Wednesday, December 10, 2008


last year, our performance of the vagina monologues, directed by elesia cambra, at the bankhead theater in livermore SOLD OUT! and helped raise $30,000 for the tri valley haven.

i will not be able to participate as a cast member in 2009, but will still be doing what i can behind the scenes, promoting, posting flyers, selling tickets..

VERY FUN though, to learn some of our performances from last year have been uploaded to youtube (thanks! my carolyn..)

so above is a link to my 15 seconds of fame.. such a great memory for me

and i mean that two ways. the regular way, like.. it is such a great memory for me

and this way too: i still have this part memorized -what a great memory!-

when your brain is slippery like mine, memorizing is tricky, tricky business. but i want to tell you that the director, lisa cambra (AKA: goddess of everything) recently sent me an email that said.. "can't find fact #2 monologue anywhere -do you have a copy?"

and i didn't even need a copy! i was able to type out my part (fact #2) write there in the email.

it's said in layman terms by neuroscientists that, "what fires together ~ wires together"

and what that means is, it's the really big emotional events in our lives that stick in our memory; SyNAPse together

this was a really big deal for me.. my acting debut.. and I LOVED the parts i was cast to perform

and when i recited fact #2 to a packed theatre, and heard the audience laughing ( fire!).. i think it locked those lines in my brain forever. (wired!)

I DID IT! -and i must share here, i came very close to dropping out. -very close.

because during one of the dress rehearsals; i had a nervous breakdown.

and i mean quite literary here NERVOUS and BREAK-DOWN. it must of been that all my insecurities, nervousness, enormous self-doubt, excitement -all the emotions/stress that go along with motherhood, plus.. sleepless nights, back-to-back practices and performing for the 1st time in a new theatre, they were all accumulating inside me without my full knowledge and needed release

so what happen was..

what happen was.. there all of us were, on stage at the bankhead for a full -complete- dress rehearsal, start to finish and opening night is like.. real soon.

and everyone is practicing their blocking.. improving their volume.. taking final direction.. etc.

and you must know here, that the vagina monologues is both HILARIOUS and POIGNANT.. so as a cast member, as you listen to the various monologues you go from wanting to cry about a painful truth to wanting to laugh at funny fact

and what happen to me, is that i started to giggle where sadness belonged

what trigged it.. is actually pretty funny. you see, jean.. she was rehearsing one of the more serious, grave, very sad/tragic monologues, about victims of katrina i think

and as part of her very serious monologue she shares some horrific statistics and facts and then says something like, ".. and it was shocking how little people did to stop it"

only my brain heard, "and it was shocking what little people did to stop it "

and that's what my brain saw too: little people.

lots and lots of miniature-sized little people out to save the victims of katrina. and i felt a case of nervous giggles coming on

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

THE PRICE OF FRIENDS by (me!) sandra, tvgp

rich people, you see.. they don't know what they're missin'

the fun! the adventures! the drama!

like the time my sister and i wanted to have a drink together at a local bar. like, really bad. it was one of those rare, rare, saturday nights when her ex-husband had their kids, and my ex-husband had our kids, and we both had a saturday night free

and all we wanted in the whole wide world was to hang out together, listen to some live music and have a beer

but we are both on what some people politely describe as very tight budgets. and we knew we could only afford one beer each if we could beat the cover charge clock, so first thing my sister did was call to find out when the cover charge started, then called me back

"okay," she said, "cover starts at 8pm, but their clock is ten minutes fast, so really 7:50..

what time is it now?" she says, "oh my! can you put your make-up on and be down there in like, 5 minutes?!"

and i, phone in one hand, mascara brush in the other, said, "YES! i'm painting my face and putting on my clothes at the same time write now! love you! bye" -click.

and i really did.. somehow.. brush my hair, paint my face, and hop my pants on, and zip up my boots and run out the door and drive really safely fast, and found a parking spot, all in like, under 5 minutes

and i'm walk-racing from my parking spot to the brewery when the stupid light at the corner -only three storefronts away, turns BIG FAT RED and i have to stand there, panting, waiting for a bunch of stupid cars to pass by gotta beat the cover... gotta beat the cover... come on cars! for goodness sake.. hurry up already!

and i did think about running in between the cars driving by.. a quick dash.. but then a STUPID POLICE CAR is making it's way around the corner, and i thought.. -k- maybe not.

so i'm tapping my feet, hands on my hips, waiting for the stupid animated walking man to light up, only.. exactly when the light changes, here comes a family to the corner, that i know

that i know but haven't seen in a long while. "hi sandra! how are you doin'"

and i realize in that moment, that despite the fact i was able to pretty my face, calm my hair, clothe my body, and drive my car, and find a parking spot, and make it three store fronts away from the brewery, all in under 5 minutes

i realize in that very moment that i'm not going to beat the cover. i'm going to pay the cover and enjoy a nice tall glass of water; on the rocks, please.

and so they ask me about me, and my kids..

and i ask them about them and their kids...

and the light has changed red to white five or six times by the time they go there way and i go mine.

darn it. those friends just cost me $5!

MEANWHILE, my sister has a race of her own going on. she's doing the same thing.. brush in one hand, car keys in the other.. gotta beat the cover. gotta beat the cover

and she speed-readies herself, runs out toward her car, only EXACTLY as she has the key in the ignition, and just before she closes the door, a neighbor comes over

starts in on what seems to be "a very important conversation!" -my sister tells me. and then with great animation, and arms thrown to the air, adds on, "about pigeons!"

and i'm just crackin' up listening to her tell her side of the beat the cover story

"ten minutes!" she cries, "for ten minutes she wants to tell me about pigeons!"

"lady.." -and of course she didn't share her thoughts out loud.. but she shared them with me.

over a nice cold beer, and with live music in the background. because despite the family i ran into and our ten minute visit on the corner of ray and main

and despite the neighbor that came to her car for a ten minute visit about pigeons. -somehow we both beat the cover clock. talked and laughed and danced together from saturday night 'til yawn.

and i was thinkin'

i was thinkin' how funny the whole thing was.. what an adventure it turned out to be and how much laughter it yielded

and when i read leonard stegmann's recycled post this morning about rich people, that's what it made me think:

how rich people; they miss out on these sorts of things.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

TESTING, TESTING 1, 2, 3... by (me!) sandra, tvgp


so i was reading SCOTT ADAM'S BLOG

... SCOTT ADAM'S... creator of DILBERT.. who wrote

"About a year ago I started using Google Alerts to tell me whenever someone mentioned Dilbert, me, or anything about Spasmodic Dysphonia on the Internet"

-and i'm the kinda person who has to test these things out, so

just in case it really works:

"hi scott! LOVE YOUR BLOG and very happy to learn your surgery went well. i was praying for you."

i'm apparently programmed that way.. (that's a little moist robot joke for those of you who haven't yet read his books or blog)

anyway.. "remember me?" oh, i wouldn't do that to you. i know you meet too many people to remember me -personally- but we do live in the same town, and

i did have the great pleasure of meeting you several years ago when i had my heart set on becoming a famous, syndicated cartoonist for the arts n' crafts industry

and the very fact i have to re-introduce myself, let's you know how well that dream went down; the drain.

but i have a picture.. somewhere?

of the three of us: me and my sandyland comic strip artist/illustrator friend nancy eddinger. hey..

i wonder if NANCY EDDINGER uses google alerts?

"hi nancy! -just saw a nice picture/write up of you in the independent. way to go artist friend!"

anyway.. let me see if i can go find that picture. it shouldn't take too long..

(and now that's silly isn't it.. because by the time, and IF you are reading this, the picture will already be here, and you'll have no way of knowing how long it took me to find it..

there's no need here for you to fake patience.. isn't that wonderful!

OR for me to worry about how long it is taking me.. i fall all apart if i feel like i'm keeping someone too long -especially a celebrity. -family.. they understand sometimes. but customers in line at amelia's.. or strangers in line for the bathroom..

i'm hyper-conscientious. one time.. i was so worried about the next person in line for the bathroom that i didn't finish going.. i only went half way.. then stood back in line so i could finish without making anyone else wait.

but now.. i'm not just tellin' stories to pass time while i hunt for this picture

let me make it perfectly clear: -because i just put on your tennis shoes in my imagination and realized how awful that would feel, if things were reversed

if - i - was the genius/celebrity/cartoonist/author guy and you were the wanna-but-not-gonna-be-syndicated-cartoonist

and you said, "i have a picture of us!" -all excited, but then it took, like, over three hours for you to find it

how important would that make me feel then?



maybe i know WRITE where that picture is. maybe i found it in under one second! but i'm only pretending it took three hours to spare myself any embarrassment ~ so you don't know, for example, that i had it turned into a poster and it's hanging in my bedroom and i fall asleep every night reading your books and staring into your eyes

all broken hearted that you got married.

i wonder now

what you are programmed to believe?


i've not given up on my dream(s), (or finding this picture) although they do change form

so instead of becoming a famous syndicated cartoonist for the arts/crafts industry (which is wildly corrupt by the way)

i've decided to become a famous american writer

then i can tell my stories about my experiences in the corrupt arts/craft industry, and use my comic panels inside.

they WILL NOT go to waste i promise me!

(looking for picture.. scanning.. opening folders..)

"so.. anyway.. how have you been? remember reading you got a puppy.. hilarious, by the way.. great posts!...

can i get you some coffee..

(.. what flippin' year was it?!)

"oh! and guess what.. we had our book release party at your restaurant.. stacey's in dublin..

-gorgeous.. gorgeous place you have there..

didn't have a chance to eat.. "

(oh! now that's even worse than hunting for the picture!)

THAT TIME. but i've eaten there before.. DELICIOUS! GREAT FOOD! oh! and the cosmopolitans..

"HERE IT IS!! I FOUND IT!!" (thank God!)

"remember me?"

oh wait. i'm sorry. that's billy collins isn't it.

hey.. i wonder if BILLY COLLINS uses google alerts?

"hi billy! remember me? we met at the pleasanton poetry, prose & art festival..

you are HILARIOUS! my poetry will never be the same.. always under your influence

come back to pleasanton any time ~ we love you here! ~

(-k- no.. that's jim.. ray...

-from when i was going to be a famous journalist.. no..

from when i was going to be a famous speaker.. no.. no..

"HERE IT IS!" "ALL HOPE LOST FILE/syndicated cartoonist"

"remember me now?"

"i'm the beautiful blond in the red jacket."

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

MY FAITH IN A LOVING GOD by (me!) sandra, tvgp

it feels so important to me that people understand

that people KNOW

i have not been made stronger by surviving traumas.

i am stronger thank you to my family, my friends and my faith

in a loving God.

through prayer. -but what a time i have with the bible. i love God, and love to read, but..

the bible.

it's so easy to put down.

the stories are not engaging for me personally, the way they are written.. i tried, for example.. psalms, over the holidays. psalm 23.. so beautiful

but oh! the repetitiveness.. the odd language.. the inconsistencies.. the torture.. the begging

i've decided to leave it to pastor mike at centerpointe. i enjoy taking in bible passages one or two at a time, one day a week, with educated help

but i still hunger, have such an appetite for stories about the goodness of God

and so i'm re-reading kathy cordova's book: let go, let miracles happen

contemporary, readable, engaging, inspiring collection of true stories about spiritual surrender

and in a language i can relate to and understand all on my own.

thanks friend! -it's a great book!