The Stratford Miscellany

A collection of more random thoughts after my monster post yesterday:

I was lying in bed last night, wondering, “But Laura, if you don’t aggressively flirt with someone, how will you potentially get to date him or her?” And it actually took me a few minutes before I thought, “Ask him or her on a freaking date. Dummy.” So…you know…I’m not always the best at this either.

Underscore wrote a 20-minute musical that will be in the “Abbie Hoffman Died For Our Sins” festival on August 17th at 9:50 p.m. You should go. It’s called “Spa Fire! The Children of the One Percent,” and it explores the very serious issue of what rich people do when they’re locked in an alley next to a burning building with no wallets or cell phones. We’re waiting on that Pulitzer.

Every time I move I think, This is it. I am going to make a gorgeous, Home and Country-style home where everything is organized and lovely. And then I realize that I have way too many books for a normal-sized bookshelf, and I start using the books as structural support for tables and desks and stuff like that, and after a week or so my stuff has coalesced into piles that seem to have gotten really comfortable in the corners they inhabit, so I decide not to disrupt their burgeoning ecosystem. Sometimes I actually fantasize that a room full of the stuff I don’t really need but don’t want to give away or throw out would just burn down. Then I wouldn’t feel guilty about waste or have to make hard decisions, but I’d be freed of the weight of those possessions. Moving is realizing that you’re one of those creatures from Labyrinth with all their belongings piled up a mile high on their backs.

I’ve been remembering my dreams a lot more often lately. Also, those dreams have had mostly tenable real-world logic, so on days like today I’ll wake up, be walking down the street to work, and think suddenly, “Man, can I still return that $65 belt I bought Mom for her birthday?” Only to remember that I bought that belt in a dream and my mom’s birthday is in May. For the last three days I’ve had dreams that mess up my sense of what’s actually happened during the day that follows. Where are the flying purple elephants?

I have been asked to do stand-up for Underscore’s big fundraiser party, the Craparet, which you should come to because it’s going to be really fun and all-you-can-drink. I know I should practice. I actually met someone at an open mic on Tuesday who wants to go to an open mic next week with me to try out new material. Of course, I have to come up with that material. I’ve been thinking about topics in the time before I fall asleep at night, but the problem is that in that twilight time, everything you think of sounds like it will read as a really awesome, Louis-C-K-style standup routine. Then you wake up and try some lines out on your friends and they politely chuckle and you remember: Nope, probably I’m screwed.

I really like being an adult. When I was a kid, I had fun, but a lot of the time I was chafing because it felt like I never got to decide what I got to do. I wanted to pound the pavement in LA while my parents thought I should take piano lessons. I wanted to finish my book when it was time to go for a hike, and I wanted to run around outside when it was time to drive around doing errands. Now I get to choose, to a greater extent, where and when I eat, how I get places, what my plans are, and what I’m doing. Sure, as a kid I was fed and taken care of and didn’t have to pay for things or work. But I was thinking, as I watched a million people walking their dogs today, about how the dogs feel. Are they actually happy and carefree, basking in the life provided? Are they frustrated that they don’t get to choose when they get fed and when they run around? Does one secretly dream of a life as an investment banker, a dream never to be realized?

I get annoyed when people point to the behavior of present-day human beings and freak out about how civilization has gone downhill and morals and manners are out the window and everything is way more depraved and dissolute and lazy and [insert negative adjective here] than ever before. It’s the same reason I like to read well-done history and historical fiction. The kind of person you associate with polo shirts and binge drinking and sexual conquest and shallow existence has always been around. It’s just that today he’s hanging in a sports bar and not a tavern. Politics has always been dirty and pandering and inconsistent. Now we just have YouTube to catch politicians in their flubs and share with the world. You give me a problem we face today (other than maaaybe global warming) and I’ll give you a historical equivalent. People are people have always been people. Shakespeare was a dude who liked to hang out with his friends and struggled to maintain a small business. This should be incredibly exciting and liberating, because it means that you could be living a life very similar to Shakespeare’s, minus, you know, the prolific wordsmithing genius that will endure throughout the centuries. It’s way better than being part of a species that’s “fallen” somehow.

Anything on your mind lately?



Filed under Musings

2 responses to “The Stratford Miscellany

  1. Smrf

    My dad made me a bookshelf, the bottom corner piece is so big when it’s empty I can crawl in it. I still can’t fit all my books in it ❤

  2. I wanna see you at Craparet! I also want someone else in this room right now, so we can laugh about how funny ‘Craparet’ sounds.

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