Friday, February 27, 2009

Teleion Holon - Manchester, VT

Back in Manchester! I missed the calm. I especially missed sleeping in a big bed, instead of a small mattress on the floor, pushed up next to a floor futon, sandwiched between the wall and another piece of furniture so that it wouldn't move around. Ah, New York apartments.

This needs to be a quick post because I've got to drag myself up for the commute downstairs. I hear little ones running around in the hall, prepared to beat me to breakfast anyway.

A few days ago while I was n New York, I got two very wonderful emails from Nisi's former owners. They had found my blog somewhat randomly and in an awesome fashion and were excited to see their dog. We exchanged a few emails and I asked for a little of Nisi's history, because I've always suspected it was more interesting than the average dog. They were happy to respond, thus I am happy to share:

"Yishai and I found Nisi in Eilat, the southern most tip of Israel. It was Shabbat and we were returning to our youth hostel from synagogue. There was a cute little (she was about eight pounds then) puppy walking down the street, trailing behind a man and his dog. I am a sucker for puppies - and dogs in general - and I had to see this adorable thing up close. We caught up to the man and asked him if we could pet his dog, and he laughed and said it wasn't his dog, that she'd just been following him around for awhile. It took a good amount of cajoling, but I finally convinced Yishai that we were ready to take our relationship to the next level and get a dog together! (Nevermind that we were living in the Old City of Jerusalem, in separate apartments, with roommates who probably wouldn't want a puppy peeing on their stuff, or that we were returning to America in less than a month. It just felt right.) So we took Nisi back to the youth hostel, fed her some milk and chicken - I guess that's all we could find - and when Shabbat was over, she traveled back to Jerusalem with us on the coach bus.

Ultimately, we ended up buying her a ticket to New York (which was actually really expensive! I think it was over $200), but it was the best choice we ever made! Nisi is the coolest dog in the world. I'm sure you've determined by now that she must, somehow, be part human. There is just that look in her eyes where you know she is thinking something much more enlightened than the average dog.
Nisi was our baby for a long time. We took her absolutely everywhere with us, which included back (for seven months) and forth to Israel another time! We lived on a kibbutz for awhile, so that was when Nisi got farm life in her blood. She used to roam around the fields, run after the tractor, try to track rabbits, etc. From then on, no matter where we lived or how big the back yard, all Nisi wanted was to roam and run and wander.

When we came back from Israel the second time, she was definitely down. (I believe she was clinically depressed.) After a few months we got another dog, hoping that a friend would cheer her up. Initially she hated Scout, a beagle/hound mix, but eventually she grew to tolerate, and then casually enjoy his presence. But a dog friend was never really the answer to her despondence.

[I must add in here that she still seems this way with other dogs. She hates them at first, then gets used to them, plays with them, and then gets bored with them quickly. She is always excited to see Jackson, the dog at the Big White House, but never plays with him long.]

When we had our daughter Eden (pronounced Eh-Den - it's the Hebrew pronunciation), Nisi was a wreck. For whatever reason, she just couldn't handle her. We encouraged her to find her own space and take it when she needed it, but apparently, for Nisi, it just wouldn't do. She was very easily irritated and she tried to bite (though just in warning) Eden a few times. I told Yishai that we had to do something different, for Nisi and for us.

So we looked for different re-homing options, but were really only going to be OK with the "perfect" scenario - a farm environment so she had plenty of space to run around and feel free, but with owners that would love her and appreciate how special she is. We were incredibly, overwhelmingly lucky that Bonnie and Oliver (well, at the time it was actually JUST Oliver), were looking to get a farm dog!"

And that brings us here, to Nisi present. You know what my favorite thing about Nisi is? No matter how long you've been gone, if it's weeks, or just a few minutes, she's always happy to see someone she knows. She shows her excitement by leaping about and not really allowing you to walk without giving her some attention. She even does this to The Logger who pretends not to like her, but she knows better. Smart little dog.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Logger's Sister's Apartment- Upper East Side, New York, NY

I can't deal with how well my job is going. Normally the tech is hell and I'm there 9:30am to 11pm everyday. Today I was back at the apartment at 6:30pm. I'm not even convinced this is a real play anymore. Why aren't there more problems? Well, I shouldn't talk about this, it'll bring bad luck. I'm not superstitious in any way, shape, or form, except when it comes to theatre. It's just the nature of the beast.

Anyway I took the Logger up to the SoBro house on Thursday night. It was amazing, as expected. He actually had a good time, which I knew he would. My friends might be a little crazy, but they are wonderful people and they never fail to have a good time. We played this fun card game called Van Huesen. I'm not convinced it's actually a well known card game; I suspect the person who taught it to me made it up. Anyway it's a difficult game to explain, but it's not really a regular card game. There are no winners or losers, no score, no real structure. The cards are simply a way to get random numbers. It's a really great ice-breaker, and it's also fun to play with people you know really well. So anyway after a few rounds of watching us The Logger started to catch on and decided he wanted to take a turn. I couldn't believe it. Especially because one of the stipulations to him going up there was that I would not make him play any games. Anyway he really liked it and told me so on the way home, and then again the next day. If only it was a game that was actually fun to play with two people. But the point is, he liked my friends, they liked him, and he did not have the terrible time he thought he would have. As usual.

Tomorrow is a run-through in the morning and afternoon, then I get out early enough to watch the Oscars, which I probably won't do. Instead I think I'm going to buy a bunch of veggies and make stir fry in a pot (because we have no pans). Somehow this sounds about a thousand times more exciting to me than watching the Oscars. I have not been keeping up with the no gluten thing, though I wish I were. The problem is that I buy many of my meals when I'm at work, and not having gluten is hard when you're on a tight budget and eating out all the time. I've managed to keep the dairy restricted only to pizza though. The funny thing about dairy is that I enjoy it when I have it, but I never miss it when I'm not eating it. I hate being thought of as a picky eater, because I know I am not. Generally my rule is: if it doesn't have an animal product in it, I'll eat it. I'll even put up with a little green chile every now and again if I have to.

Being in New York has felt like a tropical vacation compared to Vermont. The temperature has rarely dropped below freezing and I can honestly say there were even times when I was uncomfortable because my feet were too hot. Serves me right for bringing Vermont winter socks to New York. That being said, I'm ready to get back to clean air and quiet. It's hard to get completely silent moments in New York, but they happen so often in Vermont, I guess I take advantage of them. I also miss my short commute to work in Vermont (going downstairs). However, I'm not at all sorry I came. I love working on top of a ladder; I find I'm most comfortable working perched on a Little Giant(as a side note, that 21' ladder I'm so fond of is $840), focusing Source Fours for Bradford.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Logger's Sister's Apartment- Upper East Side, New York, NY

This trip has been pretty great so far. I'm so glad that The Logger is here with me because I was so frustrated by not having him around the last time I came here. This time everything is 100% better. The guy who hired my crew for this show got me actual experienced electricians and got himself some real carpenters. This time around we were able to get the whole light plot hung in a day, partly because I had four experienced people in the air(plus the Logger working from the ground) and partly because I didn't need to share my crew with the scenic department. I also didn't need to run around and babysit everyone, I could give them a project and trust that it would get done. This worked for the most part and there were only a few minor things that needed to get fixed on Tuesday. We got out of there at 8pm! This is unheard of! Normally my work days in NY start at 9:30am and I don't leave until about 10:30 or 11pm all week. I also had one electrician come in on Tuesday to help me out with all the little things that needed to get done and we left at 6pm. Today was focus and I had another set of four experienced electricians. We had the whole plot focused in five hours and I was out of there before 4pm. This is crazy! I have now resolved to never have another half-assed crew. I love to teach people about lighting and I'm patient enough to help anyone who has questions, but I don't like slowing down the whole process and then having to stay in the theatre until 11pm fixing things myself because it's the only way I know they'll get done properly. It feels so nice to really love my job this time around. This has been the most successful and well-run hang that I've ever had and I finally found a way to love being the master electrician, instead of being the one on the ladder (although I still miss that).

It was also great to have The Logger there. I asked him if he'd be interested in getting a day or two of work and he never really made up his mind. So I called around and figured out what his pay rate would be and when he would be needed and what he could do and he still didn't make up his mind, so I just booked him. He did not want to get out of bed to come in, but after an unsure hour he settled in and was extremely helpful. If I'm going to have someone there who doesn't know lights, I at least like to have someone I can trust. We always need one or two people on the ground to help the people hanging lights in the air, normally the people we get are not usually the manual labor types, but The Logger obviously is a manual labor type, so I was relieved to have him. Plus it was nice that he got to see what I do, so that he has a picture in his mind when I blab about it. However, I couldn't convince him to come in for another day of work because he didn't want to get up early and he couldn't come in later because he won't get on the train my himself. I offered to give him good walking directions, but he didn't seem very interested in that either. Oh well, at least I know he's not lost in the subway somewhere.

Because I got out so early today I went all the way down to 8th St and 1st Ave to get Dumpling Man and bring it back up for dinner. I have been going on about Dumpling Man since The Logger first told me he would come to NY. I couldn't wait to have dumplings with him. He did not understand why anyone would go so far out of the way just for dumplings. Anyone who has ever had the Dumpling Man dumplings would understand. We had an amazing dinner and The Logger has been successfully assimilated into a Dumpling Man lover. He has looked up suddenly several times tonight to say "mmm, dumplings..." and then rub his belly. Yes.

Tech doesn't start until Friday and I have very little left to do, which means I can go in and work for a few hours tomorrow morning and then I have the rest of the day to get The Logger out of the apartment and out to see the nicer parts of New York. He hates this city, but I think it's because he's gotten into so much trouble here in the past. There are nice, calm, beautiful places in New York, the trick is to not compare it to Vermont, but to appreciate it for what it is. And then later on I'm taking him up to the SoBro house. That should be mildly entertaining: a house full of theatre people, plus one logger.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Logger's Sister's Apartment- Upper East Side, New York, NY

I have been rather absent lately, mostly because my internet situation has been iffy and also because I've been busy. But I have plenty to write about and a little extra down time right now.

I'm going to start from a few days ago, when The Logger and I were evicted from Teleion Holon. A new batch of cyber creeps came to stay at the house for the long weekend. and they brought a ton of kids. Oliver and family decided to stay at the big white house for the weekend and told us to stay in their apartment Friday and Saturday night. We had Shabbat dinner at the big while house, which went pretty late. When we went back to Teleion the cyber creeps were out and about and we passed one in the hall on the way to the apartment. I said hi and thought nothing of it. A few minutes later there was a knock on the door. It was the woman we had passed in the hall with another woman standing behind her. I greeted her and asked if she needed anything. She then launched into a bit of a monologue about the 17 children in the house and who were we and why didn't we have a separate entrance and she was told that no one would be here and what room did we normally live in? I answered her questions as well as I could and explained that I worked on the farm for Albert's son and that I was very sorry for scaring her and for the miscommunication of who would be in the house and assured her that we really didn't spend much time in the house, all the while acutely aware that she had not introduced herself and did not ask us our names. She seemed very bothered, but was not at all rude, so I figured the whole thing was over and she would calm down eventually.

The Logger and I got ready to settle in for the night when there was another knock on the door. This time is was Albert. He explained that we would need to go and stay at his house for the night because the cyber creeps found us too creepy. Apparently after talking to me the woman called Albert and asked for her money back. He apologized and told her that he would ask us to leave. I know that Teleion Holon is not actually my house, but I have been living there for quite some time and it's the closest thing I have to a home right now. It's a little odd when someone rents the house you live in and then asks you to leave. For the next few days I was really freaked out about going upstairs because I didn't want to cause any more problems. However, there is no bathroom downstairs that we can use when the house is being rented so I had to creep upstairs at least once to use the bathroom. Luckily no one was around. When Sunday came I wasn't too sad to leave Vermont because my coziness had been interrupted and I don't handle transitions and times of small upheaval very well.

So, now I'm in New York with The Logger. I had another job that started on Monday and his sister was kind enough to let her stay in her empty apartment. She lives a few blocks away with her boyfriend and her son. They came and picked us up from the train station and drove us back up here to her apartment. I don't really like driving in New York even though we had our bags and such, I would have been more comfortable on the train. I'm really not a nervous passenger, but New York drivers make me nervous. The only aggressive driver I'm comfortable being in the car with is my brother, so this car ride was somewhat terrifying for me. At one point Tara, The Logger's sister, started yelling to her boyfriend, Damien, that he was driving too crazy. He replied that he didn't think anyone's heart was in their throat, but I couldn't say anything because my heart was in my throat. But we ended up safe and sound in the apartment and I can only hope that I won't have a repeat experience with that car ever again. Ever. I love the subway, so I'm sticking to it.

New York update to follow.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Teleion Holon - Manchester, VT

I've been feeling a little unhealthy lately, as though my body is fighting too many things, or I've not been treating it well enough to let it fight off simple things. Anyway I was talking to The Logger's mother and she was kind of feeling the same way, and had decided to stop eating gluten after she had read something online. She said that after only a few days of this she had begun to feel much better and some of her health problems had cleared right up, so I thought I would give it a shot. I stopped eating dairy a few days ago as well, because I finally got sick of it. I eat so little to begin with that it's not really a challenge. Lately, cheese has been leaving a gross taste in my mouth anyway.

There seems to be a fair amount of information out there about boosting your immune system by eating only whole foods and I used to eat a raw diet once a week, but recently stopped. I looked forward to those Mondays because I always felt light and full of energy, however I found it difficult to eat that way all the time due to time restraints, and also budget. Eating nothing but whole, live foods can be expensive and when you don't know what you're doing, you end up buying a lot of food out of season. I'm thinking that once the season starts up again and there's an abundance of fruits and veggies, I can go back to a mandatory once a week raw diet, and also incorporating this into my daily food as well.

The gluten thing won't last forever, but I'd like to stop it completely now and then maybe allow myself to have small amounts later, after I've adjusted to a new diet. I have decided to allow myself oats, as the amount of gluten in them is debated and probably small, or zero. I'm not having any kind of obvious physical reaction to gluten, so I'm not going to drive myself crazy keeping it out of my diet, but I will do the best I can. I think even reducing it drastically will make a difference.

All of this attention to my diet has got me thinking about where I eventually want to be with my eating habits. Ideally I'd like to have a diet that consists almost entirely of whole foods, and limited amounts of eggs and dairy, which would come from my own animals. I feel very strongly about vegan diets, and I agree that they can be much healthier than the diet of a meat and dairy eater. However, if I had my own animals, I could look after their well being and my own. I don't think dairy is good for a person, but neither do I think soy is healthy. I think both of these things in moderation can be ok, just like eating a cookie or two every now and again. I think the most important part is to cause no harm with your diet. That is my ultimate goal: to cause no harm to others, and to do the most good for my health.

When I talked to my mother about all this her reaction was, "So you're not eating anything." Which is kind of the reaction most people have. However, I find that since giving up meat years ago, I've actually begun to eat more foods and pay much closer attention to my diet. When I started eating more raw foods it opened me up to even more variety. Ever heard of a sunchoke? I hadn't, but I freaking love them now. Kasha and Quinioa are both fairly new to me. So by cutting out just a few foods (and yes, the list is very short), I've opened up my diet to many many more, which are much healthier.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Teleion Holon - Manchester, VT

The entire Levis population of Manchester, VT has gone off to Aruba and Theo flew away to India, so things have become exceptionally quiet. Before Theo left he invited us to go to the Red Fox Inn. My reply was "mayyyyybe," which usually means no, but that my mind is open to be changed. When he told me that it was a reggae show, I decided to talk The Logger into going, because I figured he might like it. My idea of talking him into it went something like "OK, I've decided we're going and there's no use arguing because I'll win. Also, I'll pay your cover charge."

I also convinced Jason, the cook at the inn, his friend Brian, and Pedro to come along. Because if it's not worth the cover change and the drive out there, I'm bringing you all down with me. Well it was worth it. The band was called Gokh-Bi System, and they weren't actually reggae, so much as music from Africa that you can rock out to. They were great, and it was well worth dragging myself and The Logger out of the house after dark for it.

Last night we went over to the inn for dinner, because Jason was cooking. I've been missing vegetables a bit so I decided to indulge in some out-of-season yummies, though honestly the best thing for dinner were the mashed potatoes, which are not exactly an indulgence, considering we have tons of potatoes in the kitchen here. But it's nice to have good company and a professional chef to make them for you. Plus the asparagus and green beans were wonderful. I think when spring comes I'm eating nothing but fruits and veggies because I miss them so much. Just gonna go ultra-vegan.

I also went and took pictures of the Dorset Marble Quarry, because it looks amazing in the winter. In all honesty, the only reason for this blog entry was so that I could share these pictures, so I'll shut up and post them now.