Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Financial Mishaps

OH OH OH OH! So, now I know why I'm supposed to use the little worksheet to balance my checkbook. I've been very conscientious for the past six months. Trying to be responsible for a change and all that. Every few days I check my online statement to make sure I haven't forgotten to write down any ATM charges. I go through my checkbook every other week to see what checks are still out in la la land. But I hadn't gone through with the little book.

So now I have my fabulous ledger, and I'm basically transcribing all of my accounts into it. First, I found a $20 addition error in the bank's favor. Darn it.

Now I have a bigger snafu, that's taken me three hours to figure out what I did exactly. It seems that I took out a $100 cash back that I didn't write down about two months ago. Then for the crowning achievement, I saw some "shopping" money that I'd actually paid cash the time I'm sure it made sense to put in that missing hundred dollars as shopping. Well, I found it when I was perusing my checkbook a month later, and said to myself, "I paid cash for that! Free money" So I credit myself that money. So, for those that followed that and realised the ramifications...I'm now officially $200 in the hole once everything goes through. Crap. At least, for a change, I am aware of the problem before the overdraft kicks in, and 2, (also for a change) I have money in savings to cover the money I've now spent. Twice. Drat.

Oh so tired.

Gave an 35 minute concert last night in the "lounge" (sounds nicer than 'bar' doesn't it?). I've never had so many encores. Six, I think. And then several groups wanted to buy me a drink. I forgot I'd been too busy singing to eat anything. Blech....only two fruity little things and I'm rather.....unwell...this morning. Blech. Blech. Blech. Reminds me why I don't do that very often. Blargh....stupid stupid stupid. It was fun singing though. I forget, sometimes, how much I love doing it. And it is nice to have people clustered around telling you how wonderful you are. Liking that! If only we had cuter uniforms. And some midnight I was a little bit flushed and shiny! I prefer to perform looking cool as a cucumber....and slightly aloof....or something. So I sang, and handed out my cards, and enjoyed being fawned, instead of run over.

Friday, December 26, 2003

Doing things the Judy Garland way...

Last night I once again had to resort to sleeping pills. I haven't had to do that since the week before Thanksgiving. I only have one pill left, so off to the health food store after work I go. Apparently Matt Leblanc also shops there. Now that I know that, I'm going to spend more time in the supplements section. My favorite combo is one "sleep aid" pill with a cal/mag and vitamin C back. Listen to me talking like a bar wench! I'm going to have to start some time of multivitamin regumin in the mornings too. And perhaps buying actual breakfast food...a bagel at work is about half an hour late.

I know it would be far better for my system to get up, have breakfast, do some yoga to wake myself up, devotions, and then get ready for the day. Ha. That would mean waking up at 4:30. Doing this my way (get up, jump in shower, head to coffee place before work) lets me sleep in until 5:45. Woohoo. Believe me though, those extra minutes make all the difference.

Logic says that the two hours between one job and the other would be perfect time for excercise and devotions. Body says: sleep.

Logic also says, "go right to sleep after work at 10, or 11, or 12....Body says, "ha ha. Don't want to....1am sounds better."

Curse it all....Sleeping aids really don't help a person go to sleep, but they do keep you asleep once you're there. And thank heavens they recommended one that doesn't give a hangover. If I wanted to be sleepy the first few hours of work, I'd just stay au natural...And to stay awake at the night job...ah yes...the wonders of EmergenC's -- the all vitamin upper...fabulous stuff that. Mix it in with some fruit juice, and you're both exhausted and wide awake simultaneously! But it takes two sleeping pills then to get down from them.

Seriously...if anyone can think of a better way to do this, New Year's resolutions are coming....

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Baylor's PBS Broadcast

Hey Guys, if you want to see pain and humiliation, check out the Baylor University Christmas Concert. I was in the front row, and wound up on camera a lot. Partly because of my wonderful riser placement, and partly because I (thanks to years of Melody Lane) can smile for 15 hours of filming. And I was smart enough to remember to do my hair the same way both days of shooting, and kept the same lipstick color. So watch it. It'll be fun for you. I just want to see if I look as bored as I felt. (If I had working archives today I'd bring back some of the posts I made around that time last year....oh there were so many rant-fests!)

Friday, December 06, 2002: (republished)

Wow, let me pause a moment to unscrew my smile. Heeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaarrrrghghg. Ok. Better now. I just got done with a recording session for our Christmas Concert PBS premier (set for christmas, 2003). We're being videotaped. So we have to look happy, and joyful, and greatful to be there.

ha. Dr. Bailey looked at the dress rehearsal that they taped to fix problems, and he said it looked like we were chained to the risers. Pretty close. We were just trying to make an acurate portrayal. We recorded in front of an audience, and then locked them in so they couldn't leave for our re-recording of several songs. Ha. When they paid for their tickets, I bet they didn't know they'd be held hostage. I'm sure whoever watched the concert next year will really enjoy it. It will look great, and be very uplifting. Look for me up and to the right of the mezzo soloist smiling away. Looking happy, and joyful and greatful to be there.

Especially during the symphonic pieces that we were, essentially, a curtain to mask the risers. No other reason for us to be there -- we could have filed off and come back on after three movements of Vivaldi, but no. We had ugly risers to mask. So we stood there looking happy, and joyful, and greatful to be there.

Especially on the camera close ups -- then we were positively glowing. At least during the Forest scene from Tchaikowsky's Nutcracker I could envision all of the beautiful dancing. I made up whole ballets this week in dress rehearsals. So, it wasn't too bad tonight...but tomorrow we have to hold the audience longer to make up all the mistakes they find tomorrow in the review of tonight's performance. Oh goodie. (ok, now can we do measure 30-35 of the Sir Krisemas piece...ok that was great..thanks) Oh, and in between concert segments, we have a sing along with the audience. But...someone forgot that WE don't have words in front of us (the concert is memorized). So here we are three verses into "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" -- and the cameras are doing closeups of us going: Hail the hm....prince of la la la righteousness....light and life to something bring..........watermellon in his wings......mild he something something la la la hmmmmmm hmmmmmmmmm la la la la la la la la.....HARK THE HERALD ANGELS SING! GLORY TO THE NEWBORN KING! That ought to look wonderful. Ok, I'm going to bed. I have a recital dress to finish for Jen's dress rehearsal tomorrow afternoon. Then I have to head to part two of happy, and joyful, and greatful to be there.

It's the Thought that Counts

"Did you have a good Christmas?" they ask the girl who's been sitting behind a desk fourteen hours of the last twenty-four.

"When, exactly?" she wishes to reply.

Merry Christmas to all.....

Merry Christmas to everyone! I hope today finds you with plenty of relaxation, family gathered round, and a good nap thrown in.

After making it to the midnight mass last night, I'm in a bit more of a Christian mindset about Christmas. I found the priest's sermon a tad naive, as he described how a sentimental story brings tears to even the most callous person at the holidays. I must confess, I haven't seen many gruff old men misting up at the tables I'VE been waiting...but I'll give points for creativity...Oops, slipping back into cynicism. I'll quit while I'm ahead.

Merry Christmas again!

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Eleven is nearly here. The long vigil is over. The inn is quiet, save the sound of the waiters clearing the last of the tables from the lingering guests. Outside all is dark. The only break is a strand of christmas lights around the porch of the cafe across the street. Lady Marmalade filters in from the kitchen.

In a few minutes I will go back home and pick up andrea, and we'll rush to the sing-a-long at the Old Mission Santa Ines and the midnight mass. Neither of us are Catholic, but its the only service late enough. We'll both be up before six tomorrow. Work two shifts, then fall into bed. In the few hours between jobs we'll head to Ken and Grandma's to open a few presents. The rest we'll save for later.

I wish everyone could cook at home for Christmas. Gather their families around them in their own houses. Enjoying being hospitable and hosting. Instead, around here, precious few have the luxury of a day off. For the shopkeepers, and waiters, and clerks, and drivers, can look forward to impatience and rudeness and clamour all of this best of days. We did choose our lot, I suppose. But wouldn't it make sense on just one day for everything to close. So everyone could equally enjoy their families and relaxation...and not just another day of drudgery and frustration. And the drunks that just won't leave at the end of the night. When all you want to do is go home, walk right past the Christmas tree and stocking still brimming with presents you've neither had the time nor energy to open, and sleep until St. Patricks day. But the next morning you've got to check out the post-Christmas hangover crowd, with their children wild from the sugar-high. Or go to work three hours early to make signs for the day-after-Christmas sales. Or wait on tables who have the post-holiday-my-presents-weren't-as-great-as-the-ones-I-gave-blues.

So bah-humbug everyone! I'm sure my spirits will align themselves at church this evening...and I'll be able to celebrate the season with the best of them....until the first idiot tomorrow night complains about how crappy house wine is. You GET what you PAY FOR!

On the plus side, we do get time-and-a-half.....Merry Christmas!

Part Eight:

To make my french hen look more like a chicken or a goose...that is the question...

Stocking Saga, Part Seven:

My goose does not lay golden eggs, but freshwater pearl instead. And even she can't be too proud for a silk grass nest....if she's that picky, tis the season for foie gras....

Part Six:

My Lord of the Dance is unhapily missing a leg, due to my running a bit short of teal ribbon. Perhaps he is not mearly a-leaping, but the little tin soldier as well. Hopefully he will stick to the story, as the Disney version did not.

I'm at work. On Christmas eve, and Christmas, and every day after. Why are patrons at this time of year more unbearable than any other? Is it the peace on earth or goodwill towards men which makes them cross, impatient and demanding. It must be the Christmas Spirit which possesses the screaming children and posturing parents. Truly, if this is the best we can do for the Season, we'd do better to forget it entirely.
Part Five:
I've now got everything done but the left leg of my Lord-a-leaping, One goose-a-laying, one french hen, and a drummer boy....I have eight hours ahead to finish it though....Merry Christmas Eve to all!

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Part Four:

One Swan-a-swimming...

Stocking Saga Part Three:

Now I have one very elegand lady dancing, and several sketches of various birds and people. Have you guys realised how many BIRDS there are? I'm only doing one of each (two turtledoves though)...all there are are birds and people. The people are the most fun! Costumes galore. My lady dancing is exquisite! Humbly.....

Stocking Saga Part Two:

Success! I now have one rather disgruntled partridge in a somewhat sideways pear tree. On to the blasted turtledoves on a branch!!!

Stocking Saga Part One:

I've started with a scrap of leftover red velvet and a few pieces of antique lace. Then I had to decide what else to do with it. AHA! I have a whole bag full of silk embroidery ribbon. I'll do some of that. And what to do.....I know! I'll make a 12 days of Christmas stocking. So far I have a partridge-less semi-lopsided pear tree. Very exciting...

Saturday, December 20, 2003

From Eddie Izzard: Dress to Kill

That “Partridge in a pear tree” song, the only bit we like of it is that, ( singing )"Five gold rings!" People go berserk at that point! People come running in from other rooms, ( singing ) "Five gold rings!" The rest of it, we don't know; above that, it's just, ( singing, uncertain ) "Twelve… monkeys mating, eleven… donkeys dancing, ten pigmies farming, nine… socks… a swimming… ( certain ) five gold rings!" This is a human thing. We only like to learn a little bit of a song. We can't be bothered, yeah.

In honor of the season, 'TIS, one of the best Christmas pages. Also linked to Little Red Boat as she is one of the authors.
Look everyone at my new guestbook which I've just added! Feel Free!
Good morning everyone!

The headache that was plaguing me all day yesterday is gone, and the day looks brighter...except for the cloudcover outside.

It is so difficult to get into the Christmas Spirit when one has all of this working to do.

Things that Dampen the Season...

1. Elevator Christmas Music. Both Jobs.

2.Christmas parties. Drunk people that get riled up and won't go home.

3. Cats that pull down the lights in the window. And again once you've just put them back up.

4. Ditto the aforementioned cats pulling down ornaments, garland, lace, and chewing on the sides of all the packages.

5. Did I mention that all bows are looking the worse for wear?

6. Too little sleep.

7. Too little eggnog!

Things wonderful about the Season!

1. The obvious and ensuing birthday celebrations. (No, not mine)

2. Godiva and Hot Chocolate!

3. My first Christmas tree on my own. Sort of. Drea's here too.

3.Eggnog. The real stuff.

4. The Muppets Christmas Album. Which I don't actually have, but can sing from beginning to end (except for the one about the Christmas Tree). Including all 12 days of Christmas.....FIVE GOOOOOOLD RINGS.....(ba dum bum bum)

5. Ditto The Mannheim Steamrollers Christmas CDs, Barbra Streisand, and the Oakridge Boys.

6. And the Beach Boys.

7. The Final Lord of the Rings is out in theaters. Not particularly Christmas-ey but still a reason to Celebrate!

Friday, December 19, 2003

WHY OH WHY OH WHY is a night person working a 7am job? "Good freaking morning" is the best I can do...

I'm in a bit of a slump recently (or perhaps its more a panic). I've officially been out of school for eight months now. I haven't practiced in so long I can't remember (oh wait, I sang my something-or-other off the week before the Magnificat), have no immediate plans for any auditions. I want so badly to be doing a show this summer. I'm not sure if I can audition asking for a week off in the middle of the run to go to my sister's wedding. So is it better to just put it off for a while? I fear if I put it off much longer I'll stay out permanently. I don't want to look back over my life and regret that I never tried...Oh, yeah, except for singing for Renee Flemming in the end of January....(hence the panic). I know I've been saying I'm going to sing for her for a long time...but this time the tickets are bought, and it's too late to back out now........ARRRRRGHGHG!

I saw a picture of myself from the christmas party....boy do I need to start working out. Somehow my self image is still stuck in high school eating disorder mode, and thinks I weigh 100 pounds. When I see actual pictures I tend to panic. Sure, I'm rather thin-ish, but from the lack of working out combined with sitting around all day for at least one of my jobs (I do walk a LOT for my other) I ...... lack definition. There's a good way to put it. Being in singer mode for four years was a GREAT excuse not to work out. "Don't lift weights, you'll start grunt reflexing! Don't do sit ups, you'll tighten muscles that need to be loose to breathe!" Except for a rather long stint of yoga. I think I must go back to it. Nice work out, not a lot of sweating and spitting and huffing.....Must not eat chocolate chip muffins for breakfast, must drink water! (Actually, having been on that pseudo-diet with Andrea for months, I've not been craving a lot of Pepsi recently. I think I only had one last night at work -- yay for abstaining!)

I'm taking a break to go refil my water bottle....

GACK! I've never ben a "water bottle snob." This is terrible water back to back. Almost sweet. Ah well, for the sake of clear skin and, you know, health I can do it......ack ack ack...

We had the most atrocious people in the restaurant last night! They came in hours before we open with about a dozen children who'd been cooped up in planes and cars all day. The parents couldn't remember exactly how many children they'd brought with them, and so kept re-rering until poor Wendy was going out of her mind. They were screaming, knocking over the display train, touching the gingerbread sign less-than-subtly labled "DO NOT TOUCH" and running into the bar and the tennis club party in the other room. I hid in the bar for most of the carnage. Then the parents came in, and how I longed for the children. Their table was reset, and reset again. "One long one, no two round ones!" "17 people, no 10 and 8 children, no 12 and 4 kids, and two highchairs, and a booster seat......" and on and on. They belched. One self styling actress bored us to TEARS with her performance of the Vagina Monologues (not the play itself, just her commentary on how groundbreaking it is....hasn't that show been out FOREVER now?).....ack! Waited a while and the water is still bad....Anyway, I was laughing at Wendy's bad luck to have to deal with them, and I was beckoned with "Oh, Nurse..." I was in shock. I actually went to the table and took his order (the belcher). They left me a slight tip, but they had a huge bill. The matriarch wouldn't speak above a whisper, nor request anything with actual words....."Excuse mblblblb....I'd like some mbmbmbmbmbmbl (indistinct gesture in the general direction of her wineglass)." Oh yes, they were peachy!

Everyone, check out THIS new blog I've found. He's apparently started a book deal off his blog, and I've found the website at least to be very entertaining. It's nice to know that people with performance careers can be "real people."

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

I had posted a rather long rant about the information on this website. While looking online for more information (and some definitions) on this article, I have found several other websites of people who think this article MUST be a hoax. This website hopes that it is a hoax, but isn't sure. Some of the links in the site seem to be geniune. Some seem to be conglomerations of Saturday Night Live Sketches. I'll keep poking around. What do you think? Real or not?
A woman goes to the post office to buy stamps for
her Christmas cards.

She says to the clerk, "May I have 50 Christmas stamps?"
The clerk says, "What denomination?"

The woman says, "God help us. Has it come to this? Give me 6 Catholic,
12 Presbyterian, 10 Lutheran and 22 Baptists.

Monday, December 15, 2003

I want to take this moment to do a plug for my favorite bookshop in the world, the inspiration for my webpage, and the best resource for the collected works of Inkings Authors....The Inklings Bookshop. While searching for links to the Inklings, I came across their webpage, discovering that they also provide online sales. Please do your book shopping with them, instead of with large scale franchises! Small bookstores are going out of business right, left, and center -- and I'd really like to keep this one around!

..We now interrupt this Lord of the Rings tribute (extended edition) to bring you another rant by Rachel...

I want to cry! I am too tired, and working too hard....the weather changed so of course that precipitates all sorts of lovely "face" issues -- girls, you know what I mean...that dry skin, deathlike palor until your skin adjusts again..Why is it that wet weather makes your skin dry out?

So two days ago, my plan for this weekend was to: work, finish my dress, Sunday night run to Santa Barbara for some shoes and tights, and after work monday get a manicure and rest....Today my schedule has been amended to: work, finish dress, maybe take short nap...or perhaps even: work, go home and determine that dress is good enough as is, take 3 hour nap then pull self together for party....right now that sounds pretty good to me...

I am soooooooooooooo tired. I was supposed to have today off completely except for the company party, then someone at work just 'had' to switch shifts. I'll stop whining one of these days.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Chapter Seven

Pippin finds Gandalf, and tells him of Denethor's plan to burn himself and Faramir in the crypt. Gandalf rushes to the tombs to stop him. Some of the King's men are trying to follow the orders and start the fire, others are trying to stop them. Several men have already killed each other. Denethor is clutching one of the remaining palantir and defies Gandalf, saying that he will not live to see the throne he has been steward over be handed to an upstart and a usurper, even if he is from the line of Isildur. He claims that Gandalf has been playing them all like pawns in order to gain the rule of middle earth for himself. (It seems also to suggest that, like with Theoden, Saruman may be posessing Denethor for a while). Gandalf tries to pursuade him that he will not lose any honor by relinquishing the kingdom. He jumps on the pyre and rescues Faramir, still unconscious, whose garments have been soaked with oil for the fire. Gandalf tries once more to reason with Denathor, but he grabs a torch and lights the fire, jumps onto the pyre clutching the palantir and dies. Gandalf sends Faramir to the infirmary with Pippen. Later, he and Pippen look out over the battlefield at all who have fallen. Gandalf sends Pip to guard Faramir, and goes himself to meet 'those who are coming.'

Chapter Six. Oy. If you don't want to ruin at least half the plot of the movie, stop reading now. I'm going to continue to summarize.

The Lord of the Nazgul realizes he is defeated and vansihes. King Theoden rides to battle against the Southorn men. In the midst of the fight, the Nazgul reappears, mounted on those flying creatures. Durnhelm and Merry are not far behind him. His horse is wounded, and Theoden falls. The Nazgul is letting his creature eat Theoden's horse when Durnhelm challenges it. He laughs and declares that no man has ever hindered him. Durnhelm replies that he is not a man, takes of his helmet, and (duh) reveals a head of blond hair. Eowyn has joined the battle after all. The creature attacks, and she fends it off, cutting off its head. The Nazgul brings down his mace and shatters her shield, breaking her arm. Merry rallies his courage, takes his sword and stabs the Nazgul in the back, allowing Eowyn to cleave the Nazgul's head from its shoulders. Her sword shatters, and Merry's dissappears.

Theoden regains consciousness and sees Merry. He tells him that he wishes to speak to Eomer (remember, cool blonde guy with the flowing helmet). He declares that Eomer is to be king of Rohan. He tells Eomer to send a message to Eowyn telling her of his death. Theoden dies. Eomer gives orders for Theoden's body to be carried from the plain, and turns and sees his sister's body lying nearby. Imrahil, Prince of Dol Amroth sees the procession, and declares that Eowyn is still living, but just barely. She is sent to the infirmary. Merry is left behind, his right hand numb from when his elf blade stabbed the Nazgul.

The battle is once again turning against the combined armies when they see the ships of the corsairs coming. They dispair. Then, Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas come bounding (especially in Legolas' case) out of the ship leading a whole host of the Dunedain, Rangers of the North. So the battle is won, every enemy is slain, and the three Princes...Aragorn, Eomer, and Imrahil are united.

Chapter Five

Merry is still riding with the mysterious rider and the host of Rohan. Theoden is in counsel with a wild man to determine the best way to approach Gondor unexpectedly. They decide on a footpath, that leads through an orc wall. The wall was destroyed, and there was no ambush. They discover along the trail the body of the messenger who was sent to them from Gondor. He never made it back to tell Denethor that Rohan was coming to aid them. As they draw closer to Gondor, Sauron's dark magic almost makes them lose hope, but the light from Gandalf's staff beams through the air 'piercing the darkness' and hope is restored. Rohan makes a grand entrance into the battle.

Chapter Four

Pippin is still in Gondor. The forces are gathering around the city. Denethor, Boromir and Faramir's Father, berates Faramir for the way he mishandled the situation with Frodo and the Ring (Remember, in the book Faramir tells Frodo that even if it fell in the gutter, he would not reach out a hand to pick it up -- the only complaint I have in the movie!). Denethor tells Gandalf that He would have been strong enough to keep the ring and not use it, for his strength is greater than Gandalf. Gandalf replies that it might be so, but he refused the ring even when offered to him. Gandalf and Pippin hear news that Frodo and Sam have made it that far at least. Mordor is unleashed upon Gondor. The fighting begins, and there are not enough men. Denethor sends Faramir out to battle without blessing. Faramir is injured and brought back. Denethor realises how poorly he has treated his son, and his mind breaks. He orders his servants to carry them both to the tombs and set fire to them. Pippin rushes off to find Gandalf to make him stop the suicide. Gandalf is fighting off The Lord of the Nazgul when a horn sounds and the Riders of Rohan come in the last hour.

Friday, December 12, 2003

I will be selling my cheat sheet on ebay for $1,000.
Break out your Trilogy! Dust off the Hobbit. Scrounge for your Silmarillion! Go out and splurge for an atlas and Guide. It's time for the Quiz so hard that I've spent several hours at it and I'm still stuck on the Sixth Level.


I passed it finally....


Total Correct Answers: 80

Total Wrong Answers: 31

"An okay performance with just over the half of the questions answered correctly. I am not impressed and I am sure you could do a lot better if you just study some more. You did win however and that is already quite an achievement. Perhaps you should try again and really impress me..."

Further in Honor of the opening of The Return of the King, I am reading, or rather rereading the last book in the Trilogy. I'm only four chapters in, but I'm finding it a much easier read than I have in the past.

Let me qualify that statement. I'm not dumb. I feel dumb reading Tolkien sometimes, though. Have you ever REALLY tried to follow all the names, titles, lands, kingdoms, rivers, lakes, streams, and names of stories that come up in casual conversation between characters? Not to mention the ridiculously minor characters who walk into the story, are referred to as if you know their back history, one event in the history is glibly mentioned in passing, and then the story moves along without a hitch. It would take at least three reference books to follow every piece of information that Tolkien throws off in passing; the Silmarillion, the Atlas of Middle Earth, and The Maps of Tolkiens's Middle Earth. I lied. You'd also need This.

So anyway, as I was saying. I am still finding it easier to read this time. I am very much in favor of reading any book before you read the movie that is based on it, but the converse is sometimes true as well. I find watching the movies for any Jane Austin book will keep all of the characters straight in my mind, as well as identifying who is speaking in the pages of back and forth dialogue with no names attached. Having the Lord of the Rings movies as reference, for me, makes the battle scenes more bearable. I hate fighting scenes. I can't picture it, can't keep track of who's on what side. The first time I read LOTR I skipped nearly the entirety of part 5 (The final battle for Middle earth). All the human kingdoms had united...The kingdoms of Rohan, Gondor, and the Riders from the North are there. Each person is fighting for their own nation, region, state, city, family.....oh brother! So I missed it and skipped directly to Frodo and Sam's journey to Mordor.

This time I'm trudging my way through. It is very slow going. I started last night and, as I mentioned, am only on chapter four. So far, Pippin has ended up in Gondor with Gandalf. He is there to "stay out of mischief" after touching one of the palantir. (Those round seeing stones that aren't all accounted for. By the way, for those interested in reading the last book before seeing the movie, you have to start several chapters from the end of the last book. The movie broke off in a different place.) He has sworn his allegiance to Boromir's Father. Merry is riding with the horsemen from Rohan. Eowyn was guarding the women and children in a place of safety. Aragorn and his host rode past on their way to Gondor. She begged to be taken along and not left to wait, but Aragorn said that she is the steward of her people and must stay with them. He leaves to travel through the road of the Dead. Theoden (King of Rohan) and his host arrived several days later. Again Eowyn begs not to be left behind, but she is refused. Theodin rides off to battle, and Merry is left behind. He catched a ride, however, with a very young and small young soldier on horseback and they follow the host. So now you're up to date.


Congratulations! You're Legolas!

Which Lord of the Rings character and personality problem are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thursday, December 11, 2003

What do I love best about working? Lunch break! Oh yes....went across the street and had onion meatloaf and chive mashed potatoes and a few sips of wine for lunch...only 15 minutes between the end of my lunch break and the end of my shift. I figured it would be fine....very very good!

As for the rest of my shift, I've been beading the dress to wear for the Alisal Christmas party....I hope it goes well...I have a lot of ideas that i"m not sure how its going to pan out....

Good morning everyone!

I'm back at work again after having a couple of days off, which thankfully coincided with my birthday! YAY! Sorry to all those who couldn't come!

Drea outdid herself with the planning. We went to Disneyland -- Grandma's birthday present was a season pass, and best of all, when we went we didn't have to feel pressured to "get our money's worth." So we hit all of the rides we wanted, ate in the Blue Bayou Restaurant (that's the one that overlooks the beginning of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride...I'd always wanted to eat there...

So we went on the Haunted Mansion, It's a Small World, Indiana Jones (with John Rhys-Davies narrating), and Pirates of the Caribbean....all my favorites. We tried to go to Toontown, but Minnie was there, along with southern California's entire population of under three year olds. Then we walked around downtown Disney for a while, and hit an outlet mall on the way home...far too much fun!

Saturday, December 06, 2003

And this would be nice too...Isn't IT pretty?

Ok guys, did you notice that now my ads page has switched from Lord of the Rings ads to Stationery? I'm going to have to start picking completely random subjects for a while, just to see what pops up. Perhaps Flying Purple People Eaters, or maybe vegetarian vampires.....(did any of you ever read Bunnicula?)

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Everyone read the column below. I think it's great!!!!!! Write letters! It takes a long time, sure, but it's something more tangible than something that's going to be deleted from your inbox...just one letter a week means 52 people a year that have opened their mailbox and found something more than ads and bills. Isn't it worth it?

The Written Word
By Christina Frausto

The goal of this column is to renew an interest in the written word. Through letter writing, investigating books and literature, and renewing our reading and writing we are able to add to our character and enlighten our minds.

"The Gift of a Letter"

"Distance and time is shortened by your letters."

In tribute to the pleasures of letter writing (and receiving) I want to encourage others to renew this wonderful art form of writing personal letters. And I do consider it an art form. There is not only self-expression in the words chosen, but the entire letter and envelope can become an art form in itself. The act of writing and sending a letter can actually be seen as the giving of a gift. A letter can become more than just a means of conveying information to another. A letter can carry qualities of individuality and care. A reflection to the extent that the letter can be seen as a gift is carried out in the amount of individuality, time and thought put into the process of letter giving. Care can be mirrored in every step of the letter writing process.

Before even beginning to put words onto a page thought should be given to a "theme." Is the receiver a gardener or lover of cooking? Then make the letter a reflection of their interests. Whatever the receiver’s hobbies or interests are, it is fun to let them know, not just in words, that you are thinking of them. Enclose along with your words what you think they might enjoy receiving.

To begin, the gift of sending a letter to someone should start with the paper. Chose one that reflects your "theme." Stationary can be as basic as the type purchased at any card shop, or as extravagant as personally monogrammed stationary ordered from the stationer of the British Royal Family, Smythson of Bond Street in London (071-629-8558). A letter written on personalized stationary conveys an entirely different image than a letter written on a sheet of yellow, lined paper from a pad. The image on a particular sheet of stationary could just simply impart your message or be the catalyst for your gift of a theme or topic. If you have a friend that gardens, your letter could reflect the image of a plant or flower. You can even be creative by hand painting your theme onto your stationary.

The gift of sending a letter can continue by enclosing small, special items with the letter, a newspaper clipping, a photograph, a pretty bird feather, coupons, fortune cookie notes. The letter to the gardening friend could have a pressed flower enclosed or a packet of seeds. Your message can be made especially different by taking a calligraphy class and peppering your words or envelope with flourished letters.

The Calligrapher’s Project Book by Susanne Haines is a great book, providing ideas for types of paper, inks, and projects. Pendragon catalogue (1-800-775-PENS) offers art supplies, books, and fine papers. They can send you a sample packet of beautifully handmade papers. Consider making your own envelopes from these great papers. Simply unglue an envelope of desired size to use as a pattern, trace it onto your own paper, cut and glue!

The gift of a letter continues with words that are well chosen. Even if your subject matter is newsy and informal, the letter can be flavored with quotes from the reader’s (or your) favorite author or poem. A message can be formed by clipping out words, symbols, or pictures and glue sticking them to your letter.

Another nice touch is to seal your letters with wax and a stamp. Sealing wax comes in many different colors. Try sealing with red wax stamped by a rubber stamp that has been pressed in gold ink.

Before placing the letter and special enclosures into the envelope spray it with a fragrance that can continue the theme. Place a few petals from a potpourri into the envelope. Just because the letter and the special enclosures are sealed in an envelope doesn’t mean the gift of your letter has ended. The envelope can continue to convey the spirit of the message. The United States Postal Service catalogue (1-800-stamp-24) offers many beautiful thematic stamps. I always keep a box of different stamps around to go with different themes.

If you are still feeling creative, continue to decorate the envelope with stamp art, pen and ink drawings, cutouts, or even watercolor a scene. Interesting rubber stamps and inkpads can be used. Address the envelope with a pen that echoes the colors of your theme.

The title "Gift of a Letter" was taken from Alexandra Stoddard’s book of the same name, a wonderful book dedicated to "one of the most intimate and touching of human expressions": the letter.

Winter 2002 Publication
Copyright © 2002, For You Magazine, All Rights Reserved

So I'm sitting here at work. Again. Doesn't it seem to anyone else that this is all I ever do? That's what I thought.

FA LA LA LA LA!!!! TIs the season for all of our respective jobs to start playing Christmas music. And not just any Christmas music. Bad Christmas music. Ok, not really bad, because the one at Fess Parkers is Bill Powel, but we do only have ONE CD, and it plays constantly all morning...And the decorations have gone up. Rumor has it that they don't take the tree down every year, just wrap it in plastic and hide it away until next year. We also have white poinsettias in the lobby. Thirty two of them. Excessive much? Until this morning we had one on the counter, which effectively blocked any guest from view. Actually, I'd like that one back. We have some nuts here today. AND SOME VERY NICE PEOPLE TOO!!! (Covering my @$$, just in case my bosses stumble across this....)

I work a double today, but its an easy double. Plenty of time to make it home and shower. Which I didn't do this morning. Don't gross out. As the french know, perfume covers a multitude of evils...have you ever had one of those mornings where you start rationalizing staying in bed...longer and longer until there's no way you're going to make it out of the door on time. Wake up. Breakfast is the first thing that goes. Right? That's 10-15 minutes extra. Go back to sleep. Wake up ten minutes later. Half asleep start planning what to wear so as to eliminate the "standing in front of the closet" five minutes. Sleep for five minutes. Wake up. 40 minutes til you have to leave. This is the moment of truth. The latest possible time that one can wake up and still have a shower. After eliminating the shower, that also gets rid of "drying the hair" time, and the "drying off" time. So, in total, almost twenty minutes extra sleep. That's what happened this morning. The extra minutes won out. Of course, my hair is flat and I'm hungry, but dang it, it seemed like a good idea at a time...

Another good idea is This right here.

5 days left....

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Hello everyone! I made it home safely! It sure was good to see all of you again! My parents said their house hasn't been that much chaos since the last time I was home and you all were over!

Jeff, I'm now wearing black shoes with my black suit, so you can stop making fun of can't be picky when one is borrowing winter clothes that one no longer ownes..

Denise, what will I do without you popping in at all hours. May I say to everyone, life is much more boring here where we all work too hard to pop in and out!!!!

Audrey -- I know you don't read this, but great to see you anyway!

Keven, nice hat, and I have your 3-D glasses here somewhere. I'll mail them to you!

Eric, I didn't get to hook up with you, sorry! But I'll be back in January and we can Ice skate then!

Did I get everyone? STAY IN TOUCH all of you!!!!

My birthday is in 6 days....look at this.