Sunday, September 29, 2013

Observations on my very first 5K

Walked in my first 5K today.  It was a beautiful day for it - a bit chilly when I checked in shortly after 8, but quite comfortable by the end, and sunny with just the tiniest breeze.
  • I was surprised by how many people showed up with their dogs - big dogs, little ones, puppies and adults. The organizers were ready, though - they had bandannas for them in the same day-glow green as the race T-shirts.
  • This was a fundraiser for cancer research and prevention, so there were several teams with matching shirts.
  • Part of the route ran along a river, where I spotted a few common loons.  I didn't realize we had them around here!  I also saw some egrets or herons; they were too far away for me to tell for sure.  (can you tell I'm no birder?)
  • Lots of people participated with their children; the youngest one I spotted was only 8 or 10 months old.  Several of the kids were having a great time racing with their parents, playing with the dogs or each other, throwing sticks into the water - the usual kid stuff.
  • Starting at a ballpark meant real restrooms, not the portapotties I'd expected.  That's a good thing!
  • I was disappointed that one hip decided to start bothering me as soon as we left the starting point.  Fortunately, it didn't hurt constantly, so while I did limp rather a lot, I still managed to finish in under an hour.
  • I was surprised by how hungry I've been since I got home!  Yes, that was a lot more walking than I usually do, but I was walking, not running, and I didn't feel I was pushing myself all that hard.
  • Being new to this 5K business, I had no idea what to do with my stuff (keys, wallet, etc.) during the race so I wore cargo pants and loaded up the pockets.  I had wanted to take a book to read on the subway but it would have been too uncomfortable so I left it at home.  Instead, I snoozed on the train and people-watched once I got checked in.  That was certainly entertaining.
  • They played an instrumental recording of the national anthem shortly before the starting horn.  Yes, of course I sang along. :)  I don't know what key it was in, but it was a little higher than I would have picked, especially at 8:45 a.m.  I still managed to sing it all, and the highest note actually felt pretty good, so that was a nice little surprise.
I'm already signed up for another 5K.  This one's at work, the day after Halloween, so they call it a "monster dash", complete with costume contest.  Now to decide how to dress up for the occasion.  It needs to be comfortable for walking and not too bulky, since I'll be bringing it to work in a gym bag along with towel and toiletries so I can shower afterwards.  Any ideas? :)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

They'll have to reunite without the Chief

The Chief and a buddy from his old Reserve unit have been organizing a reunion, to take place in Manhattan the Saturday of Columbus Day weekend.  Nothing very fancy, just 3 hours' worth of drinks, hors d'oeuvres, and getting caught up.  The other night the Chief spent a few hours on line researching hotels and fares.  Short of staying in a VERY spartan room and taking one of those cheap buses, he didn't see any way to do even 2 nights, let alone 3, for less than $2000 for both of us.  Especially given the way we've been spending money to fly out to see Dad while he's still alive, he just couldn't justify the expense.  Maybe we should buy a lottery ticket...

Another day spent playing in the kitchen

Big kitchen plans for the weekend:
  • I got 2 nice spaghetti squash this week, which are now in the oven.  They should fill at least 5 or 6 2-cup containers.
  • I also have a pair of butternut squash to cook; need to replenish my supply, as last week's soup finished off what I had left in the freezer.
  • A batch of rather old apples are currently on a back burner, cooking down to applesauce.  They needed a little moisture, so I poured in a slosh of boiled cider; can't wait to see how that works out.
  • I want to make a batch or two of lemon loaf (if I can find the recipe again), to take to work on Tuesday, assuming we aren't furloughed.  My excuse?  Tuesday is the first day of the new fiscal year.
  • And then there are those mushrooms to be sautéed and added to a jar of spaghetti sauce, which is great served over spaghetti squash.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Still auditioning

I auditioned for one production, got called back, had fun with the improv exercise, but wasn't cast.  I replied to the email that I'd be interested in helping on the tech side but haven't heard back.

Then last Saturday I auditioned for another show.  The director asked me on my way out if I could make callbacks; yes, of course!  Sunday was the 2nd day of auditions, with callbacks scheduled for Monday.  I was therefore a bit confused to get a "sorry, you weren't cast" call Sunday night!  Turns out I had too many conflicts (the show has a rather compressed rehearsal schedule), and the director was able to cast from auditions.  Once I got past my confusion, I consoled myself with having been called back, even if I didn't actually get to callbacks. :D  I also offered to help with hair; 1940s hairstyles should be fun.  I won't be able to do it alone, though - 6 women to coif?  I'd need to start around 4 p.m. to have them all ready for curtain!

Monday I have yet another audition.  I'm not too optimistic about that one, mostly because the women's roles consist of 2 grandmothers and one 20-something.  If the demographics hold true, there'll be plenty of us trying out for those 2 grannies - tough odds.  Later this month I can then, finally, audition for a coupla musical things - 2 G&S shows.  I'd love to get either Dame Carruthers (Yeomen of the Guard) or Ruth (Pirates of Penzance).  For someone my age, the only other option is ensemble, and I've already done ensemble in both shows (twice in Pirates).  I might do it for Yeomen, but not for Pirates - that'll be a summer show, and I try to keep the summer a "theater-free zone" so the Chief doesn't spend too much time as a theater widower.

I've been auditioning for things but not performing (unless you count the sing-out) since Daddy's Dyin' closed in January. This is the longest I've ever spent auditioning without being cast in anything.  I might have made Guys & Dolls had I been willing to take ensemble, but that group rehearses just far enough away that I wasn't eager to make the drive to repeat a "role" I just did last summer.  The artistic director of last summer's group asked me to replace someone in their production of Quartet, but I just couldn't make the schedule work.  I'm glad I got to work my "pipes" a little at the Sing-out; it was the first onstage singing I've done since last summer's Guys & Dolls, which is way too long to go without!

Time to take another look at what's being done this season to see what else I might want to audition for.

"Meals on wheels"

I spent last Sunday making soup for people - veggie beef for the neighbors with the new baby, and squash soup, which is nice and smooth, for the friend w/ cancer who has trouble swallowing.  The kitchen smelled wonderful, of course, and 3 guesses what was for lunch that day.

Fall weather always makes me want to cook up vats of soup; so nice to have a good excuse to do it, and someone to give it to so the Chief and I aren't swimming in the stuff.

No squash this year, I guess :(

I keep checking my squash plants for fruit and finding nothing.  Not sure if they didn't get enough water, or the soil isn't what they need or what, but I keep getting blossoms and nothing else. What's worse, one of the 2 coworkers who got my culls came up to me a few weeks ago now, delighted to be able to tell me that she'd just harvested her first squash!  I'm jealous - everyone else who's got squash plants has squash by now.  Maybe another coworker was right - "You gave away the good ones." ;)