My Son!

As amazing as it sounds, my son had his last day of High School today! I’m so proud of him. Up next for him: a year in Germany, for his Gap Year Student Exchange Program, before he goes to college. I think the current plan is to come back after that and go to college for music composition and production.

I am super proud of his abilities as a musician and a composer, and jealous! I can’t wait to hear his music as he grows, and studies, and his talents expand even more.

Here’s a link to his Sound Cloud account, where he has a number of his songs posted. Check it out!

One of his songs, Jump, has over 11, 000 listens! His song Again was just chosen by the head of the Chelsea show choir, Company C, to be included in their Spring performance, where it was played with choreographed dancers performing to it. That was a pretty amazing honor for Max!

So, in honor of my son’s last day at school, here is a pic montage designed to make me cry.

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Every time…..

Every time this shows up in the mail, I think of my Dad.

I think back to when I was in high school, and told him I wanted to go to college for theatre. I was ready to be told I should find something more stable, I was ready to be lectured about responsibility and the future.

Instead, all he asked was “Do you think you can make a living at it?” When I said I thought I could, he just nodded, and said “Okay. Great. Your mom and I will help any way we can.” And that was it.

So when my membership card from SDC arrives I, naturally, get a sense of pride that I’m following my dream and making it work, and I’m thrilled that I’m contributing to the world the way I’d hoped to… but I also feel like I’m keeping a promise to my Dad. I know he was proud of me, of all his kids, but putting this card in my wallet every year makes me feel worthy of the trust and faith he had in me on that afternoon, sitting together in our kitchen, over 30 years ago.

On Tuesday I start rehearsal for Doublewide, a play about a guy who spends his life working in a factory and doing everything he can to provide a good future for his family.

Thanks, Dad. This one’s for you.

A quiet morning

Here we are, almost halfway into January, and I still feel like I haven’t yet recovered from the holidays!

So much quality family time, so much laughter and storytelling and love. Oy -so much food (yes, that’s the part I -and my waistline- need the most recovering from.)

So, this morning I’m up before almost everyone. Maggie crept quietly out of the house a while ago – she’s taking care of a friend’s dog today, so had to go do that early. It was wonderful having her boyfriend visit from Finland for the holidays. Now of course it’s hard on both of them because he’s back home. I see them and think simultaneously “Boy, I remember being 19, that exciting young love, waiting for your future to start” and also, at the same time, “Good Lord, was I ever that young?!”

Max and Jeanne are sleeping in. It’s Saturday, they deserve to. Max will work later, Jeanne will be grading her student’s homework, like normal on the weekend, but I think today will be a quiet day.

In a couple of hours I’ll head to Williamston Theatre. We closed Beau Jest a couple of weeks ago – what a treat that show was. Wonderful team on and offstage, and audiences just loved it. We set some attendance records! Such a gift, to hear packed houses filled with people laughing together, sharing a moment of lightness and joy.

Next up is a wonderful piece, Our Lady Of Poison, a world premiere by Joe Zettelmaier. The elevator pitch: “Mother-Daughter poisoning team. Italy. Based on true events.” ’nuff said. ūüôā

So, today I’ll go in and see a stumble-through of that, we’ll have a production meeting, and I’ll do some more work on the next play.

Before that, though: A little quiet in the living room. The dogs are curled at my feet, and my cup of coffee is still mostly full.

I hope everyone has a restful, fulfilling Saturday!

CASTLE PANIC!

A little QFT.*

Castle Panic is a fun, silly board game that creates a surprisingly high level of… well, panic! ūüôā The players are all on a team, playing AGAINST the game, so it’s a fun collaboration to stop all of the attacking hordes before they wipe out your castle!

I love this picture, though: Maggie and Jeanne are adorable as always, and Max is adorable in his “I will never ever just smile normally for a picture” way! ūüėā Plus, if you zoom in, at the top you can see our picture on the wall of the kids when they were really little, being photogenic on a playground slide! ‚̧ԳŹ

I hope with the upcoming holidays, and snow days, that you all get a chance to relax with some *Quality Family Time, whether it’s movie and popcorn night, or battling evil monsters who are hell-bent on destroying you and your castle!

Sometimes….

Sometimes, electronics fritz out. 

Sometimes, the electronics that fritz out are the things that make your life easier like, oh, a thermostat. 

Sometimes a thermostat for your furnace, that is not connected in any way to your air-conditioner, completely freaks out and decides that, since it’s numbers go up to 88, it should try to heat up your house to 88 degrees. 

Sometimes your central air unit, responsible for the air-conditioning of your home, has a thermostat that works juuuuuuust fine. 

So, sometimes the air-conditioner feels like it’s too warm in the house, and it begins working to cool down the house to a nice, livable 75 degrees. 

Also, there’s a natural weather thing that happens where, sometimes, it’s 85 degrees outside with a humidity reading of approximately 71,000%. 

Aaaaaaaaand sometimes you come home to discover that ALL DAY LONG your air-conditioner and furnace have been battling for total domestic domination. The baseboards are scorching hot, the floor vents are ice cold. The temperatures in the house vary so much that the sweat you work up walking through the family room turns to frost crystals on your face by the time you’re through the kitchen. 

Predicted utilities bills for the month of July: 71,000% of normal.  There’s a fruit basket on the kitchen table. DTE Energy sent it as a thank you. 

Sometimes…..  

  • Casa de Caselli: 0 
  • Technology: 1

…..sometimes, technology wins. 

Out of clutter, find simplicity.  

Clutter. ¬†That’s been on my mind a lot lately. ¬†Clutter of stuff both physical, and of the intangible. ¬†The things we can’t touch, yet they weigh us down anyway.

When you’re clear about your purpose and your priorities, you can painlessly discard whatever does not support these, whether it’s clutter in your cabinets or commitments on your calendar.   Р Victoria Moran

I’ve been working to DO LESS. ¬†This is new for me. ¬†Juggling multiple projects, diving into things, saying YES to lots of stuff – that’s just always been how I did it. ¬†That’s not bragging or anything, it’s just my history. ¬†Now that I’m purposely making more time on my calendar for doing nothing, I’m finding myself thinking about the clutter in my world. ¬†The basement full of junk that I move around, and move through, that I don’t really need… and how it gets in my way. ¬†The subconscious thoughts that I let drive me because I’ve not let go of a frustration, or a grudge, or a jealousy. ¬†The very CONSCIOUS thoughts that I dwell on when I should be letting them go because they’re not doing me, or the people around me, or the world any good at all.

The point is, you need to distinguish between what honestly moves you and what the world is telling you should melt your heart. If something doesn’t reach you on a personal level, let it go. It’s hard enough dealing with everything that does.  Р Judi Culbertson

It’s funny. ¬†I had this thought very clearly the other night. ¬†With family, at Hudson Mills metropark, spread out on blankets and looking up at the night sky, waiting for fireworks to begin. ¬†My son and nephews were running around playing catch, my wife and I were relaxing on the ground with my mother and my daughter, just chatting. Max’s girlfriend Sophie was there, we were all laughing and just being there. ¬†There were hundreds of people, all around, doing the same thing. ¬†With my head resting in my wife’s lap, I found myself a little overwhelmed with emotion- not gonna lie, this happens to me more and more over the last few years. ¬†I looked up at her and I said “I love tonight”. ¬† She smiled, and bent down and kissed my forehead and said “Well good! ¬†Me too.”

Just being there, listening to the people laughing and enjoying the night, was wonderful. The smell of the grass, the breeze blowing, kids running around everywhere being kids Рas the night got darker the fireflies came out, and soon little kids all around us were chasing them, gathering them in their hands.  It was a beautiful, perfect LACK of clutter.

Clutter smothers. Simplicity breathes.  Р Terri Guillemets

And then the fireworks began. ¬†The running around stopped and the “OOOOHS” and “AAAAAHHS” started as the world filled with color and sound. ¬†Clapping and laughing, people announced their favorite firework. ¬†Watching the faces of my family light up with reds and blues and whites, I couldn’t resist taking a picture:
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Lit by a big burst of white stars, my mother, wife and nephew have the same smile I had on my face.  Maggie does too, as she takes a photo of the fireworks to send to her friends in Finland!

The waste of life occasioned by trying to do too many things at once is appalling.
Р Orison Marden

The whole night was terrific.  One of those moments that is both a little thing and, at the same time, everything.  Later that night, at home, everyone camped out around the house to spend the night, I listened to the house settling down, kids falling asleep, dogs snoring, the occasional late-night-neighbor setting off a firecracker or twelve, and my mind drifted to my to-do list, and all the things that would need to be done the next day.  With a little effort, I pushed the thought away.  I could clear that clutter later.  This night?  This night was simple.

Out of clutter, find simplicity.  Р Albert Einstein

Thursday Pic Post

We start previews for 1984 this evening, at Williamston Theatre. Having an amazing time working with a fantastic cast and production team! 


It’s been a heck of a few weeks. We, like many people, lost power at home for several days. Fortunately we have a fireplace! 

Once the power was back on, we found ourselves with a rare occurrence this month: everyone home at once! We played some games….


…and I got Tommaso and Max to eat some vegetables! 

Speaking of kids – here’s a pic of Maggie with her significant other, Beni, at a dance in Finland. 


And here’s a picture of Max and his significant other, Sophie, going to the Winter Carnival dance a couple weeks ago!


Now, we’re a couple hours away from first preview for the show. There is some really cool artwork in the theatre gallery by Anita Brett:


Also in the gallery is a very cool “Orwell Installation” from the MSU Department of English students, with some great displays about Orwell and the novel. 

And now, no more time for writing. Gotta get ready for tonight. Excited to introduce audiences to our version of Orwell’s dystopia! 

Old School

Sometimes you just need to take your kid to Pinball Pete’s and show her what a real arcade is.  Because weekends hanging out with your kids get fewer and fewer, and you need to enjoy them while you can. 

“This is what my teenage and college years were like. Pizza, and these games you had to put quarters in. A lot of quarters. And Mountain Dew. A lot of Mountain Dew.”

Her reactions were great.   

“What the?!?  WHY CAN’T I CLIMB THE LADDER WITH A HAMMER?!”

“Pinball hates me.” 

When we won the “match” at the end of the pinball game: “It gives you a free game?! That’s awesome!”

  
“Oh, I played this on my iPod!” … followed closely by “This is a LOT harder than on my iPod!”  “JUMP! Stupid frog!”

We had a great time, though. I don’t even think Maggie minded when her old man whooped her in air-hockey! Plus, she got permission to swear at Ms. Pac Man… (I mean, to be fair, Ms. Pac Man really was being kind of a bitch.)

Thanks, Pinball Pete’s, for helping me share a little chunk of my childhood with my kid! 

Merry Christmas Day!

Christmas morning. 

I love it. 

Watching family open gifts, especially the kids pulling out all the stocking stuffers, is the best! Much hugging and love, lots of laughs, sitting on the couch, or the floor between the couch and Christmas Tree, everyone gradually donning new hats, or pajamas, or scarves or jackets, so that by the time we’re done no one looks the way they did when we started! 

Coffee being enjoyed by Jeanne and I, Maggie immediately begins brewing water for tea in her super-nifty new electric tea kettle. (“It GLOWS!!”, she yells from the kitchen.) Max is trying to decide which side of his reversible Star Wars jacket he wants to show off first, the Light or the Dark. Jeanne rises, starts preparing our traditional Christmas Day breakfast: eggs, sausage, cinnamon rolls, and pomegranates! 

Best laugh of the morning:  My wife (because she a: knows me, b: loves me and c: is awesome), got me Superman cologne. Max got Batman cologne. I sprayed some on, and declared “I smell like Truth And Justice!”  Max, in his spot-on Christian-Bale-as-Batman impression, whisper-growled “And I smell like THE NIGHT!!”  

Ah, I love these mornings together. Grateful to be here for them. 

Merry Christmas, everyone.