Friday, November 25, 2005

Friday, November 25th - Miami. Florida

Happy day after Thanksgiving. After finishing up in Orlando (last stop - Disney's Animal Kingdom - part zoo, part theme park and enlivened by being absolutely drenched on the river raft ride just before it started to rain), we headed down the turnpike to Miami to spend Thanksgiving with our friend Marc, a law professor at the University of Miami. I added it up the other day, Marc and I met each other not quite twenty-five years ago - I feel so old. He, his parents, Tommy and I shared several nice days together, joined by a number of progressive leagal types for a truly excellent dinner yesterday.

We also had a nice trip to the zoo, recovering from the effects of Katrina and Wilma, to various retail establishments in South Miami and we're just back from the film version of 'Rent' which is much better than I thought it was going to be. Tomorrow, we get back in the car and start the trek north. I am not happy. I've been enjoying lots of sleep and lovely weather in the seventies which seems more like idyllic late summer. But we're going to need a paycheck soon if we want to remodel the house...

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Sunday, November 20th - Orlando, Florida

Tommy and I are still in the theme park capital of the world and will be here until Tuesday morning when we pull up stakes and head for Miami. The weather has been balmy, cloudy but very little rain. Hurricane Gamma is heading vaguely this way but, by latest report, it's going to be well south of us, causing little more than a blustery day. (I've seen way to many stuffed Winnie the Poohs over the last few days.)

Thursday, we went to Epcot. An interesting place as it can't quite seem to decide what it wants to be. Half of it is theme park based around natural sciences, the other half is a sort of permanent worlds fair. The two halves don't quite gel and then you throw in Mickey Mouse and friends. I did like some of it a lot. A couple of very well done rides about history and nature. A rather sickening flight simulator to Mars that left us both a little motion sick for some hours. Some very nice restaurants of the world, manned by some awfully attractive waitstaff from the native country. We met Brad, an old friend of ours, for dinner that night.

The next day, we slept in. We then went to a matinee of the new Harry Potter movie in IMAX. The film mostly works, other than the first fifteen minutes, which is far too choppy, reducing the first ten chapters of the book to a series of episodes that will make little sense to those who have not read the book. It's fun watching the kids grow up in real time, the development of some of the minor characters and the sequence surrounding the Yule Ball is a minor classic. Later in the afternoon, off to Disney-MGM studios for more theme parking. Amusing, especially the New York street full of holiday lights where it's busy snowing and they're selling hot chocolate, despite the balmy temperatures. The big winner ride wise was the Tower of Terror where you're stuck in a runaway elevator. The design of the whole thing was pretty amazing.

This weekend, I had meetings for American Geriatrics Society and Gerontological Society of America. Had to be a good boy. Did have some time out to do some outlet mall shopping and looking at Downtown Disney - overpriced restaurants and nightclubs. Have some more work tomorrow morning, then we're off to the Animal Kingdom park. We're skipping the water park this trip. Not warm enough.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Wednesday, November 16th - Orlando, Florida

Tommy and I are on a grand tour of the Florida peninsula which began Sunday afternoon. It took a number of days to get everything settled at home and at work in order to set off. There were dictations to do, housekeeping to order, packing, and all the usual thousand and one details one must attend to before leaving the state. The first stop was Orange Beach, outside of Pensacola. I had a speaking gig at the Southeast Area Agencies on Aging annual conference. My talk on Alzheimer's and the arts. It went well - a full house who seemed to enjoy it. A couple of my patients who live in the area also turned up which was very sweet of them.

From the gulf coast, we headed across the panhandle through Tallahassee, stopping at a wide spot in the road called Lake City. Then, the next day, down the turnpike to Orlando. We're ensconced in a Hampton Inn outside of Walt Disney World playing at Disney for a few days before I have to take care of some meetings down at the convention center. We spent today at the Magic Kingdom. Off to Epcot tomorrow.

The Magic Kingdom is very similar to Disneyland. Some things better, some things worse. The weather is nice, sunny and not too warm and the crowds are small. Did pretty much everything in a day. We really enjoyed a new show, a 3-D cartoon called Mickey's Philharmagic. Some old favorites are also still there like The Haunted Mansion and Splash Mountain.

My legs are tired.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Wednesday, November 9th

Rather a quiet week this week as I try to get everything more or less ship-shape prior to taking two weeks off. Tommy and I are on a rather loosely planned Florida jaunt from this Sunday through Thanksgiving weekend. Some time at the coast, some time in Orlando, some time in Miami. We're going to make it up as we go along. If anyone else is in Florida and wants to get together during that time, drop me a line or give me a call.

Last week was benefit week. Four benefits in five days or some such. Lots of little finger foods, silent auctions and the like. Bought a nice piece of art at one. Also a gift certificate for some acting lessons for the camera. I have no clue how to perform for that rather than on stage. Tommy and I really enjoyed the one at the local science museum which featured a very good exhibit on Einstein including quite a good impersonator explaining the theories of relativity. I took quantum physics twenty some years ago and I still don't quite get it.

Working to put Center Stage on an even financial keel over the next few months. I wonder if that's even possible with a theater company? I can but try. Much discussion of budgets.

The fourth volume of George R. R. Martin's 'A Song of Ice and Fire' is out this week. I have to make a trip to the local book emporium and make it my vacation reading. I've been waiting for this one for four or five years. The man does spin a good yarn.

My friend Ellise and I met this week to start work on a new verison of 'Politically Incorrect Cabaret' - we've got a title, 'Blues in the Night' (refering to blue/red politics) and some ideas for numbers but still have a lot of work to do on frame and specifics. We have a self imposed deadline of Christmas for a complete draft. There goes December...

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Wednesday, November 2nd

More than two weeks since my last post. I am so bad. I'm not even sure what's been going on other than trying to decompress as I enter my first protracted period without a show to rehearse in pushing a year and a half. I seem to go home in the evening and all the energy drains away in a big whoosh while I fall asleep half way through an episode of something on the Sci-Fi channel. There's a lot to do at home while I'm in some down time but I haven't had a lot of luck convincing myself that cleaning out the closets is a great idea.

The second week of performances of 'Phantom' went fine (other than a drunk band member on the Thursday - he's not likely to get invited back in the near future...) Decent houses, decent performances. I remain unconvinced that the script is ready for anything more than stock productions, but it was fun to be part of something new and to get to know Lloyd Schwartz a bit. Now I have to turn my attention to the company business affairs. Not my favorite of topics.

Spent a couple of days last week at a symposium looking at the health care system of the greater Birmingham area. We came to the conclusion that while there are excellent pieces, a lot needs to be done to knit them together into any sort of system that actually serves the public good. Why should we be any different than anyone else. The highlight was my aspirating and vomiting in the middle of a small group meeting. One of those embarassing life moments.

Tommy and I went to a Halloween party on Saturday, dressed as society matrons. The photos will probably be blackmail material. Fortunately, I don't have any ready to go. I do, however, have some Phantom photos to share.

The new opry owners being told of the legendary phantom...

The phantom at the masquerade ball

Other photos can be found at