Let's be clear...

.....I live at the tab labeled "A"......and "B" is the school with the first Chicago-land reported swine flu is located. I'm not afraid...not afraid at all....
::starts VIGOROUSLY scrubbing her hands::


How do we build a future from a present we didn't expect?

Last night, I attended an "open rehearsal" for New Leaf's new show, The Long Count. It was great - just a handful of us, plus the cast and a few of the New Leaf artists. First off, the Curator of the event, Marsha Harmon, spoke a little about the process so far, how the company had been writing and collaborating for awhile, then they cast the piece, etc etc. She also went through the structure for the night - they were going to warm up a little with a Viewpoints exercise, then work on one piece from the show, take a break, work on another piece, then questions (if you had them), and then close out the rehearsal.
First off, Jessica Hutchinson led the cast in a quick Viewpoints exercise. Now, lots of people have opinions on Viewpoints - whether it actually helps or not, etc... In this case, however, I think it was an invaluable exercise. Mostly, because of the style of the piece they were doing - the show is completely dependent about group dynamics, with movement, etc. And it was wonderful to watch a group of performers come together an work so cohesively - it set a great stage for the rest of the rehearsal.

Jessica then led the cast through a particular scene that they needed to work on - they ran the scene once with lights and sound - then they talked as a team and discussed new ideas, and new methods to achieve the look and feel they were hoping for. Then they ran it again, with the new ideas in place, and every one ended it with a nod of the head indicating "yeah, that feels so much better...".... I found I was nodding along with them, as both an observer and a participant.

We took a break (when the stage manager Rebecca said "Let's say 11 minutes then", all the folks watching said "thank you 11"...brilliant...)

Then after the break, Kyra led them through another scene to be worked. Again - ran the scene once with lights and sound, then talked about ideas to tighten up, etc etc, then a couple of trial runs to see if the ideas worked, then running the scene again.

When it was done, Marsha invited all of us to come together in the center, we made a circle with our arms aournd each other, Marsha took a moment gave some words of thanks, then we all took a deep breath in together, and then let it out together, cast & audience TOGETHER. Wonderful.

(And then we went to Stanley's and drank beers. )



In celebration of Earth Day yesterday, Sara and I went to see "Earth", the new Disney - Nature movie. It's sort of a kiddie version of the BBC "Planet Earth" series, if you will. The Planet Earth folks were involved (and if you're a fan of the series, there are a couple of filmed scenes that will look a little familiar). Most interesting to me were some of the time-lapse photography of how rain affects a dessert delta, or how the ice melts over a season. The animal stuff is great (particularly the footage of the humpback whales --- there was a preview on the film of the next Disney-Nature film for next year's earth day - a similar movie called "Oceans", and the whales figure greatly - very excited for that one), but some of the animal footage is similar to stuff I've seen before - the nature stuff was better, in my opinion.

Warning - even though there is a "G" rating attached, there are some definite "circle of life" moments, if you will.... so it might be scary to the youngest kids, so be aware.

Overall, I thought it was great. It merely scratches the surface in some areas, but it was still beautiful to watch. Plus, it's narrated by Darth Vader/Mufasa/God/Terrence Mann, so how can it be bad?


long in the tooth

Man - that last entry was long!

Well, Once I started, I wanted to be sure to say something complete about everyone - make sure it was all even and fair and such.

So, root canal happened - and overall it wasn't too bad. I was a little sore and throbby on Friday once all the drugs wore off overnight, but it passed by quickly - the only thing that was consistently sore was my jaw from the entry points of the anasthesia, not much else.

I'm glad I am a know-it-all who has to go online and see how something works before I try it. So, I already knew exactly what was going to happen to me. The process is still really WEIRD (the actual retrieval of your root - very sci-fi), but it didn't really freak me out. However, I can see how people who have no idea what is about to happen can freak out. Seriously, the process is totally sci-fi.

Anyway - my tooth feels great (for now) and I can chew on that side again, which rocks. I'm still taking it easy because I don't want to lose the temp filler thats in there, plus without the roots the tooth is technically dead, so its a little more fragile with chewing. When this is all over, I will most likely bite the bullet and get a crown - its a lot of money, but I'm more likely to keep the tooth if its protected correctly.

Now I need to move to the other side of my mouth and get another tooth removed.

(Can you tell I recently came to that "Why do I pay all this $$$ in dental insurance if I'm not using it?" epiphany?)

Then after that, I want to get on cavity and filling patrol.

I foresee a few more dental related entries in the future...


People.....people who need......people.....

As I was re-reading my post I just posted, I was looking over my blog layout, and I started thinking about all the people I link to..... ya know..... over THERE..-------->

might as well take them in order, eh?

1. Chris Bohjalian - fantastic author, just discovered his blog and added it a week or 2 ago - I keep forgetting to pop him toward the bottom in the "famous people blog" zone. SO, love his books (yeah, yeah, Midwives was an "Oprah" book - don't let that dissuade you. ) His blog is more topical, though, which I enjoy.

2. Sara - my love & partner in crime. She hasn't updated her blog in FOREVER, but she has to be there or else I'll get in trouble. (in fact, she SHOULD be first, hence the need to pop Bohjalian down a few notches.) Personally, I wish she'd use it to write again. When we first got together, she wrote poems (good ones) and hasn't in a long time. Well, now I've thrown the gauntlet and mayvbe she'll respond. We'll see.

3. Toxic Blog's Bag - written by my pal Joe Griffin, this is his production company. Joe's one of those "all around great guys" everyone should have in their life. But go find your own - you can't have my Joe. His list of talents and accomplishments are many. While lots of folks identify him as "sound guy Joe", he is first and foremost a talented musician. And yeah, he'll design sound for your show or dance program. But he is also a good friend. When I was younger, I always felt smart around some of my social circles, mostly because I was one of the smarter people there. Now - my adult social circles have me with people who are FAR smarter than I, and through I at times feel dumb in their presence, I heartily enjoy the conversation. Joe is one of the smart kids.

4. Brownlee? really, I have to talk about Brownlee?

Brownlee and I used to joke that we had the same brain and it was cleaved in half and seperated into the 2 of us. We usually think the same, and quite often when we're hanging out we'll make the same sarcastic remarks at almost the same time. Creepy, I know. Anyway - he's a funny guy, a good friend, a good writer and a fantastic photographer.

5. Don is the strangest mixture of person out there. He is the most lewd and crude and yet smartest guy I know. My "Bostonian language skills" (read: cussing like a sailor), are supremely attracted to his unique brand of blue humour. On a serious side, he's one of the most passionate artists I know. When he's involved in a project, he attacks it balls out (LITERALLY). I am both grossed out and in love with the guy. I heart Don Hall.

6. Jen Ellison. Dude, the chick makes me laugh. And she's SMRT. And we both like funky socks. And have shameful choices on our respective iPods. What's not to love?

7. Joe Janes is a brilliant comedy writer. We worked together last summer on Metaluna, and will be working together in next month's Throwing Heat at the Atheneum (plug). Another one - funny, smart, talented. He recently changed his regular blog over to a personal challege of "365 sketches". He's going to write and post a comedy sketch/scene every day for a year. He's on day 86 so far, which adds up to being almost a 1/4 done. He's the man.

8. Paul Rekk (AKA Bries Vannon). Bries and I worked on The Crucible back in the fall of '05 I think? It was an artistically awesome production to work on, and Bries was a big part of that. He's a great guy with some very thoughtful theatre discussion on his blog - love him.

9. Rebar - WNEP company member, she was also in Metaluna last summer. Her posts are hilarious, and I love her political points of view. She's a funny gal and I hope she follows through on her latest promise and posts more :)

10. Bob Fisher is a director & writer, founder of The Mammals and company member of WNEP. I've only met Bob twice I think? He was the director of my favorite piece at last summer's Raw series (Boneweaver), and he's directing some friends of mine in next month's Devil's Don't Forget, which I will unfortunately be UNABLE to see (pout). Great blog, cool guy. One of these days we may actually have a conversation :)

11 Dan Granata - thinking about his performance in Touch at New Leaf a couple of months ago STILL makes me misty. (I wrote a little about it here) . He's most well known for 2 things (in my head, at least). He's the boyfriend of my favorite Texan, and he co-founded the Chicagio Theatre Database. He's super smart, and a great guy.

12 Nick Kennan. Funny story, when Nick and I finally met face to face this past winter, the first thing I said to him was "man, I totally thought you were shorter". Am I a dork, or what?

Nick is taking the theatre world by storm, with his amazing sound designs (still can't get over how good Dining Room was...), his great theatre ideas (hence name of blog) and his involvement with the Chicago Theatre Database is awesome. He's a good guy to know - and again, like all the poeple listed above... totally smarter than me.

13. Diffraction - Beth Cummings. Beth is married to Regan Davis, who was in (you guessed it) last summer's Metaluna. She is not only a funny gal, but a talented artist (see items on her website), and she's a GREAT COOK!!!!!!! If you ever get invited to Regan & Beth's for anything, GO for crying out loud.... and bring and empty belly.

14. Rob K - Rob writes about theatre AND old films on his blog, which is great. Rob is one of those great online folks whom I have actually NEVER met face to face. And he's the only guy (other than Tony) who talks football on his blog too, during the appropriate seasons.

15. Bilal... I love that I follow Bilal's website (on old-school LiveJournal, natch), and we follow each other on Twitter (and comment back and forth to each other), and yet, have NEVER met face to face. I feel like it would be a tremendous let down for each of us - I'm not nearly as funny in face-to-face settings - so I think we should keep this relationship online.....FOREVER!!!!!
MUA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!! ok, enough of that.

16. GreyZelda - Rebecca, whom I've never met either, this is her blog for her company GreyZelda Theatre. She actually linked to me FIRST, and I was all a-flutter about it. Rebecca seems VERY cool, and I'm looking forward to meeting her one of these days.

17. Tony Adams - Tony is AD for Halcyon Theatre, and we've worked together (WAY back in the day). He's married to my old college buddy, who is the one who moved to Chicago with me in the first place. We haven't spoken in a long time (my fault - see my post that sheds light HERE), but I REALLY enjoy his blog - he's a smart guy and we used to have some great conversations about THeatre. Plus, he's a fellow Beastie Boys man.... I'll never forget the 2 of us rocking out to the Beastie's at he & Jenn's wedding. Classic.

18 - Chris Jones - Tribune Theatre Critic

19 - Kris Vire - TimeOut Theatre critic - this blog isn't affiliated with TimeOut, and Kris has some great theatre insights and info on his site.

20. My friend Stacy started a blog when she headed to Mongolia for the Peace Corps. You feel lazy now just because of reading that. Yeah, me too.

21. My friend Valerie started a blog to post all her travel pictures (her goal is to be on all continents before 30 - she's almost done). But then she wasn't able to update for awhile. She recently changed it over to be a "one great picture a week" kind of site, and she's doing great so far. She's a great photographer and she has the cutest damn dog.

22. Yeah, so this is Rosie O'Donnell's blog - yeah, so she's a little crazy, big deal. She does great work for the LGBT community, and she's a pretty cool role model. I love her....

23 Wil Wheaton - supergeek. His blog awesome, his twitter updates are great, too. He's developed into a great writer (I own a few of his recent books) and it's great to see a child star doing positive things with their life and not blowing it on Porshes, Red Bulls & drugs.

24. Margaret Cho. No explanation necessary, the woman freaking rocks.


I can't decide if I really do have an upset stomach right now, or if I'm nervous about tomorrow's scheduled part 1 of my ROOT CANAL.

I just took a couple antacids, and they seem to be helping, so we're going with "upset stomach" right now. Don't get me wrong - I'm still nervous about the root canal, but that appears to be a seperate irritation. I keep trying to tell myself that AFTER the root canal my tooth will actually feel better (i.e. I can chew on that side of my mouth again...), but thats hard to remember when the image of what they are going to do keeps going through my head. Best part? (if there actually CAN be a best part) I took the Friday off a while back for a tentative road trip - the road was cancelled unfortunately, but I kept that day off in place when I made the appointment for the Root Canal - I figured an extra day of rest would be great.
And by "extra day of rest", Sara interpreted that as "make appointment for cable guy because Dianna will be home". No worries, I will answer the door and happily say hello with a mouth full of gauze - sometime between the hours of 1-4....



I will ring in my inaugual April post with the following absurdity.

The name applied to the scent of my dish soap is beyond ridiculous.

Seriously, ALPINE PURITY???

I don't even want to BEGIN to know how someone comes up with that name. For reals.