24 October, 2004

Good Son

...it's a mystery, wrapped in an enigma, wrapped in bacon...mmmmmmm....

Hawk's not making it back from his Texas run, so I ask my mother to get rid of our Varechi tickets for me, which she does. I pick up the sitter anyway.

I thought to drop them all at the library, but it is mysteriously closed for a staff meeting, so they all come home, and I trip over them as I do housework. The kids think I should get out of the house for awhile, which really means "leave us alone with the sitter."

"Where should I go?"

I drive into a wall of indigo, glowing golden at the top. Geese fly overhead, honking, as I step into the parking lot of the Arundel Mills Mall, headed for Off Broadway.

"You've had a stressful day, Mama, what with Papa not making it home for your Date Night. I think you should go shoe shopping."

I'm raising that boy right, I am.

22 October, 2004

Catch Up

...who could hang a name on you/ when you change with every new day/ still I'm gonna miss you....

Wednesday and Thursday I did the murderously miserable outdoor farm animal kindergarten teacher gig, plus all the regular stuff PLUS furniture loaning and rehearsals for the Hack and Slash Christmas Special, as the children were in it.

Friday turned out to be agony. The weather moved, and I ached. Up until about ten o'clock, I was reasonably well. Then, a bit after ten, I failed to get Hawk on the phone, and started to cry. This was bad, as I was on the way to the petting farm gig. I got hold of myself, but then dissolved again when a sad song came on the radio. I got a call from Michael, who said he was on his way with his family, and they'd take my kids round so they'd have a bit more fun. Michael either doesn't know me well enough to notice that I sounded funny, or he did notice but didn't know what to say. Then Steven called and asked if I had a cold, so I told him the truth about being near tears at this horrible petting farm. He teased me dreadfully until I laughed. Michael and Company showed up then, and wandered around, sometimes close enough to hear that I was having problems with the sound equipment. Hawk called just past one, when I had finished, and I was in tears again, but by now I'd figured out what was going on.

It was the anniversary of my fall.

Cyclically speaking, the Friday before MRF's second to last weekend was when it happened. Right around ten o'clock. By eleven, I was at the hospital, awaiting x-rays of my elbow, wrist and ankle. I joked with the attendant at the front desk as she fastened on my bracelet: "Cool! Free drinks all night!" She appeared startled at my humor. Four-thirty saw me riding back to the PA Fest site, to retrieve my car and props, and wait for my mother and sister to rescue me. I couldn't drive home. I had hoped I might, and so had refused morphine, which turned out okay after all, as I suspect morphine would have cost much more than the six-dollar-apiece Tylenol with Codeine that I did take. The worst bit of the ordeal was waiting, alone, in the car, clumsily answering the dying cell phone left-handed, and needing to pee very badly. There was nowhere to go, though I considered a bit of grass beside a bush, but didn't dare, as I was wearing a unitard and wasn't sure I could a.)get out of it; b.) manage to squat on one leg; c.) get out of a squat; or d.) get it all back together again and return to the car without passing out.

So I waited.

The first thing we did (after gentle hugging and kissing) was get me to a gas station, where Cory practically carried me to the bathroom, saying, "She's not heavy, she's my sister."

Flash forward to now.

I sniveled to Coco around two thirty and told her what was going on. She was sympathetic, which was kind, because I felt pretty stupid, having a delayed reaction to an event a year old. Especially since I had shed no tears on THAT day, and had congratulated myself that the tenth had come and gone with nary a ripple.

However, by four I was much better, and dropped the kids off to rehearse yet again, and took That Girl with me to grocery shop.

The Christmas Special went off beautifully, and I was not the only one of the opinion that my children were adorable. Hawk even made it back for the show.

For the first time in three years, I have a Gigi-less weekend. Saturday, Fuzzy sleeps in, so we let her stay home with Papa. It is just Fluffy and me once again. We do not do the white parade, though with Mike and Wyatt, the stilt walkabout still has lots of impact. Mark's feeling poorly, so Wyatt scrams with no mimesnack, but Mike joins us. We're enjoying hot cider, steak sandwich, onion rings, and brownie sundae (from the food area known on the inside as 'Monster') when a fabulous storm blows up. We race back to camp. I, grinning, try to eat the wind. The Participants' Party is not well attended. I help Nancy set up cheese and crackers and other snacks, and pull beer for a few brave souls.

Sunday, I go to zone. This is the first time I have both children without Ginny's help. It's a bit trying, but we manage. We even do the white parade; another first: I wear stilts and the gorgeous white cloak.

Martin's in a bit of a rush, as his lady has been ill, so we scramble to pack up camp and get out. I change into street clothes, removing hat but not makeup. As I slide glasses onto my nose, I tell the folk hanging about- Hilby, Wyatt, Mark, Martin, Fluffy, Fuzzy, Mike and Chris- to please NOT tell me precisely how stupid I look. Snickering ensues.

Martin makes his train, and by six, we are home, and in quick order washed and comforted by supper and snuggles. All is well in our world.

Heavy weather gives us a weird schedule this week. One day I sleep in past ten, and past nine on two others. I cook brunch twice. The children and I clean house in fits and starts. I spend lots of time hobbling and aching. I switch to using my left arm, as the right is bothering me. The sunlamp fails to cheer me, but does keep me from turning suicidal.

Final Weekend looms large. Another season comes to an end.

(Ruby Tuesday; The Rolling Stones)

21 October, 2004

Toolishly Impaired

...if I had a hammer, I'd hammer in the morning, I'd hammer in the evening....

I am fairly certain that I do not own a complete set of screwdrivers. I have, however, no fewer than four razors in my shower, and only one of them is for the man. The rest are, er, specialized.

I have pumice in three grades, but no notion of whether I own sandpaper in any grade at all.

When I'm down, I buy soap, cosmetics, or hair products. When I'm up, I use them. I have no interest whatever in power tools.

It becomes increasingly evident that my plan to have home improvement as a relaxing hobby is an abject failure.

(If I Had A Hammer; Pete Seeger)

18 October, 2004

No, really.

...it's a mystery, wrapped in an enigma, wrapped in bacon...mmmmmmm....

I'm back, watching the Olympics. Had a great time in Minnesota. I'll have a better post soon, but I just wanted to say hello and thanks for checking in.

12 October, 2004

Outdoors Again

...a simple kinda life never did me no harm/ A raisin’ me a family and workin’ on a farm....

Strong and bright, the sun coaxes us to take down the top. Our new pixie, Trixie, flutters energetically from the rear view mirror.

For the rest of this month, I have a weekday gig at a petting farm, which sounds very senusal, though not in an adult way. This gig, courtesy of the ever persuasive Michael Rosman, is proving an interesting experience. Jason, who hosts an animal show that finishes with a piglet race, takes care of the sound equipment and introduces me to a wireless mike. He engages me in conversation with an intent gaze and a smudgy, horse-wrestling attractiveness. Gino, who looks Native American, speaks to me in broken English that sounds Mexican, reminding me just how indistinct that particular line really is.

A child unabashedly strokes my hair, hanging loose beneath a Stetson, and another embraces me in order to tangle tiny fingers in its length. Have I perhaps become an exhibit in the petting farm? It's nice to be approachable, though I should be, perhaps, having made a 20 year career of being approachable.

Professionally approachable, that's me.

(John Denver; Thank God I'm A Country Boy)

11 October, 2004

Two Left

...I might have lived my life in a dream, but I swear, this is real...

Topless, I drive in and out of cool and warm pockets, cool created by the Jones Falls and trees along the avenue, warm from the sun and cars on the expressway.

"You've no vanity mirror."

You shouldn't be so vain.

"I want to know if I'm spinning."

Not at present, no. And...now you are, since we've picked up speed.

"That's a relief. I was afraid I'd got aerodynamically unbalanced."

Unbalanced, perhaps. But spinning? Oh, always.

We’ve finished Week Seven. Though schlepping stuff and children wears a bit, I will miss doing the show. Fortunately, after Close, Martin teaches a stilt workshop at the Chesapeake Arts Center, so that distracts me a bit, then Halloween Murder Mysteries and bang on top of that, MotionFest. I’ll cry only a little, for the site and for my beloved patrons.

Another glorious weekend, weatherwise, patronwise, and every otherwise. Plus it was payday. I am reaching exhaustion point, however. Hawk tells me I look terrible. I remember that it is a year ago this week that I took a fall: Friday, in fact, though the dates don’t match. The one-year anniversary was Sunday and not only am I amazed at how very good I felt all day, but it was today, and very nearly tomorrow, that I even took note of the date.

Speaking of dates, on the 13th of this month, I will participate in a poetry reading for the Maryland Writers Association, so if that’s your sort of thing and you can get to the coffee shop inside Maryland Hall in Annapolis, please do come. Seven thirty-ish. I ask my mother if she’d be interested and she says, "I’ll watch the kids." Bless her heart. Wear a carnation and a black beret, so I'll know you.

Saturday is the Faire's annual Participant’s Party, where people eat and drink and perform for one another, which is nice, but I could never find in the dark the folk I wanted to hang with, so years ago, I resorted to serving food and beer, allowing all my lovelies to come to me. Michael thinks it would be poetic justice for me to perform in the variety show as him, since he performed as me last year and he won’t be there this time. I think it’s a bad idea, but Michael has a way of talking me into things, so I wouldn’t be at all surprised if I found myself onstage in his kilt. Which, come to think of it, might in itself be sufficient motivation.

Fluffy and I prepare for our show, and walk past where kegs are stacked, five or six wide, two high and ten or more deep. He looks at all that large, barrel shaped aluminum and asks, "Are those the empty kegs from all the beer the Faire has sold?" I answer, yes, they are.

“Niiiiiice," he replies.

Obviously, I am raising that boy RIGHT.

(Leaving New York; REM )

09 October, 2004

Sad Day

You may now officially be disappointed in me.

Ms. Primarily Decorative has just watched The Debates.

I offer no opinion or commentary, but will simply mention that while engaged in this frustratingly pointless viewing activity, I wore black tanga panties and a lace half-bra.

Thank you, and good night.

08 October, 2004

Seasonal Itchiness

...what I got you got to get it, put it in you....

I blow my hair dry for perhaps the third time this year. Brown and gold strands float around, fall past my waist. I've dreamed of a picture of myself, one that has my hair hanging in a curtain to my ankles. Outside MissSue-Across-The-Street, bald from chemotherapy, greets me with a gap-filled smile. I feel incredibly guilty and entertain the notion of slicing my hair off at the shoulders and gifting her with it.

I pull into Park, sign in and am stuck with a pin. Blood pearls at my fingertip, and then, dropping into blue testing fluid, sinks like a pebble. O Wonder and O Glory! I am good, so good the phlebotomist did not need her centrifuge to determine how good I am! My iron levels are sufficient. I drain quickly and exit with less blood but more joy.

I am sunbathing, yes, in October. I will continue to do it all winter, when weather permits. "Are you wearing clothes?"

Did you want me to be wearing clothes?

Though I adore autumn, I hate giving up my strappy, stringy summer tie on bits of nothing in favor of cozy fuzzy turtlenecks. With my tank top under a suede jacket, I wear slacks, and my toes, always the last to go into hiding, peep out cheerful and pink from my g-string sandals.

Large warm husband slumbers beside me, and I toy with the idea of staying with him. Roll over, face the beautiful sunbeams streaming through the window. Stay in bed? No, today is a good day to fly. I go, leaving the children behind, and fly. My timing is so off that Scout and I never even touch fingertips, but my landings have been tidy enough that whoever is working the lines allows me to fall full speed most of the time, which in itself is wonderful.

Falling at full speed. I am so all about that.

(Give It Away; The Red Hot Chili Peppers)

06 October, 2004

Tickled Pink

...tripping down the streets of the city/ Smiling at everybody she sees/ Who's reaching out to capture a moment....

Have you ever been in such a good mood that you wanted to share it with everyone? Today's blue-sky feelgood makes me just a teensy bit sad, because there are a lot of people who refuse to participate in this kind of joy. I don’t understand that.

Someone who does understand the desire to share love and joy whenever possible because people, especially the surly ones, need it, is my new friend, Julia. She uses the uber-scientific term "woo-woo stuff" and refers me to James Twyman’s website, where I don’t find the information I seek, but after Googling a few keywords I find Doreen Virtue has what I’m after. No surprise there.

What IS surprising is that John Kerry evidently "won" the first debate, not that I watched. I don’t like lying politicians, which they all are, so That Girl and I watched Pleasantville and gave each other pedicures instead. Kerry’s superiority of performance was apparent even to such partisan voters as Texas Jack, though I imagine he’ll still vote for GWB.

Two of my favorite people who will NOT be voting for GWB expound on the debates in their respective inimitable styles. My beloved Political Animal, whose column opens with- yaay!- a Nixon reference, is more than terse, less than verbose, while Tim Kreider gives John Kerry his own handwriting in the cartoon. Tim, by the way, has released a new book, and has a T-shirt we all should own. Buy them in support of Democracy As We Would Like It To Be. While you're at it, check out Votergasm.org, brought to you courtesy of Fleece.

This weekend showed me a number of kindnesses: a friend, playing his handmade grinder organ as we stilted by; a well worn silver medallion given to me by a craftsperson who remembers watching me learn to eat fire; John acquiring a leather jacket with the intent to create a fabulous doublet for Fluffy, who he's turning into Junior Swordfight Boy (in new secondhand boots, Fluff has been swashing and buckling all week) and Martin, downloading (or uploading? Steve told me the difference once, but having Insufficient Memory At This Time, I’ve forgotten) the Mozilla browser on my computer. "See if it’s faster for you." It is. I recommend it highly.

Martin I also recommend highly. When speaking of Lurk, it’s inconceivable to do otherwise.

(Windy; The Association)

05 October, 2004

Fractured Sunlight

...shoots colors all around/ Like a sunset going down....

I spend more time than necessary with the hose. Washing a chair being the ostensible purpose of water use, I fall into a mesmeric state watching tiny rainbows, feeling breeze carry fine mist to my face, looking at tiny prismatic diamond droplets clinging to the surface of my black slacks and sweater, touching naked toes to wet blades of grass.

Electronic shrill of telephone shatters my trance.

(She's A Rainbow; The Rolling Stones)

04 October, 2004

Nearly Prompt

...all the world is biscuit-shaped/ It’s just for me to feed my face/ And I can see, hear, smell, touch, taste/ And I’ve got one, two, three, four, five....

Weekend Six: Gone, baby. Six days remaining. Come have some fun before it packs in for the season.

Saturday: weather is heavy. I turn on the God Light, a Sunbox full-spectrum lamp that staves off the blues. I had it in the living room, but found occasion to sit so rarely that it made more sense to put it in the bathroom. I hurry Martin through his coffee and shaving. We scurry out to drizzle and a forecast of near-empty site, but inflow is respectable. The grounds, mucky from morning downpour, suggest we don stilts first thing, saving the white for later. We end with 11,000 and change, good for a rain day. As we leave, the sun pushes through heady striated clouds.

Hawk is cooking. There’s a lot of food, most of it vegan. In deference to the healthful hordes that have descended upon him, he mitigates his carnivorous habits. Warm freshly laundered towels are a nice treat after hot shower, after a damp and weird-energy day. The house is cozy with comfort and full bellies. Eight slumbering people create a mass of somnolence that is difficult to shake when morning comes.

Sunday the weather is more gorgeous than gorgeous, and I work to work up a sweat. I count cameras each time we stop to be photographed in our white outfits. Today’s high is sixteen.

Five colorful stiltwalkers form a phalanx, set to stride large across the site, but we are stymied by the massive crush of humanity. Connected, we muddle through, sometimes on tiptoe through thickly clustered bodies.

Mike breaks for camp, the children with him, and Gin and I are set to have some serious fun with the punters. Stealing hats and babies, preening, dancing and shimmying, we finish at the pub, swiping beer and oyster shooters from delighted victims, er, patrons. We use our "drunk mime" shtick, in which we stumble, snicker, and shush each other loudly.

In a hurry, the children and I head out for treats. We're rushing Martin to the rail station before six. With sun touching my face, neck, wrist, I eat a plum the size of my fist, juice dripping down my arm with each bite.

(XTC; Senses Working Overtime)

03 October, 2004

Night, September

...and if I ever lose my eyes/ I won't have to cry no more....

Moon rises golden over this dark corner of city quiet.

A shape glimmers from deep shadow, then closes lamplight eyes and disappears.

(Moonshadow; Cat Stevens)