Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Do you think we could postpone conference until the pistachio recall is over? Someone call Salt Lake. Surely there must be more out there that enjoy those little green morsels of love during the afternoon session. Or postpone the recall until conference is over. Call the FDA.
Somehow I don't think either of those things will work. Oh well, I guess I will have to risk the salmonella. It's either that or fall asleep for the entire afternoon session.
Yeah, I know I could switch to cashews or peanut M&Ms. But cashews are more expensive and I do peanut M&Ms for the morning sessions. If only they had Cashew M&Ms. Oh man wouldn't that be a dream!
Come on fellow conference lovers. Help me out here. What are my alternatives? What keeps you awake for that killer 20 minutes in the afternoon session where some unknown Seventy is speaking and you have been sitting in front of a tv for 3 hours and your eyes are starting to droop and their words start to run together and before you know it there is drool on your notebook/needlework. I know you all do it.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
1. I love to floss. I didn't always love to floss, but sometime in the past 10 years I started loving it, and keep dental floss in my purse so that I can floss whenever I feel the need. There is something particularly soothing to me about calling another teacher into my classsroom so that I can slip into the bathroom at work and floss for a few minutes.
2. I actually want to take the GRE now. Not because I think I will do particularly well, but because I want to know where I stand, how close I am to acceptance into a Masters program. But also a little because I want the pride kick that could possibly come from doing well on it.
3. I regret having graduated from college too soon. Not that I was too young when I graduated, but that there were a lot of classes that I still want to take. There is a lot of learning I stil need to do, and now that I have a BA, academia makes it more difficult for me to just take some classes.
4. I still have a crush on Matthew Perry's character from Friends. Chandler Bing. What a ridiculous name. I also have a crush on Hawkeye from MASH and Rob Thomas from Matchbox 20 and Bryn Terfel (the opera singer). And Gene Kelly. And I might have a political crush on one of our congressmen from here in Utah. And also I think President Uchtdorf was and is really handsome. I like Mark Harmon too. There is no consistency.
5. Actually, there is some consistancy. I am a sucker for brown eyes. Those other people are all distant and sometimes unrealistic characters, but in real people that I interact with every day, I have a weakness somewhere in my lungs, just behind my heart, for brown eyes. If I ever have kids, they had either better all have brown eyes or none of them, because I have noticed a distinct difference in my ability to be firm or teach discipline to children when they have those big brown eyes. Just the other day, a wholly destructive child told me that he wanted to throw ice chunks at his friends because he wanted to see what it would be like if they got hurt, started bleeding, and had to go to the hospital, but he said it with big brown sparkling eyes and long laughing lashes, and I had to ask another teacher to deal with him, because I was too enamoured.
6. I have a tendancy to believe conspiracy theories. I come by it honestly, genetically even, from my dad. Did the CIA kill Kennedy? Was the moon landing staged? Is Big Oil running the Republican party? Are Wal-Mart CEO's actually intent on destroying capitalism and taking over the world? The jury is still out on these things, but I know which way they are leaning and I see the logic in the evidence. Don't worry, I am also well aware of the crazy, and I try my best to tone it down. At the same time, oil prices dropped drastically during election season....
7. I go through phases of obsessing over certain expressions of art. My current musical obsession, since Thursday, has been Gorecki's 3rd symphony. I can't get enough of it right now. My current poetry obsession is Diary of an Old Soul, the writing is beautiful and I can't quite take it all in. My current art obsession is Degas Ballerina pieces, I am fixated not on the color but on the shading. I even went so far as to search some black and white scans. My current singing obsession is German Arias and art songs. I have never been able to handle singing in German, but right now they are in my head. I don't have a current literature obsession, since I haven't read a really good new book in a while. I am doing a lot of re-reading of Newberry Award winners though. My current piano obsession is Beethoven, which is only unusual because it is not Mendelssohn.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
A chorus role? How quaint! Why, I haven't dabbled in the chorus since I was 15 years old! You might have enticed me to accept it if you hadn't invited me to callbacks and then fully wasted two and a half hours of my Saturday. Honestly, if you had simply called or emailed and said "we would like you in the chorus" I would have accepted and probably attended every rehearsal. Instead, you invited me to a callback in which every role except 1 was clearly pre-cast, and you didn't invite me to read even once. I sat in that line up for two and a half hours and you merely invited me to sing with a sextet at the end in order to place me according to voice part. By that time I was so irritated with you that I purposefully busted out the bigggest opera sound I have in me and drowned out every other voice in the sextet. And frankly, I could have buried every voice in that room singing together if you had given me the opportunity. It doesn't matter, though, because by that point in the audition you had already made it clear that your friends were receiving the roles they wanted and the rest of us could sit on it, regardless of talent or ability. And at that point in the audition, my decision was already made. You didn't make the cut. Your audition process was a disheveled waste of my time and an insult to my ability. I knew the moment you spent 10 minutes looking for sides to hand out that you were not a director that I wanted to work with. But I gave you the benefit of the doubt and I sat there anyways, because I wanted that one role. And let me tell you something, the woman you had pre-cast in that role doesn't have half of what I have to offer. I wonder why you even put that all roles were open on the audition notice? Perhaps you were lying to yourself, and saying that you would only give those roles to your friends if nobody better came along? Take a glance at my resume, honey. You don't even need to hear me sing to know that someone better had come along. Of course, you did hear me sing, and your music director was clearly salivating over the opportunity to work with this voice. And while we are at it, your choreographer was thrilled with me too. In fact, the group that I danced the combo with would not have made it through to the end if they hadn't had me to follow. And that group included the woman you pre-cast in my role. So it will be your sad duty to inform choreographer and music director that I won't be joining the cast. They made my callback. I would willingly work with either of them. But you didn't even make my first cut. I don't even want to hear you monologue.
The thing is, I have enough experience to know when I nail an audition. And I have enough experience on the other side of the audition table to know how to run an audition and how to cast a show. I recognize that some decisions are subject to opinion, and I recognize that some decisions depend on the ensemble as a whole. I saw the ensemble you assembled, and I saw the decisions you made on that cast list. I am not the only talent you slighted. There was that military man with the perfect tenor voice that was slated to the chorus as well, while you put an unsure and slightly tone deaf adolescent into the lead role. Did it occur to you that he is cast opposite a woman who is twice his age and it will never be believable? As a general rule, I don't work with theatre organizations that pander to groupies regardless of ability. I am in it for improvement and experience, not for social posturing and ego stroking. Perhaps you are secure in this because your organization is designed to do something other than produce decent theatre. If that is the case, kudos to you, you have created an environment where the weirdos can bond and the social outcasts can invent and perpetrate inside jokes. But frankly, any theatre organization does this much. If you ever want to offer more than that, take my advice. Use talent when you find it, don't waste my time, and oraganize yourself and your paperwork before you hold a call back. And be honest about the roles that are pre-cast.
Don't get me wrong, I've accepted chorus roles in the past 15 years, but somehow they always evolve into supporting and leads. It's too bad for you that you won't have access to my talent when pre-cast lady throws out her hip during the first week of rehearsals. It's too bad you won't have my directing ability when your music director suddenly goes out of town for a week. And don't even think of using this note as a reason why you wouldn't want to work with me anyways. I'm worth it. The Diva only throws these fits when she doesn't get the part. When she does get the part, she is not only pleasant to work with, she brings killer brownies for the strike party and is the life of every cast party. I'm more than worth it. People pay me to work with them.
You can keep my headshot as a reminder of your failure. And don't be too hard on yourself. It's important we learn from our mistakes.
The Inner Diva
PS. Can I have military man's phone number? I know a few more shows that are auditioning, and I would love to meet up with him in some other chorus...
Monday, March 23, 2009
NWG: Hi! Are you new to our ward?
Me: Well, I've been here for 8 months, so fairly new.
NWG: (concerned look) Oh! Well, I am in the primary, so I feel like I just don't know anyone.
Me: Yes, I understand that. I kind of just hide in my Sunday School Class.
NWG; You look familiar, though. Don't you bring your granddaughter to primary?
Me: (HUH?????????????) Uh, no?... I don't have family here.
NWG: Oh, well, your daughter then? Are you sure?
Me: yeah, I'm sure. I would remember having kids or grandkids.
That's right folks. Apparently I look like a grandma. Now granted, my gray hair count is officially at 4, and my eyes are starting to get a few crinkles around the edges. ("Starting" is a relative term, Emma told me when she was 7 and I was 19 that I had crinkles around my eyes, but that was only when I smiled. Now they are becoming a little more permanent.) But I'm not about to bust out the botox. In fact, St Francis of Asissi believed that we would be resurrected to our 32-yr old state. And where does this girl get off asking me about my grandchildren? I didn't ask her when her baby was due. Although come to think of it, I should have. From now, on, that will be my plan. Ask me where my grandkids are and I will ask you when your baby is due.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
There the Saints will be blessed.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Speaking of parenting skills, a mother in AZ was caught on surveillance tape outside a convenience store helping her teenaged daughter to beat up a fellow classmate. Apparently, mom held the other girl down while daughter took swings. Both are being held pending a trial. I say mom should serve prison terms for both her offenses as well as her daughter's. And the daughter should be placed in good foster care and re-educated by a mother that actually loves her.
Meanwhile back at the camp (wall street, that is, money news, and by "camp" I mean the place where people live in cardboard boxes and forage for food), 355 people in this world are no longer billionaires. I have a hard time feeling bad for them. I'm sure it must be rough, getting used to being a billionaire and all, then having to drop down to only having $999 million. Bill Gates actually lost $18 billion, but still got his spot as #1 richest back, since Warren Buffet died. What must it be like to lose more money in a year than I will see in a lifetime? Bernard Madoff is expected to plead guilty and spend 150 years in prison, while everyone's money that he stole collects dust in offshore bank accounts. The former models and film stars that he stole from are going to have to give up their Manhattan flats and they just want him to "give it back". It must be horrible for the poor little rich people to have to face living from month to month like the rest of us, maybe they should find an entry level position and start pitching in. Frankly, part of the economy's problem is the number of people who have been doing no work at all and simply sitting on their money. At least Bill Gates came by his fortune through hard work and honest...... uhh... ok, really? I think they all should get jobs at McDonalds.
Speaking of riches, Michael Vick's house didn't even get enough offers to actually go to auction. This story occipied a full 45 seconds of my time this morning on a radio program before I got irritated and switched back to the BBC. It affects me how?
Veggie lovers beware, pepper purchasers in NYC discovered that baggies of cocaine had been smuggled into the country inside their produce. Talk about a 79 cent investment turning up something with street value. I always said those things are bad for you.
HBO is apparently airing an episode of "Big Love" that will include portions of the Temple Ceremony. The church has an official statement available on it's website, including the counsel that a boycott would only inspire more interest and members can choose what to do about it themselves. HBO claims that they hired a consultant that was familiar with the ritual in order to ensure respect and accuracy. Frankly, anyone who wants to ensure accuracy and respect would never allow themselves to be hired onto the project, so it will be interesting to see how it all turns out. I would probably be more affected by this if I still lived in Minnesota, but I do know that several of my co-wokers here gather to watch the show as well. I am a bit intrigued as to how they will respond. Just be prepared to answer questions, I suppose, since that's what we're told to do anyways. The actual ceremony is all over the place online, my concern is that now it is being opened up to people who aren't passionate enough to research things themselves. Talk about influencing the masses, now there will be a whole slew of people with new-found opinions that HBO told them to have. But what's so new about that?
Oh yeah, and how can I forget Washington? Our new president seems to be pretty gung-ho for education, right? I mean, all that talk about no more dropouts and a year of college for everyone. Of course, then he goes and decides that teachers should be paid according to performance, and claims that it "works". Now, if you understand the way economics and demographics come together in the education system, then you will see that all that performance pay does to schools is encourage good teachers to move to wealthy schools where children have study time and acccess to resources instead of inner city schools where students have to face violence and lack of resources. My guess would have been that a minority from Chicago would understand that. Oh yeah, he sends his kids to private school. (Unless by "performance pay" he means paying public school teachers they way pro-sports figures are paid, at which point I say perform away! And good luck coming up with the funds for the number of amazing teachers there are out there.) I know, I know, I was thrilled with the turnout of the elections. Lesser of the two evils, I say, and I'm sure he's doing the best he can with the advice and experience he's got. There are bound to be things that I agree with and disagree with. I just can't figure out why the press is only reporting on things like "Brad Pitt's visit" and "Oprah's Visit" and "Michelle's fabulous arms". Do you think that if we started talking about things that mattered, maybe more people would be educated on the issues, including the President himself?
But my most very favoritest story of the day is out of Texas, where Chuck Norris has declared that if Texas secedes from the Union, he would like to be President. That's right, folks, Chuck Norris for President of Texas. Apparently, according to Chuck, there are thousands of people in Texas already talking secession, since the economy has made the Union itself the number one enemy of, well, the Union. And his message is clear, other states are welcome to follow suit, but he is only willing to be president of Texas. After all, even Chuck Norris can only handle one presidency at a time. (Although I'm sure he would consider annexing Oklahoma, if they asked really nicely. They would be easy enough to handle, they haven't made a squeak since getting rid of the Unibomber.) I'm so grateful to Chuck for publicizing this option! Can you imagine the possibilities? The Dakota's could merge and become "South Canada"! Florida could call itself "The Nation of DisneyWorld and some swampland and trailer parks" (the title is kind of long, we'll ask the Gator congress to vote on a shorter version) The states that line up from Louisianna to Minnesota, forming the Baker-man shape on the map could become a nation unto themselves. I don't care what they call themselves, as long as their slogan is "We've got corn! (and Brangelina... I mean New Orleans)" California would have no problems at all becoming a nation unto itself (probably fewer problems than Texas, actually), and when it falls into the ocean, fewer people will notice. Nevada will still be Nevada, and Washington and Oregon can finally allow their tree-hugging hippies to legalize pot, drastically improving Starbucks appeal, and becoming the "Amsterdam of the Americas". As for me, I'll just move back to Paris. Their economy has been like this for years, but the French are reasonable enough to keep Bretagne attached (despite Bretagne's objections) and keep Gerard Depardieu out of their politics.
Monday, March 9, 2009
It's Mount Fuji! Alright, not so much a family member as a stunning and rare aerial photo of Japan's highest mountain, Snow-capped and rising above the clouds. Yes, I sorted out the pics that I downloaded from the memory card, and you are lucky that I deleted all of the De-icing and airport pictures, because you may very well have been treated to a picture of an airplane, or even more boring, a de-icing truck. But I just couldn't get rid of this one. You know how I feel about mountains.
Alright, next sub-folder, entitled "Birthday"
I should note here that if you are a parent to one of these adoreable monsters, you are welcome to have me remove their photo from the page, I won't take offense. And if you are a crazy stalker and determined to find these children via my IP address, you should know that the children in question do not live within 50 miles of me, rarely visit, and would cause more destruction to your life/home/car than you could fix in a day. I'm just sayin', they're pretty darn cute, but I am not responsible for damages.
Finally, the last sub-folder in my sixth folder of pics is called "Scans", and it contains scans of photos from Grandpa's house that we were discussing using for various purposees (obit, funeral program, etc etc)
This is Grandma and Grandpa's photo they had done when they left on their mission (?) I am pretty sure that's the timing, but you can correct me if I'm wrong. I love that Grandma's hair is the vibrant red color I always remember her having. We used to sit in the chapel of the Provo temple discussing shades of red and brands of dye that worked for us. Good Times. And also, Grandpa is quite the good-lookin' guy.
Well, that was fun. Frankly, I wish I had more sub-folders. Or I wish I could be more picky about which photos I got to post. But the browse was fun. Maybe I'll post more some other time.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
The epiphane started as I was driving back to my house after lunch with an old roomie. I had that Saturday afternoon drowsy feeling, that I always get around 2 pm on a saturday because I got up early and did lots of things and then ate a nice big lunch and then it is quite naturally time for a nap. And I was driving along, enjoying my Saturday afternoon drowsy feeling and thinking about how it would only be 10 minutes until I collapsed on my bed in the sunny spot for my saturday afternoon nap, when I drove past a grocery store, and I thought "I need to stop".
No I don't. I have groceries enough for the next three days and nobody should ever go to a grocery store on Saturday afternoon in Utah.
Yes, I do need to go to the grocery store, because yesterday was payday, and I like the grocery store.
What would you buy at a grocery store that you don't already have in your cupboards?
You don't need Ice Cream.
But I like Ice Cream. And I like the grocery store because they have Ice Cream.
That's right, I like the grocery store simply because they have Ice Cream there. So I began to question myself. What are my two favorite fast food joints? Dairy Queen and Wendys. Because I always get a blizzard or a frosty with my meal. And even if I don't get them, I prefer those places because I can get Ice Cream there.
Hmmm. Let's investigate further.
Where are the places I like to go? Anthropologie at the Gateway? Ben and Jerry's upstairs. Target? Best Prices for Ice Cream in the valley. Barnes and Noble? One located next to the Maggie Moo's or one located next to ColdStone. Cafe Rio? Well the thing is, I never go there unless I can afford to, and if I can afford to, then there is probably already Ice Cream in my freezer. Paris? Really really really good Ice Cream.
Don't get me wrong. It's not like I actually buy Ice Cream whenever I go to these places. I just feel better knowing that Ice Cream is always close by.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
We had an "Awards Banquet" at work. You know how some corporations have real awards for their employees? And you know how in primary, everyone was a winner, and there was an award for everyone? Well combine the two: A corporation that wants to offer awards to their employees but that is at the same time, in the business of serving pre-schoolers. They have a made up award for everyone, and they make a huge deal out of it, when in fact the mere idea that they are simply handing out colored print outs in cheap frames with trite titles is actually more insulting than rewarding. I went for the free food, and regretted even that. But they held it at one of my favorite restaurants, so I hoped to just go, eat, and run. I had to stay long enough to graciously accept my print-out... er... certificate. The whole thing made me grumpy and resent my job even more. They should have just given me the three dollars they wasted on the frame so I could buy myself an egg salad sandwich for lunch. Instead the thing is going to sit on the front seat of my car until I get sick of it and throw it on the back seat of my car until I clean it out and throw it in the trunk where it will probably break and then I will get cuts from it when I try to clean it up, but by then I will be working somplace else so it will only serve as a painful (and slightly ironic) reminder.
I'm not feeling positive enough to be funny.
I'm not feeling negative enough to be cynical.
My mountains were gorgeous today, and spring is coming so the hiking will become regular again soon.
It can all be likened to the new cell phone I got today. It is so exciting to get the new phone, because it is shiny and not scratched and the battery holds a charge and it has all these new gadgets, but I don't know how to use it yet, and when I try to text the buttons are all mixed up and even answering it is a complicated ordeal. yup. I'm all mixed up and in a dither. (What's a dither?)
Like I said. Blah.
Monday, March 2, 2009
Have you ever noticed that nobody ever smiles at Wal-mart? I should begin at the beginning. I went to Wal-mart this morning. But even that is not the beginning. The beginning is that at some point in the past few days, I sprained my ankle. A sprain is no big deal, so I iced it in the evenings and planned to simply walk it off. Especially at first, when it was no more than a slight twist, I figured it was nothing to stress about, nobody wants to hear about these dumb little injuries that never acutally affect our lives. Unfortunately, as I ignored it, it got worse. And silly me, I iced it some more and told myself to get over it. And as would yet add to my stupidity, it just happens to be warming up in to springtime weather here, otherwise known as cute shoe season. Of course, cute shoes are rarely sensible shoes, especially for injured ankles, and Saturday when I had a grand day of meeting friends and doing exciting things planned, I chose to wear a pair of my cutest but least sensible shoes.
OK, Nancy, take responsibility for your own choices, you choose to wear cute shoes, you pay the price. Be smart.
But that's not all! Wait, keep reading, there is more! Of course yesterday morning my foot was swollen. That is in fact the natural consequence of my choice. And I accepted that and iced it most of the day yesterday and determined to walk it off and endure it. No whining... yet. But then last night it kind of started throbbing. And badly. I wrapped it in ice for the night but was still up all night as the pain gradually spread from just my foot and ankle to my whole leg, and I started to get sort of feverish too. Yup, that's right, from twisted ankle to fever. Huh? Yeah, I don't know either. All I really know is that by the time I tried to get ready for work this morning, I couldn't even touch the bottom of my foot let along put any pressure on it, and I hadn't slept much and I was feeling pretty nauseated, simply because pain tends to make me nauseated. So I called in sick. I hate using my sick days on actually being sick. Don't we all?
I got up and hopped to the living room and took a few aspirin, hopefully to reduce the swelling and therefore the pain. Did you know that the reason aspirin expires is because it loses its potency over time? Yeah, there really isn't much danger in taking expired aspirin, it's just that it might eventually stop working. As mine did. So by 9 in the morning, not only was my foot swelling and my fever spiking, I was beginning to be able to walk simply because the swelling was making my foot numb. So I headed out to run my errand to the bank and to pick up some new painkillers. And since Wal-mart is closest to the bank that I needed to stop at, I chose to go there. I have only been there precicely 2 times in the past 3 years. I don't like Wal-mart. It's dirty and disorganized and depressing. The first time was in order to look through the $5 movie bin. I didn't find anything there because everytime I got close enough to actually look at the movie, I would literally be pushed out of the way. Really? For a $5 movie on a Tuesday evening, we are pushing? Are we grown ups? It's no wonder the kids I work with act the way they do when you see grown ups acting this way. At any rate I went this morning with low expectations. In and out, pick up some painkiller and some orange soda (because orange soda is what settles my tummy when it feels yucky and I have to take pills). But of course, it couldn't be that easy. After hobbling past lots of frowny-faced people on my way in to the store, I found the aisle with the pills and again experienced the Wal-mart behavior. That's right, even in the pharmaceutical aisle, apparently, people at Wal-mart push you out of the way. Frowny-faced people, even. They were for some reason rushed to pick up generic $0.98 ibuprofin? OK, I will grant that if you need to be picking up painkillers you might have a reason to be a grumpy face. But what about the lady who blocked the orange soda? She parked her cart in front of the fridge and refused to move. When I tried to go around it, she actually moved her cart to continue blocking me. Whether or not it was intentional, I never found out, because she had Wal-mart grumpy face too. At the soda aisle? I stepped back and waited for her to finish up and leave, rather than approaching her. No sense in making her day any worse than her face already displayed it to be. After I got my orange soda I proceeded to the checkout where I was once again blocked by a different grumpy face. And this time, not just blocked in a stationary sense, but in a moving sense. As in, I walked towards a checkout station and she walked in front of me, and if I stopped she stopped and If I walked she walked and all of this while I was trying to navigate on my lumpy foot. The thing is, none of the stations really had a line, all of them were open, and yet, I couldn't get to any of them because every time I walked towards one, I was blocked by grumpy face lady. Finally she stopped to examine an endcap (I know, it doesn't sound like this would take a long time or be a big deal, but please understand the movement had de-numbed my foot and I was in severe pain. I probably had a grumpy Wal-mart face too) and I was able to move past her towards the self checkout.
Now I can understand in this economy how spending money might make you a grumpy face. And I can even understand that being forced to spend it at Wal-mart would make you more of a grumpy face. But we are all in the same boat people. Are there really that many people in the workd that never learned manners? Or has the world just gone entirely crazy?
All I really know is that at Target, nobody ever pushed me out of the way.