Monday, February 22, 2010

New Article

Hello's a link to my latest article for's an interview I did with Bill Chrystal, who will be interpreting John Adams this weekend at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts. Enjoy!

"Bill Chrystal: An interview with John Adams of "An Evening with John and Abigail Adams."

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Beaglin' on a Sunday Afternoon

I have been going to choir. Making it a priority, as they say. From the days when I first started going as teenager, I've always been in the choir...going to church means singing in the choir. It is interesting that my church chooses not to stand during the reading of the Gospels...but we stand during hymns. Hm. That's Methodists all over for ya. I haven't been going to church in the past year because of working in the evening: working means I need someone to beagle-sit, so finding someone for one, two, three days is challenging. And it's not fair, after all he's my dog. But I decided I would rather cut back to two nights a week and do choir than have that extra money. For now.

So this Sunday was the first Sunday I sang, even though I've been to a couple rehearsals. Last Wednesday I attended the Ash Wednesday service, but I was so overcome that I left halfway through. I was reliving the week before Christmas, leading up to Grandma's funeral, and that, coupled with a serious attack of depression left me unable to do much. Thursday I left work early (depression is not just mental--it also makes my joints ache, and since I'm crying I usually have headaches), and Jeff had to come over and literally pry me out of bed and then force feed me fajitas. (okay. Maybe not force feed. He's a really, really good cook) But by yesterday I was fine again. Totally myself. It's this quick recovery that keeps me going in the darkest hour--knowing that in my case depression is just a hit and run summer shower. And when it came time to sing this morning's anthem, "Almighty and Everlasting God," I could stand up and sing joyfully, purely and praisefully.

My good mood is also probably due to the weather as well: fifty degrees yesterday and sixty today. Both Kiz and I were anxious to get out of the house, so we spent two hours at the dog park. Then I indulged in a proper car wash, one where they vacuumn your car and wash the inside windows and (temporarily at least) spray something inside to keep the beagle farts at bay. I also got an oil change, and was a little shocked when the technician suggested it was time to change some other fluids: power steering, transmission flush, coolant, engine the tune of $300 or so. Uh. Maybe next week.

Sunday means pizza for dinner, although I managed to stop myself with four pieces and instead have salad. Then I shoved a load of laundry in the washer and went for another walk with Kismet. Today really was just about enjoying the blessed sun--and wearing the beagle out. (It worked too...he's been chasing bunnies on the end of my bed for an hour already) I do like Williamsburg, but I like it a hell of a lot better in the spring and summer.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Very Exciting Writing News

Wow, I could get used to this whole paid to write thing!

Several exciting projects on the horizon/happening now/happening soon.

Firstly, I am now the Norfolk Theater Examiner on! I see plays, write reviews about them, offer advice about upcoming plays, bash Ticketmaster whenever I get the chance, and occasionally get paid for my work. Mostly, this site is an opportunity to get my name out there, but also to put a little pressure on me to write every week. I'm supposed to submit 2-3 articles a week...I don't think there is that much theater in this area, but we'll see.

Secondly, a tour that I wrote for Visual Travel Tours about Colonial Williamsburg is now available (sort of)! Visual Travel Tours is a website where one can download pictures and audio onto a mobile phone and walk around while a person in the know (like me) narrates the things you are seeing, the stories behind the visual. You can download the text and photos now, the recorded version is coming soon. I am hoping to write more tours for this company, including a spring tour, focussing on all the plants and baby sheeps in the historical area.

And lastly--for everyone happy that I'm writing but sad that I am not writing theater--Colonial Williamsburg is going to produce a PLAY WHAT I WROTE, opening sometime in July. SQUEE. I wrote this play at the request of my boss after she heard the VP of the historical area say it might be a "good idea" to write a play "with clothes." Two weeks later the rough draft of "Fashion Before Ease" landed on her desk, and after two months in limbo, it got the green light to be included in the evening programs lineup. SQUEE PART DEUX. This show will be opening sometime in July, running one or two nights a week for a couple there is definitely adequate time for everyone to see it...AND I KNOW YOU ALL WANT TO.

Very happy, very excited...and now you must excuse me, I'm off to IHOP for pancakes and working on the Billy Lee Project...we all know the muse needs coffee to keep going.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Blogging from DC

Hello loyal readers. Well, I've made it to Washington DC successfully, even after the Snowmageddon. The streets and sidewalks are mostly clear, but there are huge piles of snow on every street corner. To cross the street, one must stick to the little rat runs--packed down paths of snow a pedestrian wide that cut through these snow piles. This makes it easier and harder to walk around--there is no jaywalking, but on the other hand, the cars are strictly restricted to the open lanes, so you know exactly where they're coming from.

I met my friend Alison here, she came down from New York. We're staying at a Radisson near the is a business oriented hotel, but very nice. Yesterday we spent all day indoors at the Smithsonian--first at the Natural History Museum, then at the American History Museum.

The Natural History Museum was for Alison, who likes dinosaurs. So we waded through all of the children (no doubt made even more crazy by a week's prison sentence) and admired the all the skeletons, sniggered at the dioramas dating from the sixties, and I learned that a brontosaurus was actually a made up animal. The Natural History Museum also had a traveling exhibit called "Written in Bones" which featured forensic science applied to skeletons dug up around the Chesapeake Bay area including--surprize!--Jamestowne. I'm sure Alison appreciated all my whispered asides during the introductory film on how accurate or not all the costumes were.

Then we went out to lunch at the Elephant and the Castle, a British-themed restaurant that wants to be a pub. It succeeds...sort of. Does it have British beer and fish 'n' chips? Sure. But the basketball on the television and the lack of brown sauce on the tables was sort of a downer. Cider was good though.

In the afternoon we visited the American History Museum, which re-opened in 2009 after some extensive remodeling. I'm not entirely sure it's done being remodeled actually, some of the exhibits were incredibly small for the amount of attention they got. Putting Kermit AND the ruby slippers in the same room for example--is that really how it's going to end up? I'm sure not. I was fortunate enough to see one of Martha Washington's day gowns, where I helpfully corrected another visitor's erroneous assumption upon seeing Abigail Adam's dancing shoes: "No, American women never bound their feet...she actually did have feet that small, she was probably only five foot two to five foot five." arg. I also got to see George Washington's uniform. Stepping close to examine the buttonholes, I came to within a foot of his breeches flap, steaming up the glass that separated us. *history geek shiver*

Afterward, still full from our British lunch, we stopped for tea, then headed over to Ford's Theater, where we took in "The Rivals," a show written in 1958, using the transcripts from the Lincoln/Douglas debates, which had happened a hundred years before. It was a fantastic show--if Abraham Lincoln was really as friendly as the man onstage last night, I think I would have liked him. It was also a little eerie. We got the $12 restricted view seats, which happened to be in the balcony, right across from the box where President Lincoln was shot. At the end of the show, as a recording of Lincoln's plea for unity and common sense played, they brought the lights up in the box. It was just about 10:30, right when Booth had shot Lincoln, leapt the twelve feet down to stage (no wonder he broke his leg) and made his escape. Almost saw the elephant then, only the cluster of source-fours prevented total immersion.

Then home. We stopped for Chinese food and took it up to our room...and now Alison isn't feeling well. Too much walking, not enough humidity in the air, Chinese food at eleven pm, she is happy to stay in bed and sip on ginger ale. I'm heading back out, possibly back to the Written in the Bones exhibit. Although I don't begrudge a day in. At least we have HBO--and I don't have to head out into the wind to take Kizzy for a walk every fifteen minutes. And isn't that was vacation is really all about? Really?

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

hey everyone guess where I'm going!

Nah, it's nothing like what you're thinking...going to a much less historic place, albeit one that has free museums.

Washington DC!

Whoo!! I love traveling so much...