Block 788: September 20, 2015


I hit a wall this morning.

My dog got in bed with me around 4am and he let me sleep in until 8:30, which is unusual. He was lying half-on, half-off me, snoring loudly. The rest of the day- besides a trip to the gym- has been spent in that vein: on my bed, staring at the ceiling, napping, reading a book, and not much else.

I needed to recharge today. I needed to be lazy.

My plans to “get a lot done” didn’t happen.

Date: September 20, 2015

Crane: 788

Days Spent on Project: 943

Location: NW Portland, OR

Person I would have sent it to: TBD

Music I listened to while sewing: Since it’s Sunday and I have one more day left with it, I’m listening to Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlist. It refreshes itself every Monday. I figure I need to spend more time on it and expand my horizons a bit.

One cannot survive solely on Carly Rae Jepsen and Madonna.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: I’m trying to remind myself on the Possibility of Hope today.

It hasn’t even been two full months that my theater’s previous Production Manager left suddenly and was immediately replaced. It’s really been just over 6 weeks. That’s not a long time at all. It isn’t.

In the past 6 weeks or so, let’s make a (short) list of things that have happened that demonstrate CHANGE is underway…

  1. I was flown to New York City last week to swatch fabrics for our upcoming musical. I had 75 hours in the city, only about 2.5 working days, to do a lot of resource-hunting-and-gathering for the designer we’d be working with. I came back with a full suitcase of swatches and samples and trims and embellishments that aren’t available in Portland. The designer was ecstatic. The shop was impressed. I was excited to be “home” again and see friends and familiar places and neighborhoods and stores where PEOPLE REMEMBERED ME AND MISSED ME. The theater paid for my airfare. They paid for my hotel. They will reimburse me for (some of the) expenses I made. I’m trying to make this kind of working trip seem financially feasible to them… so they’ll do it whenever we undertake a large, built show.
  2. The new production manager secured a small storage space (10′ x 20′) for the costumes that haven’t had a place to be stored in the 9 seasons the theater company has lived in its current building. Even with sporadic costume sales every few years, I have more than 2 dozen large racks of clothes that get shuffled around the theater wherever there is available space. I have several, SEVERAL dozen boxes of shoes, hats, fabric scraps, accessories, smaller garments, old productions that have been pushed into corners and hallways and hung in attic spaces. A 10′ x 20′ room won’t take all of it, but it’s a start at relieving the stress of storing the costume pieces we continually create and buy for an 11 production season.
  3. The Development Department has approached me with their desire to feature the costume shop this season, and they jumped on my idea of giving my three full-time employees the opportunity to build dresses to be displayed for the public. My staff has given me images of dresses they’d like to tackle, I’m going to tweak those designs to challenge them a bit more, but it looks like this is actually going to happen.
  4. I’m going to be contractually signed on as a Costume Coordinator for the Christmas show remounts this season AND PAID AND CREDITED FOR THE WORK instead of being told by the old production manager that I just had to do it for free since it was a part of my job as Shop Manager (it isn’t… I’ve worked enough to know it isn’t). There even will be one new scene in the show, which means I’ll get to design it!

That’s a list of four items, which isn’t lengthy by any means, but it shows me– it TELLS me– that the theater is taking the steps necessary for improvement. This has all happened in the six weeks that have passed since the old production manager left suddenly and was replaced.

Change is underway. Change is an Opportunity for Improvement. There *is* an Opportunity here.

As I spent time staring at the ceiling today, getting a bit down for whatever reason, I have to remind myself that there are things to be excited about here in Portland.

Yes, it isn’t New York. Portland will never be an environment like that.

But maybe, MAYBE, I have to make a slightly more direct and concerted effort to find ways that could make this suburb more like The City I Want.

I want more friends. I want closer friends. I want more available friends.

I want to date here. I want to find men that interest me here. I still haven’t yet found my types here in Portland. I’m still trying to find the gay scene here, or at least the gay scene that I want to be involved in.

I’d like to get paid more. If I’m continually asked to work 6 or 7 days a week for the rate offered… I’d like the theater to make me a better offer.

I’d like to design in Portland. I’m too experienced to be told that I’m not experienced enough to design in Portland.

I moved here in July of 2014 because there was an Opportunity presented to me. I moved here with Hope and Excitement, but also Expectation. I’d like to find out if that really is the case. If it isn’t, I need to move on. But, I’m discovering slowly that there might be… if I give it time and play the game here. I just need to be patient.

I’m not always a patient person. I can be, but I also enjoy seeing results.


Let’s remember that Opportunity is around us, in several ways, but we have to keep hunting and looking and working towards it.

And, to all of you who have been with me on this (so far) 940-some day journey of quilting Cranes: thank you. Who knew that when I started this, severely depressed in February 2013, that I’d be sitting on a balcony in Portland two and a half years later, contemplating the Opportunities that Life can give you when you need them?

In June/July 2014, I cried in the corner of a Barnes & Noble in Richmond, Virginia after the old production manager offered this job to me. He offered me an Opportunity, and I was desperate for it. I’m now working with a (better) new production manager. I need to remember the relief I felt in June/July 2014.

I do.

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