Friday, February 29, 2008

Made me giggle



The wicked little giggle from Charlie gets me every time.

Theater Blogging

We're in tech week for More Fun than Bowling, and it has been interesting. We had barely a month to put the show up as it was and no less than five rehearsals got canceled for weather. I had to miss a sixth, when the roads were still bad, and had several conflict dates to work around. If we didn't have such a seasoned cast and director, I'd be in a panic. But as it was, we've been doing pretty well. So tech week starts . . . and I come down with a high fever, body aches, etc.

I slug through it on Monday and Tuesday morning, but then arrange to have the rest of my week covered until one unavoidable hearing on Friday. My experience has taught me that I really shouldn't be trying to do legal work when my mind is so warped by illness that I have to think hard about simple things, like the mechanics of walking.

I take to my bed Tuesday afternoon and figure I'll sleep it out of my system, waking only for rehearsal. By Wednesday I still can't think straight, and I've got a hacking cough to boot. I stumble through rehearsal, lying on a couch and wishing to die between scenes.

On Thursday I decide to go to the doctor. Good news: I don't have the flu. Bad news: I have some unknown virus with all the characteristics of the flu, without actually having a course of treatment attached. If I'd had the flu, you see, they could have given me Tamiflu - even though it's most effective within 48 hours, she'd have stretched it because we were still within 72 hours. But being that this was some flu-like virus NOS, the doctor could only offer me prescription cough medicine and a little advice on how to tweak my ibuprofen/acetaminophen concoction to best reduce the fever. Which is probably going to last another two days or so.

We open tonight. . . .

I am feeling better, based primarily on the tweaks she geve me for my fever-reducing meds. But I'm still a little worried. At one point I have to laugh hysterically at a story Vicki tells me, and I haven't figured out how to do that yet without hacking up a lung.

However, you should come see the show:

1) The script is hilarious
2) Vicki and Matt do an awesome job
3) You can make bets on whether I can pull off the laugh without coughing all over the audience or other cast members (My money is on "no" at the moment)
4) You can watch Matt's face as he has to kiss me, knowing I'm a germ minefield. (Do they make Purell lip gloss?)
5) You can try to guess where all the stuff in the background came from, and what in the h*ll it is supposed to be. (We're doing this very minimally and conceptually, but I have a feeling that's a possible audience reaction.)
6) It is set in the eighties. Yep, high-waisted, big-haired fashion. For the girls, at least. We've put some serious thought into this: We had to teach Elise (she's a teenager) how to french-cuff her jeans and try to explain what a "banana comb" is. I ran out of hairspray doing my hair for tech week and need to make an emergency run this afternoon. We debated the precise date of the invention of the "scrunchie" - only to have the question definitively answered by referring to "Heathers." Then we had to explain to Elise what "Heathers" was. Oh, and I got to show her how to cut up her sweatshirt, though I still think she needs to wash it to get the edges to curl up.
7) My favorite line (Matt's): "He rose several times, gasping for breath an yelling at [his dog] Five to "FETCH HELP! FETCH HELP!" . . . and then he drowned with Five paddling in a circle around him with little sticks in her mouth. Obviously she misunderstood." My second favorite line (Vicki's, delivered as a completely serious assessment of bowling): "It's not exhilerating like darts or horseshoes." Yes, I have an odd sense of humor.
8) You can base a drinking game on the word "bowling". Oh, and it has been pointed out to me that the logo on the back of the shirts looks like the bowling pin is farting. So if fart jokes make you giggle, by all means come on down.
9) Vicki's monologue about dating a guy from the Duck Hollow Vo-Tech. Seriously funny.
10) There will be drinking afterwards, as usual. Tonight I might call Ellen Stevenson and try to coordinate with City Circle's cast - their big fundraiser is at the Englert. If you're in the mood for something fancy this evening, check it out.

PS - have I mentioned it is a seriously good script, and there are a bunch of excellent performances despite the challenges?

More Fun Than Bowling
by Stephen Dietz
directed by Rachael Lindhart
assistant-directed by Gerry Roe
February 29, March 1, 7, 8 at 8:00 pm
Arts a la Carte, at Old Brick Annex 20 E. Market Street Iowa City

A hilarious comedy that shows that life (and death) is a lot like bowling. Jake owns the bowling alley in a small Midwestern town. He is sitting on a hilltop where two of his three wives are buried. Lois was zapped by lightning while carrying a bowling trophy in a thunderstorm and Loretta was killed by a ball return machine where he comes to ruminate. In his younger days he was a promising concert musician but a foul tip baseball broke his fingers which subsequently healed into a perfect bowler’s grip. Jake replays the key frames of his life and, from time to time, is visited by his daughter Molly who has become adept at talking women into marrying her father for love and free lane time. But who is that nattily dressed man with dark glasses and a revolver lurking nearby?


A Circle Full of Stars
A Gala Event featuring the City Circle Orchestra
and an All-Star Line-up of Vocalists
One Night Only, Leap Year Evening
8 pm February 29
Englert Civic Theatre
Iowa City

Prices: $45, 35, 25 (reserved seats). Special Premium Seating (including champagne reception before the show and mention in the event Playbill): $100. Contact mailto:info@citycircle.org for tickets or call 541-2980.

Our first ever gala benefit featuring our beloved orchestra center stage, this evening promises the best we have to offer in musical theater, with highlights from our past ten seasons as well as songs from shows we hope to bring to the stage in the future. All heard with full orchestration from the Englert stage with special guests from our musical community!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Snow Day

Is it just me, or has that phrase lost a bit of it's luster? I'm no longer on speaking terms with the outside world. I think the next ice age is actually forming a glacier on the lawn outside my house.

On the bright side: I made blackberry scones and had a champagne brunch, then fell asleep watching Sunday morning movies.

On the not-so-bright side: this makes the 5th rehearsal that's been cancelled. We open on the 29th. Oh, and there's more snow for later this week. Holy crap.

Now I've got to go clean my house.

Hilarious Blogger Filter Warning

WTF? I am doing a drive-by of the blogs on Bloglines because rehearsal got cancelled, and I see Greenman's posted again (YAY!!). 'Cept I click on his site to read the whole thing, and I get this:



Okay, let me get this straight: State loves to tweak people by putting arguments into inflammatory terms. And I've had posts about the economics of sex and all kinds of off-color link posts, recited lines about multiple orgasms when playing the psychologist in Honeypot from A My Name is Alice, and let's not forget my old musing about why female nipples are now considered embarassing. So, out of all of us, Greenman's the one who gets a warning label?!?!?!? Not that he hasn't posted some off color items, but do you really think he's that exponentially worse? I've really got to work harder, if that's the case. Oh well, at least I got an NC-17 rating. Of course, if you do the analysis, it's apparently for the discussion about legal cases that includes words like "murder" and "gun" that puts me over the top. . . .

Monday, February 04, 2008

%#$@!!!!!!! (Part XXIV)


UPDATE - 02/17/08

I'm putting this at the top, just to let you know: this is not the forecast for today. It was from the 4th and 5th. Yes, I know it's, like, exactly the same out there AGAIN today. Just thought I'd better be clear.
_______________________________________________________________


000
FXUS63 KDMX 050341 AAA
AFDDMX

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION...UPDATED
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DES MOINES IA
940 PM CST MON FEB 4 2008

.SHORT TERM.../TONIGHT/
HAVE LET DENSE FOG ADVISORY GO WITH VSBY NOW ABOVE 1/4 MILE
EVERYWHERE. HOWEVER THE NIGHT WILL STILL BE MURKY IN PLACES WITH LOW
CEILINGS AND VSBY NEAR 1/2 MILE...ESPECIALLY EASTERN AREAS. AS FOR
THE WINTER STORM WATCH...CURRENTLY PLAN TO LET THE MIDNIGHT SHIFT
DECIDE WHERE TO UPGRADE TO A WARNING. 00Z NAM RUN HAS COME IN WITH
QPF VALUES WHICH ARE VERY SIMILAR TO THE 18Z GFS...AND ALSO HAS A
NORTHWESTWARD SHIFT OF THE HEAVIER QPF. BUT THE NAM MAINTAINS A
SLOWER ONSET. THE SCARY THING IS THAT IF THE 00Z NAM AND 18Z GFS ARE
RIGHT...THE SOUTHEAST QUADRANT OF CENTRAL IOWA WILL HAVE THE
POTENTIAL TO SEE 15 INCHES OF SNOW...OR MORE...
AGAIN MAINLY LATE
TUES AFTN THROUGH TUESDAY NIGHT. ALL PARAMETERS FOR HEAVY BANDED
SNOW ARE SHOWING UP. HOISTING A WARNING 6 TO 7 HOURS FROM NOW WILL
STILL GIVE FOLKS PLENTY OF LEAD TIME. WILL BE INTERESTING TO SEE
WHAT THE NEW GFS SHOWS.


UPDATE:

BUCHANAN-DELAWARE-DUBUQUE-BENTON-LINN-JONES-JACKSON-IOWA-JOHNSON-
CEDAR-CLINTON-MUSCATINE-SCOTT-KEOKUK-WASHINGTON-LOUISA-JEFFERSON-
HENRY IA-DES MOINES-JO DAVIESS-STEPHENSON-CARROLL-WHITESIDE-
ROCK ISLAND-HENRY IL-BUREAU-PUTNAM-MERCER-HENDERSON-WARREN-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...INDEPENDENCE...MANCHESTER...DUBUQUE...
VINTON...CEDAR RAPIDS...ANAMOSA...MAQUOKETA...MARENGO...
IOWA CITY...TIPTON...CLINTON...MUSCATINE...BETTENDORF...
DAVENPORT...SIGOURNEY...WASHINGTON...WAPELLO...FAIRFIELD...
MOUNT PLEASANT...BURLINGTON...GALENA...FREEPORT...MOUNT CARROLL...
STERLING...ROCK FALLS...MOLINE...ROCK ISLAND...KEWANEE...
PRINCETON...HENNEPIN...ALEDO...OQUAWKA...MONMOUTH

353 PM CST TUE FEB 5 2008

...WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 3 PM CST
WEDNESDAY...

A WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 3 PM CST
WEDNESDAY.

SNOW MAY DECREASE IN COVERAGE AND INTENSITY FOR A WHILE LATE
THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING. HOWEVER...THE SNOW IS EXPECTED
TO BECOME HEAVY AND WIDESPREAD LATER THIS EVENING AND
OVERNIGHT...CONTINUING THROUGH WEDNESDAY MORNING...WITH
WIDESPREAD ACCUMULATIONS RANGING FROM 8 TO 12 INCHES BY THE
TIME IT TAPERS OFF TO FLURRIES WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON. THE LATEST
INFORMATION SUGGESTS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR NEAR RECORD SNOWFALL
TOTALS OF 15 INCHES TO LOCALLY
NEAR 18 INCHES ALONG AN AXIS
ROUGHLY FROM FAIRFIELD IOWA TO STERLING ILLINOIS WITH THUNDERSNOW
POSSIBLE. WINDS WILL INCREASE TO 20 TO 30 MPH AND GUSTY LATER
TONIGHT THROUGH WEDNESDAY MORNING CAUSING CONSIDERABLE BLOWING AND
DRIFTING SNOW. THE COMBINATION OF THE SNOWFALL RATES AND THE
BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW DUE TO THE STRONG WINDS WILL MAKE SNOW
REMOVAL NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE...MAKING TRAVEL EXTREMELY DIFFICULT IF
NOT IMPOSSIBLE FOR A TIME LATER TONIGHT AND WEDNESDAY MORNING.

A WINTER STORM WARNING MEANS 6 TO 8 INCHES OR MORE OF SNOW
FALLING AT INTENSE RATES OF 1 TO 3 INCHES PER HOUR...COMBINED
WITH STRONG WINDS AND POSSIBLY...SLEET...AND/OR FREEZING RAIN IS
EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. THIS WILL MAKE TRAVEL VERY DANGEROUS OR
IMPOSSIBLE...SO ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY AND TAKE YOUR WINTER
SURVIVAL KIT.


For this, the winding roads through the mountains, and that Brazillian steak house, I miss the south.

Dammit

Freezing rain. A freezing freaking downpour. With thunder and everything. Just what you want to see out the window twenty minutes before you leave for a hearing twenty-some miles away. Have we had enough of this winter wonderland crap yet?

Note to Phil: The adage about shooting the messenger exists for a reason, pal.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Free Knowledge

One the best things about the 'net is finding little treasures of knowledge scattered around - things off the beaten path of the usual news and entertainment sites. Something I stumbled across this morning: Free online college writing courses. I've downloaded a few from MIT, and started exploring a few others. The links can take you to other areas . . . for example, MIT's got 1800 free courses in many disciplines. Also, check out Lifehacker's tour of the .edu underground. One link I noted for acting purposes: the speech accent archive.
The speech accent archive uniformly presents a large set of speech samples from a variety of language backgrounds. Native and non-native speakers of English read the same paragraph and are carefully transcribed. The archive is used by people who wish to compare and analyze the accents of different English speakers.

Learning for learning's sake. Gotta love it.