Another One Bites the Dust…

Today is father’s day, and there is an emptiness inside that is so deep, you could build a pool, and swim in the sorrow of it.  I don’t know if it gets any easier or if you just get used to the sadness.  I miss him very much.  But this post is not about him.

My aunt passed away in May on Memorial Day, and I went back to my hometown to be with my family for an extended amount of time.  It was tough, but it was good to be with family.  Too see them again, and to be reunited.  It’s a bit sad that there is so much distance between us, but when we are together, it’s quite nice.  There are cousins, and their children, and other relatives that I don’t ever see, and even though they are my blood relatives, I am so disconnected from them.  But being back with them again, well, I hope to reconnect.  At least send yearly Christmas cards or something.  We did grow up together, at least, a little bit.

Most of our parents, well, they didn’t really know us, or try to know us.  They were not our friends or our confidants.  They showed us tough love, and worked all the time to give us better opportunities than they had.

My aunt’s passing was the first funeral I’ve been to since my father’s death.  And it’s the first matron death on my mother’s side.  And it hurts.  We make such a big fuss over the death of our fathers and mothers, but what about siblings and aunts and uncles and cousins?  I don’t want to even think about it, but I know it will hurt.  Sometimes death can be expected, but other times, it comes as a shock.  My aunt’s health had been on the decline, and she seemed to go peacefully in her sleep.  But she was still young, and it is strange that a woman so fierce in life should be taken so soon.  I will miss her, and I will always remember her as a fighter, a risk taker, a go getter, loud, proud, stubborn, fearless, and beautiful.

Oh, a-Camping We Will Go…

During spring break, I spent a day with my friend Sarah.  We’d gone to breakfast, and decided to get out of town for the rest of the day, and we went to Pedernales Falls State Park, in Johnson City, TX.  It was my first time at a Texas State Park, but it won’t be my last.

IMG_8160IMG_8167I really needed to get out of town for a while and have some reflection in the great outdoors.

There were trees and deer, all kinds of plants and birds, and rivers and I felt like Henry David Thoreau:

I went into the woods because I wanted to live deliberately.  I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life! To put to wrought all that was not life, and not, when I came to die, discover I had not lived.

IMG_8158  IMG_8164

We had an adventure, crossing water, getting our feet punctured by the tiny rocks in the water, almost getting eaten by mountain lions, losing cell phone service and having little to no light, but we managed to make it back safely.  And since then, all I can think about is going camping.  So, I’m doing something about it.

IMG_8170  IMG_8169

I’m going to go camping. Tomorrow. It’s not going to be primitive camping, but it’ll be satisfying this call of the wild inside of me.  I’m going to hike, and swim, and eat some s’mores, have some weenies and burgers to roast, and spend time with my hubby and my dog.  I might write something new, play some new songs, and get a tan.  I’m not too far from technology, but I’m going to try to be somewhat electronic free.

Scheherazade

In other news, I am also going camping metaphorically.  You see, I’ll be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, and I’ve got two cabin mates already.  I already have a project– a script of a play called Scheherazade.  It’s about a queer woman of Middle Eastern descent who must tell stories to save her life (and possibly the lives of others).  It deals with Islamophobia, refugees, and current political events.  It’s actually a collaboration between writers and actors. I’m not the only person writing it, all of the cast has been composing and devising for it.  Another writer and myself are forming the script from their writings and devising.  The play is set to go up in June… so finishing the script is going to be really important!  I’m so ready to get camping.  Happy Trails, and I’ll report back in April!

33

Growing up, my family always had a big party for my sister and my birthdays.  Our birthdays are four days apart, and it was always easier to have a big party for the both of us, so I’ve grown accustomed to having big birthday parties.  I won’t lie, I’d love to have a big celebration, but I also have one big fear.

What if I throw a party and no one shows up?

I know, it sounds stupid, but it’s a legitimate worry that I have, so I usually try to do several events.

Here are thirty three ideas that I have for birthday events.  I’m not going to get to do all of them, but at least there’s a starting point.

  1. Go Camping
  2. Ice Cream Social
  3. Birthday Breakfast
  4. Birthday Lunch
  5. Birthday Dinner
  6. Tres Leches Cake Tasting
  7. Karaoke Room
  8. Picnic Party
  9. Swing Dancing
  10. Wine and Cheese Tasting
  11. Board Game Party
  12. Escape Room
  13. Make Art
  14. Make a Movie
  15. Pool Party
  16. Tea Party
  17. Mall Rats Scavenger Hunt
  18. City Scavenger Hunt
  19. Blazer Tag
  20. Food Crawl
  21. Build a Bear
  22. Lush Treatment
  23. Get a Massage
  24. Rock Climbing
  25. Rent Bikes and Ride
  26. Cocktail Crawl
  27. Musical Marathon
  28. Crazy Outfit Thrifting
  29. Cupcake Decorating
  30. Amusement Park
  31. Costume Party
  32. Day Trip
  33. Birthday Blessings/Prayers

Goodbye Spring Break, Hello Spring

So this year, spring break actually took place before spring, but that’s the way the school year is.  I had a pretty good spring break.  Restful, but also I have this general feeling of being lost in life.  Not sure what I’m doing.  Feeling a bit purposeless. And yet I’m not too concerned about it.  I’m sure that something will shake things up.

The days move on, and suddenly, it’s spring.  We move our clocks forward.  A new season.  With new allergies.  I hear the birds chirping, and I hear the sounds of my thirty third birthday calling.  I feel old, and I don’t.  I am alive.  I am well bodied.  While the general world may be in chaos, I am not.  I am surprisingly well. I am thankful for God bringing me to this place, for my family, and for provision.  Though I feel the desire for more in my life, what I have is very good.  It is well with my soul.

Hello Spring. I’m happy to see you.

Seizing the Day

I’ve been watching and listening to my Newsies soundtracks lately, and its brought back a resurgence of a group of fans known as the Newsies Mailing List.  I’ve been looking back  on some of my posts from 1998-present, and it’s chockfull of memories of youth. While some of the posts I made are cringe-worthy and full of awkward adolescent babble, other posts… they were from a version of myself that was full of life. I loved Seize the Day.  It was my middle school anthem song- my fight song, as you will.  I would burst into the song and was ready to take down giants.

Looking back on my past… it makes me feel so OLD and TIRED. Where is that girl who burst into song?  Where is that girl on a mission?  My exuberance for things seems to have gotten lost, and I am grasping to get back some of that life.  I have been so bored and sluggish in a lot ways.  My life feels like Belle in the Disney animated Beauty and the Beast- you know, the scene where she is out in the fields in her desire for the adventure in that great wide somewhere, and she picks up a dandelion seed plant, and she sings, “I want so much more than they’ve got planned!”

Being an adult is hard. I’ve lost friendships, gained friendships, had broken relationships that crushed me like a bug, went through some real life experiences that have tried to flatten me.  I feel like I’m drowning in financial insecurities, yet I am embracing the joy of creating art that I love while feeling the sorrow of not being able to live off of it.  I am trapped in a world where money equals power, and it sucks. I don’t know if I can carpe diem.  But I’m not going to just tuck my tail between my legs and call it a day.  Maybe I need a new anthem song.  Maybe not Seize the Day, but maybe close to it.  Maybe this:

Holy Hamantaschen!

Chag Purim Sameach!  Or Happy Purim, Y’all!  I’m not Jewish, but I like holidays.  And this one strikes a particular chord because it’s the story of Esther- the “foreign” queen who saves her people from genocide.  Yaaaas, queen!  On a side note, can we please have more celebrations of women who do awesome things?

In honor of this day, I made some hamantaschen.  What is that, you ask?  They are cookies that symbolize the holiday’s origins.  You see, Haman was the evil dude who wanted to get rid of the Jews.  So he bribed King Xerxes, but Esther helped to save her people, and Haman was executed.

Some say that hamantaschen are supposed to be “Haman’s Pockets” as in the money that he bribed King Xerxes with; others say it’s “Haman’s Ears” as in the cutting off of criminals ears which happened to Haman, as well as being executed (?).  I didn’t do a thorough fact check on this, so forgive me if that’s incorrect.hamantaschen

Now, I am on a very particular diet, which is grain free, gluten free, sugar free, caffeine free, alcohol free, gmo free, cage free, organic, grass fed, wild caught, fair trade, and a lot of other hippy dippy stuff that limits what I can eat. So I’ve had to look up ingredients from every where and modify my own hamantaschen recipe.

ANYWAY.  COOKIES.  YOU WANT THESE COOKIES. Here’s what you’ll need:20170311_101705-1 20170311_104556-1 20170311_175735-1

1 & 1/2 cups of almond flour
2 tablespoons of xylitol (can be found at whole foods/natural grocers/wheatsville)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons softened butter
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon almond extract (or vanilla, I prefer almond)
Circular cookie cutters
Jams that you like (with no sugar added)
Parchment paper
Baking Sheet
Time

Step 1: Mix your dry items together in a bowl.  On a slow speed (if you’re using a mixer), mix in your wet ingredients.  This is the order I mixed it in: started with butter, then milk, then extract, and lastly coconut oil. The consistency may seem crumbly at first, but if you mash your finger into it, and it seems soft and doughy, then it’s good for the next step.

Step 2: Get two pieces of parchment paper and roll out your dough between them.  You can make them as thick or thin as you want, but thinner dough is a little bit more difficult to shape them and cut without it crumbling apart (because almond flour is not as sturdy as regular).  Then refrigerate until your dough is firm (30 min-1 hr).
20170311_104643-2

Step 3: Once your dough is firm, using circular cookie cutters, cut out your dough.  My first attempt, I rolled it too thin in spots, and the dough would crumble.
20170311_130424-1

Step 4: Set your oven to bake on 350 degrees, and add your jam!!! Now, I’m not going to tell you how much or how little to put in your hamantaschen… that choice is yours.  You might want to test. I put in one spoon for the smaller ones, and two spoons for the bigger ones.  The choice is yours.  Oh, also, you might want to do a test run of folding them before you put all your jam in them… because I ended up getting jam all over my arms, but eventually found a way of folding the dough into triangles that worked for me.

20170311_132313

Step 5: Bake for about 8 minutes, let them cool off for about 5 minutes, and then eat and enjoy!!!

20170311_134434.jpg

 

Don’t You Forget About Me

The anniversary of my father’s death is fast approaching, and I am burying it deep inside.  I am still so saddened by it all, and I should probably see a grief counselor, but I’m not going to.  I know I should take care of myself, but I don’t always know how to do it.

I miss him.  How tiny his eyes would get when he would smile.  His mustache.  How his lips would purse when he was really thoughtful about something.  I miss the sound of his voice- even his yelling.  There are so many tiny details that I wish I could remember, and I can look at him in pictures, but some things are fuzzy.  I can’t remember his exact height.  I can’t remember if he had two moles on his stomach above his belly button so that his torso looked surprised 😮 … or if I just made that up.

I’m not sure exactly what I meant to write here, but I don’t want to just forget it.  Or him.  How can I keep his memory alive when he isn’t here?  How can I continue to remember him without feeling the pain of losing him?  I wish I had just been able to see him that winter.  It is one of the biggest regrets that I have.

Why Women Hate Men

You look me up and down
SIZE me up.
I wear anywhere between 6 to 10 in jeans
if that’s what you’re wondering

THIS IS WHY WOMEN HATE MEN

You tell me not to eat those kinds of foods
Say that you feel guilty for letting me eat this way
Or that way
I can’t even eat a bag of chips without feeling guilty
About what I eat
About how I look

THIS IS WHY WOMEN HATE MEN

This is my body
I can exercise if I want to
This is my life
and I can lie down
Or sit on a couch and watch Netflix all day
IF I WANT TO

DO NOT TELL ME
what to eat
what to wear
how to dress
how to do my hair
what my body should or shouldn’t look like

THIS IS WHY WOMEN HATE MEN

Bippy’s and Acting Awards

Well, acting awards are great… and disappointing.  In Austin, there’s this thing called the B. Iden Payne Awards.  I’ve been calling them Bippy’s (rhymes with Yippie! or Hippy! or Skippy!), but I think they’re called something else.  I dunno.  I should really research what it’s all about, but I’m way too lazy at the moment to google it.  It’s like Austin’s version of the Tony’s.

I am honored to be a part of three productions that were in the nominations:
The Mikado: Reclaimed was nominated for two awards- Best original script; Best featured actor in a musical (Jonathan G. Itchon)
Persephone was nominated for best original score (Tyler Mabry)
Privacy Settings: A Promethean Tale was nominated for best theatrical event

fb_img_1455257574985.jpg

I was unbelievably happy and proud when Jonathan won for The Mikado: Reclaimed because it was well deserved!  I couldn’t stop crying out of a place of joy… but there were the other shows, and I got so disappointed that certain people didn’t win.  I was also kinda sad that some productions weren’t in the nominations, but I get it, not everyone can agree on stuff that was awesome.  Like other shows that I won’t mention who had original scripts and scores and amazing ensembles and casts, which in my opinion were super amazing and created by the cast and weren’t even nominated… but whatevs, dog.

I think it’s such a tough thing because so many people think they deserve an award or some kind of recognition for awesome work that they’re doing, but when you’re in shows, it’s hard to see other shows, so it’s hard to say what work was super excellent and what was just eh.

I guess that’s what the committee is for. Ah, well, if I wanted to be the one making judgment calls, I shoulda joined the committee, right?  Right.

At the awards ceremony, four of the six cast members of the TM:R performed in costumes (that had not been washed since February or March) and were in white face/ grey scale makeup… and we got to use our old fans.  It was really tough going back to that place- the feeling of being trapped in your skin color, that place of unjust imprisonment, being voiceless… singing Gilbert and Sullivan again.  I don’t know how to describe just how amazingly hard this show was, and how fulfilling it was to be telling a story like this one.  While I have had fantastic opportunities in the theatre community here in Austin, TX, this show will always hold the top shelf of theatre that I’m super proud to have been a part of.  I’m getting teary-eyed, just thinking about it.

Anyway, I’m starting to not make much sense, and getting ranty and on a tangent, so I’m just gonna end right here.