Thursday, August 27, 2009

BloomingtonGirl Loves Her Shoes & Other Thoughts on This Thursday

Loyal Readers, here is a picture of one of my favorite pairs of shoes. Aren't they completely sassy? This particular photo does not do my ankles justice, if I do say so myself. My calves, clavicles & ankles are bony - perhaps the only parts of my body I don't endlessly fret over. But, as I used to say, I digress.

I love these shoes. I must, Loyal Ones, because I continue to wear them as often as my sartorial choices allow even though they sometimes cause me to be thrown to the ground in a conspiracy with uneven walkways and gravity. The platforms on the shoes are slanted inward making it much too easy to turn the wearer's ankle. This has happened three times so far in my case. Once, in Manhattan, in the middle of the day. Splat! It could happen to anyone, a well meaning passer-by murmured as she helped me to my feet. The second time, in front of a church where I was helping plan a friend's funeral. I left the building to get something in my car and went down. My dress flew up over my head and there I was, in front of God and everyone, lying on the pavement with my underwear showing. Fortunately, they were a very nice pair: one I would not have been ashamed of had I had a car accident and ended up in the ER having to have them cut off by people I might in the future see at a hospital cocktail hour or benefit. The third time was last weekend in Indy, en route from the restaurant to my show. (!!!) I was just thankful I didn't break my wrist. I did break the skin on the heel of my hand. Since we were staying in a hotel without a first aid kit at the ready, I washed out the wound with Hilton Mouthwash. The sting reassured me that I was indeed disinfecting the injury. I am, after all, a doctor's wife and I worry about terrible unlikely infections that just might happen any time, any place.

My relationship with these shoes is like an unhealthy, unrequited love. I just can't give them up no matter how many times they throw me down. Worse, I long for a few more pairs in other colors. Is this a sickness? I think it might be. Sadly, though, I am not interested in the cure.

In other news, I am making tomato jam as I write. I don't know what Tomato Jam is either, but I am making it. The recipe leads me to believe it is simply a concentrated form of fancy Catsup (or is it Ketchup?) But, it used up eight pounds of tomatoes so far, so it is a good thing. Earlier today, I canned several jars of crushed tomatoes. I complain about all this but my deep dark secret is that I get a whole lot of satisfaction from this. It is way too time consuming but having a pantry full of home grown canned goods and a freezer full of vegetables from my husband's garden makes me happy in the off season.

Well, my Darling Loyal Ones, I am off to finish my jam and to watch an episode of Mad Men.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hooray for A Good Review!!!

A Good Review !!

Hooray. The showcase was really good, Loyal Readers. Each play was funny and well acted. It is well worth taking a trip up to see this and other Fringe Stuff. The atmosphere is exciting and fun.

I was so proud to be associated with this production! Saw it Friday night in an almost full house and it was wonderful.

Hats off to everyone involved!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bounty & Other Things on my Mind

Greetings, Loyal Readers. It is Wednesday at about 5PM. Jack has some art project going at the kitchen table and is humming away - he loves to hum - and I am simmering ten pounds of tomatoes on the stove. Here they were before they got thrown in the pot. The tomatoes are going full force and I have to say that I don't mind a bit. They are spectacular this year. Tomatoes, like peaches, are made so special by the fact that they only taste really good in season. I am sure that there are other fruits and vegetables in that category but those are the two that come to mind. With the current food production and distribution system, we are accustomed to having whatever we want at any time of year. I like that with tomatoes, you can only get good ones in the summer. Some things shouldn't be available all the time. Many things, in fact. Like the Charlie Brown Christmas Special and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Remember how special they were before the VCR and the DVD? Ain't the same no more, people.

I've spent much of my week so far doing theatre stuff. I did some office work for Cardinal Stage and also had lunch with the Managing Director/Interim Artistic Director of the Bloomington Playwrights Project, (BPP) where I have recently been invited to join their Ensemble of Artists (!). How lucky am I to live in a town where there is so many resources for an aspiring playwright? The BPP is putting up a selection of plays from the past several years of their Sex/Death Showcases and mine was one of the ones they chose. You can see my play 100% Distracted at the Indianapolis Fringe Festival next weekend and the weekend following and mine is one of the plays they chose to produce. Here's the link to the schedule for my show: Sex/Death at the Indy Fringe. Go, Loyal Readers, Go and shout Author! Author! at the end of it. My play leads off the line up.

In other news, I've posted a new recipe to my recipe blog, Really Great Recipes. It is for a delicious cobbler that isn't even that bad for you.

Tomorrow, you will be glad to know that I plan on doing hours of actual playwriting. Stay tuned.

Friday, August 14, 2009

What a difference a day makes, Loyal Readers. This is Jack on his second day of school. No hair gel, just straight bed head. He rarely grins for the camera because he is self conscious about his front tooth, which came in a half inch higher than it was supposed to and is longer than normal. He will actually be getting limited braces later this year to fix it. Then, he will realize his dream of being a ladies' man.

This photo shows what is left of the masterpiece I prepared earlier today. A delicious strawberry rhubarb cobbler. It was incredibly good, all modesty aside. I never have any modesty anyway, so who am I kidding? It was excellent. I shall post the recipe on my other blog later this week. Check it out: Really Great Recipes.

In other news, I cleaned like a maniac today, fueled by an avoidance of writing I have not known in some time. At least I am productive as a result. Either my house will be immaculate by the end of next week or I will have moved my characters along in some kind of meaningful way. Stay tuned, Loyal Ones, because I know you are indeed on the edges of your seats.

In other other news, I had dinner with one of my very best friends, Jenny, this evening. We went to Samira and had their usual delicious Afghani fare and a bottle of wine. Jenny recently had a shocking pink streak put into her hair. I am surprised to report that I am now inspired to do the same. My husband has put in his vote - a nay - but I might just go ahead and get one anyway. I'll put it in the back or back to one side and see if he notices it. Given how short my hair is as of late, it won't be there more than a month, so even if he hates it, he won't have to hate it for long. Remember that this is the man who suffered through my Billy Idol stage when I dyed my hair platinum. I haven't had the urge to dye any or all of my hair in ages but somehow, seeing the crazy color in my friends hair made me want some for myself. Mid life crisis? You make the call.

Well, I am off to bed to read one of my Sewanee Conference books, The End of California by Steve Yarbrough. I am quite taken in by the book, even though there is, by my not so reliable standards, a good amount of football in it. Steve Yarbrough did a moving reading from the book at Sewanee so I bought it. Glad I did. It is a keeper.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

BloomingtonGirl Gets Kissed by a Complete Stranger

This morning I was at the Y, doing a weight workout. I was on the free weight leg press machine doing my first set when I heard "You must be a very strong lady to be able to lift all that." I finished my reps and turned around. There, standing behind me was an elderly man, neatly dressed in shorts and a golf shirt and a baseball cap that said "World War II Veteran" and had several pins on it. I swung my legs around and faced him. I told him I wasn't all that strong...etc. and then asked him if he was indeed a WWII vet. He said he was and we talked briefly about where he had been stationed. Very briefly. Then he asked, "What's your name?" I told him and he introduced himself with his first, middle and last name, formal and proud as can be. He said, "It's nice to know you." Then, before I knew what was happening, Mr. First, Middle and Last Name WWII Veteran leaned in, put his arms around me and gave me a big fat kiss.

I did my next two sets, a bit flummoxed as you can imagine. He stood behind me the whole time, commenting. It became clear that he was not going to be leaving me any time soon. I didn't want to insult him, but neither did I want a suitor for my workout. Especially one who was clearly heading into some sort of dementia, albeit benign and rather sweet. I got off the machine and Mr. First, Middle Last Name WWII announced that if I could lift that much weight then, "by golly" so could he. I quickly began to remove the weights and suggested that he try it first without weights to get the hang of it. He tried to remove one of the plates but couldn't make it budge. Now, there were a few guys in the fairly empty gym who were starting to stare at us. I got the weights removed and Mr. FMLN WWII sat down and started to try out the machine. I didn't want him to get hurt and I didn't want to have to take care of him, so I suggested that he enlist a professional for help and set out in search of a Y employee to take this man off of my hands.

I found one, but Mr. FMLN WWII had wandered off and had begun to shoot some baskets. Phew.

I resumed my workout without further interruption.

In other news, I wrote and wrote and wrote today but moved my play forward only a little. It was discouraging but I am going to be at it again first thing tomorrow. I WILL finish this play and by the end of September. There. It is written in the book of BloomingtonGirl, never to be erased. A workable draft by the end of September. Come what may.

In other other news, I was thinking today about how when we love people in our lives - really love them - we love them not for their perfection but for their foibles and flaws. I didn't really get this when it was first suggested to me, but the more I think about it and the longer I live, I see it more and more clearly. It is our cracked up humanity that binds us together. We are lucky for this.

Off to exfoliate my tired skin and apply a firming, wrinkle reducing mask whose manufacturers promise will make me appear younger and refreshed. My vanity is one of my very own foibles, Loyal Readers. Don't you just love me for it?

Jack Primps for School

For those of you Loyal Readers who are not on Facebook, I post these for your viewing pleasure. Jack started third grade on August 12 (cRaZy early). He asked me for some hair gel so he could "spiff up" his hair for the first day. As he applied the gel, he explained that he wanted to add "some zest" to the day. The result was a very proud and happy Jack - a little bit Alfalfa, a little bit Surfer Dude.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Loyal Readers, I write from the wonderful outdoor IU pool.  I am comfortably ensconced in the shade and can even feel that rarest of summer day wonders in Indiana, a gentle breeze that isn't hot.  Jack and two friends are playing contentedly - at least for now.  There is nobody here I know, so you have me all to yourselves, Loyal Ones, until I turn my attention to my script.  

It is moments like these when I feel a surge of happiness, when I feel the generosity of the universe smiling on me.  I could attribute this surge to some kind of spiritual experience but it more likely has sprung from the simple elation over having some mental space to myself after spending the day with my son who happens to be very VERY talkative;  who has a rather extreme case of motor mouth today.  I imagine that it is similar to being around me when I am in that mode.  How has my husband borne it all these years?  Do you think that he might have secret earplugs?  If I were he, I might.

Well, that's all for now, folks.  Time to buckle down and do some non-blog writing.  More later on this BloomingtonGirl station.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Proof, Loyal Readers

...that your BloomingtonGirl was indeed a Cheerleader for Pop Warner football. Yeah, that's me down in the right corner, doing the pretty crummy split. Obviously, I was not cheerleader material. I believe that this photo is of me on my second year on the "B" team. I made the "A" team in eighth grade but probably only because my friend Chrissy's mother was one of the judges. Chrissy, of course, made the "A" team when she was in seventh grade. Ah, nepotism.

In any event, I gave up on cheer leading after it became clear that it wouldn't make me gorgeous or thin or popular; I gave into reality and went where I had more talent. Marching band. I'll see if I can dig out a photo of that endeavor for your viewing pleasure.

As I write, I am cooking fresh peppers from our garden, steaming fresh beet greens from our garden and marinating fresh tomatoes from our garden, broiling fresh eggplant from our garden....are you getting the picture yet?

Dinner tonight was pizza again. One with thinly sliced tomatoes, mozz & basil and the other with eggplant, mushrooms, tomatoes, feta, mozz and basil. They were excellent. And look! The tomato pizza is almost round! Go BloomingtonGirl, Go!

We might even have pizza again tomorrow night. I know, it's pretty wild here in Bloomington. Could be a whole pizza week. What's next? Orgies? Opium dens? Who knows? Clearly, anything goes.

In other news, Oh Loyal Ones, I took Jack and his very very quiet friend out to lunch and to an arcade today. I requested two tables at lunch, acting as if the little guys just LOVED acting all grown up and having their own table. But we know the truth, don't we? I just wanted to have lunch by myself and work on my play. That's the kind of mother I am. A 1950's mother. Well, not entirely. I didn't order a martini after all.

In other other news, I am working away on my play, determined to finish it before the end of September. Broadway is standing by, after all.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Pizza, Appaloosa & Puffy Face

Okay, so it isn't round and the picture isn't that great. BUT, this pizza was a huge milestone for your BloomingtonGirl. I finally (finally!) was able to make a pizza that had a crisp and chewy crust that was not soggy. The tomatoes and basil are from my husband's garden. Alas, he did not grow the wheat in the crust. Give it a couple of years, though, and he'll probably start doing that as well. Last week he started talking about keeping bees, much to my discomfort. What's next? Goats? Cows? Isn't there some kind of zoning that would save me from too much farm life?

Anyway, we finished watching the movie Appaloosa tonight and I have to say that it was one of the better movies I've seen in a good long while. Ed Harris, Viggo Mourtensen & Jeremy Irons. I'd pay to watch them read the phone book. The only downside was Renee Zellweger. What is wrong with her face? It is so puffy. It looks as puffy as mine would look in the morning if I were to eat an entire bag of chips (preferably the kettle cooked kind, salt and black pepper flavor) and drink a few beers (a very hoppy pale ale) the night before. Of course, I would never do such a thing, Loyal Readers, but you get the idea.

Well, I'm off to bed with a book of Edward Albee plays and my husband. Stay tuned for more in the thrilling life of BloomingtonGirl.

I'm Back, Loyal Readers

Loyal Readers, this is a recent picture of me and Chris in midtown Manhattan on our last visit there. It has been a long time since I've written and as you can see, we've aged quite a bit. We're wealthy and well dressed, though, so it isn't terrible. We look a little put out because we were having a very difficult time hailing a cab.

I know you have all been wondering - every day most likely - where your beloved BloomingtonGirl has been. I'll keep you in the dark no further: I have been busy becoming a celebrated and famous playwright.

Obviously, I have not completed that endeavor as of this writing. But still, one can dream.

It occurred to me to post a synopsis of all that has happened in my life since last December, but that wouldn't be fun to write or all that interesting. Suffice it to say that we are all happy and healthy and the garden is in full swing again this year. Greens are this year's feature vegetable; peppers were last year's, you may recall. Kale, Mustard Greens, Beet Greens, Swiss Chard, Rainbow Chard, Collard Greens. I fear I may die of a vitamin K overdose. Anyone know the symptoms? If the symptoms include blemishes on one's chin, the kind that are relentless and coincide with the unfortunate formation of more and more wrinkles and tiny spider veins, I might indeed be in danger.

In this time when I've not been blogging, I've been busy with many important endeavors. Namely, losing and gaining the same five pounds, fretting about my complexion, trying to invent a quick way to pick up a thousand Pokemon cards from the floor, trying not to succumb to the siren call of Botox...etc.

But mostly what I've been doing is spending my writing time writing plays. I decided to commit myself seriously to the craft over the past year and I have to say that it has been deeply enjoyable and somewhat fruitful. I had two short short plays produced at the Bloomington Playwright's Project (where I was recently invited to be in their Ensemble of Artists (!).) One of those two plays will be performed at this year's Indianapolis Theatre Fringe Festival. Specifics on the showcase with my play 100% Distracted can be found here. This festival will make me officially a professional playwright. I am getting paid $20 for it. That's right, you read that correctly. Twenty Smackers. And, I'm not gonna lie, Loyal Readers. Those twenty smackers are more satisfying than my largest bonus from my pre-kid career. Of course, it would be entirely different if I had to make a living doing this. Then, it might not be quite as satisfying.

I was incredibly fortunate this summer to get into two amazing writing conferences. I attended The Sewanee Writers' Conference in July and the Stony Brook Southampton Playwriting Conference right after that one. I worked on my play Over The Moon at both and am not in the process of both finishing it and rewriting the portions that are already done. It is a comedy about an upper class, waspy middle aged woman, a classical cellist, falling for a twenty-one year old white Jewish kid who is a famous rapper named "Big Black Cock Daddy". It is, as you can tell, a comedy. At least, I hope it is funny. I've had a great time writing it. More on that in a future post.

I know that this is a relatively insipid first post back, but I am just home from all my travels and can't think of anything funny to report. Plus, I need to go and reapply my acne medication before the zit on my chin takes over my entire head.

Stay tuned if you want to hear about that and other compelling stories from your BloomingtonGirl's Daily Existence.