Monday, June 7, 2010

Hodge Podge

"A little bit of this, a little bit of that.
A pot, a pan, a broom, a hat."
Sheldon Harnick

DAYS 235-241:  Tsk tsk tsk ... I've been seriously falling down on the job.  So, it's been a full week since my last post and, BOY, what a week!  Between work and finishing off the school year, along with rehearsals for Parade EVERY day, I've had very little time at home other than walking Annabelle and sleeping.  Instead of trying to create seven separate back-dated blog entries, I'm presenting a hodge podge, a medley, a potpourri, a mishmash, a grab bag, a melange, a miscellany of short expressions of gratitude in a single post that will hopefully cover my week of delinquency!  Here goes nuthin' ...

WAITING SUCKS ... I received my Blu-Ray editions of the first two seasons of True Blood this past weekend (with some of the bonus money that I'll mention just below)!  Along with Nurse Jackie, Mad Men, and Brothers and Sisters, it is one of my favorite shows on TV and I'm grateful to get the chance to relive my introduction to the eccentric, wicked, and often dangerous residents of Bon Temps, Lousiana.  The show was created by Alan Ball, who also penned the original Six Feet Under (another incredible HBO series).  OK ... so it's a series about vampires in Louisiana, but it's delightfully dark, sardonically hysterical, frightening, gory, and, yes, I'll admit it ... EXTRAORDINARILY sexy.  I can't get enough of it, and the NEW season also starts in less than a week!!

CHA-CHING! ... Six years ago, I became a National Board Certified Teacher in High School Science (with a focus in Physics).  It was a long, demanding process resulting in a huge self-assessment portfolio of writing entries evaluating our own teaching style.  The certification comes with bonus money both from our School District and from the State of Florida.  The District money is apportioned by paycheck, but the State money comes in a lump sum sometime during the year.  It used to arrive in a timely fashion right before Christmas, but it's gotten later and later each year.  Well, it finally arrived this past week and it will more than pay for my trip to Ireland this summer, PLUS SOME!

THE COUNTDOWN CONTINUES ... We are in the FINAL WEEK of classes!  We have five half-days with students this week as we administer final exams.  Although the teachers have to stay for a full day, there's nothing like shuffling the kids out the doors just after noon and having the rest of the day in the peace and quiet.  We teachers have two final "post-planning" days next Monday and Tuesday, but with the students GONE, even those two days seem like the official start of summer vacation.  It was a much better year this year than last, though I'm anxious to see what courses I'll be teaching next year.  Unfortunately, it may be quite some time (as usual) to find out what they are.

ON THE MARCH ... The most time-consuming project this past week was definitely my production of Parade, but I'm happy and GRATEFUL to report that the largest part of my task (and the job that requires the most out-of-rehearsal time) is completed.  The show is COMPLETELY staged.  I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the show, although incredibly complex in structure and size (not to mention a cast of THIRTY), was not as difficult to "put on its feet" as I at first thought it might be.  We've got a wonderfully workable set design (which I blogged about some time ago) and a hard-working, cooperative, and committed cast that have made the work much simpler.  It's been mostly a matter of placement, stage pictures, and traffic control, and I'm VERY HAPPY with the product so far!!

EARLY TO BED ... Because the tedious task of blocking the musical is finished, we are now in the "review" phase of rehearsals.  Fortunately this doesn't take as long as the initial staging, so we've been able to spend about an hour less each night in rehearsal.  I've been asking a lot of my cast recently, particularly the number of consecutive nights I've had to call them in, so I'm grateful for the opportunity to let them out a little early each evening.

SUNDAY FUNDAY! ... After yesterday's rehearsal, a group of about 20-25 theatre friends went out to celebrate my friend Staci's birthday and we had a BLAST ... as we always do when this wild, carefree, outspoken, naughty group of people get together.  I love these people and the joy, friendship, and companionship they bring to my life.  We spent a couple of hours at Mellow Mushroom (one of my FAVORITE places to eat) and then a number of us went to an outdoors beachside bar right on the water.  What a great afternoon and evening!

TIME AND MUSIC ... Some time ago in this blog, I mentioned that my friend, Aaron, and I were beginning work on a new, original musical.  Somewhere along the way, we both got really busy with our lives and the project went by the wayside.  My folder of research and my rhyming dictionary have been here on my desk at the ready, however, for the time when life became a little less hectic and I could start writing.  With school almost over and my Parade "homework" completed, it's time to get to work ... and Aaron's ready to do the same!!  We've reconnected and hope to get working on the project SOON ... our ultimate goal is to have a workable stage production ready for a local "Fringe Festival" to be presented at Players by-the-Sea this time next year!  And I'm still not telling you what it's about ... but I'm certain it will be WORTH THE WAIT ...

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