101 in 1,001 Mark II

To be completed by Dec 13, 2013 (Friday the 13th!)

1. Crochet a lace collar
2. Embroider one of my shirts
3. Make a beaded necklace
4. Make a purple wool cape
5. Watch the original Star Wars trilogy in one day
6. Dine at 10 restaurants I’ve not been to before
7. Do 100 balance-ball pushups in a row without stopping
8. Ask 6 women out on dates
9. Write an enrollment report in PL/SQL
10. Take tap dance lessons
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Fringe 2013 Shows

Once again I saw a Fringe show in every possible slot - 56 shows. Here's the list of them along with my letter grade rating:

Fashion Risk or the Accidental Nudist
The Final Act
There's No Place Like Home
These Old Shoes

The Press Conference at the End of the World
To Mars With Tesla or the Interplanetary Machinations of Evil Thomas Edison

CIRCE: A Musical Odyssey
Dialogue From The Attic
Died in a Trailer Park/Woke Up a Mermaid
Fixed In One Long Gaze
Hickory Minimum Security Correctional Facility Presents: Hoosiers: The Stage Adaptation
Mainly Me Productions' One Hit Thunder
Private School
Shelly Bachberg Present: How Helen Keller & Anne Frank Freed the Slaves: The Musical
Standing on the Hollow
Theatre 101
They Called Her Captain
Turn Signals

Charles Mee's "Gone"
Dear Madde
Fringe Orphans 2: Orphan Harder
Gray Matter
Gwen and Mary at Glenn Ross
How To Date A Werewolf
I Make No Promises, but Someone's Probably Going to Die
Men Will Be Boys
Non Edwards's Bob Fosse Makeover
Now It's Art
The Concept of Anxiety
The Crossroads Project
The Education of Murray Sanderson

Don't Fake Your Own Death: Shakespeare's Rules of Love
Memoirs of a Welfare Queen
No Stopping, No Warping, No Dying
Schroedinger's Apocalypse
Teenage Misery: A Horror Musical

Brittle Things
Hello Stranger

A Woman's Works
It's Raining Inside Again: The Arts Administrators Show

Apocalypse Clown!
Comedy vs. Calories: FIGHT!
The Unknown Matters

Launcelot and Guenever
Silver Platter

Story Ate My Life

No Catharsis


2012 by the numbers

In 2012, I

  • saw a grand total of 275 performances (up from 264 in 2011): 56 Fringe, 178 theater, 18 dance & 23 other
  • attended shows in 87 different venues
  • read 55 books
  • started 2 books but stopped reading them because I couldn't stand the writing (A Game of Thrones & Divergent)
  • found 692 geocaches
  • volunteered 25 Sunday nights at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota in the squirrel nursery
  • donated to 24 arts organizations & 3 non-arts organizations
  • saw 24 St. Catherine University sporting events
  • went on 0 dates
  • made 18 trips to the batcave to release bats
  • took 2 trips out of MN (one for theater, one for a wedding)
  • photographed 29 theater & dance productions and 1 wedding
  • directed 5 short plays and 1 staged reading
  • served on the boards of 2 theaters
  • participated on a grant review panel for the Minnesota Regional Arts Council

Somewhere in there I managed to sleep and attend several friends' parties too.

Performances Attended in 2012

I saw a total of 275 performances in 2012 broken down as follows:

Fringe Shows3913456
Rest of Year1781823219

("other" includes opera, music cabarets, concerts, etc.)

I saw shows in 87 different venues.

The shows:

  • January

    • Untitled Feminist Show - Young Jean Lee
    • The Rope
    • Three Sisters - Buoyant Theater Collective
    • Looking for a Missing Employee - Rabih Mroué
    • Raucous Caucus II - Box Wine Theater
    • 24:00:00 Xtreme Theatre Smackdown - Theatre Unbound
    • Independence - Theatre in the Round
    • Hans the Obscure - Mindless Mirth Productions
    • No More Astronauts
    • 1968 - MN History Theatre
    • Hot Pepper, Air Conditioner, and The Farewell Speech - chelfitsch
    • Einstein on the Beach
    • Flesh and the Desert - Workhaus Collective
    • The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie - SPCPA
    • The Past is a Grotesque Animal - Mariano Pensotti
    • Dangerous Liaisons - Torch Theater
    • Dirty Girls Come Clean - Freshwater Theater
    • Laura - Lakeshore Players

  • February

    • Firsty Thursday - Four Humors
    • Obsessed - Joseph Scrimshaw
    • The Princess Bride Drinking Game
    • Werther - MN Opera
    • Slasher - Urban Samurai
    • Ballad of the Pale Fisherman - Transatlantic Love Affair
    • You Don't Have to Choose Between Llamas and Dancing and Being With the One You Love - Samantha Johns & Savannah Reich & Co.
    • The Nose - The Piltdown Men
    • Happy Hot Dogs - Tyler Olsen & Co.
    • Pasta Promenade - Young Dance
    • The Naked I: Wide Open - 20% Theatre Co
    • Reeling Over Love - Eclectic Edge Ensemble
    • Jenga! - Mainly Me Productions
    • The Lark - Theatre in the Round
    • The Mousetrap - Shadowplay Theatre
    • An Ideal Husband - Walking Shadow
    • The Sorcerer's Apprentice - Open Eye Figure Theater
    • A Bun for a Door Handle - Theatre Forever
    • Crashing the Party - Mixed Blood
    • Coco's Diary - MN History Theatre

  • March

    • Wheel Sexy Cabaret
    • Picnic on the Battlefield - Theatre Novi Most
    • The Oresteia Project: Queens & Daughters - Hamline University Theater
    • Talley's Folly - Workhouse Theater
    • My Mother's Lesbian Jewish-Wiccan Wedding - MN Jewish Theater
    • Almost, Maine - Chameleon Theatre Circle
    • Pirates of Penzance - St. Kate's
    • Buzzer - Pillsbury House
    • T-Bone N Weasel - Theatre Pro Rata
    • Lucia di Lammermoor - MN Opera
    • Babel - Nimbus Theatre
    • Hidden: A Gender - Gadfly Theater
    • Happy Crazy St. Paddy's Hangover - Happy MN
    • Tom and Kelly Adopt an Asian Baby - Box Wine Theatre
    • iMime: There's an App for That - Kirsten Stephens
    • Gruesome Playground Injuries - The Peanut Butter Factory
    • The Book of Job - Paris 1919
    • Valhalla, Tales from the Hall of Heroes - Six Elements Theatre
    • Expiration Date - SunsetGun Productions

  • April

    • Firsty Thursday - Four Humors
    • The Man Who Turned Into a Fish - Mad Munchkin Productions
    • A Streetcar Named Desire - Theater Coup d'Etat
    • Where We're Born - 20% Theatre
    • Spring Awakening - Theatre Latte Da
    • Durang! Durang! - Metro State
    • Splendid Things / The Brain Game - HUGE
    • Capital Crimes: The St. Paul Gangster Musical - MN History Theatre
    • Crash Test Dummies - Red Eye
    • Madame Butterfly - MN Opera
    • Spring Concert/Recital - Walker West Music Academy
    • True Love - Chameleon Theater Circle
    • Deal! The Musical - Tyrol Hills Music
    • Occupy Arden Hills - Brave New Workshop
    • The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) - Actors Theater of MN
    • Spring Concert - Zenon Dance Zone
    • Working! - Normandale Community College
    • 'Art' by Yasmina Reza - The Gonzo Group Theatre
    • The Diamond Lens: A Microscopic Fantasy of Love and Murder - Hardcover Theater
    • On Air: A Return to Radio - St. Kate's

  • May

    • Julius Caesar - Theatre Unbound
    • The Catherine Monologues - St. Kate's
    • I Hate Hamlet - Shadowplay Theatre
    • The Three Sisters - Nightpath Theater
    • The Mill - Workhaus Theater Collective
    • The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents - Mounds Theater
    • Learn to be Latina - Mixed Blood
    • Rip, Romp & Howl - Off-Leash Area
    • The Diamond Lens - Hardcover Theater + To Mars With Tesla - English Scrimshaw Theatrical Novelties
    • Dali's Liquid Ladies - Box Wine Theatre
    • Us With Mustaches: A Performance Manifesto - Savannah Reich & Co.
    • Spring Concert - Young Dance
    • The Golden Ass - Nimbus Theater
    • Happy Cabaret - Happy MN
    • ..And the Devil Will Drag You Under - Second Foundation School
    • Spring Dance Recital - Zenon Youth
    • The War Within / All's Fair - The Moving Company
    • Compleat Female Stage Beauty - Walking Shadow
    • Dali's Liquid Ladies - Box Wine Theater
    • 10Fest - Bedlam
    • Black Water - Skewed Visions

  • June

    • An Absolute Turkey - Gremlin
    • Works in Progress - Red Eye
    • 10-Minute Play Festival - Lakeshore Players
    • The Tent Has Been Pulled Down - Supergroup
    • Northern Spark
    • Care Enough - Savage Umbrella
    • Wonderful Town - Skylark Opera
    • A Chorus Line - Chameleon Theatre Circle
    • Jomama Jones: Radiate - Pillsbury House
    • Peabohemia + Dances for Deborah & Rebecca - Red Eye
    • Bombus & Berylline - Four Humors
    • Merry Wives of Windsor - Cromulent Shakespeare Company
    • Laughter on the 23rd Floor - Park Square
    • Basic North - Live Action Set
    • Snowfuck - George & Sam
    • Hot in the Dark
    • Snowfuck - George & Sam

  • July

    • 44 Plays for 44 Presidents - Theatre Pro Rata
    • The Vow Factor - Table Salt Productions
    • Scarlet Woman - Sunsetgun Productions
    • The Cherry Orchard - The Cherry Orchard Project
    • The Frogs - Gonzo Group Theatre
    • TEASE Showcase
    • A Conversation with Billy Mullaney - Billy Mullaney
    • Love's Labour's Lost - Theatre Terra Firma
    • The Only Story I Can Tell is My Own - Billy Mullaney & 11 Women
    • Noises Off! - Jungle Theater
    • I, Pagliacci - Mill City Summer Opera
    • A Grimm Tale - Eclectic Edge Ensemble + Mad Munchkin Productions
    • The Selkie Wife - Heart of the Roan
    • The Beautiful Refrigerator is Empty - No Face Performance Group
    • Merle Haggard & Kris Kristofferson
    • Angels in America - Theater Coup d'Etat
    • A Night of New Works - Savage Umbrella
    • Apocalypticality - In a Minute Theater
    • Nalah and the Pink Tiger - Ann Sawyer-Aitch
    • A Night in Olympus - Illusion
    • (___) Doesn't Know (___) Own Beauty - or - Vanishing Rooms - Gabrielle Civil

  • August

    • Connectome - Ashleigh Penrod
    • Fear and Trembling - Maximum Verbosity
    • 56 Shows in the MN Fringe Festival
    • Rhythmically Speaking Presents... - Rhythmically Speaking
    • Showdown - Circus Juventas
    • Summer Concert - Zenon Dance Zone
    • Happy Adventure - Mindwyrm

  • September

    • Le Cirque Rouge cabaret
    • MN Shorts Play Festival
    • Better (or) Worse - Freshwater Theatre
    • Io: The Sequel to Prometheus Bound - Chameleon Theatre Circle
    • Mee, You, and Drinks Elsewhere - Buoyant Theater Collective
    • Tales Along the Minnesota Trail - MN History Theatre
    • Outside Providence - Dark & Stormy Productions
    • Killer Joe - Candid Theatre Co
    • New Works - Rosy Simas Danse
    • ...a Seagull - Gonzo Group Theatre
    • Eurydice - Walking Shadow
    • Steel Kiss - Segue Productions
    • Better (or) Worse - Freshwater Theatre
    • A Hole - Open Eye Figure Theater
    • Waiting for Godot - Jungle Theater
    • Happy Cafe - Dangerous Productions
    • The One-Legged Cowboy - Heather Bunch
    • Nabucco - MN Opera

  • October

    • Lombardi - MN History Theatre
    • Firsty Thursday - Four Humors
    • Les Liaisons Dangereuses - Urban Samurai
    • The Other Mr. Gandhi - Zaraawar Mistry
    • 24 Hour Creations - U of MN Theatre & Dance
    • The Good Fight - Theatre Unbound
    • Rabbit: An Epic Rabbit Tragedy - Eternal Cult
    • 7-Shot Symphony - Live Action Set
    • Lovers & Executioners - Theatre Pro Rata
    • Happy Birthday, Wanda June - Nimbus
    • Word/Move - coordinated by Sandbox Theatre
    • Beatnik Giselle - Sandbox Theatre
    • Lives of the Most Notorious Highwaymen - 6 Elements Theatre
    • Meronymy - Red Eye
    • Turn of the Screw - Torch Theater
    • We Are Theater (and so can you) - George & Sam
    • Engaged - Boom! Theater
    • Dracula - Lyric Arts
    • La Farce de Maître Pathelin - Le Théâtre de la Chandelle Verte
    • The Bride of Brackenloch - St. Kate's

  • November

    • The Legend of White Woman Creek - Nick Ryan & Katie Hartman
    • Bump in the Night - Erin Sheppard
    • Harold - Four Humors
    • The Hobbit - Green T
    • Ghost Force: Searching for the Truth - Mike Fotis
    • God Damned Son of a Bitch - Tim Uren
    • Senseless - RawRedMeat Productions
    • Summer and Smoke - TRP
    • Kill Me, Don't Go - Workhaus Collective
    • The Rover - U of MN
    • The Learning Fairy - Open Eye Figure Theater
    • 2012: The Musical - New Native Theater
    • Pasta Promenade - Young Dance
    • Old Times - Nightpath Theatre
    • Oh, Father & June of Arc - Sandbox Theater
    • Primadonnas - The Friction Collective
    • Bedlamtime Stories - Bedlam
    • Company - Theatre Latte Da
    • Anna Bolena - MN Opera
    • Christmas of Swing - MN History Theatre
    • Christmas: Impossible - Comedy Suitcase
    • Benediction in a MASS at the end/beginning of the world in sub-basement seven by Johnson the formerly employed with homily for the bees and apologies to denis johnson, don't tell the shareholders - Gabriel McKinney
    • A Behanding in Spokane - Gremlin

  • December

    • A Day in the Death of Joe Egg - Public Dreams Theatre
    • In the Next Room - Jungle
    • Return to the Forbidden Planet - Chameleon Theatre Circle
    • Fall Showcase - Zenon Dance Zone
    • A Very Die Hard Christmas - Mainly Me Production & Dana's Boys
    • Dance Revolutions - U of M Dance Theatre
    • Troy! The Musical - Maggie Sotos
    • The Cripple of Inishmaan - Nimbus
    • Striking 12 - BCT
    • Naked Stages - Pillsbury House
    • God Rest Ye Scary Gentlemen - Hardcover Theater
    • Miracle on Christmas Lake II - Yellow Tree
    • Laughing All The Way - Pioneer Place
    • A Stocking Full of Awesome - The Danger Committee
    • Happy Crazier New Year - Happy MN / Dangerous Productions
    • Baby New Year's Time Traveling Diaper Party #2 - Comedy Suitcase

Fringe 2012

Once again I saw a show in every available Fringe time slot, plus I saw two Fringe shows prior to Fringe because I was asked by the performers to photograph them. (I'm counting those two shows in my regular theater attendance list.) Below are the shows I saw in the festival:

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I didn't review many shows on the Fringe site this year. In another post, I'll come up with a list of my favorite Fringe experiences and shows.

Dinner & geocaching via bus

I just returned from a most awesome dinner at Gordy's Steak House in Mahtomedi, a city just NE of where I live. I frequently buy Groupon/Crowdcut/Living Social deals to restaurants that I've never been to before as a way to try them out for a decent price. Thus far all my experiences have been good but this one was great. Whenever I dine alone I bring along my tablet with its Kindle app so I can read. Tonight I ordered an appetizer and an entree, and I was treated to the most leisurely, relaxed dinner I've ever had. The appetizer (spinach/artichoke dip) arrived first, and it was delicious. After a suitable break, I had the salad, and then the entree (rib-eye steak). The server could see that I was clearly in no hurry. I appreciated that my meal wasn't rushed and that I was able to savor each course and rest a bit between them. The food was great too - the steak was so tender you could practically cut it with a spoon. I'll certainly be going back there.

Today's geocaching adventure was mostly urban. (I took today off just because.) When I plan a route, I usually make a circuit where I can park and then return without having to double back. I couldn't do that today. I planned to cache along a point-to-point bike trail. I didn't want to park at one end and then walk back 5 miles to get it. I checked the bus routes and as luck would have it, I was able to bus to the starting point in only 20 minutes from my house! Score! I knew that buses ran at the end point so I did in fact wind up making a big circuit today albeit with bus rides at the beginning and end.

The route starts in a residential part of St. Paul then goes through an industrial area after which it becomes primarily pastoral but still not far from civilization. (The route does wind up in woods and such much further along.) The start of my trip was hampered a little bit by light rain and overcast skies. The dark skies made searching in woods harder than it needed to be. Good thing I brought a flashlight along! I couldn't find a few of the caches after thorough searches. One I saw but had no way of retrieving it. It's located in a very challenging spot. My count for the day was 19 finds, 6 did-not-finds, and 1 spotted but unable to retrieve. Not bad at all and I met my goal of finding at least 100 caches this month. I walked at least 6 miles (not counting the searching) and had a pretty excellent hill-climbing workout searching for one cache.

At about the halfway point of my trek, my waterbag sprung a leak. Knowing that I had a ways to go and that I wouldn't be close to a water source, I chugged a liter or so of water and left only a mouthful or two. I did manage to finish without becoming dehydrated. Time to get a new water container.

The roads in the Twin Cities are a fustercluck this weekend. The main highway between Minneapolis and St. Paul is closed in both directions. I'm pretty much trapped on this side of the river. I'm sure I'll find something to entertain myself.

My menagerie is growing!

On Sunday I'll be adopting an albino eastern chipmunk. Unlike with Pierogi, I will not be letting the chip have free reign in the critter room. Chips will chew through the woodwork and can get into places they shouldn't go. I've got Pierogi's old cage set up and ready to go, so that should be a good enough space for the chip. Of course you can expect plenty of photos next week!

Bad theater & more geocaching

My shift in the squirrel nursery Sunday night was short due to there being only 1 squirrel. It was an adorable little red. Some friends were performing in a free outdoor play nearby, so I thought I'd go support them and watch the show. The word "dreadful" doesn't even come close to describing the experience of seeing Love's Labour's Lost butchered like that. The theater company, Theater Terra Firma, has good intent - they want to support young actors (under the age of 25) and provide them with acting opportunities that they might not ordinarily have. This particular project, called "Shake in a Day" isn't doing anyone any favors. The premise is that the cast learns what their roles will be the day before and has 24 hours to rehearse the play.

Consequently, everybody (but two actors) carried notecards or had their scripts taped to books, fans, etc. Because of the short rehearsal process, the performance amounted to reading lines (as opposed to acting) and a few overly dramatic hammy gestures. One atrocious actor started by delivering his lines with a horrendous accent which then devolved into regular speech when he seemed to get lost doing his reading. Another actor blasted through her lines so fast that she had no idea what she was saying. There was no character development or nuance anywhere in this performance. Seeing a show performed like this is one of the reasons by people come to hate seeing Shakespeare or theater in general.

I don't know the reasoning behind the 24 hour time frame other than its gimmick factor. The performance is nothing more than a bad staged reading. When I've directed full-length staged readings, we rehearsed them for more than a day so the audience can enjoy seeing more than people reading words. But hey - the show was free and it was nice to spend an evening outdoors.

Speaking of directing, yesterday I found out that I'll be directing a piece that'll be performed in a showcase called "Minnesota Shorts." That happens in Mankato, MN at the beginning of September. This means I'm directing two shows both of which open on the same weekend. Thankfully they're both short.

Earlier Sunday I walked along the Minneapolis Diagonal Trail and picked up 18 geocaches in just under 3 hours. The walk was pleasant and I had to do very little bushwhacking. Some of the containers I found were rather fun and creative. The temperature hovered above 90 and the humidity was high. The skies were cloudy which helped alleviate some of the heat. Since this was a mostly urban run, I had few wildlife encounters. I encountered a pack of chipmunks scurrying on a hillside and watched several bluejays flying low among some trees.

After seeing the above show, I decided to grab a few more caches before dark and upped my count to 24, a personal best! These extra caches were scattered in St. Paul along my route home. I've decided to find at least 100 caches this month which I should be able to do easily. I need only 22 more and I've got 14 days to do it.

Tonight I'm going to happy hour with Socially Awkward, an improv team. I won this in an auction to benefit HUGE theater. Should be fun!

More geo-fun

Last week I foolishly went geocaching in a swampy area:

(This is actually within St. Paul city limits!)

To be fair, I didn't realize that the area was swampy until I got there. I mistakenly thought that the spot had trails. Turns out that area is further up river. Did I mention that the temperature was hovering around 100F with a dewpoint around 70? Yeah.

I was able to retrieve 9 of the 12 caches I had targeted. The two of the three I couldn't get were completely surrounded by water and the third one probably fell into the Mississippi. (I later asked before about the hide and he told me where it was. Sure enough, that particular tree had toppled into the river.) I made the mistake of not wearing jeans or canvas pants during my hunt. I assumed that the worst I'd have to deal with was some brush so I wore a pair of cotton leggings under some cargo shorts. I hadn't considered nettles. Several times I had to plow through fields of the stuff. My legs were on fire from the stinging! I found a fallen tree branch with some leaves on it so I used that as a broom to sweep a path in front of me. That helped somewhat.

As I walked to one of the caches, I saw a 6'-ish snake slithering toward a tree. I'm no expert in snakes so I gave it wide berth, not even getting close enough to take a picture. I later learned that it was a harmless bull snake. I thought it pretty cool to see a snake that big in the wild. Heretofore I'd seen only wild garter snakes.

Since there were no trails, I decided to exit the area via the shortest route. That was a mistake. I wound up having to find my way across 3 pools of water. Two I walked around, one I went over by crawling on a fallen tree. I did get to see some loons swimming around. By the time I got out, every bit of my clothing was soaked with sweat, even my boots. I drank 2 liters of water while I was in there and sucked down more at the fountain near my car. Despite the high temperature and humidity, I felt great. before and I went out caching later that night to pick up a couple that needed UV light to find.

This Saturday I'm participating in a showcase of short plays by local playwrights. I directed a farce about the privatization of public services called "Where's The Fire" by Adam Sharp. The script is excellent and I've been working with a stellar cast. My next directing gig is for Freshwater Theater's "Better or Worse" show in September. This show will be several short plays about different aspects of marriage. The piece I'm directing will challenge me because it's a monologue and a drama, neither of which I've directed before. The casting for that one is pending.

Fringe 2012 is just around the corner! Again this year I've been asked to be a paparazzo for MN Playlist. I've got a couple ideas for photo sets and will build on what I did last year. I've also started on my schedule. I made a list of "must-see" shows and then added shows that I think I might like. I started with 65 shows and am whittling it down to 56. The way the scheduling is working out, I may have to cut out two venues altogether. I've still got a few weeks to make tweaks.