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Archive for April, 2010|Monthly archive page

Apparently my Good Sense of Humor Beats out any Sense of Pride

In Essays, The Daily Drool on April 28, 2010 at 11:18 pm

I don’t remember the last time I peed in the bush… I remember being told stories of how my grandfather would refuse to stop the car when on road trips, making my grandma pee in cups or whatever was on hand.  I don’t know how she did it, or why she didn’t then club him over the head with her newly warmed bottles of piss – that’s what I would have done – but these stories have always horrified me.  Which is not to say I haven’t had my share of camping or hiking tinkles… I’ve even had a drunk “But I gotta go NOW” moment on the Sunset Strip ( did I just admit that?!)  But I haven’t had to “make water” in the outdoors for YEARS, years, years…

Which is why, as I departed Prescott on my way to LA, I was flabbergasted at the bad-bladder-cocktail my inept sense of self, dismal planning, and now-empty travel mug, had created.

I was going to have to pull over.

My first thought was “Hell no, I ain’t puling over!  You see all that desert out there?  What is someone, some pervert, has a little crow’s nest all set up near the yucca…  just waiting for this kind of highway panic?  He whips out a rifle and picks me off… he films me and posts it on youtube… he laughs.  (Aparently in my mind, all highway pervert you-tubers are male)

Anyway, no amount of nay-saying by my brain was going to get my bladder to shut the hell up.

So I stopped.

I pulled over…

I opened both passenger-side doors so I could create a little three-sided Not-A-Potty for myself and just prayed that my overactive imagination was wrong, and that there wouldn’t be any glinting on the horizon from rifle sights, video cameras, or grody old man sunglasses.

And then I peed.

For about  FIVE whole minutes… or two.  I don’t know, it felt like FOREVER.   I mean, just WHAT the HELL did I drink this morning?  I don’t remember guzzling a gallon of anything… yet there it was, erupting (sorry, but it was) from my bladder with the most indelicate kind of joy…  “FREEEEEEEE AT LAST!!!!!”

I’m sitting there squatting there thinking “Please, don’t splash.  Don’t splash. PleasePleasePRETTYPRETTYplease, Don’t splash!”  while my legs are gasping “Hey, lady, maybe you should take us the gym a little, huh?  Too much time at the computer is making for a painful perch.” and my bladder, my happy relieved bladder, could care less about any of the bodily/neurotic conversing happening around it.

The wind whistled beneath my bum, cars flew past with nary a hint of stopping to see if I needed help (Oh, my GOD, can you imagine?!  Horror!) and I was ready to dry off the used parts and get back in the car, when it struck me curious… what does one do with their non-toilet-paper when one is peeing by the side of the road?  I mean, my GOD, I’m not a pooch.  I don’t carry baggies…

All this as I’m struggling to hike up my pants and crawl back into the car without standing upright and giving the cacti a flash of my fanny.

So I did the only thing I could think to do… I left the tissue there:  From tree-pulp you came, which is of the Earth, so… ummm, to Earth you shall return.

And as I pulled back onto Highway 89, happy to have avoided wetting my pants but embarrassed to be 30 years old and not have the foresight to have stopped at the gas station 80 miles back, I took a gander in the rearview mirror.

There was the evidence of my visit- dancing across the road, carried off by the wind.

Woof, silence

In The Daily Drool on April 27, 2010 at 8:34 pm

Well, not a whole lot to mention today, as I worked at my mom’s office and am now totally tired.  I wasn’t doing that much, really, but being there seems to have worn me out!

And  I suppose I do have things to talk about, updates to share, I’m simply too tuckered out to do so at the moment.  Hope you understand, dear readers 🙂

Tomorrow I head to LA to visit some friends, see some theater, and catch up on all things Los Angeles.  I’m very excited, (I’m practically jumping out of my skin at the thought of visiting my chiropractor- FINALLY)  and because I have to get up early to get on the road, I’m going to sign off early and wish you all a lovely night!

Sweet dreams 🙂

Pressing on… Punching through

In Playwriting, The Daily Drool on April 26, 2010 at 10:07 am

I’m working, I’m working…. I’m working on the same damn story I’ve been working on for MONTHS… all in preparation to go to pages (script) and it’s been maddening.  For many reasons.  But the thing I learned this weekend (or was reminded of rather- I already knew it) was that sometimes you just have to push your way through something to get it done… and then you can go back and spiff it up.

My first inclination in just about anything is to try to do it as perfectly as possible from the get go… and that’s amounts to a lot of pressure (on my end) high expectations (again, on my end) and a lot of wasted energy stewing over pieces that aren’t yet in focus.  The reality is that it’s NOT going to be perfect at the onset, there’s no ax looming over my head if the first draft feels like a first draft (I prefer it to feel like a 3rd!) and sometimes if you just let go of something for a while, it sharpens on its own before it comes back to you all BAM-like -in the form of the solution.

SO…. in pushing past some VERY BIG and VERY UGLY bumps in this newest storyline, I was able to be productive, answer the questions I knew, and let some of those bumps work themselves out on their own, in the back corners of my brain, where the muse must have had her thinking cap on.  (thank you Muse!)

I wonder, if I applied this philosophy to life, would it feel any easier?  More sensible?  Less out of control?

I don’t know.  I can only try to be more aware of and understanding of my own process and hope the world and I start clicking again.

Meanwhile, lesson of the post – Punch through the pain, the blood sweat and tears… when you look back you’ll find you’ve usually done better than you thought, and you’ve almost always come farther than you were aware of.

Backyard Snow Show

In Photography on April 25, 2010 at 9:37 am

Here are a few pics… I know, all that hype and then there’s only a handful?!  WTF?  Well, it didn’t really snow that much, and the panorama is a combination of several shots out my parents backyard, so….

Outside my window… Those red berries make it look like Christmas!

The backyard… this was primo snowball making snow- really soft and wet.  Made everything really pretty, even if it is April.

You’re probably going to want to click on this so you can see it better.  It’s quite a view!  And there’s the snow that refuses to melt in the morning sun… on the peaks of the mountains.

And, umm, I’m afraid that’s it!  I took a ton of pics up at Potato Patch yesterday though- once I’ve caught up on the things I NEED to do, I’ll upload those pics and share some with you.

Happy Sunday everybody 🙂

You’re damned if you do…

In Essays, The Daily Drool on April 24, 2010 at 10:24 am

Alright, time for another Volcano post… because now the blame game begins.

Look, I’m all about pro-active discussion “What did we do right?  What could we have done better?”  But inevitably, whenever a disaster strikes, what happens is that everyone starts blaming everyone else and nothing productive comes of it.

In this AP article:

Virgin Atlantic founder Richard Branson (A true capitalist) has labeled as unnecessary the Europe-wide ban on flights prompted by concerns the volcanic ash could cause problems with airliner engines.

“A blanket ban of the whole of Europe was not the right decision,” Branson said. “Planes have to put up with sandstorms in Africa, the engines are designed to put up with a lot more than existed.”

I imagine, had they NOT instituted a Europe-wide band and had there been any problems, Mr. Branson would still be pointing those angry fingers but with very different words.

Because people are the masters of “Blame”-  we love to shell it out and hate to have it shelled out upon us.

Think about it… when’s the last time you found yourself the guilty party?  Did you accept the blame or shirk it?  Try to justify it with some long-winded rationalization?  Do you ever find yourself issuing an “Well, I’m sorry, but-”

Why is it so hard to stand in front of a catastrophe and accept responsibility?

Why is equally difficult to stand before something terrible, something beyond human blame, and not have someone to burn at the stake?

Because we are obsessed with and terrified by power- the power we have, the power we want, and the power that eludes us.

The world will continue turning, that volcano will continue burning, and the airliners will try to wring as much money out of this as they possibly can.  The EU will stand behind their decision to close the skies (and they SHOULD), and weary travelers the world over will pay the price as the bickering and blaming goes on and on and on…

Getting Excited and then Cooling Down

In The Daily Drool on April 23, 2010 at 10:16 pm

Well, sometimes you look at your work (I’m referencing as a writer,  although I imagine this extends to anything self-made) and you look at it with joy “I MADE THIS!  WOWEE ZOWEE!!” and other times you look down at all the blood, sweat, and tears and think to yourself “I could have been playing golf…”

I’m currently in the process of reconstructing a treatment that’s already lived two different lives (since I’ve been working on it at least)  It’s frustrating and also one of the best writing exercises ever:  Tell (basically the same) story three different ways – oh, and try not to pull your hair out in the process.

What I’m finding is that I keep bumping up against the same sharp edges and I have to kick and scream about how great my FIRST solution was, and WHY do I have to try and come up with something else when the FIRST solution worked JUST FINE?!?!?!  Then I have a cookie and roll my eyes and…. wait… for… it… too… come.  (woof!)  It’s a lot of work.

But it’s starting to move along. Finally.  I’ve reached the end of Act 1, arguably the most challenging bit at this point since it strays the most from my previous attempts.  And although it’s painful, I’d rather squint and sweat over it now in the hopes of frontloading the pain so that when I sit down to actual pages (God, I hope soon!) I’ll have a reliable road map to follow.

Anyway, all this to say that I spent the better half of the day rewriting what I had labored over yesterday because it was CRAP.  But if I hadn’t pushed through it yesterday, I wouldn’t have had that crap to polish up today.

So, moral of the story?  Don’t discount the effort, even when the egg ain’t golden.  You can always sit on that baby till it gets shiny!

(PS- Haven’t forgotten about the promised snow pics… just haven’t had time to load ’em up yet.  Maybe tomorrow )

Food Baby, Food Coma, whatever, I’m eating A LOT (and other randomness)

In The Daily Drool on April 22, 2010 at 11:11 am
  • Ever heard of the Vacation Diet?  The one where your brain thinks to itself “You’re on vacation, EAT UP!”  Well, I think my brain has confused being in AZ with vacation time, because I can’t stop eating.  And a lot of you are probably tinking to yourselves “Good, you’re too skinny!”  But I just want to point out that eating a Klondike bar every day after lunch is NOT good for you, haha.  But my parents house has all this yummy food that I couldn’t afford to buy… so I guess I’m going a little hog wild with it.
  • It’s snowing today again, A LOT.  None of it is sticking where we are because the ground is too warm, but I’m imagining once these giant snowy clouds depart, there will be some beautiful snow-capped mountains around us to photograph and share.  It’s so beautiful and cold outside… It feels like December!  I’m enjoying the crazy weather with oatmeal and hot tea.  I also went outside and opened my mouth to the heavens for a little snow tasting.  Tasted like Winter.
  • Cat -update:  Last night I woke up to a frightened, hissing Midnite leaping onto my head. Thank God her claws weren’t out.  She sat there by me for a good 5 minutes or so growling under her breathe at the heathen cat that had dared to poke it’s head into her room  (sigh) So much progress, then so much cat fur in my face.  Daredevil continues to act oblivious to my parent’s cats, although he does seem to really like Ceasar (the only other boy)  They speak the same language of Cat Chirp and like to fluff up and chase one another about.  It’s really fun to watch.
  • Have a sinus infection, have drugs for said infection, apparently the old sinuses aren’t too impressed with all the dry air and cotton seeds blowing about.  Maybe the late spring snowshowers will dampen the blooming mood outside and I’ll get a bit of a reprieve out of all this strange weather.
  • Got my car back!  FINALLY.
  • Finished rewrites on Twigs and Bone, feeling pretty good about it!  Looking forward to being in LA next weekend for:  Late birthday celebrations with Doc and Amber, oodles of theater, and maybe, just maybe, if I have time, a little visit to the beach…

And then… it SNOWED!

In The Daily Drool on April 21, 2010 at 6:17 pm

I’m not kidding, it snowed today.  Looking out my parents back yard now, the mountains are capped with a light dusting of snow.  There wasn’t enough of the stuff falling here to stick, mostly it melted and then reverted to rain for a bit, then balled up crystals of ice, etc…  It was cold and windy, and totally cool.

And it all started with the gentlest of “Good Morning”s – the soft smell of rain drifting into my window on a cool morning breeze.  Perfection!

So even though it was really friggin’ cold all day, and even though I had to haul the aloe vera plant inside in the hopes that the cold air hasn’t done too much damage, I have to say “Thanks” to Mother Nature for a pretty awesome, completely unexpected, spring snow.

Deeeee-light.  🙂

Because I want it to be AWESOME!

In Playwriting, The Daily Drool on April 20, 2010 at 9:38 pm

Alright, how about I get back to a topic I know a little something about?  Like, re-writing.

I’ve written about it before… hmm, I was going to go grab a link to my last “On Writing” post for you in case you wanted to refresh your memory, but apparently it’s been a while since I’ve addressed the process of writing (I’ve been busy writing posts about trash-picking aliens, The Pope, and the cat’s perspective on my move – sigh)

Well… I’ve got a reading of Twigs and Bone coming up in about a week and a half, so this weekend was all about those little rewrites I knew it had coming but hadn’t been able to find.  (Sometimes a deadline is exactly what you need to inspire you!)

So I spent a lot sorry, make that A-FUCKING- LOT of time poring over sentences and periods and BEATs, in the hopes that I was clarifying, tightening, and strengthening the damn thing. I was working on the play’s texture… and I’m pooped out!

But, thanks to some kick-ass notes I got from FallOut Girl, I was able to attack the script from a different perspective.  I think the changes I made did a lot to help elevate the material and add depth… all good things when you have what is essentially a family drama, wrapped up in a haunting, further complicated by a house-destroying hurricane.

Yeah, I know.  Woof.

But the thing is, the thing that keeps bringing me back to this script, is that I know it rocks.  I know it kicks some ass.  And it’s not even been through the rehearsal process yet!  (Oy, the fine-tuning feels interminable!  Rehearsals!)  But it’s this knowing of how close the play is to being AWESOME that keeps me coming back to it.

I mean, eventually, (and let’s be honest Tiff, I think eventually has arrived) I’ve got to stop tinkering and start sending the thing around.  But it’s a tough call, because why send out less-than-your-best when you know it requires a little more glue and grist?

Anyway, all I can say at this late hour when my eyes are falling down stupid and my fingers feel fat and clumsy, is that I feel really good about this draft.  I feel like I’ve turned a corner in my own ability to see the hiccups, interpret them, and help them become beautifully complex moments… and if I can say that now, then I have great hope for my own continued education and evolution as a playwright/screenwriter.  Because I consider it proof of being on the correct path that I still love it, still pine for it, and am still growing as I walk the writerly road.

Goooooodnight 🙂

Things just keep getting crazier…

In The Daily Drool on April 19, 2010 at 10:36 am

Look, I want to talk about people – and how they kind of suck.

There’s a freakin’ volcano erupting in Iceland, and stranded passengers are protesting at airport counters. PROTESTING WHAT?

Sure, this is inconvenient, and expensive, and everyone needing to travel by air/working in the air travel industry in Europe is getting screwed.  But there’s nothing to be done about it, so just bend over and shut the hell up.

People get angry and feel the need to rant and rave over things.  They pile up their baggage and start throwing tantrums, because it makes them feel (for the moment anyway) that they are doing something.  “I’m upset!  Look at me be upset!  Adopt my upset and call it something else- call it, responsibility.  Let that fester and then hand me something out of guilt/annoyance/or just-for-some-peace-and-quiet,for-the-love-of-GOD… because that’s what I want.  I want YOU to soothe my upset, you volcano-creating air-travel evil mastermind!”

But people don’t like to surrender.  They don’t like to feel at the whim of any force.  And they hate, HATE, HATE to lose money.

So the airlines are asking for handouts because they can’t fly and they’re blaming the EU for not having some sort of contingency plan in place to make un-healthy skies flyable, and I’m sitting here thinking to myself “Gee, people are really dumb.  It’s a GODDAMNED VOLCANO, in ICELAND, and why is it the EU’s job to reimburse the airplane industry for that?  Why do ticket agents need to be assaulted by protesting travelers? ”

The answer is that people are selfish and globally ignorant- we pay attention to ourselves first and foremost and get angry when we can’t have our way.  We think of ourselves as highly evolved creatures, yet we are prone to the madness of mob-mentality at practically every turn, bludgeon each other to death over things like what name we should pray to, and proclaim promiscuity causes natural disasters.

People. Are. Stupid.

And the sooner we just own up to it, the sooner we stop carrying ourselves around this planet like demi-Gods, the better off we’ll all be.