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Saturday, June 24, 2006

I am at Wegmans, our new local supermarket, and there is free wireless internet. At the supermarket. I no longer live in Central Pennsylvania.

Back in September 2004, Matt and I signed the lease on our current apartment in Harrisburg. Three days later, Harrisburg flooded. I'm not sure why I didn't blog about it (I blogged about the release of Firefox 1.5, but not the hugely frightening flood?), but it was pretty intense. Luckily, our apartment was quite unscathed.

However, I am convinced that there is some sort of rain god out there who doesn't like it when we move house, because today, just four days after closing on our house, Downingtown flooded like a motherfucker. Holy crap. Matt's parents were around, and for a while, I thought we were going to be stranded. Luckily, flash floods subside as soon as they appear, so the roads cleared up, although we were left with several inches of water in our basement, which also now smells like gasoline.

What do you want me to do, Rain God? What sacrifices shall I make? Guide me. Amen.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Mel meets some judicial heroes

I'm totally fried, but exuberantly happy. I stayed up till 4am last night tearing down wallpaper. I slept for three hours, woke up, and kept going. It was like obsession compulsion crossed with speed psychosis. I forgot to eat until about 2pm today, at which point I shoved two slices of potato bread in my mouth and kept stripping wallpaper while I chewed.

Then, in the afternoon, I came back to Harrisburg for Smart Talk. I was the floor director, which is a pretty cushy job. But that's not why I am exuberantly happy! The guests on the show were Judge Midge Rendell, whom I greatly admire for her position on the teaching of civics, and ... Judge John Jones! The judge in the Dover Intelligent Design case! I spent the entire show grinning and nodding at everything the two of them said, and then, probably because I'm totally fried, I CHEESED OUT after the show and gushed profusely. "You're my heroes! Judge Jones, you ... you are a beacon of sanity! Judge Rendell, as an immigrant who hopes to be a citizen one day, I couldn't agree with you more! OMFG I LUV YOUSE GUYS!" Judge Rendell suggested we have a picture taken together. I look like Rosie the Riveter, and my toes are curling in excruciating embarrassment at how cheesy I was, but it's worth it. Judge Jones III!

There's so much catching up to be done. So, in point form:

Harrisburg Magazine contest
No word yet. I will apparently have my picture somewhere in the next issue, looking all sweaty and flustered because I was idiotic enough to land myself a speeding ticket on the way to the studio.

Philly Shakes
I auditioned for the Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival and received a callback for Marina in Pericles. I was in chronic real estate mode when I went to the callback, plus I was late because I misjudged the travel time from Downingtown to Philly, so I'm not sure how the audition went. I at least got to put my amazing "pull a tune out of my arse and apply it to a cold read which involves singing" skill. Uh, does anyone understand that last sentence? The skill makes more sense in person, in the context of an audition.

Mormolyke's Bodice Shop
I started a Bodice Shop for the custom-making of those band tee corsets that have been doing so well on eBay. Nobody seems to be using the service, so maybe I'll just continue in the previous method by buying cheap vintage shirts on eBay and turning them around for $60-$100.

The Winter's Tale
Rehearsals have started for the Theatre of the Seventh Sister Shakespeare in Long's Park show. Perdita is a wonderfully small role, thank Christ. Starting Monday, I'll be teaching at the Seventh Sister Shakespeare camp, too, so it's shaping up to be a very iambic pentametric summer.

Bat
There was another bat in our house last week. Matt and I came home from the final night cast party to find it flying around our living room. I was a little tipsy and very tired, and so in no mood to try and catch it, preferring to crouch on the floor and yell every time it flew at my face. Bloody bats, flying at my face. I hate them. Matt waved at it feebly with a tennis racket. The next day, he courageously donned gloves and took it outside.

Home Improvement
My hands ache from gripping putty knives and scrapers. Luckily, the wallpaper is so old and decrepit that, in the downstairs rooms at least, it's peeling off the walls without the use of a steamer or chemicals - just elbow grease. I'm determined to have the living room free from wallpaper by tomorrow - including all three layers of wallpaper on the ceiling. Each layer is more hideous than the last; in addition to the horrible art deco floral crap that's on the surface, there's some tasteless textured green wallpaper with palm trees on it, and the first layer appears to be toxic cherry pink with roses. I can't begin to imagine the horror of a room papered from top to bottom in toxic cherry pink roses.

Urgh, so fried. Sorry if this entry is substandard.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Preliminary Lear Pictures

Banks suck

Lear is open! I had a good opening night. Some members of the audience even got my jokes!

Other than that, today sucked, then got better. I hate banks. The institutions, that is, not our MD. More later.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Weeeeeeeooooooooooop

I'm alive - there's just a whoooooole lot going on. Many things, mainly social contact and music lessons/practice, have been falling by the wayside as I struggle to come to grips with buying a house, starting a small business, and opening a play at the same time. Goddamnit, which god do I have to blow to get more hours in the day down here?

Buying a house is always a million times more complicated than you think. I knew this before we began the process, but that hasn't made things easier since signing the Agreement of Sale two weeks ago. Most of the current strife centers around our mortgage. Matt and I, realizing with horror that despite our two newish cars, four-plus PCs, giant television, and sundry expensive musical instruments, we are not even close to qualifying for the middle class, decided to apply for a loan through the Pennsylvania Housing Financy Agency. They offer a significantly lower interest rate to "poor" couples who earn less than $70,000 a year. What we didn't realize is that a PHFA loan requires us to jump through shiny hoops like Shetland ponies at the circus.

The first hoop was "prove that you are employed." When we initially applied for the loan, of course, we needed to give all our employment details for the last five years, and hand in current W-2 forms and tax returns and payslips. Upon approval, we were told that we also needed to have forms filled out by our employers certifying that we were employed by them, so we had to bug our bosses for those. And then, just for good measure, we each had to write letters telling the PHFA that we were employed by our employers. WTF!??! How many fucking times do I have to tell you I'm employed, you morons!!? This is when I started being openly rude to our mortgage broker, probably entirely unfairly, but someone has to pay.

We had the house inspected, as I've mentioned previously, and that seemed all well and good, until said mortgage broker informed us that we also needed a structural engineer because of some of the problems listed on the inspection report. The main problem they wish to assess is the kitchen floor, which is described in the original report thus: "No access to area under kitchen noted. Consider professional floor evaluation and repairs." If you have a brain larger than that of your average groundhog, you will realize that a structural engineer is going to say exactly the same thing, since ripping up floors is generally not a part of inspection. But nevermind that! We have to hire one anyway, to the tune of $500 or so. And if the structural engineer finds something wrong, we have to delay settlement to have it fixed.

On top of all that, our insurance company will only sell us a super-expensive policy because there isn't a railing on the front porch steps. That's right, folks, in America, land of the free, people are so sue-happy that if you are too stupid or fat to get up a set of stairs without holding onto the railing, but you attempt to do so anyway and end up hurting your worthless self in the process, you can sue the owner of the house. Apparently a bright yellow sign on the sidewalk declaring "IDIOTS NOT WELCOME" will not suffice.

Once we own the house and install a railing for all the fucktards who have no concept of their own physical and mental limitations, we can purchase a cheaper policy and have our money refunded, but still. Lame.

I had the funniest thought the other day. Matt and I have been looking at color schemes for our house, and we keep coming back to this palette. We are painting our house ETS. That's fucking scary.

On the business side of things, business plans suck. Also, banks. PSECU, for instance, needs an Operations Agreement from us just to open an account for our LLC, even though, as a partnership LLC, we don't have one. Looks like I have to make one up.

Compared to all this, getting Lear up and running has been a walk in the park. The Fool doesn't have a whole lot of lines, and after the storm, I get to hang out backstage for an hour waiting for curtain call. It's a pretty good deal. The fights are wonderfully, delightfully violent and gory. I'm going to ask Matt to get some video of the eye gouging scene so I can put it up on here. You haven't lived till you've seen an eye pop on stage.

We open on Wednesday, so come and see it. Flyer with pertinent details at the right.

I placed into Theory and Aurals III at West Chester. When I took the theory exam, I realized that I had covered most of the work in Theory III ten years ago, so I was taking a ridiculous amount of time trying to figure out how to resolve a Neapolitan sixth. I would definitely benefit from studying all of that again, so I'm pleased enough with the test result. I'd rather start with easy work than launch myself into a state of perpetual confusion at the beginning of the semester.