Saturday, November 06, 2010

Vanguard article links

I thought I would place these links on a single page, just to archive them.  Here are most of the articles I wrote for The Vanguard while I was a student at University of South Alabama.

News Articles
The Casual Critic (An Entertainment Review Column)
Harry Potter Books
I Used To Miss Him Book
Summer Movie Guide
Fall Movie Guide
Summer Movies In Review
Serenity Movie Review
Phone Booth Review
Summer Sequels
Charlie's Angles: Full Throttle Review
Local Cinema Review
Action Movie Reviews
Fall TV Lineup
Once Upon A Time In Mexico
Sidewalk Film Festival
Bayfest Music Review
Bend It Like Beckham
Top 5 Scary Movies
Janet Evanovich Book Review
Love Actually
Mona Lisa Smile
2003 Favorites
Big Fish
Reviewing Indie Screeners
Stealing Candy
Miracle Gold
50 First Dates
Winter Jam
Passion of the Christ
Glorious Appearing
Chick Flicks Coming To Theaters

Opinion Articles
A Special Hell

Employed again!

Got a job offer a couple of weeks ago.  I start Monday!  I am writing about my unemployment experience, but it will probably never see the light of day because it's a very personal and kind of emotional account of what has happened to me over the past 6 months.

Thanks to my friends and family who have supported me through this time.  Look for more blog posts here now that I will actually have something to write about again!  I will actually have kind of a life again!  It's going to be great!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Dear Future Employer

You have received my resume, or perhaps you will sometime in the next few weeks or months.  We may have even talked on the phone or in person.  You have thoughts about what you want your new employee to be like, and you have thoughts about the perfect background for that position.

What do you really want?  Someone with the perfect amount of experience or someone who will do anything and everything to get the job done?  You will be happy with my work and with my personality around the office. You will not regret hiring me, even if my background is a little different from what you think is ideal.

I am an experienced professional.  I may not know someone who knows someone, but I am great at what I do, and I want to be great for your organization.  I want to be able to call it MY organization and have some real ownership in what we do together.  I want to love my job, my career.  This is more important than the money.  It's more important than anything else, really.  I will give you more than 100%, not just because I'm trying to get and keep a job, but because this is the way I am.  I always give everything I have and more.  I throw myself into every project with all my energy.  I am passionate about doing the best possible job.  I am smart, resourceful, creative, and am great at multitasking and not freaking out when crisis comes.

And isn't that really the kind of person you are looking for?  Isn't that really what you want?  If so, hire me.  You will not be disappointed.  I give you my word.



Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Journal Topics: Treasured Memories

What memory do you treasure most?

I actually have many treasured memories; most of them involving a loved one.  The easiest way to list these would be to do one for each person.  This may be a long post!  So here they are, in no particular order.

Mom - I have many treasured memories of my mother, but my favorite one involves the two of us building a doll house for Hannah.  We spent weeks working on the house, using glue, wood, and paint to make a beautiful Christmas gift for the only little girl in the family.  When we were finished, we decorated the house with carpet and linoleum flooring, furniture, and pictures on the walls.  We put up wallpaper and stocked the pantry with tiny boxes and cans of food.  While we built, we talked, listened to music, sang together, and just had a nice time being together.  When I look back on that time, it really makes me smile.

Dad - My dad would take us to the beach when we were kids.  These trips were so special.  He would pack up all his fishing gear and we would pack a picnic and our bathing suits.  We brought massive towels to lie on in the sun and books to read when the fish were not biting.  My mother would put cokes in a cooler - we didn't usually have soda in the house, so this was a treat.  Whenever he caught a fish, we would squeal with delight (and a little bit of disgust because of how slimy they were) and watch while he took it off the hook and flipped it into the bucket.  At the end of the day, we would take the lantern and go look for flounder.  Sometimes we would get a few and they would go into the bucket too.  I remember how strange I thought they looked.  After that, we would pile into the car (which always smelled like fish because of all the catches of the day) and on the way home we would stop for ice cream.  Sunburned and tired, but filled with ice cream and memories, we made our way home.

Gina - Growing up with a sister created lots of memories.  Fixing each other's hair, sharing clothes, talking about boys, etc.  But one of my favorite memories of my sister happened only a few years ago, when I was single and feeling pretty lonely.  She took me out to her favorite pub and we spent the evening flirting with guys.  She introduced me to about five guys that night, none of whom I would have considered dating, but it was a bonding moment for us, and that meant a lot to me.

Jon - I have to say, I treasure every day I spend with this amazing man!  The first time we met, our first date, the first time we kissed - all are very special memories for me.  Not to mention the times we just sit on the couch with my head on his shoulder and his arm around me, watching TV and talking.  Or when he's sitting at his computer and I'm sitting at mine, and we are playing an online game together while in the same room!  Everything we do together is fun, even when it's not really a fun task.  Just yesterday we stained a piece of furniture that he built with my dad.  If I have to pick one particularly treasured memory, it would be the first time he said he loved me.  And every time after that!

Grandparents - All four of my grandparents are gone now and I regret not spending more time with them.  My most treasured memories with them are holidays - decorating for them and spending them at their homes.  We don't realize what we have in our grandparents when we are young, and since mine all passed away before I was really an adult, I never really appreciated the history, the stories, and the love they had. I still have the last Christmas gift my last grandparent (grandfather on mom's side) gave me.  We had Christmas at his house and the passed away on New Year's.  The gift was a Christmas candle holder, and I light a candle in it every year to remember him and my other grandparents.

Noah - What a special kid who is quickly turning into an amazing young adult!  I love him more than I can say.  My most cherished memories of Noah are those evenings when I would take him to dinner and a movie.  We both love comic book movies and since there have been so many of them in the last several years, we've always found something to go see.  He's so smart and funny.  I love spending time with him.  Of course with the addition of a girlfriend in the last year, I've seen less of him.  That makes me sad, but I know he has to grow up at some point.  He started high school yesterday.  I freaked out a little, I'll be honest!  I will also always treasure the two trips to Disney World with Noah, especially the most recent one.  We ditched everyone else in the afternoons and rode all the "fun rides" over and over!  It was awesome.  Taking the road trip with my parents to Niagara Falls, hanging out in the back seat with Noah, doing sock puppet shows to pass the time while the trees zoomed past the car windows, not a care in the world other than "are we there yet."  

Hannah - She's beautiful, sweet, and sassy.  I love just talking to her.  She just started 3rd grade and is the most grown up little girl I've ever known.  The night she saw her doll house for the first time, all finished and decorated, with little blonde dolls, was very special.  I also treasure the trip to Disney World last summer, when she met Snow White and her eyes brightened and she just smiled.  Watching her swim in the hotel pool with her brothers, splashing around in the water with her giant eyes and smile is a moment I'll never forget.

Kohl - Again, the Disney trip has to win this treasured memory contest.  Kohl loves elephants, so when he got to ride the Dumbo ride for the first time, I was so glad I was there!  Spending time with him is great because he's really starting to become who he is going to be.  He comes up with the craziest things to say sometimes.  We call them Kohlisms and they are just hilarious.

Chris - My best friend and constant source of support, Chris is always there when I need him.  Always ready with a quick word of advice or encouragement and of course, a smile.  I have a treasured memory of Chris, of sitting on the Orange Street pier something like 8 years ago, late at night, just talking about everything and anything.  We just sat there and talked forever.  I'm not sure I had ever had an experience like that before; just opening up to someone and talking to them about everything.  It was at that point that we became closer as friends and our relationship really turned a corner.  Rather than just being friends, we became something else.  I'm not even really sure how to define it.  Kindred spirits, perhaps?  I love our yearly trips to Birmingham to the Sidewalk Film Festival.  While I will most likely miss this year because of income-related issues, I can't wait to get back to it.  I miss spending quality time with my Chris and am looking forward to a time when I can do it again.

So many special people in my life and so many special memories.  It's a bit hard to really express all of them in a simple blog post.  But this was a great exercise, because it got me thinking about how much I care about all the people in my life and how much I enjoy spending time with them.  It reminds me of what is important - spending time with loved ones and making treasured memories that will last a lifetime.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

From idea to reality

I've been thinking a lot about creativity and productivity, as well as individuality in what we do as people.  I've come to the conclusion that I really like making things with my own hands.  I like tailoring things to fit my exact vision of what it should look and feel like.  It's exciting to me to design and make something, to see a finished product come out of what was first just an idea.

Writing is like this in a big way - to fashion an entier novel or a short story out of words is a very exciting activity for me.  I've gotten back to that lately and it feels great! 

Knitting and crocheting also fulfill this need to create.  Making blankets, wash cloths, clothing (haven't actually attempted clothing yet, but I will soon) and other items is a very satisfying practice.  Not only does it provide an outlet for creativity, especially with colors and patterns, but it also gives me something productive to do while watching TV or having conversations with people.  This is good, considering I am trying to keep from biting my nails (a nervous habit that returns when I'm under stress.)

I would like to try sewing.  I think I could actually be pretty good at it, and making clothes seems like a fun and creative way to pass the time.  Quilting is another thing I would like to try.

I did a fun experiment in mosaic tiles and would love to do that again.  It was an awesome experience and I can see myself doing mirror frames, table tops, and picture frames to use in my own home decor. 

I would like to try beading.  Making necklaces and earrings would be a great creative exercise with the added advantage of always having something that matches every outfit!  I'll think about that more and figure out a way to get started.

I love watching other people discover this same trait in themselves - the need to create.  Jon has it, too.  He paints and draws.  He's also an awsome crocheter - and now he's going to kill me for revealing that online!  Last weekend, we spent a day with my parents.  My mom and I cooked and gossiped and Jon and my dad spent the day in my dad's wood shop building a side table for the apartment.  Jon designed it and it's going to look awesome when he is finished with it.  He keeps telling me how much fun he had working on it - even though it was an extremely hot and humid day.  I'm pretty sure he's going to want to go back this weekend to continue working on it.  Which is nice because I get some mommy time that way! 

I think that's one reason I'm so eager to get this children's theatre started.  Theatre is like that too - you create a reality from an idea (the script)  How it is interpreted and carried out is up to the team involved.  I love that process - going from idea to reality.  It's just amazing to watch something unfold and become what it is going to be.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Colony Central: The Colony: Discovery Channel

I don't normally like reality TV, but I really am enjoying this season of The Colony. It's most likely because I'm sort of obsessed with post-apocolyptic scenarios. I have been since I read Alas, Babylon and it made me start really thinking about what would happen in the wake of such a disaster. How would I react? Would I survive? Would my skills be useful in this situation? Or would I just sit down on the ground and cry? It's an interesting question and it has been very interesting watching these colonists explore their own reactions on this show.

Colony Central: The Colony: Discovery Channel

Oil Spill News

DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. -- BP finished pumping fresh cement into its blown-out oil well Thursday, virtually assuring there is no longer a chance of oil leaking into the environment, according to company and federal officials.

Locally, officials have started removing boom from the water and are planning to further scale back cleanup operations as the amount of visible oil at sea and on shore has been reduced to nearly nothing following the capping of the well three weeks ago.


Sunday, August 01, 2010

Journal Topics: Red

Tell me about things that are red.

What an interesting and kind of odd topic!  Things that are red.  First thing that comes to mind is food.  There are lots of delicious red foods, including fruits and veggies - and most definately Italian food!

Red is a very dramatic color.  Fire engines, blood, eyes that have been crying - these are all red.  Tragedy seems to emanate from the color - but that's not all. 

Red is the color of roses and of love.  Valentine's Day stuff is always red or pink (which, of course, is just red with some white mixed in!)  Red is life and death.

I don't normally wear red - certain shades of it pretty much turn my whole face red.  There are a few things that I do wear that have some red in them.  Oh, and I own a few pairs of red shoes.  Sexy, right?  So that's another thing red is - sexy!  In shoes or cars.  Or lingere...

Red is the color of anger.  That's always a fun one, right?  When someone is "seeing red" you should probably stay out of their way! 

I find it interesting that so many emotions (seemingly conflicting, but maybe not) are associated with the color red.  It has made me really examine my own feelings about the color and its connotations.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Journal Topics: Details

Journal Topic: Describe what is going on around you in detail.

I am currently sitting on the floor, my laptop on the coffee table, facing the television.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer is playing on DVD, the episode where she finds out she is the reason that Angel went bad.  It's a pretty classic example of a guy turning evil as soon as you sleep with him.  Not that I've ever had that experience, but I've heard lots of women talk about it.  I can see through a window to my left that a storm is brewing outside.  The clouds are dark and swirling, and every few minutes a rumble of thunder overpowers the sound on the TV.  The trees sway in the breeze, sometimes gently and sometimes violently.  On my right side, also on the floor, a dog named Kaylee chews on a plastic bone.  The sounds are harsh and she looks a little vicious when she attacks the bone, but when I put my hand on her head she looks up at me with sweet, calm, gentle eyes.  Sometimes she places the bone on my leg so that I will hold it for her while she chews on the other side.

My phone sits on the coffee table, beside the computer mouse, just within reach.  Every few minutes, it chimes the tone that means an email has arrived.  This makes me think of how connected everyone is these days and whether or not that's a good thing.  I remember when people couldn't reach me unless I was at home, near the phone.  While this constant accessibility is a good thing in many ways (I can be reached by any prospective employers who may want to offer me a job at any time, day or night, no matter where I may be) sometimes I think it's a bad thing.  If we can't ever be unaccessible, there is no way to have a moment to ourselves.  If anyone can always reach us, it's hard to have any privacy.  Sometimes I turn off my phone just to achieve that sense of aloneness, that much-needed privacy.  But not until after 5 on weekdays, because I really need that call from a prospective employer!

If it were sunny out, I would have a very different story to tell for this journal entry.  I've been dying to get out to the pool and get some sun.  Perhaps later in the week...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

One month and no end in sight

I got a letter yesterday.  It was from an organization that had two jobs I applied and interviewed for, and it was a rejection for both jobs.  So that brings my good prospects list down from four to two.  One of the two called last week for a second interview.  This would be an amazing job.  Not only would it be great and not only would I be great at it, but even the lowest part of the pay scale would be $12,000 per year more than I was making before.  Waaay more than I would have expected to make at this stage.  I can't even imagine what I would do with that much money.  But I'm going to keep myself from thinking about that.  Can't count my chickens, especially in this economy.  I hope, hope, hope I get this job.  I would be so great at it.  I guess it all hinges on what happens Wednesday at 2 p.m.  Second interview, here I come.  And that's all I've got.  After that, there is nothing left.  Except the 30 other applications/resumes that are floating around out there.  Of course, who knows what is happening with those!

I hate this unknown stuff.  It's driving me completely crazy.  Yesterday was the one month anniversary of my unemployment.  It was kind of a dark day, as it was the same day that I read the rejection letter.  But then a little light at the end of that tunnel was a really nice email from the publisher of the first freelance assignment I attempted.  The two editors said my piece was fun, informative, and well-written.  So that was nice.  It made me feel a little better.  Like I am not completely worthless, anyway.

Oh, and I moved yesterday.  Back to the parents until this unemployment disaster is over.  Hopefully it will be over before September, because that's when I'm supposed to be taking a huge and wonderful step, moving into a townhouse with someone special...   But there is no townhouse without a job.  So you see how much hinges on this whole job thing.  If it takes me more than a few months to find something, I will not be a happy girl at all!  So I continue with the search in the hopes that something great will come along.  Or at least something acceptable that pays enough.  I'm not going to be too terribly picky at this point.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

nothing to do...

I hate days now.  Every week day stretches out in front of me with nothing to do, no purpose and no focus and no way to contribute to society.  I have decided that unemployment is so much more than just not having money.  It's not really having a purpose - an identity.  Especially if you are like me and part of who you are is wrapped up in what you do.

I became a nonprofit development/public relations specialist because I wanted to help people.  Having lost the second job I've had in the field two weeks ago, I feel like I have no way to help.

Sure, I have had a few interviews, and yes, I've tried to stay positive about everything and yes, there are other parts of my life that are very, very positive.  But not having a job is really hard for me.

I love nights.  I can be with people I love who also love me.  Nights are interesting and fun.  But the days... well, it's hard not to sink into depression or something when your days have no purpose.  I'm not sure how people deal with longterm unemployment, especially if they don't have children to occupy their time.

I've been spending my days mostly trolling job boards online and applying for anything that sounds at all appropriate, and of course going to the few interviews I've managed to land.  But that's only part of a day.  I've been watching a lot of TV and talking with my roommate a lot and playing on the computer a lot.  I should be exercising, but I can't seem to have enough energy to get off the couch most days.

I need to find a job quickly, before I lose my mind.  I am not good with this much alone time - this much leisure time.  I should be writing or doing something else productive, but I can't manage to do that either.  I try.  Oh, I have tried many many times.  But I can't manage to do it.  In fact, this is the most I've written since losing my job on April 15.  And now it's May 4.  And I'm still unemployed.  And not sure what the future will bring.  Which, of course, is terrifying.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Arts Alive

We won the competition!  Yay us!  It was such a neat experience.  The contest was "give us your best scene" and we really had fun getting back together, rehearsing the scene, and getting ready to perform it again.  It was great to put that costume back on and sing that song again.  I had no idea how much I missed everyone until I saw then again.

It was a great day.  We all had lunch at Spot of Tea, which is a great little lunch place in downtown Mobile.  It was nice having a meal together before the performance.  We all went to the changing area after lunch and got ready.  Then we went down to the outdoor stage and watched the other performances.  They were great!  When our time came, we did our scene and the crowd really seemed to love it.  I ran into some people I didn't really care to see, but that didn't change anything.  It was still an awesome day!

Our performance went really well, then we went back to the changing room to get back into our street clothes.  We actually missed the announcement that we won the contest because we were upstairs changing!  How silly, right?  But pretty typical of us.  We were happy to win, but that wasn't really why we did it.  It was just a lot of fun getting the gang back together for a few days and doing that scene again.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Ug Revival!

So about a month or so ago, we got an email about a little theatre contest that will be going on at this year's Arts Alive in Mobile.  The Powers That Be decided to do a scene from Ug, the Caveman Musical.  The contest is Saturday and we had a rehearsal tonight.  It was the first time we've been back together since the show closed in January, and it was so great to see everyone again!  What's really great is that we all remembered our lines a lot better than I thought we would!  So it's going to be a great experience, doing a scene from Ug in this contest on Saturday.  I'm happy to be back with my "tribe" again for a short time.  I have missed them so much and it's going to be a blast to perform this scene in front of the Arts Alive patrons.

We're doing this song.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Sunday Scribblings: Mentors

#209 - Mentors

Have you had a mentor in your life? Would you like one? For what? Have you been one? How? Everyone could use a little more help in their lives, can you see where you could be a mentor now?
This is a little late, but I wanted to do it.  It'll probably be a little jumbled like most of my journal/scribblings posts are, but that's okay! 
I have had several mentors in my life.  My mother is the most important.  She taught by example how to be a good woman.  She and my dad have helped me to know what makes a great relationship and I intend to follow their example.  I've had mentors during high school and at college.  The intern supervisor and academic advisor I had in college was a great mentor to me.  My first boss was too.  I've had several mentors at church as well, and in the theatre.
Have I ever been a mentor?  I like to think I have been.  I've supervised interns before and I hope I actually managed to teach them something and I hope they looked up to me a little.  I would love to be a mentor to someone.  In fact, I've been thinking very seriously about becoming a Big Sister so that I can mentor a girl in my community.  I need to really check into that.  I think everyone needs a mentor sometimes, and the great thing about that is you can have one and be one at the same time! 

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Sunday Scribblings: The book that changed everything

Is there a book that you read at a particular time in your life that changed everything for you?  Is there a book you think should be written that would change everything? Words have an incredible power if they are read/ heard by the right person at the right time.  What collection of words has been powerful for you?

So many books have changed my world, I can easily pick one for this question.  There is one book that changed and shaped me so much that I still read it once a year.  Fahrenheit 451.  The book that changed everything for me was about books being banned.  It really made me start thinking about what would happen if censorship went crazy and everyone got their wish to ban whatever books they want to ban.  Just because something is offensive to someone, that doesn't mean it doesn't have something important to say.  Whenever I read this book, I am always struck by how much the society in the story resembles our own society.  And every time I read a story about how some group or individual is trying to ban a book, I think about this cautionary tale and wonder if our society is on the road to a group of drones who watch TV and never challenge their minds or their world views.  I wonder if we are on our way to total apathy while the government takes our books, the treasure trove of knowledge and opinions and observations that we have in print, and burns them before our very eyes.  All of them.  Gone forever.  It scares me.  

If you haven't read this book, you absolutely should.  Here is the Wikipedia article about the book in case you are not familiar with it.  Read it.  And then fight censorship.

Friday, April 02, 2010


It's funny how dogs and cats know the inside of folks better than other folks do, isn't it?
Eleanor H. Porter (1868 - 1920), Pollyanna, 1912

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.
Josh Billings (1818 - 1885)

The Animal Rescue Site

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Journal Topics: Listening

What stops you from listening?

Repetition.  No seriously, I can't stand it.  If someone says something over and over, more than three times in a row, it makes me tune them out completely.  It goes the same for songs, stories, etc.  They say that comedy happens in threes, and I agree - but three is the limit!

Negativity.  If all you have to say is negative stuff all the time, don't say it to me!  I can't stand when people can't look on the bright side at all.  I'm not saying everything has to be positive all the time, but please don't constantly complain, and don't fuss about every little thing.  It drives me crazy.

Statements that attribute characteristics to entire groups of people.  People are individuals.  It makes me really mad when people say "All _______ are _________."  Like "all men are pigs" or "all women are bad drivers."

For the most part, I'm a good listener.  I love to talk with people about their problems, discuss current issues, and debate with people who disagree with me.  I love to listen to people talk about things that make them happy or sad, things they enjoy, events in their past, and how their day went.  Even if it was a bad day.  Actually, especially if it was a bad day, because that means you need to talk.  And I'm here to listen.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Journal Topics: Forgiveness

I will never forgive myself for hurting my sister.  I don't think the circumstances need to be made public, but I said something extremely hurtful to her when I was 16 years old, something that haunts me to this day.  

I spent my entire childhood wanting to be just like my big sister.  She was pretty, funny, popular, and always had a boyfriend.  I was average in every way and had a few friends.  It wasn't really until we found very different interests that we carved out very different identities, though.  She was great at sports.  I was not.  Well, I wasn't horrible, but I was nowhere near as great as she was.  I, on the other hand, was good at drama and music.  Even though I got rid of my very thick glasses and got contacts, went blonde, and became friends with an amazing group of people in high school, I still wanted to be like her.  Well, she said something that hurt my feelings one night when I was 16 years old and I shot back a comment that was the most hurtful thing I've ever said in my life.  

So I'd like to take this opportunity to say I'm sorry to her.  Gina, you may not remember this moment in our lives like I do, but I want to say I'm sorry.  I'm glad you are my sister.  I love you and would do anything for you if it meant I could take back that moment.

Now that we are adults, I have come to appreciate our differences.  I no longer want to be like her, or anyone else, for that matter.  I'm happy and comfortable with myself and am glad I can be who I am with the people I love.  I still admire her for the things she does and for the person she is.  She has overcome more adversity than just about anyone I know.  And she has done it all without losing any of that beauty, humor, and the lovable personality that she had when we were kids.

getting stuff done

I have been so freaking productive yesterday and today!  And last week, too!  Three grant applications last week, two so far this week, an info packet for our upcoming Women Build program, website updates, event planning, all kinds of great activity!  For the first time in a long time, I don't feel like I'm spinning my wheels without anything happening.  There are a lot of other things I need to do, but for right now, I feel pretty good about how things are going.

Still feeling a little unsettled, though.  I don't like closed doors and there are a lot of those lately.  I just hate not knowing what's happening!  Limbo is a bad place to be, and while I've never been told I need to feel like I'm there, I still do.  Frustrating!

But I'm not going to focus on that.  I'm going to look at the very positive things I've been able to do lately at work and I'm going to know that I'm doing everything I can to improve our situation and hopefully some of these things will pay off soon!

Monday, March 29, 2010


It's such an odd feeling, especially considering my personal circumstances.  Things are going so well right now in my personal life, I'm happy in a relationship for the first time in a long time, really happy.  But I still feel unsettled.  Tonight, I figured out why.  I like to have a plan and I like to know what's going to happen.  Right now, there is something in my life that is completely beyond my control and I have no idea if or when something will happen.  

Most people who know me know what that thing is and while it's something I'm not comfortable sharing in a public forum, please know it's not about my personal life.  As I said, that's going great!  

But still... feeling unsettled.  I have a big problem with not being in control over my own circumstances.  I feel very uncomfortable when I can't make decisions for myself or when I feel like I'm waiting for something.  And that's just how I feel in this situation... waiting to see what is going to happen.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sonnet 116


Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
   If this be error and upon me proved,
   I never writ, nor no man ever loved. 

Saturday, March 27, 2010


By Langston Hughes

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Pretty Kaylee

Okay, so she's not really MY dog, she belongs to Jon, but I will claim her!  Who wouldn't?  Isn't she adorable?  She was exhausted when I took this photo - you usually can't get a good shot of her because she rarely ever sits still, but on this day, she was worn out at the park and just wanted to rest quietly on the couch.    Anyway, I just had to share this photo because it's just too darn cute!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

This Too Shall Pass - OK Go

This Too Shall Pass - OK Go

You know you can't keep lettin' it get you down
And you can't keep draggin' that dead weight around.
If there ain't all that much to lug around,
Better run like hell when you hit the ground.

When the morning comes.
When the morning comes.

You can't stop these kids from dancin'.
Why would you want to?
Especially when you're already gettin' yours.
'Cause if your mind don't move and your knees don't bend,
well don't go blamin' the kids again.

When the morning comes.
When the morning comes.

Let it go, this too shall pass.
Let it go, this too shall pass.

(You know you can't keep lettin' it get you down. No, you can't keep lettin' it get you down.)
Let it go, this too shall pass.

(You know you can't keep lettin' it get you down. No, you can't keep lettin' it get you down.)


Let it go, this too shall pass.
(You know you can't keep lettin' it get you down. No, you can't keep lettin' it get you down.)

When the morning comes.
(You can't keep lettin' it get you down. You can't keep lettin' it get you down.)

When the morning comes.
(You can't keep lettin' it get you down. No, you can't keep lettin' it get you down.)

When the morning comes.
(You can't keep lettin' it get you down. You can't keep lettin' it get you down.)

When the morning comes.
(You can't keep lettin' it get you down. No, you can't keep lettin' it get you down.)

When the morning comes!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Renewed Commitments

I am renewing some commitments.  These have fallen by the wayside with all the theatre obsessions of the past year and with other things to do with my time, but I need to carve out time to do these things again. 

First off, I need to get back to exercising every day.  I was on such a great roll there for awhile and I just stopped.  One great thing about this renewed commitment is that I can do this while spending time with the amazing Jon, since we have decided to start going to the gym together.  We both want to get healthier and doing it together is a great way to make sure we keep doing it!  So yay for that!  And of course, on the days we do not go, I always have my dear friend, the elliptical. 

Another commitment is to my writing.  I've been doing a little of it, but not nearly as much as I want.  Also, I want to start reading again.  I have a pile of books that I want to read.  People keep recommending them and I write them down, but I never read them!  Maybe I should join a book club or something.

I have been knitting a little lately, which is great.  I'm kind of itching to start a new project, but I know if I do that, it just means I'll be working on the log cabin blanket even longer!  I really want to get that project finished so I can start using it.  Maybe it'll be done by next winter...  I went through some of my magazines last night and found some great quick summer projects.  I may have to try a few of those.  I still haven't tried a shirt or sweater or something like that.  Maybe I should...

So those are some things I'm going to work on a little more in the coming months.  I think I can balance those things with spending time with Jon and my friends.  In fact, I know I can.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Four Squares Finished!

This may take the rest of my life to complete, but it sure is fun!  Here are the four completed squares in their different configurations.  I still haven't decided what I want to do with them yet, but this helps me see what the finished product will look like - and I'm really pleased with it so far!!  Comments?  Which do you like better?

Monday, March 01, 2010

Atlanta trip and house/puppy sitting

We got back from Atlanta this afternoon.  Jon and I and his friend Chad all drove up together to see a concert.  There were a lot of bands and they all rocked.  The headliner was Epica, and they were amazing.  I love this genre of music, which I didn't even know existed until recently.  The music is metal, but the vocals are almost operatic.  In some songs, not even almost.  Whoever thought of having a classically trained female vocalist sing beautifully with metal playing behind her vocals is a freaking genius!  If you haven't already guessed, the show was a lot of fun.  I haven't headbanged since Poison and Def Leopard, so I was a bit out of practice, but I'm pretty proud of how I was able to keep up!  ;)

This morning, Jon went to the airport from our hotel in Atlanta to go out of town for work.  For two weeks.  It's so funny how things work, you know?  This time last year, we hadn't even met in person.  When we did finally meet (my fault, I put up walls because of the one kind of psycho guy I had met online before) it was often two weeks between our first few dates.  And it didn't seem like a long time, you know?  But now that we've been together for awhile and the relationship is going so well, two weeks seems like a year!  When you don't go more than two days without seeing someone and suddenly you don't see them for two weeks, it can be tough!  Of course, I'm going to be pretty busy because I'm house/puppy sitting for him while he is gone and this puppy can be a handful!  I love her and her crazy energy.  Wish I could bottle it up and sell it.  Or just use it myself.  Yeah, that would be good. 

So anyway, that's what's going on right now.  Here's a cute photo of us from the hotel in Atlanta.  I thought I would post it since I haven't posted a photo to this blog in awhile.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


Have you noticed the counter on the sidebar of this blog?  Not the concert one, although that's pretty exciting.  I'm talking about the Olympics one - only 2 days away!!!  I love the Olympics.  It was the 1980 Winter Olympics that hooked me - and I was really young.  One of my first memories ever was that hockey game.  So exciting!  And I've loved the games since then.

I'm really looking forward to the ice skating and the hockey.  Those are my favorites.  I love it all, but those are the best!


Ug Videos

Monday, February 01, 2010


So you may remember me talking about working with a good friend on his movie last Spring.  I had a pretty good part, though not one of the main cast members, and it was an interesting and fun character to play.  Well, it's going through all its fun post-production stuff and today my friend released his trailer!  Here it is, for your viewing pleasure:

Scotty is so much fun to work with and it was fun doing a movie for the first time ever.  Theatre and movies are so completely different that it took me a little while to figure out how to relate to the camera (and not to look at it, lol) and how to react to things that are not actually there.  That was a very interesting lesson to learn.  But anyway, check out this cool trailer.  I'm actually in it briefly, at least the back half of me is!  Haha!

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Little Break!

So tonight and tomorrow night will be the first two night break from the theatre in almost a month.  As much as I'm enjoying the run of the show, I'm looking forward to resting these next two nights.  Especially since I'm suffering from vocal strain for the first time in my life.  I know better than to let this happen.  I'm trained to avoid it, but for some reason, probably the number of high notes and the one song that requires a lot of belting, even breathing and singing correctly isn't helping.  Two nights to rest my voice and then five more shows.  I'm not sure I've ever experienced anything as vocally demanding as this show.  It makes me wonder if I can ever actually carry a show myself.  Maybe I'm not cut out for that.  (My dreams of playing Elphaba one day are circling the drain, I guess!)  I'm a little nervous about lasting damage since I've never had this experience before.  I hope my throat heals in time for Wednesday's show and that there is no lasting damage!

I'm enjoying the run of this show so much, though!  The actors are amazing and the crew is top-notch!  I love my "co-star."  He's really just so much fun to be around and to work with.  It has been fun watching him perform.  It has also been fun interacting with the audience, which is something you don't normally do on stage.  We're not just breaking the fourth wall, we're smashing it down and charging right through it!  It's interesting to break convention and really look them in the eye.  I was uncomfortable with it at first, but I'm getting better!  My parents and Noah saw the show Thursday, my best friend Chris saw it Friday, and Jon and his crew (7 people total!) saw it Saturday.  I think that's all my people, unless my sister decides to come sometime next week.

After Sunday, things should get back to normal.  I have so many plans for writing projects and knitting projects and other things I want to do!  There are some professional things I'd like to do, too.  Things that will require some attention and study.  It'll be nice to have time for all that!  And time to see Jon more. He has been so supportive throughout this process and I am so grateful for that.  Now I want to thank him by devoting lots of time to our relationship and showing him just how much I appreciate him being so sweet and supportive.  And this is it for the rest of the year.  No performing at all until 2011, unless something truly amazing comes along in the second half of the year.  Some of the theatres run a different season and haven't announced their fall shows yet.  There may be a fall show I want to be in.  But nothing that will interfere with going to the Sidewalk Film Festival with Chris and probably Jon.  I will not miss it again!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Journal Topics: I Love You

Describe the first time you remember saying "I love you" to someone outside of your family.

I've always been pretty conservative with romantic love and have only really said "I love you" to a couple of guys, and only when I was really sure I loved them.  So the first time I said it to someone outside my family was to a friend.  She was going through a really hard time and I was trying to be there for her.  I didn't know what to say, so I just said that I was there for her and I loved her.  I'm not sure if that helped, but I know that I always feel special when someone says they love me, so I hope it did.  I remember it so clearly.  We were at her house.  She was talking about her family problems and issues with boys and self-esteem.  We were teenagers and of course when you're at that stage of life, everything seems so much bigger than it is.  She was crying and very upset.  It was one of the only times she ever let me hug her.  And so I did - and just told her I loved her and that everything is going to be okay eventually.  To tell the truth, I was completely terrified that she would do something drastic and dangerous to herself.  I don't think my time with her had anything to do with her not hurting herself, but I do like to think I helped a little.  We are not in touch anymore, which happens as you grow up and grow apart, but I think of her often and hope that she is okay.

I say it to my friends and loved ones a lot now.  It's something simple that I can do to make them feel loved and special.  I love to tell people I love them, but only if I mean it! 

I grew up in a very loving household.  My mother especially was extremely loving to us and always said she loved us.  She also loved giving us hugs and letting us sit in her lap.  She is the most motherly, most nurturing person I know and I hope that if I become a mother some day, I will be as loving and nurturing as she was!  I think my attitude about love comes mostly from her and the way she expressed her love for us.

As usual, I've gotten a little off topic, but that's okay.  It was nice to reflect on the different kinds of love and where my attitudes about love come from.  Especially now, after a health scare involving my mother, and with my current relationship going so well, I've been thinking a lot about love and how we tell and show our loved ones what they mean to us.

Opening Night!

So we've done several test shows for audiences of family and friends and the shows have been kind of hit or miss, but overall it's going well!  The show is silly and fun, and I think audiences are really going to enjoy it.  I know we're having fun doing it! 

So if you are in the area and haven't gotten your tickets for Ug, the Caveman Musical, go ahead and do it soon!  We're selling out very quickly!

Monday, January 18, 2010

this is it

Well, we have our first audience tomorrow night.  It's a test audience, invited to watch the rehearsal to help the cast figure out pauses for laughter and stuff like that.  We always do a couple of shows like that and it's extremely helpful, especially for the newer actors.

So the verdict at this point, after tonight's rehearsal, is that we have the potential for a very, very good show.  It's got some rough spots, just like most shows at this point.  And we have two nights to really iron those out.  Well, really three nights since our first paying audience is actually on Friday.  I think we will iron those out pretty quickly under the pressure of actual people not connected to the play watching tomorrow, Wednesday, and Thursday nights!

I'm a bit nervous about my voice.  It's been hit or miss these last couple of days.  I bought some lemon tea and am drinking it like it will save my life or something.  I don't usually have this problem, but since I've had this strange tickle in my throat for the last few months (not really sure what it is and it's not really annoying enough to go get it checked) I have this horrible fear that I'm going to have to cough right in the middle of one of my ballads!  I really hope that doesn't happen!

So yeah, no pressure and no stress!

It really has been fun, though - and I'm glad I did it.  I'm really looking forward to opening this show and seeing how the audience will react to it, especially to the parts that completely shatter the fourth wall.  That should be a lot of fun!

I'm equally glad it's almost over and I can get my life back very soon!  I miss having free time and I don't like going a week without seeing Jon.  So yeah, it'll be nice to have some free time.

But now is the time to focus on the opening and the run of the show.  I'll give it all I've got, and I know my fellow cast members will do the same!  It has been so much fun working with each of them and I will miss them when it's over.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Journal Topics: What's troubling you?

The next journal topic on the list is an interesting one for today, considering that I've been venting about the thing that has been troubling me most for the last week or so.  But today is different.  Because I'm reading this topic today and because my policy is to do the topic on the day I read it, no matter what is happening in my life.... here we go!

Journal Topic: What's troubling you?

Right now, at this moment, I have an answer that's going to annoy at least several people in my life who hate it when I go on and on about how happy I am.  But I don't really care about how annoyed they get, because I feel like shouting this from the rooftops.  Right now, at this moment.. nothing is troubling me at all.  The issues I've been dealing with - my mom's health, my finances, work, etc... are not troubling me right now.  Happily, my mom is fine, so that's no longer a worry.  Finances are always going to be an issue, but I've decided that worrying about it won't do any good so I'm not going to worry.  Work is getting better.  I'm having one of those amazing moments when I have a feeling of peace that just spreads over my entire life like an umbrella during a rainstorm.  I've been praying for this, and it looks like now I'm getting it.  I'm not sure I've ever really experienced this kind of peace before.  Everything in my life seems to be coming together, for the first time in a long time.  Dare I say it?  I'm truly happy.

I know a huge part of my current happiness is having someone in my life.  I fought loneliness for so long and felt like I would never find anyone.  Now that I have and things are going so well between us, I find that there are possibilities in life that I had pretty much given up on.  I was sure I would never find love, that nobody would look twice to see what's inside rather than what's outside.  But someone did.  And happily, I see in him the same beauty he sees in me.  I've never been this happy in a relationship.  It's amazing.

The other happy parts of my life include a show that's about to go on, great friends, an incredible family, and lots of things to look forward to this year.  I love looking forward to things! 

So I got a little off topic, but that's okay since it's my blog and I can do what I want here!  This was an interesting topic for this moment, but I'm happy to say I answered it honestly.  I'm so grateful that nothing is troubling me right now!

Monday, January 11, 2010

11 days until Opening Night!!

My countdown tells me we have 11 days until opening night!  I'm really excited.  Last night's rehearsal went really well and now we've got ourselves a show!  I'm still looking forward to the time after the play so I will have some free time, but now I'm really looking forward to the run of the show, which is the feeling I usually have at this point.  It's going to be a lot of fun and the audience is going to love it.  And that's what's important!  I'll probably have some photos to share after rehearsal tonight if someone will use my camera to take some.

Friday, January 08, 2010


Warning: A rant is about to happen.  If you do not want to witness this rant, please do not continue to read this post.  If you don't mind hearing me complain for a moment, you may continue reading.

So we got paid today, which is normally a happy thing.  But there is a cloud over the payday happiness that I can't ignore that is making me angry.  My anger grows every single time I think about it.  Because it's a new year and the tax tables have changed, my check is less.  It's not a salary cut, but it is less money for me to use for frivolous things like groceries and gas, so it kind of feels like a cut, if you know what I mean.  Add to that the fact that our insurance rates have gone up twice since I've been here and I've never gotten a raise and you can see why I'm bitter.

You really have to love working in nonprofit to continue doing it.  That's all I have to say.  Why else would a person struggle to pay bills and still work their butt off if not to help others?  I don't normally focus too much on money, but this is really upsetting.  I wonder what my tax return will look like this year.  It'll probably be a lot less too.  This just sucks.

Thursday, January 07, 2010


As I reflect more and more about the past year, I am coming to an important realization.  I'm not a very balanced person.  No, this doesn't mean I'm unbalanced in the mental health sense - although I'm sure I have friends who would say that is the case!  What it means is that tend to throw everything into whatever I'm doing and neglect everything else for that one thing until I crash and burn.  This is a habit I would like to break this year by achieving balance in all areas of my life.  So the best way to do that (I think) is to list all the parts of life that I think are important and figure out how to balance them so that nothing is neglected.  So here they are, in no particular order:


I guess some of these speak for themselves, huh?  : )  So how does one achieve balance with this many things going on??  Well, by limiting the time spent on any one of these, maybe?  Everything in moderation, right?  That's my new motto.  I think it's a great thing to live with passion, but an overwhelming passion for one thing can really overshadow other important things in your life and can just take over.  So the goal is to achieve balance so that no one thing takes over any of the others.  It'll be interesting to see if I can do this!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

A Habitat Home for Christmas

short stories

I want to focus on some short stories in the coming months.  Short stories and flash fiction (which are even shorter stories) have never been my strong point.  I have a hard time with "slice of life" pieces, mainly because I like to include so much detail that it's hard to stop when the wordcount starts getting too high.  But one thing I've noticed while looking back on 2009 and my productivity (or lack thereof) is that I haven't been committed to writing different things.  I haven't been committed to writing at all.  I have a few ideas for short stories that really couldn't be anything longer - so I will hopefully be safe from the tendency to over-write.  These are not for publication.  They are simply to flex my writing muscles again and start slowly exercising the creative part of my brain as I ease back into a writing routine. 

So stay tuned for some short stories - after January, of course!  I may try to write one each month, just to give myself something different to work on while I do Draha and look for some paid articles and other writing jobs.

Wildlife.. sort of!

This is long overdue, but I was looking through my photos from our June 2009 trip to Disney World and found this one.  It was taken at the Animal Kingdom on the safari ride and features one of my favorite animals.  I just thought it would be fun to share this photo.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Making Ug progress

So we're off book now and things are starting to come together.  I love this part!  A few weeks from opening night, the costumes are being finished, the set is nearly complete, and we're talking about hair and makeup.  These are all things that make the excitement rise, that make the adrenaline rush, and that make us do what we do over and over again.

After all, why suffer so much unless you love something, right?  And suffer is not a dramatic word, really.  When you do community theatre, you really do devote your life to something for about three months.  This show has been in rehearsal since November and closes at the end of January.  And while I really enjoy it, I do really treasure nights without rehearsal.  Mostly because they are so rare!

Our light/sound guy came last night and played with the board a little.  It was cool to see the lights go on and off while we worked on scenes.  Tonight we're working Act 2, so that'll be fun.  Most of my challenging stuff happens in Act 1, so tonight should be a little easier.

So we open January 22.  Photos and more reports are coming.  Stay tuned.

New face for Snapshots of Life

So I found a good template and have been working on customizing it.  For those of you who are reading this on Facebook, go here: to see the new face of Snapshots of Life, the blog I've maintained since 2003.  I really like this template and am going to have a lot of fun tweaking it some more to add all the cool stuff I like to include in my sidebars.

Anyway, here it is!  Let me know what you think!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Under Construction

Please pardon the mess while I choose a new blog template and customize it.  This space may be very ugly for a little while!  But come back soon and see the new face of Snapshots of Life (in pictures and words)

Happy New Year!

I haven't actually made any resolutions this year, but I am making a commitment to post here more often.  I looked at my 2009 post count and it kind of made me sad.  I've been neglecting this poor blog and have decided to post more this year.

Welcome to 2010.  I know, the year is already a few days old, but the last few days have been kind of a blur for me so now that I'm back in the routine of everything, I'm taking a moment to think about what I want to accomplish in 2010.  I think it's okay to do this now, rather than on the very first day of the year.  It's okay to reflect for a few days before making these grand statements about what you want to do, right?

So here it is: my plan for 2010.  Things I want to accomplish.  Not resolutions, but goals. 
- Finish Draha outlines and start book 1 (for real this time!)
- Complete log cabin blanket
- Get more exercise
- Spend more time with loved ones
- Amend some of my 101 in 1001 goals (some no longer apply)
- Try something new once a month (this is a longstanding goal that has made my life so interesting in the last 10 years or so.  I do it every year and it's really great!)