Friday, May 28, 2010

Live blogging!

The preceding twelve posts or so were written from the booth at City Garage theater, before and during the performance of "The Marriage of Figaro." None of the peerage were harmed during the writing of these posts. Wait, do I mean "peerage"? I think Count Almaviva is Spanish royalty, no?

Eh, whatever. Enjoy!
Simple fix worked. Phew!
My phone battery is about to die. 9 pages until the next audio cue. I hope it's okay. I hate things that are out of my control, in the booth, anywhere. If battery survives I'll keep you posted, if no, I'll tell you later.
Well, 20 pages to go. Fingers crossed. In the meantime I love the look of manly consternation on the Count's face when he enters on page 35.
Audio cue 4 could be interesting.
The Countess just made her entrance. She's wearing a dress with long sleeves but later will be languidly gliding about
around in a pretty black corset. She has lovely upper arms!
I should've looked at the price tag. Oops.
Unrelated to the show: tonight I accidentally bought a pair of $80 yoga pants.
20 minutes in and I'm out of red vines. I could easily get more... 5 pages until light cue 19.
Scene 5 very funny tonight. I hope my giggling wasn't overheard by the audience! Or do I?
Figaro just smoothed Bartholo's ruffled collar in a fine display of generosity.
Stocked up with red vines and diet coke in the booth tonight!
Let the live blogging begin! Well. At least until my battery dies.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Puma, and Grady

In April, we said goodbye to our boy cat Puma. I'm not sure if I wrote about it at the time, other than on FB. We were pretty shook up because it was unexpected, and because he was awesome. It was hard to talk about it - we loved him so much!

We adopted him and his buddy Dora in January of 2001 from the Seal Beach Animal Shelter. My kitty Izzy (a big fluffy black and white cat, whose facial markings made it look like she had an eyepatch instead of a full on mask) died soon after we moved into our house in Long Beach. It wasn't right, living there with no pet, and though I knew I wouldn't be able to "replace" Izzy, after a few weeks it was obvious to us that we needed some feline companionship.

When we went to the animal shelter, we specifically told them that we wanted two cats who were friends already. They did a little brainstorming, and after we hung out with all the other kitties for awhile, they brought out Puma and Dora. Those were already their names. They weren't related, as far as the people at the Animal Shelter knew, but they were both black cats with funny tails. Puma's was short and stubby - like a little thumb! Dora's curled up like a pig's tail that she winds around in a circle. They both were extremely friendly with us at the shelter, which is funny, because though Puma was an extremely gregarious cat, Dora is much more of a scaredy-cat now than she was then.

So we knew we had our cats.

They both had their little personalities, and were definitely friends. Sure, once in awhile Puma would make some misguided attempt to hump Dora, and sometimes they lashed out at each other more aggressively than usual (that first night we had them at home we barely slept - the sound of the two of them running up and down the hall on the wood floor kept us up for awhile! Thump thump thump thump!), but coming home to find the two of them cuddled up together on the couch or in their fluffy beds on top of the TV confirmed that they would be friends forever. When Franny joined us a few years ago, Puma and Dora both accepted her, though her slightly bossy nature and kitten playfulness I'm sure annoyed them at times.

When I'd lived at home, Izzy had been allowed to go outside, but once we moved to Long Beach, I didn't want to worry about her getting lost, so she became an inside cat. I don't remember that she minded that much, and she didn't try to go out. Puma and Dora were inside cats too, for the most part. Dora did get out once and escaped into the neighbor's yard, and once a long time ago, Puma (with his excellent negotiating skills) convinced our friend Chris to let him out. We didn't notice until we were looking out the living room windows into the back yard and saw him cruising by, cool as a cucumber. We knew that if Franny got out she'd take off and frankly, as much as I love her, I'm not sure she has the smarts to find home again.

Last year, Patrick started letting Puma out on chaperoned outings into the backyard, and he (Puma) loved it. He would race out the back door, and head straight for the far wall separating our house from the one behind it. Then he'd make a sharp right turn behind the garage, fly through the dirt and dust and lawnmowers that are back there, and race along the other side of the garage until he came out to the driveway in front of the garage, where he'd collapse in a heap and roll around on the cement. Our backyard is pretty secure, so we weren't afraid of him getting out, and though we've seen the neighborhood cats jump from the grass to the tops of the fences and walls separating our yard from the neighbors', Puma never once even attempted to get out that way. Maybe he didn't think he could make it, but I think he just wasn't interested in whatever was on the other side of those walls. He loved his moments of freedom outside so much, and would bask in the sun for hours while Patrick puttered around the yard or I read on the swing. He was trustworthy - he never tried to get out the front or kitchen door into the front yard, and he almost always came when we called him, if he'd gotten out of our sight.

Puma had a funny little-old-man way about him, and our nicknames for him reflected that - Señor Baggy Pants was my favorite. The fur on his long back legs reminded me of a pair of droopy old black corduroy trousers. He also had such wise and calm old eyes, and he was so tolerant! He would patiently put up with any kind of behavior and allowed almost anything (except for one famous incident where I was playing with him and he somehow managed to pierce my nostril with his toenail! I still think it was an accident). I enjoyed picking him up and carrying him around the house like a bag of potatoes. I called him at those times my "big black baby." His fur was so thick and and in the sun it sometimes looked brown. I called it his "gorilla suit." Patrick always said that he most reminded him of the actor Whitman Mayo, as the character "Grady" on "Sanford and Son," and we called him that, too.

Last night we were watching "Sanford and Son" while eating dinner, and it was the episode where Fred has gone to St. Louis, leaving Grady in charge (I read on Wikipedia that Redd Foxx had walked out on the show because of contract disputes). So much Grady! and yes, as silly as it sounds, looking at Whitman Mayo's kind and funny face, we did see Puma looking out at us from the TV. It was sweet, and a little sad.

I miss him!

From a NY Times article about "American Idol"

JANIS JOPLIN WAS ON AMERICAN IDOL LAST NIGHT? Jesus. I really missed something last night. Like a COMMA.

"Ms. Bowersox, who throughout wore blonde dreadlocks and a dreamily aloof expression, stood out from the start, a throwback to full-throated, fierce singers like Janis Joplin and Alanis Morissette, who appeared with her in the finale. (Their duet, an expurgated version of Ms. Morissette’s hit song, “You Oughta Know,” was one of the night’s few high points.)"

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Right now I'm reading a book my friend Paul and his girfriend Cristina recommended to me, way back in December. I bought it right after they told me about it, but then for some reason I kept messing up the title when I was looking for it on the shelf. I was questioning if it's the right book because the thing has like ten million titles. "Shadow & Claw" is the name of the series. The book I bought has two volumes in one book. The first one is "The Shadow of the Torturer" and the second is "The Claw of the Conciliator." Just getting my head around all the titles took a little critical thinking, which obviously I should be doing more of.

And then... the guy at B&N who I bought it from was a little person, and I am a little ashamed of how unenthusiastic I was when he was all, "This is a great book! I should tell you the titles of all the other sci fi books I like; you might like them too!" I would like to think that I was just in an unfriendly mood that day and would've had the same reaction to anyone who was so exuberant (equal opportunity bitch, that's me) but I bet he could've recommended a ton of great books, and my grumpiness kept me from a great sci fi/fantasy world I will now never know about.

Then I read a about Gene Wolfe (the author) on Wikipedia and was put off a little by some of what was on there (he makes comments about the complexity of his books and the necessity being an "educated reader" to understand him; I may not be remembering this right), and now on top of the other thing, I feel ashamed and like a dumbass.

Finally I started it, but I always picked it up right before bedtime so each night I had to re-read the page from the night before, and I was a little confused. Meanwhile, I read two mystery series, reread "Mansfield Park" by Jane Austen, and in all that time I read 18 pages of "Shadow & Claw." Today I started it from page 1 (actually I think the story begins on page 9. What the hell is up with this book?) at lunch and have made it to page 22 (Chapter 3! Check me out! I'm killing it!).

Unrelated: I can't find my copy of "The Soul of Black Peru," a CD I got from Rizzoli while I was working there. If I loaned it to you, would you please return it? Thank you!

On the other hand, I bet they carry it at Barnes and Noble. All I have to do is go back and act like a polite customer, something I valued highly when I was a bookseller (and usually try to be!), with the helpful salesperson I had before. I'll have the CD and a little self-respect back, maybe.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Lindsay Lohan: Queen of Perplexation*

I've seen a few photos of Ms. Lohan taken from court appearances in the newspaper. I'm not sure she's perfected the look of "somber and concerned" just yet, so I guess I'm disagreeing with an LA Times writer now myself. I am, however, convinced that she's got "pissed off and confused" down pat.

I don't know when this photo was taken; it's the thumbnail to the story but doesn't actually appear on the page with the story.

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*I made that word up. Duh.

I didn't watch the show "Lost,"

And judging by all the frustrated posts my friends who did put on their Facebook pages and Twitter updates, I'm not sorry to have missed it. All of it. I never watched one episode, and for that, what can I say, I'm glad. Sorry to all of you who got sucked in, if you're interested in my wishes of condolence. If you're not, hey, that's cool too.

I'm pleased that Patrick and I chose instead to watch a mini-documentary about the UFC and "Chefs vs. City" last night. I love that Aarón Sanchez.

As usual, my affection is for the fans who wrote comments to this (apparently wrong-headed) review.

Of love 'Lost'

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Let me tell you a little something about myself?

We're watching "Something's Gotta Give" with Diane Keaton, Jack Nicholson, and Keanu Reeves. It's not a great movie.

1. Are your parents married or divorced?
Married. They're very good at it.

2. Are you a vegetarian?
I succesfully did not eat meat for the first three months of 2010. I'll try it again.

3. Do you believe in Heaven?

4. Have you ever come close to dying?

5. What jewelry do you wear 24/7?
24/7? Nothing, for that long. But I do put on my watch and wedding ring first thing after taking a shower.

6. Favorite time of day?
Early evening... dusk.

7. Do you eat the stems of broccoli?

8. Do you wear makeup?
I'm starting to, regularly.

9. Ever have plastic surgery?
Would I, or have I?

I don't think so.

10. What do you wear to bed?
Some sort of nightgown... cashmere sweater. Hey, I get cold.

11. Have you ever done anything illegal?

12. Can you roll your tongue?
Yes, but what good does this skill do?

13. Do you tweeze your eyebrows?

14. What kind of sneakers?
Converse, Saucony; I'm thinking about New Balance for the next pair.

15. What is your hair color?
Dark brown, with a smattering of white.

16. Do you snore?

17. If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?
Hawaii, Italy, Greece, France, Amsterdam, New York City

18. Do you sleep with stuffed animals?
I sleep with live animals!

19. If you won the lottery, what would you do first?
After all the hysterics and legal mumbo jumbo, I'd buy us a house in Culver City or Santa Monica or Venice. Then I'd quit my job.

20. Gold or silver?
Silver... but I'd like to start working in some gold.

21. Hamburger or hot dog?
Yes, please. And now you know: I have zero willpower.

22. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Chicken salad and homemade white corn tortillas from Sprouts. Delicious.

23. City, beach or country?

24. What was the last thing you touched?
I turned on the lamp, I changed the channel using the remote, but I don't remember the order.

25. Where did you eat last?
Right here on the couch - I had a couple of chicken salad/white corn tortilla burritos and a glass of apple juice.

26. When’s the last time you cried?
Yesterday, at my dress rehearsal for today's recital. I cry at every dress rehearsal. To not cry would mean that something was seriously wrong with me.

27. Do you read blogs?

28. Would you ever go out dressed like the opposite sex?
Yes. I like the way the sloppy preppy look looks on guys. I could do that, were it not for the boobs and hips.

29. Ever been involved with the police?
No, but the sheriffs bring their K-9s to exercise on this field by my work, and whenever I see them, I always say hello. Does that count?

30. What’s your favourite shampoo and conditioner?
Nina uses this $30 a bottle stuff on me when I get a haircut and for real, it's great stuff. I'm just too cheap to buy it.

31. Do you talk in your sleep?
Not regularly, but I have in the past.

32. Ocean or pool?
Pool. I'm kind of afraid of the ocean.

33. Who would you take on a ménage à trois for a dirty weekend?

34. Window seat or aisle?

35. Ever met anyone famous?
Yes! Let's see...

Stewart Copeland (3 times!), Sean Penn, Danny DeVito, Eric Stoltz, Mark Hamill, Paula Poundstone, Kevin Bacon, Gina Davis...

36. Do you feel that you’ve had a truly successful life?
Maybe eventually.

37. Do you twirl your spaghetti or cut it?

38. Basketball or Football?

39. How long do your showers last?
Too long.

40. Automatic or do you drive a stick?
I haven't driven stick in about 15 years, but I suspect I could do it again if I had to and the person who owned the car didn't mind.

41. Cake or ice cream?
Sure, thanks!

42. Are you self-conscious?
Lord yes.

43. Have you ever drank so much you threw up?
Not in a really, really, really long time.

44. Have you ever given money to a beggar?

45. Have you been in love?
Oh, yes.

46. Where do you wish you were?
At the beginning of a really really long weekend.

47. Are you wearing socks?
Yep, and slippers. It's cold in here!

48. Have you ever ridden in an ambulance?
No, thank God.

49. Can you tango?
No, but I'm learning a couple to play with Chris. I'd love to dance, but I'm too shy to try.

50. Last gift you received?

51. Last sport you played?
Ha ha ha ha

52. Things you spend a lot of money on?
Music; flute stuff, facials and massages.

53. Where do you live?
In a tiny house on a beautiful street in Long Beach.

54. Where were you born?
Santa Monica, CA

55. Last wedding attended?

56. Most hated food(s)?
Olives, menudo

57. Can you sing?
No. Doesn't stop me though.

58. Last person you texted?

59. Last place you went on holiday?
San Diego.

60. Favourite regular drink?
Diet Coke.

61. Current Song?
"Many Shades of Black" by the Raconteurs

Saturday, May 22, 2010

More live blogging from "The Marriage of Figaro"

The preceding 10 or 11 posts were written from the booth during the May 22, 2010, performance. Enjoy!
Substitute the second "nice" with "highly complimentary," and you will have a better understanding of what I mean.
A nice thing about doing box office and the bar is hearing all the nice things about the show that the folks seeing it have to say.
In that last post, substitute "patrons" for the second "pages" and the whole thing makes more sense. This might be why the library now calls its "patrons" "customers."
Oh, so back to the library for a moment... During the summer I could work at the library during the day. We pages got to know the regular library pages. Some of us were young girls, and there were some patrons we learned to avoid, for whatever reasons (use your imagination). One such patron wore leather pants everyday that were not unlike Count Almaviva's.

Suspicious, isn't it?

Six pages until light cue 23.
My moth friend seems to be enjoying the show.
Cherubin is a different type of page but our interest in the opposite sex surely was equal.
Library pages might be the lowest-paid classification of all County employees, which was fine with me because I may have been the laziest page ever, mostly interested in reading and boys and not necessarily in that order.
Did I ever tell you about when I was a page at the local County library?
There's a tiny white moth in the booth today. No, these are not the lost lyrics to "King of Pain."
I would just like to point out that when I do box office, we tend to have full houses at City Garage. Are these people here to witness the obvious skill I employ in pushing "play" and "go"? Well, it's highly doubtful. Still...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Live blogging "The Marriage of Figaro"

The preceding ten posts were written from the booth during the Friday, May 21st performance of "The Marriage of Figaro."
Damn you, Figaro! Why'd you have to say "roast chicken"?? Well, at least it distracted me from French fries. I'm a bit hungry. Can you tell?
Seriously... French fries.
Is "treacherous singing master" a common character in opera?
"Is it a crime to be in love?" - Cherubin, to the beautiful, awkwardly elegant countess Almaviva. Well? Is it?
Also unrelated: the small rip in my jeans widened to obscene proportions on the drive up tonight. These pants are finished.
Not related to the show: I could really use some French fries.
No zombies on this stage!
It might not even have happened at all...
Don't worry, no one else noticed.
When Dr Bartholo accidentally changes "immoral" to "immortal" you've got a whole new story. Somebody call the "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" guy!

Monday, May 17, 2010


Wow, that was a quick weekend. Here are the highlights:

Friday: My mom had chemotherapy. Her nurse was sweet; two of the other oncology nurses cut their hair similar to mine, reminding me that it's time for a trim. Afterwards, we went to Sizzler for lunch. We went to Sizzler on Mother's Day, and before this second trip in the span of what? Two weeks? I hadn't been to Sizzler in YEARS. It was pretty good. Their salad bar looks small when you think about Souplantation, but really, I loaded up on veggies and it was damn good.

Afterwards I had a rehearsal with the other flutists I'm playing with for a little recital we're having next Sunday. It went okay. I should be better prepared, but that's always how I feel at this point. We're meeting again tonight, and hopefully I'll feel better about it.

Saturday: Our friend Brian's grand opening of his brewery! Patrick's band Suffering Luna played at the party which took place at Blue Star Restaurant (just down the street from the brewery), Brian's beer was very tasty (and, as I found out later, an award winner), and the bands were fun. (You can read a couple articles and blog posts about Brian and the brewery here, here, and here. There's also a MySpace page.) This is only the second performance for Suffering Luna that I've been able to go to, and as always, I get pretty excited seeing Patrick play. Here's one photo I took with my iPhone; video to follow later, maybe. 

That's Sean on guitar, Messy on vocals, Taz on bass, and Patrick, of course, on drums.

After the show, Patrick took me to my favorite restaurant, La Casita Mexicana. It was a great day, full of yummy beer and food, music, and fun.

Sunday: I finally started in on the mountain of laundry. And that's enough said about that. I headed on up to Santa Monica to do the show, and that was a lot of fun. Turns out we sold out! Afterward, the audience was invited to stick around for a Q&A with the cast and the creative staff. Some interesting questions, and comments, and lots of positive stuff going on.

When I got home, I wondered where my weekend had gone, watched some of the edited video from Saturday night, watched a little Iron Chef America, and then I went to bed.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Miss Fortune Cookie

I had lunch in a Chinese restaurant with my co-workers today, and got a pretty cool fortune out of it.

"It is better to be an optimist and proven a fool than to be a pessimest and be proven right."

Hey, being a fool is easy. This one I can handle.

On the reverse it gave the pronunciation of the Chinese word "to retire," which is "tuì xiū." That's pretty funny, because I'm at least 20 years from retiring.

I also got some lottery numbers, but what, you think I'm sharing my lucky numbers with you!? You got another think comin', buddy.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Water bug?

There was a water bug/cockroach sighting in my office this morning.

Clear on the other side of the office, sure, but here. Within these four walls. There are four people, a large printer, a larger copier and a water cooler between me and the desk the creature was seen on (riding my co-worker's stapler, apparently. I have a stapler; I'm looking at it right now. It's rider-free at the moment. I just wiped it down with a disinfecting wipe. Are stapler-riding cockroaches a sign of the apocalypse?), but between all the fuss and indecision that usually accompanies bug sightings of this size (apparently the thing was massive so nobody wanted to smush it outright), s/he got away, I think by running under the copier.

My office has two doors. One is next to my desk, and the other one is by the desk of my co-worker who was (unknowingly) harboring a water bug. In fact, our two cubicles are mirror images of each other. I hope that water bugs/cockroaches know left from right.

What with all the food we eat in this office and the crumb-laden toaster (next to the printer I mentioned in the paragraph above), it's no surprise that there would be bugs in here. That doesn't make me feel better. I have to use that copier eventually.

I cleaned the tape dispenser too. You never know.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My Uncle Alfredo

Yesterday my dad called me at work to let me know that my mom's brother Alfredo had passed away. He was a character, and lovely man. Follows is his obituary from the Los Angeles Times. I'm thinking a lot about my cousins and my mom today, and remembering what an interesting and creative man "Uncle Fred" was. I'm proud to be his niece.

The picture at the bottom is not from the LA Times; it's one of the many portraits of him that his partner Helen Sheats painted. You can see her artwork here.

Alfredo Valentino

August 5, 1930 - May 10, 2010

A true jazzman in every sense of the word and a passionate patron of the arts, Alfredo Valentino finished his transition onto his next great journey on May 10, 2010 in Aptos, California, surrounded by his devoted loved ones. He is preceded by his wife of 17 years, Neddi Valentino, who passed in 1970, Helen Sheats, his subsequent partner who passed in 1999, and his oldest daughter, Denise Valentino-Hibbitt, who passed in 2004. He is survived by four siblings: Alvaro Valentino, Pedro Valentino, Maria Kelly, and Henriquetta Casarez; as well as his seven children: Christina Valentino Houlemard, Nicole Valentino, Miles Valentino, Sabott Ali, Dominga Valentino, Allegra Valentino, and Josette Valentino. He had fifteen grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Alfredo Valentino was born in Venice, California and resided in California for most of his life. As a young man, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, serving his country in the Korean War, for which he was awarded a Purple Heart. Soon after, he met and married Neddi Mitchell, and the two became devoted "children of the 60s". They embraced a philosophy and lifestyle of love, creativity, eccentricity, and social change, and were passionate artists, activists, and advocates for the marginalized. Always learning, growing, and traveling throughout the world, Alfredo grew into the very embodiment of the "self-actualized" man, and as a loving and nurturing patriarch, shared his values with his children, friends and new acquaintances, many of whom make up his large extended family.

He lived a full and truly unequaled life; one that far exceeds the constraint of words. He will be dearly missed and always remembered fondly, and his true legacy is the everlasting love and devotion of his children and his commitment to family.

At Alfredo's request, funeral services will not be held. In lieu of flowers or condolence gifts, the family asks that donations be made to the Tony Hill Memorial Scholarship Fund at the Santa Cruz Community Foundation, or to Hospice of Santa Cruz County.

Published in the Los Angeles Times on May 11, 2010

Monday, May 10, 2010

For those of you who were worried about me...

I am no longer re-reading "The Fountainhead." Whatever insanity inspired that move has thankfully passed. I have another (new) book that I'm reading that I'll talk to you about later.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

More live blogging from "The Marriage of Figaro"

The following (or previous, yada yada yada) posts are... oh, you can figure it out without my lame explanation. I hope you had a nice weekend? We did! Thanks to those of you who brought your mamas to the show on Sunday! Still, we'd love to have you join us for a wedding - Figaro's wedding, in fact, but only if the jealous Count lets it happen!

THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO at City Garage Theatre
Call (310) 319-9939 for reservations.

See you from the booth! Don't forget to wave! You know I love it!
Seriously, the nobility have a twisted view of marriage.
Light Cue 42 is my favorite.
As "charming" as the Count is, he lucked out by marrying Rosine... He doesn't deserve her.
For some reason Sting's accent coming out of my friend's mouth is more charming than you might think I might think.
I've known the actor who plays Count Almaviva in THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO for more than 12 years. He's a great actor and a good friend. While it's true that there are quite a few interesting wigs on stage, he's rocking a particularly awesome head of his own hair. As a blustering, horny noble, he's very, very good. I am not implying that it's the hair that makes him good, I'm just saying that looking good is, in this case, definitely a plus.

No show next Friday or Saturday, so your next chance to see for yourself is next Sunday. Have a good week!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Live Blogging, sort of

The following (or previous, depending on how you like your time line) posts were written between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 10 p.m., during the few moments of "down time" I have during the show "The Marriage of Figaro" at City Garage Theatre in Santa Monica.

Lest you think I don't take my tech duties seriously, well, you can just dispense with that kind of thinking, because I take those duties very, very seriously.

Anyway, I suppose that by combining my fantasies about Stewart Copeland with the theater stuff means that these posts would've made more sense if I'd posted them over here, but that kind of thing would've take a bit more planning than I was capable of.

I had fun tonight, it was a great show, I had three friends in the audience, and yes, I was all alone in the booth. I swear.
Did I mention that THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO at City Garage Theatre is an LA Times Critic's Choice? Perhaps your mom would like to see a show tomorrow? Sundays are "pay-what-you-can." Box office opens at 4:30. Who knows? It might be me selling you your ticket!
I unfortunately had to spend the first ten five minutes of the second set of 20 minutes in the restroom. Stewart, I swear, come to the theatre and I promise to charm you silently while you enjoy the show. Wait, is that really what I meant to say--
I love the part where Dr Bartholo calls the word "and" a "copulative conjunction." I suspect he does too.
I just made $2 in tips selling refreshments during intermission. Note to self: next time I work the bar during intermission, wear a lower cut shirt. Or bring Stewart Copeland.
We're in the midst of the first 20 minute stretch of the show where I get to just watch. It's conceivable that were he here, Stewart and I would be engaging in a nice quiet game of "Go Fish," or perhaps a little iPhone pass-and-play Scrabble...
That line about being "too busy" for Stewart Copeland was just bluster. The LA Times "Critic's Choice" THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO starts in 30 minutes. Tickets are still available.
I'm box office AND booth personnel tonight! What's that? You'd like a soda? Certainly!

Stewart Copeland better not come to City Garage tonight, as I will be much too busy to make what could only be called idiotic conversation (my side, naturally) with him.

On the other hand, there are at least two separate sections of show where I have a good 20 minutes of "free time"... the view of the stage from the booth isn't that great but I guarantee I could keep him, well, let's just say "entertained."

Paula Poundstone Blows Minds

A couple of weeks ago, I accompanied Patrick to a breakfast that was held by his work for all the librarians and staff (Patrick's not a librarian, but he works with librarians. Some of my favorite people in the whole world are librarians). This is an annual event, and they sometimes get some really interesting people to speak (I've seen Arianna Huffington and S.E. Hinton. Last year's speaker was Whitley Streiber, but I didn't go to that one. Mr. Streiber writes those horror novels with the creepy alien faces on the covers. I understand Mr. Streiber discussed "anal probes." That must've been one very interesting breakfast!).

This year's guest was Paula Poundstone.

We love Paula Poundstone.

I sat with Patrick and his boss, a very cool man who specializes in the snarky comment. After we served ourselves breakfast, a short while later, they brought out Paula.

The third or fourth word out of Paula Poundstone's mouth was "fuck." I think she blew the minds of about 250 librarians and library staff. Then they were all laughing too hard to notice.

Photo by Patrick Palma, using his Blackberry's crappy camera. I wish I could say that I made Paula make a funny face, but our interaction was pretty straightforward:

Irene: We love you!
Paula: What do you do for the library?
Irene: Oh, my husband works here, I'm just a guest.
Paula: OK, thanks for coming.

I'd crop myself out of this photo (like my chia pet hairdo?) but then you wouldn't believe me that we met, would you.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What I'm reading, and laughing at

Why am I torturing myself by re-reading Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead"? Is it related to all the Guns 'n' Roses I've been listening to?

(Photo below is really related to "Atlas Shrugged" but it's funny, no? According to Wikipedia, these are Tea Party people at a rally. As an aside, I think my punk band's name will be "Howard Roak Pooped.")

Other than once seeing Axl Rose doing an interview while holding either a copy of "The Fountainhead" or "Atlas Shrugged," I have no idea if the dude in the bandanna subscribes to the insanity that is Objectivsm, Ayn Rand's peculiar and often repellent philosophy. NEITHER DO I. I just like reading the books, and chuckling at the tortured descriptions and tart sentences and the way she manipulates the reader. It doesn't matter if she makes me laugh; were she actually still alive, I suspect Ayn would hate me, and probably lobby for my death. For all that, I go back and read her books every five or six years or so. Why? That's what I'm trying to figure out, silly.

(OK, I'm having a mind melting experience right now. I just did a Google search for "Axl Rose Ayn Rand" and I found this website devoted to the band Rush. On there is a link to something I once wrote [in 2006] about the ridiculousness of Rush lyrics and how funny it is that me and Neil Peart have an affection for Ms. Rand. How's that for freaky? And there's a link! You can't read my original blathering because it's from my old Livejournal days but scroll down. I'm on there.)

When I was a little kid and starting to listen to pop music beyond "Disco Duck" and my Jim and Tammy Faye records, my mom used to warn me almost stridently about the things I chose to listen to. For instance, I wasn't allowed to listen to Led Zeppelin for many years because she thought that "Stairway to Heaven" was devil music.

Robert, Jimmy, John Paul and John were into a lot of stuff, and I know there was definitely something going on with the black magic or whatever, but I'm pretty sure if there's a devil those guys weren't communicating with him, or if they were, so what? What's it got to do with me? I mean, I could be wrong, but I really doubt, if there's such a thing, that Satan or whoever (whomever?) is hanging around little girls' bedrooms waiting for them to listen to "Stairway to Heaven." For awhile there, mom thought that anything I heard that was non-God-like would infect my brain and then I would've ended up like those kids who killed themselves after Ozzy supposedly told them to. Or that I would've started wearing a lot of black eyeliner or something.

(Sometimes Patrick and I lie in bed and try to remember all the backward messages we can think of. "Get the gun" is my favorite. To read some old Straight Dope message board stuff on this, go here. It's actually fun reading.)

I had a friend in middle school who adored Ozzy Osborne, and her room was plastered by big-ass posters of him, and I liked this girl a lot but it took me doing some serious critical thinking to figure out that she wasn't a Devil Worshipper. When I caught her listening to Prince once I was shocked and confused that the same person could like those two seemingly diametrically opposed styles of music. My brain was opened that day, I'm telling you!

When I was a little kid who couldn't sleep, I'd lay on the floor in the hallway and watch through the floor heater while my mom watched those Christian talk shows with Paul and Jan Crouch, where they'd have guests on who testified about battling demons (real demons, not, say, alcoholism or other addictions) and they'd play records backwards and tell scary stories. I kind of believed it, too, but then one day I was watching and Jan's hair was a crazy shade of purple and Paul's suit was so blindingly white and clown-like that I realized that whatever they were selling (and they were definitely selling something, because they had that 800 number all nice and prominent on the screen) was fictional and ridiculous and, to misquote Pippin from The Lord of the Rings (another thing my mom was wary of), "not for me."

Eventually I made up my own mind about music and Zeppelin (my favorite band for many years) and found my way into books that would've shocked my mom (but probably not Paul and Jan, or Jim and Tammy Faye, those old phonies), and so every once in awhile, for no good reason, I find myself picking up my copy of "The Fountainhead" or "Atlas Shrugged," which I've had since 1988 and still has penciled notes in the margins, which I've begun to erase, because God forbid anybody should read that crap.

So hold on, everybody, I think I hear "Appetite for Destruction" calling me.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I forgot this! I'm sorry!

I think you all remember this: a friend from, what? Elementary school!? Who I haven't seen in 20 years! Who now lives in France! My friend (Terry) contacted me a few months back when I started writing about my mom and has been very sweet and encouraging to us both. He sent over a medal he won for running in the Paris marathon, and my mom was touched by that.

Two Fridays ago (on April 23), Terry was in town visiting his parents, and we arranged for him to meet my mom. It felt like we were planning a little reunion!

Traffic on the 405 being what it is (unpredictable, annoying, and slow), I was about 5 minutes late for our meeting, so Terry beat me to the house, and was already in the kitchen chatting with my mom when I arrived. I was sorry to be late but glad they got a few moments to talk. Terry and my mom hit it off and later, she told me that she really enjoyed his "enthusiasm." Terry is definitely a personable guy, and very easy to talk to. He's a good listener, and engaged my mom in a conversation on faith and hope, topics my mother is becoming a bit of an expert on.

It was a nice visit, and we thank him for it. Really, it was so thoughtful. You're a good guy, Terry! I hope your family appreciates you! We sure do!

Dude was not this tall last time I saw him!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Playing catch up (ketchup)

Let's see.

Last week (April 26) was our wedding anniversary! Twelve years! We took the weekend off and went to San Diego, where we went to the beautiful San Diego Zoo. I left the light/sound duties in Charles' very capable hands, and we drove an hour and a half down to San Diego. It was a beautiful weekend.

This weekend has been busy but fun. On Friday I sucked it up and finally contacted Merry Maids to come look at my house and give me a quote. The meeting with the lady went well, and that same day two women came out and kicked the shit out of the dirt and dust that was starting to take over my home. They did a great job, and will be coming every three weeks. It feels extravagant, and so right! Friday night I had a show at City Garage.

On Saturday I spent a couple of hours with my niece and nephew while their parents went to Costco. We had a great time - they're such great kids. We had a good time, and were all playing games on the Wii. We also played "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader"? I got all the music and English and grammar questions right, but it's no fair asking me PE questions and details about the rules of dodge ball. I was deathly afraid of dodge ball, a game I, at the age of 9, would've sworn had no rules other than "Kill the other team or if that's not possible, just aim at Irene's head." I swear I was hit in the face many times while playing dodge ball. Dodge ball is an evil, evil game. After that I got a heavenly massage at Studio Cie, and then I came home and took a three hour nap before it was time to go to Santa Monica for another show.

This morning, I got up and made a batch of Toll House cookies, then practiced my flute for awhile. My friend Chris came over and played some flute and guitar duets with me, and then we went to Santa Monica for the show, which was very good tonight.

By the way, there's an awesome review in the LA Times, which you can read, here.

On Monday my mom is getting re-staged - having another CT scan to check on everything. Hopefully the chemotherapy is doing it's job. We'll find out on Thursday.

Now it's time to go to bed and get ready for a week of work.