Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Last year I posted my Halloween pictures On November 28th. I'm a bit more on top of it this year.
At first the May Queen had wanted to be a chihuahua. I could not figure out how to make a chihuahua costume that wouldn't look like a cat, and for once Google failed me (although I found all sorts of costumes FOR chihuahuas!). I managed to talk her into a pink poodle. She got TONS of compliments on it, which made me beam. I have to confess, she was adorable!
Jack O Lantern designing takes concentration. Sticking your tongue out helps.
We carved our pumpkins a few days ago. I managed to lose the carving tool I bought last year (I just saw it when I unpacked the decorations! I'm sure it's around here somewhere...) so we worked together with a real knife.
Here we are with our finished projects, taken just before trick or treating this evening.

I got this great idea from Crafts by Amanda which I found through The Crafty Crow. (If you like to do crafty things with your kids you must add The Crafty Crow to your reader!). They were so simple and fun to make... we set them at the end of our driveway with candles in them.

Gratuitous kitten shot.


Don't forget Monday's Mission: to write a post in the style of a vocabulary list.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Conquering the monster: Theatre Thursday

My life has been taken over by the festival. When I auditioned for the second show, I thought it would be like the first one. Shorter. Less rehearsals. Less time commitment.

But, no. The show is only about an hour long. But it's a musical, with all new original music. And lots of harmony. And some choreography. And I'm onstage pretty much the whole time. Oh, and there's zombies.

It's a full rehearsal schedule. PLUS the other show's rehearsals. And I've been sick. So I'm a little stressed. OK, quite a bit stressed. But I can make it through the 15th. I know I can. I can. I will. I must.

[deep breath]

I attended my first fringe festival in Philadelphia back in... oh, I dunno, 97? 98? Fringe festivals are great fun: you can see a bunch of theatre in one day, and there's samplings of all sorts of things... tragedy and comedy and absurdism and dance and monologues and street theatre and puppetry and ... it's a ball. Some of it's terrible and some of it's great, and a lot of it leaves you thinking. I saw one of the most amazing things ever at a Fringe fest. It was a play called Monster, and it was a one man show put on by a Canadian company. I sat in the theatre, a place I had been in countless times before, a building I had WORKED in, and clung to my best friend for dear life. I'm an actor. I understand plays, stories, fantasies. But never in my life have I been so convinced that someone might kill me at any second. I was cursing my propensity to sit in the front row. In two steps this man could be at my throat. He was telling the story, through several points of view, of a small town where people were disappearing. And it turns out they were being sawed to pieces in a man's basement. There was no set. No props. Just one brilliant actor, a gripping story, and a fabulous lighting scheme. At the end of the show he revealed the horrible "monster," the shadow on the floor behind him slowly disappearing. It was the most brilliant and creepy thing I have ever experienced. The show ended and my friend and I looked at each other. We agreed. The next show needed to be a comedy.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

a girl, her kitten, and a rainbow

does it get any sweeter than that?

Absolut Fierce - the story

When my husband and I married he had 5 cats. Well, technically, BEFORE we got married he had 5 cats. Once we were married WE had 5 cats.

They were great cats, each with their own personalities.

Zachary was a fat, black cat. As long as he had enough food he was happy. If you entered the room he was in he would start purring in anticipation of being petted. If a warm breeze came by he would purr. He slept with all the other kitties (other cats deferred to the strict feline hierarchy in our home) and assumed everyone wanted to pet him. He would be ambling through the house and decide to lie down. Rather than lowering his frame to the ground he would just fall over onto his side (and usually start purring... you were planning on petting him, right?) Zach was the happiest cat I've ever known.

In 1997 we saw a movie called Fierce Creatures. The movie features John Cleese, Kevin Kline and Jamie Lee Curtis (yes, that fabulous trio from A Fish Called Wanda) and is about the staff of a zoo struggling to deal with the changing policies of the zoo directors. One of the things that the zoo directors do is accept corporate sponsorships, and there's a funny bit showing animals with Absolut signs, including a tiger with an "Absolut Fierce" banner.

So it was that I gifted my husband with this framed photo of Zachary.
It was nearly impossible to get a picture. He actually didn't mind having the sign tied to him, but when I would back up to snap the shot he would walk towards me, wanting to be petted. Purring, of course. Fierce.

(Last week I titled a post Absolut Fierce and asked what movie it was from. No one got it. Now you know.)

Monday, October 26, 2009

After the beep: Monday Mission

Hey. This is Painted Maypole. I can't answer the phone right now because I'm at rehearsal for Fringe Show #1. And if I'm not there I'm rehearsing for Fringe Show #2. Yes, that's right, two shows, opening within 2 days of each other. I'm insane. So maybe I'm not answering because I've had a nervous breakdown. Or I could be sleeping, but that's highly unlikely. Regardless, I can't get to the phone. As you've already figured out. Please leave a message. I'd like to say I'll get back to you soon, but in reality I'll get back to you when I can... which will likely be AFTER the fringe festival ends on Nov. 15th. But give me a few days to sleep. Let's say... if you haven't heard from me by Nov. 18th then call me again and leave another message. Because I may lose this one in meantime, along with my mind.

Have a great day, and thanks for calling.

This post has been a Monday Mission. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write a post in the style of an outgoing voicemail message. If you play along please leave a message after the beep... I mean... please leave a link in the widget below.

And that concludes our October Missions. Join us in November when our missions will be to write posts in the style of

Nov 2 a vocabulary list

Nov 9 a menu

Nov 16 a Villanelle (this is a type of poetry, another suggested by De, and since we had such fun with her last poetry suggestions I thought we'd try it again! One famous example of a villanelle is Dylan Thomas' poem Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night)

Nov 23 an Acrostic (you know, those poems they made you write in grade school where you wrote a word down the page, and then each line started with the letter... You could do a THANKSGIVING one, just like you did back in third grade this time of year, or you could come up with your own word)

Nov 30 A letter of regret

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sugar high

I saw a commercial today that I was SURE was one of those ironic, fake ones. The woman was SO overly sincere that I kept waiting for the punchline. Plus, it was so ridiculous. She was urgently complaining about how difficult it will be to feed her family if the government puts an extra tax on SODA and FRUIT JUICE. But the punchline was... that there WAS no punchline. Apparently the government wants to put a tax on "sugar sweetened" drinks.

You know... a tax on, as this Diet Cherry Coke junkie calls it, "a can full of chemicals" and "cup o' corn syrup."

How will we EVER feed our families? Golly, we might actually have to resort to drinking... *GASP* ... water!!!!

They want to use the money to help run new health care programs.

It's outrageous! Taxing sugar sweetened drinks that contribute to our national obesity problem is like taxing cigarettes because they cause cancer!

Oh wait...


* maybe diet sodas will escape the tax, since they aren't ACTUALLY sweetened with sugar. Hmm.....

Monday, October 19, 2009

Righting myself

If I didn't do theatre...

-My scrapbook would be up to date
-I would have a much smaller stack of books to read
-My house would be spotless
-My garden would be beautiful, fruitful, and weed free
-My files would be organized
-My child and husband would never feel neglected
-I would exercise every day
-I would write witty and/or thoughtful blog posts every day
-Every meal would be homemade
-I'd be making all my Christmas gifts, rather than buying craft supplies and then allowing them to collect dust
-I would be relaxed and never get testy with those I love
-I would return phone calls and e-mails in a timely manner

Mommy guilt is a common phenomenon. Thespian Mommy guilt is just a variation on the theme. I know the above list isn't true. I would not have it all together if I didn't do theatre. Although I might have some of it MORE together. But there would be so much that I would be missing, too, and that hole... that hole would get in the way of the other things nearly as much.

I feel sometimes like I'm walking a tightrope. If I lean too much towards one side it throws the balance all out of whack. Maybe that's what my shingles... a health problem that affects only one side of the body... were trying to tell me. I was leaning a bit too far to the theatrical side. I'm working on righting myself. But I can't do that too quickly either... jerk back to one side, overcorrect, and I could fall right off.

Just keep moving forward, one step at a time.

What would you be getting done if you weren't doing something else?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Absolut Fierce: Monday Mission

This post has been a Monday Mission. Your mission is to write a post in the form of a Tanga or a Nonnet (each is a specific type of poem, click on the word for a link to a description of the poetry). Mission suggested, again, by the fabulous de at An Indigo Virgo.

My entry is a Tanga - a five line poem (in this case a Tanka, 5-7-5-7-7) superimposed on an image. I am, admittedly, totally entranced with the idea of a nonnet, and may yet come back and write one of those. Someone humor me and get the ball rolling!

If you play along please put a link to your mission post in the widget below.

And join us next week, when your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write a post in the form of an outgoing voicemail message.

Does anyone get the "Absolut Fierce" reference in my post title? (hint: not just the vodka... it's from a movie)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Little Pants Music

Alejna tagged me for a little music in my pants... the idea is you're supposed to put your iPod or whatever on shuffle and add "in my pants" to the end of every song title. Well, all I've managed to load onto my iPhone iPod feature is Prince's greatest hits, and that's just TOO easy (Cream in my pants, Gett Off in my pants, Sexy MF in my pants... Prince seems to be made for this meme!). So I decided to do the meme for my New Orleans Music CD Mix (2009 updated version). Here's a little New Orleans in my pants...

Bap Bap in my pants - Bonerama
Shake Your Rugalator in my pants - Craig Klein
Marie Laveau in my pants - Craig Klein
Fever for the Bayou in my pants– Tab Benoit
Night Train in my pants– Tab Benoit
Crankin’ It Off in my pants– Billy Iuso
Ruff in Da Stuff in my pants– Billy Iuso
Iko, Iko in my pants- Amanda Shaw
Crescent City Snow in my pants - Susan Cowsill
Hell or High Water in my pants - Beth Patterson
Home in my pants - Eric Orlando (Barstool Logic)
Foundation Remains in my pants - Mark Adam Miller (Deadeye Dick)
New Orleans in my pants - Fred LeBlanc (Cowboy Mouth)
Foot of Canal Street in my pants– Paul Sanchez (Cowboy Mouth) featuring John Boutte
Treme Song in my pants– John Boutte
Tchefuncte/On That Day in my pants - New Orleans Night Crawlers

for more fun with pants (including Show Tunes Pants and Shakespearean Pants) click here

I invite you (and your pants) to join me this Monday for our weekly Monday Mission. Your mission is to write a post in the form of a Tanga or a Nonnet (each is a specific type of poem, click on the word for a link to a description of the poetry). Mission suggested, again, by the fabulous de at An Indigo Virgo.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Tickled Clean Teeth

Dear friends, my first ever review is up at my review blog. Check it out, particularly if you're worried about your kids' dental hygiene, or if you think you might want to WIN a $100 Visa Gift Card or a gift pack from Sonicare.

Or just to support me in my first ever review. Maybe if I get lots of comments I'll get to review more stuff, and hey, this reviewing thing is fun.

Go now and read about how the May Queen giggled with glee over her new toothbrush. (I confess it made ME giggle, too)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Day and night: Theatre Thursday

2 weeks ago I was in the midst of, and enjoying, an intensive 10 day run of a children's musical. I was getting on stage and singing and dancing and hamming it up in a bubblegum pink world in front of cheering young fans. Backstage we talked Disney and Broadway.

One night I went to the first rehearsal of my next project.

We met in a high ceilinged dance studio in an arts center. The large windows overlooked city buildings in the central business district. We sat in a circle on the floor. Makeup was scarce, serious theatre training cred was high. We read the play. Heard some of the original music. We moved around the room doing exercises that I had learned in a physical theatre intensive years ago in Los Angeles and have had very little opportunity to play with since.

My latest project is new. Raw. Political. Fringe.

It's worlds away from bubblegum pink.

And yet I felt right at home.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

to y'all - Monday Mission

Even before I moved to the south, I said ya'll. I just say it more often now. A lot more often. It's inclusive. It's gender neutral. It's charmingly southern. It's casual. It rolls off the tongue. Best of all, every time The May Queen says it I smile. So ya'll... raise your hurricane glass, or your mug of cafe au lait, or your Abita Amber (or your diet Coke or cup of coffee or whatever non-southern drink you might have with you at the moment)... here's to y'all.

This post has been a Monday Mission. Today's Mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write a post in the form a toast (to anything! be creative!). If you write a Monday Mission please put a link to your post in the widget below (and if you want to steal the little Monday Mission button and use that in your post it will link back here for people to check out the other Monday Mission posts). This mission was suggested by the wonderful de at An Indigo Virgo.

Join us next week when your mission is to write a post in the form of a Tanga or a Nonnet (each is a specific type of poem, click on the word for a link to a description of the poetry). Mission suggested, again, by the fabulous de at An Indigo Virgo.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Video-licious: Theatre Thursday

Restraining an overwhelming desire to scratch has so taken over my day that I nearly forgot it was Thursday. Theatre Thursday!

But it just so happens that I received a video of one of last week's performances. It's not a very good video, and keep in mind that theatre never looks or sounds very good on video, and particularly video from a stationary camera set up in the back of the theatre without any direct audio feed. Plus, we're itty bitty and apparently you can't open the video into a larger version.(Qualify much?) But here's a little snippet (oh wow... turns out it's a long snippet! I thought I had trimmed it to just over 2 minutes, but it seems to go through to the end of the show. Don't feel obligated to watch all 20 minutes! Yikes! but if you're really bored...)

The truly best part of the video, which isn't in this snippet, is that I can hear The May Queen laughing hysterically at one point. It was her fourth viewing of a performance and she had attended several rehearsals as well. That's one satisfied customer.

Actually, it was really neat for her to see the process, and although she had never expressed any interest in the stage before (witness her unenthusiastic participation in Sunday School Christmas Pageants) she began talking about "what if [she] was P*nkalicious..." and is now signed up for a drama class at school. I don't expect it to become her thing (two actresses in the family? imagine the drama!) but I am glad that she is at least taking an interest in what I do. It's fun to share with her.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

not on my roof


I appear to be elderly.

I thought I had at least a few more years before this happened. I am, after all, only 35.

But today I was diagnosed with shingles. Fun. I thought the irritation in my armpit was from the elastic around the sleeves of the cute top I wore last Thursday. Then when it appeared on my arm I assumed it was from the same thing.

I thought the aches and pains were completely unrelated. I told my husband that I kept expecting to come down with a fever because of the aching. But the fever never came.

But then the rash on my arm seemed to spread a bit. And today it was on my chest. So I called the doctor. By some miracle I was sitting face to face with him within the hour.

The doctor took one look at it and said it looked like shingles. But that I was a little young to get shingles. But after more discussion of my symptoms he declared that yes, indeed, it must be shingles.


Shingles occur when a person who has had the chicken pox before becomes stressed or immune depressed, and the virus, which has been lying dormant in the nerves ever since the pox, gets activated. Usually shingles occur in people over 50.

And although I can't give someone else shingles, I can give someone who hasn't had the chicken pox or the vaccine the pox.

Someone like my daughter. Or my husband.

Or the 80 or so kids I work with at the preschool.

Actually, the doctor said that it's unlikely to spread because I don't have the cough and such that's associated with chicken pox, plus the rash is (at least so far) easily covered with clothes.

Between the shingles and my hurt foot? Let's just get me a walker and get it over with, shall we?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Nighttime Mambo No 5: Monday Mission

A little bit of sleepytime in my life
A little purring kitten by my side
A little shy of eight hours is all I need
A little bit of darkness is what I seek
I don't want to wake up with the sun
I want to sleep soundly all night long
My big soft pillow, here I am
Time to go to sleep beside my man


This post was a Monday Mission. Your Mission, should you choose to accept it is to write a post in the style of Mambo No. 5

Mission suggested by the fabulous de at An Indigo Virgo

If you play along (please play along! Mambo No 5 is so infectious you know you'll be humming it all day anyway, so go ahead and make up your own lyrics for it!) put a link to your post in the widget below.

Need more info on Mambo No. 5?

wiki info here

lyrics to the Lou Bega remake here

watch and listen to the remake here

Original lyrics

(very little is changed, but check this out:)

A little bit of Mardi Gras in my life
A little bit of carnival, it's alright
A little bit of cellulite, if you please
A little bit of mambo is all I need


Oh, we party down in the city
We gonna do New Orleans

(you know I love any reference to my beloved NOLA, but here comes my favorite part...)


(he he. this was the only site I could find with the original lyrics, and one line is
[Incomprehensible] . Love it)

And join us next week, when your Mission (also suggested by De!) is to write a post in the style of a toast (for an occasion of your choice, such as Anniversary, Wedding, New Baby, Birthday, New Home, Death, Curse, Holiday, Health, Love, Men / Husbands, Women / Wives, To Drink Itself... ed. note: if that's not enough to inspire you I don't know what is!)

I don't know what's up with the fonts in this post. It won't let me change them for some reason, even though it appears to change several times in the middle of the post. I give up. I'm going to bed.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


23 performances in 11 days.

Thousands of little girls in pink dresses.
At least one boy in a pink wig and pink necktie.

The opportunity to meet one fabulous local blogger and her family who came out to enjoy the show. (that's my costume from the end of the show. I called it 70s bridesmaid fabulous. One little girl kept calling me "pink Cinderella." Could you just die? adorable!)

After our second show tomorrow it will be over.

What WILL I do?

Oh, maybe I'll sleep.

(except that I jump into rehearsals for not one, but TWO Fr*nge Fest*val shows, so then again, maybe sleep isn't REALLY on the agenda...)

(and can you see my mic pack hanging out of the back of my shirt in that last picture? nice. I think I solved that problem after seeing that picture!)

Monday Mission is fast approaching. Your Mission, should you choose to accept it (and please do) is to write a post in the style of Mambo No. 5

wiki info here

lyrics to the Lou Bega remake here

Mission suggested by the fabulous de at An Indigo Virgo

Friday, October 2, 2009


7 years ago tonight I was in the hospital. I had been in labor for 41 hours at this point, and had just finally given in and decided to get the epidural. My birth plan had been to go completely drug free, but at 2 weeks overdue and labor not progressing I was worried I wouldn't be strong enough to deliver you if I didn't get some rest, which the epidural did allow me to do. I don't regret that decision, although I wish I hadn't had to make it. I remember that The West Wing was on when they came in to give me a shot, and I was trying to watch it at the same time that they were sticking a needle in my spine.

I would be in labor for another 7 and a half hours beyond that, with nearly 2 hours of that spent pushing.

I think you must have been pretty comfortable in there.

But on October 3, 2002 at 4:35 am, PST, you finally entered the world.

And my world will never been the same.

You have brought me immeasurable joy. Pride. But most of all, love. Some days you exasperate me to no end, but the love is still there. Will always be there. There is nothing you can do that will change that. Nothing. I will always love you.

48 hours of labor. It's a story I always tell expectant mothers to ask for AFTER they've given birth. I don't want to scare them.

But I always end the story the same way.

I would do it all over again, in a heartbeat. Without a second thought. It was more than worth it.

Happy 7th birthday, baby.