Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Oh man, poor Jack. We just got back from the doctor's office, and he had to get 4 shots for his physical. Ouch. It could have been 5 because they changed the rules about the chicken pox vaccine so that it is now required in order to attend public schools. Unless, of course, you write a letter stating a religious objection. So, we are saving that vaccine for another appointment between now and August. We had talked about getting shots a few days ahead of time because we just took Thyme to get her shots, but right at the last minute, Jack got really nervous and scared. They did the TB one first, and after that Jack did NOT want to get anymore, but we counted down like we said we would, and the nurse did a good job of going through the last 3 as quickly as possible. The TB one is the worst because it is drawn out to make sure they get that bubble under your skin.

Jack did a good job though. He held very still, and even though he got upset and cried, he wasn't thrashing or refusing to cooperate. He just cried "Owie, it hurts." over and over again. I challenge any person to go through that many shots and try to comfort a child without getting a little upset too. : )

Jack got four stickers for the four shots, and a butterscotch sucker to boot. And I say I'm a mean mom, pfft. See how nice I can be after torture? ; )

We were going to try for a playdate at McDonald's but the weather was against us. There are tornado warnings going on around Bloomington, and they are supposed to be heading our way. Fun, fun. So, it's a night in tonight.

We went to Touch a Truck this morning, a program by the Champaign Park District that invites people to come visit the park where lots of different vehicles are set up for them to explore. There was a firetruck, ambulance, mail carrier, tow trucks, fire emergency vehicles, utility trucks, a radio station van, a swat team truck, a bomb squad vehicle, a Schwan's truck, a Pepsi truck, city buses, and some more besides those. We had a little picnic lunch while we were there, and a person by the fire truck took polaroids of visitors at the fire truck. So, Jack and I have a new picture on the fridge, yay!

Speaking of pictures, I finally got that last roll of film developed. There are pictures on there from Jack's birthday party all the way up to pictures from the play. I will take them to work tomorrow to scan if I remember.

Time to figure out what's going to be for dinner tonight ...

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Wow, it's been a whole week since I posted last. Hm, what's been going on?

Well, we had a nice long weekend at home for Memorial Day. We spent a lot of it outside around the yard working on things. I spent too much time at Lowe's debating over painting or not. I finally bought some random yard tools that I needed, but I haven't had much chance to use them. Thyme had her vet appointment on Saturday, so I've been keeping a close eye on her. She is still sleeping a lot, but she finally came up to me lat night in the computer room wanting attention, so I guess that means the ickiness of her shots is wearing off.

We spent some time Sunday at the library and the park. Jack managed not to hurt himself, so that's good. : ) On Monday, we tried to work in the back yard, but ended up spending most of the time talking with our neighbor. She has two little kids, a girl who is finishing kindergarten now and a little boy who is 3.5 almost. Jack really liked playing with their t-ball set, so I think we need to see what the park district is offering this summer. Afterall, we certainly won't be in a play. ; )

Our neighbor (Megan) invited us over to their cookout later, so we got to meet her mom and Uncle. It was too funny because Jack starte calling him "Uncle David" because, well, that's his name, but he's not Jack's uncle, so. And Jack does have an Uncle Dave. *g*

The kids had fun playing around, roasting marshmellows, and trying to play basketball. We ended up spending quite a bit of time working on the basketball stand to lower the hoop. That was interesting. Eventually, we got it down, and the kids took some time shooting around. Hopefully, we can start spending some more time with them so Jack has some friends in the neighborhood. They are pretty much the only kids his age on the block, except for the grandkids who visit across the street every now and then.

Today is computer day for Jack at school, and tomorrow is Touch a Truck at the park. I am going to keep Jack home and just go to the event ourselves since he has his doctor's appointment for a physical in the afternoon. There's no reason to be running back and forth all day long.

I guess that's it. No wonder I haven't written anything. Dull, dull, dull. : p

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Well, blah. Neither Jack nor I got a role in Peter Pan. Oh well. I am not surprised or down about it. I am too drained from everything else this week to really put much care into that news.
Okay - now that I can take a moment to watch "Chosen" again, I am going to keep this open so that I can write down all the good moments and dialogue that I forgot the first time around. : )

"Well, I guess that's ..." Blech! I guess I just can't get into that chemistry again after all these years. There's too much else that needs wrapped up.

"I can already tell you, I have nothing that goes with that."

"A-ha! Boyfriend."

"I'm cookie dough ... if I want someone to ea ... enjoy cookie Buffy." --- "Do I have to go with the cookie analogy?"

"If you get killed, I'm telling."

"So, where's tall, dark, and forehead?"

"Most people don't use their tongues to say hello. Or, I guess they do, but ..."

"He wears lifts you know?"

"You got Angel breath."

"I understand." -- "Clearly you don't because the whole 'have my pride' thing was just a smokescreen." --- "Oh thank god." --- "I don't know what I would've done if you'd have gone up those stairs."

"None of those girlies will ever know real power unless you're dead .... There's that word again. What you are, how you'll die. Alone." --- The FE was the one who gave Buffy the answer!

"I'm drowning in footwear!" --- For the love of ... look up the Shanshu prophecy in Angel episodes to get that one!

"I just realized something. Something that really never occured to me before. We're gonna win."

"I think it's bloody brilliant."--- Yay for our real Giles to show up finally!

"For a second there, I thought it was more defensionist, isolationist Slayer crap."

"Please, I am so much prettier than you."
And the rest of Wood's bashing on Faith's skills. *lol*
"You know Buffy? Sweet girl, not that bright."

"I used to be a highly-respected Watcher, and now I'm wounded dwarf with the mystical strength of a doily."

"Yes, we will defend it with his very life." --- "Don't be afraid to use him as a human shield." --- "Good. Yes. Thanks."

"Nobody cares you little monkey."

"Ooh, you could go with the full black secret agent look."

"Ready to, he he, kill me?"

"I look like Elizabeth Taylor."

"I'm not worried?"

"Really? Because I'm flashing back to Xander's whole bathroom speech."

"So here's the part where you make a choice. What if you could have that power? Now. In every generation one slayer is born because a bunch of men who died thousands of years ago made up that rule. They were powerful men. This woman is more powerful than all of them combined. So I say we change that rule. I say 'my' power should be 'our' power. Tomorrow, Willow will use the essence of this scithe to change our destiny. From now on, every girl in the world who might be a slayer, will be a slayer. Every girl who could have the power, will have the power - who can stand up, will stand up. Slayers - every one of us. Make your choice. Are you ready to be strong?"

"That was nifty."

"I just figured you'd be terrified, and I'd be sarcastic about it."

"I have ... swimmer's ... ear."

"Ohh no. Ow. Mommy. This mortal wound is all, itchy."

"I want you, to get out, of my face."

"Oh bullocks." --- "Buffy." --- "Spike!"

"It's really there. Kinda stings."

"Go on then." --- "No, no, you've done enough, you can still ..." --- "No, you've beat them back. It's for me to do the clean up."

"I love you." --- "No, you don't. But thanks for saying it."

"I want to see how it ends."

"I don't understand. What did this?" --- "Spike."


"We destroyed the mall? I fought on the wrong side."

"Yeah Buffy. What are we gonna do now?"

Acknowledge what Spike did, darnit! That's what!

Heck, just transcribe the whole episode, minus Faith's 'yo's and I think I would love it all. But, you'd have to add in some facial expressions and body movements. Like Buffy touching Spike's face in the basement. Ha! There's proof of love. : p

Okay. Done now. Browsing some friends' thoughts on the Barge about the relationships, and I can see their points. But, lunch is over.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

It's the End of the World As We Know It

Okay - wow. There is a lot to write about in here from the last two days.

First, I got a phone call from day care right as I was leaving work yesterday. I was 15 minutes later than usual, and I get a call saying Jack fell off the tire swing and has a cut on his head. So, I rush out, envisioning the worst, and hitting every red light on the drive across town. I was worried, and upset, but I kept my cool until I thought about the playground and the staff. Now, I love this staff and school. It is a great place that I am grateful for because Jack has been cared for there for the last 5 years, but the staff has a tendency to sit down on the job (literally) while the kids are playing outside. So, I decided I would only be upset if I got there and the staff were all sitting down under the trees.

And were they? Yes. So, I go inside to retrieve Jack, find that his injury is not quite so serious as I worried, and spoke to his teacher who was not outside at the time. Turns out, Jack was swinging on the tire swing with his feet outside, not inside, so that's why he fell. He got a scrap on the back of his shoulder and a chunk of skin no bigger than a pinky fingernail out of the back of his head. Nothing horrendous like I was expecting. I mentioned to his teacher that maybe the rules should be enforced a little better on the playground, and she suggested I speak with the director because she has mentioned the same thing and supposedly gone round and round about it.

So, I go out to the playground thinking the director is out there, but she's not. So, I approached the tire swing area where the teachers are all sitting under the tree. Now, this was an overcast 70ish day. Not very hot, and no sun to speak of, so sitting under the tree really gives you no relieve. But I digress, because 10ft away on the tire swing are 3 of Jack's classmates, also swinging with their feet on the wrong side, just like Jack 20 minutes earlier! Argh. So, I asked the girls to switch around so they don't get hurt like Jack. And I mention to the teachers that perhaps things could work differently, that I was upset to find them all sitting, that I appreciate their hard work, and that the director is the only one to make decisions for them, but that Jack is a child who will listen to them, and all it would've taken was them to even just yell across the 10ft to tell him to do it properly so that he didn't get hurt, he would've listened the first time, and yes that I know kids get hurt, but I come pick him up and see things going on with other kids in the sandbox and elsewhere over toys, and I wanted to talk to the director, please let her know.

*breathe in - breathe out*

So, anyway. It was 5pm by then, and I couldn't take Jack to the doctor's office, and it really wasn't enough for a visit to the emergency room, so we went home and bandaged him up. He was upset at the thought of a 'butterfly' bandaid and cutting his hair by the wound, but we manage to just trim around the area and leave the stuff above it long so that it fell down over the bandaid. It looks like it is healing nicely on its own, so we are avoiding stitches for today. I spoke with the director this morning, and she said that the playground supervision is actually one of her current projects; that she has been spending time observing from the office and wants to make some changes. Good. I guess that is the end of that saga.

Now, on to the Buffy stuff. I hope whoever is reading this has seen the finale because I don't know if I can really spoiler font it or not ... unfortunately, I am too tired to do much more than repost what I have already used on the message boards. And, if you are not a fan, or haven't at least seen an episode or two, you might be a touch lost on all the follows. So, here goes:

Now ...

I was thinking about all the people in SunnyDale when they were talking about the mall. Good thing it evacuated is right. SunnyDale has been officially swallowed up by the Hellmouth. "From beneath you, it devours." We now know.

"Spike, Spike, my beloved Spike." --- You can say that again. Man. Oh man. The First tried to get him to betray Buffy by leading him to see the face-suckage, but instead he went back and took out his frustration like any normal person on a boxing bag with a (highly accurate if I might add *eg*) image of Angel. What was it he called him? Tall, dark, and forehead?? And, how dare they let Angel call Spike Captain Peroxide. That's Xander's pet name for Spike. ; )

Spike was the champion and laughing all the way out of this world. "I want to save the world."

"I love you." - "No you don't. But thanks for saying it." I mean, come on!! *cry*

THE CHAMPION! Darn straight! At first I thought maybe it was getting rid of the demon in him though - Angel said something about purifying power. Therein lies the secret to how/why/if Spike comes back in the future. I think the amulet was purifying Spike, ridding him of his demon, and we will in fact probably see him arriving on ATS as a human, if and when he arrives on ATS. That is the Shanshu prophecy from earlier seasons of Angel. They thought it was about Angel because at the time, he was the only vampire with a soul. But we have now seen that the second vampire with a soul played a major role in the apocalypse. He made his sacrifice, and his reward (according to the prophecy) is to become human. Afterall, having two vampires with souls on one show might be a touch much. And what's more, if/when Spike comes back there is no SunnyDale for him to return to, so the logical thing to do would be to lookup his family in LA. Another thought I just had was that at the end of Season 6, Spike said "make me what I was." Well, perhaps the demon did, it just took some time to take? He will be human again, but the demon didn't do it right then, he just set him on the path to become "what he was."

Bangel. *sigh* So there may be something there afterall. But, the thought that I forgot and now remembered was this: what if W&H knew what the amulet would do when they gave it to Angel? Did they want him to be destroyed and then have control over his crew? Now that Spike is destroyed, will he have to work off an after-death clause like Lilah because the amulet came from W&H? There are lots of possibilities and repercussions next season on ATS. With that reverse-Key/Dawn trick they did with Connor, what will happen to the Angel/Wes dynamic, where is Darla, what about Cordy and Angel's feelings for eachother, what will Cordy know when/if she wakes? But, my thoughts wander to things which we won't possibly know anytime soon ...

But Buffy DID tell Spike she loved him. Yes, she did. And he made sure she left him, because as Mags so deftly pointed out, if he had said it back, she probably wouldn't have left him there alone.

Anya, dear sweet Anya Fight all those bunnies. I knew Andrew would get to bunnies would he said picture happy things. And that gave Anya just the vision she needed to fight. I was still sad to see her get sliced. *sniff* And when Xander was calling for her when leaving, but couldn't see her body in the rubble. Gah.

Caleb "split" LOL. I was still thinking maybe the First was inhabiting him, but I guess I was wrong. I appreciated the comment that led to the opening credits: "Are you ready to finish this bitca?" Darn straight we're finishing this. We may not like that it's going to be finished, but finish it we shall!

I liked the separation of the SITs and the Scoobs as they were entering the school too. Dawn said it right, that anything would sound like good-bye. And of course, Giles has to recycle his ending line from "WTTH" - "The earth is (definitely) doomed." Finally (!!) we got our old Giles back. What was up with all his uncharacteristic behavior this season? Thank goodness Joss scripted this last one, so we got our lovely Giles back. Even if he was wearing the terrible sweatsuit zip-up jacket thing. ; )

Did I absolutely love it? No, because there wasn't enough time. I'll take the liberty of script from "I Will Remember You" ---
"How long do we have?" - "About 5 minutes" - "No, that's not enough time. I won't forget. I'll never forget, never forget." - "Shhh, shhh." - "Never forget."

I too loved the idea of spreading out the power. Great! I liked the fact that Joss chose clips of girls in all facets of life where they might've needed that extra power - confidence in sports, defending and standing against an abuser, and life and/or their "role" in general. I really liked some of the SITs too after they got their power. Even Kennedy wasn't as annoying once she could kick butt. Vi was awesome, and I was glad to see that Rona made it, but I couldn't believe Amanda didn't. For a second there, right after Buffy got hurt, they made it seem like everyone was getting knocked down, and I thought the casualties were really piliing up: Amanda, random SIT, Anya, Andrew, Faith, Wood. Then, the FE decides to come back and gloat - did it learn nothing from Ethan Rayne? You don't stick around to gloat! And Buffy had one of the best lines of the night - "Get out of my face!" Literally and figuratively. : ) Then, the whole underdog fighting began. Yay!

The Faith/Wood exchange was silly, but about the only truly comic relief for me. That, and the role playing. Giles pouting during the Dungeons & Dragons type role playing game reminded me of ... some other Watcher pouting occurence, but I can't put my finger on it.

We need more watchers if all the potentials around the world are automatically (already) inheriting their Slayer powers and senses, I guess that could be the future of Dawn? Well, she did call herself Watcher Junior to the library.

Still in shock, I would've liked someone besides Buffy to ackowledge what Spike did. Dawn barely reacted, and she probably cared the most for Spike outside of Buffy of all the others.

I don't know what else to say right now. You knew Anya was going to die when she was the only one getting sleep before the battle. "Only the crazy ones."

Other funny moments:
Willow making fun of Buffy's intelligence to Kennedy. Kinda funny in an old fan knows what she means way.
Panning to reveal Andrew in his red riding hood.
Anya's slightly muffled comment upon leaving the room with Xander to round up the cannon fodder -- "Anya, we don't call them that." - "Well, no, not to their face. What am I? Insensitive?"
Andrew sending a "Shout Out" to his brother!

That's all (for now) folks!

I know there are more I am forgetting.

Saturday, May 17, 2003

So, we went to the Peter Pan auditions this morning. That was interesting. No matter what part you are auditioning for, you have to learn a dance and sing a song (or a bit of a song). So, Jack learned his, and I learned a different one. We both sang. *shudder* They don't even have you read any lines. Maybe it was because we were so awful! *lol* But, being a community theater, you'd think they would not dismiss people so quickly. I guess the lady I mentioned previously is proof otherwise. They want you to be able to sing and dance, but who cares if you can act. And, I saw kids there who were definitely as young as Jack, so pfft to her.

After that was over, I felt bad. I don't think we will find out what the cast is until Thursday according to one volunteer. But, if we don't get parts, fine. I guess there's no better time than now for Jack to learn that you don't always get the things you want. Even though he knows that from me always telling him. ; ) This is different. A disappointment type thing. It's not like losing a game; it's not being picked. We'll see how it goes.

We headed straight for Builder's Day after that. It was already noon by then, and it had started at 11am. The weather was overcast, but warm, so the event was pretty busy. We went straight for the building area and got out supplies. Last night Jack said he wanted to make a sign for when things were for sale, but he changed his mind as we were picking out pieces of wood and decided he'd rather make a bench. So, we found some neat, thinner pieces that looked like they came from floorboard. They were stained and molded. After some trial and error, we got the pieces together in a workable state, Jack took some swings with the hammer, and it was all set. We moved over to the painting and just covered the bare wood on the backs with a green color. Later, we put "Jack & Mom, 5-17-03" on the bottom, just like last year. It is now sitting in our front flowerbed. We also painted the word 'plant' on the backing, and soon we'll find some smallish plant to put on there. : )

Jack managed to complete the climbing air maze thing they had there again this year. Last year, he couldn't quite reach between the grips on the wall climb. Yay Jack! We also got some more plants, did the molding and tiling, checked out the electric and phone tables, and then got a couple of raffle tickets. You can win a playhouse that they build there right during the event, or some other things from the Children's Museum. We most likely won't win anything. I never win those things, but it was a donation to the museum, so that's okay.

We didn't leave there until a little after 2pm, so we headed straight for Rantoul. The auditions for "Faith County" were from 1-5pm, and we needed to get there in time to pick up the video tape with "Aurora" on it. I wasn't going to audition, but I decided to anyway. I really enjoy doing the plays, but I hate to do something that Jack can't be a part of. That makes it really hard on him. Having a busy schedule is one thing if he is involved, but to drag him along and keep him late for something that only I am in ... that's something I am still debating. I told Jessice, the director, that if she has someone else in mind for whatever role she would give me, then that is fine. She understood, but I don't know if they will have so many people trying out that she can just pass some up. We'll see I suppose. She is calling people for the cast tomorrow. Things move much more quickly there.

Then, we came home, planted the tomato plants we had brought home from day care the other day, planted the flower from the Builder's Day, and then tackled the jungle that is my back yard. I managed to get about half of it done before the mower ran out on me. I swear the grass is over 1' high. It grows terribly quickly when we get this rainy weather. I filled in the hole from digging up that one post, but it needs some soil to top it off. Then, I took the spade to the one wild berry bush that was trying to grow at the northwest corner of the house. I don't know how I missed that one in my digging escapades the other week. It didn't want to let go, but I wasn't giving up. As I finally got it lose, I showed it to Jack and said "I won!" *lol* That's a tradition now. : D

Nothing else exciting happened this evening. It kept acting like it wanted to rain, but didn't. I wanted to go to the library, but I guess Jack had enough of runnin around for one day because he decided we could save that for tomorrow. So, that's our big plan for the rest of the weekend. Hit the library since we've never been to Champaign's, and then I need to mow the rest of the lawn if it doesn't rain. Oh, and I still need to go to Menard's or somewhere for more tools to work in the yard, seed/weed stuff, a plant for Jack's bench, a ladder, yada yada. At least the grocery shopping is out of the way for a bit.

Eric is gone all next week for a class and taking vacation. The office is mine! All mine! Muwahahaha! ; )
Okay, just a quick little post because we are going to be running around all day today. I picked up the tickets yesterday and got the front lawn mowed, but the back still needs done. Unfortunately, it looks like rain today.

We have the Peter Pan auditions to go to from 9:30-12 somewhere in there. Which, we stopped by the threater groups office yesterday, and a 70-something lady irked me to no end by saying that Jack was too young. Too young?! I just told we just finished that other play! He hadn't even spoken, we had been standing there for 15 seconds, and from *that* should could tell that the Art Director wouldn't like him?? Grrrr. I guess the other director was right, some people just don't like working with kids and should NOT be doing a play WITH kids as the primary roles if they don't like it. The "Gma so she should like kids" lady said they recommend kids starting at 3rd grade. That's 9 years old! I can't imagine holding Jack back until then just because they think he can't be loud enough. Then she made a comment that it's a difficult score, so there's singing, but who said he had to have a singing part? I didn't say he would read for Peter, I'm not that dillusional. Grrr again. The other thing is, the ages are not specified on the web site, and I asked them about that. It just says 12 and under. AND, it specifies that there are a number of smaller, probably, non-speaking parts for Indians and Lost Boys for the dances. I would be fine even if that was what Jack did. I want him to be involved in a variety of ways, so he can see what it's all about. He really likes being involved, so he doesn't care what his part is. I just couldn't believe she had the nerve to turn someone away like that. You're going to tell me that the local theater group has so many people banging down their down, that she can afford to do that?

So, I basically directed all my questions at the other man, and the lady still talked over him answering them, and I said "We'll still see you tomorrow." : )

There's a Builder's Day from 11-5 or something that is a lot of fun. We built and painted a box to go around our mailbox post last year. They have laborers from all different aspects volunteer their time and supplies so the kids can get their hands dirty with building, painting, tiling, masonry, etc. There are some fun things like those air-filled things, doing rubbings, plants, and it's all in the parking lot of the Children's Museum, so you can go there too.

Then, there are the auditions for Faith County in Rantoul where we did the other play from 1-5 I think. We have to go to pick up the video from our play, but I don't think I will audition because I don't want to commit to something that Jack can't be a part of. That would be too hard, having him have to occupy himself while we are rehearsing all the time.

Of course, it looks overcast and chilly. I really hope the sun comes out by noon. I got my front lawn mowed yesterday, but my back yard is a jungle and seriously needs done. It'd be nice to do some laundry and hang it to dry instead of running up the electricity bill some more.

I guess that's it for my day. Gotta feed Jack some more breakfast. He always eats the most in the AM. Guess his body is programmed right. I almost always skip breakfast. I'm just not hungry then. Need to dunk him in a bath, then get myself ready for the day. And the cats are being all whiny. Bah, you *have* food, scoot!

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Ahh, we are home from Nana's. There were quite some interesting storms to drive home through tonight. It was pretty cool because at first, we were at the southern edge of the storm, driving into yet around it. It was travelling east-southeast though, so eventually, we got the downpour. Then, we got ahead of the hook of the storm, and we just drove along side it the rest of the way home. It was so cool. I actually had my camera in the car from this weekend with a few shots left on it, so I took a few pictures out the window of the car. I can't wait to see how they turned out. The contrast in the sky was so amazing.

We beat the storms back to Champaign, but they came all the way here and brushed the north part of the county. The sirens even went off once, but I don't think there was actually a tornado in town. I kept flipping from the one local TV station to the other, and neither of them had cut to the weather news. I kept saying, "Where are they? Why haven't they switched to the warning if there's a tornado?" Jack has been a bit worried by the idea of tornados since there have been some pretty bad ones in the news lately. He got a blanket and pillow and got in the tub. It was cute, but he didn't have much to worry about. Still, I am glad he was calm and willing to do that. He will know what to do if it's ever real.

I forgot to go get the movie tickets I won from the radio station last week. I hope if I go tomorrow I can still get them. I want to use them to take Jack to see "Finding Nemo." That doesn't come out for another 2 weeks, but the only other thing I want to see is "The Matrix: Reloaded." You can't use passes for that, and it's not like I would be taking Jack with me, lol. In the next few weeks, I want to get to a Common Rotation show, work on the house some more, study for my MCAD tests, get Jack ready for kindergarten some more (physical appointment, etc), and general work stuff. I also mentioned to Aimée that we might come out there the first week of June. I need to look over my Calendar. It would be nice to take a long break around June. We could visit Aimée, Craig, and Ethan and then head down to Florida for Rose's graduation. It seems like there is something in the way though. I want to say I have another class coming up.

Okay - got some things done on, caught up on email, and now it is time for bed. I wish I had something to read. Bah. I've finished all the books I have in the house. : (

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

So, the play's over. I thought it went really well. We made enough money the first Saturday night alone to double what it cost to make the play, so that's good. We were a success. And, despite the bad weather/tornados, people still came out the second weekend too. Matt (Sir Reginald) was sick on Saturday, so J (stage manager) played his part. It was too funny, and the audience loved it. Some for J's acting ability, mostly for the fact that Matt is 8 (?) and J is 28 (?). : ) We had a good time doing this. Jack really enjoyed the social parts too. They will be starting on their production of "" in late July, so we will probably go back for Jack to do that. Otherwise, we will be going to the auditions for "Peter Pan" next weekend in Champaign. I don't want to commit to something for myself that would interfere with a play for Jack, so we will do "Peter Pan" first. Plus, there are potential roles there for me too.

We are in Peoria again this week for my XML class. Lots and lots of listening and things boring me to tears. I just hope I get something to apply these things to soon, or else I am going to start pulling my hair out. Or ... just forget it all. And that's not good since I have to take those tests later on. My last class is scheduled for September, so sometime after that, I will spend a good chunk of time studying and then testing.

We celebrated Mother's Day late last night by going out to dinner quickly with Amy, Mom, and Gma. Just to Olive Garden, but still. It was rushed, and I didn't really think it was necessary, but it was something everyone else wanted to do. I wouldn't have minded if they had celebrated without us. We've been so busy that I am tired a lot, and running around more than what I already have scheduled is unfun. Oh well.

Thanks to Mom, I got to watch the last two episodes of Angel on Sunday night. They were good, but left me a bit unsatisfied. I think that is mostly because I am (im)patiently awaiting the end of Buffy. There were funny parts, interesting parts, and the show is going in a new direction, but at the same time, some things were wrapped up too quickly and some things were left undone. That's how it always is I guess. Tonight is the first to the last episode of Buffy. Hard to believe. Weird of me to think it's hard to believe.

Lots of friends from the Linear and Barge made it to the Flashback Weekend in Chicago last weekend. We were in the play, so obviously we couldn't make it. That sucked big time! I have been reading all their reports about meeting James Marsters, Danny Strong, and Tom Lenk, and it sounds like they had such a great time together! The one time there is a semi-affordable convention in my state (even though, technically, I've never been to a convention), and I can't go. Oh well. I am sure there will be other opportunities. Just not this one with all my friends. : (

Jack and I took his new kite out yesterday. It's a cool bi-plane made with real fabric and fiberglass rods. The weather has been very unkind, tornados and cold weather again. The wind was gusting, so it was very hard to keep the kite up in the air. We really need just steady wind, not gusts. Maybe we can try again this evening.

Jack was cute on Sunday morning. He brought my card and gift that they made at daycare in to my bed. "You can open it now Mom." He'd been dying for me to open it and trying his best not to ruin the surprise. : ) It was a nice little note holder that they made themselves. He had a hard time going to bed last night. Seems like little things are setting him off these days. I don't know if it had to do with being away from home or what. I just don't notice that behavior at home. He had a rough time while Rose was here, but that could be attributed to the guest and play. We'll see how things go when we are home for a few days straight, with regular, boring activities occupying our time. ; ) The poor thing. I felt so bad for him because once he is halfway calmed down, he feels bad for what he did, and it can set him off all over again with the tears.

Oh, one thing I almost forgot. My old penpal, Catrice, from Trinidad & Tobago, found me via Yahoo yesterday. I received an email inquiring if I was the same Dana she wrote to, and, of course, I was. That was pretty cool. We've been writing since 1992 or so. We lost touch a bit after she went to college in Rhode Island, but I know we exchanged letters at least once since Jack was born. I remember her sending him something. Now, she is in Ft. Lauderdale, married, and has a 5 year old stepson. It will be nice to get back in touch with her and maybe finally visit her in person or talk on the phone. It amazes me that I have met people from all over the world in person that I only corresponded with online for 1 year or so, and yet, and 10-yr penpal and I have never spoken on the phone. : ) The internet is a pretty amazing thing. I should also say that Buffy is an amazing thing, since that is the group of friends I have met. : )

I guess nothing much else is going on. But, I still want a vacation.

Thursday, May 08, 2003

It's Thursday already. We had a lovely 3-day break from the play and rehearsals. It feels like it's been forever, and yet not. Tonight is the last dress rehearsal, and then we have our three shows over the weekend. I am looking into the different theater groups here in town too. I found one that is doing a production of Peter Pan. Jack loves that story, so I think it would be especially neat for him to be involved. I think the auditions are the same weekend as the auditions in Rantoul though. There are a lot of auditions going on.

After the matinee, we have to head straight to Peoria. I have my third .NET class next week. This one isn't as long, but I don't know how it will go. Eric took the same class as I did last week, but our next round of classes do not match; they are flip-flopped. My very last class is scheduled for the first week of September. I am not sure when he is done. I would love to take a vacation sometime too, but I don't know how realistic that is. And somewhere in there, I have to fit in getting Jack all set for kindergarten and studying for the three exams I will need to take. All for what, I don't know since we already know we won't be getting raises this year. I don't know that we will get them next year either. Hopefully the job market will look better by then if not. Three years without raises is not my idea of a great job.

Buffy is almost over. I guess I should write a little bit about that. Tuesday night was the 20th episode of Season 7, "Touched." I thought it was excellent. A lot of things were said between Buffy and Spike that needed to be said before the show ends. I think we are all agreeing that we don't know *what* on Earth is up with Giles, and that Andrew is hilarious. Consider this dialogue: "He's a breath of fresh air, isn't he? (pause) Thank god I don't breath." *lol* Love it! And then of course, there's the whole "attainathon." Even though I only remember getting into the show towards the end of Season 4 or the beginning of Season 5, I have caught up on everything, and I love the show. Even mom is hooked on it now. You just can't discredit it based on the title or the premise. It has some of the best dialogue, scripts, and character development out there for a television show. Some people may still scoff, but the seven seasons speak for themselves. Only two episodes left, and I am staying spoiler free. I don't want to know a thing about how it ends because I cannot imagine wrapping it all up. It doesn't seem possible to be able to do that in just two more hours (80 minutes considering the chunk they give to commercials). Grr Argh.

Now, Angel we don't know if it is ending, but the part of me that says we can't possibly lose all of Joss' creations in one year says it has to come back. For that reason alone I am scared that it won't be back. The season finale was last night, but I didn't get to see it. I missed last week because of rehearsals, so mom taped it for me. I will be watching both of the episodes while I am at Gma's this week. Rose also brought me the series "Taken" on tape, so I wanted to watch some of that while we are at Gma's too, but I may just have to break down and buy a VCR instead. I am considering buying a combination VCR/DVD player, but all the horror stories I have ever heard about TV/VCR combos keeps me away from that. We'll see.

I just finished writing my first CD review for I can't say it's a good piece of writing, but at least I got it in on time (way ahead of time, actually). It was for a band called Echo3. Apparently, there is more than one Echo3 out there. This group is from Minnesota or Wisconsin or something - not North Carolina. It's a trio of youngsters, not a foursome of older men. ; ) I don't know where this stuff will go, but hopefully I will enjoy being involved and learn a few things while I am at it. The review will be in the May 15th issue, as well as a review for Common Ro's "The Big Fear."

Time to get a few more things done before calling it a day. I have pictures from last weekend on my roll of film that is almost finished in the camera still. Hopefully I will be finishing that up soon and posting some. I am considering getting a "real" camera now though - digital cameras may have lost their thrall over me afterall. I want the nitty-gritty, 35mm, lenses, develop your own stuff kind now. I'm crazy, I know. But, hey, I'm just not busy enough yet, right? : )

Monday, May 05, 2003

Tired, tired, and more tired. That is me today. Sunday's play was great, and my family all came. Grandma, Amy, and Mom were there to see the show with Gma Rose of course. Sunday's show was probably the most interesting from the backstage perspective. The Prince's sword broke the first swing in the fight, the Giant went early on his cue causing a few other things to go wrong, and ... oh well. The audience just thought it was a part of the comedy - a comedy of errors. I had forgotten that on Saturday night too they had played the wrong song at first on Meridia's first entrance. That was definitely not good.

Rose had to go back today, so we spent our morning enjoying the great weather (of course, on the day she has to leave), did some shopping, and then headed for Indy. Jack was upset to see her go and asked me if we could go visit her Saturday, lol. We are planning a trip sometime, but just not in 5 days! Silly boy. : )

Okay - I think that is all for now. I am just too tired to summarize more of the weekend. I was so tired, I didn't even watch Alias last night, and I had forgotten it was the 2-hour finale! Argh.

Sunday, May 04, 2003

Friday's opening performance was great! We had about 40-50 people in the audience, and all the kids hit their lines really well. No one missed getting on stage on time either. We got quite a few laughs at the parts we suspected, and a few things that weren't exactly planned (the king's crown stuffing showing) got some laughs too, which was okay since this *is* a comedy.

Last night for some reason did not go as smoothly. We had 80-100 people in the audience this time, and it seemed like everyone just kept missing cues or pausing a little too long or something. The giant dropped his sword when he was supposed to be like a statue; some of our sleepers were not very still OR with their eyes closed; the green room wasn't given the proper time to send out characters, so poor Kenny missed his second scene entirely (luckily, it was something that could be skipped over without a new audience noticing too much); the sleepers came on late too because of that; one girl was out there but wasn't supposed to be, and instead of falling asleep, she walked back offstage. Argh. BUT, the good things were that we got even more laughs and some laughs in new places. The swordfight went over really well. The audience loved that. : )

Jack did a pretty good job both nights. The first night Brandon, the other servant, started to forget his second line, so Jack leaned through the plant and whispered a bit of it to him. Last night, they were right on and got some chuckles for being cute. The sleeping part is definitely the hardest for them because it is just a lot to ask of a 5-year old body to lie still for such a long time under those lights. Jack kept rubbing his eyes because even with them closed, the lights are so bright they bother his eyes and make them water some.

My scene of course is at the end, and mostly the crowd wonders why I am even in the play, lol. Last night was funny though because the curtain was drawn on the last scene, the spotlight came up on the bed, and there's no Melinda or Grandmother. I can't exactly "come home" to no one. *lol* So, we had to wait a good 5-10 seconds for the two of them to navigate to the front of the stage from the back. I don't know why they did that. Oh well. It was still fun and we all got our lines out fine.

The dance went really well last night, and the kids have gotten the curtain call down more smoothly now too.

The weather is not cooperating this weekend. Of course, since Gma Rose is here from Florida, it's been 60s, chilly, windy, overcast, rainy. All the things that it is *not* right now in FL. We have a matinee show today, and I hope the weather clears up a little bit before then. But, looking at the radar, I see a big blob of rain heading straight for us.

I had Jack sleep in his bed last night instead of sharing mine with Gma because he needed to get some extra sleep, and it seems like whenever he shares a bed, he gets up too early. We've been getting home at 10:30pm from the play shows, and yet he got up before 7am yesterday. So, this morning? He was up at 8am. That's much better. : ) He was having quite the meltdown last night though, and in the morning, he was a bit difficult too. Even with a nap (I think), he wasn't in the best of moods during the show. I will be glad when the play is over so that he can get back to a regular schedule. A return to a regular schedule if only for a week or so would do wonders I am sure.

Okay, time to clean up the dirty boy and find the library. I think we might finally visit the Champaign library today. I never found it since it's around downtown Champaign where we never are, but I think it's near where Stratton is, and if Jack will be going there next year, we might as well start visiting it. The free library in Urbana was much more convenient it seems. I hope everyone else is having a good weekend!

Friday, May 02, 2003

Wow, it's May already. Jack and I have been extremely busy with the play. We have had dress rehearsal every night this week, getting home around 10pm. Now, we are in a rush to get to Indy and pick up Grandma Rose. She will be spending the weekend with us so she can she Jack in his first play. Yay! : )

We'd better get moving. I am sure we will have pictures and possibly video to share eventually of this mad, mad thing we've done.