Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Down in the mouth

OK, this is getting old. First the pain sent me to the doctor, who sent me to the dentist. Mine couldn't make it, so 2-hour drive to the Chief's dentist. Two wisdom teeth later and lighter, I developed dry socket, so off to my own dentist. That finally cleared up, then the TMD (tycho-mandibular dysfunction, as the dentist instructed the hygienist) began. So, when my dentist didn't answer my phone messages, back to the Chief's dentist, this time to be fitted for a night guard. Went back yet again to pick it up about 10 days ago. Jaw didn't seem to be getting better yet, but he did warn me it could take a while. Then things took a sudden turn for the worse a coupla days ago. When I can't even eat salad (and I mean lettuce and tomatoes, not carrots) without pain, I'd say I've got a problem. So tomorrow I start calling some of the dentists on the list I printed out tonight.

The Chief's been through worse, so I know there are worse problems, but I'm getting royally weary of over 2 months of pain that's here far more than it's gone. And when dropping my jaw to sing in my upper register is a problem, I definitely need to get this fixed! What scares me is that my dentist had mentioned a little plate/bone thingy that sits between the upper and lower jaw plates that can get messed up and needs surgery to correct. I am so very not ready to do that and risk screwing up my jaw. Even if that becomes necessary, I sure as heck ain't doing it until after Pirates closes!

Champing at the bit

Here we are, 6 or 7 weeks into the Pirates rehearsal process, and still no cast list. Our rehearsal schedule only runs through this week, we've had exactly one blocking rehearsal (supposed to have choreography tomorrow night), no clue what anyone's costumes will involve, whether she's got a sub for "Edith" for opening weekend - heck, we haven't even seen the director in two weeks! Heard from her last week only when she e-mailed everyone to tell us that rehearsal was cancelled because we'd been bumped from the space.

It's been frustrating that she just plain doesn't return e-mails. I've had a few questions for her about the show, and even offered help (finding costumes and compiling the cast list) but not a word in response. I don't need to know every last little thing about her plans for the show, but I don't think it's unreasonable to expect some kind of a response. Is it?

We're now 2 months from opening and I think we're all getting a bit itchy to get this baby on its feet; try the blocking with lines and music and all that. Wonder if there'll be any choreography for Ruth tomorrow night? Sure hope so!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Shopping? or auditions?

Not sure which you'd call this, but I've just begun the hunt for another voice teacher. Not that I've had any problems with my current one, but as she readily admits, after 5-7 years you start repeating yourself, and we've been working together more like 8 years or so. I had a lesson Thursday with someone who'd probably work well, but I want to try at least 1 or 2 more. Even if they all suit, it could come down to whose schedule works best with mine, or whose lessons are more affordable. I've heard of folks spending upwards of $100 per hour for a lesson! That might be a deductible expense for a professional singer, but it's too much for a hobbyist like me.

And while I have a better idea than I did several years ago of what to look for, I'm still not completely sure what kinds of questions to ask or what to look for (beyond a pet-free, smoke-free studio). It doesn't help that I don't know where I want to go vocally, either. I've pretty much figured out that I don't aspire to opera, and I think I'd like to learn to belt, but do I really want to learn a Broadway style? If I'd rather sing Cole Porter, Gershwin, that kinda thing, who can teach me a cabaret style? (Mary Morton's Wooing the Lorelei is just the sort of thing I'd like to be able to "sell"!) And how much technique do I still need to master before I can start that kind of fine-tuning? Tune in next week for the next installment in the continuing saga...

Playing in the dirt

Yesterday I went home from work by way of the super, serious nursery. The one that's been in business for yoiks, probably employs a hundred or more people in peak season (probably including at least 3 or 4 just to keep everything watered & fed for all us gardeners, landscapers and wannabes), and has all the fancier things, in more varieties and colors than part-timers such as the hardware stores or bigbox retailers.

This early in the season, most of their plants are still indoors. Boy, did those geraniums, begonias, kitchen herbs and such smell wonderful! They did have a few early groundcovers out, though. I came home w/ 5 different colors of phlox subulata, which I'm hoping will do well on the one corner of our front yard that gets enough sun (I hope) for it. I got a red, a pink, a white, a bluish-purple, and a striped one. Only 2 of the plants have any flowers on them right now - gardening requires a lot of faith.

I planted them all this morning because, despite all the forecasts calling for rain, it was bright & sunny. If I could get 'em all in before the rain, I wouldn't have to water, and of course, the sooner you get bedding plants out of their rootbound little plastic pots, the more likely they are to survive.

I sure hope they do better than last year's plants - the drought killed off all my mazus reptans, vinca and pachysandra. Now I need to find another ground cover to go into the driveway and make sure that this one is at least drought-tolerant, if not drought-resistant! I like goldenstar (chrysogonum virginianum), but they do warn you that it is not very drought-tolerant.

I'm considering sedges (carex species) to go over the septic field out at the cabin. The deer got the lilies of the valley and most of the ferns and the drought killed the euonymus and the ferns the deer left; only the pachysandra survived, and even that is looking a bit sickly. Maybe the sedges will do better; it looks like most of them are drought-tolerant or -resistant, which is what we need out there.

The Chief has mentioned putting in a long, narrow raised bed along the fence on the north side of the house. When he asked if I'd mind, I jumped on it - maybe then, in a bed of dirt, not clay & rocks, I'd finally be able to grow lilies of the valley. I don't know that we'll do that this year, but it's fun to think about.

Another project, for this fall - I want to use the tiller to work some topsoil into either a curving line or several patches in the back yard and plant more crocuses and some snowdrops. The Chief may want to try to do the whole back yard (that'd mean spending a fortune on topsoil!) so he can put down either grass seed or sod once I've got my bulbs in. We'll see.

Oh yeah, we've got a bad case of spring fever!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Trying to do too many things at once?

Probably. I'm in rehearsal for Pirates, adjudicated 2 more shows this past weekend, entertaining my folks this weekend out at the cabin, preparing for Holy Week and Easter, trying to see other people's shows, taking voice lessons, oh, and keeping up at work. So what do I do when my former belly dance teacher offers me a 3-minute slot in her student recital, less than 3 weeks from now? Why, grab it, of course!

The biggest challenge to be met? - finding time to practice! Not having danced in years, I definitely need to work on my stamina, and I'll need to redevelop the arm and hand muscles for playing finger cymbals. Then there's the challenge of finding music - she wants everything on CD, but all my dance music is on cassette and vinyl! (I picked up this dance habit rather a while ago.) At least I have a costume that still fits; I just need to figure out where the matching hip scarf has hidden itself and dig out the flashy silver heels I bought to wear with the dress.

The Chief is all for this - he'd love to see me start dancing again. Which is a relief - when I first mentioned doing this, he looked at me like I was crazy and asked me whether I'd have time to do it. Now he thinks it's a great idea, is all set to come along and sample the food (it's at an Indian restaurant that's laying on a buffet for the occasion), and probably have fun watching all the dancers, though he didn't mention that part. Maybe he'll want to tech... :D