Friday, December 26, 2014

Smart Cookie

Christmas 2014 is over.  This Christmas break has been quite a whirlwind, but still a nice vacation as well.  It's great to not be thinking about work too much, great to not be getting a zillion work e-mails every day.

Hope to catch up with the Schluetermetz' tomorrow (although I'm not sure if I've got a good cell # for them), and really looking forward to Eric E's house tomorrow night. 

Samuel has been both wonderful and terrible.  He's just a little ball of constant energy.  Really smart, really articulate, really hungry for attention. 

Remember how I've always complained about my swamp ass and my toxic ass/ball sweat?  I think I've discovered a cure (or at least a retardant):  gold bond medicated powder spray.  A shot of it up the ol' crack every morning seems to keep it pretty much in check down there all day.  I think that switching to boxers has helped, too.  Thanks for asking!

The Afghan Whigs released an album earlier this year that I had missed and started listening to last week, and really liked it.  It doesn't sound exactly like classic Whigs stuff, but if you like the Whigs and the Twilight Singers material, you'll probably like the album.  I especially like the song 'Lost in the Woods.'

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Gone Girl

Today was one of the best days I've had in a long time.  My ladyfriend was off work, the little dude was at the babysitter, and since the show is pretty close to up-and-running on its own, I decided to not go into work until the evening.  So Jerns and I decided to have a Bob Evans breakfast (awesome), do a little appliance shopping, and then catch a movie.  In the middle of the day!  We saw Gone Girl, which was about 45-60 minutes too long but otherwise not bad.

It was a day that I've needed for about the last month or so.

So now I'm here in my office at the building, listening to the final preview for Christmas Carol over the monitor, and making sure nothing melts down.  The show ended up looking decent, although CC is not my favorite story in the world.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Daniel Lame-ois

Tonight I had a ticket to go see Daniel Lanois (probably in the top 3 of my musical heroes) and Brian Blade (my fave drummer) and Jim Wilson (a dude that plays bass) in DC, but instead I am skipping the concert and opting for a relaxing night at home and an early bedtime.  I hope that this fact conveys the extent to which I AM FUCKING TIRED.  I'm ready to be done with Christmas Carol, and I'm ready for a day in which I don't go to the theater, and I'm ready for a few days off in a row.

Jeanners' dad is visiting and helping with the kitchen renovation.  I feel bad because I haven't really been helping while he's been here, but I've seriously been at work the whole time.  He's doing a really good job of replacing our plumbing, though, and Jerns is doing a good job getting the walls ready for the drywallers.

I went to the doctor for a physical and I think she's got a thing for me, because she said I looked gorgeous.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


So Sam's new thing is that you have to call him by a new name.  And every hour or so he picks a new name.  And you have to call him that name in every sentence that you say.  The following is a non-exhaustive list of names that he likes to be called:  Mr. Moon, Lesley, Wildcrats (which is actually Wild Kratts, which is apparently some PBS kids show that he watches at the babysitter's house), Susan, Mowgli, Kaa, and Okami.

Today when we went downtown there was a parade and Sammers got to sit in a fire truck.

I am in the midst of building A Christmas Carol, which is a bit overwhelming but I am doing my best to stay un-overwhelmed.  I am making myself take every Tuesday off during the build (although I'll be working nights and weekends) to maintain a little bit of life balance.

Jeannie's Dad is coming out on Thursday to help us with some of our renovation work.  Over the weekend we tore out our kitchen counter and sink and so now we just have a stove and refrigerator in there.  I've been putting in the new electrical stuff over the past few days, and then when that's done we'll have somebody come out and do the drywall, and somebody come out and do the plumbing, and then we'll put in the new cabinets and new appliances and countertops and stuff.   This can all hopefully be mostly done before Baby #2 arrives.  Jeannie's Dad is going to help put up some trim around the house, and maybe some electrical work, and maybe some gas pipe work.

I have a doctor's appointment on Monday.  I am going to go see Daniel Lanois next Wednesday in DC.  Kinda pumped.  I'm gonna try and go way early and hang out outside and maybe get to say hi to DL or Brian Blade.  Cuz I'm a nerd like that.  But these guys are my musical heroes.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

There are lots of songs in this boat.

Tonight I'm having what I like to call my "Russian Dinner," which consists of alcohol (usually beer but tonight G&T), and bread with butter.  I call it my Russian Dinner because it's what Dostoevsky always describes people having for meals in his novels:  beer and bread.  It probably goes without saying, but I usually only eat this when Jeannie is not home for dinner for some reason.  Also, it's not what Sam had for dinner.  Although I did take him with me to the liquor store today, where he gleefully told the other patrons that we were buying gin.

He has been an absolute terror at bedtime lately, probably because he was up too late because we had stuff going on.  Normal bedtime tonight, though, and he went down ok and so far hasn't woken up too much.

Last night we went to the Patterson Park lantern parade, which he loved and I enjoyed as well.  Not sure if I was gonna like it, but I had a pretty great time.

Richard II opened last night, and looks pretty good, I think, so now it's on to the next one:  A Christmas Carol.  I was feeling pretty stressed about CC, but tonight I sat down and made a build schedule and am feeling much better about it.

The Jeanners took some time off last week and was able to trim out the windows in our bedroom.  It's quite awesome.  Someday when we're old(er) and gray(er), and we finish this place, it's going to be pretty nice.  

What else?  Been feeling incredibly incredibly lucky lately.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Ricardo Dos

I'm reclining in bed right now, typing on my phone.  The Jeanners is working on work.  I had planned on going to bed tonight at like 8 o'clock, but it didn't happen.  Worked on a design for Christmas Carol instead.  It needs to be done by Friday so that they can start rehearsing on Sunday.  Not looking forward to that show, but I got some good work done on it tonight.  In a few minutes, J and I are going to watch a Friends or two and then hit the hay. 

Samuel is such a little boy now it's crazy.  He's getting so grown up.  I guess I should take this opportunity to bury the news that the Jeanners and I are going to have another baby right in the middle of this post.  (The burying of the news is happening in the middle of the post, not the having of the baby).  So we're trying to introduce Sam to the idea of having another baby around, but I don't think he gets it yet.

Been enjoying U2's new album.  It took a few listens to get into it, but now I'm thinking it's their best album since Achtung. 

What else?  Work has been busy but not crazy busy.  I guess it's a little weird that 12 hour days 6 or 7 days a week just feels normal now, but there are a few tricks that help keep things balanced:  come home for dinner and try to be home by 10.  Jerns has really been holding down the fort, though, (in addition to her job), so once this show opens I'm going to try and keep some shorter work hours.

It feels pretty darned good to be working on artistic pursuits.  I'm also really enjoying working on lighting (I had kind of been dreading it), and I like it when the sets I build end up looking lime the drawings I drew. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Why are YOU crying?

Samuel has started telling jokes.  Like, bona fide jokes.  Knock knock jokes that he doesn't quite understand the mechanics of, and a joke for which he changed the punch line.  Joke should go like this:  Q: Why was the broom late?  A: Because it swept in.  Samuel has changed the joke to this:  Q: Why was the broom late?  A: Because it flipped over.

If you tell him the correct punchline, he says, "Noooooo, I changed it!"

Anyway, he's been cute.  We went on a trip with my folks to the beach, and had a good time.

My brain is a little scattered right now.  Hard to focus on writing.

Work has slowed down a bit, but the next two weeks should be pretty hectic as we close and strike Midsummer and open Richard II.   But it's fun.  It's fun to make a living working on shows with people that, for the most part, I enjoy working with.

Been reading the latest David Mitchell novel.  It's OK.  A little bit too sci-fi/fantasy-ish in some parts, but not bad.

done fer now

Sunday, September 21, 2014

It is Finished

This picture was in some newspaper.  That might be my head in the bottom right.

I took this picture during one of the dress rehearsals.

This was during the ribbon cutting on Monday morning. 

I think this one was taken during tech because nobody is in costume. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wizard is About To Die

I've worked 72 hours in the last 5 days!  Only 2 more days to go this week...

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Some Goddamned Peace and Quiet!

Right now I just got home from work, and the Jeanners hasn't gotten home yet from picking up Sammy-o (he's taken to calling me daddy-o, so that's what I've been calling him lately), and the house is still and quiet and it is the first quiet moment I've had to myself in a very long time.


And now, Jeannie and Sam are home.

I'm happy to see them, too.  But I enjoyed the quiet moment. 

Friday, August 22, 2014


I'm sitting in my car waiting for the lighting supply store to open.  I need to buy some 5-pin to 3-pin DMX adapters because I don't have the time to make some myself. 

It's Friday, which feels good because there's no rehearsal tonight, which means that when I don't go to rehearsal tonight I won't be skipping it.  Because there isn't rehearsal.  Does that make any sense?  Basically, I get the feel-good benefit of not skipping rehearsal, but I also don't have to go to rehearsal. 

This conversation is a little bit moot (or "moo," as Joey says, "like a cow's opinion"), because I stopped going to rehearsals anyway.  I decided that the amount of contribution I was making at rehearsals was not worth the energy that I was expending being at rehearsals.

I'm going to stop saying any words that contain the word "rehearsal" now.

What else?  Tired mired.  That's what else.  Oh, and I wake up every morning feeling a little nauseous now.  Nerves.  I suspect it won't go away until after we open the new theater. 

Jeez!  Come on, lighting supply store, just open up already!

Sam's been pretty cute lately, for the most part.  I sure do enjoy our Tuesdays together.

Sunday, August 17, 2014


So tired.  Brain melted.  Body broken.

Neighborhood kid Tyler came over on the porch tonight, crying, and told us that he and his mom are moving out tonight.  Fairly heartbreaking.  He's 6 years old and has already had a pretty tough life, it seems.  He's been a good friend to Samuel and is a sweet kid.  I hope that somehow he ends up staying around.

Brain seriously melting.

Jeannie and I had a date last night and it was pretty great.  A nice dinner, conversation, a walk by the harbor at Fells Point on a beautiful, cool summer evening.  Love was in the air, I tell you.



I need a good, solid, two weeks off.

Saturday, July 26, 2014


What life was like today:

Got into a small fender bender.  Stopped paying attention and totally rear ended a man in town from the Philly area who was taking his daughter to look at Hopkins.  Samuel says we "bumped into another car."

Came home.  Took a nap.

Mowed the lawn.  Trimmed the sidewalk all nice.  Always feels good to trim the sidewalk, although I only do it about once a summer.

Took a shower.  Clipped toenails.  Brushed, flossed, water picked.  Always feels good to clip toenails, floss, and water pick.  Brushing feels good, too, I guess, but is done often enough that it's forgettable.

Played with the dude a little bit.

Went to Chipotle with J and the dude.  Walked through Charles Village and walked to sculpture garden outside the art museum.  Art and Fart Museum.

Came home.  Walked in the door as the sun is setting behind the lush, out-of-control-a-little-bit garden and freshly mowed lawn, with bees and other bugs swirling and hovering in the light.  Sam and Jeannie walking up the walk as I am going in the door.

Fighting with the dude to get him to brush his teeth.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Boxers have been only moderately successful in staving off the diaper rash.  Not the overwhelming success I was hoping for.  Next step --  Nair-ing my arse?  I think things would have to get pretty desperate before I take that step.  I'm hoping that once the weather cools down and I stop sweating 24 hours a day that this problem goes away on its own.

At work we hired a guy named Russell to clean the building and help out with stuff.  Russell is a guy who worked as a temp for the construction company, hauling stuff, cleaning, and pretty much just taking care of the crap work that nobody else wants to do.  The guy works like a horse and is a really thoughtful, soft-spoken man.  As construction was wrapping up he approached me and said that when this job was over he wasn't sure if he was going to have another temp job and that he was really interested in cleaning the building for us.  Over the course of the last year I had gotten to know him a little bit and liked him a lot, so I asked around to find out if anybody on the work site knew of any reason why we shouldn't hire him.  Everybody raved about him, saying what a hard worker he is and all-around good guy.  So I told my boss that I thought we should hire him, and he's been working for us part-time for about two weeks.  He's been great.  We've had several days where we've been riding in a truck together, moving stuff between our old offices and the new building, and here's what I've learned about him:

1.  his fiftieth birthday is coming up on August 21st
2.  he believes that God is in his life but he doesn't go to church every Sunday
3.  loves chocolate milk
4.  he knows somebody everywhere we go
5.  loves karaoke and line dancing

I just got back a little while ago from going downtown with Samuel -- to the theatre and then to the harbor, and we also headed out to EZ Storage to check in the lost and found for something that a patron left at one of the shows.  Sam's been good lately, a mix of very cute and somewhat annoying.  But he's developing (I think) some good manners and imagination and compassion.  I hope.  When we listen to music, he's always asking me the names of the songs and who sings them.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Checking In

Just wanted to let everybody know that, after 20 years or so of boxer-briefs, I've decided to try and go back to boxers in an attempt to squelch The Great Adult Diaper Rash Rampage of 2014 (#GADRR14).  

Friday, June 27, 2014

Benedict Cumberland

The family and I are on a mini-vacation in scenic Cumberland, MD.  I say 'mini-vacation', but I am learning that calling something a vacation while you are accompanied by a two-year-old is a bit of a joke, as there is nothing whatsoever relaxing about spending any time with a two-year-old.  But, at least it is busy and stressful and tiring somewhere where other people cook your meals, make your bed, and do your dishes.

The Jeanners was in Atlanta for 3 days chilling in a company-paid-for awesome hotel while I slaved away at home as a working single dad.  Perhaps I'm underplaying the amount of work she had to do while she was gone and overplaying the amount of suckiness I endured while she was away, but still, you get the idea.  Poor Dan.

What else?  Can't believe it's almost fucking July.  I need to have a scene design for Midsummer done soon.  Other than that, I'm pleasantly surprised that I've made it this far into the summer without wanting to kill myself or my co-workers.  Some moments of minor annoyance, yes, but nothing terrible.

Let me take this opportunity to say that there's really nothing I miss about working at the Nobes.

Tomorrow:  some hiking, some trainspotting, maybe some more swimming.  Gonna try to find someplace with vegetables for lunch.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Sound and Vision

The super-busy times continue.  Construction is just about finished at the building, lots of cleaning and punch-out work being done.  Today we got to fire up the sound system and bring up some stage lighting.  It was kind of a moving experience after all the work that's gone into getting the place to this point.  I think the music sounded pretty damned good, and I think the lighting looked pretty damned good.  And even though it was the middle of the day, with the mecho-shades down and all the doors closed it felt like the middle of the night.

Which is all great because yesterday was a pretty disappointing day that made me feel like everything was going wrong.

Still much much work to do between now and September.  I was hoping to have the weekend off but it looks like I will be working at least most of the day tomorrow.

The Jeanners heads out of town for a work trip next week, then we just booked two nights in Cumberland, MD for a mini-vacation.  We're going to go on an historic train ride.  The dude will probably shit his pants (out of excitement, not just his usual pants-shitting).  And by "the dude" I mean Jeannie.

Fun night talking with the Jeanners last night.

Sunday, June 08, 2014


The last couple of weeks are pretty much a blur of work.  And the Beej's wedding, and that's about it.  Haven't been home very much, haven't gotten to hang out with Jerns or Sammers very much.

We got our Certificate of Occupancy at the new building on Friday.  So I guess it's kind of officially ours now.

Probably about 4 or 5 days of crazy work left and then it will settle back down to normal work.

Friday, May 30, 2014

3 wins -- 2 from the Death Spot

Last night the Beej and Pat and I played our geek card games until the weee hours of the morning out at the theatre offices.  Then I just crashed on the couch at the office because I didn't feel like driving home and then back a few hours later.  It was a good time, a bachelor party of sorts for the Beej, although it will surely go down in history as the dorkiest bachelor party that ever was.  No strippers, just Doritos and Coca Cola and adult diaper rash.

Been building the set for the summer show.  It's been going pretty well.  I've got a crew of 3.5 people, and they've been great to work with.  Not great carpenters, but they work hard and if they don't know how to do something they ask me to do it or they ask me to show them how, which I appreciate.  I've tried to be respectful of their time, and I think it's been going well so far.  We're on schedule, and I hope to be finished by the end of the next week.

Things continue briskly at the building, as well.  Several of the pieces of the construction that I've been in charge of coordinating are coming to fruition -- phone and data network is being set up, security system is going in, AV equipment is getting installed.  It's pretty exciting, and (so far) things are working as planned.  If we can pull this thing off, it will be a miracle.

The Jeanners is off gettin' her hairs cut right now.

Samuel's been cute lately (mostly).  We've been prepping him for BJ's wedding -- explaining that it's kind of like a party, and there will be lots of people there looking at him, and that he'll get to hold a pinwheel.  Also explaining that Abby is not Abby from B&N but rather a different Abby.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Bath Salts

This evening I took a bath with bath salts in it.  What a crock of shit.  Completely worthless.  Gimme bubble bath any day of the week over that bullshit.

A good day today.  Lots of progress made on getting the phone and internet network set up at the building.  Plus, I actually did some of the work myself, and was successful.  That never happens.  Also lots of progress made on getting a lift to the building, and maybe even there on time.  We'll see.

Is it hot in here?  It's these damned sweatpants.

I just finished watching Beneath the Planet of the Apes.  Wow.  That movie was a stinker.

Speaking of stinkers, there's something wrong with the toilets in the building where I currently work.  Often, there's not enough water in the bowl, which results in very stinky poops. you know.

Jeannie is out shopping tonight.  That's why I watched BtPotA.  She would never have stood for watching a crap movie like that.  But anyway, I'm making my way through all of the Planet of the Apes movies.  Why not?

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Drink Sangria in the Park

What a beautiful day it was today.  Kate the World Traveler and her new son, Micah, came over in the morning, and we ate a tasty breakfast (eggs, bacon, biscuits, juice) and walked up to Herring Run park so Sammers could play on the play ground and the grownups could chat in the sun and Micah could sleep and fart and gurgle and do what babies do.  

Then it was nap time for me and Sam, while Jeanners worked in the garden, then after we woke up we all worked outside for awhile.  Then dinner, bedtime for the dude, and I headed in to the building for an hour or so of salvaging some good quality plywood that the theatre seats were shipped in.  

It really felt like a good day.  

Jeanners and I have watched a couple of 80's movies this week -- Flashdance and Somewhere in Time.  She preferred Flashdance, I preferred SIT.  But we both agreed that both movies were pretty bad in their own special way.  But they made me nostalgic for the 80's.  I guess I'm just an analog man.  Or maybe an anal log man.  One of the two.  

This week is going to be about getting ready for the summer set build, which starts next week.  Also about coordinating the finishing touches of the theatre.  Making sure the data cablers finish their fucking job.  Trying to find a new 30' personnel lift for $8000.  Buying some TV mounting racks and maybe some TV's.  Stuff like that.  

But right now, it's time for LORDER!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

But a Bitch Ain't One

My problems, in order of severity:

1.  not qualified enough to be doing most of the things I do.
2.  butthole discomfort
3.  tired.
4.  no time to take care of necessary car maintenance and doctor's visits.  (Just to  be clear, the doctor's visits are for me, not the car.  That first sentence wasn't very clear.)
5.  syntax
6.  can't seem to make my brain turn off at night without having a drink before bed.
7.  sweat too much, even when inactive.
8.  poor taste.
9.  can't understand how to use ratchet straps, even though they've been explained to me several different times, by several different people.
10.  poor attention to detail / just don't give a damn

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

At the End of the Tour

Well, this season's high school tour is over.  Can't say I will miss it, although it was nice having an excuse to not think/obsess about the building.  I think what I will remember most about this tour is the mornings -- they were quite wonderful.  Usually I would arrive at the school a little bit before the truck and I would find the people that we needed to find, and figure out the best place for the truck to go, and then wait.  And one particular day it was just a beautiful day and as I sat on a stone bench outside and waited I felt very connected to the world around me, as cheesy as that sounds.  And then this morning, I was tired and it was overcast, and as I drove through the city and watched people walking around and crossing the street, I had a very strong "none of this is real and everything is a dream" sensation and it felt kind of beautiful and moving.  Anyway, I like moments like that.

Sam had his second birthday on Saturday.  It was great.  He understood that it was a special day for him (it really helped that Jeannie went out on Friday night and picked up some decorations so that when he woke up on Saturday he walked through streamers going into the living room -- he knew right away that something pretty cool was up) and he enjoyed getting presents, and he just really seemed to enjoy himself, playing with his new toys and eating cupcakes.  He's been pretty cute lately, although last night at bedtime he had a major freak the fuck out.  But then again tonight he was perfect.

Tomorrow my aunt and uncle are coming for a visit and we're going to go to dinner.  Hopefully it'll be uneventful.

What else?  My b-hole has felt funny lately.  And not funny ha-ha.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Lost Time

How has over a week gone by since I last wrote?  Time has its foot squarely on the accelerator. 

Jeannie's mom is here visiting, which is nice.  I've got two days off with no rehearsals, which is nice.  Me and the ladyfriend are gonna go see a movie tomorrow night, which should be nice.  

The weeks lately have consisted of solving one or two problems and then realizing 4 or 5 things that are going to be potential problems.  So it feels like I'm moving slowly forward around a racetrack that is getting gradually longer and longer. 

What else? 

Starting a high school tour of R&J next week. 

Not much else.  Sorry. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Lots going on right now.  Let's bullet-point it!

  • Work on the building continues.  50 days left in the renovation process.  Thoughts of conduit have taken over every hour of my life.  Still some shit to get ironed out, but things are going mostly well.
  • The Jeanners and I had a surprise lunch date last week and it was the highlight of my 2014 so far.  First of all, we never get to go on dates.  Second of all, this one was unexpected.  Third of all, it was during the day.  And best of all, it was at a kick-ass, mostly Chinese, buffet.  It all adds up to a winner.
  • I got weirdly sick on Sunday night.  Violently ill for about 20 minutes, and then pretty much OK, just a little dehydrated and diarrhetic.  Probable food poisoning from delicious, yet slightly sketchy, delivery Indian food.  
  • Yesterday I drove to Secaucus, NJ, to look at the seats that are going into the theatre and make sure they were being manufactured to be the way we want them.  Then I turned around and drove back.  It would've been much more enjoyable if the people I had been going to see hadn't told me I needed to be there by 11, and then when I got there, people back at the building called and asked if I could come back to be at a meeting there by 2:30.  So I had pretty much exactly 3 hours to get there and 3 hours to get home.  And it's right around a 3 hour trip.  
  • I had a strong desire to go to a happy hour this afternoon.  So far, I've been resisting.  
  • Sam has been cute.  Talking up a storm.  Developing personality.  A lot of fun.  I've been in rehearsals for a high school tour of R&J and I haven't gotten to hang with him enough this week.  
  • Check this shit out:

Tuesday, April 01, 2014


Today has been a Tuesday spent, thus far, like many other Tuesdays of the last few months:  the dude and I head down to the harbor to look around. 

First stop, the 10,000 lb granite ball outside of the 'Ripley's Odditorium' that is suspended on 1/8" of water and spins around.  The dude loves to watch it spin, and loves to watch the bubbly water go down the drain.  He usually says of this, "Big....ball.....turning...."

Next up, we walk down to the Science Center and check out the big boats, life rings, and any trucks along the way.  Also we are on the lookout for any tugboats and rowboats.  When we get to the Science Center, we touch the sculpture-ish things outside and then turn around.  On the walk back, we have a good view of the skyline so we look at tall buildings and also any steam that might be coming out of some of the buildings.  Also helicopters, birds, and airplanes. 

We pass by the giant ball again, so we have to stop and touch it again, and usually by this time the odditorium's front garage-door type door is open and they are blasting the three tunes that they play on repeat:  Katy Perry's 'California Girls,' Maroon 5's 'Moves Like Jagger,' and a third one that I don't know.  He stops in and dances for a little while, also checks out the large robotic T-Rex made out of found objects. 

Then we head over to the B&N, passing by the 9/11 memorial that he always wants to touch but that I never let him touch, the exterior of the aquarium - where they have some outdoor speakers that always, and I mean ALWAYS, seem to be playing the exact same lick of piano and soprano sax music as we walk by, and the boats that look like dragons, which when we pass them he says he's going to eat the dragons and thinks he's being very funny. 

Once we get to the B&N, Sam looks for a tall security guard who is there sometimes and who Sam calls 'Sir.'  We go upstairs and look at the fish in the aquarium and then head to the cafe, where we share a chocolate chip cookie.  Then we head over to the trains in the kids department.  The dude plays with trains and reluctantly shares the trains if there are other kids there.  This is usually a spot where I get to check my phone and see if I've gotten any e-mails yet. 

Then we leave B&N and head back to the car, passing by a bunch of this shit again, and of course we have to stop in and say goodbye to the big granite ball and dance inside the odditorium for just a minute.  Back to the car, drive home, have lunch, change diaper , put on PJ pants, read a book, and take a nap.  Which is where he is right now.  And I am procrastinating doing some work. 

That's our Tuesday mornings.  Time to do some work!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Today was a big day.  We sort of began the Great Kitchen Renovation of 2014-2017 by emptying and removing our cabinets.  Tomorrow my goal is to get the stove moved and maybe the trim taken down around the kitchen window. 

And the other big part of the day is that Jeannie and I were mostly able to work at the same time while Samuel entertained himself on the front porch.  It was pretty great.  It was warm enough for us to leave the front door open, so we could hear him jabbering away to himself through the screen door, and every now and again I would look out our front window and see him sitting on the top step in the sunshine, wearing a bright red vest and playing with his yellow truck.  Not much in life better than that, I'm thinking. 

Work was crazy yesterday.  Super busy, about 10 different e-mail conversations all happening at the same time, but good and productive.  A couple of semi-big wins, a half argument over e-mail with a guy who's trying to sell me a phone system (tip:  if someone tells you that you've got half of their business, don't lose that half while you're trying to go for the other half), and some time spent walking around downtown in the sun. 

I had a G&T last night.  It tasted good and was uneventful. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

I Prefer Jelly

Tonight I was putting Samuel to bed and we were sitting in the rocking chair and reading 2 books, and he smelled strongly of maple syrup, because he ate pancakes over at the babysitter's today and he must've gotten some in his hair, and Jeannie and he and I took a walk this evening when we all got home so there was no time for a bath.  And by the time he was going to bed he was a bit over-tired and threw a fit because he didn't want to brush his teeth.  He won that battle, I'm afraid, and so got to go to bed without brushing his teeth and without taking a bath, and so smelled strongly of maple syrup.

This week has kicked my ass a little bit. 

Here's a picture of Sam helping Jeannie with the dishes.  Belted to the chair...

Monday, March 17, 2014


The Jeanners and Sam and I got back last night from a brief, yet pretty fantastic, trip to Ohio.  A lot of driving for not very much time, but most definitely worth it.  Uncle Rico drove in from St. Louie, and the cool kids (and the cool kids' kids) were there, and it was just very mental battery-recharging, as usual.  A delicious fake-Thanksgiving dinner was cooked and served, Cards Against Humanity was played, and a walk to the ravine and train tracks was taken.  2 trains were seen, by the way, a fact which made Sam so excited that he was shaking as he pointed to them.

It was really wonderful to see Sam playing with everybody.  We had been prepping him for most of the week, letting him know that we were going to be going on a long car ride, that we were going to go to Ohio, and that we were going to be seeing Jen, Brad, Henry, Jack, and Uncle Rico, and I think he got a big kick of putting together the names with the people once we got there.  The fact that the house was full of new (to him) toys didn't hurt, either.

Also, it snowed last night (again).  Very snowy winter here.  And I like snow, but even I am ready for winter to be over.  So work today was kinda slow because of the snow.  But I got some good stuff done -- organizing our props storage and talking with Ian about an idea that I had for Midsummer.   Also went to the building this morning and this afternoon, but it was closed and locked both times -- I guess the burly construction guys with their ginormous trucks were too snowed in.

Oh, and Katie the North American Traveler had her baby!  A healthy baby boy named Micah.  How truly exciting.  Welcome, Micah!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Downtown Julie Brown!

Ugh.  Haven't written in a million years.  What's the point?  Work, work, work, blah, blah, blah, Sam, Sam, Sam, blah, blah, blah, poop, Jeannie, work, yada yada yada.  That's about it for my life right now.

My brain feels like it is going at about 100 mph about 80 percent of the time now.  Luckily, it still seems to be able to shut down most nights.  For a couple of weeks now I've been having beers here and there.  No G&T's yet, though.  The beers taste delicious, by the way.

Sam is talking up a storm.  He says fun things like, "What's up, Dawwwg?" and "Downtown Julie Brown!"

The fam and I leave for a brief trip to Ohio beginning tomorrow evening.  We're gonna drive for a few hours tomorrow night and then shack up at a hotel.  Finish up the drive on Friday.  During this trip I plan on:                            
                   1)   letting other people play with my kid while I take a nap and
                   2)   hitting up Steinmetz for free scenic design advice.

Katie the World Traveler is probably having a baby AS WE SPEAK....!!!  I hope it's going well.  Childbirth is the stupidest process I have ever been witness to.  Ugh.  So stupid.

Sunday, March 02, 2014


Lil' dude went pee pee in the potty today for the first time.  Pretty cool.  Although, lately I've been realizing that helping him try and go to the bathroom in the potty is going to be more work than just letting him piss/shit in his diapers and then changing them.  Everybody always talks about how hard potty training their kid is -- do they mean it was hard for THEM (the parents?)?  If so, this is a swift kick to the parenting groin, and one that has caught me a little bit by surprise, although it probably shouldn't have. 

What else?  Jeanners and I got to go on a date Friday night, to see a play by a local theatre company that also recently (within the last few years) renovated an old building downtown and turned it into a new theatre.  So I got to scope out their place and see how it differs from ours, and see any similarities (they were both designed by the same architecture firm).  More differences than similarities.  But I liked their space.  Their production was a little too well-produced for my taste -- perfect set, perfect lights, perfect costumes, good acting, not a hair out of place -- but the whole did not add up to more than the sum of its parts.  But it was good to get out, and seeing someone else's work has made me think a lot about the work WE'RE doing --  what should change, what shouldn't change, etc. -- and it was nice to check out their building and compare and contrast. 

Some big work decisions coming up -- picking a phone system, picking an A/V company, making some lighting inventory decisions, figuring out if there's money to buy a lift or if there isn't money to buy a lift.  Things like that.  Basically, my job is to figure out where all the stuff that isn't already paid for is going to come from.  It's been fun so far, but now that we're getting closer to the time when all this stuff actually needs to get installed it's getting a little scary. 

I guess that's all for now.  We're expecting snow and ice so who knows if I'll be going to work tomorrow. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

I need a haircut and a beardcut

I have been remiss.  Two weeks since the last post.  What a disgrace.  I'm not sure why I'm writing less, other than that since switching jobs my brain has been more active and has had less room for navel-gazing or reflection.

Life feels pretty good.  The building is chugging along, and we've only got a little less than 100 days to go in the renovation period.  I'm in the process of cboosing an A/V equipment vendor and a phone system vendor.  Also, Merry Wifes is up and running, and although I'm really not happy with the set or the lighting, at least it's up and I can move on to the next thing, which in this case means designing the summer show and getting ready for a Spring high school tour. 

What else? We're trying to figure out how to afford the kitchen renovation that we want to do, and trying to figure out how to have elves do as much of it as possible, hopefully while we're sleeping.

Sam is alternating between very cute and very 2-year-old, often in the same sentence. 

Jeanners is lookin' hot, just like always. 

And Big D needs a haircut.

Also, we are going to go see the Schlueterileymetz' in March!  Booyah!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sicky, Tiredy

I have a half a night off, which is nice, because I've been putting in some long days lately and I am sick.  The sucky part is that I've been putting a lot of work into this set (mainly because it has to be put up and taken down every two days or so because of other stuff that's scheduled in the theatre where we're performing) but I'm really not happy with the way it looks.  It looks shittily designed, and shittily built, and shittily lit.  All of which we done by moi.  Go team!

I miss hanging out with the Jeanners, and I miss hanging out with the dude (although I'll get to hang out with him all day tomorrow), and I'm ready for 3 nights home in a row.  On the first night I will catch up on Downton Abbeys with my girlfriend.  On the second night I will clean up our house.  And on the third night I will stare catatonically into space and eat spreadable port wine cheese on crackers.  Not sure when I'm gonna get those three nights, though.  Probably next week. 

What else?  Not much, really.  Just work, work, work right now.  Which is fine, because I get a lot of extra time off when we're not in the middle of a production, so it's only fair that I make up some of that time when we are in production.  And I'm really (mostly) enjoying the work. 

Last night I NyQuil'd and slept like a dead man. 

Samuel can blow his nose!  What a helpful accomplishment that is. 

Thursday, February 06, 2014


This rehearsal I'm watching has been far too long.  And I'm tired and I want to go home and chat with my woman under the covers while rubbing our toesies together.

Oh!  Rehearsal's over!  I get to go home!


A couple of times a day, for about the last month, I have had the sensation that there is warm urine running down my shin when there is no warm urine there at all.


Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Busy Busy Elves are We, Making Presents Merrily

The title of this post is taken from a song that was performed during a Christmas musical at my grade school when I was in about 5th grade, a musical for which I played the xylophone and glockenspiel.  The song is what I now play for Samuel on his tiger-shaped xylophone that you play by pressing a key rather than hitting it with a mallet.  So it goes through my head a lot these days.  How come I can remember how to play a song that I learned in 5th grade but can't remember conversations that I have with Jeannie, conversations that she brings up during arguments and then I look like a jackass because I don't remember having had them?

Been busy this week.  We open a show next week, so I've been trying to get my schedule coordinated enough that I can get all the show stuff done and still stay on top of the building stuff.  And go to the rehearsals that I need to go to.  So I probably won't be home a lot for the next week or two.

Sam has gone into another 2 to 3 week phase of being cute.

I found out last night that there's going to be a concert in DC in April of Emmylou Harris and Daniel Lanois (et al) performing the Wrecking Ball album.  This is pretty much a dream concert for me.  Tickets go on sale this Friday, so I'm gonna try and get some damned good seats.  If Brian Blade was gonna be there (he played drums on some songs on Wrecking Ball, including 'Where Will I Be,' which is probably my favorite drum track on any song ever) I would totally be shitting my pants with excitement right now.  I haven't heard that he'll be included, though, so as it is I am only leaving small, excited skid marks in my boxer briefs. 

New U2 song out -- 'Invisible.'  I like it a lot.  I'd say it's the most promising U2 single I've heard in over a decade.  Makes me have hope that the upcoming Danger Mouse-produced album won't suck a donkey dick.  Which is exactly what a lot of their recent stuff does. 

That's all I've got right now.  I should nap while the boy naps. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Disappears in Dreams

The other day, Jeannie and I were taking a nap, and I was having a weird dream where I was in a video game, and there were co-workers running around through the video game with me, and Sam was a little video game version of Dracula (don't ask how that works, it would take too long to explain) and it was all very weird, but then at the end of the dream I was just holding Sam (in his little Dracula outfit) and he just disappeared.  It was terrible.  I woke up crying, and it still makes me cry when I think about it.  Because in the dream it was like he was dying, he was DISAPPEARING FOREVER, and I would never see him again, and I knew it, and he seemed to know it, and it was terrible and it broke my heart. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Dada is beefy

Not much going on really.

Ooo - The other night I was laying in bed thinking about the following statement -- "The greatest thing in the world is ___________." -- and how I would end it.  I came up with 'chinese food.'  Cause chinese food really is the greatest thing in the world.  What do you think is the greatest thing in the world?

Also decided:  my anti-drug is lemonade.  What's your anti-drug?

Last night I was able to smell my own butt without changing my position seated on the couch.  Never good.  The result of no-shower and old underwear.  Don't act like it's never happened to you. 

This post was written on my phone (Jeannie doesn't let me use our computer anymore).  Please celebrate my perfect spelling and punctuation.  Or, maybe not perfect but at least pretty damned fine. 

I should really go paint the radiator cover.  And no, that is not code. 

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Anal punchers, rectal scrunchers

Whenever I see the word "recital" in print, I ALWAYS first mistake it as "rectal."

On Wednesdays and Thursdays, I drop Sam off in the morning at the babysitter's, and then I get to come home and take a leisurely shower and make myself a leisurely semi-lumberjack breakfast, and maybe read something short, and then head off to work.  Which I am doing today.  And I usually enjoy it very much, and I am at least semi-enjoying it today.  But I've been noticing lately how much I enjoy hearing Sam run around the house, giggling and screaming and babbling, and how, when he is not around, life can feel too silent and claustrophobic.  Which is weird, because one of my biggest fears before having a kid is that I would miss my beloved "peace and quiet" too much, and that I would resent my kid for getting rid of it.  Well, it's true, the kid has mostly gotten rid of it, but I don't seem to miss it too much.  Peace and quiet feels a little too empty these days.  Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. 

Related:  I always used to feel like I didn't have a whole lot to lose, and I always regarded this as a good thing.  These days I feel like I have a lot to lose, and while that feels very good, it also feels very bad. 

Related:  I always used to talk myself out of worrying about things by asking myself, "What's the worst that could happen?"  And the answer would usually be, "That person will yell at me," or "I will lose my shitty job."  These days the answers carry more weight, like, "My kid could die," or "I will lose this job that I really seem to love."  Again, this is both great and terrible.  How can I talk myself out of worrying now?

I'm looking forward to this weekend, for no reason in particular. 

I had, perhaps, the best hot chocolate of my life yesterday. 

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Writer's Almanac

I think Samuel may have officially entered his "terrible two's" "annoying" phase.  Maybe.  It's not "terrible," but it is pretty annoying.  He's kind of latched on to a few things (listening to music all day, sitting at the steering wheel for a minute before going anywhere in the car) and then freaks out when he doesn't get to do those things.  Basically, just kinda freaking out whenever he doesn't get what he wants.  Ugh.  I'm glad that I spent the summer with him BEFORE all this hit.  Jeannie's been home a lot with him for the last few weeks and I think she's about ready to throw him off a bridge a little bit.

Luckily, he is, at times, still very cute.  Like when he says, "potato," or leans in and gives spontaneous kisses. 

Anyway, enough about the boy. 

The fam and I went to ChesShakes new years' party today, which was uneventful.  Consisted mostly of trying to make sure that Sam wasn't throwing himself in the fireplace or breaking anything. 

I really enjoy listening to "The Writer's Almanac" in the car.  Since I never get to listen to them on the radio, I download the podcasts, save them up, and listen to a week's worth on Friday mornings when I drive to work.  It's a little bit of a treat. 

2013 was a good year for me, mainly because of job-switching, but also because I think that, as a family, Jeannie and Sam and I learned some things about trying to balance all the stuff that we need in our lives. 

What do I wish for 2014?  Of course, continued health and stuff for the people I love, but also:

1.  successful new building opening
2.  kitchen renovation
3.  figuring out how vacations work at the new job
4.  a bulk purchase of RUNTS candy
5.  Lemonade, all the time.
6.  Spreadable port wine cheese and reduced-fat Wheat Thins.

I got myself a new pillow after Christmas.  So far I'm really liking it.  I sleep in all different positions, so, historically, it's been hard for me to find a pillow that I like.  And my last pillow sucked (basically like sleeping on a piece of padded paper), so I am excited that this one seems to cut the pillow-mustard.