Friday, July 28, 2006

I'm listening

It's been a whole week since I posted anything on my blog! How did this happen?!?!?

Okay. I know exactly how it happened. I've gotten into an interesting pattern of listening. I don't feel much like talking lately. Instead, I'm trying to listen to others much more than I talk. I think this is good because, damn, I can really ramble sometimes! And I'll admit that there have been nights when I've kept Tim up for hours while I just yammered on & on & on about something. But this listening thing ... Listening is good. Taking sounds in & digesting them is good. S'all good, yo.

My favorite thing to digest at the moment?
Project Runway! Woo hoo!
In fact, I'm not always good at the just-listening thing when the topic is PR. I heart this show. The sad truth, though, is that I am starved of PR love (Damn you, Time Warner Cable!). I take whatever scraps I can find on the internet & on NBC. I validate my love of this show with the fact that I have spent a hell of a lot of hours in front of a sewing machine, so I know a thing or two about clothing construction. And oh lordy, am I seeing some poor construction on the wee snippets of the show I've seen so far. Designing is fine, but we got some "home sewers" on this show. And for those who don't know, that's a majormajormajor insult.


In my internet search of all things PR, I went to obvious places like the Bravo website & Television Without Pity. I gotta say that the Bravo site has some true gems (Tim's podcasts are beyond fan-damn-tastic). But there was one thing I did not expect to find.

Daniel Franco.

Now is the part where I must beg for forgiveness because, had I posted this link earlier this week, then you, dear reader, may've had the opportunity to speak to Danny Freakazoid Franco. Alas, the time has passed. But you may still hear/watch telephone conversations with, not only Fancazoid, but also Andrae Gonzalo! Yay Andrae! Santino is on there, too, but Andrae!!! Woo!

Ring My Bell -

My hope is that our dearest darling Nick Verreos will do an appearance on Ring My Bell someday. In the mean time, you can get your fix at Nick's blog.

So other than listening to Andrae cackle on the telephone, I've also been listening to music lately.
I, uh, think I might like Jared Leto's band.
And All-American Rejects ('cause they are fellow Okies, for one thing)
And Wolfmother.
And Amerie.
And Xina, of course.
I'm even developing a fondness for Harry & The Potters, who will be performing at the LA Central Library TOMORROW, peeps!
There are also a few I'm already sick of (Panic! At the Disco! Ugh!).

So I'm curious ... what are you listening to?

Friday, July 21, 2006

Well, poop.

So george is unemployed again. Which means I guess I won that bet that she'd be outta there within 2 weeks. But I was joking, people! I did not wish that doom would befall her once more! I just thought that a little challenge (even a jokey one) might urge her to yank up the ol' boot straps in that "Oh yeah? I'll show you!" kinda way. But now? Now I feel guilty. I am a poopy pants who doesn't support her beloved friends. I su-huck. Oh well. But the good news is that george doesn't have to spend another moment with Stupid Inconsiderate Trainer Lady.

My new suggestion is that george should stay home for a bit & get sucked into the whole Housewife Whirlpool that has consumed me lately. Granted, she'll have to get out sometimes so that she doesn't suffer from Derek Overload. But she'll enjoy the fact that there's absolutely no reason to fake interest or be polite to anyone. Before long she'll develop a strong fascination for the culinary arts, too, & we'll publish a cook book together. We'll be the not-so-desperate housewives. It'll kick ass.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Why I'm proud to be a feminist, vol. 1

Joss Whedon's Equality Now speech. Definitely worth watching. I may have to go out and buy all of his stuff just to show my support.

Monday, July 17, 2006


This is a post that george can ignore. But for those of you with a bit of time on your hands, enjoy!

The World Cup. Damn it. Freakin' Zidane comes out of retirement for this tournament and what does he do? He throws the whole game away by doing something that is soooooo obviously a red-card-worthy offense. I smell a conspiracy. Just imagine if we all went through life, head-butting anyone we wanted. It might look a little something like THIS. By the by, the song in this clip is from a group called Pink Martini. I heart them.

Subway maps can be pretty.

I looooove animation. That's why I love the National Film Board of Canada. You can now watch a ton of excellent short animated films on their website (many of which have won awards). If you ever went to the animation festivals that they used to show at the old Williams Center movie theater (RIP), then you'll especially enjoy this.
Just click HERE.
My favorites: The Cat Came Back, The Big Snit, and George and Rosemary.

My vote for New Website That Should Thrive: Long Awkward Pose. Cheeeeeeeeeeeeese. My favorite is John. Anthony is a close second.

A dose of interesting advice for all of us: "How To Be Creative" from the guy at Gaping Void.

And lastly ... how long before Animal Planet starts airing The Fly Whisperer?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Glamorous Life

Monday night I was talking to my old pal, Leazle. L & I lived across the hall from one another in the honors dorms. We became friends after she threatened to throw an apple at the back of my head. She's an odd duck, but she makes me laugh.

Anywho, she had found some of our old classmates from college on MySpace & called to tell me about it. Within minutes, I was on-line, looking at profiles, seeing what all of these old acting & music theater majors were up to. The biggest surprise for me is that so many of them are still living in LA or New York, chasing the ol' dream. Only one of them seems to be making some sort of living at acting. She appeared on the show "Rescue Me" last season & this year she was on an NBC show called "Conviction" which, sadly, has been canceled. As for the rest? Well, it looks like some have gotten little parts in mediocre independent films. I saw one of them in a beer ad a few years ago.

And that's about it.

I feel conflicted about this information. Part of me admires them for still trying, mainly because it looks like they may actually be enjoying themselves out in LaLaLand. But mainly I'm just reminded of how sad and difficult The Industry is ... and I'm reminded of why I've made the decisions I have.

Oddly, I never felt drawn to act for a living simply because of all of the crap that comes with it. I love to act. I love it because I love storytelling, but to actually work as an actor for a living is sooooooo difficult. All of those auditions. Headshots. Begging an agent to take you on. More auditions. To quote a favorite film, "Desperation - it's the worst cologne." Which must be why the very idea of acting for a living makes my nose wrinkle.

Most of the people reading this know why I didn't follow the same path as my peers. I originally wanted to become a theatre professor. But then I realized that the last thing this country needs is more actors. To teach a bunch of students knowing full well that less than 10% would get any sort of job in this field ... well, it would break my heart. I can't do it in good conscience. That's why I restrict most of my acting to the realm of community theatre.

Which brings me to last night. Tim and I visited an open house for a local theater company to find out about volunteer opportunities. Long story short: they found out that I have experience with stage management ... and began to drool. They also said that someone is working in that building every day of the week - building costumes, selling tickets in the box office, painting sets, the works. So if I'm bored, I can just drop them a line & they'll put me to work.

Strangely, they didn't seem interested in the fact that I act, too. Hmm.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Daniel Franco, where did you go?

M'kay, peeps. I've got a MAJOR problem. Majormajormajor. It seems that, in the nearly 3 months of living here, I have overlooked something. And I don't know what to do to fix this.

Our cable company does not air the Bravo channel. No Bravo. Which means no Project Runway.

No Project Runway?!?!?! Eep! What do I do? How do I proceed? Help! Suggestions? Please? Other than writing a big WTF e-mail to Time Warner Cable, of course. 'Cause that won't put Tim Gunn on my television tomorrow night.

Dammit. Moving sucks.

But you know what doesn't suck? This Mr. T sock monkey on Crafster. Kick ass!!!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Inside looking out

I am told that while goerge was visiting Tulsa, people asked her about me. "How's Mary? What's she been up to?" And george's response was basically, "I don't know. I don't think she leaves the house."

Well, that's not quite true. Not quite. I mean, I definitely got out of the house a TON while the parents were here (saw the ocean and the mountains and much in between), but most of the time I'm alone & I don't have a lot of reason to leave. But I do go out! Really! And not just to buy groceries. Lately I have gotten up the nerve to explore the countryside a bit. Oh yes! The other day I took an exit off of the highway that hinted that a lake might be near by. So I drove and drove for about 10 miles and found the lake. Woo! And drove around the hidden neighborhoods near the lake & enjoyed the scenery & took a pamphlet on a house that was for sale. Because my latest interest is real esate. Real estate and becoming a kick-ass cook. Can you say "nesting"? Yes, I think I'm nesting. That's probably why I spend so much time at home. Some sort of nesting urge is kicking in. Next thing you know I'll be begging to have a baby or some other four-limbed creature.

Tim does not necessarily help, justsozyaknow. After a long day of programming happy shiny games, he doesn't really want to go out. He wants to eat some tasty food, watch a bit of poker, & play with his Legos. So don't just blame me, people! I'm living with an enabler!

But I'm determined to fix this. I even checked out some books at the library to help me. There's a book about taking walks & short drives around the Triangle area. And I got another book called "The North Carolina One-Day Trip Book"
and also "North Carolina Weekends". So whether we've got one hour to spare or 48, we've got some inspiration. Also, I'm going to an event on Tuesday sponsored by a local theater troupe. And next weekend I'm going to the Rock & Shop Market. So ya see? I'm not a pathetic lump of lonely flesh! Honest!

There are days, though, when it's hard to walk out that door. Today, for instance, we have plans to go out. But I must admit that I feel torn. The World Cup Finals are today. Italy vs France. Should be an exciting game. In this house, we're supporting France for political reasons (Only England gets to pick on France, you bastards!). But I'm afraid that we've jinxed our previous favorites simply by watching their matches (I still cannot discuss what happened in England's final game. Like Beckham, it makes me feel misty). So I think we'll walk away from the TV just to ensure France's win. Will it work? Probably not. But we must try. At least we'll get some fresh air in the bargain.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Time for (a) toast!

He's here! Little baby Maxwell has arrived! When I got the news this morning (no, george, I honestly don't mind that you called after midnight), I was so excited! And nearly 10 pounds, too. Goodness! That's one healthy baby! Hooray!!! Here are some more exclamation points just so you can see how excited I am about this!!!!!!!!

Truly, I'm just thrilled for them. Yesterday I was thinking about Ed & Rhiannon a ton (especially when I saw these food trays at Pottery Barn Kids). I gazed at photos of the two of them and thought about how they just look like cute little parents. So I'm glad to know that the wait is finally over and that darling little Maxwell has arrived.

So what does one do when one is celebrating a momentous event? Why, one makes a toast, of course. And Tim and I pulled out all the stops. We got out our toaster and the bread, of course. And then we retrieved our huge stash of toast-toppings.
- butter (actually, parkay. It spreads more easily)
- strawberry preserves
- blackberry preserves
- grape jam
- lemon curd
- pumpkin curd
- cream cheese
- lime marmalade
- marmite
- apple butter
We prepared our toast with the marmalade & parkay, held our slices aloft and proclaimed "A toast to Maxwell Phinaeus Sullivan! May his life be as sweet & delightful as lime marmalade."

Friday, July 07, 2006

Halleluyah + Kahlua = Hallekahluyah!

I am a happy person tonight, y'all. My darling husband went out & bought me some booze before coming home. This is fantastic because (a) I have gone a whole month without having any Kahlua in the house and (b) I meant to buy some after my trip to the grocery store today but, dammit all, I spent all my money on friggin' groceries.

Stupid friggin' groceries.

But hey! It's okay! Because last night after shopping for more Lego sets, I conveniently showed Tim where our local liquor store - or the ABC store - is located. "That building right there! With the sign that says 'ABC'! Go there!" We pulled in front of the store and a friendly neighborhood highway patrol officer informed us that the store was closed. But luckily for me, Tim remembered my desperation & stopped by the store on the way home. So I had to wait nearly 20 hoooooours before I got my hands on some Kahlua & milk. But it happened. It finally finally happened. And I am happy.

And by the way, I know that the comic above (from the London Times) is not very amusing. But I discovered that if you do a Google search on the word "Kahlua", most of the pics you get will be of pets. Dogs. Cats. Rabbits. There was even an alpaca, people. Here's the proof.

Anywho. Now I get to explain what the first three letters of the alphabet have to do with booze. From what I have been able to gather, in order for an establishment to sell "spirituous liquor" in this state, they must obtain an ABC license. "ABC" stands for Alcoholic Beverage Control or Alcoholic Beverage Commission or Certificate or Consumption or Carrot or Children or Cheesecake or some other C word. Go ahead. Pick a C word. It's fun.

I'm kinda amused by the ABC store thingy that we have here. It reminds me of the liquor stores in Utah ... all of which are closed by some ridiculously early hour like 4pm. And I think they're all run by the state of Utah, too. And just ordering a glass of something alcoholic in Utah is just such a major hassle. You can see why we chose not to live there. Apparently, the liquor stores here are not run by the state. But why is the signage so vague? In Oklahoma, they have nice, simple, yellow signs that say "LIQUOR". You know what it's all about. But here? I don't know how many times I drove past ABC stores before I knew what they were. I was only able to decifer the code becauase I noticed some small print on a restaurant menu a couple of weeks back. Why are they being so secretive about the booze? Why do you have to know the local lingo just to buy a bottle of gin in this state?

Then again, this is the state where the panhandlers are required to wear orange safety vests while they're on duty. I am so very serious about this. There are some guys who beg for money near the exit ramps on some of the highways. They set themselves up next to the stop lights with the usual paraphenalia - cardboard signs and all of that. But oddly enough, they're all wearing these orange safety vests. I actually watched one guy walking over to the intersection vest-less BUT! As soon as he got to his favorite corner, he pulled out an orange vest and put it on! Tim thinks he may have even spotted some of them wearing special badges around their necks. Maybe they have to wear their panhandling licenses or something.

Whatever it is, it's bizarre. I mean, why is this necessary? Why are they doing everything they can to make the beggars more visible, but they try to make the liquor stores less visible? Where's the logic in that, I ask you?

Hmmm. Well, I think it's time for me to build a big Lego viking fort with Tim. Sadly, the kit did not come with a commemorative Panhandler Keychain like the one pictured. But if we finally decide to build a Lego town, you better believe we'll be getting one.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy B-day, USA

Independence Day is a strange holiday around our house, what with there being a non-American under our roof. I imagine it's probably interesting for Holly and Andrey, too, but ... well, Andrey is Russian, so it isn't the same as our situation.

Because Tim, my darling life-partner-person-thingy, is British, I must confess that I feel a bit uncomfortable celebrating the 4th of July. Guilty even. Afterall, this is when my country celebrates the fact that we finally broke up with his country. It's as if the entire USA is gleefully singing "I Will Survive" at karaoke, occasionally glaring in the direction of the U.K. because ... well, the U.K. knows what it did. Anywho, if I were to celebrate Independence Day, it'd be as if I were up on that stage, singing along with everyone else. And after the song was over, I'd have to step down & say, "You didn't take that personally, did you honey? I mean, I don't want to live totally independent of you ... just your evil evil homeland." And even that wouldn't be right because, frankly, I'm rather fond of the UK! Oh, I feel so confused.

So as you can imagine, we haven't been grilling hot dogs & singing the national anthem 'round these parts. We had a fun day, though! Tim bought this great Lego castle set which we put together. And we watched the Italy & Germany World Cup match (We wanted Germany to win. We were disappointed). And I made a scrumptious dinner (Italian, in case you're curious). And now Tim is watching poker.


The family that lives immediately across the street? They're setting off fireworks. And if I sit right in front of our front door, I can see everything they're setting off above our pine trees. And as a bonus, I'm not getting eaten by mosquitos. But it still doesn't feel like I'm a part of the celebration.

Well, USA, I'm sorry I didn't make it to your birthday party. Hope you had a nice time anyway!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

I'm back!

Well, it's been almost a fortnight since I've posted anything. I've been sooooooo busy! But my parents are gone now and I'm feeling rather sad and lonely. And a tad worthless. But! At least we had a good time while they were here. Here's a run-down of what we did.

My parents and I drove over to Atlantic Beach and stayed in a condo right on the beach - which was expensive, but sooooo worth it. There isn't a single grain of sand in my car, babies. And the seats stayed dry the whole trip. Yes, I have my priorities straight. Anywho, Mom and I spent a day on the beach, flying kites and splashing about in the waves, but mostly laying under my new beach umbrella & reading. I loooooove my beach umbrella. Best $30-something bucks I ever spent. If any of you ever go to the beach, I highly recommend you get one. It may sound decadent, but it's not. It's a necessity. Because of this beloved beach umbrella, I only got a light sunburn on my back. That's it! A sunburn so light that I didn't even peel! So yes. I'm in love with my beach umbrella. I am not ashamed. What else. We ate a lot of seafood. Walked around the cute beachy towns. Took a boat tour of the area, saw some wild ponies. Stuff like that.

So that was Wednesday through Friday of the week before last (the 21st - 23rd). On that Friday we drove back here, grabbed Tim, & drove out to Lake Lure for the weekend. Lake Lure is over in the Blue Ridge mountains to the west. Sooooooooo damn pretty! I can't find any pictures on the internet that do it justice. However, we know that parts of Dirty Dancing and Last of the Mohicans were filmed there, so ... well, come on. I know you people have watched Dirty Dancing. Don't lie to me. Anyway, I wouldn't say I had the time of my life, but I really enjoyed it. I'm hoping we get to go back. Maybe we'll take Tim's mom there when she comes to visit. While we were staying in Lake Lure, we went to Chimney Rock Park which is just down the road. A bit of hiking. And the town is very touristy, but still very pretty.

But the bestbestbest thing was we got to see Megan!!!! Yay for Megan!!! She was dancing with a ballet troupe in Ashville, so we caught the last performance on Saturday night. Holy god, it was soooooooo good. Really truly amazing stuff. And Megan was wonderful, as always! This troupe does some really amazing work. I really truly wish they were a year-round company. They've only been around for 4 years though, so there's time for it to grow. I'd mention the name, but I don't want to put it out there without Megan's approval. But you can see some of the troupe's work on-line at their website. Just ask me or Megan.

Sunday we had brunch in Asheville with Megan before she drove back to Tulsa. Did I mention that Asheville kicks ass? And that it's gorgeous? Because it is. I kinda wish we lived there instead. The Triangle has a ton to do, but Asheville is just so damn pretty and artsy and lovely. Anyway, we ate with Megan & talked about baboons & various other things. After hugging Megan goodbye, we went to the Biltmore Estate. Very pretty, but .... well, the place is too damn big to feel cozy and homey. 250 rooms! Not my ideal home. But ya gotta love a house with an enormous library big enough to hold 10,000 books. And you gotta love a house that has a patry kitchen. Yes, a kitchen devoted just to making baked goods. You also gotta love the free wine tasting at the vineyard. Everything else there is pretty damn expensive, so if you go, definitely take them up on the free alkeehol.

My favorite part of Biltmore was the gardens. For those who don't know, I seriously considered becoming a landscape architect back when I was 18. Silly me, I chose theatre instead! But back then I developed a serious love for Frederick Law Olmsted who designed the gardens at Biltmore, so it was a thrill for me to walk those paths and see the environments he designed. Tim seemed to really enjoy it, too.

The following Monday (the 26th, about a week ago), we drove back to our house. Tim went back to work & my parents spent the rest of the week puttering about. We went to Duke Gardens & Chapel, visited a big historic home that's about 1/2 a mile from our place, hung out at the library a couple of times (yes, george, I finally have a library card). I also cooked a lot, which I'll talk about later. We had dinner with one of dad's oldest friends who just happens to work at UNC. This guy was so frickin' cool! I liked him a lot. He worked for the Clinton administration & now heads a department at the university. I'm hoping he enjoyed talking with me Tim. I think it'd be fun to go out to dinner with him sometime without the 'rents around.

So. Friday the parents left. I cried. I must admit that I was a bit out of sorts for most of their visit (Gary's death was hard). But ever since I left Tulsa, I'd been looking forward to having them here. Now I don't feel that I have anything to look forwad to. Doesn't that sound pathetic? Ugh. Gotta get off my ass & fix that.

But not yet. This weekend is all about the World Cup and the U.S. Grand Prix. I'll work on getting a life on Monday.