Monday, June 29, 2009

Vandalay Industries, how may I help you?

My grandma thinks my friend is a taxidermist.
I told her that I don't think the job of taxidermy is possible in Hong Kong. What would you stuff, the giant cockroaches? There's no need to mount the lizards on my wall, they're pretty much stagnant when they're alive. And if I make a comment about dogs again, it will be my head for sure.
I angered a neo-Nazi the other night. After step class at the gym, the instructor and I went to 7-11 to get a soy milk and talk outside the store for a while. Mid-conversation, I audibly gasped, pointed and shouted, "A rat!" The rat had a collar and was followed by a giant white man with a shaved head. He gave me the stink eye and moved along peacefully--for now.
Deirdre, I think playing a tuba in an elf costume will help me fit in even more than I already do. You see, my Cantonese is improving so much, that people are starting to ask if I'm from Hong Kong or mixed or something. I'm definitely mixed, but we all already knew that. By the way, you're a gem and a poetic force.
The reason I haven't written a blog in so long is of course due to the untimely death of Michael Jackson, which left me, for several days, completely immobile from shock and subsequent depression. The good part of all this is the increased use of MJ music in stores, cafes, etc. And they aired "Michael Jackson's Ghosts" on an HK TV station----ummm....yeah. Anyone?
The countdown to the arrival of the parental units is under 2 weeks now, and Hong Kong is shivering with antici


Also, the arrival of my friend Paloma and her mama will soon occur and my excitement cannot be contained! We will have much fun. However, Hong Kong severely lacks in the cereal department. We make up for it in the squid and chicken feet department, so no worries.

Rainy season is upon us, and with that comes typhoons. We've had a couple wimpy ones so far...only T1 and T3. It must reach a T8 to close businesses and schools.
Schools. All primary schools were closed a month early to prevent the spread of A-H1N1. Of the 15 shows TIE had scheduled for June/July, 12 were post-poned due to the outbreak. We did 2 shows last Friday to a group of 500 students all required to wear masks.
In the meantime, we're writing new scripts and music for next year. They will be epic. And we have a new TIE team assembled for next year. Michael from Australia and Lindsey, our very own from South Dakota. I'm very much looking forward to working with them.
Also in the news is Millie, the musical I'm doing. We're running into some opposition, which I won't get into now, but it's negative publicity, which is usually the best publicity, just ask Allen Ginsberg. Except you can't ask Ginsberg because he died over 10 years ago. He did, however, save his electricity bills and fingernail clippings in manila envelopes--you know, for posterity.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Imperative Blog

As I hovered over the toilet in my Japanese supermarket, I received a call from Allan. I don't know Allan, which exponentially increases the awkwardness of a toilet conversation. Allan, I now know, is the director of a musical for which I auditioned last week. He cast me as a lead role! I am elated. I expressed this elation to him and he continued with an observation that I would be "perfect" for this role. This role is a complete freak. A nutcase. An absolutely ridiculous specimen. And I'm "perfect" for it. I'm going to beat you to the "type-casting" jokes, Devon.
This is the show about the tap dancing and sex slavery, of which I believe my character participates only in the tap dancing. I believe.

My tuba has arrived. I can make a noise on it, but I may need some basic instruction, as every note I play sounds the same. I think I have to wear an elf costume and play at holiday functions this winter or something.

Now, I rarely complain, but for the last week, they have been "renovating" the apartment directly above mine. This translates to incessant jackhammering. It's not just annoying loud--it's to the point where I should wear protective gear for my ears. I know I usually exaggerate, but this time I'm not. The reverberations cause bits of my ceiling to fall onto the floor. Also, it so happened that the day they started the jackhammering, the electricity in half of my apartment went out. Just half. Coincidence? Not likely. Susan Boyle sang on Britain's Got Talent---the H1N1 pandemic began. What I'm saying is, coincidences don't happen. I finally collected the courage to go up and confront the offenders today. It didn't go well. It was my first go at describing a lack of electricity in Cantonese, which was a rousing success, but in the end, the "master" just looked at my fuse box and tracked carcinogenic dust into my place.

One more pressing issue. Deodorant. In Hong Kong, there are two undesirable options. Spray on and roll on. I nixed the spray long ago, due to its harshness. Here's my problem with the roll-on. The way the roll-on works is that the ball rolls into the deodorizing substance, then can be applied to the appropriate area to be deodorized. However, when the deodorizing substance sinks to a level below the reach of the ball--it is necessary to do a back bend, hold the deodorant upside-down, and apply. In doing said back bend in the non-air conditioned environment of my apartment, more deodorizing substance is required. It's a vicious circle.

This is what happens when I don't have much to talk about, but am required by my Dad's indigestion and/or lack of fiber to write a blog.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Horton is Not a Gay Elephant

I'm still being proactive about not taking a camera anywhere with me. See how I twisted my forgetfulness into pro-activity? Everyday, I feel more and more confident that there is a place for me in American politics.
That said, I have begun Putonghua (Mandarin) lessons in earnest. According to Man, I can have a stimulating conversation in Mandarin with a block of wood. Watch out, in a few weeks, it might be with a single-celled organism. It's difficult to learn two different Chinese languages at the same time. Difficult, yet effective. Some words are very similar, but the speech patterns or perhaps "accent" is completely different. My Mandarin teacher has to keep telling me to stop speaking Mandarin like I'm a Cantonese speaker. This may be the first time I've ever been accused of being too Canto.
Last week, I went up to near the Chinese border to cook a meal at a develop mental home. It was a project for the church outreach team. The most fascinating thing was the fact that Valerie and Wendy, the British women in their mid-70s who run the place, can speak Cantonese to their residents. For one thing, I don't see very many old timer British people in HK at all. Most of them went back to the Isle in 1997 China took HK back. On top of that, they can speak Cantonese, which is basically unheard of for British people. Not to stereotype or anything.
I have several auditions for extracurricular theatre in the next two weeks. A slew of musicals...Millie, Sweeney Todd, and Aladdin. Unfortunately, I have only one day to prep for Millie. I thought I knew the story (that there wasn't one, but lots of tap dancing)...until I wikipedia-ed it and discovered that an old lady kidnaps adult orphans and tries to sell them as sex slaves in China...and Julie Andrews was in this? I'm still going to audition. I'm actually more intrigued. Like I always say, nothing goes together like tap dancing and sexual slavery. Apparently.
I'm taking leave between Aug.2 and Aug.19--at this point, I know not where the winds of travel will take me. I shall begin accepting bids.