Once again, a month has passed. I’ve flitted about and not posted a word. Here’s what’s been happening, in a nutshell.
The summer theatre institute (from here on, it will be referred to as sesti) ended. It went very well overall and everyone who participated had a wonderful experience. It will be my last year chaperoning. Next year I will be working on the summer show at my theatre and Katie has decided that it really would be a better idea to run the program and not also chaperone it. The kids at sesti were really pretty awesome this year. Really only one thing that frustrated the hell out of Katie and I, but we dealt with it and it was fine. Knowing that Katie and I had done this together before (and Katie before me), they wanted to know how their group measured up to past groups. We, of course, were resistant to compare–there’s no way to really do it, each group has such an individual dynamic, and really, what would the point be? Better? No such thing–only different. Different challenges, different successes, different kids. We got to the last night that everyone would be in the dorm together and we just let things go–everyone was consistently gathered by us, laughing and taking pictures and continuing every joke that had been developed since the beginning. Our door prize had been awarded earlier that day (a quesadilla maker–against dorm rules and a joke reference every time we needed to enforce dorm policies that we thought were a little silly) and, while we wouldn’t go out and get supplies to make quesadillas (I was asked, because, I assume they just thought Katie would say no) I left it open for them to find their own way. Since they were unable to leave the dorm or the theatre building, two of them asked one of the dorm’s desk attendants to get the stuff for them, which he did (I wonder if he knew he was breaking the dorm rules by aiding and abetting). So, that evening they prepared quesadillas for everyone (the desk attendants stopped by for some snacks) and a few of the student mentors stopped by with ice cream and popsicles and it was a party. We watched ridiculous youtube videos and laughed and joked. And everyone did it together. We played them the audio “bedtime story” that Sam Jackson narrated, and they all gathered around my computer to listen to it (and laugh at it) and then we wrestled them into their rooms and left them to their own devices for a while (it wasn’t until the weird sounds from the little mini horror movies they were making inspired our curiosity that we decided that it was finally time to enforce “lights out”. The next day, as they prepared for their performances and then after, when there was group hug after group hug and almost an hour straight of tears and goodbyes in the rehearsal room following the performance that we finally told them how they were different from the previous year. “This,” we said. “Last year, they gathered their things and left. This year … this.”
They really did love each other and their time together. Reunions began happening before we got everyone onto their airplanes. We were rousted from the dorms a little after noon, so we took the remaining kids to Minnehaha Falls and the MOA and were joined by four of the local kids, who met up with us on their own. And then, once everyone was on their planes and home, after the session was truly done and we would consent to accepting friend requests on Facebook, the thing that has kept popping up in my feed was their messages and jokes to each other. So far there hasn’t been a day that has passed where sesti hasn’t been referenced at least once by someone and then commented on by a dozen others. So, I guess we did something right there, after all.
My brother arrived about three hours after we put the last sesti kid on a plane. No real downtime for me in between, just long enough to catch a short hour long nap. We met up with Zack right away at Old Chicago for food and drinks and some laughs. We didn’t leave until they kicked us out at 2–long day for both of us, since we’d both been up since around 6am.
The next day we tried to do all the city stuff that we wanted to do together (and one day really isn’t long enough to cover it). We stuck to the usual places–one of these trips, I’ll have him longer and we’ll explore the city in more depth together. This time it was about relaxing and having a good time. We grabbed sandwiches from Potbelly’s, we caught Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter at the theater, swung through Half-Price Books, grabbed coffee and some reading/ conversation time at B&N, had a late dinner at Big Bowl, watched Attack the Block and the first two episodes of The Walking Dead at my place and then fell into bed. A very good day.
Our plans were to leave around 10/ 10:30, but our exhaustion and last minute errands prevented us from leaving town until around 2. We spent the week at our parents’ place up north. We went out on Monday (or was it Tuesday) to see some of the damage around North/ Central Minnesota, places that were still flooded and inaccessible. It hasn’t been reported on in the news (not the way that Duluth and Superior got coverage from the flash floods, nor has it receded the way the water has in those places). Big Sandy is up 9 feet this year and the island is still inaccessible by car, with the roads washed out. The lake has a no wake rule right now, which means trips there and back take close to an hour each way. Power was still out in some areas and will continue to be until the end of summer.
Storms continues to roll through throughout the week. Most days were both unbelievably hot (but thankfully around 10 degrees cooler than the Twin Cities, which is important to note, because my folks don’t have AC) and contained rain for some part of the day. We watched a few movies as a family (Man on Fire, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows) and random television. On Thursday, we went into Duluth/ Superior–I had a dentist appointment and we try to make a point of going into the city at least once whenever Bill is home. We had lunch at Anchor Bar in Superior and after my dentist appointment, Bill and I got coffees and hung out by the lake for a while at Canal Park, while my folks had ice cream and stayed in the shade.
I miss the lake. There is something about growing up on the shore of a body of water like Lake Superior that ruins you for most other places. I couldn’t live in those towns again (I love visiting Duluth, but really, there is nothing for me there anymore) but maybe I’ll find another large body of water to live next to–I periodically hear the siren call of Seattle or Portland … maybe one of these days I’ll pick up my stakes and move west, you never know. It was really nice to share that time with my little brother by the lake though on this trip. We don’t get enough moments like that.
The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful. Tried to let the woods relax me. Didn’t really feel too rested though, my body was still on other people’s schedules and couldn’t find a rhythm that would let it chill the fuck out. Ah well. Sunday we said our goodbyes early in the A.M. and I drove Bill back to the airport. Got him there just a few minutes after 11 and then went home to unload. I caught grabbed a sandwich at Potbelly’s (LOVE the Italian …) and caught the 3:30 showing of Amazing Spider-man (great flick, will talk about it and the rest of the movies in the next entry). Went over to B&N for a coffee after and did a little reading.
I had plans for the rest of the week. I had people that I wanted to see, to hang out with (sorry Katherine). Monday was going to be a lazy day, unscheduled … I was going to figure out my plan for the rest of the week, watch a couple of movies on Netflix …
Well, Monday I went out and grabbed a sandwich at Subway and then swung passed Michael’s for a few things. I decided not to swing past B&N again and instead went over to Target to pick up a few things. I was feeling a little light headed and dizzy. I have chronic headaches and it was hella hot outside, so I decided to just cut it short and head home. I sat down and started watching The Howling Reborn. It’s a 90 minute movie. It took me 3 hours to watch. Around 7/ 7:30 my stomach was feeling a little weird. I’d had lunch at 3, so I thought that I might be getting hungry–it was about that time. I paused the movie and went to the kitchen and stood in front of the fridge for a few minutes before I realized that, no, that wasn’t what my stomach was telling me. I went into the bathroom. I’m not much of a vomiter, so I thought that maybe everything would work itself out in the normal way. Not this time my friend. Not with food poisoning. I managed to finish The Howling Reborn and half of Basic in between trips to the bathroom where I was violently ill. When it felt like I might not throw up anymore, I shut down the movie and went to bed. I had one of those feverish nights of sleep where you sleep, but you don’t get any rest. I got up the next day and the violently ill part was gone, but I was marginally dehydrated and my head (remember the chronic headaches?) throbbed. I finished watching Basic, while my body was deciding whether or not it actually wanted to die and working up the will to leave to get some food (my friends, at this moment I needed soup, which my kitchen cupboards sadly lacked). I had my soup, I had my day feeling like death just didn’t think that I was worth the trouble. And then I went to bed. Wednesday when I got up I found that my appetite had returned and that my headache was back to the dull roar that I could tolerate. What’s more, I felt like I actually wanted to venture out again. My chest also felt like someone had beat on in from the inside. I’m sure that I bruised something in there–coughing hurt, breathing from the wrong angle hurt. But fuck it, I’d been cooped up for too long. I went out, caught the 1 o’clock showing of Savages at the movie theater and had a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup at Panera. Then I went home again. I’d proved that I could leave my apartment and act like a human being. Now it was time to curl up and die a little. Yeah, my chest hurt like a motherfucker. I’m just lucky that my buddy Zack had had food poisoning a few years back when we lived together so that I knew what I had to look forward too. Otherwise, all of this might have caught me by surprise.
Thursday, I got dinner and saw an evening showing of Ted with my friend Jackie.
Friday, I left town again. I drove across Southern Wisconsin to Fort Atkinson for a family reunion with some of the folks on my dad’s side of the family. It was five and a half hours, but Wisconsin can be pretty to drive across. I crashed in my folks’ camper (which is a ginormous fifth wheel) on the fold out couch. We drank a lot, I saw some family I haven’t seen since my grandfather’s funeral two years ago and some that I haven’t seen for 16 years since the last family reunion with this group, and some that I’ve never seen before. Good couple of days. Then I drove home again.
This last week I’ve had plans almost every day. Lunches or dinners or movies. Tuesday afternoon I saw Charlie and finally ate at Kramarczuk’s (excellent food, I’ll be going back). Wednesday afternoon I was going to help Zack out with a project, but things changed last minute, so we just got lunch at the Bulldog instead. Thursday, I had lunch with Caity Shea and we had a chance to catch up. Friday, I saw The Dark Knight Rises in IMAX with Jackie. Excellent fucking movie. I think I’ll be going back to see it again. (We grabbed dinner at Subway–I managed to digest my sandwich without being violently ill … I think I’m good to add that back into the regular rotation.) Somewhere in there I watched the last episode of Eureka … so good, so sad that it’s over. Running out of reasons for SyFy to matter to me at all (Warehouse 13 is the last show that they have that I watch, then it might be time for us to part ways)
Which brings us to this weekend. This is the first weekend in a very, very, very long time that I haven’t had anything planned or scheduled. I slept in. Yesterday I got coffee and did some reading at B&N. I finished watching the first season of The Walking Dead. I watched the most recent episode of Longmire (I caught an episode when I was at my parents’ house and loved it. I bought the season pass from Amazon and have watched them all now … two more episodes left of the first season! So good!) I started watching season two of NCIS: Los Angeles. Today, I watched some more NCIS: Los Angeles and did some painting. I’m trying to simultaneously get caught up on all of the things that I had planned to accomplish this month and haven’t quite (researching/ finding an agent and doing another revision on hush topping the list) as well as getting that relaxing in that I was also hoping to do. Just not enough time, sad to say.
Tomorrow, I’ll make a trip to the library. Do some more agent research. Start working on my query letter. Finally do that exit loan counseling that I have to complete now that I’m done with grad school. And post another blog entry on the movies I’ve been watching and my opinions on remakes. We’ll see how much of that I actually get to.
More later …