Sunday, July 31, 2005


I saw a squirrel running across El Camino today. Not unusual for the spot, but the little bugger used the crosswalk across all six lanes. That was pretty odd.

And the new desktop wall paper is:

Lazy eye

Today started entirely too early, up at the crack of 9 to take one of the boys off to play. Then the last Miracle Worker matinee (but only the first act), off to pickup the other boy. Today was a rare moment, all five of us were in different places and no one at a school or work.

I've been trying to write poetry. (not rhyming, but I don't know what to call it) I enjoy it because it allows me to capture my thoughts that are more like feelings and less like narratives. So far I don't have anything to share with all of you gentle readers. Maybe when I get something I like, and that I think will be understood, I'll share.

I'm sure it won't measure up to (fill in the name of famous poet here) or (and here too), but I'm just going to keep writing until I don't want to anymore.

The kind of things I like in poetry is really sappy love stuff. Sentimental thoughts are very strong for me and I revel in finding the right words to say them. For example there is a piece of music that I am especially fond of that deals with love held over a long period of time. The song goes:
there's a lazy eye that looks at you
and sees you the same as before
when you lay beside me every night
though now you are with me no more

i can still see the hem of your dress
and the comb as it's parting your hair
and the person i held is still there in my
lazy eye that looks at you
and sees you the same as before
It's by Hem
Look here as well

So that is the kind of poetry I'd like to write. Not that lyrical, but with that intensity of feeling and sentiment. And yes, the world is full of blockheads like myself who think they can be poets, but hopefully I can write well enough to please myself, and that's enough.

See you at the theatre!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Money pits

This is a free truck we saw in Tahoe when we went to see houses there. I don't think it runs.

Tomorrow begins our dee-lux yard redeux. Right now there are the leftovers from the aforementioned Man Work and some weedy looking plants in the way. Tomorrow the little bulldozers come and make short work of everything that does not look like a hole where the forms for the patio will go. Here is what it looks like now:

Needless to say, I am looking forward to swarthy fellows grunting in the yard while I toil away at a computer. Now if I can get a 500% raise, I can pay for the job in real time.

Then this is the house we MIGHT buy in Tahoe. The line for renters forms on the right.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Road trip

Stay off the highway. The oldest is taking the Suburban to Ashland with four friends later this week. It must be good to be young. We are now getting *sage* advice from the mother in law on the exact route to take, or more importantly, not to take.

The plan to see Twelfth Night and Room Service and Love's Labors Lost. Lucky dogs.

Monday, July 25, 2005


Came home and immediately made a martini. What a good idea. Plan to get a massage in a few minutes here, after I finish my margarita. Really, I'm not making this up. Looked at some funny photos from a disneyland trip. Had pizza for dinner, Sharon's playing Legacy of Time. The fake accents are really funny. Had a good chat with my friend on the way home.

This is way better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

We have lots of margaritas left, and chocolate ice cream. Come on over.

Savemouse... lak "Uhmagadd! Watir ess su harbil!" OMG

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Public imprecision

I've been thinking about public thoughts lately, what people "say" for anyone else to hear, and why they say it. Two things I saw on the way to the theatre made me think of this.

The first was a fellow on a recumbent bike with a yellow and black sign on it that said something about not supporting the war for oil and how riding the bike instead of driving was better. I paraphrase since I went by him and could not really read the fine print from three lanes away.

Immediately I wondered, was he talking to me, driving my Chevrolet Suburban. Did he intend for me to stop supporting The War or to drive less, or to get a bike and ride like him? Or did he just want others to know how he felt about it, without really wanting to change anyone's mind. Somehow I think it was the former, not the latter.

Then I saw the roadside memorial that I have been passing for days. There are some flowers, papers, gaudy crosses, an American flag, another larger black and gold flag with some unknown symbol on it. There were some balloons a few days ago, but they're gone now.

What happened here? I suppose someone died, but I wonder who, how, and why. Was it a traffic accident, a shooting? What does the black flag mean? I don't really know what the people who made the memorial are trying to say. Perhaps just that their loved one is gone and that they are sad? There must be something more. When my dad died, we didn't put a sign and balloon on his house. Did they even want me, or anyone, to take notice.

Things people say in public are often misunderstood. We get so many messages inbound and we are so imaginative that only the most precise messages have some meaning, and even then we still get them wrong.

The truth is (caution, presumptious conclusion follows) that our thoughts are so complex that even when we try to capture them completely we fail because our communication facilities are just so limited that we cannot ever fully express our thoughts. If you are successful at getting other people to really understand your thoughts like you do you are a rare individual indeed.


Note to self: Don't spray water on a really hot car. Sometimes the windshield cracks all the way from the top to the bottom. This could go a long way towards making a crappy day out of what was going to be a good day.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Finally, I write another post

Sometimes you get into a bad mood, or you just don't feel right for whatever reason. This can go on for weeks. Days come and go and things seem harder than they should, and you just don't like it. Then one day the clouds blow away and it's like a fairy touched you wth the tip of her finger and changed your whole perspective in just a moment.

Sometimes this happens at the end of a long slog, sometimes it's just a few days of a blue mood. I'm old enough to have gone through a few blue moods. I know, and have always known, that "things will get better" is a truism that you can count on. I suppose eventually it runs out, but generally speaking, things do get better.

A couple of friends of mine say you just have to have faith, not in a religious sense, but faith nonetheless; even to the extent that you just have to tell yourself that things will get better when if you were realistic about the situation, things would look bad indeed, maybe bad enough to be discouraging.

I was feeling down lately. I didn't feel like myself. I feel better now, right out of the blue. Things are, surprisingly swiftly, right with the world.

And now I promised I would gossip about some people I know. I could say a lot of things. On reflection maybe it's best if I just close with; people have greatly varying personalities, especially in situations where that is allowed or even celebrated. If you are depending on each other you had better find a way to accomodate each other, to allow the other to celebrate, cooperate, and contemplate in a way that allows them to do the same for you. Then you have to insist they do the same for you.

P.S. I really like the music that Kate found for Miracle Worker. Thanks Kate.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Man work

Well, we're gonna have the front patio put in and this means that there were a few items that had to go to get ready.

Item one: that stupid lip thingy. The front porch had a 5 1/2 foot long section that jutted out about 3 inches from the rest of the porch, forming a lip that went out to meet a step that was poured in front of the porch. For the life of us we couldn't figure what this was really doing for us and it would have made the planned veneer look hella strange. So, off with her head, so to speak. This was the fun part; renting a concrete say which is like a chainsaw with a 14 inch diameter diamond blade on it. Wouldn't you know this cuts concrete like it was wet sand! Plus it is a two stroke chain saw motor which makes lots of noise, concrete dust water mess, and some blue smoke. Fun!

Two: After the wicked-butch cutting foo and politely returning the saw, there was the sledgehammer and chisel work to snap off the partially cut-though lip thingy. The saw only cuts about four inches deep and the section was like six inches thick. So you stick a chisel in the saw cut and pound that puppy with a sledge until the rest of the slab snaps like the hull of an ice-bound freighter in the upper St Lawrence in January. Big honkin chunks of concrete fall to the awsome power of your hammer. Now that's what I'm talkin bout, Willis.

Thu-ree: The next to go were the various plants that were in the path of the new patio. Nothing like a little maxi-weeding to get the sweat going on your forehead and all other surfaces. Best part was the ruthless removal of the blackberry brambles threatening to take over the front 30. No mercy, no quarter. Out by the roots they came, into the bin they fell, like clothes off a stripper. Who's your daddy?

Four: A few years back I made a very nice intermediate step in between the paver walkway and the red concrete porch. It was functional but the whole affair looked unpleasant, mostly due to the red concrete and the "homeowner special" look of the step and pavers. Not that there was anything wrong with it, it was just really BORING. Out it came, whack whack, whack, with Big Blue, my mighty eight pounder with the blue fiberglass handle, and steely Dan, the six foot digging bar. A pile of rubble stands silent witness to my prowess.

Well after this you can bet your last dollar I slipped right out of the sweaty duds and silently into the pool.

The next thing to go is the little step in front of the lip. I'm gonna need a 90 pound jackhammer for that.

Sunday, July 17, 2005


If there is one thing I cannot abide it has to be when you give someone a nice friendly hug and then you later realize that you smell like their perfume, which you really don't like because it was novel in the 80's but now it's just kind of annoyingly trite. Naturally this always happens within four hours of putting on a fresh shirt, which you now have to wash.

Ladies, if you haven't changed your perfume in 25 years, you probably can't smell it anymore, which is why you are wearing far too much of it, which is why it rubs off on people.

Note to self: Whiff, then decide to hug or not to hug.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

The middle of the beginning of the end

This is another one of those "process of a show" posts that seem to go uncommented on. I only tell you all this so you can see the show like I do, because I am so very insightful and modest.

There is a great big middle ground in the run of many shows. It starts after the beginning few performances and it ends, well, near the end. Things run the same, over and over. There are some little mistakes but people are generally on their game. There are the parts where you have an entrance or some scene change and you know to the split second when to go, how to move, and how to get that piece in just the right place even without a spike mark. You know the sound cues, the light cues, and when to expect quiet or noise. It can be a little boring. Nothing changes much.

You now know just how to deliver that line, just what the other person will say and how they'll move. You know how they move the props off of the furniture you pick up in the change at the end of the scene. You have now figured out which foot to lead with, and how close to follow the other actor so you don't step on her skirt. You now have favorite lines that others say and you pay close attention as they are delivered, just for the inane thrill of hearing something like, "I think they're Papists."

But eventually, and far too soon it almost always seems no matter how boring the show was, the end comes into sight. You think to yourself, Crap! I only have three more opportunities to say this line I like, to make that entrance, to take a bow. And then worst of all you suddenly realize that in two more nights, I won't see these people anymore, some of them maybe never again.

OK, some people you might not miss especially much.

But there are others that are now really your friends. You have spent perhaps forty evenings with them. You really worked hard, together, to be able be able to tell a story well enough that people would forget themselves for a few minutes and be in awe, so they might feel emotions that the playwright imagined, perhaps lifetimes before today. You have now become an integral and interdependent part of a unique retelling of a story.

The feeling you have is intimacy. Your fellow actors have struggled along with you, holding your hand for comfort or just to tell you that they appreciate you. A genuine smile of joy comes to both of you when you see them. You have their unconditional support. You trust each other. You may work together on another show, but you fear (rightly) that it won't be the same; this show you are in is unique.

They say the show must go on, but eventually the show must end.

The last performance starts with an odd electrical feeling, each moment you treasure arrives and passes just like it did twenty times before, then suddenly the show is over. You take apart the set in a couple of hours and the world in which you told your story is destoyed, forever. You go to the cast party and everyone is congratulated, kissed, hugged, then said goodbye to.

You drive home. It's over.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Whooda thunk that The Miracle Worker was a rollicking sex farce. Brush up rehearsal was beyond funny. I haven't laughed that hard in months. By the second act The Spirit was definitely moving people. **** patted **** on the bum as she left, then when **** came in and said Bow chickka bow wow to **** I thought I was going to cry, then **** hummed Dixie as he went towards **** and then she came out and bent WAAAY over and showed him the purple thong, then it looked like there was going to be a three way between ****, ****, and ****... then things got really silly. Good thing the kids left early.


Mad props to our big boy Troy for filling in as Percy, the bestest ever Percy we ever had.

Kate carefully wrote down each incriminating improvisation, for evidence I suppose, and Patty took photographic evidence with her phone. Look for that stuff on the Internets soon.

Plus it was a pretty damn good day outside of rehearsal too.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

That was nice too

A late start due to lack of sleepies, a long day at work ending with an annoying realization that we'll have to add some data to 232 records in the database, manually. Not the end of the world but still annoying.

So I mosied on home got out of my clothes and found a mint julep to drink in the pool (cause it's like 85 outside) with Sharon and our guest. What a really relaxing way to start the evening.

Monday, July 11, 2005


The show opened, the renfaire opened, and we're all a bit tuckered out. We had a real nice dinner last night with fresh flowers from the garden. Today may be a bit sleepy for all concerned.

Sunday was a lazy day... phone calls with friends, some forgotten shoes delivered with a nice visit and some hawk pictures, a spot of lunch, a new video game and a sleep-over, shopping, a bit of surfing with stumble upon, clipping some bushes, cleaning the pool, dinner, and some tubbing. :-)

Hope your day was as nice.

Sunday, July 10, 2005


Last night was word perfect. I like it when the words come out correctly.

Snake Surly had a bit on her blog that looked like a quote, but without an attribution. It was deep, and it didn't sound like her writing (but not because it was deep because her writing is deep at times). I had a comment on it which, on reflection, I wanted to expand upon (in my most self-indulgent prose). My comment was:
I think we all have great internal conflict, at least those of us who are self-aware, and these conflicts drive us by providing a palpable difference between our percieved state and our desired state. To the end, these conflicts remain irreconcilable, unless we give up and give in. Sometimes the fickle winds of conflict drive us off course, and sometimes they push us fast to our true destination.
I felt the metaphor of the wind driving us needed a lot more work so now I write:

We are as sailing ships, launched onto the sea by our parents, for as we leave home we experience for the first time the endless possibilities of where to take our lives, and the uncertain feelings of the moving seas beneath us. So we sail about, aimlessly at first, then with purpose as we spy a destination in the distance. (Some lost ships sail aimlessly forever, never lifting their gaze from the froth at the bow splashing against the breasts of the figurehead.)

As we ply the seas we feel the winds aginst our sails. Some of us have very large sails indeed, woven of intellect and creativity. Those ships can go far and fast. Some of us have very stout rudders, forged from discipline and determination. Those ships can sail straight on course. Some ships have large sails and weak rudders; it is very hard for them to maintain their course and they tend to drift when the winds blow. Worse is to have a stout rudder and diminutive sails for these ships cannot go where others may, no matter what the captain or crew wants.

When we sail to the regular ports of call all is well; we know the straights and shoals and we come to rest at our berth with ease. New destinations are harder to find and we may hit a sandbar or a rocky bottom on our adventure. Running aground is best avoided by prudence, not happenstance, and our safe return depends on it. When the sounding tells us that we are about to run aground it is wise to decisively correct our course.

Our crew depends on us for their very survival and to some extent their prosperity. We owe it to them to have stout rudders and good sails. When we deliver our crew to their adventure and fortune, they may say as much as "good ship" if we're lucky. But cursed (literally) is the ship that fails its crew.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Almost perfect

On opening night, as luck would have it, the second half of my first line as Anagnos went blank from when it was getting from my memory into my "say this next" buffer. So there was a slight pause as I wound forward to my next line, that now made a little lot less sense than usual as I said it. Then I realized that the second half of the first line was where I announced Annie's name; I needed to get that part in. With a little on-the-fly wordsmithing I was able to announce Annie, then return to my regularly scheduled broadcast. The overall effect was acceptable but the break really threw me and my timing and delivery were affected throughout the scene.

Despite all this, the audience still clapped at the end of the scene. I was astonished.

Troy and Kate heard the break (well Troy said he did and Kate said she didn't, then later recanted under oath) and they must have been using Jedi mind tricks to get me through it. Thanks guys!

Other than that, opening night was pretty fun, except for the part where the kids were grousing at each other backstage. I could have strangled them. I had to use Stern Daddy Words.

On arriving home after the gala and sweet exhausted goodbyes, the ladies were hard at work getting ready to go to renfaire in Novato. We were up till like 3am or something loading the car, sewing the thingys, and getting camping stuff ready. Jess and Amy are gonna camp. Sounds very tiring to me.

We're off to the movie this afternoon to see Fantastic Four, then we do the show again tonight.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Dinner and a Show

Well this is the time that we were waiting for, opening night. Last night was really great and the preview audience really enjoyed the show. In these last few minutes I'm getting a quick dinner then off I go.

The last couple of weeks have been tumult and late nights. I'm getting ready for the show, the ladies are getting ready for the renfaire. My show opens in two hours, the faire goes up tomorrow. We've been building a set or sewing something until late for some time now.

We do it because it's fun. It has been a fun couple of weeks for me, kind of a slog for the ladies. Their real fun comes soon when they get to go and pretend for hours at a time. I envy them a bit since I'm onstage for about four minutes, they're on all day.

Tonite is the Gala after the opening, a few little plastic glasses of wine and some crackers. What a blast!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Oh, oh, oh, I'm.. al..most... there!

Opening night is a couple of days away and tonight we have a preview audience. Let me tell you now, these people are definitely going to get their $5 worth. The set looks stunning, the onstage drama is starting to overflow the fourth wall, and the internal drama is all winding down. (Told ya.)

The show promises to have everyone in tears at the end, just like it was written.

Only a moment till I drive the 'burb over the bridge... Looking forward to tonight.

Monday, July 04, 2005


Happy Fourth of July! Ours was top drawer. We totally slept in. We goofed off much of the day. Then we went to see the fireworks out at the Port of Redwood City. You get there at like 7PM because everyone wants to be there so they all arrive as soon as possible. Then there is the waiting because the fireworks start at 9:30. I brought a book on logic, poorly written by a very smart German fellow. We had a couple of friends along and we had a picnic. Our older two had volunteered all day at the parade, along with friend Amy. All eight of us huddled on the tarp, cheered the finale, then toddled all our stuff back to the Suburban. Miraculously we arrived back before 10:30. Time for drinkies.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

A watched pot...

Just picked up the pizzas and then cooked the other two first. So my pizza takes 45 minutes. Next time, my pizza first. S'pose I should have a cocktail while waiting for pizza to cook.

A great day of building on the Miracle Worker set today. There were lots of helping hands, I think there were ten of us. Rob brought Kate and she bravely documented all the prop and set change business with her hurty foot up. Patty brought all of us sandwich fixins. (yay!) Kevin bought me a coffee and Danish, and built stuff, what a guy. We built a pump/bench/cover thingy (Troy designed in general terms and cheered while I built it.) Mary, Patty, and Dawn painted nearly everything in sight. Jim came and pitched in. Paula painted! And Greg built a killer window frame. We ended the day making keyhole plates, and vacuuming. What fun!

I have to say a huge thank you to my Mother in law who ferried the teenager to and from a concert in the city (Green Day +), AND watched the young one all day. I would not have been able to put in a day of building without her help, since the ladies of the house were renfairing.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Rehearsus interruptus

The break in rehearsal due to the holiday this close to the opening is a novel experience for me. The re-start is Tuesday with opening on Friday, three nights to go from here to perfect. Hmmm. I'm confident it will work, I just know it is a lot of hard work. My tiny parts of the show are going well. My co-stars are still working hard.

There are still a carload of things to be done on the set, and there will definitely be Jedi mind tricks to be performed to get the faintly designed pump structure 1. Built and 2. Light enough to be handled like the cardboard box we have been rehearsing with.

Good thing the show is The Miracle Worker.