So it’s finally happened. The Roe overthrow. Trump warned us when he was running in 2016. (I’m so grateful to the people who either didn’t vote, or wasted their votes on um . . . what were their names?) Our country continues its slow regression. Where back next? Contraception? Same sex marriage? Well at least Clarence Thomas won’t vote to outlaw interracial marriage because, well you know, his wife and all. The irony is that all the conservatives who wanted to grow the white population, (because, you know, the nation will be majority brown in twenty years) will be shocked at how the population will swell (pardon the pun) with underprivileged brown people as a consequence of their obsession. (Oh, and minorities tend to vote Democrat.) I’d suggest not having sex in states like Oklahoma, where some gentlemen wouldn’t hesitate to blow the uterus right off you if they thought you might be fertilizing there. And no exceptions for rape or incest in some states? These laws are probably promoted by men who prefer to you know, have sex with . . . okay, I won’t go there. Conservative women aren’t innocent either. It’s myopic not to consider the consequences of unwanted pregnancy. Research has shown that the socioeconomic outcomes for children whose mothers were denied abortions is catastrophic. And what about new mothers who resent their babies, or who feel trapped, or who aren’t automatically maternal? Do they put their children up for adoption? 90% don’t. You’ll definitely need to step in and do something about that. How absurd that the fate of women’s bodies in this vast country lay in the laps of nine people. Six who are woefully out of step with the majority of 21st century Americans. I won’t call them Justices, because there’s nothing just about what happened today. How sad that the Supreme Court is yet another political branch of our government.
My God, the news is so bad—I mean, really exceptionally bad–that the only relief is the TCM or the Halloween channel. Sometimes both. The Halloween channel is unofficially Freeform. Sometimes SyFy. Josh is content to watch something creepy with me, but if it’s really scary, (lots of ghosts, but no blood) I go it alone. Because it’s not scary. At all. Scary is climate change, oil spills, paralyzed government, Covid, violent death, Facebook, blah, blah. Anyway, in honor of my favorite holiday, I’d like to make a few recommendations for your viewing pleasure. And yes, this is subjective. And yes, I left out the animated stuff and probably some of your favorites. I generally prefer Gothic—especially if it was made in the 1960’s. Anyway:
The Haunting (1963 version with Julie Harris) TCM around the end of the month.
The Innocents (Deborah Kerr, based on Henry James short story) Might have to buy.
The Exorcist (Yes, it’s still terrifying) Should be streaming somewhere.
The Changeling (The one with George C. Scott) Prime Video?
Crimson Peak, (Mia Wasikowska and Jessica Chastain. A little bloody) Netflix, Prime Video
If you want a pure Halloween experience—Hocus Pocus, for a good laugh . . . and some good creeps. On Freeform all month. (Record it because there are tons of commercials.)
If you want something that will genuinely scare the shit out of you, (I couldn’t finish it) then watch Anya Taylor-Joy in The Witch. The atmosphere is . . . well, feel it for yourself.
Because I’m old-fashioned, (meaning I’m tech-stupid) I’ve mainly used my blog in a cathartic way. (To bitch.) It’s been another “a while” since I’ve posted. I swear I’m not going to discuss politics. Really. It’s not good for my blood pressure, and I’m already too upset about everything else that’s destroying our country, world, and planet. I’m looking forward to Halloween, (my favorite holiday) so I’ll probably post one of my favorite ghost stories. But for now I’ll just share a few things that have transpired lately. Just a few links because I don’t know how to do anything else. That’s my Halloween resolution. To transform and invigorate my blog so my posts, (rants) aren’t so scary. I’ll reach out for viewers, add photos, jokes, (I really do have a sense of humor) my music, and anything I else I can think of to impress. Or connect, (which is what I need). I’ve been overwhelmed lately, (but it’s been artistic stuff so it’s okay). So here are a few links to some recent successes. You’ll know when I’ve figured out how to do anything else. I’m just an old-fashioned girl for now.
My latest play, The Harmonica In Your Closet, was just published in Stage It! 5: 20 Ten-Minute Plays. It’s about cultural appropriation, and it includes kippahs and dashikis. The info is on my Amazon page below. (And no, you don’t have to buy it.)
My latest monologue, Cheating Schmeating, which is about—you guessed it—was just named as a finalist in Paradox Theatre’s New Works Festival. I’d love to go to Chicago to see it but I’m Delta-variant shy.
You know what? I can’t do this anymore. It feels kind of . . . boastful. I’ll list a few of my misses in my next post. For now I’m going to hop and spend some time with Josh. I hope you have a great weekend. And don’t forget to get your jab. Be well!
Well, it’s only taken me about two months to post my new(ish) TED talk. I gave it last spring but it was re-edited and re-introduced this fall. It’s called The Road to Empathy and it addresses ableism and racism through mini-scenes performed by four actors, (including myself). It’s a mash-up of my play My Son, and Driving Miss Daisy. I used excerpts from the latter with Alfred Uhry’s permission.
I’d been too distracted by the upcoming mid-terms to post, but now I’m motivated considering the latest xenophobic, racist rants from our distinguished Commander in Chief. He could take a lesson from the talk, but as we all know empathy and compassion aren’t his strong suits. Thank you for watching, and please don’t forget to vote.
Sometimes when my son has a seizure-related accident or when I’m extraordinarily worried about another person, place, or thing I have to “take to the bed.” It doesn’t matter what time of day or night it is. After an unfortunate event my ears start ringing and I suddenly feel exhausted or nauseated from anxiety.
Lately, I’ve been playing a trick on myself when attempting sleep. I will literally put myself in someone else’s shoes. No, not like an empath, but more like a person practicing an imagination game. Occasionally, I’ll even embody my high school self and roam the halls at school. I morph into a silly girl who hasn’t yet experienced the varied menu life offers unsuspecting adults.
The other night after my son suffered a face plant from a swinging incident at the park, I couldn’t function. I was so stressed about how he might wake up in the morning, (agitated, concussive, etc.) that I was a hyperactive, hand-wringing mess one minute, and then a defeated, absent-minded monad the next.
It would be easier if my son could talk and tell us how he was feeling, but he can’t. And when my husband came home later that evening and continued the same neurological checks on him that I’d performed, I pretended he would be okay. He was unwilling or unable to move from the couch in his therapy room, but he correctly identified how many fingers we held up to his face. He was groggy, but intact.
At an unspeakably early 9:00 pm I had to crawl in bed and try to control all the ringing and wringing. My mind was “squirming like a toad,” (The Doors) but it finally settled on someone. Meghan Markle, who had just gotten married.
It must’ve been around 2:30 am her time. She’s sleeping now, I thought–or trying to sleep, cuddled next to her new spouse. And eventually, magically, I became Princess Meghan, or Duchess Markle, or whatever. I awaken from my slumber to the faint smell of lavender, disoriented and confused. Who am I? Where am I? Look at all these fluffy pillows, and fluffy bedspreads, and fluffy everything. Oh my God—gasp–I’m a royal. What have I done? What have I sacrificed to marry this prince of a man next to me? I know I’ve already sacrificed my taste, opting for a designer wedding outfit that made me look like a cross between Queen Victoria and Mother Teresa, but what else have I sacrificed?
“I can’t write my lifestyle blog anymore! And, and I have to give up acting!” I actually laugh at that, at her– I mean, me. Girl, you’re thirty six, your acting days are numbered anyway. And besides, an actor never gives up acting. You’ll be using it now more than ever, trust me. (As a former thespian I know this.) Hmmm, what else have I cut out of my life? At this point Harry awakens and senses my discomfort and benign thrashing. He throws a big freckled arm over me and I cling to it for reassurance.
In the lavender-scented darkness I almost feel sorry for me. I mean, the Duchess. She’s embarking on an adventure that is foreign and bizarre. Intimidating and scary. Unexpected. I feel badly that she might have to give up her privacy, her individualism. Nah, she’s a princess. I finally roll over and fall asleep.