Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Bearers of the plague

We are a plague house. Not literally, but everyone here is sharing the same cold/virus.  I believe Samantha had it first, Lorelai got it second, then Perrin, and most recently me.  It's not a pleasant one. It hits the head, sinuses, throat and chest, all while producing large amounts of various nastiness. Sound like fun? We can assure you it is not.

I've felt bad for Samantha. She has been working non-stop and doing a show at the same time. Being sick in a normal show is bad enough, add singing to it and it all just becomes that much harder. Pair that with still recovering from a very recent surgical procedure. I am amazed with all she does despite what life throws at her.

And there there's the kids. They've both been coughing and sneezing generally being completely miserable. It has been obvious they have not felt good for the past few days. Neither has had excessive appetite, both have been very clingy, and the level of discontent over the slightest pain/problem/displeasure has increased exponentially.

As for me, it hit fully yesterday morning and then progressed during the course of the day. Come night time there was all the joyous burning sinuses a man could handle. So I ache, I feel lethargic, it hurts to swallow and I'm excessively nauseous. You know, all the usual stuff. But for the past week I've been the one taking care of the sick ones. Being sick is not allowed to slow me down.

At 3:45 in the morning my pseudo-sleep is disturbed by crying from the children's room. (This is the third night in a row.) So I get up quickly, because I want Samantha to keep sleeping so she can get healthy and I don't want whichever child it is to have to sit there crying for long.  One of them has managed a bloody nose from sinus pressure and is miserable. The next half hour is spent getting them cleaned up, calmed down, dosed on children's cold/cough medicine, and eventually back to bed.  At this point the other is already crying as they too feel miserable and have been woken up by the commotion. So, they also get comforted, dosed, and put back to bed. Now it's back to bed for me. Not to sleep, just to bed. Despite the medicine at least one, if not both children, remains coughing continuously in their sleep for the rest of the night. I know the duration because I spend the night listening to them. Not in frustration, but because I am not able to sleep due to my own cold and because I want to make sure they are okay. If there is crying I will be back in there. Come around 7 a.m. I managed to fall asleep for an hour or so and then it's up again and time to get everyone fed and the day started.

I will admit I'm exhausted and tired and sore and worn out and stressed and achy and frayed and a whole host of other things. However. I am also happy. This is my family. It is my job to take care of them. These are my kids. I know they were not born to me. They have another father as well. But I have looked after them for the past two years. I have helped shape who they are so far and will continue to do so long into the future. I have worked to feed them, dress them, educate them, protect them, and nurture them. Years ago I did not know how to do this. I didn't think I could. Now I know it's not a matter of being able to do so. It is simply a matter of doing it. Why? Because they need it. Because I want to do it. Because it is the absolute best thing I can do.

I love my family. I love my life.

But God I hate this cold.

Monday, January 30, 2012

That's a ballgame of a different color, right?

I'm a theatre person, right?  I did my first show at the age of 5 (if I remember correctly). I lost count of the number of shows I have done, but my best estimate is in the high eighties/low nineties.  I feel that's pretty darn respectable, especially considering I took a few multi-year breaks over the span of my theatre "career".  So then doing another show should be a breeze.

Not really.

Honestly, straight plays scare the crap out of me.  I did a number of them years ago. I was... fair.  Pretty much what I did from the time I was 19 until I was 37 were musicals. Lots and lots of musicals. Some good, some great, a few that I will never mention again, and even a couple of small operas.... but all involved singing. I can sing. I know I can do that. Acting is a different matter.

Yes, I know, there is acting involved in musical theatre, but in truth there is a lot less expected from a musical theatre actor than there is from a "straight" actor. (Side note, unrelated: Why is it a "straight play"? Are musicals considered "bent" plays? Ok, digression over.) I have done many shows where the focus has been strictly on the singing. It was completely acceptable if the "actor" simply stood there are sung prettily. (This is not to say that this is ALWAYS the case. I know many musical theatre actors who  are amazing!) In this case, I am not meaning to discus other actors, merely myself.  I feel I can hold my own on stage and create an acceptable character, but I in no way hold any grandiose ideas that I am amazing or professional.

(refocus, back to topic)

Straight plays scare the crap out of me. Did I mention that already? Yep, there it is... two paragraphs up. And here I am embarking on a new one. It's a sizable role too. When I first looked it over I'm sure I blanched a little. Nobody was watching, so I was safe. My first thought? "Holy crap! That's a lot of me on stage." Then I skimmed for monologues. None. This should be a good thing, right?


I like monologues. They are good chunks of time where you are the only one talking. (Duh.) This means you can't really screw anyone else up. Oh, and you don't have to wait for someone else to cue your next line. I like this.  It's like memorizing a good little tale and then being the storyteller.

There are no monologues. Just lots of little lines. Some very interesting little lines. Many of them very important. Many of them numbers. Oh lord. Did I mention I'm a little nervous about it? Yeah, I am. Maybe I can convince them to throw a little song and dance number in there.

Ok, I can do this. Just bear with me. This may come up again later. In the meantime, if anyone feels like starting a petition to get me a quick little song tossed in feel free. Just make sure you get a decent amount of names and then address the petition to Soozie. Thanks! Wish me luck.

- B

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I find happiness in the little things.

Today was a good day.  A day spent with friends playing games and enjoying company, followed by dinner. Games went well, friends headed home, and now it's time for dinner.

So, there I am standing at the stove. The ground beef is almost done browning along with a little bit of onions.  Off on my left I have a small bowl filled with half a cup of water, some Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, a dash of vinegar and some tomato paste.  On my right there are two small children eagerly looking at what is in the pot, wondering when dinner will be ready.

I find myself simply happy.  This is what I had been missing.

I missed all the beginnings the first time around. Heck, I missed practically everything. But now I have a chance to do it right.

It is the look of expectancy, of excitement. It is the sense of completeness.

This is a family. This is where I am supposed to be.

I am happy. I am home.