Friday, February 29, 2008
It's leap day! Are you doing anything special today?
My cat loves being out here on the porch, although he REALLY wants to get outside. He is not an outdoor cat. I'm sure he thinks we put the bird feeder out there just to taunt him.
Tomorrow starts a new month, which means new Monday missions! Your March Missions, should you choose to accept them, are to write posts in the style of:
3/3 A voicemail message
3/10 The voice of someone or someTHING else in your home (here's your toaster's chance to tell all!)
3/17 An obituary
3/24 Easter week - I'll have family in town... take the week off.
3/31 A political ad
And finally... Jenn of Serving the Queens tagged me for a meme wherein I'm supposed to show you a picture of my bedroom. Jenn showed a lovely picture of her room , with an inspiring poem painted on the wall. I was tempted to clean up in order to do this, but as you can see, I didn't.
My room is normally a mess. I'm not a neat person by nature, and then the bedroom is upstairs and down a hallway, so it doesn't even get the "people are coming over, must clean up NOW" moments of cleaning. Admittedly, having been sick for a month now, it's a bit worse than usual, but not too much.
I never make my bed. Well, rarely. Why bother when you're just going to sleep in it later? Besides, I took a nap this morning. The side of the bed is usually piled up with reading material and discarded clothes, as you can see. The big book is the complete novels of Jane Austen. I'm still reading Emma (the book is so big I didn't take it with me on vacation... I read Lovely Bones instead). Under it is 'Tis, a gift from the director of my show. I'm looking forward to reading that, but after Angela's Ashes, of course, which I conveniently have in my "to read" pile, anyways. You can see the elliptical machine, which, despite my best intentions, has been unused lo these 5 weeks of fighting the plague. At least it doesn't have clothes hanging from it.
The rest of the bedroom looks much the same... the cedar chest piled with clothes to put away, the chair piled with clothes to hand wash, and the dresser piled with... junk, I guess.
I will refrain from tagging anyone, but if you feel like posting a picture of your messy (please, please tell me I'm not the only one!) bedroom I would feel much better.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
We stayed with The May Queen's "god-family," some dear, dear friends of ours who live about 15 miles from Disneyland. We met up with one of her other godfathers at the park. Her "god-brother," a 15 year old boy who is just sweet as can be with her (they held hands in the car on the way to the park) skipped school to join us... which was great because he was wheelchair bound after a recent knee surgery. This got us to the front of many lines very, very quickly. I highly recommend taking someone who can't walk with you to Disney. It's the only way to travel.
The May Queen and her Daddy in front of Cinderella's castle, first thing on our first day. We did a few rides (Dumbo, Peter Pan, etc) and then headed to meet the princesses. We knew this was a priority for The May Queen. We attended a little show where the princesses taught the little kids how to bow and curtsey. Later, MQ would talk about this show and say how when the princesses came out we had to "curse them." When I stopped laughing I corrected her. Curtsey.
The Big Guy's nickname for The May Queen is "Weasel," so we had to take this picture in line for the Roger Rabbit ride. It was fascinating when it broke in the middle of the ride and we had to walk out, escorted by the always friendly Disney staff (they really do a great job of that. In 2 days I think we dealt with 2 people who weren't completely lovely, and in the schme of things they weren't too bad themselves) MQ was a little scared of having to get off the ride, but we convinced her it was part of the adventure. And it was.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
The May Queen finished her story and sat back in her own chair. Her daddy then turned to me and said "She said like 73 times in that story."
So that explains the rapt attention he was giving her.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Oh... Wow. Thanks. I really wasn't expecting this at all. It's such an honor to win the first ever award of this kind. I was sure the award would go to Wayne Brady. I wonder... was it my song about going to Disney World, where I rhymed about Mickey the Runt? Or perhaps it was my song about being a pilot, and coming in my cockpit? Although really anyone could have come up with those. Maybe it was my rather inspired turn about being a trailer inspecting Fema Agent. And I must confess, the song about playing the tuba was a bit difficult... singing that bit about polishing an instrument with my in-laws in the audience. At any rate, it's truly an honor to have you acknowledge my work. It's my privilege to share my dirty lyrics with you night after night. I have to thank the director and musical director, who taught me to trust my own voice and gave me the freedom to get as filthy as possible, and my fabulous castmates, who continue to inspire me with their own dirty rhymes. Thank you to my parents, who never would have let me say such things at home (although Dad did once give Mom a screw in her Christmas stocking...) but laughed heartily when they saw the show. And of course, I would be nothing without my audience and their brilliant suggestions, such as "swallowing a cat." Because with a pussycat as your inspiration, the dirty lyrics practically write themselves. Thank you.
This Post was a Monday Mission. This week's mission is to write your post in the style of an award acceptance speech. If you choose to play along, put a link to your award acceptance post in the widget below. And don't forget to thank ME.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Reminder: Monday's Mission is to write a post in the style of an award acceptance speech. Have fun!
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
The show is an interactive one, as if the audience is coming to mourn a death. It takes place in Ireland. (The link will take you to the Wikipedia page about it. I try to never put the names of the shows I'm doing on this blog, so that someone doing a web search for the local production won't find this blog). I play the fiancee of the deceased. In each performance I have to improvise a song, based on a suggestion given by an audience member earlier in the show. When we first began rehearsals for this I was TERRIFIED of the song. But the director and musical director taught me the formula, and now I have quite a good time with it. One of the "rules" that I have to follow is that by the end of the song I get as dirty as I possibly can, and the last word should be so obvious as to what it is from the previous rhyme that the rest of the characters try to cut me off before I can say it (last night in rehearsal my song was about hockey and I was rhyming with the word "puck." You get the idea...). Then, at the close of the song, I mount the coffin. Literally.
High art it is not, but it is great fun.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
We had such fun at Christmastime with our All Pants Christmas Carols, that we've decided to bring to you a complete lineup of Pants Television Programing. So pull on your Lazy Pants, park yourself on the couch... and enjoy!
The All Pants Lineup
The Today Pants
Live with Pants
Pants of Fortune
Pants or No Pants
The Newlypants Game
As the Pants Turn
The Young and the Pantless
Leave it to Pants
I Dream of Pants
Lost in Pants
Everybody Loves Pants
Pants and the City
Saturday Night Pants
How I Met Your Pants
Two and a Half Pants
Pants and Sisters
Dirty Sexy Pants
The Biggest Pants
Dancing with the Pants
This Post is part of the Monday Mission, which was to write a post in the style of another blogger. I chose the list-loving, Pants Patronizing Alejna of the fabulous blog Collecting Tokens. (Check out the link at the top of this post to see her list of Pants Christmas Carols!). Write your own homage to another blogger, and paste your link in the widget below:
And be sure to join us next week, when our mission will be to write a post in the style of an awards acceptance speech. You'll have just watched the Oscars (right? I mean, don't we ALL watch them?) and surely you've been practicing your own speech in the shower for decades. For the Oscar or whatever award YOU dream of receiving. Will you be humble or boastful? Who will you thank? Who will you forget to thank? Will the music cut you off?
Friday, February 15, 2008
My husband was born in California, but raised in Michigan. To him snow is a four letter word. He was a paper boy. Snow made his job very hard. He thinks only of the negatives when he thinks of snow.
The May Queen, on the other hand, was born in California. She lives now in Louisiana. Her experience of snow has pretty much been limited to what she reads in books or sees on TV. Until these last two weeks, that is.
She caught snowflakes on her tongue (in the second picture she had thrown the snow up in the air for that particular purpose. In the other it was actually snowing. And when I try to edit this it is laid out much more nicely)
We made a pile of snow, and she ran and jumped into it.
She learned this defensive maneuver for when a wad of snow was being thrown at her.
And when we came inside she drank hot chocolate.
As we flew home, The May Queen looked wistfully out the window and sighed "I miss playing in the snow." My husband muttered curses under his breath in the seat next to me.
Monday Missions are Back! Monday's mission is to write a post in the style of another blogger. This is in honor of the other person, so be nice, but have fun! And could I ask you all a wee favor? You see, I'm trying to catch up with the well over 400 posts that were in my reader when I returned. I'm getting to you. Slowly. While trying to catch up with the rest of my life, as well (you know, start rehearsals for a new show, prepare the house for guests later today, pay some attention to my husband, child and cat...). So could you all just PLEASE STOP POSTING over the weekend so that there aren't any NEW posts to read? Come back on Monday with a great post for the Mission, and we'll go from there. OK? Great, thanks.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
It was the Saturday before our vacation. That afternoon we would be heading to the Endymion Parade. But I was having a lazy morning. It was about 10 am. I was eating breakfast. I heard a sound.
It sounded as if something had fallen down our chimney and landed on the fireplace. I heard swish and then a thud on metal, as if something had hit the flue. I got up, walked into the living room, and stood still for a few moments. I heard nothing else. I went back to eating.
A little bit later, I noticed that our attic door was open. This usually means that the cat has pushed his way into the attic. I peeked around for him, and called his name. I heard nothing. I shut the attic back up.
When my husband got out of the shower, I told him about the attic, warning him that the cat may still be in there, but that I didn't think so. Then I told him about The Sound in the fireplace.
"Are these two things related?" He asked.
"Well, that did occur to me, but I don't think so." I replied. "I mean, how could the cat have gotten into the chimney?"
We went about our day. Shortly, a little boy from the neighborhood came over to play. He had not met our cat before, and The May Queen wanted to show him off. They began searching the house, calling "Shakespeare, Shakespeare." The cat did not come out, but this is not unusual. He often hides from The May Queen, and who can blame him, really?
But after about 5 minutes of this, we began to get concerned. We all started looking. At one point I was standing in the living room, and I heard this faint sound. A faint meowing sound. That seemed to be coming from the chimney.
I was baffled. How did the cat get in the chimney? I opened the flue and shone a flashlight up the pipe, but saw nothing. But the pipe took a turn, and perhaps the cat was stuck above the turn?
I went up in to the attic to see how the cat had gotten into the chimney. We thought perhaps he had found a way onto the roof? I knew where the chimney ran up between my bathroom wall and closet, because my dad mentioned it once when we was in the attic putting a plug in. So I headed back there with a trouble light. And I found trouble.
The cat had NOT gotten into the chimney, but had walked out across some pink insulation and fallen into the wall surrounding the chimney. He had enough room to move around and could jump from the "floor" to on top of the tin surround of the fireplace. That was the thud on metal that I had heard.
He looked plaintively up at me and meowed.
We ended up cutting a hole in the garage wall to get the cat out. He was covered in insulation, but this came off much more easily than soot.
Do you think the cat will be smart enough to stay out of the attic now? I doubt it.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
And thank you to all of you who have expressed your love and care. I'll be back online more regularly when we return home later this week.
Friday, February 8, 2008
On Thursday, February 7th by brother in law lost the final battle.
We had been talking for several days with my husband's sister, a nurse, who told us that the end was very near. My husband was able to talk to his brother on the phone. This is not a big surprise to us, as frankly we've been expecting it for well over 5 years, and things took a definate turn for the worse this fall.My husband went out to visit at Thanksgiving. Good-byes were said then, as, frankly, they were every time we saw my brother in law. This long war has taught us to always say "I love you" before we part.
On Thursday we were at Disneyland. My sister in law called and told us it was a matter of days. My husband decided to try to get a flight to Michigan, in hopes of making it before the end. He did not.
We girls stayed on and greatly enjoyed our Disney adventure, and I have many tales to tell another day. Tomorrow The May Queen and I have changed our flight - instead of heading home we will be flying to Michigan. We haven't a thing to wear.
Last night before I fell asleep I breathed my brother in law's name up to God, and paused, not quite knowing what to pray. Then a huge smile came to my face, and I laughed. He's with You, I thought, no need to worry.
I did pray for my parents in law, who had to watch their eldest son die, and will be burying him next week. This is not the right order, it is not how things are "supposed to go." But things do not always go as we had planned. I prayed for my husband, who hurts more for his parents than himself. For my 2 sisters in law, one who has lost a husband, the other a brother. For The May Queen, who has lost her uncle.
But my brother in law? Things are much, much better for him now. This much I know to be true. And I am ever so grateful for that.
Monday, February 4, 2008
(and if you haven't yet seen my Mardi Gras pictures from this weekend check out the post below)
To Disney World
or MQ's Lament
sung to the tune of Part of Your World, from The Little Mermaid
Look at this stuff
Isn't it neat?
Wouldn't you think my collection's complete?
Wouldn't you think I'm the girl
The girl who has everything?
Look at this trove
How many princesses can one bedroom hold?
Looking around here you'd think
Sure, she's got everything
I've got dollies and stickers a-plenty
I've got storybooks and underwear galore
You want videos? I've got twenty!
But who cares? No big deal I want more
I wanna be where the princesses are
I wanna see, wanna see them dancin'
Walking around on that - what do you call it? Right- Main Street!
Wearing plastic shoes, you don't get too far
Rides are required for fun and squealing
Monorail, Dumbo, It's a Small World - they all sound so NEAT
Out where princesses walk, out where princesses run
Out where princesses stay all day in the sun
We'll catch a show - if we can go To Disney World
What would I give if I could live out of this suburb?
What would I pay to spend a day at Disney World?
Don't need to fly, we could just drive
We could even pack our lunch in a cooler
Not too expensive, I'll donate my piggy bank
When can we go???
I'm ready to know what my friends all know
Walk up to the princesses and get some answers
I'll take a pen and get the autographs for which I yearn....
When's it my turn?
to stay out past dark, exploring the world's most famous amusement park?
Don't tell me no! When can we go?? To Disney World
Saturday, February 2, 2008
Early on in the parade everything just stopped, and these fun little guys were stuck in front of us. The guys who were walking in them got out and took a break, and we used it as a photo opportunity! Would you want to walk around in this all night, with only that little hole above the fleur de lis to look out of? I would rather throw beads from a float, thank you. But for that job you have to fork over thousands and thousands of dollars. I think I'll be enjoying Mardi Gras from the street.
We have a friend with an office along the parade route, on Canal Street, who had a party. So we headed down early and ate food and hung out on the front lawn until the parade started. Then we pushed our way out onto the street, and used our cute little blonde girl to get lots of loot.
We termed this "assuming the position." When a float was coming The May Queen would stand in front of The Big Guy, lift up her elbows, and insist "Pick me up, Daddy!" Once on his shoulders she would say "Get your arms ready, Daddy." Ready to grab all the things being thrown her way, that is.
To get the best stuff you get right up next to the float, but you have to contend with all of these people.
But you get the goods! This float stopped for a few minutes right in front of us, and the guy put beads right around her neck, then motioned for me to come forward and did the same for me.
Men on stilts are fun.
The man in the vest is Kevin Costner. Take my word for it. He was the "grand marshal" of the parade. The Doobie Brothers and the Go Gos also came by on a float, but I didn't get their picture.
Here's a pretty decent shot of a float.
We left before the parade was over, and still nearly had more than we could carry. We had a great time. I got beaned in the head with some cups and have a fairly sizeable lump on my forehead. The May Queen got whacked with something, too (we think a full bag of a dozen beads... those things are heavy) and cried, but didn't want to go in and get ice. "I can wait," she sniffled. "She's a tough girl," I said to her daddy. "She's a bead whore," he replied.
She is now contentedly sleeping with about 10 new stuffed animals.
This is the first time that Endymion has returned to it's midcity route since Katrina. We parked our car and walked several blocks to the party, passing homes that were, as we passed, being gutted. People were coming out of their homes wearing masks, carrying pieces of wall. One house, a duplex, had 2 brand new front doors, the old wrecked doors leaning against the side of the house. It's a weekend in New Orleans, and people are trying to get their homes back. But still, they waved and wished us Happy Mardi Gras. Green, purple and gold hung from their front porches. Music played. Food was being eaten on front lawns. It's Mardi Gras, and the party goes on.