So... yeah.

I am going to Ecuador for a month. I won't be updating. Well, I might. Who knows.
I'll miss the world of the blog (and potable water. and hot water. and coffee and the English language), but I'll see you at the end of July.

To Successful Adventures!


one reservation

I know that tomorrow night I'll be sleeping here:
and after that it's up in the air for 30 days. We have books, of course, and good options everywhere we go. And our charm and good looks and hopefully an endearingly imperfect command of the Spanish language.

I may start singing that German song about my knapsack on my back. We've planned this for over a year. I am just NOW starting to get really excited.


the things that worry me most about international travel

Cat: I don't understand.

Me: It's only a month. We'll be back July 25.

Cat: What are you saying?

Me: Joe's going to housesit. He loves cats. He's going to play with you and cuddle you. He'll be here the whole time.

Cat: What? Wait. What?

Me: (deep sigh) Okay. I'll say it again. Brandon, and I, are going, to backpack through Ecuador for 30 days. We leave at 4am Wednesday.


Me: It's ... see? How beautiful?


Me: It's ... I mean, kayaking and a lot of hiking...

Cat: Maybe you could have mentioned this before???

Me: I just didn't know how to bring it up. I'm so sorry. I'll miss you?


Me: I'll bring you back some small, hard things that you can bat around on the floor!

Cat: (not looking at me) Are there other cats in Ecuador?

(long pause)

Me: There's no way for me to answer that question and not upset you.

Cat: I need to take a nap. IN THE SECRET NAP PLACE.

Bowie's dream

Bowie is eating a slimy bowl of Chicken And Gravy Feast when he hears a strange noise behind him.
Esteban: Buenos Dias, Bowie. Me llamo Esteban. Yo cuidare a tus duenos mientras estan en mi pais.

Bowie: Holy shit.

Esteban: Quise decirte no preocuparte. Las maneras de los humanos son misteriosos. Aunque les encantan pasar tiempo en casa contigo, a veces, les gustan viajar tambien.

Bowie: I'm not even allowed to go outside.

Esteban: Tu barrio es peligroso. Tus duenos no tuvieron dinero para comprar un hogar en un barrio mejor.

Bowie: Who the hell is this Joe guy?

Esteban: Este es Joe:Bowie: ... are you serious?

Esteban: si.

Bowie: are those Crocs?

Esteban: si.

Bowie: Is Joe pretty awesome?

Esteban: Ah, si.

Bowie: Okay.


How To Annoy Me

Give me 11 pages of sides to learn less than 24 hours before my audition.

Make sure that one of those sides is the huge emotional climax of the play.

I'd post more, but suddenly my day got very busy.


ah good. here it is.

I did a little narration for this informative short by Brads Oexeman and Helm (the guy/s I wrote about in that last post). YEARS AGO. BEFORE I WAS IN THE UNION. OKAY?

It turned out pretty hilarious and creepy.

I think you should watch it. Also, it's Safe For Work & Kids, which is amazing.

my latest inspiration

I don't really know this guy too well, (he wrote & animated this thing I posted a while back) (along with another friend) but I am humbly and distantly in love with his pictures, which look like this:

and also like this sometimes

and his writing, which reads like this: (this is a mini-preface to stories written by his cat, Russel)
Brad sits in his room a lot, often drawing pictures and sometimes snacking - maybe on fruit. Occasionally a little paw wedges its way under his door. Under that paw will be a little piece of scratch paper with a written story or investigative report on it. Russel's printing is very legible, but you can tell it takes him a long time to do it because he presses the pencil so hard.
If you have a few moments, I highly recommend you read some of these little stories. That way you can yell at me when I'm clearly ripping off his style in my own writing.

Here is the link to the delightful reading.

If you don't go for the clicking on the linking, I'm just going to reinforce this sentence:
Russel's printing is very legible, but you can tell it takes him a long time to do it because he presses the pencil so hard.

Wait, one more thing.
In addition to really digging his style and aesthetic, I am equally-if-not-more impressed that he just DOES this stuff. Without deadlines or money. He just does it. Damn. Way to go.



I had lunch with a friend today. She's quitting her amazing dream job because her other amazing dream job takes too much of her time and despite her very very best efforts, she just can't work two full-time highly creative jobs.

Sometimes you have to choose between your amazing dream jobs.

Especially if you want to get a day off. Ever.

When you're fighting in a battle, can you ever have a moment of relishing the fact that you're winning?

is it brilliant?

Yes. It is brilliant.
tea_lights_3Recycled teacups made into individual or clusters of lights. Image thanks to and more interesting things at poppytalk.

I'm not entirely at peace with my love of home decor. I know it isn't the most Girl Power of interests to have, but it's sort of an involuntary gut reaction. I can't really help it. I mean, I totally get the name choice of home design/decor blog DesignBoner. At times inappropriate and embarrassing, but undeniable and nonetheless titillating.

Also, debatably biological.

Now pardon me while I go leer at some textiles set in an attractive modern pattern.


voiceover geekdom

OMG, you guys.

I totally had another session with Sue Scott. A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION SUE SCOTT???????

I mean. Just. Whoa. I made some jokes? and she totally laughed at them?

Yup. Me and Sue Scott. Comedy duo. Partners. Buddies. Co-voiceovers. Just a coupla voice-over ladies, workin on a Tuesday morning. Yup.

Sue Scott!!


how I know I'm not making that much progress

eight cookies and a cocktail* are not a real grownup dinner.

*but it was a diet cocktail! Eh?

No. No.


how I know that I'm making progress.

1. I can finally do that thing where you take a wad of napkin/toilet paper and grab a bug and drop it in the toilet. And - even bigger victory - not make a big deal about it.

2. I used to really hate father's day. I had creepy and uncomfortable feelings of jealousy and rage. But I'm pretty over it now.

Strangely, this was the week my dad found my blog. If it wasn't him, it was my stepmother. One of them googled my name, and the one entry where I posted my last name came up. That also happened to be the one entry where I talked about him.

I thought he might be curious, want to know about me and who I am now. So I thought he might read all of my blog. He didn't. According to Sitetracker, the lone visit from South Carolina viewed two pages and lasted about three minutes.

And that was that.

I've always been fascinated with toddlers when they fall down, and then try to decide if they're going to get upset about it. Watching their faces for that split second where they decide to either be devastated or get up and just toddle off. Every now and then you can catch grownups in that decision too.

such a thing

I was lucky enough to be in a reading today of my friend Sharon's new play, Fake Lake, which will be staged in a pool this summer.

It is about this place: Lake Powell, Utah.
Toward the end of the play, my character is lamenting the difficulty of taking a morally ambiguous situation/crisis and making a clear, right choice. She says:
I'm tired of being the source of so much harm. I want to be a good person. I'm trying to be a good person but at this point there may not even be such a thing.
I get that.

I don't think I delivered the line very well because I felt it so much and wanted to tell everyone that I meant it so much. I think I probably said it a little too emphatically for my own taste.

keeping the dust off

My grandmother and aunt do a remarkable job of maintaining a lot of land, property, and the aforementioned glut of STUFF. They have a lot of tricks for doing this, like the kind you read about in Family Circle Magazine or Redbook.

for instance: this way to keep dust off of fans.
consequently I kept finding fans that looked like they were just minutes away from their grisly execution in a remote border town.


maybe this will cheer you up.

I have talked about Barrel of Monkeys. This is from our show Tuesday night.


come on, it'll make you feel better.

it is so sad and bad

I turned the radio station just as Tom Marker was talking about Meet The Press, and I thought, but why does he sound so sad?

Then I thought no, then I yelled no several times in my car.

Then I thought maybe they had just made a mistake.
but I guess they did not.


blog stardom

I check my sitemeter ALL THE TIME. Some might say obsessively.

Do you read www.dooce.com? Do you know of this website? It is unapologetically a personal blog about really mundane things. It just happens to be written beautifully.

Here's the thing: THOUSANNNNDS of people read this woman's blog.

It is now her job and her husband's job too. I mean. YOU GUYS. She is a blog celebrity and won, like, all the web awards for anything ever on the web this year and is pope of blogger or something.

Except she's so much bigger than Blogger.

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii am jealous.

Hooooooowwwwwwwww do I do that? How does one post frequently enough, interestingly enough, with - no seriously! - enough CUTE PICTURES OF ONE'S PET to rake in all these people all over the place? That blog is the American Dream of blogs. It makes me want to send my blog to blog night school. Cause if that lady can do it, shit. So can I. Theoretically. Right?

more not-talking about my wedding

Mostly for Nora, but also what the hell, here is your Token Wedding Photo. Taken underneath one of my grandfather's plum trees. No plums taste like those plums. I ate about 7 gallons' worth.
Another couple was on the airport shuttle with us on our way back to DFW. The guy asked for the Air Mexico terminal. The girl was beautiful, just really beautiful with coordinating accessories and her special luggage tag that said 'Bride' in a flocked jacquard print. They both looked great at 5am the way it's much easier to look great at 5am when you are in your early 20s.

I looked at Brandon and realized, for the first time really, that by Rest Of The World standards, he and I were a little old to be getting married.

I guess there is some implied failure that we weren't ready to marry when we were that young. We are, were, a little behind. We got held back a few years. But I also think it's harder and therefore more triumphant to recognize and overcome your own limitations.


grown up

Over the years, my grandparents' barn and woodshop became less "functioning workshop" and more "storage unit" for the vast amount of STUFF an American Family acquires and outgrows.

One of my jobs last week was to go through this STUFF for my grandmother and sort it out a little, remember what was where, etc.

Before he died, my grandfather had walled in and partitioned off one room in the back of the shop for especially precious treasures. When I opened the door to that room last week, I was confronted with them. Boxes.
and boxes.
and boxes.
Layer after layer, stack after stack. Toys, dolls, puzzles, more toys. And the books, my gosh, just ten-ton box after box marked in my grandfather's careful handwriting: LACYS BOOKS. Over and over and over. In the handwriting of a man who often misspelled whatever he was labeling because he had to quit school.

As I pulled the unending walls of boxes down, I was so astonished. So appalled and so ashamed of this absolute glut of things my sister and I certainly never deserved, bought by people who for years lived in a house with a dirt floor.

And after the 4th or 5th box of books alone, I just stood there and cried. We had so much. They gave us so much. I came out of the dusty shop and found my grandmother and told her now I understood, now I realized how much they did for us. So much. Too much. More than we deserved, more than I deserve now.


success as a filter

Due to legal mumbojumbo, today is officially my wedding day. Don't tell the state of Texas.

I won't talk about whether my wedding was "successful" or not - weddings aren't really interesting to me - but the whole fiasco definitely brought up one of my favorite things to obsess about (and impetuses, impeti, impetesses for this blog) : trying to be a good person.
You know. Being thoughtful and considerate of others.

This is notoriously difficult during an etiquette-engorged thing like a wedding. Etiquette must have been invented as a rulebook to let people say, "You HAVE to like me! I FOLLOWED THE RULES! EVEN IF YOU THINK I'M PRETENTIOUS AND WEIRD! I SENT YOUR FREAKING INVITATION IN TIME, YOU ASSHOLES!"

No wonder I like manners and all that hoopla so much. It's a clearly defined path to make sure that no one has any reason to disapprove of me in any way.

Wow. Gross.

things I hate

doing monologues at season general auditions.

this post could have also been entitled "things I am doing today."


flirting with a law suit

Occasionally I will get emails like this with an apologetic shrug from my agents. It will say, "hey, if you HAPPEN to know anyone..." then this breakdown, or the specs for the type they're casting for.

This one is sort of horrifying and hilarious.
Perhaps if I take out the name of their very popular drug they won't sue my pants.

Male, 49-60yrs. Open on race. An “everyman” Must have had a heart attack and is currently using _________!!!! Still somewhat fit, can do copy (see attached). So, basically if they haven’t had a heart attack over 45yrs, not using ____ and can’t do light physical sports we shouldn’t see them.
What if they just sort of wheeze? Should we send over our wheezers? We have one guy who had chest pains and went to the hospital two years ago, but it turned out to be a false alarm, and another who had a mild seizure. Should we send them over?
I'm not going to nail them for grammar because I know this was written in a hurry, but 'all possible woman' is a great phrase. Hey, have you had a heart attack? Number one we have an audition for you; number two, that's too bad and we hope you're okay.
Obviously this is a difficult thing to cast for. It’s a great booking, please send the email out to your talent.
No shit. I was working at my agency when they booked a guy for a drug commercial and wanted him to seem as authentic as possible, so they did what's called a "complete media buyout" so you wouldn't cry at his cancer survival commercial, then see him hawking Chevys when you changed the channel. I don't know the final figure, but it was around 55k. They essentially paid him not to work. Amazing.
Dude! We get it! Thank you!

explaining what you do to your family.

Other Grandmother: well, now I can ask you what you do. I tell you, I won't understand, but at least I can ask you.

(on our way to my grandmother's house - just outside very-very tiny Gainesville, Texas.)
Sarah: ... so I probably should avoid anything political when talking to your grandmother?
The last time Brandon saw my grandmother, he mentioned that he works with high schoolers. She nodded and said well, naturally they were all in gangs.
So he had to explain: no, actually. But their lives are complicated a great deal by every adult taking one look at them and assuming: naturally they were in a gang.
Me: She's just lived her entire life in this small little town, so she totally believes what she sees on TV.

Sarah: Ugh. Right. And on TV, every minority kid is in a gang, or --

Mom: Oh no no no no no, you don't understand. Gainesville is called "LITTLE GUADALAJARA" around here. The police call it LITTLE GUADALAJARA. Gangs are EVERYWHERE in Gainesville, it's worse than Chicago. They have these horse ranches all around here, with a lot of ... ILLEGALS, and all of them are ---

Me: Hey mom, but I would really appreciate it if we could change the subject.

I am sure all 3 of you will be DELIGHTED to know I'm back.

If you are keeping score: I will try not to drone because this ain't no weddin blog, but It Was Freaking Great and I wouldn't have changed a thing.
Well. Maybe the tornado.

The past week has raised all kinds of questions of home. I've been to so many of my own just in the past few days. Home as identified in various gardens, buildings, towns, states, and in other people.


Phish according to Mom

My mom works at a bank. I recently got a random email regarding my FAFSA and spent a few minutes deciding if it was phishing or not.

Mom: Ooooh. Well here's what you do. Go to the FAFSA website and ask
them if they sent you something or if it was some scammers.

Me: Hmm.

Mom: Listen, THEY ARE GOOD. They copied the bank's website. They're called
"The Russian Mafia."


Why are you laughing at me. It's what the FBI said.



I spent the evening in a lawn chair in my grandparents' yard, loving the summer nights in Texas where I know all the birds and the bugs and the plants.

That was nice.

Internet access is a little more restricted here than I anticipated. Why? Because my grandmother LOVES TO PLAY BRIDGE ON THE COMPUTER. She also LOVES TO TALK TO ME. ALL THE TIME. Often when someone else is already talking to me.
Both these things keep me from spending endless hours on the computer.

My aunt also, inexplicably, really likes to hang out with me and watch me [and the computer screen] really closely while I check my email. Times when you struggle to explain internet etiquette to your family.

Though initially inconvenient... really, this is all nice, too.

So I will probably be a little quiet till next week.
You have fun and I will too.



Another barbecue today.
Gretchen: This is what I love about summer. Sitting outside and eating with friends.

Dixie: My friends in New York joke about how many barbecues we have in Chicago. They're like, 'it's as if you have one EVERY WEEKEND,' and I'm like '... well YES, and I think it is shameful and tragic that you DON'T, where you live.'
It was a lovely afternoon. We talked and drank for longer than any of us really meant to, but all silently, mutually, happily decided that we didn't have anywhere else we had to be. I biked home at dusk with a friend, whizzing up Glenwood Avenue and chatting.

For a moment I looked over at his face as we rode and was amazed by the sight: how his face seemed to be completely still, talking to me very earnestly, while bungalows and condos flew past behind him at astounding speed.

I still have moments of deep insecurity even with close friends I've known for years.
I've learned that that's not a terribly uncommon thing.
I try to keep it in mind.