Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Slavedriver

I woke up bright and early the next morning, ready to tackle the rest of this amazing show I am in.  Nothing could put me in a bad mood, not today.

Then my phone rang.

"PEASANT!  I need assistance.  I woke up covered in what I can only assume is the remnants of the drink these locals call 'Hand Grenades.'"

If I didn't have a headache from the night before, I had one now.  Pinching the bridge of my nose, I tried to control my tone as I frowned into the phone.  "Call a cab.  I'm not a taxi service."

I could hear the snarl through the phone.  "Don't you think I have already tried that, you tedious woman!  You speak as if I want to spend more time in your presence than is necessary."

"That didn't seem the case last night, with your 'I like redheads' routine." Stone silence.  At least I got a dig in.  "Wait, wait.  You're telling me that you tried getting a cab already?  Oh my God, could the cabs not see you?"


"Was widdle Loki-Pokey too tiny for the big bad taxi cab to see him??"

I regret this exchange now.  Needless to say once we got to theater, I dropped him off to "watch over my things with his omniscient wisdom," and headed up to the stage.  I've got a whole show to learn, the last thing I need is some hungover god lording himself over my every move.

 The Saenger Theater is gorgeous - the ceiling looks like a beautiful night sky, complete with twinkling lights, and it is decorated in various statues of Greek figures.  Definitely a paradise.  And I must say, our Disco Mary definitely classed up the joint - Disco always classes up a joint.

Wait.  Is that a dull spot that needs polished?  Her feet look like they have something on them...

No, it can't be...I left him in my dressing room...

"Lady Hayslip, it seems you aren't focused on your studies."

"Well, the Dance Captain isn't even here yet, I figured I'd stretch out a little, take a few shots for posterity..."

"I will not have you embarrassing me by not being anything less than perfection in this show, Stephanie.  If you insist upon plastering my face all over your little blog, when people come to see you, you must be at your best, the finest example of your art.  I find myself often drawn to this medium, much as I hate to admit enjoying these little punch-and-judy displays your people consider the highest of caliber of performance.  On Asgard, our most mundane offerings are leaps and bounds beyond your orchestras, your 'Tony Awards-'"

"Alright Trigger, I get it.  You're better you're the best, blah blah blah.  Well if I have a chance in hell of pleasing your oh so refined palate, you need to leave me alone so I can focus."

His stony expression didn't budge.  "We'll just see about that.  I will leave once I am satisfied that you can deliver a product worthy of attaching my name to."

"Go on, Princess.  Show me what ya got."

4 hours of rehearsal later, his highness is still frickin' there.  Staring me down, grinning that wolfish grin of his, clicking his tongue when I missed a step or forgot the next lyric.  I was on the edge of losing it!  I mean, I'm under enough pressure as it is, the last thing I need is Mister Tricky here giving me a hard time from the sidelines.

He occasionally sought counsel from the other gods and goddesses presiding over our instruction...

...But all it made me feel like as if I was being heckled by a divine Statler and Waldorf.  I suppose I finally passed muster, because at the end of the day, when I was packing up to go clean up before trailing backstage that night, Loki deemed the stage worthy of being graced with his presence.

He gestured for me to kneel before him, which I managed to do without rolling my eyes, and he informed me that he had decided that given the proper amount of preparation, he would allow his name to be attached to my presence on this tour.  Oh, how incredibly generous of him.

I did appreciate his gesture of kindness after we left, though.  Maybe he was having a pang of regret for having to call me that morning to drag his ass from the sin-soaked streets of New Orleans, maybe he was just curious as to what a "Po-Boy" was.  Whatever the reason, I highly enjoyed the dinner he offered me that evening.

My digestive system didn't thank him, as the gallbladder sitch is still going strong, but sometimes a little abdominal pain is worth it.  And if there is ever a time for it to be worth it, it's in New Orleans.  I'm relatively certain gas station sushi in New Orleans tastes like manna from heaven.  Didn't get oysters or beignets sadly, but the gumbo and everything else was unforgettable.

After New Orleans, I had to bring Loki back home to meet the parents as I was blessed enough to get the holidays off.  I could not be happier, as I haven't gotten to see them in over a year, so I refused to let him rain on our proverbial parade.  That's not saying he didn't come in contact with an old adversary while he was here, and a few new faces...but that's another story.

Gris-gris and Shrimp Kisses,
Stephanie and Loki

I'm a Voodoo Child, Voodoo Child...

Our first stop was actually in Memphis, TN.  I learned much about Loki here - he didn't want to know much about me, but frankly, I was too brain-fried to care much.  Letting him ramble on about his plans and history not only kept him occupied, but let me in on what his overall goal is.

That goal being wanting to take over the United States of America, one city at a time.

I see his point - since the battle of New York didn't exactly pan out for him, and his initial attack in the desert proved less than fruitful, I appreciate his tactic of taking a step back and reevaluating his situation.  Why not take small bites of the meal instead of one honking mouthful?

Not that I'm thrilled with his crazy ass still trying to take over our world.  I appreciate his sentiment, I know he means well...but come on.  We all know he's snapped his cracker.  But if the Holy Gopher feels I am the woman for the job when it comes to Loki Laufeyson, then I trust Him.  And if Loki does succeed this time, what better place to be when the world gets taken over than by his side?  Might get a sweet Brooklyn Loft out of the deal, some nice plastic surgery...does Asgard have unicorns?

Anyway, Memphis.  Memphis as I didn't get to mention was lovely, if also cold and exceedingly busy.  I learned 80% of the show in this week, and the weather was harrowing at best (70's one day, 30's with freezing rain the next.)  Needless to say, what pictures I took documenting our excursion were few and far between, and in one heated argument towards the end of the week Loki decided it would be best settled if he were to throw my phone into the ice bucket, thus rendering my main contact to the outside world inoperable.  He wished to cease me speaking to "That Pettums Creature," who I tried to explain was my best friend, but that did me little good.  He is a jealous one, that Loki.  If he isn't the center of attention, baby gets testy.

So let us begin with Loki's invasion of New Orleans.  New Orleans put Loki in a much more agreeable humour - streets flowing with alcohol and easy people will do that to pretty much anyone, I have found.

We ventured out the first evening with nothing but a spiked brass knuckle purse and Loki's steel to protect us.  I was feeling quite badass with my new hair, and was even told to hand over my shirt due to it being equally badass.  Long story short, I was badass and no one was gonna mess with us.  An Irishwoman and a Norse god?  Ain't nobody gonna give us trouble.

We fended off drunks, prostitutes, men with metal washboards strapped to their chests...twas harrowing indeed.  But eventually we made it to my friend Brian's birthday party, located at a cozy little jazz bar on Bourbon Street.

Along the way, we even won some Mardi Gras beads!  I won't tell you what he did for them...

I was granted some amnesty for my existence when I introduced Loki to the man of the evening, one Mr. Brain Love.  I was not allowed to listen in on their conversation.  All that is known is that they hold each other in very high regard, and since Loki only has one thing on his mind, all I can think is that I should fear Brian now.  Or they discussed Shakespeare and Disney songs.  Loki does love his Disney ballads.

Whatever they talked about, Loki became quite antsy after their little tete-a-tete.  He wanted to go out, explore the iniquity Nola had to offer.  For an hour straight, he demanded that I take him to have an audience with The Vampire Lestat.  That was an awkward conversation.

L: "But those of this puny world believe Me to be fictional, do they not?"

S: "Well, yes, but-"

L: "So it would stand to reason that if I am walking about this enchanting city, that Lestat may be as well?  Walking in plain sight, everyone thinking he is simply a fan of his own fictional existence? Take me to him, Slip of Hay, his trickery and manipulation fascinates me, I believe he would prove quite valuable in my quest for world domination."

S: "I suppose, when you put it that way.  But I tend to think that Lestat is solely a literary device, a character hatched from Ms. Rice's imagination..."

L: "People think the story of me and my...golden brother are merely fables to teach the human race the concepts of morality.  And yet here I stand, before this...what is this place?  I wish to enter it."

S: "Not on your life."

L: "The people exiting seem to be in high spirits. And oh, they are love acts with both men and women!"

S: "I feel like I've caught a disease I couldn't even begin to pronounce just from looking at it.  Come on, I have to rehearse in the morning."

L: "No rest for the wicked..."

S: "Alright, Frosty.  Cool it."

After much bickering and carousing, I finally left him to his own devices at a bar across the street.  I had 4 hours of rehearsal in the morning, and frankly, by this point, he was so smashed and demanding I just didn't have the energy.  No wonder he picked THIS bar to go to...
"I have a thing for redheads..." He murmured, before winking slowly at me and passing out in my hand.  The only time he showed signs of life was when a guy near me cracked a joke about the leprechaun being taller than Loki was, to which I promptly heard a yelp and turned to see Mr. Comedian gripping his bleeding arm.  We made for the hotel pretty swiftly after that.
As far as overthrows went, I call New Orleans a success.  Somewhere between drinks 6 and 24, Loki and his Asgardian drinking habits had drank most of the city under the table, even if he was a tad worse for wear.  Frankly, you should have seen the other guys.  He engaged quite a few shopkeepers in discussions on voodoo tradition, leaving the city with a few charms for "Overcoming Obstacles and Achieving You Heart's Desires."  I hazard to say they have some merit, as he got an upgrade on his seat for the plane and his happy ass got to sit first class while I was confined to business class with two girls who mocked me in a foreign language for 4 hours.
Tomorrow, we will discuss him running my first rehearsal in New Orleans tomorrow.  For now, this sleazy nun needs a siesta.  Goodnight, Sweet Prince...(I think this little ice cube is starting to grow on me...)
Love and Light of the Lord,
Sister Mary Stephanie And Loki the Destructor

Friday, December 27, 2013

The Journey Begins...

It seems too long ago that I took that fateful journey from Ohio to Los Angeles, sallying forth with only the Holy Gopher as guidance. His nimble paws sought out the most enchanting and cautious path, for He who burrows shall forever and always be our holy creature, a divine source of inspiration and strength through which we find everlasting peace and overturned earth.
The time has come, though, dear readers, for me to embark on another adventure.  And when I approached his hole-liness, he simply smiled and waved his paw at me to stand.
"The time has come for you to travel once again. But fear not, for wherever you go, so goeth my spirit. But your domain shall be under my careful eye and protection, guarding it as best as I can for a domicile aboveground. And fear not, for you should have a companion on this amazing opportunity, to keep you company and share my gospel. Guide him, as I guided you, and all will be well."
I was shaken.  "Wait, you are not journeying on this quest? Not to be impertinent, but can I trust this clansmen?"
The Gopher faltered. "Let's just lay it on front street. This boy's got issues."


I blinked, the Gopher coughing awkwardly.  "Um, hello.  Love your movies."

"Do not PITY me, human."  He swung his blade high in the air, chest puffed out like a proud peacock.  "I wish to obtain more knowledge of this world, find your weak points.  You will help me."

"Oh, will I?"

"Yes, or I will liberate your head from your pitiful body."

I swallowed.  "Fair enough."

So we ventured on my journey to the convent, this puny god stuffed carefully in my carry on, his vows of protection veiling his insatiable desire for power and control.  Sure, I know what I am getting myself into bringing this brat-I mean radiant god-along for my first national equity tour.  But let's face it...

Once Loki's involved, did I really have a choice?