Friday, November 28, 2008

The State of Shopping

The day before Thanksgiving I found myself in severe need of some retail therapy. It was raining and dark and I didn't even know if I wanted to buy anything, but I needed to get to a mall. For the record, this doesn't happen very often.

I wound up at La Cumbre Plaza (which is getting rather "high end" if you don't count Sears and Wet Seal) and I walked into BCBG Max Azria. It was nice just to look at the beautifully made clothes. Most of them either weren't my style or did not fit my modesty standards, but I wasn't there to buy anything. I heard once that you should go to designer stores and feel the fabrics just so that you can tell the difference between quality clothing and second rate... and just plain cheap. I suppose this comes in handy when you see great quality on sale; or maybe it is just to make all of us who can't afford a designer wardrobe feel inferior every time we get dressed. Whatever. It was fun for me to see designer clothing up close.

Next I walked into a J Crew. The first thing I saw was a woman's polka dotted bear suit. You know, the one-piece PJs that have a flap on the bum. I don't know what it was about this that just made my day. It cracked me up. I looked around to see if anyone else was sharing in my moment. Nope.

Anyway, I ended up buying a shirt and a cardigan on sale at J Crew. I love them both. I also got Asher some discounted church pants, a tie, and some socks from Janie and Jack. So I did end up spending money, but it wasn't much. Anyway, my mood was lightened significantly; mission accomplished. Sometimes I love shopping.

Friday, November 21, 2008

On Bella

One more thing, Bella's clumsiness was a lot more hilarious and enjoyable onscreen than it was in the book.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Twilight the Movie: pros and cons

I just saw an advanced screening of Twilight, and I know that every teenaged girl in America is going to be walking on clouds and singing about how fabulous of a movie it is... but I'm coming from a different place. I'm not saying the movie was terrible, I'm just saying that if I were making it I would not have made it like that. Here is my list of pros and cons (WARNING, SOME SPOILERS):

Edward Cullen. When I first heard that they got Robert Pattinson for the role I rolled my eyes. I didn't think there was even a slight chance that he could pull it off. I was pleasantly surprised. Not only did he do a great job covering his accent most of the time, his acting was quite good and he looked very attractive in most shots.

Con: SCREAMING GIRLS. Every. Time. He. Appeared. On. Screen. My ears are still ringing.

Pro: Charlie was amazing. Totally not what I pictured, but the perfect Charlie. Also, Jessica and Mike Newton were surprisingly likeable and did a great job.

Con: They made the town of Forks into a wonderful multi-cultural melting pot. Hate to say it like it is, but the REAL town probably consists of a majority of very pale caucasians with a few Native Americans. There were Asians and African Americans in every shot. Ok, be non-realistic... but don't dress them up as rock stars and let them act like they are in Beverly Hills. This is Forks.

Pro: Bella Swan didn't bug the crud out of me the whole time.

Con: She did bug the crud out of me some of the time. She would not be my first choice for Bella, she's a little too sarcastic. I also wanted her to look a little prettier. They could have done her makeup differently or something. (Like the poster, she looks great in the poster!)

Ok, I can't help it... here is a flow of cons:

Con: The music. I really didn't like the soundtrack. Except for Claire De Lune, but that lasted for about 5 seconds.

Con: The filming style and the cinematography. It was like a cross between a documentary and a Bourne movie. I don't think the style fit the genre at all. It just looked like they were trying to cover up bad acting, bad computer graphics, and a whole lot of other half-baked things.

Con: The Computer graphics! They were terrible! Just one example is Edward's sparkley skin. I was not impressed.

Con: The vampires did not look prettier or even more interesting than anyone else in Forks. You could see some of their white makeup lines. However...

Pro: I liked Alice and Jasper. They saved the Cullen family from utter lameness. Jasper was quirky, but I liked it. The rest of them did a fine acting job, but they just looked so wrong... and the look is such a huge part of it.

Con: Rosalie looked slightly fat and kinda odd-looking in at least half of her shots. Out of all the blonde models out there you couldn't find ONE that would do???

Pro: The bad guys were pretty good. And I'm not just saying this because I used to go to acting school with Edi (Laurent). I didn't like their styling, but that wasn't their fault.

Con: The script, sometimes. I get that movies can't be carbon copies of books, but I also know a little bit about writing and it was off. I didn't like the introduction into the movie.

There are tons of other little cons (such as why didn't Bella have pants on when Edward first appeared in her room...) but this is getting long.

In conclusion, I am a picky movie watcher. You may see this movie and LOVE it. Please, feel free. I'm actually sad that I have so much info in my head about acting and art because I don't get to enjoy it as much. Ignorance is bliss. Sorry if I ruined yours.

Monday, November 17, 2008


I've been feeling uninspired. Usually I have so many projects and potential creations going on in my brain that I get frustrated about how many hours are in the day. (Never enough!) I have stories I want to write, dresses I want to design, music I want to record and create, paintings I want to make, plays, screenplays, choreography... on and on and on.

Right now I don't want to do anything. I'm a little scared by that. I hope it is just the calm before the storm of some crazy genius, but what if I just ran out of steam and ideas and passion? Dieter Uchtdorf recently gave a talk in which he pinpointed two God-like attributes that we as mortals (especially women) have: Compassion and the desire to create. This talk really hit the nail on the head for me. I was so happy to hear him speak, not only because I love him but because I understood myself a little better after listening to his wise words. I have such a deep respect for that man.

I'm trying to think of the reasons why each of the interests that normally inspire me are no longer exciting. Maybe I'm going through a very lazy stage. Maybe this whole post-prop 8 atmosphere in California is sapping the soul out of me. (I strongly dislike politics and hypocritical "tolerant" people.) Maybe I'm feeling discouraged because other people don't see things the way I do and they don't see the beauty or value in my work or the potential finished product. Maybe it is a little bit of all of that.

One of my big problems is that I don't usually finish things unless I have a deadline. I try to give myself deadlines, but usually something else takes priority on my list. Maybe I'm getting sick of the fact that I "almost finish" everything I do. For instance: I wrote a stage script for Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. I finished writing it, then I directed and produced it. I choreographed the dances and I even designed and made some costumes for it. This was all in like 3 months. It turned out really well. I had a lot of people (some of them professional Emmy-winning writers) tell me that I could make a lot of money selling this script. I even have a very dear friend (with lots of experience) who offered to help me market the play to companies like Samuel French. The script is done, but I want to make sure it is perfect... maybe write a little bit of music to fill in some gaps here and there. There is so little to do, but it has been almost 2 years and I still haven't done it!! (In my defense I am waiting for the guy who taped the show to give me a copy of the tape so I can see what worked with an audience and what didn't. But still...)

Hopefully I'll get creative again. I hope it will be blog-worthy when (and if) I do.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Pleasant surprise

Dan and I saw Get Smart last night. I was expecting it to be very slap-sticky, and I suppose it was at times, but it was also quite entertaining and fun to watch. Anne Hathaway, who usually bugs the heck out of me, was just fine as 99. Steve Carrell has excellent comedic timing and a lot of heart, so he is usually pretty fun to watch and he did not disappoint. It was kinda weird to see them as a couple though.

Anyway, to my point. About half way through the movie the villian uttered what is now one of my favorite movie lines of all time... or at least of the last few years. He was discussing blowing up Los Angeles with one of his fellow bad men, when his fellow said something like "It is a shame to think of all the dead movie stars though, huh?" The villian gives the man a dead pan look and very dryly says "Yes. What will we do without their razor-sharp political advice?"

Ha! Bravo Hollywood for having enough intelligence to make fun of yourself for being politically absurd.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Update on trash talk

My husband cut back the ivy on top of the place where our trash cans live! I can once more take out the trash without fear. Dan the Man strikes again!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Tonight I put on my first Enrichment as second counselor in the RS. It went really well, and I didn't die. The food was really good, which I had nothing to do with.
I received a lot of compliments for the evening... but my favorite was a personal compliment. My friend Amanda told me that I looked like Rosalie Hale from the Twilight books. Rosalie is supposed to be the "incarnation of female beauty" with a wonderful sense of style and a killer body (pun intended). Now, I wouldn't go so far as to compare the way I looked tonight to the most gorgeous mythical female in the fictional world, but it sure was nice that someone else thought that.
It is nice to get a compliment every once in a while. Especially when you've been in over-drive all day running on fumes. All it takes is a few words and a smile and you can make someone's day. Isn't life wonderful?

Monday, November 10, 2008


I thought the movie Pay it Forward was going to be more inspirational and less depressing.

I was wrong.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Shout Out

I met Rachel White when I desperately needed a costumer for a show that I wrote/directed/produced/choreographed. My sister Lori introduced us. (Thanks, Lori!) Rachel had to work REALLY hard on this show. It was a period piece and it had a ton of characters that had to do a lot of changing. She may never do a show of that magnitude again, but I am so glad that I got to work with her. Not only is she very talented and cool, I now have a connection to one of the coolest baby clothing lines on the planet. 

Right now Rachelli is having a sale, and I couldn't help buying up a bunch of cute little onesies for future baby showers I haven't been invited to yet. I got a few things for Asher too. Every time he wears a Rachelli design people comment on how cute his clothes are. You may never visit my blog, but... thanks Rachel! For those of you who do stumble upon this blog, go to You won't be sorry. 

PS Once upon a time I wanted to start a baby line called "spindletree" so I suppose I am living vicariously through Rachel. {sigh}

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


We took a hurried trip to Arizona for the weekend and I am still recovering. It wasn't really the trip that did me in , traveling usually doesn't bother me... it was everything else. I got sick right before we left. It was the terrible kind of throw-up sick, so we had to postpone our leaving for a day. I think that stressed Dan out, and I was worried about getting there because I had some costumes to deliver to my nieces for Halloween. So the next day despite Dan and I both feeling ill we got in the car and we drove like Nascar drivers from SB to AZ in 7 1/2 hours, which we thought was impossible (especially since at least a half hour of that was in stopped Phoenix traffic). So we were a little tense. We had a great time in AZ, but Asher's sleeping schedule must have gotten messed up or something because the day after we got home he woke up every hour of the night screaming. I haven't gotten a descent night's sleep since. And now he is sick with a cold, and I'm pretty sure he gave it to me.

Anyway, we didn't observe Halloween as a family by dressing up or trick-or-treating. Asher got a sucker (which is big because he very rarely has sugar or junk food (and I'm never the one giving it to him)) and made a huge sticky mess of himself, and that was it for us. No decorations at home, no pumpkin carving, nothing.

But I do want to talk about some random observations I made during this weekend. Here they are in no particular order:

-On our way to AZ on a stretch of freeway at the edge of the state I saw a man riding a bike. On the freeway, just riding his bike in the stifling heat in the middle of the day. Where had he come from? Where the heck was he going? There was nothing around! It was weird.

- On our way back to CA we stopped at a gas station and I used the restroom. It was fairly clean and somehow pleasant smelling, but it was still a tiled, single user, florescent lighted public bathroom. Here's the strange part. There were pictures of eggs and nests super glued to the tile on the wall. 

-While conversing with one of my nephews in the car he told me "I just got a booger out of my nose." I asked him where he put it, and he paused for a bit and said "I put it back in my nose." 

-On the freeway we passed over a road named Sore Finger. I've always wondered where they got the name.

-We saw some model homes and I have never felt the urge to own a home so strongly before. This is unfortunate because I think we will be 70 before we ever get around to affording property.

-This post probably contains the worst sentence structure and grammar thus far on my blog! That last sentence was particularly bad. Hope you can understand it all, because I'm too tired to go back and fix anything.