I’ve been writing on my day off, but since my last post, my day off has had other plans (much like that overtime money) and a bunch of shit happened: a dog emergency, travel to follow up on a mom emergency, the long-awaited opening of that show we were getting up and running. . .
And then I just tried to catch my fucking breath.
The dog is okay now. So is the mom. The critics hate the show, but the sold-out houses disagree. So fuck those guys. The day someone names a theater after Ben Brantley is the day my exit plan is overdue.
It’s not my day off. It’s my dinner break. But I figured it was a good time to break the silence and introduce you to Tom Petty, the best opening night present ever:
I have an aunt who does Martha Stewart better than Martha does. My Aunt Kathy is badass. Her gardens could easily provide both catering and decorations for formal brunch. She creates a very welcoming atmosphere seemingly without effort, she sends valentines and advent calendars when I can barely remember my own kids’ birthdays, and to my knowledge she has no disgruntled staff, nor has she ever done time. When my cousin Jen got married at their home a couple years ago, it felt better than a fairy tale. Aunt Kathy claimed to have pretty much nothing to do with the planning of the wedding and lays all credit to Jen. But there’s a knock-you-out kind of beauty everywhere you look at their house. It makes you feel like you just got punched in the gut, in a good way– I suppose that’s what people mean when they say something takes your breath away. Aunt Kathy and Jen both make that beauty real, and it makes me feel honored and special just to be in the same family as someone who can do things like that.
I’m grateful they’ve taken care of being better than Martha, because if it were up to me, we’d all be doomed.
Through no fault of my parents, none of my chromosomes contain a single homemaking gene. Also, I don’t craft, and I don’t know Snoop Dog.
I do, however, have an unhealthy obsession with Martha Stewart’s calendar.
A recent online purchase resulted in my gaining free digital access to Martha’s magazine, in which she prints her monthly calendar. It gives me something to strive for, and I think I’m starting to measure up pretty well.
I’m perhaps most envious of her well-balanced exercise regime. Two days of weight training, one yoga class, one day of cardio and core, and an outdoor hike or horseback ride every single week. I don’t want to brag, but I’m pretty good at bending at the waist. Particularly if I’m already sitting down. I’m also getting better at tripping teenagers and Puggles with my cane, a skill I’ve only been practicing since my most-recent-and-hopefully-last foot surgery on Thursday. I don’t see any cane tricks listed in Martha’s calendar. At this rate, I’ll be doing some real Fred-Astaire-worthy shit by April. Look out, Martha.
March 6: Order gladiolas and dahlias. This is such a beautiful line. I’m going to work it into a story. It’s going to have something to do with murder.
March 7: Prune tearoses to remove winterkill. This is my favorite entry for the whole month. Beautiful, yet deadly. Kinda like poison dart frogs, or the mantis shrimp. I’m detecting some sort of theme here.
March 9: Wash dog beds. I prefer to be more organic regarding the washing of the dog bed. I leave it until they throw up on it. I’m confident that will happen at least twice in March.
March 13: Have cars cleaned, waxed, and serviced. Heheheh. Heheheheheh. Heheheheheh. I’m undecided whether this, or March 10’s Have stables cleaned is a better euphemism.
March 14: Rotate house plants to ensure even sun exposure. No direct sunlight enters my home. This is a blessing for all houseplants, as any that I receive as gifts are immediately given to good homes (i.e., not mine), thereby saving them from a sure, slow, and painful death at my hands. I’m going to substitute, Allow chipmunks to eat the flower bulbs.
March 16: Bake Irish Soda Bread. Meaning, of course, Eat Irish Soda Bread that someone’s actual Irish mother has made. Irish Soda Bread Day was one of my favorites at my old show. Rest in peace, Ma Kelly and Ma Fedigan. You are missed.
March 17: Have friends over for dinner. Perfect timing, right in the middle of technical rehearsals for the new show. Eating leftovers alone under my desk at work is pretty much exactly the same thing.
March 20: Have curtains steam cleaned. There are at least three words I don’t understand in this sentence. I’ll replace this with Eat more chocolate.
March 21: Photograph early spring flowers for blog. Meaning, Look through pictures from several years ago for anything that could possibly be blog-relevant. Done.
March 22: Bring fresh eggs to office. Canned sardines and leftover broccoli- check!
March 26: Deep-clean area rugs. Does a hyphenated word count as one word, or two? There are up to four words in this sentence I don’t understand. Do something with chocolate again.
March 27: Take outdoor furniture out of storage. Is this even English?
March 28: Bake sweet oat-walnut crisps. This, I can totally get behind. Particularly if it’s on someone else’s calendar. Hey, Aunt Kathy- what does your March 28 look like?
Long enough for my widgets to stop working and all my social media account links to break. Long enough for pretty much everything about how WordPress works to change. Long enough for even my mother to stop visiting my blog.
Two and a half years, give or take.
Before I stopped posting entirely, I slowed down because I was writing other places. Then my day job picked up, which was glorious and time consuming.
Somewhere in there (step)parenting got pretty un-fun and I didn’t want to write about it. Not one little bit. I wanted a break.
Gigs took me out of the house and out of town for extended periods of time. When I was home, I didn’t want to write. I wanted to clean.
Wanting to clean is my emotional equivalent of bleeding from the eyes.
I clean and I feel like I’m having an effect on something. For like a minute. Because the thing about having a houseful of kids is that you clean a spot and six people and two dogs come along behind you and lay new shit down in the clean place while you’ve moved on, erroneously believing that you finished back there.
My last gig had a pretty brutal production period, which wasn’t unusual. But for the first time ever, I didn’t bounce back after we opened. I kept waiting, and I never bounced. I looked up one day and realized I was down the rabbit hole again. Way the hell down the rabbit hole.
For many months, I didn’t think about the blog at all. Then, when I did think about it, I was confused. I felt like I needed to define a new direction and have a plan, and I didn’t know what any of that meant.
Ultimately though, I remembered that that’s not why I started in the first place. I just wanted to write. When I started, I felt like I had something to say. I didn’t really care if people read it or not.
I’ve been gone so long, I just wanted to come back.
I’m also going to swear. So there’s that shit to look forward to.