Wednesday, March 31, 2010


We're just wrapping up a nice few days in Massachusetts, visiting my parents.
I love being here... it's just a constant trip down memory lane, as this is the house I lived in for my first 18 years of life.

But I have also discovered that suburbia makes me a rabid consumer.
Something in the air here just drives me to the mall, Target, the big-box stores, etc., in a continual cycle.

We spent Monday at the Boston Children's Museum, which is an excellent place. Four hours and we still didn't get to everything!

Here are the girls underneath the turtle tank.

And Isa in the Curious George exhibit. When she saw George, she went up to him and threw her arms around him,, then looked him in the eye and said solemnly, "George, I love you. You are my best friend."

Friday, March 26, 2010

Ayla's dance performance

Ayla was excited to have me document all of her first moments of dance stardom, so here it is. Kudos to Bridget Flanagan for being the most out-of-this-world preschool teacher / dance instructor imaginable!




In like a lion, out like a lamb

March has been an intense month in so many ways.

There has been damage - the $340 parking ticket, the crashed minivan, the party-from-hell at the circus school that harmed both my finances and my ego.

And there has been joy. Celebrating Baz and Isa's birthdays. Reading Baz's amazingly good first poems. Watching Kyle walk the high wire. Arriving at the name for the Green Fairy Cabaret. Watching Ayla's first dance recital. Finally figuring out an affordable phone plan so I can talk to Greg. And a few warm, sunny days, which made a bigger difference in my spirits than I ever imagined.

One thing I regret is that it seems like many forces are colliding this month to scream at me that I am trying to manage too many things at once. This isn't shocking news. I am always a pretty serious multi-tasker, and I knew that this spring was going to be really challenging. But somehow, telling myself "it will be challenging - but I'll manage" does not actually translate into more hours in the day. I seem to be digging myself into deeper holes - bills that get lost under piles of mail, kids who run out of clean clothes to wear, and a business that is slipping out of my hands faster than I want it to, out of my sheer unavailability.

There's no easy answer, other than to get up each morning and put in my best valiant effort. But it is giving me pause. Recognizing that with all of the optimism and organizational skills in the world, with all of my willingness to work late at night and early in the morning, there is still a point of impossibility. And there is also the recognition that, in all this madness, everything I AM doing is getting short-changed.

Deep sigh. Big changes are coming of their own accord, and for now I will just ride out the wave.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Greg's notes

Greg is in good spirits this week. They have moved down to the Big Top, and to housing in central Montreal with good Internet access. Director is back on site, so Greg's feeling like progress will be happening much more quickly. A few of his recent notes:

"A long day today (8am-10:30pm), but it is really good to be moving forward again. To be honest, I think I am happiest when I am working here. It is the days off that get to me."

"Food at the cafeteria on site is good. Maybe too good, I lost 10 pounds since November and I don't want to put it back on. I have started working out at the gym on site. The one at the hotel is a bit dreary."

"Also got the first glow ball today. Looks really good and performs like crap. I think we have figured out why there are no bouncing glow balls commercially available today. Hope to have a full set by next week. Lots of practice will be needed. They have 96 LEDs in each ball."

"I also talked to housing about Quebec City. Apparently they couldn't find an apartment they felt was big enough so they are renting us a house. A bit farther away from the tent than the other artists, but I am told it is very nice and big. It has free parking too, so a car might be good. Here at the Montreal apartment parking is about $80 per month."

This last part relates to the fact that I crashed our minivan last week, and we are trying to decide whether or not to get it fixed.

Today he was on site all day and never got to do his staging with the director, so I asked him what he did all day. He said training in the cone, then coaching his understudy, then a break, then a workout at the gym, then Physio (aka Massage), then two hours practicing doing his makeup. He'll be expected to do it himself - no makeup artists travel with the show. So for now, he sits with a makeup person and trains it, like any other skill.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Baz's birthday

Baz is 7 years old!

Today we celebrated his birthday with a trip to the UPenn Museum of Archeology and Anthropology. He's really excited about ancient Egypt and mummies at the moment. He brought his best friend, Noah, along, and preserved skeletons were dutifully observed.

After our museum adventure, we came home for pizza, cake and ice cream, and Baz and Noah assembled the new Lego creation that Noah brought as a gift. I think, in Baz's mind, this was the most perfect of perfect days.


Sunday, March 7, 2010


Greg came home this weekend with booklets of information! Here are answers to a few questions people have been asking me.

- Cirque 2010 is going to be in Montreal from April 22 - July 11. Greg recommends that if you're coming up to Montreal to see the show, just go ahead and buy tickets in advance online. He can sometimes get access to free tickets, but they're REALLY last-minute (they'll release them 5 minutes AFTER the show starts). Not a good option if you're traveling a long distance.

- There seem to be 8-10 shows per week. Dark on Mondays, one show on Tues., one on Wed., and then two on Thurs., Fri., Sat., Sun.

- Now that they're onsite with the tent, they're setting up a schedule that will be more like our regular touring life. There is an on-site kitchen, open from 12noon-9:30pm most days, where Greg and the kids can eat their lunch and dinner for free, and I have to pay.

- some cafeteria rules - sodas and espresso coffees must be paid with cash. shirts are required. you must wash your hands upon arrival.

- their hotel is 20 minutes away from the tent site by bus. The residence hall at headquarters is slightly further away.

And one final piece of information... Greg and I have decided that the best date for me and the kids to leave Philadelphia is JUNE 15. Greg has two days off from the show, June 14 & 15. He will fly down to Philly on the 14th, and then he can drive back to Montreal with us on the 15th. Having his help will make that final pack-up and departure (not to mention the road trip) so much easier, so we are willing to miss Baz's last few days of school.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Putting up the tent

The Cirque 2010 crew has spent this past week moving the show from its headquarters, out to the actual circus tent in downtown Montreal. The whole cast was bussed down to have a look at the tent-raising, and Greg took a few photos.

The first picture was the tent as Greg saw it when he arrived, and this one is an interior shot.

Last of all is the picture of the side posts being raised. Of course our natural question - where are the elephants? Isn't this their job?

This one came out blurry, but it's the first photo I've seen of Greg with the two other guys who interact with him during his piece in the show - Anti (sp?), from Germany, and Joe, from New York. Don't worry, these are not their costumes... they had to wear hard hats to attend the tent-raising!