Happy 2020 and all that Jazz.

In reality: I said my goodbye a little bit prematurely, and I apologize. I definitely won’t be writing anymore for a while after this post, you’re just getting lucky to be able to read something one last time. We have OBR rehearsal tomorrow night, our last day off is Friday (last free night to do chores like laundry and such), then enter 10 days nonstop from Saturday-Sunday the following week, so I will literally be going straight from work to rehearsals/performances. I think we will get M,T,W off after a week then we do it all over again that weekend. Two weeks of that. I’ve already logged out of all my social accounts to prep me, and I’ve been getting a lot more done already, so yay! Anyway, I felt a little obligated–as any writer or blogger would be–to do a write up about the previous year and toast to the new one.

So….I can be a very fun person (I only say this because people have told me), but guess what? I was superbly boring yesterday for New Years Eve. My back was hurting to the nTH power so I took Tylenol then passed out… at around 8 or 9 and I completely missed entering 2020. Oh well. I even made a special trip to Publix for cheesecake and chocolate milk so I can toast in the new year. Maybe next year I’ll make it until midnight. I’m getting too old for that nonsense unless I’m out and about with people. It doesn’t really matter. I haven’t even watched the ball drop probably in ten years. My heart/soul/body/mind says my new year is in the fall–aligned with the Jewish New Year. That’s more important, anyway.

Here’s my write-up about 2019: fuck (almost) everything about 2019 except for…. my Jewish conversion, the events or classes I attended at CBI, working Corset Line / Next Fall / Summer One Acts and OBR (now) along with the few get togethers I got to have with friends. Everything else in 2019 was awful, awful, awful. 2019 was THE WORST year after having the best year I’ve ever had in 2018. I don’t even want to look back, except for my Jewish conversion. That portion of 2019 I love very much.

Now that I got that out of my system, I feel a little bit better.

If anything, I am hoping that 2020 will bring back jazz…as if it really ever went out of style or away. It never went away in my heart…I say that as one of my past lives was lived during that time. I was definitely a lesbian living on the DL… just like one of the characters in a jazzy play that I wrote that I haven’t had performed yet. I’m not quite sure what I did, but maybe I was a writer then too. In present day: I want to wear pearls every day, wear more red and black and glitter, find and wear both a flapper dress (feminine) and a tuxedo (masculine) … at different times, obviously. I will dream in jazz and MadMen colors covered in smoke from the bars. I will write about booze, cigars and cigarettes, but I will try to not to make those my vices. I will view magic, mood rings, psychics in a different way… I want to explore everything I can about the 20s so that I can write stories and poetry in an updated version. I already have so much that I can put into a book, so that might even happen. (Yes, it will. I’m starting to plan it.) I have a bunch of really fun short plays about jazz that I haven’t done anything with, either, so maybe it’s time. During these 20s, I will find and carve my way towards the upscale French life, jazz on the streets, and inspiration that is pouring from the atmosphere enough that I can write three hundred books… not entirely from my dreams, because I’m going to make it my reality. Now I’ve finally decided that’s where I want to go, I’m having a hard time deciding exactly when.

Either way, after I’ve taken my break and this musical is ovverrrrrr, you will be seeing a whole lot more 20s things from me. This is my era, and I’m going to own it.

Dec 2016 into Jan 2017 I was working Parfumerie, which was the 3rd play straight-in-a-row I helped with after getting involved for SOAs’16 for the first time. A couple of us that’s in OBR together was reminiscing. I’ve worked a ton of plays, so I’ve seen a lot of set designs, and I have to say that Parfumerie was one of the best–if not THE best. The set was painted pink. We had a poof seat, Christmas decorations, HP storefront, and so much more. The main attraction was (I think?) close to 200 perfume bottles. I remember going through all of the bottles and making the terrible mistake of sniffing them before filling each up with water. The majority of the scents stunk very badly and it took forever to get it out of our noses! Want to know a really cool fact? I have at least 3 of those round poof spritzer perfume bottles, a few small oddly shaped ones, and one of a woman’s bust. Those perfume bottles are some of my most favorite “play souvenirs” that I have.

During the era of Parfumerie, I was inspired so much by the colors and perfume bottles that I started writing a lot of jazz-based writings. Here’s pieces of the blog entry that I wrote back in 2017, as well as a poem. Enjoy – and for real – this is goodbye for now.

xoxoxo –

Now… flash back to the past….

PARFUMERIE – this piece originally written 1/22/17

At last, there will be no more Christmas music, no more mention of Christmas, and no more looking at Christmas anything (except for the fact that my tree is still up here at home). I will explain later why I am severely glad that part is over.

The cast/crew of Parfumerie are all beautiful people–made up of new faces, same faces from Summer One Acts, and ones I’ve just never met but everyone else knew. Everyone’s very talented and I am so happy to have been a part of it. OH and since this was my 3rd time to help backstage, I finally got my GP Tech shirt that I lovelovelovelovelove soooooooo much! 

The stage design–if I had a house–that is exactly how I would want at least my parlor to look like: pink, with a poof seat, shadow box, lots of glitter, perfume bottles, a chandelier, and the like. Perfection! Needless to say, I LOVED IT.

The story itself is a sweet story. Most people in the millennial age would know You’ve Got Mail to be the 2nd rendition of this story with Shop Around the Corner being right before that one. I’m glad I was introduced to Parfumerie in this way as a play. It has two overlying stories about the shop owner and then about two shop clerks but at the end it’s a love story. That’s as much as I want to say without giving it away.

If you had no idea about Parfumerie but you’ve seen You’ve Got Mail you would definitely pick it out at the end just like I did. I’m like, “I SEE IT. I TOTALLY SEE YOU’VE GOT MAIL!”

And now… is the part where I explain that this play just isn’t a play to me, it’s a little piece of life. 

It’s funny–that. This same weekend nine years ago I was still working at my first job in retail and we were completely closing the store down. I often referred to You’ve Got Mail — big bad Fox books large retailer taking over the mom&pop ‘shop around the corner’ — and I would look to this movie over and over for answers about my future… of where I was going to go, what I was going to do, and so on once our store closed.. and oddly enough, this same week THIS year, I have been asked that again in a different circumstance, and once again, I am so up in the air. None of this is by coincidence. It’s the universe sending signals of some sort, and I need to figure out out. I need to actually have answers this time. It’s all too funny that the same message comes back around nine years later but in a totally different way. 

The director of Parfumerie had a talk with everyone prior to opening show and he said that “everyone has a story”. I keep seeing that everywhere. It’s a sign. I need to run with this. It’s relative to what I’m trying to do in my life, and for my projects. Now, he was actually talking about the characters but it’s for real life too. When I think about our characters (customers) in this show, I remember my favorite customers when I worked at that job before I left, and what ever happened with them. There was this cute little Jewish couple that would come in late and try on shoes, there was a lady with long gray hair, there was another one that always wore skirts, there was one crazy lady that gave me her phone number, and the one guy that came in every.single.day to buy a shirt. There were several others but those memories have since faded. Some of our decorations in this play reminded me of our themed Christmas one year of “Shake Your Goodys” of which I still have some of the souvenirs at my parent’s house.

And, if anyone wondered what happened to me after our store officially closed, I got another retail job inside the mall and then left that for another job a few months later in the outdoor mall just down the street. I never had any regular customers after that, I never saw any of them again, and there was never another “staff like family” like there had been at my first job. At least I knew in my heart of all hearts that those were the good days and I took it all in before it was gone, but I also knew it was time to say goodbye.  

Premature Goodbye
by Karen Maeby © 1.26.17

she’s considering packing her belongings
in her 1920s suitcases
and leaving everything else behind.

she knows she belongs somewhere,
but doubts it’s here anymore.
a brand new start yet again
is probably what her heart needs
after being left alone and wondering
why he broke her so fucking hard–

and the world, her world
came crashing down like a beautiful
chandelier falling from the ceiling
during a tornado that randomly passed through
without warning.

he left her speechless, but full of words
as he gave her everything
and then took it all away!

she’s looking to the moon tonight
to give her a reason to stay
maybe he’ll come back to her one day.
‘god, i missed you so much’
they’ll say to one another
as they realized it was meant to be.

but she’s really leaving
is it really worth it to stay?
he doesn’t care one bit–he walks away.

she decided it’s best to pack her bags,
it’ll be soon she’ll say goodbye
and off on her merry little way. 

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