Saturday, June 30, 2007

Anna Mae Hiller

I was reading the paper yesterday and noticed this picture in the obituary section. I knew I had seen that exact photo before. It only took me a few more seconds to realize who she was.

Anna Mae Hiller was Dee Richardson's mother. Dee and I were best of friends in the early 90's. We were involved in several theatre productions. We were pregnant at the same time and shared a baby shower. Mallorie was born first, on what was originally Ryan's due date. Ryan came 3 days later on what was originally my due date. And she sang in my wedding. While we tried maintaining a monthly Girls Night Out, for various reasons, Dee and I grew apart.

Still, as soon as I saw the obituary, I never questioned that I would go to the memorial service. Once a girlfriend, always a girlfriend.

Mallorie and I went to the memorial service today. Dee was glad to see us and was amazed at how much Mallorie had grown. I was equally amazed at her "children". Jay (Dee's oldest son) and his wife, Amanda, were there with their 3 kids. Ben (Dee's middle son) was there looking very dapper. Ryan and Mallorie spent some time talking. They haven't seen each other since elementary school. Dee's oldest stepdaughter, Chris, was also there.

It was nice to see Dee, though I regret the circumstance. I am glad that I got the opportunity to be there for her, and to pay respects to Anna Mae, who was an absolutely beautiful person. I am hoping that once Dee feels up to it, that we can go out to lunch or dinner. Once a girlfriend, always a girlfriend.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Dusty's European Tour

For those of you who don't know, this is my little brother, Dusty. Actually, his real name is David. Apparently my dad always wanted to name his son Dusty. My mother, being the proper northener she was, explained that Dusty was a nickname and not a proper name for a person. So they compromised. My brother's legal name is David Michael Roberts. The family calls him Dusty. Though much, much taller than me, my little brother is 22 months younger.

Dusty lives in Silver Springs, Maryland, in a quaint house, drives a really cool SUV, and is the Director of IT with Advamed. His best friend, Alan, shares the house with him. Dusty has lots of friends whom he goes out with frequently. His closet is a combination of work and club clothes. (He is a very trendy dresser!)

He is giving it all up - the house, the job, the clothes, the friends, the American life - to tour through Europe for a year.

Being the big sister, of course I am worried about his decision. What if something should happen to him? What is he going to do for work when he gets back to the States? Where is he going to live? Dusty's decision to sightsee throughout Europe was not an impetuous one. He and Alan have been talking about going for over a year. Each has done extensive research.

Being the big sister, of course I am (a bit!) jealous of his decision. Growing up in Arcadia (a Davidson County township close to Clemmons) I had always thought that I would be the one who would leave the area, travel to exotic locales, and live in some glorious city. The furthest I've lived is Kernersville!

Being the big sister, of course I am very proud of his decision. Very few people actually put plans in motion to make their dreams a reality. I'm proud of my brother for being one of the few.

Being the big sister, of course I love my brother very much. I will be posting his update emails, mainly for my own historical benefit, but also in the event you want to keep up with his journey. Dusty will be blogging about his travels, as well, to his own site. The link is on the right sidebar under the Very Cool People Links header.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mom!

On this day a year ago, I was such a rotten daughter. I didn't even call my mother to wish her a happy birthday. This year I strive to be a much better daughter.

While I have not actually spoken to her yet today, the kids and I (well, Mallorie and I, Cade was stubborn) sung "Happy Birthday" to her answering machine. I've also saved a half and half cookie, brought all the way home from Boston, for her.
Update 7:30p: I've called her 3 times, sung happy birthday each time, and still have not heard back from her. Oh, well. I hope Bill is treating her to a fabulous birthday dinner.
Update 10:00p: I tried one last time and still couldn't reach her. I just hope she had a very nice day celebrating her birthday. I'm sure she's very tired and just turned in early...

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Blue Man Group

Kris was able to score free tickets, so he and I went to the Charles Playhouse last night to see Blue Man Group. I’d seen the computer commercials so I knew the “group” consisted of 3 men and the “blue” was the color of their heads/faces. My brother saw them in DC, and from what he described – banging on drums and pipes – sounded like a take on Stomp. Still, I was excited about seeing the (free!) show.

Our seats were in the balcony, on the far left side. As we made our way to our seats, the staff was handing out bits of crepe paper. We were instructed to “wear” the ribbon. Most were making a headband out of the crepe paper. I placed my ribbon under my hair and tied a bow at the top of my head. Kris decided not to conform.

As we waited for the start of the show, words started appearing on a huge LCD panel over the stage. Using audience member names, we thanked those who won the Pulitzer Prize or completed the Human Genome Project. We were directed to speak out for another audience member who was not particularly remarkable. The LCD panel also informed us of particular guests experiencing a headache or a birthday.

The stage went dark and the Blue Man Group began playing the drums. This picture doesn’t do the experience justice. It was an outstandingly visually brilliant number. I was awed. The next skit was a one upmanship game of paint spitting. (Yes, spitting.) This morphed into a gross skit of throwing gumballs or marshmallows across the stage for one Blue Man to catch in his mouth. Just when you thought his mouth couldn’t hold another marshmallow, one more was thrown at him. He leaned over a board and “upchucked” the unchewed but dissolved marshmallows. He was very proud of the high white tower of “art”. They then brought out a piece of PVC pipe and began to play with the different sounds. The skit ended with a full stage orchestra of neon colored pipes in all shapes and sizes.

The Blue Man Group then came off the stage and climbed over the audience (yes, climbed) in search of two volunteers. I was very glad to be seated in the balcony. A girl (not the one in the picture) joined them in a Twinkie-eating skit full of gags involving a fire extinguisher, a jig saw, and a shop vacuum. This skit also featured the ingestion of a cheese-in-a-spraycan like substance shooting from the chest of one of the other Blue Men. This skit was also gross, but quite an interesting experiment in social behaviour. I was fascinated. The male volunteer was taken offstage to be hung by his feet, smeared with blue paint, and flung against a large canvas.

In another skit, we learned that rock is now all about Choreographed Dance Moves. We had to stand and do pelvic swivels, hand pumping, etc. Kris again decided against participating. I warned him and we were both terrified when one of the Blue Men came up to the balcony. I held my breath as he looked right at me. Thankfully he wasn’t looking for another volunteer.

My absolute favorite part of the show was the finale. Omigod! I won’t spoil it for you, but it involves strobe lights, dangling and twisting colored pipes, very loud techno music, and lots and lots (and lots) of toilet paper. Kris did participate in the finale.

The Blue Man Group was absolutely amazing. Their deadpan expressions were hysterical and their childlike wonder was refreshing. Their energy was palpable and infectious. I can’t remember a time when I’ve had that much fun. You have got to see this show. You will not be disappointed, even if you have to pay for tickets!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Emails with Call Sign "Mickey"

To: Mark (call sign Mickey)
From: Cheryl Ann
Subject: Re: Just a quick pic of me in Kuwait

Wow! I had wondered if you'd been deployed. I guess you have.

How are you dealing with Kuwait? You're smiling in the picture.....
How are the girls <Mark has two beautiful daughters> taking it?

From: Mark
To: Cheryl Ann
Sent: Thu, 21 Jun 2007 3:01 am
Subject: Re: Just a quick pic of me in Kuwait

Kuwait really stinks..... literally & figuratively. It smells like a port-o-jon in the hot summer daily. Speaking of hot, we had a high of 129 degrees last week. And, when it sandstorms, it looks orange outside.

The girls are teens, so I am currently relatively unimportant in their lives right now. But they do miss me, in a manner only expressed by teens.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I Know Someone in Kuwait

The guy on the right is Mark S. Mark and I were both supervisors in The Office of Consumer Affairs at
US Airways. I was surprised to learn that Mark was also in the Reserves. I remember we were worried that he'd be pulled into active duty in the months following September 11. (Being down a supervisor in the complaint department of a major airline after 9/11 would have been unbearable. Without Mark it would have been unimaginable.) Thankfully he was not called to duty. He left US Airways in 2002, becoming an analyst for American Express. We reconnected last year after I was severed from US Airways. He even came to see me in Debbie Does Dallas: The Musical and Grace and Glorie. I remained busy with a new job and a role in On Golden Pond and I lost touch with him. I didn't even see him online. It was like he dropped off the earth.

His short "I had a second, so I thought I would share" email contained this picture. Mark is in Kuwait.

Since I've not known anyone that was over in Iraq, I really haven't been paying much attention to the war. Now that Mark is over there....well, I hope to learn more about our efforts and his participation in the overall plan.

I'll keep you posted.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Acting for Film - Small Change

I just received an email from AJ alerting me to minor changes to this Saturday's shoot. I will not be wearing the Revolutionary War costume. Instead, I need to wear something "middle-class suburban housewifeish". Why do Bree and Gabrielle from Desperate Housewives pop into my head? And if that's what AJ is also envisioning, I've got a problem. I don't have anything that would make me look like Bree or Gabrielle in my wardrobe. I'll have to talk to our LTWS costume ladies for some ideas.

Also, since I'm no longer going to look like Betsy Ross, they've tweaked the script. Now I'm a bit nervous about Saturday. I'm not sure I'll have the "middle-class suburban housewife" look and I'm worried about having to memorize a tweaked script with less than 24 hours before the shoot.

Ah, the life of a film actress indeed......

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Acting for Film

About a week ago I got an email from Stephen Hyers containing an emailed forwarded from a UNCG someone looking for actors to help with summer film projects. Since I've never done any film work I forwarded my headshot and resume.

I just got a call from AJ Lee. (He's the "someone" from UNCG.) He's in a bit of a bind and was hoping I could help. He asked if, by any chance, I was available this Saturday from 12:30p until 2p, and would I be willing to play the part of Kathy Maitland in an antiques roadshow segment. Of course I can rearrange my schedule to help him out. That's the kind of person I am! (Okay, in truth I didn't have anything planned on Saturday and I was hoping I'd be called for the film projects. But AJ didn't need to know that!)

So, I'll be emailed a script momentarily. Apparently I'll be dressed in a Revolutionary War period costume. And I'll be paid for my time. $25.00. Which should cover gas to Greensboro.

Ah, the life of a film actress.....

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Another Graduate

I can't believe that my nephew graduated from high school this morning. Is this a family conspiracy?

Congratulations, Brett. I wish you all the best at High Point University.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Pre-School Graduation

This evening we attended Cade's Pre-School Graduation held in the auditorium of Southwest Elementary School. (The same place where Mallorie had her dance recitals.) Kit Brown, Avery's mother, had put together a slide show of numerous pictures of the kids. It was a huge success as many parents and grandparents ooohed and aaahed as their child's picture displayed.

The graduating class sang a song as the opening number. Well, some sang and others watched their neighbors and a few kids waved to family. It was precious. After Karen and the teachers thanked the parents for entrusting Chesterbrook Academy/Childcare Network with our children, the kids prepared for the walk, complete with cap and gown, across the stage to receive their diploma.

I did get a bit teary-eyed watching Cade cross the stage. I was so worried that he would lose his graduation hat that I couldn't fully concentrate on the moment. As he returned to his seat, he looked so handsome and so proud of himself. I hope he never loses that confidence.

After the ceremony we took some pictures with the Graduate and then headed to Marble Slab Creamery for a graduation celebration!