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Always Good for a Laugh!

Anybody who knows me, or frequents my Instagram page, knows that my dogs are my babies. I’ve had them for a little over a decade now, and I don’t care how low or crappy I’m feeling, they can always make me feel better. Whether it’s their crazy antics or both of them climbing into my lap for snuggles, they lift my spirits. So a couple of years ago when their nervous energy got out of control – they would scream and cry EVERY TIME I left the house – I talked to their vet and we put them on Prozac. In retrospect, I wish that I had put them on it years earlier, it made everyone happier. What made it even better, was that I was able to fill their prescriptions at my local Target pharmacy. So I registered both of them as pets and all was well.


Then CVS took over the Target pharmacies, which was even better for me, since I get my own prescriptions at CVS. Why not Target you ask? Because I spend a hell of a lot less money when I walk into CVS, then when I walk into Target! So I transferred the prescriptions over to my normal CVS and all was well . . . or so I thought. The last time I went in, I asked for my prescriptions, then I asked for the prescriptions of Zoey and Malcolm Michels, both born on 6-26-06. To which the guy helping me said something about twins and I agreed. Technically they’re littermates, not twins. I personally know that they at least had another sister, so they are two from a set of triplets, or quadruplets, or quintuplets . . . much easier to say littermates. However, as I got tired of giving this explanation to people several years ago, I just smiled at the attendant and agreed that Zoey and Malcolm are indeed twins.

He smiled back, and then went to fetch the prescriptions. When he came back, the smile was gone, replaced by a rather troubled look. He set my prescriptions down, and then proceeded to almost say something, then he stopped. It was at this point that I guessed what was going on. I figured he saw that they were labeled as dogs and was afraid of offending me in case my darling twin children had been labeled as animals. I was only half right. Zoey had been labeled as a pet, and Malcolm had been labeled as a little boy. This poor guy was trying to find the most politic way of asking if I indeed had twins composed of a dog and a boy.


He finally asked me if Malcolm was a boy, to which I said yes. Then he hesitantly pointed out that Zoey was listed as a K-9 and was that correct? To which I also said yes. I let him hang awkwardly for a couple of moments – because I’m evil – before repeating back to him that yes, Zoey is a dog and Malcolm is a boy . . . dog. At this point he burst out laughing and I could see the tension release from his shoulders, as he assured me that, you know, this is LA, somebody might have dog/boy twins, and he wasn’t judging or anything – he was totally judging – but he was glad that it was much simpler than that. He then fixed Malcolm’s classification in the system, I made a smart ass remark about being really into Twilight back then, and we were both tearing up from laughing so hard by the time I paid and left.

So for a brief moment, in the eyes of CVS, I had a dog and a little boy. Now I just have dogs, and they’re still my babies.


Anybody that has food allergies or sensitivities is familiar with the trade-off game. The trade-off game happens whenever you see a food that you’re not supposed to eat, but it looks AMAZING. You then have to determine if the pleasure of eating that right now is a good enough trade off to warrant the after-effects of eating the food. Now there are some foods that under no circumstances could it possibly be worth it. I don’t care how good it looks, or how many yummy sounds the people around me are making, I will never knowingly eat gluten. It is NEVER worth it. Now dairy on the other hand . . . there are times that it is totally worth it. Or so Present Kat believes. This is generally how the conversation in my head goes:


PRESENT KAT: Oooooo! Let’s get gluten-free pizza for dinner!

FUTURE KAT: That’ll just make you feel sick tomorrow.

PRESENT KAT: No it won’t. I’ll take a Lactaid and be fine!

FUTURE KAT: That might help with the lactose, but you also can’t have the casein in the cheese either.

PRESENT KAT: Gotcha covered! I’ll take a casein supplement. All will be well.

FUTURE KAT: Even with both of those you’re still going to feel sick tomorrow.

PRESENT KAT: Nah, they’ll totally work. It’ll be fine. You’ll see!

FUTURE KAT: Have you learned nothing? You’re never fine, and you have a big day tomorrow.

PRESENT KAT: But I have a coupon!


PRESENT KAT: It’s for 20% off, but it’s only good for today. So really, it would be fiscally irresponsible not to get pizza.

FUTURE KAT: I’m fairly certain you are now arguing using nothing but sophistry.

PRESENT KAT: Whatever, It’s totally worth it. I’m getting pizza! It’ll be fine.

FUTURE KAT: I’m not so sure.


The next morning.


PRESENT KAT: Oh my god, I feel like crap. That was such a bad idea. Past Kat is an asshole.

FUTURE KAT: Told ya so.


The 10 Stages of Sick

Over the years, I have discovered that I have 10 stages of being sick. No matter what I do, no matter how much I try to break the cycle, when the whole thing is said and done, I’ve gone through these 10 stages.


1 – Hint – I get an inkling that something might be coming on. Maybe I have a tickle in my throat, or I’m achy. Something clues me in that something is amuck.

2 – Blatant Refusal – I declare to my body that it is not allowed to get sick! I have XYZ to get done, and So-and-So coming into town to visit. I am far too important and busy to get sick.

3 – Clarity – I realize that I may be too busy to get sick, but I’m definitely not too important. (Not that I think that matters.) So I shove every herbal preventative remedy I can get my hands on into my mouth. Vitamin C, Echinacea, zinc, chicken soup, you name it, I take it!

Captain Strong

4 – Triumph – Take that you stupid cold, my symptoms have abated and I have won! I am superior to your puny germy cells. Who’s your daddy?

5 – Hubris – Once the universe finishes laughing, it bitch slaps me off my feet and I become a sniffling, wheezing, coughing, disease-ridden mass of fever.

6 – Disgruntled Acceptance of Defeat – I begrudgingly accept defeat and drag myself into a doctor to discover that I have something fun like bronchitis, sinus and ear infections, or mono. Good times.

Eddie Izzard

7 – Slow March – I retreat to my couch to snuggle with my dogs, consume large amounts of drugs and juice and binge watch Netflix while the conga-line of germs in my body slowly dies away.

8 – Health – Yes! I’m feeling better! Back to normal life and doing normal things and feeling normal!

9 – Psych! – Nope. Just kidding. That was a fluke. Back to the couch.

10 – Actual Health – Am I really feeling better? Really? I’ll dip my toe in to test the waters . . . after this next episode . . . yeah, one more episode and I’ll be better . . .


I’m on #7 at the moment. Anyone up for an episode of Blue Bloods?

The Restroom Gestapo

I work on the 8th floor of a high rise building, and all of the offices on my floor have access to one men’s room, and one lady’s room. Over the past several months there has been some serious drama brewing about the lady’s room and it cracks me up to no end!

First, there were complaints that people were dripping water all over the counter and not wiping it up. Now true, there are definitely days that you go in there and it makes you wonder if somebody has been handwashing their clothes there’s so much water on the counter. But it’s water. It doesn’t get in the way of washing your hands. Yes, maybe you want to set your purse on the counter. Not a problem, grab a paper towel and wipe dry a spot. This is WATER, not nuclear waste. At least this is my philosophy on the whole thing. Apparently the women on my floor, do not share this philosophy. Not only was there a note left in the restroom about wiping up the water, but about a month after the note, an email was received by all of us from building management requesting that people wipe the counter after washing their hands.

I don't care

There were enough people complaining, or just one very persistent person, to get management to send out an email. ABOUT WATER! Hysterical! To their credit, it worked. People started wiping the counters, and the amount of water decreased. So you would think, that the drama would be over, right? Wrong! Emboldened by their win, the Restroom Gestapo moved on to phase two of their restroom crack-down plan. What is next on their list you wonder? Poop. Apparently people have been pooping in the restroom. How inconsiderate! The noses of these delicate flowers have been grossly abused, and thus a second note appeared. I really wish I would have gotten a picture of it before somebody took it down, but alas. The premise of the note was basically requesting – kind of demanding – that these inconsiderate pooping fiends start bringing air freshener, or a match with them to cleanse the air. Then at the bottom, in big bold letters, was written, “We Know Who You Are!”

Know who you are

Really? For the health and regularity of all of the women on the floor, I’m hoping it’s everyone. However, the Restroom Gestapo seems to think that it’s only a select few individuals who are stinking up the joint, and they know who! That is my favorite part. At no point have any of these notes been signed. Or polite for that matter. So we have no idea who the Restroom Gestapo is, but they know who we are. Can you say passive aggressive? As you would expect, this was not received well. Actually I lied, this is my favorite part.  I am not the only one who thinks these notes/people are ridiculous. Ever since that second note showed up, people have stopped wiping the counters. There are now times that it looks like someone has had a full on water fight in there. And no, there has not been an up-tick in the use of air freshener. Take that Restroom Gestapo! It’s like the sixth grade wild, wild, west in there! It cracks me up. I’m sure this whole thing is really ruining someone’s day/week/month, but for my part it is pure comedy.

Girl Card – Revoked!

Today at lunch a friend of mine asked me what I thought of her hair. As this is a friend that I see on a regular basis, I knew that that this question had to be because she had just done something new with her hair. Which of course meant that my brain went immediately into panic mode because I hadn’t noticed anything different. I started through the checklist. New cut? Don’t think so, it’s still the same length. Did she style it differently? Nope, that looks the same too. New color? Not that I can tell, but I have my sunglasses on, so maybe that’s hiding the new color. Crap!


Is there a subtle way for me to look at her hair with my sunglasses off without letting her in on the fact that I have no idea what she’s talking about? No, not really. Besides, I tend to be about as subtle as a brick to the teeth. So I decided to go with blunt.

“Did you do something to it?”

She explained. Yes, she had colored it! Now that the subtlety option was gone, I lowered my sunglasses to get a better look. Nope, still couldn’t tell the difference. So I listened to what she had done and why she had it done, the whole time trying to call up some sort of memory of what her head used to look like before this new color job. Maybe if I had a time frame!

“When did you do this?”

Again she explained. Last week, and then a fix last night. Holy crap! No wonder she was asking, that’s two dye jobs in two weeks without word one from me. I’m the worst friend ever! Okay, not the worst friend, but definitely the most inobservant friend. Again I listen and get a bit of a glimmer of what she’s talking about as she describes the reason that the fix was necessary. I nod my head as I listen, but then she stops. It is clearly my turn to say something. I can’t really agree with her that the fix was necessary, because hell, I didn’t even notice the change in the first place! I decide to go with the truth.

“It looks really nice, I like it.”


Then I hold my breath. It does look nice, I do like it, but is that going to be enough of an answer? God, I really hope she doesn’t want me to discuss the differences in blond highlights vs red highlights in terms of washing people out. Not because I don’t care, but because I have nothing to say on the matter. I’ve never once thought about it! And I’ve especially never thought about the differences that you have to do with your make-up to compensate for the different colors of highlights. Truth be told, most mornings I don’t even look in a mirror while getting ready. If I do, it’s an afterthought, or to check to see if I have food stuck in my teeth. Make-up and hair is sooooooo not my thing! At this point, I’m fairly certain that I am failing at hiding the look of abject horror on my face. I smile and repeat myself.

“I like it. It’s pretty.” She looks at me for a moment and then, takes pity.

“I really need to ask a girl.”

“Yes! Yes you do! Because honestly, unless you dye it blue or chop it all off, I’m not going to notice.”

I would notice this too.

I would notice this too.

And then she laughed. Oh thank goodness! And thank goodness for friends who realize that my inobservance of all changes in appearance have absolutely no bearing on how I feel about them as a person. This is why every time I’ve ever played Battle of the Sexes, I have to team with the boys.

The Turkey Sandwich Terrorist

I spent this past weekend in Colorado. I was able to visit with some friends, I saw some Shakespeare at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, and I went to my dad’s house to sort through and decide what should be done with all of my childhood memorabilia. This last bit was the main reason for the trip, and it was one hell of a journey down memory lane. There were things like my baby blanket and my childhood Christmas stocking. There were also things like every greeting card I ever received and the keys to my diary. The diary itself was nowhere to be found, but by gum, I have the keys safe and sound!

I quickly realized that it was going to be easy figuring out what should be kept – baby blanket – given away – collection of trolls, numbering over 200 – and what could be recycled – greeting cards and shoe box full of folded up notes that were passed between my friends and me in school. By the way, Cassie, you and I talked A LOT about RyFi and KiFi, and I can’t decide if it was adorable or kind of stalker-ish. As we had figured out their class schedules, I’m leaning toward the latter.

Greeting Cards

The coolest finds were all of my grade school writing projects and my middle and high school art projects. I’m debating whether or not some of the writing should be shared. The Great Computer Hunt is so ridiculous, my friend Ruth and I were almost crying we were laughing so hard. 2nd grade Kat had quite the vivid imagination. For that matter, high school Kat wasn’t exactly lacking in imagination either. One of my art projects was a ceramic sculpture of a turkey sandwich and French fries on a plate. I’m fairly certain that the genesis behind this project was because I could.

At any rate, this and everything else I decided to keep, got packed up in my suitcases for the trip home to LA. I decided that the sandwich and two other sculptures would go in my carry-on. Clay isn’t exactly the lightest substance in the world, but I didn’t trust baggage handlers to handle my bag carefully enough to protect them. So the sandwich got lovingly wrapped in a huge wad of bubble wrap and placed in my suitcase. What had not occurred to me, is that when sent through a baggage x-ray machine, an oddly shaped ceramic piece that is thoroughly wrapped up, has the same profile as say . . . a bomb. A rather large bomb.

So when my suitcase went through at 5:00 in the morning the TSA agent reading the screen, all of a sudden became very awake. Then everything screeched to a halt, as she called over someone else to look. The two of them conferred, then called over another agent. Between the three of them they called over a supervisor, who then called over another supervisor. No one was saying anything to any of the passengers, but it was more than obvious that there was something going on. At this point, we didn’t even know whose bag was causing the hold-up, and everyone started to get frustrated, as more agents were called over and the conveyor had been parked for over five minutes.

Finally, everyone got quiet and they reversed the conveyor so that they could remove the offending bag. They carefully walked it over to the three of us waiting for our bags to come out and asked whose it was. It was mine, I said so. It was then whisked away by a supervisor and I was curtly told to gather my other belongings and report immediately to the inspection area. It was while I was putting on my shoes, that I remembered the sandwich. And I giggled.

Turkey sandwich

Shoes now back on, I grabbed my purse and walked over to the inspection area where I was curtly asked if there was anything sharp in my bag. I told her that I didn’t think there was, and she started to swab down the outside of my suitcase to test for explosive residue. It was at this point that I informed her that I had a ceramic sculpture in the bag, and I could see the tension release from her body as her shoulders dropped about an inch. Then she opened the bag, and pulled out the wrapped bundle. Everything got wiped and tested for explosive residue, then she meticulously started to unwrap the sculpture. I don’t know if she believed me and was being so gentle to protect my piece, or if there was a part of her that was still expecting to see a bomb, but she was much more careful then I would have been with it! Finally, she got it unwrapped to the last fold, took a breath and flipped it over. The anticipation was delicious as it registered just what she was looking at, and then started laughing.

She stood there and laughed for a few minutes, then folded it back up in its wrappings, handed it to me and said, “I’m going to let you pack it, I don’t want to break one of your fries. Take your time honey.” Then, laughing again, she walked over to the other agents who were looking at us bewildered. Somehow I think that the TSA agents at DIA are going to be talking about the turkey sandwich bomb scare, for quite some time, because I walked away towards my gate to the sounds of quite a few chuckles behind me.

Stay Out of the Water

Anybody that has spent any time with me knows that I am not a fan of nature. Not the views and such, I can sit and take in the beauty of nature all day long . . . from a patio. When you stick me in nature, sans patio, I become the whiny camper. Okay, in Colorado I was known as the whiny camper, here in LA I’ve been called outdoorsy. That’s because I am fine with the outdoors as long as all conditions are perfect, and my exposure is limited. As long as I’m not too cold or too hot, as long as I don’t see a snake or get something gross on me, as long as my food doesn’t wind up with a bunch of dirt/sand in it, and I don’t get blisters on my feet . . . you get the idea. I’m the whiny camper.


Therefore, I tend to stay out of the wild and all involved are happy. This attitude toward nature strikes many as strange, since I grew up in the wilderness. In school we learned how to make snow caves and what to do should you run into a bear or a mountain lion. I wore bright orange while playing outside during hunting season. Tick checks were an almost daily occurrence during the summer. I was inundated with nature. So you would think I would be a bit more comfortable in it. The thing is, I know quite a bit about nature, therefore, I also know what lives in nature.

As a human being, I enjoy my placement at the top of the food chain. It’s comfy up there, I like the view. The cows and chickens and carrots are all below me and I can find them nicely packaged for me at the grocery store. Life is good. It makes sense. But the second that I go out into nature, I am no longer at the top. Bears, lions, alligators, sharks, etc are all most definitely above me in the food chain should they wish it to be so. I am not really cool with that. I have nothing against them, per se, and believe that they should be allowed to live and let live. However, as animals don’t always agree with me on the “let live” part of the equation, I choose to stay out of their habitat. After events earlier this week, I feel even more justified in my decision.


Like most of the world, I have become obsessed with watching the footage of that Australian surfer, Mick Fanning, being attacked by the great white shark. It is beyond amazing that he was able to escape completely unscathed, and it is beyond brave that fellow surfer Julian Wilson swam toward the attack to help, instead of heading to shore like Fanning was screaming for him to do. If I had been Wilson I probably would have turned into a cartoon character and run so fast that I ran across the top of the water with my legs rotating like pinwheels. (I tend to instantly levitate onto whatever is nearest me when I see a snake, so I feel that this is totally possible.) Despite the bravery, heroics and fast action by the water rescue folks, I am left with one lingering feeling every time I watch that footage: THAT IS WHY YOU STAY OUT OF THE WATER!!!

Seriously! Stay out of the water, there are things in there that will eat you! I know the odds are incredibly low. I’ve seen all of the statistics and I even follow Mary Lee the Great White on Twitter. I know that sharks rarely hunt humans on purpose, but I’m sorry, have you seen this graphic?


Forget the shark, if I take my glasses off, I can’t tell the difference between those three! Therefore, if you need me, I will be sitting on a patio, sipping a fruity cocktail and feeling completely justified in being the whiny camper.

I Guess I Can Sleep When I’m Dead

I’ve been having trouble sleeping, well, almost all year. Which isn’t overly surprising as I have been an insomniac off and on since I was 16. But in the past several years it hasn’t bothered me at all, so when it hit hard earlier this year I had forgotten most of my coping strategies, and the ones that I did remember weren’t working. So it’s been back to the old drawing board with lots of trial and error. That trial and error has finally come to fruition, and for the past week and a half I have actually been sleeping. Whoo-hoo! Until last night.

Insomnia by Brian DeYoung

Insomnia by Brian DeYoung

Last night I found myself in the middle of this god-awful dream that had snakes, and more snakes and crocodiles all along this path that I had to walk. It was like the Wizard of Oz Australia edition. And right as I was about to completely lose my shit I woke up to see this gigantic spider crawling across my pillow straight toward my face. This was not a dream. Real spider on my real pillow and now I did lose my shit. I screamed one of those soundless screams and flailed wildly. The result of this flailing was that Bubba got kicked in the head and the spider got spooked and started to crawl up the wall. At which point I looked around frantically for something to smash it with, but being in bed I had nothing. Before I could think better of it, I reached out to smash the damn thing with the palm of my hand.

I think it must have been mid-smack when my brain finally broke through the haze and screamed, “What are you doing idiot! That thing is the size of quarter!” Well, by this time it was too late to reverse the momentum, so I redirected it and smashed my hand into the wall right next to the spider . . . At which point it either fell back down into my bed, or scuttled away so quickly that I didn’t see it. Obviously, I assumed that the damn thing was back in my bed. I froze. Maybe if I just stayed very still it would crawl its way back up the wall, we could part company and never speak of the incident again. No such luck, and I gave the little fucker plenty of time. So I gingerly started moving my pillows one by one, in the hopes that when I did unearth it, it would crawl across my hand. I eventually got through all of the pillows and even pulled the blanket back a bit, and no spider . . . anywhere. Not on the wall, not on the bed, not anywhere. Fuck.


It was at this point that I figured I had three choices. 1 – Eradicate with fire. Burn down the entire apartment. 2 – Abandon all belongings and find somewhere else to sleep for the night. 3 – Suck it up, assume that it has crawled away in fear, and go back to bed. Number one got ruled out, because I’m pretty sure that my renter’s insurance won’t cover destruction from spider eradication. Number two got ruled out because the living room was still hella hot, and while I can sleep fairly comfortably in the back of my car, there was no way that 75 pounds of puggle and me were going to be able to sleep in the back of the car. So that left option number three. Suck it up, and go back to sleep. I was not a fan of this option, but reminding myself that I am indeed an adult, and I had to get up in a couple of hours for work, I sucked it up . . . after building a pillow wall and moving to the other side of the bed.

Now here’s the problem with this solution. Several months ago I rearranged my room with the end result being that a shadow box filled with tchotchkes hangs partially over one side of my bed. Instead of going to the trouble of rehanging the box, I simply sleep on the other side of the bed. That way, in the event of an earthquake, I don’t get beaned in the head with a tchotchke. So my option was sleep on the spider’s side of the bed, or possibly get beaned in the head. Obviously, I chose the possible head injury route, and settled myself down to sleep.

However, at this point, I am not only awake, but my brain is on full alert. That’s when a horrifying thought hit me. What if that spider has a vindictive side, and is waiting for me to fall asleep so he can come tap dance across my face, and explore the inner workings of my nose and ears. Which is ludicrous, spiders aren’t intelligent enough to be vindictive. But at 3 in the morning, feeling a little shell-shocked, that seemed like a perfectly plausible scenario. I feigned sleep for a bit, then would look really quickly to see if he was making his move. He never did, and this got old really fast.


Then I realized, what’s the point in having dogs if they won’t protect you? So I grabbed Bubba, and repositioned him between me and the wall of pillows. He was not a fan of this plan, probably still disgruntled over being kicked. So I grabbed Zoey, which I should have done in the first place, after all she chases spiders and eats them for fun. She was perfectly amenable to this plan, as long as she got to sleep on my pillow, above my head. I was finally able to fall asleep for a bit before my alarm went off. I still have not seen hide nor hair of that stupid spider again. He’s probably set up residence in my new memory foam pillow and is selling timeshares to his buddies.

Needless to say, I don’t think I’m ever going to sleep again.

It Begins . . .

I don’t know what it is, but there is something about a Fringe Festival* that just makes me all giddy inside like a little kid on Christmas morning. Or better yet, that thrill when the Sears or Toys-R-Us catalog finally came in and you got to go through and mark EVERYTHING that you wanted Santa to bring you. (I just dated myself there, didn’t I?) However, unlike Santa, who inevitably would stick an orange in my stocking and bring the one thing off my list that was even remotely educational, I get to go see anything and everything that I am able to cram into my schedule. Which for the viewing audience at home is a whopping 23 shows. Why? Because I’m crazy that’s why.


And that stingy Santa bastard wasn’t around to rein me in. I’m just kidding, Santa’s fantastic.

I have no idea why I’m stuck on this Christmas analogy . . .

I have no idea why I’m stuck on this Christmas analogy . . .

Now here’s the catch with any Fringe Festival. With so many shows – I believe there are over 300 this year – how do you know what to go see? Well, you could scroll through all of the different categories of shows and read the little blurb about each one, then make a list of the ones that look interesting, then figure out a schedule that allows you to see as many on your list as humanly possible. That’s what I did. Why? Because I’m crazy, I thought we already covered this?

Elf Eating

Or two other fantastic options is to attend a Fringe Cabaret, or follow See It Or Skip It LA on Twitter and Instagram . . . probably some other social medias as well, but I’m not on those so I don’t know how they work. A group of us – yours truly included – are going to go out and see as many Fringe shows as we can. Then we will tweet, Instagram and podcast – we’re also doing podcasts – what we thought. Even better, all you need to know are four different hashtags.

  • #ChanceItLA – This one looks awesome. I’m going, but haven’t seen it yet.
  • #ChanceItLA – I saw it and it’s not my cup of tea. But it’s well done, so you might like it.
  • #SeeItLA – This one is awesome. Get your butt in a seat.
  • #SkipItLA – This one was not awesome. Get your butt in a different seat.
  • #DrinkBeforeItLA – Libations will make the experience more enjoyable.
Now it’s just a Will Ferrell thing.

Now it’s just a Will Ferrell thing.

But no matter what way you pick your shows, come see some Fringe. You can check out the schedule, read about the different productions, buy tickets, and find answers to all of your burning questions at the 2015 Hollywood Fringe Festival website. Previews start tonight, June 4th (as a hint, preview shows are generally less expensive), opening night is June 10th and shows run through June 28th. If you’re wondering what shows I picked to go see, my list and an interview with each production can be found by clicking here.

So what have we learned? Fringe Festivals are better than Santa. So get your butt down to the Fringe.



*For those of you going, “A what festival?” A Fringe Festival is a gathering of performance artists – clowns, singers, musicals, dramas, comedies, magicians, solo acts, etc – who bring their shows to one location – in this case Hollywood – to perform. These shows are jam-packed into a back-to-back schedule, in several different venues so that people can hop from one show to the next almost all day long. It is crazy, it is dramatic; it is a glorious gathering of creative minds reveling in the shared love of art. I’m sure there’s a much more technical definition, but if you want that, ask Google.

Why is There a Tiger at the BBQ?

This past weekend I went to a BBQ, and upon walking into this family’s yard my first thought was not, “Wow, what a gorgeous house.” Or even, “cool, a pool.” It was, “Holy mother of God that’s a tiger!!!” Now mind you, there was not actually a tiger. There was however, an almost life-sized stuffed animal of a tiger that one of the kids had left on a lounge chair. Now notice, I said almost life-sized, therefore not actually big enough to be a real tiger, and I don’t know that anyone else would have mistaken it for the genuine article. Especially since who in their right mind would have a pet tiger and let it roam around free during a BBQ without warning your guests of its presence! This did not matter. My brain saw it, refused to acknowledge the absurdity of it being real and immediately began to freak the fuck out. I’m actually amazed that I didn’t run over my host trying to get out of the yard. Instead I completely missed the names of everyone that I was being introduced to while trying to stave off a panic attack, and wondering why everyone was so calm with a mother fucking tiger in the yard! Eventually, probably a span of ten seconds but it felt like half an hour, my brain calmed down enough for me to register that it was indeed a stuffed animal, not a real tiger, at which point I blurted out, “Oh my god, I thought that was a real tiger.” Which I’m sure helped to explain the absolutely terror-stricken look on my face, but did nothing to calm the look of “We’re in the presence of a crazy person” that was on everyone else’s face. What can I say, I make quite the first impression.


And quite frankly, I blame this entire reaction on my childhood which has instilled in me an irrational fear of large cats. I know what you’re thinking, there’s nothing irrational about being afraid of lions and tigers, which is true. But the irrationality of my fear comes from the fact that I’m afraid of them to the point that I expect to see them in completely nonsensical locations … like poolside at a family friendly BBQ. This is because I grew up a couple of miles from the western entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, which is an absolutely gorgeous tiny little spot, that also happens to have the highest population of mountain lions per square mile in the entire Rocky Mountain region. That means that if you look all the way from Canada through the US and down into Mexico, the frickin mountain lions find Grand Lake, CO the most hospitable spot.


Therefore, when city kids were learning about stranger-danger we were learning about what to do should you encounter a mountain lion in the wild. Which if you spent anytime outside the odds were pretty good that you might, whether you knew it or not. Needless to say, this made quite the impression on me, and formed a very healthy respect/fear of the creatures. Because of this, at night when I had to get up to go to the bathroom, it wasn’t the boogie man, or monsters that I feared, okay I was afraid of them too, but mostly, it was the mountain lion that slept at the end of the hall at night. So whenever I had to go to the bathroom, I had a set procedure.

Step 1 – Jump off the bed landing far enough away that the monsters underneath couldn’t swipe my ankles.

Step 2 – Open the door then run as quickly as humanly possible across the hall to the bathroom.

Step 2.5 – Glance quickly down the hall while crossing to ensure that the mountain lion isn’t there yet.

Step 3 – Slam the bathroom door shut, while simultaneously flipping on the bathroom light, making sure that the light turns on before the door is fully closed or the boogie man will jump out of the mirror and get me.

Step 4 – Go pee.

Step 5 – Repeat process, but in reverse, to get back into bed.

To be honest, I’m amazed that I didn’t just wet the bed to avoid the hassle. But I didn’t, and as long as I followed my procedure all was well. Until one night, when I did the mountain lion check and saw a sleeping mountain lion curled up at the end of the hall. Okay, it wasn’t actually a mountain lion, but we had just gotten a new dog, and it is amazing how similar a golden retriever/golden lab mix resembles the coloring and size of a mountain lion in the dark. I, however, was unable to make this distinction, racing across the hall in the middle of the night, checking to make sure that the coast was clear. As the coast was most definitely NOT clear, I lost my shit, and ran down the hall screaming into the living room. Of course, hearing one of her people screaming, the dog jumped up and chased after me. Now I was being chased by the mountain lion at the end of the hall and once in the living room, still screaming, I started to climb up on and across all of the furniture. Apparently in my addle-pated state, playing lava seemed like the thing to do.

Mountain Lion

By now the dog was thoroughly concerned and had followed me up onto the furniture and was trying her dead level best to catch up to me so that she could protect me. My poor father, hearing the ruckus and probably assuming that his daughter was being axe murdered, arrived in the living room to find a berserk child practically climbing the walls to get away from a very concerned and worried dog. After that, I don’t really remember what happened, although if I had to guess, I probably didn’t sleep for a week. Needless to say, I had a bit of an over-active imagination as a child, and apparently that hasn’t changed much. Hence, my belief that there could be a tiger at a BBQ. Good grief!