Sunday, July 29, 2007

All My Pretty Ones

"All my pretty ones? Did you say all?
O hell-kite! All?
What, all my pretty chickens and their dam at one fell swoop?"

Tonight we went to see the younger cast perform "The Scottish Play," which I actually do not fear saying the name of. Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth!!! I yell it to the sky, without fear. Like a young Harry Potter unafraid of uttering "You Know Who's" name... Voldemort!

Ha! Take that, universe!

Anyway. It was a tremendous performance. Macbeth was played by a tall beautiful woman who pulled the role off very well even though she forgot lines and used the script for the second act. She cried at the end -- not sure if she was embarrassed about using the script or not... but hey. HEY. Honey. It's a hard hard play! A lot of lines and yelling. A lot of drama. A lot of words. And a great job was done.

And I always cry when Macduff's family gets killed, and he mourns them with my quote of the moment... all in one fell swoop? Yes. All in one fell swoop. And let me tell you people -- the kids who played Macduff's family? They died amazingly well. Wow. They were little too. Which really amazed me. It made me actually mist up and almost cry right there.

That's some good acting.

The only problem that was had this time was not the rain, which thankfully held off, but a rock band playing in the pavilion at top volume!

It is hard to compete when yelling "bubble bubble toil and trouble!" when across the hill a Van Halen cover rages on hardcore and loud.

The kids did a great job, and I loved seeing them perform. I didn't know a single one. Not a one. But loved it.

Macbeth 78As usual, I took a milliondy pictures and they are uploaded in flickr at their set. Do go see. You gotta love the witches.

Tell me you love the witches.

Tomorrow (and tomorrow, and tomorrow... HA!) Jess starts work on the August session of RSC and they are doing King Lear. I can only wonder what she'll be cast as. I hope it is one of the bitchy evil sisters. That'd be awesome.

Speaking of witches and the aforementioned Harry Potter, I did procure book seven on Monday of last week, and I did read it. I won't post spoilers here, or even opinions about what happened, lest I ruin things for a reader or two who have lives and haven't yet had a moment to pick up the book.

The only thing I will say is that it took me four days to read it. It was not the page turner that books four and five were for me -- where I found myself awake at 3am reading and saying "what the hell am I doing! I have to go to work tomorrow!!!"

So I read a lot last week, and when it was time to go to sleep, I put the book down without my brain crying out for more. And that says a lot about what I thought about the book. It certainly was good -- don't get me wrong. But. I'm re-reading book three right now and ... it's just better. Better writing. Better storytelling. Better.

And after seven editions of his story, I thought I'd pine the end of Harry's tale. But I don't. I am okay with it. I don't feel let down. I don't feel as destroyed as I thought I would be at the end of the epic. And that kind of surprises me a lot.

Anyway. The only reason why I am currently awake is there is a load of laundry in the washer that I will need to put in the dryer, lest it rot in this heat and humidity. Stupid me. I can't believe I started laundry at 10:30pm. Gah. Well -- it gave me time to work on pictures and mess with flickr sets and upload stuff to facebook too. I'm enjoying their photo interface more than flickr. I can upload 60 pictures to an album. With flickr, I can only upload 6 pictures at a time and that's just a royal pain in the ass.

And on that note -- I'm off to check the laundry to see if it is dryer ready. I hope it is. Cross your fingers kiddies.

Monday, July 23, 2007

We all float on alright

My cell phone rang in the middle of the day today. Usually it is my husband checking in to see what kid needs picked up where. Today, it was the person I should have gone to Senior Prom in 1984 with... but instead I sat drunk in a hot tub with him and we sang "It's raining on prom night" from the musical "Grease" while we laughed our asses off.

I love professor Bobby K.

Anyway -- Bobby called me to say he was listening to Cat Stevens, the quoted song of the day "Sitting," and he thought "where is Christine? She's here, talking to me. I wonder where she is?" So he pressed a dial button on his phone and got Professor Clifton D. Rocker, Professor Of Rock (that's me!) and we had a nice chat about life, and doors that open only from the side you are on, and the War (endless or not, Vietnam or not) and we really had a few moments together that made this smile on my face last all day. And we all float on alright...

I love me some Bobby -- and I love talking to him and hearing from him, unsolicited, and unexpectedly in the middle of the day. It made me so happy and so high to talk to him. There are so few people in this world that I would just drop motherfuckingeverything for and just talk to, and he's one of them.

And after I hung up with him, I missed Aaron. The other person that I'd drop motherfuckingeverything for to talk to.

So I called his brother's house, and he's there. I left a message and tonight we talked for about an hour. And I float on. Alright.

Oh my God. I miss him so much. Everything that I want to share with him and talk to him about. I wanted him to see my daughter in the play. I want him to see my son, all hugeness of him getting ready for football. I want to walk him through my house and say "this is the room for you to sleep in, if you stay here."

I had discussions today with two of my favorite people who aren't my husband, and you know? You know... I'm happy.

My Bobby K and I go back to middle school (JTF! Is the BEST!) to marching band and other stuff... to saxophone and Shoemaker, to all kinds of heartbreak and friendship.

I elected him president of our senior class by phoning in my ballot on the day I was out sick (yes, he won by ONE vote -- MINE!).

He has been Snoopy to my Woodstock (or vice versa) and is the ever present best love of my life since we crossed the double digits of age.

Bobby is the best.

And I can't imagine life without hearing from him periodically. Bobby and I talk about once a month, or so... depending on the dramas of life. I always KNOW I can call him and say "aw shit. I'm so sad" or "Dude! This was the best!" or he can call me and say "Cliffy, I'm rock solid sad because ..." or "I am sitting in the parking lot at George Mason University and ...."

I had called him in the middle of the day after I found out our classmate had passed away, and he instantly called me back. A call from me in the middle of the day with a "Dude, can you call me back?" elicited a panic response from him. He was afraid that something was wrong with the kids, with the husband... with my life. When what it was, was just a loss from 1984 rearing its head to us in 2007. He had so many lovely things to say. So many logical and funny responses that set me at ease and made my horrible sadness a tiny bit less so.

And today he called me just to say hi. And the smile on my face does not fade. I love and live for this kind of thing. To hear "hey, Duck Rocker, Doctor of rock!" on my phone just makes me 17 again.

I am Harry Potter. And this is my Ron or Hermione... yes indeed.

Similarly, I hadn't talked to Aaron since the Guster Concert on August 20, 2006. I was in the bathroom at the Fleet Boston Pavilion when my cell phone rang and it was him -- and that was the last time I talked to him.

Since then, my heart has been rather empty. He was such a part of my life... not just MY life but my KIDS! I mean, Geoff actually pines for him. "I wish Aaron could see this ..." comes out of his mouth every once in a while and ... my heart? it falls to my Tevas.

So tonight I got to catch up with him. He's alive. He's well. He feels guilty. He should and should not. I mean -- it's his life. Where it overlaps with mine I should just deal with it. But after what I went through in losing Clayton... damn. I felt over the last year the same devastating loss as if he'd died on me and I had no opportunity to say goodbye or that I loved him.

That sucked.

So right now -- right this minute. I'm happy. I talked to both of them tonight. And as PG Wodehouse says "God is in his heaven and all is right with the world," or some crap like that.

I have talked to my boys.

They both live and progress. There are difficulties, as we all have and know.... but we all float on, alright.

In other news... my inlaws, my niece, my parents, my sister and my best friend from college (ole Bubbles, you!) and my Amy came to see Jess play Nick Bottome. And all were amazed.

Video of two segments are to be found here:

first: Bottome is translated to an ass.
second: Bottome is no longer an ass, but is Pyramus... and thinks his Thisbe is dead.

Apologies for the quality of the video. My camera picked up some sort of feedback/transmission thing from the harbormaster's office. The characters often spoke softly (except our Bottome, who channels Marlon Brando, Groundskeeper Willie, and Eric Cartman at times). Turn your volume up and down as needed. My favorite part is when she tells Titania that "me thinks, mistress... ye shall have little reason for thinkin' that..." when the fairy queen says that she is in love with Bottome.

Ha! Comedy gold. All told -- a truly unbelievable performance by my girl. One that I so wish everyone I know could have come and see. Especially Aaron, especially Professor Bobby K.

Alright then -- I'm off to bed. I cannot believe how late it is. I only got 100 pages into the Harry Potter book. My nerdy street cred doth plummet.

Goodnight sweet friends.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

My Bottome Doth Ache!

What a difference 24 hours make, and what a play I was able to witness last night! Because I know you are all just simply dying to know how it went. You are out of bed early, crack of dawn even. You haven't even put coffee on yet... you jumped on the interneck to see what happened! Well. Here is your report.

RSC-AMSND Friday 30The day was perfect. The setting sun a little much on the eyes as we sat watching the play but that is my only complaint and it's over and out of the way with immediately. All of the actors were perfectly cast -- the lovers were hysterical, the fairies perfect... Peter Quince and his rustics were unbelievable...

... and yes. Jessica stole the show.

They decided to set the play in Ireland. They had a bagpiper playing in the distance (the parking lot!) and the costumes were kind of turn of the century-ish looking, kind of. Although some of it could have been the 1960s instead of the 1920s with the fairies running about.

Jess came out with both barrels blazing during her scenes. Because it was set in Ireland, she did this kind of strange accent thing, where she sounded like Eric Cartman and Groundskeeper Willie if they'd had a baby together. When they did their play within a play, her Pyramus is over-acted to the Nth degree times a million. Along with the absolutely hysterical performance served up by the guy who played Thisbe/Flute, people simply had tears running down their cheeks at their mutual death scene.

And when she wore her ass head and had Titania in love with her, it was the best. Click here to see my favorite picture of the night, thanks to Peter Wood and his mad skill.

The fight scene between Helena and Hermia was almost like a Jerry Springer episode. It was perfectly executed with comedic violence. The only thing missing was a bald security guard with a clipboard and headset stepping in to grab the girls apart, and the requisite "beep" censoring noise over swear words. Lysander and Demetrius were very funny, a lot of good physical comedy between the two as they fawn all over Helena. Helena was a riot, crawling around in her dress was difficult and it made everyone laugh...

I wasn't at all happy with how my pictures came out. I borrowed the really nice camera from my office but it only has a 16mb card in it, so that meant I only got about 30 pictures on a lower resolution, and ran out of space on the card right around intermission. I had left my nikon with Doug so he could take pictures of Elyse at the ocean (she's only been to it once and she doesn't remember it...) so I was kicking myself and pouting for most of the second half... when I wasn't laughing hysterically and Thisbe kissing a brick wall and losing his pink hat and wig.

The aforementioned Peter and Becky, with the lovely and vivacious Catherine, were there last night and sat with me. Catherine was very entertaining, like a play within the audience... and I had a lot of fun with her. E and Ooma were there with Tiger and Bunny, but they didn't stay long... at least they got to see a little of Jess in action.

Tonight we get to bring all of Jess' grandparents and her niece and my sister and it'll hopefully be a great time for everyone. Bonnie and Chloe may come, and who knows who else may be there. I know I will!

In the meantime, until after tonight... here are my not so excellent pictures and a link to Peter Wood's excellent and unbelievable gallery, which has some incredibly good shots of all the characters in the play. He really had a great angle and caught some memorable moments, not just of Jess but of everyone.

Jess and I watched the gallery on slideshow, full screen, and sat here squeeeeeling with laughter. I haven't seen her this happy and laughing in a long long long time. Not that she's surly and sad or depressed or anything... it's just that ... this was happiness.

Thanks again for the photos, Peter.

I'll be sad when this is over because ... well, they're just that good. I overheard two of the girls talking and saying "It is so sad, that tomorrow this will be over and it is just so good and I am loving it so much." Like Geoff when he finished his project and presentation on Saturn last year, it is a let down... and I can feel that for them too.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Faeries Abound!

Last night's performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream was rained out. Funny story there ...

As of about 4pm, it was still on as scheduled. The rain had held off and as I sat at my desk watching the radar on weather dot com, I realized that by 6pm it would be a full-blown deluge at the play site. I went over to the park and talked to the director.

There was a flurry of activity, the director said "call your parents" which everyone interpreted as "show is off!" Kids started putting costumes and things in the back of my car for safe keeping for the overnight. I hugged Keri and the director. Jess said to someone in authority at about 4:45 "I presume it's alright for me to leave, right?" and he said "Yeah, see you tomorrow. Have a nice night."

We got home to a phone message saying "where are you! We're going to run with the show... come back with the costumes!"

I looked at the radar online and there was a giant hole where there was no storm and rain -- right on top of the show site. Huge opening in the storm. No precipitation... but it was a hole, and holes have sides. The other side of the hole was a huge thunderstorm rolling eastward from Worcester. I knew they wouldn't make it.

But, they called us back so we went. We got there just as the show should have been starting to be met with a drippy fairy couple standing at the gate waving at us. "Sorry you came all the way back... they called it."

I drove to the show site to have a (hopefully) good laugh with Keri and the director, and there were about 20 people there aside from the cast. 20 people who showed up to hopefully stick it out and play through the rain. They started to perform and a parent got upset that it was just ridiculous to be performing in the weather like this, and then she left... taking her daughter with her.

The kids were disappointed but able to laugh. A mom brought cupcakes. Good times in the pouring down rain were had... and a good effort was put in by everyone. Keri thought it was a shame that I turned around and came back, but if I had not, I would not have gotten pictures of the rain out and the smiles and the drippy fairies and everything. I'm glad we went back.

Then we met my husband, Geoff, my in-laws and my niece for dinner. I was asleep by 10. Very exhausted, but still laughing a little.

The show has been rescheduled for tonight at 6pm... and is on as scheduled tomorrow night at 6pm. They're doing a full run through at 1pm today. It's raining right now, but hopefully by 1pm things won't be falling from the sky in the form of precipitation... just love from above so these kids can do their shows and strut their stuff. I'm looking forward to it.

On that note, I must away -- a cub scout requires a lunch made, and my niece is gleefully terrorizing my puppy and I should supervise. Brodie has sharp claws and Elyse doesn't get it that she might be scratched accidentally. Yesterday when she arrived she was terrified of all three dogs. By last night she had her hand elbow deep in Gonzo's mouth trying to get his tennis ball, and was wrastling with Brodie like they were old friends. Good to see.

More later... It's going to be a long day with Shakespeare, and I'm hoping to jet over for lunchtime and get some photos of the kids performing for the little campers in addition to tonight's show's photos. Wish them all luck... erm, I mean, wish them all broken legs.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Swifer Dusters are no Match for My House...

How on earth did my house get THIS dusty? We haven't used the woodstove since April. But there seems to be a layer of fleh on everything that just keeps regenerating itself. I dust, I walk out of the room, I return... it returns. It's like ... it lives. It is its own organism... creating itself, over and over and over no matter what I do or try.

I think old houses just exist to manufacture dust.

My inlaws are coming to visit and will be here on Thursday so we're trying to fight against the piles of mess that have accumulated since their last visit. In April. I let a lot of things slide... But compared to the last house I think I've done a better job at keeping up with cleaning. The house is bigger, so there are more places to store things. But because the house is bigger, twice the size of the last house as a matter of fact, it is twice the cleaning.

Last Sunday I went through five or six boxes which landed in a room the day we moved in and haven't moved since. Considering we actually have a room in the house that we are NOT using at all (boggles my mind really that we have a room that is just a room filled with junk right now) we've gotten lazy with the "I'll deal with that later" philosophy.

For every ounce of progress I feel I make, a pound of disintegration seems to land around me. I'm tired. I hate cleaning. I hate dust. I hate clutter. I hate dealing with things that are in piles. I move things from one pile to another, and God Forbid I throw something out because ... well... it MIGHT be of importance to someone five months from now.

Doug insisted that our new medical plan cards came in the mail. I didn't see them. He accused me of throwing them out. I told him that I don't throw ANYTHING out until it is just ... a mountain of stuff. And then I filter through it with a glass of wine in one hand and a heavy heart... I throw out only the things that make sense to throw out... grocery store fliers, requests for my blood at another blood drive somewhere. The millions of offers for new credit cards. If it looks somewhat maybe important, that doesn't get thrown out. That gets moved to another pile. For later.

I called the insurance company and they haven't SENT the cards out yet because according to their computer, Doug didn't specify our doctors' names on the form when he signed up so they can't print the cards without the primary care physician. So rather than call us and say "there's info missing, can we have it?" they wait until he and I have a battle royale where I am accused of throwing things away willy nilly.

Felt kind of good to be vindicated, to know that yeah -- I was right. But still. It exhausts me. It eats my soul. I hate it. So I don't clean anything. Because. And then the mountains grow. I am in the Himalayan mountains right now. I'd like to make it the size of the Berkshires by the time my inlaws get here.

I wish I was like my friend Suzanne who cannot sleep if there is a mess around her. Me? I'd rather ignore it. I'd rather go play Tetris and take a nap.

But I can't I have to make progress. I just have to. I feel like my life is slipping away around me. I don't like it.

I make progress in other places. I think that I make progress with stuff I LIKE and WANT to do. We went out this weekend and got the rest of Jess' costume for the play (starts on Thursday, let me know if you want the details). Jess and I had a blast and a half laughing our asses off at the Salvation Army at all the crazy stuff they had there. It was a good time. And we got things done inexpensively and quickly.

I like doing that kind of thing. I'd rather always do that kind of thing. I'd rather take other cast members shopping for their costumes than clean my own house.


As you can probably tell, I'm madly procrastinating now. Should get back to it rather than play with Facebook. And writing here. I just didn't want you chumps thinking I was going to blow you off for yet another week. Gotta keep my peeps in the know. Well... back to it. More later. Meh.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Book of Should Be Doing

We kind of burned the weekend. We burned the weekend and this week just swept past me. Every day I said, "What just happened? Where'd the day go?" as I collapsed into bed. Not for nothing, summer is a busy time around here and it kind of sucks.

Anyway... This weekend Brodie got her 1 year puppy checkup and a round of shots. I can't believe we've had her for a year already. Feels a lot longer. And Gonzo has been with us since September, which is sneaking up faster than I would like to admit.

Pets are fun, but like with the kids it is kind of weird to see them growing and changing and evolving so much.

Speaking of kids, as you are aware if you read my last entry... Jess has been working for the past couple of weeks in a teen intensive program for Rebel Shakespeare.

If you live in the Boston area, and you want to make the trip, one week from tonight they have a show at 6pm, and then another one on Saturday the 21st at 6pm. Email me for details and I'll let you know where. I do believe it is free, and it is in a lovely place.

When I picked her up today, I asked her how things went, as is my wont. Usually she answers "it was okay..." and then she regales me with tales of fairy whimsy and theatrical merriment and things that rhyme with corn (long story).

Today, she announced "I got to wear my Asshead today!"

I almost crashed the car. It instantly reminded me of Marge Simpson asking Bart what he learned about in Sunday School and he starts talking about Hell and Damn. They yell at him, saying those are not nice words and he shouldn't say them...but it was true. He learned about Hell and Damn. So Marge is all concerned about the appropriateness of what he's being taught.

I felt the same way for a split second. But I had to die laughing, because it isn't every day that your daughter tells you she wore an Asshead. Nice.

And she does get to wear an Asshead. Because of that whole Donkey thing. Very funny. Good stuff. Shakespeare at his finest. Wonderful play. You've gotta love it.

My inlaws are coming up from Pennsylvania and are bringing our niece with them. My roommate from college is coming, bringing her little girl... and I'm hoping to hook them both up with some fairy regalia to wear while they are watching the show. The thought of how adorable they will be brings tears to my eyes.

And my mom and sister are coming up too -- everyone will get to see Jess rock the role of Bottome, and I cannot wait.

Yes. I am living vicariously through my daughter. Nothing wrong with that now, is there?

Geoff has been attending camp for two weeks and is all tan and blonde. He's looking all summertime and every day I come home he smells like sunscreen and and chlorine. I want to get him a haircut, but all his blondeness is tremendous and I don't want to get rid of it. I am jealous of his wonderful summer good looks and his lifestyle.

And I guess that's it... I've got some work to do for Cateringman that I've been putting off, so I ought to get to that. Top it off with the fact that I've got a nasty sty developing and I am having a hard time keeping my face turned this way with my eye open. Best use the time to do what I need to do to prevent getting yelled at.

Oh -- and I signed up for Facebook. Find me and friend me. Go ahead. Wheeeeeeee!

more later...

Friday, July 06, 2007

Happy Birthday Aaron, wherever you are...

Today is my buddy Aaron's birthday. He's somewhere in the vicinity of Portland Oregon now, living and working there. We haven't heard from him since August of last year. If it weren't for his mom, I wouldn't know anything about him. I would think he'd been killed or fell off a mountain or something. No word from him in 11 months, and that's a tad frustrating. For someone such a fixture in my life (long time blog readers know this for a fact) to have him vanish from the scene is rather distressing to me. I don't know. I'm sure that rebuilding your life after your marriage falls apart is important, but I would hope that your best friends would be part of that life. I miss him.

Anyway. That's a depressing topic for 6:30am on a beautiful day, innit? It's been a little while since I've had the chance to sit and write. I think I need a laptop because the rest of the family is often on here, and I don't get to work unless I get up excessively early and start my day while they are still abed asleep adreaming.

We got to see some really good fireworks on Tuesday night in Haverhill, MA. We went down at 9:05 expecting them to start at 9:30 but they didn't until 10:05, which had Geoff in a tizzy. Even though we went down late, we had a great viewing spot, and we were in and out in no time. I'm very glad we got to go. For the past several years, we've either been in Maine, or last year we were in Pittsburgh for Doug's Uncle's Funeral (what a nightmare that was, for those who recall... if you don't and are looking for something to read, well, go over here...)

me and nathaniel hawthorneThis year, while remarkably not as chaotic as last year, wasn't without fun.

Doug and I both had Wednesday off, and Jess had play rehearsal. She's performing in Keri's Shakespeare company this summer, and so we had to take her down to the program for rehearsal, which left us with four hours to goof off. We went to Salem MA and walked around. I met Nathaniel Hawthorne. We went to comic book shops and ate chinese food in the shadow of a statue dedicated to the TV Show "Bewitched."

It was a great day.

As for Jess' Shakespeare thing, it's pretty cool. My friend Keri from college (the one with the adopted Russian daughter, trying to adopt her sister too) runs a camp where the little kids learn about Shakespeare and the big kids DO Shakespeare. There are two sessions and Jess will do both. At first, she was reluctant but I knew that this was the program for her.

They are doing A Midsummer Night's Dream first. She was cast as "Bottom." Bottom is the guy who has his head turned into a donkey's by Puck, and everyone freaks out and runs around and chaos and hilarity ensue. She's perfect for the role and the director seems to really like her. I am so looking forward to this. It's going to be a great play.

My inlaws are coming up from Pittsburgh, bringing our niece Elyse with so she can see the play and see her cousin in action. Which rocks. I believe my parents are coming up for the Saturday performance too. So this will be interesting to have everyone in one place at one time. For the first time since our wedding. Interesting. I emailed a bunch of people, but if you're interested in seeing the play, use the email linky love thing up there and drop me a line. I'll send you the particulars. The performance is in 2 weeks... and the next performance of the next play, which I believe will be King Lear, will be later in August.

Anyway -- I need to jet. Getting Geoff over to his program and Jess down to hers near my office is a busy and complicated process of driving around hell and half of Georgia and being ready on time is key. At least, me being ready on time is key. Geoff is always ready. He was ready at 6:30 this morning. If I drag my feet any longer, we'll be late. I let Jess sleep until 7:30 because she is able to get ready quickly... and that is now just a few minutes away.

More later.