Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Moving on

Vespers is done. Next up Pippi... in two days. lots of programming tomorrow night.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Update Time!

When last we saw our hero he was battling dark forces amongst the rain slicked rooftops of the city. The moon was barely visibly, fading in and out due to the fog that clung to the night. Ever vigilant, watching, waiting, for the masked malevolence that plagues the city as the seedy undercurrent washes away the good done each day, leaving behind a filth and tarnish that would make even the most righteous heroes cringe.

So what am I up to now? I spent about 3 hours today hanging lights for Vespers our winter choir concert. I've got the snowflake gobos out and it looks pretty good. Tomorrow I have to hang physical snowflakes from the catwalk and hang a handful of lights and gel everything.Then, before this weekend... either tomorrow night (ugh) or wednesday night, I need to refocus all the lights and program cues for Pippi Longstocking which is this weekend. Awesome.The upside is I'm being paid for Pippi, but it's going to be a lot of work to refocus and hang these things in this short of a time by myself. I tried as much as possible to hang seperate lights for Vespers so I can at least just switch plugs back to the stuff I already had focused for Pippi, we'll see how well that goes. I still haven't read the script, because I don't have one, and I've only seen 1 rehearsal. At least I recorded it. Also, fun fact for Pippi, the show has a clown drop that I've named toothless Joe (seen here):
He's nice and creepy. I've equated him to the carny clown version of the Uncle Sam recruitment poster.

As far as class goes... nothing much new there, my freshmen are starting to work on shadow puppets for this thing that may or may not happen. Melanie wants there to be a performance thing, we've got muppet puppets that they are making, my shadow puppets and she was sword fighting. The whole thing is an amalgamation of random stuff and truly the best term for what this class has turned into is a clusterfuck. Otherwise I'm just trying to sneak through in my classes to the end of the semester. I've got too much going on and I'm too tired that we're not really doing much. I need to catch up on grades....

Sunday was my only real day off this weekend and it was spent out christmas shopping. Spending some of the money I got for gifts and finally picking up some stuff that was needed. Ended up at Ikea for about 3 hours and got the nice chair we'd been looking at. It is super mega comfy and was pretty cheap too. On top of that we picked up a really nice butcher block type cutting board, a mortar and pestle, a big rug for the living room and some picture frames. The rug rocks its got a medium pile and is also real soft and the living room at this point is just about done. With the tree up and the new plant it is really finished, just need to frame some of the serenity posters and other art we have sitting around.
 Tree with the new chair, it matches the floor and furniture really nice
  Along with the cutting board and mortar we went to an outlet mall and went into the Williams Sonoma there and picked up a real nice pan for about $20 should have been $40 something. Now we can actually saute things and have a pan that isn't non stick. So I tried that out tonight making spice rubbed beef, and oh boy is it fun to cook with. Also... yum
The best part yet is that all of these pictures were taken with the ipod touch I got, and they turned out pretty well, still not as nice as my canon point and shoot or the big camera but I'll always have it around and they were passable.

That's all for now. I may be gone for awhile since my weeks up to Christmas are jam packed with stuff. I have a rather large ballet to light immediately after Pippi comes down and they are already pretty frustrating. Next Wednesday I also have to drive a bus again because we're taking the freshman class to see Christmas Carol at the Trinity Rep. So there will likely be a review of that once we return.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving with a side of Muppets

Just got back from Thanksgiving in Ohio, well... got back last night at 1 am. I have to say I made some damn good fudge and such over break. There will be pictures later.

Sunday morning, went to Cleveland and met up with some fine folks for brunch, but we're going to gloss over that fact and skip right to the meat. We then went to see the new muppet movie. It was Amazing. I won't lie, I actually wept through parts of it. It was so sad, and so awesome, it just pulled at your heart to watch the muppets down and out, separated, told they aren't famous anymore and that people don't remember them. It was really a comeback story and I don't know how they could do this movie and not do a new muppet show. They've set it up, and holy crap will it work. The celebrity support within the movie, the jokes, the new voice actors doing old voices, it was all there. There were great little touches that the hardcore fans will love, really touching moments, pictures of old muppet show hosts with them at times, everything. The addition of Walter is great because the older folks who grew up on it ARE Walter and all the new fans can get welcomed in by him.

I won't really give anything away but I will say one of my favorite parts is that Animal is in anger management and he is "in control" I loved it. It was everything I could hope for in a restart of the muppets. My only complaint was the inclusion of one song that just didn't fit, it was jarring, confusing and even the muppets weren't sure why it was happening. If you've seen the movie, you probably know which one I'm talking about.

Fun facts:

The banjo that Kermit plays during the rainbow connection is his original banjo from the first movie.

it's the first theatrically released muppet film not to include Frank Oz

Pixar fine tuned parts of the script for Disney

Some of the full body muppet shots use original remote control muppets that allow it to exist and move on it's own as it is controlled off screen. They chose to utilize these so they could be sure the muppets exist physically in the real world rather than being digitally animated.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Catching up of Sorts

I think it is about time I get caught up on this thing, so here it goes. This is my first real day off in quite awhile (thank you national holidays) it has been spent inside not doing a thing, later I will play video games, currently I will update this and eat some hot dogs. Later later... chinese food. I think that is a good plan for a day off.

So Seussical went pretty well. Each night had some mistakes and issues, nothing I really could have done anything about so I didn't stress too much about them. Friday night they broke a piece of facing off of one of the front steps so I was going to cut a new piece early Saturday and paint it, but when I got there my crew had already reattached it and were touching it up. Needless to say my tradition of taking a piece of facing from every set I've designed continued and during strike the broke off piece was set aside and is now next to me in my office at home.

Of course given that during a tech week everything that goes wrong does (thank you murphy's law) my jeep stopped working. Wouldn't turn over, lights still worked, new battery did nothing, didn't work. so after a couple days of that Melanie and Roberto Mollo (Melanie is the music teacher and director) got AAA to come out and look at it and then got it towed to a place about a mile from work. The guy was great and fast, reminded me a lot of the place we go way back home, so I'm sure I'll be going back if I have any other problems. Waited around 3 hours for the tow truck to actually show up, towed it there wednesday night, picked it up thursday afternoon and now it runs like a champ. It ended up being a combination of battery, cables and shot connections. In either case I'm up and running and in good shape now with a brand new battery for winter.

So thursday was the last day of my required after school hours since we are ending the "fall sports" section and moving into winter. I decided it was time for a small project. Now that I'll actually have some free time I'm planning on making a lot of changes to the shop, stuff I had wanted to do when I showed up but hadn't had the chance to get to. First project was a desk for the shop. This way I've got somewhere to work and keep important stuff rather than trying to find it in a bunch of different places. When all is said and done this desk will have cost about $6, and none of it was my money. Between materials we already had and stuff I had picked up a couple weeks ago I did most of the work in a few hours. I just need to add drawers to the right hand side and give the whole thing a nice coat of paint. I'm toying with the idea of having part of the surface be chalkboard (mostly because we have some chalkboard paint I want to play with) I figured it'd be useful for leaving notes when we don't have any paper.

so that's it for now. Tech class is already gearing up to help ACTSA (All Children's Theatre at Saint Andrews) build the set for Pippi Longstockings. I'm also going to do a simple easy lighting design for that and pick up 2 or $300 which will be nice. One show down, another show up.... sounds about right.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Another Quick Update

I'm tired, but the light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer.... which means I'm either out of this soon, or dead. In either case we had the preview performance of Seussical on Wednesday and it went almost perfectly. I have a couple of things to fix tomorrow but nothing major, a couple of lighting cues and we're good to go. I have to say that this may be one of the best things I've done. Now let me go back on what I just said. Not all of the construction is the finest that I've done but it works and is "good enough" to get us through what we need. I have certainly done better construction at BG BUT I had help and a shop staff of hardworking, intelligent people who understand how to build things then. Now I have high schoolers who don't know much. Also I had to do lights, and paint and all of this was in a super short time frame. My class and after school students certainly worked hard but I did 90% of the work on this monster. It is by far the biggest set I've done alone, and it looks great if I say so myself. Children of Eden at Scott was about the same amount of work, but I had Meghan and Erin to help out, at the same time I actually had a shop for this show, so it is assembled better than COE was. I still have a soft spot in my heart for Burning Patience at BG though because that in my opinion was sort of the perfect storm of awesome. Great design from Jim, great crew to build it (and it was beautiful) and with Steve's lighting design, my sound design and Sara Chamber's direction I think it really nailed the poetry in the language and the beauty of everything that was going on. It's hard to decide but I think I might be prouder of this set. It just works, it looks like it was ripped right out of the books.

SO... three performances this weekend and maybe 1 for the school on monday and I can put this damn show to bed and have some time off to relax. Then it's on to the February show "Mill Girls" which I'm really looking forward to (more details on that later). Other than that the Jeep has proven to be a nightmare as of late. A couple of weeks ago I caught a rock on the highway which cracked the windshield. So I started to look into getting that fixed. Then a couple of days ago it decided it just won't start. Don't know if it's the battery or what but it won't take a jump and just won't turn over. So when I get a chance there will be more looking into that. For now it throws a wrench into a lot of things. That's life so far I'll get back into posting more frequently here after this weekend.

 All of these were from the Preview performance on wednesday. Hopefully this weekend I'll grab some better pictures with the big camera, but this pretty much sums up the show. We also realized that with the curved rainbow on the center stage portion, we've got what we are referring to as the "acid man" it curves up on the facing for the stairs to make his rainbow eyes and then curves down the center stairs to make a smile. It's a little unsettling to see the stage smiling its big drugged up smile at you while you're sitting at the board in the house. But hey, every part of this show is on drugs in one way or another.

Until later.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Bit Behind

As the title says, that's my life right now. Updates will be coming soon. For now a quick run down. working every day on Seussical now (picture below) and still trying to keep up. Classes are ok, doing stage combat makes life easier because its fun and I don't have to lesson plan for it. This Saturday I have to be on campus from 9am till 9 pm because of rehearsal and then a stand in the background as TD for a benefit concert with some guy named Danny Rivera. The upside is once I am done with rehearsal apparently they are paying me extra to be there for the concert. So some extra cash will be good. Especially since Sunday is the trip to King Richard's Faire in Mass. for a nice, enormous ren faire. I'm excited and will likely walk away with a newly purchased weapon. ALSO, monday I'll be driving my class in a mini bus (while another teacher drives her class) 3 hours to go visit Lowell Massachussets and check out the program they have about old new england mills and the child labor that was used etc, as a day long field trip to prep our classes for the February show "Mill Girls"

too much work, not enough time, and boy am I tired.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Weddings and Catching up

I haven't had a real urge to update this for a little bit, mostly because I've been trying to recover from last week's drive to Ohio and back. I managed to get a couple of extra days off so I was able to head towards Ohio sooner for Alex and Becky Bean's wedding. Because I had the extra time I managed to get out to Cedar Point and see some awesome Halloweekends folks. This was both great and depressing. I loved being able to see everybody but it wasn't long enough and I really wanted to go out there with them. Sadly I picked a terrible night to go and it was dripping wet and nasty, but the zones rocked and I got to see the Garter show which was enjoyable.

Friday night I ended up at Carrie Williams house in Cleveland which was great since (now) Sergeant Barlow was staying there as well. None of the Bowling Green folk were sure when Pete told everyone he was going to the army, but it seems to have worked out really well for him. So Saturday morning I get up and the problems start. I was to make cider for the wedding but couldn't get the keys to Lauren's place, then I did get them but Alex had given me the wrong keys and I couldn't get in. So I get to the wedding and I had to borrow Russ Katona's pants for the wedding. Wedding went pretty well and then we moved on to the reception and the real fun began. The band they had was Hepcat Revival which has always been a favorite of the BG crowd so it was nice having them, also open bar. So that was quite enjoyable as well. I was probably drunkest bridesmaid, but I couldn't fit into any of the dresses so that is a good thing (that's the tradition, though it doesn't always happen) The upside is I had some really good conversations and had some really good drinks as well. It was really nice to see people and that was something that was greatly needed after having been out here for about 2 months now.

Drove home sunday without any major problems and I made it through another week. I'm still not comfortable with a lot of this stuff but I'm getting into the swing of it at least and it goes easier and faster. I still don't like middle schoolers though. blargh. Plans for this weekend are... absolutely nothing, so as to recover from the driving last week. Next post will include some pictures, better stories, and some entertainment.

Big update post concluded.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Weddings, Money and Swords!

Well... the upsides to this week. Tomorrow we're fleeing to the Cleve to attend the BeanTona wedding which should be awesome. Because of that... Tomorrow is my last day teaching for the week. Thats about it for the plus side.

Negatives. Money continues to be way tighter than we would have hoped. I'm tired of worrying about money. I'm a grown ass adult working as much as the full time faculty I teach with but you consider me a part time employee. Teachers ask me what I'm teaching and I list off four classes and my after school responsibilities and they say all that and you're part time? yeah... it gets old. It's bullshit because they essentially did this to make sure I'd stay around because they want to keep me but they've gone through 6 people in like 7 years so they didn't want to waste the money if I choose not to stay next year. But I plan on it so it's frustrating. I can't be too upset because I knew this getting into it. Though the extra work required of me is a bit more than they said originally. I'd just like to get paid like an adult and have the money to occasionally splurge on things or buy myself something nice every once in awhile. Such as getting the ipod that I've been putting off for 3 years.. or I don't know, something simpler, like food. Or presents for friends who are getting married.

Don't get me wrong I've liked the job alot, minus the parts that I dread which are pretty common, but mostly relate to my not feeling comfortable as a teacher yet. and I'm really looking forward to this wedding. Living in Rhode Island has been great but we're the only ones out here. Again, we knew that getting into it, but it's lonely and we miss our friends and it sucks knowing this is the only wedding we can go to this season because A. We can't afford another, and B. we can't get off for others, and there are a lot that I'm missing that I really wanted to go to, Sorry Erin, Aimee, and company. I don't have a problem making the tough decisions, it's part of life, I understand that, I'm just tired of waiting for that point where it gets a little easier. You should in theory be enjoying yourself. We can't afford to get some things framed yet, we have books in boxes still because we can't spare the extra $20 for a book shelf. I'm tired. We are both working grown adult, full responsibility jobs, and neither of us are getting paid to our abilities or our worth. I'd just like one moment of vindication where someone says you know what... you should be getting more, what were we thinking. And until that point happens I've decided I'll be bringing in my swords and teaching combat to one of my classes because that makes me cool to them, nobody else can do it at the school, it's intimidating and hopefully if I train them well enough they will fight and die for me at my command and I can unleash my student army upon the campus and begin my rule of blood, Joffrey Baratheon (Lannister) style.

and now I leave you with some entertainment after that heavy post.

This one goes out to Yozo.... for some reason.
And last but not least a video that is pretty awesome. Those who enjoy My Drunk Kitchen should like this, I'm impressed that she's a good cook, entertainingly funny and happens to be a really good singer on top of that as it turns out.

Friday, September 23, 2011

There Aren't Enough Words

Today would have been Jim Henson's 75th birthday. There are very few people in this world that I would truly call my hero. Jim Henson is one of them. The amount of joy he brought into the world ended far sooner than it should of but I am forever grateful for what we do have and the continued legacy the Henson name imparts. He touched the lives of millions of people through the Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock, Sesame Street, not to mention all of the movies and experimental work he left behind. There is something to be said about the impact he left on the world and on me. The first picture I hung up in my classroom at school was a picture of Jim and Kermit on set.

But it wasn't just him, the reason the legacy remains so strong today is because of the work of countless others from his physical family to his "fictional" family, Jerry Juhl, Frank Oz, and all the unnamed people who ever played a roll in his work, the love and attitude he brought to the table and made others feel remains strong enough that my generation still cares and will force 30 or 40 year old muppet show episodes on our children. We care enough that there is still a demand for a new movie and hopefully a new tv show, there simply are not enough words to adequately convey the feeling and impact he left.

This video has already gone around some amongst my friends today, but with something like this I have no problem with reposting it because I'll gladly watch it every time

Thursday, September 22, 2011

of Carbonara and Feeling a Bit Better

Well classes are going. Better than they had been, still not great on all fronts but starting to get the swing of things. I'm not feeling nearly as bad as I had been, though my head is still a little out of whack and I'm exhausted after what is my hardest day of teaching each week. Heather also feels pretty sick. Not my fault.
In either case I decided to be nice today and I made dinner and it is a pretty common one but still awesome every time. Some of you have no doubt had my/heather's carbonara but I figured not everybody has tried making it themselves and while it's a little hard to balance everything all at once the first time, after you do it once its a pretty easy dish.

1T garlic
1t red pepper flakes (don't go heavy on this unless you really like spicy food. I do like some heat and I almost always regret doing a whole teaspoon because it just overpowers everything else.)
2 egg yolks
1/2 c of a dry white wine (tonight I used a cheap pinot grigio)
1/2 c shredded romano cheese
and some salt
Also bacon (the more the better, I think we usually end up cooking 4-5 strips)
around half a box of rigatoni

First cook the bacon until crispy (around 6 minutes) set the bacon aside on some paper towels and drain the grease. I usually start boiling the water right before doing the bacon. If you time it right you can do all this while the pasta cooks.

Add 3 T of olive oil back to the pan you cooked your bacon in and add the garlic and red pepper and saute it for about 30 seconds. I inevitably cook it longer than that because by this point I'm scrambling to do something else. That is fine, just turn down the heat and don't burn it.

Add the bacon and the wine to the pan with the garlic and pepper.

Beat the egg yolks and add some salt. when the pasta is done take about a half cup of the pasta water and whisk it into the eggs to temper them.

At this point if you have a big enough pan you can add the pasta to it or add the bacon and other stuff to the pasta pot (whichever is easier for you). Mix it all up and add the egg to it all.

Last but not least pour in the cheese, mix the whole thing together till it is a gooey awesome mess and enjoy.

The random shells are what happens when you don't have enough rigatoni. oops.

You could garnish this with some fresh basil or some other greenery but at this point it is almost dumb to do it. This obviously isn't too healthy so it should be a once in awhile thing and you should just bask in the awesome breakfast/dinner pasta that this is. Truthfully the basil or something might be nice but this is so close to perfect, why mess with it?

Monday, September 19, 2011


Stayed home from school today. Wasn't feeling well and luckily only had to have one class covered. I still feel kinda crappy but at least I managed to get a bunch of stuff done, watched some west wing and lost and then found my phone. Good news for the day my Home Depot credit card that the school is giving me came in so I can go pick that up tomorrow and hopefully go buy supplies and lumber. Good news 2 dinner is being made which is awesome, red wine and steak are always good. Also I plan on reading more Storm of Swords tonight. Lastly here is crayon art number 2 which is either going to go up in my office or get sold on etsy.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Pizza, Cookies, and a Cat

Today is sunday... which means later tonight I'll be working on lesson plans for the upcoming week. For now however I'm putting them off. Here's a little backlog of some of the food I've made. The pizza was about a week ago and the cookies were last night. First up home made pizza

On Saturday mornings Heather and I get up and watch food network's new Pioneer Woman tv show, we had followed her blog before she got a show and now it is even more awesome. So on the episode last week she made pizza. Now the actual pizza itself was not exactly something Heather and I would like be we trust her enough to use her dough recipe, so I decided to give it a shot.

  • 1 teaspoon Active Dry Or Instant Yeast
  • 4 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 That's the dough recipe, and it's nice because you can really taste the olive oil in it, and it gives it a really great taste. Her instruction: "Throw some flour and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer. (You can also do this by hand; it’ll be just fine.) Pour some warm (not hot, but definitely not lukewarm) water into a bowl. Sprinkle the yeast on top. Now, with the mixer on, drizzle in olive oil. Note that while I have the dough hook attachment on my mixer, I usually use the paddle attachment for my pizza dough. It just mixes it better. Next, pour in the yeast/water mixture. Then just mix it together until it’s combined. Kneading isn’t necessary; however, if you mix it by hand you can certainly do some light kneading to thoroughly combine the ingredients."

This dough was much stickier than my usual bread dough but it could be floured the same way to reduce the grabbiness of it.  From here you just let it sit for a few hours to rise and then smoosh it out flat, drizzle on some more olive oil and throw on whatever ingredients you want. Then throw it into a 500 degree oven and just pull it out when it looks done.

I will have to say, this was really delicious. plus with the ingredients it uses it is wicked cheap too. I would warn you that you should have some corn meal for the pizza stone/cookie sheet and for whatever you roll the dough out on. She just did it on her cookie sheet and left it so there were no problems, we did it on a pizza peel and transferred it to a stone, and with how heavy and sticky it is after being loaded up with stuff you need that extra bit of slide the cornmeal gives you.

That recipe gives you maybe 4 pizzas of the size above which was just about perfect for one person. so you can easily make individualized pizzas.

Next up... chocolate chip cookies!

Yes this apparently is a food megapost but I'm proud of how well these things turned out. So last night we had our food and what not and then an hour or so later I was munchy for something chocolatey, despite not actually being hungry. After looking at what can be delivered (about all we have out here is a Ben and Jerry's for dessert, nothing so awesome as the Cookie Jar in BG... we've been spoiled) that was going to be almost $25 though after delivery charges and such. Luckily I scrounged up enough chocolate chips and got to work.

1 Cup + a tablespoon of flour
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
6 tablespoons of butter, melted
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
half egg +half egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips, or more.

preheat the oven to 325 degrees

First you should whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt and set it aside. In a stand mixer with paddle (or by hand) mix together the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy. To be honest I'm not sure if it ever looked light and fluffy to me, but it was mixed up really well so I called it good.

Next beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla until it is all combined.

Add the dry ingredients on low speed until it is just combined. (Before this point it actually looked a lot like caramel to me, but the second the flour hits it immediately "doughed" up and started to look like cookie dough.)

Stir in the chocolate chips.

The recipe calls for you to roll out 1/4 of a cup of dough for cookies, I just eyeballed it, the batch I made was 6 cookies that filled the cookie sheet, and I'd gauge that there is about enough dough left to do another just like that.
For cookies that size I would say to put them in for around 14 minutes. That's what I did and they were perfect.

Just browned enough and a little crispy, with warm chewy and gooey centers, and not a hint of being over done. They were quite possibly the best cookies I've had and Heather claims they rival the Cookie Jar's so I'd say this one is a keeper.

Also just so everyone else can see how lazy he is, I'd like to point out there is a cat in this picture. 10 points for those who can find him.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

a bit of an update

Things have slowed down a bit here because most of my free time has been trying to catch up on classes. I'm half way through my first full week of classes and its going.... mostly. It has been a rough week. I haven't really gotten into the teaching swing and I'm trying to make things work but its a lot of rough and stumbling through until I get the feeling for how to do it all. So most of my classes aren't so great. Generally the middle schoolers are a decent group of kids they are nice and enjoyable, but as for that class I absolutely hate it. Mostly because it isn't part of the upper school so there is no set plan as to what it is supposed to be. The other computer class is the other bane of my existence mostly because it is stuff I've never actually had to teach. So we did a simple start project and I'm going to jump into animation soon since I have a decent background in that.

The tech class is pretty good. I'm struggling to make the material last as long as it needs to but after a nice long talk with them today I have a better idea and I'm excited to do a lot of things that are strictly just theatre. So they will be getting to see a lot of screamster related stuff these few weeks to talk about the tech side of all that and my experiences and they're going to get to watch Season of Screams which is a fantastic documentary about Knott's Berry Farm and the start of "Haunt". An upside is that after a few of my screamster stories one kid left saying, 'Oh man Mr. Smith I respect you so much more now." so that's always good.

Seussical is going pretty well, I've given up most of the design control and it is a mix of my ideas and the art teachers now so I have a little less responsibility which is a load off my back, but not how I'm used to doing it so it is kind of jarring and hard to let go, but I'm getting used to the idea. Here's a few updated sketches:

Not my drawings, The Jungle of Nool look we settled on, hopefully (if I can find a net) still doing my textured fabric approach which will layer it and give it a foliage look and fly in and out.
Also the current thinking for Horton's nest to hatch the egg he is charged with, not sure how we'll implement that just yet though.
Today was also the first day of building officially.. and it went very slowly. So here's the scoop. The school requires students to have activities. This means they either have to do a sport or theatre or some other thing, because of this we get lots of help and it is great (though I have a few more kids than I can deal with because there just isn't enough to do) I have the "senior staff" as we have dubbed them, that know the ins and outs and have done it all before they are pretty good with building and cutting. The other kids are somewhat worthless it was like coaching the worst 141 students in BG's shop. BUT they tried and they are learning. I tasked them with making 2 4x4 platforms in an hour and if both groups had combined their work they made one of them. separately we have one framed out and one with the top screwed down in 4 places.  Still not terrible for a first day's work. According to the seniors, last year they would have only gotten 3 screws put in at that point. So we're all happy we're accomplishing stuff faster.

So there's a pretty huge update. That has consumed my life. Edgar the cat has been pretty sick lately, he was throwing up a lot yesterday and apparently did some today as well, and mao-ing loud and pathetically as if to say I feel like crap guys... do something. However he got some milk earlier and is moving around and generally seems to be feeling a lot better now so it looks like he's doing alright.
Also for those who read Game of Thrones, and didn't see my facebook update, when Heather and I finally get a dog (whenever that may be) we shall be naming it Hodor. It was a dumb side suggestions I made and the second I said it we both stopped and said, WE'RE NAMING THE DOG HODOR.

Also as a side note I think it is dumb that Dany named one of the dragons Drogon... because I feel like it is someone who can't pronounce dragon. "Drogon hiss and be angry at you. Don't anger drogon because drogon is being big with claws and drogon fire."

that is all. Long update over.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Kneel Before Your King!

Yesterday was a day of exploration through downtown Providence, which had us mostly on the east side. We started in Wayland square where we found some good ice cream/food as well as our new favorite local bookstore as well as a few other neat places. At said bookstore I finally picked up a copy of Neil Gaiman's Eternals. One of many Neil Gaiman graphic novels I and Heather have been wanting to pick up. Next up is the Sandman series. 
As you can see we also had another small victory and found someone who sells Coppola. Bottles (our favorite wine store) just started stocking it along with some of the other Coppola wines and they said after gauging how well it sells they may keep stocking it all the time. Which is pretty cool since we haven't seen it anywhere out here yet and we've (or at least I have) been actively looking for it. Afternoon adventure = success.

Last night we decided to head downtown to experience our first water fire. We'll definitely be going back to see more. Originally this started as an art installation and it caught on and they kept doing it. So now there is a set schedule and they do so many each year and its quite an event. They shut down a couple of blocks and bridges and the area along one of the rivers becomes this laid back, music filled, street vendor... thing. It was really great they had music piped through speakers along the river and when I say music I mean dramatic, orchestral at times almost operatic/classical its hard to explain other than it was good.

You can also get gondola rides down the river, before the fires start as well as while they are going. Though they are around $100 a person so I'm not sure we'll be doing that any time soon but there's tons of other neat stuff too. There is so much that goes on that we had a hard time deciding what all was part of the actual "event" and what was just costumed people or random folks showing up unrelated to water fire.

By the time it got dark it was actually kind of chilly, it was in the mid 60's today when I woke up so I'm going to guess we may have hit the high 50's last night with the wind and all. But as long as you were near the river the heat from the fires gave you a nice warmth. It was great weather for it and really was like sitting out at a nice bonfire except that there were a hundred of them  and they were huge. It was definitely something different than we have ever seen and was a great experience just watching it all burn and hearing the crackle and the flames blow. We're looking forward to the next one.

Also after we got home last night the little neighbor children were outside playing something, and then... as the title of this post says w hear one shout KNEEL BEFORE YOUR KING! and there was some fighting and I think he started telling them individually to kneel and he may have knighted them. I'm not entirely sure what all happened but it was entertaining.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

First Day of Teaching/weekend post

Well My first day of teaching is over. It had it's highs and it's lows. Mostly lows. But that is primarily because I need to get into the swing of doing this stuff every day. Met some really great kids I look forward to working with, and a few that we're going to have to keep an eye on, thus far the 6th graders were by far the easiest to deal with. Also had the first official full production meeting for Seussical. We're working with the art instructor we have in our department and she wants to paint everything so I'm going to have to assert that I'm actually a damn good scenic artist and there are some things she won't be as good at because of translating to stage. So hopefully we'll split some of it. I've given her some sketches for pieces and she'll be giving me some sketches for pieces. and DAMN this show is going to cost a lot of money. The school's typical sound rental fee is $1600, and we still have a set budget and have to rent lights. so yeah.

Tomorrow to end the official school day we have a memorial program for 9/11 and then orientation and welcoming stuff for the boarders on campus. All that being said I have a ton of work for this weekend so I may not post again till the start of next week. Keeping that in mind I think it appropriate for an early 9/11 post now. It's hard for me to believe it has been a decade since it happened. And not that I would ever wish something like that upon our country or any other, I miss the unity the country experienced and the "we're all in this together" attitude, as well as the selfless giving that came forth. To commemorate the 10th anniversary I leave  you with one of my all time favorite moments from West Wing that isn't even from the episode they did immediately after 9/11. I think this clip sums up exactly what I meant about the heroes that thought about other people first and put their own lives at risk to help.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

No News Today

Your Daily Dose of Entertainment. More to come tomorrow after I'm done actually teaching my first day (here's a hint, I'm not going to actually teach this week. Being a short week where I only see class once means syllabus and talk time is going to take all of class, easy week for everybody!)


Monday, September 5, 2011

New Art of the Day

I'll leave it to Heather to give all the details on this piece as I'm sure she will, but for now here is a new bit of art that will be going in the bathroom, made by both of us.

Tomorrow I have my last day of prep before classes start. I have a lot too do and a lot that still needs to be clarified, hopefully it all goes well. Tomorrow night is the faculty/student/family meet and greet cook out. so I'll get to meet a bunch of the kids. I also have to get started on Seussical and make sure Melanie approves of the sketches I did and start on construction of a few other pieces.

On top of that in my down time I'll be making us a headboard out of old pallets (assuming they are still in the shop when I get there tomorrow). So I'll document that here as it gets going. That is all for now.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sunday Entertainment

Today (as usual for sundays around here it seems) was a lazy day of stumbling on the internets and working on class prep. Also that cat has been crazy annoying today, from climbing on things he shouldn't to clawing at the  door molding, to continually licking and chewing on plastic things and folders and such in my office. He has been driving me crazy. The upside of it being the first week of classes is that I actually only have 6 class periods to teach and I'm done. Since we start Wednesday I get a break in classes so it is a pretty easy ease into it hand out syllabus and waste 10 minutes type of stuff. It's going to be hard to adjust to 50 minute classes after having been in college classes so hopefully this first week will give me an idea of how much or how little I can accomplish each period.

Now for the fun!

here are a couple of gifs to start us out. I think I've seen this panda before except in a kitchen setting, I wish I knew what it was from.

Because everybody loves kitties.

And finally for the gifs, potentially the favorite thing I've found in awhile, we've got a dog reacting to tasting a lime for the first time.

This next picture is just full of sheer awesome, there's nothing I don't like, Felicia Day rocks and her posting of pictures like this from Dragoncon has been a lot of fun to follow because she is having just as much fun with the fans she has been finding as they have with her. In either case I have decided that at some point in time in the future I must make Statler and Waldorf masks like this to wear around just as these two folks are doing.
For those of you out there who are Doctor Who fans here is an old DW Confidential video from christmas time and features some really neat video of Matt Smith and company and shows an interesting love he apparently has for badgers.

Also continuing on the muppet theme here is a behind the scenes video of the filming of OK Go's new muppet show cover. If you haven't seen the video for the new song check it out too it is pretty entertaining.

and now I leave you with this thought.
Until another day...