Thursday, June 30, 2011

Rufio's Backside--I mean, Backslide

Warning: this post includes stories of dog poo. Read at your own risk.

Lately my little snuggle muffin, pumpkin face Rufio has been misbehaving, and I don't mean chewing shoes.

When we first got him, he had a problem with pooping in his cage and flinging it around. The cause was easily explained away as anxiety, because once we started leaving him in a larger space he was fine. Crates cause him anxiety for whatever reason, which had resulted in many messy messes.

We got in the habit of leaving Rufio to roam the house when we left if it was raining or if we were only going to be gone a short time. We considered it a privilege that he was not forced to stay in the Florida heat or deluges, that he could lay on the couch at his leisure.

Then he started excreting on things, like chairs and guest beds.

It's one thing if he couldn't hold it so he went on the tile next to the front door, but pooping on a bed is downright in-your-owner's-face rebellion.

He's never done this before. My very first post about Rufio included that he was housebroken.

So now he's forced to stay outside, good weather or bad weather. I'm taking his rebellious defecation as a sign that he would rather be outside. I only kept him inside because he smelled so nice from the groomer. I'd rather him stink of the outdoors and require frequent bathing, than pee-up my furniture.

He's apparently going through a little teenage rebellion. We'll work through it. I'm bringing down the iron fist.

In other, unrelated news, tomorrow I'm flying up to New York City. I've been to upstate NY many times, but never to the city. I'll let you know how it goes!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Traffic Lights and Pink Hair

I had the delightful privilege of driving Zane to the airport in the wee hours of Monday morning. By wee hours, I mean we left the house at 3:45am, and I got back at 4:35am.

This is what I discovered on my early morning airport commute:

  • 36 traffic signals lie between my house and the airport
  • 33 are on one 15.5 mile strip of road (including one fire station emergency signal)
  • That's approximately one traffic light per half mile
What is with Orlando and traffic lights!?!? I usually get stopped at everyone single one. However, Monday morning at 4:20, I only had to stop at four. Thirty-two of the lights were green for me. It was a Monday morning miracle!

All this airport talk reminds me of a story. The year was 2005. I was in college flying with my family to Texas for Thanksgiving. My hair looked like this:

When I first had it dyed, it looked like this, pink and orange, like my bedsheets: 

But it quickly faded to light pink and neon yellow. Bummer. 

Back to the story.

I was on the plane and had fallen asleep during the distribution of beverages. This was most likely due to severe fatigue from hours of late night studying and paper writing, of course. When I awoke and realized I had missed getting a drink, I stopped the flight attendant and asked her for a Diet Pepsi.

Flight attendants. What have they become these days? Either rude, middle-aged, sometimes frumpy women or polite, seemingly gay men. Sorry if that comes across offensive, but that was the population of the flight attendants on this particular flight.

The rude, middle-aged female flight attendant told me it would be a little while before she could get my drink. After a while, I thought she had forgotten about me, but then she returned with a regular Pepsi.

"Oh, sorry, I asked for diet." I said with a smile.
"Oh, are you diabetic?"
"Um. No..."
"Well, we're out of diet, so you'll have to have this."
I stare blankly. "You're out of diet Pepsi? I'd be happy with a Diet Coke."
"Sorry, this is all we have."
"No, thanks."

After she went up to first class, my mom said, "There's no way this plane is out of diet. She just didn't want to walk back there to get you another one. Just wait until the seatbelt light goes off and go get one yourself."

I followed my mother's directions. When I walked to the back of the plane, I asked in my most polite voice for a diet Pepsi from a nice, male flight attendant. He seemed overjoyed to meet my request.

Yep, that lady flat out lied to me, but she made sure I wasn't diabetic first. Sleeze-Louise.

Summary: you're better off attending yourself on airplanes these days. Especially if you're a college student with pink and orange hair, wearing a little boy t-shirt and trousers. It was a phase.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Surprise, Surprise

You know that audition where I gave my very serious, terminal-illness monologue for a feature film that was described as "Scrubs meets The Hangover"? The one where I was sure I wasted a Saturday driving up to Gainesville and back for nothing (except that Zane read The Hunger Games to me during the car ride)?

They cast me.

I was shocked. I didn't get the lead or anything, but I was still pleasantly surprised when I received the news.

When I told the audition story to an actor friend of mine on Saturday, he said that it might have been good for me, because I showed the casting director my range. I thought, "Yeah, whatever." But maybe he was right.

I may have stories of film adventures in the swamplands coming up. I haven't completely booked it, though. Cross your fingers for compatible schedules!

Oh yeah, did I mention it's feature length?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Book of a Thousand Days

You all know my love for Shannon Hale, so I thought I'd share with you one of her other books, since I usually gush on about Austenland.

I'd like to recommend to you my second-favorite of her books, Book of a Thousand Days. It's based on a Brother's Grimm story that I've never heard before. Young slave Dashti is placed in a tower with her princess mistress for solitary confinement for a thousand days.

Sound boring? I thought it would be by the description, but it was NOT by any means!

Shannon Hale has a unique niche in the world of YA Fiction. She incorporates imaginative uses of language, which I have never seen another author do. Her creative purposes and tricks for language and what possible power it can hold is enough to read this book.

I will only say that, because I don't want to give anything away! It's a delight to read Hale. I've enjoyed every one of her books so far!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Make Up Delinquent

I'm new to makeup. In high school I did eye liner, and I've done cover-up since I can remember. But in college I kind of checked-out of makeup. I only used it for special occasions and even then, only sparingly.

Guess what I've learned recently? Makeup enhances beauty. At least for me it does!

I'm in an auditions class, and my acting teacher has become a sort of personal manager for her students. A few weeks in, I asked her about how I look on camera, and she immediately had me try on her lipsticks. I felt like I was thirteen again at a slumber party doing makeovers.

The next week, after I purchased the exact same lipstick that she had me try on, I saw myself on camera. The first thing that went through my head was, "Oh, that's what my lips look like!"

Here's what I use, which I am now in love with:
Covergirl Outlast. It comes with one lipstick (or lip paint) and one gloss to shine up the matte color. 

After the lip paint dries, it stays on for hours. I have to use makeup remover to get it off. 
These are my colors. The middle one is my go-to for auditions. 

I just bought the lightest one today, and I love it too. I wanted an everyday color. 

I'm slowly learning the ways of makeup, one method at a time, whether it's lipstick colors or highlighting the tear duct part of my eyes. It's an art, people! Though I do consider myself an artist, I'm still not used to this medium or canvas.

P.S. I googled the spelling of "makeup" and the following are commonly used: make-up, make up, makeup. You decide which is right.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cinnamon Twists

Zane and I have been known to frequent a certain fast-food establishment called Taco Bell. 
I always get cinnamon twists. Every time!

Don't tell me that it's bad for me. I don't want to know. We love this place. However, there is one thing I don't like about Taco Bell: cinnamon inconsistency. *Sigh* Explain to me... 


Why do they fail to fully cinnamon-ize all their cinnamon twists?!

It's a real problem. I want them all to look like the ones on the left.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sewing Benevolence

My grandma was getting rid of a lot of sewing stuff last month. She asked if I wanted any of it. I ended up basically splitting the lot with my sister. Here's a bit of what I got:

Something like 50 years worth of buttons,

which I decided to organize my way. 

The white ones in the bag. The rest in the box, separated by color.

She also gave me this cool box,

 ...and the means to fill it!
I'll never have to buy thread again! Maybe. 

Zippers, snaps, miscellaneous fasteners...

 Ribbon, lace, trims...
I'd say I done pretty well. 

Thank you, Grandma, for passing along your intangible sewing skills (although I haven't tapped into the full capacity yet) and your tangible sewing goods. I've already begun putting them to use!

Computer Case

This afternoon I came home, and I just had to create. You know that feeling? Yesterday, I got a new computer in the mail, and I had browsed some carrying cases on Etsy. The whole time I was thinking, "I could make that." So I did.

Here we go!

First thing I did was pull out some fabric that I got from my grandma. I had this faux fur stuff, that I thought would be a great liner.
I measured the fabric with my computer. 

 Then I measured the liner on the fabric that I chose for the outside of the case.
Our old shower curtain! 

Yeah, we didn't have a place for it in our new house, so I've been saving it for a good sewing project. I still have a lot leftover. I'm thinking of re-covering seat cushions with it or something. It's so cute and trendy.

Between the two fabrics are a few layers of felt that act as padding. I pinned it all together to sew down the sides. 

Then skip a few steps - I sewed up the ends with the machine and the edges by hand, because the cushion was too thick to get under the foot of the machine. Sorry, I forgot pictures!

I hand sewed a button clasp and ribbon handle, which were great in theory. 
But the clasp pulled funny and the handle made the whole bag fall open, since it was only sewn on one side. 

The size was perfect though!
Perfect fit!

So, I removed the handle and added two more buttons to better secure the flap. 
I didn't have anymore of that elastic string I had used for the first button clasp, so I used cute gold ribbon. I had three matching buttons, but I like the mismatch look better. I might add a strap at some point, but I have to think it through more. I mean, this isn't supposed to be a purse or anything. 

There you have it! A fun little project that took a couple hours this afternoon. I was able to de-stress by focusing my energy into creativity. 

P.S. Don't you love how I got some weird tag from a computer cord in that last picture? Pure talent, people. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Audition Adventure - Gainesville Edition

Saturday Zane and I drove up to Gainesville for an audition. This is the farthest I've driven for a role, so far. I had my scene memorized, but it was all of five lines. I didn't know anything about the film outside this scene.

Zane read The Hunger Games to me, while I drove us up there. I can't read in the car. Motion sickness.

The wait time wasn't too bad, since I was pretty punctual. I never know what to do in a room of actors waiting to audition for the same role. I saw one girl that I had seen at a callback last month, so we said our hellos. But other than that, I remained relatively quiet.

Others knew each other from school or work or whatnot. They chatted, mentioning things they knew about the film, like how there was a requirement for a monologue.

Uh, what? Oh well, I already have a monologue memorized. I guess I'll use that one.

Then one of the actors addressed me by saying to his friend that it was nice to meet new people, but that I was just sitting there silently. I smiled, but didn't reply. What's the protocol there? Then his friend asked what part I was reading for, so I replied. Still not sure about the protocol. I'm so awkward sometimes.

When I got called, the first guy said, "Good luck, Deborah." Nice guy, or he was just teasing me. Who knows.

Anyways, I got in there and did a pretty fantastic job, if I don't say so myself. They asked if I had a monologue, so I said my pretty serious, filmic monologue from Autumn in New York. Then I left and Zane and I went to Cici's, then headed back to Orlando.

Well, today I looked up the film, and it's a comedy. Like, the description says, "Scrubs meets The Hangover." I'm pretty sure my monologue about having a terminal illness is not really what they're looking for. Maybe I dazzled them so much with my read, that I'll still get a callback, but I won't be putting money on it.

Note to self: do as much research as possible on a film before auditioning.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Blue Fleece

The summer after eighth grade my family took a trip to the Northwest US. It was peak of awkwardness for all three of us girls.
Here we are in San Francisco, when we discovered that we were three blocks away from the famous part of Lombard street. Inclines are hard for Floridians.

After San Fran, we went to the redwood forest. 
I got that bucket hat in San Fran, by the way. So stylish. I was also obsessed with Adidas at the time. All the cool kids wore Adidas. I also wore Adidas, but it didn't do the trick for me. 

I was somewhat of an oblivious lame head in middle school. 

Recently my friend reminded me that we called ourselves the "cold girls" in middle school. When she said this, I replied, "Oh, because we were cooler than cool?" And she shook her head, "No, Deb, because the other girls were the hot girls." Oh, yeah. Dang it. Still oblivious.

I wasn't the only one oblivious to the true nature of my social status. 
See, I owned this blue fleece from Old Navy. I'm wearing it here at Olympia National Forest in Washington. 

While in San Francisco, my dear little sis purchased a similar blue fleece. It's the one that she's wearing in the redwood forest picture. I learned many years later that she bought that blue fleece to be like me. 

When I found out, I felt horrible and still do to this day! A serious case of the blind leading the blind! I inadvertently led her deeper into awkwardness. No offense to anyone who owns blue fleeces, but mine was ugly to begin with, and the one she bought was worse. Bad, bad, bad fashion choices on both our parts. 

I can't believe she thought I was cool. I can't believe I thought I was cool. It's sad, really. 

It's now a joke to us, but I still feel a bit guilty. I've never deserved for her to look up to me, especially when it comes to my clothes, especially in eighth grade. I mean, it didn't get much better in high school. Don't even get me started on my American Eagle years.

Now-a-days, I take fashion advice from her! Because I've wised-up, and because I guess she learned her lesson. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Hunger Games

This weekend, Zane and I read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. The hold line at the library is ridiculously long, so I figured it would be a long time until I'd get to read it.

But a miracle happened! My sister put it on hold a long time ago and got it last week. She and my bro-in-law read it, and then she passed it to my parents, who both read it. Zane and I got it on Friday and finished it Saturday night.

Yes, it can be read that fast. You don't want to put it down.

It's the story of Katniss Everdeen, a 16 year-old girl who lives in District 12, the coal mining district of Panem, the post-apocalyptic oppressive-government-run country that was at one time the United States.
One way the government keeps a strict hand on the people is through The Hunger Games. Every year, one boy and one girl from each district are chosen to compete in a death match. They're dropped in an unknown location and left to fight it out until one kid remains. 

It's like a modern, government-orchestrated Lord of the Flies scenario. Disturbing, yes, but also awesome. 

The writing style is very interesting too. Collins wrote it in first-person present tense. This is the first time I've ever read anything like that. You're in the mind of Katniss in the moment. "I run to the lake," etc.

I didn't know if I liked present tense at first, because there were a lot of fragments! But I soon found that it kept the action fresh and intense.
by Briarthorn 

The above picture is fan art by Briarthorn found on deviantart. I think it's a fantastic portrayal of Katniss and Peeta, the chosen kids from District 12.

The Hunger Games is also part of a trilogy! My sister-in-law owns the whole set. No library hold list!

To make things even better, they're currently filming the movie versions of the books. They've already cast the main characters, the list of whom can be found on imdb here. I think we can expect the first film in 2012.

Here's an interview with Jennifer Lawrence, the actress cast as Katniss.
Everyone I've talked to who has read this book has liked it. If you can get your hands on a copy, read it! I think this series has the potential to gain a Twilight or Harry Potter following.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Texas Trampolines

Last summer during our epic road trip, we stayed with friends in Justin, Texas over the fourth of July.

Zane and I spent countless hours babysitting these kids when they lived in Florida. The youngest was born right after we got married. We felt part of the family, and were so sad when they moved out to Texas.
How can you not love them?

Sweetest baby ever!! Although, she's not a baby anymore.

We had a such a special time with them last summer. It was a big blessing that we got to see them twice during our trip: once on the way out, and once on the way back. Hopefully we'll be able to do it again soon! We miss you guys so much!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

School Days

My grandma gave me this frame when I was in high school. It's right up my alley to have something like this, but there's not really any place in my house where it makes sense to display. It stays in a box under the bed.
My development in pictures.

Commentary per grade:
1. I love that I lost both my front teeth at the same time. It's so cute. I remember thinking that I was cute.
2. Wore an Aladdin t-shirt and crooked bangs. Lookin' frumpy, kid.
3. Dressed up with shoulder pads and a necklace.
4. Ashamed of my big teeth, I did a closed-mouth smile. My mom got mad at me.
5. Accepted the open-mouth, big-toothed smile.
6. Started wearing lipstick.
7. Abandoned lipstick and changed my hairstyle after 13 years of bangs.
8. Reverted back to bangs.
9. Peak of awkward stage.
10. Braces-free and first introduction to the flat iron.
11. The year of the highlights.
12. Severe senioritis and completely over school pictures.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Up-cycled Sweater

I got this sweater from Salvation Army when I was there buying my nerd costume. I loved the color, and I knew it had potential to be cute. The style was kind of weird though.

The band at the bottom was extremely tight, but the rest of the sweater was baggy.

Please disregard the sombrero, office chair, laundry basket and ironing board in our office/sewing room. It's the catch-all room, and my self-photography skills are weak.

First thing I did was remove the bottom band.

See? I removed it.

Then I sewed a new hem. I even used goldish thread.

That was easy.

It was still lacking something, so I went through some sewing stuff that my grandma gave me, including a bajillion buttons, including cute antique-ish buttons.

I found some black elastic string from who knows what (I never throw potential sewing items away!).
I sewed it under one of the buttons and voila!

Final product with the collar folded.

And with the collar straight. Two looks for the price of one!

Next time I'm going to wear make up for my sewing project self-portraits. Maybe. Probably not.

P.S. Total project time was approximately an hour and a half. Most the time was spent ripping stitches to separate the bottom band.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Beat That - Weekend Two

I left my house at 6:30am on Saturday morning to drive out to Leesburg for my second day of shooting on the set of Beat That. What a beautiful morning it was! Morning fog resting on the surface of country fields is breathtaking! Add an oak tree or two dripping with Spanish moss and I'm in tears. God is an extraordinary artist.

The point is we started early!
Here is most of the cast and our fabulous director.

Volturi eyes
Saturday's shoot can be described as super fun and happy-go-lucky. 

We were cracking jokes and laughing and having a great time.  

We finished shooting at 9:30pm. I wasn't ready to go home, so I joined some of the cast at a house party and stayed out until 1:30am. Let me do the math for you:

1:30am leaving Sorrento = 2:10am arriving at home.
2:30am go to sleep + 6:30am wake up = 4 hours of sleep.

I'm used to 7-9 hours of sleep, but I'm glad I went. I had no problem staying awake and alert for Sunday's shoot, because of all the human interaction. But I was REALLY tired on Monday.

Our Sunday shoot was more sober. The scenes were much more emotionally intense, and the tone was more serious. It was an equally great experience from a different angle.

I spent much of the shoot with a tight chest from watching Adam's reinactment of extreme bone pain again and again. Adam has amazing talent. Everytime I watched him do it, I cried - except when the camera was on me. Then I was too self-aware to let myself cry naturally. I need to remedy that. It was an emotional day.

This has been one of my favorite projects. The script is amazing, the director's amazing, the cast and crew are amazing. I feel like we've really connected as a team, and I can't wait to see the final product!!