Back on April 19th, I had the joy of going to the Concert on the Green Finalists Competition. The Sunday of Memorial Day weekend is when the Concert on the Green takes place - today. I met my friends around 4 at St. Johns Community College in Orange Park. We enjoyed the outdoors, chatted, and listened to two local warm-up bands.
At 7, the festivities 'officially' started. All of the finalists from the April 19th competition were recognized, including IMG who placed 2nd in the Junior Division.
We were treated to a drill team exibition by the Orange Park ROTC - they were fantastic.
Parachuters from the Palatka Championship jumping team brought the colors in. And then, it was time for the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra!!
The first set started with The Star Spangled Banner, with the conductor conducting the audience. They did a West Side Story medley, then the finalists performed with the Symphony! Due to last year's Concert on the Green being rained out, we were treated to having last year's winners perform as well. Not only were they great to listen to, I think it was just an awesome thing for these kids to experience.
The second set was patriotic music. One of the pieces was a medley of all of our armed forces songs - the conductor asked that when each branch's song was played that anyone who had served, was serving or had family serving in that branch to stand up. It was so neat to see these men and women stand to be recognized. They ended with The 1812 Overture - including the CANNON! It went off earlier than any of us expected; we all jumped!
What a joyful, relaxing evening. EJG, JSG and I were chatting about traditions, and I realized that for the most part, I didn't have any traditions. I do now. Attending the Concert on the Green next year (and following years) with my dear friends. New traditions are good things.
Sometimes it's a curse being an "early bird". A restful night's sleep isn't always the easiest thing to come by, and quite often I would love to be able to sleep in on Saturday mornings. Fortunately though, sometimes after an hour or so, I can go back to sleep. That was today - up at 7:30; breakfast and an episode On Demand; then another 3 hours of sleep. I needed that.
It's Friday ... need I say more? Nope, but I will. Not only is it Friday, but it's Friday before a 3 day weekend. Our last paid holiday was New Years Day. The drought is over!! Am so looking forward to the long weekend.
Computer Science is not an exact science. Today, a report that the Commissions Department has been using for at least 3 years decided to break. I have no clue why. Just started getting errors. It took me over 2 hours to get it back up and running, but at least it's fixed ... and with recent changes the users had requested.
Another positive note - the Lady Vols were the first to punch the ticket into the Women's College World Series! They're only ranked 15, but they knocked off #2 to make it back to Oklahoma City. Go Lady Vols!
It's no secret - I love the show Criminal Minds. The subject matter is typical of what I watch and read, but I really love the ensamble that makes up this show. Tonight's season finale was a cliff-hanger ... damn.
Summer is right around the corner, but today was beautiful. Low humidity, temps in the low 80's and surprising lack of mosquitoes. The kids and I enjoyed a long 'happy hour' in the back yard this evening.
The students of Caryl's last acting class had their Showcase tonight, what a recital would be for musicians. It was nice seeing folks working on their 'craft'. I videoed the evening for the students, then had fun chatting with everyone at Al's afterwards.
The last show of the Jacksonville Broadway Season was tonight - Chicago. It's been here 3 times, and yes, I saw it all 3 times (plus once on Broadway). I love this show, though, and will see it again. The evening started out with a wonderful dinner with Stacy. It was so good to be able to talk with her one-on-one, catch up on life and continue our friendship. EJG and IMG met us at the theatre, and we proceded down to our pit seats. In many ways, I love being being that close to the stage (front row, pit) because it's easy to separate the actors from their characters. True, you don't get the over-all view of the stage, but I still watch a show partially with a learner's eye. This cast was not the best I've seen (as a friend of mine put it, Roxie was a member of AARP), but it was still good.
You can't beat good friends and an evening of theatre. I count myself a very lucky person.
Yes, it taks a lot more of my time, especially when it comes to the editing, but I prefer to video a stage production a 2nd time. Looking at last night's recording reminded me why. It's not that it was bad, but it could be so much better. Tonight was recording number 2, and there were only a couple 'flubs' that I was aware of.
Tonight was the first night to record Talking Heads in Players By The Sea's Studio Theatre. The show is incredible with some of our best actresses in Jacksonville. While my recording wasn't the best (which is why I still have tomorrow night), the cast was superb tonight.
A great show was followed by some socializing at Holly and Redgie's. They hosted the cast party and graciously invited me. Just love those two.
A void was left when The X-Files ended, but last year that void was filled with Fringe. Instead of dealing with aliens and UFOs, Fringe deals with 'fringe science,' what you would expect mad scientists to be doing. Season 2 brought us to the reality of a parallel universe, and in the season finale, the characters in our universe crossed over to the other to try to save everything. Season 3 ... will it work?
Flight reservations made for my July vacation! Flying in and out of Denver, taking a rental car to Wyoming. Still need a hotel in Cheyenne for the first night, but other than that, all is done. This will hopefully be a real vacation where I don't work while I'm gone.
Today was just a routine day. Did make great strides on wrapping up a project at work; there's a light at the end of the tunnel on it. Diva was cute when she reminded me that it was time for Happy Hour - she wanted Mom to stop working and throw a ball for her. Mom listened.
ABET had their first annual Volunteer Appreciation Picnic this afternoon. It was great to see so many of the peeps that I've worked with the past couple of years. Some good ideas for next year's picnic!
Opening night for Talking Heads in Players By The Sea's Studio Theatre. 2 ladies who I am humbled to call friends are starring in the show. Originally staged as complete monologues, the creative team behind the PBTS show split the monologues up into segments; the stories intertwined with one another even though none of the 4 ladies interacted. I can't imagine the show any other way than it was last night - the splitting up of the monologues left the audience (at least this audience member) waiting to hear the next part of each character's story, and the culmination of each story brought closure to the evening that I think would have been lacking otherwise.
Staci and Holly were, in a word, magnificent. With just enough stage experience and some of Caryl's acting class, my understanding of the difficulty of those monologues gives me an even greater appreciation of their talent. Both of them are inspirations. It was the first time I've seen Caroline and Simone in a show, but look forward to seeing them again. Simone's knowledge, training and talent were obvious.
As always, it was a wonderful evening ... dinner and thoughtful conversation with RG, followed by seeing so many theatre buds at PBTS, and a fantastic show.
If a show intrigues me, I prefer to see it more than once, and I look forward to seeing this show again.
Big congrats to the cast and crew of Talking Heads. The Standing-O was well deserved!
From the PBTS Newsletter:
For award-winning English playwright Alan Bennett, there are no ordinary lives. In these quirky and often hilarious monologues, four unremarkable women reveal themselves as far from mundane.
Clueless actress Lesley, played by Staci Cobb, analyzes her role in a cheapie skin-flick as if it were high dramatic art.
Predatory antiques dealer Celia, played by Caroline Lee, hovers by a deathbed, waiting to pounce on the museum-quality estate.
Eagle-eyed spinster Irene, played by Simone Aden Reid, busily pens letters to authorities, reporting the lapses and infractions of her neighbors.
Holly Gutshall plays elderly widow Doris, whose obsession with cleanliness leads to her downfall.
Originally written for BBC television, Talking Heads was a big hit on Masterpiece Theatre on PBS. Directors Joe Schwarz and Sam Fisher have taken the imaginative step of cutting between the four woman as they tell their stories, making them even livelier and more suspenseful.
... read the instructions. A new version of that saying would be, "When all else fails, search Google." As with both sayings, one should do the last phrase first; it would save a lot of headache.
This afternoon, my main home PC gave me the above error - BOOTMGR is missing. It wouldn't boot past that point. Frack! Of course, I jumped to the worst conclusion, that my hard drive had just crashed. Fortunately, my files are saved on a different hard drive, so I didn't have that panic. After putting in a new hard drive and formatting it, I found that it wouldn't read my slaved drive. So, I finally resorted to Google. No luck on the slave issue. Put the old hard drive back in thinking that maybe I could get it to reformat, but again got the error above. FINALLY, my brain decided to work and I googled the error. There was a solution. I had to create a Windows Vista 64-bit Recovery Disc, but once that was done, the support thread I was reading stepped me right through the fix.
Yes, there are positives - I didn't lose any data or program installations because the fix only had to repair the boot process. Also, I have multiple computers, so while my main one was sitting there hung up, I was using others to finally research and then create the needed disc.
Next time - will I try on my own or remember to Google first? Dunno. Just glad that I did this time.
Today was our open enrollment for health insurance. We were given 2 options - a PPO type or the one like a health savings plan. Obviously, I went with the PPO since I don't really know much about the other one. What I do know about the PPO is that things have definately changed - deductable of $3000; $100 deductable on prescriptions; have to pay 30% of any labs. Top that off with the cost of insurance going up, it wasn't a fun meeting.
I know, I know - the positive. Health insurance is a part of our benefit package. It's exactly that - a benefit. The company does not have to provide it, but they do. The benefits are a part of the overall pay - when you consider taking a job you weigh in the benefits offered by the company, and when the company looks at what they're paying you, they weigh in the cost of the benefits. My counterpart in I.T., the guy who manages our network/helpdesk staff, has just given his notice. Why? Because there is no retirement plan as a part of our benefits. He has to weigh that.
For me, it's either start looking at other jobs or be grateful that we do have insurance and it didn't go up any more than it did. For now, I'll focus on the positive of the latter.
Left Townsend at 8:30am. 3 stops along the way. Finished one unabridged book on CD (that was started on the way up and continued on the trip to Johnson City). Started and finished an abridged book on CD. Home at 5:30pm.
Mom and the two furry kids are glad to be home and back in our own bed.