Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Monday, December 29, 2008

Parade synopsis

Want to know what this is all about? 
Click here (I have highlighted my parts, so if you're my mom, dad, or relative, and want to know precisely what I'll be doing, it's there). 

New SHOW!!! New show!!! UPDATED

I'M IN PARADE!!!
 Except I don't know what part I am! It's garbled on my cell phone message!!!

First rehearsal: SUNDAY!!!!

3:00: OK, so I figured it out--I'm Essie!!!

The Simple Woman's Daybook--December 29, 2008

For MONDAY, December 29, 2008 (last Monday of the year!) 

Outside my window...
with no clouds. It's a very sunny winter day, with no clouds. 

I am thinking...
that House is a great TV show

I am thankful for...
spending time with my family

From the kitchen...
Trader Joe's brownies (made with the mix...yeah, probably cheating) 

To live the liturgy...
Magnificat, daily Bible reading, rosary

I am wearing...
jeans and a raspberry colored tank top. 

I am creating...
order.

I am going to breathe deeply ...
and enjoy a day off. 

Bringing beauty to my home ...
cleaning up the Christmas carnage!

I am going...
to hope for good things!

I am reading...
(The Christmas Edition) Wide Sargasso Sea; The President's Daughter; Helena; The Cambridge Companion to Vermeer; the Anontated Wizard of Oz; Feast (Nigella Lawson); Autumn in the White House; The Illiad; The Sweet Far Thing. 

I am hoping...
for audition news!

I am hearing...
Loreena McKennit, Live in Paris and Toronto

Around the house...
vacuuming, cleaning, etc. 

One of my favorite things...
my new Boden dress that I got for Christmas!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
Tuesday: back to work....
Thursday: Happy 2009!!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

O Holy Night

Blogging may be light for the next few days....

To you and your families, I wish you a Wonderful Christmas Season full of love and joy.
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

(Oh, and if you're in the area: come over to St. Pius in Reynoldsburg for music starting at 11:20!!)

O holy night
the stars are brightly shining
it is the night of our dear Savior's birth. 
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till he appeared, and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees!
Oh hear the angel voices!
O night divine!
O night when Christ was born. 
O night divine!
O night
O night divine!


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

BEHOLD!!!

The secret to Meringue is.... two eggs. 2/3 cup sugar.

I first started experimenting with meringues last year at Christmas, when I found a recipe for peppermint meringues. It called for egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar and salt. But every time I made these, I couldn't get the requisite 'stiff peaks' and ended up with 'semi-stiff peaks' that took about an HOUR to conjur, even with my stand mixer.

This was not good. I needed alternatives.

For Christmas, my brother gave me a Barnes and Noble gift card (we exchange gifts early). I went and bought Nigella Lawson's "How to Eat." In it--behold! A meringue recipe! With only sugar and eggs!) (LINK NOTE: In the U.S., it has a different cover.)

Well I just tried it, and FINALLY, in about 6-8 minutes, I had the elusive stiff peaks!

Taste is to be determined--they are in the oven right now.

So, from Nigella Lawson's "How to Eat":

2 egg whites
2/3 cup sugar

Preheat over to very low heat (275 degrees). NOTE: my oven won't do this, so I had to use 270.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff. When you lift the beaters or whisk out of a the mixture and firm peaks retain their shape, it's stiff enough. Gradually whisk in half the sugar. The meringue will take on a wonderful satiny gleam. Then fold in the remaining sugar with a metal spoon.
Line 1 or 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat. You can squeeze the meringue into mounds with a piping bag, or with a tablespoon or teaspoon.
Put the sheet or meingues in the over for about 40 minutes for the smaller size and 70 for the larger. When they feel firm, turn the over off, but keep the meringues in until completely cold. Ince they are cold, they can be stored in an airtight container.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Post-post audition

So mom has asked for more audition details, so here we go...
Got to the JCC around 4:15--I was very early, because I live in a highly store-congested area and didn't know how long it would take me to get to the actual highway. Surprisingly, it didn't take that long. (Maybe because it's about 0 degrees here?)

In the car, of course, I had the "Parade" soundtrack going. The last line I heard before I shut off the car was "It is time now", from the song "People of Atlanta" (before Leo's trial). And I thought, "well, it istime, isn't it?" I've been preparing for this audition for months now.

Once I got there, my friend LaRon from J&H was there,finishing up the matinee of the JCC holiday show. He introduced me to one of the theater guys (the one running the registration table). He is auditioning tomorrow night (the auditions are Sun and Mon). I filled out the sheet, attached my resume and photo, and then sat in the lobby to wait.

There were 3 other girls, 3 guys (one of the older, so probably auditioning for the Judge), and a girl, about 13 or so, who was reading for Mary, the girl who's murdered. I went first, since I had come first.

The auditions were private--meaning it was me, the accompanist, the director and his assistant. The director sat at a small table on the stage. After conferring with the (very good) accompanist, about tempo and things like that, I introduced myself and sang part of "Storybook," after which the director asked me to sing a scale to check my range.

He gave me a copy of the libretto and asked me to read for Mrs. Phagan, mary's mom. There are almost no monologues in the show--it's almost totally sung-through--so I was to read "My Child Will Forgive Me" (Mrs. Phagan's testimony at the trial) as if it were a speech and not a song. Since I know the song very well, I already knew many of the words.

I went out again to study the script and work a bit on my speaking southern accent. After everyone else sang, I went in to read. The director had me face the audience and do the bit. After I was done, the director said I did "very, very well" and that the cast would probably be up after Christmas.

I was very satisfied with my performance--it felt very good, and I think the director really liked me. I'm not sure how many people will say they want to be Mrs. Phagan, but I do like the role. This is one show where I could do every female role, except the ones played by African-Americans (there are four A-A roles, I believe). There are four factory girls, from ages 14-20, and a few boys, with the featured young male (he's about 17) having a big part.

I believe the cast itself will the small. The JCC's stage and theater is very intimate, so there can't be a very big cast.

Post-audtion

I think it went really, really well!!!
Should find out next week. Fingers crossed....

Audition today!

For Gallery Player's Parade, 5:00-7:00 at the Jewish Community Center.
We'll see how this goes...

Poetry for Winter

"Stopping By The Woods On A Snowy Evening"--Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow. 

My little horse must think it's queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake. 
The only other sound's the sweep 
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep. 
And miles to go before I sleep. 

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Persephone and Pomegranates

While cutting my first ever pomegranate, I was reminded of Persephone
Ah, fruit and mythology...

Baby Mine

OK, so she's not mine--she's Karen's (my t/x nurse!) But she's adorable, isn't she? 




updates!

Yes, I know, I've been awful about writing lately. But with the last week of the General Assembly upon us, the most I wanted to do when I got home was mainline some food and go to bed!
So, with Christmas less than a week away, here's what's what:

--still no word on new job. Going slightly mad. That's another reason for not writing, because the posts would've all sounded like whining. I didn't think that was readable.

--Choir rehearsals are long and quite productive. Our last one before Midnight Mass is on Monday night. We have a really good group this year and I think we're going to be splendid.

--The St. Francis project--go over to CPG for updates on that. (Which will be up later today) For those who don't know: The "St. Francis Project" is me studying the life of St. Francis, as he is my patron saint for this year. (see pic on side bar) I may end up having a Google doc, like I have with the Jane project. Stay tuned.

--New books: So many, it's not even funny. A real bookshelf will be up for those I really liked. A quick list:
  • The Godmother
  • Getting Rid of Matthew
  • A Great and Terrible Beauty and Rebel Angels (part of a series--phenomenal)
  • Truth and Tolerance--I finally finished it!!!!!
  • The Gift (Richard Paul Evans, re-read)
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (My Aunt Mary sent this to me. It is a fantastic book, on several Top 10 lists. READ IT)
  • G.K. Chesterton, St. Francis of Assisi (this is part of the St. Francis Project)
--theater: Parade auditions tomorrow, which I'll probably do as a lark. :) 

--Movies! Dark Knight on DVD, and Christmas specials: A Charlie Brown Christmas, It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown and 'Twas The Night Before Christmas. 

--music: Josh Groban's Noel in the CD player


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Political Correctness--in TRANSPLANTS???

From today's Dispatch:
• UNDER THE old system of distributing livers for transplants, the preponderant factor was how long a patient had been on the waiting list, and black patients were more likely to die than white patients. That's because blacks tend to wait longer before putting their names on the lists.

But since 2002, organs generally go to the sickest patients. And that has made the system more racially fair.

Strangely, though, the change has resulted in a rise in the chances that women will die or become too sick to receive a transplant.

Why the change seemingly has worked against women is unclear, so experts should be hesitant to tweak the policy. Transplants should not be based on race and gender.



OK, look folks--SICKEST PATIENTS GET THE ORGANS. That's it. That's the way it is. There are too few organs to go around without dilly dallying about GENDER! Get real!

Oh, and just in case you didn't notice--I'm a girl. I got one. So let's move on, please.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

AWOL-ness

I'm still here, just so busy!
I had my phone interview on Monday--it went well, I think, and I have sent forth some writing samples.
Monday night was Immaculate COnception Mass at 7:00, and then after that the ladies had rehearsal for our ladies-only number Christmas Eve.
Last night Tiff and I exchanged Christmas gifts (two books--bookshelves soon), and watched The Dark Knight (popcorn here).
And today I had session at work, and choir at 6:30, and--oh yeah--gotta type those Parish Council minutes....

Monday, December 08, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook--December 8



For MONDAY, December 8, 2008

Outside my window...
The sky is a very, very pale blue, with scattered wisps of clouds. There are still a few stubborn hanger-on leaves. 

I am thinking...
about grad school, job options, and Mass tonight. 

I am thankful for...
good books

From the kitchen...
Chicken caesar wraps, Tastefully Simple bread and chocolate cake (made yesterday)

To live the liturgy...
Magnificat, daily Bible reading, Advent devotionals, rosary, and Mass for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception tonight.  

I am wearing...
brown and black checked pants; a pumpkin-colored sweater; a brown flower necklace with an amber insert, on a leather chain

I am creating...
the last of my Christmas cards

I am going to breathe deeply ...
and prep for Mass and rehearsal

Bringing beauty to my home ...
Everything is clean--except the kitchen table!

I am going...
to hope for good things!

I am reading...
Truth and Tolerance (B XVI)---ALMOST DONE!, Bleak House (Dickens, which is really good, even if it is like 900 pages long!). Yeah, OK, no change here. But what I read this weekend: The Tales of Beedle the Bard; The Sex Lives of Cannibals; My Life With the Saints; Lead, Kindly Light

I am hoping...
for acceptance to Grad school and a new job!

I am hearing...
My Church Choir Christmas CD

Around the house...
cleaning off the table. 

One of my favorite things...
Christmas time!!!! Christmas movies! Christmas cards!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
Tonight: Mass, women's rehearsal for choir
Tuesday: Dark Knight! Tiff over. 
Wednesday: Choir
Thursday: Happy Hour w/ work folks, lunch w/ Dad

Here is a picture thought I am sharing: 


One of my favorite ornaments; the Peanuts gang, directed by Snoopy, playing "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" on their bells. 

A winter's afternoon

From Fr. Z

Donald Culross Peattie, An Almanac for Moderns (December 30):
It is a fine thing, of a winter’s afternoon, to be a man, a fortunate man, reading in an old Greek’s stately thoughts, out of a well bound book, while the snow falls, pure and decent, and the birds, his friends, come to his door. But only the accidents of life have placed him there, and not in a smoke-filled street where in others’ eyes he might be forced to read his own despairs, his own brute thoughts.



This perfectly describes this weekend.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Friday with Bub

(note: "Bub" is what I call my younger brother, Bryan. It's a massive shortening of his childhood nickname, which I shall Not Reveal.)

Friday nights are usually when I come home and crash with books and movies. After a long week, and especially after a day spent writing a very, very long column, that usually sounds like the best plan of action. 

However, my brother came up with something better on Friday. He proposed (after his classes were done for the day) getting Scali's takeout and watching movies at my apartment. 

This sounded ideal. 

So, after the column was done, I came home, cleaned a bit (yes, for my brother, who is still in college, so cleanliness to him is option), and prepared for his arrival with The Best Italian Food this side of the Mississippi. Bryan had gnocci (a favorite of my dad's, as well), and I had the Rosemary Chicken (which is just what it should be--lemon, chicken, and rosemary sprigs. MMMM). 

Once we were done with this (and the DELICIOUS bread), I decided to get Bryan his Christmas gift, which turned out to be the movie The Departed, which he likes but does not own. As I had never seen it, I was cool with this. So after going to B&N to pick it up, we settled in with Diet Dr. Pepper (of which Bryan drank about 4 cans) to watch it. 

Now--if you've been reading here for awhile, you know I am not the Biggest Martin Scorcese Fan Ever. Actually, I had never seen a movie of his that I liked. The Departed is the exception. I really liked this movie--maybe not enough to put in my All-Time Favorite List, but enough to buy (which no, I haven't done yet--Mom disclaimer). It's one of those movies that is just jammed with stars--every other scene I was going, "is that XYZ?" or "he's in this movie?"

As far as the gore/gross quotient goes, it's really not that high. Yes, it has a high body count, and some of the scenes are wince-inducing, but it's not a gross movie in terms of blood. So if you get freaked out that way, you're OK here. 

We turned off almost all the lights, except for one lamp and my Christmas tree, and sat together on my couch. It was a great way to spend an evening, watching a good movie with my little brother. A very Christmas-y, Holiday thing to do. 


Thursday, December 04, 2008

This Year's

"Christmas album I can't stop listening to" is this
If you love music, especially good music, you must get this immediately. 
The whole album is fantastic, but my favorite tracks include "The Seven Rejoices of Mary"; "Good King Wenceslas"; "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen", and "Emmanuel" (O Come, O Come Emmanuel sung in Latin!). 

Awesome project

OK so for those of you who are beauty product freaks (like me) and like peppermint (also me), AND like to make things at home (me again!), you need to try this.  
I'm going to attempt it. 

Poetry Thursday X

"People, Look East" (Advent carol)

People look East, the time is near!
Of the crowning of the year
Make your house fair as you are able
Trim the hearth and set the table. 
People look East, and sing today.
Love the Guest is on the way.

Furrows be glad, though Earth is bare
One more seed is planted there
Give us the strength the seed to nourish
That in the course the flower may flourish
People look East, and sing today. 
Love the Rose is on the way!


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Still here...

No word on either interview or master's stuff. I'm fairly sure my Masters stuff (meaning my app and my transcript) have been received by now. Now we wait for the recommendations....

Good thing all this is happening in Advent--the time of waiting!
Because that is really all I'm doing. 

Monday, December 01, 2008

Interview!

I have an interview with a staffer from Representative Austria's office soon!! I got a call today and I am very excited to potentially work in a Congressional office again (especially since Branden is in Springfield!) 

Simple Woman's Daybook--December 1

For MONDAY, December 1, 2008

Outside my window...
It has just started snowing from a whitish-gray sky. Very windy, but a few dark, dry leaves are clinging to the trees. 

I am thinking...
about a job offer (I hope)

I am thankful for...
friends with good information!

From the kitchen...
Onion Onion Dip and Bountiful Beer Bread for the Parish Council potluck. 

To live the liturgy...
Magnificat, daily Bible reading, Advent devotionals. 

I am wearing...
a purple top; khaki colored pants; a Tiffany heart shaped pendant

I am creating...
Christmas cards and gifts!

I am going to breathe deeply ...
and enjoy Parish Council tonight.

Bringing beauty to my home ...
My tree is up!

I am going...
to hope for good things!

I am reading...
Truth and Tolerance (B XVI)---ALMOST DONE!, Bleak House (Dickens, which is really good, even if it is like 900 pages long!), First Comes Love by Scott Hahn.

I am hoping...
for acceptance to Grad school and a new job!

I am hearing...
Christmas carols in the car. 

Around the house...
dusting and tidying up the bathroom. 

One of my favorite things...
Christmas time!!!! Christmas movies! Christmas cards!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
Wednesday: Choir rehearsal
Thursday: Lunch with dad, ballet