Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Unanticipated..... Grown-up?

Since sometime after our wedding, I have been in a very strange, relatively uncomfortable life place. This place was one in which I did not know what door to open, or through which window to climb. It felt like the walls were closing in, and there were simultaneously no openings at all, and too many to make a choice. But a choice was going to be required, and quickly.

You know that scene when Luke and Leia and Han are trapped in the trash compactor? It felt a lot like that. I was trying to pry the walls apart with a big stick, and, although I have a better grasp on physics than Carrie Fisher, they still kept closing. I was about to get crushed, or pulled under by a giant tentacled thing, and I couldn't imagine R2-D2 on a computer panel somewhere disabling my life path trash compactor. I was freaking out.

So, a couple months ago I had a meeting with a good friend, one of those people with whom I seem to share brainspace, with whom I have worked on a thousand projects, and who understands my mixed metaphors. I asked her to meet with me because I was in this weird life place, and I thought if anyone could help me talk it through and figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up it would be her. We did talk through a lot of stuff, and I realized something in that meeting -- a thing that at the time I thought was a bad thing -- I realized that my life comes in waves, and that I always just ride the wave, landing wherever it drops me, and I live in that place until the next wave comes along to carry me somewhere else. I don't drive my life, it carries me. In that meeting, I thought, "NO! I'm going to drive, darn it! It's time I took control and MADE this darn life go where I want it to go!" I began framing out the life I thought I wanted to live. I began making plans, decisions that would force my life to go forward in the direction of MY choosing, gosh darn it!

And the next wave hit. And it's a big one. The kind that surfers fly halfway around the globe to ride. And it is exciting and terrifying and amazing and frightening and exhilarating and all those -ings all at once. R2-D2 disabled the trash compactor, and my wave has carried me to an amazing shore --think Galapagos Islands and then add unicorns and a couple saber-toothed tigers-- that's how awesome and completely scary this life shore is.

At this point, I'm sure you are all (the 3 of you who actually read this far) wondering what the crap I am talking about. Mixed metaphors aside, I have been given the opportunity to teach theatre at a school that consistently rates among the top high schools in the country, a school in which the arts are valued, where, in fact, they just spent several million dollars on renovations and additions to the arts infrastructure, including improvements to many of the spaces in which I will be working. Walnut Hills  High School has a lovely 1100 seat auditorium, (with full fly space) and a real, functional black box performance space. Today, three full weeks from the start of classes, a representative number of students and parents showed up to help move things around, clean, and sort. This is a school where the students look forward to class, and parents are eager to help where they can. This is a school where my having been a theatre practitioner makes me a valuable member of the team. Officially, I will be teaching Creative Dramatics to 7th and 8th grade students, and Stagecraft to high school students. I will also be directing two of the five fully supported productions, and taking on some portion of the Technical Director duties, and, I'm sure, many of the costumer duties, too.

I am unbelievably excited. It hasn't quite sunk in yet that I really have this amazing job. They gave me keys today (I have a classroom!), so it is starting to get real, but it hasn't made it all the way past the "I'm helping my friend set up his theatre department" to the "I'm helping my friend set up OUR theatre department"  This is an opportunity to do all those tech-y things that I love to do, and impart some of the actor-y stuff that I know, too.

I love being a teacher. I love the smell of sawdust and scenic paint. I love that I already have a bruise on the back of my hand from dropping a platform on myself. I love that I am irritated by all the cables that have been improperly coiled, because that is going to be lesson #1 when my class moves onstage, and will take all of at least one class period to set to rights. I love that in this process I'm finally going to have to put on my big girl panties and learn how to do a light plot. I love that this job, more than any other I've had, is going to keep me on my toes and require me to keep learning something new every day, and force me to remember things that I forgot ten minutes after Tom Monaco said them fifteen years ago.

I am terrified that I'll screw this up, but I'm going to take a great big breath, dust off my Backstage Handbook and read it cover to cover, enlist the help of all the real teachers I know to write a syllabus, gather my badge and my keys and dive in. This wave is gonna roll for a while. Thanks, R2-D2.

I am the Unanticipated Teacher!

Here we go...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Offbeat Bride

If any of you are unfamiliar with this website, check it out: http://offbeatbride.com/. Even if you are not planning a wedding, it is great fun. I have visited almost daily to read the articles and check out what they call "wedding porn"--pictures of all kinds of stuff, from shoes to veils to cakes to dogs to, of course, dresses and decorations and flowers. There is almost always something that I love, something that makes me laugh, and something to ponder. It's an all-inclusive site, that really suffers no squares--rounded corners seem to be required.

I just applied to become a part of the "Tribe," which is their community of completely un-like-minded thinkers. The application started me thinking about a lot of the stuff that I've planned already for our wedding. And I really, really think that it is going to be an amazing, fun day! The list of stuff I have to do seems only to grow every day, but the closer it gets, the less I stress about it. What gets done, gets done, and what doesn't, well, between the crazy pinwheels to Extreme Bocce, to what will surely be some epic Scrabble playing, our wedding is going to be hilarious. I can't wait.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

9 months... and counting...

I have several "wedding planning checklists" that arrive in my email inbox every month, and they are demanding little things! Apparently, in the timeline of wedding arrangements, I have a LOT to do this month. But, the things I "have to get done" are mostly things that I have already considered, and have decided that they are either not worth dealing with until the winter freeze sets in and I have to stay indoors, or things that I'm not interested in at all.

With so many of our outdoor household projects needing attention before next spring, I am in a frenzy of digging, and rock moving, and building repair, and all kinds of other jobs that occupy the majority of my available daylight hours. I must admit, though, that having so many of these projects underway has calmed me down a bit. Each individual job is taking a bit longer than I had at first anticipated, but the fact that each is begun makes me more confident in the completion of all the necessary tasks.

I have realized the house might not get painted before the wedding, I won't have time to build the chicken coop, the outbuildings probably will not get their lovely windows and trim, which means no window boxes with flowers, and the vegetable garden may have to wait ANOTHER year.  But we have a lovely, large patio, the step out of the mudroom will be replaced with something much more sturdy, and the deck surround is shaping up to be very nice. I have made some planting decisions that just require execution before the first frost, and some of those I may relegate to FP --particularly the seeding of the lawn. I will dig rocks. He can run the seed broadcaster thingy.

I do suppose that I cannot continue to put off the dress shopping thing that I am so dreading, and some of my Bridesfolks are making sure I don't forget that little detail. The Save-the-Dates have to go out yesterday, but now we have a solid plan and, really, it shouldn't take more than a couple of hours to execute.

The other things on that dreaded 9-months-to-go-list will just have to wait.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Weather Wary

It is hot today. I mean it is really, REALLY hot. As you know from my grumpy previous post this week, I have a retaining wall to put in, but it's just too darn hot to be out there digging and moving rocks today. It really was on my agenda for this afternoon, but sometimes weather is uncooperative.

This put me in a weather wary mood. According to the Old Farmers Almanac, "April and May will be cooler and rainier than normal, on average. Summer will be cooler and drier than normal, with the hottest periods in early to mid-June and early July." Um... So, I should plan for a cool, wet day for our early June nuptuals? Or is it a hot, dry day? We are planning to host this shin-dig outside. We have a plan for several small-ish tents scattered about the yard, and, of course, I would prefer they be used for shade than for rain shelter, but there is no way to accurately predict what the weather will do. This is distressing, but I'm actually not stressing about it..

Here is a quirk of mine: if I think I can control something, I MUST be in control of it. If I know I cannot control a thing, I am largely unphased by it. It is part of my contrary nature, I suppose. Weather is something to be planned for, but not to stress about.

My dad is a weather watcher. He knows what the weather is in any place where he knows someone. My grandmother is near Tampa, therefore, he keeps an eye on the Gulf Coast. My youngest sister is in Orlando, so he is sure of what is precipitating over Mickey Mouse. My eldest sister is in Cleveland, so Dad watches that lake effect snow come in. Dad is as good as a meteorologist --better, if, like me, you don't care what is happening in the rest of the tristate area.

I am unlike him. I have no idea what the weather will be. If it is sunny when I leave my house, I wear sandals, but I always keep an umbrella in my car in case it begins to rain. See? It's something to be planned for, but not stressed over. It is too hot today to work, but eventually it will cool down enough for me to do what needs to be done. FP might grumble because the patio is completely covered in flagstones for a few extra days, but it will get done when the clouds are favourable.

And if it rains on our wedding day? We strip down to our underwear and get hitched anyway.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

...off again....

It really was not intentional that this just happens to be the next post, but I'm over it again. I have too many other things that I'd rather be doing, my yard looks like crap, and there is no way in hell I am going to be able to get it ready to host a huge party in 276 days. What there is of landscaping looks like crap, and the stupid dogs keep digging up the ONE garden bed that actually looks like something. The front lawn needs seeded and then watered twice a day for the next three months, but it needs leveled first, and that requires buying, spreading, and leveling several cubic yards of dirt. But-- I have to put in the retaining wall first, which requres digging, leveling, and building a FREAKING RETAINING WALL!
Screw it. I'm taking my ball and going home.

Friday, August 19, 2011

...on again...

I have a love-hate relationship with my wedding. It is one of those high school on-again, off-again relationships that makes everyone one the outside roll their eyes and say, "Here we go again."

Lately, we have been in the on-again phase-- holding hands and making google eyes at each other.  The caterer is booked, the favors are purchased and only require a little amendment, some decisions about decor have been made, and are we looking for bands again. These are all good things.

Our wedding is gonna be the coolest, funnest, most original, geeky, and eclectic day ever. :-)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Happy Post--just to shake things up.

I have noticed that there is always an edge of the grump to my posts, so I thought I'd just change things up a bit and mention that my life really is fantastic, and a lot of that is due to my relationship with FP.

He makes me happy. Even when he is driving me absolutely bonkers, I love him best of all things in the world. I love him more than ice cream. I love him more than cookies. I love him more than Pepsi in a glass bottle with real sugar! If I had to choose between keeping FP and never having a Chipotle burrito ever again, I'd cry, but I'd still pick FP every time. If I were to be sent to a desert island and had to chose between the Oxford English Dictionary and FP. I'd take FP. He knows lots of words that I don't, so I'd gladly give up the OED in order to keep him. Plus, he'd find a way to make music, and that'd be nice on a desert island.

I know that I drive him almost as crazy as he drives me, but I also know that he'd pick me out of all other worldly possessions to take to that desert island. He thinks that I am smart and talented, and even when I doubt myself, he has confidence in my abilities, and loves me enough to call me on my shortcomings. I love that about him, too, even when it makes me mad.

FP has improved my life in ways that I haven't found words to quantify yet. No matter how frustrated I am with the planning of the event, I find that every day, I am still excited to marry him. We are going to have a hilarious, crazy, grumpy, curmudgeonly life together til the day one of us smothers the other with a pillow.

Which, of course, will be because we love each other enough to do that, too.