Archive for September, 2011

September 30, 2011

Time Off

This morning my husband started an unexpected conversation. While discussing a friend with a young daughter he asked when a child can begin pre-school (the friend’s daughter is 3). Then, he turned to me and asked:

“What would you think of staying home for the first three years? Would you be ok with doing that?”

What followed was a conversation about the timing of children, schooling preferences, stay-at-home-parent preferences, and career aspirations. A little heavy for a Friday morning while getting ready for work.

But you guys? It was easy.

After all, this is the man who once told me his salary aspirations included making enough that I could quit my job, if I so chose. Sure, that was about money, but the fact that he realized it was a choice I could someday make, and was respectful of it, was enough for me.

What that says about our relationship … that we can discuss major life decisions over teeth brushing and make-up application … is reassuring, and for another day.

This morning, though, he was wanting to know (once we’d talked through it all) how I would deal with going back to work … if I chose to do so once our child(ren) was (were) in school. He was concerned there would be attachment issues … or a feeling of disjointment. Would I want to jump right back in, or take some time? Work part-time, or not at all, or full-time and find a babysitter for the afternoons? Would I be ok? For that matter, what was my sister planning on doing, now that she has a son, but is still in school?*

It was interesting to hear how our opinions on the subject matched … and didn’t. For the record, I’m not positive I would stay home for years, but I might. I also might decide I’d rather not “go back” to work and find something else to do. It’s nice to know that no matter what we decide to do, he’s behind me 100%.

How about you? How are you planning on handling … or not … the kidlets?

 

*The sister is in school to be a grade-school (specifically 2nd grade) teacher. Our mother ran a daycare out of our home for 10 years where she had mostly teachers’ kids. Those that were old enough to be in school themselves were generally at our house for an hour and a half most days. Just enough time for someone to meet them at the bus, and for their homework to be done. The sister will be FINE.

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September 29, 2011

Not Enough What Exactly?

So. Name changing. Quite the conversation happened yesterday about it. It’s a subject that always hits me hard … though, not in the ways you’d expect.

I changed my name, when I got married. For me, it was something I wanted to do. I DID talk to my dad first (my maiden name is very uncommon … as in worldwide, there are less than 200 people with the name) … had he had strong feelings about it, I would have kept it as a second middle name.* I wouldn’t have hyphenated. All this is to say I didn’t think twice about changing my name, and I’m happy I did it. Sarah MarriedLast feels more  like me than Sarah MaidenLast ever did.

When the name change talk comes up, my position is not generally one that’s widely smiled upon. The way it seems to me, I’m not considered feminist … or standing up for myself? … ENOUGH if I didn’t keep my maiden name. I consider this bullshit.

My choice may not have been yours, but damn it, it was MY. CHOICE. And it’s just as valid as the choices of my friends who kept their names, and my friends who hyphenated, and my friends who flat-out came up with a new name. So what is with the pushback? Why is it that even in a community of women who say they are built around a “no judgement zone” there are still an overwhelming majority who will tell you your choice isn’t as good as theirs?

And it’s not just name changing … especially when it comes to weddings. It’s been really hard to watch women who were – while planning – super supportive of everyone around them suddenly be of the “if you don’t do it my way you’re WRONG” mindset.

I had a religious, seated-catered-meal, long-white-gown wedding. With toasts and a cake that looked like a traditional wedding cake. Pretty much as far from “indie” as you can get. But it was our wedding, and it was lovely. Looking down your nose at me because I wasn’t indie enough is not going to win you any fans.

I can’t wait until this starts happening with children.**

I’m never going to understand this whole if-you-disagree-you’re-not-worth-anything mentality.

 

* Dad did have strong feelings about it … he asked my brother if he wanted kids someday. Brother said yes. Dad was satisfied that the name would continue, and told me not to worry about it. Practical man.

** FEEEEEEEL the sarcasm.

September 28, 2011

Carrying the Banner

So … pretty much any of us hovering between 25 and 35 (or so) know and love Newsies. For some of us, it was our first introduction to live-action musicals. And for many-a theatre guy I’ve known, it was what sparked them to want to act in the first place.

 

Well, kids … it’s now, officially*, a stage show. Backed by Disney Theatrical, book by Harvey Fierstein, and music by Alan Menken himself.

And I got to see it on Sunday.

 

If you are ANYWHERE within range of Newark, NJ, you MUST go see this show. Seriously. I bussed up (4.5 hours) and back (4.5 hours) in the same day for this one. And it was SO worth it.

The story has been changed a bit (Brooklyn shows up later, David & Les’ family isn’t introduced, Jack is an artist), a few characters are missing (Denton and Sarah), a few are added (Katherine … a combination of Denton and Sarah) and there are a couple other tweaks (for example … Medda is totally different. Then again, who could even BEGIN to live up to Ann-Margaret?). But really … it’s all for the better. The original version will always be the “true” version for me … but I’m totally on board with this one.

 

The cast is INSANELY talented. I cannot get over the stunning control Jeremy Jordan (Jack) has over his voice. He goes from SCREAMING to singing a ballad in (no kidding) 15 seconds. The notes he hits are insane. And the dancing … holy crap. At one point I turned to Paul (my date for the show) and said “this choreography is too hard, they’ll never be able to put it up with anyone else”. I sincerely hope I’m wrong. It was STUNNING. At any given moment there was so much going on that I’m going to have to see it again. And again.

 

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the incredible set design. Three 3 story fire-escapes, tracked to move back, forth, and all around. Smaller pieces that rolled in and out as necessary. And some of the best projection work I’ve seen on stage. Seriously, seriously well done. It became anything they needed it to be … and made me catch my breath several times. To see those boys running around and jumping on/off them WHILE THEY WERE MOVING (not just moving … spinning) … good lord. Amazing.

And y’all … the press WORKED. I’m sure you know what that means. ::grins::

 

So really … go. See it. I promise it’s worth the money. And when it makes the move to Broadway (because it will) … I’ll be there … in orchestra seats.

Paper Mill Playhouse – Millburn, NJ. (NYC people … there’s a light rail train that goes from Penn Station and stops 2 blocks from the playhouse. Couldn’t be easier.) The show runs through October 15th.

 

All photos and video courtesy of Paper Mill Playhouse.

 

*I say officially, because I was IN a production of this a while back. A straight from video-to-stage version. There were so many of those running around. ::winks::

September 23, 2011

Friday? Where?

Today disappeared in a far too long admin project.

Seriously. 50 copies, collated and bound, of a 35 page document. A 35 page document that was NOT allowing me to print it collated.

Yah, just the collating took 2.5 hours.

It’s being bound now.

This on top of vendor meetings and tenant work.

Somewhere in the main DC office, there is a fleet of 22-year-old admins whining about not having any work.

::headdesk::

I’m stopping and getting margarita fixin’s on the way home tonight. It’s been a long time since I got on a tequila kick. Not sure if this is a good thing, or a bad thing.

Have a great weekend everyone!

September 22, 2011

Proof

Sometimes, just sometimes, I know what I’m talking about.

The husband did not go about this whole college thing very well. He took his time, took extra fun classes instead of the ones he was supposed to take *, and waited untill the VERY LAST SECOND for some rather important things.

This December, God willing, we’re DONE with school. Finally. Barring me going back (which is the plan at some point or other) the whole we’re-a-student-family thing will be DONE. Which means it’s time to get together his graduation petition, right? Due October 1st, no problem.

Um, big problem. He was a class short. A class he’s known about for almost a YEAR. A class we’d talked about all summer and he’d assured me was taken care of. 3 weeks into the semester and only 5 DAYS from the add deadline, he hasn’t attempted to add the class. Of course, the professor said no.

So, we look for other options. Find a class that fits into his schedule and meets the requirements. Professor agrees to add him. Go to the registrar and … nope, sorry, the classroom is at its capacity (Not the class, the classROOM. Fire codes and all.) Petition the correct office to re-assess the capacity. Hear back that they cannot, as the building is not owned by the university. We’ll need to go to the building owner, who will have to go through DCRA.**

Clearly, THAT was not going to happen in the 3 days we had left. Tired and stressed I told him the best solution would be for the prof to open up another section of the class. Then he could sit in on the class, but the registrar would be able to enroll him in the new section. Done and done, right? He looked at me cross-eyed. Apparently I was speaking French, and he was not comprehending a word. He decided to talk to the prof and see what could be done.

Well, last night he got an email. Prof says he’ll enroll husband in an independent study course … graded based on the syllabus for the over-full class. He’ll be required to attend as if he was enrolled in said over-full class. Registrar approves. Husband looks at me and says “wow, that’s a really smart solution!”

I blinked at him.

“Um, that’s EXACTLY what I suggested.”

Never let it be said that I don’t know what I’m doing. College? Professors? Pssh. I learned THAT system YEARS ago.

 

* His school offers a service they call “Degree Map”. We were looking at it last night. Credits wise, he’s 120% on track for graduation. CLASSES wise, he’s only at 94%. As of today that’ll be 100%, but really … 20% extra?!

** The DC Office of Regulatory Affairs. I deal with them regularly in my line of work. They are the definition of slow.