Thursday, February 26, 2009

I survived, pretty much.

Well I made it through the day without eating and made it through the scan. They were running late and I didn't get out of there till 5. Then I ate too much at La Margarita and that combined with the stress of the day has left me feeling pretty awful. I am really beat with a stomach ache. But I am glad it is over. Hopefully I will hear the results on Monday.

David and I were beat last night and went to bed early. Jackson wasn't quite asleep and saw that we went to bed. So of course he had to come into our room to weasel his way into our bed. We heard him coming up the hall, hesitate at the door and slowly open it. Then a voice:

JACKSON: Guys, how is your sleep going?
DAVID: Get back in your bed, Jackson.
JACKSON: I was just checking on you...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Scan Hunger

I am not looking forward to tomorrow. I have a PET scan which is tedious. Which means that my diet has been limited to protein since noon today and my dinner of a ham and cheese omelet isn't cutting it. Did you know that nearly all snack food is carbs and/or sugar? Sigh. I am hungry and can't stand to eat anymore eggs and cheese.

Tomorrow my arrival time at the radiology center isn't until 2:15. Table time at 3:30. Scan takes about 40 minutes. So I won't get out of there till 4:30 if they are running on time. And I can't eat til after the scan. I can have water. I do get to have about a half gallon of barium when I arrive at 2:15. Yummy.

All of this in hopes that the scan will find nothing.

Grrr. I get testy when I am hungry. I'm complaining. I'll stop.

Jackson is a funny boy. He was feeling a little needy this afternoon, probably reacting to the fact that I am hungry and cranky. I was sitting on my couch as I often do when I get home from work and instead of coming to sit with me as he usually does, he went and sat on the other couch and wanted me to come sit with him. I told him his spot was right over here waiting for him. He said "No there is room right over here for you." Then he sat there crying a little saying "I want my love. I need my love." I told him "I have it Jackson, it is right over here, come get it." So he did. Came and climbed in my lap to get his love.

Shit, damn, fark, I am hungry. I want a bowl of cereal or a piece of peanut butter toast. I hate PET scan starvation.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

No subject really

Today was kind of a busy day. I went to a baby shower and to a reading from there. The baby shower was nice. No silly games, just good conversation and baby gifts. Just the way I like em.

From there I went to the reading of Hay Fever I mentioned a few weeks ago. I dusted off my British accent after a few years of not using it and I did pretty well. I always get self-conscious about it at first, listening to the way the other people sound, what they are doing. And in this instance we had a bona fide English Actor reading with us; a somewhat well-known lady in Austin Theatre, so I was definitely wanting to get it right. But I shouldn't have worried. I fell back into it quickly and had a really good time. In fact during the break this British actor told me that I had a really good accent and wanted to know where I have worked on it. I wasn't sure what to answer since I haven't trained on accents anywhere, I have just done several shows requiring one and I seem to have an ear for it. But it felt good for her to ask. This is the second time a British actor has given me accent kudos. When I did The Importance of Being Earnest several years ago, Our Lady Bracknell was British and told me that I had the best accent she had ever heard on an American actor. I was blown away by that because I always feel like I am not doing enough, being big enough, that I am too subtle. But with these kudos from people who know it really gives me confidence to be gentle with it, just let it come naturally and not push it to hard. Unless you are reading Monty Python.

David and I went to see Shadow Box last night. My friends in the NxNW Theatre company produced it. I had a few people seem interested in my reaction to a play about terminally ill people and their relationships. But it didn't really affect me in a personal way like you would expect. Mostly because it is kind of old hat to me. I have explored those themes in my own head, in my own family for a year and a half. So seeing them onstage was not traumatic to me. Especially since all they did was explore the issues of dying and living while dying. No one died on stage. There were no children crying for their parents. So it didn't kick my emotional ass. I enjoyed the play.

I know I have more DC blogging to do. And I will get to it soon. Maybe tomorrow. Or maybe not. David and I are going to a program at Wellspring Church, where Jackson goes to school. They are having a celebration of African American History Month in song and will be hosting 4 or 5 different choirs. Since David will be directing Big River this spring/summer we thought that would be a good opportunity to scope out some singers and invite them to auditions. Plus I hope to hear some good music.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Things from the Smithsonian and stuff

We went through nearly every exhibit in the American History Museum. Here are some highlights and pics.

I think my feet are the same size as Judy Garland's cause the ruby slippers would totally fit me. They wouldn't take them out of the case for me to try them on though. Sunsabitches.

I would also like to wear Grace Coolidge's flapper gown. Grace was apparently a cool lady and very fashinable. I for one would love to see Michelle Obama wear something like this to a State Dinner. That would rock!

I admit being fascinated with historical clothing. But you have to admit this is really cool. They have George Washington's dress suit. That is cool in and of itself, but when it is encased next to this painting:

In which he is wearing it. That is cool. He was painted wearing this suit more than once. Apparently he trotted it out for formal ceremonies and such when he was General.

Lest you think I was only there for the clothes, I took a picture of one of the most moving things I saw in DC. They had an exhibit showing things that people have left at the Vietnam Wall. I read the notes and letters, looked at the gifts and token and openly wept. Tried not to, but couldn't help it. So many young lives lost and so many people left behind to grieve for them. The card next to the can of Colt 45 says "Hey Bro, here's the beer I owe you 24 years late. You were right, I did make it back to the world. Great seeing you again. Sorry not to be with you, but I'll be along soon. Thanx, Sarge

The big deal at the American History Museum this weekend though was a special exhibit showcasing Abraham Lincoln's life and death in honor of his 200th birthday. They have his top hat. It was his favorite hat. It has the mourning band - a black silk ribbon - that he put on it the hat when his son died and he never took it off. And it was the hat he wore to Ford's Theatre. They have this hat in the Smithsonian as well as the cuff of a lady who cradled his head when he was shot. There were spots of blood on her cuff and she preserved it. Kinda chilling to see, made it feel very real and not just a legend.

Ford's Theatre has reopened recently after having undergone major renovations. The original interior of the theatre collapsed in 1893 while it was being used as an office building. They call the interior of the theatre a replica. It is perfectly restored to the way it looked when Lincoln uttered his final guffaw at a laugh line that isn't funny anymore. We got to go in and they miraculously allow photos. This is the box where Abe and Mary sat with their friends.

This is from the audience looking at the stage. The American flag you see in the corner is the flag hanging from the presidential box. You can see that the box sits right over the stage so it really wasn't too hard for John Wilkes Booth to jump from it onto the stage after shooting Lincoln. All of this is discussed so factually, so forensically. It is easy to forget these were real people and history is not a story.

But being there, sitting in the theatre, then traveling across the street to the tiny boarding house where he died really changed that for me. I am glad I was able to tour these sites.

I love the history of DC and the Smithsonian. But I also really enjoyed seeing the Hope Diamond.

And the jewels Napoleon gave Josephine.

And I have requested this little bauble for my birthday.

David and I had a really good time in DC. But we certainly wear ourselves out. We don't relax on vacation. We keep going attempting to see as much as we can. We aren't the sit on the beach kind. We are the rub each others feet after abusing them for three days kind. Some day maybe we should go on a cruse and sit around and read and chill. But there are so many museums out there to see and cities to visit.
This is our self-portrait the third morning we were in DC. I though it captured our contented exhaustion pretty well.

I'm done for tonight, but I still have to write about our visits to the Kennedy Center and Arlington National Cemetery. So more to come when I get back to it...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

So DC, yeah. It was awesome.

DC was gorgeous; cold and crisp, but mostly sunny. In 3 1/2 days we managed to see a lot of the things we wanted to see. Thursday night, after we checked into the hotel, we met a tour bus a few blocks away and got to see most of the monuments by night. Jefferson, Lincoln, Korean War, Vietnam War, Iwo Jima, and World War II monuments were stops on the tour and it was an awesome way to see them. Luckily it wasn't too cold.

Last week was the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth, and they had all kinds of fresh-flower wreaths around his statue. I don't know if those are always there, but I think that they, along with the flowers and birthday cards were there for his birthday.

We also stopped to loiter around the gates of the White House, hoping they'd see us and invite us in for some hot chocolate. They didn't but we decided not to hold it against them.

The next morning we met up with an intern from our local House Rep's office and went on a tour of the Capitol building. They have a new underground visitor's center there which serves to lengthen the tour since there are not all that many places you are allowed to visit in the building. This pic of us is in the main hall of the visitors center - they call it Constitution Hall.

Our tour guide was a Texas Tech student who arrived in DC in Mid-January. She was friendly and expertly coiffed. But not very well informed. We were her first tour and though I don't hold it against her that she wasn't exactly confident with where she was going, I did have to laugh at her narration. She carried a binder with tour information to refer to. Which is fine. But it kind of went like this. "That is a painting of like, George Washington, like resigning his commission and stuff." I am NOT exaggerating. She could not even begin to fake it. Luckily, David and I had read up a little on DC and knew pretty much what we were looking at. I even ended up telling her a few things. Nice young lady though. I am sure she will get better with the tours after a few months. She just needs to study and then fake it, fake it, fake it.

One funny moment in our tour was when we passed the hallway to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's office. She was walking by and the three college girls there started screaming as if it were Elvis or the Beatles. I kid you not. They got her to pose for a picture and then started jumping up and down screaming. Nancy got out of there pretty quickly and I don't blame her. Girls with no dignity acting like nitwits making our gender look silly.

We got passes from our Rep's office to sit in the Gallery while the House was in session and we had to wait in line and go through more security to get in. But it was worth it. We stayed for maybe 20 minutes and listened to the House debate the stimulus package. There were definitely not that many reps there and listening to them back and forth talk up and then trash talk the legislation and each other made me a little sad. So many people drowning out here and these guys are not listening to each other and no one is convincing anyone of anything. Their minds are made up. Why do they bother debating it, they may as well just vote. I actually could have sat there all day listening to them though because the process is so fascinating to me. It was hard to realize that right in front of me were the people, mostly old white men, who were deciding what to do about our national economy. And right or wrong, whatever they decide on will effect the lives of people they will never meet, never hear about or know. What they were doing was so terribly important. Yes, I could have sat there for hours. But we had things to do and see in limited time. So we tore ourselves away.

After the capitol we had a good lunch in the House of Representatives cafeteria and headed over to the Supreme Court Building.

We got to go in to the court room and sit down to listen to a young clerk give a little lecture about how things work in the room, who sits where traditionally and such. It was pretty cool. We couldn't take pic in the courtroom, but we got some in the hall. The ceilings are gorgeous in the building. Colorful.

After the lecture, we came out to find one of the security guards holding his newborn. I couldn't resist asking to take his picture, they were so cute.

Then we started on the Smithsonian with the American History Museum - my primary objective in DC. We saw so much there! But it is getting late and I don't want to hurry this. So I will stop here for now and blog some more tomorrow.

Monday, February 09, 2009


JACKSON: Mama, mama, you gotta ask me what I'm building.
ME: What are you building?
JACKSON: I can't tell you!

JACKSON: Knock Knock!
ME: Who's there?
JACKSON: Me. You better let me in! Open up the door!

I don't really have a lot to say today. I should be doing more laundry and planning my trip that I leave for on Thursday. But instead I am on the couch. I'm just kind of hanging out tonight. I guess that is ok. I can work my hind end off tomorrow night to get things ready. And Wednesday night.

I am excited! And yet still not motivated to get up off of the couch right now. Curiouser and curiouser...

Friday, February 06, 2009

In the Pipeline

Last night I went to a planning meeting for the 2009 Relay For Life. You might remember last year's event was rained/tornadoed out and I didn't get to speak as planned. But they remember me and I am scheduled to talk at this year's even, both at the Survivor's Dinner and later on the field. At the planning meeting I was presented with a bright green t-shirt that I earned last year. It is an award for having raised over $1000 last year. They didn't get to present them last year, for obvious reasons so I got mine now. And it motivated me to think about fundraising again this year. And so I shall.

Also, I have been invited to a reading for a play in a few weeks. Some local directors like to do private reading of shows they are going to direct so they get a feel for it before auditions. It is always an honor to be invited to read a part at one of these. And though it doesn't mean you will get a part in the show; you still have to go through the audition process, it sometimes gives you a leg up if you find you want to be in the show. And you get to meet other actors and gain some measure of exposure through the networking of it all. Plus is is a fun, low-pressure chance to act a little. I have to brush off my British accent for this one, which I haven't used in a while. But I love British comedy and I am looking forward to it.

My DC trip is starting to come together. We have bought tickets to a show at the Kennedy Center for Friday night. It is a show called The Spectacular 2009. The description from the website sounded really interesting:

"Divine Performing Arts presents The Spectacular 2009, a grand production of classical Chinese performing arts, featuring over 100 Chinese dancers, vocalists, and musicians. Inspired by 5,000 years of Chinese history and culture, the Spectacular showcases traditional Chinese dance, vocal and
instrumental music, and music written for Chinese and western instruments. Masterful choreography,gorgeous costumes, and digitally animated backdrops combine in an artistic expression of the human spirit that is truly universal."

We also just booked an evening tour for the night we get there. It is a little bit of a risk since the tour is at 7:00 and we fly in at 3:30. That doesn't leave us a lot of room for delays and dinner. But we decided to risk booking it anyway. It isn't that expensive, and if it works out we get to tour the monuments at night and get a good orientation to the city. So hopefully it will work out and our flight will be on time and we get to do a fun DC at night tour. If it doesn't work out then we'll just do something else.

We still have not made any reservations for dinner for Valentine's Day. It is so hard to pick a restaurant off the internet. So much pressure. I'll probably keep looking around this weekend. There are some Potomac dinner cruises that sound fun, but they aren't cheap...and my husband is...I'm kidding...sorta...:) We may book something or maybe we'll wing it. I dunno.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Stupid Butts and stuff

Today Jackson drew two pictures for me. One was a tarantula that actually looked like a spiderish creature. And the other was a "stupid butt" that didn't look anything like any stupid butts I have ever known. "Mama, this is a picture of a stupid butt," he said proudly. Ah, the things they learn at school. I laughed out loud. I have a feeling I wasn't supposed to.

Other things he must have learned in school include the nuggets of wisdom, "Mommy, no one else wants to see your pee pee," And "Daddy, you just can't take other people's ice cream." That one he sure didn't learn at home since in my house ice cream is fair game and the sweetest ice cream is the ice cream you steal from a loved one. That is just a universal truth isn't it?

Why am I so fascinated by the show Toddlers & Tiaras that profiles people who put their tiny girls in pageants in full make-up, hair pieces, fake eyelashes and spray tans? This shit is sick. Really. But I can't stop watching. 5-year-olds that look like 25-year-olds and walk like grinning, wooden, puppets. Maybe I am jealous cause I never manage to look so polished and put together no matter how many hours I try. Or maybe not. I still watch Miss America when it comes on, so I guess I am an unconscious product of our society's over-emphasis on beauty and sexiness. But at least I have the common sense to know that you shouldn't tell your 4-year-old who is dancing around happily after 'winning' a huge consolation trophy that she shouldn't be happy because "Baby doll, you lost. You didn't win anything." Geez. Way to go Mom and Dad. You suck.

I had dinner tonight with a friend from high school. Really, she's a friend from elementary, jr. high and high school. I had a really good time talking to her and seeing the person she has become. That sounds so incredibly cheesy. But it is true none-the-less. Facebook has really given me the chance to connect with people I haven't talked to in years. I didn't know how much I would enjoy that. And how much I miss the connection with people I grew up with and left behind without looking back. Technology is awesome. And it is such a small world. This woman I grew up with lives not a mile from me and has a good friend that lives on my street. We will be making happy hour a regular event, for sure.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Trip planning

In a week and a half from now David and I will be heading to Washington DC on a little vacation. My mom and my dad will be keeping Jackson. Right now I am poring through web sites looking at tours, dining, shows, clubs. It is so overwhelming trying to schedule and decide what to do and when to do it. I think we may just make some tentative plans and schedule the tours that must be scheduled in advance and then wing it with the restaurants and stuff. Valentine's day could be busy in the restaurants. I don't know if we should pick some place and make reservations or just be spontaneous.

Also, I suspect it will be cold, like it was in NYC last year. We have this new tradition of vacationing in February and heading north. The travel is cheap and the tourist sites are less busy. But it is cold. So I need to drag out my warm stuff and see about a hat. The hat I wore last year may not work because I have hair this year. But my red coat will once again come out of the closet. And the scarves I bought last year.

This trip came on so fast, we haven't been planning it for more than a month, it seems sort of unreal. Are we really going? Shit, I am not ready! But I am getting excited and hoping for a warm front to hit DC. I requested White House and Capital tours from my US Rep. But it is kinda late and I may not get in. I can book my own tour of the Capital, but the White House may not happen. But that is ok.

I am looking forward to spending at a whole day in the American History Museum and a few other of the Smithsonian museums.