Thursday, October 29, 2009

Casting Call

I'm in it from the beginning this time. Last year, I joined the production of Snow White well into rehearsals. This year, I've been a part of every decision from the beginning. Auditions were this week, in my classroom. Difficult, but in a good way. It's a good thing when you have so many talented people that you wrack your brain trying to find a place to put them all. If he goes here, then she can go there. But that would leave this role for him, which means that she couldn't go there. We debated for hours. We had three days of auditions. We heard at least forty kids.
The show is Willy Wonka Jr. It's not going to be easy. Lots of sets, dynamic characters, difficult songs. But we have the vision and the drive to make it work. I admit, it was hard to picture it coming together when there was only a box of librettos and cds in my office. However, after today's auditions, I have a more clear picture in my mind.

"If you want to view paradise, simply open up and view it. Anything you want to do it. Want to change the world? There's nothing to it." - Willy Wonka

Friday, October 23, 2009

Seven Hours

I had a hard time going to school. No, I don't mean this morning. I mean starting school; when I was five. I cried every day. The counselor and I were best friends. It didn't help that I had the meanest woman on God's green earth as a KINDERGARTEN teacher! Every day was an insurmountable obstacle. When I got out of dad's van, I would never return. Every day.
So, as I sit in the waning minutes of this Friday, with a raucous 7th grade team celebration having just concluded, I'm reminded of a piece of advice I received in that first year of my formal education. On a particularly rough day one morning, the assistant principal, Mrs. Fairweather, said this to me, "Honey, the school day is ONLY seven hours long." For whatever weird reason... it worked. How? I have no idea. Seven hours is an ETERNITY to a five year old. But, it was the way she said it "ONLY seven hours long", that got the job done. Once I knew this hidden gem of a scholastic secret, the days flew by. As each hour passed, I subtracted it from my grand total of seven, took a deep breath, and continued. This mantra continues to get me through the days that drag on. Most days don't. Most days, I have fun and the days fly by. However, every now and then I need to simply remind myself that, "the school day is ONLY seven hours long."

Friday, October 9, 2009

Caterfest '09

I took today off. I got up super early and drove to Montgomery to meet my parents. I hopped in the truck with them and, a few hours later, was walking the white sand beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama. It's time for Caterfest '09. The "09" might lead one to believe this is some sort of annual tradition. That simply isn't true. The Cater patriarchs, my father and his brother, simply decided it was time to unite the Caters under the banner of family, food, festival, fun, and fish. So, here we are. While not complete (we are missing some key members of the Cater Clan), I think we'll survive. Tomorrow, we're getting up early and going deep sea fishing. We will return from our four hour trip just in time to see the Tigers take on the swine of Arkansas. I can't think of anywhere I'd rather be.

I hope you have an excellent weekend.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Dog Days

In the last couple weeks, Jenny has become THE source of my stress. Bless her, she can't help it (most of it). Warning: most of what you're about to read involves lots of poop.

I came home from work Monday and Jenny had exploded, from her butt. A butt explosion. She was in her crate, and there was canine catastrophe all over her, the crate, the wall... it was bad. I spent the next two hours cleaning the house and cleaning up Jenny. The next afternoon, I took her to the vet to get things figured out. No worms, but he gave me some special food to give her as well as a prescription medicine. She seemed to be getting better, until the weekend. While at my parents house, I noticed a little bit of surp
rise matter hanging from her nether-regions. A surprise to me, as well as her. Then, in the car on the way home. We pulled into my house in Auburn and I went around back to let Jenny out. Sure enough, there was a little soft-serve left on the rubber mat where she sat. She can't keep the valve closed. And without getting too graphic, I've seen it, it literally doesn't close. (I know, you just shuddered a little. So did I.)

So that's an issue, obviously. Today, it was raining in the morning. I wasn't going to put her out in the rain while I went to work, so it was back in the dreaded cage-o-crap. I felt bad for her all day and actually zipped home at the start of my planning period to let her out. The rain had stopped, so I put
her in the kennel in the back yard and went back to work. When I pulled in at 4:00, Jenny came running up, covered in mud, happy as a clam. She had dug out of her kennel. Not a gold star day for the J-bird. Here's the little mud-puppy, realizing the fullness of my disappointment in her.

So I took a trip to Lowe's, bought twenty cinder blocks, filled the hole, and lined the inside of the kennel with them. That oughta hold her (famous last words). Then, after a couple plays of Vikings v. Packers, I made another trip out to Tiger Town. This time, for diapers. Rediculous, I know. But she can't keep her butt closed. "Bottom" line. They say that owning a dog is good training for having kids.

I. Just. Bought. Diapers.

She's making life very difficult for me, her single parent, right now. But, at the end of the day, I love her. No matter how frustrated I am that I have to bathe her AGAIN because she dug out, pooped everywhere, got into mommie's make-up bag, had a little too much fun with the fingerpaints, etc. She's still my girl and I love her, diapers and all.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


There are good bands, and then there are great bands. One of the things that makes a great band, is a great frontman. I'm not necessarily talking about the leather-pant-wearing, crazy-haired frontman. I mean someone who a) has a great voice (a unique voice helps too), b) is energetic, c) gets the crowd going, and d) makes you wish you were them. The last two shows I've been to had those kinds of men at the helm. First, Elbow. Lead singer Guy Garvey MAKES this band. He IS this band. Yes, the music is excellent, but his interpretations of the lyrics, his range, his British accent, and his unique tone quality makes Elbow's music really stand out. The show was incredible.

Then, The Decemberists. I must make a quick aside to tell you that my brother asked me last weekend, "So who are you going to see? Wacky Christmas?" Awesome. Anyways, their lead singer is Colin Meloy. He writes witty, whimsical, narrative, awesome songs. He has an unorthodox voice, with some kind of speech "impediment" like thing as well. It may or may not ACTUALLY be an impediment, I'm not really sure. Regardless, it makes his pronunciation of some words very interesting. I saw the Decemberists last weekend and they were incredible. Again, the other band members are very talented, but his voice takes the music to a new level.

Perhaps that's my beef with popular alternative music. So many lead singers sound like the same old raspy, Chad Kroeger (Nickelback) voice. A unique lead singer goes such a long way toward making a band truly great.


As a post script, my grandmother turned 98 today! Happy Birthday Grandmama!