Thursday, May 28, 2009

In your apartment

A few weeks ago, Laylabean posted this fun little photo meme. I wasn't doing anything of any note at the time, so I grabbed my camera and was all ready to take pictures when I discovered that my camera batteries were dead and it was too dark to take pictures with my phone.

It took me a week to remember to charge them in time for the airshow.

Then I couldn't find my camera cord (still haven't, because I haven't worked on my office boxes for a while).

So, finally, I remembered to take pictures in the daylight with my phone, and now you'll get a little preview of the apartment that is slowly coming together.

Here’s how it goes…

Grab your camera and take pictures of the following five things the way they are right now. No adjusting, cleaning, or cheating allowed! (I cheated, obviously. Sorry.)

1. Your front door

2. Your bed

3. Your toothbrush

4. The dishes you use most often (you can stage this one)

5. Freebie - your choice.

Then post them to your blog, on Facebook, to Flickr, whatever…somewhere we can all see them. Don’t forget to put a link in my comments so we can find you.

And so we have:

1. My front door - Technically, my front door is the garage door, but that's boring. See how my keys are dangling from the door? I was just about to walk in before I remembered to take this picture.

2. My bed - It's on top of my dresser and some cinder blocks and precariously close to the ceiling. But I haven't fallen yet. Mr. T didn't either when he first made it for me, as far as I know.

3. My toothbrush - Eilonwy has the same one.

4. The dishes I use most - Sorry this is so blurry. Oops.

5. My bookcase! Is pretty. This picture doesn't exactly do it justice. Thank you for all of your votes and ideas that I promptly discarded.

Your turn!

New York City, center of the universe

Warning: The following post is yet another one in which I discuss a recent trip to New York City. Yes, I seem to go there every other road trip, and that's more than fine by me. I hope you're not bored of reading about it, because I'm not bored of going/talking about it.

Once upon a time, I planned on spending my birthday on the beach (24). It had been fun the first two times. Then, I decided I'd join some friends who were planning a weekend camping trip. I mostly just wanted to have a good time with good people to have a good birthday, because when past birthdays have included everything from having a boy visit me in London (20) to being dumped (21) to being fired (22) to having a car break down (23), you prefer to have the birthdays on the more positive end of the spectrum.

Then the camping trip fell through. And it was a little late to find a spot on the beach.

So, I took myself to New York. My goal: see as much theatre as possible, spend time with my friends, and eat a cupcake.

Mission Accomplished

Saturday, I took advantage of the PERFECT weather (sunny, warm, with a light breeze) and walked everywhere. You don't see much when you ride the subway all the time, so this gave me a chance to stroll from downtown, through Tribeca, into the West Village, and then up to Midtown. It's a long walk, but lovely. I probably walked 5 miles or more. Another benefit of walking? It was Fleet Week. The buildings and parks weren't the only sites to see. . .

I took in Coraline: The Musical for the matinee (after a manicure, because I had an extra hour and they are super cheap in the city), which I have decided to describe as highly conceptual. It was interesting and I did like it, but not as much as I had hoped I would. Some concepts weren't carried through and the music wasn't terribly memorable, but it wasn't bad, just not stellar.

My evening show was Blithe Spirit, which features Angela Lansbury, Rupert Everett and Christine Ebersole. It was an absolute delight, hilarious and well done. Easily my favorite show of the weekend. Tyne Daly was in the audience too.

Sunday, I went to church and saw Gnomie, who will be rejoining the throngs in DC this week. Then, I met up with CorryZahn for The 39 Steps, a farce version of the Alfred Hitchcock movie and completely entertaining. We topped off our evening with dinner with the Enders at The Cowgirl Hall of Fame and a walk to Magnolia for cupcakes (which I didn't end up eating until last night because I'm allergic to the New Jersey spring and had a massive headache for the rest of the evening and then didn't get a chance to nom on them on my actual birthday, but still).

It was great. I was happy.

Then, I woke up to this on my Golden Birthday (25 on the 25th!):

That's right. A balloon. African violets. And a delicious birthday breakfast of cinnamon buns, homemade French toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, and orange juice.

Once again, proof that I have friends who are made of awesome. I was in such a great mood on the way home and the drive was much shorter than my last one that I blasted my music and sang all the way back to NoVa, with the occasional phone call from birthday wishers. (Sisterpants started and ended those calls at 1:43 AM and 11:40 PM. Because she loves me.) I made it back just in time for my dance classes, and a seafood dinner with one of my best local girlfriends.

So, to say that I was a little sad to return to normal life and work on a rainy Tuesday is an understatement. Good thing I had birthday dinner leftovers and there is still cake in my fridge.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Don't Stop Believin'

Stop. Click this link and then come back and read.

Did you notice Hugh Laurie? And John Malkovich? Both men are incredibly talented, but Mr. Malkovich has this way of disappearing into a role. If I hadn't known he was in this video, I might not have even realized it, and I pride myself on being able to recognize faces. There are some films he's been in that I know he's in and who he is playing and still don't even see him. I see his character. For instance, I recently caught The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy on Sci-Fi and he plays Humma Kavula. I didn't remember until after the movie, and even then, I didn't quite believe it. That speaks highly of the quality of his work. When you're watching Brad Pitt, you still know it's Brad Pitt.

(P.S. HHGTG on Sci-Fi is heavily edited, and you miss several funny bits and important exposition points. I was disappointed, but it was better than no HHGTG at all.)

It was watching that movie that sparked this musing about Mr. Malkovich, but then I saw this video this week and not only continued to love his work, but I'm in love with this song, even if I am 17 years late in hearing it.

And since I skipped out on last week's SOTW, here's another one, from Fox's new show, Glee:

It's pretty much one of my favorite Journey songs ever, and I will admit to getting choked up when I watched this on Tuesday night. I am so looking forward to this show in the fall. And you should be too. Watch the pilot here. Watch it twice. You're welcome.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The monkey on your back is the latest trend

In my blogging absence, or at the least the period of time during which I did a lot of cop out posts, I kept a running list of things I wanted to post about when I had the mental energy to do so. I've been working on that list, and had grand plans of working on it some more this evening.

Unfortunately, my blog topics list either doesn't make sense any more to me, as in I'm now thinking "How was I going to write a whole post about that and make it even remotely interesting?" or would require illustrations (AKA pictures) and I haven't found my camera cable yet. I did, however, find my battery charger, so there's a whole bunch of pictures sitting there just waiting for me to post.

For example, I could write all about my fun weekend, but talking about the cool planes I saw this weekend just wouldn't be the same as showing them to you.

But, to illustrate with words what I cannot illustrate with pictures:

Brian Regan + Friends + Thunderbirds + F-22s + A-10s + Acrobatic planes + A Zero + More Friends + The Sun + Halo + Even More Friends + No Homework = Super Fun Weekend

I'll find my camera's USB cord or come up with something else to post about soon.


Don't miss me too much.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I don't know what to do with myself

Ah unpacking. How I love thee. Everything that comes out of the boxes is a little decision to be made, which ends up being a LOT of little decisions and it wears me out.

So, I come to you to help me make one of those decisions.

How should I organize my bookcases? In the past, it's been rather haphazard. I had a Harry Potter shelf, a historical fiction shelf, a music shelf, and a genealogy shelf. And everything else just went wherever it fit. Did it make sense? Hardly, but it worked.

So what now?

Should I organize my books by


Alphabetical order by title?

Alphabetical order by author?

Not organizing them (the old way)?

Other (please elaborate)?

You have until Friday at 7:30 PM (the earliest I anticipate being able to start the setting up of the bookcases) to answer the poll on the right!

I hereby reserve the right to completely disregard the results. :)


Monday, May 11, 2009

In Philly, Boston, or Baltimo'

When we moved to Utah at the start of my 9th grade year, it didn't take long for me to make some new friends, especially Cinderella, who got me involved the local youth theatre, and my Not-My-Boyfriend. The two of them were involved in the Science Demo Team - 8 groups of 4 or 5 9th graders who demonstrated basic scientific principles to children in local elementary schools. In fact, they were the in the same group, the light group, and I found myself going to many of their practices and even helping out most of the time. Eventually, they realized that my help was invaluable and they convinced the sponsoring science teachers that they needed another person on their team and, because I had been to so many practices, that it should be me.

Now, this was quite an upset. The Science Demo Team was an exclusive group that you applied to be a part of as an 8th grader. You had to demonstrate both good grades in science, but in all subjects, and maintain those grades throughout the school year. There were always more applicants than spots and it was an honor to be chosen to wear one of the tie-dyed lab coats. Consequently, there was already a list of alternates that had been chosen long before I came along, and when the first alternate got wind of my appointment ahead of him, he was not pleased. Fortunately, another spot opened up on the team and he was able to join in the fun too.

The Science Demo Team toured the local elementary schools at least once or twice a month and even got to perform at UVSC. It was great fun! It was even on one of these trips that I got the high school nickname that still follows me around - Bubbles. We had a blast talking about the principles of light (and watching the other groups' experiments). And, of course, I did not mind being around my best friend and my Not My Boyfriend so much. I loved it.

My senior year, I was in the musical theatre class. One of our projects involved putting together a version of Horton Hatches an Egg (this was pre-Seussical) and, after performing in our own school's little theater, taking it to various area elementary schools. I didn't have a particularly large part, but I did get to help choreograph it, and it was a fun show regardless.

During my senior year at BYU, I had the privilege of being on the BYU Young Company, which has two "branches". One performs a classic play, the other a contemporary. I was part of the contemporary show, and our play that year was Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse. I played Grammy mouse and a little mouse named Becky (I got to pick my own name, and liked that one, for whatever reason). After a two-week run in the BYU Nelke Theater, we took our show on the road, two shows day, every Tuesday and Thursday for the rest of the semester at, you guessed it, local elementary schools. I have fond memories of waking up entirely too early and spending hours in the big BYU van, studying in between scenes, and performing a show we could eventually perform in our sleep.

It was sometime during this run that I realized I had been a part of a touring show during every one of my last years of junior high, high school, and college. I've also surmised that I've probably performed in every elementary school, at least once, in both the Salt Lake and Utah valleys. Crazy little fun coincidence.

I'm now in my final months of grad school. I'd sworn to myself that I would take a theatre break, at least on the performance side of things, for the duration, since there was no time. Still, my friend, Midge, convinced me that I should audition for the upcoming Institute play. I was told there were vocal solos and reading parts and that I would be a great addition. With only one or two rehearsals a week, I decided to go for it.

Lo and behold, it was an actual musical, Witnesses, written by our Institute director, and I was offered the lead! I was playing Catherine Jones Bennett, the matriarch of a pioneer family, traveling from Wales to the Salt Lake valley, and we were telling the story of our family and those we met along the way. The music was beautiful, the stories uplifting, and it was a great bunch of people I was working with. I made several new friends (many of whom made me feel very welcome in my new ward yesterday) and had a wonderful time with it, even if I had to come home many times to work on school projects late into the night.

It wasn't until moments before our opening performance that I realized that once again, I was in the final year of school and in a touring show! Sure, we were touring to local stake centers instead of elementary schools, and we only had a handful of performances instead of dozens, but it was a touring show nonetheless!

It was never my intention to create such a tradition, but I'm certainly grateful for it. I have great memories from those tours and am so glad that I was part of it all. I suppose that if I do go for more education, I'll have to find more touring shows, even if its puppet shows in my friend's living rooms.

Friday, May 8, 2009

White and nerdy

There's much discussion lately about what qualifies someone as a nerd, geek, or dork. (Here, for example.) Now, sometimes these terms are used interchangeably, but I'm here to proudly say that I'm all three. Or, as some random quiz I took online told me (I apparently saved the results, but not the link to the quiz):

Modern, Cool Nerd

96 % Nerd, 52% Geek, 35% Dork

For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.
A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.
A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

You scored better than half in Nerd and Geek, earning you the title of: Modern, Cool Nerd.

Nerds didn't use to be cool, but in the 90's that all changed. It used to be that, if you were a computer expert, you had to wear plaid or a pocket protector or suspenders or something that announced to the world that you couldn't quite fit in. Not anymore. Now, the intelligent and geeky have eked out for themselves a modicum of respect at the very least, and "geek is chic." The Modern, Cool Nerd is intelligent, knowledgable and always the person to call in a crisis (needing computer advice/an arcane bit of trivia knowledge). They are the one you want as your lifeline in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (or the one up there, winning the million bucks)!

You can also find more information here:

Now, if you aren't already thinking of all the reasons you agree with me, here is some of how I alternate between nerd and geek (I will not be listing my dorky behavior here, but I'm sure you've observed it).

I'm guilty of more than half the things on both of these lists. Or, actually, all, to some degree or another.

I get programming jokes. This one is new, since I only started programming in the last couple of years, so it always surprises me. The other day, Mr. T cracked a joke of this caliber and I laughed and then realized I was laughing at something terribly geeky and mentioned my surprise out loud. "Well, if you hadn't, I would have revoked some of your geek cred." Sadly, or awesomely, being called a geek by someone who is even more geeky than I am is something I consider a compliment.

My favorite shows are ones that are truly geeky (Firefly, Dollhouse, Heroes etc.), require some intelligence to really enjoy (Lost, etc.), and/or feature majorly geeky people as their main characters (Bones, Chuck, etc.). I plan on catching up on Big Bang Theory this summer.

RennFest. I'm 3 for 3 in Maryland so far.

I love my nerdy comics/webby things - The Guild, xkcd, PHDComics, Dr. Horrible

This is what I'm wearing today:

I was planning to write this post today, but I swear I did not wear it on purpose.

Other nerdy shirt worn this week:
I have nerdy plans. Things I want to learn and read about. Tech things I want to set up in my house (this one will have to wait, mostly). Skills I want to brush up on.

Librarian? 'Nuff said.

And, the reason I'm even writing this post today. Last night, or this morning, at 12:15 AM I was in line with Mr. T and two of his friends waiting to see the new Star Trek on the IMAX and was discussing Joss Whedon (mostly about Dollhouse), xkcd, and other nerdy things, not just with the boys, but with the boys in line directly ahead of us. In fact, because neither the stranger's friends nor mine could keep up, we ended up having our own conversation.

It was awesome. I love me. And nerds/geeks in general.

And now, since I haven't done one yet this week, I bring you an introduction to a rather nerdy singer-songwriter for this week's SOTW. Enjoy.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thanks to you it will be done

Obviously, I've had a lot to do the last couple of months. Most of it, I've had to do on my own. But I couldn't do it all. Not a chance. So, here's my current list of Heroes of the Day.

Everyone who helped me move - I had about 12 people here on moving day. I was out of the old house and into the new in under four hours. One of those friends and two others came on other days and spent several hours with me, packing and cleaning. I would have to pull multiple all-nighters to accomplish that same amount of work, and there is no way possible I could have moved it all on my own. In short, my friends rock, and I really, truly couldn't have done it without them.

Eilonwy - One Saturday, I spent probably three or four hours trying to download just a free trial version of Adobe Acrobat, since I needed to convert some files to PDF for my portfolio. I finally said "Forget it", changed my Facebook status to request help and went to bed. Enter Eilonwy. She sent me a link to a free download of PDF creating software. My next three hours at the computer (the following Sunday morning) were spent creating all the PDFs I needed. I love not having to fight my computer. Of course, when I thank Eilowny, she credited:

Theater Geek - Once again, this man is brilliant. As Eilonwy said, he was really the one responsible for my new found PDF creating skills. He also helped me figure out how to fix something on my bike (PS, I bought a bike, and I'm super excited about it) today, by sending me a link to a video I would have spent far to long Googling for. I'm often reminded that his wife is a very lucky woman, but I'm very glad to have him for a friend.

Finally, the one that trumps them all, at least to me, is Mr. T, a new character to this blog, but a friend who's been around for the last couple of years, albeit sporadically. While I'm grateful for everyone I've mentioned so far, his acts of kindness left me in awe.

As we were finishing up with unloading the truck, I needed to take it back to the old house so that I could help one of my friends move the couches he was buying from me. It needed to be done and the truck was due back soon. However, the cable and internet guy was coming within the next couple of hours AND my home teacher had inadvertently walked off with my car keys. Mr. T volunteered to wait for the car keys to come back whilst I helped move the couches, and I said we'd be back within 90 minutes, hopefully beating the cable guy.

Well, somehow, 90 minutes turned into 4 hours. Poor Mr. T had been waiting for me at my place for 4 hours. The cable guy had come and gone, and, as far as I knew, Mr. T had just been biding his time puttering around my place. Simply grateful for that, I drove his car back to my new place, dinner in hand.

To what to my wondering eye would appear but a set of boxes that were even more reorganized than I'd left them, neatly stacked in their approximate ending locations. There was room to walk around in, and I could find things. It looked as great as an apartment full of boxes could.

Then, he mentioned he'd been working on my compy. It's 4.5 years old, so of course it's slow, but he was working on some things to speed it up, at least a little.

It was at this point that I realized he'd made my bed. That's right, ladies and gentleman, he had found my bedding and made my bed. I was singing his praises for just patiently waiting for me for four hours, but then I saw the boxes and the compy and the bed, that I was just in awe. Now, the compy ended up taking longer than either of us had expected, but it's done now and running quite well.

Mr. T = The Awesome. And I pity the fool who doesn't know that. (Sorry. Couldn't resist.)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Drove to Tennessee

My latest trip to Nashville, a statistical report:

3.5 days spent on mini-vacation
3 days it rained
30 hours spent driving
28 hours driving solo
1 audiobook completed
3 of 9 - disc in which I thought I might have listened to this book before, but had been annoyed by the ending, which I now couldn't remember, and was annoyed that I couldn't remember the annoying ending and would still have to listen to the whole thing
8 of 9 - disc in which I realized that maybe I haven't listened to this book after all, because the annoying ending was kind of long and it would have started by now
9 of 9 - disc in which I realized that I'd listened to the sequel
10 hours that process killed
128 songs sung at the top of my lungs
2 20-minute naps taken in random parking lots (1 in each direction)
4 AM local time I actually arrived in Nashville
2 uncles visited (plus all the accompanying family)
1 cousin married off (the wedding and celebrations were just lovely)
4 hours of sleep before the wedding
1 lb. of strawberry Twizzlers consumed
2/3 package of Double-Stuf Oreos consumed
A lot of beverages (mostly water)
Every 100 miles - how often I had to stop as a result

On a scale from 1-10:

How much I enjoyed my trip: 11
How well-rested I felt after: 4
How much I love the rain: 8
How much I love driving in the rain: 0


All in all, an excellent weekend. Just not one I will likely repeat, at least solo, anytime in the near future.

Friday, May 1, 2009

He had other ladies, and other tunes, to play

Just a few more days until I can make my triumphant blogging return! I have much to share and I'm sure you're dying to hear it.

In the meantime, I'm taking a little mini-vacation. Just me and the road for a long time, 2.5 days full of family, and then it's me and the road again. Admittedly, I'm a little nervous, as it will be my longest solo road trip to date, but as long as I have my bluetooth and some audiobooks, I should be fine. And, of course, music.

One of my favorite things to do whilst I'm driving alone is singing my little heart out. I have an ever growing playlist dedicated to this hobby, and today's SOTW is one you can be sure I'll play at least once during my drive.

Your Daddy's Song - Ragtime, as performed by the ever amazing Audra McDonald

Better sound quality can be found here.