Friday, June 22, 2007

Sideshow Beth

I finally discovered why talk shows and big concerts have opening acts. To warm up an audience and get them ready for the bigger star of the night. A lot of times, opening acts are quite refreshing - funny, they get you in a good mood and they prepare you for what's in store that night. But what would happen if the opening act had to wait around until the end of the show to perform? Would people stick around for their spiel? Well I learned last night the answer to that question...NO!!!
You see, about a month ago I was invited (along with my co-author) to do a reading from our book following an off-Broadway show. The offer seemed genuine enough and I instantly started conjuring up thoughts of how we would read a chapter and have the entire audience laughing so hard that we'd be on our way to instant stardom. Me, on a stage - right across from some major Broadway shows...the dream of a lifetime - or the nightmare that I'd like to never remember as long as I live?
The day of our reading, I even went to an upscale salon where I had my hair blown out while sitting next to some famous looking woman who had gotten a little long in the tooth, who was sitting there having these blonde extensions sewn into her head. Why do people do that anyway? Then, it was time for make-up. By accident, there was a slight mix-up at the salon and they put me in cue for the eyebrow lady (were they trying to tell me something) but then realized their mistake and I got to sit in the chair of the make-up woman who had just finished doing an absolutely amazing job on some really beautiful girl. When the make-up lady asked how I wanted my make-up done - I joked - can I look like her? "Well, she's Miss Mexico." I obviously wasn't going to get that look, but the woman did a great job and I felt like a million bucks. I then zipped into Ann Taylor Loft and bought a cute little dress for our special night. I was ready to knock em dead!
We arrived at the theater and we actually almost missed the place because it was sandwiched between a newsstand and I think Burger King, but that didn't get me down - this was going to be the experience of a lifetime! We climbed a flight of stairs and saw the sign for our book and I started to get goose bumps. We met the star of the show and then talked about how we'd do the reading. We then learned that we had to be out of there pretty quick because they were getting ready for another show at 10pm and then discovered that we weren't going to be the opening act, we were going on after the star. Uh oh.
This was not going to bode well since she was playing to a room of new mothers who probably had to get home in time to relieve their babysitters. And so, we sat through the one hour and fifteen minute show and the minute we were introduced, the place started clearing out - as if someone had yelled "fire in the theater" or something. As I attempted to read my chapter, more and more people left. And the parts where I thought they'd laugh, there was just silence. I tried to read as fast as I could and in my head I imagined I was in a dentist's chair having root canal. Then my writing partner read her chapter - and as she read, the room cleared out even more. By the time she was done, there were a total of five people left in the theater - and that included the star of the show.
To say I was mortified is the understatement of the year. I felt as if I had bombed off-Broadway but then I realized - I was supposed to be the opening act...not the closer! My husband actually summed it up best when he looked at me and said - "Look on the bright side, if this were the circus, you'd be Sideshow Beth."
And that was my first brush with off-Broadway - a sideshow experience where the room cleared out the moment I opened my mouth. I sure do hope I have the opportunity to go back on a stage again, but this time I better be the opening act or the main attraction. Because when you're The Closer in a room full of new parents, your pretty much dead on arrival.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Eed Gads, My Cankles Are Huge

From the time I was a teenager I've hated my legs. If it wasn't the knee fat or the over-sized thighs, my biggest pet peeve about my lower half are what I fondly refer to as my cankles. Yes, I do not have a calf or an ankle but the lower half of my leg are one size - extra large. I may not look like one of those poor people from a third world country with elephantitis but looking down at my legs during the summer months is downright depressing. I hate wearing shorts, there are no pairs of shoes on the market that make my leg look thinner, and it seems like as I get older, my cankle problem is getting worse.
Thankfully, my daughter takes after my husband's side of the family - she's got the cutest little figure and I'm so thrilled that she'll never have to contend with knee fat and cankles. I mean, there is just no hiding both afflictions. No matter how thin I've looked in a one piece bathing suit or how flat my tummy was in a bikini, my legs have always been way larger than the entire package - forcing me to find a pair of genie pants or a huge wrap to cover up my gargantuan calves.
Far more depressing, this year, I put an extra five pounds on my frame (not by choice) and I think I'm carrying the additional weight right in my calves. No, the extra poundage never finds its way back to my 34A boobs, I'm blessed with the gene that finds the worst possible place on my body to distribute fat and then it miraculously appears...down below my knee lining the side of my calf.
I have no definition in my leg - which means mini-skirts, short shorts and slim leg fits are completely out of the question. During the winter months, the only boots that fit over my leg are the stretchy kind and now, in sandals weather I have to find the perfect shoe that won't make my leg look like it belongs to an 80 year old retiree.
I know. I'm being really hard on myself, but if you don't have cankles - you don't know how debilitating it can be on your self esteem. I'm actually ready to look into ankle liposuction just so that I can finally have a liberating experience and wear what I want without feeling self conscious about my legs. So if I actually do have a cankles consult, I'll keep you posted on my prognosis.
Hey, you never know - by next summer I could be cankle free! And if that comes out good, maybe I'll suck out the knee fat too! Dare to dream, dare to dream.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Do you know what sound can drive you to the point of insanity? Well many sounds come to mind - nails on a blackboard, blood curdling screams, the incessant dripping of a water faucet, but the most painfully annoying sound that has driven me nuts today is drilling.
You see, the drilling started at 11am when I had to visit the dentist for what I thought would be a short stint as we patched up a cavity that had cracked. WRONG. One very large needle, several large instruments in my mouth and about 45 minutes of drilling later, I finally was good as new. Of course, my lip and jaw were completely numb and when I drank I looked like a feeble old woman, but other than that, I was on top of the world.
But then I came back home and went to my bat cave where I began following up on emails and returning phone calls when that nasty drilling sound started all over again. But this time, the drilling came from my backyard - we have to add some windows in our basement (which is currently a fire hazard without them) so a few men with drills have been taking aim at our foundation and attempting to cut a hole through 60 year old rock in order to put in a brand spankin' new window. I spent about an hour listening to the drilling drone on and on until I had to pick up my daughter from school to take her and my son back to the dentist for some more, you guessed it, drilling.
We arrived back at the dentist and my son took his turn first and let me tell you, he was an absolute pro - the drill screeched right through his head and he sat their stoic, like a tree - letting the dentist clean out the "sugar bugs" and fill the spot with a "silver star" in less than 15 minutes. My daughter on the other hand, was squirming around so much that her turn took a bit longer...more like 35 minutes with intermittent drilling and polishing, whining, writhing and complaining on her part and finally she finished and it was time to head back home to the drilling.
Well, it's now 5:30 pm and the drilling has been non-stop since we've come back. I had to hide inside one of our bedrooms to hop on a conference call, hoping the parties on the other end wouldn't hear the drilling in the background. Even my cat is going nuts from the drilling...that reminds me - the drillers locked the door where we have the cat's litter box...I better run and help him out or else there will be something much more offensive than drilling that I'll be contending with today. Nothing like the smell of cat urine to make you appreciate the melodious sounds of drilling.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Cat Tales

In my haste to keep a day job, side job, kids and husband happy and well-fed (big shout out to Balducci's and California Pizza Kitchen for that one), I've found myself neglecting one member of my family and frankly, I just don't know what to do. Now don't worry, I'm not ignoring one of my kids - that's physically impossible since the minute I try to do something by myself they're pretty close behind asking me where I'm going, kicking me off my computer so they can play the fishing game on Club Penguin; begging me to help them build a monster sized lego tower or demanding that I listen to them sing their favorite song ("We're all in this together" or "If I only had a brain"). But after I've devoted most of my attention to my kids and my husband, when I finally retire to the den to pass out on the couch, our frisky feline decides its time to get a piece of the action.
Every single night of the week my cat climbs right next to me, then stretches out and starts scratching the wall with a cringeworthy sound that seems eerily simliar to screechy nails on a blackboard. Then, when I try to tell him to go scat, he thinks I'm playing with him and proceeds to swat at me with his paw. After enduring this exercise about 5 or 6 times, he finally gives up and leaves me alone. But then, when I head to bed, he's back at it again. Climbing on top of my chest and even scratching my face in the middle of the night to wake me up. This weekend, out of nowhere I tried to kick him off of my chest sometime around 3am and he scratched my finger so badly that he drew blood! I was so dazed and confused I thought I was attacked in a dream.
And then, this morning, my cat really gave out a desperate cry for attention when he walked up to my laptop computer and started rubbing his head against it. Hmmmm....does he think since I can be found writing in my spare time, that I'll show him some love while blogging away on my keyboard? I guess that can't be so bad. The poor cat has been pretty lonely since he lost his brother a few months back. The least I can do is take a break from my Toshiba so I can share the love. So good night little laptop. I'm off to pet my cat.

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