Tuesday, March 30, 2004

The State of the Art...

I sang in the bar last night and the night before. More cards handed out, more people impressed. Oh PLEASE let someone who REALLY knows someone see me. I did, as a plus, make $68 from the crew in last night. I'd like to splurge, but I think I'll put it right into my career budget. I'll need gas money for my audition on Friday.

I'll be going to LA to audition for Disney. I'm not sure how this works, because they audition for everything at once. The only bummer is they make you union right off the bat if they hire you, which takes you out of the running for other low budget shows. So, I'll have to debate the pros and cons before I accept a job from them (assuming they offer).

I'm sending out three more resumee packets today, and I have ten more at home that I'll send to my list of casting directors. Notice the slowly climbing tally to the right.

PCPA called and I'm being "seriously considered" for their program. If only I can get a transcript to them in time. Baylor won't release one until I've paid my bill in full -- and I'm working on it. And they won't release an unofficial one to me unless I'm standing there in person. And they definately WON'T fax one to PCPA for me. Rarrrgh. Baylor delights in making all things difficult.

It turns out that the agent who was interested in me before is actually pretty reputable. I've sent her my packet with a demo. I haven't heard back yet, but a performer I've sung with is acquainted with her, and promised to give her a call on my behalf.

I really really really want something to come through. I've even sent my resume to a student director who is winning some recognition. He said he's fully cast for his next three projects, but I'm sending him a packet as well, and asked him to keep me in mind. He is doing a zombie film with a song and dance number. I told him to call me if he needs someone...Heck, it's something to add to the resume. I think it would be fun!

So, that's the state of the arts.....

I must amend. The most hated thing I've ever been called by a patron is "hey, Nurse!"

Monday, March 29, 2004

Another Stimulating Conversation:

"Reservations, This is Rachel. How may I help you?"

"Hi is this the Inn in Los Olivos? because I called the AAA hotline and asked for the inn in Los Olivos and I said Fess Parkers, but they told me you didn't have an Inn in Los Olivos, and they transfered me to the one in Santa Barbara, and I talked to the girl there, but she said that they had three hundred rooms, and I knew that couldn't be right because I saw the special on tv, and that was small, so that couldn't be it, so she transfered me here and said that there was a Fess Parker Wine Country Inn in Los Olivos, and I guess that's why they coldn't find it, because I didn't say Country Gardens on the phone, and they said I wouldn't go straight through, but go to an interface first, and I did, and then I got you, so is this the Fess Parker's in Los Olivos?"

"Yes we are in Los Olivos."

"Oh good. So what's the Inn like, do you have a pool? What are the rates because I read in the AAA book the rates are $250-260 and I just wanted to know........

And on the conversation went. I had to put her on hold twice. And at the end of it all?

"Ok great, well that's all I needed to know."

"Would you like to book the room?"

"Oh no, I'm not ready to do that yet because I need to check with my husband because we're business owners you see, and we need to bring someone in to cover the shop for a while, and I'll need to check on that, but I just wanted to make sure the room would be available. And you do have a double queen, and you say it's the first to book up, is that because there is only one of them? and well I need to check on that, and as long as you think you'll have it available that will be all."

I'm out of breath just listening.

An editorial from the LA Times, March 20 2004:

"A life is not important anymore. Compassion has no place in the United States. We are no longer a country to be proud of. THAT is the mesage you convey when you tout fur."
~Katrina Berg Sussmeier~

I wonder what her take is on abortion...

I'm doing some minor *tweaking* here. Sorry for the dust!

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Another excercise in idiocy...or perhaps insanity...

Last night was our first outdoor barbeque. A lady in purple sweatpants and a red, somewhat beaten up cowboy hat approaches. The hat, it seems, must sit in the top of the closet but for the three times a year it comes to the ranch.

"Are you the main bartenders?" she asks.

We stare at her.

"Are you the main ones from inside? 'Cause last night I had a drink from the one by the pool and it was too much cranberry, too much lime. And too little vodka."

He assures the lady that he is indeed competent enough to make a cosmopolitan. And he does. And it's...

"Perfect. Just Right...ooh, but a little too full. Look at me, I'm spilling everywhere."

She turns back to her husband one fist clutching the drink, one had on the bar. And stays. A line forms behind her. They start giving orders over her head. One sip later she turns around.

"Can I have one ice cube please?"

One quarter turn and back talking to her husband. Still clutching the bar. Another minute later,

"Can I have one more ice cube?"

This repeats, sip by sip, for the first two thirds of the drink. Then,

"Can you add just a leetle more vodka. Not too much, you know, just a top off."

I add a shot.

"Oh perfect. Thats just right. It needed a little bit more. *conspiratorially* I won't tell anyone." *smirk* *wink*

She finally walks away. I reach for her ticket and charge her for it.

Her husband was another charmer. He refused to wait in line at all, expecting to sidle up to the wine side of the bar, and sort of sneak his glass my direction.

"Oh here. Could you just? Thanks, hon."

Hon. I hate the word "hon" from men in the bar. Right up there with "sweetheart." Never, "you're a sweetheart." Always, "Would you be a sweetheart and..." I've had very few "darlings" --usually from 'Good ol' boys"-- and a couple of "luvs" -- the occasional British patron -- but most often "hon." "Hon" is a cocktail waitress at Hooters. (Wait, I think I'm splitting hairs here)

But I digress. He did this all night. Sidle up. Whisper. Sliiiiiide the glass.

Oh, summer is upon us...

*I feel I should insert here that I don't dislike terms of indearment in general. After four years of being "honey" in Texas, you get rather enamored. I just dislike them from drunk patrons...*

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Why do people insist on talking about you like you're A) stupid, B) deaf, or C) Not even there. A lady wanted to make a reservation for Easter weekend. She decided that she wanted "you know, whatever the best room is that you can give us....since it is our anniversary." So I closed the reservations screen to get back to the room rack so I could check out availability. "Oh no, we don't want a more expensive room...just, you know, whatever is the nicest." So I put her back in the room and had to ask her information again..."Oh, honey, she just forgot our information, didn't she?"

"She" is sitting right here...and wouldn't have lost your information if you hadn't changed your mind about the room...

A lady last night made a snitty comment about me and then looked at me and laughed like I should be enjoying the joke. I wish I could remember what she said...

I spent the afternoon browsing through my old posts. Wow! Some things haven't changed at all...my rants about work, having too much to do, and too little sleep. I think I might be a workaholic. No matter where I am, I'm always too busy with no time to enjoy life. So, I think I'm going to quit a job. I don't need the money to survive anymore, and I don't want to keep running ragged.
Hey everyone, I realised today that you have to republish your blog from time to time, so I did, and to make a long story short (too late) I have all my archives back. Strangely enough, my first set of rants ever sound ver similar to my latest ones...same old job, same old story!
I'm officially a bartender. How cool is that? Better pay, and I get to take home all of my tips. So far it's only once or twice a week, but every bit helps! People always look shocked when I talk about bartending and church in the same breath. (Isn't that kind of against your 'religion?') My conscience isn't bothered by it. Am I tempting people to excess? I don't know. Maybe I'll feel differently about this later, but for now...

Jesus was a bartender too


At least, he brought drinks to the party...

Friday, March 26, 2004

I finished!

My cross stitch that I started three years ago and never finished....Well, I've finished the frame at least. I'm scrapping the design that is supposed to go in it, and putting a verse or poem or something in it instead. Words are much faster to embroider than anything else. Instant gratification. That's what we like.

In other news, I'm going to go home and put a third coat of paint on my chandelier....It's beginning to look very antique-y.

The aforementioned pug dog is at the spa having a massage.

Yes, they offer those.

There is a pug dog in the dining room with a plaid cape. Very dashing. For a pug.
Yesterday the chef brings a packet of papers to the front desk and wants me to type out the recipe for Bouillabaise. I did, and took the packet back to him. He said I was "the best." I replied that if I do much more secretarial work, I'm going to need a shorter skirt and higher heels. He was ok with that.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

(Because I'm too lazy to write out the same updates twice)

Dear Dad,

Oh, puppies! Let mocha have puppies...And speaking of extra animals, on the off chance that I end up with a six month contract on a cruise ship, would you be interested (PLEASE) in adding my two to the menagerie. Cai is mainly an outdoor cat, and Chloe is no hassle. She just likes to sleep in a warm place. All day. Give it some thought. I would of course give a lump sum for their food and flea meds, and pay for any (hopefully none) vet visits. I don't want to give them away... Think about it.

I got a photo printer yesterday. And the grey cartrige. So now I can print out my headshots at home. I'm hoping the cost of the cartrige will outweigh the 7 bucks a pop I'm spending on each headshot. And I can print out my own pictures too.

I'm working on a video audition for the cruise line -- they won't let you audition in person until they've had one video from you. I'm not sure how that works. But I'll be sending that in early next week. I should hear back from PCPA in a week or two. And Disney Auditions are on the 2nd. I'm talking with Jonathan Wilde tonight about getting in touch of someone to make a demo. He's recorded several in town. I was overwhelmed. VC said I needed 10-12 songs to show a variety. I don't have that much practice time. But Jonathan says that most people he's worked with really want just 30 second excerpts from about three songs. Far more manageable. I can pop that out in no time. And speaking of Jonathan. He was supposed to be in a new production of The Count of Monte Christo this summer. He sent my resume packet into his casting director. She was interested in me, but the project fell through from lack of funding. He says she'd like to use me in future projects....I'm sort of at a loss of what to do with myself if PCPA doesn't want me for the summer season. Work, I suppose. And I'm hoping that the cruise line will want me for the fall. And if not that, auditions for Leavenworth's winter shows are in September. The next big cattle call audition set are in February. I missed most of them this year. Next year though, I'll be at them all.

Regardless of what happens, I'll need to move myself to an area that has more opportunities. LA, perhaps. There auditions are listed in the trade papers.

Oh, and I'm beginning my deluge of casting directors and agents now that I have a way to mass produce headshots. I'll send resumes to anyone who has an address listed. This is a tough business to break into!

So that's the news. I'll be quitting Fess Parkers at some point in the next month or so. Once the Alisal picks back up to summer schedule, I'm NOT going to be working 80 hours a week for 5 months. I barely made it 5 weeks. Maybe through April. And I picked up a housesitting job for the week of spring break that pays $20 a night. There's my bridesmaid's dress. Now I just have to set aside money for the shower...

Tonight is Fess Parkers night. Ed Ames has been making regular appearances, and his wife thinks I look like a Vargus Girl. I found pictures of "Varga Girls" at an antique shop yesterday. I hope it's a compliment! I usually wear more clothing than the average pinup...I don't know whether I'm going or not...It does get old sitting by yourself for two hours, waiting for a chance to sing...Sometimes I hang out behind the desk or something. I'm not cool enough to sit at the Big table yet. Bill really wants me to come. He says I'm easy to accompany...Because I don't pick music he can't play, and I'm on pitch and following a general tempo... We'll see.

I've had a little extra in my paycheck for decorating. My apartment looks so nice now that Drea moved out. Everything has it's own place, and I've been able to spread around some artwork and hang a few things. I bought a vintage pillow case and a chandelier yesterday. Wendy and I both had the day off and went antiquing in Ventura. There are a ton of shops there, and off the beaten path in Goleta. The chandelier needs paint, some crystals, and some beads, but it was only $40, and I think I can shabby chic it up nicely. There were some beautiful ones there that I couldn't afford...Even without real crystals. I saw some loose crystals and the los Alamos antique mall. Maybe I can buy them a few at a time to add. If Mom sees any nice crystals up there, have her pick them up. I like the teardrops and the long pointy ones. Tonight I'm going to paint it white, and maybe embellish the leafs as green, and the petals pink. We'll see how the white works.

And that's life. Work is picking up. Sleep is fleeting. And I have great calves these days from wearing heels at work...To match my great set of tray lifting arms. And to think some people pay loads of money for a personal trainer. All they have to do to look this great is kill themselves working. And another benefit is beautiful skin...I haven't seen sun since I stopped working the barbecues!



Monday, March 22, 2004

Finally. It's one o'clock and the sun is shining. And I'm going to go in a few minutes and change from my front desk dignified and conservative persona into something more girl next door. Then I'm going to grab some chips and a pop, maybe a sandwitch and some kettle corn, and take my journal and a blanket to the park. It seems like that kind of day. A weary, nap in the park, warm-snuggle in the sun kind of day. If I knew what the weather was like south of me, it would be a loll on the sand by the water day. Should I take the chance?
I was going through my old beat up sermon notebook, transferring it to my new shiny Sermon/Prayer Requests Journal, and I found a sermon from a month or so ago that got me thinking.

I went to a church that is in the process of changing names. The sermon was on the importance God places on names, his own and other people's. I took his challenge and used my concordance to look up the word name. It's in there a lot!

The point of his sermon was that our names are not an accident. Even if our parents only chose them for the sound, God has given them special meaning unique to each of us. I'm not sure what I think about a divine mandate about my name, but then I remembered how in Perelandra Ransom's name was chosen before ransom was a word. Before his ancestors morphed their name from Ranolf's son. Before ransom mean to act as the redemption for someone else. (BTW, did anyone else go back and catch in Out of the Silent Planet that Lewis says the name Ransom is a pseudonym? Nitpick!)

So I bought a baby names book and looked mine up.

Rachel: (Hebrew) Ewe, Lamb of God, Innocent.
LeAnn (Either a combination of Leah and Hannah, or Lee and Hannah)
Leah: (Hebrew) Weary.
Lee: (Old English) Meadow
Hannah: (Hebrew) Full of Grace, Mercy, and Prayer.

I kind of like going with Leah over Lee, because then I have an all-biblical, Jewish women of faith sort of name....But then, it is a lot to live up to!

(Over at Marla's Musings she has a link to name origins and meanings...Go find your own names)

After Great Pain

After great pain, a formal feeling comes--

The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs--

The stiff Heart questions was it He, that bore,

And Yesterday, or Centuries before?

The Feet, mechanical, go round--

Of Ground, or Air, or Ought--

A Wooden way

Regardless grown,

A Quartz contentment, like a stone--

This is the Hour of Lead--

Remembered, if outlived,

As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow--

First--Chill--then Stupor--then the letting go--

~Emily Dickenson~

Tired again. Three days of double shifts in a row takes it out of you. How did I ever work five days through the holidays? I can't do this for too much longer...If I make it through the month-of-spring-breaks, maybe I can make it to May. After that I think all the EmergenC's and sleeping aids in the world won't be enough.

This has been a good year. A year of healing old wounds simply because I wasn't around the things that ripped them back open and made them bleed afresh. Sheer physical exhaustion is much to be preferred to mind and heart numbing depression and false hopes and never-quite-attained resignation. So I can't complain too much (though I do) about all of the working and too little sleeping. It's been a good year.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

I take it all back

At least I have a job, in fact more jobs than I know how to manage.

An older gentleman walked into the Inn yesterday. Well dressed, well spoken. He had been well educated and worked as a consultant in the area of financial planning, projection, something like that. His entire life savings had been invested somewhere, and whoever did the investing ran off with it. His car was repossessed. He had no money to pay bills, much less groceries. He came to beg for a job from a man he'd met as a business associate once, and hoped could help him. He didn't want a handout. He needed work.

How ungrateful do I feel for griping so much about my jobs?

*The gentleman came back this morning trying to get an employment application. I gave him one, and directions to my church which has a deacon's fund for these types of emergencies. I hope there is someone at the church... it's saturday, and there are no receptionists on...why don't I think of these things? I got more of his story, too. There was an add in the paper for $8,000 off a new car with a trade-in. As it turned out later, the new car promised was actually a used car, with a huge downpayment and another huge monthly payment. Of course, if you were late in paying, there were huge fees and the threat of reposession. So he has no recourse. How do companies get away with stuff like that?

Friday, March 19, 2004

I'm tired today. Of the endless monotony. Of working two jobs. Of having hours so slow that once bills are paid, there's nothing leftover. Of wanting to pay off more loans, but not being able to do more than the minimum, not from poor management of money, but because there is none. Of not being able to eat out. Or splurge. Of having time, finally, to myself, but no excess funds for gas even just to drive someplace. Of having life up in the air and entirely variable. It's been exciting for a while, but now I'm sitting around (figuratively, since by my tally you can see that I am auditioning and sending out resumes) waiting for some of my other prospects to surface. Hoping that I won't be waiting tables forever. Hoping that the agent who wanted me last year will want me now. Hoping that the touring cast I have a contact with will call me back. That PCPA will hire me for the summer season so I can at least put some shows on my resume. That someone somewhere will see me perform and want me for something. I feel like Eliza Doolittle after the ball, wanting to shout, "What am I fit for? What have you left me fit for?" I'm so specially trained that my options are narrowed. If I don't get to sing, I'm left competing for jobs with people who have never gone to college. I wish I could sell my degree back and pay off these darn loans. What good is a worthless degree? I could have just taken voice lessons...

I'm tired of going every Thursday night and singing my heart out. It's great experience, and the most valuable part is getting feedback from other performers. But then the inevitable happens. The after show schmooze. "Why aren't you performing? When will we see you on Broadway? What on earth are you doing here? Why aren't you out there? Doing things?" And when I try to explain life's amusing little curve ball they "Wish me the best" and can't wait until they can "tell people they knew me when I was just a cocktail waitress/Front Desk Clerk/ Singing on Thursday nights." And they invariably end with "Well you're great, you need to just get out there and I'm sure things will happen for you."

It brings to mind the phrase "damning you with faint praise." Not quite. But its all well and good for all these people to wish me the best and all, but really I wish they wouldn't. I leave every time feeling like I have all the talent in the world, but I'm wasting it here. Don't they realize that the phrase "starving artist" isn't a kitsch metaphor but a blatant reality? It costs money to put together the demos, the headshots, the videos, the CD's, the resumes on nice quality paper, the packets, the postage to mail the packet, the postage to mail the packet again when the agent didn't look at it the first time, the postage to mail all of the "I hope you got my packet, here's what I'm up to now, and I'm going to keep bugging you until you represent me/give me a job/ let me audition for you" letters. Not to mention gas to get to the auditions, and air fare to the far away ones, lodging, food while you're there. And before you go you have to get a haircut and your nails done so you look professional.

I'm not complaining (well I am today, but most days I accept it as part of the business), but I do with all of these people would stop "well wishing." The honest admiration is very heartening. I really appreciate people who tell me they enjoyed the performance, or that I'm comparable to any performer they've seen when they traveled to _____. What they could knock off is all of the comments about "why aren't you ......?" If they really want to see me "get out there/up there/over there and perform then they need to put their money where their mouth is or shut up.

I'm sorry for all of you who are getting the brunt end of today's discouragement. On the way home last night Grandma started talking about I just need to pray that God's will be done. Which I do. And I trust that his will is the best for me. But the interminable waiting is discouraging...

Thursday, March 18, 2004

The Prayer of Jabez

This is OLD news, but I was in a craft store yesterday and they had the 'Prayer of Jabez' cross stitch. I hate that prayer...Or, not the prayer itself, but the cult following it seems to have generated. My grandmother has the plaque in her living room, and gave me a copy of the book. Pam and I discussed it when I was in Waco, and came to the same conclusions. Most of the "blessed company" don't like it either. Here it is in all its glory:

And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying,

Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." I Chronicles 4:10 NIV

(The NKJV translates it as keep me from harming others and causing them pain -- which actually makes the prayer better, in my opinion)

I'm not going to do a major pan here, because I haven't read the book yet. Maybe I'll borrow my sister's copy -- I chucked mine. Marla, did you or the Thinklings take that one on?

Here's the prayer I think should be substituted:

"Two things I ask of you, O Lord;
do not refuse me before I die:
Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches; but give me only my daily bread*
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, 'Who is the LORD?'
Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God."
Proverbs 30:7-9.

Here's the link to what the Thinklings had to say about the Prayer of Jabez. Read the comments too.

*I missed transcribing that line. It's my favorite because it's also in the Lord's Prayer.

"Don't associate with her. She's a social climber." (Spoken with the same inflection as: "Their uncle is in trade, and lives in Cheapside.")

Says the woman sitting with her two standard poodles to her obviously older and slightly infirm husband.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Today is going to be another somewhat stream of conscience entry.

Lent is going by really slowly. I gave up reading anything but my Bible and various commentaries. (Except on Sunday...I'll allow myself some leeway -- last Sunday I spent an hour or two skimming through the "Jane" Sections of C. S. Lewis' Third book in the Space Trilogy. (Oh why is the name escaping me?) He has a lot of insight into the modern woman's views of marriage, and I like to read them. I identify with Jane quite a bit. It helps that she's my age.

Speaking of book characters, I am now older than most of my favorite heroines. I'm older than Anne of Green Gables until she goes off to teach, I'm way older than Jane Eyre, somewhat older than Elizabeth Bennett and Emma Woodhouse. I'm not older than Valancy Stirling (from another L. M. Montgomery Book), but she was an old maid until she turned thirty. It's a shock to re-read your favorite books and feel ancient! I'm also older than every girl in every musical I'll ever do...Except maybe Eliza Doolittle. I think they say she's twenty five.

That Hideous Strength. That's Lewis' third book.

My sister is happily situated in her new place. I've been by every other day or so to hang out. Last night she and one of her landlord's daughters helped me turtlewax my car. It looks so nice now! And slippery. I keep losing hold of the door handles. We then watched "Return to Me." I didn't like that movie the first time I watched it, but its growing on me. It seemed to be missing something. I love the old guys. They make the film. My thought after last night was, She flies all the way to Rome to stay for less than a week?

My friend is very upset today. Her daughter is leaving for college next fall. Recently my friend has been beside herself because her daughter is up in arms about being treated "like an adult," but still wants to live at home and have her parents pay for everything, and watch her dog when she goes to visit her boyfriend out of town. She left town this week, skipping school and missing work, and my friend's husband said that she needed to either come home, or move out. She's opted to move. My friend is very upset, and her husband is upset. They both want to do the right thing, and they want their daughter to become a mature adult. Keep them in your prayers as their house is in turmoil.

Oh, and I have to sing the praises of my beyond-friends, Pam and Ken in Waco, who spent several days sorting my stuff, drying it, and putting it back together again. I don't know what I would have done without them there, as the "faithful stewards" of my meager possessions. I owe them about four days of labor, several tanks of gas, and at least one dinner for two. I know "stuff" isn't that important, but if I ever have a stable life again, I'd like to gather my few things around myself. I was most worried about my scrapbooks -- the only irreplaceable things in the whole unit -- but thanks to their foresight, they were wrapped in plastic trash bags and escaped any damage. Thank you Thank you Thank you. Anyone who lives in Texas and wants stay at the best bed and breakfast in the world with the nicest owners, go to Valley Vista Bed and Breakfast in Valley Mills. I've stayed there myself, and it's a log cabin with a great view of Hill Country Texas. There's my plug. But really, Pam and Ken are the best people (Ken is so nice he endured six hours of Pride and Prejudice the last time I was in town...And Pam is always kind enough to humor my endless opinions on every subject, and then get me to actually look at what I think I'm saying. I guess you'd have to have been there for our three hour talk about marriage.), and founding members of "The Blessed Company."

Golden hour has hit. Everything is so pretty! It was 90 here today--unseasonably hot. I don't own anything except for work clothes anymore. I may have to go find a sundress or something for the few hours I'm not in a suit, or a tacky hoe-down cocktail outfit. Circle skirts and western shirts may look alright on some, but they make the petite look shorter and dumpy. Blargh. They are changing out uniforms soon...To different blouses and western skirts...

So that's all I can think of today.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

I was reading a little more of William Barclay's Commentary today at lunch. I bought two new ones at a book sale at a local church...so I'm now working my way through the letters of John, Jude, Peter, and James. I came across this quote, "A man's own character will necessarily be necessarily determined by the character of the god whom he worships."

What does "my" god look like to other people, and how does "my" god affect my own life. In the Bible I find a God (old testament and new) that goes out of his way to find people, go where they are, and bring him back into relationship with Him. I often feel that I'm running around in circles trying to find him with little measurable success. I often fear a god who doesn't want me, and stands back with his arms folded waiting for me to mess up so he can guilt me into knowing how horrible I am, and how far away from his standard. God has told me that he will help me with my weaknesss, supplying me with his own strength to overcome them, or using them to let himself shine through.

There's hope. The more I read of my Bible, and talk to mature Christians, the more I'm able to see who God really is, and how far off this god is in my head. It takes a concerted effort each time to push away that god, and remind myself who God has revealed himself to be. Maybe I'll never "feel" God's love or forgiveness on a regular basis, but I'll be able be able to trust that he has given it. And I hope that the other god will someday get out of my head...

I made a bet with my manager last night. If the bartenders think that we're the supurfluous ones, bring on two cocktail waitresses on a moderate night and let us do both -- run the restaurant and the bar. Two of us are trained as bartenders. Not to shove it in their faces or anything, but it gets a little old having the bartenders act as if we're bothing them to get drinks made. Last time I checked, that was their job!

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Lots of random thoughts going through my head....My storage unit in Waco had a water main break under it. Luckily my unit was on the uphill side and only got an inch of water. My boxes got wet, and all of my custom framed art is ruined, but my furniture seems to have escaped damage. My loveseat is on castors and didn't get wet at all (Good thing too, it's from 1840). Adrian and the Scobells spent hours over there yesterday pulling stuff out of the water and taking it home to be washed, dried, opened, spread out and ironed (in the case of whatever art they can save). I'm petitioning for a month's rent free at least, and I'm starting a letter campaign to get reimbursed for the artwork. Custom framing is expensive. I'm not sure what the talley was last night, but I think its edging around $1,000. My diplomas and high school letter shadowbox are in bad shape, and my needlework is wet ... the stretching and framing of that piece alone was $250.

Rich people (as a gross overgeneralization) stink. We had a group of three dozen lawyers in last night. They had a private party in the bar. No one wanted to wait in line for a drink, so they'd shove their way up to the front and talk to the bartender like he was 1)stupid, and 2) hard of hearing. Then the leader came to me. The hors-deuvres toothpicks weren't "working" for him. I told him it was finger food anyway, and was probably ok to be uncouth. He wasn't alright with using his hands, so I had to go find some silverware. The leader's wife ventured into the dining room to check out their tables. There were a couple of kids with their parents at the two tables near them. Older children. Like 14. "What are they doing here? WE had the decency to farm our kids out so no one would be bothered by them (including themselves I'd imagine) Well, how much longer are they going to be eating? Can you hurry them along a little?" Oh yes. She was a charmer. Another table of them, once they'd finished in the bar, went through 8 bottles of wine. They stayed until almost 11. Then they wanted after dinner drink, "What do you have? What kind of port? Which is the dryest (usually the oldest is a safe bet. More of the sugar has converted to alcohol)?" Being the dutiful waitress I am, I went into the bar and tasted all the ports with the bartender to make sure we found the dryest one. The other table saw the first table's drinks and decided they wanted some too. It took me forever to get to Wendy's house for daquiris. After a night like that, we both needed one.

Speaking of strange but true, a friend of mine works at a restaurant in the daytime. The last few weeks, everytime she goes into work she's been instantly angry. She's in a great mood on her way there, and when she walks in the door, poof. She went into work a few days ago, and there was a lady, in the kitchen, swinging a crystal over the bread counter where the cooks were working. She was muttering to herself. My friend went into the dining room to call a manager. The lady came into the dining room, and began walking around the room, swinging the crystal and muttering some more. Then she pulled out a forked divining rod and waved it around the room. My friend couldn't take it anymore and asked her what she was doing. The woman looked up and over my friend's head, eyes kind of unfocused. "I'm searching for negative energy. It's what I do. It's my gift." She had been hired by the restaurant to "search out the bad mojo." The place isn't doing as well as the owner hoped. My friend had to go get a cup of coffee to chill out enough to work. Welcome to California!

Eight days until payday again. Hours are so slow. This pay period I'm living off rice, beans, granola, and dried apricots. And lots of water bottles. I found a britta at the thrift shop a couple of weeks ago. I just keep refilling... I'm not starving, of course. Not really. But I am getting tired of granola. And I'm just not very proficient at cooking beans by microwave. I haven't figure out the pre-soaking. Wild rice takes forever to cook. Did you know that? I'd always done minute-rice. Wendy gets mad because I don't come steal food at her place. I'm getting very creative at eating work-approved leftovers: the last of the bar hors deuvres, a bowl of soup before they dump the pots, a take-home meal at the end of the night (two meals there), the last three pieces off cheese and one decimated grape cluster off the wine and cheese platter. And if I'm really in the mood to splurge, and get off my first job in time, I'll go have a meal in the Employee dining room. I know those meals come out of my next paycheck, but sometimes a girl needs meat. I made the mistake of eating the rich leftovers of the lawyer group last night, and a bowl of heavy-cream based clam chowder. After almost a month of a no fat, almost no meat diet, it just about did me in. I have to credit God with the happy coincidence that landed Mary Hunt's "The financially confident Woman" book in my lap. If I hadn't stumbled across that book in the church library on finances I would have no idea how much money I have, how to manage it, stay within budget, and not depend on credit cards when money gets tight. And God isn't without mercy. Somehow, about the time I'm getting really really tired of granola, and would kill for something that isn't bulk and from the health store, someone will tip me just enough for a little splurge...a cheeseburger, or a pepsi. A tiny splurge keeps you from getting too discouraged. And spring break is near! One more week of slow, maybe two...then the money will be rolling in! And rolling back out. Still have those pesky student loans....

Something happy, something happy. My ledger has balanced to the penny three months in a row. How's that for impressive. I haven't bounced anything even as close to the edge as I've been these last few months, because I know where everything is and where it's going! No small victory for any of you who know where I was during college. Darn irresponsibility bighting me in the behind.

Two more auditions in the next three weeks. One for a cruise line, and one for Disney. How would you feel if I blogged from, say, Tokyo?

Final Score: Rachel 3, Cat 1

Victory! The cat didn't get up this morning until I did. But because I wasn't up with the cat, I overslept.

Friday, March 12, 2004

The only greatness to which a Christian can inspire is that of being the slave of God.
~William Barclay~
My blind date.

Ha. And you guys thought I was actually going to post something. Not a chance given the discovery that people can find me through my blog. I will say this though...he's very tall, attractive, literate, and has travelled a lot. How's that for a tease?

Score: Rachel 3, Cat:0

I think Cai is finally getting the picture. He mewed, he scratched, but with far less protest than the previous mornings. I might actually get a decent night's sleep in a few days.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

I had a blind date yesterday that was actually a lot of fun...completely dispelling my previous bad experience with set ups...
Score: Rachel 2, Cat: 0

The cat has ceased to be subtle. Today he ran around the room for twenty minutes ringing his bell and even resorted to yowling. Does that constitute a temper tantrum? I am still holding out...I don't want to be a parent. I can't even keep my cats in line...

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Score: Rachel: 1, Cat: 0.

My cat is too smart for his own good. Somewhere along the way he discovered the surest way to get mommy's attention in a hurry is to claw the furniture. At first he'd amuse himself only from time to time, I'd throw a pillow, douse him with water, or throw him outside. Lately I'd noticed that he only clawed on the furniture once: at 5:30 am. I'll be darned if the cat didn't figure out that the easiest way to get let out in the morning was to claw on the couch and Mommy would come rushing over to boot him outside. No stupid cat is going to train me.

This morning, 5:30 he started clawing on the chair. He paused and waited for me to rush over.

No response.

He clawed again, more seriously this time.


He shook his head to ring the bell on his collar. Twice...


He jumped on the bed and sat on Chloe who started growling and hissing. He clawed the bedspread.....Luckily I'm going to replace it soon...He jumped on top of Mommy, the stuck his nose in her face to see what was wrong. She was still breathing. He sneezed twice and rattled his bell.


He tried variations of the same tactic; more clawing, bell ringing, sneezing, and annoying Chloe.

Finally at ten to 6 my alarm went off and I could get up and let the darn cat out. But I'd proved my point for one night at least. Rachel was not going to be dictated to by an animal that licks his own bottom.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Six and one-half hour audition

More on this later, when I'm not so completely drained. To sum up. It was really a long time to become best friends with total strangers for one day. I met some awesome people and teriffic performers. We did a LOT of drama games. The purpose was to: 1) watch us act under pressure and on our feet; 2) To see how we reacted with the other members of our group. I simulated belly crawling across a smoke filled room, walked to a point in the room with purpose, use a chair as various improv props (a cocktail waitress' tray, the result of a misfired nail gun, and Miss Universe's crown), sang nonsense sylables to various people trying to simulate "positive energy," and became various parts of a noisy machine working at double, triple, and half speed. It was fun and WAYYYYYYYYYYYYY out of my comfort zone. I haven't done an acting class since "acting for non-majors' freshman year at Baylor. The singing part was of course the easiest. I can read music and wasn't learning by rote. They picked a song with LOTS of tricky intervals and key changes......

Some common mistakes I saw in the "get up and perform something you prepared" portion:
1.Young people choosing monologues that were too hard. An 18 year old has no business playing Hamlet.
2. Choosing a monologue that is too old for you. Always stay within your current steriotype.
3.Kids choosing songs that are too high or too low to show themselves off. Some of the kinds sang ok, but would have done themselves more justice if they'd stuck to speaking. IMNSHO. Most of the kids were increadibly talented for their age. For any age. One guy did a monologue about kissing a girl in the bathroom at a junior high party, and it was really good. Another girl/guy... I'm pretty sure she was a girl...Though I thought she was a young guy for most of the morning...that may have been the reason she showed her bra strap off during her monologue about wanting to be a boy. She had written it herself...apparently someone (unidentified) had molested her sister, maybe her....and how if she were a boy her little sister would be able to say "my big brother is going to beat you up. And really mean it." It was very well written and powerfully done. I don't know whether doing a piece like that helps her chances or hurts her...and the t-shirt with the logo "ambiguous." Would a company hire her for male roles or female? Or maybe just to play children? Je ne sais pas.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Ok, this may be slightly crass, but has anyone else noticed how many commercials and pop-ups there are for sexual stimulants, enhancements, and the like. It used to be just the junk mail on my email accounts, but now its on tv and on websites that one can't imagine WHY they'd pick it. (Kind of like the trailer they picked to open the Passion. WHY?) And they choose the worst times to pop up. Like at work for instance. You'll have the screen hidden in the toolbar and it will have been inactive for half an hour or so, and be checking someone in and BAM! There's a picture of some random couple staring deeply into each others eyes, with some glib metaphorical reference. I hate pop-ups. One would think that you would only find enhancement ads on particular types of websites ... but NO...All over the place. Can't avoid them. And since when is Ebay hurting for business enough to need pop ups? I hate them right now.
You are the Tomb of Maussollos!
You are the Tomb of King Maussollos!

Private and reclusive, you just want to be left
alone. Although you do enjoy good
conversation, you tend to avoid confrontations
and keep an emotional distance. As the Tomb of
Maussollos, you are very precise in your work
and daily living and strive to keep out of
other peoples business. Youre a good listener,
and you strive to find logical solutions to
your own and other persons problems. Very
indecisive, you tend to analyze yourself into

What Wonder of the Ancient World are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Friday, March 05, 2004

The Passion
Alright, I finally went to see the Passion. I was beginning to feel like the last person in Christendom who hadn't. I think this blog sums up my feelings nicely, but I'm going to put it into my own words what I thought. Just what we need, right? One more person's opinions on the subject...

1.I didn't cry. I wasn't even that shocked. Is that horrible? I've seen my fair share of crucifixion films, and this one was pretty much like I'd always pictured it. We had a sunday school teacher at my church who would come in for our yearly pre-Easter shock the kids with the true story of what being crucified was really like. The first year it was shocking. The third or fourth year into it, it was old news. I was expecting the whips with bits of glass and metal, the roughness of the cross against a mutilated back. The fresh opening of the wounds after the blood had stuck to his robes, the hematadrosis, the thirst, the irregular heartbeat as result of dramatic blood loss...etc, etc. It didn't make it any less horrific, but I wasn't "shocked into instant understanding of what Christ suffered."
2. That being said, did you guys notice the heartbeat sound effects right before the "it is accomplished" line?
3. The teardrop from heaven was powerful.
4.I really liked Jesus seeing the dove as God's way of reassuring Jesus that his suffering was not in vain.
5. The flashback scene with Jesus and his mother was probably the thing I took away from the film. We forget sometimes that he was only a preacher for a short time. It was nice to see him as a real person. And the reference to tall tables was great if you knew that people then mostly reclined at a low table to eat.
6.The scene with Claudia(Claudius?) giving Mary the shroud.
7. Why were they mopping up blood after his beating? Was it grief? Is there a Catholic tradition I'm not aware of? I know there were lots of stations of the cross moments of which I caught only a handful.
8. Did anyone else think Jesus fell a few too many times. I know it probably happened. . And why did they make him carry the whole cross when the other two only had the crosspiece. Did anyone else find it incredulous (rightly or wrongly) that Christ was able to carry the cross that it then took a roman soldier and Simon to hoist? He was in terrible shape. Adrenaline can do amazing things, and he was in shock. I'm not saying it's inaccurate or wrong, I just had the thought cross my mind of, "there is NO way." All those stairs. My GOD all those stairs. How did he ever make it up them?
9.I'm glad they showed the whole beating. And the beatings before and after. I caught myself trying to cover my ears, and then thought "The least you can do is have the decency to watch it all." Jesus Christ Superstar, by the way, also did them all.
10. The transitions from Latin to Aramaic didn't bother me. In a country that small its entirely likely that the Romans (though I doubt they'd stoop to it often) knew it, and also that the natives could speak some Latin. Pilate had been there for some time, and the country had been occupied for...mumblemumble...years.
11.The pieta pose at the bottom of the Cross I liked.
12. The demonology was interesting. I think it would have struck me more had the violence towards Judas been more mental than physical, but that's just me. That would have creeped me out more than nasty little exorcist children screaming and biting.
13. The one thing I wish they were able to show was the mental, or spiritual agony. The moment when God separated himself from Jesus, and his wrath dumped on him. How would they do that? I have no idea. Then it would have been more than about some poor, hapless man who got caught in the political cogs. To me that is. I would have liked to get a sense of it. I guess I'm a Christian, I can fill in the gaps. It was an amazing film. I wish there was some way to show that...

So, um, I've run out of things to say. Actually I haven't. Anyone who knows me knows that I often get very verbose, especially after the rare drink....poor Ben who got an entire lecture on the merits of C.S. Lewis and how amazing his Space Trilogy is...I still think its a darn site too bad that we will never see Perelandra on stage or screen. Though, I think it ought to be done as a "secular" work ... Christian genre movies leave a lot to be desired. Why is it that the quality goes down as soon as you try to make a "religious" film. Not referring to the "Passion" of course. But did anyone actually see the Left Behind series? I'll admit I'm biased. I hated the books. I read the first couple, then couldn't stand it anymore. My mother is so end times I think I got my fill of it. You can read The Third Millinium and get all the main plot points of the left behind series in 300 pages. Better written, and less of a marketing sell out. Wait, I got off topic here.

The reason, of course, that Perelandra will never be made as a Christian production is the nudity. Since the characters are in 'eden,' only one character wears clothes. And there is a violent fight...and on stage at least it would be hard to represent the water...You could do it with wires I guess.

Hypothetical question:
Which is the lesser of two evils? Getting up at 4am to let the cats out, or getting up at 4am to chase the raccoons out of the apartment because you left the door open...

Thursday, March 04, 2004

I found this to be the most informative article I've read in a while. More on that later.
I believe you belong in Pride and Prejudice; a
world of satire and true love. A world where
everything is crystal clear to the reader, and
yet where new things seem to be happening all
the time. You belong in a world where your
free-thought puts you above the silly masses,
and where bright eyes and intelligence are
enough to attract the arrogant
millionaire/prejudiced young woman of your

Which Classic Novel do You Belong In?
brought to you by Quizilla
Ah, what a wretched couple of days. After being quite diestressed about my job, things came to a head the night before last. A bellman stopped by with a note from the housing director informing Drea and I that this was our final notice before eviction. I am $70-some-odd behind in rent. BUT, we were told that they would roll it over or defer it until we were working again (like they do with everyone who lives on the ranch during slow season). I had been in to talk to him twice in the last week. Both times we came to the agreement that he would take my entire next paycheck, and if that wasn't enough to cover it, I would write him a check once I got paid by my other job.

Then the letter appeared.

Needless to say, I didn't sleep well the night before last. I was so angry I had to drive to the beach in Carpenteria to cool down for a while. I was sure we were being "let go" without being formally fired.

So, I went into my boss yesterday and showed him the letter and my abysmal schedule and asked him to explain it. He was flabbergasted. He assured me that I will be working more when hours pick up in two weeks (spring breaks) and that I never should have had my housing threatened. He took a copy of the letter to the General Manager who said the same thing. So it looks like I will be staying here for a few more months at least. Unless they change their mind. I'm going to be auditioning as much as is humanly possible to try and get a job. At least this buys me some time to get a great gig, instead of needing to take the first one that comes along.

For my sister, this was the redwood log that broke the camel's back. She went into the office after I got out and quit. She'll be moving into an apartment as soon as she can find one. I decided that I'm not committed to staying here long enough to justify all the deposits and start-up fees. So I'm staying put, she's moving out. Funny how life makes right hand turns sometimes.

On the plus side, I will have the room to myself!

Monday, March 01, 2004

Academy Awards

So what did you think of the Oscars? Lord of the Rings ruled. But then, we knew they would. And where were Viggo and Orlando Bloom?

I don't know if Pirates of the Caribbean was nominated for Best Score, but they should have been. Yes, the Lord of the Rings soundtrack is AMAZING (I have the fellowship theme stuck in my head as we speak) but have you noticed how freaking CLEVER the Pirates soundtrack is in the swordfight scenes? It's absolutely perfect. Every beat matches the choreography. Maybe only a music major would notice, but I am very very impressed by it.

What was up with Jamie Lee Curtis' dress?

I didn't get to see much, just in between trips to the bar and back, but I don't think it was 'boring.' An awards show isn't supposed to be controvercial, it's just supposed to.....hand out awards. And the quicker the better I say. We've all been to the never ending school assemblies before graduation....walk faster people. But if you spent more than I make in a lifetime on your dress, and are wearing millions of dollars of jewelry, I guess you'd want to milk it for all its worth.