Archive for April, 2010

Nothing Wrong With These Kids Today

I may not have kids of “my own” but I have about a dozen or so that I claim.  Nieces, nephews, and children of special friends.  I feel a great sense of joy whenever I am around them and I do not hesitate to know why:  I am one of the biggest kids, myself.  Spirited kids to the anti-social teenager I know all kinds and find something remarkable in them all:  particularly, the anti-social teenager.  Just last night, we shared an email conversation and I marveled at his wisdom (?) NO WAY! WISDOM?! This is one post that I hope he does not read.  Or maybe I do in order to draw out another possible lurker.  I keep telling him that he should really join us on tangents and share some of the wit and wisdom that  a 14 year old young man has but… “Not yet.”  I know another teenage junior high girl who seems to have security issues.  I can certainly relate… 6th-8th grade was NOT the best of times.

There are also the “tween”agers.  WOW… so wise and mature.  I was never like that!

Younger children just may have an even bigger influence on me… especially some of those more energetic, high-spirited ones.  They really take you back.  Playful, always the center of attention, carefree.  Sounds like some bigger kids to me 😉  At times, you have to be on guard and know when to say when.  Sometimes difficult to say and to put into motion but creativity has its place.  Remembering what it was like to be a kid may make me appear to be a push over, but, eh.

Finally, the BIG GUY who will have a HUGE place in my heart quite possibly indefinitely.  Born the day after my birthday nearly 2 years ago and I got to visit at the hospital and help prepare for his homecoming.  I am his biggest fan!

I am so blessed to know so many kids in all phases of development.  And the best thing, at this point?  You can take them home (not your own) when you are done with them!

But It WAS A Productive Rehearsal!

The last two rehearsals have been dedicated to blocking the entire show… preliminary blocking anyway.  You just know that it is going to change, particularly when we get our two weeks (of rehearsal) time on the stage.  But even to get that little idea in your head as to what you will be doing on stage is a big help.  It was like the blind leading the blind but when aren’t first blockings like that.  We did get to see “Eve’s” development of her big moment and the rest of us think she is off to a good start!

I am pleased with where I am at this point!  The memorization is coming.  Although, I do find myself running over “Kate’s” lines at times which at times seems appropriate since most of our moments end dramatically.  However, I will focus a bit more on the cue lines.

One of the highlights last night did not involve any blocking or scripts.  In the middle of a scene, we heard the thrilling refrain of John Williams’ “Superman March.”  I should have ignored it and kept the others guessing.  I was as surprised as them because I am usually careful to turn the cell phone off at inopportune times.  I did silence it after I read the text.  I did get HOMEWORK!  I’m to find my recording of the instrumental “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” which is an important part of the show.  It is in my itunes library.  I wonder if there is a way to send it to Beth via email.  I’ll see.

All in all.. a successful rehearsal with less than 4 weeks to go?!

A 30,000 Piece Puzzle In My Cookie

AH…. Saturday… nothing to do, day off.  I watched Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (can’t beat Doc Brown chewing the scenery as a Klingon baddie getting kicked by the ever poetic William Shatner…”I…have HAD… ENOUGH of…YOU!“).  Then watched the start of the ball game before heading to church and some grocery shopping (UGH… grocery shopping). However, we did have some Chinese.  Mass was interesting: the musicians decided to not show so Father Jim led the congregation in “Jesus Christ is Risen Today” a capella.  I’ve heard worse.  The remainder of mass was music-less.  Someone asked why I did not jump up and volunteer to lead.  Since it was not my home parish and I was not appropriately dressed (I did not have time to change out of my jeans and sweatshirt before we left… last minute thing) I said “Not today.”  Hmm… kind of reminds me of another tangenteer’s latest post!

At the Chinese restaurant, my fortune was actually one of the most fitting I have ever received.  “You have a great appreciation for the arts and music.”  REALLY… A great appreciation sounds just a bit less than reality but I’ll take it! I did not even ask “What kind of fortune is that?” I had to make sure that the cookie was not opened beforehand, but I did take it out of the sealed wrapper.  Six year old Alyssa’s said: “Sell Your Ideas They Are Worldly Appropriate.”  Her idea: “To be on Spongebob.”  😉

While at the ‘Mart, I was asked to go to the toy department.  Sounded more fun than wandering around the grocery aisles.  Push push here and honk that bicycle horn!  Buy me this!  30,000 piece puzzles (well… 300 piece Cinderella’s Castle puzzle that looked fun). Tossed around the Nerf balls.  Whatever happened to the cool Star Wars blasters.  Out of stock? Then the inevitable bathroom break that seemed to take 20 minutes… and of course both girls had to go at the same time… imagine that!  But in the end, I came out relatively unscathed and not a penny poorer than I went in.. so all was good!

And They Still Managed To Lose

Happy Earth Day a day (or two at his point) late!  Did anyone happen to see this remarkable play begun by a little-known third baseman in the top of the 6th inning against the Oakland A’s?  The first time such a feat was accomplished by the team since 1968 when one of the greats was involved.  The bad news is that he Yanks still lost.  The good news is… it did not matter, they still took the series!  There was even some squabbling between A-Rod and the pitcher for the A’s.  Something about how the Yankee made his way back to first base after a play… I dunno.

But check out the historic play… even though the A’s came out on top in the end.

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Look To God’s Rainbow

Early Sunday morning a very young lifelong family friend passed away peacefully in his sleep.  No one really understood what happened only that Marjoe is now at peace.  Today, Chad and I went to the visitation and consoled our lifelong family friends.  Mary was our baby sitter for years, a fact she reminds us of quite frequently.  Christie is a year younger that I so we were quite close growing up and worked together at Shaffer Value… now she lives in Buffalo, NY with her husband.  I do not know the two boys as well as I would have liked but know that they were raised by a strong, God-loving mother.  After marrying Victor, she inherited two additional adult girls to mentor.

Tuesday night, Megan and I went to see Date Night.  Even I thought I was not totally myself.  As always, I had a great time but Megan kept asking why I was so quiet.  Only after I got home did I realize how much Marjoe’s passing had affected me.  Never before have I realized how fleeting life is.  Death knows no season; knows no age.  We may question God’s choice in taking someone “too soon” but in reality he is in a much better place.  Thirty one years… WOW!

Mary has always been and still is one of my favorite people.  Not only was she able to raise 3 kids by herself, working in a factory to provide for them but she has always been there for everyone!  And she herself was adopted at the age of five months by Ginny and Hinie… everyone’s grandma and grandpa.  I still remember his Highness coming into the store looking for his Homemade brand cigars.  My cousin, Christie, and I would always keep an eye out for him and hide them before he got in the door!

In 2005, Mary fulfilled a lifelong dream by having a book published of many of the poems she has written over the course of her life.  God’s Rainbow and My Dream is not only a collection of her works but also autobiographical in nature illustrating her strong, tremendous faith.  She also publishes an editorial in the town newspaper weekly.

So… although his life was too short… may Marjoe find peace in his new home.

Discovery And Other Developments

I think the best way to delve into the character of Tom Hudson is through repeated read-throughs.  In fact, that is what the past few weeks have been rehearsal wise.  There is so much still to discover about his character: where he came from and where he will be by the journey’s end.  How will he get there and why will he be where ends up?  Next week, we begin the actual blocking.  Since most of it will be derived from the actual stage directions, I now need to start looking at them a bit more. Although I have yet to be in a show in which blocking is totally dependent upon what is written in the script.  Each of the three characters say a lot but even without the italicized movements, we all can tell that it is going to be a physical and (even more daunting)  emotional workout.

Tomorrow nights rehearsal has been pushed back to Thursday so it gives me a few days to look and think about both the spoken as well as the non-verbal attributes of the character.  Actually, I am pretty impressed with my start in line memorization and that is before I have felt the need to type out or record them.  Just reading alone or at rehearsal has given me a good grasp on it for the time being.

And now that it is after 12:30AM, I believe it is time to stop with the emptying of my brain and give it a rest.  I really think this show is going to be another special one.  Hopefully, we can get a large number of people to come and see our little three-person show.  I really think that the story is very profound and needs to be told!  So different from ANY play or character I have ever before been part of because the events are certainly plausible and heartfelt.  There comes a time for light theatrical fare and then there is a time for more serious drama.  So glad that I knew I wanted to be part of it since January.  Never hesitated just hoped I would be cast in it!

Mark Your Calendars NOW!…  May 21-23… Huber Opera House

Working On A Baptism Rehearsal For One

I am so glad that Mondays are one of my days off each week.  I don’t know if I could have made it this morning.  A long weekend full of fun.  I worked Saturday afternoon before mass after which Chloe was going to be baptized.  Getting her big sister into a dress was a chore.  Kyli was not impressed that she had to put on a pretty dress.  Uncle Jamiahsh to the rescue!  I volunteered to put the dress on!  I almost got it up to my head… Thank goodness the 2 year old stopped me before I did.

During mass… more “controlled chaos” which made me question yet again the absence of a crying room at church.  Not sure if a Saturday night school would be a good thing.  But I do seem to remember a Sunday School for children up to 1st or 2nd grade that must have been done away with.  But the  ceremony was nice, quick, and I got the chance to go to the theatre and see Working. A very different show light on plot but the songs and the performers made it a surprisingly well delivered show.  Glad I got the chance to see it!

Sunday after work.  I had rehearsal.  What was supposed to be “Eve” and I, turned into the director and I.  Beth had a late game night/early morning on Saturday but we read through the play which helped me so not a bad rehearsal at all.  And the short practice allowed me to go out to dinner with the 16!  by 9PM when it was over, I was ready for a break!  Let’s just hope my “daughter” shows up tonight 😉

Here’s the only picture not featuring red eye from the baptism:

Controlled Chaos

The past two weeks have been filled with visitors from the north… 4 additional family members and the three of us makes SEVEN  plus more relatives and assorted friends and you get what can only be described as somewhat controlled chaos. (and that might be pushing it). Charnel, Rich, Kyli (age 2 going on 22), and Chloe (9 months) arrived the day after Easter from Alaska where Rich is stationed and is on leave from his deployment in Afghanistan.  I was asked if the noise kept me up at night… What noise?  I admit that I haven’t needed a traditional alarm clock for the past 14 days but I haven’t been awoken at all hours, either.  Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Dinner made by Rich’s bother.  Charnel and others wanted some fettucini alfredo with chicken and bacon.  I said that I would try it.  I took a little sample and as politely as I could decided to make a frozen pizza.  I’m usually open to new things but something about it just did not appeal to me.  I was amazed that my oldest brother (one of the pickiest eaters… second only to his oldest) tried some; not so amazingly, Jeff didn’t care for it, either.
  • Cosmic bowling while I watched kids.  Honestly, I did not think that the alley allowed children after a certain hour or I wonder if two of the four kids would have gone.  I decided to sit that one out to help watch the little ones so the parents could go to bed early.
  • Dinner at Texas Roadhouse.  Apparently, they do not have them in Alaska.  Might they have an Alaska Roadside Igloo where the serve moose steak?  But 17 people with 7 little ones.  I felt sorry for our poor waitress… I gave a larger tip than I should have.  Ok… so there might have been a bit more involved than pity.  Peanut tossing by a BIG KID not me caused a bit of chaos before we were called to our table.

Well… the visitors are here until Wednesday… let’s see if more “controlled chaos” ensues.

Younger Than Springtime

I will join in my two fellow tangenteers who have exuded about the beautiful day we had in our little corner of NWO.  PICTURE PERFECT!  Had to work, but got off at two so I had plenty of time to enjoy it!  The down-side… learning from our friendly (no… really… he’s always looking out for all his customers) mechanic that I will soon need to purchase four new tires.  Not so bad considering I’ve had the same car for 8 years and have yet to make the purchase.  And he promised that he can get me a good set for $300.00… not WM el cheapos.

On my way to the garage, I stopped by our going out of business video store where all DVD’s MUST GO for $5 a piece.  I picked up yet another of my childhood memories: The Great Muppet Caper.  I may watch after I finish watching my boys take care of the Angels.

Rehearsal went very well tonight.  Actually, I think this is going to be another dandy!  It’s a good thing I decided to check the door.  I was my usual 15 minutes early, so I got to enjoy the weather a bit more.  Unbeknownst to me, Beth and Rebecca were already inside.  No cars parked except for mine.  Finally at 6, Dawn arrived and we headed upstairs to the costume room where the other two were waiting.

Our director commented to me how well I have been doing.  She wasn’t sure (as I wasn’t) that I had it in my acting prowess to convey all the emotions that “Tom” must go through during the course of the play.  She has not seen me on stage enough to know the full extent of my performance arsenal.  To be quite honest, I don’t think I know.  To me, that is one of the most rewarding things about the theatre… growth and development.  If you are not willing to take chances… you never know what you are capable of.  Sounds a bit like life.  Maybe I should listen to some of these ramblings, eh?  Can you tell I am a wee bit excited… not that that hasn’t happened every show.

OH, YEAH… Jackie Robinson Day.  EVERY player on EVERY team is wearing #42 in recognition of the 62(?) anniversary of the breaking of the color barrier in major league baseball.

The Ring Was The Thing

Opening Day in the Bronx with the added spectacle of a little jewelry distributing.  Across the street the rubble that had been the home of the Bombers was little more than a memory of years gone by.  I was lucky enough to visit the cathedral in the 90s.  World Series Champs for the 27th time!  Presenting the hardware was the most decorated Bomber of them all… Yogi Berra (with 10) and former pitcher Whitey Ford (who has a mere 7).  Throwing out the ceremonial first pitch… another Yankee great: Bernie Williams.  I still have to question the release of two heroes from last season particularly in the post season: Johnny Damon (off to Tiger country) and Hideki Matsui (MVP of the 2009 World Series at the stadium today as an Angel of Anaheim).  However, new stars Nick Johnson and Curtis Granderson (from Detroit) have put an early mark on the team.

Some early naysayers have played the age card.  Admittedly, Posada, Pettitte, A-Rod, Rivera, and Captain Jeter are getting up there but they all seem just fine to me (even if it is only week two of the season).  The pitching is better than ever.  C.C. had a no-hitter going into the 8th inning on Saturday.

Today’s game was a dandy.  I could not watch it as I had to work but I kept checking the score via cell phone.  The last I remember, the Yanks were up 7-1.  When I got off at 5, I saw the final was 7-5!  It must have been a whale of the top of the 9th.  But The Great One dispatched his former teammate to seal the deal.  5-2 Record.. .5 games behind Toronto in the start of the season!

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