Friday, October 31, 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I ran my first 5K yesterday, in the rain. Was WAY at the back of the pack, because I didn't want to get run over. My goals were 1) to finish, and 2) to make it all the way without walking. Well, I did finish, but had to walk up two hills. It was really hilly, and kind of hard to breathe through all the rain. I finished in 34 minutes, 59 seconds, which is pretty pathetic, but I think I can beat it next time. (Yes, next time...bwah, hah ha!) I got a nice shirt out of it, too.
Check out Scooby's blog (link on the left - Pittsburgh Pirates) as he added a short update today. Also, Tarzan decided he wanted to start one too. So check out Timmy-Webkinz. He typed the whole entry himself, with only a little help in spelling.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Narcissism...thy name is headshot

Please vote for your favorite:





Comments are welcome, but be kind. We elderly get our feelings hurt easily.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Our Halloween friends

Courtesy of Uncle J and Aunt Melissa. Here they are before their individualized haircuts. The vampire is Scooby's, the Spider Tarzan's, and the bat Cinderella's.

And here they are after the haircuts.

I especially like Tarzan's mowhawk. Cinderella got a little scissor happy, but they grow fast.
Thanks Melissa and J!

Friday, October 17, 2008

So help me out here!

See what happens when none of you comment on my posts? I get random spam emails about the inner workings of my neurons. At least I'm assuming it's spam and not the earnestly shared yet strangely remote musings of an unidentified reader.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Strange and Stressful

That's how my day's been so far.
Last night I went for a late run - the kids were home from school all day, so I had to wait until Don came home, and ate dinner, etc. I headed out about 7:10, and caught the tail end of a gorgeous fiery sunset. I decided to head up the windy hill to see if I could catch more of it from the top, but it was pretty much gone by the time I got there. However, I got to watch the moonrise on the other side. It was a beautiful night - cool, but still with a breath of warmth from the day. But it was getting kind of dark, and there aren't many streetlamps up there. See where this is going? A car came, so I moved onto the shoulder, stumbled, and twisted my ankle. It wasn't too bad, and I ran home on it, then iced it and put it up for the rest of the night. It's not too bad today, just a constant reminder why I should only run in the daytime.
I met with my ex-CMU professor again today. She coached me through my monologue a little bit, and then we talked some more about different programs. I think I did okay - she said the monologues definitely need work, but didn't say that I totally sucked and shouldn't even bother auditioning. She stressed how hard Yale and Brown are to get into, and I agreed, but said my philosophy is they're even harder to get into if you don't apply. She said CMU auditions about 1000 for their 20 spots in the undergrad program. Yale auditions about 3000 for 10 spots. No pressure. She also gave me the name and email address of one of the other acting teachers and said she might be willing to help coach me some more, and that she'd do it herself, but didn't have the time. So I'll see if this other person is willing to help me out. I got a lot out of just the five minutes she gave me.
Then I came home and got a delivery from UPS. It was the fellowship application that I mailed two weeks ago, and it was returned saying the recipient, the U.S.Dept. of Education, had moved and the address was bad. I flipped out, as this fellowship was a HUGE pain in the ass to apply for, and they are stringent about the application deadline, which was Oct. 3rd. Fortunately, after I calmed down and contacted them, they said that many people have had this problem. In fact, here's their quote, "What we have learned is that both FedEx and UPS have been informed numerous times of the address change, and there is a sign up at the old address redirecting deliveries to the correct address (there are no staff present at the old address; it is closed). However, it seems that in some cases FedEx and UPS drivers have not followed the instructions on the sign or instructions from their managers, and have instead returned packages to the senders, simply noting that the address was "bad." As a result, several applicants have been forced to ship their applications again, after the deadline, with the documentation inside demonstrating that the original package ship date was in compliance with our deadline date of October 3rd. Your message indicates that your package was returned to you from UPS. You will not be penalized as long as the documentation inside demonstrates the original package ship date as compliant with the deadline date of October 3rd." So it's the stupid UPS drivers fault - not their own for not bothering to change the shipping information on their website.
So anyway, I'll reship it tomorrow. I'll see if I can get UPS to do it for free this time.
Oh, and it looks like I won't be applying to UMAss, because they won't waive their stupid GRE requirement, and I'm not taking a $150 test for one application.
AND, Pitt responded and said they're happy with the two MFA students they have, thank you very much, but try again in 2010.
Gotta love this process, right?

Friday, October 10, 2008

October Blue

The house is never so quiet as when I close the door behind them after they get on the bus.
I had a long involved dream last night about being in a car crash - a silver Camero in the other lane rear-ended a red sports car which crossed the median and crashed into my car. I spun around and was thrown from the car into the street, where I lay semi-conscious for several minutes. These details are very clear. After that it gets fuzzier. A policeman came and was more interested in investigating the contents of the car's trunk than in helping me off the street. There was a roll of money in the trunk - a couple thousand dollars, and nothing more. I insisted I didn't know where it had come from, and it was my husband's car, but he certainly didn't keep wads of money lying around in the trunk. Then I had to follow the police car in my own car, and suddenly we were in a bad snowstorm and I couldn't drive or even see. I was still feeling shaky from being in the crash. Then there was something about being in a restaurant that a friend owned, and lots of people were coming in, and they didn't have enough food. I was dressed up in my Bride of Frankenstein outfit. And somehow I had to call Don and tell him I couldn't meet him because of the snowstorm, and also because I was going to leave him for the policeman.
For some reason, I'm feeling tired and headachey this morning.
I'll post this now, but I plan on trying to take some pictures of the sky later. There is just something about October that brings out the most incredible blue skies and color contrasts with the leaves. I remember distinctly that last year, on my birthday, I had just discovered the walking route that took me up to the top of the hills by the beautiful meadows. I remember looking at the sky and breathing the air, and feeling really happy.
This year, for some reason, I'm feeling blue. Overwhelmed, tired. I spent my birthday feeling old and dull and stupid. And fat. I've been trying to walk or run almost everyday, but I'm not making any progress.
It's frigging ridiculous how time consuming this application process is. If I had a full time job, I'd never be able to do it. I've spent at LEAST 20 hours this week alone on essay questions, ordering transcripts, requesting letters of recommendation, and filling out forms. And I'm not done yet!!!! And then I think about how small the chances are that I'll actually get into these programs, and it feels like a total waste of time. Of course, the chances are smaller if I don't apply, so there you are.
I'm applying to Brown's MFA Acting and MFA Directing programs, Yale's MFA Acting program (aim for the sky), Boston University's MFA Directing and MFA Theater Education programs, Regent's MFA Acting program, CMU's MFA directing program, UMass's MFA Directing program (if I can get around the GRE requirement), and possibly Virginia Commonwealth's and Savannah College of Art and Design's MFA Acting programs. In addition to two national Fellowship programs, and the National Resident Theater Acting and Directing Auditions. AND I contacted Pitt and let them know that I'm still interested, and still available, should they feel a sudden burning desire to fill another spot.
Today, I need to go buy some underwear and running bras. And write three more essays.
I will drive carefully.

Friday, October 03, 2008

How I understand the economy

Here's some writing about the economy that I can understand. No, I didn't write it, but it sure resonates with me!

I watched the debate last night. Can't say I was overly impressed with either candidate, but Palin made me laugh ("Say it ain't so, Joe!) and even if she's not necessarily VP material, I'd love to hang out with her. Maybe we could carpool our kids to hockey. Oh, wait. My kids aren't ever going to be allowed to play hockey. Oh well, there goes that brush with fame.
In other news, I'm LOVING our new DVR. It's totally going to spoil me. We only have it for a year (great sign-up deal)and I don't know how we'll ever go back!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Last night, my friend Deb took me to see Wicked at the Benedum in Pittsburgh. We went out to dinner first at the Sewickley Cafe - I had Tuscan chicken with portabello mushrooms, artichokes, and red peppers, roasted potatoes with goat cheese, and asparagus. It was incredibly grown-up - no chicken fingers in sight! Of course, dinner for one cost as much as all five of us going out together to the places we usually go, but it was quite yummy. We drove downtown for the show, and it was WONDERFUL! I've seen a couple of touring shows at the Benedum - Les Mis, Grease, Spamalot...but I have to say, this show exceeded all my expectations. I'm not a bandwagon-hopper, and normally if a show gets too popular I run the other way, but all the hype around this one is justified. I've liked the original cast recording ever since I first heard it, and I've always loved Kristen Chenowith (the original Galinda) so I thought that whoever I saw in the touring company couldn't possibly measure up. But Katie Rose Clarke was awesome. She had the "Legally Blonde" perky cuteness, the voice of an angel, AND the hilarious physical comedy of a Gilda Radner/Mary Catherine Gallagher type comedic actress. I laughed so hard during "Popular" that I almost peed myself. And Carmen Cusack as Elphaba was great too. She had the power for the big belt numbers, the vulnerability for the small moments of self-confession, and a dry wit with perfect comic timing that set off Katie Rose Clarke terrifically. QUITE an enjoyable evening.

Don signed us up for Verizon FIOS service - he found a deal that was actually cheaper than the Comcast Basic that we had before. So now we have all these channels, and DVR, but noone knows how to use them yet.

The kids were very excited Monday to see the Season 3 Premiere of FETCH! We had a little Premiere party in the living room. Yesterday the FIOS guy was still here though, and they missed day 2.

Last week I met with my freshman year acting teacher from CMU to talk about MFA programs. It was a little awkward at first (it's been 20 years since she had me in class! Holy crap!) but she was very gracious, and we had a good talk. She invited me to come back and do my audition peices for her, and she would coach me. Which is a damn good offer from the head of the acting program at CMU! So I was supposed to go back yesterday, but she got sick and had to cancel. Hopefully we'll be able to reschedule soon.

Murder in the Cathedral is done - we had great audiences and got positive feedback from everyone. It was sure a difficult play, and I dont' really have any desire to do it again, but it was good experience and seems to have been well received.

Now it's prime Murder Mystery season. We've got our two big Halloween shows, MacDeath and Murder at the Drac Shack, and then the two big Christmas shows, Rudolph the Dead-Nosed Reindeer and Death on the Air. That will keep me pretty busy up through December.

School open house is tomorrow night - I'll get a chance to talk with Tarzan and Cinderella's teachers and finally meet Scooby's. They seem like they're all doing really well. Tarzan is reading up a storm - I think he's a better reader than even Scooby was in first grade, and Scooby was pretty good!

Off to start the day!