Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Too-Busy to-Update Update

Didn't go to Tionol. Instead, I had a foley gig in B-ton this past weekend, as part of a live-broadcast variety show capping WFHB's spring fund drive. Talk about a last-minute production: I signed on about a week ago but didn't learn until Wed that it was live in front of an audience ... at the Waldron auditorium. Cool! Also, did not get final scriptage until day of show ... and didn't rehearse until ... about 40 minutes before show time. And then, not on mic; everyone just gathered 'round the foley table and we did a quick run-through. The show went off surprisingly well and virtually flawlessly. The smallish crowd enjoyed it too, in all it's cheesiness. The 3 live musical acts are all old friends, and my cast/crew have all worked together for a billion years, so a good show was practically guaranteed I guess. I believe it was recorded; I'm interested to hear how my Rube Goldberg bit came out.

I recorded two new poems for Jenny Kander's The Poet's Weave program on WFIU. That will at 11:45 air on Sunday, May 4, and eventually be archived on WFIU's website.

Graphic Design class is going swimmingly. Best. Class. Evar. (Compared to the other two times I've taught it.) Everyone, with 2 exceptions, is in the design certification program, which means they've already taken classes in Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator, which means I DON'T HAVE TO TEACH SOFTWARE, I just teach ... The Principles of Graphic Design, like I'm supposed to (and like the class is named). Now, I have heard many complaints from my peeps about the InDesign portion of the program, that the teacher didn't cover what I consider (and what I think are) basic, key areas of the software (esp. master pages and paragraph styles). But the class all know one another from all the other classes they've had together, and they are enjoying what I'm laying down and seem to genuinely "get it." They're sharp, which is awesome. Third class tonight, last one on Thurs. Then a week off, and the InDesign CS3 class I teach at Ivy Tech starts the following Tues.

Remember my InDesign dilemma? I'm a dork. I bought the whole Adobe CS3 suite (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, etc.) for $250 (not $1,600 retail or $1,200 through my IHETS connection) through IU with my staff discount. Problem solved. I say again: duh. I don't know why I didn't think of it before.

I took Friday and Monday off work, which has been unusually grind-y lately. I pushed out A LOT OF BOOKS in March and really needed some time off. I did virtually nothing fun, though. Friday I ran errands like crazy in the shitty, pissing rain and in general caught up on home life stuff. But then ... nooner! That was lovely! The weekend, she was also very busy. Then Monday, the weather was nicer but I still just ran errands, recorded at WFIU, had a derby meeting, then was suddenly stricken with allergies. bleah.

I'm gonna give NATF the boot. It's been a tough decision to make, but I just don't like the direction the org is going, there's too much in-fighting for my taste, and I feel like I'm getting guilt-tripped into doing more than I already am, and I absolutely HATE not-for-profits that act that way ... make you feel as if not sacrificing your first born means you don't care enough. That whole "get-give-or get out" mentality re: fundraising really rankles with me. I want to finish my two-year term (ending this fall), continue working on the newsletter and possibility moving the annual workshop here to B-tucky ... but beyond that, I just get the willies thinking about what a clusterfuck I'm dealing with. The unspoken (and sometimes spoken) animosity, which I think is really poisoning the org. The facade of a fairly rinky-dink org trying to present itself as "national." I mean a 25-year-old org ought to be able to conduct itself in a professional manner. But now I just want to do my bit and get out.

What's REALLY drawing me away from the workshop this year, though, is a better offer also in June: performing live sound effects for 8 audio plays (screenplays adapted for live audio theatre stage performance) in Owensboro, Ky., as part of the International Mystery Writers' Festival. I was passed over for this last year, and apparently the guy they did get was a complete disaster. (Serves them right: Mr. Hollywood is good, but he's got a big ol' ego too.) So now the producers (whom I've worked with before) have asked me, which is way cool!!! It's a vast project: 8 plays, multiple performances of each, 4-5 performances total a day, and each play is at least an hour long (some will be closer to two). Last year there were around 600 pages of script total. Yikes! But I like a challenge, especially when it's clearly defined and well funded, and I am adequately compensated.

The downside of this is that I will have to skip the IU Writers Conference, which was to be part of my fellowship fulfillment. But you know, in a way this is a good thing. IMWC gives me a perfectly concrete out from the NATF gig, and I really don't mind missing the IUWC; it was kind of a compromise since I have been/am going to be so busy but wanted to get the workshop portion of my fellowship proposal out of the way. "Out of the way": not the best way to think of a monetary award, eh? I was also going to have to shoehorn it in right before NATF, which means I'd likely not be fully focused on it. So now I need to find a good poetry workshop I can attend sometime between July and December, and maybe by then I'll actually have the chapbook manuscript written. The application I put together for the IUWC was too soon, too soon. I cobbled together something I thought would eventually be part of the final manuscript, but it's already getting torn up, rethought, and probably even discarded.

As usual, in the midst of all this other stuff I got going on I hit on a GREAT chapbook concept that is going to be therapeutic and important for me to write. Briefly, it involves my "twin" cousin who died in a farming accident when we were 4 and how our eerily identical families dealt with it (or didn't). I can say no more. I've tried writing about Jeffrey off and on for many, many years but nothing good has ever come of it. I think I see it now, though.

My allergies are really kicking my ass today. I feel downright malarial.

That's the name I gave the number in my cell for the Red Cross blood bank. So when they call, it gets my attention. (Similar to how I labeled the student loan fuckers "Student Loan Fuckers!" so I don't inadvertently answer their shitty calls.) Sometime last month, I had my quickest blood donation ever. From the time I left work to the time I returned, including a little QT with Little Debbie and Grandma at the blood bank cantina, I was only gone about 50 minutes. Wow! They drained me fast. Vitals are good: BP 118/78 (oddly, identical to my previous donation reading), Pulse 76.

I don't have any scheduled; I'm kind of enjoying my poetry performance hiatus and am trying to channel that energy into writing. However, I went to an awesome reading last Wed -- I termed it the Unspeakable Reading because I could only pronounce Patrick's name -- at the Waldron, featuring Aracelis Girmay, Tyehimba Jess, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, and Patrick Rosal. And I am co-hosting a reading on the 17th at Rachel's Cafe. I might break out something for the open mic, or maybe not. Incidentally, B-tizzle-ites, if you haven't been to Rachel's yet hie thee!

There's more, always more. But that's enough for now. It's April!