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Aug. 22nd, 2008

Mel 08

I am teh r0x0rz

Because I start work, at the nicest senior care center in town, next week.

I get to wear whatever scrubs I want to, so at least I'll be able to have the CUTE ones. Pay is at a higher rate than I expected as a new grad, and I can walk to work. Everyone new starts out PRN (part-time and on-call), so my hours might not be great to start, but I've been informed that it's a temporary thing. 

School is.. going. It's okay. I just have a lot in one semester and I've been online doing homework virutally non-stop since Monday.

okies.. more later. Coffee now.

Aug. 7th, 2008

Mel 08

Stupid school shit.. DONE

When I was still performing in Sweeney Todd (back in June) I called my school to find out when I needed to get back in and talk to my advisor. I got "Oh, it'll be fine. You're a two-semester returning student. Sometime in August, when she (my advisor) posts that she's taking walk-ins, just pop in there and have her put you in your classes."

Following directions, I showed up during walk-ins on Tuesday.... only for my advisor to sit me down, bop me over the head with a rolled up course schedule, and demand to know where the HELL I had been. Apparently, I was told the wrong information and I was SUPPOSED to be here in June.

Nice.

So, of course, the other morning during my advisor visit, there wasn't a single space available in ANY of the courses I need to take. Not ONE. I had her enter her code or whatever so that I could go to the library and self-register for whatever I could think of just to keep myself in school this semester. I got signed up for courses in sociology, philosophy, and a medical terminology course that apparently won't even apply to anything. In short, I got hosed.

I did the most sensible thing I could when I got home. I got online and started hitting the registration site over and over again, like I was trying to shark out a good deal on eBay. Search, refresh, repeat. Four hours of diligent effort and some Mel-Mocha later, some damn fool dropped out of the coveted "hybrid" A&P II course that's all online save for one lab day a week, and I nabbed that son'bitch. I did the same with the college algebra course I needed, though that took another day. Right now, I'm signed up for four classes that even out to about 13 credits.. the sociology and philosophy courses can apply later to tranfer to the university nursing program, and they'll buff up my GPA. The other two, let's just say I need to really focus on those. I could have technically gotten away with just taking the A&P II and Algebra.. but.. shit, I wanted the extra money that going full time would get me. If I'm lucky, I'll get a $400 refund.

Today, I got my ass up and sent out a whole lot of shit in the mail that's been needing to go out for some time now. Then, I got on the damn bus, preparing to go through a bunch of crap at the school. It's never the courses or work that drags me down and freaks me out in school.. it's registration. Now, I was registered and although my FAFSA had been in their office since before LAST spring semester let out, and even though it said it had been posted to my account, you can't really trust that. You have to go down and look at the people and make them look shit up on THEIR computers to find out what teeny tiny error is going to get between you and your financial aid. 

I got there at 11:05.. got into the cashier's office at 11:15. I went THERE, because the line in the financial aid office was stretching out the door, and the cashier could tell me directly if my money had been applied or not (if not, then that would necessitate a visit to financial aid). The lady at the window said I was good to go, and that I just needed to print out my schedule and account status in the library to get my new ID and books. Great.

11:22, got to library and printed out everything that could possibly need to prove I was enrolled and paid up. Walking all the way across campus to the security office, I got in at 11:45 just to find out that my ID was good for two years (wtf sense does THAT make, right?) and I didn't need to go there at all. Right about noon, I managed to get into the bookstore and went through $380.00 faster than I'd care to think about (thank you Pell Grant and SC Lottery Tuition Assistance), and found myself actually feeling RELIEVED that it was ONLY $380.00. God, I can't wait til this college horseshit is over with. I know someone who just got a really good deal and scored a nice laptop for what it cost to buy these books that I'll only need to read a few chapters of and I'll only use for five months.

Now, it's 12:10 and I've got nothing the fuck else to do other than wait on the bus to get back. For getting back to the school later than I guess I was supposed to this semester, that whole process went entirely too well. Now I'm actually worried.. lol. Nothing EVER works that well during registration period.

I had to break it to my vocal student that while I'm completely able to help her get ready and keep working with her, I'm not going to personally audition for this show. She was a little bummed, but she understands that I'm trying to get the hell out of school and can't fuck around about it. There's a very strong possibility that I would get picked for something, even if it's just chorus, and I don't think I can make an "every weeknight" committment to anything else right now. I told her I was going to go to the audition with her, and keep coaching her, especially if she got picked for a part. It'd be easier though to schedule time with her than just have to be there every night.

Right now, I need to take the Nurse Entrance Test before the end of September and just keep making good grades. There's a CHANCE I could get picked for spring entrance into the LPN course if I do well on the test. I'm not counting on it too hard because the seats are very limited and my math scores aren't great, though I am working on them. Next semester, I'll be eligible to apply to the RN program. I'm planning on trying to get a language and history, as well as a microbiology course next semester... just making plans without worrying about whether I get into the RN/LPN programs. BECAUSE.. by the time spring semester is over with, I'll qualify for entrance into the Bachelor's program at the university - all my non-nursing credits (for associates AND bachelors) will be complete by then. There are some pros and cons either way I look at it though..

If I stay with my school, it'll cost less and take me 18 months to two years to get a nursing degree upon entrance to the programs. If I transfer to the university, it's going to cost a lot more than I think this particular university is actually worth, but it'll take me just about the same amount of time to graduate with a bachelor's instead an associates. HOWEVER, Associate level RNs are always given preference for placement in BSN programs, so I might not get a seat anyway.

The point is, I'm really narrowing the gap between dinking around like this taking all of this pre-nursing crap and actually working IN a program with a visible end point of graduation. I just can't wait til this shit is over with and I can go to work. I got over the "bohemian charm" of living like a college student a LONG time ago. I want a goddamn 401k and health insurance and an actual income. I got plans for the fuckin' house and some renovation I have to do, and my living expenses are REALLY not that high.. I just need to be able to have something coming in so I can handle them.

Aug. 3rd, 2008

Mel 08

Why I have the coolest Gramma ever..

Gramma Darlene 

Would you believe that this fine looking woman is 75 years old?

It's not a great picture of her, but it's the only recent one that I have. Her hair is a tidge longer now (this is almost a year old), but she's still the same pretty lady.

So I'm in this serious fixer-upper house and there's so much work that needs to be done to it just to make it a proper house, I've been sinking in this thing. Enter Gramma..

She and my Grampa, while he was alive, owned a construction business for about 25 years or so. Basically, Gramma knows how to do things, how to do them cheap, and when it's a bad idea to do them cheap.

She and I have always been very close, and very much alike. She's the only member of my family I can talk to and joke around with, and she's been helping me a LOT lately. Between the two of us, we've pretty much come up with plans for inside and outside the house, and I'll be damned.. the lady got here a year before I did and knows where the best places are to buy EVERYTHING.

Although I can't yet afford to get some of the major home appliances that I need (washer/dryer,etc) and there's some things I simply won't be able to afford for a while, she's taken me to a couple places already that are going to save me hundreds of dollars (if not more). She came over on Friday and we figured out how to make my two porches pet-secure (and considerably more attractive) for less than $100. We're planning on how to fence the rest of the property, and how best to fix the flooring inside the house.

I'll be damned.

You know, I'm old enough and have been through enough bullshit and enough school to be at a place in my life where I'm PERFECTLY COMFORTABLE with taking a little helpful advice and jumping on the chance for some direction when I'm utterly lost... and I've been utterly and completely lost when it comes to making a lot of noticeable improvement to this house. I'm happy to do the work, it's just that when there's so much to fix, it can be nearly impossible to know where to start. Thankfully, Gramma knows.

She's going to California on September 9th, for about a month to visit my Aunt Julie and her children. I'm going to miss the hell out of her, but I'm trying to plan something nice for her before she leaves and after she gets back.

Jul. 31st, 2008

Mel 08

In the interest of geekery and arts and crafts

I play Runescape

ALOT. 

This was a physical recreation of a particular piece of armor that's expensive and rather hard to get in the game.. I see a bright Ren-Faire future ahead for the guy that created this

So sue me. I thought this was great. :-)

Mel 08

Lots of shit to do.... yay for procrastination.

So a bunch of people are trying to talk me into going to some "Awards Night" thing at the Playhouse...

I'll probably go, but I guess I'm just not feelin' it as much as I should. I have nothing against anyone, really.. there's just some crap I don't want to listen to and some of it's kind of hard to stomach at times. I hear one more social-climbing asshole talk about family values and step toes on the safe side of the politcal fence, I'm simply gonna hurl.

However.. if everyone would assist me in being a big ol theatre bitch.. please vote HERE for "Sweeney Todd". That's all I need ya to do.. lol. 

I have to really start getting off my ass and work on this whole audition thing. Don't get me wrong, my student is getting ready and I'm working like hell to GET her ready.. but I can't exactly go out there and not do a damn good job myself. The song I have to prepare is seriously old-style musical theatre, and timing is crucial. I'm supposed to sing, deliver comedic acting, and somehow I'm supposed to be sneezing with some awful cold at the same time. This clip is of Faith Prince doing a fabulous job with this song.. this is what I'm hoping to pull off. It might not look as hard as it is, but the song is really kind of a bitch. You miss or over-extend one pause and you've fucked up the entire thing.. ye gods. Watch it, though.. it's hilarious when done correctly. Quick backstory on the character - she's been engaged for 14 years and still isn't married to her intended. Along the way she's developed something of a chronic cold/allergy problem, and (during this song) she discovers that she's not physically sick, but that her "cold" is psychosomatic and a physical manifestation of being emotionally frustrated with her fiance'. Trust me, it rules.

It's just as well I'm a mezzo-soprano. The crazy-bitch roles are always saved for us gals with big asses and deep voices.. I'm not even attracted to the ditzy lead soprano roles.  Maybe I used to be, but I think I've grown enough to realize that there are more interesting things to be than a pretty princess lol.

I really want to get this school registration bullshit over with so I can get my schedule going again. Right now, I have no reason to get up before noon or do more than an few hours' worth of concentrated work a day and that never spells good things for me. If the rest of the world could go all nocturnal with me, it'd be fine.. but of course, that's not gonna happen.

Got interrupted there by Cori waking up from some bad dream or something and needing to go out and pee RIGHT NOW. We have a large backyard and only the farthest half of it is fenced into a yard for him. I was going to take him all the way out there (yes.. in the dark, at almost 3am), but he couldn't hold anything back as soon as we got about ten feet from the back step. Poor guy. Apparently, that dream scared the shit out of him.

more later as it strikes me.. lol

Jul. 23rd, 2008

Mel 08

Some semi-recent pictures! Hoorah!

Brian And Mel - Sweeney Todd Closing

Me and Brian at the after-dinner on the closing night of "Sweeney Todd". The rarely photographed Bitterus Afri-Americanus was powerless to resist the closing party and the free food offered therein!

More behind the cut..

click!Collapse )

Jul. 22nd, 2008

1920s Mel

God, I am terrible at posting with any regularity..

Lots of exciting little things going on lately..

I didn't get a part for Forum, but apparently I'm not the only one thinking "wtf" in regard to the cast choices. Whatever... it's not that big of a deal. I have school coming up and as soon as my state certification transfer goes through, I'll hopefully have a job too. The director has actually admitted to "pre-casting", which is a big no-no for a lot of reasons, so it's probably not a situation I would have wanted to be in anyway.

I scored a really bitchin' couch for $25 at goodwill. This thing was in such good condition and was so well-made, I was sure the tag was wrong. I asked the manager (who wasn't paying much attention) and he said it was 25.02, so I thought.. hell yeah! The same day at WalMart, I'd bought a small and inexpensive table and a desperately needed bed-in-a-bag set. We've been living in the main room of the house, set up like a studio with our bed in the middle and not much else. The house still needs a shit-ton of work.. new flooring, more paint, plumbing and electrical work.. however, now that we have an actual bedroom, living room, and kitchen area, it's starting to feel more like a house and less like a take-out box.

Brian and I are getting very close with my vocal student's family. I knew all the kids when they were very little.. I was their first drama teacher, in fact. I came back to audition for Sweeney Todd in March, and there they all were, working in the community theatre. I always loved that family and it's been so cool to come back and get to know them again, only to find that the kids are all older now and we all have a lot in common. They make me feel a tad old from time to time.. when I knew them, they were 13, 8, and the twins were just turning 6. Now they're 25, 20, and the "little ones" are going to be 18 next April.. boo scary. I always just loved their mother too, and she's apparently decided that Brian and I are just an extended part of the herd. We have no complaints, of course.

In doing some stuff with my house, I managed to whack the living shit out of my head the Saturday before last, resulting in what I believe to have been a concussion. I'm just now starting to deal with minor elevation changes (lying down to sitting to standing, etc) better. Thankfully, I hit the front of my head where it's the hardest. It's just stupid. I wasn't doing anything cool.. I wasn't riding horses.. I was picking up some stupid spice jar that had fallen on the floor, and on the swing upward I hit the corner of the partial wall between the kitchen and the rest of the house. I felt really weird for about a week, but like I said.. I'm starting to get back to normal.

Okay, and in case Ryan sees this... I thought you'd find this funny from your ol Boone's farm drinkin buddy. Anyone else might find this amusing as well.

Wanna talk about geographical marketing GENIUS???? The bars downtown are all serving a new product from Firefly, who previously just made vodka.

Sweet tea flavored vodka. I shit you not.

In case anyone doesn't know this for some reason, the South survives on sweet tea (sweetened iced tea). Everyone else is supposed to have those 6 - 8 glasses of water per day? Substitute those with sweet tea and you'll surely develop a rich, east-Georgia accent in a matter of days. As if this area of the country didn't drink ENOUGH.. let's just taint the water supply, shall we?

Here's the bad part. You know how people always say you can't taste the booze in a Long Island Iced Tea? Well, I always could.. and honestly, that's what I expected when they poured me a cocktail from this sweet-tea vodka.

Holy shit. You can't taste anything. It tastes like very good sweet tea, and that's about it. It's even better when you mix it with a splash of water and top it with a bit of lemonade.

The problem being, because you don't taste it, you'll end up drinking it about as fast as one would sweet-tea. You feel GREAT til you stand up.. or slide down to the floor laughing, depending on how much tea you've had...

This shit is of the devil, and the devil come down to Georgia. Apparently, taking a trip over the river just long enough to share these libations on this side of the Savannah.

SO, yeah.. I am sort of waiting on a bottle that someone's picking up for me lol.

Jun. 30th, 2008

Mel 08

Yes, bitch. I DANCE

Well, apparently, I do.

I had to learn the opening dance sequence today for "A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum". I didn't do as badly as I thought I would, at least. The main problem is that this audition wasn't ANYWHERE near as organized as the one for Sweeney Todd was. For example..

There's an option to pre-register for upcoming auditions online. MOST of the people who showed up for this one had actually done this to simplify the whole process and get all their experience/history on the form for review. The assistant director (who is supposed to handle this kind of stuff) is an older lady who is apparently technologically inept and didn't have any of those pre-submitted forms. I mean, it's not rocket science. It was a matter of printing out an email..

Then we were supposed to do things in THIS order.. musical audition (closed, away from other people who were auditioning), dance introduction/audition in groups of five people at a time, and then reading from script. It took forever to get to the reading part of this because they somehow dissolved the dance group thing (again, at the discretion of the assistant director) and expected people to all jump in at once as they finished their musical auditions. THEN, they didn't tell us that we were supposed to all jump in, so alot of us stood around because we saw a group of five people working on the dance routine and figured we were supposed to wait, per original instructions. The assistant director hosed us again by not telling us this part, and then got in a little snit and said "well I figured people would just understand!". Not only was it difficult for the new people to catch up, it slowed EVERYONE down by having to repeatedly add someone new who was taking up space and not knowing when to move.

Once the director, musical director, and choreographer got together out on the mainstage, the whole thing ran a hell of a lot better. The assistant director kind of left into the audience, and I'm thinking/hoping this show will work out the way the last one did.. wherein the asst. director didn't really do all that much the whole time and seemed to just be there for the director to talk to.

My community theatre nemesis showed up today and was, of course, auditioning for the part I was. She's a soprano, and mainly keeps going for these alto roles because altos usually portray older women, show-stealing character roles, etc. She IS older, but she has no vocal depth for most of what she auditions for, because.. sorry, she's a SOPRANO. She's part of the slowly fading "old guard", the group that used to run the theatre when there were fewer people involved. As such, she's used to showing up and getting whatever part she wants.

The good news is that she got in RIGHT behind me, so she heard me sing the same song she was going to sing for the role. I came out, and her face was white as a sheet. If you knew her, and knew how fake and bitchy she was, you'd know why this was such a lovely thing to come out of my audition and see :)

Yes, that's right, bitch. Opera training just whupped your wimpy, white-church-singing, soprano ass. Follow THAT one, ho-bag.

She got picked first for reading, and went all southern princess, delicate-magnolia bullshit on this role, ignoring the parts where it's WRITTEN that the character is supposed to be yelling at people. Needless to say, I went immediately after and did the exact opposite... and got laughs, which is what I was supposed to get.

Now, she still may get picked for political reasons and the director may pick her because she IS older, likes the look of her better.. whatever. I know that I technically delivered the song better, and did as well as I could do today. That counts, especially considering how badly I get rattled by auditions.

Even better.. my student did extremely well, and was the only one trying out for that role who had a well-defined character. It's a young role, and most of the girls were so wrapped up in looking pretty that they missed the whole comedic point of the character. Not MY girl.. she thought of everything in her presentation and I'm so proud I can't even describe it. The director made a point of talking to her quite a bit, and although I told her not to count on getting picked, I think she's as strong a contender as anyone else.

I have a shit-ton of stuff to do tomorrow to try and get this SC CNA license thing processed. I mean, I can't force them to do anything, but I'm going to send some faxes and make some calls and try to get them to hurry it up. It's not waiting on ANYTHING other than for someone to enter it.. there's no double-checks they need to make.. all the licensing requirements for GA are exactly the same as those for here. It all comes down to someone just typing the shit in, and I fail to see why it needs to take this long. I'm hoping if I tell them I have a conditional job offer, they'll speed it along.

I wasn't going to go to the second day of auditions, but they told me if I could make it, they'd like me to come back. I'm going to see how I feel tomorrow night though..

why is it so hard to get anything decent prescribed for severe menstrual cramps?

Jun. 29th, 2008

Mel 08

trying to just calm down and go to sleep..

I spent three hours with my vocal student at the theatre. We have a friend on the board of directors who was going to be working there anyway, so he let us in so that we could use the stage to prepare for auditions. I would say auditions are tomorrow, but as of now, they are technically TODAY, in about twelve hours.

I just can't sleep right now lol.

I think we should both do alright tomorrow.. she's doing really well and has shown dramatic improvement over what she was doing even a month ago. My main focus is not to "fix" her voice.. she's GOT a good voice. It's been a matter of teaching her how to critically review a piece of music, syllable by syllable, to fine tune her performance. Well, that, and teaching her to relax enough to let that voice of hers come out strong. She did beautifully today, and since we had the stage at our disposal, we worked out her whole performance today so she won't get too nervous and forget what she's supposed to do up there. She helped me go over my piece a couple of times, and I MOSTLY feel good about it.. mostly.

I got a call back from the hospital. Provided the SC state board of nursing gets off its ass and transfers my certification onto the registry (so I'm officially certified in SC), I will probably get the patient care tech job I applied for. The lady told me I was the favored candidate for the position, but hospital policies have very recently changed and it prevents them from hiring non-certified people. Apparently, they also can't hire someone certified in another state on a "transfer pending" basis. This is actually rather unusual, as most hospitals hire PCTs who AREN'T certified, so that they can pay them less than they would have to pay a CNA. I'm thinking they've done this so that they meet the standards to be able to more receive medicare/medicaid funds. While its slowing me down at the moment, it also means that the pay would be better. The best part, is that if you work at least 20 hours a week, you get a really sweet benefits package after 31 days of employment. Score. The cool thing is that the lady sounded all impressed by my work history at the Humane Society, of all things.

Oh good.. I think I'm finally getting sleepy. *sigh*

Brian went to his first drag show on Friday night.. had a blast. We have a friend from the chorus of Sweeney Todd who works at the drag club, but Brian had never seen him done up before. He put a lipstick kiss-print on Brian and I honestly don't know which one of them enjoyed that more LOL. It was cool.. I got Brian to dance a bit, which is normally like pulling teeth. I got a great story about some crazy shit that happened Friday, but I'll add that later. Too tired now.

more later.. wish me luck this afternoon..

Jun. 25th, 2008

Mel 08

Although I realize there's no such thing as a "normal" family...

.. I really think mine takes the prize for "crazy" (and at least an honorable mention for "bizarre"), seeing as how they wholeheartedly believe that every single physical ailment imaginable can be remedied with an enema.

*shudder*

This is why no one visits them for a cup of coffee.

Moving right along..

I think my SC reciprocity for my GA CNA license should be complete soon. I'll be licensed in both states.. couldn't hurt. We have a relatively new addition to the house. Two, actually. Toby is a grey kitten we ended up with because somebody dumped him in the back of someone's truck during Sweeney Todd rehearsals, and Prince is a pomeranian we've had for about a week now. The kitty we moved here, Nutmeg, died right after Christmas. I had to have her put to sleep because she was dying of FIP (feline infectious peritonitis). We didn't look for another cat, even though it was hard to be without one.. there will never be another Nutmeg. Ever. Toby was teeny tiny and needed a home, and we'd had about four or five months to try and get over losing Nutmeg at that point. He's a brat, but we love him.

We were told that Prince is about three years old, but he may even be a little younger than that, if I had to guess. Apparently, his owner was an elderly woman who died and no one was left to take Prince except her adult nephew. To be blunt, the guy is a career drunk and a part-time pothead who didn't understand that Poms aren't built to live outside, and certainly not when it requires them to share a yard with a very old, impatient, cranky Chow who apparently thinks that Poms are chew toys. He first offered to give us the dog, then set a price for him which we told him we couldn't afford. He then brought Prince over here and told us we could keep him and give him what we could on his price, when we could. I told him we had talked about that already but we didn't want to take his dog when we couldn't give him anything, and he informed me that his dog was trying to eat Prince so it was best for him to be out of the yard.Long story short, we gave the guy a little money upfront because we mainly wanted to get him out of that environment. As we were trying to figure out how to get the dog paid off, the guy kept coming back like, multiple times every day until he made a whole new deal, essentially writing himself out of half the cash he asked for so he could get a certain amount all at once.

Prince is OURS now, and starting to look a lot better already. He wasn't in just TERRIBLE shape, but under all his pretty hair he was somewhat underfed, had some parasites, and was really pretty dehydrated. On top of this, in an effort to sell the dog to us, the guy had dumped some cheap flea powder all over the little guy and wasn't careful about his eyes or other sensitive parts. I don't think the dude was actively "abusing" Prince so much as he really didn't know what he was doing, and that Prince wasn't getting enough food or water. Prince will only eat canned food (like a lot of toy breeds I've known), and would barely touch either the food or water dish at first til he realized that our other inside dog wouldn't chase him off or hurt him. As of now, he's had a few baths and gentler flea treatments, as well as a slight haircut to allow him to go to the bathroom without dragging it around with him. He's red-blond, gorgeous, getting a little rounder.. and his eyes are much brighter. I think he's pretty happy here :)

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