A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Monday, May 31, 2010

Do you remember this woman?

Or should I say, "Do you remember this fairy?"

If you're not from Southern California, you may not know that in the old Disneyland parking lot there now stands another amusement park called California Adventure. For the first five years of its existence I pretty much ignored it. I mean, if I was going to drive 75 miles, I was going to spend my time at the real thing, right? Then my sister told me I HAD to at least go over and ride Soarin' Over California. She is usually right about - well - everything, so I took her advice. Not only is Soarin' worth the price of admission (another $20 tacked onto your Disneyland admission) but I found a lot to love about that park.

Including the Animation Building. Home of "Turtle Talk with Crush" (figure THAT out) and the Toy Story Zoetrope. I haven't yet learned to draw my own Disney character in the animation class but I did sing about "Bare Necessities" with Mowgli and Baloo. I also wandered into the Beast's library where Cogsworth and Lumiere told me (after taking my picture and asking me some questions) that my Disney Character was Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty.

I wasn't sure how to take this. She is, after all, my favorite Disney villain. But until today I didn't really think I was much like her.

Today she moved in.

What a total crab. I simply couldn't shake her off.

Actually my day started with a tearfest at 4:00 AM and I couldn't go back to sleep. By the time I came out of my lair I was in a full-blown hissy fit. Thank goodness it was a holiday or I would have surely aimed my scepter at some hapless student and turned him into - well - one of these scruffy crows.

It took all day, a couple of hours of gardening, an hour in the gym, some youtube fun and some facebook fun at Maleficent's expense but I finally managed to get my head on straight.

As I searched for a self-portrait I learned that Disney is planning a movie (screenplay by the same person who wrote the recent Alice in Wonderland and possibly directed by Tim Burton) that will tell the Sleeping Beauty story from "my" point of view. Angelina Jolie has been tagged as "me." Perfect casting, I'd say.

One of the youtube videos that helped bring my perspective back was the "Jessica's Affirmation" viral that's making its way around. It's the second one above. The other, which I will try to share after I finish this post (which means it will be above Jessica's video) is a promo piece for the Great River Shakespeare Festival in Winona, Minnesota.

Alec Wild is a director (again) this year. I saw his Taming of the Shrew in Los Angeles a few years ago. It was in the newly renovated Orpheum Theater and so cleverly done. The audience started (as I recall) in the basement bar (tavern), then moved up into the lobby, then back down to the bar, then back up to the lobby then into the theater seats and then onto the stage to be part of the final dinner scene (complete with bread and wine). I'm wishing I was heading to Winona this summer. Alec's mother is one of my best friends and invited me for a visit, but with my dad so sick I don't want to be so far away. Maybe next year, Skipper.

If I can hang for the rest of this week I will bid a fond farewell to the class of 2010 on Friday. Out of the 160 students I had this year, I'd say 150 of them are not only the kind of kids you would want next door, they are the kind of kids that give you confidence that everything is going to be all right. Even some of my "challenges" are actually very sweet kids with some physical issues (crack babies, for example). Still, it was a difficult year and very tough to get through with all the distractions.

I wish I had the words to convey how very much I look forward to cleaning and weeding this summer. Throw in two or three trips to Disneyland (or five or six or maybe seven or eight) and lots of time with my folks and the summer will fill out.

I'm starting the process of planning some farewell parties for my oldest and his wife as they leave for Japan. I know that one will be at my folks' just for family. The other will be for their lifelong friends here in Camarillo. All I have set in my mind so far is the menu for the second:

Somis Market burritos, Topper's pizza and In-and-Out burgers.

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