Monday, March 31, 2003

Back in the Groove

Ah, well, it's back to work again. Normally I'm anxious to get back from breaks, suffering from boredom and whatnot, but this was definately a much-needed break. I skipped to Theory class full of energy and ready for the day this morning, so I think I'm recovered and ready to go.

Things are looking up in other ways, also. The situation is this: I'm pretty sure that every single computer science major in my class is double majoring. As such, the comp sci department has gone to great lengths in scheduling classes to make sure they can accomodate everyone. They sent around a tentative course schedule this morning to the comp sci classes so we could look for conflicts. Amazingly, none of the classes I need to take conflict! It's a miracle! Now I can only hope that no one else had a conflict that would force them to change things around >_<

Honestly, though, I am very grateful that the comp sci people are being so helpful. Not only were they concerned that computer science classes would conflict, but also other classes for other majors. I guess it's a bonus for going to a small school, or something.

So in the fall I'll have to take Compilers, Operating Systems, and then Northern Mannerist and Baroque Art (my last art history class I have to take!). Then I'll have my schedule open for whatever I want. I'll probably do an independent study in glass, as I'm pretty sure at this point that glass will be my focus (though I really want to take another painting or drawing course, I don't think I'll be able to). I was also considering taking first level ceramics, so that I'll have every crevice of the art program at Centre covered before I graduate.

Then there's room for a class for fun, something pass/fail maybe. Perhaps I'll take a Japanese course, which would certainly be helpful if I decide to apply for the JET program. I want to take another anthropology class, Language and Culture perhaps (Eric says it's really fun). They don't offer that until next spring. I could break my trend of being a drama person without having taken any drama classes and take Design I. Or maybe a music class. Or maybe I can face the facts that I love chemistry and take one of those. Weeee! How refreshing ^_^

Now I just need to find a roommate for next year and I'll be set!

Saturday, March 29, 2003

Ah, the Shameless Plug

I put one of my little dragon ornaments up for auction, yay!

Friday, March 28, 2003


Mmm, back at school again, but the break is not yet over.

Yesterday was very pleasant. Brendan came to visit me, and we rode about in the pleasant weather. We went to the art supply store, so I could pick up some microns and a new kneaded eraser (is it just me, or do kneaded erasers get lost easier than any other art supply?). Then we stopped by Great Escape to fulfill our inner geeks, and lounged and browsed among the comics for a good while.

We both broke our vow to each other to not let the other buy anything, and after stopping by home to pick up our art supplies, we went to the park to sit and read and draw and...sit some more. The weather was perfect, it was sunny and lazy and wonderful.

Later, Ken came to join the visiting, and we grilled out and had steaks for dinner. Will, Evan, and Samantha stopped by after that, and we just sat around and digested, and then headed back to Danville. I got my site updated this morning..

and later today Ken's taking Brendan and I to Brendan's home. I was originally going to just stay here by myself, but Brendan invited me for a visit (which is a good thing, too, I have a lot less ramen than I thought I did, I surely would have gone hungry! ^_^)

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

On Arting

So I'm reading this book, right? I'm reading along, and over this passage:

"He looked at his hands. They were large, strong--and yet unweathered, as sensitive and delicate as an artist's hands."

Now, when I read a book, I read right through, stopping only at chapter ends or when exhaustion overtakes me. But this time, this little passage caused me to stop in my tracks. I set down the book, and took a good look at my hands (which I recommend, I mean, how often do you look at your hands?)

I guess, with all the arting I do, that makes me an artist. But unweathered? Delicate? I don't think I'd ever use these words to describe my hands, even though I *know* they've been used to describe the hands of an artist, in more cases than just this book.

My hands are used hands. They're rough, calloused, and dry. They've born hundreds of nicks and cuts, burns from exploding glass or carelessly plucking up heated tools. In spite of all my caution, they've been saturated, I'm sure, in oil paints and mineral spirits and other nasty chemicals you really don't want seeping into your body. They're often tired things, frequently dirty--especially after arting--and hurt (again, especially after arting). I really should take better care of them...

...but that's not really the point, I think. Who got the crazy idea that an artist's hands are "delicate?" Or maybe I'm just thinking of "delicate" in the wrong way. I guess many artists have a delicate sense of control with their hands, especially with a large painting, or with throwing a vessel, or even handling glass. I guess that's accurate, but I'm not sure if that's the defination the author had in mind.

It brings up somewhat of an art major stereotype which people have conveyed to me: the artist who wanders fashionably about and engages in deep, philosophical, "arty" conversations, and who create art on dramatic inspiration and this and that.

Art majors aren't like that! At least, here they're not (well, Emil has that "arty" sense about him, but still). Sure, it's not terribly hard to spot an art major on campus...they're the ones who are constantly covered from head to toe in filth--paint, charcoal, clay, general art barn scum. They are tired people, who generally work too hard, and don't linger every waking moment in the studio for their image of an "artist," but because the physical work necessary in churning out their art requires them to do so. They are often exhausted and broken, and tend to neglect themselves, and are worn from pumping so much of themselves into physical objects.

Of course, this could just be me. Perhaps my view is skewed? Any input? I know you Centre people read my journal! You've told me, so comment! Comment I tell you! Tell me if i'm right about this.

In the mean time, wrote This nice post about art. It's a good read.

Monday, March 24, 2003


Spring Break thus far has been absolutely exquisite. I have done nothing. Sweet, pure, absolute nothing. I've been reading The Worthing Saga, which Brendan lent me long ago. I like it, but I would probably like any book at this point, just because it's been so long since I've had a moment to read for leisure. I love having those days where you read late into the night, only to wake up early the next morning for the sole purpose of lounging about and reading all day.

I think this is just the recharge my body needs. I'm already feeling much more refreshed and pleasant, and I think my body is getting plenty of rest. By Monday I'll have created enough relaxation reserve to last me through the rest of the term.

As a side note, I find it particularly annoying when you're at a meal, and someone offers you a dish, and you say "no thank you," and they interpret that to mean "no, I don't like it", and respond with such things as "but it's good!" or "but I thought you liked _____!" It drives me up the wall! Is this a normal family thing, or is it just mine that does it?

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Of jobs and funks

Brendan got accepted into a grad school, which is totally awesome. So, to celebrate, we wandered to Walmart to buy a whole log of cookie, and baked them in the toaster oven. Then the four of us (Brendan, Ken, D Flo, and myself) devoured every one (except for the last batch, which I stopped paying attention to while watching Homestar Runner on Flora's computer, they were a bit burnt when I remembered).

I also gave Brendan a little glass cup, in congratulations, and also for him helping me clean the glass studio. Slowly but surely, everyone seems to be climbing out of their respective funks. I accepted the job at Berkshire, which was the last of my burdens. I promptly got sick after being relieved of the March madness, but I think I will recover nicely over spring break.

There is one disadvantage to the Berkshire job...I will not be able to take my computer with me. That means a 3 month hiatus from the internet, with brief checking-in's for email, and to hopefully update this thing. It also means that I will not be able to go to Conglomeration, the con which I sold my art at last year. If I can arrange for someone to manage my stuff, I may be able to mail some art in, but I'll still miss hanging out with the afd kids. Perhaps there is a possibility I would be able to make it down, but somehow I doubt it. The internship sounds very time consuming.

It will be my first summer where I've spent the entire break away from home, so I'm a little nervous about it. However, I won't be alone. Jeff, Squirt, and some other Centre folk also got jobs and internships at Berkshire for the summer, so I'll have friends about. I guess, all in all, it will just be another experience ^_^

Saturday, March 15, 2003

Gruh x_x

Aeros was today, and since I only worked load in and load out, I got to watch the show. It's pretty much a show of Romanian gymnastics, and it really makes one appreciate the full range of movement of the human body. Very cool.

It's been a rough week, mainly due to the piling of decisions that need to be made. I was expecting it to happen, and tried to prepare for it all of February, but it's still wearing me down. My room is filthy, full of piles of dirty laundry. It bothers me when I get so busy I neglect my cleanliness.

I guess the worst part is that I'm too busy for this, I have too much stuff to do for me to be in a funk. I think I'll really be fine, it's just that my body clock is all messed up and I am overwhelmed, and thus emotionally much so that when I got back from the load-out, I was planning on hunting down Brendan to hang out. Seeing that he was not online...thus meaning he's gone to bed, I was so upset that I started crying. Ridiculous! It's probably just messed up sleeping and eating patterns.

It hasn't all been bad, though, I got the job offer from Berkshire. I'd gone to see Matthew several times to talk about the job offers and just fretting over how this summer is going to work in general. He helped me out, but as I was leaving his office on Friday, he told me that I should really consider the implications of this job offer, and that I should see about taking some time out of my schedule to celebrate. I'd never thought about that, I guess I was just so busy with the decision-making that I overlooked it. Tomorrow will be very busy as I attempt to catch up on work once again, but I'll try and make a little time for myself.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

It's Time for Another: Good Idea, Bad Idea

A couple weeks ago, I got an email from Mark, announcing that The Musicman, the biggest road show the Norton Center has ever had, was coming. 6 trucks (as opposed to the standard 2) and instead of starting load-in at 8, it started at 6...and ran until 5 that evening. It sounded grueling, but I thought it would be a good experience, and signed up to work both load in, load out, and the show.

Then I remembered this show would happen two days after we got back from SETC x_x

I'm on the props crew this time, and though I love electrics, props has been fun so far. I've never worked the show before, but it was lots of fun. It wasn't full of crazy stressful cues, but there was enough going on that I wasn't sitting backstage bored out of my mind. Last night went really smoothly, and tonight should go even moreso I think. Plus, in spite of working aaaall day yesterday, I still finished my take-home test in discrete math with no problems.

However, Mark came up to me again and asked if I wanted to work Aeros this Saturday. I promptly agreed to, but now I'm thinking that wasn't such a good idea. I'm exhausted, I should've saved that day to rest. But, the load in and load out won't be that long or complicated, and I could use the money. I'm really glad that spring break is so close, I'm going to need that whole week to recover.

Anyway, as promised...

Between the play festival and job contact, there was still a lot going on. I'm kinda sad I missed the wide array of workshops going on at the con, but I did get to go to one mask-making workshop that was really neat. I figured I'd go and take notes and get handouts for Katherine, in case anything they discussed there would help our mask-making endevours for Chalk Circle. The guy focused mainly on mask making with Wonderflex, it was very informative and interesting, and I even picked up a small sample that I may play with later.

The rest of the convention wavered between eating at Chile's EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, communal napping, and pleasant late-night viewings of Nick at Night. There was also a lot of socializing and partying in the lobby of the hotel, but it was so smokey down there that I prefered quiet company of smaller groups in the rooms.

In regards to bonding with the friends I went with, it was a very pleasant experience. There was a lot of instinctive comfort of one another's stresses and exhaustion going on, and it was just a really great group of people to be with. In conclusion, things I learned...

1) There are other people in the world besides me that listen to They Might be Giants, a band which inspires wonderful carride sing-alongs

2) That, on 3 different occasions, with 3 entirely different groups of people, someone will suggest that they moon the president out of the hotel window, and 2 others will agree that it's a fabulous idea.

3) Science is so cool, that we replaced the word "cool" with "science."

4) Even though your hotel does not have an indoor pool, and you really really want to go swimming, it is apparently inherently wrong to want to go to the hotel next door and swim in their indoor pool.

5) Every person's bed is communal property, as I found out when I would wake up to mysterious second or third parties sleeping next to me, or would come back to my room after having fallen asleep for the night in a 4th, 5th, and 6th party's bed to find yet an 8th and 9th party in my own.

6) It's nice that #5 can occur and everyone be completely cool about it.

7) Excuse me, it's nice that #5 can occur and everyone be completely science about it.

8) I am eternally grateful that I got to spend time and grow closer to such a diverse, talented, creative, and science group of wonderful human beings.

9) "Okay, drunk Eric."

Monday, March 10, 2003


The week has started, it will kill me, but more SETC stories first.

Part 2..

While the short play festival was a substantial chunk of convention experience, the main activity of the week was Job Contact.

Resumes in hand, we would line up in the morning with tons of other work-hungry drama folk. It was like standing in line for a roller coaster.....only without the roller coaster >_< Anyway, they let us in a group at a time, into a huuuge room packed with tables and theater companies advertising what they needed. Several large bulletin boards with listing by jobs and job types (summer work, internships, etc.) were helpful in finding which companies to hunt down. After writing down information on what companies were hiring, what jobs they were hiring for, and where they were located, the hunt began.

It was a flurry of stopping by tables, searching out hotel rooms, dropping off resumes, and signing up for interviews. Jeff and Matthew were helpful with putting in good words and advising us on theater companies to look at. Squirt was nice and introduced me to the Berkshire people, since she worked their last year. Running from interview to interview, I didn't get to go to many con workshops, but that's okay.

My favorite two interviews were with the Virginia Shakespeare Festival, for a position as an electrician, and with the Heritage Repertory Theater (also in Virginia) for a position as props assistant. All my interviews went really well, though, I hope I hear back from them soon! The only downfall is that if I get a job for the summer, I will not be able to take the hot sculpting glass class at Corning that I wanted to take, because it falls in late July and the seasons won't be over by then. Oh well, there is an introductory Venetian technique class that I could take in mid August, I'll get a glass class in either way ^_^

While Job Contact was in full swing, the SETC auditions were also going on. In order to be in auditions at SETC, you had to pass some regional audition earlier in the fall. Our one and only D Flo passed, and got to audition at SETC. He was kind of grumbly and indifferent at first, as lots of SETC auditioners are looking for singers and dancers for musicals, but Flora got 5 callbacks! We were so proud of him! One of the callbacks was to the Blue Man Group, which was totally awesome, we all flutered about him and showered him in congratulatory affection. He's going to be in touch with them and see them next year. Awesome!!

All in all, I think everyone who went had a good experience with interviews. I was really surprised at what a reputation Centre has for good theater people, as I was greeted at many interviews with "Ah! You go to Centre! Excellent."

The only thing to do now is sit patiently and wait to hear from the companies. Many of them said they would be in contact this week, as they like to get their crews together early. Wee! Can't wait!

Stay tuned for more...

Sunday, March 9, 2003

SETC interlude

Seeing how busy I'll be this week, it may take awhile for me to get SETC pictures up, so I made this quickfix animated gif..

SETC Adventure, Part 1

Well, I'm back from SETC *twitch*, it...was...awesome. I'll have to write about it in managable chunks, so look for updates

Tuesday night we gathered behind the Norton Center to begin our journey. My car (consisting of Will, Adam, and Dave Clark) jumped the gun and speeded ahead of the group, acting as scout, and calling the other cars to warn them of monsters, UFOs, a Big Otter, and other such dangers of West Virginia. We managed to grind out most of the trip and made it to Maryland to spend the first night. It was just a 2 hour jaunt to DC the next day ^_^. Anyway, we got to our hotels, got settled in, greeted Matthew and Jeff, registered, and...rested? Hardly. Part 1...

The first event of which I partook was this play festival. It consists of a group of students (or in Dave Clark's case, graduates) of playwrites, directors, actors, and stage managers. We met at 9:00 that night, the actors gave monologues, then most of the crew was sent home while the playwrites stayed there. This was impressive. The writers had from 9:00 that night to 7:00 the next morning to crank out a 10-minute play, ready to perform. Dave Clark and Brendan were the Centre kids in this crew. The actors had brought in an array of "interesting" props and costume pieces for the writers to use for inspiration and incorporation into their plays. This, along with ample supplies of Code Red, fueled them through the night's intense writing session.

7:30 the next morning, the Stage Managers (including Squirt and myself), and the Directors (including Eric) met to read the plays, pick which plays they were going to do (everyone got their first or second choice) and divy up the actors. Directors and Stage Managers were paired by drawing from a hat. Eric and Squirt got paired together by luck of the draw. I didn't end up working with anyone from Centre, but it was cool to work with new people.

After some scheduling and such, the actors filed in around noon, and were split up into their plays. Of the Centre kids, D Flo, Leigh, and Tater all participated (D Flo and Leigh both got picked for the play Dave wrote, and Tater got picked for the play Eric was directing). We then gave the actors their scripts, and began cranking out rehearsals. We had 9 hours before the plays would go up.

The rehearsal process was really fun. I was really impressed by how quickly the actors were off-book, and my director was very involved and had great blocking ideas. We quickly gathered the props we needed from the pile the actors had brought in, and borrowed an ironing board from the hotel. My organizational skills as stage manager were much appreciated, which made me feel really nice ^_^ Having only 9 hours to work an entire play, there was lots of time budgeting to do and problems to solve.

At 9:30 that night, we were on call and ready to go. Our play went first, which was nice, because I got to stay out and watch all the other plays (there were 6 plays total). The play that Brendan wrote was wonderfully clever and took a bit of a more serious dive than what he normally does. I was really impressed, he works words like magic.

Dave Clark never ceases to amaze me with his enigmatic writing skills. His play was...completely psycho, but it worked! I'm glad D Flo and Leigh got to be in his play, they really brought it to life.

Eric did a great job directing his play, and Tater was awesome. She had to play two characters, and distinguished them wonderfully. I already know how great Squirt is as a stage manager, so I'm confident she was a necessary asset ^_^

Anyway, the audience just ate the whole thing up. Everyone was so impressed (as well they should have been!) and everyone enjoyed themselves. After the performances there was a critique, and the panel members had great things to say about everyone's stuff. They also had great ideas and suggestions for the playwrites to flesh out their work. I know Brendan plans on having his play performed here at Centre again, and maybe Dave Clark also. After the incredible performances at the short play festival, I can't wait to see what comes out of an extended rehearsal period ^_^

Stay tuned....

Monday, March 3, 2003

Almost here...

After making out this week's schedule (which consists of today and tomorrow) I don't know if I'll manage to squeeze in an entry before we leave for SETC tomorrow night, so I'll just do it now. Between the two early tests I have to take before I leave, running to get my resumes printed out, my glass slots, and classes, it's going to be a busy two days (especially since my normal rest times will be filled by early packing). We leave for Arlington, VA tomorrow night at 7:30, so I'll have just enough time to pop out of my glass slot at 6, grab a bite to eat, then meet up with the drama crew.

I'm very excited, and I'm glad of that, because I'm also exhausted and am feeling a lot of pressure to get my work done. I'm going to try and rest up as best I can tonight, and I might not go into work at the slide library tomorrow morning, so I can work on a take-home test for Discrete Math.

Anyway, I promise to not be sick on my trip and have loads of fun at the convention. I'll have lots of pictures to post upon my return I'm sure ^_^

Saturday, March 1, 2003


I got this from Brendan, who in turn snatched off someone else's journal. Anyway, it's a trailer for some French animated movie. The animation is pretty, if not semi-creepy and mesmerizing.

I'd really like to decipher the plot. The most I can come up with is three old ladies who are retired members of Stomp, only French, and some strange plot to kidnap people obsessed with bicycles? Anyone have any ideas? Anyone speak French?