Saturday, January 29, 2011

Infamous Biter

One time when I was eight years old, my family had a beach trip reunion with everyone on my mom's side, plus Jay.*

Jay was the 10ish year-old friend of my cousin. He came with their family from Texas expecting to enjoy the Florida beach and annoy his friend's family. He succeeded in both.

I don't remember all the counts against Jay. I remember that he kept the last piece of a jigsaw puzzle which he did not help put together. After everyone gave up hope of finding it, he swept in and put it in place. Major jigsaw faux pas. I also remember he made my barbies do inappropriate things. Barbie faux pas.

One afternoon midway through the trip, I was playing Barbies with my sisters and cousins, and Jay walked into our room with a plate of potato chips. He sat next to me and said something sarcastic about my Barbies. It was the last straw.

In a moment of heightened emotion, I grabbed his forearm and bit down as hard as I could. He screamed, tossed his plate of chips, and ran out of the room.

My behavior was not age-appropriate by any means. I was well aware of the consequences of such action in my parent's household (tobasco sauce on the tongue). But here at a family reunion, biting a kid that isn't even a part of my family...I had no idea what to expect.

In fear, I hit in the bathroom with my cousins. Time passed...maybe hours. Nothing happened. I wasn't punished. I wasn't forced to apologize. I don't even know if my parent's talked to me about it. I just know that Jay left me and my Barbies alone the rest of the trip.

When I was sixteen, I visited my cousins in Texas. During the trip, I was reunited with Jay. It was embarassing, but we reconciled. Plus, he turned out to be a good guy.

Our family recounts this story every once in a while, ending with the line, "Deborah did what we all wanted to do, but couldn't."

Sorry, Jay. 

*named change to protect the insolent-- I mean innocent.

Friday, January 28, 2011

On Being Nice

Teacher: What's one word to describe Deborah?
Class: Nice

Throughout my entire life, people have described me as "nice." I'd like to think it means considerate, personable, caring, or giving. But it doesn't. Nice is the politically correct word for "nondescript". If it were a color, it'd be clear. It means nothing, except possibly at its best, "boring."

This came to my attention on Monday when I was at acting class, and we were doing Meisner, and a couple people said, "You're nice." I got a weird feeling in my stomach, but I overlooked it and repeated, "I'm nice."

Later, after much internal processing, I realized that I don't like being called nice. I should have repeated and added, "You mean I'm boring" to make it more interesting (and truthful). Because, basically nice is uninteresting. Average and uninteresting.

Ugh. Nice.

Nice says "I've got it all together. My life looks perfect. I wear a smile, so you don't think I have any problems." Nice is unapproachable, unrealatable, unrealistic.

No, thank you.

If I get called nice again in this lifetime, which is likely, it'll be a slap in the face to me that I'm acting fake. Perhaps I'm guarding my emotions or putting on a front. I'm not nice. I might be sweet. I might be guarded. I might be so busy I can't understand what I'm feeling, but I'm not nice.

Don't get me wrong. Nice can be appropriately used as a synonym for kind, giving, caring, compassionate, etc. However, if you mean one of those other words, then use them! Nice is to bland, too...nothing.

I blame this on the writer in me, the one speaking out in a passionate rant on word usage.

Nice=Boring. The End.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Leading Romance

Side by side they stood on the edge of the valley. Before them lay miles of soft, grassy meadow under a backdrop of mountains. She breathed in the fresh air and felt her hair dance in the wind. He imagined flying across the expansive landscape. His eyes widened with excitement. Yelling, "Come on!" he grabbed her hand and flew down the hill as fast as he could, sweeping her up in his adventure.


---

Every so often I get an image in my head of two young lovers running along. They are giggly and happy. He has some kind of destination, and she follows along because she's in love. The image could be in any setting: a field, Disney World, New York City. There's just something romantic about him taking the lead, being spontaneous, maybe even silly, and sharing that moment with her.

The song "Kiss Me" by Sixpence None the Richer makes me picture them, hand in hand, swinging the spinning step.

In the movie Elf, that same cute romance shows up in the scene where Buddy leads Jovi around the city to see silly little things. It's his purpose and excitement that makes it so romantic.

When I was in middle school, I saw two high schoolers weave through the hallway. He led her by her hand, and she giggled and followed. Maybe that's what planted this image of romance in my head. I remember thinking that I wanted a man to lead me like that someday.

On the night that Zane proposed, he held my hand and quickly led me across the street to the beach. He was on a mission, and I knew by his demeanor that we were about to get engaged. I felt that romantic giddiness of being swept up in an adventure.

Romance=Taking my hand and leading me swiftly and confidently on our adventure!

(Apply that equation appropriately in your own lives.)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bathroom Renovation Project

Remember our crooked vanity (which we fixed)? Aside: I like to imagine that most of you read that post thinking it was about me being vain, but then I tricked you with a DIY project. Haha, gotcha!

That was just the master bathroom! When we moved into our new house, both bathroom vanities were moldy. Here's our job on the hall bathroom:

I skipped the mold pictures, but you can see mold here to get an idea of what it looked like. The drywall was molded through, so my awesome father-in-law and Zane cut it out and replaced it with the water-resistent kind (it's the blue stuff).

A week passed, during which I painted the walls yellow. The next weekend, they put in the new vanity!
Lovely, new, clean, non-moldy vanity.


 Zane learned how to put a sink together.
I can see the wheels turning in his head. Thank goodness for those techincal writers who write instructions (shout out to Dad)!

The countertop was added, and this is how it stayed for...seven months.

Then a wonderful thing happened in December: Zane got the mirrors cut so we could hang them! This ended the months of embarrassment for not having bathroom mirrors. Do you realize how embarrassing that is!? I mean, I thought I would never live it down. But...hopefully the world has forgotten by now.

I also made these curtains to go above the toilet: 
With the same fabric, I lined some blue hand towels. I was going to line some white bath towels too, but I got bored with the project. Story of my life.



Saturday, January 22, 2011

Floppy Joy

Remember how I talked about Rufio destroying toys? I thought I'd show you what I mean.


This is Floppy. Floppy came with Rufio from his previous owner. Notice the lack of nose. That happened a couple months ago. I thought Rufio had eaten it, but then it turned up a few weeks later. Now it's hidden again. He finds places to hide these things, you know.

I said, "Rufio, show the world how much you love Floppy," and this is what he did:
World, he loves Floppy.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Love Magnets

As in, I love magnets! Well, I love meaningful ones. I don't really care for the ones you get in the mail from random food establishments, etc.

In 2005, I started my meaningful magnet medley with this gem. Guess where I got it. 

This one is from our first date, to Arabian Nights...a place where I would only go for free.

We picked up a couple on our trip this summer. This one is from Carlsbad Caverns...

 ...and this one is from the Grand Canyon South Rim. It's a live cactus!

This one is from that year that Disney did free birthday visits. We stayed in the All Star Resorts on both our birthdays and picked this up to remember it. I guess I do get souvenirs sometimes. 

This one I got in 2007 on a family trip to Hawaii. It's been my favorite magnet. It's really strong and can hold heavy things, so I use it to try to hold multiple items on my fridge.  
A tiki god of somesort from Maui.

Well, today - I opened the fridge, the door hit the wall, and this happened:
I said, "Oh sad day!" Rufio grabbed that bottom piece and took off. But I recovered it before he hid it somewhere. I'll try to put it back together, but still...it's sad. I hope he doesn't end up like Humpty Dumpty.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I Love Water!

My company's Christmas gift this year was a camelback water bottle. Everyone should have one of these. They are amazing. They have a magical power of making water-drinking fun.


I have consumed more water than ever because of it's super-cool mouth piece, spout, whatever you call it. I've heard they're pricey, so you know, save up for it. I absolutely love mine. Love it.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wonder of Wonders...

...miracle of miracles!! (name that show).

 After five days of grueling pack-leader training, I harvest the fruit of my labor:
Both dogs lie on top of each other in harmony while we ride to pick up my sister from the airport. It was the best 35 minutes of my life of a mother of two dogs.

Call me over-spiritual, but I couldn't help but think of Isaiah 11:6, "The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them." Is the day of the Lord near!?!?!

And talk about a multi-tasker! Caring for two dogs, taking a picture, and driving!!


...


JK, Zane was driving.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Shoes

Some of you have requested to see the shoes that I wore in with my New Year's Eve dress. Please keep in mind that I'm not a shoe photographer. I'm not professional, and I don't really even know what I'm doing. These shots are straight from the camera:


Now, I went into White House Black Market looking for a dress. I didn't want to spend too much (why did I even go in there?). The saleswoman asked me my shoe size, so that I could try on shoes with the dresses for the full look. Brilliant woman, she was.


Here's where you can find them online (I got them half-off the price listed). You'll also find a much better picture taken by a much better shoe photographer.

I've worn them twice since I bought them, and I'm excited to wear them again. Super-tall Deborah will be sporting these. Luckily, Zane is still taller:


I need to work on my model pose. I'm a long way from Miss America.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Audition Adventures 2

I had another adventure at Full Sail on Saturday, much different than my last adventure.

1:00 pm - I arrived thinking I'd be out of there by 2:30pm

3:10 pm - First audition. 1970's-type slasher short film. The director looks at my resume and mentions that I don't have much experience, which sets the tone for the rest of the audition.

3:20 pm - Second audition. 1950's-type alien invasion short film. I read for two characters, and the casting director ends with asking if I'd be okay with a featured extra.

3:40 pm - I consider going home.

4:00 pm - Third audition. Bollywood-type romance short film. After reading through two sides, the casting director asks me about my schedule, dyeing my hair, and working with a dialect coach for an Indian accent. They even get my measurements for the costume designer. I leave with a glimmer of hope for being cast. Dialect coach? Yes, please!

4:20 pm - Fourth audition. Independent film (not Full Sail-related). Almost every female in the lobby is auditioning for the one female role in this film, bad odds. The producers are super intimidating, and I give a mediocre audition, not expecting a callback.

4:40 pm - I almost leave, but because I figure my name has to be called soon, I decide to stay.

4:50 pm - Fifth audition. Independent film about gangs. My audition is to react to an answering machine message. I silently practice staccato breathing (helps you cry) while the director describes the character to me. The frame is super tight, so no neck movement. Afterwards the director says (paraphrased), "Wow, that was perfect. I'm not even going to make you do it again, because I liked it so much. Callbacks are in two weeks, and you'll definitely be there."

5:05 pm - I walk away on a cloud.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Shameful List

You know when people are talking about a movie and you say, "Oh, I haven't seen that," and everyone in the rooms returns shocked faces and remarks like, "What?! It's a classic! Were you born in a barn?!" and you reply sheepishly, "No...but Jesus was..."?

You've been there.

Well, so have I! Here's my shameful list of classic and/or popular movies that I haven't seen. Go ahead a judge me. If I ever get Netflix, I'll catch up, maybe.

Jaws
The Godfather
Fargo
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Animal House
Star Wars 3 - the one where Anakin becomes Vader
Apocalypse Now
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Groundhog Day
The Shawshank Redemption
Fight Club
Batman Begins (either of them)
Silence of the Lambs
The Shining
Jerry Maguire
Back to the Future



That'll do for now.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Zorro...

...the red-headed step-child. Heidi. Pip. Fanny Price.

What I'm trying to say by all those obscure literary references is that I have taken in Zorro, my sister's dog, for a few days while she is gone on vacation. This is a trial-period for when she moves out of the country. We're trying to see if Rufio and Zorro can love each other, or at least coexist.

Ha. Rufio is the antagonist to each protagonist of my previous list. The kid that made the other kids' lives difficult.


Here's the list:

Rufio jumps on Zorro's back to try to dominate him, which results in banshee-screaming from Zorro. I've started lightly spanking Rufio for this, but it's not going well.

Rufio follows Zorro everywhere, blocking his way whenever possible.

Rufio takes toys away from Zorro.

Rufio prevents Zorro from eating by following him back and forth between the two bowls. I set them on separate sides of the room to give Zorro a few seconds to grab a piece before Rufio got to him.

Zorro marked one of the ferns in the flowerbeds surrounding my back patio. This morning I caught Rufio squatting all along the entire flowerbed in efforts to mark every possible space. Yeah...he's still squatting. Maybe all this dominance stuff is to compensate for a lack of leg-lift finesse.


When I pet one, I have to pet the other. They follow me everywhere, always fighting to get ahead of the other one. Last night, Zorro was rubbing his eye, and I noticed there was a little cut above it. I looked at Rufio and said, "Did you do this?" He didn't answer.

I feel like I'm refereeing two mute children who can't understand the meaning of "Be nice!"

They were each raised as an only child, the sole recipient of owner love. When they are alone, they are angels, but together...not so much. They don't know how to share. Not toys, not food, not space, not my love.

I'll let you know if five days changes them from Romulus and Remus to David and Jonathan.



P.S. I have picture posts queued up (including the shoes!), but I'm waiting to use Zane's Mac to upload photos. Lately it's been occupied. Something about "work." Whatever that is.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Go Cart Incident

Years before the golf cart incident, I was at the house of a friend who lives in the backwoods of central Florida. She also had a go cart.

Let me tell you about real Florida. It's not palm trees and sand dunes. It's brush. It's palmettos and vines and pine trees and messy mess.

More like this:
via 

We were all taking turns driving the go cart. It was kind of chaotic to drive, because there was no cleared out course. We just made our own course. There were times when I had to close my eyes so I didn't get scratched up by vines or branches.

Word to the wise: NEVER close your eyes when you're driving.

There I was zooming through the brush at full speed. I went through a bush, closed my eyes, and BAM!!! rammed into a pine tree.

Luckily, I was wearing a seat belt, although I do think I suffered from a little whiplash. I backed it up, drove to the house, and did what any eigth grader would do: said nothing and pretended nothing happened.

A few minutes later, my friend's little brother came outside and exclaimed, "What happened to the golf cart?! It's all busted up in the front!"

Then I pretended like I was shocked and surprised.

Then I told the truth.

Then I never lived it down.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Zelda Who?

Zane and I played Super Mario Galaxy for five hours on Sunday.

We are officially addicted.

Everyone told me this game was fun, and now I know why. The graphics are phenomenal. The worlds are insane - the gravity shifts, the spherical game boards, the different uses for the Wii remote. I mean - serious genius went into creating this game.

SERIOUS genius.

When I close my eyes I find myself gathering stars. Tonight I'll be dreaming that I'm flying through space and running around planets the size of the Chicago bean. Instead of pop songs floating around my head, I have the sound of coins and stars being collected. Zane and I were trying to mimic the noise of jumping on Yoshi. Try it, it's kind of hard. Fshee-fshoo.

Oh my goodness. I need to take a break for a few hours, er, I mean days. But thanks again, Nintendo, for making my life a little more fun.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tangled in Questions

Like many other adults, Zane and I sometimes enjoy kid movies (you know you love the Pixar classics). Saturday we saw Tangled. It was great. I really liked it. But here's the thing: you take a risk when you go see a kid's movie in the theater. A risk.

Kids don't know how to watch movies.

Here's what I mean - when I watch a movie, I don't ask questions. I assume the movie will reveal all necessary information before the credits. If not, I ask questions afterwards, but I wait until the end.

Kids don't wait.

Let me explain without giving away too much information. There is a scene in Tangled that is comparable to the scene in Beauty and the Beast when the beast gets stabbed by Gaston, and he looks like he's not going to make it. The audience waits, holding their collective breath, until beams of light shoot out of his body, transforming him into a prince.

On Saturday, during that hold-your-breath time of waiting in Tangled, every kid in the theater turns to his/her guardian and starts asking what is going on. "What happened to...?" "Why is et cetera?" "Where am I?"

Part of me laughed at their simple, non-movie-watcher minds. The other part of me held back from yelling, "Just shut up and wait for it, okay?!" 

I had forgotten about this annoyance of watching kid movies in the theater. I remember having a similar experience during Toy Story 3. I had a piece of duct tape ready to slap over the mouth of the kid next to me. Zane wouldn't let me do it. Then he made me stop bringing duct tape into movie theaters.

Conclusion: redbox kid movies.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Golf Cart Incident

When I was a senior in high school, I was president of student government, which was more like a planning committee than a government system. Our first event of the year was a student retreat, and as a member of student governement, I had the privilege of driving around the golf carts at the retreat center.


I had been driving the electric cart, but one morning, my friend switched carts with me and gave me the gas-powered cart. I hopped in and realized immediately that the accelerator was much jumpier than the electric cart. I was crossing a street when it jumped all funny on me, and next thing I knew, I lost control of the steering.

There I was, straight-A, goody-two-shoes, student government president Deborah plowing a golf cart into five short wooden posts lining the mulched walkway. Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom.

I stopped, breathed, and drove extremely slowly back to the meeting hall, avoiding any sharp turns. Then I did what any straight-A, goody-two-shoes, student government president would do: say nothing and pretend it didn't happen.

A few hours later, I walked past the golf cart, surrounded by my principal, superintendent and some other teachers. I tried to look busy and aloof. My principal stopped me and told me about the golf cart's broken axle. I tried my best to look surprised and confused, and proceeded to walk by as if it didn't concern me.

Then she pulled my arm and asked if I knew anything about it.

Then I shamefully told her everything.

The good news: she laughed, and I didn't have to pay for the golf cart. The bad news: I was the kid that crashed a golf cart. No one believed me when I said it was all jumpy. They just thought I was a bad driver, which I wasn't.

It's frustrating when no one believes you. It's also frustrating when people say you're a bad driver, and you're not.

C'est la vie.

Flash forward 9 months. I've now lived my entire senior year with frequent retellings of this story. I'm on senior trip on a ferry to Catalina Island. My friend refers to the golf cart story, and I nod like I've heard it before. But then he tells me that he had been driving the gas-powered cart the night before the incident and heard something fall off. He kept going. The next day, he switched carts with me because he knew it was driving funny.

Something important fell off that cart that night. Something that makes a golf cart non-jumpy.

And that's the story of how I was inadvertantly sabatoged.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Tea to Cocktail

Two and half years ago I was in a wedding, where I wore this orange dress. It's tea-length. Pretty. 

Well, I wanted to make it cocktail length for a New Year's Eve party. See, I bought these amazing shoes from White House Black Market, and they cost my entire budget for a New Year's Eve outfit, so I had to get creative. 

Thanks to Marisa at New Dress A Day, I felt the confidence to alter my old bridesmaids dress. 

First, I cut off the length. That's what Marisa always does first. 

Then, I got my tailor-husband, Zane, to pin the dress at the seams while I wore it. 


Then, I sewed up the seams and cut off the excess fabric. There was a lining, which I just cut the length on, because I like to cut corners. I sewed the hem, but I forgot to take pictures of that. Then I did a little cinch on the top to make it a sweetheart cut, which I think was crooked, but oh well. 

I added a purple ribbon, black feathers and voila! New Year's Eve ready. 

Happy New Year, everyone!