Life, a Miscellany

These last two weeks, I’ve lacked inspiration and I’ve had little time to do much besides getting the new Starrynight website ready to go live. You can take a peek at the test site here. I still have a lot of content to move but I don’t anticipate the style and navigation to change drastically. Unless of course, some tells me that hate so-and-so and that I need to change it or else they won’t love me anymore (Tim, I tweaked the orange color–hopefully, it’s less painful now). I’ve had fun with this redesign. I even got brave and played with a little php. I have no idea what I’m doing but my changes didn’t seem to break anything. So, success?

I’ve listened to about three-quarters of Northanger Abbey. It’s… different. I feel absolutely nothing for any of the characters. I know Austen is writing satirically but I’m not a big fan of the genre that is being mocked to begin with. Austen is not being nearly as ruthless as I’d like. I want horrible things to happen to Catherine Morland. I’m probably not meant to feel that way about the heroine. She’s just so damn clueless and she keeps making the same mistake over and over. Every character in this book could die and I’d clap and cheer. They’re all too two-dimensional–even for satire. All of you. Die.

In other news, The Cavaliers just announced their 2010 program, or parts of it, at any rate. Interesting concept. I immediately thought of It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World but that film has nutty, vaguely carnivalesque theme music, which judging from the show logo is probably not what The Cavies are going for. In any case, I look forward to June!

In OTHER other news, my microwave may not be malfunctioning after all. Russ has used it a few times with absolutely no problems. He is convinced that there were small bits of metal in the green beans I was reheating. Oh, I feel much better now that I know the microwave won’t EXPLODE; however, there was METAL in my GREEN BEANS. Russell could not understand why I would not be consoled on this matter.

This is Not News

I’ve been doing a lot of work in WordPress lately. Unfortunately (or fortunately!) for you, fair reader, all of said work has been on the back end. Now that I’ve wrestled back control of the Oliver Crumb blog, I’ve been able to upgrade it and give it some love (again, all on the back end- it looks pretty much the same on the surface). I also have control of the email accounts at the Oliver Crumb domain again. We’re now using Google Apps for Gmail, Google Calendar, GoogleDocs, etc., on all of Russell’s theatre domains. I’m very happy with it. Thus far we haven’t used Google Apps to it’s full potential but as the company grows, I imagine  collaborative workspace will be more and more important.

On the life front, this week got WAY more interesting than originally slated. I’m doing my usual movie night thing tonight. Tomorrow night we are celebrating Father’s Day with Ann and David at Upland. I’m looking forward to seeing the parentals!  Thursday night Russell decided that we needed to see the Fantasticks at his alma mater so we’ll be leaving right when he gets home from work to see the show in Terre Haute.  Then I have to be at work at 6 in the morning because I will be leaving at noon to head to Normal, Illinois, where Tim and I will hit our first drum corps show of the season. I’ll be seeing my Cavies and the Crown (and many other most excellent corps) at DCI Central Illinois. Pysched! We’ll get back in town sometime Saturday afternoon and then I will FINALLY see Duck Soup Saturday night with the Russell-Mama. If you’ve friended me on Facebook, you may have seen the Duck Soup photos by Chris Eller. Exciting! I’ll be winding up the weekend with a Sunday afternoon shift at Avers. Had I known my week would be this full, I would have requested off the whole damn weekend. Oh well. I hope to have pictures (where permitted, of course) from some of these happenings. I’ve been shamefully bad about using my camera lately.

My blogs have been an epic ‘crickets chirping, tumbleweeds blowing’ kind of quiet lately but I’ve been posting away to Twitter and Google Reader.

Currently reading: Nothing. Oh, sorry, I’ve been reading Jane Austen: Her Life and Letters via DailyLit on my iPod, usually while I’m on the bus. Other than that, nope, nothing.
Currently listening: “Anodyne,” Down and Above

The Weekend, an Account

A negative side effect of Blog Every Day in April: I’m constantly reminded of how dull I am. And now the rest of the world knows it too. Fail.

Well, for those still following along at home, here are some highlights from my weekend.

  • The style sheets for the Starrynight Productions website were magically fixed. OK, so magic had NOTHING to do with it. Tim FTW! Turns out he could track changes made and did them for me.  Whew! I still have a few things I’d like to check on but they can wait until tomorrow.
  • I did some needed shoe shopping and picked up a few more things on clearance.  I should be set for awhile, at least until I need to find another pair of jeans in the fall. Hate clothes shopping. Why can’t I spend all of my money on plants and books and road trips?
  • Speaking of books, as much as it pained me, I put aside Pride and Prejudice and Zombies for the moment. I realized that I probably won’t be able to renew at least one of the books in Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series (and probably the last, since it came out relatively recently), so I thought it best to get those read. Book 1, City of Bones, is good so far. It’s keeping my interest.
  • I made Russell my super-easy, extra-yummy Rice Krispie treats tonight. Why are they so yummy? ‘Cause I put peanut butter and chocolate in ’em. Mom reminds me that she got this recipe from my first grade teacher, Mrs. Naples-Kuhn (I hope I’m spelling that right). Here it is:

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats3 tbsp butter/margarine
4 cups mini marshmallows
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup chocolate chips
6 cups of Rice Krispies® cereal

Spray dutch oven (or some other largish pot) with cooking spray.
Melt butter and marshmallows over low heat.
Add peanut butter and chocolate, stirring thoroughly.
Mix in rice crispies.
Remove from heat.
Press into cookie sheet or other container.

I halved this recipe tonight and it fit nicely into a 6x6x2 container.

Well, that’s it for me.

Things to do tomorrow:

  1. Look up birding iPhone app
  2. Blog about (or at least mention) readability
  3. TEI, TEI, TEI
  4. Pick up quarters for laundry
  5. Walk with Tim

Of Castles and Damsels in Distress

Russell is very excited about making a movie. You can tell because he is glowing.
Russell is very excited about making a movie. You can tell because he is glowing. It's a skosh creepy.

I accompanied Russell on a location scouting excursion to Loveland, Ohio yesterday (not far north of Cincinnati). Russell found himself in of need of a castle for a film adaptation of his stage play, The Babbling Banshee. Being the obses- I mean, aspiring, clever independent filmmaker that he is, he found a castle about 2 hours and 40 minutes from Bloomington. Loveland Castle was built by a single man over the course of fifty plus years. Yikes! This crazy genius (he carried all of the stone from the river bed nearby) utilized a variety of architectural influences but importantly: the exterior of the castle looks Norman, just like those that are smattered about the Irish countryside. Yay! Russ is waiting on word back from the good Knights as to whether or not shooting there is an option.

The weather was rainy- of the misty drizzle variety, not unlike Irish weather.  I uploaded a few shots from the trip to Flickr. I also uploaded a few shots I took before the new year- mostly of me playing with camera settings.

A photo I did not upload this afternoon: a recent one of myself. Mom has been expecting one of me in my new winter coat (which she financed) and my newly trimmed hair (I went even shorter this weekend) for quite some time. I don’t know what it is with me and photographs. I’m never in my own and I am inexplicably not in other peoples’ photos either. I just checked the file of photos from the Tech Services party- nothing. Not even the back of my head. I didn’t even leave early this time. A latent talent? Perhaps it’s my superpower.

I will take some photos of myself and send them soon, Mom-poo (not taken by the camera phone!). Perhaps I’ll even get around to creating an avatar.

Making with the Crazies

I haven’t had much time to think about anything but Rocky lately; nonetheless, I will try to make sure that my posts don’t become too ‘blah Rocky blah blah’. This is just Week One, after all. That being said, I want to get another plug in, simply because I am so proud of this cast and crew and what they’ve accomplished.

This show is raunchy- more so than the movie. As time goes on and crowds get larger and more- uh, appreciative (read: misbehaved), the cast will be amping it up to match. A definite must see for virgins and long-time fans, especially for those who’ve never seen Rocky live.

Richard OBriens Rocky Horror Show logo
Presented by Starrynight Productions on Oct 17-18, 22-25, 27-30, 8 pm at the John Waldron Arts Center

We have a four piece band (who, thankfully, gets the creative team’s humor and finds ways to contribute), 10-inch heels (Frank TOWERS over everyone in the cast), movie projection integrated into the show, oh and gorgeous people wearing next to nothing. Did I get all of the selling points? Oo-ooh no, because I forgot to mention sex toys, water guns, and Brad’s tighty-whiteys.

Gather your props, ready your lungs, prime your vocal chords and join us for some good ol’ fashioned debauchery.

Aim to misbehave.

Rocky Horror Show opens Oct 15th

Click on the image for details:

Promotional photo from Richard OBriens Rocky Horror Show presented by Starrynight Productions.
Promotional photo from Richard OBrien's 'Rocky Horror' Show presented by Starrynight Productions. Clockwise from top: Ryan Adam Wells (Frank), Stephanie Feeley (Columbia), Danielle Sacks (Magenta) and Daniel J. Petrie (Riff Raff). Photo by Chris Eller Photography.

I should give a plug for Chris while I’m at it.  He does amazing work for us and many other arts groups in town. He also does portraits too! Visit him at Chris Eller Photography.


I had an appointment with my doctor this morning to stock up on allergy-related prescriptions. I am NOT going to suffer this year.

The opening weekend of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf went very well. We had a good sized-house opening night and received great feedback from folks after the shows. There is a review in today’s Herald Times (you’ll need a subscription to access the article). If anyone is interested, I can email the text. I am going to check into posting full reviews to the Starrynight website. I don’t think there’s a problem doing so, as long as credit is given where due, but I want to make sure before inadvertently violating copyright. An Indiana Daily Student review is also forthcoming (although it is not in today’s paper).

I meant to record my first earthquake experience the day of said event but I was unconscious for most of the day. Quam quam, here is the story of ‘The Time I nearly got Starrynight Productions banned from the John Waldron Arts Center, or, Quake 2008′.

It was early Friday morning. Russell and I had been painting the Woolf set since about 1am at the Waldron and we were both feeling pretty exhausted from lack of sleep all week. At around 5:40am, I was in the 2nd floor bathroom cleaning paint brushes and wishing I were home in bed. I was exhausted and felt sick (due to a combination of paint fumes and low sugar levels). While cursing a paint-saturated roller, I suddenly felt/heard the building vibrate. Since I was near the sink and had been running hot water for quite some time, in my sleep-deprived haze I immediately thought, Oh, goddess, I just broke the Waldron. I shut off the water and leaped away from the sink. I tensely waited as the shaking continued for a few more seconds before ceasing. The shaking stopped, I assured myself, This is good. Now rinse out the rest with cold water so you can get the hell home.

Finally, we made it back to the apartment and, before collapsing, I managed to call my boss Linda at 6:30 to tell her I wasn’t going to be able to make it in that day.

“Did you feel the earthquake?” Linda asks me.

“Oh, no. I didn’t know we had one.” Huh, that’s odd, I thought, after getting off of the phone, I guess it wasn’t big enough to… oh.

So what I thought was the ruination of the Waldron’s plumbing at my hands was a 5.2 magnitude earthquake with an epicenter located 97 miles southwest of Bloomington. Aftershocks are still being felt (14 between Friday and Sunday). The U.S. Geological Survey measured another 4.5 magnitude aftershock around 12:40am.

In looking back at my first quake experience, I am:

  1. Thankful no one was hurt.
  2. Thankful to have had the experience.
  3. Peeved that, in this moment of potential crisis and personal injury, I was found frozen and panicking, not because I was afraid for my life, but because I feared that I had inadvertently caused the Waldron thousands of dollars of damaged, resulting in the premature demise of Starrynight Productions.

Taxing Times

Sorry to those I have been neglecting! Russell’s job is keeping me busy. Yes, I know, I’m not sure how he cons me into it either. People seem to think that we have co-founded Starrynight Productions. Folks, I have my own career to worry about. That is all Russell. He has done all of the hard work getting Starrynight off the ground, I really can’t take any of the credit. I only get pulled in when he desperately needs another warm body- or when he needs a website. I couldn’t resist that one. What better way to learn than to do? So yes, Starrynight Productions=Russell McGee. He’s the man behind the curtain folks.

For the first time EVER I waited until the last minute to do our taxes. Luckily, ours are pretty straight forward and easily knocked out on a quiet Sunday morning. In an odd way, I felt part of something. I commiserated with my fellow taxpayers while standing in line yesterday at the post office (while out running for props, screws and miscellaneous set pieces for the Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf set build). I heard some horror stories from others in terms of what they owe. I also chatted up some people who have a home business to try and pick up ways to save on next years. Thankfully, we don’t owe and will be getting a comfy sum back. Maybe we can take a vacation after all (although sadly, we still can’t afford a trip to the UK like we had hoped, which is a huge disappointment). Still, it’d be nice to disappear for a week. There are plenty of pleasant places to do that on this continent that won’t bankrupt us. We could really use the break.

I’m STILL reading These Three Remain- and it’s through no fault of the writing that I am laboring over this title, I just haven’t had time. And I keep getting more great recommendations from people. I miss reading! Stupid need for sleep. Grumble.

I realized this morning that primaries are coming up very soon (Indiana’s are May 6th) and I still haven’t really done any homework. I liked Star’s idea of committing to blogging about key contenders in an effort to learn something about each. Perhaps I’ll do my own version here. In particular, I was interested in checking each candidate’s track record in terms of how s/he voted on certain issues in the past. I have a feeling I’ve seen relevant resources pop up on the Librarians’ Internet Index feed. Perhaps I can make a mini-pathfinder out of my little project. Reader, stay tuned.