Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Evolution of the Moo

When I was in college, I was introduced to a place called Moe's Southwest Grill. A very popular item at Moe's is the Moo Moo Mr. Cow (Moo for short), a children's burrito meal that comes with chips, a drink, and cookie.

In 2004, the year of my first encounter with Moe's, the Moo was $3.49ish.

Side note: This was when Zane, a stranger to me at the time, ate at Moe's five times a week. His doctor told him to cut back because his blood pressure was so high. But on the flip side, we have tons of those crayon-shaped kid cups.

Somewhere around 2006-2007, Moe's by UCF raised the price of the Moo to $4.49! We were all shocked, but went with it because, seriously, you do get more food with a Moo than the other kids meals. But come on, a whole dollar? There's no inflation excuse there.

Circa 2008-2009 Moe's did something else horrible. They SHRUNK the Moo burrito! And kept the same higher price! Can you believe this? What are they trying to do, get money?

Still, for about $5.00, you can get a small burrito, drink and cookie.

Until now... (insert dramatic gopher music: dum dum DUM!!!!)

Last weekend in some Moe's near a movie theater on the other side of this state...near Tampa...somewhere. I was eating with my soon-to-be sister-in-law and I ordered a Moo, only to be THWARTED by the semi-nice Moe's employee saying that I could NOT get the free drink and cookie because I am not 12 years old.

Tyranny!!!

She told me this at the register, leaving me so shocked that I tried to be nice while saying, "I do not approve," which was kind of awkward to say. But later I was very upset that I paid $5.00 for a tiny burrito and chips. That's it. No drink. No cookie.

Oooooooh...makes me so mad.

Moe's of Orlando, here me say: if you do this, I will boycott. I will! Watch me do it!! I'll take you down!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Blokus Attack!

Have you guys played Blokus?

Back in March 2009, our Japanese exchange student told us about it. I had no idea what she was describing and I thought it was due to the language barrier.

Last November, someone mentioned it on facebook. I gave it to some friends that Christmas and finally got to play this amazingly fun game.

Three cheers for weddings, because my sister and bro-in-law got it as a wedding gift a couple weeks ago! We played it for a couple hours trying different strategies. (Maybe just one hour...it's hard to say)

It's a game for everyone. You don't have to be good with math or words or charades. It's for introverts and extroverts. For young and old! A perfect bridge for language barriers, like with your husband...JK! With your Japanese students, or foreign relatives, or....other times when you have language barriers. It's also good for times when you all speak the same language! So versatile!

This Christmas, give it to one of your close friends, so you can play it with them. Or get it for me, hehe.

P.S. I just discovered the Blokus website, which I linked above. You can play online. Test it out, and see if you don't fall in love.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Auditions Adventure!

Saturday I went to some Full Sail auditions. Full Sail intimidates me. Everyone there is super cool. They're also cinematic geniuses...genuisi.

I wore my best cool-kid outfit and actually did my hair and make up. Putting mascara on and straightening my hair are major chores to me. I like to think it's because I'm low maintenance and not just lazy.

Full Sail is made up of lots of dark, scary-looking buildings. Once I finally found 3F (after I figured out the number/letter system), I had to ask a bunch of cool kids where the auditions were. They were very nice and pointed me in the right direction.

Once I made it to the casting lobby, where they have a long table with all the different films lined up, I realized I forgot which films I had come to audition for. This was embarassing. I ended up asking the different representatives which films were casting for young women. Yeah, my "amateur" stamp was showing up on my forehead. I like to think I charmed them with my good looks and quick wit, though.

Welp! The auditions went well. I didn't have to wait long to see any of the directors. After reading for the first director, he gave me an additional scene to read. I took this as a good sign. That was for the recovering addict role, where I will (if casted) pretend to smoke. That will be an adventure of its own.

I also read for the role of a woman with PTSD and did a non-speaking audition (completely action and mannerisms, etc) for a homeless woman. Acting homeless is kind of difficult. At one point, the director told me to "run home," so I jogged across the room and said, "but I'm homeless!"

Summary: I auditioned for a drug addict, woman with ptsd, and homeless person.

I kind of hope I get a call back, and I kind of hope I don't.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

He Speaks to Me

Rufio has found a way to get our attention whenever we're busy.
video
It's usually accompanied by a "dance," but I'll have to share that with you later. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ingenious Ideas

My family has a rare talent of coming up with great ideas. Maybe not so rare. Maybe medium well.

The wedding planners needed a way to hang my sister's dress while keeping the skirt from getting vertical wrinkles.

The solution? 

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, you have unending uses. 


The best part is they can just keep it assembled until Christmas. 


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Homemade Applesauce

It's as easy a 1-2-3!!

1. Peel, de-core and slice apples. (Okay, that's kind of 1-2-3 right there).

2. Throw them in a pot with cinnamon, nutmeg, water, and [optional] sugar. Turn up the heat.


(Photo taken with Zane's sweet macbook pro that has one mouse button and no true delete. And you have to use "command" instead of "control" when using functions like ctrl-Z.)

3. Stir and mash when hot.

The end!

Store it in the fridge. Eat it instead of oreos!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Evidence

Evidence that I jumped in a lake for a student film last week.


I'm looking pretty happy. 


You can't tell how cold it is or how hard it was for me to breathe. The camera knows no temperature. Could have been summertime with a high of 85 degrees. Or it could have been two days later which was also a high of 85. November in Florida=fickle weather. 

Fun times. 

Photos by Sylvana Fernandez

Friday, November 19, 2010

SisterLove

What I did last weekend in one photo:


Successfully married off my sister. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Disheartening Realizations

Yesterday I went to my thought world. I like to travel there while I drive or shower or sit and stare at the wall.

A familiar thought resurfaced: the disheartening realization that no matter what you contribute to society, it and you will eventually be forgotten. Sure, I know that Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin (or took credit for it, at least), but I don't know, care about, or love Eli Whitney. He's just a name. It's rare that even a name gets remembered.

Say I fulfill my dreams and make a movie or publish a novel. Whether it's a hit or flop, in a few months/years it'll be old news. Young kids will laugh that older generations ever thought it was cool.

I had been browsing through upcoming movies and was amazed at how many movies an individual actor will work on in a year. It's such an inflated market, and so much work and money go into each film. Still, the people that made it awesome all pass their prime eventually.

Take Cary Elwes. I like him. He's so dreamy in The Princess Bride. He's in a new movie with Natalie Portman, and let's face it: he doesn't look at all like the Wesley we know and love. He will probably never have a roll like that again, nor could he. That was over 15 years ago. That's a timeless movie, but even it might be forgotten in 50 years.

I saw picture of an old actress hanging at Buca Di Beppos on Saturday night. I thought maybe it was Greta Garbo, but even my 80 year-old grandma didn't know who it was, because the actress was before my grandma's time. A familiar face with no name.

Actors, athletes, any performer has an expiration date. And their game, movie, production is only enjoyed for a short period of time.

So I thought, "What's the point? Why am I even trying to do this?"

Except for fun, there's no point if I do it for myself. But I concluded that if I keep my trust in God, my only eternal hope, then whatever plans He has for me on earth will be part of a bigger picture. It doesn't matter what art I create on my own, but what art I create for Him and through Him.

Then when I'm gone and a few generations pass and my name is less remembered than Eli Whitney, it won't matter, because God's plan keeps going. I can know that I completed my part of the story.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thoughts Over Popcorn

We have six bags of popcorn that expired on 11-4-10. I guess Zane and I don't eat popcorn that much.

I love when the microwave tells me, "enjoy popcorn." Someday I'm going to heat up leftover pizza on the popcorn setting. Then when it's over and the microwave says, "enjoy popcorn," I'll laugh ridiculingly and say, "Gotcha! It's pizza, loser!"

I'm using Zane's Macbook Pro. It has a nice full-sized keyboard, unlike my netbook. However, I dislike the one-button mouse. I rely on the right-click. This is frustrating.

I like salty things. Like salted mixed nuts, salted pretzels, salted popcorn and cheese.

My sister got married this weekend. I wore my Dallas hair. I've always avoided volumizing shampoos. I lack no body in my hair.

Why do Mac's have a "delete" button that's the same as "backspace" but they don't have a "delete" that's the same as "delete"? Sometimes a girl wants to delete the stuff in front, not just behind. Apparently I like to do it a lot.

A few days ago I gave popcorn to Rufio, but he didn't eat it. I had to pick it up and throw it away.

Yesterday in acting class I felt like a total amateur. I woke up with anxiety about it this morning. I prayed about it, but I couldn't stop thinking about it. Then I went to work, and it was okay. (about it, about it, about it)

I just dropped some popcorn and Rufio took it to the living room. I'll let you know how it goes.

I take pride in my knowledge of the parts of speech. Adjectives do not describe adjectives. Adverbs describe adjectives.

I'm going to make homemade applesauce. Zane doesn't like mealy apples, and the last batch I bought was mealy. Gala aren't supposed to be mealy, but these were. So applesauce they will become. I guess I'll let you know how that goes too.

I never disliked mealy apples until I married Zane. Now I can't stand 'em. ("I cee-an't stee-and 'em" what's that from?)

I also never played Monopoly at McDonalds before Zane.

I also never played Zelda before Zane.

This list could go on and on. Zane has introduced me to many lovely things in life. But he also introduced me to Legends of the Fall. Not so lovely.

I want an oreo.

P.S. Rufio came back alone, so I guess he ate the popcorn. Or left it for me to clean up.
P.P.S. (update) My dislike for Legends of the Fall has nothing to do with the infertility aspect. Only the general unhappy mood of the entire film which ended horribly and left me feeling sad and disturbed for a while...even to this day.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Misleading Harvesters

Sometimes I check the traffic sources for this blog to see how people end up here.

I get a lot of hits from search words including "harvest hornet's nest." This makes me feel bad. I mean, there are good people out there trying to legitimately research how to deal with their hornet's nests and instead they end up on my post about Rufio possibly eating hornets.

Sorry, guys. I have no idea what true hornet harvesting is all about. It sounds gross to me. I commend you for your attempt to DIY that kind of thing. Maybe this blog post will help. Probably not.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Oreo Addiction!!!!

I've blogged about my infatuations with certain foods before.

Well, dang it! My husband came home with a package of Oreos that were leftover from some party at one of his schools. I'm pretty sure I've eaten half of it. I live with two other people - boys infact, but I haven't seen either one with an oreo in the last two weeks.

Yesterday I ate four.

I'm usually not tempted by processed treats because I just look at the ingredients and get totally grossed out by all the chemicals. In this case...I haven't allowed myself to look at the ingredients because I don't want to know. I just want to eat oreos forever.

I hate oreos. They're ruining my life. But I love them. They taste good.

I just ate two. I dunked them in milk. That makes it healthier, you know.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Story of Rufio

Once upon a time I was mad at God and the world. This was mostly because I couldn't get pregnant. I was getting pretty lonely and needy for someone to love/take care of. I had been wanting to get a dog for years, but it was never the right time. College was too busy. Then Zane and I lived in an apartment where we weren't allowed to have pets, not even a fish. Then we got a house, but we took a three-week road trip. Finally, at the end of the summer it seemed like the right time to get a dog.

I knew we couldn't afford a premium puppy, and I wanted to rescue a dog instead of promote over-population of animals. I searched SPCA places, but none of the dogs seemed right for us. I searched craigslist, but was having a hard time finding the "right one."

Our criteria: male, no shedding, under $100.

I kept getting frustrated because nothing was coming up. Saturday morning I was in the shower thinking about life, as I often do, and I thought about my list of criteria. I felt hopeless about finding a dog. Next thing I knew, I was praying that God would give it to me. I hadn't talked to Him for a while, because I was pretty convinced He didn't care about my needs (based on the lack of baby, of course).

I said, "God, here's what I want and I want it today. Can't I at least have a dog? A dog?!"

I found one that day that was $200 and asked the lady to come down on the price. She said she'd get back with me. Sunday evening she called and let me know that someone else purchased her dog. I was pretty bummed.

Monday morning I was completely depressed with life. I dejectedly got on craigslist and saw a small black dog. I texted the owner and by 5:00pm, Rufio was in my arms. He was $110 with his crate, food, dish, toys, etc.

Rufio bonded with me immediately.

Tuesday morning I drove to work in tears. I was overwhelmed with how perfectly God provided. I couldn't say He didn't care anymore, because He did, He does. He didn't answer my prayer in my time frame, but He answered it in a better way than I predicted.

I think He does that a lot.

Sometimes I have to fight off feeling lame because other people have babies and I have a dog. But you know, this dog jump-started me out of a period of  depression and spiritual silence. I had a reason to get out of bed, if only to walk him. He made me laugh with his antics. He made me feel needed. He's pretty important to me, even if he is just a dog.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Eye of the Storm

This evening is the eye of the storm of busy life. I'm looking back on the whirlwind of last week and looking forward to the fully-packed wedding weekend festivities for my sister. I'll try to crank out a few posts to keep you occupied while I celebrate my sister's marital union.

Recap on my weekend:

Remember how I told you guys about the student film? Here's my experience in one word: fun. I got to work with some genuine, hilarious, creative people. They were really great, and I was thrilled to be a part of their creative world even if just for a few hours.

I jumped in a lake. It was [insert adverb] cold! My chest cavity collapsed and I sunk to the bottom of the lake. Not really. But I did gasp and swallow water and cause the crew to look on in shock and horror and ask if I was alright. I couldn't respond. I tried to say yes. I tried to look cool and natural. But I apparently looked like I was drowning. After a short eternity (30-60 seconds) I was able to say my line.

Both Saturday and Sunday nights, I hit the pillow completely exhausted but completely happy. It was the fatigue of a kid after a day at Disney. Or an Olympic athlete after a gold medal event. Or....an aspiring actor after a non-paid student film gig.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Hi-diddly-dee....

...an actor's life for me! (Name that movie for 50 points).

Two years ago I played in a student film in the extreme heat of Florida March. I was in a hazmat suit, so we're talking personal sauna. The only thing good about the suit, was that I didn't get sunburned.

This weekend central Florida is having a nice little cold snap! You know, highs in the low-70s. Well, guess what? I'm in a in a student film this weekend, where I'll be wearing a sundress today and a swim suit on Sunday. Bonus: I'll be jumping in a lake! Think like a polar bear...or those old guys who jump in icy water.

But as Yvonne says, "The camera knows no temperature!" Hopefully the camera won't pick up my blue lips either. Yikes!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Deliciously Accidental Soup

I'm not much of a cook (baking is another story). I dislike long, involved recipes. I rarely plan out meals. When dinnertime rolls around, I'm usually thinking what's the easiest thing with the fewest ingredients that I can make.

Last night I looked at my ingredients (ham that we needed to consume, frozen broccoli, fresh onions, frozen peppers) and thought to myself, "These would be great with a cheese sauce."

I pulled out my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, which is the first go-to for recipes. I found an easy cheese sauce and went to it.

Here is it:
2 tbsp butter

1 1/2 cups milk
cheese (I did shredded cheddar and parmesan)
salt and pepper to taste (the cheese is pretty salty though)

Few ingredients makes a happy Deborah. P.S. This is a very dairy sauce. Not for the intolerant ones.

I got the sauce going and had my sous chef, Zane, chop up the ham and onions. I tossed in the frozen broccoli. We decided against the peppers (because we'd have to open a new bag...don't judge!), and threw in the chopped stuff.

We took it off the burner and waited for the sauce to thicken, but it wasn't happening. Since we were starving, we just put it into bowls and ate it as soup. It was delicious! It was like broccoli cheddar soup at Panera, only with onions and ham. So, not that similar, but equally yummy.

Aaaaaaaand, that's how it's done. The end.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Life of a Cotton Ball

Last weekend I was in Cordele, GA with Booster! We stayed on a cotton farm in a really beautiful farmhouse. It was my first time seeing cotton plants. Old history lessons were flowing through my brain about the old south, the cotton gin, and the slaves who had to work all this stuff by hand.

Here's a close up of the cotton on the plant. It was ready for harvest. It feels just like the stuff you buy, only when you first pick it, it's full of seeds. Hence, the importance of the cotton gin! It was pretty tedious picking the seeds out by hand.

I picked myself a piece of cotton and took the seeds out. I kept rubbing it thinking out amazing God is to create such a lovely thing as cotton. Since I usually buy it in a bag, I forget that it came from the ground.

Where's Rufio? (clue: he's wearing his Booster shirt).

Kayla and I started to twirl the cotton into yarn as we walked back to the house. I now see the importance of the spinning wheel! My fingers hurt by the time we had finished, and we had only twirled three or four "cloves" of cotton together. We were proud of our long piece of yarn. So proud that... 

...Kayla crocheted it!

And there you have it: the life of cotton. From plant to the miniature blanket.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

In Response

I just wanted to take the time to respond to the responses I received after writing about The Unwanted Adventure. Thank you to everyone who took a moment to encourage me.

So far that post has the most hits of all my posts from the beginning of this blog. That alone showed me two things:

1. More people read this blog than I thought.

2. It's a tangible representation of one of the ways God has blessed me through this trial, and that is the opportunity for deep, real relationships.

This is the first time in my life that I have the capacity to understand true suffering, yet I still acknowledge that there is much deeper suffering in this world than what I'm going through. It's the first time that I'm really hurting about something that's out of my control.

It's so scary to take down the walls that guard our hearts. I think that there's a time for it and a time to keep things to yourself. Lately, the times I have allowed the walls to fall have resulted in some of the most encouraging, life-changing conversations. It's amazing how many people have opened up to me about their hurt after I have shared about mine. Praise the Lord for that. It gives me hope that this trial is not happening in vain.

Everyone has a story. Sometimes it takes a while to peel back the layers though.