Wednesday, May 28, 2008

new knitting project!

Still working on the blanket and started a new project, the Arrowhead Lace Shawl. It's turning out quite nice, although I haven't even completed the first repeat yet - I had to frog the entire thing three times when I first started, but I think I'm on a roll now! At some point, I want to design something. Not sure what yet, but I really want to do it sometime, maybe before the end of the year.


I haven't talked to several of my friends in a few weeks. I think I will call them today and see how they are doing. I hate that my closest friend is so far away (I'm talking about you, Chris!) because I could really use a night at the Coffee Loft and a Chris hug right about now!

Draha progress

I know it looks like I've been ignoring my writing, but I've actually been working. I started a short story that didn't really go anywhere, but I'm filing it for future reference. I've created outlines for two novels and one additional short story, but want to finish the Draha outline before starting the actual writing on any of those. That outline is still going pretty well, although I had to take a whole section out the other day. It'll probably go back in a little later, but it seemed to be revealing too much, too soon, so I removed it and pasted it at the end for insertion in the correct place. There was an image in the new Narnia movie, Prince Caspian, that looked so cool and I really would love to use a similar image for my portals, but I want to change it up enough so that it doesn't look like a ripoff. What's sad is that I thought of something similar before seeing the movie and was going to use it, but now because they used it, I hesitate to do so. Speaking of all that, if any writers are out there, I'd love your opinion on something. If a concept you have created sounds similar to something that you see later, do you automatically remove the concept or image, or do you go ahead with it? I know some ideas are fairly universal and can be used over and over in a story, but if your twist on something is similar to another writer's twist on the same thing, or only slightly different in the execution, do you go back to the drawing board? Just curious.

play selection time again!

Last night was the first official meeting of the new play selection committee for the theatre. We have some great choices for the 2009 season, so I'm excited about reading the plays and giving my opinion. This year, I'm going to be more outspoken about what I think. Last year was my first on the committee and I didn't really offer my opinion as much as I should have. My plan is to read at lunch every day, since there isn't really enough time to write very much during that time and I haven't been brave enough to bring my knitting to work. I've been just surfing the Internet while eating lunch, but reading scripts will be much more productive. Oh, and callbacks for Quilters are Tuesday. Guess who was asked to be there!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Christmas throw

My aunt gave me a bunch of Christmas yarn leftover from a beautiful granny square throw she made, and I finally figured out what to do with it. This is the beginning of that project, which will eventually be a small throw made of 16 blocks and a border. Here are the first four blocks, finished and assembled:

The other blocks won't have the leaves in the corners, but the colors will stay the same. I did a sketch of it and was very satisfied with the effect, so hopefully it will turn out nice. I started this project for me, but my mom is so in love with it that I think I might actually give it to her for her birthday this year, which is right before Christmas. I know it's a little crazy to be working on a Christmas throw right now, but you have to start early to get a project like this finished, right? Anyway, I'm pretty proud of this center square and I think the rest of it is going to look great too.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

house hunting adventures

So I've discovered that house hunting is full of highs and lows. So far, I haven't seen anything that has given me the right vibe. My parents are enjoying this almost more than I am, I think. I've been going online and finding places in my price range and then I print out the info and we plan a little driving trip on a Saturday to check out the places I printed. We did that last Saturday, with an interesting looking and affordable forclosure in Spanish Fort. I liked it a lot until I saw the backyard. Totally creepy and scary. I wish I had taken pictures. There's a tall wooden fence obstructing the view to the backyard from the front with a creaky gate. When you go in the gate, all you can see is the side of a metal storage shed. Not too bad, but a little strange. You have to sort of slide by the shed to get to the rest of the yard, but there is no sun at all because they built a roof over the entire backyard, connected to the house. Under this roof is a hot tub and an above the ground pool with a deck built around it. You have to get to the pool using stairs up to the deck, which isn't too bad, but there are so many dark places under the stairs and the deck where people can hide that I couldn't help feeling uncomfortable. A door leads to a screened-in back porch. It's not locked, so we walked in. The oddest thing was there - on the ceiling of that screened in porch were hundreds of those little screw-in cup hooks, only about an inch apart. The entire surface was covered in them. I couldn't imagine what they did with those cup hooks! I had a strange vibe before that, but that really creeped me out for some reason. Now I am sure they had twinkle lights or grew vines or did something totally innocent with those hooks, but it was still pretty odd.

After doing all that house hunting, you would think I’d be tired of looking at houses, but on Sunday I drove my sister around to look for a new rental house. She’s pretty unhappy with her landlord right now, because she found a snake in the house and he won’t come fix the hole in the floor where the snake came in. It’s behind a cabinet, so it’s hard to reach, and he said he wasn’t going to do it. She said she wouldn’t renew her lease if he wouldn’t fix it, and the lease is up next month. It’s lucky she doesn’t have to wait too long to fulfill her entire lease because this guy seems like the kind who would try to charge a huge penalty or something no matter why someone broke the lease. She called me today to tell me she might have found something in a neighborhood I was considering. I might consider moving in with her to help her out, if there’s enough room. It would help me out too, since it would be cheaper and closer to work.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Being a part of the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project

Preparations started just after I was hired for this job. We had a planning team in place and we worked hard for two months on a project that usually takes two years to plan. All things considered, I'd say it went very well indeed! I'll have some pictures later, but for now - an account of the project week.

We arrived at the build site early Monday morning. How early? 4:30 a.m! If you know me at all, you are aware that I've never seen 4:30 a.m. in my life! Living an hour from the site meant I had to leave my house at 3:30, which meant I had to get up even earlier than that. At least the day before was Sunday and I was able to go to bed relatively early. So anyway, we registered and checked in about 300 volunteers, and the day started with a bang! A lot of bangs, actually, because it wasn't long before the sound of hammering rang across the site, creating a rhythm unlike any I've ever heard. It was pretty incredible to watch the walls go up that first day, and to see the friendships that were forming on the different crews. We had ten crews, each working on their own house. By the end of the day, the walls were up and some of the roofs were beginning to take shape.

Tuesday was the highlight of the week for many of our staff members and volunteers, because it was the day the Carters came to work with us. It was a special day filled with lots of interviews and other media opportunities. I got to know several of our local media folks better and absolutely love them! The big question everyone has been asking me is, did I get to meet the Carters. The answer to that is that we were not officially introduced, but we did exchange some pleasantries. It was enough for me, because I knew how "in demand" they were all day and didn't want to get in the way of what they were there to do.

Wednesday was our last day of beautiful weather, and the crews took full advantage of it! By the end of the day Wednesday, the trusses were in place and some of the houses had some of the roof boards on. I had a great time on Wednesday working with the crew from the Baldwin affiliate, which is just a few miles from my house. They were great, and I really enjoyed getting to know them. I hammered my first nail for Habitat that day, and worked for a good four hours that afternoon, securing hurricane ties to the roof beams.

Thursday, it rained. Well, it actually stormed. There were tornado warnings in the area. But before the weather got bad, I did the unthinkable - I got hurt. I fell and hurt my ankle (the one I broke a couple of years ago) and couldn't walk on it very well for the rest of the day. We had paramedics on site and they took a look at it, telling me that it wasn't broken and to keep it elevated with ice on it, which I already knew but it was good to get a professional opinion. I went home at about 12 and found out later that they called it a day shortly after that because of the tornado warnings.

On Friday morning I woke up and was able to walk, so I went to the site. It was raining again, but everyone showed up anyway. We worked for awhile, but ended up calling it because of the rain. Everything was so soggy it was hard to do anything safely.

What is amazing about the whole thing is that the weather didn't keep us from getting to the point we wanted to reach before the end of the week. The houses are blacked in and waiting for the pros to come in and do electrical, plumbing and sheetrock. Later, when all that is finished, we will need more and more volunteers to come and help finish these houses.

All in all, it was an amazing experience and I'm glad I got to be a part of it! And if you are curious, my ankle still hurts and is still a bit swollen, but it's healing and I'm walking without a limp, so all is well in that department!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Quilters: Auditions

Auditioned for Quilters on Friday. I hope I get a part. The song went really well, I think. I chose to sing Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again, from Phantom of the Opera. I picked it because it shows off my high range, but also dips into the low a bit. We also did vocal exercises to test my range and then they tested my ability to read music by asking me to sing the harmony while the pianist sang the melody of a song. After the singing portion was over, I was given a script and page number and was sent out to the lobby to read over it while the next person did their singing portion. It was a great monologue that I wish I had known about when I was doing drama competitions in high school, because it would have been so much fun to do!

This musical seems like such a great experience for actors and audience alike. I really hope I get a part.

Friday, May 09, 2008

crazy, crazy week

I haven't been around much this week and I won't be around much next week either. The big work project is almost upon us, and most of my time will be spent working on it. I have a feeling, though, that the long hours and the preparation will be totally worth it once next week actually starts. I'll have a full account at the end of the week, I'm sure!

I'll try to post, but if I don't, just know that I'm very busy and I'll update as soon as I can!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

email scam

Just a little public service announcement. I got an email from the "Internal Revenue Service" today asking me to click on a link and give them my information, including social security number and bank account number.

Of course, I knew this had to be a scam, just because these are never legit, but just for funsies I did some online research. Here's the link I found: Hoax Slayer IRS email scam

So I know most people reading this will not respond to the email, but I thought it was important to post something about it. Don't respond to it!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

plays selection

I had a board meeting at the theatre tonight. It was a great meeting and afterward the script selection committee met for about an hour to discuss the direction we wanted to go for next year's season. I have several scripts to read, but if anyone out there in cyberspace has any thoughts on a good play for a community theatre with a small stage, feel free to share!


Today, I accepted delivery of all my project "stuff." Two kinds of t-shirts and nail aprons, to be added to the items I already had and stuffed into a goody bag for each volunteer. We are still a bit shy of the number of volunteers we wanted, but we can do our work with the number we have, so I'm not too worried. Now if only half of the ones who signed up actually come, then I'll be worried! I don't anticipate that happening, though.