Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

WTF – Tornadoes!!

Apparently Massachusetts was feeling left out with all the tornadoes that have been sweeping the country this spring. Wednesday night, there were two in Springfield, one in Monson, and one in Southbridge, where I grew up. And those are the ones that I know were confirmed! Luckily, Worcester only had some funnel clouds, with nothing touching down, so my home is in the clear. Others are not so lucky.

So, if you’re like me, you’re getting paid today. Why don’t you take a few minutes and donate a couple bucks to the Red Cross of Central and Western Mass. So far, I haven’t heard of any specific needs from my family and friends who have been affected, but I’ll be sure to pass along any other ways you can help. Thank you in advance!

50 Years Ago

Happy 50th Anniversary, JFK Inauguration! Here’s the entire speech for you to see:

Also, I had the opportunity to listen to a great discussion on WBUR’s On Point yesterday. I highly recommend it as a discussion on JFK’s call to “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” I like that idea, and would like it even more if today’s generation might take that kind of selflessness a bit more seriously. Along with that, my quote of the week is, “Civility is not a sign of weakness.”

Or, as I’d like to say, Don’t be an asshole.

New Year’s Resolutions

Okay, this first one is the same as last year: I will have a blog post every day. Even if I have to make something up. And I grew up watching Days of Our Lives, so that bar is set pretty damn high. So expect alien abductions and devil possessions to increase 75%!

Also, I finally received my first piece of direct marketing geared towards my website! To my e-mail address…not a comment to one of my posts! I’m far too excited about this, so my goal is to get more. Maybe free stuff too. I promise to share it with you, all 5 of you, and only increase my brand loyalty marginally.

I will say, though, I did do well with my other resolution from last year – Tweeting every day. Sometimes multiple times a day! This has become increasingly easier with the advent of FourSquare into my phone. Which becomes more interesting when you realize that my dentist and my favorite Mexican restaurant are both now following me on Twitter. Umm…ok?

And, finally, I’ll start taking better care of myself again. Getting myself too overscheduled is bad, I’m realizing, as I keep putting off things that I should be doing and getting back into bad habits. I still have 20 stubborn pounds to use, so hopefully getting back into my good habits will kick start that process.

Clearly, I’m not the new cool

I’m kinda picky about my music, and my tastes go all over the place. But I found a great radio station, and in particular I like the morning DJ. Fridays, she does an all-request show, which is usually fantastic. This morning, I was a little less than thrilled, and in particular had issues with this song. It’s Jack Johnson, and there was an acoustic version on the radio. Maybe it’s better when it’s not acoustic…but these lyrics really needed something.

To be fair, I do have some Jack Johnson on my iPod…but I also still have the Spice Girls, so that’s not saying much. At least I finally evicted Hanson.

Girl I Wanna Lay You Down
I come over early in the morning
just like a heat wave, without warning

Awesome. I love hot flashes. Especially first thing in the morning.

And when I touch you my heart begins to flutter

I predict this will rhyme with butter.

‘Cause you’re smooth and creamy like peanut butter

But peanut butter?? Not sexy, Jack.

Girl I wanna lay you down
I said Girl I wanna lay you down

OK, so it’s a song having sex, not being sexy. Gotcha.

I’m gonna flood you, like a love river
Aww baby the post man, is about to deliver

Ohhh…It’s also a song about bukkake. Though not quite the melody I’d pick as a soundtrack.

I cook you up some dinner, a little pasta

But I thought it was morning?

Listen to some music, a little Rasta

*wink* *wink*

I said girl I wanna lay you down,
I said girl I wanna lay you down,

At this point, Jack said, “Bridge.” I wondered if he had heard of “rehearsals.”

Awww baby baby
Don’t you know I need your love?!

So turn out the lights, bring out the candles,
wrap your arms around my love handles,

SEXY.  

They say the passion may not always endure,
but this feeling that I have for you is burning up my world.

There’s a cream for that…

What is wrong with people?

Billy Lucas, Asher Brown, Seth Walsh, and Tyler Clementi. If you haven’t heard these kids’ names in the past few weeks, go look them up. These kids were all bullied over their sexuality, perceived or otherwise. And they all took their lives because of it.

Partly I wonder what is going on with kids today, though I’m not going to say it’s just the kids that are doing it. There are adults involved here, and in most of the cases I’ve heard, the kid who was being bullied had parents who spoke up and asked for help. Teachers, administrators, and whoever else didn’t do anything or brushed it off. And the parents of the bullies? I’m sorry, I don’t accept the argument, “Kids will be kids.”

You know what, parents should be parents. Step up and discipline your child. I’m sure you’ll be much easier on your little snowflake than the judicial system will be. And you’ll certainly be easier than the stigma and guilt your child will have for the rest of their life, knowing that they were responsible for another life ending.

For you kids out there…anyone who is getting picked on or bullied and thinks that life will always be like this, I’ll echo Dan Savage’s rallying cry: It gets better. I used to be the odd kid. I’ve always been a little shorter, a little plumper, a little weirder, and a little more on my own. And I’ve been to that place you’re at, where you think that it’s just easier to quit. But it gets better. I can’t begin to tell you how much better my life is now than it was then. But I want you to see that time, when your life will be this good.

For those of you on the other side, think about what you can do to pitch in. I do recommend the It Gets Better Project as a starting point, not because I think that Dan Savage is an amazing person (I don’t think that), but it is a start. If you have kids in school, talk to your school district about their bullying policies. If they don’t have policies, ask them why not! If you don’t get an answer, keep asking. We are all better than this.

Squirrels are Jerks

In my house, we have four cats of various levels of maturity. I use that term based on their behavior, not their age, as they are all either 11 or 7. The baby of the family is Sasha, not only because she’s the newest, but she’s also the biggest spaz. She also has the most enemies in the neighborhood, which is why they all need to be supervised on the porch.

One of her enemies in the neighborhood is a squirrel, and it is totally a reciprocal relationship. Sasha’s favorite place to sit is on the cat perch in the kitchen, and the squirrel’s favorite place to sit and eat acorns is also right outside that window. And I swear, that squirrel takes his sweet old time eating whenever Sasha is watching him. He’s just like that person who knows you’re on a diet, orders chocolate cake after dinner, and tells you how awesome that piece of cake is.

Asshole.

But the other day, it was chilly in the house right after I got up, so I went around closing the windows. Everyone in the house was asleep, including all the cats, and Sasha was curled up on the couch. As I got to a window in the upstairs hallway, above the kitchen window, I started to hear this noise I hadn’t heard before. It sounded like barking, followed by a purr/growl, then more barking. I looked out the window, and there was that jerk squirrel. Looking right in the window, calling for Sasha, and yelling, “Come look at me!! I’m going to eat some acorns!! Right where you can’t get me!!!”

Recipe: Pesto

Admittedly, I took the recipe from here, though with a slight tweak.

I have 8 basil plants in my garden this year, hence, I have a LOT of basil. One great way I’ve found to use it is in making pesto. It’s dead simple, and completely delicious.

Ingredients:

2 cups basil
3 garlic cloves
1/3 cup nuts (I chose peanuts)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated cheese (I use a blend ’cause I can’t remember which my dad says I should use)
salt and pepper to taste

Assemble all the ingredients with your food processor, like so:

I went and sliced up the garlic a little. And, as you can see, 2 cups of basil is a heck of a lot of basil. In fact, it filled up my whole food processor bowl!

First, take the basil and peanuts and whir them together. They reduce surprisingly fast. Add the garlic and whir again. (I actually used 3.5 garlic cloves since I love garlic so much.) Once everything is mixed, keep the food processor going and add the oil in a continuous stream. Keep scraping the sides down while you work. I didn’t add all the oil at once, instead adding the cheese when I still had about 1/8th of a cup to go. Whir everything again until it’s mostly smooth, and looks like so:

I put it in a deli container, and it made over a cup of pesto. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but you don’t use a whole lot on your pasta, so this will certainly last us a while. Probably I will make another batch (or two) and freeze them for the winter. Also, this really doesn’t take long at all to make…I finished this batch before the water boiled for the gnocchi we had for dinner.

Jenn-ism #9

One thing I love about meeting new people or doing a show is that I always find some new word or turn of phrase that works its way into my language. With Taming of the Shrew, my new word is “crupper.”

For the context, here’s part of Grumio’s speech from Act IV, Scene I. I am taking it out of verse form, though really, I wish I could have our Grumio, John Macey, read it for you:

Her horse fell and she under her horse; she was bemoiled; he left her with the horse upon her; he beat me because her horse stumbled; she waded through the dirt to pluck him off me; he swore; she prayed; I cried; the horses ran away; her bridle was burst; I lost my crupper.

Now, whenever I have one of those days, I just want to stamp my feet and whine about my lost crupper. Like this morning: Ethan woke me up at 4:30 because he was creeped out by the sounds outside. He was asleep before I left his room, but it took me a little longer. Alarm went off at 6. I found one of the cats knocked over a full cup of water onto the floor. Another cat left a hairball in the living room. LiveJournal wasn’t working well on my phone. Puffy wanted to cuddle and claw up my lap. I need to wash some more laundry before I have clothes I want to wear again. I had to wrangle up all my stuff for the play, which was all over the house. On my way out I nearly forgot to get Ethan’s breakfast ready in the fridge. I left the house late, and started cramping hardcore halfway to the office.

It was really a crupper morning.

What I’m Up To

Just in case you’ve been missing me. Heck, I’ve been missing you!

  • Tonight is my first night performing in Taming of the Shrew! We opened on Wednesday, and things have been going very well. You can get more information at our website. We also had a very good review in the Worcester Telegram today!
  • John has also become our photographer, so I’ve started administering the WSC blog. Because I can’t get enough of WordPress…
  • But there’s more! I also have a picture hanging at the 119 Gallery in Lowell, as part of their Members’ Exhibit. Really hoping I’ll have time to get out to see it. Hmm…maybe Sunday?
  • And, finally, John and I have been out at the Hotel Vernon’s Open Mic nights with our band, Reverend Reacharound. Not so much for the easily offended. ;)

The Best Part of Having Kids

Tonight, I have another half-evening off of rehearsals, so before bedtime, Ethan and I are catching up on one of my favorite cartoons: Danger Mouse. I don’t think I’ve seen this for 20 years (which just makes me feel old saying it), but so much about me kind of makes sense. At the very least, I’ve figured out why I’m a huge Anglophile.

Which also makes me feel old…since I lived in London 13 years ago. :p

Even better, at the end of the Wikipedia article I linked to up there, there’s a link for all the cartoons that ran on Nickelodeon. Now to find some DVDs of The Mysterious Cities of Gold, Belle and Sebastian, and, of course, Count Duckula.