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'A Christmas Carol'

December 19, 2010

Adrian was selected to be one of two Peter Cratchets in the 2010 Cardinal Stage Theater production of A Christmas Carol.

This is a big production here in Bloomington. Cardinal Stage is putting the show on at the Buskirk-Chumley Theatre, a 500-seat house built in 1922. There will be 14 shows. Each boy will be in seven of them. You do the math.

Nathaniel got a part too. This would be great, if they hadn't put each boy in a different cast. So this is a week of joy and merriment as we ferry a child to a show almost every day, and many days two shows. This is made even better by the amount of volunteering we seem to be expected to do on top of providing our children as slaves.

But I'm not bitter. At all.

Especially since it seems to be going well, and both of them are enjoying themselves. We even got a good review in the local rag.

Links to radio spot, etc. later, I hope.

Ah, well

May 31, 2008

Well, Adrian's composition didn't win at the National level; the judges' reviews said it was too repetative. I guess they aren't fans of Philip Glass. I still think it's pretty darn good for a nine-year-old boy, who was introduced to music when he was seven.

The NFMC have invited Adrian and the other regional winner to play their compositions at a meeting they are having over the first weekend of June - Adrian will play on June 6th.

I'm going to try to put a recording of Adrian playing his composition on the site sometime soon. I didn't get a chance to record it when I was last in Bloomington, so I'll try to get Amy to do it sometime.

There's a Silver Lining

March 1, 2008

Adrian seems destined to grow up to be an artist of some sort - be it musical, theatrical, visual, or scientific - but an artist. As illustrated by the Sharp Things story, he has little common sense. By itself, that argues for an artistic temperament. (OK, so that's a stereotype, but he's so...stereotypical.) But, as compensation perhaps, he also seems to have Talents.

As some of you may know, Adrian has been composing a few pieces for piano. A few weeks ago he entered his first composition, a piece entitled "Summer Storm", in the National Federation of Music Clubs Junior Composers Competition. We were notified yesterday that he won 1st place in his age group for the state of Indiana competition!

There's actually a small cash prize involved... shhh - don't tell Adrian; we're going to put it in his college fund. Now his composition will move on to the regional level competition; wish him good luck.

Our File at PC

February 5, 2008

Do other parents have these problems? No doubt, but I never hear about them.

I have two boys, but I don't know that other parents of boys are on a first-name basis with the folks at Poison Control. We have a nice thick file there.

Come to think of it, they may not even know we have two; all of our calls have been for - believe it or not - the older boy.

So, as you know, if you've been reading here, Adrian cut open his thumb about a week ago. Now he has a routine for cleaning it every day with hydrogen peroxide. Apparently, he finds the bottle a little hard to handle - Amy says he poured about half of the bottle out the other day by accident. So it seems that last night he poured some into a glass to use on his thumb, so he wouldn't spill it any more.

This morning, he drank it.

The mind of a boy...it has no parking brake of common sense, and the transmission is built so that the thing slips into neutral when the steady hand of purpose isn't firmly on the gearshift. As a result, it often rolls out of its parking space and caroms backward onto the highway of life, directly in the path of the onrushing semi-tractor-trailer of disaster. And the puppy that is supposed to be driving this sports car is busy watching the butterflies flit around the flowers in the median.

Thus it came to pass that my phone rang early this morning (Indiana is two hours ahead of New Mexico). Amy gives me the good news, and we try to decide if we should laugh or not. Adrian is, as usual in these situations, distraught. No other word for it. He's howling and blubbering, certain that he's about to expire on the spot. You'd think he'd be used to this by now...

Anyway, my initial opinion is that this isn't a big deal. Hydrogen peroxide is very unstable chemically, so it breaks down into water and hydrogen under almost any kind of chemical stress - and stomach acids are definitely chemical stress. But just to be sure, we read the bottle. After some reassuring stuff about how you can use it to gargle with, Amy says "Oh, no," and reads the part about calling a Poison Control center if somebody drinks it. Adrian redoubles his anguish in the background.

So Amy, once again, calls the Center - they didn't even take her name this time. The nurse on duty is reassuring though; she says more-or-less what I said, and that the worst that might happen is that Adrian may feel a bit nauseous later because of the gas bubbles in his tummy. So, relieved, Amy takes the kids to school, where they will be a bit late due to these delays.

End of story? Not quite...

I'm trying to return to slumber, when the phone rings again. It's Amy, she's at the school. It seems that Adrian did indeed begin to feel a bit out-of-sorts after arriving, and shortly thereafter, he puked and puked all over the floor at school. Once again common sense was nowhere to be seen, of course. I once watched that boy stand between a toilet and a bathtub (mind you, these are less than 4 feet apart) and puke all over the floor, for two minutes.

Well, I suppose I should be somewhat glad that I'm here, and not there, just this one time. Poor Amy - she's out right now buying treats for everybody involved, while Adrian's coat is in the washing machine:

  • Adrian, because she wasn't very nice to him about his choice of puking locations;
  • Emily at the school who insisted that Amy deal with Adrian and let her clean up the mess;
  • and even Nattie, who was an angel and didn't require any special attention today.

I think somebody should get Amy something special. Maybe I'll do that later today.

A Clarification, Lest My Wife Think I'm Not Sharing the Blame...

I feel I should point out that the lopping shears were my idea. We bought them when I was home at Thanksgiving; the idea being that there is a fair bit of yardwork to be done, and what with me in New Mexico, it isn't getting done. And, we have an eager young man who would just love to do some of that yardwork, as long as it involves getting to play with Sharp Things.

It seemed like a good opportunity to teach him some lessons about responsibility and safety and all that. I'm trying to decide now if he has learned a lesson, or maybe if I have. We'll see which of two things happens first - either he will tell me that he doesn't think he's old enough yet to use the shears (lesson learned by Adrian), or he'll go right out and cut off his finger with them (lesson learned, too late, by Dad).

9-year-old Boys Love Sharp Things

Feb. 1, 2008

There's a very good reason that parents are reluctant to let their kids use things like knives and suchlike:

Yuck!! Oooh, seven stitches!

I understand that one difference between girls and boys, is that girls can be talked out of wanting to mess with fire. Not so with boys.

Adrian was bugging Mom to distraction the other day about getting out something we had bought a month or two earlier (I'll tell you what it was in a minute). This item was securely packaged in the style of the day, with sturdy plastic straps and casing, which he couldn't get through without help. He wanted to use a knife because he couldn't find the scissors. (I wonder who had them last...?) Mom said 'no', of course. But she was busy trying to eat dinner with Nattie, so she didn't notice when Adrian decided that he was plenty old enough to get a knife for himself. It would seem that knives are very good at opening things, like packages and skin.

A minute later there was lots of screaming and noise, and Adrian came into the kitchen literally spewing blood - Amy still hasn't gotten it all off of the walls, and the new rug has some new stains. After online consultation with Dad, it was decided to abandon dinner and go to a minor emergency clinic, where Adrian learned to his howling remorse that stitches were indeed going to be required. More noise and screaming.

Now, of course, it's something cool to show to the kids at school. Oh, and the item he was trying to open so he could use? A muscular pair of lopping shears.

He Broke A Leg

Oct. 26, 2007

The cast pulled the play off. Adrian's aunt Anna and Uncle Dan came down from Michigan to see the Friday night performance, and a good time was had by all. Yes, it sounds like Adrian did very well in particular, in case you're wondering. Poor Dad couldn't come, he's still stuck in New Mexico.

Sounds like Thursday's performance was a bit more interactive than Mom had expected... she got dragged onto the stage and turned into a tree!

I think you had to be there...

The Play's the Thing

Oct. 21, 2007

Adrian has gotten himself into a bit of a pickle.

He really, really wanted to play the part of 'Wiley' in an upcoming Bloomington Playwrights Project production of Wiley & The Hairy Man.

Be careful what you wish for...

He won the part. Now he's in the middle of two weeks of H@!!, because that's how long the cast was given to learn the 45-page script, block and rehearse, before their first performance on October 25th.

And as Adrian points out, "Wiley has dialogue on every page!"
Well, he wanted the lead...

His Mom's in there with him, because she has to badger him to work on his script for hours every day. It's her reasoning that no-one will blame Adrian if he sucks in the play, because he's only 9.
No, she figures they'll blame her...

Here are some publicity stills: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

You can also listen to a short interview given by the director, Rachael Himsel, broadcast on local radio station WFIU.