December 2003 Birch Pt. Beach Blog

November 03 | January 04

Mon. Dec. 1: Thinking about what I wrote on Saturday, I have to amplify a bit. I don't brag about my kids. It's partly a familial trait and partly because after living in A2 for umpteen million years and managing the A2 Young Actors Guild for the last 4-5 of those, I have heard it ALL about kid geniuses -- other people's that is. There are so many gifted kids in this city, there can't be anything left to excel at! (Friends, if you're reading this, I mean those *other* people's kids, not *yours*! :-)
    But I'm selling Liz short. She may not get along all that well with calc, but: on the dining table are two A papers that she brought home, on the refrigerator is a letter from the provost about an award she got, and a couple weeks ago, we saw a production of Macbeth, which she stage-managed. (My favorite part of the play was in the lobby after it was over and Macbeth, after killing everything that moved, came along and asked, "Lizzy, how many minutes do we have [out here]?")
    We already have enough derned engineers in this family although they do come in handy when my creaky old minivan decides my life isn't exciting enough.
    The moon is about half-way to full and Sam (friend, not dog) is looking for her longjohns.
    Tomorrow I'll get back to blogging about whatever passes for *my* life!

Tue. Dec. 2: Mouse and I had the wrangler down in the Commie parking lot dropping her off at school this morning. We did a u-turn and hit a van. We don't remember which one of us was driving. We hooked my powerbook up to a 20-foot iMac-style screen that was in the Commie parking lot and let the people with the van surf the internet. They were so thrilled that they didn't care about the dents we put in their van.

Wed. Dec. 3: It's not even tech week yet but today I found myself wandering around Kroger like a zombie. What do I want to cook? What do we have at home? What are we out of at home? What the heck does Mouse eat these days? It *almost* makes me miss the days of pizza rolls and macaroni and cheese from the box. But not quite.

Thu. Dec. 4: A quick YAG quiz:

Anyone think of any others? YAG trivial pursuit!

Fri. Dec. 5: This is the only free day I will have until after the play (heck, until after xmas, probably). The GG is picking up Lizard Breath in kzoo for xmas break and Mouse is at school. My plan was to clean the house and cook some things. Wouldn't you know it, a water main broke on Walter and they have turned off the water so they can fix it!

Sat. Dec. 6: I was kicked out of the set construction shop by Rivka and I've been banned from the rehearsal room by Mouse.

Sun. Dec. 7: Great Old Broads for Wilderness!

Mon. Dec. 8: Almost 5 years ago I came home from a meeting or rehearsal or whatever and there was a Guinea Pig in the house. I had registered my vote NOT to get one (or any other aminal) but there "she" was. "She" was CUTE! Elizabeth named "her" Dina. When we figured out that "she" was HE, we knew Dina was not appropriate but never quite got any further than "Piglet", well, except for "Eagle Bait", Doghouse Carpet", "Toilet Brush", "Meerschwein", and I forget what else. Usually we just called him "Piggie" though.
    Shortly after we got Piggie, we read somewhere that guinea pigs could live as long as 5-8 years. The GG said something like, "We could still have him after Liz goes to college." And we did, she's a sophomore. He ended up being as much MY pet as hers and he was a GOOD one.
    Piggie almost made it to five years but not quite. This morning I dug a hole under the pine tree in the back yard and Lizzy and I got a little "casket" together for him. We'll bury him after the rehearsal tonight, he can join Izzy the Rat. People have put lizards and hummingbirds and things in my freezer but I will NOT put Piggie in there!
    What a way to start a tech week!

Tue. Dec. 9: "Dear DaimlerChrysler Minivan Owner: [blah blah blah blah] The Clockspring assembly that connects to the electrical system on your minivan may lose the electrical connection to those components. This could cause the driver's airbag, horn and/or speed control system to be inoperative. An inoperative driver's airbag will not deploy and can result in increased injury to the driver in a frontal crash.

A failed clockspring will cause the AIRBAG warning light to either remain on [blah blah] or illuminate intermittently while you are driving. If this occurs, contact your dealer immediately to have the airbag system inspected. If your dealer determines that the clockspring has failed, it will be replaced without charge to you."

'course, given my luck with this loverly old heap, it'll be the AIRBAG, not the CLOCKSPRING! Duct tape, anyone?

Wed. Dec. 10: The latest in tech week food: ravioli or tortellini with Knorr's Parma Rosa sauce (courtesy of Connie) and frozen chicken taquitos (courtesy of Bethany (right, Liz?)), all purchased from our favorite grocery store, the Westgate Kroger.

Thu. Dec. 11: Sorry, but Christmas can't happen until after the French Revolution!

Fri. Dec. 12: Heard backstage during A Tale of Two Cities:

Sat. Dec. 13: All kinds of backstage fun and confusion, including vomiting -- no time to blog.

Sun. Dec. 14: Starving after a week of scavenging leftovers from whatever the kids cooked or stuff that people dropped off in the green room.

Mon. Dec. 15: Why in the heck am I having a board meeting at my house tonight? Have I finally truly and completely flipped out?

Tue. Dec. 16: So, a friend's wife is on a cruise vacation with her girlfriends and is probably having a great time. Why is it that my vacations always involve some combination of rustic accommodations, octogenarians, in-laws, kids, dogs, grocery stores, stoves, sinks, garbage cans, and brooms? And why am I always plugged in to the internet doing business during my vacations? And why on earth do I actually LIKE my vacations the way they are?

But Jane responds: "I think what you're missing is the other things that go along with your vacations that make them so great -- your cousins, the sand, the waves, the boats, the walks down the beach, the smell, the cold that permeates your body when you dive under that lets you know you are alive, the beer, the hot dogs, the occasional bonfire, etc. and of course the howling nor-westers, 3 day blows, seemingly endless rain. The dogs, sinks and brooms are just fluff on the side."

Right On! And I'd have to add: kayaking, rock-walking, Clyde's, Whitefish Pt., hiking @ Tahquamenon, kicking drunk Canadian ORV-ers off the beach, meteor showers, hummingbirds, Penny's Kitchen, flying muskellunges, bears on the deck, dead seagulls, loon calls, lighthouse legs, outhouses (well, not any more), hiking @ Naomikong, The Cozy Inn, the Sault art fair... What else? Liz adds: kitchen dancing & screen changing.

Wed. Dec. 17: I guess there are a few people around here who actually expect me to pull some sort of a Christmas celebration out of my hat, so today I have got to get going. Cry Santa?

Thu. Dec. 18: Xmas shopping is so much fun:

I'll take Arlene & Elsie and all the other Good Old Broads at the Westgate Kroger U-scan any day! They've been getting me out the door fast & with minimal conversation for the last 24 years.

Fri. Dec. 19: Why is it that Panther is not an acceptable Christmas gift for a mom to ask for?

Sat. Dec. 20: Life at the Landfill this happy holiday season:

Sun. Dec. 21: This "blog" is supposed to be for fun. But today it has to be serious. We got home from a party late last night and I checked my email and there was "News" from my brother which I expected wouldn't be good and wasn't. Our cousin Cathy died yesterday at age 49 of cancer. It was somewhat unexpected, at least we weren't aware that she was sick. We have a million cousins, she's the first we've lost. We love her and we will miss her.

Mon. Dec. 22: Xmas shopping is so much fun II: Waiting at a checkout counter where some strange, slow, complicated transaction was happening ahead of us (or not happening). Then, a miracle occurred! A very nice-looking polite older (like my age) gentleman came along: "Are you ladies waiting to check out? Why don't you follow me and I'll get you out of here right away. Sorry about the wait." And we were whisked off to an empty checkout counter for a quick sales transaction and friendly chit-chat about Liz's college, etc. The name on the guy's badge? TK!!! We need a TK or three in every store!

Tue. Dec. 23: Rented that good old Christmas classic, Metropolis, and were chastised by the video store clerk because the version we like is the "bad" one with the rock score. "It'll NEVER be on DVD!", said he. (Woodring, where are you?)

Wed. Dec. 24: Prob'ly better not to blog about today. Scatterbrained, unfocused and generally more cranky than circumstances warrant ;-)

Thu. Dec. 25: Some yooper gods conspired to conjure up some snow just for me, so I get to shovel. Yay! :-) Otherwise, it'll be a quiet, boring, Gooseless Christmas (she's in TX).

Mid-day update:


Hey! No one has sent me any dog pictures yet! Usually I get a whole bunch of dog pictures on xmas day. Where are they? Okay, thanks bro!

Fri. Dec. 26: So, we got here (Houghton Lake) and the furnace wouldn't turn on. It looked pretty bad for a while, so I didn't unpack anything. But after about an hour of tinkering and a trip to the hardware store, Mr. Fix-it got it going, so yay for engineer-types! Just a *little* too tired for skiing last night so drove around the lake and got tea lights at a totally empty KMart, then stopped for a quick beer at the Pressure Crack Pub -- bad karaoke and you can't make eye contact with anyone or they'll ask you to dance, at least that's what happened to the GG & his twin brother last year :-) :-)

Sat. Dec. 27: WOW! GREAT SKIING! All you wimps are missing out! Got over to the ski ranch right around when it opened and skied a whole bunch of kilometers. 10-mile day! Or more, I guess. We quit around noon when it started getting really hot out and headed up into the Mason Tract, then Grayling and home via back roads. This is the first time I think I have ever been up here when I haven't done the dishes about every 5 minutes but they *are* starting to get stacked up so I better get going.

Sun. Dec. 28: Packing up and heading out. Guess it's a good thing grandma Fran won't be at the funeral because she would prob'ly have a fit if she saw what I was wearing on my feet. And, as Lizard Breath pointed out, we'll smell like the cabin... I hope Cathy won't care.

Mon. Dec. 29: Actually, I didn't write this or anything else on Monday the 29th because we were having a big, wild party here! GB Fins, RegenAxes of St. Louie, Bubs & Harry, Jane, Liz's friends, some YAGgies (Mouse's friends) & last but not least, Sam & Ernie, Chadwick & Hermit Crab. So, parties:

I think we're too partied out to do anything for New Year's.

Tue. Dec. 30: Coffee w/ Sari, Marci & Paul (cameo appearance), shoe & headlight shopping w/ Mouse.

Wed. Dec. 31: pictures... slow loading pages for dial-up users, Grandma that's you, go do the dishes or something!