December 30, 2011

BEAN Down Under!

After being named Best of Fringe at the Hollywood Fringe Festival in 2011, BEAN travels to Western Australia to perform at FRINGE WORLD Festival, Perth 2012!


I am so excited to travel to Australia next month (a place I've always wanted to go) and especially to be performing the show that I wrote - it is a dream come true!  Two months ago I had no idea I'd be hopping on a plane to travel across the world, and somehow it all came together.  Already the people I've talked to in Perth have been wonderful, so I know the trip will be full of awesome Aussies, and hopefully some kangaroos and walk abouts and wonderful adventures, not to mention fabulous theatre!  I will be blogging as I'm there in a series called BEAN DOWN UNDER.  For now, here is the info for the show, if you happen to be in Perth :)


WHERE
FRINGE WORLD The Treasury - The Treasury Mess Hall
Corner St Georges Tce & Barrack St


WHEN
Friday January 27th, Saturday January 28th, Sunday January 29th, and Monday January 30th at 6:30pm


TICKETS
$15 Standard; $12 Group Rate (6 or more)
Go to: www.fringeworld.com.au

November 8, 2011

The Creepiest Thing EVER

On Halloween weekend, something happened.  I went on a morning walk (a walk that consisted mostly of me contemplating why I didn't challenge the other four girls dressed as the Black Swan to a dance-off at the party I went to the night before) when suddenly something came slowly rolling down the middle of the hilly street I was walking up.  I stopped in the middle of the sidewalk and squinted into the sun as the object rolled down the hill closer to me.  Then I realized what the object was as it slowly lumbered down the hill, wobbling back and forth.  It was a BABY CARRIAGE.  WHAT!??!?!  And not just any baby carriage - it was an old school, from 100 years ago, probably haunted, giant wheeled, black baby carriage.  I walked into the street as it came near because my first thought was, "Is there a haunted baby in this baby carriage? If so, I can rescue it and it probably won't haunt me in return."  But I could see quite clearly that the creeping, stealthy baby carriage was completely empty.  


As soon as I realized there was no haunted baby or anything else that needed saving within the carriage,  I ran back to the sidewalk and hid behind a tree.  Because haunted carriages can't see through trees.  I watched as it neared the end of the hill and slowed to a stop, violently rocking back and forth as it hit some rocks.  I imagined it turning around slowly and then heading back toward me, maybe with eerie smoke or fog coming out of it, but instead it rocked too far to the right in the rocks at the bottom of the hill and fell over.  It did not comfort me that it fell over in front of the house that had creepy lit up crystals planted in its front yard.  The crystals are green and they look like Kryptonite and that is never okay.  


And then, a homeless man, who had also been watching this occurrence behind a tree (he must know the tree invincibility rule about haunted carriages too), walked up to the carriage, poked at it with a stick, and then proceeded to put it back on its giant wheels and roll it away like it was an old friend.  That man was much braver than I.  Seriously, where did that baby carriage come from?  SERIOUSLY.


So, next year for Halloween I've decided I will dress as that old baby carriage with giant wheels, because no one will have the same idea.  Or maybe I will dress as The Black Swan WITH the baby carriage, and all of the other Black Swans will be jealous.  But I will still challenge them to a dance-off.

August 18, 2011

A Conversation Between Me and Kevin: Part 306

KEVIN
Are you doing anything preshow tomorrow?

ME
Not yet - wanna get drinks or food or something?


KEVIN
No.

June 18, 2011

BEAN Tonight, BEAN on YouTube, BEAN on the Radio

BEAN is here and in full swing!  TONIGHT at midnight is the next performance!

ALSO:

Hear me talk about BEAN just before the awesome opening night party of the Hollywood Fringe Festival!



AND:

Click below to hear my LIVE interview on KPFK 90.7 FM.  Julio Martinez of Arts In Review asks me about BEAN and my experience at the Hollywood Fringe!

 ARTS IN REVIEW FRIDAY JUNE 17th at 2pm with BEAN

Come on out and BEAN it up with me.  Only three shows left!

June 13, 2011

BEAN is here!

BEAN opens today and I couldn't be more excited.  If I blogged my thoughts they would sound like this:

akljgoijb;ojeoajej;ovnoeaooeojjaeiboGuinesslialeifj;joajoiejoaiejo

So I will keep this post short and sweet.  I woke up this morning realizing, holy crap I'm doing my own solo show today.  When did this happen?  It's been a trying, wonderful, painful, exhilarating process over the past couple of months and it's just the very beginning!  I can't wait to get out there and share a story and hopefully not fall off or through the stage at any point.

Here we go!

June 8, 2011

A Conversation Between Me and Kevin Part 102

YESTERDAY

Kevin:
every time I see your ad on the fringe site I feel bad because I just cost you an impression. and because no amount of advertising will ever make me see your show.


EIGHT MONTHS AGO

Kevin:
i kind of want to act in a play

a good play
but i dont want to become an actor
can you get me into a play?
a good play?
as an actor?


me:
hmmmmmmmm

Kevin:
just make it happen and call me when the audition is gonna happen

i still have to get Milford onstage
make that happen also

me:
hm

only if you cast me as the lead
i would love to see you act again

Kevin:
i think i could be better


me:
i think so too
you are more worldly

Kevin:
also, as a genius director, i can act better than a shitty actor


me:
of course


Kevin:
im going to the bathroom


me:
hmmm
ew


Kevin:
.... for a while


me:
best thing
you've ever told me
BFF
i will carry that with me always
good bye kevy
i shall find a play for you


TODAY
Although scheming 8 months ago together, I am not in Kevin's show and Kevin is not acting in a play, but we are both presenting our OWN work at the Hollywood Fringe Festival and I am very proud to be his friend and colleage.  Go see the show Kevin wrote and directed - it is The Milford Project and it is great (CLICK HERE FOR MILFORD).  And come see BEAN (CLICK HERE FOR BEAN), where you won't see Kevin at all.  Ever.

The Temptations

To this day, my favorite singing group is the Temptations.  My Girl?  Love it.  Ain’t Too Proud to Beg?  Sing it in the shower every morning.  Papa Was A Rolling Stone? Get outta town.  I had all of the Temptations biographies memorized as a small child and even made a list in a notebook documenting their original members, when members were replaced, who got married, divorced, how they died, everything.  I added to the list a chronological order of when their hit songs came out.  They were ever changing and spanned decades.  I could list the names of the Temptations circa My Girl at any given moment.  Paul Williams, Otis Williams, David Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks, and Melvin Franklin (nickname Blue).  In fact, I did so all the time.  Out loud.  I would randomly shout it at people when I wanted to impress them, but instead they would be confused and shuffle away.  If anyone found that notebook they would think it was creepy as shit.  Just like my Titanic and JTT scrapbooks.  But I call it inspiration.  The Temptations inspired me and still do.  And now I dishonor them by singing their songs at karaoke.  But I try my best to do them proud.

June 6, 2011

The Tire Kid

Next door to my work is a gym.  And at that gym they train people with tires.  That's right.  Tires.  What does that mean you ask?  Well I'll tell you.  Almost every day that I leave work I have to dodge the same small child wearing a harness, that is attached to a rope, that is in turn attached to a tire.  The child is running with all of his might with the tire trailing behind him.  He is blocking two lanes of traffic and I see almost every person who drives around him go "What the???"  His coach is watching and cheering him on.  His coach is proud.  The child is SERIOUS about his tire work.  It is the weirdest thing I have ever seen.  Actually, that's not true.  But it's definitely in the top 20.  I am not a personal trainer in the least, so far be it from me to judge or to know the latest and greatest in tire training for kids who want to get in shape.  But this whole thing is really ridiculous.  Every day the tire gets bigger.  The first time I saw him tire training it was with a regular car tire.  Today he was pulling a tractor tire and I was REALLY impressed.  I hope he soon graduates to dragging a whole tractor.  The kid is determined, and I bet he could do it.  Run like wind, tire kid.

June 3, 2011

My Circle of Trust

I thought it would be funny if I put up pictures of people who inspire me while I work on BEAN, for encouragement.  In this photo I have surrounded myself with Carol Burnett, Tina Fey, and of course my fish, Captain Barbosa.  At first I thought it would be fun to run ideas by them and say things like, what do you think Carol? And then laugh at myself.  Then after hours of working and becoming slightly delirious, I started to talk to the three of them as if they were actually there until I noticed Captain Barbosa staring at me.  Judging me.  I asked him if I was being ridiculous and he just gave me a dead pan look as he is wont to do, being a fish.  I started to read a part of my show to him and he turned around and then pooped.   So that part of the show needed some work.  Although Carol and Tina were always smiling and encouraging me to keep working, I guess I needed the Captain to dish out some tough love and bring me back to reality.  Thanks, Captain, you keep me honest.  And thanks Carol and Tina, because you really are brilliant and inspiring, and would probably be creeped out by this.

June 1, 2011

One Post to Rule Them All

As BEAN draws near I have neglected my daily countdown on my poor little blog in pursuit of getting everything all ready for the crazy that will be the Fringe.  I couldn't be more excited.  My blog couldn't feel less loved though and on top of that I am using one post to get me back on track for the countdown because I'm about 6 days behind at this point and that will just not do!  I know, blog, it's a slap in the face.  But it doesn't meant that I love you less, blog.  In fact, I've personified you and that means I have developed an unhealthy imaginary friend complex for you and am crazy.  Perfect for Fringe season!

So I thought I'd take the time, since I've shamed you, blog, to talk about my top five moments of shame.

NUMBER FIVE
Getting hit in the face with a baseball as a kid and crying.  There's no crying in baseball.  Even for five year olds.  Mark my words I never cried again, even years later when I had the stitches of the baseball imprinted on my ASS when I got hit by a pitch.


NUMBER FOUR
Getting hit in the face with a firework (yes, a FIREWORK) in Paris on Bastille day in a moment of heightened glory and excitement.  The ultimate buzz kill. SEE Firework to the Head Blog Post

NUMBER THREE
Getting attacked by gypsy children in a cave in Spain.  They asked if they could draw butterflies on my arm and they DID NOT DRAW BUTTERFLIES.


NUMBER TWO
Going to the drama prom in college in a Dorothy costume and getting back to my dorm only to remember I didn't have my key, falling asleep on the benches outside, and waking up in full Dorothy garb in front of a crowd of people.

NUMBER ONE
Thinking that the way to pronounce blanket was blank-let until I was 17 years old.   One day someone told me: that's not how you say that.  Thanks, dad!


So there you go, blog.  I hope you feel better.


Love,
Bean

The Cranberry Juice Incident

Today I spent 10 minutes trying to open a bottle of cranberry juice.  I started to open it thinking it would be easy and the force it took to turn the lid made the bottle fall on the ground - luckily it was plastic.  Then I picked it up and got a tighter grip and tried a little more force.  Nothing.  Then I tried a tight grip and bracing myself in full yoga pose to provide inertia.  NOPE.  Then I realized my hand was BLEEDING.  Great.  Determined that my blood shed would not be in vain, I then I used a paper towel to cover my hand and gripped the lid with all of my might and tried to turn the cap so hard that my hand flew off and hit the wall next to me REALLY hard.  Then I got mad and I THREW the bottle across the room, startling my poor fish, Captain Barbosa.  Then I calmed down and glared at the bottle for a moment.  Then I walked over, picked it up and tried one last time to turn the lid and DINK, it opened up like it was made of clouds.  So, CRANBERRY JUICE MAKERS this message is for you:  cranberry juice is NOT the Temple of Doom.  Don't test my intellect and inner strength when I'm trying to get some juice. The bottle and I had to come to terms with each other before I was allowed the juice within and it ruined my juice drinking experience.  Please stop this madness or hire Harrison Ford himself to run into my apartment and open the bottle with a whip because that would at least be entertaining.  Thank you.

May 30, 2011

The Basilisk

I'm sad to say that this weekend I had to give into the fact that my one and only living plant (and not actually a plant, but a DEADLY CACTUS), the Basilisk Henry V, had really not been living for a long time.  I had been watering the Basilisk, but he was not responding and sort of made his way out of his soil as if to indicate that he was done being a cactus.  The Basilisk had originated from a plant of my old roommates', named Professor Snape, or Snape, of course.  Snape was a creature and was ferocious.  Many a time did he hit me with his cactus fangs, even when I thought I had cleared him when walking by.  When my roommate told me that Snape's arms could be used to put aloe on a sunburn or could be turned into baby cactus, I was amazed.  We placed one of Snape's cactus arms that had broken off into a tiny pot with soil and watched it grow.  So the Basilisk Henry V was born.  We were really proud when we made up his name because it embodied our two loves: Harry Potter and The Tudors.  Which is a whole other story indeed.  So instead of throwing the Basilisk away when I knew he was rejecting his potted plant home, I snuck him into our old apartment complex and buried him there, where he might one day again bloom, full of Basilisk-like fury, descendant of Snape.  I raise my goblet to you, Basilisk! 

May 26, 2011

Brubber!

My big brother left me a message today.  In the message he said "I'm just calling to reaffirm that I've been reading your BEAN blog and most of it is quite awkward so thank you for that."  He said this in a way that only a big brother can, full of dry humor and also exasperation for my endless weirdness.  To my brother, I'm the weirdest, most awkward person ever.  (He would note at this point that to MOST people I'm the weirdest person ever.)  But I have proof in voicemail and in blog format that my BIG BROTHER READ MY BLOG.  YES!  VICTORY!!!  This whole blog post will annoy him even more, which is the essence of our relationship.  As kids I followed my brother around and wanted to be just like him.  He usually wouldn't let me play games with him and I would just sit and watch and I was happy with that.  But one day I got mad that he wouldn't let me play so I hit him over the head with a toy truck and then sat on the log cabin that he built.  And I've been paying for it ever since.  So today I say I'm sorry big brother for hitting you in the face with a toy.  I'm also sorry that my friend Danielle and I followed you around with a tape recorder "spying" on you in plain view, thinking we were STEALTH and narrating your every move.  But I'm not sorry you are my brother because you were a great person to look up to and aspire to be when we were kids and I will look up to you still, even if it annoys you, cause that's what little sisters are for. 

May 25, 2011

A Possum

I was going to a movie on Monday and the MOST ADORABLE THING IN THE WORLD shuffled towards me on my way down the stairs in the parking structure.  It was the tiniest, sweetest possum and it was ALL ALONE.  It just huddled in a corner and stared at me as I stared at it, while I took this picture.  I wanted to give it a hug and let it know that it will be okay.  I wanted to ask if it wanted some food from the trash can that was too tall for it to climb in.  Possums like to dig in trash cans right? I wanted to cuddle it and have it ride on my shoulder for the rest of the evening but I was also slightly afraid and didn't want to walk by it for fear it would bite my ankle or something.  So I just stared at it as it stared at me.  I needed to get down the stairs but I also didn't want it to feel the need to defend itself, or worse, jump off the stairs to avoid me and the hideous outfit I had on that day.  I felt akin to the little animal and wanted it to know that in my world, I am small as well and I also bite people's ankles.  But in the end I figured I better find another way out of the parking garage and leave the possum to its lonely, adorable journey.  Once I got to the ground floor I could see he was still watching and I made a point not to walk directly under him so he wouldn't jump on my head, which I think was what he was gauging as he watched me walk.  I hope the Possum, who I have named Fred in my head, found his way down the stairs and had a very nice evening.  I hope he knows if I could have I would have brought him to the movie with me and shared my popcorn with him.  I didn't eat all of my popcorn though and I left it in a trash can in the parking lot after the movie, so hopefully he found it.  Fred the Possum.

May 22, 2011

A Squirrel Companion.

Yesterday was the day of the big gala fundraiser for my theater company.  I got to the venue at 8am to sit and wait for the rental equipment and accidentally fell asleep on a step.  It was a beautiful morning and the birds were singing and I was lulled to sleep, sitting up.  Then a crazy rooster (this venue is so cool it has roosters and various other avian delights wandering its grounds) started cockadoodle-dooing and I was jolted awake only to find that a squirrel was standing nearby, staring at me.  So I started talking to him.  For five minutes.  It was a very good conversation and the squirrel never once interrupted me, but just listened to me comment about how cute it was and that I hoped it didn't have rabies and that I was hungry.  I think if it had known it would have offered me the nut it had in its hands but instead it just nibbled it and looked at me curiously.  But it was nice to have a little animal friend and I was kind of insulted it didn't proceed to follow me around for the rest of my life as my magical animal companion.

May 20, 2011

The Oprah Train

As Oprah's last few shows are coming up this week I decided I better jump back on the Oprah train and start recording her show in case something crazy happens.  Maybe she'll give away a small country to each person in her audience, or she'll reveal the meaning of life to us all, as only Oprah can do.  And I don't want to miss that.  If Oprah tells everyone the great truth of life, you better believe it, cause Oprah is ALWAYS right.  Even when she's wrong she's right, because she was probably purposely wrong in order to make a right, which she planned all along.  In short, Oprah rules the world.   I'm pretty sure she owns everything.

Today I started to watch her episode from Wednesday.  There are a lot of interviews and random celebrity goodbyes in the beginning that are heartfelt, and also kind of creepy - as if Oprah is going away with the Elves after having taken the one ring to Mordor.  (And yes, I realize this is the second time I've referenced Mordor in my blogs.) These celebrity people were acting like they would never see her again.  Celebrities, please.  Oprah is not going anywhere.  She may not be doing her show anymore but, mark my words, she will still be all up in our lives and I LOVE IT.  I don't care who knows it.  I will sing it to the rooftops.  I LOVE OPRAH!!

Seriously, 3 minutes into this episode, after scoffing a little at the dramatic overtures about Oprah leaving, I was sobbing.  As quick as lightening, Oprah said "I'd like to show you a favorite story of mine" and then she showed the most heart-wrenching story ever from a past episode, and then she showed another story that was equally devastating and also inspiring and then brought all of these inspiring people on stage and they all hugged and shared in each others' devastation turned inspiration and I WAS A MESS.  A MESS.  IT WAS BEAUTIFUL.

Oprah, you sorceress!

Elijah!

Anyone who knows me well knows that I love Elijah Wood.  If I could only have 3 things on a deserted island, it would be Sunflower Seeds, Guiness, and Elijah Wood.  My obsession with Elijah started around the time he played Frodo.  The noble journey of the determined hobbit really got to me. One time I saw him on the streets in Beverly Hills and was so shocked I collapsed on the sidewalk and all I could make out was "Frodo" in a raspy whisper.  He didn't hear me.  I was devastated.  A friend of mine, Kevin, of A Conversation With Kevin, for those 5 of you that read my blog, was once at a wedding with Elijah.  Our conversation went like this (and yes Kevin, I typed out our texts well over a year ago because I knew, one day, I would use this for material. Creepy):

Kevin: 
Michelle.  I am at a wedding 
and Elijah Wood is here.  He's
wearing a tight english Indie 
rock suit with a skinny tie.
You would DIE.

Me:
Are you serious?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?
Are you serious?@?@?@??@?
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!! Steal
him!!!!!!!!!!!!! Tell me everything!!!


Me:
GIVE HIM MY NUMBER

Kevin:
I'll ask.  NOT.


Me:
Where are you?  Give me the
address


Kevin:
Ha! Never.


Me:
Damn you Kevin .
Damn you!!!


Kevin:
He's taking pictures of the
bride and groom.  Very
sensitive and caring.


Me:
Kevin.  Take a picture
of Elijah Wood and I
will marry him.


Kevin:
He just loves the independent
theatre.  Also loves long distance
running and the
Westin Bonaventure.


Me:
He's perfect.  I could cry.


Me:
Tell him I'll marry him


Me:
Did you tell him.


Kevin:
No it would have been bad
etiquette.


Me:
Dammit.


So that's how that went.  Anyway, today I turned on the TV and there he was, after I'd almost forgotten about him , standing in the audience of American Idol.  They briefly flashed by him but I knew it was him even though I was standing in another room.  I yelled "ELIJAH!!" and paused the screen to take this picture:


But the greatest thing of all is a) Elijah was NEVER once mentioned on the show nor did the cameras ever go back to him, he was just there, enjoying him some Idol and b) there's a GIANT MAN DRESSED UP LIKE A DOG NEXT TO HIM.

May 19, 2011

More Confessions

Confession 

I had a beta fish named Mr. Miyagi (after the character in my favorite movie of all time, The Karate Kid) and made up a special song that I sang to him every morning and night.  That song will probably be in BEAN.  Above is a glorious picture of Miyagi, rest his soul.  He was with me for five of the hardest years of my life and always puffed out his face at me when he saw me as if to say, "I WILL kill you."   Oh, Miyagi!


Now I have a fish named Captain Barbosa, or as I like to call him, the Captain.  He's a great, swashbuckling fish. One time I thought he died, and was very very sad.  The good Captain lay on the bottom of his pirate bowl for half a day, even after I sang pirate shantys to him (and they were the best pirate shantys you've ever heard in your LIFE).  Then, after I was already planning his little pirate funeral, he decided he was done being dead and came back to life after my boyfriend poked him with his pirate net.  He's been alive and well ever since.




So yes.  I sing to fish and sometimes I wear an eye patch when I'm cleaning the Captain's bowl.

Confessions

I've decided to create a blog segment called "Confessions" as BEAN is pretty much one giant confession about how truly awkward and embarrassing I am.  It's also a way to write a lazy blog. 

Confession
One time I peed on myself in 1st grade.  Straight up peed on myself and sat there like nothing happened.  I had nothing to hide and no shame.  When someone asked me if I peed I said "No" and continued practicing the alphabet.  That's not my confession.  My confession is that when I peed I was wearing a lime green spandex body suit that I could probably still fit in to this day.

The Elevator Lady

On Monday, I moved to a new office location.  I was looking forward to a little change, even though I wouldn't be able to walk to work anymore.  Our last location was right around the corner from the place I live (which I call the Hobbit House because I wish I was a Hobbit, not because it actually looks like a Hobbit dwelling).  The new office has snacks and a Starbucks machine so that pretty much sold me.  It also has an awesome game room that I intend to have many epic ping pong battles in.  

Most importantly, the new office has something that the old office did not have.  It has a talking elevator.  Does that sound really cool and modern?  No.  Nope.  No.  It is TERRIFYING.  Every time you get into this elevator a woman speaks to you, telling you where you are going.  The voice is that of a passive aggressive alien who may or may not transport you across space and into a black hole at any given moment.  Not only does the elevator voice have the same tone at all times, but it tries its best to NEVER LET YOU LEAVE.  The first time I got into the elevator, I pushed Floor 2 and it said "Going up" as I looked around startled that it had just spoken.  Then it proceeded to go to Floor 4.  Um.  Okay, elevator.  Then it said "Floor 4" in triumph as if that is exactly where everyone should want to be.  I thought I had pushed the button wrong so I pushed Floor 2 again.  "Going down" it said.  Then it proceeded to go back down to the Lobby.  ALRIGHT ELEVATOR.  Now I was sensing some amusement in its tone.  Not only was it making me look a FOOL but people were getting on and off the elevator all throughout this process and everyone looked at me like I was crazy when I stayed in the elevator every time everyone else got off.  

I continued to do this Floor 4, Lobby, Floor 4, Lobby ride of shame, slowly building anger for the elevator voice and wanting to find its source to crush it, but then someone told me that I had to swipe my badge to get to Floor 2. 

My bad.

Elevator Voice, consider this a formal apology for the harsh words I muttered to you on that first day in a new building.  But you're still creepy, and always will be.

May 18, 2011

Melted Cheese

It is widely known among my friends and family that the thing I fear and despise most in life is melted cheese.  Not liquid cheese, and not good ol' hard cheese, but the cheese that strings and is gooey and looks like poison.  That's the kind of cheese I don't like.  This aversion to melted cheese has gotten me some of the most incredulous looks l've ever gotten in my life when people find out about it, and that includes me telling people about the foot fungus I got in England.  Don't worry, it's gone now. (Although my brother insists on bringing it up every time I see him and thinks that I am, in fact, ACTUALLY a fungus myself.  Ah, big brother.)

As far back as I can remember, every time any melted cheese was on a plate of food, I had the instant reaction to throw the plate across the room and stomp on it.  Of course if I HAD thrown the plate, I wouldn't have stomped on it because the melted cheese would have then attached to my foot and tried to consume my body.  Obviously.  Melted cheese is evil and I stand by that statement.  

When we were kids, my best friend Danielle would make it a point to eat melted cheese and rootbeer (which I also hated) in front of me as often as possible.  This made me stronger as a person and also prepared me for our inevitable journey on the Amazing Race, which we will WIN.  Mark my words.  So thank you Nellie.

I remember as a small child my Grandpa had the same disgust for melted cheese, so I can conclude that either a) it was hereditary or b) I wanted to be just like him.  Which is entirely possible because he was the coolest.  And I'm proud to carry on the tradition and hope I can force my future children to do so as well.


And really, to be clear, I am not a picky eater by any means.  I'll eat almost anything if someone makes it for me, even if it doesn't look good, I will try it and I WILL pretend I like it.  Except for the time I ordered a lobster and the whole freaking lobster came out on a plate, including eyes and little hairy legs.  That was traumatizing but I brought it upon myself, being a hoity toity 10 year old ordering a LOBSTER.  


These reflections were in my mind on Sunday because when I ordered at dinner that night I said "no cheese on the pasta please" to the waitress and the waitress, for the first time EVER didn't look at me with judgement.  She looked at me like I was normal.  A normal paranoid Bean with a fear of melted cheese.  That's all.  I felt....understood. 

Most of the time I get conversations like the one I had at a Mexican restaurant a couple of weeks ago:


Waiter:  And what would you like?


Me:  A bean and cheese burrito, but with no cheese.


Waiter:  (silence)


Me: Sorry, just no cheese please.


Waiter: NO CHEESE?   (this was spoken REALLY loud)


Me:  No cheese.  


Waiter: NO  CHEESE?


Me: No cheese.  I'm not allergic, I just can't stand the stringiness, the consistency.  My grandpa was the same way (nervous laughter).  So just a bean burrito then , I guess i should have said just the bean burrito.


Waiter: NO CHEESE?


Me:  Nevermind.  It's okay, I can have the cheese.  I'll just scrape it off.


Waiter: I'll just bring you a plate with beans and rice. Okay?

Me:  Um.  Okay. 



This conversation was devastating and then I literally ate a plate of beans and rice as my punishment for not liking melted cheese.  I think the waiter was trying to show me how terrible life could be without melted cheese.  But life is glorious without melted cheese.  Oh yes.  Grandpa, where ever you are, I raise my fists in victory to us and to all melted cheese haters everywhere (which I'm pretty sure is actually still just us.  and that is awesome.)

Every Bean Has a Dream

When I was a kid I thought I could be everything.   I don't mean that I thought I could do anything I dreamed of (which I did in fact also think) but i mean in addition, I literally thought I could be EVERYTHING all at once.  I thought at some point in my life I would have the chance to be ALL of the following: an actor (SHOCKER), an astronaut (traveling in space and/or saving the world), a hip hop dancer (there's still hope), a doctor, the Pope, a farmer, President of the United States, Aunt Jamima (yes, the bottle of syrup), Queen of England (you win, Kate Middleton, you win), a mermaid, a pirate, a member of the Temptations (I don't know, i really loved the Temptations and didn't understand the concept of time), an Olympic athlete (for gymnastics of course, although the picture you see above is about the longest I've balanced, ever), and last but not least, Peter Pan.   I thought I would live in every city in the world, at least once.  I often worried how I would juggle all of these careers and places and probably didn't realize until way later than most that oh, I wouldn't be all of those things.  That was a sad moment.  Whichever A-hole told me I couldn't be a mermaid or the Pope has it coming.

But today, as I imagine up BEAN and am constantly referred back to my fearlessness and unwavering hope as a child, I say NAY to myself growing up and learning that I wouldn't be all of those things.  I say NAY, self.  Because it's time to bring it on back to a simpler time, when Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Ghostbusters and Polly Pockets and my JTT scrapbook (no shame) and four square on the playground were just stepping stones to what I knew to be something extraordinary just around the corner. 

So with 32 days to go and counting, here's to hoping BEAN will be a new extraordinary experience in my life and hopefully an exciting one for all of you that come see the show.  Or at least an above average one.

A Wedding and a Bin

The countdown continues after a brief weekend interlude in which I was honored to attend and be a bridesmaid in the glorious wedding of two glorious people.  And I mean GLORIOUS people.  So, I missed a few days of my countdown and will now proceed to SPAM everyone on my Facebook newsfeed with about a thousand blogs just to make up for it.  Hopefully in a couple of days I'll be back to one blog a day, just like my vitamins (haha yah right, I don't take VITAMINS, please, i live off from sunflower seeds and chips and salsa), but let's face it the countdown is totally off in numbers anyway and I'm pretty sure I'll have to start going in the negatives before the show even opens because I didn't count properly the first time.  If my parents read this they'll probably wonder why they spent so much on my education if I still can't count. Hi Paw!

In any case, I would like to dedicate Saturday's blog to my two newly united married friends who pretty much threw down the wedding gauntlet and said "What, you want a wedding?  Okay.  How about the most beautiful day you can imagine and how 'bout it BLOWS YOUR MIND?  BOOM! WHAT! etc. etc."  I picture both of them yelling that and believe me if they were both here, living in my blog, they would, and probably include a hilarious dance, because they are two of the funniest people ever, especially together.  They are also two of the kindest people ever and are truly, truly in love.   


Special shout out to the bride for being a good enough friend to a) talk to me when i had the giant curly mass of hair that is my face in the picture above and b) allow herself to be in a documented picture with said curly mass of hair that probably could be a lair for lizards or other small animals.


Which brings me to a favorite memory.  Recently the Bride and I were at a build for the next show at the our theatre company and we were looking for a job to do.  At builds one usually hammers or saws or hangs lights, or walks around pretending to move useless inanimate objects.  Whatever our job, we were excited to work together so that we could catch up.  We marched to our team leader with dignity and were prompty assigned to clean the giant garbage bins out back.


Now, I must preface this with the horror that is the garbage bins out back.  Picture a dark, scary corner that probably leads to Mordor in which you are certain to contract a disease or get bitten by a raccoon or alligator or other ferocious creature.  THAT is the garbage bins out back.  I once saw a rat run AWAY from the bins in obvious terror.


So, good sports that we were, we busted out the shovel and the broom and some buckets and went to work cleaning the trash out from underneath and behind the three giant bins.  I will never forget the things we saw there that day.  We were so disgusted we could NOT stop laughing. Which was problematic when trash was flying and our mouths were stuck in permanent laughter. We found so many unsightly treasures that were just so purely revolting that we could do nothing but cackle, so as not to cry.  We managed to move the bins so we could get behind them and that's when I decided I would burn the shoes I was wearing after this was over.  I didn't end up burning the shoes, but they have been sitting on my back porch for months now, and there they will stay.  I'm hoping a magical flower will start to grow in them and then I can write a childrens' book about it.  


Anyway, despite some mud (we'll call it mud) landing in my eye and on the future Bride's arm (in which we surely thought we had lost both of those body parts) the real kicker, the real moment that got me down, is that we had the most perfect, centered, beautiful, couldn't see it better, view of the Hollywood sign.  It was as if Hollywood said, FOOLS HAHA THIS IS WHAT I BROUGHT YOU HERE TO DO, NOT TO ACT OR WRITE OR DIRECT, NO, I BROUGHT YOU HERE TO RISK YOUR LIFE IN A GARBAGE BIN THAT SMELLS OF YOUR FAILURE! (I picture Hollywood's voice as the voice of the sand tiger from Aladdin who guards the Cave of Wonders).

I pondered this as we finished the job and managed to glare at everyone walking by who didn't have to do the job. The future Bride mentioned that her Groom (then fiancee) would have done it for us if he had been there and that I know to be true.  He's the kind of person that would do that for another person, even if it meant getting a new blend of mold and rotted food all up in his grill.  He would be right there beside us shoveling that crap, just like I know he'll be right there beside the Bride for the rest of their lives.  That is love!

But, I am glad the Bride and I had that experience together.  It was yet another hilarious debacle between the two of us that strengthened our friendship.  And it was one of those moments that led up to the very very special moment when I got to see my friend, with her hair just done on her wedding day, riding in my car back to the place where she would get married, yelling out the window "I'M MARRYING MY BEST FRIEND IN THE WORLD!", with her little veil flying in the wind.

To the couple, for throwing that wedding gauntlet down like nobody's business.

May 13, 2011

Dracula

My friend Eddie posted this terrifying picture of me on facebook a couple of months ago.  I left it on my wall with pride.  It is a picture of when I played Van Helsing in Dracula in high school.  I need not say more than that in order to express the awkward and most likely horrendous performance that my friends and family had to sit through, watching an over zealous 5 foot tall Van Helsing read books and stab vampires.  But I love this picture as it reminds me that I am SERIOUS about vampires, and also that I look like Sinestro from the Green Lantern.  To be continued in later blogs: how I simultaneously hit myself in the face with a giant cross that was supposed shoot flame, fell through the stage, and still continued to speak my lines.  I can only hope that my performance of BEAN will be as determined as little Van Helsing.  

May 11, 2011

the BeanMobile

Today after work, on my way into a grocery store, I found something. A car with tires made specifically for Beans.

Yes friends, it must have been fate because this grocery cart/sweet ride of awesome stood right in my way as if asking me to squeeze into it and peddle around in front of perfect strangers and not care who was judging me.  Sadly, there was no squeezing needed and I fit perfectly in the car.  I also found an opened Jell-O pudding cup and thought briefly of Bill Cosby.

I must stop to note that part of BEAN's journey is the quest to become a superhero, which I absolutely believe is possible on all accounts.  This little Bean car would most certainly be my superhero car, except I'd have to pimp it out with a v6 engine and blades coming out of the tires.  Also possibly an added on tank full of sunflower seeds and Guinness.

I needed someone to document this moment of pride and complete insanity so I looked around wildly for someone to take my picture.  I was nervous to hand over my iPhone to just anyone to take the picture so I picked the nearest person, a small child who I could run faster than if he tried to take off with it.   His mom was next to him and had already been laughing at me hysterically for 5 minutes so I knew she was on my side.  The small child was also in a karate suit as there was a karate class next door so I feared and respected him.

I asked the bad ass karate child if he would take a picture of me in the BeanMobile.  His mom gave me a thumbs up.  I felt simultaneously thankful and embarrassed by her encouragement.  I gave my phone to the child and he proceeded to drop it then run away karate kicking.  Idiot.  His mom ran after him yelling and at this point I was getting uncomfortable in the BeanMobile and really confused by the two separate steering wheels. 



Thus I took the two pictures you see here just before an employee wheeled the BeanMobile away from me.  Then I went home and made a casserole.

One day, I will achieve my goal of becoming a super hero and one day sweet sweet BeanMobile, you will be mine.

May 10, 2011

Ferrets

It's 34 days to BEAN - my solo show world premiering at the Hollywood Fringe.

CLICK HERE for info and tickets.

CLICK HERE to like BEAN. on facebook.

Thus I will be blogging every day as I move toward what is likely to be the most terrifying, awkward (and hopefully entertaining) theatrical experience of my life.  Some of these blogs will make their way into BEAN, as it is never finished in my mind.  Which keeps things exciting.  And also, again, terrifying.


On that note.  I would like to talk about Ferrets. I normally wouldn't give them a thought but just a moment ago I was drawn to the television and saw a commercial that made me at first wonder if it was a joke, which confused me. Then I realized it was a serious commercial which delighted me, then I laughed hysterically as it got more ridiculous, and then I stared in horror and half laughter/half sobs at its conclusion.  All of 60 seconds, this commercial made me feel more emotion than I would have cared to for a ferret.


The commercial went as follows:

Shot of a cute little girl in pigtails with a ferret in her arms, happily petting it.  Stamp across the picture saying THIS CHILD IS A CRIMINAL.  



Announcer saying that many people and children love ferrets but as they are not legal to own in California it makes the happy children who love ferrets criminals.


Picture of a random legislator.  Announcer saying that said legislators do not care about the ferret issue.  Shot of bored legislator saying "we really can't spend that much time on this issue".


Announcer saying we need to take action or ferrets will remain illegal.


Shot of cute little girl holding her ferret as someone RIPS IT OUT OF HER HANDS and she starts to cry and scream for her ferret.


Loud gong noise.  End of commericial.


In the words of Liz Lemon: 


WHAT.


THE.


WHAT.


I mean listen.  I'm all for ferrets, they are adorable - slightly creepy, yes, and I wouldn't own one myself even if they were legal as I'm generally afraid of everything and would be scared it would lick my face in the middle of the night or something.  And yes, every child deserves a pet, even an imaginary one like I had named Kenny the Koala.  But the over intensity of the commercial made a mockery of the ferret, and everything it stands for.  Which is probably something awesome.  If I wanted to make a point on ferrets being made legal to own (which I don't know if I would be passionate enough about the issue to do so and also I am not educated in the pros and cons so I do not consider myself a reliable source regarding ferrets) I'd probably just show a video of one being awesome, not some scary maniacal video starting with "this child is a criminal".  But in a way I find it touching that someone was so passionate to make this video on behalf of the ferret, who doesn't get much credit.


So, with 34 days to BEAN I say, here's to the ferret and to ferret lovers everywhere.

March 29, 2011

MOO'd

I was walking down a street after work to meet a friend for coffee and something happened.  It was a rainy day so I was decked out in my mom's white rain jacket (thanks Maw) complete with a hood and an elegant waist-cinching adjustable cord (in order to prevent rain from coming UP out of the ground through the bottom of one's rain jacket??).  I also had on gloves and a scarf and boots, as one does in Southern California when the temperature drops below 60 degrees.  But that is all neither here nor there.

As I'm walking, I see a car heading in my direction slow down ever so slightly as it nears me.  The gentleman inside the car rolls down his window, steers as close to the curb as possible, looks at me directly, says "MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO", rolls up his window with nary an expression on his face, and continues on with his drive.

WHAT?!

Seriously.  WHAT.  WAS. THAT?  The gentleman did not particularly look insane and/or reckless.  Though you can't judge a book by it's cover...but one would think a man who MOOs at a stranger has something that he's working through and would in some way indicate prior to the act that he was about to do something crazy like MOO at someone.  But this CAME OUTTA NOWHERE.

I began to doubt myself.  I think I'm self aware enough to know that I don't look like a COW.  But this man obviously felt some inexplicable need to MOO and I wanted answers.  You can't just MOO and run!  But he was long gone and I was left with my thoughts.  I mulled over the idea that my white coat (thanks Maw), which was rather puffed out and cow-like, was the cause of the MOO.  People on the sidewalk analyzed me as they too wondered about the MOOing.

In the end, I have no answers. But here's to that man that had the bravery to MOO in a time that MOOing is obsolete.  What?  I don't know either.  None of this really makes sense.

March 9, 2011

A Conversation Between Me and Kevin Part 36

Kevin:
You should note that all those witticisms are delivered without hesitation.

Me:
that's going to be my next blog.  we will become famous because of this.


**Please also note when I asked Kevin why he is so mean on my birthday he said that he made me the person I am today and if he had been kind I wouldn't be able to handle life.  This may be true.

March 7, 2011

A Conversation Between Me and Kevin Part 35

Kevin:
your kevin conversations on that blog are utterly amazing. i am a golden god.
I type this actively know it's going into the blog.

Small Yet Mighty

That is how this video (probably one of the best birthday gifts ever) my friend Melissy made for me makes me feel.  Small but MIGHTY, just like a bean should be.  This "bean" nickname has come to me in various forms since my childhood, but lately it has truly grounded me as a person and has made me feel right at home.  A proud bean I am.


the infamous bean from Melissa Lyons on Vimeo.

January 28, 2011

A Conversation Between Me and Kevin Part 25

Kevin: You are my friend and I don't care who knows it.

Me: This is the best day of my life.