I ended up going home early on Friday because I wasn’t feeling good. Went to bed and slept until after 5 before Keem called me on her way home to LaCrosse. Sleeping that late wreaked havoc on my sleep schedule and I found myself with a lot of time to kill. I mean, yeah, sure, I could have cleaned or done something productive but that’s boring. Instead I decided to watch a ton of movies.

There’s this website that Keem and I go to a lot, www.pogo.com. You can play games there and also chat with people if you want. Keem and I are not chatters but there is a feature called private chat where you can be in a “room” with someone else and talk. Sometimes Keem and I will do this when we are not even 2 feet away from each other. She finds it funny and will tell me she can’t hear me if I say something to her. Instead I have to type it. It also works as a way for us to communicate when we’re not in the same room. When we were staying at the Ramada and I was in the lobby playing on the computer, we could talk to each other without my having to walk up to our room or for her to come downstairs to tell me she and her mom were going to eat and what did I want on my pizza?

Anyway, if Keem’s not around or even when she is, we will put something on television as background noise – something to watch sort of out of the corner of our eye (this also works for scrapbooking. Warning, do not put in Clue. You will find yourself watching the entire thing, even if you have seen it a 100 times).

Keem and I subscribe to Comcast for phone, internet and cable. Do I need to have cable? No, probably not. Do I love it madly? Yes. Very much so. One of the most beloved features is the ability to have free movies on demand. I scrolled through the comedy section Friday night and found Groundhog Day (never seen it but both Beth and Keem have told me I’d like it). I enjoyed it a lot and finally, after all these years, figured out who James reminds me of. Oddly enough he has a lot of Bill Murray’s mannerisms. How weird is that?

I also watched Cry Baby with Johnny Depp. I don’t know what it is about this movie but it makes me laugh hysterically. I love a good musical and watching Johnny Depp gyrate across the screen amused the heck out of me.

I was supposed to go to a cookout this weekend but decided against it since I still wasn’t feeling well on Sunday. Why not watch some more movies? Okay, don’t mind if I do. Cannot remember what I watched and it probably doesn’t matter that much.

Monday was another day for movies. I’ve started another cross stitch project, this huge gardening thing that I liked because it had an orange tree in the middle of it. I got it on clearance years ago. I spent the weekend separating the floss because it had to have a ton of different colors, of course. When I finally had the colors separated, I wanted something to watch so I could concentrate on the stitching and I remembered seeing Jesus Christ Superstar in the musical section.

I know I’ve written about being in this play back when I was 16. It was a great experience and I miss acting so much. I miss singing as well, stupid Chalet and their “We don’t need to have karaoke on Sunday nights” mentality. Grr. I could sing on Thursdays, I guess, but it’s not the same.

And now for what this section of the Encyclopedia of Dee Em is all about.

F is for Fame and Faith

Fame. I wanna live forever. Light of the sky like a flame. I’m gonna something or another. People will remember my name.

I bet you would be surprised to know that I am famous somewhere else besides my mind. Yes. That’s it; your beloved Queen of the Universe is an actual published writer. Ever heard of poetry.com? I entered one of my poems into their competition and, while I didn’t win, got the opportunity to purchase a gigantic book with my poem in it! Wow! Only 50 bucks (or something like that). I did actually go ahead and purchase the book. I figured what the heck, right? Someday I might actually find it and put it on my coffee table.

I always thought that someday I would be famous, more than expensive coffee table book famous. I wasn’t sure what it was going to be for but it would be cool. There has only been one time in my life that I did experience the “Hey, aren’t you…” moment and it was pretty awesome.

During my church’s (Saint Andrews Lutheran Church, Mahtomedi, MN) production of Jesus Christ Superstar, it was decided to copy one of the more pivotal moments in the film when Pilate plunges his hands into a glass bowl of water and the water turns into blood. On this particular night, the man playing Pilate (I’m not sure but I think I remember his name as Bela and he was Hungarian?) does the same thing but the blood capsule floating in the bowl decided not to pop this time.

Imagine, if you will, the thundering “Die if you want, you innocent puppet!” fading as Bela squeezes and squeezes, waiting for the water to turn red. Nothing happens for one of the longest moments ever. I remember sitting on the stage in my role as people egging Pilate into crucifying Jesus, staring up at Bela. He finally uses all of his force and the capsule explodes.

Not only does the water turn bloody but there are blood spatters all over the stage. And on me. There is a large spot of blood on my hand. I remember staring at it, stunned, shocked and horrified. I don’t know for sure what the expression on my face was, something akin to Lady MacBeth’s, I’m sure, but it was noticed in the audience.

Some woman, sitting next to my father, turned to her kid and said “Look. Look at that girl. Do you see her face? Now that is an actress.”

My dad proudly leaned over and said “That’s my daughter.”

A few days later, I was walking somewhere (the church? The neighborhood store that my sister and I still call Jerry’s even though it has changed ownership many, many times and is now for lease again? No clue) and this woman stopped me. Now this was 1983 or 1984 so I thought nothing about stopping. I am glad I did.

Unknown Woman (UW): Excuse me. Weren’t you in Jesus Christ Superstar?
DM: Yes, I was.
UW: I thought so. I saw you. I just had to say you were wonderful. The whole play was excellent but I really thought you were great.

Wow. My heart swelled.

DM: Thank you.
UW: No. Thank you.

I didn’t have a part; I was just one of the many followers/lepers/temple defilers (the market scene. I wore a visor and believe I was supposed to be a bookie). I wasn’t Mary Magdalene or Jesus or my favorite part, Judas. I was just a member of the choir. And this woman was thanking me. It was such an amazing experience.

Watching Jesus Christ Superstar yesterday brought back that summer to me. From the first note to the last, I was overwhelmed with memories. I was singing along with the television (and remembered all of the words. I who can’t remember my name sometimes remembered every word. Not all of the notes, unfortunately. Surprised my neighbors didn’t pound on the wall).

I found tears streaming down my face while Jesus was being flogged. I watched Pilate plunge his hands in the water again and I remembered sitting on that stage, staring at the blood on my hands.

When Keem got home, we went to get lunch. She was asking me about my weekend.

DM: I watched Jesus Christ Superstar.
Keem: You mentioned that.
DM: I cried.
Keem: You did?
DM: Yeah. Jesus dies.

There are a lot of things that puzzle me about the world. I can’t watch the news or pay attention to politics because it makes me hurt. I don’t understand why, even with Bush at his lowest approval rating ever, there are still people who talk about what a great president he is. There are still people who think being at war is a good thing.

We are living in a world where I sometimes feel I have to apologize for being a Christian because there are these people who out there who think it is okay to use God as a reason to kill and to hate. Who think that someone not being the same religion or color or sexual preference is a crime and should result in death.

I guess what I am trying to say is that when I was 16 and that blood landed on my hand, everything was clear to me. That moment was brought back to me yesterday during the movie.

Jesus died for my sins. For me. Because God so loved the world that he gave his only son. There’s a scene in the movie where Ted Neeley is singing at the Garden of Gethsemane. The song is so bittersweet it makes me cry to think about it.

“God thy will is hard
But you hold every card
I will drink your cup of poison
Nail me to your cross and break me
Bleed me, beat me
Kill me, take me now
Before I change my mind.”

I have always been grateful for that. You know it had to be hard on him. Can you imagine waking up one day and knowing that this was going to be the day you died because your Father said it was time? Kind of makes you wonder why he didn’t grab Mary Magdalene and run like the wind.

I believe that everyone makes a choice and I don’t believe that we are predestined to do anything but for Jesus and Judas, I think they were set on a road that they had no choice but to follow.

When Carl Anderson is singing during Judas’s death:

“My mind is darkness now
My god I am sick
I’ve been used
And you knew
All the time
God I’ll never ever know
Why you chose me for your crime
For your foul bloody crime
You have murdered me!
You have murdered me!”

I have always felt that Judas wasn’t the bad guy. I think he did act out of concern and was portrayed badly. So I love this movie for portraying him as someone who was trying to protect Jesus.

Anyway, that’s my two cents. I’m not sure what my point was – maybe that I like Jesus? And feel that Judas wasn’t all that bad? I guess that’s it. And that while I don’t believe in organized religion, I do believe that there’s such a thing as faith. And it is important to me. Not important in a “I must shove my beliefs down your throat” but a “Hey, this is what I feel.”