Letters to Holly

Thursday, July 3

Scoots and Bleeds

I left work early to give blood. They weren't equipped for the apheresis this time, and I was little disappointed after preparing myself for it all day. Seems like the Red Cross would push for a centralized donation archive so regular donors like me wouldn't have to identify themselves and provide medical history every time. It's not likely that I've spent three months in England in the 56 days since since my last donation. I have to explain my middle-school heart murmur each time. I assume they have me in their system more than a dozen times. Also, my files don't transfer from South Carolina even though the Red Cross uses SS numbers for each pint. And, in closing, Red Cross shirt designs stink.

Your Sis made stir-fry on the grill again, and it was delish again. She is aggressively shopping for a scooter. She looked at local Vespas and a brand called Aprilia. She even has the manual to prepare for a motorcycle license. She's committed to this. She rarely drives out of town nowadays, but I worry about how we could get a scooter to the nearest dealership if it goes kaput. It won't fit in the back of our Matrix.

Picture of the Day
On the march!

Wednesday, July 2

Talking Scripts

The script committee now has until August to choose the plays. We also need to pick more of them. Instead of the original four, we need to pick seven. Because the board isn't sure when and where the next season will run, it wants extra choices in case we produce more shows to make up for lost ticket sales.

We're in the home stretch for play consideration, but we're still getting new scripts. I just finished The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge, a small show I was given yesterday. I have three more before next week's meeting. We have plenty of good shows to choose from, and now we're building consensus.

I went head-to-head with another member over two farces written by the same guy. They're very similar, and one, I think, is clearly superior. She wanted the other one on the grounds that the theatre already performed the script I liked. My point was that the theatre made that choice for a reason, and the other script shouldn't be presented just to be "fair" to it. This is a show she really wants to do, though. I agreed that a play so similar to the one I prefer can't be all bad, but it's clearly inferior. It's much like a bad episode of "Three's Company."

The committee is wary of doing dramas. Every theatre thinks dramas are the least-commercial choice to present and the hardest shows to cast. I don't agree. I think you're likely to get more actors when they don't have to sing. We might do Glass Menagerie, a show I did in 2002. We're also going to look at The Rainmaker. We can't just offer comedies and mysteries. We need meatier stuff, and I think a good show will bring in audiences, no matter what genre it represents.

Your Sis is trying stir-fry made on the grill. We have a new porous wok, and we're grilling corncobs give to us by Your Parents.

The recent funerals are giving me weird dreams. Last night, I dreamed I was one of the few survivors of a planetwide disaster. I scavenged and set up residency in the remains of My Parents' house. Last night, I chopped an onion, and it almost got me weepy for real. I'm obviously affected by recent events, and I'm not sure how to wring them out.

Picture of the Day
David Cronenberg and Placido Domingo are making an opera version of the former's The Fly. That was a remake of the original '50s grade-b horror film. Opera is desperately trying to remain relevant and bring in younger audiences. This -- and the hit London Jerry Springer opera -- is the right path.

Tuesday, July 1

Running Out of Time

Your Sis pruned the front walk yesterday and probably gave herself a massive sunburn despite the cloudy skies. It looms much better now, and the bushes don't loom so carnivorously. The garden has made another leap because of the rains.

This cooler weather encouraged me to run for the first time in a month. I ran around My Parents' neighborhood while waiting for Dad's visitation, so that was just over a month ago. I drove to the college to run; I hadn't been there to run since last summer. The school's a ghost town again, and I can run without too many distractions or embarrassing myself to the young'uns. I ran a 5k. It hurt. The headwind was not my friend, and my legs are now very sore. The subsequent wings and beer helped though.

We have a script meeting tonight, and I've enjoyed a week off from the readings. The July 10 deadline doesn't give us much time to choose our next season, but the theatre renovations may delay the season's start even more. I would rather not attempt to read new scripts; instead, I'd rather we re-read the ones most of us have graded. Give them all a second chance to win us over. I've read 26 scripts since April, and the majority of those since May. I think it unlikely to now find a new script that shoves another show out of contention. If we're still to assemble a season made of high-profile shows, we can't waste time reading small-time stories no one's heard of. We have to raise money. We need crowdpleasers. We need to produce requested plays.

Picture of the Day
Dinner for one, then?

Monday, June 30

And the Band Played On

I met Your Sis and Parents at the music center Friday for the season's opener. We had lawn seats, and I was worried about a string of storms moving through. Somehow the storms grazed us well before the show. Your Sis packed a cooler, and you should picture a large pirate chest of food. She even packed poundcake, fruit, and whipped cream for dessert, and those sitting around us stared and drooled. She's gone utterly Southern Living.

The show was my first classical concert, and it was incredible. We stole Keith Lockhart from the Boston Pops, and Yo-Yo Ma was the featured soloist. I know very little about the cello. I don't think I've seen one up close since my fifth-grade orchestra class. But Ma conveyed what the true greats can: Powerful Effort. Watching him or a Tiger of LeBron, the casual audience can see these guys know what they are doing and are doing it on a superior level. I hope to attend some of the opera dress rehearsals. I've never seen an opera before.

On Saturday, I drove to a work seminar to take pictures before helping Mom clean out Louis's house. It's a pile of plump garbage bags, currently. Mom and her cousin Jean were selecting what can be sold and what must be chucked. I was put on file-cabinet duty. This was what I did after Dad died: organizing loose receipts and legal documents. I found out Louis was in the Air Force for two weeks before bein shipped home with a bum foot. He had shot himself "accidentally" after getting his Selective Service notice, and when the military found out, they discharged him. We will be taking his old piano -- actually, Granny's old piano -- to our house before summer is over.

Your Sis was in Greenville to visit a college buddy, and I spent my bachelor weekend pruning the garden (accidentally uprooted a squash plant) and seeding the grass. She came back Sunday evening, and we watched the Olympic trials for track and swimming. I readily admit I have Olympic fever. I'm a sucker for them every year.

I hear someone got a Matrix.

Moving Picture of the Day
The trailer for the new James Bond film.