Chaos Attraction

My First Drive-By Birthday

2020-05-24, 11:07 p.m.

This day has certainly been divided into segments.

Part A: Much Ado About Nothing: Yes, I got to play my dream role today, huzzah! I got myself all gussied up in Renfaire wear, a bouffant red/brown wig, thought I was so cute I should selfie that, and frankly, did not look as cute in a camera. Sigh. I got to break out my peacock-ish mask for the masquerade ball scene and used my fancy flower fan for the "Beatrice hides and eavesdrops" scene. Next week I'll have some more props for all the weddings.

I don't have much behind the scenes snark to report on, alas, but I did like how Rich was playing both Borachio and Balthasar (he did a lovely song as the latter, btw, including breaking out instrument) and with regards to costuming, was in traditional garb for Balthasar. But how to dress for the other? "What can I do to be a drunken evil jerk? Oh! Fedora!" During the "hey nonny nonny" song Colin whipped out his phone to wave it in the air.

I also, ah, during the part where the guys are describing how much drama,angst and pain Beatrice is in, started acting it out just to amuse myself. I haven't the faintest how Rich edits these things (I should actually get around to watching the shows.... I mean, since I was in them I feel like I've seen them already, mind you, but it'd be nice to see what he does with them), but I think it'd be an amusing outtake, to say the least.

(I did ask if Claire and Linda connected...yeah, I don't think that's going to happen. I think Claire wanted to do it over Zoom and Linda hasn't gotten her act together on that one exactly, and Linda wants to do different production stuff... Well, can't say I didn't try there, but god knows I can't get people to do what I want or matchmake. Oh well.)

On a related note, I am still rewatching (during my exercise today) the David Tennant/ Catherine Take version of Much Ado. Of my three favorite versions of the show, they're all very different. The PBS "Stacey Abrams 2020" all-African American cast is the feistiest (I hate to say "sassiest" due to stereotypes....), the Joss Whedon has the most angsty B&B, and Tennant/Tate is absolutely the most ridiculous, at least in the first act. Seriously, David Tennant just randomly covers himself in flour, and Catherine Tate ends up literally hanging from the ceiling, THAT level of crazy. And then you get to Act 2 and suddenly he's literally cleaned himself up, slicked his hair back, put on his nice uniform, and she's actually wearing a dress instead of slobby pants outfits, and suddenly Benedick has MANNED UP and it's amazing.

Here is my list of Mysteries of Shakespeare, y'all.

(a) If Titania and Oberon are married, why the hell can't or don't they share custody of that kid? (Midsummer)
(b) Where are Trinculo and Stephano getting all this alcohol, having washed up on a random island with presumably nothing? (Tempest)
(c) I'm still not sure where Prospero got his powers from. Magic objects Sycorax left behind, I guess? Never was too sure there.
(d) What the hell went on with Beatrice and Benedick romantically before the play, if anything/ (Much Ado)
(e) Why does Benedick talk like a he-man woman-hater who thinks all ladies are gonna cheat on him and say that he doesn't like Hero, and yet by Act 2 is the only decent guy in the bunch who actually believes Hero? Where did that come from?
(f) Where the hell was Hero on the night before her wedding? She's not in her bedroom because that's where Margaret and Borachio are boning (presumably doing wedding role play). She's not sleeping with Beatrice as usual, unclear if they shared a bedroom or where the hell Beatrice is sleeping either. Hero never actually even tries to give any alibi as to where she was other than to say she wasn't talking to any man. So where was she? I assume she was just like, wandering in the garden at midnight alone or something, but it's weird that she doesn't even try to come up with an alibi.
(g) Also, where was Beatrice sleeping?
(h) When your best friend comes up to you, calls you a villain, and wants to fight after you've presumably made your fiancee drop dead, why wouldn't you take that seriously, CLAUDIO? Just saying.

Part B: After that, I headed over to Ashley and Jim's house for the drive-by birthday.

I doubt I have any readers at this point (which is fine and dandy by me in this insane age, honestly, I just put this stuff online because it's easier for me to find the entries than it is for me to loot through files), but if I did, I'd ask, who here has actually done one of these things yet? Because it's so fucking strange, y'all. Like, what the hell are you supposed to DO? It was a karaoke birthday party, no less--Jim and Ashley were doing their usual there from the garage and they had decorations, including a giant unicorn balloon-- but I felt I had to decline when Jim wanted to offer me a mic and asked a doctor in attendance (standing on the side masked) if using wipes would be enough. I figured it was a no, given the horrible things I've read about how public singing is over unless there is ever a vaccine. I brought my own mic--a $20 "Sharper Image" one that supposedly plays Bluetooth songs through it. However, the damn thing pretty much wouldn't work except for about 30 seconds, so that was irritating as fuck. I was like, what do I do, just play it through the car window? I could get it to "turn on" in my apartment, but no matter what I did it wouldn't behave otherwise. Sigh.

I drove by the house, then tried to turn around, then managed to get myself lost again and had to take another 5 minutes to find the place again. Another reason why I shouldn't leave the house: I swear to god I lose fifty IQ points going outside from having to maintain the levels of paranoia that I do. I also kind of feel like I am not safe to drive? Not drunk, mind you, I'm not drinking until my driving is over for the day, but I don't quite feel like I am handling a car right. But I need to keep the car running just in case, and it's probably better that I don't forget how to drive entirely, so here we go.

Anyway, I ended up parking across the street and briefly walking her package across and dropping it on the sidewalk and having Jim pick it up for me. Jim played a few songs for me, but I couldn't really sing along with the mask on. I had one of my new ones, with a filter, and with pantyhose over the whole thing to secure it, but it made me hard to hear (especially at that far of a distance) and I felt like I was kind of eating my mask to talk. I tried to dance along. It was weird. It was the most I've been outside in months.

A few other people drove by during the around an hour that I was there. One person (masked) drove up and threw some kind of poppers all over the driveway, followed by chucking the card into the driveway. Another--presumably grandma and granddaughter?--drove by, parked, left the package in the driveway, and then the grandma tried to take a socially distant masked photo from six feet away.

Three people were standing on the side with masks on...well, the adults kept theirs on, there was one teenage girl who kept taking it off and putting it on. I assume they were neighbors. Ashley was doing the same, but she wasn't getting close to anybody. We waved from a distance.

Ashley and Jim said they were getting tired around 2:20, so I left at that point and finished my "drive at higher speeds for these two weeks so the car won't die" errand. It didn't go that great. They live on the far edge of town, so I figured I'd just drive straight out to Woodland and then do a U-turn, but you can only drive for abut five minutes before they have a stoplight, and then I tried another path to Woodland and had the same kind of result. I went back on the actual highway, but...yeah, I didn't end up doing the 20 minutes of high speed driving Mom tells me I should be doing, or at least some article said to.

I did not end up crying, under the circumstances, so there's that. I restrained myself. These are the first people I've seen in person since March 17. How fucked up is that? How fucked up is all of this? I was gone for maybe around 2 hours, which is the longest I've been out of the house since again, March 17.

At least my outdoor errands are taken care of. I don't know if/when I will suck it up for the dreaded grocery store, but I think I can wait at least another week before I have to suck that up and go. I wish I could hit my three-months-versary on that, but I fear I will run out of water or mouthwash before then. I debated doing it tomorrow during the day off, but if everyone else has the day off AND is stuck being home, odds are the same number of people are gonna be there that would be there on any other weekday, so never mind any advantage of doing that on a Monday. I don't know if it'd be worth asking for vacation time to go grocery shopping during "off hours" for the rest of the world or not, god knows I won't be using it for anything else.

Though in random news, the only piece of actual mail I got in the mailbox in the last 2 weeks was a note from one of my credit unions saying that they were DRASTICALLY increasing my credit by a few thousand. To which I was all, wait, what? I should probably say that I was an idiot and didn't get a bunch of credit cards in college like I should have and then fucked myself over for getting credit the rest of my life because I didn't bother to get one until I got my driver's license. This was from my first credit union, and I just use that particular card for gas and the cellphone. I put something like $800 into the account and over the years they have declined to raise my credit from that bare minimum "because you pay too much in rent." (hello, California?) So that was...nice news, albeit random.

Part C: After doing the Scouring of the Shire and showering with all the clothes on and whatnot when I got home, I had a late lunch and then had rehearsal for "Dropping Bombs." The director and I were first in and chatted for awhile about the weirdness of everything. She'd been on an island when quarantine went down and had been trapped there for 65 days before they opened the bridge, and now she was back home and feeling weird. She and Mike (playing the waiter, a theater friend of hers) were invited to someone's drive-by birthday parade for their 50th tomorrow. Good luck with that. It's weird, I said.

Can't recall if I explained the play yet or not, but here it is: Leah, a cheerful hippie mom in her 40's/50's (according to the script, but see below), has taken her lesbian playwright daughter Kate on an Alaskan cruise. Kate smells a rat here because her mother has a tendency of dropping bombs on her during fun moments, so Kate now associates divorce with ice cream, the Muppet Movie with the death of her dog, you get the drift. They keep being interrupted--really amusingly--by the poor server, who keeps hearing stuff like Leah making jokes about drug smuggling (Kate's last play was about a drug-smuggling mother-daughter duo) and having interesting reactions to such. One of my reasons why this was my favorite of the scripts was that even the generic server part is really fun and snarky and s/he has A Personality even if he's only in the first scene (we have a guy playing it here). Reading Kate made me think, "Yeah, been here and done this with my mom" even though my parents' version of this was to take me for ice cream when I had a broken leg. And Leah, well, makes me channel my own mom in her cheerfulness to some degree.

Anyway, the bomb Leah's dropping--one she's been trying to get up the nerve to do for years-- is that when Kate was young, Leah presumably had post-partum depression and tried to commit suicide twice, and Kate takes it rather personally. I am actually really flattered that the director cast me in such a part even though we weren't really reading the dark stuff much in the audition. I think at the end (it's a little vague), Kate is flashing forward or something to after Leah dies and feeling comforted by looking at the ocean.

I do fake crying in this, which .... well, I have a lot of experience in it these days. Managed to not real-cry, i.e. with snot and becoming incoherent to talk like I do IRL, but lord knows I know how to feel and look at it these days. I guess that's a silver lining of coronavirus :P I start out fairly cheerful and then get a bit darker, as you would under the circumstances.

We talked about logistics:
(a) I can provide a blank white wall, but who knows how well a graphic will deal with the the shadow behind me, we'll see.
(b) I suggested wigs, she picked the one from the 1920's Rocky Horror outfit. Discussed outfits--tie-dye is A-OK since the character is described as a hippie. I said I have a lot of options.
(c) I am stumped on an e-cigarette. Never seen one, don't even know what it looks like. The Internet says there are a lot of options. Not sure how to replicate that.
(d) At one point in the original play, there's use of a white shawl. We will have to see what Mel (the actress playing my daughter) has at her house and then I can try to replicate....something. We'll see.

Another issue that came up is, what the heck time period is this play in? It's specifically called out that Leah took Kate to the Muppet Movie in 1981, and I was all, "well, I was three years old at that time, so I'm guessing between this and the references to hippies and socio-cultural stuff that this probably takes place in the past." I'm terrible at math, mind you, but I don't exactly think this is taking place in 2020 if a 40-50-year-old woman was taking her kid to the movies in 1981 and the kid was old enough to get what was going on during the movie, though Kate's age isn't specified there. We are told she came out to her mother in 1995, but that's all we've got for placements. And yet Leah smokes an e-cigarette, which according to ye olde Internet, were invented in 2003. So at earliest, this is 2003? Also, she's smoking in public at a cruise ship bar, but being told to stop doing it. Anyway, we weren't clear on the time period, so the director said she'd ask the playwright. There is also going to be a talkback with the playwright (Kelly) after the show's over, so that should be interesting. I wonder if we meet her before then or not?

Rehearsal went very well! We read it all twice. "It already started out as wonderful," she said. She'll send notes later, we'll do more rehearsal tomorrow, and probably Monday/Wednesday/Thursday this week, and also write bios. I'm to think about why she tried to commit suicide twice.

(Depressing couple of paragraphs after this one, be forewarned.)

I have theories on this, based on the folks i know or know of who succeeded or didn't and the circumstances going on. I've mentioned before that a fellow I knew named Joey seemed perfectly cheerful and fine as far as anyone ever knew until he did the deed. That guy did not want anyone else to know something was wrong, he did not want anyone to save him. By comparison, there's my cousin Linda (not to be mixed up with old director Linda mentioned above), who's had depression issues since she was six. At one point Mom asked if she actually wanted to die, after Linda recounted the time that she took a bunch of pills and then called people to say goodbye to them. "Sure I did," she said, but I don't think so, because did she actually think if she called up loved ones to say, "I just took a bunch of pills and wanted to say goodbye," they weren't going to call 911? I think of Rebecca Bunch's suicide attempt of popping a bunch of pills while on an airplane and then tattling on herself to a flight attendant, saying, "I just wanted the pain to stop."

I'm kind of thinking Leah's attempts were probably somewhere in the middle of these two: we don't know from the play what she did the first time, but I suspect it wasn't pills since pills were forced upon her in the mental hospital and she didn't want to take them originally, but later uses the psychiatric pills on her second attempt, when she sends Kate out of the house to be with her grandmother. So how did she do it the first time? I don't particularly want to go with anything visually injurious. Maybe trying to drown herself? Or gas? When did gassing go out of favor anyway? What time period does this take place in, so I can figure out if she used gas, because going out the Plath way sounds like something she might have done the first time. I think I lean towards the "wanting the pain to stop" option, but she did at least attempt to hide it the second time. Not sure what to make of that.

Great, now my Google results are gonna be super creepy between looking up e-cigs and suicide methods. And I thought they were already cocked up looking at twin flame 1111 hippie shit.

(Out of depressing shit now.)

And now I am watching the cast of The Guild do a DnD game. I'm not super paying attention to the action (seems to involve giant zits and "You believe absolutely everything they said"), but listening to them is comforting.
"I gotta say, in all my times of playing DnD, I never had to do a urine check." -Bladezz
"You are 100% covered in urine." -DM Amy
"Not even 99%?" -Vork.
"This is because we never role played going to the bathroom, and that is on all of us." -DM Amy.
It got even grosser from there...

"I'm throbbing down there. And not in a good way." -Codex
"We're all having problems right now." -Bladezz

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