30 November, 2004

Research Blockage

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

Satin sheets remind my feet how long it's been since their last pedicure.


Current issue: to find a science fiction writer who writes seriously (not Douglas Adams, thanks) about aliens interacting with humans...and who is deceased. Otherwise, Arthur C. Clarke would be perfect.

Any ideas?


27 November, 2004

Overstuffed Weekend

...and we went back to the church, had a another thanksgiving dinner that couldn't be beat,and didn't get up until the next morning, when we all had to go to court.....

The current meme is holiday weekend themed haiku. I succumb. Blame el sid; she started it.

Thanksgiving Redux
reheats bless us every one
ad infinitum.

It's overload and overload and overload, on food, on family, on shopping, on weather changes. This is not a complaint. But this is:

It has annoyed me for years (and years) that as many times as I've tried this soup, and as many different versions I've attempted, I in fact am THE ONLY ONE who likes it. So here is the recipe.

Harvest Soup (totally vegan, uhf-dah!)

1 teaspoon curry
4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Large onion, chopped
2 baking apples, chopped but not peeled
5 large carrots, chopped
4 pounds butternut squash, cooked and peeled
6 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Saute the chopped stuff in the olive oil in a very large saucepot- the one you use to cook lots of pasta should be good. Add the squash and the broth; stir and simmer together for a bit. Puree it in batches in the blender to desired smoothness: I like mine slightly chunky. If you prefer more spice than sweet, try it with 2 teaspoons of curry, or add some Old Bay.

Maybe someone out there in the blogosphere will like it. With many thanks to Sachiko, who often shares her recipes. She also shares the following:

My life seems to have grown profoundly dull. Ought I continue with these mundane posts, or wait until something good happens?

Oh, what is it that Rilke says.. "If your everyday life seems poor, don't blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches; because for the creator there is not poverty and no poor, indifferent place." (Letters to a Young Poet)

Mmmm. Is that what I've been doing?

(Alice's Restaurant; Arlo Guthrie)

26 November, 2004

Scrapbook Mind

...people with each other, to prove they love each other a long ago....

Stripped trees cling to stray leaves in a futile effort to cover their stark nakedness.


I have no memory of her face, no recollection of our interaction, simply an image of her fingers, delicate and pale, tipped with squared off nails freshly manicured pink and white, just the image of her hands, a Poloriod snapshot with no name or date.


Rain drums heavy on the roof, snaredrum pounding heavy as summer storms. Thinking (not thinking) of someone I used to know, I roll over, trying to hide from my thoughts, relentless as the rain.


I reach out one armed, awkward, to embrace her as she weeps. "Two weeks ago. She was my best friend." Fragile shoulders shake with sobs. Gentle, helpless, I stroke the small bones of her back and shoulders, wish to take her home to comfort her recent loss. I think of losing Pogo, that wound so fresh yet six months (already) old.

I cannot take this woman home. She's leaving. "Try to have a happy holiday anyway," the grocery checkout girl says sofly as she goes.


Sun breaks through sudden, shining strong and golden, a smile from Heaven amidst the scowling clouds.


"Hold still," he says, touching a hand-held device to the air surrounding my throat. "Oh, yeah, she's hot," he declares to no one in particular. "I have digital confirmation."


In shimmering greycloud damp, I spread arms outward and turn face up to catch the mist upon it, open wide to the world in all its wonderful permutations.

(Picture Book; The Kinks)

23 November, 2004

Goddamn Humans

"...go ahead and go. It'll be quieter without you." -Ray Romano in Ice Age

It gets more and more bizarre. One gun among them, they hurl racial slurs at a man with an assault rifle. Stupid, stupid, stupid hunters in Wisconsin.

And while we're at it, Tom Ridge is an asshole.

I think I'm onto a theme.

This will be Things That Piss Me Off week.

Pervasive Grey

...I met a girl who sang the blues/ And I asked her for some happy news/ But she just smiled and turned away.....

It's an introspective day. The world is a quiet shade of grey. Sound is muffled by airborne moisture. Today, I forage at the grocery, for I do not wish to be among the humans tomorrow. I will see my in-laws on Thursday, and be with my mother and sister on Friday. I will think of my father, and perhaps speak to him.

My ex-partner will be elsewhere. He wouldn't say.

I think only Hawk understands how I feel about Jay.

It's an introspective day, a day for projects, and I have no shortage of those. A script for my class, the MWA newsletter, Posthumous Cafe, and the latest thing to nudge my brain, the Francis Scott Key script.

It's an introspective day, when news that hits my ears makes me shake my head. Humans are so stupid. Here's the Wisconsin Tree Stand Story.

(American Pie; Don McLean)

21 November, 2004

"Women in convertibles are like low hanging fruit."-Marg Helgenberger on CSI

So what was the deal with George Eades and Jorja Fox? Just this. Somebody snail mailed, somebody overslept, somebody overreacted. I’ve watched all three CSIs, but obviously the best writers are on the original one. Not only are the characters on 'Miami' and 'New York' flat, but so is the dialogue.

I’m getting paid for a little Santa Arrival script I wrote for the PG County Mall, which is no longer being called the PG County Mall but will be anyway, so I’m on a bit of a kick; go figure.

This morning, Hawk and I discuss Shakespeare. In the shower. ‘S’okay, we’ve been married a long time. Hawk maintains that The Bard was a hack, which I do not argue, but in the English language, there’s no one credited with a more influential body of work. Or with being more influence on our daily speech. He had a knack with words. Hawk, however, has a knack with a loofah. Mmmmm.

What I’m reading now is a fascinating blend of two of my favorite things: scent and language. It’s called Perfume, and the author, Patrick Suskind, (whose name includes an umlaut , so please imagine it, because I haven’t figured out how to do an umlaut ), writes in lush language about a man who lives by his nose. It was published in 1985, in German, and is set in France during the seventeensomethings. This book is at least twelve different kinds of lush. Amazing, really. Good story, rich narrative and a main character who is compelling but in no way loveable. Terrific stuff- I’m reining myself in so as not to race through it, because then I’ll be done with it and that always makes me so very sad, to be done with a book I’ve been enjoying.

However, that would (maybe) force me to work on Posthumous CafĂ©. I’m well and truly stuck. I think I have to write around and around the stuck part until it works itself loose, like the snarls in my hair. What I really want is to go hang out at Ellen’s place and chainsmoke with a beer close by while I write longhand. I’ve been promising myself…..the next time someone offers to take the weasels off my hands, that’s precisely what I shall do. I’d hoped that NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month would push me into completing this pup by month’s end, but no such luck. Ah, well. Maybe for New Year’s I’ll have it finished.

So I resolve, so it shall be done.


19 November, 2004

Ephemera Revisited

..I can make you mine, taste your lips of wine/ Anytime night or day ....

I dreamed of you last night.

Did you dream of me?

If we dreamed a dream together, was it really dreaming?

And if it wasn’t dreaming, what shall we call it?


At the last minute, I swap beige lace hipsters for white satin boyleg panties and a matching pushup bra.

No sense getting stuck in a rut.

(All I Have To Do Is Dream; The Everly Brothers)

18 November, 2004

Tasting Honey

Soft lips heat vein behind ear as bristly stubble tickles spot where neck meets shoulder. Shivers tingle through spine; squeals and giggles ensue.

The children stare in amazement. Mother never makes noises like that.

At least not without a beer in her hand.

17 November, 2004

Challenge: Kiosk

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

"I'm going kiosking," she announced.

He looked startled. But he often did, ever since she'd shaved his eyebrows on one drunken latenightearlymorning just before passoutpoint occasion.

She explained. "At the mall, they have these kiosks, you know? Don't get them confused with the carts, because that's a totally, totally different thing. The rule is to not go into any of the shops but only shop at the kiosks."

"Mmm. Kiosking. Sounds like something Eskimos do."

"Maybe they do. Are you coming?"

He fumbled for some shoes that matched- each other, not his outfit, if it could be called an outfit. He was certainly a zero on the sexuality graph. He had no homo in him, or he wouldn't have been wearing THAT shirt with THOSE courderoys. He was SO zero that he wasn't even certain if anything on his body was clean. Including his body. Maybe he would find clean socks at a kiosk. He KNEW his socks weren't clean.

As she drove to the mall, he spotted a kiosk-like structure. "Hey, is that one?"

"One what?" She'd been concentrating on driving.


"No. That's a pavillion. It's different."

"How can you tell?"

"Size, mostly."

"It always comes down to size, doesn't it?"

"Well, YOU don't have anything to worry about," she replied. And, after a moment, "Though I agree that it's kioskian in structure. But to be a kiosk, it has to be on a smaller scale."

They entered the mall. What a sight! Kiosk after kiosk after kiosk, stretching as far as the eye could see, kiosks lining the interior horizon of the mall. Eyes aglow, she stepped forth resolutely in her foolish, overpriced shoes. The first kiosk sold Hatorade,in Evil, Badass, Malicious and Spite. The next kiosk was stocked with Ugg boots in various colors not found in Nature,and the third carried furry lounge pants, mostly in hues of green. He began to become bored.

"So is a kiosk different from a pagoda?"

She tilted her head to the side, considering.

"I'll have to look that up," she said. He laughed.

"See, there's the difference between you and me. Or guys and girls in general, I guess. I'd never have admitted that I didn't know. I'd've said, A kiosk and a pagoda are the same thing, one's just Chinese and the other Laplandish. Or whatever."

She gave him the "you're so very strange" look. "By telling me that you wouldn't have admitted that you didn't know, haven't you just weakened your position for any time in the future when you claim to know something but I know you don't?"

"I never figured I was fooling you, anyway."

"Wow," she said. "Look at the beautiful, translucent skin on that redheaded kiosk girl."

She was not a zero.

Much to his delight.


And for those of you who'd like some content, my Reading List.

16 November, 2004

MotionFest Finale

"Get out of your head and come to your senses." -Bob Fitch

"Karl, why is Frisco on the roof?"

Frisco is sprawled across the sharply raked roof of a tiny shedlike structure inside the theatre where the sound person will be stationed during the show.

Karl glances over my shoulder and flicks his eyes skyward. I lean close to hear him. I can only hear Karl when I am right next to him. With a deep inhale, in his smokey toned voice he answers, "Well, dis guy wahs showing Frisco somesing he does, so Frisco has to show him zat he can do somesing, too."

This makes perfect sense to me. Because I was warned.

"You'll like Frisco. But he's weird."

"I like weird."

"No, he's realllllly weird."

"Even for me?"

"Even for you."

And so he is. Frisco is seven different flavors of weird, all of them more or less delicious. He hugs me at the airport, by way of a how-d'ya-do. First impression? Not weird. Adorable. Last impression? Adorable. Weird. Not mutually exclusive.


Our first guest arrives at the airport at noon on Tuesday. "MotionFest has officially begun," says Michael. I bring him to Reisterstown to pass him off to Michael. Rich has gotten the idea that I am Mike's wife, and wonders why my children refer to their father as Mike, but not aloud, so I can't correct him. I get this later from Heddy, who IS Michael's wife.

I take down airlines, arrival times and cellphone numbers, and become so familiar with the construction patterns at BWI airport that I cease to see crains, earthmovers or dumptrucks. My first pickup Wednesday morning is an overly muscled young breakdancer from Seattle with grand dreams. I wonder how he'll blend.

Bob next, then Todd, separate trips. I remember to start collecting receipts at the toll tunnel. I return home; Hawk arrives! We drop Garrett off at dance class, then do errands together. It's fun to be a family for a bit. We all watch the end of Garrett's class, which is rehearsal for next week's show.

Final pickup Wednesday evening is Karl Baumann and Frisco Canyon, both formerly of Mystere. Karl amazed me in Quidam, and at Motion Fest 1 as a last-minute substitute. Frisco is an unknown. Their flight is not late, but because they've plenty of oversized luggage, it takes a while for them to arrive curbside. It takes so long that the coffee I drank earlier is finished energizing my body and demands to be released. The battery on my cell phone is dying. I park, convinced I'll have better success finding missing Cirquesters with eyeballs white rather than yellow.

I stride through the airport, waistband a bit more comfortable, and the phone rings. I find my quarry, distribute hugs, retrieve them and return to the hotel. Popping by the Creative Alliance, I catch just a bit of the video shoot. Chris the Renaissance Man is in fine form. I stay briefly, spotting my favorite Animal and one of his redheaded Desdemonas, giving directions to my house to Keith the Leaf, who will arrive later with Evan Young for an overnight.

Thursday is similar. Drew Richardson spots me, says "I never thanked you for the nice things you wrote about me on Performers.net." What was that? "Something about my hair... could I quote you?" Oh, yes please. And here it is, me on Drew Richardson: "He deserves an international reputation, and I hope he gets it. His hair alone deserves recognition." Robert Nelson meets me on the Mezanine to pick up Jim. "I'll ride with you," he says. "We can take my rental car. It's big. Martin asked for a big pony, so that's what I got," he says. "You can drive." He hands me the keys.

I take Bob Fitch's non-intensive workshop, because Bob Fitch delights me, then leave to teach Storybook Make Believe. The kids stay home with Hawk, and I have just enough time to dig up props for Saturday's murder mystery. I won't be in it, but my stuff will be.

Back to the airport for Joanie Spina. I circle around and circle around and circle around, starting to worry. I call Michael and ask for a description. "Really tall, black hair, think Vegas showgirl." M'kay.

I finally get Joanie on the phone. My battery is still working, and my bladder is empty, so I'm good. Joanie sounds frazzled. "What are you wearing?"

"Oh, a work jacket and a sloppy tee shirt. I don't look very nice. Shoulder length brown hair, look for the middle-aged fat woman." M'kay.

I find her. Neither description was accurate. She steps forward when she spots my car, which I've described perfectly, thank you. I chide her. "You're no middle aged fat woman."

"I am my mother," she laments. She's skittish. I'm reassuring. I help her check in. I'm home in time for the second half of CSI.

Friday is rainy. I journey to Baltimore Stage Lighting for some gels that Phil needs, then go to pick up Harborplace coupon books and lunch from Port City Java. I return to the hotel with beach on the brain, and run into Frisco, who opines that I should take his session because "we've formed a bond." Have we indeed. He suggests makeup, to accent my expressions. He's wearing whiteface. I haven't brought any. I charge a hundred bucks just to open the box. I don't mention that. "Well, regular cosmetics, then," says Frisco. "I'll dig some out of my car." (I keep a kit in the glovebox, because vanity insists. Gloves I also keep in the glovebox, because logic dictates.) "I should let you do my makeup," I quip, "though perhaps that's more bonding than we want." Frisco considers. "Well, we won't know unless we try," says he. Lunch arrives, forestalling the threatened beautification process.

Vegan food is delivered by the Yabba Pot ladies, and I tuck into my lunch with high enthusiasm. Stuffed grape leaves, peas and rice, seaweed salad, mashed yams and a cucumber punch that knocks me out. I make a big deal of this. "It's like a party in my mouth, good food, good people, good music. And a foot masage." "Can I quote you?" the Yabba Pot lady asks. By all means. Please.

Okay, have I mentioned that Frisco is weird? Can we exist in a world where Frisco is weird AND I flat out love his workshop? He's chosen music that I'm nuts about, and pushes us, drives us, insists that we perform his vision. Pre-expressivity being his goal, he coaxes and coaches us into movement without intent. Does he call me beautiful? More than once. Do the other students suspect he's trying to make time with me? I see it in their eyes, and know they're wrong.

I venture home for family supper, leaving after bedtime to attend Critique Sessions. These are marvellous. People have talents that I've never even imagined, and bravery to put up things that are just horrible. I admire both ends of this spectrum, as well as all the middling efforts. Hawk calls. Evan's stuck in Philly and it's midnight. He thinks we'll lock him out. Hawk thinks Evan will beat me home, even with his two hour delay. He doesn't. I wait up for him.

Saturday, errands again, dry ice, flowers, mini DV tapes. Heavy preparation for the public show. Rehearsal begins; I mention dinner. Wil and Michael request that I get fruit and a couple of veggie trays. In this, I am foiled, for there are no pre-made veggie trays. Choking on powdered molar, I select vegetables and a large bowl, dip and hummus. More work for me, but the talent seems pleased. Despite being stuck with the boring job of T-shirt sales as opposed to a more desirable position as a tech (Wil didn't feel like teaching someone else the job; I've done it two or three years running), I enjoy myself. The audience begins to arrive, and a familiar man appears, talking to Spencer, (who mostly makes me miss That Girl). I watch him sporadically. I think he has no idea how beautiful he is to me.

I join the audience as lights go down. Positioned on the floor in the front, I am a target for Frisco as he poses audience in dramatic tableau: I recognize this exercise from class yesterday. He's already posed my mother. It turns out I am not the only one amused by this. He is weirdly charming, or charmingly weird, I can't decide. The audience is startled when he puts his foot through the wall trying to mount the roof of the shed, but not nearly as much as Frisco is. And nobody is as spooked as Bromley the sound guy, inside the shack, who didn't see it coming.

As the audience filters away and everyone resets their brain for Critique Sessions, I stow tee shirts, folding them tenderly, touching designs created by That Girl.

Large heavy items still being on the outside edge of my capabilities, I wheedle someone into carrying the boxes to the office for me and head into the theatre. A friend sits beside Marianne and Steve. "Hey," he gets my attention, beckons with his head, patting the seat beside him. I've had more eloquent invites, but few more welcome. I go.

Sunday morning, my body tells me that twenty two hours from now, the weather will change. I wake Evan, feed him eggs and hustle him out of the house. We both want to take Karen Hurll Montanaro's morning Intensive. Phil says when I arrive, "There's nothing left to do. Go to a workshop." Yes. Three hours with Karen doesn't kill me, but my aching body protests, limits my participation. Still, it's good, and I leave with rugburns and the knowlege that I can still do a barrel roll, quickly. ("Such a fireball!" Tony said at MotionFest 1) Karen is luminous. I hug her, with thanks for bringing Tony inside her.

Afternoon. What to do? Since this final MotionFest has knocked home for me that I am more interested in writing than performing, rather than trying to learn something, I think I'll take something fun. What's fun? Frisco's workshop again. Yes, that. And then, back to airport runs. I'd planned on taking Robert, but Martin beat me to it. Dave Walbridge and Jim, then Karl and Frisco.

"Look," says Karl as we load his large wheelie box into my truck. "Big strong guys dere yapping, leaving the work for us little ones." The heavily muscled breakdancer has cornered Frisco. "Good thing we're feisty," I agree, silently snickering at Karl's description.

Frisco, who has been singing "I blew my calves out in a show..." (Day In The Life; Beatles, bastardized) is unnaturally quiet in the car. "Was it good?" I ask. "It was great," says Karl. "I don't want to leave yet!" says Frisco. "I was just getting started!"

Yep. That's MotionFest. So good nobody wants to go home. And now, we're all going home for good.

Goodbye is so much harder than Hello.

15 November, 2004

Daily Constitutional

...all the leaves are brown/and the sky is grey....

My neighborhood is alive with sound and color. Kids play football in the street. Old men pass with grocery sacks, parents rake while tots tumble in piles of leaves. A crew works on the roof of a house, one of the men shirtless. Neither the temperature nor his physique support such a display. Falling chunks of space rock decorate the sky.

I hope it's chunks of space rock.

Fancy demands it.

(California Dreamin', The Mamas and The Papas)

13 November, 2004

Back Later

"There will be no stripping during the Critique Session." -Dave Walbridge

The light changes. My hand drops to familiar knob. Left foot reaches, gropes, seeks empty space for a clutch pedal missing from this vehicle, by design.

Half a day in the truck and my kinesthetic memory resets itself to a standard transmission.


"Slacker," says he.

"Wiseass," says I.

Since he’s produced several columns to my few meager paragraphs, go read his stuff. He’s the Political Animal.

After you read The Pain, When Will It End? send Tim a soothing message. He’s pretty upset about the outcome of the election. Even so, he takes words from my mind and prints them on a page, calling them his own, which they paradoxically are.

...governments have always been corrupt, duplicitous, and brutal. Patriotism is just a scam used by villains to get morons and suckers to pay taxes and kill strangers. The only loyalties in life that are worth shit are those between people who actually care for each other.

Yeah. What he said.

Me? I’m busy being Michael's gadabout lackey for MotionFest, The Finale. Come see the public show, at the Boston Street Theater inside Best Western of the Baltimore Travel Plaza. Tonight, 8 PM. Wear a beret and a red carnation so I’ll know you.

09 November, 2004

Symbiotic, patriotic

...a tournament of lies. Offer me solutions/ Offer me alternatives and I decline....

Water stands in small smutty patches, trying to decide whether or not to freeze. The woman in the white sedan who nearly runs me down in the parking lot is forgiven because of what's playing on her stereo.

It's time I had some time alone...and I feel fine.

(It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine); REM)

07 November, 2004

Itsy Bitsy

...summer days drifting away ....

Don’t go to Spike and Charlie’s. It’s been closed, sold, renovated, or some combination thereof. We ended up at Abecrombie’s where cocktails were smooth and staff disdainful. I recommend the chocolate martini, and was entertained by crunchable wasabi-encrusted peas.

I’ve been toying with the idea of a reading list, much like my movie list, but that will have to wait until tomorrow.

Right now, despite the calendar designation of ‘November’, it seems to be bikini weather.

(Summer Nights; Grease)

06 November, 2004

The Question

...you don't have to wear that dress tonight....

We gather tonight to drink fifteen-dollar cocktails at Spike and Charlie’s, (who I’d link to but their account has been disabled), watch one of the Gorgeous Girls in the tackily cultish Rocky Horror Show, and dine at The Brass Elephant (whose logo is exceptionally phallic, especially if you squint) afterwards. This is good. Entertaining oneself is the Prime Directive. The dress code is Urban Chic, whatever that means, and I wear flats now, anticipating heels later. I think this is the perfect opportunity to trot out my coolly vintage but politically incorrect mink. However.

The decision-making area of my brain being somewhat underdeveloped, some time after the birth of my first child, I switched to a monochrome wardrobe. Shoe buying instantly was simplified, as was matching tops to bottoms.

I have always been inclined to take both, when faced with a choice. It creates a certain broad-mindedness that is actively immobilizing in certain situations.

As in, what shall I wear?

(Roxanne; The Police)

04 November, 2004

Sweet Nothing

...candy on the beach, there's nothing better/ but I like candy when it's wrapped in a sweater....

His eyes are warmer than I am used to. He’s on the phone. He reaches with one arm, fingers urging me forward. Naturally, I drop what I’m holding and walk into it. He holds me longer than I am used to, affording me extra moments to nuzzle his neck, to inhale him, to take advantage of our well matched size. I feel his smile against my hair.

(I Want Candy; Bow Wow Wow)

03 November, 2004

The System

...Drifting with the tide/ Never quite knowing why/ Sometimes it makes no sense at all....

I walk to the polls with a sense of doom. This voting thing, how much difference does it make? They're all liars. Who remembers "no new taxes"? Or, "I did not have sex with That Woman"? Or, "the United States does not deal with terrorists"? I have no faith in anybody. I idolize former President Jimmy Carter…since he stopped 'leading' the country. The Democratic Party has been criticized for having more anti-Bush rhetoric than pro-Kerry rhetoric, with good reason. None of the Democratic candidates gave me the impression that they really truly have my best interests at heart. John Kerry is the most electable of a long-shot lot, and seems only somewhat less offensive than GWB. Is his agenda different? He says it is, but who knows?

With the appearance of no-backup Diebold machines, I become increasingly nervous. I know that computerized voting can, and will, be determined by he who has the most money for payoffs. Meanwhile, the ethics of the Bush Administration makes the Nixon Administration look like the Kennedy Administration. We have a Texan for President, and a Texan for Vice President (despite the fact that he owns a house in Wyoming or wherever) and it’s because of Texan Florida Governor Jeb Bush that these people are in office. And Diebold is Texas-based. Not to be bashing Texas, but these slippery men stick together more like Velcro than oil.

Really, though: how much difference does it make? My life under GWB is not significantly different than it was under Clinton, Regan, or even Carter. And the next four years of a lying republican versus the next four years of a lying democrat will not even be a smudge on the geologic record. Human history is short, and we spend the bulk of it lying to one another and ourselves.

It’s enough to darken even the most dedicated of Pollyanna Merry Sunshine hearts.

Then something happened. There, on my paper Provisional ballot, which I filled out with a reassuringly familiar Number Two pencil, appeared a name to give me hope. There on the ballot was a candidate who has dedicated his life to my safety, and the safety of my family. There was the name of a man who has never lied to me, even when it made him unpopular. There was a name of a man I could feel good about voting for.

A small voice rings in the wilderness, but my conscience is happy.

(Man In The Wilderness; Styx)

02 November, 2004

Tiny Hope

...if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice....

I refuse to be tyrannized by magazine fashionistas. The weather is such that my g-string sandals are appropriate, so Miss Thang wears a summer skirt while Indian-stepping her way to the Local Palace of Voting Happiness, where she expects to be a voice in the wilderness, if her vote is even acknowleged by the Texas-based, no-paper-backup Diebold machines.

I console myself with beautiful weather and champagne lace underthings.

Bitter? Me?

Bittersweet, perhaps.

(Freewill; Rush)

01 November, 2004

Hail & Farewell

...you don't have to go home but you can't stay here....

The world bursts into color; turn, turn, everywhere brilliant glory dazzles.

I've been outside, enjoying the weather, topless, instead of inside writing about it.

Final Weekend was heartbreaking in its ordinaryness. I cross the site and hear bagpipes. A figure dances onstage with The Rogues. Black wings bounce as white socks describe intricate patterns: it is Patron Girl, who's grown all up, and her cleavage bounces a counterpoint to her wings.

I do not pick up Martin from the train station, as he's arrived by car with his friend Izzy and Izzy's helium-voiced son, Kit. Jen-less, John-less and Kynan-less, I put the newcomers into the spare bedroom, leaving the basement to Martin and Hilby. We caravan together to the site on Saturday. It's grey and heavy.

"Are you sad that it's ending?" I can't count how many people pose this question. Yes and no. Nine weekends is a long time for the kids. No, nine weekends isn't long enough for me, but since I can't choose the weather, in all honesty, I'd rather not perform outdoors past the end of October. It's been a good run, and I have no regrets.

Saturday night sees me limping around the house, unable to put weight on my ankle. Weather is moving again, and I wish it didn't bother me so, but as I've said before, I'm grateful to be able to complain.

Sunday is rainy at the outset. We decide to go on stilts rather than in white to begin our day, but as it's chilly and our makeup is stiff, by the time we troop out, the drizzle has stopped. I see a person- closer to age 50 than age 5- wearing a Tigger suit and two Klingons before I realize that it is the annual Day of Wrong. Dorothy appears in a hoop skirt. A girl raises an ordinary skirt to reveal platform, spikeheeled lace-up thigh-high boots in shiny patent leather. Several men wear wigs and bodices. Five people are dressed as Emrys Fleet, the ratcatcher, who ended his time with us last weekend. A woman is the Queen of Hearts in a period style costume. Martin goes crazy and allows himself to be photographed in the same frame as us when we accidentally cross paths.

I plan to visit Shannon in the hairbraiding booth that would be competition for Gracie, were it not for the fact that there is plenty of business for everyone. She asked last week, "When are you going to let me do your hair?" "Oh, yes," agrees Ginny. "Those hairbraiding girls, they see a woman with hair like yours and clutch each other in excitement, saying 'Look, look! Oh, what I could do with that!'" Hmmm.

I convince That Girl, who is in Whiny Mode, that it would be wonderful to not only end our day, but our entire season, in the white outfits. She is reluctant, and doesn't want to get on her stilts again. "I'll do stilts, you herd the children." She finds this a fair trade. The grounds are slick and will cover us with dark brown earthy goodness, but since the costumes need washing anyway...

At four, That Girl and F&F are done in by the damp and the chill and are ready for leaving. I have half an hour left on my contract, so I go out alone in the white cloak to bid the patrons farewell. They seem to have no idea that I'm doing this. I pass Ken's Brother, who does know. He says, "See you in fourty-two weeks."


(Closing Time; Semisonic, from the Feeling Strangely Fine CD)