Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Things I DON'T Want for Christmas.

It is that time of year again, folks- the time when we all are scurrying about town trying to find the perfect gift for our loved ones. Here are the items I do NOT want for Christmas:

1. A foot spa. Way more mess than de-stress.
2. Any bath product/makeup gift set that was purchased at a drug store/Wal-Mart while you were on your aspirin/cheetos/shaving cream/extra twinkly Christmas lights run. These lotions smell like depressed middle aged women, and sort of make me feel like an afterthought.
3. Anything the Kardashians have endorsed.
4. Any gift basket filled with sausage and cheese.
5. Gout.
6. Glass figurines of any kind. Those will never have a place in my home.
7. Any CD on which Barry Williams is a featured artist. Although I do have an appreciation for novelty albums from the 1980's featuring washed-up television stars, but Barry Williams is a little too much for me.

I was just reading a blog that Jason Mraz posted recently (which inspired the creation of today's post) and it got me feeling spiritually awakened. About a year ago, he got a tattoo on his arm that reads "Be Love". He is all about this idea of being "Love Itself" and not waiting for it to show up (a concept he first learned about at the beautiful Cafe Gratitude in San Francisco). This is a concept found in many eastern religions and one that I think needs to be more widespread here.

It seems to me that if we all just focus on being love ourselves, all the things that bother us about others will disappear. Jason cited the example of the fact that we often beat ourselves up over something we think we heard. Say you’re driving and your passenger yells “BRAKES!” to avoid disaster. Sometimes we hear that as, "YOU CAN’T DRIVE!" It’s common to interpret in that manner. It happens all the time. We apply meaning in ways that make situations much more difficult to deal with. If we can learn to "Be Love", maybe we won't internalize so much or so often. This is the perfect time of year to start with this new mentality. What ways are you all "being love"?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

no day but today...

On Friday night, the show I've been rehearsing for the past few months opened. My Saturday was spent performing a matinee and an evening show. We had a break in between, so I went to a new friend's home to watch RENT with her and another friend. 

Every time I watch the recording of the final night on broadway, I feel as though I am experiencing the story for the first time and I am reminded of the prolific messages within.

Maybe it's the love that Collins and Angel have for each other-  a constant reminder of how we should be loving every day. "when you're worn out and tired, when your heart has expired, with a thousand sweet kisses, i'll cover you"

Maybe it's Roger learning that there is "no day but today" for life and love, and living "there's only us, there's only this, forget regret or life is yours to miss"

Maybe it's Maureen standing up for something she believes in so passionately that she can convince an entire audience to moo with her. 

Maybe it's the fact that these people are living the best way they know how and making every day passionately and profoundly important. 

"to the stage! to Uta! to Buddha! Pablo Neruda too... actual reality, act up, fight AIDS! VIVA LA VIE BOHEME!"

Jonathan Larson's magnum opus changed a lot of people's lives, myself included. His life was tragically cut short by an aortic aneurism just before RENT was to open at the New York Theatre Workshop. I often think about what important messages might have come from him had he lived, but I will be forever grateful to him for the important role his work his played in my life. Here's to you, Mr. Larson- you changed the world and never got to see what wonders you created. Rest peacefully.

Jonathan Larson

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday Morning Record: Marc Broussard "Keep Coming Back"

In preparation for tomorrow's show (which I am attending gratis, as I work the merch table at his shows in the bay), I am listening to this fantastic musician. What an artist.

Listen to "Real Good Thing" or "Saying I Love You". So much soul, you aren't sure whether to smile or be in pain. Also, if you just want a good song of his, google "Let Me Leave". SO moving.  

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday Morning Record: Maroon 5 "Hands All Over"

PERFECT record to get you going on a rainy morning (or any other morning). Listen to Misery. You'll want to put it on repeat forever.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Saturday Morning Record: Paul Simon "Graceland"

This album will change your life. I used to sing to this with my mom as a little kid.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday Morning Record: Rooney "Eureka"

I am starting a new segment on my blog entitled "Morning Record". It will list whatever album I happen to be listening to in the morning in hopes that you might expand your own musical horizons. Today's morning record:

"Eureka" by Rooney

What are you listening to today?

Monday, November 1, 2010

My Polyvore

OK, so I am mooching off my big sister's blog (Shiny Things Distract Me), but I too have now discovered Polyvore.

It's the coolest site ever. It allows you to make a collage of just about anything that can be found on the world wide web. You just do a search for it, and there it is. The one I've done below is just about things that make up me.

I can imagine that this will become quite addictive, so you will probably see one of these on my blog for holidays, birthdays, and whatever mood I happen to be in on a given day. Try it out for yourself- I guarantee you will be all over this thing.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Preparing for Halloween

So, I am getting ready for Halloween (and a good friend's party) and trying to get my costume all put together. This year, I am going to be a flower. I made a huge tutu skirt with fuchsia, light pink, salmon, and purple tulle. I then made a pattern out of tissue paper for the petals and altered them slightly so they look a little more organic. I'm adding kelly green leggings and flip flops and a fuchsia tank top. This will all be topped off with a headband (which of course, I added glitter to) with a big pink flower on top. 

I was going back and forth about what to do with my makeup, and trying to decide if I want to go bright pink or bright green. With the urging of makeup guru and dear friend Stefanie, I decided to go bright green. I will be creating a modified version of this:
Here are the products I will be using for the eyes:

Bare Escentuals Eye Shimmer in

Oz- a beautiful emerald/ turquoise color.
Envy- a shimmery light lime green with tiny blue bits of shimmer. This over Oz is stunning.
Enlightened- a sparkly gold highlight, perfect for over the other two and as a highlight on other parts of the face. Bonus- part of the proceeds go to Leukemia/Lymphoma.

Tarina Tarantino Sparklicity Pure- sparkles for just about anywhere, but they make a beautiful highlight.

Just thought I would share in the case that anyone is looking for fun green makeup for Halloween, or anytime.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My Christmas List 2010

I was talking to my mother on the phone and she told me I had better get started on my Christmas list (apparently SOMEONE wants to start shopping) so I figured I would compile a wish list (just like Oprah) and maybe you'll see something that strikes your fancy as well.

1. A train case from Sephora. As you will notice on my September 14th post, I have a tiny fascination with makeup. Unfortunately, my collection has outgrown it's current case and I have makeup stuffed everywhere, and I now desperately need a new one. This is the one I've chosen.

 You can find it here. Of course there many types and sizes, but this one will serve my needs perfectly.

2. Girl Meets Pearl. This is one of those beauty fix-its that will transform you from dreary to cheery in about 30 seconds. Also looks good on everyone.

Available here on Benefit Cosmetics' website.

3. This adorable Kate Spade bangle. It says things like "smile at a stranger" and the inside says "give it a whirl". I don't usually wear gold, but I think for this I could make an exception.
4. This adorable L. Erickson flower headband. SO cute. 
That's all for now, but keep your eyes peeled for more awesome yuletide gifts.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Birthday Photos

I just wanted to share a few photos from my birthday dinner last night.

Me with the princess balloons my mom got me.
My lotus cake that my mom made me. It had lots of luster dust for adequate amounts of sparkles.

My mom with her artwork.

Me and boo.

Me and mom at the end of the night.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Day Thirty: 5 of my pet peeves are…

1. People texting, reading newspaper or magazine/ are otherwise engaged while driving. It makes me SO uncomfortable, and a little scared for my safety.

2. People making food noises, especially crunchy (like tortilla chips). Learn to eat at a volume that is not offensive to my eardrums.

3. People that judge others and think they know everything about someone else from whatever they see at face value.

4. People attempting to sound more intelligent than they are by using words like "magnanimous" or "intrinsic" but not actually knowing what they mean.

5. People who think pushing the elevator button as many times as they can before it arrives will make it arrive more quickly. It won't.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Day Twenty-Nine: Keepsake Photos

This is the photo we took with Matt's computer just minutes after he proposed.

Us signing our marriage license  

My dad and I on halloween. I'm about 7. 

My cousins and I playing dress up. Random day.
Many of the photos I consider to be "keepsakes" are not scanned and/or are very old:
  • A photo of my grandmother throwing water from a bucket at some beach in the mid 1940's.
  • A photo of my grandparents on their wedding day.
  • The photo taken of my mother right after she birthed me.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Day Twenty-Eight: The last piece of art I made…

I suppose the last piece of art I made was a scepter for a coworker's Halloween costume. She is going to be the Queen of Hearts and asked if I would be willing to help her make the scepter for the costume. It looks like this:

It was fun to make and I got to use a lot of glitter (even those cards have gold spray glitter), so I'm pretty excited to have made something for someone else. I am giving it to her tomorrow- hopefully she will love it!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Day Twenty-Seven: Beautiful things…

A lotus flower:

A Frenchie Puppy:
A perfect song, like Oh My Sweet Carolina by Ryan Adams

A New England Autumn:

A Dickens Christmas:

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Day Twenty-Six: If I had 15 minutes to evacuate my home before it was destroyed, what 10 things would I bring (not including people or pets)

1. The pearl and sterling pin my grandfather gave my grandmother. It was the first piece of jewelry he gave her back in 1943.

2. My purse, filled with photos (yes, my purse is big enough to hold a lot of photos).

3. The letter my grandpa wrote to me not too long before he passed away.

4. The Tiffany necklaces my husband bought me- one was our second Christmas together and the other was a gift on the morning of our wedding.

5. My makeup. Don't judge me. I have a ridiculous amount of makeup and it's a lot of money and effort in those 4 containers of wonder.

6. The vanity my mom got me as a high school graduation gift. It's cherrywood and a beautiful antique.

7. The diamond earrings my dad gave me on my 21st. They were my great-great-great grandmother's.

8. The bird cake topper from my wedding and the frogs that went next to the cake.

9. The jacket that belonged to my dad when he was the Ruben Kincaid of "Rock Island". It's this great polyester jacket from the 70's. 

10. The cherrywood sofa that belonged to the same great-great-great grandmother. It's tone on tone pink polka dot. It's perfect.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Day Twenty-Five: The nicest thing anyone has ever done for me.

This is a tough one, as no one has ever donated a kidney or saved my life. I suppose the nicest thing, or most important thing anyway comes from my parents (mom specifically since she birthed me) for being so selfless in giving me life and raising me with such great regard for my well-being. They always put themselves second and my needs always came first. I think being a parent is one of the biggest sacrifices and nicest things that one could possible do for someone else.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Day Twenty Four: 4-5 relationships that have had the greatest impact on my life

1 and 2. My parents

My parents were married until I was nine, but even after they split they still parented as a single unit. I will never be able to show enough gratitude for that. I am really close to each of them and so appreciate their hard work and love.

3. My husband

OK so I had to put the kid picture of my husband up because it (along with the recent photo) exemplifies his personality so perfectly. Not only does he exemplify unconditional love, but he keeps me laughing.

4 and 5. My maternal grandparents

My grandpa and I spent a lot of time together when I was little (as I was his only grandchild). We used to go to Foster Freeze and have vanilla cones dipped in hard chocolate shells and Wendy's for chicken nuggets. He taught me about music (he sang barbershop) and we watched Green Acres and Wheel of Fortune just about every time I was at his house. I hold him responsible for a great deal of influence on me, and I am so grateful to have had the time I did with him.

After my grandpa passed away when I was seven, my grandma and I become a heck of a lot closer. She is so wonderful (I can't think of anyone who doesn't adore her) and she's one of the few people in my life I am taller than. I enjoy every moment I get to spend with her, and I love hearing about her stories from when she and my grandpa first got together and when my mom was little.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Day Twenty-Three: In the next year I'm going to...

try to be ok with just going with flow and letting life happen as it might. Now that I am married and have a career, there isn't a whole lot more I could ask for. Of course there are things in my life that I would like to improve upon, but I'm pretty happy with the path my life has taken. I'd like to try to make an effort to just go with the flow and accept life with all it's gifts and bummers. I think the ride will be that much better and I will experience a lot less stress if I just take things as they come. 

"When you're chewing on life's gristle
Don't grumble, give a whistle
And this'll help things turn out for the best...
And always look on the bright side of life...
Always look on the light side of life..."
-- Monty Python's Life of Brian

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Day Twenty-Two: Life changing books I've read

Ohhhhh... where to start? OK, to really narrow it to "life-changing" books, I have to limit it to the following:

Twelve by Nick McDonell
drug addiction, violence and sex among wealthy Manhattan teenagers. Twelve is the name of a drug is much like a cross between cocaine and ecstasy.

The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
holden caulfield. teenage confusion. angst. sexuality. alienation. rebellion.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
nine-year-old boy named Oskar Schell searches for information about a key that belonged to his father, who died in the 9/11 attacks.

Night by Elie Wiesel
novel about Wiesel's experience with his father, Shlomo, in the Nazi concentration camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald in 1944–1945, at the height of the Holocaust.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Novel dealing with manners, upbringing, morality, education and marriage in the society of early 19th century England.

Bright Lights Big City by Jay McInerney
Unnamed main character- a writer who, by day, works as a fact checker for a high-brow magazine and By night, he is a party-goer, a cocaine user, seeking to lose himself in the hedonism of the 1980s yuppie party scene, often going to the nightclub Heartbreak.

I'm sure there are about a dozen more, but I have to limit it to these few. Read them. They'll probably change you as well. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Day Twenty-One: I can't believe that I...

ever thought white eyeliner was a fashion forward decision.

In eighth grade, all the girls at my school started wearing white eyeliner. In an effort to be cool, I too bought some and started lining my eyes with a 1/4" line of white iridescent pencil. Worst. Look. Ever. Someone should have shaken me as hard as possible and told me what a terrible fashion statement I was making. Ugh. Thank goodness there are virtually no photos of that time in my life and that it was a short-lived phase. 

At least I wasn't alone in my poor taste.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Day Twenty: Things in life that sustain me emotionally.

1. Music
(singing/playing included)

2.My husband. Everpresent and understanding. A pillar in my life.

3. My parents. There since day one, and they'll always be there.

4. A good cry. Yes, it's true. Nothing makes me feel better.

5. My friends

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Day Nineteen: The first time I...

stepped onstage, I knew I could never really stop doing the one thing that made me feel like I had pleased so many and that I was totally at home. I was 5 years old, and I was the Second Little Piggie in the Three Piggie Opera. I had never felt the kind of rush I felt when I was on stage, and I still feel that every time I step in front of an audience. It is impossible to duplicate and I've found nothing that makes me feel so alive. Since then I've done a variety of shows including:

Peter Pan
The Music Man
The Wizard of Oz
The Nutcracker Musical
Guys and Dolls
Never Too Late
Voices of the Y Generation
Kimberly Akimbo

I've also begun costuming and working behind the scenes a bit too, which has presented a whole new challenge. I will never stop- I wouldn't be whole without it.

"oink, oink, diggity dear, the three piggie opera you're now going to hear..."

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Day Eighteen: If I could choose a different time period to live in it would be...

This is a tough one for me because I'm such a history nerd. I think for me it's a tie between Greece anytime during the height of their empire and France in the mid 1800's. 

For about 500 years BC, the Greeks were doing things that no one had ever imagined. They invented so many concepts and practices and devices that we still use some form of (or all of) to this day. Scholars were making prolific and important statements, inventors were creating life-changing devices, and artists were making some of the most revolutionary works the world had (and has) ever seen. What a time- oh! to have been able to play witness to such an incredible movement.

In 1800's France, the Bohemians were just surfacing (go see La Boheme by Giacomo Puccini if you want to learn more) and starting to make big, big changes. There was this very "devil may care" attitude among many young Parisians, and Bohemian writers and artists and musicians were also doing important things. But mostly, I just think it was a blast to be alive.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Day Seventeen: Why should I forgive?

In most cases the question is really why shouldn't I forgive? What purpose does holding a
grudge really serve? It just makes you jaded and resentful, and really doesn't fix any problem. 

Unless someone has does something to truly and deliberately hurt or wrong you in some way, I really see no benefit for either party in not forgiving. Mistakes are made, and in order to move on people must be forgiven.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Day Sixteen: What is the first thing that pops into my head when I think of my father?

Music. Well, contemporary music anyway. My grandpa turned me on to musicals and barbershop, but my dad was the encyclopaedia when it came to popular (and not so popular) music. He was the first one to introduce me to The Beatles, The Clash, David Bowie, The Ramones, and even Queens of the Stone Age. Now that I'm an adult, we are now constantly trading new music suggestions and listening to all the music he introduced me to as a child. I so love that we have such a close bond (in many ways), but music is what always brings us together.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Day Fifteen: Sisters

Hmmmm, sisters...

This topic means something different to me than most people, as I have no biological sisters. 

When I started college, I was the only one from my high school within about 50 miles. I knew no one, and I didn't get into the dorms right away and was renting a room from some people who were, ahem, unique. I never fancied myself as one to join a sorority, but I found out that the Panhellenic sororities were recruiting and decided to check it out. After going through recruitment, I knew that my life would never be the same if I joined Zeta Tau Alpha. I had never felt so welcomed by so many in my entire life. After I joined and learned the creed (below), I knew that I had made the right decision. One of my pledge sisters was my matron of honor at my wedding and is my dearest friend, and my big sister and I have a wonderful relationship (maybe because we are both only children). Sisterhood has a different and special meaning for me, and I am forever grateful to each ZTA for making me understand what it meant to have sisters.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day Fourteen: Current Fascination

I have to list two, as it would not be fair to list just one or the other of these. 

French Bulldogs! We are preparing to welcome a frenchie puppy into our home at the beginning of the year. Is this little one on the left below the cutest thing you've ever seen? The one on the right is an adult frenchie.

Frenchies are full of love, are quite comical, and have the cutest ears you've ever seen. I have been voracious for information in preparation for Sophie, and Matt is probably tired of hearing about all the new facts and things to do before we welcome her into our home.

Is there anything cuter than that?

Second: As if you couldn't  have guessed, it's glitter, and glittery/shimmery makeup. I have an obscene collection of both of these, but I somehow can't stop myself from purchasing more if I see something I love. 

Instead of explaining my problem with each of these to you, I will post photos detailing my collections:

First, makeup:
This photo illustrates everything I use on a daily basis, or at least most days. I might trade off on eyeshadow or blush color, but it all generally comes from this selection of wonderful products. 

These items are in my everyday bag, but I don't use them as frequently. They are either makeup fixes or simply items I don't use as often. Still great products. 

This is all the eye makeup housed in my giant makeup tackle box. Much of it was purchased for stage or for a special event, but I can't seem to part with it, just in case I ever need it again.

This is all the other makeup I have in my tackle box. Much of it never sees the light of day unless I am doing a show or it is a really special occasion.

The brushes and other tools, each with a specific purpose.

Second, glitter:

I also have a bit of a problematic fascination with glitter. Not only do I love a little shimmer in my makeup, but I will try to find a reason to put as much glitter into a project as possible. Below is a photo of my glitter, and this is just for crafts.