Friday, April 20, 2012

Fred Astaire - Emma Wallace

I'm working on a post about the week I just spent touring the region with the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra and Magic Circle Mime Company. For now, though, enjoy this sweet little tune:

Thanks to Laura for making it show up in my news feed!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Jive Kiddo!

This little dude has been making the rounds on Facebook. Big thanks go to reader Baboo for sending him my way!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Caine Monroy's Cardboard Arcade

Check out this documentary by Nirvan Mullick about 9-year-old Caine Monroy's cardboard arcade and the flashmob that made his day.

Here's the story that introduced me to this innovative kid and his creation.

Monday, April 9, 2012

T-Rex Trying . . .

Recently, I ran across this blog, which documents the trials of Tyrannosaurus Rex in ever-so-elegant comic form, drawn by the talented Hugh Murphy. Here are a couple of my favorites:

I sent this one to my uncle, a dentist.
As a cardigan-challenged individual, I can totally relate . . .
In other news, have you heard that T-Rex had a relative who had thick, fluffy feathers? And that this discovery indicates that T-Rex might have had thick, fluffy feathers, too? Madness!

Do you think it's true? Absolutely!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Joy in the Congo

This incredible 60 Minutes segment presents an orchestra in the Congo, the only orchestra in central Africa.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Happy Birthday, Little Brother!

Today, my younger brother, who is, admittedly, not little anymore, turns 24! Happy Birthday, Joey!!
A portrait of siblings, circa 1988.

Family portrait, circa 1991.
Joey would like to reclaim this shirt.
A portrait of siblings, 2004.

Mom, Joey & Dad, 2008, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.
Family portrait, 2010, North Carolina.
I love you, little brother!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Queen Has Been Crowned!

Congratulations to one of my fellow chorus girls from last summer: Sara Trader! Sara was just crowned Queen of Queens in her school pageant and will be competing this summer in the OVAC Queen of Queens pageant. As a former school Queen (Mount de Chantal, 2004), I wish her all the best and am quite sure she'll have a simply marvelous time! Of course, I'll miss her charm and wit and flirtatious ways in this summer's musical since she'll be far too occupied with her Queen-ly duties to join us on the stage.

Yay Sara!


Monday, April 2, 2012

A Chorus Girl? Again?

You might remember from this post that last summer, I had a lesson in humility when I was cast in the chorus of Cinderella when I desperately wanted to be, well, Cinderella. Along the way, I learned a few other lessons about the art of being onstage and even got to have a knock-down, drag-out, hair-pulling fight with one of the other chorus girls, when we weren't flirting with every boy in sight. Our characters were our own, developed with the help of our director and our few lines in the opening number. From there on, we had so much creative freedom to develop who we wanted to be because there was so little in the script to dictate who we were. It was an adventure that I enjoyed very much and one I'm prepared to enjoy again if I am fortunate enough to be cast in this summer's production of Bye, Bye, Birdie.

It's the first musical back in the historic Strand Theatre, and Ryan Ferrebee will once again be at the helm. It's an exciting summer ahead, and I hope to see many of the same faces with whom I worked last year and, of course, new faces as well. What I hope to avoid is any casting drama a la my embarrassing meltdown last year, which is why I have prepared myself for the chorus. Even in the ensemble, there is opportunity for artistic growth and skill set expansion. There is singing and dancing and acting throughout because it is a musical, after all. If I am cast anywhere but there, I will certainly celebrate, but my enjoyment of the summer will not depend on where I am cast but rather only that I am cast at all. (Then again, I may not be cast at all and that will be a whole other kettle of fish which I'd rather not explore at this particular moment.)

I'll keep you posted on developments in this regard. Auditions aren't until the end of May, and before then, I've got a trip to Ireland to enjoy and a boatload of work to accomplish. I may as well put off the worrying, maybe completely!

A Little Bit Country

During much of my childhood, my mother sang in a country band called Streamline. My brother and I were brought up on a diet of country music sung by mom and her sisters and constantly on the radio. While I didn't watch last night's Academy of Country Music Awards, I did read a short recap and learned that this happened:

It made me smile. I hope it does you, too.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

I Knew You Were Coming So I Baked a Cake!

Last night, I threw my very first grown-up dinner party. My roommate and I had four guests over, and everyone had a marvelous time.

The menu:

Green Peppers & Grape Tomatoes
sauteed in olive oil with cumin & celery salt

Baked Garlic Parmesan Chicken (for the meat-eaters)
Bowtie Pasta (for me)

Carrot Cake (from scratch!)
Brownies (from scratch!)
(My roommate made these, and they were amazing!)

Iced Tea

Dinner conversation followed a winding path, as dinner conversation is wont to do. We covered topics from the Viennese Winter Ball menu to hula hoop construction, symphony concerts to the Disney College Program. Post-dinner, we relocated to the living room. The following excitement ensued:

*One of our guests tuned my roommate's autoharp. They proceeded to play an autoharp-recorder duet of Beethoven's "Ode to Joy." There is videographic evidence of this. I have been forbidden to share it.

*Another of our guests is a hula hoop fitness instructor. She gave a short lesson in hula hooping, and then attempts were made with a fair bit of success.

*My feather fans made a brief appearance. My skill is limited, but they're just so fluffy and gorgeous, I couldn't leave them in the box with company over. One of these days, I'll actually learn to use them (and have the confidence to strut about unabashedly with them).

*And finally, there was an hour-long swing dance lesson, covering the basics of 6-count East Coast Swing. With that, much success as well.

On the whole, the evening was a smashing success, and I look forward to future dinner parties. Hopefully, with the weather turning warm, we'll be able to have gatherings out on the balcony. And by balcony, I mean rooftop deck-type thing. It's bigger than our kitchen. It might be bigger than the living room. In any case, it's a marvelous place for a party so we shall simply have to have one.

Also, I was singing this song in my head while I baked the carrot cake: