Monday, February 28, 2005

Old Shadows

Vanessa: "The lower half of my body is trying to secede from the union."

Vicky: "Today for some reason my skin is extra soft. It doesn't want to do it's thing."

Rachel: "May I have a wedgie?"

Chris: "You've already proved you can laugh at nothing."

Tasha: "Did you ever hear the blonde joke about the one who gets fired for throwing out all the w's? Jessica!"

Vicky: "Did you know that South Africa has the highest population of penguin poop export in the world?"

Jonathan: "Hi, I'm Jonathan. And I'm a raging alcoholic. Wait, I'm in the wrong room."

Jessica: "That's an instrument I'd really like to play is the drums. Of course I'd think I'd have to get rhythm first."

Adam: "I look like a girl with sideburns."

Aaron: "Is that patuski with one 'u' or two?"

Chris: "Acute Paranoia. I'm picturing something small and fuzzy, about three feet tall, this big, cuddly little... (indistinct baby noises)"

Chris: "If you Thai food is too spicy you risk catching Thai Food Fever."

Angie: "Jessica is vacuuming my armpits."

Vanessa: "Is it shag or pile?"

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Tri tip

Tri tip!

Last night, when I didn't think I could eat adobo one more time, Tasha came with tri tip steak and salad with red wine vinaigrette. We sat banquet style and had a real feast. Around a table and everything. With silverware and napkins. We tend to eat on the go. And the sandwiches and adobo are as constant as the rising and setting of the sun. It was wonderful. And for dessert, I had several more of my sister's Pfefferneuse cookies. Or as we call them, "the-best-cookies-in-the-world."

Where are we again?

Where are we again?

We've hit that inevitable point in tour. When homestays ask us where we've been, and where we're off to next, we just look at each other and snicker.

Yesterday was long. Highway 160 closed down for no apparent reason, and making a U-turn with trailers is a challenge. The drivers won't admit that. So we detoured and added an hour to our drive time. Grusha wouldn't reroute, so we winged it. But we made it finally, and found out the church had scheduled our show to start at 7 instead of 6:30. So all was well.

One interesting thing about tour. If you say 'emergency rest room stop only' every girl will pile out of the vehicles as if California has a bathroom shortage. The guys scoff and hold it until, half an hour down the road, they have to pull over and find a bush.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Another day

I think I may have narrowed down where my purse may be. More phone calls to follow...

Drea, Jason and his friend Shane came to the show last night. It was a good show despite three days off. Except for a brief moment where the lights went up and I jumped on at least two lines in my hurry to start the narrative...

So today we head to Stockton.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

The house is empty

The house is empty, and we're all alone.

Oh what a relief it is to have one's house to oneself again. Only, it isn't our house, it's someone else's. But no one is watching us eat... What else can they do really, if they're eating at the same time. But one does feel a bit like a hamster in a cage sometimes. (Oh look, they're eating! Would you take just a bit more? Would you take something else if I make it for you? My, you don't eat very much, do you? I guess if you're that small it doesn't take much, does it....) Some days I need a "Please do not tap on glass" sign. Or, like the police horses in Old Sacramento, a post-it stuck to my forehead saying "Please do not pet."

Vanessa and I stayed up far too late last night talking about everything and nothing. And this morning we presume to go to downtown Davis and walk around the shops for a bit. Then, off to set up, act, tear down, repeat 4X.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Tired of people

Today, I'm tired of people. I'm tired of being on display, and I'm tired of staying up and talking when I'd rather hide out in my room and be alone. It's part of being on tour, especially if you're an introvert. That is one thing that I've done better with than I'd expected back in August. Most days the lack of alone time doesn't bother me. In fact last tour I made it to three weeks from the end before I needed a day to myself. But today I'm tired.

We woke up this morning and drove to Sacramento (My team lost rock-paper-scissors, so we didn't get to drive. I was really looking forward to that -- it's been so pretty driving through the farmland of Northern California. More trees are in blossom every day), where we killed five hours in Old Town. Drea met us there and we went shopping. A big thanks to my brother in law, who saw my sister buying yet more patches for my jeans and told her when I came into town to buy me a new pair. So my needs were met yet again! I actually got a jean skirt for church so that my "good" pair of jeans can move down a notch.

And I've lost my purse. I'm pretty sure I've tracked it down to two churches ago. I can remember spending my last couple of dollars on a Pepsi, and I think I remember telling myself to put my purse back in my bag before I forget where I set it and lose it. But I think I set it with my stuff, which got moved three times without me there. So my wallet is gone. And why didn't I notice it sooner? Well, who needs a wallet when you don't have money to spend, eh?

Tonight Vanessa and I are staying with a woman, her son, and their college boarder. We found a Broadway Hits anthology and The Little Mermaid songbook, so we had a sing-a-long. We butchered "Kiss the Girl." We don't have enough rhythm for it. Or rather, we don't have enough for one of us to play the on beats, and one the off. And sing at the same time. I needed my dad's congas or something. Les Poissons was pretty good. Our best song of the night was Edelweiss. We got harmony going and everything.

Old Shadows

Chris: "Start with: 'We're always sick' and Julie's cross."

Johnny: "We should have a real baby."

Rachel: "Yeah, we'll get working on that."

Veteran Cast & Vanessa: "The baby's arms are missing. They've been sacrificing to the spirits a little at a time."

Vicky: "I have inzombia."

Jessica: "You can't even say, 'Where's your family?' in a group of Christans because they say, 'here.'"

Chris: "They're whoopie Christians. You sit on them and they pray."

Vicky: "Jesus, we know you healed the ten leopards..."

Adam (telling his testimony): "...And I said, screw it, and I raised my hand."

Chris: "Tomorrow? Yeah. Act."

Angie: "God is stretching us now so we'll be flexible later."

Vicky: "I speak very well English."

Aaron: "You wash your puff?"

Aaron: "My favorite was shoving the C-4 in the cram hole."

Vicky: "Alright, I'm going to go sit with people who don't give me the idiot look."

Julie: "Good Luck."

Austen: "Your scowl could kill a full grown moose."

Adam: "I need to scratch my benito."

Angie: "I'm thinking on her face."

Julie: "I can feel the words."

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Flora, Myrtle, and Martha

Flora, Myrtle and Martha

My homestay for our days off was a retired widow in a trailer park. I was the only one staying with her, and it was a lot of fun. For one thing, she let me nap all day Monday. Then the sun came out briefly, and we went for a walk around the complex. It was named the nicest trailer park in the US, and I could see why. It even had a plot of land for people who wanted to plant a few tomatoes and cucumbers.

She was from Missour-a, and her sister Myrtle lived down the way. We stopped by her house to say hi on our walk, and to invite her to dinner. Their parents had 14 children, 9 girls and 5 boys, and they were all raised on a farm.

Myrtle and Martha came over for pot roast. While Flora carved the roast, the other ladies discussed a man in their small group that won't take off his hat except to pray. It seems he's self conscious about his receding hair, but "he has a wooden leg, and that doesn't seem to bother him." I pitched in and mentioned several bald actors who were quite attractive, and Martha and I had quite a discussion about Patrick Stewart.

After dinner we played Mexican Train. I was in second place by the end.

It was refreshing to be around such great older women. What our society misses by hiding away our aging population because we don't want to look mortality in the face. Plus, I got lots of tips on Medicare (which they love) and social security ("don't count on it honey. It's ok for us, but it won't help you none...").

Monday, February 21, 2005

Long work week

We had our first 4 show stretch this week. So far everything is going well. And my kitchen crew is really pulling things together. Especially on Friday when my fabulous sister came to visit and took over the kitchen for me. The usual debate occurred as to whether we look nothing alike or nothing alike. But after she put on my sweatshirt and went walking and talking in the dark they all thought she was me.

Last night we had more than a full house in a half sized venue. But the audience was amazingly receptive. They laughed at everything and all stayed after to help clean up. It was one of our fastest clean ups yet.

We've been driving back and forth across the CA20 the last 4 days. And because of all the rain everything is in bloom. When the sun comes out is it absolutely beautiful. Something is blooming with dark brown bark and white flowers. One home stay says its almonds, one homestay said it was pears. Regardless it is the prettiest thing I have ever seen. Because of all the rain the fields are so green when the sun comes out. And all over the green fields the blooming whatevers pop up.

So all in all a great first week. And thank God for a few days off to recover.

(posted by my lovely sister Andrea over the phone)

Thursday, February 17, 2005

And now for something crafty, by Rachel

Being Crafty

And my big achievement was the remodeling of my old pair of jeans. Patching the holes in my jeans is a major form of entertainment on tour. I have two pairs of 'tour jeans;' one I patch with souvenir patches from where we've been (beginning with the Grand Canyon located just far enough south on the back of my leg to not generate a lot of puns), the other I patch with butterflies. Yesterday I wore two more holes into my butterfly jeans, and needed to fix them. Then I got inspired. The back pockets were literally fraying off the back of my jeans, so I tore them off completely, built new pockets from the same butterfly print material I'd purchased to bind the cuffs, then cut down the existing jeans pockets to make smaller denim pockets over the butterflies. And for my post-midnight burst of creativity, I embroidered "2 Corinthians 5:17" onto the back right pocket, and sewed my last two butterfly patches on it. (Now anyone who checks out my butt with get a dose of scripture, too.)

And since I had to hand sew the entire project, I'm surprised it turned out so well. But everything is double seamed, so it should hold up for a while. And it looks cute! So, yay!

OHHHHHH the sun came out, the very next day...

OHHHH the sun came out, the very next day...

And a good thing, too. We were beginning to feel like we hadn't left Portland after all.

Yesterday was the last in a set of three days off, but we performed twice for a Christian elementary school. Then Tasha and I shopped a bit while trying to figure out when our food order was going to arrive. We got a frantic call from our Sacramento Rep afraid that the food had already come, but the view halloo was rescinded a minute later, and we had time to grab coffee before meeting the truck.

The hobbits were at it again. They came to 'help' with the food order, but spent the main portion of their time seeing who could throw a box cutter and make it stick in the cardboard. And wrestling. And duct taping the bags of chicken they'd punctured in their impatience to 'get this over with.'

Actual hobbit conversation:
Pippin: "Dude, look how much I can lift."
(Picks up Merry, upside down)
Merry: "Put me down. You suck."
Me: "Can you guys possible hold this off until after the food order is done?"

God protect us from two 18-year-old guys who might very well decide that it would be "cool" to jump off a roof and try to hit the trash bags two stories down to break the fall... And think it's a good idea.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

California, show week 1

California, Show Week 1.

We began tour with a rough start. After a 5:30am wakeup, we gathered at the garage to leave at 7:30. There we discovered that our tortion bars didn't fit the new hitch to the Kitchen Trailer. Two hours late we finally got out of Portland. We had a great first day of driving. The sun came out as soon as we got on the highway. Austen and Julie were driving, and Aaron, Tasha and I were riding along in the sub. We spent some time reading aloud from a book Austen had recommended to Tasha and discussing it.

We took the back way through Redwood National Forest. By then Aaron and I were driving. (That is the royal 'we' of course. I don't drive, I hold the walkee talkee and act like I know where I'm going. Mostly I try to refrain from swearing at Grusha -- our GPS system who always knows where we're going. Except when she doesn't.) We drove down the 101 the last half hour into Eureka, CA. The waves were lapping on the shore, the sun was glinting off the water, and it was a beautiful welcome to the state. The last sun we've seen since then, too. When we arrived, Covenant church and our homestays treated us to pizza.

The next day was our first show on the road. Four of us, Julie, Angie, Liz and I stayed with a young married couple. They met in Hawaii at DTS with YWAM. They have a real heart for missions in general, and hope to go to China in a few years, after they've started a family. That morning they took us to Patrick's Point State Park to hike through a mock up of a Sumeg Village and up several steep rocks to catch glimpses of the rocky shore. The last view point, a five storey rock was hit by a wave that crashed another twenty feet over the top. From where we stood we could see 180 degrees of ocean. I saw the earth curve. No wonder our ancestors thought the world was flat. I could see where one might fall off. We had a rough show after almost a week off, and tear down was an unmitigated disaster for kitchen crew. We had a lot of helpers, but space was tight, and my crew doesn't know how to direct traffic yet. I was frustrated with them, they were frustrated with me, and we all generally were flustered. I lost three metal trays at that venue because I forgot to count them.

Sunday we had another long drive, from Eureka to Red Bluff. We got a late start because Adam began vomiting as soon as we left town. Jonathan, our relief co-pilot took over, and we were off. Highway 299 is one of the most beautiful roads I've ever been on: A clear aqua and whitewater river over a stony bed with moss encrusted trees all around. The eucalyptus had shed their bark, so the occasional bit of red-orange flashed through the green. On the way I made 3 by 5 notecards with the joblists on them for my crew. That show went much better. We performed for our smallest audience ever (either tour -- 39 people) but they were very receptive, and gave us much hospitality on our day off. The neatest story was a gentleman (we call him Dan) who saw a poster and walked in off the street. He knew no one there, but stayed throughout he whole show. We'll never know how he was affected by the presentation, but we're glad he was there.

That night and the next Vicky and I stayed with Sam and Helen, originally from Oklahoma, but had been in California since the 60's. They still had their accents, so much that I had to translate for Vicky from time to time. She didn't catch more than every third word. Sam bought us a box of chocolates for Valentines Day, then they both took us to Hometown Buffet in Redding for dinner. And since they'd been married 52 years, they got their picture taken in the booth in the back. They were the nicest couple, and Sam said to tell our daddies that if they didn't want us back, he'd adopt us. They let us sleep all day, too.

Today we woke up and drove to Chico to our next set of homestays for the break. This church is amazing. We aren't even doing a show for them, but they're putting us up. Tomorrow we're going to their school to do a mission presentation for their third and fourth graders. And Tasha and I were taken out to Mongolian Barbecue after a leisurely nap. We couldn't have a better day off. After she went to a prayer meeting, we sat around quilting. It's been lovely. Tomorrow we have a food order coming in, so our day will be in bits, but Tasha and I are planning on a Pride and Prejudice marathon tomorrow night!

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Former shadows

Former Shadows:

Tasha: "Body language? I just want to cut out your liver and eat it."

Tasha: "We need to unlock the key."
Aaron: "With what? The lock?"

Jessica: "You know when you wear dresses? And then you wear dresses as shawls?"

Tasha: "When you put aaahss in the water, it keeps it from melting." (She's from Arkansas people, sound it out)

Julie: "Did you write your social security number?"
Angie: "It's right there."
Julie: "Ohhhh! I thought people were putting their phone numbers."

Rachel: "I don't know where 'Above All' is."
Vanessa: "First page."
Rachel: "Ohhh, I was looking under the u's."

Jerry: "I was born in 1941. That was also the year WWII started. But I don't think there's any connection."

Vicky: "It's Newton's Law...oh wait, Murphy's Law."

Aaron: "I can't praise God in dance."

Angie: "My parents decided that, with kids, McDonalds is a five star restaurant."

Jerry: "It was just last week I was praying; if you can pull this one off, you're God indeed."

Aaron: "It's a step, it's just more like a treadmill."

Vanessa: "Somehow I get to where I can throw dirt."

Thursday, February 10, 2005

We're almost out of here

Oh yay! It's finally the last day. Tomorrow at the butt-crack of dawn we're out of here. I'm so excited. I hate the last few days. We're ready to perform. It's time to go, but we sit around and finish bits and pieces of things that were undone, or broken. And the ever popular cleaning of Mock's Crest. That went pretty quickly. And to save us from washing dishes that are already packed away, we got a treat. Eating out -- and nothing involving casserole. (A staple here at Mocks)

My bags were packed by 2 this afternoon, so I've been twiddling my thumbs for hours. I slept through some of it. But now. IT'S TIME!!!!!

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

The Aviator

The Aviator

I've just returned from seeing The Aviator. I'd heard it's good, and wanted to see it before I go on the road and am out of the loop for three months. (By the way, Star Wars III is FINALLY going to make an appearance. Call me crazy, but if there have been three Harry Potters in just over three years, and ALL THREE LOTR movies out in the same amount of time -- starting production from scratch, just like Lucas did in the original Star Wars trilogy, what the heck is taking him so long? Other than the obvious. Marketing. Oh, and Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is going to come out in March. Don't Panic.)

Aviator was really good. I think. Scorsese leaves me less with the feeling of "woah!" and more with "ohhh. I think I liked that." It was a beautiful movie. Beautiful. The recreation of the 1920's to the late 1940's was amazing. Cate Blanchett, of course, was brilliant. But I've liked her in everything she's done. And I didn't know Leonardo could act. I liked his character in Titanic. Marvin's Room was good. Catch Me If You Can was not the same as the book, but I thought he branched out of former roles on that one. He did a great job in this film playing someone with OCD. Similar to Jack Nicholson, but Howard Hughes' condition was worse. Do all Scorsese flicks lack an ending?

The whole movie, had it completely sucked after the first ten minutes, which it didn't, would have been worth it for the 'filming the dogfight' sequence. And Cate Blanchett playing Katherine Hepburn.

Favorite line: "You taught me to fly. I can take the wheel if I have to."

To the tune of ouch.

"How much is wow?"
"Somewhere between ouch and poiiiing."

So I got my poor car fixed today. To the tune of $580. Oh yes. Thanks to Mary Hunt and my contingency fund, I have it. But it's still a lot for a computer chip and somethingg to do with my transmission (Or trannie, as the guys call it. What is that?).

But they washed my baby. Well, most of the way. Somehow they missed vacuuming my backseat. You would think for that much money they might remember it. But I didn't want to sit around while they fixed it, and they did give me free hot chocolate while I waited. And the outside it ready for me to turtlewax before I put her under a cover and let her sit for three months.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

One of those days

Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day

You ever have one of those days when nothing goes right? That would be today. It's my least favorite part of tour this week -- picking up the pieces, and waiting until it's time to clean up to go. Busywork. Shopping. Oh the shopping.

Today our goal was to refold the programs -- they came back backwards from the printers. 6,000 of them. In the middle of that I went to the garage to try caulking our wheels into the kitchen carts. They have metal wheels, but plastic casings that break the first time we roll them over tough terrain. Not good when you have two hundred dishes on a cart. But like I know where to find caulking. And neither did anyone else.

After lunch we were back to fold programs while running through our lines for practice. The multitasking wasn't bad for me, but that doesn't stand for everyone. It was my idea to try and do both at once, and it wasn't a complete disaster once we got into the swing of things.

Then Torrie and I went shopping for odds and ends and lunches for our first drive day. Tupperware for the coffee cups at Fred Meyer. Then to Winco for groceries. They don't take a card. We have the company one, and no pin number. Four calls later we're finally through the line and out of there. Costco for cleaning supplies and baby wipes. They don't take Visa. Their ATM is broken. So I'm back to the bank to withdrawal more.

And for the clincher, somewhere along the way, my computer in my car decides to go out. Not completely, but my car won't switch gears, the odometer is kaput, and the gas gauge fluctuates. Fluids are fine. But the RPMs are rather high. Austen and Jonathan drove it around for a bit and decided it's a computer thing not (thank God) a transmission thing. Guess where I'm headed tomorrow...

Now I'm back up at the office taking a quick break from signing the last of our server thank you notes. On the plus side, we're watching Sword and the Stone.

Work Projects

We're doing work projects today, will blog this evening. Haven't fallen off the face of the planet!

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Dress Rehearsal minus 1

Dress Rehearsal Minus Two

Today we drove to Lake Oswego for another round of early morning mock shows. I remember most of the monologues I'd forgotten yesterday, except one where I was so busy worrying about the lines I took my shoes off a scene early, and that threw me for a loop, so I forgot it again.

And in one scene, Austen delivered the pick up line, and I completely blanked and jumped to the end of the scene. He blinked, delivered the line after the one I threw. I jumped back to the beginning of the dialogue, he followed. I went to the middle, and then the end, and he covered my ...self every time. Good thing, too.

On a positive note, I did remember all my Balangao.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Another day, another show

Another day, Another show.

Our first mock show in a new venue. The kitchen crew only did a little set up, since we can't cook until we have an audience. I got ahold of sysco and our food for the next four shows is ordered. Having never done that before, I thought it went very smoothly. And then Austen and I were sent to forage for dinner (which was really lunch, since we'd synchronized our watched to "real show" time at 7am.

We went to two different supermarkets that should have had a deli, and neither did, so knowing that the entire team would hate us if we brought sandwiches (which we get PLENTY of on tour), and not having the authority to make our own decision on food, we went to McDonalds in the middle of their lunch rush and ordered 24 double cheeseburgers and 8 biggie fries. That went over well.

It was our first show with new and improved sound cues. Most were good. A few were terrible. And the spooky Ichaw music, after a few bars, turned into nostalgic mood music. There's another that's very Princess Bride, and a third that reminded me a lot of Indiana Jones, but I can't remember why. And we have a cool "hiking through the jungle" conga beat.

The helicopter crash scene is improving. I'm really self-conscious about writhing around moaning. Today it was "more believable, but still needs some work. You need to be more out of it." Well, tomorrow I'll skip my morning coffee and pass out directly. I'll be up again at 5:30. I HATE mornings.

And tonight we have the evening free. I may do some mending. Several people have mending that I said I'd help with, and some black signature Wycliffe Dinner Theater polos need shortened...