Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Apocalypse

So I'm looking at USA Today...come on, like you're gonna say you never read USA Today even at hotels when it shows up hanging from your door knob for free? And I was looking based on a tip from a twitter friend that the world is possibly going to end on 12/21/2012 according to the Mayans. So I was like, dang, better get that book published before then, cuz I'm gonna feel like a total failure if the world ends and I don't have anything to show for it except for a couple of commercials for chewing gum.

So anyway, according to the respected authorities quoted by USA Today, it's a wee bit more complicated than that. Basically, on that day, which also happens to be the winter solstice, the Mayan Long Count calendar will flip back to zero. Like the odometer in my Dad's 1979 Volkswagen camper van did after 100,000 miles.

According to the article
Part of the 2012 mystique stems from the stars. On the winter solstice in 2012, the sun will be aligned with the center of the Milky Way for the first time in about 26,000 years. This means that "whatever energy typically streams to Earth from the center of the Milky Way will indeed be disrupted on 12/21/12 at 11:11 p.m. Universal Time," Joseph writes.

They then go on to say that scholars are pretty sure the Mayans didn't know that.

The thing is, I'm guessing that they did. In fact, I'm pretty sure they did... Those dudes kinda specialized in knowing unknowable things about the universe.

And what I want to know is...


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pole Dancing and Drag Shows

So in the last two weeks, I, Wendy, formerly of Lewisburg, PA, have attended both a drag cabaret show and a pole dancing class. Interestingly, I gained three or four new followers on Twitter when I tweeted about the pole dancing. The followers were guys. Not mommy bloggers. Go figure.

In both cases, I found myself at the event, alone, several minutes before it started. And in both cases, in an attempt not to look like a lonely loser, I texted everyone I knew to demonstrate to those around me that yes I do have friends...they just don't happen to be here with me tonight like your friends are. Plus, I wanted all my friends to know where I was because, honestly, usually I'm in front of my TV watching "Ghost Hunters" and eating brownies. 99 nights out of 100. And that's even before the baby came.

I have always been a stay at home kinda gal. I got married, when I was, like, twenty (ok, twenty-five) and just never got into the going out scene. Which frankly, is a bit of a problem when you're trying to make a career in an industry that is all about going out and meeting people and being part of the scene. I don't even know what subway stop the scene is closest to. But I like to be at home with my cat and my husband and the television. Oh yeah and the baby.

However, I'm working on this. This going out thing. Before the cabaret show, I was at an on-camera audition class, which, honestly, I'd rather have a root canal than attend. Not because the teacher isn't good. He's great actually, as are the other participants in the class. Just it's so...kinda painful. I used to think that if I just worked hard and did my best and was a good person I would find success in this business. Did I mention I'm from Amish country? I now know that I need to plunk down cold hard cash to meet the people I should have met ten years ago when I still believed all this was a meritocracy. So I did that. Incidentally, the casting director gave me a scene for a 50 year old psychologist that first week and a 55 year old truck driver for today. But that's really a subject for another post.

So then I high tailed it down to the Duplex to see the Sunday Morning Mimosa live show. As I texted my friend Rebecca (different Rebecca from the Titanic Agent post--pretty much half the women in my life are named Rebecca) before the show started, while sipping my ginger ale and peach schnapps (did I mention I was raised Presbyterian), she wrote back that she felt I was there for a reason that would become evident in its own time. I texted her back, "clear eyes full hearts can't lose" because "Friday Night Lights" makes me cry and I think that's true despite all the meritocracy hopes being dashed.

Let me say, Gina Marie Rittale and Anita M. Buffem--two lovely ladies from Astoria--were totally delightful. I have been in touch with their nephews James and Steven about maybe doing a teeny tiny part in a movie they are creating. I love them. Their show was charming and surprising and everything a root canal is not. Much more sketch comedy than "drag" in any kind of a traditional sense. Just a super fun hoot. Even by oneself!

So then the following Friday...I went pole dancing. And can I just say, pole dancing is a surprisingly good workout. My right leg is bruised from foot to knee from the vomit-inducing spins that peppered the routine we were taught. I went with friends to celebrate my friend Katie's (not the same Katie as the punctuation post--several other women in my life are named Katie) impending nuptials. And though I wasn't the pole dancing savant Katie was, and I didn't look as professional as Joey did (though she is a dancer and she has a great body), my friends told me I was "surprisingly good with the pole." Yup. Wendy from Lewisburg...surprisingly good with the pole.

Though I left my shins a goose-egged throbbing mess and nearly upchucked the delicious tomato cheddar soup I had before the party, I did spin around the pole like...well like I once spent hours climbing poles on the playground, which I did. Yes pole dancing, to me, was a throwback to playing on the jungle gym. Another delightful surprise. Though it would have been even more delightful if Anita and Gina Marie were pole dancing with me. I think they could have showed all those skinny pole young dancing actresses a thing or two.

I did ache for about four days after pole dancing. But I'm actually thinking about going back and taking some more classes...for the exercise. And the spinning. Maybe next time I'll wear knee pads and shin guards.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Punctuation Junction

"bloody furious Isabella lost Jack wretched morning now napping."

So depending on how you punctuate the above text message, or don't punctuate it, your husband could spend an agonizing 35 minutes believing that your friend Isabella lost your baby. Who has since somehow been returned, presumably unharmed, and is napping.

My friend Katie had flown to D.C. to visit a friend. When it was time to leave, Isabella offered to drive Katie and her son back to the airport, which seemed like an okay idea at the time. Isabella's house was only about fifteen minutes from the airport. It would save Katie cab fare. They'd have a few more precious moments to talk. What could possibly go wrong? Assuming Isabella did indeed know how to find the airport.

But when Isabella got hopelessly lost, and then when she subsequently plowed into a vending machine at the gas station where they hoped to procure reliable directions, Katie texted her husband the above message. Unpunctuated.

Her husband called immediately to find out if "Jack was okay." Katie replied that he was. Her husband asked "Can you talk?" Katie said "Not really." Husband asked "Are you okay." She replied "Not really." For the next 35 minutes, until Katie called her husband while breathlessly carrying the baby down the ramp to the plane (which miraculously they actually made), and then clarified the details of the morning, her husband believed that Isabella had, in fact, lost Jack.

Note to self. Punctuate text messages.

9-17-08 Addition--Realized I never indicated how this message should indeed have been punctuated. "bloody furious. Isabella lost. Jack wretched morning. now napping." Ahhhhhh yes....

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Makes Me Want to Chant "USA"

The Democrats have left Denver. The Republicans are in St. Paul. And I just had this thought.

So listen, I'm not gonna tell you who to vote for. I mean, I'll put a magnet on my car and wear a tee shirt around, but I'm not campaigning on my blog. I just pretty much don't want to see another doofus in the White House.

But look, at the risk of totally overstating the obvious, something kinda cool is happening right now. Because whatever you think of Obama, and whatever you think of Palin, if you plan to vote this November, and if you plan to vote for one of the two major parties, you won't be able to leave that funny little voting booth without pulling the lever or flipping the switch or putting your stone in the coke bottle for either a black man or a woman.

And that's friggin' awesome!!! I mean, come ON! That rocks. If I were the type to chant "USA" in any other circumstance besides during an Olympic Games, I might do so right now.

This is the first presidential election of my wee baby gal's life, and there's a woman and an African American man on the ballot...for different parties. That totally rocks.

Of course it rocks. Hollywood did it, like, ten years ago. Right? And Hollywood is always at the forefront of cool. The first woman in a position of power who comes to my mind is Glen Close in "Air Force One". She played Harrison Ford's Vice President Kathryn Bennett in 1997. Eleven years ago! Ok so maybe they had to give her a Jane Austen name so we wouldn't be so afraid of her while she was running the country like a total bad ass. But still. Eleven years ago.

Geena Davis was Mackenzie Allen in the frankly lousy TV show "Commander in Chief" in 2005. Like anyone would have named their daughter Mackenzie in the fifties. I don't think the show failed because Hollywood pushed the envelope. I think it failed because the writing kinda sucked. And they didn't cast my friend Rebecca as young press secretary Kelly Ludlow. Still, Hollywood gave the American people a chance to try out having a woman in the Oval Office (sitting behind the desk thank you very much) without actually having to vote for her, long before that opportunity has actually made it to the November ballot box. And though America said yes to "The West Wing" (a genius show in every respect), for whatever reason, they said no to "Commander in Chief." And ultimately, they said no to Hillary. Maybe Hillary should have had Aaron Sorkin writing for her.

I don't watch "24", but Dennis Haysbert was an inspired choice to play President David Palmer (about as unthreatening a name as you could possible give him, huh?). According to Digital Spy, Haysbert himself thinks his role on "24" contributed to America's acceptance of Barak Obama as a candidate. I say, of course it did. Look what "Will and Grace" did for the gay community. Little old ladies think gay guys are cute because of Jack. Again, Hollywood gave us the chance to audition something new and formerly inconceivable. Brought it right into the safe haven of our living rooms. Let us peek inside, feel it out while no one was watching, and decide that actually, as those guys and gals running things out there on the west coast already knew (because really, that's why they get paid the big bucks), it's kinda cool.

So how do we weigh the outcome here? "24" is about to begin its seventh season. It is tremendously popular. My mother and brother both love it. "Air Force One" made over 315 million dollars. I still sometimes say "Get off my plane". I'm not sure how to weigh the relative success of those two enterprises.

I know who I want to win. And I think he will. I really do. But either way, it will be pretty fun to hear my daughter talk about this election some day like it's no big deal.