Monday, January 30, 2012
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
Friday, January 27, 2012
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
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
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:
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
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
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
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!
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
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
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
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
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:
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....
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
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:
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!
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
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!