All the Things (as usual)

It’s been too long. Things shuddered to an oozing slow and then rubberbanded back into warp before I even thought about it. I have officially finished my first season at the Stage. My contract will renew in a couple months, but life did not proceed as I thought it would. I was supposed to have May to myself to travel and then I would toddle off to my summer job content with my adventures. Well, I am looking at some very different adventures.
First, my initial trip to see some fair faces in Maryland was kyboshed by incredible car trouble. Thankfully, the trouble happened before I started my journey, but by the time the issue was fixed, by time to go to MD was nixed. Needless to say I was pretty bummed. However, that time was not idly spent. A fine friend of mine turned me on to a climbing gym in the area. I used to climb all the time in my senior year of college and I have sorely missed the exercise. I nudged Handsome to go and (as I suspected he would) he fell in love with the activity. So, since I had some extra days on my hands we went climbing together. If you would allow some gushing then I simply I must do so about rock climbing. It is an activity that challenges every physical and mental capacity one can think to challenge. Tis a playful puzzle that demands you grit your teeth and fight for its solution. The fact that Handsome enjoys it as much as I do makes the climbing all the sweeter.
After the car got fixed, I was planning on continuing my travel plans and in a sense I have. I am writing from the fair Cape May, where my father and I have opened up the mobile home for the season. Even though I am going to be in Jersey for a few days, I am not heading onward but rather back to Syracuse. I managed to get some overhire work that I am genuinely excited to start. The gig is only for a couple of weeks, but I get to help paint big pretty backdrops! Drop painting is a skill that I have wanted to build up and this theatre has a reputation for quality work. I get to help them meet their deadline and I get an excellent work experience from them. Plus, can’t hurt to make some income in the only month where I didn’t have a job lined up. Although I am giving up a portion of my travel, I can still go see the Raven and hopefully the Sexy Librarian before I toddle off to West VA for my original summer job. Here”s to the usual (and mostly futile) hope that I can post soon…before I have another forever post like this one at least 😉

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It’s interesting that whenever I find myself at my sister’s place, I am always inclined to post. Not much of a leap considering I am usually spending large chunks of time on my own with narry a thing to chew away at my attention. November has surged onward to this holiday and I am winded, but still running. Work has loaded in a show that gave everyone one or two (billion) things to grumble over, but we prevailed. The highlight for me was that I got a chance to do some teaching. You see, the Stage has a symbiotic relationship with the big university in this town (shall henceforth be known as the University. I know, my originality is stellar) and thus the staff cross over as instructors in such classes. I got to teach what’s known as a “lab” portion of a generalized technical theatre course. The students receive a lecture portion, then they get lab sessions to accomplish projects that apply the things that they are learning in lecture. I have another session in December and I could not be more excited. I was so nervous about the first portion. I mean, I did some teaching in undergrad, but I had never been fully left alone to teach a whole lesson (on my own, no other adult in the room…debatable whether I should actually be considered an adult considering how much Disney music populates my playlists). However, the first session went supremely well. The day completely galloped away and I got to experience a most joyous ride. The students appeared to grasp the concepts that I demonstrated and they also seemed legitimately enthused by their progress. I personally felt a deep happiness at seeing them go through the first stages successfully. I know the next portion will prove a little trickier because there is more fussing during the process, but they are capable. I just hope I continue to present the information in a way that is accessible.

Another highlight was seeing the movie Catching Fire. I try not to talk too much pop-culture on this blog, but I feel I must extend an honorary “hat’s off” to both movies that have been released thus far. I enjoyed the books, but I am so excited that, finally, there appears to be “book movies” that are actually aiming for an accurate adaptation of the words on the page to a cinematic experience. So many times, I am disappointed that a movie touts to be “based on” a novel when it should actually say “loosely inspired by some plot devices and character names in the novel…” Not so with the Hunger Games movies thus far. Handsome and I spent an excellent evening seeing a movie that gave me the same deep satisfaction that I experienced when watching its predecessor. Catching Fire is actually my favorite of the trilogy and I was genuinely relieved that it was handled so well. Plus, Katniss was wearing some absolutely amazing knitwear!!! Did anyone else notice all the fabulous knits? Please tell me someone did because if you didn’t, go watch it again an then come back and gush with me. (Handsome humors me God bless him, but he wasn’t nearly as excited by her super-chic cowl, or her hunting neck piece, or her cardigan in that scene…)

Now I am here, at my sister’s for Thanksgiving. We switch off with our family every year and my family in PA lives super close to my sister and it is their turn to host. I didn’t realize how much I was missing my family until I saw my sister. Despite the fact that I was unemployed while I was in New Jersey, one of the nice things was that I saw my family a lot more often. Now, they are just far enough to make a weekend visit just a hair too short for full quality time. I am used to that reality, but it strikes me more now because I had that time where they were so easily accessible. I do miss that. Thus, this holiday will be grand, if only for the sole reason that I get to see people that I am proud to say I am related to.

My first week

As of Sunday, I have officially been here for a week. Thus, today was the beginning of my second week of working at the Camp. Right now I am painting for the Shakespeare Festival, specifically for the play Hamlet. Though I am tempted to post pictures of the progress, I feel honor bound not to post any pictures until the show itself has opened. Suffice it to say that the entirety of my work thus far has been painting a checkerboard marble floor. Tis quite good looking if I do say so myself. The only thing that challenges me at this point is the sheer enormity of the work. For the shows that  happen during the summer camp, I will be blessed with an assistant as well as some students who will be on hand. However, for this production I am completely on my own when it comes to the paintwork. My coworkers have been super awesome about lending a hand when they can, but they have their own tasks and the actual marbling is a treatment that I created; thus, it is important that I do that work so there is consistency throughout the set. The set needs to start going into the space on Wednesday, so I am feeling a little pressed for time, but I am confident that I will accomplish the task at hand (albeit with a little frantic paint slinging). Today the actors arrived and I had a lovely time chatting with them over dinner. I am still loving this place. The work that I am doing is engaging me as well as challenging me to be confident in the talents I have been blessed with cultivating. The people I work with are easy to get along with and they have the added advantage of being great in the workplace. (*Sometimes people can be easy-going until you discover that working with them is less than lovely. My coworkers are thus far not falling into that category). I work six days a week and with my one day off I am determined to explore this fascinating region. I asked my colleagues about what I should do with my time here and I must admit that my hand cramped with writing everything that was suggested. A portion will definitely wait until Handsome arrives, but I am most excited to do other things on the list in my own capacity. Yesterday was my first day off and I used it to go to Interlochen State Park (within walking distance). Although the park was mainly a campground, I did have a lovely time as is evidenced by the Outakes that I am about to create.

Superhero

Life is about to get real crazy, real quick. The Halloween event that we have all been sacrificing much of our sanity to prepare finally opens with a “preview” this weekend. I tell you what, PNinja and I ran around like crazy ladies last week, dodging no small amount of interference and unexpected additions to our work load, and we managed to accomplish an incredible amount of stuff. In fact, our entire list was completed just as Big Man 1 requested. This week, we have been working late hours, including some that we were originally not scheduled to work, and generally traipsing all over this tiny portion of God’s creation on our own two feet to get all the little odds and ends tied up before the horde descends. Last night, I found myself out with a few other technicians (PNinja, Super Lady, Sweet Shooter, and CoolGirl), and we had ourselves a merry time. While there was certainly some griping about the state of affairs, we ultimately pressed on to exchanging silly stories involving counterweight fly systems (yes, this is what theatre technicians end up talking about in a bar). Today, I took the day to rest and recuperate, considering I have rather heinous hours for the foreseeable future. Aside from completely forgetting about going to knitting group (can we say brain operating on very low battery?), I had a charming day. I had incredible phone conversations with Persephone and Handsome, and I managed to finally start a book that the Philosopher lent me ages ago. I cooked myself a glorious chicken lunch with Persephone on speaker-phone coaching me through the finer points of garlic use in cooking. Because I am working really late hours, I have taken to eating my bigger meal in the midst of the day rather than try and haul a heavy meal to work that I only get to eat around 8-10PM depending on the break time. Aside from being slightly anxious about the weekend, I am feeling rather elated. I am blessed with excellent relationships, I have adequate shelter, and a higher-up in my workplace called PNinja and myself the “superheroes” of this year’s Halloween event. He said this directly to our faces with no prompting, which positively made me preen my egotistical feathers. Mayhaps I will be a puddle of goop by the end of all this, but I will still be a “superhero” puddle.

The “Short” Version

Perhaps we shall just put down the short version of life for a moment.

Things That Made This Week Awesome

– My Colleagues: Yes it is true, sometimes the Lord hears the prayers that only our hearts speak. I am blessed to have people like PNinja and Ren Man around. While work was definitely a bit of a marathon to make up for the lost day on Monday, there is an excellent rhythm among the three of us. PNinja and I are not only talented and good looking, but we also work really we together in the midst of creepy places that can potentially undo one. Ren Man is a person who has so much knowledge and experience, yet he is probably one of the most chill people I have ever encountered, which is a quality that allows PNinja and myself to explore without fear that we are going to mess up the project. I know the both of us are going to miss him terribly when he flies away at the end of this upcoming week, but I know that I am extremely glad that I got a chance to work with such an individual.

-Phone Conversations: Indeed, I had the opportunity to speak to lovelings that I have been desperately missing. Today, I spoke to SexyLibrarian, who is a friend I have known since the very beginning of high school. She and I were in a summer program together, and I must say at first we were not fans of each other. I felt that she was an invasive snot, and she had a bias against my Care Bear tee shirt. Needless to say, such silliness was soon swallowed by a friendship that is nothing if not interesting. In the midst of the week, I spoke to Emrys. Now, this guy holds the record for putting up with me as a friend for the longest amount of time (the title goes both ways, just so you know). We met in 6th grade, and let’s just say I was not the incredibly mature and gracious young woman I am today.  He invaded my space (rather obnoxiously I might add), and I slapped him across the face (***Please note, this blogger does not endorse violence. However, there were multiple factors that contributed to her violent tendencies towards the male sex when she was younger and thus would beg the reader not to judge her to harshly****). After that event, our friendship blossomed, and we are knit so closely in our experiences and responses to those experiences that it’s almost uncanny. Finally, Persephone and I had a lovely chat somewhere in the beginning of my week. Persephone is a spritely pixie stick of a lady, and we met in my junior year of high school. I happened upon her eating cheerios in one of our school’s theatres, and I asked to join her. From that conversation, we discovered kindred spirits in almost every form and fashion. Though they are not right next to me here, such people still contribute a huge amount of love and joy to my existence.

-Knit Group: Always a light in the week 🙂

-Today: What did I do? PNinja and I had only a few hours of work, parted company to run some errands, and then rejoined at her domicile where we proceeded to veg out on television and stovetop popcorn. As someone who does not own a TV, it is a rare and special thing to join someone in the watching. We watched Faceoff, Thor, and Day Breakers, conversing the whole time. Another tech from work joined us for Day Breakers, then I bid them farewell so they could enjoy some video games.

What I Am Looking Forward To

– Farmer’s Market: Tomorrow, ZeldaStark and I hit the farmer’s market with our new baskets for some yummy produce. I do dearly miss her during the week, and it seems that this Sunday market business may become a thing to do together, so my heart is very glad.

-Another Phone Conversation: This time with Handsome, who is definitely super fun to converse with on any occasion. Perhaps that back story will come another time 😉

– New Travel Mug: Bought it today because my other one is nasty. Yay Busch Gardens employee store!!!

-Haircut: With color this time, let’s hope it goes as well as the last visit.

– World of Beer in Awesome Company: So, there is this magical place I have heard tell of that has hundreds of beers on tap. Take this magical place, and throw a friend who I have not seen since WordBridge into the mix, and you have one very excited panda over here!!

Now that I have certainly made up for my days of not posting, (remember, that’s the short version), adieu dear reader, may active peace follow you.

 

Success Before the Storm

A day full of rousing success stories. First of all, epic laundry day was an extremely smart thing to do as early in the day as I could. By the time the last load was done, people were already pulling the classic, “I’m not going to wait ten minutes for the dryer, so I’ll just dump the clothes inside over here.” Well, whoever it was, he/she was at least kind enough to put it on the table and not the floor. Anyway, my next task was the farmers market. ZeldaStark introduced me to this farmers market while my lovelings were in town, and it is a truly remarkable place. I have always loved accessible local produce, and this place is absolutely bursting with goodness. From apples to Tupelo honey, I feel glowing all over when I can get wonderful food for an excellent value. Happily today, ZeldaStark joined me again. We even enabled each other to purchase some delightful baskets that incited some spontaneous singing (may or may not have included lyrics about provincial towns). We also stopped by the tea lounge, because, darnit!, I need more morning tea! My evening brews are enough to last for a bit, but I positively drag in the morning without my little tea lift, and the backup is almost out. Thus, some delectable local tea was acquired, and I bid the fair ZeldaStark adieu with wishes for safety during the hurricane. The last thing on the list, a trip to Lowes to gather the last few pieces of storm equipment that I sought. My favorite surprise purchase was a bag of reflective gear that included a vest and support belt (and the bag itself is a nifty little carry bag). While not absolutely necessary, it was cheap and could come in handy in other situations so why not (plus, I totes look fantastic in true neon). On my way home, Baloo called with the news that the park is closed tomorrow and thus no work. While a tiny part bemoaned the lost pay, more of me felt relief. Aside from the storm, I am tired from the 30 hours in three days that just happened. Today was to be my only day off before next weekend, and I spent most of it running to and fro. Knowing that tomorrow can be spent hunkering down to ride out the storm brings a huge wave of calm, and a bit of planning. What are the plans tomorrow? Besides the usual pursuits of knitting and reading, this lady is going to attempt to block a shawl when she has neither carpet nor blocking boards. How will this experiment turn out? We shall see 🙂

Hold on Tight

Buckle up pandas, things just went insane. This week and next week are going to find me running back and forth all through my work place, and then some besides. Things started crazy today. I began the day with a crash course (not literally…at least not this morning 😉 in driving a golf cart. Aside from the fact that it was really cool to be trusted with driving it, I hate the golf cart. Just the whole starting and stopping is really jarring, and while I can definitely say I feel more comfortable driving the thing after today, I will definitely not seek the opportunity outside of necessity. Most of my morning was spent lifting all sorts of heavy stuff with Baloo and Smalls. Smalls and I even had the distinct pleasure of moving some doors that were made of real iron, which, suffice it to say, sucked a whole heck of a lot. After lunch, where did I find myself but in a larger golf cart, toddling about with Baloo to do some safety checks on the various houses for the halloween event. Again, golf carts, not matter the size, are not ever going to make it into my list of favorite things (why couldn’t they ask me to drive a Swiffer? I am super good at that). Anyhow, wouldn’t you know that right as I was supposed to leave, a huge thunderstorm struck. While I could have stayed in the warehouse, I decided to risk the drive. Not the wisest choice I ever made, but I have definitely made far worse inclement weather decisions. Now I am here, and awaiting more craziness to come seeing as how my “normal” schedule has been turned on its head. Just call me a tumbleweed caught in a tornado, and the wind is only just starting to gather momentum.