Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dancing Man

The lights dimmed and crowd hushed as the stage brightened to focus on the unmanned band. Three gentlemen in black stepped out on stage, took their rightful places next to their instruments and began to play. The tune is all so familiar to this particular audience as it speaks about our dreams, our ultimate goals, the ideal place to be: Broadway.

Soaking up the sound, a movement comes from the side of the stage causing the audience to turn. Behold, a living treasure shuffles out from the wings and the audience gasps. Dressed in a stripped jacket, brown pants, and a well-worm hat, the stocky man moves in time with music down towards the audience.

It's him, Stumpy himself, Mr. Harold Cromer. He lifts his head and begins to sing.

They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway. They say there's always magic in the air.
But when you're walking down the street and you ain't had enough to eat
The glitter rubs right off and you're nowhere.

Harold moves his feet around, creating the most intricate sounds and rhythms ever heard. Clear and crisp, you can tell he's had many years to perfect this art. He bends at the waist, balancing his body and watching as the taps come floating from his feet. Such talent, such history resides in those weathered tap shoes. They've danced across America on stages that we dreamers can only  hope to grace someday. He pauses for a moment, the thud of the bass still resonating on stage. Harold turns towards the audience, looks out into the light, and beings his story.

Harold Cromer came to speak at OCU last night. This was a rare treat for our school as he is a treasure to the tap history of America. It was a great honor to sit in the presence of one who has experienced so much and was gracious enough to share it with our young generation. For the rest of the evening, I heard tales from this man about his life, his career, and the lessons he wanted to share.

Harold Cromer was born a twin in Hell's Kitchen in New York City. He was born to be a song and dance man, destined to be one of the greats. His first introduction to tap came from none other than Mr. Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. As a child, he watched Bojangles perform his world renowned staircase act, a dance sequence most would recognize from The Little Colonel, starring Shirley Temple.

Harold was captivated by the incredible sight of this staircase routine. He decided right then and there he had to learn how to dance. With a pair of roller skates strapped to his shoes, Harold began to teach himself how to tap. His first big success came from winning first prize at a local dance competition. The winnings? A bag full of groceries he brought back to his mother to feed their large family of ten.

Throughout the rest of the discussion, Harold entertained the audience with his animated face and colorful stories. He's seen a lot in life and it's shown in his heartfelt discussions on tap and life as an African American performer. From dancing on Broadway to vaudeville circuits, from Vegas shows to mopping up stage floors, Harold has seen it all. He's performed with such stars as Ethel Merman and Betty Grable. He headlined with musicians like Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, and Ella Fitzgerald. Harold took part in the rising age of Rock and Roll by working with such stars as Buddy Holly, Paul Anka, and Marvin Gaye. The man has truly moved through the changing times of entertainment.

However, he is probably most noted for his comedic act with partner James "Stump" Cross as Stump and Stumpy. The two men partnered together in 1948 and performed with several of Duke Ellington's shows including Jump for Joy and This is the Army. Their Stump and Stumpy act is right up there with other famous tap acts like Buck and Bubbles and Chuck and Chuckles.

Fifteen years ago, the Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Arts Management honored Harold with a Living Treasure in American Dance Award. This award was started by Department Chair Jo Rowan and Dean John Bedford as a way of honoring the American living legends of the entertainment world. Over forty-seven of these awards have been given to treasures such as Deborah Mitchell, Honi Coles, Arthur Duncan Gus Giordano, and many more.

Unfortunately, when Harold was to receive this honor, he was stuck in Minneapolis, MN due to a snow storm. An arrangement was made so that Harold would receive the award during his run of Babes in Arms from his co-star, Kristin Chenoweth. The man was touched by this recognition and expressed his sincere gratitude last night during his lecture. As a parting gift, Jo Rowan asked that Harold please perform Mr. Bojangles for the audience. Even without a pianist, who never showed for the rehearsal, Harold agreed to this request.

Words can only say so much and I could never write exactly what it was like to watch this man perform this final number. This song represents many performers who's passion for dance has never gone out though their bodies may have. He shuffled across the stage and sang with all his heart, giving the audience a piece of it, too.

I knew man, Bojangles, and he'd dance for you
In worn out shoes.

With silver hair, a ragged shirt, and baggy pants
The old soft shoe.

He'd jump so high, he'd jump so high
Then he'd lightly touch down.
Mister Bojangles
Mister Bojangles
Mister Bojangles,

While singing, he reached into his left breast pocket that held a red handkerchief and pulled out a silver harmonica. He put his lips to the instrument, closed his eyes, and began to play. The sweetest sound you've ever heard filled the theater. There was so much feeling in notes that rang out. A story was told in the way he titled his head back and played. Even as he swayed, feeling the rhythm and letting the song soak up inside his soul, the music carried across the stage and reached out to the people. Everything about this moment expressed his journey, his life, and his work. The audience watched, captivated by the intense emotion and undeniable talent of this man.

Mister Bojangles
Mister Bojangles
Mister Bojangles,

The crowd jumped to their feet with a thunderous applause and I gently wipped a tear from my cheek. I have never been more moved by a single performer than I was by the authentic dancing man that stood in front of me. 

Before he lef the stage, Harold had one more treasure to share, the Shim-Sham Shimmy. The Shim Sham is a tap step that has been performed since the 1900's and is a well known step in the tap dance world. What a perfect way to end the evening, seeing this tap legend bust loose with such a time standing, classic piece.

Leaving the theater last night, I took the memory of a remarkable experience in watching history move and speak intimately with a group of strangers. He spoke of finding his passion, working through the struggles, the joy of his triumphs, and the sorrow of his let downs. He shared his ultimate life secret that I hope you will carry, too. The struggles we experience, we need in life. "Dancing," he said, "will keep you alive."

Information was collected from a live lecture with Harold Cromer, the American Tap Dance Foundation, Youtube, Washington DC Jazz Network, and Jacob's Pillow Dance web sites. For citation, please contact me.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Treat Lady & The Cookie Queen

Ever seen Everybody Loves Raymond? Marie is always trying to feed her sons with steaming plates of Italian food. My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Toula's aunt pushs off racks of lamb onto her vegetarian fiance or else her mother is constantly providing the troupe with Greek food. My mother has a thing for serving sweets and I think it started with Grandma.

Case in point: This past Saturday I went for a visit with my mother and sister to my grandmother's new apartment. You might remember that we moved her from Lubbock to Dallas this past summer, but if you missed that post, you can catch up here.

Grandma has settled in nicely with quite a few of the items once seen in her little green and white house. She's even made herself a little nest around he comfy chair and it's always a treat to see what she's going to pull out from the stacks around said chair. Speaking of treats, she always has them. That's a grandma thing, right? To always have something on hand or in their purse?

In any case, she's always got some sort of treat on hand at her house. Rolos, Butterfingers, the cotton candy I brought her from the fair, and apparently pudding. That was the biggest thing she kept trying to offer us on Saturday.

We used to joke that Grandma was known as Treat Lady to our dogs. While Big Sister was in law school, Grandma would sometimes babysit Glory, her the golden retriever. Big Sister kept noticing that Glory was consistently a little more plump after weekends at Grandma's. On one particular visit, Big Sister observed Glory hiding behind Grandma's big chair where a pile of dog treats were sitting there at her disposal. The mystery was solved. From then on, Grandma was forever known as Treat Lady. We still have to watch her from time to time with Piper--that dog is definitely getting to be a little portly, but I don't think that's Grandma's fault this time. Something about Dad's midnight popcorn munchies might though.

My mother is the ultimate provider when it comes to feeding the masses. Take for instance my thesis performance two weeks ago. Mom and I decided it might be nice to provide an easy dinner for the weary traveling posse that came to see the show. There was so much on my plate at the time that I just let her roll with the idea and roll she did. Mom and Dad came into my apartment with cases of soft drinks, chips, deli meat, bread, fruit, relish items, and one large box of Texas beer. Can't blame Dad for wanting to bring the good stuff--Oklahoma beer should just be outlawed, it's so bad. You should hear our Thanksgiving menu sometime. It's a little crazy.

Even though Mom is great with larger dinners, her specialty lies in the sweets department, my weakness. She is dubbed the Cookie Queen to all who know her. Cookies were used for spirit gifts, birthday treats, and study snacks--It didn't take long for me to catch on why everyone always wanted to study at my house. While working at the theater, Mom would bring a tray of cookies for opening night gifts for the cast. I swear, one night I saw the stage hands dealing cookies behind the sets. "I'll trade the peanut butter for your macaroon!" Not even kidding.

Her cookies are so good, they bought me all the car rides I needed in high school. She even did cookies for my friend's boyfriend's birthday in exchange for an extra week of rides.  Saved a heck of a lot of gas money, I'll you that! There is a particular chocolate chip that my friends have affectionally dubbed Mrs. Russsell Cookies or to my college friends,  Julie Russell's Mom's Cookies. Once I had a friend ask me  why were Mrs. Russell Cookies so darn good?! I answered without evening thinking, "Because they're baked with love." It's true. All hail the Cookie Queen.

Friday's are known as Cookie Day at Dad's office. Why? Because Mom bakes on Thursday and sends things up to his office Friday. It can be anything from a general chocolate chip cookie to specialty banana bread or even a festive birthday cake for a co-worker. Dad's assistant always places the treats on a special plate and then wheels it around on a cart from office to office for people to grab a bite before they're gone. Mom likes doing it because it puts a smile on the faces of so many people at his office. When cookies don't make their weekly appearance, Dad hears about it. Apparently his assistant emailed him this past week to say that the cookies were sorely missed. (The last four Friday's have not had anything because Mom's been in OKC with me. Whoops. Sorry, Dad's Office!).

Needless to say, I will probably follow in the foot steps of my family Treat Lady and Cookie Queen relatives, forever trying to pass along something sweet to any and all who enter my home. In fact, it's already happened. I've come to enjoy cooking for friends and passing baked goods to the office whenever I can. Ah! Look out world, there's another Treat Lady on the rise and there's no stopping her!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Ghostly Encounter

I was listening to the radio yesterday morning as usual---it's part of my morning routine. After eight alarms go off, the radio comes on and when it clicks off, that's my cue to leave the house. Nice little system for myself. Anyway, while listening to the DJ's chatter along, they hit on the subject of ghost stories.

First of all, I love me a good spooker story, but I refuse to see scary movies unless someone is with me ALL NIGHT LONG. I fully admit without a hint of shame that I am a bona fide wuss. Look up "wuss" in the dictionary and there will be a picture of me, cowering under a blanket. After seeing The Grudge in theaters, I stayed at my friends house, we were so freaked out. I was also 17.  It's all gravy though, I've accepted my true colors and every once in a blue moon I get the courage to watch a scary flick. Through my hands, of course.

Scary movies aside, I love a good ghost story. Some day I really want to go on a haunted tour, I think it would be wildly creepy and amazingly fun. The hair on the back of your neck standing up, the chilling sensation you're not the only person in the room...oooh!! I love it!

I had an "experience" once, not counting when I thought my apartment was haunted. Turns out old wiring affects touch lamps. Busted my bubble. Anyway, when my sister got married, she had her reception at the Old Red Courthouse in downtown Dallas. My family and I stayed at an older renovated hotel just across the way. It was easier to walk back to our hotel after the wild rumpus rather than drive back home.

After the reception, I sat in the lobby and chatted with my aunt and uncle and another groomsmen. We weren't the only ones up so late. Also in the lobby was a group of ghost hunters. I kid you not. A for real group of men on a ghost hunt in where else, but our hotel! Apparently, this told by the concierge, our lovely stay for the night was definitely haunted by a ghost. She told us all about how this ghost liked to lock guests out of their room until they were asked politely to be let in and how the ghost liked to move things around in the basement, sometimes opening and closing doors that workers are using. There were a few other things she told us about, but I can't remember now. In any case, the ghost hunters were there to find it.

All this was fascinating to our grouping so we chatted it up with these hunters, asking them questions and hearing their stories before calling it a night. Flash forward to the next morning. I'm sitting at the breakfast table with my family, enjoying a nice cup of coffee and trying to force my eyelids open. At some point, Mom leaned over to me and said, "Oh I forgot my Lactaid! Will you run upstairs and grab it?"

No problem, I think. I take the elevator a couple flights up, trudge down my room, insert the key in the door and nothing. Hmmm, I'll a little sleepy so maybe I put it in wrong. Take it out, reinsert it again and still nothing. I do this about five times before last night's conversation pops up in my head. Checking the hallway to make sure I'm alone, I think, what the heck. I've got nothing to lose, so might as well try it. I start talking out loud.

"Excuse me. May I please be let into my room? My mother needs her medicine and she asked me to get it for her."

At that moment, the door opened.

If you don't think I didn't take off running, you are seriously mistaken. Off like a shot I went dashing down the hall and headed for the stairs. Ain't no way I was getting on an elevator when this place was haunted!!! I flew down the stairs, threw open the door and about crashed into my dad. Catching my breath and frantically handing him the key, I went back to breakfast a little more aware of my surroundings and a lot more awake.

Who knows if the wiring wasn't faulty in the card holder. Who knows if I'm just special and can't open a door, but I still believe that door opened because I asked for it to be opened. So tell me, dear readers, have you ever had a ghostly encounter?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Imagine This!

I can't believe it, but Imagine This! is officially over. Crazy.

We had a wonderful run of the show on Friday. I couldn't believe the wonderful support we received--so many people enjoyed the show! I had multiple young women explain how they remember being that girl that dreamed of her fairy tale love story during "Her Charming" and people commented on how they kept guessing what food would pop out next in "Lunch Time." In those coversations, I knew I reached my ultimate goal, which was to get the audience to remember what it was like to use their imagination and join in on a guessing game of what would happen next (No, really. It's all in my thesis. You can read it after it's edited and published.).

I couldn't be more proud of the cast and crew--big thank you's all around! And to my family and friends, thank you for the support! So glad I could share it all with you! Unfortunately, I do not have videos to post and I cannot upload videos of the performance. However, I do have a slideshow of the costumes (Thank you, Jessi the Costume Mistress) if you would like to take a gander. There are even a few bonus pictures from the opening towards the end. Over forty costumes were created for the show and at least twenty-seven props. It was massive to say the least.

Thank you to Mom for putting that together for Grandma--I'm so glad I have that to share! Happy Hump Day!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Three More Days

Three more days until the show opens. And in honor of these three more days, a little treat for you Ray LaMontagne fans. Love his voice. Mmmm.

There's a laundry list of things to get done before Friday gets here, of course. Tech night tonight--whoo-hoo! Finished setting cues yesterday and it looks great so I'm anxious to see the dancers up there in costume with the lights. It's going to be great! YAY!

Ok--I must work now because I have an exam to finish, class to take, clean-up at home to take care of, and a tech night to prepare for. Happy Hump Day everyone!!

Monday, October 11, 2010


It's here! Finally, the week I've been working towards is FINALLY here! It's going to be a long week gearing up for the final product to open this Friday, but SO worth the effort.

Blocking is tonight--that's where we go through each dance and make sure all the spacing is correct and no one will crash into each other and leave blood on the stage. Tech is (hopefully) being finished up on Tuesday. Thank goodness this time around I'm not up in the aprons like last year but in the audience observing. I got to see part of the lighting on Friday--YAHOO! It looks pretty amazing! I spent days repeatedly listening to my show, trying to picture the lighting for each one in my head, and then trying to figure out how to write it all down for my lighting designer and stage manager to understand. I had several meetings with professors asking them tons of questions about lighting and what they thought about this and how long should this fade up be and can we create specials that look like this and so forth. Once I saw the results on Friday, I knew that all that time was well spent for the amazing display of colors that danced across the stage.

Wednesday we move into the theater for a tech run. Gotta make sure that putting the dances, dancers, costumes, and tech all together creates the right picture. Thursday we have dress and Friday is the show! I'm amazed the time has past has quickly as it has. We had our final Saturday rehearsal this past week and it finally hit me. This production is almost complete. There's written work to be done after Friday, but the dancing portion is almost over.

There's no more choreography to be set, no more spacing issues to solve, no more props to dream up, and no more costumes to (re)design. Odd as it sounds, I got a little sad. I've learned a great deal in doing this show and I know I'll continue to grow as a choreographer and director with future productions. It's bitter sweet to watch all this fabulous work and know it will be over in just a few short days.

I'm going to miss the cast. They've been great and I couldn't have asked for a more perfect grouping of dancers. It's like the dance gods smiled on me and provided the perfect people to fit the parts I dreamt up. Just the other night I was telling a friend how neat it's been watching them grow as dancers, too. I met them literally the first day of school and have watched their technique and performance qualities improve after eight weeks of being in this program. To see them come so far in a short amount of time makes me want to stay longer and see where they will be when they graduate. Plus, they are all sweethearts and kept me in stitches most rehearsals. How lucky could one girl get? I do believe more than anything that working with them just pushed me even farther towards the desire to teach. If I didn't know before, I definitely know now that I want to continue to teach.

I'm going to miss my crew. I have the best management team ever created and that ain't no lie. My director's assistant was fantastic--the sweetest girl you've ever met with eyes like an eagle. She was always on the ball with everything and truly my right hand woman during this process. My costume mistress has been a joy to work with and worth her weight in gold. She had a knack to see a lot of things and help organize the millions of costume pieces I have and trust me, there is an incredible amount of pieces to keep up with. My stage manager, she's perfect. I'm willing to bet she could call this show in her sleep, she's practiced so much. She's been able to see what I see in my head (Props to you, Anna. That is a challenge in and of itself.) and helped me every step of the way during this tech process.

This week I'll be soaking up every minute of this experience. I'm all sorts of giddy for the big show, but I want to make every last part of this experience count because I know it'll be over all too soon. And then what will I write about in here? Probably lament about job search and auditions or share some new Julie flub. No worries, I'll keep you entertained.

Come out and see Imagine This! if you're in OKC this Friday!! It'll definitely be an experience!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Promise to Myself

Today is October 6th. I have exactly 9 days until the show opens, 21 days until the first defense of my thesis takes place, 22 until the second defense, and 72 days until I graduate.

Holy. Cow.

I never though I would actually get to the point where the count down was less that 100 days. Later this afternoon I'm supposed to go pick up my graduation gear. Cap and gown, cards, thank you notes, etc. It has felt like a million years just waiting to get to the semester, this last one where I will finally be graduating for good. Except, here's the funny thing, it hasn't been that long since I graduated with my bachelors. In fact, only a mere 17 months ago I walked the stage. Truly, this has been a whirl-wind affair.

I keep thinking repeatedly that things will slow down and I'll have more time after the show opens, and I will. Time for what? Well, I'm working on my list. There's just not a whole lot of time to find a job yet. I suppose I'm going to have to get used to the fact that I may very well be jobless when I graduate and I'm going to have to be real OK with that real quick considering that's just around the corner. There's time, there will be auditions and I have loving parents who will let me move back home, but that doesn't really stop me from searching continously.

I'm a planner--this has been said time and time again, but I am. I have known exactly what I need to do to get from point A to point B to point C and so forth all my life. Every goal I had, there would be steps in place to get me there. I knew at age nine that I wanted to be the captain of the drill team when I was a senior in high school. So I did everything I knew every captain did to get there. I did cheerleading, I did a dance team, I took kick classes, I did solos, I took ballet to beef up my technique, and when I finally got close to acheiving this dream of mine, it changed direction.

And so with that new dream, I made plans, I plotted, I had a blue-print of it all. Some how, I ended up here and I'm grateful every day that I did. Life happens, this I know. Sometimes it throws you for a loop and changes the direction in which you thought you were going to go. We had a professor who gave us a nice reminder that sometimes you end up where you never thought you'd be, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

I just wish I had a road map of my life to tell me where that is...exactly. Hmmm, I guess I'm not that much a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of girl.

In any case, I'm fighting a losing battle by wishing for that magic road map (But really, Lord, if you're feeling helpful in the next few months, I'd love for one of those to appear in my lap. Thanks.). I do, however, believe that I can help myself out by making a few promises to myself:

I promise to myself to make it a daily ritual to search for a job. Really. I will look on every site for every teaching position out there and anything else that interests.

I promise to keep all my options open and never wet-blanket any idea.

I promise to have a little more faith in my own abilities and my own strengths. I am ready for this adult life.

With that, I promise to try being a little more adventurous and not so scared. I have to put myself out there if I want to reap the benefits.

I promise to keep myself in fighting form. I have to keep up my body, my good habits, my voice, my social networks, etc. As Jo Rowan says, "Good luck is preparation meeting opportunity." I will make that opportunity for myself.

It's not a lot of nit-picky stuff, but it's something that I can do every day to help myself get moving in the right direction, hopefully towards the beginning of a great career.

Monday, October 4, 2010

My Pink House

Glitter, glitter everywhere.

No, really. It's everywhere right now. The floor of my house is covered in pink glitter after an accidental glitter fest yesterday afternoon. See, we, my parents and I, were working on props yesterday in my little apartment. Props seem to be the theme for this thesis show. There is about 27 props in this thirty minute production.

I'll give you a moment to pick your jaw up off the floor.

It just grew into this monster and I'm not really sure how or why it did, but needless to say, in keeping with the theme of the show, my imagination ran away with me. There's a fine line between dreams and reality, too. It was SO easy for me to dream up these props and such a hard reality for me to actually make some of the props. Hence, why my parents are helping me because I'm not Wonder Woman and I as much as I hate to say it, I can't do it all.

In any case, for a particular piece, I decided I wanted the danced to have a comic book feel to it. Yes, I want to Velveeta cheesy feel of a Batman/Robin type performance on stage (A few more tweeks and we're almost there!). To increase in the cheesy comic book goodness, we added signs for the fight scenes like what you would see in the old hero shows. Signs that flash up on the screen reading "Wham" and "Ka-Powie" or "Zap" and "Bam". There's only three for one number, thank goodness.

At first, we were just going to add poster lights around these moster signs--they're huge, by the way. But the lights wouldn't have shown up under stage lights--too tiny and just didn't have the same intensity. Obviously or else the sign would burn up. SO, we decided that GLITTER would work to pick up the light.

Four things I've learned about glitter during this project.

1) It will never again enter my house and YES, I can say "never" because I darn well mean it. If ever have little girls, they will just be deprived of glitter for crafty projects.

2) It is the devil incarnate. Glitter spreads everywhere, you can't see it, and no matter how hard you sweep/vaccum/swiffer/dust, it won't come off the floor. I do believe that it reproduces, too, and at an alarming rate. You think you only brought in six bottles of glitter but when you're finished, there's about three times as much around your project.

3) That's the other thing, how does more of it end up off your project rather than on it?!? It's magnatized to the floor or something--glitter just innately goes AWAY from the glue and on to your hands, your face, your clothes, THE FLOOR. Very irritating.

4) While working with said glitter, a person has plenty of time to create new and interesting phrases to describe glitter, none of which would be appropriate to write on here. If you're looking for new phrases though, just pull out a bottle of sparkly stuff and see what your brain comes up with--amazing, really.

I swear to goodness, I sneezed last night and glitter shot out my nose. Not only is that description really gross, but no human should have sparkly snot. Found out Dad was not too pretty good with the arts and crafts thing. Apparently, he's not a fan of glitter either. I really hope when Mom reads this she doesn't cry--she felt pretty bad about the glitter. It got a bit out of hand...that's OK though. The next tenant in my apartment will fall all the more in love with it because of the glamourous floor.

After all the work yesterday, we ended up with good results. I have pretty, sparkly signs that will glimmer beautifully under the lights and now, so does my house.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


I have this problem. Really I think anyone who uses this website does, but Facebook is a complete and total procrastination tool that I am 100% hooked on.

I joined at the beginning of my freshman year at OCU because it was brand new and OCU had just been added on the network. Remember, it started off as a college social network originally. Which reminds me, I really want to see the movie that's out right now, Social Network. 

The point is, from the beginning of college, I have always used this site as a way of escaping from homework. I get on my little apple computer, I start writing a paper, and somehow I end up on facebook scrolling through the pages of my fellow classmates and old friends. I find out what they're up to, how they're life is going, the latest dirt in the land of gossip, and so forth. Suddenly, an hour has passed.

How. Did. That. HAPPEN?! AH!

When I'm away from a computer for a weekend or even a few days, I don't miss it. There is nothing on there that ever truly changes my life in a gigantic way. I'm only there to find out the interesting things that's going on in the world of my friends. But that's just it, I'm drawn to the fascinating lives of my friends.

I love to look at handful of certain people's sites because they either a) have a fabulous life that I'm living vicariously through or b) have qualities about their facebook (i.e. their life) that I admire. It's hard saying that without having the the word "stalker" flashing through your mind, but let me see if I can explain without sounding too crazy.

Facebook to me is like the blogs I follow or magazines I read. Except I'm following people. That's what social networks have created, a way to keep in touch and follow the lives of others on an easy access basis.. I like to follow the fashionable people who always seem to have killer outfits--pink tights really isn't something you wear out on a friend night. Or they visit to-die-for restaurants and have weekend activities that look so fun, I want to try them, too! Or they decorate their apartment in the most creative ways. I just want to absorb their creative juices through the screen.

I like to follow people in the performance world. It's a great way for me to congratulate friends on new gigs, see where they're working, plus it gives me ideas about where I want to go. Facebook makes it so easy for me to message these friends and ask questions and see pictures of their grand adventures on cruise ships, Broadway tours, and current shows they're in. I love that! It inspires me to keep moving towards that performance dream, especially on days when I feel in question about it.

I like following friends who's lives are growing in a positive manner I hope mine will, too. Several friends have new exciting jobs, traveling the world, setting up their homes, are getting engaged, married, starting families, and so forth. As I finish up my degree, I feel like I'm standing on a cliff about to take a dive into adulthood and it's refreshing to see how well my friends are doing--gives me hope that I will, too. Oh, I know things will turn out fine and that my turn for all these wonderful changes will come. I only like to daydream about it all after I see concrete evidence that there is life outside of school.

I think I've justified my following fellow Facebook friends pretty well. So you see why I get so caught up in the Facebook searching. How could I possibly concentrate on writing yet another analysis of something or other when I could be scanning through the latest events in "Days of our Face(book)"? I get tangled up in the social web way too easily. I don't think professors will ever accept that excuse. *SIGH*

So now that I've done my scanning for the afternoon AND written a totally and completely random blog about it, I truly have used up my procrastination for the day. Hi-ho, it's back to work I go.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Hodge-Podge Happy October Post!

It's October! Hallelujah! I thought I would never survive long enough to see this month! Two weeks from today, my thesis production, Imagine This!, will open! It's a one time performance that I have literally poured blood, sweat, and a lot of tears into. Four more rehearsals and then it's tech week. I'm anxious to see it on stage! If you find yourself in OKC on the 15th, you should come see it!

Breast Cancer Awareness Month has begun! Apparently, this is the 25th anniversary for this special month long salute. According to Susan G. Komen Foundation, every 69 seconds, a woman dies of breast cancer. Ladies, go get yourself checked out and men, too! It doesn't just affect women. There are so many ways you can help support this tremendous organization and help fund the research to find a cure. Stop by a local Panera and grab one of their special Pink Ribbon bagels supporting Breast Cancer Awareness.

Cherries, carnberries, honey, vanilla and brown sugar! Yum! Or try getting some exercise and Race for the Cure this month. Save the ta-ta's!

Today also marks the opening day of hunting season--I know Pyro Man is stoked. Good luck to all the hunters (and huntresses) out there! I went on my first hunting adventure last December and it was definitely an adventure--hope I get to go again! Although, I can't say that sitting in a deer blind at the butt crack of dawn, freezing my tuchus off sounds like an ideal vacation at this very moment. Maybe in three or four weeks when the thesis production chapter is closed.

In honor of this brand new October month, I've got chili planned for dinner and pumpkin bread fixin's ready to bake this weekend. I absolutely love this month! The fall season really comes out which means I can wear boots and sweaters and pull out my scarves! Gorgeous fall colors of reds, golds, and oranges are everywhere and anywhere you go, it smells like fall. That crisp cool smell mixed with a spiced aroma--it makes my mouth water just thinking about it. Delicious recipes that embody the flavor of fall is just about all I ever want to have right now. Halloween is around the corner meaning holiday movies, great costumes, and precious trick-or-treaters. I love it. Makes my heart happy.

Texas/OU weekend right now--Yup, I'm sporting the burnt orange today. I can honestly say I never paid much attention to college football, still don't, but I've embraced this particular game since moving to Oklahoma. See, when I got here, almost every car donned the long horn stickers turned upside down. And I must sheepishly admit that I had no clue what it was for a good month. Maybe I live under a rock, but this rivalry was all sorts of new to me. Because I am blessed to be a Texas native, born and raised in the great state, I have endured no end of grief every Texas/OU weekend. It's just what happens. I understand the jealousy so I can't say I blame these poor Okies one bit.

After being razzed on for my Lone Star State affiliation, I thought it was only fair to truly own up to this honor and embrace my Texas roots by pulling out the UT gear. Dad graduated from UT so it's a way of supporting him I suppose...even though he doesn't bleed orange. Actually, good majority of family supports Texas Tech. Big Sister went to Tech for Law school. Pyro Man went to Tech and is a die hard fan. So his family. Hmmm. I must be an oddball. Whatever, either way, this weekend I say hook 'em! \ m /

Last little note for today's blog, I got great news from Pyro Man the other day. I'm so excited about this, I can hardly stand it--we're taking a trip in December to go visit his family in England! Yay! I've had the pleasure of visiting with part of his family while they were in Texas the past two summers so I'm thrilled to see them again! I had been talking about taking a vacation after graduation when Pyro Man suggested we visit his family. Be still my heart. England?!

Ever since I was a kid, I've always wanted to go to England. It's one of those places on your list. You know the list. The one where you write down everything you want to do and everywhere you want to go. Some people call it a "Bucket List." Anyway, England is right up there and his family is sweet enough to invite us over. I've never been out of the states and I'm really looking forward to going, especially with Pyro Man. What a neat opportunity and I'm grateful we're able to go! Yay, new adventure!

This is a quite a hodge-podge of information in this post. Guess you just got a tiny glimpse into my thought process these days. Oops. Forgive me. I could write about the eight million other things that flash through my brain, but I'll let you live a blissful existence without that knowledge. Happy October!!
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