Sunday, June 27, 2010

Things I've learned so far today....

apparently my fax machine has "gone rogue" killing the phone line for a while when it's plugged in.

Also, the printer works better when it's plugged into the USB port. (the end in the hub was fine, but the other end was "plugged" into the 2nd phone line jack.)


Friday, June 25, 2010

Kinda thought about buying this today...

To wear to a wedding in Illinois. But I decided I don't need that kind of attention, hilarious as it might be.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

I guess it was "Movies that start with 'P'" night.

First, The Professionals bunch of dudes needed to make a boat payment or something. Not bad, final lines kinda saved it. but not up to expectations with the names involved.

Next was, Posse which, what the HELL, Kirk Douglas? Was there a point to this other than you felt like eating some scenery and setting a train on fire? and Bruce Dern as a gang leader? really? and like I needed a bad movie to tell me about how people that run for Senate are crapweasels. There could have been so much more to this thing, I kept waiting for some clever plot twist, but instead I got a very contrived hostage situation. OTOH, I kept reminding myself it was made in 1975, nuff said.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

ha ha, no, I haven't been running...

I just haven't quite figured out the new layout at and it's getting too hot for my phone to be happy so I've been entering things manually. (really, the maps my phone makes lately are entertaining... there must be many worm holes along my walking path because there are gaps and it's shorting me on mileage)


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I'll at least blog it so as not to let RTO down...

Figured out this morning that my anti-depressants would probably work better if they weren't hiding under the sink.

I'm guessing I've been forgetting my morning pill for about two weeks now at least. The weird dreams really should have been a tip off. and they kinda were, I mean, I mentioned it to a couple people that I usually have those kinds of dreams when changing dosage. but for whatever reason I didn't figure it out til this morning. So I feel better already knowing that it wasn't that my drugs were starting to not work.

Seriously, yesterday I was ready to quit my job and never leave my house again once this weekend's run of shows was over. I've been sleeping a lot more (like all day yesterday), but not so well either. Been waking up about 4 a.m. for an hour or two for the last week.

Anyhoo, hoping I return to "normal" soon.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

I had no idea this had happened...

just watch yourselves at the airport.


Wednesday, June 09, 2010

since it involved a fmaily thing...

my dream from today....

We (me, mom, lola, dad) were taking Grandma Z to her house after she'd been gone a month or two and we get there and it's full of college kids on spring break or something. So I'm trying to kick them out and a couple of them throw a fit and say they're going to sue. whatevs. Then grandma has everything kind of sorted in her house so we can take what she's getting rid of. I ask if I can please, please have all her records. so then we're loading everything in this really old looking truck. (with wooden slats for the bed) and we're driving through a lot of abandoned towns. some of them had huge brick buildings, but there aren't any people there anymore. and then at one point we realize that someone is following us to take our stuff. we stop and spend the night at an aunt's house and make some crafty things. I made a wooden helicopter/plane looking thing and (I think it was supposed to be Carol) made a little wooden figure of me wearing a kimono, but I wasn't allowed to see the front of it, cause she didn't finish it before we left. Anyhoo, eventually got "home" and trying to find a place to stash the truck so these people couldn't take it. and then they did and a group of us (don't remember anyone specific now) decided to go to a local basketball game and go out on the court with axes to try to get our stuff back. Didn't hurt anyone or anything, just wanted to look menacing if we needed to.

towards the end, it was a song we were having a dispute about. I guess we had proof we'd written it, but the others wanted it so they could claim credit. There was also a huge bridge at some point. One of those arched ones that you don't see where it ends till you get to the top, except the bottom of it was underwater so we decided to wait til the tide went out to move on.

Also had a dream where I was sooooo angry at RTO because he recorded over all my stuff on the DVR to record stupid HD shows about snakes and silly youtube videos. I mean, I could barely speak I was so angry. funny.


Tuesday, June 08, 2010

still reading a lot....

read From Baghdad, with Love (oh, there's a follow up!) and started Show Boat. just can't care about much else lately.


Sunday, June 06, 2010

ha ha, no, I'm old....


A Rodgers and Hammerstein Review
Mesquite Community Theatre
Through June 19, 2010

Directed/ Music Directed/Keyboards by Byron Holder
Choreography by Mallory Brophy
Assistant Directed by Abel Casillas
Stage Manager/Lighting Operator by Emery Lancaster
Set design by Richard Brown, Abel Casillas, and Byron Holder
Lighting design by Nikki Smith
Costume Design by Suzanne Cranford
Keyboards by Laura Maxwell
Bass Steve Cullen


Jack Agnew
Jennifer White
Ryan Hinojosa
Emily Hawkins
Mallory Brophy

Reviewed 6/4/2010 performance.

Reviewed by Ray Gestaut, Associate Theatre Critic for
John Garcia's THE COLUMN

______________________A GRAND NIGHT FOR SINGING_____________________

Reviewed by Ray Gestaut, Associate Theatre Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN

"You may not be able to have a career in show business, but you can have a life in the art."

-Bill Hickey, A great American acting guru, to our class circa 1982.

I love opening nights as a critic. Especially if there's one or two other critics there. You can spot us as we sit, our rattle-tails pointing straight up. We rest our triangular heads on the topmost coil-our slit-pupil eyes unblinking.

Our forked tongues out, flipping up and down to detect even the slightest changes. Yesss. The Mesquite Community Theatre's A Grand Night For Singing is a mussssical review of Rodgers and Hammerstein's hitsss.

These people have a lotta nerve inviting a diamondback theatre expert like me to their community theatre production. Cheeky rascals. Hsss.

Cheeky, cheeky rasscals. Probly deserve a good snakebite right in the …Oh…here's the curtain.

Well, nice set. A curved stairway with 13 white steps. Black curtains on each side with silver design. A weird unlit disco ball hanging over center stage. Good production values overall. Better than I expected. I've seen worse at pro companies Hsss.

Down the stairs come five singers- three ladies and two gentleman in formal evening wear-gowns and tuxedos. Ok-let's see if I can describe this clearly- the audience is on two sides of the stage like from third base to home plate, and from home plate to first base- forming an "L" shape facing the stage. The band is tucked back at home plate, and the singers fill out the outfield (the stage)- the big staircase being right in center field only on a smaller scale.

Now these five singers begin a series of songs. Not medleys. Each song
is given full study and full measure as written. Shifting easily between harmonic cast numbers (quintets), quartets, trios, duos, and solos. There is no book, only music, one song after another. They perform with "ama"- love and soul.

Sometimes even bringing themselves and us to tears (well, it would if I had eyelids) with the stunning grace and simplicity of these beautiful old numbers. Their harmonies are amazing, and the solos are doled out effectively by director, Byron Holder. The pace is good with each new song set to go as the previous song's applause dies down. Now you all know the words "The corn is as high as an elephants eye", but when was the last time you listened to the whole thing, uninterrupted? The part about the "beautiful music the whole world makes" ? It's really gorgeous.

It's this treatment of the songs in their entirety which displays not only their complexities but also their deceptive difficulties. (If you ever hafta dance during one of these, you better know a little about breath control.) Not to mention that the hardest high note may not be the climax, and the low notes can catch you by surprise, too!

To shine each song up and put it on a pedestal creates a rather large theatrical experience, not only in terms of the majesty of the music, but the tunes also tap into our pastoral vision of ourselves and our country. That grandpa romanced grandma in a surrey with a fringe on top. That somewhere out there the corn really IS as high as an elephant's eye. That some enchanted evening you may meet a stranger across a crowded room. And somehow you'll know. You'll know even then. See?- The stuff is important. It builds up the heart as well as the imagination.

Livesss. Yesss. In the art. Hssss.

But I'm not gonna write a thesis on Rodgers and Hammerstein here.

The direction handled well by Byron Holder is complex. You cast what you're gonna need.

You hafta match the piece with your available voices, decide who's gonna sing what song, assign harmony parts-which if done right can make five singers sound like a choir, and this cast sometimes does, (when everybody `finds the room`-by that I mean making all the sounds have the same value and be heard equally, including the band instruments).

Then you hafta block the scenes, and get people up and down 13 stairs in high heels and long evening dresses without killing themselves.

Then there's the dance steps and band arrangement. There's even more, buy you see the kind of work it takes.

Jack Agnew, Jennifer White, Ryan Hinojosa, Emily Hawkins and Mallory Brophy all execute well. Emily and Mallory are high school kids.

Wow. Emily is a belt singer already, and Mallory has almost a `Betty Boop' quality. And she dances! Plus she did the choreography! There's some ballroom dancing in the show, but mostly it's easy box step type shuffles. Hawkins and Brophy aren't quite ready to make it all look easy, cuz it's not, but they're ready to make it look like they love performing. And that's contagious.

Jennifer White is not old by any means, but comes off a bit matronly next to these two. I liked that. It gave the cast texture. A finesse singer.

Jack Agnew is a confident tenor of some experience. Another belt to the back the row. Careful, though -too much volume can put you off the center of the note! Emily, too.

Ryan Hinojosa knows how to catch an audience by the heart. Director, Byron Holder wisely lets Ryan reveal himself as a gay over-the-top twinkle-bunny hysterically jumping around like a nut while trying to
`lead' ("Me, Lead? How novel!") his dance partner, yet two songs later
can be sitting on the steps as sad as a gypsy serenading the moon.

Then the next song he's all butched up again. He has a lot of swing in his stage personality with a great emotional rage. But we love him as a person- and that's a quality you can't teach, bottle, or tattoo on.

The show isn't perfect. Hsss. The main difference between cast members
is volume. Power, pipes. Now, the loudest isn't always the best- and neither is the softest.

It's a matter of accommodating the requirements of the moment, and a matter of understanding your space. Your acoustics.

What the room does to you and for you. Volume placement & arrangement
of the band and vocals per each moment's needs. This is very tough.

But when the room was in balance with the often OVERPOWERING PIANO, and singers finally all matching in strength-those were the shining moments of the show. When the room evened out, that's when the melody and harmonics came clear.

A last quick note to MCT- lose the dopey disco ball. It doesn't even light up! A disco ball promises disco music, so lose it.

Any time you go to a community theatre you have a chance to be blown away. You've got talented kids finding their lives in the art before going pro, and you've got amazing talents continuing their lives in art after being a pro.

As a teen I walked into our local community theatre and asked if I could come around and sweep the floors. Guess what? They said yes!

Tix are $20.00 a piece. The theatre offers discounts for children, seniors and students. Grab all the kids who can sit still two hours, and put some culture in their little knuckleheads.

I give this show three and a half raspy shakes of my rattley-tail out of five and that'sss a lot. Hssssss.

Reviewed by Ray Gestaut, Associate Theatre Critic for
John Garcia's THE COLUMN



A Rodgers and Hammerstein Review
Mesquite Community Theatre
Through June 19, 2010

Shows Thursday, Friday & Saturday at 8:00; Sunday at 7:00
Optional food and beverage service one and one-half hours
before show time.

Tickets: $20.00 Friday and Saturday 8PM and Sunday 2:30PM.
Reservations available through the box office at 972-216-8126 or email: reservations at mctweb dot org


Saturday, June 05, 2010

saturday horoscope

I find this really entertaining considering the plans for the day....

The expansion-contraction message of the lingering Jupiter-Saturn opposition builds throughout the day. The paradox of this weekend is that our lives get simultaneously better and worse. Although the fantasy-prone Pisces Moon starts the day with a delicious trine to sweet Venus, she runs into a tough opposition with hard-nosed Saturn later this evening. But just a few hours later, the Moon joins jolly Jupiter, bringing optimism back into the equation.


Thursday, June 03, 2010

so, um, while I'm here

some rambling....

I've been kinda worn out lately. haven't made a complete work week for a few weeks now. I'm hoping it will get better once I get through opening weekend.

Had a great preview audience tonight. Hopefully the rest of the run goes at least as well. and without checking and reprogramming light cues a half hour before the show opens. heh. (at least they weren't painting the set like one show I did a while back)

Reading another book! The Last Watch. It's fluff, but I like it.


I would so get yelled at for this....

Those brooms can't be good for the greens.