Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I'm afraid it's going to be difficult to describe this, but I'm going to try.  I got home this afternoon from my very quick trip to New York to see Equus.  Shannon and I flew out yesterday morning - very early yesterday morning - and arrived in the early afternoon.  We got a cab to the West Side YMCA, where we had arranged to stay for the night.  Yeah, we were going for inexpensive rather than luxurious.  It wasn't really as bad as I was afraid it would be, although it was my first experience using a shared bathroom since my time in the dorms at college! 

Anyway, we got there and decided to go ahead and dress for the play and go explore before dinner.  We walked around a bit and took the subway to Times Square.  I was pretty proud of us, actually - some guy came up and asked us a question about the subway... I guess we looked like we belonged there or something!  At the time, we didn't know the answer to his question, which happened to be our question, but when Shannon found the train we were looking for, I went back and told the guy what we discovered. 

I love New York.  The energy, the people, the buildings... there's just something amazing about the city.  I want to spend more time there, to really experience the city more.  One day I'll go back.  It was interesting because while we were walking around and I was taking in all the sights, I kept thinking about being a senior in high school and making plans with my friend Jamie to move to New York for college.  I was going to go to Julliard and he was going to go to NYU.  I gave up on that for a guy, and I regret it now, more than I can say.  Know what's funny?  He lives in New York now.  He's the artist he always wanted to be.  I think that's amazing, especially since I'm still where I've always been.  It kind of made me sad, you know?  

So anyway, back to the trip... we walked around some, looking for a restaurant.  We had tossed around the idea of Thai, but as we walked toward the theatre, Shannon saw a restaurant she was familiar with, so we went there.  It was wonderful - great Italian food and a friendly atmosphere.  Since we didn't have a reservation, they needed the table at 5:30, so we finished up and went next door for an Irish coffee - which was great, by the way, and by the time we finished, it was time to head down to the theatre.  Keep in mind that this was my first experience seeing a play in New York.  The Broadhurst is so pretty inside - I really enjoyed just looking around before the play started.  But when it started... I couldn't look anywhere but the stage.

How to describe this play?  I'm not sure I can do it justice.  Daniel Radcliffe was, in a word, brilliant.  I didn't think of Harry Potter at all while watching the play, which is a good sign, but besides that, I really felt the character's struggles, really experienced the character's tragedy.  From the first moment until the last, I was totally involved in the story.  The play itself is so strange, but also strangely beautiful.  There were so many lines that just really spoke truth about life.  I love when that happens.  The other actors were amazing as well, and I would be remiss if I didn't say that.  The entire cast was amazing.  I also really enjoyed the technical aspects - the smoke, the lighting, the music, costumes, the music, the set, etc.  It was all so wonderful.  And so amazing to see real, professional theatre.  I haven't been able to see enough of that. 

So yeah, the play was wonderful and totally worth the trip.  We left the Y at 4:30 this morning and flew back.  I've never had a travel experience quite like it, but as we said goodbye, I told Shannon if she ever wants to see anything else, I'm totally ready to go.  I hope we can do it again sometime.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

An idea!

I got an idea for NaNo!  I personally think it's a good one.  There's a lot of potential, anyway.  I'm actually very excited about this story and I think it could be something pretty special.

We are kicking off our local NaNo on November 1.  I've contacted everyone who is signed up in our region and let them know about the kickoff.  We'll be doing a write-in at the same time.  I think it's going to be great.

So here are the details I have so far.

Blindly Dating

Juliet Smith, a thirty five year old woman who got her "exotic" first name from a mother who wanted to offset her "boring" last name, is a high school English teacher.  On an evening out with some friends, she confesses that she wants to get married, but can't seem to find the right guy.  Her friends tell her she's too picky and name a list of guys she turned down because of tiny little flaws in their personality and looks.  One friend comes up with an idea - a challenge, really.  She challenges Juliet to put up a personal ad on an online dating service and to go out with any guy who contacts her for a date.  They lay down some ground rules saying that unless the profile sounds crazy or scary, she's required to go on at least one public date with every guy - most of the time with her friends sitting at a nearby table for safety.  Her dating adventures are sometimes crazy, sometimes bizarre, and sometimes even a little dangerous.  The question remains - can she find true love by blindly dating?

Monday, October 20, 2008

NaNoWriMo - again!

So here we are, only weeks away from the next NaNo adventure!  I've sent messages to people in my region, have started recruiting new people, and have received my goodies for the kickoff party.  The only thing I haven't done is.... figure out what I'm going to write!

Any suggestions from the peanut gallery?

I could start something new that I haven't thought of yet and just see where it goes, but that kind of writing tends to stress me out and I end up producing something I can do nothing with at the end.  I work so much better after carefully planning what I'm going to do, which totally explains why I've spent almost a year on this crazy outline!  it's funny, I've worked on it a lot but have removed such large sections of it that the word count has remained the same.  I've also done lots of notes, handwritten things in my notebook, so they don't count toward the word count either.  So the outline is actually a little better off than it looks right now.

So anyway, I guess in the next couple of weeks I'll come up with something to write.  I went onto the NaNo site and read some of the novel summaries that other people were doing and actually recognized some of the stories as ones I've read before.  For instance, one person is writing a book that sounds just like the premise of The Neverending Story (a story I've loved my entire life, by the way) Of course, that's fine if they don't ever want to publish, but I think it's more of a challenge if you make up the story yourself, if you create the world and you come up with the premise, rather than just retelling someone else's story with your own spin.  To me, that's fanfic, and not what NaNo is about.

But hey, at least they have a story, right?  I don't even have that yet!

duck hunters, angels, and gators (oh my!)

My work at the theatre is getting even more interesting as the days go by!  I'll be stage managing the first production of the season.  It'll be my first time in this particular position, so I'm a little nervous, but I think it's going to be great.  I haven't read the script yet, but I hear it's hilarious.  Even the title is intriguing - "Duck Hunter Shoots Angel."  I can see the promotional poster now, set up to look like a supermarket tabloid with photos of the duck hunters holding angel wings (or something like that.)

The director set auditions for early November, so we're about to kick things into high gear again.  Another very interesting development is that we have a new board president now and he's got some really ambitious ideas about how to take our theatre to the next level.  I think it's long overdue and I can't wait to hear what he has to say.  Wouldn't it be wonderful to get this theatre to the point where it can have a small staff running everything full time?  I would take a pay cut to do that.  It's a dream job!  We could do it - I can see so much potential - but it's just a matter of getting out there and fundraising and offering more community classes and workshops to help promote the theatre better, and really becoming a true community theatre in the sense that everyone in the community feels comfortable coming to auditions and joining in the work that we do.  It's really important to me that we become more of a community theatre than we are right now.

Expect lots of fun updates from the rehearsals as soon as we start.  It will be interesting seeing it from a different perspective.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

decisions, decisions

Lots of choices to make in the next couple of weeks!  Do I stay or go?  What novel for NaNoWriMo?  Save or spend?  Vacation dates for next year?  House or apartment?

There is so much to consider.  In my current situation, the money I spend on lodging is so very little that I am in a position to save lots of money and pay off some bills.  If I could pay off certain ones, I would be in excellent financial shape in about a year and would have LOTS of options about where to move.  Or I could take a place I've just found right now that is cheap but just as small as my current place, not save any money at all, not pay off any bills, and end up in the same place I'm in right now, just with a little different geography.

Granted, this would be an "on my own" situation rather than a "with my parents" one, which is where I am now.  But still, it's a converted garage in someone's back yard, so I'm not sure it's much better.  The rent is fairly cheap, but it isn't much closer to work, so it wouldn't help with that.  It is, however, about two blocks from the theatre, so that would be good.

I don't know.  Tonight I'm going to make a savings/payoff plan to see what I can do in a year and maybe I can use that to decide what to do.  The funny thing is, when I approached the subject with my parents, they both said they thought I should wait.  They say they are concerned with the economy, but I think they just like having me around.  We are so much like roommates now - we all get along really well and do lots of things together.  I know it's a little strange, but I actually really like living there.  It beats going home to an empty garage apartment, anyway.  (At least, I feel like it does.)  What's annoying is that people judge me for still living with them, like I haven't grown up or anything.  But that's not true at all.  I do the same things I would do if I were living with a roommate.  I'm extremely independent and they are very respectful of my life, my privacy and my decisions, as I am respectful of theirs.  This societal pressure that you have to move away from home at a certain age makes me a little crazy.  Obviously, it's good to get out on your own, but having been out on my own before, I can honestly say I have grown up just fine.  And just because I can't afford a decent place by myself doesn't mean I'm in some way deficient as a person.  But still, every time the subject comes up, I feel strange - not because I think it's bad to still live at home, but because other people do.  I wish I didn't care what other people thought about me.  It would make everything so much easier.

So yeah, lots of thinking to do.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

have you ever...

A coworker came to me a few days ago and said she was, and I quote, "sick of herself."  I thought that was such an odd thing to say at the time, but thinking about it further, I realized I've felt that way myself.  In fact, I kind of feel that way now.  I don't like my hair, I don't like my clothes, I don't like anything.

Has anyone out there felt that way?

So yeah, it's time to shake it off and get out of this funk.  There's no reason for it that I can see, so I need to just get over it and get happy again.

It's strange because I'm usually the happiest and most content person you will ever know, but for some reason, sometimes, I just feel this way.  Maybe it's the rain we've had for the past couple of days, I don't know.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

a spiritual journey

I've embarked on a spiritual journey recently and I'm really looking forward to seeing where it takes me.  I've started going to a new church and it's amazing.  I've gone to service about four times now, and this Sunday I'm taking my nephews and niece, and hopefully my sister will come too.  Sunday night I'll go to small group for the first time.  I'm looking forward to seeing what the small group is like.

I've also been doing a new devotional study called Walking With Frodo , which is a really neat study of the biblical lessons of Lord of the Rings.  I just started it a couple of nights ago, but I'm already really interested in the insights in the study and the thoughts it provokes.

Aside from all that, I'm just really paying more attention to how I conduct my everyday life.  It's one thing to be a Christian at church and another to be one all the time.  I'm working on practicing the truest form of Christianity - one that calls people to love everyone no matter what and to seek out those who need a friend.  If I can make a difference in one life because of the love I share, it will all be worth it.