Archive for June, 2010

A Wonder Through The Ages

Since 1941, my favorite Amazonian princess has undergone slight changes in her costume.  However, beginning in the 6ooth edition of the Wonder Woman comic book, Diana’s costume will dramatically change.  In the beginning, she wore basically the same outfit that millions of fans would come to recognize with one difference, her blue, white-starred lower half  was a skirt.  By the ’50s she was in the short short version which Lynda Carter would famously adorn for three seasons over a 40 year time period on the television series.

I see a certain logic in this I guess.  Who would take a gorgeous female Amazon fighting crime in a skimpy outfit seriously?  On the other hand… why mess with tradition?

Let’s look at Princess Diana over the years:

Classic version from 1942

Fall of '42. Skirt to shorts

Remember this horrid costume from the horrible failed pilot of the early 70s? Starring Cathy Lee Crosby from That's Incredible.

The 1st Season WWI outfit. Almost there...

No THAT is a classic look. "Modern" 70s look. How did they explain the forward in time with the same actor playing Steve Trevor?

And finally…

The new look. Not as revealing but there is something there.

So… what do you think… classic or new look.  I seem to have forgotten how to create a poll.  So comments will do!  I just discovered how to add a poll so here we are:

Which Wonder Woman Costume Do You Prefer

View Results

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More Pictures

As requested… here are a few more photos from the Relay:

Ma2’s luminaria

Aunt Carol’s luminaria.  I would have liked the full effect lit only by the glow stick in the bags, but this will do.

False alarm with Jerry at the non-functional clippers.

Amber and her new friend, Zoe.

Jen and the first clip.

I recognize the arm, but who took the picture?

Does Travis look slightly too happy about his turn?

Beth’s turn

The next Sweeney Todd?

Well that’s all I’s got.  Hope you enjoyed!  But wait… here’s one more!

Beth and Morat walking the path on my 12 lap walk.

I forgot a photographer was around snapping pictures and caught up with us.  He must have liked the Super hat.

Walking (and shaving) For A Cure

All day Saturday and into the wee and lit hours of Sunday morning, I participated in the Defiance County Relay for Life and the Actors for a Cure team led by co-captains Mare and one of my favorite directors, Beth.  It all began when I arrived at the fairgrounds shortly after 9AM to help Travis in his logistical duties (read, moving benches, picnic tables, and chasing a red head pulling two garbage cans behind him while we followed with a pickup… GOOD TIMES!).

The 23 hour fest found our team and other groups walking a 1/3 mile track in order to raise money for a cure.  Don’t ask me how many laps I completed but during one session, I completed 12 laps walking with Beth who only completed 11.5.  Please leave comments if you want to hear the reason for Beth’s  .5 mile loss.

Later in the afternoon, Megan and Carol came over and we sat and enjoyed some of the dancers and singers who were part of the entertainment.  Maybe next year… The girls had to leave but would return following the city band concert and fireworks at the B-town Day in the Park for a special event.

At our teams’ table, Mare had a jar in which she collected donations (including the dollars collected from putt putt and popcorn sales).  If she raised $500 before midnight, she would sit in the barber chair and get a nice shave.  After some rather strategic donation collecting by Jen and Jerry, we topped that total and more!

At dusk, the moving luminaria ceremony got underway.  In years past, people could purchase candles that were placed around the Relay track.  For the ceremony, these candles were placed inside paper bags with the name of cancer survivors, those currently battling the disease, or to remember those who have gone.  This year, it was decided to place a canned good in the paper bag and break a glow stick inside to provide the illumination. Apparently, there were some bags set aflame in years past.  Also, a huge screen displayed the names of those honored as they were each announced.  I purchased a luminary for Ma2 and Aunt Carol.  Being my first ceremony, I was deeply moved when I saw first Emily’s and then Carol’s name.

After the ceremony, it was time for the shave.  We had a false start as the clippers brought did not work.  A beautician in the audience volunteered to go and get her set.  Good thing, because Megan and Carol had not arrived.  When the moment arrived,  Mary was placed front and center of the entertainment stage.  The entire Actors for a Cure team took a turn playing barber.

Then, Megan and I took a few laps around not only the Relay track but the entire perimeter of the fairgrounds.  I thought we had done at least 5 cycles, but my companion informed me that it was only four.  I surely walked a good 10 miles in the 23 hours.

By the time 7:30 arrived, we were all ready to load the putt putt course, tent booth, and other equipment and go home!  It has been a long time since I have gone 24 hours with no sleep, but all fun and for a good cause.

The good captain preparing for a shave.

After the cutting!

A Buckeye In Wolverine Land

On to another great post!  Thursday afternoon was my first voice lesson in about two and a half years.  I am pleased to say I am very ecstatic about the next coming months!  We began with a review (for me) about breathing, support, the diaphragm, the mask, and other technical terms that we quickly glossed over.  Then, we determined that I have an octave and a half range with the same above that in falsetto which totally surprised the both of us.  Then, it was time to get down to business… FUN TIMES!

I decided that “Younger Than Springtime” would be good to warm up on.  It would have been if the copy I had was complete.  We got to the last page an discovered that there is something missing.  So I dig and find the book with the song… only to discover that it was in a lower key!  But manageable… only slightly lower.  But I prefer the higher range.  I like to shoot for my POWer notes, but those would come later.

Next, I dug out “This is the Moment.”  Kathrine is unfamiliar with Jekyll and Hyde?!  Blasphemy!  Just don’t listen to the Hoff’s version.  Then, we went to “If I Can’t Love Her” from the stage version of Beauty and the Beast.  The big ballad which closes Act I.  The only suggestion she had for both pieces is to find the soft moments in both pieces.  They are both powerful songs but powerful is not always meant for volume..   Build up to the big moment!  Then you will have them eating out of your hand.  Sounds like homework.  But she said that with a slight polishing they are already prime for performance.  I wanted to do the Beast’s number previously; however, the gig I wanted to sing it for was limited to musicals of the past decade.  So, I sang “Under the Sea.”

It is a good thing I was introduced to Miss Saigon earlier in the week via youtube.  My new coach had me read (sight reading… YUCK!) two duets from the show with her.  Not the character driven pieces I had hoped for but those will come in time.  It has been advised that I check out both the Engineer and Thuy (although Vietnamese I am not but…).  Kathrine mentioned that we should sign up for one of the weekend gigs starting up again in the fall.  I am totally against that idea 😉  HAHAHAHA!  Just need to get some more cool character pieces in with the big dramatic ones.  Several I can think of easily…. maybe go dig an old fossil of 18 years ago.  Go in there and blow everyone’s minds.  Of course, provided that anyone would actually come and see me?!  I’m sure I could get at least 3 people there… and that is a crowd.

Who knows what the next few months will bring?  I just know that the next musical on a nearby stage is not my cup of tea.

I better stop with those two songs.  When I do perform, I don’t want to spoil it all for those three in the audience 😉  Two big, powerful ballads now for a few duets and at least three character pieces.

As I was pulling out my checkbook, my new coach sneered at the picture of the Script Ohio on my first check.  “Since it is money, I guess I can accept it.”  Oh, we’re going to get along REALLY well. At least she is not a BoSox fan… I hope.

Eric And The Beast On A Rag

I did get to sit in the audience of the City Band Wednesday night.  I wasn’t sure if it was going to be at the bandstand or at its alternate venue.  Before finding that out, I decided to locate the place of my Thursday afternoon voice lesson which was easier to locate than the directions given by my new coach.  I googled the address and it was a breeze to find.  Especially with the number written on the mailbox.  The house was buried by a wooded area but really easy to find.  All I had to do was turn off of U.S. 6 onto County Road 13 and it was .3 miles away.  Then, with plenty of time to spare, I went to Wal Mart and ran into some old friends and saw the truck belonging to another but was not able to find him.  I must have been on the wrong end of Electronics (or he could have been hiding). 😉

After discovering that the concert would be at the ice rink with five minutes to spare, I decided that given the choice, I would have rather directed Stars and Stripes this week as opposed to last (not complaining, just sayin’).  I just think this week’s concert had better music. Many songs I was already familiar with… “12th Street Rag” I had sung in choir and played sometime.  Of course, a different arrangement than I am accustomed to, but I would have enjoyed sitting in the low brass section playing “Selections from Phantom of the Opera” and the title tune from the animated classic turned hit Broadway show “Beauty and the Beast.”

Speaking of Phantom, my brother turned to me and stated that the high school at which he serves as the tech advisor will be performing the musical next year.  I did not believe him until I looked on line and discovered that the rights have just indeed become available from R&H productions for high school and amateur productions.  There had been “test” runs a few years ago overseen by Lord Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group company.  But how did the small school get the rights so quickly?  Hicksville had better “Got Talent” to pull this off.  I imagine that the rights are probably for a tailored production of the musical.

I asked Liz if they were going to come next week for the announced ice cream social “before and during the concert.”  I don’t think she realized where she will be next Wednesday because she didn’t know if they would be or not.  Probably not since they will be at Disney World.  Maybe they could borrow Aladdin’s magic carpet, Carpet. I’d rather be there when it is not so hot!

A fun concert moved to a different venue to be “safe rather than sorry.”

Edgerton Bombed

It seems we have been inundated with storms, storms, and more storms for the beginning weeks of the summer.  Our little area has been relatively lucky… UNTIL Wednesday night.  I was fortunate enough to get off work in time to go the the City Band concert (more in that later).  I got home around 9:15.  I went out to the beauty shop to finish cleaning.  At 9:30, here go the sirens (AGAIN).  Looking out the window, there wasn’t a lot to see at the moment so we decided to step outside and see what we could see.  In the west, we could see the sky lit up up lightning.  However, as our neighbor pointed out, it was eerily silent: no birds, no mosquitos (I noticed that myself).  A half hour later, I felt a rather large raindrop and decided that was enough for me.  Thirty seconds later, the power went out.  So… my brother, his wife, and two kids, my sister and her two little ones, my mother and I all headed to the basement.  Someone failed to get batteries for the flashlights or the radio so Dad was upstairs lighting candles.  The rest of us lit our way into the chamber of secrets armed with cell phone illumination.

Around 11, we headed back upstairs.  The corded phone in the kitchen rang.  A neighbor was just informed that the town hall had been hit.  Dad and a neighbor went up to check it out.  The night was so dark that they could not see any sign of damage.  Our side of town was completely black.

By this time, the excitement was over.  Everyone decided to stay the night and hope that there was no damage in the morning.  It gets hotter than…. upstairs with a fan/air conditioning so I slept on the couch.  About midnight, a car pulls up and someone comes in.  Still not being able to see,  I shouted “Who goes there?”  “It’s me!”  Well… that helps a lot!  It was our oldest sibling who had been out driving, surveying the damage.  And HE had power at his house.  Go figure.

The next morning, I walked around a bit before going to work.  Limbs, branches, trees toppled.  The east wall of the Flea Market wiped out.  VERY noticeable now… the gaping hole in the 120+ year old former town hall.  It really looked like a missile went through it!  Also gone was poor “Clem” the one casualty of the war.  He had been standing guard in front of the building for years whether he was in the courtyard or in the middle of State Route 49.  I am too young to remember his transfer from the road,  One of our fine firemen was injured while he was outside rolling up car windows… nothing life threatening but a broken femur.

At work all day, we joked out the condition of the town hall debate.  For the last few years, the historical society had been wanting to purchase the condemned building, restore the second floor opera house from yesteryear, and create a museum dedicated to the town.  A worthy ambition to be sure. But where was the money for this undertaking to come from?  Well, I guess that debate was settled Wednesday night.

Like many storms, it is just amazing the spottiness of the devastation.  Indiana Street was definitely the hardest hit.  Two blocks north along North Michigan Avenue, I found a small branch lying on the ground.  Family safe… could have been so much worse.

town hall

sign from the bank across from town hall

what's left of "Clem"

a new window into town hall

clem's old home buried

flea market (former True Value store) across from town hall)

The strange thing the weather “experts” have yet to assess the situation fully and state unequivocally what caused the damage.

My Darling Susie

While everyone else dispersed to the various ballgames for the evening (a niece and a nephew actually played against each other on the t-ball field while another was in a neighboring community), I took my 5 year old niece to Story Hour at the library.  I had taken Syd to the first gathering a few weeks ago and learned that someone needed to stay for the entire hour (of course, this was after I left and came back after the hour).  Tonight, I stayed for the entire hour.

It was a cute hour… thankfully, I knew a few of the parents (one being a church organist I know). This week being dolphin and shark week, we heard true life stories about each of the creatures.  Then the kids sang “If You’re Happy and Ya Know It.”  Then, arts and crafts in which the little ones made tear out sharks.  They took a piece of construction paper and tore their sharks and glued them to another sheet of paper.  No snack… Sydney was slightly miffed about that.

I remember Saturday morning Story Hour at the old library.  I attended (until I was in the third grade) and later was the leader.  The one thing I remember aside from the stories, Farmer in the Dell, London Bridge, and musical chairs was my darling, Susie.  She was the library’s resident mascot.  A rather green, birdlike marionette. Who knows where she is now?  To the great aviary in the sky, one might surmise 😉

But, it was kind of fun to see the little ones hearing the stories (even adding their own commentaries at times) and being creative

AHHHH… Togetherness

Today being Father’s Day, the family took the three dads to dinner.  Then… two of my siblings and I took a horde of crazies to see Toy Story 3! Definitely worth seeing although not sure the 3D was worth it… not much there that would not have been just as enjoyable on a decent 2D screen.

Getting to dinner was an adventure, the parents were not interested in seeing the movie,  so my sis and I followed them.  We quickly got left in the dust!  Thank goodness for cell phones.  If someone had told me where we were headed, I could have easily gotten us there, but  always interesting!

I found the latest installment in the adventures of Woody, Buzz, and the gang to be as enjoyable as the original and better than the sequel.  This time, Andy is packing for college.  He still sleeps in the same room but his toy box has been long forgotten until a week before he is ready to head out.  His mother gives him a cardboard box in which to put everything he is taking with him and a garbage bag in which to put everything he wants to be put in the attic.  Fortunately, the bag headed for the attic gets mistaken for garbage and the adventure begins.

Several themes run rampant through the movie: the power of friendship and sticking together; growing up; saying goodbye.  All of the favorite toys are here along with a gaggle of new toys many of whom have interesting backstories of their own.  And as always, the end credits are worth a look as the story doesn’t end as they start to roll.  Highly recommended!  You are never too old for a Disney/Pixar movie!

A New Coach

I have been pondering the possibility of finding a new vocal coach for the past year or so.  However, I have been very apprehensive about doing so.  While going to BGSU, I had a great mentor who was on the fast track to an operatic career.  He left as I was going into my second year at the school.  One of the people I should have remained in contact with over the years, but…

Than after leaving the fiiiine institution (I use that term sparingly), Emily helped me more than any one ever has.  You can go home again.  The reason I have found it so difficult to even consider the possibility of finding a new vocal coach is kind of unexplainable.  I was so hurt by the events surrounding my leaving school and the fact that she took me under her wing training my voice and helping me go BEYOND the pain I felt is unequivocal.  That above all is why I have a hard time trusting anyone with my voice.

After Miracles, my newest mentor and amazing friend seriously suggested that I search out a vocal coach.  In no way did I see this as a put down to my abilities but as a way to further develop my performance ability. I even told him that I had been thinking about the possibility.   Tom Hudson was my first meaty, dramatic, non-musical lead role.  How about tackling a meaty, dramatic, musical role? Not that the dream of continuing my phenomenal success as a character actor has not diminished.  I’m on a roll of one meaty, dramatic role.

Tuesday morning after a t-ball game, a candidate passed right by us.  C told me to go introduce myself.  I told him that I don’t know her, so HE ran over and introduced us.  I remembered seeing her in Working a few months ago so she definitely can sing and she gives lessons and she came very highly recommended.   Plus, it was nice to put a name to a face.   After 3 days of playing phone and email tag, we finally found a moment when I was around to discuss a schedule.

She asked what sort of music I would prefer beyond the obvious.  You have no idea the bag full of Broadway books I have!  Contemporary Christian (although not much contemporary is sung in a Catholic church 😀 ), some duets, some standards.  Just a bunch of stuff to increase my repetoire.

So… my choices were wither 8.30 AM on Fridays at her office (which I could have done but…) or 4:15 at her home with the kids being sitted which is nothing new to me.  In fact, my 6 and 5 year old nieces were hanging around while I was on the phone.  So Thursday at 4.15 it is!  I can’t wait! 😀

Fearless At the Jubilee

AHHHH, my moment had arrived!  What a great rush!  It was almost like being on a roller coaster.  Thank you Terry for the opportunity by donating the gig to the WCCT.  Back in January while waiting for my pal to come over the radio during the Blizzard Auction, I heard the item up for bid.  I thought it would be an extraordinary and priceless experience.  A female bidder and I went at it and I finally got it for $72,341.56. LOL 😀  If I had that much money, I am sorry to say that I would not be here.

Prior to the 8 o’clock start time, the director had a few words of encouragement and asked me for a bio.  I actually thought about giving him one last night, but his intro was just fine.  I had some family (biological and chosen) in the audience and apparently a sizable fan club as I heard a loud cheer come over the crowd as I was called to the podium.  After another helpful assist in starting the tempo, I was really ready to roll… no false start tonight.  I was maybe the tiniest bit nervous until I gave the down beat and the opening strain of The Stars and Stripes Forever began.  I was in control and I relished every moment of it.

After my conducting was done, Terry reclaimed the baton and told me that it was “Very Well Done!”  I knew it was.  It felt that good!  After the concert was over, I greeted my family, friends, band mates, well wishers and walked with Megan, Carol, and Brock to the Little Theatre.  I still had one mission to complete but I did not see him at the concert. I walked to C&Ls house after phoning them to see if it was all right to stop over for a few minutes.  After I got no response, I KNEW they had to be there somewhere.  After making a lap around the square, I decided to hang around with a few of the remaining band members.  Within moments, here comes Tay and Sam.  PERFECT!  Strangely enough, they were really close to the bandstand and had a great view of my moment in the spotlight!

Then I saw C, pushing Beebs and Dis in the stroller.  I was not leaving until I gave my mentor and friend his birthday present (an hour or three early but who knows what tomorrow will bring).  He admitted that he knew nothing about directing but said I looked good.  Any compliment is a good one!  Then we walked the grounds watching the little ones ride.  I went on the Rock and Roll Wheel with the fearless one.  Think a ferris wheel on which you are in a cage which flips around as the ferris wheel turns.  It was fun!

Then at 11, a cart driven by Jubilee workers came around and told a group of teenagers to disperse as it was closing time.  The adults with the four little ones were ignored.

Tired but not tired.  It was so much fun.  I wish my work schedule allowed me to be off Tuesday and Wednesday nights throughout the summer.  Thanks Terry, Polly, and the Bryan City Band for an unforgettable experience.  Another addition to me resume, too!

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