Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ahhh Showbiz!

I took Miss O to see a production of Once Upon A Mattress at my alma mater tonight. I had been consulting on the sound and the two kids running it did a fine job. I was free to snap some long range photos from the balcony and laugh along with my girl.

It takes me back to the days when my parents would take me to a show now and then. It's fun to see the same spark ignite in my daughter. She's been a drama queen from the get go and there's been no doubt for years now that she would someday tread the boards. Even if it's only a high school drama in a small town, what an experience! My time on the stage completely blew away any athletic victory, any other experience at all really.

I was thinking during my last production about how I'm going to handle being a stage parent. I've seen the crazies. I've seen the hoards that just drop their kids off and split. I expect I'll be mixing or at least consulting by the time she gets a role, likely strapping on the ol' tool belt as well. Likely I'll just have to play it real low key and steal a glance now and then. It's alright though. I've made my living wearing the blacks and attempting to be invisible.

I'm so glad my family is creative. How much better it is to be a part of the entertainment than to just be in front of it.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Quote Of The Day - Monkey

Last night the whole family was together for longer than thirty minutes for the first time in about a month. We all sat in a pile on the pull out sofa and watched a movie. Afterward I was reading books to the kids while simultaneously playing It's Not A Monkey It's An Ape. For those of you who don't know about The Wizzard of Has it's the latest Veggie Tales send up. The Silly Song in the middle revolves around the lines:

If it doesn't have a tail it's not a monkey,
Even if it has a monkey kind of shape.
If it doesn't have a tail it's not a monkey,
If it doesn't have a tail it's not a monkey it's an ape.

The characters then proceed to apply this to all sorts of things that are not remotely simian in nature.

Miss O and I were going around the room and lighted upon the TV.

The Mister: Does the TV have a tail?
Miss O: Nope
The Missus: Then it's an ape.
Miss O: No! Wait! It does have a tail!
The Missus: Then it's a monkey.
Miss O: It has a lot of tails. It's a spider.

We laughed for like five minutes after that. The look of satisfaction on Miss O's face at having been a part of such a comedic masterpiece was priceless. Hope you got a chuckle out of it too.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Still Alive

I figure I had better get a post up so people don't think I fell off the world. Now that I'm finished with two weeks of theater production I'm down to just working extra hours at the hospital to finish up the big remodel. The Department of Health comes on Friday to sign off on it and it's got to be done.

After putting up with seeing me only in sporadic half hour bursts or sometimes not at all during the show, the Short People are pretty glad to see me. Except that little H-Bomb just says he misses me and then goes right back to only having eyes for The Missus. He's doing that thing where little kids realize there's about to be another baby in the house and they get extra clingy with Mommy.

J-Man is pretty glad to have me around because that means that my iPod Touch is around too and he can play the drawing game and the bwocks (blocks) game and the rowing (rolling) game. He also has lots of stuff to tell me about everything. So much so that it's hard to get a word in edgewise.

And Miss O is still dealing with the trauma mosly by being catty but she and I have gotten in some good laughs too. She's developing quite the sense of humor and is starting to understand that it's OK when grown-ups laugh at things she says. Tonight I was reading to her from Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates and I burped at the end of a sentence. "Is THAT what it SAYS?" We had a good guffaw.

And The Missus. My poor, tired, climbed-upon-by-short-people Missus. Somehow she's holding up. When day after day I'm at work longer than I want to be and day after day I don't have much energy to help around the house. The end is in sight though. Tomorrow I'm finally getting by CPAP machine and expect to get my first good nights sleep in a decade just in time for the last day of the project. Between that and no more overtime for a while I hope to start making her a happy girl again.

And that's all I have time for now because the O² system is leaking again and the pressure test has to be done before tomorrow. Looks like another late night at the hospital.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Off The Radar

I've been a little busy lately and haven't made it to the keyboard. I was going to write about it this morning but I don't have any time. Turns out The Missus wrote about it last night, so check out her blog.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Quote Of The Day - Nerbs

Tonight at dinner J-Man was saying over and over again that The Missus was getting on his last nerve. Not that she was doing anything in particular to him. In fact I think at the time she was trying to persuade little H-Bomb to eat something.

It came up again at bed time. Beloved blanket was missing and he had no idea where the darn thing was, as usual. "Just wook awl over da howse" After three complete circuits I finally found the old thing tucked safely away in his back pack, under several thousand plastic vegetables, and the whole mess stuffed under a chair in the living room. Of course, should have looked there first.

As I made my way back to a sleepy-eyed little super hero and handed him his blanket he blinked at me with heavy lids and told me...

"You're getting on my last nerb."

"Your last nerb?"

"Yeah. Cause I got nerbs."

... and he was out.


Monday, February 9, 2009

Wonder Kid

This one isn't about my kids. Although some totally hilarious stuff happened at dinner involving me telling a spooky story with a surprise ending that makes them all scream and laugh.

This one is about a kid in the show I'm on this month. There's this girl who occasionally gets a supporting role but is most often in the chorus. No lines, just singing and dancing. She's a frickin power house though. A triple threat who steals every single scene she's in. Her mother told me she doesn't care about sports, she just keeps hitting the auditions.

Now there's that thing about teenage girls these days that makes them seem to look older than they really are. Hormones in the chicken or something. So she looks like she could probably pass for about twenty-two, which to my mind would mean that she's probably about seventeen. It made me a little sad to think that pretty soon she'd be going off to college and dazzling audiences elsewhere. But no matter. Best of luck, hope to see you on TV some day so I can nudge my daughter and say, "Remember her?"

Turns out she's a good deal younger than I thought. She's ELEVEN!!! Yeah, sixth grade. So not only has she been tearing it up for years already, I've got at least five more years of productions with her. And, not insignificantly, five more years of shows to take my drama queen daughter to so she can see how the shit is done!

So, in a world full of lazy, overweight, video game addict slugs, my hat is off to the kid who's out there hoofin' it every chance she gets.


Sunday, February 8, 2009

No Bo Kleedex

My poor family is knocking at Death's door this week. The Short People have contracted the walking mumbly-fuzz that's going around and it looks like The Missus is succumbing as well. Two of them are on antibiotics and all the juice and Saltines in the world aren't going to cure the case of cabin fever that they've all got.

Little H-Bomb has got it the worst. The poor kid just isn't getting any better. So much the worse for The Missus as he just can't seem to get along without maintaining physical contact with her. If she's sitting down he's scrambling, mountain goat style, all over her pregnant belly. It's tough to keep a good kid down. He really wants to feel better and keeps trying to horse around. It only takes about thirty seconds worth before he's reduced to tears, either by his condition or by his siblings.

The worst part of it is that I'm on a show not only this week, which is the usual miserable sentence for my family, but next week as well. It's a big financial shot in the arm to catch a two week run, but I'm already pretty much maxed out. There's likely enough coffee and Mountain Dew in the tri-county area to get me through, but the psychological trauma to the Short Folk is almost too much to bear.

If you're the prayin' sort, send up a quick one for my peeps this week. They need it and there's no other support that's going to get us all through this week. Hope you and yours are doing better than my crew is this week. Soon enough it will all be just a memory. This too shall pass. We press on.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Words On My Mind

I haven't been writing as much because I'm on a show this week. As usual, in between fixing minor catastrophes and mixing the show my head is pretty full. Despite this though I'm always amazed at the ability of a show to draw me in.

There's already quite a bit of suspension of disbelief that goes on when you go to see a show in person. There are no special effects, no camera tricks, just people on stage. And yet your mind will allow itself to be suckered in and get totally absorbed in the story. Even in my position at the sound board, knowing full well what a potemkin village we have contrived, I get sucked in. The fact that the office is cardboard and the furniture is from Wal-Mart slides by me.

A cool thing that happens at the end of Act II is that one of the characters does a solo that recaps the whole play up to that point. (It's The Producers, the scene where Max is in jail) In about thirty-two bars he covers two hours of material and somehow your brain fills in the rest. It's just unbelievable, the power of the human mind and the glorious ability of playwrights and authors to tap into it for our entertainment.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

I'm Off

I think I may be overdoing it. Between work and the show I'm not spending any significant time at home this week. While I've been balancing work and shows for a long time, I may need to take into account the fact that I'm not in my twenties any more and doing things like working 32 hours out of 36 on 4 hours sleep aren't as easily accomplished as they used to be.

It's time to pay the piper. The piper came to collect this morning, but apparently he left his pipes in the car and tiptoed in so as not to disturb the royal slumber. I woke up two and a half hours late for work and had to take the day off. That is because by my understanding of the arcane and convoluted employee handbook it was the only way to avoid the brig. Or possibly being publicly hanged.

So now I'm home with my sick family and loving it. The Short People are all too miserable to antagonize each other very much. We all spent the morning in a pile on the couch watching PBS Kids. They all just slept for and hour and I've been sitting very still trying to identify the sound I was hearing. Turns out it was silence. I had forgotten.

They're showing signs of stirrring so it looks like it's back to the couch for another round of pink antibiotics and children's programming. Heck yeah!


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Quote Of The Day - Hitting

Heard around the Dayton home whilst attempting to bash a particularly tenacious piƱata:

The Mister: OK H-Bomb, it's Miss O's turn now.
The Mister: No No No! It's her turn to swing not to get hit!

Yeah, he's tricky that one.