I’ve got my trusty backpack filled with pens and pencils and hairties and chapstick and granola bars and the textbooks that cost over 100 bucks (just for one class, le sigh) and I’m ready to start my first real class of grad school this evening.
(I’m not counting my online course that started last week, as that one involves me sitting on my couch in a robe with my laptop, which is hardly the school experience.)
I’m nervous – I keep thinking of that lyric in Avenue Q during “I wish I could go back to college” where they sing – “These kids are so much younger than meeee…” I know the class I’m taking is for grad and undergrads together, and I hope I’m not the “old lady.”
I’m excited – I like school, in general. The course – Topics in Human Development – sounds like something that’ll be really interesting, right? And I’m excited to get going on this degree so I can make some massive life changes.
So – here goes.
I also debated wearing the following outfit:
But then decided against it. I mean, for this week anyway.
Why do I have a feeling school won’t be quite like this?
I haven’t posted my exciting news yet, because I didn’t want to jinx it, but now that it’s official and I’ve signed all the papers, I can let it all out -
I have a new job!!!!!
That’s right. After this Friday, no more receptioning for me. I can’t say it’s been a total nightmare or a waste of time, as I enjoyed almost 3 years of nice benefits and steady work, which I know I should be grateful for, but I’m excited to move on into a position that pays me more, offers less interaction with the public, and might use the other 99% of my brain.
I try and keep these thoughts positive.
But, then my last week at work kicks off (as it so often has over the past few years) with the news that I’m spending the day in the mailroom.
Anyone who knows me knows how much I have detested the ‘backing up mailroom’ part of my job since the day I started. To me, it means a day of getting super dirty, hauling boxes that are so heavy I really shouldn’t be lifting them, having people ask me questions I don’t know the answer to, and basically being frazzled and unhappy.
Especially on Mondays, when all the mail from the weekend waits for you to walk in the door.
No more mailroom.
To anyone that knows him, it’s clear that Eric collects Transformers. We’re talking an amazing collection that numbers in the thousands. I have been known, in my time, to have a few random action figures – usually (ok, always) the female of the series. (April O’Neil, Leia, Tila, Princess Peach, etc, etc, etc..)
So it should come as no surprise that we’ve started a wee collection of vinyl toys…
This, our pride and joy, is apparently Black Daruma, one of the rarest characters in the (we think now discontinued) Cannibal Funfair series.
This, my first vinyl, is Cloak – also of the Cannibal Funfair series.
Our other collectibles so far – Cactus Pups (now available in Borders, apparently), KidRobot, and Rolling Stock (the three animals in train cars.)
Well, if you’re into vinyl, one of the biggest names you’ll hear is Dunny. (See previous blog about rotofugi.) This very evening was the release of the 2009 Dunny series, and so we joined other vinyl-heads at rotofugi to celebrate and to get our hands on the new guys. These little guys, like many vinyls, come blindboxed so you don’t know until you open the box and the bag inside which character you’re getting.
Eric and I… got the exact same dudes. (See below) But it’s fine, because he’s adorable.
I also took a shot on a Dunny series 5, and got the above toy, which delighted me. As he is pink, and I like pink.
Eric initiated us into a whole new series – Heroes and Heartbreakers – with this little darling. Please note: the wheels on the skates DO move.
And, I have a brand new project – a do it yourself Munny. I’m not going to touch him until I have a really solid idea what I want to turn him into, but think of the possibilities…
It’s silly, but it’s fun. Everyone needs a hobby, right?
FYI – Not dry sockets, after all. Merely a case of hyper-tenderness due to the extreme trauma of taking out the upper right tooth, which from all accounts was something like coal mining. Sheesh.
But, I’m glad it’s almost over. My swelling has gone way down and I’m only blessed with a bit of nasty yellow bruising. Holler. Two more days of Amoxicillian and I’m home free.
I have a dry socket.
Which causes even MORE complications.
A. I cannot take another second of PTO this year – even though dry socket treatment is a gauze pad stuffed in the wound for 48 hours. Um. I’m a receptionist. CRAP.
B. I have to somehow figure out how to be at both a dentist appointment AND at the airport to pick up Aleisha at the same time tomorrow.
God, I just quit.
In later years, when asked to look back on the whole “having your wisdom teeth taken out” thing, I think what I will most recall is the drooling. They don’t tell you how much drooling you will do. But you do. Quite a bit.
At 4pm on Friday, I walked into Armitage Oral Surgery in Chicago and had my wisdom teeth taken out.
I was super-nervous, having never undergone any form of surgery or anesthesia or anything of the kind. I’ve never even broken a bone or had a cavity. The most intense medical experiences of my life have been mono and having my two baby canine teeth pulled in 2nd grade to make way for the adult ones. Traumatic, yes? But it was a local anesthesia and I vividly remember it, even all these years later.
Eric went with me, as my responsible adult. (Thats love, I tell ya.)
In the weeks leading up to this, I had heard all kinds of stories from people/friends about their personal experiences. Eric was back to work the next day. My Mom was out for an entire week. My friend Cheryl went to the mall the next day. Brent’s mom had to carry him to the car. Bob passed out by the pool. But, the thing these stories all contain is that anesthesia rocks. And it does. Oh, does it ever.
At 4pm, Dr. Katabi’s assistant (I wish I remembered her name) took me into the room, sat me in a chair, put a blood pressure monitor on me, and a moment later Dr. Katabi came in the room, stuck a needle in my hand and – Apparently an hour later on the nose – I awoke, and the procedure was done.
Seriously, I remember nothing.
After the assistant gave us some instructions, we were loaded in a cab and hauled home, where I proceeded to cry a little bit (I think from all the built up anxiety) and then, high on pain meds, lay on the couch for the next 3 days.
In fact, today is Monday, and I’ve taken the day off work to continue laying on the couch – after waking up at 5am with the feeling that someone hit me in the side of the face with a hammer.
To summarize – my top left tooth was already out of the gum, both bottom teeth were impacted, and the top right tooth was so impacted it was almost in the sinus. So, in order to get the top right tooth out, my mouth had to be pulled really wide, so at present the right corner of my mouth is cut up. I look a little like the Joker, but hey – it’s an earned battle scar. (You can’t really see it in the pic below, but you can see the swelling. I’m not vain enough to think this isn’t worth documenting.)
At present, I am feeling fine though I’m swollen and the top right tooth area is still aching.
I spent the weekend on the couch and in bed, accompanied by two adorable and loyal lap cats and tended to by Eric, who makes fantastic cheesey mashed potatoes and has served up all the cream of wheat and Panera cheese soup I desired. He’s a keeper, this one. I watched all kinds of TV and movies (If you haven’t seen “Fanboys,” you probably should.) and slept on and off the whole time in between icing my face.
I can’t say enough about how great the staff at Armitage Oral Surgery was. I was referred to them by my dentists office, and would pay it forward to anyone needing a professional, friendly staff and a super clean, modern office.
If you’ll excuse me, my Hydrocodone and I have a date.
Well, it’s 1:37 Central time, and at 4:00 today I will be getting my wisdom teeth removed.
I’m armed with tomato soup, cream of wheat, and pudding.
And two prescriptions – a pain med and an anti-biotic.
So, as I anticipate a few days of drooly swelliness, I’ll see you on the flip side.
On Friday afternoon, all four of my wisdom teeth are coming out.
It should have happened over a year ago, but I’m a dental-phobe and, let’s be honest, what sounds less fun than having oral surgery, you know?
I’m actually sort of getting excited, if you can believe it? While they’re not a source of constant pain and annoyance, every couple months they drive me insane for a few days – so it’ll be nice to get them done once and for all.
All four of the little buggers, gone!
(The teeth above are not my teeth, btw. I found them on google. Because you can find anything on google.)
“I miss the Mountains/I miss the dizzy heights/All the manic, magic days and dark, depressing nights.”
In the Tony-Award winning Broadway musical Next to Normal, a bi-polar housewife on meds laments the loss of the ups and downs and craziness of her earlier, unmedicated life in the song “I miss the Mountains.”
I’m taking a serious break from theatre.
In fact, I’m gonna go as far as calling it my retirement.
And, I don’t think – despite all the heights and magic of the past 20-some years of my life – I’m going to miss it.
I started in theatre at the age of 5 on a whim and dove head-first into non-stop theatre when I was in the 6th grade. There really hasn’t been a break since, save for one year where I was immensely discouraged after 3 productions with an asshole director – who was also a drunk, and cast himself in leads, and tried to seduce his leading ladies, and just put a terrible taste in my mouth for the art form. I’ve always worked really super hard at theatre – rehearsals, classes, reading about it, reading news about it, listening to cast albums, seeing shows, etc.. it goes on and on. Theatre was life. Life became theatre. It wasn’t uncommon for me to be working on 2 or 3 shows at a time.
Some of the best times of my life were onstage or backstage. I’ll never forget shows like Into the Woods, Radium Girls, 4.48 Psychosis, The Fantasticks, and The Mikado. Some of the best friends I have come from theatre – Bob, Brent, Dan, Mal, Betsy, heck without theatre I wouldn’t even have Eric.
I’ve seen amazing things and been part of amazing things, and I’m grateful for all that.
I moved to Chicago five years ago and started POC and things grew and grew and then - around a year ago, the joy went away. The joy theatre used to give me no longer outweighed the incredible amounts of hard work that went into it anymore. I dreaded opening my inbox because something else was going wrong/needed me to deal with it. The endless rehearsal and commuting to rehearsal, not seeing friends who weren’t in shows with me, the fickleness of a great deal of theatre people, the selfishness of a whole different chunk, the flakiness of people and having to pick up their pieces, and the pure, slogging, hard work participating in theatre has become don’t make it that worthwhile anymore.
And, its being consistently proven, each time I think I’m wrong – Something else happens to make me more frustrated. (Just yesterday, in fact, it happened again, in fact.)
It’s even to the point where I don’t really enjoy seeing theatre anymore. Most of the time, since I know someone in the show, it feels like an obligation, and the rest of the time I’m just.. not there. (There have been recent exceptions – I thoroughly enjoyed the national tour of “Spring Awakening” and Hubris Productions “Bent.”)
Simply, it doesn’t make me happy anymore.
Frankly, it makes me unhappy. And super angry, too.
I hope I’m wrong about all this.
Maybe someday I’ll emerge like Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, inspired again and ready to make some art. If another “Radium Girls” rolls around, I can’t say I’ll turn it down, but it would need to be something incredibly special to outweigh the huge amounts of work I’m smart enough to know go along with production – as an actor or as a director.
Or maybe I won’t emerge.
Maybe it ends here.
Regardless, it’s been a hell of a ride.
I’ve just reached the end of it.
[In the interest of disclosure, I will be serving as Artistic Director of Rascal Children's Theater for the 2009/2010 season. It's a purely administrative position, and involves only people I enjoy working with, so I think it'll be okay. My experiences with Rascal have only been positive. At the end of the season, next May, I will pass the position along to someone else. Done and Done.]