Tag Archives: Favorite Things

Personal Essay #7 — Asking for Autographs

Personal Essay Button I’ll be writing and posting Personal Essays on the last Tuesday of every month. They will be honest, sometimes vivid explorations of my life.

I’m writing them for two reasons: to help put my experiences in perspective and to purge myself of any residual compost.

Since it is good therapy, you are invited to join me, post your link in comments and I’ll be sure to drop by.

Let it begin:

banner wicked truck 1a

I’m looking back at an episode of extremes. I love live theater and have for years. So when Wicked, came to Vancouver my sister and I decided to go. While there my behavior did a quick flip—excited by the performance became too shy to approach the cast. I don’t expect to ever have a crowd of fans flocking around me, but if I ever do I hope I remember this moment.

My love of musical theater began long before I lived in Vancouver. I had seen The King and I on television several times throughout my life and never expected to see a live performance. But Yul Brynner came to the Queen Elizabeth Theater months before he died of cancer. The only sign of illness was his heaving chest after a lengthy song and dance. I still regret not trying to get his autograph.headshot anna 1a

No surprise then, when the musical, Wicked, came to Vancouver Queen Elizabeth Theater; my sister and I jumped at the chance to go. I decided before we took our seats that I was going to get autographs. So during intermission, I asked about what I needed to do. Full of bravado, I would have gone up on the stage and, chased the cast to the dressing rooms if that was what it took. As soon as the curtain calls were done, I did as I was told and rushed outside to the stage door pen and program in hand.

The first face I recognized I rushed toward; she smiled, signed and thanked me for coming. The next person that came out I’m not so sure of, my bravado slipping, and I asked them if they were in the performance, feeling quite rude. How could I not recognized them, but they were dancers that were in full flying monkey make-up and gladly signed. Another pair of women came out, looking very much like the two stars (but maybe not), and they asked us how we liked the performance because they were new to the troop. I still got their autographs, but was slowly losing my confidence which made no sense.

Days later and I’m haunted with the fact I was overwhelmed. I have always believed that anyone putting themselves out there deserves acknowledgment and we should never be afraid to share something positive with them. How would it have looked for them to come up to me asking me if I was waiting for an autograph—egomaniac on a stick—that’s how. I’m so glad I’ve had this moment of enlightenment; and I’ve promised myself if I ever go back to the theater to get autographs, I’ll be sure to ask everyone. Fan, headliner, supporting cast member and backstage grunt—I’m asking them all.

Stitch Done and Mounted

Remember this:stitch3Well, now it looks like this:

IMG_20140719_161521609 Thanks to Bossman who has the patience and hand & eye coordination required to  square it on the mounting board.

Some of you might think that this took a long time to complete. Trust me a few months on a project is nothing. I have one project that is still in progress.

I started a Christmas stocking for my son over twenty years ago. It’s almost done. Every New Years I swear this will be the year I finish it.

Some logic there, huh?

Nope just guilt and a bit of gentle teasing from Bossman. Here it is:


IMG_20140720_150307It doesn’t look twenty-something, now does it?

To see it in better detail double click on the pic. You’ll see that the piece is twenty-eight holes per inch, which is really fourteen stitches per inch. I love the detail. Let’s hope the other stocking won’t take this long.

Yes there is another stocking in my future and I’ll be starting it in the near future. It’s for me. I’m hoping they stay in the family as a keepsake throughout the generations to come.

Anyway. This is a thank you to all of you for your support. I think it turned out quite nicely. Give yourselves a pat on the back, since I can’t quite reach. And note that your job of urging me on will never be complete while I have a project on the back burner. 🙂

The Stitch Project

I’m happy to say that I eventually got my floss, but the story isn’t over yet. If you’ve not read about my cross-stitch project click here. This is turning out to be a saga of Viking proportions. I may say this with a smile, but I know I’m being tested.

A while back I checked to see why my floss had not arrived. There must be a reason. After what I paid for delivery my package should have been in my hand within two-four days. Two weeks later I’m going over my order form, and there it is like a giant wart on what could have been a beautiful face. I used the shift key when entering the digit of my box number so there was a hash mark (#) instead of the number three. My typing skills are great, as long as I’m on a computer and can use the backspace button freely.

I know this and yet I still don’t proof everything I type.

Whoa, now what am I going to do? The floss should have been at my local post office last time I visited, but wasn’t—hence all the whining. Breaking out in a cold sweat, wondering if I’m ever going to get this masterpiece finished, I rushed down to my local post office ready to beg for help.

In a small town there are things I’ve learned to live with. For example, I’ve returned post that was put in my box in error. As I’m standing there waiting my turn, this very thought occurs to me. If it landed in the right box with the wrong name, would the owner of the box return the floss unopened, saying it was some kind of mistake.

When my turns comes, I sound more like an insane woman than a customer in need. Thank you Grand Forks Post Office representative for sticking to your guns, getting the story and making sense of it all. She finally asked me to write a note saying where the package was coming from and what address I accidentally put on it. She also reassured me that she knew the owner of that particular box, so there was no need to worry. Like me, the owner was very honest.

Customer service is not dead. And I have a rep to prove it.

Weeks go by and I’m starting to lose my faith, but I shouldn’t have. I found the packet in my post office box with the note in my handwriting taped to it. Yes, I did do a happy dance. Yes, I raised the packet skyward and thanked the big guy for making such nice people in the world.

Sadly I’ve done nothing with my project since. I’ve lost my motivation to stitch, but I feel it rising again now that I’m written this post. Excitement is in the air and it feels good. I Promise a picture will soon follow. 🙂

Personal Essay #5 – Superheroes

Personal Essay Button I’ll be writing and posting Personal Essays on the last Tuesday of every month. They will be honest, sometimes vivid explorations of my life.

I’m writing them for two reasons: to help put my experiences in perspective and to purge myself of any residual compost.

Since it is good therapy, you are invited to join me, post your link in comments and I’ll be sure to drop by.

Let it begin:

I know I’m still in tune with my inner child, and may only think I’m hiding the fact of what I’m about to share; does everyone all ready know that I love superheroes? I love Tina Turner’s song about needing a hero. I loved, so loved, Christopher Reeve as Superman and Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man—the duality of it all was captured perfectly. Yet, throughout my life I never wanted to be one; it would be too much. The new movies based on Marvel Comics create a hope in all of us regardless of our ages or backgrounds and when I watch them I fill with warmth, thinking more hopeful seeds are being planted in the young.

I Need a Hero. Oh, sure there are other songs. I still remember tearing up the first time I heard it. Crazy, and true. The song moved me, because I needed hero too, and sadly never found one. It was as if she was singing from my very soul; I identify with Tina more than I care to admit.

I still watch the old Superman and Spider-Man movies. Because of Christopher Reeve and Tobey Maguire’s portrayals, I realized how much sacrifice is required to save the human race. I never wanted that for either hero, but it was that type of martyrism that showed us what we are worth as individuals and a community. The goodness in these imaginary characters will never compare to the human heroes all around us, and they don’t have to go that far to show they care. Some drop change in a hat, visit the elderly, volunteer at the local school or hospital and all of them leave their mark.

I’d never want to be a superhero. I couldn’t do it, and it’s not because of my lack of powers or bravery. It’s because I wouldn’t want to give up all I know and love, or have no hope of keeping my loved ones safe, knowing they are my only true weakness. I’m too selfish. Then there would be the responsibility of all those lives so vulnerable, so dependent on me.

Imaginary or not, there is one thing superheroes give us that all of us need. It’s a seed of hope that no matter how bad things get there is one person trying to save the day. And when we watch our favorites, it’s that one little chance that keeps us holding our breath, cheering and sometime laughing as they go against impossible odds to save us all. The new movies based on Marvel Comics are touching a new generation and I hope they love them as much as I do. Go Ironman!