Sunday, July 1, 2007

Sunday, July 1, 2007
Last Day of Full Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I can’t believe it’s July.

Thanks for the dream interpretations. However, I noticed something interesting in them: I was very specific to say it was a COLLEAGUE and all of you jumped to the conclusion it was a FRIEND. The person in the dream was most definitely not a friend (although some of the machinations are done under the pretense of friendship) – in fact, it’s someone with whom I’ve been very exasperated lately. I thought the fact that that particular person was involved in the dream was interesting.

Both shows yesterday were fine. Nothing exciting to report – we came in, flipped people in and out of clothes all day, went home. The usual petty annoyances, but nothing worth holding on to for more than a minute.

Between shows, we went to Luxia, on W. 48th St. It’s under new management, but the menu is still interesting, and the food excellent. We sat in the protected garden out back – always nice to find places like that tucked away in the city. It helps relax on a long day.

Did some work on the article – will have to spend a lot of time on it when I get back from the theatre tonight, since I have to get it out before I go to bed.

Did some research on another client project – not enjoying it at all. The people involved are snobs – without the talent, skill, or the intelligence to back it up. Fortunately, it’s a “once and done”, and I never have to deal with them again. Or, let me put it another way – if I ever do, my price will go up in proportion to the aggravation.

It was absolutely pouring with rain when I got off the train at midnight. Of course, none of the meteorologists had predicted it. But I always carry my umbrella in my kit bag, so it was all good. I still think they should only get paid when they’re right.

Alinghi won yesterday’s race; if they win today, it’s all over and they’ve successfully defended the America’s Cup. Of course, since I want it to go the full nine races, I’m slightly favoring New Zealand today. For the most part, though, I’m simply enjoying watching the most highly skilled participants in this sport compete against each other.

I have to jump in the shower and then watch the next race. I’m glad this is my last show today – the rest of them have a show tomorrow instead of the usual Monday dark day, a show Tuesday, and get Wednesday off, then a double on Thursday and back to the regular show schedule. Tomorrow, I’ll be having a lovely lunch at a restaurant about which I’m writing, and I have a big writing week ahead of me. And a big party on the Fourth.

Devon

Friday, June 29, 1007

Friday, June 29, 2007
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy, hazy, humid

Condolences to my friend BK Birch, for the loss of her dog. There are no words to make the loss of such a valued family member any easier.

Spooky update: the stray cat who was our guest during the last flood, then spirited way, then ran away from his new home was found, after two months. Supposedly, he’s in rough shape – I lent his owner a cat carrier (again) so he could take the cat to the vet. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he’ll be okay.

I’m suffering from serious Flood Fatigue. Between the constant flooding and the developers crawling all over the building trying to un-home 100 families, it’s been a tough fight for the past two years. However, succumbing to the sometimes bone-crushing depression the fights bring on is not an option. It doesn’t get anything done. It’s also difficult to house-hunt when it’s too dangerous to leave the present premises unattended. I’m searching for a way to break the cycle; I have a few ideas, so it’s all down to trial and error. Unfortunately, I simply don’t have room to make errors.

On the Cup Challenge front, Emirates Team New Zealand lodged a protest against Alinghi after Race 4 because it is their belief Alinghi violated one of the rules. The press were downright gleeful (gave them something to do on a day without racing), and I spent several hours reading hundreds of pages of coverage. Some of it was quite entertaining; much of it made me roll my eyes. I’ll discuss it in more detail in the next FemmeFan article. In any case, the protest was reviewed and then dismissed. I’m sure conspiracy theorists will have a field day. I’m much more interested in the intent and the psychological politics of the whole thing than the actual protest.

One of the things I enjoy most about what I do (writing) is that I get to enter many worlds I might never get to experience otherwise. Whether it’s ice hockey or thoroughbred racing or sailing or theatre or writing a restaurant review or doing a profile of someone who’s made a positive difference – I’m dealing with intelligent, interesting, dedicated, skilled individuals. It makes the contrast between the vapid, self-styled celebrities and “Reality” television” even sharper.

Started background research for the profiles, and started sending out interview requests. Worked on the article that’s due next week for the other publication. Dealt with flood crap. Dealt with a migraine.

Got to the theatre; did the show. Many of the bodices of the costumes are boned in order to give a shape (a corset within the garment rather than a separate layer) and last night was the night for bones to fight their way out through fabric and jab singers and dancers in the ribs. Many pins with red ribbons as markers were put in for today’s stitching call!

Managed to catch the 11:10, and the train was close to being on time, so I got home a little after midnight. Thursday’s rains weren’t as bad as Wednesday’s, so we managed to avoid another flood.

Up early this morning to watch Race 5 of the Cup Challenge. What a race! New Zealand was aggressive at the start, but a tear in a sail compounded by the second sail going up getting tangled in the torn sail made for quite a dramatic day. I was astonished at how quickly NZ recovered (like when there’s a problem backstage – you have to drop it and move on, or you lose the act), and Alinghi beat them by only 19 seconds. Quite exciting.

So Alinghi’s won 3, New Zealand 2. Of course, I’d like to see it go the full nine races.

Ran some errands, and am now back to do an hour or two of article writing before heading back out to the theatre. The excitement of the race certainly perked up my whole day.

I’d like about a twenty minute nap before heading out, but somehow, I get the feeling that’s not going to happen.

Devon

PS to ME Ellis – Blogspot won’t let me comment on the blog, but I do still stop by – just can’t say anything! Thanks for coming by here – you’re always welcome to come and “talk” as long as you like!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Hazy, hot, humid

I do not do well in this weather. I’m much more of a snow and ice girl than a heat and humidity girl.

Here are some articles for you to read:

“The Future of the NHL: Musings on the 2007 Draft”

And

“The 32nd America’s Cup Challenge: Races 1 and 2”

Enjoy.

And, exciting news: remember that pitch I worked on for most of Monday, with a list of articles, towards a new publication that I like? Well, the editor emailed me yesterday – she wants ALL of them. ALL NINE ARTICLES. Woo-hoo!

Of course, now I have to write them. I’m working out a schedule with her now. Four of them are profiles of women who’ve achieved unique successes in their fields. I’m very excited.

One of the email accounts can’t receive mail today, for some reason – so if there’s a lag in getting back to you, I haven’t yet received the email, and I’ll respond as quickly as I can.

I’m still debating Script Frenzy: Do I push to finish in order to finish, because I don’t want any more unfinished projects draining my energy? Or do I cut my losses on something that doesn’t work.

Stay tuned to learn the answer, because I don’t know it yet, either.

I missed watching Race 3 live yesterday. It was postponed for two hours due to weather conditions, and I couldn’t wait any longer before heading to the theatre. As angry as I am at company management right now, I made a commitment to the production for this week, and I will fulfill it and I will fulfill it graciously (even if it’s sometimes through gritted teeth). I will dot my own “i”s and cross my own “t”s and not respond in kind to that with which I disagree.

In any case, I managed to catch some of the video when I got home late that night and listen to the press conference. Emirates Team New Zealand won, and from what I gather, it was quite an exciting race. I’ll have to do some more research on it before I can write about it. Hopefully, today’s race will go off on time and I’ll be able to watch it live before heading to the matinee

Day work and the show were fine yesterday. People were glad to see me, glad I was back. From what I gather, they had a rocky time of it while I was off writing about the Draft and the Challenge with swings just learning the show. I’m trying very hard to enjoy the things I enjoy about the show these last few months I have with it, but my heart’s not in the work. I work extra hard to be conscientious, because I won’t take it out on my colleagues, but it’s time to move on. I want to slide gently out of the work when I find my new home

On the creative writing front – no work on City of Lost, Good Names, or Tracking Medusa yesterday, and there won’t be any today, since I’ll be watching the Challenge up until the last second I have to leave to catch my train. I plan to return to work on them tomorrow – and get started on those articles for the publication. I’m very excited about this opportunity.

And, I admit it – I’m hooked on the sailing races!

Devon

Monday, June 25, 2007

Monday, June 26, 2007
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny, hot, humid

It did not start out well.

I managed to get my hair cut first thing on Friday morning. And then, I went to the bank, to get my money for my trip. Only, the show – which pulls in a million dollars per week – hadn’t bothered to deposit my direct deposit. AGAIN. I had the receipt that payroll had gone in. But the money wasn’t released. AGAIN. This is aside from the fact that our pay day is on Thursday, and, by law, the money is supposed to be available on Thursday and is never available until Friday. Except on the weeks where they can’t be bothered to deposit it until Monday.

I was not amused. And I left a few stern messages making that very clear.

Both the law and the union contract make payment terms very clear, and I’m sick of the hit show, which can afford to pay people on time, deciding that payment dates are optional. I’m tired of their excuses and passing the buck. It needs to be fixed, and there need to be consequences when they continue to fuck up.

You know what the show’s response is? “If you don’t like it, don’t have direct deposit.” WTF????

Time to call in the union rep and the Department of Labor.

Why does EVERY effing thing have to be a fight? Why should I put in the work, the hours, and the pain if they’re not going to pay me on time as contracted?

I’ve had direct deposit with many organizations over the years, and this is the only time I’ve ever had a problem. And, of course, they are raking in tons of money.

Reworked some of Act I on City of Lost and this time, really did finish the act. Not happy with it. Not happy with the whole darned piece. I seriously doubt there’s anything salvageable in it. At this point, I’m trying to push through to salvage my ego. In order to get 20K, I have to go far beyond a logical page count/running time for a full-length play. That, Sylvia, is why it annoys me so much that Script Frenzy is being run by word count. Plays and screen plays are gauged by running time.

The problem is that I can’t write a play just to write a play. I have to write a play when it demands to be written – as a play.

The Columbus Blue Jackets ran a hell of a good draft, and they’re good hosts. Night and day from the way Nashville ran the ’03. I got to cheer for the guys I’d picked for my 5 Year Watch List – and, as I always do, added some additional players to the list. I’m going to try to get some interviews with them over the coming weeks and months, as well as catch up on my past years’ picks. I’ve been writing about hockey for five years now – can you believe it? And my first batch of draft picks are five years further into their careers – so I should do final interviews with them at the beginning of this season and wave bye-bye (though there are several to whom I’ll remain a loyal fan for as long as they play).

The America’s Cup Challenge began on Saturday morning, in Valencia. Since I was obviously not in Valencia, but covering it from Stateside, I was happy to have live stream video via computer.

At one point, I’m dealing with the minute-by-minute of the NHL Draft while still watching the Cup race on live stream video. My head was spinning.

I had to make sure that I didn’t mistakenly put Kyle Turris on a yacht instead of with the Phoenix Coyotes or suddenly announce that Brad Butterworth was the newest New York Ranger instead of skippering Alinghi.

I was even happier that I’d only had a single glass of wine at the very late after-first-round dinner or I would have gotten seasick simply watching the race onscreen. The water was a bit choppy.

Alinghi, the defending champion, won the first race by 35 seconds. However, on Day 2 of the races, Emirates Team New Zealand took over the lead and won that race by 28 seconds. Thrilling stuff, really! Next race is on Tuesday, and I can hardly wait. You’ll just have to read the article for the details (it should be out mid-week). I’m excited by the sport, and I want to track several teams over the next few years to see how they put together the next challenge.

Nothing like doing articles on the run. My head’s spinning. Two very different sports and two articles in three days – it was my own challenge, and I’m glad that I rose to it. I’m tired in a good way, but who knew that being a spectator could be so exhausting?

I have to admit, I’m getting addicted to the whole America’s Cup event. It’s fascinating. It’s beautiful, with the boats and the physical skill, but what I really find intriguing is the tactics. I want to learn more about the internal dynamics of putting something like this together.

I’ll be adding some blogs and links to my list at the right today and tomorrow regarding the Cup.

I thought I’d get ever so much reading and other writing done during this time. Ha! As you can see by the word counts below, that didn’t really happen. It was difficult to switch out of race yachting and ice hockey mode into the conniving of my characters in Reykjavik for City of Lost, the upcoming murder of the governess in 1903 New York in Good Names, or even the banter as Gwen and Justin figure out the secrets in Tracking Medusa.

A magazine asked me to pitch some ideas, so I need to get to work on that this week (the more writing work I book, the less time I have to spend at the show after this full week). I want to come up with some interesting ideas and hopefully they’ll hire me for more than one assignment.

I also have to polish my Literary Athlete column and get it off to my editor, before hitting City of Lost and trying to make a run down this final stretch. I said I’d do Script Frenzy, I’m going to hit 20K, dammit, even if I have to cut a lot of it later. I doubt I’ll do it again, though, unless they change the silliness of word count for running time

And, because of all the stresses here at the building and now, too, with payment problems at the show, I was in tears at the prospect of coming “home”. This no longer is home to me, and I have to get it together to settle myself someplace that IS home, MY home, where I can rebuild the life I want and deserve – the life built around writing and traveling. Not stuck dealing with people who have no respect for anyone else and go out of their way to cause harm. The friction between the two parts of my life is getting more intense, and it’s time to cut away what’s not working. Which means both the show and living in this building.

Devon

Good Names –29,012 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
29 / 100
(29.0%)

City of Lost — 10,800 words out of 20,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
10 / 20
(50.0%)

92 pages out of 120 pages

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
92 / 120
(76.7%)