Vintage Pic of the Week:

Vintage pic of the week: "when exotic pets were the accessory du jour" Actress Phyllis Gordon with her cheetah. I'll just pretend my cockapoo is a wolf...

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

So this is a world without government...

^^THIS is whatever.
^^THIS is fine.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hundreds of Peaches, peaches for me...

I really love the fall. Post-graduation life means that the transition from summer to fall was subtle because my time is still so utterly unstructured and I didn't get new pencils and new teachers and a new crush (the little love I'm harboring now has been around a while...) Well, my early morning summer hikes with my Dad have spilled over into the fall as well and the other morning as we were walking we came upon a peach orchard in the middle of a construction site. The trees were laden with fruit that was clearly not actively being harvested or cared for. We called the owner of the land and though he said he couldn't give us his permission to pick the peaches, he also "couldn't stop us."

The next morning I awoke to my Dad asking if I'd smudged the grease under my eyes to prepare to be a sneaky peach bandit.

As we tip-toed between the trees (not because of feeling guilty, because the deer had been there first and left all kinds of presents), all I could think about was all the pies and pastries I could make with this many peaches. We were there for less than half an hour, but we took in a real haul. So much so that when I did get around to baking with them, I made a pie that used like a dozen peaches and it didn't look like our stash had even been touched. 
I watched James and the Giant Peach after the pie was done because there was no one there to eat it (and the most depressing thing you can ever do as a single person is to bake a pie totally from scratch and then eat it alone) and near the beginning of the movie when the little peach first becomes enchanted and begins to grow to be as large as house, I got sort of excited and thought "wow, what would you do with enough peach to eat for months like that?" And then I remembered I already had that much peach and it's not that exciting. It's mostly overwhelming; the clock is ticking and you know they'll spoil in a heartbeat. I probably should've figured a way for my peaches to take me to New York City like James' peach does. 

We decided to have a peach party to preserve all the fruit, which because everyone had other demands to take them away from the gathering eventually turned into a peach party of one. I didn't know anything about canning peaches before, but 10 hours later I'll never forget how it's done. My ward's family home evening that night was peach picking at some abandoned orchard in another town. Needless to say, I was a little peached-out and didn't attend. After making over 50 jars of peaches, we still have an entire box left. 
It was a long day and definitely not what I envisioned that fun, stealthy early-morning peach picking adventure would lead to. By the end of it, my back was aching and my heels were sore, but in little moments while I waited for the peaches to blanch or the jam to set I thought about how many women in the history of the world have had a lifetime of days so spent. Women that had food preparations and clean-up that never ended and could never just pull something out of the freezer to feed the family. It made me so grateful to not only have enough food, but to live in a time when being responsible for its preparation (whenever I am) doesn't occupy my whole life. It also puts a lot of pressure on how I use the volumes of extra time I've been given because I was born in an age of streamlining and efficiency and technology and born into a country with such abundance and wealth. It makes it that much more important to contribute something real to the world from my position of unearned privilege.

I guess what I'm trying to say is based on all the people bum-rushing peach orchards to harvest the last of the season's fruit, it is officially (and deliciously) autumn. My favorite time of the year. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Professional Develoment Moment: Pulling a Steven Spielberg

I've been spending this summer trying to get onto as many film sets as I can (slowly closing the disparity gap between my love of film and my actual experience with making it). This sometimes means driving long distances and giving hours of my time for free (and the benefits of craft services have been totally lost on me because I'm dieting...), but I really am learning and making great connections. This web series that I was an extra in just came out, have a gander:

I am definitely learning things, like learning from watching this that my eye line being so low makes it seem like my eyes are closed for 80% of my screen time in this video. Glad I'm learning that now and not seeing it reflected in the dailies of my first big break. 

I was also an extra in a Foundation for a Better Life commercial that filmed at the airport. In my time in New York this summer, I learned that as you're establishing yourself, it's good to go for parts that are as close to who you are as humanly possible. (People come out of college having played ages 14-40 and not realizing that having to compete with real 14 and 40 year olds means you should stick to that hot 23 that comes naturally). 

Being at this airport shoot, I was literally playing myself. I was "pretending" to wait at the baggage claim, an activity I have done at that very baggage claim dozens of times in real life. In fact, I was so convincing that at one point someone came up to me and whispered, "I think they're filming some commercial here, can you believe that?" and I whispered back "woah, that's crazy!" while I stood there with my completely empty luggage and my sunglasses that hadn't seen any sun. It made me feel like a sneaky secret agent to blend in so effectively. 

We had a scene where we were creating the feeling of a big, busy crowd as the principle actor walking down a long stretch of hallway and it was so funny for them to say "ACTION!" and create this very realistic-looking hub-bub (because we were in the real location) and then look closer to find that that guy standing at the rental car desk looking concerned is just muttering 'peas and carrots' and then----"CUT!" and on command all the people that looked like they were in their own little worlds turn around simultaneously and go back to one.  
(This guy said, 'hey, could I have a copy of that picture?' even though it's weirdly framed and we both look kind of uncomfortable. *My pretend travel buddy*)

There's a story my Dad always used to tell me about how Steven Spielberg got his start of which I can find no proof anywhere, but it's a good sentiment. Spielberg (guys, I know two people that are on terms to just call him 'Steve') got his start by being an intern at one of the studios. The way my Dad tells it though he had no permission to be on the lot at all. He just started letting people assume he was the director's nephew or son-in-law so he could just always be around (learning as much as he possibly could). Eventually, he found an empty office and without asking anyone moved in and made it his. Later, he found a parking spot and painted his name on it. He just sort of decided to be everywhere long enough that when they found out he had established himself under false pretenses, he had enough experience that he was an asset to them and they did hire him. 

I guess I've just got to make sure I'm everywhere learning everything and make sure to bring my own paint. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Apparently 2012 Never Happened...

Accordingly to my blog, the last thing I did was visit the Vienna zoo in July of 2011... It is now September of 2013 and just to clarify, things were happening in the interim. To read about a smattering of them you could peruse my articles on Meridian Magazine.

So what brought me back to confiding in cyberspace?

I'm in a kind of crazy post-college graduation phase of life (oh yea, THAT happened...)

In trying to make plans for my life and move forward with things, I feel at once inundated with thoughts and objectives and at a loss for how to proceed. I often wish I could hear from someone that is a little ahead of me on a similar path so they could call back to me and tell me what there is to look forward to and which potholes to avoid. I guess I feel the need to have a forum to organize my thoughts and I'd like to be that person calling out to anyone who needs to hear it. (I also just have a high need to share about things that excite me like surprisingly good new TV shows and facts about dinosaurs and delicious food.)

I am saving up money to move to New York City to be an actress and a writer so I've essentially chosen to be poor and have my self-confidence defied and confronted on a regular basis. It's all kind of scary and also thrilling and exasperating and exhilarating. 

The other day I was at a dance call for a musical movie. I knew that I was a cut below the rest of auditioners in technical skill, I had no expectation of impressing the director. But I also knew that I was doing better at picking up choreography and having confidence in the steps than I'd done in a long time. I came away feeling pretty good and exciting for more opportunities to practice and hone and perfect. I didn't get cast, but it felt like a triumph. 

It's for moments like that, moments where you can smell progress even if you have nothing to show for it, that I'm resuming this blog. Acknowledging steps taken (even if they're mainly internal) is the way to barrel towards actually changing your life. 

Also, I'll probably get less philosophical at times and show you the thrift store clothes I'm trying to make stylish, the old pictures that just get me going (see Louis and wife above), and these situations that are embarrassing beyond belief and yet still need a forum for display. 

So, think a little or have a laugh at my expense. Either way, visit me now and then and we'll see where all this is going. 
(I'm just throwing this picture in in case you watching the mess of a wipeout video that linked to. The rumba, proving I have been coordinated at least once before, I'm not just a clumsy, ostrich faller-offer...)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


So the travel weekend, which I had long intended to spend in Prague sounded expensive and a little crowded, so we stayed in town and went to the world’s oldest zoo instead. This was definitely also the coolest zoo in the world, hands down. Within the first quarter of an hour, we watched a butterfly hatch and discovered a new kind of amphibian. The zoo has the beautiful architecture of Schönbrunn (they’re on the same grounds), only it has wild animals instead of overpriced cake.

The zoo had all of the regular trappings, all of the things you’d expect at a zoo.

And a few of things that you wouldn’t (looking at my pictures, I’d say it was mostly stuff you wouldn’t...)

Since this zoo is so old they had some of the old cages that they used when it was originally built as the emperor’s personal corner of the animal kingdom (a la our dear MJ). Their children’s area looked like the set in the second half of the time machine when he’s in the year 20,000something. It looked so fun and so forbidden. There was no one over 3 feet tall on it and I’m pretty sure no one bigger would fit.

There was a hike inside the zoo, which was both beautiful and a good little workout. At the top, there was a beautiful view of the whole city which you could take in from a canopy walk in the trees. Then we went down to see the panthers feed which we maybe should have skipped. I just wanted to see them up close, but I forgot what they eat. How do you tell an enormous spotted cat that he’s got a little bloody rabbit fur on his mouth?

Speaking of eating, we tried ‘Langos’ as our over-priced zoo food purchase of the day. It looked like a funnel cake and a Navajo taco had a love child. Turned out to be a giant disk of salty fried thing. Sounds gross, wasn’t bad. We asked a little girl to take a picture and she said she had to go wash her hands first, we watched her walk into the boys bathroom to clean up and found out she was a he….whoops.

The guy in the background of this picture looks like an aged Captain van Trapp. I couldn’t resist stalkerly picture snapping. There are lots of old man that hang around this park that look like they just stepped off a film set. The Schönbrunn grounds are a beautiful place to just be, I hope I can spend a little more time here before I go away.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Wien ist anders.

Yes, I know. I should keep anyone who still knows that this blog exists up to date on my latest travels---blah blah blog. After three days of random milk-run travel and three nights of sleeping on various airport benches

I arrived in Vienna!---But first-----Took an afternoon to re-explore London.

(that’s how everything looks through my rose-colored sunglasses. It was a Sunday morning so I went to church at Westminster Abbey. It was father’s day---Westminster neglected the musical numbers from the primary kids and the chocolate all around.

Classic traveling-solo shot.

I took a walk in Green Park in the early morning on the way to Buckingham Palace and I was suddenly hit with a wave of disbelief and gratitude to find myself cross the pond again. I have lived a truly charmed life in that respect and I stopped that instant and prayed thanks for it. Good thing I did that then because later in the day nothing was open because it was a Sunday morning and it was very cold and strangers kept alternating between hitting on me and asking for money---starting with the cheeky squirrels in that very park---it made me ein bisschen cranky.

Then I got to---well, Helsinki, but THEN I got to VIENNA!

We got here just in time for Corpus Christi so we got to see a procession and it was such an interesting cultural experience. After that, we went walking toward the Hofburg, the big royal palace in the city and we rounded the corner and ran into the same procession again. MADNESS. We’ve crammed a ton into the almost three weeks that I’ve been here and it’s impossible to capture it all here. We’ve been to two Operas and a million museums and eaten way too much ice cream (Zanoni & Zanoni is officially better than Castellos, Schwedenplatz Eiscafe, AND Aida---take note).

Schönbrunn and the Kunsthistoriches have been my favorite places so far. Schönbrunn is the Hapsburg’s summer palace (by the way the last of the Hapsburg died on Tuesday…..). They have outrageously beautiful architecture as well as lovely gardens, but my favorite part was the stories about the royalty that lived there. They have an actual recording of Franz Joseph saying “it has been a pleasure” the way he always did after every meeting he had with anyone. Don’t even get me started on the royal romances. No, but seriously—that could (and probably will be) an entire other blog post.

I’m attempting to take more pictures from here on out and trying hard to keep detailed records of my experiences, I’ll see if I can capture some echo of that here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What's to come...

This is beautiful (and apparently epic) Vienna, the city that I will call home very soon. I fly out Friday afternoon and suddenly this blog may just come to life again.