3 things about The Vagina Monologues

1) Although this year was my fourth time being part of my local production, everything was different this time because Chickadee was in it with me, too. We could not have picked a better way to come full circle from the first time I was in it, years ago. (And if you want to read more about her, head over to Alpha Mom. I don’t know if you know this, but I am awfully fond of that kid.)

2) I’m not sure how (lies, I know how; I am largely oblivious), but my ENTIRE FAMILY conspired with Kira and kept me completely in the dark until SHE APPEARED AT MY FRONT DOOR ON SATURDAY and I started screaming loudly enough for her to hear me outside. This is because Kira lives 2,000 miles away, and I had no idea she was coming, and in fact I hadn’t even asked her to try to get to the show this year because we’ve never been able to manage it before AND she went back to college this year and went from being insanely busy to actual, like, truth-is-less-believable-than-fiction levels of swamped. But she came all this way to see the show and spent less than a day with me because she is the best.

3) There is video. [Editing to add: NSFW video, obvs.] My husband set up shop the night he came to see the show and so if you missed it but are dying to see my piece (and if you are, I am both flattered and slightly uneasy, but that’s another matter…), you can. But Imma put it after the jump, here, because I don’t think we need it sitting right on the front page. If you don’t need video, you’re done. (more…)

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Nerd Night: S’mores Cake

Y’all. I am so tired. I am so tired I’m saying “y’all,” which I’m pretty sure is a felony for a yankee like me regardless of how long I’ve lived in the south. This past week was absolutely nuts and wonderful, and I am looking forward to telling you all about it… probably tomorrow or Wednesday, once I’ve gotten my head back on straight. Being in The Vagina Monologues is always simultaneously exhausting and exhilarating, and I don’t know if you know this, but I am not quite as young as I used to be. (Weird!) Anyway. All of the highlights about that are coming, I promise (complete with a tale of surprise my family sprung on me that made me shriek like a little girl). Please be patient with me.

In the meantime, Nerd Night waits for nothing, not even our final Sunday matinee, so yesterday morning I raced around like a crazywoman making this cake for my favorite nerds:

smores-cake-full

I’m glad it started out so pretty, because it did not stay that way. (more…)

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Just a heads up (w/ bonus embarrassment)

The fine folks who host my sites are doing a server migration this weekend, which means things will stop working for a day or two and maybe even appear to have vanished. Don’t panic! Everything will be back and fine in short order.

Assuming that you see this post before the site goes down, here’s a somewhat blurry picture one of the show’s directors sent to me for fun:

VM-triple-2016
You know, while I’m standing there in a leather corset, holding a whip, watching a fellow cast member demonstrate a triple orgasm. As one does. (Hey, if you’re local, we have three more shows, so come on out if you’re so inclined.)

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This is a week (a week a week a week)

It’s one of those unwritten rules—similar to how bringing an umbrella with you keeps it from raining—that if you have Something Big happening, a million other things will have to happen at the same time, because it is not enough to deal with that ONE thing. Of course.

So: Our production of The Vagina Monologues opens tonight, which means Chickadee and I have been spending long hours at rehearsal, AND Otto has about a dozen extra things going at work, AND Monkey is under the weather AND every committee I am on for school needs something from me right now AND a great job opportunity fell in my lap (but from a Luddite organization which apparently needs a paper resume rather than just looking at my LinkedIn), AND it’s been raining so SOMEONE has been pooping on the floor rather than getting their paws wet (geez, Otto, get it together), AND AND AND AND.

And: I am tired. It’s gonna be a looooong charge through the weekend. (Hopefully a good one, but still.)

Last night was our final dress rehearsal, our first JUST KEEP GOING, THIS IS IT run, and when we do the show at UGA, we perform in the chapel, which is a lovely old building. There are TEENY wings for the chapel stage, and a small bathroom on only one side. If your assignment is to wait in the other wing and you have to pee? TOO BAD. But… last night my darling daughter decided to make a just-before-curtain bathroom run, and we’d just had a few words and I was worried she was mad at me, so I tapped on the door to try to talk to her and she told me to go away. “We’re about to START,” I said, finally, worried she was so pissed off she was going to miss her cue. In fact, she didn’t come out for her first cue, but then I had to go over to the other wing and just trust that she’d emerge in time for the next one. Time passed, and about twenty minutes later I got a text from her, asking where I was. Turns out, the very old door to the very old bathroom is having some issues, and she’d actually been trapped inside (without her phone). She hadn’t wanted to make a lot of noise because we were running the show, so she resorted to quiet tapping until another cast member noticed and was able to free her. She’d spent what I’m sure felt like a very long time in there convinced she was going to miss the whole show and maybe have to live in that crummy bathroom. So. Um. Everything is going to be perfect tonight, I’m sure, because the ridiculous awful thing has already happened! Hooray!!

In the meantime, Monkey and I are still figuring out what he needs when he’s sick, and you can read about that over at Alpha Mom, if you’re so inclined.

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Nerd Night: Berries and Cream Cheese Chocolate Cake

I’m still trying to decide if baking decadent things I cannot eat is a healthy sublimation of my sweet tooth or just a giant, masochistic flaw in my reasoning process. Best not to think about it too much, I suspect.

The smoothie cleanse I mentioned last week? I’m going to tell you more about it, today, but after I tell you about dessert. So if you’re just here for dessert and don’t give a rat’s ass about my weird diet things, check out the cake and then be on your way. Here I was, having just come off 10 days on kale smoothies and eating… mostly veggies, still, and it seemed like a great idea to make a decadent chocolate cake. With a berry filling. And a cream cheese filling. And chocolate fondant. Why not?

choc-berry-wedge

It turns out that it’s kind of hard to get a good picture of a dark chocolate cake with a dark berry filling, but this is, in fact, a 4-layer cake with one layer of gooey cream-cheese-y filling and two layers of mixed berry compote. I’m told it was delicious. (more…)

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Now there is less of me to yell at

So I did this weird green smoothie cleanse and lost some weight. I never know if writing about that sort of thing is interesting or boring; I mean, it’s interesting to me, I guess? Maybe not to you? I might write about it next week. It was… an adventure. I’m glad I did it for a number of reasons, not the least among them that I appreciate being able to fit into my pants.

Anyway, during the first few days of the cleanse, especially, while I was dealing with caffeine withdrawal and general hopelessness (I’m the best advertisement for this cleanse EVER, clearly), I felt like I wasn’t thinking super clearly. I made a lot of dumb mistakes. More dumb mistakes than usual, that is. And then I sort of came out of that and felt clear! And ALIVE! And ENERGETIC! But I still caught myself sometimes not thinking entirely straight.

Then I wrote this piece for Alpha Mom about teens and disturbing texts, and my intrepid editor and I went back and forth on some issues of guilt by association and bullying-vs-just-generally-being-a-jerk, and I suspect some commenters are going to yell at me very soon. I still stand by what I said, I think, based on the information given to me, but it’s definitely a tricky issue.

And anyone who disagrees with me has to bring me a snack. I think that’s fair.

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How to get your kid into college

I’ve been threatening to do this for months, but I finally wrote a counterpoint piece to all of those “HOW TO MAKE SURE YOUR SCHMOOPYKINS GETS INTO HARVARD” articles. It was surprisingly cathartic.

My distress over various “experts” in this area is threefold:

1) Who says you have to go to an Ivy or other generally-rated-as-one-of-the-very-best sorts of colleges in order to succeed? That’s dumb. If that was true, none of the other colleges would exist, or no one who graduates from them would ever make a living. These pieces are rife with a snobbery about education that I find really distasteful.

2) It always seems to assume a trajectory that begins with laser-focus even before your kid hits high school. Call me crazy, but I think it’s okay to let kids be kids.

3) I don’t remember my parents doing all of this college stuff with me… because they didn’t. I picked the schools I went to. I wrote my applications. I handled it with minimum input from them, because honestly, if a kid can’t get themselves through the process here without mommy and daddy pointing out every step of the way, they’re unlikely to succeed at ANY college, much less a “top” one.

Want to know what needs to be happening through high school for your kid to be on track for the right college? Here you go. I may not be an expert, but I’m a realist—and unlike a lot of folks I know with high school seniors, we haven’t really found this year stressful.

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Nerd Night: Identity Crisis Lemon Bars

Listen, I am a person who aspires to balance. I’m not saying I’m a person who ever ACHIEVES balance, mind you, but I do aspire to it. So when I make a completely over-the-top dessert like I did last week, I try to go for something a little simpler and less-sugar-shock-inducing for the following week.

I had an ulterior motive, too. Lemon bars are Otto’s favorite, and I realized while looking for a recipe that I’ve never actually made them before. (I am a terrible wife.) Whenever we eat out somewhere that has lemon bars on the menu, he gets one. Anyway. Often we send dessert off and an empty pan returns, so I planned from the start to make two pansful, on account of Otto ran a Big Event for work last week and I basically didn’t see him after Wednesday morning until Sunday night. He’d worked hard. He deserved a traditional, perfect lemon bar.

Unfortunately, he’s married to me, so what he got are THESE lemon bars. And they were good, the family tells me, but they were not entirely traditional. Still, no one complained.

lemon-bar-plate (more…)

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In case audio is your thing…

… I cannot remember if I have mentioned here or not that I’m going to be in The Vagina Monologues again this year. But in case I hadn’t, before, there ya go. Now I have. This may not mean a thing to you (maybe you live very far away; maybe you are opposed to vaginas for some reason), but this morning I was on a local podcast along with one of our directors to talk about and promote the upcoming show. And you could listen to it, if you wanted to, to hear how much MORE awkward I am in real life (hard to believe, I know).

Bear in mind that I got a phone call late last night asking me if I could step in today, because our other director was going to be unavailable and my schedule is flexible and also I am a sucker. I said sure, because why not? Then we got there this morning and had settled into our chairs and Andrew was about to start recording and Audey was all, “And I want you to do part of your monologue, too.” OH. OKAY. NO SWEAT. I did it, but, uh, surprise! (This is a lovely building the newspaper offices are in. I have very much enjoyed talking about Eve Ensler’s important work. Sure, I’d be happy to start moaning and let you record it.)

You can listen to the podcast here (or download it, if you’re fancy like that). If you’re local, please come to our show! And if you’re not, please consider visiting the V-Day Event Locator to find a local production to attend in February. All productions of The Vagina Monologues are fundraisers for organizations dedicated to preventing violence against women—see a fun show, support a great cause.

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I’m always behind

I realize that we are probably the last people on earth to have discovered Sherlock, but OMG, are you watching Sherlock?? I’ve never really understood all the fuss about Benedict Cumberbatch—I mean, fine, he’s an actor? Who acts well? And I have always enjoyed this ridiculousness—but now I get it. I GET IT. TEAM SHERLOCK 4EVAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.

Seriously, if there’s an evening I think we’re going to watch it and then it turns out we can’t for some reason, I become despondent. And I’m probably headed for a full nervous breakdown, because we’re almost done with Season 3 and then what am I going to do with my life? I just love it more than anything I’ve seen on television in forever. I love it more than Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (don’t tell Monkey), which is saying something, because I really love S.H.I.E.L.D. more than is probably normal.

Better late than never, right? I think so.

Right. CUE THE AWKWARD SEGUE: I want to say “Why didn’t you tell me??” about Sherlock, except that I’m sure you did and I didn’t listen. And many of you warned me about all of these pesky FEELINGS I would be having this year and I was all NOPE, NOT ME! And of course I was wrong, because I am often wrong. Also I am behind (per usual) on figuring things out. I feel like I’m just starting to figure out just how hard this whole releasing-my-kid-into-the-world thing is, and “Why didn’t you tell me?” is the wrong question, I know. The right question is, “Why didn’t I listen?” or maybe “How do I make it more bearable?” You’re welcome to read more on Alpha Mom, but fair warning, it’s a little sappy. I’m sorry. We can always go back to talking about Sherlock, if you’d rather.

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