Pages To Turn



Gave myself a haircut.


I Am A Buzzing Bee... Buzz Buzz Buzz...

Performances are odd things. For me, the audience disappears, and I just hurl myself into the actions and attitude of the character. I have to push Brenna aside and pick up the character. That means doing away with all my physical habits and creating new ones. 
A character won't walk like Brenna or talk like Brenna. She won't bite her lip when she's holding back a laugh, or play with a ringlet of hair when she's listening to someone. The character has her own ticks that make her uniquely her. 
It's my job as an actress to discover these ticks and take them onto myself - because acting is so much more than reciting lines. Words, even well-rehearsed, emotionally-charged words, do not a character make. If that's all there was to it, the audience wouldn't be in a theater, they would be at home listening to a radio drama. No, acting is becoming a character body and soul. People aren't one-dimensional, and neither are stage portrayals. Characters have history shaping them and pushing them forward as who they are, an essence that has to be captured and demonstrated for the audience. 
So when I'm on stage, instead of just walking from point A to point B while saying line 36, my mind is full of "walk like a narcissistic fashionista female, talk like a public school girl, toss your hair, hand on hip, lead with wrist when moving hand, react to the action around you when it's not your line..." etc. Eventually I don't even need that mantra, and the character comes naturally, flowing easily. 

There's another element introduced when you play the antagonist. You've got to get the audience to despise you. This is a little weird when you have friends in the audience. Once, I played Satan. I had two girl friends of mine in the audience, and they refused to talk to me afterwards. When I went over to say hi, thanks for coming, their eyes got huge and they mumbled something incoherent, then scuttled away. They talked to me the next time they saw me, but by then they had had sufficient time to disentangle who they knew I was with who I appeared to be onstage. 
The performance on Friday was a very similar thing - but I played it better than Satan, I think. (I actually wish I had Satan to do over again...) I nailed just about everything. A few of my best lines were ruined by some sound tech issues, but otherwise all my bits went down perfectly (I did miss one of my improv'd lines, but I don't think I'll count that as screwing up, because it wasn't in the original script. ::angel smile::)
My director was pleased the most by my new walk. I'm sad to say it was rather a repulsive hip-swinging thing that I may never live down... but it did its job -- namely, it banished all semblance of Brenna on the stage. Brenna doesn't walk like that. Brenna wouldn't THINK of walking like that. (Brenna also doesn't wear shirts that are halfway falling off)
The lady who played my mother said this: "There's something disconcerting about someone you love playing a character you are supposed to hate. For that time on stage, you dislike them. But your mind knows that the person is really a loved one. And it's confusing, especially if they're convincing."
I'm afraid I rather disturbed one of my friends, who was sitting in the audience. He later told me that it was strange, because I was so out of my true character and into this new one, and it looked so natural and convincing. This might be one of the best compliments I've ever received about my acting ability. 
So I had a successful night. 
Funny, that was going to be a recap of the performance night, but it turned into an acting lecture. Ah well. 

I'll probably have some pictures of the costume and the cast to post later this month. 

Love Bears All Things, 



"Be sober,  be vigilant;  because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeing whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith,  knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by 
your brotherhood in the world."
1 Peter 5:8-9

I am not alone
            I am not singular
                              I have no greater difficulty than the rest.

"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man."
1 Cor. 10:13a

If anything
           I have it easy.
                        I cannot flatter myself by thinking
                                                     "My lot is too much to bear"
                                                   This thought is an insult.
I have been given the greatest Help I could ever ask for.
"...but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able..."

"It is too hard"
            "It is too much"
                            "It is too long"
                                          "I am not strong enough"
                  They are slaps in the face of Who
                                                                   has revealed Himself to be.
          Is anything too hard for Him?
       Any amount too much?
     Any time too long?
  Any thing Strong enough to resist Him?
                                                             MAY IT NEVER BE.

Temptation may be overcome
           We have Help from high places
                         A Friend who never leaves us.
                                     A Comforter who provides a way of escape.

"Resist [the devil], 
          steadfast in the faith, 
                  knowing that the same sufferings 
          are experienced 
                by your brotherhood in the world."
                                                        1 Peter 5:8-9

"God is faithful
   Who will not allow you to be tempted 
                                                         beyond what you are able.
                                                  with the temptation 
                                                          will make the way of escape
                                                              That you may be 
                                                                                 ABLE TO BEAR IT"
                                                                                   1 Corinthians 10:13

"...He [Satan] was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him."
John 8:44

When you sin, you are essentially allying yourself with Satan. 
He delights when we submit to the temptation of breaking God's laws.
We put his agenda ahead of God's. 

You would invite a murderer into your own home?

"...He was a murderer from the beginning..."


Friday Night Lights... Camera... Action!

Well, it's actually a play.

Yeah. I'm in a play on Friday. My character, Ruth, is a rude, obnoxious, materialistic, disobedient, rebellious, teenage girl (oh, wait, I'm being redundant... ::cough::) who wears really tight pants and shirts that are half falling off. But in a way that isn't completely ruinous of my modesty (it wasn't easy).She's also the accidental main character. The original main character somehow got overridden by what Ruth grew to be - but they're all cool with that.
There are two songs in the play, one of which I was supposed to be singing in. I dropped out last week or so, because my voice wasn't mixing with the other MC's voice (Hope).

This is the one Hope sings:

And this is the one my Uncle in the play sings at the end:

So yeah. If someone wants to see me prance around in a weird shirt and really tight pants while yelling at a stage family, rolling my eyes and calling people names, I suppose you should show up at my church tomorrow night... curtain goes up at 7:00, and I'm not quite sure about admission costs... there probably isn't one, or if there is, it'll be low.




Nostalgia Loves Company (A Look Back at 2009)

Mail call, Camp

Mei, me, Morwen

Maniac, me, Carrots, and... uhm. I don't have a nic for her. 

Same as above, with Morwen added after Maniac.

Same people. 


Mei, me, and Anonymous

Me, Carrots (on the plane to NC)


Same crew

Maniac, Doc, and myself

Honey and myself

Two people, and Lady of the Lake (aka ME)

(the interesting part is my legs.Yes. They're crossed all funny)

(there are a lot of the VBS skit, because it was one of the most fun things I did all year.)

My puddy tat.

Well... of course.

Decoding Love (2)

You just can't stop love.
It crushes barriers.
It breaks and builds bridges.
It finds a way through.
It never gives up.
It's hard work.
It listens. 
It walks the ten extra miles.
It's something you do. 

From Ann Kiemel's "John"


After All This Has Passed... I Still Will Remain

I woke up in really horrible pain this morning, at 3:00am.
I got up and went to inspect my back in the mirror. The muscles on either side of my spine were inflamed to the point that it looked like I had three spines. Three crooked rows of lumps going down my back. My ribs, as usual were extremely visible as well.
This is a really awful thing to wake up to. Pain isn't fun to begin with - it doesn't need the added indignity of physical off-ness.

More updates (working backwards):

My internet life this week has been weird, because one of the main staples is not here.

Went to Qwip's play on Saturday. 'Twas grand.

Went to a 50th anniversary party. 'Twas... well, kinda boring.

Had a book sale. 4 families attended. Made $275. Extended book sale through the next week (IN OTHER WORDS, COME. We still have 1,760 books left.)

Um... I don't know. I'm rather not full of words right now.



 It sometimes surprises me how confusing everything can get. How complicated. How BUSY.
You'd think that getting up every morning, learning something, eating, and prancing around a stage occasionally would be pretty straightforward.
The thing is, there are people in the world.

People complicate.
People take energy.
People take time.
   People grab your emotions by the throat and
shake them around for a while
  until they get bored and decide to ruffle
   someone else up.

   People also heal.
  People listen.
People make you forget about the confusion.
                   ...Or they make sense of it.

Sometimes I think that I would be happier without people.
Then I remember my people.
   My unrelated family.
     My homes away from home.
       I don't know if I would feel secure without them.
         I don't know if I would live without them.

They give me a Place
   when I feel like I don't have one.

They give me Comfort
   when I hurt.

They come over, sit with me
      silently, just Breathing Together
   when I am so very lonely.

They don't even have to speak
   they help by just being there and loving me.

But the others...
the other people
   those who are scared of me
     they think I'm cold
         I don't smile enough for them.
            they think I look down on them...
         they never took the time to find out of they were right,
      of course....

The other people...
   I often think I hate them
     I don't.
       or that I wish they'd stop looking at me like
                                                             I don't belong
             like I'm crashing their party
      or I unjustly judge them
                                            I write them off
   I think to myself that they aren't as good as My People

        to someone out there,
     they are the World
              they're someone else's People.
         to someone out there,
            they are a Comfort
                    a Place
                 a Home
          a Friend
   someone to sit with silently and just Breathe with.

Every person
 walking past...
    sitting next to me...
       looking sideways....
           in the audience....
                across the table....
                    in the room...
                         in the neighborhood...
        Someone Loves them.
    and they Love Someone too.
I convince myself they don't feel
    of course they do
        they're human.

                         How do I forget this?

They're people.
 God made them
   He Breathed on them, with them,
     every second of their lives
and always will.
 He Breathes one me, with me,
      every second of my life.


The Mystery Is Solved.

~ from the movie "Mean Girls"

That's right. 



Last weekend was very musical.

On Saturday, we went to a friend from church's Suzuki Book 6 Violin recital.
It was quite fun, and involved FOOD afterwards, which is always a plus.
Over dinner, I had conversation with Jester and an adult friend of Jester's family (I don't remember his name, just that he had a good handshake) about weapon laws in various states, airplanes, and how the church is becoming effeminate. It was a blast. This was a highlight of my week, because I don't often get social events where I really get to talk to people for extended periods. Especially such favored people. Especially about such favored topics. You get the point. Moving on.

On Sunday, I went to a Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra concert, mostly to hear Jester play, but when I go to these things I always kinda forget and enjoy the music as a whole (imagine that) until the trumpet section does something Interesting. 
Jester's little sister was sitting next to me, and cuddled half the time. This made me happy, because I don't have a little sibling to love on and am usually in dreadful need of affection. 

Aaaaaand we're including Monday with the weekend because I FEEL LIKE IT. 

So Monday I have piano lesson, and I got three new pieces (two by Bergmuller! Yay! And another by some Japanese composer who doesn't write Japanese-sounding music) and lots of points because I'd done so many musical things in the past week. 
That night, we had play practice... ah, play practice. I was tired and irritable. It was like acting while your head is plastic-wrapped and expecting to be good (also expecting to live). There was singing and stuff going on, and a drum kit that my brother JUST. WOULDN'T. STAY. OFF. OF. 
Speaking of singing, I've officially dropped out of the song in the 8th scene. Why? Because my voice and Hope's voice don't mix in this particular key. Perhaps because she knows the notes, and I don't. Regardless, we have two weeks until performance, and I'd rather worry about something other than singing - such as when I enter. It just seems a little more vital. 

On Wednesday we're going costume shopping... wish me luck. I've had none in this area in the past. And considering what I have to GET this time (costume for rebellious/loose daughter, stage pajamas/robe, and a changed-my-ways outfit for the reformed rebellious/loose daughter), I don't see it going overly well. 
Ah well. Such is life. 

Love Does Not Seek Its Own,


P.S. That title is "music" in Belarusian. 


Decoding Love (1)

The risk of love
is that of being unreturned

For if I love too deep,
too hard, too long
and you love me little
or you love
me not at all
then is my treasure given,
flown away lonely

But if you give me back
passion for my passion,
return my burning,
add your own
dark fire to flame my heart
then is love perfect
hot, round, augmented
whole, endless, infinite,
and it is fear
that flies

~ Luci Shaw



So I am addicted to quotes. I've been wandering around QuoteGarden and similar sites recently, and I keep finding things that say "A true friend is..." 
  • A true friend is someone who sees the pain in your eyes while everyone else believes the smile on your face.
  • A true friend knows that it's not a friendship until after you've had a fight
  • A true friend  is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.
  • A true friend is hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget.
  • A true friend comes and never leaves your side.
  • A true friend is like a four leaf clover, hard to find and lucky to have...
  • A true friend is the one you could sit on a porch with, never saying a word, and walk away feeling like that was the best conversation you've had. 
  • A true friend is the one who, if you jumped off a bridge, would not jump off with you, but would be at the bottom waiting to catch you.
  • A true friend holds your hand when all anyone else wants to do is shake it. 
  • A true friend is one you can afford to be stupid with. 
  • A true friend reaches for your hand and touches your heart
  • A true friend unbosoms freely, advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly, takes all patiently, defends courageously, and continues a friend unchangeably
  • A true friend can tell you what is the matter with you in a minute.
  • A true friend forces you to examine, encourages you to grow. 
  • A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down.
  • A true friend can be your world.
  • One true friend is the antidote for 50,000 enemies
  • A true friend is the nicest things you can have, and  the best things you can be.
  • A true friend will tell you when your face is dirty.
  • A true friend laughs at your jokes when they're not so good, and sympathizes with your problems when they're not so bad.
  • A true friend is cheaper than therapy.
  • True friends can grow separately without growing apart.
  • A true friend is the part of the human race with which you can afford to be human.
  • True friendship comes when silence between two people is comfortable.
  • A true friend, when you've made a fool of yourself he doesn't feel you've done a permanent job.
  • True friends are those rare people who ask how you are and then wait for the answer.
  • A true friend is the one who comes in when the whole world has gone out.
  • Constant use will not wear ragged the fabric of true friendship.
  • A true friend is one who thinks you are a good egg even if you are half-cracked.
  • A true friend is better than everything but heaven itself.
  • A true friend is someone who would feel loss if you jumped on a train, or in front of one.
  • A true friend stabs you in the front (Oscar Wilde)
  • A true friend is a sheltering tree.
  • A true friend is a connection to life - a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world.
  • A true friend can tell you things you don't want to tell yourself.
  • A true friend accepts us as we are yet helps us to be what we should.
  • A true friend seems not a separate person, however dear and beloved, but an expansion, an interpretation, of one's self, the very meaning of one's soul.
  • A true friend is a relative you make for yourself. 
  • A true friend should be held onto with both hands.
  • True friendship is one mind in two bodies.
  • True friendship needs no words - it is solitude delivered from the anguish of loneliness.
  • The essence of true friendship is to make allowance for another's little lapses. 
  • In a true friend, you may find a second self. 
  • A true friend is a person with whom I may be sincere.  Before him I may think aloud.  I am arrived at last in the presence of a man so real and equal, that I may drop even those undermost garments of dissimulation, courtesy, and second thought, which men never put off, and may deal with him with the simplicity and wholeness with which one chemical atom meets another.
That last is by Emerson, and is therefore flowery. 

Does anyone know any others? Disagree with one? Wish to proclaim a truth in the streets? The point here is to promote discussion. 

Have at. 

Love Always Protects, 


In Which I WIN

Ahhh... The Awana Grand Prix. I really adore it.

Here is the evolution of this year's car, in picture format:

Note that there is an extra strip on the bottom (indicated by a pencil mark) that was not part of the car - it was only so we had something to clamp/grip while shaping the car.

We ignore the ready-made axle slots, chop off the bottom, and make our own. They're still present in this picture because of the aforementioned clamping needs.
Also shown - our custom lead (the metal) wells, located in the back so as to let gravity "push" the car down the track. We mold our own lead and plug the holes. If the car is painted, you can't even tell where the lead is

Nooo I didn't use a dremel. We, uhm, used a tool at my dad's work that I'm afraid I don't remember the name of. I justified this use of superior resources with the fact that I could have used a dremel if I had to. I like dremels.

Ohhh... hello, gorgeous. This picture sums up everything I wanted in the design of this car. Curvy, classy, arty. And BOY was it soft after all that doggone sanding I did. I almost didn't want to stain it, it was so pretty.
I think love of wood is in my veins. Dad was/is a carpenter, and I grew up with wood toys (I  had a "tool kit" - hammers, screwdrivers, tape measure-looking-thing - that my dad made me when I really little. It was all made of wood, sanded and sealed, and it was my favorite thing ever.) I swear that it's daddy's fault I have guy interests. Guns and knives and woodworking and action films. Anyway. On with the car...

Alas,  I did, in the end, stain her. Red Mahogany. Mmmmm I love dark wood.
Stain, however, is a hassle. And Pinewood cars simply don't stain well.

Here she is completed. She looks like liquid, doesn't she? Stained and glossed and ready to rumble.

I'll do another post with the race story and race pics later.