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Filling up the bottles with emotions.

Today we moved Parfumerie into the Catherine Hickman Theater and after lunch we had fun pouring our mixtures of blue/pink-red/gold into each perfume bottle. Opening up the perfumes that still had something in it from a long time ago… whew, whew, whew. I just kept smelling it and asking the others if they remember that smell. There were a lot of the same scents that reminded me of the perfume I’d find in my grandma’s house either in her room or my mom’s room. But still, ew, how in the world did we ever find those scents to be yummy? 

I don’t know. Beats me. Now I have a headache many hours later from it. I think I’ll just stick with my pumpkin-whatever-the-flavor from Bath&Body Works because that’s the only stuff I can really stand these days.

So……working with perfume reminds me of a poem that I wrote with inspiration from a boat show book that had images of yacht baths and sinks in it. Here goes:

Perfume and Cologne
© Karen Maeby 5/25/14 

A book is laid on the seat of a chair
and a bookcase nearly empty.
White and gold objects
lay above the seat
and a photo frame without a photo.

Women’s perfume and men’s cologne,
smells mixed together.

A bar of soap
sitting there, unopened.
And a rose sits singularly on the white counter.
Sugar just as thick on your lips.
I crave. You know, I tease.

Gold slated walls, a shower
with glass separation and
a flat sprout sink faucet.
Silk lace…
finger tips that burn with passion.

A walkthrough
of a slideshow of lite romantic jazz.

Times up – you take my hand
and the floor becomes soaked.
We grab all of the towels
and make a mess all over the floor.
Now, we enter complication.

In all seriousness though, Parfumerie’s last performance will be super sad for me. It’s my last play for a while so that I can truly focus on BoatShowGirl and get it to the point where it doesn’t need to be babysat, or worked on in the beginning stages like it has been lately as I try to develop my brand. I’ve made some good professional connections and they seem to be leading me on the right path of where I want to go. BUT, I have a lot more work to do to get to where I (think) I want to go. HOPEFULLY, I will announcing a release of my BSG book in the next few months. I’m looking at going to Miami Boat Show because truthfully, I really need to be there, even though I think if I had to choose I’d rather go to Palm Beach in March.

Speaking of writing, I haven’t published anything in such a long time. It’s been something that’s weighing heavily on my mind–which is why one of my main ‘goals’ or ‘desires for every day’ is to ‘BE A WRITER FIRST.’ It’s helping. I probably shouldn’t have, but I went through a lot of my older poetry and deleted half of it. I felt better afterwards. Eventually this year, there will be a book with all of my older unpublished stuff so that I can move on from many years ago. I keep thinking I’ll make up some story or something with the older stuff but all it’s doing is reeking havoc on my present-day thoughts. Just like I could never go back to the moment of my first book ‘Maeby it’s only the beginning’ or ‘In Love With a Sailor / The Captain in Me.’ I want to focus on jazz, not depression poetry or anything else. Just jazz. Soulful stuff. Unique. I want to focus on the today moments mixed with the happier times of my short-term past.

Something I hadn’t thought about doing in a long time is to make out a yearly plan for what I want to do with BSG / new brand ILBS / writing. It came from the inspiration of doing BSG stuff for my new contract / guest blogging work… and it seems to really put the focus on the goals. Not only breakdown of goals, but actually know ahead of time what I need to be doing. All of this is really good. I’m feeling better already. Now, if I can just stick with it.

I had something random to happen at work on Friday. I took a call about a father looking for a boat for his son. The boat type was unrelated to my company’s boat lines, but I helped him anyway. He said he couldn’t find the number online so I found it for him. He responded with sincere gratitude and a promise of a note to me of some sorts. I’m not sure what it was about, but maybe… there is a purpose to this random call? I guess I’ll find out next week. It was strange indeed.

Betty–a family member who I used to visit all the time when I lived in Kentucky–passed away. Feels like I’m always losing someone in one way or another. First Bella the day after Christmas, then her.

Anddddd in times like this, it really hurts feeling like I cannot reach out to the one person I really care about, and share what’s been happening lately. Maybe it’s too soon, maybe not. I don’t know. I just wish things could be different…and maybe it will be in time. I hope. Boy do I hope so. 🙁

Eisenhower is driving me batshit crazy. He keeps trying to make his way up to the tallest point in his aquarium and then he hits the glass and falls back down. So. Many. Times. He’s been the reason for my waking up in the middle of the night because he’s being so loud in the other room. I should really learn from him though, no matter how many times he has fallen, he gets right back up and tries it again. Looks like “giving up” is not in his vocabulary and success is where he wants to be. Could it be that his brain is too big for his tiny little shell? Possibly.

-Until next time, Karen Maeby

Searching for where I belong.

It’s a brand new year, and in order to come to terms with anything, I really need to release this to the universe instead of keeping it inside. Plus, I guess it should be my unspoken resolution (out of five thousand) to be dangerously vulnerable, opening myself up to whatever may come my way, but this time around know and understand what’s going to happen because that’s what always happens to me.

All of my life I’ve pretty much lived like my hermit crab baby–barely opening my shell to anyone–and when I do, they have to be very special with something built out of connection on some soul level and trust. I’ve been hurt by so many circumstances in my life that it’s a struggle to continue to open to anyone, and that is extremely difficult when I am needing to be a profile personality for the work that I want to do (BoatShowGirl) and to go into my first love in the arts/theatre. So every single day is a really big battle for me. 

It was when I was 27 years old that I stopped caring what people thought when I did something, because I always have a purpose or reason. Life is too short to care. I understand enough to know that if someone doesn’t support you as you are or as you change, they’re not really a friend, and you need to cut them out of your life. Just because it doesn’t suit someone else’s life doesn’t mean it won’t suit mine or make mine better. I live how I want to live and that’s that. If I don’t like something, you’ll know, and instantly it’ll be changed. I choose my relationships due to a person’s personality and what we have in common. The more you care about together, the more you share, and the happier the life. Same with friends but on a different level, of course.

Most of the time I truly am busy but when things are overwhelming or I feel like a major depression is coming on, I don’t mean to go into hiding or cut people off, but it’s what I do…unfortunately. I don’t want to be seen as the black sheep that brings everyone down due to negativity. It’s difficult for me to reach out to anyone mostly, because if I do, I’m afraid–like in my past–one won’t have time for me, not really care to hear from me, or the group doesn’t really want to see me outside of wherever I’ve met them. I want to be included, but rejection. I shut down, and I have no issue shutting a chapter and just picking up and moving on…to make my next go around until it happens again, and then, I continue until I feel like I’m getting closer to where I’m supposed to be. It’s just what I’m used to.

I don’t do traditional. I knew at a younger age that I didn’t want that, and I don’t want to do the same thing for the rest of my life or live in the same general area. To be free and open gives the chance to chase a dream or opportunity. I want to live life odd, strange, out of context, and have days like out of RENT that really teaches lessons. I want my experiences to be very unique and my TRUE stories to be unforgettable. I feel like some of my purpose here on Earth is to share my stories with people and make a difference in their life. Be some sort of guidance, a helping hand, or for future generations.

I’m an only child born to older parents. Not only was I alone most of the time, I was raised differently, like it was another era. I’m grateful, but it’s also been extremely difficult fitting in…. I’m an old soul–I know this and I’ve been told multiple times. I get along with much older people. I get along with younger people. I don’t really fit in my age group. Never really have, no offense to anyone my age, I still love you.

It’s difficult being 30 years old, looking like I’m 15, and feeling like I’m 40 or something due to goals and what I really want in life. It ruined something great for me, I wish it turned out differently, and I really don’t know how to handle that right now.

I feel like I’ve walked this Earth many times before. The ballroom gown days where proper English was spoken, classical music/opera were the nightly shows, and letters were sent by the Pony Express. The 1920s where my soul belongs, I found the love of my life and I had to let him go after a dance to jazz at our dinner party, that suddenly went up in the overcast of cigarette smoke and booze. The 1970s where every photo comes out looking like vintage, I play my vinyl records, and dance in my head like I’m a hippie. The era of Pirates where I was one of the only female Pirate on board the beautiful ship…. I died on the Titanic, and my heart/bones can be found with the treasure at the bottom of the Sea.

But yet, I live and breathe in the 21st century and I have none of my past, except for the memories. Or dreams. And present day, where a few years ago, I had a very lively dream that I was in a concentration camp in this lifetime, and my heart/soul pours out to Anne Frank’s ghost because I have had such a mysterious connection with her for as long as I can remember.

This is what I feel, and I haven’t really talked about it to too many people over my years. I hope you know that I am very serious and I’m not living in a dream world. I only wish I could relive some of those eras that my soul has been so that maybe.. just maybe I can find what I’m searching for in my future. But maybe, just maybe… truth be told, if I find my future, I won’t be here any longer. Then, it’s like Catch-22 or something. I just keep barely existing until I am found.

I really do love life no matter how hard it’s been, especially the opportunities I’ve been blessed with because of my talents and my dreams that have come true because I never, ever gave up. I love being an adult, and never ever have I ever wished to be a kid again because it was easy. I don’t like easy. I am challenged when things get hard and difficult, I may shut down and go to sleep, but it’s my puzzle to figure out how to solve until something good happens again.

I really hope that in 2017 I can really live out that path of where I’m going with my work personality of BoatShowGirl and really show the world my creative side of Karen Maeby. I am one of the most confusing, deep, and complex people on this Earth, and trying to dissect me….well, as you can see, is difficult.

Here’s to 2017.

-Karen Maeby

Prose & Poetry ~ very dark/depressing {you’ve been warned}

PROSE 11.24.16  

This room is dark and cold like a jail cell—but not trapped between the hollow of darkness—where the only thing you see are locks and chains. Every time I blink I see stuffed white cat statues standing tall and rats running around for blood like they’re the only vampire into the night. Glancing down at myself—it’s the same wardrobe that has been wrapped around my body many times. The same wardrobe that hides me and my soul from the world that can’t even see me in the flesh when I’m not wearing it.  

My eyes are closed and I’m taking a walk through a cemetery. I am hand in hand with a ghost. Shortly afterwards, a pack of ghosts then start to follow me, chanting something that I cannot seem to comprehend. Every time I stop walking, so do they, and as I look around nothing but fog covers the darkened skies. I continue walking until I catch my breath after my heart palps a few times.  

And, I am awakened to bath water full of blood. I am sitting in my claw-foot tub at my very own Victorian-style house. The blood is mine, and I’m not yet dead. Dammit. I think to myself. I caught sight of the white light and it pulled me in—but it lied, it fucking lied—so here I am again…..awake, and the pain still exists. Over and over—it sings—like a song I used to like before it became the definition of a broken record. 

I used to imagine that if I were anyone else, if I were some other person, would people care about me more than the person I actually am? It’s a twisted point of view for someone fighting to be happy within one’s self, but also looking in a broken mirror at midnight with tears in her eyes and mascara running down her face. And no one, absolutely no one, there by my side to catch me as I fall to the hard cold tile. Almost a thousand tissues surround me. I am so heartbroken. Why doesn’t anyone want to love me? Simply because some people just were not meant to be loved.

I watch Fight Club religiously. I study Tyler Durden as he plots to fight his inner demons. In a sense, I already am him. In another sense, I want to be him. But every single time I get up with the urge to do something fabulous or life-changing, my very own monsters that hold me down are telling me: I am nothing, I am unloved, and I get punched in the face with those realities. I am not even good enough to be a speck of dirt for someone to step on.

You see, I’m a writer—deep down inside—I know this is my true calling, but I just can’t seem to make it work. I tried to bring something to fruition a few years back, and since absolutely no one cared to read what I had to write, I made a fictional name and posted under that. I wasn’t even worthy of any attention under a faux name. Since then, I’ve hidden myself, and my feelings… but if I don’t get this out I’m going to burst inside. I know it’s going to be a really long life without love, that’s why I’m placing bets on my cards on hoping I die young.

After damning the entire world, including my body, for letting me live—I took a shower to wash all of the blood off of me. I felt like I was living a horror movie, and I was the main character that just got slashed by the serial killer that somehow figured out my pin code to the alarm system on my house was 3713. I got out of the shower and wiped the steam off the mirror and looked myself in the eyes. It was the first time I really saw myself. So sad, blue, to the point of black. Barely breathing. Then, my mirror shattered all over the floor and a piece of glass cut my leg. I just embraced the pain; it felt better than the alternative.

That’s when I realized I need to release these feelings to the atmosphere because maybe, just maybe, someone else has had them too. And if I can save a few souls before I die, that would be my gift to the world, and I can then rest in peace when my remains are scattered in the ocean.

POETRY 12.30.16

rubies fall like bullets from the sky
and diamonds crack in the ground,
from sunset to moonlight
forming rose petals full of lies.

suitcases full of letters
that belong to words in a sentence
galloping across the galaxy
wishing for a better novel to attend.

a telephone that never rings again
and the silence is deafening.
words being shouted across ten universes
and it never reaches the right one.

days when one never sees sunlight again,
because it is boxed up and packed away
just like yesterday’s memories
that seem to mean nothing more than that.

and poetry,
poetry pours from the dying soul
into a river of seas
right where her remains were meant to be.

Where in the world did 2016 go?

I’ll be quite honest, I don’t really remember the first half of 2016 before I got involved in the theatre over the Summer One Acts. It makes me feel like I wasn’t awake! ha! Or maybe cause it didn’t really matter.

Sometime in January or February I was brought on by the guys at World of Boating for my BOAT SHOW GIRL gig. What a fun year that has been being on the show and looking at where I was and where I’m at now.

The first quarter of the year: all I remember is that I was in my tailspin of finishing off one entire year of working 2 jobs (60-80hrs) where I didn’t see or talk to anyone outside of work. That was extremely hard. I didn’t mean to cut people off but I had no choice, so I am so sorry, everyone. I also had no choice of not being able to move forward in my projects, either, which put me back a few decades.

In March ~ we got a new director at my work and he changed everything for the better. It was such a blessing to have him join our team, especially since he took interest in where I was going for life in this industry and he’s still cheering me on. We had a really rough time getting employees in the door, which put a new perspective on what we needed for the industry and that helped me train my thoughts a bit.

When I finally left that second job in April…

I went straight to rehearsals for the Summer One Acts around May and started helping out back stage. After 12 years, it was totally meant to be that I came back at that very moment. I met the most amazing people there, and one amazing individual that means so much to me, and has had the best impact on my life. More than anyone ever has.

I celebrated 2 years at Thunder and they spoiled me rotten. They also spoiled me rotten when I turned 30.

Year 30 turned over a new chapter–being with someone I truly cared about, listening to jazz music, and just being in love with life because I knew I could never go back.

In that time – there were so many things that I did, including going to an acting class (that I eventually want to go back to) and getting into the film society. What a year for spectacular things to get involved with, and those were just two of the things!

Give or take a few months, there was a break between Summer One Acts and Over the River & Through the Woods. It was a smaller play, not much to do, and now I’m working with Parfumerie…. which, unfortunately, will probably be my last production to help with until Summer One Acts (or maybe the production before) because I have some of my own projects to take care of.

There’s this new journal phase thing out right now the bullet journal or something like that. Well, instead of buying one, I made my own and out of 5 ‘main’ goals I wrote ‘BE A WRITER FIRST ABOVE EVERYTHING’ and shortly after that is when I got my first writing gig, then my second…..

I’m ending the year with my brand “BOAT SHOW GIRL” getting two new adventures — one I’m writing on a marine marketing website and I was just recently invited to guest blog+freelance on another. I am ecstatic. I tried saying the other day that ‘man, this stuff is happening too quickly’ and my boss reminded me, ‘no, it’s not, you’ve been working for this for a really long time.” Oops. I kind of forgot.

The ending of this year hasn’t been too great though, it feels like everything is set on the same thing every day and not moving forward. I’m getting burnt out on the things I once loved doing, and I can’t stand that feeling, and it doesn’t end up good in the end. But I’m working on making positive changes.

Eisenhower survived his first year with me and his second year molting. I nearly freaked out when he was molting on me because I couldn’t play with him and I didn’t know if he was alive. I can’t express how I felt when I saw his newly born pink crabby body down in the shell though. My heart exploded with happy, and I wanted to write a book from a crab’s point of view of how nature does its thing and they grow up just like humans… but differently, of course.

I’m cleaning up my apartment once again and getting rid of things that don’t matter any more or old papers. It always helps to do that. I started watercolor painting, oil painting, and drawing once again this year. I haven’t written many poems, but quality over quantity, I say. Financially I’m getting back at it — I’m getting rid of my debt. Sloooooooooowly but surely, and my credit score is finally getting to a point where I’m happy with it again.

And, unfortunately, I end this year with not so happy news and news about my baby mutt sister, Bella, passing away. It’s so odd how 4 years ago a memory popped up on Facebook of her face. Ugh. Sometimes I hate Facebook for that reason, in another way, maybe it was a sign of some sorts. A sign from Bella to me.

This years goals I am hoping to have a few plays ready to submit to Summer One Acts, I am hoping that BOAT SHOW GIRL takes me places that I wouldn’t have ever thought that it would, I hope to join in more boating events, I hope to act (finally!), get to go to a few creative classes, finally get organized (even though I say this every year), volunteer at the Holocaust Museum, write and publish a few books, consider doing some art submissions / poetry readings, take voice lessons, and hopefully–within time–one certain thing works out.

I thank 2016 for giving me the best person I know as well as all of the other experiences that went with it. Here’s to 2017 and hoping all other things will work out.

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(Painting I did on Christmas.)

-Love Always, Maeby

Gilmore Girls, A Year in the Life: Winter {pre-thoughts & write up w/spoilers}

The extreme deep-souled dedication from the fans following this show all of these years have paid off. The anticipation and long wait has finally come to an end. TODAY our thirst is finally being quenched because the special release day on Netflix for Gilmore Girls has arrived. Hallelujah! 

Gilmore Girls came out when I was a freshman in high school. Sixteen years ago. And, oh holy crap, that makes me feel really old now. I still remember coming home and turning the TV on at 4pm to watch on the CW. I instantly fell in love with the series. Stars Hollow became a part of my life–just like all of the other fans. I often dreamt about meeting characters like those in the show (and honestly, I still dream of that). I, like many, just couldn’t stand how it ended. I was devastated. It wasn’t enough. I have watched the series over and over and over and over again throughout the years….hoping that something, by some miracle, there would be a conclusion or a new beginning for the series. 

In 2015, I watched the Gilmore Girls panel at ATX on YouTube, and could barely contain myself. When I watched them talk about the show, I said to myself, “I hope that I can write a successful series like this or be in one just simply for the tight-knit cast and dedicated fans.” It’s just so inspirational. The stories of how each person got the role of their characters were all meant to be stories… it’s so awesome. When Hep Alien played the theme song, I will admit, there were tears in my eyes…that’s how deep this show goes. 

I adored the writing of Gilmore Girls so much because of the constant pop culture references and there’s so much symbolism in their every day life. And, the characters are so, so real….although they’re hard to find in real life. But, they’re real. 

Amy Sherman-Palladino is certainly my homegirl. I love that she decided to write A Year in the Life to give us fans something to look forward to… Gilmore Girls is one of the most brilliant shows ever written, and I’m looking forward to the other 3 episodes of this 4 season episodes. 

NETFLIX’S GILMORE GIRLS: A YEAR IN THE LIFE S1E1 WINTER 

  • The opening of Winter begins with voice clips from the previous seasons. You can hear the grandfather’s voice as well (which is heart-breaking since he’s passed on in real life).
  • A few lines in “it feels like it’s been years” — yep. Yep, it sure has.
  • Kirk is still on his business kick. He now started ooober (like, Uber, but spelled differently).
  • Rory wrote an article for the New Yorker and it’s in the menu at Luke’s. She’s also working on a book deal.
  • “I smell snow.” Lorelei’s famous words. (Of COURSE, it has to start like this! I mean, what?!)
  • You see that years later Lorelei still has her same jeep and they’re living in her house.
  • Hallelujah for the scene where Luke is in her kitchen. She is still with him! Yes!
  • Luke and Lorelei are thinking about kids again.
  • I really, truly, 1000% do not understand the whole Rory’s boyfriend Paul. There has to be a reason for this.
  • As soon as they mention Rory and London, I knew she was somehow still with Logan. Which… I’m a Logan and Rory kind of gal, but I don’t like this whole ‘Vegas’ thing they’ve got going on. Is Rory really that kind of girl?
  • I absolutely love Luke’s new sign about cell phones. No taking photos of food. Bwahahahahah. That’s a hit on Instagram!
  • Luke is giving out random passwords to the wifi he is clearly not going to share.
  • There’s a mention of Twitter.
  • They go back a few months to the grandfather’s funeral, and you see the reactions of all of them. Then, the really large wall-sized photo of him. Which, in a way, is kind of frightening.
  • Paris is kicking ass as a fertility specialist. She was somewhere between law and medical, and still bossy.
  • For once it seems after Taylor yelled at someone in Luke’s about her not being able to get the wifi, Luke decides to side with Taylor on his next discussion of the sewer system in Stars Hollow. (Doesn’t Lorelei mention something about this in that one episode where her parents came to town and she’s trying to down it so they won’t move there???) 
  • There’s mention of Doyle from Paris that they are having issues, and they have kids.
  • Lane seems to still be Lane and Zach has been promoted to somewhere wearing a tie.
  • It’s odd that all of the band is still living in the same house together. Still. Years later. (Or so it seems.)
  • Towards the end you’ll see where a new troubadour was singing on the original town’s troubadour’s corner and he runs her off. Reminders of an earlier episode where they all have a town meeting over this.
  • It feels like no matter it’s been “YEARS” since the last episode, it seems nothing has changed.
  • Last, but not least, in a way I am happy on how Amy wrote that Rory–who is incredibly smart and well-read–is a typical millennial: no designated place to live (I have to mention that it’s strange she sent boxes to several people’s houses that she’s crashing at), no real dedicated job, the act of feeling lost in life. It’s all real. And you know what? I think it’s brilliant because so many teens and 20-30-somethings will relate, if not now, later. And… depending on what Amy does with the Rory character, it could be great inspiration and give future millennials hope that things’ll turn out okay.

I am going to be watching SPRING very soon… so stay tuned for my write-up!

A trip to Fort Myers for the boat show and a little exploring.

It’s been months since I’ve went out of town and traveled somewhere south, so I am happy I got to go to this show, especially since I missed it last year. The Fort Myers Boat Show has now moved to being one of my favorite shows on a medium capacity. It might actually be my favorite over Tampa or Sarasota. Anyway… since I do have a blog dedicated to boat shows, I’ll keep it short on this one.

BOAT SHOW 

The show is very cluttered, as in boats and product were literally on top of one another with not much space in between, but it works for them. And that’s what is so awesome about the show. It has a different laid back feeling than most of them do. I don’t really know what it is. If I knew what it was, I’d share it.

I love how they decorated for Christmas. They had big red bows on a lot of the boats on the inside, and a Christmas tree from one of the product vendors.

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Inside The Harbourside Event Center

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It looks like someone’s kid kept watching Frozen over and over again, so much that their parents had to name the boat Let It Go… in hopes their kid would let it go! Ha!

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Outside:

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If you’re interested in reading more from me about the show, give it a day or so and check my boatshowgirl.com website.

EXPLORING 

Sooooo… this beaut was hanging in the Harbourside. Instant love. The architecture in this building was amazing, so were the old doors and walls and overall design.

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Outside in the park, lots of metal art:

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As I was walking to the entrance of the boat show, I passed this place. I almost fell over. LOOK HOW OLD IT LOOKS. AMAAAAAAAZING. So amazing that I had to go in it before I left. It’s called “ARCADE – Florida Repertory Theatre.”

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And, it was amazing. The smell when I opened the doors… I can’t tell you. It smelt like the past. It smelled like somewhere I’ve been before, but it couldn’t have been there, it was my first time even knowing about it. So this place had several shops on the right side all the way back and then the theatre was on the left.

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There’s an art store called ART for ACT Gallery and that’s where I took this photo. I am so in love with this store. There was art of every single kind set up in a vintage-gallery-boutique-store. You MUST go and see it! Such an amazing place. And, I really really really really really want this kind of a vanity set up when I have the room.

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On the way back out, I snuck this photo of the theatre where you buy tickets:

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Turns out, I was right about the old. According to this article, it was originally built in 1917 to show moving pictures and silent films then later vaudeville & local acts, magic tricks, and the like. CAN I EXPRESS HOW AWESOME THIS IS?! Yeah. It’s pretty awesome. I felt it. I felt the history….right down to my bones.

And that’s a wrap, kids. Until next time.

The Man With the Shoes {poetry} by Karen Maeby

The Man With the Shoes 
by Karen Maeby 11.17.16

He walks
across the stage and stops.
The crowd hushes as he speaks his first line.

He’s giving a deliverance speech—
some sort of declaration…
A story you’d never heard before.

Something like a secret—
something no one will ever hear again.
The audience is hanging on to every single word.

An applause-worthy performance.
He’s giving it everything he’s got,
because he pinky swore to do so.

A mind that never stops,
and won’t ever stop.
He’ll find—soon enough—his imagination is his opus.

A mind full of shenanigans, humor, life stories,
and love.
He is the one that everyone loves.

Suddenly, the stage goes dark
and his personality keeps him glowing.
Jazz begins to play.

He delivers the last line as confident as ever.
He takes a bow and walks off stage,
and the clapping of the audience echoes.

How is it to walk in his shoes?
A writer and actor’s shoes—
a soul so talented, so full of life.

Special—is he—the man with the shoes,
who walked in to my life
without warning, accidentally, kismet.

I bid farewell to Over the River and Through the Woods.

Last night we closed out Over the River and Through the Woods at the Catherine Hickman Theater. This is the first play that the Gulfport Players put on for this season. I wasn’t in it, but I helped backstage, so that’s what I’ve been doing for the last few weeks or so. Easy set and small cast, not anywhere close to the Summer One Acts (the first production I helped out with).

If you didn’t see the play, I will share an “almost spoiler” synopsis.

Basically, (the remaining) grandson Nick lives close enough that he sees all of his Italian grandparents every Sunday night for dinner. The play is based around news that Nick has to share about him getting a dream job offer—of which—will move him away from them. His grandparents try to keep him there by inviting Caitlin—a single woman—over to meet him, in hopes he’ll change his mind. In the end, he leaves anyway, and he eventually has what his grandparents call a great life. However, he did it his way, instead of their way, and all of the feels never escape their extra warm, toasty house.

There were many funny moments, and some really sad moments. There’s a line in there that Caitlin says about the grandson being grown and being able to sit down at dinner with all of his grandparents. Like Caitlin, I have no grandparents left. I lost my last, best and most closest grandma when I was 16. Even though I’ve always been an old soul, and appreciated my time with her when I had it, I know that the memories I made then wouldn’t be the same ones I’d be making today if she were here. I’d see it from a different perspective. I’d learn things. I’d have history. I’d have a role model. I’d have so much. There would still be a staple in my family, something that ties everyone together, like it had been before everyone grew up and went their separate way miles apart.

Over the River is just such a great play to put on these days due to the message that lays between the surface. Say, it’s like this — your great or grandparents (before Generation X) might have had their spouses chosen for them and they had to learn to love what they had, instead of who they individually loved and wanted to choose. Depending on how Generation X grew up, it could be they followed their parents footsteps or it began then that they made their own life. And the generations after that (Millennials) we have a totally different take on life—which is where the Nick lands.

There’s a huge understanding that through each generation, the one before wants the next one to have an easier and better life than they ever had. Maybe they didn’t understand at the time what was going on and why, but they later realize. Not only that, but they had what they had in life and that was it. No expectations. If they had a car, home, family—they were doing good—dreams were too far to reach… it seemed.

I moved away from home. I’m still miles away from my parents, who live in the same state they’ve lived in (almost) their entire life. Their happiness is not my happiness and vice versa. Over the River helped me understand where they came from, but it’s that whole part of things change. And some people are so scared of change. I’ll admit, I’m scared of when things stay the same for too long. I fear life becoming so boring and stale when life is so short as it is and there’s an entire world to explore in such a short time. I do wish I could see my parents more than once a year, especially when there’s a grand-crab involved, and a chance for them to see the life I have built for myself.

My favorite scene of the entire play was where the grandparents are playing a trivial game with Nick. The way it came together was genius. The heart wrenching scene is when one of the grandpa’s chose not to let his grandson know his news, so that he could accept his job opportunity, and not have anything holding him back from ‘doing the right thing.’

When the show was over, we tore everything down, packed it up, and we took it back to the Backdoor Theater…. then headed to the cast party where they had Italian food. Just without the crumb cake (a food that was mentioned during act I).

As my souvenir I took a mass card (one of the props that was used several times throughout the show) and the cast/crew were given the comedy/tragedy mask pin. I also believe that those of us who have it MUST wear it to every show in the future for good luck. I’m superstitious now, especially since the director said something about it too!

I want to say a huge THANK YOU to those who came and supported the show! Especially all of the theatre family — it was like a family reunion between running into each other in the lobby and at the new auditions!

I bid thee farewell to a great cast and show. Now, it’s time for the next one — Parfumerie, of which, one of my favorite movies You’ve Got Mail is based up on.

Table read of six
at the Backdoor Theater:
Over the River & Through the Woods

CHILLS

When the words being spoken
by the characters
hit too close to home.

9.12.16  ~ Karen Maeby

Eisenhower’s politics.

Imagine you are a tiny little crab named Eisenhower that is molting for maybe the second or third time in your small life. Not only do you have to rely on your natural instincts to get you through (“what nature intended on your species to do”), but you have to rely on a human to take care of you since you are a pet (“what your life has become”). You have to put trust in that human to give you food, take care of your aquarium, clean it out, and make sure you are comfortable enough to live. You are one of the most tiniest creatures on the planet, and next to a human finger, it can be a scary sight. You might be incredibly smart, but are very aware, and frightened at the slightest move considering your position on this planet. 

In perspective–we, as humans, are still as tiny as my baby crabby Eisenhower. There’s the entire atmosphere. There’s the planets. There’s the stars in the gigantic night sky. There’s the sun. There’s animals bigger than us. Most of our buildings are bigger than us. Our house is bigger than us. Life is bigger than us. 

But–we get up every day just like nature intended on us doing. We take care of ourselves. We take care of our family, our pets. We go to work, go to activities, live our dreams, go on vacations. Life goes on, and will go on.

Live life like you are the tallest person on this planet. 

Say it out loud: I will live my life like I am the tallest person on this planet. Why? So that I do not feel that sense of fear of what I cannot predict. No one knows what happens next. No one knows anything. You just have to keep on living until you expire when nature intended you to.

If your heart is controlled by fear, it is completely misunderstood and mistaken for something other than love. And love, LOVE is what we all need right now. 

Fear lives in the tabloids, in the media. People lust over fear as much as they love negativity, complaining or gossiping. Please, please, please do not fall into that category. Always, always be aware of the truth. Please educate yourself. Please dig as deep as possible to find the answers. Do not become a part of the herd. Be the leader. Be the wise one. Be smart.

“Only guard yourself and guard your soul carefully, lest you forget the things your eyes saw, and lest these things depart your heart all the days of your life. Andy shall make them known to your children, and to your children’s children.” DEUTERONOMY 4:9 

When I named Eisenhower, I was looking for something distinguished enough, so that he fears nothing despite his size. So that he grows up being strong-willed. So that he has a better life than some of the crabs do. So that he can live, and live without fear. I can attest that his life is really good, and he has zero patience for politics. 

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (review)

Last night was a date night so we went downtown to St Pete’s movie night to see Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children directed by Tim Burton. One of the best movies ever, and definitely runs a very fast second place to Burton’s Alice in Wonderland (my favorite). His work is always so amazing–colorful and dark–and that’s what I really love.

Of course I wanted to know more about this movie, so I looked up the title and found that the original story did start as a book and was written by Ransom Riggs. This story was originally supposed to be a picture book but the vernacular photos he found had made the narrative and it became what it became. Which is so super cool because I used to go to flea markets, see old photos from sitting there collecting dust, and I wanted so badly to find the families to return the photos to! But then again, I also wanted to keep them for myself so I, too, could write a story. Maybe some day, as this film is proof it pays off! 

The jest of the movie is: as the grandson grows up he learns that his grandfather lived in an orphanage for peculiar children. He shares photos and stories as the bedtime story. When he is grown up, he found himself to be in therapy to help him get over it because he no longer believed…until he witnessed his grandfather dying and strange things start to happen. His grandfather gave him some instructions so the main character goes on a round trying to follow them to a certain place. He goes and finds this place, and many, many things happen and that’s really when the story begins.

The best thing about this film/book are the colorful characters. Not so much the evil ones, but the kids in the orphanage. With clothing, the powers they had, and what lines they spoke–all determined and set off the characters personalities perfectly–and it was perfectly. The relationships between certain characters were also extremely sweet. Always have to have a “awwww” spot for those movies who sneak ‘meant to be’ in anything. And, there are moments that tug at your heart. For sure.

My (random) favorites…When the grandson was little he had this quilt that had ocean animals and ships on it. You better believe I whispered, “I want that!” There was a ship in this movie. A big, sunken ship that magically came back to life. You better believe your knickers that I was all eyes and ears at that moment. (The ship is uber important for multiple reasons.) There were skulls and Pirate-skeleton’s fighting for the better good. Oh and there was a crab that showed up. Yep.

This is a definite must-see and must-see-many-times-after-the-movies kind of movie. Must I note (again) that you can definitely tell that Tim Burton made this film.

Oh and guess what?! Parts of it was filmed in Florida!!! Note: the author of the book used to live in Florida too.

(per a news website) Scenes that were shot locally include-

  • Scenes showing the store that Jake works at in the movie was shot at 2333 34th St. South in St. Petersburg. The building is an old closed up grocery store location.
  • Scenes showing Grandpa Abe’s House and his neighborhood was filmed  in Sun City Center and Tampa.
  • Scenes showing the home of Jake and his parents were shot in was in Belleair Bluffs.
  • Driving scenes were shot on the Gandy Bridge.

Overall, it was such a superb movie, and you must see it… especially if you (1) live in Florida to see the Tampa Bay Area make its cameo, (2) love Tim Burton and (3) are also a peculiar child. So there you go.

PS – If you really want to know I haven’t been to the movies since Captain Phillips was in the theatre. (Also one of the best movies ever if you haven’t seen it.)