Monthly Archives: March 2014

Doin’ the work II

Tech rehearsal, tech rehearsal. Actually, I’m just glad it’s in the afternoons now, and not 8 a.m., as in past years. Not complaining there. I mean, I’m a morning person and all, but the ballet I had to perform on a Saturday morning, beginning at 5, to be able to get everything to school and set up by 8…I’ll pass, thanks. Must be my advancing age, but I’m just not into that anymore.

For those who may not know, a tech rehearsal is, of course, when all the technical people (sound, lights, stage crew) come to run the show for the first time. On the actors’ side, it’s the first time the show is run in full wardrobe, wearing mics. Oftentimes, worlds collide; trains wreck. It’s part of the process.

Since it’s a bit of a stressful day, we try to reward the students for giving up yet another Saturday in the name of art. So we feed them. Next to cash, that’s the best way. Two days ago, I ordered 16 pizzas from East of Chicago, which will be delivered this afternoon with a half hour left to go in rehearsal, so the smell of dinner permeates the room. (Another deliberate carrot: “If the finale goes well, we eat.”) There are also a dozen people bringing in tasty desserts and other munchies. I must say, diet be hanged today; I’m looking forward to the feast.

But for now, it’s hit the shower and the road to the school house. I’m ’bout to go get my piano on. At least I’m to the point where I can leave my tap shoes at home.

Are we having a good Saturday yet? I hope so!

Doin’ the work

Doin’ the work, doin’ the work, gettin’ stuff done…

I’ve come up for air to let you know that things are starting to shape up for opening night next Friday. Huzzah! OK, they’re shaping up slowly, but still taking shape. Will you come to my show? I’d love to see you there.

Speaking of shapes — where did these ten extra pounds come from since Thanksgiving? Certainly not from the ridiculously poor eating habits of grabbing a sandwich or yogurt or pizza or candy bar or whatever when I think of it. Or the nervous munching. Or the no sleep or nutty rehearsal schedule. Or my increasing inability to keep stuff straight. Oy. Gotta get control of myself.

Still, I’ve gotten quite a bit done since waking up at 3:02 today. Should be ready to tackle Thursday with renewed, caffeine-soaked resolve. Details will be dealt with, problems will be solved, and the cocka-doody program will be sent to the printer if it’s the last thing I do. Come Sunday the 30th, I can rest for a bit.

Until then, I’m….





And that’s one of the nicer descriptors.

See here now, fiends. It’s time to give it up; time to cash in on the outrageously expensive, bloated, consummately idiotic donkey of a failure that is the “War on Drugs.” We’ve given it a good go. Cripes, it’s been since 1971. Isn’t 43 years long enough to finally decide that what we’re doing isn’t working?

Remember Prohibition? It only took those Einsteins 13 years to figure out how utterly pointless it is to try and legislate — then enforce — morality choices in this country. When will we progressive, savvy, 21st-century thinkbombs get it?

Look. Pornography is legal. Cigarettes are legal. Alcohol of all kinds is legal. Opiates in pill form are legal. You can go to what’s-her-name dot com and have an extramarital affair. Turn on the TV and you can watch sex, murders, rapes, beatings, and all manner of unseemly, inhuman behavior against others of your species. You can watch a man court a harem of pathetic, gold-digging, attention-starved chicks, sleeping with any number of them over a span of eight weeks, while the girls themselves put up with it, hook, line and sinker, in teary-eyed hopes that he might pick me. You can do all that — but you can’t buy something that’s been used for medicinal and recreational purposes for thousands of years. Thousands of years. 

What would be so bad about putting a crimp in the Mexican drug cartels’ cannabis profits? Or decreasing the violence associated with the marijuana trade so drug enforcement agencies could concentrate more on the truly dangerous infiltrations of heroin and cocaine? Of course, there are problems with every regulatory system, but there doesn’t have to be a problem with weed. Tax it up one side and down the other, just like booze and cigs, so the Feds are happy. The pot smokers will be less happy, but they’ll be at Taco Bell, so they won’t care.

What, you’re not happy? Too bad. I’m not happy about a lot of things that I find reprehensible in this world, but the time comes when you have to stop trying to control everyone else. We wanted this free country; now we’ve got it — and all the crap that goes along with it. But it goes further than that. Here’s a nice, round number for you:

Deaths attributable to alcohol (a legal substance) in the US, PER YEAR: approx. 88,000

Eighty-eight. Thousand. A year. Now I’m not saying that a baked 17-year-old Chieferson behind the wheel is a good thing, or that it has never resulted in a deadly crash or other fatal event. It’s a big country with a lot of stupid, sad people. I’m sure it’s happened. But 88,000 times on average? Doubtful. And I doubt very much it would reach that level even if it were legal. Either way: it’s a choice. No one would dare in their mildest, mellowest, sticky-induced stupor suggest making alcohol — a proven killer — illegal in this country. It wouldn’t be fair to all those who drink responsibly; nor would it be tolerated for a New York friggin’ minute by the powerful booze lobby in Washington. Are you kidding me? Prohibition AGAIN? No way. We’ll just keep that license to kill, thank ya — and its dirty cousin Tobacco, too. But it’s the big fat no to big fatties — stupid 10,000-year-old proven treatment anyhow. We’d rather fight endless border wars and smugglers, and put folks in jail for decades for possession of a half ounce of it, while murderers and rapists beat rap after rap, as we continue to blindly pour billions upon billions in US tax dollars down the WoD rathole, only to have more illegal drugs enter the country with impunity.

That’s the ‘Murrican way, lemmetellya. I don’t like it, either. But I’d rather see them legalize pot and put a dent in the cartels (and ease some of the overcrowding in our prisons and county jails), than watch this costly “war” drag on for another 43 years with no end in sight.

So there.

Hey, did I mention I had a really good rehearsal yesterday afternoon? How about that? Me, driving home, not wanting to plow into the nearest light pole. Only really bad part of the weekend was not getting to see my grandsons. That will be fixed soon enough, trust me.

Why I’m walking away from Twitter

Yep, I’m going to take an extended break. I’m now Twitterless by choice (but not shutting down altogether, because I have the awesome @ name that many have asked for–but funny how I quote them the six-figure price for my giving it up, and I never hear from them again), and here’s why:

  1. Twitter is not designed for interaction. When you think about it, Twitter is basically a vehicle to say, “Look at me and what I’m doing/saying” in 140 characters or less. I know you could say the same about Facebook, but the comment sections (with their unlimited characters) make it more conducive to actual interaction. I like that, and I prefer it to mindless retweets of the same dang thing. Of course, people do interact on Twitter — but at 140 characters, I find it incredibly limiting. Not my style (as you can see, heh).
  2. Twitter makes me mad. Why? Because I follow people like Diane Ravitch, who posts things that make me so mad I could kick a puppy. Why don’t you “unfollow” her? you may ask. Well, because she addresses a subject I am very  much interested in. I like her article links, but…they just make me mad. I start out or finish my day wanting to hurt things, and that is not healthy.
  3. Twitter makes it easy to be mean. I have seen otherwise wonderful, kind people post (and retweet with impunity) the most vile, horrible, mean-spirited vitriol, designed to hurt, humiliate, mock, and deride. I have trouble reconciling that paradox. How can people who profess to be Christians say such filthy, vicious things about others in an open forum? (On my Twitter feed, it’s the president, parents and teachers who get the worst of it, in that order.)
  4. Twitter invites pretentiousness. Again, you could say this about Facebook to an extent, but auto-tweeting for the 634th time about “I just finished Day Whatever of this workout or that bible verse or this daily epithet delivery service” — without ever once engaging in discussion about it on any level — drips with self-importance. To me. Not everyone has to agree with me, mind. That’s why God made the comment section. And to those who check the option to “automatically post my tweets to Facebook” so we can all read your “yay me” post twice: well, I won’t ask you to stop it, but I will tell you that it’s annoying.
  5. Twitter can facilitate big mistakes. Obviously, it’s a public device, so what you say will be viewed by potentially hundreds of people. But it goes further, in that nothing is ever truly deleted. Again, Facebook is the same, but there’s something about posting a rushed, poorly thought out, 140-character rant about how stupid everyone is that makes you look like the selfish, arrogant, unprincipled, entitled, lazy wanker that people undoubtedly think you are. And future employers (and friends, and folks who award scholarships, and *cringe* even the targets of the acrimony) could possibly see them. They can also be extremely costly.

This is not to say that Twitter doesn’t have its value, or that Facebook is any better on some fronts, and there are exceptions, and you can’t make blanket statements like that, blah, blah, whatever. It’s to say that Twitter doesn’t bring me joy right now. Kablam. Too much negativity, man. Harshin’ my mellow. Don’t like it.

Now I shall go ponder the question of whether or not my rehearsal for tonight will be canceled, as we have what I hope is the last of the snow days for the year. Trying to hold it together here…

Fun escape

Y’know…seems all I’ve been thinking about lately is this show opening in 25 days, and how much rehearsal time we’ve missed due to snow and playoff games, and how much work remains before we can even fathom putting something onstage for paying guests.

The Black and Gold

The Black and Gold

I think that’s why last night was such a great break for many of us. I adore these kids (and I have 130-some very much like them in the other choirs at school), truly. They keep me young. Most importantly, they’re parented very well, having been taught to be respectful and kind. Never once do I worry about them doing or saying something inappropriate at a huge venue like the Q. (Too bad the Cavs lost by 20. That was inappropriate.)

Getting ready

Getting ready on center court

We laughed a lot during the one-hour wait time before they lined us up to go out to center court, at which time they sang the national anthem very nicely.

I’ve admitted to you before that I often dread these gigs (the getting dolled up, the driving to/in Cleveland during rush hour amidst 10,000 construction barrels downtown, the hunt for a parking space, for which you are drained of $35), but once I’m there, it’s a total hoot. The Cavs have their “anthem singers” division pretty well organized, other than the part about standing the whole time while waiting over an hour to perform. (Still, my fiend Wendell and I found a nice cart to park our buns on for a bit. Shout out to her for taking these cool photos, too.)

Anyway. It was lots of fun, a great honor, and a much-needed diversion from the regular insanity. And as we were filing out of the event level, one of the boys sidled up to me and said, “So,we need to talk. When are we doing an Indians game this year?” :-D

How’s your week shaping up?