Monday, December 28, 2009

What do you mean it's December?

So I logged in after forever and see that my last post was 10/28...and it is now extactly two months later. What the hell happened to...time?!?!

I usually lose track of the year by March or so primarily due to audition madness, but as I did not really deal with that this year, I can't imagine what the hell else took up my thoughts enough to lose track of this year..

Or perhaps, yes I can.

2009...what can I call this year? Troublesome? Irksome? Bizarre? Intriguing? And somehow unbelievably the last year of the first decade of the 'oughts? This year could best be described - for me at least - as a fever dream. There were some lovely things, some horrible things, and just some things that outright made you wonder if you were trapped in Across The Universe.

The year started for me in a bit of grey tinted bliss as while I had had to start vocal therapy for nodes on my vocal chords, WE HAD A NEW PRESIDENT COMING IN. It did not matter than I had the nodes, or would soon be celebrating my first full year as underemployed AND I had virtually NO new progress on my show. What mattered was that the Bush Era was over and McCain was not there to continue it. Our first black president was about to be inaugurated and things literally felt on the verge cartoonishly gleeful. I am sure I was not the only one who, on January 20th, felt as if the clouds were finally dispersed over Mordor and green was coming back to Middle Earth. It just seemed so...unreal...and wonderful. Change was here...

and then...not so much. I mean, we all knew that just because he got the gig and Bush's helicopter had finally flown away from DC that the war would not be over and suddenly jobs would miraculously appear for the taking. W. left a mess behind him; a BIG mess and Obama himself seemed overwhelmed with how to clean it up. And the Republicans and the pundits who spur them on and now guide them, weren't - and aren't - going to give Obama a chance. We all know the (in)famous Limbaugh quote: "I hope he fails". Well, Fox News and conservative talk show hosts have been doing everything in their power to bring him down, from questioning his birth certificate to throwing words around like "racist" and "socialist" and "czar" at their GOP-fearing public, threatening the shear dismantling of the nation if Obama was/is allowed to do what he needs to do to clean up the mess left for him. It feels a bit like a rich kid's high school party: the kids leave a disaster; mom and dad can afford to bring in a clean-up crew and bring them in; the kids are resentful that a) they got busted, b) almost offered to clean up, but Mom and Dad already called the cleaning people but, c) don't really want to have to clean it up, thus it sucks it has to be cleaned up at all 'cuz it wasn't supposed to get that bad and like, their friends should have been better about helping clean up later 'cuz now Mom and Dad are gonna like, hold this over their heads forever - so they kick a guy's broom out and say things like "missed a spot" to the cleaning people...

The news has not been pretty: banks got HUGE bailouts (several of whom have paid back their loans); job losses have fluxuated; the unemployment rate hit a record; folks have lost their homes, 401k's and other investments thanks to Bernie Madoff and other such robber barons; theatres and arts organizations have had to close as well as many a small - or large - business; local newspapers and some national magazines have had to close/end circulation; the senate essentially sold out healthcare to appease Joe "F-in" Lieberman (yes, you have now earned the Bucky Dent moniker) and Ben "F-in" Nelson (yes, you too); the Copenhagen conference did a little for the environment, but not quite enough; gay marriage was knocked down in Maine and New York; 13 men were shot and killed while many others injured at Ft. Hood by a fellow soldier (one of the abse SHRINKS no less) who happened to be a, shall we say confused and distraught Muslim, who unfortunately just made things even harder for Muslims in the military for the time being; a plane crashed in Buffalo; the homeless rate went up; Ted Kennedy died; The Yankees won the World Series; the wars in Iraq and Afgahnistan continue to linger; Tiger Woods, David Letterman and the Governor of South Carolina have been added to the list of adulterous celebrity idiots; and some radical dumbass decided to try to blow up a plane (mere weeks before Jeff and I make an international flight - I'll be thinking of you when I'm getting my underwear frisked by American AND Italian security)'s been easy to feel frustrated and cranky each time you reach for the newspaper (do I really want to do this?!?) BUT...

there are some decent things to remember:
Sonia Sotamayor was nominated to the Supreme Court; "Sully" Sullenberger became a national hero as he safely landed his plane in a frozen Hudson river - and the stars aligned with having the right tug boat crew NEAR BY and FDNY also ready and waiting; banks have been paying back their bailout loans; some people have actually been able to get back to work or create new work for themselves; Bernie Madoff will never get out of jail; Washington D.C. voted to approve gay marriage; Congress added crimes to homosexuals to the hate crimes bill and won; it looks like "Don't Ask Don't Tell" will be repealed next year; Guantanamo is on it way to being totally closed; Obama repealed bans in stem cell research; he has called for the slow withdrawal of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan; new shows have been able to open and some theatres have survived the economic mess; the health care reform we were hoping for may not be what we want, but it is something and hopefully the House and Senate will agree on a proper bill...properly...rather than fighting like kids on the playground; people have been more wary of the environment and are trying to conserve more, drive less, eat locally, etc: and businesses are listening; Dick Cheney is not in office!; The Red Sox have a sick pitching line-up for next year; The Celtics are all over the winning thing right now; the Boston Globe did NOT have to be retired; Massachusetts could get their first female Senator EVER; people in other countries actually LIKE Obama and don't hate us anymore (save for Iran, but they just hate us because we support the opposition protestors who like, want a fair vote and human rights and all that)...

As for personal things...the year started with severe underemployment, the inability to even audition for creative employment let alone take on an offered gig, and SAD taking over my brain. It has come to a close with four jobs, vocal discipline and a Christmas gig where not only was I a soloist, I made some excellent contacts and just had a great time with a cast of 120. In the middle were the show In The Red Room where I got to perform a powerful monologue, tests of new Single What? Female material, some storytelling, lots of auditioning for film and TV stuff (thank you all at The Network) directing for Estrogenius again for the first time in two years, learning poi (FIRE POI!), attaining the opportunity to record for Blank Productions, keeping my job at Madison Avenue Baptist (so. awesome.), and associate producing the cabaret evening The Big Night Out (thank you so much Jenny and Bill for that): it may be have been hard sometimes not being able to sing much in the beginning, but I plan on singing a whole lot more with them in 2010. Big Night Out will be continuing in the new year starting in February, but we will be on hiatus for January.

My husband, friends and family were AWESOME this year...a further reminder that I am blessed to be surrounded by good people.

Here's to more of the good stuff in 2010...and KEEP PAYING ATTENTION so we can GET more of that!

Peace --Alex