Saturday, December 31, 2005

2005 and 2006

2005 has been just a wild and crazy year. I suppose the biggest event of last year was Dreamwell's move to the Old Capitol Mall space and overcoming the challenges that presented. I have to say what I am most proud of last year is the way our board of directors fought through adversity that would have destroyed a weaker group. The end result is was the most successful season in the the theater's history. Not too shabby.

The girls continue to grow and change and become more amazing every day, to this biased Dad's view anyway. Rachel excelled at soccer over the summer to the extent that the mom of one of her friends mentions it every time I see her. I found it very strange to be cheering so vigorously at a preschooler's soccer game, but that comes with the parent territory, I guess. Samantha has grown so much this past year. For a while she was very small for her age and the doctor was a little worried, so we worked hard to get her to eat lots and get her weight up. These days, while still small, she is back in the "norm". She's talking like crazy now and wants to do everything Rachel does. "Me too!" is her favorite phrase.

I ended up working four different jobs this year (three part time gigs), including a new full time job in the financial aid office at Kirkwood College. My first two weeks of that job went well and then I got a week off before we start again January 3rd. It's good in some ways to be back in the workforce, but I miss staying home with the girls a lot. Still, we have to do what's best for the family and making it on one income was simply not going to work anymore.

I once again hiked a part of the Appalachian Trail with my brothers, and while again we didn't get very far, it was still a rewarding adventure. And we went white water rafting which was a lot of fun.

As I look forward to 2006, I see family, theatre, and work as the main stories I'll chronicle. I look forward to getting Rachel ready for kindergarten next fall. She is her own little person with a very definite personality - strong willed, dramatic, and full of energy. And I can't wait to watch Sami's vocabulary grow along with her independence. Her personality is starting to really shine through. Sami is quiet and holds back a little bit. She's very helpful all the time. I think she has a very generous nature. Sharon and I continue to grow stronger together. Every day I reminded of how lucky I am to have her in my life. I feel I can accomplish anything so long as I have Sharon on my side.

The theatre is going to have to overcome some serious challenges next year. Our home for the past six months is going away, so the search for a new space is priority number one. I really believe we have an excellent board who will able to see us through these challenges. I am scheduled to direct a show - Kimberly Akimbo - and I'm really looking forward to that. I may try to find some time to act as well, unless Sharon wants to. She needs to get back on the stage. No one remembers that Sharon is an extremely talented actress because it's been over five years since she's done anything.

My new job in the financial aid office is exciting to me because I'll be able to really help people. Paying for college is not easy and being the person who assists students find a way to make it affordable will be very gratifying. It's good to be making money doing something worthwhile.

2005 had some of the most difficult moments I've ever faced (Dreamwell's non-opening and the aftermath), but after surviving that, I feel I can survive anything. It also had some of the highest moments of my life - the amazing success this little theater I started achieved in 2005 was overwhelming to such a degree I can't really put it into words. The highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows. Crazy, crazy year.

Here's to 2006!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Theatre news

It looks like Dreamwell will have to find a new home. The Old Capitol Mall, where we've been since May, has decided to exercise their ninety day exit option. So we have until early March and then we have to move. Unless they aren't able to get someone else to rent the space; then we can stay. However, with that sort of uncertainty we need to find a new home. So just like we did at the start of 2005, we're searching for that final spot. Fortunately, we had an amazing year and are much more prepared to make that step having gone through it once. So I am looking at 2005 as our test run at finding a new home. Next time will be for keeps.

Oh, and one more thing... there will be one final show at the mall space: Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett, directed by Matthew Brewbaker. It's very fitting, I think, that we are ending our run in the space with a theater classic.

News articles are here and here.

IOWA CITY, IA - Dreamwell Theatre is looking for a new home. Old Capitol Town Center has terminated their lease as of December 9, citing anticipated new business ventures. The acting troupe has 90 days to find a new home.

"We always knew this was a possibility because the mall put the ninety day exit clause in the lease," said Matthew Falduto, president of the Board. "We'd like to thank Kevin Digman and the Old Capitol Mall for giving us a chance to really show Iowa City what we're capable of."

Although Dreamwell was only active in the space for six months, they were able to produce five shows, three of which had sell out audiences.

"What 2005 proved is we have a loyal audience that wants to see us in a good space. We're going to build on our success and find that permanent home," said Artistic Director Matthew Brewbaker.

Executive Director Brian Tanner agrees. "We really want to thank the public and our collegues in the theatre community for coming out and supporting us. Being a non-profit community theatre, we rely on that support. Getting the mall space up to assembly code was a big financial investment for us and unfortunately one that we can't take with us. We welcome any assistance people might have for us either in procuring a new space, or in renovating that space once we have it."

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Barron's editorial uses the "i" word

A December 26 editorial in Barron's, a weekly financial newspaper and not, I repeat, not a liberal publication whatsoever, has used the "i' word.

Willful disregard of a law is potentially an impeachable offense. It is at least as impeachable as having a sexual escapade under the Oval Office desk and lying about it later. The members of the House Judiciary Committee who staged the impeachment of President Clinton ought to be as outraged at this situation. They ought to investigate it, consider it carefully and report either a bill that would change the wiretap laws to suit the president or a bill of impeachment.

It is important to be clear that an impeachment case, if it comes to that, would not be about wiretapping, or about a possible Constitutional right not to be wiretapped. It would be about the power of Congress to set wiretapping rules by law, and it is about the obligation of the president to follow the rules in the Acts that he and his predecessors signed into law.

That last sentence is really the main point. We're not talking about wiretapping. We're talking about breaking the law.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Fours

So this is my first post from work. We'll see how often I get to do this...

Four jobs you've had in your life: Fine Pen Buyer, Teacher, Technical Writer, Candle Salesman

Four movies you could watch over and over: Empire Strikes Back, Stand By Me, Noises Off, Aliens

Four places you've lived: York, PA; LaGrange Park, IL; Iowa City, IA; Coralville, IA

Four TV shows you love to watch: How I Met Your Mother, Lost, Survivor, Amazing Race

Four places you've been on vacation: Florida, New Orleans, Michigan, California

Four websites you visit daily: Google,, Blogger, CNN

Four of your favorite foods: Lasagna, Ravioli, Pizza, Sharon’s meatballs

Four places you'd rather be: Playing with the kids, the cottage in MI, Ireland, on the moon

Sunday, December 18, 2005

It is time to impeach

When I heard about that George Bush had illegally authorized the use of wiretaps on American citizens, I was not surprised. But as the days have gone by, I have grown more and more angry. This is not America. This is not how our leader is supposed to act. He has used his mouthpiece Condoleezza Rice to put forth the opinion that he has authority as commander in chief to do this. He does not. He is not a king; he is a president. There is no authority to break the law. Checks and balances are the key component to our government. Plus, the way things are set up now, he can wiretap first and ask for permission later, up to 72 hours after he has acted. The fact is there was no reason to do this. What this shows is what many have believed for a long time - we have a megalomaniac in the White House who believes he is above the law. He is not. If you are an American, if you believe in the principles of this country, you cannot support what George Bush has done. You simply cannot. There is no wavering, no equivocating, to steal a line from the man himself, you are either for America or against America.

And if you're for America, you are against George Bush.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Snow day!

I don't have to go to work today! Snow day! I've never worked anywhere that closed for inclement weather. Since I have this free day, I feel I should use it to make many insightful blog posts.

I am uninspired.

I think I'll go play in the snow with the girls instead.

Friday, December 09, 2005

No more Thoughts?

I am starting my new job on Monday so I imagine my blogging will take a downturn for a while. I don't think it'll end completely, but I wouldn't expect new posts from me during the day.

One last quiz....

You taste like a milkshake. Your frozen malts send
a delicious thrill across the tongue. Your
sweetness and innocence are bared for the world
to suck up with a straw... and you love it,

How do you taste?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A blogger in Iraq

Today, I found the blog of a 26-year-old Iraqi woman who signs her blog entries "river". Her blog is Baghdad Burning. She used to be a computer programmer before the war. The first year of her blog was turned into a book. I haven't read all of her blog - she began it in 2003 - but what I have read is eye opening.

"No- I’m getting great at [identifying different kinds of gunfire]. I can tell you if it’s ‘them’ or ‘us’. I can tell you how far away it is. I can tell you if it’s a pistol or machine-gun, tank or armored vehicle, Apache or Chinook… I can determine the distance and maybe even the target. That’s my new talent. It’s something I’ve gotten so good at, I frighten myself. What’s worse is that almost everyone seems to have acquired this new talent… young and old. And it’s not something that anyone will appreciate on a resume…"


"I get hopeless, seeing [American soldiers] pointing their guns and tanks at everyone because, in their eyes, anyone could be a ‘terrorist’ and almost everyone is an angry, frustrated Iraqi."


"Don’t blame it on Islam. Every religion has its extremists. In times of chaos and disorder, those extremists flourish. Iraq is full of moderate Muslims who simply believe in ‘live and let live’. We get along with each other- Sunnis and Shi’a, Muslims and Christians and Jews and Sabi’a. We intermarry, we mix and mingle, we live. We build our churches and mosques in the same areas, our children go to the same schools… it was never an issue.

Someone asked me if, through elections, the Iraqi people might vote for an Islamic state. Six months ago, I would have firmly said, “No.” Now, I’m not so sure. There’s been an overwhelming return to fundamentalism. People are turning to religion for several reasons.

The first and most prominent reason is fear. Fear of war, fear of death and fear of a fate worse than death (and yes, there are fates worse than death). If I didn’t have something to believe in during this past war, I know I would have lost my mind. If there hadn’t been a God to pray to, to make promises to, to bargain with, to thank- I wouldn’t have made it through."


"Bush was wrong when he said, “You are either with us or against us.” The world isn’t in black and white- there are plenty of people who were against this war, but also against Saddam. They aren’t being given a chance. Their voices aren’t heard because they weren’t in Washington or London or Teheran."

All of that is from 2003. I will keep reading and see what she had to say more recently.

Friday, December 02, 2005

What are they building?

I should probably know this, but does anyone out there want to fill me in on what they're building on 965 in Coralville across from the Walmart shopping area and next to the Gymnest? There's a huge hole with lots of dump trucks and bulldozers moving stuff around, but no signs to indicate what's going on.



My wife provided this link to a news article about the development. Apparently, a Bed, Bath and Beyond will anchor the new retail area.

I don't know about you, but when I think anchor store, I don't think of Bed, Bath and Beyond.

My Survivor blog has the latest news and speculation as well as some spoiling about the show.
About Me

Name: Matt
Location: Coralville, IA
I am a Dad and a Husband. An Actor. An Administrator. A Hiker. A Writer. Probably a bunch of other things too. Read my blog and you'll find out more.
Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama

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