Friday, February 27, 2009

Green Room Tech Night

The final rehearsal where you run through the whole play without stopping.
I had Granny come to watch. As well, our buddy Bea and 3 of her boys came to see the kids in the show.

I signed up Pops to work in the green room along with one other parent. The other parent is still home sick. The kids were escorted from the indoor green room, where they changed into costumes and got made up, to the outdoor green room tent. So a good 45 min before the show the kids are packed in like passengers on a Southwest flight with fewer chairs then butts and a nice odor of propane emitting from the heater. There is nothing for them to do. We hush them and the volume recedes only to rise again. And so the adults begin the nightly routine of battling the tide of the green room volume. I've tried "da da ta da da...", mean glares, tapping and pointing hoping to humiliate the offenders. Nothing works for long. Pops figures if you tell a group of kids to be quite, they should be. So he is dumb-struck as to how to handle this.

Just before the show I look out from behind the curtain and wave to Granny. She points to 2 seats beside her and says,"I saved seats for the kids!" I kind of snapped, "Mom, they don't need seats they are in the show!"

There are a few mishaps. Chop chop has already developed a reputation for not being where he needs to be with the props he needs. On the schedule I typed out I highlight when he is on and stage crew and I talk about how we are really going to have to work to support him. The presence af attention issues (ADD/ADHD) are apparent to me. Early in the show I see that chop chop is due up soon, I radio "Do you have chop chop on the left side of the stage?" I am told yes. Great! Five minutes later I hear the director radioing, where is chop chop? Get him! I dive outside and into the greenroom tent and there he is. He has completely missed his cue to go on stage. At some point in the last 5 minutes he chose to leave the stage and I never saw him. Tonight we are keeping him backstage the entire show.
Three girls are sharing a role and there is confusion amongst them about whose turn it is to be onstage-so no one appears.
Later, both myself and the other green room Mom don't call for Dragon in time and he misses his cue to go on stage. This one is my fault.
Ki's line "Someone stole my nuts!" breaks up the 7th and 8th grade actors and crew every time.

Two teachers and the Principal have comedic cameos in the play. They are all so great. Particularly the principal. What a good egg!
Aj consistently delivers his lines with a big volume and sings decibels above the others. What he lacks in pitch he makes up for in loudness.
During intermission a few of the girls are busy wiping and cleaning the table that holds water and quiet activities for them to do.
With a great deal of pride they tell me "Look, Judy, I'm cleaning up!"

But no one was as proud as darling Aladdin who grabbed me mid-show in the dusk behind the stage and said bursting with pride, "I have remembered EVERY prop!" He is a dear, smart, sweet and talented boy. I have visions of when he is older and I am watching him on the Disney Channel or picking a up a copy of Tiger Beat with his face on it. The funniest piece is that his mother and Pops went to Senior Prom together. Evidently Pops passed out drunk in someones house sometime in the evening and a photo of him was later used for some sort of alcohol awareness week. What makes it more ironic is that Pops has a beer or wine maybe once a month. So a reminder to high school seniors, watch what you do at prom. Your dates son may later be the lead in the class play that your kids are in.

Smarty Pants Dance

Today is the deadline to turn in the application for Smarty Pants School for Ki. Of course I continue to perfect my procrastination skills by having her write out her paragraph yesterday and by having pops go on a treasure hunt through the house yesterday looking for 1st term report card. He found it in a box labelled "AJ". I am feeling more like I would like her to go there as I see that the kids she enjoys have all applied. What will be, will be and it will be okay.

Morning chill

Granny and Bear, the 15-year-old cat, jockey for position in front of the wall heater.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Green Room Night #3-final rehearsal

Girls here. Boys there. Make-up on.
Teacher J was one of the 2 other parents who worked GR with me tonight. She rocks. Totally on top of it and handles kids so well.
MAke up and costumes look great.
I am confused about where we are starting in the play and don't have the right actors ready to go on stage. OOps.
I am ready to throttle the middle school aged actor who is the know-it-all
and readilly offers his criticism.
Aj and Ki battle it out again. During intermission Aj begins raging, I desperately chase after him and try tO diffuse him as he spins out of control. In the midst of this three Moms walk out of the green room tent and stop and stare in amazement. I snap, "I GOT IT. IT IS MY KID. THE STARING IS NOT HELPING." Oh dear.
It is time to start the scene. Of course Aj is in this scene. He has almost incapacitated himself with crying and frustration. My presence and comments both add to and reduce his angst.
"That's it Mama. Ki is fired. Or I am going to quit. I QUIT...."
We are now on the stage and myself and another are pleading. He has one of the first lines in the scene. Some how he pulls it together at the last minute and delivers his line beautifully.
We line up the actors for the final scene and curtain call practice. Ki is in tears.
"Mama, I don't feel good!"
"What do you mean yo don;t feel good? Like how?"
"I think I am going to throw up."
I touch her forhead and it is moist with sweat, but no apparent fever.
Well you know if anyone's kid is gonna throw up on stage at this point, it will be one of mine. She says she has to go potty, so I swoop her off to the bathroom and bail on the other green room parents.
She unwraps her head scarf, takes off the lime green slimey material pants, pulls the synthetic dress-thingy over her head, takes down the short sleeve leotard, pulls down her pink tights and finally, her under pants. She pees and announces that she feels better. It occurs to me that the seemingly 5,000 layers of man-made material that she is wearing has turned her into a walking sweat box.
We return and the cast is practicing the curtain call. Aj claps for himself and everyone else.
We clean, change, clean some more and head home.

Green Room Adventures Night 2

Pops was on the schedule to join me.
"I'm not sure what I am supposed to do?" he told me. Ya, that is pretty much how it goes.
I donned my radio headset and I was as ready as Id ever be.
After the play rehearsal Aj announced that her had lost the running tights he was wearing. Well turns out they were still at home on his bed. That explains the conversation about boxer shorts that I overheard when the boys were changing. Aj was wearing Sponge Bob boxers. So very hip.
There was a group photo on stage with all the cast in costume. I am stunned to see my nearly-always-compliant daughter throwing some sort of hand sign mid-photo. Late Aj gets into it with a couple of the girls and his sister and starts to melt. Luckily, Pops was there to take that on and help diffuse.
Yesterday kids left the green room tent full of trash and most of the other parents managed to disappear home. So tonight I held the kids hostage and told them they had to fold up the chairs and pass them out and then clean up the room before they could change and go home. Pops put his square frame in the door and blocked the little wild ones in till all was clean.
Good news is we did not gas the kids out tonight.
Play coming together nicely!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Adventures from the Green Room Day 1

The kids play is nearly here. Both are in Aladdin, as I have bored readers with previously. Of note is that the Director, who does this type of thing for a living, is magical with kids. More importantly he is completely accepting of Aj. And Aj has done well with the rehearsals, his lines etc. Ki, too. Both have really enjoyed it.

Parents are required to volunteer a lot of time to make this whole thing come together. At the onset we were asked to complete a form that had us list our preferences for jobs. In no way could I be responsible for costumes, hair, makeup or sets. So I listed "green room" as my main preference and got it.

The "green room" is the room people are in prior to going on stage in theater and tv. Evidently, these rooms are painted green because it is a calming color. I am "in charge" of the green room for the kids 2nd to 8th grade. That means I get to wear a fancy headset that is hooked up with the director, stage manager etc. This is "tech week" the name for the week prior to the performances where you have dressed rehearsal with props etc. All new to me as I have never done theater before. Tech week is 5:15 pm to 9:30 pm M T W Th and performances F and 2 on Sat. Yes, you read those hours correctly. So kids and I will be beat. Shuffling homework, eating and sleeping is a challenge.

The challenge of balancing that is furthered by the fact that Aj complained of sore throat on Sun night and then on Mon am. I kept him home from school on Mon and then sent him to the play Mon night. At least I had him do his homework!

Our green room for the first night was a tent outside. And it was white, not green. Which did not go unnoticed by the kids. It rained so we had umbrellas to hold over kids heads for going to and from the stage. One initial piece of excitement was my daughter peeing while on the stage. This of course just 30 min after I told the kids in the green room to go potty before they put their costumes on.

Later, I radioed that the kids were cold out in the tent. The wonderful fellow who rented the heater for our tent came and turned it on. A bit later I returned to the tent to a bit of panic. Seems the gas and heater are not all okay and the tent filled with the smell of gas and kids and adults were turning green. (So I guess it was a green room after all.) I radioed in that the kids were getting gassed out and we needed to move the group in the green room.

Really, the rest went fine. I do not get rattled easily-but some others do. So I imagine some other parents working felt a lot more stressed by the number of kinks being worked out. Kids are still a bit loose on knowing their lines and facing the audience etc. But the show will go on.

One of the other adults just emailed me and said she is sick and can't work the green room tonight. Alrighty.

Alex is now asleep in my bed at 9:30 am. Today, Tuesday, he woke up and vomited or spit up phlegm-not sure. Then he clearly had bad stomach cramps. MMMmmm. We will see about tonight for him. He may stay here.

Now I am going to leave to drive over to the theater and find Ki's costume in the costume bags and bring it home and wash the pee out.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

If I were President Obama

By Ki

I would lower gas prices.
I would also help the world by taking out trash.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Can I Sit with You

I COPIED this from my buddies blog. If you've got nothing else to do-come hear myself and others read. Great stories and we will likely walk over to Milagro's for a drink afterwards

Parents, children, or anyone who has ever been either one of those; fans of social skills development, special needs advocacy and/or special education fundraising; or anyone who simply enjoys a good storytelling session:

Come join editors Shannon Des Roches Rosa and Jennifer Byde Myers as we talk about the mission of the Can I Sit With You? Project, then laugh and squirm through live story readings by four of our most popular authors.

The Can I Sit With You? Project's frequently hilarious and often heartbreaking stories will be appropriate for anyone who has ever struggled with awkward social scenarios at school -- especially so for currently curious, concerned, or socially cornered children.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009, 7:00 PM
Redwood City Main Library, Fireplace Room
1044 Middlefield Road, Redwood City, CA 94063

Featured Readers:
Mike Adamick, The Weirdest Kid in the World
Amanda Jones, The Cure of Nowhere
Sarah Dopp, Will You Go Out With Me?
Judy McCrary Koeppen, Men-Stru-a-Tion

Copies of Can I Sit With You Too?, our second story collection, will be available for purchase (and signing).

Remember, all proceeds from The Can I Sit With You? Project ( fund SEPTAR, the Special Education PTA of the Redwood City School District.

Thank you for your support.

Parents: please review the featured stories (linked above) if you have concerns about subject matter.

We'd really love to see you all there!


This Week is icky

-a cold and headache
-Take Sierra to vet to have breast tumors removed. They also clean her teeth and remove a growth on her face. Pathology reports will be back next week. I can't even consider cancer. Vet bill for this was over $1,000.00
-wacky canchor sores back in my mouth. Huge lesions that drag across my teeth when I talk or eat.
-eating cream soup and pureed foods.
-a wonderful, kind, caring, funny, animal loving former neighbor and co-worker and of mine dies. He died about 1 month after finding out he had a renal tumor. Cancer was everywhere. It was a beautiful sunset the night he died. Random clouds lite up in soft orange in a blue sky. He will be so very missed by so many.
-I have my period
-cancelling clients-too painful to talk for work
-I ask AJ if he sat with someone at lunch or sat alone. He sat alone. I ask if the other kids are unkind to him. He tells me no, that he guesses they just forget to talk to him.
-I said "yes" to too much and am feeling overwhelmed and am letting people down because I am not keeping up with my commitments
Good news: a new computer so now I can work and bill and jennyalice installed printer so I can now print again. I loved the Jamba Juice jennyalice brought me. Ki invited to 2 birthday parties. Kids enjoying being in the play. Sierra feels good today-her old self. Pops is such a good partner and steps right up to pick up kids, cook dinner, what ever is needed. Only 1 hour of clients today. It is Friday. I bought valentine cards for my family and a gift for each kid.
I feel like a WHINER, but also sometimes vomiting up the bile of life makes one feel better.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Kids Play

AJ and Ki are in the Aladdin play with performances Fri pm Feb 27 and SAt 28th matinee and evening. If you'd like to go I can possibly buy a ticket for you at the school or you can buy online at:

$10.00 adult $5.00 kids
Tickets will likley sell out quickly because the theater is smallish and there are lots if kids in it.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

What dog breed are you?

I just took the quiz on Facebook.

You are a Labrador Retriever.
Not too surprising I guess.
I would have shit if I came up as a terrier.

You are a Labrador Retriever-honest, fun loving and yet with a serious side. You love to be with family and friends, but when it is nap time you just like to curl up in a warm place and snooze. People inherently like you.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

email I sent 2/7/09

After school on Fri I pinned Ki and asked her if she cut her hair. And she said...yes.
Not during rehearsal.
Not during the Brownies.
She evidently did it during the middle of class (interesting).

So evidently she has learned quite a bit about acting. She delivered her lines with confidence and consistency. As well, she improvised character names and appearances that were believable.
Maybe this is the beginning of a fabulous acting career for her. Or a career as an under cover agent. Hopefully not as a criminal.

I apologize for stirring the pot with this,
Thanks for your support!

Friday, February 06, 2009

email and update

I got an email back that said there is no one named Bobby working on the play. There are also no red headed men. There is a red haired woman.

The director of the play also called (he is from an outside agency that is putting the play on ). Very kind and supportive and interested in finding out if it was and adult, another child in the play etc.

Thursday, February 05, 2009


Copy of an email I just sent.
Chapter 2 to follow

I had a strange thing happen tonight I need to share with you. Ki came home tonight from play rehearsal and she has 2 or 3 clearly visible large chunks of hair that have been cut off.
I asked her if she did it and she said no. She told me that someone who helps out at the play named Johnny (an adult) cut her hair. She often (and currently) has some tangles in her hair. I am not sure if that was involved somehow. I asked her what the person said and she told me he said somehting along the lines of "Sweetie, come on over here, I can help you with that." and then cut her hair.
She now needs a haircut to even it all out.
Perhaps one of the 2 of you can lend some clarity to this Alice in Wonderland story. I will ask Ki about it again in the morning to see if the story changes and we can be in touch.

Thank you,

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

3 am

I was awakened at 3 am by Ki's sweet voice. Based on our families recent health status, I anticipated her next statement. "I just threw up." "My throat hurts." Or perhaps, "My poop is weird."
So when she said, "Java is stuck on my (top) bunk bed and can't get down." I had to ask her to repeat it.

Ki had gotten up in the middle of the night for a drink of water and Java followed her back and ended up in bed with her. Seems Java then panicked and moaned her discontent. She wanted down, but couldn't figure out how to get down. In the past she has jumped on top of AJ's bed and then up to Ki's bed, but only with a great deal of encouragement.

Ki and I walked to the kids room. On the bottom bunk AJ was sound asleep. On the top bunk, which crosses over the bottom bunk to create a 'T', was Java. She crouched low on the bed and stared at me with a distressed and embarrassed expression.
"Java, here the light is on now. Remember, jump down here on to AJ's bed." I patted Aj's bed and 55 pounds of relief landed on the bed and then on the floor.

Despite 2 spring board leaps off his bed, dog moaning and the lights going on, Aj slept on. I looked at him closely and determined he was breathing and headed back to bed with Java just inches behind me.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Last Thursday

Anyone see Marley and Me? I haven't yet-but desperately want to. My "Marley", Java, ate part of a stick of butter that AJ left on the coffee table after using it on his toast. She had that severe pancreatitis 6 months ago (read nearly died and cost over $1,000.00) for a similar dietary offense and will now be prone to it. I tried to induce vomiting by having her swallow small amounts of hydrogen peroxide over 45 min. NOTE: no dog will ever vomit when you want them to. I called the vet and they said to keep an eye on her and bring her in if she showed symptoms of vomiting etc. Well I couldn't leave her with Mom to be the caregiver and historian. And I can't take her to work because she is too crazy. So I cancelled one patient, and rescheduled another. I had no computer, soooo...I watched Rachel Ray and listened for "urping" sounds from the dog. I got a good Super Bowl Party recipe and the dog is fine now.
It is all going along here. The madness of it all keeps rolling on. They say "A rolling stone gathers no moss", I think that's because sometimes it is rolling in a pile of shit.