Saturday, November 24, 2012


When Facebook becomes a frenzy of "Things I'm Thankful For" in the month of November, I pull back.  Not because I'm against posting those things on Facebook - I've often posted about things I'm thankful for on FB, but for some reason the posts during November feel forced and insincere.

For me personally, posting like that in November almost diminishes the level of true gratitude I feel for the blessings in my life.

In every publication of the magazine Real Simple, there is a Thoughts page at the front with a quote for the month.  The December 2012 quote was

It is a miracle if you can find true friends, and it is a miracle if you have enough food to eat, and it is a miracle if you get to spend your days and evenings doing whatever it is you like to do, and the holiday season - like all other seasons - is a good time not only to tell stories of miracles, but to think about the miracles in your own life, and to be grateful for them.
~Lemony Snicket "The Lump of Coal"

I can rarely make it through that quote without crying.  One thing that really stuck out to me about the quote was it's focus on friendship.  I've been blessed beyond measure with some of the most wonderful friends. I also feel the quote sums up so beautifully that all of the blessings in life truly are miracles.  Every happiness, comfort and companion in my life could just as easily not be a reality.  How could a Facebook post, or even this blog, do justice in conveying my gratitude?  I cut the quote out of the magazine and framed it with the picture above.  It's a picture taken at my 30th birthday dinner.  While it doesn't include all of my dearest friends, it does include all of my friends that went with me to see Spring Awakening on stage in January 2011.  I think the combination of friendship, celebration, eating at one of my favorite restaurants (Dragonfish!) and the theatre connection make it a great match for the quote.  The frame will probably stay out all year, but I'll feature it prominently in my holiday decorations.

It's basically taking what others might post on Facebook and displaying it in my home as a visual, every day reminder of the miracles in my life.

Monday, November 12, 2012


My weekends have been crazy busy!  Here's a quick run down of what's been happening.

Last weekend I helped Beth pack her kitchen in preparation for her move to LA.  We had a mob that night in Tacoma (I know, so far!) so I brought all of my stuff to get ready there so we could carpool from her place.  Sara came over and then Jared and Janette came and picked us up.  We sang Wicked all the way there, which was perfect, because Beth and I had wanted another round of singing Wicked in the car before her move, but hadn't been able to find a time to do it.

The mob was a success - a swanky black tie fundraiser - so fancy!  It opened with a Lindy piece that Jared and I danced in for just a little bit at the end.  Shhh...don't tell - we didn't actually Lindy, we did...I think East Coast swing.  Not too shabby for learning it two nights prior in my living room - it even ended in a dip!

With Jen and Beth at the Tacoma Black & White Mob

The next day we had a ladies brunch - a chance for Christine to share her engagement story and our last "official" brunch before Beth's move.   That night Sara and I surprised Jared by going to one of his dance company performances.  It was fun to see a full one hour program and they even had some new routines that we hadn't seen before.  I'd show you some pictures, but we learned something weird about my phone.  Apparently (and supposedly this is common with cell phones) it takes a series of photos and then stitches them together for the best quality.  This resulted the THUMBNAIL version of my photos showing one thing...but then when you open the photo it's something different.  Oh, I guess I can show you one photo - it's super blurry though...

Splinter Performance - Jared Flying

The photo above (which I didn't bother to edit in any way so pardon the color) is the thumbnail.  If you open the file...he's almost landed.  Seriously.  Think about that for a second.  You HAVE the photo Phone!!!  Why won't you give it to me!?!?!?  So sad...

This weekend was also packed.  Friday night AJP went to go see the Microsoft Theater Troupe's production of Hello Dolly!  You didn't know Microsoft had a Theater Troupe??? neither. :-)  Getting there (to the Microsoft campus is Redmond - why are we traveling internationally so much!?) was hilarious.  Thank goodness we gave ourselves plenty of time because we definitely had trouble locating the correct garage that would lead us to the "Building 31 Cafeteria." There was a lot of laughing, which is pretty standard for us.  We had 5 friends in the show, and actually during the show I realized I knew the sister of one of the other cast members - they all did a GREAT job!

Saturday was a day with Lindsay!  We've been trying to find a date to see the King Tutankhamun exhibit at the Pacific Science Center since...ummm...June?  When I bought the tickets for her birthday.  We had a great day running around downtown, Seattle Center, and the museum.  We had a little bit of time to explore the rest of the Science Center before going into the King Tut building, and we had a lot of fun taking pictures in the butterfly house!


The exhibit was great - apparently it's the last stop for this artifact tour before it all goes back to Egypt...I think "forever."  My favorite ancient artifacts are objects of everyday life and there were a few items like that in the exhibit - like a bed.  I thought it was interesting to learn that there were attempts (by the ancient Egyptians) to erase King Tut from history, and here he is, the most well known of all of the pharaohs.

Sunday was the engagement brunch for Byron and Christine! Tasty and joyous - it's was the perfect kick off to what will be a year of celebrating.

Kingfish Cafe

Now I'm attempting to stop my apartment from being nominated for the next season of Hoarders.  I'm not really sure how it ends up in such shambles when I'm never here!  My place needs to be organized and ready for Christmas before Thanksgiving (a first for me).  I really think the whole holiday season will run more smoothly if that happens.

By the way...Jared is on to me.  He asked if my fake blog was a real blog.  I responded with an explanation of how I've never been successful at journaling or blogging my whole life - basically dodging the question without actually saying I didn't have a blog.  So Jared...when you read this blog some day, here is my apology to you: I'm very sorry I lied by omission - I hope you can forgive me!

Friday, November 9, 2012


Pizza box art by Byron - Explanation of photo far below

I don't love a good debate, so when it comes to politics, I have my opinions, but I have no desire to argue with anyone about them or convince everyone that I'm right.  I tend to say "I'm not political" but in truth it's more that I'm just quiet about my politics.  I'll set that aside for this post, in honor of the election earlier this week, but my intent is for this post mostly focus on what I witnessed this election rather than how I voted.

The right to vote...

A month before the election I posted the following on Facebook:

My Facebook page stays pretty non-political, 
but as we are a month out from the next presidential election, 
I'd like to encourage everyone to consider voting.

How ever you vote, and whether or not you do, 
please take a moment to be grateful 
for living in a country where you have that choice.

Yes, while I'm incredibly grateful that I am able to vote, it is equally important that I have the choice to vote if I wish.  I never really thought about that until the 2008 election when a friend of mine was being lectured by someone else because she said she wasn't voting.  That's when I recognized the value of that choice.

The act of voting...

In Washington we vote by mail.  It's brilliant.  It makes me a little nostalgic when I think of the voting stations set up at my elementary school, and I still tear up when I heard stories about people waiting in line for hours to vote, but...they really shouldn't have to wait in line for hours!  It's 2012!  (That said, I'm totally against moving to online voting!)  The only downside to our mail in system is that our ballots can be POSTMARKED until 8pm on election day, which means it can take several days for ballots to received, verified and counted.

The weight of your voice...

It's no secret, Washington is true blue state.  I have friends who feel like their votes don't count because our electoral votes will end up being cast as Democratic.  Right now, in Washington...that may be the case, but your vote IS still important.  This year we saw some CLOSE races across the country, and we're seeing the demographics of our voters shift.  Truly, anything is possible.  You certainly have the right not to vote, but I hope your choice isn't based on the belief that your vote doesn't matter.  In Washington, we're still counting ballots, and for some of our races every vote DEFINITELY counts.

The crowd awaits...

I've never gone "out" on election night - until this year.  Being "not very political," I can't stand watching political coverage.  I hate the hashing and rehashing of statistics, projections, and the blah, blah, blah of it all.  It was the promise of pizza with friends that lured me to a restaurant on Tuesday night, where I sat with my back to the tv.  "You can tell me when something exciting happens," I told my friends.  It turns out, they didn't have to tell me - the ENTIRE restaurant did.  With cheers and shouts and clapping and booing.  The energy was incredible.  At 8:30 I tweeted "First time I've ever watched election results in public-it's definitely more fun this way. Especially when you're winning :-) #Election2012"

Oh, Team Pizza?  Team Pizza is a long running joke between Byron and me.  It's actually sports related - from when we went for pizza one Sunday and when the waiter approached us he listed off two team names as a question (as in, which team are you rooting for).  We stared at him blankly for a second before saying "Um...we're here for pizza...?"  That's what we get for eating in sports bars.  Luckily, Team Pizza lent itself very well to election night - jokes about food were definitely all over social media that day.

Being in that restaurant looked and felt like when people gather somewhere to watch sports (or so I've heard...I've never really done that), but I didn't really appreciate the magnitude of the election until today - a few days later.  All of those people - the country, and on some level - the world were watching the results just as attentively as they (not I) would watch any sporting event...but what we were witnessing was so much greater than ANY game.  It was the result of the actions of the entire country as a whole - whether or not you voted.  It was more REAL than any newsroom, headquarters or rally could convey.  While our system isn't perfect, election day is truly representative of the beauty of our system at work.

The results are in...

I don't think I need to tell you who won the presidency.  I'm sure you have that figured out.  But depending on where you live, you may or may not have heard about Referendum 74 - a bill in Washington State allowing same sex couples to marry.

I've already said I'm not here to fight [with anyone on my secret blog], but I will say that the only "real" arguments I've heard against Ref 74 always come back to religion, and this bill, as written, does not force any religion to recognize same sex marriage.  What it does is keep a healthy separation of church and state while allowing consenting, loving individuals of the same gender the equal rights and securities of marriage that I am allowed as a heterosexual.  I absolutely respect the right of each religion to choose what they are willing to recognize as a marriage within their church, but I feel it is a disgrace to tell two adults that they can not legally be married based on their gender.

I hope that in my lifetime we will say "Remember back when our gay friends weren't allowed to marry everywhere in this country?  We've come so far!"  At least I know I can look forward to telling my children about the day we voted for marriage equality in Washington State and won.

The celebration continues...

By the time we were done eating dinner, most news sources had projected that Obama would be re-elected, but Ohio still hadn't been called.  Things were looking positive (for Obama and Ref 74 - despite less than half of the votes being counted in Washington State) and we knew by Twitter and Facebook that people were beginning to gather at 10th & Pike in our neighborhood to celebrate.  Since we were already out and about, we decided to check it out.  What a scene!  I'm so grateful that I was able to witness the 1000+ people taking over the streets that evening.  Roads blocked off, music playing, people dancing, people singing, champagne being sprayed everywhere - it was insanity.  In a good way.  Christine, Sara and I borrowed some signs for a quick pic...

Photo by Byron

...and we spend the night wandering around - enjoying and participating in all of the merriment.  Thanks to my backup phone charger, by the end of the night I had one of the last functioning cell phones on the hill and tried to snap as many pics as possible.  Unfortunately lighting wasn't ideal, but I did catch some decent (for phone) video footage.  I sorted through it that night and managed to piece together 7 or so clips into a little montage of the joyous highlights.  Knowing that it wouldn't be relevant if I didn't post it IMMEDIATELY - I stayed up and wrestled with iMovie.  Even though everything I create in that program is mostly by accident, I did manage to create and publish a short video on YouTube...

Shaky and blurry, it conveys the spirit of election night much better than any of my photos will be able to do.  My plan of going home after dinner and doing laundry that night didn't pan out, but instead I witnessed history in the making, and for that I am incredibly thankful.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Darling Halloween

This Halloween may be the only time in my adult life that I seriously put thought into my outfit.  Those who know me know that I'm not a huge fan of costuming.  In most cases I don't find it very fun, and I don't enjoy the time, energy, and money that goes in to the whole ordeal.

Enter Flash Mobbing...

As a result of flash mobbing, not only do I have costumes, but I have a costume TOTE.  I still remember that first piece...the poodle skirt for the Grease mob.  I knew it the start of long downward spiral into costuming.  As if flash mob attire didn't already have a list of considerations...once you add a costume component, it's amazing I'm able to put anything together.

Halloween 2011 was the first time we did a Halloween Mob.  There is a section of my neighborhood that goes ALL OUT for Halloween.  No, seriously - take whatever you just pictured...and then times it by 10.  It feels like you're walking onto a movie set.  Streets closed to traffic, fog machines, amplified sound, strobe lights, people everywhere, every house decorated, most with elaborate's amazing.  Even though I don't necessarily love Halloween - I couldn't shut up about how I loved EVERYTHING about the neighborhood that night.

We learned that the trick-or-treat crowd is an exceptional mob audience - dancing there was a blast!  This year we knew that we were going to mob on Halloween again, so at the "Last BBQ of the Summer," Sara, Jared, and I started discussing what out costumes would be for the mob.  (If it's not clear already, if there were no mob, I would not bother with a Halloween costume at all.)  We didn't necessarily set out to plan coordinating outfits, but at some point Sara asked "Are there any Disney trios that we could be?"

After my suggestion of the Three Fairies was shot down multiple times, I changed gears and said "What about Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, and Wendy?"  Somehow it all fell into place.  Jared MADE the majority of his outfit - the hat, the modifications of his top, his belt.  He's amazingly crafty.  Beth had a Tinker Bell costume that she had made last year that Sara was able to borrow.  By some miracle, I was able to find a woman on eBay who makes a variety of basic nightgowns - one of them was PERFECT for Wendy.  Perfect shoes were found at Payless, and my sash and hair bow were made out of blue tulle - which I already had on hand.

I'll say it - we were adorable!  Like I said, it's the first time I've ever really cared about a costume (as an adult) and it's certainly the first time I've put that much effort into coordinating.  The flash mob was a success - even though we reused our Summer Mob and danced to What Makes You Beautiful & Call Me Maybe - and the weather cooperated which allowed us to perform four times.

There's no official video but a few have popped up on YouTube.  This one doesn't include the Opening or the Call Me Maybe sections, but I like the angle because it was shot from someone's window or balcony.  Plus the people filming it sound excited that we're dancing - always a plus. :-)

We had a few little girls that jumped in and started dancing with us - they were awesome!  The highlight of my night was talking to the "lead" girl after one of the performances.  After giving her a high five she asked "Is this a JOB!?!" I told her it was more of a hobby. :-)  She had a few more questions about flash mobbing and then asked "Can *I* be a part of your hobby??"  I told her "I think you already are - you're dancing with us!!"  So cute!!

Then her friend started asking about my "rings" (we were wearing LED finger lights) and I told her they were from my friend Tinker Bell and that I should probably go find her and Peter Pan.  Jared walked up right then, and the moms asked if the two of us would pose with the girls for a photo.

I felt like I worked at Disneyland for five minutes - It was AMAZING!!!! :-D

How can we top it next year?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I Do Believe I Have Been Changed For the Better

Guess what I'm seeing today!

It's round one of Wicked with Byron, Sara and Jared.

The first time I saw Wicked was September 24th, 2009.  I didn't know the show, and I wasn't really familiar with the music.  All I knew was that I hated the book (that's another story) but I had faith that the musical was going to be fantastic.

It didn't disappoint.

Interestingly, Wicked was the first musical that I saw twice in the same run.  I had promised two different groups that I would go see it - I was really trusting that it would be a good show.  I LOVED seeing the same cast twice and so close together.  I loved the chance to watch different people and see different things during the show.  One of my favorite things that happened between the shows a prop malfunction.  During One Short Day, there was a suitcase that didn't open.  It was obvious, but handled well.  When I went back to the show a few days later, it did open - there were sunglasses inside.

I know that doesn't sound thrilling, but it was a whole new level of live theatre for me - being able to make those types of observations.  It was certainly one of the things I enjoyed most during my Spring Awakening tour of 2011.

It's fitting that this time around, I'll be seeing Wicked twice again.  Next week I'll be going with Jill and Lindsay as part of our first season at the Paramount.  I'm so grateful that we were able to subscribe to both the 5th Avenue and the Paramount Theatre this year.  I really can't even put into words how much I value live musical theatre, and I hope I can continue to support it for years to come.

**Update on 10/29**

The show was amazing!  I was super impressed - there wasn't a single cast member we were disappointed with (although we joked that the midwife could've been stronger - because an understudy was on - but really...she was fine).  I wanted to add this picture of Sara and me from after the show.  I love everything about it - even that it's blurry.  What I love most is that it's almost perfect by accident.  I sort of threw my hand up and said "this is my hat!"  I was joking - but it actually translates!  And Sara is lined up perfectly with Glinda.  I feel like if actually went back and tried to recreate this again it would NEVER work. :-)

I'm thrilled to be able to see this production again - I go tomorrow night with Jill and Lindsay!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pitch Slapped

I rarely go see movies in the movie theatre.  Mostly because I'm cheap and movies are expensive!  It has to be something I really want to see on the big screen, otherwise I'm perfectly happy waiting until something is available on cable or Netflix.

However, today I went and saw Pitch Perfect.  I first saw the preview for Pitch Perfect when we went to see Step Up 4 Revolution (Hey, don't judge!  That movie totally needed to be seen on a big screen, am I right???)  I was SO excited for this movie.  Not just because it was about a capella singing, but also because it was starring Anna Kendrick.  Having been a fan of hers since CAMP, the first thing I thought when I saw the preview was "Awwww, she gets to sing again!!"

A capella singing has always fascinated me.  I'm insanely jealous of the people who can do it for a start.  When Lindsay and I went to Chicago to see Spring Awakening, we took an impromptu train ride up to Northwestern to see Emma Hunton sing at a Broadway in South Africa benefit.  (We were fans of Emma Hunton since seeing her as Natalie in the national tour of Next to Normal.  It was a coincidence that Next to Normal was in Chicago at the same time we were.)  The benefit was being hosted by Adam Kantor - the last Mark of Rent on Broadway, who was also a Northwestern Alum and the founder of Broadway in South Africa.

This is my extremely long way of telling you that a few a capella groups sang at the benefit that night and it was amazing!  Taping most of their songs was the best decision EVER because I listen to them all the time!

I recommend listening to Happy Ending to hear Adam sing with THUNK...but really you should just listen to everything on my playlist:

Oh, right - the movie.  Loved it.

I love most movies that promote the arts in schools, so it already had that going for it.  It was full of fun music, great voices, and of course it was hilarious.  I don't always love Elizabeth Banks (who produced this movie and had a role as one of the announcers at the a capella competition), but she was perfect in this film.  There were other familiar faces too - Rebel Wilson, who's line about meth is STILL making me laugh out loud; Brittany Snow, who did a lovely job and it was very fun to see her without blonde hair; and look who it is!  Skylar Astin as our romantic male lead, proving that all [singing] roads DO lead to/from Spring Awakening:

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Oh the Things I Would Write...

Here's a quick list of the things that have been happening lately that I wish I had time to write a LOT more about...

Summer Mob

We jumped on the Call Me Maybe train with our first East Side flash mob.  Around the same time we were also doing a string of Verizon promotions for their Your Incredible Journey contest.  Silliness and good times transpired.  Oh!  I also taught hip hop for our National Dance Day workshop.  Lots of people came and danced outside in the HOT sun that day - what a great group!

With Beth and Sara at a Summer Mob Rehearsal

Theatre For Life

I participated in a scavenger hunt at Seattle Center for a chance to win Theatre For Live for Seattle Repertory Theatre's 50th Anniversary.  Sadly, I didn't win, but it was still a fun day.

Picture taken by Seattle Rep during the scavenger hunt.  This station was for Pullman Porter Blues - the first show in their upcoming season.

PAX Prime

I went to PAX for the first time - what?!  It was INSANE.  I had been planing to go since LAST year's convention and was lucky to get tickets before they sold out in 2 seconds (only still only scoring a one day pass).  I'd love to go next year but REALLY feel like you need at least two days to experience and participate in this massive gaming convention

Kat's Arcade?

Blueberry Picking

Sara and I went blueberry picking and had SO much fun!  (Technically it was blueberry picking plus a trip to the Container Store, which made it even better.)  I really do intend to write a full post about this because I need to share what I MADE with all of my blueberries!  Berry picking ROCKS!  Of course now berry picking season is basically over....but we have plans to go pick apples in October!

Bucket o' Blueberries

Last Weekend

Apparently I'm just trying to cram as many things in as possible into every waking moment.  The problem is that Seattle ALWAYS has something awesome to do.  Last Friday Beth, Jared and I + about 20 other flash mob peeps went to the Sing-A-Long Grease.  Of course it was a good time, how could it not be??

On Saturday Jared and I drove up to Bellingham.  That's right, you read that correctly - BELLINGHAM - for the Greek Festival.  We're going to both be out of town for the Seattle one and didn't want to miss out on an annual binge of loukoumades (aka bite sized pieces of magic, rainbows, happiness, and honey).  I enjoy other Greek fare as well, so I was willing to drive to Almost-Canada to make this happen.  It was SO worth it!

That night we were celebrating Byron's birthday, which now has the established tradition (this being the second year) of going out on a sailboat for a sunset sail.  (Plus dinner before and drinks after.)  Luckily it didn't start raining until the second we stepped OFF the boat!

On Sunday Sara, Jared, and I drove down to Puyallup - yes, Puyallup - for the fair.  As in, THE in, they even have the website  I grew up going to the Clark County Fair but had never gone to the Puyallup Fair.  Neither had Sara and Jared, so we drove on down and enjoyed an afternoon of animals, vendors, fair food, and various exhibits.  We decided to pass on rides.  I had a grand ol' time at the fair.  I had my traditional fair food, which is corn on the cob, and to my delight Spud's - the fish & chip place I used to go to ALL the time when I lived in West Seattle - had a booth there too!  Man, they're good.  I miss them.  I also bought a clipless curling iron - random right?  but I LOVE it and I had been wondering if they were any good.  Thank goodness there was a convenient booth set up there for me to try it out!  On the way out we stumbled across a both selling salt water taffy - yum!  What a perfect end to the day, and the woman at that stand told us that TACOMA has a Greek Festival in October! #AddToCalendar.

Looking ahead we've got mobs on the calendar, Gena's flying in to visit me this weekend (to hang out before she's deployed for 6 months - boo!), and then before you know it, I'll be in Disney World!  See, with all of this going on...who has time to blog?! 

Monday, August 27, 2012

AJP Email - Sunscreen

AJP is the name that Jared, Sara and I go by as a group.  As in "Let's have an AJP night" or "Is AJP going to make an appearance at the birthday party?"  The letters stand for Alice (me), Jace (Jared), and Sara (Pippa).

December 2011 ~ I took AJP to Disneyland

Someday I'll explain how it all came to be, but it's no different than any other nickname story.  (Ok, that's not true, it's probably much better than most - on the number line of nickname stories.) ;-)  Sara and I, without Jared, are Team Satrina.

Sara, Jared, and I often have long group email discussions that are beyond hilarious to the three of us.  Sometimes I think they'd be amusing to others as well.  Below is an example of such an email string, presented for you in more of a chat format.  This was after our day of mobbing in Kirkland.  The day was one of or sunnier, warmer days of summer.  MUCH warmer and sunnier than we are used to dancing in for sure.

That night Jared's arms were bright red.  This email string took place two days later:

Jared: This is the strangest sunburn I've ever had.  It hasn't hurt hardly at all and it already seems to have significantly faded.  Is this what it's like when normal people get a sunburn?

Katrina: Sounds like it just wasn't much of a sunburn.

I'm bringing my sunblock to AJP time so you can see if you like it ON YOUR FACE!

Jared: But you saw it!  I was *very* sunburned!

Sara: When did this sunburn happen?

Jared: Saturday.  During the mob.  When I was under my umbrella

Katrina: Maybe you need a special sun protective mom has one of those.

Jared: I was kind of joking, but do you think that I actually got burned *through* the umbrella?

Katrina: I like this answer:


A more probable real answer would be:

You were using a black umbrella, so you avoided MOST of the suns direct rays.  It is more likely that you were burned in the time you were not using the umbrella.

Sara: Obviously that umbrella didn't work well for you Jared.  I'm sorry you got burnt.  Jared, were you wearing ANY sunscreen?

Jared: perhaps not...

Katrina: He was not - even though he brought some "for other people to use"

Jared - you are not getting skin cancer on OUR watch!

I don't like wearing sunblock either, but even I wear it on the days that we're going to be outside dancing all day.

Nostalgic Side Note: The smell of sunblock always takes me back to the zoo - from when I would put sun block on in the car as my mom drove me to the zoo for work. 

Sara: Hmm.  Then it's really odd that you got burned seeing how it was 80, you weren't wearing any sunscreen and your complexion is fair.  Odd.

Jared: I was under an umbrella MOST OF THE DAY!!  I really thought I'd be fine.

Sara: The smell of sunblock takes me back to being a kid, swimming all summer long in the pool in the backyard and hanging out with my sister.  I thought of it on Saturday when I put on sunscreen before I went to the mobs.

An umbrella is not sunscreen.

Jared: An umbrella is quite literally a sun screen.

Sara: But it is not sunscreen with SPF my friend.  Umbrellas don't prevent cancer.  I'm pretty sure on that.

Katrina: But only against certain rays.

Other rays are bouncing all over and reflecting off things that an umbrella can't block.

Jared: #UmbrellasAreInadequate

The umbrella is disappointing...*

Sara: Let this be a lesson to you Jared.  Here are your takeaways from this conversation:

The sun can cause skin cancer.

Umbrellas don't prevent cancer.

Sunscreen lotion will help you not get burned.  It can also make you nostalgic for other times or bring up childhood memories.

Jared: noted.

Sara: The sun "screen" was way disappointing.

Katrina: (This is so going on the blog)

*"The umbrella is disappointing" is a reference to this video/book "The Baby is Disappointing" - an AJP favorite:

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Runners in Concert

On Monday night I went to a reading of a new musical called The Runners, put on by Balagan Theatre.

The music was written by high school senior, Bryan Gula, who was in both runs of Balagan's regional production of Spring Awakening earlier this year.  I found out about The Runners at Balagan's season preview night and was intrigued - a good song and interesting story.  A boy/young man finds himself employed on what he THOUGHT was a fishing vessel, but it turns out that it's a rum running ship during prohibition.

Bryan had approached Balagan about working on his musical and they paired him with a writer and the company's Executive Director to get the project rolling.  Remember...high school senior...18 years old.  Yep.

The reading was $10 a ticket and done with no costumes or sets.  The actors walked up to music stands when they were in a scene; one read the stage direction.  Several of them were familiar faces from Spring Awakening, including Mike Spee as James.  It was great to see him in a lead role, I liked him in Spring but didn't realize how GREAT his voice really was until this reading!  Accompaniment was done entirely by the musical director at the piano (which I find incredible by itself!).

The show had already changed from what I knew of it before the reading.  James isn't tricked onto the rum running ship, he joins their crew willingly to escape his home in Canada where he feels trapped supporting his alcoholic mother with a dead end job.

The show was funny - sometimes intentionally and sometimes as a result of it being a reading, like when one actor throws a punch at one music stand and an actor at another stand falls to the ground. There were a couple of times where actors lost their place or missed a cue, but it was handled well.

In addition to being was good.  There were parts that were funny and parts that were touching.  About half the songs were solid starts, some of the duets showed a lot of promise, one song was hilarious (in a good way)!  The story kept my attention, I cared about the characters.  The wrap up at the end dragged a little, but I'm sure that will undergo several re-writes before I see it again.

At the end they took questions, comments, and suggestions, furiously scribbling notes.  During this time we learned that some of the songs were finalized on Saturday night and that some of the actors had two days to learn their parts.  Comments were thoughtful and interesting to hear.  One woman said "I really wanted to see the relationship between the brothers established earlier..."  The reply was "Yes!  We didn't know they were brothers until 3 days ago, so we'll definitely work on that!"

"Bring the female melodies down, define this character more, maybe a song exists here to highlight and contrast these two characters, find the balance between the comedy and the drama"...all sorts of things that will drive the development of this show.

I'm so excited to see where it goes next.  More songs could disappear - others added, characters completely changed!  It's a glimpse at the beginning of a process that can take years.  We see a lot of pre-broadway in Seattle....but this is pre-pre-pre-pre-broadway...and I'm thrilled to witness it.

Good luck to Bryan and team - I can't wait for the next show! :-)

Listening to suggestions from the audience. Front L to R: Matt Smith, Bryan Gula, Jake Groshong

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

#KBChat - Death by Whole Foods

In an earlier post I mentioned that I don't blog much because my life is heavily documented in other places.  I decided that what I could do is bring some of those more memorable tid bits here and share them with you [aka no one] to keep the highlights in one place.  You know, so they're easily accessible for my memoir.

I'll start with a Gmail chat between Byron and me.  We've come up with the term #KBChat when we're referring to our Gchats.  Trust me, there was a need.  Mostly because excerpts are sent to others in emails.  As in "this is from today's #KBChat"....just go with it.


4:11 PM me: Byron
  after work
  everything was out to destroy me
 Byron: haha
  oh no!
  when ice cream attacks
 me: no - ice cream was the only good part
4:12 PM Byron: he
  First Stop: Whole Foods
  (+) Almost missed the SLUT, but didn't - yay!
4:16 PM Byron: (yay)
 me: ( - ) Pesto Pasta from the salad bar, that USED to be everything I ever wanted in cold pesto pasta has been changed.
Is now pesto pasta salad...with peppers, and mayonnaise
  Is death
4:17 PM Dinner plan has vanished at the beginning of a long line of errands
  (oh - I went to the rack first, which took 30 minutes longer than planned...silly jewelry - so am already WAY behind schedule)
  Blood sugar plummets - am wandering around Whole Foods trying to not have a nervous breakdown
4:18 PM Byron: :/
 me: angrily eat some mac & cheese
 Byron: haha
 me: get even angrier at the $@#$@^ lack of Diet Coke options
  realized I hadn't had diet coke since lunch at me-hi-co
  blood sugar low + caffeine low = DyingKat
 Byron: :(
4:19 PM me: mac & cheese gives me enough focus to buy what I needed at Whole Foods...well, half of what I needed
  Grow angry at Whole Foods not having all two items on my list
  realize I should eat more food
4:20 PM get small scoop of mashed potatoes and 1 chicken strip from hot food section
  is almost $10
  realize that between mac & cheese, potatoes and chicken
  this non-dinner is not only NOT what I wanted to eat
  but also cost more than lunch
  which included magical chips
  and ALLtheDietCoke
4:21 PM (still have not had anything to drink at this point)
  Stumble out of Whole Foods vowing to NEVER GO THERE AGAIN
 Byron: im not sure i understand how you didn't just die right there at the grocery store
 Byron: :(
4:22 PM me: go to Bed, Bath & Beyond....find...almost everything I need....but am still suffering from lack of focus...
like...put my stuff down and am running back and forth at the giant utensil wall (wall is giant....not the utensils)
  Oh - they're right in front of me
  buy things, leave store
4:23 PM Oh - left phone in store
  go back
  crawl to downtown cupcake royale
  eat ice cream with the angels
4:24 PM Byron: hahaha
  oh jeez
 me: realize last downtown errand will probably not happen as it's after 8pm and the store is probably closed
  run for bus
  9pm get home
  inhale life source (Diet Coke)
  sit on chair in the dark
4:25 PM Byron: haha aw

6 minutes
4:31 PM me: realize I still need to go to the grocery store
  Walk into grocery store and through the produce "LIVE IS SO MUCH BETTER ON CAFFEINE - YAAAAAAAY!!!"
  * "WHY IS THERE NO MILK!?!?!?!" *
 Byron: hahaha\
4:32 PM me: WHERE IS THE MILK!?!?!?
 Byron: ...are you asking me right now? or was this last night?
 me: (I called my dad every time a store tried to kill me - by the time I was at the grocery store, he was just laughing at me)
 Byron: haha
  oh dear
4:33 PM why do you call him? do you expect he will magically fix the grocery store?
 me: turns out...they had more another spot
 Byron: ...
 me: they also didn't have something else I needed
  which prompted a 10 minute call to my dad
  "what do I do instead?!"
  thought I was doing better because of the caffeine
  today I realized
4:34 PM hey, I didn't unpack xxx last night - I could've SWORN I bought some...
  Check receipt....not on receipt....
  was it in the cart?
  did I not pay for it...AND leave it in the cart when i went to the car?
  Is the item still in the cart?
4:35 PM When I was at Whole Foods
  I sent Sara the following text:
  Whole Foods is destroying my soul. I hate everyone and everything
4:36 PM She told me to think happy thoughts and fight off the dementors
4:37 PM Byron: ...
 me: It was really bad in wholefoods
4:38 PM Byron: do you need a hug?
4:39 PM me: Oh, I'm fine today
  Really it was the change of dinner plans on top of the no caffeine
  it was poor planning
4:40 PM Byron: tsk tsk
 me: well
4:41 PM I do blame Whole Foods too though
  who tf puts mayonnaise in the pesto pasta?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

A Tale of Two Cookies

I love to bake.  I usually say "I can't cook, but I love to bake!"  To be clear, I probably can cook.  It's just a pain to cook by myself.  I've tried it and it's a lot of work for 10 minutes of eating.  I think baking is more fun, tastes better (in my opinion) and usually provides me with something I can easily share with others, which I like.

In the past week, I've successfully attempted 2 different cookie recipes using lemon.  I didn't necessarily plan for this to happen, so I thought I'd share the outcome, for the one person a month who randomly stumbles across this secret blog.  (Update 10/29/12 - Hey, guess what!  There actually is about one person a month who lands here by googling "Nordstrom Lemon Ricotta Cookie"!  If that's you, you'll want to scroll down a bit, because it's the second recipe listed.  Also, let me know how yours turn out!)

First up - Gluten and Dairy Free Lemon Drop Cookies

I had a game night last week to break in Dixit Odyssey.  Christine is gluten free and I like to try and have fun new gluten free option at our gatherings.  I was googling....I think it was something like "gluten free drop cookie" and found this recipe for Lemon Drop Cookies.  Perfect!  The first thing that attracted me to this recipe was that it used Gluten Free Bisquick.  This meant I did not have to go find all sorts of fancy gluten free flours.

About half way into my excitement I realized "Oh, right!  Christine is also dairy free - whoops!"  This is how my first experiment with vegan butter came into existence.  Looooong story short, I think the cookies were a success.  I didn't like them at first.  The texture was drier and crumblier than I preferred/expected - I think that clouded my judgment.  Everyone else, including Christine, seemed to like them.  They're incredibly light and the icing is delicious.  If you try the recipe, don't skimp on the icing!  An added bonus is that they look really pretty!  Take a look:

I really appreciated the video that the blogger included with the recipe, especially since I'm not used to using gluten free flour - having a visual of what my dough was SUPPOSED to look like was helpful.  Not that it looked that different from regular cookie dough...but still!  It was nice to know I was on the right track.

This weekend I made another new [to me] recipe for Lemon Ricotta Cookies.

The Cafe at work sells Lemon Ricotta cookies and they are seriously addictive.  The cookie is like more cake like in texture.  I think that's why I like them so much.  The texture sort of reminds me of a black & white cookie (which I love) although I think black & whites are a *little* drier.  I've actually been trying to find a good recipe for black & whites, because it occurred to me day that I COULD just make them, instead of bemoaning the fact that you can only get them in New York (...and apparently Utah.  Lindsay brought one back from SLC for me.)  After singing the praises for this lemon cookie at work, I realized I could try to make *them* too!  (I'm a real quick study.)

Jared offered to be my baking buddy and we set to work last night making this recipe.  We head to the grocery store to buy lemons....and there was one left.  Seriously.  Apparently if lemons are discounted by 10 cents, they fly off the shelves.  It could've also had something to do with the fact that it was 11:30pm.

We ended up buying a 2lb bag of organic lemons, and it's a good thing we did, because we needed 3 tablespoons of zest, and that one sad little lemon couldn't have handled that.  We learned that one medium sized lemon yields approximately 1 tablespoon of zest.  See, you learn new things every day!

I was so pleased with how these cookies turned out - I was giddy and giggly - I kid you not!  I was so ridiculously happy.  Some things of note:
  • They are really flat, and I think they even deflate a little bit once you take them out of the oven.  They're still delicious, and it doesn't really bother me, but I may try to see if there's any "solution" for that later.  
  • They are the antithesis of a dry cookie, and are likely to fall apart if you don't handle them gently.  It's just a side effect of their yumminess.
  • There are many recipes out there for lemon ricotta cookies.  I went with this one because the blog claimed that they were the Nordstrom Cafe recipe.  I don't know if it's from the cookbook, but the taste is an exceptionally close match (the ones in the Cafe are just 5 times bigger).
  • Many of the recipes out there use a glaze (similar to the glaze on the gluten free cookies).  A lemon glaze is all kinds of delicious, but I recommend using this recipe for more a frosting.  It goes well with the cake like texture of the cookie.

Gorgeous! (and dangerous!)

What a lemony week!!! Now I have all of these left over lemons, so I'm sure I'll be attempting one or two other lemon treats before the next week is out.

Happy Baking!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Baby Fish Mouth

While I was walking through Costco tonight I was forming a blog post (otherwise known as talking to myself in my head) about all things literary related - because last night I went to my first ever book club meeting.

However, with the passing of Nora Ephron today, I feel that it's necessary that I share my thoughts about two of my all time FAVORITE MOVIES.

You've Got Mail

A movie full of win.  How could I not love this movie?!  Bookstores and the Internet...does it get any better than that?  This movie came out in 1998.  The summer of 1996 was when I first logged on to AOL...and it changed my life.  I say that with equal parts seriousness and sarcasm...I mean, didn't the Internet change everyone's life?  Let's just say...the words "You've Got Mail"...I get it.  Those three little words.  On top of that the movie was just delightful, funny, touching, hopeful and full of quotable lines.
  • No, but there is the dream of someone else
  • Don't you think daisies are the friendliest flower?
  • F-O-X

When Harry Met Sally

As far as Romantic Comedies go...I may have to say this is the absolute best - of all time.  I first saw When Harry Met Sally in 2001.  Yes, you read that correctly.  WHERE HAD IT BEEN ALL MY LIFE?!?!  Or more accurately, where had *I* been its whole life?!?  This was a movie I took with me on Semester at Sea.  A movie I had never seen before.  I don't know how many times I watched it that summer....but let's just say that for awhile there, I was watching it every single day.  That's not incredibly odd behavior on my part.  I also knew every word (also not terribly unusual) and every musical cue (ok, a little more extreme, even for me).  Is it even worth mentioning that the love story is the best because it's actually believable - you actually believe it CAN happen to you?  It's also brilliantly funny - obviously. The most impressive thing about When Harry Met Sally?  It's timeless.  I don't know if it's because the storyline spans years....or because of the interviews with the couples....or if it's because their names are Harry and Sally....this movie is as true and relevant today as it was in 2001, and as I'm sure it was in 1989.

We lost a true gem today.  I'm so thankful that she left behind these wonderful gifts.

Blog Template by