Thursday, October 30, 2008

My Hirsute Glory -- as promised

One of my new readers, CAT, reminded me in a previous post comment that I promised photographic proof of my theatrical hirsute glory. I donned the facial hair in STATE FAIR recently with Kankakee Valley Theatre Association. I was grateful to only have worn the thing for one scene. I will say, without a doubt, that I brought plenty of attention to myself. I loved the laughter and the reactions cast mates gave me each performance.

On the final performance, prior to making my appearance, I stuck a pickle on a fork and then placed it between my boobs for later retrieval on stage. The smell of the dill was rising upward. I hoped no one would detect it.

Near the end of this particular scene there are two male characters conversing. One, Charlie, says to Pat (the notorious ladies man newspaper reporter) "you must know every dame on the midway!" To that Pat replies, "Only the (long pause as I approach) refined ones." I made my presence known. I interrupted his line by sauntering up, playfully flipping my beard making questionable come hither advances. I truly stunned him when I pulled the pickle up from the mass of beard and started eating it ... hair entwined and all. It was much like the drunken Santa/smoked salmon scene from "Trading Places" with Dan Akroyd and Eddie Murphy.

Good times. Good times, indeed.

Happy Halloween

more animals
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She bangs

Not since the tail end of the Clinton Administration have I been banged. I realize that's a long time. Fear of having it done improperly has kept me from taking the leap again. The last time it happened I was in the capable hands of my sister-in-law. She and my brother live in Taiwan. So, having it done again and regularly wasn't feasible.

With that being the case, I just let things go. Oh, I'd get a little trim here and there, but never did I allow someone else to bang me. That is until recently.

On Tuesday I tossed my concerns to the wayside and let someone have a crack at me. A complete stranger! "Do what you want! I have nothing to lose and I'm tired of the same thing day in and day out," I declared to the petite and vivacious young woman behind the counter.

"Are you sure?" she asked as she ran her fingers through my long, tangled head of hair.

"Yep! I'm putting my tresses in your hands. If I hate it, it'll grow back and I won't hold it against you."

I'm friends with the manager of the Great Clips in Bradley where the banging took place. I know a lot of people say you get what you pay for, but in my experience, price isn't everything. I've spent a small fortune on hair cuts and coloring and ended up going home having to touch up missed sections of hair. Or worse, ended up having to spend more time trying to style it so it didn't look like a hot mess.

The young woman interacted professionally and never got so lost in conversation that she lost track of what she was doing to my head. As each tendril of hair slid down the smock and onto the floor I felt lighter. She made note of where my hair naturally parted before snipping away at the front. I wanted bangs and she gave them to me.

My only disappointment was that I didn't get her name. What the heck!? I blame my excitement over having sexy, swoopy bangs for the first time in nearly a decade. I'm determined to go back to her when I need my locks cleaned up.

So, my darling friends, here is the result of what $12.00 (including tip) can get you.

*no bangs*

Friday, October 24, 2008

Freaky Friday!

Here it is. Yet another Friday that has me feeling undeniably cheeky. I'm all sassified!! I can't quite explain it. The last time I declared this I was giddy over getting to consume mass quantities of fair food. By the way, last Friday I over indulged on cotton candy, corn dogs and soft pretzels. That carbohydrate inhalation left me comatose. I woke up feeling as if I'd been doing tequila shots all night long. OY!
So, here I am off work. It's a cloudy, rainy, yucky day; yet, I'm impervious to the doldrums usually brought on by weather that's less than favorable.
When I say I'm feeling cheeky, I don't mean this:

It's this weird feeling I don't often wake up experiencing. I feel positive. How can that be? Am I not supposed to be feeling the stresses of financial sparsity? Shouldn't I be grumpy because my fling was flung -- presumably since there's been no communication?
Nope. I am delightfully content.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I can take 'em!

My 'net friend Jane posted her Thursday Thirteen today. This quiz was added. I took it. OH yeah! Bring on the 5 year olds! I wonder if this means I could be a Kindergarten teacher?


Created by OnePlusYou - Free Dating Site

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Note to my younger self: Don't you forget about YOU

While listening to the the most recent installment of the Stuck in the 80's podcast, the music of 80's movies was being discussed. The number one song on the list was "Don't you (forget about me)," from The Breakfast Club. That film encapsulates so much more than typical teen angst. I was not your typical teen-age girl. I managed to relate to the characters for more than complaining brats who hate their parents. On the outside I looked like Claire (Molly Ringwald), but inside I was a ball of confusion like Allison (Ally Sheedy.) I longed to rebel like Bender (Judd Nelson), but feared disappointing the those around me like Brian (Anthony Michael Hall.) I desperately wanted to be revered and celebrated like Andy (Emilio Estevez.)

When I completed listening to the podcast there was a flood of emotion and recall. I thought about where I was in the early 80's. Those memories inspired me to write the following:

As I said, my life as a teen wasn't typical. My parents' relationship had always seemed tumultuous. I never doubted their love for me or for each other, but situations made life difficult. By the time I was learning to drive, my mother had fallen victim to ovarian cancer. By the time it had been discovered, many of her internal organs were being ravaged by the relentless disease. Chemotherapy was attempted, but in 1981 there was little hope. By June '81 she weakened greatly and passed away. Devastation doesn't begin to describe it.

I desperately needed structure and guidance. My father and brother, who still lived at home, were unable to provide it. Each were dealing with the loss of mother in ways that were unfitting in my eyes. I was alone much of the time. If it hadn't been for my sisters Maureen and Mary and close friends, I don't know what path my life might have taken.

Due to my father's deep grief and inability to fully recognize my own suffering, I moved in with my sister Mary and her family. Although I appreciated my sister's open arms, it was quickly apparent that having a teen ager in the house with her, her husband and toddlers running about was too much.
Around Christmas of that same year I spent time with my sister Maureen. She lived alone in a 2 bedroom apartment. I don't know who came up with the idea originally, but the comfort of being with her gave me what I needed. I moved into her spare bedroom and she took on one of the biggest challenges of her life: raising a teen age sister.

Through living with Maureen, I was finally able to regain some stability. She set boundaries, but gave me plenty of room to run. My friends loved her. She was involved in all of my school activities. That includes chaperoning a show choir trip and heading up the make up committee for my senior year musical. She sewed my prom dress and competition evening gown for the Miss Kankakee Pageant where I was 1st Runner-up. A judge later wrote to me telling me I took first in evening gown and talent. WE won evening gown, thank you very much.

No matter what I did in my life, Maureen was the spearhead helping to make it happen. I never felt like a burden. She gave me so much. She continues to give.

Fast forward a bit to 1984. Maureen and her long time beau finally decide to get hitched. I was still residing with her in her 2 bedroom apartment. You can probably sense where this is going. In October the wedding takes place and, for me, all things are status quo. This man who my sister had been dating for 7 years would be moving in with us. Groovy. I could dig it. Yeah. But he couldn't dig it.

The day after their wedding my father announced that he, too, would be getting married. MARRIED?! Married. For the most part we hadn't heard much of this woman who'd soon be our step-mother. Six days after the announcement they were wed. Shock. Dread. Horror. A certain 'what the hell?' moment in my life. Our lives.

With Dad moving in with his new wife and her prepubescent son, it left our family home empty. A big, old eight room house where tales of ghosts and creepy hauntings supposedly occurred. I hated that my mother found it necessary to tell us such tales. I despised being alone in that house.

Then it happened. Another blow to the head. Another debilitating crack in my once stable foundation. My new brother in law had an epiphany: Marissa should go live in the big house that scares the shit out of her. Yeah. That's the ticket. No. No! Yes. I was over-ruled. I had no choice in the matter. It would appease both my father and brother in law. But it left Maureen and I feeling as if the rug had been pulled out from under us. She'd always been my shield from harm and now her hand was forced: Choose her husband or her sister. Unfair, but I was certainly being made uncomfortable in the place I had called home. I reluctantly moved. I resented my new brother-in-law for his selfishness. A man who had never lived on his own expected a teen-ager to do something he had never done..

I did everything in my power to avoid being alone in that house. I invited friends from work to hang out. I had parties. I begged girlfriends to come live with me. No one could fully afford taking up residence. As long as I lived alone my father anted up the money for utilities. God, how I hated living there. It wasn't home. It was a dwelling where I attempted sleep. I had a meaningful relationship with David Letterman and my sewing machine.

The morning after hosting an Everclear punch party, a very hungover Marissa left the house a mess and drove a friend home. When I returned, I found my father in the house. He'd seen the remains of what his youngest had been up to in her loneliness. He only said "it must have been one heck of a party."
Shortly after that I received calls from my sister Karen. She and her family have always been church going folks. They were loving, structured and compassionate. She lived in Charleston, Illinois. Home of Eastern Illinois University. Clearly, word had spread that I was imbibing and potentially walking down a path of ill repute. So, I packed my bags and moved. Again.
Sis and her husband had a clear set of rules for me. I would return to college (community), get a job and straighten out my act. I hadn't lost a grip on morality. I was confused. Lost. Lonely. A deep sense of abandonment seemed to be the norm in my young life.

My brother Rick and his wife lived in Charleston, too. He was a student at EIU. I was delighted to hang out with him and his friends. I would learn that to his friends, I was the forbidden fruit. They'd flirt, but never touch. Well, so my big brother thought. His good friend and I managed to steal away and make out. Nothing more happened, but he taught me what my lips were good for. In retrospect, I know I appeared to be nothing more than a surly puppy begging for his attention, but I thought I could run with the big dogs. My heart would end up broken, but I kept my head high and moved on. There were plenty of other boys willing to kiss and dance with me.

It was during my EIU adventure that I saw The Breakfast Club. I'd gone with my brother and his wife. I remember a girl squealing with delight that Claire used the same brand of lipstick that she did. Twit! It didn't hold as much meaning then as it does now. It was just for the sake of amusement that I watched it. I bought the soundtrack later and the more I listened to it, the more I was able to connect with each character in the film

Despite the efforts put forth by my sister to keep me on the straight and narrow, I managed to get in deeper waters. I made friends who were of legal drinking age. At 19, I could get into bars with my student I.D. I wasn't supposed to drink, but no one ever took the whiskey sours out of my hands.

I had money to blow thanks to scholarships and grants. I quit the fast food job I attained when I first moved there. I wasn't cut out for it. No one really is, but I knew I had money in the bank without a job. I did minimal studying and maximum partying. Naturally, I thought I was doing so under the radar of my sister and her husband.

I had been engulfed in a life opposite of what I had known. I changed my prissy style of dress to something far more alluring. Sexy. I donned the Madonna "Borderline" video style. It was then I realized the power I had in my breasts and round rump. I wasn't afraid to exude my new found sexuality. I also realized that alcohol made me do things I wouldn't otherwise do sober. I will say I remained a virgin through all of that. However, I shamelessly exploited myself to win a man's attention.

Without going into too much detail because it's a pointless waste of time, I befriended a girl who manipulated me and ended stealing a king's ransom from me. We took her to court and restitution was made. That episode along with serious homesickness had me packing up once again.

Maureen and her husband had purchased a large ranch home. There was room enough for a little sister and her baggage to reside. I moved back to Kankakee when the semester ended. I got a job working for a summer program with the school district. That job would help me get a full-time position as a computer lab tech. That living arrangement was intended to be short lived, but they failed to involve me in that portion of the discussion.

Hint upon hint were dropped that it was time for me to take up a residence of my own. I took the first cheap place I could find. I didn't have a car. So, my bike would provide as transport to and from work.

The place was an efficiency apartment. I had room mates. Gross. Nasty. Cock roaches. I complained to the landlord. I sprayed. I bombed. I slept with the lights on hoping they'd leave me alone in my slumber. God, I hated that place, but one does what they must when feeling pushed.

One rainy morning I heard a knock on my door. It was Maureen coming to give me a ride to work. I had no idea the rain was pouring down. She'd never been to my sad little abode. She later told me it devastated her to see what I had been pushed into.

I wish that I could say I was proud of my apartment. I'd like to proclaim that "it was small, but it was mine." It sucked. I was truly horrible.

Viewing my 'home' left Maureen feeling horrified. It's not that it was Joe's Apartment or filthy. It was dark. Dismal. Depressing. She didn't hesitate in helping me find a more suitable apartment. With great fortune her boss owned a Victorian home that had been converted into several efficiency apartments. Only women lived in the home. It was ideal, quaint and perfectly suited my budget.
Because the adorable one bedroom apartment wasn't available immediately, I took temporary residence with my dad and his wife, her son and newly added infant. Yes. Dad and my step mom had a baby. OOPS!
I was once again packing my things and moving. Sure, I would be doing it again in a couple of weeks, but the idea of staying in the roach motel another night wasn't an option. I'd lived there nearly 3 months and that was enough. I loaded my dad's Toyota van with all of my personal belongings. My clothes filled the vehicle. The only furniture I had was a love seat/hide-a-bed that belonged to my step mom. I can't remember when or how I moved that. I'm sure it was my brother-in-law who assisted since he always had a pick up truck.
A note was left on the dining table of the teeny, dank apartment. In it, I explained to the landlord that he could keep the security deposit as my last month of rent. I declared that the infestation of cock roaches should be reason enough to get my deposit back along with NOT paying the rent, but I was anxious to get out and didn't care to see him or the apartment again. I cut my losses and fled.
I wouldn't find my sense of home and belonging for many years. The stay in the cute apartment lasted for about a year. During that time, my brother helped me find a car. It was old, but reliable. I had my first set of wheels and it gave me a sense of independence. To get it I had taken out a personal loan. I made a minimal salary. If I'm not mistaken I survived on less than $10,000 pre taxes. Making ends meet was quite difficult. Dad recognized the signs of my financial crisis. I started showing up at his house during mealtimes. He'd load me up with left overs.
Thanks to his relationship with my step mom, he and I were able to make amends for the things that happened after my mother died. I moved in with them and I re-enrolled in college. My step mom was employed at the college and I received free tuition as a result.
I quit my full-time job at the elementary school and obtained a part-time job at a Shell gas station/food mart not far from home. I finally felt like I was able to make a home. I was never made to feel that I was infringing on my dad, step mom, or little brothers. I was given plenty of growing room. I wasn't scolded for being out until 5:00 a.m. Well, not directly.
While working at the Shell station I met David, Man-cub's father. He was the first man I dated with any serious notion. I had gone on dates. I had made out with guys. I suffered heartbreaking crushes, but I hadn't dealt with the day to day trials and tribulations of being in a relationship.
In a span of two years I regained full-time employment, enrolled in Governor's State University to complete my education and purchased a newer car. I was encouraged by my dad to be independent. It's not that he disliked David, but he felt I needed to be unencumbered so I could forge into a life free of drama. I didn't heed my father's advice and I continued to date David. It was not a healthy relationship. I was losing myself.
David was four years older, but had little to no real drive. He had lots of dreams, but did little to achieve those dreams. Perhaps they were just too far fetched.
I continued to go to school in the evening and work at the elementary school. I was succeeding and loving the course work. I had changed my major numerous times while attending community college. I had decided on Psychology. Prior to dating David I wrote out a plan of obtaining a doctorate. I truly believed that with all I had endured in my life I would be able to help save other teens who felt lost. I knew I had the ability. I never doubted that, with a math tutor, I could grasp that brass ring. Until David and I became serious, that is ... to be continued

Friday, October 17, 2008


I'm so happy it's Friday. It's unusual for me to be thrilled. Screaming TGIF doesn't have a normal spot in my vocabulary because, in my line of work, a weekend just doesn't take on the same meaning it does for those of you who work Monday through Friday. Chances are I'm not sleeping in on a Saturday. I'm waking up, slurping down java in haste and rushing out the door only to find myself sitting on the bench outside the store because the management thinks its exempt from being on time. *shew*
This Friday is different! Due to my involvement in Kankakee Valley Theatre Associations production of STATE FAIR, I am off all weekend. Sure, I'll have my hair in curlers for hours prior to curtain time. I'll wear 3 times the average amount of make-up and a color totally unlike my natural skin tone. Aqua Net is dragged out of the 80's and sprayed feverishly. I'll be dancing in shoes that are clearly a modern day version of Medieval torture. However, none of that takes the excitement away from being off all weekend: A bad night in the theatre is better than a great day at work.
What makes today even more exciting is this evening the cast will assemble for celebration. CAST & CREW PARTY! Since the show's setting is at a fair, we're dining fine on fair food. YUM! Corn dogs, popcorn, LEMON SHAKE-UPS!! I'm sure there will be other items to chow on, but I love deep fried anything you can eat on a stick.
The food is the only reason I risk life and limb going to a fair or carnival. I'm skittish about climbing on a ride that was assembled by Goober and his brother/cousin Bodoofus in the dark of the night moments after they rolled into town after having a good ol' belly up to the bar time at the twist and shout. I suppose I should be hesitant to eat the food prepared, as well, but I think eColi and salmonella are destroyed after being tossed into a vat of oil bubbling at 560 degrees Fahrenheit, right?
I'm sure our cast food will be carefully handled and we'll all be healthy and raring to go Saturday at 7:00 p.m. central time and 2:00 p.m. on Sunday. Don't wish me luck! BREAK A LEG!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Boss I can (and do) Worship

My sister Mary sent this to me this morning. Definitely post worthy.

Psalm 23

(For the Work Place)

The Lord is my real boss, and I shall not want.
He gives me peace, when chaos is all around me.
He gently reminds me to pray and do all things without
murmuring and complaining.

He reminds me that He is my source and not my job.
He restores my sanity everyday and guides my decisions
that I might honor Him in all that I do.

Even though I face absurd amounts of e-mails, system
crashes, unrealistic deadlines, budget cutbacks, gossiping
co-workers, discriminating supervisors and an aging body
that doesn't cooperate every morning, I still will not stop---
for He is with me! His presence, His peace, and His power
will see me through.

He raises me up, even when they fail to promote me.
He claims me as His own, even when the company threatens
to let me go. His Faithfulness and love is better than any bonus check.

His retirement plan beats every 401k there is!
When it's all said and done, I'll be working for Him a whole lot
longer and for that, I BLESS HIS NAME!!!!!!

I feel cheeky!

I have no idea why, but I'm feeling quite cheeky lately. Maybe I'm finally coming out from under the haze that was cast upon my family in early June. Being on stage again has helped tremendously.
When I auditioned for Kankakee Valley Theater Association's production of STATE FAIR, I admit to knowing little about it. I just knew I needed an escape. I wanted to sing my heart out and spend time with people who had nothing to do with my income. I needed human contact. I'll write more about my experience in front of the footlights when I have enough down time to devote to it. Plus, I want to provide photographic evidence when I put pen to paper, so to speak.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Silent Sunday

Watch the video below. Do not adjust your volume. There isn't any sound. There's really no need for it. I discovered this gem on youtube while searching for the silent film Nosferatu. I'm so delighted at my black and white discovery.

What does this little movie tell us about life? It reveals that no matter how intimate the occasion; it's all about wearing the right pair of shoes.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Walking by Faith

This came only minutes ago via email from Kris. Thank you. I know you know how much I rely on faith. Even though that's undeniable, it helps to have reminders. I haven't a clue where this email originated. I don't know the author. what I do know is that it gave me a tap on the shoulder when I read it.

Walking by Faith

I'm learning a lot about myself these days, specifically that I'm one of those control freaks who needs to know what's going to happen. I want to see everything that lies ahead. I don't like the unknown. I've never enjoyed surprises and find some kind of comfort in thinking I can control things. What a load of nonsense! Even those who claim clairvoyance cannot see the future with any certainty.

Sure, modern technology has made it possible to predict the movement of the stock market, the weather, future prices of oil, orange juice and hog bellies (what's up with the hog bellies, anyway?), but predictions are only educated guesses. No matter who you are, your circumstances, where you live and what you do, every morning every one of us must step out in faith, moving forward into the unknown to experience what life has for us.

Years ago, my husband and I were driving through California 's Mojave Desert at night on our way across country. It was my turn to drive while he slept. What struck me in the black stillness of the night was that my headlights were not lighting the entire way. Those two beams of light lit up the area just in front of us, only about 50 feet. As I moved into that light, the light moved ahead just a little bit more, lighting the way to our destination, a little bit at a time. That's what Stormie talks about in her book.

As we move through the days of our lives, we receive just the amount of insight we need for the next step. It's because of faith that we can step into the darkness of the future, knowing that the light will always go before us.

What are the challenges you face today? Perhaps you're out of work, wondering when you will land a job. Your finances may be in such a mess, you're terrified to face the day. A loved one may be facing a devastating prognosis, or perhaps you have a child going through deep waters as you stand by, unable to make a rescue.

Whatever your circumstance, you have to move forward and into the darkness, knowing with certainty that God will give you just the amount of light you need for that next step. Then you take another step, and another, all the way into and through the darkness. That's called faith--stepping out into the darkness, knowing we will have just the amount of light we need for the step we're on.

This is a wonderful day. Step out in faith, dear friend.

"People are like stained glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within." Elisabeth Kubler-Ross