Wednesday, August 12, 2009


August 12, 2009 - Reunioning

This past weekend I had the distinct honor and pleasure of going to a family reunion, on my dad's side of the family. A few years back, we did the same thing as some of you may recall. Since that time, my cousin Deb managed to find a few more relatives, mostly cousins, who had semi-vanished from our lives. Thanks to the magical powers of facebook, we've managed to reacquaint and get to know one another as adults. So another reunion was put into the works, and we gathered at Deb's house for another bash.

Doug couldn't get the Saturday off of work after spending a week at Boy Scout camp with Geoff, so he opted to not join us instead of joining us late. 5 hours away is not exactly the kind of thing you go to after you get out of work at 5pm.

Geoff had been at my parents' for the week, so we met him down there (Jess and I, that is). The party was in full swing at our arrival, with cousins from everywhere chilling in the backyard. Geoff spent about 11 hours in the pool. Sometimes I think that I'd like a pool because it would be something for him to do... and then I think to myself, naah, he'd never use it if we actually HAD one.

My aunt Margie was there, and my aunt Esther. Since the last reunion, my uncle Buddy had passed away, so this basically leaves my dad and his two sisters, with another uncle out in the world somewhere. I have no idea where he is or what he is up to.

reunion9Chief among the newly rediscovered cousins was Bill and Teri (who goes by Bethy these days). We hadn't seen one another since probably 1980, I'm guessing. They are a little older than I am, and both live far away.

When their dad died back in 1992, Deb tried desperately to find them, to no avail. It made us all really sad to know that he was going to be buried without his kids there... We'd gotten to know each other again on the facebook, and it is always so cute to log into FB in the morning and see "what's up cousins?" as someone's status. It always makes me smile. We take over one anothers statuses once in a while, with my cousin Joe and Deb's daughter Marlene usually the ringleaders of silly. We rag on each other, have long running back and forth conversations that rage through the evening that only we find amusing.

It was fantastic to see folks in person. My younger cousins are nuts, and it was a riot watching them. I bartended for them and polluted them quite well. So much so that my cousin Joe, the big talker, crawled into his truck to go to bed at 9:30pm, which incurred the wrath of everyone. For punishment, his truck got Toilet Papered. He got his revenge the next night when he shrink wrapped Ronnie's car.

jenssiepatti7On Sunday before we headed home, my sister and I had a late lunch with friends from High School who I haven't seen in about 20 years. We got our kids together and just took over a diner. Like NY pizza, diner food in NY is something we don't have around here. The closest diner food is in Connecticut, around Hartford and south. Massachusetts really needs some shiny metal greek diner action.

But I digress.

We had a blast catching up and laughing about the 25th reunion they just attended that I passed on. Who was an asshole, still. What girl changed so much that you couldn't recognize her for anything. Who threw up on the dance floor because she can't roll like she used to. Heh.

It was so nice to feel like no time has passed between us even though a lot really has. I loved their kids, and we just had a splendid time together. I cannot wait to see them again, truly and honestly.

I could have used an extra day, because I really wanted to head back to my hometown and just look around and maybe catch up with a friend or two still there. Hopefully 10 or 20 years won't pass to the next opportunity. My two cousins went with my dad to go to the cemetery where their dad is buried, and I was glad that they got to do that, after all these years.

Anyway. I'm home this morning. Geoff has no program to go to this week, so I opted to stay here with him until about 1pm, and then head into my office and work until about 6. Doug should be at a reasonable time today. He is giving notice on his job. He got an offer from another rehab hospital in Boston, and the pay is a lot more, and it is a 5 day a week position, so he won't have to do per diem speech for home health care. It's kind of a relief because he's been working 6 days a week since April. So there is much rejoicing there. We have a huge hole in our fence that no matter how often we block it Brodie dog keeps getting out. So I want to wait as late as possible, take them out to pee, and then Geoff doesn't have to take them out at all until daddy gets home. She's escaped four times this week... so some major fence mending has to take place as soon as possible.

And the Shakespeare update is that all the tour dates are booked, and now we start the publicity media blitz. I need to print out a bunch of posters and see if Jess can go hang them up around Salem while I work. If you're interested in the shows, they are as follows:

Twelfth Night

August 21 - 5pm. Salem Athenaeum Library, Salem MA
August 22 - 4pm, The Publick Theatre at Christian Herter Park, opening for the Orfeo Group, Boston, MA
August 23 - 5pm, Salem Museum Place Mall (the fountain area by the Peabody Essex Museum at the end of the East India Mall)
August 24 - no shows
August 25 - 1pm, Salem Willows Park Shell
August 25 - 5pm, Endicott Park, Danvers MA
August 26 - 1pm, Nichols Village, Groveland MA
August 26 - 5pm, Winnekenni Castle, Haverhill MA
August 27 - 5pm, Warren Park, Wellesley MA
August 28 - 5pm, Halibut Point State Reservation, Rockport MA
August 29 - 12 noon, Crowninshield Island, Marblehead MA

Now, a couple of these are special. Boston readers please note that the 4pm show on August 22 is an opening act for the Orfeo Group's FINAL show of "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)" and it is one quality act, I tell you what. Funny stuff. Our show is free. Bring a picnic. Orfeo follows at 6:45 and you can spend a wonderful evening in a BEAUTIFUL park enjoying Shakespeare. The Marblehead show is also special, because it is on an island in Marblehead Harbor, and you can only access the island at low tide by walking out... proper footwear recommended. Sunscreen too. It is a unique little spot, and the owners of the island, The Trustees of the Reservations, are excited for the show. I'm really looking forward to the Rockport show -- the park director there is completely psyched to have Shakespeare at Halibut Point. When I called to ask if they wanted to host us, he was thrilled "I've always wanted to do Shakespeare up here but didn't know who to reach out to!" he told me. So very cool and exciting.

I got turned down a lot of places this time around in my search for locations. Towns and venues want money. They want to charge a fee. Or, they want to book the show in March, and get it on their town calendars, and not do a kind of drive-by quick and dirty insertion of a program into their parks program. I did meet some cool people in some cool towns, Brookline, Wakefield, and others, who really like the idea and want to work on it for 2010. That was cool but it didn't do me any good for THIS tour! But it will make next year so much easier. Having a series of towns who want to host us, and lining them all up in advance, will be great. I can't wait to bring the kids back to the Boston Harbor Islands next year. I can't wait for next year.

Anyway. About time for me to pack this in and go to work. More later.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Done And On to the Next One

Hey. Summer finally showed up and the heat is on. We had a very below average, cold, horrible and rainy July, and August has started up with the 90s right off the bat. I'm sort of dreading the Twelfth Night tour because of the heat. I'm sure it will be okay though. What's 10 shows? The kids are tough. The new kids will hopefully love it, and ... your humble tour director is looking forward to what may come.

Jess got cast as Maria (found out it is pronounced "mah-REYE-ah" much to our confusion and the fact I've only ever READ the play and there is no written out "this is how it is pronounced" bit) and she's happy with her role. She read for Olivia, and I think she would have been actually well cast as her. I would have liked to have seen it. But she's got the comedian role again and she does that quite well. I think this is her last play with this group because she graduates in June of next year, and she had a blast with Hamlet, and is really looking forward to Twelfth Night. I'm so glad she's happy. I just wish she'd catch up with her summer work.

Geoff and Doug went to Boy Scout Camp, and they returned alive, tan and rested. Doug said Geoff did a pretty good job and was one of the least troublesome and messy kids there. He got 2 out of 3 of the merit badges he set out to do. He didn't quite get all of the tasks done. He has to score a certain amount of points on a certain amount of arrows, and he didn't get ... close. At the beginning of the week he couldn't hit the side of the planet. By Friday he was getting 4 of 5 arrows ON the target. He even hit one bullseye. Quite by accident I'm sure. But there was a lot of celebrating afterwards.

He's at my parents' now, spending some quality time with them. I have two more weeks of summer for him to be entertained through and am not sure what to do with him. Hmmm.

This weekend, Jess and I are going to Long Island to attend my family reunion. The last one was in 2005, and we took a whole huge family vacation out to Pennsylvania after doing the reunion. My parents are bringing Geoff down to Long Island on Thursday and then Jess and I will join on Saturday. Doug can't get out of work, having just taken the week off. So we'll go without him. I'm looking forward to my cousin coming out from Oregon, haven't seen him since we were young teens. Thanks to the power of Facebook, my cousin Debbie found him and now we're one big happy family again. Grownups, but still kids in a lot of ways.

I'm looking forward to Debbie's new tiki bar, and Geoff is looking forward to the pool.

Anyway. Not much else to report. I'm so boring lately, aren't I?