Chaos Attraction

Another Theater Weekend

2020-10-18, 8:13 p.m.

Lotta different sections to this day.

I went to the craft store to go see Scott. He wasn't in there when I arrived (I assume he was in the back or something but didn't want to be weird about it). I had picked out a few things online to get and wandered around trying to find them for 20 minutes until he came out and I caved in and asked. One of those things I could have found easily if I'd looked more (cute calendar), but the other two were kind of a stumper, one of them being a stumper even to them for a while.

Anyway, he clearly liked the Baby Yoda and so did his mom---I asked if she wanted one too and she said she'd borrow his, hah (note: check this?). He got himself an acoustic guitar and is picking out a fancy one but hasn't decided where to get the other fancy one yet. The house they are in hasn't sold yet and it's starting to look bad that it's been on the market for six months, so they're taking it off and having them pay rent. Also, they had ANOTHER fire scare yesterday at the borrowed place. Nothing happened, his dad just broke out the fire hose and started wetting everything down, but nobody needs that.

I got hugged twice again. I needed that after this week.

Not sure when I will go back, probably whenever the stuff I ordered comes in. Kinda wish I had an excuse for two weeks from now, but who knows. I think in a few weekends I'm going to have rehearsals going on all day so I might not be able to anyway. But it was good to see him. Even if I suspect I was making sad eyes at him like a sad puppy, which I am. He actually texted me after I left to suggest asking Cameron if she wants one and I said that I was about to finish writing a letter to her so will throw that in.

Other than that, I took out a ton of trash/recycling and dealt with the mail and got the car washed and gassed. I got another letter from Cameron--feeling overloaded at work since her boss is going on paternity leave, taking a class online, happy she can send Robin Hood video to people out of state, and she's feeling depressed, so are we all.... I relate. She also said that when Renaissance faires come back we should bring Robert and Scott to one since they have never been before. Which I knew about Scott but not Robert. Don't I wish.... Maybe someday. Who knows.

My microcovid rick of seeing him: 20 microCOVIDs (8 to 70) each time ... then for you this is a low risk activity. What does this mean numerically? This is a roughly ~20-in-a-million (0.002%) chance of getting COVID from this activity with these people. Doing this activity once would use up ~10% of your risk allocation for one week. Goes to 50 and moderate since I got within six feet of his mom as well, I suppose.

We did another quickie reading (well, two) of Tailwind, finally getting it down to just under 11 minutes, which I think hopefully she can squeeze in and get away with it. I ended up downloading Kelly's fart app, which certainly made spectacular noise on the mic and was a hoot to keep setting off. The thing does have a lot of very sensitive settings that I had to turn off so it didn't keep going off when it wasn't supposed to...I felt so obnoxious having this! The thing spams you with ads too, which might be a bit hampering in filming. We'll see. But I totally enjoyed getting to set off my own farts like my character does.

Things Shanna mentioned today: (a) she is getting high on pure celery juice, and (b) she is going to be doing 4 Zooms at once at 4 different online conferences next weekend: presenting at 2 and chairing 2...apparently those are all four at the same time and she can juggle that in her brain. And people think I'm a crazy multitasker.

After that, I watched the Susan B! play, non-musical, on-Zoom version. I can't say I know I know a whole lot about Susan B's history, so that was interesting to see.

* It starts her out as a young woman, insecure, trying to find mentors and finding them. How do you change minds, she asks Frederick Douglass, a family friend(!). He says you do it one mind at a time.
* She wants to be heard, everyone's telling her to listen.
* He warns her, "You think you're ready for the rotten egg dodge?" Just when you think you're getting through to them, some eggs start flying, keep talking while you duck and weave. "It's an acquired skill and I rank right up there with the rest." Human nature sure hasn't changed, just their methods.
* Susan is besties with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the two got fixed up by Amelia Bloomer. I'm amused that Susan blabs that Douglass is involved in the Underground Railroad and I'm thinking, wouldn't that be a secret? Nah, I am too, says ECS. "Some call me a radical and you know what I say? Thank you!"
* They all go through a phase of wearing bloomers (I'm amused that Susan B gets up and flashes hers to the camera), and getting insulted for wearing them, and then they give up because nobody else will ever talk to them about anything but the bloomers. Sigh.
* Susan runs into someone she went to school with who's just had a fifth child. That is as awkward as you think it is.
* There is a reference to "horses who pass gas like a nor'easter," which I passed to Kelly later.
* ECS on "Old MacDonald Had A Farm: " It was cute the first few times I heard it...." She's just had her seventh kid at age 44, claims she'll really be done... (Later we hear that she's advocating for birth control and that women be able to refuse her husbands.) * Susan is cranky that Lucy Stone got married.
* It's a running gag that ECS keeps offering Susan candy and Susan keeps refusing it, saying she's watching her figure. Finally ECS snaps and says, "FOR WHAT? FOR WHOM?" since Susan refused to get married (and we are shown that she turned down a fellow).
* We find out that Susan disliked "Dishonest" Abe Lincoln for dragging his heels on signing the Emancipation Proclamation and just doing it to stir shit with the South. She also disagrees with black men getting the vote before women, Douglass does not approve. Lucy drops her over it.
* Intermission features the singing of the song "Bloomers" from the musical and trivia on the show.

In Act 2, she's now got a gray wig on and her traditional red shawl and she's now a celebrity. ECS feeds her Necco wafers and for once, she caves in.... oh, come on, you're almost 70. She likes it! NOW EVERYONE IS EATING CANDY. Out of nowhere, suddenly Douglass is having a conversation with his former owner and his former owner is apologizing. They figure out when his birthday is, which is sweet. Later Douglass is all, "ARE YOU EATING CHOCOLATE?!" "You've become quite a wild woman, Susan B. Eating chocolates! Sheer decadence! It's about time!"

Later, Susan is chatting with her ... nursemaid, I guess, and saying "I don't give a damn" about playing with dolls at age 82. Hah.

The start and end features women at the polls discussing her, and at the end someone says that Susan must be "doing the Charleston in heaven." Then they....literally show her doing that. I was not expecting that ending!

I went outside for around 40 minutes, then the upstairs neighbor started smoking pot. I wish I could no longer care, but someone smoking means that someone's air is making it into my air and that could mean.....sigh. I went out a half hour later and spent another half hour out before the smoke started up again. The karaoke neighbor was having her Alexa play music.

Mom called. Randall's mother died and she's going to go to the funeral on the 30th. "He needs me." I said "PLEASE DON'T GO" and of course she is all "It's outside" and "I'll have a mask on and not hug anyone" and "I'm sure there won't be many people." I said there are tons of outbreaks at funerals. She's not going to listen to me, not that she has EVER listened to me in her LIFE about ANYTHING. I don't know who would get her to listen--Roger, I guess, but if he hasn't said no..... GodDAMMIT.

Then later she said that Stephanie (Evan's friend from Thanksgiving) invited all of us to her house for Thanksgiving. Goddammit I wish I could go. I don't want to be 100% alone for Thanksgiving. But it could literally get people killed if we do that.

And she's not going to listen to me at all.

And then I may be very well left alone forever.

I can't even with this right now. I just emailed her a bunch of horror story links I found over the last week, particularly about a denier who had six people over for the weekend and then caused a trail of illness and death. Which she will probably ignore.

Microcovids of Thanksgiving for 3 hours: 600 microCOVIDs (200 to 2,000) each time ... then for you this is a very high risk activity. Doing this activity once would use up your entire risk allocation for ~3 weeks.

I started watching "The Heidi Chronicles," online for only 24 hours (too bad I didn't find out earlier it was "Wendy Weekend"). I've seen it before. I remember being weirdly hypnotized by the scene early on when Heidi meets Scoop at a dance and he's "arrogant and difficult" (openly says so) and ... I don't know what it was about this guy. The actor playing him the first time I saw the show wasn't particularly attractive to me or anything, and the character is quite mouthy as shit and obnoxious, but somehow by the end of the scene I was feeling kinda seduced by him myself and almost rooting for him and Heidi as a couple even though spoiler alert, that does not work out. Any other time I have anything else to do with this play--I remember reading the script at some point--I keep trying to figure it out, why I felt that way. So now I am watching this again with the same experience. This dude is perhaps a bit more attractive than the last one (though I don't feel strongly about him in that way either), but I watch this play again wondering if I'm going to have the same experience?

There's something about the line where he pictures himself flashing forward to being married to someone else with a kid and thinking back on when he might have fallen in love with Heidi this night instead.... There's something about that line, I think, that gets to me and I don't know why. But good job to the playwright on it because even if I don't remember the line for years on end, it tweaks me.

"He's a creep, but he's a charismatic creep" who becomes "unbelievably attentive" whenever she wants to leave. I have to say, that while Peter has his own special snark, once Scoop comes back again, it's a hoot. He's a jerk, but an entertaining jerk?

I do like how Lisa (Scoop's eventual wife) has dressed in character for this show...very blonde and bronze. "Sweetie, don't be such a little piggie," she says to Scoop.

This is sooooooooooo very 80's, I have to say. It was 80's then and is still 80's now. Scoop: "I AM SO UNHAPPY. WHY DID YOU LET ME DO THIS?!?"

Why Heidi and Scoop aren't together: she wants an equal relationship and he wants a woman who's going to take care of him. "She's the best I can do. Is she an A+ like you? No." "I couldn't dangle you any more. So I got married today." "Sorry I disappointed you."

Later, Heidi catches Scoop cheating on Lisa in the park, which is very open...."I wasn't surprised," Heidi says.

Later on, Heidi's not happy and fleeing town. Scoop says she's actually still on his list of people he cares about, even after he did it 3x over. Now can we talk about me? Not if it involves who you're cheating with. There aren't that many people who know me, he says. "Maybe we should try again. You're lonely and I'm lost." Hahahah, nope! She's all I don't know how Lisa stays married to you, I wouldn't have.

Heidi has adopted a baby. "I want her to understand men, and you're a classic." "I'm sort of dating an actress who says I'm withholding. Do you think I'm withholding?"

I actually went to the Playwright's Collaborative meeting, because (a) online and (b) I had the free time and (c) was actually interested in reading the play, which they mentioned "tracks one's family journey through months of the pandemic." Turned out Jim (theater Jim, not karaoke Jim) was going to be in this one, which I did not know, and we chatted privately, told him about Charlotte's Web and he said he loves that story.

Anyway, I appreciate that the playwright is doing a pandemic play, which he said was going to be put on by Chatauqua but then they canceled it because they couldn't figure out how to do it. It had good moments but a fair chunk of weaknesses, like (a) sounding kinda weird and racist when people are finding out about it and referring to it as the China flu, (b) they have a Puerto Rican student guy move in and get weird about his name (Jim's character, the jerk son Roger, kept wanting to call him "Albert" and when he says he goes by Berto, is all "bare toe?" This is, admittedly, amusing coming from Jim the barefoot hippie IRL).

Much as I like Jim, his character was kind of a brat, was primarily doing the weird racism bits, and when you hear him whine about being trapped in the house for a few days....

The backstory is that the family had a third child that was killed by random dogs. We hear about the dad having to lay people off, the joys of online teaching and substituted groceries. I did enjoy when the teacher mom snapped and made Roger write lines when he was being a brat and refusing to wear a mask. Then when Berto and the daughter (who's interested in him) want to go to a BLM protest, the mom freaks out about possibly losing another kid. That's act 1, and while I like that they covered that topic, by the start of Act 2, they all went and really enjoyed it and it was nice and everyone kept on their masks and the police were nice... There was also the sentence by Berto on "it's our Latino enthusiasm." I don't know on that one.

The dad at one point lectures about limbo after making a "B.L. Before Limbo" reference. This life is not bad, but not really good, just kind of existing. Which I enjoyed, but then somehow it turns into Berto explaining the limbo game and somehow NOBODY has ever heard of this before. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! (I note that the show ends with them playing it. I'm not against this, I just want to know how they are going to do this thing. With everyone all in one house? Limbo gaming over Zoom?) And then somehow the mom is all "the president says this is over, the governor says it's all over, you can go home soon, Berto!" and I am all WTF?!?! "We're winning the war against the virus. "Well, I guess that's kind of good news...." says Roger. Whaaaaat?! And then someone turns on the news and oops, never mind! There's outbreaks going on all over! Nobody's going home! But hey, the mom has been doing a lot of great cooking in quarantine. "You caught the virus and it made you a great cook?" and "Let's hear it for the virus!" Oy.

During this, I was emailing Shanna and Kelly and being all "I have thoughts but I am not at all sure as to how to bring that stuff up" and Kelly was all "yeah, we discuss whether or not it's okay to have white people write PoC all the time, is there anyone else there of color to talk about it?" and I said uh, other than the guy playing Berto, maybe not (some were off camera)....

That said: I was the only one that brought up the race stuff, but a few folks said it was a pretty white show with good white liberals struggling with their angst and the family was a bit saintly. Someone called it a "micro period piece."

The guy playing Berto said that the name thing felt pretty true to his own experience with his given name.

Regarding saying stuff in front of the playwright on Zoom: "He's not right there, so he can't hit you or anything."

One guy said, and others of us agreed with, that having it set in some generic Midwest wasn't the greatest. I think different states have had different experiences and that should be a factor. One guy just straight up said "this takes place in Sacramento" because "we're all very polite here," and that the show needs some Trumpy moron and people getting into fights and more crisis.

One other person said ,"People are not doing wonderful things with food," which cracked me up. (And someone suggested that he put a cat in the play because cats are always wandering through.)

Anyway, I think the playwright had the most objection to the location being "in limbo" and not specific, and at one point said "If I set it in Sacramento, is it okay, then?" Hm.....???? Anyway, he wanted it in "limbo" i.e. a generic location and family somewhat breaking apart (can't say I saw that too much?), and then coming back together to literally do the limbo. Up to him, I guess.

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