Monday, April 30, 2007

It could be worse.

At least I wasn't speeding while driving a fuel tanker over the weekend...

Thank God(dess) this happened in the middle of the night, instead of during a busy morning or evening commute.

My friendly neighborhood Safeway checkout guy Peter told me about it on Sunday morning-- I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the footage. And the driver made it out alive with just second-degree burns! Unbelievable.


Saturday, April 28, 2007

Der Rosenkavalier

I just got an email today offering me the chance to be a super in one of this summer's opera productions. It's a 4-hour long German comedy/melodrama by Strauss, which I must confess I've never seen, as I've usually shied away from 4-hour long German operas.

Parts were offered to me in all three acts, so that would mean long hours in the basement of the opera house waiting for my fleeting moments onstage in the spotlight. The glamorous roles are: Carpet Vendor, Courier#4 and Policeman. Really stretching my acting chops! ;-)

I jumped at the chance, silly me, even though I'm seriously anxious about a few relatively minor schedule conflicts and also about the overall extremely non-pragmatic and ambivalently conflicted choices I've been making in my work/money/career life.

I was led to reflect on how many years I've been facing this dilemma: since I first started supering back in 1995. I counted: I've been in 26 productions, sometimes the same opera in different years or different runs in the same season. Plus a couple of stray ballets, plays, film extra work and GlinkAppearances.

I like to play dress-up. NO, REALLY????!!!!????? We never realized that, Alb./Grove/Glinka! So I cannot say no when the oppportunity arises.

I just wish that I could figure out some flexible, decent paying work to do to support this avocation. Ahh, and one that doesn't involve trapping myself in some stuffy office...

Labels: , ,

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Insomnia... hmmm...

Did my brain just flip a switch from depression to hypomania? The trials and tribulations of Bipolar 1. I got maybe four hours of sleep last night. Up at 3:30am-ish. No wonder I'm blogging furiously-- this is the energy I had when I first started blogging at AO-Hell.

My painting class is this morning, then a break, then therapy, then a little support group I go to, then a meeting with a friend to go over a P.T. job application I'm working on. I think that the P.T. job thing may be causing me stress. Just a guess. I've got to be gentle with myself. I could skip the class, but I hate to do that. My mantra in class is always: "Just smush paint on canvas." In other words: low expectations. I think this is manageable.

I've been living with BP for a long time now-- I truly do know how to manage it. Relatively stable. No hospitalizations or even near-hospitalizations for years. But the symptoms still are there and they still suck. After a night like last night, I need a day to just lay low and recuperate, or else the hypomania can escalate.

Above: Ballet Drawing from my sketchpad. Yuan Yuan Tan & Tiit Helmets, San Francisco Ballet, in Swan Lake.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Tchaikovsky II, and Idol Gives Back

Here's the full "Hero" painting that I described two entries ago. The Tchaikovsky head is pretty complete; the two dancers and border still need work.

The larger ballerina is taken from a photo of the famous Bluebird Pas de Deux, part of the ballet "Sleeping Beauty" which I was priviledged enough to see S.F. Ballet perform this season. A most yummy and glittery production.

The figure on the bottom left of the painting is one of the Snowflake maidens from the very first production of "Nutcracker"-- in the historical photo I have it looks like she has gigantic cotton balls all over her head and tutu, plus to make sure you get the point, she's carrying a scepter with: gigantic cotton balls! Production values were a little *primitive* in those days.

The ballerinas in these old photos all look around 75 pounds heavier than today's rather anorexic standard (S.F. Ballet is not quite as bad in this department as New York City Ballet; Balanchine set the standard for the rail-thin dancer you see in that company.)

Admit it: you've missed my balletomane musings!

So, in the Grove/Alb. household we're all waiting impatiently for tonight's two-hour extravagaza of "Idol Gives Back." Mainly, we're waiting anxiously to make sure that our hundred or so votes last night helped keep Blake Lewis in the competition. We are unhealthily obsessed with that boy!

And if some poor and hungry children in Africa and the U.S. are helped as well, that's a good thing, although Idol's smarmy self-promotion can't help but be kind of creepy. Truthfully, I don't really trust huge fundraising efforts like these-- I never really believe that the money lands in the right place. There are always horror stories of funds not being spent, etc.

It should be interesting to see the big names trotted out. Any chance to see Kelly Clarkson-- she's another one who totally activates my 13-year-old girl gene.

Okay, I guess that's enuff rambling for one day. I disappear for months and then reappear and can't shut up. Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Depressed Diptych Detail

This was another assignment from class, just more or less completed. We could do a diptych or a triptych on any subject. The main benefit of this assignment was that I learned how to spell diptych. (image semi-deliberately warped by Camera-Phone Pic--I have GOT to upgrade my computer/camera set-up!)

The other side of the diptych is happier and yellower but still with some blue depressed streaks. It doesn't feel as resolved as this side.

btw, this is one of those that you can see in better (if still blurry) detail when you click on the image.

I'm wondering if I should update all y'all on anything that happened in my life since late November when I was last regularly posting? There are one or two items of note. I'm still thinking about what I want this blog to focus on anymore... The one thing I mainly feel like sharing about is my artwork, and any other creative stuff I do or see, because I'm really trying to get some traction with it. Other stuff seems more private at the moment.

We shall see...

Labels: ,

Monday, April 23, 2007


We had this assignment to do a painting based on a personal hero of ours, alive or dead, famous or someone in our own life. I chose Tchaikovsky, partly for his gorgeous ballet scores (I must admit that I'm less familiar with his symphonic music) and partly for his broodingly romantic Tormented Russian Homosexual life.

In doing pictorial research for the painting, I found out that in artistic circles during that time, one could be gay as long as one didn't care what the hell anyone else thought or gossiped about. But apparently, Tchaikovsky was, at heart, an extremely conservative guy who felt very conflicted about his sexuality and never figured out a way to integrate it into his life.

Luckily for music and dance lovers the world over, he poured all of his tormented and glorious emotions into his music.

The image here is a detail of the painting. The likeness isn't exact-- it would have been more so if I had traced or gridded out the archival photo I had to work from. Tomorrow's entry will be of the whole painting, which like many of my others Isn't Quite Finished.

Just looked at this on the blog site: if I add glitter to the lips it bears a slight resemblance to MOI, quelle surprise...

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Keep momentum going

Hello to y'all who came by yesterday! Groovy.

I just ate a whole bag of tortilla chips. And I'm supposed to be watching my cholesterol. Oy.

This is a painting I did last semester. Landscape-- sunset in Rio, based on a photo in a book I own about Carnival in Rio. I was pleased with the waves. The paintings I'm currently doing are less realistic than this one though.

RE:Ality TV Korner: Tonight, the two very important things on my agenda are The Amazing Race, and the odious but still watchable Apprentice finale. The latter has jumped the shark big-time. (White trash Derek rocked though.)

Donald Trump makes my brain hurt, but I watch anyway.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Testing the waters again...

I am still alive. Hi everyone. I am a bored person at the moment, so maybe I should start blogging again? Besides, I have nowhere else to ramble on about Re:Ality TV!

I have been lurking, here and elsewhere. (Krobbie)

I am still painting. No theater or opera or Madame G.

I'm kind of afraid to post this. I'm going through some depression right now, which sucks-- maybe writing here would help?

There is no way for this not to be kind of awkward. I'm not even sure how I feel about blogging. The comment-whoring of AOL Journal days seems so long ago!

Well, maybe I'll give it another try.

Labels: ,