Posts Tagged ‘family’

Twitters for 11-7-08

  • 09:17 Heading for the puppet kitchen. #
  • 12:48 I’ve cut the stone witch’s forearm off and am going to rotate the wrist 90 degrees and reset it. #
  • 13:43 My god! My mother has joined facebook! #
  • 13:54 I mean… my MOM on Facebook. It really IS the twenty-first century, isn’t it? #
  • 14:04 While the glue sets on the stone witch’s arm, I’m going out for lunch. #
  • 14:21 Wrong! I’m not going out to lunch, we’re ordering pizza. I will continue working. #
  • 15:45 Having eaten, I feel smarter now. I’m going to the garment district to get the stone witch a slip. #
  • 15:49 I keep thinking I’m leaving but then something comes up. I’m going to put a wig on the stone witch before leaving. #
  • 16:34 The wig looks good. Whew. I’m going to read a story out loud ’cause Emily asked me to. It’ll be a nice break. #
  • 21:34 After FOREVER for the alterations to the Stone Witch’s arms to get dry enough to paint. My time machine was not as effective as I would like. #
  • 22:07 Reattaching stone witch’s arm to her body. #
  • 22:15 Wrapping the stone witch’s hip handle for comfort and discretion. #
  • 22:28 Dang. The stone witch looks hot. She’s very close to finished. #
  • 23:18 Painting a little tiny shirt gray. #
  • 23:39 Now painting a little tiny cardigan black. #
  • 00:36 Packing up and heading for home. #

Spamalot, Edison Cafe, Zabars

I’ll tell you, it’s strange not to be going into the Puppet Kitchen to build things. I kept feeling like there was something I needed to be doing all day today. What I did instead of that was head up to the farmer’s market and pick up some produce plus some apple cider.

After I dropped that off at the apartment, I gathered Mom and Dad for a stroll down Central Park. The weather cooperated in lovely ways and was crisply sunny. We hopped onto a train eventually and went to Cafe Edison, also known as the Polish Tea Room for an egg cream and brunch before the show. It’s a diner in the fading splendor of a Victorian ballroom. Gorgeous plasterwork and then hardcore diner fare. It’s a grand blend of styles.

We had tickets to the matinee of Spamalot. I’ll tell you that I was highly skeptical of the premise. I mean, Monty Python and the Holy Grail is pretty much perfect as is, how could converting it to a Broadway musical possibly be good. And yet it was. It succeeded perfectly at what it set out to be, a profoundly silly musical adaptation of Monty Python. The energy never flagged. I enjoyed it without reservation.

We stopped at Zabar’s to pick up some treats. Mom and Dad were suitably impressed with the place.

Touring the city, winery and a play

This morning we started off with bagels and cream cheese then headed out into the world. We took the train down to South Street Seaport, which took forever because all trains were running local. When we got down there it was Icelandic levels of windy. I mean,really, the sort of thing that threatens to push you down if you aren’t working against it constantly. It was like gravity suddenly came in two directions and was intent on creating a new direction of down.

We picked up tickets for Tale of Two Cities for this evening and Spamalot for the matinee tomorrow. As Dad says, one highbrow and one lowbrow.

From there we went to Chinatown to Shanghai Cafe, one of my favorite restaurants for a meal midway between dinner and lunch. Their soup dumplings are the best I’ve had anywhere. Yes, for the KGB folks, they put our usual restaurant to shame.

We strolled through Chinatown, Little Italy and Soho up to the City Winery to visit Rob. By happy chance they were finishing early today so he got to give us a tour and then come home with us. We hadn’t gotten a ticket to the play for him, but I doubt he could have stayed awake if we had. He was asleep before we left the apartment.

The play… it wants to be the next Les Miserables and it’s just not. That said, James Barbour as Sydney Carton was brilliant. I could have listened to him all night long and waited for the moments when he was on stage. Particulary his scenes with Brandi Burkette as Lucy. Mom concurs. The cast was overall very strong, I just felt like the music was overblown, even for Dickens. Mom and Dad don’t agree with me there.

So we’ve come home, had a glass of 2006 Passito di Panterlleria and are heading for bed. I bet you guys don’t know what to do with me after all that twittering.

Mom and Dad visiting

My folks arrived last night to spend the weekend with us.  They were supposed to arrive around noon, but the weather out of Atlanta was apparently foul. Normally I would have been distressed to lose those hours with them, but honestly, after the past week having a little extra time to clean was very welcome.

We went to Picnic for dinner last night which was lovely.

On the way home, we stopped for a bit to watch a show being filmed. Our street gets used fairly often for filming — I don’t know why — so it’s not uncommon to come out and find the whole thing lined with trailers and whatnot.  Last night’s shoot was interesting because they had a rain machine on. So they were stopping passersby, not just for continuity, but so we didn’t get wet.  Needless to say, Dad was fascinated with the rain machine.

I was in bed by midnight and my body seemed a little confused by this, since I woke up –wide awake — around 5:00.  I suspect it will take a little while for me to adapt back to a normal day/night cycle.

Today I think we are headed out to museums and the like.

Twitters for 10-24-08

  • 01:32 Taking a break for ice cream sandwiches. #
  • 01:47 Back to making the collar of bones for Hecate. #
  • 02:28 My friends in the same studio have just made the most beautiful dragon puppet. The thing is thirty feet long. Gooooorgeous. #
  • 06:16 Heading for home. My parents arrive at noon for the weekend. #
  • 14:25 My folks’ flight is delayed. I’m sorry they are having to deal with transit issues, but glad I have another couple of hours to clean. #
  • 22:38 Mom and Dad are visiting and there’s something filming on our street. We’ve stopped to watch. #

Giving up the violin

Dad’s been asking me to bring my violin back to Woodthrush because he’s knows that I’ve pretty much stopped playing, and I’ve resisted because a home without a musical instrument seems like it is incomplete. But, in the year that we’ve been in NYC, I’ve had it out of the case exactly twice, both times in our first month there.

I’d started playing when I was five and when I got old enough to have a full-size instrument, Dad let me have this one. He had two, but this one was the louder and I tended to be too quiet. In college, I developed tendinitis in my shoulder and we discovered that I had a congenital condition that got aggravated by, among other things, bowing. Why was college different? That’s when I started working as a puppeteer and, you know, that kind of works the shoulders a bit. I stopped being able to play for more than about twenty minutes at a time, but would still haul it out because I loved it.

But the frequency got farther apart. The interesting thing is that I’d pick the instrument up and for about five minutes could play like I’d never stopped and then it was as if my brain caught up and said, “Whoa! Whoa! Are you crazy? You can’t play this thing,” and it would all vanish.

It got progressively more frustrating to pull it out of the case and know how much my skills had dropped. I mean, I was never brilliant, but I played for seventeen years and now it’s… well, it’s like a foreign language. I look at sheet music that I remember being able to play and it’s so hard now. With the shoulder thing, it’s not like I could work at it and regain the old level.

So, since Dad asked, and it’s his birthday, I’ve brought the violin home.

Dad’s 70th Birthday Party

So, that was a great time. Dad invited a whole bunch of his pickin’ buddies. Witness one small sampling of the pickin’ & grinnin’ we had.


In Chattanooga. Surprise!

I’m home for my Dad’s 70th birthday, which was supposed to be a surprise, but Grandma leaked it. Although, as it turns out, Dad was expecting me to come home anyway, so when Grandma asked what time my flight was getting in, he thought that it was just something he’d forgotten.

But you’re surprised. Aren’t you?

Heading back to NYC

After two fun-filled weeks of writer’s retreat and a medical emergency, I’m heading from one home back to the other. I’ll see Rob tonight and get to spend two days with him, before we begin a month of out of town trips, each of which has us poised to arrive back in NYC on the day that the other one departs.

See you in transit

Back from Grandma’s

Well, twitter was supposed to post here automatically while I was gone, but alas, did not.

Grandma is doing great. She’s moving about as well as she did pre-surgery. This morning she got up and got dressed and then we all sat at the kitchen table for breakfast.

Things I learned while there.

  1. One of my uncles was afflicted with night terrors.
  2. One of Grandma’s aunts had a daughter, but from the time she was born they knew something wasn’t quite right. A year later they made a tiny cut and a boy’s privates fell out. She said that it was like they had a funeral for their little girl because they had all of these girl clothes and suddenly they had a little boy.
  3. The local FOX affiliate is hosted by a zombie

I’m heading back over tonight with Mom.

5 a.m. at the hospital

The technician has just come in to do a routine blood pressure check on Grandma and take her temperature. We were both awake when she came in.

Grandma and I have been chatting for the last hour or so. It turns out that we have something unexpected in common. Our family never tells us anything. Somehow it makes me feel better that they forget to let her know things as often as they forget to tell me. (Mom, are you reading this?)

Anyway, since Mom K. asked what Grandma’s favorite bible verse was, I asked her. John 14:1 “Let not your heart be troubled…”

She also mentioned Proverb 3:5-6 and told me a story I’d never heard. I’ll see if I can remember it.

Shortly after my Aunt Gen and Uncle Marvin got married, Aunt Gen had a thyroid problem and they had to operate. They were worried that they would have to take her voice box. Grandma remembers the doctor saying that he prayed during the whole operation that he wouldn’t have to do that. As Grandma was coming home, one of her neighbors told her to read Proverbs 3: 5-6 and that ever since then she’s taken it as her own verse.

She also starts every morning with “This is the day that the Lord hath made,” from Psalms. To paraphrase, she says that it reminds her that we need all the seasons.

I’m supposed to tell Mom that we had church this morning.

It looks like Grandma has dropped off to sleep again, so I’m going to try for a little more shut eye myself.

Sitting with Grandma

My family is taking turns sitting in the hospital room with Grandma, in case she needs anything. Tonight is my turn. The plan now is for her to go home tomorrow evening, but it’s hard to believe that at the moment. Her mind is as sharp as ever, but lying in the hospital bed makes her look greatly diminished.

She’s asleep right now but we chatted a bit when I got in. I brought the newspaper and the Bible, in case she wants me to read to her. We’re both hoping that she’ll sleep through the night.

I also brought a manuscript to edit, but the room is too dark to see the paper. Alas. I might write instead. Or maybe nap. I’m going to bet that you can expect frequent blog posts tonight. Posts about absolutely nothing.

Balancing freelance and family

Today I got a request to build a wounded dog for a show. A springer spaniel this time, and wounded, not dead. This will be more of a challenge in some ways because it has to move, but also easier.

I’m waffling, because I only have 13 days free in July. Mom is encouraging me to go back to NYC and do it, but I feel like I should stay here. This is a benefit and a curse of being a freelancer. My schedule is flexible enough that I could stay but I don’t know when the next job will come, so turning down the income is nerve-wracking. ((Plus, I’m only going to see Rob for two weeks this month as it stands.)) We’ll probably decide later this week when things about Grandma’s situation are clearer.

Grandma update: staples

Mom just called from the hospital. One of the staples didn’t take, so they are going to have to send Grandma back in to surgery.