I'm a costume designer, makeup artist, teacher, mom, knitter, baker, want-to-learn-how-to-do-it-all

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I'm a costume designer, makeup artist, teacher, mom, sewer, knitter, baker, want-to-learn-how-to-do-it-all, blogging, Costumed Beagle enthusiast. I am not always pleasant, although through intensive cupcake therapy I have learned not to throw knives at people anymore.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Whatcha Up to La?

This is not an official Production photo.
I took this on my iphone, but for some
reason think it is super cool.
Whew.  You think its a new year and you're off to a good start and you've got that pesky caffeine problem in check and then you remember that you work in theatre and that nothing is supposed to be normal and that you have two weeks in a row with technical rehearsals in them.  And then you plug that Diet Dr. Pepper IV right back in your arm and get to work.

So here's what I've been doing for the last coupla weeks:

Crucible.  Playing at Utah Valley University.  Runs through next weekend.  Very decent show.  And I say this with full knowledge that a play by Arthur Miller about Salem witch trials/ McCarthyism can go horribly wrong.  It is also a visually "just darn good" show.  Which, as you know, I think important.  I did not design anything on this show, but I supervise students, which takes just about as much time and effort as doing those dishes yourself.  But then who learns anything?
Nothing says hot date like possessed pilgrims.
See for yourself.

BTW had an in-depth conversation with the Boy about McCarthyism and cold wars and how you could write a play about one thing and it have meaning another (something we don't get a lot of with musicals, bless them) ...he is getting too old.

Get more info here.

The Thing About Love at BYU.  Contemporary Dance Theatre (think modern dance) showcase performance.  This one was a bit rough through the technical process, costumes included, but I think is really quite enjoyable if you are into dance, and not really a bad way to spend the weekend if you are not quite so into dance.  The company director worked really hard to give us a new kind of show and several of the numbers are really really lovely.  I didn't so much as design this one as try to help them revamp some costumes to work for them, but the costumes had minds of their own and did not want to look nice, so took a bit of extra coaxing (read: expletives). Tickets and info here.

Don't want to go to one of my shows?  But feel the need to see live performance?

If you are into palettable high culture and don't want to get babysitter, try this one on.
Henry V at BYU.  Yeah, it's Shakespeare, but this one is specifically geared toward families and kids (so in theory, most of us should get it this time around.)  It will tour elementary schools including my kids' school this year (finally!) and so I will probably try to go see it with them.  But before that it plays in the Nelke at BYU for a week or two.  I feel like I should know more about this show...but the director has been a little involved to go to lunch with me for last few weeks.  We will forgive her. Info here.
P.S. I didn't work on this show.

And lastly, if you are looking for something to do next weekend, here is another show I had absolutely nothing to do with, but thought giving you several options to enlighten your dreary January life in the entertainment section seemed like a good idea.  Everyone loves choices.
Written by a friend and playing at the Echo in downtown Provo; I heard it's very good.
I couldn't find a picture for it, but did find this video.
Info here.

So now you know where I've been, and have plenty of things to do.
I don't wanna hear anyone say they are bored.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Conversations with a Boy: The Oven

So I'm a work-outside-the-home-mom, like many of you, and I struggle with getting dinner on the table.  I really can't complain, because there are only the three of us and our needs are met pretty easily, but of course, I want to provide tasty, nutritious, low-fat, organic, sustainable, easy-to-clean-up, fast to make meals for The Citizens.
A typical week will have me make a pretty decent meal on Sundays, meal-sharing with a neighbor on Mondays, leftovers on Tuesdays and Thursdays or pasta which is like a cheater meal, another decent meal that I make on Wednesdays (I often work from home this day), Pizza ALWAYS on Fridays and everyone fends for themselves on Saturdays.  So really, that is only twice a week, so not much to complain about, but even still, it can be daunting.
I really like my crock-pot.
I also like to make things that I can freeze half of and then it is just magically ready a few weeks later.
Such was a lasagna I decided to serve up this week.  The problem with lasagna is that it takes forever to cook.  Especially if it is frozen.  So in order for it to be ready at a decent hour I needed it to go in the oven before I got home.
Hence the following conversation:

Me: Wm, I need you to put this lasagna (I dangle it in front of his face until he looks at it) in the oven about 4:15 this afternoon.

Wm:  The Oven?

Me: The Oven.  You can do it.  Push the bake button and then this auto set button.  Take the plastic lid off the dish and the plastic wrap and stick it in.

Wm: Wait.  What buttons?

Me: These two.  (I demonstrate).  It is also written down on this sticky note.

Wm: You want me to put the Lasagna in the oven?

Me:  Yes.  So it will be ready to eat when I get home.

Wm: What if I burn down the house?

Me:  You won't.

Wm: How long do I have to wait to put the Lasagna in after I push the buttons?

Me: You don't.  Just stick it in.  But AFTER you take off the lid and plastic.

Wm: Am I old enough to use appliances?

Me: Way old enough.  I'm embarrassed you don't know how to turn on the oven.

Wm: What if the house does catch on fire.

Me: It won't.  But evacuate and call 911.  But you won't need to.

Wm: How will I know it is done?

Me: You don't have to worry.  I'll get home and take it out.

Wm: What if I forget?

Me: Really?  After this conversations and this big green sticky note, you'll forget?

Wm:  I might.  I can't be trusted.

Me:  I really think you can handle this.

At this point, William still looks doubtful as to his ability to put the frozen lasagna in the oven, however, I am happy to report, he did it and it all turned out fine.

*Note to self: remember when you were going to teach The Citizen's to cook?  Yeah.

Monday, January 14, 2013

UTA sucks

I know.  Not the most creative of titles.  But I'm beside myself with loathing right now.
If you don't live in Utah, UTA stands for the Utah Transit Authority.  And UTA recently expanded the FrontRunner train to connect Salt Lake City (where I live) and Utah County (where I work.)

I was pretty excited about this.  Because the nature of much of my work requires me to pack costumes hither and yon, I drive a mid sized SUV. It is full of costumes all the time (this is not an exaggeration, I have a semi-permanent clothes bar in the back.)  It works for my family.  It fits the citizens and anyone I need to carpool with, as well as my entire group of Activity Days girls.  When we go skiing we can fit all our equipment.  But the thing is not real great on gas.  In fact, because lately I've needed to head south 4-5 times a week, and with gas prices being what they are, my gas budget is out of control.  OUT OF CONTROL.

So the train appeals to me.  Can't do it everyday, but even if I could use it just a couple of times a week, I could potentially carve $150-$200 every month off my gasoline expenditures.  That's no small chunk of change.  That amount could purchase fairies to clean my house while I am gone which seems like a much more efficient way to spend that money.  Extra bonus is that since I work at UVU, I get a pass for the whole shebang for just $50 a year.  Yeah, you heard me.  $50.

Other pluses include: Internet on the train--I could check email and get that stuff out of the way instead of driving.  NO traffic problems, which since I have a wee bit of road rage seems like it should make me a more pleasant person.  Blizzard?  No biggie--the train does the work.
Also, the air in our little mountain enlcosed valley is terribly terribly bad.  And cars exactly like mine really make the problem worse, so yeah, I'd like to limit my contribution.

So I packed up and headed out on public transportation last week, eager to give it a try.  Well, more than a month into it, the train isn't running on time.  In fact, most mornings it is 10-25 minutes late. This morning it was 40.  Mind you, it was 2 degrees outside, so the potential for super frozen angry people was inevitable. I guess the train switches (the things that keep the trains from running into one another) froze up.  Because it is cold.  But here's the thing.  I knew it was going to be cold.  They said so on the news last night.  Do the train people not have access to the weather?  Did they not realize that Utah has a winter and therefore forgot to build that little thing into the plan??

In all, this morning it took me 2 hours to get to Provo.  A drive that takes me 45-50 minutes.  I was an hour late to work.  Luckily I wasn't teaching a class.

On Friday, catching the train home, my bus was 4 minutes late getting the the station, and I watched, in horror, as it pulled away from the platform without me ON TIME---because our trains only run once an hour.

At the end of each morning that I've taken the train my stomach is clenched so tight (I have a serious pathological problem with tardiness...it becomes a physical thing) and my jaw is clenched and my heart is racing...it is far from stressful.

I suppose the system works great for people who either do not have to be somewhere at a particular time (like the employed) or people who have two or three hours at the start and end of their day to get somewhere....but right now I see no benefit to taking the train.

Of course, I am currently typing this from the train, but it is perhaps my last trip for awhile.  Maybe they need more time to work out the bugs.  Maybe it will run smoother when it is warmer.
All I know is that there are efficient and timely transit systems all over the world, so given the pretty big tax dollars that is paying the salary of the CEO of UTA...he'd better figure it out.

Adios Front Runner....you are too stressful for me.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

And Then There Was Juice

I don't know about you, but my December existed in a far away place where there is no such thing as "calorie count."  And when you live in that world and it is Christmas time and you don't have to go to work for a couple of weeks, a few things happen:

You notice the world is covered in chocolate.  Literally.  All for the licking.  All day.

 When you get to do an extraordinary activity like go to a movie you do things like eat two whole buckets of popcorn with butter (to be fair, Les Mis was nearly 3 hours long, so that's really like two movies with a bucket of popcorn each).

Every time you turn around someone is handing you a special treat they made themselves from their great-grandma's recipe and they only make it once a year and they can't even believe they are sharing it with you.

You get the idea.  By the time January 1 rolled around I was so loaded up I think I developed some sort of filmy eye cataract that was just a sugary coating on my eyeball.  So I was ready for a new year thing.  I'd also been drinking too much caffeine and still feeling sluggish all the time and was getting bored of the two pairs of pants that I could still wriggle into.

So I did what any self-respecting American does in this situation: I went to Costco.  And bought a Juicer.  And a whole heckofalotta organic matter.

I've never done a juice thing before (mainly cause I didn't have a juicer) so I am a novice juicer.

Day 1:
Grapefruit Carrot Juice.
Not bad.  I like grapefruit so this wasn't too hard to like.

Day 2: Beet & Carrots & mint.  It seems like most the juices have carrots.  Is it because they juice well or are readily available pretty cheap or are just THE symbol of health?
Ok.  Beets are deadly with color.  And your body does not digest all that vibrant color either....

Day 3: Green machine smoothie.  This one was a recipe for the blender and had Kale, parsley, apples, pineapple and mango?   I think there is another ingredient...
I do not have a good blender.  It looks like it should be, but I cannot get anything terribly smooth in it.  I let the thing blend for a good while, but it was still the consistency of what I imagine cow's cud to be.  I find sticking the straw all the way down my throat and just pumping in the health as quickly as possibly a good way to eat this breakfast.

Day 4: This one had pineapple and mango.  And probably carrots.  I could go look up these recipes, but I am tired.  It was delicious.  I am a big fan of the tropical fruits.

Day 5: I don't follow a recipe but blend my own juice without use of kale, beets or carrots.  I use up all the leftover pineapple and mango and some oranges and tangerines I found in the back of the fridge.

Whew.  I must say having a juice is kind of like having a tiny version of a wood chipper right in your kitchen.  And who doesn't like to use a wood chipper?

I have to say a little more than a week into it and it is going pretty well.
I kept a pretty strict diet the first week with the juice for breakfast and salads and such for the remainder of the day.  I've loosened up a bit and am eating grains and meats again, but I feel good and have won back at least one pair of pants.

What are you going to kick yourself back into gear for the new year?

Monday, January 7, 2013

It's All About The Clothes. It Aways Is.

*Disclaimer.  While not normally an overly expressive person grammatically (!!!!) I do reserve the right to do so when appropriate.  Like now.  You have been warned.

So did you watch it?  I had it on my calendar with an alarm lest I forget and end up doing really dumb stuff like putting my kids to bed or flossing.

If you don't know what I'm talking about yet, you should probably just go find another blog.  There's millions of them (although probably only 2 or 3 who are NOT expressly dedicated to either Les Mis or Downtown Abbey right now).

I'm going to dedicate myself to Downtown Abbey.  AND it isn't Down-town abbey (as in we're going down town to buy Sally a petticoat) it's more like downton. Sheesh.

Anywho, I have been eagerly waiting for this since last April and salivating every time I got a tease of it.  Because why?  Because there was going to be a big period wedding, that's why, and the bestest part last night was when we realized that next week we were going to get ANOTHER big period wedding.  Because although the house is grand and the actors a delight...I watch it for the clothes.

To be fair, I am a costume designer and history geek and do like a bit of fashion sensibility, so maybe you're watching it for entirely different reasons, but it was the first things that came out of everyone's mouth this morning at work...in a costume shop.

Of course, Lady Mary's clothes are always the most stunning and she has the most perfect figure for the period, but I love the detail that goes into presenting all their personalities, because that's what clothes are--an extension of who we are.  It shows what we like, and what we care about (or don't) and are a huge part of how we form judgements about each other (conscious or otherwise).

And the HAIR.  This is a fun period for hair.  ALL THOSE PINCURLS.

So who wore your favorite clothes?

Favorite moments: When Maggie Smith's character (LOVE HER) forced Branson the driver in to the morning coat and when he was complaining just said "Are you finished?" and then proceeded to have him fit.
AND THEN (see extra exclamatory post) when she tried to request a drink from Lord Grantham who had to come down to dinner in black tie and not white (OH NO!!!) and said "Oh!  I thought you were a waiter".
She gets the best lines.

I also LOVED the introduction of Shirley Maclaine as the American Mother-in-law.

Life can return to normal punctuation now.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013: It begins

Whew.  Just thinking of this past year makes me tired.  Thinking of this past year for so many of my friends makes me tired.  I'm not sure it was a particularly kind and generous year to anyone.  Perhaps that is because it was supposed to signal the end of the world as we know it.

Wait....thoughts occurring...


Which can only bode well for 2013, right?
If the old world is left behind, something new must be waiting for us in this bright new shiny year.  It is unspoiled and untainted and if you are like me and haven't listened to the news in almost two weeks, a wonderful waiting wonderland.
I'm going to channel all this positive energy into thinking this could be a good year.  For all of us.

Here's a recap of 2012:
January 1; moved to the new blog-my two followers followed me. Yay!
February: realize tormenting my dog with costumes fought off despairing thoughts
March; Went to Mexico on our first out-of-country adventure with the Citizens
April: left off teaching Relief Society to do Activity Days
June: Noorda summer camp and Sewing Camp
July: drove to Minnesota via The Badlands National Park
August: Went camping in Glacier National Park
Sept-Nov:  a blur of non-stop productions (I'm not kidding, I think I counted 9)
Dec: a nap

My little blog garnered just over 4500 hits last year with my 200 posts.
I am grateful to all of you who keep coming back for no apparent reason.

So it begins, and so it is written on the blog to paradise...oops sorry, pretty much everything I've said today took on some form of Les Mis. In song.  The Citizens are losing patience and at least one of them is looking forward to the respite school will provide tomorrow.  The other is torn.

Let 2013 be the year we all find joy.