Adventures of a Drama Teacher

{June 23, 2011}   where eagles fly

Here I am it’s almost 5:00 AM but I have been awake awhile, playing on Facebook chatting with a good friend who is three times zones away in Texas. Why am I up so early? Many reasons: I am not on a particular schedule and I have exhausted myself with painting the old cabin. Four days and going so far; So I fell into bed early last night (again) in the hopes of reading 12th Night, or one of my other plays and or books etc I have going, and or, to write. But I guess that was not to be (again) as I was asleep before my head hit the pillow. And it is bloody light at night and too early in the morning so my physiology doesn’t really know what time it is!

So on the first day of Sam’s vacancy I mega cleaned the kitchen area of the old cabin whist listening to Sammy Hagar, mainly “Where Eagles Fly” which reminds me of Sam, and here at Wolf Creek, as eagles are continually flying past our windows and nesting in the trees ever so close to our house. You know the Dos Equis beer radio add? “His birdbaths attract eagles”. Well, they do.

I have missed 4 days of my glorious waterfall hike/dance/meditate to put my mind and body to the quest of old cabin clean-up. I know I will be happy with it when I am done and I continue the workout with the ever so contortionist positions I have to get myself into to paint, hence the exhaustion and early bedtimes. My body feels like it has been run over by a steam engine (like I really know).

Sam is off working on the ferries. He did come home for a two hour surprise visit yesterday (they were docked in Ketchikan for a few, he just hopped into the plane and flew over he did). Nice, nice addition to me day, but I did not finish the paint job therefore have at least another day of it (and that’s just the kitchen area!) I did mention to Sam that it now looks more like I live here than him and he ever so sweetly said, “What’s wrong with that?” It has been years since I have labored on this place (the past two summers we have been working on the new cabin). It was summer 2004 that I hand-made the window valances, and each year I add to the photo/picture frame history, but I have never painted it here and it needed it (although I must admit it wasn’t my idea, it was Sam’s. I have done enough painting lately, but I can’t resist a make-over and or a chance to decorate, so here I am).

After a day of painting to Sammy Hagar’s greatest hits according to me, Mo and I switched to shuffling the myriad of music my mate mixed unto mine ipod. Some of it I didn’t even know I had! I love the different places I am taken to with each different piece. Then marvelous Mo up/downloaded Michael Jackson’s Essentials, yeah! That’s what I get to listen to today, that and the sounds of the roaring creek making electricity, and the cries of the eagles and or other birds that are indigenous, or the passing float planes (If they are close enough I step out and wave, Mo says I should moon but… or should I say butt?). Every once in a while a boat passes, fishermen and or, the Inter Island Ferry twice a day (not the one Sam is on).

The funny thing about clean up around here, mostly dust, dirt and spider evidence, is when I leave a room I want to turn out the lights. Just habit from home in AZ where Steve Nash is there ready to beam you in the head with a basketball if you don’t conserve energy. Well here the water flows down hill whether we’re using it or not, so Sam prefers the lights left on in the house, something to do with regulating the electricity. (We can also let the water run if we want to, we can Steve).

When we take breaks and sit in our whale watching spot I remind Mo of our fortune. I remember sitting with a friend on an island off of Bellingham Washington once, and he said, “I wonder what the poor people are doing today?” Mo asked what that meant. It means we are lucky Mo.

I often dream I sail through the sky

I’ve always wished I could fly

The simple life of a bird on the wing

Oh Lord, I could sing

Take me away

Come on fly me away

Lift me up so high

Where eagles fly~ Sammy Hagar

Eagle's POV


“I’m on the inside, looking in, I’m on the inside, that’s where I been.” How do we chase our demons away? “There’s me, there’s him, there’s you and there’s us, all by the same name, so what’s the fuss?” ~Sammy Hagar.

I realize more than ever how much of my life I have successfully chronicled. I know there’s photos out there I have yet to discover and I have a new box (industrial size) waiting for me at my mother’s in Boring too. But now I am yet again sequestered in Alaska. There are some photos here that I have collected of the family in the scanning pile, they have to wait until Sam has time to scan them for me, then send ‘em over via the electronic highway. But in the meantime I am pursuing my passions, one of them learning photography myself. I have on several occasions, one which has been chronicled thus far in this odyssey of mine, been the photographer and stylist; with my sister’s friends, my friends and family, and friends, and students that are friends (yeah only friends will let friends dress them up and play model). Don’t get me wrong, I love, love being the model myself but it’s rather difficult to take a really good picture of oneself, oh it can be done, but it is difficult, so I use other people. Unfortunately my boys refuse to cooperate for the most part, claiming that they are not drama queens. But I eventually win and get a little modeling from them, eventually. So if I do not have cooperation at the time, or I am alone I search for wondrous pictures to take. Hence shoe art. My father always said, he did, “put people into your photographs otherwise it might as well be a postcard” and or “one can never really tell when the picture was taken without people in it”. Since I am model poor today, and the lighting isn’t right to take fabulous photos of myself and I am too lazy to set up my camera and timer (I need myself a tripod I do) I have been taking “My Boots” pictures on my iphone to document the glorious things I see whilst dance and exercising to Sammy Hagar and the likes of deserving Rock and Rollers. See facebook for photos.

Since the beginning this entry a few days ago, we have gone to the grandparents via the boat and truck, Mo and I learning how to drive both (Oh I am okay with the truck but not really comfortable with the boat and Mo had his first driving lesson in the truck which was great fun indeed {need another box of Clairol I do}) I have had several meditational trips to the waterfall, danced to the cabin, flew to Ketchikan for breakfast with our neighbor friends, and baited the long line (this is so much fun let me tell you, frozen herring with guts hanging out you have to put on these big hooks and your hand is so freezing you think you might stab yourself with the hook and scales and guts are falling all over your boots and our boat captain is not happy go lucky like The Skipper, he’s SURLY on the boat, oh it’s amusing but you gotta pay attention!}) Again, don’t get me wrong, I am not a wimp, I can fish along with the best of the girls (well maybe not THE BEST only cause I don’t want to, it’s gross). Speaking of gross, a mouse just ran across the counter!

I ordered Sammy Hagar’s book so I can finish reading it and write a musical with his work. I read an episode of Cold Case (research purposes for another script) and almost finished Othello again (just for the fun of it). My students are getting antsy; I must read the edited version of Twelfth Night my student director sent and put my two cents in and get to conceptualizing the show more completely. Sam is off on the Columbia Ferry tomorrow and it could be up to two weeks until he gets back so I’ll have more time to read and write. We set the line again this morning (not as gross with the herring I must have psyched myself out better) and we combed the Alaskan beaches after setting the crab pots. We are now working on the old cabin and I had to crawl under it to give Sam some tools, so all kinds of adventure going on here (spider bites to prove it!).

As I listen to the Red Rocker’s “ Inside Lookin’ In” again, I am reminded of the meditational exercises I have learned and have been using since joining Sam at his hypnotherapy study in Santa Fe, New Mexico a few years ago. Sure I meditated before with certain relaxation exercises I learned in acting classes, but now I can get myself completely in the moment. And here at Wolf Creek I am at peace. Maybe that’s how to chase the demons away Mr. Hagar. That, and take copious pictures.

P.S. We caught two halibut today!

We catch fish!

As Sammy Hagar’s “I’ll Fall in Love Again” plays over and over along with more of my Red Rocker favorites, I wander back in my mind to my days of Red. Most of the people I shared these days with are on Facebook, and or are still my friends, and they might remember when I wore crimson as much as I now where my paint overalls  (retired 2011). I loved Sammy, “I’ll Fall in Love Again” the first song to capture my attention and heart the summer of 1982 with my friends Gregg, Andrea, Brad Tebo, Cathlin Kennedy, Steve Brader, and my lovely sister gets added to this bunch as the summer of 83, me still in the midst of my complete surrender to the color, Tiff joined me and my actor friends (Duane, Paul, Sue-del, Cherie, Kevin, Cynthia etc) at Enchanted Forest Theater in Salem Oregon  for a week and during that week my friends Cathin, Gregg and Andrea, and I think Brad, came down and we all went to a Brian Adams, SAMMY HAGAR, and Journey concert in Eugene. Well, I enjoy Brian Adams, and will surely use “I’m Going to Run to You” and my sister and I LOVE, LOVE Journey’s “Loving, Touching, Squeezing” and it will also undoubtedly be used somewhere in my writings too, but it was The Red Rocker we all were there for. My sister exposed to heavy metal at a young age has grown to love the artist as well. She, Cathlin and I became upfront fanatics at that very concert (my toes ended up bloody as I had on sandals as we cut through the crowd just like a wedge to break down the barricade to reach the stage, can you feel the rage?”) I have since seen Sammy in concert two more times, one with my lovely step-daughter Dawna in Phoenix just weeks after I moved to AZ with my own Sam. Hmm, makes you wonder. Anyway, I would love to write a rock n roll musical using Sammy, or Hagar as a character, call it “Buying my way into Heaven”. Unfortunately my ruby phase was during a time in the Earth’s history that there was a cult in Oregon called Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and these loving peoples wore red from head to toe too so after being associated with free love one too many times, I changed my red ways to an offshoot, PINK. Some of you might have noticed. Another memorable moment, not one I am proud of really, but memorable, when I worked on cruise ships one week I had gang way duty, (you know, “Welcome aboard Princess Cruises”) at 5:30 AM in Seward Alaska and a lot (or most) of the rest of the entertainment crew did not have duty in the wee early hours so therefore partied all night long in the halls keeping the ones of us who did, awake.!/photo.php?fbid=10150188924324512&set=a.10150161136329512.302547.586329511&type=1&theater So, and again I am not proud, when I got up to go to work, vindictively I blared Sammy’s “There’s Only One Way to Rock” as loud as I could in the entertainment hallway waking the late-night partiers as early as I had to get up. They were none too happy, but later complimented me on my song choice (I know I am such a wet blanket). Also working on cruise ships I got to visit Cabo Wabo several times,!/photo.php?fbid=10150170492599512&set=a.10150161136329512.302547.586329511&type=1&theater and my own Sam has taken me there once too.!/photo.php?fbid=10150182874119512&set=a.10150158974099512.301813.586329511&type=1&theater Sam and I are now trying to plan another special trip there, but as my mom joked with me just a few days ago, “Want to know how to make God laugh? Make a plan.” So maybe we will, maybe we won’t but it’s fun to dream. In the meantime I am enjoying The Red Rocker Sammy Hagar’s “I don’t Need Love” baking a cake that can only be associated with, “She’s on Fire” which I have always wanted to direct a video too. Sammy, I am saving my money to buy my way into Heaven because the gawds of rock-n-roll will be there. Oh you’re not there yet, I guess I better read your book.

Act III. Scene II

As I listen the one of the gawds of Rock N Roll, Bon Jovi, and look up just which scene Shakespeare’s eyesore is known for, I read a scene from Taming of the Shrew and laugh so hard that I now maybe want to do Shrew instead of Hamlet next year. There are too many plays and too little time and I have too many deserving, talented, just good people students, to cast. Casting is difficult but on top of that I am losing my seniors and I cried.

I like boxes. I like organizational tools and thingys. I love bright and shiny objects and I love my friends. I am not sure whether to say I love my sanity, or not, because I am not really sure if I am sane or not so if I should love my state or not. But I do so love to be in a good mood and having my things in a neat and tidy order helps mama be happy. Therefore I am adding to my chronicle, nesting, organizational vision quest I am on, I am completely re-doing my costume room at school (you may follow that I have started a costume catalogue so that the storage of the valuable assets aren’t/isn’t destroyed by the whimsical, yet ferocious, and predictably unpredictable tornado that is high school students, and it creates a business for them). So the costume closet at school is receiving a make-over. So is my office. There are so many cards and letters I have accumulated over the years from students and colleagues, the ones you stash away here and there to pull out and read at random times, I bought a special box to store them in. I also bought a beautiful container to amass the copious cards and letters I am sifting, and archiving at home postulating on whether to send them to each of the writers as a gift with a beautiful ribbon tied around. The amazing incite I find in the lucky few to get my complete attention tonight as I decipher who sent each one and which category I should place it in. The Belgium friend pile, gymnastics/5th 6th grade bundle, my early friends, the last semester 8th grade notes from Orient, Tina, Cathy, The Enchanted Forest few and the many ghosts of boyfriends (friends who were boys) past etc. etc. It is amazing how many of these letters are from my friends I have found on Facebook, but there are more that need to join the ranks of Facebook. Literally how many people have you touched, and the old fashion way by writing a letter? I will re-read them all eventually but until then my world gets more organized day by day. I will have to forgo my scanning for the summer, but there still will be pictures and postings of my adventures over the break.

Good Luck 2011 graduates and again thanks to FB I no longer have to write so many letters and now can keep in contact with everyone that has touched my life in a neat and tidy order and it is archived here instead of the old fashion way in a shoe box that is an eyesore.


{June 10, 2011}   The Adventure continues…

Talk about Adventures of a Drama Teacher?!  Wow, TCHDRMA made it to Alaska once again with flying colors. Who would have thought when OO7 purchased the SUV-teacher-mobile for me six years ago it would be so loyal. I LOVE, LOVE road trips, by myself, and or with company, and the first jaunt of the trip was the most hilarious, laugh until you pee your pants, journey of my life as it was my first adult sojourn with my sister and we share the brain at times, so you know how that can be, or maybe you don’t but if you don’t, you would only be lucky if you did because it is fun! (Talk about run on sentence!) We got a chance to stop by an old ghost town that we had visited as kids and reminisce of our childhood past while creating new memories with our children, we are truly blessed, we know it and are thankful for it. (Check Facebook for chronicled photos)

After a few incredibly amusing days with our parents, a meet up with my BFFs Tina and Cathlin, a dance class etc, Mo and I took off again for the second portion of this traveling adventure. Although “RoadKill” wasn’t as fun without Tiff and Chelbi, it persisted, but, with less and less traffic as we ascended north, the carcass spotting game eventually turned into “Bear @#$%” Sorry, but it’s how we spot and then hopefully witness a bear which we did get the privilege of one medium sized black bear sauntering into the forest as we attempted unsuccessfully to capture its likeness on kodachrome, so to say. With as much evidence of bear in the road, and I don’t mean roadkill, you’d think we’d have sighted thirty of the lumbering creatures of the wood. We did though, get to see wild dogs of the forest; three wolves in separate occurrences among the myriad of interesting live animals on their own animalistic odysseys. My personal roadkill count at this point of this expedition is one snake and one squirrel (the downside actually of long road trips, the past two summers I hit two birds {not at the same time}). TCHDRMA though, is covered with bugs and that can’t really be considered roadkill, as if it was, one couldn’t keep count.

So I am here, at my Mecca, Wolf Creek Alaska on Prince of Wales Island. One can only get here by float plane or boat. I have been coming here almost every summer for ten years, and at other times too (it’s more fun for me in the summer as I get cold easily). The cabin is the same, yearly family photos adorning the walls and shelves add to the history of the place. The new cabin, the writer’s cabin Sam is building for me, sits alone waiting to be finished. But as life is, time and money at the same time prevent 100% completion, but we do what we can when we can, which brings me to the biggest “Adventure” portion of this scribed soliloquy. Sam, my darling, is working on the ferries again and will have to be on the ships this summer for a week at a time leaving Mo and I to fend for ourselves in the wilderness! How exciting! I mean it sucks that he has to work for the man, as we all do at times especially in today’s economy, but I am excited to be here at peace, exercising, writing and mediating. I actually like to cook when I have time and I have many projects to work on. I can drive the boat and our Alaska neighbors can be contacted with our native smoke signaling system (just kidding as of 2009 we have had cell service and we have always had internet by satellite, thank goodness we don’t have to walk the line anymore fixing the areas that the bears chewed so we could get standard phone service). We have electricity provided by Wolf Creek that runs down the mountain behind the cabin into a turbine system in our boat house. It’s very interesting. Usually each year we have visitors that are almost continually here, but with Sam working this year, we can’t accommodate (fly people in and out on a whim). So we’ll see what the summer brings. Will Ms. Griffin get “CABIN FEVER”? Or will she be brilliant and write a bestselling novel? Only time will tell, stay tuned for the next episode of “Adventures of a Drama Teacher!” Sponsored by Dramamine.

et cetera