Nothing but Flowers
Wednesday, March 31, 2004
Got my 5th flat tire of car-ownership today. First one in over 2 years, which is the really impressive part. I'd thought that after 4 in the first 10 months of owning my car I was set for a while.
I pulled over right outside Nation of Islam headquarters, called my boyfriend, and we changed the tire while NOI security cars circled around. I think they may have had some fun watching my ineptitude while waiting for the boy. Sigh. I know how to change the damn tires at this point, I'm just not strong enough to unscrew the bolts without help. At least I didn't have to get hauled away from the highway on a flat bed truck this time, that was humiliating.
the last flat tire--my 4th--was very soon after I started dating my boyfriend. I remember this because he talked someone he didn't know very well into driving him out to me where I was stranded on the side of the highway. They beat the tow truck by about half an hour. #s 3 and 4 were during the rehearsal process for the same show, which I think may have made the production manager suspicious. #2 was also in an unfriendly neighborhood, and I had to call my then boss to see if he could help. When he wasn't around I called a tow truck and vowed to learn to do it myself. The first one was when I was looking for apartments. I actually pulled into a gas station that I use all the time now to have them help me. Ah, yesterday.
So I'll have an exciting evening at CostCo, which is where I bought my current tires. The previous 4 were the car's original ones that were later recalled. This one is just a mystery.
Digging out my trunk to get to the spare I discovered a whole world of junk. Several books, someone else's watch, a couple mismatched gloves, a winter hat, several armoral wipe containers, 3 empty soda cans, a pink feather boa, and a bag full of god-knows-what.
You people who borrow my car...geesh. Clearly NONE of that junk was mine.
Days like today make me wish I didn't own a car. I'd have a nice 50 minute commute on the el every morning, and never have to think about parking. Then again, I also wouldn't have a car...so maybe that's not a good idea.
Tuesday, March 30, 2004
It's 5:30am and I've been awake for over an hour
Stupid jet lag.
On the other hand, who knew that I could stand super-early-morning TV programming?
First day back at work was predictably nutty. I think I managed to get through my messages and the most urgent of my work, but not much else. I can't believe I'm getting back on an airplane on Friday. and then again two weeks later.
Classes start tonight. Managerial Decision Making and Pricing Theory. the first one is supposed to be a great class, it's with a well-loved professor, and Moneyball is on the syllabus. The second course is required for my marketing concentration. I'm sure you'll hear more about both as the quarter moves on.
Because I hate losing: Samantha Mathis did indeed star in Pump up the Volume. So I shouldn't have lost. That time at least.
That last bit mattered only if you were in a car in Bali on the way to Tanah Lat. Which most of you weren't, so I apologize.
Bali was really beautiful. I may be spoiled for limes, but I think that's ok. And even with my aversion to strange fruit (strange being anything that is not a berry, a melon, a banana, related to a grape, or citrus), I consumed a whole lot of papaya and rambutan. Okay, one rambutan (no idea if that's how it is spelled).
It's hard not to love being attended to by 7 house boys; it was a little bizarre at first, but by the end we were all pretty much used to it. It was kind of a relief, however, to be able to just open the fridge and grab a diet coke this morning.
Before I forget, pixagogo wasn't working, so the pictures are actually at Margo's .Mac page. I'm really (and i mean this sincerely) impressed with her spelling--I had to look up Tanah Lat for that one reference above. I'm also shocked to learn that boo-lay is spelled bule (it means white person. when pronounced with a slight headshake we like to think it means crazy white people). Also very impressed that she knew how to identify the main gate at Besakih.
I'm also very glad that Margo was the official trip documentarian. All the pictures I took are zoomed out and blurry, which is an impressive feat with a top of the line digital camera. Someone I subjected all 287 pictures to kindly suggested that I just really like including the whole vista in pictures and care much less about the subject. Right.
Yes, 287. But only a few are online, don't worry. So go look. homepage.mac.com/margojohnston/photoalbum1.html
And now, because you missed them oh so much, some links. (I've been catching up on my news reading this early AM)
Does copyright help or hinder artistic expression? Actually, the article doesn't deal with the larger question as I've linked it, but it's an interesting bit on the grey album fiasco. also interesting for me given a) recent circumstances/controversies at work and b) all the DVDs I could have bought on the street in Bali for 30,000 rupiah, which is about $3.49
The Bob Edwards controversy at NPR makes me sad. the letter from Jay Kernis is good propaganda, the one from Bob Edwards himself is tellingly short.
visit savebobedwards.com if you want to, but they advocate not donating to your local station, which I think is a bad idea. It also has the audio clip of Edwards talking about the move and what it means to him, which is pretty interesting--and coincidentally reveals some of his weaknesses as a radio personality.
But isn't it amazing that something so seemingly insignificant as a change in host for one show on public radio is causing such a commotion?
Gotta say though, if I were the producer I would have done the same thing. I probably would have waited until the 25th anniversary, but who knows.
Okay, I may post more in the next two hours before I leave for work. but I might just continue to unpack and resettle.
Monday, March 29, 2004
Chicago Tribune | KARL JOACHIM WEINTRAUB, 79
KARL JOACHIM WEINTRAUB, 79
Sunday, March 28, 2004
Back from Bali, Back in the Blogosphere, etc.
But first, the AP knows Chicago has great theater or something.
I'm in LA right now, a brief stopover on the way back to Chicago. I'm using Margo's computer, which I hope she doesn't mind (she's at soccer practice).
Bali was...amazing, or interesting, or bizarre...depends on how you look at it.
Some of the things we did: lay on the beach, vistited temples, lay by the pool, drank coconuts, played cards, played with (and were attacked by) monkeys both holy and un-holy, touched (and were blessed by) a holy snake, admired the holy bats from afar, held cockatus and snakes, went white water rafting, rode motorcycles, and much much much more.
Some of the things Margo did that the rest of us didn't: bungy jump, kill a chicken, drive a motorcycle.
Margo will post pictures on pixagogo, and I'm sure that if I were to give all the details you would all die from boredom, but I'll post bits and pieces about the trip as time goes on.
For now though I should get back to work. I've whittled my inbox down to 120 messages I have to deal with (which is a huge improvement) and I still have a bunch of homework to do, with luck before I get on yet another plane (I leave LA at 5:30, arrive chicago around 11pm).
On another note, I got a B in the class I took pass/fail.
My body thinks it is 6am tomorrow not noon today. hmmm.
Thursday, March 18, 2004
It's been a while
sorry...and can't post now what with USITT and all.
but margo will be positng pictures of us on pixagogo
Friday, March 12, 2004
Everything you could want from anaritcle in the NYT: Peter Krause, messy contract negotiations, and Sam French closing a show because of copyright infringement.
Is Queer the new black?
In a ridiculous move, Synthesizer maker files complaint against musicians union. Okay, it's not ridiculous, it may even be brilliant. but it makes me mad.
Apparently there are two musicals based on "A Little Princess" coming to Broadway. One by David Zippel and Matthew Wilder, called "Princesses", and one by Andrew Lippa and Brian Crawley ("A Little Princess"). The first one isn't a straight adaptation (it's set at a contemporary boarding school), but still I'm pretty amused.
Thursday, March 11, 2004
CNN.com - $1 million bill woman says she was confused - Mar 11, 2004
$1 million bill woman says she was confused My favorite part of this article is that CNN.com finds it necessary to include this sentence "The United States Treasury does not make $1 million bills"
My stepfather's stepmother died last night. He's leaving mid-trial (asbestos lawsuits, on the insurance company side) to come to Chicago for the funeral and to resettle his father. So my parents will be in town from this afternoon until at least Monday. It's all very sad, but she was old and had been sick for a very long time so at least it isn't totally unexpected.
Wednesday, March 10, 2004
Between work, finals, and a semi-futil ongoing attempt to trim my cat's claws (at the rate of one every few attempts), I haven't had much time for blogging.
I'm sure you are all simply devestated.
I'm out of the country for a week, and at a conference the week before, so my blogging will be pretty light until late march. I'll post this weekend (my finals are all friday) and bring you all up to date on...um...whatever it is I blog about.
Tuesday, March 09, 2004
Seuss, Inc. "But if the literary Seuss is Edward Lear, the Hollywood Seuss is "Saturday Night Live"--adult-themed humor that gets its laughs by pushing the envelope and trading in adolescent versions of sex, violence and scatological humor. The characters themselves are slightly frightening, as if in the grip of dark impulses."
Spalding Gray's NYT obit
Monday, March 08, 2004
CNN.com - Spalding Gray found dead - Mar 8, 2004
CNN.com - Spalding Gray found dead - Mar 8, 2004
Friday, March 05, 2004
`Monty Python's Spamalot' musical will open run in Chicago. Mike Nichols is directing.
Thursday, March 04, 2004
it's going to be a long night for the U of C computer support people...but since email has been down since noon, I've had a quiet day.
If this CSO vote for Barenboim actually happens, it'll be an amazing statement on the power of the artist.
Authors addicted to amazon
Passion film beats Rings record
Yes, that's right. The Passion has beaten LOTR:ROTK's record for 5-day opening on a wednesday.
Little Shop opened last night, thank god. I made one major screw up, but considering I've been with the show for less then a week, I think that's ok. I'm still not thrilled with some of the places where I'm supposed to call cues, and some of the fade times seem really off, but hey. All's fair.
The actors are really remarkably good, and the staging works really well, so it's a joy to watch (though I've never really just watched it). The audience (98 on a wednesday, not bad) seemed to thoroughly enjoy it as well.
Small victory yesterday--when my boss got the flowers from her dad she kept the card for the florist since they did a good job.
Eisner out as Chair but still CEO and George Mitchell is everywhere. Everywhere. Has anyone else noticed that?
I hope our production of wintertime next week gets a better response
Tuesday, March 02, 2004
It's amazing how simultaneously frustrating and rewarding academic theater can be. Rewarding when the students are learning, frustrating as all hell when they aren't. I think I've spent the last three days veering between wanting to scream "haven't I told you that three times already?" and being utterly amazed at how wonderful everyone is. Luckily all the actors are really patient and kind, at least around me. They're also responsible.
I'm not just saying this because some of them read this blog, I promise.
I do have to step back and remember that 6 years ago I wasn't the calmest most organized person in the world. I'm finding it hard to project backwards, past the mistakes and lessons learned, to figure out how to phrase things most effectively. And trying to balance "if I do it myself it'll be quicker" with "I'm doing this so people can learn. I'm here to help not to dictate."
We cut the blood tonight. A show that originally was about buckets and buckets of blood, and now there's only a tiny bit on a paper towel. We could make it work, but we'd have to change all the gels, which would make the plant look less amazing, and the show is more about the plant than about the blood. Actually, I think we could make it work even as is, but I was overruled (and happy about it. I didn't really want to create that much extra work for myself).
I think it's the first show I've ever stage managed where none of the headset banter has involved criticizing actors. It's partly the people on headset, but also partly that the actors are talented, responsible, and patient.
I suppose I should amend that slightly: at one point tonight there was discussion of an actor's allergy to light.
I'm finding it challenging to come into calling a show after having seen so few rehearsals, and calling out of a book that isn't "mine" is really hard. The notes are good, but they're not mine. At the production meeting it was noted that every light cue I called on a specific actress' moves timed out perfectly, but the ones off a different actor were often slightly early. It's funny that I seem to have picked up one person's rhythm and not the other's. It'll be there, but right now it's hard. We did have a couple high-fives in the booth, however, when specials faded up in exact time with crosses. (for the record, and those of you not in the process, the light design is almost entirely specials. Which means that if actors aren't in their light, or if I am slightly off with calling a cue, they're standing in the dark)
I'm sure you were all dying to know all of that.
My godfather thinks the A-Rod trade is bad for baseball. I haven't seen him in about 15 years, but he's speaking for me in this case. Thanks to Margo for the link.