so, summer of 2003. the opera put me up in this really fabulous looking house. i had great roommates. and i had the better of the rooms, since i had my own bathroom with it. when it came time for me to move from this house and into an apartment in town, well, it was a quick move. i was cleaning like a mad woman, and stuffing things into my car to make multiple trips to the apartment. the housing director for the opera had asked personally for a couple extra days for me, so she stopped by to make sure that i had really cleaned it up. i had one small load left and a few things from my closets, of which i had two.- such a great room.
anyway, i had these small file folder looking picture holders. you know, the file folder holders that have a handle and a buckle int he front? well, these were just a smaller version, for pictures. i had them on a the top right corner of the shelf of the closet closest to my windows. i kept telling myself, 'don't forget the pictures, don't forget the pictures.' and i took out a few more trips then i left with promises to the housing director to bring the trash out to the corner the next morning.
i honestly have no memory of what happened to the pictures. i've searched all my things since then, and even been back in the house to do a quick sweep of the place- my roommate from last summer had my room this summer. before that i had called the woman who was in charge of watching over the house for the owner- who never lives there. i asked about the pictures, even since it have been about 8 months. but she never got back to me. and in my search i didn't find anything.
now, in my everyday life, it doesn't matter that much. but there are times when i wish i could go back and revisit the moments in the shots. by the way, this was a BDC. . . before digital camera.
i'm pretty sure that it all chonicles my time at grad school. granted, there is a good portion of that part of my life that i wouldn't mind losing, but it wouldn't include most of what i had taken pictures of.
what i remember. . .
matt and matt:
i had only been at kent for maybe a month or so. it was our my first show there. i'm sure it was during technical rehearsals or dress rehearsals. these two guys, matt gorris-a scenic grad student, and matt filmeck- a lighting undergrad student were sitting across from each other at a side table discussing something or other. i grabbed my camera, which i'm sure i had there to take shots of my design, and turned to the two and of them and told them to smile.
what i remember about them most, other than i think the shirt filmeck was wearing made his eyes absolutely gleam blue, was that i barely knew them at the time. i felt sort of shy about taking their picture since i didn't really know them. sort of like i had the need to take pictures of people around me in order to show my parents that i was doing fine and had friends in kent. now, they are both really good friends of mine. i last saw filmeck, who now lives and works in vegas, while i was at a lighting convention in vegas. we hung out together for an evening with another friend of mine. gorris, i called him on my day off to see how his teaching job was going in virginia. i had just sent out an 'i'm bored' email, that had a bunch of fun links attached to it. gorris picked up his phone, and before i had a chance to say hi, he got out, 'what is it erika? have a day off and bored so you're calling around?' yep. . . that's exactly how it was. we chatted about the possibility of me going to a summer job conference that he'd be at too.
what is wonderful about the picture is how i know these two people now, and how i barely knew them in that one moment. and seeing them again, for an instant, from that point of view again, is just wonderful.
swon, soo-chong, and me:
the picture was taken a rockney's- an after school deflation food and drink type place. i had just gotten over being sick but my voice was hoarse for about 2 weeks afterward. swon, my good friend and a group of us were going out to rockneys for dinner, and her sister, soo-chong, was visiting from seattle. many people had commented about how cute my voice was in it's current state. we all tried to to let soo-chong know that i had a normal voice, and that i had just been sick. but she joked that she thought we were all lying because my hoarseness was so consistent. that this was, in fact, my real and only voice. somewhere around then someone else snapped off a shot of the three of us with out arms around each other's shoulders.
what makes the story better, and the memory of the picture better is that several months later swon became my roommate. soo-chong called to check up on her sister. and as coincidence would have it, i had just gotten over another cold that had left me hoarse again! so i answered the phone, and swon had told her that she was living with me. after i said hi, soo chong broke into laughter and joked that she had known it all along! that WAS my real voice and that the being sick story was all a lie! so, maybe the picture isn't where it's all at, but it helped remind me of that moment.
next is my friend's vegas chapel wedding:
my second chance to go to the lighting conference (LDI) was in vegas a couple of years ago. (the conference switches between orlando and vegas) the year before i went to orlando and got to run into a handful of friends that i hadn't seen since undergrad. it was like the world was reopening for me after being hidden away in virginia. so when i contacted a couple of my friends to let them know i'd be in vegas and couldn't wait to see them again, my one friend was ecstatic, since that meant i could attend her wedding. -i had met her boyfriend the year before in orlando. i was totally psyched. we ran into a handful of people from school and all were invited. it was a small ceremony, his parents, a couple of their co-workers, and a handful of emersonians. we weren't allowed to take pictures of our own in the chapel, since that is how the chapel makes most of it's money, by employing their own photographer.
their two co-workers held up cell phones, one with her grandmother and mother online, and the other with her younger brother online. his parents took us all out for dinner afterward and we all hung out at the freemont street experience afterward. she and i had been in the same class and had been through a lot together, but she had a way of keeping most people at a distance. i felt we were good friends, but not really tight, but i think i underestimated it. she thanked me quietly apart from everyone for being there. our other school friends were a couple of years older, and she felt i was one of the closest people to her, so she was glad to have had me there for the ceremony. although i have no idea how true it is, i feel that maybe i was as close as a person could get to her, and maybe that's what really mattered.
anyway, we weren't supposed to take pictures on or around the premises. . . but do you really think that kept us from doing it? hell no. while the chapel was busy with the next few weddings, we took some nice and some joke shots outside of the chapel, including one of my friend brian running away from the chapel with a look of terror on his face as he read the sign. then, there was mercedes and gordon. mer in a light pink mandarin collar embroidered dress with her glowing orange hair, and gordon, all in black with a styling buckle that mer had just bought for him.
i guess i could go into the night of the bachelor/bachelorette party at a strip club, but i'll save that for another time :)
the iron chef surprise birthday party:
my second year at grad school. a group of my friends had conspiried to find out my birthdate. i don't normally give it out. (we had actually done it for a friend recently. the 'conspiring' consisted of me rummaging through his school bag while he was in a rehearsal, then finding his wallet and checking his liscense.) so, one of my friends had done about the same thing when i had gotten my new ohio liscense, several months earlier.
i had been really into iron chef for some time and had pushed it onto my friends, as i do with anything i like a lot :) muhahahah . . . anyway, i was in tech for my thesis show. they went all out trying to figure out if i would be able to come home or if i would be busy with cuing notes. lots of scheduling and planning. it was supposed to be a surprise. however, another friend, scared that i was missing my own surprise birthday party blurted it out to me one night while we were hanging out at his place. on another occasion, closer to the actual event, i was searching for them at one point to discuss the prospects of lunch or dinner, and found them all up in the costume shop. it just turned out that i walked in as my roommate was explaining to the group how i was completely oblivious.
-normally, i would agree, i have a tendancy to be oblivious, however, i have a great knack of uncanny timing. i guess it balances out. it was no longer a surprise birthday party, but i had no idea the extent of it.
so, on my birthday, i was in the theatre doing cuing notes. i recognized that one of the girls was set up as a look out in the computer lab. however, when i was ready to go home, i didn't see her, so i thought she had left already. and i went home, sort of prepared.
i walked into my house through a door that i don't normally use, it leads into the livingroom. my friends had transformed the livingroom into a version of kitchen stadium. i walked in to the theme music for iron chef. one of my friends threw a chef's hat on my head and an apron with my nickname on it around me. when i was asked to answer questions a sharp harsh light was thrown on my face to imitate the show. then another friend, dressed as chairman kaga recited a bit of my childhood and announced me as the challenger, my battle was against swon, my friend, who was the iron chef. the layout was made so that we would be making sushi. swon taught me how to along the way, and we were able to eat all our creations. part of my gift was also some sushi making and serving utensils, plates, soy sauce dipping thingies, and such.
however, half way through the opening ceremony i realized that someone was missing. the look out. my friend sarah. sarah, i'm sorry if you're reading this now and finding out the truth for the first time. i hope you actually see how much we care for you through our actions. we realized that sarah was missing and quickly threw together a plan. i drove away and someone made a call to sarah on her phone to let her know that i had called home to see if my roommate needed anything from the store since i would stop by on my way home. in the meantime, i drove to the local grocery parking lot, and sat there for about fifteen minutes. when i was pretty sure that sarah had arrived, i drove back home and we replayed the whole thing. i tried my best to act as surprised as the first time, as did everyone. the theme music played, a couple of my friends acted as the commentary guy that does a lot of the talking, chairman kaga read my short history again, and swon came in as the iron chef.
using all the ingredients we made and ate a lot of sushi. i have to say, even though i'm not the biggest on celebrating my birthday, the whole set up, all the time they put into it, and how much fun we had the entire night. . . it was one of the most amazing things anyone or a group of people have done for me. i remember i'm red faced in most of the pictures, and the smiles were all open mouthed and excited.
so yeah. most of the time i don't need these pictures around. but i wonder, if each of these held this many memories, imagine all the ones i have forgotten about? not the memories exactly, but what did i take pictures of? what memories would they jog? i plan to call the woman who looks after the house again, on the off chance that somehow these weren't thrown away, that maybe they were just locked up in some lesser used closet- there is a closet or a room that was always locked in that place, maybe they are still there, almost two years later?
so the production director came up to me earlier in the week and asked, 'erika, you run on a mac don't you?'
me, hesitantly. . . 'yeah'
PD-'i'm going to borrow you for a little while.'
so we walked down to the ranch where the admisistrative offices are, and he explained the deal. there's this woman, -i guess she's a deisgn consultant or something- and she's been put in charge of collecting pictures for the 50th anniversary book for the santa fe opera. she recently bought a top model powerbook and is having some trouble.
immediately i think i'm in over my head, she's probably deep, deep in photoshop, and i won't really be able to help her. when i meet her, i remember her a little from last year. while were were emptying the crosby house (the founder of the opera who had died) she was taking pictures and measuring pieces of furniture to be used in the ny office. i wasn't very fond of her. she came off as rather snooty, and well, when we had to make a special trip back to the opera building in order to furnish her coke with ice. . . that clinched it for me. so, i didn't like her, but i didn't have to deal with her much.
i sat down with her for a little while to see if i can figure out the problems she is having with her mac, thinking for sure that i would shortly be on the phone with my friends who know much more then me, and who i call when i have questions about my own machine. in front of her at her desk was a 17" brand new powerbook. . . excuse my while i grab a bowl to catch my drool. . . and the problem she was having? she had never used a computer before. . . . never. . . . . and i mean. . . . NEVER! i think she's probably in her early sixties. . . but i'm really bad at guessing age.
her partner apparently does all the computer work for whatever firm she works for. . or owns. . . or whatever, i'm not sure. and she's never picked one up. so, she's using photoshop to look at pictures on discs to see if she wants any of them. now, photoshop, a really great mac. . . these would be great tools in the hands of a designer who knew what they were doing, . . . this was not that designer. after a couple of hours, i realized that although preview is the easiest, maybe fastest way to look through pictures. . . this woman really just wants large pictures to scroll past her view, then she wants to be able to save or delete them. . or consider having them touched up.
i do quite a bit of work with editing pictures, mostly for my own purposes, and i have my own ways of working through a stack of files. . . . every time she asks me a question, i'm aware of about 4 to 8 ways of answering it. it depends on your preference, or how you want to use them later, or. . . .
but she's not sure of how they will be used. . . and having no prior experiece with computers, she has no preferences. so i try to come at it form her perspective. something easy where she can see large pictures. . . . and in a graceful manner- clicking through files is unappealing to her. so, she now glances at slideshows in iphoto. . .
i could go into minute details of how the concept of opening windows and programs, as well as the simple manipulation of a mouse is beyond her comprehension.. . . but there is too much.
anyway, since we are short on time, i figure she'll pick up this stuff suzuki method. i've made small instructions windows that detail how to perform certain functions. and last night i backed up everything she has so far. . . so i think she'll make deletions and such from here on. i'm still really nervous that she'll try to open and use photoshop. it's so easy to get lost, and lose a lot of time there.
however, after several hours this week, i still see why she drives other people nuts, but she's been nothing but sweet to me. aside from the fact that she thinks i'm an absolute genius on the computer- totally not true, we've had some interesting chats. for a woman that seems all worldy and an intellectual superior, after swearing in front of me several times (both in english and in french) -usually when she double clicks incorrectly. . . she then checked to see if i was a born again christian or something, afraid that maybe her language would bother me. i assured her that it didn't. then, after sharing some brie, she complained about how gassy she was feeling. she excused herself for a cigarette and when she returned said she was glad to have passed gas while out there since it had been so loud.
i have to say, this isn't a side of her i expected to become aquainted with. honestly, i am enjoying it. i know she is good friends with our general director, so she sometimes chats about him. . and it's just interesting to hear about people from this entirely different perspective. and i'm getting to see all these pictures from productions that i haven't seen before. . . and to hear her talk about them from an artistic eye is educational to me. i only wish she had a little more practical knowledge in working computers, since it would make it slightly less frustrationg.
i've gotten rid of my flooble chat box. . . it seemed to have troubles anyway. i'm sorry that i will miss future battles of horns and stringed instruments between mom and mr. lawall. . . but you can still use the comment thing after each entry i make if you wish. . . .
i received this onslaught of emails from people i went to kent with. . . it all started with matt. . . . who had good intentions. . .
matt. . .
25 signs that you've all grown up
1. Your houseplants are alive, and you can't smoke any of them.
2. Having sex in a twin bed is out of the question.
3. You keep more food than beer in the fridge.
4. 6:00 AM is when you get up, not when you go to bed.
5. You hear your favorite song on an elevator.
6. You watch the Weather Channel.
7. Your friends marry and divorce instead of hook up and break up.
8. You go from 130 days of vacation time to 14.
9. Jeans and a sweater no longer qualify as "dressed up."
10. You're the one calling the police because those %&@# kids next door won't turn down the stereo.
11. Older relatives feel comfortable telling sex jokes around you.
12. You don't know what time Taco Bell closes anymore.
13. Your car insurance goes down and your car payments go up.
14. You feed your dog Science Diet instead of McDonald's leftovers.
15. Sleeping on the couch makes your back hurt.
16. You take naps from noon to 6 PM!
17. Dinner and a movie is the whole date instead of the beginning of one.
18. Eating a basket of chicken wings at 3 AM would severely upset, rather than settle your stomach.
19. If you're a gal, you go to the drug store for ibuprofen and antacid, not condoms and pregnancy tests.
20. A $4.00 bottle of wine is no longer "pretty good stuff."
21. You actually eat breakfast food at breakfast time.
22. "I just can't drink the way I used to," replaces, "I'm never going to drink that much again."
23. 90% of the time you spend in front of a computer is for real work.
24. You drink at home to save money before going to a bar.
25. You read this entire list looking desperately for one sign that doesn't apply to you and can't find one to save your sorry old butt.
reply #1, from kyle. . .
Gorris, what is wrong with you? That's the most depressing thing I'vereceived all day. And I'm not even as old as you - so you must feelREALLY ancient. ;)
reply #2 from ?. . .
And besides, you still get the 130 days vacation... ---matt teaches at a college----
reply #3 from jason. . .
Yeah Gorris, you're probably used to it by now.
What is that.... Like 14 yrs. Gorris..... Ohh wait....Thats just counting college
reply #4 from leba (who recently had her first child). . .
POOR MATT!Everyone needs to leave Gorris alone. He was just trying to brighten your day with a funny email, and this is the thanks he gets!!!!You all need to learn to RESPECT YOUR ELDERS.
well, it's a new year. time to turn over a new leaf and be reborn, or at least, time to return to santa fe and give up my status as a sloth. though i've enjoyed it tremendously. i suppose the indentation in my parents' couch, which just happens to mirror the silohuette of my ass. . . will fade, slowly. but it's time to get back to life i suppose.
you know, sometimes i think this blogging thing would be much more entertaining if you could see the passage of time between some of my writing. . . . especially now that i'm trying to catch drumline. . . while writing this. i should also be doing some laundry. but not just yet. . . we're getting into a tense moment. two of my cousins are really into this cause they are part of a huge school band that does competitions similar to this. though i was technically part of a drumline in highschool. . . in a band of 50, i don't think it quite compares. i played the bells for marching band, and was privileged enough to march with the percussion. the perks included getting to wear shorts while everyone else had to wear nasty white hot pants. oh and we also got to wear sunglasses as a group. on the downside, our instruments were heavy and the harnesses used to carry the instruments were rather uncomfortable. i do have a vivid memory of one of our drummers, eric. . . his harness was set in such a way that every once in a while, he'd rub up agains the steel and slice his finger. by the end of any parade, his drumset and white shorts both had an even fine spray of blood across them. he never did anything to adjust it so it wouldn't happen, , , i guess i admired him for taking the pain of it. . . like taking one for the team.
ok, so wear was i going before i got on that tangent? right. .. laundry is on. . . and we've now learned that our young hero can't read music. .. . too bad. . . so sad.
so yeah. . . back to santa fe tomorrow. . back to work. . . and hopefully. .. ooh. . . wait. . . . halftime! it's like, you got served. . . only with a plot, and some cool competition, and some honestly crafted dialog.
hmmmm. . . i have something brewing in the back of my head. . . maybe there needs to be a blog with stories of our first period. since it's usually something that is only shared among close friends and family. don't hold your breath. . . but if you are female and if i have your email, you may hear from me. . . muhahahahaha