Sometime last summer (or maybe even the summer before), I got it in my head to fly a kite. There’s something I’ve always loved about it, the idea that something is out there, that high, the wind supporting it and keeping it aloft, even while it’s buffeting it from side to side.

And on the ground, always that fear that the wind is going to fade and the kite will lose its support and drift back down to earth. I don’t worry that much about it going out of control and getting eaten by a tree – that’s just part of the experience. I expect it now.

kite

But there’s something metaphorical in that thing being up there that’s attractive and engaging. Partially because it’s being supported by something invisible and that’s a certain of magic. It’s the same feeling I get watching drops of oil suspended in water or air bubbles in a bottle of honey. Natural magic.

Something else I like about – about using something natural. It’s just THERE, waiting to be used. We can use it to cool off, we can complain that it’s blowing our papers all over, we can power windmills to grind flour or generate electricity, or we can just ignore it. I could have bought an RC plane or the new drone-ish crafts they’re selling (and I still might! I’m not lecturing or judging, just observing) but instead I went to the dollar store, bought a Donatello plastic kite and went outside on a windy day and let ‘er rip.

Last summer, I looked all around town for kite string. Surprisingly, no luck. It was late in the summer so maybe out of season, but no luck. Lisa and I were up in Mackinaw and dropped in a kite store there and bought a 500 ft. spool. This summer, it got the end of that entire 500 ft. I felt pretty good. I laid back on the grass and just watched it for a while. A long time. I think this must be the feeling people get when they’re fishing and know they’re not going to catch anything. You just enjoy seeing the string going off into infinity.

I’d get a tug on the line every now and then as the wind grabbed the kite and pulled it one way or the other. And since I wasn’t fishing, I didn’t have to do anything but enjoy it.

About the rest of the title: Yard work and “to do” List – May was a big month for me, the M.A. performance, giving the message at the Green Wood service on the 16th, teaching 5 week Improv for Rec and Ed, and the Amy Concert on the 23rd. I have nothing pressing in June so am planning to dedicate it to doing things around here. There’s plenty. We want to paint the house this summer and re-do the front yard. (Years back, we opted to replace the grass with wood chips, rocks, and some plants. It’s now … um … out of control.)

I also need to repair my motor scooter. 2 years ago, the sidecar came off. Something happened with the axle. The guys who put it together are out of business and the guys who sold it to us (Scooterworks in Chicago) were no help the couple of times I called them. So, I’m going to try and fix it myself. I have some helpers – friend of a friend does metal parts work – so the odds are pretty good. Fall back plan? Sell it. Fingers crossed that doesn’t happen, I love the ride.

The show was Tuesday night and I spent most of yesterday catching up on things I’d been putting off until “after Tuesday”. (1) It went well. The Q and A afterwards was especially good, which is great because that’s kind of what I’m really after. Introducing people to new information and then getting them to talk about it.

That said, it IS a lot of fun getting up and doing characters and bits I’ve written. I have a whole stack of comments that I wrote up at about 5a.m. Wednesday, but I wanted to put a couple of them down here.

– I’m glad the song “Mommy, Which Daddy?” went over. I like the underlying theme, I like the structure and arrangements, but there are a couple of parts that are just embarrassing. “Will my kids walk on eggshells whenever I’m around? I really won’t like it if they do.” Incredibly clunky. I left it like that, though, because it’s being sung from a kid’s point of view and I think they might say it that way. But it hurts singing it!

– Lou’s character (representing ADHD as a disability, not a gift) became a gay man during a run through on Sunday. It was a whim – I’m not much of a actor and wanted to try on different characters. What I really liked was the line about “I don’t want to be identified by one aspect of my personality.” So, I kept it. I personally found that saying the line “I love him and know that he loves me” flowed very naturally. So maybe I’ve added one dimension to my acting. Still not comfortable trying different ethnicities or accents, but at least I got a little bit out of myself.

– I really appreciated everyone who showed up and their level of engagement. I watch for nodding heads and for cross-talk among audience members and there was plenty of it, so that felt good.

– To everyone who was there: I really think I should NOT have shown that last video. The wire between that laptop and the sound system was the one piece of tech I left home and maybe unconsciously that’s why I didn’t show the video where it was scripted. The decision to show it was impulsive and I think, in the long run, a bad choice. There was good information, but I think it looked really silly and forced out of the context of the show itself. So, sorry!

More later, but I wanted to put something down before people start wondering where the heck I vanished to.(2)

endnotes to the webpost (wow, really?)

(1) this whole bit with “does the punctuation mark go inside or outside the quotation mark?” just drive me crazy. Putting the dot inside the quotes was a concession to early printing presses. But it was being changed as early as the late 1800’s when newer typesetting equipment came around. And with most of this being done electronically now, there is no excuse for not doing it right. Except that “Britain changed and America didn’t.” Not much of an answer if you ask me. But nobody did, so you don’t have to read this…

(2) or “to where the heck I vanished.” I just had to put that down  because I know how much it pains Lisa to head the grammatically incorrect title of the show. :)

At about 5 this morning, I realized I wasn’t going to fall back asleep, so I decided to put the time to good use. One of the remaining tasks on my list is to have a website up that will expand some of the bits in the performance and serve as a place for reference links.

So I came downstairs and had a snack, then brought up my faithful HTML-and-CSS development tool (TextPad) and got started. The two most important things I wanted up were:

  1. an explanation of the “Spinning Wheel of Attention”, and
  2. a link to the FB discussion group

It’s now just about 6:30 and I’ve got the skeleton up and running. If you want to take a look, click here: wailw.fedel.com

Now, back to bed!

About 2 hours ago, I decided I needed a break. I scanned the tabletop and among all the scattered papers and wires and pencil shavings was a printout of my cover idea for the poetry book I’ve been working on for just under a year. I did that almost 2 weeks ago and haven’t touched that project since. Which was silly, since it was all set to go.

So, I did it. I spent the 10 minutes it took to write a cover letter and ZIP up the files and pressed SEND.

Maybe I really AM more productive under pressure…

[Before you read this, I still maintain that being where I am – 4 days before showtime – is not “waiting till the last minute.” In the past, I would have “some vague idea” till about 6 p.m Monday. So, I’m feeling pretty good.]

ARGHH!!

Progress on “Who Am I LIving With?!?!” continues. Today’s job is assembling all of the free-floating bits of “bits”, monologs, songs, tech ideas, slides, etc and trying to sequence them front to back. It looks something like this. Exactly like this, in fact:

photo

I’ve run through most of the bits and it looks like over 4 hours of material, including audience participation and raucous applause. So it’s time to start trimming.  I hate this part. There is so much that could be said about this topic! On the other hand, I can be really wordy, so it’s good discipline.

Looking forward to seeing the finished product…

Among the stacks of Post-its and scribbled ideas for the performance” was a one-liner: “Mommy, which daddy is coming home tonight?” It’s for a song I want to include in the show. I thought it was about unpredictability – “will it be happy dad or stressed out dad?” but now I think differently about it. I think it’s about a kind of PTSD we can cause around the house.

The more I talk with people and read posts on the various FB pages, the more I become aware of the hidden damage we cause. ADD people love their kids as much as anyone else – maybe more – but I don’t think we understand the impact our little explosions can have.

I certainly never did.

The more I unpack the last 20-plus years, the more clear it gets. Lisa and Jean both talk about “walking on eggshells” around me. I never understood that. From the inside (and many ADHD people have validated it), it looks like this: we get frustrated, we explode, we get better. Quickly. It’s gone, purged, and we’re back to normal.

From the outside, so I’m told, it’s different. It’s like of like PTSD. Yes, the explosion happens and then it’s gone, but the non-ADD people around you are tense, waiting for the next one. So it isn’t the explosion itself, it’s not knowing when the next one’s coming.

I’m not sure what the fix is, but it gave me a lot more to work on in trying to build this song.

Checking in at the end of the day. Got a lot done. Feeling great.

  • gave names to the characters I’m doing
  • modified the order of the bits in the play
  • finishing off one of the songs
  • building the Spinning Wheel of Attention

It was pretty gratifying that I haven’t had to make big changes to my original stage design from about 4 or 5 weeks ago. Here’s a sneak peek:

Stage Plan 01

and

Stage Plan 02

Off to build the Wheel…