Showing posts from October, 2008


... I've been laid up with some ghastly stomach ailment for a couple of days. My innards hurt, and I can't face food. I ended up missing my last two swimming classes, which is a drag. I also missed photo call for one of the shows we've been working on.

Still Here

.... We're super-busy at work, but that means that I'll soon have interesting photos to share. Until then, here's an endangered Brown Pelican, photographed when Annalisa was visiting. (What is going on with Blogger's photo interface? A few days ago, it went insane, and changed the way it thinks about the size of photos. Have any Blogger users other than me noticed this? Are the pelican's legs cropped off in anyone else's view, or just on my computer?)

Lisa's Birthday

Tomorrow Lisa will be working all day and into the night, so today we are off to go tidepooling and celebrating early...

Californians -- Vote Against Discrimination

... I strongly believe that when two people love each other, they should be allowed to make a life together. If one of them becomes gravely ill or suffers a serious accident (like -- oh, I don't know -- a spinal cord injury), their partner should be involved in making decisions about their care. I have been appalled by all the specious arguments offered against giving gay couples the same civil rights as straight couples. Since California legalized the rights of gay couples to marry, the institution of marriage has not imploded, people have not started marrying their dogs, schoolchildren have not been forced "become gay" or taught the "gay agenda" (whatever that is supposed to be). I hope that all blog readers will vote in the upcoming elections, and that you will all make informed, thoughtful choices. And if you are a Californian, I would like to urge you to vote against bigotry, and vote for offering equal rights to all people, as is already codified in our s

working on a grand scale

... I've been busier than ever, due to the way our theater's schedule is arranged this season. Typically, we only have one show under construction at a time, but at the moment there are two huge projects going on at once. It helps that I love the designs, and the designers, and the projects as a whole. This hand cut stencil is just one of many that will be used to paint a table for the Arabian Nights, written and directed by Mary Zimmerman. I think we've created five of these for one single table. And there are two more tables to paint, still.


... I'm going to be spending Saturday at work, trying to tie up some loose ends. We've got a lot to do, in a short period of time.

It's how you look at it, I suppose

... Doesn't Mister Sea Slug look grumpy? He was sliding along in the tide pools, south of Monterey on Saturday when we caught up with him. He really reminds me of a Halloween Jack-O-Lantern. On the other hand, this close-up view of his lungs -- I mean butt -- I mean lungs -- well actually it's both , is really quite beautiful. Sometimes I need to knock myself over the head, and remind myself that my world-view can be radically changed, just by altering my perspective. Take this past weekend's snorkeling expedition. We had been invited along on what seemed like a brilliantly organized slug-hunting-outing, with a group of Super Cool Science Nerds. I was in heaven. We would be exploring the alien landscapes of the Monterey Bay with people who actually knew what they were doing. They gave us recommendations for where to rent all our gear (which was surprisingly inexpensive!) and mentioned going out to eat after snorkeling. So, Robb and I shoveled ourselves into 7mm thick

Getting Our Feet Wet

One of our major accomplishments on Sunday was braving the chilly waters of the Monterey Bay. It was our first time snorkeling since my injury. Looking back, it was really only about a year ago I was able to begin swimming face down in the water. At that time, I was so temperature sensitive it would have been out of the question to do what we did yesterday. Our other achievement? Changing out of wetsuits on the side of the road (apparently without violating any laws). Today we feel like true Californians.

Summer's End

This weekend is my last weekend in a while that I won't have work obligations, so Robb and I took the opportunity to get out of town. (I've been really hoping to go see my dad in France, but there's some kind of stupid hold-up with my passport renewal. I let it expire sometime after Robb's accident.) We are in Monterey, California enjoying the nature. Yesterday, we went to Elkhorn Slough , which is a large tidal estuary that has been set aside as a preserve. ( Slough is pronounced "slew" in case y'all were wondering. A slough is a kind of marsh or bayou.) Elkhorn Slough's website says that it doesn't allow bikes, so Robb and I ended up walking. Very, very slowly. Walking remains quite difficult for Robb, and we rarely do much of it. So yesterday's hike was a major accomplishment. It was a chilly overcast day, with moody blue light. The migratory birds for which Elkhorn Slough is so famous had not arrived yet, but there was still lots

Hand Printed Wallpaper

... This is just part of what we've been working on. My intern Mike created the physical stencil. Gaby painted the paper. And I did the layout and printed the pattern. We typically do this kind of work on the floor (this paper is six feet wide, and about fifteen feet tall), and to stencil it, I'm squatting and standing, over and over again for hours. My thighs are in agony today. I love the irregular "painterly" quality of this wallpaper. Usually, the objective of printing wallpaper is to make something that looks like it was made by machines. On this design, we really are trying to make our paintings look like paintings. Have I mentioned how much I love Scott Bradley, the designer of this show? Not only is he an total sweetheart, he's also a wonderful artist. His shows are always exhausting , challenging , and a delight to work on.

The Fourteen-Hour Workday is Over-Rated

... That's all I have to say.

Looming Deadlines

... We are in total crisis mode at work. We're building a gigantic show, and I don't see how we're going to get everything done in time. This is terrifying and very, very stressful. I'm creative and resourceful, but I can't add more hours to the day. This particular show is designed by one of my all-time favorite designers, the one I went to New York to paint for a while back. This photo above is from the original production of that show, and it makes me smile so much. It was a beautiful show, and I had a fantastic team of people working on it. Of course, it breaks my heart whenever I think of how much fun I used to have working with Robb. He's an amazing artist, terrifically hard-working, and he's a complete genius. I never had to worry about anything being done any way other than perfectly when he was on the job. Sigh.

The Cycle, Unbroken

... This was the first weekend in I-don't-know-how-long that we weren't training for a big ride. Robb and I both love riding, and we already have plans to explore some different trails, but it was nice to take a weekend off. We were lazy and hung around with friends. Sheri, Robb and I got as close to a deer (outside of a zoo) as any of ever had while poking around the Berkeley hills. I really wish the landlords would turn on the durn heat! Sure, we've got warm sweaters, but I'm worried I'm going to crush my cat in my sleep, because she spent the night practically underneath me.

The Fact that I am the Biggest Stupid-Head in the World Just Means I Always Have Something to Laugh About

... Stupid-Head Story Number One I've been knitting with a great group for the past few months. They're warm, smart, fun. And they seem to like me. This weekend, one of this group is celebrating her 30 th birthday and invited us all over for brunch. I was really pleased that Robb would get to meet this group of people, (particularly the Birthday Girl). But we were having a bad morning. Robb had tried to do to many things the day before (yet another appearance in court, therapeutic swimming, and and errands) and his body was rebelling. He was in a lot of discomfort. I was sort of hopping up and down, trying to will him into health and sociability, and generally being a big spaz , while he tossed and turned on the couch, trying to find any comfortable position. Finally, an hour after I thought the brunch was supposed to start, I called the Birthday Girl to apologize for being late to her party. Only... She was still in her PJs , and hadn't even thought about breakfast

Kids Will Be Kids ... more stories from the ride

... This year's fundraising ride was a little bit less of a whirl-wind than the year before had been. We had a better understanding of what to expect, and were stronger cyclists, so we had a bit more energy to notice what was going on around us. Perhaps because we weren't riding with a group of friends (Hi Kara! Hi Ellen! We really missed riding with you!), we spent more time chatting with strangers at the rest stops. The twenty five mile ride is a great ride for people who are pretty sporty, but who aren't what you would call actual athletes. There were several groups of friends and families riding in our group. In many cases, these groups are riding BORP-provided vehicles, like hand-cycles or tandem bikes. Tandems are great, because they allow disabled and able-bodied riders to team up. It wasn't until the end of the ride, that I clued into the fact that one of the tandem riders was blind. And that's what's so cool about this ride. You don't th


... There have been so many stories to tell from last weekend's ride, but I've been really distracted, and have had a hard time collecting my thoughts. So, I'll just share a little bit at a time. Up first -- our Weekend of Blue Reptiles. After Robb and I completed our 25 mile fundraising ride, I got a massage (never long enough), and we had some lunch, and hung out with the other riders. I was chatting with one of the hand-cyclists who had been on our ride, when a bunch of kids came racing up to him. They had found a snake, and wanted everyone to know about it. Any regular blog reader will know what happened next. I had the kids show me their snake. How three kids in wheelchairs found a snake hiding behind some furniture-moving dollies is a bit of a mystery, but as they say, kids will be kids. I know next to nothing about snakes, but I know that when you see a snake with prominent jowls, you had better pay attention. The snake was pretty agitated, and the kids admi

Vino, Velo, Vici!

... Well, we've completed another Revolution and all-in-all it was a whole lot easier than we remembered or imagined. One of the challenges we were girding ourselves for was the rain. For anyone unfamiliar with our climate here in Northern California it might seem odd but it has not rained here since May or June. For the rains to return, it signals a sudden, dramatic change of seasons and one which takes most people by surprise. We felt awfully proud of ourselves, therefore, that we came prepared. We looked at the forecast, assembled some frightfully expensive foul-weather gear, and found ourselves sitting at the starting line –– in glorious sunshine. No sooner did the ride begin though, but the skies opened up and dozens of riders scrambled to their cars to get all the waterproof gear they were sure they wouldn't need. As it turned out, we ended up donning and shedding our rain gear about four times over the course of the ride. The only other big challenge that faced us (

It rained, we rode, we conquered.

... We are exhausted from the day, and there's still an after-party to attend. So I'll share this one thing with y'all. One of the many speakers at the event to day was two time paralympic medalist, Jessie Lorenz . She's been blind since she was a child, but that never stopped her from doing what she wanted to. She spoke about racing around with all the other kids when she was little. And she told a wry story about getting her first two-wheel bike, and riding all over her neighborhood. Blind. She did this until the garbage man saw her and dragged her home to her mother, to whom he delivered a stern lecture about keeping a tighter leash on her daughter. Jessie says she remembers exactly what her mother said in response: "What do you want me to do with her? Tie her to a chair next to the radio?" Yeah, there's no stopping people when they want to do something. Today, Jessie rode a tandem bike for over fifty miles. And she -- thrillingly -- shared her ne

Thanks Everyone!

relics of a bygone age Originally uploaded by brizzle born and bred Thanks to all of you, we made our fundraising goal for the BORP Revolution! I think the thing that makes me happiest is the number of people who supported this cause. It makes me so squiffy to think that so many people found a way to give a little bit, and that cumulatively, it added up to so much. I'm writing from the hotel. it is raining, and the parking lot is filled with cars with bike racks and handicapped license plates. Robb and I bought some seriously dorky-looking rain pants, because we expect to be riding for about three hours tomorrow. Unfortunately, we forgot to pack our dry bag, so I will probably not be carrying my camera. We'll be thinking of you all and all of your kindness when we ride. Let's hope it doesn't rain the entire time. Oh, and if you still want to make a donation, it's not too late.

What the Ride Looks Like

... This video is a bit slow to get started. But stick with it, and you'll get to see the people that this whole thing is about -- the BORP program participants. Strangely, the video focused on the hundred mile ride (elite athletes), and the ten mile rides (mostly kids, I think). I guess the "regular" riders (like our team) who sweated through the twenty-five mile ride weren't as telegenic. Anyway, think of us on Saturday, as we ride to support recreational programs for people with disabilities.

"Doggone it"

Even Sarah Palin is cheering us on! I believe she is referring to Robb's rippling abdominal muscles when she gives that shout-out to Joe Six Pack .

Rain, Rain, Go Away

... Our big fundraising ride is Saturday, and wouldn't you know it -- it is supposed to rain for the first time in months. Northern California gets two seasons, Drought and the Rainy Season. And when it rains, everyone freaks out. I'm more than a bit worried about the fact that we'll be riding in the rain. Sharing the road with drivers who've forgotten how to drive in the rain. Sharing the road with people who've been visiting the wineries and aren't as sober as they should be. Riding on all that road grease that has accumulated over the past seven months, and is now rising off the road surface, and floating on the wet road surface. To say nothing of the "fun" of riding for three hours in the rain. It will be great. And, folks, if you possibly can, please make a donation to our ride. We're so close to our goal, and I don't want to fall short.