drop the ball, i dropped the ball

i have so dropped the ball here.

things I should have written about and didn’t:

  • the ravens’ superbowl win
  • seeing branford marsalis last week and seth’s visit
  • my first race since the broken ankle
  • the beginning of spring training
  • my interview with the oriole advocates
  • maryland arts day and our visits with state delegates
  • the jacques brel concert by nyfos at work

sorry, kids!  life got in the way this time.

i am excited to tell you that i am going to florida for a few days to see some baseball.  my first spring training trip.  i will be seeing the pirates play the red sox and the orioles play the blue jays.  both of these games have unique appeal.  my brother who now works for the pirates will be around, so i hope to visit with him and get some background about the pirates.  meanwhile, the orioles will be playing the super-loaded toronto blue jays.  i’m very interested in seeing this new blue jays team, not to mention my beloved orioles.  in between, i hope to make it to the beach and enjoy some much needed sunshine.

yesterday saw a very special event.  it was the chris conlon bar crawl around ridgely’s delight.  chris is my friend who suffered from a stroke two months ago after undergoing acl surgery.  the bar crawl was meant to serve as a fundraiser to assist with  his medical bills and other expenses that may come from this.  chris was able to attend and he looked great!  he was very mobile, and though he struggles with speech, he was communicating extremely well.  between seeing chris and making a few new friends, it was a day to celebrate, for sure.

today is the oscars.  i will be spending part of the evening dressed as a character from les miserable and entertaining guests at a shishi party at the w hotel dc.  hope to have at least one fantastic story to report back.

also, friend and colleague abby got engaged yesterday!  no one deserves that more.

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with a sailor’s mouth he’d have left at sea

today was orioles’ fan fest.  it is officially the start of baseball season in charm city.  (it is also, amazingly, still football season!)

also, very appropriately we remember this legend today:

http://blogs.citypaper.com/index.php/2013/01/r-i-p-earl-weaver-the-sorest-loser-that-ever-lived/

and for 3 minutes of blessed nostalgia:

http://youtu.be/rpS-XFXxJvE

PLAY BALL!

 

he had it comin’, he only had himself to blame.

IMG_0573[1]working in a performing arts center definitely has its perks.  think about it: i have a scene shop, costume shop, electrics shop and administrative offices all at my disposal.  I have six different kinds of venues at my fingertips, four steinways, and every sort of tool imaginable.  as a thank you gift for the students, for example, we hung a brand new, beautiful HD projection screen in the 600 seat theatre and showed the princess bride – because we could.  on occasion, when i’ve had a big show or a week of 80 hours, i’ve brought in a load of laundry to do in the costume shop.  these are all things that are gigantic advantages.

all of this also means that when we play practical jokes, we have only our imagination to limit us. our ideas actually are only limited by the amount of time and manpower available.  our ideas get a little bit bigger every single time and one day we will get around to mounting someone’s office upside down from the ceiling.  we have gift wrapped an office, we have hung a stained glass window of jesus, complete with lighting rigged to shine through his head when you opened the door, to simply piling random furniture on someone’s desk.

last week we played my favorite gag, so far.  we hot glued mike’s desk shut while he was on vacation in florida.  because who comes back from a two-week holiday break only to go to florida for a week? also, who locks their desk drawers?  in my office, no one. (it’s even better when we finally saw what was in those locked drawers. one drawer had a stash of tape.  one drawer had pencils and bsuiness cards.  and one drawer was EMPTY.)

i realize this means we all have it coming, but it keeps us on our toes, engages our creative minds, and we usually have permission from above.  so, why the hell not?

 

 

 

hooray for hollywood

i’m very concerned about all of the negative commentary on social media last night during the golden globes.  i’m mostly disturbed about that which came from my performing arts colleagues and teachers.  awards nights should be celebrated across the fields.  instead i was reading critism after critism about the performances being awarded, about the speeches, even about who was applauding for whom!

this field is too difficult to succeed in for us to be tearing each other apart, probably out of spite and jealously.

so, to the winners and the nominees, some of whom i’m honored enough to have crossed paths with – congratulations!  you have been honored in one of the most cutthroat industries in the world, and you have every right to be beaming with pride.

to the ridiculous negative nellies – get over yourselves.  celebrate the work.

for auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne

year in review: 2012

well, my first complete calendar year in maryland since about 1986 has come and gone.  it’s been a good, crazy, heartbreaking one, for sure, hon.  let’s review…

january

trip to new york with birdman.  we had a blast, saw sleep no more, ate amazing pizza with old friends and new (including mr. met), did not get our picture taken with harry connick jr (birdman won’t let me forget that one…) and ate a delta grill. (this is the only request I just got for our next trip to nyc – eat at delta grill.) it was a lovely trip, a needed vacation because next month i got thrown into…

february

eiko and koma!  one of the projects i’m most proud of so far in my time at my new(ish) job has been eiko and koma/kronos quartet in a piece called “fragile.”  we turned the black box theatre into a beautiful nebulous world of feathers, dirt, and salt and i got to watch two sets of world renowned arists collaborate on a message.  everything i have ever loved about my work in the theatre arts was a part of this project.  i really thought this experience couldn’t be topped, and then came…

march

…basil twist!  he brought his entourage of beautiful, somewhat misfit puppeteers to do an entire festival of puppetry in the dc area.  i got to coordinate a piece called “symphonie fantastique.”  an underwater puppet show set to berlioz’s “symphonie fantastique” performed live on piano by christopher o’reily. i can’t even begin to tell you the number of hours i worked on this show, or how many gallons of water i got to play in, or how excited/flabergasted i was when i got to play with basil’s puppets in the water tank.  i can’t wait until we get another show like this.

april

april brought a change of pace for sure.  and with it the beginning of baseball season!!!!!  i had never been to an opening day before this year.  we started out at the riehl/licea house where we ate a big breakfast with lots of carbs to prepare for the vast amounts of alcohol that was to be consumed.  after a few rounds of drink ball (this is another post altogether) we headedout to a neighborhood cookout closer to the stadium.  i left the party early because i wanted to see the opening ceremonies and cheer for birdman’s first appearance of the season.  eventually the gang caught up and the orioles won.  a fortuitous look at the season to come.  april is also traditionally a very busy time at the center as well, so between baseball and work i was a very busy girl.  i definitely took advantage of living so close to the yard and going any evening the birds were in town and i didn’t have to work.  somehow in the midst of the beginning of baseball, birdman and i found time to take a another (24 hour) trip to nyc.  this time we visited the mlb fancave and saw the first of several bad plays we’d see this year: magic/bird.

may

tEIKO and KOMA CARAVAN CSPAChe last of my eiko and koma shows, and maybe the most beautiful.  they did a piece called “caravan” which was performed outside.  this meant that i got to spend several days working outside in the beautiful spring air.  it consisted of koma driving a caravan from behind the center through traffic and then landing  in the middle of a grass traffic circle.  the caravan played it’s own music and eiko appeared from within.  the colors, the lighting, the performance was just stunning.

may also brought much more baseball.  and without being too cautious, we were talking about a winning season in baltimore.  i began doing a lot of volunteer work with the oriole advocates and continued to foster a long dormant love of dem o’s.

june

i began rehearsals for “the last flapper.” this was a play produced by the red door theatre company, and presented as a part of the capital fringe festival in dc.  this was such a beautiful artists challenge for me.  it was a one person show about my love, zelda fitzgerald.  it was just a whirlwind of love for me all summer long.

july

performances for “the last flapper” happened, including a birthday celebration for zelda with a show on her 112th birthday.  also in july, i worked as production manager on “the mikado” for the young victorian theatre company.  this project challenged me in ways i didn’t even know were possible.  the show was successful, but i held my breath until the last curtain went down.  it was an exhausting and beautiful july.  and hey, the orioles were still winning!

august

oh, august…  so, august started off alright.  and then i went to a music festival outside of annapolis and broke my ankle.  its times like this when we learn who are friends are.  and god do i love my friends.  licea stuck by me that night, missing the main event at the festival “cake” and going to the hospital with me.  our friend chris conlon got out of bed at 1:30 in the morning to drive 45 minutes to annapolis to pick us up and take us back to baltimore.  everyone else kept me very entertained with drunken texts about where we were and total disbelief that i had broken my ankle.  this all, of course, led to an incredibly crappy end of the summer.  i spent a few weeks at my parents house, and then entertained my self with my sofa and cable for most of august and

september

september.  licea, being licea, would come to my house get my wheel chair and push me to camden yards to get some fresh air and watch the birdies, magically, continue to win games.  i even continued to do volunteer work in my wheel chair.  the only thing i couldn’t do was drive and so my colleagues stepped up and really took over my projects.  finally, at the end of september, one week before I was allowed to walk again, leighann and i took a little sidetrip to boston, to see my beloved birds play at fenway.  we lost that game, but i got to see dylan bundy’s major league debut and leighann and i had the time of our lives getting around boston on my crutches.  (we are now talking about a baseball road trip every year!)

october

i got to start walking again.  and – holy shit – the orioles made the playoffs!  the first time in 15 years!  with my very favorite baltimore people, we gathered together at fraziers to watch the wild card game at the rangers, celebrated a win and planned going to playoff games at the yard.  i managed to go to both home playoff games, both of which had long rain delays and were freezing cold.  also both were against the mfyankees.  we lost the first and won the second.  the second i went to with leighann, her husband and her mother (all mfyankee fans) and we had the time fo our life!   october also brings my birthday, and this year i was so fortunate to spend it with birdman, leland, and licea.  three of my absolute favorite people in the world.  at the end of october, i went to my second tedx conference and we got hit with hurricane sandy.  fortunately, baltimore suffered very little damage.  it was fun to have a weather day off.  there was lots of drinking in the wind and the rain.

november

i was finally back in the swing of things at work.  also, thanksgiving happened.  the ravens haven’t been terribly impressive this year, so i’m not going to write much about them.  sort of a let down after such an exciting baseball season.  obama won the election, and as birdman says, in maryland, “gays can now marry and gamble!”

december

holiday season.  end of semester stuff.  back to regular running!  i have a lot of ankle weight to work off, but i’m super glad to be able to be active again.  after christmas and before new years, i got some very bad news about my friend conlon (one of the guys who helped when i broke my ankle).  he (at 36 years old) suffered a stroke that paralyzed his right side and was caused by a massive blood clot.  he is recovering at a remarkable rate, but it is a very scary thing when someone as young and healthy as he is suffers from such a thing.  a positive thing that came out of it was that it brought his friends and family very close together.  after a group visit to the hospital last week, we all went to supper together.  it was beautiful to sit with these people and just be.

and then there was new years…

Workin’ on a mystery, goin’ wherever it leads, runnin’ down a dream

it’s been longer than I had hoped since i last wrote.  ah well…

thanksgiving has come and gone.  this year aside from the things i am thankful for everyday (like my family, friends, job, etc), i am ridiculously grateful for the ability to walk.  if you didn’t know, i broke my ankle in august.  i was out of commision for about two months and since have slowly regained use of my right ankle.  only recently have i been able to start working out, and even then i’m very limited to activity and regularity.  for someone who is pretty active this is really tough.  i have been swimming; we have a great pool at the gym on campus.  also i recently started running.  my physical therapist said no running untl after new years, but i just can’t wait that long.  so, i’m doing very short intervals for short distances.  when i am passed by other runners i feel pretty stupid, but its a good lesson in taking care of myself first.  my race plan for 2013 should really help in my rehabilitation:

  • february: cupid’s undie run (1 mile) – you can make a tax deductible donation to support children’s tumor research here! (i’m running in my underwear!)
  • march: st. patrick’s day 5k in baltimore (3.1 miles) – low pressure totally fun might even have a beer before hand
  • june: dreaded druid hills 10k (6.2 miles) – my favorite
  • july: stonington six (6.2 miles)
  • october: baltimore running festival half marathon (13.1 miles)

this plan should keep me on track.  aside from not being able to walk, the hardest part of this has been having a hard time staying in shape.

the other thing to report is that i’m applying to the ph.d. program in theatre at umd.  it is the most logical step for me to feel like i’m moving forward right now.  if i don’t get into maryland, then i will regroup and apply to other programs next year.  even though i work in a performing arts center, i feel so far removed from any sort of creative work.  i’m looking for ways to continue doing theatrical work and research and it didn’t take long to realize the appropriateness of pursuing a ph.d. at this point in my career.

for now, i’ve put my mba on hold.  if i get in to the ph.d. i will forgo the mba.  if i don’t, i’ll return to classes.  both degrees will be useful.  one leads to arts admin and one leads to artistic admin.  i could be successful at both.

so those are the things.  football has been exciting.  though it would be better to beat the steelers with rapistberger playing, but whatever.

two months to baseball.  can not wait.

for urinetown is your town if you’re hopeless down and out.

a very big week for americans.  every presidential election year we say “this is the most important presidental election in american history”, and i suppose that every time it could be more important than the last.  i do happen to think that this one is fairly monumental.  the world and the way we look at it as americans is changing.  we can thank social media the most for these changes.  information is passed faster than ever.  facebook. twitter.  both rumors and truths spread like wild-fire.  the only thing faster would be telekinesis.

it’s a new game. politics.

there are a number of issues that are important to me: women’s rights, equality issues, universal healthcare, immigration.

i am the person that fell through the cracks.  i relied on unemployment checks, applied for food stamps, learned to live on $20 a week, could not afford health insurance, much less care.  and not because i was lazy.  trust me when i say NO ONE wants to live like that.  NO ONE.

NO. ONE.

there are many reasons people struggle.  particularly now when the rich are afraid to spend their money because the economy is bad. because wealthy people in high-profile financial centers made poor choices that affected you and me 900% more times than anyone in their own circles.  because someone along the line decided that the arts are expendable and tightened funding, thereby making it harder for trained artists to find work in their fields.

i tried my hardest to always be employed, but finding employment that would also allow me to continue my pursuit of my american dream is very difficult.  so you make concessions.  the more concessions you make the unhappier you become, the harder it is to live below the poverty level.

most of the people that i’ve talked to about their conservative political beliefs have expressed a concern about poor people relying on the government to take care of them.  the argument goes something like: why should i have to pay for the care of them?  why can’t they get a job and take care of themselves?

my friends, it is never that black and white.  (there are always exceptions, of course) the reason you should contribute to a universal system is because it could just as easily be you as it was me.  by helping me get ahead, i will have an opportunity to find my way, and then pay it forward when i can. (and am.  i have a full-time job with benefits, and continually give money and time whenever i can – a dream come true for me that i can actually do this.) poor people are not stupid people.  please do not assume that of them.  mostly, they are trapped in a system, in a world, and can’t see any way out.  they are struggling to survive day-to-day forget month-to-month or year-to-year.

it is actually a priviledge of the very rich to be able to provide for the less fortunate people in our country.  It’s no different than philanthropy, except in taxation, you don’t get your name on a plaque or any other reward.  only the knowledge that you have made a difference in the life of someone else.   for some of us, it is the difference of life and death.

so i voted for the democratic candidate, because he best displayed an interest in the things, that in my own personal experience, are most important to me.

————————————–

after living in new york city for so long, another issue important to me because of friends is immigration.  i can’t talk about it any better than this:

http://youtu.be/TJH1IKqF8PA

politics are so personal.  just remember, it’s personal to everyone, not just you, or people exactly like you.  try to reach across that aisle…

these little town blues…

yay, the giants won the world series!

charm city survived the hurricane.  scott and i spent a good deal of it, as any grown person would spend a snow/storm day – at the bar. my new yorker friends suffered far more than we did.  they are still suffering, and i hope that things shape up soon.  i lived there through 9/11, the blackout of 2003, the transit strike, and other bizarro nonsense that left the city crippled or partially crippled.  it really sucks to have to live in the chaos of an emergency, and at the same time, it brings 8 million people closer together in ways i’ve never seen or experienced anywhere else.  they’ll get through it, they’ll be better humans for the struggle of it.  as with all things, it will just take time.  (and beer, probably.)

but, this circulated today and made us all giggle for a while.  And then there was this…  OH HELL NO.