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Trickle of Consciousness — LiveJournal
From the lost journals of The Lady Deborah White, lauded adventurer and debunker of myths...

I will admit that it was with great effort that I overcame my general ennui when Master Sebastian insisted I visit yet another teller of fortunes. In my many years exploring the unknown, I have certainly come into contact with those phenomena which I might call supernatural. Surely, I'd not have garnered the reputation I have were such mysteries not alluring to me in some way.

The wailing spirits of Monetego Bay, for example, or the sad, possessed soul whose exorcism I recounted in my latest memoir are but two of the fascinating elements I have had the privilege to encounter. Indeed, I have a deep and enduring passion for seeking out those forces in the world which man cannot in his mundane existence fully understand.

Charlatans, however, hold little charm to me, and I have found in my experience that self-described "fortune tellers" have been nothing but. Master Sebastian is nothing if not insistent, however, and it soon became apparent that I would only alleviate myself of his nagging by seeking an audience with the object of his obsession.

My natural reticence certainly wasn't allayed upon entry into the woman's den. Festooned with gauzy fabrics and brocades, the air thick with cheap incense and the haze from burning same, it brought to mind each of the previous dozens of layabout gyspy trailers I had inspected with so much verve in my more naïve youth.

Draped in colorful fabrics and bangles, the teller of fortunes made for herself the usual entrance from behind her beaded curtain, wafting across the floor to sit lightly before yet another crystal ball (if by 'crystal' one means an oversized, polished glass bead). I was unimpressed, and did with no small effort force down the yawn which threatened to issue forth; whatever my low opinion of the woman, I would not forget my own poise.

Then it occurred that the tenor of our encounter took a most dramatic shift. Just as the woman had begun the same insultingly vague assertions about mysterious love and money lurking in the shadow of my future, the aforementioned crystal ball actually began to glow. At first I was certain the woman had rigged some basic electrics into the sphere, but to my (and, if the look on her face was to be believed, the fortune teller's own) amazement, the glowing crystal ball rose from the table to hover over the woman's head.



From the Lady's private sketchbook, a firsthand recreation of her encounter...


Transfixed, she gazed into the frenetic lights which swirled colours about the inside. Her voice took on an altogether different timbre, and she spoke as if one possessed (a phenomenon with which you may recall I have some small experience, so I know from whence I speak). I did not recognize the language, but the colored lights coalesced in the haze about us, filled the room with images.

A single seed fell to the ground, and from it two stems grew up, inextricably entwined. Their buds struggled in the shadows, but in a sudden burst of light, they bloomed: a bright daisy and a delicate violet. They reached upward, grew into an exotic beauty I might never have imagined from two such common flowers. To be sure, I found my breath taken from me as I watched, as from nowhere the air was filled with glorious music.

But then the light became harsher, and the edges of this fascinating twin bloom began to wilt from it all. It was illogical, the desperate longing the image of two plain flowers called up within me. Exotic in its simplicity, it was as if they were more. As if they were the children I had never borne, and I must in every way seek to protect them, to safeguard their glorious moment of full bloom.

And then it was over. I gasped for breath as the images faded, the crystal ball fell back to the table with a dull thud. The gypsy, I noted, seemed as drained and moved as was I by the experience. I wiped tears from my eyes, began to offer my apologies for ever having doubted her powers, as truly this display was far beyond the mere hucksterism of those who pretended at her own puissance.

To my dismay, the woman rushed me from the trailer, declared that she wanted no more of my custom. Despite my pleading for a further interview, to plumb the secrets of the powers she alone could so clearly wield, the woman ignored me. Focused intently on her tasks, she folded up her trailer in a singular hurry and left me quite literally in the cloud of dust kicked up as she pushed her horse to carry her off into the night.

Was the mysterious vision from the fortune teller a true metaphysical phenomenon? And if so, what could it mean? Find out April 24 - May 5 at The Players Theatre!

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Sorry, but when Yahoo! responds to the complaint that Hollywood isn't generating original ideas by pointing to a movie about giant robots fighting aliens, pardon me if I'm a tad incredulous on that score. "Not a licensed property" isn't the same thing as "never before conceived of." Pacific Rim has some pretty clear inspirational sources and antecedents. There's nothing wrong with that, and I'm quite certain Guillermo Del Toro can turn in an awesome film, but let's not pretend names like "Transformers" and "Robotech" and (obviously) "Portal" weren't being bandied about during development and financing.

source

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Conversations I don't need to hear when I'm trying to get ready to work out:

I walked into the YMCA locker room this morning, where two guys were loudly agreeing with each other about how horrible the unemployment rate was. Which isn't in and of itself worth derision, but before I'd even changed into my swimsuit, their conversation moved to an insistence that every single person applying for welfare be forced to submit to a drug test.

Okay, let me see if I have your worldview correct: The unemployment rate is miserably high, such that scads of hard-working, honest Americans are out of work and struggling to support their families. The horrors of the Obama administration's wasteful spending mean that there are no jobs for them to get.

But when these hard-working, honest Americans swallow their pride and apply for welfare to help them survive in the meantime, you want to pour extra government funds into forcing them to suffer the further indignation of tacit accusations that they're drug addicts, because anyone applying for welfare in horrible economic times must be a lazy freeloader?

How on earth didn't I see this amazing logic before?

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Thank you, US News and World Reports, for uncovering the amazing secret that people do stupid things. First of all, let's maybe admit that most of the things on that list come down to "eat something nasty and try not to puke." I would like to meet the parent who doesn't know that's something kids do. Then I would like to ask that parent how long they lived in a vacuum-sealed bomb shelter.

Of the two which are left, one is effectively a riff on the flagpole gag from A Christmas Story. Does something seen in a movie made in the 80's based on short stories from the 60's about life in the 40's really constitute news?

That leaves us with the stunning revelation that choking yourself might be unhealthy.

My favorite bit, though, was the professional's advice: "If it's a lack of stimulation or novelty [in your child's life], try and channel that into sports or other, healthier activities."

Clearly, the psych nerd has never, ever been near a sports team if she thinks children are less likely to be dared to do something stupid when they're in a locker room.

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I'm afraid this is it, slammers. We've come at this from every angle, but it looks like the Noises Off collective shan't be satisfied by anything short of milking us dry. Found this in our box today:
This will serve as your final notice re: continued molestation of parties named. After a sustained campaign of intrusive activities in an effort to expose said parties' private affairs, you are ordered to submit for distraint. Additionally, in accordance with the results of all proceedings in court, the Slamming Doors publication shall produce no further issue, save to announce their efforts have reached their climax. All remaining assets are to be made liquid, then collected and redistributed as required.
We have to hang our heads, then, dearies. Who would have thought, back when we got ourselves so worked up hearing about Nothing On, that things would end up such a sticky mess?

Our head hurts a bit, we'll admit, after all the back and forth before the bench. It stings, really, watching all our efforts end washed away to clean off the back side of the tour and ready it for a presentation to the Yanks. You remember: The Players Theatre?

We hear it's hard to adjust to retirement, but after all this, we think we're just about ready to put our feet up with a good, old-fashioned plate of sardines and pull the shades for a while. Perhaps we'll see you at the theatre sometime soon. Have fun, dearies. You've got the place entirely to yourselves from here on out.

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You know, slammers, we'd so been looking forward to hooking up with Nothing On again at Stockton-on-Tees. It's their last hurrah here on this side of the pond before heading over to show their goods to the Americans. And with all the goings-on backstage (you didn't miss our last bombshell, did you?), we have to wonder how the show's evolved through its vigorous activity across England.

Sadly, we may not have the funds. Today we received notices from, well, we're fairly certain all the personnel involved with Nothing On have gathered together to have a go at us. We're not entirely sure how our box held everything, really.

That's right, slammers, we've been served! And because apparently it's not enough for the Nothing On folk to pile on for a single affair, it looks like each one of them has hooked up with a different partner. It's caught us with our trousers down, to be sure. They've all seemed quite content to take one for the team when it came to our little reports. Our current theory is that the American partners may be afraid of bad press. We can't think of any other reason why they've even listed the full counsel on their website. It seems to match our stack of missives, at least. For your edification, we've listed them below, with the Noises On personnel on the left, the representative following:

Lloyd Dallas:               Walter Price
Dotty Otley:                Carolyn Zaput
Brooke Ashton:          Danae DeShazer
Garry LeJeune:           Michael Morris
Belinda Blair:              Lilian Moore
Frederick Fellowes:     Jason Kimble
Poppy Norton-Taylor:   Jamie Butrum
Timothy Allgood:         Gianni Damaia
Selsdon Mowbray:       Dan Higgs


It reads like a cast list of its own, doesn't it? Though even in this hostile time, we're still working for you, dear readers. In our flailing to find a hole through which we might escape this, we've uncovered a connection between that rag-tag bunch of solicitors. It seems they're all connected with some organization calling itself Noises Off, which appears to be orchestrated by some evil mastermind who goes by the name of Kelly Woodland.

They want us silenced, dearies. Noises off, indeed. Director Woodland and her gang of solicitors may want to bring us to our knees, slammers, but we won't go down without a fight!

Here's how you can help: since we're convinced the American backers are concerned our little rag might reduce ticket sales, we need to show them the opposite is true. So, hit up The Players Theatre website and buy up those seats. Oh, boy, one, ten, any! You're our only hope!

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Gather 'round, slammers, because we think we know just what that "emergency" we reported on last time is all about, and you are not going to want to miss this gossip-snatch of epic proportions. We've just heard tell that one of the members of the Nothing On company is preggers! Now, we're here to help paint the naughty picture for you.

So, first of all, let's take a look at Brooke Ashton's twitter feed for the last few days:

Going 2 C doc about my nervous exhaustion.

and a day or so later:

Taking fiend to baby doc.

Goodness, but she's not made this very hard for us, has she? "Nervous exhaustion" is a classic code phrase, and she's taking a "friend" to the baby doctor (we assume that "fiend" was a regrettable typo)? Really, Brooke, love, we'd have to be half-blind and regrettably dim not to be practically slapped in the face with what you're really getting on about.

But what about the father? Well, we hear tell that technical director Timothy Allgood made multiple trips to the flower shop across the street from the theatre on the day the news broke. Nearly deflowered the whole place, the way we hear it. "And jerking all over the place, he was so wound up!" our source tells us. What new father wouldn't be?

We tried to call into the tour to get some confirmation, but while Poppy Norton-Taylor was quite pleasant at first, as soon as we said the word "pregnant," those lips of hers snapped shut tighter than a beaver trap. But we think that tells us exactly what we needed to know, yes?

Goodness, we wonder how much longer Ms. Ashton will continue to fit into her skimpy costume? Will Lloyd Dallas have to be stripping down another young lady on very short notice? And what might all of this mean for those meaningful glances we thought we saw between Ms. Norton-Taylor and Ms. Ashton?

No clue, dearies, but with the end of the British leg of the tour coming soon, we're quite curious as to how American audiences will respond. If you're in the area, swing by The Players Theatre for more news and tickets.

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We were a bit tentative to try probing too deeply after our run in with Garry LeJeune, but then our friend Randy, from Parking with The Bard, called up again, and voila, we're back and ready for action thanks to a good intermediary. Took a bit of groping about to get all the details, but here's what we've come away with:

Randy was out in Aberystwyth (Please stop asking us how to pronounce it. Instead, turn your energies to something productive, like trying to convince the Welsh to spell properly, won't you?). He had arranged for a three-way conversation with director Lloyd Dallas and the star of Dallas's Richard III production.

Except, when Randy showed up, Dallas was nowhere to be found. Seems he rushed off to Ashton-under-Lyne for some great "emergency." Really? You mean, the same Ashton-under-Lyne where the Nothing On tour happens to have snuggled in for a few days?

With such a physically-strenuous show, one supposes some kind of accident was inevitable. Our bet is on Belinda Blair. Her retirement from the exotic, dancer's life came from an unexpected injury, and while we're sure she's retained her flexibility from her days as a professional in the life, who knows what sort of strains she might have put her body through prior to switching jobs? All the in-and-out and up-and-down of the show must be murder on her knees.

Or perhaps Lloyd was using a bit of misdirection to pop out for a quickie. With whom, you ask? Well, it turns out the other third in that rendezvous with our reporter friend? Also suddenly out for the afternoon, for a "specialty fitting," Randy was told. Given that Randy also heard many an actor complaining that Dallas's Richard had spent the last week of rehearsal "on his back whenever he wasn't on stage," we think perhaps the winter of Richard's discontent has been made glorious summer by a son of Dallas.

Well, if there were an honest emergency at our beloved farce, we're sure we'll hear about it soon -- and pass it along to you. In the meantime, as always, The Players Theatre has the official line on news and tickets.

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Goodness, slammers, but it does appear we may have pushed Garry LeJeune's buttons with our report on the date with Dotty. Shortly after our little expose had seen the light of day, we received this rather loud message in our voice mail. We've done our best to transcribe it:
I've had just about enough of you and your, well, yes! Dinner! Wine! Laughs! Squeezes! Exactly! You see? But no more. Not one more ... you're not going to shin up the ... squeeze in the ... not when I should be the one who should slide in the ... Right? You know what I mean? And if I catch sight of you, just let me say I'm going to ... I don't know what, but that's what I'll do! I've met a lot of reporters in my day, but you! I just want to wring your ... or rather, bang your head with ... I mean, throw you down and ... Well, anyway, if you know what's good for you, better out than, you know? Otherwise, I could just, right? Yes? I TRUST I'VE MADE MY POINT?
My, my, we've heard of jealous rage, but we had no idea. It is a bit flattering, though, is it not? We've always thought ourselves a catch, but to have Garry LeJeune practically speechless when we chose Dotty Otley over himself for our little rendezvous? Our cheeks are red. That will teach us to pay better attention.

We feel a bit shameful, really, tripping over poor Gary's feelings in our fervor to rush down the theatre stairs and on to our romp with Dotty. So: our apologies, Mr. LeJeune. Next time, we'll be sure we stick around to catch you. Happy endings all round, yes?

So, while we try to avoid rubbing Mr. LeJeune the wrong way again, feel free to check The Players Theatre for more official news and tickets.

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We've been stalking Nothing On cross country ever since we were seduced by its opening night antics. Finally, in Worksop, we managed to sweet talk a cast member out on the town with us so we might loosen her tongue and get some juicy tidbits about all the goings-on.

That's right: we sat down with Dotty Otley for a little classic conversation in a lovely little candlelit restaurant she knew about. For someone known for playing such course characters, Otley in person is a real soft touch. From that first squeeze of greeting, to tugging eagerly when our table opened up, Dotty seemed quite excited to get right to it.

For that matter, though, she's also a rather quick and flexible conversationalist. Over the course of our meeting, it often felt a bit like she was trying to ply us with drink rather than the other way 'round. Took us through our tossed salad, creamy soup, and a hearty pork before we finally managed to turn things around so we could do a bit of poking about for the naughty news we were after.

Namely, we'd been hearing rumors of money problems with the show; that the performers were essentially volunteers at this point in the tour. So, when Dotty finally gave us an opening -- between mouthfuls of my triple-orange crème and her lemon-banana tart -- we slipped that little stinger in to see what kind of response we could get.

Unfortunately, it seems that all that jaw-flapping as we warmed up to the main event gave someone else in the cast time to catch word of our impending exposé. As Dotty gave a stuttery series of "Oh's," fumbling for the proper angle with which to respond, Mr. Garry LeJeune burst onto the scene.

We could tell Dotty was utterly relieved to see him, too. Something of the cavalry, we expect. Wonderful actors that they are, they feigned a row, of course, that left Dotty rushing off in a breathless huff and Mr. LeJeune shaking his fist in our general direction.

So, we'd call that something of a clinch for our rumor, wouldn't you? What does that mean for the American leg of the tour? Switch-hitters? Ah, but who knows what's still to come? Keep your eyes on The Players Theatre, home of that American romp, for news and tickets, and we'll update you again soon!

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