Monday, December 26, 2005

Monday, December 26th

Happy boxing day to all and sundry. The holiday rush is finally officially over and Tommy and I have survived having met all deadlines. It has not necessarily been the easiest of tasks. We had our annual open house a week ago Sunday - roughly 150 people showing up over the course of the day and preparing the food and getting the house ready takes an incredible burst of energy. Tommy, the Marthat Stewart of 13th Avenue South, as usual outdid himself in terms of both decor and menu. This year's theme involves yards and yards of royal purple tulle and gold ribbon, when put with evergreen, it's Mardi Gras colors so maybe we should leave it all up for a couple of months - just replace the wreaths with large jester heads or something.

Last week was mainly about getting everything caught up at work before the long weekend. The respiratory cruds are raging in town and they felled me starting on Thursday. Today is the first day I've felt human since. I was moving very slowly at work and still have a pile of back dictations to get through. Christmas Eve we had a church service to sing at (Tommy sang, I croaked in tune) and Tommy's family came over after for dinner and family Christmas. (Family is parents, brother, sister in law, and two teenage nieces). That meant we could officially collapse Christmas day where we continued our Birmingham tradition of a movie (the film version of 'The Producers' which is fun, but stagebound) and dinner at Hooters, the only local restaurant that's open on Christmas day.

My next big project is getting the script ready for the new version of Politically Incorrect Cabaret which performs in Birmingham on February 4th and in Atlanta on February 11th. This one is 'Blues in the Night: A show for blue people who are seeing red'. I am again the Emcee and my numbers this time around seem to be a 1930s German cabaret song about unemployment which fits the federal response to Katrina and a salute to the gay NRA, 'You Can't Get a Man with a Gun'. It should end up being its usual quasi-improvisational semi-wacky self by the time we do it. I have about 2/3 done so far. Should get the rest done today and tomorrow.

I auditioned for 'The King and I' and got the only part in the show I could possibly play, Anna's old boyfriend Sir Edward who pops in during the second act for about ten minutes. Should be an easy rehearsal process as he doesn't sing a note and his only dancing is a boxstep waltz with Anna. It plays the first two weekends in March.

Tommy is being domestic with his new sewing machine. He's making boxer shorts in jungle patterns. Next up, blue sequin underthings for the cabaret. My major gift was a decent digital camera. I'm working on learning to use it and when I do, I may post a few more visual moments here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Tuesday, December 13th

Spent the weekend finishing the Christmas shopping and getting gift baskets ready for shipment to the family in Seattle. They went to the UPS place late on Saturday and only cost half a small fortune to send this year as they're early enough to go ground. Tommy and I are now working on the next project, getting ready for the party on the 18th. This means getting all of the decorating done and getting enough food ready for dozens of people. Once that is done, I may be able to turn my attention to the Christmas cards - which may be New Years cards by the time I actually get to them.

Have to get cracking on the new cabaret show, 'Blues in the Night' which should go into rehearsal after the first of the year. Various ideas are being bandied around. I just need to get them all together and start making them fit into a show. Have a bunch of lyrics to write and then we have to get all the linking material done and start working on costumes and such.

Things are pretty status quo at work. January may be a bit of a pain with staff being out or various reasons. One bright spot - have been invited to present at a meeting in the Bahamas in February. Four free days at a resort in return for an hours worth of work. Seems like a fair trade to me.

We saw 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' at the movies on Sunday. We liked it and thought it was well visualized and cast but it's too long and somewhat overproduced.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Wednesday, December 7th

I'm feeling like stink this evening. I'm not sure if it's a viral syndrome or a reaction to my flu shot from earlier in the week. Either way, when I'm done with this I'm going to pull the covers over my head and try to sleep it off. Not a whole lot has happened since that last entry. We got home safe and headed back into the every day world of work and home. This time with a veneer of the holidays and all the stuff that needs to get done coating everything. The first three tasks are to get the family gifts off to Seattle, get the house decorated and get invitations out to our annual holiday open house (Sunday the 18th after 2 if you're in town). That should all be accomplished by the end of this weekend.

Center Stage is doing a bit better. Some donation dollars have come in. The current production, Cinderella is quite good and is selling well. Tommy and I stayed away from this show for the most part but we did come in at the last minute to make the pumpkin carriage pretty and do some set dressing. With a little bit of luck, the company will be going into the second half of the season in reasonable shape. However, I'm not going to let up on making people stick to budgets, myself included. Tommy and I did do some performing in a Christmas benefit for Salvation Army with most of the usual Birmingham musical theater types on stage. The highlight was the miliionairess patron of the arts, in her eighties, singing 'Santa Baby' -- brought the house down.

Lots of the usual turmoil at work. Docs with personal issues, patients with traumas, staff who can't do their jobs - topped off this week by the basement of the clinic flooding due to a malfunctioning sump pump. As it froze that night, I thought about turning the heat off and opening a skating rink but decided the patients' hips might not be up to it.