Buttercream is Awesome. So are running, biking and many other things.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Black Friday - Why I Do It

A lot of people blast Black Friday for it's encouragement of consumerism and debt.  A lot of which, unfortunately, is true.  There are many people out there who use Black Friday as an excuse to spend all kinds of money they might not otherwise because "it's such a good price!"  It is that mindset that helped send us into this economic downturn, because everyone started spending more than they could ever pay back in mortgages, credit card debt, etc.  And the banks didn't help by approving loans that counted overtime as regular income, loans that had ARMs so ridiculous, no one would be able to pay it back and to people who didn't have very good credit to begin with.

However, there are other people, like me, who go Black Friday shopping because there are things that we need to get that we had been putting off because we didn't want to spend the money to pay full price.  I have been wearing the same boots since my freshman year of high school - nine years ago.  My jeans were too big (yay weight loss!) so I needed a new pair or two.  Now, I'm not saying I didn't splurge a little more than I normally would, but buying one sweater on final clearance or three pairs of underwear that would normally been $14 each (that were only $4 Friday morning) isn't breaking the bank.

There is a fine line that needs to be walked when it comes to going shopping on Black Friday.  It's a good time to get something that you have been putting off getting because you don't want to buy something full price.  It's not a good reason to spend so much money that you are still trying to pay off the debt from last year's excursions on Black Friday while planning your excursion for this year. 

So, I go Black Friday shopping for need, not want.  But shopping for want is not bad, within reason.

Or, as my sister-in-law so eloquently puts it, "I'm never going Black Friday shopping just to wake up early, stand in line and punch someone in the face for the last thing."

Hope your Thanksgiving was awesome, whether you celebrated or not!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year I have so much to be thankful for, some of which I didn't have last year!

I am thankful for a wonderful husband, who is always there for me and felt like my husband well before the ink was dry on our marriage license.  He has been amazing and supportive through all of the changes that I have been going through the last year.

I am thankful for some amazing friends that I have, four of which (Nicole, Melissa, Courtney and Lee!) I will get to celebrate Christmas with early on Sunday.  They are there for me always and there is never a time that those four ladies ever are more than a phone call away.  Now that I've singled out those four, I'd like to tell you how thankful I am for the other friends that I have too.  New friends and old, life in Moore would be very boring without them.

I am thankful that changing my major didn't turn out to be a huge mistake.  I have never been so happy.  I have missed class like four times the entire semester and every one was because I was sick.  I have learned so much in the last year about myself, acting and theatre in general.  I love going to class, I learn so much and I love to study for the classes I have.  I am passionate about what I am learning and that is so important. 

I am thankful for my family.  My Mom and Dad, Matt, Zack, my parents-in-law and my sister-in-law Liz, extended family and all of the puppies in both families.  I won't get to see everyone over the next four days, one of my Uncle's and his family are moving and another Uncle's family is going to Chicago, but I am thankful for such a big family, even if it is a wee bit stressful at times.

I am thankful for all the other exciting things that are going on in my life right now, which I can't go into detail here, yet.  But as excited as I am about right now, I am even more excited for the future, including graduation.

I am thankful for all of you who come here from Marriage Confessions (You are amazing, Katie, and I am so glad I found your blog!), Fat Cyclist, Wide Lawns (congrats on your wee one being brought safely into this world!) and other blogs I comment on.  And those of you who come from Twitter or Facebook, thank you for reading and putting up with my links.

I hope you all have a safe, wonderful, Happy Thanksgiving, from my little family to yours.  See you Monday!

P.S. Go vote at the Pepsi Refresh Project for the Williamston Theatre!


30 Days of Truth - Day 26: Have You Ever Thought About Giving Up On Life? If So, When and Why?

No.

I have never, and I hope I never have a time in my life that I consider that. 

And, if you are considering that alternative, DON'T.  Life will get better!!  Call the Kristin Brooks Hope Center hopeline at 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433), use their online support or email support!  Suicide is never the answer.

What a depressing topic right before Thanksgiving....  but this song is amazing!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Handmade, from Scratch

With the holidays right around the corner, and by corner I mean in two days, I have been doing a lot of baking.  More than I usually get to - which is great - but it's out of necessity more than anything.

However, this necessity turned out to be the best thing!  I always knew that I loved baking but last night after rehearsal I was finishing up the rolls and started on the apple pies.  I found this great pie crust recipe on allrecipes.com which makes two entire pie crusts (which I have made before) - yay for quick and tasty! 

I needed five pie crusts and it's late, it's eleven at night already!  Thank God I had made extra apple pie filling in September/October and froze it!  I don't want to make each recipe individually to have enough, that would take forever and I want to go to bed.  But I also didn't want to overload my mixer and break it - that would suck, future baking would be difficult for some recipes.

So, I mixed the flour, sugar and some of the butter with the electric mixer.  Then I dumped it into a bigger bowl and worked it by hand until I needed the water added - which Adam helped with.  I kneaded it all by hand until I could make a ball and then separate it into the right number of crusts.

It felt so good!! Working the dough like that, mixing everything together, kneading it, rolling it out.  All the stress just seemed to roll out of me and it was wonderful!  Words can't describe how awesome it was.  I could so do that for a living.  But then the stress relief might not be the same.

Ah, sweet success and relaxation....... 


......Except finding space for everything in the fridge was a bit of a task!  We did some cleaning out of the fridge, consolidating extras and drank a lot of milk!

Happy Thanksgiving!

30 Days of Truth - Day 25: The Reason You Believe You’re Still Alive Today

Because it's not my time yet.

I don't know what else they expect us to say here.  I suppose that if someone had considered taking their own life, they could write something better than I have to contribute to today's topic.

So, with that, I'm going to say, I haven't completed my life's work yet.  I still have something, or somethings, to do in this world.

I don't know what it is, exactly, yet.

But you can bet I'm going to figure it out and do it!

Monday, November 22, 2010

30 Days of Truth - Day 24: Make a Playlist to Someone, and Explain Why You Chose All the Songs

Five years and about four months ago, I met a boy.  His name was Adam.  He was cute, funny, smart and older.  About one month after we were officially dating, it was Sweetest Day.

This was the only time that I have truly celebrated Sweetest Day.  It was a week after Adam told me he loved me, but I had been planning this longer than that.  I love to plot and plan surprises, and at the time I had the money to spend to be able to surprise him.  So, at the time Adam was renting from his parents and I borrowed the extra key from his Dad, and on Saturday morning of Sweetest Day I got up really early and snuck in to the house and made him a surprise breakfast.  Pancakes, bacon, sausage and eggs.  I brought juice and made him a mixed CD for us to listen to while we ate.  I was trying to be really quiet, but the smells of yum and light scrapings woke him up; he's a light sleeper.  So, he came down before breakfast was ready, but he was still surprised.  I also gave him my class ring to wear that day (he had lost his but found it two years later.)  It's one of my favorite memories of us from early in our relationship.

But in line with today's topic, here is the list of the songs from the CD I made him for Sweetest Day.  Needless to say, they are all sappy romantic songs...

Adam's Sweetest Day Mix

1. I'll Be - Edwin McCain (which eventually became our song and was our first dance at our wedding)
2. I Swear - the country version, not the All4One version because I couldn't remember who did it first
3. Don't Wanna Miss A Thing - Aerosmith
4. Long, Slow Kisses - Jeff Bates
5. Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You - Frankie Valli
6. That's What She Gets For Loving Me - Brooks and Dunn
7. Because You Loved Me - Celine Dion
8. I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston
9. God Blessed the Broken Road - Rascal Flatts
10. Have I Told You Lately - Rod Stewart
11. I'll Go On Loving You - Alan Jackson
12. Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison
13. I'll Be There For You - Bon Jovi
14. Amazing Grace - Celine Dion

Of course, it was after this that I found out that Adam doesn't really like country.  But, he still loved the CD and the surprise. :-D

1700 Points....

.....and I made a rice bag!  Well, two actually. We have an MSU themed one that I think Adam's Mom got for him, but it's a tube and not really useful for backs or other wide areas (like my ass) so I had been meaning to go to Joann Fabrics and get some fabric for a wider one.

Then Saturday after a five hour rehearsal Friday night, I awoke to muscle soreness in my back (new!) and a pulled hamstring (which I knew about 10 minutes into the rehearsal).  Then my procrastination at getting material became a serious lack in judgement.  As I'm laying there, I think WAIT!  I have a ton of left over material from my previous projects! Why get new material when I have some I can use already?!?  So I stumble my way out of bed and picked out a purple handkerchief print I used to make my shoulder bag (and my lunch bag) that I had purchased the rest of the bolt because it was half off (and I loved it!)  I cut out a big section and started sewing.

We didn't have any rice.  And I had to go to rehearsal with Jenny.

Sigh.  My heated relief had to wait.  There was an upside though - the driver's seat in the car is heated!  So that held me over.

I rehearsed with Jenny and I went to the store to get rice.

Lee had a pillow she wanted me to fix, so after I did that, we sat and chatted whilst I finished my first rice bag!  I haven't seen her in weeks, so I was really glad we could hang out for a little while.  She's graduating in a few weeks and moving out of state so we have to get our happy visits in while we can - flights are expensive, even within the U.S.

Anyway, I only made one with Lee there and I made the second one much faster after we watched The Kids Are Alright (I'll write about the movie later).  I was planning on doing a tutorial for those who wanted to make their own when I made the second one, but I forgot.  Ooops, sorry!  So I will make more and remember to make a tutorial the next time!  I have all kinds of material and rice is cheap :-)

And now you're probably wondering what does 1700 points have to do with rice bags?  Well, nothing.  But, I use MyView Survey to earn points towards rewards and I am 1700 points away from a $25 Gift Card from Amazon which I am ridiculously excited about!  Then I get can some of the things on my Amazon Wish List!  I have too many things I want, and sometimes I hate that about me.  But I also really want to expand my sheet music library, book collection and I need heavier weights and a heart rate monitor for when I'm doing P90X.  But the fact that I have four lists separated into "categories"kind of irks me.  Ugh.

Anyway, I only need to do 1 1/2 more full surveys to get the gift card and I can't wait!  Woo!!

**EDIT** I now only need 850 points :D

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Quick question!

If you haven't figured it out yet, I don't blog on Sunday.  But I was wondering, when you leave a comment and I reply to it using the reply button next to your comment, do you get an email letting you know that I responded?  It's a third party widget, so I'm curious.... let me know in the comments!

Happy Sunday!

30 Days of Truth - Day 23: Something You Wish You Had Done In Your Life

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm not really old enough to have any true regrets of things I have or have not done.

But!  I do wish that I had been more active growing up.  Not necessarily in team sports, but in general, to take care of myself at a younger age and be healthier and fitter (is that a word?).  I think if I had gotten into a routine earlier in life it would be easier now.  Being healthy is hard.  But I also wouldn't have the same appreciation if I didn't have to work so hard at it.  Except, being healthy makes me tired, everything that I have to do.  Work out for at least an hour a day/six days a week.  Precisely measuring every portion size, counting points and sometimes restricting myself even if I really want pizza from Jet's (1 pepperoni slice = 7 points) or an Italian Night Club from Jimmy John's (one entire sub = 23.5 points, the Vito = 13.5 points)

And ice cream!  I love ice cream, but 1/2 cup of regular ice cream is 6 points!!  Thank God for Kroger Deluxe Ice Cream Light (3 points for 1/2 cup).  I mean, who eats only a 1/2 cup of ice cream at a time!?

Anyway, I am tired and I am going to bed.  Go vote for The Williamston in the Pepsi Refresh Project!

Friday, November 19, 2010

30 Days of Truth - Day 22: Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life

I think we all know that I wish I hadn't stuck my head in the sand when it came to my unhappiness with athletic training.

I have a tendency to obsess over things I say or do, no matter how small, if they feel weird when I reflect on them.  And there are way too many of those to enumerate on.  So, just as a general idea, there is something at least once a month that I wish I hadn't done. 

I'm too young to have any huge regrets, and I hope that I never have any of those - just the small ones that make you cringe.

And here, once again is a shameless plug for The Williamston Theatre - go vote for them at the Pepsi Refresh Project!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

HARRY POTTER!!!!

I am about to take off for rehearsal for Everyman, and almost immediately after that we are going to HARRY POTTER!!! YAY!! I am SO excited.  I hope that by splitting it into two movies they will finally be able to do a book justice.

We will be at the 12:10am showing at Celebration here in Mt. Pleasant, so if you see us, say hi!

P.S. PLEASE go vote for The Williamston Theatre at the Pepsi Refresh Project!!

30 Days of Truth - Day 21: (scenario) Your Best Friend is in a Car Accident and You Two Got Into a Fight an Hour Before. What Do You Do?

First, this is my last 30 Days of Truth post and it makes me all caught up!! YAY!

Second, this is so sad!  I don't want any of my friends to get in a car accident :-(

If I argued with one of my besties an hour before they got in a car accident, I would, no matter how severe our argument, get to the hospital immediately. Or their house, wherever they were.  Actually, I'd probably have to have Adam drive me, because I would be so upset.

I would find a way to get there, no matter what, fly, drive, run, anything.  I take my friends and family relationships seriously, I don't screw around with those.  They are the most important people in my life.  Whatever disagreements we have are superficial to life and death.

I'd probably also buy them something, but not anything that could mean anything more than my being there for them. 

I hope I never have to find out though.

30 Days of Truth - Day 20: Your Views on Drugs and Alcohol

I personally have never experimented with drugs.  I have taken drugs prescribed to me for various things and some of those have been... interesting... but I have never purposefully taken a drug - legal or illegal - for a high.

Alcohol is fine in moderation.  I enjoy an alcoholic beverage now and again.  I think some of them are rather tasty.  There are others however that are not so tasty.  The tasty ones are the ones you have to watch out for.  I have been drunk - really, really drunk once.  And by really drunk I mean I have thrown up once from drinking.  Nicole's birthday of this year (2010) Lee made PiƱa Colada martinis - never again.  I had fun up until I drank too much, then it wasn't fun anymore, everything was fuzzy and moved way too fast.  Never again.

Anyway, I'm not here to judge, but drinking just to get wasted and forget is not the way to go.  You know how you forget when you do that?  You kill brain cells.  Bad news bears.

Also, please, if you choose to get effed up on alcohol and/or drugs, don't get behind the wheel.  Save a life and take a cab. 

And eat Cabin Sticks - YUM.

30 Days of Truth - Day 19: What Do You Think of Religion? Or What Do You Think of Politics?

I think that everyone has their own beliefs about religion and politics and I believe everyone deserves to have their own opinions.

As for religion, I was brought up United Methodist and I have my own opinions that I have formed later.

I personally believe in a higher being and I think that higher being put us here and let us run amok as a giant scientific experiment.

Politics, I was brought up to think for myself and I am very socially liberal and fiscally conservative.  I am not trying to start arguments, but that's what I believe.  And I will be more than happy to have a nice calm debate, but any irrationality, attacking or "shouting" will not be published in the comments.  And if we are debating face to face I will walk away the second you start to attack me for my beliefs.

Religion and Politics, ah hot button issues....

30 Days of Truth - Day 18: Your Views on Gay Marriage

I fully support the rights of any two people who love each other to get married.

I don't think it takes any more explanation than that.

The bigotry in this country and the hate in this country is ridiculous.

You know what ruins the sanctity of marriage?  People who get married to quickly and instead of working through their problems they have, they sign the divorce papers and go along their merry way. And then repeat the cycle over and over.

Ugh.

Gay people have just as much right to get married as anyone else.

30 Days of Truth - Day 17: A Book You’ve Read That Changed Your Views on Something

There's no book that completely changes my views on anything, but I did read a book at that reinforced my beliefs about the fast food industry.

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the American Meal by Eric Schlosser re-affirmed my belief that Fast Food is the worst idea ever, at least what it has evolved into.  Read it, it will change your life.  I have not eaten at a fast food joint since I read that book and I have been so much happier and healthier since then.

It's disturbing.

Read it.

Exhaustion Tears

Have you ever been so tired that you are barely functioning and the ability to catch up on your sleep is totally out of your control?

Yeah, that was me last week during Into the Woods.  It hit me the hardest Friday morning after our 2am photo call end time Thursday night.  By the time I got home and in bed it was almost 3 and I had to get up early-ish to ride my bike to my 10a class because Adam had to take the car to Lansing that day.

The part that "broke" me was when I had eaten breakfast and was all ready to walk out the door to ride to class and Adam simply said, "Where are you going?  I'll drop you off, sorry I forgot to tell you."

On my normally functioning brain, that wouldn't normally be a big deal, I would just continue with my bike ride so I would have a way to get home quickly after class.  Instead, my sleep deprived brain had a week's worth of exhaustion and being presented with this choice/decision to make, no matter how small, made my brain OVERLOAD.  I just crumpled in our "foyer" and just started crying. I cried for a good 15 minutes.  Nothing bad happened to me, I just started bawling exhaustion tears.  Adam was baffled, of course, but he did the right thing.  He just let me cry, held me and gave me tissues

I felt so much better after I cried.  I was on edge still much of the rest of the day, but I was able to function without fear of bursting into tears in the middle of class.  Then I took a nap after class and that helped a lot too.

Don't discount the therapeutic effect of a good cry!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

30 Days of Truth - Day 16: Someone or Something You Definitely Could Live Without

1. Drama (not the theatre kind but the kind theatre people create outside of a play)
2. Being sick (ugh, I am miserable!  I am working on a great fever, so exciting, right?)
3. People I love dying
4. People I love being idiots
5. People who are mean to me or people I love
6. People who use scapegoats instead of admitting they effed up, or don't know what the hell is going on.
7. Not getting cast in things - I like being cast, it's fun.
8. Bigotry
9. Sexism
10. Extremism
11. Violence of any kind (that's right, I'm talking to you a-hole upstairs)
12. Sarah Palin (why won't she go away?!)
13. Fox News "op-ed" people
14. Asinine behavior in politics - by anyone.
15. People who attack others for their beliefs, not cool.
16. People who choose ignorance over learning something and forming an opinion instead of believing what others tell them to.

Well, I that's all I can think of at the moment, I'm sure there are other things that irk me.  If I think of them, I will add them - just for you!

Thanks for sticking with me through this blogging blitz, I am only four days of truth away before I am caught up.  As for now, I am going to go to bed, I mean sleep, I'm already in bed.  Wish me luck in getting better!

30 Days of Truth - Day 15: Something or Someone You Couldn’t Live Without, Because You’ve Tried Living Without It

I think we're pretty established that I need Adam in my life, so I won't elaborate on that.

I think we all also know that I need to have theatre in my life, so I don't really need to elaborate on that either.

Hmmm, I can't think of other things I've tried living without that I couldn't survive without.

I can tell you what I can live without!  But you'll have to go to the next post to read them.

That's all I've got for now, I am sure there are other things that I can add later :-)

30 Days of Truth - Day 14: A Hero That Has Let You Down

Dear Hero,

I don't really have a specific person who I want to be exactly like, so I don't really have a hero that let me down.  But I can talk about people who do things I want to do.

I want to be able to be home at least part time to raise my kids, like my Mom. (love you Mom!)  I don't want to stay home full time though, at least not all the time.

I'd also like to do lots of baking, like my grandmothers do.  I collect all of their recipes as I can, and I love them (and their recipes!) so much!

Kari Odland has been a big influence on me as well.  She recently got a new job and moved, but she was my biggest support, after Adam, when I first went to her and told her I wanted to leave ATEP.  She helped me work through a lot of issues I was having and I appreciate her being there for me. She's amazing, and wherever she is now, I hope she's as happy as I am.

Not a whole lot here, but if I think of other things, I will add them.

Love,
Jenny

30 Days of Truth - Day 13: A Band or Artist That Has Gotten You Through Some Tough Days (write a letter.)

Dear Music,

This letter is supposed to be about a particular band or artist that helped me through a difficult time. Fortunately, or unfortunately, there are several songs either got me through a time or were just a soundtrack to a certain time in my life.

For example, in 2001-2002 I went on vacation with my family to Florida over Christmas Break and listened to Britney Spears' self-titled Album: Britney on repeat all the entire way down and back, in the van. I also read the very first Princess Diaries book by Meg Cabot over and over and over and over again. Not a hard time, but a good soundtrack at the time!

There was a mixed CD when I was in 8th grade I think, that I listened to during hockey tournaments for Matthew the whole year. I don't remember what was on it, other than a lot of rock music - there was one Rob Zombie song that I remember. Living Dead Girl, I believe it was. Excellent soundtrack!

When I dislocated my left knee cap the first time I watched Bring It On a lot of times, and Air Bud. And one time when I had strep throat I listened to Aaron Carter's CD on repeat for like four days.

Girl Scout Camp always had a lot of fun weird songs that we sang while we were there and those were fun too...

But the most recent time in my life that music has helped me was the big change I went through about a year ago, deciding to leave ATEP and athletic training and change my major to theatre. It will sound silly but Defying Gravity by Stephen Schwartz from Wicked helped me through a lot of what I was struggling with at that time. I heard the song before Glee did the song, but Glee helped me a lot in that it made me realize exactly how much I missed singing - and performing in general. It didn't make me decide to pursue theatre, there were other factors involved in that decision. I know that I always want to have theatre be a part of my life, whether I do community theatre or regional theatre forever - I don't care. Life sucks without the arts, I know that now.

[SIDE NOTE: Go vote for The Williamston Theatre at the Pepsi Refresh Project!!]

Defying Gravity's lyrics spoke to me and gave me courage to do what I should have done long ago. Realize exactly how unhappy I was in athletic training, and that I needed a change. I am so glad I made that change! I know I say that a lot, but it is still fresh for me and every day something reminds me about how awesome my life is now because I left ATEP and changed to theatre.

Music, you have been a wonderful companion to me, and I love you very much! Please continue to love me and support me all the time...


Love,
Jenny


P.S. I am sick, so if you could come up with a good get better song, I'd really appreciate it! kthxbai!

30 Days of Truth - Day 12: Something You Never Get Compliments On

I don't know!  My shoe size?

That seems a weird thing to be complimented on. 

I also never get complimented on my blogging skillz.  But I don't really talk about it a lot either.

I'll edit this post if I can think of anything that I like about myself that I never get compliments on.

Short post.  Hmm....

PIE!

Just checking to make sure you were paying attention! :D

Aaaaaand: Make sure to go vote for The Williamston Theatre at the Pepsi Refresh Project!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Deepest Apologies and Sincerest Regrets

Sorry for my absence over the last week and a half!  I was rather consumed with classes, dress week for Into the Woods and various other activities that completely eclipsed all of my down time.

I did the math on how much time I spent on Into the Woods as a part of the costume crew.  I was working on Into the Woods for 54.5 hours last week.  We had photo call on Thursday night and that went until 2 AM.  TWO AM.  And of course we all had class in the morning.  Needless to say we were a bunch of grouchy peeps.  I slept until 1pm on Saturday because of it.  I haven't slept that late since like my Freshman year in High School!  And it was AWESOME.  I'm still recovering a bit from last week, catching up on homework, sleep and working out.  Naps are my favorite.

In other news, it is official, I am going to Ireland in the spring with the Irish Theatre History class, yay!  I bought my ticket this past weekend, so regardless of what else goes on, I am going to be in Ireland for Spring Break - WOO!!

Let me think about what else is going on... this past week went by so fast and in such a haze of exhaustion I don't remember anything else significant happening that needs to be shared.

Well, Harry Potter is this Friday! Adam and I have tickets to the 12:10a showing here, I'm so excited!!!  Class the next morning is going to SUCK because the movie is 2 1/2 hours long, but I will be able to nap that afternoon after class until rehearsal.

Oh, rehearsal!  I can tell you now that I am God 3 in  The Summoning of Everyman.  Which I feel that I have told you before.  Eh.  Anyway, it's going to be awesome come see it in January and February!

That's all for now, sleep is begging me to join it in peaceful slumber so I am going to do that.  Night!

P.S.  Don't forget to vote in the Pepsi Refresh Project for The Williamston Theatre!! Keep professional theatre alive in Michigan!

P.P.S.  I finally got NATA to stop calling me, yay!  About time, I haven't been an athletic training student in almost a year!

P.P.P.S.  GLEE last week was AWESOME.  This week was alright.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I am not dead!

I am just incredible busy right now!  I am on costume crew for Into the Woods, which is in it's show week and opens tonight.  In addition to it being my favoritest musical EVER, I am helping with two different people's quick changes.  Thank goodness we had an extra night to practice one of them, he has a quick change at one point that has to be under 10 seconds.  We do it in 8.4 seconds.  Oh, yeah, we're awesome!

The show opens tonight and runs through Sunday.  Tonight through Saturday at 7:30p and 2:00p on Sunday.  Come see it and get your tickets soon, don't wait to get them at the door, the fall musical usually sells out.

So, when my life returns to a slightly more normal and less disastrous state of insanity (e.g.: Monday) I will blog more regularly again.

Also, did you watch Glee last night?  I just finished it this morning.  HOLY CRAP!  I was NOT expecting a lot of things!

And: don't forget to vote for Williamston Theatre for the Pepsi Refresh Grant!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

30 Days of Truth - Day 11: Something People Seem to Compliment You the Most on

Am I supposed to write about the external things compliment me on?  Or talents?  I suppose I could do both?

Well, I have been routinely told that I have beautiful eyes, so that is always nice to hear.  I like them, so I'm glad other people do too.  I also have recently been getting comments on how much thinner I look - which I also love!  And it's fun to joke and be "upset" and says something along the lines, "I looked fat before?!"  Ah, jokes....  I'm never serious about it when I say that, so please don't be all offended if I say that to you after you mention that to me.

As for other compliments, I have been complimented on my singing voice a lot recently, especially on my improvements since I took a vocal techniques class last semester.  I even have noticed how much better my projection is since I took that class.  Which is great, because I love to sing, and, obviously, I want to keep getting better at it!  I also have been getting some compliments on my improv abilities as of late, which I also appreciate, because I have felt a little apprehensive in that area.

I am loving my classes this semester, even though I have several "performance" classes, and it's been a little crazy at times trying to remember all of my lines (see Just Shoot Me),  I have been having a blast.  I have learned so much this semester, become much more confident in my abilities and I am looking forward SO much to my future opportunities. :D

P.S. Please remember to support The Williamston Theatre and vote for them to get the $50,000 grant!

Happy Saturday!

Ah, Saturday, not quite as lazy a day as Sunday, but still a nice break from the busy week.

Today, we are home from Mount Pleasant, visiting our families.  Yay!  Last time we were home it was the weekend before Dress for Dead Man's Cell Phone, now, it's the week before Into the Woods Dress.  But, this trip home is happier - not that the last one was sad - but this time we are going to see Zack's first game officially on the BRHS Varsity Hockey Team!  It's not a season game, it's a controlled scrimmage.

You may be asking yourself, what the hell is a controlled scrimmage?  Don't worry, I didn't know either until this morning.  In a controlled scrimmage, each team gets a period to pick something they want to work on and then just play a period straight out.  It should be interesting, because if one team decides to work on their power play, the other team has to play down a man the whole period.  I think it should be very interesting.

I must also pause here to tell you how proud I am of Zack.  He made the varsity squad for hockey after he ran his personal best in cross country regionals last week.  YAY!  Ok, now you know I'm very proud of my baby brother, who really isn't a baby anymore, more like, a giant force to be reckoned with.

Anyway, this weekend should be fun, even though I have an exam on Monday.  It started off pretty well, Central beating Western for another year in a row (HAHA! We suck less this year!), Ferris Beat #1 Miami OH in hockey and the Red Wings won!  Oh, yeah... good sports times....

I don't really have much else than that. I'm going to have a great weekend at home than kick the rest of the semester's ass! HAHA!  At least, I will until Thanksgiving, then I will take those four glorious days to do nothing school related and I won't be blogging either.  You have been warned.

Note to self: don't forget apple pie, sweet rolls and apples with caramel dip for Thanksgiving (sorry, imaginary friends, you don't have to remember that, but I do!)  Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 5, 2010

30 Days of Truth - Day 10: Someone You Need to Let Go, or Wish You Didn't Know

This is going to being a boring post, because I have this aversion to constant drama and angst in my life, so anyone who is really bothersome I just don't deal with them.  They don't stay in my life.  Period.

And, although there are a few people I have to deal with that annoy me, I know that 1) After graduation, I am leaving CMU and won't see them on a regular basis anymore; 2) Anyone who does annoy me, is kept at a distance as best as possible - and I definitely don't invite them into my home or try and keep them happy.

And, I must say, being a Theatre major, makes this hard.  For whatever reason, there is usually one or two (or more) people in the department who feel they NEED DRAMA.  Ick.  But, I can deal with it, and I don't let it affect me.  I'M IMPERVIOUS!

That is NOT a challenge.

Williamston Theatre and the Pepsi Refresh Project

The Williamston Theatre in Williamston, MI is up for a Pepsi Refresh Project Grant.  You should go vote for them, if they win, they plan to use the money to help support their 2010-2011 season.  To see more about them go to their website, williamstontheatre.org, to vote for them to win a $50,000 grant, go here, to follow them on Facebook, go here.  Help theatre in Michigan!!

Williamston Theatre At A Glance

Thursday, November 4, 2010

30 Days of Truth - Day 9: Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted

When I first looked at the title for today this morning, I couldn't think of anyone particular off of the top of my head.  But as I was walking home from Costume Shop and Pita Pit this evening, I had some time to really think about it.

Every year, for as long as I can remember, my family and I have gone on vacation in August, just before school starts up again.  We go to this little campground called PH Hoeft State Park outside of a tiny town called Rogers City in Northern Michigan.  And every year for a number of years we would see another family and all of us kids would play together.  As we grew up, and as our schedules would change when we would go, we didn't see them as often and now we never see them.  Unfortunately, I have kind of stopped wondering if we'll see them there.

We had a lot of fun for those two weeks-ish every year.  We would play cards, run around, ride bikes, play capture the flag, run around the natural forts and just be kids.  Even as we became teens we would still chill out together and have a great time.  There were attempts to keep in touch over the year until the next summer, but it never seemed to work.  I regret this so much, and I can't find them on Facebook, even though I have tried.  And all I can remember is that their parents owned a Sporting Goods store and that their first names were Sam, Chris and Sarah.  I also remember Sam's last name, but in the sake of her privacy, I won't put it here.  All of the rest of the info should be enough for them to be able to know that it's me and them and try and contact me, if they want.

I hope that eventually, we'll re-connect, I don't want to let go completely.

Excitement!

I was cast in the company for The Summoning of Everyman! YAY!

"Yea, Everyman, hie you that ye ready were,
There is no emperor, king, duke, ne baron,
That of God hath commission,
As hath the least priest in the world being;
He beareth the keys and thereof hath the cure"
 -The Summoning of Everyman


I'll find out next week what part I am.  We'll have further auditions to decide those.

I'm so excited that I am cast.  YAY ME!  I'll keep you posted on what part I get!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Listless

I am feeling rather apathetic as of late.  The semester is wearing on and I am tired.  Many fellow students are feeling the same, I know, but I'm not experiencing their apathy, only my listlessness.

Call backs were today for The Summoning of Everyman (aka Everyman).  I really enjoyed the movement part of the call backs, but after three hours of call backs I was exhausted.  Which may be adding to my listless feelings - I don't know.  The company list of 24 (cut from 40) will be up tomorrow morning, so keep your fingers crossed for me.

One bonus to my listless feelings is that I am not stressed out - although I probably will be later - from not doing anything tonight after call backs.  Downsides are that it's not relaxing because I have energy, yet, I don't want to do anything.  I eat more when I'm restless which sucks, except I discovered tonight that French Silk ice cream is AWESOME.  (The Kroger Deluxe Light, specifically.)  And I just don't like how I feel when I'm restless.  At least I have the where-to-for (oh yeah, getting fancy) to write about my blah-ness.

There are four weeks left in the semester and, as much fun as I have had and as much as I have learned in the last twelve weeks, I am tired and I need a break.  I have been going to college for six years and I am tired of academia in general.  Let me be clear here: I am tired of academia NOT learning.  I hope I never lose my thirst for knowledge.  Although I am rather frustrated with the establishment of academia.  Argh.

I am looking forward greatly to graduation and the next chapter of my life.  But, right now, in this moment all I am looking forward to is a bowl of French Silk Ice Cream and sleeping.  And maybe some pepperonis.  Yum.

30 Days of Truth - Day 8: Someone Who Made Your Life Hell, or Treated You Like Shit

There are a few, but I forgave them a few days ago in this post. 

I prefer to not dwell on it.

That is all.

:-)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

30 Days of Truth - Day 7: Someone who has made your life worth living for

Me. I make my life worth living!

I know that's pretty conceited, but it's true. With out me wanting to be here, I wouldn't be here.

There are, however, people who enrich my life and make my life more interesting. My Mom and Dad, my brothers, my in-laws, my extended family and my friends, especially the ones who are closest to me!

You're probably thinking, I mentioned my in-laws but not my husband - awkward! But Adam enriches my life beyond any of the others and he deserves special mention. *SAP ALERT!* I love him, he is my best friend, he knows me better than anyone (except me) and he is my partner in crime.  I see him more than I see anyone else and I cannot imagine my life without him.

And of course, without my parents I wouldn't be the person I am today.  They helped me learn and have encouraged me through out my entire life.  I am an independent, intelligent person because I was raised by them.   I credit my love of reading, music and so many other things I couldn't possibly think of them all!  My parents are amazing, even though I didn't always think they were when I was a teenager.  (Who doesn't think that in their teens?!)

My brothers are also pretty awesome.  But they also annoy me a lot of times too.  I have high hopes for the both of them and I think they both have great futures ahead of them.

My friends are fantastic.  I can't possibly name all of them here, but I can't post this without mentioning Melissa, Courtney, Nicole and Lee.  These four ladies are phenomenal and make my life interesting - maybe a little more interesting than it needs to be :-)  A lot of people think that you have to have hundreds of people on your Facebook* or hundreds of people that you party with, to make your life worthwhile.  And maybe for those people, it does.  But I think that my life is richer and better because I have a few close friends that I can count on for anything.  People whom I can call at 3 am and have them be there for me.  Grouchy, yes, but there for me.

So, I hope that my life continues down the road it's on, even if the path it's on is not quite clear, because I have some pretty magnificent life companions. 

*I will state honestly that I have quite a few Facebook friends whom I am not in close contact.

Self-Esteem

A reader commented that she loved that I had such great self-esteem and wished that she had better self-esteem.

So, I would like to talk about my journey to the self-esteem I have, and hope that it helps those who don't have very good self-esteem.

When I was in middle school I had alright self-esteem, nothing special.  I didn't really have fantastic self-esteem, in part because I wasn't really paying attention, but I also had some incredibly bitchy people in my grade who were not nice.  It was here that Girl Scouts helped me stay out of the danger zone of zero self-esteem.  I also think that it played a big part during high school as well.

Once I got to high school it got a little better because I wasn't stuck with those people in every class day after day and I could make more friends outside of my grade more easily.  Band was a huge help here as well, one class for all four grades 9-12.  There were still dark times in high school.  For example, the fact that I had a date for exactly one high school dance.  The rest I went with friends.  Now as I look back, I don't care, but at the time it mattered a lot.  There was also this time on Valentine's Day that I had cut a bouquet of flowers into a bunch of single flowers and gave them out to my friends and basically anyone who asked, I thought everyone should get something on Valentine's Day.  A girl a year or two older than me whom I had never met started a rumor that I was a lesbian because I was handing out these flowers.  So much for logic right?  Even at the time I thought it was ridiculous, but I wondered why someone who didn't even know me would start a rumor about me.  I'm still baffled, but I must have started to get my thick skin even at 15 because I didn't care what she said, I'd never met her and I just think she was jealous of my awesome flowers.  The point is, I don't even remember her name.  Jessica maybe?

Part of my self-esteem issues in high school was that I did not dress well.  I dressed for comfort and didn't really take care of myself 100% of the time.  I took better care of myself on the weekends because there were boys.  (Hockey tournaments and all that.)  I gained weight steadily through out high school and continually dressed in sweats.  I tried to lose weight a few times, but nothing ever stuck.  I didn't really try either - I loved sleeping more.  It never clicked for me.

Then - miracle of miracles!  Something sunk in!

The summer before my freshman year in college, I got a great job working for a kick ass boss.  I was a part time student worker so I could leave early and work out for an hour, every day, Monday-Friday before riding home from work with my Dad.  I lost 50 lbs.  I loved how I looked and I felt so healthy and happy.  My self-esteem (and probably my ego) got a huge boost.  Also that summer I started dressing better.  For my body type, my job and because I had a good paying job I had disposable income that allowed me to buy the clothes I wanted and really liked with out having to beg my parents for money, which was AWESOME.  I started realizing little things about myself.  I saw a picture that my Grandma had taken of me and I loved how natural and happy I looked.  I thought to myself, wow, I could look like that all the time.  And that's what I strove for.  My two years at Ferris were amazing in that I realized that you dress how you feel.  In high school I dressed in sweats a lot and was fairly diminutive in my demeanor and personality outside of my house.  At Ferris I stopped letting myself wear sweats.  I'd wear jeans or other nice pants instead and I put myself out there.  I couldn't really dress business casual all the time because I had to walk all over campus for class and heels + walking a lot = bad news bears. 

Then I transferred to Central.  And I started wearing sweats again, mostly because of my major and a lot of my classes required easily removable outwear so that we could get to shorts easily for class.  It was this and many other factors that led me down a road that I hope I never have to traverse ever again.  It was dark and scary and utterly frustrating.  I allowed myself to be put down by fellow classmates and professors alike.  My self-esteem tanked in a lot of ways.  It didn't help that I had stopped eating healthy, going for ease of creation instead.  I gained even more weight back (I stopped going to the gym after I met Adam so that I could spend time with him, LAME, I know, bad decision alert).  Then, last November (2009) I took my life back into my own hands.  I was tired of being miserable and tired and overworked.  I changed my major.  Best decision EVER.  It seems so insignificant, who doesn't change their major at least once in college right?  I hadn't.  I added them, getting a business degree at Ferris, but never changing my major.  I was going to go to CMU for Athletic Training, damn it, so I did.

It was a first of big changes in my life that would happen in a semi-succession.  I decided Athletic Training was not for me.  I discovered that I could still graduate on time by majoring in Theatre, which was the BEST DISCOVERY EVER, because I had always loved theatre and what could be more awesome than studying something you love, right?  I signed my new major and resigned from ATEP. (I WAS FREE!!!!!)  I got married to (*SAP ALERT*) the most wonderful man.  And I started taking care of myself again.  Eating healthier and working out again.  There was a snag here, I had been working out for three months and I had gained 20 lbs (I was pissed).  I went for my annual physical and the doctor recommended Weight Watchers.  I joined that and since then nothing has been the same.  This wonderful exciting period in my life just keeps getting better and better.  I started P90X and I am in week four (I don't like the Yoga X disc but I have to do it twice this week, suck!) and I already notice changes in my body and how I look.  I feel better and I have more energy.  I also started going to bed earlier and getting up roughly the same time every day and it's amazing how much of a difference that makes.

I can tell you completely vain things that remind me every day how awesome I am which then help me turn inside of myself and find things on the inside that make me love me.  When I look in the mirror and I think I look great, I tell myself that.  If I don't think I look very good, I smile at myself and I think, "You have a beautiful smile."  Or I look myself in the eyes and say, "Your eyes are gorgeous."  On the inside, I just think about all the things I love about myself.  Intelligence, wit, confidence, love, compassion, work ethic, singing etc.  If I'm having a particularly negative day, I work out how I can improve the things that I don't like about myself.  And I always, always remember that I am a work in progress.

The point through all of this, that I want you to walk away with, is that there are always changes that you can make to your life and boost your self-esteem.  Everyone's journey to good self-esteem is different and I have shared mine.  I hope that it helps you find yours, because no one should feel bad about themselves.  I've told you what works for me, find what works for you.  If you don't know where to start, try the things I did.  Take care of yourself, eat healthy (it's amazing how depressed Burger King can make you) and go to bed at a regular time if possible and try to get at least 8 hours of sleep.

The number one thing to remember is that if someone is being down on you, SCREW THEM.  You are awesome, and you have to remember that.  If someone doesn't like you for who you are, then you don't need them and they only need you to try and feel better about themselves.

I leave you with this, a poem that is on a poster I found at a rummage sale.  It wouldn't stay on my wall, so it hung out next to my bed and I often fell asleep reading it in High School and early College years.  Maybe this played a part in my awesome self-esteem, I don't know, but I encourage you to read it as often as you need it.


My Declaration of Self-Esteem

I am me.

In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me.  There are persons who
have some parts like me, but no one adds up exactly like me.  Therefore,
everything that comes out of me is authentically mine because I alone chose it.

I own everything about me:  my body, including everything it does; my mind,
including all its thoughts and ideas; my eyes, including the images of all they
behold; my feelings, whatever they may be:  anger, joy, frustration, love,
disappointment, excitement; my mouth, and all the words that come out of it: 
polite, sweet, or rough, correct or incorrect; my voice, loud or soft; and all my
actions, whether they be to others or to myself.

I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears.

I own all my triumphs and successes, all my failures and mistakes.

Because I own all of me, I can become intimately acquainted with me.  By doing
so, I can love me and be friendly with me in all my parts.  I can then make it
possible for all of me to work in my best interests.

I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other aspects that I
do not know.  But as long as I am friendly and loving to myself, I can
courageously and hopefully look for the solutions to the puzzles and for ways to
find out more about me.

However I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I think and feel
at a given moment in time is me.  This is authentic and represents where I am at
that moment in time.

When I review later how I looked and sounded, and what I said and did, and how
I thought and felt, some parts may turn out to be unfitting.  I can discard that
which is unfitting, and keep that which proved fitting, and invent something new
for that which I discarded.

I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do.  I have the tools to survive, to be close to
others, to be productive, and to make sense and order out of the world of people
and things outside of me.

I own me, and, therefore, I can engineer me.

I AM ME AND I AM OKAY.
--

Be you, that's all anyone can ask of you. <3

VOTE.

For my US readers - today is Election Day.  You will get tired of hearing this, if you aren't already, but go and VOTE.  Democrat, Republican, Green, Libertarian, Puppies.  I DON'T CARE.  Just exercise your right to vote.  But please, please, do it in an informed manner.

If you live in Michigan, you can go here: https://webapps.sos.state.mi.us/mivote/ and find out where your polling station is and when it opens and closes.  You can also view a sample ballot to see what propositions are up to be voted on and who needs to be voted on (Senate, Governor, Court Justice, etc).

For the rest of the country, google 'vote' and put your home address in the "put your home address here" spot, search and it will give you your polling location.

I'll put up a non-politics related post later.

GO VOTE!



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