Friday, August 31, 2007

Drama

We would meet on the stage once a week wearing jeans and t-shirts, happy to be somewhere other than home doing something other than homework. The numbers were pretty even-boys vs. girls-and though we were in different grades, there, we were friends.

Drama club was our release from the pressure of social class, popularity and SAT's. On that large, open stage, we could be anyone we wanted to be and if we didn't like them, we could change it again. The lights gave us energy, feeding our otherwise tired high school souls.

We'd do breathing exercises, vocal warm ups, silly rhymes and improve. Sometimes we'd work on skits written by each other. We laughed together when bloopers occurred and often tried to make each other screw up on purpose.

I remember one night we were doing improve. All of us were on the stage and our director was in the audience, hidden behind the black curtain of darkness. Randomly she called out the scenarios we were to create:

"You're circus performers in an ailing circus!"

"Now you're in the ocean and you see a shark!"

"You're about to board a plane after hearing about a plane crash!"

I remember this last one well. My friend Alan was sitting next to me and suddenly knelt down by my side to pray. He looked me in the eyes and began saying, "Hail Mary Full of Grace, I don't know the rest of the words. I don't go to church and never do I pray, but I need to pretend I do."

I couldn't smile at him because I would break character-a young wife of the praying man who was distressed because she didn't want to fly.

"Now, board the plane!" she called out to us.

People started shuffling off stage, pretending to board the plane. I, knowing I did not want to go, stood apart from the crowd, looking from one side of the stage to the other. To the left, emptiness, to the right, the "plane".

I chose to go left.

Afterwards, the director told me that she loved the look of indecision on my face-that I truly tapped into my character and really made her believe that I was struggling to get on the plane, or to leave my husband and stay on the ground.

I wasn't acting. I was trying to decide if I should go along with the crowd, or do something different. I just happened to be on the stage during this very teenage moment.

I loved drama club and missed it dearly in college. In high school some of the coolest kids were in drama club. In college, they were the weird, techy-type people who wore black way too much and never brushed their hair.

Drama club. A place where I learned more about myself by pretending to be someone else...

Top Chef Ingredient Results


And the winner is...
With 57% of the vote: CHEESE
With 38% of the vote: PEPPERS
With 48% of the vote: RICE
Hooray!!!!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

CAKE

Chocolate cake & Sweet Cream: Empress Bee Bake Sale treat #1.

Baked, frosted and in the fridge.

(I broke the bottom layer though-but fixed it up nice with cream...here's hoping they never know!!)

The man I made it for is from the Philippines. Though he speaks very good English and has been here for a while, some things just get lost in translation-especially when he's speaking to his wife. When he called her to ask what item she'd like him to pick, she chose chocolate covered strawberries.

I was psyched. Strawberries are on sale this week and because I'm paying for these out of pocket and donating the $10 he pays me I wanted it to be cheap. Also, I didn't want to bake tonight.

Later in the day we were all talking about the "Bake Shop" and I teased GJ by telling him he should order something else. He said, "No, no...the chocolate cake is enough."

Um....you didn't order chocolate cake.

He thought that it was chocolate cake covered with strawberries...which I can do (and have done) however....not for $10.

Poor guy. I contemplated doing it anyway just because I like him, but then thought better of it. I can't give everything away after all!!!

Saint Lucia

Since coming home from vacation last week, I have been dreaming of the beach almost every day. While I went to a beach in Rhode Island, my dreams drift easily toward bluer water and whiter sand-a beach where my body will float happily in the Caribbean Sea. Saint Lucia sounds about right, don't you think?

With its year round sunny skies with warm gentle breezes to cool you down, Saint Lucia's weather is simply perfect for lounging on the beach, sipping fruity concoctions while the waves lull you to sleep. I personally would like to visit sometime in December when New England's air is crisp and cold and Saint Lucia's rainy season has passed.

Being a huge fan of Caribbean style food, I would also eagerly look forward to Saint Lucia's food. A mixture of spice from its Creole offerings and fresh fish and shellfish would simply be my idea of the perfect tropical vacation meal.

Updates!

I have 2 exciting things to report/update you on...

1. Zoe is slowly opening up to me and to her new home. Though she has always let me pet her and appears to love it, she limited our "face time" together. Last night we spent an hour or so just being purred and getting to know each other.

Also, she finally ate something! I wasn't TOO worried about her not eating, as I know she is probably a little scared and sad that she is in a new home, but me being me (always wanting to feed people!) I was concerned because I knew she must be hungry. Her hunger strike is over and tonight I plan on tempting her with Temptations treats-recommended to me by Morgen, of course. ;) (Incidentally, Jazper also gave me the 4 paws up on this product)

Pictures: Several of you have asked for more, but I can't seem to get Zoe to say "Fish". (Get it...cheese for people, fish for cats-I dunno) Trust me in the fact that I am trying my hardest to get her to warm up to the camera so I can proudly show her pretty little face off.

2. I postponed my bake sale at the grocery store. Why is this good news? Because my work bake sale went so well! I made over $100 here alone-without even having the food here!!! All of the items (with the exception of a chocolate cake due tomorrow) will be given out on Tuesday, which works out better for me anyway.

I can't believe the amount of money I've collected so far for team Empress Bee. If you have not yet donated, and if you are able to spare even $5, I would greatly appreciate it.

Also, some of you have emailed me asking if I would ship you baked goods for a donation. I am willing to do this, however because it is for charity, I would need you to pay for shipping (as I am paying for the ingredients out of pocket). Also, you would be limited to brownies, breads and cookies because cakes and tarts don't ship. If you are interested, email me directly and we can figure something out, k?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Top Chef: Triumphant Return!

It's been a while, my friends! I hope you enjoy this week's Top Chef: Vegetarian Cooking! Please place your votes by Thursday midnight EST....





Bake Shop

So far Team Empress Bee has raised over $200! I'm doing the walking, please consider doing the talking. (Posting about it, emailing friends-whatever you can do!) I have a goal of $500 but I'm secretly hoping to bring in LOTS more than that.

And so. I bake.

On Sunday I am going to be sitting outside of my local food store having a bake sale. All of the $$ I make will go right into my walk fund. I'm a little nervous. What if I make all this stuff and no one buys it?!?!

I will be making individual cheesecakes, ginger peach cobblers and brownies. I'll also make chocolate covered strawberries and cupcakes that can be bought individually. Lemon squares and toffee bars are on the roster too.

Of course, there will be CAKE....Chocolate and Rum and perhaps a Vanilla too...

I've got to get baking!!!!!!

Randomivity



*It might be primitive, but I like my new header for my Randomivity posts...

*This:



...not so good for food (you no-a wanna poka da meat), but GREAT for back scratching.

*Have you ever noticed that no matter how long an unopened bottle of seltzer sits untouched (try 2 days!) it still explodes?

*I thought of a funny vacation moment today and cracked up while driving...My niece (Rye Bread) eating peanut butter & jelly out of the jar while we were talking got so wrapped up and excited about how good it was that before she took another bite she made the sound of angels singing...you know, the AAAAHHHHHHH! It was hysterical, mainly because she didn't do it for laughs, she just really loved what she was eating.

*I look wicked tan in this picture (for me), and I love it....

*Going to dinner with an old friend is fantastic-especially when it's a great restaurant and she's got a gift certificate.

*To the man with the ghetto car and the attitude: Driving is NOT a pride thing. You were going slow. So I passed you. Get over it or drive faster.

*It's nice to be told that you are a good friend, that someone loves you, and that you are missed when you are not around.

*Adopting a cat makes you feel really, really good...

*So does donating to my walk!!!!!!!!!!!!! 8)

Wordless Wednesday: Zoe

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Making Strides for Empress Bee

On Sunday October 14th I will join hundreds of other CT residents in the Making Strides walk for Breast Cancer. My team name is Empress Bee.

Please consider donating, if even a tiny amount-it is a wonderful cause, and is in honor of a wonderful person...I will post this badge on my sidebar and it will link to my walk's donation page. In the meantime, you can click HERE to make a donation.

Toosdae ?'s

I have a confession to make: You know those goals you were all so proud of me for making? The ones involving cleaning my office and folding clothes? Well...um....I didn't do any of it. I guess I was still in vacation mode. Oops. Guess it'll all have to wait until Wednesday or Thursday!



But today-today is TOOSDAE! You know what that means-FUN TIMES WITH MAGGIE MOO! You've all be doing so well answering the questions, don't lose momentum now...here goes:



1. You're going on a long road trip and require snacks. What snacks are essential?

2. Would you ever pick up a hitchhiker? If no, under what conditions would you reconsider? If yes, why are you so trusting of strangers?

3. What is the longest road trip you have ever taken? How much of the driving did you do yourself?

1. For sure I have to have original flavor Combos. I don't know why, but I have them on every road trip I have ever taken, and it's a must. I also enjoy those Cherry Bites from Twizzler and perhaps some Pringles, also original flavor.

2. No, I don't think I would. I never have and I can't see myself changing that-the only way I would reconsider is if: 1. I had a big strong man with me and I knew he could kick some serious ass to protect us, and 2. If the hitchhiker was in immediate physical danger-like if they were bleeding or hurt and we couldn't get an ambulance to help them.

3. The longest road trip I've ever taken was from CT to FL, and I did that SEVERAL times when I lived in FL. It's not the most enjoyable trip, let me tell you! I did about 1/2 of the driving most of the time, however once I managed to only drive for an hour!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Luv

I am a few days late on posting an official "Thank You" to Sandee at Comedy Plus for awarding me this:



Thank you Sandee! I heart your blog too!

Manic Monday: Faith

Monday's are MoMoLicious!


Before my niece was born 5 years ago, my 2 sisters and I began taking adult CCD classes at our local church. My sister wanted Rye Bread to be baptized Catholic and she wanted to be able to do so without any complications. Because my parents never took us to church, none of us had ever been Confirmed. Upon completing the CCD classes, we would be.

Though I was not taken to church or made to go to CCD classes when I was little, I always had a very strong belief in God, and got through many hard times simply by relying on my faith. Perhaps it was because of my close ties to my aunts and uncles, as well as my Nana and Papa that kept my belief alive, but whoever it was, I am grateful to them.

After we were confirmed, my sisters, father, niece and I would go to church every Sunday together. I was still married at the time, but was beginning to go through severe struggles with Matt due to his "depression" and my infertility treatments. He came with us sporadically. Going to church with my family was wonderful. Though we were all sleepy and hated the fact that our Deacon seemed to stare right at us during mass, I liked that we were practicing our faith together, singing with clear voices and open hearts.

When I moved out of town, I eagerly sought out a new church just down the street from my current home. I can honestly say that I never felt that I belonged there, perhaps because it wasn't "my" church and they sang The Lord's Prayer funny. Either way, I felt incredibly alone in a place where I should have felt at peace.

I stopped going to church about a year ago.

Yes, I can say that my schedule prevented it, or the old belief that "I don't have to go to church for God to know I love Him." But the truth is, I just felt alone. Without my family to sing with, my voice got quieter, and slowly, I retreated into my singleness. Church is filled with families-young and old, and for someone who was going through a stage of loneliness, it was too much to take.

My faith has not wavered. I feel God's grace and see His presence both in my life and in the life of others, whether they choose to acknowledge it or not. Thanks to modern medicine, the melancholy feeling of loneliness and despair that I encountered last year (for what seems to be no reason) has subsided and I feel, once again, the urge to return to church.

There is just something magical-perhaps that is the wrong term for religion, but it's what I feel-about being part of a community that believes. Sitting in church, listening to people sing and rejoice has quite frankly taken my breath away on several occasions. And though I pray everyday and feel as though many of my prayers have been answered, actually being in church makes me feel like God hears me just a little more clearer.

I plan on returning this Sunday.


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Responsibilities

It is SO true what they say about needing a vacation from your vacation. Yesterday I decided that because I was technically at the beach house in the morning, that I was still on vacation and therefore deserved to be lazy.

I started some laundry and then read for most of the day. I ordered pizza and even got a little dessert and watched TV and read. It was relaxing, but I think I should have used the day a little more wisely.

Today however, I have goals. The room I dedicate to my home office is a complete disaster area. I re-arranged the furniture to make it appear larger and never really put things back. I will not sleep tonight until it is spotless.

I also have laundry up the wazoo. I think I've mentioned before that though I DO laundry on a regular basis, I almost never fully put it away. It's my nemesis. I would like to put all of my laundry away today.

Lastly, I have 2 HUGE boxes of books that I am no longer reading. Instead of storing them or saving them for a tag sale, I am going to donate them to the library. They have been sitting in my living room for about 3 weeks now, and I would like to actually get them to town.

After today, I will definitely need some rest. That is, if I actually get everything done! I may be pulled away from my responsibilities by the power of a good book...