Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Calgon, take me away.

I need a hot bath. No, of course I shower every day. I mean like a Jacuzzi. A nice, hot, relaxing, bubbling cauldron of water. Time has been my nemesis and will not provide enough hours in a day for everything I need, particularly – relaxation!

It’s hell week again. Another opening of another show on Friday. Tech/Dress ran ‘til about 11 pm last night and after racing home to jump under covers for a few hours, the ol’ nemesis had me up a few hours later at 5:00 so I could drag my loyal ass to my accounting desk. Now, I challenge you to do that every day for a week and try to disagree with the term, “Hell Week.”

Methinks I’m getting too old for this. I envy young performers without families or a day job who can engage in debauchery every night at the pub after rehearsals or a show. As for me, I miss my girls. Haven’t seen them since Thanksgiving. I hear they’re doing well, though. They never write or call. I just see traces of their existence every evening at midnight when I arrive home and find their toys scattered throughout the living room and trailing down the hallway like breadcrumbs to their bedrooms. I think about them every morning when I step on squeaky-duck as I blindly wander through a dark house toward the auto coffee maker. If ever Mr. Coffee breaks down my proverbial goose is cooked.

So with my nemesis having a firm grasp on my schedule he prevented me from warming up and stretching out before the run through last night. Right as we ended Act I doing a little Burly Q number with choreography I felt my weary back give out and give up. “Can’t take it anymore,” it said, “I’m checking out.” So I spent the intermission break flat on my backside coaxing it to make it through just one more act. “I promise there will be no more bevels, step-ball-changes, boogie-woogie shoulders, or quick-fast costume changes,” I lied. “Just get me through the next act and I’ll give you some ice cream when I get home, eh?”

Well, my back cooperated and got me through Act II, so I imbibed with a nice, healthy bowl of Rocky Road at midnight. Would’ve been nicer were I eating Rocky Road in a Jacuzzi. I’ll send a letter to Santa & see what he can do.

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Stick is the Pits

One day when I was 13 I said to myself, “Self, why do I detect a foul stench under my armpits everyday?” Hormones kicked in and it was the beginning of body odor. I was embarrassed, sure, even a little pensive when I bought my first underarm deodorant, a stick of Mennen, at the drug store counter. Why was I shy about pit stick? It wasn’t like I was trying to purchase a pack of condoms (which if I had wouldn’t have been used for another five years anyway). But alas, body odor is not a personal issue one wants to broadcast to the world, even to the smirking old lady at the drug store register.

So for the last 23 years I have tried and tested a myriad of different underarm odor preventors, all with different scents. Sticks, sprays, gels, deodorants, antiperspirants, Old Spice, Mennen, fragrance-free, Musk, Ocean spray, Fresh Scent. But for the most part I find one that I like and I stick with it. For the last 8-9 years I’ve been a loyal user of Arrid Extra Dry UltraFresh scented antiperspirant. I have previously posted how persnickety and loyal I am about fragrances.

But I’m a spur-of-the-moment, impulsive kinda guy, much to MezzoWife’s chagrin. (Look, Honey, I just bought us a new laptop!) I like to think of myself as spontaneous, though.

This weekend I spontaneously decided that it was time for an underarm change. Time to shake things up a bit. So I spent a good part of a quarter of an hour evaluating the different brands, scents, etc. I was sold on the idea of Arm & Hammer UltraMax deodorant & antiperspirant. Why not? Arm & Hammer baking soda cures odors, no? So I chose to forego the unscented and purchased the Powder Fresh invisible solid.

This morning I did indeed feel fresh after my shower and was anxious to try to new pit stick. I confidently left the house knowing I was going to remain baking powder fresh and odor free all day.

About an hour into work I noticed an odd aroma, wondering if the facilities department sprayed for mosquitoes or something. I detected a distinct smell of “OFF!” brand mosquito spray. Nah, must be the fashion designers trying a new dye again. But no. I discovered ‘twas my own armpits emitting the smell of repellant, repelling even me. The A&H Powder Fresh has not kept it’s promise and now I’m back to the drawing board.

The good news is that I haven’t been bitten by a mosquito once today!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Life is a Blur

WOW! Has it been 8 days since my last post? Holey Schmoley! Let’s see, in the last eight days I:

Traveled to scenic Bend, Oregon last weekend. (4 days gone there) While in Bend I experienced what life must have been like before cell phones and email. In fact, the kids there still ride horses to school. A traffic jam is when you have to wait for the cattle to cross the road from one pasture to the other. I was there to fill in with my old touring children’s theatre employer, MCT where I helped direct one of their new musicals, The Little Mermaid, for the local youngsters in Bend. Ooooooo….the memories of working with 60 kids a week. I toured with the group for three years before finding my happy little spot in Portland. The nice thing about the job back then was that the kids went home after 4 hours. Sanity reset and restored itself every evening while two grown adults decompressed over a beer. Now I often miss those days when I’m home with two screaming kids whom I cannot send back to their parents. No, I get to live with them and the insanity never ceases. I’ve learned to live with insanity, as all parents must. Now, would you please pass the Valium. Mmmm….sweet relaxation…

The last four days I’ve spent every spare moment locked in front of my editing system trying to complete a wedding video for a client, fussing with ‘ERROR’ messages and pert near ready to kick a new vent hole in my G5. The video is about three months overdue, but any faithful reader would know that the last four months I have been booked solid with theatre rehearsals/shows, and still have 4 weeks to go before my schedule frees up. I often hear the question posed again and again, “How do you do it, Evil Baritone? How are you able to juggle family, full time job, home business, theatre and concert work, and still have time to blog?”

Two words:


And by the way, if you don’t have your tickets to the holiday extravaganza, Christmas of Swing, better get ‘em quick! They’re sellin’ like the proverbial hotcakes. I’ll be croonin’ as ol’ Blue Eyes himself with the Andrews Sisters. Boo boo boo boo, my children.

Also, if you haven't been following along, Atomictumor (AT) lost BJ who succumbed to the bizarre infection acquired only 17 days ago. Our blogger hearts go out to you, AT.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

EB Knows Bread

Mezzo Wife never listens to me. For instance, she'll ask me what time it is. I'll look at my watch and say, "11:45." Her response? "It can't be before noon." Then she'll turn to someone else, anyone else, a stranger on the street perhaps and ask, "excuse me, can you tell me the time."

The nice, courteous stranger would his watch and say to her exactly what I said, "11:45, ma'am."

"Oh, ok. Thank you." Then she'll turn back to me and say, "it's a quarter to twelve."

"That's what I just said. Eleven fourty-five."

"I just wanted to make sure," as if my judgement of time is somewhere in the realm of guessing Zsa Zsa Gabor's true age.

So who makes the bread in our house? Dammit, Jim, I'm a Baritone not a Baker! Actually both of us defer the bread making (as opposed to the bread winning) to the Magic Auto Bread Machine. But who knows how to make the machine make the bread? Thasright...EB knows bread.

So Mezzo Wife wanted to make some freash bread the other day and bought a pre-packaged wheat variety. "Honey," she says to me, "I lost the instruction book to the bread machine. Do you know how I put these ingredients in?"

"Why, yes, m'Lady," I responded chivalrously. "You first put the water in, then pour the contents of the package. Make a little dent in the top of the powder like a volcano and pour the small package of yeast on top. Then press the button and off it goes."

"I dunno..." she said, pulling her lip with her finger the way she always does when she thinks hard. "I thought there was more to it. I better go online and look it up."

An hour and a half later (she had to respond to some emails while online, of course), I hear the bread maching cranking and whirring. Hmmm, thought I. She must have found out I was right or otherwise she would have come and told me I was wrong.

Sure 'nuf. I casually commented while passing through the kitchen, "oh, did you find out how the correct order of ingredients?"

"First the water, then the ingredients, then the yeast on top." Hmmm, thought I. Exactly what I said. But, of course Mezzo Wife would not bow to her chivalrous husband and thank him by saying, "yes, most honorable and talented husband. You were indeed correct. You are smarter than the average bear. I'm sorry I ever doubted you." Nor would I say, "I told you so."

Except this is my blog and I can do what I want here...


Mmmm....good bread, Honey.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


It’s been busy. Job…concerts…stage rehearsals…QuizMaster apprenticeship…video editing. Whew! Here I am, believing I’m too busy. 3+ jobs. 2 kids. 1 wife. I whine. I complain. I take my meds as prescribed. But what I don’t often do enough is sit down and appreciate the family I see on such an infrequent basis.

Today I read about a fellow blogosphere-ite, ATOMICTUMOR, and jumped to his blog. His wife of two boys fell dreadfully and critically ill over a weekend. Within 48 hrs she went from mild flu symptoms on Halloween to clinging onto life and having a hospital bedside vigil. How does that happen? Stop by. Give him your prayers & good wishes.

I spend a lot of time trying to earn a living for my family & feeding my performing habit. I spend way less time than I would like enjoying my kids and my wife. I definitely don’t spend enough time telling her how much I appreciate her. A story like the one above sure brings perspective into crystal clear view.

I enjoy my music. I enjoy creativity. But I really really love my wife, my Goonie, and my Bobo. I love you and I appreciate you. Sorry I’m rarely around to tell you that enough.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Like My Fanny?

Women, you carry a lot of stuff. That’s a given. But in my mere fundamental and imperfect understanding of the female gender, I cannot grasp why all that stuff must be stuffed into a high-priced bag with some Schmuck’s name on it telling the whole world that you shopped and bought the most hip designer purse on the world. Prada. Gucci. Fendi. Versace. Raphaello. Sounds like an Italian racecar lineup.

Did you know men have to carry stuff, too? It’s true. Let’s take a brief inventory of what I have in my pocket possession today:

  • Wallet, roughly the size of a softball.

  • Transit bus pass/business card holder.

  • Cell phone

  • USB Flash thumb drive

  • Sunglasses

  • Personal keys / Work keys

  • C3PO action figure

  • $2.47 in loose change

  • Comb

  • Altoid gum

  • Zippo lighter (whathe…? I don’t smoke how’d that get there?)

  • MP3 player / earbuds

  • Extra AA batteries

  • Parking receipt

  • Golf tee

  • Pepper spray (hey, downtown can get rough after dark)

  • Lint

Holy Cow! Dat’s a lotta stuff! Plus a host of other things I bring to work in a (cheap) duffle bag like books & mags, scores/scripts to learn on the bus, HP Jornada pocket PC, foldaway keyboard
bills to mail, stainless steel coffee container, lunch, pens, highlighters…

AAAAAAAAAAAAGGGHHHH!!!!! Where does it all go?!

We men do not spend lavish moolah on a container for our stuff. You won’t see me walking around downtown proudly porting my Prada. No sir! Ten measly bucks’ll get you a little black fanny pack that conveniently and discretely transports small stuff and prevents the ‘George Costanza Ass’ syndrome.

Now the dilemma and arguable issue with the fanny pack: is it worn on the fanny, or on the front? My preference is to wear the pouch in front. Why? Well, if I need to pull something out of it I don’t have to twist around like a cat licking it’s tail in order to access said pouch. Does that make me White & Nerdy? Most metrosexuals would give a hearty ”YES, FOOL!”

So since I’m not a fanny pack on the fanny wearer, what should I call it? Here are some possible names I found used elsewhere in the world:

butt bag (yer butt bag is saggin’ there, dude)
bum buddy (Uhhhhhhh, no)
bum bag (a hobo duffle)
belly bag (and getting bigger with each chocolate morsal)
belt bag (matches my shoulder bag)
manbag (perhaps the metrosexuals will approve)
lumbar pack (a backbrace?)
waist pack (manly, concise...I think we might have a winner!)

What's yer vote?