Friday, July 29, 2005

Friday Quote: A Conglomeration

This week, a collection of oddments heard in the Lawson household over the past couple weeks.

"I can now say with utter confidence that Bubba Ho-Tep was a triumph of cinema compared to Kill Bill." ---Great Scott
(Note: Neither of these movies have the Lawson recommendation for discriminating viewers. Not whilst the viewers are sober, at least.)

Great Scott to younger daughter: "Come here and let me paint your nose yellow with this highlighter."
Younger daughter: (lighting up with glee) "Oh yes! Then I can tell Pat and Teri [her directors] I have a disease!

"But my little elves need a place to go! They're getting inbred!" ---Cindy apologetically taking over her brother-in-law's territories in a heated game of LOTR Risk.

"She has weapons of mass destruction! I can prove it! I must make the world safe for democracy!!" ---Great Scott accusing the same poor little inbred elves in said game of Risk. This particular comment got him dubbed "George" for the rest of the evening. I think he was proud of it.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Little House Play

Part of the reason my blogging has been so sparse and shallow lately is that the girls and I are involved in a musical and have been in rehearsals most of the summer. Well, the girls have been in rehearsals. I've been making costumes.

Laura's Memories is a musical about the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder, who authored a popular series of children's books, Little House on the Prarie being probably the most recognizable title thanks to the television series by the same name. This is the musical's 15th year of production, my mother's 12th year of being its costume mistress, my girls' 2nd year of acting in it, and my 1st year of actively helping out with something other than wrangling children backstage. The cast numbers over 50. There are 11 scenes in 2 acts with 10 musical numbers, all told.

All last week we had dress rehearsals, in temperatures in the 90's and 100's. I sat in the pit of our little outdoor theater taking notes for Pat, our musical director, and watching everyone struggle with finding breath enough in the heat and humidity to say their lines, let alone belt out songs and dance. Period costuming with its boots, stockings, high collars, long sleeves, shawls, hats, long dresses and pinafores, does not lend itself to enthusiasm when the temperature is 102 or 104, as it was on opening night last Friday and on Saturday. "You positively glowed!" said our director to one young lady afterward. "It was sweat!!" came the breathless reply. I guarantee she lied not!

I've acted before and can do a fair job of it, but I want my daughters to be in the limelight, not me. This is a chance for them to stretch their wings without me being in their space, so I'm doing what I actually prefer: I'm working in the background, helping my mother with costumes (making two dresses and four pinafores thus far, as well as several repairs and alterations, and keeping track of who's wearing what), taking notes for Pat and coaching the little girls through the finale each performance. This is both a busy and an oddly restful place for me to be. I'm happy.

A note: For anyone who's interested, my daughters are, indeed, in the picture linked above. The older one, who plays Mary in two scenes, is sitting on the ground in the center, in blue. The younger one is the farthest standing on the right. The picture's too small for you to see well, but take my word for it: they're dangerously gorgeous and gifted young ladies!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Not Quite Sure How to Take This

Therapeutic Writer at Cheaper Than Therapy posted her Advanced Global Personality test results. They looked so interesting I had to hop over to and try it for myself.

Advanced Global Personality Test Results
Work ethic56%
Self absorbed23%
Conflict seeking10%
Need to dominate16%
Change averse50%
Peter pan complex50%
Physical security90%
Physical Fitness10%
Female cliche56%
Take Free Advanced Global Personality Test
personality tests by

My trait snapshot had this to add: introverted, secretive, messy, depressed, does not like leadership, somewhat nihilistic, observer, does not make friends easily, unassertive, feels invisible, feels undesirable, hates large parties, does not like to stand out, leisurely, suspicious, submissive, abstract, unpredictable, intellectual, likes rain, likes the unknown, negative, weird, not a risk taker, unadventurous, avoidant, strange.

Introverted, yes, but I make friends very easily when I choose to; I prefer to call it reserved rather than "secretive"; I'm not usually depressed; I enjoy being invisible (and that gold ring on my finger has nothing to do with it); I doubt Great Scott has noticed any particularly pronounced submissiveness on my part ever; I don't see how one can like the unknown and be unadventurous simultaneously; it's not called nihilism--it's called black humor; and large parties almost always have a quiet corner somewhere from which one can take notes on what idiots people in large groups can be--always good writing fodder. So I take umbrage with these things.

As for being messy, an observer, leisurely, abstract, unpredictable, intellectual, liking rain and the unknown, being weird and strange...well, ahem...maybe it's possible.

Heh heh heh

The girls and I got in from opening night of the Little House musical at eleven tonight. Great Scott mentioned he ate a half a bag of M&M's while we were gone.

That means there's a half bag of M&M's somewhere in the house.

And it's nearly 2:00 a.m.

And Great Scott is asleep.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Friday Quote: On Finishing

I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged...

---Erica Jong

Friday, July 15, 2005

Friday Quote: On Sleep and Writing

...if you keep a depressed patient awake all night, his or her mood will improve significantly. (Unfortunately, the benefit only lasts until the first nap that contains dream sleep.) Most (but not all) antidepressants suppress dream sleep, and some researchers have speculated that this property might be essential to their effectiveness...

Writers who are feeling too manic and hypergraphic, with too many scattered ideas, may benefit from a sleep regimen opposite to that for depressed or blocked writers. Sleep deprivation doesn't calm down overenergetic writers, it often only disinhibits them further. They may find that their writing becomes more organized if they are forced to go to bed two hours early. Some have speculated that an all-nighter may help writer's block by using sleep deprivation to disinhibit the writer...

The first rule a medical resident learns is "Sleep when you can, eat when you can; you may never get a second chance." But the resident's life, while tiring, is also pleasantly loaded with call-room beds. What about writers whose work situation is not so well equipped? In my first job after my residency, I had no office and took naps under a very deep desk. I stopped when I woke up one day to find a colleague borrowing my computer, her shoes close enough to my face that I could have tied her laces together. She stayed for what seemed like forever, as I tried not to sneeze. Afterward I found a convenient closet to sleep in, an arrangement that lasted until one of the departmental adminstrators came to look for paper plates. He screamed, and later told me that he had been sure I was dead. So naps are problematic productivity stategies for people who have to write in public places.

---Alice W. Flaherty
The Midnight Disease: The Drive to Write, Writer's Block, and the Creative Brain

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Tagged! Miscellaneous Questions

Seeker tapped me for this meme. Thanks, Seeker.

1. What were three of the stupidest things you've done in your life?
(Things to which I'll admit in wide-open cyberspace, that is. )

1). Left an "n" out of the second word of the phrase, "the annals of history" in a university research paper.
2). Put one end of an electrical cord in my mouth to lick off cake batter after it fell out of a hand-held blender. The other end was still plugged into the wall.
3). Learned the Spanish Panic dance routine from Once Upon a Mattress (a musical) two days after biopsy surgery on a lymph node from my groin. (Pulled stitches are no fun!)

2. At the current moment, who has the most influence in your life?

Great Scott, my dad and Rumi, humanly speaking.

3. If you were given a time machine that functioned and you were allowed to pick up to five people to dine with, who would you pick?

Jane Kenyon
Mary Oliver (who is still living)
Kathleen Norris
Jesus (although the whole time I'd be worrying about whether he'd beconsidering himself to be dining with a Pharisee or a woman of questionable reputation. And desperately hoping for the latter.)

4. If you had three wishes that were not supernatural, what would they be?

1). That people would listen more to each other.
2). That I didn't secondguess my every thought and breath.
3). That our girls will live wise and happy lives. (Assuming the two are not mutually incompatable.)

5. Someone is visiting your hometown. Name two things you regret your city not having and two things people should avoid.

Things lacking:
1). Any sort of artistic cultural activities.
2). Pizza delivery.

Things to avoid:
1). Cowboy. (Cowboy is a 30-something year-old guy who rides his mountain bike around town. He used to drive a lawn mower, but the cops got tired of pulling him out of the ditches when he'd get soused on Friday nights.)
2). Literary discussions. Unless you like romance novels or Hank the Cowdog.

6. Name one event that has changed your life.

Getting married.

7. Tag five people

It's been so long since I've blogged, I don't know if there are five people who read this left to tag. If you're reading, consider yourself tapped. How's that?