Friday, April 29, 2011

Summer Lovin' the Movies!

I admit it, I really like those Hollywood blockbuster movies. I like independent films too, but the big ones always get me.

Here's the list of films I'm looking forward to this summer, although I might not break my bank to see them all in the "big" theater (a.k.a. non-dollar theater). In order of release date:

Something Borrowed
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
X-Men: First Class
Bad Teacher
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 2
Captain America: The First Avenger
Cowboys Vs. Aliens
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Conan the Barbarian

What movies are you excited to see this summer?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Royal Wedding

Wow, tomorrow morning Kate and William get married. She's probably waking up right now thinking to herself, "Today's my wedding day." 

I find myself simultaneously feeling sorry for and envying Kate. Ugh, all that focus from the media, having to look perfect and act a certain way, pressure to procreate, supporting the king of a country. That's a lot of weight on a girl.

But then again, she's marrying a prince. She's the modern fairy tale. I like to think they're madly in love and he is carrying her off into the sunset to his kingdom by the sea.

But the politics.

But the beautiful dresses!

The wedding airs 6:00-7:00AM my time. I was reminded how quickly weddings happen. All this hype for months and it'll be over in an hour. They'll stand in the balcony of Buckingham Palace and wave at their people and think, "Wow, we're married now? I feel the exact same as I did two hours ago."

All the excitement will fall in a crash of anti-climactic disappointment as the media and royals continue on with "real life," which brings me back to the politics...oh, and marriage-building. That must be hard for someone under the watchful eye of a country. I hope they are well-matched in personality and truly do love each other, enough to work through the hard times. I hope their marriage is happier than his mother's seemed to be.

If I were a royal, I'd want to be the younger sibling. Although, that doesn't necessarily keep one from the responsibility of running a country. Just look at Colin Firth, er-- I mean, King George VI.

God bless Kate and William's marriage and their future as rulers of a country.

I hope I can meet them someday and tell Kate that she's lovely.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Plant Commitment

Today I will talk to you about plants. I have lived in my house for over a year and still haven't done a thing about landscaping, until today.

I'm am an amatuer (read: has no understanding or experience) gardener, so learn from me. 

My friends at the House of Gjertsen used to have shasta daisies in their front yard. I saw them and liked them. I decided to grow my own. Here they are in the planter. I fear putting them in the ground:

These are also shastas, but I don't know if the transplant is going so well.
Transplanting is hard.

In September, I bought these trees to put in this corner, which was bare. I wanted it to look pretty for my sister's bridal shower. I had them planted in a lovely dark brown basket/vase thing that matched my bamboo shades. They were not happy in that vase, always wanting to fall over, so I decided they needed a bigger pot.  
Somewhere in that equation I planted them in a big plastic turquoise pot. What was I thinking? I'm too impulsive for my own good. Martha Stewart would be ashamed. Don't tell her.

Let's move outside. Last week I planted these pineapples, which I started a couple years ago from pineapples from Publix. They should produce fruit this year.
Behind the pineapples, I planted two jasmine plants! I'm sooo excited about those. I forgot to purchase a trellis, so I'm hoping the sticks will help them crawl for now.

Last, but not least, my precious palms. I started these from pups last year, and they've been doing great.
My little babies. Oh, look, another turquoise pot. This was my original desire for the turquoise pots: outside. But my indoor trees needed help, and I didn't want to go back to the store to buy a pretty vase.

I also planted some Mexican petunias, ground-cover jasmine, plumbego, begonia, and amaryllis. I'll give you some before and afters when they start to thrive. Here's to hoping they'll thrive!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Rainbow Surprise

Happy Easter Monday, everyone! Yesterday we celebrated Jesus' victory over death through His resurrection. He is risen! Woohoo!

My food assignment for Easter lunch was dessert. I like to think I've earned a baking (not cooking) reputation, so I took this opportunity to make something amazing. Of course, amazing means using one of my sweet bundt cake pans.

After pulling out a couple recipes from my Bundt Cake Bliss recipe book, I took a Facebook poll on whether I should bake a banana cake or a vanilla cake. Vanilla won.

This was a mix-plus recipe. You start with a box mix and add instant pudding and eggs, etc. From there, I separated the batter like so:
It's still a little lumpy because my handheld mixer broke!!! I had to mix this with a wooden spoon. Lemme tell ya, those women of old had strong forearms!

From there I dyed each bowl a different color of the rainbow. Sidenote: Did you know they don't sell liquid food dye anymore, at least not at Publix? It's all gel now.
I didn't get to dye eggs this year, but this was just as good.

Then I layered the colors in the order of the rainbow: ROY G BIV (I skipped indigo).
Pre baked.

The recipe said to bake at 350 for 45 minutes, but I know from my sweet baking experience to cook it at 300 for 50-55 minutes. Learn from my experience. It is good.
Post baking. The purple was popping out the top. 

After it cooled, I flipped it and applied a citrus glaze.
Side view of the rainbow.

It looked pretty sweet this way, but the real surprise was when we cut it open:
The baking process created a rainbow shape! I thought it was going to be straight lines of color, but I was excited to see an actual arch. Lovely!

Did you know that Zane's favorite cake from childhood was a rainbow cake? It was a sheet cake with a rainbow iced on the top. Because of this, his mom brought a rainbow cake to our rehearsal dinner. When I asked Zane if I should do banana or rainbow vanilla, he said hands down rainbow.

This recipe was called a "Coming Out Bundt" because the woman who submitted it to the recipe book used it for her friend's coming-out party. Since I made it to celebrate Easter, I thought it'd be more appropriate to call it a "Coming out of the Tomb Bundt!"

My friends who stayed with us this weekend offered the title "Covenant Bundt!" Fifty points if you know why that title's appropriate. The answer is found here.

Anyways, it was a fun cake to make, and it tasted delicious. I can't wait to make it again! Maybe next time I'll frost it, so the rainbow will be a SUPER surprise to those expecting a regular old vanilla treat.

Friday, April 22, 2011

David and Arthur: A Comparison

I've said this in conversation a few different times, but I've never blogged on it, so here it goes.

No one really knows the origin of the King Arthur legends. I have a theory that the story of King David was morphed and retold throughout the Dark Ages into the legend of the old king of Britain.

Here are some similarities:

  • slayed the giant, Goliath, in a childhood feat of strength
  • anointed by Samuel, a wise prophet
  • head of a group of men called David's mighty men
  • part of a scandalous romance with Bathsheba and one of his mighty men
  • was one with the land; the land thrived/withered when he thrived/withered
  • had a rebellious son, Absalom, who wanted to murder him
  • pulled the sword from the stone in a childhood feat of strength
  • mentored by Merlin, a wise magician
  • head of a group of men called the knights of the round table
  • part of a scandalous romance with Guinevere and one of his knights
  • was one with the land; the land thrived/withered when he thrived/withered
  • had a rebellious son, Mordred, who did murder him

Maybe the King Arthur stories were actually stories of David that changed through verbal retelling by a people group with no access to the Bible in their language. Just a theory.

The story of David can be found starting in 1 Samuel in the Old Testament in the Bible. As for Arthur, here's his wikipedia page.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Jesus and Doritos

Saturday I auditioned for a short film parody on if Jesus were a teenager in high school. I was just auditioning for the sake of it, but when I read the script, I saw it was gonna be pretty darn sacrilegious.

It also happened to be one of the best audition experiences I've had, so I started to think, "Maybe I could still do the film. It's not that bad..."

This Sunday was Palm Sunday, and throughout church I kept thinking about Jesus and the reality of what He did for the world and how serious the cross and resurrection are. Our pastor spoke about how Jesus didn't really want to die such a gruesome way, but His death gave life to the world (from John 12:27-33).

I just thought, "There's no way I can do this film if I really believe that Jesus did this stuff," which I do believe.

A few days later, I still hadn't been called about casting. I figured that I didn't get the part. Whew! I wouldn't have to say something like, "I can't do the film because I believe in Jesus for real, and it's disrespectful, and it's okay for you do it, but I can't..."

Then Tuesday night I got the call offering me the role. Dang it. I hate confrontation. Plus, I really did want to do the film for the experience, but I would have been ashamed that I did it.

So I called the director back and left a message saying that I couldn't do it, because I couldn't be part of a production that made fun of Jesus, because of my beliefs. I said I was sorry, and I hoped to work with them on a different project in the future.

The guy called me back right away, and said he totally understood. He said he'd like me to come in for a commercial on Wednesday instead. So I did, and I had a blast.

All I'm going to say about it on this blog is that it was really messy and involved Doritos.

Maybe you'll see it one day. If you're lucky.

Anyways, I was stoked on Tuesday night, because I was scared to be honest about about working in a production that mocked Jesus. I hated turning down the opportunity, but I'd say God had my back and knew that there'd be something else already lined up for me.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

From Muumuu to Mrawr!

I'm going to a party on Tuesday night where I need to dress to the theme of "animal instincts." I don't have anything in my wardrobe that fits, so I went to Hobby Lobby for inspiration. They had some great animal print fabrics for $9/yard. Not bad, but not good either. 

I headed over to Ross, but couldn't find anything until I went into the intimates section. I stumbled upon this $9 gem, which gave me about five yards of fabric to work with. Or so it seemed. :) 

Here's the same shot from the teaser post of what I'm working with:
Tiger and cheetah print...the best of both worlds. 

Inspiration shot. Please notice that I'm wearing my remaining rainbows.

This sewing project took exactly three hours from start to finish.

 First, I measured where to cut the sleeves and length. I laid it out all flat-like:
This looks like those old magic eye pictures from the 1990's. No hidden image, sorry. 

Takin' it down to Deborah-size.

For the next step, I needed to cinch the sides so it wouldn't just be a mini-muumuu.

I thought about sewing the sides to form to my curves, which I discovered from my cocktail dress is very difficult. It involves a lot of putting on and taking off of the dress. Plus you need a tailor-assistant, and Zane wasn't home.

I also discovered from my shirt dress that this type of fabric frays like a beast. I couldn't make too many cuts, or I'd run out of fabric for an inseam.

I still had some elastic bands leftover from my fitted sheet project, so I tried a new (for me) sewing technique: sewing elastic straight to the fabric.
I anchored the elastic to either side seam and stretched it out as I sewed across the fabric. 

The elastic worked for cinching, but it was too low on my back, pulling the fabric around my waist. I needed it to pull right under my bust, so I added another piece:
Ta da!

I used my new [to me (thanks, Mrs. Tome!)] dress form frequently throughout the project. However, It didn't eliminate trying on the dress several times. I still needed to see exactly how it would hang on me.
I hemmed the bottom and the sleeves. This fabric doesn't iron well, so it's still a little puckered, but I did what I could. (Do you say "hem" for sleeves?) 

It still needed a little something, so I added some old bridesmaid dress straps, from my tea to cocktail dress, for frontal adornment. Here's the final product:

Mrawr! Hey there, tiger! 

That last statement was directed at Zane. Please do not respond if you are not Zane. 

Right before we left for the party, and before I added a feather to my hair. Notice I'm workin' those awesome WHBM shoes!

At the party with my lovely Art Sake ladies! Love these people!!

All in all, I had a lovely, creative time making this dress and a fabulous time wearing it while celebrating the end of another fantastic acting semester with wonderful people!

That was long sentence with a lot of adjectives!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Key is in the Park

I used to babysit for this amazing family. They taught me a lot about life, love, boys, babies, and three year-olds. I started babysitting for them when the youngest [of five] was in utero, so I like to think I got to see how babies become kids.

Sometimes we would go to the neighborhood park.

The older boys liked to ride their scooters. They also liked to be the one to unlock the gate, or hold the key, or do any other normal thing that becomes awesome to early elementary aged children. Their awe of key-holding and door-unlocking caused their three year-old sister to be equally desirous of this priviledge.

As one of three sisters, I understand the concept of equal treatment. Kid #1 can carry the key on the way to the park. Kid #2 can unlock the gate. Kid #3 can hold the key at the park. Kid #4 can carry it home, etc.

Kid #3, who got to hold the key in the park, ended up being three year-old girl. No big deal, right?

Fifteen minutes or so pass, and someone has to go to the bathroom. We walk over to the bathroom. Oh, gotta unlock the door.

"Three year-old, where's the key?"

She replies non-chalantly, "It's in the park."

I look over in panic at the park that only minutes ago seemed small. I watch it's mulchy floor begin to expand for miles.

"It's in the park?"

That's when the babysitter went postal. Just kidding. I made them all stop playing and look for the key. We wandered the park and I thought to myself, "WHY?! Why did I give a gold key to a three year-old, who's running around in a park of tan-colored mulch?" 

Then I started panicking! How much do these keys cost?! How do we ever get into the bathroom? Why did I ever agree to babysit? I'm a horrible, irresponsible adult! Why am I even alive? What is the purpose to life?

After a few minutes one of the boys found it, PTL!

Lesson learned: never give a three year-old a key. Ever. Three is still "baby" age when it comes to responsibilities. In fact, it's just better to let adults carry keys, unless you have a large, can't-possibly-lose key chain attached to said key...which would have been another good solution. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mapping the Wind

I really want to get New Super Mario Brothers for Wii where all players play on the same screen together. Zane said we can only buy the new game after I beat Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker, and Mario Galaxy. (Whew, he didn't include Twilight Princess!)

I have a reputation of starting games and then stopping them when they get too difficult...or scary.

Friday night we almost talked ourselves into purchasing the New Super Mario Bros. We drove to Gamestop, but they didn't have a used one in good condition. Then we went to Target, but it was too pricey for us. We're cheap, okay? I mean thrifty.

We figured that our failure to find the game at a reasonable price on Friday was evidence that we're supposed to stick to Zane's plan: finish the other games first.

Wind Waker requires a lot of memory and I don't mean on a card. I mean in your head. You have to travel to all these islands and remember what is on each one, plus they give you all these clues about different islands and's pretty taxing.

Last night we started the journey to finishishing Wind Waker - teamwork style!

Teamwork style means Zane fights the bad guys and I keep records of everything. I drew a map like the one on the game, a graph that's 7x7 squares. Then I labled all the squares and drew the islands that we had already discovered. On a separate page, I listed all the squares by title (A-1, A-2, etc), and wrote the contents of each square, including any clues we gained in that part of the map.

I'm thinking of making improvements to the system, but this is the first prototype.

Wind Waker is going down. We're not just going to kill the big boss, we're going to find all the hidden treasures! Every rupee will be ours! Maybe. We'll see. I mean, that new super mario game does look really fun.

Will we stick to our guns? Or will instant gratification win? Only time will tell!

Which reminds me that I need to finish Ocarina of Time.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

From Muumuu... mrawr!

In a couple days, I'll be showing you how I turned this:
...into something cute and wearable to a party. 

And for those of you who were still wondering what animal print I'm going in, here it is. It's a mixture of cheetah and tiger, because I'm so catty!

Ba-dum ching!

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Sting

I had a lovely month of mental busyness that prevented me from painfully thinking about babies. I think this was due in part to the following things: Satomi was with us, I had a couple acting gigs, I missed going to [my extremely fertile] church, and I hadn't heard of any new pregnancies for weeks.

Then I celebrated three years with my hubs, which meant two years of trying to conceive. That day, I learned of two new pregnancies and one miscarriage among my friends. I felt numb.

The sting returned a few days later.

The new pregnancies sting because not only am I reminded of what I don't (maybe can't) have, I also feel like my very presence steals joy from expecting mothers. They know I can't conceive, so there's an awkwardness. Plus, I'm overly self-aware, worried that my face is saying, "Mention diapers one more time, and I'm gonna fire those smart-aleck comments already gathering on the tip of my tongue."

The miscarriage remind me of the existence of infertility, pain, death, and deferred hope. These particular friends have suffered through infertility for years, and it was extremely painful to learn that their journey wasn't over. It's also painful/scary/difficult to grasp the idea of God giving a child, then taking it away.

I hate writing posts like this, because I don't want to be pitied. But I also feel like it's important for me to share some of what my day-to-day reality looks like. Life can be hard.

Sorry for such a bummer-post. I'll be posting some more upbeat stuff soon too. :)

Two Dreams, I Took The One Less Travelled

When I was a kid I used to dream (and have actual sleep-dreams about) being an actress. I wanted to be on Barney and Nickelodeon, which was right at my fingertips in Orlando, but I didn't realize it then.

I also dreamed about being a mom.

The way I see it, these dreams can be categorized like so:
1. Ridiculous dreams that probably won't happen.
2. Rational dreams that happen all the time.

Which of those categories seem more precious? The rare dream or the common dream?

Babies are precious. They're also everywhere (My facebook is evidence. Friends with tons of babies and fetuses? Me too). I'm not saying they aren't precious. If anyone believes babies are a rare and special gift, it's me! Though maybe not so rare.

It hit me that maybe God is gifting me with a special purpose. Maybe He's leading me to accomplish a dream that He placed in me when I was a kid, a dream that is relatively rare to achieve.

I've speculated about it a lot. Maybe God has prevented me from pregnancy to push me in this direction. In actuality, I believe His reasons have more to do with my relationship with Him than the external circumstances of my life. It's a big picture, though.
It seems that right now, I've been forced to take the road less travelled. I have no doubt that it'll make all the difference.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thoughts Over Yogurt and Cupcake

That's just what I'm eating right now.

Yesterday I ran around meeting up with friends and agents. Well, just one agent, who I now can call my own. Yep, I'm a represented actor. But I'm still on the hunt for another agent. You can't just have one agent anymore. Do I sound like I know what I'm talking about? Good.

Next week is our acting class end of semester party. The theme is "animal instincts," so I'm cooking up a great new outfit. I'll post on that later. Guess what animal I'll be channeling.

I'll give you a clue.

Ha! Just kidding. No clues.

There are weeds in my front "yard" area which are as tall as my hip. That's taller than most children. I hate them and I want to pull them out, but it's blazin' hot outside, and I hate sweating. What a dilemma.

Shannon Hale is one of my new favorite authors. Thanks, tinalina, for the recommendation. I just started Book of A Thousand Days. I'm excited. You should read her stuff - especially Austenland if you're a Jane Austen fan.

I also became a member of goodreads recently. I haven't updated much of my profile, but my username is aabracadeborah if you want to check out my bookshelves!

Next weekend we're having house guests, and our hall shower drain is clogged. I hope they don't like to bathe.

Tomorrow is tax day, (actually the 18th this year), and I submitted our taxes on Monday. We had to pay, but not as much as I had originally thought. At first this made me mad, causing me to say, "What has the government done for me?!" Then my friend said, "You live in a place where you're safe at night and there's no fear of the government collapsing...not to mention roads, schools, etc." ...And there was that first-time home buyer tax credit last year.

Fine. I guess I support the government after all. Tax me! Give to Caesar what is Caesar's. That's a hard word to type for me. Caesar.

Don't you think it should be Cesar? Or Ceasar? Or Ceesar?
I'm going to NYC this summer for the first time. I'm kind of super excited. I plan on meeting lots of celebrities, including, but not limited to Lady Liberty and Tina Fey.

I also want to ride in the cash cab. I'll keep you updated.

Lastly, I'll leave you with this awesome you tube video that Zane showed me last night. I had to watch it twice in a row, because I laughed so hard. Then I tried to memorize it. Then I went to sleep.

Or you can go straight to youtube and view it here. Thanks, Mike, for showing this to Zane.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Rufio - 2; Rainbows - 0

Not too long ago (March 28th, to be exact), Rufio ate my shoe:

Tonight, he struck again, swiftly and surely, to my other pair of Rainbows.

I bought both these pairs of shoes intending them to last forever. That was right before Zane and I got married, so I've had them for over three years.

3 years < forever

Within two weeks, both pairs have been destroyed beyond use...

...or have they?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

All the Fish is Happy

Last weekend, Zane and I went to the Florida Aquarium in Tampa as part of our anniversary escape. We did the entire aquarium in a couple hours, but it was pretty fun. We only took pictures of our favorite animals, so here's a little of what we saw:

Glass Fish

You can see through them!

She's looking at you!

 Cool Seahorses:
I don't remember this one's name.

This is a pigmy sea horse. It was the size of my pinky finger.

This is a leafy dragon. It was probably my favorite exhibit.

That's all the animal pictures we got, but there were other cool animals like neon fish, puffers, spider crabs, octupi, rays (which we pet!), otters, and sharks. You'll have to go, since we didn't photograph all of them.  

One of the only pictures of us from our trip!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Join us, Rufio

Vulnerable to the siren calls of the mural dog pack, Rufio suddenly felt the need to stay and enjoy the sun a little longer.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Zane > Me

He cooks for me. He's good at it, and he likes it.

He watches movies with me. He even enjoys the chick flicks!

He doesn't mind if I'm lazy sometimes. I get frustrated with myself about it, when he could care less.

He's excited for me to be an actor. He supports me better than anyone. He encourages me and gives me pointers.

He's patient through my moods. It's rare, but I get the occasional [daily, weekly] moodswing.

He thinks I'm smokin' hot.

He lets me be sad when I need to be. He holds me, commiserates and never tries to fix me.

He sacrifices the best piece of crispy sausage or bacon.

He makes sure there's always milk in the fridge.

He likes to dream with me.

He works hard, excelling at Booster everyday, then coming home to tutor a few times a week.

He loves the Lord consistently, dilligently and despite my cynical remarks.

He enjoys being married to me.

He laughs at my jokes, and not just to be nice.

He appreciates my creativity, cleanliness, and candor.

He honors me when away from me.

He brags about me to other people, which I don't mind at all.

He's strong and athletic and could carry me out of a burning building if necessary.

He retains his rose-colored glasses, no matter what the world throws at him.

I love this man. On Tuesday we celebrated three years of marriage. Though we've had our struggles and arguments, I've never thought, even for a split second, that I shouldn't have married him. He's a better person than me, and I can't imagine life without him.

I don't understand about God's plan and sometimes resent Him for it, but I am eternally grateful that He brought me Zane.

Love you, Zane!