Tuesday, February 28, 2006

COM: Blogartihmic #93

Phillips Wagner shot an 85 this week to lead the Tivy Gold Team to a third place finish at the 2006 Tivy Invitational. The Tivy Blue Team finished first. Looks like Phillips has a good chance to be on the first team as district play rolls around.

Dylan Cannon got a silver and a bronze medal as part of the Tivy hurdle and sprint relays at the Fredericksburg Relays this past weekend.

Meanwhile the Tivy Girls Basketball team is in the state semifinals Thursday, playing for a slot in the state championship game.

I haven't blogged hardly any about Tivy soccer -- i've been out of commission all season, but hope to get to some games soon. Nevertheless things don't look good right now. Neither team appears headed for the playoffs. Surprising for the boys (1-3, 5-10) as they had a fine young team last year. The girls (0-3-1, 3-9-2 lost a tremendous bunch of seniors, but has not struggled like this before. The girls team has never missed the playoffs.

But Brandon Blair's Churchill squad (15-2-1) is currently ranked second in the San Antonio area, and Brad Lind's Smithson Valley boys (10-6-1) are ranked sixth. They play each other tonight and i'll post results as soon as i know them. Wish i could make it to that game but have other commitments at home.

On the Lacrosse side of things William Lawson's two-time defending state champions at Highland Park are beginning their season, and Daniel Miro's Westlake squad is also getting started. I hope to make some of their games as well.

Thanks for everyone's patience as i ease back into this. I'm trying to get some things posted, while also catching up on the rest of my life, including hundreds of emails, many from you my wonderful readers. And blogging means catching up on Circus of the Spineless, Texas Nature Writers, Friday Ark, milkriverreviews, etc., also. I will be working hard at it, but again thanks for your patience.

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Monday, February 27, 2006

COM: Blogarithmic #92

Back at "home" and at work now. So here's lots of random notes:

The Ingram Tom Moore Thespians and Drama Department are in the final stages of readying their One Act Play Competition piece. They're doing Playing for Time by Arthur Miller -- a story of musicians spared at Auschwitz so that they could play music for the Commandant and Dr. Mengele. Powerful, powerful play.

It's being directed by the superb triumvirate of Roy Burney, Marie Cearley and Holly Riedel; and features some outstanding young actors -- notably a group of seniors who have been involved since the beginnings of ITM's Thespian troupe.

They put on their first performance at Wimberley High School's Festival on Thursday, and despite technical glitches, did a bang up job considering most of the directorial staff has been pre-occupied with health issues. Marie obviously did a wonderful job getting them where they are. Some more cutting will be necessary though to get within time constraints without sacrificing the heavier moments.

Whitney Wilson and Lillian Beaudoin were named to the Honorable Mention All-Star cast, and Meggie Nidever was named Best Actress at the festival! No real surprise there -- i was unable to travel to Wimberley, but saw rehearsal the night before, and Meggie gave the most nuanced performance i've ever seen her do (and that includes some dynamite work in Vanities last fall). So congrats to all, but especially Meggie.

They'll be doing some public performances at Warrior Theatre -- i'll post those when i know dates, etc. They also will perform this Saturday at a Festival in Menard, later at a festival in Llano, and then begin competition at district. The group last year made it to regionals (one step short of the state finals) before bowing out (robbed in my mind) with a dazzling interpretation of The Crucible.

First, Rurality was kind enough to email and tell me that my little blog has been included in the new book Blogosphere: Best of Blogs. It has a companion blog that can be found here. It's in the "Life of a . . ." section. Rurality is also included in the gardening section -- congrats!

Been watching tons of movies lately, what with being laid up and all, but got the chance to see some real theatre things in the last few days. Quick reviews:

The Pink Panther -- not very funny. Starts with too much narrative setup. Kevin Kline is not well cast as Dreyfus. Cato vanishes in lieu of Ponton, not funny at all as a foil. And Steve Martin is disappointing as Clouseau, and whose "French" accent wavers more toward 2 year old toddler.

The Three Murials of Melquiades Estrada -- brilliant. Perhaps because that countryside was home for a while, and it's exceptionally well depicted, the harsh light, the bold, saturated interiors, the despondence of the residents, perhaps that made for a honed experience behind the story. But -- and i'm no Tommie Lee Jones fan, though i really like some of his work -- Jones is simply outstanding, and Barry Pepper as the second is likewise perfect. The story, in a purposeful non-linear jumble, hits home hard. The subtle and not-so-subtle racism of borderland life is dead-on. And Dwight Yoakum continues to wow as a chameleon -- i was thirty minutes into the movie before i realized it was him. And the movie is a must-see if all you want is to see him with a full head of hair. Classic. Only two small quibbles. The movie is very roughly edited in a few places -- what i'd give for an Avid and a pristine copy. The other quibble is the accurate use of local bird song -- from Black-throated Sparrows to Canyon Wrens -- but ruined by the use of a jessed Peregrine, and the foleying of Hermit Thrushes in the final scene. Still, a magnificent piece of work. I don't know whether this was released in time for this year's Oscars -- if so, what a miss. I do hope it gets major consideration next time around.

Among other cool things happening in the last month -- some of my Hog-nosed Skunk pictures were picked for use in a science textbook; some of my Eric Taylor pictures were used in the online magazine PureMusic.com; and two of my favorite unpublished vignettes are scheduled for use as Saturday Poems at The Middlewesterner.

My favorite hip-hopmeisters Vehicular took a giant step toward respectability with an opening slot for The Scabs at Antone's the beginning of the month. Unfortunately i couldn't make it down -- and i need to to get some interview and performance clips.

The U.S. Soccer Team moved up a notch in the world rankings this week to number 6. Not a bad place to be going into the World Cup.

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Friday, February 24, 2006

COM: Time for Some Explanation

Yep, it's time for me to explain a two-month absence from my favorite project -- blogging. But first let me express deep thanks to everyone who has written with concern, or demands for me to blog. Much appreciated. I certainly have missed it greatly, and i hope to get geared up again and be at nearly full steam before long.

Here's the story -- actually two of them. First, we had a management change at work on January 1st. Part of the change, for me, was to move out of the cabin i was living in so that it could be renovated. It took me three and a half weeks to pack up my life and put it in storage and then relocate myself. Every moment i wasn't packing or moving was spent sleeping and thus no blogging.

Part two is this. Regular readers of my blog will remember i took a few days hiatus back in the late fall. I had had something go seemingly seriously wrong somewhere in my gut. After a day of doing the home remedy thing i finally went to the local ER. For eleven hours or so they poked and prodded, ran MRIs, EKGs, and a CaTSCAN, found nothing, pronounced me in perfect health and kicked me out at 3 a.m.

That "perfect health" was so excruciating that i stumbled around a bit for a couple of weeks before i once again felt somewhat normal, though certain aches remained.

Then while moving i had a relapse of sorts -- the same symptoms to a T -- but it lasted only a few hours before dissipating.

Then on January 26th it hit again, hard. Having been in "perfect health" the first time, i figured i could outlast it, and i lay in bed four days (we'll skip the lurid details). Finally, too weak to drive, and needing some meds, i called a friend, who together with another friend brought me the meds, but instead of giving them to me, kidnapped me and took me to another hospital ER about 40 minutes away.

This time, after the poking and prodding, and Xrays and lots of blood donations, they found the trouble with a CaTSCAN -- gall bladder infection. After emergency surgery i was told that the thing was actually dead and gangrenous. The outlying infection probably caused some leakage which led to another invasive procedure, followed by a bout with pancreatitis. All of which resulted in 16 days in the hospital, a subsequent visit to the ER, yet another procedure yesterday, with one more to go.

So, not to bore you with detail, but there's been a reason for my absence. I'm just now back online the last couple of days, and have 2900 emails to sort through (and wonder about all the ones kicked back when my inbox filled up -- so if you wrote and something was returned, try me again).

So, before i get back into full swing blogging again (and i have so much to say it'll take forever), i wanted to throw out some big thanks to my guardian angels Holly, Marie, and Ruthie, and my intestinal saviors Dr. Andreassian, Dr. Randall, Dr. Layne and Dr. Ramsey, and everyone, and i mean absolutely everyone, at the Hill Country Memorial Hospital System in Fredericksburg. Thanks!