Chaos Attraction

Women's Storytelling Festival, Day 2

2021-03-20, 9:48 p.m.

I have signed up to watch so many things. Most of which are not live-action Zoom, thank goodness, so I can watch them later. I am up way too early on a Saturday (UGH), so am starting the East Coast Women's Storytelling at 7 a.m. Hopefully my brain will be in gear enough that I don't have to go rewatch it again like I did last night to get it all.

In other news, my groceries were delivered and I got almost everything I ordered. YAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!! I even managed to fit everything into the nearly-empty freezer. GOOD JOB, ME.

Jane Dorfman: a Scherezade story, night 178: about a prince and a princess who swear they're not going to marry...y'know, until they see each other... Except somehow this turns into a lesbian marriage and the princess pretending to be her own husband and being forced into the secretly-lesbian marriage...and oh yeah, somehow the husband and wife look exactly alike, so the husband ends up with two wives.... Then of course, per Scheherezhade, she has to leave off for the rest of the night. The emcee's FACE at the end...she was clearly all gobsmacked.

Donna Washington: her first cat fell in love with her husband "and that became HIS cat."

Laura Packer: Crazy Jane meets the fairies, who are impressed with nothing she offers in trade ("we are IN every story, we ARE the answer to every riddle") to try to get a human child away from them. What they want is her best friend...

Cindy Rivka Marshall: Grandma baked lots of cakes and cookies, Mom encouraged me when I was in a play. Then it went into Chinese folk tales and uh, I got hungry enough to make breakfast.

MJ Kang: dates a guy named Orin while she's staying in NYC that she seems fine with but definitely NOT attracted to, and when she says she's also seeing somebody else, he's done with her. Then just as she's leaving town, they get back together officially/seriously and he proposes after a month. (Damn.) It all worked out.

Megan Hicks: Meet the princess who insults the flaws of all her suitors. Dad is mad and offers her off to the nearest traveling minstrel who wanders by. The princess actually ends up really enjoying peasant life and having a job and making friends. Wait a minute...the minstrel is also one of the kings she rejected for his beard?! "I have brought you to within half an inch of happily ever after. You may be mad at me, but I am not going to take you there." The princess refuses his proposal--she's learned some good lessons, but she didn't like being made off with either. She would have rather married the minstrel. Choose your own adventure, the teller says.

"We laughed, we cried, we second-guessed our dating choices," says the morning emcee, Carol.

Priscilla Howe: finding a lost doll, stealing gum.

Misty Mator: "The ceiling fan is peeing into the alphabet rug." Misty is sensitive to the idea of mold in the house, and the guy who comes over to fix it is all "Let me guess, you feel sick but the husband is fine?" This happens a lot and when the men feel fine but the wife is sick, they don't believe the repair guy and think he wants to do "voodoo." Daaaaaaaaaamn.

Sarah Osborn Brady: a noble lady only gets about a half hour's notice that her husband is coming home after a year and can she start up a feast and put up all these men like right now? He briefly shows up and then disappears again after she takes out his laundry. The fuck? "The wolf saved my child!" "Well, that wasn't what she expected." So the wolf is left alone and respected. Is it a werewolf? Someone tells a story to her 7 years later that a werewolf can't turn back without his clothes again and she's all OH CRAP. Once he's back in human form, he yells at her for moving the clothes and she's all, I didn't know, ALSO YOU DIDN'T TELL ME YOU WERE A WEREWOLF. Second story: father gives each daughter a jewel to figure out what to do with it. Of course daughter #3 donates hers to the poor and hungry rather than putting it into bling and gets kicked out. She gets more jewels, finds a nice prince....

Anne of the same last name ;) Amaryllis: "Good teacher, meet bad mom." (In all honesty, I got involved with my knitting here. I've decided to see if I can finish this sweater in 2 weeks when they usually take me a month.)

Sheila Arnold: "I've always prided myself on being able to interrupt my parents whenever I wanted," like being born right before their anniversary when they wanted a day to themselves. When one of her sisters died unexpectedly at age 14, she wished she had died instead because she was the "bad kid" and her sister was the good one. Sheila lived apart at one point in high school because she won student body president and her dad was going back to Germany. And then she got pregnant in college.... her mom briefly disowned her, but of course once she comes for a visit, "GIMME THAT BABY!"

Jennifer Munro: All is Vanity. guy has to marry someone else and not his best friend. Then he gets his nose sliced off and his wife throws him out. Ewwwwwwwwww. He goes back to the sacred place he used to go to with his friend and drowns himself. She finds him the next morning and does the same. The creator turns them into the first peacock and peahen.

Rona Leventhal: 4 wise people. 3 guys just read books all the time, the 4th one (a woman) actually goes out into the world to talk to people. Eventually all 4 decide to go out into the world and test their knowledge. They find the skeleton of a tiger and then start basically putting the tiger back together and one of them wants to bring it back to life...."The fourth wise person? She climbed the tree." LOLOLOL. You know how that goes. Love it.

Mary Theresa Archbold: "I hate my birthday." She just wants to ignore it (in August, not Christmas). After a day at the beach, Mom calls to share some details. Her response: "So glad that you drove home for an hour lightheaded with blurry vision!" (This sounds like my mother, except my mother would have sleepiness.) Mom them barfs all over her brother's new Mercedes, which is a family tradition because this happens to all his new cars. "Keeps him humble." Mom has to go to the hospital. "Who cares that it's my birthday, Mom?" And then she starts vomiting all over the place.... misses the toilet, hits the sink, has to clean it up herself (been there!). Then the kids start. "I got my birthday wish. Nobody celebrated my birthday." Lessons learned: never order Domino's, and be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

Jenice Matias: (I will note I had workshop with her on Wednesday...the orgy story!) talked about getting away from her abusive boyfriend. HUZZAH.

Sage Tyrtle: "I am the ugliest and the fattest girl in the third grade." Even the most Christian girl doesn't give her a Valentine. She finally gets invited to eat lunch with someone. "Sage, have you been kidnapped?" her dad asks. Not joking, he thought that was more likely than for her to be invited to someone's house. Then at age 16 her bestie Marta gets a crush on "Boring Scott" and everything is beige with him. (I'm gonna note that Sage has a blue wall, blue scarf, blue glasses, and blue punkass hair. Beige is not her thing.) "What is Scott thinking right this second?" She doesn't know, but whatever it is, it's beige. What I don't get is how the hell Sage ends up making out with this guy during My Fair Lady. The friendship ends ugly, Sage kinda wishes Marta would die....and then she has a brain hemorrhage and is in the hospital for a really long time and has to rebuild her everything. OMG. A year later, Marta thanks her for sending flowers and you wanna come over? Except it's always still kinda weird, and suffice it to say the friendship hasn't lasted.

Mo Reynolds: Hypnotist on a cruise--"I could hypnotize my son into falling asleep." Our brains believe them when we put images in. It worked! After a year of this, he's fine. Then comes kindergarten and a trip to the zoo, and her kid insisting on seeing the zebras that she used in sleep training, except they're not there...Use a unicorn next time!

Rona Leventhal: well, here's a new one: a new stepmother wants a love potion to make her stepson actually like her. HMMMM. She has to get a whisker from a LIVE lion.... She slowly makes friends with an old one by bringing him meat for weeks. Nope, there's no potion....but what lesson did you learn from all of this? Hahahahah. Good one.

Regina Stoops: hospice story as to whether or not to let her mother die. (Whee.) "It wasn't for me to try to keep her here."

Laura Deal: Where can I get a poddle of brains? Bring me the heart of what you like best, the witch says. There goes the pig heart. Poor pig, and that wasn't even good enough! Then his mom dies. Uh-oh.... EWWWWWW. EVEN HIS MOTHER'S HEART ISN'T GOOD ENOUGH FOR THIS LADY JUST BECAUSE JACK IS TOO DUMB TO BE ABLE TO ANSWER WEIRD RIDDLES, AND HE JUST WANTED SOME BRAINS BECAUSE HE'S NOT THAT BRIGHT IN THE FIRST PLACE. What Jack just needs is a wife to take care of him! (I am all, blech.) Then he likes his wife best...OH NOOOOOO. The wife just says "Look, take me alive and I'll help you with the riddles." She solves the riddle. NOW you've got your poddle of brains, Jack...that's your wife, you idiot. "The only cure for a fool is a good wife to look after him." (Me: BARF.)

(Note: Things I Am Sick Of In Folk Tales:
* the fucking village
* "the husband" and "the wife" and "the prince" and "the princess," especially if they don't really have personalities at times.
* they're just kind of generic in some respects a lot of the time
* sometimes you are just like, "this is SO FUCKED UP." No actual human can act like this or would. Nobody would haul the body of their dead mother in for that.)

Jane Dorfman: how come I have brown eyes when literally nobody else in the family has them and everyone else has blue? (No, not a paternity mystery--brown-eyed dad just left.) Her mother tried to find a brown-eyed white doll that looked like Jane and they didn't exist. They finally find one--a Jackie Kennedy.

Rona Leventhal: "Sometimes you just have to go with it without thinking," about how her dad was the sort who can't say I love you. After death, he can say it, though. Someone in the chat said the same happened to them too.

Carol Birch: "Strangers were suspects. They were guilty of something until proven innocent." "How did she want me to find a boyfriend INSIDE the family? That was something weird." "She was hanging up a douche bag." Um.....this lady is literally telling her entire life story here and I'm not even sure where anything is going. Like I see no sign of this winding down or getting to a point. Somehow "my family" and "getting married immediately out of college" and "I got divorced, moved, and found another guy" has turned into a bad road trip with nowhere to stay and hanging around prostitutes who said they'll look out for her. FINALLY IT'S OVER after she starts watching Olivier on PBS. Oh no, and then she's all "I have two more minutes!"

Okay, actually this was good: "Easy Reader version of Jane Eyre. This is Jane. Hello, Jane. Jane is poor. Poor Jane. This is Mr. Rochester. Hello, Mr. Rochester. Mr. Rochester is rich. He has a big secret. Can you guess the secret? This is Mrs. Rochester. Hello? Mrs. Rochester? Mrs. Rochester is C-R-A-Z-Y. Run, Jane, run!"

Rachel Hedmon: Isis and Horus looking for shelter in Egypt. Scorpions abound. Honestly, I was just having a hard time following this one and I didn't feel like running it back to check.

Jennifer Munro: "I was determined to have the perfect pregnancy." I know what that means! She got herself locked in the bathroom while pregnant. "I had to twiddle them regularly, which I did." "If fresh air was what my nipples needed...." "I told him where he could shove his breathing techniques...."

Mo Reynolds: "I almost missed out on my happily ever after." She'd decided to bail on her upcoming marriage (spoiler: she went through with it) because she's never seen a happy marriage. Then she turns into (British) Sleeping Beauty, not being allowed anywhere near pointy objects as a child, then getting gifted with one... Then she shifts back into "how did Damon talk me down." It took him a long time to commit, so they had been off and on. "It's taken me awhile, but I'm not going to be truly happy unless I'm with you...let's just keep hanging out together." THEN Sleeping Beauty is back, woken up with a man in her face. "What a creep, right?" "His name was Charming, isn't that stupid?" I swear this princess is an English Valley Girl. I note that EVERYBODY "really had to pee." "And that is when Charming informed me that chamber pots were no longer in style..." After hearing that Charming is the only one who made it through the thorns out of everyone who tried... "Maybe that's true love, to just keep at it. And we're going to see what happens." EXCELLENT CIRCLE BACK AND TIE TOGETHER.

At 4 p.m. my time, I skipped over to watch the Matthew Dicks show, Wedding Themed Edition, because I couldn't resist hearing behind the scenes dish on that topic. (Women's Storytelling is on secret YouTube, the other was on Zoom.)

The story of Elysha's name: (a) her parents wanted to name her Jordan, but the doctor was all "Jordan is a boy's name, nobody needs that drama in their life." (Matthew: "Little did they know that her last name would eventually be Dicks.") Then they wanted to go with Alicia, except they knew an Alicia they didn't like, so they made up a more kr8tiv spelling.

Kyle Horton, wedding DJ/cruise ship guy: "Kyle, I know you didn't do it on purpose and people make mistakes, but my daughter's wedding is ruined and it's all your fault," says the mother of the bride a few days after the wedding. "I think what Cassandra needs is some Black Eyed Peas," his iPad decides, and plays "Boom Boom Pow" instead of Kenny Chesney. Also, Kyle's dad got married today and the whole family is over in his house. That explains why he's so decked out....

Matt, wedding DJ/minister: Elysha starts out by quoting Matt on marriage--first he says to marry someone better than you, and that makes him the winner and her the loser. And also, "Think of marriage as this: a neverending sleepover with your favorite weirdo." Elysha: "I don't mind being called a weirdo, that's entirely fine by me. But who's the winner and who's the loser?" That said, that sleepover quote is the best.

Why did I agree to a beach wedding on a Friday night? "Wedding planners are useless human beings." They have no clue if an actual problem comes up, so it's up to him to solve. Also, he says pagan weddings are dry and I'm all NOT THAT I EVER HEARD OF. Is this a weirdo East Coast thing? The B&G also wanted him to say Gaelic sayings and he can't remember them. Or the Gaelic knot he's supposed to tie them together with. The bride has "the distressed jeans version of a wedding dress, like she ran through brambles." She pulls out a GIANT KNIFE... she wants to literally BLEED AT HER WEDDING, THE FUCK. This is the nuttiest hippie wedding I've ever heard of. Everyone just nods along to the bleeding like that's supposed to happen. Matt notes that his Jewish wedding was also a little weird--purse dog, smashing of glass, being carried in a chair, and sneaking in a quote from "Jewish philosopher Kyle Broflowski." Also, "It might be nice if you got a pole in your bedroom, Elysha," her grandmother suggested. A stripper pole, seriously? "Well, that might be sexy." "Weddings are just weird," he concludes. Elysha is all, there is no tradition about your grandmother sitting on the bed and talking about the stripper pole.

3-2-1 improv time: make up a 2 minute story based off random words. Matt: wineglass, Bible, pineapple. Has a wedding glass story. The other pagan wedding he did! Mummers dance is "the Electric Slide of the pagan world." The goblets are in the car, half a mile away down the hill. He gives himself 17 minutes and two long songs to go get these things. "The goblets are the size of my head. Each one of them." And of course they have dragons wrapped around them, heads IN the goblets.

Steph: garter ("I got 900 garter stories," says Matt), bobby pins, stain wipes. "Elysha screwed you!" Steph breaks into the world's most average wedding (she's a wedding band person). The B&G don't seem to care about anything, including each other. "The 25 wedding songs you play at every wedding." AND THEN THE GARTER BELT. The groom, of course, decides to mess with everybody. "He decides to put HIMSELF up her dress."

Kyle: rings ("And I have such a good ring story!" says Matt), piano ("I've got such a good piano story!"), cigar ("I've got such a good--" Elysha: "YOU SHUT UP!" He has customized ring tones in the phone. "I take this shit really seriously." He loves Blazing Saddles. "My best friend, who's going to kill me for saying this, is a preacher." His ringtone is "Excuse me while I whip this out."

Stephanie Rogers: sang in an event band for 10 years, runs her own now. Two grooms in this wedding and "to say they are high maintenance would be a gross understatement." They are paying $20k to nitpick the band's shoes. They are flying in one ton of sand from Oahu to have a wedding in Chicago. And a ukulele band. Unfortunately, she's just come down with a whopping case of tinnitus and of course can't tell anyone. She delegates enough and gets away with it, but "I am unfortunately at the end of my wedding career."

Sheila Grimes Hawley: trying to finish her veil in the car on the way to her wedding. A friend volunteered to do the dress sewing. "I had some reservations about her making the gowns...." seven of them in six months, alone? "She said she was going to get started right away. And I believed her." Oh, don't worry about fittings! "I believed her because I had to believe her. At the time she was my best friend. She was the maid of honor. And she was the only person I knew who could sew." Earlier: "Your friend has a reputation for being extremely unreliable." Oh, no, she's, she got married and moved to Maine, but doesn't everyone deserve a second chance? Um, no.... THE BRIDESMAID'S GOWNS WERE NOT EVEN CUT OUT. The bodice of the bridal gown is hanging on a doorknob, missing the bottom entirely. "I WANTED TO KILL HER AND STAB HER WITH HER UNUSED SCISSORS." The bridesmaids all chip in, all night. The dresses are done 2 hours before the wedding begins. The veil gets finished right as they arrive.

After that I watched the Women's Storytelling Festival Story Slam, theme of "Fierce." (I did not sign up. I am not fierce and I got nothing.) "I AM GOING TO ROAR AT YOU" if you go over time, not to mention get disqualified, the timekeeper says.

Marie Cooney: "let's be decadent" "very fierce reader." VERY HAMMY. This lady is straight up putting me off. Well, at least she ended on time.
Opayemi: trying to die after the birth of her first child. "My mother and I got into a bit of a sick-off contest."
Joey: dating a guy 10 years younger (him 27, her 37). "I thought it would last a few weeks and be really fun, and then he'd come to his senses." Who's going to move the mattress? I love her 'tude. She gets SO MAD that he offers to move it. "Yes, I actually did the Xena Princess yell in my living room" while trying to open a jar of pickles. "That being said, will you open this jar of pickles?" He does, silently, then goes home. Her friend points out that he didn't laugh at the yell. She kept him. "I'm fierce. Not crazy."
Erin Johnston: Cloisters. Gets grabbed. She has a vision of her death, hears "Don't let this happen to you." Screams and bites, tries to stomp on him, deadweights. He runs away. 2 women had been killed on that trail. "You've been living a life like you want to kill yourself. Why did you fight so hard to live today?" "The end of that story is the beginning of my new life." This one wins, right?
Harvest: thinks she's dated everyone in Orange County. She goes to Virginia Beach for work.
Donna: has advanced degrees in math, from the South, Can't get a job. Gets a programming job by asking for the right guy that she overhears.
Silvana: working at a camp. Conservative Christian one, which they didn't know much about. Ask kids what they know about the Bible, tell it to "spaceman." Kids scream and run. "There are no spacemen in the Bible." They get in trouble. Next they put Jesus and disciples in a boat. They disturb a wasp nest. The kids wade into the water looking for Jesus, they tip him into the water. She got fired.
Heather Forest: she's going to ravish her tomato. and it got chewed. "and all I could think of was MURDER." HOW DARE A CHIPMUNK EAT MY TOMATO!!!! Then she sees a fox. With a chipmunk in its mouth. "I might have given that chipmunk its last meal."
Jamie: on an island in Maine, no canoe, high tides. "All we had was a bikini."
Lisa: Bear while camping. "I got to pee!" "Tie a knot in it." doesn't work. THE BEAR WAS JUST A FROG UNDER A BUCKET.
Judy: new knee.

3rd; Joey (good for her!) 2nd: Jenice 1st: Erin

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