WTF, Minnesota? Really? Snow TWICE before the first two weeks of October are up? That’s how you’re gonna play it this year? It wasn’t bad enough to have one of the coldest summers on record, you gotta fuck up autumn, too? You KNOW autumn is everyone’s favorite season. Don’t give me that look. You know exactly what you’re doing. You like making me crazy, don’t you? Last winter nearly killed me what with the pregs and the toddler and ALL THE FUCKING SNOW but I thought, hey, this coming winter is supposed to be mild! Surely this godforsaken state can give me a goddamn break just ONCE in the weather department. But no. You’ve made your position plain. There will be no breaks. There will only be cold. And snow. And freezing winds. And chilling damp. You don’t want me to live here, do you? I’m getting your message, loud and clear: MOVE SOMEWHERE ELSE, BITCH. Well, you know what? Right about now, nothing would make me happier, but financial reasons prevent me from making it so. Also, I happen to have a lot of wonderful friends and family members here and a great moms-network and ties to the local theatre community and I will move on MY OWN TIME, not yours, you stupid arctic tundra of a has-been territory. So knock it the fuck off, or so help me, I will CUT YOU.
So the stomach bug recurrence only lasted 24 hours, thank Maude, which meant that after an evening’s hard labor cleaning the public areas of the house, the Hatchling and I were able to host playgroup this morning, and very much enjoyed a mellow morning with some of our favorite moms and toddlers. (Well, the moms were mellow. The toddlers, not so much.) It was nice and thaw-y today, the house is clean, I was feeling good! Then I heard the damn weather report, which is predicting a possible EIGHT INCHES of snow starting around noon tomorrow and going through the night. GOD, this is why I hate February and March. You get these tantalizing glimpses of warmer weather, a few stolen days here and there where boots and mittens are not required, and then WHAMMO! Mother Nature is all, “psych, bitchez!” and throws down with a damn blizzard. This winter has already sucked, weather wise, and I am just. So. Over it. I need a cruise. Or a beach vacation. Or … I dunno, a pina colada and a tanning bed. I’M GETTING DESPERATE.
So we’re all set to go to the library this morning, to FINALLY return our insanely overdue books and CDs, and the Hatchling is totally jazzed about it (“I so ‘cited to go whyherry!”) and we get there, and the damn branch doesn’t open on Tuesdays until noon. Not for lack of demand, I might add, but because our stupid, stupid governor keeps cutting the freaking budget for public services like libraries and the parks and education and don’t even get me STARTED. Grrrrrrr.
Wow. Here’s some really depressing news for the theatre world: Theatre de la Jeune Lune is closing. From the press release:
MINNEAPOLIS, June 22, 2008 — The Board of Directors of the Twin Cites-based Theatre de la Jeune Lune voted this week to list the theatre’s headquarters for sale and to shut down the arts group as currently organized. Included in the decision is a planned significant reduction in artistic and administrative staff, effective July 31, 2008.
“We have reached these decisions with great regret,” says Board President Bruce Neary; “however, our fiduciary responsibilities to our artists, our staff, our donors and our creditors dictate this action. We are listing the building for sale in order to fully satisfy our creditors.” Mr. Neary added, “The Board is committed to an orderly shutdown, including satisfying all existing rental obligations through September 30, 2008.”
Dominique Serrand, Artistic Director said, “It has been an amazing thirty years. Few theatre companies last as long. We never sought nor desired to be an institution. Our home was always intended to be a playground in which we could gather with other adventurous souls and create the unimaginable. We have benefited enormously from the incredible generosity of this community, and especially all of the artists without whom we would never have survived this long or created as much. We can never thank them enough.”
I can’t believe it. Jeune Lune has certainly had its share of financial difficulties – what regional theatre company in the US has not? – but I always thought it would pull through. For those of you unfamiliar with the company, I can’t even fully explain what an influential, amazing place it is. It’s always my choice for where to go when I need to remember why I do theatre, need to be inspired. Sure, they’ve had flops, they’ve tried things that didn’t work sometimes – but the important thing was, they TRIED things. They were always pushing the creative envelope, and often the result was stunning in every sense. Their physicality, innovative staging, delight in every genre and period, and love of language were unmatched in the Twin Cities and rivaled any company in the country. From the artistic director’s statement, it sounds like the decision to close was both artistic and financial, and it may be that the company had run its natural course. Nevertheless, it’s a devastating loss to local and national theatre, and I’m heartbroken to see Jeune Lune go.
Updated: The Pioneer Press article on the closing is here. MPR is here.
Well, that was a lovely little break. Of course, we picked one of the coldest weekends of the year to go up to a cabin in the northernmost part of Minnesota. (It was below zero pretty much the whole time, and as we were packing up to go on Sunday the temperature was around -20. That’s NOT including windchill.) I slept in head-to-toe polar fleece underneath 5 blankets and a down comforter, and the thermostat had a hard time keeping up with the blizzard-level winds coming through the chinks in the walls. But it didn’t matter. We kept cozy with a fire going in the fireplace and the wood stove, and talked and listened to cheesy 80s music, and danced tipsily around the living room, and read trashy novels and even trashier magazines, and drank wine and ate junkfood and just generally caroused. You know, there aren’t many people with whom I’d want to be stuck in a remote cabin in the woods for 48+ hours. But – surprisingly – these three women make the cut. I say “surprisingly” because I’m not sure any of us would have predicted, four years ago, that we’d keep up this yearly tradition. We all used to work at the same corporation (only one of us is still there) and were drawn together by a variety of experiences. We’ve kept in touch over the years, but it’s not like we see each other often – in fact, I hadn’t seen one of the group for nearly a year. And we’re all very different personalities, with strong opinions that we’re not afraid of expressing. I imagine someone looking at us from the outside wouldn’t guess that we’re well suited to spend isolated weekends together. But we really are: we never run out of things to talk about; we can get into arguments without anyone taking it personally; we’re all good at sharing the cooking and cleaning chores; and we can all let each other be when needed. And (perhaps more importantly) we’re also damned interesting, witty, fun and nice. This is our third year of having a “retreat” (we skipped last year because of scheduling and babies) and it’s an emerging tradition that I really hope lasts as long as we can manage it. Because friends like that are rare finds.
For those of you who are interested in such things, and live in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, John Edwards is in town tonight:
Event with John Edwards
Jan 29, 2008
Carpenters Union Hall
710 Olive St.
St. Paul, Minn.
If we didn’t have ECFE tonight, I’d probably go. I’m still waffling on whom to caucus for come Tuesday, and Edwards has long been my favorite. If any of my readers go, post a review in comments, will ya? Anyone seen Edwards live before?