Through: Compassion International,
or The Red Cross, if you prefer.
The complete guide to why French girls live so well with so little, and still manage to look great (even while eating goose liver, rich foods and chocolate). Buying quality instead of quantity, avoiding malls like the plague, and only buying clothes that are perfect, and go together. Living simply but well.
Also has French film recommendations. One of which is Chocolate, which you should see if you haven't -- even if it is directed by a Swede with a mostly American cast, it's still a great view of French living. And Johnny Depp is in it.
One of the most interesting things about touring is how separated you become from the "stuff." And shopping. When you have to ask, "do I want to carry this around for the next two months?" it keeps the urge to buy at a minimum.
I've been packing back up, and other than the mail that got out of control for the month I'm here (ads that expired before Christmas, and catalogues for clothes I can't afford crept into every drawer and crevice) I didn't bring a lot with me, and didn't buy things once I got here. There is something nice about knowing exactly how much in life you really need, and what are luxuries. On tour, luxuries are scented lotion, ear plugs, a sleeping mask, and a good pair of chenille socks. A portable CD player can change from luxury to necessity depending on the day, and how much you need to pretend there's no one else around for a minute.
We've all figured out by now that stuff doesn't make you happy, and those that have everything are miserable (and if you haven't, come work here and get first hand experience).
Of course, saying this, I have a storage unit of stuff in Texas that ONE of these days I'm going to have to drive down and move to wherever I decide to settle....
The creek right outside my door rose eight feet in the last three days. What was completely dry before Christmas is now suitable for white-water rafting, and another day of rain will having me sandbagging my door and building an ark. Another wave of this storm will be arriving shortly, though we had blue skies for twenty minutes today.
Thailand, however, was the main focus of the weather channel yesterday in the bar. For the best, most up to date information, search for Thailand blog. The news covered the story and said that the best place to look for up to date pictures, information, and places to donate to relief organization are in our own blogshpere. Pretty cool, isn't it? One of my sponsor kids is in Thailand, but I think she's further inland. My next stop is at Compassion International to see if they've sent me an update on her condition and whereabouts. Serious stuff going on these days.
On a less serious note, California surfers are dashing to the coast in droves to hit some post-tsunami waves.
I have three consecutive days of work. Which will be nice. I like my managers and other employees, and it's always fun to laugh at the people who come and their unmerited pretentions.
Tomorrow I'm doing Christmas lunch with Grandma and Ken and exchanging presents. They are going out of town for a few days, and then moving into their new house the day after Christmas.
And then six days to kill until I have to leave town again. It goes so fast....well, this afternoon won't. I'm having my teeth cleaned.
The only bummer is the hobbying that I've been able to do. No bringing my new scrapbook rolly case on tour I suppose. How much do I really need clothes?
And since I can take out three movies at a time, I think the time has come for a complete extended version viewing of the trilogy. Goodness knows I have enough quilting to do to justify it.
And the scenes they cut were so good! I was a little shocked at Saruman's untimely end -- I thought it was something they'd invented. But then I went back and read the rebuilding of the shire, which I usually skip over a bit. But, no, that's pretty much how he died -- minus falling off the tower and getting impaled. And his throat was slit by Grima, he wasn't stabbed in the back. And a three hobbit arrows got Grima wormtongue, not Legolas. But, since they didn't have the rebuilding of the shire, even in the extended version, all the changes make sense.
Eomer and Eowyn got more screen time - with an especially beautiful scene when he finds her lying prone on the battlefield. I wish they'd kept it in. It was only a few more seconds. And the Faramir - Eowyn love story was explored.
Stop me if you've heard that one. A Russian Jewish man and his daughter are walking through the forest towards a small village in the late 1920's. Skip ahead a few years. A Jewish girl, a Gypsy, a Russian, and a fascist Italian opera singer are living in Paris in the last 1930's. Any guesses how that movie is going to turn out?
Really, though, go and rent it. It was beautifully done acted and directed. It is not a concentration camp movie, though it does show the occupation. And Cate Blanchett is doing another linguistic chameleon act. She's amazing. And Johnny Depp does play a gypsy so well, better than in Chocolate, though he talks less.
A good part of the sountrack is operatic arias and choruses. And the costumes are beautiful, at least Cate Blanchett's.
The coastland of the Gaelic people known as "Earra Gael" fell to the dreaded Viking overlorship in the middle of the eighth century when their rule was at its harshest. It was then that the warrior King Somerled mac Gillibride became foremost in Oban history. Part Viking, part Celt, he rallied his oppressed and despairing countrymen leading them towards a new and lasting freedom from their oppressors. His spirit is said to live upon the precipitous crag of Dun Ollaigh which for centuries has been the home for descendents of his son and heir Dougall mac Somhairlie, the founder of the great "Clan MacDougall."
This moment in history is brought to you from the side of a bottle of Oban Single-malt Scotch Whiskey. Who says bartending isn't an intellectual profession?
My current favorite is Charade with Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant. One of my friends in high school used to be into old movies, but I never acquired a taste for them. I'm on an Audrey Hepburn kick right now. Last night I watched Breakfast at Tiffany's.
Cary Grant is amazing. I'm going to watch, maybe, if I can find a box of kleenex, It Happened One Night. No doubt the most depressing movie ever -- well, I'd put Schindler's List and The Diary of Anne Frank up there somewhere. My favorite scene in Charade was him showering in his suit, because washing a suit on the body "maintains its shape." And Audrey Hepburn in the only woman alive who can look sophisticated with her mouth hanging open, as she frequently does in emotional scenes.
I read a quote by her that says anybody can have her style by putting on a little sleeveless dress. I think being 5'7" and having a 20" waist have SOMETHING to do with it...
3 Tbsp. Yellow Curry paste (either from the recipe above or from a can like Mae Sri brand)
1-lb chicken, cut into 2 inch pieces(cut through the bones with a sharp cleaver if using chicken with bones)
2-3 small red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 can(16oz) coconut milk, shake before opening to mix seperated milk
2 Tbsp. fried shallots(available in a plastic jar in Asia groceries), optional
1 tsp. fish sauce( to taste)
In a small bowl mix the curry paste with 1 Tbsp. of water to dilute. Add to the coconut milk in a medium sized sauce pan. Stir to mix. Add the chicken and potatoes, and 1/2 tsp of sea salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until the meat and potatoes are cooked through, not simmering on low heat, but let the curry roll on a low boil.
At the end of cooking, taste and add fish sauce to adjust the saltiness. Cook a minute longer. Remove from heat. Garnish with fried shallots(available ready made in a plastic container), if desired. Serve with Thai jasmine rice.
I got the best birthday present yesterday. Almost killed two motorcyclists trying to get the wrapping open while driving...
And then, I was talking on my phone and got distracted, and locked my keys in the car. Pop-a-lock came, and charged $50 to go *click.* Today I'm making a spare key.
Yesterday Wendy and I went down to Ventura to go to the fabric store and bum around a bit. The weather was lovely and warm (which was unfortunate, because both of us had dressed for the arctic), so we had the windows of the car rolled down. Suddenly, a wonderful whiff of something came floating in. It was Thai, and yet not Thai. So we drove up and down sidestreets, looking for Curry. And then we saw it: Thai Peruvian. And they had Yellow Curry. So my week was made, I had Thai twice. And several meals of leftovers.
Its the simple thing of life you treasure...
Today I'm heading up to clean Grandma's house for money for my car payment. I forgot that my first paycheck won't be until the 20th. Rarrgh.
So I've been wandering around all day trying to figure it out...and it's not happening.
In Little Women the scene that gets to me is right at the end. Through the whole opera Jo has been trying to hang on to the way things were growing up. She doesn't want anyone to change, or grow up, or move away. Meg sings "things change, Jo" when she marries John Brooke. Beth sings the same thing when she's dying. Finally, Jo understands when Aunt March sings about her dusty old house, where there is no love, no affection, but everything stays "perfect as they are." And then Jo goes back to her house and sees her sisters as they were, all four, young and happy. And Jo finally is able to sing that she "understands now. You love me. Things end." And she finally is able to let them go. (That was a whole box of kleenex there.)
In "Lord of the Rings" it's at the end. The world is saved. Everyone goes back to the way things were. Sam gets married, Pip and Merry are roaming around with their new found celebrity. Frodo, the real hero, is practically forgotten. And in the end, he has to leave. Tolkien writes that the saving of middle earth involved a sacrifice. The era of men has begun. The elves must leave. And so must Frodo. He has changed too much to fit in there any longer. Sam sees Frodo off, and then goes home. Life goes on. But not the same.
And Peter Pan. The adventure is over. Wendy must grow up. She realises that never growing up means she can never experience "the greatest adventure of all." And so she goes home. And grows up. And Peter cannot come. "Peter Pan had countless joys that no other children do, but he was looking upon the one joy he could never have."
Maybe it's the lack of "they all lived happily ever after." Maybe they did, but in order to have one thing, another must be given up. Things change. Nothing can ever stay just as it was.
Anyway, that's my ramblings for today... thanks for listening... I'm going to go read Peter Pan now. And, really, read "Peter Pan and the Starcatchers." It was quite good.
I can't wait for school to let out so the vacationing can commence!
So, yesterday was my first day back to work. I was so exhausted last night I fell asleep with my clothes on, teeth unbrushed.
The first part of the day was out in the waggin' tongue. I was operating in "slow and stupid" mode. I kept hoping that muscle memory would kick in and push the right buttons for me.
Ten minutes into my shift I'd already ticked someone off. Part of set up in turning on the juke box. Someone had cranked up the volume, and I was trying to remember how to turn it down. In walks a CEO. Guess who hadn't got the memo that there was a meeting next door.
No one came in the three hours I was out there, but at least I got the bar cleaned. And decorated. Someone left some unattended poinsettias... Dale came in, looked at the set up and laughed. Leave me by myself for a few hours and I'll decorate. I only made my hourly, but after $10 a day, about the same an hour is rather nice.
That night I was supposed to cocktail waitress, but due to an oversight I was sent trucking back out to the Waggin' Tongue to bartend a private party. Good thing I'd cleaned the bar. It was a lot of fun. I prefer bartending to cocktail waitressing. If they're coming to you as a bartender, they already want a drink. You don't have to sell it to them. They almost wiped me out of beer. Always happens when you have a Country Western band.
The funniest part of the evening was when a man came in and tried to convince his wife that he needed a milkshake machine in his own home. She, of course, vetoed it as impractical. He kept admiring it all evening.
Grandma got to my apartment before I did, and decorated. I have swags, Christmas towels, and matching bedspread. I unpacked my suitcase (Finally!) and found places for the things I brought with me.
Yesterday I ran errands, and quilted, and made cards, and hung out with Wendy. Today I woke up for morning coffee, ran a few more errands, and printed a few pictures to put in my scrapbooks. Life is exciting as usual. I start work tomorrow.
It's an odd thing. From time to time on tour I would look forward to having time and a room to myself. Now that I have it, I sit around wondering where everyone is. And since we all had to compact our free time into a few minutes in the morning, or after the show, having hours to do whatever I want is unsettling. I don't know quite what to do with it.
On a plus note, I paid off $700 of my car loan principle with my tour money. I'm quite proud of that...
We have to go get a new circuit board. Miles had put one together, but then burnt out the board when he tried to jump a component he didn't have. The new board should make our outside lights slash at intervals, with a switch to control the speed. Or something like that. About halfway through "jump wire if not using part b-32" I zoned out completely. It never ceases to amaze me how much thought Miles puts into our lights. He says it's because our house is on a hill, so it better look cool. I think the Logsdons get decorating out of their system at our place. They still put up lights and a tree at their place...
So, I'm off to the shower so I'm not late to the planning session.
Now I'm on to the mundane. My ledger is updated, and my freedom account ledger also, but I haven't done my spending logs. My dept repayment schedule and payoff record are updated. My bills are paid. Now I have four months of sermons to recopy into my notebook...
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, the next day decorating, one day to pack and hang out with friends, and I head out again on Sunday.
It will be good to be stationary for a bit. Once I get there, that is...
I just bought me, my cats, and Allie the New & Improved Litter Maid Self-Cleaning Litter Box. Designer Series. No More Scooping! Easy, Clean and Convenient! Eliminates Odors!
Some people get excited about computers. Nope. Not cleaning a litter box ever again pretty much makes my day.
My little sister, Allie, took my ReliantK CD away from me and has been listening to it. I may never get it back. She even did some head banging on one song, which works really well since her hair is down to her waist.
She stopped after a minute because "it kills brain cells and I need all mine..."
My poor, six-year-old laptop can't handle anything taking up that much memory. So I'm copying my CD to my parents' computer, editing it down some for scrapbooking, and then burning another CD (in theory -- my practical computer knowledge is limited. I'm sure there will be a snag somewhere).
Time to get a new computer. Maybe after next tour...
My cats sort of remember me. Chloe is still hiding under the bed. Cai came over for a chin scratch. He's always been a turkey. He lost his baby cowlick. He used to not be able to reach the spot over his tailbone, and his fur stood up. He got so big!
This afternoon I have to help pull the house together. Grandma is coming in at 5, and the house has to be spotless. So, I'll be stuffing flowers into the entryway garland for a while...
Rachel: "I'll have you know, people have paid me to sing."
Jessica: "Where? The circus?"
Jessica: "Sewing a lizard on your bag is harder than you think."
Bert: "A mail order tattoo gun? Good luck reaching your own behind."
Jonathan: "I want him to lose the next election so I can hear him say 'I'll be back'."
Aaron: "If you do something, then do it again, that's Dunnigan."
Rachel: " There's another city sign. We're at Dunnigan again."
Aaron: "You know the store Bennigans? I've only been once, but if I go again I'll have been again to Bennigans."
Vicky: "When in Rome do as the Romans do. When in Mexico..."
Rachel: "Don't drink the water."
Jonathan: "It was like a black church with white people."
Jessica: "Does your camera take pictures?"
Dad on Phone: "Nope, it makes mochas."
We were having a discussion the other evening at Camp Harlow about character flaws. What are they, what can one do about them in oneself, and when and if you should bring them to a friend's attention.
Our definition for the sake of the conversation was "part of our nature that, while not a necessarily a sin, is detrimental to yourself or others." Talking incessantly, for example. Is that a sin? No. But Poverbs says "when words are many, sin is not absent." So that flaw could lead to sin. Likely, if your mouth never stops moving, you also aren't allowing enough delay to think over your subject, or choice of words. And if your constant talking involves interrupting people or monopolizing a room, then you're bordering on selfishness and inconsideracy.
What about virtues. Can a virtue in excess become a character flaw? The virtue of temperance -- only taking what you need and no more. What if you walk into a restaurant and send back a plate because there is "simply too much" on it. Or go to a friend's house and refuse what is offered because "all you want" is something simpler and less costly than what is offered. C.S. Lewis in Screwtape Letters calls this gluttony. It may not be in excess, but you are still demanding what you want, no matter how much trouble anyone else has to go to.
One character flaw of mine that was brought to my attention (indirectly) in a desire for attention. I often do it through self-depracation or false modesty, desiring others to tell me that it isn't true. In that instance, I threw a football well. (Once apon a time one of my kids at youth group decided no girl could live without know how, so he spent one whole lock in teaching me how to throw one.) I, of course, couldn't be happy in the fact that I had done it well, I had to make sure everyone else knew as well. I woudln't shut up about it. I was annoying myself, even. Finally someone said, "You already said that you could, yesterday." Which I had.
So how does one fix a character flaw? The drive for approval is the easy part to fix -- recognise that God's approval is all that matters. But the attention part? I'm not sure. Throw in a martyr complex and it's a bad combination. Does anyone have any thoughts?
Last night was our first show in our last run this tour. It was a strange venue. The room fit the stage just fine, but couldn't fit the tables. So the tables were set up in another room across the church. So after the prologue the whole audience trouped across to have dinner and dessert, and then back for the combined first and second acts.
It went well. Two of our cast members are sick. Aaron was trying not to cough backstage. Just then, a guy in the audience started hacking up a lung. I told him to try and time them to coordinate with that guy...
Today we're off to Central Point. We're in Eagle Point now. Our homestay had the most comfortable bed we've slept in in a while. Well, we were in sleeping bags in bunks at a camp for our days off. The camp had covered wagons with bunk beds. I wanted to sneak into one the last night but chickened out. I did sneak into a movie that I didn't have a ticket for. We were going to see Taxi (eh) but watched the previews at Sing Out Loud and then left. That's the first time I've ever done that...see what tour does?
So I walked two miles to the mall, bought myself a new book by Francine Rivers, went out to Thai for lunch, looked at scrapbooking supplies and yarn at a craft store, read in the food court, went to the hairdressers, walked to KFC for dinner, and walked home.
My hair is back to its natural color now. It's darker than I remembered, but its been six years. Maybe it darkened. But the top two inches of my roots didn't get dye, and it matches. Strange....
For more details please contact the Wycliffe Northwest office.
4200 S.E. Jennings Ave
(503) 652-1541 FAX
For info about booking the dinner theaterin your church, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our next tour will be in California alone, maybe with some shows in Oregon on the way back, but I haven't seen an itenerary yet.
Prayer partners, please pray for our bookings. We have 25 booked, but need at least 35 to tour, and a full semester would be 45 shows. Also pray for those of us who will be returning. We'll need the time off to rest from this tour, and I'll be working in California over Christmas. I will get to be home for thanksgiving and the day after (our bigger holiday -- we put up the Christmas trees). Christmas I will be solo with my cats -- rather like Sandra Bullock in While You Were Sleeping.
So that's the tour update. The next one starts January 10 and runs through the middle of May.
I just received the year end report from Compassion International. It is a child sponsorship program I've been involved with off and on. For $28 a month you provide a child with education, sanitation, heath classes, and you have the option to sent extra money (there is a limit to how much you can give per year) to the child's church for their family. The church then decides how best to use it to better their living conditions.
This program's mission statement impressed me. In order to meet the requirements for charitable organizations, 80% of donations must directly benefit the children. And they have a policy of staffing their overseas programs with people from that country. And, the decision of who needs sponsored is made by the local church.
I've loved sponsoring my kids, and getting letters and pictures from them makes my day. If anyone has every wanted to try it, there is only a one year commitment (when I first started you pretty much assumed you'd have the child all the way through their education, if possible). So, here's a copy of the report they sent me. It contains their annual report, and some statistics on sponsorship.
"Thank you for your faithful support of Compassion?s ministry. In a continuing effort to be good stewards of the gifts and resources that have been entrusted to us, this year we are making Compassion?s 2003-2004 Annual Report available online...It was an extraordinary year at Compassion.
Sponsorship is up worldwide: 83,988 children were sponsored during the year.
Thousands more children than expected were registered in our program.
Compassion?s ministry is launching into new countries around the world.
The Leadership Development Program continues to attract students with great potential.
Maintaining a Strong Tradition and Trusted Reputation At Compassion, we?re doing everything possible to maintain our strong tradition as a leader in Christian child development and trusted reputation for good stewardship. Thank you for partnering with us. Sincerely in Christ,
Dr. Wesley K. StaffordPresident and Chief Executive OfficerCompassion International
Releasing children from poverty in Jesus? name"
I just finished reading this book. I've read a good deal of Dave Barry, and hadn't caught the memo that he's writing fiction. I found another book of his on the shelf that I didn't buy, but will eventually.
I thought this book was excellent. I've liked Peter Pan stories for a long time, and love the movies based on them -- especially the latest Peter Pan live action, and Hook.
This book deviates a bit from the original stories (because, we wouldn't have a pre-Neverland Peter if he's carried off by Tink right away). Instead, he is the leader of a group of orphans being sent as servants to a barbaric King. He doesn't know his age, but as the leader, he is always one year older than the oldest boy in the orphanage. The five boys are put aboard the Neverland, a run down ship also carrying Molly, a young girl with a secret. She can talk to Porpoises for one thing. And she seems to be in the possession of a mysterious trunk that is heavily guarded, and when touched, shimmers and sounds like tiny bells tinkling.
Eventually, as a result of Peter's snooping, he is let in on the secret. Bits of stars that fall from heaven have magical powers. Their dust can make people fly, and turn ordinary beings into magical ones. She and her family are part of a secret society to keep the starstuff from falling into the wrong hands. Fast on their tail is a pirate ship, with none other than the Fierce Captain Stash. He has heard that the Neverland is carrying the greatest treasure in the world. And the Captain of the Neverland seems to have his own secrets.
After a battle on the high seas in a storm, the trunk, orphans, starcatchers, shipmates, and pirates are marooned on an island populated with 'savages'-the Mollusk Tribe. As all involved chase around after the trunk, some hints of the Pan stories yet to come are given.
My favorite part of the book is when the trunk drifts into a blue lagoon. It is leaking starstuff into the water, transforming the ordinary fish into Mermaids.
I didn't know what to expect, but it was worth the money I spent for the hardcover. I assumed that a book by Dave Barry would be parody, or at least comedy, but it is legitimate storytelling. If you've read any of Barry's books and newspaper columns, there is some dialogue that you could bet he wrote. I don't know the other author at all, so I can't make any comparisons there. A good, if fast, read -- geared for kids, and produced by Disney -- so watch out for the movie to be out in theaters sometime soon. I hope they'll be smart and get the kid that played Peter in the live action version. I suppose he'll be too old, but it would be great for continuity.
I just looked at my blogcounter and someone came to my website looking for Vargus Pinup Girls. Does that frighten anyone else?
Today was the perfect way to spend a cold, gloomy afternoon. We spent our days off at a camp and retreat center in Eugene, Oregon. We're just about the only people here besides the staff, so we kind of have the run of the lodge. After breakfast, three of us went into the fireside room and crafted. Jessica was knitting a scarf, Julie collaging a card for her brother. I was thread crocheting. Later, Aaron joined us. He didn't craft, but he did hang out, look out the window at the fall weather, and entertain us with his guitar. And Tasha joined last of all, working on a quilt. In the afternoon everyone left except Jess and I, and we spent three hours working on our various projects. And she'd never heard Odyssey, so we listened to half a dozen episodes. Now she's got one of them. I've sucked someone else in! (maniacal laughter)
Tomorrow our homestay is going to take Ashli and myself to fabric and yarn stores. Once I finish this project, I'll need to start another. After all, Christmas is coming. And tomorrow night we have a show here in Springfield.
Sorry guys, this is not a blatant attempt at being mercinary, but my mother asked me to put a list of things I need (or just want) somewhere where she can be sure to find it, what with Christmas and my birthday coming up so quickly...
1. socks. really.
3.black long underwear top.
5. Reliant K's 1st and 2nd cds.
6. Hawk Nelson CD.
7. Jacob's Well "You Are Better." CD
8. Stamps and Stationary.
9. Sleep mask and earplugs.
10. Ginny Owens CD
11. Travel coffee mug that has the clip to attach to your bag. They have them at starbucks...probably other places too.
Ok, everyone else go about your business. I'm done now!
Our stage was put directly on top of their stage in the sanctuary. So instead of the front platforms being two and one half feet off the ground, we were more like six. The trick there? Twice during the show we have to either scramble on, or jump off the stage. Their stage was sort of a hexagon, with our rectangle across it at the widest part. And there were five steps. So, in the pre show, in pitch black, we had to come tearing through the audience, down one level in their congregation, between tables, miss the imaginary step (a dark line in the carpet...Got us every time), up the stairs, and onto our stage. The other direction we had to plan more carefully. Off our stage onto the bit of their stage that stuck out far enough to land on, down the steps, and through the house.
On the upside, I've never heard so much praying during a show. "Please God, don't let us kill ourselves doing this! PLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASE PLEASE!" Only one person fell. Coming offstage you hit the backside of the drop-off and even more steps. Someone missed it in a blackout. (Big silent emotional moment onstage...Blackout...Aaaaannnnd.. KATHUNK!...thudthudthudthud...Muffled hysterical laughter.)
The terror during the locust scene has never looked more realistic. We had resorted to crossing ourselves by then.
Tonight we set a new record. Kitchen crew was done by 9:45, with the trailer locked up. Stage crew pulled in at 9:57. The show ended at 9:15, so we're pretty stoked. That's at least worth a pizza or something instead of adobo. It was odd to be at Mocks Crest in Portland. We unpacked and were all geared up to fly out. Then realized we had 10 more shows. It was a great two nights there. What a trip to get to hang out with all 12 of the group on our off time. Usually we're split up into homestays.
We watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I really really really liked that movie. The premise was great. If you could erase bad memories from your mind, would you? One great part of the movie was when Jim Carrey stopped just reliving the memories, but began interacting with Kate Winslet in them. And the last memory, when she tells him "this is the last one, and it's almost gone. What do we do?" Just enjoy it. Every second. Some of the forced perspective work was great. Instead of relying on post-production special effects, the director actually built the set to create the effect on camera. I think they used hand held cameras for the majority of the filming. Oh, and if you watched the behind the scenes footage, one scene was completely improvised. The cast was filming in New York in the subway, and they heard a circus passing overhead. Then cast and crew chased the circus around New York City to ad lib shots to put in the film. And what an amazing cast. When Elijah Wood is the bit part...
Tomorrow we're off to our last show in this set. It's my day for devotions, and we're still working our way through the first chapter of James. I get to do verses 16 through wherever I decide to end. Probably around 21. I'm nervous. I like imputing into a discussion, but I'm not sure if I'm skilled at leading one.
My costume: A homeschool mom. Complete with pregnant belly and denim jumper.
So yesterday I was well enough to go to church at Sunridge Community Church in Temecula, California. I really enjoyed the church. The band at the front was great -- especially the front row guitar on the left who reallys seemed to be enjoying worship. They sang some songs that I knew, and some that were completely new. The sermon (whose notes I'll post somewhere -- I liked it that much) was on finances. It wasn't a sermon on percentages, or contribute to our building fund (Thank God. I realized recently that I haven't gone to a church in my life that hasn't either built a new sanctuary, or put on a new roof at least). But it was about spending money wisely. They had given about a dozen people $100 dollars several months ago saying that it was God's money, and had to be used to build his Kingdom, but with no other restrictions. The places the money went were as varied as the people. One lady took her money and raised more for hurricane relief for a church that was leveled. Another lady gave a hitchhiker a meal, fixed his broken bicycle, and gave him the rest. Another gathered enough money to ship baseball equipment to Cuba for a church hat was starting a program. Another made morning and evening aid boxes for missionaries. And then, one lady heard of a young girl diagnosed with cancer, who wanted a real hair wig (which costs between $1,000 and $1500). Her money went there, and she got the word out to her friends. One of their friends' five-year-old son heard about it and started a lemonade stand to help. Construction workers came by, and the boy told them why he was doing it, and he alone raise almost $500. At five years old.
That was the set up for the sermon on giving. It was mainly about why God gives us resources. He read some of the passages directed to the "rich man." Then he stopped and told us that most of us just zoned out what he'd just said because we're not "rich." Guess what. If you have food, clothing that isn't worn out, a shelter that doesn't leak, and reasonably reliable transportation, you are part of the wealthy 15% on our planet. If you own two vehicles, congratulations, you are the top 5%.
One of the testimonies from the "Kingdom Assignment" that really got me was a lady who realized that it isn't the big sacrifices that matter. Anything you can do to simplify your life and give to others will make a difference, not only to someone else, but to your own outlook on your God given resources. She looked down at her hands and decided to give up her weekly manicure and put that money aside to be given away instead. The pastor went a step further. Do your really need that bigger house? Second vehicle? Expensive hobby? What can you do to simplify that would mean a difference in the way you use your money. And the closing thought was, maybe God gives you more prosperity not to increase your standard of living, but to give you more opportunities to give to others in need.
"Mood Rings"by Reliant K
we all know the girls that i am talking about
well they are time bombs and they are ticking
and the only question's when they'll blow up
and they'll blow up; we know that without a doubt
cause they're those girls, yeah you know those girls that let their emotions get the best of them
and i've contrived some sort of a plan to help my fellow man
let's get emotional girls to all wear mood rings
so we'll be tipped off to when they're ticked off
cause we'll know just what they're thinking
cause what they're thinking...
she's so pretty but she but doesn't always act that way
her mood's out swinging on the swing set almost every day
she said to me that she's so happy it's depressing
and all i said was "someone get that girl a mood ring"
if it's drama you want then look no further
they're like the real world meets boy meets world meets days of our lives
and it just kills me how they get away with murder
they'll anger you then bat their eyes; those pretty eyes that watch you sympathize
and i've contrived some sort of a plan to help my fellow man
let's get emotional girls to all wear mood rings
so we'll be tipped off to when they're ticked off
cause we'll know just what they're thinking
cause what they're thinking...
she's so pretty but she but doesn't always act that way
her mood's out swinging on the swing set almost every day
she said to me that she's so stressed out that it's soothing
and all i said was "someone get that girl a mood ring"
cause when it's black (it) means watch your back because you're probably
the last person in the world right now she wants to see
and when it's blue it means that you should call her up immediately<>and ask her out because she'll most likely agree
and when it's green it simply means that she is really stressed
and when it's clear it means she's completely emotionless
(and that's all right i must confess)
we all know the girls that i am talking about
she liked you wednesday but now it's friday and she has to wash her hair
and it just figures that we'll never figure them out
first she's jekyll and then she's hyde....at least she makes a lovely pair
mood ring oh mood ring oh tell me will you bring
the key to unlock this mystery
of girls and their emotions
play it back in slow motion
so i may understand the complex infrastructure known as the female mind
Yeah, I'm feeling a little bitter today.
I bought a pink sweater.
My sister emailed pics of the wedding, but they haven't shown up yet.
I'm the worst about "my time." I hate to have it wasted. I hate waiting for people. Living with twelve people in a constant state of "wait, let me go get my bag, change my clothes, grab my key, wait, are you sure that's where we want to go" has probably been good for me, as frustrating as I find it some days. Today I thought if I had to wait one more second to begin the movie, I was going to throw the remote at something. I have read Screwtape Letters often enough to remember that time is not something we possess, but a gift we are given and have no control over. Even the number of our days isn't known to us. But somehow I still get miffed about my wasted hours and minutes. But God's been working on me with that. Learning to go with the flow and have a bit of patience, which is one more bit that I began tour with.
So, what does that have to do with the first bit? Well, in the midst of a miff over waiting, I had to be reminded, this is why I'm here. Not to perform, or to be in the spotlight (and it's hard to be conceited when you're up to your elbows in dishwater), but to learn and grow and learn to love people and God better. And don't I know that one's going to come back and bite me in the butt. Right now I'm quaking over the thought of having to sit down with someone and confront them about some things they've been doing lately, instead of taking the far easier route of ignoring and avoiding them. Which I've been doing for the past few days, and my team leader had to call me on it. And I really would rather just blow them off for another month. It would be less hassle. But then God brings this one back to mind:
"No Christian ever has a right to sever any relationship with anybody out of anger or pique, or even injustice, no matter how much he disapproves of someone's actions. It's our place to demonstrate reconciliation - not judgment or revenge or retaliation. That's God's business, not ours...When the lines of communication are cut so that two people can't even talk, what have you gained then? All you've done is sever what may have been God's only way into a man's heart." ~Catherine Marshall.
And, speaking of which, there's another unresolved reconciliation I've been putting off for a while that I really need to attend to.
Woke up at 8 to my phone ringing. It was Mary calling to see if I wanted to go trudge around Europe for a couple of weeks next summer. Do I ever!
Then I went back to bed, slept until 11, puttered around for a few hours, Julie and I went to rent movies. Watched "Life or Something Like It" and "Ella Enchanted." The first was extremely excellent, the second I liked a good deal, but not on the same level.
We went to dinner at TGIFridays and then to the hot tub. Where we met a nice guy who was meeting a girl he'd be corresponding with for some time, for the first time that evening. Tomorrow, we're off to Disneyland.
We finished our five day run of the show...Calvary Chapel Murietta is a great audience. They laughed at all the right places, and didn't laugh at the wrong ones (like the helicopter crashing -- I have yet to figure out why that strikes people as funny). Our hosts are so generous. We've barely had to eat adobo at all this week because they keep bringing us food. And they brought on extra volunteers to wash dishes while the show is going, so most of the work is done by the time the show is over. Making for much easier cleanup. And they put us up at a hotel. Did I mention that? I do kind of miss getting to meet new people, but this is a nice break. It does make tour feel a little like your average high school band trip, but at least we don't have to pack up every day.
Tonight, after walking through a drive-through in auto formation, we're having a chick flick night. We tried to rent Pride and Prejudice for a marathon, but we missed the lady at Hollywood Video by about 10 seconds. She locked the door when we pulled up. On second thought, maybe it wasn't midnight, she just thought we looked suspect. TBS is playing Sleepless in Seattle following You've Got Mail. Tasha is sewing, Julie is watching intently -- watching me that is. Because she's waiting for the computer, and Nicole is passed out and snoring beside me.
Tomorrow we're going to find a bookstore and read for hours. Tuesday we may make it to Disneyland, if we end up going. And then we still have two days until the next show. Except for a food order having to come in. That's such a pain in the butt. Having to unload the whole trailer and break down boxes and shove food in, duct taping the fridge door closed. Put it all back. Repeat, once a week. Ah well. Part of the business...
So I'm starting to doze. I'll see you guys in the next few. We have free wireless internet in the hotel!
Good show though. Audience of somewhere around 200.
Tomorrow we're off to Murietta for our week and a half stint. After the show we have to clean up, but not tear down!!!! Ahh, it does the heart good.
After Sunday, we have four days off.
Nancy, my former small group leader sent me a letter today. It was so great to hear from her. Two of her kids are off doing YWAM, which I always wanted to do. Guess that means I'm not too old after all.
Kind of a mishmash tonight. I'm really tired.
And I hear gas prices are astronomical...so we'll have to remember to gas up at the border again. And the biggest perk of the whole thing? For eight days we'll be staying in a hotel. A church opted to put us up there rather than passing us around the church for 8 days.
What a relief. I feel I've seen as much of this state as I wanted to, and more. We have done more driving than is typical (They keep mentioning the mythical standard that is the "normal tour." We have yet to see it). I think we've crossed the state three or four times. Tomorrow morning we leave for the Murietta/Tumecula area in Southern California. I'm so excited!
Time does seem to be standing still on tour. The weather down here is basically the same all year. It should be fall now. When we hit Dallas, OR in November, it's going to be quite a shock!
That is the second time I've read that book aloud. Last time with Wendy and Drea.
Next long drive we start Little Women -- which Tasha (contrary to everything this country holds dear) has never read.
Jo came onstage for the scene where she pulls a leech off her leg in the jungle. She looks puzzled, and doesn't lift the hem of her skirt to show the black blog of tape. Then I notice there is something on my shoe. At a convenient point in the scene, I look down and notice...its stuck to the bottom of my shoe.
Of course from there on it's all over. Every time I took a step I'm reminded. Burt swears I was laughing so hard I shook the stage. I doubt it, but dang was that funny!
Dad, for you I had a raspberry hazelnut mocha.
It was upstairs at the church, blankets on the floor, pillows strewn about, and shoes prohibited. They had a table of Middle-Eastern snacks and (ironically) Mango Nectar made in the Philippines.
Jessica went right away to the group centered around our hosts. I walked over to the missions table, looking for something to do after a long night that didn't involve trying to "recommend myself to strangers." Jeremy was that guy at the table. He gave me the low down on everyone in the room. Most have been to the Middle East in the short term, or will be heading there full time within the next five years. A few years ago that would have been tantamount to a suicide mission in many places, but he said doors have begun to open.
After that I talked to the youth leader. He's still in college, and doesn't feel called to long term missions (missions was kind of in the air that night), but wanted to know if I was called, and what am I currently studying in the Bible. I have to say, I could tell him verses, badly misquoted, but he would jump right in with, " Oh that's from Matthew 13, right?" Rather daunting, but we had some good conversation on the topic of giving. I had a few opinions and ideas, and his comments have prompted a topical overview on the subject.
After that we crossed the train tracks and went to eat at La Roca. I had my first non-Taco Bell gordita. It was excellent, as was the tortilla soup with a mysterious spice in a dish on the side. That was good too. We finished it off with some cheesecake. How awesome, and another country to color in on my map.
The Colorado River (which we could only see a tiny bit of) isn't picturesque. A settler once said it was too thick to drink and too thin to plow. I bought postcards of scenic parts you can't see from the top -- beautiful waterfalls with rare plants around them -- hardly desert at all.
Following Aaron's example I climbed out on a rock that jutted over the precipice. I walked almost to the end, then crawled the last few feet. There was a hairline fracture at the tip I decided not to cross -- but I have a picture floating around of me out there.
The guys peed off the edge...
Julie and I had a great time. We found a book of music that had all of our old favorites. No one else knew them, so they must have been "homeschool songs." We sang "Bullfrogs and Butterflies," "Rise and Shine," -- with motions, and a whole slew of others.
My favorite, though, was turning a page and finding "Horse and Riders." One of my earliest memories is of my Dad standing up with a guitar in front of Tieton Drive Bible Chapel leading that song. I've never seen in anywhere else, but I can still sing all three parts of the round. That was neat!
Another long weekend. On the way to Saturday's show, the truck broke down 100 miles from the venue. Again, we piled into the remaining two leaving Tasha and Burt with the broken one. At the performance there was only enough power if we ran extension cords to upstairs offices and the men's bathroom. The kitchen crew helped set up the stage, since we coudln't cook without our kitchen trailer, hooked to the back of the truck. Tasha and Burt arrived just in time, with enought pizza for 200 people. The show started well, but then our stage manager began (literally) throwing up all over backstage. Two down. Everyone pitched in to get things done. Nick (one of Aaron's replacements for this weekend -- while he went to his sister's wedding) stayed late to help us tear down.
The next morning, Tasha, Burt and I got up at 5:30 to drive back to get our truck and trailer, while the rest of our team headed on to Flagstaff. We arrived by an alternate route just slightly behind them, just in time to watch them take the last of the planes out of the hanger we were performing in. Jessica was sent straight to someone's house. I took her walk on role, and Tasha stage managed. Nick came early to take over her jobs for set up, and stayed for tear down. The kitchen was very small, but we had to hold the show because so many people came. We had to set up extra tables! That was exciting!
So now we have four days off. Today we celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving, tomorrow we go to the Grand Canyon, then trive back to Phoenix. Wednesday we're off (but may go to Mexico) and Thursday we drive to Gilbert for another set of shows... We really needed the four days off!
"Well, sunset's in front of us, did they move it?" ~WDT
"It wasn't the sarcasm, it was the grapes hitting the car they were mad about. Which I don't understand since they're not much bigger than the bugs around here." ~Nicole
"The funny thing about amputation..." ~Vicky
They need to translate the Bible into sign language." "They have, it's called braile." ~Aaron and Me, respectively
"They go alphabetical and by gender. That's why half of them are called him-icanes." ~Bert
We had rehearsal today with the two guys who will be taking over for Aaron when he goes away for two days. They are doing a great job. It is so weird to have new people joining us. On the plus side, Nick is virtually the same size as Aaron, so I won't have to fake new costumes on the road. Chuck is bringing his own priest costume and suit.
After this morning's rehearsal, we came back to our billet for hamburgers and pool time. I even played volleyball for an hour, and hit the ball back over the net once. New personal record for me. And I made margaritas for the two ladies making dinner. Can't let those bartending skills go to waste. They have one of the nicest private bars I've ever seen. They even had Malibu rum, but being good, I didn't partake. I will be back bartending for the month of December before rehearsals start up again in January.
So that's all the updates. Last night was a really good show. The church decided they couldn't think of a better place for an offering to go than supporting our ministry, so we received all of it (instead of just being reimbursed for the cost of the performance). What a blessing!
This morning, before we left, we took a tour of the Wycliffe office in Tucson. Normally American offices do not have translating going on, just administration. During the 80's when Mexico closed its borders to the US, translators found themselves back in the States and unable to get a visa to return to their regional sites. So, this office was born. For over a decade translators brought individuals from various people groups up to aid them in translations out of that office. Now, it is the home of retired volunteers and the literacy offices.
The amazing thing about their center is how total it is. There is an upholstery house and an automotive shop. Missionaries on furlough use donated cars to get around, but people rarely donate new vehicles. The auto shop workers spend their time literally piecing vehicles back together again. (I saw one half of a van being rebuilt from bits and pieces)
The audio department takes recordings of sections of scripture, edits them, and converts the reels to tape and cd. One woman listens to every word of a recording in a language she doesn't speak, and makes sure it is correct. In one particular recording, the spaces between sentences were over edited, and the breaths were too loud, so she was lengthening pauses and cutting and pasting new breaths in. Tedious work there.
Missionaries on furlough also need clothes, so there was a boutique of donated articles. Unfortunatly, like the cars, many of the donations are from vintages that will never be revived. No one goes to Saks 5th Avenue to stock the missionary barrel. Do people even realise that there is such thing as a missionary barrel this century.
Something to think about, if you are donating items after spring cleaning. Call a Wycliffe office, or any missionary organization and see what their needs are.
Last night was our hardest show yet. It was an odd shaped room, and had two immovable stages that we had to work our stage around. Then, at mic check, three mics didn't work. So our 15 minutes dragged into over a half an hour. There was barely enough room backstage to maneuver (which caused several almost-character breaks as we walked onstage giggling at how we almost didn't make it that time). Then, afterwards, I lost a crew member during packing. She began panicking and felt like she was going to pass out. I sent her outside, but then I was down a crew member -- and she's the one who organises how things get put back into our tupperware tubs to get loaded back on the carts. It took a long time, and we had several dished break in the chaos. It's always the ones you don't have any extras of that get smashed. I was the last person out of the building by quite a bit. I'm sore this morning!
Today we're off to Northminster Presbyterian, where my church's old youth minister is now head pastor. We'll see if he comes to the show...
We had a show last night that was packed to the bursting point. The church decided to host us two weeks ago. I have no idea how they rounded up that many people! But someone had been praying for years that WDT would come to their church, so that was pretty cool.
I left my cds in the kitchen trailer, so it's going to be a long day!
I'm blogging from Waco. Ashli and I decided to take a break from taking a break. All our other cast members wanted to "do things" on their days off. We opted to take the truck down to the Scobell's Bed and Breakfast. So all day today we've done as little as possible. Some laundry. Some emailing, postcarding and (for me) updating my spending logs and ledger. So far everything balances, and I'm able to pay next months bills yet again. Thanks be to God.
Wednesday we head to Big Springs, where we'll speak to a camp about what we do. Then Thursday it's off to Las Cruces, NM. We picked up one show last minute before we have to be in Tucson.
I think I would be more inclined to do things if we weren't going back over the route I've lived and driven. As it is, highway 20 is my old stomping grounds. Not even a roadrunner to break up the monotony!
An East Indian Church was our audience. Originally we were supposed to be at their church, but the pews weren't movable, so they rented a community center. I don't think they knew what they were getting into. It was hot and bug infested. We spent a good amount of time cleaning during set up. The weather yesterday was well over 90, with very high humidity. No air conditioning at first, but at least they figured out how to turn it on before the show started. Scooping the rice from the kettle was torture!
The contact was late (probably because we set off the alarms in the building going through an unlocked door) and we were sweating like crazy. All of the girls turned their jeans into capris. We were told, when he arrived, that Indian women don't show leg, so we would have to roll our pants back down before we came into contact with the audience. We were worried because Balangaos wear skirts just below the knee, and in one scene I wear shorts playing a child. They said their congregation is somewhat acclimated to "Western Theater" and would understand that these are only costumes.
Then, we were short on circuits, so three of our nine lights wouldn't work. The air conditioning was loud, and our mics were cranked up, without much effect. Well, most of our mics were. Mine I turned off to run to the rest room, and forgot to turn back on. So I spent all of act one mute. I can project, but in a gym.....
That was the bad stuff, here's the good. The audience was one of our most responsive. Many of the congregation had recently moved here from India. They wore the most beautiful Saris (I think that's what they're called). They had two missionaries to India that they support, and the couple stood up and told of their experiences translating the Bible for the past 25 years. One man gave his life to Christ, and almost a dozen want to do missions work. One 8-year-old girl wants to be a missionary or a doctor. We told her she could do both. Afterwards, we got to talk with some of the ladies washing dishes. We had men standing around, but no one was sure if they would help in the kitchen, or take orders for a woman. They would, but we minced around that issue for a while. Julie said she did the same thing tearing down the stage. It was a very long night, and we got home well after midnight.
Tonight we're at a black church with 7,000 members. What a difference a day makes...
Adrian came up to Dallas this morning to give me a two day vacation. So far I've talked to VC and eaten at Bangkok Royale...Yellow Curry! My favorite! Oh and I went to use up some of my credit at the used bookstore. I still have $36 left, so there's plenty more to be bought. Today I sprang for Idylls of the King, The Last Temptation of Christ, Devil's Advocate, and Women in Love. That should keep me going for a while!
Our show last night was sloppy. The audience loved it, they were responsive, but little things kept going wrong. I almost missed and entrance. I was camped out by the side of the stage and realized that my cue was being said. I made it, but just barely. Also, there was a strange vacuum happening towards the audience. We lost one prop off the front end, and two more went sliding that direction. The button popped off my skirt, and I was trying to keep it on the whole first act. And finally, I got so tired of all the food we waste after a show that I scooped large portions of adobo. The last five servers didn't get full portions after all, and two of our cast had to eat peanut butter sandwitches. Tonight I'm supposed to be less zealous. And we ran out of veggies, but that wasn't my doing...It's a process, learning how much to make for how many. Our recipes are way off, but not all the same direction. Our fruit cocktail recipe is almost double what we need for the amount of people it says, but the vegetables always run the closest to the margin.
Ah well, the things you learn. On the plus side, kitchen crew got done in plenty of time with set up, and finished with the stage crew in tear down. Last night we were almost an hour behind them.
I assume tonight at the show we'll pray for the survivors and their families...
My right foot, apparently. I was doing something yesterday, unloading the kitchen carts I think, and my foot made a rather funny pop. It was sore but walkable, until I went leaping offstage yelling "locusts!" Then my foot went "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!" About 2 this morning I woke up crying it hurt so bad, and after icing it all night it's very swollen. I have no clue what I did to it, but the last time I broke a small bone in my foot, it was rainbow colored by now. I have hopes its just a tendon thing. Doesn't make it hurt less that way, but at least I won't be confined to a walking cast for six weeks. It's going to make running around barefoot tonight and tomorrow a pain.
Yesterday, the church's nearest ramp was on the opposite side of the gym from our trailers, so we had to haul everything uphill and around. The set up for kitchen crew is still new, so I don't know where to put everything to maximise the space. I spent hours just moving stuff around.
And I'm changing my name every night, I've decided, for variety. "Rachel, where does the.... Rachel, where do you want...... Rachel, what do I do now....?" I'm kitchen manager, so it's my job to organise set up, and repacking after the show. Then we have a dozen or so volunteers to help wash dishes. I wear a headscarf every show day (...and most others too. Saves on having to do my hair when I'm just going to put a wig on it.) , so I was being called "the little girl with the handkerchief." Makes me easy to identify. For some reason the church gentlemen who were scrubbing the pots found me in charge amusing. I think it's my stature...being 5'1"-ish has it's disadvantages. ( I may actually be 5'2" but people gave me such a hard time about partial inches I round down.) The counters were so high last night I couldn't see into the dish tubs without a major feat of athletics.
And the junior high kids who were serving called me ma'am. I know I'm in Texas, but ooh that hurt...then I did the math. I am almost twice their age. The big 25 is creeping closer. This year will be my second 24th birthday, since I seem to have mentally skipped my 23rd. Seriously. I even put it that way in my scrapbook. Is this what happens when you get old?
Today was my first real day off! What, do you think, Did Julie and I do our first day in Texas? Went to Hobby Lobby of course! I got some new cross stitch projects, and Julie got five colors of crochet thread for doilies.
Our host family is originally Dutch, but has lived in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, California, and Europe, among other places. They both worked with Wycliffe. They feed us very well, and quite healthily. We are grateful, since we've been living on candy, sandwitches, and pop on the road. After our shopping trip, we indulged in a movie marathon while crafting. We watched "Here on Earth" and "The Cutting Edge." So, mom and dad, you can stop telling me to watch it -- it was good. Here on earth I didn't like. The ending made it better, but most of the movie she was obviously trying to go for the rich guy behind her boyfriend's back. Intentionally. It made it hard to feel sorry for her at the end.
Tomorrow we have to put up the stage and do a rehearsal. It's been a week since our dress, so we're rusty. And, last week, our director made several changes on Tuesday that we're supposed to implement. I wrote my blocking changes down, but putting into the show without rehearsal is going to be interesting...
My driver is out of the picture for drivingso we've switched roles. First of all, Kansas is a long state. And flat. And twenty questions is less than thrilling. "Oooh! Oooh! Is it corn?"
Everyone is getting frayed nerves. I was the brunt end of a joke or two today, which was out of boredom, but still smarted, and I was touchy for the rest of the day. (Bible quotes degenerated into firing proverbs back and forth at each other, which ended with finding verses with our names in it. Rachel isn't the paragon of virtue, exactly, and the one that was such a riot over the intercom begins, "Oh father, I cannot stand..." That and having handfulls of m&m's shoved in my mouth pretty much ended my patience. Then the truck ran out of gas. We are all tired, and everyone tried to be helpful, which resulted in everyone running around like the headless chickens, no one was listening to our leader because everyone had their own idea of what should be done. To sum up, we're tired, and it's a long trip, and it'll be good to be stationary for three weeks once we hit Dallas. Thank God tonight is an early night, with a late start tomorrow. We'll all get sleep.
The girls all bonded tonight over "The Prince and Me" which was cute. Sometimes sitting around and laughing at a dumb movie is a great de-stresser.
Other than those altercations, everything is going well. We are definately becoming more of a family, as we bond and get to know each other better. Every new home we have to retell our life stories, so soon we'll be able to go around the table with everyone else's. We have a few down days in Dallas before our first show on the eighth. Hurrah for sleep and shopping!
More updates from Texas!
So, we're here in Denver. Last night we stayed in Salt Lake City, the night before in Boise. It is taking forever! The suburban (which broke down yesterday) is fixed and going to catch up to us tonight, late. We'll be eating breakfast tomorrow at quearter of 5. What a wretched hour to be awake. I'm hoping I don't have to go first on the driving...
And speaking of driving, my pilot seems to have really messed up his ankle playing volleyball, so I may have to switch jobs tomorrow...
Today is our last day in Portland. Last night was our final (and only) dress rehearsal with food service and everything. It went pretty well. We gave ourselves and extra hour to set up, and ended up with half an hour of down time (which means we're still behind timewise, but not too behind). We are all going to be very tired of Chicken Adobo by the time we're done with this tour. It's good, but not something I'm going to want fifty times between now and thanksgiving. We've packed Ramen noodles in the canopy for when we just can't eat another bite.
The actual run went very well. We had one missed quick change. One of my dressers - and it takes three of us - mysteriously disappeared right before the change. So Vicky went on with her veil on sideways and only half covering her face. We'll work on it. The only other problem was the lighting. It wasn't completely dark and there were lots of windows in the fellowship center. Thus, it was hard to tell when the blackouts were. By the way, I'm going to start (ha) ending sentences with prepositions. I was reading "Letters to an American Lady" and CS Lewis wrote that he hates the rule against it. He says it was perfectly admissible until some guy decided that since you can't do it in French, you shouldn't do it in English. I go with Lewis. It makes sentence construction much easier.
I've sent out another round of postcards, if any of them have begun filtering through. Those of you who are inclined to write back, my mail will be forwarded to me every other week. I really don't like postcards (it's getting her to shut up that's the trick), but it's been the most convenient so far. Anyone who wants actual letters may ask for them - or just wait for them to show up. At some point I'm going to get tired of cutting things down to fit on half a three by five card. I feel like I'm writing shorthand.
I went today to the post office and bought a gazillion stamps. Letter and postcard. The lady there had no idea how much it cost to send letters to Canada, and once she found out how much, didn't have the right denomination of stamp. Poor Nicole was standing there, and the lady kept looking helplessly at her, as if she should somehow come up with that information so she didn't have to look it up. The end result was Nicole getting letter stamps, but none for our spiffy touring cast postcards (look for those later on down the road -- also a handy reminder to pray for us, as we all sit there staring at you. By the way, I had just changed into that t-shirt when they gave the picture call, so everyone else is still dressed for church...)
I'll be able to blog more soon....
Today is a free day. I got up and made biscuits - minus gravy, unfortunatly. Then Aaron and I went over to the kitchen trailer, unloaded it, and washed down all the pots and pans. Woo.
We're supposed to be making a trip to the coast today, weather permitting. It's been raining in Portland all week.
We leave on Wednesday. Trying not to think about it. It's odd to think we're actually going to be heading out on the road!
Living in a multicultural house is very interesting. We have four Canadians, two Southerners, and then people from Washington, Oregon, New York, Wyoming, and Pennslyvania. Just the merging of expressions is funny. We've been trying to convince the Canadians not to refer to anyone south of the mason-dixon line as "Yankees." They won't take kindly to that in Texas. And we're working on Vicky's pronunciation of "southern." So far it's "sowth - urn." "No Vicky. Say "suth-urn." Once she's really there it will be some variation on "su-thun." But we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Oh, and she hates large bugs. Good thing it won't be cricket migration season when we get there. Oh wait....
Tea is probably the biggest thing we fight over. The "su-thun-ers" like it sweet (me too- a holdover from Texas). 2-1/4 cups sugar to a gallon is just about right. The "Yankees" like it unsweetened. The Canadians like instant crystals -- none of this brewed crap. It's a constant battle.
Canadians don't like American Chocolate. We don't have the "right" kind of candy bars, and the chocolate tastes funny. The only thing they seem to be extatic about is the caffeine level in Mountain Dew. Apparently in Canada it's caffeine-free. What, we might ask, is the point of drinking Mountain Dew then?
What to put on biscuits. That was the big debate this morning. Should it be gravy? Honey? Jam? or Peanut Butter?
So, yes, this is what prompted the quote below. I can't wait to see what choice phrases I pick up by the end of tour? Like "proh-sess"(for process) and "dekl" (For decal).
We leave one week from today. Tomorrow we finish working troublespots in act 2 and then we have a full runthrough in the evening. Costumes are almost done, and praise be to God I got enough done (with lots of help -- you should have seen J.P. sewing Nicole's headscarf..) that I don't have to do anything after hours tonight. Huzzah, because I'm "after hour-ed" out.
It is going to be a great show. I got to watch more of it today as we ran scene by scene than I've seen since the first few days of rehearsal. Wow have things changed! So many new characters, and new "stuff!" I hope those of you that get to see it will enjoy it as much as we've enjoyed putting it together. It is strange, though. We've worked so hard, but its still hard to grasp that once the main push is over, we still have to perform it!
Today has gone very well on very little sleep. Living with this many people does lead to some interesting situations, especially when people forget to close doors. On either side, in order to get from the bathroom to the upstairs dorm, you have to walk past the door to the common room. This causes problems if you forget to bring your clothes with you to the shower. Today someone flashed the world. Oops.
I have a huge pet peeve in theater -- it manifests itself in many smaller pet peeves, but the overriding one is: People sticking their nose in where it doesn't belong. Example: Actors. They're terrible about this. They try to direct each other, they contradict the director, they ask the costumer,"is this what I'm going to be wearing, and are you sure this is the right one?" Today someone wore the body of her costume for rehearsals, and everyone had an idea of how to improve it, or what it should look like, or "You know what would make this really cool?" Sorry guys, there is already plenty of input into this one, and we've spent a great deal of effort accounting for every variable. Most likely we discussed your suggestion ten hours and three costume meetings ago, and vetoed it because it wouldn't work. There are several people who get automatic impute: The director, the designer, and the person who gave us the costume budget. That's all folks!
I have my lines memorized...All 21 of them! That's probably a dozen more than I expected to have, so "it's a good thing!" I even got a compliment on one of my many characters. It was a one line part, so it's nice to be noticed on something that small. I love working with this director. Plus, he's good at reminding actors who's really in charge. We need that a lot. Myself included...
We are all running around like the proverbial chickens sans heads. Tomorrow is our first run of act 2 off book, and the next day we run act 1. Tonight I slept through dinner (meaning just to lay down for a minute) and will be costuming as soon as I finish this post and walk back to the house. The costumes are coming along slowly. About the time I think I finally have time to work, something else gets added to the schedule.
I, tonight, am not memorizing lines, because I already know both of mine. Wait, all three if you count the group yelling scene. But tomorrow we all go barefoot, in keeping with Balangao traditions, so its time for a pedicure. Soon I'll have to stop painting my toes.
Today's funny rehearsal story:
I have a scene where I carry on a sick child. Yesterday my note was "it looks like you're carrying a stuffed Bert doll (I was) instead of a real child. Make it more weighty." So I picked up a sandbag, wrapped it in a blanket, and carried it on. But, I didn't have time to tell the lead, so she was expecting a stuffed doll and got a twenty pound sack instead. She lost it, I lost it, and Tekla did too, having seen me wrap it beforehand.
Prayer partners, prepare for your first postcards!
Performing, that is.
Not the head thing...
Today we were cast. I have five parts. When you have three leads, and twenty five roles, with an eight person cast, you get around a lot. I'm playing Joanne's co-missionary, Anne, along with a couple other parts here and there. It's going to be a lot of fun, and a lot of work. Especially considering I also am doing costumes and running the kitchen.
It's a way different pace here. This morning we did one run through of the script, ran home for lunch, came back and blocked the prologue and act 1. Tomorrow we have all day to block act two. I spent all evening putting together a revised costume fitting schedule. Now I'm too late to do my laundry, because you're not allowed to use the facilities after 9. I don't know what time I'm going to have to get up tomorrow to get it done. I have only four shirts and two pairs of jeans. I'm not averse to wearing clothes again, but I'm on my last pair of socks, and it's been too hot to re-use t-shirts. It's going to be a nutty schedule, alright. But eventually they'll start doing more specialized rehearsals, and I'll have some time to actually sew things. Isn't that cool? Three weeks isn't a long time to get a show together that was cast today.
Isn't theater a blast!
Finally we were done with the games and onto cold readings. That wasn't too bad, except some of the people reading had already done this show several times, so they were great. Character, blocking, accents, inflection. While the rest of us are trying to writhe around on a cot, half unconscious, pretending to be badly injured, and reading the script. I felt I did very poorly.
For the capper, they decided I have the most experience for the dance/movement role. In 100 degree heat I had to dance around pretending to be a large, evil bird. I did two or three scenes like that, and then to give me a break, I got to do interpretive blocking as the spider in "itsy-bitsy spider." I'm tired and sweaty.
They'll post the final cast list tomorrow. They've already cast the leads for the most part, but the rest of the 15 or so parts have to be divided among the five ensemble members. I think I'm going to play the blasted bird. It's a really great part, but a different one for me. No singing, no lines. Just movement. AAAARRRGH. And tonight we have, promptly at 8, spontaneity planned in our schedule.
My best audition was as a cat trapped on an airplane.
I arrived last night, and everyone but two cast members showed up yesterday. So far, no major conflicts. I, of course, am pretty much observing at this point, but I've talked to everyone one-on-one at least once. One minor miracle, I've been here 24 hours and I know everybody's name. That never happens.
So far, it feels like summer camp. We have a converted duplex that has the central wall knocked out. The left half is the boy's side, the right half for the girls. Painted blue and pink, respectively. So far we've cooked, been to church, and cooked again. Our last two members show up tonight. Upstairs we have two bunks, and four beds. Our stuff is still contained, for now. The bathroom situation is the only downside. The girls bathroom has two toilets, no doors, and the one shower between them. A double sink lines the opposite wall, but one doesn't work. The girl to guy ratio here is about 3:1, so figuring out who showers when, and how to pee without the whole cast walking in (no lock on the bathroom door, either) is the biggest challenge. Yesterday and today were low key, no meetings or rehearsals. That starts tomorrow with devotions at 8:30am, and rehearsals and orientation all day. I haven't made it to Powells yet, but I need to soon. I've read both my books.
We went to a non-denominational church today. A very long sermon, but no offering plate was passed. A note in the bulletin told you where to put your offering if you wanted to give one. I love that.
Tonight, we're watching movies and chilling out while our leaders pick up the last two. We have one very enthusiastic Canadian here who talks about "American Culture" all the time, and can't wait to go to McDonald's. It's very strange hearing your country mentioned as "foreign." I know it is, but in Washington, Canada sort of bleeds over, and vise-versa. Especially in the Puget sound. She loves my accent. Whatever that is. She's already said "hoose" and "aboot" and "eh," so I'm happy. Roughly half the cast is Canadian, including our director, but they're less hyperactive about the states. So that's the news, so far.