Wednesday, December 29, 2004


As I drove to my parent's house tonight, after a brief shopping adventure with my sister before she went to work, I fingured out something about myself.

The last visit with my best friend in Albuquerque, I found the typical shopping we used to do was horribly uncomfortable. As we have gotten older, we have become very different. She more girl, and I like to get my hands dirty. Why spent $20 for a t-shirt? It's a t-shirt!

My sister reminds me more and more of my friend everyday. She is much more materialistic that I. She was talking about how she NEEDED a new purse(I made her two before I left), and I couldn't help but think how there are people that NEED food and shelter right now in India.

My sister and I grew up being very close. Now I can't even get her to spend time with me and when she does, it's like pulling teeth to get her to talk about her life of her dreams or anything. But she can call me up when I am on the road and rant for thirty minutes straight about how bad her life is.

Ok, so what I figured out about myself...

I get irritated when I get teased about liking to shop by my husband. I figured out tonight that when I'm getting teased about going shopping, I've got images of my friend or my sister running through my head.

It's no big deal. I just like to get a good deal. I couldn't imagine paying $40 for a denim jacket. I can barely make myself pay that much for a crappy down coat for our trip to MN and WI.


Tuesday, December 21, 2004

The moral is...CALL ME!

Ok well I am "home" now for a while so if you are reading this and live in the area, you will know where to find me. Happy Holidays!


Saturday, December 18, 2004

The moral is...If you have to introduce a presenter, check to make sure they are there first.

Christmas. Family. Home. They all have taken on a different meaning for me now that I have left and returned home again.

I walked through the neighborhood where I onced lived, looking at christmas lights, crying with frustration. Having a home can mean somethng as simple as having a place to feel safe taking a walk in.

It makes me tired not having a be of my own. Well I do have a bed but my sister is borrowing it since we were going to be away so long. And now I wish she hadn't. My back and neck hurt from sleeping on the floor and crappy mattresses in mid-range hotels.

My brother and sister are seniors in high school. They manage to make everyone around them unhappy. Isn't that the job of every seventeen year old. I got yelled at today beacause I asked one of them to hang out with me. It is so loud here. I can't stand it.

We had a strange week last week. Thursday we cancelled our first show because we were so ill. The second show our boss finally came to see our show. We were worried he was going to cancel our show or something. Nope. He just came to see our show and tell us we were doing a good job.

Friday we went to Liberty, MO. We performed for a group of 90 Third graders who made comments like, "That's not funny!" Tough crowd. Well i would have been tough too if I had to wait as long as they did for our show to start.

We had called in way ahead of time and said we had hit bad traffic in Downtown KC and we would be arriving late. No one checked to see if we were ready and so when they announced us I was still in the bathroom changing. Please note: If you have to introduce a presenter, check to make sure they are there first.

I'm tired, frustrated, sick, etc. and I have no where to go to escape from it all and have a moment to myself.



Tuesday, December 14, 2004

The moral is...check the schedule.

Today was an interesting day. Once again, we weren't made to feel very welcome at our first school. We had a great show, however, and afterward the teachers that were cold when we arrived became our best friends.

The PE teacher asked us if we ment to get the kids as wound up as we did. YES! Of course! They made the show a lot of fun. The show was fun for me again today. It's always fun but today it was really fun.

We went home to Topeka and returned our rental car that we got for our Colorado trip and went for a relaxing luch at our favorite reseraunt.

With 45 minutes to spare we began the 20 minute journey to our second school. My friend Chris was coming to the show and I was thinking about how he had said in his e-mail that he would see us at 1pm. It was 12:45pm. Why would he be there so early when our show started at 2pm.

I asked James if he was sure our show started at 2pm. He said he was and I picked up the schedule and...NOPE. It started in 15 min. We are so sleep deprived that we got our shows confused.

After some convincing, we got Chris(also an actor) to give us some advice. He made some really good points. I look foward to trying some new things tommorrow. It was awesome to have a familiar face in the audience and to get some feedback on our show.


The moral is...check out podcasting.

I'm getting so burnt out. I think it's all the traveling in the midwest. We haven't taken pictures or used our camcorder since we came home for Thanksgiving. We are home off and on this week. It makes me feel even less motivated to go to work every day. No...I think it is just the eighteen hours of driving we had to do in the last 36hours that is making me so cranky.

My dad burned some CDs for James and I of this young, hip couple in Wayne, WI. They have this podcast that can be vulgar at times but is really funny. So if you dare, check them out.

They've saved us from the boredom of the road.

I'm keeping it short today because we still have to drive an hour to our first show. Check back later. I might post again tonight.


Friday, December 10, 2004

You get two today!

My memory of which school was where fades rather quickly. I can't remember from day to day where we were the day before. I'll say James, "What school was that?" He will start describing it and the memory will come back.

While some schools are clearer than others, it's mostly a big blur of schools in my memory. A constant blur of hotels, restraunts, gas stations, grocery stores, and scenery flashing by in the window.

The more I think about this, the more I don't want to do it again. I'm back and forth about it. I am so much happier from day to day than when I was going to school and working around such a negative, unhappy person all the time. I would be referring to my manager at the coffee shop, who has since been let go because of her negativity.

There's not very much to have to worry about out here. Well less than when we were home. James and I have so much fun together. While it's too cold to swim in Topeka, we swim several times a week. We don't have to make our bed.

The company we work for sucks the fun out of it. The kids put the joy back in it for us. So you can see why I would be back and forth about wether or not I want to do this again.

If we return next year, we are doing American Tall Tales. There are reasons we like our show so much. The kids are familiar with our stories, which are funny, and they laugh the whole time. People are always telling us how much our show stands out from the other assemblies. We keep the kids, of all ages engaged for the entire show. There is something to be said about that.

Do we keep this as a nice faded memory? Do we do it again and hope we enjoy our show next year(if the pay is right)? Do we wait and try and do it on our own in a few years? What should we do? I need your comments people.


The moral is...don't cancel shows when you need medical assistance.

My fever is gone, I'm on antibiodics, and I am feeling better. I still have a sore throat but I can tell that is getting better as well. I think just the thought of getting to see my family in a few days is helping my recovery.

I think we screwed ourselves pretty badly. We cancelled some shows to come home and get James' tooth fixed. If we had just done one more show, I think we would have gotten to spend this weekend home. Instead, we get to drive back to Colorado this weekend to make up our shows we missed. Although we would prefer to be home, I'm ok with that. I don't want another group making up our show for us. I don't think that is fair.

When our employer told us that he was sending us back, he sent me a TYPED fax saying that he was sending us back but would be more than happy to help us with gas.

James talked to him yesterday and it's amazing, somehow, he forgot he said that. Oh, but he'll reluctantly give us $50. That's so nice. That will get us there and not back.

Really, that isn't what I am upset about. That's typical. What I am upset about is that after our three shows in Colorado, we have to drive NINE hours to Emporia for a 9:30am show.

Our empoyer says the drive is only 5 hours, 6 at the most. We made the drive home and with us driving a little over the speed limit, it took 9 hours to Topeka.

On the other hand, we picked up a show in Emporia the Tuesday, Dec 21 and he is going to give us almost all of the money he get from that show. Can we get an advance on that so we can get home from Colorado? Just kidding, that just means one person in our family might get a Christmas present this year. Everyone put your names in a hat...


Monday, December 06, 2004

The moral is...being sick blows.

When we arrived home for Thanksgiving, we felt as though we were about to get sick. We felt sickish the whole time we were home and even had to brake some dates with our friends because we weren't feeling well.

Now I am blaring a fever. Either I am still sick from two weeks ago or I managed to pick up something else from a nose picking kid in the front row. MMMmmm...let's see, my bet is on the nose picker.

I was up again last night but only for about an hour or so. I ate lots of cold ice cream to sooth my aching throat.

For those of you that have never lived with me, I should tell you that ever since I was little my skin hurts when I get a fever. I don't understand it, but there's no need to take my temp. when my skin hurts because that is a given that I have a fever.

When I was a freshman in college, I went to the school doctor at Washburn because my skin hurt. I didn't think my fever was that high yet but I wanted to get meds before I got any worse. The doctor took my temp. and said I just needed to exercise. I was angry. I knew I was sick. What did he know, he's just a doctor. I didn't need a speech about exercising, I was getting plenty. By the time I drove the four miles home, I had a raging fever.

So last night I woke up. Not because I couldn't sleep but because James kept touching me. I skooted to the edge of the bed and when he rolled over closer I got a nice tap of the elbow and that was it. I moved to the chair and watch Elimidate, the trashiest dating show out there. Poor James doesn't even know he kept me up all night. He won't even remember telling me, "I'm not touching you," and going back to sleep.

It felt like my fever was so high last night that I am concidering looking for a doctor. Thank God we only have one show today.


Saturday, December 04, 2004

The moral is...when the lobby smells, find a different hotel.

Join in our laughter and check out our goofy pictures:

These pictures were taken at Minne Lusa Elementary, 12/02/04, in Omaha, NE.

We are now in Souix Falls, SD for the next two nights. There was a severe lack of hotels in the area closest to our schools on Monday and Tuesday. So we drove about half an hour out of the way to feel comfortable again. We spent the begining of the week in Best Westerns that were nice and clean and reasonablly priced. Last night we found ourselves in a Super8 that was slightly over budget. They wanted to charge me five dollars more so i could redeem points for our stay. Yeah right. I don't think so. The hallways smelled funny and our room smelled as iff a kid had wet their pants and forgot to tell somebody. It was nasty. We went to Walmart to spend that five dollars on a can ouf Oust, air sanitizer. It helped a little but not much. The room itself would have been fine had it not stunk so much.

When we were looking for a room today we were pretty picky. There were places that were nice that were closer to our Monday school but they wanted $62 and $75 a night. Nice try. so we drove a little bit further and found a Days Inn, near an airport, that was only six dollars over budget, taxes included.

It is amazing how comfortable you can feel in a clean room vs. a stinky, kind of dirty room.

Well that's all for now. I'll write more when James isn't bothering me!


Friday, December 03, 2004

The moral is...make your guests feel welcome.

Were are in Iowa now. Let's hope the schools today go better than they did yesterday. I just don't understand what people are thinking sometimes.

Most of the time we prefer to perform on the floor. A lot of schools don't have stages or their stages are used for storage so it works out well. A lot of the action happens among or close to the kids so when we are on a stage we jump down a lot.

It's necessary to be on a stage if their are more than 350 students so they can see and hear.

We arrived at our first school yesterday in NE and the music teacher was having class. That pretty typical. She nicely volunteered to move so we could set up but she never moved her kids out of the way. She and the gym teacher made a half-hearted effort to set up the gym for the show meanwhile letting the kids run around were we neede to set up.

Finally, they moved them and had them sit along the far wall of the gym. Just in time for the other students to start pouring in. No one announced us. They just quieted down their students and expected us to start. We did, the show went well, they loved it and again the same thing happened. Kids were stepping on our costumes as I was trying to pack them back in our trunk. The music teacher's students were everywhere. I couldn't believe it.

The music teacher did compliment us though. She said it was one of the best assemblys she had seen. She asked us a lot of questions and told us how great we were and then as she walked away she looked at me and said, "You could practice the guitar a little."

WHAT! Of course I could! I don't play the guitar. Well I do in the show but I taught myself the few chords I know. I practice eveyday. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you, she was very protective of my crappy student guitar that I bought at a friend's garage sale for five dollars. GRRRRR...I don't mind constructive critisism but she really got under my skin.

The second show was in IA. It was a beautiful old school that reminded me of Topeka High (my high school). There were signs everywhere that said, "No talking zone. The means adults to." That made me wonder if we were going to be able to get them wound up. We were directed to the stage by a very friendly janitor that told me his mother was in kindergarden at that school.

While we were setting up, a woman came in and said, " I need this room. Do you need these chairs for anything?" She was referring to the chairs against the walls for teachers to sit in. I nicely told her there was an assembly and she stormed out of the room saying, "I wish someone had told me." yeah, me too!

The stage was small but we fit well on it. They crammed at least 500 students in the tiny room. I'm sure it was against fire code. Fifth graders were standing in the back. If there had been a fire, it would have been a very scary scene.

The kids love it. They laughed the whole time. The teachers however, must haved a bad day. They were all so grumpy. I know it wasn't comfortable craming all those kids in there. It was way hot and way muggy.

When I went to the office to check out, the woman who checked us in was busy and another woman asked me, "What can I help you with," in a tone of voice that was like I was bothering her.

It was a frustrating day. We didn't feel very welcome.But we had two great shows!


Tuesday, November 30, 2004

The moral is...don't say, " I don't think we want to hear another story."

As one may guess, I had a lot of trouble getting out of bed this morning. By the time I got back to sleep I only slept for about an hour and a half. I have been sleepy all day. I even managed to fall asleep for a few minutes in the car today.

We were late to our first school. 30 minutes late. I guess for a number of reasons but no reason seemed to be good enough to be as late as we were. This morning, there was a severe lack of enthusiasm as we started the day. I felt like walking into the school and saying, "I'm sorry we were late. We decided to eat our breakfast sitting down this morning. Your not going to hold it against us are you?!?!"

The first show was really good. We performed for kinders and first grade. We had so much fun and looked foward to our second show at the same school.

Our second show was horrible. Our lack of enthusiasm found it's way into our show. However, I believe there were a number of variables that made it so bad. The second show was kinders and second grade. The 2nd graders were sitting in front with the kindergarders in the back. The K5 teacher was constantly telling them to sit down. What do you expect? The first teacher to come in gave me attitude about were she was going to sit her kids and coincidentally, it was her kids that acted out during the whole show.

I made the same mistake twice today. During our show, James(playing Aesop) says, " I know a few more stories you might like to hear."

I usually say, " I don't know about any more stories. Actually, I'd rather hear the next one from them."

I'm not even sure what the original line is supposed to be but I today I said, " We don't want to hear any more stories."

That was a huge mistake. There was a look of panic on the teachers' faces. We almost lost control of them. The second show we had they started chanting, "More stories, More stories." The third show wasn't as out of control. I even tried rewording it. The moral is...don't say it!


The moral out and then go to bed.

It's the second night back on the road and I am already having problems sleeping. All my life I've been able to sleep well, rarely waking up in the middle of the night. A few weeks into the tour I began a new pattern. I wake up in the middle of the night, fall back asleep, wake up fifteen minutes later and I am wide awake. It takes at least three hours to go back to sleep. I think I'm going to bust if I have to watch one more trashy talkshow re-run.

This is week 12 of our 30-35 week tour. One takes for granted the meaning of home. There is so much comfort each and every one of us finds in what ever it is we call home. While some days I feels as though I am getting adjusted to this lifestyle, being home taught me that living life this way can't be natural for anyone. I enjoy it, don't get me wrong. There is just something to be said for the comfort of someone knowing your name, the beauty of an old grandfather clock you hear again for the first time, being ALONE in a familiar room, sleeping in clean sheets that you know for SURE are clean, the smells of your familiar neighborhood, etc.

I have more free time than I have had in a long time. However, I'm too tired at the end of the day to do anything. We get sick of fighting rush hour traffic in a new town just to go buy some groceries for dinner or find a hotel. There is a fitness center downstairs at this hotel and I was so tired originally that I went to bed early. And now here I am. I guess the moral to this one out and then go to bed! Then maybe I would have slept through the night.

I had a light day today. I woke up in Lincoln, NE this morning. It had snowed through the night. Many thanskgiving travellers had stopped for the night in Lincoln because highways were getting shut down to the West and the North. This morning was the first time I had a glimps at what our winter in Wisconin might be like. Warming up the car, scrapping the windows, meanwhile trying to make sure our bags are packed AGAIN and loaded into the car.

We were five minutes late to our first school. With very little coffee, we performed our first show back after Thankgiving. It went well. The students were a little too well behaved so it was difficult to get them wound up. We dropped a few lines and James' skirt fell off catching us both off guard. WE almost kept our composure. The kids and teachers started laughing and it took James a while to notice. When he finally did, there was another explosion of laughter and that's when we almost lost it. This raw, humorous moment is why I believe theatre (vs. film) to be truely unique!

After lunch at a mexican restraunt, we spotted a Suburu dealership. We prayed they had time to fit us in for a much needed oil change. We got squeezed in and walked around the dealership admiring cars that we can't afford. We are going to have to figure out how to afford one soon with all the miles we are putting on our car. 185,000 so far. In 12 weeks we've already got over 15,000 miles so far.

Our second show was a riot. The kids were amused by everything. They were a lot of fun to perform for.

Then we headed toward Gretna to find a hotel. We ended up in Omaha at a hotle I saw on the internet while I was home. The Settle Inn. It's a Best Western with a Medival theme throughout. We ended up with a smoking room so we could have a fridge and microwave. It's worth it and I'm sure James doesn't mind smoking inside since it's so cold outside.

Well, it's about time to attempt to go to sleep again. Tata for now.