Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dissatisfied at the end of July

Ever have one of those days - not exactly a bad day...a day of realization that isn't permanent realization - maybe it is just existential angst, temporary but no less intense than if it was a permanent state of affairs - where nothing is GOOD?

I am getting ready to interpret the show and not feeling it like I should. I went downstairs to get ready and I looked at all my clothes and I realized I hate all my clothes today. I don't think I hate them everyday...just today. I like all the pink things but I can't wear pink to interpret. Each thing has some small flaw. And nothing sounds good to eat. And I don't want to do my job anymore.

What I really want is to go see movies and shows and read and clean my sounds so adolescent. Mid-life crisis? Who knows? Just feeling antsy and dissatisfied.

But I am trying to break out of it. Instead of my usual "I'm staying in the house all day Saturday because I CAN", I have accepted an invitation to go see "The Dark Knight" - at Bridgeport no less - in the IMAX theatre...What was I thinking?

I think I have had like 5 social engagements in the last month. That has to be a world's record compared to the last 3 years. Dang...maybe things are looking up already...

And another post to make up for the lack this month. HA! Take that Nablopomo! (it really isn't their just sounded funny in my head)

"A Chorus Line" and Defeat

I gave up once I missed that stupid day after coming back from the beach. I can't believe Nablopomo about FOOD was such a challenge for me. I've been trying to find out what August's theme will be but I haven't had any luck. Oh well. I'm sure they will post it by tomorrow...right?

Anyway, I will be interpreting "A Chorus Line" tonight. Wish me luck...or "break a leg"...I'm gonna need it. Funny how the "easy" shows (due to dance or length or limited number of characters) are NEVER easy (topic, language, etc.).

Anyway, off to rehearse some more.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Nostalgia - Places I've Lived

For some reason, today I was feeling nostalgic for the places I have lived. I decided to look them up on Google Earth. We don't really have any photos of where we lived before moving to Panama City, Florida except for some slides from Colorado. All the photos from Germany were stolen, so most of the places live in my mind's eye. To see the places from Google Earth is wild - very little has changed since I was living in those places. This is really more for me than anything else, so bear with me.

Aurora, Colorado - the first house I lived in on Florence Street. Crawford Elementary school, where I attended Kindergarten and 1/2 of first grade is across the street. There is also the city park a few blocks away and the medical center behind the house where I hid some of my toys thinking I would come back and get them after going to "Germany" which I didn't know was a place (I was 6).

The Amelia Earhart Hotel in Wiesbaden, Germany was the next "home" I remember. We lived there for at least a month or two while waiting for housing. Eventually, we found a place in Medenbach, Wiesbaden, Germany and lived "off the base" otherwise known as "on the economy" for the rest of the year. I am still looking for that place - I don't remember the address. I know that we lived on the second floor and there was an orchard across the weird alley that was right next to our house. The landlady's daughter was named Sabina and they spoke no English. I used to walk to the school bus stop with my sister in the dark with a flashlight there.

In the Amelia Earhart hotel, where most of the USAF families lived in the early 1970s before getting into housing, there were all kinds of strange smells. Across the street was a stand that sold the most delicious rindwurst (my mother and I loved those) and bratwurst (my father and sister loved those). We could walk across the street and get a rindwurst, brochen and a triangular paper cone filled with pomme frites (which were always superior in my mind to french fries). I understand that the AE is no longer a hotel but is still under the US Armed Forces control. I have seen several blogs and other items on the internet where people are inquiring about the stand and the hotel.

The Amelia Earhart Hotel

Currently on Google Earth - AE Hotel (not a hotel anymore)

Crestview Housing Area on Bierstadter Hohe and Plutoweg

This shows the building we lived in. There were two stairwells (I always thought there were 3) per building. These have covers over the little patio we had (we just jumped over the rail from the first floor) but we didn't have covers then. As you move up Plutoweg, the last house on the lower right hand corner of the intersection of Plutoweg and Saturnstrasse was Uncle Paul's house. He was a kindly elderly German gentleman (we lived on the edge of the housing area) who gave us fruit (He gave me my first pear to eat) when we passed by. One time he invited my friend and I in to pick some fruit and gave us a glass of fresh lemonade. He spoke little English but we took German an hour a day.

To be continued...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Approaching 100 posts

This is my 96th published post this year on WildRumpusing! I haven't written anything particularly literary or too entertaining, however, I have been writing more and thinking more (even when I don't write stuff down).

I read a bunch of older posts at 37Days (I know, I know - I told you it was a blogaffair). Some of the posts made me cry. Made me want to live a different kind of life, made me want to explore more of the real stuff.

Funny, when I was younger, I was less afraid of looking at real stuff and now that I am more fully the real me, I don't take the time to examine my life much. I get distracted by the day-to-dayness of it all. I never thought that would happen to me.

I am struck by another 80s movie line from "The Breakfast Club" - Ally Sheedy's character says, "When you grow up, your heart dies." Now, I don't think my heart died. Nothing so dramatic. It just stopped paying attention to things. It's in there - the desire to look at life and to care about the little things. It is just a swimming-against-the-current scenario. I can do it.

Friday, July 25, 2008

"WarGames" 25th Anniversary

So, I went to the movies last night to see "WarGames" - 25th Anniversary edition. They showed a brief documentary before starting the film- like the ones on your DVD extras. It was interesting but I also thought it kind of ruins it for those few people who hadn't seen the movie yet (kids of Gen X people).

The movie was still compelling and unintentionally funny because of all the ancient computer equipment and 80s sensibility. People smoking anywhere they wanted, a smoking and non-smoking ticket to Paris, floppy disks, Pong-like games, Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy in their first starring roles.

Good clean fun. Makes me want to go back and watch other classics - "Red Dawn", "St. Elmo's Fire", "Breakfast Club", "Sixteen Candles", etc. I know they are hysterical in their innocence.

Anyway, a good time was had by all.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Behind on life...

I almost made it the whole month without missing a day...but then I took a vacation and I have been running to catch up...I was only gone one day from work but makes a huge difference in the pile of "things to do".

Monday, July 21, 2008

At the Beach - Where I am Staying Part 2

I was saving the best part for last...hopefully I will get some photos of my own...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Ahhh...the beach. Finally!

I am going to the beach this weekend and I won't be back until Monday night. I have left a couple of posts so you can see what we are enjoying.

We are finally going to have some carrot cake and spaghetti tonight (I've been craving both).

Friday, July 18, 2008

"Les Miserables" - Delayed

This has been an incredibly busy week and I have a lot to say about my experience seeing "Les Miserables" the other night, but I am exhausted and am going to postpone. I think I will write it out by hand and bring my thoughts here when I come back from the coast.

Here's a preview - we are going to Depoe Bay, Oregon.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

"Les Miserables" Memory

I remember the first time I saw "Les Miserables". Roby and I had been listening to it since 1985 or early 1986 - the London Cast recording, of course. We saw the performance on the 1987 Tony Awards and we knew that we were DYING to see the show. In December of 1987, we flew to New York with Ms. Coburn and Mr. Erikson and a group of AHS Theater studens as "chaperones" - we found the whole concept ironic.

Anyway, we arrived on a Sunday and saw "Starlight Express". Monday was dark and we ate out and dinked around in the cold, took tours, etc. On Tuesday, we went to see Radio City Music Hall's Christmas Spectacular (I will tell about that another time) in the morning and "Into the Woods" (Original Broadway Cast - Bernadette Peters, Joanna Gleason, Chip Zien, etc.). On Wednesday, we went to see "Les Miserables".

"Les Miserables" was still at the Broadway theatre (I later saw it at the Imperial months before it closed). It was bitter cold and snowing that evening, so we took a cab to the theatre. The Broadway theatre is BEAUTIFUL. I was overwhelmed - this night was the whole reason I had flown to NYC - to see THIS show. We had perfect seats...I still have the stubs somewhere, so I will have to check where we were seated someday. We were in the orchestra about 2/3 of the way back - we could see the entire stage and could see their facial expressions.

The instant the lights dimmed and the first words appeared on the scrim and the first notes sang from the orchestra, I began to weep silently. I couldn't stop the stream of tears running down my cheeks. Jean Valjean was released and is given redemtion from the bishop when he steals the silver...the scrim came down and the next scene location and time appeared, the orchestra was playing...and the house lights were coming up... I could see the conductor looking around as if to say, "Why are the lights going up? They aren't supposed to be going up..." There was an announcement on the PA stating that there would be a brief and unexpected intermission for 15 minutes. Everyone got up, went to the restroom, milled around, returned to their seats, milled some more and got a little restless. No one really knew what was going on.

It turns out that a gentleman in the balcony had had a heart attack and the paramedics had come to help him. After the show, we found out that the man had died. We went to a talk-back with Gary Morris (who was Valjean) and the actors said that kind of thing happened once a week or so...people eat too much, get too excited, etc. But usually the patron survived.

Anyway, when the show finally started back up again around 45 minutes later, the music started again and so did my uncontrollable tears. Honestly, I thought I would not be able to see any of the show because I cried the entire show, stopping only for intermission. When the show was over and we were waiting for the talk-back participants, I continued to cry for 15-20 minutes. Roby was laughing at me for being such a dork.

After we left, Roby snapped a picture of Gary Morris as he was walking away into the night. I wish I had a copy of that.

Anyway, that is my "Les Miserables" memory. I will tell you more about the show I saw this week when I return to the blog.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Going to see "Les Miserables"

The Broadway Rose Theatre is doing a limited engagement of "Les Miserables" - one of a handful of community theatres in the United States granted the rights to do the show. It has quite a cast and I am going to see the show tonight.

Luckily, I purchased tickets a while ago because I heard they had sold out all the performances and had even added one. I can't wait to see it. MOre later.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My Birthday at work

Above is a photo of the beautiful cupcakes made for me by my assistant, SL. She also took the picture. She is an excellent baker and seamstress and craftswoman. She is amazing. She spent all day Saturday making these and they looked absolutely beautiful. She also made me handmade pink linen hankerchiefs embroidered with my initials on some and my name on others.

It was a really nice birthday. And this weekend, I go to the beach. Excellent!

**Note: If she ever reads this, I hope she doesn't mind that I used her photo to show off her beautiful work.

Monday, July 14, 2008

I Heart Bookfest (to coin a phrase)

Kevin sent me an email that was titled "I Heart Bookfest" so I stole it. Thanks, Kevin!

We had Bookfest yesterday and it was GRAND. I don't have much time to discuss because I am on my way out to celebrate my BIRTHDAY!! 41 years on Earth.

More later!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Childhood food memories - Happy

Since I was a "picky eater" (what a label to carry all your life...), I had very few lunch options in elementary school. As my dad was in the Air Force, when we moved to Germany, there was no option for buying lunch. You HAD to bring lunch or go home for lunch. The school rooms I was in during second and third grade were in the basement of the base housing and used to be old maid's quarters with a little foyer and bathroom and a bigger living space and bedroom. The only foods I liked to take were fried bologna sandwiches or peanut butter and jelly (grape) sandwiches accompanied by snack pak fruit cups (I liked peaches mostly) and some potato chips and celery sticks.

When I went home, we usually had macaroni and tomato sauce (a family recipe). THAT is still one of my favorite foods and one of the only things my mother cooked that I can actually reproduce with some accuracy. We never really ate mac and cheese - my mother doesn't like cheese and she never ate it growing up, so we had this other alternative - cheap, healthy and easy to stretch the budget.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Food Memories...

So, since I have been struggling with this category, I thought I would change tactics a little bit.

When I was a kid, my father only liked "meat and potatoes" kinds of meals and "ethnic" food (food from other cultures) was not nearly as prevalent as it is now or as it is here in Portland. Even when we lived in Germany, we pretty much had American food or German food (sometimes Italian food with a German twist). My mother didn't really grow up eating food from other cultures, and spices were not at all what they are today.

My food experiences growing up were very plain - I don't like condiments, I don't really like many sauces, etc. So food was not that exciting for me. Unfortunately, it was also a source of conflict for me much of the time. If you ask my mom, she will say that when I was a baby I liked all kinds of things, but then as I grew older, I was influenced by textures. I have very specific textures that I don't like AT ALL and that really changed the kinds of food I would eat. This infuriated my father and fascinates other people. I find that regularly people STILL will ask me, "So, you don't like ketchup? mustard? mayo? relish? salad dressing? nothing? How can you live like that?" Ummm. Easily. I don't eat that. It is actually pretty healthy to not slather crap all over everything you eat. But it can also be boring. I remember my grandmother being frustrated that I didn't like chili and stuffing and pickles. Ew. In fact, my sister used to chase me with pickles and pickle juice on her hands because I hated them so much - the smell is VILE to me.

When we traveled to France for a day, I was about 7 years old. We just drove into France while we were on our way somewhere else and my dad tried to order sandwiches. His French was minimal so when the food came, I didn't want to eat it because it has some mayonaise looking kind of sauce on it. I didn't make a scene or scream or ask for something else, I just didn't want to eat it. This set my father off in a RAGE and he NEVER forgot that. Even a year before he died, whenever he would get mad at me for something, he would bring up that day. I know he was trying his best and was probably frustrated that his French abilities limited what he could order or ask for. I felt bad that he was so mad, but at the same time, I was just a little kid. It was always something that he used as a weapon against me.

Also, as a life-long migraine sufferer, I have some foods I don't eat any longer. When I was little, anything that seemed to have triggered a migraine was off the menu...the most recent off the list is Diet Coke. After 3 migraines hit in less than 2 months immediately after taking a drink of Diet Coke, I decided that was one thing I could eliminate. I have been migraine free for a year now, so I don't know if it was stress or the Diet Coke or a combination, but I'm not willing to take the chance. The best part of that decision was the increase in my water intake. Now, I can tell when I haven't had enough water in a day. It is only hard when I go on trips to places like Oakland (smile) where it is hard to even FIND water.

Anyway, just a few memories about food which may be slightly more interesting than stories about what I had for lunch.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Early Birthday Gift

I have been the interim manager for another worksite (hence my trips to Oakland). Somehow, they found out my birthday was coming and sent me a lovely and edible bouquet of pineapple, strawberries, grapes and some chocolate as a birthday/thank you gift. What a nice group of people!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

BookFest, Birthdays and Carrot Cake

So, the big news is that BookFest is this Sunday!!!! I'm stoked! Books, books, books! There are never enough books. We started in 1995 and now it is year 13 and we are celebrating on 7/13 (lucky 13) which is also the day before my birthday!!

Speaking of birthdays, I don't really even know why I still get all giddy about my birthday. It isn't like I'm anticipating getting a bicycle or a toy or a stereo or any of the things I was hoping for when I was a kid. Now, when people ask me what I want, I think of things like a trip to the beach, a nice dinner at my favorite restaurant, game night with friends. But I still get excited that it is my birthday. In fact, at work, we have what is called a "Floating Holiday" which can be used any day of the year, so I take my birthday as my holiday. I love that.

The one thing I know I want for my birthday is a piece of carrot cake. I have been craving carrot cake for a while now. Without raisins.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I don't know why these themes are so hard...

You would think that food would be an easy topic to cover, but nobody REALLY cares what you eat for lunch everyday. I think I imagined that I would start whipping up fabulous dishes with perfect pictures of the culinary delights.

Bah ahahahahahahahah!!!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Mundane food stuff

I am such a creature of habit. Here is my non-exciting daily breakfast.

2 slices of Western Hazelnut bread toast, 3 sausage links, one glass of Calorie Countdown milk (although I was really resistant, I actually think this is much better than regular milk - colder and thinner...). Occasionally, I have a mocha frappucino. :)

Here's some pics (to add interest to this lame post):

Monday, July 7, 2008

Not feeling well

I worked a really long day today and came home to eat dinner at 9:30pm. I had some chicken which was ok, but I think I was just too tired to eat.

I wish I was a brilliant chef so that I could put fabulous recipes in my July Nablopomo, but alas, I am not.

Since I'm not really feeling that well, I'm going to call it a night. More tomorrow.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Back to the food...

It is really hard to find pictures of favorite foods that adequately represent the food you are actually talking about and it is also hard to think of foods that you love that actually have pictures of it...

I could not find things like "Turkey dinner" or "Mussamun curry with Chicken". They had the Thai with beef, but I don't like that. I think food is hard to photograph. I also didn't do a picture of peanut butter or corn, or greeen apples...I was trying to pick from a lot of different categories to see what it would look like to have favorite foods in a mosaic.


1. Lemon Love_Affair, 2. Sweet Tasty Fruit, 3. coffee and chocolate mousse cake, 4. Buster's TEXAS STYLE BARBEQUE, 5. moroccan mint tea 1415.jpg, 6. Rindwurst mit Senf., 7. Weiner Schnitzel, 8. Whole wheat pancakes, 9. Spice World, 10. I have defeated General Tso, 11. little_delhi_papadam, 12. fried wonton, 13. Turkey Noodle Soup, 14. itty bitty wedding cheesecake, 15. Indian Spices #3, 16. Pot Stickers, 17. Avgolemono, 18. chicken vindaloo, 19. spaghetti and meatballs, 20. thai barbeque plate, 21. [ side street inn ], 22. Wienerschnitzel, 23. Untitled, 24. plain and chocolate overload peanut butter cookies, 25. My first strawberries of this season...

Friday, July 4, 2008

Fourth of July Dinner - Not exactly Independence Day Fare

We decided to have Chinese food for dinner tonight - back home after my trip from Oakland. Ironically, I have not had any other kind of food in days...Chinese, Thai...oh, wait, Italian (if you can call it that) at the Oakland airport. I had bow tie pasta, marinara and meatballs. It wasn't bad. The pasta was cooked well, the sauce was tasty, the meatballs were good. It was better than the overcooked chicken strips, the shriveled french get the picture. I rounded it off with a banana and a green apple for dessert while I was on the plane.

I digress (I've been doing that a lot). So tonight, our choices are:

Mongolian Beef

General Tso's Chicken

Other favorites we didn't get (we are stuck in a rut...)

Kung Pao Chicken

Sesame Chicken

But the real star of the night will be a version of Strawberry Shortcake.

Strawberry shortcake is definitely an American staple. I don't think it is about food or fireworks or Blues music or going to picnic all day with jillions of other people. Patriotism is in the heart and in our beliefs.

Admission: I still tear up at a really good version of the National Anthem. Or "Taps". Or a dozen other patriotic songs. I can't help it. When I was in elementary school, we sang all the patriotic songs every day and we stood when the National Anthem was sung, hands on hearts. My dad was in the Air Force and it wasn't something I questioned as a young person.

As an adult, I don't always agree with our military actions (not going there right now, sorry), but I still believe that we are lucky to be in a country where I can say that and not get put in jail. I don't always know how to reconcile some of my experiences growing up and the beliefs that were instilled in me with the beliefs I have as an adult...they are often in direct opposition. I try to just accept that not everything makes sense. Some things just are.

I can say that I'm proud to be an American - I hope we can make up for some of what we have done in the name of "freedom". Regardless, we should celebrate the ideals of our nation and hope that we can regain our "beacon of hope" status someday.

Happy Fourth of July!

After a spate of visitors to this page from a google image search, I pulled the photos. My apologies for misusing them.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Missing my lemons

I love lemons - bright, fresh flavor. On salads, just plain...doesn't matter. That's what I have been missing on my trip. Weird, huh?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

All Thai food is not created equal

Well, as I have already said, I am in Oakland this week.  I'm staying downtown and it is so odd to find that there aren't really any restaurants to note that are open past 7pm.  The last time I was here, I walked about a mile down to Jack London Square and had BBQ when I was looking for an Indian place.  There was an Indian restaurant right by my hotel last time, but when I went there, after 5pm mind you, the employees were there and sitting around eating and talking and when I tried to open the door, it was locked.  So, I looked for hours of operation and it said that they opened at 5:00pm, but it was 5:30pm and finally one of the guys came over, tapped his watch and shrugged.  I left.  I wasn't going to stand around and wait for them to open up whenever they felt like it.


Anyway, last night, I wandered in a different direction round about 7pm (the hotel I'm in only has a "breakfast restaurant"...I've never heard of that in a hotel, really. ) and I passed tons of little Chinese restaurants but all closed. Tons of little stores, all closed.  Finally, I went back to my hotel and ordered delivery Chinese.  It was totally random, out of the phone book.  Food was not bad, but not great.  What I was really missing, though was a beverage.  Everywhere I go, they have coke and pepsi and dr. pepper, but nothing without caffeine..


Anyway, I digress.  Tonight, after not having lunch, I decided that I would eat dinner at 5:30pm and come back to work afterwards.  One of the people where I work said there was a good Thai place about 3 blocks away.  I walked down there and had yellow curry chicken (they didn't have mussaman favorite.  They had mussaman beef, but I didn't like that the last time I tried it.)  The sauce was tasty, but like soup and not very spicy.  The chicken was a mix of meat - not all breast.  The servers were very attentive and nice and the atmosphere and the decor was very nice.  I didn't love the food, though.


My first Thai love is in Vancouver, WA of all places.  It is the first place I ever had Thai food and LIKED it.  The first place I had Thai was a chain restaurant and the food was awful.  This little place in Vancouver is really good.  It is family owned by a great couple who are very kind and attentive.  The restaurant is simple but beautifully colored.  They know me by name and voice on the phone as we often order takeout from work.  This little gem is called Thai Terrace (when I get back on Blogger official, I will link them up).


There are a couple of other great Thai restaurants around Portland - my other favorite is in Downtown, near the MAX tracks on like 3rd and something..The first Thai food restaurant in Oregon, The House of Lapthong is pretty good, too, although, nothing can beat Thai Terrace's Massmun Curry with Chicken or their fabulous fried wontons.


Anyway, I am obviously missing home and my standby Thai place.  Will be back in Oregon on Thursday (very late). Looking forward to being home again.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Nablopomo badge

I'm still waiting for the Nablopomo badge for July. I'm sure it will be pretty cool.

Visit NaBloPoMo

July Nablopomo - FOOD

Food is going to be an interesting theme this month. I think a lot of people will be doing recipes and showing off their culinary skills, of which I have none.

I interpreted in a very renowned culinary school for at least 6 months and I learned A TON. It was quite an experience, really. I didn't think I would like it - when I started I kept thinking, "Why am I doing this? I don't cook. I barely like any of the foods they will cook in a school with a French cuisine focus..." But it was an incredible experience. I would interpret in cooking school again any day. The hardest part was that there were few signs for the concepts we were discussing, so we had to be creative and stay on our toes to remember all the signs we had set up with the person we worked with.

Anyway, I digress.

I'm not sure how food will really play into my Nablopomo experience this time. I'm excited to do it on Wild Rumpusing because I really want to get back into the habit of writing daily. I also really want to participate in the theme, so I'm gonna give it a whirl and try to really keep to the theme.

Wish me luck!


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