Chaos Attraction

200 Escaping Bullfrogs

2020-07-18, 9:05 p.m.

It's my four-month-quarantinaversy, whatever we call that now. How am I getting bug bites when I don't leave the house???? Just wondering. I found 2.

If the world was what it was before, I would be at Sierra right now. At least I have storytelling stuff going on this weekend anyway.

At noon today, we did our reading of Kelly's suffragette/1970 play. It was great fun to do and I really enjoy the plot of it. I probably shouldn't go into great details about it since she's going to rewrite it a lot and we discussed how to rewrite it too, like maybe making the posthumous grandmother character into a flashback character (something Kelly/Shanna and I were going to talk about but didn't get to today), maybe making the mom and her sorta-love-interest be exes instead, which would make a lot of sense with their relationship, and maybe dialing back the sexual vibes between the daughter and the female love interest since that seems to be weird right after a funeral. Everyone felt the characters should get some more depth and the mother should get a bit softer, as right now she is complicated/brittle/cranky a lot of the time, but has good reason. Shanna did an AMAZING job of portraying the character, btw. I haven't been that mind blown on a cold read since well, you-know-who. I also cracked up when the mom is smoking and Shanna also broke out a pen, like I did in Dropping Bombs, but she held it FDR-style.

Shanna calls me her favorite person, btw. Very flattering, especially upon short acquaintance!

Anyway, let me know when round 2 is on!

After that, I went to the Sacramento Storyteller's Guild meeting, which was fun. Stories I remember the most:

Dave told a story about hanging out in a cemetery these days and even though I am not into slow action stories, he made describing a cemetery very lovely. Lines from it: "When you go to the cemetery, life is very slow there." and "A cemetery is filed with life." He also mentioned the grave of someone named 'Rattlesnake Dick."

Gloria did an acting-ish story from a third person point of view telling of something based off a real life story. She described Alma as a difficult woman to deal with. "Her life would be described as mustard colored," and "God could be a fine fellow if she felt like getting to know him better." Also, "Their marriage is much like roadkill: not quite dead, but there's a car coming around the corner really fast." Gloria gives good line. Anyway, Alma makes a rare friend in Sue, whose life is a brownish gray color, just trying to make it, and Alma starts hearing a voice from God in her head at night saying, "Sue could probably use $500." Alma is a cheap person and wants to ignore this, but eventually caves in and does it. When it happens, Sue asks, "Is this from you or from God?" and Alma says, "It's from God because I don't give $500." But later she goes to her bank and finds out that she is not missing $500. When she comes out of the bank, she hears in her head," I am God, I am interested in you, and all things are possible." D'awwwwww. (Note Linda's response to this: "so beautiful 1111." So guess who's in that number club....)

I really thought that was cool, I kind of want to try something like this sometime?

Mark told a story about how his uncle, a teacher, would throw "peanut showers" at students and got a big ol' peanut shower upon his retirement. "The world went black with peanuts."

Ed told one about a seven day romance he had in Morocco, which sounds adorable and I'm sorry it ended and he never found her again. He also said "I'm 74 years old and I don't know if I ever found myself." Think about that one for awhile....

After that was the Storytelling Regional Gems event, which I gather was some kind of award ceremony-ish show this organization does yearly. A previous winner, Tim Ereneta, told a very interesting opening story about a giant whose mother was a mirror and therefore he reflected back to you everything you did. So trying to fight him wouldn't work because he'd just fight you the same way. So when a wise man approached, he thought about the situation for a while, and then he got hungry and pulled out some bread, and so did the giant. He offers the giant some bread, and the giant is all, "Oh, so this is to be a battle of kindness then!" and pulls out all the stops to pull off a hospitable meal. After that, the wise man offers him a ride to the castle and the giant instead picks him up and takes him there. Well, now that everyone knows how to handle his mirroring, he ends up giving rides to people. I gotta say, this is why I like Tim Ereneta stories. Always a little different when he does a fairy tale.

The guest of honor (who received her certificate "through" Zoom) was Linda Yemoto, who I hadn't seen before. Sadly, there were sound issues--both that the mic was rather quiet and her Internet got staticky where she lived--so I don't think I can recount most of what she told. (Though I was impressed that she broke out a bag and opened it up to reveal paper (origami?) frogs at the end. Anyway, my favorite one, and the one I could hear the best, was a real life story about being a park ranger (volunteer?) at Tilden Park and coming across people who decided to release bullfrogs into the wild for Chinese New Year. They released oh, 200 or so, and also brought turtles to release, where should they release those? Lake Merritt? Uh, no, that'll kill them... So what can we release? Fish? No! The best suggestion she had was to release crickets, who won't hurt the environment and will just be eaten. They found someone to take the turtles, but then had to spend five hours in kayaks trying to catch the re-escaping bullfrogs. They caught 98 of them....twice.... and then passed them off to a vivarium to feed to a snake. It took them ten years of re-catching bullfrog offspring to get that problem taken care of!

Last summer* I bought a Rocketbook Everlast, which is a reusable notebook where you can write in it with the special pen and then use the special cloth to wipe off the text and reuse it. I made a special carrier for it back during As You Like It and then never actually wrote in it...well, I remembered I should use it today instead of wasting so much paper in the house to write down what's going on for the journal. It worked, yay.

* God, I miss last summer. I wish I could time travel back there.

I heard from Meg today--she had a coronavirus scare but tested negative, has been having some non-coronavirus health issues, and her neighbor went crazy on her again. Grrr, argh.

Then I watched "This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing" (what a title, eh?) from Acme Theatre. It's an odd and short but interesting one. They were having Technical Difficulties and I don't know when they finally got it running--I assume I came in near the start when I finally just refreshed it--but it seems to be about 12-year-old triplet girls named Albienne, Beatrix and Carmen who decide to make very different life choices. Which is to say, the first two travel the world separately (Beatrix is looking for their missing father, specifically) and Carmen stays home. Albienne takes up being a warrior and then later becomes a baker. Beatrix finds a very boring town and becomes famous in it for not being boring (my kinda girl). Carmen stays home, eats a bunch of animals, decides to make friends with the animals, has waaaaaaaaaaay too many people living in her house for a while, then a cute guy comes by and she marries and has kids with him. At the end, the two other sisters come home and the end.

The play had the three sisters, and then three other people playing all of the extra roles and stray characters, and as well, the props and scenery (well, everyone did that). Good use of acting out silly things on Zoom, which is a style I always appreciate.

Props I saw:
* blankets for ocean
* fake paper trees and snowflakes and leaves
* At one point everyone had spatulas, not sure why. To be boats?
* They all had forks out to... represent Vikings? And then there was a FORK FIGHT!!!!

* "That is what a journey must be: a lot of little successes."
* At one point a sister recounts living somewhere where they settle the arguments by going out and pointing at the first snake they find, and whoever does that wins.
* "And they ran into house without taking their shoes off and spit on all the ladies."
* "My days of eating cake and caring for nothing are over."
* "Some hares were frolicking happily." "And then I ate those hares." -Carmen
* "Hello, boring people! Why are you all so boring?" (Been there.) The answer was "Uhhhhh...." and at that point Beatrix put on a rainbow blanket and broke out a boombox. By which I mean a cardboard box with "BOOMBOX" written on it.
* "My arms are carrying...arms." (i.e. weapons)- Albienne
* "I laugh a lot, mostly at the things I say." -Beatrix, a celebrity in the land of the dull.
* "People heard there was a woman in the woods who could never say no to anyone." -Carmen
* (After Carmen kicks everyone out of her house) "She clips her toenails and loosens her bra straps."
* "It is very rude to interrupt a lady when she's eating chocolates."
* "I have a sword." "Is it edible?" "No."
* "I make other people happy." "By killing them?" "No, by killing people who want to kill them."
* The sisters on their 31st birthday: "There's nothing so fun as inventing your own birthday cake/song/wish."

After that I was watching the Stars In The House Crazy Ex-Girlfriend reunion and the doctor that they have consult on that show (he comes on around 43-53 minutes) basically said that testing means nothing: if you come out clear one day and you were infected and don't know about it/have symptoms yet, the next day you can still come down with it, so you are NOT in the clear. The only way you can be sure that you're in the clear is after 14 straight days of isolation. You can't use the testing to make ANY life decisions as to whether or not you are safe to see someone. The one piece of good news he had was about the infected hairdressers who didn't infect their clients because they had masks on.

Shanna continued to be working, so I spent another three hours ordering groceries again. I'm not quite to the point where I absolutely have to (other than I'm about to run out of dip), but they sent me a lot of good coupons this week to use by Monday or so, so I might as well. Spent about the same amount again, just under $400. I'm not sure if that's about what I used to spend in the beforetimes, I used to buy $100-ish of stuff once a month and then spend something under that weekly when I made lunch food runs. But I could also go to Dollar Tree and Grocery Outlet for cheaper/more random stuff on some of those trips. Safeway has pretty good deals and $10 for delivery is good (I note the price went up since last time but I can't argue the point), so.... oh well, groceries were gonna go up anyway. I said to deliver between 10-11 a.m. so I assume this is gonna be more like 11-12 p.m. I have until 2 p.m. before I'm doing anything set, so otherwise I might attempt to drive the car and I might talk to Shanna, but the way things are going there I'm not holding my breath.

Shanna asked about Safeway delivery as an option since "it's dangerous to go out at all"* and I said it works pretty well, but if you are particular about what you get, that might be an issue since you are paying someone to shop for you.

* I note that she is always going out for her sick cat, and spent 2 hours driving to Beverly Hills to try to find coconuts....

I found a thing to send Scott, but ended up not doing it since I spent so long on the groceries. Maybe later.... it's almost midnight, I should go to bed.

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