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...