Tuesday, April 29, 2008

project preparations

Things are getting very, very busy at my office! It's great, though. I'm really enjoying the anticipation and the planning. This week is going by so quickly! It's a blur of activity and phone calls and following up on all the plans. Before I know it, the project will be here!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

status reports

I looked at some houses and some property this weekend, but didn't find anything acceptable. This house hunting thing is going to be interesting, isn't it? I've decided I will either buy one or find some property and have one built. I'm leaning toward having one built right now, because I can be part of the decision making process rather than having to change things when I move in, and also if I'm the first one to live in it, I know everything that has happened to the structure and I know it's been taken care of the way it should be. I know that sounds strange, but I've heard horror stories about people buying a house and then finding out that there is structural damage or that there was a flood or something, or mold in the walls, and that really freaks me out!

On Friday, I came home to two packages, and since I was only really expecting one - a swap package from my Ravelry swap partner filled with some amazing goodies - I was a little shocked to see two. I thought maybe I forgot that I ordered something. That wasn't the case, though, and the second package contained a pleasant surprise! I won a Microsoft contest and the prize was Microsoft Office Professional 2007! I haven't loaded it onto my computer yet because I'm trying to decide if I want it on my desktop or my laptop or if I can actually load it onto both with the license I have. That would be ideal, but there may be restrictions, although there was no fine print or anything.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Journal topic: Love

What do you do to let others know you love them?

This is an interesting one. The way I like to show love is different depending on the person and the situation. I love to hug people, but will only do it if I know the person is okay with that kind of physical contact. I have one friend that I hug everytime we see each other, and one friend that I've only hugged maybe twice in 20 years of friendship. I hug my parents all the time. Other than physical contact, I like to show love in lots of ways. I use words and actions as much as possible to show that I care about people. I tell them I miss them when they are not around, I care about what they have to say, I ask about their lives. I support them in times of need and give advice when they ask for it.

I think showing love is one of the best gifts we can give each other, and I always try to show the people I love just how much they mean to me. Of course, I don't always do it enough, but I do try. I hope that counts for something!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Funerals can be funny after all

Theatre 98 successfully opened its second show of the 2008 season last weekend to applause and a lot of laughter. Comedy is what this little theatre does best, and it truly delivers with Dearly Departed, a story about a Southern family dealing with the death of their father.

Led by director Timothy Guy, this cast made up of newcomers and Theatre 98 veterans truly embody the spirit of a Southern family. Dearly Departed stars Becky Thornton, Joshua Pirtle, Angie LoPresti, Catherine Phillips, Randy Hicks, Leslie Herring, Anthony Lee, Marcus Willis, Haley Moore, and Jennifer Spruiell. Special attention should be paid to Becky Thornton as the mourning (and somewhat relieved) widow. She plays the part beautifully, with the right amount of force and warmth, reminding me a bit of my own grandmother before she passed away. Also watch for the comedy of Marcus Willis as the Reverand, Angie LoPresti as the extremely religious and completely hilarious Margarete and Haley Moore as Delightful and Nadine. At the heart of the story, though, is Catherine Phillips as a woman who married into the Turpin family. She and her husband have been trying to have children, but she can't seem to carry a baby to term. She is the one who takes care of the entire cast when things go wrong - mothering them in such a way that makes her inability to have a child even more tragic, in my opinion. This sadness does not drag the story down, but gives it even more depth and heart, as she comes to realize her family is complete without a child, but does that realization come a little too late? These particular characters stood out to me, but other characters will resonate with other audience members differently, I'm sure. The acting is superb from the entire cast and much credit should go to director Timothy Guy and stage manager Hilary Martin for their attention to detail. By the way, the set is beautiful - this is a very colorful and vibrant show!
Dearly Departed opened at Theatre 98 on April 18 at 8 p.m. Upcoming showtimes are: April 23-26 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 27 at 2:30. Tickets are $15 per person or $10 for students. Prorated season tickets are still available. The box office opens on Monday, April 14 and the hours are 5:15-7:15 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Please call 928-4366 for tickets.

Argosy Blanket

I frogged my first sweater because I decided I didn't like the yarn after all. It was pooling in a must unusual way and I couldn't imagine wearing it. All is well, though - because I found a very cool asymmetrical blanket pattern that I really like, so I've decided to use the yarn to make it instead. Who cares if a blanket pools, right? It just has more character if it does. Anyway, the pattern is so much fun, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it looks when it is complete. Here's a picture of my progress so far:
I am really enjoying the little squares and I love how you add one to each side by casting on - it's just enough to keep the pattern interesting, and the yarn overs are a great break in the stockinette stitch pattern. So yeah, I'm really enjoying it and I'm glad I frogged the sweater. It's not sweater weather anymore anyway!

life decisions

I've made a very important decision. I'm going to really watch my spending and focus on paying off some debt. My student loan goes to the second tier of repayment in October, so the payment will double. Luckily, there are only two tiers and I'm making more money now so it won't really affect too much, but I've been thinking about something lately that will be a lot easier if I don't have a lot of outside debt. I think I want to buy a house. Either a house or a condo - but I really want to own something. I figure if I really save and pay lots of extra payments on my car and get rid of the credit cards, I can be debt free (except for the student loans, of course, in a little over a year. Then, I can find the perfect house - or have one built. I'm very excited about this idea. Of course, it means I won't be able to go on shopping sprees when I get paid anymore, but I can live with that!


I accidentally deleted my 101 in 1001 blog tonight. I was trying to delete a different blog that I had just created but can't take the time to update and still update this one as much as I want, but I accidentally clicked on the 101 in 1001 blog instead. My fault, I wasn't paying as much attention as I should have. So yeah, I have to start it over. I'm not sure I even remember all of the tasks I listed, so it may be very different. Well, that's a fun project to do someday soon, I guess! I think I should have integrated it into this blog to avoid having so many blogs floating around. I'm all about simplifying things these days. And speaking of blogging, I posted a review of Dearly Departed on The Casual Critic.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

that was fast

I found out this week that the woman who replaced me at my previous job just resigned. That didn't take very long. I know the natural thing in this situation is to be smug and say "I told you so," but it really just makes me sad. Things are not going well at the organization and I hate that because their mission is very good. I hope they can work things out soon. The flip side of this whole thing is the fact that I'm insanely happy at my new job and I actually feel a little bad about that because my former coworkers, who I'm proud to call friends, are so unhappy. I'll send positive thoughts their way and hope things get better.

Fairhope Film Festival Winners

Grand Jury Award"Racing Daylight" Directed by Nicole Quinn
Best Feature Film"Cold Play" Directed by D. David Morin and Geno Andrews
Best Documentary Film"In the Wake of the Assassins" Directed by Robert Clem
Best Short Film"The Gift Wrapper" Directed by Daniela De Carlo
Audience Choice Award"All Along" Directed by Robert Masciantonio
Special Mention Best Cinematography"A Thousand Hills" Directed by Mary Allison Wilmarth
Honorable Mention Creative Romance"Boyfriend Latte" Directed by Mark Sanders
The Heart of Fairhope Award"Jim and Jung" Directed by Matt Paulson

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Dearly Departed photo session

I took these photos tonight at the last rehearsal of Dearly Departed. The play opens Friday at Theatre 98 in Fairhope, and if you are around, you should absolutely come join the fun! I'll review the play at The Casual Critic this weekend.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Fairhope Film Festival Recap

Stop by The Casual Critic for my very late review of the Fairhope Film Festival. Also, please vote in the poll at the top of the page on that blog, because I want to redo some things with it and whatever opinions I get will help me do that!

Journal Topic: Growth

Who supports your growth?

This will be a fairly easy one. My family and friends support my growth. They always support me no matter what, and are always there to encourage me when I'm feeling down. In particular, my mother is very supportive of my growth and often tells me that she is supportive and proud. My dad is supportive and proud too, but he doesn't often say it. He does show it in other ways, though. He tends to show his feelings by teasing or joking with people, so when he jokes about how I should know something since I'm going to be paying for my college education until I'm 50 years old, I know it means he's proud of me for graduating from college.

My friend Chris, who is really more like a soul mate, although not in the traditional sense of the word, is totally supportive of my growth. He's so supportive of it, in fact, that he often nudges me toward things that would accelerate growth when I'm not sure I can do it. He has more faith in me than any other person on the planet, and for that I will always be grateful.

There are so many others in my life who support my growth as a person, as a professional, as a writer, and as a Christian. These are all important areas in my life that I want to see grow and thrive, so it's nice to know that I have support from all these people to help make it happen.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Dearly Departed test audience

I got to be a test audience member tonight for the upcoming production of Dearly Departed. It seems that the director wanted to make sure the actors got used to people laughing during the show, so he asked some people to come and help out. I asked Marcus to come with me and happily he did. I think he had a great time.

This show is so funny - seriously, I have never laughed so hard! I'll review it at some point, but if you're in Fairhope and love Southern comedies, you have to call the theatre immediately to get tickets! The box office opened today!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

lying in the hammock

Almost four years ago, I purchased a hammock at a silent auction. It came in a package with everything you need to make really good margaritas and a beach umbrella. The umbrella has been used so much it fell apart last summer and I took the margarita stuff to a party held by a Jesuit Volunteer who was working at my former place of employment while I was still there, so that took care of that. The hammock, however, has been sitting in the closet in the front room, waiting to be used. Yesterday, I bought a hammock stand and today I set the hammock stand up in my back yard and had a very nice afternoon reading outside in it. I remembered why I paid for the thing in the first place - I love them! I had just purchased "No Nest for the Wicket," the next book in the Meg Langslow mystery series by Donna Andrews. I love those books! Anyway, this one is screamingly funny and a perfect book to read outside, as much of it takes place during an extreme croquet game.

It was a lovely afternoon, and as the weather continues to warm up over the next few weeks, I look forward to many more like it!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Work doesn't have to be horrible

Just dropping in to say something very quickly. I've come to the realization that work doesn't have to be horrible. It is entirely possible to really enjoy your job. I know I do now, and it makes all the difference in my outlook, my mood, and my ability to enjoy life in general. It's great to be in a good place again!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

counterpane 1

It's been a busy week, both at work and after work. I've been spending about an hour a day writing after work, which has been working out very well. I'd update the progress bar, but I forgot where I got the code and I can't find a good progress bar anywhere! I'll do some searching this weekend.

I've also been working on a very fun knitting project! My aunt gave me a ton of Christmas yarn last December, leftovers from her crocheted Christmas throw, and I finally found a pattern that I want to use. It's a counterpane square pattern, and I'm using some of my extra acrylic to test knit a square. Here it is:

The squares are large, so you only need four of them for a small throw. The first time I saw a complete version of the blanket, I thought the leaves all coming together in the center looked a bit like a flower, so I decided to make it a poinsettia. It obviously won't look exactly like one, but it'll give a nice impression of one, especially if I do the leaves in red and the background in green. The pattern has some clearly defined sections, so I'm changing colors in the logical places and will hopefully use up most of the yarn my aunt gave me. It'll probably end up being a gift for my mother, because she saw the pattern and loved it. I'll see how I feel about it after it's finished. I may love it too much! It's quite easy and quick, which kind of shocked me. I expected it to be very difficult. Well - we'll see how I feel when I get to the next section!

Monday, April 07, 2008

what a weekend!

I'll be posting about my film festival adventures on the Casual Critic blog probably this evening. A more detailed description of the weekend will be there, because most of the weekend was spent participating in the festival and then spending time with the kids.

In case you were wondering, I decided not to participate in Script Frenzy this year, mostly because I... um... forgot about it! I was going to prepare and do an outline and everything, but in all the insanity surrounding getting a new job and everything, it just slipped my mind. Oh well... I didn't have a good idea anyway, so it's not a loss. What I am going to do is to concentrate harder on the Draha outline because it is taking FOREVER to complete! It's my fault, I haven't been committing the time I need to commit to it and it is suffering as a result. I will recommit to it and finish the entire detailed outline (all 5 books) by the time NaNo rolls around. I'm not sure how other writers do this, but my detailed outlines tend to be a chapter by chapter summary, including major plot points and scenes that are important to the chapter, so each chapter may have several long paragraphs describing what happens in it. Of course, this often changes, but it's so useful to have that framework. If it is done sooner, I will go ahead and start over on the first book (so much has changed from the original draft!) and do the second for NaNo. If not, I'll do the first book during NaNo and continue with the others at a pace similar to NaNo (with the detailed outline, that is usually possible) until all five are in first draft form. At least, that's the plan.

I just started a new knitting project that I find very exciting! Details and pictures later.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The View

No, I'm not talking about the TV show... the view from my desk in my office. Check it out, isn't it cool?? I love my office, I love my job and I love my view. I eat lunch at my desk every day just so I can spend lunchtime looking out the window at the cars that zoom by on the Interstate. It's nice. Most of the time I have the blinds only slightly open because of the intense amount of sunlight that comes in, and also because I don't want to be distracted by the view, but at lunchtime, I like to open the blinds and let the sunlight come in. It's a nice way to spend a lunch break.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

feeling better

Thanks for the kind words, both of you! I'm feeling better now, although not 100% yet. I decided to give my back one more night of rest before diving back into the exercises, but I did do a bit of yoga today and it felt really good to stretch out those muscles!

I'm completely exhausted tonight. Not sure why, but I am. I think I'll make a nice cup of hot tea, take a steaming hot bath and go to bed early. What an exciting life I lead, right?