Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday, June 25th

The theatre conference went well and my talk on Alzheimer's and performing arts was well received. Tommy and I had a couple of extra days in Asheville poking around the town and enjoying the mountain air before returning to the sweatbox of Birmingham. We came back to 95 degrees and 90% humidity and didn't feel like doing a whole lot during our weekend at home. We went to a somewhat sweaty, but very nice outdoor wedding of one of his schoolmates and did a bit of housework, but nowhere near as much as we needed to do.

Last week, we packed up again and headed for Seattle. We spent a few days with the family catching up. My sister has remodeled her basement and is spending most of her time at home tattooing people. She does do her nice work, but it's not for me. My brother and his wife are both busy with their various work careers - in his education and her various entrepreneurial ventures. My mother has memory issues but they are not as bad as I feared they might be and she and my father, despite advanced age and various ailments seem to be doing well in their ususal environment at this point.

The weekend happened to coincide with my 30 year high school reunion so Tommy and I turned up to see the other ex-teenagers who are all now pushing fifty. I went to a small prep school and about a third of the hundred of us were there. I must say that I like the adults my classmates have become. Well educated, well spoken, kind, considerate, successful people. It's also fun to see people that you have known, in some cases, since early childhood. I think Tommy was fascinated to see the kind of folk amongst whom I grew up so now he has a bit better understanding of how I am the way I am.

We came back and plunged back into the usual workaday world. He's helping run an elementary school music camp this week. I am playing catch up at work. I have a new project at the moment. I'm picking up the editorship of an audiotape CME course in Geriatrics. I did it before a number of years ago and they've asked me back. Until we get Tommy out of school, I'm a sucker for anything that pays.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Monday, June 7th - Asheville, North Carolina

I'm about half way through my vacation period. Some of it has been vacation, some of it has been away work of one type or another, but it has all gotten me up and out and around. Tommy and I started the period off with a road trip to Fort Worth for the Fort Worth opera fesitval. Three operas in three days. The drive to Texas was uneventful and we arrived on a hot memorial day weekend. We went first to the art museums. The Kimbell (excellent collection) and the Modern (excellent building)and then spent the evening at Bass Performance Hall with 'Elixir of Love' (reset as a cross between Oklahoma! and The Music Man). It was great fun and we are friends with Adam, the stage manager.

The next day, we spent some time shopping and exploring downtown Fort Worth and for the evening, went to the world premiere of a new opera version of Reinaldo Arenas' Before Night Falls. Wes Mason, the baritone who played the lead, made his career with the performance and held the piece together with an able supporting cast (including another friend of ours). We both thought the piece very good and think it has a life outside of this initial production. Lastly, after a leisurely brunch on Sunday morning, off to the matinee of Don Giovanni, with our friend Susanna Phillips as Donna Anna. Designed as a chiaroscuro Velazquez painting, it was ably sung, especially by the women. Immediately after the performance, we leapt into the car in order to get to our next stop.

The next day and a half were spent driving the 1100 miles from Fort Worth to Beckley, West Virginia so I could have my quarterly meetings with the mine workers. We had a couple of days in WV and then a couple in Pikeville, Kentucky. The mine workers geriatric case management programs continue to grow and develop by leaps and bounds. It's expanding into new areas and will be taking more and more time and attention the next few years.

After Pikeville, back to Birmingham for a day and a half for a friends 40th birthday party and to do laundry. Now back in North Carolina where my play "Grimm and Bear It" is being done at the National Senior Theatre Conference. I gave the keynote address on Alzheimers and Performing Artists this evening - I'm being paid with a nice hotel room in Asheville which remains a gorgeous mountain resort town. I could see moving here in retirement. We have one more day here then back to Birmingham for a week to get the house back in shape after the contractors and then off to Seattle for a few days following that.