Wednesday, January 31, 2007

To peek or not to peek.... This is the question.

eSuitor and I are having all sorts of conversations about our wedding. One of the topics we're discussing is whether or not to see each other before the wedding on our big day. The reason for seeing each other before the wedding would be so that we could take all posed pictures with family and wedding party before the wedding, thus not making our guests wait too long at the reception before we get there. In doing so, however, we wouldn't have that moment of seeing each other for the first time as I'm walking down the aisle. We are entertaining two options:

1.) To peek: Have a moment of our own, just the two of us before the wedding. He can see me in my dress and we can have a moment together. We can take all of our posed pictures before the wedding, and get to the reception in a timely manner.

2.) Not to peek: The first time to see each other that day would be as I'm walking down the aisle. Take posed pictures after the wedding, and make our wedding guests wait on us for a bit at the reception.

I realize that there is not a right or a wrong way to do it, and honestly, as I write about it, I'm kind of embarrassed that this is making it on my blog. I would like your opinion on how you did things at your wedding, and if you have a strong opinion about this. Please don't tell me to do whatever we want to do because, truth be told, we have two different opinions on this. However, we're keeping open minds and want to pool all readers as to what they did and if they are glad they did it the way the chose.

And now, kind readers, please opine.

Note: eSuitor is making a special request that any readers in the Connecticut contingency please comment on this! :)

Photo found here.

Beauty on the way to Grumpy-town

I am in the grumpiest mood today. Just don't want to be at work. At least my mornings are blessed with a really pretty drive. I took this photo on Monday morning. I'm a sucker for pretty sunrises and sunsets!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Full Circle Stream of Consciousness – “Ask Jeeves” Edition

Ask Jeeves.

Isn’t Jeeves cute? He’s a happy, helpful little butler.

Butler. Isn’t Annie a great musical? “When you wake, ring for Drake. Drake will bring your tray.”

I love lap desks.

And breakfast in bed.

Bananas and nutella.

Nutella should be its own food group.

Why are all the yummy foods so bad for you? If the yummy foods were good for you, I’d be soooo skinny!

What’s so great about skinny anyway? I think I like my bodacious bod.

Stick figures are scary.

Remember when Mike Myers sang his beat poetry in So I Married an Axe Murder... “Woman. Whoa, Man. W-w-w-w-w-w-w-w-w-wo-man.” He’s funny.

Austin Powers was genius, too. Not everyone sees his genius in that role, but trust me, he was freakin’ genius.

Einstein was genius, too, but in a totally different way. I think I admire Einstein more for his philosophical quotes about life than I do for his scientific discoveries, though both are notable.

Creativity means more to me than science.

High school science classes were borrrrrrrrring. Physics was better than chemistry, though, because I think it appeals a bit more to the right side of the brain.

My high school physics teacher had a bowling ball suspended on a rope that hung from the ceiling.

Bowling is fun—especially on birthdays.

Bowling shoes were one of my favorite fashion trends. They have classic lines.

What, you don’t believe me? Just Ask Jeeves! (Oh, wait, a minute, you can't! I just went to his website, and get this!...Jeeves was retired a year ago! Now is simply So sad.)

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Dear Mom,

When I think about how to express the gratitude in my heart for all you mean to me, no amount of words are sufficient. So I'll pick a few, and trust that you already know in your heart how very much I love you soooooooo.

You have touched my life in so many ways with your love, your friendship, your confidence, your hugs, your listening ear, and your advice. Your belief in me, your availablity to me, your interest in me, and your love for me have given me courage to try, a place to grow, grace to accept myself and the faith to become the woman God wants me to be.

You are a gift not only to me, but to so many whose lives you touch. I'm so thankful that God gave me you to be my mom.

How wonderful life is with you in the world!



Saturday, January 27, 2007

I Cried!

Thank you for your prayers and wonderful words of encouragement! I did my scene in class tonight, and thankfully tears came. What a relief!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Performance Anxiety

I'm really nervous because I have a scene that I'm doing with a partner in tomorrow night's acting class. The scene is an emotional one in which I'm playing a character that is standing on a ledge contemplating jumping. My scene partner has a line that says, "Why are you crying?". That means I have to cry.

Have. to. cry.

On. cue.

Help! There are so many what ifs? What if I can't? What if I don't? What if I fake it and it looks, well, fake? I'm nervous. Pray for me.
Funny followup note:
I wrote my acting coach an e-mail and told him how nervous I am. He wrote me back the following...

You have to be there b4 you get there...
Don't stress it, be in the moment
and trust the true experience.
Oh, and as a side note...Martin Scorsese will
be a special guest tonight.
Just a's actually Mr Speilberg. :-)
Ha ha.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Thirteen Things I Remember About Living in NYC

1. Living in an apartment that was actually a room the size of a shoebox.
2. Feeling a little smug that I lived on Gramercy Park even though my apartment was actually a room the size of a shoebox.
3. Coming alive in acting school at The Neighborhood Playhouse.
4. My lunches at Tal Bagel, an authentic Israeli-run bagel store, where the employees spoke Hebrew to one another. My favorite meal was an everything bagel with lentil soup. Mmmm. Perfect on a cold winter's day.
5. Being in excellent shape from all of the walking I did, along with ballet and a modern dance/yoga combo class I was in.
6. Going dancing at LIFE and meeting a soap star who was on Another World. He was really nice in person!
7. Incredible friendships made with women from all over the world!
8. Standing atop the Empire State Building on the 4th of July as my Jewish friend, Jordan, told me what the true meaning of the Yiddish word "schmuck" was. There was a group of adolescent Orthodox Jewish boys standing around us snickering, thinking he was one funny guy. I also learned the words "schmendrick" and "shmeggege" that night--both having similar meanings.
9. Being told "You're very friendly...that frightens me" by a very grumpy woman in an elevator.
10. Admiring Van Gogh's "The Starry Night" at the MoMA.
11. Rollerblading in Central Park, in Union Square, and on the Hudson River Boardwalk.
12. Singing showtunes at the top of my lungs as subways would roll into the station. They were so loud that no one could hear me over their rumble. It was my way of having a personal moment in public. Kinda fun!
13. Being very aware that I was living my dreams and feeling grateful for it!

Monday, January 22, 2007

He Just Keeps Getting More and More Wonderful!

Wedding plans are well under way, and I've had some really fun moments lately asking my sister to be my matron of honor and a couple of dear friends to be my bridesmaids. Also, my friend Tray, who has been the minister of music at my church since I was 16, called tonight to give me the official word that he would be able to perform the ceremony. Very special.

Yesterday, after Annie agreed to be one of my bridesmaids, she was asking me about my fiance, and I was telling her how supportive he is of my acting career and how much that means to me. When I shared a specific example with her of his supportiveness, she let out a hearty laugh that said, "You really have found yourself a good man." She's so right.

Tonight, eSuitor and I were talking about my hopes for my career, and he said, "Chiros, baby!". I was like, "Chiros?". Then my seminary student hubby-to-be gave me a quick lesson in Greek. Apparently, in the New Testament, there are two words for time: chronos and chiros. Chronos refers to chronological, linear time. Chiros refers to a moment in time. He then said, "This is your moment, and I'm coming with you! I want to be here to support you and pray for you and go with you on this journey." My heart swelled so full it was brimming over with gratitude and joy. It is one thing for me to have a dream and to believe in it. But to have my man believe in me and my dreams with that kind of commitment...well, that in itself is a dream-come-true, and it means more to me that he will ever know!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

A Starry Starshine Report

I got inspired last week by J's cool new header over at "Thinking About...", so I decided that I might want an artsy little header of my own! The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh has long been one of my favorite paintings. Ever since I first saw it at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, I've been a fan. It is a colorful and beautiful painting of a starry night sky over a town in Provence with a steepled church.

The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh, as seen in the MoMA, NYC. Photo found here.

What struck me most about the painting was its texture. You could see the brush strokes cutting through thick, chunky oil paint. That's why I liked the close up photo (which I found here) that I used for my header. It lets you appreciate a portion of the entire painting and the richness of it's intricacies.

I hope you like it, too!

Friday, January 19, 2007

An Unexpected and Very Welcome Phone Call

Last night, I had arranged the pillows on my bed "just so" to hunker down for a little reading before bed. *lovely bell ring tone* *lovely bell ring tone* I looked at my cell phone to see who was calling, and much to my delight, it was Buttercup! Quick math told me that it was about 1:30 am in New York City, where she lives.

"Hi, Buttercup!"

"You're on California time, right?"

"I am, and you're up way past your bedtime!"

"I'm in a cab, on my way home from an event..."

And so began one of the best conversations I've had in a long time. We laughed and cried, we shared and had girl-talk, we covered her job interviews and my wedding plans.

I marvel that a blog-buddy is now a friend, and one that I imagine I'll have for years to come.

Thanks, Buttercup!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The "Children" of Narnia

After, I put up this post, my director sent me this photo of us "kids". It's my favorite of all the photos because it was taken of us in character and on the set.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

My Wedding Dress

You are about to become privy to top secret information. Don't you feel special? Until eSuitor asked for my hand, only a handful of people knew what is about to be revealed:

I have had my wedding dress since 2003.


And now, the story of what insiders up to this point have simply referred to as The Dress.

I first met my wedding dress in 2002. I had recently moved to Zaragoza, Spain, and I was taking a stroll down the city's main street, Paseo de la Independencia. It is a lovely, urban street lined with European architectural gems, wide pedestrian sidewalks, and indoor/outdoor cafes. It also has an El Corte Ingles and several specialty shops. One of these shops is Cymbeline, a French design house of wedding dresses.

The beautiful Paseo de la Independencia. Who wouldn't want to go shopping here?

As I was moseying down Independencia one September day, I glanced at the window of Cymbeline. There in the window was The Dress. It was love at first sight. I just saw it and thought, "That's my wedding dress." It is a beautiful creation that I can't describe in too much detail, because eSuitor is reading this. I can say, however, that it is a winter wedding dress, and if Narnia had a good queen, she would wear something like this.

Considering that eSuitor was merely a prayer request at the time, it didn't make a lot of sense to entertain the thought of buying the dress, but I couldn't get it out of my mind. Whenever I was on Independencia, I would stop at the window to visit my dress. I would introduce the dress to friends, and I even walked into the store with my best friend, Anne to show it to her once they took it out of the window.

The following May, my mom and John (my stepdad, who nicknamed me "Starshine") came to Zaragoza to visit me. I told them about the dress and how much I liked it, and they said they wanted to go see it. So we took a field trip to Cymbeline, and they suggested that I try it on. We all fell in love with it. I brought my dear friend Laura there and tried it on for her, and she burst into tears. The general consensus was BUY IT! So in a joint effort, Mom and John, my Dad, and I split the cost of the dress three ways, and I ordered the dress in my size. The store on Independencia sent the order to Paris and said it would arrive sometime in July.

In mid-July, I got a call from my mom's best friend that I should come home ASAP. John had been fighting a years-long battle with cancer, and the end was near. Within 24 hours, I packed up all my stuff, drove with some friends to Barcelona, and was on a plane home to Texas. One of the suitcases I brought home with me contained my wedding dress. As soon as I got home, and greeted my family, John wanted to see the dress. I put it on, and we took pictures together, since I knew we wouldn't have that opportunity on my wedding day. He died one week later. (The above photo is one that was taken the day I got home from Spain. I framed it and added a note about it, which was displayed on my wedding day.)

I will always treasure that moment, and I'm so happy to have those photos. As I'm walking down the aisle on a hot Texas day in June, I'll be wearing my winter wedding dress, and John will be there with me.

I wish John could have met eSuitor. He would have been very happy that I'm marrying such a great guy. I do believe he is rejoicing with me in Heaven! Yea, Johnny!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Be Still: A Meditation

Tonight, I met up with a group of friends from Texas, and one of them was telling us about a book she is reading that dissects the following scripture by starting with the entire verse and taking off the last word of the verse bit by bit. It thought it was a beautiful meditation on these simple and profound words of God: "Be still and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10a

Be still and know that I am God.

Be still and know that I am.

Be still and know that.

Be still and know.

Be still.


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Book Review: The Intimate Mystery

In this post, I wrote about my plans to participate in the "From the Stacks" Winter Reading Challenge. All I can say is that January is halfway over; and 1 down, 4 to go. I'm tryin' here, people, work with me!

The Intimate Mystery by Dan Allender and Tremper Longman is a thin book and an enjoyable read that basically answers the question "What is marriage?" What I liked most about this book is that it isn't at all a black-and-white approach, giving pat answers and wrapping them up in a bow. It acknowledges the complexity of a man and a woman and the mystery and wonder that ensues when the two are united as one in marriage. The authors also discuss marriage as God's design and that it is His plan to use marriage to draw us closer to Him. Quite beautiful, actually.

Rather than give a long book report, I thought I would close with my favorite passage of the book. It comes from a chapter entitled, "Connecting Communication".

A marriage is a womb of stories. This matrix generates new lives and stories, and in it old stories are brought to a point of completion and redemption. A couple will never become wed in the fullest sense of the word until they become each other's favorite stroyteller and listener.

Stories are meant to run the gamut from a glimpse into the day's activities, to mythic tall tales of one's family's origin, to the glories and tragedies of ones' personal and corporate past. In our culture a family is inevitably surrounded by stories as the television drones its tiresome fare, DVDs are replayed and music hints at stories embedded in its lyrics. We can't escape stories, nor would we want to, but few married couples make use of their stories for the sake of intertwining their souls....

The intertwining of stories past and present brings the deepest sense of closeness we will feel with another human being. If we deprive one another of significant stories, then we also keep our souls from being woven together.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Where I'm From

J and Maya's Granny were the first two people who I saw do this exercise. It's an unconventional and descriptive way to write about your roots. I loved it, so I thought I'd try it myself. If you'd like to try it for yourself, the template for this exercise can be found here.

I am from hugs, God bless yous, and I love yous. I am from the tree house in my backyard, from walkie-talkies, and playing “spy”. I am from the hibiscus flower, a descendant of the hibiscus king. I am from one present before bed on Christmas Eve and sister talks on cell phones, from Dede and Grampy, and Berta and Grampa. I am from divorce and let’s stick together. From you are special today, don’t you talk back young lady, where’s my hug?, and ¡guapa, tranquila! I am from Jesus loves you and believing it with all my heart. I'm from Kansas City and Texas, California and the Northeast. From sourdough bread and warm soup when it’s cold, and Tex-Mex all year long. From the triumphant trio, the postman, the Helena Rubenstein cosmetics salesman, the rodeo cowboy, and the stay at home mom. I am from old family photos that I recently discovered, scrabble games in front of the fire, Irish songs I’ve never heard and Irish blessings I’ve only read, from spunk and gumption, from passion and dreams, and the greatest of these is Love.

Description of photos from top to bottom:

-My grandmother Berta and her family. She is the second smallest child in the line-up.

-My sister, Dad, and me.

-My mom's side of the family plus my brother-in-law and eSuitor (now my fiancé!).

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Bonus Pre-Engagement Flashback!

Before we got engaged, eSuitor took me on this little adventure. I wrote the post back on Dec. 17th, but I decided to wait to post it until after he proposed. Just click on the link and enjoy!

I can't wipe this smile off my face! Here's another photo of our engagement day.

Monday, January 01, 2007

We're Engaged!!!

Happy New Year, everyone! 2007 is off to a great start!

eSuitor and I were in San Diego for New Year's Eve, which was lots of fun. We had dinner with some friends, watched Dream Girls (which we loved), and did a little dancing to welcome the New Year. He suggested that we stop in La Jolla this morning for some breakfast on our way back up to LA. Considering that we like checking out cool places in California and that we often go out for breakfast on the weekends, it didn't seem at all like an out-of-the-ordinary suggestion. We ate at a cafe with a pretty view of the water. Then, we decided to walk up a trail to the top of a cliff to take in the scenery. We sat down on a bench and looked out at the sea. I asked eSuitor if he wanted to talk about our New Year's resolutions. He said that he would indeed. He said that he had one in particular in mind--getting married--and he wondered what I would think about that. I told him that I liked that resolution a lot. Then he said some beautiful and sweet things to me about how much I mean to him and how much he loves me and concluded that getting married would be a definite resolution. "But we can't do that without a ring," he said. Then he put his hand in his pocket and pulled out the lovliest ring, dropped to one knee and asked, "Will you marry me?" I said, "Yes."

Then we kissed.

This is the ring. It's a canary diamond surrounded by pretty white sparklers!

This is the place where we got engaged. I am so blessed and feel truly honored to be marrying such a wonderful man. I love him so much, and my heart is full!