Recent History (October)

I went to a board meeting at the country home of one of the other board members. It was about one and half hours outside of DC. The drive got prettier and prettier and ended on a large piece of farmland on top of a hill. Lovely home with lots of glass and beautiful views. We passed a road called Snikersville Parkway and I made Dana pull over so I could take a picture. Snickersville is what we call the street where my mom grew up. The real street name is unpronounceable by humans. Anyway this Snickersville was named after William Edward Snickers (born about 1735 - died 1790) who owned land in the area and operated a ferry and a tavern on the Shenandoah River.

road sign blumont house

bluemont driveway with trees bluemont garden

bluemont doorbell

Here are some late fall flowers that were hanging in there on my balcony

red flowerpurple flowerpink cosmos

Several family members and high school friend Karen were in DC for Dana's concert. We went to the National Gallery East Wing to see a Munch exhibit and then had lunch at the American Art museum.

east wing national gallery karen and laura

This is a magical little causeway going from the backstage area of the dance theater to the front entrance. It seemed like a secret.

dance place alley

Public Speaking

Last weekend I was busy helping Dana and his company with their concert here in DC. It was great to see Sara and Susan from MIT who I have not seen since we went to Peru. Two pieces were performed - Hyphen which premiered last year and for which I created the video projections and music montage and Island which premiered last weekend and for which Sara created the video projections. The new piece was about the Immigration station/detention center off the coast of San Francisco. Sara used haunting historical images from the Angel Island archive and projected them from above the dancers. The effect was amazing.

After two of the three performances Dana, Sara, Connie (dancer), Judy (costume designer) and I took questions from the audience. I am not real comfortable with this. Dana thinks it shows me that he appreciates my design work but mostly it just shows the dance audience that I am not very articulate. I am getting a bit better at it but I still do not enjoy it. I did get some nice comments/questions after the performance from people who like me do not want to speak in public.

Here are some pictures from the theater and at Dana's after the Sunday night performance where he treated us to dirty martinis and pizza.

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The dancers getting ready. Anne, Dana's rehearsal mistress and her new baby, Marie Elizabeth.

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Ann and Sara. Pulling the projector down.

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Martinis and Pizza at Dana's

Dancing Fools and Ornaments

I finally got my hands on the little performance that the non-dancers did for the dancers in Peru. Sara, Susan and Richard (from MIT) and I put together a dance, mostly based on dance movements from Dana's choreography. We put it together in about an hour which is obvious but the dancers loved it.

Also if you missed it as the Picture of the Week, the 2009 McDonald Family Christmas Contest has been announced:


The theme is Christmas ornaments! How fun is that! It has been on the list of suggestions for a while and we've had a lot of literary themes lately so I thought it was the right time. This year is a big anniversary of the contest. I started the contest 20 years ago to try and climb out of a pit of depression. I never would have believed we would still be doing and that it could be so challenging, frustrating and stressful yet so ultimately fun and creative. 20 years, can you believe it?

So as we say to each other every year: Let the procrastinating begin!