Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Alphabet Meme

I got the idea for this from Ally Bean's Blog.

Accept that while God is loving, life is far from perfect. We all have our share of hard times.
Breaking dishes and glasses happens and is no cause for upset.
Create everyday. It is a way to identify with God as Creator.
Decide to commit to the one you love, and then do it with abandon.
Explore your thoughts and feelings. Opinions are a good thing.
Forgive those who have hurt you. It will bring blessing and freedom to both of you.
Give with a happy heart.
Hope is what we need to face tomorrow.
Ignore negativity and judgment from others. They don't have your best interest at heart.
Journey through life with a sense of adventure, the heart of a seeker, and ears to hear the voice of God.
Know that you are not alone.
Love as if you have an endless supply!
Manage well the life you have been given.
Notice how each day is a gift.
Open your heart to God.
Play like you did before they took away recess.
Question what you don't understand. There is no such thing as a stupid question.
Relax
in an overstuffed chair with your feet propped out on an ottoman. Ahhh.
Share yourself with the world! There is only one you, so express yourself!
Try with all your might, and if it doesn't work...try again!
Use your brains.
Value family relationships.
Work at it with all of your heart.
X-ray as little as possible. Even x-rays are invasive.
Yield to pedestrians.
Zoom is the name of the man who lives on the moon who comes down to Earth to sing me a birthday tune every year! It's true! :) (Thanks, Mom.)

The Rules

Rule #1: Using the first word of my sentence as a prompt, write your own sentence that captures you/your essence!

Rule #2: This is a self-tagging meme. If you like it, then please do it, with my compliments.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

As if putting you through Operation: String Bikini weren't enough.

As you know, my attempt at pre-wedding weight loss was a total bust. I got over it, though, and wore my string bikinis in Kauai anyway. And my man thinks I'm hot. *bonus!* (I actually made Husby take this picture of me in Kauai as proof that I really wore it! :) It's amazing what I'll do for my blog!)

However, I have been having some weird gastrointestinal issues lately, and frankly...I'm sick of waking up feeling full from dinner the night before when I didn't even eat that much. So, I decided on Saturday night that I would take action, and this week, I have been eating a vegetarian diet. Lots of fibre and fruits and vegetables.

Oh, and I'm doing a colon cleanse, too.

That's right. I'm taking my colon to the cleaners! (Aren't you glad you're still reading? I'm really glad that you are because Husby has told me that I am no longer allowed to talk to him about poop for thirty more years. He figures that by then we'll be old enough for those discussions.)

It's a 10-day cleanse that involves (step 1) taking three pills a half-hour before dinner that are supposed to improve your liver function. A half-hour after dinner, I dissolve a scoop of fibre in water and try to drink it without regurgitating (step 2). It helps if I hold my nose, as it is the consistency of cold, watered-down oatmeal with a hint of seaweed scent. Finally (step 3), I take three more pills that "sweep" my colon free of the toxins that were captured during during steps 1 & 2. Let's just say that thus far, the cleanse has delivered on its promise of a healthy morning BM. (Ewww. I hate that expression! I much prefer the term "to do a doodle".)

According to a speaker I once heard, the human colon can hold up to 30 pounds of unpassed food. A cleansed colon is also widely acknowleged as an important part of overall health. A healthy colon promotes a healthy body. I'm hopeful that at the end of this ten day cleanse, I may drop a few pounds and feel a little lighter on my feet. I don't know how long I'll continue with the veggie diet. I did it once for a year in 2002-2003, and I dropped a significant amount of weight. I'm not too fixated on being a certain "number", but I would like to wake up in the morning feeling vital and healthy instead of full and lethargic.

Hope you're having a doodle-y-do-da day!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Bars and Parties: Defined

As a recovering packrat, I have been sorting through my boxes of Things Saved from the Nineties. In doing so, I came accross a piece of paper with the following definitions...

Bars - Places people go who don't know one another, but pretend to be old friends.

Parties - Places where friends of friends go to become more than friends.

I can only imagine that I came up with these definitions in New York City during my first year or two as a single woman, living on my own, just trying to make sense of the world aournd me. I think my definitions hold at least a kernel of truth!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Never Chase a Man or a Train...There's Always Another One Coming!

The above nugget of wisdom has been in my family for three generations of women. It started with my grandmother who passed it on to my mother who passed it on to my sister and me. Surely, we will pass it on to our own daughters, as well!

I so loved this saying that it served as the inspiration for a song that I wrote after I finally managed to let go of my first love. (Lyrics below.) I wrote it as if my grandmother were singing to me. I had the chance to perform the song at an ExpresArte arts exhibition when I lived in Spain. Tanel Garcia composed the accompaniment. I noticed that Blogger now has an "add video" feature, so here it is:

video

Tomorrow is Another Day

Let him go, sweet child.
Let him go, my dear.
Let that boy fly away.
And remember what Scarlett O'Hara said, child:
Tomorrow is another day!
Oh, never, never chase a man,
Or a train, for that matter.
There's always another on the way.
Oh, the pieces of your heart
May be broken and shatterd,
But tomorrow is another day.
So wipe away your tears,
And put on a smile,
'Cause gray's not your color, honey,
And blue's not your style.
You've got your life ahead of you,
So chin up for the road!
You know that I'll be with you
To help you carry your load.
And if I kick the bucket, darlin',
What you gonna do?
You know that the Good Lord's right here,
Watching over you!
And should I stick around,
The Lord is still here to say,
"Remember, my sweet child,
Tomorrow is another day!"
Oh, yeah!
Tomorrow is a brand new, fresh start,
Come and get it, one of a kind day!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Morning Haze, Perfect Love, and Follow-Through

I woke up a few minutes ago, and I'm still in a morning haze. There is something cool about writing through the haze. My inhibitions haven't quite kicked in yet. There is a certain level of unselfconsciousness that accompanies the morning haze. An honesty. I have had a personal breakthrough this week. Hubs and I had a great conversation about five days ago. I was feeling a bit defeated and overwhelmed in terms of how in the world my acting career will ever get going. After listening and really trying to hear where I was coming from, he asked me a great question: What is holding you back?

As I stopped to evaluate what it was that was holding me back, the thing I came up with was fear. Fear sneaks in so subtly. I realized that I am afraid of having nothing to show for my acting dreams. Afraid of bothering my agent if I call to check in. Afraid that if I get a certain acting job that I won't be able to deliver the goods.

I asked the Lord in prayer what to do about this, and I felt that His answer to me was "Follow through." Just follow through on things! So I have been taking that morsel of truth to heart, and amazing things have happened. I decided to pick up the phone and make two phone calls that I've needed to make, but haven't.

The first call was to Actors' Equity Association, the union I am part of for stage actors. I had heard and read that it might be possible for me to qualify to join the Screen Actors' Guild through my AEA affiliation. A few minutes after calling to ask, I had ascertained that indeed, I did qualify, and all I needed to do was pop into the Equity office to pick up a letter and walk it down the hall to the SAG office, which is in the very same building. Tuesday, I did just that, and the SAG office told me that I should be getting a letter in the mail inviting me to join. Easy peasy!

The second call I have needed to make is to my agency, that I genuinely like, but has only sent me out on one audition in the past six months. I called yesterday and spoke to a new agent working there. He couldn't have been kinder to me, and he scheduled me to come in for a meeting this afternoon.

I am just a little amazed at how fear has been holding me back.

Two Scripture verses that I have been meditating on during the past few days are:

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear...

Romans 8:15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."

God is love, and as our Father, He wants to impart His love to me...that perfect love that drives out fear. I have been really blessed by His love this week, as I've seen it in action...driving out my fear, and giving me the courage to follow through!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Interviewed by Autumn's Mom

My friend Dot over at Autumn's Mom sent me these questions for a bloggy interview:

1. Do you have any auditions or projects coming up you'd like to tell us about?

I had an audition last weekend for an infomercial for Bose (the sound system company). In the audition, I played a wife/mother character playing a game of Chutes and Ladders with my "husband and daughter". It was a bizarre experience because the man auditioning as the husband/father character was old enough to be my Dad, and the girl playing the daughter was 14 years old ... too old to be my daughter. They gave us three pieces of hard candy to use as fake dice and game pieces. After each of us had taken a turn rolling the "dice", we were instructed to look out the imaginary window at the neighbor's white dog running around in the mud. I didn't get the part.

Some good news on the acting front ... today I found out that I will be able to join the Screen Actors' Guild (SAG)! This is a significant victory for an actor in Hollywood. In addition to gaining union membership, it means that I'll get free DVDs of nominated films to vote in the annual SAG awards! Woo-hoo! :)

2. I think you have a great eye for decorating, would you consider this as a career?

Thank you for the compliment! This is my first real pass at home decorating. And while I have thoroughly enjoyed it as a creative outlet, I don't think I would consider it as a career. I just love acting too much! Fun side note: Laurie Smith on Trading Spaces is a dear friend of mine! I think I'll leave the professional decorating jobs to her!

3. Tell us 3 things you can't live without.

God in my life.
Quality relationships with family and friends.
An outlet for creative expression.

4. What do you love most about being married?

Not having to say goodbye at the end of a date. Until we got married, we lived about an hour apart, and I always felt so sad to say goodbye at the end of a great day together. Not anymore, baby! Living under one roof is the best!

5. Do you iron? Or fluff in the dryer?

I'm a 5% ironer and a 95% fluff in the dryer-er. I love wearing natural fibers, but they wrinkle so easily, so when a nice, soft synthetic fiber comes around, I'm all over that! Lately, I like modal fabrics. So soft and so wrinkle-free!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Morning

Good morning, O blank slate of a day!
I wonder what will fill your pages?
Chores and toothbrushings,
A workout and work itself.
Still, those are only the text of today.
I wonder what wonderful or sorrowful subtext
Will fill the white lines of today?

The answer lies only in the Hand of my Savior,
My God in Whom I trust.

Father, take today and make it Your own.
Use me, and make something beautiful of my life today.
I offer myself to You.

Amen.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Putting it Together, Bit by Bit!

Husby and I have continued to feather our nest. Here are some pics of our recent "creations".
We went to IKEA and bought a couple of matching bookcases which now flank our TV cabinet of the same IKEA family of furniture. Now my plays and theatre books have a home. I tried to cutes-up each shelf with some kind of decorative thing, whether it was with artwork, a framed photo, or this groovy calla-lily vase:

Husby had this cool crown-moulding shelf from his bachelor days, but he hadn't ever hung it up. We decided to put it up high, above our entryway/entrance to our living area:

I bought the eucalpytis, curly deals, and red berries at Michael's, and ... ohmigosh, I think I might be turning into my mother!!! (Yea! I always hoped I'd inherit part of her design flair!)

This groovy vase was a wedding gift. We bought the river rocks to fill it at IKEA for uber-cheap, and bought the cherry blossom branches at Crate & Barrell. We prefer plants that you dust over plants that you water.

This is our kitchen table, which is set completely with awesome wedding gifts we received from several of our dear friends:

But don't be fooled, we still manage to have dinner in front of the TV about once a week on our trusty TV trays, a wedding gift from Buttercup:

Life is good.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Catherine Rocked Minute Maid Stadium

Before I moved to Los Angeles, I had the privilege of living with Catherine. She is a fantastic human being in nearly every way! One of her many talents is her awesome singing voice. A few months ago, the Houston Astros had a singing contest, and the winner would get to sing the National Anthem at an Astros game. Well, thanks to Catherine's sneaky bro-in-law, he signed her up and got her to audition. Well, of course, Ms. Thing knocked the judges socks off. Catherine is so well loved that a HUGE group of 125 people from our hometown went to the game last week to cheer her on. This video of her singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" brought tears to my eyes. She totally rocked!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Everyday Driver

It is always very exciting here in L.A. when someone in the entertainment industry quits their dreaded day job to pursue what they are really meant to do. To most "sensible" people, this is a very bizarre phenomena, as they have no category for such a move whatsoever. We artsy types, however, give each other big hugs and shouts of congratulations--"You quit your job?!! That's FANTASTIC!"

I gave one such congratulatory shout to my friend Todd Deeken a few months ago when he left his day job to pursue his dream job. The amazing thing about Todd, though, is that he is already making his dream a reality ... reality television, that is!

He and his good friend Paul Schmucker have teamed up to take their act on the road...literally! They have combined their passions for entertainment and cars to create their very own show. It's called Everyday Driver, and it's awesome. Check out their website and watch the teaser for their pilot episode. Hopefully, we'll be seeing them on television very soon!

Go, Todd! (But not too fast!)

Inspiration

This post is an exercise in discipline. I'm reading a great book right now called Walking on Water by Madeleine L'Engle. The subtitle is Reflections on Faith and Art. It is one of those books that is jam packed full of so many nuggets of wisdom that I must read it very slowly, so that I can digest it paragraph by paragraph.
One of the things she talks about is that the role of a writer (or any artist, for that matter) is to be a servant of the work. Often, the work created by the artist is far greater than anything the artist really was capable of. Still, the job of the artist is to be disciplined about doing the work, even when there is no great inspiration--the idea being that when inspiration strikes, you will be ready for it because you will already be in the trenches, accustomed to the discipline of your artform.

It reminded me about my acting school days in NYC, and how the first rule of theatre (and acting school) is to show up on time! Get there! Be present! ... And it's amazing what can happen once you get there.

Reading about this came at just the right time. I don't feel particularly inspired to write about anything in particular today, but here I am...writing anyway...and as Providence would have it, I have just published my 300th post.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I Found the Other Half of my Orange!

Last week, I received a happy e-mail of congratulations from a friend of mine who is a member of my church in Spain. She signed off her e-mail saying, que seas muy feliz en compaƱia de tu media naranja--which when translated literally means, "may you be very happy in the company of the other half of your orange". You see, "media naranja" is the Spanish expression for "soul mate". I just love it...the idea that after some (or much) searching, you find that one person whose orange half fits just right with your own.

The very same day that I received that e-mail,
Buttercup called me, and she asked me if I believe in soul mates. (My blog buddy and friend, J, wrote her thoughts about soul mates here). In answer to Buttercup's question, I responded, "I do and I don't."

As a single person, it used to drive me crazy when people would tell me that I would just know when I meet my husband-to-be. It just sounded so mystical--as if the trees would blow and I would hear the wind whisper, "He is the one", and I would never question my feelings because, well, I would just know.


I would say that when eSuitor and I started dating, I felt a chemistry with him right off the bat, but it took time before I was pretty certain that he was the one. It was more a process of getting to know him over time, waiting to see if red flags appeared, being pleasantly surprised when they didn't, working through conflict with him, praying about our relationship, and having an abiding sense of peace about our relationship over an extended period of time. After about four months of dating, we told one another that we thought we had found marriage partners in each other, but we didn't get engaged for another six months. We wanted to go through the four seasons together, to see what issues would surface for us over that time, etc. Eventually, we did know, but it wasn't a mystical sense of just knowing as much as an I really love you and want to marry you and feel peace and God's blessing on our relationship kind of knowing.

I view the idea of soul mates the same way. Is Hubs the one man in the world who I was meant to meet and marry? Was our relationship and marriage ordained from the foundations of the earth? I honestly don't really know. I would love to think so, and sometimes I do think so! I do believe that God knew we would marry from the beginning of time, as He is omniscient, but I don't know if our union was preordained.

What I do know is that Hubs is my soul mate in the sense that when we married, we married each other not just mind and body, but body, mind and soul. Therefore, our souls are truly mated for life, bound by our commitment to each other that we made when we took our vows before God and many witnesses (including Buttercup!). So yes, I am married to my soul mate.

Indeed, I have found the other half of my orange!


Photo found here.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Happy Honeymooners

Husby and I had a wonderful honeymoon in Kauai. I had never been to Hawaii before, and I always hoped that I would go there on my honeymoon.

The island of Kauai is one of the least commercialized of the islands--not a lot of high rise hotels--lots of natural, unspoiled beauty. We stayed for the first half of our time in the more arid town of Poipu in a condo that Husby found online. It was fabulous--just renovated and nicely decorated. We were on the third floor and every night we slept with our sliding glass door open, as the sound of the crashing waves sang us nature's sweet lullaby.

At "The Beach House" restuarant in Poipu at sunset.

We spent the second half of our time in the tropical, more humid climate of Princeville, located on Hanalei Bay. I absolutely fell in love with Hanalei Bay and the north end of the island in general. I'm still dreaming of the Hanalei Gormet (a local lunch place) where we went twice to feast on their fresh grilled Ahi (yellowfin tuna) sandwiches with dill mayo. YUM!

An afternoon shower would roll through like clockwork, dust us with a little rain, and leave almost as quickly as it came...one time even leaving a rainbow in its wake (not pictured here).


The Taro fields of Hanalei. Isn't the lushness gorgeous?

A view of Bali Hai and Hanalei Bay at sunset.

Highlights of the trip included:

~A helicopter tour of the island the allowed us to see the Na Pali Coast and the inside of a volcano with waterfalls cascading down the side.




~Breakfast on the terrace of our hotel as we took in the spectacular view. We agreed that it must be one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Sometimes the previous day's showers would create waterfalls down the mountainside. Now that we're home, we like to sit at our breakfast table and remember the incredible view we had in Kauai and then say things like, "Where did our waterfall go?"

One Sunday morning, our hotel had an incredible brunch buffet. Since they were offering it, I thought it really would be wrong NOT to partake of a Grand Marnier crepe with vanilla bean ice cream and hot fudge. Yeah...I made the right decision!

~Snorkeling at Ke'e Beach with sea turtles.


Beautiful Ke'e Beach is in a peaceful cove protected by a coral reef, which makes for little wave action and clear water--perfect conditions for snorkeling.

~Zip lining across the valley below Mt. Waialeale--the wettest place on earth!



~Going to Secret Beach and swimming in the Secret Lava Pools. So much unspoiled beauty!


~Watching the sunset from the hammock of our hotel on our last night was pretty romantic!

Monday, August 06, 2007

"If only I could go back and relive those years with the experience I have now!"

Last night, Hubs and I had the opportunity to attend the wedding of a couple who are 23 or 24 years old. It was a beautiful wedding at a seaside resort in south Orange County. They looked so happy, so in love, and so young!

Hubs turned 40 right before our wedding and I was 32 . I think both of us were musing about what it would have been like for us to have met ten years earlier...oh, to have had those years together--to not have been alone for so long!

We were talking about it on the way home. I mentioned that while I think I would have been able to get married and stay married at 23 years old, I didn't personally have the maturity at the time to do it well. Then we talked about all of the wonderful experiences we had during our single years. He lived in Romania for two years, spent a couple summers in Italy, and led a college ministry team in Miami. I got to go to acting school in NYC, travel around the country as an actress doing shows, and spend a year living in Spain. All incredible experiences that would not have been as easily accomplished had we been married.

We talked about how many times in life we have said, "If only I could go back and relive such-and-such season of life with the experience that I have now!" And we suddenly had the fun realization that by marrying later in life, we are being afforded that fantastic blessing. We are having the newlywed experience as thirty- and forty-somethings!

The timing we would have chosen for us to meet wasn't God's timing, but He clearly has His reasons, and it's just nice when you can stumble upon one of them unexpectedly. Thank You, Lord!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Thirteen Wedding Moments Caught on Film


I just got the proofs back from my wedding photographer today. They are in a low resolution format, so they aren't going to be as crisp as the "final copies" will be, but I can't wait to show them to you. So here are thirteen (okay, maybe a few more than that) of my faves. My photographer sent me 900 proofs, and I picked out my favorite 200 and put them here if you'd like to see a more complete selection.
In the bride's room at the church getting ready:


Just before the ceremony with my Dad:

During the ceremony taking our vows:


The lighting of the unity candle:

You may now kiss the bride!:

Our family and the wedding party:

Our first dance:


Dancing with my Dad to "Coca-Cola Cowboy":




Telling my Dad and sister that I boo-hoo'd my way down the aisle!:

My mother-in-law greeting the new Mrs.:

Oh, that yummy chocolate wedding cake!:


Whenever I dreamed about my wedding, I always hoped to have a live band play at my reception because I love dancing. So does Hubs. So did a whole lot of people who came to celebrate with us! We had so much fun on the dance floor!:

Because my sister and I LOVE the opportunity to belt out a good song, we couldn't resist the opportunity to sing with the band. It was like karaoke, only live and with a room full of adoring fans! I sang my favorite song, "Son of a Preacher Man":
Then Jilly rocked the house with "I Will Survive":

The band had an absolutely fierce lead singer who brought down the house with the last number...Proud Mary! She called me and some friends up front to "perform" with her. I'm shy, so that was real hard for me. ;)


Leaving for our honeymoon:



Driving from the reception to our hotel that night was so much fun. We could hear the aluminum cans clanking behind us, and cars kept passing us and honking at us to say "congratulations!". We were like, "Oh, wow! We're the ones in the getaway car with 'Just Married' written on the back...this is so awesome!"