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Thursday, July 27, 2006


My daughter's best friend is moving to North Carolina. I, as a born and whitebread northerner, can't quite fathom moving to North Carolina on purpose. On the other hand, I'm sure that those that live in an area of the county in which the weather doesn't suck can't really grasp choosing to remain in wetville.

Regardless, it's sad always when friends leave -- and harder when, like Mackenzie, you are at that most malleable and tender age (just about to turn 15). I know this hurts my daughter; and I know it disturbs and scares her friend, too.

Sadly, her friend is showing her own fears and trepidations by becoming more distant, and by denying the reality.

I moved when I was 10, and that was traumatic enough. My parents never told me we were moving (I think they just wanted to save me the pre-move stress) -- they literally simply told me one day to get in the car, and we drove to our new house. "This is your new bedroom" they told me; "these kids in the neighborhood will be your new friends".

Huh. Never saw that coming.

On the other hand, as we arrived, there was a baseball game going on the street (remember when kids used to just get up games in the street?) right in front of our house. Pretty cool, I remember; and I had my glove on and was playing within a few minutes of arriving. I think moves like this are easier on boys.

Michael's best friend just moved away this summer, too -- to Florida. Hard on both the kids. I really feel for them; and I don't know how to make it any easier for them....especially Michael, since he is not nearly as social as his sister (although even Miss Manners is probably not nearly as social), and has a harder time making new friends.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Tick Tock

Time to kick into heavy work mode again -- the scout season, the theatre season, the fall baseball season....all are kicking in.

We've chosen our season for the coming year in our theatre -- all classics. We're opening with "Dracula" -- the original Broadway version (that Bela Lugosi played before making the film). In the winter, we're doing "The Importance of Being Earnest". That one will present marketing challenges, but I think (hope) we're up to 'em.

In the spring, I'm directing "Once Upon a Mattress". I like directing, and I especially like moving large casts in and out of small spaces -- I like direction that is active and full of motion without being frenetic and distracting. That, at least, will be my goal.

For "Dracula", we've got some interesting marketing tie-ins: we're going to offer a discount ticket to anyone who donates blood at a local blood drive. We're also hooking up with a local bar who will offer a discount on a bloody mary for anyone showing a ticket stub. The show will run three weekends, including Hallowe'en weekend, so the timing should (one hopes!) ensure a good box office.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Vacation Now, Rest When I'm Dead

Just got back from a long vacation in California. Longest vacation I ever took.

Here's something you don't see in Ohio. In Ohio, we have signs warning you to be careful lest you plunk a deer. Near the Mexican border, they warn you about a different form of creature crossing the road:

We spent the better part of a day driving and exploring the giant sequoias. We saw the General Grant tree (the 3rd largest living thing on earth), and actually walked inside a fallen sequoia….the inside of which, at one time, had been used as a hotel, and a stable for 32 horses. It’s hard to imagine how huge these trees really are. The tree in this picture is really nothing special, by their elephantine standards: