31 August, 2005

Opening: Wormcan

...only one thing that I know how to do well/ And I've often been told that you only can do/ What you know how to do well/ And that's be you/ Be what you're like/ Be like yourself....

Opening Day at the 2005 Maryland Renaissance Festival was so filled with technical difficulties and costume changes that I felt I hardly saw the audience at all; unfulfilling, to say the least.

Shattered glass greeted me inside my front door. The still life photograph that d. and I had created at Artscape this year had fallen. The shards of splintered glass had a melancholy beauty against the blue background, and I was nearly sad to sweep them up.

Saturday night, the show went wll, even better than it had on Friday night. Fucking CityPaper never reviewed it. Bastards.

Sunday's weather threatened, but began to clear as we drove in. The varigated clouds created an amazingly textural depth of skyscape.

All equipment problems had been addressed, if not completely resolved, and the day began smoothly. I was just starting to feel the love when it was time to leave for the Sunday matinee. It was at this point that I got word that the cast party was being moved from nearly family-friendly poolside to the interior of a bar I hate.

You'd have thought it would be difficult to be cross while riding topless to eighties tunes.

The matinee was smooth, and strike was brief. That Girl brought my children to me. They'd finished their day at Faire, the lucky beggars. I was not up for dragging them to a bar after Opening Weekend, so I declined to attend. "You'll be with people you love," Coco cajoled.

Who would that be?

"Hello, your castmates? The people you've been working with?"

Ah. Did you get the impression I loved them, then?

She was visibly peeved, and stomped off with a "Fine!" that meant she was anything but, but by that time, exhausted from the weekend and upset about my offspring being only just barely tolerated, I was in the Don't Care Zone, and thus imperturbable. We had a nice time at home in front of the television.


Fleecy fog fails entirely to conceal the horrifying transformation of a home from the dismal shade of candy pink to the equally dismal shade of tarp blue.

Glass from the broken window of a stolen car crunches beneath my feet.


Now, as promised, To Politics.

The problem as I see it is that each one of our options for an elected official has been purchased by somebody or multiple somebodies. As far as I know (clue me in if you know differently) there is no mandate of disclosure as to what companies have contributed to which candidates and by how much.

We can overthrow our elected officials every four years- even every two- but until we know who is in whose pocket and elect accordingly, it will not be our agendas that are addressed.

It isn't our politicians, bless their scheming power-hungry hearts, who are running the country. It's Big Business that's in charge, hiring the Marketing Machine to make us want things, buying advertising space to show us the things they've chosen to make us want, then selling them to us at pre-determined prices in pre-determined retail outlets, and using their unholy profits to contribute to every politician who agrees to support their interests. We cannot get rid of these people, even if we discover who they are. As long as we are willing to be led like lambs to Wal-Mart, we are tacitly participating in our own subjugation.

Let us be clear: I am not against Capitalism. What I am against is subscribing to the self-delusion that Common Man's participation in the Political Machine will somehow make a difference. Which is not to say that we should not participate, just that we ought keep in mind that we can't know much about a candidate based on media sound-bytes. Even if we investigate a candidate's history (and honestly, how many people do? Do you? I don't. I have a family to look after) this tells us nothing about the sort of decisions this person will make as an elected official.

Now, factor in the people surrounding Your Favorite Frontrunner, such as campaign manager, speechwriter, financial advisor, brother-in-law, Secretary of Defense, Attorney General, and you now have, not Candidate, but Candidate Soup.

Even paying attention to debates, press conferences or live flesh-pressing events is of little help. Perhaps you forget (and it is hoped that you will) but I promise you the candidates never do: these are performances, where they portray the characters they hope you'd like to elect.

Politics is performance art, funded by powerful coorportations with profit-minded agendas.

Go ahead. Cast your vote for whoever's lies sound best to you. But realize that you're whistling in the dark and hoping for the best.

(Whistling In The Dark; They Might Be Giants)

26 August, 2005

Tune In...

...next week, when I, in my current snarly condition, will post links and discuss politics.

Seriously, I've been so irritable I'm getting on my own nerves. But general bitchiness is good for vicious humor and caustic observations, so all is well in my vituperative world.

In the meantime, amuse yourselves with this review of the show I'm in. There's an overly cheerful sunshiney one which was in The Sun, but click here for the one that is probably most accurate.

As busy as this weekend's schedule is, I'm thinking it won't be possible to get too well padded with the joy that usually flows in my direction, especially on Opening Weekend at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. Which bodes well for something entertainingly mean-spirited.

24 August, 2005

Southern Exposure

...we could go down with a smile on, don't bother to pack your nylons/ just keep them pretty legs showin'....

When the contractor’s truck comes around the block for a third time, I write down his license plate. What? WHAT?

A man in a minivan pulls to a stop.

"Hey, kin I talk to you?"


I keep walking. "You am some (mumble mumble) beetch. Whasho name?"

I do not answer.

Mr and Mrs White Trash shamble past, pushing a dirty child in a dirtier stroller.

"Aww, lookee the purdy doggie, Bubba!"

Then, as I pass, from Mr White Trash,


"Good morning, sweetheart! You look fanTAStic!"

Uh, thanks, Grampa. Go back to your yardwork. Check your pacemaker.

"Hey, Miss! Miss!"

I turn to face the person addressing me.

"I jes gotta say, I thought I look good in mines, but you…oooohhhhweee, I wish my huzbin could see you."

Goddamn it. Okay, screw comfort. Obviously, I’ve miscalculated the correct length for cutoff jean shorts, and not by a little. These Daisy Dukes (aside: thank you, Hollywood, for in your infinite wisdom producing a movie to resurrect this piece of nearly-dead cultural iconography) are hereby consigned to the trunk of my car, marked 'For Emergency Use Only.'

Or perhaps 'Caution: Contents Under Pressure.'

(Drive South; John Hiatt)

20 August, 2005

No Puedo

...say the only words I know that you'll understand....


His English fails him, but the exasperated 'come on, have half a brain, willya?' expression needs no translation. He gestures to the two kitchen stools lying end to end on the floor, the ones I'm blithely stepping over. This, apparantly, is a deliberate barrier rather than general sloppiness.

Okay, Carlos. Fine. I point to the ladder leaning against the wall I'm not allowed to approach.

Is it for sale?

He looks. He fumbles with a tag. He looks at me. His mouth works. He can't tell me what the tag says. If he can read it.

I'll come around, I sigh.

I come around. The tag says FURN DEPT. Not for sale, then.

He shakes his head.

Barriers everywhere.

(Michelle; The Beatles)

19 August, 2005

Three Hours

...before we open.

Goddamn it, I promised myself that I would not turn this into a big deal.

Okay. It's not a big deal.

That takes care of that.


18 August, 2005

Oh, Come On

...baby, talk to me/ like lovers do....

Seriously. I added comments at YOUR request, people. YOURS. And only Robert steps up? Pitiful, I tell you.

I've been slack about links lately, so here's some comin' atcha.

From Sloth's site, a definition of Googlebomb, which is both noun and verb.

Martin offers us results of a contest informally known as It Was A Dark And Stormy Night. Go visit Martin. His hit counter needs fluffing.

I love most everything at Archie McPhee, but this is particularly precious. To no one's surprise, I'll be ordering the purple.

I've been indulging my underwear habit, and after having gone bra shopping with Cutter, who told me the syle I'd been wearing did nothing but keep my breasts company, I've got enough information to shop via internet. Here is what I'm currently eyeing.

In other news, the play I'm in opens tomorrow. It's called Real to Reel.Here's the blurb.

In a departure from her usual fare of interactive murder mysteries, Do or Die Productions writer/director C.J. Crowe forays into the non-improvisational with her fist full-length play. Audiences familiar with Crowe's work will recognize her trademark humor as she explores the complex world of family relations.

Mary Baker has lived the American Dream... beautiful house, devoted husband and three loving children. And now, she is dying to star on reality television... literally. After being diagnosed with cancer, Mary's final wish is to allow hot new reality television show Real to Reel to cover the progress of her illness. Humor is her armor and laughter is her shield as she and her family very publicly face her battle with cancer

It's at the Chesapeake Arts Center in the Studio Theatre.

You'll be close enough to smell my fear.

(Here Comes the Rain Again; Eurythmics)

17 August, 2005

Last Chance...

...hello, hello, hello, hello....

He looks up from fiddling with the hose on his tanker. His eyes gleam under fluffy eyebrows that match a shock of white hair, his mouth crooks beneath a fringe of white moustache. I hit him with the you're-the-most-beautiful-person-I've-seen-today smile when he makes eye contact. He returns it, full force, flashing and twinkling in surprise.


"Hey, Gurrrl," from the passenger window of a car in the left turn lane. I check him out, and giggle.

"Whatchoo laughin' at? Huh?"

Been a long time since I've been legitimately categorized as 'girl'.

"Not from where I'm sittin'. Guuuuuuuuurllllll...." he grins.

I grin. The light changes.


Rain sparkles the skin of my shoulders, cheeks, arms. The Questing Sniff prances smartly. On a worn sofa upon the add-on porch of a battered townhouse in a sketchy neighborhood are two young men.

Good morning.

Punkass #1:


Punkass #2:

"Lordy, good MAWnin'. And you are GOOD this MAWnin'. Mmm, hmm."

Don't be rude.

They're fifteen.

I have to draw the line somewhere.

(Smells Like Teen Spirit; Nirvana)

16 August, 2005

Discontinuation Imminent

...it's a mystery!

"You're not yourself today."

Who am I, then?

And, more importantly, who's me?


The drizzle created a mist that rested on the bay, blurring the line between liquid water and airborne haze. A troupe of ducks marched around the hospital parking lot. The mostly-sunken ship stood like a buoy amidst gentle waves. A speedboat buzzed past, taking no notice.


"I love it."

Care to be more specific?

"Mmmmmm...no. Just, everything that's going on right at this exact moment, I love."

Yeah. I feel that way, too.


(Shakespeare In Love; Tom Stoppard)

15 August, 2005

Still Testing....

...brown skin shinin' in the sun/ you got that top pulled down and that radio on, baby....

The air is soft, like a favorite cotton sweater, like a powder puff, like a lover's breath just before a kiss.

In evening, driving is a delight. After suffering all day in the blazing sun, the relative cool of night is delicious, accented as it is by eighties tunes from the cheap but working stereo.

It's been beastly. That is, like an actual beast. As in like being trapped in the mouth of a slobbering Labrador.

My body thrums and hums with restlessness. Nothing satisfies. I am at once bored, with too much to do. Speaking of which, the Maryland Renaissance Festival opens next weekend. In the meantime, I've been rehearsing something else. Coco wrote Real to Reel, and I've been having fun in a small supporting role. Come see me if you like; red carnation (or indeed any clothing) entirely optional.

I go for beer and decompression, stay for conversation. Topics range from watermelon to penis size to fuzzy keyboards.

"I thought that was you, but you were backlit by the cooler and then you didn't come in so I figured it wasn't. Come to find out, it was you, and you were just being an asshole."

Strangely, I am touched by this.

(Boys of Summer; Don Henley)

10 August, 2005

No Comment?

...this is a test...this is only a test....

The Universe is full of unanswered questions.

Why would an otherwise reasonable human give the name 'Aries' to a child born under the sign of Pisces? Call a winter baby 'Autumn'? A blonde one 'Raven'?

Why is it that the gerund form of the 'F-word' is ubiquitous, but the adverbial form is used nearly never?

The pickup is huge, with hips. The vanity plate reads '4 MY RV'. I get that it's testosterone on wheels. But was it necessary to hang a large plastic scrotum from the tow hitch? And who made that thing? WHY?

"Hi, Sweetheart. Having fun?"

Of course. Don't I always?

"Absolutely. I retract the question."

Remember, this is a test.

08 August, 2005

Birthday Wishes

...you gotta squeeze a little, squeeze a little/ tease a little more....

At first, her expression is one of patient tolerance. It changes to amused patience, then surprise, moving into astonishment. Her legs shift. She squirms. Then, to everyone's amazement, goosebumps. And...is it? Yes, it's nipplage.

He's nuzzling her ear. Cut it out, you guys. You're married. And not to each other.

In fact, one of you is married to me.

"I see why you keep him around," she says.

(Def Leppard;Pour Some Sugar On Me)

04 August, 2005

Final Answer

...it gets so hot the end of the day/ you may find your clothes getting in the way....

Apologies to Robert, who has waited very patiently for the answer to this question, last of the original five he posed.

(5) What is your favourite topless activity? Try to explain to the uninitiated skeptics what the joys of toplessness are.

I don't have a favorite. Topless, it's all good. Everything.

Explaining to the uninitiated is tricky. It's distressing how many of them there are.

To be toplessness is to be connected with 180 degrees of sky. It's exciting. It's stimulating. Your senses interact with your surroundings in a way that's not possible covered up.

It makes your body tingle. Moving from blazing sun to the coolness of a wooded area, or having heat tempered a few degrees by the passage of a drifting cloud becomes a highly tactile, even sensual, experience.

The nose goes into overdrive: hot donuts, hot asphalt, exhaust. Fresh water harbors, steamed crabs, cows, fried chicken, fields of corn, sweet briar rose.

The view is better topless. Clouds unfold to fondle your face, and stars tease, dancing in the darkness.

Your head swirls and your ears reach out to big hair rock from somebody's radio. Tires croon against concrete, clatter over cobblestone, shriek on steel gridwork. Snippets of conversation drift by, and the cries of babies, gulls, and heavy machinery. Note the song of birds, crickets, or the wind whistling round the side mirrors.

To be topless is to be submerged in a sensory environment exponentially richer than that of the boxes in which we normally stifle ourselves. Everyone should try it. C'mon, I'll drive.

How was that, Robert? I've been working on it for more than a month, since before I answered Question One. I knew it would be hardest.

I assume you meant the car.

Because there's only marginal difference between Topless and Totally Naked Yoga.

(Strip; Adam Ant)

01 August, 2005

Sneak Attack

...shouldn't I have this/ shouldn't I have this/ shouldn't I have all of this....

He finally kissed me...and I sat up and burst out laughing.

I think it's been firmly established that I like laughing best of all, but kissing runs very close behind that, very.

Consider the reasons to kiss or be kissed: greeting, boo-boo healing, good morning, passion, comfort, good-night, exploration, farewell, the legendary Kiss of Death- and the ways: loudly, gently, wetly, tightly, fleetingly, longingly, fondly, firmly- and the places: collarbone, neck, knee, nape, crown, brow, toes, knuckles, palm, wrist, shoulder, ear, nose, navel, elbow, ankle, hip- am I giving anyone ideas? or is it just me sitting in this moist spot?


Surprise being the key element in provoking laugher, it's safe to say I was caught off guard. I was prepared for a number of things, but not that.

"I hope you didn't mind," he said later.

Kissing plus laughter?

Mind? Hah! You have no idea.

(Passionate Kisses; Mary Chapin Carpenter)