Okay, I've done a few New Things this week that don't really merit their own full posts, so I'm writing them all up together here. Consider it a New Thing Medley.
New Thing #24: I learned how to create inviso-text on my blog (thanks to my new BFF Bonnie). Now that I know this extra-special HTML trick, I can use it whenever I want to say something spoiler-ish--something that some people might want to know, but which other people would kill me for ruining for them. For example, I have lots of friends in high places and I just happen to know some major secrets about some major television shows. Which I am going to share with you right now. If you don't want to know these secrets, DO NOT HIGHLIGHT THEM by holding your left mousekey down and scrolling over the "invisible" words. However, if you think it's fun to know things before other people, have fun with these choice secrets...
The name of the winner of Survivor: Panama -- Exile Island is...
Oh my gosh, do you really think I know the winner of the next edition of Survivor??? And if I DID know, do you really think I would want to ruin things for you by letting the cat out of the bag??? And did you really want to spoil the whole show for yourself by reading this spoiler?!>?@?? What's wrong with you??? Why would you want to ruin everyone's fun??? I don't want to know the winner until Jeff Probst tallies the votes for me live before a studio audience (taped earlier that day). If you hate Survivor, please keep it to yourself. I will not stand for any Survivor hating in my comment section. When this show is good, it has me screaming at my television set, and when it's bad, it has me screaming at my television set. And when it's middle of the road, it has me ogling Jeff Probst and talking about how cute he is. Nothing wrong with that.
The secret twist we're going to find out at the end of this season of Lost is...
Again, do you really think I know this? I'm starting to feel like THE WRITERS of the show don't even know this, but I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt because Lost rocks, and besides, it's okay for them to figure things out story-wise as they move forward, as long as they have certain moments they're aiming for, and I presume they do. However, they did say in an interview recently that they're never going to reveal what the numbers mean, which worries and upsets me, but hopefully that's all smokescreen.
And, finally, the winner of this season's American Idol is...
Kelly Clarkson. (Okay, I had to come back and edit this, or comment on it, at least, because what was I even thinking when I wrote this? This isn't funny. Um, Kelly Clarkson is my punchline? What's up with that? There's nothing even remotely funny here. Kelly Clarkson is not a punchline--she's awesome. Maybe that's the joke? That I love her music so much? That "Since U Been Gone" is one of my favorite songs in a long time? I dunno. Anyway.)
That was fun! Thank for the HTML lesson, Bonnie!
Okay, moving on...
New Thing #25: I had the lamb at Indian Food. Now, I know you probably just read that and you were like, "there's something gramatically wrong with that sentence," but there's nothing gramatically wrong with that sentence thank-you-very-much because my favorite Indian food restaurant is this cheap, fast-food Indian joint in a non-descript strip mall and the restaurant is called, succinctly, Indian Food. No bells and whistles here. Just damn good food. Indian Food is a couple of blocks away from my writing partner's house and I eat there all the time. (Jessica is allergic to Indian food so when I eat at Indian Food she gets lunch somewhere else.)
The reason "I had lamb at Indian Food" is a New Thing is because I am a creature of habit. I have probably eaten at Indian Food at least 200 times. (Other things I have done at least 200 times include watching Back to the Future, cursing the gods for not helping me get cast on the latest edition of Survivor, and pooping.) And of those 200 times I have eaten Indian food at Indian Food, I have always had the Chicken Tikka Masala. Chicken Tikka Masala is my favorite Indian dish, and I've never deviated from ordering it when eating at Indian Food. However, the other day, in the spirit of My Year of New Things, I decided to order the lamb curry. And you know what? It was fucking good.
New Thing #26: I saw a play on South Coast Rep's new Argyros Stage. (The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler by Jeff Whitty.)
I used to see everything at SCR. My childhood home is a few blocks away and I practically grew up there. (At SCR, not at my childhood home.) (Well, I guess I actually grew up at my childhood home and I practically grew up at SCR.)
I started taking acting classes at SCR when I was ten, which got me out of my shell and led to me acting in high school, which helped me make friends at school after years of being that loner kid who had no one to play with and who walked from point A to point B during recess in an attempt to look like I was busy and was "going somewhere." I continued acting in plays at SCR through the end of high school. All of this acting in plays eventually led to me writing plays, and bada boom, bada bing, here I am. (Thank you, SCR.) I wonder if I had never taken that first acting class at SCR when I was ten-years-old if I would have still turned become a writer or if I would have become an accountant or a tax collector or an octegenarian or something like that.
Anyway, the point is, I used to see everything at SCR, and then they did this massive remodel a few years ago, adding a new theater space for workshops and revamping their Second Stage (thrust) into the Argyros Stage (proscenium), and I've seen several shows on the Mainstage since the remodel, but before Friday night, I hadn't seen anything on the Argyros Stage.
Maybe I had been avoiding the Argyros Stage because I am a creature of habit who hates change, especially change involving things from my childhood which I'm nostolgic about. When I was a kid, I acted on the Second Stage many many times and it's strange to go to SCR and see an entirely different stage sitting where the Second Stage used to be. Progress happens. But even though the Argyros Stage is a beautiful space, I still miss the stage I used to act on.
The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler featured my friend Kate Mulligan, which was a treat because I always love watching her onstage. I acted in a production of Mephisto at The Actors' Gang with Kate back in 2001 and there was this one scene in Mephisto that I will never forget. Kate stole the show in this scene. It started out very funny (Kate's character was performing in a clown show mocking Hitler and plotting a massive extermination of all telephones) (the scene was gobs funnier than that lame description I just gave it), but by the end of the scene Kate had achieved this level of pathos and sadness that was overwhelming and had you in tears.
Every night, all of the actors who were not in the scene would gather around in the wings (which, due to the configuration of the theater, were actually in the balcony) to watch. As the scene approached, you could feel this vibe in the dressing room...we all knew we were just a few minutes away from watching something great. Then we'd hear the cue and we'd all rush out to the balcony to witness Kate work her magic.
The play ran for three months and we all gathered around to watch her scene every single night. It was that good. She was that good.
On a side note, I have to take a moment to mourn a New Thing that I did not do. I'm really annoyed with myself for not doing this:
On my way to the theater on Friday night, I was talking to my friend Leo and he mentioned that he had tickets to see the same play on Saturday night. This seemed like a perfect opportunity to have an impromtu scavenger hunt. I told Leo that I was going to write him a note and tape it underneath a water fountain and he had to look underneath all of the water fountains in the theater and see if the note was still there the following night.
Then, at the theater, I wrote the note. It was quite simple:
"Leo! I can't believe you actually looked for this note and found it! You are too cool. By the way, if your name is not Leo, and you found this note and took it out from underneath the water fountain, PLEASE return this note to where you found it so that Leo can find it on Saturday night. Okay? Please? You don't want to ruin our fun, do you? Thanks."
Nothing earth-shattering. The fun was going to be had in hiding the note and then in Leo finding the note. But the problem was...I didn't have any tape. And I could not find any tape. How lame is that? And lamer still, I couldn't figure out another way to secure the note to the underside of the water fountain, so I put the note back in my pocket and forgot about it.
But do you know who didn't forget about it? Leo. Of course. He was expecting me to be cooler than I actually am and to have figured out a way to secure the note to the bottom of the water fountain even without scotch tape. To have secured the note with my own personal willpower.
He called me from the theater--I missed the call, he left a message--and he was like, "Dude? What's up? You didn't leave the note? You're lame."
He didn't actually call me lame, but he should have. Because I am.
I'm sorry to have dissapointed you, Leo. Did you at least find any gum underneath any of the fountains? I hope so.
Oh my god, one last thing, and I suppose this is New Thing #27. But first, a warning: this is the grossest thing ever (well, maybe not ever) and it involves poop--MY poop--and if you don't want to read a (somewhat) gross story involving my poop, then don't highlight this inviso-text:
This just happened a few minutes ago. I had to poop, so I stepped away from the computer and went into the bathroom to do my business. Then, as soon as I sat down on the toilet, I suddenly had a sneezing fit. Like, an out of control, I-must-be-allergic-to-something-in-the-air, dear-god-let-me-stop-sneezing, full-on sneezing fit. And then, perfectly timed with my sneezing, my body started to poop. It was like, "Ahhhchooo!" Plop. "Ahhhchooo!" Plop. Each sneeze pushed out more poo. It was like each forceful exclamation from my mouth was creating another forceful exclamation from you-know-where. And then I started laughing because my sneezing poop medley was becoming absurd. So then I was like, "Ahhhchooo!" Plop. GUFFAW. "Ahhhchooo!" Plop. GUFFAW. It was all timed so perfectly. Who knew that your body could be so beautiful and funny? You might think I'm weird for thinking this is beautiful and funny, but MY SNEEZES AND MY POOPS WERE WORKING TOGETHER. In unison. Like two geniuses of comic timing, like workhorses from the old days of vaudeville. Laurel and Hardy...Hope and Crosby...Cheech and Chong...I'd like to introduce you to Sneeze and Poop, together again, One Night Only! In my bathroom.