Friday, February 10, 2017

Moving Along

I can't actually believe it's February already...and almost Half Price Chocolate Day!  It's nice to have something to look forward to!  My mother's birthday was Feb 13th, and she'd be 112 if she were still alive today.  Damn, I'm getting old.  Addy Mags has a birthday on the 17th...The Big Three!

The Austin Theatre Project project [Title of Show]

I'm working on closes on the 18th and RKJB Entertainment's For the Love of Mahalia

opens on the 23rd, so this is a busy month for me.  The ATP play requires little of me besides my presence, as it has a cast of four, one costume per actor and contemporary, so I'm just there to make sure their buttons get put back if they pull a kamikaze move.  Mahalia, on the other hand, is a 1960s period piece, with an occasional foray into the past from there.  Including one of her iconic (damn, I hate that word, but sometimes it works) concert gowns.  Fun.

Both daughters have moved out, so it's just The Teen and myself, trying to dig out of my Hoarder's Paradise with the help of four cats and the boxer.

Fun times.

Speaking of Fun Times, a man got murdered to death at a local convenience store...something that indicates Round Rock is truly a Big City, and on its way to becoming the Crime Capitol of Texas.  This is in spite of our police cars being repainted from their former white with purple and gold letters

 to fierce black with big white letters.

I'm reassured about public safety now.  Aren't you?

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


Well, instead of electing a candidate who has experience in international politics and a lifetime record of public service, y'all have elected an asshole who thinks the whole thing is a joke.  He is, at best, a loose cannon and at worst, a full-blown despot.  He thinks the role of President of the USA is a step down from his gilded tower.

Way to go, America.

We have been lagging, compared to the rest of the world, in the way we look after people...minorities, the disabled, women, children.  We have slipped down well below the level of acceptable, let alone exceptional.  We expect people to work for starvation wages.  We have lousy health care.  We don't care a whole lot about the environment.  Our schools are overcrowded and underfunded, with religious idiots in charge of curricula.  All that is about to get worse.

This election has brought home to me that nearly half the country is comprised of people who never look beyond their tiny miserable lives to see that there is a world out there, filled with infinite promise.  Kind of reminds me of a couple of minor characters in the Narnia books who, when Aslan won the battle and there was a feast, lurked within a shack of their own mental creation, eating crusts and scraps.

When asked why they liked Donald J Trump, the catchphrase during the campaign was, "He speaks his mind."  All I could think of was, "Well, if that's the case, I wish he would shut up!"  He didn't "speak his mind," he spoke the words that his ignorant fans wanted to hear.  He gave permission for them to be assholes, just like him (only not rich).  So now, all these people think it's perfectly all right to be racist, misogynistic, xenophobic bigots.  Some of them probably think doing so will make them rich.

Science is the enemy.  Gimme that old time religion.  Of the christian sort, of course.

So far, Trump has taken several shots at the First speech, freedom of the press and freedom of religion.  And I suppose you've seen his cabinet choices...none of them are at all competent for the jobs they are being given, and many have histories of fighting the very departments they have been assigned.  Take Rick Perry (please) charge of the Department of Energy...we all remember when he debated four years ago and wanted to abolish three departments...but couldn't remember the third (oops).  Now he's going to be running the department he couldn't remember.  And the rest of them are just as bad.

Then there is this whole Russian hacking debacle.  While there seems to be no doubt that Russian intelligence hacked the DNC, apparently there are some who doubt that installing Trump as a Putin puppet was the objective.  Personally, I can't think of another reason.  "To disrupt the election" seems awfully vague and silly, to me; more along the lines of a fraternity prank.  Installing a puppet leader who will lift the sanctions Obama placed on Russian oil, though...that makes sense.  Not good sense, but sense.

Will the Electoral College step up and do what they were designed to do?  Analysts say not bloody likely.  So it looks like we are stuck with an unpredictable, ineducable asshole at the helm.

I never did like reality TV.

Friday, October 21, 2016

I've been busy, OK?

Here are the show shots from Sweeney Todd.

You can see I've been a little busy...I've made a few tweaks to the costumes since the photos were taken, and will try to get updated pics...of course, they won't be as good as Doc List's, but I'm hoping I can catch the actors backstage in the improvements.

Here's a review:  If you have an ad blocker, just click on the banner and it will go away...

Here's Mrs Lovett with add-on.

I'm not sure what my next project is, but I'll try to be a better blogger.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Wow! It's Nice!

Sam Bass Theatre presented me with this last night.  Very kind of them, I must say!

I guess that hanging around for thirty-odd years will get you noticed.

And my friend Dave Butts took me for a ride in his Tesla

And Laura made me cheesecake!

And they were supposed to roast me, but everything anyone said was nice, so I don't think it qualified!

Thanks to one and all for a memorable evening!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Here We Are Again

Nine years ago yesterday, I went about my business, never knowing that, a couple of hours after midnight, my life would change forever.

When Brendan and I found Jim outside, I couldn't even touch him.  He was breathing, still, but I could see the hole in his head and there was blood everywhere.  I was afraid, I think, of being sucked into the maelstrom with him.  And afraid that he wouldn't feel like my Jim.  There was no comfort I could give him.  Comfort is, after all, for the living.

I've tried to remember him like this wedding picture, rather than that mental image I just described, and I usually succeed.  Like this, or in motion.  Teaching a class.  Directing a show.  Building something.  Painting something.  Writing something, and chuckling at what he had written.
But I am still sometimes overwhelmed with sadness and guilt.  What if there were something I could have done?  Did I not love him enough?  Contribute enough to his life to make it worthwhile?

At such times, I have to get a firm grip and remind myself that his suicide was about him.  How could it be about me?  Still...There are those moments that come unbeknownst and stay forever.  One such is the look in Jim's eyes as I kissed him that last night.  At the time, I couldn't figure out what was going on, and it bothered me while I was trying to go to sleep.  In hindsight, it was anguish.  Would it have helped if I had asked him what was wrong?

He wanted me to get the house back the way his mother had kept it...but I couldn't.  He had hurt his back a few months before, when we moved into the house, and the place was crammed to the max with antiques.  Not to mention that he had given away her contemporary furniture (and mine...and his) to make room for all the things he could not bring himself to sell or donate to a museum.  He felt like a failure for not looking after all the things the way his mother, grandmother, great aunts and every ancestor back to the Civil War had done.  Every single piece held memories for him, and he hoarded the memories the same way he hoarded the furniture.

I have said before that it seemed he cared more for the stuff than he did for me.  His letter instructed me in the disposal of all of it, but the law had other ideas.  I did the best I could.

Yesterday, I was thinking about the way I had gone about on that day, with no inkling it was my last day with him.

I'm glad I told him I loved him before I went to bed.

Thursday, August 11, 2016


The world is a dangerous place for women.  This has been brought home recently by Donald Trump's incitement of violence against Hillary Clinton.  Overt, mind you, but with enough ambiguity to allow him to say that it "was only a joke."

For me, it started early.  My parents, for a short while, rented out the front bedroom of the house we lived in when I was little, in Coventry, England.  The tenant gave me a toy spider.  I don't remember much about it, except that it was big...probably about 8" in diameter, and it had red boots.  Wound up, it would walk across the floor in a wonderful spidery gait.  Something in my parents' reaction to the gift made me think there was a problem with it, and I was made to return it and the tenant vanished.

In catholic school, there was something in the look on the janitor's face as he looked up at all of us coming down the fire escape that made me wish for an extra hand to hold my tunic tight around my legs...because both hands were clinging in terror to the railings.  Fire drills were scary.  This was the same man who felt me up a year or so later.  I wrote about it here.

In high school, I was the only girl in the physics class.  Well, I was the only one stubborn enough to stay in the physics class when the boys would say horrible things to us before the teacher got there. Tales of sexual exploits straight from the pages of men's magazines, I suppose.  Embarrassing, nonetheless.  I tried very hard not to let them see I cried.  It was also in high school that I spent a summer selling Watkins products door-to-door.  All was well, except for that one old man, whose threshold I learned not to cross.  And there was that one teacher who offered me a ride home after school once when I missed the bus.  In a later consultation with other girls, a consensus was reached that no one wanted to ride with him.  Nothing overt...just a bit of a creepy feeling, but still.

I landed a job as a waitress at a truck stop.  My dad dropped me off and picked me up.  A customer grabbed my ass as I was serving him.  The bowl of hot soup that landed in his lap was not entirely an accident, and I was fired.

In college, there were several pimply-faced boys who took me to see explicit movies, I guess expecting me to leap into their arms, after, screaming, "Let's do it!"  I was just embarrassed.  Then there was that one guy who had a little cardboard shack in the woods on campus and tried to herd me in there.  Not happening...

As a young "hippie chick," I was accosted on a regular basis, because some men had an entirely different concept of "free love" from mine.  The first time I abandoned my 28AA bra and went to the store, a man followed me in and out of three stores before yelling at me, "Do you know what you look like with your boobies bouncing around inside your shirt?"  I yelled back for him to fuck off...not my finest response, but my first one.

I was invited to a party while living in Vancouver, that turned out to be a recruitment for some pimps. I was told all I would have to do was wear pretty pajamas and be nice to men.  I grabbed my friend and got out of there, pronto. We were offered drugs and alcohol at the party.

Well, that's enough for now.  All these things happened before I was 20.  I could write a book about the next 47 years...

Friday, July 22, 2016


I've been confining my political maunderings to Facebook recently, as I have a couple of pages over there that feed the need to express myself on the current shenanigans in the election cycle.  Today, I read this:

I'm providing the link, but I am also going to copy and paste most of it, as links have a way of vanishing...

The writer is Eric Schmeltzer.

I hope you will excuse the use of "Drumpf."  That is due to an app I facetiously downloaded and now can't figure out how to lose.  The writer of the HuffPost article did not use the word "Drumpf."  I even tried to change it, but the damn app changed it back.


Dear Members of the Media,

You keep saying this isn’t a normal political cycle, and you’re right. But, you keep covering it like it is one.

From focusing on process stories, like how the Trump campaign flubs roll-outs, to slicing and dicing the electorate up, to report on the horserace, you deprive the American people of a real examination of what’s happening. So, let’s leave aside the usual politics, and examine what happened in Cleveland, this last week:
  •      Speakers charged Hillary Clinton with murder.
  • A Governor held a kangaroo court, where he delivered a prosecution, and asked the mob to render a verdict.
  • Delegates repeatedly chanted to place Donald Trump’s political opponent in jail.
  • One Trump adviser called for her to be shot.
  • Another Republican official called for her to be hanged.
  • The head of Donald Trump's transition team revealed that Trump would ask for a law to be passed to purge the government of any non-loyalists, similar to one of the first bills passed by Germany, after Hitler was elevated to power.
  • Donald Trump declared that America will not jump to the defense of our NATO allies, if invaded by the authoritarian Russian regime.
  • Trump declared that “he alone” will fix America’s problems. Not with a duly elected legislature — alone.
It is all there for you to see, plain as day, what pattern is emerging. What happened in Cleveland mirrors the rise of a populist authoritarian regime, in every way, shape and form.
And many of you are talking about whether Paul Manafort (who has first-hand experience helping out authoritarian regimes) saw a plagiarized speech, or how maybe in some way Ted Cruz united Republicans.
I don’t know any former journalists who worked in Germany, or Italy, or any of the Central or South American countries where power was usurped by strongmen.
But I don’t think it is a stretch to say that a good deal of them, upon losing the power to write and report, thought, “Why didn’t I raise more alarms when I had the chance?”
There is a growing cancer in our politics — something we thought could never happen here, in America. It has now congealed into a tumor, by the name of Donald Trump.
It is certainly fed by events of the day around the world which, indeed, are scary. Those events are not in your control.
But it also feeds off being treated like it is normal, by the media. Like it is no big deal, no existential threat to how our nation has operated, as a Constitutional Republic, for over 200 years. Reporting on it like normal allows it to spread, feed, and grow as much as anything.
And so, you have a choice. Will you be that energy for the cancer? Will you cover this like it is just another election, or will you drop pretense, and treat it like the serious fork in the road that it is?
I pray, for us, that you start treating it like the latter.