Acting, Audition, Crones, Madison Senior Center, Madison WI, Play

Crones! Arise and Gather Around! Let us Sing!

“[The Crone] holds an unspeakable wisdom in the very cells of her body. The beauty and the horror of all life are held together in love. Being with her…. we begin to see everything from two sides–the side that is totally in life, and the side that is already dwelling in disembodied soul. The Crone helps us hold the paradox.”

Marion Woodman

Tonight I went and auditioned at the Madison Senior Center for “The Fabulous Crones Show” to be put on in January of 2008. Jan Thal is the director and Wendy Fern Hutton is the Producer.

How could I not audition for something about Crones? I had intended to take some of my own work but it was raining and I didn’t want to walk down to the Library so that went by the wayside. I read something they had prepared.

They liked me, they really liked me! she says with gushy Sally Fields enthusiasm. <heh> I hope I get chosen. It will be a ton of fun, but my goodness it will be a long week that week. Three rehearsals and SIX shows Sunday through Sunday! Of course it will be all fun and games mostly.

They asked me to continue to work on my piece but I think I will scrap what I had originally written and go in a new direction. Definitely Comedy. Dark comedy.

Auditions are still open for those over 50 through Wednesday. There are a few parts for men too.


City Life, Continuing Education, Emerson, Family, Life, Literature, Madison Senior Center, Senior Citizens, Transcendentalism, University of Wisconsin--Madison

Living lives of Quiet Desperation

Desperado, oh, you aint gettin no youger
Your pain and your hunger, theyre drivin you home
And freedom, oh freedom well, thats just some people talkin
Your prison is walking through this world all alone

The Eagles “Desperado”

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.

Henry David Thoreau “Walden”

I have been taking a class called “Emerson, Thoreau, and the Transcendentalist Movement” taught by Professor Ashton Nichols of Dickinson College at the Madison Senior Center at 330 Mifflin Street. It cost $10.00 which is a good deal by anyone’s standards.

It is on DVD, of course, and a number of us sit quietly in a room and listen to Dr Ashton lecture. Then we have a brief discussion. Very brief.  I wish there was more time, I wish I was more connected to this group of people who are taking this class.  Well, I will be in time.

I really did not study very much American literature when I was in college. I concentrated on Shakespeare’s Elizabethan contemporaries and all of the literature that came before them. It’s a deficit that I regret although I understand that you really can’t go to college forever and just getting through all of Shakespeare was a major accomplishment. So many great works, so little time.

The class I am taking started on the 22nd of August and we’ve already dispensed with Emerson! I want to call a halt and say “Whoa, hold on here! I’ve barely gotten a taste of this founding father of American literature. I want to spend some more time reading his work, discussing what he has written and exactly how it has influenced American thinking.”

I guess this class is not going to give me that. So on we go to Thoreau who I am somewhat more familiar with. Someone quoted the quiet desperation line and the class moderator said no that wasn’t a Thoreau line. Soneone else said it was Mencken. What??

My table mate and I looked at one another and I shook my head. He mumured that he thought it was Thoreau and I said I thought so too. I told him I would look it up when I got home.  Desperado started playin in my head–a mneumonic device to remember to look up that quote no doubt. <heh>

I looked it up and sure enough it was Thoreau. To get the Eagles off my inner mp3 player I youtubed Depserado. Youtube is a wonderful invention. Did Al Gore have anything to do with it?  I ran into my table mate in the hall when I went to get my mail.  He was doing laundry.  He was pleased to hear that we were right and have bragging rights next week.  <heh>

I called the University of Wisconsin today because I heard that Senior Citizens can audit classes for free. I want to audit a class in early American literature. A very nice young lady gave me this link to check out the age requirements and other auditing and continuing education opportunities.  Today is my birthday. I’m 55. I’m now considered a senior citizen by some agencies and can receive some services that only senior citizens are eligible for but alas, I will have to wait another five years to audit classes free at the University.

I wonder if my mind will be functioning well enough to manage that then? It is not cheap to audit. A three credit course is over $200 and you can’t audit any writing classes. Bummer. Maybe I could sneak in. You don’t think they’d notice the noisy fat old gray-haired lady sitting in the corner do you?

In the meanwhile I will try to read Emerson (and Thoreau because no doubt we will speed right by him on our way to Margaret Fuller) on my own and find ways to discuss them with other neophytes.  I have never heard of Margaret Fuller or if I have I have forgotten her.  And Bronson Alcott, father of Louisa May of “Little Women” fame, I had no clue he was so important a figure in American history!

I am also trying to learn html. My brain may explode. But I have heard and have been told that learning new things sets up new neural pathways so that your synapses will continue to fire allowing your brain to find ways to work around damage caused by stroke and other neurological problems.


BEER, City Life, Madison Senior Center, Madison WI, Moving Day, Student Housing, University of Wisconsin--Madison, University Students

Head ‘Em Up and Move ‘Em Out!

Move ’em on, head ’em up,
Head ’em up, move ’em out,
Move ’em on, head ’em out Rawhide!
Set ’em out, ride ’em in
Ride ’em in, let ’em out,
Cut ’em out, ride ’em in Rawhide.

Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington sung by Frankie Laine

The past two days have been the annual student apartment lease turnover days here in Madison. Yesterday threatened rain. Today followed through all day long. What a disaster for the annual move-out madness!

All the students who stayed in town for summer school have to move out of their apartments whether they are renewing their lease or not in some cases and move elsewhere for at least 24 hours to 72 hours. Faced with nowhere to store their furniture and other worldly goods because there simply aren’t enough storage units in town and none that will rent for 3 days, the curbs of downtown Madison become one huge tag sale without any tags. You should see the FREE bargains out there.

One student’s Mother called the Madison Senior Center and donated his huge television which quite handily replaced the aging console in the lobby that was apparently channeling little green men from Mars. Quite a few people here at the Three Threes have refurnished their apartments from finds on annual move out days. One of the gentlemen was talking about looking for a futon at lunch at the Senior Center on Tuesday. He hadn’t quite found what he wanted yet. (!) Imagine walking the streets shopping for free furniture!

It looks like several of the students across the street got smart and joined forces to hire Two Men and a Truck to drive their goods around town for the duration. Smart thinking on their part!  There were two huge trucks over there loading furniture and boxes of goods. They’ll probably be moving right back into the same apartment after it has been cleaned and painted and maybe even gets some new upgrades. Along with a brand new higher dollar value on that lease.

Some students try to camp out with all of their belongings hoping to make it through the trials and tribulations of move out madness with a pony of beer and their friends by their side. They’ll need a water proof nylon pop-up tent to do that tonight, Mom and Dad.


City Events, City Life, Farmer's Market, Life, Madison Senior Center, Madison WI

Putting On the Ritz

If you’re blue and you don’t know where to go to
why don’t you go where fashion sits,
Puttin’ on the ritz.


The Madison Senior Center has been undergoing a major renovation this summer . Sorely needed new carpeting has been installed. A new wooden floor is currently being laid down in the dining area that also serves as a dance floor for weekly dances on Thursday afternoons from 1-3 pm with music provided by the Senior Showcase Band. A Square Dancing club has rented the space in the evenings.

I got a sneak preview of the dining room today and it’s going to absolutely lovely when they finish the installation. Through all of this, the Senior Center staff has managed so well that they have only had to close the building down three days and one of those days the nutrition site arranged for bag lunches to be served at the Capitol Centre Apartments Community Room.

A big Huzzah and Thanks! to Sally (Sorry I’m blanking on her last name.) who manages the nutrition site and moved the whole operation upstairs to the craft room while the dining room floor was being installed for grace under fire. She pulled it off like it was no big deal and stayed sane. To the Director Christine Beatty, Program coordinator Margie Groom, Volunteer coordinator Lynne Robertson, and the Custodian Jeff Thompson for coordinating all of this so that all of the services provided at the Senior Center continued with as few disruptions as possible: Salute! Job well done.

The Madison Senior Center has a cornucopia of programs and classes going on to help Senior Citizens keep their mind and body active. There is a Gentle Exercise group for those of us who can’t tolerate rigorous workouts and there is a Work It Out! group for those who are in shape and want to stay that way. There is an exercise room with the latest equipment and an instructor who will help you learn how to use it safely.

There are Bridge, Canasta, and Euchre gatherings. There is a Bridge class for those who want to learn how to play. There is a Poetry Appreciation group that meets weekly and shares their own work and the works of others that they enjoy, There is a computer lab where classes are offered to help seniors become proficient at using this technology. Every Friday afternoon, the computer lab is oepn to anyone who wants to use the computers.

Most of the programs offered are free but if there is a fee, it is nominal. I just signed up for a class on Emerson , Thoreau and Transcendentalism that starts August 22nd. The cost is $10. The Center also hosts meetings for groups such as TOPS (Take off pounds sensibly, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), and The Red Hat Society.  During the winter the Dane County Farmer’s Market that takes place on the Capitol Square during the summer moves in to the Senior Center.

It’s a busy happening place; I’ve only touched on a few of the things available. You should come on down and see what’s going on. Maybe you’ll find something to tickle your fancy.