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Give my regards to Broadway

Okay, maybe I never got to Broadway but I did get back to my high school theater.

This past weekend I performed in an alumni play at my high school for a fundraiser. I hadn’t been on that high school stage in 22 years.

I got to perform with more than a dozen other former students that spanned 30 years of  high school graduates. In one word, it was- incredible.

Here’s something that might surprise you. I loved high school. I know, weird huh? I loved high school because I was a theater geek. And proud of it. I spent hours upon hours rehearsing. I spent weekends until almost midnight running through dress rehearsals and tech rehearsals.

Would I have rather lived in the theater during my school days instead of going to Chemistry or Business Law class? You betcha.

I wasn’t popular, but I loved when people came up to me and said they saw me in the show. I made friends with everyone- jocks, brainiacs, band geeks, cheerleaders, wavers, stoners, whatever. They all did some type of theater for an English credit at some point. For the kids that figured out how much fun it was, they stuck around. And then we just became a family of theater kids. Our director/coach/teacher was a woman we called Gorne. Just her last name was enough.

So here we were, in 2012. All in the name of Gorne, who asked us to do this fundraiser for the Speech and Debate team, something else she coached and yes, I was a part of that too. She found most of us through Facebook and probably our parent’s phone numbers that she still had in some address book somewhere. Yes, I’m friends with some teachers on Facebook. Is that weird?

These are the teachers that made an impression. That treated me like I was a person. They recognized that I wasn’t just a teenager or a student, but a living, breathing, dreaming soul with the world waiting for me. They helped me make that step into the big scary world  and gave me the confidence in myself that kept me from hiding under the covers every day of my first semester of college.

When a bunch of us convened at the Little Theater, that’s what we call the school’s performance hall, to pick up our scripts, I recognized a few faces. Hugs and big hellos were exchanged and it was great to see friends that I had only seen through Facebook and hadn’t had the chance to see in the flesh for the last 20 years. A few faces I recognized immediately as alumni from grades that were before my years. But I knew who they were because when I was in junior high I would come to the high school to see the shows. I fell in love with those performers. They were my idols and inspiration to do theater myself.

One girl, Cindy, was in a performance of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes during her senior year. I loved that show and her in it. When I was face to face with her for this show, I told her how much I admired her. Here we were, both in our 40s, just regular folks, and I felt like I was 15 again idolizing the big campus Senior. She was sweet and humble of course.

The connection we all had, even if we were the class of 1983, 1990, or 2012, was that we wanted to be there for our teacher, Gorne, and for the love we have of that Little Theater. It’s like coming home. Writing this puts a pit in my gut even. It brings tears to my eyes. Because the feeling of being in that Green Room, doing our before show chant (it’s a secret) and walking through the back stage door for Gorne to give us that arm squeeze of encouragement, made me swell with emotion. Taking our places in the dark wings of the back stage, tip toeing around to our props and waiting to hear the audiences reaction, was almost enough to get me to sobs. It felt so good. I couldn’t believe that what I loved most about my youth was being recaptured in a way that wasn’t disappointing or a let down. It was just as much a thrill and a feeling of  family as it was back then.

I pulled myself together, shed a tear or two, but not much since I didn’t want to ruin my false eyelashes, and I swallowed that vomit-nervous feeling, and went on that stage to the bright lights I love so much. It felt good. And best of all, there in the front row, were my kids cheering me on. Does someone have a Kleenex? I’m all verklempt!

The crazy collaborative alumni cast of TUNA DOES VEGAS 2012. Can you find me?

My big Texas makeup for the play.

Vera and Pearl on the plane headed for doom. Well, Vegas. Yes, we played the hell out of those oxygen masks in a very theatrical, dramatic way!

Thanks to Gorne, and the whole cast for making this a truly remarkable experience. I’ll do it again in a heart beat!

Am I too old for Cosmo?

A recent article online featured trends that women love but men hate.

I’m going to say, most women I know, don’t care for them either. Unless this article  got their stats from Cosmopolitan or Seventeen magazine, then I’m pretty sure, no one I know is sporting any of these trends soon.

Here’s the article:

Make up Women Love but Men Hate

I will be turning 40 this year.  I’m good with this. There are parts of me I would like to trade with my 20 year old self and then preserve them forever by means of exercise, diet or habits. But that’s not going to happen. If I could talk to my 20 year old self, I would say, work out because the skinny doesn’t last and the flabbier you are, the more it sags with time. I would also say to that 20 year old self, stop trying to get a tan! Ahh youth, wasted on the young, right?

Most of my friends are in their 30s and 40s as well. So last I checked, no one I knows wears neon lipstick, bold eyeshadow or  thick, cakey makeup. Where does Yahoo get their stories from? Who are these women that ‘love’ these looks?

My day pretty much consists of- my home, the bus stop, one of my kids’ schools, a PTA meeting, a trip to Target or the gym, and maybe coffee with a friend. So unless I’m sporting glitter at the PTA meeting, I’m not partaking in the latest make up trend.  I guess I could start wearing glitter to PTA meetings and then everyone will wonder if I’ve started moonlighting as one of those bikini baristas or something to earn some extra money.

This really brings out my eye color.

How's this for a natural 'day' look?

Confession-

I DO have a subscription to Cosmopolitan. I have to hide it from my kids. It’s embarrassing. And let me just say, the only reason I have it, is because I got a Groupon and the subscription was 12 months for $10. I figured I could benefit from the bedroom advice, and maybe beauty articles. Obviously, I am not the demographic this magazine writes for! I am not 20, I don’t have a boyfriend I’m looking to snag, I do have children, and I don’t need advice on a pushy boss that is out to get me. Most everything in these pages is over the top. Am I that much of a prude or am I just acting my age?

HINT- there's a few articles about sex in there.

Am I too old for Cosmo?

A recent article online featured trends that women love but men hate.

I’m going to say, most women I know, don’t care for them either. Unless this article  got their stats from Cosmopolitan or Seventeen magazine, then I’m pretty sure, no one I know is sporting any of these trends soon.

Here’s the article:

Make up Women Love but Men Hate

I will be turning 40 this year.  I’m good with this. There are parts of me I would like to trade with my 20 year old self and then preserve them forever by means of exercise, diet or habits. But that’s not going to happen. If I could talk to my 20 year old self, I would say, work out because the skinny doesn’t last and the flabbier you are, the more it sags with time. I would also say to that 20 year old self, stop trying to get a tan! Ahh youth, wasted on the young, right?

Most of my friends are in their 30s and 40s as well. So last I checked, no one I knows wears neon lipstick, bold eyeshadow or  thick, cakey makeup. Where does Yahoo get their stories from? Who are these women that ‘love’ these looks?

My day pretty much consists of- my home, the bus stop, one of my kids’ schools, a PTA meeting, a trip to Target or the gym, and maybe coffee with a friend. So unless I’m sporting glitter at the PTA meeting, I’m not partaking in the latest make up trend.  I guess I could start wearing glitter to PTA meetings and then everyone will wonder if I’ve started moonlighting as one of those bikini baristas or something to earn some extra money.

This really brings out my eye color.

How's this for a natural 'day' look?

Confession-

I DO have a subscription to Cosmopolitan. I have to hide it from my kids. It’s embarrassing. And let me just say, the only reason I have it, is because I got a Groupon and the subscription was 12 months for $10. I figured I could benefit from the bedroom advice, and maybe beauty articles. Obviously, I am not the demographic this magazine writes for! I am not 20, I don’t have a boyfriend I’m looking to snag, I do have children, and I don’t need advice on a pushy boss that is out to get me. Most everything in these pages is over the top. Am I that much of a prude or am I just acting my age?

HINT- there's a few articles about sex in there.

Banjos, ponies and Crystal Gayle

Or also titled, Things I wanted for Christmas as a Kid and never got:

Remember my post on Cher? (Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves) I coveted that Cher Barbie and wanted her hair for myself. So I wore my nightgown on my head and pretended it was my long hair. I totally forgot about Crystal Gayle. How could I? For practically my entire elementary school years, my friend Stacey and I (if you’re reading this Stacey, call me- miss you!) secretly listened to her parents’ records (yes, records) of Crystal Gayle. She had the longest brown hair. Past her butt. That was what always got us jealous. If you had hair past your butt, then you were so cool.

You remember, “Don’t it make my brown eyes blue”. She had a really famous song with Eddie Rabbitt, “You and I” (it’s on Youtube). Eddie Rabbitt- oh my God- remember him?? No? Me neither.  Okay…

So Stacey and I would pretend that we were Crystal Gayle. We took turns who got to use the hairbrush and sing along to the record.  When I said we ‘secretly’ listened to her parents’ records, it wasn’t that we weren’t allowed, it was, we didn’t tell any of our friends. I’m sure they were listening to Thriller, The Flashdance Soundtrack, Devo… SHE wasn’t allowed to listen to THOSE records. So we made the best of Crystal Gayle. AND Anne Murray. Snowbird is a beautiful song. Just sayin’.

So my other thing besides the Cher doll, that I always asked Santa for, was, a horse. I know this isn’t very unusual. Many girls want horses. It didn’t make it any better that my English cousin Clare, had her own pony- Beau Brummell. I will never forget that summer we went to visit my dad’s family in England. Clare is at least 8 years older than I am. I was 5 at the time. She had been competing in shows on Beau and got a gabillion ribbons and trophies. They were all over her room. I was SOOO jealous! Honestly, I don’t remember if it was the horse or the ribbons I was jealous of more. I got to ride Beau for just a bit. The whole famly did.  We took turns up and down this strip of pasture while she lead him. There’s pictures of us wearing “Britain is Great” t-shirts with the Union Jack on it, and wearing her riding cap. You know those cute velvet ones? They’re helmets really, but they look so cute.

I remember begging my parents for a pony of my own. I did this every birthday and Christmas for at least the next 6 years. I’m not sure why mom said, “we’ll see”, when I asked her. How about just ‘no’. The ‘we’ll see’ was torture. That meant, there was actually the slightest, POSSIBILITY I was getting a horse. Mind you, we didn’t have any place to put it and couldn’t afford to board it. My brother left for college the summer after I turned 7. I figured his room would make a really good stable. My parents didn’t go for that idea.

Now don’t laugh. Okay, you can laugh.

I want a banjo.

This isn’t a childhood dream. I want a banjo now. If you do, ‘deendeedeer, der, der, der, der’ in that banjo-ey voice, I will scream. Because that’s what anyone does when I tell them I want a banjo. They’re mocking me. So I like Steve Martin. I like the Dixie Chicks. I want a banjo. I want to shred a banjo like Slash on the guitar. Like Jim Neighbors on the ukelele or was that Captain Kangaroo?

Maybe it was when I was 6 and I saw Kermit the Frog in the Muppet Movie play his banjo by that pond. Oh it was so cute. And I wanted to sing about rainbows and happy things. I can’t even play the guitar. But I’m sure I would learn the banjo in a jiffy. And yes, James and the children think I’m out of my mind.

Anyway… if anyone out there has a banjo- and lessons to go with it- I would like that. I’ll pay you in cat bubble pictures. Or I’ll just sing Crystal Gayle for you… That’s a gift in itself.