Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Two Things Tuesday


Stupid Van!
Yesterday afternoon, when I got to the theater for the closing night of Cinderella, a strange noise was coming from under my van.  Long story – short, we had a wonderful closing night, and I limped my van home, and now I’m not sure if it’s the transmission or something else in the drive train… whatever it is, it sounds expensive, and with BB starting university in a couple of weeks, I just don’t have the bucks to have it fixed, so… I’m on the bus.  Or, to be more exact, a bus and a train.

I don’t mind public transit too terribly much, since, I spend about $150 a month in gas, and UTA (Utah Transit Authority) is only $78 for a monthly pass… so financially it makes good sense, and it gives me a good hour to read, instead of listening to the inane chuckle heads on morning radio.  So it is a kind of a win-win in that regard, but on the other hand, there is a total lack of freedom in not having your own car… ya know?



BB & University
When I went to College, I remember a total sense of urgency about everything.  Granted, I went to a small community college right out of high school because my parents just could not afford to pay for anything (I’m the oldest of 6 children), so I worked my butt off for every form of financial aid I could get my hands on, and still worked very early mornings at the school’s grounds department, and then nights at a local hardware store in order to pay tuition, buy books and… you know… EAT, I mean something other than Ramen Noodles, on occasion.  It was hard work with NO social life, but when I finished at the community college and transferred to University, I had no debt.  University was a completely different financial situation (i.e. I’ll be paying for that degree until the day I die).  Now, I’m in a little different situation than my folks were, and I can afford to help BB get started at her chosen University.  She was able to get a small scholarship, and find affordable housing with 5 other girls as roommates.  But getting her to do anything has been a struggle with her.




Me:  “BB, have you filled out your financial aid packet?”
BB:  “Um... No…”
Me:  “Hey, B, do you have a place to live?”
BB: “Ummm… not yet.”
Me:  “BB, have you scheduled your classes?  You’ll lose your scholarship if it’s not done by midnight tonight.”
BB:  “Oh, I’ll get right on that.”
Me:  “Um, B?  Have you found a job yet?”
BB:  “Job!?!”
So, I don’t know what to do.  She's a great kid, and so smart if a little bit unfocused.  I trust that when she gets to school, that something will click in her freshman brain, and she’ll be able to stay on top of her homework, assignments, and work… and ultimately come out of the experience a stronger, more organized person.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Cinderella (Cottonwood Heights Arts Council)

Despite a rough start (for me), Cinderella has been a lot of fun. The cast finally warmed up to me, I finally chilled out, and everything has been jake ever since. Yesterday was probably the most fun. We had two shows in a row, with only about two hours in between, so my daughters and I sat and watched “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” at my makeup table, while eating our lunch/dinner.



But that’s not why it was so fun… Little girls have been showing up to the theatre wearing their little Disney Princess costumes and lining up after the show to have April (our Cinderella) sign their programs. It is so stinkin’ cute! My youngest (a princess in her own right) was one of them, but she’s nine and so… in her own words… is “far to old to wear a costume.” But Ally has always loved the theatre. Every show I do, she insists on seeing back stage, she wants some of the magic to reveal itself. To see how we did this, or that. To see that the set pieces are really just flat frames and plywood. Maybe to confirm to herself that there isn’t a whole other world that opens up to stage right.

Ally and April
Sorry about the poor quality of the pics, all I had
was my phone, and I'm to cheep to get a phone
with a good camera

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Two Things Tues...Umm... Wednesday

Pioneer Day... Wicked!



Geeez! I didn’t get a Two Things Tuesday written yesterday because I was super busy.

Since it was a state Holiday (Pioneer Day… it‘s a Utah thing, look it up) I decided to take the day off from work. I started with a run, which didn’t go very well, and ended with lightning and rain. I wasn’t so concerned with the rain, that was pretty nice, but the lightning had me a little concerned, so I cut the run short (just under 4 miles).

We then took the kids to this fun little Japanese Steak House. It’s one of those places where they cook the food on a grill at your table. This one is kind of goofy, and inexpensive and so much fun.

Finally, we took our two older daughters to see Wicked. It was our graduation gift to BB. (Or maybe her graduation was our excuse to spend lots of money for a play.) It was an amazing production, I was blown away.

Cinder-Freakin'-Ella


I’m afraid that I won’t be getting much running in this week since I’m working on a play for the Cottonwood Heights Arts Council. While it’s the 3rd play I’ve worked on for Cottonwood Heights, I’m not having as much fun as I have in the past. The cast is a bit more uptight than in past years, and this play just doesn’t have the characters that I, as a makeup artist, really like to do. The women actors really don’t trust a man to do their makeup… even though I’ve been doing makeup for 20 years. And those who are doing their own makeup are not following my designs… Ugh! At rehearsal on Monday the Step Mother looked like a man in drag, and one of the Step Sisters had a skull face because her eye makeup was so dark. I hope I got it taken care of though. At “notes” on Monday, I had the stage manager tell the cast that they are not allowed on stage until they check their makeup with me. I’ll have a stack of makeup remover wipes there so that I can fix all of the mistakes. I hope that by opening night (Thursday) they’ll get the message.

Monday, July 23, 2012

What a good weekend.

Ya know, I had a pretty good weekend.

It started out with a 7 mile run… it was supposed to be a 10 miler, but I had to cut it short due to the fact that… It’s freakin’ hot out there.  My oldest Daughter, BB, had to go to work Saturday morning, and so I had her take my van, with the idea that I would just run to her work and then drive my van home. The store she works for is about 5 miles, and some change, from our house, so I worked out a course that would kind of, meander through neighborhoods and such in order to get me to my desired 10 miles.

I made the mistake of not heading out until about 9:00 am (it was 88 degrees at 9:00am), with a full water bottle and 3 shotblocks in my pocket, I took off up the street.  At 4 miles I knew that I was in trouble.  Sweat burning my eyes, breath heavier than normal, and my water bottle getting horrifyingly light, I bypassed one of my preplanned loops, in order to find water.  At about 5 miles, I passed a fire station, where…THANKFULLY… the firemen were out making their tanker look a shiny.  So I b-lined it up their driveway and pleaded for a refill on my water bottle.  The Fireman I talked to helped me out, and I apologized for bothering them.  I’ll never forget what he said.  “Look, I can put water in you now, or we can wait for you to dehydrate and collapse on the street some place.  Then we’d have to go find you, scrape you off the road, and then put water in you.   I think I’d rather do it now, Thank You.”

Love those guys.


 That night, my wife and I went to a tabernacle choir concert at the LDS Conference Center to hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing with Katherine Jenkins, a Welsh mezzo-sopranno, who is just as cute as can be and so talented.  It was a fun night, despite the fact that I forgot my glasses, and… well… if you’ve never seen the Conference Center… it’s a BIG space.  Huge.  And so, I couldn’t see anything that was happening on the stage, but the music was lovely.

It was truly wonderful to spend some time with my wife, and to enjoy wonderful music in such an inspiring place.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Well... It was a good night...



I’m sad…

Thursday night/Friday morning was so much freaking fun for my girls and I. We went to a “Dark Knight” Marathon… 9 hours of Geeky fun, and I didn’t even have to lace up my running shoes. It ended at about 3am, and since I had to work, pretty much up until the minute it started, we had met at the theater, and so had separate cars.

While they piled into my wife’s Town and Country, to talk, laugh, and sing along with (yucky) country music… I walked to my van, which is almost perpetually tuned to KUER, our local NPR affiliate. While driving home I listened to reports come in about a shooting at a theater in Aurora, Colorado, where some sick scumbag walked into a movie theater and gunned down a bunch of people who were just trying to have some fun… like the fun that we had just had. I didn’t want to spoil my daughter's excitement, so I didn’t say anything, and instead jumped into bed for the measly 2 hours of sleep I could get before heading off to work.

All day, in order to stay awake, I listened to KUER on my computer, and was disturbed to hear people blame everything and everyone besides the twisted freak that perpetrated the shooting. I heard people say that we need stronger gun laws, or that the video game industry is to blame, or the movie industry… I even heard one guy imply (he didn’t come out and say it, but he implied) that the movie goers, themselves are to blame.

This makes me sad. We know who’s to blame. The screwed up mind of the freak is to blame. Why do we do that? Why do we cast about and blame everyone and everything besides the perpetrator?

Are we looking for a cause? For a reason?

To Quote an old movie from the 80’s “Screws fall out all the time, the world’s an imperfect place.” (The Breakfast Club)

We don’t know why screws fall out of the minds of some people, except that the world is an imperfect place, full of imperfect people, and we (who have all of our screws) just need to be careful.

My heart and prayers are with the families of the victims.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

"I'm Batman"


So… tonight I’m going to a Batman Marathon… of sorts.  When I leave work today, I will join my wife, BB, and Tay (my two oldest daughters) at a movie theater in order to sit, eat nachos, and watch Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.  Then, at midnight, we’ll see the new one.  While work is going to be a bit of a challenge tomorrow, I think that it will be totally worth the sacrifice to spend some time with my girls before BB goes off to University.

And even though Batman is not one of my favorite Superheroes… I have to admit, I’ve kind of liked these last few Batman films.  They’re kind of dark, kind of disturbing, and makes Batman into… well… Kind of a Bad A$$.

I’ll let you know how it was.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Two Things Tuesday



Ready Player One by Ernest Cline


I finished this book last week, and I’m still blown away.  Imagine… I don’t know… The world of the Hunger Games, mixed with the Matrix, with a generous helping of 1980’s Nerd Culture, all couched in a classic Grail Quest… and this is Ready Player one.  It’s got it all Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters,chases, escapes, true love, miracles... (Catch the 80's reference?)


 Running a Pikermi?


As some of you may know, I just signed up for my first Half-Marathon, something I’m having second thoughts about… but that’s another blog.  Well, a friend of mine, who is a freaking running machine told me that Half-Marathons should really be named “Pikermis” since the town of Pikermi is at the half way point on the marathon highway between Marathon and Athens.  I don’t know… what are your thoughts?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Flash Mob... Fail


My family and I… among all of the other activities we do… belong to a flash mob. In this case SLCMobsters. It’s really just a group of folk, we’re not dancers, we’re not really professional… REALLY not professional. We just like to have fun, and this is a fun group. My wife got us involved, and at first, during the first couple of practices, I thought… This sucks! And then we did our first mob, out in front of the Megaplex Theater in the District on opening weekend of The Hunger Games, and it was so much fun!

So Yesterday, we were supposed to Flash mob a waterpark. Now let me tell you, all week, temps have been in the high ninties, a couple of days even got over 100, until yesterday. We got to the waterpark, we spied the other members of the flash mob, being very sneaky and nonchalant about it, then 10 minutes before go time, it started to rain, just a little. Then our leader, Jodie, came up to us and asked, “What do you think should we do it? “ I told her, “I don’t know, there aren’t a lot of people here.”

The decision was made for us about two minutes later when it really started to come down. It rained so hard… I haven’t seen rain like that in a long time.

So, needless to say… we’ll be going back another day… which is kind good for me because it’s been about a month since our last flash mob, and I’ve kind of forgotten the dance, so I need some refreshing.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Two Things Tuesday


Two things Tuesday… I mean, who wants to come up with three things anyway… and Thursday is still two days away.
Movin’ on up…

So it would appear that my oldest daughter, “BB”, now has an apartment and a roommate at her selected college, and that I will now have about $500.00 less in my checking account every month.  She’s been taking some summer institute classes and while she can’t tell me what she’s learning about, she can tell me how many cute guys there are in the class.  Ugh…  I’m too old for this.
My BB, learning what college boys really are.


Good by… Dear friend…

My plate broke today!  It is my practice, or rather, the practice of my kids, at the end of our family dinner every night, for them to take the left-overs and place them in my plate so that I may take it to work for lunch the next day.  It’s a wonderful Rubbermaid divided plate with a blue lid.  And today, while taking it from the refrigerator to reheat my wonderful black bean, southwestern veggie burgers (which I made myself to the groans of all my children) my thumb punched right through the blue lid.  Oh the horror!  Oh the humanity! Oh… I get to buy another… Maybe two…

See Ya, Plate!

Saturday, July 07, 2012

First Half-Marathon


I did it. I registered for my first Half-Marathon yesterday. And now, the little voice in my head is yelling, “You’re gonna DIE!”
Of course the little voice was yelling similar things before the Wasatch Back… and he was wrong. So… he must be wrong this time too… Right?
Oh, but why did I pick this one?  Easy.  My last name is Porter.  And so, I figured... Hey! If I'm going to do a half-marathon, I may as well do one where my name will be on the shirt.

Just a little thought.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

God Save the Queen!


Yesterday was a rough one for me.  In the past, like most Americans, I love the 4th, I love the feeling of patriotism, of celebrating the freedoms we have, and I fly the flag proudly… but not yesterday.

I’ve been rolling an idea around in my head for about a month, and while it still has yet to take a final form… it’s essentially this.  The noble experiment that is the United States of America has failed and we should just turn ourselves back over to Great Britain, with sincere apologies for all that ruckus we caused back in 1776.

Look… Our “Leaders” don’t care about us or the country.  What they do care about is keeping power, and they will do or say whatever they need to in order to do that.

We aren’t Americans any more.  We have no common goal.  We’re so busy yelling at each other, we can’t hear (or don’t even want to hear) what the other guy is saying.  We’re not Americans.  We’re Democrats or Republicans or Tea Partyers or Moderates, or some other title that has become all powerfully important.

A couple of weeks ago I was called an Eco-Terrorist by one of my oldest friends because I support Sea Shepherd.  Are you kidding me?  We’ve been friends since before puberty, but now because I support what he considers to be a “Leftist” group, I’m now supporting Eco-Terrorism!?!  The rhetoric of division in this country is so strong and pervasive that it can even wheedle itself into a 30 year old friendship.

I’m not blaming the right or the left, the moderates or the media; I’m blaming all of us.  You and Me.  And so… from now on you can sing “My Country ‘tis of Thee,” and I’ll sing “God Save the Queen.”

Monday, July 02, 2012

TNT





Twenty years ago, I gave bone marrow to a little boy with leukemia. It was a decision that changed my life. Then a few years ago, my wife’s cousin died of that very same cancer, despite the prayers, despite the fact that we found her a marrow donor, and added over 30 people to the marrow donation lists. Ever since then, I’ve thought long and hard about what I could do to help find a cure, and help other people threatened by this terrible cancer. A few months ago, while running along the Jordan Parkway, I passed several people in these purple shirts that said “Team in Training.”

After a little bit of research, I now know that Team in Training is a way for people to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, while getting trained to achieve specific goals, such as to run a marathon. I’ve thought about joining Team in Training, but have concerns about specific fund raising goals. Has anyone out there joined Team in Training? What was your experience like?
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