Saturday, December 30, 2006

More on the "F" word

"F" as in "FOCUS" !!! I did stand-up at the Studio tonight. It was a pretty good crowd and a potentially great line-up. Originally, Louis CK was going to do a set , but he had to cancel . Then Frank Santorelli was going to do the show, apparently something came up for him. Then the rumor that Steven Wright was possibly going to stop in, made the rounds. No , he didn't show. So . . .. Mike Dorval closed the show. He did a great job !
So, during my set, I think I set a positive tone, but I lost focus a couple of times in the middle. I would get the set-up and then forget the punch. At the end of my set, I forgot the whole joke that I was going to close with. Though I'm not particularly upset, I just can't explain to my self the loss of attention. I didn't really nail down the order of my set beforehand. Every time I tried to arrange it, the National anthem or a lyric from "Bad Company, til the day I die. .. ." kept running through my head. Those lyrics were so prominent , they prevented anything else from getting attention. I believe it is a by-product of fatigue. I am not emotionally drained, but the physical is kicking my brian case in the obdula oblongata !
I had even gone up to Lew's place in Tewksbury on Thursday to prepare for tonight. The results there, were similiar to tonight. Partial set thought out, coupled with the tiredness and combined with the incestuous audience. Kris cracked me up , but I didn't justify my time to myself.
I have got to figure out a way to improve for myself. I partially enjoyed what I did tonight, but I am capable more. It is that knowledge that annoys me and makes me want to do better. I just have to figure it out.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Oh , the thought of driving my dragging muffler to the garage is causing me a great deal of malaise. I have to get out of the house. I can't get to Andover to work, no wheels. I can work in Cambridge, I can walk from the garage. However, from where I sit in my sweatpants and t-shirt, it all seems so far away. I don't feel like going back to bed, but I am singularly unmotivated to progress toward anything.
The Holiday was nice and mellow. I got some lovely clothes. My friend ,Margaret ,gave me a great luggage set. My current rolling suitcase was purchased at the old Bradlees many years ago for $26.00. That being said, it still rolls good and does what I need it to do. She also gave me a certificate for some coaching from a local professional comic. I can't believe he said he'd do it !!!! I'm psyched !
Everybody seemed to like the presents I gave to them. I haven't run the figures yet, but I'm pretty sure I went over my limit on my credit card. Ah well.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

It's All Downhill from here . . .

Ah, it's almost over. .. .I think I've covered most of the family and the intimate friends . The wedding is behind me, and I've just got to get through the next 48 hours with a smile on my face and a song in my heart. It's going to be tough, the muffler fell off my car on the way home from work tonight. That means, the garage is closed Sunday and Monday. I can't do anything about it until Tuesday morning. I can bus it to work tomorrow and my newly wedded friend will lend me her car because she'll be making her rounds in her new husband's vehicle. Though , I won't be able to collect it until after work. SO, barring an urgent trip for 2 am Chinese food, I should be okay.
I have been working so much I am the kind of exhausted where I'm not thinking clearly. More than once, I have walked into a room and turned the light off , thinking I was turning it on. It's a weird sort of dyslexia.
Okay, that's it.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Swinging in The Breeze

Ahhh. . .Here I am again. .. . I should be getting ready for work. Surfing the web. Procrastinating the shower. The wardrobe is decided upon already. An outfit that will get me through engineering, sitting in a Museum gallery , light shopping and then taking in a show with the bridal parties' out of town guests. I have been out every night this week. Last night was the latest return time. I feel , after deciding on the clothes, I have earned the right to dawdle. I haven't, but I feel entitled. I am tired and my eyeballs feel like they're made of Brillo pads.
Worked until 10:30 on Monday night. Long day but I did get some stuff accomplished. Though it's a never ending cycle. Nothing ever really gets done and finished. I can't ever just make a phone call and put the slip of paper in a file drawer and be done with it. I have to make a flolder and then follow up that the vendor got #1) the fax we sent them #2) got the check we sent them #3) enquire when the shipment will arrive #4) call back and tell them we got the order. This is not my system. As far as I'm concerned, after I've ordered and paid for the thing, it's done. But , it's not my store and I don't know who's talked to who and what they ordered or when it should be there.
Tuesday, I got called at the last minute to do a show with the childrens' theater company I work for sometimes. It was 6:30 am. Someone didn't show up for the pick-up, could I get dressed and to Wilmington by 8:00 am ? 2 shows-double dollar day. Yes. Yes , I can be there -on time. Then I worked at the engineering firm for a couple of hours and then I worked at the store again and then we went to the movies. We saw Blood Diamonds. I thought it was really good. I thought Leonardo DiCaprio did an amazing job. I also like Djimon Hunsou, he 's great in every thing he does, too.
Wed. was the booth and then the booth Christmas party. Our manager had made reservations at the Green Dragon and , when we got there, they had rented the whole place out to a private party . So, they walked us around the corner to Hennessy's and that was fine. It seemed like there was a lot more room. We got a bunch of apppetisers. Two people that used to work with us came by. Two people that we miss. Then we went to the Black Rose. I left after one . Still, I didn't get home until 9:30.
Last night , I did some shopping and went out with friends. We got Chinese food (really good chinese food !) and then they sent leftovers home with me. That's why I'm gaining weight-I'm taking all the leftovers. That has to stop !
I am fatigued and I just got up . I'll be glad when Christmas is over.

Monday, December 04, 2006

First Snow

It's the first snow today. I was awakened by my cat who was frantically trying to get the sash and window open so he could look out the window. I thought it was odd that he would be so crazy to see birds. Ah-Ha ! It was snowing. The birds were making quite a racket. They didn't seem too happy about the snow.
I wasn't really surprised. There had been paralyzing blizzards in the midwest and all the weathermen ( and weather ladies, I think I should use the more politcally correct gender neutral term "Meteorologist", but I won't) have been letting us know that that weather is blowing east toward us. Today, it arrived. It's supposed to be a dusting. However, I've been up for over an hour and it's snowing pretty hard and steady. It doesn't feel that cold, though.
I love the first snow. I think it is so pretty . Of course, check back with me in February after I 've twisted my back from shovelling and I'm suicidal from the cold and lack of sunlight. I won't be too giddy about the atmosphere. The sky is gray and it's got a bright back light from the sun shining elsewhere. It's the kind of thing a New Englander would recognize. It's dark, but it's not the night time. This shade makes it hard to get going in the morning. Sleeping in seems the msot practical response.
However, right now, it's pretty here in my little town and I am cozy and warm with a cup of tea and a restless cat.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The Christmas Window

For probably the last 20 years, or so, I do the Christmas window at the record store. For many years, I would start trying to think of ideas in advance so that when it came time to install the window, I would have a bunch of great ideas. One year, I went to Goodwill , bought a bunch of blonde haired dolls and spray painted them gold and hung them from the ceiling like they were angels. They were stored in plastic bags and the next year the gold paint had turned black and I had to throw them out. Another year, I borrowed a giant toy sheep from my friend and put it in the window with a can of ham and a giant plastic fly. It was meant to convey "Bah-Ham-Bug" (Bah, Hum-Bug!) . Most people didn't get it. Another year I did an Elvis window and had cans of sauerkraut and boxer shorts strewn about the window. One year I bought a bunch of cans of tomato paste and green beans -for a red and green theme.
All this advance thought eventually created a sort of dread. I couldn't top myself and I would feel a great deal of pressure to produce something that was spectacular, in my own mind. The anticipation would create a great deal of anxiety and one year I didn't get the window in until the week before Christmas. Of course, no one else would do the window , so that was more pressure on me. My boss would encourage me by saying , "Just put the tree up. Anything. Something to catch the eye. Dot, we have to have aChristmas window". Eventually, I came to the torpid realization that it didn't really matter. The art that was the window was really just for me. It didn't matter what I did. I knew that. So, the pressure was off. I just had to get the window set up.
I had a Christmas tree and a couple of plastic tubs with "stuff" in them. There is a set of china pig ornaments that I picked up at the Ocean State Job lot about 10 years ago, a table top artificial tree, a Santa hat with the store's name that we put on the Elvis head in the window. I sent away for some inflatable ornaments a few years ago- red, green & blue. They catch the light really well. There are 12 of them. The first two years, I blew them all up myself. The last couple of years, I had help. This year , I blew them all up myself again. I'm still a bit dizzy. So, I've got stuff that has created a presentable image in the past.
The most labor intensive effort is the emptying of the window area and then washing the windows and vacuuming the floor. It gets done once a year, when I do it. This year, and last, I had help. I have to do this process when the store is closed for business, either before we open in the morning or after we close. When I have the bins open and I'm looking at the tree, I feel like Rhoda , from the old "MaryTyler Moore" show. Rhoda was a professional window designer. I am not. During this process, I load the store cd player with whatever open Xmas cds we have in the store. It puts me in the mood.
So, the inspiration for this blog is, today I installed the window with little anxiety. It was a task that needed to be done. It looks bright and festive , but I don't think it's really done yet. Hopefully, something will inspire me and I'll have a 12x12x12 brilliant centerpiece to place in the window for next week.
Don't hold your breath.
I won't.