June 8, 2004

So I haven't written in a while. My computer was trying to speak to me in a language I didn't understand, so I had to take it to the Mac Store for clarification. Here is a sample of one of our conversations:

Kerry: When I went to the theater today–
Computer: Number Lock. 6nhn
Kerry: Delete.
Computer: (brightness dimming) qz13zq
Kerry: What the–
Computer: Number lock.
Kerry: I feel like you are trying to communicate with me.
Computer: 6nhn.
Kerry: What? What is it?
Computer: Number lock. 6nhn.
Kerry: I'm trying to help, Computer. Just tell me what's wrong.
Computer: 6nhn.
Kerry: Delete.
Computer: (brightness dimming) qz13zq
Kerry: : Argh.

It turns out I needed a new keyboard. So now I have one and it's all clickity clackity different and, though it's the same size as the old one, I keep hitting the wrong keys…

The last week of the show was a bit grueling, as my body could sense the end of things and resisted me at every turn. I wasn't really tired in my muscles, more like my core. I had a hard time investing myself in each individual performance. On the bright side, however, we now have two understudies. It was fun to have them around; we were all on our best behavior. No matter how dysfunctional your family may be, everyone can act kind of normal when guests come over to the house.

Sam's brother Nick came to visit us last week. The two of them are driving cross country together, and are currently somewhere in Idaho. It was great to have Nick around. He's a funny guy, very easy to talk to. One of the highlights of his visit was a trip to Ape Caves out by Mount Saint Helen's. Ape Caves is an old lava tube, three miles of which is a state park. Our guidebook told us to bring flashlights aplenty and warm clothing and I'm sure glad we were prepared because it was a bit chilly and very, very dark. To give you an idea of just how dark it was, here is a picture I took of Sam and Nick while they were walking a short ways ahead of me, flashlights blazing. Also, here's a self-portrait and a photo of the opening of the cave. These pictures were all taken with my super spiffy new phone. It can take pictures, record video, keep my calendar and address book, and launch me into space. Among other things.

At several points during our underground hike we turned off our flashlights to feel the darkness and listen to the drip-drip-drip of the water. Even though there was a myriad of water sounds, the silence nevertheless seemed absolute. The darkness, on the other hand, appeared to glow. My headlamp left a ghostly presence on my retina, and I kept insisting to Sam and Nick that I could see the rocks looming over our shoulders.

Our two mile hike took about two hours. We lumbered over boulders, scaled lava falls, ran our hands over glittering mineral deposits, and chomped Wintergreen lifesavers to see the sparks. The darkness and the scramble was our entire existence and we all became a bit wary that we had gone too far, that we had somehow missed the exit. But then, just ahead, light reflected off the far tunnel wall. It was green and glorious and foreign, and I felt like I was about to escape from Moria. We climbed a metal ladder into the dazzling sunshine, shedding our hats and gloves and sweatshirts before sitting down to munch on carrots and fruit leather. The walk back, above ground, took only about twenty-five minutes, and then we were back in the car again, quiet in the late afternoon sun, looking out the windows. We stopped at the Cougar Diner in Cougar, Washington for some hamburgers and homemade mashed potatoes. And pie. Really tasty pie. Nick got boysenberry and Sam got peach. I settled on chocolate cream.

We closed the show on Sunday, and it felt good to be temporarily done with it. I need a break. Strike was quick and painless, and then we all headed off to Kyle's for the cast party. We spend so much time in each other's company that we seldom socialize together, but when we do, I am reminded that these people are my family, and that we are all working for a common goal.

Sam and Nick left on Monday, and I spent the day doing last minute errands. Sam and I got our pictures taken last week by our friend Brian McDonnell of BMAC Photography, and I went to pick them up. Brian is a super photographer. His banter is steady when he's behind the camera, and he says things like "OK OK OK yeah hold that just wait wait wait right there scoot to the right beautiful um OK wait don't move" and then, when Sam and I commenced our silliness, he said things like, "OK, no, don't look at me, just be, OK, ha, OK, you guys are such freakin' goofballs." The pictures are on my website here. If, for some reason you want to purchase any of them (you can, for instance, get an 11x14 and frame it above your fireplace) go to this site.

Now I'm in San Francisco. Hooray! I'm visiting Jarrod and Ryan and Blodgett and Lieva. Jarrod and I spent the afternoon walking around Berkeley and the campus of the university (where we got free ice cream). I am currently in the corner of a little theatre meeting space, where Jarrod and Blodgett are meeting with the Shotgun Players folks about a show they are light and sound designing, respectively.

Things are good now. I'm happy to have momentum again, to be on my own with people I love, traveling about.

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