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Raring to go!

I finished my rarewomen assignment! Woo! It will be unveiled with the others sometime this weekend over on AO3.

I wrote a drabble to celebrate. That hasn't happened in a while.

Title: Conundrum
Characters: William & Drusilla in 1880
Prompt: What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Click here to go to the story.

Yeah, babes! I'm back! To stay! All the multitude of projects that have been eating my time and my brain are back to the normal simmer, rather than a rolling boil. Rather an unpleasant mix of metaphors there, isn't it? Oh well.

This is what's been going on with me:

McDiva's college search.

That's mostly it. I may have gotten over-involved. We toured schools in Oregon, Washington, Southern California, Chicago, Pittsburgh, New York, and New Jersey. She ended up applying to five theater conservatories and one ultra-alternative liberal arts college. They were all pretty interesting, and I thought she'd be happy at any of them. It was a good assortment of private, public, big, little, urban and not-so-urban. The whole process was exciting and stressful.

She was accepted to five of the six, including her first choice. Naturally, it's the most expensive and it took a couple of months to work out the finances. Now that the school and the great state of California have ponied up, it'll be doable! It is also the closest to us — 5 hours by car. I'm relieved. The winner:

California Institute of the Arts, aka CalArts!

I'm sorry, I can't hear you over the crickets. *ahem* It's an art school that was started by Walt Disney back in the 1960s. It has schools of Art, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater, in addition to academic classes it calls Critical Studies. It has about 1,000 undergrads at any given time and a list of alumni that makes me drool. Not surprisingly, it is best known for its amazing animation program, which has turned out just about every American animator you've ever heard of AND Tim Burton. It's the school that built Pixar, pretty much. McDiva will be in the Design & Production program of the School of Theater, which has an avant garde reputation. She's excited that a recent graduate is the costume designer for Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, and Shakira. That's the kind of work she'd like to do. Oh, and everybody there refers to their art discipline as their "métier". Hee.

It was hard to turn down some of the other programs. They had some pretty special offerings, and some people who were extremely kind to her. I didn't expect to feel so torn up about it. She had all these opportunities, and while I know she made the right choice, those specific opportunities aren't going to present themselves in the same way again, you know? This was a real, life-changing decision for her. Deep breaths.

Oh, and that 5-hour car ride to get her there? Would be easier if we had a car anymore. My ancient minivan gave up the ghost in January, and we've been doing fine without. It's not that hard in the city. I telecommute from home, MiAmor works about 12 blocks away. We have public transit, official and unofficial car sharing options, and we can rent a car if we need to go out of town — which is what we've been doing for the last couple of years anyway, since the van was so old. It's not like the days when McDiva had lessons and playdates all over town, or when MiAmor was self-employed and driving to a different site every day. Then we actually used two cars, though even then we shared one of them with our neighbors on the weekends. I'm feeling very European these days.

The run of Spamalot at McDiva's school was indeed silly and quite excellent. Those kids have tremendous pipes! The musicians were ridiculously good, and the sets, wigs, and costumes were amazing. She made a whole bunch of things and also designed some outfits for the Sir Lancelot Dancers that were deemed envelope-pushing enough that the boys' parents had to sign release forms before they could wear them. I was so proud. It's up on YouTube. Let me know if you want the link.

We had a lovely family vacation/college visit excursion to NYC last month. So. Much. Fun. We went to galleries and museums, saw excellent street art, attended Kinky Boots, tried and failed to get rush tickets for any previews of Hedwig and the Angry Inch (the now Tony-nominated gal who plays Yitzhak is an alum of McDiva's high school), ate yummy food, and saw lots and lots of my sister and her family, including #1 Niece and Nephew! We also hit the Strand Bookstore a couple of times and did a ton of thrift shopping. That is mostly McDiva's thing, although I did find a garment we now refer to as my "frock". It's...feathery, puffy, and sheer. It's not as bad as it sounds. We stayed with a dear friend who had just moved back from Buenos Aires and explored Brooklyn with him and his boyfriend. We took another friend's kid out to dinner one night, for which she was charmingly grateful. She's a penniless NYU freshman, so far from home, you see. She gave McDiva a tour of her dorm and was a wealth of advice: "bring mattress pads" being the most emphasized.

There's been other stuff, like the bloody raccoon massacre of April, but I've taxed your patience long enough, I think.

Oh! Started a Buffy rewatch last week with the family. We just finished "The Puppet Show". Season One is always better than I remember. Even "Never Kill A Boy on the First Date" had some great stuff in it, in spite of introducing the Annoying One. It might be the last rewatch as a family, so I'm cherishing it. *sniff*

This entry was originally posted at http://rebcake.dreamwidth.org/33399.html. Please comment here or there using OpenID.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 9th, 2014 02:47 am (UTC)
Well, I'm one person who is properly impressed at CalArts! Go McDiva! She's near Magic Mountain, isn't she?

Oh. And I missed you.
May. 9th, 2014 03:10 am (UTC)
¡Yay! I'm not the only one who's impressed! A friend of hers who didn't get in to her high school DID get in to the CalArts Graphic Design program, and they are going to be roommates. The future looks snug and bright, a winning combination. It's right across the freeway from Magic Mountain, but she keeps talking about Disneyland. Since she doesn't drive, that might turn out to be more of a pain than she thinks.

I missed you, too! I've tried to keep up, but it's been wildly scattershot. All of this other stuff was on top of my busiest work year in quite some time. I should count my blessings, though.
May. 9th, 2014 04:35 am (UTC)
You sound like you've been insanely busy. I thought it had to be the college thing mostly. Many, many congrats to McDiva. Where is this college? Right down in the south of California? I know it's a big place, but five hours is a very long drive.

So the minivan is no more? I will always have fond memories of it. Thank you once again for driving us around SF. Very fond memories of that too.

As for BtVS season 1, last time I watched it, I loved it all, apart from the pilot episode (hokey vampires were irritating, Angel's cryptic guy act even more so, and Teacher's Pet, which is a pretty terrible episode. All the others were much better than I remembered).

Enjoy your last family re-watch, and great to have you back.
May. 9th, 2014 11:51 am (UTC)
I also remember the van with fondness. Not least for getting to show you my fair city in it!

Oh! Forgot to mention that I went to thedeadlyhook's birthday party/picnic last weekend! We saw many wonderful waterfowl and thought of you. I think she might reappear in a few weeks, as well. *fingers crossed*

But the first episode has Darla! Mmmmmm, Darla.

The school is about 30 miles north of Los Angeles. When you drove up to Yosemite, do you remember heading up into the hills while fleeing LA and coming across an enormous amusement park (and probably a traffic jam) after not very long? That's where it is. It feels very middle of nowhere, but apparently 250,000 people live around there. Weird.

We Westerners scoff at vast distances! If you can get there in less than a day without wanting to die, it's "close". Heh.
May. 9th, 2014 02:15 pm (UTC)
I also remember the van with fondness. Not least for getting to show you my fair city in it!


I think she might reappear in a few weeks, as well. *fingers crossed*


When you drove up to Yosemite, do you remember heading up into the hills while fleeing LA and coming across an enormous amusement park (and probably a traffic jam) after not very long?

Actually, no, but we turned off at Bakersfield. Would it be after that? My memory of the road before that was of a lot of dust and huge trucks and a sort of mountain pass down into a very hot dusty valley. Sound familiar at all?

May. 9th, 2014 02:54 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah, you're remembering it very accurately. The amusement park is in the mountain pass, well before Bakersfield and the San Joaquin valley. It's much closer to the LA end of the pass. Fun fact: that descent into the the SJ valley is called "The Grapevine". No idea why.

The school is also directly east of Oxnard, which I'm sure you remember. ;-) A bunch of McDiva's aunts, uncles, siblings, nieces, and even a grandmothers are there. If she needs a dose of family it's less than an hour away.
May. 9th, 2014 04:08 pm (UTC)
I remember Oxnard. We had the scenic tour. :)

I didn't notice this amusement park, you know. Maybe I was too busy staring at the huge trucks and being terrfied.

Or possibly I'd just seen my first turkey vulture and was so excited I missed the amusement park.
May. 10th, 2014 10:46 pm (UTC)
How could anyone forget Oxnard? ;-)
May. 9th, 2014 01:35 pm (UTC)
\o/ Yay McDiva and you for being back, hurrah!

And also yay carlessness because I demand that more of the world live the way I do. Even though it's far more inconvenient for them, so... *coughs*
May. 9th, 2014 01:52 pm (UTC)
It's not terribly inconvenient to be carless at this point, which I suppose detracts a bit from my moral superiority. If my commute took me out of town, I'd probably cave.

However, like you, I am a bit smitten with trains. They aren't nearly as ubiquitous here, because of the great distances, but I've found ways to make use of them nevertheless. I've already figured out a way for McDiva to get home on the train, which was a relief. She hasn't learned to drive yet. We'll see how some time in SoCal makes her feel about that. Her older brother didn't learn until he moved out of San Francisco at 25.
May. 14th, 2014 12:54 am (UTC)
Woo! Yay for CalArts! I know what a fraught choice that must've been, given McDiva's talent and all those opportunities... but at least now, it's over to her to make the most of it, so you can sit back and relax a little.

And thanks so much for coming to the birthday picnic! I hadn't realized that your car had died; I remember you saying that you took BART to get there, but for some reason, the penny didn't drop for me why you'd do that. So you guys really went out of your way to get there!

And on the reappearing front, oh yes, I'm counting the days until I'll have a bit more free time. Less than a week to go, not counting what's looking like a full weekend and next week's jury duty. And then... summer fun!
May. 16th, 2014 01:08 pm (UTC)
Hey! You and MiAmor might've been in the jury room at the same time! He pushed his date back to the first week of June, though, to make way for all the graduation stuff and related out-of-town visitors. I must say I like the new "check the website" method of serving. I get called more often, but almost never have to go in.

See you in the sunshine!
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )



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