Sunday, May 31, 2009


Saturday, May 30, 2009

150/365 Da Girlz

With the husband in bed since 8:00 PM Friday, I am on a solo mission to accomplish weekend tasks. Mow lawn, launder clothing, clean house, and serve as "neighborhood host" for our Chorale picnic. Even Batman has his Robin, so I recruited some Superwomen-in-training. Daughter and BFF assisted in set-up and break-down of the festivities, and I really couldn't have done it without them. After their hard work a little levity seemed in order, so we had our inaugural visit to the Fleming Island Carmike 12 to watch Pixar's UP in Disney Digital 3D. With its shocking PG rating, this was not your average Disney flick. The story was about regret, forgiveness, growing older, moving on, life, death, mortality, and disillusionment. Not only did I enjoy a few good cries, I got these tripped out 3D glasses to keep! Then we girls Ihopped for dinner. Pancakes for breakfast should be on the menu at least once a week, I think. A busy, busy day kept my mind off the ailing spouse, his mysterious headache and the unanswered questions it brings.

Friday, May 29, 2009

149/365 Mystery Man

I don't recognize him either. He had another headache today, just in time to have dinner with his parents, whom he hasn't seen for nearly 3 months. Coincidence? Truthfully, it is a mystery to me. He never had a headache in the 25 (OMG) years I knew him before the "incident." These headaches are different than The Headache, but that isn't terribly comforting. He couldn't even enjoy playing with the preliminary costume pieces at our fittings today.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

148/365 Perfect Timing

1:25 Thinking I could outwit the rain, I put up tonights burgers on the grill.

1:30 Note the steam formed by rain hitting hot grill below.

1:46 As of this posting the sun is shining.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

147/365 Frogger Mortis

Project 365 has changed me. It's the pressure to photograph something everyday. After my 5 1/4 mile run, I wanted nothing more than to jump into the pool and float around a bit. Back from running before 10 A.M. meant I could enjoy a shady dip. Having learned the lesson to look before I leap (prior snake-in-the-pool experience), I inspected the pool and saw an unfortunate frog. Yes, the pool is similar to a pond, but there are no lily pads. Foolish frogs get in but they can't get out. Before removing the corpse I ran into the house to get my camera. Picture of the day.

146/365 Into the Woods goes into the night

This blurry picture was snapped in a dimly-lit theater without flash during rehearsal. The second run through the first part of the show finished at about 10:40. With opening night less than 3 weeks away, I'm sure we have more nights like this. A late night, and worth every minute of it.

Monday, May 25, 2009

145/365 High Falutin'

I hate to sound like an uppity Yankee, but this is the festive fare that was for sale at the Memorial Day festivities in Green Cove Springs, scarily, a mere 15 miles from my home. I thought the sign said it all, but on closer examination I find I am curious about the delicacies on the counter available for sampling. We took a ride down this evening to view the fireworks. The show was nice, but the people were pretty colorful too.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

144/365 Another Audition

I guess this family should get used to this. Mom and Dad are a pair of recently-resurrected theater geeks. We fretted our own recent auditions, and experienced a remarkable success. The Drama Princess herself will be auditioning for entrance into the Musical Theater Program at her high school. This special audition requires that she prepare 16 bars of a show tune. She'll be ready. Working at home in pj's with a built-in accompanist and coach, we can gently reinforce the wisdom of her wonderful voice teacher. Then we recede into the background and fret and sweat with all the other parents.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

143/365 Belated Mother's Day Present

Today was the 8th grade dance. Sure, I thought it was ridiculous for the school to plan the dance right in the middle of the Memorial Day weekend. We had thought about taking a little road trip or visiting my sis in Tallahassee, but my girl's a social butterfly, and she couldn't live with the thought of a dance going on without her. So we endured the search for a dress, shelled out the bucks, gathered the necessary accessories, and pinky-swore that I'd do my best to fix her up with a snazzy 'do if she wouldn't fuss at me.

I think she looked like a million bucks, though I must say the vision of my daughter in a white sateen dress gave me a preview of the nausea I'd be enjoying on some other white-dress day in the future.

She and her goofy friends enjoyed the dance, then during the ride home she begged for a friend to spend the night. Well, Dad and Mom had planned to attend a grown-up party, some 30 minutes away, with some new friends and cast mates. But I thought about being a girl of 14. I would want to spend the night with a friend after the dance. So we're home now instead of partaking of libation and lively chatter. I scrambled some eggs and toasted some bagels for the starving debutantes and set them up with a movie for bedtime. Out of the blue, my girl gave me a hug and a very sincere "Thank you for the most awesome day. I love you Mommy."

Worth it all.

Friday, May 22, 2009

142/365 No, sir. Not going there.

We ran this morning, during a break in the Nor'easter. Then I was at school subbing, so I witnessed his decline throughout the day. A headache in the morning. Worse as the day went on. No, he insisted, not the same kind of headache. The way he described it to me it sounded like a migraine. When I picked up my kids from the Art room I saw him bringing down the Kindergartners to his buddy in the Media Center. She was taking his class so he could lie down in the nurse's office. He slept for more than an hour, even through the bells and chaos of dismissal. So over this.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

141/365 Dress Success

Dress shopping with my girl is hard work. Too busty for most Junior fashions, too petite for Ladies, too fussy for most stores, in general, it's a nightmare. Enter the Eighth Grade Dance. $15 tickets to go to the dance in the Junior High cafeteria, and anybody who's anybody will be there. Now we need a dress. The search has been underway for a few weeks, and we were about to give up and go with a not-so-springy red dress she wore to a New York Bar Mitzvah last year. A last ditch effort took us to the mall tonight. We struck out in Dillard's, Penney's, and Belk. We checked the boutiquey stores, even willing to overpay and have little selection. Nothing. That is nothing, unless I wanted my daughter to look like a streetwalker. Our last chance at 8:40. Sears. We scored the white number for the dance, two have-em-in-the-closet dresses for all occasions, and a lovely pair of silver sling-back shoes with a moderate heel (all on 50% off sale). Mom is the hero, the daughter is happy, and peace and harmony will be with us in our humble home. For now, anyway.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

140/365 Deathmatch: Comfort vs. Fashion

Today's weather looks like this.
"Woods" rehearsal reported to run late this evening. So I'm wearing these (fleece PJ's).

Comfort kicks butt.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

139/365 Waiting room woes

The orthodontia is paid off, monetarily, anyhow. We still have to pay in time. Check-ups every 4-5 weeks. And sometimes we're back in the office on the off weeks for repairs. All those emergency-we-will--try-to-squeeze-her-in-c'mon-down-and-wait appointments that occur out of the blue. Breaking the brace or the wire is understandable if she were trying to crack walnuts with her teeth, but she broke a brace on a slice of bread! And it wasn't even whole grain! What a primitive science. I guess it will be worthwhile when one day I will sit in the theater, proud mama (probably up in the balcony somewhere) and be dazzled by the perfect pearly whites. Maybe by then I will have forgotten the hours I spent reading two-year old issues of People and Women's World.

Monday, May 18, 2009

138/365 Even More Comfortable

It's great to be a "house cat," especially one living in my house. Born to a life of leisure, a cat's birthday suit is its feety pajamas. Apparently that custom-fit isn't comfy enough for Hansel. He had to remove the only article of his attire before settling down for a rainy Monday morning nap.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

137/365 What falleth from the sky?

It has been weeks since we had any rain worth noting. Now it is predicted that a system lingers and that we'll be soggy for the next 4 days. Already postponing the Monday AM run. The lawn is happy, but the soul prefers outdoors over the Y's treadmill.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

136/365 Today wasn't the pits..

My daughter is a peach, but it seems like we never get the sweet part. We get the part that is tired, grumpy, and unwilling to do her homework. Our part fusses and cusses when she's frustrated at the piano, hollers when we offer help or reminders, and grouches her way about the house. Our sweet, funny, talented daughter is a bit of a monster to her mommy and daddy. Today I asked her for some of the good stuff. On a trip to the beach with Mommy, Daddy, and KF, a BFF, she was fun, silly, and delightful. Peachy. And long overdue.

Friday, May 15, 2009

135/365 Back to the Future???

3 days of subbing this week. What a flashback to the classroom. The crunch of the schedule, the incessant "Mrs. G, Mrs. G," the papers, the pencils, the tattling, the needs. Can I do this again? Will I? Next year it looks like I'll have enough consulting work to carry us through, but the future is very unclear. Right now, even if I wanted a position, there isn't one for me. So then what?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

134/365 Four Eyes are Better

Please excuse typos in this post. I am wearing my contacts. I attempted contact lenses last summer, and I quit when I admitted to myself that my vision was more blurry with the things in than with nothing at all. So I treated myself to some super-blingy eyeglasses, happy 20th anniversary to me from me. I do love my specs, but there's no way the character of Jack's Mother in Into the Woods would wear them. Or any glasses for that matter. I've been rehearsing with vision naturale, but I thought that I may prefer to avoid falling on the musicians in the pit. I think the percussionist will be situated right beneath the spot of my first entrance. With my luck I'll land arse-first on the cymbals. Contacts are still worse than nothing at all, but maybe I'll get used to them.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

133/365 Proud Lawn Guy

Suburban housewife I'm not. I don't wear starched skirts and high heels while swirling my appletini, but I used to enjoy one stereotypical perk of suburbia. We had our "guys." Tuesday brought the Lawn Guy, and Friday brought the Pool Guy. My grass was manicured and edged, all evidence thereof windswept off my driveway, without my lifting a hand higher than the checkbook. My filter was rinsed, chlorine adjusted, and all stray leaves eradicated from the collection baskets without my breaking a sweat. Alas, the economy, the job reduction, and the time at home. I am now the Guy. Both Guys, actually. Maybe it's coincidence, but I find myself in the pool more often, basking in its sparkling, cool wonder. When I leave the driveway I sometimes back up before going forward, allowing myself a full view of the carpet of green and my meticulous handiwork. A well-timed injury may be partly to blame, but the spouse hasn't laid a finger on the mower, edger, or weed whacker. I think he knows where to test the pool water, but he hasn't done it yet. Just as well. I own the gloating priveleges. And I gloat often.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

132/365 Being Mr. Schneebly

Today I subbed for the first time. In my fantasy I'm the sub who goes all Dewey Finn on them and we create an awesome, powerful band to win the battle and take on "the man." Or maybe, in my case, we put together some kickin' musical theater including a rousing chorus number. That would be awesome.Nah. I followed the lesson plans. If I get a few more days of sub work it might even cover the cost of being fingerprinted so that I can be cleared to sub.

Monday, May 11, 2009

131/365 Dinner on the Run

Running around. Running to pick up IG and friends at school. Running to get them some dinner, then running them to dance class. Running to the running store for running shoes. Running to rehearsal. Eating on the run too. Making this all fit together like some kind of a puzzle done on the run.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

130/365 A Gift for Mothers: A Day

We don't really do holidays. The dates on the calendar are so arbitrary. Hallmark decided that today we should honor our mothers. For some reason we celebrate our country on July 4th, even though the Declaration of Independence wasn't signed before August 2. Christmas may or may not be on December 25th, according to many theologians. I refuse to allow myself to be sucked into the machine, emptying my wallet in sync with the rest of the country. If I see fit to get a gift for myself or for a family member or friend, I do it. It doesn't have to be a special day on the calendar. Today, in my backyard, on my raft, beneath a blue sky, I celebrate mothers, fathers and grandparents, honor our veterans, remember the fallen, praise a deity, or salute the flag. Every day is a holiday. Every day is a gift.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

129/365 Big Culture in the Little City

Today I chatted with multimedia visual artists, rehearsed a Sondheim musical, and saw a play that examined socio-economic and racial discrepancies while integrating the dialog from the balcony in Romeo and Juliet and from Desdemona's murder in Othello. No, I wasn't back in New York. I was in Jacksonville. There are some salmon swimming upstream in this sea of red and righteousness.

Friday, May 8, 2009

128/365 A Day at the Office

Due dates and deadlines coming soon, today is a work day. Slogging away in my "cubicle" I work on projects for the publisher and the consulting company. Surrounded by palms, birdsong, and blue skies, I must admit that my productivity is sometimes diminished as I resist the urge to pinch myself. Every hour or so I take a couple of short laps across the pool, or go inside to stand by the piano and scare the neighbors with my vocalizations. The mind wanders, twitters, facebooks, or lolcatz, but that's okay. I'm my own boss.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

127/365 Let The Games Begin

He's all better now. He remarked yesterday that he doesn't recall when it happened, but he's forgotten all about not feeling well. Now he's just back to being a 40-something guy, with his usual aches and complaints. Happy day! But the reminders of his spinal episode will be long with us. Having fronted hundreds in copayments before we had any diagnosis, we were late to the whole workers compensation game. Now we're swamped with bills from the specialists, phlebotomists, nuclear radiologists, physical therapists, and any other "ists" with access to bookkeeping software. We've filed the comp claim, and I don't expect to get any of our copays back unless hell is fore casted for an ice storm. Paying anything else is simply out of the question. Now we wait for the gears of bureaucracy to turn. Faxing, calling, mailing, documenting, duplicating - what fun.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

126/365 That's all I have to show for it.

41 race t-shirts.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

125/365 A bad case of the giggles

Checking the fridge for milk yesterday, I noticed that one of the bulbs was out. On my way to Home Depot anyways, I threw the dead bulb into my purse to be sure I purchased the right replacement. The fridge has been restored to its full illumination, but I guess I forgot to take the bulb out of the purse. Later, during a break at an evening rehearsal, I saw the bulb in my purse, so I turned to IG and said, "I have a great idea!" We couldn't stop laughing for an hour!

Monday, May 4, 2009

124/365 Do Unto Others

I'm the one in the little chair today. To prepare myself to become a presenter on a new topic I'm attending a local seminar on Differentiated Instruction in a Whole Group Setting. Just like the lovely sites I've had the pleasure of visiting, a Holiday Inn meeting room houses the training for today. Maybe it's because I know the program pretty well, as I've already thoroughly reviewed the presentation material and participated in a 2 day training on this topic, but I find I'm lousy at being a participant. I have little interest in "getting-to-know" you activities, I don't want to get up and vote with my feet, I don't care for clever ways to applaud for classmates, and I cannot sit still. We're only 90 minutes in and I've already doodled 2 1/2 pages of notebook paper. I'm listening, and I'm trying not to be a distraction, but I think I understand why people often tell me that they like my presenting style. I'm a meat-n-potatoes person. That's what I want for myself, so that's what I like to serve. Certainly a topic like Differentiated Instruction in a Whole Group Setting has more than enough meat in it, and I'm ready to serve it up.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

123/365 Ordinary, Extraordinary Sunday

More than 1/3 into my project 365, and I'm trying to make a conscious effort to snap a picture each day. Sometimes I have an epiphany, and I can come up with a photo to match. Sometimes I have a decent picture, and I needn't say too much. Today I have had neither, and it's after 7 PM. The only picture I snapped was the family loading the small trunk of the convertible with our loot after a Costco run. We love to ride with the sun and the wind. The cool, aloof, teenage daughter actually pitched in with the schlepping, and then did a great job practicing piano and voice, making for a pleasant afternoon. The recovered husband and I undertook a 16 mile bike ride this morning, definitely adding to the "pinch-me-I-live-here" feeling we've had lately. We worked diligently to memorize our scripts as we sat in the shade of the bottle brush trees beside the pool. A little grill action for dinner, and the Starbucks Espresso Roast is grinding as I write this. No epiphany. No great photo. Just a day filled with many blessings.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

122/365 Nobody is immune (Don't worry, this has nothing to do with Pigs or Viruses)

She's grown up so much, so fast. Watching little ones toddle on the beach today reminded me of times not long ago when she dared not let go, all five of her pudgy baby fingers wrapped so tightly around one of mine, fearing she'd be swept away by the waves. She was too frightened be near the water alone, yet she roared with laughter when her daddy carried into the crashing waves. Our trips to the beach were fun but so much work, with every step a danger as we watched over this precious, young gift we were given. Today she walked and waded with a friend and tossed a football with some teen boys they met. She had her own day at the beach. When she was little and everything was such hard work I'd imagined this day. I pictured myself snoozing contentedly, lulled to sleep by the delicious rhythm created by the dance between the moon and the earth's water. It wasn't to be, though. Instead I spent my time on the beach today thinking of two encounters yesterday, both hearkening back to a fourth grade class I had so many years ago.
One student was quiet, humble, strawberry blond and all girl, who seemed to struggle with nearly everything I gave her. Except her writing. She wrote with complete abandon, and at ten years old she scratched out descriptive prose that I tasted, heard and smelled when I read it. Struggles with spelling, grammar, and other particulars didn't interrupt her expression. Each assignment was a tribute to her trust in me to use a gentle hand and to wield the red pen with discretion. She's grown now. Working a punch-a-time-card job, and living with a boyfriend because one parent abused drugs and the other kicked her out. This quiet, humble, strawberry blond girl hasn't quite been able to make college work as she scratches out a living, she told me. Sitting outside her job, she surprised me with a Popsicle and she caught me up. I found myself wishing that someone had perfected the damned time machine. But then what could I have done, nearly a decade ago, to have helped her to avoid the hardships she's already faced?
Another student, a brilliant, witty, clever kid with wonderful and supportive parents, but who never seemed to get it together as a fourth grader. This child would take a Spelling Quiz and then lose the paper as it traveled from his hand to mine. I was challenged to challenge him, with his incredible brain and his incredibly indifferent attitude toward all things school-related. I'd imagined that this would be the kid to grow up and find the cure for cancer, or design bridges, or possibly negotiate a lasting peace in the Middle East. He's that brilliant. I saw his mother yesterday, and she told me about his struggles. College hasn't inspired him, dropping out of one, and barely scraping by at another. He's still a brilliant, witty, and clever kid, but nothing has inspired him. He has moved out and then back home, and his wonderful and supportive parents are worried.
So today at the beach, looking at the little girl who held me so tightly, I wondered what story her teachers will hear during a chance encounter in another half a decade. Will hers be another story of struggle and pain in a young life? Nowadays I'm the one who wants to hold on tight, but the time is coming, much too soon, when I will have to start letting go.

Friday, May 1, 2009

121/365 In the words of Brother Manilow, "Looks Like we Made It!"

Two weeks ago we were waiting to see if the radioactive isotope indicated the location of the torn dura, the cause of the leaking cerebro-spinal fluid, and the resultant postural headaches and diplopia. Yesterday he taught 7 classes, then prepared the stage and dressing room areas for a perfomance by 80+ elementary kids. Preparations included an attempted unassisted lifting of chorus risers (we can all kill him for that one). He accompanied the 85 minute show on piano, delivered closing remarks, greeted the audience, and then helped to move tables and chairs to return the performance venue to its daytime cafeteria status. A stop for a Sonic treat and a couple of hours of channel surfing finshed the day. Not bad for a guy who couldn't sit up for a month.