This past weekend I shocked the well at the land. This is done to kill algae in the well and pipes. The procedure involves pouring diluted chlorine into the well, mixing it into the well water by spraying the hose into the well (thus recirculating the well water until the chlorine is evenly mixed in), running each faucet that gets water from the well until chlorinated water is coming out and then shutting down the whole system for 24 to 48 hours so the chlorine can ill the algae. I did part of this Saturday, but it got to where I couldn't smell chlorine, so I went home. Sunday I went back and made sure the system was thoroughly chlorinated. Yesterday I went back and discovered that the well water no longer smelled of chlorine. This probably means that I'll have to shock the well again soon. :-( In addition, the water came out really slowly, so it took forever to flush out the chlorine. I thought this was due to the pressure bottle for the well being empty, but it turns out that the whole-house filter was clogged. I know so much more now that I've shocked the well. The main piece of shocking-a-well information that the Internet left out was to bring some towels. I used one to cover the opening to the well when I was recirculating the water with the hose. Without the towel, a fine mist of heavily chlorinated water was floating around and I didn't want to breath it. I used a second towel to wipe my hands because they got wet a lot.
In a different incarnation I've started taking acting classes. The first day was OK. It started out with some fairly standard relaxation and breathing exercises. Then there was a fun get-to-know-you thing where each person said their name along with a gesture they made up. Then everyone repeated the gesture and said the name. It was fun to see what gestures people came up with. After that we did paired up and mirrored each other's moves and then we told each other a brief story from our lives. Finally we got on to acting. We paired off again and each pair got a piece of "ambiguous dialog" to act out. We made up our own scenarios and the results were interesting and fun. Our homework was to memorize our ambiguous dialog lines.
I spent the week trying to learn my lines and slowly felt more and more defeated. No memory means no memory. Somehow I had hoped that would change but it didn't. So I went to class yesterday ready to look foolish. But there was only time for two skits and mine wasn't one of them, so I have a whole 'nother week to be frustrated. But what I learned last night was worth it. The instructor had the people perform a skit. Then she created background for the skit and had them redo it. For example, a skit was about a motorcycle mechanic asking the owners son to help her by holding a part while she screwed it in. The first performance was OK, but then our instructor suggested 1) the customer was coming for the motorcycle very shortly and it had to be ready, 2) the woman mechanic was having an affair with the owner of the shop and the son resented this 3) So the son hated the mechanic and was trying to screw her up by being as unhelpful as possible while appearing to help. Zzzzap! The skit turned from merely OK to really funny and interesting. The next skit was about two people who got married because the girl got pregnant. They didn't know each other very well and had no money for doctors so they decided she would just have the baby at home with the dad acting as midwife. The skit opens just as they realize that she's going into labor. The instructor helped them to decide that the dad wanted the mom to be more dependent and obedient and the girl wanted him to be more "there" for her. So he became impatient and paternalist and she became more pleading and clingy. This helped the skit develop some dimension and made it much more interesting. I left the class with a much greater understanding of how an actor's motivation can improve a scene. It was really cool. On the down side, all of the folks in the skits had memorized their lines perfectly, as had my partner for my skit. I could tell that my partner was really appalled that I didn't know any of my lines. I think my lack of memory is going to make this class pretty awkward. I just hope it's not too awful.
Oh, and I also planted about forty more acorns while I was out at the land.