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Monthly Archives: January 2011

Memories Fill Up My Mind

As I was going through some of my piano music yesterday, I ran across a copy of the hand-written sheet music for a song called “In Memory” by Erin Farley. This song is more commonly known as the “Theatre School Song,” and was the Alma Mater, of sorts, for the Theatre School for Youth (TSFY) program of which I was a part for about 13 years. TSFY was an after school and summer drama program for pre-teens and teens at the University of Utah.

I started in the after school program. My memory isn’t perfect, but I have a vague recollection that the after school program took place on Wednesdays Once a week during the school year, my mom would drive me from my elementary school in the city of Bountiful to the West Institute at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. After a year (or so) of the after school program, I also started in the summer program, which was a four-week intensive program. Classes were held M-F for each of the four weeks, and the summer culminated with the performance of short scenes (all ages) and musical numbers (teen program only) by the various Scene and Musical Theatre groups.

I don’t remember everything about my time in the TSFY program, but there are definitely many things about the program that I do remember. Each year there was a new T-Shirt that all of the students received and had to wear. I remember each summer one of the first things my mom would do after I got my shirts would be to take me to a fabric / clothing store at Five Points Mall (a mall which no longer exists) where we would pick out iron-on letters in order to apply my name to the back of the shirts. I’m pretty sure that all of those shirts are still somewhere at my mom’s house.

I also remember that every morning during the summer program when we arrived at the school, we had to sign up for where we were going to eat lunch. There were many options, including Subway, B&D Burgers, 7-11, Little Caesar’s Pizza, Chop Suey Louie’s, the lawn (sack lunches), The Pie (until a student tried to light a table on fire), and the distance Student Union. By far my most frequented lunch spot has to have been Chop Suey Louie’s. They had excellent lunch deals, and I would almost always get the Sweet & Sour Pork or General Tso’s Chicken when they were available as the Special of the Day.
The classes, themselves, varied greatly. I took classes in acting, singing, dancing, accents, theatrical makeup, magic, comedy, improv, writing, directing, tech, and more. I attribute my current skills with performance and public speaking, in large part, to the TSFY program. After 13 years, getting up in front of an audience was no big deal for me.

My biggest regret, though, is that my memory of the program is tied so closely with what happened there, and not as closely to the people. Reflecting back, I have forgotten the vast majority of people that I knew in the program. Some I remember mainly because they ended up in high school with me, while others are but shadows in my mind, or lost to my memory forever. As I was playing the song on my piano this morning, I realized just how true the song was. OK, the lyrics are kind of cheesy, but the song is authentic, and I still love it. The TSFY program still exists, and I wonder if they still use this song, or if it, like the people running the program, has changed.

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Categories: A Day in the Life, General | Comments Off

2010, What?

Dear Loyal Readers,
OK… Who am I kidding? I don’t have loyal readers anymore. While it may be true that two people used to read this blog with (some) regularity, it seems evident that nobody is reading this anymore. Why? Well, one big reason: I haven’t given people anything TO read. The observant among you may notice that I posted nothing to this blog during the entire calendar year of 2010. It’s almost as if 2010 never existed in my world. And, in a way, it didn’t.

You see, in the last quarter of 2009, I was put into a deep freeze. Kind of like Woody Allen in the movie Sleeper, except that I wasn’t forgotten for 200 years. I was re-awakened just a few days ago, and I’m trying to get myself settled back into this strange world.

A lot has happened since September 23, 2009:

  • My employment at UC Berkeley was terminated (10/1/09)
  • I “lived” in Australia for two months (10/10 – 12/10/2009)
  • My friends Trish and Jamie were married in San Francisco, CA (12/12/09)
  • I started a regular food and wine paring dinner group (six dinners in 2010)
  • We bade my friend Heather adieu on her way to Korea (1/28/10)
  • I took a safari to Kenya with my sister (February, 2010)
  • My friend Johnny visited from Korea (April, 2010)
  • I was invited to (and attended) a “Mindful Dinner,” with a guest list intended to include only fascinating people (4/24/10)
  • I helped my sister buy a house in North Carolina
  • My friends Lauren and Chris were married in Atlanta, GA (5/14/10)
  • My sister got her M.D. from the University of Utah (5/22/10)
  • Flight of the Conchords in Concert in Berkeley, CA (5/28/10)
  • My fish, Sophocles, died, saddening many (6/5/10)
  • Mike and Suz visited San Francisco on a vacation from their year-long vacation in South America (July, 2010)
  • I hosted a “sweet” Dessert Party (8/14/10)
  • I participated in habitat restoration in the Presidio (9/4/10)
  • I was introduced to the Old Fashioned Cocktail – life will never be the same
  • My friends Ryan and Caitlin were married in Notre Dame, IN (10/2/10)
  • My cousin Jessica visited me in San Francisco (October, 2010)
  • I attended one of the best Baptisms ever (11/20/10)
  • I visited Texas for the first time (December, 2010)
  • Babies were born to: Amy & Frank (Toby, 9/29/10); Elia & Emilio (Emily, 12/16/10); Leilani & Shane (Gabriel, 12/24/10); and Melissa & Scott (Michael, 12/24/10)
  • My friend Joe Scaroni passed away unexpectedly (12/26/10)
  • I flew 35,332 miles with the Star Alliance (2010 calendar year)
  • I flew 11,662 miles with Sky Team (2010 calendar year)
  • I spent my first New Year’s Eve in San Francisco (12/31/10)
  • So much more…

As you can see, life was busy. As such, I hope that you won’t hold it against me for too long that I’ve kept you all waiting with bated breath. I can’t promise much more for 2011, but we’ll see. Until next time!

Categories: A Day in the Life, General | Comments Off