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Category Archives: Jenn’s Adventures

Jury Duty (hee hee I said duty…)

Jury Duty (hee hee I said duty…)

A month or so ago, I received in the mail. as I do almost every three years, a jury summons. In the past since I wasn’t working, I didn’t really mind serving my duty (yes, I giggled as I wrote duty…you know me by now, you know I have the sense of humor of a five year old boy.) Most of the time I have enjoyed jury duty (giggle) because it gets me out of the house and it’s like having a front row seat to “Matlock Live!” (but with less shoulder pads, hot dogs and white suits and noticeably missing are Andy Griffith’s weird little grunting sounds between his lines)

This time it’s different. This time has been less than pleasant.

My jury summons came with a few helpful hints: where to park, how long you might have to serve, what to bring as far as reading materials, etc. They failed to mention that their cable would be out and that they had free wifi. So yesterday I could have been writing, or updating my facebook status or searching for Lego building instructions to download….you know, Lego instructions for…my nephew…ok busted, the Lego stuff was for me. Yes they could have included that simple fact: Feel free to bring your laptop, we have free wifi.

They could have. They didn’t. So as I packed my trusty journey bag the night before I was to appear at the courthouse promptly at 8:00 am (DON’T BE LATE! WE EXPECT YOU THERE NO LATER THAN 8:00 AM!) I packed two books: one to read and one that would teach me to make beautiful origami, a notebook, a soda, snacks for lunch, tons of candy, of course, some origami paper.

As always I arrived early and headed to the jury assembly room. I like to sit in the front rows of these things because there will be less chance of me interacting with people. I got an end seat in the front row and immediately took over both armrests and sat less-than-ladylike to deter people from sitting beside me.

This didn’t work. A few minutes before eight, in walked a large hurricane of a woman who promptly plopped herself down right beside me, even though there were still a lot of other empty seats. She made that noise people make when they’ve been walking for hours and are exhausted. She seemed to physically expand as she settled in. She had three bags full of stuff, the contents of which I would learn later. She pulled out a spiral bound book and began to read and mouth-breathe. Great. I pretended to be asleep by closing my eyes but she caught me right when I opened them to see if it was working. I can’t remember exactly her first words but I will never forget the odor that was coupled with her speech. It was hot. It was foul and it was pointed my way. She kept talking to anyone who would listen about what we should expect (as if she was a professional juror) I can’t stand encounters with someone in these situations when they pretend to know everything there is about it and they treat you like you know nothing so they’re really helping you out. HATE IT. She also kept making a semi-joke about the jurors being “hostages.”

“Yeah, they probably called around nine hundred hostages for today. And if we’re not picked today we will have to come tomorrow.” (She glanced my way to see if I would laugh at her pathetic attempt to be funny. I did not.)

Then somehow she began to tell me about a trip she took to an 1800s replica village settlement in Indiana, where she learned how they baked bread and pies. She described the entire process. Apparently my face did not match with my feelings because I was trying to seem disinterested. She either didn’t notice or didn’t care because she kept talking, with her cabbage breath steaming my hair straight with every word. Finally I broke out my Beautiful Origami book and decided I’d make a paper menagerie. I thought maybe this might shut her up, seeing that I was busy….but it was not to be.

“I bought the grandkids an origami book and it came with this gorgeous paper! That’s a great idea for something to do while you’re a hostage.” (glance, pause for laughter. No laughter.) I kept folding. Must. Make. This. Owl.

Soon though, I earned a respite from her endless witless banter. She found another hostage to talk at. One who seemed to blossom in her cabbagey-laced attention. Peas in a pod.

They didn’t start assembling until about 9:30. They quickly assembled four juries, none of which I was picked for, and then I sat there, occasionally bombarded by Stankbreath until 11:30 when they released us for a two hour lunch. I have never, in my life, needed a two hour lunch, especially on a day when I just want to go home. So for two hours I wandered around downtown St. Louis.

When I re-entered the jury assembly room, I was pleasantly surprised. Stankbreath had fully expanded and was now using my former seat as a storage area for her crochet materials. Sweet! I was able to get another seat without that awkward glance you get when you move away from someone. I sat down two rows behind my original seat. I had my own little space until about ten minutes before everyone was expected back. Then a very tall bald man leapfrogged over my backpack (purposely put there to deter anyone from sitting beside me) He was a nervous man, the kind of person who apologizes for living, sometimes verbally and sometimes with their demeanor. With every minor move he made he shrunk more and more into himself. And he was not a small guy. He was actually so large (not fat, just a big guy) that he was crammed into the tiny seat.

He didn’t help his case any (pun intended, see? Because I’m serving jury duty? Duty? Ahhhh the immature mind) when he pulled out a very tiny Apple computer opened it up on his huge lap. He typed away for a while, throwing out a “oh yeah, uh huh, uh huh” every time the Chatty Kenny (I would have gone with Kathy here but it was a guy, more on him later) spoke to him. He alternated between his laptop, his Ipod and his Iphone. Definitely an Apple guy. Lemming. We spoke a few times and I found out what he did for a living (software engineer) and where he travelled for his job (Amsterdam but no trip to the van Gogh museum, who does that???) Then he put away his devices and closed his eyes.

And that’s really when he and I interacted the most. His head would fall forward and land on his chest. Then as it hit his chest, it would startle him awake and he’d open his eyes for a few minutes, only to have them close again. Each time he bobbled his head forward he would somehow manage to both lean forward and to his right…which is exactly where I was sitting. By the third or fourth bobble he was dangerously close to landing on me. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t panic a little bit.

I went into Emergency Planning Mode. If this guy fell on my shoulder, I would be fine. It would be a little awkward but I’m sure I could muster up some joke about not realizing we were that close, ending the line with a half-hearted chuckle. But if he kept going at his current pace and angle, the problem might be bigger. In theory, his entire upper torso could land on my lap, including his giant meaty head. That would require more than a joke…I had no answer. But luckily I didn’t need one because after two more hours of sitting there not being called, his humber was called and the seat beside me was vacated. Finally I would get the silence and solitude I had so craved all day. And it only took til 3:00 pm to get that reward.

Ahhhh to be so lucky. But it was not to be. Enter Chatty Kenny. Chatty Kenny was a really nice guy. But from the beginning, it was obvious that he needed someone to talk to. Within minutes of meeting him, I knew a lot about him. He was the supervisor in a factory that made all of the lawn rakes for Wal-Mart. He had declared bankruptcy recently, losing his pickup truck, which he declared was heartbreaking but worked out because he lived only a block and a half away. Oh, and he made $110 a day so being here he was losing a lot of money.

Chatty Kenny took me through the entire process of how to make a lawn rake, which I actually did find interesting, if I had had a moment of peace all day, which I did not. Around 3:30 they assembled two more juries. Neither of us was on either one so we were sent home with instructions to come back the next day.

And that’s where I am right now. I am sitting in the jury assembly room, with Chatty Kenny right beside me, who keeps glancing at my computer and when busted, stated guiltily “I’m not reading over your shoulder,” to which I, unfiltered, said “But you kind of are.”

Luckily he laughed. So here I sit, hoping to not be picked for a jury, hoping to be released at the end of the day, never to return again.

Until three years from now when I am forced, as a U.S. citizen, to go through this entire dreadful process again. They don’t call it jury DUTY for nothing….

duty…(giggle giggle, still funny.)

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Posted by on July 16, 2013 in Jenn's Adventures

 

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The Great Outdoors

The Great Outdoors

I have been visiting the country for nearly three years now and I can honestly say that today was just chock full of education. Most of which I did not want. But like that extreme close-up video they show you in fourth grade of a baby being born, I will never get some of these bits of knowledge to dislodge from my brain.
The day started off like every other day I spend in the country at Romy’s house, except that I woke up later than usual. It’s amazing how tiring nearly eight hours of non-stop Boom Blox playing is on an old lady like me. And towards the end of the night we weren’t even trying for points, we were just seeing how many different ways we could knock the animals over with a bowling ball.
There is an event out here called Truth and the Outdoors, which is a really cool event that is like a Christian hunting and fishing expo. We walked around for quite a while, visiting all the booths, eating samples of what I can only hope was beef and collecting as many free pens as possible before we came upon a soap maker’s booth. I am a sucker for good smelling stuff. So whenever there’s a booth like that I have to put my poor nostrils through the ringer, smelling every soap they make, some even twice. And conveniently this goat’s milk soap maker had at least one bar open of each scent marked “sniff me.”
Don’t mind if I do.

.
And I did.
There was peppermint, lilac, honeysuckle, leather, natural, eucalyptus and twig and berries.
Wait….what?
There, mixed in with all of the other soaps, was a basket full of twig and berries soap, complete with a “sniff me” sticker on it. I can’t say for sure whether the soap was twig and berry scented (hope so) or for twig and berries (hope not).
Either way I had no intention of sniffing.
Innocent word mix up, right? Perhaps. Or perhaps this part of the country is full of dirty birdies.
I had made plans to meet someone (that’s a whole other story) to sell something to a guy who found me on Craigslist so we left the expo for a few hours. As we were driving through some pretty landscapes, we passed a dog groomer’s on the main road. The name on the sign made me do a double take.
The business’ name?
Doggy Styles.
Yup. Because I’m going to drop my poor little innocent Yadi at a place called Doggy Styles. Is this like a Hustler club for dogs?
I don’t know and I will never find out.
And last and certainly not least, today I learned that country people have odd turn-ons. We stopped at a feed store/animal supply store (named Dickey Bub) to pick up hay….there’s a joke there that I won’t tell, but I digress. As we were walking through the store I happened to look up from my phone just in time to catch what looked like a country version of Victoria’s Secret.
Dickey Bub’s Secret?
They had a whole display of camouflage lingerie. There were underpants and bras, teddies and lacy thingamajigs – ALL CAMO!
That’s sexy? There’s some country hunter guy out there that wants his woman to blend in with the forest? That’s sexy?
I can’t even process what that means other than it seems like maybe hunters out here are turned on by…other hunters.
So I always get really excited and take note when I learn something new. Today I learned all sorts of new stuff. Stuff that I could have gone my whole life and not learned. Stuff that I will never need to know. Stuff that will not change my life in any way.
And that folks, is what education is all about.

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2013 in Jenn's Adventures, Random

 

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Realizations!

Realizations!

Happy New Year!

Now that I have that out of the way, let’s get down to business.  I’m going to make this short and to the point.  This is not a resolution, this is a realization.  I’ve decided to change things up a little with my blog.

First of all, I’m going to be more consistent.  I think I overshot on my goal for the blog.  I’d have to actually look back but I think that I started out writing every day, then a couple of times a week and then when something popped into my head.  I’m going to be more realistic with my goals this year.  My goal for the blog this year is to write twice a month.  This may seem to you that I’m being lazy but hear me out.  I don’t want to force myself into writing something just because I gave myself a deadline of having a “weekly” blog.  There are times when I could probably write three a day but then there are more times when I struggle to find one thing that I think is interesting enough to write about.  And now that my actual job is taking me away from my “real” life for two-week stints at a time, writing once a month allows me to mull things over, to steep if you will, on a few subjects and then pick the one that I think would be the best to write about. So, goal number one, CONSISTENCY.

Second, I feel like I am limited on what I can write about by putting pressure on myself to be funny.  Sometimes I’m not funny but I still have things that I think I need to say, whether you want to read them or not.  So I’m re-vamping my content.  Most of the time I find things very funny, even if they are at my expense but there are a lot of times over this last year that I’ve felt like I need to write and post but I held back because I didn’t want to make it seem like I was being a Debbie Downer.  Therefore, I am giving myself permission to just write my thoughts, whether they be funny or not. Goal number two: A MORE VARIED CONTENT.

And finally, and this really is more of a goal for the year than for the blog, By the end of 2013, I would like to have a book proposal ready to send out in order to try to actually make money with this writing thing.  I did not meet the goal I set for myself this last year because I had hoped to have a proposal ready to send out by last spring.  That, obviously, did not happen.  So third and final goal, TO HAVE A BOOK PROPOSAL READY TO SEND OUT.

If any of you have any topics you would like me to ponder and write about, or you want to know how I feel about a certain subject, please feel free to comment, or to go to my Facebook page (there’s a button on the right side, you should totally click it to ‘LIKE’ me and drop me a line and I’ll do what I can.  No promises though because if you ask me to write about things like the Kardashians, or Toddlers and Tiaras, you will be denied.  And frowned upon.  And made fun of.

That is all.

 

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Art Indeed…

Recently, and perhaps it’s just me being a little slow on the uptake, I have noticed that my beloved city is overrun with sculptures both abstract and realistic or whatever other term you care to use to describe a giant pink suit made out of aluminum.

The pink suit aside, I have a special term I use. I call it Crap-That-My-City-Paid-Way-Too-Much-For.  Another term I apply to said sculptures is Crap-a-two-year-old-mentally-challenged-blind-monkey-could-make.

It’s big. It’s ugly and in St. Louis, it’s everywhere.

You can’t go downtown without running into some giant orange-red sculptures made out of what looks like leftover beams from a construction site.  The worst part about all of this “art” is that I am somehow supposed to believe that the artist had a true emotional connection to the “Piece” (I can call it a “piece” but please note that I didn’t say what kind of “Piece” it was)  And in turn, I am somehow supposed to have an emotional reaction to it.

And I guess I do.  It makes me feel like I am being hoodwinked into believing the descriptions of it.  For example, let’s say there are several of those orange-red beams that are piled one on top of the other, in sort of a teepee shape but not really.  The plaque at the base of the piece might read as follows:

“Love in Orange And Steel: 1999, artist Hans Smuggenhassel.  This piece, made of steel beams that the artist found amongst the rubble of the torn down bowling alley that he would frequent with his father, clearly shows the love that the artist never got from his father and also depicts the mental anguish suffered by the artist at the paws of his neighbor’s shih tzu. “

Or maybe there is a giant teapot made out of cement with embedded shards of pretty glass:

“A Kick to the Teabags: 2003, artist Hyllaree von Pootenbooger.  This teapot, made of cement and shards of broken glass and ceramics, was commissioned by the city of St. Louis in 2001.  The artist, who only has one arm and half of a leg, worked without help, for two years, up to twenty hours a day, to complete the work.  In order to bring a humanistic aspect to the piece, Hyllaree used her own urine to mix up the concrete.  The shards of glass and broken ceramics were from a period in her life when she experienced extreme depression and in fits of anger, broke her grandmother’s heirloom china.  While working on the teapot, Hyllaree suffered yet another loss when her husband of fourteen years decided that he was gay and left her for their local Teavana manager.”

Or maybe there is a pile of baseballs stacked neatly in a pyramid, with bits of broken acoustic guitars placed haphazardly all over the whole thing:

“Anger in G Minor, DON’T YOU DARE TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME!, 2011, Michael St. Hoogleheimer.  This piece was, according to the artist, “art therapy”  for him in 2009.  At the time, the artist was struggling to pay his bills, working concessions at Busch Stadium.  His wife was also working concessions at the ballpark when she happened to serve a bass player from a local band.  The two fell in love and she left Michael for the “wannabe rock star.”  This was too much for St. Hoogleheimer to take and he temporarily went insane, declaring he would make it as an artist to disprove her description of him as a “no-good, lazy beer jockey.”  Diligently, and sometimes violently, Michael began to come to the ballpark earlier than usual and would be in the bleachers for batting practice.  Over a period of two years, he was able to collect, through his own good catching skills and by knocking small chidren over should they get in his way, a massive amount of batting practice baseballs.  Then he purchased, at great personal expense, a high-end bass guitar, specifically to smash, representing the emotional pain the breakup had caused him.  Currently, the artist is suffering quietly in a mental institution where he firmly believes that he is Amelia Earhart.”

And people believe this crap!  So I have decided to start sculpting.  I’ve figured out the process:  First you find materials that will withstand time.  Then you close your eyes and throw it into a pile, or if you’re going for the more realistic approach, you take every day items and form them into some kind of shape.  After you feel like you’ve made something that someone could quite possibly be tricked into buying for hundreds of thousands of dollars, you make up a back story.  The more painful, the better.

I’ve already got my first sculpture planned out in my head.  It’s going to be the beer cans that the upstairs neighbors throw in my bushes every weekend.  I’m going to get a baby pool, fill it with dirt, plant some kind of bush in it and then throw the cans under it randomly.  Here is the plaque:

“Irritation Caused by Neighbors, 2012, artist Jenn Murphysnoggle (because every artist has an unusual name)  This sculpture, made of plastic, dirt, aluminum and bush, represents the irritation the artist endures every day by stepping out on her front porch and looking over into the bushes, where she sees the remnants of the party that went on the night before.  Finally, after many years of emotional and hygienically-barren anguish, Jenn finally lost it and had a complete and utter meltdown.  This sculpture was her first and last piece before she was hauled off to jail for the public disturbance she caused upon finding a dirty diaper on her front stoop on a warm July afternoon. Currently she is serving a six month term in the St. Louis City jail.”

So…who will start the bidding on this piece?  Do I hear fifty grand?

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2012 in Jenn's Adventures

 

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My Official Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Review or…the Muny Sucks

My Official Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Review or…the Muny Sucks

Having a degree in theatre has quite possibly ruined me forever.  I can no longer watch a play, musical, tv show or movie without being hyper-critical.  I will be the first to admit that if you have a movie you’re crazy excited about seeing, you might not make me your first choice as a viewing buddy.  If I am not buying the story or find something wrong with the production, my brain takes over and I over focus. And then I will inevitably ruin your evening because I will point out the faults to you so that I’m not sitting there with my thoughts running around all willy nilly in my brain bugging the crap out of me. I share. For instance, recently I went to see Rock of Ages with Romy and I was do distracted by the horror of seeing Tom Cruise’s naked torso that I missed the plot line entirely.  I had to ask her to give me the synopsis the next day and even then I can’t promise that what she told me was what really happened.  I had no idea. For all I know he could have busted out into Scientology bullroar.

That being said, I’m not sure why I even bother going to see shows at the Muny (our local “professional” summer theatre which is really just glorified community theatre and in full disclosure, not even GOOD community theatre) here in St. Louis. I am always disappointed in the quality of the production.  Last night was no exception.

I may or may not have mentioned that Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is one of my favorite shows.  So when I heard it was coming to the Muny stage I was very excited. I’ve seen it there before and while it wasn’t the best production ever, it was still better than almost everything else I have seen there.  If you’re familiar with the show, you know that It’s really a pretty hard show to screw up.  I always compare it to a Big Mac:  you go to any McDonald’s and a Big Mac is a Big Mac. No exceptions.  Dependable but tasty. That is Joseph.

Or so I thought.  When I saw the season lineup I was so pumped because 1) it’s the Big Mac of all theatre, 2) Justin Guarini (the sideshow Bob look-alike from season one of American Idol) was set to star as Joseph.  Not only would I be seeing one of my favorite shows but I’d also have the delicious opportunity to make fun of the star of  the rarely seen From Justin to Kelly! (And no, I have never seen it.)

Folks, if you’re ever asked to star in a Muny production, you know you are officially watching your career swirl about the toilet bowl.

I wondered what I was in for when I saw a giant projection screen at the back of the stage before the show and it was lit up like a Christmas tree with a giant picture of the St. Louis Arch.

“Oh no….say it ain’t so….Joe,” I prayed silently to myself, “please tell me they aren’t going to Lou this up (Lou is the unfortunate nickname given to St Louis)  and make the whole thing St. Louis based.  I love my city very much but St. Louis is not really an appropriate place to set the show.

Surely, they wouldn’t…..surely they did.

Instead of just using the standard prologue, a bunch of actors in modern day clothing flitted about the stage. Every once in a while one of them would stop at the front of the stage and say something like this,

“I lost my job….and then I lost my dream.”

Or

“I lost my husband…and then I lost my dream.”

Or

“I lost my career when I signed on to do this production….and then I lost my dream.”

It was all a tad dramatic for the opening of what was supposed to be a comedic show.

Then the show started. The actors in the show were fairly good. The narrator was impressive and surprisingly when Justin entered the stage, wearing a St. Louis Cardinals jersey, of course, I was quite impressed with his version of “Any Dream Will Do.”  This kid was going to be ok in this show. But an early red flag was that they added a new song….to an Andrew Llloyd Webber classic.  It’s a bold move to add a song you made up to a very well known show.  Is bold the word I’m looking for?

Then the brothers entered.  The show does not require a lot of intense choreography for the brothers, aside from a few dance numbers.  But in this production, any time they were singing, they were doing awkward dance moves that distracted from the song.  They dance through every scene. Way over choreographed and none of the choreography made sense in relation the show or the lyrics.

Each scene was played in front of a very large projected picture of a St. Louis Landmark.  Somehow, someone wrote a new song that basically made it clear that Jacob and Sons was actually a Schnuck’s grocery store. Nice way to take a TRUE story and Lou it up just for a cheap joke…or seven.

“One More Angel In Heaven” was played with a bunch of women in skimpy St. Louis Cardinals shorts and tees with the brothers wearing Cardinals cowboy hats.  The first time they sing the name of the song, out comes Justin/Joseph in an angel costume (looking like a six year old in a church Christmas pageant) surrounded by other angels. Wait…what?  Now we’re in the brothers’ heads?

Potiphar, who bought Joseph as a slave and then put him in charge of the household was portrayed as Donald Trump.  So now I’m really confused because I can’t figure out what Trump has to do with St. Louis.  Or Egypt. Or the Bible.

The end of the first act is the go-go dancing crowd favorite song, “Go go go Joseph”  It’s always amazingly choreographed and makes you want to rush the stage and start shaking it with the actors.  This was a poorly choreographed semi-dance number.  Then at what you thought was the end of the song, the choreography started over.  They repeated the ending three times.  It was like being in an Andrew Lloyd Webber production of Groundhog Day.

At this point, I just felt sorry for Justin.  Poor guy probably thought he was going to come do a classic musical that everyone loves and then he gets stuck in this St. Louis-ified version.  I bet when he was making From Justin to Kelly he thought it couldn’t get any worse.  While I never saw that movie, I can assure you, he thought wrong.

Normally at the Muny, I would leave at intermission but for you, my dear readers, I stayed. While the show was horrific, and I can’t get back my two hours, I did it for the sake of the blog.  If only I had gone to see the show earlier in the week, I could have saved some of you from seeing this trainwreck.  My sadness lies in the fact that as I looked around the amphitheatre at intermission,  I wondered how many first-timers were there.  This was their initiation to the show and I felt bad for them.

As the time for Pharaoh/Elvis to appear neared, I wondered how they would change the classic character.  Would they turn him into Chuck Berry, a native St. Louisian?  Or maybe Tina Turner?  Or worst of all, NELLY?  A flood of relief washed over me as Pharaoh took off his hat to show that he was indeed sporting the Elvis pompadour.  He sounded ok and he danced ok, if not semi-spastic.  The most impressive thing about this actor was that while he was singing, he repeatedly jumped in the air and landed in the splits. Ouchie.  While the song lends itself to cheesiness, the Muny overdid it. Elvis milked the scene for way more than it was worth and in the end it drained the cleverness and wit right out of the entire song. By the end of the song, you were wishing that this Elvis had been the one to have a heart attack on the toilet instead of the real one.

As if  the show wasn’t weird enough already, it got worse.  There is a song of lament sung by the brothers as they are experiencing the famine.  The song “Those Canaan days” is sort of a sendup of a little French café. The brothers sing in an accent and generally wear berets.  The song, although not one of my favorites musically, is always good for a few laughs….except that this director, in keeping with the St. Louis-ification of the whole show, set this song at…where else? TED DREWES FROZEN CUSTARD.

Really?  Mr or Mrs. Director? You thought that it would make sense  to set a FAMINE at a well-known CUSTARD SHOP?  That’s the exact opposite of famine. The giant picture was of Ted Drewe’s famous building and each of the brothers was dressed in a Ted Drewe’s shirt and cap and was standing behind a mini Ted Drewes stand.  For those of you who don’t know, Ted Drewes is famous for it’s concrete (DQ blizzard) and the claim to fame is that you can flip it upside down and it’s so thick that it won’t fall out.  So of course it would make sense that the brothers, who are supposedly starving and singing about it, are standing there holding frozen custard. Ted Drewe would be rolling over in his grave, if he were dead. And if he goes to see how they’ve made a mockery of his shop, may very well end up that way. Death by embarrassment.  I can’t understand how a director makes and justifies that choice. It doesn’t make sense on any level.

But we’ll move on.

Finally at the end, Joseph wants to trick the brothers before he tells them who he is so he hides his cup in a sack of food that he gives to his little brother, Benjamin.  As the brothers are leaving, Joseph accuses them and looks through the sack until he finds it.  This leads into a song called “Benjamin Calyso” which, is always a calypso. Go figure.

Not at the Muny.  Again, the brilliant director, decided to exercise his artistic license and turned the song into a church show choir song.  They changed the lyrics so that it didn’t sound tropical and they ADDED lyrics about “letting Benjamin go”  It was like a gospel church got a hold of the song and made it into a ten minute praise-the-Lord-a-thon.  The sound of the song changed, the lyrics changed and the entire song fell flat on it’s ungodly face.  I cannot even imagine what drug the director was on to make him think it was a wise decision to change the “Benjamin CALYPSO.”  Again, bold move.  But bold is not the right word….the right word would be IDIOTIC.

We stayed through the entire show up until curtain call. Now having been on stage myself, I do try to follow the rule of waiting until after the curtain call to leave.  The curtain call of Joseph is one of the best parts of the legacy.  It’s not like any other one you will ever see. It has been geniusly made into a megamix of all of the songs and the actors dance and sing along.  To reiterate how bad this show was, I will just say this: I didn’t even stay for the megamix.  I was already well on my way to the car. Not that I didn’t think the actors deserved a curtain call. They did, for several reasons.  They all worked very hard. They all performed very well.

But mostly,  they all took a huge hit to their careers by being in this production.

Joseph runs all weekend at the Muny. So if you’re in St. Louis and you’re looking for something to do this weekend,  we have an amazing zoo and it’s free.

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2012 in Jenn's Adventures

 

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Breaking News

Breaking News

This sporadically scheduled blog is interrupted to bring you some breaking news.  I repeat, I interrupt this post to bring you a different post.  My other story will have to wait until next week.

I don’t always post all of my comments.  If someone somehow reads my blog and finds it offensive or attacks me, I read it, respond to them privately (usually unless they play the coward card and comment anonymously) and move on with my life.  Recently someone read my post about the Village that lives above me and called me racist.

I did not respond to it so I will now.

Dear reader, if you are still out there, looking for ways to condemn me, let me say thank you for taking the time to read ONE post in which I stated the TRUTH about the morons who lived around me.  If you really knew me you’d know I’m not at all racist. I am however, blunt.  The only thing I did was to write about what went on in my building.  If you can’t comprehend this, then let me just add this:  the blog is titled “THAT’S NOT APPROPRIATE”  meaning, that possibly, what I’m writing isn’t going to fly well with all of the PC crap out there now.  In conclusion to your condemnation, I say, I calls ’em like I sees ’em.

Last night a friend came over to play guitar, more on my bands later (yes, I am in two:  Sticker Monkey and the BEETles. We only play private parties.)  We decided to go get something to eat so as we’re walking out, I stopped dead in my tracks, horrified at what lay before me.  On my front porch, there was a three-inch puddle of fresh vomit.  Apparently the puker had hot dogs because that’s all it was.  On one of the steps was an even more massive puddle of chewed up hot dogs and milky tan spittle.  This had to be a kid.  We came back and I washed  the vomit into the bushes, ants and all.

This was just one more incident that happened because of the village.  I made a mental note to text the landlord one of my many texts that always begins like this:

“Can you please tell the people upstairs….”

But I didn’t and night turned into morning.  I stepped out to take Yadi for her morning poopy walk and saw that the parking spaces in front of my house were blocked off and in front of them was a U-Haul truck. Great. More neighbors. Another chance at being annoyed by bad behavior.  We finished our walk and went inside.

I sat down on the couch and heard shuffling coming from upstairs.  It sounded like someone was wrestling a baby elephant.

THUMP. THUMP-THUMP-THUMP.

What the…?

I felt a little excited butterflies begin to stir in my stomach. My brain was doing the math:

U-Haul truck + THUMP. THUMP-THUMP-THUMP. = NEIGHBORS MUST BE MOVING OUT!

Whoa. Down girl. Let’s not get too excited.  They, being the village that they are, and already having at least six people in a two bedroom apartment, might be moving someone in.  Maybe a grandmother. Or a grandfather. Or a second cousin once removed who didn’t have a green card. Or all of the above.

I got up and went to the front door, parted the mini-blinds and looked out.  And there, struggling to move an unbelievably large mattress down the steps, was the UPSTAIRS NEIGHBOR!

YAY!  I have envisioned this moment and hoped for it for so long and now it’s happening!

No more finding motor oil bottles in my freshly washed sheets in the basement!

No more oompa music from speakers right below my bedroom window!

No more tuba lessons in the backyard!

No more party remains left in the back for days, drawing bugs, rats and possibly even city raccoons!

No more little kids peering into my windows to make Yadi bark!

No more twelve SUVs taking up every parking space in front of the house!

No more missing laundry detergent!

No more unidentified socks showing up in my laundry!

No more second-hand smoke drifting up from the basement!

No more front bushes being used as a trash can for empty beer cans!

No more dirty diapers left on the steps!

And finally,

No more hot dogs puked on the front porch for me to clean up!

Yes indeedy, today…..my new, Village Free life begins…..

(Insert Hallelujah chorus here)

 

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Sea Monkey Farmer

Sea Monkey Farmer

As you all know, I am already a proud pet parent.  My shih tzu could beat up your honor roll student. Being Yadi’s mom is quite a commitment. One that I wasn’t sure that I was ready for. But I believe that I have raised a very happy dog and it makes me feel like I’m ready for more.

Romy and I went to a subdivision sale a few weeks ago.  We drove by a house where a lady was standing by the mailbox trying to get her sign to stay put.  We stopped and after calling “dibs”  (calling dibs in the world of rummage sales means that you have first call on the products for sale.  Rummage sale dibs is in no way legally binding nor do the people in the car with you ever actually follow the rules of dibs.  But I have to call it anyway.)

“Dibs!”  I screamed while opening the car door, with my dibs being totally ignored by Romy.

We walked up to a garage full of educational toys.  For me, a bust.  Yadi is smart but I refuse to try to make her learn how to count with an abacus.  Upon closer examination though, I found a gem, a diamond in the rough.

For there, among the fourth and fifth grade math books, nestled behind several packets of Brainquest cards, was something that made my ignored pleas of Dibs pay off:

SEA MONKEYS.

A complete Sea Monkey kit, normally costing seven to eight dollars….for TWENTY FIVE CENTS!

DIBS!

I immediately snatched up the monkeys and forked over the quarter.  My adventure was set to begin.

We got back in the car and I explained to Romy how excited I was about this find.  She seemed unaffected.

Hmm….well she won’t be so unimpressed when she sees them magically hatch right before her very eyes!

I headed home, knowing that I would have to wait four whole days to hatch my new babies. Romy was going to come in Wednesday to go to a Cardinals game. I planned to hatch them then.

On Tuesday, per the official Sea Monkey directions, I filled the tank and added the water purifier.

One more day.

After the game, we headed back to my house. (We mopped the Pirates by the way)  As soon as we got there, I made Romy come into the kitchen to watch the little beasts come to life.  She was able to contain the overwhelming excitement that was brimming just beneath the surface.

I ripped the envelope and dumped the eggs into the tank and stirred gently and….

VOILA!

See those little black dots?  THOSE are Sea Monkey eggs!

Wait for it…..see how they’re moving around in the current?  See how they’re not wiggling yet?

Sadness.  My eggs did not hatch.  Romy picked up the instructions and informed me that it may take more than a day due to the water temperature.

I was so disappointed that Romy, who was to be the godmother to my monkeys, did not get to experience their miraculous birth.  Even more disappointed that the next day, Romy and I were headed to her house in the country and she would again not have the opportunity to see them come to life because despite  homeschooling her kids, Romy had NEVER seen live Sea Monkeys.

Let me repeat that for emphasis:

ROMY HAD NEVER SEEN LIVE SEA MONKEYS.

Un-American. It’s equivalent to never having had a Chia Pet.  Everyone needs to do it once.

And I had owned Sea Monkeys before. In seventh grade, I had some.  I don’t remember the specifics but I think they may have started to smell and we um…disposed of them.  Don’t ask.

I came home from the country on Friday and immediately ran to my little Sea Monkey tank.

LIFE! THEY’RE ALIVE!

Oh sure, they were just tiny little dots but they were alive! I didn’t fail! (at least at this one thing.)

Now, I can proudly say that I have a pretty healthy amount of Sea Monkeys. I am officially a Sea Monkey Farmer.  They’re only a week old and they are thriving.  I can’t wait til they breed.  I don’t want to rush them to grow up and I’d like them to be kids for as long as they wish but I want grandmonkeys!

I just wanted to let you all know that I am embarking on this new adventure.  I will keep you updated and will eventually post pics (because I know you are all on the edge of your seat) and maybe even videos of my thriving Sea Monkey World.  Until then, wish me luck on my breeding.

….of Sea Monkeys…not of myself.

 

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