Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Case of the Pen Bandit, part two: Narrowing Down The Suspects

Previously, on the Case of of the Pen Bandit ...

Inspector Zelda briefly ran her fingers through her hair, sprucing the curls, before flattening them beneath her signature deerstalker.  She'd recently had a big break in her most maddening unsolved crime, but now she had to determine just what this break meant.

The fact that the Pen Bandit had looted both her modest lower floor desk, as well as the desks of the executive floors, meant several things:

1. This dastardly fiend (or fiendish dastard) was highly skilled in transfering from one elevator bank to another;
2. It followed, then, that he must be both ambulatory and tall enough to reach the elevator buttons;
3. The biggest break by far! Inspector Zelda could now rule out several hiterto highly suspect suspects:
  • The Mechanical Pencil, seldom used and wildly jealous;
  • The Used Coffee Cup, a perfectly innocuous depository for secreting away numerous pens, unnoticed and unsuspected;
  • The Trash Can, that simmering cesspit of sin and sedition, always waiting to lure innocent pens to doom and depravity;
  • Lastly, Constable Supervisor. Surely she would not fake an attack against her own station, purely to deflect suspicion? Hmmm...

No! Inspector Zelda would not allow herself to impugn the integrity of anyone on her team, much less their noble leader Constable Supervisor.  Besides, she had a far more interesting lead just dropped on her plate - the rumor that Stickyfingers McCoy was out on bail. Could HE be the one responsible for all this mayhem?

The Inspector knew her only hope of cracking this case before the next pay period was by laying out an elaborate trap. Her mind flitted briefly to the leftover mousetraps from the caper of Mouse in the House, a tale curtailed by the timely death of young Feivel. But no - she did not seek the Pen Bandit's demise, merely his capture and capitulation. But perhaps - yes! There was still peanut butter remaining from that same venture.  A little of it left strategically on or near the baited pens could no doubt leave a trail leading directly to the Pen Bandit's secret lair where he was keeping all the nipped pens hostage.

Inspector Zelda rubbed her hands together in delight.  Soon she would have the scoundrel in her grasp!

The day Feivel was brought to justice

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Legacy and Posterity

Why does a boy carve his name on a tree
Or the firstborn inherit the throne?
What is a sculptor aspiring to be
When he spends half his life carving stone?

In The People in the Picture, an aging Jewish grandmother, leaning ever further into dementia, tries to tell the story of her youth and life as a member of a traveling Yiddish theater troupe to her young grandchild. That the story be told is exceptionally important to Raisel - she is a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto, and the people who perished in that time were only able to leave precious few relics as evidence they even existed - not knowing at that time whether any would survive to tell their story. She has a truly heartbreaking moment, as she sings to the young ghost of her lover that, while she cannot remember what happened that morning or where her coat is, she remembers quite clearly how much she loved him.  Raisel's memory is failing, and she must pass on the story to her young granddaughter before it is too late.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Ring Cycle: An Opera in Four Parts

Part the First: Exposition and Opening

I am A (young, angsty, teen) girl named Zelda. I have decided that I would like to commemorate my young angsty teenage years by ordering a high school class ring. I promise my cautious mom that I will be very careful with said ring, as it ain't cheap. The ring is silver with a clear red stone. My legal name is engraved on the inside. Zelda is written on one side of it, with a dragon below (shut up, dragons are cool). The entire company sings a celebration song of youth and its foibles and baubles, complete with a maypole.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Case of the Pen Bandit, part one: The First Strike

It was a day like any other day. A girl named Zelda was quietly opening up her reception desk. The phone rang - Security from downstairs - she reached for a pen to jot down the name of the guest.

GADZOOKS!  No pen to be had! She rooted through her bag for a pen of her own and took the call. She sent an email to Office Services requesting more pens. She smartly straighted a stack of papers, because that's what receptionists do. But inside, A girl named Zelda had already donned her deerstalker, taken a pull on her pipe, and begun pacing back and forth across the lobby. Inspector Zelda was hard on the case!

The Inspector's keen penetrating gaze bore into every unsuspecting passerby in the lobby. Could it be the fellow with the yellow tie? He looks suspiciously .... penless. Or what about she with the pencil skirt and green chunky heels? Look how easily a pen could be slipped into that loose bun at the nape of her neck! Alas, the day drew to a close with too many suspects and no clear leads. Everyone had a motive. After all ... everyone had need of a pen.

By the following week, Inspector Zelda had hung up her deerstalker in disgrace and given up the pipe completely ("Disgusting habit," she claimed). She had, after compiling a list of nearly 2,000 suspects, finally resigned herself to the fact that she might never solve The Case of the Pen Bandit.

Then out of the blue ... a new lead! Constable Supervisor sent out a bulletin to the whole investigative reception team - the Pen Bandit had struck again! And on one of the executive floors!

Inspector Zelda was simultaneously puzzled and put out - had she even told the rest of her team about the first strike of the Pen Bandit? Were there perhaps even more attacks yet undiscovered or unreported? How long indeed had the Pen Bandit been ransacking her fair corporate city? And if he was indeed making hits on the executive floors, was there a chance that people in power were involved? Just how deep did this conspiracy run?

Without even noticing it, Inspector Zelda was already puffing furiously at her pipe, back on the case again!

The only known likeness of the dreaded Pen Bandit

To Be Continued ...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Get thee to the McKittrick Hotel!

Warning! Here there be spoilers for Sleep No More. Read no further if you want to stay in ignorance. Seriously. I'm not censoring what I reveal here. Okay fine. Keep reading. I warned you.

How do I even attempt to describe Sleep No More?

I could start with the nearly pitch-black maze right after coat check that almost gave me a panic attack (thank goodness the man in front of me had a white shirt to reflect what little light there was).

I could mention the white masks every audience member is asked to wear  - masks that put us all in anonymity and isolation, shadowing our eyes and distinguishing us from the unmasked performers.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Getting Territorial, or There's a Mouse in My House!

Yesterday a friend was telling me about the trials and tribulations of introducing a new cat into her already-cat-populated apartment. This involves keeping New Cat in isolation, petting various cats in succession to get them used to the new smell, etc. Because right now? Cat already in residence is none too fond of the interloper.

Which we all know. Cats are scary territorial. They hiss and claw and take a stand by hiding on top of the refrigerator. They will fight to keep the apartment their property (anyone who owns a cat and thinks they also own their apartment is wrong and we all know it). As, I have learned, will bunnies. (Oh lord. Do NOT get me started on territorial rabbits in close proximity. They're vicious little buggers. Short version: if you can possibly avoid it, don't try to keep five rabbits in one New York apartment. Just no.)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Role-Playing: Playwright for Hire

Playwriting was never really a goal of mine as a fledgling writer-type-person. I was going to be a novelist. Or a poet. Or a ... Person Who Writes Short Stories (we need a nickname here). I wrote a collection of A-B dialogues in high school that all seemed to have something to do with elephants (don't ask), but that was it. Or it was supposed to be.

And then, one drab summer I wrote myself a role in a play. And then I wrote another play that, though based on me and two others, I later retweaked (several times) massively to fit the actual actors cast in the production.  This clearly gave me the very dangerous notion that I had the power to write roles for specific people.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Here I am in Arcadia

Thursday night I saw one of my favorite plays in the history of ever, Arcadia [editor's note: A girl named Zelda is seeing a crapload of plays during the month of May. Consider yourself forewarned]. This was my third time seeing this production, my fourth time seeing the play, and my bazillionth time experiencing it, as I've read it more times than I can count.

I love this play. I love this play. I would see it every night for a month if I could.

(Please bear with me, o those of you unfamiliar with the play, as I promise I will get to you in a moment.)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Love and Alcohol (sort of)

The title of this post is salacious and misleading! Twist!

Last night I saw a play called Drunken City, a quiet(ish) little piece about a group of people learning the truth about themselves through the magic of alcohol. And, surprisingly within that unoriginal premise, at its heart are two sweet simple honest declarations of love (or at least declarations of intentions toward love). And I must admit, I was suckercharmed by it. I smiled open-mouthed at the sweetness of it, in a completely unironic un-cynical-twentysomething-New-Yorker way.

Because I gotta admit, I miss that.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Reacting to the reaction to the reaction

I'm a little behind schedule on this blog post (I like to get one in Monday afternoons) because ... well ... a lot has happened over the past few days. I had thought at first to write something about performing the solo show this past weekend and how it compared to earlier versions and then ... this happened.  And the world changed just a little bit.

Or maybe it changed a lot bit. It's a hard thing for me to read. My roommate called my mom and me into the living room to watch the president's speech announcing his death. My mom's first reaction was assuming he had died of sickness, but then on finding out that he had been taken down by American troops, she was satisfied we actually accomplished that goal. My roommate's first reaction was "there's going to be retaliation. They won't let this slide." My first reaction was ... I don't know. A quiet surprise. A moment of "oh. That's happened. This is good." But not knowing further implications.

I don't know what this will actually mean.