Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Night Out

Loyal Readers, I couldn't resist posting this photo of Your BloomingtonGirl and her husband with the amazing Ron and Carol Paul.  When I get some time, I shall write about why I admire him so.  Just so you know, we didn't call each other ahead of time to color coordinate our outfits.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Indian Dancing Jack

Jack is the second tall kid to come around the circle in each video.



Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Loyal Readers, your BloomingtonGirl is relaxing for a few moments after putting a locally raised splayed (not to be confused with spatchcocked) chicken in a 500 degree oven to roast.  I'm trying out this NYT recipe but without the ramps, because I have none.  I'm fortunate to have inherited my husband's grandmother's (exceptionally well seasoned) cast iron pan.  It is a gem.  A 12 inch cast iron frying pan is quite useful for all sorts of recipes:  this one, pineapple upside down cake, pommes anna and bruised in the head unfaithful lover.  If you don't have a cast iron pan, hurry up and get one.  Don't spend lots of dough on some fancy schmancy one.  Pick one up at a second hand shop or a hardware store.

When I first started blogging eight or so years ago, we were on the verge of moving to Bloomington, IN from Fairfield, CT.  I had just learned what a blog was and decided to give it a try.  My first several entries are here and here.  Seems a million years ago.

I look back and marvel that I could leave my beloved North East so easily for the heartland.  After eight plus years here, I find myself longing to return to the geography and place I know best.  I have made a great life here in Bloomington and I don't regret moving here, but I have to say that I am still not a Hoosier and I'm not likely to ever become one deep down.  Don't get me wrong.  The midwest is great.  It's just not mine.

All that said, will we move?  Nah.  Not until Jack is out of high school, and then probably only part time.  I'd like to leave an ancestral home of some sort for him here.  We didn't do that for the girls and I feel bad about that.

Several days later...

Just realized that I didn't post this when I wrote it when I sat down this morning to write another post.  Let me just say that the chicken was one of the best I've ever made but the oven mess was impressive.  The fat just crackles and shoots all over the place at that temperature and the smoke that resulted was not insignificant.  It was worth it, though.

I titled the post "Precampsia" because I wrote the above piece right before we were to leave to take Jack to summer camp.  He's trying a new camp this year after not enjoying our beloved old camp in NY last summer.  Their management had changed and I think that it is just not what it used to be, alas, so we made a switch.  I was nervous about it as the time grew nearer, especially because Jack and I had been attached at the hip for the past few weeks since school ended.  We dropped him off on Saturday.  Stay tuned.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Garlic, Gooseberries and a Reviewer Who Missed the Point

Loyal Readers, I write to you from quite possibly the best screened porch in town.  It was a hard choice between doing this (relaxing with a beer and writing) and riding the bike. It's 90 degrees in the sun, so the gentle shade of the lounge chair won out.  And, I don't even feel guilty.  I think I might be making progress in the area of being able to relax.  Yay for me.

Above me to my right, is a heavy twine strung between two points about five feet off the porch floor.  Hanging from it are freshly harvested bunches of garlic.  They are pretty gorgeous, no?

Chris picked them today and after a time of hanging and drying, he'll store them in our basement.  We had home grown garlic all year from last year's garden.  It is an incredibly great treat.  This year's crop is not quite as lush as last year's.  It has been too hot and dry these past weeks.  Still, it is pretty darn good.

 On the other side of the porch, are three paper bags hanging from hooks.  In each bag are several dill heads, upside down.  It's my first attempt at harvesting dill seeds for making pickles. We'll see how that turns out.  We had a ton of volunteer dill this year.  Too much to use.

In more gardeney news, this morning Chris and Jack picked gooseberries.  For those of you not familiar, they are grape-sized-grape-green berries that are sort of translucent with whitish veins running through them.  To me, they look like I imagine little alien embryos would look.  Sort of eerie and beautiful all at once.

Within a couple of hours of harvest, I made and canned Gooseberry Jam.  I made a small batch because I'd never made it before.  I'm glad I did because there is so much natural pectin in Gooseberries that it is easy to overcook the stuff into a sludge like substance rather than a nice firm but loose-ish jam. And overcook it I did.  It tastes really great, but is a bit too stiff.  Tomorrow, I'll do another batch of straight gooseberries and then one more with raspberries added.  Also tomorrow, Chris is picking our black currants and I shall make jam out of them as well. It isn't hard and in fact is rather cheering me up a bit.  Creatively I need an outlet since I've been doing no writing at all.  I will begin working on my new writing project in earnest after Jack is off to camp next weekend.  More on that in later posts.

Last weekend, we were in DC to see my play Carbon Credit go up at the Source.  The experience was really wonderful.  The Source gives their artists so much respect and appreciation.  I would love, love, love to work with them again.  My piece went up on opening night and I got to go to the opening reception.  It was delightful.  We saw twelve short plays over two nights there, mine being one of six on the first night.  I enjoyed my production, but (isn't it always the case) would have changed a few things.  Overall, though, they did a really nice job with it.

The critic from the DC Theater Scene, however,  said that piece was "heavy handed" on the environmental content.  He completely missed the point of the play.  The central question was about parenting, NOT about the environment.  Sheesh.  The nice thing was that the less-than-enthusiastic review did not crush me. It irks me, yes.  But it didn't make me doubt my writing.  Not very much anyway ;).  If he had written that it was a brilliant piece I wouldn't have thought myself a genius.  It's all the same. Either way, no? I didn't agree with him on his reviews of several other pieces.  To each his own.  I've had bad reviews in the past and survived.  I only hope I have the opportunity to have many more in the future.

I'm off to find a good book to read in bed.  I need something really compelling.  I have a few on my list and will pick one.

Nighty night, Loyal Ones.  Until soon.

Friday, May 25, 2012

TheatreMania gives the Source Fest a little love right HERE.

I think I will buy a new dress for the opening, after all.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Carbon Credit

Greetings, Loyal Readers!  Your BloomingtonGirl has been missing in action these past few months.  I can only imagine how the resulting void of my words has been the cause of your aching hearts and troubled minds.  Clearly, I have a very active imagination.

My short play Carbon Credit was read at the Durango Ten Minute Play festival last Thursday evening.  135 plays were entered into the contest and five were chosen.  This was the first time that I did not attend a reading of my work.  I have no idea what they did with the material, but based on the review below, I assume that they may have taken it to some dark places.

The most serious work on the playbill satirized extreme environmentalism. Joni McGary’s “Carbon Credit” looks at the fallout of desperate action on one family. Quinn, Terry Swan and Batchelder delivered strong performances in this essentially dark work.

Mine was not one of the two works selected for full production in the fall by the company, alas.  I was hoping to win the "Grand Prize" of $500.  Winning would have enabled me to say that I am making an annual living "well into the THREE figures." I guess I'll have to be happy making just simply three figures.  (Yep. Your BloomingtonGirl was paid a whole one hundred smackers for the upcoming production of the play in DC.  I joke about this, but I will say that it might be the most satisfying money I have ever been paid in my working life to date. Seriously. Really.  Seriously.)

Carbon Credit goes up as part of the Source Festival in DC on July 8 and runs through July 1.  I'm beyond excited to be included in such a line-up and to have the opportunity to work with such excellent people.  Click HERE to access the calendar of productions if you are interested in going.  Carbon is part of the Redeeming Demons Grouping.  Your BloomingtonGirl will be there en famille  on opening night and might go again solo for the closing performance on July 1.  If you are in the area, I hope you will go.  

If you couldn't tell, I'm proud of this little play.  Further, I'm indebted to Ken Weitzman, my friend who wrote the play (Fire in the Garden) that inspired the work. 

In other news, we are putting our house on the market in the beginning of June.  The plan is to find some property and build an energy zero house in which there will be nothing that is not beautiful or useful.  (Hah!  Let's see if we can part with all of our crap that easily.)  We've got some acreage in mind, but we'll have to see if we can sell this place.  A few of our friends are convinced that it will fly off the market because of our famous and beloved neighbor.  We'll see.  I'm excited to embark on a new chapter.  I'm combing all sorts of uber modern plans for ideas.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Source Festival

My short play Carbon Credit goes up in June as part of the Source Festival in DC.  I am very excited about it.  Here's a piece on how the plays are selected.  (Okay...I'm bragging...but hey, I am the first to post my rejections, so why not a little good news, right?)

Source Festival Selection Process

I'll know the actual production schedule soon, so stay tuned.  If you're in the area...

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Acceptance Anxiety

From Rejection City to Acceptance Anxiety!

After getting shot down by several theaters recently, this week brought two notifications of good news for your BloomingtonGirl.  Yesterday, I heard that my short play Carbon Credit was selected to be part of the Source Festival in DC this June/July (!!!!) and today I got an email telling me that Fat Girl is a semi-finalist for the Trustus Theatre Playwrights' festival.

I'm so excited and nervous that I can barely swallow food! Loyal Readers, you know what a big deal that is for your food loving BloomingtonGirl. A couple more pieces of good news and I'll weigh ninety pounds.

Not to worry, HoosierMama Brownie lovers, I'm still writing my business plan for LuckyGuy Bakery, though, and toured a commercial kitchen space this morning.  I am in the process of scheduling a phone conference with a food publicist to see what she can do for me and I'm starting to scale up the recipes and look at packaging.  We'll see how everything shakes out.  There is, all of a sudden, a LOT happening for your BloomingtonGirl.

Off to whip up a  batch of Two-Ton-Tessie Toffee for a lucky Valentine and then hop on my bike to calm my nerves.

More to follow!