Friday, April 27, 2012

Laundry and Internet!

Hooray! The laundromat here in Georgia has fast Wi-Fi. This makes up for the fact that our phones have, at best, crappy service and spotty internet connection. Guess Fairburn is a bit off of the satellite purview..

Met up with Mark Schaeffer and his family, quite a bit of fun there. Great chinese food from a Greek restaurant and a trip to REI was our first visit. Hopefully more to come, they have tickets for the faire now and we hope to see them out!

Going through a bit of a "what the hell should I be doing now" phase. Working on an invention idea for ren faires, need a prototype designed. Uploading music videos I've recorded in the RV with hopes of getting some music out there. Intro video link below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09coxlsmAro&feature=related

So let's see what happens with this :)

Still working out through the Insanity program with Jimmy, Cameron, Marge, Amanda and whoever else drops by. It's grueling but we're getting in good shape. Not even sore anymore (entirely....) but it absolutely destroys our calves. It's a lot of jumping plyometrics and cardio, which is great for us really. Especially Amanda who is gearing up for her first run of Sirena at Bristol in July! Excited for her and for the expansion of TSP.

So not a ton to report from Georgia yet but a lot of irons in the fire and hopefully something will materialize soon.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Oh yeah! Forgot The Alamo :p

Get it?
We stopped at the Alamo as a side trip to our excursion. Casey and Jimmy's idea.

So glad we did! Great piece of American history and gorgeous to boot. Great little tourist trap area with fun shops. Even the one with color-changing ink in the sun! Love that one.

I highly recommend it. I had no idea it happened on my birthday and that Davy Crockett met his end there. Learn something new every day if you're not careful!






The long road here....

Wow, so we are finally in Fairburn Georgia at our campsite but what a trip to get here.

Allow me to elaborate:

We began with a wonderful trip and five day vacation to Sedona. Saw the family including my lovely Nana and her boyfriend Bernie. After the stay, we drove back to Apache Junction to get started on the schlep to Georgia.

First problem, Appa did not start up. Two months unattended in the Arizona sun apparently for a happy RV does not make. We kept trying and eventually called AAA to get a guy out there. An hour later he arrives butI says the engine is just flooded from our attempts to start it. Everything works fine now, its just flooded. So we wait and watch Dr Who with Casey and jimmy.  We began trying to start the engine at 5, finally get it to start by pumping the bejesus out of the gas at 10pm. Wow.

So we get just out of town and stop for the night. Next day we set out and find a new problem, Appa overheats easily now. After stopping for gas, he won't start again for a couple hours. Yikes. So we start to work around that by not stopping the engine to gas up.

Next problem. In one of our bejesus -pumpings to get the engine revving, Amanda steps too hard and the cable connecting the gas pedal to the bit that lets the gas in snaps! We call AAA and they send a towing guy out. The nearest shop is 144 miles away. AAA will cover the first 100 miles but the next 44 have to come out of pocket....crap.

Fortunately the AAA guy says "I think I can fix this" and does with some heavy gauge wire! Some creative tying and wrapping and we were back in the road!

The next day we realized we wanted to be in Georgia sooner than we were planning. Amanda started just trucking it past jimmy and Casey and I took a couple hour nap at 3am. Woke up at 6:30 with a coffee-addled Amanda in desperate need of some rest. I took over and drove us the rest of the way and into our camp!!

Now we just need to check our engine regularly, turn it over every once in a while and take good care of our baby.

Sooo much more I could write but I don't want to be too verbose and my thumbs are mad. Typing on my phone .....our next generation will have some messed-up thumbs!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sedona pictures!

Full account of trip to Georgia soon, but for now pics from our five day vacation in wonderful Sedona!






Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Sedona vacation!

On vacation in Sedona with the family, Casey, Jimmy and Amanda. Even my grandmother (Nana) is here with her boyfriend Bernie.

Bit of a hectic trip but transition is always stressful and now with such a large group here, coordinating activities will be certainly fun. Went out to dinner at the Red Planet Diner, fun memories there. Hoping to do some serious hiking while we are here. And swimming, sunbathing and hottubbing!

But there's a new computer waiting for me in my folk's room, so bye bye 5-year-old MacBook, you've served me well and will serve your new master well also. Amazed it's still trucking like this, I must have taken good care of this one.

Off for some breakfast and computering! New post from new computer soon :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Black eyes and dinner for 12!

Went to an awesome trampoline-covered fun place for Marges birthday on Monday. Tons of fun but a kid in our group and I had a collision that resulted in a black eye for yours truly. Hurt worse than it looked at first, now it looks worse than it feels.

By the way, who's idea was it to candy-coat Advil anyway? I find myself licking the damned things before taking them like "oooh,  I deserve a treat...."

Anywhooo, now relaxing at Breck and Sharon's after cooking an Asian meal for the family. Cousins, aunts, cousins once removed, you name it. A group of about twelve all together and it worked great! I taught everyone to make spring rolls and Amanda made a great stir fry with rice. What a team!

Now starting to see the end of Arizona in sight. About time to start looking ahead to the next adventure, Georgia!

Not a lot to report on the seelie players front unfortunately. Materials sent out and waiting for progress on gig leads. Move soon hopefully...

Picture of the black eye below .


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

First hike!

Finally went hiking! Big thanks to Tony Miller, or Shamus the insultor, for the wonderful tour guiding. Talked about superpowers, politics and more then closed with great Mexican food!

Pictures below....




Friday, March 9, 2012

Another day, another Village Inn.....

video

Yeah, so the video's a bit smushed but you know what? It took a lot less time to upload, so there!

Working on music while in the RV, I've started doing a once-weekly music jam and Amanda is coming to the next one! Can't wait :)

Helped Casey make about a bazillion deviled eggs for the RESCU Rally (RESCU is a group that works like a pseudo-insurance company for rennies, basically financial assistance for financially downtrodden rennies...)
The rally was awesome and we had a blast, we even gambled a bit (blackjack, who knew you were so addictive?)
Casey's deviled eggs won the salad portion of the food competition, so yay. We received as a thank you (you guessed it) a plate of deviled eggs....our favorite food on the planet!

Amanda won a really nice bamboo flute from the silent auction and is learning to play it when she has the time.

Whelp, laundry's done and we're taking up our server's section. Time to watch more West Wing and snuggle. Rough life right?

MRS. LANDINGHAAAAAAAAAAAM! YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN!!!!

Anyone watching West Wing will get that. Any not, start watching The West Wing.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Loving our new life!

Got a pizza made in the ovens maiden lighting! Tasted great and watched a Japanese comedy/melodrama while eating. Memories came flooding back, I forgot how this show chokes me up. Fortunately Amanda felt the same.

Got a free mattress today, Cameron is upgrading. So big gain there. Now we aren't sleeping on tetrised together pillows. Now walking over to a music jam night with my guitar.

Things are really starting to settle into a new lifestyle. I'm always ready for an adventure cause its there, ready or not!

Oh, and look what was strolling through our backyard today....


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cooking!

Totally went to an amazing bulk and fresh produce store yesterday. We have veggies and food for miles. This place is our new mecca: The Good Apple.

Thank you Cary and Jimmy for making this possible!

Now I can cook

And cook I shall


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Been a busy week!

video

Also, Amanda hit culinary gold last night. We were enjoying some barbeque ribs at Uncle Breck and Aunt Sharon's last night when Amanda suggested adding cinnamon to our ribs out of the blue. It was actually quite delicious, I'm guessing this was since it was a molasses-based BBQ sauce. The whole meal was splendid and we are now refreshed, showered and laundried! Ah the life of dirty hippies on the road...

So grocery shopping today and developing our own cardio workout due to the absence of a certain Jimmy Freer (snowboarding today...lucky bastard)

So as you can see, life has settled down a bit into more of a rhythm and we are finding that while every day is an adventure, it often exhausts us too much to post about it!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy V-Day

video

Jimmy and Casey are hosting a Doctor themed party tonight. We, lacking costumes, will simply be bringing some Doctor-themed booze...

Last night hung out with Amanda's friend, John Keating. Wonderful fellow and we had a great time. Went out to a restaurant where you order and pay for your food and then they give it to you...raw.
 You then take your food (in our case raw chicken in ziplocs) out to the huge grill out back and cook your own sandwich. It was awesome! Definitely want to go back and grill up my own dinner while playing sand volleyball (they have two courts) or billards upstairs in their "lounge."

Tomorrow is "Recovery and Laundry Day." Lots of wet clothes to clean and gotta freshen up our garb before another weekend of faire. No fungus-laced bodysuits for this faire! I think the next Kickstarter that needs to happen is "buy the Fantastikals a second bodysuit." It'll probably get funded in 3 hours....by Fantastikals...

Saturday, February 11, 2012

First Day!!!

video

Also, Whitney Houston died today apparently. That's a shame...

Now we're gonna eat quite a bit (mostly meat) and continue to curse James Freer for his strenuous, but ever so effective, workout regime. Yesterday's 20 solid minutes of 8 pushups (Amanda did Mountain Climbers instead for a more cardio workout), 12 lunges, 8 let-me-ups (pull ups from a situp position, requires benches) really kicked our collective asses. But we're feeling results already and this beats the hell out of not working out. Even if it REALLY doesn't feel like it right now.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Settling in

Well, jimmy and Casey have arrived! They are actually three doors down from us! We had drinks last night and I am starting a character for an RPG night!

In other news, I re-repaired the leak on the roof and we are working diligently on a replacement refrigerator. Amanda made a pretty garland for herself, picture below.

Jimmy is starting us on a new workout regime, pretty intense. Seven and a half minute sessions of each exercise. We do them in a pyramid ladder: do one, rest one, do two, rest two and up and then at your peak, go back down the pyramid! Upper body is SORE and more to come tomorrow...

Overall we are acclimating well. Even got our AC on (can you believe that?) and making sure we stay sunscreened and protected.

Video update soon with next coffee-shop post!


Monday, February 6, 2012

Getting settled in

All is going well, despite the world's best efforts sometimes :)

We are now better at knowing Appa inside and out. We learn new things every day and its very exciting! Even set up some instruments and made a bit of music (learned Long Train Running and Mrs. Robinson for starters). Hopefully we can jam with some neighbors.

Cooking even works great. Been making some great dishes and practicing Japanese during meal times.

Hardest part is to come to grips that each day is ours to plan. We get tons done but it still feels like a vacation. We worked out twice today and it was awesome! Even talked to the entertainment director and she is very interested in TSP. Gonna meet with her after President's Day, fingers crossed on that one.

Here's a pic of the interior :)


Sunday, February 5, 2012

First post in Arizona!

The trip was long and arduous but we are here:

video

Learned many many things about RVs today (like how to know your fridge is broken or when/where to dispose of your drainage tanks...)

Got our Faire ids, sunglasses and sunscreen. Met our neighbors who seem nice and enjoyed some video games and wine in the RV for our first night!

The Sirena Seelie Player's Kickstarter was great and now we get to look forward to finding new and more GIGS!

Saw some friends from Wisconsin, people we know from Bristol and I even got a chance to connect with the glassblowing family here at AZ that I knew years ago.

Time to go hiking and get back to setting ourselves up. Hard to know what to do with the free time, feels like there's a million things to do but also there's more than enough time to do them in. So it's all good.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

From the road

Taking a break lying in bed while Amanda has a driving shift. Been going for quite a while now. We've made a diagonal swath across Missouri and are now biting in to Oklahoma. Not sure when we are going to finish for the night but we have a lot of driving ahead of us and we both want to sort of power through it while we have the energy (thank you late night coffee).
Refueled and got a bunch of groceries at home in edwardsville today. Also got our water tank set with some for the road. Now we don't need a hotel!

Munchkin has acclimated nicely and is now exploring the vehicle in full motion, even jumping up onto the dashboard to see what was going on. Brave little girl! She is now the proud owner of an engraved reflective collar with a hand made red bowtie on it! Thanks to mom for the craftsmanship :)

Highlight of the day was Amanda creating a bit of a workout routine in the RV. My favorite was running in place because looking out the windshield, it felt like we were running really really fast.

Many more miles to go but each one brings us closer to our destination! Onwards!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Made it to Edwardsville!

video


In other news, turns out I didn't do a good job patching up the roof. We were barely 10 minutes out of Oostburg before we heard this *fwap fwap* sound coming from the roof. Suddenly, the patch tape detached, flipped over and smacked my driver's windshield, much to our surprise...

Oy vey!

So yesterday was such a clusterf**k and I was so exhausted that I collapsed after dinner and didn't write a post.
Long story short:

Subletter fell through. Trying to find another
Appa is almost fully loaded, finishing this morning
Storage pod on roof fits perfectly
Leak on roof repaired?
Money is tight (shocking right?)
Heading to St Louis today to see the folks
Munchkin is handling this all brilliantly
The Seelie Players rock

So the adventure begins today and I just want to thank Keaton, Cher, Amanda, Walt, Diane and my parents for helping us get to this point and push beyond!

More detailed report to come!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Made it to Oostburg!

Little video update for you:
video
Update on the subletter: Keaton and Cher have VERY generously offered to show the apartment to a couple of people I've already set appointments up for tonight and tomorrow. We'll get this done.

In the meantime, Munchkin is just living like a queen in her basement with a new bed, scratching rug, litter box and her food/water all fresh.

So, day one of the adventure is off to a good, if not initially extremely rocky, start.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Video post?

video
If this works, then holy crap are there going to be little video journal entries to come :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Ramblin' Man

Finally getting a second to sit down and relax a bit after a frantic couple of days.
Managed to find a subletter, seems like a fine fellow. For the rest of yesterday it was packing, packing and more packing. Amanda and I got through our clothes and now its down to furniture and final bits (including Munchkin). We even took an impromptu trip up to Oostburg to take the first round of things. This means Sunday will be our last night in Chicago.
Pretty crazy to think about that after two plus years of living in the city but its almost adventure time!
Lots of driving getting ready for even more driving. Thank goodness its good company and there are sushi lunches and after-driving stretches and workouts. Amanda has decided to start working out a bit more and that means more for me! That'll be fun, she always has interesting dance things to show me and they're fun to learn.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Running like a chicken....

Full day of spending WAY more money then I was expecting on Appa today before driving him to another repair shop.

Sigh...just bleeding money here. But since I got the RV for a song in the first place, this is still a reasonably small investment. Amanda is being an absolute doll and offering to pay some of my lunches for the next couple days.

Came back to Chicago for a first performance for an audience of Sirena. Great response but I think once costume and makeup are added to more confidence and energy, this show will absolutely blow everyone's socks off. Stay tuned!

Last night of D&D. I am going to miss this house and these friends more than I can say.

One week to go and the nerves are definitely settling in. I'm getting very nervous about this whole thing and just want it to happen and stop worrying and scurrying making multiple lists and intentions.

Hopefully I can find a subletter soon and then just pack up.

Ready to hit the road. Lets just do this!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I'm in a hurry...

Driving home from St. Louis yesterday, I heard an old Alabama song I hadn't heard in years. "I'm in a Hurry" was one of my favorite songs (I think Heather played it all the time while I was growing up) and I know I used to sing it all the time.

It was my first dose of realization that sometimes you take a step back and realize that you're rushing around and around at such a high pace and sometimes you just wonder why. Singing along with it in my car again literally brought a tear to my eye as I realized that I'm no longer the little boy belted in the backseat of a black Mazda van on my way to school/soccer/karate/piano, but a grown-up boy who still wants to sing his nuts off when a song hits him just right.

Here's a link for you, give it a listen:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6slibTD9MF0

Ok, sappy memory over. Back to purchasing license plates for Appa, loading up the storage pod my loving parents lovingly donated to our cause, getting an oil change for Optimus Prius, checking in with the RV engine repair place, setting up an appointment for RV windshield, cleaning the apartment, finding a subletter, selling a computer I don't need, packing, driving to Oostburg tonight, and finishing this meatball sub that's looking at me so tenderly.

I'm in a hurry and know EXACTLY why.....

Monday, January 23, 2012

Heading home from home

All done here in St. Louis and going to be driving back to Chicago. Then tomorrow driving up to Oostburg again to check on Appa and hopefully send him in for the rest of his repair work!
Lots of traveling, gotta make sure yoga happens to prevent stiffness and my laziness anxiety!

Oh and here's a picture of Winky, my family's one-eyed cat mentioned before.

And my dog Rowlf cause I always miss the bejesus out of him.



Saturday, January 21, 2012

Home shweet home

Made the trek through the inclement Chicago weather (I heard they got about 6 inches last night, glad I left when I did!) to get back to Edwardsville (just outside St. Louis) to see my family. Before we head out on our wonderful adventure, I wanted to spend as much time as possible at home seeing everyone. There's a chance I won't see them as often as when I was in Chicago, there's also an outside chance I might see them more! Only time will tell but it still feels like a big uprooting and the little kid in me just wants to stay with my family (mamma's boy that I am....)

Of course this means my usual constant dull throb of frantic mental activity. Keeping up with my family is kind of like sitting in on an episode of the West Wing. We're constantly moving and all talking over, around and through one another. This can of course lead to irritations, hurt feelings, verbal altercations and just general stress. Oh yeah, and we have 4 cats and 3 dogs in the apartment that need constant attention/food/affection/brushing/trimming.  Truth is, I wouldn't trade it for anything else; it's family, the goods and the bads.

My little brothers seem to be doing quite well. Halstead, the middle boy, is really making a great push for school and getting into some music mixing. Just brought him a little USB keyboard to use with Garageband and Logic Express. He tends to go through phases and wants on instrument or another at any given time, he'd make a great one man band at this point.

Sterling is still doing his usual combination of fencing/high school and preparing himself to probably become a lawyer. This of course means he has to flex his little logical muscles by arguing every little thing he can find to argue about until you just about want to strangle the kid. This is usually because he's right....

And like I mentioned, there's animals abound! As I write this, our little one-eyed rescue kitten is poking her head out behind the computer screen. She was saved by the side of the road and initially named Mirakit (or Mirra for short) because the vet was just able to operate on her infected eye and save her life before she died. So now she's living the life but her left eye is sewn shut. I of course gave her the title "Winky" and despite my family's best efforts at a thoughtful, meaningful, beautiful name, my little quip stuck and Winky it is!

Short, silly, often Yiddish-inspired names for animals is apparently a hidden talent of mine (Winky, Schmutz, etc.)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Amandas siren hair!

On a sudden whim coupled with a bit of suggestion/pressure from the other Sirena girls, Amanda has tried a new henna-based hair dye.
She went for reddish and it blended quite nicely with her existing light dusty brown. The best part was it was at Whole Foods for only $7 and it shouldn't wash out fully for a month! I've never dyed my hair but I can imagine what a good deal that is.

Imagine feeling like your cheapest option is Whole Foods. Unique experience for sure. One cool thing is that the stuff is all natural and to modify the color, you can add eggs, coffee, allspice, all types of food really. Pretty neat!

Pictures below:






Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Here in Oostburg for the night....

What an adventure! Found, checked out and purchased a car tow dolly on our way up to Oostburg to stay with Amanda's parents.
Prior to that, I was playing phone tag with a dealership and RV service center as Amanda's father, Walter, was kind enough to take Appa in for engine work.  Apparently you have to go separate places for engine work and "house part" work on an RV. Go figure, you'd think an "RV Service Center" would be able to service a whole RV....

Amanda has also decided to dye her hair reddish to match the other Sirens and I'm excited for it. Always had a soft spot for redheads anyway so no loss here right? She is using a very interesting henna-based hair dye that was recommended by Tegan. Looking at Tegan's hair color, she obviously knows what she's talking about so Amanda took her suggestion (the $7 price tag didn't hurt either...) and is trying it out tonight. I'm hoping to get before and afters up here soon....

Now sitting back with a glass of wine (Mark West Pinot Noir, a great choice!) with Walter and talking Seelie Players and the future. Great homemade dinner waiting for us when we rolled in and now settling into the wine-eased comfort of a crackling fire, classical music and blogging before I get loopy and type something I regret.

Much more to come but had to jump online to chronicle how proud of TSP I am, how excited for the future I am and how much I really want to watch more of Archer, Season 2 online (have you seen that show? It's hilarious! Watch it now!)

Finally, I leave you with 4 of the characters we photographed during the 12-hour extravaganza at the apartment. Here's my girls:




Monday, January 16, 2012

Sirena nearing completion

That's right folks! The girls did their first walkthrough of the entire show today!

This is really big news considering that just a couple of weeks ago, we were all stressed about the show getting finished. Through the combined efforts of Amanda and Sam, songs were traded around and written and suddenly a show came together where there was once only 2 songs and a few ideas.

It's been great to see the journey these girls have taken and it's always neat to see something artistic like this take form and life of its own. Can't say how proud I am of these girls for the work and heart they've put into this show.

Even went on a bit of a journey myself with the show. Mostly learning how to be helpful but not intrusive, supportive but not imposing, encouraging but not shoving a square peg into a round hole for time's sake (a favorite pastime of mine...).

It's been a lot of hours working on my computer or on Japanese in Sandra's basement and many meals at the local Golden Nugget (I might have their meatloaf recipe committed to memory now and NO ONE should be allowed to add more mayo on top of a tuna salad sandwich!)


In other news, as you can clearly see, Munchkin is getting ready for the trip on the road. As I research new cat boxes and learn from other RVers on the internet how best to keep a cat, Munchkin is getting used to her new harness so we can let her outside at times on a lead. I'd hate for her to get disoriented or lost but I also don't want her cooped up in the RV all the time, she's going to want to be outside. She'll get over the scariness and get on board with it soon enough.

She just gives me this adorable face and makes me feel miserable when in her harness. She hardly moves at all, I think it's just pouting. Because when the chips are down and she actually wants something, she moves just fine. I think there's just some feminine manipulation happening here, I'm determined not to fall for it....

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Part of the group....

Whelp, spent the whole day with the girls of TSP doing photo shoots, video shoots, makeup and whatnot. Lots of stuff to do and I even found places to do stuff! Learned some makeup techniques so I might be able to contribute in the future. Outside of that, it was a lot of video games and some cooking for the group. Thankfully Katie showed me some great Pilates and Yoga exercises/stretches that work the back muscles I've been having trouble with. Felt great and I don't feel like a total schlub.

Now out to dinner and starting to reach capacity a bit. I'm learning that there is a threshold where Grayson can stay working with a very excited group of 4-6 women before he gets a bit weird anddemotivated suddenly is interested in football, violent video games, exercising or anything with a shred of testosterone...

Started the day off with a great quip today. Heading out the door to pick up a quick breakfast for everyone:

Me: I'm off. Wish me luck!
Amanda: Good luck!
Me: I don't need luck!!

So now out serving as driver for a rehearsal/dinner and then going out for drinks for Amanda's belated birthday. Best part: the girls are keeping their makeup on. This should make for a lot of attention for the girls, they'll be thrilled. We are going to have business cards on hand, so maybe ill get to chat up the business a bit. Otherwise I stand to become verrrrrryyy bored. Sam talked Arne into coming so at least there might be someone to talk to.

Difficult not to feel like an accessory to things at time bit truth be told, that's kinda my job and what I signed on for. Performing is great and I actually enjoy it, but I took the "safe route" and thus find myself doing the necessary but very dull aspects of the really cool awesome business. Thus is the curse of the PSM. Its not like I regret it, only that I wish I could do fun stuff.

Thank God this company at least lets me toss an artistic idea in there.

Can't wait to get back to music and learning some movement/weight sharing things. Maybe even perform sometime....dare I think?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Ahh Craigslist...

Browsing online to hopefully find myself a subletter before we head out on February 1st. Using my usual vein of Craigslist and having my usual myriad interesting responses.

The worst ones are the ones that are incredibly verbose but still not quite right. If you read it to yourself as if speaking, you instantly notice something wrong. Colloquialisms are off and usually misplaced.

Example from today:

"Hi,

    Thank you very much for the response but before we move forward,i will like you to know the full information about me. I was born and raised in Wyoming,i am  quiet and easy going person to live with. I'm 26 years of age... I am extremely clean,quiet and respectful, I am sensitive, intelligent  and am easy to get on with. ..I am a faithful and committed person, who is very considerate of other people's feelings. I don't  drug and i dont smoke or drink.. I enjoy going out with my friends to movies, plays, parks, hikes, anything to do with the ocean and horses but i'm cool living with people."

It goes on much like this for a while. I had only emailed him "Hey, I have a posting I think might work well for you! Give it a look" and the link....

Weird right?

Today's packing mostly involved a trip to Target to get a big ol' CD envelope to condense our joint movies into. Last night cleared out the kitchen, nothing in there is now mine. That is the weirdest feeling, I'm used to practically running the kitchen and having everything in there be mine.

Condensing everything and playing the "do we NEED this?" game is once again a challenge. Fortunately, Amanda is just an absolute joy to have on this process. She's usually the voice of reason to my frantic pace and has recently discovered she has the power to know exactly what I want sometimes right before I know. I was a bit overwhelmed by clearing out the kitchen and she took me on a walk. This is a huge thing for me, I have to move a lot and get outside (not unlike some domesticated animals I guess) or else I get cramped and grumpy. A 30 minute walk around the block battling the newly-fallen snow was exactly what I needed before resigning myself to West Wing and then bed. What a gal....

So now the girls are practicing downstairs with the new wireless mic we bought yesterday and I'm probably going out to dinner with them soon. Unless they've left without me..

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Another Sherlock night!

Watched the second episode of Season 2 of the new Sherlock series on BBC One. Cher has a really cool system where she wirelessly streams movies to our PS3 over the network and we watch it on my glorious big ol' TV. Gonna miss big ol' TV...it's going home to live with my folks and little brother Sterling (he's thrilled of course) and we'll have to get a little one on a pivot to install on the wall of Appa.

This episode was good but not the best. That's really the first time I haven't been absolutely blown away by an episode. I think everyone that enjoys a good tv show really owes it to themselves to watch Sherlock, regardless of whether they are Conan Doyle fans or not. Great timing, great writing (it's Steven Moffat, he can do no wrong right now), and a brilliant reimagining of Sherlock and Watson. Definitely check it out!

So I've caught myself dragging my feet several times in this whole "moving out" process. I keep forcing myself to find other things to do and not begin packing or deciding which clothes I should take. Inspiration occasionally takes hold but then leaves just as quickly as I attempt to do at least one of the 5,000 that popped into my head when I felt like I wasn't doing anything. Then, by the time I'm trying to do three things at once to make up for lost time, I realize that I'm spinning my wheels and really need to wait to be able to do the job correctly. So I'm back to doing nothing but for some reason feel a bit more justified in doing nothing. Until I don't.....

Needless to say it's tiring.

Working out the finances and logistics of it all is a bit crazy too. It's hard to imaging "I'm going to be living in a box with a girl and a cat for who knows how long making a huge change in my life and way of living....I wonder if I should bring 2 spatulas?"

It's sometimes nice to take a step back and realize the big steps I've made. 6 months ago I was:

Single
Living in Chicago without end in sight
Working recreationally at Bristol (primary income? HA!!)
Working hard at trying to get Emerald City to respect me as an adult professional and not still an intern...
Playing in my own cover band

All that's different now. I don't regret the loss of any one of those things, but it's a huge shift in plans and lifestyle. Gotta roll with the punches but occasionally you gotta pat yourself on the back and say "Damn, them's some big punches!"

Well, now I feel a bit motivated and will probably go pack away some glassware. Really is no point in delaying and lord knows I won't have time for it this weekend. Big photo shoot for The Seelie Players so we can have nice things ready for our Kickstarter! We even have our bank account set up in Georgia and are about to take the company on the road.

Thank goodness I have this company to keep me working and feeling like I'm progressing my career, otherwise I'd be going stir crazy with this month of unemployment and packing.



Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Another game night

Well, another game night at the Howard's while Sirena rehearses below. Pulling hard for the girls to finish up the show, can't wait to see what they've created. Of course I've seen snippets and bits here and there but to see the whole thing as a cohesive unit is what I'm really anxious for. Hanging out here reminds me of how much I've gained in the way of friends and fun here in Chicago. I'm really going to miss my friends here.

Amanda has started crocheting to bide the time (apparently something she did the last time she quit smoking) and is really tearing through some projects. I even have one new "hobo glove," a glove missing the fingers. Those are my favorites due to their ability to warm your hands but also allow for maximum dexterity.

Speaking of dexterity, picked up a new keyboard today! This is my fourth....I got it since the keyboard I have now is just too damned bib for the road but my gig keyboard doesn't feel anything like a real piano. So, I split the difference on a Korg and am quite pleased. Turns out guitar center was purchased by the company that Mitt Romney owns, so I hope I didn't just vote accidentally. We got into a fun political conversation with our cashier, even chatted about the hep c outbreak at occupy wall street in New York. Dirty Hippies....

So packing continues as normal and we continue to get REALLY nervous about the impending move. I want to just start packing things up now just to be done with it. I'm so worried something might go wrong at any moment, that I'm living each day by ear and pulling solutions out of netherbits. But gradually each string begins to find an end and I'm gathering them up into a bundle that will ideally look somewhat reasonable.

But hey, in two weeks or so I will be in Arizona! Nose to the grindstone and focus on the end goal




Tuesday, January 10, 2012

RV Park Research

Spent a while today searching RV parks, since an RV space at the Arizona Faire is an impossibility and we would have to use a primitive camping spot and run our generators all the time. So, threw on "Into the Woods" (the Sondheim staged musical with the original cast). Never seen it before and quite enjoying it! It surprises me sometimes how little theatre (especially musical theatre) I have seen considering I majored in the damn thing. That's what you get when you take one class in each backstage capacity and don't emphasize on performing and being in shows (not my primary choice, although it seems like they have more fun....).

I could always tell the difference between theatre folk and tech folk: you just look for the cloud of cigarette smoke and the cacophony of crinkling Carl's Jr. fast food bags.

Apparently I digress....RV parks in the area are certainly pricey, but it's a matter of weighing the benefits with the costs. A ton of them are 55+ exclusive, not open to young whipper snappers like us. Seems a bit odd but I guess it's more popular to retire into an RV. The lifestyle we're encountering on isn't very frequent for folk of our age, but with enough work I'm sure we'll find something.

The most promising park is an RV "Resort." It's a full-on resort and for less than we would pay rent in Chicago, we could stay there complete with pools, golf courses, concrete pads and utility hookups. There's even concerts on the greens of the golf courses, so of course I plugged Fantastishak (Amanda and my music duo). We'd still have a bit of income and of course we'll search for gigs in the area. Might be worth the expense, I'll have to see what Amanda thinks when she gets off of work.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Birthday and progress!

Had Amanda's birthday yesterday. Spent the day up in Oostburg with her and her family. Fun time all around. We went to a party the night before where a lot of people from the Sheboygan theatre and others all got together and were all dressed to the nines. We brought an appetizer and a couple bottles of wine and got nice and shnazzy ourselves. I haven't worn my suit that I had for music gigs back in college for a while, it was good to get dressed and I'm glad it still fit nicely. Coupling it with the long hair, I definitely looked like a crazy conductor, especially since Amanda was insisting I try wearing my hair a bit more down and around my face. Not used to that but it kind of grew on me as the night went on. And hey, if she likes it, who am I to complain?

So the party was a lot of fun. It was neat to meet so many new people and get introduced, but once the pleasantries were over, there did come a point where conversations had died down, the football game wasn't on, and everyone was getting a bit tipsy. Having had 3 glasses of wine myself and gotten up at 6:45AM for my last Pinkalicious ASM gig downtown (we had a new girl on for the lead, so we had to run the entire show for a warmup that morning...) I was pretty tired. Add the wine, the exciting conversation and nerves about being in a house full of strangers, I got a bit overwhelmed. In those situations, I tend to get quiet and need a bit of prodding to get social again. Sadly, everyone knew Amanda and were very excited to get her drunk.  This left me alone and I felt a bit nervous getting trashed in a house full of strangers. So for a while I was alone and had no idea what to do or where to go. Spent the found time talking to Tegan about TSP stuff and sending a few emails. Fortunately, Amanda found me just hanging out and dragged me back downstairs. Things picked up from there. So the party overall was a good experience. 

Spent a while getting a few things loaded up in Appa (including a new shower head that actually fits! Yeah retrofitting) before coming back to Chicago. Now it's a matter of turning off the utilities, finding a subletter and more! Soon, I'll be needing to make some big purchases (car tow dolly, new keyboard, new tv) and can't wait to go see what's out there.

Had to check several places to find somewhere that works on the engines of RV's and not the "house part." This came as a bit of a surprise, why don't "RV Service Centers" service RV's? Ah well, it took a while but I found a truck dealership that will work on Appa and so hopefully everything will be in order.

Now time to work out a bit and watch some South Park before a Seelie Players meeting. We have a bank account now and got all our documents in order, so we're totally legit now. Bit of business, bit of planning and then party time!

Oh yeah, another pic of the RV for y'all. The rest to come, maybe an album!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Last day in the real world!

So last day of work before I am unemployed until February. Then I start working at sabresmith at the Arizona Faire.
Final day of asming pinkalicious downtown for emerald city. Its been quite a ride but the cast was a lot nicer than the office folk! For starters, they remembered it was my last day and a few even said good luck and they would miss me.

At the offices I didn't even get a nametag at the gala fundraiser.

So now driving up to take the first load of things to the RV. Amanda's mechanic-cousin said the engine was "immaculate" and there is very little work to be done. Great news!

I'm considering myself lucky to have this much time to pack and get ready. However, there seems to be both a ton of time and no time at all at the same time, which is a weird feeling. Every once in a while I get this anxiety wave like "Oh shit! Nothing is getting done! This is going to fail! What am I doing with my life? I need togo be busy NOW!"

These pass but it sucks when they happen. I'm sure everything will be just fine and we will be amply prepared but its hard to convince myself sometimes.

Times gonna tell, and now I don't have a job or anything to stand in the way of my doing everything (or nothing.....)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Over at Sandras

One of the biggest things I'll be missing once we hit the road is our weekly game nights over at Sandra and Andy Howards church/house. Sandra cooks a wonderful meal and we all gather for dinner. Once we're done, we migrate into the living room and play D&D until we get tired of each other or 10pm rolls around. Usually we reach 10 first.

Not sure how I'll be able to take gaming on the road like this. There are applications but they're piss-poor. I'm sure Amanda and I will be playing board games and bits like that; perhaps we can play little games in each place we go to.

Or maybe I'll just suddenly be stuck with more free time...

At a gathering of a bunch of friends like this, it's hard to think that we'll be able to do things like this on the road. But once I really think about it however, it's funny to think that I might actually be doing more social gatherings once we are off. Considering the number of people I know from faire and around, there's a good chance we'll be pretty active socially. And why not? We're a cute couple who are fun, easygoing and not too hard to get along with...

Most excited to see Casey and Jimmy (my boss from Bristol and her boyfriend, who works in a acrobat/comedy troupe). Not only will there be dinners out (sushi!) but Casey is the owner of Munchkin's brother, Ghelkyn. I want to see that reunion.

Yup, these nights of gathering with friends, eating great food and killing hordes of evil things will be sorely missed.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sirena rehearsals!

Got to sit in on Amanda's Sirena rehearsal for TSP. Inspiring and a bit intimidating to see these girls work. They're very talented and pick things up very quickly. Makes me want to write music again.

Now if only my computer weren't monopolized in the Sirena process....

At this point a sense of panic has kind of settled in. There are always about a billion things I can be doing on any given day at any given moment. Sadly its just too much. "I should do music now" becomes "is there any possible thing more important to be doing now than music?"

The answer is always yes.

I unfortunately don't get to make my creative outlet a job. Amanda gets that privilege. Once we are on the road I'm sure I will get back into it. Amanda's even promised we would play music again together....

So each day is met with a hearty "harrumph" and I just kind of end up slogging through the things I'm obligated to do in the hopes that sometime soon I will be doing something that really feels fulfilling.

Well, back to teaching myself a bit of Japanese. Why not right?

Monday, January 2, 2012

New years eve gig!

For new years, we traveled to Milwaukee and performed a couple of TSP's "ruins" characters. This was their debut performance and we had stayed up way too late the night before getting them ready. No trade secrets revealed but the makeup and costumes were intricate and will continue to grow and evolve as time goes on.

The movement was the best part. Amanda and Ellen moved together extremely well and found great times to pause together and make great poses.

Along with our Elemental characters in Ohio, it was a very successful new years!


Phone blog!

Apparently you can do this from your phone took! Blogging from Pinkalicious, the downtown production by Emerald City Theatre. Its been a fun time working at this show. Funny to think that three hours of helping with a show is worth six hours of sitting in an office is interesting...
Mostly I just stay backstage and make sure everything is where it should be. I am trained to replace the stage manager should something go wrong. I also end up in the booth learning cues and taking notes. Easy gig really but you do have to know what you're doing or else things can cock up really easily.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Day one, post one!

Well, we're looking at a new year. Here is is, January 1st of 2012.

I have recently scrapped my aspirations at a Chicago theatre company for an amazing opportunity. I will be heading out on the road in a 1978 Georgie Boy RV with my lovely girlfriend Amanda. We have been together for several months following the most recent season at Bristol Renaissance Festival and part of our connection is our mutual goals.

To this end, we have joined The Seelie Players (www.theseelieplayers.com), myself as Production Stage Manager and Amanda as Assistant Director. The company is a performance art troupe with six talented performers. We do statues, living dolls, elementals (fairy-like creatures) and are developing our first stage show that is sure to take the circuit by storm.


Working with TSP is a great way to take my degree-honed skills (Theatre Arts with an emphasis in Arts Management) and still have an adventure!

A lot of you probably already know this, but I figured day one should at least have a bit of backstory (I consider myself by no means an author, this is the first kind of thing like this I am doing).

In January, the name of the game is preparation! I am going to begin packing, finding a subletter and getting Appa ready. Appa is our RV, hats off to you Last Airbender fans...it's a piece of work. There's a lot of work to get done on it primarily in electric wiring and making sure the thing runs. It already drove a considerable distance and did a great job! The inside was meticulously cared for by its previous owners, we owe so much to them.

So it's time to finish up this episode of The West Wing (new obsession, an amazingly-written show!) and prepare for Pinkalicious downtown tomorrow morning (I'm the ASM for three more shows and then will be completely unemployed for a month!)

So goodnight and heeeeeere we go!