Friday, September 29, 2006


I've deleted my last blog post. After thinking some more about its content, I feel that I may have crossed a line and said some inappropriate things. Thanks for the positive comments on it, but it just felt wrong to keep it up.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

bananas flambe

So it's not quite finished...which is a problem since it's kinda due tonight. I need more at the end, some of it is clunky. But since I mentioned it earlier, I thought it would be fun to post the dessert scene. Sorry, it's long. For a blog post, that is.

I went with Cicada's suggestion of Bananas Flambe, and actually got the first line of dialogue from the recipe for same.

Constructive criticism is greatly appreciated! Ripping to shreds is mildly appreciated. Ethnic slurs would just be inappropriate, so please avoid those. Thanks.

"Bananas Flambe"

(GUY and GAIL at a restaurant. Server has just delivered their dessert.)

Caution is the rule whenever liquors are ignited.


One must ignite carefully.

I hope the bananas were fully ripe prior to…

[finishing her thought.] Ignition?

[looks up and smiles.] I love you.

[takes GAIL’s hand.] Start your engines.

(GUY picks up fork, GAIL follows. They clink forks and dig in. Beat.)

Love the cinnamon.

Mm hmm. Why ripe bananas?


Why do you hope for fully-ripe bananas?

You mean as opposed to non-ripe bananas?


Oh, well...they’re more satisfying. Better for cooking. There’s a more mature taste to a ripe banana.

But aren’t ripe bananas…mushy?

Soft, yeah. Spongy. And bananas have more nutritional value when they’re fully ripe. [playfully] Helps you grow big and strong!

Okay, but…they’re brown. They’re bruised. They got spots on ‘em.

Sometimes, yeah. But they’re better for you.

I don’t like ripe bananas.

Okay, by themselves, maybe they’re not so great I grant you. They’re not as…I don’t know…tasty. The peel isn’t as firm, I know. You’re eating around the brown spots, etcetera. But in a recipe, like this one…those things don’t matter. In the dessert, you don’t even notice the spots. They’re better to cook with. You get a much better dessert experience. Don’t you think?

[skeptical] Maybe. I’m not sure I really care.

‘Bout what?

I don’t care if it’s ripe or not.

You would if you knew the difference.

I know the difference.

No you don’t.

Sure I do.

If you knew you were eating a non-ripe banana, eventually you’d figure it out.

Yeah. But I’m saying I don’t think it would matter. Ripe, non-ripe…it’s still served with rum. I’m a happy boy!

And I’m saying if you knew how important it was, you’d know it does matter. Rum can give you headaches you know.

[looks right at her.] Oh, I know. Believe me, darling.

I’m just saying. Rum isn’t everything.

But it’s something.

[GAIL looks annoyed.]

Come on! Rum is very important, you know that. It’s the flame component. It’s the flammable. It’s the flambé in Bananas Flambe, for the love of Zeus!

All I said was it wasn’t everything!

But you make it seem as though it means nothing at all, when you know it does.

[laying out her argument] A banana is far more key in this dessert than the rum.

Perhaps. But bananas alone do not a flambé make! You need the rum. This dessert has two words in its title. “Bananas.” “Flambe.” Judging solely from its name, I’d say they are equal in importance.

“Bananas” is first.

You said yourself bananas are nasty on their own.

Ripe bananas! Less tasty, I said.

And I’m agreeing with you!

Okay, I get you like the rum. Yes, rum. Very important. Everyone likes the rum! Yay!

I mean doesn’t it kind of go without saying that rum is the favorite here? Rum’s got nothing to do with it! The rum goes up in flames, it evaporates!

Exactly my point! This is the crucial component of FLAM-BAY!


Actually, it’s not the rum. It’s the fire I like. I like flames. I like that my bananas were once enflamed.

(GAIL forks a big piece of her banana and begins to wave it around during her speech)

Gail…what the…?

Who will stand for the banana?! You obviously won’t. I guess it has to be me.

You want some ice cream? Here. [turns the plate counterclockwise.]

Because I submit to you that were it not for the banana this pathetic, disregarded, underappreciated miserable, so-called mushy mass of pulp for fruit is actually the very corner piece of this dessert! We simply would not be here tonight without it! We are lost! Without it, what do we have? Rum, some fleeting flames, and a little spice! And ice cream! And how long can you live off that? You can only go so long without……………without…………shoot. What’s that thing bananas have?

I’m sorry?

The nutritional thing. What is it?

Gail, can you please put the fork down?

(GAIL stares at the piece of banana on her fork as if it will give her the answer.)

How can you be so obtuse?

All right, what? Do you want me to say that the banana is the most important part of bananas flambé?

Only if you know that that’s the truth.

Well, I’m telling you I’m not sure I do. But if you want me to say it…

Then don’t.


(Several beats. GUY picks up a menu and starts reading.)

Says here they prepared the bananas in a chafing dish.




[takes her hand]. Love the potassium.

[softening] It’s good for you.

[gently] I know.



Thursday, September 21, 2006


When I was 19, I got fired from my first job ever. It was at an LDS bookstore. They fired me because they thought I stole money from the register. Don’t you just love that?

I was a peppy, perky freshman looking for a part-time gig that would work with my class schedule. The bookstore was close to campus, and had an open morning shift that would fit perfectly. Plus, I had a friend already working there in the afternoons to recommend me to the store owner.

The store was owned by a middle-aged married couple, Lorraine and Phil. (names changed). They had owned this store, the only thriving LDS bookstore in the area, for many, many years. Lorraine and Phil lived in another stake, so I had never met them before. But because they adored their employee, my friend, they accepted my application almost sight unseen. A decision, it would seem, they quickly regretted.

I had never held a job before. In high school, I was always occupied with my flourishing extracurricular world, and depended on my parents for financial wherewithal. Once college came, however, that all changed, and now I needed to work.

Phil was hardly ever around the store. The store was Lorraine’s baby. She oversaw absolutely everything. Her daughters and sons-in-law occasionally were brought in to help out, and her only employees outside her family unit were my friend and me. Lorraine was the kind of woman who lived under a constant cloud. A real sourpuss, martyr type. Her voice was soft and wearied. No one ever did things the way she needed them done. Life was nothing but something to endure. Sighing was a favorite pastime. Have you got the picture? I never have lost the irony that such a woman could spend her life selling books and music created solely for the purpose of uplifting the human spirit. By the look of it, it would take a crane and three legions of cherubim to lift Lorraine out of anything.

The Lorraine-Mary combo was one of curious workmanship. Here I am, 19 and truly clueless, with all the innocence and optimism, (read: dingbat) of youth, determined to work hard and make everyone fall in love with me. Here is Lorraine, Queen Poopy Pants of All the Land, ready to die unloved, unappreciated, and determined to prove to Mary that no matter what she hands out, Lorraine will never, ever, like her. Not ever.

Lorraine reluctantly whisked me through about 30 minutes of training, five minutes of which was spent learning how to use the 20 year-old cash register. This register was completely ancient. Didn’t scan bar codes, didn’t calculate tax, didn’t have credit card capabilities. All it did was hold the money and spit out those small little receipts and print out daily sales totals at the end of the day. (More on that later.) Of course, 19 year-old little me was afraid to appear stupid, so very few questions were asked.

I had never worked a register before, and this one was particularly confusing. You had to calculate sales tax on a separate calculator and manually punch it in after hitting a couple buttons in some sort of sequence I could never keep straight. Yet even with all my register struggles, I could never have predicted that this cash register would eventually lead to my tragic, unwarranted, and morally deplorable downfall.

Before long, I grew to dread Lorraine. More than that, I was terrified of her. I never, never, did anything right. I never wanted to ask her questions. She always looked so desperately annoyed every time I opened my mouth, like she was either going to slap me or faint from exhaustion. She’d call every day for a report of my daily activities, and proceed to tell me what I’d done wrong on nearly every point.

After my 30-minute training day, I was left to fend entirely for myself. I’d open the store every morning at 9:00 a.m., and would be there alone until 1:00 p.m. That meant that for 4 hours I alone handled all sales, stocking, shipping and handling, scripture name-branding, etc. In short, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. In retrospect, I can say that this job was a walk, but at the time it wasn’t. I was young, inexperienced, and had received what turned out to be an abysmally inadequate training session. This led to consistent and serious mistakes. Here are a few of them:

Signed and accepted a shipment of items which Lorraine had not ordered; priced them and put them on the shelves for sale, only to have to go through the whole store later, with invoice in hand, pulling said items off the shelf and sending them back.
Ruining three sets of scriptures in the name branding machine, when I put the letters in upside down. Three separate times.
Not knowing how to use the register.
Not knowing how to add sales tax.
Not knowing how to void items from a receipt after I hit “Total.”
Lorraine hates “Voids”, and I was averaging two a day.

It wasn’t long before Lorraine would begin each phone conversation with, “[heavy sigh] what did you do, Mary?” With each new mistake, I became more and more stressed, until one day I devised a brilliant new scheme. I decided not to tell her about anymore of my mistakes.

So one of the mistakes I decided not to tell her about was the time when this guy wanted to not buy this $25.00 book after I had rung up the total. Now, we know from the previous paragraph that I had no idea how to void things correctly. Regardless, that would mean one more void over which Lorraine would hit me with that vicious sigh I loathed so dear. So….I did nothing. I made no note of it. I simply accepted his check minus the cost of the book in question, and went on with my day. I really had no thought for what consequences this would have. I just knew that I couldn’t tell her about one more stinkin’ void.

The next morning, Lorraine calls me at the store:

Me: Good Morning, XXX XXXX Books?
Lorraine: [sigh] Mary, it’s Lorraine.
Me: HI, LORRAINE Everything’s fine!!!!
Lorraine: Mary, [sigh] there was a problem with yesterday’s totals.
Me: Oh really?
Lorraine: We’re about $25 short. Do you have any idea why that is?
Me: [quietl] No.
Lorraine: [sigh]….Are you sure? No problems ringing anything up yesterday? No voids? Nothing?
Me: Mmm..nnyuh huh.
Lorraine: What?
Me: No. Nothing.
Lorraine: [pause]…Okay. Well, the register’s short, and there’s no accounting for it. This is a problem.
Me: Hmmm.
Lorraine: Well, call if anything happens, Mary. And don’t touch the scripture branding machine.
Me: Sure won’t. THANKS, LORRAINE!!!
Lorraine: [Sigh].

It always amazes me every time I think on it, that I preferred lying to this woman than admitting to her my mistake.

The following week, I’m sitting behind the counter listening to Kenneth Cope, reading, when Phil walks into the store. He’s carrying a white envelope in his jacket pocket.

Phil: Hi Mary!
Me: Hi, Phil! It’s been a while!
Phil: Yeah, it’s been pretty busy.
Me: Yeah, I bet.
[Phil takes his time getting up to the counter. Head down. Looks a little preoccupied.]
Phil: So…Mary.
Me: Yeah?
Phil: Mary…..Mary.
Me: [nervous laugh] Yeah?
Phil: Mary…have you ever been canned before?

I’m not making that up.

Phil went on to explain that the store had hit some rough times financially, and they were going to give my shift to their daughter for a while until things got better. He handed me the white envelope which was my pay for the rest of the week, and said I could keep the book I was reading as a gift. Not a few months later, the store moved to a larger location, hired at least two more employees, and they’ve gone on to be enormously successful.

The moral of this story is: I’m okay with people thinking I stole money from their old, ancient, dumb cash register if it means I don’t have to tell Lorraine I had another Void. In fact, I stand by that decision to this very day.


how fun is this?

So my next writing assignment is a goodie. A 10-page, two-person scene. A couple, in a restaurant, on a date, and the server has just delivered their dessert. A negotiation over the dessert ensues; but the negotiation isn't really about the dessert at all. Is that not fun?

So what's the dessert? Any suggestions?


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

a crazy dream of the crazy dream day

Most feminine folk I know occasionally have crazy wedding dreams. Let me tell you about the one I had last night.

First, let me preface this story by saying that every single wedding dream I have is like falling into the nth degree of delirium; it’s like walking into Wal-Mart hopped on LSD. The theme is always the same: utter chaos, confusion, and frustration.

The entire dream takes place at this old church in the middle of what looks like Forgotten and Festering, Missouri. I’m in a really poofy wedding dress. I’m wandering the church looking for a familiar face. The place is packed with screaming, running kids and fast-moving adults in church dress. The building is spilling over with these people rushing around, and not one of them do I recognize. I have bridesmaids in lavender dresses (gross); I know none of them. There’s no one sitting in the chapel. There are no decorations. It’s as if everyone forgot there was a wedding happening, and we’re all running way behind. Everyone keeps talking to me with strained voices like they know me, and actually aren’t all that fond of me.

There are about 78 women packed into the kitchen cooking. I don’t know what else to do, so I start helping them. In my wedding dress. We’re making rigatoni with red sauce in huge silver vats.

Next, far off in the distance, I hear this beautiful organ music playing “Here Comes the Bride.” I remember thinking: well at least we sprung for a really good organist! That sounds fantastic! I race out of the kitchen wondering if I’m supposed to be walking down an aisle right now or something. Indeed, I get there and everyone is standing looking at the door in which I’m now standing. I pause, wondering if I’m just supposed to go. Everyone stares back at me. Ummm…okay I guess I’m supposed to get married now.

I’m walking down the aisle, by myself, with no bouquet, just me in a dress with marinara stains on it, in a very stark chapel with white walls and only gray daylight through the windows to illuminate the “blessed” event. I don’t know my intended husband. Never seen him before. He barely looks at me.

The officiator makes an announcement: “It is a tradition in the Russian Mormon Church to sign separate contracts acknowledging the legal ramifications of the union of marriage.” Hey, is my subconscious mind romantic or what?

Here’s the funny part. Immediately after this announcement I think to myself: Oooohhh! Okay. Now I see. I’m in a Russian Mormon Church in Missouri. I don’t even know what that is. That’s why nothing makes sense to me right now. Cool. I’m good now.

When I awoke my first thought was: I have got to post this.


Friday, September 15, 2006

love and stuff so

The following chat reveals a few highly important items of note:

1. Sometimes girls will share emails they receive from boys they date with their girlfriends. Be advised.
2. Very good information here for guys wanting to make up for stupid things they say to women. Be advised.
3. I am such a sucker for tales of young love. Be afraid.

Mary’s Friend: Dude. [Boy] and I are really good for each other. I realized like the only things I don't like about him are shallow: his speaking voice, not being able to sing, and being skinny. Only 3 things. Not bad.
me: hahahaaa! you are hilarious. i think you're really good for
him. i think he becomes more himself every day because of you. i don't mean that to sound as if you're not getting anything positive out of it. you obviously are.
Mary’s Friend: haha. Yes, I know.
me: i love that you get all excited about him.
Mary’s Friend: haha
me: and he is very kind to you.
Mary’s Friend: He TOTALLY is!
me: yeah. i'm just saying, you're kinda making him into a man. and that’s awesome.
Mary’s Friend: He actually said that!
me: really? that's too creepy.
Mary’s Friend: He said: "the things that i
found unnatural to do before, just come so naturally... i guess i just needed someone to inspire me to do them..." So, not in so many words, but the same idea.
me: that's soooo cool that he said that! i love it!!!
Mary’s Friend: I know... he's so cute.
me: yaaaaay!
Mary’s Friend: And I should forward this email to you that he sent me.
me: oh yeah?

[Mary’s Friend sends email.]

Mary’s Friend: You got it?
me: kay, got it. reading...

[I read one of the sweetest emails I’ve ever read to a pretty girl from a smitten boy who sort of put his foot in his mouth the night before, and thought of something nice to say to make up for it.]

me: q3[4 9ttu 2q[05 9ua4v!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! oh my gosh oh my gosh oh my gosh!!! i love it!
Mary’s Friend: haha Isn't it sweet? It's perfect for me.
me: his finishing with "You're beautiful." is absolute genius. Gold stars for that.
Mary’s Friend: Exactly what I needed. Haha!
me: guys should just know that every email needs to end with "you are beautiful". every time. it never gets old.
Mary’s Friend: I know! That would be SO awesome! Thanks for lettin' me gush. You're a gem.
me: please. i live for this crap. i should be thanking you.


Thursday, September 14, 2006


It really came down to the night before, my decision on whether to take screenwriting or playwriting classes this semester. First, a lot of noise had to be cut out of my head to find the answer; finding the quiet took much longer than I thought it would. After several days, finally, and very discreetly, there she was: the calm assurance of the right thing to do, about 12 hours before I needed to do it. Of course, I really didn’t get the full feeling of confirmation until last night, sitting there with ten other students, going around the table discussing the assignments we would be doing that semester. Suddenly I felt exhilarated and completely happy. I knew I’d chosen right.

Our professor is the all-too-familiar whack-job I’ve grown so accustomed to in all my theater classes throughout my life. She is a protégé and friend of David Mamet, and quite the character. She has the neuroses of a mad queen, and the ear of a goddess for dialogue and good storyline. She wears bright red frames on her lenses, splashed with a little dark blue, and wears her silver hair military short. Loose, comfortable, all black clothing. Also, she’s insane. Also, I’m under the suspicion she has psychic gifts.

She had us go around the table and say what our favorite play was (not an easy thing to answer). I replied with what play I happen to be reading now: A Man for All Seasons. (Everyone has to read this play, or rent the movie. Seriously. Go now. This post isn’t going anywhere.) She asked why I liked it so much. All I said was the structure and language of it was as close to perfect as I could find in late 20th century western playwriting. She then blew me away with her reply. She agreed that A Man for All Seasons was one of the best written plays ever. But then she went on to say that I need to be careful about writing an historical play because of all the research and responsibility it involves. She also warned me against using themes that are too “preachy.” I personally would not have presumed so much simply because a student happens to be reading an historical, perhaps construed as “preachy”, play. But the offense of her inferences is usurped by the fact that she’s totally spot on. I admitted that my play idea does have some historical dependencies, and that if I wasn’t careful with the writing, it might be seen as a dramatized sermon. Pretty creepy. I asked if she could read my palm next.

I’m a gut-feeling kinda gal, and the atmosphere last night made me giddy. By December, I am turning in the first full-length draft of my first play ever. This morning, reading my scriptures, ideas for the play kept popping into my head. I’d have to stop reading and jot them down in my notebook, just so I could go back to reading!

This is gonna be good, folks. Not the play, necessarily, but the ride ahead.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

a lesson in assertive communication

This morning my boss and I are going over some items of business:

Boss: And where are we with “Director of Something on Campus” about
“Certain Project”?

Me: Ball’s in his court. I sent him my stuff, he said he and “Subordinate of Director” would review it and call me to set up a meeting.

Boss: When did you send it to him?

Me: Maybe a month ago?

Boss: Will you follow up please and ask him the status?

Me: Yep.

I send “Director of Something” an email and copy Boss:

Hi “Director”! I’m following up with you regarding “Certain Project”. My recollection is that you and “Subordinate” were to “do some stuff with the stuff I sent you”. After your review of “stuff”, I believe you were going to get back to me with a proposed time to meet? I know "Boss" is anxious to get started, so if I’ve dropped the ball here I apologize. Where are we with this? Mary

Not a minute after I send this off, Boss comes into my office and shuts the door. She opens her mouth to say something, but hesitates. She’s thinking about it…she’s looking up at the sky to see the words to use…and then says:

Boss: A lesson in Assertive Communication 101 for you…

Me: Oh boy…

Boss: You know you did not drop the ball on this one. I need you to be more assertive on this.

Me: [sigh] Yeah, okay.

Boss: I know that “Director of Something” is far more likely to drop balls than you are, but your taking the wishy-washy approach doesn’t help me prove that.

Me: Right. Sorry.

Boss: Don’t be sorry! Stop being a girl! Girls are sooo good at saying “sorry”,
almost as if they have to in order to the fill the gaps in conversation! It’s a girl thing to do! Don’t be a girl!!!

[I look at her sheepishly.]

This isn’t a scolding, Mary. I say this to you because you’re smart and I care about you and you’re going places. Do you have the last email you sent “Director of Something” where you confirmed that the ball was in his court?

Me: Yes.

Boss: Send that to him again. Copy me. Tell him you’re following up from this email of such-and-such date.

Me: Okay.

Boss: Don’t be a girl! Be a woman! Not a girl!

Boss comes in five minutes later with a two-page article for me entitled: “Communication with Conviction” by Dave Jensen of dated 21 November 2003. She’s highlighted the following excerpt for me: “Do women have any unique communication issues that can affect their career progress?” Then later in bold face, it reads: Stop saying “I’m sorry.” Women apologize much more frequently than men, even when they haven’t done anything wrong.

My take-away: My boss is a strong woman who has had to kick a few keysters to get where she is; and no doubt about it she deserves the respect she most certainly has from her colleagues. But this is not a gender issue; this is a communication issue. It is something that both men and women have to develop. One commenter wrote “avoid the extremes, either too confrontational or too soft.” I agree. Isn’t that true for everyone though?

Now that I'm really thinking about it, I do see my own fetish with assuming blame before others have the chance to assign it to me, even when I know it’s not mine to own. Somehow I think this will “soften hearts” and set an example of openness; it will take people off the defensive if I don’t accuse or insinuate. I’ve seen this tactic work most effectively with other women, perhaps because it is a familiar strategy to us and, like a friendly game of Candy Land, we are happy to follow the rules we all know and love. But as far as communicating with men, I have to say it’s probably had less effective results. Perhaps what all my so-called humble, misplaced admissions do for men, in general, is send the message that I can be easily undermined, I will take the blame for everything if you want me to, and above all I am not one to be taken seriously.

The more I think on it, the more I begin to see evidence of this propensity with nearly all men, not just in the workplace. Holy crap! Maybe that’s what I’m doing wrong!

Peggy always tells me she has seen me make no bones about calling out any woman I love on her crap whenever I see her undermine herself or do something that stands in her way of happiness. I never mince words when I see one of my girls in trouble, or if she’s done something unfair to me and I need to set it right. I am not afraid to speak confidently with women. I am not so with men. (unless, of course, he happens to be homeless.)

HOWEVER, I still think this is a communication issue, not a gender issue. And that is so not a contradiction. I have imposed this disparity on myself based on painful experiences and personal choices. I blame myself for this, and rightly so this time! (Ironic, isn’t it?) My communication style with men is different from that with women because I choose to make it different, that doesn't make it a gender issue - - just Mary-is-a-little-screwy issue. Men aren't asking me to be spineless. To the contrary I’m sure!!!

Man. I have GOT to figure this out already. Quite the day for startling self-revelation! I need a Diet Coke.

Thursday, September 07, 2006 screenwriting after all. oh wait, yes screenwriting. wait...gah!

This is another example of what happens when you don’t at least glance outside the box for half a second because you’re a stinkin’ chicken face.

I’m filling out my registration form for my screenwriting stuff when I notice this whole paragraph thing about tuition reimbursement.

Let me back up a sec. When I was first hired here, I was told that two of my employee benefits are 1) a ridiculously low salary, like way below the private sector, like based on what you make, people may wonder whether you graduated high school…or have a pulse…and 2) tuition reimbursement for up to 8 credits a semester; it’s all on the College. I could write a completely separate post about why I took this job, but we’ll cut to the end, which you already know, which is that I did take the job, and now I’m trying to cash in on my 2) benefit by enrolling in screenwriting classes.

Okay, where was I? Ah yes. I’m filling out my registration form for my screenwriting stuff when I read on the back of said registration form that 25% of tuition is due upon registration, thereafter to be reimbursed at the end of the year. Huh. Never saw that before. HR never ran that bit of info by me previously. Well, how much is 25%? $810.00? Well, nifty. I sat there silent for a few minutes trying to figure out if there was still some way to take the classes even though $810.00 is not even in my savings account right now, I don’t own a credit card, and prostitution totally lost its appeal after undergrad. (Sorry you had to find out this way, Mom.) Nope. No way, no how.

I put the form in the trash and got back to work. Gradually the disappointment of it began its festering, to the point where I finally went online and tried to find one class that might be feasible, instead of a whole 1-year program. I really would like to learn to write well, and if my 2) benefit is really of no benefit at all to me, then that leaves me with just Benefit #1 (see third paragraph), which would make me Grade A Chump for sticking around this place. And that’s a hard reality. So yes, disappointment was indeed setting in.

I found a Wednesday night playwriting class. I bet I could do that. I’ll do that. I call up the department and find out that there are three slots left, and I can register next week for it and pay nothing at all. Hmm….so apparently this is the class HR was talking about when they were telling me about 2) benefit. The other classes didn’t count. Fine. Whatever.

I told myself this change of plan was probably the better option than the screenwriting program. It’s only one night a week, it’s totally free, and the strongest idea for a story I’ve got right now has to be a play and wouldn’t work as a movie anyway. It’s perfect! Probably meant to be.

Or not. I get a call this morning from the screenwriting people asking if I’m still planning to enroll. I tell them no, and I tell them why. And then they tell me that I was reading the wrong information on the registration form. They tell me I was reading the tuition reimbursement plan for other non-College working professionals. If I’m a full time employee of the College I still pay nothing, not even the registration fee. I can take the screenwriting classes after all.

Could all this confusion been avoided if I had picked up the phone and asked for clarification about the tuition reimbursement for College employees? I think we can all agree on a yes for that. Why didn’t I? It’s very simple: if some force outside my sphere of control clamps down and chokes my chance to learn how to write then it must mean that I should not be learning to write, that I have no talent for such things, and I may as well not even try. If my power to choose is taken from me, then the path of least resistance becomes my only option. I can run away from the challenge guilt free. I know...sooooo chicken face.

But, oh no. Instead, all has now been clarified. I can still take the classes for no cost. All I have to do is get the form from HR and be on my way. Get the form from HR…hmm…get the form. I wonder if I get hit by a bus en route to HR? Now that would be a very good sign. Definitely no writing going on then. Cross fingers!!!

Seriously, what should I do? The playwriting class which feels much more manageable, but also more on point? Or do I push it and go for the screenwriting 1-year commitment and hope I come up with a good movie script idea in the next week?

fighting with the homeless

I’m walking park side down Tremont street on my way into work yesterday, when I see this Homeless Guy (HG) coming my direction, dirty Styrofoam cup in hand, waving it at every passerby. He’s tall and thin, missing his two front teeth, sallow skinned, and his manner, well….boisterous? I see him heading for me next. I put my head down but continue my course.

HG: Hey…hey lady. Can you gimme a dollar? I gotta git home, they won’t let me on the T. This cop he came up and BOOM pounds his arms into my chest, tells me to git out, they won’t let me on. I got 25 cents. I just need a dollar, I gotta git home and git to my clinic. You see this? [points to a cut on his hand.] I gotta git this bandaged up, I gotta git home.

Me: Where’s home?

HG: [stops short and looks confused] Uh…Cambridge.

Me: You live in Cambridge?

HG: Yeah! Gimme a dollar! Please?

Me: You could walk to Cambridge! I do it all the time.

HG: Aww man, I ain’t walking to no Cambridge! My feet hurt!

Me: [looking down] You’re wearing tennis shoes!

HG: I ain’t played no tennis!

Me: Whatever…gym shoes. Those are good shoes, I bet they’ve got great arch support.

HG: Aww man.

Me: Save your money and walk to Cambridge, dude. It’s not that far.

HG: Lady, just gimme a dollar! Please?

Me: You’re not gonna use it for the T.

HG: [stunned, as if I’ve stabbed him the heart.] I can’t believe you just said that. I’m clean, aight? I don’t smoke crack…

Me: …I didn’t say you did!

HG: No, I know. But I’m just saying like…what else am I gonna do with a dollar? I can’t git stuff with a dumb-a** dollar.

Me: I know that. I need to cross the street now.

HG: No wait,…you’re really beautiful.

Me: Oh, gag me! You just want my dollar and now you’re trying to sweet talk me into it? Get real.

HG: No, I’m being serious. You’re really nice. Please help me out?

Me: [stopped at the crosswalk, reaching for my wallet.] I don’t think I even have a dollar.

HG: Change? Anything.

Me: I can’t give you pennies; that’s insulting.

HG: If you got change, I’ll take it.

Me: I have 30 cents.

HG: Thank you. Thank you. You have yourself a nice day. And you really are beautiful. For real. I appreciate it…

Me: [crossing the street] yeah…yeah…get on the T already. Good luck. Try walking next time.

HG: [yelling across Tremont traffic and pointing at me] You for real! You for real!!!

Me: [pointing back] YOU BET I AM!!! YOU BET I AM!!!

[We both laugh. But probably for different reasons.]

The End


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]