2

Fun and Foodsicals

It might have been because I fell asleep listening to Showtunes on Pandora, or maybe because I was hungry, but I woke up singing the lyrics from Wicked, only it was more like “it’s time to try, deep-frying gravity…”

Image result for defying gravity wicked

Which gave me an idea…a new game where you change the lyrics of musicals to talk about food instead, aka Foodsicals. And if you’re “Food, Glorious Food” from Oliver!, you can’t play this game.

My initial thoughts?

Chicago“Give ’em the old, sizzle sazzle…”

Image result for razzle dazzle chicago

Beauty and the Beast“Certain as the sun, rising in the yeast…”

Image result for beauty and the beast

That’s all I’ve thought of for now, but if you can think of any other good ones, post them in the comments.

Oh, and I got my 38000th RevolverMap hit the other day from Hilo, Hawaii, USA!

2

The Long-Awaited ATHE Recap

Now that I’ve recovered from what was an insane week of travel, here’s a recap of this year’s ATHE conference, my 7th and the 30th to occur, overall.

Day 1 – Thursday

Caught the 10:30 AM bus down to Chicago, and once there, waded through the heat to the Palmer House. Within minutes of stepping into the hotel, I saw Iris and her daughter, Angela, who had just flown from Taiwan and were trying to caffeinate. I checked in, rode up to the 14th floor, put my stuff wherever I could find a spot, and changed outfits for the Dramaturgy Business meeting. So many regulars were there, and a few new faces. Bryan and Carrie led the meeting, and I sat between Natalie and Martine. After, I went upstairs to change clothes again for the keynote and opening reception. Lydia Diamond, the playwright, spoke very well, and they had FREE WINE AND PIZZA at the opening reception, where I got so many hugs from so many folks I hadn’t seen in forever, and of course Iris and I got our conference selfie with red wine, which we’ve been doing since before the word selfie was invented. Also at the reception, I finally met my roommates for the weekend, Kate, Carrie, and Rebecca. I made it an early-ish night to get some writing done, along with Rebecca, while Kate and Carrie went out to a social.

Day 2 – Friday

Early rise for 8 AM panels. We managed to get ready for the day without getting in each other’s way, and I started off what would become the motif of this conference, choosing the wrong panel to go to. I started off at a panel on theatre of the Middle East, which ended up being not so interesting, so I stole out for an Asian theatre panel and just missed Jasmine’s paper. At least I got to say hello to her and meet her new baby. Then, I saw Jill Dolan in the hall, and she asked if I was going to the panel on Pulse, but I decided to go to a directing panel on Brecht instead.

Note to future self: always listen to Jill Dolan.

I got lunch on my own over at Freshii, and then headed to the All-Conference Plenary. I could only stay about half the time though because I needed a break. I ended up skipping the next round of sessions, which in hindsight was a good thing because the one I was planning on going to ended up getting cancelled. So, at 4 PM, I went to the Debs Panel (where I was actually on time for once, go me!) and saw three wonderful dramaturgy presentations. Cindy and co. really do a great job at picking quality panelists – after all, they chose me 7 years ago 😉 Next, I went to a panel on food and performance led by 3 alums of my department, Niccole, Kristen, and Megan, and had a great time there. It ended up being another pack-it-in night. I can’t remember where I had dinner (or if I even had it).

Day 3 – Saturday

Panels started at 8:15, but I was fully attentive at Natalie’s panel, “Babies R Us: Laboring Bodies in Academia,” in which female professors and grad students talked about being a mother and academic at the same time. It was a really warm atmosphere in the room, and it was great to hear personal stories that you wouldn’t normally hear on the day-to-day. After the panel, Natalie was officially finished with her duties at the conference, so we escaped the premises and took a walk to the Chicago Cultural Center, where we saw some really cool art exhibits, and then had lunch at Peach and Green. It was so nice to be able to catch up with her; we talk online all the time, but I hadn’t really gotten to sit down with her since probably Orlando, which was 3 years ago. We got back in time for the 30th anniversary celebration, and I sat with Bryan, Carrie, Cindy, and Rachel as we toasted ATHE with champagne and a delicious layer cake. The rest of the panels that day were a blur – dramaturgy follow up meeting, a panel on theatre and TV, and then a quick lie-down before one of the best parts of every ATHE, DNO (Dramaturg’s Night Out). It was huge this year, and we practically took over Berghoff. The food was really good, and our waiter was hilarious. Thanks to our table pic, I now know who all was there: me, LaRonika, Annalisa, Cindy, Jim, Bryan, Karen Jean, Martine, Brad, two faces I can’t quite make out, and newcomers Jessica, Rachel, and Alex. I sat between Annalisa and Alex and got to know them better over salmon and spaetzle.

Most importantly, that night I sat down and resolved to finish my prelim writing. At 1 AM, in a corner of the 4th floor of the hotel, I passed the 20 page mark, and hit save on my final draft at 1:30 AM. I didn’t carve my name anywhere, but I did take a picture of the spot, which is why there is a random photo of a table on my phone.

So that’s done now.

Day 4 – Sunday

I woke up refreshed, knowing that my prelims were done, and as a reward, skipped the first session of the day for a nice breakfast. We checked out of our room, and then I headed to some acting panels, just for fun. At the first one, we played some games I already knew, plus a few I didn’t (Hi-5 or Death and Move Me). The second acting panel was a little less interactive than the first, but it was led by Margie who is just this electric ball of energy. I capped off my conference with lunch at Le Pain Quotidien with Iris and Angela – a nice bookend to the trip.

There were so many people who were there that I didn’t get to say hi to, but there’s always next year in Vegas.

Just when I was retrieving my bag from the hotel and contemplating whether it had been a successful ATHE or not, THE Holly Hughes (!) appeared out of nowhere and we had a big hug before I stepped out of the Palmer House.

So I think that pretty much cemented the weekend as a successful ATHE.

3

So Close, Yet So Far…

Interrupting the woefully delayed recounting of Summer Odyssey 2015 to announce a delay of another kind: after spending a lovely week in Boston, I was supposed to make it home tonight but thanks to weather delays in Chicago, my connecting city, I…did not.

My flight from Boston to Chicago was delayed by 3 hours, as was my flight to Madison. We got to Chicago after what seemed like hours on the plane, and then I rushed over to find out that my plane had left and there was only one more flight to Madison for the day. I was given a ticket at Gate C5, and then walked over to Gate C3 – literally, feet away – and was told that I couldn’t get on the flight even though I had a ticket because it was packed full, and since I was “late” they gave my “seat” away. What the gate agent should have done was direct me to a bus, but instead she told me to go to Customer Service, for which the line was already miles long. Upset and panicked, I took a short break to breathe and wait, and then wandered over to the B terminal, which had a) an open Starbucks, where I got a venti green tea lemonade (worth it), and b) a much shorter line at Customer Service. By the time it was my turn, the last Madison bus was gone (just my luck!) but I got a seat on tomorrow’s 9:16 AM flight, and the option to either sleep on a cot in the airport, or pay a discounted rate at a local hotel via Airport Accommodations. The lady at the counter said that there were very few rooms left within a reasonable distance, but I took my chances and called, and now, for just $89 and a $62 cab ride, I’m spending the night in Room 421 at the Eaglewood Resort and Spa in Itasca, Illinois.

Knowing how crowded O’Hare will be, I’ll probably need to get there 3 hours early instead of just 2, so I’m setting all my alarms for 6 AM, which is 4 hours from now (2 AM Central).

I’m sad that my trip had to end this way, but at least I’m going to take a hot bath now and then try to get some sleep in a real bed (rather than a mattress/couch) for the first time since Charlottetown.

…But before I left the airport, as I was sitting near the customer service desk waiting on the phone with the hotel, I noticed a passport and some travel documents lying on a table nearby, with no one around to claim them. After I got off the phone, I went over and picked it up, it was some woman from Utah’s forgotten passport along with her plane ticket to Vienna on Austrian Airlines. Rather than risk it being stolen or thrown out, I turned it in at Customer Service, who told me with a smile that I should stick around and look for more lost passports and tickets. I hope that my act of kindness brought me some good karma, and that the woman and her passport are reunited and off to Austria soon.

Anyway, good night. Wish me luck for tomorrow!

3

Geocaching Milestones: 1600-2000

Today, I scored my 2000th geocache. How weird is that? It seems like only yesterday I was back with Julie and co in Texas getting my 1000th. A lot has changed since then. But I guess I must be doing something right.

So here are my last 5 milestone caches:

1600: District 13 (Madison, WI)

A puzzle cache involving The Hunger Games. Led me to a Tupperware hidden behind a Willy Street Co-op. 

1700: Tardis: The Key to Time Travel (Madison, WI)

One of my all time favorites: a Tardis in the Verona woods.

1800: Water Tower View (Beaver Dam, WI)

This was an unremarkable cache as part of Cache and Release. WeKache was with me at least. 

1900: Castlevania (Madison, WI)

Another unremarkable micro but WeKache was also there. 

2000: LFT – Queen’s Landing (Chicago, IL)

Finally!!! A magnetic key holder along Chicago’s beautiful Lakefront Trail. A gorgeous day too. Of course, the minute I go to take a picture of myself with it, my phone died, so a nice lady nearby took one with her phone and texted it to me. 

Still in Chicago right now, having sashimi and pretending it’s sushi. 

4

Adios, Mendota

Just a quick update.

The apartment is fully packed (well, 90%) in boxes and bags. Some will go into my car; most of it, though, into storage.

I have about half of my paper down, which I will finish tonight come hell or high water so I can print a copy, then pack up the printer.

I still need to eat the dinner I just cooked, put laundry in the dryer, and take books to the library.

Tonight will be my final night in 620 N. Carroll St., Apartment 409, ever.

Tomorrow morning I will return my Internet box (too stressed to think of what it’s called), get some money from the ATM, retrieve my water bottle from the gym and possibly take a shower if I feel so inclined, pick up some contact solution at Walgreens, shove some stuff in the mail, and get the 1:00 PM bus to Chicago (already paid for!), or, if I play my cards right, the 11:30 AM bus.

I will have no fixed address for the next month.

Adios, Mendota…hola, being a hobo.