I contain multitudes 5/7 '19
Found while purging & packing: excerpt from a comedy sketch I wrote during the summer of 2014. Probably NSFW.
I write plays and audio drama, make puppets, clean up messes, take in strays, eat and drink and curse too much, and laugh too loudly. jarnsaxarising.com.
Found while purging & packing: excerpt from a comedy sketch I wrote during the summer of 2014. Probably NSFW.
Last night I had the pleasure of seeing the lovely and talented Jenn Rice Abrevaya, starring (IMO) in Mamma Mia! Jenn, of course, was brilliant, and despite my cynicism about jukebox musicals, I was emotionally recharged by the show. All it needed was More Jenn.
I’d expected that MM would continue the traditions of Scandinavian theatre by refuting the themes of Ibsen, that life is a depressing mystery. It seemed clear that MM would posit the mysterious feminine not only in the sun, so distant and rare in Ibsen’s work, but also firmly entrenched in the prison of patriarchal sanction, yet without the pistols or an orphanage to burn down, via the machinery of Swedish disco music. I was wrong and right at the same time.
Sophie, the alleged protagonist of MM, desires to become the doll of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. She seeks approval from a father before giving her virginity to a Wall Street wunderkind. In short, she is willfully the golden fatted calf bought and sold. Her mother, Donna (perhaps a Madonna?) is the 1970s sexual-revolution feminist and Circe, trapped on a Greek island, spinning magical experiences for her guests. Like Hedda Gabler, she claims not to need a man for success, but she wants one (as Hedda desired Eilert), for joy, and one for financial stability (as Hedda needed Jørgen). Sophie challenges her mother, saying that she wants to start her life “right,” with a “white wedding” and knowing who is the man responsible for her.
The book writer for Mamma Mia!, playwright Catherine Johnson, eventually came to her fucking senses at some point while trying to shoehorn in the ABBA hit, “Knowing Me, Knowing You.” At this point, Sophie’s groom and one of the candidates for Daddy tell her that marriage isn’t everything. Though Mom has been saying this all along, because the men in her life finally say it, Sophie listens, and starts thinking about marriage seriously. Much like how Nora and Hedda are forced to behave by Krogstad and Judge Brack respectively, Sophie and Donna continue towards the wedding. Finally, Sophie drops her desire to marry and to find out who her father is, just as Donna chooses to marry and accept financial support from her former lovers.
Donna chooses the path of patriarchy, from which Ibsen warned early feminists away. Sophie and her young buck shoulder backpacks to travel the world, engaging in the poetic mystery that Eilert and Oswald embraced, leading to their deaths.
Ibsen was one of the first dramatists to perfect the art of realism in theatre. His descendant in Scandinavian Drama would do well to reject it, choosing Neo-Absurdism, rather than send women a message of kowtowing to the patriarchy via glitter and sequins. Donna preserves her tavern, and gets someone to fix the roof, though Nora abandons her house. The conflict between Ibsen’s feminism and producer Judy Craymer’s post-feminism was best illustrated by this production’s version of “The Winner Takes It All.” Actress (can’t remember) belted this torch song with power, dignity and skill that could blow the roof off of the venue. However, the microphone system strapped to her face gave her voice an electromagnetic hum, barely discernible, yet devastatingly annoying to human ears. The power of women still burns in Scandinavian theatre; sadly, Western audiences must put a ring on it and tame it, in order to sanctify it.
IN ALL SERIOUSNESS, the singing and dancing were great, performances were solid, the script made me have to think, “If I roll my eyes any harder, I’m going to get a headache.” Obviously, the answer is that I have to write a musical for Jenn to star in.
In other news:
If I pet Mo Magee as much as she wants, her fur gets so slicked down that she looks like Bastet.
Greensleeves again, this time with more confidence.
I tried to make a video of me playing Romance from A Little Night Music, but between the tripod not cooperating and me not being really ready with that piece yet, all I made was myself angry.
I’ll be honest. The practicing for 30 minutes a day or 3.5 hours per week thing is not 100% accurate. We were out of town for a bit. Since “30 minutes a day or 3.5 hrs/week” and “16 units of information” does not equal predictable results, I’m finding it harder to explain what the results are. It feels like problem solved or puzzle cracking, but it barely feels like music.
Anyway, here’s Wonderwall. Plenty of mistakes. You can also hear Sassy playing in the background.
A result I can guarantee with 100% accuracy is that no matter how well you can play a piece, as soon as the camera is on, you will make mistakes.
The good news is that I can now move on to learning about sharps & flats, which means the work will sound less boring. Yay for leveling up!
EDITED TO ADD: this is the next piece I have to work on, which I believe is standard issue for every high school marching band in America.
All I can think of is the episode of Strangers With Candy when Gerri is in the school jazz band, as a scat singer.
EDITED TO ADD AGAIN: I got Half Time Band and Greensleeves in a pen. Not captured, but in a pen. I think another day of muscle memory practice will do it.
I practiced for an hour & seven minutes today, according to my stopwatch.
Worked on G pentascales and stuff that seemed boring and pedantic, then moved over to this innocent-seeming li’l ditty.
After about 40 minutes or so or practicing, my left hand can do the left hand part perfectly, my right hand can do the right hand part perfectly, but as soon as I start the metronome and try to sync up the bass clef and the treble clef, a giant concrete wall forms between all the right-hand-left-hand stuff in my brain, and I’m sitting there paralyzed, holding down two notes, while the metronome goes tick... tick... tick...
It’s not fear. It’s just like my brain can’t do it. It’s pat your head & rub your tummy stuff. I managed to pound my way through it, and measures 3-4 and 7-8 are passable, but 1-2 and 5-6 have given me a headache and a hand ache. I even went back and did the G pentascale exercises to try and make it easier.
At 67 minutes, I made a mistake that sounded familiar, and started picking it out, or something similar.
After this, it’s Turkey In The Straw, a theme by Mozart in G major (your guess is as good as mine), and then...SHARPS & FLATS! Finally I can get some variety in here.
I just realized that as of today, this has been a five month experiment.
Evil eye bead and hamsa.
I found this on the sidewalk while walking back from the post office today. Either the universe sent me a protection amulet, a warning, or someone’s earring broke in the traditional Festivus airing of grievances on the corner this past Sunday night. I left it outside on the flagstone to see if someone needed it more than I do. If it’s still there tomorrow, I’ll keep it with the seashells.
The kitties were nestled, all snug in their beds, while the humans read books and scratched their furry heads.
I hope your day was peaceful and bright.
EDITED TO ADD: FTS. I’m opening the wine. I didn’t hit the button on the timer hard enough, the outside of the gingerbread was burnt, the inside of the gingerbread was cooked properly but tasted like Allspice Barf. If I can’t pay attention well enough to follow a recipe and properly use a kitchen timer, then it’s time to stop working and decide that this is it.
I made two batches of gingerbread (which I have not made since I was so little that I needed to stand on my grandmother’s step stool to reach the mixer).
Batch #1 is intended to make shaped or cut cookies (persons of gingerbread origin).
Batch #2 is intended to be bars, baked in a baking dish.
Batch # 1 called for 3.5 cups of flour. The dough was extremely thick, almost like bread dough. It’s chilling in the fridge.
Batch # 2 called for 1.75 cups of flour. It also called for 1/2 cup of boiling water. Prior to adding the water, it had a cookie dough or cake dough like consistency. After adding the water, it became more like a soup.
The bag of flour was a 32 ounce bag. This tells me that once I added the 3.5 cups of flour in Batch # 1, there should have been only 4 ounces of flour left in the bag. However, there was an entire 8 ounces left over after adding all ingredients for both recipes.
Yet I remember adding at least .75 cups of flour to Batch #2, because I remember looking at the 3/4 marker on the side of the cup. It is possible that I forgot to fill the measuring cup twice instead of once.
I added a tiny bit more flour to Batch # 2, and it’s baking in the oven now.
Here’s what I don’t understand:
-Did I screw up one recipe, or both?
-Is there some magical property to King Arthur All Purpose Unbleached flour that causes a 32 ounce bag to yield 5 and a half cups (44 ounces)?
-Is this a Hannukah miracle?
-should I have added the cup of flour to Batch # 2?
-What is gingerbread dough really supposed to look like before baking? Should there be a big difference between the baking sheet vs. baking pan varieties?
-should I get a camera installed in my kitchen if I’m going to continue baking?
-why do the holidays have to be a nonstop parade of dishwashing?
-what time is wine o’clock?
I’m cutting down on my screen time, but this is a worthwhile exception.
John Leguizamo is insane and hilarious, the show is rooted in heartfelt familial relationships, and includes a viable bibliography and a lot of dancing. 100% worth your time. It’s not just about history, it’s more about integrity.
A rare moment: Mahoney is tolerating Sassafrass’ advances.
Mahoney is well aware that when Sass says, “please be my friend,” it inevitably turns into a game of “chomp your neck,” so this moment of cuteness didn’t last long.
Last night I dreamt that Chris Herdt and I were attending a black-tie gala fundraiser at the building that keeps showing up in my dreams. It’s a combination shopping mall, hospital, and transportation hub, and very easy to get lost in. Chris was totally prepared for this, he had his tux all ready to go, of course. I wasn’t. I walked into some department store, handed them my wallet and said, “I’m going to this gala fundraiser, it’s black tie, I have nothing, make me look appropriate for this.”
I ended up in a black or navy sleeveless sheath dress with a chiffon cape and my hair was all Sophia Loren, so I looked good and I trusted these people. The shoes were light blue faux crocodile stilettos. They said, “Okay, we’re going to do your makeup, trust us, this is the style that everyone at the party will be wearing.” I said okay. I liked the shoes, so what could go wrong?
The right half of my face was covered in glitter, with a fin of pink and orange wired ribbon flames in a line from my forehead to my chin. The left half was made up like Peter Criss from Kiss. It was as if Peter Criss’ cat face were exploding into flames. They said it was perfect for a black tie gala fundraiser because it was a tribute to the California wildfires.
Damn if there weren’t other people at the party with glitter and ribbon flames glued to their faces.
Edited to add: still sick. It's 100% fatigue, feels like a fever. I managed to shower, dress, practice piano for half an hour and eat dinner. I'm hoping that going to bed early will solve things. Or at least provide interesting dreams.