Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Been a Busy Bee!

It's not enough that I had to learn a new script and construct a giant squid, I decided to throw a bunch of other projects on the calendar to really amp up that anxiety-induced tight feeling in the middle of my chest.

We successfully refinanced our mortgage during that lovely low dip in interest rates last week thanks to Adam Stephens at Capstar Lending. He rocks!

The back yard fence that was leaning out into the street at an ever-more precarious angle has now been replaced. The new fence is beautiful. I had to contact five different fence builders before I got anyone to get back to me for a consultation. Capitol Fence did a gorgeous job. It was only five days from the initial contact to the completion of our new fence. Capitol Fence gets a gold star!

My car needed an oil change. The technician found an oil leak. The shop ordered the part needed and told me to come back a week later. A week later, the shop sent me off in a nice loaner car, but had to keep my car for two days to fix the first oil leak they found, and discover a second oil leak and fix that. Friday I picked up my car, got about ten miles down the road and watched in horror as EVERY warning light on my dashboard lit up in quick succession, followed by the car's transmission going into default emergency mode, making it near impossible to get the car's speed over 40 miles an hour. I made the U-turn right back to the shop. The shop put me in yet another lovely loaner car, kept my car another two days and put in a new alternator. In layman's terms, the alternator is like the heart of the car. It's vital to make the car go. It's also crazy-expensive to replace. Thank Goodness I bought the 3 year extended warranty on my car. All of the above craziness only cost me a cool $50 deductible.

I took on a new client for my freelance writing and popped out a press release for her. I like this new client. Her business goals and identity are clearly defined. She is organized. She loves what I wrote for her. Happy sigh.

A very important piece of paper that was sent to me by certified mail over a week ago is missing. The Postal Service website says that the piece of certified mail was returned to sender, because it was undeliverable as addressed. The sender assures me that this very important piece of mail has not arrived back yet. I am very much losing sleep over this mysterious mail disappearance.

I still have three performances of the Fronterafest show to go and a dinner theater show in two weeks. I have that tell-tale tickle at the back of my throat that says I'm getting sick. I am sucking down Emergen-C and willing myself to stay healthy.

I have a weird skin rash on my left foot that I get when I'm stressed out. One of my toes is red, angry-looking and painful as a result of the rash. Will you still be my friends if I only have nine toes? Going to the doctor for that tomorrow.

Somewhere in all of this excitement (okay, stress), I've lost another two pounds. Grand total of pounds lost: 24. I just have ten more pounds to lose to hit my goal.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Constructing the Giant Squid

I don't mean to give away any spoilers here, just in case you're planning on coming to my latest theatrical venture, but there was need for a giant squid for this show. Feeling ever-so-crafty, I volunteered to make the squid. The tentacles are 10 feet long each. I stuffed the tentacles with (two each) five-foot-long floating noodles, because they provide flexible structure, and padded with polyfoam. There are approximately a hundred suckers on each tentacle in four different sizes, crafted out of pink felt with a single tight stitch in the center of each to give a puckered effect. The budget for the squid was about $50.

No patterns here, I just winged it. I think the squid turned out pretty well if I do say so myself. I feel a call to start making props for movie and theatrical productions.


Marigold wants to know what kind of freaky pet we've adopted now.

Finished and headed for the show!

My Birthday is in 10 Months...

How cute is this necklace?!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Do I Need Botox?

In the two shows (Fronterafest and dinner theater) I'm acting in currently, I play women who are older than I am in real life. It's got me feeling a little self-conscious about how old/young I look. Losing 22 pounds over the past year has been great, but the one downside is that my chubby, youthful cheeks have sunk. The skin on my face feels and looks to me like it's not as taut as it was a year ago. I see lines in my forehead and around my eyes. I'd chalk it up to wisdom, but I don't feel any wiser than I did last year.

Today while I was getting my monthly microdermabrasion facial, the technician said that she got as close to my eyes as she could to concentrate "on the little, fine lines we get around our eyes". Sigh. The technician had skin the color of an oompa-loompa from too much tanning, but I wear SPF 65 on my face daily. So how do "we" have fine lines?!

I think I need botox, at least in my forehead. Slap me if I start pining for a face-lift.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Our Maybe Dog

We went to the Blue Dog Rescue meet-and-greet Sunday. We met two dogs that I'd had my eye on. One was a complete spaz. I won't name names about who the spazzy dog was, but the other dog was just right. She walked with us. She sat on command. She let us pet her tummy. She's very calm. She has a big head and a small body.

Meet Janie, our maybe dog. We put in an adoption application. She still has some health issues to clear up, but should be ready for her forever home in about a month.

Here's her Blue Dog description: Janie

About three months ago, a Blue Dog volunteer saw me and my newborn puppies at the shelter. I was so patient with my babies (and so trusting of the humans who were handling them) that she promised me she would try to find a place in foster care for my little family. Thank goodness, a space opened up just in time, and I did a great job raising my babies in a foster home. But they have now all found wonderful forever families, and I'm hoping one day soon, it will be my turn! My name is Janie. That would be as in "Plain Jane". Let me tell you, my exterior may be kinda nondescript, but I have a beautiful doggy soul! I'm very sweet with everyone and good with other dogs, too. We've been working on "sit" and leash walking. I would play with the cats in my foster home, but they don't seem to want to play with me. I'm heartworm negative, about 1.5 years old, up-to-date on vaccinations, and have been microchipped and spayed too! Best guess is a Lab mix, about 38 pounds.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Shameless Self-Promotion

Busy, busy! I should be learning lines right now (how many times have I said or typed that phrase?) but instead, I'm listing the dates and times for my next show. Unlike the dinner shows I perform in, which are usually private shows, this show is open to the public -- that's you! Part of the Fronterfest Long Fringe, the show runs about 70 minutes.

You're Happier Than You Think
by my old friend, Max Langert
All performances are at the Blue Theater at 916 Springdale Road.
Tuesday, January 22 at 9:00 PM
Thursday, January 31 at 9:15 PM
Saturday, February 2 at 6:15 PM
Sunday, February 3 at noon

For tickets, call 479-PLAY (7529) from 1-6pm Tues - Sat. or make reservations online at www.hydeparktheatre.org.

Yikes! That first show is fast approaching. Must study script. Must go to gym.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Is it Memorex?

People sometimes ask how I memorize entire scripts, or how I learn my lines for a show. I use the same tactics that many people use to study for a test.
• I look over the script in sections, or scenes, trying to become familiar with little bits at a time, kind of like studying one chapter of a textbook at a time.
• I look over my lines right before bed so that I think about my lines or dream about the script while I'm dozing. This really works for me, much like looking over material the night before a test.
• As I get more familiar with a script, I start using an extra sheet of paper over the script to hide the next line from myself, I say what I think the next line is aloud. If I get the lines right, I move on down the page, but if I miss a line, I repeat it aloud five times before moving down the page. This is similar to using flashcards to study material.
• I learn the whole script, not just my lines. You never know when you or a fellow actor will forget something. As actors, you have to know your own lines and other character's' lines in case you need to help each other get back on track, or throw out a reminder. When you're studying for a test, you review all the material, not just the words printed in bold lettering, because you don't know exactly what you'll be asked on a test.
• Practice, practice, practice.

I'm lucky that I have a good memory and pretty quick recall when it comes to things that I hear or read. It's obnoxious that I can "parrot", or imitate, people's voices and facial expressions, but it totally comes in handy on stage when I want to make quirky characters seem more real.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


My first quilt! Technically it's a quilted wall-hanging. I'm so proud! I took a four hour class at Craft-o-rama! that covered all the basics. I highly recommend the classes at Craft-o-rama!.

Why did I want to learn to quilt? Chad is afflicted with oddly long, some might say monkey-long, arms. He also has freakishly pointy elbows. He manages to rip the elbows of his very lovely dress shirts at the rate of about one per month. I have tried repairing the ripped elbows, but they split open again or rip in a new section, thus not worth fixing. I've saved all of his ripped shirts and plan to cut them down for quilt blocks. Those old shirts will make the prettiest quilt when I'm done with them. The shirt-quilt will likely feature some of the most expensive fabrics you've ever seen in a quilt. Check back in a few months for photos of the shirt-quilt.

Channeling My Inner Betty Crocker

Here it is, photographic evidence that I can cook. I'm just not inspired to turn the oven on when the temperature is above 85 degrees Fahrenheit outside. I made a pumpkin pie from scratch. I even made the crust from scratch. I substituted half-and-half for the heavy cream. It was delicious and a little less fattening.

I still stand by my decision to take art and theatre classes for my electives in middle school and high school. Who needs home-ec classes when you have the internet to help find recipes and cooking tips?


On cold days, the kitties are the very best of friends. Purr... share the body heat.