Saturday, February 28, 2009

dinner's ready!

3. What would be on the menu for your ultimate birthday party?

Oh what a yummy interview question from Cassie!

Let's just say this right upfront: I love food. And drinks. And food.

And I adore parties.

Unfortunately I've developed a life rule for myself that involves just one simple edict: don't eat anything you like.

Isn't that the saddest thing ever? Of course I'm just kidding. Anyone who's seen me can attest to the fact that I am very well fed, or at least I certainly give that impression by my appearance!

OK, so the dream menu...

I really like simple foods, especially pizza, the really gooey good kind with lots of cheese and greasy toppings. I also love Mexican food. The botana from Xohchimilco's in Southwest Detroit is one of my favorite things in the world. Ooooh, the avocados, the green olives, the melted mexican cheese.....
I also love bread, real bread, with a chewy crust, covered in butter or dipped in olive oil.

I stopped eating bread for YEARS in my locarb days, and I still don't eat much. If I start I just can't seem to stop! During that same time I actually started to enjoy salads, so I figure my dream meal would include one of those. It has to feature fancy lettuce - no iceberg allowed - and fun things like nuts and gorgonzola cheese. Maybe a few bosc pear slices, too.

I am female, so of course I love chocolate. How about a dark chocolate cake with really thick ganache for dessert?No chocolate in the house? Then bring on the creme brulee.

And to drink? I can't eat without a glass of good red wine. OK, I often settle for cheap, mediocre red wine, but for my birthday? At the very least I require several glasses of my new favorite, Penfolds Shiraz/Cabernet.


The truth is I'm really not that fussy. As I write this my son is preparing dinner: broiled sirloin steaks, sauteed spicy broccoli and red-skin potatoes. I'm sipping a glass of shiraz. Please don't hate me.

I'm a lucky, well-fed lady.

I know it's Lent, but gimme the dish: what do you crave?

Friday, February 27, 2009

7 quick takes: my premiere edition



You may have noticed that I don't have a blog roll on my sidebar.

I decided not to add one because I'm 1) a slacker; 2) I'd feel bad if I hurt someone's feelings by leaving them out and 3) I'd feel obligated to visit listed blogs all the time and I'm bad at that.

Of course I do have my favorites. Every so often I come across a blog that is so smart, funny, spiritual and/or insightful that I swear I must've started another blog in my sleep and forgotten about it.

Those of you who are better at scouting out the gems probably met Jen at Conversion Diary long ago, but I just got around to sniffing around her site recently. Her blog has all the qualities listed above, and more.

Fridays she hosts "Seven Quick Takes." I'm often tempted to pick these ideas up, and when I do I'm inconsistent. But I've decided to give it a go, mostly because I'm jealous of Jen and want to be more like her. (That and the fact that I've committed to more writing are my motivators!)

So here is my first edition (it might be the last, I'm not making any promises, so don't get excited.)

--1--
I've come up with a "theme" for Lent: "Speak, Lord, your servant is listening." I realize that my relationship with Jesus is not all that different from my other relationships: I do most of the talking. I'm attempting to spend some quiet time every day just being. I trust that He knows what He's doing, and He'll fill me in as needed.

--2--
I can't believe my first grandchild will be here in only a couple months! When I noticed the number on the widget had dropped to the 60s, I started to get really excited.

I admit I'm feeling some of that "how will I ever love this baby as much" that moms feel when they are expecting their second child. Remember that? Of course we always love them with all our hearts, because as I tell my children, the hearts of mothers grow every time a new child comes along. (The pie doesn't get cut into smaller slices, the pie gets bigger!)

Experienced grandmothers keep telling me I will go absolutely wild for my grandbabies, and that I will love them so much I won't be able to stand it. I'm sure that's the case, but I still feel they're not going to be as amazing as MY babies.

But like my mom has told me, these ARE my babies, in a very real sense.

I'm sure I'll figure that out when I see the little cuties. In the meantime, an important question to consider: what will they call me?

Grandma, Nana, Memaw, Grandmother? All we've come up with that feels right is Grandma Hottie. Your thoughts?

--3--
Sophie is the cutest thing ever. Yesterday it was springlike enough outside for me to take her for her first Long Walk. She did great, staying right by my side. I was unprepared when she pooped on someone's sidewalk (I'm so sorry, neighbor!) but other than that it went well.

She is still not housebroken, which is her only real flaw. I know, that's MY failing, not hers. I'm going to buckle down and really work with her soon to get her going outside in the proper spot ALL THE TIME.



--4--
My kids are doing really well in school. John and Luke are getting good grades, and more importantly, excellent marks in their behavior. Joey has also really taken to high school living. He's decided to take band next year, because if this family needs anything, it's a trumpet player.

AJ is taking classes at the local community college. I'm officially done with our homeschool days, but I still spend time with him talking about his photoshop class, setting goals for his future (culinary arts, perhaps?) and watching inappropriate videos on youtube. It's all good.

Lauren is preparing to graduate, with honors, from nursing school in May. I'm incredibly proud of her. It looks like she'll be continuing her job at Children's Hospital on the rehab/burn unit after she gets the RN after her name.

Rachel's a student in the school of life now, scoring at the top of her class. There might be a prenatal class in the next few weeks as well, although she's informed me that she really already knows all there is to know. That's my girl.

--5--

The Big Man and I have been discussing the possibility of me getting a "real" job. I'm alternately terrified and excited by the idea.

--6--

I've set up an interview Monday with a Real Live TV Star. I'm more than a little nervous, because he is a Real Live TV Star, one that I used to watch on my favorite soap opera (as Meg Ryan's love interest) when I was in high school. He is tall and good looking and he lives in Hollywood, and did I mention he is a Real Live TV Star? He is also a committed Christian who is using his acting ability to present the Gospel to his audiences. Pretty cool, huh? Visit his site: frankrunyeon.com. And pray that I don't get all goofy when I talk with him next week.

--7--

I've decided I cannot ever watch "Baby Story" on TLC again. I used to watch it when I was pregnant, and I'd ball my eyes out when the babies were born. When I wasn't pregnant I'd think it was somewhat inappropriate to be a witness to such a highly personal moment in a woman's life.

Now, I'm a pre-menopausal woman who isn't pregnant, and watching it makes me cry AND wonder what in the world these women are thinking. And it makes me mourn my Baby Girl, and wonder at the fact that I survived losing her.

She's on my mind a lot these days. I miss her.

This is one of my favorite photographs: it reminds me of her.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

thanks!

The first day of Lent feels like New Year's Day. The champagne has stopped flowing, or, er, the paczki are gone but for the crumbs, and I'm left here with a dirty forehead and a question: Can I do this?

I'm not good at resolutions, so I don't usually make them. I tend to be so all or nothing that I lose sight of the reasons for the changes I'm trying to make. This year I made a great New Year's Resolution: to try new things and meet interesting people. Finally, a resolution I have a chance of keeping! I couldn't come up with something quite so fun for Lent, however. I'm kicking myself today because I allowed Lent to start without a concrete plan in place. Now I'm one day in and I haven't developed any hard and fast rules for myself.

I like rules. I may not always obey them, but at least if they're there, I can feel safe. I feel I would've done well in pre-Vatican II days, when penances were set so clearly before the faithful. Now, left to my own devices, I tend to be overly harsh or really easy on myself.

It's just too vague to say "I'll grow closer to Jesus" this Lent. So I'm going to make a handful of solid plans for myself, here on the first day of Lent. (Tell me it's not too late....it's never too late for this, is it?) I'll keep them mostly between me and The Big Guy, but I'll share the one I've come up with so far: I'm going to say "thank you" more often.

I'll start each morning by showing my gratitude to God for giving me one more day to serve Him. I'm going to keep it simple: Thanks, Father.

I'll say thank you to my kids when they help with chores. I'll thank my husband for working so hard for our family. I'll be grateful to my friends who listen when I call them or email them to whine about my latest problem. I'll thank my parents for putting up with me when I was a teenager. I'll thank the lady at the dry cleaners and the mail carrier and the pharmacist for doing their jobs and making my life better as a result.

I do really appreciate all of these people, but my goal is to tell them. We all need to hear those words, don't we?

And I just might develop a more grateful heart, something I sorely need, in the process.

And a grateful heart is one that is necessarily closer to Jesus, right?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

fat Tuesday reflections

I used to live in Hamtramck, arguably the Paczki Capitol of the World.

For the uninitiated, paczki (pronounced "poonch-key") are much like jelly donuts, but with extra added fat and calories. Folks eat them on the day before Ash Wednesday, stuffing them greedily into their soon-to-be fasting mouths.

When I lived in good ole Hamtown, I would wake up on Shrove Tuesday to the smell of those delicacies wafting through the air. The streets would be crowded with suburbanites who drove through Detroit and to this charming ethnic hamlet to load up on the plumb pastries. We even hosted a Paczki Parade, which featured the mayor of the city and some lucky guy dressed in a paczki suit. Good times.

It's a good thing I don't really care for jelly donuts or their chubby Polish cousins. If I did I might be joining the binge today, but instead I'm pondering our human tendency to load up on things that are just not that good for us.

I'm guilty as ever when it comes to this behavior. I may not be jonesing for donuts, but I'm saddled with more than my share of addictions. Lent begins tomorrow, and like many Catholics I'm considering today that age-old question: What shall I give up?

Now let me assert that well-intentioned spiritual folks would agree that the idea is to give up something good. Offering to stop freebasing cocaine or abusing puppies is not exactly in the spirit of the season. The idea is to refrain from the enjoyment of something wholesome and good that God has given us, with the idea that by sacrificing that allowed created thing we might grow closer to the Creator.

But of course we need to let go of the yucky stuff, too.

Today I'm digging deep, examining my conscience, seeing what stuff, both yucky and good, that I can let go of this Lent. It might be easier to give up jelly donuts, but I know this is what I'm called to do.

I'm not very good at any of it. Not good at the self-analysis; even worse at the letting go. There is so much to be attached to, so much to distract me from my pain, my challenges, my self, and ultimately My Lord.

I'm good at using the things of the world to numb my pain, to relieve my boredom, to stroke my ego. The whole world sits at my fingertips, eager to suckle me with the milk of self-indulgence. And so often I seek comfort there, instead of at the feet of Jesus, where my inner heart desires so much to be.

So this Lent, what shall I give up? I feel like Emily in Our Town, lamenting all the things in life she will miss, things she has taken for granted. I could give up hot coffee, hot showers, or hot dogs with everything. I could ignore all my favorites: dark chocolate, red wine, books by Dean Koontz, songs by the Killers, theaters and plays and movies. I could give up blogging and facebook and tilting my face towards the sky on sunny days.

Somehow, rather than making me feel closer to Jesus, the thought of all that "giving up" makes me feel like Emily in Our Town, lamenting all the things in life she will miss, things she has taken for granted. Does Lent mean I must "say Good-bye to clocks ticking. . ..and Mama's sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new ironed dresses and hot baths. . .and sleeping and waking up?"

Yet I feel a tug on my heart to let go of all of the yucky, and even some of the good, so that I may be open to a deeper relationship. I am, sadly, attached to more than my share. My heart can't be bound to so much of the world, no matter how good most of it is. I have to release some things so that I may grasp others with my freed up fingers.

I'm hoping, too, that by giving up some of the beautiful distractions of the world, I will grow to appreciate their wonder even more. Isn't that a worthy Lenten goal as well? So now I'm praying for the grace to let go, to hold on, to move ahead, to trust.


Like Thornton's Emily I'm in awe of the glory of the world. As she says, "Oh, earth,you are too wonderful for anybody to realize you. Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every,every minute?"

That's OK. But done right this Lent will help me see more clearly the glory of God.

So if you feel like it, have a paczki or two today. Enjoy the good things God has given you. Then spend some time thinking about what else He might have in store for you this season.

Have a blessed Lent.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

summer breeze, makes me feel fine

The flakes are falling around here, big time, so I think it's the perfect time to answer Cassie's second interview question: What is your favorite summertime activity?

I absolutely LOVE summer. I live in Michigan, where winters go on forever and bring lots of cold and that nasty white stuff, so when summer comes I'm beyond excited. I don't mind the heat, or even the humidity that much. I am blessed with an air conditioned home and even a groovy little pool out back, so I can escape from the warmth if I must.

But I usually just escape to one of my very favorite places in the whole world: my backyard gazebo.

The Big Man put in a lovely stone patio a few years ago. On it sits one of those gazebos with a really nice Martha Stewart patio beneath it. Every spring, as soon as we've endured the last frost, I go to the garden supply store and buy four of the biggest, most expensive ferns I can find. They always end up being the only plants I care for consistently all summer, rewarding me with those gorgeous waxy fronds all season. I hang one at each corner of the gazebo, and AJ puts up the twinkling lights and perhaps a wind chime. It's perfection.

The only adornment it needs is me in my Mrs. Roper dress, and I don't disappoint. (I have this floral dress that is really fun and a bit sexy, and when I bought it I told my best girl friend I felt like Mrs. Roper. The name stuck.) I love sitting out on the patio on summer nights, sipping an iced tea or a glass of Winking Owl (the house wine around here. If there is an Aldi grocery store near you, get yourself there immediately and purchase this awesome stuff - only $2.99 a bottle. The Cabernet is my fave.)

Sometimes it's just me and the Big Man out there, talking about the kids or his job or my insecurities in between sips. Sometimes all the kids are there, in their bathing suits, dripping wet and eating hot dogs. Often we are entertaining our friends (love you Jim and Mary Lou!) or our pastor. Last summer Fr. Jeff "offered me the opportunity" to have him and the seminarian who was visiting our parish eat dinner with us every Monday night. Often we ate on the patio, with the pasta salad moving around the table as fast as the conversation about everything from church committees to the latest episode of SNL.

I have a small home, and summer means my home gets a whole lot bigger. My digs expand to include my beautiful gazebo and all the fun beneath it.

I just can't wait for summer to come again!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

taking it like a man

I want to be one of those saints I've read about.

Not the kind who got beaten and killed for his faith. Not the type who wore a hair shirt and/or ate locusts. Certainly not the kind who got her hands all dirty waiting on people.

I want just one thing: the ability to accept all that happens to me with an attitude of acceptance and peace.

Some years ago a good friend gave me a book of daily readings about the saints. It was one of those books I read over and over again, each time finding new wisdom. It was in this book that I found stories of saints who truly knew how to punch themselves in the gut and take whatever life had to throw at them.

I've had a few things thrown at me this week.

It really doesn't matter what they are, I suppose. But I know it does matter what I do with these goodies that've come my way. I wonder at the way God doesn't seem to answer my prayers, then ponder the possibility that He has something better in mind. In the meantime I am left with difficult circumstances that force me to acknowledge that God is in the business of making saints, not successes.

One of my biggest crosses is the one of being misunderstood. Anyone else carrying this one with me? You know the kind. I want so badly to explain myself, to make people understand what I meant. But they're not always listening. And I can't seem to say anything to earn respect, to make my voice be heard.

But He's listening, right? He respects me, all the time. He knows what the little (and big) sacrifices cost me. And He will never, ever, let me down.

Yep. I want to be That Kind of Saint.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

a little doll

Once upon a time there was a little girl.

She was a nice little girl, with brown eyes, blonde hair, and chubby thighs. Her mother also tells her she had an unusually large head, and that it was difficult to find t-shirts to fit over it.

Of course this lovely little gem was me. Why the sudden self-disclosure? Cassie at A Blessed Life sent out an offer to be interviewed a few weeks back, and since I love talking about myself, I took her up on it. She kindly sent me a list of questions (she's just DYING to know more about me. Who wouldn't be?) so I've finally gotten around to it.

There are five questions vying for my attention, but since I'm nothing if not verbose I decided to simply tackle them one at a time. (Plus, it will give me writing material for such a long time that way!)

So back to Little Cathy: the answer to question number one - What was your childhood like? What were you like as a little girl?

I was actually a holy terror who chased boys around the playground and stuck wads of gum beneath my desk.

Just kidding. I was a nice little girl, like I said above. (The part about my chubby thighs and big head are true, as well.) I grew up in a suburb of Detroit with my only brother, mom, dad, and a parade of small animals like hamsters and chameleons. I was on the smarty-pants side, in more ways than one. I taught myself to read before I entered kindergarten. When I got there, the teacher encouraged me to help the other children who didn't know how to read, tie their shoes, or properly identify Dick and Jane in our readers. I contend to this day that therein lies the root of my servant complex.

I spent the first two years of elementary school teaching the other kids stuff and putting my head on my desk because I talked too much. Somewhere around this time my father began telling me I would argue with the Good Lord rather than accept something I didn't agree with (Smarty-pants, for sure.)

One day in the spring of my first grade year, the principal came into my class and announced I was going to join the second graders. I walked across the hall and bam, I was "double promoted." The older kids accepted me, but my best friend from first grade never talked to me again. (I recently hooked up with her on facebook, so I'm finally hoping to set things right.)

The rest of grade school is kind of a blur. I can't name my teachers or tell you who I sat behind in Social Studies. I can say that I loved school, and that I always got A's. And I can honestly say I didn't feel that was any big achievement. I didn't feel proud or anything - my parents had told me I was an A student, that was how God made me. No special credit on my part.

I never got in much trouble, except for that time in 7th grade when I stole the teacher's gradebook and hid it in Ray Hudson's desk. I was so scared I was going to get paddled, but instead I had to write an essay on the Importance of The Gradebook in The Classroom. Go figure.

My home life focused on trying to get my brother, Chris, to stop pestering me. He was two years older and ten years less mature than I was (in fact, that's still true.) We used to sit in the back seat of my dad's olive green Oldsmobile, which was like a mile wide, and do the "he's touching me" thing. Chris and I had the misfortune of having to share a bedroom, which is probably the most traumatic thing I have ever endured. My mom hated it too, and spent years trying to get my dad to move us to a larger home. Mrs. Morrison, the real estate lady, spent so many years trying to track down a house to please my parents that I thought she was part of the family, and that every kid had a resident Real Estate Lady.

I had a huge collection of Madame Alexander dolls, thanks mostly to my Aunt Anne, who worked in the toy department at Muirhead's, in the basement. (How cool is that?) I had every country in the world (just about), and all of the Little Women, the ballerina and the bride. My brother and I used to have beauty pageants with them. Miss Argentina always won.

For a time my dream was to become a cosmetologist. My mom went to Bingo on Tuesday nights, and I used to do her makeup before she went. I loved to cake on the light green and blue cream eyeshadow. Mom swears she didn't wipe it off. She really loved me.

My favorite childhood activity was sitting in the apple tree in our backyard reading Nancy Drew mysteries. Isn't that the quaintest thing you've heard all day? I loved books and would read five or six of them a week. I wrote my first story when I was seven, my first play the same year.

I was always attracted to spiritual things. I really, really wanted to be good, and to get to Heaven some day. Still do.

I could tell you more about Little Cathy, lots more. Some of it would make you laugh, and a lot of it would make you cry. Fortunately, like it or not, she's always nearby. Hang around here long enough and you'll get another peek soon enough.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

sick days

I am not, it turns out, invincible.

I'm sick. I'm one of those people who (claims to) NEVER GET SICK. I might have a scratchy throat or a runny nose every so often, but seldom do I develop a "real" sickness.

Today I decided to just admit that I have a bug. The primary symptom (which is, incidently, the most annoying one) is that I'm so tired. I don't want to do anything. That, coupled with the fact that I've been in an emotional funk lately, is leading to a whole lot more nothin' going on around here.

There is laundry up the whazoo (is that a word?) dishes to match and several real live writing projects to be conquered. There are also a ton of "household projects" vying for my attention (the kind that make me want to pull out my fingernails by the roots rather than even think about them.)

At least I have a companion in my malaise: my dear Lukie. I wish I could say he was better, but instead he's getting worse. I took him to Urgent Care yesterday when our regular doc couldn't take him. The poor little guy had a temp of 104.7. That's saying something - the fact that I took his temp. I'm one of those "hand on the forehead" moms. Anyway, looks like he has bronchitis at the least, pneumonia at the worst. Prayers are appreciated.

But I'm here! Yay for me! Sucking it up, punching myself in the gut, all that good stuff. My goal today is to try not to each too many Cheez Its, and to only watch the really interesting shows on TLC.

And to write on my blog. Wow! Now look who's showing off!

Monday, February 16, 2009

resolved

I am completely overwhelmed by my lack of effectiveness these days.

It seems that everything I touch turns to I don't know, nothing. Just nothing. Please hold while I take a phone call.

Might it be that I am constantly interrupted?

Not to say that the interruptions aren't important ones. People need me. All the time. I know I'm a wife and mother who has a job to do. I'm just sayin'.

But I am going to keep the little promise I made here yesterday.

I've decided I will commit to writing a little something here each day, weekdays. There, I've said it. You can hold me to it, and I hope you will.

I've claimed to be a writer since I was a little girl, but truthfully I suppose I'm more of a thinker. I think about writing all the time, and I'm one of those folks who believes she's done something if she thinks about it enough. Last night I went to bed early, in a huff, realizing that I've pretended to a writer for long enough. It's time to get to work.

Motivation came in part from my current read, the classic Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. (Thanks, Jen.) I stuck just the tip of my nose inside its covers and was snatched right in. It's so delicious. It's making me sigh and just want to cry. I want to be a real writer, like that, one who can turn a phrase without constantly turning to cliches like "turn a phrase." Sigh, sigh, sigh.

So here I am, working out the Catholic Writer title I've christened myself with. I'm ashamed to say I hardly deserve it. But I desire it, and I plan to get busy earning it.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Luke's word (he chose this title)

Last week I attended the Catholic Writers Conference Online, and as a result I've joined the Catholic Writers Guild.

You can click on the handy pic to your right to learn more about this group of faith- based writers.

So what makes a Catholic writer? I've been pondering the meaning of the vocation quite a bit lately. I've come to a few conclusions, but I simply keep coming back to the same fundamental fact.

I'm itching to tell you all about it, but right now there's a six-year-old boy coughing in my ear, begging to sit on my lap.

He needs me. He's reminding me that I'm a Catholic mother before I'm a Catholic writer, and the former needs no explanation to this audience.

For now I'll just say that a Catholic writer is both, all the time. I'm working on improving in both categories. I'll start by promising this to myself and you: a prayer and a word here each day.

I'll leave you with a word from Luke (my son, not the evangelist.) "I want to live for my whole life."

Don't we all? At least, shouldn't we want to live our whole lives, and live them well?

I'll be back tomorrow. Praying and writing, each day, becoming what I am.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

all hail

Rachel gave me a copy of this Mary Englebreit print this week. It is just so "me" that I had to post it here.

This Queen Mother is a spicy, blonde, young grandma type with cute eyeglasses and bunny slippers. And that drink in her hand? Long Island Iced Tea, I say.

If you look closely (I had to look over the top of my glasses and lean in real close) you will notice she is sporting a magic wand and has what looks like a chocolate cupcake at the ready.

That's my kinda role model.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I aim to please

You didn't like the picture, so I changed it. Is this one better? I rather like it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I didn't even send a card


Will you forgive me?

I let our anniversary pass with nary a mention, hardly a thought. There was no candy, no flowers, so sentimental words between us.

But I do love you.

And even so, I missed our blogoversary.

February 7 passed without a mention. Please forgive me.

It's been quite a year. Together we conquered our fears, tried new things, made new friends.

You made me a better person, I think.

A better writer. A more interesting friend.

Someone who is constantly distracted by the thought of how she'll write about this or that.

But anyway...I'm glad I'm here. It's been a good year. Here's to many more to come.

Friday, February 6, 2009

curtain call


So the curtain fell on Stepping Out for the final time last weekend. Can't say I'm sad about that.

It was a tough show. Usually I feel somewhat bittersweet at the end of a run, but this show was so draining that I was ready to let it fade away. I could spend hours discussing all the problems behind the scenes (oh wait, I've done that!) but I'll just say here that the drama backstage was more interesting, compelling and entertaining that what happened on stage.

My biggest complaint had to be with the script itself. When you audition for a show you're not familiar with, you are certainly taking a chance that it won't be that great - either that you won't personally care for the story or that it won't be all that well-written. Both were true in this case. I never grew to care much about any of the characters, including my own. That is not good. I wish there was at least one character I loved or loathed. No such luck.

But there's always an up side. I learn something about myself and others with every show I do, and this one came through in that regard. So rather than share all the ugliness that we endured in the wings, I'll let you in on the life lessons I've snared this time around.

1. You can really, really like to do something, do it often, and still be really bad at it.
2. Tap dancing is harder than it looks.
3. People always know when you are talking about them behind their backs.
4. Audiences know when cast members are not getting along.
5. Some folks are just plain mean.
6. Most people do not appreciate it when you try to improve things - especially if your actions draw attention to the fact that they are not doing their job.
7. Everything to be printed should be proofread by several people.
8. I tend to judge people by their appearances, even though I will swear I don't.
9. I need praise, I thrive on applause, and I'm much more vain than most people who know me realize.
10. I simply want to be in charge of everything. If everyone else were as perfect as I am, all would well.

Right....

We had elections for our theater's Board of Directors. We have a new president who has lots of interesting ideas, and it seems a new era is underway. It's exciting, but more than a little intimidating. Will I perform again? Of course. (See #9 above.) But in the meantime I'm enjoying working behind the scenes to make this company successful, and to (hopefully) ensure that our upcoming productions go more smoothly than this one did.

So I'm lined up to costume our next show (the dark and edgy Cabaret) and I'm hoping to kick up a publicity committee. Keeps me off the streets, I suppose. I guess the theater's not a bad place for me. I can play and pretend, wear a mask. I can learn to tap dance and sing in harmony and maybe even keep my mouth shut when I should.

Those of us who love the theater can't always explain why. What I've learned so far, from the first time I stood in the dark wings, waiting for an entrance, to the last time I took a curtain call, is this: the theater is my teacher. And the lessons I learn are certainly worth the price of admission.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

parmesan encrusted tilapia


...adorned with fresh lemon, accompanied by spicy sauteed spinach and brown rice.

That was last night.

Tonight's dinner featured homemade handcrafted turkey burgers with american cheese with a side of sauteed spinach and fresh grape tomatoes.

Both meals were made for a busy mom during a busy week by her 17-year-old son. If your child did something even half as amazing as this, I need to know about it!