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The Guest
Refrigerator Door

These magnets belong to

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(it's not a koala, but I didn't have a koala magnet for this!)


book cover

Code to Zero
Ken Follett
(yes--FINALLY a new book!)


Nothing--it's Christmas EVE!

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Just say "No" to the Salvation Army.

For those masochistic enough to want to read the on-line version of my Christmas letter, you can find it here.

That's it for today!

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27 December 2001

In my big Christmas box from Australia was a bag of koala poop. It tastes surprisingly like chocolate covered peanuts (I always knew those koalas were sweet animals), but the bag is clearly labeled koala poop.  (OK--technically it says "koala droppings"--but that's really just a polite way of saying koala poop, right?)

I was very happy to have koala poop today.

I have, in recent years, acquired the reputation of someone who does not sleep. In fact, I've boasted of that fact right here in these very journal entries. Awake until all hours, up at the crack of pre-dawn, working, writing, kibbitzing on chats, etc. Who needs sleep?

Well, now that I'm pushing 60 pretty hard (ok--it's a year away, but it's definitely in my sight lines), it seems to be catching up with me, all those years blythly bragging about how I don't need any sleep.

Get me immobile for more than 10 seconds, and you'll find I have dozed off.

I can't remember the last full episode of West Wing I saw from beginning to end. I love the show. I get all wrapped up in the plots, but somehow a blink during the second commercial break and next thing you know, I'm waking up to Conan O'Brian. It doesn't seem to make any difference how enjoyable the show, how well done it is, or how long I've been waiting to see it. It's on. I'm immobile. I sleep.

This is not a good trait for a reviewer to develop.

Reviewers have to stay awake in order to formulate opinions about the shows for which they have been given free expensive seats for the purpose of getting the name of the show in print in the newspaper the next day.

It's difficult to formulate opinions when you have to keep being nudged by your companion to stay awake. I am embarrassed to think how many shows I have dozed through enough of that I've had to fake a review.

Tonight's show was Proof, the Tony award-winning play by David Auburn. It's in Sacramento on a very short run, so not only did I have to see the show tonight, but I needed to write the review before going to sleep.

You might remember that I was so tired last night, at the end of Christmas night, that I didn't even have enough energy to write a decent journal entry.

This morning I went off to work to get the things done that didn't get done while I was entertaining the family for Christmas--washing the bathroom floor, scrubbing and sterilizing the speculums, and trying again to tame the @%#$^@! books (I'm beginning to feel like the Gunther Gebel Williams of bookkeeping)

And what, you might ask, does all this have to do with koala poop?

Well, I'll tell ya.

I was yawning even before I left the office tonight and I knew that Proof was a play, not a musical comedy that had a chance of keeping me awake with sprightly melodies and toe-tapping rhythms. You have to pay attention to a play. Dialog is integral to a play, more so than in a musical comedy. And if it's a play you've never seen before, all the more reason why you have to pay attention.

As we left the house, I decided to stick my bag of koala poop into my pocket, the theory being that if I started to feel sleepy, I would pop a poop into my mouth and the blood sugar rush would help to keep me awake.

It worked wonderfully well. By the intermission I had determined that Proof is a good show, and I know that because I was awake and alert for the entire first act. I also popped those poops like they were candy.

Jeri, who was sitting with me, and I discussed what a good play it was and compared notes on the finer parts of what we had each noticed (it always helps to go to a show with a technician, who can point out things that you might otherwise miss, as a mere audience member).

But a terrible thing happened. I ran out of koala poops at the end of Act 1. And when, in Act 2, I felt the unmistakable nudge of Jeri's elbow waking me up, I realized I was seeing the very final moments and that I didn't remember a lot about the second act. I saw enough to write a review (after all, you don't want to give away how a play ends now, do you? And if you don't know, you especially don't want to give it away!)

So I think I've found the answer to my problem of how to stay awake during shows. All I need is a pocket full of koala poops. I'm hoping Peggy will read this and ship off another 20-30 lbs. (If that doesn't happen, I might switch to chocolate covered espresso beans--two jolts for the price of one! That should not only keep me awake through the show, but through the writing of the review as well.)

And speaking of writing reviews, I'd better start writing this one before I doze off agaizzzzzzzzz.

One Year Ago:
Defending the Caveman

My tip of the week:
Go NOW to Pictures to EXE Presentations
and download some of the fantastic
slide shows which have been
uploaded.  You wont be sorry!

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