Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
2021-12-31, 8:58 a.m.
10:15 a.m. Still tested negative yesterday. The play we are going to wasn't canceled yet as far as I can tell. It's also Not Raining today, so that's nice. I went to Safeway to get sandwiches for me and Mom (and a few other things, like sushi and fancy soup) and ah...what's with people with like 30-40 items getting into the 15-item line? I decided to eat my sandwich before she got there and kept my mask on the entire time.
On the way home, we fought about (a) why don't I like my job, (b) why can't I be more cheerful and optimistic about my job, (c) why did my brand new electric blanket stop working after THREE DAYS OF OWNERSHIP, this morning it just went ice cold except in certain spots, (d) why didn't I save the box (um, because who expects it to crap out after 3 days?), (e) no, my apartment heater isn't working AT ALL and I have no idea if the pilot light was actually lit or not, which leads to... (f) yes, I know it's bad to have the hanging chair right next to it (note: it's not RIGHT up against the wall but fairly close), but LITERALLY WHERE ELSE DO YOU SEE IN THIS SMALL APARTMENT THAT I CAN MOVE IT TO, and she kept looking over and over and over again and could not find a better option, AHEM. In the end, she said something about well, at least it's not living at her hoarder house, so there's that at least.
She asked me what happened to me doing improv and I said I auditioned for a team at least...4-5 times? and they never wanted me on one, so I gave up there. She said, "Well, sometimes you just don't fit," and that is the story of my life. I don't fit most of the time. She said that when I was acting I was actually relaxed and started complaining that I'm uptight and I was all "of course I'm uptight, did you have to bring up work on my vacation?" Yes, my dream would be to have a job (with a regular paycheck and health insurance) where I could be myself and be comfortable, and my job is walking on razor blades level of comfortable and I hear all the time about how my personality is wrong for the job. But I can't seem to find anything that fits me better than this job. I read Ask A Manager today and came across this quote: "The universe didn’t open a door; it burst through the wall like the Kool Aid Man, grabbed me, and dragged me out." The universe wants me here or at least whenever I look, options are the same or worse, so.
Okay, let's talk about something actually good: CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY is a fun, beautiful musical that I enjoyed quite a bit. AMAZING colorful sets, kind of steampunk/gear-y but with rainbow, which I appreciated.
The show starts out with Willy Wonka saying he wants to retire, and then putting on a plainer disguise and working in a candy store in his town. This attracts young Charlie Bucket, a poor inventor kid who adores chocolate and has all these ideas of stuff he'd like to invent too. WW is perpetually kinda rude-ish--you think he's going to give Charlie a freebie or secretly sneak him a golden ticket after awhile after getting to know him--but nope! In the end, Charlie finally gets one after finding a dollar. He buys straight up unhealthy/rotted food from some lady and you are all, wtf?
I'm not sure WHAT time period this is taking place in. Charlie's family is so poor that his mother loses shifts at the laundry because her boss got a machine and they only have cents to their name, and yet later on we find out Violet's a TikTok influencer, and Mike Teevee's mom is constantly on pills and alcohol like a stereotypical 1950's housewife, yet Mike just straight up hacked himself a golden ticket somehow? No clue on time period here.
The kids are, as usual, spectacularly annoying. Augustus is another poster child for "fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son," except not drunk and now from Germany or something. Veruca is a spoiled Russian ballerina and I presume her dad is an oligarch. Mike Teevee is a super annoying hacker that his mom literally ties down while she pops pills and booze. Violet runs around in a flashy tracksuit and whores it up online, I presume. (Still my favorite of the bad kids.)
The visuals are amazing, particularly the rainbow forest with the chocolate river Augustus drinks from even though he was told not to. Most of the sets were great, though at one point everyone goes through an "invisible maze," which just felt like either they were cheaping out or they were trying to set up some other giant set piece behind them, which I don't think so in the end? But the backgrounds were beautiful, the Bucket house was crazy poor awesome, the colors were fancy.
I also note that in this day and age, not a single understudy was announced! THIS ENTIRE CAST MADE IT INTO THE SHOW!!! That's amazing now.
(a) Violet's suit inflates--I assume from the backpack she's wearing--later they have her in a bigger one, and finally she's just a giant bowl before exploding into mush.
(b) There are giant squirrels that dance with Veruca before PULLING HER APART INTO LITERAL PIECES. The audience was just particularly horrified and quiet at that one because you can't even fanwank that particular death like you might Augustus (maybe he survived?) or Violet (well, I presume since she EXPLODED she did not). Mike Teevee literally yells out "Why don't you kill another kid" and get this tour over with so he can win, looking right at Charlie.
(c) Mike gets turned into a TV character, and his mother is actually...happy about this, because she can just keep him in her purse and out of trouble.
(d) They've got puppetry in this, both the Mike Teevee shrunk one and the Oompa-Loompas, who are small puppets (orange hair/adult person heads, tiny bodies, puppeteers are wearing purple PJ's behind then). People loved it. I still think the O-L's are weird as heck--it's like Santa's elves except...not...but their taunting songs are still entertaining. Even if one is clearly from O-L POV and yet being sung by giant murderous squirrels. I note that they were selling squirrels as merchandise.
Anyway, I highly recommend it. I'm never quite sure whether or not to root for Wonka since on the one hand he seems to like Charlie, but on the other hand he is totally fine with all the child murder (oh, Roald Dahl), but the actor was doing a great job of it and having a very good time. Ditto the kid playing Charlie, who was charming and adorable as heck. ,
Rehearsal: went well tonight for the most part, I think we got a little screwed up on "Prisoners of Love" but otherwise going well and being entertaining and laughing at things, etc. etc. Too bad I don't really have time to take notes on the funny stuff these days. I also started knitting sample scarves to be in the show--I finished one during Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and got pretty far along on a second during rehearsal, showed Scott and he approved. Jean (costumes) said we could work on stuff like getting purses on Sunday.
We also had our pictures taken as old ladies for Bialy's cabinet of ladies.
Covid watch: Michael is back and totally fine (said it was a 12 hour issue) and Evan's had one negative test! Only short one person today, huzzah.
Tomorrow: work on set things allllllll day, followed by a cast party at night. Looking forward to the last one, at least. I wanted something to do and heck, I hang out with these people all the time lately anyway, right? Not home being sad, anyway.
As for Scott: his dad is in the ER right now with what sounds like possible gallbladder and/or pancreatitis issues (note: I am terrible on comprehending medical stuff, sounds like he ate a bad dish at Panera Sunday and things have not gone well from there and he has a history of things like that in the past). I asked if he was heading over to the ER now and it sounds like probably, but will have to go let the dog out first. He said he might come over after work in the afternoon, but if things are going badly, maybe not so much. Poor guy. You want to be all "is there something I can do" but there darned well isn't other than just try to send a text at some point to check in. At least he's wearing one of the KN95's I got him if he's going to the hospital.
We're hugging again, apparently. Anyway...I just gotta let him go.
1. What did you do in 2021 that you’d never done before?
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
From last year: ”GET VACCINATED. That’s really the only goal to have this year or that anyone should have this year. Oh yeah, and "don't get the virus." I did both! I’m impressed I didn’t get omicron or delta, actually.
As for this year: I don't really have any goals to set--"don't get covid" seems like a no longer reasonable goal, we all know I'll never find love or get another job, I hope to shoot to get into more plays if/where I can, but we'll see how this year goes. I think my one goal, which is a sad one, is to give up on the whole Scott thing. After January 30, dial it back, try not to contact him or maintain the relationship, let it go and be what it's going to amount to, i.e. not much. If group hangouts ever happen again, perhaps, or if he contacts me, but I need to not care about the guy more than he cares about me, period.3. Did anyone close to you give birth? No.
4. Did anyone close to you die? No.
5. What countries did you visit? None, as usual.
6. What would you like to have in 2022 that you lacked in 2021?
Not constantly living in fear of getting the virus. I had that for a few weeks and then...well, you know.
7. What dates from 2020 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
March 1 and 30th and October 5: my vaccination dates. April 14, my “all clear” date (hahahah, sounded so important then, didn’t it). October 23 for Rocky Horror, November 20 for well, actual horror.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I got into more shows, specifically IRL musicals!
9. What was your biggest failure?
Completely misreading Scott as actually having a crush on me back.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
THANK GOD, NO.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
I can’t specifically remember anything to answer this.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Same answer as last year:Directors, for letting me be in shows. My new online friends. My new coworkers.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Same answer as last year: A lot of people in politics. Every motherfucking goddamned idiot that refuses to wear a mask or take precautions, goes out partying or seeing relatives, comes down with it, and then is all “How did I do do that?”
14. Where did most of your money go?
It went to a little more IRL shopping than last year. I think the most frivolous thing was ordering a custom holster at the Renaissance Faire I can’t figure out how to get onto myself now.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
16. What song will always remind you of 2021?
Hahahaahahah, that song Ariana Grande sung in “Don’t Look Up,” I guess?
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Hm, I don’t know. I had plans to do more activities this fall/winter and then Omicron, so never mind there.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Being interested in someone who was not interested back.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
Hung out with Mom and Roger, which was a vast improvement from last year.
21. Did you fall in love in 2021?
THIS DID NOT GO WELL. Though last year’s answer was hoping that we’d do a Christmas show together in person this year, which has happened...hahahahahah, no luck though.
22. How many one-night stands? Yeah, RIGHT. Also, who actually answers this question?
23: What was your favorite TV program?
Still Good Place and Legends of Tomorrow, and Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. I’m enjoying the new 4400 of late. I was really happy to find Limitless online and have been rewatching that.
24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? No, but I have SUPER CONFLICTING FEELINGS on one person and am confused as heck.
25. What was the best book you read?
5 star reviews: A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking, Crush the King
4.5 star reviews: In A Holidaze, Things You Save In A Fire, What You Wish For, Franklin and Eleanor, Capture the Crown, Penric’s Mission, Aurora Burning, The Midnight Bargain, Revolutionary.
New authors discovered this year that stood out: Katherine Center, Colleen Cowley, Lindsay Ellis.
26. What was your greatest musical discovery? Performing in musicals, I guess? That I can actually sing in them?
27. What did you want and get? Books, Baby Yoda stuff, clothes, yarn.
28. What did you want and not get?
A boyfriend. They’re sold out of anti-affirmations calendars so I can’t get one for 2021. Oh yeah, and FREEDOM TO LIVE LIFE WITHOUT RISK OF SEVERE ILLNESS, PERMANENT DISABLEMENT OR DEATH.
29. What was your favorite film of this year? I really liked Coda and Encanto.
30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Turned 43, went on a bookstore crawl and hung out with Mom and Roger for the first time in over a year.
31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? NOT HAVING A PANDEMIC.
32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2021?
I REFUSE TO WEAR PANTS WITH BUTTONS AND SNAPS AND ZIPPERS ON MY OWN INITIATIVE (sadly, will be forced for the show). All baggy pants! All sweats! All drawstrings! All hippie pants!
I somewhat upscaled my look again from last year, but the “fuck jeans” remains.
33. What kept you sane? Yarn and theater.
34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Jen Psaki.
35. What political issue stirred you the most? Coronavirus, duh.
36. Who did you miss? EVERYBODY. LITERALLY EVERYBODY, albeit not as much as I did last year.
37. Who was the best new person you met? I really did hit it off with Rae.
38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2021:
Don’t “shoot your shot.”
39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
”Listen to the goddamn qualified scientists