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Summer Stock June 29, 2010

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

When I was growing up, one thing summer meant was theater. My family used to hit a lot of summer stock. There was good theater in Gettysburg. Totem Pole Playhouse was also nearby, the one run by Jean Stapleton’s husband, so sometimes we’d get to see her perform there.

In tenth grade I best friended Sue. We sucked at sports together in gym class and instantly bonded. She was a theater geek (in fact, got into the Tisch School at NYU), and I invited her to attend a play with my family. Before long, she and I were going by ourselves, hitting whatever we could, but mostly heading up to summer stock in Gettysburg, where we first saw Equus.

You’ve heard that story before, of course.

There seems to be a lot of good theater around here this summer. The hour-away place (at which one of the producing directors is a former coworker of Sue’s) has a great-looking season, and despite the drive, I bought tickets to three productions: The 39 Steps (I just watched the 1935 film in preparation), Avenue Q (one of my favorites—Sesame Street/Electric Company for adults), and Death of a Salesman (with Christopher Lloyd in the starring role). I saw Avenue Q on Broadway and had such a freakin’ good time that I have to (a) see for myself how it travels and (b) drag Tim to a production. After I bought the tickets, Gary Coleman died. There was a flurry of worry about whether the show should be changed, but it sounds like it’s being left alone. I certainly hope so.

Lo and behold, the only-20-minutes-away place has a new artistic director and an intriguing-sounding season, including some newer plays and a Noel Coward.

Those long teenage summers, theater was what I did, what I looked forward to. Now I think, “When will I find the time to see all these plays? I won’t. Can I afford to go to all of these? Probably not. But . . . ”

Sometimes it sucks to be me. (Of course, is there anybody here it doesn’t suck to be?)

Denial Anger Bargaining Depression Acceptance June 23, 2010

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

Buy me a flute
And a gun that shoots
Tailgates and substitutes
Strap yourself
To the tree with roots
You ain’t goin’ nowhere

OK. It’s official. I’m staying home this summer.

I mean, we’ve got to pay for these house repair/maintenance projects. And Tim’s getting ready for an art show in the fall with our friend Sue, so he has to stay home and paint on the weekends, or there will be no show. And he’s suffering the effects of a running injury anyway, so it’s not like he could be superactive if we did have a chance to go out and play.

It’s simply reality.

We just got back from a fast trip to Pennsylvania to visit family and fly fish with my step-father-in-law. Before we left the Responsibility of Home, I had fished once this season. Away, I went four times: Friday night, Saturday morning, Saturday night, Sunday morning. I hadn’t been outside so much in ages. You know what? It makes me happy.

After we got home and unpacked on Monday, we got on our bikes. Made it last a little longer.

Now we’re back in the office. I just committed to a big book project.

I need to make Vermont work for me, but it’s hard when Vermont is the place where all the chores and all the work and all the tasking hang out at your place and wave at you all the time.

My canoe and my bike and my fly rod need to learn that art of obnoxious insistence.

Oh Northbrook, my no-matter-what for twenty-two summers, I miss you.

Vermont, we need to talk. Better yet, let’s do everything but talk.

Dona Nobis Al’s June 22, 2010

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

From August 1984 until August 1985, I lived in Elgin, Illinois, home town of Cedar Waxwing. I lived there because I was doing a volunteer service year through my church, which is nationally headquartered there. I had a place to live (volunteer group house), a very small amount of money for weekly groceries, and about $35/month “pay,” if I remember correctly.

Luckily, I made friends who treated me well and treated me often.

One place my own money often went was this ice cream place called Al’s Creamery. Believe it or not, Oreo ice cream was relatively new to the frozen confection scene in the mid-1980s, and it quickly became a favorite of mine. Al’s not only served it, but they made malts with it, and I got one of those malts whenever I could manage/justify it.

Dona/Cedar Waxwing was just in Elgin. I asked her if Al’s was still there and if they were still serving malts.

Now, the Waxwing has stalked a bit of Elgin for me before. One Christmas (2006), she took a photo of the house I used to live in:

It was white when I lived in it, and there was a great porch swing.

This time, the stalking Waxwing made the ultimate sacrifice and met some cousins for a meal at Al’s.

(I remember it as being called Al’s Creamery; the website calls it Al’s Café and Creamery.) Not only did she discover that they do indeed still serve Oreo malts, she ordered one so she could experience it for me!

My blog friends are good friends. And I kinda miss Elgin.

(In other news, today is Cedar Waxwing’s 25th anniversary! Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Waxwing!)

Peering through Virtual’s Blur June 10, 2010

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

At my last chiropractic appointment, I was sitting in the waiting room, thumbing through some healthy-living magazine, when I was approached by a man who said to me, “Are you [Indigo]?”

“Yes,” I said, “I am.” In fact, I knew who this guy was. We had chatted at a party many years before and we have mutual friends.

But he did not remember me from that party. He didn’t remember talking to me. He said, “I recognize you from Facebook. We have a lot of friends in common. But I didn’t think you lived around here.”

Our conversation was cut short by my being called in to my appointment.

“You look just like your picture!” he said as I was walking away, which I took as a compliment, as my photo actually looks much much better than I do at almost any given moment. But wait—maybe this means the photo doesn’t actually look as good as I think it does. Hmmmm.

It’s funny. I have occasionally been out and about and seen someone and tried to place him or her and realized that I recognize them [sic] from Facebook. Unless I am at a party and actually talking to said person, I have never said a word. I’ve never had the nerve to approach someone based on Facebook recognition alone. (Of course, I don’t [generally] have nerve to approach someone based on anything alone.)

Later, I sent that guy a note via Facebook apologizing for cutting our conversation short and thanking him for introducing himself. He wrote back, saying it must have been the listing of my hometown that made him think I didn’t live here. This means that at some point he had checked out my profile. I check out people’s profiles too, of course. It just never occurs to me that people check out mine.

And now he’s my Facebook friend.

This Year, It’s Worse June 9, 2010

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

When Northbrook closed two years ago, I wept. Last year, not going back was bad. This year, it’s worse. My daily editing is constantly interspersed with daydreams of hiking and canoeing and fly fishing and reading by the pond until distracted by a fishing eagle.

I had just voiced this to husband Tim when friend Tim posted this as his Facebook status: “Usually, this time of year, we’d be packing for a week at Northbrook Lodge in the Adirondacks for a week of terrorizing fish and spending time & sharing drinks with our same-time-next-year friends. Northbrook Lodge was sold after the 2008 season.”

We are all of us Northbrook refugees sad.

With all the house projects going on right now, it’s likely we ain’t goin’ nowhere for awhile. Not that there’s anywhere I want to go quite as much as I want to go there.

Indigo Buntings June 4, 2010

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

I know. I have not been paying Route 153 the attention it deserves. And I’m off to a graduation.

But my coworker has been taking some kickass photos lately, including some excellent shots of indigo buntings. It seems appropriate to let them take up some space here and buy me some time.