Sunday, May 25, 2008

What I'm Doing On My Summer Vacation

As the end of every semester approaches, I always have great plans for what I will do with "all my free time" when I no longer have to go to school, grade papers, prepare class discussions, etc. These plans usually include cleaning house, reading the stack of "To Be Read" books, gardening, sleeping, watching the stack of "To Be Watched" movies, and doing the New York Times crossword puzzle every day - even Friday.

I am three weeks in to my vacation and here is what I have accomplished:
  • No cleaning. In fact, things have gotten worse because I had a writing deadline for Spirit of Knitting. Here is a partial accomplishment. Spirit of Knitting is at the printer. Once it has been mailed, I will take credit for having accomplished something.
  • I have read half of a murder mystery that amounts to nothing more than brain candy. I should have finished it, but I haven't. I have also read the cartoons only in several back issues of the New Yorker magazine. The stack of unread books has remained untouched.
  • I did plant some flowers yesterday though the four bags of mulch that need to be spread in the flower bed are still resting comfortably in the driveway. I will get to that tomorrow, or the next day, or the next next day . . . When I said gardening, I really meant planting some vegetables, something that would eventually result in food for me. That has not happened. And, now, I am thinking of fall crops. Perhaps all is not a total waste. I'm sure the rabbits will eat well on the flowers that I planted.
  • Sleeping . . .what the heck is that??
  • I have watched three whole movies and I did not fall asleep during any of them. This may be an all-time record! None of these flicks were great works of cinematic art, but I must admit that I did enjoy them. Like the half-read murder mystery, they too are best categorized as brain candy. I sense a theme here.
  • I have done, or at least attempted, the crossword puzzles every day. I must confess that I failed miserably at Friday's puzzle this week. Perhaps if I read and watched anything that stimulated my brain in a positive way, I could make it through Friday as well. Oh well, the summer is young. There is still time to work on my brain power.

So what the heck have I been doing? Much of my time has been given to the theater. I was the prop master for DCT's production of To Kill A Mockingbird, though this was a relatively simple show. Mostly I have been helping to clean out the prop deck at the theater . . .not such a simple job. The things that make their way to a theater's prop deck are a little scary. It has become a game to try and figure out in what show some of the bizarre things were used. There is cause for concern when nobody knows. I think we have the "heirlooms" from many attics and garages in Denton, the contents of which were not useful to the owners and are no more useful to us. I have developed quite a relationship with our great big trash can. We have made many, many trips to the dumpster together.

This is one of those jobs that really is no fun. However, when we are done, the results will be well worth the time and effort. Imagine being able to find the props you know we have, because you bought it two or three shows ago.

I do have some help in this endeavor. Several others who often work as prop masters and a few other gullible volunteers are helping. The theater has also been given several people who are doing "community service" So here I am spending my summer, voluntarily I must say, doing the same job as several people who are doing "time". When I think too hard about this, I realize there is something very wrong with this picture. All of the volunteers are quick to admit that they are doing community service, but none has said, and we have not asked, what they did to be sentenced to the theater. I'm not sure that I really want to know.

We have several more days of work ahead of us. Hopefully there are still some of those who must do community service around to help us. I wonder just how serious your infraction has to be to be sentenced to this?

Tomorrow I am going to work on my commitment to sleep. I will not set an alarm and I am going to turn the dogs off. Oh wait, I can't do that. I guess I will just threaten to take away the Frisbee and all of their rawhide of they intrude on my sleeping late. Then the crossword puzzle and maybe some laundry. And then again, maybe not.