miss library cards; I used to love seeing my name in a book as proof I had read it) and headed home for a week of reading. I used to do the summer reading program and the contests (which I won one year, thank you very much) and we used to go see movies in the multi-purpose room (I loved it when they showed the doggie movies, or "The Cat From Outer Space"). I used to like to walk on the sidewalk along the fence and stare into the "Japanese Garden" and pretend there were little midget people living in the shrubbery, crossing back and forth over that cool arched bridge. When I got old enough to ride my bike by myself there, I remember sitting on the stairs on the side of the library that faces the La Ballona Creek and reading my books there before heading home. And when I got even older, I remember sitting on the loading dock in the parking lot with various boys, in various stages of kissing-not kissing.

I have fond library memories.

From a NY Times article about a woman who was hit... by an arrow:

At 2 p.m. on Sunday, Ms. Brown, of Yonkers, had driven to the nursing home, on Independence Avenue, to drop off a friend who lives there. She was opening the passenger’s door of her red Kia Sorento when she was struck by the arrow, the police said. The arrow hit her in a downward path and penetrated a couple of inches into her body.


The other night, Patrick came across a show on TV (I think it was on the RFD channel) about a guy who could split a drop of water with a bow and arrow. I did a little archery at camp in the 3rd grade (which I was surprisingly not terrible at; this was the summer of a solar eclipse: these two items are not related), and I can tell you: that ain't easy. This story in the New York Times isn't funny (the woman has serious injuries), and the police are assuming it was an accident, but I don't know. A Kia Sorento? Maybe she was askin' for it.

Thursday, March 12, 2009




Those of you not on Facebook have no idea what this post is about. Well... I will tell you.

This week I have done something every night after work. I work until 5:30 but because East LA isn't exactly conveniently located (not to the places I'm going, anyway), and the places I need to be all need me to be there by 7 p.m., I haven't had a lot of time for dinner. Tonight I had to go to Culver City for flute choir, and I decided to eschew my usual trip to Mi-T Mart for a large Fiji water and Special K bar and/or banana (seriously. That is what I get. If I miss a week, the guy working there will say, "I missed you, my friend." I love Mi-T Mart. It might be my Cheers) to instead feed a craving I've been having for... Pinkberry.

I just had it a couple of weeks ago when we got our taxes done, and had been wanting it again all week. Like, really thinking about it. On Facebook, I posted a status update to the effect of, "Irene wonders if there's a Pinkberry in Culver City and if there will be time to go there tonight before flute choir."

Well. There isn't a Pinkberry in Culver City, but there is one in the Marina. Traffic was pretty light once I got to the 105 so I made a quick stop. The two dudes working there were super-nice, I satisfied a craving, and I was mostly on time for flute choir.

Our rehearsal was interesting, not unlike the "interesting" rehearsal I witnessed last night at the theater. I mean, work was done, but it was a little stressful at times. I am trying to be patient and graceful, and to play well my own parts, and to be supportive of the other players... I think I need to try harder. Our concert is next week. I am not sure we'll be ready. Hopefully things will go better Monday. Since I had to be in Culver City, I missed a tech rehearsal tonight, and while I loved playing my flute (well, I mostly played piccolo tonight), I missed seeing the work they did tonight, and I am totally curious about how it went. I will possibly see tomorrow, but I don't know yet if they will need me. I hope they do.

The bad part about all the stuff I've been doing this week means I haven't had any time to go to the gym or even work out with my Wii Fit trainer. I miss it. Tomorrow I'm having lunch with my friend Andrea, hopefully watching "The Bells Are Ringing" and possibly going to Santa Monica in the evening, but I do hope to fit in a little time on the trampoline or something.

Dear Dave Grohl,

I realize that your latest album has been out for awhile, so this isn't exactly coming at a time that would make sense to anybody. Before I go on, I want you to know that I do like you and your gum-chewing, wisecracking slouchy drummer demeanor. I'm not sure why I felt it was necessary to say that, but it seemed like the following criticism would be unfair without it. However, the music, for the last several albums, hasn't been grabbing me like I think you would like to grab me (maybe not, maybe you don't want to grab me).

I thought you were highly entertaining at the Police's show at Dodger Stadium where you ran all over the field and climbed a wall of speakers or whatever it was (my seats were horrible for that show; I couldn't see a damn thing), and it was pretty exciting that the Foo Fighters opened for the Police: I assume Taylor had a few awesome fan moments, what with his looking up to Stewart Copeland and everything, and I think that's cool, since Stewart is so awesome. But, sometimes I wish you'd get back behind the drums, where you belong. Sometimes (truthfully? a lot of times) I feel like the music is more mediocre than it should be, so, Dave, it's time we had a talk.

It's not necessary for every song to have a soft, pretty section, and a rockin', yelling part. Yelling at me doesn't make you a man. It doesn't make me appreciate the soft pretty parts. It just makes me go, what the hell is he so angry about? The funny thing about it, too, is, your screaming never really conveys anything to me other than, wow, that must hurt. And I don't think I'm exaggerating too much when I use the words "every song." It's definitely noticeable. First time I heard "The Pretender" I knew what to expect after the first four bars. Come on, guy. You've been around. You obviously love music, but that particular trick you've had up your sleeve? We know. We get it. You've got amazing lungs. You grow a mean beard. You were the drummer for Nirvana (even though we kind of like Dale Crover a little better). Mix it up a little.

All I'm saying is,dude: stop yelling at me.

Thank you for "Everlong,"
Irene Palma

My neck

Last night on the way home from the theater, I had a weird experience. I was driving along, talking to Bo about something (Kelly Clarkson? Sci fi novels? Bananas? Unrequited love?) when all of a sudden I had a strange feeling in the back of my neck, and my head. I guess I was just stiff, or it was a muscle spasm or something? It hurt. After the tech part of the rehearsal, Bo and the rest of the cast get notes from the director. Last night's rehearsal was... interesting, so the notes were longer than usual. Since my part is done (no notes for me), when I carpool with Bo, I wait for him in the lobby. Usually I have a book or my iPod, but last night I just sat there in one of the leather chairs, covered up by my coat, shivering.

When he was done, and we left (we walked to the car accompanied by Ken, Jessica, the very talented David Frank, and the big ol' full moon; Ken was signing The Beatles' "Don't Let Me Down," which we all agreed is one of our favorite all-time songs, and I was shocked to find that I don't have it on my iPod; now I've had that song in my head for a good 9 hours, including while I was sleeping. Nice singing, Ken!), I got in the car wearing my coat, and at first I thought I was just sitting on it weird and tried to shift around for a better position. There wasn't much I could do about it, at 75 MPH on the 405 freeway, except comment on it - "My neck feels funny!" Then Bo said "What?" and kept talking about whatever we were talking about. I didn't want to alarm him - we were almost at his exit - and when we did get off the freeway, luckily I hit a red light. I stretched, rolled my head around, listened to all the cracking and it felt a little better.

After dropping him off and driving away, I could still feel a little of the stiffness. My left arm felt funny, too. I must've done something to it but I have no idea what. I don't even use my left arm in the booth (I write a little, but this isn't a "writing" injury). This show's lighting and sound is pretty simple - even if it weren't, the job in there isn't strenuous at all. When I got home, I stood in the living room talking to Patrick, and tried to stretch it out a little, but decided that going to bed would be the best remedy. It was, but then when I had to get up again 5 hours later, I felt it all over again. I'm going to take an Advil and see if that helps. I don't have to go to the theater tonight, but I do have flute choir, which requires more of me than the booth. Like standing, holding a flute and/or piccolo, reading music, thinking, playing the right notes, watching the conductor, remembering my pencil... there are a lot of details.


From an email to my friend Michael about something that happened a couple of weeks ago that I won't be telling here but I like this once sentence:

I did take the time to do my hair, which was blackish and shiny and gleamed like a new Lincoln Town Car, and apply lipgloss and a teeny tiny bit of eyeliner on the one eye (damn Bo and his old-fashioned punctuality). I rubbed it off in the car. From the neck up, I looked great.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Random stuff

...I've been reading the NY Times online for years. I rarely get a hardcopy, unless I'm traveling. I got one on Sunday in the airport while we were waiting for our plane. I read that thing for three hours straight (one in the airport, two on the plane) and I'm still not done with it (I'm a fast reader). Dude: that is a lot of content. Now, sure, each piece is written by a different person, but even still. The fact that it's all free online? Well. Wow. I just hope they know what they're doing.

...Apparently my iPod thinks I am depressed (or should be). I went to Subway to pick up sandwiches for myself and two of my co-workers, and on the trip, I heard the following songs:

- Nightmares By the Sea, by Jeff Buckley
- The Fix, by Elbow
- Love Will Come Through, by Travis
- Nothing Is Saving Me, by Translator
- Shine On You Crazy Diamond, by Pink Floyd
- Sweet F.A., by Love & Rockets

Thank God for the next song: "Honey, Please," by fIREHOSE: a nice, happy song about... tanning? Without this one I'd be slitting my wrists about now.

...At my old job, they're in Stage 1 of a huge, expensive, and complicated remodel. I've made a bet with my friend Andrea that rather than straighten out her file cabinets and throw some shit away, my former co-worker Eileen will have submitted her retirement paperwork by the end of the week. I'll keep you posted.

...Andrea shared with me a copy of a memo that went out to all her co-workers about the remodel (advising them of what would and would not be allowed on desks, approved display items, etc.) that contained the sentence, "Thank you for disregarding personal convenience..." I'm not even sure what that means. "Personal convenience" to me means working from home, or at the very least, allowed to wear my robe and slippers to work. I "disregard" these things every time I go to work! Here's what I had to say:

"Thank you for disregarding personal convenience" is a stupid sentence. A positive followed by a negative = bad taste in my mouth. "Thank you for not crapping all over our new and expensive office furniture" would've been better.

The rules they're handing down about what you can and cannot put on your desk are straight out of the "Consolidated Manual for Secretaries." Didn't Doralee, Judy, and Violet fight hard to free us from this type of totalitarianism?

Also I mocked the writer's (someone I used to edit on a regular basis) insistence on the old double-space after a period habit. Dude: it is not 1975. Microsoft Word is not your old electric typewriter. It looks stupid and ruins the look of the whole thing. Repeat after me: you are not a typesetter.

...Last night was my first tech rehearsal with City Garage for "The School For Wives" (opens Friday, March 20. Call and reserve a seat today! 310-319-9939). In my posting from yesterday, I was a little distracted by events that occurred after the rehearsal, but I wanted to say, the show looks beautiful (the opening scene is really gorgeous). The musical selections (all recordings this time around, no live music) are perfect. I'm really excited about it. These two weeks of tech, things really tighten up and change into something magical. I love the theater sometimes.

...Patrick and I, after our orgy of book buying at Powell's City of Books this weekend, chose to ship our purchases home via FedEx ($20 for two heavy boxes, not bad) rather than try to schlep them in our luggage or carry-on bags. However, we didn't think it through, because now we're sitting around waiting for our boxes (which also contain a couple of gifts) with nothing to read but the dregs of a four-day old NY Times. Rad or not, I need new reading material. I chose those books for a reason, and that reason is: I want to read them!

...I also didn't think through my decision to re-join Netflix this week, because now I have a movie at home I've been wanting to see since I read this and this and I won't have any time until the weekend.

...My parents' anniversary is next Monday, and to celebrate, they've asked us to dinner with them on Saturday. Guess where they want to go? Sizzler.

Hook me up with some cheese bread, mom. Happy anniversary!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I will

I should really go to bed (I have things to do first: find my cell phone, change the sheets on the bed, figure out what I'm going to wear to work tomorrow, find the purse I was using before we went to Portland because my work ID is in it, put the CD I borrowed from Frederique in my purse, brush my teeth and exfoliate, bring in the little bag with my deoderant in it from the garage where I accidentally left it when I took the suitcase out there because I don't want to smell like Patrick's Axe deoderant again tomorrow), but:

Tonight on the way home from the theater, a friend of mine got news on his cell phone (I was driving) that is none of my business to reveal here. We talked about it a bit.

Before we talked about it, though, we were discussing the themes in the play we're working on, and I had commented that I can see what his character is going through: he loves someone only after he realizes he can't have her, or that she doesn't love him back. I think my comment was, that's a good story, there. It is. My friend said, "Isn't that life, though?" And then he asked me why that is. It didn't seem hypothetical, either. It felt personal, the way he asked me why that is. Like, why do you idiots do stuff like that?*

I got a little upset with him at this point - dude, you just said that's how life is. So why the hell would I know? I mean, just because (and my friend very well knows my history) being on the feeling end of this equation is somewhere I've been before - but I don't know why. Isn't that a question better left to my biographers? So it seemed a bit unfair to be asking me. Just because something is familiar: I don't fucking know why. I stewed about it for a minute, didn't trust myself to say the right thing, and then one of us made a joke, I changed the subject, and he got the phone call.

When I dropped him off, he told me to drive safe.

I said, "I will."

There are lots of holes in this story. But I don't want to forget.

*Thinking about it now, a whole hour later, I don't really think that's what he meant. I think I put a personal spin on something that was more global in nature. I think. Yes. That's what I did.

And, of course, the important thing about this story isn't what happened to me, anyway.

Today, tonight, the rest of this week

Well, and so starts my 2 weeks of busy-ness.

I got up this morning at 5 a.m. (that's what the clock said, but we all know better) for the first time in six days. I had a weird dream about an old friend of mine who might be pregnant, my sister becoming a children's party host on TV, Wendy Wilson from the singing group "Wilson Phillips," super soaker water guns, and the Kennedy School, which we visited when we were in Portland. Also, my cat Franny spent most of the night on the pillow with me, and while that's the coziest place for her to be, it makes my sleeping positions limited. I woke up at 3 a.m. to finally roll over onto my stomach and she stuck her hand - gently - into my ear, to remind me that I am there for her comfort, not the other way around!

Tonight I have my first tech rehearsal with the cast of "The School for Wives" at City Garage, and I can't wait to find out what they've been up to.

Now I'd better get in the shower. It would be nice to be on time to work at least once this week.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

We're home!

First of all, I gotta say, Portland is an awesome town. I loved happy hour, I loved the public transportation, I loved all the bikers in freezing weather, I loved all the happy dogs, I loved the weather (but maybe only in four day increments), and I really loved Powell's.

On the other hand: I love being home. I think I'm gonna go do that, for awhile.

See ya later.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Greetings from Portland! - Updated

Hey, all,

So Patrick and I decided this year that we'd like to get out of town more often. Now, we don't have a whole lot of extra money (out: trips to Paris, Hawaii), but so far we've managed to schedule two trips: the one we're on right now to Portland, Oregon, and one in June to Washington, D.C.

We're staying in a hotel that Pee Wee Herman would be perfectly comfortable in, the Inn at Northrup Station. It's right off the streetcar line (STREETCARS ARE AWESOME), and I'll post a picture of our room after the lady comes by to clean up (we had a very early dinner last night at an Irish pub, where we sampled all the beers; when we got back to our room, we turned this neat day-glo space into... a disaster area; no, we're not riding motorcycles up and down the halls, but let's give things a chance to settle back into place).

When we got into town yesterday (the flight was okay, but the last minutes during which we made our descent were a little hairy; maybe next time I won't eat both bags of chips as offered by the pretty blond Jet Blue flight attendant; I was hungry during the flight but as we started down through the clouds, I suddenly... wasn't), it was on-again, off-again raining, but it wasn't as cold as I expected. I'm wearing thin layers, but my wool coat and scarf kept me warm enough, even during our wet, wasted walk through the streets of Nob Hill last night.

Today we have planned a trip to Powell's bookstore, more food and drink, and hopefully to stay dry. It's not supposed to rain today, but who knows? It's the unknown that makes a vacation fun.

Photos and more later.


So, Friday is over, and we had a great time today. We got up kind of early and went down for a so-so continental breakfast at our hotel. I should've known better, but I had high hopes. Well, one English muffin and hardboiled egg later, those hopes were pretty much dashed. After that, we boarded the street cars for Powell's Books.

(Before I say anything about Powell's, I just want to say that the streetcar has been one of the highlights of this trip. I've never found getting around a city so convenient and easy!)

Anyway, we got to Powell's, where we quickly separated. I stayed in the front room for awhile, checking out all the staff recommendations and cookbooks. Then I wandered off into the Rose Room, which had a stunning hodgepodge of just about everything. I found a couple of really cool children's books I've been looking for, for my niece and nephew (the first of each series: Trixie Belden for my niece, Danny Dunn for my nephew). Needless to say, I found a shitload of books in all the other various sections of the bookstore (definitely need to check out the sci fi section more next time), and by the time I met up with Patrick again, we'd both managed to collect quite a lot of books and t-shirts and other stuff. I also made a list of things I wanted, but wasn't going to get now. All in all, we spent a couple of very happy hours there, and by the time we came out, were pretty hungry. It felt like a good time to eat lunch, so we headed back to our hotel to dump our purchases and to find a good place to eat. We chose Laughing Planet; it was just fine, and quite filling.

Then, Patrick took me to the coolest place I've been to in a while: McMenamin's Kennedy School. To get there we took the streetcar, a bus, and walked through a very cool neighborhood. Once we got there, all that traveling was totally worth it. The Kennedy School is an old elementary school that's been transformed into a hotel/movie theater/restaurant/bar/concert venue, and it's totally cool. We walked around and hung out in the bar, where I tried a Vintner's Sidewalk and, um, three Dutch Drops. Patrick kicked back with several Hammerhead beers, and we chatted with Goldie, our waitress, who was a cute and nice red-head whose outfit was reminiscent of Dorothy Gale from Kansas. After that, we weren't quite ready to go, and it turned out that we were right on time for the 5:30 p.m. showing of "Twilight." I wasn't all that interested in seeing the movie, but the couches and table service (pitchers of beer, pizza, whatever) sounded like fun, so we got in line, forced ourselves to drink yet more beer, and giggled through the movie.

I'm not going to review the movie. I will only say that I found it at times to be compelling, ridiculous, silly, and stupid. It felt like a CW TV movie.

Anyway, by the time the movie got out, it was getting dark and cold outside, so we walked down to the bus stop, where we stood on the corner in front of a lovely red and green house for about 10 minutes until the bus came. Bus drivers and streetcar drivers have all been really nice on our trip, and even though at the airport we purchased all day tickets that are good for 7 days on any type of public transportation, we have only been required to actually show our tickets once.

By this time, we expected to be hungry, but we really weren't. Patrick wanted to show me a place he visited when he was here a few years ago with the band, so we got off the bus and walked through kind of a sketchy part of town to Berbati's Pan. We had yet another beer there, and then decided to head back to our hotel, with a quick stop in at Voodoo Doughnuts. I'm glad we tried it but honestly, I wasn't super-impressed. They do have a fun collection of dirty names for the doughnuts, though, and while I considered ordering something called "Cock-n-Balls," in the end I stuck with Raspberry Romeo. I was glad to have the doughnut to eat while we walked to the streetcar, it kept my mind off of how darned cold I was.

The weather today was beautiful: clear, blue sky, not too cold. The local news guy just said that winter will be back, tomorrow, so that's going to make things interesting. Ah, well. We won't melt.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Cheerleading Tower of Terror

When Patrick and I went to Disneyland in February, we got a pass to come back within 30 days to go to California Adventures. Our pass would've expired during the week I start tech with City Garage, and we'll be out of town next weekend... so we went today.

Man, it was hot today. California Adventures is getting a major overhaul, but still - they should've thought about the placement of shade trees and park benches a little more (also, I never need to hear "I Love LA," "California Girls," "Louie Louie," or "California Dreamin'," again. Surely the Disney people can afford to buy the rights to more California themed music? Give me a break, please). The place was totally packed. There was some kind of junior cheerleading competition going on, so the park was overrun with tiny girls with giant hair bows, perfect ponytails (every one a riot of fusili pasta-looking curls) and short skirts (note: these little girls were all each wearing more makeup than I have ever worn in my entire life. The amount of eyeliner alone was shocking!), some of them with incredible muscles (and acne).

I haven't been to California Adventures in a while, and neither of us has been on the creepy Tower of Terror ride, which we could see as we walked from our car to the park. It was the first thing we decided to go on (Patrick googled "Tower of Terror accidents" before we left but I made him quit). Though the place was really crowded with people, the line was pretty short; we waited about 25 minutes, the whole time behind the young ladies you see pictured above.

They were nice enough girls, I suppose: no "f" bombs or anything, they didn't push or seem interested in us at all, which was fine and to be expected. They did a little sotto voce cheering practice at one point, with the typical angular arm motions, but it was all sort of restrained and, somehow, polite. There was a short stare-down between them and a girl in a red cheerleading costume while we were in the line, but though that girl was on her own (possibly with her parents) and these girls were in a pack, the red cheerleader clearly had the upper hand, at least when it came to dirty looks.

Once we finally got to the front of the line of "Tower of Terror," and entered the library holding area, and the whole "Twilight Zone" connection was made (I had no idea), I realized that if there's one thing junior cheerleaders do well, it's scream, because scream they did. Luckily we got separated from them in the line and were with a totally different group of people when it was time to board the ride. At this point, I was getting nervous, because I knew nothing about the ride, and Patrick hadn't been on it either, so we were both clueless.

It was fun. Scary - the photo taken of us shows me holding Patrick's arm with my face partly pressed into his shoulder. Also, I think I was screaming. See? I was wrong: it's not just junior cheerleaders who are good at it.