Thursday, April 28, 2011

Men in Dresses: The Easter Addition

 It's that time of year again. Men dig out their moth-eaten robes and grow out their beards, moms organize carpooling, and children are forced to frolic around in scrappy dresses. You guessed it. It's Easter

On Good Friday, Average Saturday (my official name for the ignored day between Friday and Easter), and Easter Sunday, churches countrywide re-enact the Resurrection Story and share the good news with the world. Oh, and unofficially compete with other churches to become the best Easter performance in the local tri-state area. For the few days before, during, and after each church's performance are ironicly hellish. 24-7 church members are running about and trying to make their performance as flawless as possible for the big day(s). 

  Not all is stress and rush, however. Church members have a variety of roles to choose from. Here are the classics:

A Townspeople
This is the simplest of the lot. All you do is wear a bathrobe and fasten a dishcloth to your head with a scrap of fabric. Voila! You are a townsperson. The role requires you to have some serious mental issues, including but not limited to bi-polar disorders, restless feet syndrome, and multiple personalities. You will dance the grapevine repeatedly, enthusiastically praise the coming of the messiah, oooo and aaaaahhhh at everything, and then spit insults at the people being crucified.

A Disciple
Ah, one of the chosen followers. You don't have to do too much. You attend feasts with Jesus, fall asleep when you aren't supposed to, and run around graveyards looking for the risen King of Kings. Their are a few particular disciple roles, however. You could be Peter, the man who denied Jesus 3 times and had thing about fowl. Or Judas, the one who betrayed Jesus for some dough and was mentioned as being a bad kisser. That, or you will probably end up being the poor man who is forced to wear a bubblegum-colored robe. It doesn't matter what caliber a thespian you are, everyone will remember you as "that guy in a pink dress". 

A Demon
Your lines consist of "Hssssssss," "Rasssppppp," and occasional screams of fear/terror/pain. You will be given a black unisex, one-size-fits-all robe and hood that isn't particularly attractive. Black facepaint (red if you're fashion forward) will probably be smeared on your face. This is a physically taxing role. To look demonic you must follow these simple instructions:
1.Apply costume. 
2.Cackle and hiss like a clogged drain. 
3.Pretend you are a T-Rex with itty-bitty arms. 
4.Go down in a squat then spasm and groan like you pulled a muscle in your back. Make that several muscles.
5.Dart side to side, while still crouching, just as if someone was throwing fruit at you and you are trying to avoid it.
6.Run towards the Devil onstage like he's the last donut in the box. Suddenly develop a limp.
7.You are a demon!

An Angel
Being an angel is just a combination of imitating my brother and wearing white before Labor Day; It requires being around or over 6ft. and never showing emotion on your face. You will be the quiet, strong warrior that doesn't lash out at the little demon's taunting but instead will stand and take it. Like a man. In a white dress. With flowing sleeves. 

A Lunatic
If you can act as if you were stung by bees, hadn't taken a bath in a year, and were fleeing for your life all at once than you, yes you, can be a demon-possessed person. Bonus points if you have a pet pig.

You are the "Bad Guy". You capture Jesus, crucify him, and wear rugs over your dresses. Oh, and you have to cackle in melo-dramatic mad scientist laughter repeatedly. 

The Devil
Nobody want to get this role. You either dress as the grim reaper or a businessman. You will be given a monoluge and are the newest spokesperson for cough drops. You also have to do the cliche bad guy laugh. Like, a lot. Pretty much every time anything remotely sinister happens. 
Oh, so you're THAT guy. Every time the church puts on a production that requires a Jesus role, they call you. Your nickname is Lil' Jeez. You have long hair and an full beard year round. Instead of swimsuit season you hit the treadmill to prepare for Easter Season when you will parade before the entire church in a biblical depends. On the plus side, your role is the Son of God, you perform miracles galore, and you come back from the dead. Sweet.

While there are several other roles to be filled in an Easter Performance, these were the highlights for me. For better or for cheesiest, I did have a few issues about some of the performances I saw this year. One was the lack of historical accuracy. In one of the shows we saw there was only Jesus on the cross, they completely cut out the other 2 sinners. At another performance I noticed that the eye candy that had been promised paradise last year was replaced by a pot-bellied man who was struggling to keep his dentures in. (Just to be clear, that complaint had nothing to do with historical innacuracy. Unless the Bible says something different if you look back in the original Hebrew.)

In closing, i'd just like to say I mean no disrespect to God or the resilient people who perform the legendary tale. I fully and whole-heartily believe the Easter story and that Jesus really was the Son of God and rose again after 3 days. One of the reasons why I find it easy to poke fun of the performances is because i've participated in them, have friends in them, and have seen hundreds. The story of Easter and why we celebrate it is important and makes people remember what we tend to ignore the rest of the year. But really, no matter how serious the subject matter, who can't crack a smile when they see their pastor in a manly little blue number?

May All Your Bunnies Be Chocolate,
-Hannah Hoo

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Poetical Fiasco

At the moment, life does not permit me to write out the long and hopefully interesting email in my head. I'll do that later this week. Until then, I will express my current state of life in this poetic scrap:

My schedule is stacked. My bags are unpacked. 
Homework unfinished, Trip excitement undiminished.
Final Week Approaching, Stress levels soaring,
Procrastination innate. Grades, don't deflate!
Lists, Lists, Lists:
Shopping, Packing, Travel Tips.
"To Do", "To Don't", "To Forget".
Mad as a Hatter, I'll be a cat that caters,
"A cuppa' sugar an' two lumps of tea,
Would you like a scone, Miss Lee?"
The clock ticks like a tell-tale heart,
When will school end and travel start?

(Oh, some quick explanation: I'm going to dressed as the Cheshire Cat at a tea room at the approaching British Faire. The next weekend is Finals Week. Early the day after Finals we leave for Britain. Do you see my dilemma?)

We're All Mad Here,

Friday, April 22, 2011

Can you hear me now? Now? NOW?

Unlike most people, I love telemarketers. Truly, I do. How can you not love people who's job is to allow you to prank call them? And the best part is, I don't even have to call them. They call me. 

Now i'm proud to say that I've never intentionally prank-called anyone. Well, not unless the phone was handed to me, and usually that involves being forced to impersonate a clinical surveyor and interviewing the crush of the person who handed me the phone about which flavor of bubble gum they like better: Strawberry Peach or Lemon Delight? Needless to say I usually throttle the person who handed me the phone after I politely end the conversation.(You know who you are). But besides those increasingly frequent phone calls, I'm usually scott free in the mischievous telephone area.

I can't say i'm so innocent when it comes to telemarketers. We moved to my current house when I was nine and my brother was 12. Bored stiff during the summer and with nothing better to do than answer the phone, we devised a new art of amusement: The Reverse Prank Call. Every time a phone would ring we'd scream "IT'S MINE!" and run for it. Most of the time we'd pick up, our smiles would dim, and we'd promptly hang up. When Mom would ask us who it was we'd reply, "Oh, just Dad. He wanted something." and lie in wait for the next ring. When a poor, unsuspecting victi- i mean, telemarketer, would call we'd answer and our real fun would begin. Here are a few of our formulas:

The Foreigner
T: "Hi, i'm Susan. Would you be interested in purchasing a Tiger Deluxe Vacuum Cleaner with disposable filters and complimentary ski jacket?"
Me:"(Speaks in random, complicated sounding Japanese)".
T:"Er...Hello? Do you speak English?"
Me: "(More utter gibberish)".
 T:"Hello? Ah, snap. Um, er. DO.YOU.SPEAK.ENGLISH?"
Me:"(Frenzied talking)!"
T:-Hangs Up- and never calls again. 

The Refugee 
T:"Well, howdy! I am Lily Connors with the Spam Animal Activist Group. Remember: Spam Animals are People too.
T:"Is this (papers shuffle) Mr.Musick?"
Me:(serious voice)"How did you get this number?"
T:"Well, I-"
Me:"They told me this was a secure line. They promised i'd be safe!"
T:"Oh, i'm not su-"
Me:"The Witness Protection Program said no one had this number. How did you find me? Are you working for Slim Jim Joey?"
T:"Oh, gosh. I'm so sorry. Really, we had no idea."
Me:"Sure! Listen up, chick. Tell Slim Jim that nothing will keep me from testifying to what I saw! Not even if you hunt me down!"
T:"We will NEVER call again, Sir." -Hangs up-

The Orphan 
T:"Hi there! This is Peter Polanski and i'd like to offer you, yes you, an opportunity to purchase some glowing sunglasses for only $19.99! Could I speak to your father or mother?"
Me:"I don't think they need sunglasses."
T:"Everyone loves sunglasses! No matter where you are or what you're doing you can use a pair of Glo-Glasses! Now, where are your parents?"
Me:"They're dead."
T:"Oh. Oh my.."
Me:"(Burst out with theatrical crying)."
T:"Um, er...there, there. Have a"
-Hangs Up-

The Chef 
T:"G'day, ma-am! I would like to offer you a-"
Me: "(In a Jersy accent) Oh, Martha. I'm so glad you called, darling! I bet you want that recipe for Spicy Beef Loin, don't ya now?"
Me:"Of course you do! Lucky you, I have it right here. I'll just read it to you, ya?"
T: "Um, I-"
Me: "Preheat the oven at 360. Pull frozen pork out of freezer and allow to thaw overnight. Ya with me so far?"
T:"I don't-"
Me: "Oh, i'll just move on. Next you take a variety of spices lightly coat the meat. Then...(keep reading the recipe)."
T: -Hangs Up_ 

 The Vader
Simplest one in the book. Simply answer the phone silently and wait to confirm its a telemarketer. Then breath loud and raspy in a perfect imitation of Darth Vader. You might even want to mumble something about the force or the 
dark side being sensed on the other end of the line. 

The Questioning Toddler 
Enforce the time-tried practice of a curious child with your telemarketer. After every sentence just ask "Why?". And nothing else. A variation of this would be saying "Maybe" after every sentence. 

The Natter 
  Easy. Just share whatever childhood stories and or the woes of your life come to mind and spill them with your lovely listener. 

The Opera Trainee
T:" Hi there, this is-"
Me: (Begins to sing opera) "Do not liiiiieeeee toooo meeeee, Telelelelemarketer! The Phantom of the OOOOOOOppppppperrraaaaa is there, hes innnn you miiinnnnnndddd!"
(And so on.)

As you can see, the possibilities are endless for reverse prank calling. With a little imagination and a public land line your boring summer afternoons will be full of frivolity and fun. Just remember not to do anything too extreme or someone could be knocking at your door the next day and asking if you were the individual that asked if you could pay for your illegal goods with a Visa card. 

Saved by the Catchy Ringtone,

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Random Memories

I was just searching for entertainment through my old emails I sent and found this nugget from my 15th Birthday. Enjoy! 

Yes, exactly 15. Didn't you know? It is a universal fact that the older you get, the more thoughts you have because you cannot think more than the number of thoughts of how old you are at one time. If you think I am wrong, you are most likely absolutely right. Just like you would be absolutely right if you suspected me of dancing and singing when no one is home to a surfer boys record. In high heels. Which I am now going to sell on the black market.
You might also be absolutely right if you were to say clouds are cloud-shaped. Even when they look like dogs, obese mermaids, short-necked giraffes, mickey mouse, and George Clooney, they are still cloud-shaped.
 Just like soap is always undeniably soap, only soap, and soap so help me shampoo. It may look like candy, or fruit, or nitro glcerine, but it always tastes like soap when you eat it.
Hope I haven't thrust you with my confusing Nile of words into a continual ocean of befuddlement. Such things are born of procrastination ;)
 Love ya'll,

(BTW, my awesome friends actually sprung a suprise birthday party on me that night and instead of a cake I had a giant cupcake with green icing and white sprinkles. Unfortunately there was no coin in the center. Or is that why my tooth hurt? :) 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Weddings and other Natural Disasters

As I write this my fingertips are coated in a semi-permanent shield of super glue and topcoat nail polish from the peppermint earrings i'm slaving over. I'm this close to sleeping on the upstairs couch because i'm paranoid about the various fumes.  Having peppermint scented hallucinations and lung damage is not on my prolific to-do list, while recording an accurate (heehee) account of my eldest cousin's wedding is. Is that Justin Beiber wearing the candy cane jumpsuit from the dude in Candy Land?

Anywho, let us begin: 

    They were gone. Just like that, completly erased from his forehead. Were they burned off? Did they fall out as a side-effect from stress? Surely he didn't do it on purpose.
    However it happened the undeniable fact was this: My cousin Matthew had no eyebrows. Not a hair. To make it a million times worse, this realization came to me while watching Matt stand at the alter, wringing his nervous hands as the music began. Matching dwarves (aka tater tots) marched down the silken aisle, strewing rose petals and bearing shiny, easy-to-lose rings. The fur trimmed and perfectly coiffed women sighed and exclaimed quietly about how cute the little boy was in his tux. I must have been the only one to notice him picking his nose. 
    Bridesmaids and groomsmen shuffled along, my cousin Kyle one of them. I am astonished that my Aunt ever found a tux that would fit his lanky frame. At the ridiculous height of nearly 7 ft., Kyle is most likely one of the tallest people I know. Who else, when you hug them, has to reach down? Even then I ended up hugging his hips, which was fairly awkward.
    My Aunt, the ever amazing, whimsical, craft smart, and beloved Debbie gracefully stepped down the aisle. She looked like an Grecian Godess in her purple toga-style dress with maple syrup colored curls. My Uncle, the never-changing, book loving, salt and pepper Mike looked out of place in a tux and no hat. The inlaws of the bride were fairly unremarkable. All I remember was a portly cloud of jewels and fur, accompanied by her tweedy husband. The most memorable thing about either was their teary eyes and beaming smiles. 
    There was a pause, and the silence seemed to stretch on forever. Everyone held their breaths and waited for the bride to enter. I admit I tried to get a better look at the doors and wondered if their would be a dramatic scene where the bride flees, weeping, from the sanctuaryFortunately (though I was a litttle disappointed), the famous (and infamous) music began. A vision of white and spray-on tan wafted elegantly down the aisle, arm in arm with her father. Her black hair was pulled back into a loose bun and secured with little diamond clips.         She made her way to Matt, and they stood to face the priest. As the guest were given the thumbs up to sit by the priest, my Aunt Rhonda slipped into the seat beside me, giggling like a school girl late for morning assembly. She led her newest boyfriend by the hand and didn't  let go.
    Aunt Rhonda has an infamous past with romance. Divorced from her first husband, second husband died, third husband divorced after a few days and for unknown reasons, and multiple and colorful boyfriends scattered in between. Her latest one, the handsome detective, was the best one yet in my opinion. He looked, funnily enough, exactly like Detective Carlton Lassider from the AMAZING TV show "Psych": 
(I actually forgot his real name, so I almost called him "Lassie"...)

    The mothers of the bride and groom stood and read a long poem about how it takes three to make a marriage work (God, Groom, Bride). I missed most of the poem because I was singing "It takes three to make a thing go riii-ght, it takes three to make it out of sight!" in my head.
    I think that my Aunt was taking the last oportunity to minister to my wayward and slightly immoral cousin Matt. Matt and his bride-to-be had been living together for two years or so before the wedding, much to my Aunt and Uncle's chagrin.
    The fact that Matt and his girlfriend had been living as if they were married took that magical sparkle from the wedding in my eyes. It made the sanctity of marriage and purity a farce, not special and worth waiting for.
    The preist talked for awhile about this and that, adding a metaphor about bridges and donkeys here and there, until finally proclaiming: "I now pronounce you, MAN AND WIFE!"
    Rings were exchanged, lines fumbled, and finally: the kiss. If theres one thing I want at my wedding, its a sincere kiss. Matt looked like he was giving the bride a peck before heading out to work.
    We all filed into the banquet hall in order of seats, which I relished becasue that meant I got to walk out before most of the guests. :D Ahhh, the envious looks I got from the commoners as I and the other family of the groom exited. I gave them a sophisticated smile and princess waved as I went.
    Guest books are sweet, sentimental thoughts for most people. Not for homeschool families. In charge of writing all our names down in the guest book, I ended up using alot of space and holding up the line of wellwishers. I can only imagine what it would be like for my friend Steph's family, which is both home-schooled and Hispanic.
    Here was one of my favorite parts of the evening (NOT): the akward mingling. You know, when you hold a drink in your hand and flit akwardly from one relative to the next. My aunt Rhonda, feeling the need to hook me up with someone my own age, practically handed me my cousin (her daughter) Charlotte's resume and stood there, excitedly awaiting a BFF friendship to be born before her eyes. I smiled nervously. Charlotte smiled back like a sarcastic Cheshire cat. It was a match made in purgatory. We ended up making up conversation the rest of the evening, and I always had the feeling that she was laughing at me on the inside.
    The dinner bell rang, saving me. Glory and my mom sat on either side of me at the dinner tabe, saving me from relatives. For the majority of the evening my mum and I stuck to each other like bread dough that needs more flour, prepared to fight back to back against any scary, distantly related people. Glory spent the evening eating everyone's decorative chocolate place settings and handing me all her "extra" silverware. Clara lurked by the cheese and craker table most of the evening, a smart move because she could snack all she wanted and no one was around becasue the rest of the guests were at the bar. After eating some weird, leafy salad and some partially raw salmon, I headed to the best part of the entire evening: THE CANDY TABLE. Some genius had struck upon the idea of an entire banquet table dovoted to nothing but glorious candy. M 'n' Ms, expensive chocolates, caramels, candy canes, reeses, and more. Plus you got your own little bag and could take your candy home. I intend to have exactly such a glory at my own wedding. I also plan to have a chocolate fountain, karaoke, ramune, and much more. Now I just need to find a filthy rich fiancee...
    A friend of ours once said, "At some dances I've been to people are practically conceivin' on da dance floor!" At this wedding, it looked like they were giving birth. Esp, this one guy who was totally drunk and sincerly hope i'm not related too. Let me just say this: I never realized what a dangerous combination dancing and beer are. THough, I admit, there were some amazing Indian guys break-dancing.
    My aunt Vicky, a vivacious and joyful blonde who, like her sister Rhonda, has a wild romantic past but has settled down for sure with my beloved uncle Bob, the motercyclist farmer from Tennasee. Anyway, she pulled my cousins and i onto the dance floor as soon as the music strarted and kicked her heels off. Swirling and bobbing, we literally danced the night away. I spent the evening teaching them my favorite zumba moves.
    Collapsing on my bed that night, my skirt wrinkled, hair uncurling, and smelling of wedding; I had learned several new things:
~Beer, in large quantities, makes fools of great men. And women.
~None of my cousins can dance, even if they think they can.
~I now know what not to do at my wedding (except the candy table!)
~Sexual purity until after marriage is worth waiting for seeing what happens when you don't.
~My Aunt Vicki was once married to a Detroit gangster named Tony who was later "taken care of" by the mob. How come I never knew this before?!?
~My cousin Matt has facial hair issues. Well, all hair issues.
~My mom is an excellent bodyguard.
~I had no idea what my cousin's bride's name was...

Chocolate and Champagne,