Mar. 3rd, 2005

Crap

Mar. 3rd, 2005 11:21 am
windelina: (closeup cat)
I totally forgot about Natalie's birthday party last night. Of course, after rehearsal I went straight home and to bed and to sleep - so it was likely for the best. I'm still recovering from last week (from the last year, in fact).

Note to self: Limit fashion design chatter to commercials as much as possible. (I know how annoying it is to not be able to see/hear the event one is ostensibly there to view.)

Today, I am feeling profoundly lethargic. Unfortunately, I need to be un-lethargic. I need to run to get some make-up supplies for the high school over lunch. At some point, I need to get to the library and pick up the Trivia Contest Reading List. I also need to get to the library to start prep work on the Spring Scenes for the high school.

And there's needing to get stuff done around the house for the housewarming. (April 9th. Yet another reminder.)

Speaking of the house, we don't have a clever nickname for our humble abode...
[Poll #447864]

Hey, here's another random poll:
When you think of theatre, what scenes/musical numbers/plays/authors leap to mind?
I think of "One" from A Chorus Line, "Wilkommen" from Cabaret, "Something Better than This" from Sweet Charity (to name JUST a few)...
"The Bald Soprano" by Ionesco ("which Bobby Watson do you mean?")
"The Lion in Winter"
"Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" by Stoppard ("Do you want to play at questions?")
Williams, Coward, Shaw, Shakespeare, Neil Simon, Alan Ayckbourn, Christopher Durang...

What do YOU think of?
windelina: (Firefly)
Well, I won't have the soundtracks done to give to them tonight - probably just as well.

If you're planning on seeing it: tonight, Friday and Saturday at 7pm. I have hopes of it being even better than last weekend.

Brush-up was last night and was mostly uneventful except for the part where I got "all up on" a few of my girls for doing what I had specifically said they were not to do.

I said, "No screwing around. I expect it to be a bit looser and that's fine, but don't purposefully screw around with this. That's not what it's for."

Beginning of the first act, I see Abigail look offstage and giggle but she stops, goes on, things are fine.
Beginning of the very intense third act (and the act that has been consistently the roughest and has the most people involved), John Proctor is clearly trying not to laugh onstage, any time he looks stage left offstage. And this goes on for close to ten minutes. I go to the booth and ask them to ask backstage what is going on. Somebody's goofing off back there. I tell them not to say a word and I hightail it back there, pissed.

It's my four screaming girls (the girls who cry out), putting on a little simulated sex show for John Proctor in the wings.

I get up in their faces. "What are you doing? Didn't I tell you specifically no fucking around?!?"
'Well, Andrew (John Proctor) did it to Anne (Abigail) in Act One.'
"He'll hear about that later! I am furious with you!!"
And I left four pairs of very wide and chastised eyes as I stormed out.

And then of course, I calmed down. Because my temper is pretty fast and furious. And hey - I've screwed around backstage too.

So, at notes I said quite calmly and a little amused, "So, (naming kids), didn't I say not to screw around?"
Yes.
"Andrew, you shouldn't have done it in Act One. But girls, your mistake in Act 3 was that you kept going, for like ten minutes. I'm not mad at you anymore, because I know and trust that you would never do that in a performance. So let's just say you didn't earn your cookie for tonight and leave it at that."
[laughter]
"Got a temper, don't I?"
Relieved gushings from girls: "You were scary!!"
"Yeah, I'm a real bitch."

And then I asked if, now after the brush-up, they understood why they needed one. There were alot of emphatic nods. I laughed and said that brush-ups for a musical are about reminding people what the dance steps are. Brush-ups for a drama are about getting the headspace back and priming the pump for the next night.

"How many of you feel you did the show perfectly last weekend?" No hands went up. "That is the correct answer!" And then went on to point out that the challenge last week was just to get through it (they were holding on to their lines by their fingernails). The challenge this week is to take it farther, to see how intense and how honest they can make it. (I really don't want them to lose their energy because now they know that they can do it, it's no big deal.)

At the very end of the night, as everybody was leaving, Sara (one of the girls) comes up to me. "I'm sorry" and she hugs me. I hug her back and say, "Hey, I've screwed around too. That's how I knew what to look for!"
windelina: (Lenore)
AUSTIN, Texas -- Gross! How to take a horrible bill and make it genuinely loathsome. Look at this -- look at what they are doing with this bankruptcy bill.
The bankruptcy bill was a gift to big bankers and credit card companies to begin with, in return for copious showers of campaign contributions to our very own elected representatives in Congress. Same old, same old.


The big lenders, the kind who can legally jack up your interest rates at any time for any reason (read that fine print, folks), have a problem. More and more Americans are going broke. So they declare bankruptcy under Chapter 7, which wipes out their credit for 10 years, but gives them a chance to start over without debt. So, naturally, the banks want to make it harder to declare bankruptcy by forcing people to file under Chapter 13, only a partial diminution of debt.
According to a study by two associate medical professors at Harvard, published in Health Affairs, bankruptcies are indeed shooting up. Between 1981 and 2001, personal bankruptcies rose by 360 percent, but those caused by medical debts rose an astronomical 2,200 percent. Only job loss now slightly leads medical crisis as the reason for bankruptcy -- it's ahead of divorce.

Another cause, as well the usual usury, is that the card companies push accounts on people whose credit is only marginal -- your teenager has doubtlessly been offered several. Ooops, it turns out many of those with shaky credit can't pay (!), so of course the banks want the law changed even more in their favor. Poor little card companies -- only $30 billion in profits last year.

If you have not lived long enough to know that anyone can be hit by financial catastrophe, just wait. Your job, too, can be outsourced. And if you think health insurance can keep you out of financial trouble if you get sick -- surprise! Three-fourths of those who filed for bankruptcy because of medical costs had health insurance.

The study in Health Affairs reports that the middle class actually suffers most from the health crisis, accounting for 90 percent of all medical bankruptcies: Drug costs alone drive many into bankruptcy.

In a classic example of moral accounting, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, the bill's chief sponsor, said, "People who have the ability to repay some or all of their debt should not be able to use bankruptcy as a financial planning tool so they get out of paying their debt scot-free, while honest Americans who play by the rules have to foot the bill."

That's a startling example of the "straw-man" school of argument. The study by the Harvard profs shows that in the two years before filing for bankruptcy, 19 percent of families went without food, 40 percent had their phone service shut off, 43 percent could not fill a doctor's prescription and 53 percent went without important medical care.

So, who are these feckless, irresponsible moochers using bankruptcy to avoid paying legitimate debts? Why, look at this: The New York Times reports "legal specialists say the proposed law leaves open an increasingly popular loophole that lets wealthy people protect substantial assets from creditors even after filing for bankruptcy."

What, our Republican Congress passing a bill that favors rich people at the expense of "honest Americans who play by the rules and have to foot the bill"? If you have a lot of money (most people filing for bankruptcy don't have this problem), you just put it in an asset protection trust and walk away. You don't even have to set up the trust offshore anymore -- five states have made it legal to set them up in their borders, and you don't even have to live in any of the five to do it.

If you don't like that feature of the bankruptcy bill, try this one: You may have read of the hardship on the families of those who have been called to fight in Iraq, including, of course, severe financial stress leading to many bankruptcies. Democrats in the Senate tried to put an amendment on this bill exempting military personnel, and the Republicans voted it down. (Windy notes that she doesn't care who voted for or against it - it got voted down by our elected representatives. Shitheads.)

Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard law professor, pointed out in testimony before Congress that the bill assumes everyone is in bankruptcy because they're spendthrifts. "A family driven to bankruptcy by the increased cost of caring for an elderly parent with Alzheimer's disease is treated the same as someone who maxed out his credit cards at a casino. A person who had a heart attack is treated the same as someone who had a spending spree at the shopping mall. A mother who works two jobs and who cannot manage the prescription drugs needed for a child with diabetes is treated the same as someone who charged a bunch of credit cards with only a vague intent to repay."

But hey, that's the conservative idea of justice -- treat 'em all the same, except for the rich.

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