Luckily, there’s more going on in my life than just a weight-loss regiment. Whew.
~ The Bear had the funniest moment the other day that I think is universally funny and not just my-baby’s-better-than-everyone funny. She’s developed all these words for animals and their respective sounds (Refresher: “Kak! Kak!”= duck/bird, “Eeow” = cat, “RAAR!”= bear, “Ar! Ar!”= dog, “oooo”=cow) which she uses at every opportunity. Well, we’re eating and watching some Powerpuff Girls when a commercial comes on for Zoobooks (which I cannot believe they still make) and suddenly Chloe is going nuts trying to keep up with the melange of animals they’re flashing across the screen. She’s pointing and screaming, “Eeow! Ar! RAAR! Kak! Kak!” desperately trying to keep up and really just sounding like a crazy person mimicking a barnyard. I thought I would die with the giggles but didn’t want to interrupt the moment by trying to find the camera.
Chloe’s been picking up a new word every day and it’s getting hard to keep up as she’s still very very loosely pronouncing these things. For example, every night before she goes to bed, we settle down and watch these old Disney sing-alongs my mom bought for me when I was a kid. This one song about a train came on (Casey Jr. from “Dumbo”) and suddenly she perked up, started pointing at the screen and repeating, “Do! Do! Do!” I kind of thought she was just expressing excitement about the song until the one part when they say “Toot! Toot!” and she did it at the exact same time and then started applauding herself. It was pretty cool.
She’s also making these amazing correlations that are pretty advanced. Yesterday we were watching something with butterflies in it (I swear we’re not constantly in front of the TV) and she looked down at her shirt and pointed to the butterflies along the border and looked up at me in recognition. I was stunned, actually, as the butterflies on the screen didn’t look very much like the ones on her shirt and yet she was still able to not only recognize the similarities but remember that she was wearing something with butterflies on it. I dunno, maybe it’s only impressive to me…
Oh and despite last Sunday’s debacle, she still LOVES to be outside. If we’re not outside at least once a day she goes into hysterics, pointing at the door and sobbing, so we’ve made it a habit to go for a post-nap walk, despite the incredible heat. Yesterday we hit another local park and even though we rode the swing for a few minutes and tried the slide a few times, what she really wanted to do is walk on the mini swinging bridge. And so, for the NEXT HOUR she walked back and forth across the bridge, sometimes going down the stairs and then going back up. When the heat finally got to be too much and she was covered in sweat and had rosy cheeks, I picked her up to take her to the car. Needless to say, she screamed and wriggled around frantically the entire way.
I have to admit that ultimately this makes me really happy. She’s not going to be one of those kids who plants herself in front of the television all day (we’re not doing the video games thing unless it’s a handheld thing and we use it exclusively for road trips. That’s what my mom did and she produced four well-rounded children capable of using their imaginations and easily making new friends. That’s example enough for me) and maybe I can get her into camping and hiking when she gets a little older. This is something I know her dad isn’t going to be happy about, but he’ll get over it.
~ After writing that thing about Hunter S. Thompson I sat down and wrote a blog entry about how pissed I am that what we call the 20th century American canon contains so many whiny, privileged white guys who “rebel” against this society that their fathers have created by turning into lush vagabonds and then basically perpetuating the same selfish, racist, sexist morality they were raised in. That’s not revolutionary. The other thing is that you can see this same behavior in today’s society with bands like Limp Biskit (remember them?), and Disturbed and Nickelback and all that noise. They’re just doing the same thing that Salinger and Thompson and Kerouc did but with more profanity and a different wardrobe. Meanwhile, really talented writers are given the shaft and aren’t considered neo-classic lit because the list is dominated by these carbon copies of nothing important. Gross.
ANYWAY, I wrote a rather lengthy essay about it and when I was done I realized that, with a little research and editing, it might not be terrible. I might look in to getting it published somewhere notable, which would be new and different from me. It’s scary to know you’re going to start getting rejection letters from nationally-recognized publications as opposed to just little indie ones.
~ Also, I’m having another essay published in next month’s ‘Sasee’. While I’m glad to have the publicity and the opportunity for a broader audience, I’m starting to get sick of submitting these really self-indulgent essays that focus on my overanalyzed feelings about stuff that only pertains to me. I’ve gotta start pushing myself.
~ Which leads me to this Second City writing class I’m taking. Now, before the class started, I wrote the professor and told him to give it to me straight. I’m poor and I want to get my money’s worth, so if something I submit blows, I want to know. I told him not to worry about hurting my feelings because as long as it was objective constructive feedback, I was grateful to have it. And honestly, he’s been great about pointing out my flaws and telling me how to fix them and, even though he doesn’t have to waste time on it, he’s been complimenting my strengths.
However, it seems I’m incapable of writing for stage. After a few weeks of this, everything I’ve submitted has received the message, “Great dialogue but there’s no action or showing of these emotions or events. These could be acted in the dark and have the same effect.” Even when I try to do things bigger and more adventurously, it always comes out the same way. I guess being used to writing for text hasn’t lent itself to creating real activity for people and I always feel limited by dialogue choices in a script because it’s so stripped down. I feel like my mind is just not capable of thinking that way, kind of like how I do in math. When I’m doing/writing the problem/script I think it’s okay but when the professor points out what I’ve done wrong I’m always smacking myself in the forehead and thinking, “Yes! Of course! Why didn’t I think of that?” And honestly, I have no idea.
And it’s starting to get a little frustrating, especially considering how long I’ve been involved with theatre, how long I’ve been writing, and the fact that this is just a beginner’s class.
~ I have my first audition in 3 years on Sept. 9. I’m really excited but kind of freaking out as I feel like I’m really really out of practice. I spent years upon years learning techniques and methods and all that and I still feel like they’ve evaporated from my mind over time, even though I did a lot of student scenework in my last few years of undergrad. Plus, as strange as this sounds, my voice has shifted a lot and I’m not sure where it sounds best as far as the “showtunes” sound goes. I used to have a whole repertoire from which to pull audition material but when I was trying it out this week it just sounded awful. That seems kind of weird considering I know exactly what songs I can do at any karaoke bar but I realize I can’t get up and sing “Dream On” if I’m vying for a part in “South Pacific” or “A Christmas Carol.” Although I did think about singing the first part of Green Day’s “Hitchin’ a Ride” for it as it comes across as very showtune-y.
:::sigh::: At this point I just don’t know. But I have a few weeks.
~One of the perks of our new town is that the local cable package includes LOGO! So I can finally watch Rosie’s “Big Gay Sketch Show”! Hooray!