Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry, Happy Christmas Wishes

My favorite Christmas carol is Carol of the Bells. The song is shrill, kind of silly, features the onomatopoeia ding-dong a lot and is fast/allegro with people singing over each other at points. What's not to love? I played this song in my church handbell group when I was in the sixth grade. I never enjoyed or enthused over my violin or piano lessons (despite my parents' best efforts), but I loved playing the handbells. Wearing the white gloves, polishing the brass on the bells and depending on the other bell-ringers was all part of the ritual and the fun. After our handbell group played, the candlelight service commenced with the sanctuary lights dimming and the flames passing from one candle to the next in our very large Southern church. Those flickering points of light provided lovely illumination and cast everyone in angelic glow. I have this aural and visual memory firmly etched in my mind.

By the time I was in the eighth grade, my family had moved to the tiny town of Cross Lanes, West Virginia. Our church there was much smaller, as was the church sanctuary. The candlelight service was held late on Christmas Eve. This smaller church did not have a handbell group, but relied on the voices of the congregation for the music. As we left the Christmas Eve service that year, snow fell at a quick rate. The snowflakes caught bits of light in the quiet night sparkling like tiny stars falling. By Christmas morning, the whole town was covered in a gorgeous white, glittering blanket. That's my only white Christmas so far in life. I treasure the memory of it.

A good story features groups of three, because three is the magic number. It takes at least three legs for a stool to stand, three wishes for the moral of the tale to unfold. Even in the Holy Trinity of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit, three is the number.

I'm only listing two favorite Christmas memories here, because I think that the third is yet to come.

Merry Christmas to all.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Yes, this video is 16 minutes long, but well worth your time. Watch it! I went to school in Plano with the star/producer of this video, TJ Thyne. I often ran into him at speech tournaments and theater events. He's always been a charming person and a great actor. Someday I hope to be part of such a fun yet poignant film project.

And remember, you're great!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Saucy... Pasta Sauce

Yesterday I ventured down to south Austin at 4:58 AM to shoot a commercial for an Italian restaurant. Much pasta was consumed during filming. The pasta was delicious when it was warm, but cold pasta is not my favorite. I highly recommend the peach Bellini, and am craving one now despite the chilly temperatures outside. The cran-grape juice masquerading as wine featured a prominent fruity bouquet with a smooth, sweet finish.

The gorgeous ladies in the photo with me are Anne Clare (with whom I've worked on four different projects now), Yael and Michelle. They were so much fun! If you see the commercial, rest assured that we didn't have to fake the laughter at all.

I feel blessed to get paid to giggle and slurp pasta all day. However, that 5:00 AM call time was not so heavenly.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Way Too Tender-Hearted

One of my favorite cats I used to visit during my time as a Furry Godmother petsitter has a blog. The cat's people-mom is a writer, so you do the math. I subscribe to the blog updates and had not seen an update for nearly ten months. I figured that Tippy, the twenty-two-year-old sassy cat, earned her wings in kitty Heaven already, but I just received a blog update from Tippy. She is very tired, but still here in the earthly realm. She talks about how her mom is strong, young and healthy for a person, while Tippy is nearing the century mark in kitty years. Tippy assures her readers that she has had a great life, feels that she has fulfilled her destiny and needs to nap forever soon. She thinks that her mom will be okay since she's young and healthy.

I can't stop crying. It's ridiculous, I know.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Selling Out, But with Principles

Last Monday marked my second acting appearance in a commercial capacity. I worked as an extra for a series of promotional videos for the University of Texas' new business conference center. Because I graduated from UT, and have fond memories of my time there as a student and an employee, I feel just fine about lending my image and implied endorsement to the new conference center.

The other actors, film crew and I were treated to lunch at one of the center's dining halls. The food was delicious with lots of different choices. The dining area was comfortable and lovely. Well dressed porters stood by to clear dishes. It was by far the best craft service (food) I've ever had on a set. The rest of the conference center features warm, modern design and decor. Fast, free wifi is available throughout the building. The conference rooms offer options for huge windows with natural light that can easily be covered by an automatic shade for better viewing of projector presentations. The staff from the UT School of Business who managed the shoot were incredibly nice and appreciative of our time. Overall, I'd love to work with this bunch again should they ever need me.

You'll never catch me in a commercial for (dead) fur coats, weight loss potions or raisins. A girl has got to have her principles! I can't endorse goods or services that I wouldn't willingly use.

Deck the Dog

Chad and I haven't had time to deck the halls just yet. I managed to hang an evergreen wreath. Chad put the lights along the roof, only to find that half of the bulbs are burnt out, and that the timer (which he naturally left up on the roof) isn't set right. But, we did deck out Janie with her new Christmas collar and leash. I love that her collar says "naughty" and "nice", because Janie behaves very nicely when she knows you (or Santa) might be watching, but she naughtily squeezes through the kitty gate to grab kitty toys or kitty food when she thinks no one will know.