The Gallery Players' production of Les Misérables opens Friday evening in Burlington, NC. It's going to be wonderful! Here's the performance information:
Paramount Theater of Burlington Feb.21-23 and Feb.27-Mar 2 Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8PM Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2PM 336-222-8497 to reserve tickets (Call between 12 and 3pm or leave a voice-mail with information)
Aftera day and a half of being snowed in, dear husband went to work Friday mid-morning, and older son and I tried going to Ayr Mount Friday afternoon. The shaded, gravel driveway into Ayr Mount still had about 4 inches of snow/slush on it so, after spinning the van's wheels a bit, I backed out of the driveway onto St. Mary's Rd. (the other cars were staying well away!), and we went and walked around town instead.
View of Hillsborough from the top level of the parking deck.
We have a lot of books. There are these two bookshelves in the library (there used to be more, but we moved the piano into the library and the bookshelves into the playroom, and we added a CD cabinet):
and these three bookshelves in the playroom:
and these stacks of books on the floor in the playroom. They're from the last trip to the used bookstore in Mebane - their most recent 4-paperbacks-for-$1 sale:*
Most of the paperback shelves are double shelved, and the science fiction/fantasy section is triple shelved:
We're thinking of making the wall that the three bookshelves are on into a wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling bookcase - something like what Centsational Girl does in From Billys to Built-Ins, except going all the way to the ceiling. We looked very seriously at what she built. She uses Ikea Billy bookcases and then builds around them to make them built-in. It turned out very well, and she says it only took a weekend and less that $400. We would want the larger shelves on the bottom for large books - and we could maybe even get our record collection out from the floor of our closet!
However... I've been looking at the room at various times over the last week. The playroom has two windows on the front of the house. Compared to most of the other rooms, particularly the living room, it seems like a bit of a black hole. It's darker than the rest of the downstairs, and it almost seems to absorb light.
So, I mentioned to dear husband that it would be nice to have a window in that room, and build bookshelves around it. I've always like the look of built-in bookshelvesaround a window.
That would be a lot more expensive, though. Adding a window actually doesn't cost as much as I expected, but it does add a lot to the price. The shelves would have to be totally built so we couldn't save by using already made Ikea shelves.
We also talked about putting a garden window in, but that idea quickly disappeared once I found out how expensive they are.
We're still discussing.
We've passed Ikea stores before - up North and while driving through Charlotte, but we've never been in one (the Charlotte one is two hours away, and we've never had a reason to go there). However, I do enjoy this Ikea song (to buy, go to his website and page down to the song) by JonathanCoulton:
[Note: If you're the sort of person who clicks on the photos in order to see what books are on the shelves (I am), please leave a comment.**]
* Plus older son has 2 bookshelves and many stacks worth of books in his room, but that's not MY worry!
** If you did look, the book is The Joy of X - it's a MATH book.
The poor aren't on the barricades in Les Mis so I had a free evening last night. Dear husband was worn out from a few long days at work, and younger son had insomnia the night before.
It was a very quiet evening for me (which, with all the rehearsals the last two weeks, felt very strange!). I ended up trying to organize photos on the computer - something I don't do often enough. I finished May, 2010 last night (told you).
I have many posed photos (please stand by this lake... in front of this river... in front of this mountain, etc.), which I'm glad I have - particularly as everyone keeps changing.* However, I have a special love for unposed photos. They bring me back to a time in the way posed ones don't always.
In May, 2010, we went to Marblehead & Boston for vacation. It was right after older son finished his first year of college and daughter finished high school. We haven't all had the time to take a distant vacation like that again. Younger son wasn't taller than I am yet.
The photo above is one of many I took of everyone else wandering around on the rocks by the ocean in Marblehead. It brings me back there again better than any of the posed photos I took - the sound and smell of the ocean, the temperature and humidity, etc.
Do you ever hang back so that you can see what everyone else is doing? The island was lovely, and the sunset was pretty, but I remember this moment - enjoying their enjoyment. Here's a close-up:
Older son is looking down at shells, etc. Daughter is telling younger son about something. I love these brief glimpses into the past.
That's one thing that I envy about parents who are just starting out now. With digital photography, you can take as many photos like this as you want. There's almost no extra cost - not like having to develop all the photos. I took photos of my kids when they were little, but I'd have taken many more if it had been as cheap as it is now - just little bits and pieces of daily life.
* That being said, two out of three of my kids hate posed photos for being fake.
I am having a fantastic time at the rehearsals for Les Mis. Everyone there has been very friendly, and I'm working hard at trying to learn people's names - which is difficult for me because I'm usually paying so much attention to people's personalities when I meet them that the names go in one ear and out the other. The Facebook group for the musical has been good because then I can look at the photos and the names every day.
It's funny - I usually am starting to feel really gloomy at this point of the year because of the short days, but I don't feel that way this year (for the most part - there are some bad days). Rehearsals make everything seem sunnier even if the sun went down two hours before. Even though I'm much busier, and have spent all my free time some days learning music, I feel like I have more energy and enthusiasm for everything. I used to wonder about some of the people I know who seem to go from one performance to another. How did they have the energy?! I think I'm beginning to understand.
I'm amazed at the rate at which we're learning the music. Most of the people in it seem to be able to read music so we don't spend a lot of time on the notes. We spend lots of time on the rhythms and the enunciation - you need to be very precise when over 60 people are singing a fast song together.
We drive back and forth to the rehearsals in Burlington by driving through Graham, which is decorated for Christmas and is very pretty.
[I wrote this on Dec 5, but then got so busy with rehearsals and Christmas shopping that I never got back to it. We started the staging in the theater this week - it's so much fun!]
18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc). Temeraire and Lawrence in Empire of Ivory
19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously: Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett
20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY on a Recommendation From Somebody Else: This is a difficult question. I enjoyed the Bartimaeus books by Jonathan Stroud, which all three of my kids recommended, and I also enjoyed the Leviathan Trilogy by Scott Westerfeld, which they also recommended.
21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013? Interestingly, this is due to the CPAP I had to get used to this year. I ended up with lots of insomnia from it, and I read Regency romances when I have insomnia. I find them (overall, but not always) easier to put down after a few chapters. OTOH, I read Leviathan at bedtime once and stayed up half the night.
22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?
Alexia in Soulless by Gail Carriger. Here's the beginning of the Publisher's Weekly review:
Carriger debuts brilliantly with a blend of Victorian romance, screwball comedy of manners and alternate history. Prickly, stubborn 25-year-old bluestocking Alexia Tarabotti is patently unmarriageable, and not just because she's large-nosed and swarthy. She's also soulless, an oddity and a secret even in a 19th-century London that mostly accepts and integrates werewolf packs, vampire hives and ghosts...
23. Best debut book you read? The Night Circus (again)
24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?
The Leviathan Trilogy
25. Book That Was the Most Fun To Read in 2013?
I started reading Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson to myself, and then I went back, started at the beginning, and read it out loud to the guys. It's hilarious!
27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?
I would like more people to read Skater in a Strange Land by D.W. Frauenfelder. In my blog review of the book, I described it as: "... a sort-of-Steampunk novel about a hockey player, a phase-shifting continent, political intrigue bears, and a romance." As I mentioned in the previous post, I'm not very interested in sports, but this book actually made me interested in the ice hockey games.
28. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I stopped doing reading challenges last year because I focused more on reading books for the challenge than on reading the books I actually wanted to read at the time.
29. Bookish Events on your blog in 2013?
Going back through the list of books this year, I realized that I didn't blog as much about some of the wonderful books I've read as I would have liked. With the exhaustion from the CPAP being the major feature of the year, however, blogging took a definite back seat. [Actually, I just looked back at my book blog posts, and I wrote even fewer of them in 2012.]
30. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?
It won't be my #1 priority because I only read it when I have my full energy and attention so I'm not trying to finish it quickly, but I think I will probably finish Little, Big by John Crowley in the next month.
31. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)? I have no idea what is coming out in 2014.
32. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014? More blogging.
Last book note: Two book activities are special luxuries for me. One, in the winter, is a hot bath with a good book. The other, which I do far less frequently, is reading something for fun before noon. I have the most energy in the morning, but I'm usually using it on many other things. This year, I was getting allergy shots two mornings a week, and I would have to stay in the allergist's office for half an hour to make sure I wasn't going to have a reaction. I got a lot of enjoyable reading done those mornings!
1. Best Book You Read In 2013? The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (my review here). It was so good that, when I got 3/4 of the way through, I started over so I could have another experience of reading it without knowing the ending.
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t? Tongues of Serpents - Naomi Novik (#6 in the Temeraire series). I've loved all the others in this series (which is sort of Master and Commander with dragons), but this one, which takes place in Australia, didn't strike me as much.
3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013? I didn't know anything at all about The Night Circus before I read it. My daughter gave it to me for Christmas last year so I thought it would be good, but I had no idea that I'd love it as much as I do.
4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013? The Night Circus
6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013? Erin Morgenstern. I read her blog while waiting for her next book.
7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you? I didn't read any that really fit this. The closest I came was Summerland by Michael Chambon. It's fantasy, but it includes baseball, and I'm not a sports person. Still, I enjoyed it, and baseball was woven in well.
8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013? Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year? Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. This one's kind of cheating because I read it about once a year.
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013? Do you know how difficult it has been to NOT answer every question with The Night Circus? It is now my favorite book. Ever.
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013? Guess. It is beautiful. [Clue: #'s 1, 3, 4, 5, and 10]
13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013? Yes.
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read? Twisting the Rope by R.A. MacAvoy. It's the sequel to one of my favorite books, Tea With the Black Dragon, which I first read many years ago. I'm not sure why it took my so long to read the sequel.
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013? I don't have the book in front of me, but I love the quote from Good Omens about all tapes left in the car long enough metamorphose into Queen's Greatest Hits.
... of starting a post with "I'm too tired," but I am. It's been an emotional and tiring week - with the audition, having to change my song at the last minute, other inter-personal things which I'm not writing about, etc. Yesterday, I finally got the flu shot, which hasn't been a good time for me the last few years. I get light-headed about five minutes after I get it, and someone else has to drive me home. This time I got it at my doctor's office, and you should have seen the nurse when she came back in the examining room fifteen minutes later and found me lying, all curled up, on the examining table. Her eyes were like saucers! I felt better enough to leave about ten minutes later - well, better enough to walk to the car; older son drove home. This morning, I was still pretty wiped out and had a difficult time taking a walk.
Then I bounced around all afternoon. Older son and I both got into Les Misérables!!!!!!!! - which I am going to now refer to as Les Mis because there will be a lot of posts about it.
The first cast meeting is Monday, and rehearsals start the Monday after Thanksgiving. The final performance is March 2. In NC, daffodils are in bloom by then. My winter is going to be Les Mis - and, of course, homeschooling, relaxation exercises/yoga, the usual chores & errands, and Zumba - but not a lot else.
I'm still going to blog, but I'm not doing NaBloPoMo anymore for November. There are some things I want to finish up around the house before I get into rehearsals.
We also went to the John Gorka concert at the ArtsCenter in Carborro. It was wonderful, and I was going to blog about it, but we didn't get home until almost 11 pm.