Saturday, December 02, 2017

Final semester as an undergrad (this time)

I graduate with my 2 BA in just a few weeks!  Yesterday I got an email from my department asking me to speak at the department's graduation ceremony!  They'd nominated me for an award which I didn't get (but I was the Theater department's nominee, which was a nice surprise), so maybe this is their way of singling me out.  I've joked about being their oldest undergrad (heck, I'm probably their oldest student, undergrad or graduate, now that J received her MFA this spring), so I'm already a little different from their usual student speakers.  Now to come up with something to talk about that won't put my audience to sleep or make them roll their eyes... 😉

Been a busy semester

I realized earlier this week that the reason I'm more exhausted than usual this close to finals is that I've had very few free evenings.  First it was Antigone - rehearsals 5 nights a week from the first day of classes until tech, then the run - 9 performances in 8 days!  That closed the night before my birthday.  Then, on Halloween, I started crewing for the next show, with strike the Sunday before Thanksgiving.  The Sunday after Thanksgiving started "tech" for the Mozart Requiem concerts, which wrap up tomorrow.  Oh, and Merry Widow rehearsals started up the weekend before Thanksgiving.

All this contributed to my nearly entirely dropping the ball on one of my assignments, and has me behind on my 2 term papers and prepping for my voice jury.  Fortunately, the term papers only have to be about 6 pages.  One of those is a history paper, so the hardest thing about that one will be deciding what information makes the cut to be included.  The other is a lot more subjective, but I also have a few more days for that one, so I'm not too worried about it.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

2017 continues to pile on

Let's see -

  • neighbor & friend lost to cancer about 4 days apart in January
  • Chief's brother, sister and her husband all dealing with various cancers
  • Chief diagnosed w/ cancer at end of March, surgery at end of May
  • two friends widowed very suddenly, about a month apart
  • cousin diagnosed w/ cancer, died 3 weeks later!
  • SIL and her husband both having to keep going after their cancers, which don't want to stay treated.
I think we could be forgiven for feeling like the universe is sorta piling on lately, and wondering "Who's next?"

Happy birthday, Chief!

Today the Chief marks another trip around the sun.  Here's to many more! 💖

Garden notes to remember for 2018

This year I planted lantana and purslane in the biggest pot, in the yellow plant stand.  I was delighted to learn that hummingbirds like lantana!  I'm indebted to the woman at the nursery who suggested I plant it.  The purslane is pretty, but the flowers don't stay open very long - they're usually closed tight again by noon or so.  I'll definitely plant lantana again, but maybe pair it with portulaca instead.

The Chief bought me a pair of fancy ceramic planters, which I used for sunflowers.  The sunflowers aren't doing very well.  I really oughta read up on them to see if it's too little water, too much water, or something else.

I put 6 pots of various flowers on the front steps.  The verbena isn't doing too well; hanging in there, but no flowers after the first ones dropped.  The snapdragons and marigolds are doing well.  I'm collecting marigold seeds for next year; let's see if I remember where I stash them in time to start them next spring.   Several of the seeds I dropped back into the pots have already sprouted; can't wait to see how they do.  The 6th pot was an attempt at red, white and blue.  The lobelia is doing well, and the geranium is hanging in there, though not flowering very happily.  (The one in back is doing better.)  The white flower, though, died pretty quickly, poor thing.  It looked like some kind of tiny daisy.  I didn't save the little label, of course, so I have no idea what it used to be.  That pot is also on the top step, so it doesn't get as much rain as the others.  Maybe next year I'll just put out 4 pots - 2 each on the 2nd & 3rd steps.

I tried rosemary in a new spot this year, next to the deck steps.  The oregano has been happy on that side of the deck, so maybe the rosemary will last more than a year or two.

Planted 5 tomato plants this year, no peppers.  Three sweet 100 plants at the far end and two beefier varieties at the near end.  Time to get out the wildlife mesh; no sooner did some of the beefy tomatoes start to ripen than some varmint started snacking on them. 😠  So far we've gotten 3 cherry tomatoes; I'm hoping for lots more.  Oddly, the plant closest to the bird feeders has all the leaves stripped off the topmost few "branches".  That's not a problem we've had before, so I have no idea what's eating it.

Wow - it's been longer than I realized.

It's been an eventful coupla months in Lake Wobegon.  Let's see; where to start?  Think I'll break this up into separate posts...

Friday, May 05, 2017

The Lighting homework that ate my day

BOY, is lighting design time-consuming!  First there are image searches, which take hours to yield a few useful images for "design inspiration."  Then you have to apply your ideas to actual lights.  One of our final projects is to create a lighting design for West Side Story and go into the light lab - essentially a tiny black-box "theater" with a slew of lights and accessories to experiment with - to apply that design to one of the songs from the show.  We're all paired off, chiefly for efficiency (e.g., one can stand in a focus point while the other focuses a light) and safety (that 20-foot ladder is definitely a 2-person lift).  My partner met me this morning for our 8-noon block in the light lab.  He left for class afterwards, but I stayed to keep working.  I finally left around 6 pm to go home for dinner, then went back for another hour and a half.  For those keeping score, I left for campus about 7:30 this morning, stayed till 6 pm (I did allow myself a lunch break) to have dinner with the Chief, then went back to finish up.  I got home to stay around 10 pm. 

Even subtracting a couple of hours for trouble-shooting, I spent nearly 10 hours writing cues for a song that's all of about 2:34 minutes long!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

More bad news

Just learned of someone's inoperable, stage-4 cancer diagnosis.  What IS it with this year?!?

Friday, April 21, 2017

Happy anniversary?

We started our anniversary (Happy Sweet 16, Chief!) with a trip to the 2nd surgeon.  The Chief had fun cracking wise with the nurses who took his vitals and his health history, and we finally got a date for his surgery, at a hospital 20 miles closer than where the first surgeon works.  The wonder woman at the front desk got all the Chief's pre-op testing scheduled back to back on a single day.  She also corrected the referral record, which was written for Radiology, for some inexplicable reason.

I had a noon acupuncture appointment and snoozed a bit on the table.  My juggling coaching got cancelled because my classmate had to cancel, which was fine with me.  As early as we got up to get to that 8 am doctor's appointment, I probably would have been dropping balls right, left, and center.

Shortly before we were going to leave for dinner at our favorite Greek restaurant, it started pouring like crazy, with nickel-sized hail into the bargain!  The Chief glanced outside and noticed someone huddled under a tree out front, so he urged him inside to wait out the storm.  He'd been playing soccer at the park down the street and was heading home when the heavens opened.  We ended up giving him a ride home once the hail stopped and the rain backed off to a more reasonable rate.  (He only lives 2 blocks away.)

Dinner was delicious - eggplant dip with plenty of garlic, and the Chief got what he always gets - lamb.  We even indulged in a dessert each instead of splitting one.  Decadent, but I expect to work it off tomorrow in the garden.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

And I'm in!

Got an email the other day telling me that I've been cast in this fall's Antigone - 2nd Attendant, Chorus, and Eurydice understudy.  The director said at auditions that she plans to incorporate a lot of movement - we have a choreographer - and maybe some music too.  I'm looking forward to it!  Too bad rehearsals don't start until the first week of classes, in August.

The director is the person who taught my Voice for the Actor class last semester, which I really enjoyed.  She often closed class with a 2- or 3-part song, different groups of us singing each part, all at the same time.  We all loved that; I hope she plans to build a little of that into Antigone.

I played Eurydice in a different translation of this play several years ago.  It'll be interesting to dig out my old script and compare it to this one once we get it, and to see how much this version will differ from that one.

This is why I would never make it as a designer

We're starting on our final Lighting Design project of the semester.  Tomorrow we're supposed to bring in our initial concept & research for West Side Story.  Sounds easy, yes?  Except that I have NO idea for a concept.  I researched 1950s NYC, fire escapes, spotlights (for the dance, when Tony & Maria see each other that first time).  All well & good, and all pretty predictable.  I suppose I'll come up with something eventually; I just hope that "eventually" happens in time for tomorrow morning's class.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Bad news can do that to you.

Sunday morning, just days after we got the Chief's diagnosis, a friend posted on Facebook that her husband had died suddenly during the night.  Needless to say, Sunday was a write-off.  Getting picked apart at that audition felt that much worse because of it, my continuing "juggle struggle" the same - it seems the tears are just plain closer to the surface while I digest all this bad news.  I haven't been sleeping as well, either, which makes me a bit crabby; poor Chief!

We'll get past it, of course - we've both survived worse - but oh, it's exhausting in the meantime.  Pray for our sanity as the Chief & I weather this latest storm.

Called back!

Well, that was a bit of a surprise.  After the way my auditions went for a couple of fall classes (alternate for 1, didn't get into the one I wrote about - no surprises), I had no hopes for Tuesday's audition for the fall season.  I wasn't too sanguine about how I did, partly because I tried to change a few things based on last week's feedback, partly because I was still a bit bummed to realize that I've been doing it all wrong all these years, and partly because I was exhausted after the recent spate of bad news.

Imagine my surprise this morning when I checked my email to find one telling me I was called back for Antigone!  They called back 45 people, which might be everyone who auditioned (shades of last semester's season auditions), but given that they've announced that they plan to cast 20, including the Greek chorus, I suppose that number makes sense.  I've already printed my "sides" (side = excerpt from the play), which I'll start looking at today or tomorrow.

Callbacks are Saturday morning, and finish up right around the time my partner & I have our slot the light lab to work on our latest lighting design project.  That means I'll be in the building from 10 till 5, unless we finish our project early (not likely!).  As I told the Chief as I was leaving for class this morning, guess I'll just pack for the day.

My nephew the Eagle Scout!

After years of work, one of my nephews just became the family's FIRST EAGLE SCOUT!!!  Yes, I'm shouting - that achievement represents YEARS of hard work, and we're all very proud of him.  I don't blame him for smiling that big - I would too, with an accomplishment like that under my belt.  (I wonder how much of it is relief that it's all finally finished. 😉)