Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fair is Foul and Foul is Foul

Fair is Foul and Foul is Foul
Mrs. De Stefano looked like Mrs. Potts from Beauty and the Beast if, of course, Mrs. Potts were a real person and not an animated teapot. She was round, with chubby cheeks and a hearty, sweet laugh. She had a Masters in “Tough Love” and had double-majored in “Sass” and “Intellectual Rigor.” This woman was a force.

“Why would Shakespeare have the cock crowing, and reoccurring knocking in this scene,” she questioned us as she held Macbeth in one hand and twirled her plump fingers in the air, searching for something to materialize from our brains. Her eyes searched the room.
            Two seats away from Mrs. D, a name that was far easier to say than Miss-us De- Stef-a-no, I sat in my over-sized uniform, my hair frizzy from carelessness with my eyes scanning the section of text to which she was referring. In an all-girl’s school where, for most girls, Ivy League colleges were legitimate choices and not “reach” schools, I was a commoner grasping for the college acceptance scraps.
“Maybe Shakespeare likes visitors,” I thought to myself, too nervous to admit this very silly analysis of a story in which I was enthralled.
            It wasn’t Shakespeare’s tragedy that grabbed my attention; I was captivated by Mrs. D. She was a bundle of Shakespearean passion wrapped in a business-casual muumuu. Her love for Macbeth, which she had probably taught 3,000 times roughly, caressed our minds. She prodded us, tweaked our thoughts, played with our emotions and made us realize how the universe of Literature was fascinating; it was ours.
Distracted for a moment, I was casting the boys I was infatuated with as various characters in the play.
Pete would be Macbeth, because he likes power.  Mike would be Banquo, because, like him, he will have hot sons…”
 “Melissa, how would you feel, sitting in the audience of this play, and a cock crows, out of the silence right as someone has been killed?” Mrs. D woke me from my boy obsessed stupor.
“Uh, wow,” I intelligently responded, “uh, well, that’s so scary, I think I’d pee my pants.”
With the words, came embarrassment. I’d pee my pants! At this point, twenty-five girls were laughing at me—with me. Who knows? I began to sweat, my hair frizzed a degree frizzier and I waited for Mrs. D’s reaction. I tried to play it cool. Laugh with everyone so this goes better? Fight off the embarrassment through tears? How would I work this one, of many, “Mongi Moments”?
            Sooner than I’d expected, Mrs. D’s face softened. She began to laugh that good laugh that comes straight from the soul. She was tearing up a bit as she, I, and the entire class exulted in my ridiculous comment.  
            Through laughs, Mrs. D choked out words I’ll never forget.
“Sweetie,” she breathed, “don’t ever, EVER say that in public again!”
            And I never have.

Love always, 

The Lady

Friday, April 15, 2011

Action is Eloquence

His life was gentle; and the elements
So mixed in him, that Nature might stand up,
And say to all the world, THIS WAS A MAN!

There is a hush as the joke lands on the audience. I wait as my cheeks burn with the words that have just sizzled out of my mouth. Were they funny words or not? I wait. The laughter starts and their happiness interrupts the silent room. I can move on. While there might be 40 people merely interested, one person with passion can fill a room. Passion comes in many forms, but my passion starts and ends with a punch-line.
I was an early giggler. My brother would make funny faces and, even at 3 months, I knew that was comedy. My Dad would make silly statements (that were usually untrue) and I’d have to uncover his meaning. As I got older, it was easier for me to recognize the satire between the lines. My mother was a character waiting to be mimicked, and I mimicked her to the point of many a “get to your room” and “stop repeating what I’m saying.” I was a blatant observer of others and my keen eye only added to my ability to make people laugh. While all those around me helped me develop my talent, passion isn’t static – it snowballs into something uncontrollable and, with a little luck, something profound.
When you are honing a skill you have to learn from the greats. I always appreciated Shakespeare’s tragedies, but I really loved any scenes devoted to the Groundlings (the socially degenerate of Shakespeare’s time). Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing is absurd and hilarious, never making sense, but always making his own sense. The troupe of actors in A Midsummer Night’s Dream made me chuckle as they took their roles so comically, and disastrously, serious. What I learned from the fool of “Twelfth Night” was the greatest lesson of them all – comedians speak the most truth. Shakespeare takes the fool and shows the world that a passion for humor shines a light on the destructive nature of others. A fool’s passion can, sure, make the world smile, but that humor is based on the observations of a cruel world.
While I don’t pretend that my passion makes great change, I know it makes change. If I can “make em’ laugh” then I can make them think. If I can grab the attention of others for more than five seconds maybe they will see, for just a moment, that change is needed, that society is faltering in some way or that the individual has the ability to be better for the whole. In this moment, when the hush occurs and the joke lands on the audience, I wait for the laughter and I wait for the thinking to begin. 


The Lady

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Woman's Part In Me

Could I find out
The woman's part in me—for there's no motion
That tends to vice in man, but I affirm
It is the woman's part; be it lying, note it,
The woman's; flattering, hers; deceiving, hers;
Lust and rank thoughts, hers, hers; revenges, hers;
Ambitions, covetings, change of prides, disdain,
Nice longing, slanders, mutability,
All faults that name, nay, that hell knows,
Why, hers, in part or all; but rather, all;
For even to vice
They are not constant, but are changing still . . 

One, its been forever and a day since I've written. Sorry, faithful readers--especially you anonymous commenter who loves to fill my comment box with weird links to virus-filled places.

Anyway, I write today on an important issue...models. I've been living in a bubble where the models were not what everyone has always claimed. Consider the bubble burst, the seams of my naivety have come undone & the innocence I once clung to, like a child to its teddy bear, has slipped precariously under my bed. I get what all the hub-bub is about. Models ARE stick thin and models DO aggravate a situation in our current society where young girls feel the need to be super thin. Good morning, brain, welcome to reality!

How could I be so delusional? Well, thats simple. My models are not those (super-thin-almost-falling-over-from-the-weight-of-their-own-heads) models. My models are plus size models. They make sense. They're curvy and they always have a bit of chub that no photo-shop could remove. Looking at them has made me feel good. I don't feel like eating, or the way I look, is a problem, because their beautiful round faces say otherwise. Their decorated bodies, wearing different styles of clothes, have let me know that there is world beyond--where cool clothes fit big girls. I like my models. My models reinforce something within me, rather than diminish something within me. Also, my models look like people I know or would see in real life.

I was well and good in my delusions until I stumbled upon Forever21's website, which my friend called "Forever Size 1." I didn't understand her meaning at first, then I clicked to see some of their clothes. Holy heck, girlfriends - you are all very, VERY thin. I started thinking about other websites, magazines and advertisements I've ignored most of my life. This stuff must be everywhere! I'm scared that there are others out there; more skinny, more emaciated versions of the female body for little girls everywhere to covet. "No!" I shouted to my coworker who looked at me funny, and excused this behavior as something "zany" I would do.

I want them to see my models, look at the differences, and distinguish that the skinny ones are not to be idolized. I want them to see my models, and know the differences in beauty--that there are different forms of it and not one size fits all (pun intended) standards to beauty. I just want them to see my models.

With much love to my models,

The Lady

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Clothe My Naked Villany

"And thus I clothe my naked villany
With odd old ends stol'n out of holy writ,
And seem a saint, when most I play the devil."
King Richard III (I, iii, 336-338)

It’s been decided, I shall become a nudist. With the recent heat influx of, roughly, a billion degrees Fahrenheit – I’ve decided that clothes are no longer necessary. While not a nudist currently, during this past week I kinda get their lifestyle. Foregoing clothes has become the only solution to my heat induced hysteria.
In all honestly, I really like clothes. I like fashion and pairing this shirt, with that skirt, and color coordinating my wardrobe. With all that said, this past week has made me want to throw every article of clothing away and go ala-buff.
Going outside feels like some greater being is saying “Here, Melissa! Enjoy my hot breath!” I watched sizzling flowers combust into yellow ash, a drowsy bird drop woozily low to the ground, drunk from the sun. I felt the pain of a squirrel holding up his hands to the sky asking for a swift death. The heat has been so gross, it’s all I talk about.
I say the words “gross” and “stifling” at least four times a day. And, if nothing else, it’s a great way to break up an awkward pause in a conversation. “God, it’s hot out there – am I right? Eh? It’s stifling! Man, this weather is gross! Did you hear its going to be 103 tomorrow? Gross. Ew! Hot, hot, hot! Gross.”
Aside from it being hot outside, I’ve become horribly attached to my air conditioning. If there were meetings for those addicted to Air Conditioning I would have to stand up, say my name, and confess that I have a problem. Once inside, away from the heat blanket that has become life, I go into an A.C coma. I forget my name, I forget where I am, but I remember the cool sweetness of my air-conditioner and how it loves me unconditionally.
I walked outside of air-conditioning for 1 minute yesterday, and when I went back in it looked as if I’d jumped into a pool of hot water. My face was red & my large hair, which takes forever to wet, was dripping. It took me 35 minutes of air-conditioning and two Sham-Wows to dry myself off from my dip in the heat.
So maybe, just maybe, if I become a nudist things would be cooler. Or maybe, just maybe, I’d still be hot and hearing the word “gross” being referenced about the weather & my socially unacceptable behavior. 

A toast to cooling down,

The Lady

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Most learnèd judge, a sentence! Come prepare!

"Most learned judge, a sentance! Come prepare!" - Skylock, Merchant of Venice

Certain things get me kind of ill-at-ease. Not knowing where a loved one has gotten to when they don't pick up their phones, the moment right before a grade is revealed, the moment after someone says "we need to talk," and when my gmail inbox reads "Anonymous has left a new comment on your post." For the most part, those who read this blog are people I know. Yet, there are strangers among us. When I read my inbox to find one of these strangers has made contact, there is this moment of realization as if to say "you are not alone...someone is watching." Today's comment particularly left me feeling like I needed to cover up my naked body and run into hiding. I kind of hate anonymous commenting because it feels cheap--dirty even. It suggests I should be open with the public, but someone is lurking outside the bushes watching me and hiding their identity. Rather than whine about these comments, I'm going to do exactly what this commentor has suggested - I'm going to continue to be original.

With that, I am going to pretend that these "Anonymous" comments are from people I know.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post:
Opulently I assent to but I contemplate the collection should acquire more info than it has.
Dear Professor Sherlockwilloweed *Friendly Museum Curator,
So nice for you to drop by my blog and respond incoherantly to a post that had nothing to do with art or a collection of any sort. Your comment made me use a dictionary mostly because none of what you said had to do with being snowed in (the theme of my post). You must be a hoot to hang out with! I imagine you collect pipes, but never smoke them. Enjoy being boring! 
The Lady

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post:
Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot of creativity and orginiality now keep it up!

Dear Mom,
Sorry this blog sucked early on. I know my earlier work dealt mostly in "drinking" and I imagine that broke your precious Mom-heart. I apologize. Thanks for always hanging my creative work on the fridge. No one believed in my talents more than you that day I brought home a bird house made of uncooked pasta. I will try to keep up the good work, so long as you always reward me in nothing but your honesty & mac n'cheese. You're the, seriously, you are. No, its not me, its you! YOU'RE THE BEST!
Your lady-like daugther

Anonymous has left a new comment:
What do you think? Do I look hot? You can check my pics here!

Dear Tom (My First Kiss),
No. You don't. May I ask, is that a growth or some sort of tumor on your forehead. I don't remember that from grade-school. Whatever it is, it is not hot. T'will never be hot. ((shivver)).

Thanks for sending me such a wonderful comment!
Crying Herself to Sleep,
The Lady
P.S. That computer virus-link was excellent. I <3 computer viruses!

Keeping it real,

The Lady

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Blow, blow, thou winter wind

"Blow, blow, thou winter wind,
Thou art not so unkind
As man's ingratitude;" As You Like It

 Oh, no, snow! You've ruined my weekend to the core. Likewise, you've ruined my sanity!

Ok, so part of my weekend was ruined because of my own behavior (sorry Han-Sam) and subsequent illness all of yesterday. Regardless, tonight was supposed to be epic and tomorrow was supposed to be a fun-date with my ladies. What do I get instead? Inches of snow and, most likely, an extra 5 pounds. Whatever, let's look at things from the shiny side of the snowflake (terrible metaphor? I blame the snow!)

Anyhoo - good stuff that happened because of the snow:
1. Spent the day with my family & the love.
2. Baked monkey bread - ate monkey bread - gained 5 pounds of monkey-bread-love handles!
3. Stayed in my jammies all toasty and warm all day!
4. Felt a bit more Christmas-excitement thanks to the Christmas music playing all day long.
5. Watched an awful movie and didn't feel guilty about not doing work! Hooray!
6. Took an hour nap on the couch. Couch-naps are the greatest!
7. Ate delivery veggie pizza. There is nothing greater than eating a pizza and having it delivered to you. I should have just had someone feed it to me.
8. Have had a no makeup, hair-in-a-bun, scummy looking Lady kind of day - and I like it!
9. Watched the puppies frolicking in the snow! They were the cutest!
10. Smelled the sweet scent of cinnamon & spruce thanks to the season.

Ok, so I guess the snow isn't THAT bad. I just better not be stuck in here all day tomorrow or this cabin fever is going to become a true epidemic!


The Lady

Sunday, December 6, 2009

They Say Do Never Live Long

"So wise so young, they say do never live long."
King Richard III (III, i, 79)

While it is the holiday season, and I've had a fabulous weekend of family, friends and my love, I can't help but think of those we've lost.

In the past 6 years I have seen two wonderful men leave this earth way too early. One was in grad school and the other was working and "living the dream" of a bachelor. Both died in car accidents.One story remains a mystery and the other was killed by a drunk driver. Their stories ended far before their time and, every year at this time, I am reminded of them.

Christmas lights put me over the edge. Tonight, as I drove past rows of houses cheerily decorated with colorful orbs, I remember seeing those very lights and being told "he passed away." Christmas lights, so beautiful and happy, remind me of those two very souls who were taken from their families during the holidays. They will never get to hold their loved ones, decorate their trees, smell the chilly air, unwrap presents, get frustrated over crowded malls and taste delicious Christmas cookies. They won't, but I will. I will do all these things and, as much as I can, with a smile in honor of these two men.

Remember why this is the season.
Remember there are those who are lost and lonely.
Remember we can celebrate, while others cannot.
Just, remember...

Tis' the season,

~The Lady~