Punctuation Saves Lives

Image: dailywritingtips.com

I remembered this image when I was searching for a title to start writing today’s post. I was going to call it:

Jesus Christ. What Happened?

and then I realized I could also call it:

Jesus Christ (what happened).

And then I giggled uncontrollably because I’m doing production on a show that has Jesus in it and it’s the reason I’ve been posting so sparsely and sporadically since December. I would like to say that everyone here at work in the theater turned around and asked me what I was laughing at but the truth is they’re all so used to me being on auto-giggle by now that no one paid any attention and even if they had, they wouldn’t laugh anyway.

We’re at that point.

One of my favorite places in New York is the Westerly Market. It’s a small natural foods grocery store that I love mostly because it has tasty snacks and my favorite chocolate. They have healthy things too, including a juice bar.

We had a strangely-timed lunch break today because we’re shooting B-roll (video to be used for publicity) so I went to Westerly and hit the juice bar. I got a shot of wheatgrass while I was waiting for my drink.

I dig wheatgrass. Sue me. And yes it does, in fact, taste like grass. I’m pretty sure when I was an infant I spent a significant portion of my crawling months eating grass. It’s just that good to me.

The drink I got today is called a Maca Firecracker.  It’s coconut, cinnamon, agave, cayenne, and maca. It’s divine. Heavy on the cayenne, easy on the agave, as per my request.

It was perfect.

I paid at the juice bar ($12.50. No, I’m not making that up) and then grabbed my tasty snacks and went to the front counter to pay for them. You have to do that separately because making drinks that involve pressing wheatgrass and hacking open coconuts is quite time-consuming, and they can’t mess around with ringing up your tasty snacks back there at the juice bar.

At the front counter, I pay for my tasty snacks and then watch, like it’s in slow motion: My sleeve catching my Maca Firecracker and knocking it off the counter. The cup flipping upside down. Me screaming “nooooo!” in a very Wookieish voice. Half of my nectar of the gods rushing out of the broken lid.

Here’s the thing about a Maca Firecracker. When it’s spilled on the floor, it looks like vomit. I’ve never had so much personal space anywhere in New York City. I’m considering carrying around rubber vomit with me just to get everyone out of my hula hoop.

Oh, so back to the Jesus Christ (what happened) thing. I’m in production, blah blah blah. The hours are long, yadda yadda yadda. Also, there a lot of screens. It looks like this:

By the end of the first week of tech rehearsals I had the worst case of screen-related eye strain I’ve ever had (even worse than the case I got when I stayed up all night and wrote this post over the summer). When we finally reached the day off I had to lay around with my eyes shut. I didn’t even make it to yoga.

I had to read analogue books for a whole week (I read Sara Zarr’s How To Save A Life and Ree Drummond (aka The Pioneer Woman)’s Black Heels To Tractor Wheels)

Even now, ten days later, I can feel my retinas singeing. It’s still bad enough that I’m not even going to attempt to fix the alignment of these pictures.

Speaking of wheatgrass (and we were, earlier, I swear), there’s a guy I work with who is friends with a guy who started a wheatgrass company out of his apartment back in the day . The mice kept getting into and eating the wheatgrass. And the more they got into it, the harder they were to exterminate.

I feel like the wheatgrass people could make a motto out of that somehow.

I guess none of that really had anything to do with punctuation.

Reality Check

So I’ve started work on a new show. Right now we’re getting all the gear together at the sound shop during the day. Daytime I’m in the shop, and at night I mix my old show. If I felt ineffective and absent as a parent before, it’s nothing compared to how I feel now, and I’m only three days in.

I take Sundays off from mixing the old show so I can have a day off. I know myself. If I don’t do that when it’s possible, life sucks. I need a day off. Sue me.

We’ve got some budding athletes in our family. It’s a genuine treat (rare and enjoyable) when we can get to one of their games/meets/matches. Because of the extra work right now it’s nearly impossible to get to one. My guilt is directly proportional to my availability.

I started my day today by getting more than five hours of sleep. I followed that with not having to drive over the George Washington Bridge. Made a last minute appointment to get some PT on my shoulder. Hung out with kids and puppies. Ran errands. Went to Bikram Yoga with #1, which was way cool (and she didn’t even make me go on the opposite side of the room from her). Came home and started getting dinner together and pondered the rest of the day. My list of must-do’s was far longer than the hours remaining.

#3 had a basketball game tonight. She’s on the middle school travel team. While I was cooking dinner heating up food she asked me if could come to her game.

Me: I don’t think so, sweetie.

#3: Awww. Pleeeese?

Me: I really don’t mean to blow you off, but I’m working two jobs right now. This is my only day off and I’m trying to do the things I need to do to be okay. There aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything, you know? You know how I can get.

#3: (with a knowing nod and a sigh) Yeah, I do.

Me: I’m trying not to get like that.

#5: You mean fat?


For the record, I sacked my must-do list and we watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone while having popcorn and milkshakes, thereby negating my one and only workout this week. It was totally worth it.

Everybody Hates Mime

I don’t consider myself an allergy person, but I feel like I’ve snorted about half a bottle of Drano, and I’m reasonably certain I haven’t done that in at least thirteen years.

I pulled into my driveway earlier this week and thought we were getting rain because that’s what it sounded like on the roof of the car. It turned out to be some type of fuzzy green seed. A LOT of some fuzzy green seed, hell bent on ruining my life for a few days.

It’s not conducive to thinking, this sitting around hoping to sneeze. It isn’t conducive to writing or cooking or cleaning or much of anything. At least nobody’s vomiting. Plus the kids are happy that I’m not feeling well enough to torment them. And that when I went out to buy tissues I also hit the half-price Easter candy.

In lieu of having any real content today, I’m going through my pictures. If you want to read something funny about the kids, go here. Or here. My dogs are sometimes funny too.

Here’s a picture of part of my console at work. It’s British.

Those two big rectangular buttons under plastic. They look pretty similar, no? The only real difference is that in the picture one is lit up and one isn’t. One of them, the one labeled PC 2, seamlessly switches to your backup computer if you have a problem. The other one, the one labeled CHECK, reverses all your mutes. Meaning, everything that is currently on, it turns off; everything that is currently off, it turns on.

It’s like the Opposite Button.

You really don’t want to hit this during a show. Even if you’re at the almost-very-end.

Which is why those helpful Brits made the CHECK button so different from every other button (except one). It’s why they put it under plastic (just like the other button). And put it far away from the other button (a whole two-and-a-half inches away so that you couldn’t possibly hit it by mistake if you got distracted by something, such as a patron trying to talk to you when you’re shutting down the computers while mixing the walkout music).

You’d never hit it on accident. Because that would make the band mics all turn off and the audience wouldn’t be able to hear the band and the band wouldn’t be able to hear each other and then the stage manager would be calling light cues off of silence, Keeping Calm and Carrying On by counting to eight in her head, over and over. Then it would be mime, and everybody hates mime. You’d never do that.

Not a second time, anyway. Especially not after you tape it up with a note like Kevin Bacon did in Apollo 13.

This is accidentalstepmom reminding you that it’s never too late to screw up in a brand new way. For more British ingenuity, set your alarm tonight for 4am EST- or better yet, stay up!