Tuesday, September 21, 2010

my newest adventure- musical theater!

I was never a theater person in high school. When you're in a graduating class of 600+, activities like "sports", "band", "drama", and "industrial arts" quickly get allocated to those students who claim them first and make their mark, and there is not the opportunity for everyone like there is in a small, rural school district. Like where I live now.

I was a "band" person, and I was happy with that. I also dabbled in cross country and cross country skiing, but I made my mark in band. Not to brag, but I was voted "Outstanding Senior Band Member" the year I graduated. Okay, so I was bragging a bit there.

Anyway, I never had the desire to get into theatrical productions. Nor did I have the encouragement. I was just a shy teenager, with at least the encouragement that I was good at playing the flute.

Fast forward 25+ years. I know I have an aptitude for music, I have a desire to become more involved in the community, and...Starflower expressed an interest in trying out for our local school/community production of "Hello Dolly" this fall. So what did I do? At first I wanted to be in the orchestra, but I found out they had two flute players last year, and only one of every other instrument, so my services would probably not be needed. But, I thought, if I would be driving Starflower to late night rehearsals, I might as well be involved onstage! So I auditioned, and Starflower and I got parts in the chorus.

The theater bug is getting to me. I am mildly obsessed with the musical parts I am singing, getting the parts embedded in my head, and I actually look forward to learning choreography and everything else that goes with a stage production. So we'll see how it goes, and if nothing else, I'll emerge as a better singer!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

here's the problem

I've been trying to fix this header photo thing for a couple days now. Whenever I upload a header photo, no matter what the original size, it is automatically scaled to 300 pixels wide! Anyone have any ideas?

UPDATE: I have found a way around it. I just have to make sure the original photo is 920 pixels wide, no more, no less, and be sure to uncheck the "shrink to fit" box. For some reason "shrink to fit" is shrinking the original photo to 300 pixels, not 920. Ahh, Blogger...But, I get what I pay for. And it's still a bargain!

By the way, the new header photo is actually an old one, taken in September 2007 at one of my favorite places, Banning State Park. Our school is just across the road from the entrance to the park; in fact, the school's land is pretty much surrounded by park land. The cross country team practices on the park trails. I recently purchased a new parking sticker for $25 so I can go to the park while waiting for kids to be done with football AND volleyball practice. That's right. Starflower is now on the junior high volleyball team! She's in sixth grade, and they need all the players they can get so they allow sixth graders to play. They won their first match Thursday afternoon against my mom's alma mater.

Things just keep getting busier and busier...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

new look

I finally had some free time this morning to mess with the blog. Unfortunately, Blogger's response time was kind of spotty so it was frustrating getting what I wanted done. Anyway, I like the new design features, and the ability to have pages that are linked right below the header. I mean, that concept is how many years old??? And this afternoon, when I had taken some pictures and wanted to write a post about my never-ripening but oh so abundant tomatoes, my computer would not read the SD card. Sigh.

Leaping into another activity-filled week here. Calvin has football, Starflower is now entering the world of middle school sports in volleyball, and Starflower and I are auditioning for our school/community theater production of "Hello Dolly" tomorrow--wish us luck! I was just going to volunteer for the orchestra, but I found out they had two flutes last year and one each of several other instruments, so my services would probably not be needed. If they need a flute player I would by all means do it, but I'm thinking my first ever onstage role might be kind of fun...

UPDATE 9/15- Suddenly my header photo appears to have been re-sized. WTF??? I will not have a header photo until I can figure this out....

Thursday, September 02, 2010

tales from the river

It was an interesting day at work, so interesting I would rather post it here than on Facebook...where I already have an interesting status for the day...let's just say my daughter and I will be testing our wings in local musical theater...

Anyway, rain was predicted, so we headed to the closest electrofishing sampling station, which happened to be full of fifteen pound carp. I absolutely refuse to suffer a work related injury bringing these things into the boat; I'm too old for heroics. So I did more of a graceful dance with them, and somehow it all worked out.

We decided we had enough time to go down river and sample another station. The access for this one was barely a dirt track down to the riverbank, which was not sloped for convenience. We got in okay, and actually saw some amazing fish, including several 18" smallmouth bass, before rain shut us out.

Perhaps we should have exercised some judgment in launching. After all, there had been a half inch of rain in the area the night before, and the ground was kind of soggy. But since this is not really my project, I went along with the decisions of the crew leader. In this case, that led us to backing a heavy boat and trailer down into a place where it was not immediately possible to get the whole rig up over the river bank and out of the water again. Not to mention, there were mosquitoes. Lots of them.

After an hour and a half, and lots of ideas, and lots of mosquitoes, we got the trailer and boat out of the water with minimal damage. We arrived at work about ten minutes after quitting time. I was about seven miles away from home when I got the cell phone call: "Mom, are you going to pick me up at Kenna's house? We have sixth grade orientation tonight!" So I turned around, so close to home but yet so far and still reeking of fish slime, and brought Starflower to her orientation and taught her how to open her locker and all that. We arrived at home, long enough for me to cook a quick spaghetti dinner, before I had to drive back to school to pick up Calvin from his day at the Minnesota State Fair with the marching band. Whew.

Tomorrow is school clothes shopping. The adventure never ends!