Archive for March, 2011

It Was The Rat Poison

Last night, I FINALLY was up to attending a great game night with marvelous friends and one newcomer (a newcomer to me although, he had been to at least the Super Bowl extravaganza, I believe.  My first game night in three months was full of laughs and great times.  I got to see dear friends I have not seen since New Years or before and this also helped my continued progress.  Laughter and wonderful times with some of my closest compadres is indeed the best medicine… better than rat poison, that is for sure.

I also got to see the four kids (plus two tagalongs which one of our regular game nighters brought along).  Poor Beebs definitely was NOT feeling up to his normal self.  The other little ones played on the Kinect system… something which I think looks interesting in the near future.

After the merriment of the evening wound down (about 12:30), I set out to make the 12 mile trek home.  Before I even left town, I was traveling along and all of a sudden, a raccoon jumped out in front of me.  Instinctively, I swerved and crossed the yellow line.  Unbeknownst to me, one f B-town’s finest was right behind me and turned on his red and blue lights.

“Did you see the raccoon I had sicced on you?”

Indeed I had!  Apparently, the town has gained quite a surplus of the critters… living in the sewers until they plot their take over.  Sounds like a bad B-movie to me.  The friendly officer and I engaged in a conversation about any future theatrical endeavors I have coming up which led to the tale of my 3 month journey.  After my identity was confirmed and I was not deemed a known terrorist, I was sent on my way.  Good thing I did not indulge in the wine that was brought to our night of fun!  I don’t think it would be good to mix with the rat poison, anyway. 😉

THEN, I got back home and learned that the Buckeyes were defeated by two points by Kentucky with a buzzer beating shot.  So much for my bracket… and I was doing so well for my first time 🙁

BOY DID I NEED THAT!

My adventures for the week have been very rewarding and gratifying.  Monday, I went to a board meeting of which I have not been since January 🙁 Everyone was happy to see me and inquired about my well-being and progress.  Slow but sure and gimping along but progressing however little.  After the meeting, C,L, and I went to dinner and had a nice, engaging conversation that entailed a lot of topics not the least of was some possibilities about my next great adventure.  One VERY PROMISING possibility will depend upon my current manager.  Since I seem to see her less and less frequently, I left her a message informing her of the possibility.  I just pray that she makes a decision that will be beneficial to both of us.  I told her I will not pursue anything until I am as close to 100% as possible.

Today, I went to my first voice lesson in three months.  I was immediately bombarded by two adorable boys.  One who kept regaling me with jokes typical of a three or four year old.  By the time the 6 year old was read to whoop me at Battleship, it was time to begin my lesson.  I did AMAZINGLY well for sitting in a chair… of course, I tried to sit with correct posture.  But I narrowed my recital choices to two.  One requires a female to join me.  K informed me that there are a few of her other students who would be up to the challenge but she hesitated to have a teenager perform the number with a 30 something.  So, she allowed me to try finding a guest performer.  Very fun piece while just a bit challenging.  I can think of a few ladies I would enjoy performing with.

So… while still gimping along, the two days venturing around helped immensely!  Being with great friends and doing what I love to do definitely helped!  Just learning to accept the fact that it is a talent which I need to begin to share more and more.  One of the many gifts I have been told that I possess which can only come from Above.  Thank Him for that!

PLUS… as an added plus, I got to catch up with a GREAT friend from my WM days.  Via facebook on which I found her a few weeks ago.  Go to chat a bit, discuss lots of things including the dismissal of our former boss which seems to be interesting yet surprising all at once.

Best In Film

Seriously, how many different groups  must we listen to in order to determine what is the best film of all time?  We already have the periodic AFI specials.  Tonight we had another group telling us which was supposed (I believe) to take the popular vote into account.  One of several genres I caught was “Best Musical.”  Of course, I had to comment on that one.  I took umbrage with the five choices and their placement.  Now we have “Best Kiss?”  OH< PLEASE!  Back to the topic at hand…

Best Musical:

  • West Side Story (1961) I don’t believe that there has ever been a more celebrated movie musical… winner of 10 Academy Awards.  The Romeo and Juliet story told amidst the backdrop of gang infested New York City.  Elvis was offered the lead role of Tony; however, turned it down because he thought it would tarnish his image if he were associated with a film that dealt with violence.  Fascinating, since one of his earliest films, King Creole, dealt with just that.  I, personally would have placed this one higher.
  • Singin’ in the Rain (1952) Classic, CLASSIC, CLASSIC! Gene Kelly dancing and singing with a 103º temperature while being drenched by a mixture of water and milk (because water alone did not show up well enough).  My favorite scene, Donald O’Connor’s “Make Em’ Laugh” song and dance.
  • The Wizard of Oz (1939) WHAT!!!!  Totally missed out on this one! Especially when you look at the next two.  One tidbit I was not aware of:  at times, Judy Garland could not stand working with Toto because his breath was so awful.  Help me out, Taylhis… have you heard THAT one?!
  • Grease (1978) While I do enjoy a viewing from time to time, this one gets on my nerves.  Maybe it is from all the times my siblings and I were allowed to stay up past our bedtimes to watch it on a school night… maybe it was the drama of a certain community theatre’s production.  Definitely voted too high… should have been #5 at best.  Well… at least the horrendous Dirty Dancing was not in the top 5.  I guess there are some who consider it a musical.
  • The Sound of Music (1965) The most profitable movie musical of all time.  With inflation taken into account, it has made over $1 billion placing it third all time behind Gone with the Wind and the original Star Wars. I would have a hard time deciding between this and Oz as the top musical.  Both are personal favorites.

At least they got the “Top Action Film” correct.  Raiders of the Lost Ark.  No bloody Indiana Jones and the… placed before the title.  When did they add that, anyway?  I dunno… would anyone be game for a fifth installment?  Harrison Ford would be if the story was right.  Just do away with Indy’s son.

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Feeling Adventurous

I’m not sure if it was the 60º+ weather of the past weekend (sure felt good) or just the idea of a little return to normalcy (whatever that is) but I have decided that this week I am going to set out on a few of the things I have been missing out on.  Last Friday, I ventured out to get my first refill on my meds.  A 90 day fill up… I guess I really am going to be on it for A LONG TIME, but it is for the best.

Later this afternoon, I am going to attend my first FCF board meeting since this all began (back in January… I refuse to miss more than 2).  I am so excited to be able to get back and help get one of my favorite shows rolling along.  I have finally come to the conclusion that thinking too much about auditioning for either The Wizard of Oz OR Annie (at another area theater) needs to take a backseat until I am 100% ready to go.  Even then, I really want to focus on what lies ahead after I reach that goal.  Still thinking about what that is going to be.

Thursday,  I am going to my first voice lesson since January.  K informed me that I picked the perfect time to do so.  Her students are preparing for their annual recital and she was hoping that I would be back on my feet ready to go by then.  I will pass along the details once I am confident that I will be strong enough to participate.  God and everyone else knows I want to be but I am still being a bit realistic.  It has nothing to do with my vocal ability; hopefully, my physical ability will be there as well.

AND FRIDAY…. MY FIRST GAME NIGHT SINCE JANUARY! I  cannot wait until I see some of my friends whom I have not seen since the start of 2011.  Even those I have seen since.  Hopefully, I can convince a little buddy of mine that I do not live in the hospital.  😀

Goal setting and pushing forward just a bit surely will not impede my progress.  After all… the doctor wanted me to go back to work the day after I was released from the hospital.

And in all this time,  I forgot to wish my fellow Tangenteers a HAPPY THIRD BIRTHDAY!  It has been a very fun and at times thought-provoking adventure and I truly enjoy continuing to get to know some of my best friends even better through their life experiences and thoughts!  And WELCOME TO SPRING… it HAS been a long winter.

 

A Change Is Comin’

As I was reading the newspaper this morning, I found that some universal changes will be made in the Catholic church (which will be fully integrated by November at the beginning of Advent, the season when we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ).  As an area priest noted, these changes will not be as dramatic as those that took place in the late 1960s.  Most of these new changes will be seen in the responses spoken after blessings and some of the words spoken in prayers.  From what I gather, these changes are meant to reflect the translation from Latin.

I have noticed a lot of word changes in our hymnals.  Our organist has two humongous binders which are held together by duct tape that must date back 20 years.  For every season, we get new song books and sure enough there are a handful of songs which have words changed.  Most are little things such as a “man” changed to “all.”

OLD:

We are the light of the world.  May our light shine before man.

NEW:

We are the light of the world.  May our light shine before all.

May not seem like much, but we must follow what is in the new book or the congregation might choose to not join in song… those who do choose to join 😉  BRAINSTORM!   Why not have a screen in front of the church display the words?  Not sure if I have ever seen a Catholic church use audio/visuals in quite this way but I often find that the book gets in the way at times… esp. when I lead which is why I like to memorize the pieces as much as possible.  WAIT! The church we visited when we spent the weekend visiting my oldest brother while he was in college used such a display.

By the way… i know that no one is infallible, but the local newspaper has made two big goofs in the last week.  Last week, our sectional champion boys’ basketball team was honored with a picture of LAST YEAR’S TEAM.  The caption was for the current team but the photo included players who graduated last year.  Today’s paper included a photo of the interior of “Sacred Heart Church” when it was clearly “St. Mary’s.”  Unless of course, the churches are identical in every way.  I’m sure I have been inside Sacred Heart at least once but that was 20 something years ago.

The Spider Or The Potter

Last week saw yet another delay in the Spider-Man musical opening.  Not only another delay but a new creative team was brought in to take control of the astronomical catastrophy (ok… I had to leave that… I honestly thought it was a -y and not catastrophe… this coming from someone who misspelled p-a-j-a-m-a-s in the 6th grade spelling bee 😉 ).  Nine years in the making and in previews for months!  I’ll say it again… sometimes it is best to leave things in the mediums they were meant to be.  Comic books, cartoons, live action television (remember that?), movies… live theatre (?).  By the time this mess is ever (IF ever) straightened out, it might be Spectacular to look at but will it mean anything beyond the $65 million dollar+ price tag?  In any case, opening night has been pushed back to sometime in the next decade (or is it this summer).

In other theatre news, Daniel Radcliffe is in previews for his singing and dancing debut in the 50th anniversary revival of the Frank Loesser classic, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.  The show itself may be extremely dated but I was fortunate enough to see the last Broadway revival in the mid 1990s.  It was a fun show that I could see being done in community theatres in my neck of the woods.  Perhaps by the time the rights become available again, these theatres will not be so turned off from staging musicals more than once every two years or so 😉

Why would a 21 year old straight from completing one of the most lucrative film franchises in history, choose such an undertaking?  As I understand it, the former boy wizard wanted a real challenge.  No dance experience, little vocal training, so maybe it was the name (KIDDING… I’d rather see a 50 year old revival than a NEW show that has been stuck in a rut for half a year with no end in sight no matter the premise).  Break a leg, Dan!

To Life, To Life, L’Chaim

Well… week one back at work following my rather eventful stay at the doc shop is over.  I don’t think I’ve ever been so exhausted.  HOWEVER,  I am noticing a bit of improvement.  Almost non-existant is the discomfort in my upper leg where part of the clot is/was.  Now, I have to contend with the same in my lower leg.  Once again, I HAVE to thank you all for your warm thoughts and most importantly your prayers.  If not for you my friends, family (those I was born into and those I feel just as close to), and lurkers, I feel that I might not be here posting this latest entry… but we won’t dwell on that TOO much.

Perhaps it is the fact that I have never felt so… I dunno what the right word is… IMAGINE THAT! but it seems that it has been months instead of weeks since I was at the hospital.  But I continue to make a list of things I WILL do once I am walking at my normal pace: Taking my 2-3 mile walk every three days; Walking the 2 blocks to work instead of driving (Who says I was inactive before my clot formed?); Seeing my friends I have not seen since January and those who visited… or were in… the hospital; Auditioning for two summer shows and seeing which I fit better.  And finally and most important to me, realizing the great turning point I have reached following such a life altering… or is it affirming… event in my life.  I will let you know what that great adventure is as soon as I set out on it.

Another thing I really miss is my weekly voice lesson.  So many great things were happening there and as soon as I REALLY get back on my feet, they will continue!  There my even be some additions to my repetoire (aside from the myriad classic stage and screen songs) which I have been encouraged to take on not only from a great friend but also by my coach as well.

But FIRST,  I must continue to pray and strive to improve even more every day.  Thank you all once again.  I guess I can look back on these posts and thank Him for everything.

I know this is my blog to post what I will, but I hope that these latest entries are perhaps a tiny bit as meaningful to the reader as are to me to roll out and reflect on.

AND GOOOOOOOO BUCKEYES AND BULLDOGS! Ohio State just won the Big 10 Tournament and continues in March Madness.  And my high school alma mater basketball team is two games away from going to the state championships.

Big Little Things I NEED To Get Back Into

I dunno… I just pray that I get to feeling more like your friendly neighborhood Jamiahsh soon.  I know it is going to take time and I am an optimist but really I do miss the things I was able to do before all this began (putting my voice lessons on hold, missing theatre board meetings, Oscar party… but I did get to participate over the web, little things that may seem trivial that mean so much to me). WIth time, prayers, and good thoughts I KNOW that I will be on stage, in the choir loft, at game night cleaning up playing Oodles, and most importantly of all… just being with the greatest group of friends ever. I really do feel blessed and thank all of you for your well wishes and prayers as I have been doing more and more of the past few weeks.

Monday, I went for my first blood work.  Tuesday, I was called and was informed that it came back good.  Wednesday, I returned to the doctor who is quite happy with the progress I have made and that my numbers are good.  However, I will most likely be on coumadin (a blood thinner with a hint of rat poison 😀 ) for the rest of my days because of the clots in my lungs.  He assured me that the clots will dissolve in time.  No more testing for 4 weeks and no more doctor visits for 3 months… will that be JUNE? when little ones will still be going to school after the long winter.

Sunday morning will be my first day back at work… which means I will miss another of my friends’ performances at their church.  UGH!

At least I am in good company.  Last weekend during an Oscar party, tennis great Serena Williams was rushed to a hospital.  Apparently, she had clots in her lungs.  I know that she has been laid up for a few months with other injuries but if this can happen to an active professional sports figure then I guess it can happen to a 30-something guy who truly enjoys taking long, brisk walks (something else on mu “can’t wait to get back to doing” list).

Once again, thank you all for all of your thoughts and prayers.  I pray to and thank God everyday that He and my special angel are watching over me.  I believe that He is not finished with me yet.  Now how to take those things I feel so strongly about and use them in such a way as to show glory to Him.  Being a song leader and occasional choir member at mass is a great start…

Thanks again and All Glory and Praise to Him!

Over The Rainbow In A Different Oz

Tonight sees the opening of what sounds like a different production of The Wizard of Oz.  Produced by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, the London premiere has all the elements of the classic 1939 movie however, it has added elements which (according to Sir Andrew) make it more suitable to the stage.  Added are 4 songs which give Glinda, The Wicked Witch of the West, and the Wizard  a chance to use their singing chops.  Apparently, the Good Witch’s short bit in Munchkinland does not count as a song.  For the new songs, Lloyd Webber re-teamed with lyricist Tim Rice a partnership which dissolved 30 years ago after Evita.

Casting for Dorothy was done in what seems to be the Lord’s new-found trademark: the televised talent show.  He did it for Joseph, Maria in The Sound of Music, and now for Oz.  I dunno about this American Idol meets theatre concept.

A familiar name was cast in the title role.  Michael Crawford (the original Phantom of Lloyd Webber’s production) was number one on the list.  I can actually picture Mr. Crawford in the roles of Professor Marvel and the Great Humbug.  Wonder how many other roles he will be filling.  Taylhis, how many parts did Frank Morgan have in the movie?

This July, Fountain City Festival will be performing a version closer in production to the original movie.  As soon as I get back on my feet… I really pray that it is soon… I look forward to helping to bring one of my favorite shows to the stage.