SWAN DIVE, CHICKEN LITTLE.

When Ross and I were looking for a home last year, we had a few prerequisites in mind.  The trees, for example. How tall and shady were they?  The back yard: Could it hold a music studio? The street: Were there general signs of people and animals enjoying life?

But in the back of our minds, there was one other question we voiced only to each other.  Could we raise chickens there?

Both Ross and I are a little obsessed with having chickens someday.  For me, it’s more than fresh eggs: I get a special kick out of their goofy walk and unwittingly reproachful faces.  Their eyes are always slits and their beaks always downturned, as if they’re saying: “I’ve had just about enough of that, thank you.”

Our friends Zach and Virginia do raise chickens, and they’re just gorgeous — like the chickens you see on tea towels. They step across Zach and Virginia’s huge property, pecking for bits of food, tut-tutting around overturned buckets and coiled garden hoses.

They also like to perch on Zach and Virginia’s front porch railing, balancing their big haunch feathers.  Kind of impressive, if you think about it. While there, they cluck softly to each other, perhaps recalling the days events: “How about those corn kernels, huh?”  “Delicious. Just delicious. But I’ve been eating too many starches lately … I’m going on an all-cricket diet.”

We shot a short movie at Zach and Virginia’s house the weekend before last, while all the chickens were running around.  By “we” I mostly mean Los, who is my collaborator for AETV and just about everything else involving video.  Sometimes, I help him out with his film projects, too.

Los is submitting his movie This is Kilo 3 to Austin Film Festival, and in it, a military man stationed in the middle of nowhere answers the call of a distressed pilot, who is about to crash his plane.  I play the military man’s girlfriend back home.

Now don’t get excited — I don’t have any lines.  I pretty much walk around.  But I walk around with purpose.  Acting!

In between my scenes, my buddy Dan and I played with Zach and Virginia’s cat Skillet, who has little white mittens on his paws.

Skillet is a bit of a tease: Generous with his purrs, but stingy with his arm-cradling. I like to pick cats up and walk around with them, but much to my consternation, Skillet won’t let me carry him.

“Stop that, Tolly.”

The best thing about Skillet, though, is the tiny bit of white fluff on the very end of his tail!  If I were a bigger, better person, Reader, I would say to you that I had never squealed at this tail, and pulled it, out of sheer childlike delight.  But, that would be a lie.

(Just for the record, Skillet, THIS is how you allow yourself to be arm-cradled.

Look at Claudia. She’s having such a good time!)

The next day of the weekend before last (Sunday), I had that aerial silks show I was telling you about.  Here are a few snapshots from the Swan Dive, where the performance was held.

Swan Dive is one of those spaces that’s infused with an invisible something.  A subtle magic that encourages dreamy thoughts, and dreamy people.

My friends Colin and Tammy Lynn came to watch, and that’s them dressed so foxily above.  The party was Titanic-themed, and more specifically, the Titanic sunken — hence the beautiful mermaid, with bubbles floating around her.

“Let’s do more,” Susan, my performance partner would say the next day.

After the show, we left the club, arms a little sore and false eyelashes akimbo.  I tottered down Red River in my high heels at one in the morning, and passed a middle-aged lady that said to me: “Girl, you got some crazy outfits goin’ on.” Then she chuckled, and wished me a good night.

I agree, Susan. Let’s do more.