Wednesday, February 27, 2008

mr. big shot

I had intended to post sooner, but our house has been in such a whirl. My husband has just been sent to Hollywood for his Big Shot Live!

Let me back up.

I met my husband when we were both actors at Dudley Riggs Brave New Workshop. We spent 3 years working for this theater, writing satirical comedy, performing 7 shows a week, performing improvisational theater after 5 of those shows, teaching improvisation for the Brave New Institute - it was like going to a great grad school for satirical theater and improvisation. (If you have no idea what I'm talking about, think The Second City of Saturday Night Live.)
Then, as our careers progressed and we had a family, we seemed to get farther and farther away from what we really loved, or what shook us up and made us excited.
Not long ago, Daddyman decided that he'd try his luck at stand-up comedy. Turns out, he's really damned funny! He's been doing open mics and hosting lots of events and blah blah blah. Then, last week he threw his hat into the ring at Big Shot Live. Guess what? HE WON!
Yesterday, they flew him to LA and put him up at a decent hotel in the Hollywood Hills. He caught up with old friends and basked in the sunshine. This morning, they producers asked him to check out of his hotel room because they were going to fly him to Las Vegas. While he is on the plane, he will be meeting with the producers and the folks who book the talent for Jimmy Kimmel Live We don't know what's going to happen... you can watch it on Saturday night on line at Big Shot Live

It's been a whirl wind. I am so happy for him. Every time I think about it, I jump up and down and giggle like a crazy woman! It couldn't happen to a nice, funnier, more decent guy! It's his time! Wahoo!!!!

If you are interested in watching, his name is Rick Logan and he's from Saint Paul, MN. Comedy comes up on Saturday. Check it out!

Monday, February 25, 2008

And on the first day, God created the sunshine...

2:05 AM Minnesota Time/ 12:05 AM LA Time
We were greeted at LAX by Uber Uncle. Yaya, in her pink fuzzy, footy-jammies leaped into his arms and proclaimed her love with kisses and hugs and hand holding that didn't stop until she was buckled into the back of the Big Red Car so we could speed through the LA area under the cloak of darkness.

And thus began our Great California Adventure.

The first day
, we walked "a couple of miles" to pick up my nieces from school. It was a gorgeous, sunny day. Two hours later, we were still walking. And I mean power walking! FAST! Luckily, the company was fantastic and the weather was brilliant and it felt so great to be able to breathe. Outside. Without a coat. People live like that all of the time - who knew?

Day two:
Johanna and I loaded the littlest and the nieces into the all-terrain stroller and headed out in search of adventure.

First stop - the city bus. We loaded "all aboard!" and off we went. The girls brought an uncharged cell phone and bright red caps. You wouldn't believe how many people told us that it wasn't healthy to let our children talk on the phone that much. We just told them that times, they are a-changin! Then we mumbled something about using their imaginations and blah blah blah. And we smiled. And they laughed. And the girls passes the uncharged cell phone back and forth - taking turns calling their fathers and their dogs.

After the bus, we found our way onto the Metro. A bus and a train in one day - Yaya was in heaven!

Finally, we landed in Chinatown.

It was heaven. The adventure was filled with yummy eats

- Pho and Boba -

and fragrant smells that wafted from stores that boasted floor to ceiling shelves jammed full of unmarked glass jars filled with ground spices and aisles filled with buckets of fresh flowers and strings of lanterns and boxes of black silk shoes and stacks of parasols and glass cases filled with candy in wrappers that were printed with words that we didn't understand, but honestly didn't care - we'd try anything because it was an adventure.

We strolled through markets full of everything and nothing. We talked to everyone who'd say hello.

We filled the mini-go-round with pockets full of quarters and laughed until our bellies hurt at the green shaking space ship.

We held hands and skipped through our adventure until we were too tired to walk.

Then, after one last trip to the florescent flicker of the public restroom, we climbed "all aboard!" and headed home. Our pockets were full of candy wrappers and out-of-date Chinese New Year cards.

We slept on the train in each others arms, rested in the warm afternoon sun while we waited for the bus and dozed on the carpeted seats of the bus that took us safely home to dinner and Dora and a half-sleep over.

We were tired and crabby and deliriously happy and ravenously hungry and too tired to eat.

And it was good.

We're back!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

high priestess

As I prepare to fly to California, I find that I am feeling a whole lot of anxiety. To start with, I am not the greatest flier. My imagination, it turns out, when not doing good actually does evil.

I will be traveling alone with my youngest daughter. Not a super big deal. She's pretty easy going, but the plane doesn't actually leave until an hour and a half after her bed time.

I am anxious about my weight and eating habits when on vacation. (I know this sounds ridiculous, but I am feeling physically shaky about this whole thing. I should probably have asked to up my anxiety meds... oops!) I have concern because everyone knows that I have been dieting and changing my life style and eating habits. I have concern because I will be seeing my mother - and frankly, my weight has been her favorite cause to champion since I hit puberty.

I needn't be worried, I know. My imagination is overactive. I will order a glass of wine on the plane. Yaya will be a great traveling companion. My family has loved me fat, they will love me now, too. My children and my husband will be fine without me - the house may be a mess, but they will be fine.

As I've been thinking about my weight and all that is surrounded by that, my over active imagination has created this, just for you:

I was the High Priestess of Obesity.
I was a card carrying member of the Cult of Sloth and Gluttony.
I dutifully created tedious recipes of fat and random "edible chemicals" that I would mindlessly eat on my knees at the alter of broadcast TV.
Every day, every hour, every minute that I shunned exercise, I was showing my devotion to this cult.
I was brain washed.
I was mindless - a sheep standing in line to ingest the lies and promises of a multi-million dollar food business.
I made no choices on my own - I followed the smiling faces of fat, happy people over the cliff of health into the abyss of obessity.
Will I need a twelve step program to free myself from the clutches of this cult?
Will I be capable of relinquishing my banner and throne as High Priestess of Obestiy?
Will I need to find a new god to worship?

I don't know.

I am still tempted to return for Saturday Night Services. I know a few temples that I can enter, undetected. Where - for a few dollars and few years of self-confidence, I can eat again the forbidden false foods.

I am tempted, when faced with uncertainty, to don the thick, protective robes of The High Priestess of Obesity. It is a safe place to hide - from others expectations and from my own dreams.


I have turned away from the National Cult of Obesity.
I have turned away from it's lies and falsehoods.
I am walking and running and jumping with the lightness I feel after learning the truth that my very own body has shown me.

I will not hide. I will not worship at the all-night alter. I will be free of this fat suit that others see so I can find the clarity and honesty that I seek.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

catching up and heading out!

This is how we do birthdays at our house. With a crown.

From dawn until well after we are asleep. We celebrate with style, baby.
Tomorrow, this sweet little birthday girl and I are getting on an airplane and flying to Pasedena to visit these people.

Then we're going to Palm Springs to visit Oma and Papa.

Did I mention that it is currently 21 degrees in Saint Paul? It is 83 degrees in LA. This is going to be a good week.
I am going with out a plan - just a hope for warm weather and sun shine. I am really looking forward to spending time with my brother and his family, then spending time with my parents. I need to shake up my world a little - get warm again. Be taken care of a little, perhaps. See new things through my daughters eyes. Hike in the canyons. Take lots of photos.
I don't know if I will be posting while I am gone - but I told my Littles that we would try to add new stories...
I will be back full tilt boogie on Monday, Feb 25th.
See you soon!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

sparkly glass: shoes

This is a busy week. We are preparing for the birthday celebration for our youngest, Yaya. She will be 3 years old this coming Friday. She'd like to be a princess. Or Fancy Nancy. Or Fancy Nancy Princess.
She hasn't requested a wedding cake - yet. She hasn't asked for any single present - yet. She just wants her friends to come and play. Dear, sweet Yaya.

Monday, February 4, 2008

cruel, crewel world

This last weekend, when I asked Noni to run upstairs and put on something cozy. She returned with a bounce in her step and lots of sparkling clothing. She was wearing bobby socks, pink spangled mary janes, a silver and white sequined costume halter top - as a mini dress - cut up to there and down to her navel. She also had something in her hair that gave her mall bangs - very retro 80's. She looked like Little Orphan Annie. But this orphan didn't have a Daddy Warbucks and she'd had to make her way in the world as a stripper.

Isn't that what every mother dreams of for their 6 year old daughter?

(Just a moment - I've got to put my head between my knees and breath deeply before I hyper ventilate!)

OK. I think I've worked through this one. Now, let's get ready for her teen age years! Wahooo!

Friday, February 1, 2008

I knew peace

I am a confirmation mentor for a 9th grade girl at my church. We've been meeting together throughout the year as a supportive part of her education and growth as a Christian in the Lutheran Church. We typically meet for an hour to an hour and a half, one time per month. At the end of every class, all of the confirmands and their mentors gather together for a moment of prayer and reflection at something called "Sacred Ground." We light candles and there is lovely, soft instrumental music playing...

On this particular evening, we were discussing baptism. The "Sacred Ground" leader passed a bowl around the circle, and instructed each person to dip their fingers in the water, make the sign of the cross on the forehead of their neighbor and say, "you are a child of God."

I don't know what your religious beliefs are. In fact, I am not always certain that I know what my religious beliefs are. But on this night, I felt that I was a little closer to understanding the possibilities.

Watching all of these people - boys and girls and men and women - caring for each other in such a peaceful and gentle manner was beautiful. Beautiful and reassuring. Who knows what hectic activities everyone came from in their daily lives or what they went home to for the evening, but in that moment and for that brief time, there was peace.

And love.
And gentleness.
And kindness.
And care for all people equally.

I saw grown men and women look into the eyes of the younger people and say those words, and they really mean it. I saw the faces of those young students looking back at the adults with such trust and earnestness.

Each telling each "You are a child of God."

And on that night, I knew peace.

bottle glass doors