weekly link roundup, september 2.

This week: mostly local theatre, plus a byline of mine.

This weekend I’m seeing CommUnity Arts Festival’s first two dance concerts to benefit a local dancer who is a survivor of gun violence, and Rebels and Misfits’ Uncle Vanya – Valiantly Accepting Next Year’s Agony, a fully immersive adaptation of the Chekov classic.

I finally broke down and dropped the $60 on a bottle of green chartreuse, so Last Words will be the Labor Day libation I partake in while devoting my rare two days off in a row to an apartment deep clean. They are as beautiful as they are delicious.

this is an update instead of a link roundup.

  1. The past month has been weird.
  2. My 89-year-old grandfather had a heart attack. I went home for three days. He is, shockingly, basically fine now.
  3. I am now on the writing staff for Limelight Magazine, which covers the local St. Louis theatre scene and it is kind of a dream come true.
  4. A Most American Terrorist: The Making of Dylann Roof by Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, GQ.
  5. Next month I am traveling to Reno, NV to visit my best friend and we have almost no plans except gin drinking and shoe buying.
  6. Shocker, having my ADHD meds get messed up by both insurance and my pharmacy and therefore delayed for several weeks makes things hard; I couldn’t figure out why I was exhausted and foggy all the time for no reason until I realized that it was not for no reason. (Everyone, do better than me to stay on your meds).
  7. A real and lovely Facebook post on whiteness, racism, and the LGBT community in St. Louis by Keith Rose.
  8. I am having a bout of relatively minor hormonal acne and though it is nothing like the horrific and borderline-disfiguring cysts I had as a teenager before I took Accutane, it hurts and is a major annoyance.
  9. Life happened the way life happens and as soon as I decided to start freelancing For Real This Time, I got promoted to full time at my job so now I have that, writing gigs, and school on top of the high level of general maintenance my life and brain require.
  10. I continue to spend many, many nights that I don’t work at The Gin Room inside of Natasha’s Cafe and it is probably my favorite place to be in the entirety of St. Louis, second maybe to the room in the Central Library where they keep all the play scripts and magazines.
  11. This blog has two (!) new logos by Tayyba Khawaja and I have some cool new headshots by Logan Corry.
  12. I think my cat is mad at me for being out of the house too much.
  13. My chiropractor told me that my boobs are slowly giving me scoliosis and pulling my shoulder out of socket, so there’s that delightful bit of news about existing in the world with a body.
  14. I’m really, really tired.

How have you been, friends and weirdos?

a chronology of cats, part 1: ashley.

I’m probably a perfect stereotype of the 21st century millennial cat lady: a single woman in her 20s, not interested in having kids or buying a house or getting a corporate job anytime soon, obsessed with her cat to the point of having a tattoo portrait, a lesbian, a self described weird girl, owner and wearer of multiple pieces of cat clothing. Until I purged my follow list last month, my Instagram feed was full of more cats than people. I have full on conversations with Ilse, my cat/needy roommate who poops in a box of sand. My first word as a baby was “kitty.”

Jokes aside, cats have been constant companions for me. I have never not had a cat, save for the year or so between when Ashley, my mom’s cat who pre-dated both my dad and I, died and when we got my first kitten, Rorey. It seems a small tribute to the cats of my present and past is in order.

This is the first in a series of eight posts for eight cats. Meet Ashley.

Ashley (pre-me – 1997)

Image description: a photo of a large, orange cat who is sitting with his body facing the left and his head turned toward the camera. He is sitting on beige carpet, and his shadow, a door, and a table are in the background of the photo.

My mom got Ashley from a friend whose backyard he appeared in. He was giant and friendly and had those amazing black nose freckles that orange cats get, and when I was a baby I would try to ride on his back. I’m sure my first word was in reference to him.

A framed portrait of him sits on a shelf right inside the door to my mom’s house, where I grew up. She has an incredible set of photos of Ashley reading (wearing her glasses and posed with a book) and Ashley drinking wine (next to a glass and bottle).

He was very old and diabetic by the time I was born, and had to be euthanized when I was still a toddler. I don’t know if I exactly remember him, but he certainly ignited my love for kitties.


weekly link roundup, july 29.

A link roundup for learning and healing: the past few days have been heavy and gruesome. This week I kept saying to myself “this is the best thing I’ve read in weeks” and then days or hours later thinking the same thing all over again.

I have a very strong sense of there being troves of critical insight and compassion and nuance for me to learn from many of the people these articles are written by and about. There is also some very charming and funny stuff here.

On Thursday I picked up Annie Baker’s The Vermont Plays, the first of several works by contemporary playwrights that I have convinced the St. Louis Public Library to purchase for their collection. I was very excited.

Image description: a selfie showing me holding up a book of Annie Baker’s plays near my face. I have on aviator glasses, have philtrum and septum piercings, have a light blonde buzzcut, and my mouth is open. The book has a white cover featuring a multicolored line drawing of a snowflake.

Lord Byron’s “Fare Thee Well,” or “I Just Think It’s Funny How” by Mallory Ortberg, The Toast.

The Toast was back for a single day. It is still lovely. The Tosties are still the best people in the world. Mallory is still hilarious. Water is still wet.

The Fallout by Lacy M. Johnson, Guernica.

Living in St. Louis feels like living in a haunted house sometimes. The Weldon Springs nuclear site is literally just across the street from the psychiatric hospital where I spent 41 days last spring. My sense of the haunted-ness of the city certainly pales in comparison to the pain and wisdom of the people who have spent lifetimes and generations with these ghosts, or the people who wrestled with them before they were ever spoken about by people outside their family or neighborhood. The people in this article are regular people – not professional scientists or social service agencies or publicly funded projects – doing work that should be the responsibility of state and federal governments, who have consistently failed to act, to care for and protect their families and neighbors. We have a lot to learn from them.

I Don’t Want to Watch Slavery Fan Fiction by Roxane Gay, The New York Times.

I don’t think anything I can say about this would add anything to it; it is that good. Roxane Gay is a genius and her work constantly challenges and excites me, but you already know that.

If you missed it, on Tuesday I highlighted the St. Louis theatre I am most excited about seeing over the coming months.

Continue reading “weekly link roundup, july 29.”

upcoming st. louis theatre i can’t wait to see.

Last night I saw the incredible Beth Malone, Tony nominee and the original Alison in show-of-my-heart Fun Home, in the Muny’s production of The Unsinkable Molly Brown. 

I had a great time seeing her perform again, especially in a show so radically different than Fun Homeand the show itself was high energy and funny with a lot of charm.

[Image description: a photo of Beth Malone and I at the Muny.]
The Muny season finishes up with A Chorus Line and Newsies over the next few weeks, and once summer ends there will be a seemingly constant stream of St. Louis productions of plays and musicals I love, have been dying to see (or see again) for years, or both.

The number of contemporary plays being produced locally over the next year is incredible, and I’m so excited for the work of genius playwrights like Annie Baker and Stephen Karam to hit the St. Louis theatre scene.

While it’s sometimes shockingly difficult to wedge time to see local theatre into my schedule between work, classes, and everything I have to do to keep my life together, I’ll definitely be making these shows a priority over the next year.

These are only my absolute St. Louis theatre must-sees. It feels like, since I’ve moved here, every month I learn about another professional theatre company putting up work I want to see.

Many of these shows are favorites of mine that I have already seen – I’m always excited about seeing new and new-to-me work, but it seems this season is especially full of shows I already love, and I definitely want to support local theatre companies that put on shows that I know are excellent.

What St. Louis theatre companies and productions are you most excited about this year?

If you want to stay connected to Rad Cat Lady and receive bi-weekly snippets like mini-reviews of food, theatre, art, and drinks around St. Louis, sign up for my newsletter, launching next month.

weekly link roundup, july 22.

Following the grand tradition of The Hairpin, Autostraddle, and The Toast, I bring you the Rad Cat Lady weekly link roundup, volume one. Every weekend I’ll be posting links to and (this time, extremely limited) thoughts about what I’m reading, watching, and texting to my best friend.

Ahead: xenophobia in famously international south St. Louis, a gay video game (gayme?) that might make me hate the format a little less, manspreading at the theatre, and more.

Content warning: the last link on this list includes non-graphic descriptions of a young girl receiving unwanted sexual pictures and messages from a classmate.

Trip to Puerto Rico! by Karalyn Grimes, Envirofemme.

This is the most recent post on an also-recently-revived blog by my fellow former precocious Unitarian Universalist teen/current cool young adult getting it together, Karalyn. They are consistently very thoughtful and smart, and write compellingly about environmental justice, a topic I can easily understand on an intellectual but have trouble getting fired up about wholeheartedly. This post takes a look at their recent vacation in Puerto Rico both on a personal and political level.

Sign at South Grand eatery suggests bigotry from city inspector, but dispute is resolved by Joe Holleman,  St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

For an incredibly busy and hot week, I drove by this sign in the window of Sheesh, a Turkish restaurant on South Grand Blvd in St. Louis city, without ever catching the stoplight at the right time to slow down and read it, so by the time it was taken down I had still only caught “go back to our country” and “we need help.” From the Dispatch’s reporting, it sounds like all parties involved are hesitant to say much more than the sign did, but I’m seriously curious to see how this plays out. This part of the city is actively gentrifying and also lauded for its dense and diverse international presence.

‘Look at this gay boat’: Creationist’s use of ‘God’s rainbow’ colors for Ark park lighting gets hilariously mocked by David Ferguson, Raw Story.

Really, just look at this gay boat.

Continue reading “weekly link roundup, july 22.”