Monday, November 30, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook--November 30, 2009

Outside My Window ...
Very light blue sky with some dark grey clouds. The clouds look threatening. 
I am listening to...
Messiah—Christmas section.
To Live the Liturgy...
Mass as often as I can; Magnificat; Rosary; Magnificat Advent Companion; Advent and Christmas with John Paul II.
To Fit and Happy...
Gym! I went three times last week, going to match it this week.
I am thankful for…
The Advent season
I am pondering ...
New scenes for the novel
From the kitchen ...
A new chicken dish from Everyday Italian; Chicken Piccata later this week.
I am wearing ...
Heather gray skirt; blue/grey boatneck sweater from Banana Republic; brown knee-high boots (also BR), pearl studs
I am creating ...
The novel. I am really happy with how it’s going.
On my iPod...
Christmas albums.
I am thinking...
Around the House
The kitchen table is almost clear! And the tree is up!
I am reading ...
Catherine of Sienna and The King's Good Servant, But God's First. Also dipping into The Time Traveler’s Wife from time to time. And reading various cookbooks.
I am hoping and praying ...
For everyone who’s sick/in the hospital/getting chemo, etc.
On Keeping Home ...
Presents all wrapped and under tree!
One of my favorite things ...
My Christmas ornaments
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
W: Voice lesson
Th: Christmas Festival at Capital (my alma mater) with Melanie
Saturday: Baby shower for my friend Leah, whose baby is due in January.

For more daybooks, go visit Peggy!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Seven Quick Takes Friday--Vol. XVII

First, the BIG NEWS: My best friend is getting married! She called me yesterday to tell me the news. I am so excited and happy for her and her fiance. They are a great couple.

Other than that big news--thanksgiving was uneventful. I watched my high school band in the parade--they were the big purple group before Santa, weren't they great!?--made biscotti, and then headed over to my parents'. We watched Star Trek, had dinner from Bob Evans', and then played Apples to Apples. Dad won. It was a great day with lots of good food.

It snowed last night. First snow of the season. It's mostly gone now, but there's still some wet powder clinging to my back porch. Hey, if the first snow of the year is on November 26, I'll take it.

I also have today off, so yesterday I was singing the "four days off! four days off!" song.
Can you tell I'm really excited about that?

Bought House seasons 3 and 4 for $12 apiece this week, so I'm making my way through those.

Want an early Christmas miracle? I've been to the gym twice this week. And I'm going today.
Maybe I subconsciously knew my best friend was getting married, and I had a wedding to prepare for?  I mean, cute guys might be there.

Also making progress in my biblical studies class--planning on starting my second assignment today.
Oh, and the novel? Up to 159 pages.

Have a great Black Friday, y'all!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hey, whatever happened to...

That novel you were writing, some of you may be asking?
This is my problem as a writer. I get ideas. I think they are good. And then I go to write them down.
And then...they die.
As in, I write the good parts. Or as far as I can go. And then the characters just languish in writing hell, 99.9% of them never to be freed (or, at least, completed).
This, to put it vulgarly, sucks.
But there is one--one!-- writing project that show signs of emerging from my MacBook in completed form. Whether anyone else will see the completed form is debatable. But it might actually get there. 
That's this.
I have written, at last count, 158 pages.
That's 55,715 words (and change), at least according to Word.
So that's a lot of writing.
I want to get one draft done--completely, utterly, finished. I want to write THE END.
Actually, I've already written the last scene. It wasn't hard.
Now I just have to get there, and I can sort of see the end in sight. I just have to determine how to write it.
But anyway, I just thought you'd like to know about The One Project That Didn't Disappear.

Book list update

Whilst trolling through the archives, I found this old book list.
It is updated, below. I have vastly improved my Dickens reading.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
• Anna Karenina
• Crime and Punishment
• Catch-22
 One Hundred Years of Solitude
• Wuthering Heights
• The Silmarillion
 Life of Pi : a novel
• The Name of the Rose
• Don Quixote
• Moby Dick
• Ulysses
• Madame Bovary
• The Odyssey
• Pride and Prejudice
• Jane Eyre
• The Tale of Two Cities
• The Brothers Karamazov

• Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
• War and Peace
• Vanity Fair
• The Time Traveler’s Wife
• The Iliad
• Emma

• The Blind Assassin
• The Kite Runner
• Mrs. Dalloway
• Great Expectations

• American Gods
• A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
• Atlas Shrugged
 Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
• Memoirs of a Geisha
• Middlesex
• Quicksilver
• Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
• The Canterbury tales
• The Historian : a novel
• A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
• Love in the Time of Cholera
• Brave New world
• The Fountainhead
• Foucault’s Pendulum
• Middlemarch
• Frankenstein
• The Count of Monte Cristo
• Dracula

• A Clockwork Orange
• Anansi Boys
• The Once and Future King
• The Grapes of Wrath
• The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
• 1984
• Angels & Demons
• The Inferno
• The Satanic Verses
 Sense and Sensibility
• The Picture of Dorian Gray

• Mansfield Park
• One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
• To the Lighthouse
• Tess of the D’Urbervilles
• Oliver Twist

• Gulliver’s Travels
• Les Misérables
• The Corrections
• The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
• The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
• Dune
• The Prince
• The Sound and the Fury
• Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
• The God of Small Things
• A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present
• Cryptonomicon
• Neverwhere
• A Confederacy of Dunces
• A Short History of Nearly Everything
• Dubliners
• The Unbearable Lightness of Being
• Beloved
• Slaughterhouse-five
• The Scarlet Letter
• Eats, Shoots & Leaves
• The Mists of Avalon
• Oryx and Crake : a novel
• Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
• Cloud Atlas
• The Confusion
• Lolita
• Persuasion
• Northanger Abbey
• The Catcher in the Rye
• On the Road
• The Hunchback of Notre Dame

• Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
• Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
• The Aeneid
• Watership Down
• Gravity’s Rainbow
• The Hobbit
• In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
• White Teeth
• Treasure Island
• David Copperfield
• The Three Musketeers

Monday, November 23, 2009

THE Thanksgiving post

It  really isn't Thanksgiving time until I post this.
Deep Fried Turkey, how I love thee!

The Simple Woman's Daybook--November 23, 2009

Outside My Window ...
It's a gray day! But I got to wear my fun new navy peacoat, so that made it better. 
I am listening to...
My iTunes mix CD—Eagles, REM, Credence Clearwater Revival…good stuff.
To Live the Liturgy...
Mass as often as I can; Magnificat; Rosary
To Fit and Happy...
Gym. Sigh. And my pilates video.
I am thankful for...
A short week!
I am pondering ...
My next MA assignment for Biblical studies—outline of the Old Testament
From the kitchen ...
Pasta. Again. And making biscotti for Turkey day!
I am wearing ...
Gray pants; heater blue turtleneck; gray socks
I am creating ...
Christmas cards. Well  not creating them. Writing them.
On my iPod...
more "Messiah" and voice lesson music.
I am thinking...
That I am ready for some Turkey!
Around the House
Vacuuming, getting the table under control
I am reading ...
Catherine of Sienna and The King's Good Servant, But God's First.
I am hoping and praying ...
for my grandpa.
On Keeping Home ...
Wrapping presents; digging out Christmas decorations.
One of my favorite things ...
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
Th: Happy Thanksgiving!
F: Dinner and movie with siblings
Sun: First Sunday of Advent! Messiah rehearsal

For more daybooks, go visit Peggy!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Advent prep

Over here (thanks to Praying for Grace for the tip!).
This Sunday is Christ the King--the last Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Are you ready for Advent?
Not Christmas (even though I am writing Christmas cards today).
The time of waiting. (at which, as we know, I am awful.)
What are you doing (if anything) to prepare?
(If you're not Christian, just skip this stuff. 'Tis OK.)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A meme

From Karen (I was perusing her blog archives today, and I liked the look of this one).
Bold things are things I've done.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower

6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland (DisneyWorld)

8. Climbed a mountain 
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty (can't do it anymore, can you? Is the crown back open?)
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo's David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight (with Di and Suze in Galveston)
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies (I hated doing it. I'm awful at selling things.)
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square (on New Year's!)
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone (right wrist, upper right arm)
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous (Boomer Eiason, V-P Cheney, G.W. Bush, Ann Coulter)
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

And while you're at it--read Karen's Guide to Advent. 
And order her book

Monday, November 16, 2009

Food for thought--on theology

Over here.

The Simple Woman's Daybook--November 16, 2009

Outside My Window ...

It's sunny and a bit chilly--mid 50s. 


I am listening to...

The "Oliver!" 1994 London cast soundtrack


To Live the Liturgy...
Signs of Life, Scott Hahn's new book; Mass as often as I can; Magnificat; Rosary


To Fit and Happy...

Gym and ballet this week.


I am thankful for...

Time with my friends


I am pondering ...

My to do list, which is pretty long.


From the kitchen ...

Pasta in various incarnations.

I am wearing ...

Gray pants; mint colored camisole; green v-neck cardigan.


I am creating ...

My holiday calendar


On my iPod...

more "Messiah" and voice lesson music.


I am thinking...

That I can't believe it's almost Thanksgiving. Where did the year go?


Around the House

The apt. is amazingly pretty clean. Getting stuff off the kitchen table, organizing my books, which are sort of out of control.


I am reading ...

Catherine of Sienna and The King's Good Servant, But God's First.


I am hoping and praying ...

for my grandpa.


On Keeping Home ...

Holiday prep continues--only a few more gifts to buy!


One of my favorite things ...

singing with talented people


A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:

W: ballet 
Th: Voice lessons 
Sunday: Messiah rehearsal

A picture thought I am sharing:

One of the trees near my apartment in October.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Seven Quick Takes Friday Vol. XVII

It's audition time again; this time for The Music Man. Singing "Storybook", per usual. Auditions are tomorrow at 5:00. Not sure how long I'll be there, but we have to be prepared to dance,  which always strikes fear into my heart.

On Sunday I'm doing a LOOP talk with a friend of my family's, whose infant son was an organ donor (He was part of a domino transplant at Children's). The talk is at her church at 9:00, so a bit early for me. But it's for a good cause. Sunday is also the CFF's bowl-a-thon around here.

Voice lessons going very well. I'm working on so many pieces right now, plus I'm singing in a production of "Messiah", which is in late December. It's just the Christmas section, and I've sung 95% of the choruses before. Vocally, I'm in good shape here.

My grandpa came home from the hospital yesterday--yay!

I'm also preparing for summer auditions (yes, already). Today I received the 1994 cast recording of Oliver! plus the 1968 movie. I would love to sing Nancy, so I want to prepare really well for this audition. I'm working on "As Long As He Needs Me" in voice, so I should have that ready by May.

Books: I'm on a Thomas More kick. I read "A Daughter's Love" last week and now I have "The King's Good Servant, but God's First", which came with the Oliver! stuff today (oh Amazon, how I love thee).

It is almost 70 degrees here. In mid-November. I'll take that.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sesame Street classic!

Making crayons

Monday, November 09, 2009

1,000 words

This really sums up my feeling toward the morning:

Sunday, November 08, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook--November 9, 2009

Outside My Window ...

It's dark now, but it was a beautiful late fall day--highs in the 60s, and a pale blue sky. Fantastic.

I am listening to...
Handel's "Messiah" (Christmas section)

To Live the Liturgy...
Magnificat, Rosary, and Signs of Life, Scott Hahn's new book.

To Fit and Happy...

Gym and ballet this week. I get Wednesday off, so there is no reason gym and/or ballet should not happen.

I am thankful for...
short weeks!

I am pondering ...
tomorrow's Target list.

From the kitchen ...

Not sure. Lots of pasta/soup this week, I think. Maybe some meat sauce making on W.

I am wearing ...
Pitt sweatpants, a J.Jill camisole (heading to bed soon)

I am creating ...

On my iPod...
more "Messiah" and voice lesson music.


I am thinking...
that I can't wait for Wednesday

Around the House
Cleaning which =getting stuff off the floor!


I am reading ...
See above; also The Looking Glass, and Catherine of Sienna. Also read: A Daughter's Love: Thomas More and His Dearest Meg yesterday. Soooo good.  (Of course this ALSO led to watching A Man for All Seasons, which is NEVER a bad thing.)

I am hoping and praying ...
for my grandpa.

On Keeping Home ...

Getting ready for the holidays--card writing, cleaning, etc., etc.

One of my favorite things ...
singing with talented people

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
T: Pampered Chef Party!
W: Voice at 2:00, gym/ballet, DAY OFF!
Th: CF clinic @ 3:30
Sat: Music Man auditions!
Sunday: Messiah rehearsal; Faith Sharing group

A picture thought I am sharing:

Corner of State and Third Street, Downtown Columbus, Fall (it was taken this year, ignore the '07 thing)

CPG post--the veil

Over here.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Culture Cat: BalletMet's "Nightmoves"

Last night was the opening performance of BalletMet's "Nightmoves", a series of six contemporary pieces featuring six different choreographers. BalletMet always sprinkles their season with events like this, that showcase modern dance and a variety of choreographic styles. "Nightmoves" is this year's selection. While one of the pieces had been performed previously by the company (Twyla Tharpe's "Sinatra Suite"), all of the others were either company or world premieres.

The show kicked off with Gerald Charles' "Maestro", set to Benjamin Britten's The Young Person's Guide to Orchestra. The whimsical piece explored the relationship the four different orchestral sections have with the Maestro (danced last night by Jimmy Orrante). Four dancers represented the "section leaders" for the woodwinds (Emily Ramirez), strings (Carrie West), Brass (Jackson Sarver), and percussion (Dustin James). Three addition dancers, in slightly different costumes than that of the section leader, fleshed out each instrumental family.

BalletMet dancers David Tlaiye and Jessica Brown in "Maestro"

This costumes for this piece, designed by Frank Quadflieg, exactly matched the piece's whimsical tone and used unique elements such as hats, orange tights for the men in the brass section, and black pointe shoes for the women of the string section.

Tharp's "Sinatra Suite", danced by Adrienne Benz and Jon Drake, was next. I love this piece and was glad to see it again, although the male solo at the end was cut from this production. Benz, especially, did a lovely job in this piece. You can tell she greatly enjoys dancing it.

The Act I finale was a real highlight--Laurie Eisenhower's "Night Music", set to Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. All six dancers were asleep! I think I saw eyes open once (and I was in the front row), which made their contortions, movements and facial expressions even more amazing. Using a couch as a prop, the dancers slid over it, around it, and jammed onto it, all "asleep" as the piece progressed. It's laugh-out-loud funny, and it alone is worth the ticket price.

After a twenty-minute intermission, the second half kicked off with a world premier--"Relevant", by Maria Glimcher. In a video clip before the dance, Glimcher explained that the piece is about time--how we are affected by it, and how we experience it. The piece is set for four female dancers and features two long strips of fabric that initially divide the stage into four quadrants, like a clock.

I liked this piece, especially the second part, which was a bit softer. The dancers did a wonderful job with the choreography, and the use of the fabric was innovative and appropriate. I did find Glimcher's choreography to be a bit out of sync with the music, especially in the second half, when the accompaniment was a gentle piano melody. The harsh movements of the dancers seemed dissonant to me.

"In g major", a pas de deux by choreography Michael Uthoff, was next. Danced by Zoica Tovar and Andres Estevez (whom we saw last as Odile and Prince Siegfried, respectively, in Swan Lake), this was an achingly beautiful expression of love. Uthoff had choreographed this as a wedding gift for two Ballet Arizona dancers who were getting married, and it perfectly captures that sentiment. Tovar and Estevez express all the expressions of new love--wonder, joy, tenderness--in this piece. It ends with a small kiss.

Finally on the program was company dancer Adam Hundt's "dwell," which used video as well as music. Set for six dancers (three pairs of men and women) performed the evening's most modern piece. The dancing was demanding--the women often had to do lighting-fast changes from technique shoes to pointe shoes--and extremely innovative, as were the costumes (shredded black leotards, tights, and tank tops). I think the first half of the program (before the video) was better than the first, and I wasn't quite sure about the use of props (rope, and long tulle skirts for the women). But the dancers' athleticism and vigor made this an exciting piece to watch.

"Nightmoves" is an exciting peek into the future of dance, and a fine bridge between two Classical staples--Swan Lake and The Nutcracker (which opens December 11). Do yourself a favor and see it.

"Nightmoves" will run through November 20 at the BalletMet Performance Space. Tickets can be purchased here

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Happy All Saints!

I talk about there over here.