Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tail End Of a Heat Wave

We were in Fresno and Oakhurst, California, over the past few days, and until this morning it was unbelievably hot. Triple digit hot. But not unbearably hot, because we bore it just fine and even managed to have a lot of fun. Lots of visiting, a trip down memory lane (in an air-conditioned car) as I showed the boys some of my old haunts around the mountains.

We settled around Bass Lake in the middle of Thursday after discovering that it was about fifteen degrees cooler there. Karen and the boys went swimming, and William got to slide, several times, down the stone waterfall at the west end of the lake. There are pictures and video coming, but I don't have the tools to do it from here, so they'll have to wait until I get back to New Hampshire.

Friday was a visiting day in Fresno, with lots of catching up and swapping of stories. And more swimming for the boys in the pool. The heat broke this morning, just in time for our trip back down south.

It's been an interesting trip for me. I've remembered a lot, and I've also seen a lot of changes. And, to tell the truth, I've become more than a little homesick. But I'll drag myself onto a plane at the end of it all and get back into the routine. But I'll be mentally preparing for my return to the West Coast every day.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Adventures In Travel

Here we are. California. It's been a very, very long trip, and not just because of the actual traveling. The adventure started last night when, much to our surprise, the tree across the street caught on fire.

The old, dead tree had been leaning against the power pole for at least a year, but for some reason, perhaps a combination of a slight shift in position and the rain, it began smoking and smoldering yesterday afternoon. We were too busy to notice, though I did wonder as I came home from some pre-travel errands that one of the local fire trucks seemed to have parked itself on the street for no apparent reason.

After the fire truck came a work pickup from the electric company which sat in our old driveway and shone a light at the tree to keep an eye on it, presumably to contact either the fire department if it started a bigger fire, or the line crew if it snapped a line, and waited for the tree crew to arrive. By this time even we had noticed.

So here are we, trying to get ready for a trup for which we have to get out of bed at 2:00 a.m. and wondering if our alarm clocks are going to be reset in the middle of the night by a power outage.

Eventually we had the power outage, but the crew told us beforehand and it was only for five minutes while they got the tree off the line. But that pretty much did it for our plans to go to bed early.

Still, we made it to everything one time, except the car rental counter and that was only because our flight was delayed. But then, so was our car, not because of any malfeasance or incompetence on the part of the rental company, but because they were swamped. By the time we got our car and left, the line was out the door and partway around the block.

I asked the guy at the counter if this was unusual, and he said it was a little unusual. A man with a gift for understatement.

But we got the car, and hightailed it to Carl's Jr. for lunch. They hadn't fed us on the plane and we don't have Carl's Jr. in new Hampshire, so we had a double incentive to go there. After lunch--sorry Burger King but the Rodeo Cheeseburger is but a pale imitation of the original Western Bacon Cheeseburger--we took to the roads of LA, and promptly it a traffic jam on the 405.

That's when I knew for certain. I'm home.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Getting Ready to Fly!

I'm starting to get really excited about traveling out to California to see all our friends and family on the Left Coast and visit some of our favorite places. I have my packing list done, though before we actually pack anything we need to look over the list and eliminate! This idea of traveling light has never been our strong suit, but I'm bound to keep trying.

Actually it's getting to be a matter of economics with the airlines charging for checked luggage. We're not bringing any; we each have our one carry-on and one "personal bag," which is an airline euphemism for "another bag that we won't call luggage." It has to fit under the seat, however, so we will not be stuffing those very full. (Hint: if you want to do something special for us this trip, show us around, do something with us, or feed us. We don't have room to take anything else home!)

I'm still planning to put up that gallery I promised, since I haven't had time to blog about some of the fun events of the past couple of weeks. One that I don't have pictures of was a yard sale on Saturday at our day care, where we set up tables and sold some of the things we have been trying to get rid of. Well, let me clarify that. We didn't have a table because we couldn't find one, and it was the boys' stuff that we were getting rid of to get them some spending money for the trip. Actually, they made out very well, and I was proud of how well William handled making change.

By the way the second weekend of show went very well, and overall more people attended this summer show than any other since I've been with the Village Players. And they were great, boisterous crowds, too, which makes the job of acting in a comedy that much easier. A great and to the season for me, since I won't have time to be in the musical (although I running the light and sound boards).

Meanwhile there's lots to do on the house, trying to sandwich construction work between the dog days of summer and the first freeze. News about that as it happens.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Still Playing Catch-Up

Can't quite get rested after the long week leading up to opening weekend. I think I just got so exhausted, that it's going to take a few more days. Of course, work doesn't help. You might be wondering why I have not yet written about opening weekend. Is the show not going well?

In fact, the show is going better than I ever imagined, and I imagined a great show. We had two big, responsive audiences in two nights (and a small, responsive audience for dress rehearsal). My fellow cast members were hot, hot, hot! We've been getting nothing but compliments.

I haven't written because I've been busy and tired, and I have to save up some energy for the next set of shows. But before I retire for this night, I will relate a couple of funny stories from last week.

Thursday was dress rehearsal. Because the entire cast was sleep deprived, some clever soul suggested we start dress rehearsal an hour early so we could get a little extra sleep before opening night. I loved the idea, and it worked out very well. But I almost didn't make it. On my way home I stopped at a supermarket in Rochester for some groceries, and when I came out my right rear tire was flat. Now, I do have a compact spare, but I also have all-wheel drive. Can't use the compact spare unless you disable that, and I don't have the owner's manual for this car.

So I grabbed a tire pump I had been keeping in my car because all of my tires have been slowly losing air, pumped up the tire just enough to limp it over to Wal-Mart, and asked if they repaired tires. They do. But not this one. There was too much cracking around the rim. Probably when the guy who sold the car to me bought it at auction, it had been sitting on its tires for too long. So I had to buy four new tires. Not unexpected, but a little ill-timed.

Fortunately, there was no one else there and they had me in and out in about half an hour.

Then Friday, opening night, was also the day of our Employee Appreciation Party, which was held at Red Hook Brewery. No, I didn't get drunk on opening night. I don't drink. But I did get talked into karaoke. I sang "Mack the Knife," rather well I thought considering my sleep deprivation. But until you sing without any sleep, you don't realize how tiring it can be.

This story has a happy ending, too. Because no matter how tired I am when I arrive at the theater, I always come alive when I hit the stage. Especially with an audience as lively as the one that greeted us opening night.

But now I have to take a different approach to perking up. Getting some sleep.