Thursday, March 31, 2011

Holy Cannoli!

It never ceases to amaze me that I every time I get on here to update it's been way too long. Or at least here lately. Life First of all, happy, happy birthday to my sweet honey, Pyro Man! I hope you have a fabulous day, my love!

OK, now I can give you a little life update since the last posting. I am still on the hunt for that fabulous first job. Oh the challenges of performance life...Anyway, I hopped a plane last week in hope of landing a job with Disney in their Beauty and the Beast show. I ran into an OCU friend, Caity, at the airport, talk about small world. I also ran into another OCU dancer from my past, Bobbie. I was so glad to see some familiar faces and catch up with these two. So the audition! Out of almost 200 people, I made it to the end. Yeah man!

Unfortunately, I didn't get the job. They told us they really liked us all, knew we were great dancers, but in the end they had to be extremely picky because they were looking to fill certain costumes. Well, criminy. I can't help how I look (Although, if I had a super power, it would be to have chameleon powers so I could change into anything a job needed. BAM! I'd be hired in a minute!). These things are expected at auditions, that's just how the cookie crumbles.  

Yes, I was sad, but here's the thing, my first thought coming out of that audition was, "There is a job out there just waiting for me to come along and nab it." Even though my balloon was slightly deflated, I still have hope that I'll get that job that is meant for me. Just gotta keep plugging along is all.

I'd planned to stay in Florida after the auditions which actually turned out to be a nice vacation. I stayed with my friend, Emily, and had an absolute ball. She was a sweetheart for letting me crash on her couch for so long! We knew each other from OCU and worked side by side at Visitor Relations.  Emily works for Disney now and unfortunately had to work most of the time I was visiting. She made me a lovely spaghetti dinner one night and I got to treat her to dinner for I left. Thank you, Emily!

When I booked my flight, I booked a rental car so I could tootle around town without having to burden my friends for rides. Like my sweet little ride?

My little Nissan Versa. I'd hop in, plug in Gerty the Garmin, and take off. Thank goodness for that GPS. I don't know why I ever balked at getting one before because that sucker helped me travel all over the place. Just type it in and go. Brilliant.

I also got to see my friend, Sara, and met her husband. She just got married last fall and I had yet to meet this special man in her life. Sara and I danced at OCU together and I got to see her last year for my Florida visit. I spent a day with the love birds at Cocoa Beach.

Oh sunshine, how I love you! And this time, I didn't come back a lobster! 

We enjoyed a delicious smoothie bowl lunch and spent the rest of the afternoon soaking up some sun. It made my heart swell to see my friend so happy and in love. Is there anything better?

Before I left, I spent an entire day wandering around Walt Disney World by myself. Sad and pathetic? Not in the least bit. I had the best time! I got to see my friend, Chris, perform in the Beauty and the Beast show. I waited around for him after the show and while standing on the streets of Hollywood Studios I hear this, "Hey, pretty lady!" I turned around to see my tall, tan friend with his hair slicked back and a towel around his neck in true Hollywood star fashion. Chris and I went to school together and also worked at Visitor Relations for a while. He did me the honor of being my date to one of my sorority formals. Hands down, one of the best formals I've ever been to.

Doesn't it just look like we're having the time of our lives? Oh wait! We are! Anyway, visiting with him was a joy. Nothing warms my heart like seeing an old friend.

I spent the rest of my day at Disney seeing every show I could. First I hit up Animal Kingdom for the Finding Nemo Musical and then watched the Lion King Festival.

The show was incredibly cute and I wish I could have taken pictures during it!  

The Tree of Life in the middle of Animal Kingdom.  

The Lion King Festival! These monkeys put on quite a show! 

I'm just amazed at the things Disney can do. There's no limit to their imagination! The sets, costumes, props, and lighting, I couldn't get enough of it. I wanted to stay, study, and ask questions. Oh the creative nerd in me was just eating it up.

When I had my fill of Animal Kingdom, I hopped another bus to Epcot where I came across my new favorite place, the Imagination Institute!

Oh my gosh, more people probably pass it by, but I loved it. I hopped in my little red cart and floated through the "open house" at the Imagination Institute. I met Figment, the dragon figment of our imaginations. Since my whole thesis surrounded the subject of imagination, I felt this ride was very fitting for me. Also got to watch the 3D Captain EO show starring Michael Jackson and wandered around Epcot's world festival.

There's so much more that I saw while I explored Disney, but I couldn't fit it all in my sitting. As fun as it would have been to have someone with me, I wouldn't have gotten to see as much as I did or the things that I wanted to see. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and would happily spend another day exploring if I could.

I'm home now and back to reality once again. I have a couple more auditions to try for and some plans to start making. Am I getting anxious? Heck yes. I'm ready to work and ready to dance. I'm a girl who likes being busy and is accustomed to being so. In any case, I'm doing fine otherwise.

Alright, I've got laundry that's starting to crawl for the door so if you'll excuse me, I'm going to have to call it a day and do some chores! Need fresh clothes for the week!

  Aurora and her prince, my favorite Disney scene! 

Friday, March 18, 2011

I Can Breathe!!

Today I am finally feeling like a normal person, able to breathe through both nostrils. Last week I was hit with a horrible sinus infection while I was on route to an audition. Never have I ever had such a sore throat in all my life. It lasted two days before I cracked and went to the doctor. Also didn't help that I sounded like  James Earl Jones when I woke up in the morning. Julie...You are sick. The doctor said I couldn't cash in my antibiotic prescription until things got worse. I believe that's when my body started to retaliate as if to say "Fine! I'll show you what's worse!"

Anyway, the road trip went on as planned and I armed myself with anti-histamines, kleenex, and hand soap. The MFA ladies and I packed up my car Thursday and headed for St. Louis on Friday for our Saturday audition. Leigh Anne and I drove back to OKC on Sunday and the next morning we were up at 4:00 a.m. to get her to the airport while I kept on driving home to Dallas. Needless to say, the trip wore me out.

I've fully recovered and almost done with my antibiotic. There is nothing worse than being sick and away from the comforts of home. I had a lot of fun being with some of my girlfriends again, I just wished I hadn't felt so rotten. I went through a box and a half of kleenex on our drive to OKC and I spent about three days trying to treat my red, raw nose. Gross.

I've got one more audition planned for the month: Disney. Next week I'll fly out to Orlando, audition and catch up with friends. I'm really excited to go and I'm crossing fingers and toes this one works out for me. Meanwhile, I'm trying to get some work in, a little family time, and do some wedding planning. Pyro Man and I are finally going to look at one of our top venues this Monday (Thanktheheavenlystars). My goal is to get a date set by the first of May. I'm determined to make this happen. Without a venue, it's a little hard to keep going in the planning.

I've got a laundry list of things to get started on and a ladies lunch with my mother and my aunt. Time to get off here and get to cracking the whip. Wishing everyone a happy, happy Friday!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Time of Renewal

Ash Wednesday, a very precious day that allows us to renew our faith. What a wonderful concept. Perhaps not everyone believes in the same God or being or light or whatever your heart may follow, but it's a wonderful idea to take time to rediscover that spiritual guidance inside us.

Every year for Lent I always try to give up something I've been obsessive about and usually it has to do with food. I've given up French fries, sodas, peanut butter, and coffee in the last few years. All these and more can do a body good, but this year I'm wanting to do something for the soul.

I've discovered that my life feels a little off kilter these last couple of months. Lots of changes in this new chapter and I'm feeling a little lost in my own story. When rain clouds of negative thoughts hang over your head, there is always a chance of rain. It's hard to see the big picture of life's plan when I'm sitting in watery puddles of negativity. So here's my chance to banish the clouds and find the sunshine again.

For the next forty days, I will find one blessing a day that I have in my life. Why only one, Julie? Good question. You see, I try to count my blessings all the time and try to say "Thanks, Big Guy!" every day, but every day is different. I think that I will discover more blessing in saying "thank you" for forty days rather than just repeating what I already know. Honestly, can you think of forty different things right now? I'm thinking some days it's going to be a challenge.

The whole point of this exercise is to open my eyes, my mind, and my heart to realizing that there is more beyond the right now and that I have no reason to be a sourpuss. Whatever your faith may be, whatever you believe in, what is something that you are thankful for today? I believe reminding ourselves of the good fortune we have can help us when we're wavering.

So good luck to all who are starting their Lenten season and to everyone else who is just trying to make it to Friday--you're half-way there! Happy Hump Day, ya'll! I hope you enjoy the sunshine we have today!

Monday, March 7, 2011

What Will She Say Next?

My grandmother is a hoot. She's in the winter of her life and yet, she's just as spunky as they come. Since moving her down to Dallas last summer, we've been able to visit with her more than we ever have. Even though she had a little health bump in the road and wound up in the hospital around Thanksgiving, she's finally back in her little apartment and feeling fit as a fiddle.

The funny thing about Grandma is that she has slowly been losing her filter. By "filter" I mean that inner block that stops you from saying things out loud that may be inappropriate. This filter usually keeps a person from making comments out loud that really should be kept to himself. Well, there are a select few who flat out ignore that filter, but that's another story.

Grandma just happens to say whatever is on her mind. She is seventy-seven years old and after that long, maybe she's just tired of blocking what she thinks. Grandma is a typical south Louisiana Southern Belle where manners are of the utmost importance. Either way, it always makes for a very interesting time with her because you honestly never know what she's going to say and more importantly, where she will say it.

Well. Grandma watches a lot of news and keeps up with her current events like no other. She's a human CNN scrolling newsreel. She loves to tell people about what she's read and get a good discussion going, but she has a habit of picking up controversial topics of discussions in public places.

Case in point, the other day while at lunch with my mother and grandmother, we were visiting with one of the restaurant's managers. This particular manager knows my mother and I as we frequent the restaurant for ladies lunches. He is in school to be a baker and upon hearing about my upcoming nuptials, he has given us business cards, pictures, and samples of his cakes, I'm assuming, in hopes that we'll hire him for a job. I have no idea what kind of cake I want; I don't even have a venue yet! Nevertheless, he's a very nice man and always stops to visit with us.

As we're chatting with nice manager man over his latest cake samples, Grandma chimes in. Oh lordy. "I know something you should make." Here it comes. "It's all the rage in London." Sweet Martha. "Breast milk ice cream." Neither Mom nor I had gotten that far in the newspaper. We're officially in the rabbit hole and going down fast.

There it is. The inappropriate topic for the day. There's no stopping it. I'm sitting there with my mouth on the floor and Mom is trying to hard to leave the table to hide in the bathroom. Chicken. Miraculously, the nice manager man had read the article and was completely comfortable with chatting with Grandma about it. He certainly had his opinion about breast milk, breast feeding and boob jobs. He chattered on in his thick Spanish accent much to Grandma's delight and there I still sat with my mouth hanging open.

Meanwhile Mom was stopped on the way to her hiding place by a table of women who also had serious opinions of breast milk ice cream. Then some waitresses stopped by to chime in with their two cents on the whole discussion. I was trapped in the Twilight Zone, everyone joining in this wildly weird conversation--but that's Grandma. She can bring a whole room full of people together even in the most peculiar ways.

As our elders grow older, they worry about becoming invisible. I know that's the last thing Grandma wants, which may be why she reaches out to people, inviting them into her interesting trains of thought. This is the strength that keeps her going. I love my Grandmother, I respect her a great deal, and I'm so happy to have this time with her. She adds a great deal of entertainment to our ladies lunches these days. Awkward though it may sometimes be, Grandma may not be the belle of the ball she once was, but she's definitely not invisible.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Marching Into Spring

Ta-da! It's March and I'm with everyone who's baffled it's here so soon. January? Gone. February? Bye-bye. March? Why hello!

I've got a few big auditions coming up in the next month. Lots of traveling and singing and dancing. Please keep your fingers cross that I have a some good luck come my way. Mama needs a dancin' job.

Mardi Gras is next Tuesday--aiYEE! I'll be tapping back into my Cajun roots and enjoying some gumbo with the family. In keeping with tradition, I'll also nosh on some Long John Silver's for Ash Wednesday after a morning mass. Yay Easter!

What else happens in March? Saint Patrick's Day! St. Patty's Day is March 17th. I believe that celebration will involve beef stew and Irish Soda bread, yum! Then there is my other favorite time of the year, Spring! The first day of Spring falls this March the 20th. *Sigh* I can hardly wait.

Got some goals for this month, aside from nabbing a gig. I'm hoping we can find a venue and set a date for the big wedding day. I'm hoping to get a little more headway in the wedding planning in general. Good gracious, there's a lot to do!

For now, I'm going to keep working out, following the dream, and planning my dream wedding. Got the dream man so the rest is really just icing on the cake. Happy first of March!
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