‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Saturday, March 13, 2010

of goats and undergarments (not in)

I have always been jealous of Chris' job. Not so much the plugging things in and making things work part as the going out and listening to live music part. Every time I try to justify a night out with the girls and cite all the nights he's been out listening to music, he pulls the "I am a sound engineer and they are paying me" card. And then I'm supposed to feel all bad for him because all he does is work work work and he never has any fun and boo hoo for Chris.

I don't know why it took me so long to figure this out, but I finally wised up and got a job at a theater. As part of my job, I have to go see live theater at least a couple times a month. I am a genius.

Last night I went to my first job-related performance. When I asked the production manager if I could come, he said "yes. But for marketing purposes only. You're not allowed to enjoy yourself."* I assured him I was only coming because of my deep commitment to my job. It had nothing to do with my deep commitment to getting out of the house and mingling with like-minded adults.

I don't get out much, so the "what to wear" question was an issue. What are arty, theater types wearing these days? I settled on a long, black dress that doesn't fit me very well in the first place and is constructed poorly in the second place so I have to pretend it's strapless because by the end of the evening it has scooted around to the point of being essentially strapless. I remedy both issues by wearing a rubberized condensing tube, which extends from my knees to my armpits.

Question: When you wear a rubberized condensing tube, where does the rest of you go? Do you get taller?

Since I live in a community where people try not to look like they dressed up on purpose, I had to dress down with a pair of riding boots. I have these Frye boots I found in a consignment shop on Newbury Street years ago - which I've realized were in the consignment shop because they are steel belted and you feel like Cinderella's sister getting into them.

Between the tube and the boots, it took me about 45 minutes to get dressed, leaving me a little sweaty and out of breath.

I arrived at the theater unable to breath comfortably and with the sneaking suspicion that my boots were giving me muffin tops. There were a few people in the box office, who I let clear out before asking my coworker where the VIP employee seating was. She invited me to come around to her side of the ticket window, at which point I noticed she had a baby goat sleeping in a banana box behind her desk.

Apparently I work for the little theater that Kafka built.

Let me here state that this is not a Waiting for Guffman type theater (not that there's anything wrong with that). Last year they did things like The Blue Room by David Hare, The Bald Soprano by Eugene Ionesco and Speech and Debate by Stephen Karam. They do exactly the kind of theater I want to go see. And they have a company goat.

Take that, Chris. It's work.

*I am their marketing director. This potentially puts my blog into the murky area of posts for pay whenever I write about things that happen at work. I have resolved this by writing posts of no value whatsoever.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

cultural exile is nice this time of year

I am a firm believer in the "you get what you ask for" school of thought.

Before you start hurling produce at me, I will admit quite frankly that you get a lot of other stuff, too. This cannot be denied. So maybe the thought should be "if you want something, you should ask for it."

I mention this now because when I moved back to Cape Cod I was concerned about sending myself into some kind of cultural exile. At the time, you could not even get an espresso in my town (which is practically immoral).

To make matters worse, I was moving here from Denver, where I attended gallery openings, subscribed to opera and ballet, frequented live music venues and practically lived at the Denver Center Theater thanks to a friend who worked in the mailroom but didn't like theater and gave me all his comps. I also went to arthouse movies because they were in historic movie theaters and they made me feel all smartish.

And then I moved to a fishing town. Which is great, don't get me wrong. Driving through town and seeing boats all wrapped in plastic for the winter is mind-boggling to someone raised in the mountains. There are stacks of lobster traps in the yard of the commercial fisherman next door and I can't think of hardscaping I'd rather look at (unless its a teahouse. I like teahouses).

The biggest problem was that I wanted both the lobster traps and the city culture: Edgy theater; foreign films; art that doesn't match the couch (more on this later as it seems I've become a couch-art matching housewife); Moroccan food delivered to my door and a community of like-minded people. That last one is the zinger because if you have a community, eventually someone learns to make Moroccan food.

Anyway, I just now realized I have everything I thought I was leaving behind. This month WHAT (which I've had a crush on since moving here) is starting Cinema WHAT and showing dozens of movies that will make me feel smartish and less like a couch-matching housewife.

I have been missing that smartish feeling. The whole time I've been here, I've been looking for things that give me that smartish feeling. I asked for it, relentlessly.

Now I find that there's art and film and food and poetry and music and espresso, right here in my back yard. I have no idea what to ask for next, but I better make it good.

What are you asking for? What makes you feel smartish?