Sunday, July 27, 2008

Off to Boy Scout CampDoug and Geoff just left for Boy Scout Camp. I hope they have a good time, because yesterday on more than one occasion, I thought

Doug and Geoff just left for Boy Scout Camp. I hope they have a good time, because yesterday on more than one occasion, I thought Doug might kill Geoff. Pray for them... Doug especially.

After they get back, I don't have Geoff enrolled in anything at all. No camp, no nothing. Not sure what to do with him. Hmmmm.

You want him? You know you do.

Part of my problem is that I thought he would do both sessions of Shakespeare. But he rejected the idea of doing the August program because he will miss 2 football practices during the week of the performances. I talked to the coach, and he said it was okay by him since Geoff is a returning player. He said "There's more to life than football, and that sounds like a great program for him." Thing is, I don't know that they'll even have practice those two days of the performance dates because those two days are during the first week of school. So it would probably not be happening then anyway.

But. He'd miss the first three days of school, even with the football coach's permission to miss practice. And he told me that he can't miss the first three days of school.

First of all, I hate our district. None of the other districts in the area are starting on the Tuesday before Labor Day this year because Labor Day is very early. But ours is. Seriously, I called seven school districts all around us, and not a single one is starting before September 2nd.

I don't have a problem with him missing it, Jess is missing it because of her Shakespeare thing. But the boy is insane.

What kid on this God's Green Earth doesn't WANT to miss school, especially when he or she (he, really) bitches and moans incessantly that school is horrible. School is evil. School is no fun.


So... Football practices start August 11th, so he has to be HERE in town at 4:30pm to go to practice so it isn't like I can take him somewhere or send him to a sleep away camp for two weeks... I may see if I can hire someone from the local college to watch him.

For the week after camp, I can see if he can go to Camp Grandma... He'll complain about it, but ... it was his choice to not do Shakespeare camp.

So there. Deal with it, I'm doing my best to work around your choice to make life okay for you. I'm dealing with it, you deal with it. Feh.

Thing is, he wants to stay home by himself, and he can't. Not yet. I think he's about 2 years away from that. For an hour or so, yeah. I can see it. But all day? No. Not gonna happen.

Anyway, enough bitching. What's the update over here?

Yesterday our Boy Scout Troop worked a fair and we did a barbecue tent with burgers and dogs and stuff. I ended up manning the grill. The boys were putting two burgers on at a time, and I was all "um, people are going to show up and be like ... hungry?"

The burgers took 10 minutes to cook, and another minute with cheese. So I stepped in and threw a million burgers on the grill and just started cheffin' the joint up. The boys were relieved, because it was so damn hot. So incredibly hot. They would come get completed burgers and place the order... And I just kept them coming.

My buddy Thane was all setting up the buns for the finished burgers to just slide on. We had a system... it was rocking. I think I may have shot myself in the foot though, because our next big fundraiser is another barbecue at the town homecoming festival, and I may be manning the grill by the looks of things.

It was three solid hours of working my ass off. I got home and was all exhausted, and discovered Doug didn't take himself and Geoff shopping for the stuff they needed for camp, and no one took the laundry out of the washer and put it in the dryer. So I flipped out a bit, yelled some, got a shower and felt better... Doug and I ended up taking Geoff to go get the supplies. Why they needed me to come with them, I'll never know.

Doug hasn't owned a bathing suit since college, so he needed one if they were going to be out in the pond doing stuff with the boys. There is a mile swim challenge that a lot of the boys try to do, and Doug may have to row a boat beside the swimmer for safety. So he wanted to be prepared.

But we went and it was fun until we were at the supermarket and Geoff, for reasons unknown even to me, brought our EMPTY shopping cart (because we only had 3 bags and I left the cart inside the store) out to the parking lot. Empty. And then he let it go, and it went flying and crashed into our car.


totally dented the hell out of the front passengers side front fender where it meets the door. He could NOT have hit it in a worse spot. The passenger side door will not open now because the metal is all bent to shit.

So that was awesome. I was supposed to keep that car for the week but Doug took it because we'll be getting in and out of it (Jess will, actually) and whatever vehicle he was taking would just be sitting somewhere. So. He figured it was only fair.

That boy. Gonna drive me to hard liquor.

Anyway. On Wednesday of last week, Doug took Jess to go get her learner's permit.

You read that right.

They both read the book, he quizzed her on all the possible questions, and they went over. They waited an hour. She went through intake and got right up to the point before they were to administer the test to her, and the woman asked her for her birth certificate or passport for ID purposes.

Um... yeah.

They didn't bring her passport, birth certificate or social security card or anything because the literature didn't SAY to bring that information. Nowhere in the information they had did it say "bring your passport or birth certificate and social security card."


So ... they didn't, and the woman explained that she couldn't take the test. She has to come back next week and get things taken care of. And Doug was pissed to shit about it.

I said to him "What were you thinking? This is a post 9/11 world. Everyone needs ID for EVERYTHING (except people who come illegally across the border and then get jobs at their friend's meat packing plants, but, whatever...). Of course you need an ID to apply for a learner's permit. You need an ID for everything. Every. Damn. Thing. "

"But you show me where it says so in the literature and on the form," says Doug. "It doesn't. It does not say it ANYWHERE. So if they want people to bring ID, it should say it."

"Yes, it SHOULD. But it goes without saying in this day and age that we need to always ALWAYS bring ID to anything. Wow. What is this, 1955? No. It is post 9/11/01 and you have to show ID for fuck-all everything. Like it or not. And leaving it off the form is probably just their way of saving ink."

He further explained that he was her representative, he was her ID. As her parent with HIS ID, showing residency in our house and shit, this should be sufficient. It was when he got a license. His dad went with him and showed his ID. But honey. That was like 1984. Totally different world.

So we argued about it, and on the one hand he's right -- if it doesn't say you need it, well then what do you expect. On the other hand, I'm right. We should always always have our damn IDs on us to take care of this shit.

Gah. Frustrating.

Anyway. I'm going to grab a shower and head into my office for a while this afternoon. I'm trying to be as far ahead as humanly possible, as our office is moving this week and I don't want to be caught behind the 8 ball. I am taking a couple days off during the week this week, and really don't want to be anywhere near the office the day of the move. So. Going in today for a few hours will make a difference. Maybe take Jess out for dinner tonight. We'll see.

Right then. More later. Have a nice rest of your Sunday, or happy Monday if you're reading me at work in the morning.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Happy Few

"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile... "
- William Shakespeare, Henry V

What. An. Amazing. Weekend. So many ups and downs, so much drama and levity. I am exhausted from thinking about it, and I am just one blip of a character far on a periphery of what the CORE of this production is and was... so I can hardly fathom what those in the center feel right now.

I am still living a lot of it in my head, what I saw and what I know. I'm not even one of the 15 year olds who paraded around in tights and tunics to make it so or a director who for the past 4 weeks busted ass getting these kids ready....

I'm just an observer... a proud one at that.

But wow. Amazing. Where do I even start with the recap? And do you even need or want to hear about it. Well... bear with us Gentle Reader.

First of all -- thank you to Amy, and Bunkosquad, and Keith from College (has it really been since 1990 since I saw you last?!) and Ron for coming out. I sent out postcards to the fundraiser and tagged all of my eastern MA contacts in Facebook, and when Keith showed up under the tent in the pouring rain and "poked" me, I was thrilled beyond measure. Wow.

Thank you to The Shakespeare Geek also for coming out and seeing at least SOME of the play and writing about the Rebels in his blog, comparing videos and talking about what it was like for him to watch the kids in costume in the heat. His three wee ones are a little too wee to sit through a production, but they were adorable, and he and his wife came out, and it was humbling and amazing and I'm so happy to have met them.

I also thank my in-laws for coming out. It was so nice to have them here with Elyse once again to see another play. I hope some of this (and last year's production of Midsummer) impact her in wonderful ways. And my mom and dad -- thanks for braving the traffic and suffering the bug bites in the field to come see Geoff in his first play. It was so cool to have family present. It meant a lot to him, I know it did.

And boy... BOY was it hot.


On Saturday Geoff went with Doug and his dad to pick up his football gear. We were late getting down to the park, but it really struck me how his lives just overlapped right there and then.

Football one minute, Shakespeare the next.

We got down to the park and there was this slight breeze, and by slight I do mean slight. It was over 95 degrees and the field was beaten under the sun. Even on the ocean, where you would think some cool refuge could be found, there was little to be found.

Ten minutes before the play was to start at 2pm, Geoff was nowhere to be found.

Seriously. Nowhere.

The kids were in the warm up circle, doing voice exercises and stretching, and I walked over and looked for him, only to notice he was not there. And no one ELSE noticed he was not there. Because they were focused on ... doing their thing. Indeed.

I pointed this out to Keri -- and told her not to panic. Geoff had pulled a hissy fit with me about an hour before about wearing tights.

Everyone had on tights. But Geoff HATED the tights and wanted to take them off. Or roll them up. I told him he couldn't. Chris, one of the directors told him he couldn't. EVERYONE had their tights on, and YES it is hot, we know. But you have to wear them.

Deal. With. It.

I thought he might be off sulking somewhere. So I pulled one of the boys to go check the bathroom.

No Geoff.

Another girl ran up through the "backstage" looking for him but came back saying that he was not there...

Shit. That little bastard. Four weeks of being AMAZING and now? this? Jebus.

I looked around -- there was no Ross the awesome Ross there.


Awesome Ross may have taken a petulant and angry Geoff for a stroll... so I went in search of Ross.

Ross was up at the info booth directing traffic (and boy, was there traffic). He had not seen Geoff, and looked panic stricken.

"Well, I haven't seen him WALK off the island down the road, so... that's a good sign, right?"

Yes, Ross, that's a good sign. I threw up a little in my mouth.

I went back to the circle, and I could feel panic and heat. Keri saw me and announced to the group that Geoff was not around and asked that the kids spread out and look for him.

They sprang into action. Yelling. Calling. Screaming.

Cabot found Geoff sitting exactly where Cabot thought he would be (note to self, always ask the people Geoff works CLOSEST with what Geoff might be up to).

Geoff was indeed in the backstage area, waiting.

Waiting for the play to start. Tights on, and angry, but there. I don't know how the other girl missed him, Cabot said he was right there.

So everyone heaved a maaaaaaasive sigh of relief, and Shakespeare was thanked in loud voice. The crowd was shuffling in. My mom and dad were there, and Jess was there, and the play was about to begin.

With Geoff found.

The sun was brutal, and each time a cloud moved across its hot face you could FEEL that difference. I heard people sigh when it happened.

The play was amazing. Each scene, each action. Geoff and Cabot and Luke as the knuckleheads Pistol, Nim and Bardolph. Henry, petulant and moody. Exeter, strong and powerful by his side. And the English and the French... All. Amazing.

38 Henry V 071908The first production went well.

Geoff got laughs for his Bardolph and I am totally in love with the two guys who were in scene with him, Luke and Cabot.

Unfortunately, or ... fortunately, depending on how you look at it, I bailed after the St. Crispin's Day Speech because we were totally out of water and ice.

I bought four cases of ice and six bags of water to bring back. When I got back, I'd missed everything and the fundraiser party was starting. Kids unloaded my car, got ice and water going, and I went up to the party, which was a swinging success and an amazing amount of money was raised.

The 6pm show started, and Bunko was there, and Keith was there. It was amazing.

Annnnnnd..... Right before the battle of Agincourt the storm hit. And Boy, I'm tellin' ya. What a STORM.

Keri went to call the show, and parents cheered "NO!" because we were at such a critical moment... they continued through Crispin again, right to before the battle started. The sky opened up, and many attendees ducked under the tents while everyone else ran for the pavilion where the party had just taken place.

After a while, it became obvious that they were finishing the show up at the pavilion, and I was down in the mud cleaning up and hearing the cheers after all was said and done. Shit. I missed yet another Battle of Agincourt. Dang!

Keith from College stayed and cleaned up, as did my father in law. Jess took her little cousin Elyse with her in the mass exodus, and all told, the cheers themselves warmed the island. I was sad to have missed the battle of Agincourt TWICE now, but felt I was where I was needed and had fun with Keri's daughter in the cleaning up and the mud and the rain.

I slept like the dead that night.

Henry V - Henry foils the plot against himSunday was not as hot... but the rain came as we were getting ready for the battle of Agincourt. UP to the pavilion we ran. Finished the play.

And again... I missed the battle.

And then it was weird in between productions with a lot of stress and deciding what to do with yet another thunderstorm baring down on us.

Good lord, mother nature, cut us some slack wouldya?!?

We scrambled at 5:30 pm to move everything up to the pavilion, and the entire time in my mind I'm bemoaning the fact I still hadn't seen the battle of Agincourt, or Henry wooing Cate.

My husband and in-laws showed up for the 6pm 2nd showing, which surprised me, but I guess my niece really WANTED to see Geoff again.

Which warms me in ways I cannot express to you. At all.

We could have moved down to the field, but we stayed in the pavilion because my sister was my personal National Weather Service with moment by moment updates after 5:30 pm about what was happening. There was a cell south of us, according to Linda, but after that we were in the clear.

We kept the entire first half in the pavilion, and at intermission moved back to the field.

Where the Battle Of Agincourt raged amazingly.

I didn't take many pictures, because I wanted to SEE it, watch it, digest it, ingest it, amaze in it and enjoy it.

And I did. And it was amazing.

All told -- Geoff himself was great in his role. Each time they performed it, he did a little better.

The final time was hysterical -- because we were at the pavilion so he didn't have the usual shelter of the backstage area. They just had a picnic area. So his character goes to get hanged, and he steps behind a pylon and screams....

like a girl.

A shrill shriek, very silly and crazy. And just as our Henry goes into his big Post-Hanging Speech, Geoff goes TEARING up the side hill with the rope around his neck, pulling at his pants to keep them up (because, you know, those nasty aforementioned tights are just giving him what for) with the executioner and Exeter following him.

Oh ... my... God. Did everyone just laugh their asses off.

Including poor King Henry, trying to do his speech. Ha! But it was clearly the most memorable moment ever. Ever.

And that was the bulk of our weekend, dear reader. I'm exhausted. I think I slept until noon, and I honestly don't know how Keri does any of this, if I'm this tired just being on the periphery.

Next event will be our Romeo & Juliet.

Which I know all y'all sit in rapt attention, awaiting.

If you're interested in seeing the photos, they are up in flickr as usual. Saturday here, and Sunday here. And do go through them all and love them and leave comments, for I am nothing but a comment whore. Right?

There are a couple of videos in my youtube account... you can see Geoff in action in several shots, and the famous St. Crispin's Day speech by our young Henry.

And on that note, oh.... dear countrymen, my band of brothers. I seek sleep.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Oh Steve, Say it Ain't So

Before I head to bed every night, I do one last wide sweep of the internets. I check my mail, make a move or two on Scrabulous on Facebook, dance through bloglines to see who has updated since I ate dinner and troll through the discussion boards for Guster and Barenaked Ladies to see what's new in the little fan worlds.

Jo sent me a link to that troll P.Hilton (you know who he is) last night. He posted a story about Barenaked Ladies lead singer Steven Page being arrested in upstate New York, charged with possession of coke and pot.

Now, a lot of musicians, actors, and rock stars do drugs. A lot of pot smoking, coke snorting, alcohol... a lot of it comes with the lifestyle of having money, free time on busses that travel long distances and somewhat addictive personalities. More than somewhat. And sometimes it gets totally out of hand and they die an early and sad death, like Heath Ledger (I have noticed a lot of his movies are being broadcast as his latest, posthumous release gets ready to hit theatres, and I'm really sad watching him because he really was a good actor even though I never really got it why so many people worshiped him the way they did).

I'm not surprised when I hear people are arrested in possession of controlled substances. And I'm not surprised to hear that one of my all time favorite musicians, writers, and people was caught in a situation that landed his ass in jail. Not surprised.

But this time, I'm actually sad. Honestly, just plain to the core saddened to hear this news. And I'm processing things and looking at it like it's an opportunity, that whatever Steve needs help with right now in his life, he can get that help and get ironed out and get safe and happy.

Bandmate Jim Creegan told the newspaper in an interview about this "It's so new. We just heard about this and we just want to fight these charges and hope that everything goes all right. We want to keep on playing and being a band... We're fighting the charges and hopefully they'll just go away."

A lot of this echoes Clayton for me personally. I'm glad Steve has bandmates like Jim who are going to stand up beside him, not behind him, and help him. But even if the charges "just go away" there is the problem that he may need some very serious intervention. It is where we failed Clayton.

When Clayton was just hanging around with girls who did heroin, keeping them safe and getting them through times when they tried to kick it, he thought he was helping them and assured me repeatedly that he was okay. The fact was he was surrounding himself with people that he was calling friends... although he wasn't using the stuff, he was deep in it. He distanced himself from us when he started using, we kicked him out of our house and it was frying pan into the fire. From a distance, we tried to work with him, convince him to get help. We tried to get his attention back to the things that mattered, point out that he was in the viper pit and needed to escape before it was too late. But he'd already been bit. And we lost him. And that was several months before he died.

Steve Page was arrested in a house where there was cocaine present. No mention of a field sobriety test or blood test for whether or not he was under the influence of any class whatever controlled thingie. I'm not so naive to say "oh, he was just sitting there, and it belonged to the girl! He never did it, I'm sure!" Nope. I'm not that silly.

But I look at it this way. Several times Clayton was sitting on a couch where there was a table in front of him that had all sorts of drugs on it. At that time, he wasn't using. But eventually, he did start using, it got worse and worse, and it eventually ended his life. Not a promising career, but a life.

Now, in our society, millions of people go through huge battles with drugs. Some of them are sickly famous like Steven Tyler of Aerosmith and Robert Downey, Jr. They've got careers, they're healthy, they're doing well. 20 some odd years of battling their problems have clouded public opinion of them, but Steve Tyler played the Super Bowl Halftime Show, and Robert Downey, Jr. has a hit movie on his hands. They're not in jail, not suffering that we can see from here. They aren't branded with a giant scarlet A for Addict on their chests except when people sit back and think about their pasts and how they've "beaten" the dragon after riding it for so long.

Steve has always written some amazingly depressing songs with really bouncy happy tunes. Some really dark songs about depression, madness, suicide and self-loathing. I am certain the past few years, where CD reviews were posted by writers who listened to one track off the release and continued to label them the "clown princes" of Canadian pop rock, haven't made him feel the super stellar star he was with "Stunt" and "Maroon." So whatever he has got going on that has brought him to sit at dining tables in homes with women who have coke at the ready; whatever has brought him there instead of at home with his sons and his band, gets worked out and made well.

I'm hoping that Steven Page, for what it's worth, doesn't have to look back 20 years from now like Robert Downey, Jr. and say "well, that's when it started and the next two decades were a blur."

I want Barenaked Ladies "Behind the Music," not Motley Crue "Behind the Music." And the genius that is Page and Robertson, I don't want it destroyed. It doesn't need to be genius like Ray Charles, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin or Jim Morrison.

If worse comes to worse, hopefully he'll get some good music out of this experience and work it out that way. I don't love him or admire him any less. I just hope he does something that makes me admire him more and get out of the mess he finds himself in quickly, successfully, before it is too late.

I don't know. In the meantime, he's due back in court tomorrow. And I hope he'll be okay.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Everything is just amazing

I have been doing a lot of stuff this week for Rebel and putting in some longer days at work.... which leaves little time for blogging. Sad but true. But busy is good, and everything is amazing. Busy and amazing and exciting. Where shall I begin?

Jebbieparty 5Jess' party was nice. Not amazing, but nice.

We invited close to 15 people and 6 showed... which was sad. But we had food for a week and I haven't had to go to the market to get anything. Which rules supreme. But I am entirely over the concept of cheeseburgers at this point.

Jess was able to spend a lot of time with each person, like here with Frazier, and really catch up after not seeing people for a month or so. Doug and I sat under the trees and watched the kids play a wicked game of badminton. Geoff was actually an amazing help, serving food and helping make onion dip. He played well with the others, and wasn't his usual horrifying "Little Brother Attention Whore" that he can be. I was quite proud of him.

All told, a good party. And I think we should have one every month to help keep our house clean.

My parents will be coming up to see Geoff in the play, and since they only live 90 minutes away, I kind of demand this of them. Come see the kid in a football game or two, and come see them in plays. You don't have to come to every little last thingie they do... but do come to this kind of stuff please. So my parents will come up on Saturday morning and follow us to the park, because it sure is easy to get lost going to Winter Island if you don't know your way around Salem.

The more fascinating thing to me was we talked to Doug's folks last week and I gave them the update on the kids. They wanted to know when Jess' play was in August, and I told them about how Geoff was doing this too. They thought maybe that had past and were happy to hear they didn't miss it.

They called back the following day and had evaluated schedules and whatnot, and told Doug they were going to come up to see Geoff's play AND then come up in August to see Jess.

I was surpirsed, what with the price of gas and the distance and the fact he has like 4 lines and dies by hanging... it isn't exactly a starring role.

But it totally brought a big smile to my face that they want to come see him. They'll be staying Friday and Saturday night at least, and probably Sunday. I'm not sure yet.

So it is a good thing my house is 90% clean after last week's party. Heh.

The kids' rooms are a disaster, but that is their problem as Jess will need to clean hers to ready it up for them to have a place to sleep. Ha! Clean your room, kid. I don't care about Geoff's room, because it is unlikely they will be hanging out in there at all. I think that the only things I'll need to do are a wipedown and a mopping in the kitchen, and a sweeping/tidy in the livingroom, and a toilet brush applied to the bathroom thrones, and all will be well. Maybe an hour or two worth of work instead of dozens of hours like last weekend.

Henry V rehearsalOn Thursday afternoon, I sat in on a rehearsal/attempt at run-through for the play.

There were no other adults present, and I didn't feel comfortable leaving the kids where they were alone... especially after someone complained to me the minute I arrived that their behavior was abysmal.

I ended up yelling (kind of) well, being the "heavy" and reading them the riot act after being there only 5 minutes. I felt kind of bad, but they were there to rehearse, not to horse around, jump off cliffs into the ocean and swear at the tops of their lungs. What was terrifying to me was my son was the best behaved kid there. Not sure if it was because I was there, or because he takes the whole "It's time to rehearse" thing incredibly seriously...

So I stuck around and the kids did a good job once they settled down. Geoff's scenes are early in the play and fully blocked and he made me laugh... very overacty and loud. The two kids he's with are perfectly cast. They are the knuckleheads all three together (Pistol, Nym and Bardolph...). And I was impressed with how they've nailed it.

The kid playing Henry is AMAZING. The girl doing the Chorus is ... AMAZING. She really impressed me and gave me chills. And a lot of the other kids were ... a disaster. It was hard to watch at times, and knowing that a week from right now they'll be halfway through the weekend of performing, it terrifies me to ponder whether or not they'll all be able to be "off book."

It always comes together, doesn't it? I'm really excited for the shows. Dress rehearsal is Friday. And there are four total performances. Come if you like. It is free. See the website for details and directions.

And don't forget, there is a fundraiser event BETWEEN the productions, which I kind of accidentally (by offering suggestions and opinions) got involved with. This one is what is keeping me most busy. Seeing as it happens next week and we're still running around like mad.


Wine, Beer, Fun, Foodstuffs, Raffles (and not like STUPID raffles but a good 50/50 and I think someone donated an iPhone...) and performances/vignettes and just plain awesome fun. It's gonna be cool. So think about coming on Saturday to see Henry V and watch Geoff get hanged. It'll be awesome.

Amazing, even.

Jess' cast for Romeo and Juliet is set in place.

We have our sites lined up except for 3 openings and one tentative booking that have yet to be solidified.

They are running two casts so each person has two roles.

Jess is the nurse in one cast, and Peter in the other. So they get a lot of exposure to the roles, the characters, the play. And there is a sinister twist that I bet some of you can figure out, if each person has two roles... But I'll keep that a secret for a bit. Wink. But all y'all are SO SMART I know you'll guess... heh.

This is a "touring" production, so I've been scoping out locations. Right now this is what it looks like, pending massive changes, I can guarantee this lineup:

Friday August 22 1pm: TBD
Friday August 22 5pm:
The Athanaeum. Salem MA, outdoors in the garden... Friday nights they do a "speakers series." And we're the speakers...

Saturday August 23 1pm: Mary Jane Lee Park, Salem MA.
Saturday August 23 5pm: Open - Possibly Beverly or Marblehead.

Sunday August 24 1pm: Open - Possibly Beverly or Marblehead
Sunday August 24 5pm: Derby Square, Old Town Hall steps, Salem MA.

Monday -- Day off

Tuesday August 26 1pm: The Senior Center, Salem MA
Tuesday August 26 6pm: Palmer Cove Ballfield. Salem MA. Around the corner from Mary Jane Lee Park, the outfield will be Verona, and the lights will be turned on so everyone can be seen.

Wednesday August 27 1pm: Tentative -- Moesley Woods Park, Newburyport MA. A natural wooded amphitheater with a giant rock sculpture/climbing thing that will be good for the balcony scene.
Wednesday August 27, 5pm: Winnekenni Castle, Haverhill MA.

Thursday August 28, Christine is hospitalized with exhaustion. Not to mention, the kids who will also collapse in a heap. Voof.

It will be amazing. Trust me. TRUST me. My favorite one so far and they haven't even done it yet will definately be the one in Mary Jane Lee Park, and I talked about it here a little bit. It still amazes me that this is going to come together in so many locations, and each performance and production will be unique and have really special things about them. The two directors are going to nail this one and it is just going to be stellar.

So, if you're north of Boston, mind that schedule right there. Mark your calendars. Come to some. Come to one.

And on that note -- I'm going to go outside and play. Or garden. Or something. More later. And I promise a whole week will not pass. I'll get in an update before the Henry shows next weekend... I'm sure.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

long awaited update

I started an update after Jess came home and that got totally and sadly waylaid. Then on Friday I went to log in and finish it only to discover that I had no FTP access to my server to update my site. Seems my host had some sort of problem on Friday where all the sites went down. They came back up after an hour or so, but ... all of my FTP settings were shot and jibberish in Dreamweaver.

Not sure how that can even happen, but ... meh? It's all set now so life is good.

Well, picking up Jess at the airport was double fun. I was standing there waiting for her when my friend Carrie walked up to me with this "what are you doing here?" look on her face. I had the same look on my face... what are YOU doing here? She was dropping another friend off as he was getting ready to fly to France, and had just parked the car and walked into Terminal E and saw me there.

Jess was in customs forever so we ran upstairs and got Dave and had a nice time catching up and they left when she got out of the customs area... which they didn't need to do but they wanted for us to have "that time." Which is sweet of them.

It was one of those incredibly random things that I love that happen to me a lot. I always run into people I know places... like running into people at lunch in Marblehead. People I haven't seen in 10,000 years.

Jess was incredibly hyper upon arrival and buzzed the whole way home with OMG mom! stories that cracked me up. It was 5am their time by the time she went to bed. I really anticipated that she'd sleep until nightfall the following day.

Doug had taken the next day off to hang out with her, but morning came and she was dressed and ready to go to the island to camp. I was shocked that she was up and raring to go... and Doug was disappointed that she was leaving him. I didn't take the day off because I had to take Geoff down to camp anyway, so he was flying solo.

Poor guy. He got over it quickly though.

She was thoroughly embraced and adored upon arrival at the island, and it almost made me cry. It was wonderful to see people who love her flocking at her and mobbing her. I'm sure that she had a wonderful time with the folks in Germany, and I know that she loves us... but this is different. This is soulmate territory. This is like-kinded in such a way that I hope she never loses these connections.

Welcome home, Jess.

Geoff is doing well with camp. He has his lines memorized and on July 19th and 20th are the performance dates. I don't know if they are doing two casts the way they usually do, or just one this year... but he is settled into his part and is enjoying the experience.

Oh -- by the way. We're doing a fundraiser thing between the two performances on July 19th if you're in the area and would like to come support Rebel, kids in theatre, and Winter Island... $20 donation and sponsors ($100 minimum) are welcome. Cocktails, wine, cheese, canapes, and perhaps some monologues from alumni and current students will be thrown in the mix. It'll probably start at 4pm, so if you come to the 2pm production of Henry V (and watch my son die a horrible death by hanging!) you can nosh afterwards. If you miss the first performance, you can come for the fundraiser and stay for the second (and watch my son die a horrible death by hanging). A good time to be had by all.

I spent most of my July 4th holiday weekend busting my ass cleaning my house. Jess' friend Lizzy decided while Jess was away that we needed to have a party for her when she got home, so we picked today.

Doug, Jess and I all made a hell of an effort and the place looks great. I think we need to schedule a party every month just to guarantee that the place gets cleaned this well. It looks great.

Either that, or I totally need to hire someone to do this because man alive it is no fun to clean.

Anyway... I invited about 15 people and only six have shown, which irritates me because when people SAY they are coming and then don't... well, feh. Whatever.

The six that are out there are having an uproriously good time, and so far Jack has only stolen the Badminton shuttlecock once. And everyone seems to be getting along, even those who don't know one another. It's very nice.

Doug bought the badminton set the other day on a lark, thinking that it would be nice to have the party guests doing something, seeing we don't have a pool or anything. He and Jess set it up last night and we played as a family, boys vs. girls, just the four of us. Geoff called his team (comprised of him and Doug) "Fat Guys with Glasses." He named my time (comprised of Jess and myself) "Mrs. Geigers." The phone rang while we were playing and Geoff said "the phone's ringing, mom." And I hit the shuttlecock and said "let it." We had a good time until the mosquitoes found us.

Pentax Spotomatic CameraOh -- and I totally meant to update you on the Pentax Camera that I got off of freecycle.

First of all -- the woman is amazing. She shared her father's award winning photo with me that he took with this camera. She got all new batteries and two rolls of film for me. She showed me how to load the camera and took a couple of sample shots. It came with four lenses. Some of which I have no idea what they do. On the whole -- it is amazing. I have been having a blast playing with focus and DOF and settings and all kinds of stuff and have just a couple of shots left in the camera to use before getting both rolls developed.

The weird thing is -- there is a bug inside the camera. A dead bug. I cannot get it out for the life of me. I see it in every photo, every time I change lenses, every time I plot out a photo to take... I have to take it in somewhere to get it cleaned.

But, for the most part... holy cow I'm having a blast. The lenses screw into place and they're just awesome. I'm in love. I love this camera. I can't wait to see the film and can't wait to share it with you.

And on that note, I'm going to head back outside and watch kids play, and get the grill started. We have way too much food... but that's okay. It's better to have too much than too little. And who knows, maybe a few more folks will show up later.