Thursday, February 23, 2017

Not the response I was expecting...

One of my classmates got a call from the campus police during our Alexander Technique class this morning.  Someone had found her wallet and turned it in to them and they wanted to deliver it to her.  The professor had us all go down with her, and did a little instruction outside while P went over to the police car & got her wallet back.  (It's a gorgeous, 70-degree day today - in February!)  P came back to the group devastated.  Her ID and credit cards were there, but her cash - ALL her cash, apparently - was gone.  Gotta love these small theater classes - everyone tried to reassure her, someone mentioned taking up a collection, and if we'd had our wallets with us, she'd probably have had every penny back in the time it took for us to pull out those wallets.

Anyway, I saw her in the atrium shortly after class, with several other theater folks.  I tried to give her a little bit of cash, which she refused, insisting that "I'm good."  One of the others, also a classmate, told me "You're so cute!"  Cute?  Um, okay.

Sometimes being so much older than my classmates makes me wonder - what would the reaction have been were I their age, and not the age of their parents?

Saturday, February 04, 2017

RIP, Leta

Today was the memorial service for Leta, friend to many.  The reverend even commented on how full the church was; "It doesn't look like this on Sunday!"  What a testament to her spirit - unfailingly sunny, kind, generous, supportive...  The list goes on and on.

I called her my theater mentor because when I got started in community theater, I could always count on her for encouragement as I spread my wings and tried new things.  She would send me the occasional audition notice until I got a handle on where to find them myself.  She called me once about sewing body bags for a show she was directing (Incorruptible).  That was an interesting conversation, and funny because we were so matter-of-fact about it.  "How tall are the people?"  "Oh, most of these aren't for real people; just for fake bodies."  And so on.  Ah, the nuts and bolts of bringing a show to the stage. 😊

Leta was like that for so many people - among other things, she wrote and directed plays for young people, encouraging them in their love of anything and everything theater-related.  On stage, off stage - didn't matter.  Leta was delighted to support them.

Her father recounted a Facebook entry Leta posted back in November which he called "Leta's creed."  He felt so strongly about it that he had copies printed out for people to pick up at the memorial service.  I'll enter it in a separate post.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Pushing my comfort zone again this spring

Got my spring classes all lined up.  One is in lighting design, which is going to push me to learn the technical, hands-on aspects as well as the theoretical and design aspects of the craft.   The other class that I expect to push me is Alexander Technique, because one of the items on the syllabus is learning to juggle!  I'm gonna be one of those folks out in the atrium chasing lacrosse balls around as I try to learn to juggle them.  (The prof specified that we get LAX balls for juggling; something about the size, weight and firmness, apparently.)

So much for my 4.0 GPA...

As I'd expected, this fall was the semester my GPA dropped below a 4.0.  As a result of that one A-, in Rendering for Theater, I'm now carrying a 3.97.  Still pretty respectable, though; I'll take it!

Having a lot of trouble getting motivated to learn lines

I've been cast as understudy of one of the roles in the campus production of The Importance of Being Earnest.  As I understand it, there's an "understudy run" which is essentially a tech rehearsal on the set, with no costumes or only bits (e.g., skirts).  We don't get an actual performance, and I don't even know how much rehearsal we'll get before that run.  We're all supposed to be off book (i.e., have all our lines memorized) by Thursday, but I'm finding it really hard to make myself work on my lines when I haven't been to a rehearsal since the read-through (which I wasn't even required to attend).  For all that I'm getting the daily emails, I don't feel like I'm part of the production; it feels very weird.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Cancer is a murdering serial killer!

Cancer is a murdering SOB.  The list of people I've lost to it, or people near & dear to me have lost to it, is lengthy:  Both my grandmothers; the little brother of 2 high school friends (while we were still in HS); the Chief's younger sister (and his older sister is now battling it); parents of too many friends; the Chief's mom; my mom; Mom's older brother; a friend last year; a neighbor earlier this week; and now The Flibbertigibbet.  She went suddenly (she was only diagnosed last month), and much too young.  She was the heart & soul of the local community theater world; odds are excellent that if you never worked on a show with her, you worked with someone who did, and everyone who's ever worked with her loved her.

I had to call a couple of out-of-town friends last night to let them know. The first one immediately asked about the Chief's and my health and ordered us to "stay healthy!"  I'd share that advice with you - please, for the sake of those who love you, take good care of yourself so you'll be around for a good, long time.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Our first holiday party

Since the Chief and I didn't travel for Christmas this year, we actually decorated (our first Christmas tree in years!) and even had a party Friday night.  I hadn't expected so many people (anyone, really) to bring gifts of wine - we started the evening with 7 bottles of red wine, for example, and ended up with 12!  This despite people actually drinking the wine we had on offer.  We could have at least 2 more parties without having to buy a single bottle!  Very little beer was drunk, either; the Chief had bought a goodly variety, very little of which was consumed.

Leftover food was easier; the cookies went to friends' house the next day (they were having a holiday brunch w/ optional cookie exchange), and we didn't have all that much left of the savory stuff - maybe 1 cup of dill dip, no more than 2 cups of hummus, and enough salmon spread and salsa for a nice Christmas Eve dinner. 😊  Some of the veggies got sauteed to accompany our Christmas lamb chops, and most of the rest went into a big pot of veggie-beef soup I made last night.

Next time we won't have to spend nearly as much on party supplies - we won't have to buy anything but food, as we have MORE than enough alcohol for at least one more party, maybe 2 or 3.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

No opera chorus next semester

Back at the end of October, I learned they were looking for a few folks to fill out the chorus for next semester's operas (Orfeo and Orphee aux Enfers).  I was surprised that they just posted a sign-up sheet instead of holding auditions, but of course we all had to audition for our various choruses, so maybe they went from that.  I was the first to sign up as one of the mezzo volunteers, which meant I had that much longer to wait.  Yesterday 2 other mezzo volunteers and I finally got the "thanks but no thanks" email.

I'm a little disappointed, of course, but only a little, because the rehearsal schedule would be a pain - Fridays 4-6 pm, adding in Saturday morning rehearsals as you get closer to production. I'm also not very surprised - given the quality of the voices around me in chorus, the competition was pretty stiff.  And of course now I'll get to enjoy it from the audience. 😃

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Thanksgiving experiments

No, I didn't get all wild & crazy and cook up something I've never even tasted.  (I've done that; shirin polo, anyone?)  I did play a little with how I cooked the turkey, and with the pumpkin pie recipe.

I had seen something on line suggesting using carrots, celery ribs, and quartered onions for a rack on which to roast the turkey.  Sounded like a good idea, so that's what I did.

That's Mom's turkey roaster, which she gave me for (birthday? Christmas?) several years ago.  It's seen many a turkey, most of them twice the size of the little 11-pounder we were roasting for the two of us.  Here's that turkey on its veggie bed:

And here's that turkey after a few hours in the oven, on its bed of veggies which are now full of turkey juices:

Doesn't that look pretty?  Tasted good, too - good and moist, because I roasted it breast down.

In case you're wondering, we've already had the first turkey sandwiches (I had to buy bread and lettuce), much of the remaining meat is off the bone (turkey tetrazzini coming up later this week), and the carcass is in a pot with those "roasting rack" veggies, making soup.  That's one experiment that was a complete success - veggies make a great roasting rack!

The other experiment was to tinker with the pumpkin pie.  First, I decided to try a no-roll pie crust recipe.  I got it from the King Arthur Flour site, which rarely steers me wrong.  The crust was OK, but not particularly flaky, a bit on the dense side, and in general not one I'll use again.  I had to use canned pumpkin because I never got a chance to buy a pumpkin to cook and freeze for baking.  My grandmother's recipe calls for 1 cup of pumpkin, but of course a 15-oz can holds more like 1 3/4 cups.  I decided to use the whole can; not a bad choice, but I prefer the 2-1 half-and-half-to-pumpkin ratio of the recipe.  I also added 1/4 tsp of garam masala to the cinnamon and ginger the recipe calls for.  That was a bit too spicy that evening, but by the next day the spice had moderated, so I may do that again.

Instead of regular mashed potatoes, I tried the Hungry Girl mashies recipe.  (I made a triple batch in order to use the entire head of cauliflower.)  The results were runny (next time I'll use half the water) but delicious!  When we go through what's in the fridge and I have to pull out the half batch I put in the freezer, I'll find out how well it freezes.  Potatoes and cauliflower tend to freeze well, but the light sour cream and cream cheese might not.