Chaos Attraction

So Far, So Good

2022-12-29, 6:13 p.m.

Wednesday night rehearsal: actually going pretty well, except for no Steve or Kimmie. Everyone on Zoom is still sick but Sarah said she's improving, but still coughing and testing positive. I was home by 10:30, even. I wore a new N95 there, kept it on the entire time, found wipes and swabbed off EVERYTHING and went outside to eat and drink. Meanwhile, Jan was there but masked, and James came in and he almost always has one on. And Montana does. That's about it for masks here...Chris said to the Zoom people, "We're a little scared, but we're fine."

The last two pages were a complete trainwreck again, I expressed complaints about things somehow being off, Jan and James said they'd look into it (I did not hang around for this today). There were also some issues because apparently Steve has to turn ON the moving lights--they aren't totally programmed?--so some of the lights were off in the first act until this was deduced. Otherwise I'm doing pretty well...

I tried to look around for all the air filters they used to have at the theater. Frankly, I can only find one and when I turned it on, it started beeping incessantly, which makes me suspect it doesn't work. GAAAAAAAAAAAAH. On a related note, another announcement was made that if you do anything involving smoke, please make sure nobody smells it in the dressing room.


"Never a dull moment in live theater." -James

Arianna to the Zoom people: "I love your messy vibe!"

(As Omar and I watch Sally make a "prairie oyster" out of the contents of her fur coat)
Me: "She just carries around a raw egg?!"
Omar: "Haven't you ever carried around a raw egg in your pocket?"
Me: "Not unless it's hard boiled."
(We wonder if an actual egg is going to be shown. Who knows? So far all the fresh fruits, letters, bedding, etc. is Kimmie's territory, and WHO KNOWS?!)

(On the line :"My stay in Berlin was to force creation.") Me: "I guess that happened!" (i.e. pregnancy)

As Kost is perennially shoving dudes in and out of the hallway: Me: "She really just needs to have a room BY THE DOOR!" Omar: "I know!"

James on the gorilla scene: "That's the scene I want to do someday."

I felt obligated to explain why I was a “maybe” to party invites. Scott reacted with shocked face emoji (but otherwise hasn’t contacted me or anything...), and his mom disinvited me from the party with a remark about “keep your germs at home, there will be other parties”...nuff said there. I thought that was ... pretty rudely phrased? I'm still kinda offended. I wrote back that I’d only consider going if I tested negative for the next few days, including day of, but I feel pretty uninvited and kind of snotty there? Like hello, I can figure out not to show up if I’m sick, and I also wear a mask when you threw yours out the second mandates ended...Also, if it’s been five days and I still test negative and have no symptoms, that’s pretty well all clear, even for me.

Anyway, that last bit still cheeses me off.

Thursday: So far, so good this morning. Tested negative. Dawn came by with waffles from yesterday and we operated under Cootie Girl behavior anyway. It’s depressing. I had my singing lesson with Morgan--”Lost In The Brass” is going very well and we got through most of the song this time. Kelly asked me to proofread the latest version of her big play, so I did that all day. Distraction helps.

Theater news: Kimmie tested negative. No one else has tested with a new positive. The three people who have previously tested positive continue to test positive, though we're told the emcee's line is fainter. Everything is still a go.

Oh, and that newspaper article (which I am still not gonna link to since it sadly has my full name in it, but a few Holidailies folks know me IRL so I’m sure they can Google if they wanna) is now blowing up with drama. WHEE. I will note that the reporter seemed sane on the phone, but some people seem to be interpreting things as “y’all are a bunch of freaks,” which as a freak, I cannot argue with. *sigh* I'm still dragging through reading all the drama, but I need to leave soon so I won't be finishing that right now.

I have watched more Hallmark, but I am still distracted AF. Here are reviews written before the distraction, which may not suck so bad, but the ones afterwards, oy.

My Southern Family Christmas:

Sometimes you can tell from the getgo that this is gonna be one of the duller Hallmark movies (by which I mean more serious) and yeah, that's about the case here. (Alice) Campbell* writes feature articles for an airplane magazine and is tired of "Christmas on a ranch, Christmas on a cruise." She gets a call from her stepmother, by which I mean, "I think I'm married to your father?!" I'm not entirely sure what happened, but presumably her biodad ran off and abandoned her, she was raised by her biomom and nice stepdad. Biodad (Bruce Campbell) has remarried, had two more kids, and is such a pillar of the Louisiana bayou that he's now been chosen for the new Pere Noel job.

* We're told there were a lot of Alice's in her class, also explains how she has a different name by the time she turns up. Seriously might as well have just named her "Jennifer" instead of the stepmom, lol.

Anyway, this turns into stepmom being the only one who knows that Campbell is really Bruce Campbell's daughter and otherwise she's just here to write a story on him and the new job. "It's kinda like lying? It's kinda a lot like lying." This gets a wee bit awkward when the research nerd love interest figures out an hour in who she is. "I'm the town's secret record keeper. I know all." Of course it turns into a mystery of "how come this guy who's a good dad and good egg now was a flakeass back when she was two?" and she literally eavesdropped on biodad saying he went to a pageant of "Alice's" once, saw her new dad, and left so he didn't ruin her perfect family.

This movie isn't very ludicrous by Hallmark standards, but it does have the line, "SHE DOESN'T EVEN KNOW THE NAMES OF PERE NOEL'S GATORS!!!!", like that's common to know. And also, "I probably wouldn't want to hang out with someone who writes for an airplane magazine either."

Eventually the truth is revealed with a gift on Christmas Day, and biodad breaks out the old letters/journal he wrote to her, and even I felt a bit sappy. I love how one of his kids was all, "I KNEW IT! I had a hunch!" Overall, this was...just okay, though, in the "probably not gonna remember this tomorrow" range. Three stars.


#Xmas. The title alone to me makes me pretty sure I'm gonna hate it, because INFLUENCER. I'm trying to go through the movies in order and seriously, I'm just kinda waiting to get to the better ones? In this one there's a 'Perfect Houga Holidays" competition* in which "Jen T" fakes having a husband and a baby, "and our child could double for the Gerber baby," barf. I note that "Jen T's "thing" is being "genuine" (or "Jen-uine"). UH-HUH. I note that this Jen apparently has a fake social media identity, "Jen T," and "Jen T" goes on about how things aren't always perfect, which would actually be great and refreshing (I note this is what appeals to people in the contest) if she was, y'know, not faking being perfect while faking being perfect. Or something. My brain is breaking trying to think this shit out.

* note: apparently "Houga" is how you pronounce "hygge." I thought "Houga" was the couple running the competition's last name or something.

Anyway, Lying Video #1 is a hit, and Jen's very-estranged mom sees it, and is all "SHE GOT MARRIED AND HAD A BABY?! I AM RUNNING DOWN THERE IMMEDIATELY!!!!" I note that Jen's dad died when she was a kid and then Mom ran out and got married a bunch more times (OF COURSE SHE IS NAMED LIZ TAYLOR), and Jen has had enough of the revolving door of husbands. Mom forces her way into everything, and annoys Jen. Obviously Mom has to be told this is all fake, but Mom's an "actress!" (in high school) and is down for the lies. I think at one point the mom claims she was on Broadway or something?

Meanwhile, "Jen T" gets higher and higher and sales and influences and followers blah blah bigger. Her sister tries to rationalize this big lie as, "This becomes less of a lie and more of a... manifestation."
Then, of course, the influencer contest people show up for the holidays (why?!? Because her mother invited them over!), forcing everyone to fake living at the mom's house and faking that Jen has a baby. And her "just friend" that's faking being her husband of course gets a job offer in Portland (okay, I'm not sure where they are in Oregon, but that's not TERRIBLE, it's not like across the country or another state).

God, this sucks. I hate this plot. I'll note that it also seems like it'd be really easy to figure out in 2022 that Jen is single? And this would be outed in like 2 seconds now? Like seriously, if I was an “influencer” and posting a bunch of shit on social media, PEOPLE WOULD NOTICE IF I SUDDENLY HAD A HUSBAND AND BABY, because that’s gotta take at least a few years to produce and those don’t come outta nowhere.

On a related note of faking it, the influencer couple's relationship is on the rocks as well and the husband is severely sick of faking it for the cameras, and finally he just says to Jen that they're separated and announcing after the new year. Eventually the lie is outed when the baby says his first word, "mama," at his actual mother. Jen has a crying breakdown and announces the truth, and Max the fake husband/"just a friend" is resentful that she broke up with him originally--I hear ya.

I don't really like the plot of this movie, but Jen's breakdown at the end is legitimately heartbreaking and I shudder to think of all the media articles that would have been written damning this lady IRL (thinking of the TryGuys), which this movie tactfully doesn't go into. That said, the influencer couple does disqualify her from the contest, but still offer her a magazine spread(!) and are holding hands(!) when they show up again, which is...outta nowhere?

Two and a half stars. Very questionable. I give props to the actress playing Jen for acting this ridicuouslness outta the park, but the plot is ick.

A Tale of Two Christmases.

This is literally "Christmas Sliding Doors," but with a plane instead of a subway or whatever that movie does (never saw it). Emma makes it home in one case, she doesn't in the other.

Go home: hey, there's a hottie who picked her up from the airport! ("Don't look at me, I found her that way," he says after a girl stuck a candy cane in her hair.) Helpfully for the visuals of this show, this now means that one version of her will have shorter hair (and a bow). Drew the bearded guy sounds like a good egg.

Stay at work: Hey, want to go to the work hottie's Christmas party? Wanna go on a date to the Christmas market? He's got a guitar, but "only because my decorator thought it would look cool."

In the end, she wakes up and it's December 24 again and she realized that work crush guy is not the one for him. She turns him down for a date and then goes back home. "Turns out I prefer dysfunctional holiday gatherings to perfect holiday parties." Now she knows which way to go, literally, I guess, including quitting her job.

This is probably a perfectly good movie, it seems fine, but my attention span is shot today, obviously.

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