Saturday, April 25, 2009

I Love You, Ma'am.

Tonight Chad & I met friends out at a popular Tex-Mex Restaurant that has a tiny parking lot. There was a scruffy-looking man in the parking lot, waving people into free parking spots. There are moments when I might roll my eyes at suspected homeless people waving me into a free parking space, but I'm feeling extra sympathetic lately. After we parked, I walked over to the scruffy, unofficial parking attendant and handed him $1 for his entrepreneurial hustle. He said, " I love you, ma'am. Thanks for looking out for me."

Friday, April 10, 2009

Organic Oil Spill

Our sweet dog, Janie, loves to chew on things. It's her very favorite, slightly expensive hobby. Janie chews her way through three durable Nylabones ($5.99 each), one large braided rope ($4.99 each) and one squeaky tennis ball ($1.99 each) in a typical week. For the most part, Janie does not chew on unapproved items in return for this weekly allotment of approved chews.

We ran out of Nylabones two days ago, but since Janie had other chewy things to occupy her, I procrastinated over my trip to the pet store. This morning Janie and Sonic (who have an antagonistic relationship with each other) shared some point of interest out in the backyard nearly nose-to-nose with each other. I investigated, and found that Janie helped herself to a bottle of liquid, organic fertilizer (free sample) from the deck. Janie chewed the bottle open, and made a puddle of fish oil mixed with other smelly liquids. She sweetly shared the stink-puddle with her bully-of-a-cat brother, Sonic.

Luckily, the stuff was organic and non-toxic. I don't think either of the culprits ingested much, if any, of the oil spill. I ushered both hooligans inside and offered fresh water.

Now, I'm off to the pet store for some (cursed, highly addictive, slightly expensive) Nylabones, braided rope and squeaky tennis ball. That'll teach me to try and cut corners on the weekly chewing allowance.

Weekly chewing habit: $24.95; Happy, well-behaved dog who doesn't poison herself or her feline friends: priceless.

Emotionally Exhausting

When I act, I like to refer to the character I'm playing as a separate person, and call the character by name, rather than saying "I" when referring to the character. I know it sounds silly, but bear with me.

I love the movie The Apartment -- a darkly sweet, slightly maudlin romantic comedy released in 1960. I jumped at the chance to work with a film student to recreate a scene from this movie. I'm playing the part of Fran Kubelik, an elevator operator at a giant insurance company who fell in love with the wrong guy -- a married executive who swears he'll leave his wife for Fran. In this scene we're recreating, Fran just got an emotional sucker-punch from the executive's secretary who informed Fran that she's one in a long line of mistresses, and that the executive will not leave his wife as promised. Fran has to hide her breaking heart from a nice guy/pushover in the office named Bud who tries to ask Fran out. His timing couldn't be worse.

So I have to act like Fran, who is trying so hard to keep her cool, fighting back tears and revulsion, trying to be polite to Bud, but also wanting desperately to get away from him so she can go tend to her wounded heart and shattered self-esteem. Acting out this four-minute scene is emotionally exhausting, especially when done repeatedly over a two-hour rehearsal. Imagine your slightly out of shape psyche running a 10K.

Fran is not me. I am not Fran. But sweet, fragile, wants to be tough, wants to be independent, wants to make smart choices, but fails miserably, Fran tires me out.

As rewarding as this experience is, I'll be glad when it's over.