Letters to Holly

Friday, June 20

An Offer I Can't Refuse

We had dinner with the director of my last show and his wife. We're becoming a cozy couple. He's also the head of the script committee, and, yes, he gave me another script to read as we sat down. We talked theatre and Tonys and personal histories and the problems with the new performance space. And then he asked me, after a warning not to panic, if I'd be interested in joining Board of Directors.

Of course I would. I told him my opinion wouldn't be as informed becuase I'm new to the company. He said the board has so little representation of theatre people -- backstage or onstage -- that he thought the board was making bad decisions. Of course the board can use lawyers and accountants and realtors, but they need people who have worked an audience. He said the chairman of the theatre won't even step onstage, and I remembered that I hadn't in fact seen that guy speak publicly at any of their shows.

The company needs help, and it needs new ideas. The director was apparently taken with my notions during the committee meetings and the comments I made about the scripts. He thinks I have the right level of informed consideration for the board. Sure, yes, I'll give it a shot. I wonder if this will skew my chances to playing roles. I don't know if I have to be elected or simply tapped on the shoulder like a Harvard fraternity.

We're leaving today for Durham to visit Your Aunt. We'll also hit the Chapel Hill campus for a one-day class on American satire. I think Your Sis gets credit for taking the class; I'm just tagging along. On the way back, we're hitting the Charlotte comic convention. I might meet up with my ECU buddy there.

Picture of the Day
The mars Phoenix probe is finding ice just under the soil. It makes little trenches and bakes soil samples to analyze the content.

Thursday, June 19

Wii and Corn

On short notice, I walked with Your Sister to a coworker's house for grilled dinner. It's Kat and Rachel, both whom we really get along with, and they made us pasta and salad. We talked up The Happening with a minimum of school talk to everyone's relief.

They have a Wii, and I finally got to play one. It's addictive, and the remote-control is nowhere near as difficult to learn as I thought. Your Sister, who you know doesn't play anything but Guitar Hero, was crying from laughter. She had no trouble learning the Wii, and after we made virtual avatars, we played for about two hours. She beat me in bowling. She had a blast, and she might be talked into getting one. We walked up around 11 p.m. under a bright moon. It was a fine evening.

I watered the garden this morning and discovered corn. They finally emerged yesterday, but they sprouts are random in the rows.

Here's what the pumpkin sprouts look like.

The tomatoes and peppers are looking good, but the garlic is still hiding.

Wednesday, June 18

Eating and Growing

I got home to find Your Sister had arranged an outdoor dinner. She grilled corncobs, stuffed apples, and steaks. We ate on the deck as the weather was great. I managed to break a wine glass for a five-minute clean-up session.

She wrapped up the official school stuff yesterday, and this was a blow-out ceremony for her. She's still getting calls from fellow teachers and spends a good deal of the evening talking in detail about class plans and administration baffling. Many is the time that a scheduled coach surfing has been demolished by an hourlong call from a co-worker.

We did manage to close down the phone to watch the Celtics beat the Lakers. That was an astounding performance. The Lakers were consensus pick to win. The debate centered on how many games they'd need to win.

Mom is currently focusing on setting up her house for the internet. She wants to find a Dell PC from Best Buy, and she's calling the cable and phone companies to find the best price. I'll drive down to see her probably next week, and we'll window shop for computers.

We have sprouted squash plants. I see nothing yet from the corn or garlic.

Picture of the Day
You might need this for your school studies.

Monday, June 16

Follow Up

I Googled the sticker I found Sunday evening and found a company called Silly Girl Design. They make the image I photographed, and I discovered the company's MySpace page. They're based in California, and I let the owners/spokesperson know they've reached the other coast.

They clearly borrow heavily from Obey Giant material, but they may be too small to notice.

The script committee exchanged notes on our readings, and I was given five more scripts. No one else is getting this many each time, but I'm reading them all. We're nearing positive consensus on a few scripts -- we've already shelved a handful -- and we may have chosen our mystery play. There's still uncertainty about the upcoming season: when it will start, how many shows could be produced, etc. The delay in securing a permanent space likewise moved back the process of renovation and using the theatre. It's, of course, way too early to see what my acting prospects might be but I think my unusual age for this group (between college and retirement) will continue to help me with auditions.

Our local shuffle radio station, named "Charlie," has just switched to yet another conservative talk station. Because we didn't have enough. Obviously. The iPod retains its belt as Sanity Preserving Heavyweight Champion.

A Weekend for H Movies

Here's a hint for school administrators across this great nation: Do not fire and rearrange teachers within hours of the big district-wide faculty party. It tends to cast a pall. The much-anticipated blow out took a turn. A significant turn. And the administrators, oddly, didn't show up. Your Sister wasn't directly affected, but she now has a new English teacher who, just a few hours before, was the head of the social studies department. There was movement among the coach/teachers to accommodate the new football chief, too. It was sudden and unexpected for the staff, and it happened on practically the last day of school. The party couldn't escape the topic, and I was desperate for something I could talk about. We left early.

As she went to graduation, I saw The Incredible Hulk, a movie very different from the Ang Lee Hulk film. It's a simpler story told with more energy, and there are lots of extras for the comic crowd. I was very happy with it; I had expected a trainwreck almost as soon as the project was announced. I don't know if you ever got to see the TV series from the '70s, but this film tips its hat to that show often, to the delight of geezers like me. Strangely there were single women watching this film, and I can only assume they came to see Ed Norton.

After we put away another class' research papers, we watched The Happening. This is a small film that will piss off a lot of people expecting The Mist or Dawn of the Dead. I enjoyed it. I think there's a lot of meat on the bone, and it reminds me thematically of The Mist or Cormac McCarthy's The Road. It's assuredly a post-9/11 film. But don't go expecting to see something veiled in the ads. The commercials show you all the R-rated bits.

While at the theater, I saw a strange sticker in the bathroom, and I don't know if it's for a local band or a movie-marketing ploy. But I like it.

We got home around 9:45 and caught the last half of the Tonys.

We've grown some more grass, and now a pumpkin plant -- my first pumpkin plant -- has sprouted. We're going to have a bouncing baby jack o'lantern.

I finished my five scripts for this week, including the farces Arsenic and Old Lace and Moon Over Buffalo, two murder plays, and a play that's either a parody of such plays or a very stupid straight version. I cant tell, but I say we play it campy. We have another meeting tonight and I assume I'll be given another handful of scripts. I've read around 20 already.