spending my whole life gathering grain

Wherein theatre feels the strain

Finally home after a particularly lousy dress rehearsal.

Oh it was bad. Just bad, bad, bad. And that stress. That stress, that heat in your face, that drop in your stomach when the whole theatre is dark except the lights on YOUR SCENE and everything is silent and you know they’re waiting for you and you have NO WORDS.

The past couple years I’ve started getting the early signs of panic attacks when I get up on stage. Not all the time, but often enough that the fear of the attack is as dangerous to me as the fear of actually doing something wrong. Oh God. It just sucked. And I was so nervous. And that’s just not me. Not there. The stage is my safe space. It’s always been my safe space. But tonight I just felt panicky and scared and sick.

Oh and then, THEN!! we were told we were doing PHOTO CALL so please go get into costume. Yeah. No announcement beforehand, so there I am with no makeup on, my hair flat and static-y and full of weird bends from being in a ponytail all day… getting my picture taken for the publicity shots. WHY DIDN’T THEY TELL US BEFORE?! Unreal.

And then, of course, the cool shoulder for missing rehearsal last night due to impassable, snow-covered roads. There was no way I could’ve made it to the theatre in one piece, and I know the director totally gets that. But still: stink eye.

Dammit, dammit.

Wherein nature feels the strain

The muck before the storm.

The muck before the storm.

The roads coming home tonight were slushy and icy. It’s snowing and raining outside. I can’t stop in time. I’m afraid I’ll hit something. I can’t afford to hit something. I’m scared to get behind the wheel. I can’t breathe. And it’s so dark. Outside. Inside. In-inside. It’s just darker and darker all the time.

Sometimes I feel like I’m watching a movie of myself falling out of God’s favor, except that it’s on film, and there’s no projector, just my own hands speeding the frames in front of a light bulb as fast as I can trying to get to the end so it’s just over.

I don’t want to wish my life away. I don’t want to waste away, sleep away, idle away my youth, my life. But for the life of me I can’t find a reason why I should bother. It’s just dark. Dark everywhere. I don’t even want this any more. I don’t know what to do with it, and I don’t like it, and it’s collapsing with no hint of reconstruction, no glimmer of ‘maybe tomorrow will be better.’ Why would I want that? Because it’s called a gift? Why is so much of this gift so shitty? And why has it been that way for so long? Why are my parents suffering when they are so faithful? Why are the good moments so short, so fleeting? Why do I have to be thankful for my QUEST card instead of thankful for a job and a paycheck that enable me to buy my food my own damn self? What am I supposed to be learning out of this?

I feel like I’m whining. I feel like I have no right to be upset since I have all my limbs and my house the bank’s house is still standing. This is ridiculous. I feel guilty for acknowledging my own pain!

From "Will Grayson, Will Grayson" by Green and Levithan

“Will Grayson, Will Grayson” by Green & Levithan

Wherein God

DAMMIT GOD WHERE ARE YOU? I KNOW YOU HEAR ME. I’M TRYING TO HEAR YOU. BUT EVERYTHING IS SO RICKETY AND FALLING APART AND SHITTY THAT HEARING A “STILL SMALL VOICE” JUST ISN’T HAPPENING. You know this. All of this. There’s nothing I can say that you don’t know I’m thinking. Nothing I can feel that you aren’t feeling with me. I am crying into your heart. Weeping into you. You know the state my brain is in. You know my chemical levels. You see this depression. You feel it. You built me. You rebuilt me. And I just want to know how come trying and working hard are never, ever, ever enough? Please. Please! I don’t want to come to the conclusion that there is nothing more to this life than rationing my toilet paper and wearing holes through the thighs of all my jeans, all the while watching the friendlier, happier parts of my personality get chipped off and blown away by yet another contract that doesn’t get signed, by yet another bill that must go unpaid.

Wherein Me

I liked who I was. I miss who I was. I don’t even know what to do with who I am now. I just want to tuck her into bed and tell her I’ll wake her up when this is all over. Please, God. Please. In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me; turn your ear to me and save me.

Wherein user error

God, you guys. I just feel so lied to about how this operates. The fact that I even think it “operates” any particular way is probably just another sign of how misled I’ve been. I feel like I’ve been cheated out of the family farm after spending my whole life gathering grain. Useless, useless grain, rotting under all this rain and snow.

I don’t want me to be over. But the alternative is so empty and stupid and sad and disappointing and full of lies and I can’t keep up with the pace and the weight of this bullshit piling up and piling up and piling up.

Wherein Mindy makes a promise

I’m not going to do something stupid. Don’t worry.

Actually I’m probably going to do something worse. I’m going to do nothing. Just… nothing

I count the day’s successes in blog stats, in Facebook game scores, in ferret yawns. I used to be so full of hope. What remains could fit in my shoe.

What a waste.

but my brain’s all

I’m currently…

  • Rehearsing for the opening of a show written by a 6’4″, gay, ginger, Christian semi-socialist who loves and comforts my soul. It’s about a “temp agency” of sorts that helps ex-cons find work after they get out.
  • Putting off doing laundry.
  • Itching to leave town. There is a balm in Gilead, which I hear tell is just a couple thousand miles west of here.

Dinner tonight will involve tuna fish, which I love.

I should be working on my lines.

Sorry for the silence lately, but my brain’s all muzzy and tired.

Whadd’ya say, Lord? You? Me? Envelope of used greenbacks stuffed under the ladies’ room door? I’ll keep my eyes peeled.

Muzzily.

Not subtle and expertly timed

Earlier this year I was in a play where I was in two scenes; one with my stage boyfriend, and one where I come on broken up over his suicide. There’s no time to build up to the second scene, no chance to work out the feels within the created reality of the story. It’s just: Backstage being hungry me and wondering if I have anything at home to eat, then onstage being devastated her having just lost the love of her life, all while one of the guys backstage toots out rancid SBDs and tries to sneak away with a “no one will ever suspect me” look.

It’s an odd situation in which to attempt to feel someone else’s chaos and loss in a realistic way. So to ‘prime the pump’ I thought about one of my ferrets dying.

Ferrets chilling on their towel

I guess it needed to be laid on. Thanks dude.

See, some time shortly before the show opened I had had this terrible dream where I was in a strange house and couldn’t find my ferrets. I saw a heating vent cover at the bottom of a wall had been knocked aside, and wondered if they’d gone in there. Dark, warm, enclosed- a perfect nap spot.

I looked inside, and in the darkness I saw the face of my little sable just out of reach. There was another vent closer to him, so I tried that one. The cover was closed, and heavy. I lifted it and saw my ferret had been sliced in half by the weight of the heavy grate falling shut on him when he’d climbed in.

And oh how I cried.

When I woke up I was still heart broken. It was the saddest thing I had ever seen with my own eyes.

So when it came time to run that second scene in performance, and I was backstage waiting to go on, every single time I found a spot near my entrance where I could stand facing a black, masking curtain. I stood close so the folds hid my face, the dust filled my mouth, and everything around me was dark and gone. I could hear the other actors on stage, could hear the story playing out. It was sad, but it was just a story, and the atmosphere backstage was less than conducive to identifying with memorized lines being spouted for a crowd of strangers. So I thought of something slightly more real. I thought of my dream, and of my ferret. Of seeing him so pitifully broken. Of what it felt like to scoop him up in pieces- limp and wrong.

And oh how I cried.

I received an award for that performance, so I guess it worked.

But I think I’m ready to move on to something new. To take on a new acting challenge. Bigger tragedy, deeper devastation. Medea. Lady Anne. Rose Tyler. Because today? Today I topped that dream experience. Today I shopped for blue jeans.

And oh. How. I. Cried.

I’ve been poor for so long that I’ve forgotten how to even want nice things. And while I was never much of a fan of shopping to begin with, over time it has become a downright panic and nausea inducing activity. Today I had a $15 in-store cash voucher from my grandma for the store I visited, so I thought that might put a nice spin on the trip. But after trying on several pairs of jeans- something I truly need- and having one pair after another not fit, I’d given up and decided to just spend the money on something- anything- so I could get. out. of the store.

One of my new shirts. :S

Death Lasers: Wastefully soft.

But I couldn’t do it. $15 is so much now. I couldn’t simply throw it away on some “just get me out of here” top, no matter how cute it might be, no matter how badly my own tops fit, no matter how much faster I’d be able to call the trip Done. Especially since I had already splurged with real money last week when I bought myself two $10 tees during a big online sale with one of my favorite vendors. Spending on myself, even though I have some money now from a job last month, makes me feel guilty. And I haaaate that! The two shirts I bought are fantastic, and so me, and I want to love them. Instead I see them and feel like hiding them so I don’t have to be faced with my wastefulness.

Oof.

But I wasn’t ready to give up and go home yet, so I walked around the entire store, slowly, to work up the energy to find other pants to try on. And I moped. I didn’t mean to, of course, but in failing to plan ahead I had neglected to pack a spare countenance. *shrug* It happens.

As I approached the Juniors department toward the end of my rounds, I figured I’d rummage through its clearance racks and maybe come away with a festive sweater, or yet another dress to like-but-not-wear. Instead I found myself standing in a corner and crying behind a purple scarf (20% off through Sunday).

My sadness is nothing if not subtle and expertly timed.

But my butt isn’t the only thing that’s XXL in Juniors! There’s also my heart, which refused to let me disappoint my grandma by not using her$15 voucher. So I marched myself right back to the Women’s section and tried on a damn pair of $40 pants. And they fit, dammit. So I forked over the cash, brought home the pants, took off my shoes, and crawled into bed with my head under the covers.

And cried some more.

Does this stupid emoting thing never end?!

My depression is nothing if not subtle and expertly timed.

Mom came in with the dog, who jumped onto my pillow and licked my snotty nose while mom shared her dish of dry cereal with us and said the sorts of wise and compassionate things that make her so warm and so right and so lovely. So lovely, in fact, that I didn’t cry again for at least another half hour (that jag prompted by the prospect of going out with my folks for a treat of fast food for dinner, aka another $15 suspiciously spent).

One Filet o’ Fish sandwich later I am blogging in the living room while watching Season 5 of The Big Bang Theory with my parents, and refusing to feel guilty for giggling at the snippets of blue humor. It helps that my parents are giggling too.

It’s just blogging. It’s just TV. It’s just the watered down remains of a McDonald’s Diet Coke. But it’s good. And I think I feel better. Not XXL worth of better, but I’ll take it.

Oh God. Dear God. Dear, dear God. I don’t want money. I don’t want an end to all of my troubles. I don’t even want to see the Women’s pants section destroyed by a giant fireball belched from a Revenge Volcano. I just want to rejoice. Help me with my lack of rejoicing. I want to be restored.

Holy, holy, holy.

Restored, restored, restored.

(But I wouldn’t say no to a new house, an idea on how to end the story I’m working on, and a roll-top desk.)

Mud nests

I told my parents last week that it looked like my fella and I would soon be parting ways.

Mom gave me a hug, told me she loved and trusted me, and that she knew I was strong and loving and that whatever decision I made it would be the right one for me.

Dad came upstairs to my living room and sat down on my couch.

Sceliphron caementarium (Mud Dauber)

Dad: I wanted to talk to you.

Me: Okay.

Dad: About bees.

Me: O…kay…

Dad: You want to be careful with bees. Don’t let them get too close to you, because they will sting you. And then they will build a mud nest on your house.

Me: Got it.

Dad: And birds?

Me: Yeah?

Dad: Birds eat bees.

Me: Great!

Dad: I’m glad we had this talk.

An Elegant Cake: The centerpiece to your baptism

Aw come on, Style Network. How you gonna play us like this?

No wonder people think Christians are out of touch weirdos.

I’m sorry to say this video is not satire (at least, that’s not what its creators intended it to be), and it is turning my stomach six ways from Sunday. You want a perfect example of Americanized self-glorification and missing the point? Boy if this ain’t it I don’t know what is.

Below is a transcript for How to Throw an Elegant Adult Baptism. Because, you know, it’s about elegance. And “committ[ing] to live a better life.” And not mussing your make-up.

Pastor Gayoso sharing with the congregation what baptism represents and why we do it. The exposed brown brick represents dove feet.

Hi, I’m Leslie from “Big Rich Texas,” and I am going to show you how to make an adult baptism stylish.

It really is appropriate to have a baptism anywhere. I mean, you can have it in a beautiful lake, you could actually have it in a church. I mean, sometimes that’s more traditional. But I prefer a beautiful swimming pool. It’s a little bit more controlled, and it’s a little bit cleaner.

It is appropriate for the baptee to wear white [Baptee in white, knee-length, strapless dress and cowboy boots models dress, catwalk style] because it’s a sense of purity. It is very common to actually wear your dress for the baptism. [Woman performing baptism dips baptee into water enough to get her hair wet while keeping her face dry and her makeup intact] I prefer that because I think it’s beautiful, and then afterwards you just need an after outfit [Baptee models white, floor-length dress with spaghetti halter straps] because you don’t wanna walk around at the party soaking wet.

Pastor Gayoso praying over the person he is about to baptize, as someone who has already been baptized watches from the wings– soaking wet sans after outfit!

As the godmother I can wear something as long as it’s very classic and classy and tasteful. This is not the time to be boobalicious. Not at a baptism.

And because the cake is the centerpiece of the room, we’re gonna make it simple and tasteful and elegant – and tasty too!

At any stylish event you also need to have a stylish ending. And we are going to release some beautiful doves.

The doves represent purity, and a commitment to live a better life. And it’s just a perfect way to end a beautiful baptism.

And that’s all you need to know to make your baptism a little more stylish.

For those wondering what baptism actually is, and why it matters that there are people doing this to it, Clarifying Christianity gives a solid, brief overview of baptism. Or as my dad calls it in reference to this video: Babetism. (Note: I can’t speak for all of Clarifying Christianity. I just saw this summary there and thought it did a nice, succinct job of covering the basics while including information on the historical contexts in which the tradition originated and developed.)

There is not one single statement in that video that doesn’t make me feel both sad and embarrassed. And in the words of my friend Caitlin: “I love that not a bit of it mentions what a baptism IS. Just how to throw a great party where the theme color is white and there may or may not be doves.” Right?! I mean, I get it that the point of the video isn’t to explain the purpose of baptism, it’s to explain how to throw a baptism. But that’s kind of everything that’s wrong with it, which is why I can’t understand why the Style Network would even bother adding this shoot to their budget unless they also think these people are vapid and out of touch and want to expose their uselessness to the worl– Hmmm…

I’m not sure it’s even possible to miss the whole point of Christian baptism any more entirely and completely than the people in that video just did. After wading through that craziness, stories like this one are particularly heart-warming.

Your Messiah was a poor nomad with dirty feet, Leslie & Co. Christianity isn’t a country club that needs you to come in and show everybody a better way to fold communion napkins into swans. Get it together.

It makes good toast

“It’s what you sow that multiplies, not what you keep in the barn.”
Adrian Rogers

That has nothing to do with anything. I just saw it and liked it.

Quotes aside, I’m glad you stopped by today because boy have I just stumbled across a great entry for your “Why People Think Christians Are Crazy” power point and– well I don’t mean to oversell it, but truly: It’s a Monday Must-See.

(Careful when hitting play, though, folks. It’s aware.)

“When all is said and done, it makes good toast.”

The winning comment: “After scratching that message into the toast, I’d wager that Satan left a horrible mess of burnt toast crumbs on the laminate counter top…cause that’s the kind of thing Satan would do.” -radiodork