September 25th, 2009


As You Like It

San Jose Rep is currently performing As You Like It, and since this seems to be the Year of Shakespeare for me Seanie and I decided to get tickets. (It helps that the Rep had a buy one, get one free promotion running.) It's been a year or two since I last saw a show by the Rep, but they usually have good entertainment.

So As You Like It was placed in an ambiguous setting, at an amorphous time. Sometimes it looked modern, like at the beginning of the play when Orlando and Charles wrestle in a WWF-styled arena, but when Rosalind and Celia flee to the forest of Arden the costumes and possessions of the characters slip into something more likely found at the turn of 20th century:

Very pretty, though.

The director made an interesting choice - I don't know if this is a common occurance in performances of this play - in having Jacques and Adam played by the same actor. As Jacques is giving the famous 'All the world's a stage' monologue, he strips down out of his finer clothes and becomes older and hunched as he speaks, until at the end of the monologue as he says 'sans teeth, sans taste' etc Jacques has disappeared and the actor has become the shriveled husk of Adam, the aged servant of Orlando. It's pretty cool; the two characters don't look at all similar so if you weren't paying close attention to the faces, it wouldn't be noticeable until that moment that the actor had been playing Adam before. It was just beautifully done. The rest of the cast was quite good, too, but that one scene really stuck with me.

I hate digital sets. Just gotta say it. I think it's boring when everything is just tossed up a screen behind the actors without three-dimensional props. But they did pretty well with them in this production; the screens complimented the props instead of replacing them. Tables and chairs (and a rusted out car) were still on the stage, and actual snow fell instead of a digital projection in the background, so it looked very cool. Gold star for actually using technology effectively!
now - screaming infidelities.

School's rockin'...

I'm liking my classes as the first week draws to a close. The fact that Stats and Accounting have Friday sessions is a bit of a problem, but class attendence isn't tracked by either teacher so *hopefully* they'll avoid schedule tests on Fridays and I'll be just fine.

Setting Archaeology as my first class of the day was a brilliant masterstroke of scheduling. I love the topic, and my teacher has so many awesome filed stories that I don't want to miss a single lecture. Not only do I go to school every day with no reluctance, I arrive on campus early to ensure I get a good seat.

Managerial Accounting is more of a problem. My mind wanders because the topic is dull. Really, there's not much you can do to make accounting exciting, and my teacher doesn't seem to be trying to do so anyway. Her teaching style is so nondescript that when I attempt to describe her, I can only think of physical attributes. Middle-aged. Rather dumpy. Hair's thinning and obviously dyed. Dresses in 'career' clothes, but she's also dressed for comfort so they're loose and unexciting. I feel bad that I've taken note only of rather unflattering observations, but as a teacher she hasn't done a thing to stand out.

I have an hour break after these two classes, and it's become my coffee/tea time. I find a shady spot on campus and read for an hour.

Stats sucks, topically, but it's a class EVERYONE was trying to get into. On the second day, our teacher had brought in extra desks and they were still overflowing. There were 45 students in the class, so he told everyone not enrolled to leave because he wouldn't be able to do any more adds. One or two people leave, so he does a head count and there are still over 50 people in the classroom. So he repeats himself, and when no one leaves he says again that he is not adding anyone so GET OUT. A couple of people who had been the top of the waitlist, originally told they could stay, are told to leave as well - and of course, these are the 'good' students who do leave. But there are still five or six extra students in the classroom, unenrolled, that our teacher's got to get rid of but they're refusing to leave, and the class is big enough that he can't tell which students they are.
Finally, one chola in the back row yells, "Do you people NOT UNDERSTAND ENGLISH? He told you to GET OUT!" and some terrified people went scrambling out. OK, that was kinda funny, but not really.

Art's good. Giles is hilarious!

Design and Color is awesome! I had so much fun chattering away on Wednesday. When we actually start painting next week, I'm a little nervous about that, because I'm horrible with acrylic paint but the class is so fun I hope it'll be OK.
piranha - crazy eyes

Crazy day at RHA...

So I got to work at RHA this morning and in my mailbox was an envelope from the Board of Directors. I was late (aaargh!) so I didn't have a chance to look at it; I was too busy running around making coffee and answering phones and all the rest. Finally, I settled in and got to work, and then the General Manager came out and reminded me to open the envelope. It was a Thank You note/Announcement that I had been selected as the Employee of the Year, and a one hundred dollar bill. I was so surprised by the money that I almost started crying. It was so nice of the Board to nominate me, let alone give me money. So that was an awesome way to star the day. I'll get my name on a plaque and everything - way exciting.

Fast forward a few hours. The General Manager was in and out; he had a doctor's appointment and errands to run. My Boss, who doesn't work Fridays (the whole reason I work Fridays is because she needed the day for family matters) came in to check her e-mail, and while she was here my co-worker Maria called. (You may remember her for some drama back in August.) She basically told me she wanted to quit, because her job at Rinconada was reducing the amount of money she got from unemployment when she was laid off from her other job. I was trying to figure that out - if she quits Rinconada, wouldn't that endanger the unemployment payments because she's deciding not to work? - but I was also trying not to say anything 'incriminating' out loud because the Boss was there and I wasn't sure how firm Maria's idea was. But it seemed like she was definite about it, because she wanted to speak to the General Manager, so I asked if she wanted to speak to the Boss since she was sitting just a few feet away, talking to one of RHA's Directors. (Quick background note: The General Manager is the top of the food chain, under the Board of Directors. The Boss is my direct boss, but her official title is Office Manager.) Maria did, so I handed the conversation over to the Boss, who was Not Pleased.

The Boss went into the General Manager's office to talk to Maria, and I went off to the kitchen so that
A/ I wouldn't be eavesdropping
B/ I would appear busy
and commenced washing dirty dishes.
After I heard the Boss go back into our office, I went back in. She asked me if Maria had talked to me about covering her weekend shifts. I said no, because I didn't remember having any sort of conversation like that over the previous week. She said Maria would probably not be coming in for her shifts. Right then the General Manager came in, and they talked about the situation for a few minutes. In the end the General Manager decided to fire Maria, because apparently she hadn't shown up to her shift on Wednesday, either. So when Maria called him on his cell phone number (which I had given her) that's what he said, but to be honest I don't know who officially ended it. Was she was terminated or if she quit. Bottom line, she doesn't work for RHA anymore.

I was pretty bummed. Maria was a great coworker, and she's always fun to talk to. She works hard so it's really sad that her job ended on such a negative note. (Plus, I had kinda been hoping she could cover one of my shifts next weekend so I could escape with Daddy for a quick Yosemite trip.) Several members of the Board of the Directors popped by throughout the afternoon to sign Maria's last check or to pick up paperwork. They would congratulate me on being Employee of the Year and I'd thank them for the opportunity, but at the same time my mind was constantly worrying how Maria was going to pay for her kids' education while she's out of work, hoping her gambit to increase unemployment works for her, wondering what she'd do if she doesn't find another job soon, etc.