Monday, March 31, 2008

Today I lied like a rug

Okay, so it doesn't really work in the past tense. But syntax aside, I committed an enormous act of prevarication. I really don't like lying. Making shit up is a different story, but flat-out lying, I really don't like it so much. However, I did it so as not to hurt someone's feelings. And possibly to prevent me from losing my job. Which wouldn't really be such a bad thing. In fact I will rejoice the day I am free of that dump. But I digress.

My department head, the person I report to, was a casual friend who recruited me for this position. Had I known what a lunatic she is to work for, or what a hornet's nest I was getting into, I would have declined. But I said yes. Here is what's wrong with her. She could be a poster child for ADD. She lacks class. She's not really all that bright. She's chock full of nervous energy and constantly distracts everyone from what they're doing. She loves to blame other people. She's territorial and a control freak. On the positive, she's generally very cheerful -- overly cheerful, in fact. And she is extremely supportive and protective of the people in her department. She will go to bat for any one of her people at any time. She's not a malicious person and generally she means well. But...all of that said, none of us can stand working for her.

So what was the lie? It seems that somehow the information got leaked to the Museum Director that the people in my department don't like our boss and think she's incompetent. The director, being the hurful brat that she can be, told this to my boss. Today my boss told me this and asked me plaintively if that were true.

I tried as many ways as I could to imply denial without actually saying it but she persisted. So, with no options left, I sucked it up and lied. I told her no, it was absolutely not true! Who would say such a thing? I mean I do feel bad for her, especially today I did. And I don't want to be the one to tell her that she's clueless and everyone wishes she were gone. So I lied. Boldly and loudly and with authority.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Why it's not a good idea to post while drunk

It should be fairly obvious, given a few minutes of reflection, but I thought it was worth mentioning anyway. My observation has been that posting -- or attempting to post -- while more than superficially under the influence of alcohol, is probably not a good idea. Sad to say, the same drunken delusions of brilliance that inspire us to blather like idiots at parties can extend to the written word as well. Trust me, I've seen it in action. I won't embarrass the writer by identifying him but let me tell you, it's a cautionary tale if ever there was one. Thank god for the edit function!

Oh, the temptation to spill your guts in an atmosphere of presumed bloggy intimacy! Your blog brothers and sisters, ever sympathetic, non-judgmental, always there to lend a friendly ear. Unless of course you feel inclined to share your innermost thoughts about EVERYTHING...including why you hate poodles, and why you think your ex-girlfriend just might be an alien, or at least a closet Republican.The cold hard truth is, nobody really wants to know this shit. And certainly not when it's expounded in hysterical sentence fragments and inane attempts at philosophical irony.

I, thankfully, self-censor myself in such situations. Ernest Hemingway be damned -- I know I can't write when I'm drunk! So, if I'm alone, I content myself with wandering around my apartment and yammering at the walls. Or I spew it all into a Word document which I promptly delete. It's a practice I highly endorse. You guys should thank me for it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I'm a happy camper

For the past three weeks, I have been holed up with four actors and a director who were slogging their way through my play. Now that it's finished, I can say sincerely that I am very happy with the whole process. It was pretty much what I was expecting, plus more. I knew that I had reach a point where I knew it needed more work but I wouldn't know what was needed until the play spent some time up on its feet.

It's really kind of like alchemy when you give the pages to live actors and let them work with the piece. Suddenly they're finding things that I never knew were there. Relationships are developing between characters in ways I couldn't have imagined. Of course that means that I have to change stuff, but that's okay. That's exactly what I needed to find out. And they find humor in places I didn't know were funny. But they are! And I love it. I was very good and kept my mouth shut most of the time. (I had to be careful and not stray into the director's turf. It is definitely NOT my job to tell the actors what to do.) But I was happy to sit back and follow along and see what they came up with. When stuff was redundant or like that, we'd discuss it and then I'd scribble and scratch and cross out. Almost every page has marks on it. That's a good thing.

One of the things I really love about theatre is that it's a group effort. Everybody really brings something to the process -- or should, anyway. The writer invests his or her energy and imagination, then the actors get it and make it come alive, literally. And the really cool part is that you never know how that's going to happen. It just takes on a life of its own. Wahoo! I'm a happy camper.

Now of course I have another rewrite to do. But it's gonna be a piece of cake.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

For when you just can't find the right words...

Ever been in that situation where you just can't quite express your thoughts clearly? Maybe this will help

The Onion

Idiom Shortage Leaves Nation All Sewed Up In Horse Pies

WASHINGTON—Authorities expect the shortage to subside by April, but until then, urge citizens to skip shy the rickshaw until the flypaper marigolds can waterfall.