Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Sun Sets in the West

This is why I don’t go outside! I got to the place where I was singing tonight and my mic was set up in the front of the tent facing the crowd – and the sun! It was glaring directly into my eyes for an hour. I was dripping wet from the sweltering 90 degree heat and even a pair of sunglasses couldn’t stop the rays from closing my eyes tightly! I was trying so hard but I was getting really frustrated. The crowd was so appreciative though…from what I could see. After the first set, the sun went down behind a building and all was well again. The cobblestone sidewalk that I was dancing and singing on was reminiscent of the streets of Italy. Yes! It was there that I learned that cobblestone walks and strappy sandals are not exactly a great match. I would’ve loved a pair of sneakers about then – tonight was no different!

I danced and sang as I peered through the courtyard to a bridal party from a wedding in a nearby banquet hall. (yeah…we all know that I have been doing this so long that dancing and singing are second nature! All of a sudden the night will be over and I don’t remember singing anything!) One girl was standing outside in a full-length satin gown with a huge tattoo on the back of her neck with a cigarette in her hand. I thought that seemed strange because I didn’t think that people smoked anymore in this day and age but I suppose that if you’re going to get a tattoo and put on a strapless dress without using a serious amount of coverup, or at the very least a shawl, a cigarette was the perfect accessory to compliment the ensemble! I figured that all that was left for her to do was spit on the ground now. I dismissed the thought and continued singing. Our crowd was drinking heavily. There’s nothing like a hot summer evening, a cobblestone walk and a drunk guy dancing in front of me with a cigarette and a beer spilling over the side of the plastic cup and down his arm as he points at me in a flirtatious fashion with his cigarette hand, that says “ah this is the life!” I can never figure out why guys become so disheveled and point to me? It’s possible that I should start drinking. Possibly there’s an insider view that I’ve been missing all of these years that would become clear if I joined them in the fun! Oh well…not this night I guess. I’d hate to have made it all these years living a healthy lifestyle and then make a conscious decision to become an alcoholic in my 30’s. Of course that’s exactly what would happen if I started to drink now. There is no such thing as moderation in my life….Just then, my thought was interrupted by the bridal party girl across the courtyard as she was being carried out with her head between the legs of her beautiful dress, throwing up as her friends walked her slowly to a vehicle. It was only 45 minutes into the reception! I felt a little badly that I had been wrong about her before! She definitely wasn’t what I had judged her to be! It goes to show that sometimes we make rash generalizations about people from their actions or outward appearance that may not be fair! If only someone would’ve seen this coming!…My mistake!

The evening drew to a close and my feet were officially done. I wondered if there were only a certain number of bounces that a pair of feet could withstand before they had to be retired? I had definitely not been told how many that was exactly, but I was quite sure that I had reached that number tonight. It’s too bad really. You would think that these bodies of ours would come with an instruction manual with a warning on certain parts that will wear out before others. Who knows though? Maybe mothers are issued those instruction manuals in the hospital before they bring us home as babies but they lose them along the way in all the clutter of raising us. I think that when I have my children, I’m going to keep that book with the baby’s hair from her first haircut! That manual seems far more useful than this hair that I have sitting in a drawer from 35 years ago that no one has any idea what to do with.

Table of Contents:

I. Shelf life on feet and knees on your new baby 
a. expected for human who isn’t a gymnast or a dancer – lifetime
b. expected for gymnast or dancer- 37 years

II. What to do when your baby daughter brings home a narcissist in her teens

a. Convince her to marry him when she’s 18. She’ll long be divorced from him in time to meet someone nice and have a life! Just make sure she stays in school along the way! 
Oh well! I suppose there isn’t any instruction manual for life and human nature. That might be what makes it interesting. Besides, how many of us have actually gone back and written one in hopes that people who come after us won’t have to learn the same lessons we have had to learn? For the most part, anyone who would benefit from it would need to write her own anyway. People are so stubborn that way! Maybe that’s why we’ll all be in a retirement home playing video scrabble one day in silence as we sit next to each other and text our thoughts and lol’s to the person next to us! “u cant walk? Lol? Feet only last for 60 years. Didn’t any 1 tell u that?”…nope…lol…

Life is a journey. We jump around, fall down, get up, fall down, have children, they jump around, fall down, get up, fall down…With all of the ups and downs, we’re just lucky to survive it as long as we do! Possibly all of the falls help us to grow and work to protect us from more of the bad stuff so we end up with nothing but good in the end. I’m pretty sure that must be the case. One thing remains true: The sun always comes up in the morning and then at the end of the long day, sets in the west!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Truly Out in Left Field

I have to say that the hardest thing about going to a baseball game is figuring out what the heck to wear. I honestly don’t know how people do it? My lifestyle is such that putting on a gown and going to a social event or theatre outing is far easier than going to Yankee Stadium. I threw a few things on and then off early in the morning as I got ready to go to work knowing that I would need to have an outfit flexible enough to go from work to play with the removal of a sweater. NOT EASY! Jeans weren’t exactly my thing and the silk Ralph Lauren dress certainly wasn’t appearing to make the cut- no matter how many times I tried it on. Crap! I felt my eyes starting to swell up at the anxiety it created to have to pack everything necessary to look like I just threw something on. I wore black pants, a spaghetti strapped top and sandals. It wasn’t exactly right, but it would do.

After struggling with the traffic in every single direction, we finally got to the gate of the stadium where the guy who picked up my bag to pretend to check it for God knows what, commented on it’s weight. I think he was surprised by the fact that inside my purse, there was another smaller purse. I’m not one to go anywhere unprepared and Yankee’s Stadium was no different. What if someone had a computer crash or needed a grounding adapter…or a button sewn on?…I would be able to help tonight. The smaller purse inside was for a quick trip to the bathroom in the event that someone sitting above me was to spill a beer on my head or something. I was ready.

We sat in the Audi Yankee’s Club directly over right field…um…nope…apparently not. I stand corrected. I was informed that it was indeed left field. I wasn’t sure how anyone would’ve known that though. I guess they could’ve described it as “house left” and it would’ve been clearer to me. From where I was sitting, it was clearly stage right field. My “guy” was very patient. In fact, the more patient he was, the more I found myself saying things that would intentionally drive him crazy to no avail. For example, when scurrying from the stadium to the parking ramp, I looked at the cluttered ground and asked, “Why do sports people tend to spit so much more than theatre people?” He didn’t know. I’m still not exactly sure what the answer to that question is but I’m certain it has something to do with all of the hotdogs and beer ingested at the event itself. I’ve never been at a Broadway show where the attendees stood outside screaming in flip flops and t-shirts that enhanced their beer bellies as they forced greasy sandwiches and beverages with foamy topping into their already stuffed tummies. I suppose I would spit right on the ground too in that case.

It was actually a very enjoyable experience though it may sound like a foreign event to me. I had a nice time with great company and it was an experience that I’ve hardly taken advantage of in this lifetime. I hope to get better at it this summer. I’m going to get a few “ballgame costumes”. Maybe a hat, a logo’d shirt and a feaux water bottle that looks like a beer on the outside. I’ll giggle and misbehave, scream and yell at the umpires when they make a bad call, and possibly I’ll even jump out of the stands onto the field and rush a player just to see what the 4 police officers guarding the edge of the field from the possibility of 300 thousand or so game goers causing a riot will possibly be able to do to me? Hey. It’s worth a try I suppose. Sometimes we all need to do something completely out of our own character. Then again, maybe I will simply start small by wearing a pair of jeans next time. I suppose that going as far as to test the officers to see if they will arrest me is going a bit to the extreme!…Of course, it is in my nature to test the water to its fullest extent! I’ll let you know how it goes!…or you can read about it in the papers one day… “Crazy blonde chick in Versace gown storms stage left field in Yankee Stadium: gets tazered by 4 officers as onlookers watch in amazement that the ground crew is still able to get through the YMCA without missing a single letter!”

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

He “might’ve been black”

Political correctness is getting really confusing these days. I was watching the local news this morning as they broke in with a late breaking news story. “Man shot and killed. Police don’t have a description of the suspect yet, but they say he might’ve been black.”…um…ok. Might he also have been white?…or possibly a beigy taupe?…I suppose we’ll never know. Allegedly, he/she, Christian/Jewish, white/black, bi-racial, of Middle Eastern decent, shot and killed a man. We know he might’ve done it because the said man is lying in the street.

It’s really hard to keep up with what we are supposed to refer to people as. We’re pretty sure the “N” word is still off limits though…well…unless you are a gangsta rapper or someone’s brotha! Personally I like African American people. They tend to be far cooler than I am. I’m okay with that. (Did you notice I called them “African American”? That was so 2002! “Black” is fine again I hear…unless you are on a local news channel, in which case black is only fine if you are referring to the inner kindness of someone who “might’ve killed a man!”) I have a friend who referred to herself as “brown” one day. I suppose it makes sense. I’m sort of a “cream” myself.

Oh well…I suppose my point is that people don’t need to identify each other with a cultural description all the time. I’m certain that most of us have other identifying characteristics that won’t offend everyone in the room when using them to describe ourselves. Personally, I prefer it when people say, “you know Calia. She’s that bouncy girl with the big personality!…and when they describe me to a sketch artist, the picture comes back as nothing but teeth with a callout bubble over them with the words “Happy Day!”

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Good morning! Rise and Shine!

I went for a run in the senior citizen village near my house at 6:30am yesterday. It was such a beautiful day. 64 degrees, a light wind, and morning sun shining through puffy white clouds. What a great morning. I was certain that all sorts of happy faces would be outside to greet me. I rounded the bend towards the first loop. There was not a soul there. The houses were shut up tight and the silence was deafening…of course the pounding techno in my ears that bled through the headphones attached to my ipod likely penetrated the peaceful sanctity of the tiny little self-contained town, but it kept me sealed off nicely from reality.

Where exactly was everybody? Isn’t retirement all about early mornings and sipping coffee or tea out on the porch on a beautiful summer-like day? It was truly how I saw it to be. I had actually considered getting myself a little cottage in this village. It was about my speed. I liked the purity of retired couples. Don’t get me wrong…I know that I race around like a crazy demon most of the day, but I really love the morals of the generations earlier than ours. Life was simpler then. You didn’t have to worry about digging the remote control out of the couch. The Internet NEVER went down. You didn’t have to proofread your text messages to make sure your predictive text didn’t just tell someone you’ve been “stuck in dog with the flu.”…Just then, my thought was interrupted by the wind of a 1983 Cavalier as it tore across the street and a newspaper shot out directly at the front window of the cottage next to me. What the heck? I guess paperboys don’t go door to door anymore…Not to mention that there must be a mechanic somewhere who is keeping Cavaliers running. Go figure. My parent’s wouldn’t even run in the 80’s. hmm…Note to self: paper routes apparently don’t pay well.

Anyway…I still like my little retirement village. I don’t know where everyone was hanging out, but I’ll likely set up a keyboard and a mic on the lawn one day this summer and make some friends. It should be a great way to spend those warm summer nights. I fit in way better there than any bar or nightclub I could waste the rest of my years hanging out in!