Tuesday, July 28, 2009


1) Sorry for the cryptic nature of my last post. The text in it was automatically added when I forwarded the picture from my iPhone - it wasn't intentional. But the snow cones were delicious - I highly recommend the ones from the stand outside Liberty Heights. Yum!

2) We performed "Making Waves" for SLAC today. I'll say this about it - it went well. Really well. But there's a lot that I'm processing and thinking through right now, and it's 10:45pm after a very long night, so I'm not going to say anymore about it tonight.

Except this (forewarning - R-rated language ahead):

During the feedback session after the performance, when we told Nancy B. (the very respectable theater lady and director of SLAC) that we had put together the play in one week, she said, "Holy fucking shit!"

That felt good.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Rouge et Noir

Rouge et Noir
Originally uploaded by chitarita
Begin forwarded message:


Thursday, July 23, 2009


A trailer for Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland!

I can't embed it, but here's the link.

This one I can embed, though:

I'm a fan of the book series, and read the last two of them one day last week, wondering why they hadn't been made into a movie yet. Then I go see Harry Potter and behold! A trailer!

Hey Mr. Spaceman

Spaced is on Hulu!

Love this show. Very geeky, very funny. I recommend it to anyone who enjoyed "Shaun of the Dead" or "Hot Fuzz".

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Morning Glow

I've missed my daily workouts while I've been gone, so I woke up early today and got to Westminster (where we've been rehearsing) two hours before rehearsal. I went to the gorgeous gym on campus (built after my time here, naturally) and inquired about a guest pass for alumni. A little paperwork and $6.00 later and I had myself a guest pass for the week - woot! I changed into my workout clothes, discovering that hey! You need to bring a combination lock to a gym!, took my purse with me along with my waterbottle and my script, and found an elliptical on the bottom level.

The facility was pretty quiet (not surprising, since it was 7:00 am in the middle of summer), and I had a lovely 40-minute workout on a much nicer machine than my one at home. I even ran all of my lines, which probably made the few people who walked by wonder about the crazy lady in the orange pants with green shoes who was talking to herself. As I mouthed the last of my paragraphs, I grabbed my stuff and headed for the showers only to discover that hey! You need bring a towel to a gym!

(Side note: I had a friend in college who was very squemish about some things. She once heard a radio DJ offer someone $500 to lick a tanning bed, and she obsessed about the grossness of that for weeks. WEEKS.

If you're at all like that friend, then please just pretend that I made that discovery before I got in the shower and got all wet and that it turned out that the gym actually provides all of its guests as many lovely, fluffy white towels as they want and I dried off and it was all perfect. The end.

The rest of you, read on.)

I think I found a very creative solution to the problem - I wrapped my workout shirt around my head turban-style to dry my hair, and I used my terry-cloth-like workout pants to dry off the rest of me, avoiding the sweatier parts of the fabric as best I could.

In trying to figure out what to do, I did consider my recent adventures in Turkey. I am, after all, awesome at being naked, and I thought about just walking out of the stall dripping wet to find an outlet to plug in my hairdryer. Sadly, while this was a nice gym, it was no hamam.


I'm in Salt Lake at the moment. As you may recall, I'm up here with one franctic week to rehearse and perform our play for SLAC. On Monday, Heidi, Katharine, Andy, Melissa, and I met for the first time since our quick little preliminary read-through in May. We had left that read-through with the expectations to all come back memorized. And we were close! Really, given the amount and nature of the texts, I think we did pretty darn well. Monday was a bit rusty, but Heidi and I spent a few hours running parts with each other that night. We spent most of Tuesday's rehearsal drilling ourselves on the most cumbersome pieces, and it all seems to be sticking. Even my freakin' long "Lorenzo" piece. I can complain about it since I wrote it, right?

So, we're three rehearsals into the thing, and it's going really, really well. In fact, we did a full run-through of the play for the second half of rehearsal today and we a) were all off-book except for a very little bit at the very end and b) shaved 24 minutes off of our last run time, putting our show at 104 minutes. To me, 90 minutes is ideal, 100 is totally liveable. So I'm pleased!

We're figuring things out - how to create a show with no budget whatsoever (seriously, zero. Heidi's been generously providing snacks for everyone, Melissa brought bottled water from her own supply, and I spent $4 on books yesterday for props, all out of our pockets. I know! 4 whole bucks!), how to run rehearsals without an assistant director or any technical crew, how to study and rehearse such long monologues, and so on.

We're figuring out our roles, too. I'm finding it hard to take off the director and the playwright hats and be only an actor. Melissa (our director) keeps saying things along the lines of "Amanda with her extensive acting background..." and I keep wanting to clarify that um, no. I don't have an extensive acting background. I'm a director, which is very, very different. For example, a director is allowed to snap her fingers and swear and stomp her foot when she forgets something, while I got chastised today for doing that whenever I forgot a line.

It's a good exercise for me in a lot of ways -
1) I'm getting really good experience memorizing, which will help me help my speech class this fall,
2) I'm watching a director from the perspective of an actor, and I'm making notes to myself about new things to try or new ways to approach directing,
3) I'm learning to let go of the play as its writer and let it be on its own,
4) But at the same time, I'm getting a lot of validation for how good it is. I'm not saying that to be egotistical; instead, it's an acknowledgement of the fact that Heidi and I have been writing this thing for five years, and that's a lot of time to spend editing and tightening a text - it's polished, and it works.
5) I'm also working not being in control of everything. I sometimes still respond to suggestions from the others with visceral, gut reactions (which are not at all subtle) when I don't agree with what they're suggesting. I'm trying not to do that, and I'm slowly getting better at it. At least, I'm getting quieter at it. The others now usually only notice if they're looking at me, since I'm not so good yet at controlling my face when I really don't agree with something. Okay, I still suck at not being in control. But I am trying!

I certainly don't envy Melissa her job - heck, if I had to direct someone who was the playwright of the piece AND was a theater director herself, I would be a whole lot more nervous and (therefore) probably a lot less gracious than Melissa is. But, like I said, I'm working on letting go of certain things, and that's a good exercise for me. And, really, I'm very lucky to be able to work with this group - they're a talented, gracious, fun group of people, and I'm really enjoying myself.

I came up here thinking about how nice it is to have a whole week in SLC this time, that I'll have lots of time to see people and get things done. I found instead that my time filled up very quickly. It'll be a crazy, crammed-in week; but it'll be fun.

Oh, and apparently I'm missing all of the weather fun in Denver this week. I'm hoping the storm stayed north of my place so I don't come back to a bunch of broken windows.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Stool Boom!

As I mentioned before, I bought a vanity at the Antique Market. The stool that came with it was covered in a basic white fabric, like so:

Old Cover 1

and I decided that I wanted to reupholster it. I blame going a year without needing to make any sets, props, or costumes. But can you blame me?

Old Cover 2

So blah.

With Rachel and Miranda's fabulous company/opinions, last Saturday I picked up this pretty, off-white fabric embroidered with green vines and orange/yellow flowers. Darn my good taste - it was $45/yard. It was also, however, on sale for 40% off, and I only needed about 20 inches, so I splurged. Rachel, in her sewing wisdom, suggested that I get a bit extra so I went with 24 inches. Good thing, too, since even while ironing carefully, this happened:

Ironing Whoops


After successfully ironing the rest of it, I arranged it on the stool to see how I wanted to line up the pattern. Fortunately, I had help for this part:

Lurking Helper

Well, not so much helping as disdainful looking to reproach me for doing something other than scratching her.

A bit of cutting, stretching, folding, and stapling later, and voila!

New Cover 1

Ain't I handy?

New Cover 2

For the heck of it and for those of you who can't name the musical today's title comes from, here's a little clip for you:

In other news, well, there isn't much. Life just isn't very interesting when I'm not in Turkey. I am cooking delicious things (like these and this) instead of going out to eat, and I'm sleeping according to my natural hours (about 12-8), which I'll have to wean myself off of pretty soon. I'm getting some projects done around the house, as you can tell, and I"m reading a lot. I also get to hang out with Rachel and co. a bit more than usual, including watching one of Rachel's favorite movies with her, the soundtrack of which has given my workouts a nice pick-me-up. Here's a clip:

Tomorrow I'm going to see Harry Potter with some people from the ward, then Thursday I'm off to Junction to hang out with my parents/celebrate my dad's birthday/play with Emily before going to Salt Lake for the next week-and-a-half to rehearse and perform my play. Not a public performance yet, this is just a private preview for the SLAC people before they schedule us in their upcoming season. Believe me, I'll let you know when the public performance is.

So life is good, if a little slow, and I hope your summer is treating you well!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

We Are the Champions

One of the perks of summer is that I get to go play on school nights. Rachel, Brian, and the Walkers have a Monday night tradition of playing trivia at a bar downtown. They cordially invite me along, and I enjoy going when I don't have to get up at 5:30am.

I am pleased to tell you, then, that last night our team took 1st place for the second week in a row!

Sadly, Rachel has taken my place as the early-morning worker and chose sleep over trivia last night. We struggled without her (a category on 1999 Dance Divas AND an "It's Always Sunny" question, Rachel!).

I was excited to hear there was a Musicals category, but it was painfully easy. They named three characters, we name the musical. C'mon, though - how hard are characters like
"Cosette, Eponine, Javert"
"Nala, Zazu, Scar"
"Lisel, Freidrich, Kurt"
"Grisabella, Mungojerrie, Rum Tum Tugger"?
I won Brian a free beer with the bonus question, too - "Mrs. Potts, Chip-" and I missed who the third name was, since I was already showing my answer to the quizmaster. It was sad.

My team could have taken the category without my help. However, I also answered a sports question! I know, I know - pick your jaws off the ground. Do YOU know what major league West Coast team plays at PetCo Stadium? 'Cause I do!

There was also a visual round about weird utensils. I had, in my 5 minutes of pre-trivia research, happened across a quiz on unusual utensils. It turned out that they pulled the images for the round straight from the same quiz! (Hmm... seems like there's more than one Queen of the Search Engines in the family...) You can take the same quiz here, if you're interested.

Happily, I'll be in town for next Monday's game, when we'll get the chance to go for three wins in a row. And Rachel better be there! :)

P.S. If you want to try your hand at a better Musical quiz, try this one, just released by Mental Floss today.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Fourth of July

Happy 4th of July, or thereabouts!

My parents came to town, so we celebrated the holiday weekend by doing the following:
- Scoping out possible "cabins" in Mountain Town
- Our annual visit to the Cherry Creek Arts Festival
- Checking out the Paris Vintage/Antique Street Market in town (where I bought a vanity! I've been lusting after one since I tried out my sister's a few years ago. As soon as I get a mirror for it, I get to put on my makeup like a real lady!)
- Grocery shopping at Whole Foods
- Enjoying the company

Unfortunately, my current cold did not make me the best company - I spent a lot of the weekend trailing after my family, coughing and trying to stay awake. Rachel busted out her awesome purple stethoscope to see if I had pneumonia. My lungs are clear, but she and my mom laughed at the way I couldn't take a deep breath in without yawning on the way out.

See? Just typing the word "yawn" made me yawn. Stupid cold.

I went back to my ward today. It was nice (really nice) to escape the arduous parts of my calling for the last month, but it was also nice to go back and see friends and catch up with people.

I wound up teaching the Relief Society lesson today (surprise!), so I started by telling them about the interruption during Transformers (I opened with the line, "Last week I was in Istanbul," and was interrupted by some of the girls laughing at the statement and commenting on my saying it with such casualness), then talked about the call to prayer (I played a version of it for them to hear), which lead to a discussion (via a small group activity with five different scripture references) about how people worship. It was a good lesson; and to my surprise, it felt really good, natural even, to teach again. I also enjoyed the studying and cross-referencing and research I did in preparing for the lesson - it's been a while since I've felt both compelled and challenged in my thinking about a gospel topic. But that's a topic for a different post.

In general, I'm still bummed about being home, and I still don't feel settled into reality; however, there are a few things I've enjoyed this week:
- Internet!
- Tap water and ice cubes
- Making my own food
- Putting on makeup and doing my hair and in general not looking like a dusty, sweaty traveler,
- Public toilets that are generally clean and not scary (although I still reach for a knob on top to pull rather than for the lever to flush. Odd how quickly that habit formed.)
- Air conditioning
- My bed
- My currently-short-haired kitty-cat

Speaking of which, I'm going to go enjoy those last three items on the list now. Good night!