i'm cerulean. . .

it’s not exactly blue. . . but there is definitely a funk about me. . .and not a ‘brickhouse’ funk, or a ‘haven’t showered’ funk. we’re talking an emptiness, a loss, a limbo about me. i have a hard time with the transition from off season to summer season and back again. during the winter i get really used to seeing the same 10 or 12 people around, the quietness and the space. i barely walk near the stage, there’s not much reason. i regularly have conversations with the few people in props and costumes, and i work with everyone in the scene shop throughout that time. then people start to filter in. the first group is usually small, so it’s more exciting to have a few new people around. by the third or fourth influx i get irritated. during the winter, i can normally get from one office or department to the other without tripping over people and being stopped to answer questions but now there’s all these people in the way. a couple of weeks into it, i’m over the ‘intrusion’ of new people and i’m back in electrics full time. i barely have time to stop and discuss anything other than the next needed thing for a show with someone from another department. my schedule flip flops to evenings and i rarely see the day shift for more than an hour or two a day, and from a distance at that. historically, the electrics and lighting department become their own entity/ family. our schedule is pretty separated from other departments. we get to know a few people from other departments that run the shows, but they have a tough time getting through the tough knit that we make of our group. it’s rare when we don’t end up hanging out together, even on our few chances to have time apart. what made that even stronger this year, was the sense that a handful of staff members are considering, or have decided to not return next summer. these people have been apart of the summer season for 6+ years. . . some for a decade. they’ve created an institution among themselves. they move back to their off season in packs. . . a group to seattle, a group to baltimore, a group to chicago.

it’s not easy being the only one here still. i like being here, this town, this company, but the view is so different from someone who only moves in for 3 to 5 months at a time. their belongings are easily packed into boxes and bags and transported. i can’t even imagine my stuff fitting into a box. i don’t know where else my tool bag could fit except on the shelf near my feet under my desk in the office. needless to say, i am completely unmotivated to get any sort of organizing, cleaning, etc done in the electric shop, in order to leave it in good order, even for the winter. though there’s a possibility of leaving it with more distance on my horizon. all the summer people are gone, and a lot of winter people are taking what’s left of their vacation time. who cares if there is something slightly foul smelling rotting in the garbage. . . . or if color frame storage is a shambles? who is going to care, other than me. . . and right now, i have heavier thoughts on my mind.

what makes this more difficult is the past month or month and a half o my life. august, at the opera, is when all the shows are finally running, no more technical rehearsals. for about two weeks, their is a collective sigh, just keep the shows running as they have been. come in later to work, do a few side projects, but nothing with as much urgency. then, there’s a pick up. the apprentice scenes happen on the 2nd and 3rd weekend of august. so for the week preceding the concerts, our apprentices take on more responsibilities and supervisory positions. yes, again, it’s longer hours. . . but i like it. the apprentices that have real potential start to poke out of the woodwork, and their support group around one another becomes even stronger. . . usually. plus, during the tech rehearsal, which lasts one night, all night, the deck crew gets to have a little fun. . . in an attempt to entertain and keep awake everyone else at the tech table or the spot booth. crew members show up in garish opera costumes on loan from wardrobe, people become human christmas trees being tugged around on a skate by a rope, prop severed heads show up on different pieces of scenery, and if you’re ever needing a use for a lot of partially used pieces of breakaway glass. . .i’m your girl. it’s a bit of fun in what would be a stressful time. august usually has some sort of gala event as well. this being our 50th anniversary and all, and during the weekend of apprentice scenes, the staff ran the show. i’ve missed running spot. . it’s a lot of fun. you can kind of yell at and harass the performers without them knowing. . . criticize their outfits . . . spot the drunk, etc. . . shortly after that is the big wave of goodbyes. sometimes there’s a chance for a last meal together, a last bbq, sometimes you are directly in the middle of your work day or evening as someone comes up with a goodbye hug. you’ve just finished a day, like every other day this summer, only if you return the next day, half of the people, or two thirds of the people you work with, play with, eat with, sleep with, drink with, hang out with, talk with, experience every single day of the summer with. . . . . they won’t be there. it’s rather surreal. and then there’s the ones that you don’t mind seeing out the door. . . :) ‘here, let me help you with your bags. . . buh bye!’ but even them, you miss a little, simply because there are fewer of them.

but it’s not over! there’s still a handful of people, and a handful of shows. . . . the freaking concert season. we had four this year, the mariachi concert, james brown, dwight yoakam, and lou reed. they are trouble. the people coming expect a rock and roll venue with an union type crew, while the people here are tired, spent, have just said good bye to some good friends, and now have to run shows without the team that made them efficient. i usually get left with almost no crew for these. well, the mariachi show is early enough on to have some people around. . . but once everyone’s left, you staff the show with anyone from the opera, and being the only one on the lighting crew to know where to look for a cut of gel or how to move an instrument in the roof without ruining the rep hang. . . really sucks. this year i was a little spoiled. i had a crew member stay behind with me for a week and a half. we pulled another crew member in for the shows who was a quick study, and james brown and dwight yoakam ran pretty smoothly. both of them had left by lou reed. . . and lou reed sucked. ‘no sir, we don’t fly truss unless you bring it with you.’ ‘yep, sorry, you’ll just have to make due with what jennifer tipton and duane schuler used this year. . . sorry sir.’ arg.

for a week though, michael (the crew member) and i sorted, organized, filed, archived, and prepped for the concerts. then, we took monday off. no concert that day, and we were tired. we did a day of museums and touristy things that he hadn’t had a chance to do yet. OH, in the midst of all this, i’d been interviewing for a job. a couple weeks before the season ended, lesley (the board op here. . . who had also gotten a new job this summer) got an email from a friend that works are a decent school in california. they just lost their master electrician. this was about 15 minutes after is actually happened. i cleaned up my resume and had people at work check it for me. i cleaned it up and reformatted it in a way i hadn’t before, but i kind of approached it with a, ‘would be nice to see where it falls with them, and wouldn’t it be funny if it became serious’ kind of attitude. well, then it became serious. on the monday that michael and i took a mental health day, they called and wanted me to fly out for a visit and interview that week. monday- day off, tuesday- dwight yoakam, wednesday- michael leaves, thursday and friday- i fly to california for an interview, saturday- lou reed. oh, and friday, i’m supposed to be moved out of my apartment, and just as a fun side note, my computer hard drive ate itself the week before, so i just got it back and was getting everything back into place the end of the week before, which included asking california to send a copy of my resume back since it was the only copy in existence. difficult week, but i had a plan. . .

michael and i went to dinner, maria’s- since it was about his last chance for a new mexican meal. while headed back to the apartments for a movie i noticed that i missed two calls from my family. my family members and i usually talk on sundays, and i missed a few over the busy nature of the summer, but i don’t like getting tag teamed when it’s not a sunday. i said that to michael as we were walking. . . . that it makes me fear bad news. and then i sent michael to walk ahead when i hear in a message that my grandpa’s had a stroke and is in the hospital. my parents and i talk over my interview and how they don’t want me to cancel it, and how we’ll have more answers after a series of MRI’s the next day. i’m thinking to myself, this is the part in the movie where the girls drops everything she’s doing and hops the next flight home. . . . but this isn’t a movie, and i’m moved because my parents didn’t want to give me this news which might derail me from interviewing, and the kicker, that grandpa would want me to do my best and make him proud, and wouldn’t want his being hurt to change my plans. after crying and talking on the phone for a while i walk into darin and michael’s apartment, explain the situation and request a distracting evening. so we sit and watch, ‘what the bleep’ which uses quantum theory to question our very existence. . . . . hmmm. . . kind of surreal. and then i have to run a dwight yoakam concert. and you ask . . . could things get more mucked up? why yes, they could. . . .

i called my landlord during the day to ask if i could extend my lease for a couple of weeks. she hadn’t found anyone to rent to yet, so this works out very well for both of us. . . fantastic, i hadn’t really looked for a place anyway. so i have an apartment till october 1st and i have dwight yoakam all day, and i have news about my grandpa as some point. the show actually goes up really easily, and then i’m running the show with no news. so i call my mom, from the light board, country music blaring all around me. mom says there is good and bad news. one can only imagine where my mind immediately wandered to. but it wasn’t near to what i heard. grandpa was in good health and fine. it wasn’t a stroke. . . but his depression was much deeper than we understood. this wonderfully funny man, who missed his wife, my grandma, thought he’d become too much of a burden on our family. it’s true, his health had been worse lately, but perhaps the depression was feeding into that. nurses were prepped to ask if, at his age, he used a walker or a cane. he uses neither. he’d been splitting wood and shingling his house in the past weeks. it didn’t occur to me till just yesterday that this all happened on september 11. i was out with a friend. we stopped at two churches. the touristy area of downtown santa fe. having moved almost completely into a mental state of atheism, the irony of me in a church is not lost. yet i fall into routine. i blessed myself with the holy water. i walked up to the conquistadora chapel. the first likeness of the mother mary to be carried to the americas resides there. i lit a candle, feeling a little theatrical in front of a friend, but resigning that i always light a candle and say a small hello to my grandma from that chapel. at about the same time, my grandpa took a bunch of his old medication. . . . maybe he was hoping to get a chance to say ‘hi’ to her too. only yesterday did i metaphorically equate the falling of the towers 5 years ago, to my grandpa falling. my aunt told me he has a bad bruise on his arm from falling. i worry about my dad, stopping by after work to find his own dad like that. i worry that rushing home to visit will embarrass my grandpa. my aunt says he’s worried that everyone is angry with him now. i feel like i understand his frustration in life, but that i’m selfish in not wanting him to leave yet. when being wistful i always considered him the king of our pride. in lion terms. he’s got this great mane-like head of semi-shaggy pure white hair. i always hoped i inherited those genes. of course i always thought of it in terms of how fantastic the dyes would turn out in my hair if i could start with a white base. the other thing that always caught me was the size of his hands. i never noticed that anyone else has similar hands in our family. his are like carpenter’s hands. large and puffy with muscles. his job was as a draftsman, but he built this beautiful cradle for me when i was born, and it’s made proper, like a carpenter would, with pegs and joints. that cradle’s been shared by all the cousins now. my aunt worries that my younger cousins don’t know and remember their grandparents as my brother and i do.

eh hem. . .

so that was tuesday, kind of. wednesday was really quiet in the shop. michael and darin left. thursday and friday were absolute whirlwinds. flying out to california, i got in around noon and didn’t stop till around 11:30 pm, meeting faculty, staff, students. meetings one after another. i got to see a rehearsal in their downtown theatre, and nearly got to see an old friend from emerson, but i was wiped out, and still had another day to put in. another whole day of meeting people and sitting in on classes, and getting lost in their building, and then flying out around 4pm to get home again around midnight. of course there’s a lot more. . but one focus. . . or one less focus at a time please.

over all the meetings/ interviews did go well. but like i said, i’m in limbo, and can’t tell which way my emotions are facing. there’s comfort in staying. . . and there’s excitement in a new place. . . at this point i could flip a coin and be content with either turn out.

saturday was lou reed. honestly . . . i’d rather just forget the whole thing. . . it wasn’t fun. . but not as bad as lyle lovett a couple of years back. . . moving on. . .

this week is cerulean. there has been so much activity in my recent past, there is the possibility of there being more activity in the near future, i can’t be just blue. there’s too much spice in the mix, it can’t be plain blue. . . but it is a flavor of blue. my roommates have already all moved out. . . i still have to finish packing in order to move. . . to where is a whole other world of unknown. my house is quiet, my work is quiet. . . . i’m not whining - i’ll let coldplay and death cab for cutie do that for me in my ipod. i’m not looking for an outpouring of sympathy emails or phone calls. . . i am crying, but i’m looking to stand strong in my own life. . . or at least find a comfortable chair in it somewhere. i’m missing my coworkers, my friends, and my family, but there are too many uncertainties right now for me to make any move. i’m waiting for the ringing in my ears, which seems to have become an overall remnant body buzz to quiet down a little more, as much as it seems uncomfortable, so i can see my next step more clearly. . . and move at the appropriate time.

i find it funny- not haha funny, but huh. . . isn’t life interesting funny- that three people from emerson who i haven’t heard from in a long time, each found me on myspace in the past week in a half. one’s lived in LA for years, one’s been in england for several years but is now working on a show in china, and a third is flying out to south korea this week. i’m thankful for them reaching out and finding me.

and now, finally, i will be leaving this post. i don’t have the strength to reread it for grammatical errors or misspellings. if you made it all the way through reading, you should reward yourself. have a great day, and wish me much rest, and some productive cleaning and packing this weekend.


erika withdrawl

have you missed me?

hell, i’ve missed me.

actually, not to get your hopes up or anything, but this is just a test. you see amidst the confusion of the end of the opera season, and the concert season and a myriad of other things that has been my life for the past month, my hard drive crashed. the computer was fixed, everything all good, but i lost quite a bit of info, including all my blog stuff. that and since i’m supposed to move out of my apartment soon, i’ve had the internet shut off. so i’m not completely ready to dive right back in, but i thought i’d take a minute to let everyone,- yep all three of you, know that i haven’t completely fallen off the face of the earth. nope, just hanging on the edge but i have a safety rope attached and i’m slowly clawing my way up.

in touch soon.