Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I wish...

"Do you know what you wish? Are you certain what you wish is what you want?"
Oh Stephen Sondheim. What a crazy genius you are.

I have always wanted to do Into the Woods. I actually have a "theater bucket list" of shows I want to be in before I die. I have listed parts that I would like to play in those shows, if applicable. Some shows (like "The Phantom of the Opera") I would take ANY role just to be a part of it. But Into the Woods I actually have a preference. My favorite role is Little Red Riding Hood. Of course I'm too old and tall to play her, so my next favorite is the witch, followed closely by Cinderella. And I always thought it would be fun to play a step sister. You know who I never really wanted to be? The Baker's Wife. She has a lot to do, and she has to kiss two different guys, and she is not very quirky or glamorous. She has some funny lines, but I always thought her songs were boring. Well, I finally got a chance to audition for Into the Woods, and guess what character I got. That's right. The Baker's Wife.

She is the female lead, and that is flattering, but becoming the Baker's Wife is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. First of all, the songs are hard. Like, change keys five times per song- switch time signatures eight times per song- constant shift in melody- fast- wordy- can't keep up or remember anything HARD. And there are those on stage kisses. I don't relate to the character very well. And I have to be funny, which doesn't come naturally to me. And I feel like a LOT of people are leaning on me for their blocking and lyrics and stuff. We open in a week and a half. I'm a little worried. Actually, I'm a lot worried.

I'm starting to enjoy my part more though, so I guess that is good. And I think our cast is amazing. We just found out that we are having canned music instead of a live orchestra which makes me a little bit scared and sad, but nothing is ever perfect.

What's funny is that this is the first time I get to check a show off of my theater bucket list. I can't really choose what shows are available around me. I'm at the mercy of my family's location and schedules and the whims of directors. So you would expect this to be a joyous occasion. It was supposed to be so amazing. But it has mostly been stressful. Regardless, I'm still glad I'm in the show. If I hadn't done it, I would be sad. And really, it is SUCH a good show. I'm just a little torn about promoting it to the people that I know around here. If I were any other character, I would be all over it. But do I really want to tell my little nieces and nephews and students and neighbors and fellow church goers to see me in something where I have an on stage make out with someone? Wouldn't that freak them out, or would they be able to get past that? You see my predicament.

"Careful the wish you make... wishes come true."

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Thick and Thin rant

Why is it that everything that makes me happy also makes me fat?

Below is a picture of me in High School. Well, technically, it is a picture of a picture. There I am with my friend Jennie. I'm on the left. I suppose I am wearing a tankini and short shorts because we were at Magic Mountain and we went on water rides. I know I look a little trailer-parkish, but look at how skinny I am!
...except for my arms of course. I've always had meaty upper arms. I blame it on the year of gymnastics I took in fourth grade.

I looked like that for years. I went on every diet I heard of to keep myself looking good. I also made sure I was active. Running, dancing, Tae Bo-ing. I was always trying, and it always paid off.
This next shot is of me in a play right before I got pregnant with number one.

Again... I feel like I look good here. And maybe you have to click on the images to really tell, I don't know.

Those were the good old days. Now I am about twenty pounds heavier, and two kids richer. My kids make me so happy. They also made me fat.

Having kids has been hard on my body. I have to literally starve myself if I want to lose weight. And starving makes me very sad. Not to mention short tempered and basically useless. Working out like a crazy person doesn't do it for me anymore, I have to eat like a hibernating bear without the benefit of being able to sleep for months at a time.

You know what makes me happy? Bread and other normal foods.
You know what makes me fat? Bread and other normal foods.
I don't drink soda. I don't drink alcohol. I don't drink juice. I don't eat a ton of candy or sweets and I don't eat chips or lots of processed foods. I like salad. I like soup. I like sandwiches and green beans and cereal and the occasional bowl of ice-cream.
Why is it that I know people who never work out but look fantastic?
Why is it that I know people who eat candy and junk for every meal and they are WAY skinnier than me?
I know the answer to these questions.

It is because life is not fair.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Postcards from the Moon

I received a wonderful package in the mail yesterday.
It was from a certain Bill Steinkellner in Santa Barbara.
For those who don't know, the Steinkellners are a powerhouse of awesomeness. Bill and his wife Cheri are Emmy winning writers, and they have three talented children. I was privileged to get to know Teddy Steinkellner a few years ago while I was teaching theater at Dos Pueblos High School. He is a fabulous actor, a talented improviser with great comedic timing, an all-around good person, and he is smart as a whip. He was valedictorian. I have also worked with the youngest Steinkellner, Emma. She is an amazing performer, and I would not be shocked to see her on Broadway soon after she graduates high school. Emma also has unbelievable art skills. Kit, the eldest Steinkellner, takes after her parents and has already accomplished a lot with her writing. And they are all down-to-earth and they love each other.
Are you jealous of them yet?
Well I haven't even listed half of their accomplishments or how cool they are. I really look up to Bill and Cheri. They have amazing artistic sensibilities and they support their kids in every way. They inspire me.
So you can imagine how happy I was to receive this signed book.
It is filled with little pictures and short stories that could fit on the back of a postcard.
These stories inspire me.
Sometimes the stories remind me of something I did when I was a little girl traveling in the car with my parents. I would look out the window and see a person driving and I would create a backstory of who that person was and what they were driving toward (or away from).
The postcard stories that Bill writes remind me of a time when I felt freer to dream and to look and to question. They invite me to wonder and to explore and to look at things in a slightly different way. I feel inspired to play with words and emotions.
If you want to know what I'm talking about, you can buy this book from Amazon, or you can visit Bill's blog. For some reason the link on my page is listed as "Don'ts for Husbands," though his blog is called "Greetings from Bill." I'll try to fix that.

Maybe I should have titled this post "A Love Letter to the Steinkellners." Sorry to gush, but they really are a cool family. But I kinda hope they don't read this. Because that might be embarrassing.

Friday, March 4, 2011

That girl...

Oh, Gwendolyn.

She's still all gums, but now I can feel a few teeth coming on top so it shouldn't be long.

She started doing this funny thing a few days ago where she walks on her knees.

When I put on her clothes I count "One, two..." and she says "TEE!" with a big smile.

Today at Nancy's house she began to stand up by herself in the middle of the floor.

Also at Nancy's house a flowerpot almost fell on her head and for the first time in her life, I saw her trying to hold back tears. You know, that little quivering frown accompanied by the saddest hurt eyes you've ever seen? Well she usually just erupts at everything, but today I saw that look.

I feel like Gwen is finally leaving babyhood.

I'm a little bit sad, but I'm excited and proud too.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Book Review Time

I only update my blog a few times a month, and I really need to give my blog stalkers something to read. Since I can't commit to blogging more often, I'll just recommend some awesome books.
I finished reading two books recently, but I can't mention one of these without mentioning its predecessor.
I read These is my Words about a year ago, and it has become one of my favorite books of all time. It is an adventure, a love story, and a coming of age novel all rolled into one. Historical fiction isn't always my favorite, and the fact that it was in diary form turned me off at first, but it was so worth the bargain. This book had a lot of heart. It was almost like poetry, and yet it felt so real and matter-of-fact. I have read it and re-read it. The end always makes me cry like a baby. Side note: If I could chose one role to play in a movie, it would be Sarah.

This is the sequel to These is my Words, picking up with Sarah about 10 years after the last book ends. I put off reading this because I was afraid Sarah's Quilt would somehow mar the original story for me. And to be honest, there were parts of this story I didn't like. (I don't want to go into detail in case anybody is planning on reading these books.) However, it was a good read, and I am glad I decided to go for it. But let it be known that I would take These is my Words over Sarah's Quilt any day of the week.
This author usually writes screenplays for movies. Her book seams like it is targeting a younger crowd, but I don't mind the "Young Adult Fiction" genre. I mean, I loved the Hunger Games trilogy.
The Girl Who Could Fly is sweet and creative. I enjoyed it very much and I can't wait until my kids are old enough to appreciate it. I love reading stories aloud, and this is perfect. I totally recommend it.

If you have read any of these novels, let me know what you thought. If you haven't read them, hop to it! They are good books!