Friday, November 28, 2008

In Which I Learn A Valuable Knitting Lesson

First off, of course, Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone was at least able to talk to family and/or friends at some point today. I wasn't able to make it home for the turkey-fest this year, but Mom and I still watched the Parade together (sort of. It's hard when you're two hours behind). Then I spent the rest of the day with friends - in real life, on the phone, and online. It was nice. I'll see my parents in about two weeks when they come out for my wisdom teeth thing, and then I'll be in Illinois for almost ten days over Christmas, so there will be plenty of family time coming up, I'm sure.

The reason for the title, however, is CP3. I learned a lesson today - just because one CAN do something doesn't mean one LIKES doing something. Basically, the original plan had two parts: figure out how to do the project and knit the project. Part one: success, and it wasn't nearly as difficult as I'd expected once I finally put my brain to it. Part two: fail. I got about a quarter of the way into it (doing quite well, I might add) and realized I really just cannot bring myself to knit another stitch on it. I don't like working on it, and it takes too much concentration for the time I have left before Christmas. Eventually, yes, I will finish it, but for now, I started a new project that will go much much quicker and will be just as useful.

Other than that, I've been pretty much bored out of my head. Almost a week off with only one night of classes is Way too much free time for me, apparently. And with all the rain, I haven't dragged my Christmas decorations out from the garage yet, although I might tomorrow night if I don't have to call the show. Other than that, I'm planning on spending tomorrow finishing cleaning the apartment, running a couple of errands (some of which involve some Christmas shopping, so please pray for my safety!), supervising a quick dance brushup for the show, and knitting! 26 days left!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Not really anything much to say today, I just felt like I needed another post this week.

Was able to make it to at least one class every day this week except Wednesday, which was nice. I even got to knife spar again! (And have the bruises to prove it!) Aikido was interesting again, and my neck and shoulders weren't nearly as sore today as they were last weekend! The Klondike's crowd was a little thin this week; it was just me, Ma'am, Gil and his son, and TKD Grandma and her grandson. It was cool to hang out with Gil a little bit. I learned that he is actually not only native Chumash Indian (the reservation is near Solvang), but also is a medicine man by heritage. Most of his tattoos (and he is literally covered in tattoos) are tribal rites, and are done very traditionally - with shark's teeth! Ouch!! His son, who is six years old right now and as blond-haired and blue-eyed as possible, will someday get similar markings, should he choose to stay with the tribe and go through the rites of acceptance/adulthood, but is absolutely not allowed to get any kind of markings until then. It was really interesting.

I got my Friday off this week, but it sounds like I'm going to end up calling all of the rest of the shows this weekend. I called both of them today, and it sounds like I'll probably call both of them tomorrow, although Chrissy hasn't decided yet. I know that at least one understudy is definitely going on tomorrow. It doesn't really matter, though - unless it's a Friday night, I'll probably be at the show anyway. After going through the entire holiday run backstage last year, I really just can't justify only working half the shows when my crew is working their butts off every time. This show is BUSY backstage! In fact, I almost prefer being backstage and being active and moving to standing in the booth and calling. Oh well. Oh, and the ONE Friday night I actually MUST call the show? Dec. 5th. The day of the midterm test. The casting office has decided that they really want an SM to come with them for an audition tour in the Bay Area that weekend, and since Chrissy is from the Bay Area and really likes audition tours, she's going. Of course. The ONE I have to find another midterm date. Or just push the whole thing back another two months.

Also, I'm going to try to get my oral surgery pushed back a week so that my parents can come out for it. This should work out well for everyone involved - I can have people who are just plain stuck with me around me for the not-so-fun parts of recovering, Mom can get her clam chowder for her birthday, and Dad can come out and visit Pismo Beach again. They haven't been out here for a while, and never during the winter. Besides, it's a good excuse as any to really clean the place up and get my Christmas decorations out next week. Not that I have many, but I do have a tree and some ornaments. And my stockings.

CP3 is going frustratingly slow, and part of it is my own fault. I've restarted one of the first parts of it about four times now, and I think I've got it figured out, but it's just been so blasted hot this week that the idea of having yarn in my lap is frankly nauseating. So I picked up one of my cross-stitch projects (a rather large -2'x2'- Precious Moments Noah's Ark) instead and have been working on it for the past few days instead. I forget how much I enjoy cross-stitching as well. It's neat to see all those little x's turn into a picture. However, I do have a deadline for CP3, and sadly, it hasn't completed itself yet. I will really have to focus on it this coming week while I have time off for Thanksgiving if I want any chance of possibly having it done on time. We'll see!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Day of Reckoning going to be Dec. 1st. That's when I get my wisdom teeth plus two extra molars removed. I've never had any kind of surgey before, not even any anesthesia, so I'm a little nervous. I know it's a very routine, minor procedure, and the doc says it should be very very easy (apparently all of my teeth are right where they're supposed to be - there's just too many of them) but still...sigh...

CP2 is done, and I think it might be okay. Working on CP3 now, and I now remember why I hate ribbing.

Today and tomorrow off, and classes both nights. Mrs. S promised a new kickboxing workout that had even the most hardcore of them sore last week, so we'll see how that goes. Definitely will have to eat well today!

ETA: And I found out this evening that I'm apparently supposed to midterm Dec. 5th. THAT should be an interesting test....sparring, form, weapons, and vicodin? I might have to rethink this!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Because evil plots don't make themselves...

It's been quite the week. Well, sort of. Still no solid job leads, although I've applied for lots of stuff, both at VAFB and "regular" jobs in Santa Maria, Lompoc, and SLO. (Mrs. S wants me to work at the newly-opened Panera so I can get discounts for her =) ) I saw Mr. C tonight, and he said that his team is working on a contract bid, and if it wins, he's going to need officey types and will have quite a bit of pull on who is hired, so think good thoughts for his contract! Anyway, this week in (boring) review:

Monday: Met with an advisor at Embry-Riddle. REALLY liked her, she was not only very informative and helpful, but also extremely supportive and enthusiastic for me. We decided that the program that actually seems to fit what I am looking for the best is a Masters Degree in Aeronautical Science with a focus on Space Operations Management. Classes usually meet once a week, often on Saturdays, for 4-5 hours, and only one or two classes are offered per term (every nine weeks). Of course, a masters degree also costs more than a bachelors, so now I'm not only job-hunting, but also scholarship hunting as well. Fun! Oh, and no class on Monday cuz of Veterans' Day (I didn't make the schedule).

Tuesday: Didn't do much of anything productive other than more job hunting, but did get to go to FIGHT for the first time in what seemed like years. My guys are awesome, and I missed them! I took an elbow to the eye from Gil (it didn't bruise, although the tenderness still hasn't completely gone away) and drilled a left hook into Frank's stomach when he decided to do his brick wall impression during a drill (hey, he moved!). Mr. R and Morgan taught, since Sir was visiting family in Minnesota, and other than Morgan's continuing love affair with planks, it was great. Ma'am was there too, and we partnered up for most of class. We did a drill where one person is on her back, with her legs wrapped around the waist of her partner, who is on her knees. Then the person on the ground crunches up like a half-situp and throws four punches to her partner's hands. The partner then "retaliates" by throwing four punches to the stomach of the person on the ground (teaching you to tighten your abs and breathe out when you take a hit). Ma'am and I have done this drill lots of times before, and it didn't bother me at the time, but man, my abs (right under my rib cage) were sore for the next two days! I felt a little mollified when Ma'am confessed tonight that she'd been sore from it, too! (Although I do feel bad about her bruise. But she's a big girl and knows to say something if people hit too hard, so it's only a little bit bad. She said to hit her harder!)

Wednesday: Sat in the booth for the matinee and started learning the call of the show at the first understudy rehearsal. (Yes, someone FINALLY listened to our rants about doing understudy rehearsals on the Sunday after Opening and moved them. We are SOOO grateful!!!) With two exceptions, it's not nearly as difficult a call as I thought it was, and it's most definitely not the hardest show I've ever called. We did, however, have the weirdest stuff happen in the audience that day - people falling, cars catching fire in the parking lot, school kids wandering, etc. Ended up working from 12:30p until 11:30p that day. Worked on the final part of CP2 and ran out of yarn with about 40 rows to go. Of course, no one in Santa Maria carries the color I need. Ugh! So I started CP3 (the big scary one) under duress. Not a good way to start a project.

Thursday: Sat in the booth again for a brat mat after tearing two actors into pieces for sleeping through their alarms and being EXTREMELY late (one actually missed his first entrance, and is a student that normally does not exhibit such behaviour. He apologized today with coffee, flowers, cookies, AND a card, though, and I'm sure it will not happen again with him!). I have little sympathy for actors coming in late to brat mats when the crew has already been there and working for at least a full hour before the actors are even called. Sat through the show, went to the office and helped teach the kids how to handle the audition tour appointments that are starting to show up, then went BACK to the theater and did a second understudy rehearsal. So yeah, I was at work from about 8:30a until 11:30p that day. And people wonder why I'm not exactly broken-hearted about leaving.

Friday (today): Got new tires for my car! Yay!! I felt so bad for my poor little car once I realized how badly the tires were worn down. I kept picturing my car as having sore "feet" but having to keep running anyway until I could get them fixed. But she got a full pedicure today and I swear I heard a sigh of relief when they raised her up on the lift. (Okay, I know my car is an inanimate object, but I did feel bad!) She still needs some new brakes and an oil change, but that will have to wait a few weeks. And, btw, the guys at Big Brand Tires here in Santa Maria were great, even though I did get a lecture on tire rotation. Apparently, the tires were in such bad shape that they figured the alignment must be WAY out of whack, but no. The alignment is pretty close to perfect - the tires just hadn't been rotated in far, FAR too long, whoops! Went to the office for a couple hours after that, then skipped the show tonight to go to class. (I told Chrissy way back when we started rehearsal that as soon as we were in performance, I was going back to class on Friday nights. I feel slightly guilty about it, after all, the crew and actors don't get any days off at all, but none of them (well, except maybe Michael) have been working straight through since March, either.) Sparring was great, as always, and pizza and beer were a lot of fun, of course, but what was really interesting was the aikido class. Gil's teaching it, and tonight was the first time I've been able to go. It's a really interesting style - lots of joint manipulation and locks - and very different than the other two styles. It's incredibly non-aggressive, for one thing, and relies a lot on pressure and balance. On an episode of Fight Quest, one of the hosts commented that "Western martial arts are about forcing your will on your opponent with power; Eastern martial arts are about getting your opponent off-balance and then helping them fall over," which became very clear to me tonight. Takedowns were the hardest thing to get used to. In aikido, throws go straight into some other kind of arm/elbow/wrist lock to simply keep control (although the locks can be plenty damaging done quickly, controlling the opponent is more desirable than damaging him). In FIGHT, and even in tkd to an extent, takedowns generally end with dropping a knee onto your opponent's ribs and a triangle punch to the neck - damage your attacker before he can damage you - and I didn't realize how ingrained that had gotten into my body until tonight. The hardest habits to break are the ones you didn't know you had, I guess. Yeesh! We'll see how sore I am tomorrow after all the throws and rolls (which we don't do in tkd). Gil promised us sore wrists tomorrow, so we'll see. He seemed to like having me in class, though - I'm "his girl" in FIGHT and he told the tweenybopper I was partnered with that I was a fighter and not only wouldn't just give him anything, but I'd also try to squirm and wriggle my way out of everything. The tweenybopper wasn't quite as bad as I'd feared, which was nice. There is hope.

The weekend (upcoming): Saturday and Sunday are both going to be spent at the theater all day, shadowing both Chrissy and a crew member I'll have to cover next week. (Mr. C and his son, TKD Grandma and her grandson, and Ma'am are all going to come see the show tomorrow night!) Luckily, I was able to find ONE skein of the color I need to finish CP2 at Beverly's in SLO today, so I'm hoping that that project will finally get completely finished this weekend. CP3 is actually going surprisingly well, sort of. I started it, realized that I didn't quite know how to do one portion of it, and so moved on to the next portion thinking that I could live with the way that I'd fudged the first portion. It started really bugging me today, though, so I frogged back and have been asking around. We'll see if anything useful turns up. If not, at least I know how to fudge it better now! Monday is the consultation with the oral surgeon about my wisdom teeth coming out. It'd be nice if they could do it over Thanksgiving break, when I have several days off and don't have to talk to anyone, but that might be too soon. Yikes, I don't really want to think about that...

Friday, November 07, 2008


Tech is pretty much over and we're in a really good place to open tomorrow night. The week has been a little hard, with long hours and knowing it's my last one. As much as I might complain about it, tech is actually my favorite part of the production process, even more than performance. It's when everything starts coming together and you can see the work that all these different people and shops and departments have done in different places and different times all start to work as one unit. As a stage manager, it's when the show becomes yours and you start to take control of the rhythm and timing. It's also usually when your patience and professionalism will be challenged and pushed to its limit - lots of people working long, sometimes frustrating hours, and decisions need to be made and implemented quickly. Tempers get short, muscles get tired, feet get sore, and you have to keep everyone wanting to give their 110%. It's hard, it's exhausting, and I love it. Rehearsals can get boring. Performance runs can get boring. Tech is a lot of things, but it's never boring. I will miss it. I hope that whatever I do next has that same sort of challenge to it.

Speaking of what's next, I am still sending out lots of job applications and have only had two turn-downs so far, but also no positive responses. The staffing place that was recommended to me seems great, but they say January is too far away right now and to check back later. Ugh. I thought the point was to start now so that when January came, I didn't have to worry. Oh well. I understand that they can't predict needs in advance any more than I can. I have an appointment on Monday morning to go talk to an advisor at the VAFB Embry-Riddle campus and get more information about costs and class work. They offer a degree in Technical Management with a few different specializations, including Engineering Sciences, which I am really interested in. I hope to have more news soon.

CP2 is so close to being done, but I've barely had five minutes at a time to work on it. I have both Monday and Tuesday off next week (no classes on Monday night, either =( ), so that should be enough to finish that right up and get crackin' on the next. Woo! I suppose that means I should actually plan out the next one then, huh? This one *is* turning out a little longer than I had expected, though, which might be a good thing, or it may be ridiculous, and I won't know until I see the recipient with it - there is at least a 6" height difference between us, so gauging what the right length should be is difficult. But too long is an easier fix than too short, so I'm not too worried.

And in a quick look around blogland, congratulations to Amanda on her engagement and Inky on her 5-year anniversary!

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." - Douglas Adams

Saturday, November 01, 2008

State of the Union...

I voted today! Mostly because Tuesday is a 10/12 and anyone who knows me in the slightest knows I'm sure as hell not getting up early to go wait in any line anywhere, particularly on what promises to be a very long day. Honestly, I really don't follow or even really care about politics much, in fact, this is the first time I've voted in a presidential election, but I felt compelled to fill in my bubble for this one. I don't want to get into any political debates, but I do have one thing to say.

Prop 8 Supporters - protect marriage from what, exactly? (For non-Californians, or for those Californians who live under a very large rock, Proposition 8, if passed, will ban gay marriage in the state.) I'm not homosexual and I do have religious objections to homosexuality (although quite honestly, I don't feel I'm qualified to judge anyone in that area, casting the first stone and all, not to mention 'love the sinner, hate the sin'), but *legally* it's unconstitutional to ban marriage from anybody. This *is* America, and ALL men (and women) are created equal. And frankly, since the current divorce rate is still hovering around 50% within the first five years, it's not like us heterosexuals are doing such a bang-up job at marriage, either. And, wow, children might actually get taught that not everyone is the same. Catastrophe!

On non-ranting notes, we moved into the theater tonight and tech starts tomorrow. We have more set pieces than backstage actually holds, so I spent the afternoon today playing a real-life game of three-dimensional Tetris, and you can put pieces on three different floors (can they possibly make service elevators any louder?). I think I won - at least, the game isn't over yet. We'll see how things go tomorrow. CP2 was not completed by the end of the month, but I'm hoping it will be done by the end of the week. I should have more knitting time during tech once things settle down a bit. I barely went to the gym at all this week - I just really have not been eating a lot and am trying to take care of myself better. Plus, I know that I only have one more week of exile - the week after Opening I can hit at least three nights of class, and after that should be able to go every night. (And I'd like to point out that at this point, I'm scheduled to call over half the performances because Chrissy wants time off. But they don't need me.) I really wanted to go running with the MMA class tomorrow morning, but I have to go babysit a voiceover recording instead. No word yet on jobs/schooling, although Christina from knitting found what seems to be a perfect educational program for me through Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and I've been sending out lots of applications this week, including a secretary job at Vandenberg that I'd REALLY love to get. (It's been fun thinking of all the things I do and then putting them into business terms for my resume. "I send out schedules" turns into "I distribute and maintain interdepartmental schedules and make sure set production deadlines are met." "I can't tell you because it's magic" turns into "I act as a liaison between organizations to communicate information professionally and courteously while maintaining a high degree of confidentiality in order to protect trade secrets." Of course, I don't use all of those - mostly I'm of the opinion that one shouldn't use ten words when two will suffice - but it's still fun.)

Anyway, gotta crash or I'll need more Mt. Dew tomorrow. Ugh!