Friday, November 23, 2007

these are my actors. i consider myself very lucky to be directing them in a short play that will open on december 8th. i'm excited to be doing what i love, so i'm basically a very happy camper.

the bulk of my experience is as an actress. i've been one most of my life. not as a career, but in community theatre, college, local theatre houses, and, for a short period of time, as a working professional. i studied various forms of theatre with paul gregory, tom stoppard, marion ross, mac owen, an uta hagen workshop, and briefly studied at south coast rep. acting is where most of my experience lies, but i think directing is what i do best.

these men have talent. each is unique in what he does best and i can use what i know about theatre, life and how comedy fits into both to make these guys even get a point create a moment, a beat, to choreograph the actors in movement, in their gut get a punchline right, to create a joke that's not in the script with just a few well timed looks. i want this to go well. not only for me, but for my actors, and the audience, who'll hopefully get to enjoy something we all created together.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

thanksgiving approacheth

in just a couple of days it'll be thanksgiving. it's one of my favorite holidays, and i don't know why. well, yeah, i do. my mom hated it, as she wasn't much of a cook. she'd complain about what a hassle it was to spend all day in the kitchen to produce a huge dinner. as a kid, i loved setting the table with the 'good' china, and being trusted to put the pretty crystal glasses at each place setting. i loved sneaking the black olives throughout the day, putting them on each finger and running around the living room pretending i was some black frog creature, then plucking them off one by one and enjoying the salty smooth taste.

sitting around the table was special. my dad always worked late, my mom never really ate a typical dinner, and my older sis was always out and about, so the majority of my childhood dinners were eaten alone. but not on Thanksgiving. my grandma would visit and we all sat around the dining room table and talk. it might not have been the most interesting conversation in the world, but it gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling just having us all together. the food wasn't gourmet, but it was yummy, simple traditional thanksgiving food, even if my mom did make the instant mashed potatoes, and served the canned cranberry gelled sauce. i still enjoyed it all.

when i was a young married gal i worked hard trying to figure out how to make standard thanksgiving food that was not out of a box or can. i mashed real potatoes and made real gravy. both were full of lumps and love.

then there was the year i discovered melinda lee. i'm a talk radio junkie and listen to it whenever i'm driving. melinda had a saturday morning radio spot and her show was all about food. oh, joy of joys. i learned how to cook by listening to her exuberant descriptions of how great it was to brine a turkey. i had to try it. then she gave me a gift. the cranberry sauce i crave. this stuff is tasty next to the turkey, awesome on ice cream, and scrumptious when sneaking it out of the fridge with a spoon.

here's my fav cranberry recipe. i doubt you'll make it, but i want to share just because.

amaretto cranberry sauce
makes 1 quart

2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 full pound raw cranberries
1/3 cup orange marmalade
juice of two lemons
1/2 cup blanched whole almonds (you can used slivered almonds, too. i've done both)
1/3 cup amaretto liqueur

bring the sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan. boil the syrup for 5 minutes. add the (washed and dried) cranberries and cook for about 5 minutes, until most (not all) of the skins have burst. remove pan from heat, then stir in marmalade and lemon juice.

transfer to plastic container. allow sauce to cool, then stir in almonds and amaretto. chill, baby.

I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving, full of friends, family and food so you get that warm and fuzzy feeling.


morning quickie

sometimes a quickie in the morning is a good thing, so by all means, let's get it started.

* yesterday we weighed in for our coworkers' weight challenge. i made my goal, plus lost an extra 1.8 pounds, for a total of 9 so far. woo!

* yesterday was also the day i had the luck to go to court to discuss visitation rights with my ex and a court appointed mediator. 3 hours sitting in a little room with the biggest liar was a challenge, stressful and gave me the worst tension headache i've had in years. no agreement was reached, even though i offered up what i thought was a pretty generous compromise. so we get to go to court again on the 28th and do it all again in front of a judge. (throw in your favorite cuss words right here).

* did i mention i dig my new boss? he was very sympathetic about me having to miss half the day, and even called me after work to make sure i was okay, as when i returned to work, the stress clearly showed through my mega professional exterior. there are good guys in the world.

* i've purchased several new books. some as gifts and a few for me. me= a cool cookbook, Insomnia by s. king (recommended by a good bud), and Born Standing Up, by steve martin. i adore steve martin. his blend of comedic timing and esoteric intellectuality is quite a blend that mckay enjoys. i've read his other books, Shopgirl, The Pleasure of My Company, and some of his New Yorker essays. i may even drive up to los angeles to hear him speak coming up in the next few months. i don't think it's a book signing, but more of a lecture on his early comedic years. we'll see.

that's all for now. time to wake up mckid and take on the day. i hope yours is wonderful.


Monday, November 12, 2007

love affair

it's been a long time coming, but it still caught me off guard. isn't that always the way with love? it hits you when you least expect it.

now that i've been out of my cave for awhile, i've begun to take a look around and most naturally, i've also been looking at myself with a fresh perspective. wanna know what i saw? someone who has not been good to herself. i finally realized that i've got to start liking myself more, taking care of me the way i do my loved ones. in fact, i need to love myself. sounds corny, but i need to put myself up on a pedestal and honor all that's worthy. i haven't been doing that.

i'm not 100% sure how to do this, so i'll probably be fumbling around a bit as this romance begins. it's awkward and weird, but right.

# # #

on another note, today i get to do something i've never done before. i get to participate in the great six week coworker lose-a-thon. several coworkers and i are going to weigh in, pool some cold, hard cash and see who is the biggest loser. i'm not going to be an overly competitive diet contest woman, but i think it'll be a good way to jump start my love affair.

here's what i've been having for breakfast for a week or two:

a few weeks ago i went to the vitamin store to get something good for my bod that'll give me some energy. kinda like buying flowers for a lover, but instead of roses i'm getting riboflavin. it's crushed ice, a little juice, some nonfat yogurt smoothie stuff, the vitamin protein powder and flax seed oil into a delish morning beverage. it's not too horrible to drink, and i've felt great each day i've imbibed. losing six pounds since i've started this is a plus, too.

yay me in a love affair.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

impulse buy bye bye

i've got to nip this in the bud.

you see, i've caught a bit of a virus - the spending bug. lately i've been attracted to all things shiny & new, leathery & cushy, and just plain awesome. for a girl who hates shopping, i'm sure doing a bang up job of it these days.

it started out innocently enough. i'd been without a camera for almost a year and HAD to take pics of mckid's first day of kindergarten, right? i think you get reported to child protective services if you lapse on this task.

i've been living in my new abode for almost two years now without any normal furniture. by normal i mean, without baby stains, torn corners, green marker drawings and basic cushiony goodness sans sagginess. must i say it? my furniture was hitonious. i waited for the best possible alignment of the universe's mojo (the no tax, free delivery, no interest, take three years to pay and oh, yeah, 30% off sale) and bought not one, but two badly needed couches. woo!

then it was mandatory to upgrade my ancient, but still perfectly working cell phone to the new-fangled qwerty keyboard smartypants phone, WITH music capabilities.....all for the sake of spending quality texting time with mckteen (which, btw, was downright affordable after the corporate slave discount and handy dandy rebate). i'm gonna send her a txt right now....just because i CAN! how cool is that? tech gadgets ROCK!

then i was buying sack lunch fixin's for mckid at the local buy more club and what do i bring home?

a flat screen tv.
with built in dvd player, no less.

now, wait. before you send the spendy spend police to come cut up my smokin' credit card... i had a good reason for this purchase. i was feeling sorry for myself.

this was the first year mckid spent halloween night with his dad. i was to be all alone and not one of the parents perambulating around the neighborhood as the kidlets gathered their candies. poor me.

with this predicament, i wanted to find some way to make the evening semi special and watching my favorite flick while passing out candy seemed the perfect fix. but alas, i had no suitable tv downstairs or mode to watch said favorite flick. hence, the impulse buy.

i know the beautiful little flat screen must go back and it will today. i also know there's a lot more to happiness than stuff. whenever mckid and mckteen are gone there's an empty spot in my heart that can't be filled with electronics or movies or any other thing. i'll go about my business, learn new things, take on new projects and live life with as much vim and vigor as possible. i owe it to myself and my kids to do so. that way they'll always see me with arms open wide and a goofy grin upon their return.

Monday, November 05, 2007

A.Vivaldi-Concerto G Allegro-Andante-Allegro

this is why i bought a guitar. the first piece i want to learn is the second movement of vivaldi's guitar concerto in d major.

in the john wayne movie 'the cowboys", there's a scene where one boy is playing vivaldi's concerto in d. i fell in love with it immediately. i don't know why i didn't bother to learn it then when i actually had a guitar. perhaps i thought classical guitar was beyond my reach. if i can find the movie clip, i'll post it.

another one of my favorite movies is 'a little romance'. the score has this music throughout. beautiful. romantic. entrancing.

i listen to this and my soul flies to the mossy bricked walkways of italy.