Category Archives: Random Thoughts

It’s June Right?!

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It’s June Right?!

It’s June right?  I mean, we’re like four days away from Summer Solstice.  This is the time of year when things start turning green, flowers are in bloom and we can spend hours each evening outside just enjoying the longer days.  I repeat, it’s June.

So why, when I look out my window, do I see this:

Snow

Snow2

Pretty crazy huh?  Especially since I took this photo yesterday…

 

Lion Lake

Welcome to our mess…

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If you haven’t already noticed from my posts, my life is a bit busy and somewhat chaotic at times.  Okay, well most of the time.  I spend 99% of my time doing something.  Whether that’s creating a project with my kids, playing a game, running errands in town or planning my next Girl Scout meeting, I am consistently busy.  I rarely have downtime and when I do have a few moments, I like to spend them with my family.  I love being a Mom.  It’s truly the best thing I’ve ever done in my life.  With all this chaos in my world, there are definitely things that slip through the cracks and even those I intentionally put off.  In particular, I push aside my housework.

When you enter my house you won’t see an immaculate sitting room.  You won’t see granite counter tops or gorgeous tile flooring.  You won’t see expensive vases or sculptures.  I don’t have paintings worth more than my life savings on the wall.  What you will see is a lovely home.  You will see my son’s snow boots kicked to the side of the door, as if he ran right out of them.  My daughter has likely tossed her winter coat over the back of the couch and dropped her school bag on the floor.  My dining table is cluttered with markers, crayons and construction paper.  My walls hold pieces of art that are priceless only to me.  The counter tops in my kitchen inevitably have remnants of jelly toast or peanut butter sandwiches.  My floors?  My floors are strewn with toys.  If you’re not careful you may step on a Lego.

You will see my home. You will see where my children play, create and use their imaginations.  You may even be lucky enough to see one of Ms. Lulu’s science experiments in progress.  You will see where my son learns his alphabet and numbers.  You will see where they sing and dance.  You will see the blankets they use when they curl up and read their books.  Is my house a spotless showroom?  Nope.  Not at all.  In fact, I couldn’t tell you the last time I cleared off the computer desk.  However, it is a home.  It is a place where my kids can just be kids.  They can let their imaginations roam and create pieces of art.  They can ice cupcakes without fear of a mess on the floor.  They can leave a science experiment on the counter for four days hoping they grow diamonds.

Is my home a complete disaster?  Of course not.  It’s a clean and tidy home for my family.  I just don’t come home every day and spend hour upon hour cleaning.  I refuse to spend the short time I have in the evenings cleaning up the chaos.  I would much rather teach my daughter to play Yahtzee or try to out roar my son who seems to think he’s a dinosaur this week.  I want my kids to remember spending time together.  I want them to grow up and look forward to teaching their kids what happens when you mix vinegar and baking soda.  I don’t want them to be so concerned about the mess that they miss these fun moments.  I don’t want to be so caught up in cleaning and organizing that I miss these moments.  I refuse to worry about cleaning up the mess while they are small and still full of wonder.  The mess will be there tomorrow.  I can always clean it then.  My children will only be children once and I will miss that when it’s gone.  I certainly won’t trade that for a spotless home.

Impulse Auditions

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Impulse Auditions

In early March a post on Facebook announcing open auditions for ‘The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later’ caught my eye.  I’m not an actor by any means of the word, but I found myself very interested in auditioning.  I called my sister and asked her if she would like to branch out a bit and audition with me.  Being the amazing sister she is, she jumped on board.  We knew the chances of being cast were minimal at best, but we decided to at least give it a try.  On a cold Monday evening we found ourselves completely lost trying to find the side door entrance to the theatre.  It took us three trips around the building before we discovered the unmarked door that looked as though we really shouldn’t be using it.  I can’t tell you how many times in that fifteen-minute trek I contemplated just leaving.  I had rationalized that since we couldn’t find the door the universe obviously was trying to tell us something.  But just when I was about to give up entirely we found the door and entered the green room.

We were met by the director and a few other auditionees.  Sister and I completed the audition paperwork and began looking over the material.  As we watched more people filter into the room I couldn’t help but think we were in way over our heads.  These people all knew each other and had obviously done this many times prior.  There was absolutely no way either of us would be cast.  Of course we were perfectly fine with that.  While we both would love to work on such a powerful piece, we knew it was a long shot when we decided to audition.  Then we began the readings.

Sister and I sat quietly, our attention on our fellow auditionees.  I found myself in awe of these people.  How they could pick up a piece of paper and put so much emotion into it after one reading was beyond me.  That whole self-doubt feeling snuck in as it tends to in these situations.   Suddenly my name was called.  My inner monologue went something like this:

Just breathe…
I can’t.  What in the hell have we gotten ourselves into now?!
Oh get over it.  You’re here now… breathe in and out and just read the damned piece.
Fine.
deep breath…

And the words flowed from my mouth.  I had picked a monologue from Romaine Patterson.  She was a friend of Matthew Shepard and the section I read was the closing to the play.  It struck a chord because all I could think of was ‘what if this was one of my friends’.  It was a moving section of the play.  I can’t remember if I read it perfectly or just rushed through it.  I remember taking a deep breath and then sitting back down.  I watched the remaining people read their sections, including my sister.  I can’t say enough how proud I was of her.  This was entirely out of her comfort zone and definitely all my idea.  She tagged along in support of my latest crazy whim and had to go through the whole audition process because of me.  I owe her big time for that.  She stood and read a piece for Nikki Elder.  I could tell she was nervous but she got through it beautifully.

Once readings were finished we handed back our script pieces, thanked the director and headed for home.  The cast list would be posted on Friday but neither of us expected to be cast.  I was at a going away party for a dear friend when I received the call.

Sister: So our first rehearsal is April 15 at 7.
Me: For?
Sister: Both of us.
Me: …. *blink* *blink* Are you serious?!
Sister: Yup.
Me: Oh wow… umm wow!

It was crazy!  I announced to my group and seriously needed to finish the beer I had been drinking.  It was by far one of the biggest surprises I’d had in a while.  I was certain I wouldn’t make it.  Maybe Sister would, but definitely not me.  Alas, I was totally wrong.  It was exciting and scary and I’m not entirely sure what else.  Nevertheless, it was great and I was super excited to get to work on this piece.

A few weeks later we found ourselves in the same green room where we auditioned.  There were 14 of us total, counting the director.  We would all be cast for multiple roles and would be on book.  There were only nine rehearsals and two performances.  Our director assigned roles and we began reading.  I was assigned Leigh Fondakowski and Romaine Patterson.  Sister was assigned multiple roles as the friend or a student throughout the play.  The first night we read through the entire play and then began the blocking for Act 1.  It was fast paced and a lot to learn for someone who had never performed at this level.  It was a wonderful challenge and definitely fulfilled my goal of trying something new.

Over the course of the next three weeks we ran through the play multiple times.  We practiced lines and blocking not only during rehearsals but at home too.  It was a long three weeks but also a lot of fun.  Sister and I enjoyed rehearsals and getting to know the cast.  Everyone was wonderful. They were so much fun to work with and I can’t imagine doing the show with different actors and/or a different director.  I learned a lot from everyone, whether or not they realized it.

This past Saturday was opening night.  It was a bit nerve-wracking but also rather exciting.  Here we were nine rehearsals under our belt and we were going to present this very moving play to a live audience.  Crazy! I was definitely worried I’d lose my place on stage or forget my lines (even though I had the script in hand).  It was one thing to mess up during rehearsal, an entirely different thing to do it in front of the audience.  But as the lights came up and I took a deep breath, I reminded myself that I knew the material.  I knew where I needed to be and when.  Also, it wasn’t about us as a cast, it was about the text.  It was about the story.  We were there to deliver a story about a tragedy in history.  That was it.  And that is exactly what we did.  There were minor flaws but nothing anyone noticed.

All in all the play was very moving for me.  The content was heartbreaking and there were moments throughout that I had to blink back tears.  It breaks my heart knowing that there are people out there so filled with hate they can brutally beat the life out of someone.  It’s horrific and I couldn’t help but think that this could happen anywhere to anyone.  Listening to my cast-mate portray Judy Shepard where she describes that she is ‘just doing what a mother does’  chokes me up no matter how many times I’ve heard it.  The entire play is a buildup of emotion from start to finish.  By the time I recited my final lines of the show, those very lines I read during auditions, I had tears streaming down my face.  I wept for Matthew’s family and friends.  I wept for the community of Laramie still struggling to deal with this tragedy.  I wept for those who face such hatred and close-mindedness daily.  I wept for those who suffer in silence alone.

As Sister and I exited the theatre last night we both felt a bit melancholy.  While I am glad to return to my daily routine and actually see my kids for more than a few minutes a day, I will miss our cast.  I will miss working with these wonderful people who were very kind to us.  I will miss the material.  Yes, it was very intense material, but it was thought provoking.  I truly hope that through our production we were able to start those tough conversations.  I hope we brought to light that hate exists in our world, big or small.  I hope that by starting these conversations we can grow as individuals, a community, as humanity to help ensure atrocities like the murder of Matthew Shepard do not continue to happen.

For More Information on ‘The Laramie Project’ or ‘The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later’ –  www.laramieproject.org

Happy 2013!!

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Wow… it’s 2013 already.  I can’t believe how quickly time passes.  I know I say that a lot, but it has been especially evident these past several months.  I haven’t even sat down to read or write since April.  I read snippets here and there, but I have yet to read a full book.  It’s just been crazy.  Between school and work and Girl Scouts and who knows what else, I feel like I’ve been running non-stop for months.

Now with the New Year comes the whole process of creating New Year’s resolutions.  I’ve never been big on that idea.  It seems like most people set these goals just because ‘it’s that time of year’.  If I set a goal, I want it to be something I truly wish to achieve and am willing to put forth the effort.  I am not one to set an expectation of myself and only attempt half assedly (yes I think I just made that word up).  I can’t honestly tell you a time I’ve made New Year’s resolutions.  It’s always just seemed kind of pointless to me, until this year.

I have come to realize that my life has been so busy, I’m missing out on some things I truly love.  That’s not acceptable.  I miss being able to sit down and read a book.  I miss my blog postings.  I also miss just being able to relax.  It seems like in the midst of chaos I’ve lost track of the things I truly enjoy.  Therefore, my new year’s resolution is to do something I love at least once a week.  Whether that is writing, reading, hanging out with my family… Just something.  I think we often get lost in our day-to-day lives that we miss out on the things we once enjoyed.  I know I have and as a result it makes me a very grumpy person.  I’m hoping that by taking some time each week to focus on the things I love, I’ll be able to avoid the terrible mood swings.  I’m sure my family would appreciate it too…

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year holiday.  I know I’m looking forward to what 2013 will bring.

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Absolutely LOVED this response to Joe Peacock’s piece on CNN.

Whatever

The other day CNN let some dude named Joe Peacockvomit up an embarrassing piece on its Web site, about how how awful it is that geekdom is in the process of being overrun by attractive women dressing up in costumes (“cosplaying,” for the uninitiated) when they haven’t displayed their geek cred to Mr. Peacock’s personal satisfaction. They weren’t real geeks, Mr. Peacock maintains — he makes a great show of supporting real geek women, the definition of which, presumably, are those who have passed his stringent entrance requirements, which I am sure he’s posted some place other than the inside of his skull — and because they’re not real geeks, they offend people like him, who are real geeks:

They’re poachers. They’re a pox on our culture. As a guy, I find it repugnant that, due to my interests in comic books, sci-fi, fantasy and role playing games…

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More Deep Thoughts of a Six Year Old

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So my daughter has been learning about the Titanic at school and has this sudden fascination with seeing the movie.  I’ll admit, I’ve seen the movie.  I was in high school when it was in theaters originally and we were all crazy over it.  However, the movie to a six-year-old would probably be boring.  Furthermore, if I know my daughter, she’d likely cry at the end.  Of course both my husband and I try to explain this to her.  Her response:

‘So you’re saying it’s NON-FICTION?!’

Yes dear, all things that are boring and sad are stories of real life.

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My husband takes great pleasure in annoying our daughter.  He does it on a daily basis.  They have a great time arguing back and forth.  As I mentioned before, she has this fascination with the Titanic.  Last night she’s telling us how the captain went down with the ship and he stabbed himself in the heart so the sharks wouldn’t get him.  My husband of course has to one-up her.  ‘Well you know, my grandfather was on that ship and he died too!’.  Obvious BS… her response?

‘Knock it off Dad!  Whatever, you’re so full of… malarkey!’

There you have it, your vocab lesson of the week… from a 6-year-old.