Thursday, October 29, 2009

Lemons, Orange and Pears! Oh My!

Last night we saw Wicked for my mom's birthday. It was fantastic as usual. There was plenty of room and we had no one really sitting in front of us. I did get the Wicked mug that I was talking about in my last post, and yes, I have been drinking hot water and singing Wicked songs. What was cool is that the cast was doing their biannual Broadway Cares fundraiser where casts and shows nationwide raise money to help fight AIDS. It's neat because cast members come out and hold out buckets for donations, which means that you can see them up close and personal and creepily touch their costumes without them knowing...not that I did that. The actress who plays Elphaba's sister, Nessarose, was out there too. I have to say, I was doing nothing short of staring. My dad said that I should take a picture with her, but I didn't think that they allowed pictures in the theater. Anyway, last week when I went they hadn't started this yet. It's a good thing we went again! Besides holding out donations buckets, they were also selling stuff to raise money for their cause. I was practically pushing people out of the way so that I could get to the concessions counter faster because I thought that they might run out of signed posters. I got one with no problem. I guess that's what happens when you're willing (or your mom is willing) to shell out $75 for a piece of cardboard with signatures on it. Once I had that baby in my hands I wouldn't let go and actually did a little jig in public...sober. I am still super stoked. This will definitely get framed. I have a signed poster from The Drowsy Chaperone, but I'm not nearly as enthusiastic about that musical as I am about Wicked. The poster is sitting rolled in the heaps of stuff in our garage right now. At least it was displayed for a year or so in my apartment in NY. I also got an apron and my mom got herself a reusable grocery back. Now I can wear my shirt and go grocery shopping all to come back to put on my apron and drink tea out of my mug! Hah hah!

The Bart ride out to the city.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Wicked was awesome! I knew that it would be, but the woman who played Elphaba, the wicked witch, was amazing! When Juni and I went to go see it in LA the actress didn't quite hit the high notes the way that we expected. She did them, but then didn't hold them out like Idina Menzel in the original Broadway soundtrack. When Nick and I went to see it on Friday the actress, Teal Wicks, hit the notes and held them. It was spectacular. I was grinning so much that my cheeks started to get tired. I'm going for an encore session of Wicked tonight with my family. We're taking my mom to see it for her birthday. I'm very excited. It was just so good that I had to see it again!

While we were at the theater on Friday I got myself a nice shirt. Now I have a shirt from when I went with Juni and one with Nick. Haha maybe I'll get another one tonight from when I go with my family!

No, I did not make a transformation into a white girl with light brown hair. This is just a model. But I am the proud owner of this shirt! I think this is about the same color as the last one that I got, but oh well. I must really like the color. If they have them, I think I would like to get a mug so that I can drink my hot water and sing Wicked while waiting for calls at work. Ahh... what a life.

At the Bart station waiting to go see the play. Can you see how excited I am already?

With the mob of people around we couldn't really get a good picture in front of the sign. Tonight I'll try to have the man at the door take a picture of my family before the play starts...provided we aren't late. Being late to musicals seems to be a trend in our family. We're always running for the door. It's a good thing I can run in heels!

It was a pretty full and satisfying weekend. On Saturday my dad, Nick, and I went to the Foothill band review to watch Christopher march and then headed out to a Cal game. I don't think that Nick knew how competitive high school marching was or how fast I can walk when I need to get somewhere in a hurry. Hahah. It was fun though, tiring, but fun. This post would have been up yesterday, but I was trying to upload a video that my dad took of the band. After waiting for five hours with still no result, I gave up on the video. Photographs will suffice.

Moving on...

Lately, I haven't really been inspired to write anything. I am a writer who cannot write. I've been reading Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them by Francine Prose to help boost my desire to start writing again. It may be working since I am at least starting to blog more often. I was telling Nick that I've been doing some literary cheating in the last few weeks. He was a little confused by my statement. I'm a believer in the "to write, you must read" concept. It's just that I haven't really found a book to settle down with. I picked up Chekhov, read two pages and then put him back down. Picked up March by Geraldine Brooks, read half a book--reshelved. Picked up Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko, opened it, read the first page and then put it back. And the list can go on. Literary Cheating.

As a way to try to get out of this reading and writing funk, this weekend I picked up a book at Borders called The Writer's Idea Book by Jeff Heffron. So far it is really good...hah hah! Until I cheat again. It's basically just a book full of writing prompts and advice. I thought that the introduction was really inspiring. Here is a passage:

Writing is an act of hope.

It is a means of carving order from chaos, of challenging one's own beliefs and assumptions, of facing the world with eyes and heart wide open. Through writing, we declare a personal identity amid faceless anonymity. We find purpose and beauty and meaning even when the rational mind argues that none of these exist.

Writing, therefore, is also an act of courage. How much easier is it to lead an unexamined life than to confront yourself on the page? How much easier is it to surrender to materialism or cynicism or to a hundred other ways of life that are, in fact, ways to hide from life and from other fears? When we write, we resist the facile seduction of this simpler roads. We insist on finding out and declaring the truths that we find, and we dare to put those truths on page.

To get ideas and to write well, you have to risk opening yourself. In her book When Things Fall Apart, Buddhist teacher Pema Chödrön writes of this risk:

When we regard thoughts and emotions with humor and openness, that's how we perceive the universe...We begin to find that, to the degree that there is bravery in ourselves...and to the degree that there is kindness toward ourselves, there is confidence that we can actually forget ourselves and open to the world.

There must be that softness, that openness. Rather than making us weak, it makes us confident and fearless. The more confident we grow the more open we can allow ourselves to be. If you can write even when your life seems dark and bleak, even if all you can write is "Life sucks," then you have the hope and courage necessary to keep moving, to persevere as an artist. In perseverance you will find your creative self.

You should have seen my eyes when I was reading this. My little blue and pink pencil with the star top was underlining like crazy. I think I was getting giddier and giddier as the passage went on. Even just rereading it now for typographical errors made me a little happy. See, "to write, you must read" is in the works already. I'm writing about how wonderful this passage is. Even if the rest of the book is a flop, which I seriously doubt, I have gained so much from this page-long introduction for the purchase to be worth it. Now that is an intro if I can say so myself. What an impact it made.

Works Cited:
Heffron, Jeff. The Writer's Idea Book. Cincinnati: Writer's Digest Books, 2000.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Can we squeal EXCITED all at the same time? On Friday I'm going to see Wicked again for the first time in four years. While I'm there I will also be trying to get tickets to go again next week for my mom's birthday. This week's showing was kind of a spur of the moment thing since my friend Nick and I were talking about it. He hadn't seen it yet, but had heard good things about it. I, on the other hand, love the musical so I plain wanted to see it! My dad had sent me an email from about a promotion that the Orpheum was having until the end of October. We got out tickets for $75 instead of the regular $100. How awesome is that? So this week I'm taking him out and I think that he wants to reciprocate by taking me to Napa soon for a nice lunch. I'm sure it will be splendid. Anyway, I'm super excited to see Wicked and get all dressed up. In my opinion, people don't dress up enough to go to the theater anymore. It is a shame. Nick and I will be dressing up. Hahah! Take that overly casual people! ...It could also be that I was going to see musicals in Schenectady, NY, which is a tiny little town. SF is probably way different. Really, I'm just wearing work attire and he is wearing a suit. It sure beats the sweats I wear everyday and the jeans that he wears. It is nice to dress up every once in a while. This week I went out and got myself a new pair of slacks to wear with an awesome top that I got in DC when I was visiting Josie (as if I didn't have enough slacks already). As it turns out, I think I'll wear the nice top for when I go see the show with my family instead. I will, however, still wear the slacks.

This past weekend my dad, Mrs. Ryan, Shanna and I went down to Santa Cruz to cheer on the CHS marching band. They came in 1st place! Woot! This is Shanna and me all decked out in our school spirit garb.
Major dorks, huh? Yes, those are bright yellow converse that Shanna is wearing. Don't worry, we don't walk around looking like this on a normal basis. Only when we get into our band nerd mode. Haha. We walked so much that Shanna's ankles were hurting and I was about to crumple on the ground and call it a day. After watching all the bands, we sat on the boardwalk for a while until two different bums called us "pretty ladies". After that we got up and walked to downtown SC to find coffee. Man, it was hot. Afterwards, we took the long drive back to our house where Shanna and I practically passed out on the sofa. We did muster the energy to go to a gathering with Nick, but were honestly not very lively. I rarely wake up at 6am, but this was one of those days so I was pooped out. That's familial love right there...waking up at 6am to drive and hour and a half for a 10 minute show and then waiting six boring hours until awards and then another hour and half drive home. We probably looked like death. Hah! It was a full, but very good day. I'm going to miss Shanna when she leaves. No more dorky buddy to prance in green and gold clapping CHS chants with me.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Meeting People

Well, the long distance relationship just isn't my thing. This past week Louis and I called it quits. I just don't like the idea that we are that far away. I gave it a shot, but I'm a red-blooded woman who needs to have her guy hold her hand and take her to the movies every once in a while. Hah! The break up was cordial and I think that we will remain friends in the future. So all is well now. I'm not feeling bummed or anything. I think the distanced made it easier to let go. We will see what happens. For now I think I'll just play the field and meet people. It seems the best thing for me to do at this point in time. I met some people at the wedding that I went to so hopefully I will be able to stay connected with them. Rolando pointed out that it's good for me to (re)start my life out here instead of clinging to NY. I thought that was a good way to put it. So here's to turning a new leaf over!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Hello loyal readers

Well, what have I to say this week? Let me start with last Friday. Since we all stay home and don't do a whole lot with ourselves I invited Shanna and Bonnie over for a musical night. We watch Hairspray and sang some High School Musical to the Wii. Well, Shanna and I sang HSM while Bonnie looked at us like we belonged in a loony bin. Mostly, we just talked about everything under the sun like the old days. I had put out a nice little platter of french bread with little cheeses to go with our White Zinfandel that I had picked up from Safeway. Bonnie also brought a cheese platter and crackers to help keep down our buzzes and Shanna stole a bottle of two-buck-chuck from her mom's cabinet. I lit some of those candles that melt into scented oil and felt like I was the lady from the Glade commercials. It was a good night is all I have to say.

At the end of the night Christopher came home with his friends and played Taboo. I guess they didn't enjoy the game because they asked us to play with them and we kicked their butts. Musical night also gave me a chance to gripe about this wedding that we had to go to, which I survived by the way. Since I lost hope with Edward after he got his CS Master's, I started to become very bitter about weddings. My sentiments still haven't changed. My eyes brimmed with tears only once during the whole thing. I am a hopeless romantic after all, but I have a hard time bringing myself to be happy for others when they have what I want. Ah, jealousy brings out the monster in me. Holding it in didn't work very well because it manifested its way to the top of my patience tolerance. It all came out a couple of days ago while watching Private Practice with Christopher. I just started bawling because two of the characters are so in love but can't figure things out. Poor Christopher. I pretended that I had to go to the bathroom so that I could attempt to contain myself, but the walls are thin so I think he could hear me. Oh well. At least I got that out of my system. It could have been also that Shanna had told me earlier in the evening that she's moving back to NC. Then I took my frustration out on Louis and we got in a pretty big tiff. I've reverted back to my old ways of finding scapegoats. Louis happens to be one of them. Why he stays with me, I don't know. But the Shanna thing kind of came as a shock that I wasn't very happy about. The Private Practice break down could have been a result of the culmination of it all. The wedding, Shanna, fighting with Louis, and the bittersweet love story were just too much for me I guess.

I have been, more or less, addicted to Private Practice lately. I've been Netflixing the earlier seasons to catch up with what's been going on now. Netflix doesn't have season 3 on dvd yet so I don't know what I'm going to do. Blockbuster maybe. I need to get out more.

The wedding itself was okay. I spent most of my time staring at the sky, literally. I was at the same table as Christopher and his friends. They spent their time playing on their iPods and trying to get cell reception. It was a nice outdoor wedding that was more like a giant party. There was awesome homemade beer and a pretty good band. Though I enjoy beer, I was much more happy after they broke out the champagne. I'm a sucker for the bubbly stuff. Since I was at the kiddy table, I got the whole bottle to myself. Meeehhhh *evil laugh*. I did take it over to my parents table where I spent the rest of the night because at least they talked. It was about boy scout stuff and people I didn't know, but at least I got to listen to something. After a few glasses of champagne I found myself dancing with Mr. Ryan, one of the scout parents, and then somehow intermixed with all of the 20-somethings. In my drunken state I was coerced into taking a picture with all of the girls, who happen to be best friends of the bride. I'm not exactly sure how that happened and kept saying that I'd rather not since I had only met the bride once before. Nevertheless, my face is burned into this picture with girls I don't know. It was nice to be included I guess. The people were really nice and hopefully Facebook will keep us in contact. We'll see.

This week has been as mild as the past couple of weeks. I did get some polar fleece sheets from Kmart that are absolutely divine. Don't mistake these for flannel. They are full on fleece, like the stuff that Old Navy uses for sweatshirts. (Old Navy, Old Navy, Old Navy performance fleece...) I never want to get out of bed. The only down side is that the sheets get lint everywhere. There's lint on my floor, in my hair, all over Honey Bear, you name it and there's sheet lint on it. I even found lint in my ears when I was cleaning them today. No wonder they were itchy! I think that the warmth and softness out weighs the downside of a little bit of lint. I got myself a set of the snow flake ones.

This week I also did some cooking experiments. I tried some Eggs Benedict with Hollandaise Sauce. I made the sauce myself and have to say, I would have preferred my eggs sans dressing. It was just too rich for me. I also tried my hand at some bread. I don't think I killed the yeast because the dough doubled in size the first time, but after the punch down and the letting it rise a second time it remained flat when it should have doubled in size again. Haha I thought that they kind of looked like lungs while they were sitting on my counter. The bread tasted good with the soup, but the bottom was really hard. I joked that I could take someone out with one of the loaves of bread. It was a fun project though that I might try again in the future if I have the patience. The soup itself was amazing. I will attach the recipe below, though it will be hard to replicate. I was intending on making just a vegetable chowder from my Good Housekeeping Cookbook, but then my mom said that we had a bunch of left overs to use. So in the pot they went. I added boneless beef ribs that my dad bbqed a few days before, left over homemade pasta sauce, left over tomato paste, and a bunch of bacon. It turned out super awesome. I don't know if I'll ever be able to make it again since it all depended on the left over stuff that was seasoned on its own, but it's worth a try if I have left overs that are similar. I didn't have to add in any seasonings since the leftovers were all seasoned up themselves. Super yummy. Pictures for experiments follow:

The rise

...and the fall

Leftover vegetable soup

5 slices bacon, diced
1.5 onions, diced
8 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbls flour
3 zucchinis, quartered and sliced
3 carrots, quartered and sliced
5 celery stalks, sliced
2 yellow bell peppers, chopped
2 jalapenos, diced
left over spaghetti sauce
left over bbqed meat, diced
4 cups water
2 cups chicken broth
3 tbls tomato paste

Cook bacon until grease renders. Add onion and garlic. Cook until soft. Add flour stirring until incorporated and flour cooks. Add zucchini, carrot, celery, bell peppers, jalapenos, spaghetti sauce, water, chicken broth, tomato paste, and meat. Stir until incorporated. Bring to a boil stirring occasionally. Let simmer until ready to eat.