Wednesday, May 31, 2006
thirteen things i will now go buy at the grocery store so that tomorrow night's dinner won't be the same as tonight's--peanut butter and ritz crackers
tomato basil soup
hummus and veggie sticks
a bell pepper
whole fruit popsickles (gotta have dessert!)
Feel free to ask me if I really buy this stuff. Accountability is a good thing, right?
Disclaimer: I am not in any way dissing peanut butter. As my blog buddy Forky pointed out, peanut butter is one of the best things ever!
And thank you again for your support and friendship!
Thursday, May 25, 2006
- My mom gave me her frequent flyer miles to buy my ticket to come home. Thanks, Mom!
- My sister. We've had some good times together over the past few weeks. She is a great support, a ton of fun, and my best friend. I love her so much.
- Some old family friends have let my sis and I stay at their house both of the weeks we've been in town. Very generous.
- Alisha. She's been my Dad's nurse the past few days, and she's a total God-send. She is very competent and so compassionate. A wonderful combination for a medical worker.
- Time with my Dad. Even though the circumstances stink, I'm thankful to be here with him.
- My work/bosses who have been kind enough to let me take time off to be here.
- Comic relief. We've had some good laughs this week.
- Tex-Mex. 'Nuff said.
- My eSuitor who has been such a great support--driving me to and from the airport, calling daily to check on me, and praying for my Dad. I'm blessed.
- My blog, which has been a great place to communicate and put my thoughts "on paper".
- My blog buddies. You encourage me, and many of you I have never even met!
- My Texan roots. It's nice to be back in a culture that is my own.
- God's love. Saving the best for last here!
He's eating some chicken noodle soup now, which is the first food he's asked for in days! Please keep up the prayers!
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Please pray for his complete healing from the cancer and for his body to stay strong to be able to handle the treatments. Dad's spirit is still strong, and he wants to keep on with the treatments.
Thanks for your prayers and support.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Thank You so much, Lord. I love You.
Psalm 145 has been speaking to me today. Here are some snippets:
I will exalt you, my God the King;
I will praise your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will praise you
and extol your name for ever and ever.
Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
The LORD is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.
The LORD is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.
The LORD is faithful to all his promises
and loving toward all he has made.
The LORD upholds all those who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.
The LORD is righteous in all his ways
and loving toward all he has made.
The LORD is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cry and saves them.
My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD,
Let every creature praise his holy name
for ever and ever.
Thank you for your prayers for my Dad. Keep it up! I'll keep you posted.
Lots of love,
Monday, May 22, 2006
Sis and I went to our favorite childhood restaurant. It is still just as yummy as ever. Mmmm. There came a point in the meal when we both knew we had eaten quite enough, but we just kept on pushing through because it was so good.
Too much of a good thing has left us feeling ... ugh. I'm too full to think of the right word.
Gluttony has gotten the best of me. I think I'm gonna just go sleep it off.
Last night, I flew back to Texas to be with my Dad (and sister) this week as he receives his final round of treatments. I want to thank you all so much for your prayers and encouragement. My Dad so appreciates the prayers.
Here is an exerpt from an e-mail he sent me last week reflecting on the first week of treatments:
[A]s to the effect of my treatments[....] I could sense it all
getting stronger and harder each time. But guess what; with our focus to God we made it.
I imagine that this week will be even more difficult than the first week, since my Dad's body is starting off in a weaker state due to the treatments he received during week one. Please continue to lift him up to God. That is the best thing we can do for him!
Thank you again for your continued prayers.
Lots of love,
Friday, May 19, 2006
To honor my favorite day of the week, I’ve decided to offer the blogosphere five strong opinions. It’s the Friday Five!
- Smoothies are an important part of a nutritious diet.
- Bodily function humor is the highest form of humor there is.
- Too many pieces of camouflage clothing on a person’s body at one time is not a good thing. Less is more, people. Less. Is. More.
- Gray’s Anatomy is my favorite show, but did you notice on the season finale that all the women on the show had their hair styled the same way? Long waves are in, I know, but variety is the spice of life! …Okay, I wear my hair that way too, I admit it.
- My eSuitor is excruciatingly handsome. (Can you name that movie reference?)
Have a wonderful weekend!
Thursday, May 18, 2006
1. Friday. It's just my favorite day of the week. Work is done. Time for fun!
2. Acting class. It's my one evening a week when I get to feel completely in my element. Such a good feeling!
3. Seeing my eSuitor.
4. Gray's Anatomy. It's a great way to end the weekend.
5. Church. Yes, I actually wrote that. I feel like something is missing when I am not regularly worshipping God and having fellowship with other believers.
6. Reading comments people leave on my blog. ;)
7. Christmas. It's just the greatest holiday. Every year, the day after Christmas, I always think, "Just 364 days to go...".
8. Autumn. I may feel differently about this now that I live in Southern California. In Texas, summer is oppressively hot, and it usually lasts for about 5 months. When the cool temperatures of autumn finally come, it feels like water for a parched sojourner. I just love autumn. I love the clothes, the weather, the color. I just let it wash over me, and I never feel ready for it to end. (It does help, though, to know that the end of autumn means Christmas is a comin'!)
9. Spontaneous outbursts of song. Anyone who knows me at all will tell you that I like to hum little tunes. Sometimes, I am unaware of my humming. When I lived in NYC, there were always people around, and it was hard to find a place to belt out a loud tune (my favorite way to sing). I didn't have a car, which is a natural locale for my best concerts to take place. So when I was waiting on the train platform, I would have brief mini concerts. When a subway would be coming down the tunnel and it would drown out the loudest noise with its own, I would sing show tunes at the top of my lungs for a few seconds. And then I would stop before the train did. Those little moments helped me stay sane. Kind of like the ladies room at my current job. Great acoustics with all that tile!
10. Big hugs.
11. Mexican food.
12. Seeing my family.
13. Friday. Did I say that already? One day to go!!!
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
I say "wonderful" because it is so exciting to be part of a creative process that occurs when you allow someone to see into you and they in turn let you in. I say "terrifying" because it is very scary to let someone look into your soul. Most of us walk through life with carefully constructed walls. Only rarely and with select people do we allow the veil to drop and to be seen. It is a very tender thing. It makes sense to make sure that trust is established before allowing someone to see the depths of you.
When my acting coach talks about emotional intimacy, he calls it "into me see". I like that. We will never experience true intimacy in our relationships if we don't invite others to take a look inside. How deeply you let another person in is completely up to you.
Monday, May 15, 2006
I may still talk like a Texan, but I'm back in California!
Sis and I drove back to our hometown (in Texas) on Saturday and we got to spend Mother's Day with Mom before I flew back to LA yesterday evening. It was really good be with Mom and sis on Mother's Day. :)
The flight back was easy and uneventful. As I was coming down the escalator to baggage claim, I saw a handsome blonde guy (that's right, the eSuitor) standing there waiting for me. It was so good to see him again. He kept telling me how much he missed me, and that made me so happy to be back!
Thank you for all your prayers for my Dad and the family. I would so appreciate your continued prayers for him. He will be at home recuperating this week, and then he'll go back to the hospital for the final six days of treatments. I'll keep you posted.
With lots of love and gratitude,
Saturday, May 13, 2006
In the 4.5 years of doing this treatment at the hospital my Dad is in, no patient has been able to receive all 14 treatments the first week.
Today has been the hardest day on my Dad. The treatment he received this morning gave him terrible side-effects. He was suffering with the chills, nausea, wretching and vomitting all at once. Thankfully, the nurse was able to give him some meds that got the side-effects undercontrol. My sister and I were with him this time as he went through it, and we were so relieved when he was finally able to fall asleep.
As he was in the middle of experiencing the above-mentioned side-effects, he said, "Poor Job". Dad has been reading the book of Job in the Bible, and in the midst of his suffering, he was reflecting on how much more Job suffered and felt compassion for him. Very moving.
Thank you for your prayers for my Dad this week. Please continue to pray for him for a complete healing. He will go home tomorrow for nine days to rest and recuperate and then return to the hospital for another six-day stay to receive the rest of the treatments.
I'll continue to keep you posted.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Since first getting my Dad's phone call a few weeks ago when he told me about the cancer, a number of thoughts and feelings have surfaced in me. Tears give way to denial, which is followed by reminiscence, gratitude, what ifs, and a whole lot of hope for healing.
Part of the mix of this experience has been the joy of remembering some of the great times my Dad and I have spent together over the years. So for today's Thursday Thirteen, I'm going to write about Thirteen Father/Daughter Moments I Have Shared with my Dad. :)
Career Day - In third grade, my teacher told us students that we could invite our parents to come talk to the class about their careers. Before I was born, my Dad was a real, live rodeo cowboy. He was a bull rider. I came home and asked my Dad (who was at that time an insurance salesman, but always a cowboy at heart) to come talk to the class about being a cowboy. He really came through for me. He showed up at my elementary school decked out in his Wrangler jeans, boots, and cowboy hat with props--a western saddle and a lariet. I can remember my sister and I gleefully running around our backyard as kids laughing and howling as our Dad would rope us! So funny!
Hunting and fishing together - Some of my earliest memories are of going dove and deer hunting with my Dad. I would quietly accompany Dad on his hunts, enjoying nature and learning about hunting. It wasn't long before I was begging him to let me try! I killed my first deer in junior high school, and shot my first buck two and a half years ago. I'm thankful that Dad didn't shy away from sharing his passions of hunting and fishing with me because I am a female. Most of my girlfriends can't even comprehend such an experience. Thanks, Dad!
Catfish - I remember one particular fishing trip with Dad, just the two of us. I really wanted to catch a catfish, and I think I caught two or three. Dad was so proud of me, and he was keeping them in a net in the water to keep them fresh. Somehow, they got out of the net and swam freely away. At the time, we were both disappointed that they got away. Now, I don't even care. I'm just glad we could share that time together. I still love fishing, and you taught me how, Dad!
Coca-cola Cowboy - Going hunting together involved long road trips out to the country, listening to country songs like "I'm Just a Coca-Cola Cowboy" playing on the radio. I told Dad recently that when I get married, that's the song I want us to have our father/daughter dance to.
Cardinals Jacket - One of my favorite childhood sports was softball. One year, my little league team was the Cardinals. Dad told me that if I scored a homer, he would buy me a red satin Cardinals jacket. Well, you know I was itching for that homer, and I got it. I was so proud of that jacket!
Scott Casey- As I mentioned in this post, I used to love watching the World Wrestling Federation on television. For Christmas, when I was in the sixth grade, my Dad took me to a WWF match when it came through our hometown. The wrestler I was most excited to see (probably because he was one of the "good guys" and I thought he was dreamy) was "The Cowboy" Scott Casey. Dad knew he was my favorite, so after the match, he took me to try to meet him and get his autograph. His bodyguard wouldn't let us through. Well, Dad gave him our program with our address written on it, and he asked the bodyguard to see if "The Cowboy" would sign it and send it to me. Wouldn't you know that the very next morning our doorbell rang and the body guard hand delivered the signed program to our house? I was blown away. Dad has moxy when it comes to approaching stars for autographs. He also managed to get me tennis great Virginia Wade's autograph, oh, and also President Ford's. I'm not kidding.
Softball bat - I remember picking out my aluminum bat and having batting practice in the backyard with Dad.
Utah - When I graduated from acting school, I got my first professional job doing a musical called How the West was Won at a gorgeous amphitheatre in Utah. Dad came out to see me perform. It meant so much that he made the trip out to see me. I remember taking a day trip to Zion National Park. It was a crisp autumn day and the leaves were turning. We both enjoyed taking in the beauty of nature. And I remember both of us remarking that autumn is our favorite season. Just a simple moment that is fond to me.
Las Vegas - About six years ago, Dad took my sister and I on a father/daughter trip to Vegas. We went to see the Cirque du Soleil and the Blue Man Group perform. We gambled on the Wheel of Fortune. He bought my sister and I matching neclaces to remember our trip. And I know all of us will always remember our breakfast of Belgian waffles with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. Dad had the room next door to my sister and I. He ordered us room service for breakfast and we all ate our waffles around the table in our bathrobes. A total splurge that was worth its weight in gold, if only for the wonderful memory!
Teaching me to two-step - Growing up in Texas, it's practically part of our culture to know how to do the Texas Two-Step. Dad taught me at an early age at the Texas Tumbleweed, a local restaurant/bar/dancehall in our city. I still love dancing to this day, and I think part of the reason why I'm not afraid to take a spin around the dancefloor is because I learned the magic of dancing with my Dad as a little girl. It started before that, when I was small and I would stand on his feet and we would dance around the kitchen floor together.
Surprise confidant - In 1998, I was living in NYC. I had fallen in love for the first time and subsequently was experiencing my first heartbreak. I was in agony. I cried everyday for a month for hours on end until there simply were no tears left. One day during that awful month, I called my Dad to wish him a happy Father's Day. I was trying hard to hold myself together during the phone call. But after my well-wishes, Dad asked me how I was doing. Well, the flood gates opened and I couldn't hold it in. I cried my eyes out and told my Dad about my heartache. He was so wonderful. He told me about his first heartbreak, and assured me that I was not the first person in the world to feel such wretched emotions. I felt so grateful for his kind words and happily surprised to find that my Dad could also be my confidant.
Lunch together - Seven months ago, I moved to LA. Mom and sis drove out with me to help me get settled in my new digs. On our way out, we drove right through the town where my Dad works. Of course, we stopped so that I could see Dad and give him a hug goodbye as I headed West. My parents haven't been together since my senior year in high school. That was the last time my immediate family had been together alone. In the days leading up to the road trip out to LA, I had a very strong pull on my heart for all four of us to have lunch together. I talked to both parents about it and both agreed to it. It was an amazing feeling of strength to be together again. My family. Mom, Dad, sister and me, sitting around the table sharing a meal. It was one of those moments I wished I could freeze in time. I have a photo that the waiter took of us that I keep on my desk at work. I take great joy in showing it to people and saying, "This is my family." Family. My family. Ahhh.
Future memories - I hope that my Dad and I will be able to make many more memories in the future. He is one of my heroes and I love him so much.
I love you, Dad!
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Today, he reached the half-way point of this first round of treatments. He continues to be such a fighter and a trooper. The side-effects of the treatments have been getting the chills and nausea. Dad doesn't really like for my sister and I to be in the room when he is experiencing the side-effects, which typically come about three hours after receiving the dose of treatment and then last for about 2 and a half hours after that. When he is feeling better, he likes us to be there because it helps pass the time faster for him. So we have typically been going to the hospital in the morning as he is receiving his first treatment of the day and visit until lunch time, which is around the time when the chills seem to come. He then asks us to go have lunch, which we know means "I'm starting to not feel so good. Please leave now." So we do. We just want him to be as comfortable as possible, so if that means being alone for a while, so be it. After the side-effects have passed, he calls us on my sister's cell phone, and we come back to the hospital for a few more hours until visiting hours end.
My Dad knows that a lot of friends are praying for him. His specific prayer requests are that this treatment will be killing the cancer in his body and that the side effects of the treatments will be minimal. He commented today that he is amazed at how his side effects have been minimal in comparison to what most people suffer going through this treatment, and said that it must be prayer that is helping, so please keep praying!
On a much lighter and happier note...an eSuitor story. Last night, when sis and I got home, she went skipping and giggling through the house, like she was in on a secret that I didn't know about. When I asked her what was up, she said, "A present has arrived for you." She opened the front door and presented me with a box that was on the front step. I began to open the box and a flash went off...sis was photo-documenting the experience (which, of course added to my excitement)!
I opened the box to find these beauties with a note saying, "Thinking of you. -eSuitor". When I talked to him on the phone to thank him, he said, "I just wanted you to have something bright to cheer you up, since this is a rough week." What a sweetheart!
I told him today how proud I am of him and his courage. He said it wasn't about courage, that it was his only choice if he wants to beat the cancer. I told him that he is choosing to fight for his life, and that is very courageous. I really am proud of him.
My dear friend Kelly put together a fun care package for my sister and me full of things to help make our week hanging out in the hospital more comfortable and fun. Included in her care package were these lovely lollipop lips, which provided some fun entertainment for us today.
Thank you for your prayers and support! We so appreciate them.
Monday, May 08, 2006
Mom and sis picked me up. It was so much fun to see them and spend some time together. Today, sis and I drove to the city where my Dad is in the hospital. This morning, a doctor did surgery to insert a port where the treatments are administered. We saw Dad after he got out of surgery. He was feisty and in good spirits, all things considered. We were with him as he received his first treatment and hung out for a while after that. We'll be back tomorrow (Tuesday) morning to visit him. Please pray for his healing and that the side effects from the drugs won't be too uncomfortable for him. Thank you!
I'll write updates as the week goes on.
Lots of love from the Lone Star State!
Friday, May 05, 2006
Hey, everybody! It's Cinco de Mayo! And you know what that means...office party!!! Today, my office is celebrating with a Mexican food potluck lunch party. I'm so excited! I have the same feeling that I had as a kid when it was a field trip day in school. The anticipation that something fun is in store!
I hope you have a fabulous Cinco de Mayo, too! And for those of you who are in Texas, please enjoy some chips and queso along with a frozen maragarita at your favorite Tex-Mex restaurant on my behalf. Un abrazo fuerte!!!
Thursday, May 04, 2006
1.) Autumn's Mom is so much fun. She is one of my first blog buddies. We visit each other's blogs everyday. It is kind of funny to have a friend you have never met. But I think we would get along great if that ever happened!
2.) Dooce is probably the most read blog out there. Even though I often don't agree with her world view, I appreciate the transparency with which she writes. She truly lives out loud.
3.) Buttercup and Bean are two sisters living on opposite sides of the country. They both author the blog. One is a feminist lawyer living in NYC. The other is living the suburban life in Utah.
4.) The Cachinnator is an old friend of mine. He's just good peeps and his blog keeps me entertained. He is a down-to-earth guy with an undergraduate degree in theatre and his masters degree in from a Christian seminary. He now works as a band promoter/executive director of a theatre.
5.) Musical Theatre Audition.Com Blog gives you up-to-the-minute information about the Broadway musical scene. I recently learned on this blog that the Broadway stage will soon see musical versions of The Princess Bride and (you guessed it) Legally Blonde!
6.) Musings of a Mad Spinster wins the award for the best blog name! It is wittily written by Queen III. When she talks about her dating life and her ex-boyfriend, I laugh out loud (not at her, with her!!!).
7.) Roses in December is written by "Don" Boscoe. The Don is a friend of the Cachinnator, and he writes about his adventures in Baklava-ville (yes, he's currently enjoying life in Greece, and giving us running commentary on the swimsuit optional beach he has a view of out his window).
8.) The 42nd Floor is written by Forky, an actor who supports himself as an administrative assistant in Everycity, USA. Read his "About Me", but be sure to wear Depends, because you will likely pee yourself.
9.) Thinking About... is written by J. She writes about all sorts of things. Recent posts include anecdotal stories about how she came to own a shot gun and a fur coat, the sad demise of mix casette tapes, and her recent road trip to Reno.
10.) Maniacal Days is a blog that I recently happened upon. She has recently written about her tatoos, her baby, her hubby, and hockey. She's a big Devils fan.
11.) Crazy Dust in My Coffee is very well written and has one of the best taglines I've seen on a blog: Nutty Sweet ~ Smooth ~ With a Hint of Snarky.
12.) Cherry Extract is an open book. She once left the following comment on a post I wrote about "baggage": "I am a super open and honest person and my baggage isn't very deeply hidden. If a person asks, I tell. And even if they don't ask, I tell." How can you not love her?
13.) An Awfully Big Adventure just celebrated its 100th post. One of her favorite posts (and mine) was entitled "My Boldest Prediction Yet", in which she predicted that mustaches would make a comeback in the year 2006. Check it out!
As I said before, this is just a sampling of the blogs I read. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.... Let the addicition begin!
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Much to his relief, I'm sure, we did leave, but not without these cute aqua/teal cords that were originally $44 marked down to $9.99, thank you very much! Gotta love a bargain!
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Prayer requests: that he will qualify for this treatment, for strength for him to endure the treatments, for healing of his body from the cancer.
In a much lighter note, let's talk about my eSuitor (of fondue fame). It's official people: I have a boyfriend! This has actually been official for a couple weeks now. He is a treasure, and I am really happy! He is very sweet and caring, and it doesn't hurt at all that he is deliciously handsome! I'm so thankful to have him in my life.
Oh! Other good news: I got an agent! I auditioned for this agency six months ago. I felt like it went really well, but I never heard back from them, which in this business is not typically a very good sign. Well, the agent called me about a week and a half ago and offered me representation! What a blessing! Thank You, Lord!
That pretty much brings you up to speed. I'll continue to post updates on my Dad. Thank you so much for your prayers.
Monday, May 01, 2006
I opened the door of my car, and no sooner had I stepped out and one of the men walked up to me holding one of the perfumes. He asked if I would like to try a sample of the perfume, and he got too far into my space. Immediately, some training kicked in from an IMPACT self-defense course that I took. I put my hands up in front of me like two stop signs and in an firm, loud voice, I said, "No, thank you. I'm not interested." He persisted, "It's Dolce and Gabbana". "No, thank you!", I said, "I'm not interested!". His body language changed. He slunk back, and (Thank You, God!) walked away. He may have been harmless, but that's not the point. The point is that he made me feel uncomfortable, he got too close to me, and he didn't listen to my "no" the first time.
I felt thankful for God's protection and for the self-defense training I had that taught me how to set verbal and physical boundaries in situations like that. If you live in a place where an IMPACT class is offered, I highly recommend it! It is one of the most empowering experiences I have had in my life.
Here are some links for IMPACT classes in the SF Bay Area, Houston, and New York. If you live elsewhere, just do a google search for "IMPACT self defense".