Sunday, December 23, 2012

Glad this week is over

Monday Dad went in for a routine doctor's visit and ended up in the hospital for tests.  My cold started shifting into high gear, making me a baritone.

Tuesday my dentist told me I had a cracked wisdom tooth; appointment made w/ oral surgeon. Dad's preliminary tests showed advanced carotid stenosis.

Wednesday Dad got his carotid "roto-rootered".  My cold was trying to asphyxiate me.

Thursday my cold had me sounding like I was about to cough up a lung.  Had a work emergency that kept me there until 9 pm, completely missing rehearsal. I don't feel solid in my role yet, so I really couldn't afford to miss a single rehearsal. :(

Friday Dad was having some problems, which eventually cleared up once they adjusted his various meds.

Saturday I got my wisdom teeth pulled, this time under general anesthesia.  The post-op instructions were somewhat better than the first time I did this, but still laft me with questions.  Finally got to talk to Dad, who sounded in good spirits, knowing they were going to kick him out the next day.

Sunday:  Dad fell during the night, so they made him stay an extra day.  He did not exactly love this news.  I'm pureeing everything, doing my saline rinses faithfully (I do NOT want dry socket again!), and wondering how soon I'll be able to go back to solid foods.

So:  Dad's health, my health and work - nothing but stressors this week.  Bleah.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

This fight scene may be the death of me

Tonight we worked on the first half of Act II, which includes the fight scene I'm in.  When we got to that point, the director stopped us and made the 3 of us in the fight run it, and run it, and run it some more.  There are a couple of places I'm still having trouble with - can't seem to get my balance right, or this isn't convincing, or the timing of that is still not there.  It doesn't help that, not only am I already a few inches taller than my "opponent", but the cowboy boots add 3 full inches to that height difference and shift my balance forward. That little piece will probably only take a minute or less, yet it felt like we spent an hour on it (probably only 10 or 15 minutes).  I was getting frustrated - just couldn't seem to get it right, though I'm closing in on it.  The director plans to have us run that sequence at least once before every rehearsal from now on, and we'll probably run it on the set before every performance too.  We need to get it into our muscular memory and the only way to do that is to run it and run it and run it and ...

In fact, it was an exhausting rehearsal in general.  In addition to the fight scene, the section we ran tonight included the laughing and my big, teary scene - all my most emotional and physical bits.  Good thing I'm off stage for the next piece; I'll need the time not only to change costume but to repair my make-up!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

My first cowboy boots

My character wears cowboy boots for most of the show.  The ones our costumer found had pretty high heels for someone who lives in flats and very low (1/2") heels.  Last night I wore the boots for rehearsal for the first time, and I plan to wear them for every rehearsal from now on so I can be sure to get used to them.  for those of you who are thinking "So the heels are higher; what's the big deal?" - a higher heel shifts your weight forward, shifts your balance, and changes your posture as your feet, legs, hips & back adjust to a different angle. 

When we ran the fight scene, I found the heels made a difference in my balance when I had to turn, bend, or walk into someone and push.  Not to mention that they made me a good 2"-3" taller than I am in the sneakers I've been wearing to rehearsal, so that I felt like I towered over the other women in the cast.

The boots are perhaps half a size too big, so I'll also have to experiment to see just how thick a sock I need to wear.  The pair I wore last night, the thickest I own, were thick enough that my toes felt a bit squished.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Gluten-free cooking - not for the faint of heart

Last week our parish was supplying dinner for the student center at the nearby campus.  I volunteered to make a gluten-free pasta dish and gf cookies as my contribution to the cause.  The pasta wasn't too big a deal - it was an improvised layered casserole based on past lasagna-making, with pine nuts, sauteed with the mushrooms and thrown into the sauce, for a protein source.  (If the price of the durn pine nuts doesn't make you blanch, I recommend them in your sauce, though toasted might be better than sauteed.)  One other volunteer also provided a gf option; the students who needed to eat gluten-free were delighted to learn that not only was there pasta they could eat, but they even had their choice of two kinds.

The tricky part was the cookies.  I found a recipe on line, had some gf flour on hand, so I proceeded to follow the directions to the letter.  The recipe said to refrigerate the dough at least 2 hours before rolling into little balls for baking.  After closer to 5 hours in the fridge, the dough was still MUCH too soft to roll, so I used a spoon to drop dough onto the cookie sheets.  They spread a lot, running into each other, so they weren't very pretty, but not too bad.  After I'd baked more than half the batch, only then did I get the bright idea to add more flour to the dough.  That extra 2/3 cup of flour made all kinds of difference - still too soft to roll, but at least the cookies kept their shape a lot better.  Both the thin and the thicker ones tasted pretty good, if a tiny bit gritty.  However, the one young woman who was delighted to learn there was both pasta and cookies she could eat made me decide this gf baking is definitely worth pursuing.