MySpace Blogs July 2006

Monday, July 03, 2006

mission accomplished
Category: Life


The man behind the counter looked at the two them and before he cracked up laughing he said, “Your fourth of July weekend sucks!”

The Huz and the Parakeet were in Home Depot on Sunday renting a buffer to clean their hardwood floors.  They rent, but they are starting to feel that the level of disgusting may not entirely be the landlord’s fault. While they were at it, they crossed the street to Cub Foods and rented a steamer for the upholstery. They were on a cleaning mission.

Sunday was drizzly and gray and the Russells didn’t get up at the crack of dawn by any means.  Neither of them are slobs or neat freaks.  They live somewhere in the middle and usually the same somewhere in the middle. So, cleaning is not often a topic for disagreement or argument. If anything, they wait each other out on the chores.  Lately, though, it has been a little out of hand. The messiness began to stress the Parakeet.  When she’s very busy, it doesn’t help to come home to messiness. But it’s not the Huz’s job, alone, to clean the apartment.

So…in anticipation of lots of Summer company and out of necessity, they did a Spring cleaning in July.

The Parakeet wiped down baseboards and vacuumed furniture. The Huz cleaned windowsills and buffed floors.  While a miracle did not occur in Logan Square, the place sure smells better and is a bit shinier.  It’s nice to sit in the living room this way. 

Since they didn’t start early, they were plugging away, sweating and straightening until 10PM.  Crazy, kind of boring, way to spend one day of the Holiday weekend, but strangely rewarding.

ahhh….a clean house.


Friday, July 07, 2006

Happy 4th


Monday morning the Huz and the Parakeet woke up quite early and got on the blue line together.  The Huz did not have to go to work.  The Parakeet had to go in for an hour. To ensure that the day was only an hour, the Huz came along. Who is going to make you keep working when your Huz is standing there waiting for breakfast? No one, I tell you. No one with a heart.

The plan was flawless and they left the office just after eight. They ate breakfast and began a mission, a project, an adventure.  They returned two forms of cleaning equipment.  They took out some cash. They checked the mail. They bought the dog some spray for his ailing paw. Poor guy. In short, they ran errands. The adventure began when they wanted those pesky Museum passports from the public library. A secret is about to be revealed: if you live in Chicago and have a library card, you can go to the museums for free. Catch: there has to be a pass available.  The Huz and the Keet wanted to stock up for the parent’s visit and they didn’t want to go to the DuSable museum which seemed to be all that was available. After calling thirteen libraries (no lie), they raced down to the Vibe and sped over to Uptown (where apparently no one has been let in on the secret). They were able to snag  both the Planetarium pass AND the Field Museum pass. No, you can not see the King Tut exhibit with this pass – you just get general admission.


They did indeed find the Golden Ticket.


Saturday, July 08, 2006

Category: Sports


The Parakeet was attacked by allergies half-way through last night’s show. She had to hold in a sneeze which sort of jolted her entire body and interrupted choreography down stage center. Subtle as a bulldozer.  She was congested the rest of the evening, but managed to get through all the songs.  Who knows what did it?

This morning it was worse. Itchy eyes, headache, phlegm. She took Claritin-D. She was meeting a friend at 8:30 for a yoga class and breakfast.  Part way through the ride, the medicine kicked in.  The yoga class had a substitute teacher who was wonderful, better than the usual teacher even. She was soothing and helpful. 

The Parakeet left Yoga and got coffee and ended up talking with her friend for two hours. She feels taller, refreshed and awake. Could this be a Saturday routine? I mean who would have thought just getting up and moving would start a day so well……


Monday, July 10, 2006

Category: Jobs, Work, Careers


The Parakeet, after she raved to the internet about how refreshed she felt, skipped lunch and biked to the theater on Saturday. The sun beat down on her white arms and it felt great.  Only fifteen minutes into the show, she stared at her scene partner, realizing it was her line, but doing nothing. She eventually spoke up, but it was bobbled. This happened again – two scenes later – and the Parakeet admitted “I don’t feel good”.  In her two minutes off stage, she swallowed a piece of chocolate and a starburst convinced it was low blood sugar. She had an overwhelming desire to sit down and nearly zero concentration.

In one of the zanier sections of the show a man in a dress wearing a blue wig puts a veil on the Parakeet (disguised as Electronic Baby).  He puts the veil on backwards so she can not see. The moment he did this and darkness surrounded her, she wobbled. Literally.  Physically. She thought she would faint. The Parakeet has never fainted and she didn’t want her first time to be in front of an audience. No matter what size it was.

She didn’t fall, but she fumbled through the next song and had most definitely scared herself.  She leaked tears after her exit and could hardly wipe them away before her next scene – where a doctor wearing antlers and a hunting vest worked cleaning her face up into his “schpeal”.  You curious about this play yet?

Lesson learned: Do not spend three hours in the sun, choose not to eat, and then expect yourself to sing and dance under lights.

Sing and Dance at home. Alone. Preferably into a ‘hairbrush-microphone’


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

routine or rout or oh…whatever
Category: Jobs, Work, Careers


The Parakeet skipped out of work as quickly as possible.  She put on makeup and earrings. She switched from flats to heels. It was possible that she almost looked her age. She rode the Red Line north to her appointment.  She signed in, filled out a form with her most personal info – name, address, representation (no measurements this time).  They called her name and she walked into the room. She sat in a chair across from three smiling white faces.  She read her Scene with a reader. Once. No directions or questions just a “Thank you, Good Job, Nice to Meet you.”

The Parakeet left strangely calm. It really is becoming routine after years of the same. She waited on the bus. In the rain. She switched to the el and managed, in an act of God, to avoid the Smoke-filled catastrophe causing Blue Line she normally would have taken home.

Sometimes a plain old audition is JUST FINE


Thursday, July 13, 2006

trying not to have a giggle fit or reach for her inhaler
Category: Jobs, Work, Careers


“Buy 400”
“Sara, just do it! Come on.”
“bought 400 – filled.”
“Buy 400 more.”
“Oh my God. 400 more – you’re filled.”
“Buy 400 more.”
“bought you 400 more. checking 1200 all day.”
“you bought 1200 all day!”

How did this ever happen to her, the one with a BFA in Acting? How? How?


Monday, July 17, 2006

fifty years ago?
Category: Life


Yesterday, the Parakeet and the Huz pried themselves out of bed at eleven. They left the air-conditioned bedroom to discover the rest of the house (and Chicago) was stifling hot.  After inviting over a dear friend, grilling and eating too many hot dogs and hamburgers…it was still way too hot in their apt. They discussed going to a movie, maybe just driving around in the car and finally settled on getting HUGE Diet Cokes and sitting at the Huz’ workplace. They did just that. They got ginormous sodas and sat in the air-conditioned office chatting for a couple hours before returning home as the sun was setting and the apartment was bearable.

The Parakeet’s boss asked how her weekend was. She replied, “fine. Hot. We actually went to John’s work to just sit in the A/C for a while yesterday.”  He gave her a confused look, smiled and said “You guys are so 1950s”.



Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Category: Friends


The Parakeet has reached a new phase in her life, or rather her friends and aquaintances have. She has attended two baby showers in the past month, been unable to attend two others, and has one this coming weekend.

She thought this time of her life would still be filled with wedding invitations. This is a different kind of excitement and congratulations. It’s a Congratulations laced with now-I-can’t-call-you-after-nine and You’ll-probably-need-a-sitter before we can hang out again bitter tinge.

Honestly, though, she is so excited to greet the new bundles of joy and she found it surprisingly fun to shop for tiny little socks and bibs and onesies.  It occured to her as she wandered among the baby clothes that a few more of us should wear onesies (not just the babies)…especially with silly puns written across the chest like “check out my crib”. 


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

what the?
Category: Life


Ahh, the city.
Today the Parakeet was riding home down Logan Blvd and she saw coming into her vision a shirtless man.
This shirtless man was funny because he was wearing red corduroys cut off below the knee, a black belt with shiny studs, and a black “newsboy” type hat turned backwards. He was also talking on a cell phone and wheeling a hard gray suitcase. Oh, and his shoes, they might have been green.
Most importantly, he thought nothing of his attire or his cumbersome accessory. You could just tell. In fact, it seemed he thought he was “hot stuff”.  The kind that sets you aflame.

If you have to share your space with a million people or so, it’s nice that they’re interesting.


Friday, July 21, 2006

sad times
Category: Fashion, Style, Shopping


The Parakeet trudged up the back stairs of her apartment. She didn’t need to turn a light on exactly. It was the fourth load of laundry she’d brought up that night and it would be the last. She was glad the sun had set because it wasn’t so muggy and she was glad to be completing the folding of the clothes before nine. There may be time to relax in front of a movie. She thought about all of these things as she stepped one step at a time. Her Dansko clogs, a gift from her mother-in-law, firm on each step.  The basket clung to her hip just so because it was made to do that- and she turned sideways to step onto her landing.  She brushed the metal gate that hangs with no purpose at the top of the stairs. It is flimsy and old and might hold a dog prisoner, but is certainly not a measure of security.  She felt something catch but kept walking.
The Parakeet looked down. It was true. Her jeans had caught on the stupid, useless excuse for a fence.  And there was now a hole in them just above the ankle, almost to the calf. A small hole, to be sure, but a hole nonetheless and one that was bound to grow larger and larger.
She felt anger rise from her gut. She dropped the basket of laundry down hard in front of the Huz who was sitting on the couch engrossed in some WB show called “Supernatural”.
“What? What’s wrong?” He sat up worried.
“My jeans. There’s a hole! They caught on that stupid metal thing on the porch.”
“Oh.” He looked back to the tv.
“Well, they will fray. That’s what denim does. It will look cool.”
The Parakeet walked back to the bedroom fuming inside. Didn’t he remember it had taken four shopping trips and three weeks to find jeans that fit? That she had taken them to be hemmed? That just this morning he said her butt looked so good in them it didn’t matter what she did or said? These aren’t just any jeans.
The Parakeet may put a little patch on these jeans. Or she may begin another quest. A Denim Quest. Regardless, she will begin getting into pajamas before starting chores, lest fate attempt to strike again, and she will try to remember that lots of horrible things are going on in the world and this is, after all, not one of them.


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Category: Jobs, Work, Careers


The Parakeet started performing at age 10ish.  She hung out with adults, sometimes missed school and got to be on stage. She loved it.  So much that she continued to study acting in highschool and college and moved to Chicago to begin a career in the theater. 

For more than fifteen years now, she has understood PPD: post-play depression. It may have been her mother that coined the phrase. There is a bit of a let-down when every play closes. Even when you wanted that day to come.  At ten, the let-down was much more pronounced and upsetting. Now it is just how things go.

Excited for two weeks between projects to enjoy summer with the Huz, the Parakeet didn’t have too many sad feelings about saying good-bye to Electronic Baby. Consistent house sizes of less than ten aren’t hard to leave either.

On Sunday, though, when she least expected it PPD reared it’s ugly head. The Parakeet thought she had anticipated his coming; she planned a weekend full of activities.  But Sunday night arrived and there was a listlessness that overtook her.  The Huz recognizes this and reacts with varying degrees of sympathy.  The good news is that it only lasted one evening and it’s been a great week so far. 

Someone who studies psychology spoke with someone else in the cast of the Parakeet’s last show and explained that it isn’t healthy for people to do this type of thing. It’s not healthy to form close bonds with people, open up to them, and then end the project and leave them behind. Just another confirmation of how strange it really is to be an actor. 


Thursday, July 27, 2006

common conundrum
Category: Movies, TV, Celebrities


The Huz and the Parakeet are working their way through the Deadwood series courtesy of Netflix.  It’s real good.
They try to set Wednesday nights aside just for each other.  Last night, they were going to watch the first disc of Season 2. Very exciting, marriage. I mean, seriously.
Anyway, they had dinner and went to the gym and biked home exhausted. After downing lots of water, they settled in on the couch for the evening’s entertainment.   As the opening song was playing, the Parakeet’s cell phone rang.
This is a common connundrum for any at-home movie watcher. Do you stop the movie to answer the phone? The Parakeet paused the DVD and answered the ‘ring-bop’ tone.  The Huz gave her a stare, but he looked content. It was a close friend who was preparing for the same ridiculous audition as the Parakeet.  They briefly discussed their options.  A poem is involved.  Her friend began to read the poem aloud. 
The Parakeet interrupted, “Well, we just put in a movie….”
The friend answered in an understanding and joking way, “Oh, so you don’t want me to read a poem to you on the phone. Is that what you mean? Tell John ‘Hi’ and have a good night. I’ll talk to you guys later.”
The Parakeet laughed and snuggled back into her crook of the couch for two hours of vulgar, intelligent, gripping entertainment.  When there are so many things that divide us, it’s nice we can be united in our understanding of how hard it is to interrupt a movie for a telephone call. 


Friday, July 28, 2006

flash – back
Category: Fashion, Style, Shopping


Yesterday, the Parakeet was coming up the escalator from the el into her neighborhood. A young man was walking down the stairs next to her.
His hair was longer in the back than on the sides and sort of artfully matted to his head in a way that made you wonder if it wasn’t still just wet from a shower. The sleeves of his bright tye-dyed t-shirt were cut off and he wore a Vans style shoe that ensured somewhere in his little apartment a skateboard lay waiting for him. His shorts were black and of the variety that should have clung to his skin, but he was so thin that his legs poked out like toothpicks from the knee down. 
There was something so familiar about his casual ‘retro’ garb that the Parakeet stared and with all her strength refrained from saying, “Hey, I think I know you. We played on the jungle-gym at school when we were, I don’t know, seven or eight. And you’re still wearing the same outfit!”


Monday, July 31, 2006

Holding Breath…
Category: Goals, Plans, Hopes


The Huz and the Parakeet think they want to move. They are looking in neighborhoods closer to where the Huz works.  It’s not that they don’t love that their bedroom ceiling may fall on their heads or that the kitchen sink’s faucet groans or that their refrigerator is literally 60 years old…’s just, maybe, time to live a bit closer to where they end up hanging out all the time anyway.
They are learning quickly, however, that you get what you pay for and that all the aforementioned gripes are why their apartment is so cheap. Awash in the kind of disappointment and disillusionment that shows itself only when you realize you can’t afford what you want – the Parakeet and the Huz went to bed Friday.  Oh, and it was really hot.
Good news is they have two very promising appointments this evening. Hopefully ginormous affordable places that love dogs and are close to the el. We’ll see….
Until then: Location, Location, Location!




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