Chaos Attraction

Florida Storytelling Festival

2021-01-30, 9:36 p.m.

I'm still not exactly feeling great today after yesterday, but I did get out of bed, walk around the house for 90+ minutes and make myself an omelet, so there's that. I'm trying to watch the Florida Storytelling Festival online for the last few days and dear god, I'm having a hard time concentrating and following the stories (yes, I'm sober, not drinking, no hangover) and ended up running people back multiple times, it's like I turned into Mom.

Stories I heard or at least eventually got from Mayhem Night, which I had to rerun the next morning:

* A lady getting ridiculously cheap rent on a house...which of course is because it turns out to be a money pit and infested with critters and the toilet doesn't work.
* A vampire country and western song called "Your Bloodsucking Heart" (I approve).
* A story about scaring a teenage girl.
* A story about a lady giving a cemetery tour to a unappreciative family. "THESE PEOPLE DO NOT DESERVE WASHINGTON IRVING!" Later, she finally finds something they're into.... "They are TWERKING WITH THE ANGELS...I let them do their own thing. it's better that I not watch."
* A guy wanted to try living in New York and borrowed a friend's Brooklyn apartment for ten days. "Living in New York is not great." "Let's just say the word fudge gets used a lot." "This is New York. An army of rats is going to run through here. Let's just be okay with it." He gets a famous Nathan's hot dog and finds it disgusting. Even a homeless guy won't eat the chili cheese fries, "which should have tipped me off for what's going to happen."
* The twisted fairy tale lady told a story from the POV of Cinderella's prince: "I have never even learned how to pick my own nose. I hear it's a cathartic experience." Of COURSE he has a foot fetish.

At noon I logged onto their Story Slam and signed up to do one...I was so-so in the mood to do this but kinda forced myself to get back in the saddle again, as it were. I told "Hot Water" and it seemed to go over pretty well. Someone told me she loved the buttons on my sweater and "Your funny" and another said " story."

One guy told a story about carrying a donkey, another lady brought her dog puppet on to do a story about a talking dog.
Another guy: "They yelled, "Drop the robe, drop the robe!" I dropped the robe. They said, "Put it back on, put it back on!" I came in ninth. I was not Mr. Thrill of a Lifetime."
Another guy told stories of toilet paper and having to use a Sears Roebuck catalog both to pee and to learn about women.
A lady told a story about her mother kicking a guy out of her restaurant for dropping the n-bomb and insulting a lady's pies for that reason. My mouth dropped OPEN when she said that word, mind you. She admitted she'd never heard it before as a kid.
One guy told a story about the time he wrote a poem about a girl's eyes. It starts out with "I want your eyes, to put inside a pickle jar...." and frankly reminds me of Tom Lehrer's "I Hold Your Hand In Mine," except the lady ends up blind and not dead. "I gave her the poem." Her reaction? "That was the second poem I got this week."

Later on: there was the story of Ichabod Crane (always depresses me), and a version of Goldilocks except with a chocolate theme and the intruder ends up eating Ex-Lax....hahahahah.
One guy talked about how there were seven kids in the family (multiple marriages) and that the parent(s?) would just buy them all the same thing, so when the first kid opens their present, everyone knows what they're getting. Which led to... "It was bowling shoes. A chill ran through the entire group." One gets a bowling bag. Everyone else gets bowling balls. Turns out he liked bowling after that! "If you do Christmas with my family, you gotta have a lot of balls." He also noted that if his grandmother hadn't met his grandfather when separated from her fiance, and if his mother's boyfriend hadn't died in Vietnam, he wouldn't be here.

After that I watched Divine Madness, a (new?) online play. Doreen watches stuff from this theater and recommended them, so we were texting a bit.

The plot:
"Divine Madness finds the divorced couple, writer Elizabeth Hardwick and poet Robert Lowell, weighing the possibility of reuniting. Lowell, following a frequent bout of manic-depression, left Hardwick seven years earlier to marry an English heiress. He documented that affair in a volume of poetry, The Dolphin, that scandalized the literary world and won him the Pulitzer prize. They meet up on their would have been 28th, except for that 7 year break.

Kind of reminds me of that love letters play between Mrs. Patrick (Stella) Campbell and George Bernard Shaw, that show I watched a while back. The viewing skips back and forth between the two rather than having them split screen, which is odd these days. Friendly snarking at each other, they are, "Lizzie" and "Cal," for Caliban, calculating, callous... He thinks the nickname should have warned her off. He's the one who left her, but still feels depressed, wistful, etc. She seems fond of him anyway, even though she says she could have sued him for using her letters. It's a little recappy/awkward when they talk about how his best buddy Elizabeth Bishop(?) objected to the letter thing.

Anyway, he says he's not going back to Caroline, he's gotten diagnosed with heart failure, and he's come to her for friendship and peace. "Don't expect anything but what is," she says. A bit of time later, he dies, and I'm all, that's it? This was shorter than I thought it was going to be. "He was the best thing that ever happens to me," she says as the last line, after recapping his death. Seriously, that was....about 40 minutes.

"If I want a plot, I'll watch Dallas." -her
"You don't recognize when eccentrics become psychotic." "And you do?" "I've had experience." -her and him
"You are still the most interesting man I know," she said.
Lizzie scorns Caroline (the next wife) for leaving him when he went manic. "What kind of love is it when you can't be sick?"

"Even after their wedding, no one was happy but them," the actress said afterwards.
"I was so sad. I didn't want you to die. And I wrote it." -the playwright to the actor
"It really felt like a tennis match, but your life depended on it." -the playwright

Read this tonight and thought well, that sounds like me. Especially yesterday. And then I do that with you-know-who. Because I dunno, maybe it's kind of completely insane to get super offended when he doesn't reply back to a few texts and decide that I'm just not going to try talking to him again for weeks or months?

I'm still trying to finish off watching Florida Storytelling from Thursday. There is a story about a 4-year-old who loves to hug wanting to smell mommy or daddy's shirt during the pandemic. So effing sad.

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