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Archive for September 2014

Fun Fun Fun

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I doubt I could,
but together we sure could!

That was Suzi. Upon my suggestion that she help me with my timesheets. Responding to my hope that she could make that tedious chore “fun” for me. Then we both laughed at our shared private thoughts of how we could make timesheets so much fun, they might ban me from having to fill them out ever again!

What if anything might be even more fun-adverse than timesheets, I might ask. Say, caring for a baby? Oh, but I’ve way too much deep experience changing diapers and giving baby baths and feeding finicky baby mouths and rocking little ones to sleep and waking at odd hours caring for a child, way way way too many hours for me to ever feel the sting of insult suggesting me the fool to think caring for a baby can’t but be fun. Seriously, babies are one of the most fun things a person can ever hope to enjoy! Because fun has nothing to do with the burden of the responsibility or with the tedium of the activity or with the ickiness of any part of the effort. No, fun has a lot more to do with one’s desire to engage in the activity and the depth of the pleasure one can get out of the activity.

That, and doing it with someone else, as Suzi acknowledges. Like, can a person truly have fun solo? Perhaps, although most activities one might raise as illustrations of solo fun have at least an implicit involvement with someone else. For instance, my poetry reading — even when I do so out loud, a frequent fun exercise of mine, my poetry reading is almost always conducted alone. Yet what makes it most fun is that I am not reading my own poetry, nor did the poet wrote the poem solely for his or her own benefit, rather that I am engaging in an activity meant for at least two: a writer communing with a reader. Absent that joint activity, any supposed fun seems flat and empty. But immerse myself in that collaboration, and any definition one could give to “fun” describes the experience that keeps me coming back for more.

Ah, yet Suzi suggests that together we could make timesheets fun, while of course implicitly but rather painfully making it obvious that she will not be helping me out in such a way, not on this particular activity. Leaving me to my timesheets alone. Which of course means that of all the things I can point to that I do in any given fortnight, that one activity happens to be the only one in which I can find no fun. I’d much rather be changing the messiest baby diaper. Oh well.

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Written by macheide

4 September 2014 at 1:41 pm

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Adrien’s Richards

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                They called me saying, “Quick! We need you
                To help with The Boardinghouse readthrough.”
                        A cookie for me
                        And a nice cup of tea,
                Then we’ll see what some digging might lead to!

Yes, I’ve agreed to play the role of Mr. Richards in several performances of The Boardinghouse, to be staged this coming November by our community’s Players drama group.

Partly, to stretch my memory skills, which have really sucked since the shenanigans. Partly, to try out something new, since I’ve never done drama before (no, speeches to actuarial audiences don’t count). Partly, to do my part to keep our community’s drama group alive. And mainly, just because it sounded like fun.

Mr. Richards is a failed writer who during the play turns from miserable attempts to come up with ideas for a murder mystery novel to even more miserable attempts to write poetry, managing only to fashion some terribly bad limericks which only happen to turn funny once one of the other actors takes to providing satirical final lines to Mr. Richards’ feeble efforts. Ah, they’ve typecast me well! Just because I love reading poetry so much doesn’t mean I can write it, so just about all I’ve written since college has been the occasional limerick, most of those quite easily as bad as those recited by Mr. Richards.

And when Mr. Richards is trying to write the perfect murder mystery, rather frequently he melodramatically “dies” onstage . . . of course, only to get better once his death seems to be little more than a shrug to the other actors and actresses. Again, typecast! — who out there knows better than I how to die multiple times and come back to life just as many times?!

And Mr. Richards winds up being given chores, starting with taking out the garbage. I won’t say how that fate befalls him, except to say: once again, typecast!

So I’m celebrating our first script readthrough, completed this morning, practicing being in character by composing the limerick given in this post, then imposing on my other colleagues at this evening’s Players’ monthly meeting, making them have to hear me recite it as Mr. Richards might. They tell me I have to work on it a bit — mine apparently isn’t quite as bad as the real Mr. Richards’ poetry is. Hmmmmm, I think I can act the part on that one with a little work . . .

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Written by macheide

3 September 2014 at 8:25 pm

Posted in local

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