Thursday, March 26, 2009

Let me 'splain...

No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

Still looking for a van - have found several possibilities. The rental car is nice. I bought a new car seat and used the rest of the insurance car-seat replacement check for groceries.

Got an official offer from Regent University for their MFA program. I'm seriously considering it, which is throwing our home life into a tizzy. Even more of a tizzy. (Except the kids don't know anything about it yet, and I don't want them to yet, so shhhh.)

I have THE most amazing friends and family. Sheesh, post one meltdown blog post and everyone comes running with love and support and stuff. Maybe I should do that more often! (Just kidding)

I have a killer headache right now, so I'm going to eat some toast and go to bed.

Love you all!!!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Warning...turbulence ahead.

Okay, fine. Fine! I'm NOT fine. I've been trying...TRYING SO focus on the positives, to count my blessings, to be thankful for all we have. And I AM. I am thankful, and there are lots of positive blessings.
Right now I'm going to vent. If you don't want to be spewed on, stop reading now.

The van is totalled. MY van is totalled. Which means, the insurance company now owns it, and they will, eventually give us some money for it. About $3800. Do you know what kind of minivan you can buy for $3800? Model: Jack. Make: Squat.
And, of course, they want the rental car back tomorrow. How am I supposed to function without a car? How am I supposed to look for another car without a car???
And the car seat.
Did I mention they have to destroy the car seat? The boosters are okay, but our nice, expensive toddler seat/convertible booster has to go.
I spent the day on the internet looking for cars. I found some exciting possibilites, but none panned out. What I want, what I'd really like to salvage out of this situation, is to upgrade to a nicer van, with low mileage, that won't break down within three months.
Alas, it is not to be. Because everything in our price range is crap. Cruddy looking, high mileage, leering at us, ready to break down if you blink at it.
Why is this always what it comes down to? Stupid frigging money. Everything is about money. Where we live, what we drive, what I fix for dinner, what activities the kids can do. I'm freaking sick of it. I HATE complaining about money. WHAT could be more boring. But guess what? It's boring living it too. Boring and frustrating and shitty. I know lots of people are living with it, dealing with it every day. I know many many many people are worse off than we are. I know these things. I know it's just how things are, and tomorrow, I'll go back to putting my head down and plowing through. Facing the day. Worrying about the future. Tomorrow.
Right now, I just want to be pissed off. And about that weight loss thing? I EAT when I'm pissed off and scared and frustrated. So poop.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Everyone is fine. Repeat. Everyone is fine.

The van is at the repair shop. We will find out today if it can be repaired or if it will be totaled. Until then, I have a free loaner Chevy Malibu. Just call me Barbie.

The other car had a barely scratched bumper and a tiny dent. They stopped in front of Don to make a left turn, and he just didn't see them in time. He was turning the wheel as he tried to stop, which is why there's more damage on the driver's side.

Our airbags didn't go off, and the car drove home fine, so those are good signs.

According to the insurance lady, we need to replace the carseats, though. At least Cinderellas - she's not sure about the boosters. Another thing they'll let me know sometime today.

Everyone is fine.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Just...beyond words tonight.
Don hit someone else's car with the van, with all the kids in the car.
They are all fine. Don is fine. The other person is fine.
The van is a mess.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Not a whole lot to say today. Kids got report cards - all good. Scooby has A's in Math and Social Studies and A plusses in Language Arts, Science, Spanish and Violin. He's such an underacheiver. The other two don't get letter grades yet, but are doing really really well. I'm so proud of them. I got the scripts and the videos of the school tour shows that I'm subbing in for - three are about bullying and one is about drugs. In fact, the drug one is the same basic script that I did - what was it - 17 years ago? It's been updated, of course, and some much needed improvements have been made, but overall it's pretty much the same. Kind of funny. The bullying ones seem pretty good too, although one seems pretty cheesy on paper. I'm hoping it translates better into video or live. I've got a week to learn the four scripts, so it will be a challenge.
I was scheduled at Pitt this week as a training tool for Psychiatric faculty to learn the methodology of the upcoming Psyche "Observed Clinical Education Training" (that's not quite right, but it's close enough.) Unfortunately, 4 out of the 5 faculty that were supposed to show up didn't, so in the room were another Standardized Patient, myself, the co-ordinator of the SP program, and the head faculty member who was running the seminar - all there to train one poor guy. It went all right, I guess. The two cases I'm working this week are a Med-seeking Valium addict and a Manic-Disorganized Bi-Polar patient. They're pretty interesting. The manic one will be a challenge, because I basically have to talk rapidly and non-stop unless I'm forcibly stopped by the students. I hope I can think of enough to say! It's hard because it can't be stuff about "me", it has to be stuff that's relevant to "patient" who has her own back-story, family history, work life, home life, etc.
To those of you participating in the weight loss challenge, I will NOT be posting my starting weight and BMI here on the blog. If you want to know it, to keep me honest, I'll email you.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Small graces, part 9

1. The engine light wasn't anything serious - same emissions code as before, possibly a loose gas cap.
2. Got everywhere I needed to go today - three different jobs - and all went well.
3. Enjoyed talking to Mom for awhile.
4. Beauty and the Beast is going to be a good show!
5. Tarzan's new Ranger Rick magazine came.

On the frustrating side, I emailed Regent and BU to see if they could give me a timeline for finding answer yet from BU, and Regent said it could be a couple more weeks. WEEKS! Aarrgh!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

small graces, part8

1. Going walking yesterday and walking a steep hill today. You've got to start somewhere!
2. Tax refund check
3. Remembering to buy deoderant at Walmart
4. Scheduling some more acting work for the month of April
5. A beautiful warm day

Praying that the engine light that popped on today doesn't mean anything serious!!!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Random pictures

A couple more pictures:

These are the two watermelon costumes that appeared in the Odyssey project. The one on the left is the one that caused my chainsaw injury. The cut piece of styrofoam is inside the fabric. The one on the right is actually the one that Scooby wore in the presentation.

Scooby made this barrel himself - it's supported inside by a basket and a pizza pan.

Tarzan's teeth are finally starting to grow back in, but you can't tell in this picture.

This is our St. Patrick's Day cake - made out of 6 cupcakes and a square cake. Idea by Tarzan, design by Mommy, decoration by all.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Long day today. I'm feeling pretty beat down and discouraged. The audition went...okay, I guess. They didn't give me a callback, but their rejection phone call was very polite and friendly, and at least they let me know right away. I spent last night and today doing "Play in a Day" which is a lot like an Odyssey problem squished into 9 hours. It was a lot of time to spend with 5 ten-year-old girls. Lots of squealing and hair twirling. There's lots of laundry to be folded, and the cupboards are looking mighty bare again, with no paychecks coming in in the immediate future. Off to bed now. To sleep...perchance to dream...maybe I'll dream about a way out.

Bedlam breaks out at NYC 'Top Model' auditions
March 14, 2009, 7:35 PM EST
NEW YORK (AP) -- Three people were arrested and six others hurt Saturday after bedlam broke out while they waited to audition for "America's Next Top Model," police said.
Police didn't know what prompted the chaos involving hundreds of people outside the Park Central New York hotel in Manhattan.

I'm guessing...hunger.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Rolling with the punches

Could this be more generic???

"I regret to inform you that the Department of Theatre Studies did not approve your application for admission to Brown University’s Graduate School for the 2009-2010 academic year. Admission decisions are made on a comparative basis and are the result of a careful evaluation of each candidate's application, taking into account academic achievement, preparation for advanced study, and other supporting materials.

The majority of those who apply to the Graduate School have strong qualifications and demonstrate an ability to do advanced academic work. We regret that we have to disappoint many bright and talented students.

Thank you for your interest in Brown. I wish you the best in your academic endeavors."

Not a surprise, but now it's official. For the directing program, at least.


Thursday, March 12, 2009


I started teaching a class today for Saltworks. It will be every Thursday for 9 weeks, from 4:30 - 7:00pm. I have 9 girls, ages 14 - 18. We're going to work on A Lion In Winter (one of my favorite Katherine Hepburn movies - she's amazing in it.) It's about Henry II, Eleanor of Aquataine, and their sons Richard (to become "the Lionhearted"), Geoffrey, and John (of Evil Prince John fame in the Robin Hood movies) They're quite a family, and it's quite a script. If I ever got into grad school and had to write a thesus type thing, I'd be interested in pursuing these Plantagenets. Other plays they appear in are Murder in the Cathedral, Becket, Henry IV, V, and VI (Shakespeare), and several others. Class went well, and the girls are resigned if not excited about playing men. They're part of the Saltworks "Young Company", which means they've been around awhile and taken a lot of classes, and are used to playing men. In fact, last summer, I had some of them in my Antigone class and one of they played King Creon.
It feels good to get my teaching chops working again.
I also have an audition this weekend for a Pgh Theater company's summer season. They're auditioning Equity actors too, so I don't expect much, but at least I'm getting my butt out there again. I've been hibernating since NY, as far as the acting thing goes.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Small graces, part 7

Hm. Seems I missed yesterday. Weird. I thought I wrote something, but I must have just imagined it!
It also seems that since I made the declaration that I would try to be more grateful for the little things in everyday life that more and more aggravating things have started to happen. Nothing super huge, just little niggling annoyances that make it harder to see the good. But here goes!

1. More buds coming up through the ground - Cinderella's lilac bush is frosted in green.
2. I found three Madeleine L'Engle books at Half Priced books today that I didn't have. Two poetry books and a very early novel. And they were only $3.00 each!
3. I've picked up some more work in the past couple of days - more days at Pitt and another weekend of classes.
4. I think I found a babysitter for Friday afternoon, if she doesn't back out.
5. I'm having Scooby teach me violin on his quarter-sized little one. I can play Ode to Joy almost recognizably. I think Scooby and I are about the same level right now.

Missing everyone out there...write something in your blogs! I'm lonely!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Some Odyssey pictures

David and his friend - what is it about the blondes???
Setting up during the performance - you can see the anchor sign, barrel, and mast, all created by David, if you look really closely!

Notice the two-headed Pirate Germ in the back

Team Dunlap

David - the old sea captain

Sixth place. Sigh. Frankly, I think they were robbed. But, they're taking it well. Better than me, I think! Somehow, I don't seem to have a picture of the watermelon costume that scarred my finger. I'll try to find one and post it when I get it.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Small graces, part 6

1. Lots of sleep this morning - the kids were quiet and we skipped church.
2. Quality Lego time with the boys - they built, I watched.
3. Granny coming over to spend time with the kids and bake cookies while we cleaned the office.
4. Did I mention they baked cookies?
5. A whole weekend of warm weather and only a little bit of rain.

Saturday, March 07, 2009


Well, they came in 6th, so no states this year. They did really well, and I was very proud of them. We're disappointed, but at least we'll have more evenings free now!
REALLY tired, so no more posting for now.

Friday, March 06, 2009

small graces, part 5

1 - 5:
By this time tomorrow, the Odyssey of the Mind Regional Tournament will be over!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Just Yale if you need me

So, I got my official rejection letter from Yale today. I'm not broken up about it, because it was pretty obvious they weren't going to accept me when they booted me after one round of auditions. I was going to try to write some kind of funny entry about "what Yale wrote" and "what Yale was really saying" but when I went to pull the letter out of the trash to copy what they wrote, I discovered Don had already emptied the can and I'm not digging through leftover peanut butter and coffee grounds to find it. So basically, what Yale wrote is many are called, few are chosen. And you ain't one of 'em. Eh.

Today's graces:
1. Warmth! Sunshine! Warmth!
2. Got all the copies I needed done for free.
3. Found the green facepaint I needed locally - saved me a 20 minute drive.
4. Kids did so well at Beauty and the Beast rehearsal I let them go 1/2 an hour early.
5. Coriciden is a great cold medicine.

Night all!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Oh yeah, my blog.

I was on my way to bed (nice talking to you, Lisa!) when I realized I hadn't written anything yet today. Slightly better day today. Yesterday was a lot of things - PMS, getting a cold, hearing too much bad news in a short amount of time, jumping through Medicare benefit renewal hoops. The thing that tipped me over the edge, though, was an email from one of the school's I've been accepted at, which will remain nameless due to potential dangerous Googling, (right Steve?) but if you've following along it shouldn't be too difficult to figure out which one. Anyway, I've been trying to get some questions answered for awhile now about the program and financial aid stuff, but have experience really BAD communication skills from this department. Finally yesterday I sent another respectful email requesting the answers to the same questions I'd been asking. I got one back saying that they thought I'd declined admission, so that was my status in their computers. Oh, and there's no money available for first years anyway. Oh, and this person's going to a conference for two weeks, so I can contact her again then if I want to change the status in my file. I firmly but respectfully replied that I had NOT declined admission, and forwarded the chain of emails stating that very thing, and that this person had replied to herself, saying to just let them know when I'd made a decision. I immediately got back one of those automated "out-of-the-office" replies. Tells me something about the organization of the school and the difficulty I might have ever trying to get anything done through the administration. So as of now, the two schools that have accepted me are two that I didn't have to audition for, and that I very well may not want to go to. (Savannah's a whole nother story...I'll get into it later, maybe.)
So, still waiting.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Bad day

Grateful for God's faithfulness.
The end.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Small graces, part 4

1. Going back to bed after Don went to work. Shh - don't tell him!
2. Getting enough done around the house when I finally got up again to make it look like I didn't spend the morning in bed.
3. Getting the gift package from Mom and Dad's cruise - I love my hat and earrings, the kids love their banks and "water globe" (NOT a snow globe, Mommy) and Don loves his little tiny cup. (That's what Cinderella called it...I think it's going to stick!)
4. Finding out that another Odyssey team is actually scheduled earlier than us - at 7:42! This gives me strange joy.
5. Being able to read and giggle at some very funny postings on Facebook by friends. I like having funny friends.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Quick update

Sad news today. Some friends lost a baby at 8 1/2 months of the pregnancy. Everything was normal at the checkup one week previous, then yesterday they couldn't find a heartbeat. They did an emergency C-section and the baby was stillborn. They figure the placenta detached somehow. I can't even imagine what they're going through.
Crazy week ahead, getting ready for the Odyssey tournament on Sat. We also have parent conferences on Friday - I think I put the fear of God in Cinderella today when I told her that. She's been having some discipline issues at school - too busy socializing with her BFFs to listen to the teacher!
I was so proud of myself tonight - I figured out how to burn a CD after converting a video from youtube into an mp3, and then decompressing it. And yes, I'm sure there IS an easier way, but that's not the point! I did it all by myself!
The calendar says it will be spring soon, but it sure isn't looking like it on the East coast.