My show closed on Sunday. It was a very emotional affair. We spent the last nine weeks together, living, breathing, and eating the Sound of Music. We became a big, dysfunctional family of actors, knitters, techies (with some overlap between those groups) because we had no time to see our real families. Closing a week before xmas makes for a rough reentry into the family sphere. Some of us will work together again, but it won't be the same.
I'll miss Mitch and Melody, who are sure to become legends in the Chicago theater community, the most. There's something incredibly appealing about getting a hug from a seven year old who's genuinely glad to see you every morning when you go into work.
They're great kids. Mitch is incredibly helpful and kind, the best sort of big brother to Melody. He helped me do my mic checks while I had laryngitis. It seems as though a voice is not terribly important for the person engineering the show, but it is hell running a mic check without one. Also, writing notes to communicate doesn't work very well over the ClearCom! Rita, the stage manager, and I both adore M&M, so she took Melody to see the SM booth. Melody even got to press GO on the light board after the theatre was clear. Since Mitch was curious about sound, I had him run through a couple of big cue sequences. I loved how exciting our jobs were to the kids. So, I suggested to Rita that we let them run the storm sequence (thunder and lightning, very exciting stuff) together. We were almost as excited as they were. I'm really going to miss those kids.
My next show doesn't start for a month, which leaves me with loads of free time. Too much, I think. A month is a long time to go without a paycheck, but not long enough to pick up another gig. So, lots of Netflix and knitting, I guess. I didn't have as much time as I thought I would to knit during SOM/WTP, so my grand plans to knit a million things for xmas didn't come true. I did knit a few things for people on the shows, so I guess it all balances out. Under the xmas tree this year, one might find the following things from my needles: two cabled scarves, of similar design; a cushy ribbed scarf of kettle dyed wool from south america; one hat, made from odds and ends of Manos; a tiny sweater to illustrate the larger one that I meant to make in time for xmas but didn't get around to--- if I get around to making it. I've been on a finishing kick, to get all those things ready. My beautiful French alpaca blend sweater that has languished for months as I worked on SOM/WTP came to mind. All it needs is the second half of its shawl collar finished and some seaming. A good afternoon/evening project. I can't find the collar piece--still on the needles--even after an exhaustive search of the house. I've asked St Anthony of Padua to have a look around for it, though I imagine this is his busy season. I don't have enough yarn to make a replacement collar piece. I hope that it will turn up soon, since I don't want to send off to Belgium to get more yarn to finish it. As soon as I do, the lost piece will turn up.



Yesterday, I was sitting in the living room, watching some mindless television, when I heard a squeaking noise. It sounded like a squeaky dog toy. I don't have a dog, or any dog toys, just a ferocious, voracious tom cat. Or so I thought. I went to the kitchen to investigate, and discovered Winston chasing a large grey mouse in circles. An art director couldn't have chosen a better mouse to go with my cat. "Kill it. Kill it," I cheered, then thought the better of it. I felt like a spectator at an underground cock fight, and didn't want to stick around to see the denouement. He chased the mouse for five, maybe, seven minutes. Did Winston kill the mouse? No. I hope that Winston isn't operating under the assumption that the mouse is his playmate or friend, because Winston's #1 job is to kill mice. I gave him several stern inspirational talks about killing the mouse, and brought him back to the kitchen to sniff around. So far, no sign of the mouse's return. You can't prove a negative though, so I will continue to coach the cat to commit rodenticide.


Today, I started knitting a beautiful caramel colored chunky alpaca scarf. For myself. I feel vaguely guilty making something for myself this time of year. All of my other projects are for other people. I even plan to make a scarf for my secret santa person at work, which is perhaps overly ambitious. I bought two fabulous balls of Colinette yarn for a dollar each out of the bargain bin at my LYS. I don't know how I'll get it done, since I can't work on it at work. The secret part of secret santa would be ruined in the recipient recognized the scarf! My scarf is coming along at a nice clip, on size 36 needles. Yes, they make them that large, and they were the envy of all the ladies at work this morning. I've won the big needles pissing contest.
My dad called this morning, to ask about sound equipment suggestions for xmas. Luckily, I keep my phone on vibrate when I'm at work. I think it's so cool that someone would give me gear for xmas!
I used to read the New Yorker from cover to cover every Thursday afternoon (except when there was a double issue) when I was in college. I would just lie in bed and read the entire magazine on the day that it arrived in my mailbox. I haven't done it since then. Some of that has to do with structured time and not reading the gallery listings anymore, but I kind of miss it. I decided that I would read the whole magazine yesterday, during my free afternoon. The magazine arrived over the weekend, but I hadn't had a chance to read it yet. So, I crawled into my nice warm bed and promptly fell asleep before even opening the magazine. I took an accidental five hour nap. Guess I really needed the sleep.


Brown paper packages tied up with string

Hello. I probably haven't talked to you in a while because my life hasn't been my own lately. I'm running two shows concurrently, which means that I have very little free time. Today I had a rare afternoon off, which I enjoyed thoroughly. I spent a few hours at home, while there was daylight, then headed into the city for coffee with Joe Tech and a bit of shopping. No xmas presents purchased, but I had a good time and Joe got his compressor back.
I still have a few presents to buy for xmas. Just the big ones-- the grandparents and my mom. I don't know what to give them. My grandparents have everything they could want and no place to put anything (the two are related). And, well, I don't know what my mom wants. Pout. I'd decided to do an ambitious knitting campaign for the holidays this year. Great, except I work all the time. And since I'm engineering my shows instead of simply a board op, I can't knit during the shows. I got so spoiled during summer stock, when all I had to do was press GO every once in a while.
Knitting is going through the cast like a virus. Last week, I went down to the ladies' dressing room to discuss a mic snafu and found the actresses silently knitting. All of them. It all started when one of the girls brought in a project. She taught one of the other girls in the cast. Her mother decided to learn as well and took to it like a duck to water. Soon, other women clamored to learn and secret knitters brought in their projects to pass the time backstage. I've seen this happen at other theatres, but never on this scale. We've even got one of the actors knitting! That's Kaylie pictured above, with her latest project. She makes amazing, fuzzy scarves as gifts and plays a wicked Uno game.
I've got a few projects in the works. My beloved french alpaca sweater is on a back burner, in order to make things for other people. It's almost entirely knit, too, but I don't quite understand how it all goes together. I guess that's one drawback to using patterns in a foreign language. It makes me feel so damn smart, but when I don't understand something, it's really rough. There are two scarves going now, one out of beautiful Colinette wool tape, and the second of kettle dyed wool from South America. Oh, and a hat. I guess there isn't time to knit any socks before xmas.

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