Thursday, February 28, 2008

clear blue sky

I realized today that I haven't posted a picture in a long time, so I wanted to fix that right away! I need to start carrying my camera everywhere again. I've missed some amazing sunsets these last few weeks. Anyway, I took this picture on a nature trail in Gulf Shores. The beach is about a mile from this spot, but the trail takes you right to it. There are so many amazing trails in this area - I don't think I'll ever manage to cover all of them! I'm going to try, though.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

going to do better

There was a time when I posted every single day. I'm going to get back to that now, I promise! I guess I haven't really felt like I had anything interesting to say lately. For awhile there, I couldn't say much about anything. At first, I didn't want to say anything during the job search because I was afraid that prospective employers might read something into what I said and not hire me! Then, when I got the job I have now (which I love, by the way) I didn't want to say much in case it didn't work out. Now that I've been in the job for almost a month, I feel a lot more confident about it and I feel like I can say something about it.

Did I even say where I'm working now? I can't remember if I covered that here or not. I'm the new Resource Development Manager of the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate. It's a step up, career-wise, and it's a truly great organization. I like my coworkers a lot, although I haven't had much of a chance to really get to know them. That will happen, though.

So what else is going on? I watched a new show last night. My Tivo recommended it. It's called quarterlife and I found it interesting. I'll watch another episode or two. I googled it after it was over and found that it actually started online, so now I'll have to check on that and see what it's all about. I used to know all this stuff, I was really up on everything that was going on - but now it seems that I'm more focused on the local happenings. I guess that's good, in a way, but it's also bad because I like knowing what's new in entertainment. Must make an effort to stay informed. Anyway, the show was interesting and I kept wondering how I knew the main actress. Turns out she was on an episode of Moonlight for about 3 minutes. Funny that I would remember her from that!

I'm still having fun with my Tivo. It recorded 4 episodes of The Outer Limits as a suggestion and I had a blast watching them last night. I have an inexplicable love for that show. It's a guilty pleasure. However, it also recorded an episode of Tyra Banks. I guess it can't be perfectly accurate all the time, can it?!

Gas prices are going up again. It's insane how much they are allowed to raise them without any kind of regulations. We are being taken for a ride, quite literally, by the oil companies. I really should have bought the hybrid version of my car. If I could do it over again, I would. The other alternative is moving closer to work, and once I've passed my three month mark, I will. I'm already looking at apartments. We'll see what I can afford when my student loans double in a few months. Stupid loan company.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

things happen for a reason, right?

I just got the call saying I was not cast in the play. That was fast, huh? I'm wondering if my one role was just a fluke and I'm really not very good, or if it's just a case of me not being right for any of the parts. Most of the roles in this show are outside my age group, as I mentioned before. So maybe that's the reason. I had a nice comment from the stage manager, who I am honored to call a friend. She really is an amazing person. She said between auditions for the show I was in last year and auditions for this show, she saw a lot of growth in me, especially in my confidence onstage and my ability to do some character work on the spot. It was nice to hear that. It cushioned the blow of not being cast in this show, and she reminded me that we do have the musical coming up, which is the one I really want this year. If I don't get a part in the musical, that's when I'll be crushed. The thing I regret most about not getting a part in this play is that I'm fairly certain some of my friends are going to be in it, and I hate to miss being a part of a cast with them! But maybe next time, right?

But at any rate, it looks like I'll have lots of time to concentrate on Draha, which is really what I need right now. I haven't done any real writing in quite awhile and I miss it. Oh, I know the outline work has to be done and I'm doing it very faithfully, but I miss writing dialogue and detailed description. I'll concentrate really hard on getting the first book's outline finished so I can start doing some actual writing. It's too bad I'll have to scrap most of my NaNo work and start over. It made good background, but it wasn't quite right. I know that now, and can use some of it, but I'll be starting the wordcount over and rewriting most of what I plan to keep.

I know it sounds like I'm just trying to make myself feel better about not getting a part, but it'll be nice to have my evenings free for writing and knitting. I'll have free time from now until late June, when we audition for the musical, because I'm skipping the third show. I have too many work commitments during the rehearsal time that would really cause trouble. In fact, I think I would pull out all my hair and have a nervous breakdown if I tried to be in a show at the same time as this massive work project that is coming up in May. (I can't talk about it yet, but it's going to be extremely exciting!!)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Can I just say that I think I have gone completely insane? Insane, I tell you! The two nights I had off from Misery, I spent at the theatre auditioning for the next show. That's right. I went to auditions Monday night and was called back for tonight's auditions. We were there for about three hours each night, each person reading different parts with different people. It was unlike any audition I've ever experienced - and it was the most fun I've had in a long time! Did I get a part? I have no idea. I'm sort of on the edge of the age groups needed for the various female characters, but there's one really good one in my age group that I'd enjoy doing. I'd prefer one of the older roles, just because it would be an absolute blast to play, but I think he's going to stick pretty close to the suggested ages. We'll see what happens. I know one thing, I don't harbor any delusions that I'll get a part because I know the director and stage manager. They will cast who they think is right for the parts, regardless of whether they know them or not. And that is how it should be.

Anyway, we had about 50 people audition during the two nights. It was pretty amazing! I was happy with the turnout, especially considering the dreadful turnout for Misery. I felt responsible for the poor turnout for Misery because it was my first time doing publicity for a theatre activity. It turns out that people just were not interested in being in a two person show. This time, they poured into the theatre. I really enjoyed watching everyone read. I don't envy Tim the job he has of casting 17 roles from the 50 people who read.

Tomorrow starts our final week of Misery. Three shows down, 5 to go...

Friday, February 15, 2008

Moonlight Shines on CBS

First of all, how in the world did I miss this show? How? Given my interest in shows of this nature, it should have been on my "must see" list from the beginning. Alas, I just found it last week, but I am making up for it now!

First, the technical details. The show can be seen on CBS on Friday nights when it airs, but because of the strike, it was placed on temporary hiatus until more shows could be written and produced. Now that everything is solved and the writers are back at work, new shows will air beginning April 11. All previous episodes can be downloaded from iTunes for under $25, and I would recommend doing this because it's a great way to catch the overall arc of the show. I love watching a show in order without any long breaks between, because you can really sense the continuity that way. So get the previous episodes and catch up before April 11, and you will certainly join the ranks of "willing freshies" who love this show with all their hearts!

Now, the story. Mick St. John is a private investigator in LA. He's intense, gorgeous, broody, and clever, but there is also a sense of humor and wit about him that really makes him a special character. Oh yeah, he's also a vampire. He was "turned" by his new bride - talk about a wedding night surprise - and is reluctant to embrace his dark side. There have been glimpses of his past, however, and they indicate that this was not always the case. He even states in one of the show's well-placed voice-overs (which remind most fans of old detective films) that he was once like most people, looking out for himself, but one case made him see that he needed to turn his life around and help people. As far as I can tell, they never truly explain what about that case made him turn into a "good vampire," but I think it was that he saw how inhuman vampires can be and he vowed not to be that. I won't go into details about the case because it was one of the early reveals in the show and I don't want to spoil it for any virgins out there.

So we meet Mick while he is going about the normal business of being a private investigator in LA, following a case of a girl who has puncture wounds in her neck, which explains his interest. We also meet Beth Turner, a reporter for an Internet news outlet called BuzzWire. There was a little nod to Lois Lane in one of the episodes, where the editor says something about how Beth should have been able to spell the word "predator" by now. I loved it. :) Beth and Mick meet in the first episode, but there are hints that they have seen each other before.

That's it for the intro, but I'll be back to review each of the first 12 episodes in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, download this show from iTunes. You will not regret it.

Opening Night

Tonight is opening night for Misery, and if someone had told me last week that we would be ready, I would have called them a liar. Last night's invited dress rehearsal, however, proved to me that this cast and crew can pull it off after all. The show was far from flawless, but it worked. The audience was interested and not a single one said anything negative as they left the theatre. When I'm running lights, I can wear anything I want, so I don't look like I'm involved with the production. I use that to my advantage and listen to people as they leave to see what they really thought about the show. Usually, I hear comments about what they liked or disliked, but last night I only heard good things.

I managed to get some work done on Draha while waiting up in the booth for the set crew and actors to figure out set changes this week. We had several long rehearsals, and when your only responsibility is to turn the lights on and off, you tend to have some down time. I took a different approach to it this week, and I think it's working out really well. I wrote "book 1, book 2, book 3, book 4, and book 5" across the top of a piece of paper and put lines between them to create columns. I then created rows across the page so that I had something like a huge spreadsheet. I identified things I needed to know about each book and wrote each thing down in the appropriate box. While doing this, some great ideas came to me, especially in the row for identifying characteristics of each island. I can't say more than that, but trust me when I say it's going to be very cool!

I signed up for another swap on Ravelry, and this time I'm making a hat for someone. I have to go get the yarn today or tommorrow. It won't be on the progress bar because it's a surprise for my swap partner, but I'll post photos after it has been sent to her. Now to find a good pattern...

My sister is looking for a new job. She called me today to see if I knew of anything, but since I'm not looking anymore, I've been out of the loop on the job situation here. I'll need to check on that this weekend and see what I can tell her.

I finally broke down and bought a Tivo. It came by UPS two days ago, but because of the show I haven't been able to hook it up. I'm going to buy the cables tonight and will hook it up tomorrow, just in time to test it out on some shows that will be on while I'm at the theatre tomorrow night. I've already made a list of all the shows I'm going to "Season Pass," so I'm excited about that. I just discovered a show on CBS called Moonlight. Because I tend to like dark stories, I've really been drawn in and can't wait to see what the writers are going to do with it. The last episode before the strike really begins to weave some interesting mythology that I think could be an intriguing overall arc for the entire series. I haven't really been "addicted" to a show in awhile, but for some reason, I can't seem to get enough of this one. Hopefully, it will be picked up for a second season.

The new job is still going well. Things are going to get hectic pretty quickly because of a big project that we have coming up, but that's the way I like it! I'm looking forward to seeing how everything comes together.

Monday, February 11, 2008

the sound of silence

Okay, so our sound guy quit. We have an audience Thursday. Yep, Thursday! And our sound guy quit. The director is going to be up in the booth with me, doing sound while I do lights. Rehearsal lasted until 11:30 tonight and the director looked like he was about to kill everyone. It's always a stressful time.

I must be crazy to run lights for this one and audition for the next one, but I love it so much, and the director for Dearly Departed actually asked me if I was planning to try out, so I felt I really should. I do hope I get a part. I love working backstage, but I do miss acting. I won't work backstage on Dearly Departed. I think it's good to give other people a chance. I'm skipping the third show of the season. It's a good show and the director is wonderful, but I can't do that many shows in a year. Like I said before, it's good to give other people a chance. I will try out for the last one, the musical. (of course!)

Oh, I got an email today telling me that my Tivo was shipped this morning! I decided to use a little of my tax refund to invest in Tivo so that I'll never miss any shows due to meetings or rehearsals or writing sessions that go on a little longer than expected! I actually can't believe I waited this long to get it. I can't wait until it comes in and I get a chance to play with it!

I did some plot work on Draha today during my lunch break. I'm always thinking about the story and the characters, but I only count it as work if I put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) and today I made some notes that I think will really help me get to the next stage in the outline. I'm so excited about this story! I've never been this excited! It's really going to be good, if I do say so myself... ;)

Friday, February 08, 2008


This week has been exhausting. I feel like I've been run over by a truck. I think it might have been a mistake to volunteer to do lights on a show while also trying to get used to a new job. But it's going to be okay. In two weeks, it'll all be over and I'll get to rest. A little.

No news other than that. I have a production meeting for Dearly Departed tomorrow and then we're going to paint the final pieces of the Misery set. Sunday is another tech rehearsal. Opening night is Friday. I hope it comes together by then. Some parts of the show are still a little "iffy."

For now, I just want to sleep. So that's what I'm going to do.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Misery tech

We had our first tech rehearsal tonight. Running lights is fun, and I'm glad I'm doing it for this show. It was so much fun setting the lights on Saturday and running the cue-to-cue tonight. With Hamlet, all the lights were set and the presets were done before I got to the board. They simply handed me a cue sheet and a script with all the info already written in and I went to work. This time I was involved with the whole process (except for climbing ladders - I tend to fall down, so I avoid ladders) Tonight, the director and I worked out the presets and I made the cue sheet for myself. I need to clean it up a little, but I'm pretty sure I won't have any trouble with any of it. There are some fun effects in the show. I can't wait to see them in the actual scenes. One thing about a cue-to-cue, you get everything done fairly quickly, but you skip all the action between cues. I haven't seen the show all the way through yet, so I'm looking forward to seeing it. I think they are running the show tomorrow night, so I should see it then.

Got some more work done on the detailed outline. I had an idea about something that might really be fun for the story, now I just have to work some things out. I won't be writing much in the next week because I have to get the program and other printed material for the show finished and need to get some more publicity out. I'll probably work on the outline a little each day, but nothing significant.

The purse I'm working on is coming along nicely. I hope it felts okay. It's going to make me completely crazy if I get the whole thing finished and it doesn't felt right! I signed up to be in a swap for February, so as soon as I get my swap partner, I'll be working on a hat for her/him. Ravelry has been so good for my knitting. I've tried so many different things because of various challenges, swaps, and groups that I've been a part of on the site. I'm looking forward to starting the hat. Oh, and I'm doing Project Spectrum (have I talked about that yet? I don't remember) Because the theme this year is "elements" and because the elements play such a heavy role in Draha, I'm excited to be a participant. The first element is fire, so I decided to knit something small in the suggested "fire" colors, and also to play with mosaics and make a candle holder, bringing actual fire into my project for that element. It'll be two projects for one theme, but that's allowed (encouraged, even) so I'm going to do it. I'll post pictures when I'm finished!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

call me a slacker if you want...

I deserve to be called a slacker for my dismal posting habits lately, I know. This week was crazy! I spent the first part of the week training my replacement at my old job. I can actually say "my old job" now, because Wednesday was my last day. There's something very interesting about closing a chapter of life and starting a new one. It's scary, but exciting - at the same time! Here's my current vague update - Something exciting and amazing might happen. Stay tuned.

Still plugging away at the outline for Draha. I'm beginning to understand how JK Rowling must have felt when she was outlining Harry Potter. Creating a world is very complex and (dare I say it?) FUN! It's taking longer than I expected to get through the detailed outline, mainly because the outline is becoming more detailed than I expected. I'm happy about the way things are going, though. I love when I'm working on a story and everything just falls into place. I've been in that zone for a few months now, and it's GREAT!

I started on the basketweave scarf but haven't done much on it this week. I did get some really nice yarn the other day - a soy/wool blend in shades of blue - that I immediately put to use! I'm working on a purse using a sort of hybrid design taken from a few different purses I found on Ravelry and a felted box design from the wonderful Mason Dixon Knitting book. I'll post some pictures when I get further in the design. Still working on my first sock. Haven't done much on it, but also haven't forgotten it. I'm also contributing a square for a charity project I found on Ravelry. It won't take long to make and it's nice to do something for someone else.

Got the publicity about the upcoming show out, so I'm happy that's done. I still have to finish the program, make sure the poster is done, get the postcards out, and send the press release about the upcoming auditions. See, that's why I haven't been posting. My evenings have been filled with theatre business (not to mention a grant that I'm writing for a client) so I haven't had time to post anything here! But I'll do better, I promise! The show opens Feb. 15, so we spent some time today setting lights. It was my first time being there while that happened, so I just watched and learned. It was great.

That's it for now. More later.