Sunday, August 31, 2008

The status of a Kirby Salesgirl



I got a job this week. I sell Kirby vacuum cleaners. Door to door. I go to work at around 9:30 in the morning and come home around 11:30 at night. Every day except Sunday. But I'm having fun, and making good money! Since I was such a facebook junkie in my pre-employment days, I thought I'd utilize one of them fancy facebook features to tell you about my first three days on the job.


Liz made $700 this week.

Liz just finished a thirteen-hour workday.

Liz handled teasing by divine assistance.

Liz can tie a tie.

Liz is the only Caucasion.

Liz would like to clarify that abandoning two people at a table at a McDonalds does NOT constitute a "date."

Liz hates custom doorbells.

Liz DARES you to tell a clean joke.

Liz's calves are sore.

Liz met a dancing, elderly Spanish man.

Liz is "The Mormon Connection."

Liz fell asleep in the arms of a Russian.

Liz saw a blonde wig on a garden bench.

Liz has concluded that the donuts in the office every morning fall short of Broulims donuts.

Liz can swear in Arabic.

Liz is intimidated and thrilled by questions about the Church.

Liz is in your neighborhood today, doing a free carpet cleaning for one room in your house, and for every demonstration she does, she gets points towards a free cruise to the Caribbean...

Liz apologizes for spilling an Oreo shake in the van, but isn't sure if buying Vaz lunch is equal compensation for the small amount he got on his shoe.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

"I am theatah! Where's my cape?"

While I have a great many other varied interests, this entry will be a brief ode to the world of theatre geekdom. I hate to align myself with a group that has such a reputation for being out of touch, because of all people in the world, they need to be the MOST in touch. Although sadly, there are those few who are out of touch, but they're out of touch even among other theatre people. (I'm just going to assume that that makes sense in print in the same way it does in my head, and leave it as it is...)


"Oh fame! Fame! Thou glittering bauble!" --Captain Hook, "Peter Pan"

"The theatre is nine tenths hard done the hard way, by sweat, application, and be a good actor or actress or anything else in the theatre means wanting to be that more than anything else in the world. It means the concentration of desire, ambition, and sacrifice such as no other profession demands. The man or woman who accepts those terms can't be ordinary." --Bill Simpson, "All About Eve"


"Life with theatre people is like a movie. Sometimes there's music in the background, and some words go across your vision at the end." --Anonymous

"We're actors--we're the opposite of people." --Tom Stoppard, "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead"


"In every actor there lives a tiger, a pig, an ass, and a nightingale. You never know which one's going to show up." --Corey Taft, "For Your Consideration"

"Why, if there's nothing else, there's applause. I've listened backstage to people applaud. It's's like waves of love coming over the footlights and wrapping you up. know that every night, different hundreds of people love you. They smile, they're eyes shine, you've pleased them. They want you. You belong. Just that alone is worth anything." --Eve Harrington, "All About Eve"


"Don't be boring, darlings!" --Stella Adler

"I would just like to mention Robert Houdin who in the eighteenth century invented the vanishing birdcage trick and the theater matinee - may he rot and perish. Good afternoon." --Orson Welles


"There's no people like show people
They smile when they are low
Yesterday they told you you would not go far
That night you opened and there you are
Next day on your dressing room they've hung a star
Let's go on with the show!" --"There's No Business Like Show Business," "Annie Get Your Gun"

"The play is done." --Omar Hansen, "Dr. Faustus"


"We all have abnormality in common. We're a breed apart from the rest of humanity, we theatre folk. We're the original displaced personalities." --Addison DeWitt, "All About Eve"

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Another poem, of course...

Oak airport dad n son

A Father and Son Asleep in the Oakland Airport

A little before midnight.
Even airports sleep.
A few seats behind me,
a man and his son lie sleeping
sprawled out on the floor like it was their own living room.

This father might be younger than me.
His raised sleeve reveals a tattoo on one arm.
His son can’t be more than 5.
They’ve made a make-shift bed
airport floor mattress, suitcase pillow.

He’s got his hat over his eyes
like someone out of a Steinbeck novel
an average Joe sleeping off the Great Depression.
The boy’s safely curled up by his side,
his head is resting on his dad’s shoulder.

Perhaps dad fell asleep first,
and with 5-year-old stealth,
the kid quietly and oh so carefully crept closer and closer
until he could lay down and fall asleep almost in his father’s embrace.

Or perhaps after work and school each day,
they fall asleep in front of the television next to each other.
Maybe there’s a woman somewhere with pictures
of the two of them
safely asleep like this.

I may be a stranger to them both
but now I have my own picture
of these two
safely sleeping in an airport.

Not one of my best, but I enjoyed the image. It was difficult as hell to get that picture without looking suspicious, for the record.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

***Warning: Spoilers and Ranting***


Been trying to knock a few AFI Top 100 Films off the list while house/cat-sitting this weekend. Watched "Taxi Driver" tonight. And excuse my language, but "What the hell?!"

Scorsese, you're a decent film-maker, a little self-indulgent at times (okay, a LOT of the times), but overall, your films are far from "bad cinema." All the same, though...what were you thinking when you took on this project?!

A lonely, screwed up guy gets sick of the way things are, so he goes on a SHOOTING SPREE, after, by the way, almost assassinating a senator for...revenge? attention? Between popping pills and downing alcohol, he's visiting porno theatres, arming himself with 4 firearms and a knife from some seedy traveling salesman, and practicing intimidation in his mirror at home.

Not that he isn't a sympathetic character...I feel bad for him. I totally understand why he does what he does. What I have a problem with is when he gets treated like a HERO for it.

Seriously? Travis Bickle is shooting people's hands off! And I don't think its out of a sincere well-thought-out desire to rescue an underage prostitute. He's miming shooting HIMSELF in the head, since none of the actual guns worked, surrounded (and covered in) blood, when the police find him. Does this really sound like the kind of guy to model inner city reform after?

And after all of this, he's in the papers as a HERO! He's got letters of thanks coming in! He even almost kinda GETS THE GIRL! Its not realized, but you know that if he had asked to come up, she would have let him! How is this at all okay? Taking the whole "anti-hero" concept a little too far here, I think.

I think the movie would have been brilliant if it had ended right after Travis went on his little shooting spree, and sat on that couch, miming suicide. Filled with self-loathing. This is not a man who did a "brave thing." This is a man so confused and torn up about what he sees going on around him, that he's filled with despair to the point of desperation. At least I think the film would have been way more powerful if that had been the case.

No wonder John Hinckley watched this movie obsessively. And attempted to assassinate Reagan.

I guess I kinda brought a different perspective to this film, having known the background relating to John Hinckley. But do you see the problems I have with this? The flaws I see?

Just to provoke further thought, and perhaps make further connections, take Sondheim's words, here. This is from the opening number of "Assassins." This is sung by both the assassins and a "Proprietor," selling guns to each of them.

Hey, pal- feelin' blue?
Don't know what to do?
Hey, pal-
I mean you-
yeah. C'mere and kill a president.

No job? Cupboard bare?
one room, no one there?
Hey, pal, don't despair-
You wanna shoot a president?
c'mon and shoot a president...

Some guys
Think they can be winners.
First prize often goes to rank beginners.

Hey, kid, failed your test?
Dream girl unimpressed?
Show her you're the best
If you can shoot a president-

You can get the prize
With the big blue eyes,
Skinny little thighs
And those big blue eyes...

Got the right
To be happy.
Don't stay mad,
Life's not as bad
As it seems.

If you keep your
Goal in sight,
You can climb to
Any height.
Got the right
To their dreams...

Hey, fella,
Feel like you're a failure?
Bailiff on your tail? Your
Wife run off for good?
Hey, fella, fell misunderstood?
C'mere and kill a president...

What's-a wrong, boy?
Boss-a treat you crummy?
Trouble with your tummy?
This-a bring you some relief.
Here, give
some hail-a to da chief-

Got the right
To be different
Even though
At times they go
To extremes.
Aim for what you
want a lot-
Gets a shot.
Got a right
To their dreams-

Got the right
To be happy.
Say, "Enough!"
It's not as tough
As it seems.

Don't be scared
You won't prevail,
Free to fail,
No one can be put in jail
For their dreams.

Free country-!
-Means your dreams can come true:
Be a scholar-
Make a dollar-
Free country-!
-Means they'll listen to you:
Scream and holler-
Grab 'em by the collar!
Free country-!
-Means you dont have to sit-
That's it!
-And put up with the shit.

Got the right
To some sun shine-
Not the sun
But maybe one
Of its beams.
One of its beams.

Rich man, poor man
Black or white,
pick your apple,
Take a bite,
Just hold tight
To your dreams.
Got the right
To their dreams...

Is this really the attitude that's going to change society for good? Are John Hinckley, Lee Harvey Oswald, Samuel Byck, Charles Guiteau and John Wilkes Booth so different from Travis Bickle? Simply men who didn't like the way things were, so they took matter into their own hands.

What if EVERYONE acted as "heroes" in the same way Travis Bickle does? He did what he had to do, and he made a positive change. But too haphazardly, I fear. I certainly don't want society "taking things into their own hands" in this way. That wouldn't make a better world at ALL.

Everybody's got a right to be happy. I think Travis Bickle wanted to be happy. He wanted Iris to be happy. But what about Matthew? What about the hotel proprietor? What about the kid who tried to rob the convenience store? The guy in the hotel room? Senator Palantine? What about their right to be happy? If they forfeited that right through their poor treatment of others, shouldn't Travis Bickle forfeit that right as well?

I would submit that happiness that comes with bloodied hands is no kind of worthwhile happiness.

(Ya hear that, Scorsese?!)

Note: Rebuttals, corrections, alternate opinions, and counter-arguments welcomed in the comments box.

**ADDENDUM: My good friend and fellow film enthusiast Jeff pointed out that its supposed to be IRONIC. Well, I recognize that, but to me, the irony simply wasn't strong enough. I need more than a twitch in the rear-view mirror to show me that Travis Bickle is still screwed up. This is one case where I don't believe less is was simply too subtle. I think stronger opposites would have been more effective in this case.**

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Indulge me.


Since I first saw an episode of the show, it has been one of my deepest desires to one day be interviewed by James Lipton on "Inside the Actor's Studio." It's actually on the bucket list. For a long time, I wanted to one day be a guest on the Rosie O'Donnell show, but now since that's 100% completely impossible, I've replaced it with Inside the Actor's Studio, which is only 99.9% completely impossible.

While I don't discredit the remote possibility that one day this dream of mine could be realized, I also recognize that its not very likely.

So indulge me.

At the end of the interview, James Lipton always asks a short series of questions from some French guy. Each actor/actress/singer/etc. answers the same 10 questions. Since I'll probably never give my answers on national television, I'm giving them here and now. I invite all of you to do the same if you should so desire.

I wonder if one day, I AM on the show, and if my answers will have changed...?

What is your favorite word? CUP

What is your least favorite word? PLUG

What turns you on? BIG WORDS USED WELL

What turns you off? CLOSED-MINDED-NESS

What sound or noise do you love? TAP DANCING


What is your favorite curse word? S**T

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? MEDICINE

What profession would you not like to do? SPELUNKING

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? "WELL DONE, MY GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT."

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

"Life is something that everyone should try at least once." --Henry J. Tillman


So strangely enough, shortly after I posted my "Bucket List," I was checking out some friends' blogs, and my friend James had a similar post. Except his was things he'd ALREADY accomplished...things to brag about and check off a "bucket list." He challenged his fellow bloggers and any other readers to make the same list for their own lives. His requirements for such a list were, and I quote:

"1)The list can only be comprised of things you've done. This is not a wish list.
2)It must be a one time thing. Not a life changing beatitude. This is not Seven Habits for Blah Blah Blahs.
You don't need to write 75 but you should try for something high. 10 is too low. Shoot for at least 25. If you only have 10, you need to live."

Do you have any idea how difficult it is to come up with 75 THINGS to put on a list of accomplishments like this? It took me almost all afternoon. But I've done it! Some of them aren't necessarily things to brag about, but things that I've always wanted to do, and I'm pleased to have done them. I encourage you all to make a list or two of your own, both for things to do and things you've done. Here's my list of accomplished things to do before you die!


1. Go skinny-dipping
2. Milk a cow
3. Visit a 3rd world country, not as a tourist
4. See both the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean
5. Work at The Playmill Theatre
6. Sing in a jazz combo
7. Make out in an elevator
8. Meet someone famous
9. Choreograph a musical
10. Go to concert in which you have to stand for the duration
11. Go to the bathroom in nature
12. Stay up all night and then watch the sunrise
13. Learn to pilot a sailboat
14. Fall asleep to the sound of the ocean surf
15. Do something illegal
16. Ride an elephant
17. Climb an ancient ruin in Central America
18. Visit a beer garden in Germany
19. Climb to the top of the cathedral in Cologne, Germany
20. See a very famous painting in real life
21. Have a conversation with a homeless person
22. See a show on Broadway
23. Go on a cruise
24. Be in a parade
25. Go on a date to another state, on a whim
26. Play in the rain after you’re too old to get away with it
27. Cross the Golden Gate Bridge
28. Get locked into a cell at Alcatraz
29. Hike part of the Oregon Trail
30. Go snorkeling
31. Go on a “Ghost Walk”
32. Sing karaoke
33. Hug a stranger
34. Stand in two states at once
35. Spit off Hoover Dam
36. Record an original song
37. Send a message in a bottle
38. Zip-line through the rainforest
39. Go white-water rafting
40. Cook something you’ve grown or raised yourself
41. Play a didgeree doo
42. Cut your own hair
43. Help out at a soup kitchen
44. Jump in a pile of leaves in Autumn
45. Be CPR-certified
46. Ride in a limousine
47. Write a letter to a famous person you admire
48. Spend time alone in a country where you have to speak the native language
49. Ballroom dance
50. Be part of a Renaissance Faire
51. Eat nothing but junk food for an entire day
52. Go cruising on a busy street at night
53. Make friends with a drag queen
54. Have a movie marathon…watch all of the movies in a particular series, one after the other (Indiana Jones, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Land Before Time, Back to the Future, Star Wars, etc…)
55. Assist in the delivery of a baby
56. Have a Brit compliment me on my British accent
57. Be awoken with a kiss
58. Keep an updated blog for more than a year
59. Finish at least one volume of a journal
60. Get a picture that I drew put on the wall at Jamba Juice
61. Win a contest of some sort
62. Walk through down-town Manhattan during rush hour
63. Eat an authentic ball park hot dog at a major league baseball game
64. Set off illegal explosives
65. Walk around the house completely naked for at least an afternoon
66. Play Dungeons and Dragons
67. Touch a moon rock
68. See Dorothy’s ruby slippers
69. Attend a Star Trek convention
70. Read a book almost strictly so that you can brag about it
71. Be in an Independent Film
72. Sing in an a cappella group
73. Spend an entire day in silence
74. Participate in a food fight
75. See the Lincoln Memorial

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Bucket List

FlatSided Buckets

This past week, my friend Carrie and I each made a list of things we'd like to do before we "kick the bucket" (a la the Morgan Freeman/Jack Nickolson movie). Silly-ish movie, but based on a good idea. The list can be of realistic goals or crazy wishes, but here's mine. I'm glad I'm getting a fairly early start on it; I've already got a few marked off. I'll let you know throughout the years how I'm doing.


Spend the night in jail (for something that won’t go on my permanent record)

Kiss a stranger

Go a week in silence

Perform a stand-up comedy routine

Be in a rock band (perform on stage in an awesome show somewhere)

Join the Peace Corps or a similar organization and volunteer in a third world country

√ Skinny-dip

Play the Plant in “Little Shop of Horrors”

Sneak out with a boy that threw rocks at my window

Learn to juggle

Dye my hair black

Pose as a nude model

See the Northern Lights

Stage a fight in a really really ritzy restaurant with a guy, which ends in me throwing a glass of water in his face and storming out

√ Flash someone from a moving car

Publish my poetry (in a literary journal or magazine)

Play Peter Pan in “Peter Pan”

Perform in “Guitars Unplugged” and/or “Acoustic CafĂ©” at BYU-Idaho

Get a second piercing (ears)

√ Have someone offer to buy me a drink in a bar

Completely redecorate a room

Audition for “The Actor’s Studio”

Kiss someone at midnight on New Year’s

Have a letter to the editor published

√ Milk a cow

Volunteer at Sundance Film Festival

See every movie on the AFI Top 100 Films of All Time List

Back-pack Europe

Road-trip the United States (at least part of that on a motorcycle)

Get paid to DJ an event

√ Live alone in my own apartment

Live in New York City

Make friends with someone famous that I admire

Be a bridesmaid for a close friend

√ Sleep under the stars

See a bear in the wild in Yellowstone National Park (I've lived in West Yellowstone for two whole summers, and NEVER seen a bear!)