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.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Day Thirteen: Weird is...

 a relative term.  I think I may tend to overuse this word, because when you think about the definition of "normal", I think it's a tough one to define. More things probably fall into the category of "weird" than fall into the category of "normal". I would rather surround myself with"weird", interesting people and things than be around a bunch of bland, "normal" people. I'd like to see weird become a social juggernaut, and eventually the acceptable way to be.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Day Twelve: My favorite season

My favorite season is somewhere between autumn and winter, or both if you like. 

Autumn is the beginning of such a wonderful time. The smells are wonderful, the colors are beautiful, and my birthday is on it's way. Autumn is especially magical in New England (where they actually have a legitimate Autumn season). I also love the two Autumn holidays. 

Winter is magic in it's own right (yes, especially in New England where they have a legitimate Winter season). Everyone is in the holiday spirit, the smells are (again) wonderful, and Christmas is coming! I SO love christmas.

I suppose both these holidays make me the happiest, the warmest, and I feel like the people around me are the most that way as well.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Day Eleven: 3 reasons to get out of bed tomorrow.

One: My husband. It is so wonderful to get to be around someone so great all the time. It's pretty rad that he wants to be around me all the time too.

Two: Specifically tomorrow, because my dad is coming over for dinner and that is one of my favorite things on the planet. We just hang out and watch TV and chat. It's the best.

Three: Tomorrow presents a new opportunity to do something great for the world. For a few years now, I have felt like my life would not be complete without having done something to leave my mark on the world. I've always felt like I have a greater purpose in life than clocking in and out and the occasional good deed. I haven't yet figured out what this mark will be, but here's hoping it means something to somebody.

I was at the grocery store today and there was a woman in front of me who reminded me so much of my grandma Ruth. Her mannerisms and a lot of her appearance was a lot like her. When she was finished paying, the cashier said "Thank you Mrs. Davis", which is also my grandma's name. I looked over at the lady and said "I just wanted to tell you that you share a name with my grandma, and share so many characteristics with her. My grandma is one of the most beautiful people I know, inside and out, and I just wanted you to know how much you remind me of her."  She looked at me and replied, " That is the nicest thing someone has said to me since my husband passed away. Thank you so much- you just made my whole month." 

My one little compliment had such a huge impact on her, and it caused me no trouble at all. Quite the opposite- I felt so good to have done something that had such an incredible effect on a stranger, and someone so deserving of love.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Day Ten: Describe a typical sight around the house.

if you ever come to my house, here are the two things you will likely see:

olivia (my fluffy cat) either eating something or laying on the back of the couch.

matt (my husband) either eating something or sitting on the couch.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Day Nine: Describe a typical Sunday as a child.

Ahhh Sundays. Those were always my favorite days as a little girl. When my parents were married, every Sunday was the same. We lived in this wonderful little house in Walnut Creek with an atrium in the middle that let in just enough light, but felt tropical at the same time. One of my parents would get up in the morning and get cinnamon buns from A Sweet Affair bakery (if you are ever in Walnut Creek, do not skip a cinnamon bun or a chocolate chip cookie from A Sweet Affair- they will change your life). We would all three sit in the living room and read the paper (mine consisted of the funnies and the classified section- I begged for a dog every week) and enjoy our cinnamon buns. Our living room was perfect. It was full of light and it contained this wonderful striped couch that I spent much of my youth on. After finishing the paper, we always watched cartoons. I always thought that it was just for me, but looking back I think it was a little bit for my dad as well.

Many Sundays my grandparents would come over or we would visit them. 

Sundays are some of the best memories of my childhood. Everything was easy, nothing was rushed, and everything was sweet. I hope that I can create that kind of Sunday memory for my own little ones.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Day Eight: Playing Favorites

Instead of commenting on the topic of "playing favorites", I decided instead to name some of my the items I play favorites with. I try not to do it with people, but I figured I would use this space to discuss the things I love most. 

As a child, one of my favorite vacations we took when my parents were still married was a road trip to this park for a family reunion. My grandparents gave me a little package to open each day of the trip, usually containing a puzzle and some sort of treat (like chocolate teddy grahams). I have such wonderful memories of that vacation. Of course, trips to this park never hurt either. I will never, ever get tired of visiting the happiest place on earth. 

I have to also mention my three favorite authors: Nick McDonellSophie Kinsella/Madeleine Wickham, and Jane Austen. Vastly different, but equally entertaining. I'd highly recommend reading something by each of them, if not their entire bodies of work. Honorable mention goes to Richard Price and Saul Bellow, because they wrote The Wanderers and Mr. Sammler's Planet, respectively and those are wonderful books. I could name authors all day, so I have to move on.

I also have to mention some musicians here, because what blog of favorites by me wouldn't mention at least a few. Here are the best of the best- for today at least (I know I am leaving many, many out):
Jason Mraz, Vampire Weekend, Marc Broussard, Queen, Nick Drake, Eric Hutchinson, and James Taylor. Favorite music TV series of course goes to Glee, and if you don't watch it, you really should. 

I have to also mention my love for oversized sunglasses, the smell of fresh rain, grammar, and etiquette.

Here are a few photos of my favorite people (even though I said I wouldn't). 

I cannot end this post without highlighting my love of all things glittered and/or shoelike (see the photo of the sparkly Louboutin above). Below is one of the most beautiful shoes I've ever seen.  

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Day Seven: Self Portrait

I am not one to take photos of myself, and I am a terrible artist, so I chose a photo that someone took of me (it's very close, so you can pretend I took it of myself if you'd like). 

I chose this image for two reasons. One- it is a photo of me on the best day of my life, so what better day to have a self portrait than the day of my wedding. Two- it reflects a certain dramatic side that is most important to me in a self-portrait. I don't have any photos of myself on stage, but I wanted today's photo to be one in which I look like I might have just stepped off stage. Stage is where I feel most at home and most myself.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Day Six: I am good at...

being creative. I think of of my best assets is not only my crafting abilities, but my ability to find creative solutions to problems. I think growing up as an only child meant that I had to fend for myself much of the time when a problem came up and my parents weren't around. I think I've gotten pretty good at finding interesting solutions to problems. 

I also seem to have inherited my mom's flair for all things craft. She has more of a talent for the fine arts, but I am lucky to have received her eye for color and ability to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear (or an amazing bag out of fabric scraps). Thank goodness for her.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Day Five: Thoughts on Growing Old...

Right after my grandpa passed away, I remember being terrified of growing old because when you were done growing old, life was over. I didn't really understand life (or death, for that matter), and I didn't truly know what growing old meant. 

Since I met Matt, the idea of growing old doesn't worry me, it makes me happy and excited for the future. It means that I get to spend my life with someone who I truly love, and who genuinely loves me back. It isn't as scary as it once was. If I can be as happy in my lifetime with Matt as my grandpa was with my grandma, growing old will be the best thing that has ever happened to me.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Day Four: My Best Friend

This is a tough one. I've grown to stop assigning the term "best friend" to people. I have many friends, and I go to each of them for different things. When I saw this topic, it got me thinking about what being a "best friend" truly means. Being a best friend means that you are there for that other person, no matter what the circumstances. You call your friend for no reason, and are so close that no matter what you tell them it doesn't matter because they love you anyway. 

As a girl who grew up without siblings, I've always wanted that kind of connection with someone. I've wanted to feel like I had a sister in someone else. In college I met Jhoanna. she has become more than what I imagine a sister to feel like. We can talk about anything, and no matter how long we may have spoken the day before, we can double it the next day. I'm so lucky to have such a wonderful friend.

I also have to mention my husband. I never get tired of being around him and I count on him for so many things. He has become my closest confidante and I trust him more than anybody. It's so wonderful to be married to someone I can call my "best friend".

Friday, September 3, 2010

Day Three: Generalizations are...

Generalizations are a terrible thing to make, but unfortunately inevitable. We all make them every day, and we judge every person we see or meet based on them. Maybe it's time that we all take a step back and examine things and people for what and who they truly are, instead of based on some gross decision that was made based on an unfair assumption. Probably tougher to do that we'd like to admit, but the world would be a whole lot better off that way.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Day Two: A Photo of Something You do to Keep Cool During the Summer Months.

This isn't so much what I do anymore, but it is something I did pretty regularly during my youth. My grandpa used to pick me up and take me for a vanilla cone dipped in that delicious hard candy chocolate shell to help keep the heat at bay during the summer. It is one of the best memories of my childhood, and of my grandpa. If you're suffering through this unbearable heat, take the time to treat yourself to a delicious chocolate dipped Foster's Freeze ice cream- I promise you won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Day One: What is my favorite poem?

My first day blogging, and already a tough one. I LOVE poetry. I have too many poems that might qualify as favorites. As I went through my books full of Seamus Heaney, James Joyce, and Rudyard Kipling ("If" always reminds me of my grandma), my mind kept going back to a certain childhood favorite- Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. It's a wildly popular collection of poems, and it was a wonderful children's book, but as I read the words of the poem, the same words I read two decades ago as a child, I realized the poem is so much more important and marvelous than it once was. You can read it below and hopefully, you'll find your own meaning.

by Shel Silverstein

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.