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it’s been so long!!!!  I went to Vegas to spend Thanksgiving with the family. It was nice spending so much time with them. I got to hang out with all the kids, scrap with my sister, hang my mother’s Christmas lights (which I knew she wouldn’t like).

On Turkey Day, Michelle set up a photo studio in her dining room. I had Suzanne help me make pilgrim and indian hats for everyone and we took lots of pictures! You can see them here.

This is a page I did of one of our fun pictures.

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James’s mother went to the hospital again right after Thanksgiving, so I made a layout for her. But I forgot to take a picture of it!! (Trust me, it was nice) I thought it would be a nice gesture to cheer her up.

These are two layouts I did before I went on vacation.  What is it about basic grey???

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I was keeping the kids occupied while James and my dad hung the lights. I wore them out, running, rolling around, playing simon says.

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Then this butterfly came around and fluttered around for a good half hour. I couldn’t believe how friendly it was. Each of the kids got close enough to blow it a kiss. I was amazed!

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But I’m back in LA, ready to tackle the next task of decorating for Christmas. It’s very hard to have normal, pretty decorations with two cats around. We bought a tree yesterday (fake) and set it up, and immediately Apollo was chewing on the “needles”. This guy gets into so much trouble! It can be so frustrating. I need to buy some bitter apple.

What else? I have a job interview on Sunday. If I get the job, I’ll tell you all about it. If not, we can pretend it didn’t happen.

I’m listening to The Baker’s Wife. I had no idea Paul Sorvino could sing! And of course, Patti LuPone’s “Meadowlark” is glorious. This was her first recording and she sounds as wonderful today as she did back then!

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I spent the whole day cleaning and scrapping while I caught up on my musicals. My cousin Steve sent me some recordings which I’ve been listening to. The Color Purple, which has some of the most amazing female singers in it. Tarzan, which was ok. I think it’s probably better to watch than to listen to. Mary Poppins, which I didn’t like. I mean, if I’m going to listen to Mary Poppins, I’m going to listen to Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews. It was just weird listening to a different Mr. Banks, and a very weird, Jane and Michael. I think that show would be more enjoyable visually. Then I listened to Rent, and Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. I love saying that name. Victor Garber and Angela Lansbury. Oh MAN!! Does she rock in this show??! You know, she is the only women to have won all Tony’s that she has been nominated for? And there is a reason for that, my friends.

But the real gold mine was Grey Gardens. The music is so beautiful and the singers so wonderful. And even though I wasn’t following along with any libretto, I got it, you know? Christine Ebersole – wow. That is some serious talent. I think I may listen to it again today.

I have been surrounding myself in musicals a lot lately, and it’s making me really homesick. For the theatre that is. Sigh

Anywhoo, I made a lot of pages yesterday and I am so proud of myself. I am a terribly sloooooow scrapper. And while I’m not thrilled with all of them, I am glad I got them done!

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Every year for Halloween, James and I go to the El Capitan and watch the Nightmare Before Christmas. Then, afterwards, we go downstairs and see all the set and puppet displays they have. This is the actual set they used for the famous Jack’s Lament. On the stand it was about 6 feet high. Very big. And the puppets they used for the characters were about 2 feet, which was interesting.

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The Blue Velvet Restaurant, where James and I went for our 6 mos wedding anniversary. Very cool place. I talked about it here, actually.
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My nephews in one of Michelle’s infamous photo shoots. When we were younger, Michelle would make me and Suzanne, our other sister, dress up and take photos. We would drape the walls with different sheets and go to town. Now it’s the kids turn, and I don’t envy them one bit. Look at the older boys; they look so unhappy 😦

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8×8 layout. I really wanted to put some kind of hardware by the ribbon, but I didn’t have anything like that. I ‘lifted one of Sally Hanna’s layouts for this one. This girl is so good! Thanks, Sally.

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The Memory-Works kit included this acrylic frame. I don’t know if I like it all that much, because the acrylic is so thick, it’s not really transparent.

Unfortunately, since I’ve been scrapping away, my knitting has ceased. I would really like to get that shrug done before winter really kicks in.. Oh! I am going to a knitting MeetUp tomorrow. Can you believe I am going to brave driving out to West LA, on my own, to meet other knitters, on my own? Did I mention that I will be by myself? Yikes!

My second weigh in! 125.6 lbs.  I actually found the secret of my (future) success: Tea. Lots of tea. I caught a cold last week so I was drinking lots of tea and eating lots of soup and I was actually down to 125, but then I guess I lost my head tonight and ate too much.

And let me just set the record straight for those of you who are “worried” for me or as someone put it, “I don’t appreciate what I have”. That’s exactly it. I do appreciated what I have. AND, it’s about appreciating all I can be. The healthiest, happiest me. So, yes, I have some weight to lose. I am not comparing myself to anyone else, this is just about me. End of story.

Here’s a layout I did of my nephews Sean and Robby. They are just the sweetest little boys. I really like this layout, James, not so much. He says it’s boring that I didn’t use the whole space. So I said to him, ” :P~~~~ ”

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I went to the Alex tonight to see a benefit concert featuring the songs of Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz. Kind of a weird combination, I know, but it was so good. Some AMAZING singers. Kevin Earley did, “If I Can’t Love her” from Beauty and the Beast. It was as if the song was written for him. There were some hilarious songs like “Pink Fish” and “A Happy Working Song”. All the women were amazing. Julie Reiber was The Perfect Elphaba, she did “The Wizard and I” to perfection, Kim Huber did a beautiful “Meadowlark” from The Baker’s Wife. Beth Malone sang “The Life I Never Led” from Sister Act the Musical. The best part was hearing Alice Ripley sing her rendition of “West End Avenue” from The Magic Show. I have got to get that CD! It blew me away!!

Ahhh… I love musicals.

I finally got around to seeing “Hello Dolly” during their closing week. For those of you who don’t know, or don’t remember, this is the show I was cast in, but had to turn it down due to my surgery. (stupid ovarian cyst!!)

Anyways, I took Brandy to see the show and it was delightful. Everyone in the cast was great, I had only the tiniest complaint, which is very good considering how picky I am.

(For those of you who must know, it was that Cornelius kept sliding to his notes, turning his classical, musical comedy songs into pop songs. This drives me crazy!! But it wasn’t that bad, and I didn’t let it ruin the show for me)

All in all the show was well cast, Dolly was great, the show excellently staged. I had never been to the Glendale Centre Theatre before. It’s a very small, theatre in the round. Almost like a blackbox. I was curious to see how they would stage a musical in the round, with virtually no set. But Mark, the director, did an excellent job.

On Sunday I went to the Alex to see “The Keeper’s of the Night” a brand new opera by Peter Ash. It was performed in conjunction with the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, starring Lynette Tapia, Malcolm MacKenzie Suzanna Guzman, and Lauren Libaw. The story is set in Midsummer, in the forest. The Annual Nocturnal Bird Song Contest is about to begin. Ozalid the Owl is set to be the judge, and the audience, made up of bats, mosquitoes, frogs and fireflies, will watch. Mischief entails, when the Moon, takes revenge upon the Owl, who rejects her love.

All in all it was a wonderful Opera. Very funny with a little bit of political allegory thrown in. The singers even make fun of themselves, with commentary about which is better, tonal or atonal music.

The 4 adults in this were awesome. Lynete Tapia’s coloratura is ridiculous! Malcolm MacKenzie’s Owl was wonderful; his characterization was hilarious. The children’s chorus was great too. Just the fact that you can have 65 children singing in beautiful harmony was worth it for me. Now for the lead children.

To get into the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus you have to audition and be able to sing in two languages. So, imagine my surprise when one of the lead boys, (a teenager, not a child) wasn’t even singing! He was speech/singing, which is not cool when watching an opera.  And the level of technique for the some of the teenage girls was not as good as I expected it to be.  Most of the children were fabulous; one of the boy sopranos had the most beautiful, bell-like quality. And all the other children were pretty impressive. And not one of them miked!

If you ever get a chance to see this opera, you should. Very enjoyable. 4 stars! 😉

I have not had a chance to post about one of the best musicals I have ever seen! James took me to see “Wicked” at the Pantages on Wednesday night. What a wonderful night. We took the metro since parking is so expensive over there. I love taking the metro. It’s so hassle free. I wish that it actually went all over the city, though. But that’s a different topic altogether!

Wow! What a show! Usually when I go to see a show, I prepare myself to be slightly disappointed. No one ever sings as well as the recorded version, or the sets won’t be thrilling… there’s always something. (I’m really hard to please. When I went to see Les Miz, I was terribly disappointed by the women singers… blech! Miss Saigon was so bad, it was like watching a community theatre production.) So, before it started I told James, “I’m not expecting these ladies to be all that great. I mean, they’re no Idina or Kristen.”

I was wrong.

For those of you who don’t know the show, “Wicked” is the story of the Wicked Witch of the West (Elphaba). It tells the story about how Elphaba, a powerful, smart girl, who is an outcast at school because of her green skin. She becomes best friends with Glinda, the flighty, popular beautiful girl. Glinda (Megan Hilty) was awesome. Hilarious and beautiful and a top notch singer. Her role almost steals the show, it’s that funny. Elphaba blew me away, people! Just an amazing belter! I could go on and on about their techniques, but you get the picture. Carol Kane stars as Madame Morrible and she’s fantastic as the scheming teacher!

The set – wow!
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That’s a working dragon up at the top.
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We got pictures of the overture and the curtain call – can you see Elphabal in black?

And the costumes – I would love to be in the chorus of this show. There was not one bad moment during the night The CD does not do the show justice at all – there’s so much more to it than what they give you on the CD.

Which now brings me to Emily‘s challenge: birds. While I didn’t exactly do this, I kept in theme with flying things. I made my card from the playbill. See the flying monkeys? And one of the songs (the show stopper) is “Defying Gravity”.

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I spoke to Mark, the director of “Hello Dolly” last night. I didn’t make it into the show. I am the first alternate. So if someone decides not to do it, they’ll call me. He said I did really good on my audition. Just not good enough, I guess.

I want to thank everyone for their wonderful comments, cheering me on and giving me lots of encouragement. It’s meant a lot to me. Everyone’s been so sweet, even when I was down in the dumps.

But it’s all meant to be. I am going to be getting that surgery, so it all comes together. Everything happens for a reason. Thanks, Ladies!

Update 4/6/07: I guess being first alternate has its advantages: I’ve been cast in the show! Now I have some serious thinking to do…. stay tuned.

hello-dolly.jpgFor those that don’t know, I auditioned for “Hello, Dolly” on Monday night. I was insanely nervous. And of course, my nerves got the better of me and I didn’t sing to the best of my abilities. But Mark, the director of the show and my dance teacher, being the wonderful person that he is, gave me a callback. I was thrilled! I certainly wasn’t expecting it. I was ready to chalk it up to experience and keep moving.

Ironically, it is my dancing that saved me.

So, Saturday we dance. And sing again. And as they say in “A Chorus Line”, “God, I hope I get it, I hope I get it.”

hello-dolly.jpgI wasn’t going to say anything about it until afterwards, but what the hell. I am auditioning for “Hello, Dolly” on Monday night. It’s been a long time since my last audition (about 5 years) but I have decided that I have to put myself out there. I am going in there with the expectation to just do my best. I am not going to be nervous. Well, maybe a little. ok. alot But it’s time.

So, I have about three days to get a song together. My dance teacher is the director of the show and I told him tonight that I was going to audition. He was excited. But he’s the nicest person on the face of the earth, so who knows what that means.

If you are reading this, say a prayer that I will do okay. I am not needing to get into the show, I just want to say that I did my best. It’s strange, singing is my strongest point, but I would rather dance than sing for people. I get so nervous! But, I’m doing it. It’s too late to back out because I signed up, so, wish me luck!!

I would never have believed it. A few weeks ago I wouldn’t have agreed with that statement, but guess what folks, it’s true! It’s very exciting to have people over or go out with friends, meet new people. (The people who know me are shocked to be hearing this, I am sure) Granted, I am still not very comfortable at parties, but I’m sure it’ll grow on me.

I had a very busy weekend. Looking forward to relaxing tonight and catching up on some Heroes and blogging. I spent all day Sunday with Eleisha. We worked on our cards for out ATC group. I just got Eleisha to join so we were both very excited. This girl is so creative, a real artist.

Then we went to see “Mary Poppins” the sing along. So much fun, I cannot even tell you. I think we were the only ones in the audience fully participating, it was fantastic. Never realized how long that movie actually is (I think I used to do a lot of fast forwarding thru all the bank scenes back in the day) And it’s so crazy how many things I never got before because a) I couldn’t understand their Brittish when I was a little girl and b) there is a lot of adult humor in that movie. Eleisha and I were speculating that Bert and Mary actually had a “thing” going on, and whenever she would come down off her cloud (literally) they would hook up!!!

But Eleisha couldn’t get enough of me and invited me to see “Sunday in the Park with George” at the Freud. Such a great show. I cannot even tell you. Directed by Jason Alexander and starring Kelli O’Hara and GregoryNorth. They both did amazing jobs. I as familiar with, but didn’t really know the show, but now I am going to have to get the CD – I am such a huge fan of Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters, so there’s no excuse not to get it. If you aren’t familiar with the show, it’s about George Seurat’s and his obsession with his famous painting, Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. The play itself is very surreal, but amazing.

But Saturday I got a TON of scrapbooking done. Well, by my standards it was a lot. I am not a very fast scrapbooker and not sure what others out there would consider a ton. I’ll just say it. I made 4 pages. And 4 ATCs. john-laesch-thumb.jpg

“Get involved” This is a letter I got from John Laesch after I contributed to his campaign in November. Personally signed, which I thought was remarkable, but unfortunately he didn’t win.
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You can’t see my title very well, but it says “Wedded Bliss”. These are pics James took at my friends Sal & Susan’s wedding
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And another picture that he took of their wedding

And there’s another one, but I was having problems with the scan, so I have to take a picture of that one. I’ll post it later.

Oh! And here’s this super cute tag I made for Brandy’s birthday present. I am going to make more of these because I love them!enjoy-tag.jpg

I have a tendency to listen to the same cd’s over and over again until they are so ingrained in my head that I will dream songs and wake up with songs in my head and…. well, you get the idea.

I mostly listen to indie rock. James likes to invest in new bands and most of the time I have no idea who I’m listening to, but I enjoy it. Sometimes, though, I just have a need to go back to my roots: musicals. It just feels so good to SING! I grabbed my West Side Story (original broadway cast recording, of course) cd and have been in heaven immersing myself in Tony and Maria.

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What is it about this musical that is so… timeless. I mean, the setting is definitely 1957, but the story, the music, the lyrics. They never get old. If you’ve never heard Larry Kert sing “Maria” or “Something’s Comin'”, you’re missing out. His voice is quintessential 1950’s and it’s so beautiful. (it’s a shame his musical theatre career never really thrived) When he sings the line

around the corner, or whistling down the river

oh man, it is so exciting! And of course, there are the famous tritones that foreshadows their fates. And all the brass in the mambo sections.. I could go on and on and on.

I think my favorite part is right before the ballet when Tony convinces Maria to run away

T: I will take you away take you far far away out of here
far far away til the walls and the streets disappear
M: Somewhere there must be a place we can feel we’re free
somewhere there’s got to be someplace for you and for me

totally don’t know if those are the rights lyrics. going off of memory here.

So, I will continue to listen. For those of you who haven’t heard it yet or only know the movie version 😦 you can buy it here. And I will listen and sing until the songs are so embedded in my head I won’t be able to think straight. Then I will retire it back to the shelf and listen to another musical. Say, Jesus Christ Superstar.

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  • 2 mini collages
  • 2 cards
  • 2 knitted cowls
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