Chaos Attraction

Texas Storytelling Festival, Day 3

2021-03-13, 9:19 p.m.

Slightly catty thought about hearing a few people saying this in one week: that they always thought they were going to be single and they were very surprised (and a bit grumpy) to end up happily married for decades instead. Y'ALL, I WOULD TRADE WITH YOU IN A HEARTBEAT. I would have been happily married off to a childhood sweetheart at age 18 had I had the option (I did not), I have never wanted to be single. Like I am fine with it, but it's not a thing that makes me happy to be, just neutral, or what I would have chosen. I would settle in a heartbeat if I could just stomach it, but I can't. I can't conceive of "I wanted to be single but here I am happily married, dammit!" I wanted to get married someday (enough to get engaged to someone I shouldn't have, but he was the only option), but here I am, permanently single and utterly hopeless!

I just did something crazy: I booked a half hour appointment with Lynn Robinson (a "professional intuitive") at the ass crack of dawn my time/before work in a month. This shows you how desperate I am, I guess. But I did Google around to see if she had bad reviews/scam/whatever and didn't find any, and I have liked what books of hers I've read.

Texas Storytelling Festival:

"Stories of Hardship and Hope from the Middle of the Pandemic" was the first show I watched this morning. After a guy named Hank told a story about his dog (I don't think it was particularly pandemic related?), an allergist (Dr. Susan Bailey) was brought on to recap the year in medicine. It was her first time at a storytelling festival ever. "I felt like I had been injected with hope. And sunshine."

Then a teenage girl named Sophie who does speeches/storytelling, whose parents are doctors, and she made a video that they showed. "I began to fear for my parents' safety." "I graduated eighth grade from my couch." I do uh, note that she keeps saying they all had masks on at the birthday party, but shows photos with no masks. I'm also "how did she get her learner's permit? At age 14?! Like she just graduated from middle school, but they let her drive in Texas?" I do like that she likes Baby Yoda, though. She's also in the teenage vaccine trials, good for her.

Then they brought back the first guy again who was talking about his friend who died a few years ago and I continue to be all "Um, this was literally billed as pandemic stories, and you are telling pre-pandemic stories." Couldn't we have fit him into another section of the festival if he's gonna be this off topic? Then he finally got to talking about Covid, so okay. He got it and was hospitalized and of course is a long hauler. "My story isn't really a story. It's chronically an event that fits this theme." "I blasted our governor for his incompent(?) attitude, but I did it kindly."

Next up was Sarah, the sign language interpreter's daughter (squee) and an ICU nurse. She was talking about having a nervous breakdown. "We've had the loss of freedom to roam," family gatherings, human contact, losing people and not being able to be there with them.

Then there's Ann Marie, whose husband brought Covid home and claimed it was allergies. "I was writing poetry even in the midst of fever." "No way was I going to be taken down by Covid-19." "I call this my CUSSY poem!" This lady is...very overwrought.... Then her last poem just ends every sentence with "ovid," as in "Covid is so ovid!" That was...much. Someone in the chat asked, "Are these stories going to be archived? This is a unique moment we probably (I hope) won't have to repeat at future festivals."

Then I switched over to the Story Slam. The schedule had said it started at 12 Texas time, but uh....apparently not, it was mostly over by the time I got in and they only had about three people left, and I came in on the line, "Setting your pants on fire is an incredibly quotable thing as well." That said, apparently it had started before I got in and I missed most of it (sigh) and the Lawn Guys came and frankly, most of what I heard did not stick in my brain again.

Then after a lunch break, they had the Liars Contest. I couldn't get into the Zoom and kept getting "invalid link" but they did helpfully send me a new link. The host started out with, "We started out with a big ol' lie, we gave you the wrong numbers to get in here!" Good job, madam. Also, "If you don't know how to wave by now, you're never going to learn." And "You know where your bathroom is, I don't have to answer that." (That said, THE LAWN GUIYS HAVE BEEN HERE FOR TWO BLOODY HOURS NOW.) I feel like if you have a Southern accent, this is an advantage to you in a liar's contest, especially if your story involves wildlife....

One guy (Kevin Cogan) told a good one about forgetting his wife's birthday, so to make up for it, he gets WHITE CARPET installed...and decides to make dinner.... so naturally there's a fire, spills, he's injured and bleeding, and "I wasn't surprised at how the pork chops landed..." Then a telemarketer calls offering to clean the carpet....and when he asks if they can get rid of all of the blood/wine/dirt/molasses sauce, the caller hangs up! "This really isn't the surprise I was expecting for my birthday," she says when she goes to pick him up at the hospital and all he could find was a cupcake. "Don't worry, darlin, the real surprise is waiting for you at home!" FTW, y'all!

Norm Brecke did a song about "sometimes you're lucky and sometimes you're not, hold on to life, it's all you've got!" and involved the lines "I summed him up, he summed me down." Then there was his wife, Anne of the last name as me (there are two people in this show with the same last name as me, even!), previously seen in Florida. She starts out by saying she tried to cut her own hair in the pandemic and cut a hole in the back, but who's going to see it on Zoom? After talking about being able to refer to a beauty salon, she's told that you can use a banana slug in facial treatments.... while she's doing a Valley Girl imitation of the girl telling this. Due to social distancing, you have to let the slug crawl across your face...and slugs are directional.... and when the slugs are too slow to crawl off the poles, Brianna breaks out a slingshot...and in case the slugs hit the chair, the chair is armed with beer and salt to take the slugs out. Excellent idea, Anne! "Bring on the slugs!"

Meet Ingrid Nixon in Alaska: "He started out as kind of an indoor bear....he would let me dress him up and he would let me have tea parties..." the bear loves to ride in the truck.... later they're duct taping the bear for three weeks.... I guess they duct taped him together because according to someone in the chat, "there is nothing that Duct Tape can't fix."

MJ Kang (from Story Studio): "It bothered me that he had to Google me before he fell in love with me," because my father fell in love with my mother just from her picture! Also: "He smells like cat pee! Anyone who likes cats that much can be my lover." By the end of this, she says she's gotten engaged 12 times...still single! She asks for another fiance, "I promise I won't break it off this time!"

I missed most of the last guy's story because my body suddenly decided it had to go to the bathroom, but I guess not only did I miss something, the guy blanked out for a few moments, then remembered what he was going and carried on. I came back in and heard, "Hatrack picked up a porcupine and used it as a staple gun..."

I think this one had the most Technical Difficulties, not only with the wrong link, but one guy temporarily disappearing, a lot of pauses, whatever. MJ got 3rd place, Ingrid got 2nd, Anne got first! Yay! I love these results very much.

After that, I took a break from Texas to watch the Solve-It Squad: Back in Biz, because the Tin Can Bros are doing shows again. (For those of you who haven't watched it: it's the Scooby Gang post-mystery solving.) How the heck does the new show ALREADY HAVE A TV TROPES PAGE WHEN IT HASN'T EVEN AIRED YET?! Possibly because the transcripts are online.

I would like to note that emojis of dogs are going off CONSTANTLY at the bottom of the screen. Because guess who wants a dog?

"To The Dog Rescue."
"Bad guys have Instagram too." -Scrags to Gwen, livestreaming the meeting.
There is an animated opening, half-colored. "Then Clubert got murdered in a Satanic ritual." "Getting back together because life sucks on their own."
Scrags and Gwen tour the talking dogs section: "I'll suck your dick if you adopt me."
Scrags picks out one called Doinky. Hey, Doinky, now would be a great time to come up with a catchphrase: "My anus collapsed!" Esther: "I'd wear that on a T-shirt."
"This is the love of my life--" "This is my WORK ACQUAINTANCE."
"You sure gave a single dad a reason to put on pants and do something nice for his little girl."
"Doinky is a liability." "If he hadn't ruined my rock solid plan, we'd be TikTok famous right now." "Doinky keeps rambling about conspiracy theories, dragging his poop with him." "You're right, he's useless."

"Takes A Chill Pill."
"Esther, why don't you stand up so you don't sleep through some important exposition?"
"I think it's time for me to finally take a sober day." DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMN. "We're all tired, busy, and horny. You don't get to take a break from being a grownup."
People are losing it in chat over Esther announcing being "gender non-conforming."
Someone in chat: "I'm just going to randomly say satanic ritual."
"I think you forgot to add relax to the relaxation list."
Did I just hear "fecalist?!"
"Hello, gals and non-binary pals!"
"I like to let everyone know off the top to expect half the food at twice the price."
The kids are named Camry and Paris after where impregnation happened.
"Everyone calls me a bitch behind my back." "Hey now, we say it to your face too."
"If Shonda Rhimes' Year of Yes taught me anything, it's that I can get a book deal out of this." "Way to stick the landing on that compliment, fuck you very much."
"I eliminate people who care about me and replace them with chemicals that don't."
"Those shitty kids look like MY shitty kids."
"I think we killed a turtle."
"I was sober. Aside from the molly. Which is medicine. And the booze. Which is also medicine." "We'll barely touch him. It'll be like roughing up a capital insurrectionist."

Back to Texas Storytelling for the night:
* Heather Forest telling stories about selkies and how everything in the world boils down to two things: i.e. you live or you die, you do or you don't.
* Donna Washington talking about how hard/segregated it was to vote in Texas for her older family members, and how her son, who dresses like he's in an video game, realized he has to tone down his Afro so he doesn't look "dangerous." He has to carefully calibrate everything about himself.
* Sam Payne and his buddy Dave in high school found it amusing when someone's (?) stepgrandfather would recite A.E. Housman poetry ("When I was one and twenty") and then later on as adults they realize they should have appreciated it, and Dave says he can't wait to get to heaven and tell the guy so, and Sam is all, "You are assuming you'd be going to heaven, Dave." He then talked about the Mars Opportunity rover and singing songs like "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" and "Bohemian Rhapsody" that the JPL guys were using to try to wake it up once its battery was dying. The last song they sent was "I'll Be Seeing You" as the farewell.

The late night show was another Texas-themed one,

John Hale: woke up late after hitting the snooze alarm, forgot to milk the cow and feed the animals, and his mom drove over there in her bathrobe and slippers to fish him out of high school to go do it. "For the rest of the year they razzed me every morning about milking the cow." The school invented a new category for him: "Most Embarrassing Moment." "You would have thought I would have learned my lesson...." Then later he hung out of a bus when in Mexico because everyone else was doing it, and someone had to drag him back in before he had his head knocked off by a utility pole.

Leslie Ogilvie had a story about a girl who asks Death not to take her boyfriend, and rides around with Death and saves the lives of the people she can. I'll note that the guy is literally the only one she says she can marry and otherwise she'll be an old maid. After returning to the boyfriend, well, he turns out to be an asshole and she goes riding back to Death. Who she seems to be interested in.... hahahahah. I like it.

This show featured my other namesake (seriously, I have never seen two of mine other than my parents, ever, anywhere....). I presume Vivian and Anne aren't related, and also live in different states. Anyway, hers was about a pig escaping, didn't really take notes since the knitting was getting interesting.

Rick Davis tells a story during segregated times in which a grandfather has to explain to his 5-year-old grandson that "colored" people sit separately at the movies. "What's wrong with them?" "Nothing."

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