Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween at the office

That's me, under Elphaba's skin on the left. (This photo is my favorite because I didn't know what my co-worker was doing on the other side of the portable wall. I was just told "Cast a Spell", so I did!)
At a friend's Halloween party last year. I was going for "black bird". You can't see the feathers in my hair or my giant black feathered wings in this photo.

The "black bird" was actually a punt, after I realized that people no longer read anything aside from blogs or e-mails.

My original costume last year?
Well, that was a specific black bird...
"Quoth the ________....Nevermore...."

This year I was too busy to think up anything new, so I'm revisiting Elphaba. So far so good!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I'm one of "those" people

I can't say with any measure of certainty that I'm a "type A" personality. While I'm goal oriented, and believe that in order to truely give yourself over to your passions you need to be obsessive about them on some level, I can say that I am the type of person who desperately needs something to look forward to. It's rare that I don't have some "count down" going on. Sometimes it's short term (such as "6 more hours of work left!"). Sometimes it's long term (like, "2 1/2 more months until I turn 30!"). Sometimes there isn't a time frame attached at all (such as,"Someday I'll come home to more than just my dog." ).

So let's update you on the lastest count downs.

2 more days until I get to The Lion King the musical!

33 more days until my first week long vacation in FOUR YEARS! Disneyworld here I come!

1 more day until weigh in. (Blah! 1 more stinking pound! Is that too much to ask?!)

3 more days until Halloween! Okay, so it's not my favorite holiday, but it's usually still fun.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

When is too much - too much? - A Saw question...

It’s no secret that I like all kinds of movies. Okay, I lie. My interest in action flicks has largely died off. I like something that makes me think, contemplate things from a different angle, or transports me to another world all together. I adore clever writing. When it comes to horror movies, I am more interested in the psychological horror flicks. For example, “Seven” was one of my all time favorite movies. Having a very small background in Latin, I found “Event Horizon” fascinating as well.

“Saw” was one of my favorite contemporary horror movies. The first film was one of those where, by the end, there was rarely a person in the audience who didn’t inhale sharply as the enemy revealed himself. It wasn’t as much a horror flick as an over the top crime drama.

I also truly appreciated the fact that the director and one of the actors wrote the original story and worked the concept into a blockbusting, cult following, success. I love to see ‘the little guy’ make it big.

That said, the second Saw film was disappointing to say the least. The third seemed to return to the original concept a bit more and that helped.

As the movies went on, you learned more and more about the fascinating villain.

That said – I believe the series is dead. Milked for all it’s worth, I truly hoped the Saw V would be the final movie. The ending didn’t seem to agree with me, but I was okay with an open ending to the series. But now, Saw VI has hit the theaters…

Yes, I’ll probably see it. In fact, I had planned on missing the movie, but was recently offered a free ticket to it, so I won’t turn that down… but somewhere through Saw IV it dawned on me what’s truly frightening about these movies.

It isn’t the gore.

It isn’t the concept of someone watching you and holding you accountable for what you do and fail to do – in their own twisted way.

It’s the fact that there are enough writers out there to continue to think of devices and traps to kill people. In the last film, there was a variation of ‘the Rack’, only instead of pulling the spread eagle victim to pieces, it twisted all the extremities to unnatural angles.

Which begs any thinking person to ask the moral question…. “When do we draw the line between fictional entertainment, and food for psychopaths?”

I don’t leave the theater for Saw movies feeling jumpy. I leave feeling nervous about the people sitting near me.

Friday, October 23, 2009

When the shoe doesn't fit... don't force it

"Acceptance is not submission, it's acknowledgment of the facts of a situation. Then deciding what to do about those facts." - Unknown

I got to thinking today why my best friends are my best friends. And it all boiled down to one thing.


We've accepted one another for who we are without much questioning. It doesn't mean we don't challenge each other to grow. It doesn't mean we think every decision the other person makes is perfect. But it does mean that we accept each other who/what they are in the moment - and leave the "changes" that need to happen up to God.

I don't think there is a person out there who hasn't wished something about someone else was different. In fact, I'd wager most of us have tried to shoe horn someone into our ideas of what they should be. I know I've been guilty of that in my life. Maybe we think it'll make them better or happier. No doubt it's well intentioned. People rarely put that much effort into someone/thing they don't care about.

But when the shoe of our ideals doesn't fit someone else, there is really only one solution.

Get a bigger shoe.

I'm the type to listen when my friends point out something they feel is a flaw or that they wish was different about me. I weigh it out and see if it's something I want to work on, or not. Some things (like not being so hard on myself) is something that's been brought to my attention. I constantly work on that.

Other things - I don't work on. I don't see it as a flaw.


Two years ago, a couple of people very close to me had a conversation about me. One later told me, "We both wish you were more girly."

Honestly, that stung. But it's also not the first time I'd heard it. Each time, it felt like a slap. A good hard one.

While it is never intended to sting, it does.

It's a reminder how difficult it is for people to accept things that seem different.

In case you're a new reader, you may want to check out this entry: Rough and Tumble Chicks guide for Dummies.

I consider myself a woman of the durable variety. I don't complain about working up an honest sweat in the sun. I'd rather be there than in a gym. I rarely feel disappointment at breaking a nail. I can't tell you about the latest episode of 90210 because I was too busy playing with my dog or reading the latest fanatasy novel to watch it. I love a good pair of jeans, hiking boots, and a sweater, but I also love my little black dresses (and always look for excuses to wear them). I would rather spend my money going on trips and adventures than buying expensive make-up, though I love the occasional spa treatment and bubble bath. I love a good glass of wine just as much as a good mirco-brew. My ideas of camping involve a tent, not a hotel without roomservice. I can travel without a make-up case, but that doesn't mean I don't wear it when I want to. I can direct you to a fine dining resturant just as easily as I can direct you to a hole-in-the-wall pizza or mexican joint. My idea of "settling down" is something akin to climbing a mountain with my child on my back and my husband right beside me. 2.5 kids and a white picket fence has it's appeal, but it's never been a life goal for me.

I feel that being a little bit rough around the edges gives me the freedom to enjoy life on more levels than I could if I was worried about getting a dirty or maintaining the current style.

I'm not a girly girl. But it's been my experience that a level head is more valuable than the color or style of the hair coming out of it. So think Rough and Tumble women have our own charm.
Afterall, I enjoy being a dream chaser - and doing whatever is necessary to follow those dreams.

Everytime I think of that particular "shoe" others have tried to fit me into, it reminds me that, when I find I start to do the same thing - I need get a bigger shoe.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Congradulations to a Glass

This weekend, another pal from high school got married.

I have to admit, she has one of the most creatively themed weddings I've ever seen.
It was a travel theme - which fits the voice-over artist very well.
The two ladies below I knew in high school, and, as of this year, neither of them have the same last name anymore. In a few months, they'll be celebrating their first very married Christmas.

It's always bittersweet to see people move away. Not that the former Miss Glass (the bride) and I were exceptionally close, but it's a reminder of the constant changes we go through in life. While some would argue marriage is "just a peice of paper", I believe otherwise. It's a big change. It won't "fix" a troubled relationship. It's security comes from the amount of trust and commitment between the couple - to the point where they wish to honor one another by saying, in front of witnesses (family and close friends), "I choose this person to share my one and only life with."

Marriage, in my eyes, is one of the last remnants of honor two people can give each other in our society. In a marriage, it's a constant act of forgiveness, commitment, devotion, and the decision to grow together when the world would rather tear you apart.

In brief - Marriage rocks.

How can a divorcee like me feel this way about marriage?

Yes, I'm divorced, and it's given me a different insight now that I didn't have before. But I refuse to believe because the vows of my youth were broken, that marriage is a "bad", "negative", or difficult thing.

I know what it's like to have plenty, and I know what it's like to be struggling.

And I know that everything is easier when you aren't in it alone.

Would I get married again?

I hope to! Granted, I may never be a tradition domestic goddess. I know my version of "settling down" more mimics the wedding theme above than any dreams of 2.5 kids and a white picket fence. I believe life is an adventure - and your family are those you choose to accompany you on yours, and them on theirs.

So to these newlyweds, I won't say "good luck", because "luck" has nothing to do with it.

I will say - "May your mountains be tall - and the view be worth the climb.""

"Paranormal Activity" - my review

There is a lot of buzz about this movie that promises to be this generations "Blair Witch". Curiousity got the best of me and I ended up seeing it last night.
(Double click the preview below to see it full size.)

And ya know what?

It's not the "Blair Witch" of this generation. Several times I had to look away from the screen due to the single camera jostling during the film. I never had to do that in Blair which, but I am attributing that to the fact that "Blair Witch" was shot largely in black and white or night vision, if I remember correctly.

This movie is also slightly mismarketed. In fact, in my opinion, it's pretty much mistitled.

It's not so much a movie about the progression of a haunting. In fact, there is no ghost involved. Instead it's a move about the progression of a possession.

It starts out slow, as we get to know the young couple. It even has some laugh out loud funny moments during scenes were they do mundane things like brush their teeth. These 2 characters are much prettier than the Blair Witch cast. Her hair never really looks like she slept on it - you know, the basic hollywood stuff. But that's not necessarily too much of a detraction from the story.

As most movies of this type go, things are slow for a while. Unexplained foot steps on the stairs...a creaky door that movies for seemingly no reason... just basic simple theater tricks that honestly had me more giggling than frightened.

In fact, between the nausea from the motion sickness, and the slow pick-up, I almost left the theater considering the movie a waste.

But it was FAR from a waste...

The acting of the lead actress just gets better and better. Her terror is very real. Her boyfriend's reaction to it all at some points seems pompus, but knowing their age bracket, and the character's occupation (a day trader), it doesn't come of as unbelievable that this guy is skeptical yet deeply desires to be in control.

I don't want to spoil anything, but the scare at the end is well worth sticking it out.

Oh - and one more thing I loved - the lack of soundtrack and credits. No credits in the begining or the end of the film gave it a much more realistic feel. It simply opens with a note from Paramount Pictures thanking the"families" of the couple for the footage.

I believe most of the audience in the full theater I was in felt the same way. While many chatted, laughed, and made cynical commentary through the film, by the time it ended - there wasn't a peaceful soul left on the room.

Highly recommended... if sleeping at night isn't on your agenda. The irrational fear of the dark takes a good long time to shake! In fact, I saw the film almost 12 hours ago, and have no fear of demons, and I'm still a bit jumpy!

So far - this is your best bet for a Halloween spook.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Spare tires are sexy...

I hate cars sometimes.

Don't get me wrong, the "T" (since my car is a Pontiac Torrent, it's affectionately refered to as "J's T") has been a great car. It's a little over 3 years old, has over 85k on it (yes, I bought it new), and hasn't had a major issue yet. Just little stuff, like new tires, new battery, and basic matienence stuff.

Usually, my cars pick the second worst time to break down. What's the second worst time? It's when you FINALLY have money in savings, and it'll take just what you have in your vacation fund to fix it.

But this car is pushing that just a bit...

On my way back from Disneyland on Sunday, I heard something funny and we checked it out only to find a tire was flat. We filled it with air, but by the time I was able to get it to Discount Tire (who usually patches such things for free), it was flat - again.

So the tire can't be fixed, and I can't afford new tires at the moment.

How am I getting by?

If you've followed this blog, you know by now that I'm not a big complainer. I'm sure this blog would be far more interesting if I just griped about every little thing that came along in my life - but that's just not how I'm designed. Instead, I knew I needed to find a creative solution to this hurtle (which will only be a hurtle until payday next week).

I'm living life on the edge by having the spare on there and avoiding driving (which is okay). I'm well over the recommended 50 miles as it is, so I am "going green" and using public transportation whenever I can. With my Ipod to keep me company, bussing it is actually not a bad, relaxing way to get to and from work.

Thankfully, I have some money coming in next week slated for a set of new tires (yeah!), but until then J and the T are on thin ice.

In the mean time, I'm wondering how many people will stumble across this blog just because of the title. Leave a comment if you do. Inquiring minds want to know.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"The best is yet to come"

First the latest bits of news with me, and then the actual BLOG will begin:
1) I'm not moving. At least not until after '09 is over. So I'm sticking it out in the lake house. Which is something I actually feel totally okay (and, dare I say it, even happy) about.
2) Weight loss is at a stand still, but my body is going through an adjustment phase right now, so I'm okay with it. I'm making healthier decisions and that's what counts!
3) 49 days until my vacation.

Okay - now that that's done...

This weekend I hung out with some friends from high school (Gerber Baby's Mom and Gerber Baby's Dad). That got us talking about our high school years. Gerber Baby's Dad was considered a real catch in high school. Okay - so he was considered very good looking, but didn't have a "filter", so speaking wasn't always his strong point. But he was a generally funny guy who was good looking - and knew it.

It got me thinking about those people who say, "That was the best time of my life." As I approach my 30's though, I find my view on life is a bit longer sighted.

K-8? Definately NOT the best days of my life.
High School? Not bad, but definately not my peak.
Early 20's? Definately not bad, but I don't think I'd really hit my stride yet.
Mid 20's? Gained a TON of much needed flexibility, understanding, and confidence!
Late 20's? Definately finding my stride now, and looking better than ever. :)

But I believe the best is yet to come. ;)

Good women are like a fine wine - we only get better with age.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

An Era Ends...

Back in 2006, I met a wonderful group of My fellow cast members in "American Standard" helped me through what could have been a much more difficult time in my life.

(If you're not one of the folks who came to see this originals show - we played singing, dancing, toilets. Great music, lots of laugh, and very little traditional potty humor!)

Trudy introduced me to Mr. Charlie's Fortune Cookie - a Chinese restruant with a great little lounge that had fun, classic style, kareoke. We were there every chance we got.
The oddest thing has happened since those "good ole' days". Everyone I used to go to Mr. Charlie's with has moved away.

And last month, Mr. Charlie's itself....

Definately the signal of the turning of a page.

Thank you for the good times, Mr. Charlie.
You will be missed.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Apartment Anxiety?

This morning, through some measure of persistance, I was able to get approval for one of the apartments I've been looking at.

The excitement I expected to feel, well, I don't.

So now I'm wondering, "Why?"

In sorting through all these thoughts, I thought I'd blog about it. I'm sure some of you dear readers (ye brave, ye few) have been there done that.

Here's my moving background.
Until 2006, I was a bit of a nomad. I would move in to a place, and unpack to a degree, but I never allowed myself to get too attached to any one place. "Home" for me has always been something I've found in the love of those around me, not in a specific location.

When I moved into my little lake house, I unpacked more than I ever have. It became "home". I threw parties and hosted overnighters. I didn't have neighbors sharing walls we with. I have a little yard... it felt like, well, home. A perfect place for a couple to start their lives together - even though I've been in the unmarried crowd since I moved in.

So all that said - let's talk about the state of things at that house.
Since it was built in the 1930's, it's an older house and has many "older house in the country" problems. I've had termites, rats, possums living in my roof, and ants. I'm in "fire country" so the Witch Creek fires in 2007 only missed my house by 9 feet. I can't seem to keep up with the yard work on the regular either. A few other things have just been due to age - like dry rot in the roof (which has since been patched), dry rot on the porch by the back shed (so rotten you'll fall through if you walk on it) and a broken fence. I also lack heating (other than a small iron wood-burning stove) and air conditioning, and live in an area that gets below 32 in the winter at night, at above 1oo in the summer time.

My landlord is entering her 90's. She's very sweet, but on a limited income and is unable to keep the property up. I also, admittedly, haven't made much of fuss about it...

Anyway - all that said, you'd wonder why I'd want to live there.

Well, a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are some...