Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Little Bald Dude to Go

So, I'm leaving town tomorrow for a couple of days, and doing the same again next week.

It's all part of the Where Next? project, and I don't want to jinx anything, so I'm not going to write much about it in advance. I will tell you that if you're not in Chicago, but you think you see me on the street, it actually might be me, especially if the person is:
  • knitting,
  • taking a photograph with a big fat Canon camera, or
  • not paying attention to where he's going and running into parking meters or trees.
You will know it is not me if the person is:
  • wearing any item of clothing emblazoned with a professional sports logo,
  • holding hands with Kelly Clarkson, or
  • smoking a cigarette and walking an ocelot on a rhinestone leash.
With all this time on the road, posts will be thin on the ground but I'll write when I can.

We're Just Like the Barrymores, Only Fluffier

Dolores, meanwhile, is trying to figure out whether to spend Christmas with my family Maine or go up to Canada to have a Joyeux Noël with her cousine Victorine. She's staying in Chicago this week and next because Harry landed a plum role* in the Goodman's A Christmas Carol and she has to take him back and forth to the theater. She has started calling herself Mama Rose Van Hoofen.

Dolores tried to get into Congo Square's Black Nativity but stomped out when they asked her to play one of the sheep.

I took her to the Shoe for a consolation Cosmo. "Clearly, I'm a vicitim of typecasting," she huffed.

"You must admit you do look the part," I said. "What were you expecting? The Angel of the Annunciation?"

"Something with a little more meat," she said. "One or two good speeches. Maybe a harmonica solo. How the hell am I supposed to show my range when all they want me to do is stand next to a shepherd and say baaaaaaaaaa?"

"I see your point."

"And let me tell you, cupcake, I kicked ass at that audition. Blew those other bitches right off the stage. Amateurs. Flashing their dimples and singing eight bars of 'Go Tell It on the Mountain' like they were trying to sell Tupperware in Kankakee. Is that art? Is that passion? Where did that Cosmo go?"

"You finished it."

"That's okay, they got more. Hey, Ralphie–hit Mama again. Anyway, I got up there and rocked the joint. Who else do you know in this town who can follow a monologue from Ma Rainey's Black Bottom with 'Mary's Boy Child' on the harmonica? And then I sang 'Silent Night' whilst performing select excerpts from my one-woman ballet."

"That explains the red and green glitter thong in the laundry hamper."

"Well, it's a Christmas gig."

"Uh huh."

*If you're going, look for him in Mrs. Fezziwig's knitting basket. I know I'm biased, but frankly when I caught the dress rehearsal I thought he walked off with the scene.


Vivienne said...

Hope the Escape Plan goes well. Everyone needs an Escape Plan. At the moment mine seems to involve seminars on Developing a Competency Framework. Something has gone wrong.

There were nice biscuits though.

Anonymous said...

I always knew Harry would go places.
Consolations to Dolores. Even if she had consented to stand there and baaaa, she would have stolen the scene completely. We'd have to change the saying to, "Dolores is the reason for the season."

Carol said...

Stop being so frickin' cute.
Tell Dolores I hear they're staging a Broadway version of "Philadelphia Chickens" and she's perfect for it. (Google it.)

I feel constrained to point out that Philadelphia is a startling omission from your wheel of potential places. Have you forgotten my offer to stay in the bomb shelter?

Mel said...

Well, bonne chance with the project. I know it can be both daunting and liberating at once.

anneonymousone said...

The world is a better place because you exist. I shall no gush any further today, but there's always tomorrow.

no-blog-rachel said...

I followed through on my own Escape Plan last spring and moved clear across the country. There are good things I gave up when I left, and good things here I didn't have before. I didn't want to look back in 25 years and say 'I should have done that'. Though it was a little scary, it was a great move for me and I'm glad I did it. I hope whatever it is, goes as well for you!

Aidan said...

I am bereft at the thought of you abandoning Chicago. Oh, woe is I.

MonicaPDX said...

Happy walkabout, Franklin! May you be happily overwhelmed with options. And not overly bruised from walking into things.

'Harry landed a plum role' - first thing I thought of was him as a plum, not being in a yarn basket. Which made it even funnier once my brain got in gear. I swear, sometimes I think I need glasses for the brain as well as the eyes...

ted said...

Delores is welcome to come and stay with me over Christmas, but only if she brings you.

Enjoy your time away, take lots of wonderful pictures, knit beautiful things. (I'd suggest you take your spindle with you, but I know how you really feel about it.)

Rachel H said...

Safe travels, my friend.

Ann (yet another) said...

See I'm just sitting here at the computer listening to "It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere" and wishing for a hurricane. Your plan is way better.

If Dolores needs work, I know a farmer who can always use extra sheep for a herding test. One who could stand at the rails, smoke and give caustic commentary would be especially welcome.

Lee Ann said...

If you're in Montréal, I'll make you brownies. Though I have to say we don't really make it on your list of Warmer Than Chicago places, but our thongs are rather legendary.

marie in florida said...

wow, makes me want to go to the Jacksonville Landing and look around ...

Ween said...

I'll have to drive the coast home for the next couple weeks and see if you landed in LB. Hope to see you :)

Kendra said...

What? You only walk your ocelot with a plaid leash?

Good luck with your travels! I hope you find a great spot to relocate.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Franklin, have you ever been to Austin?? It's still a liberally funky, wonderful town (despite the rest of the Texas politics) and there's a great street life, vegetarian restaurants galore, lovely countryside with hills and water, there's the beautiful Austin Zen Center, and Hill Country Weavers as well as several other fiber stores. And barely any winter to speak of, but Barton Springs year round to cool of in. Oh, also has a huge university, and is the state capitol. Oh, and tell Dolores, there's some hot sheep off Hwy-281.

Joe said...

If anyone wants to know where Franklin is really going, I can be bribed (sorry, I just had to boast).

Are you taking knitting?

Can you knit on a plane?

Nevermind, I don't want to know. Have a great time.

Skip Walker said...

I just began knitting and my friend referred me to your blog to reassure me I am not the only man out there who can knit one, purl two. I actually learned in Japanese, so I don't know if I'm knitting or purling and just how many times I'm doing either, but anyway, in the land of the rising sun, there's a son raising his needles with dignity.

Donna in Virginia said...

Have a great journey! BTW, have you seen this -- your prison knitting buddies have been busy with their charity knitting.

Pink said...

I hope you take a notebook to record those funny, not so funny, and totally lame things people says to others who happen to be sitting on a bus and knitting. Stay safe, dry and inquisitive.

Pink said...

I hope you take a notebook to record those funny, not so funny, and totally lame things people says to others who happen to be sitting on a bus and knitting. Stay safe, dry and inquisitive.

Pink said...

sorry..I seem to have sent that message twice...and this makes three!

Carol said...

Happy locale locating! Delores can always come down south. We're sportin some great weather right now.

Sarah said...

I don't know why I didn't think to suggest this before, but Ojai, California sounds like just the sort of place you were looking for as a great "where next." It's beautiful, full of artists and spiritual centers, close to Santa Barbara (you can't find a more Mediterranean city in the country than Santa Barbara), and some damn fine nature surrounds the place -- both beaches and mountains. There are also good yarn stores in several nearby cities. If you haven't made a final decision yet...well, there are worse things one can do than take a vacation to southern California in the winter. Not to mention the benefits of living in a mostly cracker-free zone. ;)

Knitt'nLissa said...

Hey, c'mon over to the DC side of the country, where featherbrained muppets rule the world and there's a terrific little knitting group that'd be delighted to count you among its own...

Mel said...

Of course, the important thing that Sarah neglected to mention about Ojai is that it was the home of Bionic Woman Jaime Sommers, as any good child of the 70's should know. I've been told, though, that the Ojai airport she flew in and out of so frequently doesn't really exist, so driving or a bus ride would be required to get there.

jacqui said...

The missing link! I need to work on my one-woman ballet! I gotta say, your "peace" decoration hanging on my front door elicits a lot of smiles. Enjoy the road.

Barb B said...

Hey little bald dude. (you don't seem little to me from my height perspective) If you're leavin' town, don't forget about spelling Fibres right!
If that raunchy little sheep needs a place to stay, I know someone with a nice flock of Shetlands...of course they have a Border Collie who might try to herd her, so maybe not. She might not enjoy our cold weather either. But if you're stuck for a place for her stay...
Barb B.

Anonymous said...

I live here and will die here.
Great mistake.
I'm from NYC and should have stayed there (30+ years on now).
True, I'd be dead by now, probably long dead, but at least I'd have lived.
Washington, DC is a purgatory.
Move to NY or stay in Chicago.
Or if you can, London or Paris.
That's it.
N.B. The knitting here SUCKS.

Sandra said...

If Dolores is coming to Canada for Christmas, can she come with me to the in-laws? Now THAT'S a meeting I want to witness...

junior_goddess said...

Hope you are going somewhere that the parking meters behave, and there's plenty of photographic eye candy.

Megan said...

Oh! I've only just discovered you and now your posts will be infrequent...I will make due with your archives, you are a wonderful writer! Best of luck in your travels!

Jax said...

Just remember that you should schedule your visit to Fort Worth to coincide with the Stock Show, January 12-February 4. Cowboys galore!!

The Ranch Rodeo is Jan.12-13; PRCA rodeo, Jan.19-Feb.4. Whatever you do, don't be there on Jan. 26, the day all the kids get out of school to go.

Say "Howdy!" to my hometown for me!

Jack said...

Come to Daddy, my little "OZ"-ling. Or as the Red Queen said, "When we reach the eighth square, we shall all be queens together, and it's all feasting and fun."

David said...

I'm assuming your ocelot's leash is cubic zirconium, yes?

Good luck, sweetie.

Sean said...

So what kind of leash do you use when you walk your ocelot?

jpting@comcast.net said...

Ah, someone else who loves Dustin Hoffman's tomato tantrum in Tootsie. My partner and I are particularly fond of the line "I did an endive salad that knocked the critics on their ass!"

denyse said...

THANK YOU! I received my several purchases from your CafePress site - how fun! I got buttons and cards and a Christmas ornament, all of which I expected to be wonderful and they are. The surprise - and a happy one - is my Mean Kitty bag! The bag is big and the construction and fabric are solid. Mean Kitty and I are going places!

I hope your trip goes well, too!

Jackie said...

Well, I doubt we'll be seeing you in Boston, since you've already done your time here. Regardless, I hope you have a fabulous time exploring and traipsing around some other fun city.

FiberQat said...

Wishing you safe journey.

Anonymous said...

I was so shocked & surprised to see Santa Fe on the wheel!
Today's not the best day for visiting - it's probably warmer in Chicago, but if you *do* decide to visit, it will be warmer soon! And this kind of cold doesn't happen all that often. Come west, young man!

Julia said...

Hope to see you on my street!

Ordered three ornaments; one for me and two for gifts (though I may keep two for me!). Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!!! They make me look forward to putting up the tree this year.

Thanks for all the laughs.

knitnzu said...

So if you come to Maine, have you been to LYS (Water St. Yarns) in Hallowell? Great coffee and bakery across the street and you can bring the goodies in while you shop/knit. My other favorite LYS is Purl Diva in Brunswick (one of 3 in that small town!). Kinda small and "quaint" perhaps versus Chicago...but I quiver when I cross the bridge into NH anymore.

denny Mcmillan said...

It's so great when the young one branch out, is it not.
I helped some hand dyed cotton (name withheld), on to the stage when a hobbit came in to get some stage knitting for the The Lord Of the Rings. (and me the Gandolf of knitting,eh) Not a long run but the yarn was so good. My youngest boy child has started danceing this year and he is fab too. proud mom of yarn and boys.

Leslie in CA said...

Happy travels, Franklin. I too have just discovered your blog (via Making Light), and have been enjoying your archives.

My oldest brother has lived in Chicago for many years and made it work, by having "alternate" communities of like-minded people he could hang with. But as a California native, I can only tell you that the climate here does tend to spoil a person.

If you wind up giving the Golden State serious consideration, I'll throw Long Beach into the mix; more affordable than the Bay Area, but with a strong gay community, walkable downtown, etc. Not sure about the knitting, though.

Carol said...

I miss you. But you were smart to get out of Chicago; looks like the weather sucks.

DianeS said...

Good luck checking out places to escape to. I'm quite sure that they don't include Rochester, NY (people don't move here anymore, they move away), so I know that I don't need to keep an eye out for you.

Knitting Painter Woman said...

After all the times I've seen or read Christmas Carol, I didn't know there were any roles for plums... or fruits of any kind, to tell you the truth.

Hope your travels are warm enough and un-delayed.

And with Longhorn Diva's comments about Austin, I can vouch that even Dallas is knitter and sheep friendly.

goblinbox said...

Whatchoo got against ocelots?!

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