Tuesday, February 27, 2007

On a lighter note...

Thanks to all of you who left such supportive comments on yesterday's post. They were very affirming, and that is an awesome gift you gave me! Thank you!

Back in the land of good times and fun, I've had two great things happen over the past two days. The first was last night, when eSuitor called to say he was driving up to my place to COOK. ME. DINNER.

My man loves to cook for me, and what can I say? I love the food he fixes! He's such a giver! Thanks so much, sweetie!

He made me this delicious Roman-style chicken.

Today, four of my co-workers took me out for lunch and showed up with gift bags. They gave me an impromtu bridal shower! It was so fun to open wedding presents at the table. I felt so blessed and very loved by my friends.

The gift I'm holding in the above photo is a set of four photo albums for: showers, rehearsal dinner, wedding day, and honeymoon photos.

Life is so sweet!

Taking Care of my Heart

Last Sunday afternoon, I went to one of my acting classes, as is my usual routine. It's been a class I've benefitted from greatly, so I've continued going and continued growing.

However, last Sunday's class took a miserable turn south. Halfway through class, the teacher was talking, and I was deep in thought, not paying attention, and had a big yawn. My teacher noticed, as I was right in front of her, and I immediately knew I had offended her. I apologized sincerely. She asked me if she was keeping me up. I apologized again. Then she proceeded to scold me in front of my classmates for the next 3-5 minutes, accusing me of pushing her buttons. I was so humiliated, tears started to roll down my cheeks. Finally, seeing that she had made me cry, she said, "You know, sometimes the best lessons are learned when we've been hurt. Maybe this is one of those times." She then went on to continue teaching the class. My mind was reeling, and it was hard for me to pay attention at all. All that I could focus on was my bruised soul that had just taken a beating. She stopped the class again to call me out and asked if I was "going to be able to remain present". I said I would try, but that it was difficult because I was hurt.

I made it through class, and when it was over, the teacher asked me if I wanted to stay and talk or if I would prefer to talk on the phone later in the week. I said that I would be willing to stay and talk (hoping that we could work through this). I followed her into her office and thinking that I could make amends. However, she was still seeing red and proceeded to berate me all over again. This time, she imitated my yawn (so I could get a visual, and know the depths of my insult to her) and twice imitated me staring into space (with my eyes crossed, no less!). I kept listening, hoping that the tidal wave of anger would end and I could speak. But when I opened my mouth to speak, she snapped, "What?". I paused and said, "I don't think anything I say right now will help." She agreed and told me that she needed to calm down before her next class and said we could talk later in the week.

She called me the next day and left a voice message. She said that she was sorry that class wasn't a real "positive experience for you". However, she hoped that her stern words would help me to avoid such a situation in the future. (In other words, she hopes that I learned never to yawn in the presence of anyone on a set, especially the director. She told me that if I were to do that I would get thrown off the set.) She said that her heart was no longer pumping and she was ready to let me have my turn to speak.

The thing is, what would I say? I had already offered my apologies, which she said she wasn't interested in. And frankly, I felt that I was actually the one deserving of an apology. I decided not to call her back. My soul felt too raw and rattled from our last conversation, and I didn't want to be on the receiving end of that kind of verbal/emotional abuse again. eSuitor told me that the best gift I could give her was to not go back to her class again. Perhaps that would communicate that it is not okay to treat another human being that way. I agreed.

I didn't go back to class on Sunday. My teacher called me again tonight. She left me a voicemail wondering if my absence means that I am not coming back to class. She asked me to call her. Something in me (the part that wants to protect myself from further nastiness) doesn't want to return her call. I decided to send her an e-mail instead, saying that I am still processing what happened in class, and that I will contact her if I decide to come back. I tried to make it diplomatic while still being honest about the fact that her actions are impacting me and influencing my decision of whether to return to class.

I feel 10% like a wuss for not picking up the phone and talking to her in person. But I feel 90% wise for protecting my spirit, which deserves no more of her biting words or nastiness. If I were dealing with a normal human being who wanted to work things out, I would call. However, I don't know who I'm dealing with. I only know that she is not a safe person for me to expose myself to, so I am listening to the voice inside that is telling me to steer clear.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Odd Reality

Last night, after watching the Academy Awards on TV with eSuitor, I found myself saying, “I think I should drive home by an alternate route because Oscar traffic is going to be ridiculous.”

Photo found here.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

What do you know?

Operation String Bikini Update:

As of this morning, I was down two and a half pounds from last week, which is great, since somehow I had gained a stray pound last week.

So, here's the official tally from where I started (and yes, I'm counting half pounds!):

one and a half pounds lost
thirteen and a half pounds to go

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Mr. Bigglesworth, do you think I'm...evil?

On Saturday, I auditioned for the 168 Hour Film Project, which is a competition among several production teams to write, cast, shoot, and edit a ten minute short film. Each of the production teams receives a Bible verse on the first day of the competition, on which to base their story. On Sunday, I found out that I got cast in one of the projects. My team's verse is 2 Timothy 3:12: "In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." I'm so excited about my character, Angela, who appears to be the supportive girlfriend of the protagonist, but in the end turns out to be the most evil character in the film. It should be fun, as I generally don't get to play the "bad guy".

We rehearsed this evening, and shooting starts tomorrow. By Saturday, the shooting portion will be done, and post production will begin. The final product will be turned in for judging on Wednesday, February 28th. The films will then be viewed and judged. The festival itself will be March 23rd and 24th in Glendale, California. The films will be screened at that time. If you're in the LA area and you'd like to attend the festival, keep checking the above website for ticket info.

The Chronicles of Hernia has a Website!

I was in a film that was shot in December called The Chronicles of Hernia. It has a website now!!!

Friday, February 16, 2007

My First Blogiversary!

Yep, today marks the one year anniversary of my first post on The Starshine Report. I never knew how fulfilling, addicting, and fun blogging could be. Before I started this blog, I was both a journaler and a scrapbooker. However, since I began this blog, I have hardly done either because blogging kind of takes care of both at the same time! Plus, it's interactive. I'm so thankful for the sense of community I've found through my blog--that has been the most unexpected blessing that came with this blog. Thank you for reading and commenting here!

To commemorate this day, I thought I'd do a "year in review", selecting my favorite blog entry from each month of the last year. Just click on a link, if anything looks interesting!

In February 2006, I took my social life online when I signed up for eHarmony.

In March, I had fun inventing new vocabulary words, all beginning with "e", of course.

In April, two of my eMatches met each other at a party.

In May, my Dad's fighting spirit inspired me, as he endured two grueling courses of chemotherapy. I grew reminiscent as I thought about my favorite times with him.

In June, I fell in love.

In July, eSuitor told me he loves me.

In August, my galant knight broke wind.

In September, I was forced to remove a gigantic plank from my eye, bless my heart.

In October, I felt a lot of anxiety and had to remember to breathe.

In November, even fairy tales can be scary.

In December, I was in my first film!

In January 2007, eSuitor asked me to marry him!

In February, love was spiritual.

Thanks for sharing this journey with me!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

One Year Ago

A year ago tomorrow, I wrote my first post on this blog. In that post, I "went public" about my recent decision to join eHarmony.

A year ago yesterday, I was out on a date with the first guy I met through eHarmony. He took me to see Mama Mia, which was a really fun musical. I didn't hear from him the next day, but I did hear from him the day after that, when he told me that he was getting back together with his ex-girlfriend. You can read about that emotional rollercoaster ride here. Thank You, Jesus, for not letting that work out, because...

A year ago today, I was matched with eSuitor. As soon as I saw this picture and read his profile, I knew I wanted to meet him. I was hoping that he would initiate communication with me, but after about five days, my patience ran out, and I had to clickety-click-click on him. (He likes to tell me that I wasn't being forward, I simply "dropped the hanky". Thankfully, he picked it up!) He answered my request for communication right away, and soon we were e-mailing, talking on the phone and out on our first date.

We had our first date at a Thai restaurant in Pasadena. Dinner went so well that we decided to take a walk through Old Town and we stopped in an ice cream parlor for dessert. Before saying goodbye that night, he told me that he wanted to see me again. I said that would be great. And we've continued to see each other ever since. And it's been great! Here is a photo of last night's dinner at the same Thai restaurant. We were both in a haze of in-love-ness.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!

V is for valuable. You are my treasure.
A is for always. That’s how long I’ll love you.
L is for love. The kind you never question.
E is for enduring. That’s how love is.
T is for thankful. To our Lord Who brought us together.
I is for intimacy. Into me see.
N is for new. Here’s to our first Valentine’s Day together!
E is for eSuitor, of course. My love, my hubby-to-be, my sweet Valentine.

I love you.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Fessing up and ouch, it hurts!

I was so hoping to be able to say that I at least lost one pound this week, but alas, when I stepped on the scale this morning, it told me that I had gained one! AHHH!

Now I have 16 pounds to go! Okay, I know, it's probably just water weight or something, but still! I wonder if it has anything to do with the caramel corn I ate yesterday. :)

As much as it pains my ego to do this, I am going to write every Tuesday about my progress (or lack thereof) in Operation: String Bikini. This kind of accountability can only help.

Of all the advice I've been given to make weight loss and better health my new reality, I think the best has been this: commit to it. If I want to lose weight, I need to commit to it, and not just think about it. And for me, the only way I can commit to it is by being very specific about how I will make this happen.

I think the first specific thing I can do is a little menu planning. So starting today, I am going to write down what I can eat and when, and I will not stray from it. I am commiting to do this for the next week. I'll let you know my results next Tuesday! Thanks for your support.

In other important news, I found out my Sesame Street personality (thanks, Cherry!):

You Are Ernie

Playful and childlike, you are everyone's favorite friend - even if your goofy antics get annoying at times.

You are usually feeling: Amused - you are very easily entertained

You are famous for: Always making people smile. From your silly songs to your wild pranks, you keep things fun.

How you life your life: With ease. Life is only difficult when your friends won't play with you!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

There's a Bright Golden Haze on the Meadow

As a new week is looming before me, I've got a beautiful feeling that it's gonna be a good one. Let's look forward to what fabulousness I hope that this week will hold.

Monday: After work, I'm gonna come home and read. It's been a while since I've been able to delve into something good, so I want to treat myself to time with a good book.

Tuesday: I'll be giving you my first weekly update for Operation: String Bikini. You will get the truth of whether or not weight has been lost this week. I know you're waiting with baited breath. Will also hang out with the Gilmore Girls.

Wednesday: It's going to be my first Valentine's Day with eSuitor. We're going to recreate our first date. Dinner at a Thai restaurant followed by dessert at an ice cream parlor. (Yes, I will be breaking my diet for ice cream on Valentine's Day.) I'll also get to wear my new shirt that eSuitor gave me as an early Valentine's Day present from Ann Taylor Loft.

Thursday: The Office and Gray's Anatomy. 'Nuff said.

Friday: Fridays are my favorite day of the week. Plus, I have acting class. :)

Saturday: I have an audition!!! And! I get to see eSuitor!!!

Here's to a great week!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Mission Statement

Do you have a personal mission statement? After moving to California, I came up with one for myself. I don't live by it perfectly by any stretch, but I like it, and it seems to encapsulate the way I want to live my life in a general sense.

My Mission Statement:

By the power of the Holy Spirit,
today and everyday,
I will glorify the Lord in my body, mind, spirit and soul
in my relationship with Him,
my relationships with others,
my relationship with myself,
and through the gifts He has given me.

I started with "the power of the Holy Spirit" because without God's power motivating me, the whole thing would be doomed from the start. "Today and everyday" because I want to live from a place of consistency. "Glorify the Lord" because it seems to me that bringing my Maker glory with the life He has given me is a fitting way to live from a place of gratitude. "In my body, mind, spirit and soul" because I am a whole person and I don't want to isolate parts of myself. "In my relationships with Him, with others, and with myself" because relationships are what it's all about, and each of those relationships is important. "Through the gifts He has given me" because I want to live from a place of passion and dreams, doing what He has created me to do in this life!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Thirteen Shakespearean Quotes

Shakespeare on...


"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages."
--From As You Like It


"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet."
--From Romeo and Juliet

Pursuing a Woman

O, mistress mine, where are you roaming?
O, stay and hear; your true love's coming,
That can sing both high and low:
Trip no further, pretty sweeting;
Every wise man's son doth know.
What is love? 'tis not hereafter;
Present mirth hath present laughter;
What's to come is still unsure.
In delay there lies no plenty;
Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty;
Youth's a stuff will not endure.
--From Twelfth Night

Analyzing Love Letters

"Lo, here in one line is his name twice writ:
'Poor forlorn Proteus, passionate Proteus,
To the sweet Julia':--that I'll tear away;
And yet I will not, sith so prettily
He couples it to his complaining names:
Thus will I fold them one upon another:
Now kiss, embrace, contend, do what you will.
--The Two Gentlemen of Verona (I, ii, 23-24)

True Love

"Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind".
--A Midsummer Night's Dream


"Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great,
some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them".
--Twelfth Night


"The miserable have no other medicine but only hope".
--Measure for Measure


"I cannot tell what the dickens his name is".
--The Merry Wives of Windsor


"The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose".
--The Merchant of Venice


"I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes?
Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions?"
--From The Merchant of Venice

Inspiration and Imagination

"O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention,
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act,
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!
Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,
Assume the port of Mars; and at his heels,
Leash'd in like hounds, should famine, sword, and fire
Crouch for employment."
--Henry V, Prologue

Love that Lasts

Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken
--Sonnet 116


"God shall be my hope, my stay, my guide, and lantern to my feet"
--Henry VI, Act ii, Sc.3

Monday, February 05, 2007

Operation: String Bikini

Okay, people. It was not too long ago that I said here that I'm happy with my body and that I even like my curves. It's true--I do! I am not skinny, and I never will be. I'm at peace with that. I really am.

However, I am not in the best shape of my life, and both my commercial and theatrical acting teachers have affirmed that it would certainly help my acting career if I shed some pounds. The truth is that I have sacrificed a lot for my dreams, and I am willing to make some more sacrifices (ie. chocolate) to move me closer to realizing my them.

Also, I have the added incentive of knowing that I will be on a beach in Hawaii in just five months. I've never worn a string bikini in my life, but I definitely want to sport one for my man on our honeymoon. So it's time for this sister to kick it into cuervo, and jump back on the weight loss train. Thunder thighs, be gone! Operation: String Bikini has begun. I'm writing this down for the whole world to see: my goal is to lose 15 pounds over the next five months. I'll be posting a weekly update, so you all can hold me accountable.

Advice, thoughts, and encouragement are most certainly welcome along this journey.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Transforming Love

Since eSuitor and I live pretty far apart, our weekends are precious time to spend together, as we don't see much of each other during the week. Today, as we were driving from Santa Monica to Century City, he asked me what I want from our marriage-to-be. I gave my answers and then reciprocated the question. Our answers were stated differently, but they essentially expressed the same desire for intimacy--to know and be known by each other. And then he added one more thought: "I hope also that my relationship with God will deepen as a result of our marriage."

It was an interesting thought that got me wondering "How in the world will that play out?" Both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible portray marriage as God's great symbol of the relationship between Christ and His Church. In other words, the relationship between husband and wife is a reflection of the relationship between God and His people. The intimacy we desire and find in marriage is the type of oneness and mutual knowing that God desires for us to find in Him and (He in us).

There are many theories on why God wants us to pray if He already knows our mind and our hearts. The best explanation I ever heard is this: because God wants an intimate relationship with us. Even though He already knows our hearts, He wants us to pour them out to Him. It's like the intuitive mother who already knows why her child is upset--she still encourages the child to confide in her.

Tonight when eSuitor and I were saying goodbye, I felt so loved and so happy. So much love in my heart for him. A sweet intimacy shared between us. And I thought, if this is only a reflection of the kind of intimacy God wants with me, there is no way marriage won't influence my relationship with Him.

The above painting is by artist Thoti GacĂ­as, my former boss in Spain. Click here for his blog. And here to see his gallery of paintings.