Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy 2008!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't believe that it is 2008-- well, in England, it is.... and an hour ago, I sat watching the fireworks over the Thames, and the Millenium Wheel lit up, and Big Ben.... feeling sad and old, remembering the year I lived there and we welcomed in 1996 at Trafalgar Square. That was such a wonderful time, but this year, there was no-one left there to call.... the people I knew have moved away, or gone back home. :( I just read a book called, "Marley and Me," over Christmas... all about a man's journey with his wonderful Lab, from puppyhood through senior years, and ever since I've been obsessing over how fast time is going, how much I miss the way things used to be and how much the losses over time hurt. I miss London SO much, I miss the friends I had there, I miss my Grandparents, I miss the city I was born in, which is to a great extent unrecognizable, I miss the kids I have taught in the past, I miss my puppy Fluffy, and the kitty I lost just over a year ago. It seems like yesterday she was a kitten, jumping on the furniture... and then I remember the last couple of years where she couldn't even come up the stairs anymore (and I didn't dare carry her up because I was afraid she'd be stuck up there). I cry when I think of her alone on the main floor, when she ALWAYS slept with me as a young kitten. And now I am facing a similar situation with my older cat who's left.... she is now 11, and no longer jumping up on the tops of doors or on top of cabinets like she used to. She is still doing well (jumps on the kitchen island, the dresser, and even into the refrigerator if it's left open long enough), but I keep thinking how fast time goes and how soon she will not be. :(

Mostly, I'm worried about my mom. She has begun talking about not being here again, and the pain is obviously getting worse.... more and more frequently, she is having trouble breathing, too. I can't imagine not being able to pick up the phone and talk to her on the way home from work, or not e-mail her, or not having the little 'care' packages she still sends, or having a place to go 'home' to where she is. She has been the rock that held our family together ever since I was young. I know SHE worries about not being able to take care of herself anymore and what will happen when/if she can't. I can't imagine seeing her in a nursing home. Now, I'm starting to worry about ME growing older... I don't feel young anymore and worry about the future. And every holiday just reminds me more of all of the above. The future doesn't seem to be good anymore.

Anyway, enough drowning in being maudlin. I will write more about Christmas tomorrow.

Meanwhile, may everyone have a joyous, happy and healthy New Year!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

What a couple of weeks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, I haven't been around because last week was tech week. Which means that we were at rehearsal every night from Sunday on. Friday was our first performance, Saturday two performances and then Sunday night. Sunday morning I slept until 10 (I haven't done that in YEARS, if EVER!!!!! I was shocked when I woke up and looked at the clock). Boy, was it incredibly nice to do that!!!!

Friday night we went out after the show to a little pub around the corner from the theatre-- I KNEW better than to eat anything at that time of night, but I did-- it was really good, too-- steak strips that had been marinated. They could have been cooked a little bit more (I do NOT like blood in my meat!), but they tasted really good. My stomach didn't appreciate it the next morning, though! Then on Saturday, S. took us to an amazing deli between shows. We'll be going back next Saturday between shows, too!

And, we didn't get as much from the storm as they said we would-- in fact, all we got was a lot of rain and a LOT of (up to 60mph) wind! Fortunately, no loss of power, and we didn't have to cancel the show. The audiences have loved it and the reviews have been REALLY good, so I am pumped!!!!!!

Yesterday, the people I asked TWO MONTHS AGO to do my roof FINALLY, out of the blue, called me and said, "I want to come out and start your roof today!" Um, it's a little late. I didn't hear from you for two MONTHS. @@ Anyway, I'm more willing to wait a little longer (though I'm finding shingles on the ground that I am SURE are coming from my roof) for someone I trust rather than a company that doesn't even bother to call and confirm, and expects me just to wait for them with no information for two months.

Today, we took the kids to see "The Christmas Carol." One of the kindergartners had a seizure just before the show started. She is stable and will be ok, but we were all shook up, especially the kids. So, an interesting day!!! One more day and then I get some time to maybe get some Christmas shopping done! Performances this weekend and then leaving for home, so I have to make sure everything's packed and ready before I leave for the theatre on Sunday. I am SO ready for a break!!!!! I'm even (sort of) looking forward to the show being over-- it has been heaven to be able to just come home tonight and relax a little bit.

Strangest thing happened last Friday, though... didn't have time to come home, so I stopped at a fast food place to get something to eat on the way to the theatre. A guy I've never met comes up, asks what I'm reading, tells me his name and asks me if I want to go out sometime for dinner! He gave me his phone number and said to call him. I won't, because I have no idea who this guy is, but, it was flattering. :)

And, now, I am going to get another 7 hour night of sleep! YAY! I know I have to get the house cleaned up before I leave, because I HATE, hate, HATE to come home to a dirty house... but, tonight-- SLEEP! :)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Chanukah Sameach!!!!

May everyone who celebrates have a lovely, brightly lit holiday!!! My friend and I went to her Temple's Chanukah celebration last night. It was a BLAST!!!!! There were SO many kids-- and I mean YOUNG kids there!! They had a little 'volleyball' area set up with some great little 'beach' balls for the kids to hit back and forth, they had a crafts table, and best of all, great food!!! Latkes and kugel! YUM!!!!!!!!!!! It was great. There was a wonderful DJ there, too. He played some GREAT music (60s and 70s for us 'old folks' I guess! LOL!) and he got the kids, especially, but some of us 'big kids,' too, involved in dancing. He taught them the macarena, they did the limbo, the Electric Slide and we did the YMCA. It was a great, fun time!! They lit the Chanukah candles, and P. and I left a little early-- the kids were still dancing!! Mazel tov to all who worked so hard to make that wonderful night happen for the kids.

Today I went to DC and had my headshots done again. The guy who did them is great. He is funny (just SILLY funny) and is able to really relax you. The woman who did make-up (who I think is his wife) is good, too. I got to see a lot of the shots and a cd to bring home to look at to decide which ones I want him to retouch and make masters of. It was most definitely worth it! I can't wait to get them repro'd and sent out! DEFINITELY much better, from what I saw, than either of the other two I have had do them. Expensive, but very reasonable when you're talking about a NY photographer... and actually cheaper than the first guy I had do them a few years ago.

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Rainbow Bridge

Oh, yesterday was NOT a great day! :( We DID get 2 hour delay, which meant I got to sleep an hour late, which was nice. And we had a staff lunch for Christmas, so that was nice, too. It was a great restaurant I'd never been to before. We ate out on the deck (glass windows, which are opened I guess in the summer) with a HUGE gas fire in the middle of the round table where we sat. The food was great!! They had the BEST cheesecake du leche (or something like that) which has caramel in it. OMG, it was GREAT!! And HUGE. We ALL took some home. It's going to make THREE desserts!

Then, we stood around talking for a long time, about nothing- about kids, about football, about whatever. When I finally got down to the parking garage to get to my car, I discovered some MORON parked so closely to my car that he was partially over the line into my space, and I literally could not open the car door enough to get in. I had to climb in from the passenger side. I wanted SO badly to leave a nasty note, but I didn't have any paper, darn it!!

Anyway, the kids were just totally out of control at rehearsal, and that didn't go so well. :( ::SIGH:: I think part of it was that they were just tired... but I was SO glad to get out of there! We're going to have an adults only cast party, that's for sure!!!! And I really DO think, like I said to them, that when it comes to crunch time, the kids will come through. I have been through it a lot with Christmas performances, etc... you think they're not paying attention and/or they're never going to do what needs to be done, but when people are watching them and they know it counts, they come through!

I was really tired-- this has been an extremely stressful week!-- and got a message from L. that her kitty B. had died. I was in tears. He was a sweetie. He was a tortoiseshell and BIG and just LOVED her. He WAS hers, and wouldn't be without her. Not even at the vet. They had to call her and tell her to come pick him up the last time she tried to leave him for tests... he was so upset that the bloodwork would have been useless anyway. He was 18 (I think almost 19), and was diabetic. He'd been on insulin for a while, and seemed to be doing well. He hadn't been feeling well the last few days, so she had taken him to the vet. The vet said he had an infection in his mouth and gave him some medicine. They thought that was the problem and why he hadn't been eating. She was supposed to take him back Thursday if he wasn't doing better. When she got home, he was laying on the bathroom floor, breathing really hard. She took him to give him some more medicine and was about to take him to the emergency vet when she noticed he wasn't breathing-- all within 5 minutes. I think and J. thinks that he was waiting for her to come home.

He's not in pain anymore, at least, and he's with her other baby who died a couple of years ago. We will miss him greatly. I used to take care of him and give him his insulin sometimes when she was out of town. He was a lovely, beautiful furbaby, and a very special one. She is taking it very hard, and I don't know how she's going to handle it. Godspeed, little boy!

P. and I were supposed to go to a Chanukah dinner tomorrow night, but I don't know-- might need to spend some time with her. We'll see how she feels tomorrow. I know the pain she is going through-- I still find myself calling for my Tia, even though she died over a year ago. :*(

So, I'm really down tonight and not feeling like going anywhere, especially since they've called for more bad weather. Think I'm going to try to sleep some, too. Things usually look better (somewhat) after a good sleep and when the sun comes up.

Tomorrow I have to go get my hair done and get ready-- Sunday I'm going to DC to have my headshots done. I'm going to get them done right this time. A great photogropher from NY who periodically comes down to do shoots here. Lucky-- otherwise, it would mean dragging everything I need on the train or the bus or driving in NYC, which I absolutely REFUSE to do. I'm TRYING to look forward to it-- it SHOULD be fun!

And I'm TRYING to feel in the Christmas mood- it's going to be very difficult doing a Christmas show if I'm not-- again, maybe after a good sleep (and after they get my roof started!!!!!), I'll start feeling a bit better.

Meanwhile, my cats are having a LOVELY time knocking the ornaments off the tree!!!!!!!! I haven't put them back on. I just couldn't have dealt with coming back and seeing them all over the floor again right now. But, we did put the non-breakable ornaments (the crocheted or made out of material) on the bottom, so no breakage. That's a good thing, at least!! S. has decided that they must be kitty toys, and I'm finding them upstairs, downstairs, everywhere-- she must be dragging/carrying them around with her, though I never see her do it (she's WAY too smart for that!).

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

We have had our first snow of the season, and it is bloody COLD now!!!!! It was kind of pretty at first, but I do not like to drive in it, and the kids could sense that... one of them even asked me-- I'm thinking maybe her parents don't like to drive in it, either!!

But, the kids, even though they were excited, were really good about it... it was kinda cool! The school decided to close 1/2 hour early. @@ Didn't really matter, though, because half of the parents had already come and picked them up.

No rehearsal, so for once I got to come home, relax, have a fire, and enjoy the Christmas lights. :) AND get some SLEEP!! Although, going to bed early meant I woke up at FOUR thirty Thursday morning. ::SIGH:: I did manage to get a little bit more sleep, but WHY when I go to sleep early, and I'm tired, does my body decide I am only allowed 6 hours?!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

23/365 -- Sean

Sean, S-e-a-n. The necessary first introduction. The Transylvanian Vampire!! Car accident--broken back-- you didn't even know! Letting us park at your house. David's friend, always together. Seeming jokester, but serious underneath. Working hard, supporting yourself and going to school.

22/365 -- David

So tall, so 'tough' looking-- army jackets. Kind and sensitive soul. A teddy bear. So alone, family all gone. Artistic, creative (especially with music). Karate, which I loved-- sparring, which I hated. Rocky Horror-- what a Frank 'n Furter!

21/365 -- Cindy

Horses! Even allergies couldn't stop her. Sultan! Tears when he died. Sneaking out in 8th grade. To the stable! Peter Pan, Rashomon. The only one who truly understood. AMAZING artist. Cindy and David, inseparable... until they weren't. Riff Raff forever!

20/365 -- Jamie

Shy, not much confidence. The prettiest of all of us. Germany, London, Belgium. What a trip!!!!!!!!!!! Running all over London! 4th of July dinner!! 22 hours on a bus without being able to move. Always seeming sad. Kind and generous.

19/365 -- Ashley C.

Shy, quiet, hurt. SO smart! So generous! Wanted only to go on tour with mom and sister. Always felt left out. Who'd have thought she'd be the one to make it big? AMAZING talent!!! Finally, the confidence matches! Go, girl!

18/365 -- Mrs. G

My first boss. The best!!! Managed us high school and college kids like a pro! Nightmare on Elm Street, 'naughty' ice cream cakes decorated in the freezer away from eyes! Equestrienne daughter. Decided to really retire-- end of an era.

17/365 -- Theresa

High school. Good friends! Homeroon-- instant connection, taking the same classes! Babysitting her precious little sister! Her pride and joy! No-one else was good enough!! Junior year-- ignored. New friends, guess I wasn't good enough anymore. Never spoke again.

16/365 -- Melissa

Met through Susan. Didn't like each other at first. Surprise!! First day of high school, the two "F"s next to each other in homeroom!! Best friends!! Basketball team statisticians, travelling, Harry. Never knew her so happy!! Weekend video marathons!

15/365 -- Susan

My best friend from 1st grade on. The few of us with divorced parents stuck together. Taking the Strawberry Shortcut-- spending the afternoons together so we wouldn't be alone. Girl Scouts, catching crawdads. So beautiful-- cheerleader. So hurt, so lonely.