Monday, November 30, 2009
Am I glad I did it?
Well, it was good to pause at least once each day to think about what I was grateful for. And some of those pauses turned into interesting posts I think, such about my posts about patience and getting educated by my lovely daughter. But mostly I feel that the daily gratitude posts kept me from the regular type of posting I do. In some ways that was handy. It was a busy month, and I didn't have to think much about what to post. I also allowed myself to keep the posts brief. But in some ways I wonder what posts I lost because I wasn't thinking outside of the gratitude box.
Would I do it again?
Probably not. Although I have learned to never say never.
So... goodbye November and NaBloPoMo. Goodbye Daily Gratitude posting (but I will still be feeling grateful every day, I just won't be posting about it ad nauseum).
We now return to out regularly scheduled programming.
Whatever that is.
I regret to inform you that I will be unable to participate in this week's Monday Mission. Since my return from vacation I have, in addition to putting up the Christmas decorations, been seized with a desire to banish clutter, dirt, dust bunnies and other various unpleasantries. Also, I have attended 2 auditions, the usual church commitments, and have, of course, my 3 actual jobs to juggle. The shopping needs doing, the hair needs dying, there are cards to be written and mailed, presents to be shopped for, and holiday cheer to be had. And of course, there's the commitment I made, in a fit of insanity, to NaBloPoMo. The duties of the Mission must, regretfully, be left to others this Monday. However, I am sure you will find some suitable reads in the widget below (per usual) and hope that you will consider taking on this Mission yourself in my absence.
This post has been a Monday Mission. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write a letter in the style of a letter of regret. Play along, and post a link to your regrets in the widget below.
And join us next MONTH (new month, new missions!) when our mission will be to write posts in the following styles:
Dec 6 Table of Contents
Dec 13 Shopping List
Dec 20 A Holiday Tune (inspired by Jeri's 12 Days of Christmas spin-off)
Dec 27 a Bumper Sticker and/or Vanity Plate
[and just for fun (or extra credit? ooohhh... I LOVE getting extra credit!) the Monday Mission I DIDN'T go with:
Dear Dust Bunnies,
I regret to inform you that you must find a new home. You are being banished via broom and vacuum. Your friends the fur balls, the dust layers and the counter grime will be evicted as well. Maybe you can find a new place to be roommates. Please forward this note to the clutter and window streaks as well. Mama's on a Mission. A Monday Mission, in fact.
(not so) regretfully yours,
The lady with the Oreck and a crazed looked in her eye]
Sunday, November 29, 2009
(At least there's one Shakespeare I'm happy with. Shakespeare the cat is still in the proverbial doghouse... see previous post)
Saturday, November 28, 2009
I'm grateful that tonight I get to sleep in my own bed, next to my husband.
I'm grateful that that same husband got new tires for my car while I was gone.
I'm grateful that the May Queen wants to help me decorate for Christmas, even if that means I have to do things differently to allow her to participate.
I'm grateful I had a frozen lasagna in the freezer.
I'm grateful to be writing this post on my computer, and not my iphone, like I've been doing for the past week.
I'm grateful for the neighbors who helped us move the couch out onto the screened in porch after we discovered the cat had been peeing on it. And I'm grateful that that 5 year warranty we bought 4 1/2 years ago covers cat urine.
I'm not finding much to be grateful about with my cat, though. I guess I am grateful for this exercise in daily gratitude. At the end of a long day when I'm tired and crabby, it's good to sit down and think of things in the day that I AM grateful for. May they outweigh the bad moments in my mind and in my heart.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Monday's mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write a post in the style of a letter of regret.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
And thousands of miles away, I'm reminded how thankful I am for my husband, who is generous enough to share his wife and daughter with other family, while he is home alone. Who for 13 years has been steady and sure, providing for me and for our daughter. Who has allowed me much freedom to do the things I love.
And, of course, I am grateful for The May Queen. Her presence in my life has taught me things about love I didn't know I had to learn.
I am blessed beyond measure.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
And I'm thankful for "anonymous" for keeping the comments coming, and all that great unsolicited information (although I guess I may have to add that dratted word verification thing on comments soon, for which I apologize to the rest of you.).
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
I'm grateful that a few tress are still showing their fall colors. Of all the seasons we lose in the south, I miss fall the most. It's the tail end of fall here in Michigan. Most of the trees are bare and the landscape is brown and forlorn. 48 degrees is colder than just about any day in New Orleans. But it makes a cozy sweatshirt all the better, and the warmth of reading in the living room near a fire or gathering around the table for some family competition (games!) all the more welcoming.
I'm grateful for sleeping in, then waking up to pumpkin pancakes. I'm grateful for time to color and play trains. I'm grateful that even though my parents have moved twice since I was married and moved out, their house still feels like coming home.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
This post has been a Monday Mission. Your mission, should you choose to acept it, is to write a post in the style of an acrostic. Normally I would tell you to post a link to your post in the widget below, but since I'm doing this on my iPhone, this post is kinky free. Please put a link to your post in you comment. Thanks.
Join us next week, when your mission will be to write a post in the style of a letter of regret.
I'm also grateful for my iPhone, which is making this post possible. However, that may make my posts this week extra short. This keypad is pretty small!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Trust me, I have horror stories of sleeping on the floor at the Atlanta airport, and the Northwest Airlines employees who kept insisting we would be leaving in the blizzard "any minute," and who refused to get our luggage for us or change our reservation when we finally called my brother to come and get us. The Detroit Metro airport was then closed for 3 days, and we had made it out just in time.
I hate the expensive airport food and the way they make you take off your shoes before you can pass through security.
I hate the uncomfortable seats with no leg room and the sad excuse of a meal they feed you, if you're lucky.
I hate having to entertain a child on the flight.
I really hate when they lose your luggage.
But I am still grateful. Because otherwise it would be very difficult to visit our family. Which is what The May Queen and I are doing right now. Thanks to the airplane.
Reminder: Monday's mission is to write a post in the form of an acrostic.
...just do it!
Friday, November 20, 2009
I'm also thankful for public libraries. And the kind and gentle people who work at them, such as the lady who did not get outwardly irritated with the woman who kept insisting she wanted to borrow a Twilight book, and didn't understand that they were all checked out. Because half the known world is reading them at the moment. And the other woman who kept her good humor when a man kept loudly insisting that it wasn't free, because he paid his taxes. True enough, she agreed. She paid her taxes, too.
I paid my taxes, too, and headed straight to the far less popular drama aisle. The books I wanted were in.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I ushered tonight, thereby getting me into the show for free (a trick I've been doing since college. When I moved to Los Angeles and called theatres offering to do this, they were SHOCKED. Some insisted on paying me it. It was crazy. A town full of actors who weren't trying to see real live acting for free? Nutty. )
The play was beautiful, a Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning script. But the execution was... divine. I had the joy of playing opposite the actor 2 years ago, and know him to be one of the most talented people I've met here. Or anywhere, for that matter. And, he's one heck of a nice guy. And funny as all get out.
And, as tonight proved, incredibly versatile and brilliant. Bloody brilliant. Tonight was THE ONLY NIGHT I could see the show, what with my own shows and going out of town for the holiday. And I'm SO glad I made the effort to go. More than worth it. Even if I HAD paid.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
A SIZE FOUR.
I've lost 23 pounds.
3 pants sizes.
I didn't think it was possible. I never would have thought, frankly, that I had that much to lose.
This summer I came home from camping and put new batteries in my scale. It hadn't worked in months, but my clothes were getting tighter and I knew that I was heading in the wrong direction. The scale just showed me how much.
I decided it was time to get serious. I lost 5 pounds before heading off to a week in Cabo, during which I gained 2 of those pounds back. I wasn't too discouraged, though, I expected that.
Then I discovered Lose It!, a free iphone application that helped me track calories. I programmed the app with my height and weight, and my goal weight. I decided how many pounds I wanted to lose each week, and it told me how many calories I could eat each day. I put in everything I ate, and most of the time the application actually had the numbers. Occasionally I would do a google search and use the function that allowed me to put in my own numbers and create a new food.
Having the numbers in front of me made decisions pretty easy. Hmmm... 12 chips at 140 calories or countless carrots for 40?
I soon realized that the app assumes you sit around on your butt all day. I started putting in all my activity, like housecleaning. It motivated me to be more active... cleaning for an hour could literally afford me a glass of wine in the evening.
And not so slowly, but definitely surely, the weight came off. I didn't exercise per se, because I didn't have time, although I did look to add activity whenever possible. Every other time I've tried to lose weight I tried through exercise and a slightly restricted diet.
Nothing worked like this. Calorie counting. Simple math.
And Lose It! made it so easy. Less guess work. And serious results. The results became the motivation.
When I hit my "dream goal" of 18 pounds, I decided to keep going.
I still can't believe it.
But all those new pants I bought today? They make it pretty real.
There is one serious downside, though. Care to guess how many companies I've found that make pants in a size four LONG? Here's a hint... you'll only need one appendage.
(I'm slightly nervous about posting this. Let me be clear that I know I was not fat before. I am lucky enough to say that I have never been what a doctor would call overweight. I was on the higher end of a healthy weight, and decided I finally wanted to get serious about seeing if I could get it back down. I am proud of myself, and so share this with you. But I also know that I was born with tall, skinny genes that I inherited from my father. I am, and almost always have been, grateful for that. I have many, many friends who have struggled for years and years with their weight, and I have not had to deal with it in the same way they have. Weight is a touchy issue among women. I know. For this very reason I rarely discuss it with my friends. Or on this blog.
also... this is in no way a sponsored review or anything. I am simply sharing what worked for me.)
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I am grateful for new life and the love it brings.
Monday, November 16, 2009
We sing a song in praise of pants
We lift our voices loud and strong
Oh won’t you come and join our dance?
Oh ring the bell and bang a gong
A rat-a-tat and ding ding dong
Oh won’t you come and join our dance?
In skinny jeans and a sarong
Or worn out sweats, shirt from Hong Kong
Oh won’t you come and join our dance?
At home or work or play pants belong
So many styles you can’t go wrong
We sing a song in praise of pants.
We wear them short; we wear them long
Go cowboy style or with a thong
Oh won’t you come and join our dance?
There’s room for all so come along
Hop up, take part in our joyful throng
We sing a song in praise of pants
Oh won’t you come and join our dance?
(A Villanelle is a type of poetry. Follow that link for an explanation of the "rules" of a villanelle. One famous example of a villanelle is Dylan Thomas' poem Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night) If you play along, please put a link to your post in the widget below:
And join us next week, when your mission is to write a post in the style of an Acrostic (you know, those poems they made you write in grade school where you wrote a word down the page, and then each line started with the letter... You could do a THANKSGIVING one, just like you did back in third grade this time of year, or you could come up with your own word)
Sunday, November 15, 2009
I'm grateful I had the opportunity to work in 2 wildly different shows, with two very different companies, playing several varied characters.
I'm grateful for a cadre of good babysitters, and a few good friends, who make it possible for me to be away from home when my husband is also away.
And I'm extraordinarily grateful for a husband who allows the craziness that accompanies so many of my theatrical endeavors. He is a rock amidst my creative chaos. I know I couldn't do it without his support: emotionally, financially, spiritually, creatively....
Monday's Mission is to write a post in the style of a Villanelle. I've tried to start several, but am personally not getting very far with it. Perhaps after some sleep? I'll try again tomorrow. Please, give it a shot and join me. I'll try to get my post and the linky-do up sometime Monday afternoon.
(A Villanelle is a type of poetry. One famous example of a villanelle is Dylan Thomas' poem Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night)
Saturday, November 14, 2009
I'm grateful I got the chance to catch a show myself.
I'm grateful to be out of rehearsals and into performances.
I'm grateful for my babysitter's big brother, who had driven over here and fallen asleep on the couch, and then drove her home so I didn't have to wake up MQ and load her into the car at 1:30am to drive the sitter home (these are the things you do when your husband is out of town and you're out late).
And I'm grateful that I actually fit into this skirt... that I wore in HIGH SCHOOL. And kinda look good in it. Not that I'm planning to wear it to church on Sunday or anything.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
I'm grateful for Glee.
Are you watching this show? If you're not, you need to be. I love it. Granted, I think I must be just about their ideal demographic. A theatre loving, music loving, former high school choir member, child of the 80s. The music on the show tends to be a mix of songs I grew up with, songs from musicals I know and love, and newer songs that make me feel vaguely hip for being aware of them. The humor is biting. The show is completely over the top and ridiculous, which makes the moments of tenderness (i.e. a father saying to his gay son "I've know since you were three") all the more likely to make me at least a little verklempt. It is my favorite hour of television. And today, when I realized I had a large chunk of time to myself, I was downright gleeful to realize that after a 2 week hiatus, I had a new episode of Glee waiting for me on my DVR.
What do you look forward to each week?
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Hip. Someone called me hip.
he he. Fooled her.
Also, one of the shows I'm working on right now has me wearing some rather... er... flattering outfits. One of the guys told me that instead of of making the cat "rrrower..." sound at me every time he saw me, that each night he'd do a different animal, but that it always means the same thing.
Today I got a rooster.
I'm a hip chick who gets animal noises made at her nightly.
It could be worse.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Because although I know that technically the hurricane season runs through the end of November.... seriously? A Hurricane?
Make mine tall and on ice, please.
I'm also grateful that the May Queen's school didn't jump the gun and cancel school or end it early (like so many schools in the area). Because those few hours of downtown this afternoon? I needed them. Particularly since tomorrow I'm booked (and often, double booked!) from 9am till 10pm.
Painted Maypole, owner
Not Your Nachos
We start of with a plate of crispy lost opportunities and heap it high with ground up ambitions and shredded roads not taken. The whole thing is topped off with "the one that got away"
What if Wantons
These crispy treats are full of fruitless wondering.
This secret recipe has been simmering on the stove for days! Chock full of righteous indignation and self aggrandisement.
Eat Your Words Salad
Words of hatred, sarcastic comments and negative criticism, all atop a bed of lettuce that you made, and now you'll have to lie in.
Shoulda Said Pasta
Smart remarks, scathing blows and the perfect phrases comprise the sauce that swirls around the downward spiral noodles.
Too too chicken
A boneless, skinless chicken breast, broiled, then topped with our bland "too afraid I'll fail" sauce (a secret recipe!)
Not So Sweet Revenge
This nearly irresistible dessert tastes delicious at first, but leaves you with a bitter taste in your mouth and a nasty case of heartburn.
House White Whine
Made from only the ripest regretful grapes. Grassy, with a dusty aftertaste.
House Red Whine
Made from the grapes of wrath, bottled up, aged to perfection, and just waiting to be uncorked.
The perfect beer to cry in.
Blow Your Diet Coke
Full of sugar AND high fructose corn syrup. Guaranteed to be more calories than your meal.
*Don't see it on the menu? Ask your waitperson. Our fabulous chef may be able to whip up your personal regret into a hearty meal. We aim to please!
And join us next week, when our mission is to write a post in the style of a a Villanelle (this is a type of poetry, another suggested by De, and since we had such fun with her last poetry suggestions I thought we'd try it again! One famous example of a villanelle is Dylan Thomas' poem Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night)
Sunday, November 8, 2009
I don't quite understand patience, and how it works. Yesterday I was feeling tired, worn out and disgruntled. This morning as I looked ahead at my even busier day I knew I wanted to shake off those feelings, but wasn't sure how. I prayed for patience.
When I need patience I tend to want it NOW. It's like that tired old joke... "God grant me patience, and grant me patience NOW." But when you need it, you need it NOW.
Unfortunately it never seems to come immediately. But it does come.
Perhaps it's the prayer. Or perhaps it's the acknowledgement: acknowledging my need, my willingness to be patient and the desire to get unstuck from the opposite. Maybe they are the same thing. C.S Lewis wrote "[Prayer] doesn't change God, it changes me." The prayer is the acknowledgement that prompts the change.
Regardless, I've seen it happen. Suddenly I find that I'm more present in the moment. I'm enjoying it, and not stressing about what is to come. Not brooding about what has already passed. That doesn't mean that all the irritations are gone. But my bad attitude is, if not completely gone, greatly diminished. My energy is renewed.
Patience has snuck up on me. Stealthily. There is a moment when I notice it has arrived. And has been there for a while.
And I am grateful.
don't forget Monday's Mission... to write a post a in the style of a menu. Play along... I'll be grateful! :)
Saturday, November 7, 2009
I am grateful for the 2 kind men who stopped to assist me as I tried to change the tire myself (and grateful that the AAA guy showed up way earlier than promised).
I am grateful for my friends who watched the May Queen for 11 hours today while I attended 2 rehearsals (and waited for my tire to be changed).
I am grateful for a glass of wine at the end of a loooooooong day.
Reminder: Your Monday Mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write a post in the style of a menu. Yes waiter, I'm ready to order...
Friday, November 6, 2009
I am grateful for DVRs, so I can watch shows later... and fast forward through the commercials.
I am grateful for a whole day off. And I shan't spend the rest of it on the computer.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
The actual playing of school is not particularly exciting to me, but I know that ultimately the May Queen just wanted some time with her mama, something she hasn't gotten much of lately. So when we arrived home from her actual day at school and she asked if I would play school with her I glanced at my watch, did some quick calculations of what needed to be done before I left for rehearsal, and agreed.
Not only did I get some good time in with my darling daughter, but I got a real window into what she's learning at school. First she had me color a cat picture I drew last time we played school (that was stored in my old folder in my own "desk" - a priority mail box). While I did this she, as the teacher, was hard at work at her own desk. When I was done coloring I had DEAR ("Drop Everything and Read") time, like she has every day at school. I read some of the book she's reading at school. Then she handed me a math worksheet that she had created, full of addition and subtraction problems. Harder ones than she was working on just a few weeks ago. As I completed that she created a spelling worksheet... writing out sentences with misspellings. I was then to rewrite the sentences correctly. I was impressed with what she put together.
Then she broke character and whispered to me, asking if we could watch the Cats DVD we picked up at the library. I whispered back that yes, we could. And a snack? Yes.
She announced to the class (that would be me and all the lined up stuffed animals) that we had a special treat, and would get to watch a MOVIE.
I only got to watch about 25 minutes of the DVD with her before I had to pack up and head out for rehearsal. But we talked about how it was different from when we saw it live, and she asked lots of questions and we got to talk about the things we were seeing... the dancing and the makeup and the characters... in a way we couldn't in the theatre.
I often find that when I'm feeling stressed and like I have too much to do that stopping and really focusing on time with MQ seems to calm me down and put things in perspective. And it most certainly did.
So I'm grateful that I said yes. I'm grateful that my daughter wants to play with her mother. I'm grateful for the things that she's learning at her real school, and I'm grateful that I can be surprised to find her getting smarter and smarter each day. I'm grateful for my sister in law, who sent her a box full of school supplies that inspired her to play school regularly. Most of all, I'm grateful to be the mother of this incredible little girl. I am indeed her student. Every day.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
The nurse joked that we should take our picture in our matching gowns and use it for our Christmas card (I had my camera in my purse, as usual. We could have. I suppose that would have made fun blog material).
Overall, the doctor seemed very pleased. He said our sun damage was minimal. He said we each had very few moles. He did remove one from my back, saying he wasn't particularly worried about it but it was right where my bra clasps, and he worried it would be bothersome. I've had it forever. He removed one from hubby's back, too. He didn't give the bra excuse on that one. He's having them both checked, but said he wasn't worried about them, they looked fine.
I'm grateful for sunscreen. I'm grateful for dark complexion. I'm grateful that the doctor was on time, friendly, and efficient. And if we haven't heard from that doctor within a week? I'll be really grateful that our moles got a clean bill of health.
(I'm also grateful for everyone who has checked out my review of Sonicare kids and entered the sweepstakes. If you haven't already, check it out (I'll be grateful!). Did I mention the SWEEPSTAKES? You could win a $100 Visa gift card. Just in time for Christmas)
Monday, November 2, 2009
And I'm grateful that rehearsal got out before the game ended, so I made it home in record time and didn't get caught in the post game traffic.
(Our rehearsal space is near the Superdome, and I was dread, dread, dreading the traffic from Monday night football. But it wasn't too bad. Hooray)
Make groceries - you don't buy them, you "make" them.
Go to the grocery - as in "go to the grocery store," but without the "store"
Make 3 - children don't "turn 3" (0r whatever age) they "make 3." Perhaps this is the adult's way of saying the child is lucky they made it to three without being eaten by an alligator or something. Also used in the past tense: "He made three on Saturday." (I kept wanting to ask "Made 3 of what?")
Come see - this is what an adult says when they want a child to come to them. They don't actually have anything for the child to look at.
Bo-bo - boo-boo. I've never actually seen this written, so maybe it's written the same way, but it's pronounced with a long "O."
ya'll - a contraction for "you all." This phrase has become common around the country.
all ya'll - like ya'll, only more (more redundant, more offensive to the grammar police...)
dress - to put lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise on a sandwich (i.e., "Would you like that po' boy dressed?")
"the storm" - If someone references "the storm" they are undoubtedly discussing Hurricane Katrina.
Join us next Monday, when your mission will be to write a post in the style of a menu.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
This year is no exception.
And so it is that I cannot believe that I've just felt the urge to TRY.... to TRY to do it myself.
The first 15 days of November promise to be insane. Insane.
But for that very reason it seems to me that it might be a good discipline to post something that I am grateful for every day. Even if it's just a few words. So I'm gonna give it a shot. For me.
Today I'm feeling very grateful for parents who took me to plays as a child. This afternoon I took The May Queen to see Cats... it's the triumphant return of Broadway touring shows to NOLA after Katrina wiped out all our big theatres. I first saw Cats when I was 11 or 12. I remember my mother reading us the T.S. Eliot poems the show is based on from a library book as we drove to the theatre. I remember the thrill of intricate set (the May Queen and I peered at it through binoculars and challenged each other to find certain details - "do you see the paintbrush?" - before the show), the incredible dancing, the cat that prowled so near to us in aisle. When the lights dimmed and the orchestra began today I felt that same rush I felt as a child.
I watch any show now with different eyes... trained eyes, experienced eyes. I look for what works and what doesn't... and why. But there's no denying that inside... my heart was leaping and spinning, just like the dancers on that stage. Just like it did when I first saw it. BECAUSE it did when I first saw it.
Because I had parents who took me to see it.
(and I am grateful that I have until tomorrow to come up with a Monday Mission... because even though I usually get the ball rolling on Sunday night... I am coming up dry at the moment)